around the world – part 43.1 (driving to florida)

Anna Maria Island - Tortuga Inn

Every year, after months of cold and darkness, and just prior to the first signs of spring, thousands of Canadians suddenly abandon their homes and head south to the Caribbean, Florida, Mexico and so on.  And this year,  Junior was no exception.  Even with what has been a mild winter by any measure, Junior and family found themselves joining the mass migration of Canucks south at Spring Break. 

In some moment of sheer lunacy, I determined that it would be a good idea to drive.  Perhaps it was the mild shock of air fares, or some crazy idea that it would be ‘fun’, but at any rate by 6am early friday we departed our house and began our two-day journey. 

For those of you contemplating the drive, I can attest that the advice of my colleagues and friends has turned out to be quite accurate.  You should budget two long days of driving – planning a minimum of twelve hours on the road, factoring in another two or more hours of stretches, meals and pee breaks    A couple of colleagues, real pros at this, strongly advised going hard the first day – up to 18 hours(!) such that the second day is easier.  No doubt they all have teenage kids who can entertain themselves.  Anyone travelling with two small children must invest in a portable CD player.   This wonderful invention, I am sure has prevented the untimely demise of an untold number of children.   

In the end we opted for a more or less balanced two days of about 12 hours driving each – although due to somewhat inclement weather on the first day, we actually did not accomplish half the distance, stopping just past Roanoke Virginia.   Mind you once we joined I77 in North Carolina, we managed to progress at a much faster rate and had we not encountered a traffic accident on I75 near ocala,  would probably have made it in to our destination before 715pm.  As it was we arrived at 8pm, and collapsed into our beds.

and in circus news, obama snags the big prize

Oct 12 2009:

-8.   Oops – that didn’t work at all…..

…today is the first update based entirely upon interviews conducted after the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to President Obama. The award seems to have had little impact on public opinion among likely voters.  His total approval was at 49% just before the award was announced and it is at 49% today.

There does seem to be a slight increase in intensity.  Since the prize was awarded, the number who Strongly Approve of the President’s performance has increased by three percentage points and the number who Strongly Disapprove has increased by five. The number with strong opinions on both sides is at the highest level in a month.

While the award has had little impact on the President’s ratings, skepticism about the Nobel selection process has grown. Fifty-eight percent (58%) now see politics in the process, up from 40% a year ago.

And the previous awards to Yasser Arafat, Jimmeh and the Goracle were entirely free of ‘politics in the process’?

—————–

Oct 11 2009: 

Update:  His One-ness has just been awarded the 2010 Stanley Cup – That was easy.

——————

nobel10co1

Oct 10 2009:  

Now that Obama has been awarded* the Nobel Peace Trinket,  the mc-chimpy bushitlers must be gnashing their tooth into dust.   Barely 10 days in office** and the committee had their man.   Apparently, simply saying that you are going to heal the world and keep on saying it often and loudly until enough fools believe you was sufficient to be awarded the bauble.   Mind you, it’s not as if he has actually closed down gitmo, or withdrawn troops from Iraq, prevented the dinner jacket from acheiving his nuclear desires, solved world hunger, secured the olympics for the mob, or delivered socialised health care to the peasants – but hey, IMAGINE ALL THE PEOPLE….

I suppose even those who do persist in resisting the one could be forgiven their skepticism. After all, even mr hope-n-change has adopted the distinctly warlike habit of dropping the odd PEACEFIRE missile or two on occasion.nobel-vending-inc

In the meantime the ungrateful and unwashed hordes have not rewarded*** his one-ness with a deserved bounce in the polls.  What does a man have to do to get some love?

Of course, junior, as a world renowned ‘hater’, ‘disbeliever’, AGW denier and all round obamaskeptic would be expected to sneer; (he has also been known to offer unguarded applause when well deserving targets are scattered into environmentally friendly and biodegradable bits), so in the interests of balance please let me offer my congratulations via Iowahawk:

Dear   BARACK OBAMA  :

Congratulations! On behalf of the selection committee, I am pleased to announce that you have been named a 2009 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, in recognition of your tireless efforts to   STRENGTHEN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY AND COOPERATION    .

I am also pleased to tell you that as a winner, you have been pre-approved for membership in the Nobel Peace Player’s Club, offering exclusive money-saving benefits available only to laureates like you. Please take a few minutes to look over the enclosed enrollment materials. At only $299.95 per year, I’m sure you’ll agree that membership is a bargain at twice the price! Here are just some of the benefits you’ll receive:

  • A handsome 14-karat gold membership crest badge to display proudly on the grille of your limousine or official state aircraft
  • A framed, hand-calligraphed certificate (add $19.95 for gold leaf)
  • Special discount shopping bargains for for you and your family
  • Great travel packages to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
  • Listing in “Who’s Who of Global Salvation” ($49.95 per copy)
  • Great coupons for Olive Garden, P.F. Chang’s, Six Flags Theme Parks, and more!

Plus, you’ll receive the exclusive Nobel Peace Player’s Club GoldCard entitling you to discount air travel and 5-star hotel accommodations from Kyoto to Darfur. But don’t take our word for it! Listen to these testimonials from some of our current members:

“My career as an international peace activist means lots of air travel — and dealing with pushy Zionists and rude natives. With my Nobel Peace Player’s Club GoldCard, I finally get the respect I deserve – and it makes getting through Gaza airport security a snap!”
Jimmy Carter, 2002 Laureate

RTWT

——————————–

*Advice to Norwegian Nobel Committee – Stop huffing the North Sea gasoline, you’ll find it makes appreciation of the situation a little clearer….like how about the succesful candidate actually having achieved something other than simply being elected.

**Nobel nominations deadline: 1 Feb 2009.  Inauguration 21 Jan 2009.

*** To be fair, lets wait until next week to see if any of his aura has transferred to the proles.

gubmint motors (your tax dollars at work)

Well, well.   I think that 16% ownership stake in General Motors is going to take a little while longer to ‘pay off’.    Sales volume at the General is off by 20% from the same period last year as folks continue to shun the ‘pelosi mobiles’, while sales volume at Ford (which in case you need reminding – didn’t require a bailout) are up by 16%.    Great pick Dalton and Stephen.  I, for one am happy I picked up FoMoCo at $1.22 in December 2008.

ht 

Brands and companies are both displayed in descending order according to their percentage change in volume sales. There were 26 selling days in August 2009 and 27 selling days in August 2008, so the change in monthly sales volume will be different than the change in the average daily sales rate for each brand/company.

Brand Volume % 8/09 8/08 DSR*% DSR 8/09 DSR 8/08
Kia 60.38 40,198 25,065 66.54 1,546 928
Subaru 51.51 28,683 18,932 57.33 1,103 701
Hyundai 47.01 60,467 41,130 52.67 2,326 1,523
Audi 25.77 8,057 6,406 30.61 310 237
Volvo 24.78 5,826 4,669 29.58 224 173
Pontiac 23.35 29,921 24,257 28.09 1,151 898
Ford 21.25 161,369 133,088 25.91 6,207 4,929
Honda 15.21 151,814 131,766 19.65 5,839 4,880
Mazda 12.09 26,542 23,680 16.40 1,021 877
Volkswagen 11.35 24,823 22,292 15.64 955 826
Toyota 10.94 202,196 182,252 15.21 7,777 6,750
Porsche 8.69 1,526 1,404 12.87 59 52
Mercury 8.19 9,080 8,393 12.35 349 311
Nissan 0.17 97,580 97,417 4.02 3,753 3,608
Suzuki -5.46 5,749 6,081 -1.82 221 225
Jeep -6.11 22,041 23,476 -2.50 848 869
Mini -6.55 5,111 5,469 -2.95 197 203
Mercedes-Benz -7.54 17,112 18,507 -3.98 658 685
Chevrolet -9.16 168,130 185,080 -5.66 6,467 6,855
Dodge -15.80 52,562 62,422 -12.56 2,022 2,312
BMW Group -21.30 24,343 30,931 -18.27 936 1,146
Lexus -21.82 22,892 29,281 -18.81 880 1,084
Chrysler -23.50 18,619 24,337 -20.55 716 901
BMW -24.47 19,232 25,462 -21.56 740 943
Mitsubishi -25.95 6,813 9,200 -23.10 262 341
Infiniti -30.19 7,732 11,076 -27.51 297 410
Acura -36.21 9,625 15,089 -33.76 370 559
Lincoln -38.43 5,874 9,540 -36.06 226 353
Smart -44.59 1,418 2,559 -42.46 55 95
GMC -45.15 23,145 42,194 -43.04 890 1,563
Buick -51.71 8,612 17,833 -49.85 331 660
Cadillac -55.01 6,931 15,405 -53.28 267 571
Saturn -58.41 8,479 20,385 -56.81 326 755
Hummer -64.03 777 2,160 -62.64 30 80
Saab -67.80 484 1,503 -66.56 19 56
             
COMPANIES
Ford Motor Company 16.99 182,149 155,690 21.49 7006 5766
American Honda 9.93 161,439 146,855 14.16 6209 5439
Toyota Mo Co 6.41 225,088 211,533 10.50 8657 7835
Nissan North America -2.93 105,312 108,493 0.80 4050 4018
Chrysler Group LLC -15.43 93,222 110,235 -12.18 3585 4083
General Motors -20.19 246,479 308,817 -17.12 9480 11438

no one to blame but themselves

Updated – Aug 28 2009:

Oops.  Either it’s time to buy newspaper stock on the theory that it can’t get much worse, or maybe its all over.

Newspapers’ financial woes worsened in the second quarter as advertising sales shrank by 29 percent, leaving publishers with $2.8 billion less revenue than they had at the same time last year.

It’s the deepest downturn yet during a three-year free fall in advertising revenue — newspapers’ main source of income. The magnitude of the industry’s advertising losses have intensified in each of the last 12 quarters.

The numbers released Thursday by the Newspaper Association of America weren’t a shock, given the dramatic erosion mirrored the advertising losses that the largest U.S. newspaper publishers already had reported for the April-June period.

Still, the statistics served as a stark reminder of the crisis facing newspapers as they try to cope with a brutal recession and advertising trends that have shifted more marketing dollars to the Internet.

___________

Aug 21 2009:

As far as I am concerned the parochial print and TV news media can’t die off fast enough.  Recently a couple of news items have highlighted for me exactly why journalists are out of touch with the real world – a complete lack of professionalism, disregard for fact checking and suppression of news:

First off:  last week much of the shrieking on both left and right concerned a black man who attended a Health Care

crazy?

crazy?

 rally in Arizona openly carrying an AR-15 rifle, and pistol holstered at his hip.  All legal, no threatening gestures made towards anyone in the crowd or anyone else for that matter.   In fact judging by the demeanor of those around him, they certainly didn’t perceive him to be a threat least of all to themselves.    CNN posts:” Obama at risk from gun-toting protesters?”  MSNBC then aired cropped video  footage of the same man yet cast him as a white man (36 seconds in), while the talking heads go on about how racist angry protesters might take a shot at Obama. 

not crazy? never happened?

not crazy? never happened?

Apparently the MSM’s memory hole has obliterated any recollection of  the New Black Panthers openly sporting shotguns at the 2000 Republican Convention in Houston TX.   Where was the concerned pontificating about crazy militias (isn’t that what the Black Panthers are?) endangering the safety of GW?  What?  There wasn’t any?   In last weeks ‘reporting’  there wasn’t even a semblance of impartiality – no mention of similar events – as if the armed protests by the (presumably liberal) Black Panthers had never occurred.    

Matt Welch at Reason Online summarises what is happening…..

Meanwhile, I can predict the kind of “hate” that will escape attention by the new desk. It’s the kind that assumes, lack of evidence notwithstanding, that we are always–but especially now that liberal Democrats run the country–on the verge of a race war. It’s the kind that takes a surface look at current events, luxuriates in historically ignorant alarmism, then proclaims that America itself is “delusional,” “irrational,” “hysterical.” You can’t get away with hating a (Democratic) president’s policies, or even a single policy, but hating on the country as a whole for failing to get on board? Well, that’s just journalism!

Secondly:  The sound of insects chirping as the MSM with the notable exception of the Wall Street Journal suppresses or at best ignores a ‘good news’ story coming out of the west bank via the International Monetary Fund.  It would seem that Palestinians living in the West Bank have won the economic lottery (real wage increases of up to 24% [!] and economic growth of 7%), whilst those lobbing rockets from the Gaza strip have not.  Or is it perhaps because security measures put in place by the Israeli’s have put an end to suicide bombers originating in the West Bank, coupled with a desire by Palestinians to get on with their lives, leaving the wreckage which is Gaza to the fascist Hamas?   Hmm….

I smell a rodent of unusual size….