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No Euro Delivery after all, but my AMG C63 S coupe will be here in February!

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No Euro Delivery after all, but my AMG C63 S coupe will be here in February!

After lots of back and forth with Mercedes-Benz of Stevens Creek, I determined it would unfortunately not be feasible to do another European Delivery trip this year. Much to my disappointment, the timing just didn’t work out right. I was really looking forward to either taking my daughters with me this time, or Kyle for our second ED trip together, but summer camps and race schedules really narrowed our windows. The most ideal date would have only given me 5 total days (including travel days) which meant we really would not have had much time to enjoy the car in Germany at all, not to mention the fact that it wouldn’t be back in the states until Fall. Plus, it was already too late to secure those ideal dates anyway, so it just wasn’t going to happen.

There happened to be an Edition 1 coupe (limited production launch vehicle) that showed up in the inventory at Mercedes-Benz San Jose so I had to go check it out. While the car was incredible and very tempting with it’s beautiful matte gray finish, it was just a little too flashy with the yellow accents to be my daily driver. I thought about it seriously, but ultimately decided it wasn’t the right vehicle for me, even though Kyle seemed pretty excited about possibly getting this one.

Fortunately, I had a fantastic Sales Associate in Tony Spencer, AMG Expert since 1974 and also the European Delivery Specialist at Mercedes-Benz Stevens Creek. When he was unable to make my Euro Delivery dates work, he searched all the dealers on the West Coast for a car that could get close to my spec. He found one that almost had everything I wanted in Newport Beach, but was unable to trade for it since there was another customer already very interested in the car. It was the only car on the west coast that included most of what I wanted. When that didn’t work out, he dug into his bag of tricks and found not 1, but 2 that were already on a boat scheduled to port in February. Both of these actually matched my spec better, so although there was some disappointment in not getting the first one from Newport Beach, I was thrilled that these were both closer to exactly what I was a looking for. 

One of the two ended up being a car that was ordered by another customer in Reno, but Tony and the Sales Manager at Mercedes-Benz Stevens Creek were able to secure the second vehicle as a trade with the dealership the vehicle was bound for in Oregon, so I could buy it. Can’t say how thankful and happy I am with the excellent service they provided. 

Here is a preview of the new whip coming in a few weeks:

Some of you might call me predictable, since this looks an awful lot like my E92 M3, but I know what I like so I might as well celebrate my specialness. The main difference between what’s enroute on the boat vs what I spec’d is that this one doesn’t have the exterior carbon fiber packages (front splitter, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, side sill inserts, side mirrors). It has the Night Package instead (gloss black replaces the CF) and also adds the HUD which I didn’t spec in my Euro Delivery build. These are tradeoffs I can live with to get the car in my hands earlier!

One of the things that has me most excited is that this vehicle includes the red/black performance seats, whereas the Edition 1 and original trade from Newport Beach would have been mostly black interiors. I was willing to make this concession earlier, but know I will be much happier with this setup since it will brighten up the interior a bit. As you can see, I still got the Carbon Fiber trim on the interior so that makes me happy.

If you’re in the market for a Mercedes, I highly recommend giving Tony a call. He is a consummate professional and was an absolute pleasure to work with. No hard sales pitch, listened closely to what I wanted and did everything he could to make sure I didn’t have to compromise in any of the areas where he knew I would be less excited about. 

February is just around the corner, but can’t come soon enough. Almost time for me to put my new AMG iPhone wallpaper to use!

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Carbon Fiber BMW M and Mercedes AMG Wallpapers for iPhone 7 Plus Parallax Effect

Since I'm considering another European Delivery trip to get a Mercedes AMG C63S next summer I figured I might as well revise my carbon fiber iPhone wallpapers while I'm waiting. It also seems like iPhone screen sizes and parallax specs keep changing so I've revised the size based on what I found on iOS Res.

Click the images above, then right-click or drag the image to your desktop to save the files. The last image with just the carbon fiber texture is what I use for my home screen background. The logos don't look good with app icons sitting on top of them.

The images posted above are 2662 x 2662 so not quite the "max texture size" reported for iPads, but I tested it out on my 12" iPad Pro and it seems to work ok. In fact, there seems to be plenty of resolution to size and position the logos off-center if you want since the time is positioned to the top left on iPads — but you need to account for the fact that it will move when you rotate the iPad, so pick carefully.


Here are samples of what they look like on the iPhone 7 Plus and 12" iPad Pro lock screens. I made the BMW M one smaller on purpose since the resolution of the original artwork wasn't as high to keep it crisp.

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Carbon Fiber BMW and M Power iPhone wallpapers for iPhone 6 Plus parallax effect

New iPhone sizes means new wallpapers. These are created at 1256 x 2353.

Update: New sizes posted for iPhone 7 Plus 

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#tbt Newsweek iPod Nation

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#tbt Newsweek iPod Nation

The year was 2004. It was about 2-1/2 years after the original iPod was unveiled, and it was beginning to change the world. It also put my ugly mug in the pages of Newsweek.

Newsweek, July 26, 2004

I recently came across an old photo that reminded me of this, so I thought Throwback Thursday seemed like an appropriate opportunity to document this now that 10 years have passed. Hard to believe it’s been that long already.

The July 26, 2004 cover of Newsweek featured Steve Jobs holding the 4th generation version of the iconic music player (aka the Click Wheel iPod). The article was about how the iPod became a cultural phenomena. This was a quote from him in the article:

I was on Madison, and it was, like, on every block, there was someone with White headphones and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, it’s starting to happen.’

– Steve Jobs

 

Inside, the opening spread for the cover story included photos of several individuals enjoying their iPods in various aspects of their lives.

This is what it looked like: 

Someone look familiar? I wasn’t working for Apple back then, but I have always been a big Apple nerd and at the time, a fairly obsessed iPod enthusiast. Newsweek got a hold of me since my sister had told one of her connections there about how I had gone through the trouble of installing an iPod into my car as the primary music player. It was the first of a few mods I made to the car while I had it. This was long before auto manufacturers starting including USB ports or offering iPod/iPhone connection kits so I had to do it all myself (although I did enlist the help of a prop maker friend to laser cut the faceplate out of ABS plastic). The process was documented on my since-retired website, G35iPod.com, which also contained a message board for other enthusiasts to share their installs and swap tips. Anyone remember phpBB

The Newsweek/MSNBC website also featured my photo on the homepage when the article ran. The site has changed a lot since then and the article seems to have disappeared, but thanks to the Way Back Machine, the original article, by Steven Levy can still be found. Unfortunately, it only archived 2 of the 3 pages of the article.

Newsweek Homepage, July 2004

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot for the article. Jeff Minton was the photographer hired by Newsweek, who I eventually also helped get hired to do some work for Yahoo! – although I had already left Yahoo! for Oakley by the time the job came through, so I didn’t actually get to work with him behind the camera.

And a few more random throwback shots of the install. I enjoyed this setup for several years before I replaced the G35 with my M3, which naturally, already has a built-in iPhone connection kit integrated with the dash. More shots of the car and install can be found at on the archived website gallery.

My G35iPod site also happened to be one of the first sites I experimented with using CSS to change skins. Surprisingly it still works ok, and ironically, I had also created an Apple skin, as tribute to the company back then. That skin should help remind you of another throwback.  Here’s what Apple.com looked like back then. Who could have guessed I would end up working on that same website 10 years later.

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Carbon Fiber BMW and M Power iPhone wallpapers for iOS 7 parallax effect.

I never did update my basic iPhone 4s Retina versions for iPhone 5, so I’m taking this opportunity to create new wallpapers at 1040 x 1536 so they can be optimized for the parallax effect in iOS 7 on iPhone 5/5c/5s.

Update: New sizes posted for iPhone 7 Plus

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Carbon Fiber BMW and M Power iPhone retina display wallpapers.

Since I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, I combined a couple images I found online to make some new lock screen wallpapers for my iPhone 4s. Figured I'd put it out there for others to download as well.

Update: New sizes posted for iPhone 7 Plus

 

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Oscar Pistorious shows off his carbon fiber prosthetic leg.


Listening to Oscar Pistorious (aka Blade Runner) is always inspiring. The South African native was born with a medical condition that required both of his legs to be amputated below the knee at 11 months old, but despite this disability, he has managed to earn the distinction of the "fastest man on no legs." I had already heard much of his story when he spoke at Oakley HQ a few months back, but I'm just amazed at how many sports he participated in as a teen. The man is incredibly humble and is always a pleasure to listen to.

One of my favorite stories was the one he told about his mother. She had gone to 12 different doctors and based on reputation and accomplishments narrowed the list down to the top 3 to perform the procedure on Oscar. However, one of them had indicated they should just amputate at the knee since he "wouldn't be able to use it anyway" which kind of infuriated her. Needlesstosay, they didn't go with this "expert" but after she received his bill for consultation services (which she paid), she sent him a bill back for her own "expert" consultation on the topic of her son's condition.

After his speech a bunch of us from Oakley went out to dinner with him and I found out he is a big auto enthusiast. No surprise the man likes speed, but it was awesome to hear about his love for his Bimmers (135, E46 M3, E92 M3), Mini, and Porches. His favorite right now is his heavily customized 135.

He's close to his quest to be able to compete in the 2012 London Olympics (against "able-bodied" athletes). Hope he makes it!

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