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Friday
May012009

Music anyone?

One of the reasons I bought my current car, an Audi A6, was the stereo.  It has a premium Bose system that sounds open, clear, and powerful.  The FFH has a sound system that rivals the Audi, in fact on the brief listen I had in a test drive I think its even better.

In the Audi I typically play music or podcasts from my BlackBerry over a jury-rigged system.  I stream stereo bluetooth from the BlackBerry to a battery-operated bluetooth receiver mounted on the dash.  It is wired to a fake cassette adapter inserted into the cassette deck.  Yes, cassette - this is a 1998 Audi we're talking about!

Every week or so I have to recharge the bluetooth receiver; and I have to turn it on and off when I get in and out of the car.  I swore my next car would have built-in bluetooth. 

The FFH is like a dream come true in that regard, but the options for playing music in the FFH are so numerous that it is a bit overwhelming:

  1. FM/AM radio
  2. Sirius radio
  3. CD
  4. Sync CD "jukebox"
  5. MP3 player
  6. USB drive
  7. Bluetooth stereo

I'm really not sure which I'll use most.  I like bluetooth because I don't have to hook anything up.  And I can play streaming internet radio, mp3s, and podcasts from my BlackBerry. But I'll be giving up voice commands.

On the other hand, I could hook a big flash drive up to the USB port and have all my music available.  Then when I buy a CD I can just insert it into the CD player and rip it to the CD jukebox.  I wonder if Sync integrates the music metadata (artist and album names, etc) on a connected USB drive with the music in the jukebox?  I wonder how the CD metadata database in Sync is kept up to date?

Sirius has a bunch of great channels too, but I'm not sure I want to pay a monthly fee.

Choices, choices!  I can't wait to explore all of these options on my new FFH.

Tuesday
Apr282009

Sync - not for the impatient?

 Ford has a demo of sync on Youtube.  The interaction goes something like this:

Driver: Presses "Media" button on steering wheel

Sync: Bloing! Main menu  Beep!

Driver: User Device?  (in plaintive, questioning tone)

Sync: Blip! Bloing! USB... Please say a command Beep!

Driver: Play track Big Jazz (driver feeling more assertive this time)

Sync: Blip! Playing track Big Jazz

Sync: Plays music

I think Sync voice recognition is going to drive me crazy.  How much better would the interaction be if it went like this:

Driver: Presses "Media" button on steering wheel

Sync: Bloing!

Driver: Play track Big Jazz

Sync: Yes Dave...

Sync: Plays music

Monday
Apr272009

Got my VIN number today!

Today my dealer called and told me my VIN number.  The car should be here in 4 weeks!

Meanwhile, the Ford team has crossed the 1000 mile threshold and is looking to break 1400 miles in one tank.

Saturday
Apr252009

On track for 1400 miles/tank after first leg

After the first leg of the FFH 1000 mile run Wayne Gerdes is reporting that they may be on track for 1400 miles on one tank!  That averages out to about 80 mpg.

 

Friday
Apr242009

1000 miles on one tank?

AutoblogGreen reports that Ford engineers and hypermiler Wayne Gerdes (see his FFH review) will be attempting to drive a stock FFH 1000 miles on a single tank of gas this weekend.  Should be fun to hear about this!  There will be updates regularly through the weekend at http://www.youtube.com/fordstory

Wednesday
Apr222009

Great enthusiast review

I found this very interesting hyper-miler review of the Mercury Milan.  This guy was able to get 65mpg in 37 deg F weather on his first drive (see the mpg display at the upper right of the LCD display):

Over a longer period of 236 miles he got 52mpg.  That's very exciting!

Here, he indicates that the displayed MPG is actually somewhat lower than actual (4.6mpg) based on his calculation from refilling the tank.  Interestingly, he notes that you should not try and "top off" the tank as any overflow goes out a drain tube and down to the ground!

Tuesday
Apr212009

Mercury Milan vs Ford Fusion

For those of you wondering about the differences between the Milan and the Fusion, this review from autoblog.com goes over them in some detail.  Of course the major difference is the grill:

The review says, "When we got the chance to drive the Fusion ... we came away impressed, although some of you found the new, larger three-bar grille even more obnoxious than the original."

What do you think?  Is the Fusion grill obnoxious?

Monday
Apr202009

No FFH for me this week?

I spoke to my dealer about getting me the sterling gray FFH from another dealer near by.  They claimed that this would probably invalidate my Mar 31 order.

To me, this seems somewhat unlikely.  Why would the IRS care about how my order was fulfilled?

What do you think?

Sunday
Apr192009

Is this the week?

In Going for the gray I decided to switch my order from Atlantis Green to gray.  There's a gray FFH with black leather and the 502a package at the dealer I originally went to (they were not easy to get a good price from so I ended up at another dealer). I've asked my dealer to swap one of their FFH's so I can get the gray one - maybe this week!  This may be my new car:

I don't want to put the $3400 tax credit at risk though so if the order date has to change I'll just keep my original order and switch the color since Ford hasn't started building my car yet.

Saturday
Apr182009

Going for the gray

I've decided to change my order from Atlantis Green to gray.  It has a classic look to it.  As my wife said, most of the time the green would look black.