A year with the Mk-Z

A year with the #Mk-Z

This was the first US-built four-door car that attracted me from the get-go and I ordered mine early on. The design still gets compliments from both young and old wherever I park. The dash is well laid-out and everything is in easy reach.

Overall Quality:

After some initial frustrating issues, the car has performed extremely well. Knowledgeable techs and very capable support team managed all service appointments within the promised timeframe and there was always a loaner car available. I have averaged 36.1MPG, quite a bit less than #Ford had stated in their documentation, but they did send a check to “make good” on that mistake.

After a year with the car, there are some issues that reinforce the perception that an American car is made with subpar components and it will likely stay in the stable for a few more months before it is relegated to the “it was fun while it lasted”.

The three main issues that will very likely get me in another brand for the next car are:


Ford never was, and apparently still is not, capable of designing a very comfortable seat. Jaguar, GM, Toyota, and VW all have been able to come up with a design that is comfortable on long haul trips. Why Ford never adapted some of these designs from Jaguar into their other products is beyond me, but I guess it has a lot to do with “if it wasn’t designed here then….” attitude. It is one of the reasons I stay away from Hertz too!

Leather Interior:

The biggest difference between all European luxury cars I have owned (or still own) and the Lincoln is the quality of the leather. After just 20,000 miles – less than half of those are with a passenger in the car – both front seats are already showing significant wear in the leather. I have cars that are 30 years old with 100,000+ miles on the odometer where the leather is in better shape. I certainly expected the leather on the Lincoln to last a bit longer that this. The seat A/C works well, but there is a distinct dark dust deposited on the seats each time it is turned on. Even my Chevy Silverado leather still looked better at 250,000 miles!

Navigation System:

In two words….. IT SUCKS!

First of all, the $300 map that comes with the car is (was) at least a year old. I know this for sure since major highways in the area that had been open for at least 14 months are not part of the map system.

Navigation in quickest route is always wrong. On a recent road trip (I have been heading there for at least seven years and the route is well known to me), the car decided to want to take me on 732 miles, 10:50 hours ride that according to Google and my trusted Garmin was only 634 miles and 8:48 long. Why it routed me some hundred miles out of my way is beyond me, but Ford must have logic to their madness.

The SYNC voice command system performs poorly at best. If the car is in motion, that is the only way you can enter an address since the panel is locked out. So, you will need to pull over and enter an address.

But, lastly, the most annoying part would be the flashing white circle surrounding the triangle that represents the vehicle. N one has figured out how to eliminate this blinking light.

So, I keep my Garmin with lifetime map updates in the car and use it 90% of the time.

In a nutshell, I must rate the attempt at luxury and comfort a complete fiasco.


Cambo Actus and the Fuji X-T1

This afternoon I got to do some preliminary testing with the Cambo Actus fixed to the Fuji X-T1.

This, I believe, will be a great addition to the landscape photo kit I travel with. I tested the Nikkor 75mm and Schneider 90mm and discovered that the Schneider 47mm would not focus to infinity, but as a macro or even close portrait lens, this lens will work superbly.

There was not much difference between coverage of the 75 and 90mm lenses, and I liked the results with the latter quite a bit better.

The images (on the linked page below) with the proprietary Fuji and Zeiss fixed focus lenses at 12mm, 23mm, and 35mm.

The 90mm Schneider comes close to the coverage area of the 35mm lens. Although not very wide for landscapes, the Cambo Actus will provide for some incredibly sharp images in many instances.

Tomorrow morning I will go to one of the few scenic spots in town and see how it does in the field. This way I can test the system including a Lee polarizer and some graduated filters.

Here is the link to the test images shot.


My quest for the perfect beef ribs

Few BBQ restaurants serve beef ribs, probably as a result of low yield from the purchased weight.

The best beef ribs I have ever eaten are found in Kansas City’s #Fiorella’s Jack Stack BBQ. Each time I am in the area, a stop at Jack Stack is a must. I’ve frequently even bought additional meals and taken the extra portions back home to enjoy the following days.


This image was taken from their website!


In Texas, as I drive around the area, I have come across a few places that do beef ribs, and even fewer that do it well.

 A favorite spot with top-notch beef ribs is the #Woodshed Smokehouse in Fort Worth. All the fat is cooked off the meat, and the sauce is a wonderful peach-based glaze.

 On a trip to southern Texas last week I decided to stop at a couple of popular BBQ restaurants to try their (supposedly) top-rated beef ribs.

I stopped in Lockhart, home to the best BBQ according to many food critics. #Black’s BBQ might be rated in the top spots, but in my book it does not rise to the occasion. The meat was extremely fatty – both the brisket and the ribs, and a little less than half of my order found its way to the garbage on my way out.


Two ribs and a slice of brisket at Black’s

On my way back the next day, I revisited #Cooper’s in Llano. I did not remember them serving prime rib during the week, and had to have some – in addition to the beef ribs. Both were great. A tad too much salt for my taste, but a wonderful smoked taste and extremely tender meat. It would be well worth the ride down for a weekend day lunch – if I want to stand in line!


The pit at Cooper’s

Closer to home we have Kenny’s. Their ribs were good, but definitely not in Cooper’s or Jack Stack’s league. Far from it! Because of proximity I will likely be a frequent visitor, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the ribs, but more with the distance from door to door! Had Tony Roma’s not shut all of it’s area locations, they would still have my vote!


The ribs at Kenny’s

RIP Blackberry

Blackberry might have ended its agreement with T-Mobile, but AT&T removed all of Blackberry models from its stores weeks if not months ago.  Is this the real end of Blackberry and its iconic phones with actual QWERTY keyboards?  Too bad, because after using the Android and iPhone for years, I am missing the actual keyboard for easy typing.  RIP #Blackberry

The WorldWide Web allows for domain extension

And the WWW expands to allow a herd of new #domain extensions.

Except for Safari on the #Mac, all other browsers already seem to support these. Some of the fun ones that have been released are:

.art     (as in http://www.digital.art)









On Apple’s Safari, you will have to type in the http:// part before entering the web address to be directed to the right domain. Surely they will be interested in fixing this!

Other extensions are becoming available throughout the year.  Hundreds of them.

This is the first time since the “.com” craze of the early ‘80s that we are given the chance to choose some short domain names for use in our marketing going forward.

Can it be?

It has been a good 8 months since I last picked up my 8×10 Zone VI film camera, so I sold it and the lenses I had for the camera.

I am sizing down and reducing the weight I carry around on my trips.  The largest film I will continue to work with is 4×5.

At the same time, I have fully invested in the #Fujifilm X format , with 3 bodies including the new#XX-T1 and several lenses.  I am very impressed with the files and CaptureOne’s handling of the color space.  The latest addition to the X series will be a game changer for the big guys like Nikon.  I can see no reason why I need to lug around 60 pounds instead of 12 pounds of camera gear, lenses, filters, meters, and lights.





Why is it that we as consumer cannot accept a given retail price of “X”, yet gladly wait for a huge sale when the price goes from “X multiplied by 2 or 3” down to “X”?

And what if we walk in to a store when it is not on sale?  Oh well, we just buy it anyway.

Have we really been that hoodwinked by flyers and other types of advertising?

Looks like what worked for Apple is definitely not working for JC Penney.

This article made me think of the subject:


It appears you can always fall from cult status, but you cannot go from mainstream to cult.