atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#401: Additional Wisecrack, Borrowed from Denis Leary

"Why do we pay for oil companies' maintenance?"

Do you want the gasoline? Yeah? Then shut the fuck up. Next!

* * *

The Saturday Chicago Sun-Times had an editorial cartoon in it, depicting a family in a giant SUV (with a pig nose) driving past a gas station. The people were complaining that gas was so expensive, of course.

If you think you have to drive an aircraft carrier, don't bitch about the price of gas. Many people who drive gigantic 4-wheel-drive SUVs trucks could accomplish the same tasks with a 2-wheel-drive minivan while getting about twice the fuel economy. You really only need a big truck to tow heavy loads; if you are not routinely hauling cars, campers, or boats around, you don't need a big 4x4 truck and you would be better off with a minivan.

Oh...but minivans are so uncool.

Fine. Then don't bitch that gas costs $3 per gallon, because you and all the stupid sheep who wouldn't be caught dead in a minivan are driving up the price of gas in those gigantic 15-MPG-with-a-tailwind trucks you are driving.

Every minivan I have ever driven has seemed like a perfectly acceptable vehicle to me--comfortable, maneuverable, and with good performance. Every truck I have driven has been slow and cumbersome.

The family van is a good example. It's a 1995 Econoline (full size) with a 5 liter engine. The only way to get it to move is to stand on the accelerator, which of course guarantees single-digit fuel economy. At best it manages 18 MPG, but that never occurs when it is hauling more than two or three people. It is very good for hauling cargo and trailers around--when I use it to haul a car on a tow dolly, I can scarcely tell the car is even back there--but it is definitely not a commuter vehicle.

And the big SUVs use the same kind of mechanicals.

Most American-made SUVs have ladder frames and live rear axles. The ones that don't are doubly useless, because you can't even tow large loads with them.

There's a reason that trucks are still built using 1940s technology: it's durable and it gets the job done. Independent rear suspension (IRS) axles are good for handling, but they're just not as durable as the good old live axle. Unibody construction is great for saving weight, and provides excellent crash protection, but it can't handle the loads that body-on-frame can.

The non-truck SUVs--BMW, Porsche, Lexus, Acura, et al--are built to be big 4-wheel-drive station wagons; although many of them are rated to tow I don't know how long they would last in that role. At least with a Chevy Suburban (with its live axles and ladder frame) you can reasonably expect to get a couple hundred thousand towing miles out of it--people do, all the time.

It just baffles me that so many people think that they are the perfect "suburb cruiser".

* * *

After seven episodes of live-action Hana Yori Dango (out of nine) I am really happy with it.

The story has been twisted out of recognizable shape. As I said before all the elements are there, rearranged, but since it's so well-done I don't even remotely care--this version utterly nails the "look-and-feel" of the anime and manga, and that's the important part.

Mao Inoue, who plays Tsukushi, has the most expressive face I've ever seen on any actress; she somehow manages to convey three emotions with a single shake of her head. (She's actually too pretty to play Tsukushi, who is supposed to be a bit on the plain side.)

I am relieved to add that Jun Matsumoto, who plays Doumyouji, has gotten far, far away from his "crackity" acting. Part of it is that, at the beginning of the series, Doumyouji is a cold, distant bastard, and only later do we see his good side, after he stops being the primary antagonist of the series.

Nice touch department: Doumyouji buys Tsukushi a cell phone, and the ring tone that plays when he calls her is the "Imperial March" from Star Wars.

I want to get the soundtrack for this series.

* * *

In the same vein, then: I have the live-action Sailor Moon trickling in right now. I happened across it and snatched the torrents; it'll take some time, of course, but it can wait.

I'm not expecting it to be very good. In fact, I'm expecting it to be downright horrible--Power Rangers with Sailor Scouts--but I am hoping to be proven wrong. And anyway, as a dedicated fan of the magical girl genre, I have to at least try it.

In fact, right now I have an all-time high of 28 torrents in "download" (or queued to download). Since the torrent client is set to pre-allocate file space, I can say with authority that I've used 90 GB of a 160 GB drive, already--and it's barely been a month.

I'm going to need a bigger box....

* * *

And after I posted this entry, with the correct number of #401, then I noticed that I'd somehow managed to number entry #400 as #340.

I don't know how I managed that. *sigh*. It's fixed now.

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