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Thursday
Jan212016

Evolution of Vehicle Technology

Informative video by JD Power

 

Wednesday
Jan202016

Red Bull F1 on Snow

As you would expect a very cool video from Red Bull...

 

Thursday
Jan142016

Crappy Cars

We often hear about a crappy car here and there, usually referring to a specific make, model, and so on. We rarely hear about crappy symptoms that impacted a ton of cars (vehicles).


Let's take a look at a few.

Corrosion

Decades ago corrosion was an insurmountable problem in Canada, unless one did not use a vehicle. If you remember "Not winter driven" as a sales feature, you surely remember how, crappy and corroded the body on most vehicles were.

True story, The Colonel had the opportunity the see a car literally transferred to a new body shell to resolve an extreme corrosion issue.

Catalytic Converters

We went in the early 1970's from high compression, leaded gasoline, dual exhaust to low compression, unleaded gas of barely acceptable quality, and catalytic converters. Talk about crappy cars from everyone, we endured a considerable time with mediocre performance, no power, choked up engines to name a few.

Everyone was resigned to when technology would enable better performance, and better unleaded gas. In addition to adding a gasoline crisis to make it even more interesting. This crappyness endured for years.

Fuel Injection

Remember the fuel injection systems that replicated a carburetor? The idea of a fuel injection is to have a precisely metered injection of gas for each cylinder. Those fuel injection replicated a carburetor, and were wide spread, enough said.

ABS Brakes

Perhaps you remember the various levels of performance and sophistication of the early ABS brakes. Some cars literally shuddered when the ABS activated, in additional to an incredible amount of noise usually from the front as the brakes applied and disengaged.

Accompanied by varying degrees of pulsations in the brake pedal.

Traction Control

Same as ABS all sorts of shuddering when traction control activated, it was primitive, noisy, and not elegant.

Some cars it was almost scary with the amount of noise.

Navigation

No wonder its not popular in most vehicles, and being supplanted by smart devices. The early versions had mapping CD's that required updating, and the CD's were limited in coverage. Each manufacturer had a different interface.

Great technology, with a crappy start, and ongoing challenging interface.

AWD

With the myriad of "traction to 4 wheels" offerings, and notice the various plastic parts or even plastic bumpers. A mild fun snow excursion be it on a snowbank, or some icy chunks of snow can inflict appreciable cosmetic damage to these vehicles.

Being creative and imaginative with a "traction to 4 wheels" vehicle can result in leaving expensive plastic on snow or the ground.

 

 

 

Wednesday
Dec302015

Oh Canada

Did you think that we were going to end the year without sharing our thoughts, or some of them on Canada. Here goes with our thoughts, rants, frustrations, and whatever else comes along. As usual in no particular order.

Great Country

Absolutely...stunning beauty, with immense potential.

Great Recession

How often have you heard, and keep on hearing that term. The "Great Recession", the meltdown. We never had one in Canada in 2009, although we might be headed for one now. A myriad of stakeholders ensured that we would at some point have a recession all by ourselves in Canada.

Real Estate Bubble

The Canadian CMS (Citizen Main Street) has been powering the Canadian economy since the presumed great recession of 2009. The quickest way to power the economy is through real estate, especially new construction be it homes or condos.

Absolutely its a bubble that has been powering and will continue to power up the economy in 2016.

Cheap Money

Canadian banks have made a ton of money in the past few years, making cheap money available to CMS to power the Canadian economy. Notice that banks are reeling in their expenses, since CMS is topped out.

Oil

What can you say...the ride is over, its increasingly denting, or is it side swiping the Canadian economy. Will it ever come back to the good ole days. Probably not...its a new Canadian and global oil reality. Perhaps we have not felt the full extent of the OUCH yet.

Companies

Canadian companies have resisted investing money in Canada. We believe that in 2016 it will start to bite them back. Back in the day of CMS powering the economy, with a stronger dollar, companies were urged to invest in Canada...never happened.

CMS

Citizen Main Street is in a commanding position in Canada. You could say that CMS rules, and has everyone by the "shorts" (we are being subtle). If CMS is rattled / disrupted it will initiate a domino effect that is literally scaring the living daylights out of everyone.

Gas

Its $1.00 a liter, we mentioned that a long time ago. It will stay at $1.00 a liter or higher.

Food

We said months ago that it would increase. Now with the lower Canadian dollar its through the roof. Have you walked the aisles of any grocery store lately. It will impact discretionary spending in 2016.

Auto Sales

CMS empowered by cheap money, and manufacturers has developed a self serving Canadian "mobility" model which seems to be eluding everyone. A record year in 2015, and we all know how the auto business functions...always seeking more.

Boomers

These folks have no desire to retire, especially empowered by technology. The leading edge are by now "mature" (being subtle). In their own way will remain a "force" in the foreseeable future.

Millennials

The next wave, an immense force, with Boomer parents. Technology for a Millennial, is like electricity for a Boomer...its there you use it. What they remember as kids is capturing their imagination as adults, turntables, Polaroid, typewriters, old school agendas. Its the human thing...

Capitalism

We evolve in a Capitalistic society, Boomers had an easier time to make money, with an heightened sense of financial equality (up to a point). Millennials are challenged to make money, with a higher sense of the 1% having it all.

The Human Thing

In Canada we are human, understanding, accommodating. The faster we develop the human thing of relationships, empathy, the more success we will have. The more we get lost in the trees of technology, the more we miss the human forest.

 

 

Monday
Dec212015

Albert King...Nostalgia

Classic Albert King..."I'll Play The Blues For You"

 

Wednesday
Dec162015

Random Thoughts on Technology

We are fortunate we are completely immersed in technology, we are unfortunate we are completely immersed in technology.

The other day we made that statement.

We are surrounded by technology its a good thing, makes it easier, faster, convenient, we could keep on going, and going. Twenty years ago it was a 56K dial up connection, today its a gazillion K connected with WiFi. Truly a wow moment to get online.

Do you remember when a "hotmail" e-mail account was considered not serious, when a mobile phone number was considered not real compared to a land line.

We have progressed from mechanical cars, to utility vehicles (the car is so passe in 2015) that almost drive themselves.

Technology is an integral part of simple, ordinary, every day life. We wake up and flick on all sorts of technology. We drive and all sorts of technology is at work to make it easier and keep us safe (you hope).

We are totally empowered by all this technology, we are also getting inexorably squeezed by the same technology.

When software was simplistic, computers still required a fair amount of space, the thought was that super computers could start to explore AI (Artificial Intelligence). It was fascinating, this machine will take care of a bunch of tedious, time consuming tasks, freeing up humans to be humans.

The reality we face today: Humans are tethered to technology.

 

Tuesday
Dec012015

Its December...

Rolling into December with an eye towards Christmas and an eye in the rearview mirror with the myriads of events that have transpired over the past 11 months of 2015.

In no particular order thoughts going through our mind...

A Better World:

It perhaps naively correct to subscribe to a better world theory, somedays it is, others no so much. What did you do to make it a better world?

Economy___Planet:

We constantly read from experts, pundits, the world economy is not growing fast enough, the challenge with this region, the problem with another. It will keep on going, and going, next year too.

Economy___Canada:

The Canadian economy has taken a bruise in 2015, and will perhaps continue to get some blows in 2016. We seem to linger on some antiquated business models and beliefs. Real Estate will provide more fodder for the analysts, and experts.

Jobs:

Be assured that most folks will do anything and everything to hang on to their current positions. Fascinating that with a ton of technology to facilitate seeking jobs, branding oneself, connecting, and so on. Many folks hang on for dear life.

Credit:

We have mentioned on numerous occasions that CMS (Citizen Main Street) has been carrying the Canadian economy for the past several years. Easy and inexpensive credit has been a major factor. Could it keep on forever? NO

Technology:

We are fortunate, we are fully immersed in technology. We are unfortunate, since we are fully immersed in technology.

Humans:

We are overlooking the fact/reality that we are humans.

Auto Sales___Canada:

What can you say, spectacular, record breaking, we could keep on going. Will it keep on going in 2016?

Transparency:

Everyone clamors for, or mentions transparency. Be your own editor/judge.

Gratitude:

Always take a moment to appreciate what you have, your accomplishments, the "brain fades" too. As well as being thankful.

From 6 years ago

Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can. 


Thursday
Nov262015

Refresh

Ever wonder how you refresh yourself while functioning in a totally wired world, and using a myriad of technology to actually do your work.

In case you did not know, The Colonel "Goes Fishing" on a beach in the Caribbean primarily to refresh, practice digital detox for a few days, and spend time focusing on the simpler things that surround us all.

Agreed...everyone has different perspectives and expectations of what their vacation should be, from filled with activities, to still being connected to a myriad of technology. Observing the diversity of how folks "enjoy" their vacation is to catch a glimpse into the human psyche.

If you are in the auto business at the retail level, observing the human psyche on vacation is an interesting pass time that also provides insight as to how the same humans will be in a showroom, or on their digital due diligence to purchase a vehicle.

Why you need to refresh?

We are so immersed in our routines that we lose sight of the depth of our immersion, or we know but don't want to know.

If you go on business trips its a change of scenery, while you bring all your "tools" to remain connected, immersed, available, and what ever else you want to call it.

As we are "connected" and empowered by technology, we are also disconnected with the humans that surround us. We are connected with them, while being disconnected on the human side.

When you refresh make an effort to connect on the human side, to be empathetic.

 

 

Wednesday
Nov182015

Success Now What?

A fascinating, thought provoking read...

 

Thursday
Sep242015

Guilds and Social Media

You surely remember reading about the myriad of "guilds" that existed a few centuries ago?

If you look around you, you will uncover traces of medieval guilds in the age of social media. Agreed...some vestiges of guilds that disseminate meaningful knowledge remain a positive influence in 2015.

Lets take a look at a 2015 guild, and yes you can fill in your own names.

The guild of XYZ is comprised of abc members who are all engaged in the activity of making/selling/servicing/advising on the particular widget. The guild has its own rules and regulations to ensure that the members don't step out of line, and offer value to customers.

The guild has its own publication to communicate with its members, and control the message.

Anyone who favorably serves or accomodates the guild is drawn into the inner circle.

Looking around you, you will quickly notice medieval guilds in 2015.

The reality...with social media each customer is becoming a "guild of 1" empowered and enabled.

The other reality...the established guilds are inexorably becoming detached from the "customer".

Look at enterprises that are not part of a guild, with activites that do not support guild like behavior. While treating the customer as a guild of 1.

What do you think?