Jul
30
2009

Let’s Repay America

Remember when Chrysler / Jeep / Dodge did their “Let’s Refuel America” guarantee of $2.99 gas for 3 years for anyone buying one of their new vehicles, in order to offset their cars being gas guzzlers?  Given that gas has been cheaper than $2.99 since October of last year (so they haven’t had to pay a dime to this program since then) how are they not swimming in cash?  How terrible of financial shape would they have been in if gas prices had actually kept going up?  How much more of your tax money would they be holding on to for you then?  Remind me again why we have any faith at all in them to not blow through every dime we give them?

Why we don’t let them fail, and let other car manufacturers buy up their facilities and equipment at bankruptcy sale prices and actually build decent cars with it that will sell under a realistic business model?  Honda and Toyota already have plants in the US.  Yes, that Japanese Honda Accord is made in Ohio, and that Japanese Toyota Tundra is made in Texas, in fact, most of their line up is built here.

Or, break Chrysler up under anti-trust laws into the three brands they’ve already made themselves, so parts of them can fail without taking out a huge sector of the economy.  (Same for GM.  Ford I’ll be gentle on for the moment since they actually show signs of being in tune with the market, have a reasonably sized line up, and didn’t take government funds.)  Anti-trust laws exist so the words “too big to fail” should never be uttered.  Too bad the government hasn’t really enforced them since the early to mid ’90′s.

Comments (0) | Tags: , , | Written by on Jul 30,2009 |
Jul
29
2009

Midwest Airlines

I recently flew to Ohio and got my ticket by the usual methods- go to a flight search engine and find the cheapest ticket that gets me there roughly when I need to go.  It so happened that the airline I got was Midwest Airlines, a somewhat small regional carrier based out of Milwaukee.  And, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.  The staff at the counter were pleasant, upbeat, and friendly.  The lines were short.  We didn’t always leave the exact minute we were supposed to, but we always got where we were going right on time (with a connection in Milwaukee, going there and back, I had 4 legs of flights with them).

The planes were small, but every one of them (again, 4 flights = 4 planes) had enough leg room for me.  That’s saying something.  I’m 6’4″ and lanky.  There are a large number of cars on the market that I can not physically drive because my knees get stuck against the steering wheel and I can’t turn.  Leg room is always an issue for me.  For this reason (and motion sickness, and the hassles of security, and the weird layouts of most airports, and stress, and …, well, see previous post) I generally really dislike air travel and much prefer to drive wherever possible.  But, I will say, Midwest Airlines was about as painless as possible.

And, now we get to the real secret of this post.  The important part.  Are you ready?

Midwest Airlines serves fresh baked chocolate chip cookies (for free) on every single flight.  This is awesomeness.   They actually cook them on the plane while you’re climbing.  They’re not hugely out of the ordinary cookies, but they are pretty tasty, and the chocolate is still melty and gooey, for free on an airline.  On every single flight, no matter how short.  And then the plane smells like warm chocolate chip cookies.  Where other airlines are cutting every thing in sight (charging for peanuts), this is a great little touch.

Even better, our flight attendant (I actually had the same one on two separate flights, one going and one coming back), Stacie, from Kona by way of Denver, was quite nice to start with, but then, on the second flight I had with her, when we got off the plane, she gave me 3 extra cookies that were left over!!!  Mahalo!  They seem to generally hand out the extras to kids, but apparently I qualified.  Awesome.

As everyone I’ve talked to about it since, even frequent travelers, seem to be unaware of these free cookies, I thought I would do what I can to spread the word.  So, if you happen to be searching airline tickets and Midwest and somebody else come up around the same price, I’d suggest going with the free cookies.

Comments (1) | Tags: , , , , | Written by on Jul 29,2009 |
Jul
28
2009

Dork humor

XKCD again.  This made me laugh really, really hard.

Comments (0) | Tags: , , | Written by on Jul 28,2009 |
Jul
28
2009

Cheers

The title is ill-fitting to my sentiment, but I still like the content of this XKCD.

Comments (0) | Tags: , | Written by on Jul 28,2009 |
Jul
27
2009

Another thing I love about astronomy

Globular Cluster is an official scientific term.

Comments (0) | Tags: | Written by on Jul 27,2009 |

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