AirTag Holders

Hard Case for AirTag

Following an incident involving some hard to find AirPods (not mine), and the discovery that the Tile I have had attached to my car keys ran out of battery back in August, but failed to let me know this somewhat critical fact until I launched the app to check it was working, I splashed out on a pack of four AirTags.

These relatively inexpensive trackers come with no way to attach them to anything however, and when I went searching online for options, many of them were as expensive, or more expensive than the AirTag itself. I have ordered one nice carbon fiber one to see, but in the meantime I thought there must be some 3D printable options, and I wasn’t wrong…

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Car Conversion

Vintage Voltage TV Show

I’ve been aware of the team at Electric Classic Cars in Wales, as well as others around the world, who specialize in converting older vehicles, typically those considered to be classics, into EVs. While watching season one of Vintage Voltage, the TV show that follows some of ECC’s classic car conversions, I was wondering whether there would be a market for that kind of thing here in Alameda, and what it would take to set up such a business. This post is my thoughts on that idea.

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Plug and Charge

Charging at Electrify America

While I had tried this a few days ago at our local Electrify America location, today I had to charge at Gilroy on my way home from a quick (shopping) trip to Monterey. Had I charged the car to 100%, I might have been able to make the whole trip without a charging stop, in sport mode.

I pulled into the charger with 24% remaining, set up the camera (not easy given how short the cables are on these chargers) and plugged the car in…

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Road Trip #14: Monterey Two Night

Monarch Butterfly

Unlike our previous road trip to Monterey, this one was going to be a three day, two night stay. That gave us extra time to do a little more around the area than just the aquarium, although we did manage to fit in a visit there as well.

We left relatively early in the morning, traveling with some friends, and met up at Sea Harvest in Moss Landing for lunch.

Pacific Grove

After lunch, it was a short drive down to Pacific Grove to visit the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary and see all the monarch butterflies stopping there for the winter season.

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The “Metaverse”

The Metaverse

Along with announcing a renaming of the company (to Meta), Facebook also showed off some of its thinking about their new virtual world concept, which they call the metaverse.

This is not a new concept. Indeed, Second Life has been offering most of what they describe for many years now, and, obviously, there is also the fictional Oasis from the Ready Player One novel and movie, which goes well beyond anything Facebook / Meta have talked about so far.

Just what are the challenges here though? Why has Second Life not been able to become a mainstream way of interacting, especially in the last 18 months while we have been trapped at home in the real world. Can Meta make this concept something billions use.

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Modified Quarantine

When the elementary schools went back to full day, in-person this autumn, they obviously had to have a plan for what would happen when a student tested positive for COVID-19. In our case, that first happened less than a week into the year. Other schools here in Alameda also saw cases in the first few weeks of school. Previous guidelines for those who may have been exposed were to quarantine at home for 10-14 days, and get tested at the end of that period (and, of course, should any symptoms appear during the quarantine). However, for this school year the state has created a new scheme called modified quarantine, which is not really quarantine at all in my opinion.

Modified quarantine allows the children exposed to somebody who tested positive to remain at school, and even to commute to and from school on public transit, if necessary. The only thing they cannot do is activities outside of school, as if, somehow, doing activities at school makes them safer.

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Road Trip #13: Rodeo Beach

Today’s road trip was not meant to be titled Rodeo Beach, but that is where we ended up, as we knew we would. The first stop on the trip was meant to be the nearby Marine Mammal Center, but it seems they are closed either due to COVID or for renovations (unclear from the website, and in fact it was unclear from the website that they were even closed when I looked from my phone).

Disappointing as it was to miss the Marine Mammal Center, Rodeo Beach is always a part of our trips there, and we had a good walk up on to the cliffs on the north side of the beach that we had not explored previously.

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Porsche Taycan: 6 Months

Taycan 4S

Six months into the Porsche Taycan, it is time to review what I love and what frustrates about the car that many have dubbed the best EV available (controversial, I know, especially among fans of a certain US brand). I’m going to avoid that completely because to be honest “best” overall is just too subjective. What is best for one person may not even come close for another, and at this end of the market it is not just about the numbers.

It has been a little over six months since we took delivery of the white Taycan 4S, and we have done 3,676 miles in the car. Much of that has been on longer than average road trips, including a trip to southern California and back (over 1,000 miles round trip). We have documented those trips here on this site, including stats for the efficiency we achieved. What we have not yet captured are some of the problems we’ve had with the car (outside of problems charging it on long trips).

TL;DR The Taycan is a fantastic car spoiled by unbelievably poor software. Mainly the infotainment system, but there are problems in other parts of the software too.

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Road Trip #12: Oakland Zoo

Grizzly Bear Pool Time

It might be a stretch to call this a road trip since it was not even 15 miles round trip, but the zoo is a place we have had limited access to over the last 18 months, and we were able to grab tickets (free, since we’re members, but required nonetheless as they control numbers) for Sunday afternoon. So, our road trip for the weekend was perhaps the shortest we’ll ever do, to the Oakland Zoo!

We did not really have any plan, and since it was after lunchtime, we had no reason to eat there, although both the cafe near the entrance at the new one at the top gondola station were open and serving food. Both had outdoor dining locations as well.

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Road Trip #11: Jack London SHP

Coming out of our daughter’s quarantine from being in “close contact” with somebody who tested positive for COVID (another student in her class), we thought we’d take advantage of the weekend and head out for a short road trip. This week we chose Jack London State Historic Park, near Glen Ellen, as our destination.

Not far from home, and mostly freeway driving, we made it to the park in around an hour and a half, starting the journey with around 85% state of charge (our home charger is offline at the moment as we are getting it rewired as part of upgrading the central heating and water heater in the house to be electric heap pump systems – more on that in a future post).

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