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I would like to announce that all this talk of mice and snakes is ... disconcerting somehow. Whatever happened to the good old days, when we talked of cats and dogs?
 

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Discussion Starter #42
I would like to announce that all this talk of mice and snakes is ... disconcerting somehow. Whatever happened to the good old days, when we talked of cats and dogs?
The announcements have progressed to a higher plane.

I used to have a 4-foot black snake who lived in my storage barn. I rarely saw him (or her, maybe there was more than one) but I could tell when he was nearby. He smelled like cucumbers.

But he's gone, and now the barn is full of mice.

M
 

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Surely the introduction of a cat would have resolved the mice problem, with the added benefit that you can sit comfortably with a cat on the couch and watch the Red Wings. With a 4-foot snake that smells of cucumbers? Not so much, I suspect ... although clearly some here would disagree. Hang on a minute: Let me ask Koko's opinion:



EDIT: Sorry, but Koko's not talking.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Surely the introduction of a cat would have resolved the mice problem, with the added benefit that you can sit comfortably with a cat on the couch and watch the Red Wings. With a 4-foot snake that smells of cucumbers? Not so much, I suspect ... although clearly some here would disagree. Hang on a minute: Let me ask Koko's opinion:



EDIT: Sorry, but Koko's not talking.
Put Koko on the keyboard and see what happens.

M
 

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Eventually, as we all know, she would produce (or reproduce) Shakespeare. She would have to live to ripe old age, of course.

As to whether she'd answer the current question, she made it clear that she simply can't be bothered.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
As I understand the category, the "General Discussion" forum is for "laws, complaints, and generalized bellyaching."

In contrast, this forum is for announcements (or non-announcements) of a happier, more salubrious and less bellicose nature, where PilotSteve seamlessly transports us from mice haiku to strudel. U.E. could even bring his kitchen recipes here, and escape the free-fire precinct below.

M
 

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I would like to announce that at least one mod has rejected the "move this thread" proposal. It's like an island, untouched and unsullied by the trials and cares and seedy nature of the mainland, a resting spot for wayfarers, a place where all things are still possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
I would like to announce that at least one mod has rejected the "move this thread" proposal. It's like an island, untouched and unsullied by the trials and cares and seedy nature of the mainland, a resting spot for wayfarers, a place where all things are still possible.
See, a happy announcement.

M
 

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t's like an island, untouched and unsullied by the trials and cares and seedy nature of the mainland, a resting spot for wayfarers, a place where all things are still possible.
I'm liking this... The WFA is the anti GD...

A place that I can relax in, kick off my shoes, and free of impunity - post my ramblings... er, I mean... observations following an early evening cocktail or two...
 

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Pilotsteve, having nothing to announce, would like to announce the fact that the new HID headlights in his slinky car are awesome. You see, his cousin ordered a set off Ebay for his wife's Beemer and they only cost $50! "Eh?" thought Pilotsteve so he ordered a set for his cool new car.

The kit is plug-and-play easy to install and actually costs less than a pair of regular halogen replacement lamps. Pilotsteve ordered the 6000 Kelvin color temperature because he doesn't want stupid-looking blue headlights on his slinky car. There is some bluish tint but otherwise crystal white and MUCH better than the factory stock halogen lamps; Pilotsteve was smart enough (Ha!) to take before and after pictures of the same stretch of road:





Most cool looking picture. Pilotsteve's headlight looks like the eye of an evil alien robot at night:



-Pilotsteve
 

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If they say a picture tells a thousand words, what words can a couple of videos tell? Same stretch of road before & afters:

Regular factory halogen headlights:


...and after the upgrade to HID (High Intensity Discharge):


The lamps are very different than regular tungsten filament bulbs. HID are true gas-discharge lamps that require a ballast and powerful capacitor to ignite a plasma within the lamps; as such there's s a noticeable startup time exactly like streetlights or other high-output lighting systems (gymnasium, ballpark, etc. This type of lighting first appeared about fifteen years ago in high-end automobiles like Audi, Mercedes etc but are becoming more and more common - you've seen 'em... the bright crystal-white/bluish tinted headlights you've cursed at for being so bright in oncoming traffic (yet still found yourself stating at anyway, thinking "how pretty!") Here, I parked the car in a dark area, aimed at the side of a building, and lit 'em up... you can see the initial high-voltage (~29KV) strike needed to vaporize the metallic salts in the gas tubes which is necessary to set up the plasma. Following this is a 10-15 second warmup until full luminosity is reached. MOST cool:


This guy has the kits for $30.00. Cool stuff:



-Pimped Ride Pilotsteve
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Steve: Two issues come to mind:

1) How do these bulbs affect one's capacity to switch to low beam to avoid blinding other drivers? Unnecessarily bright light even on low beam is not merely a matter of discourtesy, but increases the risk that an oncoming car may crash into you, or retaliate with high beams. If the headlights must be re-aimed lower, then much of the advantage would be cancelled out.

2) Is the light emitted during the 10-15 warmup at least equal to what you get with normal bulbs? At 60 mph you will travel 880 to 1320 feet before reaching full brightness; a lot can happen in that distance. What happens if you must frequently switch back and forth between high and low beams?

M
 

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Very good questions, Mike. Seeing is I have nothing else to announce in this wonderful, hidden Shangri-La you've created, I'll answer best as my tiny little brain will allow:

1) It depends on the design of the headlight system on the given vehicle. Most modern cars/trucks have projector-style headlights nowadays that shine the light through some kind of lens. These lenses have a design feature which "cuts" the light output in half horizontally - it reduces the glare at a height which would normally shine into oncoming drivers' eyes. Look at the video where I turned them on against the wall - you can clearly see the line. Most of the luminosity is focused on the ground. Without this in place, it would literally be like staring into a welding arc because that's really what's going on inside the core of the HID lamp. Mmmm plasma... more on that later.

2) Regarding the ability to switch between high and low beam, again, it depends on the design of the vehicle. My car has separate lenses for high and low beams so switching isn't an issue - the low beams just stay illuminated when the high beam it turned on. However, many vehicles have a single lens through which low and high beams emit, so this type of arrangement would simply require the appropriate lamp kit:



You can see how in this example, the HID low beam is supplemented by a standard halogen high beam lamp. The HID's aren't very good at acting as high beams because of the startup lag. But in reality, the lag isn't bad at all - after the initial high-voltage strike of the startup capacitor you immediately have completely usable light. Grumble grumble... Mike's gonna make me drag that stupid camera out into the cold wet sleet and freezing rain to show him even more cool video of my even cooler car, isn't he? Here, check it out:



So yes, Pilotsteve's car is cool. Know why? Because it has plasma beams in the headlights and lasers in the CD player. Everyone knows lasers are cool by default, so that makes Pilotsteve's car cool by association. The plasma therefore makes it extra cool... like, bonus cool (or something). Since Pilotsteve is most definitely not cool, he must gather whatever coolness he can get!

Mmm plasma... the fourth state of matter and very cool. Also found here:



-Pilotsteve
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Steve: I am too ignorant to understand a thing you said, but I'll take your word for it.

However, by default I think I'll just stick with the OEM lights that Chevrolet and Mercedes put on them, and suffer in un-coolness.

M
 

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I would venture to announce that Pilotsteve's last couple of posts in this thread provide a good indication of why he is a star pupil in the professor's "quality" thread. I was told years ago that there are two types of people in the world: engineers and everybody else. Then again, that bit of wisdom came from an engineer, along with this stab at engineer humor:

How many engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

No one knows; they never figured it out.
 

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I would like to announce the fact that there has been absolutely nothing to announce today. Except for this bug:



-Pilotsteve
 

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Today, I would like to announce the fact that it's starting to smell very good in my hobbit hole. The two kilogram chunk of luscious bottom round roast has been marinating in it's spiced brine for the past five days; I've turned it every night before bed. Universal is becoming known 'round these parts for his wonderful culinary gifts shared... perhaps one day I'll share the gift of Sauerbraten with you guys. I'm not one to boast, but tonight I will dine in splendor.

-Pilotsteve

*edit* I forgot to mention: I've also squashed the bug from the above post. It was getting annoying.
 
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