Here's an updated list of sites that have linked me up:
MINI links [GoMotoring.com]
If you linked me on your blog/site, or know of a good one and would like it to be added to my list, just click be added and send me the link.
[UPDATE] With the recent redesign of GoMotoring.com, Mark was kind enough to add dcmini to the front page of live RSS feeds instead of the links page which no longer exists. Thanks Mark! and site looks great!
While I waited I surfed the internet with the dealer's free wireless broadband connection and caught up on all my MINI related news and blogs. Great service from Patrick MINI once again. Thumbs Up.
It has been a while since I've been up to see the progress of a vacation home we designed. Usually when a project is done, we really never get an opportunity to actually spend a lot of time living in the house. I couldn't help but relax in this vacation home with its radiant floor heating, jaw dropping view of Lake Michigan and secluded location. The four hour drive was absolutely worth it. This is officially my first design that I have slept in. I always feared that I would be overly critical seeing everything that was compromised but due to the wonderful clients and their trusting nature, there weren't any compromises. This is truly a great project that I am particularly proud of.This project did make it in the Chicago Home Magazine back in the spring debut issue (page 115) but that was pre construction. Hopefully soon this project will soon be featured in some other magazines in the near future. But for now here is some pictures of the finished house.
Read more about this event here with even more picts from other CMMC members.
The SportBox with the RAF has given more than any other intake to date in prototype form. I will be sure to post all of the numbers when it is released. The cost will be $250 at the start, but there are modular additions - like the RAF component, and I haven't figured costs on that just yet.
Read more about the new SportBox here. Otherwise the debut will be unvailed very soon probably at the WMS Store or NAM.
[UPDATE] Product just officially announced at WMS Forum
In addition to that, I was listening to a CD I bought for $9.99 when my trip meter was showing 9.9 miles and the odometer read 9999 miles.... Yeah, I'm a dork but I had a blast getting here. It took me 18 months to get to 10k. Here's to the first 10k (s)miles and to the many more to come...
We are not going out of business, going bankrupt, closing the shop, etc. I have heard these and it makes me laugh knowing how busy we are..
He is also getting back into flying again. Not sure why exactly if he's so busy at the shop but it gives him quality time to answer emails and forum posts during his layovers. The WMS forum is all cleaned up and is showing some activity.
Hope all this works out. Randy has a great MINI mind. He installed my 15% WMS reduction pulley, WMS HDI Intake and Miltek Exhaust at the last pulley party in Chicago, and I'm glad he did.
Read the full update from Randy Webb here.
As this is also evident in non-automatics as well, many have reconsidered the whole JCW package as a worth while option. Many JCW owners claimed that the power-band is clearly evident at very low rpm's as compared with the most common modifications many other MCS owners have added to their cars. Now the question is can they do the same with the '08 MCSa R56. Hopefully the JCWa will be as potent as the MCS JCW. Of course it will.
So on a related note, on whiteroofradio woofcast #94 while discussing this news story, db made a comment that perhaps those who choose to buy a MCSa are perhaps not motoring enthusiasts. To which Gabe disagreed and rightfully so. I am enthusiastic about this little car regardless on its transmission and just because I own an MCSa doesn't mean I am not an enthusiast. In fact it is quite the opposite.... I'm sure no offense was intended with the comment, so none taken. Bring on the MCSa JCW and all its haters! It sure is fun to get them all riled up. ;-)
follow along as they happen here
Here is an unconfirmed agenda of today's event.
• Welcoming of Media Members
• Discussion on iTunes software, iTMS integration into iTunes, and iTMS sales and facts.
• Announcement of iTunes version 7.0
• Announces better search feature for Music Store
• Announces Movie Store. Available Immediately will be movies from Disney and Pixar, among other studios.
• New iPod Nano Announcement (nice brushed casing, while it will have same features as first gen, only a longer battery life)
[Update: the following turned out to be a bit off]
• New iPod Announcement (Widescreen, Bluetooth, and featuring virtual touchweel. Does not include Wi-Fi, or any other protocols)
• One More Thing....TubePort. A $99 2-piece set that includes a dongle that connects via USB to your mac, and another dongle that connects via included HD cables or regular Component cables to your TV. The movie is accessed on your Mac via an iDisk-like storage component hosted by Apple.
Jobs will then explain the pricing structure of the Movie Store. Movies will be available as either a smaller iPod-format (which will cost $9.99 per movie), or as a larger, streamed movie to be streamed to your TV via TubePort. This cost $14.99 per movie. To purchase an iPod-formatted movie and a streamed version of the same movie, it will cost you $19.99."
The apple store online is currently updating their site.
I'm starting to really like the new steering wheel on the R56 MINI. Those accents on the silver trim pieces are very cool. The accents on the broad ellipse on the door are looking good too. It seems like there is a slight bevel which give it a chiseled look... Very cool.
If you look at the center speedo, you just might find another set of controls (mode, music and menu buttons) that resemble the MINI logo. That's what I'm talking about when designers ReCreate instead of ReUse a general theme. Extremely clever and not overly obvious. kudos to them.
I found out that chrome circle/button on the dash just below the air vent opposite the steering wheel is the glove compartment latch. Not to mention the start button and option to have the button functional without taking your key out of your pocket. Very trick!
There is a new feature where you can switch the illumination color (5 step range from blue to orange), very very cool! not to mention the door storage lighting, nice touch. The new door itself is probably my favorite, but I'm just not sure where the tweeter is yet or if there is one. It does look like there is another speaker in the door where the armrest terminates but that's too big, and tweeters are best located higher up on the door or dash.I also wonder if the steering wheel will telescope forward or not. There are some buttons below the turn stalk on the steering column but I cant really tell what those are for yet.
I am also digging the color options of the seats, dash and the door armrest. Us MINI owners love more options. thumbs up.
Not so good:
Not to beat a dead horse but I spotted some more of those silver rings that have invaded the new R56 MINI interior. We now have three more to add to the list. The two cup holders and the gear shift surround. These were concealed in the previous photos from MINI2.com I'm surprised there isn't a wheel option or tailpipe design that copies the silver rings concept to the exterior. Just kidding.
Also, the new headlight design, the "eyes" of the MINI seem to have "eyeliner" now. It must be a black rubber gasket or something between the bonnet and the actual headlights. And the amber turn signal is a bit odd. Its like the MINI has a little eye crusty. Again just kidding. ;-)
More high resolution images from seriouswheels.com
There were over 50 MINIs there and one Mini too. Thanks to BSSP for coming out to Chicago to give us an inside scoop of future MINI advertising strategies, Thanks to Patrick MINI for hosting all of us, and thanks to CMMC for providing breakfast AND lunch! I had a great time and look forward to the next run.
Check out my Flickr Set for more photos as well as the a CMMC Flickr Pool. There are some great picts!
The apple store online is currently updating their site.
Making Options a Standard
What's with making the auto a/c so appealing compared to the standard manual controls that hardly anyone will opt to get the manual? I currently have auto a/c in my MINI and am quite please with it, but the standard manual controls were at least well thought out. I understand the idea of making the extra cost options desirable but not getting that cool little display screen is a tough one to pass up.
ReUse as opposed to ReCreate!
Being an architect, there are many instances that I too ReUse specific details from different projects into new projects. Even using a specific detail and mimicking the general gesture throughout a single space or project is a great way to unite a series of spaces. But that too can become a bit overwhelming when used too much or if the mimicking is too similar to the original.
Take certain cues of current MINI's design. There are many instances that they actually ReCreate elements that ReUse general gestures of other designed items in the car. We all know that the Auto A/C controls resemble the MINI wings logo, but it's subtle, which is what makes it work so well concept-wise. Another instance I particularly enjoy is the round cross A/C vents (circle with a 45˚ cross brace) which is repeated in the climate sensors located on either side of the auto A/C controls. Very subtle, very cool!
Too Much of a Good Thing:
So at first glance at the R56 interior, the first thing I see is the three spoke steering wheel horn mimicked everywhere. It's not subtle, it's not clever, it's just looks like copies placed everywhere. Its the same "dark round object with a silver concave ring". Its in the steering wheel, the speedo, the tach, the four A/C vents, the speaker in the door, the door armrest pillar support, possibly the door lever, and the shift knob. Some might also include the auto a/c display too.
It seems that MINI had the steering wheel done for the R56 and decided to include it in the current MINIs. (The same goes for the OEM armrest btw.) They liked it so much that they just used it everywhere. I was hoping for a bit more thought into component design with a broad gesture to unify the interior. It's like a cruel nightmare where the steering wheel is your worst fear and it appears everywhere. just kidding! It's really not that bad, but I rather enjoyed noticing the effort and thought behind some of the little design cues. I'm sure there are many other places where that energy was spent, and I'm looking forward to finding those instances down the line.
See for your self and let me know what you think. Images from MINI2.com
Don't worry, you can always unsubscribe at the bottom of each email update and you will only get an email if there is something new at dcmini. And best of all, its free for both you and me. I'm all about that.
There even was some ranting over the MCSa, too. I know how much of a pain the MCSa pulley install is for Randy, now that I've seen it done, but at least he has an extra $85 in his pocket for his trouble. I certainly rolled with the punches considering how late it was so no offense was taken as I'm sure none was implied. And thanks for the kind words and mentioning me by name on the podcast, Gabe. It certainly was a pleasure being around great company.
I'll be sure to post my impressions as I spend a little more time with my new toys. So far my thumbs couldn't be pointed higher!
Here are some pictures from Tallulah Mae Birthday party posted by MiniMac2005 from NAM. MINI Dee is in the last four pictures parked next to the birthday girl. (The car with the birthday hat! duh.) I had a great time meeting everyone and the cupcakes were delicious!
My first official CMMC event is going to be the Last Chicago Pulley Party where I am scheduled to get the Webb Motorsports 15% pulley, High Density Induction Intake and possibly the Milltek Exhaust! Yes, I think I have been infected with the mod bug, but I haven't been this excited since I was anticipating delivery of my MINI! :-D
So to fix the wheel properly would set me back anywhere from $120 to $175 but that included sandblasting a smooth finish and repainting the entire wheel surface. Since the rim itself lists for $250 it hardly seems like a smart idea to get such an insignificant rash fixed. I am just going to keep it as clean as possible and leave it alone. And since I just had my wheels rotated, I would not be walking passed the scratched wheel as much. I'll just consider that one wheel now has more "character" than the others ;-)
As far as I know, nothing specific has been done to remedy the clicking from the web spokes other than the onset of cooler temperatures. With summer right around the corner, and more web spoke owners, I think more cases would probably surface. I have since ditched the web spokes and opted for the R99's double spoke wheels.
If anyone has any questions about how to identify if your web spokes are clicking, feel free to email me. It can be a bit tricky to hear them because and its not always consistant.
Not sure what wheel you have? Check the MINI wheel guide. It has proven to be quite useful for newbies... including me!
Otherwise, here are some related links regarding this issue:
Web Spoke Issue @ dcmini
Clicking Web Spokes @ Motoringfile
Calling All Web Spoke Owners! @ Mini2
R98 Web Spoke Wheel Problem @ NAM
And to top it off, she just passed her 7000th mile today with no major problems to date. I'm sure there will be many more (s)miles to come.
On the way back, we decided to swing buy Milwaukee for a quick photo opportunity with the Milwaukee Art Museum. This is probably the only building worth a second look in Milwaukee. No offense but its not the prettiest city, and they know it. A few years back they commissioned a world famous architect, Santiago Calatrava to help remedy that by designing an addition to there lakefront museum. I am not a huge fan of his work but I can appreciate his extraordinary effort towards the revitalization of Milwaukee. The building is a great place to see in action. The city in general is going through a major reworking of their expressway system so there was a ton of construction activity. Hopefully they will be more sensitive with making the lakefront a little more accessible for the public. They have such a great lake front and its a shame they don't use it to the fullest. Chicago is a great example of how to incorporate a big metro area with the benefits of a lake front.
After a long drive, what better thing to do in Wisconsin, than get a quick car and pet wash. What a combo! Although, I could consider my car as my pet, this seems to be a weird pair of activities yet oddly popular.
- ► 2009 (21)
- ► 2008 (30)
- ► 2007 (25)
- ▼ 2006 (37)