Philc2001

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About Philc2001

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  • Birthday December 29

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    Cone of Death
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    Family, Investing, Stock Picking, Fine Cigars, Scotch, Computers, Blogging, Travel, Cars... too many vises!

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  1. Precisely. The car literally just takes the stress out of traffic congestion. The car is immensely aware of everything around it, and it even shows you a graphic of every car in its vicinity. If you want to change lanes, you can just put the turn signal on and the car automatically finds an opening and performs the lane change on its own. In traffic you don't need to touch the accelerator or the brakes, it does all that.
  2. I drove a new Model 3 today. In the curb appeal department, the car is not very attractive, actually kind of ugly. But once you get over the blah looks, it really shines in a few areas. Acceleration is absolutely breathtaking, this thing has some serious torque, and I think it would pretty much leave just about any vehicle in its price range in the dust. Tesla state 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, and I think that feels about right. But more impressive, is the power delivery is instantaneous, smooth, linear, and very quiet. I was really impressed by it's 30-70, which is really very usable and super quick. Didn't get to really check handling, but It does feel a bit heavy and it seems to understeer, so I think it is par for the luxury sedan market. Fit and finish is superb, what you would expect from a $50K automobile. No complaints. However, interior color choices are quite limited and not great either. The big screen is great, very high res, and super useful. The glass roof is really neat, you can see through, but the Florida sun does not seem to permeate through it. The sound system is also terrific, very rich. And the car has great noise isolation, and it runs very quite, so you can actually enjoy your music and let the car drive you to work without stress. Autonomous driving is phenomenal. The car changes lanes by itself, accelerates and decelerates dynamically with traffic, even stops on its own. For congested driving it is absolutely a treat. Also, in beta testing the valet feature allows you to hail your parked Tesla to come meet you at the door and it will literally pull out from the parking space, navigate the parking lot, and meet you at the door - fantastic. Cost to charge the vehicle is reasonable. Apparently the off-peak cost per kilowatt hour here in Florida is $0.06, and $0.11 during peak. On regular charging, it takes several hours to go from empty to full, but only costs about 1/3 the cost of pump fuel. I am quite impressed with it, so much that I think I want one. For daily rush hour commuting, in metropolitan areas, with a range of over 300 miles, it's a great car.
  3. What suckers..... so many of you bought that crap about landing on the moon... geez I have some swampland in Florida for ya! Yeah! Everybody knows the moon is made of cheese. Jeepers, where have you all been 🤩 What's next? I suppose you're gonna tell me mermaids and Santa Clause are not real! Suckers!
  4. I'm right there with you CB! I truly hope they can fully restore its glory. Our hearts are with you Parisians. One of my favorite memories of Paris, perhaps more memorable than the Eiffel tower, was Notre Dame. There is so much beauty and history in Paris, we saw so much when we visited in 2014, it was quite overwhelming really. But Notre Dame always stood out in my recollection of Paris, I think I relate to Paris with Notre Dame more than any other feature. I was so awed by it's incredible architecture, it's beautiful collection or statues and artifacts, the flying buttresses, its grandiose entry with all the carvings, the magnificent bell towers, and just the sheer awe of all the history. Magnificent! I'd like like to think the world will have this amazing piece of history and architecture to cherish for many generations to come.
  5. One of the interesting ideas I remember reading about is that with the abundance of hydrogen in the world, if we ever find a way to easily harness hydrogen it would effectively become a self sustaining power source, which would ultimately put the energy companies, as we know them today, out of business. Some years ago Honda developed a whole-home hydrogen generator that produces enough power to run the entire home, including electric heating and cooling, and charge your electric car, and have lots to spare. It was all fully contained, it used water as the fuel, and the whole thing was about the size of a typical household water heater. Unfortunately, the cost was prohibitive at $1 million. But the concept was awesome. Now, if we could get a hydrogen generator to run our household on, that would take you completely off the grid, with zero emissions, and could be powered on just plain water, what would that be worth to you? Just quick napkin math tells me I spend about $42K in hydro bills in a 10-year period, so if the generator was built into the home and provided all the power I could ever use, wouldn't you pay say $100k for it with a 25-year warranty?
  6. Yep, agreed. Toyota was the car company I was affiliated with, and they are very well funded and determined to make hydrogen work.
  7. Obviously this was a marketing gimmick video for Tesla, so they took some liberties. I'm sure if they get popular enough at some point they may get to be a basic drive-up and drive off experience, but that seems rather far off at the moment. I have barely seen any Tesla charging stations aside from the one about 2 miles from my house at the Whole Foods store, let alone a battery swap station. I don't quite see how Tesla will ever erect these swap stations without having to purchase or lease the real estate for it, so I don't think there will be very many of them around any time soon. But if we suppose Tesla solves these challenges, then you would still need to find these stations in sufficient numbers and conveniently located on your route. That too may take several years from now. By contrast, my A4 takes about 12-13 gals when I fill it from 1/8 tank. On a full tank I get about 375 miles (to get to 1/8 tank) of fast and aggressive driving, or 400 of normal driving. More importantly, I can stop for gas just about anywhere, including at virtually any highway plaza, and nearly every other street corner, so I can literally drive it until my fuel warning light illuminates and not worry about running out of fuel. It will take a while before Tesla gets to this level of access and convenience. However, despite all that, Teslas are usually purchased by those relatively well healed and likely their Tesla is not their only household vehicle. I would estimate for more than 95% of people their total daily commute is under 200 miles, including their drive to work, a trip to the grocery store and out to dinner after work. That is right within the Tesla sweetspot. Granted, for the weekend drive where you're pushing past 100 miles (one-way) it takes some careful planning and some delays to make sure you get to where you are going without your battery draining. But those are the exceptions not the norm. There are also plug-in and regular hybrids that take advantage of electric but still give you the convenience of gasoline power when you need it. Seems like a fair improvement over purely battery, or purely gasoline, doesn't it.
  8. It’s not just residential, a lot of companies are going green and generating their own renewable energy. A former company I worked for built a solar array on the roof of their facility in Georgia made by Solyndra before the company went bust. The cylindrical panels work very, very well. The array is not very big, but it generates over 80% of the power they use for operating the entire plant. We had monitors throughout the company that showed how many GWs of power they had made, and how much money they saved. It was very impressive. When Solyndra went bankrupt our site foreman was able to buy out excess parts on eBay at pennies on the dollar, and they have enough spare parts to keep the array going for decades, but the darn thing doesn’t seem to ever break down. It’s a shame they shut down, they had a really great product. More recently, I believe Google, Facebook and Apple have all moved off the grid and are 100% using their own renewable energy, and I believe they even sell energy back to the grid. Other companies are doing it too. It makes sense, the companies can tout they are green, and they save lots on their utility bills. I think businesses have a lot to gain, more so than residential. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Jobs that sicken, injure or kill people are not a good way to make a living.
  10. I don't think solar, hydro and wind will go away any time soon, I believe we will see all these industries grow for several decades. As someone posted earlier, the biggest challenge is storing the energy, and that tech will only get better. Unfortunately nuclear power gets a bad reputation, but mostly for the wrong reasons. Early reactors used fuel rods, which was a rushed and very bad and inefficient wasteful early design, and ultimately died in highly publicised melt-downs, i.e. Chernobyl, 3-mile Island, Fukushima. The Oil companies seized on these mistakes to lobby for and enact moratoriums and once they had successfully killed off nuclear, they systematically bought out the nuclear plants and much of the tech for pennies, and diligently kept it from becoming a competitive threat to oil. But fuel rods and light-water reactors were outmoded about 50 years ago by molten salt reactors, fuel orbs and other better designs, which pose no threat of meltdown. These modern reactors use up over 95% of the fuel and generate 700+ percent more power than light-water reactors, but because of the moratoriums they can't be built here. Another plus is modern reactors, such as molten salt reactors, can actually run on the spent fuel from other types of reactors, so there is a lot of available fuel already. Sadly, this technology will likely be developed in China and other parts of the world, before it gets approved in the U.S., so the U.S. is in danger of losing the energy race, mostly because of the greed of the oil industry.
  11. Creative destruction makes some jobs obsolete, but it creates many other jobs that usually offsets. Farming, manufacturing and mining have been bleeding jobs globally for decades, but more jobs continue to be created and more people are employed now than ever before. The jobs are just different, laborious, repetitive, mindless and dangerous jobs will always be ripe for automation.
  12. The theory among autonomous vehicle designers for several years was that if the programming ran out of options (the no-win scenario), they would transfer control to the driver. The belief in the early days was that this would avoid liability. But eventually they realised the company would still be liable because the program effectively puts the vehicle in a life threatening situation, and handing off the controls at this point is the worst thing to do. Once they got past this roadblock Google basically concluded there is no scenario where the vehicle should hand off to the driver, and at that point they eliminated the steering wheel in their autonomous vehicles. However, V2V communication is supposed to avoid the scenario you described, it prevents collision by automatically applying the brakes and slowing down one or both of the vehicles, even bringing both cars to a complete stop, before it reaches the fatal situation. Nothing is 100% failsafe, there will always be some no-win scenarios, but in most cases the computers are usually better at dealing with them than 99.9% of humans. For those situations, you have airbags and emergency braking.
  13. I’ve smoked many of these SS1s from that era. It once occupied a large section of my humidor, and together with the SS2 it was a staple for a decade. There is a terrific elegance and balance to the SS1. A beautiful classic. It is a shame that this format has been abandoned. Your review is reminiscent because of the almost translucent appearance of the pale wrappers, and the look and feel of the cigar. My recollection of the flavor profile is somewhat different, and I bet I have smoked this very same code, from the same era. But that is the nature of cigars. Thanks for a great review and a lovely flashback. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. Is there an ETA for nudies? I’ve been anxiously waiting and hoping to get some, the PSdC was one of my favorites, and I really miss them. I’m not on the boards much lately, life has thrown me some other important things to focus on, and I would hate to miss the opportunity when the nudies come up. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. I don't think it is clear what is meant by Golden Age. Google search defines it like this: gold·en age /ˈɡōldən āj/ noun an idyllic, often imaginary past time of peace, prosperity, and happiness. the period when a specified art, skill, or activity is at its peak. "the golden age of cinema" Would you say our hobby is an art or skill? Was there a peak period in the art or skill of cigar making? I think it is challenging to delineate artful skill from product quality when it comes to CCs. When you enter quality into the discussion you may get into an endless debate over quality of the tobacco leaf, quality of the harvest, quality of the maturation, quality of the cigar rolling, quality of packaging, and so on. I personally believe there have been marginal improvements in production overall over the past 20 years, including the harvesting, preparation/maturation and the rolling. But IMPO I feel the tobacco quality has declined over the years, or maybe it is just the blends that have become less flavorful. If I had to assess the quality of the leaf I would prefer the mid nineties tobacco pre H2000. Flavor or taste is a very subjective criteria. If you ask 100 people you will get 100 different answers. Having smoked few CCs in the early to mid nineties, I didn't have the pallet to give a subjective evaluation at that time. However, the cigars I smoked from that era a few years later in the late nineties and early 2000s, I would agree with several others, the tobacco flavor from that era was superior. Then there is variety and consumer demand. Some may argue that the Cigar boom in the mid to late nineties, although short-lived, did peak in the number of cigar brands (worldwide) and cigar varieties available to consumers (not just CC, but all cigars). If your gauge is revenue and profitability, then I suspect CCs are generating handsome profits these days, so that would likely change the outcome. I don't really know much about the cigar industry before the late 90s because I wasn't an avid cigar smoker then, but seeing some of the news and advertising from that era and prior to the embargo, then it's hard to dismiss that time as a golden age in terms of the liberty to smoke anywhere and any time. It's hard to make a call.
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