What is the Most Fuel Efficient Convertible in America?

beetle-convertible

Legend has it that when spring rolls around, many a young man’s fancy turns to love. Of convertibles. There’s nothing quite like motoring about on a beautiful day in the countryside with the top down. Of course, this strange affliction hits a wide …continue reading

Winter’s Effect on Hybrid Fuel Efficiency

frozen-car

If you live in a part of the country (or world) where it gets cold in the winter, you’re likely to have experienced a drop in your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. The colder it gets, the harder your car or truck works to get up to …continue reading

Technologies That Irritate Us All

Resized technology annoyances

From the time that our smartphones, tablets, and alarm clocks wake us in the morning, most of our daily lives are controlled by technology of some type. For the most part, we have embraced technology and have become dependent on computers, smartphones, tablets, and other …continue reading

Kickstarter: New Bike Seat That Won’t Bust Your Buns

Resized BodyFloat bike seat

For anyone who has ever ridden a three-speed or higher-geared bike, it is a well-known fact that the seat is usually uncomfortable and leaves much to be desired. Reflecting on that point, I have heard some male bicycle owners, despite their desire for a bicycle …continue reading

The 35 MPG SUV? There’s a Catch

mazda-cx-5

Despite the rise in gasoline prices, many Americans are reluctant to give up their sport utility vehicles (SUV). The comfort and convenience of these vehicles are treasured traits among families with cargo-hauling needs. The automakers have been transitioning their offerings from traditional body-on-frame truck-based SUVs …continue reading

Do You Know How to Drive a Manual Transmission?

mpgomatic

I learned how to drive a manual transmission before I learned to drive a car. It was a natural back then, as a much higher percentage of cars sold in America were equipped with manuals. I started out with the lawn tractor and a few …continue reading

The Toyota Prius C Delivers Bang for the Buck

toyota-prius-c

It’s a common misconception that hybrid cars are too expensive. Many folks believe that the initial added cost of a hybrid drivetrain cannot be recouped over time. While that may be true in some cases, in others it is not. Case in point: the Toyota …continue reading

Dog Food Delivery?

While there are lots of things that make you run out of the house at the last minute, for a dog owner, dog food has to be at the top of the list.

Think about the number of times you’ve had to make a last …continue reading

Chevy Cruze ECO: Is America Ready to Shift (Again)?

It’s been said that approximately ten percent of the new cars sold in America today are equipped with manual transmissions, with the numbers slipping dramatically over the years. Have Americans become too lazy to shift gears for themselves?

Enter the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze …continue reading

Do Fuzzy Slippers Impact Productivity?

I’ve been working from home for longer than I want to remember. Things tend to blur from one day to the next, from one week to the other, from month-to-month, and dare I say it, between years. When you have a home office, the daily …continue reading

Honda CR-Z: the Hybrid with a Stickshift

Hybrid cars aren’t all things to all people. Until now, folks that enjoy shifting gears for themselves have been left out of the party … there were no hybrid cars available with a manual transmission. Enter the Honda CR-Z Hybrid : the only …continue reading

Is School Open Today?

Is it a snow day?

Remember the list? In times past, we huddled around the AM radio on those snowy mornings, waiting to hear if our school district was called. These days, we often have to check the school web sites for the happy word …continue reading

Ford Focus Electric Slashes Charge Time

The drumbeat for the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf has been inescapable. As the first two mainstream electric cars to hit the market, the Volt and Leaf are leading the way and creating awareness. As folks become accustomed to the reality of mainstream electric vehicles …continue reading

How Much Will You Spend on Gas This Month?

The pain at the pump is increasing, with the national average price of gasoline cranking up to over $3.00 per gallon this month. The Energy Information Administration reports that the national average price of all grades of gasoline hit $3.013 per gallon back on 12/6, …continue reading

How Many Sump Pumps Are Enough?

A flooded basement is never fun. After years of procrastination, a second sump is being installed here at Rancho Indebto. The peace of mind should be worth an amount exponential to the cost of installation.

While we get by just fine with one sump under …continue reading

Buying a RAID

I finally bought a new RAID last month … after putting off the purchase for eons …

Working with video demands a massive amount of storage space. While most high-end folks are completely digital these days, I still cling to my MiniDV tapes. My ultimate …continue reading

Faster Than a Tesla?

Want a screaming fast, wickedly exclusive electric sportscar, but can’t fit into a Tesla Roadster? The Li-Ion Inizio is built to accommodate professional basketball players. You might need a professional basketball player’s salary, though… as all that E-performance doesn’t come cheap.

Once you can …continue reading

Digital Video or MiniDV?

I shoot a lot of video — all to tape. I’ve been hesitant to switch to a purely digital workflow, as MiniDV tape instantly provides archives. Call me a throwback, but I shoot primarily in standard definition (SD). While it’s long past time to make …continue reading

Where is the iPod Charger?

There’s an unwritten rule here at Rancho Indebto: If something is missing and you buy a replacement, you will soon find the missing item. However, you will only find the missing item after you’ve opened and discarded the packaging.

Yesterday was the perfect case in …continue reading

2011 Buick Regal: What Would Grampa Say?

Of all the automobile brands still on the market today, Buick is perhaps most regarded as the brand for old folks. General Motors (GM) consolidated this market when they shuttered the Oldsmobile brand back in 2004. Facing realities of late, GM has been busily refocusing …continue reading

Does Roadside Advertising Work for Dotcoms?

I was stopped at a rural intersection this morning, with farm fields to the left, right, and ahead of me. As I waited for a few cars to pass, I noticed a roadside sign, directly ahead; it wasn’t advertising a political candidate. It was for …continue reading

Have You Cleaned Your Keyboard Lately?

Take a moment to look at your keyboard. What’s the first word that comes to mind?

While I can be a fanatic about cleaning keyboards, the task often slips to the bottom of the priority list … for months on end … until that …continue reading

Do Political Ads on Television or YouTube Have Influence?

We’re in the midst of the silly season. Political ads fill the airwaves, our snail mail boxes, and YouTube. If you don’t listen to local radio or watch local television, you’ll miss out on much of the fun. It’s attack ad after attack ad, with …continue reading

Will the Ford Fiesta Change Your Mind About Small Cars?

Pundit after pundit has stated that Americans don’t like small cars. To that, I say hogwash. Take a look at the roadways around your town and you might come to a different conclusion. There are plenty of small cars on our streets and their numbers …continue reading

Would You Buy a New SUV?

It might be argued that America has all the big SUVs it needs and that we needn’t build any more. But the times – and the SUVs – they are a changin’. Sport Utility Vehicles are rapidly giving way to Crossovers. V8 engines are on …continue reading

Cadillac CTS Sportwagon: Return of the Great American Wagon?

There was a time when station wagons ruled the road in America. But over the years, the popularity of station wagons waned. The introduction of the minivan marked the opening blow of a one-two combination that was put home by the unprecedented rise of the …continue reading

Honda Accord Crosstour: the Shape of Things to Come?

Automobile marketing experts would like to convince us that Americans don’t like station wagons. The rise in popularity of the minivan, then the sport utility vehicle (SUV), and finally the vrossover would point to this preference… or so they say. On the other side of …continue reading

How Many MPGs Can You Get From a Mustang?

The Ford Mustang is the original pony car, dating back to the spring of 1964. With millions sold over the years, the Mustang means a lot of things to a lot of folks … but few speak of the Mustang with fuel economy and performance …continue reading

2010 Mazda3: What's Up With That Smile?

It’s not every car has something that truly makes it stand out from the crowd. With the 2010 Mazda3, it’s that great big, love-it-or-hate-it smiling grin of a grille that sets it apart from the ever-expanding crowd of compacts.

But the grille is …continue reading

Bark Collar or Not?

The decision to strap a bark collar on Fido is not one to be taken lightly. If a dog barks endlessly, there’s something wrong. Putting on a bark collar won’t solve the problem. It will only stop the barking.

You don’t own a dog. A …continue reading