Ready, set …

Okay today is the day! That is to say I have planned it to be. First cabin trip of 2022. Possibly.

Here’s how it’s going so far:

Got the Nissan Xterra re-insured and it was $100 less than expected. However, I couldn’t get them to start the registration on May 1 as I wanted: they claimed they couldn’t do it. They always managed to before. This time … no. But what was behind this? Well the day after I went in to the office and did this fine thing ICBC (the crown corporation that handles motor vehicle matters in this province) announced that as of May 1 you could renew on-line and registration plate stickers are no longer required. Well how nice. They could have told me that when I asked about starting it on May 1, couldn’t they? Evidently not.

So Saturday I went in to town on a little pre-check drive and to get gasoline. Hmm. Started out with 1/3 of a tank full, spent $75, and still didn’t fill it up. Thanks, Justin. Otherwise everything seems to be working. I even fired up the chainsaw to make sure it works too: no telling how many trees are down along the way.

I also took off the ‘dirt collectors’ by the rear tires:

Dirt collectors: useless pieces of plastic.
Plastic removed.
Sprayed on some Fluid Film (as close as I get to painting things these days).

Now … we’ll see how it goes. If there’s mounds of snow/ice blocking the road I’ll turn around and come back. There’s always later.

We interrupt our regular post to bring you the following snowstorm

So … “up to two inches” they said. Yeah? Tell it to the dog:

Difficult going.
No need to dream of a white Christmas; it’s guaranteed.
This vehicle has 9.5″ of ground clearance. Really.
Let’s have some colour!

Thus my day is planned for me: spend a couple of hours clearing a foot of snow from the driveway just in case I have to go somewhere this week. I’m not planning on going anywhere, but you never know what might happen.

Like a sudden snowstorm.

Meet Jojo

Jojo is a Toyota Highlander Hybrid. She’s very nice, but she has a couple of quirks.

First of all, she messes with your mind. After decades of driving gasoline and diesel vehicles of many configurations, having one whose engine runs only when it needs to is disconcerting in the extreme. I mean you put it in gear, start moving, and then the engine starts! I find myself constantly thinking “the engine has stalled” – partly because I have driven many examples of rolling junk for which this would be the case.

She sneaks up on people too. She’s so quiet she can be right behind you and you’ll never know. I can see why some people think these types of vehicles need some sort of audible notification system added. Perhaps a digital recording of a 426 Hemi played back through external loudspeakers? Maybe ice cream van bells? I don’t know.

It shall be interesting to see how much gasoline she consumes. She’s already ahead of the Xterra, in that both left the city with a full tank and by the time they got home an hour later Jojo was still full and the ol’ 4×4 was down 1/4.

That’s a point: Jojo is not replacing the Xterra, but supplementing it. For most driving she will be the wheels of choice, but when it comes to hauling the backroads … well sometimes you need 9.5 inches of ground clearance. I have one, maybe two more loads of wood to haul in and that’s not a nice thing to do to a young SUV.

We’re looking forward to the next necessary big city trip to see how she does there. Haven’t pushed all the buttons or tried all the modes out either (it has an Electric Vehicle mode which sounds interesting).

Am I cheating on my wife or vehicle with a younger mechanical woman? No, because actually this is for her. Nice though Jojo is, she doesn’t suit my driving needs or my personality.

IMG_1985
The Whale and Jojo

The only other flaw is the colour: would it kill manufacturers to offer some shade other than black, white, gray, or silver? She’s a bit hard to spot in the parking lot as she looks like so many others. That’s a terrible thing to say, isn’t it? Maybe if she had a bright red stripe …