Tuesday, April 08, 2003
posted 6:48 PM
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posted 8:41 AM
A JETTA

Someone posts the burning question: what kind of car do I drive?

A Jetta. A globalist Jetta, a German car assembled in Mexico for sale in Canada. Actually I think these may only be for sale in Canada; they are the best deal you can get, anywhere, on a new Jetta, and the dealer makes you sign an agreement that you won't turn around and re-sell the car to someone in the United States (for a tidy profit).

The Jetta is actually a very good car in terms of leg and headroom, but the latter only if the sun-roof is lacking. In order to build the sun-roof in, they have to lower the header by about three inches, which definitely doesn't work if you're over six feet.

If someone offered me my choice of a free new car, I would probably choose the nearest Audi equivalent to the Jetta. Same thing, just that much better. I don't know what that is. Some kind of "stealth car" impulse. Would definitely prefer a fully-loaded Passat to any Mercedes or BMW. Have never wanted to drive a car that anyone would have any very strong opinion of. The Jetta's good that way, and has the advantage of being fun to drive.

Talk about a "slow news day", blogging!

"UNCLE BILL"?

Spare me, please. That poster's idea of me sounds more like Hunter Thompson, or some kind of Deadhead fantasy writer.

And people have forgotten that "yuppification" has its roots in Young Upwardly Mobile Professional. I'm showing clean on two of those three, anyway, as I'm neither young nor (at least in the traditional sense) "a professional". (Used to mean doctors, lawyers, and, just barely, dentists, members of "the professions".) Not sure about upwardly mobile. At this point I'd settle for stasis. But working novelists are generally about as un-"professional", in that sense, as you can get.

Shoes. Elmore Leonard would have a hard time figuring me out on the basis of shoes, I think. I have a lot of shoes. Though not like that supposed Raymond Chandler line about having to write because he had a butler and two dozen pairs of shoes to support.

WORSE THAN WAR?

The following, from todays New York Times, seems to me to pretty much constitute a "reality spoiler":

'Hong Kong reported 45 new cases today, including the infections of 18 health care workers, as well as the deaths of two elderly men who were infected with SARS but had other health problems as well. Figures for new cases over the last several days have included 30 cases at the Ngau Tau Kok apartment complex, which had not previously been affected, Dr. Leung said.

The disease has already infected close to 300 people in the nearby Amoy Gardens apartment complex, and it appears that people from the Ngau Tau Kok complex had been visiting Amoy Gardens, Dr. Leung added.

Until today, Hong Kong health officials had discouraged the everyday use of face masks, saying that regular hand washing was more important. But Dr. Leung endorsed the use of face masks tonight.

He did not draw a distinction between cloth surgical masks of the sort that doctors have worn for decades and the newer, cupped respirators that doctors wear in some of the most hazardous rooms.

Some doctors here have expressed concern that while the respirators filter more out of the air, they may be less effective for the lay user than a surgical mask because the respirators are so uncomfortable that they prompt wearers to touch their faces to adjust them. This can spread the virus to the eyes, nose or mouth and then into the body, causing an infection.

In one of the more unusual health tips here lately, government officials also said it might help if people were to close toilet lids when flushing, and to clean the underside of the lid and the toilet seat with a bleach solution later. Preliminary analyses of the outbreak at Amoy Gardens suggest that it was spread by sewage, partly from toilets that backed up into neighbors' apartments and partly from cockroaches that tracked tiny amounts of virus-tainted sewage through homes, they added.'

RE "In Memorium of a Matyr" (sp)

Watching those ugly-ass statues topple, to the cheers of huge crowds, I imagine that some poor sucker who blew himself up to prevent this happening was exactly that.



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