2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV Go Electric…Or Go Home!

It may be nice to see the price of gas going down at the pump; however, the sad thing is that we think $3.60 per gallon is a good price. Yes, I’m showing my age since I can remember filling up the tank for less than $10.00—something our kids will never experience! With that said, the automotive manufacturers are giving us options including going all electric. One of the options from Japan is the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.2014 i-MiEV Aqua

The 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is the least expensive all-electric car on the market. It is small in size at just a little over 12-feet in length, and the four-door hatchback can carry four adults. The i-MiEV is a plug-in vehicle that runs only on electricity unlike some of the gas/electric hybrids. I plugged the i-MiEV into my110-volt outlet for between 12 to 15 hours and woke up the next morning to a driving range of 60 to 68 miles. However, Mitsubishi claims the care has a maximum range of 75 miles. I found the range drops quickly if you choose to run the A/C or use too many electric devices. You can run in Eco-mode to help achieve the maximum range.

Personally, I felt very comfortable driving around our local Tri-Valley without fear of being stranded. However, when I had to cruise up to Walnut Creek and Concord in traffic, I elected to grab the keys to my gas-driven vehicle.
After spending one week driving the i-MiEV, I found that it drove much like any other conventional car minus the limited range. It handled fine for a small car and had sufficient pick-up-and-go.

The i-MiEV has two charging outlets – your standard 110-volt and a 240-volt quick charge port. The quick charge port using the CHAdeMO standard will allow drivers to use properly equipped public charging stations to recharge the car’s battery pack to about 80 percent in about 30 minutes.

2014 i-MiEV AquaThe 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV comes in rear-wheel drive and is available in one trim level, ES. It’s starting priced is $22,995. Power is produced from a 66 HP AC synchronous permanent magnetic electric motor with a regenerative braking system. The automatic transmission is a single speed, fixed reduction gear. I found the shift pattern as challenging as driving down Lombard Street—that is the one-block section that consists of eight tight hairpin turns. The iMIEV Shift Selector has three modes: Drive, Eco and Brake.

The styling is both cute and funky with a jellybean or egg-like reflection. It definitely turned heads as I drove by on-lookers. Mitsubishi pushed the wheels out as far as they could to create the maximum wheelbase of 100.4-inches with minimum bumper overhangs on this subcompact electric car. The windshield is heavily raked back with the arch following through to the rear hatch. The small 15-inch wheels help create that mini-feel. The front disc/rear drum brakes with ABS operated fine. Despite its small size, it was comfortable to drive.

The interior is basic with no flashy items that would weigh the iMIEV down. Forget navigation or backup camera extras, but you can order a foldable cargo tray and USB adaptor kit for an i-Pod. I was surprised to see a driver-side heated seat. With that said, you are exchanging a car full of tech-gadgets for an eco-friendly electric car with technology-only systems.

Room for improvement:
• I would like to see the addition of a backup camera

Cool Features:
• Standard 240-volt quick charge port

Safety on the 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV comes standard with an advanced air bag system, dual-stage supplemental front air bags, driver and front-passenger seat mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental airbags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant protection, Active Stability Control (ASC) with traction control logic (TCL) and a high voltage cut-off system.

In Summary – The 2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV offers buyers the option of avoiding a gas station to help the environment. If you aren’t heading too far, the i-MiEV works great for the local trips around town. It appears to be well-engineered and I enjoyed driving it. You might want to check into the federal tax credits for buying an electric car.

2014 Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Base price: $22,995 as driven: $23,845 (including destination and
optional features)
Engine: AC synchronous permanent magnetic electric motor
Horsepower: 66 @ 3,000 – 6,000 RPM
Torque: 3145 @ 300 RPM
Transmission: automatic transmission is a single speed
Drive: Rear-wheel Drive
Seating: 4-passenger
Turning circle: 30.8 feet
Cargo space: 13.2 cubic feet
Curb weight: 2,579 pounds
EPA mileage: 62-mile range
Wheel Base: 100.4 inches
Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles powertrain limited
Also consider: FIAT 500e, Ford C-MAX Energi , Honda Fit EV, Kia Soul
EV, Nissan LEAF, and the Smart

He Said / She Said with Robin and Shawn

Dear SSHS,
I’ve been dating this seemingly nice guy for about a month when he sent me an email saying he’s just not emotionally available right now and needs some time to reflect. I really like this man and wonder if I should be waiting around for him. ~Olivia, Walnut Creek

She Said: In my experience, people who are emotionally unavailable usually don’t know it and certainly don’t label themselves as such. It sounds like this guy heard this phrase somewhere and thought he’d try it on. We’re going to have to turn this over to Shawn to translate the guy-speak for us. In the meantime, I have a request for the grownups out there. Electronic breakups are cowardly. Let’s say we’re not going to email, text, or social media message our way out of relationships anymore, even if we are “emotionally unavailable.”

He Said: First off Olivia, let me apologize on behalf of all men out there who have ever said this to a woman. This is simply guy-speak for “I’m just not that into you.” This “nice guy” you’ve been dating has definitely taken the cowardly way out and didn’t want to plainly tell you his real feelings, which I’m sure he knew weeks ago. When a guy says things like this, he is making himself out to look like the victim so you don’t get mad at him for wasting the last month of your life. Do you really think if a super model crossed this guy’s path tomorrow that he’d still be emotionally unavailable? Hmmm…..I don’t think so.

Dear HSSS,
My oldest is a senior in high school and I find myself feeling really melancholy about the idea of his leaving for college next year. Is this normal?  ~Kathy in Orinda455054067

He Said: I clearly remember the day my parents dropped me off at college and my mom crying for about an hour before they left my dorm room. And trust me those weren’t tears of joy. What you’re feeling is definitely normal, but look at the bright side…your kid is going to college! Do you know how many parents out there wish this same opportunity for their kids? Consider yourself lucky that your child has a bright future ahead of him and the first step is higher education. And don’t worry, kids always come back home.

She Said: We all feel like this, especially if we’re close to our children. Let me assure you, the last year home anticipating their leaving, is worse than their actual leaving. Once they do leave, it’s a little tough the first three weeks, but then it becomes the new normal, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you and the rest of your family adapt. Someone once said to me there’s only one thing worse than our children growing up and moving away: their NOT growing up and moving away.HeSaidSheSaidgraphic

Robin Fahr and Shawn Shizzo host Conversations and He Said/She Said seen daily on Tri-Valley TV, Channel 30. Send your questions to www.AskHeSaidSheSaid.com.

Close the Borders?

I saw a Facebook post yesterday; actually one of my Facebook friends. Just kind of a muse; a short, simple question, really. Should we just close our borders?  I’ve heard the thought before from folks that I considered “radical whack jobs.” This person isn’t.178754387

And now, I’m hearing it more and more. And when I saw it this time, I didn’t know whether it made sense or even to give it a second thought. But, I have.

Why can’t we just close our borders? Why can’t we just be happy here? We live in the greatest country in the world. Shouldn’t we just circle the wagons and take care of our family, the United States of America?

Can we afford to be the world’s savior any longer? When did it start anyway? World War I? It continued through WWII and Korea and Vietnam. It ostensibly did thru Gulf War I and Gulf Wars II. But has it? Has it lost its meaning? Is the world a more complicated place now than it was when we knew we had to stop Adolph Hitler? We had to stop him from putting more Jews in ovens, and taking over Europe. That seems pretty simple.

But, haven’t we created some of the problems we are now fighting in the Middle East? Do we want to be helping save the people ISIS is brutally murdering …beheading? Or should we be minding our business here?

What would happen if we brought home the Americans who want to live here and then closed our borders? Would ISIS come here; find a way to fight us from within?

What about disease? Can we close our borders and not help people with deadly disease like Ebola? Do we want to do that? On the other hand, can we afford to help and risk our collective health?

Can we just close our borders with the interconnectivity in our world? Our companies do business in every corner of the world. How would we manage that if we close ourselves off?

As I write this, I’m still trying to shake off some nasty virus, so my thinking is very fuzzy, but I have to admit the feeling of being the independent, sovereign, giant that we are, closing borders sounds a little attractive.

John Lennon wrote“Imagine there were no borders.” Wouldn’t it be nice if the world worked that way? On the other hand, could we imagine our country taking care of its own, becoming energy independent, taking care of our families and those who need help here, and closing our borders?

I KNOW. I know it can’t / won’t happen and this is probably a waste of space and time. Probably better suited back in one of my old Philosophy / Poly-Sci college classes?

Can we turn our backs on the millions of people who need help in the world? There are so many people who need help.

I’m probably just tired. But when I saw the post, it obviously made me think for a moment.

Should we close our borders, in and out? Does it make any sense?

Choice Kitchen

Friends, I feel like a change is in order. Give me a minute to find my soapbox.

By now you are familiar with the eating patterns my family has adopted. The shift happened in our household upon the addition of our littles, coupled with a smattering of mind-jarring movies.

As our minds were peeled back, we seemed to find the perfect media that served as visceral reminders of why we were making the change. These movies we not propaganda, but truths about how we eat as Americans, and our generational inevitabilities, if something isn’t done now. These movies included: Fast Food Nation, Forks Over Knives, Food Inc. and most recently, Fed Up. The bottom line is that we are an overweight and over-medicated society and it all has to do with what we put in our mouths for “nourishment.”

The concerning realization has been the lack of restaurants in our immediate area that cater to the solution without making you feel overwhelmed and on-your-own as you peruse a foreign menu. How then are we supposed to “baby step,” without our hand being held, into a better tomorrow? We need that.

Look no further! Choice Kitchen is your guide and promotes learning at your own kitchen table.

Some back-story: Choice Lunch was established in 2003 by Justin Gagnon (son to the Gagnon Empire), to provide healthy and delivered lunches to our children in school. Today they deliver 40,000 lunches a day. (I reserve the right to explore this business more in the future).

In January of this year, Choice Lunch saw the shift occurring, or rather primed and ready to do so. They devoted their Danville location as the kitchen for this new endeavor and enlisted the nutritional moxy of Sophie Johnson to oversee the operation. In March they brought on the talented Executive Chef, Harold Sena-Okoto, formerly of Ruby Hill Golf Club, to make Sophie’s vision become a reality.

With Justin’s business savvy, Sophie’s educated passion and now Chef Harold’s culinary prowess, Choice Kitchen was born. But how does it work? Go to choicekitchen.com and peruse their menu items, fill your cart for the meal you want your family to have delivered to your home (order by noon for a same day delivery 3-5pm to your front porch) and spend far less than eating out and without the burden of burning valuable family time or your fingers.

Choice Kitchen is organic and whole-food based. All produce is local and a partnership with the Danville Farmers Market and Hodo Tofu are evident. (You can visit Choice Kitchen at the Farmers Market every Saturday.)

Sophie eats well for health. Her menu items are Paleo, vegan and gluten friendly. There are sustainably-raised seafood and meat dishes. Sophie puts any misconception to bed with one comment: “This is not a take-out alternative. This is how you would cook if you had the time. These are busy parents that care about diet spending time enjoying their families.”

I have been in their kitchen and it smells like grandmas house at Thanksgiving.
Their Beta Testing was unprecedented. Prior to launch, Sophie gave 20 families in Danville, Alamo and San Ramon $500 dollars credit and then met with each family individually for feedback.

Currently these are the only towns being delivered to, but Walnut Creek and LaMorinda are on the horizon. There are no membership fees and free delivery for orders over $50. My family and I (four people), spent $47 and ate to our fill with left-overs.

I know that wanting to eat well, and actually doing it, is daunting. Sophie has bridged that chasm simply because she cares.

She even gave us our own coupon code. Go to www.choicekitchen.com and cook dinner. Use the code ALIVE and get 10% off your whole order and free delivery regardless of how much you spend.

This is how we are supposed to eat!

569 San Ramon Valley Blvd., Danville

Confidence Is The New Sexy

Confidence is beautiful!
A woman that is confident radiates strength, passion, and conviction. A confident woman is not afraid to be herself. She has high self-awareness, knows all aspects of herself, and trusts her instincts. She knows that she is beautiful just the way she is, regardless of what the media dictates.

That beautiful black dress, heels and make-up can make you feel a little sexier, but the sexiest thing about you doesn’t have a color or shape. You can’t touch it, but you sure can feel it … it’s self-confidence!
Being comfortable with who you are, is ultimately what’s behind this new movement that redefines sexy from appearance to inner strength. It’s no longer about what others think of you or trying to live up to a man’s idea or media’s image of what beauty is, it’s what you think of yourself, that makes you sexy.

The Strength to Be Confident
Beauty is far beyond skin deep. There are “beautiful” women who think negatively about their appearance, and women who, some might say, are not as “beautiful,” yet they exude confidence and self-acceptance. That inner-strength to positively believe in who you are and own your body, is the strength you have to build to become sexy.
That mental toughness is only built through believing your own hype. If you don’t create hype for yourself, you have nothing to believe in but only what others think of you. Change that today by coming up with your own self-confidence mantra.

As an insecure woman, you rely on others and put a lot of expectations on them to validate you and make you feel good. It is absolutely essential for you to feel good about yourself and know yourself, FIRST – before you have wonderful deserving relationships.

How you feel about yourself, and how you carry yourself is ultimately more important than how you look (Although I do think taking care of yourself and wearing your own style of make-up fills the pretty side of your soul). Many people find other qualities more important than looks. Other qualities like confidence and self-esteem! Trying to please others or live up to others’ expectations is not sexy. To build strength and define your own beauty, consider your body and looks in your own definition of sexy.

It isn’t until you accept yourself and change your mindset that you can truly start moving in the right direction, and positive change will follow. The strength to accept yourself comes from knowing your own importance. The body you want is only possible through the body you’ve got. Loving it, accepting it, and treating your whole body with love from head to toe, is essential to being sexy. So embrace the face and body you’ve got, in all its sexy glory, so you can move towards a positive outlook on life and confident persona.

Kill the fat talk (and skinny talk, too!) Too many times there’s an “us against them” struggle between “overweight” and “skinny” people. This shouldn’t be. The put-downs, stares, and judgments need to stop! Accepting an individual is the best way to accept your own body and is the first step to stop comparing yourself to others. Empowering other women is by far the sexiest and most meaningful.

The most beautiful people I know are the people that are beautiful from within. They love themselves and the world around them. Absolute confidence comes from within us, not from outside influences –and THAT is a beautiful thing.

San Francisco Stuff

My apologies for being a bit nonplussed. I had the great fortune of attending the 5th game of the recent NLCS playoffs at AT&T Park in San Francisco. I don’t think I can slip a Travis Ishikawa question past our discerning readers. Speaking of San Francisco (I was anyway), try the following.

1. The greatest car chase in movie history took place in San Francisco as Steve McQueen and the pursued covered every section of SF by simply turning a corner. What was the name of this classic movie?

2. The Giants came to town in 1958. Candlestick Park was not built until 1960. Where did the Giants play those first few years?

3. The current anthem to SF is Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” but prior to that it was the title song from the 1936 movie “San Francisco.” Who sang it in the movie?

4. Who was the mayor of San Francisco when Candlestick Park was built?

5. Who were the two stars of the TV show “Streets of San Francisco?”

6. In the 40’s, a future TV star played “Pat Novak for Hire,” a detective show on radio that was produced in San Francisco. Who was he?

Sit Down and Write!

Walk into any library or book store and what surrounds you? Books, right? Well, on one level this is true… but it’s not the complete answer, is it?

Aside from bound volumes of paper with letters, symbols and images, what you are really surrounded by are messages from the past; thoughts, ideas, wisdom and stories—and the accounts of history as experienced in what was once “real” time for someone else.462729485

So let me ask you. What would you like to say to your great, great, great grandchildren? What wisdom have you developed in your life that you would like to share with your kids—and their kids—that may save them from having to learn some of what you’ve had to learn “the hard way?”

In our fast–paced, high-tech world, we sometimes overlook the power of the written word. But as far as we have come—and as fast as it seems we have arrived at wherever we “are”—it is still true that printed words are the most enduring and impactful form of communication.

Sure, there are “classic” films; there are recordings, sculpture, paintings and other art forms that endure—but none of these compare with books in terms of volume and detail. This is why all organized methods of education are built around books.

Some, like me, believe there is a foundational, spiritual basis to the power of words—it’s why the Bible is referred to by many as, “The Word of God.” Books are the keepers of dreams and aspirations; the conduits of time transcendence through generations.

Perhaps you’ve never seriously considered your impact on the future. What will be your legacy? What would you like to contribute to the world that will be after you are no longer here? What would you like to say now that will reach forward and touch your future family and friends? One of my greatest joys with ALIVE Book Publishing is being able to help people do this every day.

Are you ready to record something for posterity? Isn’t it time to stop just thinking about your legacy?

Sit down and write!