Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Catching Up

Welcome to the Wednesday that feels like a Monday.  Here are some things that you might have missed while all the merriment was going on, although with some of these bits, you might prefer that I just post some more holiday videos.

  • Travel across the country could be interesting as snow and wind continues to spread after leaving destruction from tornadoes and other nasty weather over Christmas.
  • President Obama may cut short his vacation in Hawai’i to get back to work on the fiscal issues.
  • A body has been found in the home of William Spengler, 62, the gunman who ambushed and killed two firefighters in upstate New York on Christmas Eve.  It’s believed they are the remains of Spengler’s sister who lived with him.  Spengler, who killed himself during the incident, left behind a screed about his plans to “do what I like doing best, killing people.”
  • If you thought the schism at the Tea Party between Dick Armey, FreedomWorks, and the rest of that interesting group of wingnuts was just words and hurt feelings, apparently it was a lot more, verging on armed conflict.  And that’s not a metaphor.
  • Mitt Romney didn’t want to be president anyway.  So there.
  • Two amazing actors left us over the holidays: Jack Klugman, who gained fame on TV on The Odd Couple but had a long career on stage and screen before and after; and Charles Durning, a veteran of World War II and the kind of character actor that made small parts into gems.
  • Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) was busted for DUI.  I thought Mormons didn’t drink (yeah right).
  • Queen Elizabeth II gave her Christmas speech to the nation and the Commonwealth in 3D.
  • Speaking of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, it is Boxing Day in most of those countries, including Canada.  For a lot of folks, it’s back to work for a short week.  And for some, it’s the day to start writing thank-you notes.

Today I’m taking the Pontiac to the body shop for some cosmetic surgery and touch-up work in preparation for its debut as an authentic antique automobile.  According to the rules of the Antique Automobile Club of America, it will achieve that status on January 1, and I’ve already registered it for its first nationally sanctioned meet in February.  Yes, 1988 was twenty-five years ago.

9 barks and woofs on “Catching Up

  1. It is snowing here in SW Ohio, with more to come. Working today should be interesting. They are predicting a blizzard. Oh my!

  2. The NWS map looked like a crazy quilt with all the watch, warning, and advisory colors on it.

    Spengler- an evil, sick man who, thankfully, committed suicide. I fully applaud his decision to do so.

    Yep, walking around wearing a holstered gun is enough to scare a lot of people. And they call us fascists??

    Klugman and Durning- more people we grew up watching, now gone.

    Crapo- nope, Mormons don’t drink, conservatives never commit adultery, etc.

    In the antiques world, something 50 years old is a collectible, 100 is an antique. Seems funny to think of 25 years as an antique car but then cars haven’t been around long enough.

  3. “Antique” is a relative term. In the automotive world, cars were not designed to last more than five years, so twenty-five years is comparable to 100 compared to furniture or art. In computers, antique could be five years.

    Ironically, when we talk about “modern theatre,” we are talking about plays written since 1900.

    • Is that going to get adjusted as automobiles begin lasting longer? The average age of an auto on US roads is nearly 11 years now, and rising.

      Antique for computers is probably more like 10 years, depending on the type and class of machine. Wintel-based servers have an expected lifespan of 5 years, business desktops 3, laptops 2-3 and home PCs 2 or less (based on construction and expected usage), though home PCs can often outlast the other categories significantly. Much of the aging process for these, though, is the rapid growth in operating systems and applications: Windows (both server and desktop) bloats geometrically with each new major version, and application suites grow similarly, and data accumulated by a given machine grows dramatically as new file types and content quality become popular (audio and video files especially). Mainframes and other larger machines can last significantly longer, though their OSs and applications tend not to age as quickly either. A good measure for an “antique” piece of electronics would be past double the intended lifespan of the machine in question. If it helps, I had friends in SFO who (in 1993) had an HP desk computer from 1973 (it was actually a piece of furniture): that I think qualified for antique status.

      • The antique auto age limit has already been adjusted. It used to be 20 years for some clubs. When AACA was founded in 1935, it was for cars of the “vintage” and brass era: pre-World War I. As the years have passed and cars last longer — and all look alike — the judgment is that soon it will be 30 years… more of a sop to us older folk who remember all too well when we drove the “antiques” as new. (And as you know, boatboy, I’ve owned the Pontiac since it was just a year old.) I can drive it down the street and no one gives it a second look. But in 1960, driving around in a 1935 Ford or Chevy (or Hudson or Studebaker) would have drawn a crowd.

        As for computers, I’m waiting until my Apple IIc is rare enough to be worth something as a museum piece. I think it already is.

        • I THINK the Apple ][ is now an official antique, and the Apple ][e isn’t far behind. The ][c will have to wait a bit longer: it was more popularly accepted, and there are more of them hanging around. (And yes, the brackets are correct: that was one of the ][‘s marketing quirks.)

          And you’re looking remarkably well-preserved for a guy who’s owned a car since Pontiac was a year old… wait, what?

  4. Actually, while I think Mitt’s son is blowing smoke, I really do believe Romney didn’t really want the presidency. How else do you explain his shooting himself in the foot daily?

    • He wanted the pResidency; he just didn’t think he had to work to get it. And he forgot (if he ever remembered) that the pResidency was of all the people, not just an appointment by the SCOTUS – er, Board of Directors, for the 1% – er, shareholders.

      And yes, the caps are deliberate. The GOTea seems to think that (s)election to that office is just to sit in the WH, taking pressers in the Oval Office, riding in Air Force One and looking pretty. It’s not a job. Kind of like Time’s Person of the Year for pols.

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