Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How To Move Out Without Moving

For several months now, my neighbor and his wife of many years have been arguing loudly. It's been so bad that guys driving cars with those oversized bass sound systems have been complaining.

This all changed last week when I saw one of those moving pods sitting in his front yard. My first thought was that they were getting a divorce and he was moving out. But I was mistaken. The reason he had been moving furniture and an entertainment system into it was because he had created his very own man cave. When things get a little intense with the misses, he simply retreats in his mini-abode that is complete with a refrigerator and soundproof walls.

He seems quite happy about his little getaway. I asked him if he was worried about the weather. But he contends that, when tethered to the ground, the pod will ride out a hurricane or several friends who have recently consumed his world-famous chili, cheese and beer bean casserole.

This seems like a great idea. Although I am waiting for them to have that ultimate fight. Afterwards, she waits until he falls asleep in his pod and has him shipped to the Antarctic.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fighting Terrorism With Car Insurance

Since the 9/11 attacks, it seems that personal privacy is fair game for businesses now. A few years ago, getting a car insurance quote was not a big deal, especially if you had a clean driving record. Now, it's not how well you drive but how well you live your life.

It's all about the background checks. Do you have less-than-perfect credit because of how you control your money? Well, obviously you can't control the gas and brake pedals very well either. Your dedicated insurance company will have to adjust your payments accordingly. Do you have a ticket for jay-walking? Well, if you can't move your legs properly to steer your body, how can you move your arms to steer your car? Another payment adjustment. Even if you have a spotless record, you're probably hiding some secret, un-America thought that makes you a hazard on the road -- that's the surcharge on your bill that your agent can't explain but 'has to be there'.

I don't know if the terrorists won. But I bet they're the ones driving without insurance...

Where Are the Prius Parts?

Everything had finally come together for the cruise kit that we developed for the 2008 and 2009 Toyota Prius. Then on Tuesday, we get a call from the Port-of-Entry in Florida. Toyota has begun mid-year change on the 2009 Prius. A vital connector now won't mate with the brake switch in our kit.

So we've been scrambling to find the latest switch which is made in Italy. Oh sure, we have no problem locating Ferrari parts. After all, almost everyone I know is driving 599 GTB Fiorano. But parts for the Prius seem to be rarer than beef at a vegetarian convention.

The Port has come up with a method of splicing our switch into the 2009 harness in order to get the cars to the dealers. My company has some serious reservation about the safety of their method. Hopefully, tomorrow will find that reasonably thinking with prevail over greed so that we can develop a better fix for this crisis.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What Happened to Zeno?

You might not know Zeno of Elea. I don't personally. He lived 2500 years ago and I wasn't around then (contrary to popular belief). We can thank him for inventing the constructive style of point-counterpoint arguments (which isn't to be confused with the hot air style of political debates), for creating the foundation of modern logic (rarely found in use by bureaucrats) and for paradoxes (a required characteristic of any elected official).

While Zeno's contributions seem to missing in government, business has at least made use of his name. Yet, it is beyond me why the name of a man important to the development of human intellect became Zeno, a questionable acne treatment. That's not a paradox. That's an absurdity.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

When Gift Giving Goes Bad

Since we develop cruise controls, we need access to the latest car models as soon as they enter the market. So my company has to maintain good relationships with various car dealerships in the area. Whenever a dealership gets a new manager, our application team will pay a visit and take a few promotional products -- golf balls, golf tees, and a large-sized T-shirt with the company's logo -- as a gesture of goodwill.

After this last goodwill mission, our team might start doing a little reconnaissance before handing out those goodies. Last week, when they visited a dealership, they met the new manager -- a 350-pound man who is confined to a wheelchair. This manager looked at the T-shirt could only fit his arm and the supplies for a sport he never plays. Without smiling, he said, "Thanks, guys. I'm going to make good use of these."

And so begins which should be a very interesting relationship...

Sunday, September 07, 2008 down?

I can't log into to check my stats or even report a problem. Is anyone else having this problem?