XM Radio no more for me

Filed under: Auto,music,Technology — bigred @ 8:07 am

I decided after months and months of having XM radio that it was time for it to go.  Originally I put it on the car for the holidays over 2 years ago now.  I said to myself, “I’m traveling all over the state, this would be a good thing to have through the New Year”.  I figured I’d cancel it come February…..2.25 years later…..

Yesterday I yanked it from the roots.  Now, the crazy thing is if you read on the internet and hear others talk, it’s worst than pulling teeth to cancel.  At the very least they have been offering everyone three months free to “get by”, so you really never can get them to cancel your service.

Well this is how it went down for me.

I called and spoke to someone who didn’t speak English.  Told her I wanted to cancel because I didn’t use it anymore.  She brought up my account info and said she had to transfer me….
I figured …”oh great, here we go”.

Then I get transferred to a guy that sounded like he was in a US call center.  He asked me the same questions as the first lady and again i told him.….”wanted to cancel…bla bla bla…”   He tells me give me one minute….then told me he just sent the cancelation signal or some flux capacitor command.  And then said good bye. 

TOTAL TIME ON PHONE: 3 minutes 42seconds.


Pretty sure that may be a new record for ANYONE canceling XM RADIO.   Did the sky fall yesterday… did hell freeze….  what just happened.  Today It was confirmed.  I jumped in my car and sure enough no XM playing.


Michigan Falling apart?

Filed under: Auto,Complaint,humor,WOW — bigred @ 5:04 pm

I came across an blog today called the Motorless City.  A nice depressing blog about Detroit falling apart.

I wasn’t aware that the Michigan Central Station will be demolished.  That’s a real shame.  Both “The Island” and “Transformers” had scenes filmed there.


michigan_central_station Michigan_central_station_from_ron_gross

Well it’s not looking good in Michigan.  With GM more than likely going to go under Detroit won’t have much left if that happens.  We might have to bring back the slogan, “Last person out of Michigan, turn out the lights”


Garmin ecoRoute Review

Filed under: Auto,Self Help — bigred @ 10:32 pm

So I tested out the new Garmin ecoRoute.  It’s a program that can track your fuel usage.  It can predict the cost for each route you try.  It all sounds pretty good, but how good does it work?

Well I tried it out for one full tank of gas.  I had it on every time I started the car and moved.

Here’s the results.  I set the cost of fuel for the prediction to be $1.80/gal

  • Distance: 294.3mi
  • Time Traveled: 8:37
  • cost of fuel used:$23.42
  • Average Fuel Economy: 22.6mpg
  • Carbon Footprint: 252.4lbs
  • fuel Used: 13.0 gal

NOW, lets compare that to what the pump and the miles on the car said.

  • Distance 302.0 mi
  • cost of fuel used:26.00
  • Gallons filled 13.479
  • Cost per gallon: $1.929
  • Calculated Average Fuel Economy: 22.41mpg

I was pretty impressed.  If the cost would have been the same as predicted ($1.80gal), the actual filled price would have been $24.62 which is less than a $1 off.   The fact that the fuel economy is so close is what really impresses me too.  I have to admit, I thought the program was going to be a joke, but it actually works.  So next time your using your GPS, and put in a waypoint, you can be confident that the predicted cost for that trip will be accurate.  So I’ve learned it cost about a 1.32 one way to work. 

Oh yea, the best part.  It actually gives you a driving report too which you can download from your GPS to your computer.  I plan on writing a program to parse these reports and make more useful data from them.


Random Rambles

Filed under: Auto,movies,Sports,tv — bigred @ 2:39 pm

Today I’m having a commercial party…I guess they’re playing some football during the commercial breaks.

Washed the car today…Ya it told me “Thank you”.

I want to see the movie Wanted .

Just watched most the movie teasers that are suppose to be shown tonight.  Thanks YOU TUBE 😉


Gas Prices funny comic

Filed under: Auto,Complaint,humor — bigred @ 10:07 am

Well this political cartoon from the “New York Times” pretty much sums it all up.

Too much truth to this add.  They should add our stimulus check in here too.



Time to lower the speed limits again?

Filed under: Auto,Self Help — bigred @ 8:42 am

The key to saving a few extra bucks at the pump is to drive slower.  Slower speeds are linked to higher fuel economy and thus more bang for your buck when your about to spend your weeks worth of salary on gas.







Bike Trip Weekend

Filed under: Auto,General — bigred @ 9:44 am

This past weekend my dad and I took a short Bike trip.  We started our tour from Ludington, MI.  We left on the Lake Michigan Carferry.  This massive boat has a lot of history.  The boat started service in 1953, but was originally used to hold rail cars.  It could go through any weather conditions you threw at it, even breaking ice.  It was only during 1990 that it stopped service of rail traffic.  At one time there were 7 of these massive boats leaving from Ludington.  The boat now currently transports cars and passengers as a leisure boat.  It goes almost around the clock.  The most impressive fact is that the ferry is one of the last coal powered boats on the Great Lakes.

I wish I would have gotten some photos of the inside where they parked cars, because it was HUGE in there.  They say up to 180 cars, semi trucks, and more can fit in.  We saw one semi truck, some campers, FULL load of cars, and a truck full of apples.  Our bikes were parked among about 30 other bikes.


After getting over to Wisconsin, we headed up to the Michigan Upper Peninsula.  We stayed in Gladstone.  We left Sunday and followed Route 2 along Lake Michigan and crossed the Mackinac Bridge.  Of course the weather looked bad and luckily it didn’t start raining until about 1 hour from the end of the trip.  All said in done, it was only about 500 miles of riding.

Next year, we’ll aim for a longer trip.  Most the photos for the bike trip are of the ferry, but you can find a few of us just goofing around and with our bikes.  http://photos.bigredsplace.com/weekend_events/biketrip_081907/


18 auto deaths, please be careful Teens.

Filed under: Auto,General,Self Help,WOW — bigred @ 10:58 pm

I’ve been wanting to voice my opinion about the teen deaths that West Michigan is experiencing. Really it’s not much of an opinion as much as a concern. West Michigan area, is now up to 18 auto deaths this summer. I never remember hearing about this on the east side of Michigan where I grew up. I only knew of one person to die as a teen growing up. He was hit by an adult driver that fell asleep at the wheel. My heart goes out to the families and friends from all the accidents.

If your a new driver, please be careful. Turn off the phones, kick your friends out of the car.

This number needs to stop at 18 this year. No more this year. Be careful everyone.

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