Archive for March, 2009

Today’s Thought

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

So, Brian, how about that melodious New England accent? Everyone here sounds like a band saw with a chunk of tin caught in the blade.

Radio Shack

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Last night, I took a walk in the mall next door to the hotel, looking for something to eat. As is usual in every mall, there was a Radio Shack.

Who the hell is keeping those things in business?

Koans.

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Because my life is a full, rich tapestry, I’m going to be in Providence, RI for the next few days. And because the only computer I have is my tablet, with its spotty handwriting recognition, my next few posts will be short ones.

So, here’s today’s thought, prompted by my white knuckled flight into Providence on some Buddy Holly Memorial turboprop: Are there actually people in this world ordering the horrible, unnecessary crap peddled in the Skymall catalogue? How dead inside do you have to be to order the  “Executive Summary” Cliff Notes of some tedious  Malcolm Gladwell snoozer?

Discuss.

Tunachucker T-Shirts!

Monday, March 9th, 2009

The shirts are in!  Support your favorite racing team!  $15 + s/h gets you a gen-you-wine 100% cotton American printed team T-shirt for the Volvo Amazon racin’, moonshine swillin’, Free Bird listenin’, South Carolina based 24 Hours of LeMons Tunachuckers!

Here’s the eBay auction:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=190291891863

and here’s our website:

http://www.tunachuckers.com/7.html

(*hint: if you buy them through our website they’re cheaper, because we don’t have to pay eBay fees)

Check out more of the website for additional car info and progress…what progress we make.  The race is April 4-5, at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC.  Anyone interested in coming down to root us on or comiserate with us when the car blows up in a glorious, spectacular, and smelly cloud of blue smoke, is welcome to do so.

Surprise!

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

So, I was driving down Route 33 today at my usual old man pace of 50 in a 50, when all of the sudden the hood latch released on my Subaru. The hood flew up, busted my windshield, knocked off my rearview mirror, and dented the hell out of itself.

That’s certainly a surprise in the middle of a Sunday drive.

Seinfeld

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

I was never a big fan of Seinfeld when it was on the air. Not that I actively disliked it or anything, but it just wasn’t a show that I was interested in. But I’ve heard good things from a lot of people, so I figured that since my television watching is way up (it’s easier to watch TV than read a book when you’re holding a three month old child), I’d watch some episodes.

So I’ve watched the first season and most of the second, and I’m amazed. The show is just a biography of four completely self-absorbed sociopaths. There’s not a single shred of morality or human decency that can escape the starlike gravity of their egos. Ten or fifteen episodes have gone by without any of them doing a decent thing for anyone.

It’s not that it’s not funny — it is. But I have a feeling that huge fans of the show would be aghast at watching something like _It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia_, which is also a video biography of four amoral twits. No laugh track, though. I guess that makes all the difference.

I *heart* XKCD

Friday, March 6th, 2009

http://xkcd.com/552/

I have to admit, I don’t always get the joke (usually when it has something to do with an obscure computing language or biology double entendre) but ones like today’s strip are pretty clever.

Glub Glub

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

According to this article on CNN Money, 1 in 5 homeowners are now underwater on their mortgages. That is, 20% of mortgage borrowers owe more than their house is worth, thanks to the plunging value of real estate.

Ouch.

Thankfully, that’s not really a problem around here — there has to be a boom before there can be a bust, and we’ve been in a recession since Beth Steel shut down a few decades ago. In fact, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse were listed as three of the top five stablest real estate markets in Forbes a month or two back. But I would imagine things are getting pretty uncomfortable in the “boom cities” of a few years back, like Vegas or Phoenix.

The big concern, of course, is that people will just walk away from the houses. That sort of abandoned housing blight can kill a neighborhood, and quickly. Hopefully it won’t happen everywhere.

Cyclists Behaving Badly

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

An interesting article in Time magazine about the Velib bicycle rental scheme in Paris — one of the inspirations for our city’s own Blue Bicycle program. Apparently, people are just as prone to beat the hell out of a rental bike as they are out of a rental car. And considering that unlike the Blue Bikes, the Velib appear to be actual new bicycles purchased for the program, unlike the donations that BBB uses, that’s sort of a shame.

And, like many cyclists, Parisians are apparently ignorant of the rules of the road or just don’t care. It’s a good thing that none of us would ever ride on sidewalks, blow stop signs, or travel the wrong direction on a one way street. Cough.

High Speed Rail

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

As part of the porkulus package, the Empire State is trying to get some funding for a proposed high speed rail line between Buffalo and Albany. The track right-of-way already exists; the plan is for the state to purchase it from CSX and use it for a new rail line. Apparently, the project would take three years to complete, is considered “shovel-ready” by the terms of the government sugar daddy, and would cut the time to travel from one end of the state to the other to three hours.

The cynic in me says that there’s really no reason to spend three hours travelling between two collapsing cities. The optimist in me says that its about damned time we started looking at proper rail for long distance travel like this.