Dublin Saab

Cars, politics, sports and what not from my view. (Closed Sundays and Holidays)

Sunday, February 27, 2005

On 33

So my real birthday was Thursday, but the day of celebration was Saturday. So in that light today is my birthday (even though it’s now rather early on Sunday). I’m now 33. Several have told me that 33 is a lucky number. Sure. It wasn’t lucky for Alexander the Great. He never made it to 33. And while some feel they have missed the boat when comparing their accomplishments to his all I have to say is there’s one thing I have done that he didn’t; make it to 33.

Helen was sadly in Sri Lanka working on the next great line of pants for Ruehl so she missed the dinner tonight. Dinner was at Basi Italia, which located in Ohio can be considered a true Tuscan dining experience. The waitress we had was a bit on the granola side but had a certain presence that makes one take notice. She had an earthy type of beauty that makes Victoria Secret’s models fell inadequate. We tried to get Chris to take notice of her but he was just too shy.
Everyone left in town for dinner with me at Basi.Posted by Hello

Dinner itself was excellent. I had the special lamb t-bones and found it cooked to perfection. Everyone, including my parents (my dad had gnocchi, ya for him) enjoyed their meals. And better my adopted grand-mother MaryAnn stated after their eggplant parmesan she was ruined for the Olive Garden. Hehe. Fleet provided the vino for the meal with a bottle of some hole in the wall italiano Chianti and a bottle of Banfi Cum Luade that I chose. Both were wonderful and even the tiramisu was the best I have had.

After dinner the folks and MaryAnn headed back to Mansfield, Mike and Shannon went to a second birthday party while Dan, Chris and I went to the St. James.

Sean takes a moment from pouring fine druaghts to wish Jeremy well.Posted by Hello

For 11pm on a Saturday it was a little slow for the St. James but things are weird with the new smoking ban in Columbus. We ended up closing the James after several Two Hearted ales and now here I am typing up a synopsis.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Nader and the Nannies

Ralph Nader wasn't the first nanny and unfortunately he certainly won't be the last but between his anti GM screed Unsafe at any Speed, the founding of the Center for Auto Safety, Center for Study of Responsive Law, the Public Interest Research Group, Public Citizen, the Clean Water Action Project, the Disability Rights Center, the Pension Rights Center and the Project for Corporate Responsibility he sure ranks at the top of the totem pole of nannyism. Now Nader doesn’t have any direct link to the following story but this kind of “public protection” is right up his alley and it has me wondering something about him that’s never been answered. In Unsafe At Any Speed he rips GM for the tendency of the rear swing-arm suspension of the early Corvairs to “tuck” in tight corners but he never once mentions or acknowledges that at the same time the Corvair was using the swing-arm setup so was Mercedes, Porsche and VW. Why? I guess it’s only unsafe when it made by GM.

This poor woman could have been saved from a long horrible death at the hands of GM if only Ralph Nader had published his book earlier.Posted by Hello

In the spirit of Naderite nannyism the wonderful Center for Science in the Public Interest is again suing the US government to force the FDA to regulate salt. These people are fascists plain and simple. They are willing to force their views on the rest of the populace by creating new laws in the court system. I hope these jerks lose their law suit… again.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Will the real Boogey Man step forward?

There are many who scream muder over the evils of "corperate greed". They protest in foul weather, wear clothing emblazened with anti business slogans at resturants and have a general Marxian longing to see private enterprise fail. For the true diehards of this cuase they have outlets available to them, "mom and pop"shops, free trade botiques and such, that allows them to boycott the dastardly business world while still obtaining the things they need. They tell us to be ever vigilant for the greedy Boogey Man in a business suit, but I don't fear him, I fear someone much worse.

The local government official.

Here we have a story of a hard working mother and her Habitat For Humanity home brought to ruins by the local taxman. That Habitat Home owners are not allowed to sell the home until after they pay off the 20 year mortgage is just one of many restrictions they have to live with in order to get the home. As long as the orginal owner is in the house a Habitat Homes should not be assested normal value, after all they aren't normal homes. I think that's a reasonable plan.

RTP: Wilmington II

This is the start of a new feature on Dublinsaab. RTP stands for Road Trip Report. The rest should be fairly obvious.

This was my second trip to Wilmington, NC to visit and drink merrily with Jeremy from over at Literary Liberal. I was able to get a good start by hitting the road at 5:35am. The weather was cold, 17­°­ F, but the roads were clear in Ohio. However by the time I had made it to Parkersburg, WV I hit a band of heavy snow. The snow lasted about 40 miles during which I observed numerous vehicles off the highway including two which had been opened with the Jaws of Life. One of the vehicles in fact still had a back seat passenger trapped, who the rescue workers where franticly trying to free, as I drove past. I averaged 40 to 55 mph and was able to make it through safely.

Light snow while South bound on I-77 near Camp Creek, WV.Posted by Hello

Light snow continued into Virginia but the roads where fine the rest of the trip down. The only other high light for the outbound was passing a Subaru XT near Raleigh. I gave the driver a thumbs up for having such an obscure car on the roads but he didn't seem proud to drive one of the goofiest cars from the Eighties. Total travel time was 10:02 with a drive time of 9:37.

Heidi stopped for a fill up in VA. Got to love all that salt!Posted by Hello

While in Wilmington Jeremy did spot an early Saab 93 slowly bio-degrading in someone's backyard but there was no place to pull over and get a better view.

For the trip back the weather was clear until West Virginia where it began to rain, a rain which got continually heavier the closer I approached to Columbus. North of Charleston, WV I decided to take US 33 home instead of I-77 to I-70 just to spice things up. US33 cuts the corner saving miles but takes the same time due to a much slower rate of travel... or at least it used to. From Athens, OH to exit 146 on I-77 in West Virginia there is an all new US 33 that cuts an even shorter route than the previous one while completely avoiding the towns of Evans, New Haven, Mason, Pomeroy, Darwin, Burlington, Pratts Fork and Shade. The new road is wide, has broad hill cuts, huge radius curves and has abundant passing zones. As you can imagine this is now the preferred route. Total travel time back was 9:45 with a brief drive time of 9:05.

The view from the Blue Ridge as you drop down from VA into NC.Posted by Hello

More Numbers. Heidi started the trip at 267,219 miles and ended with 268,589 miles which makes the trip total 1,370 miles. She averaged 29.2 mpg for the trip. I ran into zero traffic backups and obtained a trip high of 95mph. Outbound speed avg. was 73mph while the inbound avg. was 71mph.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A taxing drive.

For all the failings of our nations lawmakers and their inability to deal with things until 10 years after it's too late there remains one area in which they are quite visionary; thinking of the government's future revenue streams. It is in this visionary bend that lawmakers a trying to come up with a way to keep getting the "gas tax", which is simply a road use tax, coming in even when everyone is driving cars that don't run on gas. Never mind that total hybrid sales represent less than 1% of total vehicles in 2004. For them this is a crisis that needs immediate attention. The solution? A tax on every mile driven.

The way the idea works is they repeal all gas taxes and instead every time you fill up or monthly or whatever a mileage tracking GPS unit in your car sends you a bill for the miles you have driven. This way even electric and hydrogen cars have to pay their share of the "road usage tax", or RUT, and stop riding on the backs of the hyrocarbon fueled cars. Sounds great, with the exception of three little things.

Big Brother. I can say with reasonable certainty that I am not at all comfortable with the government having any kind of tracking device mounted to my car. I'm probably not alone in this either.

Implementation. So you have to build and design the system. You have to have an idiot and tamper proof way of tracking and paying for the miles. You have to ensure that people being tracked and paying for miles never get charged "gas tax". There can not be any point at which drivers are expected to pay both. If there is this idea has a naked centerfold's chance in Mecca of making it out the door. Oh and then there's the logistical part of installing these tracking units in the 200,000,000+ cars registered in the US. (unit cost x # of cars = a bit)

Incentive and fairness. Right now with the old gas tax there is a little bit of fairness in that heavy vehicles, which do much more damage to the road and this is after all a RUT, get poor mileage and thereby pay a lager portion of the RUT. While it's true that Corvettes and Ferraris do little damage to the in proportion to the large RUT they pay in a gas tax we typically don't feel for people driving these machines. Also with the current per gallon RUT there is an incentive to buy smaller more fuel efficient cars. Cars that weigh less, do less damage to the road, typically get better mileage and pay a smaller RUT.

Not so with a "per mile" RUT.

Lets compare a 2005 Nissan Sentra 1.8 with a 2005 GMC Yukon XL and we'll use the "gas tax" rate of 40.4 cents per gallon that it is in here in Ohio (22 in state and 18.4 in federal). We'll look at a 800 mostly city miles driven in a month. The driver of the 2,500 pound Sentra gets 28mpg in the city and would pay $11.54 a month in RUT while the driver of the 6,100 pound Yukon gets 11mpg in the city and pays $29.38 a month. Over a year that works out to $138.48 for the Sentra and $352.56 for the Yukon. However the "per mile" RUT would would not only eliminate fairness but would create an incentive for driving gas guzzling monsters. That could be corrected by charging a "progressive" (spit) per mile RUT that reflected the weight so feather weight Honda S2000's don't get billed the same as Hummer H2's. However, I have yet to see that mentioned by our visionary lawmakers.

In the end this is coming. What we as tax payers, voters and drivers need to do is fight tooth an nail agaisnt it until we can be satisfied that it won't invade privacy rights, become a billion dollar white elephant after a miss managed introduction and that the rate has a better fairness than the current RUT. But I won't be holding my breath.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Announcing a new addition to the family!

I would like to take a moment to congradulate Mr. Bussey on his recent (tonight) Ebay purchase of a lovely southern rust free 1990 Saab 900 SPG.

Mr. Bussey's first "nice" car.
Posted by Hello

He purchased this car off Ebay. If it turns out to be as nice as it looks in the pictures then he will have gotten himself a deal. Everyone here at Dublinsaab wishes him the best but he's on his own for a ride to VA.

Is that a "real" Mini?

It seems that out in the vastness of America there are people trying to pass off fake Minis to the unsuspecting public. Luckily the Counter Counterfeit Commission is on the job to help consumers distinguish a true Mini from a fake. If you see a suspect Mini please contact them so we can put an end to this fraud.

Thanks to the efforts of the CCC we now know this is really a '72 Buick Riviera masquerading as a Mini Cooper S

Monday, February 07, 2005

An era comes to an end.

Mark is as official, after years of hang wringing that Brits have finally okayed allowing pubs to stay open past 11 o'clock. In fact they will allow 24hr drinking. This article is funny in how it shows how entrenched those for and against the extended hours are. Those for the extension say that since longer hours allow people more time to drink they won't feel the need to drink as fast, thereby causing a reduction in alcohol related problems. Ha! Those against the extension say that blood will run in the streets as everyone in England becomes a disfunctional drunk. That would be different how?

As for myself I enjoyed the 11 o'clock closings. It got me back to the hostel at a reasonable time so I could get some good sleep and not feel hung over as I do after crawling home at 3am here in the states. However I imagine may pubs will keep the 11 o'clock closing except for maybe Friday and Saturday nights. Many pubs are owner operator so to stay open they'd have to hire someone or get home much later themselves. While we'll have to see how it all works out in the coming years as their drinking culture and late night grease pits (re: chippies) adapt to the new rules, I imagine outside of the big cities a lucky traveler may still get the chance to experience the joys of the "lock in".

America, F*ck Ya!

It appears that North Korea had demanded that the Czech Republic ban the movie Team America: World Police. I wonder why the Czechs got singled out for this request but anyway I love this line from the Foreign Ministy, "Obviously, it's absurd to demand that in a democratic country."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Kerry offers coolheaded words on Social Sec Reform.

Of course that's retired Dem. Senator Bob Kerry. Anyway, his words on why the current Democratic foot dragging over the mere idea that Social Security "might" need reformed is bad for all of us are worth a read. I'm in agreement with Bob, SSI needs work and we're better off if both sides work together. Unfortunately right now it's one side that wants to work on it and the other that is in LaLa land. Just last week I her Minority Leader Harry Reid say that SSI/Medicaid/Medicare was stronger that ever and could go in "indefinitely" just as it is.

Ohio State nabs 7th best class

It's not the National Championship. It's not a conference championship. Hell, it's not even a win over Indiana. It is however, a good sign of things to come to see that the Buckeye's pulled in the 7th best recruiting class for 2005. Again it doesn't count for a darn thing, recruiting classes aren't wins but with a top 10 class you know the cupboards aren't going to be empty. Combine that with the fact that the Buckeyes only lost 4 starters from the team that crushed Michigan and OK State and I start to get warm fuzzies.

Also with a smaller than normal number of scholarships available this year, Maurice Clarett's mouth, ESPN's axe to grind, NCAA investigations, rouge boosters and Troy Smith sticky fingers I was set for the worst. It would seem that the kids aren't worried a lick.

Oh really?

Sunni leaders say the Iraq election illegitimate.

Dr. Mohammed "Fast Hands" Bashar al-Faidi trys to pull a fast one on the world. Posted by Hello

Or, you could say, "Sunni leaders say Iraq election illegitimate due to very low Sunni turnout". Or you could even say, "Sunni leaders, who had told their followers to boycott the elections are now saying the election is illegitimate due to the very boycott they themselves instigated." It's bad enough these wanna be theocrats are trying to pull this stunt but it's even worse that people is the west are buying into it. Perhaps the KKK can boycott in 2008 and get the US elections declared illegitimate too?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Judge Resnick

UPDATE: I was sent this link, (NBC 4) and in that article they did not provide the full details. I then found other articles and linked to them without reading. I'm guilty of jumping to Zambia, which is on the other side of the Conkulshun mountains. Foot, ankle and leg fully in mouth. You (Hat tip to the cool headed CenterLeft)

Here are the links to the "good" articles I have only just now read. (Links: Toledo Blade, Cleveland Plain Dealer and Ohio News Network)

I have deleted the original post as I was so far off base there was not point to keeping it up. It was a good one, if only it had been true. I'm human. I can and will make dumb mistakes. I just hope to have more integrity than CBS when I do.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Kerry, Iraq vote "illegitimate"?

This Sunday, while Iraqis were still waiting in line to vote, the illustrious Junior senator from Mass. was on Meet the Press. Here is a brief excerpt:
MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe this election will be seen by the world
community as legitimate?
SEN. KERRY: A kind of legitimacy--I mean, it's
hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country
can't vote and doesn't vote.

Now this isn't to beat poor John like a dead horse as he was just one of many Dems and members of the left to decry that the Iraq election doesn't count, however, the link to his words was the first I found. That being said I have to ask what's the point with the left. They cheer the high turnout in the 2004 elections yet turn around and say that the even higher Iraqi turnout wasn't enough. At what arbitrary turnout numbers do elections be come fully "legitimate"? It was an open election. Contrary to Sen. Kerry there wasn't a single area that "couldn't" vote. While it is very true that there was a low turnout among the minority Sunni's I have to say, So what? They could have come to the ballot boxes. That they chose not to is completely irrelevant to the legitimacy of the election. To say anything else is to allow the Tyranny of the few by letting small groups to take the entire election process hostage. But then what does the Left know of Democracy anyway?

Idiot drives a Saab

First, what kind of idiot actually thinks they are going to get more than "trade-in" value when trading in a car? Second, how slow must things be in Boston for this to be news? Third, Yes I am ashamed he drives a Saab.