Saturday, May 20, 2006

Cheep Indian Cars

I Have The Secret Photos…

There was a time in my life when my car was not only my transportation, it was also my ego—or at least a public statement thereof. Over the past 32 years I’ve gone from a pre unleaded fueled 1974 Honda Civic to my current gas guzzling Chevy Suburban.

My first car cost a little over $2000 new, while my Suburban cost over $36,000 in 1995. In between was a parade of Audis, Buicks, Chevys, Nissans, and Pontiacs ranging in price from the thousands to the tens of thousands of dollars.

Today I could basically care less what I drive, as long as it is safe and reliable. My old Suburban meets those requirements nicely, in spite of costing nearly $125 to fill up it’s 42 gallon tank and only getting about 9 MPG.

That said, this Yahoo News story about a company in India producing a $2000 car caught my eye this morning:

NEW DELHI - India's largest automobile manufacturer, Tata Motors Ltd., said Thursday it plans to set up a plant in the communist-ruled West Bengal state to manufacture a family car that will cost little more than $2,000.

The plant will be set up with an investment of 10 billion rupees ($220 million), and is expected to start production in two years, said Ratan Tata, the company's chairman.

A prototype of the five-seater model to be manufactured at the West Bengal plant is undergoing tests at a Tata facility in the western Indian city of Pune, Tata said.

You've got to wonder how much car you could buy for $2,000 these days. I did a little research and I actually found a top secret photo of the new Indian conveyance.

Here…take a look for yourself.

I hope it doesn't rain much in India...

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Torture Continues

Incompetence Squared…

If I give you a baseball bat, will someone out there promise to beat some sense into me?

If I hand you a pointy stick, will you attempt to prod me into ending my self induced suffering?


Pretty Please?

My latest adventures in self abuse culminated in my acceptance of an invitation to attend the quarterly meeting of the Condo Nazi’s Condominium Board of Directors held late yesterday afternoon.

Let me preface this discussion of my adventures with the following summary:


At the request of the old fart retired pawn shop owner Association President, I spent part of the last two weeks soliciting pricing on metal roofing alternatives to replace the piece of shit, improperly installed, worn out roof twenty year old asphalt shingle roof currently serving as a barrier between my artwork and the next rainstorm.

I also investigated the available alternatives for sealing the expansion joints in the concrete deck surrounding our swimming pool.

I was quite enthused with the options which I had come up with and looked forward to presenting the information to the incompetent group of ancient morons Condo Board.

I knew that I was in trouble when my host didn’t bother to tell the assembled board members that he had demanded my presence asked me to attend the meeting.

Actually, I knew that I was wasting my time when he accosted me in the parking lot and , upon looking at the metal roofing samples I brought with me, he said “let’s not bring that up in the meeting.”


I had spent two weeks working on the internet, E-mailing specifications and talking to vendors on the phone long distance (at my expense), and having manufacturers sending me packages of literature and samples of their products, in addition to submitting budget pricing; and now this asshole gentleman announces that “we won’t bring that up in the meeting?”


I ended up sitting through 75 minutes of mindless babbling about spending thousands of dollars planting Sago Palm Trees, followed by an inane layman’s discussion of attempts to improve drainage and hire a consulting Civil engineer to do a drainage plan.

At the 60 minute mark, one of the drunken sots board members looked at his watch and said “let’s hurry up people…it’s happy hour."

In my experience, this same philandering womanizer gentleman makes this same announcement at every meeting that he doesn’t miss. (I find it impossible to conduct business on a 60 minute time clock, especially when half the time is spent listing to the attendees discuss the health of their spleens or colons and the demise of former residents that moved to assisted living or were recently buried.)

Every single time I attempted to open my mouth I was cut off by the stupid asshole Board President, even when he asked me not once but TWICE if I had any comments.

After the aforementioned 75 minutes had elapsed, I was “excused” from the meeting so that they could conduct some additional clandestine cogitations.

I should have expected nothing less from such a self important group of ignorant ingrates. While I’m sure that each of the board members are wonderful people with friends and families and successful careers in their past, in their capacity as managers of the ongoing health and success of 48 condominium units in a property with a market value of $13 to $15 million dollars, they are effectively “rearranging the furniture on the deck of the Titanic.”

They choose to spend their time worrying about pressure washing sidewalks and planting palm trees while the site rainwater drainage system and the 50,000 square foot area of roofing is on the verge of collapse.

I’ve officially had it up to here (pointing to the top of my ever balding, ever graying head.)

And, having successfully conducted a two year long campaign to update and improve the swimming pool and pool house, the prospects of spending further substantial portions of my time addressing issues that do not directly impact my own life here in our little slice of Paradise are virtually NONEXISTANT.

Yet again I’ve learned the hard lesson that my efforts are worth exactly what I charge for them.

In this case, that would be NOTHING.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Name That Odor Smell Aroma

Strange Goings On…

My regular readers might have noticed that I’ve missed writing a new posting a couple of days over the past week because I was busy or otherwise didn’t have anything to say worth writing. (Some might say that is true every day here on this blog)

This morning I’m in a similar boat—not feeling like ranting about life in general or jumping in on the commentary about President Bush’s speech last night on immigration.

I wanted something lighthearted to talk about, and my reliable old buddies over at the Local6 website, as usual, didn’t let me down.

Take a look at this story about "Play-Doh" perfume:

PAWTUCKET, R.I.—It’s one of the most unique smells around. And now you can wear it.

Hasbro is continuing its celebration of Play-Doh's 50th anniversary by releasing "Eau de Play-Doh," a perfume designed to smell just like the kids' modeling clay.

Spokesman Gary Serby said Play-Doh's smell is one of its most enduring memories, and Hasbro figures smelling the perfume will transport people back to their childhood.

It sells for $19 a bottle.

Play-Doh perfume?

Are they serious?

They actually think this is going to sell because it will “transport people back to their childhood”?

If a woman came up to me smelling like Play-Doh, I’m not sure that I could stop myself from saying something and it might not be the kind of comment that she was expecting.

If this stuff actually sells, I’m going to run out to the patent office with a couple of my own ideas because I don’t want to miss out on this potential gold mine.

Take a look and see if these fragrances will “transport” you anywhere…

Would you buy a cologne or perfume that was named or smelled like:

Mimeograph Fluid (for all of the former teacher’s aides from the 1960’s and 1970’s)

Toe Jam (for those out there with a “foot fetish”)

Jelly Bean

Locker Room

Grass Stain

Grass Stain with Doggie Poo

Model Airplane Glue

Kitty Litter


Pine Sol

Old Spice (oops…they already make that one)

Old Tennis Shoe (see “Toe Jam” above)

Hush Puppies (the shoes, new used or otherwise)

Hush Puppies (the food)

Sushi (an exotic aroma from the far east…)

“Space Food Sticks” (for all the astronaut wannabe’s)

Fish Bait (see Sushi above)

Old Fashioned Grease and Weasel (don’t ask…)

Public Restroom

Gunpowder (for the NRA members)

Brake Shoe (for the mechanic in the family)

Diesel Fuel

Fried Chicken

Tooth Paste (it might come in a tube rather than a bottle)

Pocket Lint

Doctor’s Office

Halitosis (see Tooth Paste above)

Septic Tank

Trailer Park

Athletic Supporter (for all the rabid college alumni in your family)

Peat Moss (for the gardener in your life…)

Perspiration (a simple, natural aroma)

Spam (it could come in a bottle shaped like the Spam can)

Hey all you married guys, it just hit me that there is an over looked cologne out there that would greatly improve your image.

I’d call it HOUSE WORK.

And finally, for the ladies, I believe that the most successful perfume aroma that is not yet produced and would be absolutely GUARANTEED to attract men, no matter what personality or appearance God gave you, would be…


Anyone out there got any more suggestions?

I’m listening…


Here's a couple of other fragrances that I forgot earlier:

Retread (for those women that have gotten remarrried--to their ex-husbands)

Watermellon (it would also contain a green you'd be green on the outside)

Squash Casserole (children would fear you)

Poison Ivy (for all the Batman fans out there)

Naugahyde (made from the hides of thousands of innocent little Naugas)

Kiddy Pool (You never know what it will smell like)

Sock Drawer (Self Explainitory)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Back In Paradise

We Made It…

I woke up Monday morning with a sense of dread. I just knew that something was going to go wrong, because other than the little tiny detail of forgetting to bring along my razor, the trip had been absolutely perfect.

When I turned on the Weather Channel, I thought that I saw the making of our first real problem. Thunderstorms were lined up covering the entire distance between Savannah and Brunswick.

Not to worry, we just hung around the hotel until about 1:30 PM waiting out the rain to move away as the cold front pushed through.

I’m pleased to report that my theory worked, and by the time we were rolling down the interstate about 2:30 the storms had moved off to the southeast and we were home by a little past 4:00 PM.

All and all it was a great trip. If you've never been to Savannah, Georgia, you really aught to consider it as a short vacation destination.

We'll be back again.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

I’m A Blogaholic

Somebody…Please Do An Intervention

How many people do you know that will drive two hours to get to their weekend destination, only to spend the first three hours in a four star hotel worrying about the room not having a functioning high speed internet connection?

Yesterday I did exactly that, and I’m starting to feel a little guilty after the fact.

Well, maybe not…

We took a chance and arrived at the hotel about 11:30 AM, hours before the normal 4 PM check-in time and they promised us a room within a half hour.

Hurray...Hurrah...Hubba Hubba...

After taking a brief cruise around the neighborhood to kill a little time, we returned and were promptly settled into our room on the first floor adjacent to the pool courtyard.

So far, so good—right?

Wrong, because the first thing I did was attempt to connect to the hotel’s wireless internet service. NO SIGNAL.





Not to worry, I’d just whip out my 20’ CAT 5 cable and plug into the wall jack. The problem was that not only was there a wall jack, but there was something close to fifty feet of blue CAT 5 cable coiled up in a bundle with yet another jack on the end of it laying nearby under the desk.

Certainly there would be a nice fast internet signal on at least one of the two connections.


I wiggled the connectors, checked my software settings, and hit the connect button at least twenty times to no avail.

No problem, I just called the hotel “engineering” department.

Yeah…that’s the ticket.

I’m happy to say that if my AC wasn’t cooling or a light bulb wasn’t working I would have been in fat city, but the gentleman that arrived at our room just blinked and grunted and pointed to a phone number that he said that I HAD TO CALL to get service on THE HOTEL’S own internet wiring!


So I called the number, and a service tech prompted me through a series of mindless questions like I didn’t know a CAT 5 cable from a garden hose, and once he realized that I knew how to turn the power switch on my computer to the “on” position AND that I was network savvy, he threw up his hands and called the hotel…

Hotel “engineering”, that is.

The same guy came back to the room, crawled around on his hands and knees under the desk for a few minutes, and then he asked if we would like a different room.

Not yes, but HELL YES, was my answer.

Arrangements were made with the front desk, and we wandered down to the waterfront for a late lunch while the bellman moved our luggage between rooms.

I marched back into the building and on to the second floor into our new room with a song in my heart and trepidation in my head.

Within minutes, I was in ecstasy…and here I sit 25 hours later.

I really can do without internet…really I can…IF I WANT TO…

I just don’t want to.

At least not now…