Thursday, January 27, 2005

Maureen Dowd has also decided to sell out.
Nearly three weeks in, and yeah, the new car is a fucking blast. I'm still in the break-in period (I'm just over 1,000 and BMW recommends 1,250 for break-in), so the abuse love hasn't yet reached the levels it should be at. Well, okay, it's not like I'm going to be totally fucking nuts once I hit 1,251, but I know that I can if I want to without that particular worry.

My first week with the Bimmer was both good and bad. Obviously good since it's fun to drive. I've always liked driving, but now it's a completely new realm. My Civic was a good, trusty car, but it wasn't the Ultimate Pretension Machine. The bad part of Week 1 was two-fold. First, after having the car for about three days, I got a fucking big-ass rock chip in my front windshield. Welcome to Colorado. Then, a couple of days later, I pulled a corner too tight and scraped up one of my wheels. The amazing turning radius on that car can sometimes be a little too good. It's not horrid, and it can be prettied back up rather easily, but it still pissed me off.

The past two weeks have been much, much better. Fun, but without any annoying little damages. I'm doing pretty good with the manual. Still slow off the clutch, but not stalling out like a motherfucker. I got to discover the magic of brake dust and how much fun it is to clean that shit off. It was kinda neat in a way, because after getting it off they looked like totally new wheels, and I was saying, fuck, those are some good looking wheels. Still, I really need to be more vigilant to keep it from getting that bad (and it doesn't take long since BMW's are notorious for this). I also need to get into the habit of more regular cleaning now that I have a nicer car. Not that my Civic was a total mess all the time, because it wasn't. It was fairly easy to keep things pretty clean since it's just me day-to-day, and my only other regular passengers are ETP and BOETP, and it's not like they bring along a bunch of disease and garbage. Still, the Bimmer demands better, and that should mix nicely with my OCD.

I haven't gotten too caught up in the pretension... Yet. I'm more concentrated on just having fun and getting to know my new girl. Right now I'm more concerned with getting used to having a rear-drive, manual six-cylinder after years of nothing but front-drive, automatic four-bangers. Later I'll continue my work on how much better I am than everyone.

Speaking of FWD, I came across this amusing graphic, probably in the Bimmerfest forums:

As you can see, the sense of elitism -- already strong B.B. -- is building. I'm on my way to realizing my true potential. For months I'd been seeing 3ers out on the roads, looking with hungry eyes, even at 325s. Now, I look with condescending eyes, even at other 330s. The 325 drivers are not as cool as they think they are, and 323 people are to be pitied after they're mocked. Sure, some of those people might have some worthless options like a Nav that I don't have and don't care about, but I've got the 330i ZHP with leather, so they can't touch me.

Every time I look at the car, I'm like, fuck was red ever a good idea. I originally wanted that sexy Oxford green, one because it was slick as shit, and two because it was somewhat unique. If I didn't know better, I'd say that 3ers only come in silver, steel blue, and black. The rare individual pulled some strings to get navy or white (although I will never understand the desire to get a white car). Even though the 3er looks sharp in any color, it would have been nice to have something that stands out from the pack. Well, the Imola red stands out pretty nicely. Also, recently I've seen someone driving around in a green 330 (which I know is ZHP-less) close to where I live, and it certainly wouldn't be acceptable to have a car in the same color as that loser. So the choice just keeps looking better and better.

One of the coolest little things I discovered about the new ride is that the CD player is capable of playing MP3s. Somewhere along the way, I got the impression that it couldn't do that, so I was pleasantly surprised when I finally verified otherwise. Unless I'm feeling saucy, all I need now when I'm out driving around is one CD -- filled with Fluke, of course. This also pretty much abrogates my desire to get a CD changer, which should be standard on a car like this but isn't because it's BMW.

My first regular payment is due soon, and that's gonna be painful. I had to get snow tires since the summer/performance tires are awful on snow and ice, and that'll be a painful bill to pay. Then there will be registration at the beginning of March, and that too will suck. All reasons why I wanted to wait for a couple of months, but oh well. At least this is the most rewarding stupid thing I've ever done.

So yeah, even if I have to "take it easy" at this point, that hasn't stopped me from enjoying the Ultimate Driving Machine. It's just incredible. You know what? When I drive that BMW, I know how God must feel... When he drives a BMW.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

What the fuck? Why the hell does John Kerry pick now to start sticking to his guns? This was going to be so goddamn funny, John; thanks for screwing it up. It's official: John Kerry ruins everything.

"Strictly along party lines"... "No Republican voted against her..." Man, what we've done with the two-party system is fucking neat.

And while the Senate's Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, voted in favor of Ms. Rice, he said he was disappointed that the White House and some Republican lawmakers had tried to "stifle debate" on the nominee.

Yeah, it's pretty lame to try and hamper any debate. But if you're just going to go and vote for her anyway, doesn't that kinda kill a lot of the impact of the debate? Debate is kinda useless if you're just blowing words out there only so you can say you did it. I know, I know -- the Democrats were trying to make a statement. Too little, too late. As always.

Maybe this is a non-issue, but I found interest in the fact that the Democrats' so-called rising star, Barack Obama, voted for Condi Rice. Now, I know what you're saying. "Obama is black, Rice is black. Like he's gonna vote against her." That's the thing, though; when it comes to a lot of things in this country, race oftentimes dictates the one path you should follow, no matter what. This kinda goes in with the whole Democratic party on Condi (well, not the whole party on her... you know what I mean) thing, as lots of people were talking up how the Democrats couldn't really oppose a black woman as Secretary of State because it'd make them look bad.

Along the same lines is Alberto Gonzales. Hey, look, they're giving a Hispanic a high-ranking post! Team Bush, in addition to putting another one of their men at Justice, know they're scoring brownie points with the brown faces (I'm half Hispanic, by the way, so I can say that and only have it be self-loathing instead of racism). Nevermind how horrible the guy may be, they're looking good just for putting a Hispanic in there. And, again, the Democrats look bad if they put up too much of a fight.

Mad props and a huge finger to the Republicans for mastering the race game, at least when it comes to shuffling people around. Again, I may be making a bigger deal of it than I should, but of course I'm cynical/racist/stupid/whatever like that.
It's a pretty pathetic state of affairs in this country when Bush, the Ostensible-in-Chief, has to come out and explicitly tell his people not to be paying off people in the media, even if it was just a pundit (a group of people that really no one should be seriously listening to). Well, more likely the message here wasn't "don't do it," but more "don't fucking get caught, dumbass."

"We've got new leadership going to the Department of Education."

So what? That was happening anyway, completely separate of this issue. Sadly, this is as close to "accountability" as you get in the Bush White House.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

So I was looking around BMW's website, and came across a series of short films called The Hire. They are, of course, first and foremost BMW car commercials, but they're still mildly entertaining if you like seeing abusive driving. They star Clive Owen and some are directed by people you may have heard of, like Guy Ritchie and John Woo with executive producer credits going to people like David Fincher and Ridley Scott. So yeah, car commercials with some street cred. If nothing else, I'd recommend checking out the one entitled "Star," which I found pretty amusing.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Although there's nothing in this article that isn't pretty self-evident to a lot of us (you know, those of us who already agree with it), it is nice to see it all laid out clearly and concisely every now and then.
William Safire, idiot, is ending his run as an Op-Ed columnist. In all fairness, I never gave ol' Bill a fair shake since he was the main (if not the only) conservative columnist in my liberal wonderland that is The New York Times. In the early days of this 'blog I linked a decent number of his columns for the sake of ridicule and nitpicking, so I thought I'd link his last one just for posterity's sake. I'm sure his career on the Op-Ed pages is now complete with my acknowledgement.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The bullshit over privatizing Social Security is not going to go away until Team Bush either gets its way or the Democrats finally take control of something. When it comes to this issue, I really don't know what the fuck to believe.

The Democrats, of course, want to keep Social Security as we know it because it's their program. Maybe some of them even believed at one point that it was genuinely the right set-up. Regardless, they'll tell 'ya that everything is A-OK, or that it will be with some tweaks here and there.

Conservatives, on the other hand, say that Social Security is a huge mess and if we don't make major changes the Earth will spiral into the sun any day now. So, where does the truth lie? Pretty OK or totally fucked? Like with any battle of extremes, the real answer is probably closer to famous potatoes, but still somewhere in between. Does Social Security need some work? Like any government program, probably. Is it totally doomed? Probably not.

But again, I really don't know a whole lot on this. I could go do some painstaking research on my own to find out, but that's not my style. One thing I do know is that everyone has an agenda and is completely full of shit. The Ds are going for pride or principle. Some Rs are probably thinking principles (like self-reliance), but the prevailing theme on their side is, like it should be with Rs, money. Team Bush is clearly on the side of business assholes, and it's not difficult to see how that plays big in this discussion. When Bush talks up the concept of an "ownership society," he neglects to mention that the primary beneficiaries of such a system are the people who already own this fucking society. The financial sector likes the idea of privatizing, doesn't it? I wonder why that would be? Because privatizing has great benefits for the general populace?

I really do like the idea of making people actually think about shit and do things for themselves, but it's not like Social Security is a total freebie. Most people pay into it their whole goddamn lives before they start getting those checks. And it's because of those people that privatizing makes me nervous. I mean, as far as I'm concerned, there's a decent chance I'm not going to see Social Security money anyway, or at least not much money. So it's up to me to start saving now, which I am. But there are other people in generations ahead of mine who still need to be covered. And it's no secret that they're going to accomplish that by having the government do some hefty borrowing. That should go great with our existing debt.

I have no conclusion for this post, so I just say "fuck you" to both parties and go on with my evening.