Prius Personal Log  #36

August 20, 2002  -  September 2, 2002

Last Updated: Sat. 1/22/2005

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9-02-2002 3 new Multi-Display photos.  I also needed a sample of the Multi-Display at Half-Charge for the new Info-Sheet.  Taking a look at my collection, I discovered there was only one photo to choose from.  It's quality wasn't ideal.  So I went for a drive with the digital camera.  Now there's 3 new ones photos to choose from... "StartupCharge", "BatteryDrive", and the not-to-often-seen "MotorDriveEngineCharge" here:  photo album 41
9-01-2002

New Speedometer Photo.  I needed a newer sample for upcoming 2003 Info-Sheet.  So, I fired up the digital camera this afternoon.  And this time, I experimented.  Rather than using the overrides on the camera, I just setup the photo as if it was using the flash, then held my hand over flash.  Blocking the extra light caused a heavy under-exposure, something that is very easy to correct on the computer afterward.  The advantage was none of the bleed from the LEDs was captured, resulting in a much cleaner exposure.  The photo, which displays 38,096 on the odometer, is on this new page:  photo album 41

9-01-2002

2 Year Anniversary.  Technically, it should be today, since I publish all my data on a monthly basis.  (1,972 miles in August resulting in a 47.5 MPG average.  38,066 miles overall baring a 44.8 LMPG.)  I did stuff with my Prius before I purchased it.  That makes the day I signed the papers a bit obscure.  So the day I choose to celebrate is the first day I attempted to do something "normal" with it, the day I drove my first commute to work.  That day was 9/11, a rather easy date to remember.  And quite frankly, I'd prefer to celebrate my anniversary on that day, instead of the sucker-punch we got...  in other words, cherish the success Prius has provided toward building a new future.

9-01-2002

Colors of Prius.  There's a new webpage showing all 8 Prius colors (in the US) at once.  There's also a new animation using the 7 newest color images; the same photo switches from one color to another automatically.  You'll find all that stuff here:  colors

8-31-2002 11 more Non-Rally photos.  I got the rest done.  3 are of the Insight and my Prius parked scenically under the trees at "Fort Ridgley State Park" in the evening.  3 other are of the same hybrids in the same location, but in the morning which looks quite different.  5 are the cream of the crop.  The Civic-Hybrid, Insight, and my Prius parked side-by-side at Fort Ridgley itself.  You can't see much of the 149 year old fort though, but that ideal landscape provided a very nice background.  I circled the 3 hybrids, shooting photos as I walked.  To my knowledge, no one has ever been able to capture a moment like that.  Chalk up another for "boldly going".  Thanks for the continued encouragement everyone!
8-30-2002 7 Non-Rally photos from the Rally.  3 are from "J. Cook State Park" where the hybrids rested the first night.  That was a very nice place to camp.  3 are from "Buffalo River State Park" which provided very nice photo opportunities for the hybrids, but we got eaten alive by the mosquitoes.  1 is at the Perkins in Moorhead, MN where we decided to have breakfast rather than fight with bugs trying to cook over a fire.  Normally, I wouldn't include a photo like this.  But it looked so cool with all the cars lined up, I couldn't resist.  Here's all 7 of those photos:  photo album 39
8-30-2002

My first highway DOUBLE sighting!  I finally saw 2 at once.  Today, there was a Silver Prius following a White Prius.  It was pretty sweet!  I don't think either driver saw me though, since I was going the other direction.  But when I got off the highway, the driver in a Dark Blue Prius saw me.  I tapped the horn.  He waved.

8-29-2002

Spotted a Civic-Hybrid.  After having spent 4 very full days with one on the Hybrid Road Rally then editing photos of it for 2 weeks afterward, I've discovered the trained eye can pick a Civic-Hybrid out of a crowd with several traditional Civics mixed in fairly easy. So when I spotted one on the road yesterday, I felt pretty comfortable that I haven't been missing them.  The un-informed may never spot one though, especially since some people still mix up Echo & Focus & Prius.  Looking like other vehicles already on the road does have a distinct non-media marketing disadvantage.  So I wonder what Honda's going to do for promotion after the initial purchase wave dies down.  "Out of sight, out of mind" would seem rather fitting.

8-28-2002

A surprise in one of my Prius Photos.  Prius_Summer_55 is a recent favorite for me.  I took it during the golden hour, that's right before the sunset.  It allowed to conclude a very fun day by capturing the glow of the brilliant green paint, something not possible with the sun directly overhead.  I held the camera up high, straight with the angle of the light.  Looking closely at the photo (just under the front door handle), you can barely see me doing that in the reflection.  My arms formed a faint circle.  Hmm, I was surrounded by corn.  Perhaps a crop circle...  (maybe I followed a gas-guzzling SUV to closely catching a whiff of the awful emissions, now I'm hallucinating)

8-28-2002

BluePlanet Gas.  The new Holiday advertisement I heard on the radio this morning made me really happy.  Over the last 3 years they (http://www.blueplanetgas.com) have mentioned that their gas is much cleaner, but never mentioned why.  Today they very clearly stated it was because there's 75% less sulfur than what the competitors offer.  Their promotion is raising awareness. That's pretty sweet!

8-28-2002

OWNER webpages now available.  Over the last 2 years, Prius owners have went to the trouble of creating photos to share and documenting their experiences only to have their work lost among the clutter in the Yahoo Group.  And now to make matters worse, there isn't any storage-space remaining.  So I have begun to offer hosting on my domain.  In fact, there's an entire new section in the navigation frame of my website to help everyone easily find the new pages.  The first of those pages is now available.  Please check it out.  Then consider adding one of your own.  There's no real limitations of what you can do.  Variety is the key.  We all own different color Prius and live in different regions of the country (in some cases, other countries too).  So creating an assortment of photos should be fairly easy.  (If not, there's over 450 photos of my Prius to provide ideas.)  Just drop me an email stating you're interested.  I'll provide as little or as much help as you'd like.  Having published 142 webpages already, a few more won't be much of a chore.  Share as little or as much as you'd like. And remember, we won't have problems with the links for these pages.  They'll all short enough to avoid wrapping.  Here's the new main page... owner index    Lastly, a big thank you to Bill T. for providing the first page.

8-28-2002

Low Gas Prices.  I made a comment to someone that prices won't stay this way forever.  She showed a sigh of relief.  I questioned why.  She stated they were way too expensive now.  I chuckled.  I stated $1.47 is nothing, prices will definitely get much, much worse someday.  It's only a matter of time.  And since most people can't afford to switch to a more efficient vehicle when that day comes (especially since the resale value of their gas-guzzler will drop then), it's could get ugly.  So we must work as hard as possible to increase the sales of hybrid vehicles NOW.  Go Prius!

8-27-2002

Alternate Tires - First RotationBreak-In appears to have made a difference.  My Non-LRR tires were rotated last week.  They had 6,500 miles on them.  Performance was great.  That was obviously in small part due to break-in.  Tires in front wear faster (in any vehicle, not just Prius).  Moving them to the back caused about a 0.5 MPG drop and stealth to be a bit difficult to maintain a constant speed with.  You can visually see that the back tires now in front are virtually brand new still.  It will probably take a thousand miles to get back to where I was before the rotation.  Thank goodness these tires are designed to last 75,000 miles.  I won't have to go through break-in again for a number of years.

8-25-2002

Fuel-Cell Dilemma.  It's getting worse.  Not only is the fuel-cell stack technology too inefficient and the fuel type a source a subject of heavy debate, but now the method of fuel storage is becoming a big issue.  It's going to take a very long time to work out all the details.  And they will, don't worry.  But in the meantime how many of 100's of millions of hybrids could be sold?

8-24-2002

60 Million new vehicles per year Worldwide.  Whoa!  I didn't realize there were that many until I came across an article mentioning that statistic today.  The only number I knew was 17 million per year in the United States.  With a number that large, it makes the need for hybrid technology even more important.  It also makes me wonder why the other automakers don't think it's a worthwhile investment.

8-25-2002

Prius at the Minnesota State Fair.  The state had their Prius on display last year.  It was swarmed by curious people.  I was able to distribute a bunch of cards.  This year, nothing!  I bet the hybrid was so popular that the employees drove it a lot.  Showing off a car that looks really used isn't exactly appealing.  Bummer.

8-22-2002

Rethinking what you've been taught.  Convincing people there are advantages with Prius that no other vehicle offers is sometimes a struggle.  Pointing out an unexpected advantage with some digital cameras helps provide another technology perspective.  Using a traditional camera viewfinder is difficult for people with corrective lenses or a large nose.  And at best, it only provides an approximation of the image you will actually capture.  The display-screen on a digital camera is quite different.  It's easy to see.  There's no need to hold it close to your face.  You get to see exactly what the photo will look like before you push the button.  Those are benefits that are somewhat obvious.  What isn't is the fact that you don't need to hold the camera at eye-level to take a photo anymore.  It's actually possible to hold it above your head and accurately aim easily.  The above-the-crowd perspective is very appealing.  It opens the opportunity for variety too.  This is really slick advantage, it allows you to avoid red-eye without looking obvious (when people focus on your eyes instead of the camera's lens).  And of course there's the option for candid photos, since most people don't expect you to be able to shot from the hip.  But you can!  Prius has a powerful motor, a multi-display, and the ability to drive using only electricity.  Since most people have never experienced anything like that, you need to sometimes remind them to rethink what they've been taught.  And if possible, get them to take a test-drive.  That's always enlightening.

8-22-2002

Just Floor It.  It's been awhile.  I simply haven't needed to accelerate that quickly.  But this morning was different.  At the merge point on the highway, I encountered a slow moving vehicle that misjudged my faster speed.  Remaining at 67 MPH was not an option for me.  And there just plain was any way to merge behind.  So I "just floored it".  The Prius entered the highway at 77 MPH, well in front of that slow vehicle.  To anyone else, it probably looked like a completely normal maneuver.  From my perspective, I realized that most people don't feel comfortable hitting the pedal to the floor.  They were taught to avoid unnecessary strain on the engine.  In Prius, there's no way to cause harm.  The motor provides the bulk of the thrust and the engine was designed to never exceed 4500 RPM (many vehicles can stress their engine all the way to 7000 RPM).  That means protection is provided for you automatically.  Using the full range of the pedal whenever it's needed won't cause any harm.  Pretty cool, eh!?

8-20-2002

Reality.  Bold environmental plans from Ford are being crushed by the business factors.  They provided details about their financial struggles today.  This quote from the CEO addressing the challenges of the climate-change efforts says it all, they �will be tempered by our near-term business realities�.  It wasn't a surprise to those that have been watching for years.  The high profit-margins from the SUV market saved them.  Now that market is saturated and the concerns about waste are growing.  Survival is the key now.  That means long-term investments like fuel-cells and SULEV hybrids are considered unrealistic.  The reality of the situation is clear, the environmentalists will lose to the stockholders.  I'm really disappointed in them.  Thank goodness Toyota wasn't so short-sighted.  Building a car from the ground up that relied so much on electrical propulsion must have been a very demanding task that required a massive financial commitment.  I glad they did!  Driving my Prius everyday is truly a delight.

8-20-2002

Prius in stock.  Remember the "old days" when you had to order a Prius and wait what seemed like an eternity for delivery?  Now you can drive away with one the same day you first visit the dealer.  While there today, I saw 3 Prius parked in the front lot and 5 in back.  I didn't check, but I bet there was 1 on the showroom floor too.  That's just plain cool!

8-20-2002

37,500 mile service.  This one was really convenient.  I was exhausted from having lost a battle with my allergies (dust & pollen) the night before.  The service department opened at 7:00 AM.  No appointment was necessary for the free (covered under the warranty) tire-rotation & oil-change.  So I stopped by.  They started work right away.  I kicked back in the waiting area.  After awhile, I was asked about my tires.  He noticed I was running much higher than "normal" pressure.  (I was impressed by his observation!)  I pointed out the extra PSI was to compensate for my tires with only a standard load rating.  Then he asked a few questions about those alternate tires.  (He was well informed, I continued to be impressed.)  The information I provided sounded ok to him, so left the pressure as-is and went ahead with the rotating.  The oil-change was completely painless.  5W-30 as needed.  No charge for any of the work.  I left very happy.  (A summary about all my maintenance experiences is available at:  maintenance 1  )

 

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