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Posts posted by fjef

  1.  Originally Posted By: Mamabear

    Meantime - the whole hybrid car thing - I can see it being a huge hit in large citys with tight parking, congested roads and small distances to travel, as you rarely get up over 60mph, but I struggle seeing them on the Aussie lanscape as a big feature (at least in thier current form), as we travel such vast distances in our cars.

    I like the idea.
    Just not too sure if they are practically suited to much of the Aussie consumers.

    All Hybrids are not created equal. The Toyota Prius (the Honda Civic Hybrid is almost there - but not quite as it is not as 'clean') is really the only hybrid that is designed for fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. The rest are geared toward high performance and really don't make sense for most people who are looking to reduce their fuel costs and their environmental impact.

    The Prius does just fine over 60mph - even at higher speeds (the Prius is capable of well over 100mph) your fuel economy is better than other cars on the road with the added advantage of much cleaner emissions. I have a Prius in Japan (city, rural and highway driving) and my parents have one in Canada (they log more highway miles that I do) and although the driving conditions are very different, we are all very satisfied with the fuel economy, performance and reliability.

    Waiting for hydrogen cells makes no sense when viable hybrid options exist for the vast majority of actual driving conditions but it is unfortunate that there are not more hybrid options based on the system used in the Prius. I would also go for a Hybrid Estima without all the extra crap they come with.
  2. I think I've mentioned this before in here but its worth repeating. My dad has married many of my friends and even my brother and sister (not to each other). He is a judge in Canada and he is very fussy about the weddings he agrees to perform - and he cannot accept any money for performing them. Many of my friends came to him for their wedding because of in-laws-to-be all fighting over whose religion would marry them.


    The wedding ceremony has to pass his test - it has to be original and interesting and meaningful for the couple. The couple have to create their own setting and write their own vows; he just makes sure it stays within the legal context of what has to be said and done.


    He's done weddings on on skis, on golf courses, in sailboats, canoes, and on a tennis court - and all of the weddings he's done that I know about have been awesome - even the families upset about a non-church wedding usually rave about them.


    One of the more interesting ceremonies happened in a sailboat in Lake Ontario. During the exchange of vows, the captain checked his GPS and realised the boat had drifted into US waters and the ceremony had to stop until they could get back in Canadian waters otherwise it would not have been legal. They had to do most of the ceremony twice...


    Its also interesting that after many years and many weddings, I am not aware of any of the marriages he's conducted ending in divorce - so maybe if you care enough about making your own wedding, um, your own wedding, you care enough to make the marriage last?




  3. Why not use all of them? You can run them all on your computer - try them and see what you like best.


    IE is a disaster as far a as a browser goes because it requires non-standard code and is the least secure - but sites have to be designed to work with IE simply because its everywhere.


    You need to practice safe browsing (check your security settings etc) with all of them and run the regular battery of anti-virus and anti-malware software - particularly if you use IE.

  4. Mine drives me crazy - its an expensive Panasonic Strada less than 2 years old. I only use it when I have to. In Tokyo, it will get you close to a destination and then you are on your own - better to use a good map to find the exact location unless its a large building/landmark. In the city it takes just enough time to update when you change direction that by the time its figured out where you are, you are already going the wrong way.


    Make sure you turn the volume off so you don't punch the screen. It is most useful when you already know where you are going - then it's fun to make it angry by going a better route than it suggests and watching it freak out to catch up with you.

  5. Used cars in Japan can be really great deals - but it really depends on what you want.


    For old but perfectly good cars, you can pay a little more than the shaken rate and do very well - your local garage may be happy to give you a good car for next to nothing if you pay shaken. You won't have a whole lot of choice.


    If you want something in particular, Yahoo auctions is a good place to check prices but not a great place to buy as it is risky - it is a 'buyer beware' marketplace.


    The best place to buy a used car in Japan in my experience (about 10 vehicles bought here over the years) is through a professional auction where the cars are pretty much guaranteed to be what they say they are - but how much you pay over the wholesale market price depends on the connection you have with the auction dealer.


    Used car dealerships cost a bit more but they come with guarantees that can be very valuable.


    I have bought from all of the above sources over the years except Yahoo auctions. I have never been disappointed.

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