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REIKIsoluciones para el Año Nuevo

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Al Volante de la Vida
Ahora que se nos pasó la resaca del año nuevo, es hora de ponerse a trabajar por un año mejor, tanto al volante como fuera de él. Nos servirá para vivir más tiempo y más felices.
©2010 Isaac Hernández
Todo puede comenzar al volante, porque pasamos muchas horas al día sentados dentro del carro. Según Tom Vanderbilt, autor de Traffic, Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us), el estadounidense medio pasa 438 horas al año viajando en carro.
Quizás usted no crea en las resoluciones de año nuevo que se olvidan a la semana de hacerlas. Es normal sentirnos confrontados cuando hacemos una promesa muy grande y acabar abandonándola con una excusa: “En realidad no quería hacer eso”.
El Reiki, una práctica originaria de China y evolucionó en Japón, que se basa en cinco principios que comienzan con “Kyo dake wa” (Sólo por hoy en japonés), puede enseñarnos a enfocarnos en las metas del día a día en lugar de en algo que parezca imposible. Aplicaremos estos cinco principios al volante, para manejar y manejarnos mejor.
Sólo por hoy no me preocuparé. Descansaré bien por la noche para así poder enfocarme mejor en el manejo. Hoy no ahogaré mis penas con alcohol o drogas que puedan poner en peligro esa misma vida o la de los demás. En estos tiempos de crisis es fácil preocuparse, pero lo mejor es ocuparse, aunque sólo sea por hoy. Si no estoy preocupado tendré más facilidad de estar presente al volante, atento a todo lo que me rodea, abierto a nuevos caminos que se abren.
Sólo por hoy no me enfadaré. Me olvidaré del “road rage”. Respiraré profundo y me tranquilizaré, canalizando esa energía en algo positivo. Seré cortés, dejando espacio a los demás carros, cediendo el paso a quien lo necesite (incluyendo a los peatones). No causaré accidentes. Utilizaré los intermitentes, prenderé las luces para que me vean en cuanto esté a punto de ponerse el sol y quitaré las luces largas cuando haya un carro frente a mí para no cegar a su conductor.
Sólo por hoy honraré a mis padres y maestros. Mis padres me dieron vida. Los aceptaré como son, y como no son. No discutiré al volante. Estaré relajado. Respetaré las normas de tráfico y las opiniones de los demás, aunque no esté de acuerdo. Estaré dispuesto a aprender todos los días de mis maestros, y de los niños. Mi hijo me dijo una vez algo así: “Si tu te enfadas con otro conductor, manejarás peor, y eso hará que otro conductor se enfade contigo, y otro se enfadará con él… No te enfades.”
Sólo por hoy me ganaré mi sustento honradamente. Me aplicaré en mi trabajo. No me distraeré mandando mensajes de texto o hablando por el teléfono móvil mientras manejo. Llevaré puesto el cinturón de seguridad. Me enfocaré en mi crecimiento sostenible. Pondré lo mejor de mi mismo, amando lo que hago, aunque sólo sea conducir entre el tráfico al trabajo, agradecido en tener destino y trabajo.
Sólo por hoy mostraré gratitud por todo lo que me rodea. Manifestaré mi agradecimiento con los otros conductores, con mis padres, y con el mundo, por las oportunidades que me ha dado, por el carro que puedo manejar. Agradeceré el poder vivir en este mundo, circulando por estas carreteras, recordando que soy parte del atasco. Lo que le pasa a uno nos pasa a todos.
Feliz Año Nuevo.


Written by Isaac Hernandez

enero 1, 2010 at 7:49 pm

Publicado en automovil

New Year REIKIsolutions

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It’s as good a time as ever to start working for a better year or a better decade, at the wheel of an automobile or at the wheel of life. A little thought may help us live longer and happier.
©2009 Isaac Hernández
I’m writing from the last day of 2009 in California, already 2010 in China. Right now we in Santa Barbara are getting ready to receive the new year of the Roman calendar, while in Beijing most people are
already sleeping after the celebration. By the time these words have been translated to Mandarin and printed, the Year of the Tiger will also be imminent. It’s a perfect time to make New Year’s resolutions.
Perhaps you don’t believe in resolutions, which can have a tendency to get forgotten a week after they’re declared. It’s a normal thing to feel confronted by a big promise, and end up abandoning it with an
excuse: “I didn’t really want to do that”.
Perhaps you don’t believe in Reiki, the energy practice of LING QI, which began in China, and is used for healing. Whether you believe in it or not, there are five Reiki principles that, in Japanese, begin with the words “Kyo dake wa” (Just for today). I’ve discovered that they can be very practical for New Year’s resolutions. These three
words can inspire us to focus on our goals day by day, instead of looking at larger, yearly, seemingly impossible goals.
Given that Americans spend an average of 438 hours a year in a car, according to Tom Vanderbilt (, author of Traffic, Why We Drive The Way We Do (And What It Says About Us), the
car will be the vehicle for my resolutions.
Think about it. 438 hours per year adds up to 1.2 hours per day. I know people that spend more time than that daily behind the wheel. Nevertheless, if the average person spends that much time in a car, by
the time I’m 70 years old, I’d have spent over 30,000 hours on wheels! And judging by how long I’m taking to write these words, I’ll spend another 30,000 hours writing about driving! This seems like a ridiculous amount of one’s lifetime to spend in traffic, trying to get somewhere. For this year, I will focus on being happy where I am,
instead of trying to get somewhere, hurrying, fighting to get through. But wait, I’m forgetting about the Reiki principles: Just for today I will focus on being happy where I am. So I have adapted the Reiki
principles to the automobile, whose intention is to allow for small daily measures of peace that add up to a longer, happier life.
Just for today I won’t worry. I’ll get plenty of rest before I drive so that I can focus better and be present at the wheel, enjoying every second of it. Today I won’t drink alcohol or do drugs before driving, putting my life and those of others in danger. Rather than worry, I will focus at the wheel, even if it’s just for today. When I’m not
worried, I can be in the moment, aware of all the surroundings, and open to new experiences, willing to take the road less traveled.
Just for today I won’t get upset. I’ll intentionally let go of any “road rage”. I’ll breathe deeply, redirecting this energy into something positive. I’ll be polite, allowing space for the other cars, and yielding to others (including pedestrians). I won’t cause accidents. I’ll use the turning signals. I’ll turn on my headlights before sunset so that other people can see my car, not just when I need to see. I’ll use my high beams when I need them, and will switch
to low beams when there’s traffic coming the other way so as to avoid blinding other drivers.
Just for today I will honor my parents and teachers. My parents gave me life. I will accept them as they are, and as they aren’t. I won’t argue (especially not at the wheel). I will relax. I’ll respect the traffic laws, and the opinions of others, even if I don’t agree. I’ll be ready to learn every day, from my teachers, and from children. My son once said to me, “If you get angry at another driver, you’ll drive worse, and that will make another driver get mad at you, and another driver will be angry at him, and you’ll create a lot of upset drivers.
Just don’t get angry.”
Just for today I will earn a living honestly. I’ll apply myself to my work. I won’t get distracted sending text messages or speaking on the mobile phone while I drive. I’ll wear the seatbelt. I will make a living sustainably, using only what I need, turning off the lights when I’m not in the room. I’ll consider walking, riding my bicycle or
taking public transportation before driving, to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases and to keep the Earth a living space for future generations. I’ll give the best of myself, loving what I do; even the simple things like walking or driving, feeling fortunate that I have legs and a place to go to.
Just for today I will be grateful for everything that surrounds me. I’ll express my gratitude to other drivers, to my parents, my children, to the whole world, for the opportunities that are given to me, for the opportunities that are coming my way, for the old and reliable Honda Civic that was given to me by my father-in-law (thank you, Bud). I will be grateful for all that I have and all I don’t have, for the oceans that provide rain, for the air that lets me breath. I will be thankful for being able to live in the world, circulating these roads, remembering that I am part of the traffic jam. Whatever happens to me happens to everyone. We’re all connected.
Happy New Year!
PS. A Chinese proverb says, “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back”. You’re arriving to the Year of the Tiger before me. Could you please tell me how the year is? 😉 My email:
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Written by Isaac Hernandez

enero 1, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Publicado en automovil

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Hemi Hybrid

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Hemi Hybrid
Celebrating the American Roots and Growing New Green Branches
©2009 Isaac Hernández

Bob Lee, the man behind the rebirth of the HEMI V8 engine in 2003, has recently been replaced by Paolo Ferrero as senior Vice President of Chrysler Powertrain. Lee continues at Chrysler, but now Ferrero, who served as vice-president of product engineering at Fiat, calls the shots when it comes to engines.

Fiat owns 20% of Chrysler Group LLC and has management power. As part of the investment deal, Fiat will provide its fuel-efficient engines to Chrysler. If Fiat were to manufacture these engines in the US, the Italian company would be allowed to purchase an additional 5% of the American brand.

Some people in America are afraid that the Fiat takeover would represent the end of the HEMI engine. At Chrysler LLC, they love the HEMI and they’re making sure that the Italians learn to love it too.

During a recent visit of the Italian Minister of Economic Development, Claudio Scajola, to the Chrysler headquarters, the Italian delegation was shown the wind tunnel with no other than a HEMI Chrysler Viper SRT-10 ACR in it.

During the MotoGP Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix races in Laguna Seca, California, Fiat Yamaha Team riders former World Champion Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo drove a 425-horsepower 6.1-liter HEMI-powered Dodge Challenger SRT8.

I have been lucky to drive the Dodge Challenger HEMI on the Willow Springs racetrack first by myself, and then with Erich Heuschele at the wheel ( Erich, Supervisor of Vehicle Dynamics SRT Engineering, is passionate about the HEMI. He later gave me a ride in the Viper ACR (

Today I want to celebrate the Hemi heritage, in honor of those men and women who have given their ingenuity to develop the hemispherical combustion chamber, which with its arched shape, allows for the spark plug to be placed in the center of the chamber and the position of the valves allows for better breathing of the engine.

The first Chrysler HEMI engine was an inverted V-16, rated at 2,500 horsepower, developed for WWII aircraft, but it never made it into production. Fiat’s own history has a hemispherical engine, the one that powered the A.L.F.A. 40/60 GP car in 1914. There have been other hemispherical engines before, in racecars from Peugeot, Pipe and Miller, as well as production cars from Duesenberg. Stutz and Offenhauser, among others.

Chrysler continued developing the HEMI after WWII, but it wasn’t until the Chrysler C300 came out in 1955 that the legend began to be written. It was the first production car in the US with over 300 hp. Chrysler won the NASCAR Grand National title and the AAA Championship, with a whooping 33 race victories. Many say the C300 was the first muscle car. The FirePower engine came to propel different models of Dodge, Chrysler, Imperial and DeSoto cars. The Hemi engine died with the 1959 model year.

The legend was reborn in 1964, specifically to win at NASCAR. And win it did. Richard Petty dominated in 1964 and 1966 with the blue Plymouth Superbird Number 43, powered by the 426 Hemi (426 for its cubic inches, or 7 liters). It became such an important part of American car culture, that in the 2006 film Cars, Pixar included a car inspired on the Superbird, named “King”, voiced by Petty himself. It was for this second generation that Chrysler trademarked the name Hemi. Its life came again to an end in 1971.

The first Chrysler HEMI lasted for four years, the second one for twice as long. If we were to follow mathematical logic, the third generation (built in 5.7, 6.1 and 6.4 liter variations, so far) born in 2003 should be around until 2015. Will it? Unfortunately, as much as Americans love their HEMI, sales may not be supporting its long-term survival.

The HEMI of the future?

American ingenuity will find a way to have fun with cars and be environmentally friendly, now that our main focus ought to be to reduce carbon emissions, so that our children don’t have to suffer extreme global warming.

Popular Mechanics (PM) modified a Dodge Challenger SRT8, turning it into an Eco+Muscle car. The idea is to use “inexpensive aerodynamic aids, a state-of-the-art electric drive system and some other helpful bits” to turn the Challenger “into a parallel hybrid plug-in/solar/electric that burns no fuel at all in everyday driving.“

PM paid $30,740.00 for the Challenger, and quite a bit more on gasoline, doing 9.0 mpg in stop-and-go traffic. On the freeway, because of the computerized cylinder deactivation, they could get as much as 25.4 mpg on the highway.

The tuners went all out, trying to squeeze as much power out of the V-8, even adding a nitrous system. Then they added a UQM electric motor, at a weight penalty of 89 lbs. producing 125 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor provides all torque from the very beginning, improving acceleration for the Challenger. How do you power it? With 28 Exide Select Orbital lead batteries in the back seat, producing 336 volts. This was the best compromise between power and price, according to PM. They’d prefer a lithium-ion system, but pricing was out of their range.

The racing stripes on the carbon fiber hood are actually flexible solar panels, which help charge the batteries. “On a sunny day, they recharge the battery at a rate of 2.5 amps”.

The rear axle was modified and so was the fuel tank. There’s also a fuel cell under the trunk. Making everything fit took some genius. You can read more about it in

The cool thing about the Eco+Muscle Challenger is that the foot pedal controls the combustion engine, while a hand throttle sends powers the electric motor.

To compensate for the extra weight, many body parts were replaced with carbon fiber. The car sports new lighter seats and no rearview mirrors, which were replaced by more aerodynamic video cameras.

There’s still work to do. The engineers are still trying to make the car work on fully electric mode in the city. Right now, the Hemi has to idle to power the power steering and power brakes even if the electric motor is driving the car.

The Eco+Muscle maybe a crazy idea, and an expensive one (PM doesn’t say how much it would cost to build one without all the sponsors), but it’s definitely a fun idea. My hat goes off to the people who want to reconcile the muscle with the eco, the past with the future.

Written by Isaac Hernandez

noviembre 27, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Publicado en automovil, hybrid, sports car

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Mi amigo Josh Hancock, comentarista de radio, realizó este video en el LA Auto Show.

Disfrútenlo. Es de morirse de risa.

Written by Isaac Hernandez

enero 11, 2009 at 2:05 am

Publicado en auto show, automovil

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Video Yipao Colombia

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Written by Isaac Hernandez

noviembre 9, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Publicado en automovil

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Carta de Amor a Colombia

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Cuando era joven…, ejem, digamos más joven, soñaba con la idea de
recorrer América y conocer en persona los lugares que me parecían tan
cercanos a través de la literatura de Cortázar, Neruda, Vargas Llosa,
García Márquez, Coelho, Rulfo y tantos otros que liberaron mi
Dejé Madrid, España, para asentarme en Santa Bárbara, California.
Aunque he tenido la fortuna de descubrir muchas bellezas de este
continente, particularmente de México, mis sueños de conocer el
Macondo de Juan Arcadio Buendía quedaron relegados por las
responsabilidades que trae la edad… hasta ahora.
Gracias a una generosa invitación de Chrysler viajé a Colombia, aunque
no a encontrarme con el idealizado Aracataca caribeño, sino a recorrer
la región cafetera del departamento del Quindío, a descubrir el cariño
que sienten los colombianos por sus tradiciones y, en especial, por
uno de los Jeep más emblemáticos: el Willys.
Hoy en día, un Jeep es un vehículo de lujo en Colombia, debido a que
reciben un 35% de aranceles de importación, más un 20% de IVA. Sólo se
venden cerca de 800 unidades al año de las que 120 corresponden al
modelo Wrangler. Sin embargo, a finales de los años cuarenta, miles de
Willys llegaron a Colombia como parte de un programa de ayuda de
Estados Unidos, dejando un profundo legado que aún hoy perdura.
Abordo de un Wrangler Unlimited negro 2008 viajábamos para encontrar
una inesperada pasión por el Jeep o, mejor dicho, ‘Yip’. Un recorrido
por poblaciones como Calarcá, Armenia y la preciosa Salento, nos
permitió ver a los ‘yipaos’ en acción, pues son utilizados en forma
regular como medio de carga y de transporte. También tuvimos la
oportunidad de hablar con entusiastas coleccionistas y restauradores
de estos vehículos; los primeros, verdaderos eruditos del tema y los
otros capaces de reconstruir a golpe de martillo cualquier pieza de la
En todo caso, nada de lo anterior nos pudo preparar para el Desfile
Yipao, una verdadera escena ‘macondiana’ donde un centenar de estos
Jeep, cargados de muebles, animales, gente, frutas o verduras, se
abren camino en cámara lenta en medio de miles de espectadores, bien
sea en cuatro o en dos ruedas.
Ver la gente corriendo delante de los coches ‘picaos’ en dos ruedas
daba miedo. Entonces vinieron a la memoria los Sanfermines de
Pamplona. Las imágenes de Cristo en lo alto de los Willys y la gente
asomada en los balcones de sus casas me recordaron las procesiones de
Semana Santa en Sevilla. El lento caminar de la caravana, con gallinas
colgando de los laterales de los coches, y la gente cantando y
compartiendo historias, risas y aguardiente, me hizo sentir como si
estuviera en la Romería del Rocío, un peregrinaje anual hacia la
ermita del mismo nombre también en Andalucía.
Y es que en Colombia me sentí como en mi propia casa, como en la
España de mi infancia; envuelto en la música (salsa, vallenato y
bambuco) y las frutas tropicales (lulo, maracuyá, guanábana, etc.),
todo se tornaba en una auténtica fiesta para los sentidos.
Y en mis anfitriones de Chrysler Colombia, un grupo de 11 personas con
una media de 28 años de edad, encontré cariño e ilusión por hacer bien
las cosas, y por seguir aumentando las ventas, gracias a grandes
éxitos como el Dodge Journey (fabricado en México), y seguramente
también a la tracción total del Jeep, que les sirve para pasar los
baches de la economía,  aunque a veces, como en el ´Yipao´, elijan
bailar a dos ruedas.

Written by Isaac Hernandez

noviembre 9, 2008 at 1:34 pm

Publicado en automovil

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Yipao Colombia

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Yipao in Armenia, Colombia.

Gallery of photos from Colombia here

Written by Isaac Hernandez

noviembre 9, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Publicado en automovil

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