April 17th, 2008

#1016: What number do I call for spelling?

On my way home this morning I was behind a school bus. In the rear window, in print small enough that you'd need the vision of a fighter pilot to read it from any distance, was a decal with this text on it:
TO REPORT ERATIC DRIVING, CALL
...and a phone number.

My first thought was to call the number and tell them, "You do realize that 'erratic' is spelled with two R's, right?" But my second thought was a bit more mischievous.

Get some self-stick vinyl, cover the "a" in "eratic", and use a marker to draw an "o" in the newly-created blank spot. That way the sticker would read, "TO REPORT EROTIC DRIVING, CALL...."

That would be pretty funny.

Not funny: if you live in Canada, STOP EATING AT MCDONALD'S. Employees no longer have to wash their hands. Even after going to the bathroom. If you value your health, stay away from McDonald's!

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I finished reading Emily of New Moon and I have to say it's a pretty good book. After reformatting and changing the font size it came to 150 single-spaced 8.5x11 pages. MS Word reports that it's about 115,000 words.

The anime gets it mostly right. It severely bungled the handling of the mystery of what happened to Ilse's mother; the way it worked in the book was much better.

Perry shows up about a third of the way through the book.

It's an engaging story and it could easily have been twice as long and still probably wouldn't be long enough.

#1017: The answer is YES, WE WOULD.

Via Neanderpundit I found this lovely example of liberal intellect.

In any event, I don't know what these people are getting so worked up about. Invading, occupying, conquering, and integrating defenseless neighboring countries without any provocation whatsoever* is what communist countries do. (I do realize that the tower of intellect responsible for that sign doesn't know enough history to understand that.)

(*Note to the "thats what bushitler is doing in Iraq" crowd: piss off. You don't know your anus from a donut, and wouldn't care even after someone explained the difference to you using diagrams and small words.)

I like how people get bent out of shape over Tibet but not over the literal millions of people who have been killed by the communist regime in China since 1950. Many of the people in America who are screeching loudest about Tibet probably think that China is pretty much okay except for its treatment of Tibet. That would not surprise me at all.

Another example of incredible stupidity here, this time on Jalopnik: wheels which have LCD displays in them.

Oh, yeah. Put those on your car and make sure you never hit another pothole, because....

On the other hand it would be pretty frickin' sweet to be able to show the Sailor Moon fansubs on your hubcaps. Stupid, but sweet.

And while we're on the subject of stupidity, Jalopnik provides even more of the car-related variety:

Here, with a wrecked Acura NSX. The car was wrecked during a street race against a Honda Civic with a "Tuned by Reese" sticker in the back window. (I am willing to bet that the owner of that Civic has removed the sticker by now.)

The best image is the picture of the steering column, laying on the pavement, its airbag deployed like a forlorn semaphore of defeat: "I may have won the race, but I lost my car."

Paying $90,000 for a sports car does not automatically make you a good driver. Street racing is never a good idea, either.

Another bit of proof that you need not be smart to be rich.

* * *

As for me, I went to bed this morning, and then got up this afternoon and ran some errands--deposit paycheck, go order return hose for van's power steering, gape in mute shock at the price of gas.

$3.70 per gallon

Thanks, eco-nazis. Thanks a shitload.

#1018: There is more of Il Fronte.

I found--at the same site where I got Emily of New Moon--the volumes Emily Climbs and Emily's Quest. So there are three books in the series.

...I also learned that the author of the series, LM Montgomery, is the woman who wrote Anne of Green Gables and all its follow-ons. Yeech.

In my prior comments about the Emily series I make some jokes about Cousin Jimmy being creepy, but in fact Dean Priest is really creepy: the guy is actually intending to make Emily his once she's "old enough", despite the fact that he's the same age as her deceased father, and she's barely 14 at the beginning of the second book. *shudder*

So far I've read 25 pages of Emily Climbs and it's just like the prior book in tone, so it really is like the first book is just longer.

I'm enjoying the stories despite the fact that they were really written for teenaged girls. That sort of thing doesn't stop me; just look at the anime I like, for crying out loud. I'm otaku; what do you expect?

And I've been this way a long time. One summer--I think it might have been around 19770 1977*--I would go to the library every so often and take out 2-3 Nancy Drew books. I never touched the Hardy Boys ones. And before I moved back to Illinois from Iowa, I had started to buy the Nancy Drew books with a view to reading and collecting the entire series. Those books are a steal. I mean, the hardcovers are about $5 each, and the stories--while a bit dated--are entertaining.

Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels also appealed to me. I never got into the Tarzan or Conan stories, though. But I read every Barsoom book I could get my hands on, and enjoyed them immensely.

As an adult, I can read whatever the hell I want to without having to worry about someone making fun of me for reading a "girls' book". Especially since there's nothing else out there which really appeals to me other than Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series, and that's coming out at the glacial pace of one book per year. (Okay, so he can't write 'em any faster than that. It's not his fault. But it's still slow.)

* * *

It is not often I laugh out loud at someone potentially getting hurt. But when the accident occurs because of someone doing something particularly stupid, I make an exception.

Besides, he was wearing a helmet.

Look down in the comments and there's a link to a video clip which features a trio of morons cruising around on a Pontiac with a high seat? WTF?

* * *

What a lovely day today was. Sunny, temps in the mid-70s.

I didn't do squat. Well, I ran a couple of minor errands in the afternoon, and I watched Smallville--and that's all. And shortly I intend to brush my teeth, wash my face, and go to bed again, because I'm still tired.

I think Crete had a cruise night tonight--at least, I heard some cruise night-like noises, and saw an immaculate 50's Mercury hot rod go rumbling down the street. He revved his engine a couple of times and I thought "douchebag" until I actually saw the car; then I said, "Okay, that guy gets a 'pass'"--legitimate hot rods like that aren't subject to the same rules that douchebag kids with "tuner" mufflers on their Civics and Corrolas are subject to. Sorry, but I'm legitimately impressed by a real hot rod; your front-wheel-drive "granny grocery getter" econobox does not register as anything other than "wuss-mobile", no matter how many gigawatts of subwoofers you've crammed into the trunk.

In fact, I apply those rules to any car made after 1990. If you're driving around in a 2008 Mustang GT, revving your engine and driving like you're hot shit, I've got news for you: you're a douchebag and I'm completely unimpressed. Anybody can have a 2008 Mustang GT if he has the money to pay for it; how many people can have an immaculate Mercury that's been chopped and channeled and painted with candy-apple paint?

That Merc I saw today had about 50,000 times more "cool" to it than all the tuner cars I've ever seen combined.

I'm impressed by the guy with the all-original 1960s Corvette which has never been painted, restored, or even had a serious overhaul done. It is not "councours quality"; in fact it looks every day of its 40+ years...but that car's much cooler than the Neon SRT owned by the douchebag kid in the church parking lot. Sure, the Neon can accelerate faster and handles better, but so what? It's a freaking Neon, for Christ's sake.

I've identified one shop which installs stupid-huge rims on cars--the Phoenix Auto Salon here in Crete. And the other day I said, "Phoenix Auto Salon--your source for moron-mobiles since 2005." I'm not kidding; I've seen too many 1970s cars there jacked up 12" or so in order to fit the ludicrous chrome rims underneath. What's the point? What is cool about that? About ruining the ride and handling of a car solely so you can boast of having 24" of rim with maybe 4" of rubber on the outside, total? Why bother with the car at all? Just buy some freaking rims and display them in your living room or something, and quit ruining good cars with your stupid crap.

The other day I saw a car with such large rims that it had one inch of tire protecting the rim. That's not enough; that guy hits one pothole and he's going to be crying. I saw this at the Wal-Mart parking lot, where I--last autumn--saw another car with stupid-large rims, and one of them was cracked. Too much rim, not enough tire; hit a pothole or some other road hazard and you will be buying a new rim.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a guy at a gas station with too much rim and tire under his car. He couldn't turn the wheels all the way left or right; his choice of wheel and tire had compromised his car's ability to maneuver. WTFF?

NONE OF THIS IS COOL.

This afternoon I saw a nice 1974 Caprice convertible and it looked immaculate. I bet the asking price was in the neighborhood of $10,000; those 1970s cars--once thought common and worthless--are now commanding princely sums if in good condition. Ah, if only I could have saved my precious Blue Bomb, my blue 1975 Chevy Impala!

That Caprice will probably end up with 40 inch rims and a lift big enough for Bigfoot. What a waste.

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I had to go back and edit this typo because I know some smartass would make a wisecrack about "19770". At least, I would have.