Thar She Smogs! Yay Car X!
So, my car is now compliant with Chicago emissions. I’ve been neglecting to take it in since the last time it failed, after which I got it tuned up, and started working full-time, with a long-ass commute of about thirty feet. Yeah, well, it failed the second test, at which point they gave me a booklet with a list of shops in Chicago, sorted by their success rate at fixing emissions problems. Since I’m in a new neighborhood, I took the beast over by Car X. Now, normally I’m a bit wary of big chain stores when there’s plenty of greasy guys around willing to do a perfectly good job in a local garage, where the money will stay in the city, and not be siphoned off to some offshore, or at least suburban tax shelter. Yeah, well, the guy figured out my catalytic converters were shot – I mean, they were fifteen years old, right? So, for $475 those were replaced. And it was a slow last Friday over there so you know what they took it by the emissions testing station and passed me through the test!
I am in love. They fixed my car, and they saved me a boat load of time. Car X rocks!
What else? Ah, you may have noticed this funny little strip on the right-hand side of my home page, of little photos. Check it out — You can leave comments and stuff, and I’ll read them. And it is easy for me as sending an e-mail. Hopefully this adds a touch of … whatever.
Other fun things, in case you need to waste some time:
The New York Times has an an article with a plainly funny graph showing optimism, to the point of “no, wait, you guys are so obviously full of Bullsh!t” in the Bush administration’s job projection figures. Every year the administration’s graph goes stright up at a steep angle. Every year the reality graph goes down at a very soft angle, and every year the administration has to move their steep line over to the right …
A Moveon web site called Daily Mislead points out that Bushs’ new campaign ads, which I haven’t seen, which feature the image of firefighters carrying a body bag from Ground Zero, are all the more hypocritical given the administration’s ban on filming body bags returning from the War on Terror.
But it is not all grim, depressing politics. The New York Times has a fun, insightful article on pickpocketing research. A study posted by BBC reports that teens who take a vow of celibacy have less sex, but the same rate of STDs as their morally loose peers, in large part because they are not prepared, with condoms, when they do succumb to their hormones. I heard an NPR story about the abstinence curriculum that schools do in many places, and the main reason to be “abstain” is to avoid STDs … but … well … I don’t know, this just sort of shoots that side of the argument all to heck. Maybe we’re better off with the advice “you needn’t rush into a sexual relationship, but if you’re going to do it, get a damned condom first! Promise me you’ll carry a condom with you, just in case your sex drive overpowers your good judgement! Thanks!”
What else? It’s been some windy times in Illinois. In fact, back in Champaign-Urbana, an MTD bus took a fall off a bridge. That’s some wind! It turns out that eBay has been spanked by New York State because PayPal plays a little too fast and loose with “the truth.” Silly PayPal! Bad PayPal! Hooray for Eliot Spitzer!
And, for your grinning pleasure, a piece on how Californians see United States geography.
Last, but not least, I was really productive at work yesterday. (7MB AVI file, but the paper shredder is fine.)