Archive for May, 2011

Tree Work

Today we had some long overdue tree work done around the house. Watch the video to see some of their work in the morning and some before/after views. We had one dead tree that had split and almost fallen on the bedroom for a full year, and another large rotting branch over the driveway threatening to crush both cars. Trees had clearly not been pruned in many years aside from some of my own work on the lower branches a year ago. And while we at first considered removing our towering front pine tree, we instead trimmed up the bottom to open up the front of the house. Returning after work and seeing the difference was almost unsettling. The back feels much larger now after significant pruning of the driveway tree, and the front of the house needs both lawn and paint work now that is no longer hidden! Most importantly, I no longer need to get very nervous every time we get high winds.

Posted from Medford, Massachusetts, United States.

Countryman ALL4 Test Drive


While the BMW was in for scheduled service today, I strolled over to the new MINI of Peabody to say hi and decided to take the new all wheel drive Countryman for a test drive now that plenty are available. The last time I drove a newer MINI was when were last shopping for a new car and ended up with the BMW.

Overall I was impressed. The Countryman didn’t really have the “big” feeling I was expecting. It was definitely much more floaty than my cars. But the grip was all there. What really impressed me was the all wheel. Getting a rear-wheel drive BMW has made me hate front wheel drive and its constant sliding and wheel spin whenever I pull away from a stop while turning. That doesn’t exist with the Countryman. Dropping the clutch in any gear (sorry!) translated to instant grip and go. Powering around exit ramps is a blast.


Not that I am considering one, but I need to keep tabs on things so I can have accurate opinions and recommendations. In fact, it is a perfect companion if you also have a first-gen mini when you want handling. We probably would have considered it more seriously than the other minis when we were shopping for a slightly larger but still fun hatchback (and then went with a 128 coupe—handling always wins!)

Posted from Peabody, Massachusetts, United States.