Been away in the USA for the last 2 weeks on my big adventure holiday. It has been fantastic! LA is massive, Las Vegas has to be seen to be believed, San Francisco is very nice indeed and all the places in between were nice old western style towns. The Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park provided epic scenery and we had 43C in Palm Springs.
Normally, people say yeah but it's a different kind of heat to the UK so actually it's not that bad. Believe me, that doesn't wash this time. The heat was simply unbearable even in the shade. You could feel it burning your skin and it was hard to breath so we spent more time in air conditioned comfort of the hotel or the tour bus.
Made some new friends on the tour too and we will meet up at Christmas. I also bagged a pair of Levi's from Macy's in San Francisco for $83 which worked out at £54!! The key places visited are as follows: LA, Palm Springs, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Grand Canyon, Williams, Seligman, Las Vegas, Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite National Park, Sonora, Sacramento, San Francisco.
I think my HDD must have been on it's way out to take so long to boot up. Although it was never this fast even in it's younger days.
Just as a test today to see the difference (sad I know) I decided to see how much I could get done in under 2 minutes. The old HDD took 1 minute 40 seconds to get to log on screen. Easily another 20 seconds from password entry until it had settled down so I could use Firefox etc. without it spitting feathers lol
So I fired it up, put password in, used Firefox to visit sky news briefly, opened mail to find one junk email which I deleted quickly, opened iTunes and played 5 seconds of 1 song, closed all programs and shut the computer down. All in 1 minute and 50 seconds!
Finally got this all sorted and installed and oh my god what a difference! Best investment I've made for my computer. The boot up time has dropped from 1 minute 40 seconds to 12 seconds
Everything opens very quickly indeed and I remembered to enable TRIM which is crucial for SSD's. I cannot recommend this enough. A brand new MacBook Pro with a HDD would not be anywhere near this quick. Disk tester showed the write time as hitting 330Mb/s and read time as 505Mb/s
Many on here will recall that I pretty much nailed the forecast for last winter in October. I correctly called that it would be relentlessly mild, wet and windy and overall it was a pathetic excuse for a winter.
Far too early for even me to make a prediction but I have done some research and I can tell you that last winter saw a very rare combination of events including high solar activity that gave us such a rubbish winter with hardly any frost let alone snow. This is extremely unlikely to be repeated.
An El Nino event may peak at the end of the year and with an easterly phase in charge this year, early models suggest a colder winter. We cannot take these seriously at this stage but my boss at work said her tree has got a shed load more berries on than last year. Vast quantites in fact. The old story is that loads of berries means a harsh winter because the berries help the birds stock up on food. We had big crops of berries in the build up to the 2010 snowmageddon.
Too early for my forecast but I would be very surprised if we saw relentless mild sh*t again this time.
Something I have wondered about with overboost is this 15 seconds thing. Let's say you found a place where you could safely floor it for 10 seconds before backing off and lifting off altogether for 5 seconds before flooring it again.
When you floor it again, do you have only 5 seconds of overboost remaining because of the 35 seconds cool down time? Or is backing off before the 15 seconds enough to reset it?
Just as well the Ka driver wasn't in an ST, sounds like he would have wiped the floor with you.
Not a question of wiping the floor, racing is out of the question on public roads. It was a bit of fun as there was a yawning gap between the cars performance wise. I certainly would not try to challenge a BMW M3 which would be just about the equivalent difference in performance of my ST over the KA.
Had the crazy fool been in a car of similar power, there would be no fun. I would have moved over and let him go. I once saw a guy doing similar things in his 'wipe the floor with anyone' EVO VIII. Eventually his car wiped the floor with the lamp post.
19... Passed at 17 had an old fiesta and now coming from a mk6 golf 1.4 tsi
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Quite an achievement to be able to afford such cars at that age and the insurance. 2 years driving experience and a car with 200bhp on overboost is not the best idea on paper. Not judging you personally but I speak from experience. I was cruising around like I owned the place when you were 8 and I had some comeuppances for underestimating matters. No bad accidents thankfully or police involvement but over egging it lets say. I have been in a bad accident as a result of a blow out and was very lucky to walk away.
I still use the power of the ST now (no point otherwise) but experience tells me there's a time and a place and never ever drive quickly when you cannot see around a corner, even with the ST's abilities.
With regard to the car, the ST is fantastic. Superb pace and cornering with epic seats and engine note. It will be very tempting for you to show the local saxo man who is boss but be careful out there.
Costs me £60 to fill up and does around 350 miles to a tank with a safe but heavy right foot lol.
Driving home from golf this evening along the A38, I spotted a Ford KA (old one and rather battered), joining from the slip road very quickly.
He tailgated the Audi A4 in front of me (my how the tables have turned) and undertook him with ease!! This was clearly a modified car because I was doing 71 lol and the Audi must have been doing about the same. The KA got back into the overtaking lane and tailgated a huge artic lorry FFS! He was so close that the lorry driver would not have seen him.
Later, the KA had pulled back in and dropped speed but I was a bit wary when overtaking. No problem though... at first!
I had driven on quite some way when he appeared and was about 4" off my bumper flashing his lights for me to move over. Once the sloth like transit van in front had moved over (approx 55 mph). I very steadily overtook the van in 5th gear and waited for the inevitable.
The KA dived into the inside lane to charge past me, so I could not resist flooring it in 5th. The result was a bit like when the Starship Enterprise enters warp speed and disappears from the screen lol. The KA became a speck in my mirror at 71mph naturally.
I backed off and exited the A38 down the slip road and into a very sharp left turn. The ST with ESP off loves this turn. The KA had appeared again and was right on my bumper at the turn. I flung the ST into the turn as I always do and could feel the car gripping and the seat bolsters holding me in.
The KA took the corner at the same speed with awful results. He was splatted to the drivers door window and the car went onto the wrong side of the road and nearly up the grass bank as well as facing the opposite verge. Yes this was amusing to see but just think if something had been coming. I cannot believe he wanted to take the corner at that speed in a car which is not made for it.
I was now in a 30 zone with housing and people walking the streets with one car in front of me when he appeared again. He tried to overtake about 50 yards from a mini roundabout!!! In a built up area!!
He then went a different direction thank god. It's all very well me having a bit of fun without being dangerous myself but rest assured that if I see that guy on the roads again, I would rather pull over and walk. UNBELIEVEABLE