Posts Tagged 'Saab'

Welcome to the family.

Following in my tire tracks, if you will, my brother just purchased an older Saab similar to what I drive!  Very cool.  We’re going to have a “car maintenance afternoon” following church and lunch this Sunday!!

For whatever reason, I dig that.

Crazy looking cars, I know, but they’re fun!


FYI: I dig cars

Over the past few years, I’ve become more and more infatuated with cars.  Automobiles in general, really, but cars specifically.  I also seem to enjoy the quirky vehicles.  The ones you don’t see that often, but you retain a soft-spot in your heart for ’em.  For instance, my last vehicle — a 1978 Jeep Cherokee Chief — was definitely a head-turner, but the gas mileage was eventually too much for me to stomach.  The *very best* I ever achieved was 11mpg, and I was stoked!  My current vehicle, then, is a complete departure from the last one.  Now I drive a 1992 Saab 900 Turbo, and I definitely dig it.  It’s a conversation starter.  You feel as if you’re part of an exclusive “Saab club”.  The gas mileage is pretty darn good — especially for a turbo.  Also, it can hold a LOT of stuff in that hatch area.  In fact, just yesterday I piled in two very large rack servers, 3 cardboard boxes, and a fairly good-sized hand truck — and I didn’t even put the seats down!  Impressive.

None of that really has much to do with this post, of course, but it gives some back story as to why I’d want to check out the book ‘Lemon! Sixty Heroic Automotive Failures‘.  It’s chock full of the wackiness and rollercoaster ride that is the automotive industry over the past century.

Anyhoooo, my personal favorite thus far is the Subaru 360.  Observe…

This little dynamo packed some mean features when first released in 1958.  For instance:

  • 356cc engine (my last motorcycle had twice the engine size)
  • 16 horsepower
  • Suicide doors (they open backward)
  • 117 inches in length (current Mini Coopers are 142″ long)
  • 900lb. curb weight (slightly more than 1/3 the weight of a modern Mini Cooper)
  • Approx. 66mpg

The best quote from the book was regarding the Car & Driver track test where the Subaru 360 performed the 0 – 50mph test in 36 seconds.  They were aiming for 0 – 60mph, but the car wouldn’t make it.

Classic stuff.

Travel mug woes

My life over the past couple of years has been fraught with one “coffee cup woe” (TM) after another.  Travel mug, coffee cup, beverage container, or what have you — I need them, and I can never find one that suits my fancy.  You see, the issue is that my car (an early 90’s Saab 900 Turbo) doesn’t have cup holder, unless you count the slightly raised rings in the glovebox. <insert picture here>  Those are difficult to use while driving.  Actually, they’re pretty useless while you’re parked too, come to think of it.  In fact, there aren’t a LOT of great solutions for a cup holder in a car like mine.  Rather, I opt to find a good travel mug that won’t leak.

Easy enough, right?  Not so much.

I tried a few Starbucks mugs — typically plastic cups (or mugs) with a threaded lid and a closeable top.  I went through (4) of their mugs before giving up.  They nearly all would leak — some worse than others — and all ended up broken at one point or another.  The “clear plastic around inner plastic” models typically develop a crack between the handle and the lid, and become totally nasty when a little water gets in between the plastic layers.  One of my cups had mold growing.  That’s sick!

One cup to rule them all.  One cup to save them!

I thought I’d found the be-all-end-all of travel mugs.  Those wacky folks at OXO — makers of the Good Grips brand — have a pretty decent reputation.  When I found one of their LiquiSeal (TM) travel mugs, I figured that my search was over.  Nice looking, well-shaped drinking lid, no handle (I don’t like handles on my coffee cups), and virtually leak free!  Observe…

(Pretty handsome, eh?  If I was single again…)

Well, the Good Grips love ended last week.  Let me explain:

Shortly before leaving for work, I happened to glance down into the spout of the travel mug and notice some “crud”, if you will.  Looked like it wasn’t cleaned very well.  Mind you, either my wife or I would handwash this cup every single evening, so it should’ve been fine.  Regardless, I unscrewed the top to drink my coffee that day, with a promise of “looking into things” that evening.  I kept my promise, but I wasn’t happy about what I found!  First of all, the drinking spout had quite a bit of gunk and crud in it.  Using a Q-Tip (TM), I attempted to clean it out pretty well.  Next up, the underside of the lid where the stopper and seal reside.  Guess what?  You can’t unscrew it.  In other words, except for the 1/4″ of space that you have to around the seal, there is no real way to get in there and clean.  Busting out my trusty Q-Tips again, I attempted to clean what I could.  Not pretty.  About 20 Q-Tips later, I still had rings and chunks of dried nastiness falling into the palm of my hand.  Each Q-Tip was covered with brown dried or slightly gelatinous gunk.  Know what?  Amazon reviews tell me that others have been finding the same thing…

I couldn’t use that cup any longer.  (Well…. *that* and the fact that I ruined the lid trying to boil it and loosen the gunk.)  No more OXO Good Grips LiquiSeal cup!

So… I’ve purchase a new cup today, and it looks promising.  It’s the ThermoPerfect 16oz Vacuum-Insulated Travel Mug.  More or less similar to the picture below.

Know what else!  It looks like you can *actually* CLEAN this thing!  A novel idea.

Anyhow, the “verdict” is most certainly out on the new cup, but I have high hopes.