New Wheels…

New to me wheels.   I’ve been driving the RX8 for 4 years now and have loved every mile that I’ve put on that car.  But the new job requires me to travel a lot more than I bargained for.  In fact I’m making the rounds between Cincinnati , Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Louisville and Lexington regularly so I needed something more comfortable and more suited for highway travel.

I’d been saving my pennies for a while and had been looking at quite a few options. Then this presented itself:

2011 BMW 335i Sedan
2011 BMW 335i Sedan

She’s in incredible shape, nearly like new with 57k miles.  Smooth, quiet, and super comfy.

This is the first BMW (Bring More Wallet) I’ve owned.  We’ll see how this goes.

Basically a stock 3 series with Premium package.  Nav / Leather /  Heated Seats /  Premium Sound / Bluetooth (all the iDrive goodness).  It just needs to be driven and I plan to do just that.

So far, the only thing I have changed was updating the Navigation maps to 2017 maps from the 2011 maps it probably came with.  That took about an hour.

I plan to leave it bone stock as I did with the RX8 and simply take care of her with maintenance as required.

Update 6/11/2017

Exactly 7 days after purchase and 320 miles later, it appears that the twin-power turbo has imploded.  Right now I’m driving a loaner from Joe Morgan Honda where the vehicle was purchased.  They appear to be standing behind it with the 3 month, 3000 mile warranty and have shipped the car to their sister BMW dealer in Dayton.

Update 6/13/2017
The news is back. She needs an entirely new engine. Something about suspected ingested turbo parts. So the options presented to me are as follows:

Option A: Voss BMW (sister dealership) has sourced a 2011 N55 engine with roughly 10k fewer miles.  This engine would come with a 12 month PARTS ONLY warranty (no labor).  I have enquired about them including an extended warranty so that remains to be seen.

Option B: They will ‘un-sell’ me the car.  Refund my money and I walk away.  This obviously seems like the no brainer choice.  Or is it?  If there’s a warranty is that a better deal?

Well, after much consternation and discussion with multiple people who’s opinions I respect, I have ultimately opted for Option B. So…

Thus ends my brief BMW ownership experience.




Sometimes we get lucky

International business travel generally sucks, unless you’re unfortunate enough to have to do it all the time and can reap the rewards of perks from airline and auto rental memberships.   Even then the amount of effort you have to put into it simply doesn’t make it attractive to me.

On my recent trip to the United Kingdom, I rented a car from Hertz

Why do you need a car in London you might ask.  Generally when I travel to our London office I’m taking equipment over or bringing something back or in 50% of the trips helping them move offices.  Our offices are also on the outside of London, just outside of the reach of most of the tube.   That’s why I need a car. What about taxi’s?  Taxi’s suck.   So there.

I’ve rented a car there 4 times now.   That process itself is usually pretty hateful.   In fact the last time through “National”, we were basically scammed.   I had initially booked the reservation through Kayak and, but the agent at the airport capitalized on my over-night red-eye fog to bait and switch me.    So needless to say, National will never get any of my business again, ever.  But that’s not what this article is about.  

This article is about the awesome service I received from Hertz.   A magnificent upgrade to a brand new Mercedes CLS350 AMG Estate wagon.  When I say brand new, it had 9 miles on it.

I price shopped via Kayak again, but actually booked the car through  Then hooked up my (new to me) Hertz Gold membership to the reservation.  This means other than having pre-done the Hertz Gold membership, they knew nothing about me.  I had not previously rented 10 vehicles from them.  They just treated me like gold.   I hopped on the shuttle, they dropped me off and told me where my parking lot stall was.  I got there, and found the car.  Checked the bill, and was ready to set sail.  The only thing that was missing was the need to add the insurance to the reservation as our corporate insurance doesn’t extend overseas.  So we hopped into the reservation counter, handed them the invoice and they just took care of it.    Easy peasy.

Basically what I got to tool around in was this:


So how awesome was it?

It was awesome.  Of course the steering wheel was on the wrong side, but it was super comfortable.   Had plenty of power, and got decent mileage on top of it all.

It was a turbo diesel, with ‘eco’ features.    This ‘eco’ feature is a new thing over there where the car shuts off when you’re stopped.   You pick your foot up off the brake and the car just starts back up.  Every time you stop.  At lights, at parking stalls, at roundabouts, when you’re about to pull out.   Yeah, all of those times.  I hate it.  

Thankfully you can turn it off.   I couldn’t however figure out a way to have it turned off by default.   I would change that if I owned one.

I didn’t take photos of the interior, but there was plenty of room in the trunk for two large checked bags. 

It simply drove and handled like a dream and I put 500 miles on it over the course of 7 days on a trip to Dover and a trip to Brighton beach and some tooling around in the country.

So would I drive this car again?  You bet.  Would I buy one?  You bet, if money wasn’t an issue.  Would I rent from Hertz again?   Absolutely.

Fun times.

Actual car driven on real roads to real destinations, not on a closed course:


AutoPalooza at the Disher’s household.

Molly now has new wheels.

She saved her money and took advantage of the the 401-Disher Auto matching funds.  Well almost.   We’re in a Co-Ownership position at the moment.

But she now has a car with AC and it’s a convertible, and it’s an automatic since driving a manual really wasn’t going to be part of her long-term auto strategy.   I’m sure she would eventually master it, she’s usually good at just about everything she does.  Except bowling.  I’m afraid, driving a manual might be just like bowling. Winking smile


Just look at that smirk on the test drive.   This was the car.


Viola, another one-owner, below blue-book find.  Though not much below, this was a well taken care of car with 87k original miles.

Fun times ahead.

More Tri-Copter 06/24/2014

After a hard days work, prepping the property for the ‘Hen Fest 2014’, I got to get the Tri Copter out for some fun after a little storm blew through.


More Tri-Copter goodness.

Tri-Copter Fun Flying.

Tossed the legacy Contour HD camera on the Tri-Copter today.   Keep in mind this is pretty much hard mounted and there is no gimbal so it’s not nearly as smooth as previous Dead-Cat, or Hex Gimbal videos.

photo 1

Details of the build are here in Part 1 and Part 2

Some video from two different batteries.

SimpleCopter Tri-Copter 2.0


Hanging where it rests…

photo 3

I would most definitely FPV this thing.  It flies that well… A smidge under powered with the Contour HD but that’s a heavy camera.   FVP gear is next up on the list, that and finishing the micro 3D Printed quad that I have almost all the parts for.