Through unlikely circumstance…

– I happened to be driving a Tesla electric roadster – http://www.teslamotors.com/about – It’s a Lamborghini frame (and thus damn hard to get into gracefully at my age), and it needs it: everything I’ve heard about electric cars was so pokey, and the Prius and Insight hybrids are a start, but just too tinny and slow for the American (or German) driver. Like the Japanese hybrids, this thing is nearly silent.  Unlike the hybrids, this is all electric.  Plug it in when you get home, but never pull into the gas station.  Never.  Let up on the accelerator and it slows quickly, as it is regenerating electricity off the engine, so that you hardly have to use the brakes.

But Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – when I got to a straightaway, I did the other thing: put my foot down.  What hair I have left was straight back, and the hair on my neck was sticking straight out.  It’s like the Enterprise or Serenity going into warp speed, the road flying at me, the trees zipping past at an unbelievable rate – dangerous and thrilling!

Who says electric cars are going to be slow?  This thing had more pick up than the most powerful Mercedes (which I also got to drive), goes up to 150 mph, and has a 200 mile range between charges.  Going green has never felt so good.  God knows what it costs now, but in real production the costs would come down radically.

– I got to fire a Colt Cassull 454 (so it’s bigger than Dirty Harry’s Colt 44) – see it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zciXrSe6R_s – this was scarier to me than the acceleration of the electric car.  I don’t like guns, I haven’t hunted since I was a teenager, I’m a conscientious objector – but what the hell, when you get a chance to do something different, you have to do it.  I can understand why people like guns, but they are not my cup of tea.  If I ever get so mad I want to kill someone, I am going to do it up close and personal, not by accelerating a bullet to such speed that I can fell them at a distance.

I learned the stance and got the grip (these things have quite a recoil).  The gun felt warm and friendly, but I never took the barrel off the wall of rubber into which it was going to shoot – no movie grandstanding for me.  I never saw whether the bullet came anywhere near the paper target; I was just glad I didn’t disgrace myself by having the hammer hit me in the forehead in the aftermath.  Unlike the Tesla, it wasn’t silent, and the noise would scare me as much as the possibility of hurting someone.  OK for the experience, but I still dislike guns as a concept.

– I visited the Bahai Temple on the shores of Lake Michigan – a seven sided building with amazingly intricate Islamic-like geometric marketry – stunning architecture and a complete antithesis of a 454 Magnum – the Bahais are pretty friendly and don’t tend to blow pie-plate size  holes in you.  You should see the ceiling of the dome on the inside – goes up forever.  Across the street on the lakeshore was the house of the architect who made this incredible work, who reportedly committed suicide when it was finished, as he would never get to work on anything more perfect.  Sounds right to me, but I never checked out the story, just wanted to show you the building:

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4 Responses to “Through unlikely circumstance…”

  1. Joe Lubow Says:

    I’m jealous.

    I just bought myself a Prius, just on principle. The Epicurus in me would certainly rather have a Tesla – or even a BMW 650i convertible – but I just wanted to burn less fuel.

    The all electric Chevy Volt looks like it will be more solid than the Prius, but I wasn’t ready to invest $33 k for a beta version of a car. Maybe in three years, I’ll trade the Prius in for an electric car and put solar panels on the roof.

    I must say, in the meantime, I quite enjoy getting 50 mpg – and I’m aiming for 60. I’ve had the car two weeks, and I’ve still got half the tank that came with it.

  2. Graham Says:

    The Baha’i House of Worship is 9 sided,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bah%C3%A1%27%C3%AD_House_of_Worship_%28Wilmette,_Illinois%29

    and the architect didn’t commit suicide.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Bourgeois_%28architect%29
    In 1920 Louis Bourgeois’ design for the Bahá’í House of Worship in the United States was chosen by the delegates to the Bahá’í national convention. During the next decade he spent much time constructing and financing the structure, despite bouts of ill health. He died on August 20, 1930, at the age of 74, after a month of bad health. The Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois was opened in 1953.

    Just thought you would like to know and correct that.
    Thanks

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