Saturday, 29 October 2011

Breakfast in Arlington

I woke up early this morning with a real winter setting....36 degrees and a fierce rain.  I had my window open in the apartment and this fresh breeze stirred me to no end.  So I got up and decided I'd do a International House of Pancakes day....and left in the midst of darkness, when no mere mortal usually stirs.

We only have two IHOPs in Arlington.....so there's not much of a choice.  In the early morning hours.....there's only five types of customers hanging out.

First, there's the locals who have relatives visiting and everyone is planning up this massive day of tourism.  There is enthusiasm at this table, with absolute excitement brewing.

Then you have the table where an older group of folks are up and about.....preparing for a flea-market run or garage sales.  There's usually talk over what they bought last month, and how they flipped that fancy drill for a $60 profit.

Over in the corner, you've got a couple of younger folks who mostly sat out all evening drinking and partying.....they've mostly run out of energy, and this is their last gasp before they fall asleep for the whole Saturday.

Then, you've got a couple of older dudes like me....mostly reading the USA Today or a Wall Street Journal.....sipping over the coffee, and thinking mostly over NCAA football for the afternoon.

Finally, you've got the doper who sits in their seat....drinking still on that first cup of coffee they bought three hours ago, and gazing at their fingers....like they just added a new finger.  It's not weed or some pain-killer.....it's likely some LSD-like drug and they've got hours to go before it finally wears off.  You pity the gal or guy....thinking that IHOP would prefer they go somewhere else, but they can't really kick them out.  Some kid will ask their dad what's wrong with the lady.....and dad will just respond that she's having a bad day.

The sad thing is that you leave the IHOP on a full stomach....feeling wise from the local news....feeling enthusiasm from the party-goers.....and feeling kinda negative over the dopers who are lost for eternity (or so they think).    You'd like this scene to be some romantic comedy.....but it's just a scene from the real world of Arlington.

My Suggestion for Ford

This week, the folks out in Vegas had a car specialty show.  This company came out and offered up this body shell....with modern welding, rust-proofing, and likely reenforced protection.  Let's be honest....it's only the body shell.....and nothing else. The design they are hinting at?  The 1965 Ford Mustang.

So the pitch is this.  You pay a fairly steep price for this body shell of the Mustang to be brought and delivered to your garage ($15k).   You still have the engine, the seats, the carpet, and 500 other odd-things to procure.  Some will be modern....some will be from an actual 1965 wrecked Mustang (my guess).  You can figure 400 man-hours of work, and at least another $12k to pick up everything you need.

So I sat and thought about this, and came to this mega-Ford idea.  Announce a new car.  Basically....it's the modern body shell mentioned above, with a modern suped-up Ford engine, and modern bucket seats.  It'll have the look and feel of a 1965 Ford Mustang.  Cost?  I'd figure in the $19k range because it really won't have any of the fantastic modern features like cruise-control or push-button windows (yes, there will be a knob to roll them up or down).

The name for this car?  "Mustang-65".  Here's the thing....as each year rolls by....there might be a safety feature here and there, but I really won't mess with this car, and I'm pretty sure I can sell eighty thousand of these per year.

Maybe there's some washed-up Ford executive sitting there now.....reading my blog....and shedding a tear because this might just be the best idea that Ford has seen in fifty years.....bringing a simple car back, with nothing added but improved safety.  No changes.  No fancy stuff.  Just a beloved classic.

Those Damn Numbers

I often talk statistics....which in most cases....don't really add up or don't matter.  Then in some cases, you get a laugh out of them.

Today, there's this polling data collected in New York City with the Occupy Wall Street crowd.  A professor sent out his fifteen collectors and talked to 301 folks amongst the protest crowd.  Now, I would have to be fair and admit that there's a bit of alcohol and a bit of weed being consumed hour-by-hour during the protest, so I have my doubts about the professor's validity on this polling data.

His end result?  He was able to get over eighty percent to admit they were between slightly liberal to extremely liberal.  Naturally, his next analysis over the Tea Party's affliction amongst the protest crowd was pretty dismal (seventy-five percent disliked them).

But then the professor came around to asking how they felt about the President....thirty-six percent said they could vote for him, and the rest kind of went in a different direction.  Heck, a quarter of them said they weren't even going to vote....which made it curious how they came to think this anti-Wall Street business really mattered.

Here's some observations.  First, network coverage isn't at the same level that it was four weeks ago.  I admit I did tune in to the Oakland riot coverage....mostly because of the "NASCAR-effect".  I suspect that they've kinda hit the peak of any national attention.

Second....winter is coming.  Frankly, I have strong doubts that this modern generation has done any true winter camping or hanging out.  We are days away from November and things are going to slip a bit on the eastern front.  They might be able to get college kids to come out on a Saturday but the bulk of the seven-day-a-week crowd are going to question this mess.

Third, the more that anyone stops these folks in a middle of a protest and just starts asking realistic questions....the more comical they appear.  I'm guessing if the Professor had asked who the VP is.....at least a quarter might have been unable to answer that.  If they'd asked about central theme of Marxism.....most folks would be unable to really make it clear....other than saying "it's Russian, you know" (truthfully, Marx was German, but who cares).

Finally, I do suspect the drug and alcohol use is probably hindering the Occupy Wall Street crowd.  If the best you can sustain in a day is four hours of sober protesting.....you've probably got an issue.  Put away the bottle of vodka, and try to go for the entire day without any weed.  You might make more sense, and you might actually be more convincing when the MSNBC dude finally shows up to do his thirty minutes of questions for the evening newscast.

Only in America.