Friday, May 30, 2008

Cars (20 of 104)

Even I am kind of surprised that after months and months of deliberating over what car to buy as a commuter I have come up with...


BMW 3-series! I'm looking at the 318 to be specific.

Roy? A Beemer? Roy driving a BEEMER???? I know I know but it actually makes sense. I've always held VW as my favorite and have a soft spot in my heart for the few-and-far-between eurovehicles that have been in my life so... why not? The 318 gets 32 miles per gallon on the highway so makes a nice commuter that is relatively safe and will make a great weekend family car too. And 1995-1998 vintage 318's are quite affordable as well.

Now to find one. That's turning out to be the more difficult part. But hopefully I'll be posting a pic of my new ride in the next couple of weeks.

But then again a couple of weeks is usually all it takes for me to change my mind again...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I know what want. But not like Cheap Trick (19 of 104)

I took Jasper to "Bugorama" last weekend to see the sparkling VW's and the VW drag races. He loved it! And as usual, I also loved it.

But it left me feeling unfulfilled. I don't just want to look at other peoples' cool bugs, buses, things, notchbacks, squarebacks etc... I want one too!

Then I started thinking about all the things I want. I want another 4x4 that can zip down the road better. I want a super-gas-sipping commuter. I want a racecar. I want a rocket ship. I want I want I want.

Hell, I already have my Jeep as a toy. I'm living like many people plan to do "someday" but never do. I have a wonderful child and wife. Why should I want for anything??? I really shouldn't. But then I find myself on Monday night with the clock creeping up on 12:45 AM on Craigslist and eBay shopping for Volkswagens.

What does it take??? If I were single I would sell off everything and live with only a futon, bookshelf a bowl and a spoon for a year to purge myself. Of course I would do this living out of my pristine 1968 VW bus!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

D_On 't UND_ERsTanD ArT (18 of 104)

Holy Crap the new RADIOHEAD album is so damn good I can't stop listening to it. I stuck with them through the harder to listen to stuff but this is easily the best since "The Bends." FINALLY an old favorite comes out with a BETTER album instead of steadily declining with each album. That said, I have high hopes for a certain band coming out with a new album in about two weeks...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dirty Post (17 of 104)

I don't think you have to live on a dirt road and have a chronically dirty car to appreciate how cool this sight is but maybe it helps. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chicken Shit Liberals (16 of 104)

I recently read Doug Fine's "Farewell My Subaru." It was lent to me by a neighbor because he found the stuff about goats amusing and we have goats so ...

It was a good read and I'm fully on board with the ideas of buying locally made products, reducing dependence on oil and generally thinking about what we do and what it does to the environment. BUT. I hold these values as a human on the planet and it has nothing to do with politics. Therefore, I consider myself to NOT be the kind of guy to spout political lines and advertise my own righteous path (despite the fact that's exactly what I just did).

In the book, Fine uses lots of modern-day liberal speak such as "carbon-neutral." One thing he does in the book is convert a diesel truck to run on restaurant grease. Now I think that is an excellent idea! I would do the same if I had his free time and un-named source of large amounts of cash.

But what bugged me was that he repeatedly refers to his truck as being carbon-neutral. This is a large load of goat manure. Diesel emissions, while lower in CO2 and other harmful gases, are HUGE polutants of particle soot emissions. These emissions have the same harmful effects as volcanoes, wood smoke and desert dust where they can influence cloud formation and also contribute to dimming sunlight.

So I went to Mr. Fine's sight and, among a heaping of humorous and congratulating comments, pointed out the above. This morning I looked at his sight and found my comment was deleted. No explanation no email sent to me. Nothing. Just deleted. Now I take that as, "You had a disagreement and we're not going to put up with that."

Wow. I would expect that from some conservative dittohead but aren't the liberals supposed to be the smart ones? I mean I at least expected a "I respectfully disagree blah blah blah." But no. Now I just have another data point that confirms that liberals can be just as knee-jerk and unwilling to compromise as any conservative.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is it worth it? (15 of 104)

I'm home for an entire 5 week block of time now! Wahoo.

I don't know if this "Saving the Planet" line of work is healthful for me. Okay, I am not personally saving the planet but hopefully I'm building and maintaining the instrumentation used to collect that one extra data point to add to a collective knowledge about our planet and how all that crap in the sky ends up fucking up the weather.

So the work is good for my soul. I really can't imagine any other line of work that only ended in a profit margin or screwing someone over. And I won't pretend that the travel is a complete negative. I've been all kinds of cool places and even got to take Kris and Jasper to Hawaii this year. Pretty cool.

But there are times when I just want to be teleported into a 9 to 5 job that's a bit more on the boring and less on the challenging. The picture up above shows a typical moment from this year where I am tearing the instrument apart. In this case I'm sitting at a kitchen table in a condominium. Do you think I would choose to do this with two scientists anxiously looking over my shoulder trying not ask (again) if it was ready to go? I'll answer that for you. No. No I wouldn't choose that kind of stress. The main problem is that I am the only technical person in the group and there are three (and growing) scientists. The job would be alot easier if there were more technical help. That would also mean a Hell of alot less time in the field, too.

But I guess it's like many other things. You love your car until it breaks down. You love your wife until you get in a silly argument. You love your kid until they have a tantrum in the middle of the library. Actually you love them right through those pains but in the back of your head is the thought of how much easier it would be if...

That IF is a dangerous one. You can't judge the entire relationship with your car, wife, kid, or job on that one moment of IF. Chances are the entire love is more than worth that one silly moment when your brain goes into IF mode.

So that's figured out. Now, how do you balance all that love? If you figure that one out let me know!