Friday, September 30, 2016

Meet Vanessa

Meet Vanessa

As you can imagine, I've been busy with my new toy for the last couple of days.  My Honda Ridgeline has finally gotten her name and she will henceforth be called "Vanessa".  I was trying to figure a Kalifornia inspired name and Vanessa just popped up and it sounded a bit plastic, phony, and snobbish - a bit of a micro-aggressive sexist view in this politically sensitive area of the planet - so it was perfect

Came with dealer installed running board, mud flaps, and bed extender

But Vanessa, just like Vanna, is after all just a work truck.  Its not racy, sexy, nor something to brag about except that its new.  The big change for me is having a truck here as an everyday vehicle.  Its a lot bigger than my CRV and somehow it just feels funny to take such a big vehicle around town where every other car is either a Prius or hybrid. Maybe a bit of guilt of such a big vehicle when a smaller one will do - but mileage wise, the difference is not that much greater because of the Ridgeline's fuel efficiency.  I'm sure that feeling will pass with time - until the gas prices rise again in the future.

Lengthwise, Vanessa is about the same as Vanna (Isuzu MU-7), but she is a lot more nimble and has a tighter turning radius. Vanna is powered by a diesel engine and gets over 33 miles per gallon so she does have some advantages over Vanessa. I have no problem with driving Vanna around in the horrible Bangkok traffic and I think Vanessa would be no different here in the bay area.  Its on the highway and when hauling stuff where having a truck really excels.  Since I meet a lot with contractors and tenants, having a truck for my kind of business is common.  Vanessa will be just fine. 

This is the bed extender in the storage position - normally goes on tailgate

In the meantime, I'm shopping for accessories on the internet, but the vehicle is still so new that many aftermarket companies have not had a chance to make parts for it yet.  So, it will be a few months before its equipped exactly the way I want it to be.  I did buy some bungee and tie down cords from Amazon.  Also investigating and will likely order a product called VCMuzzle 2 to disable the VCM feature of the engine.  Lots of discussion on the forums and internet about how this device will increase engine life and performance

I got word tonight that the resort is an island surrounded by flood waters.  The new market pad is OK, but the bamboo plantation is underwater.  Looks like we underestimated the height of the water and we may lose some of the plants.  They are supposed to be drought and flood resistant, but I think that is only after they have been established.    Worse case scenario, we lose our plants - not really a significant financial loss ( less than $15K baht), but its the work we expended to plant the bamboo that is the disappointment.  Should have waited until after the flooding season to plant.  B is sending me some pictures which I will post later.

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