awake in d.c.


I must say, a blog did indeed seem like a good idea but somehow it doesn't write itself.  It is my goal to produce weekly entries related to my unlikely indulgence into the automotive world.  Global sharing and networking, mostly over the internet, are the factors that have enabled me to discover, research and activate various solutions and alternatives to my oil addiction.  Therefore Youtube videos and, more recently this website, have been almost obligatory paths for me to add my experiences to the growing mass of knowledge of DIY ("do-it-yourself") electric transport.  Knowing how valuable "real-world" knowledge on this topic has been to me, I readily and eagerly share whatever data I've amassed. 

Having adopted Democracy Now! as my primary news source over the past couple years, I've been inspired even further to consider the importance of the voices of "the people" and grassroots movements.  In addition to offering up stories and perspectives that are largely omitted, I also credit them for introducing me to such important figures as Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Yip Harburg, Utah Phillips, Studs Terkel and many other great artists, writers and thinkers.  If a news source must lean a direction, i.e. left or right, then this one clearly leans towards the common folk, i.e. peace and social justice.  And I'm ok with that.

All this to say that the other week a couple friends and I planned to join a protest of the invasion of Iraq on its eighth anniversary organized by war veterans.  What a cool surprise when I realized that it was the same day as a all-electric Nissan LEAF test-drive event 20 minutes from there.  The day began with a good two hours of partaking in the LEAF exhibit - taking the tour, having refreshments, grilling the spokespeople and chatting with some very well-informed future LEAF customers.  The drive was fantastic.  The car was extremely quick , smooth as silk and the power steering was uncommonly easy.  I spared nothing as I floored it around corners enjoying the low center of gravity that comes with an EV (electric vehicle) that has been designed "from the ground up."  Driving electric is just a better driving experience which is why I have no reservations about the eventual mass adoption of EVs.  Range is really the only drawback but even that promises to improve steadily over the coming years.  And really, we should be so lucky to solve like ten problems at the expense of one new problem.  I do want to add that the Mazda Miata I'm nearly done converting should be able to perform pretty comparable along side the LEAF.  Recycle an entire car in your own garage for less money and with little to no experience.  What a trip. 

From there we quickly made our way up to the White House where we joined an incredible cross-section of people that haven't forgotten that we, as a country, are still at war.  I was especially struck by the words of Chris Hedges who spoke near the end.  As I write, I am all too conscious that this topic may still be a little controversial.  I hope, however, that we could all agree on the importance of being informed, aware and awake regarding what's being done with our money in our name.  We do have choices and they matter. Thanks for reading.

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