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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Road Apples, #129

PA GOP targets Gary Johnson...I saw this posted on Gort's blog and wanted to share it as well.  GOP voter suppression on the right.  I get the politics of trying to keep a competitor off the ballot, but maybe this is just another example of why politicians are rated somewhere below used car sales people in the respectability department.  I like Gary Johnson...a lot...and while I don't agree with all of his stands, I do find that he is the ONLY candidate for president that truly has bold ideas to change this country for the better.  We've tried giving poor people money and we've tried giving rich folks even more money...neither works.  We need a different path.

Gary Johnson 2012.

You know, I feel somehow soiled by even writing about politics these days.

Buying a car...My youngest daughter, who is starting her second year at West Chester University in just two weeks, just passed her driver's exam.  Needless to say, this is just one of many reasons why I am very proud of her (others include the fact that she works full time during the summer, she has always gotten very good grades in school & she has a big heart...but so I digress).  Anyway, at some point over the next few months I will be giving her my Kia Rio to drive back to school.  This creates the need for me to start the process of buying another car.  Now for someone like me, this is no small undertaking.  Here's just a sample of how my mind works with things like this...

  • I think about how I foresee using a car
  • I gather key attributes of the kind of car I like (for example, I loved the 63 cubic feet of cargo space in my old PT Cruiser & use that as a benchmark...note that I didn't like the fact that it was an unreliable piece of crap towards the end) & create a set of key specifications
  • I research vehicles that I think might have those specifications ( is a great resource) & post their specs on a spreadsheet
  • I begin to narrow the field of cars down based on how they match to what I am looking for; I also factor in Consumer Reports quality ratings
  • Once I have the field is narrowed down I start to physically look at some of the vehicles
...I know, it all sounds so very complex.  One thing missing?  Well, Ms Rivers nailed it when she said "well what kind of car would you LIKE?", which did make me stop and ponder for a moment.  My process does provide plenty of quantitative data, but I do sometimes have a habit of not thinking of the qualitative.  In the end, the idea is to put some science behind a process so that it is well thought-out and results in a better selection.  It is worth noting though that this process hasn't always yielded a better result:  I used it when I bought the previously mentioned PT Cruiser.  More to come...

Introversion...I saw this terrific graphic on Facebook and just had to share:

Credit goes to Marilyn Powell for putting something together that, speaking as a fairly extreme introvert, is spot-on.  I remember talking to a professional once (the specifics are not all that important), someone who should know better, who kept commenting about how I should go out and socialize more.  It was difficult trying to explain that I actually don't like to socialize all that much.  I like being active, but I am really uncomfortable with things like small-talk, parties, and the like.  It doesn't frighten me...we are not talking Agoraphobia here...but being in large groups and "hanging out" just is not me.  Yes, I can pretend to be extroverted (especially at work...people at the office are sometimes surprised at my dyed-in-the-wool introversion), but the fact remains that I am very comfortable in my introverted skin.  So says that man typing a blog entry in his apartment next to his cat.

Cable Wars...My Comcast cable bill has ballooned up to $130.59.  This is something I pay to get internet service and watch, maybe, 6 different channels.  Definitely on my radar of financial things to address.  I love Comcast's internet service, but the TV stuff is horrid.  Sorry, but why do I have to pay for stuff I will never watch?

Australia & Cigarettes...Kudos to the court system for requiring that tobacco companies do something that sometimes marketers hate:  tell the f&^king truth!  Article link HERE.  My general life philosophy on things like smoking & drinking is this:  if you want to do it fine, just...

...don't force me to do it as well (via second hand smoke, for example) it with your eyes wide open

Forcing a company to say that their product, when used AS DIRECTED, causes your teeth & lungs to rot out seems pretty reasonable to me.  "But, but, but...candy makes you fat! Should a Hershey bar have a picture of a fat kid on it as well?"...I can hear the illogical smoking apologies retort in my head as I type this, so allow me to respond:   Food...of any kind inherently necessary for our existence.  In fact, if you were stranded on an island with just a crate of Hershey bars as food, Milton Hershey's creation would save your life.  Smoking, on the other hand, has no benefit.  Bottom line?  If you want to smoke, then go ahead.  Just don't kid yourself about what it does to you.


Karla said...

Nice poster about relating to introverts. We are not well understood at all.. Good luck with the car!

Stephen Albert said...

Thanks Karla!