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Sunday, September 19, 2021

We Bought A Tesla Electric Car

Tesla Model 3 LR - LR means long range -
you get a bigger battery - two motors - AWD -
480 horsepower - 360 miles range

We can charge it in our garage on a
110 volt or 220 volt plug. 
They are not as fast as that supercharger.
It is much cheaper to charge at home.

I have purchased 79 vehicles - some would say I have a problem. Even though some of those were campers - scooters - even buses - it is way more than we needed. Many were for resale. But this one is truly different. It is the fastest - quietest - most comfortable - and most expensive. 

In May - I told Lulu it would be nice to buy a Tesla. Some say it is the safest car in the world. It has autopilot and also scored a 5 star rating on all crash tests. The closer was I told her it makes old men drivers safer by keeping them in the middle of their lane. That was it. It was a couple days before us going to Europe for the summer to see the grandkids - she said if I could sell 3 vehicles from our fleet - I could buy the Tesla. That was easy - on the first day the Ford pickup and the Nissan Leaf electric sold for $3000 and $5000. Two people offered to buy our Honda van. Finally she said - keep the Honda van and I could sell the camper. On the day before flying to Paris - a guy drove 5 hours to see the camper. He gave me $4000 - and he said he would come back with the $40,000 the next day. We had to fly - but my buddy JP closed the deal - and put the money in the bank. What a friend huh?

We ordered the Tesla online in June - you only have to put $100 down. I figured if I got cold feet I could back out and only lose $100. While in Europe - Tesla emailed 3 times to say our car was ready. I told them we would pick it up in September. They did not answer - and I thought I lost it. Lots of people were telling me that Tesla had a shortage and they were cancelling some orders. We were concerned. 

When we got home in September - I got an email - it said my car was ready for delivery on Sept 17. They asked for payment. I called and said I would not pay before delivery. They said okay. Friday morning JP drove us to Jacksonville in our van. We got there and the car was waiting. We signed some papers - they put our plate on it - and were ready to drive. Finally - they said we could pay. We connected to our Wells Fargo Bank App - we pressed the paid button together - Lulu and I. The car was ours. 

Lulu and I flipped a coin - and she won. She drove from there to our friend Joan's. Then Joan and Lulu went to the beach in Joan's new Honda Pilot. I sat there with the car. I went over everything - but did not drive it. Saturday morning we drove home and I drove 100 miles. We stopped at a Tesla supercharger. Our car holds 360 miles but I wanted to charge it at the Busy Bee - a giant gas station with 12 Tesla chargers. There was one other car there. You just plug it in - the charger starts. It was charging at the rate of 600 miles per hour! In 20 minutes we had 200 miles more. Lulu took over for the last 80 miles home. 

When I drove I put the autopilot on - cruise control with turning and stopping included - I had it set at 70. But when Lulu drove - she wanted to pass a truck. I said don't linger next to the truck - well she did not linger. She pressed down - no noise - no vibration - just G forces - we were going 95 in 2 seconds. I had to remind her - because she was waiting for a roaring engine. It was like lift off in the Falcon 9 Rocket - minus the noise. 

We made it home fine. There are so many features to tell you about. I am amazed - but I do not want to be "that Tesla Guy." You are welcome to ask any questions - come take a ride - or just visit. 

In 1974 - we went to Pittsburgh PA
to drive an electric Citicar. It went 25 MPH for 25 miles.

The Tesla has nothing on the dashboard but
a big screen. It is easy to control.

That is me driving a 1974 Citicar
made in Sebring FL

There are no keys - your Tesla card
opens it. Also your cell phone opens it
If the cellphone is in your pocket - it unlocks it.

It is named after Nikola Tesla -
a Serbian inventor.

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Vichy France - Why Would Anyone Want To Name Products After This Place

Vichy Deodorant

Vichy Products in old Vichy France

During World War II - France was invaded by Nazi Germany. In 1940 - France crumbled quickly to the German forces - so fast that most of France - including all of Paris - was saved from the destruction suffered by many of the other overrun countries. England suffered extensive damage because they chose to "never give up." Russian suffered the brunt of World War II - losing nearly 20 million people. 

Germany occupied North and Western France - but the southern third of the country struck a deal with the Nazis. This section was called Vichy France - named after the resort city that serviced as its unofficial capital. Phillipe Petain was the leader of Vichy France. They existed as a separate country - a puppet government for Nazi Germany. They paid tribute to the Nazis in gold - food - and influence. They collected up 72,000 Jews and sent them to concentration camps. The French are certainly not proud of this 4 year period in their history 1940 to 1944.

When the Allies invaded France - Hitler ordered Paris to be destroyed. Gen Dietrich von Cholti disobeyed Hitler's orders to level the city. The Eiffel Tower would have fallen like a bad building implosion video. 

Two weeks ago we were standing in a line in a tiny French pharmacy in St Remy to get covid tests. All of Provence - Avignon - Marseilles - were part of Vichy France. It was a long slow line with one person doing all the paper work - nose swabbing - collecting money - and lab work. We had plenty of time to look at the products in the store. To my surprise there was a complete line of VICHY products - anything from deodorant to suppositories. They were brightly labeled VICHY. I was astonished and quickly got my iPhone out to look up Vichy France to confirm my ire. 

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Having Supper With Steph Green In London

Steph Green and Harry 
at the Coal Shed along the Thames

The London Bridge was just outside
our supper spot

One of the nice things about our world travels and using the Internet is that every now and them I get to meet up with former students. One of my former students that now lives in Switzerland often corresponds with me on Facebook. For the past few years she has suggested that we meet up. But it has been hard to get to the right place at the right time. When I said on a story that we would be in London last week - I was happy that she has business in England and we might be able to meet up. 

Steph Green was in my 7th grade science class about 30 years ago in the old Panther Valley Middle School. She was a smart and funny student and I wondered how things went in the last 30 years. Usually when my students turn from 12 to 40 - there are big changes. But usually their core values to not seem to change much. Many times I do not recognize them.

Steph went to Harcum College and became a veterinary nurse. She did that for 10 years and then started working with a company that produces veterinary orthopedics. Just like in humans - their task is to help with diseases and injuries to bones - muscles - ligaments - and joints. I was tickled that she chose a career that depended on her science background. She has devoted her life to helping animals. 

We texted each other. Steph had appointments at Bristol and Sheffield - two major cities - one in the west of England and one in the north of England. In between her appointments - she caught a train to London - and hopefully could catch a late night train to Sheffield. 

At 6 pm - two Tuesdays back - we met for supper at a restaurant right by the Tower Bridge along the Thames. I selected a place called the Coal Shed because it was easy to get to - and also we both were brought up in the Coal Regions. She walked from the station - we walked from our hotel. 

Lulu joined us for supper. Since it was Tuesday night - Lulu's classes started at 11 pm London time and went to 3 am. We ordered supper - had drinks - and talked about old times. Good thing we had things to talk about because it took forever for the food to come. Lulu ate and left - we just stayed there and gabbed into the night. I was worried I would disappoint here. 30 years have been good to her - but 30 years on me - yikes. The last time we met - she was 12 and I was the age that she is now. She is in the prime of her life - and I am - well - 73. I am gray headed - bell bulging - and hard of hearing. 

At about 10 pm - we walked outside - the maitre de made an attempt at some pictures. We were along the Thames - not like olden days there was no London Fog. I watched as she disappeared into the darkness. She has half of her life left. 

We said we would meet again - maybe in Switzerland on our next trip. She lives in Basel - Switzerland. You can see across into France and Germany from her home. I quickly caught a cab when a car full of guys asked me where I was going. Back to Panther Valley - I thought. 

I got home in time to hear Lulu starting her class at 11 pm. "London Calling!" She exclaimed. And from 11 pm to 3 am - I could hear her welcoming her classes of the fall semester. Life goes on within you and without you. 

Just across the river was the Tower of London Castle

Another bad picture of the Coat Shed - 
we had to get the sign