Six MINIs in eight days.
I'm lobbying for an office at the dealership...
It was only a matter of time before two of my favourite companies came together. Today, Apple announced the newest official iPod accessory - a BMW or MINI Cooper equipped with an Apple adapter for full iPod control from the MFSW (multi-function steering wheel). The adapter is available for 2002-2004 MINIs for a MSRP of $149. In addition to controlling the volume, the new adapter allows the driver to pause, play, advance, skip, and go back to tracks on the iPod right from the controls on the back side of the steering wheel.
I don't know if I'll be forking over 150 clams right away, but it's nice to know that it's available when I'm ready.
The view from above.
Last week was a busy week full of MINI related fun for me. Apparently, people are willing to drive hours into KC for my MINI adorning expertise. First, a kind couple drove in from Altoona, Kansas, population 485 and now one kick-ass yellow MINI, to have boot stripes installed.
Next, another kind couple drove in from Blue Springs (almost an hour) to have a mono-chromatic Union Jack applied to their dark silver MINI Cooper S.
Saturday night was our monthly KC MINI Club dinner which was held at the Power Plant Brewery in Parkville. Of the nine MINIs present, I have done work on seven. (Really, two of the seven will be completed this week, but still...) The line between business and pleasure has become even more blurred for me and I am thankful for that.
To top off the week, Sunday marked the one year anniversary of our MINI rolling off the assembly line in Oxford, England. Yes, I know it's silly, but it's a date I'll always remember for two other reasons - one; it was Friday the 13th and two; it was the day I cut off the end of my thumb. If you didn't read about it then, I caution you before you click the link and read away. Gory photos of said thumb are involved.
If it ever stops raining, I'll give the MINI a birthday wash, wax and detail. I'm still waiting on my birthday card from MINI USA, and, no, I'm not kidding. They really send them to every owner on their car's first birthday.
While in L.A. a couple of weeks ago I visited the Apple store at The Grove. The objective of the trip was to usher the Shepcat into the 21st century by purchasing a copy of OS X Panther to upgrade his home machine. Now if you've never been to an Apple store, let me tell you that they are beautiful places. The store at The Grove is one of the few Apple stores with a glass staircase to the second floor. All the steps of the stairs were three inch thick and eight feet long pieces of glass. It really is quite a sight. Anyway, knowing in advance that there would be free hi-speed wireless at the store, I brought along my trusty Union Jack adorned iBook. Whipping the little white wonder out of my bag attracted the attention of most of the Apple employees who wanted to know where I got my iBook painted. After a little shop talk I asked the manager if it I could take a few pictures inside the store. He assured me that they did not allow anyone to take photographs inside the store. I said thanks anyway and proceeded to look at the row of iMacs equipped with iSight webcams on display. I said, "Do those have internet connections?" and he replied, "Yes. You can video chat live right now and test it out if you'd like." So I flipped open my iBook, booted iChat, hopped over on the iMac, aimed the iSight at me with the Apple logo in the background, initiated a video chat with myself on my connected iBook and then captured some of the still images of me inside the store. Instant subversive photos from inside the Apple store.
That was fun.
The above photo is of my latest MINI graphics job. I was commissioned by Baron MINI to create a set of graphics with a patriotic theme for one of their dealer cars. This is what I ended up with. I was inspired by my childhood fondness for Evil Knievel - as if you couldn't tell.
This job was quite an honor for me because Baron plans on keeping the car. It's not for sale, at least not right now. The car also represents a milestone 14 MINIs onto which I've applied graphics in 10 months. Now if I had never purchased a MINI I would most likely never have gotten into applying graphics to them. Silly as it may sound, I feel blessed by all of this.
More photos of my 14th MINI can be seen here.