What's davintosh? Mostly just the random ramblings of a hopelessly distractible… Hey, what's that?

And Though This World With Devils Filled Should Threaten To Undo Us…

Filed under: Faith & Worship,Favorite Things — Tags: , — dave @ 10:39 pm 2010/10/31

Today is Reformation Day, the day we celebrate Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses to the door of the palace church in Wittenberg, Germany. It was done on this date in 1517. He didn’t intend to spark a reformation of the church, only to address some serious wrongs in the Roman Catholic church of his day. But as a former Roman Catholic who has become a born again believer, I’m grateful that Luther did spark that revolution.

It seems to me ironic and interesting that Halloween & Reformation Day are celebrated on the same day. Halloween has in recent times morphed into a celebration of the occult, witchcraft and all that is dark. Reformation Day celebrates the courageous action of Martin Luther, one who is said to have battled demons throughout his life, and the author of one of my favorite hymnsA Mighty Fortress Is Our God.
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My New Favorite Commercial

Filed under: Favorite Things,Fun!,Just Stuff — dave @ 9:43 pm 2010/10/29

This commercial is an absolute hoot. Baby scooting across the open desert in a walker… Baby scooting across a field chasing a flock of terrified sheep… Baby scooting down the roads, passing trucks & weaving through traffic… All to impress the idea that you can print photos from your phone from anywhere.

Not sure how effective it’ll be at selling HP gear, but I get a laugh out of that commercial every time.

Caveat Emptor

Filed under: Home Life,Just Stuff,The World — dave @ 11:22 am

The other day I noticed a couple of light bulbs in the family room light fixtures had burnt out and we were short on replacement 40W bulbs, so yesterday afternoon I stopped by the Menards store to pick some up. I usually just get the Sylvania packs of 4 bulbs; they work fine, give off good light, have a decent lifespan, and they’re relatively cheap. As I walked in the door I spotted a display that had 3 x 4-packs of Sylvania bulbs for $5.96, so I grabbed one. I also needed a couple of bulbs for the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, so I went to the bulb aisle & happened to spot the single 4-pack Sylvania bulbs for 99¢. What the…???

Then I noticed the packages on the shelf right next to the 99¢ 4-packs; a 2 x 4-pack for $3.94 and a 6 x 4-pack for $9.98.

4-pack — 25¢ apiece
8-pack — 49.25¢ apiece
12-pack — 49.67¢ apiece
24-pack — 41.58¢ apiece (but it comes in a really nice corrugated paper box)

Either someone wasn’t thinking when they set the prices, or they were thinking & counting on customers to not think when they pick up light bulbs; counting on people making the false assumption that buying larger quantities automatically is a better deal. Menards is a pretty successful chain of stores, so I doubt they’d make a mistake like that by accident. Thinking about it kinda torques me off, because it’s not the first time I’ve seen that sort of shenanigans at Menards; when I was building a shed at our old house, I needed a 5lb box of nails. While shopping at Menards at the time, a 5lb box was priced at $11.99, while a 1lb box was 99¢.

These two examples are pretty obvious, but it makes me wonder how many other not-so-obvious but similar scams are hiding on the shelves at Menards, and every other big-box store. Yvonne really hates shopping, and is one who doesn’t pay much attention to price tags; if she needs it, she gets it. The problem is that I know some of the Sam’s Club “bulk deals” are only deals for Sam’s Coffers. Buyer beware.

Found — World’s Biggest Bond Fan

Filed under: Cars!,Fun! — dave @ 10:14 am

Cincinnatti banker Harry Yeaggy is officially the biggest James Bond fan. At least the biggest one as measured by the amount one is willing (and able) to pay for Bond memorabilia. Yeaggy bought the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that was driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger and Thunderball.

There were only two bids on the DB5 at the Wednesday evening RM Auctions event before the gavel fell. Final price — an amazing $4,608,500 (which includes a 12% buyer’s premium). The other bidder must’ve been completely blown out of the water by that bid.

Yeaggy will add the DB5 to his already amazing collection. Or maybe he’ll park it in his family room & watch James Bond movies while sitting in the driver’s seat.

I like cars, and I like James Bond movies too, but dang; even if I had that kind of money to throw around, I’d have a hard time justifying spending that much on a car. I’d be afraid to touch it, much less drive it.

Obama on Mythbusters?

Filed under: Fun!,Just Stuff,Politics — dave @ 11:32 am 2010/10/28

The President of The United States of America is going to be a guest on an upcoming episode of Mythbusters. Hmmmm… Could they be trying to figure out whether the ballooning national debt really creates jobs outside of the Federal bureaucracy? Or maybe they’ll delve into the mystery behind Barack Obama’s dwindling poll numbers.

Actually, the show featuring the President is entitled ‘Archimedes Solar Ray,’ which will test the Greek myth about Archimedes defeating a Roman fleet of ship using mirrors to direct & concentrate the sun’s rays. His appearance on the show is part of a larger emphasis to promote science and math education. Coinciding with the show’s Decmber 8 air date, the White House will host the winners of several science and math competitions, from the Intel Science and Engineering Fair to the Team America Rocketry Challenge. While the President’s intellect is allegedly quite impressive, he’s a lawyer; the only geek creds he has are related to his Crackberry addiction. I wonder how many kids will be inspired to work harder for a career in science by his little dog & pony show.

It seems to me that the President is spending a lot of time on television appearances like this lately; Mythbusters, Jon Stewart, The View, the 2010 Teen Choice Awards, Anderson Cooper, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman… Some might argue that it’s a good way to get his message to a lot of people, but doesn’t it diminish the office somewhat? Prime example; his bowling comment during his appearance on Jay Leno last year. Not a banner moment for the Presidency, but none of his other appearances seem to help his approval ratings either. Maybe they are helping, and he’s thinking how much worse it could be if he hadn’t been on TV.

BMWotD — The M2 That Never Was

Filed under: BMW Of The Day,Cars! — Tags: , , , — dave @ 4:40 pm 2010/10/25

Here’s a sweet little one-of-a-kind BMW that BMW never built (but should have); the ///M2.

Yes, the M2 isn’t an official model produced by BMW; just the creative conglomeration of a 1972 BMW 2002tii with an e30 M3 drivetrain transplant. The engine in this car is the 4-cylinder DOHC S14; the original 4-speed transmission was likewise replaced by the M3′s 5-speed. In stock form, the S14 makes just under 200 hp, and the 2002tii in stock form weighs all of 2200lbs; this one uses an aftermarket chip and some other modifications which would combine to bump the output into the 220hp range or maybe higher. It also has a 3:91 limited-slip rear differential, which works with the hot little engine to make this car wicked fast. Just a great big tiny little ball of fun!

The 2002 ’roundie’ has long been one of my favorite cars, but always been known for being prone to rust, so there are very few solid examples left these days. According to the seller, this one is rust-free and has had a bare-metal repaint done by the previous owner. I really like the color, especially when it is so similar to my own Rustoleum Burgundy e28! One of these days I’m going to make a new label to go on top of the fender in the engine bay of the 528, and it may be more fitting to put Malaga Red on it than something quirky like Burgundrot Rustoleum.

One interesting thing with this car is it’s part of a private members’ club — Classic Car Club Manhattan — where members are allowed to drive any car in the stable. According to the seller’s eBay description, “Our members care for the cars as if they were their own, we are not a rental company and only our limited group of members drive our cars. We also employ a full-time staff of mechanics to check up on the cars and ensure that they remain in top mechanical condition.” That is such a cool concept; if only Sioux Falls had something like that going. Then again, I don’t know if I would qualify for membership;

Typical annual memberships work on a point system and range from $8,000-$14,000 per year and offer between 30 and 80 days driving depending on which cars you drive and when.

A bit on the steep side, but the cost is probably comparable to a country club with a golf course. For a city-dwelling car nut, it might make sense; access to that many cars without the hassles of ownership. Just write a check.

The eBay auction starting bid price for this car is just under $23,000; probably a bit way more than the car is really worth. The seller hasn’t changed the asking price since the car first showed up as an exclusive on Bring A Trailer last month. Browsing through the comments it’s pretty clear that others have the same opinion of the car; great machine, but the seller is dreaming if they really think someone is going to pay that kind of money for it, especially when a few issues can be noted in the photo gallery. Reminds me of something one of my college profs said; nothing is worth more than someone is willing to pay for it. Very true here.
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Whose Money Is It Anyway?

Filed under: Politics — dave @ 11:16 pm 2010/10/13

Over the last few years, I’ve heard rumors that the politicians in Washington might make a grab at our personal 401k accounts to help stave off the coming entitlement crisis, but I had no idea it might be coming so soon.

Democrats in the Senate on Thursday held a recess hearing covering a taxpayer bailout of union pensions and a plan to seize private 401(k) plans to more “fairly” distribute taxpayer-funded pensions to everyone.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee heard from hand-picked witnesses advocating the infamous “Guaranteed Retirement Account” (GRA) authored by Theresa Guilarducci…

In a nutshell, under the GRA system government would seize private 401(k) accounts, setting up an additional 5% mandatory payroll tax to dole out a “fair” pension to everyone using that confiscated money coupled with the mandated contributions. This would, of course, be a sister government ponzi scheme working in tandem with Social Security, the primary purpose being to give big government politicians additional taxpayer funds to raid to pay for their out-of-control spending.

Am I the only one who has a problem with the government being in charge of my health care and my retirement income? I mean, we hear all the time about how much health care costs as people age; how long will it take for a bureaucrat to figure out that if health issues in elderly patients are neglected long enough, the patients die and the double burden of pension payments and healthcare suddenly disappears.

It’ll be interesting to see how next month’s elections shake out, and whether the Democrats try to ram stuff like this through in the lame duck session to follow. Very interesting.

The Wheels Are Falling Off!

Filed under: Fun!,Politics — dave @ 2:33 pm 2010/10/06

The President, in the middle of a speech on the importance of education, says, “We cannot sustain…” Guess “we can’t sustain” a firm hold on the Presidential Seal. Could this be a sign?

These things don’t happen without reason. How long before the rest of the wheels end up in the ditch? ;)


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I’d Like An M5, Please. To Go.

Filed under: BMW Of The Day,Cars! — dave @ 1:37 pm 2010/10/05

I just bumped into this essay while searching for something totally unrelated to BMW M5′s… I know the BMWotD thing is usually highlighting a particular car, this is well worth making an exception.

It’s a marvelous piece of writing (by a guy — prizefighter — from Minneapolis) and a great description of why I got hooked on the e28. My 528e doesn’t have the oomph under the hood that M5 drivers enjoy (maybe someday) and it doesn’t have all the suspension goodies either, but those things would probably just get me in more trouble anyway. For a car that most people would dismiss as just a quirky but mundane antiquated sedan, the driving experience in these cars is anything but mundane. It’s an absolute blast.

m5_badge

Hey, so I bought one of these things a few weeks ago, I’ve been driving it around a little bit, dropping in the forums here and there and, along with my wife and my friends, asking myself “what the hell am I thinking with this old car?”

Because the BMW E28 M5 is a silly car. Perhaps it was superlative when it was new but now it is a machine that time has left behind. It has a motor that isn’t particularly strong, (our family grocery getter, an XC 90 has more ponies, as they like to say in the auto writing world) it doesn’t go very fast, a new Toyota Camry can keep up, it isn’t particularly well built or appointed (again see the Camry example), it is loud and it rides like a forklift. (more…)