| Eat some wings, charge your car||Feb. 4th, 2011 @ 11:47 am |
Good news for beer-swigging, football-loving electric car owners: Buffalo Wild Wings will charge your car for free while you chow down and watch the game.
The BWW location in Kissimmee, Florida just became the first restaurant in that state to offer an electric vehicle charging station. Parent company Sunshine Restaurant Corp says other locations of the sports bar chain in Central Florida will follow.
The chargers are supplied by EV charging systems company NovaCharge. That company also has a website that lets EV drivers find station locations, check availability and get directions on a live map. Certain locations had plug-in stations previously, but this is the
Execs are expecting wing lovers to flock to their location:
"We know customers will choose Buffalo Wild Wings over our competitors because of the ability to charge their vehicle for free while enjoying their favorite sporting event," says Andrew L. Gross, president/CEO of Sunshine Restaurant Corp.
But are Floridians really going to dump the full-size pickups for diminutive EVs? Or will converting the best parking spots in the lot just stir up more parking lot brawls?
Either way, let's hope for some serious moist towelette usage between leaving the table and pulling the plug. I can already see the crusty old wing sauce on the cord.
| Kenny G. Pimps Audis in Car Commercial Without Car||Feb. 2nd, 2011 @ 02:26 pm |
A YouTube video is circulating of easy-listening saxophonist Kenny G. dressed as a riot control officer in a fictitious luxury prison. Supposedly this has something to do with Audis, but I'm not sure what. Apparently it's an attempt to generate buzz for Audi's Super Bowl commercial, which the automaker undoubtedly spent a ton of money on. I can just picture the ad agency guys sitting around in the conference room: "It's a car commercial -- without cars. So edgy!" (Ahem.)|
Be glad it's not a Kenny G. DUI story.
| DUI: Jaime Pressly||Feb. 1st, 2011 @ 07:19 pm |
The sloshed celebs keep bellying up to the steering wheel. This time it's Jaime Pressly, a B-list actress from the TV comedy "My Name is Earl" and such silver-screen gems as "Not Another Teen Movie."
Pressly was charged today with two counts of driving under the influence after being busted last month in Santa Monica during a traffic stop. Her blood alcohol level at the time of arrest registered .22 -- nearly three times the legal limit. She was released on $15,000 bail.
For those keeping score at home, Pressly is also facing a $637,000 bill in unpaid state and federal taxes, according to the Washington Post.
Sounds like someone might have to skip her Restylane shots for a while. Awww. (Sniff.)
| DUI: Steve the Pirate||Jan. 31st, 2011 @ 01:18 pm |
Alan Tudyk, a.k.a. Steve the Pirate in the Ben Stiller comedy "Dodgeball" (and Walsh in "Firefly") was ARR-rested by CHP for driving under the influence Sunday.
Tudyk was pulled over at 1 a.m. for speeding in his Toyota Land
Lubber Cruiser. He declined to take a breathalyzer test and was booked for drunk driving -- or "splice t' mainbrace drivin'" in Pirate -- after failing a field sobriety test.
No word on whether Tudyk will plead the Eye Patch defense.
| DUI: Mariners' Adam Kennedy||Jan. 28th, 2011 @ 10:33 am |
Seattle Mariners second baseman and former Anaheim Angel Adam Kennedy hit a line drive to jail Wednesday night in Orange County for DUI, TMZ reports.
The 2002 World Series winner was arrested by the CHP "on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs" on a freeway near Newport Beach.
Luckily, there are no championship rings for bad judgment. Yet.
Image courtesy of TMZ
|» GM to Uncle Sam: Keep your money (for now)|
General Motors won't borrow an additional $14.4 billion from the government after all. The automaker withdrew its request for the low-interest federal loans because, executives say, the company is in good enough financial shape to survive on its own.
GM CFO Chris Liddell says "this decision is based on our confidence in GM's overall progress and strong, global business performance."
The company initially requested funding through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, which was created by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The legislation authorized $25 billion in direct loans to help companies make their vehicle fleets more fuel-efficient.
According to Automotive News, Ford received a $5.9 billion loan in 2009. Other loans through the program include $1.4 billion to Nissan, $465 million to Tesla Motors and $528.7 million to Fisker Automotive. A loan application from Chrysler Group is awaiting evaluation.
|» Female Army Major gets first electric Smart Car in U.S.|
Mindy Kimball of Silver Spring, MD is the proud new driver of the first retail electric Smart Fortwo. The plug-in version of the pint-sized two-seater runs on a magneto-electric motor and has a range of up to 98 miles on a full charge (although the EPA estimates a mere 63-mile range with combined city and highway driving).
Although many of us in the automotive world have driven the car (Smart brought one to our Motor Press Guild track day last year), this is the first delivery to a "real" consumer. Roger Penske of the Penske dealership/racing/trucking empire and Smart USA President Jill Lajdziak personally handed over the keys to the tiny ride.
Smart is strategically placing 250 of its EVs with policy makers, celebrities, politicians and other influencers -- a common tactic among car companies looking to build buzz. As for Kimball, the 36-year-old isn't just serving her country in the military. She also volunteers with The Climate Project, an organization focused on climate-change awareness, and she's an active member of the Electric Vehicle Association (EVA) in Washington, DC.
You can catch a glimpse of Kimball's car at the 2011 Washington, DC Auto Show. But don't get too excited; Smart's EVs won't go on sale to the rest of the public until sometime in 2012.
|» Justin Bieber doesn't want you to text and drive|
The Biebs will appear on a special two-hour episode of ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on Sunday, Jan. 30 as part of a campaign against texting while driving. The show will spotlight a Texas family whose teenage son died in an auto accident. Watch a sneak preview here:
Warning: Turn the sound down if you can't tolerate lots of screaming teenage girls.
|» Haute Cut: Ferrari Designer Unveils $850 Haircutting Scissors|
Talk about high-fashion hair: Design house Pininfarina, known for its elegant customization of Ferraris, Maseratis and Alfa Romeos, is teaming up with hair care manufacturer IT&LY HAIRFASHION and scissor maker LEADER-CAM to launch the new Pininfarina Designed Haircutting Scissor. (We're not sure why these companies both spell their names in all caps. Maybe Italians just like to shout.)
The five-and-a-half inch shears are "made of the finest alloy known to man," whatever that means. The cost of each pair is estimated at $850.00 US dollars. But even if you can shell out that kind of dough, it doesn't mean you'll be able to wield these blades for bathroom bang trims. They're for pros only.
And I thought paying $150 for a haircut was pricey.
|» Bad Luck at the Races, But Rock Band Rules!|
It wasn't the best day for some of the guys at the track. My friend Beau Borders crashed the #128 BMW e46 he was driving in the KONI Challenge. Beau had a good start and gained four positions. But near the end of his stint, he went four wheels off on Turn 4. He thought he had it under control until he hit a rut that send his car skipping past the tire wall and into the concrete barrier. Both the front and back got pretty jacked up. Fortunately, Beau was okay, although I bet he's gonna be pretty sore for a while. Rod says his friend Lance went off in the same spot a couple of years back. Such a bummer.
Then the #96 Turner car, which was driven by Matt Bell (whose dad Dave helped me install my Bilstein suspension a couple of years ago) and Boris Said, had a problem and DNFed. Matt is an amazing driver and had earned his third pole this season. He had a great first stint, but the car lost power shortly after Boris took the wheel. The Turner team fared well overall, though, as their #95 car won the race.
Afterward we hit a reception for Dempsey Racing, where Patrick Dempsey drank some tequila and schmoozed with his sponsors. Fortunately there wasn't any paparazzi or screaming women chasing him around.
Then it was on to a little motel in Monterey, where Alex Roy was hosting a Rock Band/race watching party. I ate some popcorn, watched some of Alex's in-car video and sang Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" while Alex played guitar. It was the first time I'd played Rock Band 2 (I'm used to the original). We both scored in the 90s. Woo hoo.
Then it was on to Cannery Row, where we joined our gracious hosts at Mazda for dinner. I had "scalone," which was chopped abalone and scallops mixed together and formed into a patty. It was good, but kinda weird.
I know a couple of people who are glad this day is over.