New License Plate

Finally received personalized plates for the Civic I bought last year (the KEVDO plates I’ve had for many years are still on my old car). I wanted to do something to celebrate tiki culture that I’ve had renewed interest in. MAI TAI was already taken, so I chose this one: 44MYTAI.

This is a reference to the 1944 origin of the Trader Vic’s Mai Tai, as has been often celebrated. One of the best trends in the past few years is that bars with a craft cocktail or quality-cocktail orientation have been listing the “1944 Mai Tai” on menus to indicate to savvy customers what kind of Mai Tai they’re going to get. Not a “Mai Tai” prepared with grenadine, orange juice, and other “improper” ingredients, but a Mai Tai made the “correct” way according to the Trader Vic’s original formula. So, referencing ’44 seemed to be a good way to indicate to other tikiphiles that I’m one of them.

Now, let’s hope this doesn’t mean I get pulled over by the Police on a much more frequent basis.

This was ALMOST “my last day alive”

This is one of those ironic tales that might not have been particularly funny or entertaining.

I left my office today a little after 11:45 to head over to another building for my weekly Toastmasters meeting. The drive in the car is pretty short – three or four minutes including stop lights but is takes too long to walk with my busy schedule. I’m a native Californian, so shoot me for liking to to drive, okay?

Most of the time I listen to podcasts in the car but today wanted to hear a long that was in my head. The song was “Last Day” by English band Editors. So, I hit play on the iPod and drove off for my meeting.

I was waiting for the stoplight at Mathilda Ave and Moffett Park Drive. I was heading all the way across the intersection, but many of the people turning left from westbound Moffett onto Mathilda got backed up a bit and so were a bit in the intersection. But, it wasn’t a big deal so I just inched a bit outside my normal lane and then finished heading across.

Next thing I knew I saw a car (a Prius no less) speeding through the intersection, heading northbound on Mathilda. I was using safe driving skills and was actually looking in that direction as I started across the intersection, so I saw the car and was able to easily brake and let the car pass. As it did, I looked to my left to confirm that yes indeed the Prius has completely ran a red light. And unlike most Priuses it wasn’t going very slow either (sorry, Prius owners, but gotta call it like I see it).

If I had entered that lane two seconds earlier – if I hadn’t been “slow off the gate” due to the backed up traffic – then I very likely would have hit by this very fast moving car. And who knows if I’d be in any condition to be writing this blog.

The ironic part? Remember… I specifically picked that Editors song to listen to. Not a podcast. Not a random song from Shuffle mode. But this very specific song: “Last Day.”

“This is my last day alive
Well, it’s one hell of a day to die”

Thankfully, I only had to listen to the the lyrics. Not live them.

My New Car*: Honda Insight

My 2002 Honda Accord recently went over 100,000 miles and while it’s still going strong it is certainly time to start thinking about the inevitable time when the fourth Kevdo-Mobile is put out to pasture and I end up with a new car. I’ve been thinking about it and I think I’ve settled on a primary candidate.

I’ve been a big fan of gas mileage for a long time. The first new car I ever bought was a 1993 Honda Civic VX. This car got 45 mpg city and 54 highway.  No, that’s not a misprint (or is it mis-type?). Yes, Honda made a car that got over 45 miles per hour. In 1993!  That car was great, even though (as they say) my mileage did vary. But I did consistently get over 45 mpg combined.

High mileage hasn’t been the priority with our last few vehicle purchases, though for example the Accord is way better than average for it’s size. Nonetheless, I really want to focus on mileage and carbon footprint and all that. 

The Prius is an interesting car but I’ve driven in a couple and I’ve got to say it’s a weird experience. I’m sure some of that would be something you could get used to but I guess I want my hybrid technology in a car that, well, feels like a car. Enter the Honda Insight 2010!


Honda Insight 2010
Honda Insight 2010


If the Prius and the old Honda CRX had a baby this is what it would look like. The gunmetal gray is the color that I’m most fond of. It’s a hybrid like the Prius but all the car magazines say it drives like a real car. 40+ mpg is better than nearly every one of today’s cars (though, still lags the almost 20 year-old Civic VX…). Plus, it’s quite a bit cheaper than the Prius and most importantly it’s a Honda.

I sat in one the other day and it feels good. When the time comes to actually buy a new car in a couple year I’ll obviously need to test drive this thing, but so far so good. I feel good about waiting a year or two anyway, since I always try to avoid buying cars in their first model year (let someone else work out the manufacturing kinks!). 

I’m really excited to see more electric and hybrid cars entering the market. Who knows what the market will look like down the line, but if my car was totaled today and I had to buy a new car… it’d be the Honda Insight.



* circa 2012