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Our 2009 Corvette Coupe Z51
We drove our new 2009 Corvette Coupe Z51 to Key West -- my Christmas present from my wife (yes, the Cyber Gray Metallic is more beautiful than the Jetstream Blue, Wifey knows best). Here it is in the rear parking lot of La Concha hotel (nestled away, as far as I could and as best as I could, from anyone else -- I'm trying to avoid any chance at dings, although I will never take up two parking spaces, that just invites damage). Parking is scarce on Duval, and normally $20/day at La Concha. But they waived it for us. Did I mention I love being IHG Platinum?
Sadly this trip will put the Vette over 1,000 miles, but we won't do many of these (maybe put 5K/year on it, max). Although I love getting 30-35mpg at 50-65mph in 6th gear in this little baby, and still a good 26-28mpg at 75mph. I'm sure I was getting better gas mileage than a Toyota Prius that was strling at 75-80mph to pass us at one point. We got this Corvette because we're DINKs (Double Income, No Kids), originally looking at a Pontiac Vibe (aka Toyota Matrix) and realizing the gas mileage was no better (in a 1.8L, and worse in the 2.4L), and I already have a crossover SUV in my 4-cylinder Jeep Patriot. I'm still a little bit in shock that the wifey got it for me, after originally shopping and saying "no." But now she's glad she got it for me ... for us.
I don't unleash the 436hp of this newer, LS3+NPP design though, or I'd put it around a tree. It's amazing how much Chevy has upped the power in just a few years from the LS1 and LS2 into the 2008+ LS3. I've yet to floor it and I probably never will. A lot of people quote the 0-60mph times of 4.1s in these Z51 packages (supplanted entirely by the full, more expensive Grand Sport option in 2010) with aggressive low gearing, short throw shift. But it's the 0-100mph times that are well under 10s that make passing a breeze, as 3rd gear will take you from 45mph to double, 90mph, in around 5s. At that point, you have to ask yourself if it's worth it, to pass? You'd hit 100mph by the time you've passed someone -- accelerating to minimize time, but resulting in a gross excess of speed. Sure, a LS7 or LS9 in the Z06 or ZR1 drops it closer to 3.5s for 0-60, and both break the 200mph barrier, but do I really need it (not to mention the lack of the removable top or convertible options)?
So, in all honesty and as my wife can attest, we spent most of our time sandwiched between people on US-1. The last eighty (80) miles were extremely painful. I don't mind people going under the speed limit, I'll deal with that. Cruise control is nice for just ignoring people. But what I cannot stand is someone making cruise control a non-option, varying their speed so radically over a short period of time that you have to turn it off. When it got horrible in the 35mph Deer area of Mile Marker 40 or so, between the constant slow-downs under 25mph (for no reason) and the "spurt ups" to 40mph, I was really getting worried I was going to be slammed into from behind by other, impatient drivers.
So I just pulled off and let everyone pass and then got behind the truck in the rear, leaving several car lengths so I was in his rear mirrors. I couldn't believe it, but I did. And I see myself doing it again in the future. Especially since that truck had started the run down US-1 along with me earlier. It's always one or two drivers that cause everyone to arrive at the same time, and it's just not worth dealing with passing several times to get somewhere -- even if it cuts 15-30 minutes off the trip, just not worth the stress and other non-sense. I mean, more than once, when US-1 became 4-laned again, several people had the inconsideration (insecurity?) to pass me at 10-15mph beyond the speed limit, only to slow down to well under the speed limit (sometimes 10mph or more under) later when it was only 2-lanes again.
There's just something about owning a Corvette and being MORE CONSERVATIVE of a driver. I guess that's why my insurance rates DROPPED $100/year (literally around $850/year to around $750/year) from the Ford Mustang, despite the Corvette being over twice the sticker (and nearly 3x the price of my Jeep Patriot, which actually costs MORE to insure if you can believe that). I'm now starting to understand how Corvette owners are a "different breed" and it really is a "different lifestyle." It's no longer about using the power and speed, but about the potential that you just have, and enjoying the road in a relaxed state. It's hard to describe.
Ironically, on the drive down it seemed the only other people on the road that seemed to have the same attitude was another couple in a Dodge Viper RT/10 Coupe, with their top off as well. On the Florida Turnpike they let us get over and, just like us, had their cruise control set at 4-5mph over the limit -- enough to keep from getting rear ended, but clearly getting passed by most cars. About the only time we both opene
the offending image - it's not even a good sketch!
It was done in 2 to 3 minutes. I'm stiff today and can't for the life of me get good drawings out. However, this picture was the cause of freakiness. Read on:
Tony works for a branch of a Global-wide travel club. He works out of an hotel. I sometimes accompany him to work, mostly to do our laundry for free (yay!) but sometimes to work. I bring books, my laptop and my sketchbook.
Today (doing laundry in the hot laundry room) I was on posemaniacs.com drawing 90 second sketches when I decided I needed me some dang coffee.
So I make the trip to the lobby and I brought my sketchbook thinking that something might strike my fancy.
Now, there are a lot of weird people that seem to LIVE at this hotel. And it's got a life of it's own. I would love to work for a hotel for a bit, just to see the underside of things.
However I had no idea it was Bizarre-O-World Special today. I guess I didn't need to pay for entry.
A woman came up to me - I have never seen her before - and pointed to my drawings and told me it was inappropriate.
NOTE #1: One had boobs. Not BIG boobs with BIG nipples and what not. Tasteful B or C cup boobs in a regular pose. No 'Reclining with Toy' artwork for me on this page (lol, or any other right now).
NOTE #2: I strle between Tony's view on people ("I don't know you, I didn't ask for your opinion, get the fuck away from me you crazy person") and a mixture of Buddhism and Danny Gregory-ism (read The Creative License).
I told her I was sorry she felt that way but I didn't feel sketching people was inappropriate.
She glared at me with her beady little eyes, her Florida-sun leathered face crinkling up and doing an awful good impression of a burn victim. Her hair was nasty and covered in dandruff (I too am afflicted - I take care of my hair and dry scalp tho) and made me want to ask her to move away before the AC blew some on me.
"Them are nay-kid."
I kept calm and stayed instead of walking away (for which I am oddly proud) and told her they were but if it made her feel better they weren't real people. They were computer generated figures and the intent was to help people learn to see and draw better.
She then said (forgive me if this isn't EXACTLY verbatim) "They already got ya, then, but they ain't gonna get me. They ain't got my eyes yet. Nope. Mine is fine. You drawing them computer people shows me you blind, girl. But people will learn. The world... They coming."
My response. "Gotta go. Have a nice night."
Sorry Danny. There is only so much 'strange' in stranger that I am willing to deal with.
It occurred to me as I took the "long way" back (twists and turns, hoping she wasn't following, not daring to look) that this was exactly the kind of incident that was a catalyst for the main character in Sci-Fi and alien movies.
So if I start babbling and acting freaky about shit... Well, they got me then. Hide your babies and write porn until the end.
Also the other day I went to WalMart to buy Dr Pepper for my Tony. I get there and there is one case left. It's under a five foot long/wide/tall Jenga pile of Diet Pepsi and Mountain Dew. So I start moving the cases for the one Dr Pepper case. I draw a small crowd (maybe five people?) of shoppers who are browsing in the general area. I put the last case on top of my neatly stacked moved cases (now making that corner of the Jenga pile like 7 feet tall) and am moving towards that case when a woman that no shit looked like a methhead (facial sores and Lara Flamboyle body size) grabs it. I get out a "hey" before the small group around me (including and employee) pitch in and tell the beeyotch it's mine.
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