Audi is upping the ante at the market launch of its new compact SUV with a particularly sporty model. The Audi Q2 Edition #1 features an exclusive quantum gray paint finish, black and Manhattan gray exterior details, 19-inch wheels and a long list of standard equipment. Customers can place their orders beginning in early September, 2016.
Larry Gerdes is having his barn taken down and disassembled in Malta Bend, Mo. It’s about the size of a three-car garage but stands much taller in a clearing surrounded by 6-foot stalks of corn.
The barn’s exterior is graying, part of its roof is missing, and there’s a gaping hole looking out from the hayloft. It’s about 100 years old, and it’s not really useful.
“It’s deteriorated and it would cost a lot of money to repair it,” Gerdes says. “And it doesn’t fit into modern farming. Unless you got two cows to let them loaf inside, nothing fits, and it’s just obsolete.”
While a quaint wooden barn lost in a field of greening corn is a classic farm country tableau, for modern farmers, many of these aging barns have lost their purpose. The barns can’t fit today’s giant tractors and are too small to house the larger herds of cattle or hogs.
While the dilapidated barn might be a nuisance for farmers, reclaimed barn wood is a hot decorating trend from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach. Turn on HGTV, and you’ll see people asking for reclaimed barn wood on many of their shows, including Fixer Upper. Using barn wood is so popular right now, it even has its own slot on the DIY Network — a show hosted by Mark Bowe called “Barnwood Builders.” Old barn wood is called a lot of things in the construction business, like reclaimed, salvaged or repurposed.
Cadillac’s ATS and CTS sedans are in a sales slump, and they have been for quite a while now. Driving dynamics surely aren’t to blame—we’ve gone on record saying that the ATS handles better than the BMW 3-series, and the CTS Vsport is a three-time 10Best Cars winner—but maybe a little extra visual flair will help reverse the trend?
That’s the idea behind a new Black Chrome package offered on the CTS sedan and the ATS sedan and coupe. Like the nearly identical ATS Midnight Edition before it, the Black Chrome option is a cosmetic upgrade only; all performance upgrades are wisely left to the experts at Cadillac’s V division. The ATS gets the more comprehensive treatment, with black accents for the upper and lower grilles, the side-window moldings, and the rear fascia along with darkened 18-inch wheels, while the CTS makes do with darkened wheels and black chrome accents for the grille.
Costing $595 for the ATS coupe and $795 for the ATS sedan, the Black Chrome package is offered only with black, gray, red, or white exterior paint. It’s also limited to 2.0T and 3.6-liter cars in either the Luxury Collection or Performance Collection. The package costs a bit more for the CTS, at $1095 for Premium and Performance trims and $1295 for the Luxury trim, and the bigger sedan offers the package only for black, gray, and white cars. Like in the ATS, the CTS offers the Black Chrome package for 2.0T and 3.6-liter cars, so CTS Vsport buyers will have to pass.
This certainly isn’t the first time Cadillac has tried this strategy to increase interest in the ATS and CTS. The ATS also added a Crimson Sport special edition last year, while the high-performance ATS-V and CTS-V offered Crystal White Frost versions as exclusive, limited-run models.
Tonight’s project: Starting to package up “Bungalow Row.” Ouch.
Here’s some neighborhood-view pics of it, one aerial and a few at street level.
It’s sort of inspired by the residential area of the “downtown” of the town I live near, where the houses were built in the 20s, all on long, narrow lots close together with no garages/driveways because folks didn’t generally have cars at the time.
There are ten lots. They’re all one story with two bedrooms and most with one bath. (One of them has a master bedroom with an en-suite bath.) They’re meant to be “starters,” although I’m pretty sure they will all cost more than $20,000 even when unfurnished. One of them had a purple exterior when I built it, when I had sort of planned to make a few of them colorful. That didn’t pan out, and the rest all have more realistic neutrally-colored exteriors, so I changed that one to have a gray exterior so that it didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. (It’s still purple inside, and I’ll include the purple siding when I upload it, for folks who’d rather have it purple outside, too.) They’re all on 2x3 lots with the houses built close to the street so that they all have large, fenced, and mostly-empty back yards. They’re meant to be used to together, in the order seen in the aerial pic, because they have landscaping that crosses lot boundaries, but I think they can be used separately as well. You just might need to fiddle with the landscaping a bit. They’ll be unfurnished but fully decorated outside when uploaded, and the cars and on-street parking spots won’t be included. (But it’s easy to make your own, if you have the rotatable driveways mod installed.)
….And now I’m reminded that I really do need to work on making all my landscaping stuff visible in lot view and, hopefully, switching out neighborhood-view meshes on the stuff that has the nasty low-res neighborhood view. So much stuff to do. *sigh*