Corbin's Treehouse - Corbin Dunn, Santa Cruz, CA
Plug Bug

The Electric Bug Chronicles: Cops.

Stories from the driver’s seat.

I have been pulled over at least ten times by the cops. It has become less frequent the past two years, although part of the reason is probably because I didn’t get to drive the bug a lot for the past year due to transmission trouble. I can recognize when it is going to happen, and let me share some of my favorite stories.
One time I was driving home on Highway 85 in the carpool lane. A cop pulls in the lane behind me, and starts tailgating me. Now, his lights aren’t on, and I’m not doing anything wrong. I figure he just really needed to get by me, so I pull into the next lane and let him pass. Then I immediately get back into the fast lane. The cop, now in front of me, pulls into the left breakdown lane area and slams on his brakes causing me to speed by him. He pops back into my lane right behind me and flips on the lights. I pull over into the breakdown lane, and he walks up to the window and says, “I was going to let you go but you got right back into the carpool lane!” I showed him piece of paper that validates the carpool lane stickers and said I have a zero emissions vehicle. He looks it over and says “alright”, and I take off ahead of him.
I’ve always liked monkeys and on one of my old cars I had found some stickers and put a call sign on the door titled “Monkey <star>”. My friend Jason laser cut some for my bug to continue the tradition:

The Electric Bug Chronicles: You’re kicked out!

Stories from the driver’s seat.

So, this happened about three years ago. I was driving the bug to the Summit Store in the Santa Cruz mountains, and pulled into the parking lot. It was a hot day, and my “air conditioning” is just a matter of rolling the windows down. Some guy was staring at me as I pulled in and gave a yell: “HEY! That doesn’t sound right — they are going to kick you out of the VW club!”. Hah! Yeah, vee-dubs have a distinctive sound and my car lacks it. I still plan to add a jetson soundtrack to the car at some point….
Below is a shot of the hood. If you look carefully you can see a unicycle in the back seat on top of the batteries. And a skateboarder.
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The Electric Bug Chronicles: Hey, Don’t Pull Him Over!

Stories from the driver’s seat.

In the past four or five years I have been pulled over by cops a lot. I always get set on my way without a ticket; so far I haven’t been caught for speeding.
One day, about two or three years ago, I was driving along on Highway 85 in the carpool lane. A cop pops behind me, and I know the drill before it happens: they are going to turn on their lights and pull me over. They do. As soon as they walk up to my window I hand them a little piece of paper that validates my coveted “white stickers”. They look it over, and send me on my way. 
But that isn’t the story! The fun part came the following day as I’m driving up Highway 17 in a lot of heavy traffic. I’m in the “fast” lane and see a motorcyclist splitting the lanes. He slows down beside my passenger window, and starts revving his engine to get my attention. Now, keep in mind my last encounters with motorcyclists hadn’t been so great. I roll down my passenger window (which isn’t easy), and the guy starts yelling at me: “I saw the cop pulling you over yesterday, and said no! Don’t pull him over — he’s electric!”. It made my day to hear him say that. Some people get it!
Here’s a picture of the motor from back in 2011. It looked really clean back then!  
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The Electric Bug Chronicles: F – You

Stories from the driver’s seat.

This is something that happened about four years ago, and the picture below is from 2011. 
The California HOV white stickers: the privilege to drive solo in the carpool lane during rush hour is very mjuch coveted by EV drivers. Back in 2011 it was a time when the yellow hybrid stickers had already expired, and people would only occasionally see a Tesla Roadster, and even less frequently a boxy EV RAV4 (unless your last name is Adelman). So, I was driving solo the carpool lane on Highway 85 one day, and a motorcycle comes by splitting the lanes. He slows down and takes a good peek at me going solo in the carpool lane, and assumes I was violating the law. His answer was to show me his middle finger, and then continue alone his way. Ah, ignorance! 
I would have taken this as a one-off event, but the same thing happened again about six months later! And I’m pretty sure it was a different motorcyclist. 
Below is a shot of the oft-missed white stickers. Some people hate putting them on their cars; I think they are a badge of honor!
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The Electric Bug Chronicles: Window down

Stories from the driver’s seat.

It was quite chilly out as I was driving home on 17 yesterday in the fast lane. I was surprised to see a guy in a red BMW with his window fully rolled down driving in the right lane and zipping past me a bit. He slowed down, and cranked his head out the window, pointing his ear at my car as I passed by. He then sped up and gave me a big thumbs up. He must have saw my carpool lane stickers, and was leaning out to “hear” how quiet my car is!

And now a picture of one of my charging spots at work. The Tesla and I are parked in non-marked EV spots. When we are done charging we don’t have to move our cars, and two other EVs can take the plug and start sucking electrons. 

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Bathroom Vanity / Remodel

A “walk around” video of my vanity:

I’m super happy with how it turned out! A nice eco friendly concrete countertop:

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Aqua Coat water based wood finish on my utility cabinet

The next project after my bathroom vanity is a small utility sink cabinet made out of hard maple. Serendipitously I got a message from Aqua Coat asking to review their water based coating right when I had just finished putting the cabinet together. I am a big fan of water based coatings because they are eco-friendly. When you spray traditional coatings they emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are bad for the environment and highly volatile. Water based coatings like Aqua Coat won’t combust, and are generally safer for the person who has to work with them. Aqua Coat sent me a quart of their Clear Lacquer in Satin — my favorite sheen of choice, and just enough product to finish this small cabinet:

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Right off the bat they sold me on the container: it has a screw on re-closable lid!  This is so much easier to deal with than paint can style containers. 

I had to warm up my garage from the mid 50s to about 63-65F to ensure it was warm enough for spraying (60F minimum is required). I then stirred the container and poured some into the gun for my HVLP (A Fuji Mini Mate). I adjusted the spray and put on a coat. It seemed to flow really well, and leveled out quickly.  It also felt easier to spray; it didn’t seem to want to drip as easily as some other products. Although, I did get it to drip a bit when I put on one coat a bit too heavy. I find it easy to touch up with a small brush if you catch it early enough. 

The Aqua Coat also dries very fast. After about 45-60 minutes it was more than dry enough to sand and smooth out minor imperfections. I probably should have shot a first coat with some of their sanding sealer, but instead I just went straight for the lacquer. I put on four coats total, and the finished cabinet looks great! The finish is super smooth and has a nice satin sheen. Here’s a shot of my maple door:

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There’s not much more to say. Water based finishes also mean easy water based cleanup!

The container alone is a reason for me to switch from some other water based coatings, and I’ll definitely be using their products on some of my future projects. I recommend others to give them a try!


Bathroom Vanity: Completed!

My bathroom vanity is complete! This is a picture before I fixed the sink on. I originally had a different more square sink, but it was simply too white. This sink is an off white basque / biscuit / almond type of color, and doesn’t stand out as much against the light green counter top. Things are now done and it is working well! That’s me in the mirror. I’ll post a walk around video soon.

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New domain for cyr wheel stuff!

I now have that redirects to my Circus/Cyr Wheel blog section. Cool!

Purple Unicycle

My friend Patricia wanted a purple unicycle to match her brother Scott’s frame. Scott has my old KH26 that I painted purple back in 2010. Just like last time, I did a coat of Chrome, and as soon as it was out of the oven I shot it with purple and put it back in for 20 more minutes.

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(c) 2008-2015 Corbin Dunn

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