Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who's the genius...

I was perusing the Homeland grocery circular today and noticed a product I've never seen before. It's Land O'Frost's "Taste Escapes." I sat there and thought about that title. Is that really the BEST title you could give a food item? Surely, you don't want something that is an escape from taste. I mean, taste is a big factor in eating. Right? Who was the genius that thought this would be a name to draw in the public? "Hmmm...I don't feel like tasting tonight, so let's buy this meat-like substance that has no taste." What is it made of, tofu?
Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Funny Video from YouTube

For those of us who love books, and those of us who know the frustrations of computers, this video is particularly funny. It's called "Introducing the Book."

My new Nissan and old car memories

A few weeks ago, I traded in my Buick for a 2006 Nissan Quest. I love it. It has so much room, even in the second row of seats. Plus, it handles like a car.

However, it is a minivan - hardly the sexiest or most youthful of vehicles. So far, though, everyone has been very impressed - even remarking on its looks. It is a very sporty, sleek minivan.

The other day, though, I couldn't help but reminisce about the other van that I've driven. It was a 1980-ish Dodge Van. Brown. With bronze pinstripes, and reflective sheeting on the back two windows - the sheeting had the image of an eagle in flight.

Dad bought the van and had it converted. He had a backseat put in that can fold out into a double bed. It had a brown velour-like cover, but that bed had a metal bar down the middle that made it very uncomfortable. The inside was carpeted with brown SHAG carpet. Even the walls and ceiling had shag. And up front, there was a float console which housed the speakers and an 8-track tape deck. The console floated above the dashboard area, suspended on hooks.

For family vacations, the van was great. However, there came a time when I had to drive it to high school. Oh, the mortification!! I wasn't a stoner or promiscuous - obvious reasons to actually want a van in high school. And my high school was very rich, so the majority of vehicles were sporty or snooty (snooty in a way only a BMW, Mercedes, or Volvo can be).

We probably drove that van 200K plus miles, quite a lot for a car made in the early 80s. Unfortunately, towards the end of the van's life, it started exhibiting strange behavior. One problem was the universal joint. Now, I have no idea what a U-Joint is for specifically. I do, though, know the symptoms of one about to go out. Whenever you're driving and hit a bump or pot-hole of signifcance, the entire van begins shimmying. Violently. The only cure is to pull over and come to a complete stop. Imagine how it felt being a 17-yr old and having a car that would start shaking uncontrollably. Cringe. Duck. Sigh.

Not only would it shimmy, but for some reason, every once in awhile, the floating console would come unhooked. We'd be driving and suddenly the thing would crash down, and we'd have to hold it up while trying to find a place to pull over. At this point, I would like the ask the obvious question: Why would you want a floating console? Did I mention that it, too, was covered in brown shag carpet?

So, the last few months of driving that van were quite exciting. A sudden pothole, and the van starts shaking with the palsy. Sometimes, the violence of the shaking would cause the floating console to crash down. I was battling motion sickness and the fear of concussion.

So this minivan is quite a different experience. Not only is there not a shred of shag carpeting, but it is painted a beautiful mother-of-pearl.

Old car memories are fun. It's amazing how much importance we place of the looks of a car. Someday, I'll have to share with you the time I owned a Triumph TR-7, a British sports car.

Hmm. That car was brown, too. I wonder if there's a theme?