Brady sign

Rather gloomy and overcast today (mostly), and windy and cold (whenever I stepped out). I’m ready for a new year!

Did draft financial summary for the year-end (ho-hum), and have confirmed that “we will live”; we are lucky. Photo from yesterday’s sunny outing.

∞ = 199

Rubber camera

We had an errand at the camera shop outside the perimeter (OTP), where this rubber (?) camera is part of an art installation welcoming customers.

It’s rocking it?


This is from the other day, but illustrates Toyota-math. When the vehicle runs on electric only, that is, from the battery, Toyota reports the mileage at 199mpg, meaning no petrol was used.

For our old car, when it ran on battery, it reported the “infinite” mileage as 100mpg. Thus, the new vehicle is a mathematical upgrade?

Park as indicated

This sign was inside a gravel parking lot, at an angle that would make it difficult to spot as you entered. No other signs (e.g., arrows). The label read “Park as indicated.”

I suspect traffic gets stuck in the back loop going round and round.

Abandoned rural clapboard house

We continued our rural drive down two-lane roads OTP, some abandoned…. The rusty metal panel is intended to keep the dogs and vermin from crawling under the house.

Maybe kids, too.

Observing nature

Winter light on floor

When we wore working out the design of the rebuild after Tree#1, I wanted a big window to the south, with a balcony above to shade it during the summer, but not protruding enough to cut the view out the window too much. Is this possible, I asked the architect. Yes.

And, so, this time of the year the sun floods in, and I am cheered.

Unfocused moth

I guess my eyes were distracted by the sun when I tried to capture the soul of this moth resting on the doorframe. Hah! Maybe I’ll have to get one of those clip-on lens gizmos, again….

Paperwork adventure

Curved railings

Curved railings in the county “government center”…. Our institutional visit was a half-bust. We are to get another temporary tag from Oregon tomorrow (thank you overnight delivery!), which is appropriate since the OR person goofed. But it means we have to go back (and stand in line) when the corrected paperwork is returned to ATL (what they sent has to be returned to OR, fixed, then sent back to ATL). I call it a half-bust because we’ll be able to drive The New Car again…and that’s an improvement on it being benched in the driveway with an expired tag.

New stadium

On our way back to the house, we drove by the new foots-ball stadium, or the getting-finished stadium. Its formal name is M-B for a German car company. I really question taxpayer subsidies on this scale for private businesses.

Amelies red chandelier

Okay, enough of more severe designs; here’s a lovely red chandelier in a bakery/coffee shop that we visited while we were out. I enjoyed their baguettes (trying to decide where the best ones are made in ATL), but wonder if there isn’t a teensy-tad of added sugar…. The tables, chairs, and sit-space is lovely and a terrific space—wish it were closer to home.

Mr. Dronemaster triumphs

Dronemaster n drone

We got out the new technology—well, the new one for this FirstWorld household. Charge battery. Deploy arms. Put iPhone into controller. Turn on devices.


Drone watches dios

Go up! (Look back at Dronemaster.)

Roof leaves

Enjoy visual angles*! (Check out leaves in gutter.)

* Angles not angels!
No, we did not aim camera at any windows, even our own.

Please stand by

Box top photo

Apologies, Gentle Reader, for going on about our new Prius Prime over the last few days. We feel that the new safety technologies are a big win, and the sporty handling (etc.) make it a fun buggy. [We are enamored; if you spend that much dinero, that seems a good thing—jes-sayin’.]

HOWEVER, we are embarking on other technology in our immediate personal consumer zone. This item has been charging and further study is needed of the operator’s manual before actual usage will be embarked upon. [Feel free to be overwhelmed by passive voice en este momento.]

I know you’re super-excited (#sarcasm aka #sarcasmo) as you await further details. Me, I’m yawning, so…tomorrow…. And, yes, this photo is a cheat—from the (very Apple-style) packaging.

No explanation on why Spanish phrases are on my fingertips right at the moment….

Foggy miles

Arkansas fog

We pushed east in fog, as we had through most of Oklahoma last night. It stayed with us for a long time, then switched to gloomy overcast. We kept at our chosen task: east-bounding.

Mighty Miss crossing

Even the Mississippi Bridge seemed dreary. I saw only one set of barges, and they were parked along the shore. Perhaps even the locks were not operating in honor of the holiday?

In a sense, the fog switched from being outside to being in our brains. Yesterday we drove 810mi; today was in the high 700s. That will certainly fog you!

Big number odometer

We arrived home on this round number. We had only one charge since leaving SEA (became 16 road miles, lower than the predicted 25mi because of conditions), and this reflects gas mileage since SEA of 48.1mpg. We didn’t baby the vehicle (exercise elements of hypermiling)—we drove fast and the temps also were cold enough to bring down the mileage. Still, a real-world test of the gasoline/regenerative system—equivalent to the old Prius, which I estimate would have gotten 8–10mpg lower in the same conditions. We knew this vehicle is supposed to have higher mpg, and clearly it does….

We figure that today our vehicle is one of the highest miles-operated privately owned Primes in the USA.

We predict a stint of around-town, electric miles ahead!

Flat is relative

Santa Fe shadows

We creased Santa Fé…

Climbing SF to Taos

…and drove north—and up—toward Taos.

Taos back street

Here’s a residential back alley in Taos.

Taos plaza luminarias

And, the luminarias are already out in the plaza, ready for the evening’s celebrations and rituals.

Taos pueblo

We also drove north to Taos Pueblo, and turned around in the parking lot, so we only have a few shots. Here’s an animal pen by the road. The residents are fiercely protective of their privacy, as is their right, and no cell phones or cameras are allowed in.

EofTaos mtns

We headed east on US64, through the mountains. We knew we’d have a good window after the sun had melted the snow and before it began to refreeze, and we nailed it. Just gorgeous. If my phone is correct, the highest pass was a tad over 9K feet—that’s high!

EofTaos formation

Here’s a scenic formation in the Cimmaron Canyon…turns out cimarrón is Spanish for bighorn. Amazing what you can learn from Goo_Translate!

Great plains begin

The highway eventually spat us out on the upper plains, and we relearned what flat means. We corralled our horsepower to motor farther eastward. When dusk arrived the sky to the north had ROYGBIV colors, but upward from the horizon, the color order was BIVROY (not sure what happened to G), which I don’t remember seeing before. I’m sure prismatic specialists are snorting with “of course,” but I do not know why that order. Pretty, though!

We have been driving for days through terrain that stretches away from the eye at interstate speeds, and appears very horizontal. I’m certain that those on foot find the verticals very present and substantial.

Travel topics

Truck parking

Semis are constant companions to personal vehicles traveling interstate highways. They require large parking areas, and those that don’t require backing are preferred, although drivers I have noticed are adept at backing their big rigs.

Route66 etc

We’ve also been accompanied lately by an overage of Route 66 mentions. This tableau takes the cake, I think. Also, the cafes and restaurants in this town all bragged on their “buffalo” burgers. [Bet they were made with bison meat….]

Rear view mtns

As we pulled away from under the rain clouds I enjoyed watching these mountains recede in the rear-view. Snow-capped! Probably the snow was augmented last night, although at the elevation we traveled, the precip was rain. Whew!

Train golden light

We had very high-quality low-angle sun. This train looked far better than it normally does, I’m sure.

Bridge stack

Whatta stack of bridges! [Reminds me of redwoods…plus air.]

Justified bridge

Hollywood goes out of town for some shoots. “Justified” used this bridge many times during its five years.

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood’s younger self…

Halfway House w dirty new car

…came through here. No word on whether he spoke to any of the chairs.

Vazquez Rocks me scale

William Shatner (and many others) spent time on/in front of the formations in the Vazquez Rocks park. [Note me for scale.]

PCT gate

Ian/Spark walked by here on the PCT, crossing by the gate of the same park.

California canal

Several times we crossed the California Aqueduct. It carries water south from the Sierra Nevadas (snowy highlands) to SoCal, usually in an open canal. Ladders scale the sides every 1000ft, signs say; it’s wiser to never get into the water, however (duh!).

Standing water desert

Speaking of water, we drove east all day toward an east-bound rain system. During this part of the day, we were behind it by several hours, and the desert had standing water—very unexpected to find the dryness ameliorated.

Cloud driving

Eventually, we did drive into clouds, and the rain. It never came down hard, but for a bit we couldn’t see far. The radar sensors on the New Car gave us an extra measure of safety.

Take Rest

One more bit of technology…after several hours of driving, the vehicle presents a schematic of a steaming cup of coffee, and kindly enquires (in a rather Japanese way) “Would you like to Take Rest?” [BTW, the blue shading behind the MPH figure turns to red when Ludicrous (boosted speediness) mode is engaged…not that you’d forget!]