September 24, 2009

Cash for My Clunker

I am not  "car" guy. I don't worship the automobile. It is the most practical way for me to get to where I need to go when I need to get there. It's transportation not a symbol of who and what I am.

My current transportation is a 1994 Toyota Corola. It runs great. Looks half decent, and none of the things that are wrong with it matter at all to me. I bought it off a neighbor for $2,000 last October. I bought it because my previous transportation was no longer the best way to get from here to there and back.

That car was a 1986 Volkswagen. I bought it as a 3 year old used car just off a lease. It was a great reliable car for the 10 years I drove it. It had problems that were getting worse and were not worth fixing. The biggest one was that it really didn't work very well in reverse. If you held the shifter in place and were delicate with the gas and clutch you could get the car to back up on a level surface or maybe up a very slight incline. If you didn't have enough pressure on the shifter or too much pressure on the gas pedal, it would pop out of gear.

It sat in my driveway for months waiting for me to get around to dealing with the lost title so I could donate it in the hopes of getting some meager tax write-off.

Then one day a neighbor called and asked what my plans for the car were as they were interested in it of their high-school aged son. I told them it wasn't worth owning and I was going to junk it. They said they wanted it anyway.

I explained that in addition to not having a functioning reverse gear, the air conditioning didn't work, it leaked oil, the windshield had a large crack, there were some electrical problems with the tail lights due to the fact that they leaked and filled with water every time it rained.

It was also filthy. before is sat for months in the driveway it hadn't been washed or cleaned in any way in years. Occasionally when the level of the kids garbage got too high in the back seat I'd empty it out, but that's about it.

I did everything in my power to convince them that the car was not worth owning, but they persisted. They bought it and paid cash.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:38 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment

September 07, 2009

I'm Becoming More Progressive as I Age

It happens. They tell me it's unavoidable. It's part of the aging process.


That is to say new glasses with progressive lenses.

Apparently they are not making small type harder to read on everything as part of some conspiracy to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. It's just my eyes getting wooly.

Actually I'm kind of relieved. I'm a graphic designer. If there was some vast small type conspiracy and they didn't tell me, I'd be worried.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 05:56 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment

September 06, 2009

Lines in the Sand

It's nice when a brief news story calls to mind one of your favorite poems. In fact it's poetic!

The news story is from Reuters:

WASHINGTON, Sept 6 (Reuters) - White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Sunday President Barack Obama will "draw some lines in the sand" in his Wednesday speech on healthcare.

Gibbs also said on ABC's "This Week" program that Obama still wants a public option included in healthcare reforms and believes it is a valuable tool to provide choice and competition.

Gibbs declined to answer a question as to whether the public option is essential for Obama to support healthcare legislation.

The poem is by Percy Bysshe Shelley.


I met a traveler from an antique land 
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, 
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, 
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; 
And on the pedestal these words appear: 
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: 
Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” 
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare 
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:54 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment

Getting Apple Wrong

Glenn Reynolds who runs a regular series of posts titled "Bites from the Apple" in which he links to a number of MAC sources, apparently doesn't pay too close attention to his subject matter.

Today the post "THINGS THAT DON’T SUCK" he writes:
So when I bought my new MacBook Pro a couple of weeks back, it was obvious that there was a recession on — not only did I get a discount for being UT faculty, but they threw in a free 8GB iPod Touch.

The free iPod Touch is an annual Apple back to School promotion- not an indicator of the recession. It's goal is to get Macbooks into the hands of college students. Reynolds got his by virtue of having the college ID that got him his standard educational discount.

The iPod promotion serves another purpose for apple as well. Every fall, they hold a press event at which they unveil the newest versions of the iPod family. This year's event is scheduled for September 9. The back to school give-away helps to clear out old inventory that they were going to take a loss on anyway. The cost of giving away a soon to be discontinued iPod model is probably less than the margin they are making on the sale of the computer.

Reynolds, who is also a digital photography enthusiast, may find himself disappointed on September 9 when Apple announces the new iPod Touch that includes a camera.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 10:14 AM | No Comments | Add Comment

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