Sunday, November 25, 2007

LA Auto Show and Why I Hate People

Friday we took our somewhat annual trek to check out the LA Auto Show at the LA Convention Center downtown.

One of the traditions is to take the Metro downtown. So we hopped on the Money (green) Line in Redondo Beach then transfered to the Crip (blue) Line which drops us a block from the Convention Center. On the return trip, Dale got stopped by the Transit Police for not having the correct ticket. The fare structure changed since we last rode, so we bought the wrong tickets. D'oh!

Although we do check out the cars at the show, the main reason we go is to check out the exhibits. Dale's employer designs and manufactures most of the exhibits--in fact, the company "invented" the whole auto show concept way back when. I finally get to see all the stuff I hear about in the months prior to the show. This year many of the auto makers had totally redesigned their exhibits, so I wanted to check the new ones out.

One of the exhibit trends this year was the use of what is called an "LED wall". Thousands of tiny LED's (about 1/8" square and spaced about 1/2" apart) are mounted on horizontal bars. Thousands of these horizontal bars are then stacked vertically to form a panel. The panels are then suspended and form a sort of humongous tee-vee screen that displays images. It was pretty impressive. I think it would be neat to get a 4 foot square one for the house--ambient mood lighting.

This is a not so good example but you get the idea.

The car I wanted to check out was VW's SpaceUp. Sort of like "honey I shrunk the VW bus". It will come in an all electric model, I sure would like that. I thought I had heard that VW was going to bring back the Scirocco, but I didn't see any evidence of that at the show. Overall, the exhibits were good, but not too many cool concept cars.

Space Up! Elf Up! Mep.

VW's "paint and trim" display was pretty clever.

Another of our Auto Show traditions is having a "Tijuana Dog" at one of the street vendor carts along Pico Blvd. A jumbo hotdog wrapped in bacon and then fried on a flattop griddle. Served with griddled onions and peppers....street food doesn't get better than that. Imagine our disappointment when we saw NO vendors on the street. Maybe there was a crack down or something. We were so bummed.

From time to time I have been known to say "I hate people". I try to be a lover, not a hater, but sometimes my fellow humans just let me down. This isn't when someone cuts me off in traffic or the clerk at the store cannot communicate with me in English. Nah..that's just the price of doing business nowadays and I just let it go.
No, I'm talking here about incredibly self-centered behavior, complete breakdowns of common sense and the utter disregard of human civility.
An example would be a parent that sits their diapered child's rear end on the counter at the store. Or someone who thinks it is OK to park their RV in front of your house. For a year.
Well this one pretty much takes the cake in the "I hate people" category. Last week, after the first or second day of the Auto Show, Dale gets a super rush order to make a new wheel sign because they had to swap out the Honda Odyssey that was on the show floor with another one. It seems that someone took a crap in the cup holder. Repeat after me...."I hate people".


splatgirl said...

OK, that little VW is totally cute! After seeing "Who Killed the Electric Car" I was pissed about that whole deal and that it's having to be needlessly re-invented, but then I saw another one, the name of which is escaping me at the moment (I was on an enviro-documentary kick at Netflix there for a while)...that talks about the production and infrastructure requirements that would be necessary for the electric car to be a viable alternative. It was scary.

MaryRuth said...

SG--thanks for the comments. My boss was one of the first to get the EV1 and drove it until they hunted him down and took it back. He's got the RAV4 EV now. He just plugs it in at work and plugs it in at home and that's it. In both places he had to have an electrician put in a special electric box to get 220V, which was no big deal. I'm going to guess his commute is over 2 hours RT per day (100 miles maybe). Sometimes he has to sort of plan trips and his wife does have a regular car for long trips, but other than that no problems ever.
A 100% shift to all electric would be crazy, but even if 20% of us had them it would be better than none.