Monday, June 23, 2003

It's been a long time since I posted a site that's just crazy stupid fun. is that. It's fake news stories like The Onion, but funnier.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Census Data by Address

Here's the link to the government site.
100,000 Hummers a year

GM hopes to sell 100,000 Hummer H3 trucks a year. Just what the world needs 100k Hummers

Monday, June 16, 2003

From the Cartalk website - Tom's editorial that cars with a horsepower to weight ratio of .06 to 1 shouldn't be on the road.
When the subject of bassboats came up, this old article from The Onion crossed my desk. It's from 1998 but still appropriate.
From the Automotive News website:

DC is telling its suppliers that it has to meet the price of the world's lowest cost suppliers. Once again, globalism's race to the bottom effect is demonstrated. Only time will tell if the Chinese workers will buy as many DC products as the workers of the American suppliers. Perhaps they can use Chinese lawyers as well.

(registration Required)

Monday, June 09, 2003

From the Get a Life Department . . .

I've been following writer Nick Stam's series of articles on high definition television on

Nick Stam bought and returned 5 different HDTV sets before finally keeping a Samsung 43 inch rear projection DLP set. Having resigned myself to normal television for at least a couple more years, it gives me a little bit of satisfaction to find out that early adopters are having quite a few problems.

Reading this article makes me think this guy must have a wife with the patience of a saint.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Stick Figure Death Theatre:

Pretty much self-explanatory:
Who_s_Trying_to_Kill_You_Frank Surprising stories from the media and primary sources:

New GM credit cards & supplier discounts:
From 5/16/2003

General Motors Plans New GM Credits Cards General Motors putting some new muscle behind the GM Card in an effort to broaden its appeal. John Smith, GM group vice president, North America vehicle sales, service and marketing, said Thursday the GM Cards will be offered to small business owners. In addition, GM also plans to offer an updated version of the card to the company's employees, dealers, retirees and qualified suppliers. "With the introduction of these new products, and the support of our bank partners, GM is looking forward to extending the fundamental value proposition of The GM Card - to save toward the purchase of 'gotta-have' GM products - to millions of consumers, small business owners and GM family members throughout the country," Smith said. Since it was introduced in 1992, The GM Card has helped sell four million GM vehicles, GM officials noted. Jack Bowen, general director of GM Card, said the decision to offer a card specifically aimed at small businesses grew out of GM's experience with its own fleet customers. Small businesses using the GM credit card under the new service will be able to save money towards GM vehicles, Bowen said. "If you spend $50,000 a month on GM card, you will qualify for one new, $30,000 vehicle every five years," said Bowen, who added that GM won't cap the savings under the program. The target market, however, extends beyond GM's fleet customers to all small businesses, he said. GM also will now offer the GM Extended Family Card to employees, retirees, dealers and qualified suppliers. The new extended family card will allow owners to combine unlimited 1 percent earnings with GM's New Vehicle Purchase Program discounts and use them toward the purchase or lease of a new GM vehicle. In the past, GM had placed restrictions on the use of the rebates from GM Card and employee discounts in the same transaction, Bowen said. -Joe Szczesny

Hyundai to pay lower wages in Alabama:
Globalism strikes again - Hyundai to drive down wages in Alabama.

Historical article on Ford's union history is a reminder of what the parents and grandparents of today's UAW members had to go through to get the wages and benefits that the current workers enjoy.

Bill Ford sees the future in hydrogen & hybrids:

I guess that's why Ford's first hybrid will come out when Honda & Toyota's second generation cars come out.

Remember Michael Keaton dictating his ideas into the tape recorder in Nightshift? is a site for people to try out similar ideas and introduce them into the field of discussion. It is humbling to think that you've found an idea to change the world only to find out that someone else thought of it first & got shot down for what should be obvious reasons.

e-stamps to end spam?:

Last Fall, Microsoft and the US Post Office announced an agreement on a protocol to introduced "certified e-mail" through an e-stamp process. For a cost from $.10 to $2.00 the sender can receive an assurance and proof of identity through a digital postmark.

A similar process can be used in theory to reduce spam by passing only paid e-mails through a spam filter. A user can choose to continue to receive free e-mails from known senders.

Crappy Journalism, Crappy statistics:

I'm working on a letter to the editor on the subject of teen pregancy & sex statistics.

This is the time of year where the annual Surveys of sexual behavior and teen pregnancy are released. The reason I bring this up is that there is an inherent contradiction in the studies.

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 8 in 10 girls and 7 in boys are sexually Inexperienced at age 15.

In other words, young teenaged boys have more sex than young teenaged girls.

According to the Chattanooga Resource foundation, of children born with a teenaged mother, 81% have adult fathers. On average, the father is 4 years older than the mother.

So if the teenaged girls have partners that are 4 years older than they are, just who are all these teenaged boys having sex with?

What this is telling me is that the Beevis & Butthead factor is at work when it comes to sex survey. You ask a 14 year old boy if he's had sex, you're going to get Beevis & Butthead laughter, and more often than not, the kid's gonna lie. What the birth statistics tell me is that we have no idea how much sex teenaged boys are having, but not nearly as much as they say they're having. From a public policy standpoint we have to take these statistics with a grain of salt.

AAA study of car costs 2003 $.517 per mile:

From 5/13/03

AAA: Driving Costs Rise for 2003 The cost of driving a car in the United States is going up, according to AAA. The organization's annual study pegs the expense of operating a vehicle at 51.7 cents per mile this year, up 1.5 cents from 2002. Broken out over 15,000 miles, the AAA says drivers will average $7754 in spending, thanks to a 7-cent increase per day in taxes and registration, and 1.3 cents more per mile for fuel and maintenance. The costs are calculated by averaging composite costs for three vehicles: a Chevy Cavalier LS, a Ford Taurus SEL and a Mercury Grand Marquis LS all equipped with automatic transmission. The AAA says the increase is the biggest it's seen since 2000, when costs rose more than 2 cents per mile.

(All submitted by Steve Hofer)

4/30/03 This is the second generation hybrid from Toyota, coming out before the first generation domestic. Not a good sign. The car looks cool though. Midsize 50 MPG 0-60 Ten sec. 20k or so.



4/30/03 Remember Gomer Pyle? What do you thinks a "gomer" is?


4/30/03 I found this interesting. The connotative meaning of "nimrod" as an idiot probably started with Bugs Bunny. The traditional meaning is "hunter"


n. also Nimrod A hunter. Informal. A person regarded as silly, foolish, or stupid.

[After Nimrod. Sense 2, probably from the phrase "poor little Nimrod," used by the cartoon character Bugs Bunny to mock the hapless hunter Elmer Fudd.]

Note that the origin of the word has been traced to a ruler of the ancient kingdom of Assyria, partially coextensive with modern day Iraq.


4/30/03 Famous people who died in auto accidents


4/30/03 The Harry Chapin Archive at Maintained by Brian Bieluch.

I always found it fascinating that Harry Chapin gave millions of dollars to fight world hunger (one out of two concerts were benefits) and died driving a 6 year old Volkswagen Rabbit.

A couple years later, Michael Jackson & Lionel Richie would get lots of press for recording one song and holding one concert.



4/30/03Wards Automotive editorial favoring raising the gas tax


4/9/2003. Toyota Poised To Drive For Fifteen Percent Market Share. Here's a factoid about Toyota. From Far from resting on the oars, Japanese auto giant Toyota Motor is preparing to enlarge its growth strategy and pursue a fifteen-percent share of the global market that would eclipse GM's 14.2-percent share to make it the number-one automaker. The strategy will be outlined soon, say Tokyo sources, when Toyota reports it made more profits in its recent fiscal year - $12 billion - than any automaker in the past ten years. In the fiscal year ended March 21, 2003, Toyota collected worldwide revenue of $143 billion with an estimated 8.3 percent operating margin. Its market capitalization, a whopping $84.3 billion, exceeded that of General Motors, Ford and DaimlerChrysler combined. Toyota's market capitalization (the share price times the number of shares outstanding) is greater than General Motors, Ford, and Daimler Chrysler combined. Could it be said that the Big 3 are now the Big 1, or perhaps the Big T?

4-16-03 Oh, no EPA, we can't raise our C.A.F.E. numbers 2 mpg. We're too busy replacing cars that have good aerodynamics with those that are shaped like a barn. Chrysler 300C preview at

4-16-03 It looks like Ford waited 20 years to replace the Taurus with the Chevy Malibu. Ford Futura Preview

 (All submitted previously by Steve Hofer)