FIA Formula E VISA eRace in Las Vegas 2017

The worlds of eSports and FIA Formula E were bridged during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 7th, 2017 with the VISA eRace. And, I was there to experience it first hand.

SIM racers and Formula E drivers went head to head in the finale of a season long promotion of eSport racing at select Formula E events over the past 10 months. It all started with the first round of qualification in Long Beach back in April 2016 and it all concluded over January 5,6, and 7, 2017 in Las Vegas at CES2017.

I was privileged enough to attend the eRace in person and got to feel the excitement first hand. It was not a proper motorsport event at a track, but it definitely had lots of energy around it like a “in real life” racing event.

Here are some of the pictures from the race…

After I posted the pictures above on Facebook, my friend and motorsports journalist, Edmund Jenks contacted me about getting my take on the Formula E VISAeRace. I was happy to oblige.

I thought this interview was only fitting because Ed and I actually first met at the DHL “Behind-the-Scenes” pit and paddock tour at the inaugural FIA Formula E event in Long Beach, CA. That was a great time hearing about the great new all electric racing series and seeing the logistics behind getting everything involved with Formula E from race to race.

Here is the SoundCloud recording of the interview.

And check out the full text article “Formula E At CES … Virtual Racing, Sensation Without Skin-In-The-Game Consequence” over on Motorsports Journal.

I am a big fan of Formula E and really like promoting it to others. Feel free to get in touch and we can talk more about FE or motorsports in general.

Electric Racing: Formula E 2016 Long Beach

It’s All About Electric Racing

Electric racing is Formula E and it came back to Long Beach, California again in 2016. On April 2, it made the 2nd appearance in Southern California and brought with it lots of innovation and motorsports. Formula E 2016 has done an excellent job bridging the divide that other motorsports have between fans and the series celebrities, i.e. drivers, teams, and series personalities. If you are a Formula 1 fan then you know what I am referring to.

Through my own personal experience, I have seen how drivers and key personnel in the Formula E circus make it easy for fans to interact with them. It is much appreciated and does wonders to promote the Formula E series and ensure it grows well into the future.

The local, on-the-ground marketing personnel from Formula E welcomed me and made me feel like part of a family. The OTG FE team members were excellent ambassadors for their sport through a range of wide reaching efforts. From their fantastic online work with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to their in-real-life events at historic Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles and at Cal State Long Beach, people were engaged.

I had the personal experience to meet Formula E driver Salvador Duran at the Olvera Street event. He and I chatted about Formula E being electric racing and how it’s driving the future of mobility. And, we discussed the new Gulf livery color scheme of his Amlin Aguri team race car. The color scheme looks great and it is nice to see a traditional petroleum company supporting an alternative fuel motorsport series.

Great pic with me and Salvador Duran from Amlin Auguri Formula E team

Electric racing with Salvador Duran Formula E driver

Last year my social media activity on Twitter got me noticed by DHL Americas. This year, like last, they invited me on a “Behind the Scenes” tour and pit walk. Here is where I was able to meet several Formula E and DHL personnel along with some drivers and team members. Everyone involved was extremely helpful and truly wanted others to be aware of what is happening with Formula E. There is certainly a theme surrounding the series and that is bettering mobility through innovation. This motorsports series is driving the development to better solutions with every race. It is fantastic to see a motorsport series want to entertain fans but also give back by helping people with mobility developments and ultimately solutions.

Formula E shots

Look through these and see for yourself how up close and personal Formula E can be.




Great seeing & chatting w/ @daniel_abt at the #dhlformulae #lbeprix "Behind the Scenes" tour

A photo posted by Stephen (@havarino) on






If you can attend a Formula E event then I highly encourage you to do it. The money, time, and effort will be well rewarded. For information about upcoming races look on the FIA Formula E website.

Why I’m Ditching LYFT and Going Back to Uber!

DO NOT USE Lyft. Uber is better.I’m ditching LYFT. I used to be a fan of the service and used it regularly. I even wrote a post about using LYFT over other services like Uber. Now that has all changed and I will never use LYFT again if I can help it.

Here’s Why I’m Ditching Lyft…

In October 2015, I went to Austin, Texas for the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. It rained for three straight days and central Texas recorded some of the most rain they’d ever seen. We’re talking feet of rain dumped in a matter of 72 hours, all driven by the most powerful hurricane ever recorded, Patricia. Things were soggy to say the least but that didn’t deter me from a day at Circuit of the Americas.

When the rainy race day was over, I called a LYFT to get me and my wife home from COTA. Uber even had a special arrangement with COTA and a designated pick up and drop off area, but we still chose LYFT. Being a bit rain drenched from hurricane style weather all day, I knew the hot shower in my hotel room was going to feel great. That’s when the first signs of a not so pleasant experience should have been recognized by me.

The first issue with the LYFT ride back to the hotel was that the driver wasn’t familiar with Circuit of the Americas and I had to guide him to my location while talking to him on the phone. I was patient and understood the difficulties of finding my wife and me given the circumstances of rain, dusk, and post race mayhem after the USGP. Plus, I didn’t want the LYFT driver to waste his time and gas driving to COTA and that’s what would have happened if I cancelled the ride. So, I persevered and guided him to my location.

Well he finally found us in a gravel and dirt parking lot near the entrance to COTA. He was approximately 30 minutes after the estimated arrival time. Regardless, we were thankful that he made it and that he was going to give us a ride back to the hotel.

My wife and I hopped into the LYFT and immediately the driver threw a green towel at us followed by “Don’t get it dirty back there. Use the towel for your shoes.” We did our best working with the towel in the dark and kept our shoes on the towel. Granted we both had to step into the car from the dirt parking lot before the towel was tossed over the seat and the instructions barked.

The actual ride back to the hotel was pleasant and we even gifted our last brand new camp chair to the driver as a thank you. And, the driver was given a good tip for the time and distance from the track to our hotel. The driver put the gifted camp chair in the trunk of his car, then inspected the back seat of his car. I asked if it looked OK and even offered to clean up any mess if the driver felt it warranted additional cleaning. The LYFT driver said all was good and we wished him a good, safe evening.

I felt everything was good with the ride until the email from LYFT saying there will be a $35 cleaning fee added to the LYFT ride. The driver even provided pics of the backseat. I felt like this was an experience ripped from an Uber headline, but no. Take a look…

LYFT nightmare in Austin. Why I'm switching back to Uber.LYFT nightmare in Austin. Why I'm switching back to Uber.To me it appears the majority of dirt is on the floor mats which are designed to collect and hold dirt. From the driver’s pictures, it looks like the mats worked as designed.

I replied to the charges and offered to pay a reasonable sum, $5 – $10, the cost of taking the mats to a spray-n-wash car wash and rinsing them off. That offer was rejected by LYFT and I was forced to pay the $35 fee. It makes me wonder how many other rides our LYFT driver gave that weekend with all the rain and upcharged people with a “cleaning fee”.

Seemingly unwilling to negotiate and unwilling to work with the customer (which is what I thought Uber was famous for doing), LYFT has turned someone who was once a big advocate FOR the LYFT ride service, into someone who WILL NOT knowingly promote LYFT in any manner… a person who will write posts like this and use social media to let as many people as possible know why LYFT is NOT a good ride service… a person that will go back to using Uber because I haven’t had a disaster story with them.

So please, when you need to get your happy behind somewhere for whatever reason, please DO NOT USE LYFT. Use Uber, or Metro, or a cab, but for whatever reason DO NOT USE LYFT. Thanks.

View of Long Beach, the Port of LA, and the LB Convention Center

Long Beach, California is a place that I am quickly falling in love with because the area embraces motorsports with open arms and you can do just about everything you need without a car.

Crazy I know, being a huge car guy, a BMW evangelist, and all around racing junkie and I’m singing the praises of a place that I DON’T use a car. Oh well, it’s true.

There are always festivals and events going on. The Long Beach Convention Center stays busy with conferences and events. And, the area around Pine Street, the Aquarium, and Shoreline Village are great locations to get great food and enjoy good drinks with friends.

So I dug around on the Internet looking for more ways to enjoy Long Beach and I ran across lots of port webcams. But, during my tireless searching, I ran across a really cool and unique view that looks over the Long Beach Convention Center into the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

Here’s a still image I grabbed for this post. Just look at the blue in the sky and the wispy white clouds. The cranes in the Port can be seen in the background.

PortCam Long Beach

Here is the link if you want to check out the live PortCamLongBeach.

Please feel free to leave a comment below with any great links to other webcams showing off great views. Enjoy!

Dollar Shave Club Razor Deal Follow Up

Dollar Shave Club razor 5 pack with handle

Dollar Shave Club razor 5 pack with handle

I posted recently that Dollar Shave Club is the best deal for razors. And, I still feel that way. So, I wanted to add more feedback from my experience with the DSC razor deal .

The Dollar Shave Club box opening was cool. (Check out the video) I like the packaging and the little bits of detail that is added to the packaging to make it feel exclusive. It’s actually what got me looking forward to getting my razor package every month…besides the convenience of not having to make a special trip to Costco.

I posted the video on Facebook and got some really good feedback from Friends. Most liked the DSC deal and are loyal fans. But, there were some who were not thrilled with the quality of the blades or found an even better deal on razors delivered to the house. Here’s a screenshot of the post –

Dollar Shave Club deal Facebook post

Now, let me talk about the actual razors. I couldn’t wait to get one out and shave the scruff to see how they did. Well, they worked pretty well. I chose the base model with the double razor and it did the trick eliminating the scraggly beard much like the previous razors did. Being adventurous and breaking my norm, I went for a second day shave with the DSC razor. This time the experience wasn’t as great. The razor performed ok but left lots of areas that required a second and third swipe to knock back the stubble. It seemed like the observation my Facebook friend had that the razors seem to dull faster than other razors might be true for me too. I’ll keep using them and see how they perform.

Right now, after opening the cool packaging and using the razor for the first time, I am still a fan and onboard with the Dollar Shave Club deal. I’m still planning on employing the razor extension plan and sharpening the razors using the jeans sharpening technique. It works well and can extend the life of my razor by at least 3 more shaves from a blade.

Feel free to leave a comment below with your Dollar Shave Club experience or if you’ve used another razor and shaving product service to handle the scruff. Happy shaving!