Saturday, April 27, 2013
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Here is a modern example of one, the Honda Fit:
It all started when gasoline suddenly became hard to find in the 1970s, just as I was old enough to drive. The Arab oil cartel decided the US didn’t need so much oil, so there were shortages of gasoline, and fuel economy became a selling point for cars. Up to that time, gas mileage was measured in gallons per mile, rather than miles per gallon.
American car makers were way behind the Germans and Japanese, which spelled the berginning of the demise of Detroit as the car capitol of the world. Volkswagen, Toyota, Datsun (later Nissan) and Honda got a huge share of the American market by selling cars that got 30 or more mpg. GM, Ford and Chrysler couldn't get their small cars produced fast enough, being used to the large cars they made. So along came such long-term big sellers as the Ford Pinto, the Chevy Chevette, and the Chevy Vega. Oh, you’ve never heard of those? That’s because they were ugly, badly made and as safe as riding a bicycle on ice in heavy traffic. Here are what they looked like:
As you can see, they didn’t really amount to much more than a 4 cylinder engine surrounded by some steal, with a cabin big enough for two adults or four children. And they had little sound proofing, so one heard a lot of wind as one tried to drive at highway speeds. One strong wind and these babies might get up to 50mph. No problem, though. Uncle Sam thought we could save fuel by lowering speed limits to 55mph. I guess it was so those drivers who wanted to save money on gasoline could keep up with those of us who wanted to get where we were going without feeling like we were in a noisy wind tunnel. And they felt like a big car, with terrible stearing. I remember an ad for one of the foreign cars that mocked these by saying “Look, America, we made a big car small and a small car big!” I think they were also referring to the Mustang II, the downsized version of the muscle car. The one that caused everyone to go away from the mustang and made the Chevy Camaro a more popular car.
Anyway, now that President Obama and the environmentalists want us togo back in time, more and more people are buying small cars with high gas mileage. So, a short comparison:
- Modern versions are safer than the 1970s’ models;
- They get even better mileage with hybrid technology;
- They can actually drive at highway speeds!
- They are much more comfortable and quiet;
- They offer many of the extras that bigger cars do, like entertainment options;
- Four adults can actually fit in them.
- They still get crushed in an accident by bigger vehicles (it seems the smaller the cars are getting the bigger the pickup trucks are getting);
- And they still are ugly.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Overall, it was worth the time to see. I am glad that Tolkien doesn’t have to see it.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
1- I said President Obama would not be reelected, and I was wrong, thanks to the lap-dog media and the lily-livered GOP (which seems not to understand that running moderates gives the Dems the office). If the media would return to be the unbiased truth tellers they are supposed to be, they would have told us everything they knew about Obama’s past the first time, and all we have found out too late about the Libya incident last month.
2- I predicted the stimulus and housing crisis would take us to a depression. I came close on that one. We continue to have miserable joblessness though it seems Obama and the media have put us under a spell, making us think 8% is an acceptable number. Housing is slowly coming around, but many still have house worth thousands less than they paid for them.
3- I predicted another terror attack on US soil. There was the embassy attack and a couple of shootings that the administration refused to call terrorist attacks. Several terrorists have been stopped before they could do any damage, which is a good thing. And yes, Osama Bin Laden is enjoying his time in Hell with his master. But Al Qaida is still very active in the Middle East, and perhpas emboldened by our wimpy attitude towards their host in Pakistan.
4&5- Along with that prediction, I said, “The rest of the enemies of the US will soon see that Obama is too inexperienced at international affairs.” He seems to think he needs to apologize for our actions. And I have heard that a lot of people in the rest of the world are laughing at us. In another prediction I mentioned that Russia would try and take advantage of Obama’s lack of experience. Mr Putin is again the leader and seems to be flexing his muscle. So I guess I got those two right.
6- Lastly, I said there would be a strong third party this year which would make the Big 2 make their differences more obvious. Well, this year there was a definite difference, but not a strong enough third party to have an effect. So I was half right.
Let’s see: Correct on #s 2, 4 and 5. Half right on 3 and 6. So I got 4 out of 6 total. 67% is not bad for an amateur. But in the school where I teach, that is a D-.
So, I will make no more predictions, other than that in four years God will still be on the throne and having His way.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
- Why was Sandy called a “Super Storm” since it was only a category 1 hurricane. Is it because it was 1,000 miles across instead or 2 or 3 hundred?
- And why do the big three networks have to spend entire newscasts on one storm for a whole week? Aren’t there other newsworthy stories in the world, more important than interviewing all the victims? Yes, the storm is of national significance, but the sorrowful stories are more local, aren’t they?
- Why it that people who don’t want to work drive like maniacs to get there on time? Why not leave a few minutes earlier and relax, rather than stressing out the other drivers (me) on the road by tailgating and cutting in between a inches to spare while going 10 mph over the limit?
- Why do advertisements for furniture stores have to have the announcer yelling at us? Do they think we’re deaf? Don’t they know that some of us change the channel or turn down the volume so we can’t hear them anyway?
- Since no one uses the old 5.25 and 3.5 inch floppy disks anymore, why not make computer flash drives the A or B drive, instead E, F or G?
Well, enough for now. Let’s hope the Chinese let us keep our blogs when they take us over so we can continue with such important questions as these.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Oh, and one more thing, please don’t start the next presidential campaign until 2015!
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Many sports now have a “Pink Night” in which the players wear pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness. High school, college and even professional teams raise money by selling t-shirts or other apparel. It’s a great idea, as breast cancer is a disease that takes the lives of all too many women, and even affects some men.
However, why all the attention to women’s health when there are diseases that affect men that do not get much attention? Prostrate cancer is one. Granted, it is not as serious as breast cancer, but it still would be good to find a cure. Lance Armstrong raised awareness of it, and his foundation raised money for research. But how many women’s teams sell apparel and wear yellow in support of prostrate cancer awareness? Equal time, you know.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
It is a day to remember. The youngest of my children is 18 today. How time flies. I can still remember that morning when Mrs. L woke up and said “It's time.” I thought we had a few hours since previous births followed many hours of labor. But no, this one came quickly. I can still hear her as a 1 year old saying “Kit-ty” when she saw one of the cats, like the one in the picture, we had at that rented farm house. And she grew up too fast, as they all did. I have four adult offspring. Now I am a grandfather. How soon before those two (soon to be three) little ones are adults?
Anyway, Happy Birthday, “Child”! May God grant you His mercy and grace as you become the woman He means you to be.
Friday, September 7, 2012
2. American gauchos 18. View the predators
3. Seven squared 19. Tiny scuba gear
4. High church leaders 20. John, Peter and Paul
6. Streakers are this 22. Birds trained to kill
7. A 747 and DC-10 23. People from a big state
8. Indian leaders 24. Six shooters
10. King of the beasts 26. Black jungle cats
11. Thieves 27. Luxury cars
12. Used to be girls 28. Six rulers
14. A dollar for corn 30. Bald American
15. Invoices 31. Family of giants