Test driving the VW awd ID4… with caveats.

There are 2 versions of the VW ID4, one is rear wheel drive with a 190hp electric motor… I test drove it back in 2021 and really liked it…

… but I wanted to test drive the all wheel drive 290hp version, and I got to do that yesterday.

I would not buy a car with less than 200 horsepower, not unless I was broke, homeless and had no other options.

I’ve owned 2 plug-in electric vehicles, a 2013 Chevy Volt and my current 2017 Chevy Volt (with 130,000 miles on it).

The Volt can also run on gas, but the car is far superior on full electric mode; smooth, really quiet, really zippy off the line.

I’ve test driven different Tesla Models, the Chevy Bolt, even the Fisker….

BY FAR my favorite is the all wheel drive 290hp Volkswagon ID4.

TWO electric motors, one for each axel. Awesome power delivery. No torque steer.

My other car is a 2015 Acura with a 290hp V6, so driving a gas powered car with 290hp back to back with a full electric rated with the same horsepower is a really interesting way to compare apples to apples.

The Volkswagon wins, hands down. Smoother than any gas powered car, much faster off the line, quiet as hell.

My good ole Acura has to row through the gears, slowly shifting up to speed.

Gas engines are great above 70 mph, but there is so much drama to get there.

Gas makes a car clunky.

With an electric drivetrain acceleration is effortless, like a magic carpet ride on steroids.

I merged onto the freeway and hit 90mph in the ID4 like it was nothing.

THIS is the future, anyone who test drives the ID4 will not want to go back to a gas powered anything.

Full electric is just better, gas powered cars are yesterday’s technology, no matter how much they refine gas engines, smooth out the transmission… electric feels better.

It’s more fun to drive.

BUT and this is a huge BUTT, like on the people at Walmart…. a quick YouTube search reveals that the VW ID4 has a ton of software glitches.

Dumb stuff that a billion dollar company like VW should have fixed before they let the car out of the factory.

One solution?

VW should make their software developers drive the ID4 until the glitches are fixed.

If they do that I’ll trade my beat up Volt for a couple of grand and pick up an ID4.

Meanwhile? I might check out the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or the Kia EV6.

I’ll write about it, fer sure.

Now I gotta go shopping for my Christmas Eve party!

Ben Alexander

12 : 22 : 2022

The Sunday before Christmas.

Weather is sunny in the 60’s today. Went for a ride after church.

Bought this machine about a year ago. Big engine with plenty of torque, 1200 cc’s. This bike is built for zero to 80mph.

I’ve taken it up to 120mph… but it’s really not designed for triple digit speeds.

I’m not into hyper speed like I used to be… this was the ZX-14R that I owned 2 years ago. It was nuts, 190 mph top end.

This pic of my old Kawasaki just popped up in my “2 years ago” Google pics.

I guess Google wants to help me remember stuff… like going up rte 75 at 170 mph.

Full tuck, chest touching the gas tank. Lotsa wind and noise. Exciting, but not really fun.


I rode my Indian until my clutch hand was sore, then I went and hit tennis balls for exercise.

Tonight I’m taking Olga out for dinner at a Russian restaurant in Tampa, down in Hyde Park.

Bought some small gifts today…

Next Saturday is Christmas Eve, I’m having a big party at my house that night, after the 4PM service at church.


This past Friday Olga and I went to her friend’s wedding:

It was a little chaotic. Her friend was a bit of a bridezilla (she doesn’t read my blog).

I like this pic with Olga:

We were both laughing about something.

Olga has a great laugh, sometimes I do goofy shit just to make her laugh.


Solar biz has been quiet since Mid-November. We had to increase our prices, so that might be part of the slowdown.

Our crews are still booked into April, the dry sunny weather will help us catch up to the backlog.

The sales side and install side should always be balanced.

If our sales team sells TOO MUCH and the installs get backed up… not much I can do to speed it along.

I’m doing some consulting work for solar companies outside the state of Florida, that’s going well.

As I type this the window is open in my front office… I should go back outside!

Maybe take a long walk in the sunshine? Go see the alligators at the pond?

I hope everyone who reads this has a nice ChrismaHannaQwannzaa!

Ben Alexander

Decmeber 18 : 2022

Tree Growth and the Coriolis Effect.

Take a gander at these trees in my community:

Tree #1

Tree #2

Trees 3 & 4 …

If you watch Florida weather you might notice that hurricanes (north of the equator) rotate counterclockwise, while large storms and Typhoons south of the equater rotate clockwise.

This is due to the Coriolis effect, at the equator the earth rotates about 1,000 miles per HOUR, so storms spin in specific directions as a result of Coriolis forces.

Scroll up and look at those trees again… they are all twisting counterclockwise, this is clearly indicated in the growth pattern.

In all the hundreds of trees in my subdivision I could not find a single tree growing in the opposite direction clockwise.

I looked on Google for more information about and could not find anything.

I think trees in this area grow in a counterclockwise direction because of Coriolis forces, but only way to prove this is to look at how trees are growing south of the equator.

I’m not a botanist, just a nerd interested in lotsa stuff.

Hope you find this interesting!

Ben Alexander

December 15 : 2022

A wall, a ball, and a racket.

Pic taken yesterday:

For the last few years I’ve kept a tennis racket and some balls in the trunk of my car.

Last few weeks I’ve been hitting a ball against a wall daily, for about 30 minutes.

Gets the heart beating, good exercise for the entire body.

Had my knee damaged and fixed almost 2 years ago, so I’m grateful for the mobility that allows me to chase a fuzzy green ball around.

When I started doing this a few years back I lost a ton of tennis balls, some flew up and over the roof of the building… goodness knows how many balls are up there!

I don’t lose balls anymore, I have more control. Kinda want to play real tennis against another player.

Hitting tennis balls is good for improving hand / eye coordination… I never played tennis or even owned a racket earlier in life, so I guess this is a new skill?

I get bored in gyms, and I do plenty of walking and swimming….. my tennis thing feels more like a game.

My grandmother played tennis into her 70’s, so I’d like to be able to do that.

I’ve slimmed down a little the last few weeks, DESPITE the Christmas cookies, oy.

December 15 : 2022

What it is, and what it is NOT.

This morning I was looking at this website:


You can click on the TOPICS tab and get multiple verses on that specific topic.

It’s fascinating.

There are verses on marriage, money, friendship, love, poverty, business, relationships, etc.

That wisdom still rings true.

The Bible was written in an era before science, before genetics, archeology, astronomy, etc.

As a Christian I do NOT believe the earth was created in seven days, and anyone who gets their science lessons out of a 2,000 year old document is going to be wrong most of the time.

This is why most people reject Faith; when they hear Christians deny obvious science and try to fit EVERYTHING into the Biblical narrative.

Denying science makes Christians look ignorant and under-educated.

I believe that Darwin was right in his theories of evolution.

I believe in Physics, that the earth was created about 4 billion years ago… I believe that humans have existed as homo sapiens on this planet for the last 200,000 years.

I believe a massive meteor took out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Heck, the dragon myth that pervades ancient Chinese culture probably came from the discovery of dinosaur fossils in China over the last 10,000 years.

I don’t agree with nihilists who think there is no meaning and no purpose to life.

I don’t agree with atheists who think after we die that’s it, lights out, the soul is gone.

I believe in miracles. I held my daughters as infants, today they are 23 and 25 years old, that’s a miracle!

I went to see a friend of mine last week and got to hold his infant son in my arms….

I don’t know how anyone can hold a baby in their arms and NOT believe in miracles.

So… that’s where I’m at, with my FAITH at 48 years old.

I hope that everyone who reads this has a lovely Tuesday.

Ben Alexander

December 13 : 2022

The Younger Dryas, and a 400 foot rise in sea levels.

Interesting video here:

The conventional academic wisdom of the last few decades have taught that humans settled down into organized civilizations only about 8,000 years ago. Previous to that time archeologists estimate that homo sapiens lived in small bands of hunters and gatherers, going back 200,000 years.

There is new evidence popping up that points to a massive heating event 12,800 years ago that made sea levels rise 400 feet.

This could have been multiple comets hitting the North Pole, or a huge solar flare event…

After that “great flood” there was massive cooling of the earth, perhaps from ash thrown up into the atmosphere from the impact.

A massive impact from a comet might also set off large volcanic eruptions all over the planet.

Humans have always lived near water, so a 400 foot rise in sea levels would wipe out millions of people, and perhaps many of these flooded population centers are still underwater. Of course, any artifacts covered in salt water for 12,800 years would probably be long gone.

There is also the time factor, what happens to the remains of lost civilizations after 12,800 years?

What if there were advanced human civilizations far earlier, like 100,000 years ago, but time and decay have eliminated all traces of these ancient cities?

This all came from a podcast I was listening to on my morning walk.

Ben Alexander : Dec 7th : 2022

Thanksgiving, 2022.

On Thanksgiving EVE I took Olga out to Howard Park in Tarpon Springs and we watched the sunset.

Olga likes the Greek restaurants out by the spongedocks there, so we had a delicious dinner after the sun went down.

This is my first Thanksgiving with the Ukrainian Delegation, and Mom is hosting today.

Mom and Dad always have amazing Thanksgiving dinners!

Some pics from that night:

Olga and my daughter Claire…


I don’t know what to do with myself on holidays.

I’ve been walking every morning with Olga, then hitting the pool for a cold swim.

In general I’ve been a bit bored.

NOT that many solar leads coming in, so I jumped on installs Monday and Tuesday this week.

On monday ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

This was a STEEP roof, 2 stories up…. very dicey. Solar installs are harder and more dangerous on steeper roofs.

I wore a harness, but it got in the way.

I’ve also been working on my consulting business: http://www.BenAlexanderSolar.com

I was on the phone with some potential clients yesterday in Kansas, Texas and Alabama.

There is only so much I can do to grow Tampa Bay Solar, right now our install teams are backed up to April.

Can I help smaller installers in other states build a sales team?

Can I help 300 small companies go from $800K a year to $800K a month?

The big national solar installers are a mess; Momentum, Tesla Solar…. Sunrun….

Vivint was bought by ADT… after they did a ton of messed up and poorly executed installs.

The smaller, more local installers are going to have the most consistent quality in the long run.

This is why Tampa Bay Solar has kept up a good reputation since 2010.

Install quality determines the future of any solar installer.

I hope everyone who reads this has a lovely Thanksgiving!

Ben Alexander

11 /24/ 22

I started a new business.

Sales have been slow at Tampa Bay Solar… signs of an impending recession… so I’ve been doing a bunch of volunteering.

That’s me, sharpening a chainsaw somewhere out in East Pasco county.

Last night I spent $40 to launch a new website:


I’m still a partner at Tampa Bay Solar, but I’d like to do some consulting with OTHER solar companies that don’t compete with TBS.

Why not? I have the time, the knowledge… and six years of experience closing solar deals.

There is only so much I can do with Tampa Bay Solar, our install team is 4 months backed up.

If I sell a gazillion $$ in deals right now it would actually be BAD for TBS.

I can consult with solar companies across the USA via phone, email or Zoom, and I’m sure there are solar companies that could use my help.

It’s a pretty narrow niche. The idea might not work at all.

We’ll see. I spent $40 and few hours on the website.

It’s fun.

Ben Alexander

November 17th : 2022

DeSantis will be the next President, Oy.

This past Tuesday Ron DeSantis won the governers race in Florida with a 19% point margin over Charlie Crist, a former governer and Senator who has been well known in this state for the last 30 years.

This was a resounding Republican victory, because across the rest of the United States many Republicans promoted by Trump LOST, so the “red wave” that was predicted to turn the House and Senate into a firm Republican dominated government did NOT happen.

Voters still voted for Democrats despite the overturn of Roe v Wade, despite high gas prices, despite record levels of inflation!

Many of the Repubicans that lost were “election deniers”… and I suspect that American voters have grown weary of the liars and bullshit artists who have pushed this narrative.

Voters have grown weary of delusional idiots.

There are 2 camps in the Republican party: educated conservatives who read books and are capable of critical thinking like Liz Cheney, Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, even Ron Desantis… then there is the Delusional Idiot contingent led up by The Don himself and all his followers; blithering idiots like Marjorie Taylor Green, Mike Lindell, Rudy Guliani, Tucker Carlson, everyone on NewMax, etc…

The Blithering Idiot faction was finally rejected in the midterm election, perhaps Republicans are ready to reject this group of voters who have been bringing their party down to the lowest denominator since Trump started his campaign back in 2015.

And THIS is why DeSantis will be the next President.

The stats make sense:

We have a family man, married to ONE woman since 2010. He’ll be 46 years old in 2024, he was educated at Yale and Harvard, his track record here in Florida shows solid economic growth, even during Covid19, while the rest of the country went into economic stagnation.

ALSO, the Democrats seem incapable of putting forth a solid younger candidate that moderates and even some Republicans will vote for.

Uncle Joe beat Trump in the last election… but there is no way he’s running for another term… he’s 103 years old now.

It is TIME for the Dems to find the next Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, someone with charisma and smarts who can go head to head with DeSantis in a presidential debate.

DeSantis worked as a lawyer in the Navy, so he’s going to be solid in any kind of televised debate.

the Dems need a family man, someone with a solid record, someone who will appeal to voters from BOTH parties.

I’m done with Old Fogey politicians like Putin, Biden, Xi in China, etc.

I’d love to see world leaders my age or YOUNGER at this point.

I don’t think the Dems will find anyone strong enough to beat DeSantis.

I’m not happy about “Ron” being our next President, but here I am in November of 2022 predicting that outcome.

Let’s see if I’m right.

Ben Alexander


Trump Republicans lose, because they followed a LOSER.

OK, so we have high gas prices, crazy inflation… and every Republican politician who was endorsed by Trump?

They LOST, go figure.

All these GOP politicians who kissed Trumps’s ass were NOT elected, and we now have regained hope for the Republican party.

Many of these candidates DENIED Trump’s loss in the 2020 Presidential elections.

The one Republican politician who did WELL was Ron Desantis, right here in Florida.

Right away Trump started saying negative things about Desantis, calling him Ron “DeSanctimonious”.

Not even sure what that means.