There is no question that the 2016 Boxster Spyder is an incredibly attractive car, both top and top down. Porsche bragged about saving 24 lbs by removing the motors and glass rear window of the standard Boxster top and the Spyder is the lightest member of the Boxster family, despite having the larger 3.8l engine. In today's post, Dudestuff takes a look at just what compromises were made to make the worst convertible top sold on the market today.
Probably one of Porsche's worst kept secrets, the 911R was officially announced today. It's the stuff dreams are made of, in an increasingly turbocharged world. 500 horsepower, a near 9000 rpm redline, manual transmission only, and a curb weight of 3021 lbs, if you accept the car sans air conditioning. No rear seats, magnesium roof panel, no extraneous frippery, just a naturally aspirated motor connected to the road through a foot controlled clutch pedal. Lightweight bucket seats, that come in a single size, houndstooth interior paneling, etc. What a gorgeous car, and it must be so amazing to drive. It's the 911 people are drooling over... Except for a few things - the price - $184,900 + destination charges, and the availability - none.
The state of Car Audio... Musings on where we've been and where we've ended up in 20 years of car audio.
Car audio has come a long way. When I first got into listening to music in cars in the 90s, car stereos were still in the dark ages. Audio was largely an afterthought - Car manufacturers realized that just about everyone wanted to hear music, but most people weren't really willing to pay for really good music. You had some cars that had decent audio systems, but even the best of them paled in comparison to even a moderate home audio solution. Cars were inherently noisy environments, and most people didn't care enough to really warrant putting a lot of thought and effort into them. There were lots of co branding with Infinity and Bose, but usually all that got you was a forced bass sound that made some semi-appropriate thudding noises. The aftermarket car audio market was huge, since anyone who wanted decent sound ended up replacing the factory head unit, and adding speakers and often amplifiers and subwoofers. These weren't just the boomers, people cruising down the street sharing music with everyone around them, even people who just wanted to hear the detail and nuances of music while driving at 60mph.
Hummingbirds near the fruitless mulberry tree in our front yard.
I recently bought a 2016 VW Golf R. I deliberately skipped buying the in car Navigation system because I knew the 2016 model came with an Apple CarPlay enabled radio - I could simply plug in my iPhone (boo no wireless CarPlay support in VWs) and get navigation and access to my contacts, along with my music on my phone. Since I use Amazon Prime music, this seemed like a great solution and saved me some money, over buying the model with the navigation, since it had a bunch of other stuff bundled with it (about $2245 extra.) .
However, my experience with CarPlay, at least the VW implementation leads me to think that it's still pretty early in it's development cycle and might be a great thing in sometime. Now, I'm curious to see if Android Auto is better or worse. When it works, I'm about 80-90% happy with it, but unfortunately that is not all of the time. Lots of times I get connection glitches that require a hard reboot of either the phone or the car, or both. This is not just turning the car all the way off, rather locking it and walking away so the electronics fully shut down, and coming back 30+ minutes later.
Instead of bringing a traditional 981.2 refresh, the Boxster (and Cayman) are being reintroduced as new models with turbocharged 4 cylinder engines. Rated at 300hp in the base (nearly as much as the outgoing S!) and 350 hp in the S version, the Boxster will now take the place of the higher spec car, with the Cayman coupe being cheaper. (The outgoing 981 Cayman was priced considerably above the Boxster.) This is probably going to drive used 981.1s down in price, especially the Cayman.
I'll share a few of my easy Sous Vide recipes. These are typically not a huge time investment and almost impossible to goof up.
I'm not normally a fan of New York Steak. It's one of those inbetween cuts that is not quite as tender as a Filet but not quite as favorful and juicy as a good ribeye. But, cooked Sous Vide, they come out really nice. You get the extreme fork tender melt in your mouth goodness of a filet with the extra fat breaking down into a ton of flavor like a good ribeye, almost like the best of both worlds.
I am an avid smoker - I had a Bradley electric smoker for several years, experimented with a Weber Bullet and picked up a Traeger in 2014. In the approximately 18 months I have owned it, I have probably smoked somewhere around 125 lbs worth of smoking pellets and at least 2-3 meals a week. I can't get of the deep smokey flavor and slightly charred outside of meats that tenderize themselves in a cloud of dense burnt wood. Mmmmm, making myself hungry. There are purists who decry electric smokers, but the brainlessness of them really appeals to me and my family's hectic schedule.
But, even with the fire and forge nature of the ,Traeger it is not completely maintenance or baby sitting free. It some times flames out and it is not particularly intelligent about getting itself restated. While it is fairl accurate, temperatures do vary, especially when it is cold outside, and I end up smelling like a campfire. Worst of all, it's cold outside and I'm a wuss for standing outside when I can be inside where it is nice and warm and there are video games.
Sometimes, you just need a little bit more brainless cooking or a bit more accuracy.
In a stunning freak accident, my processor, video card, wireless card, motherboard and media drive all died in my home computer. I've been running Windows 10 since release and was specifically dreading this day. Windows 10 uses online activation, similar to Windows 8, but with the caveat that an upgrade from Windows 8 leaves you with no valid Windows 10 product key. The activation is tied to your hardware, so changing out the motherboard and CPU will cause an activation failure, and that is exactly what happened, after I finally got the hardware back together. This post details the process I took to get back to an activated legal copy of the software I paid for. It was frustrating and painful but ultimately resolved. You'll want a fast internet connection to do it, since it requires a lot of downloads.
Silicon Valley Dad, who loves cars, cooking, clothes and cameras