August 12, 2004

Driving me mad...

I don't know if it's the fact that my daily commute is 2+ hours, or that part of it includes the worst freeway bottleneck in the nation, or that I'm just getting more paranoid as a daddy.... But I've been bitchin' a lot about drivers and their vehicles lately.

My wife, kid and I have driven the 800 some-odd miles back to our home town of El Paso several times since moving to 'trafficopolis' five years ago. On our last drive back she and I both noticed a disturbing trend-- DVD video screens within the DRIVER's view. Now, I can personally attest to the vast nothingness that spans the horizon during a 17-hour drive on I-10. I actually enjoy some of that 'nothingness' after staring at miles of tail-lights in LA every day. Regardless, what's the one thing we've all heard for as long as there's been cars? Say it with me-- "Keep your eyes on the road."

USA Today: "This year, 33 states have considered 83 bills dealing with distracted driving, Sundeen says. Though 22 of those bills focused on the use of handheld cell phones, others looked at television monitors, DVD players and other car gadgets."

They should "consider" a little faster, else court precedence absolve us of any responsibility-- Driver cleared of death crash while watching DVD.

As for all the recent gripes about SUV's, LA traffic, fuel consumption, tax breaks for WMDs (wagons of massive dimensions), driving habits, etc. Think about it-- Do you ever get as irrate with such vibrant language and gestures as you do behind the wheel? When I'm at the bank or post office, I don't start swearing a blue-streak when someone gets into the line before I do. I don't start running with my shopping cart and whip around slow-moving customers at the grocery store. Now, I'm actually pretty good about not doing that all the time in traffic. But it still happens (especially when someone takes my parking space!)

So what's up with that? Is it really about the act of driving? or is it actually about the things we can/can't control while getting where we're going? ... where we're going in our relationships, in our careers, as individuals, as a nation?

Just how much road rage is really about "something else"?

I'll ask my wife, the Psychologist to blog on this some other time.

For now, how about we just chill the hell out and not kill each other and our families with several tons of flying steel? I'd really appreciate it.

- Lito

Posted by Lito at 11:33 PM

August 06, 2004

Weight, weight... don't tell me!

This is priceless! I've often grumbled and grumped while driving my ultra low emission, fuel efficient, actually fits in a 'compact' parking space Honda over those massive SUVs (small unit vehicles) blocking out the sun with either their low-orbit stature or gas-guzzlin' emissions. All too often I've dreamed of a time and place where those thundering behemoths are not allowed on the same streets as my kid and his tricycle. Turns out there IS such a place-- CALIFORNIA! (we just didn't know it!)

Andy Bowers of MSN Slate did some digging, and came to an interesting realization-- California's SUV Ban

I admit, it's not likely the authorities are going to do anything about it, but there is a certain satisfaction knowing these WMDs (wagons of massive dimensions) are at some level, banned wagons!

- Lito

Posted by Lito at 09:28 AM

March 02, 2004

Uncle Sam wants you...

... to burn more oil!

I love my new car.

No, really. I love the way it drives. I love how quiet it is. I love how responsive it is. I love how much less gas it burns. I love that city, state and federal legislative bodies reward me for conserving energy--

More Honda Vehicles Certified for Clean-Fuel Vehicle Deduction
Woo hoo! I get money back for buying a hybrid! "Under the law, the one-time deduction must be taken in the year the vehicle was originally used. The taxpayer must be the original owner." .... crap.... I bought it used. BUT! If I bought a new $85,000 Hummer for my business... then with enough creative accounting, I could write THE WHOLE THING OFF!

Doesn't California knows better than to allow such a loophole in the State Tax Code? nah uh--
Bill to Close Luxury SUV Tax Loophole Fails on Assembly Floor

What about State tax incentives?
The Efficient Vehicle Incentive Program has no more funding available for hybrid vehicles.

But I can at least drive solo in the carpool lanes, right? .... nope....
Why can't the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight get a carpool lane sticker?

Any love from Los Angeles?
Alternative Fueled Vehicles Consumer Incentives
"Because the State does not issue DMV HOV lane access stickers to hybrid vehicles, they are not included in the City's Program allowing free parking at City Meters."

But if I lived in San Jose--
Clean-Fuel Vehicle Purchase Incentive Program


If you've considered purchasing an alternative fuels vehicle, don't let any of this discourage you. I'm still saving a bundle on gas and loving everything else about my car. Just because the much touted consumer incentives we hear about have absolutely no teeth, doesn't mean Hybrids aren't good investments to consider.

And did I mention I love my car?

- Lito

Posted by Lito at 10:13 PM

February 02, 2004

on the boob-tube...

I'm pissed! I'm outraged! I should write my Congressman. My family has come to expect the best in 'quality' entertainment; like people stabbing each other in the back for a 'rat-on-a-stick' and a sack of cash, or 'contestants' vying for a rose, while super models bitch-slap each other to get on the catwalk. We spent weeks eating dinner to Ted Koppel and the parade of charred, human remains during 'Operation Iraqi Liberation. We've come to expect only the best in violence, racist & sexist comedy, greed, and misinformation.

It pagns me to think my family was exposed to 2.6 seconds of Janet Jackson's right breast during the Super Bowl half-time show. What has this great country come to, when 'nekid wemin' are on the tee-vee and not where they belong-- the internet?

Thank our lucky stars public money is going to fund an investigation into who let the boob outta the cup! CBS, MTV, and AOL claim no responsibility. The NFL and FCC want to see heads roll. Janet and Justin shrugged and said, "wardrobe malfunction" (must've been made in a sweatshop overseas to be sold at Wal-Mart).

Ahh, for the simple days of innocence when controversy on television was in the form of-- Watergate, race riots, the Vietnam War, and covering up Barbara Eden's bellybutton on "I Dream of Jeannie"

Posted by Lito at 11:12 PM

January 31, 2004

Don't touch that dial...

It's Super Bowl weekend. I've no plans for a barbecue, beer, hot wings bash in front of the wide screen (and not because I don't have a wide screen)! Nor do I plan to attend a Super Bowl party at any of my friends'.

The only thing I typically look forward to is the parade of million-dollar commercials. This year, the commercial I'm looking forward to the most won't air on CBS during the game. coughed up the $1.6 million to air a 30-second political 'issue' ad critical of the $1 trillion budget deficit. CBS considers it too controversial to air. CNN does not. I guess I'll be watching CNN this weekend.


- Lito

Posted by Lito at 11:29 PM