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Welcome to the Home of the Happy Hybrid. :)



This Site Perpetually Under Construction

Since I spend a lot of my time working on website stuff at work, I don’t seem to find the time to work on my home site as much. But you can keep track of the latest changes right here:

But why is this the “Home of the Happy Hybrid”?

Well, contrary to currently popular belief, not everyone hates their Toyota right now. I’ve got a 2007 Prius and I love it. Have yet to have one iota of trouble with it, although apparently there is a pending recall on it, something about the floor mats getting stuck under the gas pedal or something. My mats haven’t moved since I put them in, so I’m not too concerned about that. I’ve actually been harder on the Prius than it has been on me; it’s already had the front windshield replaced after a semi threw a rock at it during a road trip back from Charlottesville VA a few years back. And I had a fender bender in December, ended up replacing the whole front bumper. But I think it’s forgiven me for that. LOL.
After all, according to my license plate, it IS still the HPYHYBRD. πŸ˜€ So I named the new site after it.

EDIT 4/28/2012: New license plate again! Since I don’t like bumper stickers, and the DMV has decided that having any license plate frame that covers up the state name is a ticketable offense so I don’t do those either, customizing the plate is the best UNticketable way to add a little *oomph* to the car. So got another different one this year. Anyone who is following me on Facebook, Live Journal, or the Twitter knows that I discovered a new band last year, called The Plea. (The website I’ve done for them is over there in the sidebar, check it out if you like). So I started thinking of the best way to do the plate that would share my enthusiasm for the band, but not be something that could really be anything else. (IE: Like “THE PLEA” could be anything… same with one of their other songs that would fit “PRAISEBE”) The first song of theirs that I ever heard was one called “Oh Ah Yay”.Β  I thought “Hmmmm… not much else THAT could be, plus it’ll leave people scratching their heads going ‘Oh Ah WHUT?'” And besides, my favorite-est song on their CD (‘Dreamers Stadium’ – get it, it’s awesome!) “Out Like A Light” just was NOT going to fit on a plate in any way shape or form. πŸ˜€ So OH-AH-YAY it is now (had to put dashes in instead of spaces; in DMV English, spaces count as one space, dashes only count as a half. With the dashes, it fit.)

So now I drive what I like to refer to as my Toyota “Plea-us”. πŸ˜€


EDIT 2/11/2012 The Happy Hybrid is officially no longer the Happy Hybrid anymore! Inspired partly by the Jeff Dunham video below, and the Sparkly theme of the latest John Barrowman tour, the Prius now has a new plate. Still did not feel quite old enough to go with PRIUSTRC, but since NC wisely went back to blue lettered plates (I could have told them the red letters looked like crap and were harder to read, but nobody asked ME!), I opted to get a new plate this year when my registration was up for renewal. So now I officially drive a Pretty Sparkly Powder Blue Prius. No Chihuahuas or pretty Christmas stickers though. πŸ˜€

Happy Hybrid has become Sparkly!! :D

I FINALLY edited down my MOST favorite video about Priuses, ever. From Jeff Dunham’s Spark of Insanity video, here is his rant about his “pretty sparkly” blue Prius. πŸ˜€ Which just happens to be THE exact color that I drive. Heard about it for MONTHS after my family saw this video. *Neep Neeeeeep!* indeed. LOL.


After the car and I get a little older, we may switch license plates and run with this one that I tested out at the DMV site instead :D:
priustoric plate
But in the meantime, here are a couple of my favorite Prius related bumper stickers from over at www.cafepress.com.
And my personal favorite, because I’ve done this to people in parking lots before
(never actually HONKED at anyone, but do love to creep up on people,
then see the looks on their faces when they happen to glance back
and see me right behind them. Mwahahaha!)
Just found my OTHER personal favorite, I’d wanted to post it before
but had no idea where I’d stashed it. Must be a sign I’ve got too many hard drives. LOL

hybrid vs hummer

Take THAT, you 10 miles per gallon behemoths! πŸ˜€
So yeah, despite all the problems that Toyota is having with some of their makes and models, I’m still loving my Prius. Just can’t beat the gas mileage. Usually get around 50mpg during the summer, then I get bummed during the winter, because it has to work a little harder when it’s cold, so I can only coax about 46mpg out of it. Unless it’s on the highway, then I can still wrangle 49mpg from it. So it’s all good. :)


Small website update…

Just added a little content to the front page tonight, got tired of it looking so empty. http://www.happyhybrid.us/website/

Missed my Prius yesterday

Bringing the Happy Hybrid to the mechanic for it’s 45,000 mile checkup and road safety once over turned out to be an expensive trip. Turns out the car needed new tires, so by the time I left there, I was down nearly $700. And the heads up that it would need brakework done at my next oil change to the tune of another couple of hundred dollars. Swell. Oh well, just the nature of being owned by a car. :) And now we know we’ve got brand new properly inflated and aligned tires for the trip on Saturday.

Did miss it while I was driving my mom’s Camry to work and back yesterday. It’s the little things. REALLY missed my mp3 cd deck. Brought a CDR to play until I realized her deck was just a regular CD player, wouldn’t play my mp3 discs.

And it doesn’t take long to get Smart Key spoiled. I actually *harumph*ed when I had to stop and take the keys out of my pocket and actually MANUALLY unlock the door.Β  I never really wanted a smart key setup when I got the Prius, but it came as a package deal (along with the backup camera and the *rolls eyes* designer Prius trunk carpet). with the mp3 deck, but now that I’ve had it, it’s really handy. If I didn’t need my keyring to open up the office every morning, I’d never SEE my carkeys. LOL.

And of all things, I missed my speedometer, if you can believe it. The Camry has a standard dial/needle speedometer, with numbers at 60 and 80, and just a line representing 70, and smaller lines in 2 mph increments in between. So to figure out how fast you’re going, you really have to study it, at least I do, and so rather than do that, I pretty much just stayed with the flow of traffic while I was behind the wheel yesterday.

Now, the Prius speedometer!Β  It’s set deep into the dashboard, but since it’s a digital readout, it just tells you in big bold easy to read Tommyknocker green numbers that you are going X MPH. EasyPeasy. Much better than trying toΒ count out what one big hash mark and two small ones are on the Camry dashboard. Prius gives you spoon-fed MPHs. πŸ˜€

I do love my Happy Hybrid. :)

Prius: "guess" gauge vs gas gauge!

Got to 413* miles on the Prius yesterday before the “low fuel” light started to flash at me on the dashboard letting me know that I was apparently driving around on fumes. Had planned on filling up a couple of days before, but the Beltline traffic flow was, well, NOT flowing, and I got off to go home a different way that night. And ended up nowhere near the CostCo gas station. But I was at two pips on the gauge still, so figured I’d have time to get it after work yesterday.

It dropped down to one pip on the way to work in the morning, and as I was pulling up to the intersection right by the CostCo on the way home, the Prius beeped at me and my one remaining pip started to flash. Had a wee bit of a wait at the gas station when I pulled in, but since the Prius burns NO gas while it’s just sitting there idling, no worries about running out of gas while I waited. It gave me a chance to pull out the Toyota manual to see exactly WHAT that flashing light meant, if it said exactly how many gallons were left when it started to flash.

Nope. But DID find out that the tank held 11.9 gallons. So figured I’d just wait until I filled up, subtract how much it took, and find out how much gas was left that way. Yes, I’m a whole lotta years out of school, and I’m actually doing a WORD problem! :-O

It took 9.17 gallons. *does some quick math* Which left me with 2.73 gallons supposedly left in the tank. Now, based on the Prius getting, say, 50mpg, that should mean that I could still go another 136.5 miles before running out of gas. Seems a little early to be getting that “low fuel” warning.

HOW-EVAH! Every Prius forum I’ve ever looked at says thinking that way will, at some point, leave you stranded and out of gas someplace. Because while the tank officially holds 11.9 gallons, the amount that it can actually hold varies, depending on whether the car is warm or cold, if the gas is warm or cold, etc. Case in point: drove up to Virginia for a concert one summer. Filled the tank in the afternoon before I left when both the car and the gas were warm, still had half a tank when I got to Charlottesville. Topped it off before leaving the next morning, while the car and gas were still cold, by the time I got back home, I was nearly on fumes. So temperature makes a HUGE difference in how much the tank holds.

So, when is 11.9 gallons of gas not necessarily 11.9 gallons of gas? When you drive a Prius. Hence why a lot of Prius owners call the gas gauge the “guess” gauge instead. Which is why I usually like to fill up somewhere between 2 and 3 pips on the gauge, to make sure I don’t run out of gas. Although supposedly that even if you run out of gas, I read that a Prius will run on battery alone for about three miles if need be.

Not something I ever want to try, thank you very much. :)

*and for the record, I checked to see if 413 miles on one tank of gas was a record for the car for me, and actually either last summer or the summer before, according to the log, I apparently made it 415 miles, with one pip left, before I chickened out and filled up.

And also for the record, since filling up yesterday, current mileage? 51.1 mpg. πŸ˜€ Woot! Good thing too, since gas is up to $2.69 at CostCo.