Monthly Archives: May 2008

Why is it

That in a work environment, everyone thinks their #1 priority has to be your #1 priority. It’s not possible for everything to be #1. That’s counter to the actual mathematical meaning of “one.”

Calling Ferris Bueller….

a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Califormia has sold, setting a record for most expensive car ever, at $10,976,000. The winning bid was from a British radio DJ. They pay DJs that much? I’m in the wrong line of work. A 1961 Ferrart 250 GT California was the car in the Ferris Bueller movie, except that they used a replica. Sr. Ferrari only built 100 of these beauties. The prior record was $9,275,000 and was set last year, also for a Ferrari, a 1962 330 TRI/LM. The record before that was for an American car, a 1966 Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake, and a not so insignificant $5.5 million.

Photos at Jaolopnik. It’s black (the car) and it’s lovely even though it’s not Ferrari red or silver. It used to belong to James Coburn. The list of cars I should have bought in the 60s but couldn’t afford then either continues to grow.


If you haven’t figured it out by osmosis or whatever, I’m a child of the 60s – an old hippy of sorts. And although in recent years I have gotten more accustomed to shorter hair, I tend to let it grow until I receive notification from people who pay attention to this sort of thing, that it needs some attention. It’s probably only been a decade since I cut off my pony tail and I only got rid of it because I had to constantly wear in in that little band. It’s wavy enough that it looked bad unfurled, I am told.

And I do have to admit that shorter hair requires less fussing with in the morning. Given that I am not a morning person, that has some degree of importance. I ran errands on Saturday. I drove down to Rivergate to return a cell phone we got last week to replace the one that got washed and dried. We’ve gotten accustomed to flip phones, maybe because they’re so Star Trekkie, but anyway, keyguards just don’t work for us. So I had to return the replacement phone we hated, and the other errand I had to do that morning before I started on mowing was to get a haircut.

I used to try to go find someone who cut my hair so that ‘That looks nice” was the comment I got at home, once the shearing was done, but we’ve moved and that person is in Bellevue. But these days, hairstylists seem to quit their jobs at the drop of a hat, or they work strange schedules or something so I never see the same one twice. As a result, I tend to just give up and go to one of those quickie haircut places you tend to find in the strip stores near Kroger stores. They’re almost ubiquitous (ooh, big word!), they do a nice job, and they tend to charge around $12 or so and cheap works well for me too. But I never know what to tell them about what to do, how to cut my hair. They ask the question “how do you want it cut?” In the quickie cut places it usually works to say it’s been a couple of months, and I think I have ears under there, or something equally non-committal.

Since I don’t know if it was done well until I’m told so, it wouldn’t do me any good to ask them what to say the next time, so I tend to wing it. Well, back to Saturday. The quickie cut place I’ve been to since we moved is in Springfield and it wasn’t going to be convenient to drive all the way up there so I figured I’d stop on the way back home. I went into one quickie place in the Rivergate area and it was SRO. Since I have no patience any more, that wasn’t happening and I ended up at a barber shop in Greenbrier. Mack takes his son there and my father-in-law gets his hair cut there too. It would be pretty quick, on the way, seemed like a good idea.

They have two barbers. As it turns out, the shorter one doesn’t see at all well according to my father-in-law and he’s better at giving Marines haircuts than civilians, but I didn’t know that going in and fortunately didn’t need to. I got the guy in the front chair, I assume he’s the owner. Both are older gentlemen and they have a central vacuum system attached to their clippers. I wear hearing aids. Vacuum system right next to your ears plus hearing aids means pain. It’s sorta like your brain is being vacuumed while attached to a wire brush and they’re not into being gentle. So I sit down in the chair, he throws the sheet over me and asks the question. “So, medium for you?” Medium? Am I a steak? Well, actually, medium might be OK, so I say sure.

For your further edification, medium is somewhere between “shit, there’s nothing left” and “that looks nice” but it’s much closer to “damn, you really got your hair cut.” On the good side of things, I’ve had my haircut for the summer, it seems.

And I thought I was selfless

I have overestimated my selflessness and feel humbled after reading this post on Politico.

For the first time, Bush revealed a personal way in which he has tried to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers and their families.

“I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf,” he said. “I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

Bush said he made that decision after the August 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, which killed Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top U.N. official in Iraq and the organization’s high commissioner for human rights.

“I remember when de Mello, who was at the U.N., got killed in Baghdad as a result of these murderers taking this good man’s life,” he said. “I was playing golf — I think I was in central Texas — and they pulled me off the golf course and I said, ‘It’s just not worth it anymore to do.’”

The man has given up golf for the duration. Why, no wonder he leads the free world.

Smart cars tested by IIHS

The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has tested the tiny Smart Fortwo car for crash protection. It received a good rating. That is as high as the IIHS gives a vehicle. It rated good in both side and frontal impact testing so it seems their safety cage body works as it was designed to do. The Smart is about three feet shorter than a Mini Cooper and around 700 pounds lighter, gaining it a classification as a microcar.

Now if they just cost less than $20 grand, didn’t require premium gas, and got better than 40 MPG, they’d still be ugly, in an ugly sort of way. :)

A good resource

If you need a photo and you’re going to go searching through the intertubes to find it, here’s the best place ever to start. This blog has a huge list of places to start searching, places to find images for free, places to go where you have to pay, etc. It is a great resource.

Don’t forget to watch out for copywrite issues. It’s not nice to steal from starving artists, especially if they have lawyers.

To the moon, Alice! To the moon!

Unfortunately, in this case Ralph Cramden is talking about oil prices going to the moon rather than Alice. Oil is now at $126 a barrel today, it’s highest so far this millennium. And, when I filled up my tank this morning, I was excited to find some idiot that hadn’t raised prices up to the moon and I filled up with the silver-plated octane level at $3.43 a gallon. According to Nashville Gas Prices, it’s now officially highest in Brentwood and Franklin and lowest in Hendersonville. Oddly enough, those are probably the more financially better-off suburbs and I have no idea why the Hendersonville folks are getting off so cheap. Whatever.

Even Toyota is having a hard time and their cars get better mileage. (A friend here at work just bought a Yaris. She’s been happy as a clam over her 38 mpg.) They’re forecasting a 27% drop in this year’s profits and a 28% drop for the current quarter.

Chrysler has offered to subsidize the cost of your gas, covering everything you have to pay over $2.99 a gallon for the next three years in an efort to sell their cars. (Gets out Excel to do some calculatin’) If you drive a PT Cruiser (We had one. It is comfortable to ride in, based on a 4 cylinder engine, but gets 19 mpg. Which isn’t too bad for a Chrysler, but in general sucks.) and drive it about 12,000 miles a year, you’ll do 36,000 miles in that three years. If gas goes up a nickel a month every month in that same three years (topping out at $5.18 a gallon for regular — yow!), you will pay $8,200 for gasoline. Chrysler will pay you back the difference between what you’ve paid and the $2.99 price, which amounts to around $2,500 in three years – but wait – there’s a catch in their deal. They agree to pay you the difference based on the EPA mileage rating, which means to get the full value of your rebate, which will be more like $1,300, you’ll have to drive no faster than 45, never roll down the windows and never use air conditioning. Compare that savings with what you lose in depreciation the minute you buy a Chrysler product, and you’re still a loser. Thank you for playing, Mr. Chrysler.

Two things that may come in handy

If you ever need to channel Mr. Peabody and his wayback machine*, there still is one available. Although it only deals with the Internet, this link archives the web so you can go back and see the prior incarnation of your favorite site as far back as 1996. (OK, so it’s not all that way back. Picky, picky.)

This site is where you go to find out those amazing facts you use to befuddle your friends like there are no clocks in Las Vegas casinos; most lipstick is made using fish scales (ew.); men are six times more likely to be struck by lightning than women; and tipping at a restaurant in Iceland is considered insulting.

* Old television show reference to Bullwinkle character Mr. Peabody and his pet boy Sherman.