Tag Archives: Portland

Welcome To Accelerate PDX

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s already been nearly six months since Karen and I moved to Portland. The name change on this site has taken longer than I expected. Maybe it was me not being ready to finally face the reality. Maybe it was me just being lazy. Whatever the case, today is the day.

You’ll notice the new logo incorporates the Portland skyline and my BMW M5. Uncs Z is back in Minneapolis with my father, so the M5 seemed fitting to be in the new logo.

The adjustment has been easier than I expected. I’ve started meeting new people and have found the local car community. The driving roads here are something I could’ve only wished for back in Minnesota.

While I’ve been insanely busy with work, I know this site has been neglected. I struggled to figure out exactly what I should post here. Most of what I used to post I now write and post for work. While my postings here will be less frequent than they used to be, I do plan to post here.

Thank you to all my followers. It’s been quite a journey since I started this blog. Stay tuned as the journey continues.

Happy New Year: Reflecting On 2011

As I sit here on a plane flying at about 12,000 feet, I wonder how it can already be 2012 and why am I flying to Portland, Oregon to go home. Yes, it’s been a crazy year and it is time once again to reflect on the past 12 months in the life of Feder Feder.

Let’s start with the big one, I got married. Yes, in case you missed it, there is now officially a Mrs. Feder Feder (AKA Karen Feder). Karen and I got married on August 28 with perfect weather and all the family and friends a couple could ask for. It was a beautiful ceremony and an amazing party. While I still haven’t gotten around to uploading the amazing photos to Facebook, the day continues to replay in my head. There’s no question, I’m a lucky guy.

One would think that planning a wedding would mean a whole lot less time at the cabin in the summer. Luckily for me, my (now) wife and mother are rockstars. Working fast and furious to make sure everything was in order, all while ensuring my father and I were content with the amount of quality time at the cabin. In all reality, we spent quite a bit of time up North this past summer. There was plenty of water skiing and thankfully no major accidents. The fishing was terrible, but the cigars, Monster Lo-Carb, and company of my father made up for the lack of actual fish.

Funny enough, a mere month and a half after Karen and I got married, we packed up our stuff and moved out West to Portland, Oregon. My rockstar wife accepted a position with WebTrends as a Search Manager. Not only did we move, but I was traveling both the week before, and the week we actually moved. Needless to see, my champ of a wife moved us and unpacked us.

I’ll fully admit, the decision to move did not come lightly. It was a very difficult decision that we struggled with. Moving away from everything we knew, all our friends and family, might possibly be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Three months later, I don’t regret our decision. But I do still miss our friends and family. That said, I’m happy to report I can now make it to most places in Portland, including Costco and Chipotle, without using a GPS.

I celebrated my one year anniversary at High Gear Media and head into 2012 as the Social Media Manager. While my title hasn’t changed I’ve taken on more responsibility and definitely grown as a writer. The HGM Editorial Mafia breaks knee caps on a daily basis in an effort to make me both a better writer, and probably a better person. For that I am grateful. It’s not often you can say you truly love what you do, and I have the opportunity to say I love both what I do, and who I do it with. The team is terrific and I look forward to what 2012 brings.

Another milestone for me in 2011 was what I dubbed Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged. The week after my wedding I went seven days without touching both the Internet and Monster Lo-Carb. Yes, no Twitter, Facebook, or Email. My RSS reader just continued to collect stuff. Many people didn’t think I could do it. They were wrong. Even my own wife didn’t think I could do it. But she admits that I did. Just for the record, it wasn’t as refreshing as everyone said it would be. I felt lost in the world. Like I had no clue what was going on. Unplugging for a few hours, maybe even a day, is OK. But going seven days with absolutely no Internet or form of communication outside of talking on the telephone or texting, that just felt weird.

Back in March I made the decision it was finally time to sell my 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Yet another tough decision. My Jeep had 172,000 miles on it and literally had three door dings. The paint shined and it ran like a top. It sold in a day and a half. While I truly miss my Jeep some days, I know it went to a good home. I have some amazing memories in that vehicle, but the time had come to move on.

In October right after we moved I purchased the new Federmobile: a 1991 BMW M5. After searching for weeks I found the right car waiting for me three hours north of Portland in Seattle, Washington. A three owner car with every service record dating back to the original delivery of the car. I not only have the records, but also have the original window sticker and key cards with the radio codes and key codes. While the car has 140k on it, most major mechanical parts have been replaced, and the expensive stuff like tuning the valves was done right before I bought it. While the car is my daily driver, it is more of a toy than anything at the current moment.

I know you are all wondering about the four legged member of our family, Otto. He’s doing well. I’m happy to report he is very happy in Portland and loves that our house has only carpet instead of laminate floors like in Minneapolis. He sprints up and down the stairs multiple times a day, all three flights. We are fairly confident the stairs has made him lose a little weight, but when we moved he was only 8.4 pounds, so he didn’t have too much to lose. He’s fully grown and loves to sleep. I am sad to report he finally killed Mr. Fox by ripping open his head. Mr. Fox had a good run of nearly a year and a half. Mr. Fox was replaced by, you guessed it, Mr. Fox II, who sadly was destroyed in three weeks. Otto is moving on to Mr. Fox III, but we aren’t sure about his chances of survival. So we already bought Mr. Fox IIII. Otto is also becoming a world traveler. This flight we are on right now will be his fourth flight. This time, we didn’t even sedate him, and he’s doing quite well.

We spent Thanksgiving with my family in Portland and were able to see both our family in Iowa, and our family in Minneapolis during the holidays. It was terrific to catch up with friends over the holidays and it truly reinforced what great people we have in our lives.

As you might have noticed since I moved to Portland, this blog has been lacking consistent content. The reality is much of what I used to write here is now being written for work. Duplication isn’t necessary. Going forward in 2012, I hope to get back into the habit of writing stuff here more consistently. This is a terrific outlet for my thoughts and I know many of my friends and family read this site to keep up with me and my adventures.

From all the above, I’m guessing you figured out that 2011 was a pretty good year. Some big life changes but all of them leading to new adventures. I look forward to tackling each one head on and seeing what 2012 brings.

So with that I’ll end with wishing everyone a healthy, and happy new year.

This Week’s Wheels: 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8

As many of you saw on Facebook and Twitter last week, I was driving a 2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet in Los Angeles. Upon my return to rainy Portland, a black beauty with a SRT8 badge was waiting for me. With a scowl on the front end and a nice rumble under the hood, this is one mean machine, and I’m loving every minute of it.

As the temperature drops here and the rain continues, the heated steering wheel has been a welcome feature, as have the heated seats.

Stay tuned for more updates.

This Week’s Wheels: 2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist

For my second press vehicle in Portland I’ll be spending the week with a 2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist. See? They are still trying to change my ways.

Regardless of its green cred, I’m looking forward to my week with the LaCrosse eAssist. I spent about 10 minutes driving one once before and in 10 minutes was already making notes about likes and dislikes. So this should make for an interesting, if not fuel efficient, week.

On paper the LaCrosse eAssist impresses with an EPA rating of 36 mpg on the highway. That’s nothing if not eyebrow raising for such a large sedan.

Stay tuned for more updates…as I continue to go green in Portlandia.

Introducing The New Federmobile: 1991 BMW M5

The wait is finally over, and I am happy to announce there is a new Federmobile roaming the streets of…Portland. After months of debating what to buy and looking at numerous vehicles, yesterday I purchased a 1991 BMW M5 near Seattle.

I could go on and on about many things right about now, but there is a black M5 calling my name in the garage. So I will keep this as short as possible. We all know how well this’ll work.

It started in the middle of last week when I found this particular M5 listed on Craigslist in Seattle. I called the seller and learned he was the third owner.  The second owner lived in Seattle, and he believed the first owner lived in Flordia. To his knowledge the car has never seen salt or snow. This car was his toy and never his daily driver. The reason for selling, merely to buy either an E39 M5 or newer M3.

I arranged for a friend who knows much more about this particular car than I, to see it in person and drive it. Friday night I received a call that went something like this:

Friend: “If you don’t come buy this car…I am.”

Me: “Don’t even think about it. I’ll be there in the morning.”

And so it was written. I called the owner and arranged to meet him at his house at 9 AM on Saturday. This was at 10 PM on Friday evening.

Let me take a break to tell you all what a trooper my wife truly is. She loves me. Way more than any of us ever thought. She got up at 4 AM so we could leave the house at 5 AM to go buy this car. Even Otto was wondering what the heck we were doing up so early, as he was less than pleased.

We arrived at the owners house and the car hadn’t been started for the day. The car fired right up and he backed it out for my inspection. The paintwork is all original and the car is in great condition for its age. It definitely needs a detailing and small minor things inside the cabin, but nothing that is completely outrageous.

Karen and I hopped in and took it for a drive. It took three blocks for me to know I was buying this car. When Karen offered to just turn back and let me buy it, I said absolutely not. I wanted to go for a quick drive.

After a short stint on the highway and then on some suburb streets, we were back in the sellers driveway. I confirmed on the agreed upon price, and he handed me a folder. This folder contained not only ever service record from him, but also every service record from the previous owners. Along with all this, the folder had the cards from the BMW factory with the original key and radio key codes. The cherry on top: the original window sticker.

I know you want details, so without further delay:

  • 1991 M5 black on silver/gray
  • 140,000 miles
  • Most every major wear item has been replaced with OEM parts, including but not limited to the water pump, timing belt, most rubber in the engine bay, brake pads and rotors, suspension bits, and much more.
  • Dinan stage one suspension
  • Only major flaw, (if you’d call it that) is the A/C doesn’t work. I’m still not sure if I’ll have this fixed as I’m not sure how necessary it’ll be in Portland.
  • Front leather seats are cracked, but no tears or holes. Leather is still soft.
  • Has an E36 steering wheel (slightly smaller diameter than the original steering wheel).
  • Factory tinted windows.
  • Pulls hard.

Last night I followed Karen on the way back to Portland (a terrific idea since there turned out be way more cops out than I would have ever anticipated) and averaged 24.3 mpg while cruising slightly above the speed limit. I was pleasantly surprised and more than happy with this.

The pictures in this post and in the below gallery were taken this morning without even washing her. The road grime from the drive back and anything else on her has not been cleaned.

I look forward to spending many many rewarding miles in the newest member of the Feder family. While she hasn’t been named anything beyond M5 yet, I can already tell she’ll fit right in.

While I won’t name names, there are specifically five people who literally helped to make this happen. I want to thank you all for helping with this. You know who you are.

This Week’s Wheels: 2011 Nissan Leaf SL

That’s right, I’ll be driving a 2011 Nisan Leaf for the next week. How fitting that it be my first press car out here in Portland, right? They are trying to change me already.

Actually, I’m really quite excited to have the Leaf for a week. I’ve driven one before, but only for a very short distance. It’ll be interesting to experience what it’s like to really live with a vehicle that has a limited range.

Plus, not sure if you noticed, but the wheels share some kind of resemblance to the Z32 300ZX. So that is automatically a win in my book.

Stay tuned for more updates as I go green in Portlandia. Oy…

Long Overdue Update: Hello From Portlandia

Hello out there. I’m coming to you from Portland, or Portlandia as many people I seem to know love to call it. Frankly, I’ve been meaning to post here multiple times in the last three weeks, but needless to say life has been a whirlwind since we started the moving process.

Let me catch you up on what’s going on in the life of the Feders, and what exactly is happening to this blog.

So we moved. There, moving on. Ok fine, just kidding. I’ll skip most of the boring details. Here’s a quick synopsis:

  • Moving sucks
  • Otto isn’t a huge fan of his airline approved pet carrier
  • Moving is made interesting when one person travels for work during the week you move
  • We didn’t really cry until we walked into the Minneapolis airport
  • Nearly nothing got broken in the move
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family is ridiculously hard

While Karen was meeting the movers and unpacking our house, I was in Detroit for half the week and Vegas the other half. Both were work trips, and I offered to skip the Detroit trip but Karen said it wasn’t a big deal. Not sure if she still feels that way, but I don’t feel like asking.

Karen and I rented a house in a suburb called Beaverton. Door to door, it is 21 minutes from our house to her office in downtown Portland, with no traffic. We are a mere 5 minutes away from a Max (the public transit light rail system) station which Karen uses each morning to get downtown, and I suppose to get home as well.

Otto is adjusting well. He loves having a fenced backyard to play in, and he really loves having all the stairs and open space in our house. The one downside of having a three level house is Otto has decided he needs to place toys on each level. He’s taking over our house.

Karen seems to be liking her new job as an Online Marketing Manager at WebTrends. She’s already traveled down to their offices in San Francisco once to work with the team there.

As for me? Well, I’m adjusting. I can’t prove it but this move might have been the hardest for me out of the three of us. Portland is pretty and the people seem nice. The weather is mild and I like the place we chose to live. It’s weird not being able to pick up the phone and just call my friends to go grab a bite to eat, but it has made me appreciate my close friends even more. I’ve had to learn how to *gasp* pick up the phone and call people just to chat. It’s a weird concept that I’m still working on.

And finally this blog, what’s going to happen here? Well, I’ve considered changing the name to Accelerate PDX or Portland, and that change is still on the table. I’ve been too swamped to make any real moves with that. So for the exact moment the logo isn’t changing. My heart still lives in Minneapolis and so the name isn’t a complete lie. But stay tuned for further updates on that.

As for the content, I mentioned originally when the move was made public that the content on this site is going to evolve. Many of the things I used to post here, I now write for our sites at work. So this move has in essence become the immediate catalyst of change. Reviews of new vehicles will still make it here but they will be shorter and more to the point. They might really just become quick driving impressions, but I’m not sure about this at the moment. I want to end up posting more random stuff, and more updates about me, my life with cars, and my family. Now that I’ve moved, this is a great outlet for people to be able to keep up with what’s going on with the Feders. My life revolves around cars, so this shouldn’t change the focus too much. Besides who are we kidding, name a day I didn’t talk about cars with someone somewhere at some point.

I don’t see these changes happening quickly and it will take time for me to adapt. So stick with me if you will.

This whole thing has been an adventure and I look forward to continue to share it with you.

Announcement: The Feders Are Moving To Portland

I keep reading the title of this post and have a hard time believing I typed it. It’s true, we are moving to Portland, OR.

Karen has accepted an amazing opportunity as the Search Manager for WebTrends. I am so proud of her and am being as supportive as possible.

We’ll be moving in a few weeks, and she will be starting on October 17. Did I mention I’ll be traveling for work the entire week we are moving?

This decision did not come lightly. There have been many tears shed and heated arguments as to what we should do. But in the end, Karen taking this position is the right decision. I’m sad we will be moving away from our friends and family.

As many of you know, one of my main priorities in life is the family cabin up North. Giving up the ability to go up to this place of serenity as often as I want in the summer is so difficult, words escape me. I know how devastated you are that you won’t be seeing new pictures of me water skiing every weekend. Trust me, I’m even more devastated that I won’t be going water skiing nearly as often.

As far as my job goes, this won’t affect my position with High Gear Media in anyway. In fact, one of our editors lives in Portland. It’ll be great to be able to collaborate with him.

I know many of you are wondering what will happen to this blog, as it is called Accelerate Mpls. I’ve been giving it some thought and have yet to really determine what I will do with the name. For the current moment as we are in the midst of the move, I am going to leave the name alone.

This blog started as an outlet for my automotive passion, quickly turning into a site where I could post automotive news and reviews. Since I joined High Gear Media, a lot of the content I now write is posted for work on our network. That leaves this site for some reviews and other personal stuff. I decided before my wedding that this site would evolve, and I believe this move is going to be the catalyst for the evolution. I will still post reviews, and random stuff, but I would like to see it morph to be more about me, my life with cars, and cars. You know, instead of just being about cars.

Portland is going to be a whole new adventure, and I can’t wait to experience it with Karen and Otto. Stay tuned for more updates, as I will try to provide plenty.