Canada

Oh Canada

Thursday, February 25, 2010 

A little northern snow in the great white north.

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Posted at 20:44:24 GMT-0700

Category: placestravelweather

A Week of SUV Rentals

Sunday, January 17, 2010 

First, in Canada, I got a GMC Acadia, a moderately stupid SUV with seating for 7. It was snowing and so I suppose AWD was useful, but the only really good part about it was the heated seats. The gas expense was not so great…

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The Acadia was fine as far as it went, but then my next rental was a Lincoln Navigator. I’ve not run across one of these before (though not much different than the Escalade). It wasn’t horrible as a driving experience, though I was happy enough not to have to take it through any urban areas as I would have needed to upgrade the wheels. I mean stock rims… Seriously.

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The heated seats worked fine in that one too, but the backup camera that emerged from behind a half-silvered rear-view mirror was pretty cool. Especially as looking back is pretty useless through a forest of headrests.

In both cases I was the only passenger. This added to the value of the experience.

At least in LA at the end of the week, Hertz gave me a lovely C300. I think the exact same one I had rented earlier. A lovely car that seems far less silly.

Posted at 18:46:34 GMT-0700

Category: photorental carstravel

Guelph Flowers

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 

Summer in Canada

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Posted at 13:01:16 GMT-0700

Category: Geopostphotoplaces

Canada = Snow

Friday, January 9, 2009 

My nice Buick rental car covered in snow.
It was quiet but underpowered.

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Of course there was plenty of snow to go around.  But the car worked pretty well.  I missed the heated seats of the Cadillac the cold mornings, but I enjoyed being able to hear CBC-R2 clearly, even on the 401’s rough surface.
Posted at 16:00:15 GMT-0700

Category: GeopostphotoplacesPositiverental carsreviewstravelweather

Obama!

Friday, November 7, 2008 

Carolyn and I were in Canada for the election. We saw it from the safety of a Russian themed bar called Pravda in Toronto, one of our favorites (the Chicken Kiev is amazing and Andrea the bartender is the best).

We watched on a projection screen as the results came in and the initial McCain victories were soon overwhelmed by a tide of… well… for once not being a land of morons.

We left once the electoral victory was inevitable and heard the results on the radio between Toronto and Guelph. We were happy but not surprised. We listened to people describing how happy they were, Canadian commentators speaking about how “The States” was now not a joke and might perhaps once again participate in the world’s stage as something other than belligerent idiots. It was good.

Now I have to admit a bit of wistfulness at the results. Not that I didn’t want Obama to win… but I’m sorry to see Palin go the way of Kathleen Harris. Palin is such a caricature of extreme white trash, of all that is idiotic and embarrassing in America: the Tonya Harding of Politics but with a body double for her sex tape. I’m sad that tonight Jon Stewart will be boring. That for the next eight (please) years the most ridiculous news will come from somewhere other than the white house. We could have had Palin there and every day would have been a delight of absurdity. I’d trade good leadership for comedy, but it is not an unmitigated win.

Today, on the way out of Canada, I saw something that demonstrated in a small way how monumental this moment of history really is. I followed a black American man through security screening. It was obvious he was used to being given a hard time for his color, for his culture. He expected it, reacted to the scan and the follow up as if it were part of the normal sweat inducing stress he had to live through every day. What broke his stride was when he collected his things after passing the secondary mass spectrograph screening and the Indian screener said to him as he turned away “Yay Obama!”
Across boarders, across centuries, across races this is a moment that renders irrelevant such trivialities as a global depression or wars.

It turned out the guy grew up about 20 blocks from me in Philadelphia. The world is interconnected and small and overnight the good people have a reason to be optimistic. Finally.

Posted at 01:00:09 GMT-0700

Category: politics

Pontiac grand prix

Monday, October 13, 2008 

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I rented a pontiac Grand Prix in Canada.  It’s a slightly sporty car that otherwise doesn’t stand out in any way.  The stereo doesn’t have line/ipod inputs but works.  The knob based control system has lots of identical knobs making it easy to change tuning instead of adjusting volume or vice versa.   Otherwise fairly comfortable and basically a competent rental car.
Posted at 21:00:13 GMT-0700

Category: Neutralphotorental carsreviews

GO Air Canada!

Friday, May 2, 2008 

SAME SEATS! Different plane. That was a new one: we got aboot 100 meters down the runway and slammed on the breaks. The check engine light had come on. So, back to the gate, new plane, same seats…. Try, try again.

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Posted at 19:00:30 GMT-0700

Category: planes

Volvo v50 08 wagon

Wednesday, April 23, 2008 

Rental review

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I rent a lot of cars, and sometimes Hertz gives me something a little more interesting – like this Volvo V50. It’s a lot more comfortable than the usual Tauri, faster, and has a better stereo. The key features of a rental car are:
  1. Quiet – this car is about as quiet as any I’ve rented except perhaps the Audi A4.
  2. Comfortable – the V50 is a little less roomy than a torus, but I find the layout fits very well and doesn’t feel at all cramped.
  3. Basic amenities – I’ve gotten rental cars with manual windows or manual seats and mirror adjustments. It would matter less in one’s own car or just driving around, but realizing the mirrors are out of wack as you try to merge onto the freeway that is probably taking you the right direction before the GPS has locked satellites and discovering that you have to reach over, unroll the window, and poke at the mirror is sub optimal. The Volvo has everything you’d expect.
  4. Stereo – up here in Canada I listen to CBC-R2. Good classical and some funky music too. It’s nice when it sounds good. The Volvo has a great stereo that performs well at any volume and isn’t absurdly bass heavy like a Scion. On the other hand, the Volvo doesn’t have an iPod port like the Audi or a MP3 compatible CD player like a lot of Mustangs have.
  5. Security – I usually have a computer with me and sometimes it is convenient or necessary to leave it in the car. A trunk is a lot more secure than a wagon, and while the Volvo has a pull-out cover to hide what’s in the back, it’s not as confidence inspiring as having a solid trunk.
Posted at 22:00:27 GMT-0700

Category: photorental carstravel

Winter in Canada

Friday, February 29, 2008 

My job takes me to Canada every week lately. It’s always an adventure in the winter, but I haven’t been here absent a snow storm in weeks. Apparently this is the snowiest February in 117 years. Yay.

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Posted at 17:00:16 GMT-0700

Category: hotelsphotoplanestravelweather