Friday, July 21, 2006

While I Was Driving...

I just got back from a three-day trip from Michigan to several job interviews back East. Lots of stuff happening while I was gone, some I was aware of and couldn't wait to get back and blog about, and some stuff I am just finding out this morning. I'm gonna throw a few thoughts down here and expand on some of them later.

1. I drove my mother-in-law's Honda Civic Hybrid. While I probably averaged a slightly disappointing 42 m.p.g., it was fascinating to watch the dashboard readout of the car's mileage, and try to drive accordingly. I know my speed hindered the mileage somewhat (75+ mph most of the time), but I think if every car had a similar "sliding" mpg meter plus the cumulative average fuel economy, people would drive differently and it would save the country gas. I found myself constantly trying to coax better mileage out of the car, and if I didn't have to cover 1,500 miles over 60 hours it would change the way I drive.

If I get a job where I have a car commute of any significance I will seriously consider a hybrid.

2. The interviews. For those of you that care, the interviews went well. I feel pretty good about my chances. We'll see what happens. Three weeks ago I thought I was moving to Birmingham, Alabama and that didn't pan out, so I'm not going to ge over-excited about anything...

3. Israel. I touched on this briefly before I left, and not much has changed about the situation or my opinion. I do find the Administration's position of stalling to allow Israel to get medieval on Lebanon, and their rhetoric to be disturbing. Bolton and other's complete dismissal of any sort of cease-fire as ridiculous strikes me as completely insensitive to the civilians being killed by the hundreds (a very one-sided toll, btw), and serves only to weaken our standing in the Middle East. They have handled this thing terribly. Bush swearing about it is the least of the problems, yet for days, that's all that was discussed.

4. Ned Lamont I stayed with my parents in Connecticut and worked my dad hard on voting for Lamont in the primary. He is skeptical. Partly because he has bought some of the Joementum bullshit, partly because he doesn't want to lose Lieberman's seniority, and as a union guy, my dad has some(legitimate) problems with Lamont's record as a city councilman. He does admit that he is disenchanted with Lieberman, but isn't ready to toss him yet. I wil keep after him...

6. Heard on the radio:

An excruciating story on NPR about U.S. soldiers burned in Iraq, and their attempts to recover. A must-listen. Be warned. I was so incensed after hearing what these guys are suffering, I wanted to turn south and ram my car into the Oval Office.

NY sports fans are the stupidest fans in the world. Five years without lisening to The FAN has caused me to forget this. Actual, serious, questions heard on the radio last night: "What about Andy Pettitte? The Mets could get Pettitte from the Astros without giving up too much, they're four games out in the wild-card and I'm sure they want to get rid of that big contract..." and this one, "Let's say the Mets make it to the World Series, do you think they have a chance to win? I mean, against the White Sox or Red Sox?"

Ugh. On the plus side, The FAN streams online now, and I enjoy me some Mike and the Mad Dog. At least I think I remember it that way. I'll get back to you on that one... [Warning: The WFAN homepage has a picture of Imus.]

Savage Nation [shudder] While trolling the dial in Ohio or Western PA, I listened to about ten minutes of the unhinged rantings of Michael Savage. Sweet Jesus. This guy makes Ann Coulter sound like Ann Landers. Just railing against the "lesbians, homosexuals, and liberals" who are all in league with the "Hezzbolites" in this country a present a clear and present danger to THIS country. His big meme for the night was repeated calls that, "Hatred and anger are the only things that can save this country! And I stand by those words!" It was hard not to picture a burning cross in the studio behind him. Frightening that this maniac has a radio show and an audience.

More to come on Georgie's first veto. Isn't he cute?...

6 comments:

S.W. Anderson said...

Best of luck with the job situation, Mr. F.

Re: No. 3, If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the cabal were much concerned about civilian casualties, we would've seen some evidence of it in Iraq — where it's believed between 6,000 and 7,000 were killed in May and June alone.

I don't think it bothers them one bit. I suspect if you could get Bush or Cheney to open up about it,they'd tell you something to the effect that wars are messy, there are always civilian casualties, such is life. Hey, people get hit by lightning. People die in floods and avanlanches.

I suspect in their view what's important is that some bad guys are being killed, so that in the fullness of time democracy will flourish, the rich will rule and the people will all turn away from terrorism, unions and other evil things.

Neocon nirvana, in other words.

Mr Furious said...

Pretty much what I think as well. The cost of doing business, so to speak.

I think they've convinced themselves that if the bullets aren't coming directly from the gun of a U.S. soldier, that the U.S. bears no responsibility at all. And if the death IS coming from a U.S. gun, they had it coming.

Mr Furious said...

Thanks for the well wishes, swa, and everyone else.

I should point out that I actually do have a job, but it's public sector, only tangentially related to my field (magazine art director) and the pay sucks (great bennies though). I am forced to supplement with a lot of freelance work. I (and my wife) hope to get back in at a publisher working one, good, steady A.D. gig that frees me up evenings.

In other words, there's food on the Furious table, I'm just stretched a little thin these days...

Punchy said...

Comments...
Hybrids--the Honda one is like piloting the Enterprise. Green and yellow and red shit everywhere. Bar meters and numbers telling you every concievable car thing you'd need short of where the cops are. I found myself so hypnotized (sp?) by the F-16-esque cockpit that I really didn't even pay attention to the road.

Andy Freakin' Pettitte? Beat by THE CUBS? Wow, Mets fans are so skeptical, they want Pettitte? He's as washed-up as Maddux and Hoffman. It would be soooo Mets to destroy their chemistry and go start needlessly changing up their team, up approx 124.5 games in their division now...

Savage just saw what hate and anger did for Coulter's sales. That's why he is so acerbicly bombastic.

S.W. Anderson said...

Punchy wrote:

Hybrids--the Honda one is like piloting the Enterprise. Green and yellow and red shit everywhere. Bar meters and numbers telling you every concievable car thing . . . I found myself so hypnotized (sp?) by the F-16-esque cockpit

To each his own. That sounds kind of cool to me.

S.W. Anderson said...

Mr. F., if a magazine art director thing doesn't open up for you, you might give a thought to product design. Or more to the point, product design reform.

I'm serious. Take a look around and you'll see there's plenty of room for innovation and improvement.

For example, have you noticed how many electronics products feature pale gray or silver, micro-size-type labeling on a black or dark gray background for buttons that are also tiny? It's ridiculous.

I've seen younger people with smaller fingers and better eyesight fumble with gadgets because of those poor design choices. I've also seen older people using magnifying glasses and flashlights to find what's what, or give up in disgust on using or buying whatever it is.

A designer with a clue could be a hero.