Monthly Archives: November 2013

Data and Information

The winds of fate hurled yon TPKoC (The Pirate King of Cars) to the shores of Barnes and Noble.  A favorite place to go from ages in the past and hopefully on to the future.

Of course, they may not have books there in the future, but I’m sure they will continue to have things of interest.

In any case, there I was on this beautiful place that should there have been fewer than 4 kids in my life I might spend hours there.

Time is of the essence and I found something interesting…  A magazine “Used Car Prices” From VMR Vehicle Market Research.

Methinks that from data just lying there this could become information.  I quickly seized the magazine (and paid for it) and left.

Oh, the analysis I could do and release information to the world.  I decide quickly to type the contents of the book in to an Excel spreadsheet in preparation to load it in to SQL Server.

But…  The data might be fine for someone trying to find out what a car is worth (prices seem 2K low, even for this); however, it is not fine for doing data analysis.

Vehicle descriptions differ from year to year for the same car.  Abbreviations are used, or not used willy nilly (look at Audi – Premium Plus or Premium+ or Prem+.

There are header lines for each model, but they include information that can only be on the detail level.  For example:

2009 Aud TT FW/2.0T-IfT (200hp) – this is all header information.

But when you look at the details, not all Audi TT coupes/convertibles from the year 2009 have the same engine (2.0T, 3.2 V6).  Not all Audi TT coupes/convertibles have the same drive train (FWD, AWD).  So, clearly, this information cannot be header information if it isn’t the same for all the detail/children records!

It is exhausting going through this data, but in the end it might be worth it.  Will the analysis of the data be perfect?  No, master data screwed means that analysis can never be more than ok…

2009 Mini JCW Clubman – First week in Review

Pieces of Eight me hearties – feels like platinum to drive this car.

Well, no, honestly, but it is damned good.

TPKoC (The Pirate King of Cars) loves driving this car so much that he nearly drove a thousand miles – starting miles 37040 – current miles – 38010!


TPKoC popped the clutch once late Monday and apparently one of the air intakes for the turbo were knocked loose.  The symptoms were unsteady idle.  Mates – TPKoC was ready to return the car and say “Never again” to used cars.

But no, a quick trip to the dealer and they were able to fix it quickly with no muss.  Paid for oil change and spark plug replacement of $300, though.  It is a new to me car and those didn’t seem like demanding TPKoC walk the plank…

Figuring out some of these buttons might take a bit of time – especially the fog light button.  Sometimes it lights the top, sometimes it lights the bottom, sometimes it lights both, but I can’t figure out how to make it do what?  Right now, it seems I can turn the top fog light on and off with relative alacrity…

Found out from friends on the web that you should warm the car up before setting off and this will hopefully save wear and destruction on the turbos.  Also, apparently, good practice to let the car idle for a minute or two before shutting it off.

Methinks TPKoC can handle that; however, he is sure used to just starting and going or stopping and walking away with most modern cars.  Not such a horrible thing, though, for having such a hot car!

While the onboard electronics have determined my mpg to be 28.9, using math and looking in to the air in the hopes of inspiration TPKoC has determined that the car got slightly better than 30 mpg for the second tank of gas.  This is dead-on similar to the mpg in TPKoC’s old Corolla, with a lot less fun to be had in that Corolla.

The 2009 (coincidentally) Corolla was so mundane it was helping to make TPKoC a boring person.

Now, TPKoC just wants to drive his JCW places and take pictures of it.

A 2009 JCW Mini Review

Arrrgh, mateys…  The first week of owning the 2009 JCW Mini Cooper Clubman!  It has been a week of ups and downs.  In the end it is all good.

I found this video review of a 2009 JCW Mini Cooper that is almost identical to TPKoC’s car!  From a technical perspective this is a great review.  Unfortunately, it is really boring.  TPKoC couldn’t imagine the great god Jeremy Clarkson’s review of a JCW Mini Cooper being boring.

Perhaps The Pirate King of Cars can take a stab at a video review of his car!


The youngest male pirate in the household called the Mini “The World’s smallest Limo!” and loved the door that opened just for him to use.