permalinkJune 27, 2005
A person I know sent me this email:
Oh my! I was flipping channels this morning and landed on a Today Show interview of Tom Cruise. He was preachier than a Southern Baptist on Sunday. That guy is NUTS! He was so belligerent, accusing Matt Lauer of being irresponsible because he wasn't well educated about anti-psychotic drugs and berating Brooke Shields for using anti-depressants and writing a book about her experience with post-partum depression. And that's only the part of the interview I saw. Normally I don't pay much attention to him and maybe he was always this weird, but it was the most arrogant interview I have ever seen. Given your distaste of Scientology, you might have a good laugh if you can find the clip online. It was just bizarre!
Video and transcript here (and yes, I did total it up -- Cruise says "Matt" 24 times inside of 13.5 minutes).permalinkJune 25, 2005
permalinkJune 23, 2005
So was time for me to get some new treads for the car. The best stop on the web is the Tire Rack. I first bought a set from them way back in 1987, and wouldn't consider shopping anywhere else. Play around their site, read some reviews and tests, and you'll discover that the differences between tires are gigantic. For example, the price range in my size is $50 to $190 per tire. What the hell does a $190 tire do for you that a $50 cannot? Read on.
I need 225/60x16s; Tire Rack carries 118 different tires (!) in this size. Factory equipment was Goodyear Eagle GAs, which are general-purpose tires with middle-of-the-road characteristics and a boring compromise of all the factors that go into a tire. Tire Rack classifies these as "Standard Touring" tires (yawn). I cannot recommend such a tire to anyone. What you want, instead, are high-performance (HP) tires. Even if you're a little old lady who only drives to church on Sundays.
My reason is this: HP tires may ride a little harsher, make a bit more road noise, wear out sooner, and so forth. But some little old ladies walk (rather than drive) to church on Sundays, such as my grandmother. Who was actually hit in a crosswalk...on her way to church one Sunday. What you want is a tire that grips tenaciously when you have to stop in a big hurry. 20-30 feet shorter stopping distance is worth the trade-off. Just do it, OK?
Back to the tires: I picked the Yokohama Avid V4s. I got a local quote just to compare, and the full set with mounting/balancing/tax/etc. was $557. Can the Tire Rack do better? Yup...$337 - shipped. I expected to pay as much as $80 for mounting/balancing, but that ended up free because the local shop kept my car too long.
So how do they perform? Amazing. On the way back from the tire shop I ventured into my employer's parking lot for some testing. In heavy rain, as it happens. I ripped in at 30mph, ramped up to about 50, and put both feet on the brakes on a downhill slope. I estimate the car stopped in 2/3 the distance as before. With the old Goodyears, it was fairly easy to spin the tires via hard cornering or acceleration. That's difficult to do now. I've found corners that were scary at 45mph I can negotiate at 60mph. In dry cornering this tire really shines.
In a sense it's unfair to compare old tires with new ones. Even if the old set's tread is visibly OK, years of flexing and age have taken their toll. But I remember what this car handled like when it was new, and I can tell you that the Tire Rack's user survey ratings accurately reflect the characteristics for both tires. If anything, I'd rate the Goodyear's dry traction lower than the survey average -- more like 6.5. If I were still doing SCCA Autocross racing, I'd say the Yokos could easily knock at least three seconds off a sixty-second lap time on the Goodyears. And three seconds is a lifetime in auto racing.permalinkJune 20, 2005
Follow-up to the earlier dress code violation: today I wore this pair of shoes, as a rib to the fashion police.
permalinkJune 16, 2005
I normally never blog about work, but I can't pass this up.
Today (for the first time in my working life) I was singled out for a dress code violation. I wore blue jeans this morning; something I have not done in perhaps two months -- even on casual Fridays. When I say, "singled out," I mean the two other IT guys I work with received the memo via an administrative person without comment. I received two copies of the memo; before the general memo went out, the CFO stopped by my office to deliver a copy personally. He had a few comments to add, and made sure to point out the specific text regarding blue jeans.
Anyone who knows me, has ever worked with me, or knows how I like to dress, already can guess: 99% of the time I dress better and more professionally than the CFO does - or any other man in the office. The CFO was wearing a short-sleeved polo shirt and khakis.permalinkJune 15, 2005
permalinkJune 15, 2005