No. More. Snow.

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Here we go again.  Sigh.  About three months ago I was saying something about this winter having “delusions of grandeur.”  Since then we have had a winter unlike any we have had for a while and people’s patience is wearing thin.  Not that there’s much we can do about it.  Things we can do?  Burn firewood, make souprace slot cars, read, or have a drink, to name but a few.  And wait for spring. 

More Cabin Fever

mr-tomato-face.jpgProof that cabin fever is reaching epidemic proportions: Mark Bittman featuring a tomato as “guest host, good friend and colleague” for his segment as “The Minimalist” on roasted tomato soup.

Talking to, and speaking as the voice of Mr. Tomato Face?  Clearly evidence this interminable winter has taken its toll.  Now I don’t feel so bad about being cranky:  I don’t talk to the vegetables (or think they talk to me).  But I do feel badly for Mark and hope he’s feeling better soon.

Seriously, the recipe sounds appealing and I’m really enjoying Bittman’s weekly videos.  I might try partially puréeing the soup and/or swirling in a bit of cream for a more uniform texture.  I’d want to be careful, though, not to get too far away from the underlying purpose of “The Minimalist” lest Mr. Tomato Face and his friends come after me.  Gotta watch out for those tomatoes, especially the ones wearing cheesy toupés.  (Watch the video.)

Sense and Sensibility

Chalk one up for common sense.  When it comes to improving fuel efficiency in the face of rising oil prices, increasing global demand, and (likely) decreasing supply the emphasis has been on technology, particularly in the form of hybrids.  With all the major automakers are getting into the hybrid game, too much of the focus is on adapting hybrid technology and other fuel-saving techniques (such as shutting down some cylinders) to existing models rather than delivering the kind of quantum leap we need.  Enter the Loremo (“Low Resistance Mobile”).

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Cabin Fever

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Gotta go.  Gotta be on the move.  I can’t take this winter much longer, but it really doesn’t give me any choice.

Last year I was able to ride in every month except January – and that was only because I decided I had too much to do around the house on a rare January thaw weekend with temperatures in the sixties.  Stupid.

All I can do now is plan for the spring tuneup, buy new tires, re-read Neil Peart‘s Ghost Rider and try to re-create his route (to some degree, but with respect for the man’s privacy), and dream of the world unrolling beneath my wheels again.

Car Shopping

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Would it be too cliché to say I hate car shopping?  Yes.  Not only that, it wouldn’t be entirely true.

Doing the research is interesting, but I don’t mess around with a lot of the typical negotiating, let-me-go-talk-to-my-manager BS.  The last three times we’ve bought a ‘new’ car it’s been a used car.  One advantage to buying used cars is that it has kept our payments down, but a significant disadvantage has been the repair bills that often come with higher mileage, older cars.  In fact, of the eight vehicles we have purchased since being married, only two were new – a 1989 Volkswagen Jetta and a 1994 Dodge Dakota club cab pickup.  The others were used – two Peugeot 505 wagons (a 1988 SW8 and a 1988 Turbo, the best car ever), a 1992 Volvo wagon (which we still have), a 1998 Audi A6 Quattro wagon, a 1999 Chevy Suburban, and a 2001 Mercedes E320 4Matic wagon.  Are sensing a theme here?

The used cars we have bought are mostly brands known for lasting a long time, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come with repair bills.  A cracked cylinder head here, a blown main seal there, assorted sensors, etc., etc.  What they also don’t come with is much of a warranty, unless you’re willing to shell out a significant amount at purchase time which, for the most part, we haven’t.

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Why?

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Why does this keep happening?

Last week, or the week before – it’s easy to lose track, it was the city council meeting in Kirwood, Missouri.  Today it was Northern Illinois University.  Just the other day it was a shopping mall in Omaha, or Virginia Tech, or Columbine, etc., etc.

Yes, it’s a rhetorical question.

Say It Ain’t So, Roger

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“Someone isn’t telling the truth,”  Representative Henry Waxman (D-California) said of the conflicting testimony from Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens.  McNamee and Clemens appeared today before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  In the Mitchell Report on the use of steroids and other performance enhancing substances by players in Major League Baseball, McNamee claims to have given Clemens injections of steroids and human growth hormone on numerous occasions over several years, including times when (according to McNamee) Clemens provided them.  Roger Clemens has consistently and vehemently denied using performance enhancing substances.

Who to believe?

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