Greetings again from sunny Texas. I'll have everyone know that I've gone more than 24 hours without driving the MINI. Our friends the Roths showed up here Friday night and we've been cruising in a Buick Century rental beast for the last day and a half. Tim likes to see how fast we can take the parking lot speed bumps in the Buick. We have found that the faster you go, the smoother they are... in a Buick anyway. We went to San Antonio today. The first stop was, of course, The Alamo.
I can say for certain that there is, in fact, no basement at the Alamo.
As hot as it is here, we ran across a polar bear that tried to take a bite out of me!
Here's one last photo I took a couple of days ago. Since everyone loves to see the MINI so much (you know who you are JC & eH), here's a shot for you.
First off, I'm stoked about being able to buy 93 octane gas in Texas. That probably doesn't mean much to most, but the MINI drives wicked fast on 93. Plus, 93 octane premium is only $1.75/gal here. That's .21¢/gal less than premium at home.
Ok, wrench-head geek talk is over. We had a blast heading south. If you want, you can check out our travel pics here.
We were emotionally moved by visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial. There's a massive emptiness there. You can view the photos here.
More from Austin and San Antonio to come...
My latest MINI album can be seen here.
My favorite motoring shoes - Sha-Sha flames. Props to the A-Train for being the first to sport the flames. (I just had to say that.)
I'm not even going to try and say anything profound and since I'm on a roll with a MINI theme on the blog lately, here's something that made me smile today. While driving up Metcalf, I noticed a black MINI Cooper S on the O'Neill Honda used car lot. While seeing a MINI on a used lot may be a little curious, it's usually because the dealer demos are sold or wholesaled out once they reach 5,000 miles. That's most likely the case here because I looked up the car at oneillauto.com (by the way, I know it's their name but the URL is One Ill Auto.com - goofy, huh?) and the car has 6,200 miles and is pretty much a base model. Here's what made me smile. The price listed on the used Cooper S is $26,995. That's $3,500 or 15% more than I paid for my Cooper S less than a month ago and mine is fully loaded with options. It's also about $6,000 more than you'll pay if you're willing to wait five to six months by placing an order for a similarly equipped new one at Baron. Maybe the new sales pitch, like they need one, should be, "You'll never be upside down in a MINI." (Thought bubble appears over Todd's head - "They're also nearly impossible to roll too...") Hmmm, hey MINIUSA, I've got an idea for you...
Union Jacked, that is! I just finished the full roof Union Jack flag on my car. It took me about seven hours to complete and I'm not interested in doing another one like it because of all the detail. Since I have a sunroof, there are extra cracks, crevices, and trimmings to be made. Also the full UJ, as it's called, covers the entire top with no border. This is different than the factory UJ roof flag seen here.
In case anyone wonders, it's a British flag on a British car. I know that's for the un-enlightened masses, but I've been asked two times in the last 24 hours what kind of car my MINI is. Must be more people living under rocks than I thought.
It's one sweet ride!
Ok, the bad news first. I got my first rock chip in the MINI's windscreen today. The chip is very small considering the size of the boulder that came flying at me and bounced off right about eye level on the driver's side. After reading reports form a plethora of other MINI owners about the frequency of such chips on MINI windscreens, I was prepared for it and not too bummed. I know, you're thinking if that's all the bad news I have, my life must be cake right now. It's really not a big deal, I just needed a "hook" for this blog entry and the good news/bad news schtick seemed to fit. So please refrain from posting flaming comments about me being obsessed with my MINI. I've heard them all.
The good news. I met with the local MINI dealer, Baron MINI, today to discuss the possibility of me providing boot stripes to Baron as a dealer added option. They were very interested, liked the stripes on my car and it looks like we'll be doing business sometime soon. The really good news is that I may get to do all the MINI graphics installations for Baron. Turns out that they had been considering contracting out the MINI graphics work like bonnet stripes and roof graphics when I came along.
It feels good to be in the right place at the right time. Time will tell how much work it turns out to be, but hey, a new client is a new client.
No, I didn't get a ticket in the MINI. I was merely a witness to some satisfying justice administered by a local motorcycle officer. You see, I was driving up Metcalf as it turns into 635 highway when a guy in a pick-up heading in the opposite direction flashed his lights. Now, gang related conspiricy theories aside, this has always meant to me that there was a cop with radar, or, to use the trucker vernacular, a Kojak with a Kodak. So, in my caution, I slowed down to the posted 55 MPH speed limit and continued on. I quickly noticed a white Neon in my rearview mirror presenting his best Type-A personality by tailgating me and swerving back and forth. There was a car to my immediate right so there wasn't much I could do. Well the guy in the Neon decided to swerve over and pass me on the shoulder on my left. - Here comes the good part - Just as the Neon gunned it passed me on the shoulder, we rounded a bend in the highway and there sat my friend, Mr. Motorcycle Cop. The motorcycle officer must have done a wheelie to get started because he took off after Mr. Type-A like he was shot out of a cannon. I started laughing, clapping and whooping it up a-la the Cleveland Browns Dawg Pound as I watched. Sweet justice. It's been a good day...