Thursday open thread

We have an open thread all day.

A conversation starter:

Today’s older people are increasingly offended that they can’t find themselves in the ads. Instead when they turn on their TV or laptop, they see a lot of young people using that new software or having fun at that resort, or driving cool cars. As an older woman or man, you don’t see yourself, and you realize that you have been erased, and that is surely not a way to win over a customer. Enough is enough.

Hmm.  I see older people in ads.  May be due to what I’m watching or reading online.

124 thoughts on “Thursday open thread

  1. There is a saying in the car industry, “You can sell an old man a young man’s car. But you can’t sell a young man an old man’s car.” I think that holds true for most things.

  2. DD#1 arrived home last night! She still has classes/finals through 12/21. I am not sure if I posted this, but she did apply and get into the co-terminal masters program at her school. She applied for the fall, but “technically” starts in January. The school does that (1) to allow them to take a mix of grad level and senior level classes their last semester and (2) to allow them to remain a student over the summer between senior year and starting grad school.

    In theory, DD#1 starts her “away” semester in January, but right now has nothing lined up in the paid internship realm. She does have a back up independent learning experience available. I think she is going to go with the back up and focus on applying for summer internships – there are several currently posted in our city for what she wants to concentrate on for her masters. This all means, she is likely here until August 2021.

    We are all back to masking in the house, keeping our distance from each other and I am delivering meals inside the house. I am surprised how many FB friends are just bringing their college kids home with no precautions – just walk in the door like they never left. I am not sure if I am prudently cautious or paranoid???

  3. I DVR almost everything because I don’t like ads, but there are two ads that I love right now. One from Toyota makes me cry every time. The other for Match.com is so funny.

    Match

    Toyota

  4. I see enough older folks in ads; I’m particularly thinking about a local bank’s ads.

    What DW & I both notice are the number of mixed race couples/families/groups in ads. Usually Black/White, but sometimes Asian with either. Hispanic/Latinx do not stand out to me; maybe they are there but have lighter skin. Why do we notice the frequency of mixed race couples/groups? Maybe because everybody is doing it*, and, at least in my mind and certainly in my little bubble, the frequency of it occurring in the real world is much lower.

    *and every advertiser has to do it, right, to say they are open, welcoming to everyone? It can’t just be e.g. 65% of all ads are white people, 15% Black, 15% (noticeably Hispanic), 5% everyone else (Asians, Native Americans etc).

    I get it completely.

    On the money side of things, yes, the older cohort has more money and disposable income. I don’t actually recall seeing any Tesla ads, but if they exist I’ll bet the people they show are <40 vs the mid-50s typical buyer. The ads will certainly focus on the cars and their tech.

    "Tesla owners are an older demographic. Our data shows that the median age of a Tesla Model S and Model X owner is just under 54 years old, compared to 38 for the US population." https://hedgescompany.com/blog/2018/11/tesla-owner-demographics/

  5. @ Rhett – “it’s not your father’s Oldsmobile” Then GM cut the brand in 2009 after sales continued to decline.

  6. Agree with Rhett. This is nothing new. In fact, ads are full of the most diverse range of people in all possible ways than ever before – including age.

    I do notice that the people my own age in ads these days are definitely selling this aimed at people 10-15 years older than me. So goes life.

  7. Austin — It looks as if DD#1 is staying on track with her original interest and not wasting any time. That’s nice!

    Lauren, I love both those commercials! I was just chatting with a 70-something family member who recently joined Match.com. He’s getting lots of matches. Now I’m wondering if they cater to older people. The other dating apps I hear about from my kids seem to target younger customers. I’ve also seen an ad for another dating app that features slim, attractive gray-haired people. The name is something like “a time for me” IIRC.

  8. Lauren — An added bonus of that Match ad is that it provides a sneak peak (or sneak listen, I guess) of Taylor Swift’s ongoing re-recordings of her old albums. This is a big deal for Taylor Swift fans, of whom I am one.

    One thing I have noticed about ads and catalogs in recent years (and especially in the last year or so) is that they portray way more interracial couples with mixed-race kids. In terms of age, I see way more gray- or white-haired female models than in years past.

  9. If the old folks are upset about not being seen in ads, I’d be happy to not always be the default choice for the bumbling idiot.

  10. Oh, and the other day I got a Lands End catalog that had photos portraying a lesbian couple with a child, all wearing cute matching PJs.

  11. “it’s not your father’s Oldsmobile”

    I know the guy at Leo Burnett who was one of the team that came up with that ad. There was a great Usenet flame war between him and some other guy who was criticizing the ad. Oh my God, do NOT tell advertising guys that their ads sucked. There wasn’t enough popcorn to watch that entire flame war.

  12. Freakanomics just did a two part podcast on advertising and if it really works. From the experts they talked to, the answer is very little, certainly not nearly enough to justify the money that companies spend on it. It’s episodes 440 and 441. https://freakonomics.com/archive/

  13. I kind of agree that it was a horrible ad. And my grandparents had not one but two Cutlasses Supreme Brougham through the 1980s, so I knew exactly what it meant. But it was more reinforcing than convincing.

    It’s always hard to try to explain why there should be Oldsmobile and Pontiac, in addition to Chevrolet, with Buick slightly more upscale, but below Cadillac, then later introduce Saturn, and GMC for trucks that are supposedly somewhat different than Chevrolet trucks.

  14. We got our appraisal back and are set to start our remodel in January. We are staying at my dad’s while he is in Florida. I’ve never moved before. We bought this house two months after I graduated college 19 years ago and owned barely anything. Now I need to figure out everything we need to do – boxes, storage, etc. I’m excited to get rid of crap and DH is worried about how much crap I’ll throw out.

    Any moving tips? We’ll probably get a storage pod or something like that.

  15. “Any moving tips? ”

    Throw away everything that:
    1. Can be replaced for less than $500; or
    2. is ugly; or
    3. is uncomfortable; or
    4. you don’t REALLY, REALLY want

  16. +1 to Cassandra. Seriously get rid of stuff. Then go through it again and get rid of more.

    We thought we had gotten rid of everything and then after we moved found some things didn’t actually fit in the new home, and then we got rid of things we had paid to move. Don’t be me.

  17. +1 to Cassandra
    Especially since you’ve been in place for 20 years.

    Label profusely – all sides of the boxes and IN DETAIL. You will NOT remember what is in the box when you need it.

    Be thoughtful about what you pack vs keep out.

    I also highly recommend reusable rental moving boxes.

    Here’s one of many just to see what I mean. We use these for office moves, so I looked to see if I could get them for our house move. They are fantastic & much easier for many things than cardboard.
    https://www.bluebinrental.com/faq/

  18. Rhett nailed it.

    Also: there are plenty of old people in ads. They’re just advertising vitamins and prescription meds and mobility scooters. ;-)

  19. @RMS – IME, ad creatives are very used to lots and lots of critiquing. They go through so many rounds of review, tweak, review and criticism. So many ideas dismissed or thrown out. Clients at multiple levels, coworkers, bosses, c-suite, award review committees, etc. You have to develop a thick skin quickly. But they don’t take kindly to outsiders criticism – that’s for sure. Especially if it brings back memories of tense arguments with clients or powers-that-be.

  20. Having moved many times with some of them being across the oceans and back my advice would be NOT to stress so much about purging. We always do go through a purge but I’ve learned not to waste too much brain power or angst or time over getting rid of stuff. You can always get rid of it on the other side of the move. Also don’t let the movers unpack stuff for you. For my sanity it was easier for me to put a lot of the boxes in some corner or room
    leaving most of the house with some semblance of order and deal with the unpacking little by little. Often once I finally got to a box by that point I’d realize I didn’t actually did fine without the thing and off to the donate pile it’d go.

  21. “ Also: there are plenty of old people in ads. They’re just advertising vitamins and prescription meds and mobility scooters. ;-)”

    Yeah but they are always 20 years younger than the people who actually need it.

  22. Also: there are plenty of old people in ads. They’re just advertising vitamins and prescription meds and mobility scooters. ;-)

    And erectile dysfunction drugs.

  23. “Yeah but they are always 20 years younger than the people who actually need it.”

    Or they just *look* 20 years younger because it’s their job to keep up appearances. I mean, would you believe Shatner is a quarter-century older than me? (Don’t answer that! But I’d never have guessed how old he is from his current commercials)

  24. Vitamins and viagra are one thing. It’s the mobility scooters and the walk-in bathtub actors who are absurdly cast.

  25. What bugs me is when they take a 45 year old actor and color their hair gray to play a 70 year old.

  26. Moving Tips –
    1. Yes label, but we also color coded boxes and tags on furniture by room they would go to in the new location. Then put a piece of paper that color in each room or wherever you want those boxes. It was so much easier having things either in the right room or at least all grouped by room made unpacking so much easier. It also seemed easier for the movers to match colors than to read the label and figure out which room that was.
    2. Before you start unpacking make sure you have a garbage can and recycle box/can handy. Plus a box for broken/damaged smaller items, if they are something you need to replace or file a claim with the movers. Sort of like the rule for paperwork, get rid of the packing material as soon as you empty the box.
    3. Avoid packing boxes too heavy. It seems like a good idea until you are moving them to unpack or you can’t move them and are walking back and forth until you get enough weight out to move the box.
    4. If you really want something (box or furniture) to use first, work with the movers to make sure in goes in the truck last.
    5. A friend engaged a couple of college students to be at the house when they moved in. The beds came off the truck first and their job was to set them up. Her worst experience was the movers leaving and realizing they had to put the beds together (frames, unpack mattresses) before they could make them to go to sleep.
    6. If you have a buy nothing group, check with them for moving boxes before you buy any.

  27. Here’s a question for Finn and anyone who might have an idea.

    We’ve decided even if a vaccine is available late spring, we are going to stick close to home this summer for vacation. We’ll spend part of the summer at the beach and maybe drive up to the mountains for a week in August. But next summer we are talking about going to Hawaii. DH and I have been twice but kids have not.

    What is the most fun, most tricked out resort? Great pools, beach, spa, water activities, plus options to arrange excursions like snorkling, hiking, etc? (Not the Disney resort, we don’t want that.) Would love a place that has villas with a kitchen and separate bedrooms but still fully integrated into the resort.

    Any island is fine.

  28. I just unboxed my NAIPO neck massager. Fabulous. Thanks to the infrequent poster ax?54 who recommended it. Mine has a plug in cord, I think they all do, so you have to pick a chair and set it up. Takes a bit of fiddling to figure out how to get it positioned just right for neck and shoulders but lower back is easy. It comes with heat, too

  29. We are all back to masking in the house, keeping our distance from each other and I am delivering meals inside the house. I am surprised how many FB friends are just bringing their college kids home with no precautions – just walk in the door like they never left. I am not sure if I am prudently cautious or paranoid???

    DS tested negative about 10 days before coming home so we felt comfortable welcoming him back into the fold without precautions.

  30. TCM, I’m not sure when you’re thinking of having the storage pod. I think they best way to sort through belongings is to start by picking up everything you absolutely don’t want to be without. I did this by emptying out a walk-in closet, then putting things in there, but you could use the pod. As Ivy said, label profusely. In addition to that, keep a digital list of what’s in every single box. Make sure you start early and hire good help (This was my downfall—got in a rush and had to hire random dude who didn’t give a f’ck).

    SOTM is right about being able to discard stuff once you get where you are going. By now, I thought we’d have the stuff we put in storage. We don’t, but there is nothing I have thought “oh, I’d like to have x” and then realized I discarded it (except maybe a couple blazers). For furniture, be very careful about what you take. It’s big and heavy and expensive to move, and might not be at all what you want in a new environment. There are plenty of places in Florida where you can buy a bedroom set. If you already have your new home picked out, think through very concretely what will go where. I don’t think it’s worth taking general supplies, but be aware that for the first few months you will be buying paper clips, a tape measure, all the detergents, hangers, potting soil,extension cords, and lots of other things that you usually just happen to have hanging around somewhere. It’s a small, constant expense and makes you have to think before you do anything.

    One thing I found that made me happier in Florida, although I didn’t do it until the last year, was changing my wardrobe for the seasons, even though it isn’t all that necessary. I saved shorts & sundresses for summer, and wore a puffy vest with fur trim on the hood (Hollisters, around $50) when it was 60. It was hot as hell in the fall, but I wore a cranberry colored knit top that I called a sweater and long olive shorts, marking the season with color because I sure wasn’t going to do it with layers. This suggestion felt very strange when I first heard it, but I was amazed at how it helped me feel that time was noticeable, not just all one big endless stretch (the way some people say Covid time is).

    Enjoy your adventure, and please tell us all about it as you go!

  31. If anyone is looking for a new podcast, Bill Gates and Rashida Jones Ask Big Questions is excellent. They talk about some of our common topics with experts.

  32. Lark — I’ve never been to Hawaii, but maybe one fun way to start looking would be to go to the Backroads website, and look at the hotels they use on their Hawaii trips. Maybe one of those places would fit the bill for your family?

  33. Love the Match ad. Hadn’t seen it but i haven’t seen commercials at all in so long. The only ones i see are on the news. The one I hate is a leaf guard commercial that is trying to sell you on how much safer it is because you don’t have to clean your gutters and the guy asks “Who cleans their own gutters?” and an older man raises his hands and his daughter says “Daaad I told you that was too dangerous.” Way to make him feel inept. Maybe he shouldn’t be but to have his daughter scold him in a group as part of your ad seems pretty crappy to me.

    Totally different topic:

    We are all back to masking in the house, keeping our distance from each other and I am delivering meals inside the house. I am surprised how many FB friends are just bringing their college kids home with no precautions – just walk in the door like they never left. I am not sure if I am prudently cautious or paranoid???

    DS tested negative about 10 days before coming home so we felt comfortable welcoming him back into the fold without precautions.

    My son tested negative 2 days before he came home but we still sent him to the basement, masked inside until he had been home a week and tested negative 3 times. I do NOT want this and I do not want to be a party to spreading it if I can help it. He is home until late Jan.

  34. It’s no secret that I tend to resent anything that’s considered the trendy new thing,

    Says the guy driving the trendy hybrid/electric CUV.

  35. “ Says the guy driving the trendy hybrid/electric CUV.”

    I hope you’re being sarcastic. I waited until a basic hybrid became so mainstream they’re barely worth mentioning to non-tech types. And aside from a couple badges and a very subtle difference in the logo, it’s indistinguishable and anonymous, just how I like it.

  36. I hope you’re being sarcastic.

    Nope. I figured you would have gone 10 more years considering hybrids new fangled witchcraft. You’re somewhat of a minority being someone who has became more an early adopter as you’ve gotten older.

  37. No, the Prius is about 20 years old, I’m guessing. Starting with the 2021 model year, there is no Toyota minivan that’s not a gas-electric hybrid.

    I’ve come to really like the feel of the electric propulsion. It’s so smooth and even. When I drive the van now, the feel of direct engine to drive connection seems almost like a relic.

  38. “ more an early adopter as you’ve gotten older”

    It helps being richer as I’ve gotten older. Not “rich,” of course, but richer.

  39. “I waited until a basic hybrid became so mainstream they’re barely worth mentioning to non-tech types.”

    OTOH, didn’t you recently post that your dad has the same model car, only slightly older, but non-hybrid because hybrids weren’t available for his model year? IOW, for your model, you are an early adopter.

  40. When I drive the van now, the feel of direct engine to drive connection seems almost like a relic.

    Yeh I got the same impression with the Tesla. You drive it and you’re like, “Oh, this is totally the future.”

    Speaking of new technology a friend bought a new car that comes with vehicle to vehicle communication. It’s new bandwidth released to support self driving cars . The first phase is that of car driving ahead of you uses its ABS, AWD, stability control, etc. you’ll get an alert, “Low traction detected ahead.” The eventual goal is to have cars fly through stop lights without having to stop they will just automatically time themselves.

  41. “I’ve come to really like the feel of the electric propulsion.”

    It’s happening….

    You experience matches DW’s. After driving a hybrid that had a limited electric-only mode, she liked the electric-only mode so much that our next car choice came down to which electric car.

  42. “Speaking of new technology a friend bought a new car that comes with vehicle to vehicle communication.”

    I heard a couple days ago that the state DoT released an app that facilitates communication with traffic lights and also between devices running the app. They’re upgrading stuff in preparation for self-driving cars, but they’re also making that technology available via the app.

    I need to look into that more. One feature mentions was warning if one app appears about to collide with another app, e.g., someone who is running the app slows down in front of someone else running the app, and the trailing app gives an alert. I’m wondering if this warning feature might offer me some protection when I’m walking or biking.

  43. “It helps being richer as I’ve gotten older. Not “rich,” of course, but richer.”

    Do you think that over its lifetime, the overall cost of the hybrid will be less than an ICE version of the same model? I.e., will fuel (and perhaps any other) savings offset the (I assume) higher purchase price for the hybrid?

  44. Finn – I could see that if I lived on an island. But I like road trips too much, and we’ve talked about range limitations.

    Yes, my dad’s is a 2019. That was supposed to be my mom’s, and I guess will be when her preferred car finally dies.

    What I, a trained engineer, can’t reconcile about pure EVs is the question of why anyone would design a $40k or $50k car and NOT include a little $1,000 portable Honda generator (or the automotive equivalent, but that’s ALL you need.) To me, from a design perspective, it seems like a moral aversion more than anything. And I already have a perfectly good religion; I’m not seeking another.

  45. “We are all back to masking in the house, keeping our distance from each other and I am delivering meals inside the house. I am surprised how many FB friends are just bringing their college kids home with no precautions – just walk in the door like they never left. I am not sure if I am prudently cautious or paranoid???”

    When DS came home from school, he spent most of the first two weeks in his bedroom or the spare room we’d configured with a sofa and TV.

    He also mentioned that many of his school friends, upon getting home back then, went straight to their parents’ basements for two weeks. We don’t have a basement, so that wasn’t an option for DS.

  46. “ Do you think that over its lifetime, the overall cost of the hybrid will be less than an ICE version of the same model?”

    For me, someone who at least three days per week drives over 100 miles each way, absolutely.

    Then again, I bought a CUV, not a Civic. So I’ve finally re-claimed roughly the exact same fuel economy as the 12-year-old 1984 CRX I drove in high school. Rebound Effect – very real. I had no interest in paying $10 at Home Depot for outdoor LED Christmas lights. Just leave them on.

  47. “But I like road trips too much, and we’ve talked about range limitations.”

    Don’t you have a van for road trips?

    For multi-car families, an electric car can make a lot of sense as a commute vehicle in combination with a larger vehicle that will be, among other things, a road trip vehicle.

    Most current EVs are pretty small anyway and thus not well suited to be road trip vehicles.

  48. “In theory, DD#1 starts her “away” semester in January, but right now has nothing lined up in the paid internship realm. “

    Is that because of the pandemic? In before times, did the school help pretty much all kids line up a paid co-op semester?

  49. “We got our appraisal back and are set to start our remodel in January.”

    How much did the critter affect it?

  50. DW and I take road trips when grandparents watch the kids.

    I’ve come to realize that I don’t like small cars very much, and certainly not now when they’re so outnumbered. I’ve actually always liked small to midsize SUVs, starting with the old 1980s Jeep Cherokee.

    I would have bought a SUV instead of my Acura, but the girl I was going steady with was buying a CR-V, and I thought I might marry her, so got something different.

  51. Lark, I’m not very knowledgeable about that, and the Disney resort was the first thing that came to mind. There are others in the same resort area that thus are right next to the same lagoons, which we like a lot. That resort is also away from Waikiki; whether that’s a bug or a feature is up to you.

    One place I suggest you investigate on O’ahu is the Hilton Hawaiian Village. It’s right in Waikiki, so in normal times there’s a zillion places you can walk to for shopping and eating. It has its own lagoon (not really, since there are legally no private beaches here, but the lagoon is right at the village). The village itself has a bunch of stuff, including condo-type units. One of DD’s friend’s family has access to a timeshare there, and I’ve been there when DD was invited for sleepovers, and they’re pretty comfortable with full kitchens. In non-pandemic times, there are constantly buses picking up people for various day activities.

    Also, Waikiki is a great beginner surfing area.

  52. They sell those yellow and black bins at Costco as well. I bought quite a few of them for our move & are using them for storage in the basement and crawl space. (crawl space being the awkward closet under the stairs, NOT the critter-infested space under the house)

  53. “You can sell an old man a young man’s car. But you can’t sell a young man an old man’s car.”

    Reminds me of how the Honda Element, which they marketed to young outdoorsy types, became most popular among retired folks, to the point it became known as the Elderment.

    The early Scion xB was popular among young males and retired men. So depending on how you looked at it, Scion was selling an old man’s car to young men.

  54. I don’t think the critter impacted the appraisal. Thankfully the “critter” is mice and not squirrels or bats or something else. Mice are much cheaper to kill.

    Thanks for the moving info! We are moving out for 5 to 6 months and then moving back in. I’m super excited to get the work done. We’ve lived here 19 years and finally doing a bunch of the projects we always wanted to get done.

  55. TCM, is it a full gut-the-entire-house-down-to-the-studs type remodel?

    Or are there parts of the house that won’t be touched? If so, that would seem to make moving a lot easier.

  56. Finn – we have a 1.5 story bungalow. The attic is a full gut and almost the entire main floor will be touched. The basement will have some work, but we could potentially store some stuff down there.

  57. TCM, do building contractors work year round where you live?

    I heard from some friends who were involved in a project in Nebraska that outdoor construction work there was largely suspended in winter because of the weather.

  58. Lark — Your family would love Maui. So many gorgeous beaches, and tons of activities for an active family. For a splurge, check out the Montage Kapalua (all-suite resort) or the Ho’oleli Villas at the Grand Wailea. The Hyatt Regency has a wonderful pool complex, but I don’t know if they have villa-style accommodations. Honua Kai has the villas but I don’t think the pool is as impressive, not that anyone really really needs a pool in Hawaii. Don’t miss the sunrise bike ride down Haleakala (jet lag will make it easy to wake up early). I’ve stayed in many more modest places in Maui as well; it’s hard to have a bad stay. Enjoy!

  59. EVs is the question of why anyone would design a $40k or $50k car and NOT include a little $1,000 portable Honda generator (or the automotive equivalent, but that’s ALL you need.)

    With a 300 mile range how often would the generator be used? Would the gas be stale when you needed it. Wouldn’t you still need to change the oil every year?

    Also how many HP is a $1000 generator? Seems like it’s 1.2. So that’s enough to drive the car at 2 mph?

  60. “ So that’s enough to drive the car at 2 mph?”

    The question would be if you know you’re going on a long road trip, you run the generator right out of the driveway, and your only goal is slowing the rate of battery depletion, so maybe a 300 mile range becomes 600 miles, or something, and then you recharge electrically at the Hampton Inn. I haven’t looked at the numbers, though.

    This was basically the design of the Chevrolet Volt, and I thought it made a lot of sense.

    I don’t know the specifics of Mr. LfB’s S90, but this is also the basic idea, although I think there might be a mechanical drive interaction as well.

  61. I wonder how the Tesla computer would react if I literally put a Honda generator on one of those little trailer hitch racks, and had it plugged in while I was driving.

  62. Milo,

    BMW and Fisker tried your theory but to make it work required a 30hp motor. That’s 22,000 watts which as you know from Honda costs $5k. And $5k plus maintenance, complexly, manufacturing, sound deadening, etc. just wasn’t worth it.

  63. Milo,

    It’s a 1.2 bhp engine, how do you figure it could increase the range form 300 to 600 miles?

  64. “ That’s 22,000 watts which as you know from Honda costs $5k.”

    Ahhh.

    I still want to try my solution of a generator on the trailer hitch platform where people strap down coolers and boogie boards.

  65. “I wonder how the Tesla computer would react if I literally put a Honda generator on one of those little trailer hitch racks, and had it plugged in while I was driving.”

    I think it will not allow you to put the car into drive (or reverse) if you have something plugged into the charge port, for obvious reasons.

    Which raises (not begs) the question of whether ICE cars have safety features to prevent driving a car from being driven away while a gas hose is inserted into the gas tank input.

  66. Finn,

    How long would a 900 watt generator take to charge a 75kw battery? At 100% efficiency would that be 83.3 hours?

  67. Rhett, not enough information is provided to solve that problem.

    Batteries are rated not just in power, which reflects instantaneous output capability (think cold cranking amps for car batteries, from which out power can be calculated given the battery voltage), but also in energy storage capacity, or something from which that can be calculated, often amp-hours, or milliamp-hours for smaller batteries.

    You only provided a power rating, not an energy storage rating.

  68. You only provided a power rating, not an energy storage rating.

    So when manufacturers are saying a Leaf has a 40 kWh battery and a Tesla has a 75 kWh battery what are they actually telling you? Or do you mean I left out the h in kWh?

  69. “ Or do you mean I left out the h in kWh?”

    I believe so.

    And of course you know that you can get 80% charge very quickly, but the final 20% is much longer.

    Ultimately, these are all just ways of trying to sound intelligent without having to answer the question.

  70. Hum…another interesting automobile development. Remote start is now typically app driven. Which means you need a data plan for your car which is a minimum of $10/month. On the one hand $10/month for remote start seems kinda high. On the other hand most places I’ve worked, unless you get to work at 5:45am, you’re going to be too far from your office for it to work with just the fob.

  71. “So when manufacturers are saying a Leaf has a 40 kWh battery and a Tesla has a 75 kWh battery what are they actually telling you?”

    Nominal energy storage capacity.

    “Or do you mean I left out the h in kWh?”

    Probably.

  72. Finn – there is when Lauren’s DH wants to pre-warm the car and start melting the ice on the windshield.

  73. With an electric car you don’t need the motor running to pre-warm the car or melt the ice.

    But if you want to summon your car remotely you will probably need to pay the $10/month.

  74. Rhett, no need for remote start with an electric car.

    Fun fact, prices may vary in Alaska and Hawaii.

    Picture it Houston, 5:30pm temp 102.

    Picture it Minneapolis February -2 F 5:30 pm.

  75. With an electric car you don’t need the motor running to pre-warm the car or melt the ice.

  76. Finn,

    Do you really not understand that when people talk about remote start for an electric car they mean remote start of the HVAC, heated/cooled seats, heated steering wheel, etc?

  77. It’s just hard to grasp how inhospitable some climates are that people willingly live in.

  78. It’s just hard to grasp how inhospitable some climates are that people willingly live in.

    Block heaters.

  79. Cass,

    I was reading some personal finance site and they interviewed a mom from Alaska. Her and her husband were raising six kids on a modest income. She had tips on how to keep the meat they hunted, best bulk food deals, etc. But everyone in the family had a +$1000 jacket. The town had a swap for families to exchange jackets as kids outgrew them. She said, up here when it’s -50 it’s literally a matter of life and death. If something were to happen where you were outside without the right gear they’d be chopping off your frost bitten fingers in minutes and you’d be dead within a few hours… if that.

  80. Rhett, I do find it amazing how varied people’s preferences are. I’ve gone on ad nauseum about my dislike of cold. I can no more imagine wanting to live in the snow than going to the dentist for fun. And yet, millions of people find cold a minor inconvenience.

    It’s good that we don’t all want the same things, but some preferences are just wrong.

  81. Cass,

    And not only cold it can be dark 22 or even 24 hours a day.

    Thought you might find this interesting:

    With 24-hour darkness (or close to it!) for much of the year along with regular snowfall, many people assume Alaska doesn’t have an agriculture industry. On the contrary! Even though their window is smaller than the rest of the US, the long hours of sunlight create quite a bounty during the spring and summer months. Some of Alaska’s produce grow huge too. Alaska has won world records for their 76-pound rutabaga and 127-pound cabbage.

  82. “ With an electric car you don’t need the motor running to pre-warm the car or melt the ice.”

    Not only is this useless pedantry, but it’s surprisingly imprecise and inaccurate for you. What is “the motor”? If you want to warm the car or defrost the windshield, you’re going to want to power the motor that drives the HVAC system’s fan.

    Did you forget that I used to direct the operation of an underwater nuclear propulsion plant, and the submarine that it powered? Did you think I’m operating under the assumption that an electric car’s drive motor is somehow spinning in idle when it’s parked and powering a bunch of accessories off a serpentine belt?

  83. Cass – you should read “The Great Alone.” It’s a chick coming-of-age book that I never would have picked up if DW hadn’t already owned it, but it’s good. And it’s remote Alaska in the 1970s.

  84. And…do we happen to have anyone familiar with a good quality brand for two-person inflatable kayaks? (My dad directed me to paddling.com for reviews.)

  85. Cass, it is interesting that you mention an inhospitable climate when you think about the issues with the cold because I can’t imagine living in California because of the climate. I am scared of the earthquakes and fires. I love to visit CA, and I probably have spent more time there for vacation/work vs. any other state other than my own. I know I would be happy there and I feel happy when I visit, but I know myself and I would worry about the climate issues. Some of us seem to be creatures of our own environment. Since I lived in the city for decades, I relied on walking and public transportation. I can rememebr the pain in my bones when I had to wait for buses. I also walked into what felt like a furnace everyday when I had to commute on the subway and train in the summers. I would still take these extremes vs what I perceive to be risky issues in CA.

  86. Thanks for the Hawaii suggestions. @ NOB – yes to the Backroads idea. One possibility we’re talking about is doing the Backroads Hawaii trip first which I think is 5 nights, and then staying another 4-5 nights on our own. But Blythe might change my mind because looking at the Grand Wailea, that’s exactly what I had in mind. 8-9 nights there would be amazing. And, we have not been to Maui. Long way off, but nice to think about.

  87. “ It’s good that we don’t all want the same things, but some preferences are just wrong.”

    Awesome!

    But I also agree with Lauren—anyplace with “fire season” is not a hospitable living environment, and earthquakes are nature’s way of telling you to gtfo.

    I have a friend who works for the park service in Alaska, an interesting position managing hunting and harvesting from the park. I think all the outside time really helps her deal with the winter. She has taken up lots of crafts for the dark part of the year—her quilts are amazing! But she also goes for bike rides and cross-country skis often, as well as being involved with dog-sled races (as some kind of official/volunteer, not actually racing).

    Other places at high latitudes deal with winter by getting outside too. Living in Berlin, we don’t have this much nature contact, but I certainly notice that people enjoy the out of doors, even if that just means going to the park, sitting by the river, or hanging at an outdoor cafe with temps around 60, more than I’ve seen in the US, where it seems to be a decision one makes instead of part of regular life. And of course the guy whose laptop was swiped by a wild boar was also enjoying nature, the naturalist way. I’m surprised the woman in this video wears a bikini—think that’s colder than nothing when you get out of the water. Maybe the video was made with American tastes in mind. https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20201030-the-scandinavian-way-to-tackle-winter

  88. TCM, sorry I didn’t read your first post carefully enough! I get it now that you aren’t moving-moving or going to Florida yourselves at all.

  89. It’s just hard to grasp how inhospitable some climates are that people willingly live in.

    Said the woman who lives in 115 degree heat all summer, where summer lasts from May to November.

    But you’re absolutely right. Ivy loves Chicago. The three years I lived in Chicago I couldn’t understand why anyone had built a city here, because it clearly doesn’t support human life.

    Fires, earthquakes, mudslides; they’re all bad, no one likes them, but it’s the price you pay for living in the greatest state in the union.

  90. Finn, construction is year round here…the key is digging and pouring concrete before the deep freeze, but there also ways around that, if necessary (such as heating the ground, which you see for commercial building). Above ground, outdoor construction never stops. It may pause for a day or two if there is a massive snowfall or the days when it it is -20.

    Drought, fire, earthquakes….I’ll take the snow and cold.

    I was so perplexed by the comment that electric cars don’t need to warmup…ha!

  91. Even in hot climates, prestarting the car is helpful, because then you can actually touch the steering wheel and seat belt buckles by the time you get in. I seemed to graze tender skin on the buckle every few weeks when we lived in Florida—youch!

  92. Those Alaskan vegetable photos made my day.

    TCM — I hope you keep us updated with your home reno. We did something similar, but did not move out. We were able to live sequentially on different floors of our four-story house as the workers worked on the other floors. You all moving out will be a much more pleasant experience.

  93. Thanks RMS for the words of cheer on the other page.

    I love driving along the coast in California. I absolutely adored Carmel. One time we did feel a tremor when we were on the ocean in San Diego. We thought of a tsunami right away. In coastal Oregon there are evacuation routes marked and we noted those, again if we had to flee after an earthquake/tsunami.

  94. “I can no more imagine wanting to live in the snow than going to the dentist for fun.”

    My DH would seriously never agree to live in a place that didn’t get snow. The more the better for him. (XC skiing is his very favorite activity in life.)

  95. Cass, how far away are the mountains from where you live? If you want to play in snow, is it an overnight trip?

  96. Finn – No, the school has only ever been moderately helpful. The biggest issue is the school requires the “away” semester to be fall or spring, but has not really reached out to companies it invites to its career fairs or that are known as “regulars” offering internships to encourage them to offer fall/spring internships in addition to summer ones. The saving grace this year is that due to the pandemic, the school is offering two “canned” independent learning experiences the students can opt in to. DD#1 is considering one of the canned options as several companies locally are offering summer internships in the area she is concentrating on in her masters. The canned one will meet the graduation requirements, the summer one (if it materializes) will help get the hands on experience.

  97. “I can no more imagine wanting to live in the snow than going to the dentist for fun.”

    Golly, I love the cold and the dark. I feel the same way about summer as you do about winter. In the summer, I keep the drapes shut to keep the house cool and stay mostly inside if at all possible. Hate the heat and humidity. I feel alive in the fall and winter! And yes, I actually do like going to the dentist. Love that clean mouth feeling. The less frequently you go, the more work you have to get done and the less pleasant it is. My dream location is a small stone house on a peninsula in Ireland or Scotland!

  98. Lolly, on a different forum (yes, in that “forum” format), someone in Australia recently explained that there are about 3 months of the year when temps are between 2 and 15 Celsius, and that it is such a relief from the blast furnace of summer that most people do not heat their homes and instead reach for sweater, scarves, etc. As much as I hated Florida summers (very confusing to me, because I’ve always loved sun & summer, until it was too hot & went on too long. Even my natural tendency to lose weight in summer disappeared), I can’t imagine not turning on the heat when it’s that chilly. We had temps around there last month, and we turned on the heat where we sleep first, and then in the living room a few weeks later.

  99. Oh, and I’ve never understood the use of “like going to the dentist” to mean something horrid either, until someone reminded me of fillings, crowns, root canals and similar things that some people have done at the dentist’s

  100. “The three years I lived in Chicago I couldn’t understand why anyone had built a city here, because it clearly doesn’t support human life.”

    LOL. Well it has gotten much warmer in the winter with climate change. Don’t forget – we are the Miami of Canada!

    via GIPHY

  101. Re California: cue one of my favorite Jimmy Buffett songs:

    I was out in California where I hear they have it all
    They got riots, fires, mud slides
    They’ve got sushi in the mall
    Water bars, brontasaurs, chinese modern lust
    Shake and bake life with the quake
    The secret’s in the crust

  102. “It’s just hard to grasp how inhospitable some climates are that people willingly live in.

    Said the woman who lives in 115 degree heat all summer, where summer lasts from May to November.”

    You say bug, I say feature…

    And, last night, I walked outside and picked a pomegranate off the tree for my salad.

    Although I do have to admit that fire season is becoming exhausting.

  103. “Golly, I love the cold and the dark. I feel the same way about summer as you do about winter.“

    You could probably live pretty cheaply in retirement as a reverse snowbird.

  104. “two-person inflatable kayaks? “

    I wouldn’t suggest inflatables. If a shark takes a chomp, or a needlenose fish punctures it, you could be left in a bad way.

  105. Milo — no personal experience yet, but friends who know kayaks recommend this inflatable. It’s on my wishlist for someday:

  106. “Golly, I love the cold and the dark. I feel the same way about summer as you do about winter.“

    You could probably live pretty cheaply in retirement as a reverse snowbird.

    Eh couldn’t abide the moving around. Put me in one place until I die. I’d like to travel but I want one more home.

Comments are closed.