Twitter’s Offline?

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April 14, 2008 at 11:15 pm

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2 Comments

If a bird chirps in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, is it really chirping at all?

Sorry, just bastardizing a quote since it appears

is borked/totally offline. I can’t access it by HTTP or Twhirl (a Twitter desktop client). I guess it’s a testament to how much I’ve been using it lately, because there are a few things I want share with people, but can’t until the bird that is Twitter regains consciousness after a clearly nasty fall.

Justin and Sara are fast asleep, and my eyelids are getting very, veeery heavy, so it’s probably for the best that Twitter’s not up.

In other news, the four new tires we got for our ‘06 Ford Escape Hybrid feel pretty nice and I haven’t seen a fuel economy hit yet; in fact, I got 33.5 MPG with 97% highway driving, and that’s higher than my lifetime fuel economy average for the vehicle. The tires provide a quieter, smoother ride (better cushioning on all the nasty bumps in San Antonio’s roadways), and they seem to corner slightly better as well; they’re supposed do provide good traction in wet weather too, which I look forward to since my OEM tires on the Escape Hybrid were a little too fishy in wet weather for my tastes. Anyway, it’s nice to be riding on s again. When we replaced the Corolla’s tires a couple years before we sold it, I swear it drove like a brand new vehicle. We take our tires for granted until they blow out or get punctured, but it really is true–the most expensive, most high-end luxury vehicle in the world isn’t worth crap if it’s riding on sub-standard, bald or improper tires. I always have a tire pressure gauge with me, and I also have a built-in ; the latter is the only thing that’s given me the confidence to keep driving on the vehicle for short periods after each of the punctures I’ve sustained in the past 2 years.

The TPMS, on my Escape Hybrid at least, warns me if there’s a drop of something like 6 PSI off the suggested inflation of any tire. On several of the dozen or so punctures I sustained, it was the TPMS that alerted me to those, long before they were visibly low or affected the vehicle’s ride.

I can’t remember the specific requirements, but I do know that starting in the ‘08 model year, a lot of SUVs and perhaps large sedans finally got TPMS as standard equipment. The insurance companies, and vehicle manufacturers, have seen enough to know the system helps reduce accidents by alerting drivers who (in many cases) literally never look at their own tires.

I’m always perplexed as to how someone could get in a car with a near-flat and drive it, somehow oblivious to the odd sounds and vibrations, as well as the sluggish steering.

Anyway, I’m nodding off here. Gonna try Twitter one last time, and then… see ya!

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Archives from One Year Ago —

2 Comments

April 15, 2008

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Yup … actually the twitter script in my blog’s sidebar causes havoc when Twitter is down.

I enjoyed your praise for ‘good tires’ and am impressed with the mileage you’re getting on the Escape. As I recall, on highway driving you’re suppose to get slightly less around town or am I thinking about a different hybrid?

April 15, 2008

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You are correct in your recollection, Rich. A gas-electric hybrid’s highest fuel economy is generally going to be on city streets since the gasoline engine can turn off more frequently (at stoplights and in stop & go traffic), and there are opportunities for 100% electric propulsion at speeds below 30mph, if the road grade & available battery charge are amenable to it. Stop & go traffic also recharges the high capacity hybrid battery during braking via the regenerative braking system. Even on the highway, though, the computers send some power generated by the gas engine to the hybrid battery to keep it charged to a certain level.

I’ve actually been consistently surprised at how good the highway fuel economy is in the Ford Escape Hybrid, given it’s little more than a large box rolling down the highway vs. the extremely aerodynamic Prius or even the Civic Hybrid. The only thing that really, really tanks my MPGs is a solid headwind (less so, crosswind) … that drops me to 24 or 25 MPG, if it’s sustained on a long drive.

If I accelerated a little less aggressively, I’d probably be pulling 36+ for my average MPG, but I enjoy driving it too much and that includes enjoying its ability to accelerate!

Now, if they’d speed up and get some diesel-electric hybrids here in the States, we could really have some fun fuel economy numbers!

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