Wednesday, December 12, 2012


[Edit: BTW, what's with Glenn Reynolds recent tune obsessions?
I happen to (unsurprisingly) like the Tiesto remix better, but then BT's tunes are really more of blank slate, like Way Out West, where they really only shine upon remixing.  The source tends to be under-produced (compare this to this).]

Glenn Reynolds remarks:
HAPPY 12/12/12! We won’t see this sort of date again in this century.

Or until Obama declares that it's "year zero".
I had been back out to Colorado for work and I had remarked to my boss that even in padding the length of time of my visit I felt rushed;
Her: "...and it's not like you want to have to move to Colorado."
Me: ...
Her: ...
Me: "OH, no.  I mean, Cleveland!  Who'd leave Cleveland for that dump? Heh heh. heh."
Speaking of travel, I keep forgetting to mention my rental car experiences.  The first car that I had rented was a Dodge Avenger (from Thrifty) which I really wanted to like and found it to be an okay vehicle.  The rental had a slightly up market interior with the leather/pleather wrapped steering wheel, auto everything, and the best sound system of the bunch.  The acceleration though, was about the same (or worse) than my Honda Fit, so I wasn't exactly blown away by whatever was supposed to live under the hood (that and Chrysler hired back the union pot heads who had a hand in building it, so I'm sure that there's plenty of post-warranty surprises hiding in that bad boy).

The second car I rented was a Nissan Altima (from Dollar).  This version had a more 'plastic fantastic' interior though everything worked right.  This car had the best acceleration, handling, and overall power of the bunch.  My one mild gripe (beyond the interior) was Nissan's efforts to chart a new course in cruise control buttons.  I don't remember what wasn't intuitive about them, but I do however remember getting used to it after a day or two.  This was also the car that I found myself easily going 110mph down the Colorado toll way with my coworker.  He exclaimed "geez, you wouldn't drive one of your own cars this fast!".  To which I said "none of my cars go this fast!".  I later discovered that he wasn't being altruistic towards rental companies, but was prone to motion sickness and was having issues with the Sandmich roller coaster.  "Just keep it around 80" he later quipped.

The last car was a Chevy Malibu (from Hertz).  An interesting story about the Honda Fit's audio system: when I was tooling around under the menus one day I noticed that it was set to adjust the volume of the radio to how loud the car was, but it was so subtle that I didn't even notice it.  The same can be said for the Avenger and the Altima, but no one would make the same mistake in the Malibu which varied from too loud to too quiet constantly, and suddenly.  The car also had a nifty light detector which would automatically turn on the lights when it was dark.  My old Matrix had a similar feature, but I don't recall it ever flashing everything off and on whenever I hit an early morning shadow in the road.  Turning off this feature (as I recall, the Matrix just played with the exterior lights and left the driver to tune the interior however they wanted it) would lead to some sort of "light management interface hell" where the dash would flash and essentially tell you to turn the auto-lights back on because GMs crappy software knows better than you when to turn on and off.  The icing on the cake was a trunk support above the spare tire that was already worn out and looked like something out of my '84 Tercel.  I constantly worried about items slipping under bent up cardboard into the well for the spare.  Granted the interior was nice, but it all somehow felt 'cheap', like the cruise control buttons that looked like they were pulled from an '84 Tercel as well; as if one good bump would shake loose all that good looking interior muck and land it all on my lap.

By the way, of the three rental places, at least in Denver, I preferred Dollar.  Hertz was the only one that wouldn't let me choose a car, they charged too much for it, and it was crap.  However, it was on work's tab and my boss suggested it as I could rack up big time frequent flier miles in doing so.  Dollar also has an all-u-can-eat toll charge of $35, which I'm not sure how they make money on that (Thrifty was $55 if I recall, and Hertz, supposedly, just passes the toll charges to your credit card).

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