Friday, 16 September 2011

To Sell A Nissan Leaf?

The Nissan Leaf guys have an interesting car....all battery power.  Course, nobody much in America has interest in jumping into the electric/battery car market.  I got around this week to reading up on the engineers who design the various elements of the Leaf, and they've come to this fascinating problem.  No engine sound.    They've been told that this simply won't be acceptable.  Reasons?  Blind folks need the sound to warn them. Animal lovers think the sound must be there to help Bami and little critters scatter out in the boonies of America.

So I sat and pondered over this.

Here, the Nissan guys might have this one-in-a-million shot of creating a huge reason to buy or acquire the Nissan Leaf....for sound effects.  Imagine that you bought the Leaf....charged it up....and then went down to Larry's automotive parts shop....to buy a special chip with fourteen various engine sounds....which would be played out via a dual-speaker assembly in the front of the car.

So you have the chance to have the 1966 Chevy pick-up sound for your Leaf....you know, the one where one cylinder is always mis-firing.  Or you could have a 1988 Kawasaki motorcycle sound coming out of the engine area.  Maybe you'd like the sound of a 1944 Army Jeep?  Some folks might even want a British MG sound coming out of the engine.

I thought about it and my sound for my Leaf....would be the diesel Cummins engine sound.  I'd want folks to notice me from 300 feet away.

If the Nissan guys were smart....they'd market this to be an optional thing....a dozen sounds on this chip....twenty-five sounds on another....maybe an all-military vehicle chip....perhaps even a French car-sounds chip.

But knowing my luck....the idiots with the US government would eventually stand up and say that only two acceptable sounds would be allowed, and then stomp on all the optional engine sounds.  If you wanted to enhance a product and really draw people to buy it for the wrong reasons....then picking your own engine sound would easily be number one.  I'm hoping they read blogs like mine and get the idea.

A German Story

This is what we know.  Out of the woods around Berlin, yesterday walked this English-speaking kid....age between sixteen and eighteen....who claims that he and his dad lived for approximately five years in the wilds of Germany (if such a thing exists).  The kid says his dad died in the woods around two weeks ago and simply told him to walk north....which he did, and he ended up in civilization (Berlin could be classified as such).  And the kid says his name is Ray, but doesn't know much of anything else.  The kid speaks mostly all English and just a little bit of German.

Naturally, it has poked curiosity at Germans.  They can't believe the story.   Frankly, neither can I.  The cops are trying to find out bits and pieces of information from the kid but he's not forthcoming on the deal.   The father and son team mostly slept in a tent or huts that they found out in the woods.

It's the kind of story that you'd develop for a movie....living in the wilds of Germany.  But I'm betting odds that the kid is some British kid who made up the story and just showed up in Berlin.

Just Observations

Several different news items today.

First, there's a school up in New Hampshire....middle school....that had this autistic kid who brought in his US flag from home.  He wanted to share his experience....one would imagine.  The school officials looked at the flag, and the stick it was on, and made a determination that this could be used as a weapon, and then confiscated it.  They did make a comment about the pointed end to the stick.  I kinda sat and pondered over this.  For the first nine years of school that I had, each classroom had some US flag on a stick with a pointed end.  I was probably in a very dangerous situation for that whole period, and never realized it.  I have to be thankful that I've lived this long in life without some whacko picking up an American flag on a stick with a sharp end, and stabbing me.  Yes, thankful, indeed.

The game-plan of the US postal service downsize is now becoming obvious.  Saturday mail is going to disappear, period....without any doubt.  They now indicate that a significant number of these mail centers where it's sorted and pumped out to the nation......will decrease.  So that one-to-three day delivery thing we got used to over the past forty years?  Gone.  I'm thinking we will see three-to-five day deliveries as standard by summer of 2012.  By 2020?  Well....mail might take seven-to-twelve days by then.  By 2030?  Fifteen-to-twenty days.  We might actually retreat to the standards of 1776, by 2076.  That would make things interesting.

Finally, at some fancy big bucks-for-the-dinner episode this week.....the President spoke out that he had a better chance of winning in 2012, than in 2008.  I sat and pondered over this.  John McCain and Sarah Palin were not exactly the dynamic duo in 2008.  You could find a fair number of independents who just laughed over the options, and voted for candidate Obama.  So for 2012?  If you had another pair of McCain wannabes, then the President might be right.  If you tossed up either of the top two Republicans and this Latino senator from Florida (Rubio), I suspect that it'd be an awful close election.  Beyond that, if I were the President....I wouldn't comment on this speculation at all.  What you really don't want is a wrapped up race in July of 2012 where the President is sitting at a thirty-seven percent approval rating, and you have to sit there with a guy who will be around for six more months while you wait for the next guy ot arrive.