Monthly Archives: April 2009

Saving The American Auto Industry, One Bulb At A Time

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About 15 yearsago I was taking my wife’s Honda throughy the car wash when one of the spinning brushes grabbed the antenna, ripped it out of its motor housing and proceeded to beat her little car with it.  When I went to buy a replacement, I almost vomited when I found out a new one was going to cost around $250.  

Being the thriftiest man on earth, from that point forward, the cassette player got exclusive use.  There was no way I was paying two hundred and fifty bones for a freaking antenna.  I would have shoved a coat hanger down the hole before paying that kind of jack.

Fast forward to today.  I casually mentioned to a friend,  while enjoying a Grande’ Pike’s Peak at Starbucks, that I had taken my wife’s car in for an oil change.  For $250 they changed the oil and thrown in for free, a transmission flush, a new cabin air filter and a new engine air filter.  They would have thrown in a power steering flush too for another $1o0+, but I politely declined their generous offer.  Steering is way over rated as far as I’m concerned.

My friend replied that I got off for cheap as he had just had the headlamp on his Scandinavian auto (no names mentioned), to the tune of $750.  We didn’t get into the details, but I was wondering if maybe they threw in a free engine with it or something.

I drive a Saturn Ion.  I had a bulb go out once, so I went to the auto parts store and bought a 2-pack (they made me buy and extra one) to the tune of three of four bucks.  I might also mention that the antenna on my Saturn is basically a rubber coated coat hanger bolted to the car.  These are the things I like about my American made car.

But there is obviously a segment of the auto market out there that likes $750 headlamps and $250 antennas.  And I imagine there is a market for $2,000 automatic locks,  $5,000 automatic doors, and $3,500 power windows.  Oh, and what about $450 gas cap covers and $200 cup holders??

American car companies need to take a page from their European and Asian counterparts who apparently hire their engineers from the companies who produce printer ink  cartridges.  Heck, American car companies could probably sell the cars for $100 and make a fortune on replacement parts.  Do that and they’ll be back in black in no time.

Breaking the Twitter and Text Messaging Code

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GeeZ:  Hey ChiQ, you know txt msgng is foreign to me as I am too cheap to pay for it.  But lately I have been Twittering up a storm.  As I’ve said before, “If brevity is next to Godliness, then I’m going straight to Hell.”  This presents some challenges on Twitter as I have rarely met word I didn’t like but Twitter cuts you off at 140 characters.  At 141 characters they literally “bleed” your eyes with red type.  I spend as  much time shortening messages as I do writing the derned things.

I need to crack the code, and since I don’t know any Navajo Code Talkers, I thought perhaps you could help.  I know LOL, using the letter “U” for “You”, and “4” for “for” but beyond that any help you could provide with either the code or code etiquette would be helpful.

What do you think?  Is it possible to teach this old dog a new trick?  Or should I say this old bird a new tweet?  

ChiQ: haha what a lovely request. this is an easy one. i’ll give you a few easy ones:

JK: just kidding

legit: legitimately

cul8r: see you later

ttyl: talk to you later

ily: i love you

g2g: got to go

wat: what

2: to

idk: i dont know

wow…i guess i wasnt as good at this as i thought. honestly, i try to avoid “abbrevs” (abbreviations) because i want to avoid the whole valley girl syndrome haha. “idk” if any of those would actually help you in twitter because they are very conversational, however for you….older….readers they might come in handy if you have texting 😛

Name Ten People Who Give You Hope For Change?

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GeeZ:  Ok, here’s my list.

  1. Tiger Woods – No mountain is too high for him.  And I don’t even play golf.
  2. Bill Bennett – How could you wake up in the morning and not have hope for change listening to this guy?
  3. ARod – Will close the chapter on steroid use in baseball.
  4. Andy Stanley & George Worth – Two Holy men.
  5. Tom Price – A conservative Doctor in the Government
  6. My Wife – (still has hope that I will change after all these years)
  7. Every newborn baby on earth – The future
  8. The first real person to invest in our company
  9. John Goodman – Fighting the Consumer Driven Health, HDHP and HSA fight every day
  10. My Dad – He’s dead but his values give me hope for the rest of us.

 Who’s on your list ChiQ?

my list? well a few might be the same as yours actually.

1. YOUR DAD- like Geez said, he was an incredible man. truly truly incredible. he died when i was 3, but a kinder hearted man is rarely found. he is probably my hero.

2. MY BROTHER- gives me hope that true personality can shine through in jr. high. i look up to him so much, even though he’s 3 years younger than me. he inspires me to be my own person, not worry what others think, and love myself. for that, i owe him the world.

3. JONAS BROTHERS- my personal favorite music group. but the semi-obsession i have doesnt just stem from the fact that they have great voices, actually write their own music, and are the most talented act out there. they give me hope that young hollywood and teens everywhere can have morals and deep faith.

4. ANDY STANLEY- that guy is incredible. he is the founder of my favorite church in the world, and on Sundays he gives me hope that i can be the person i want to be, have the faith i want to have.

5. MY FRIENDS- give me hope, no make me KNOW that true, real friends actually exist in high school, not just petty cliques and social climbers

6. NATALIE PORTMAN- incredible actress, tons of money, conscerned about the environment, a giver. how cant you love her?

7. MARY JOE- runs the shelter at my church. she works her butt off and some women dont even appreciate it. someone with that big of a heart is few and far between. she inspires my service, gives me hope that people CAN, in fact, be 100% selfless

8. MY PARENTS- have so much faith in me and my abilities. they give me hope for my future, that i will make good decisions, and affect others in a positive way. they also give me hope taht true love exists

9. CHILDREN- the future. they often see more than the most educated adult.

10. MRS.DALBO- my fourth grade english teacher, who still comes to my plays, my brothers sporting events, my random recitals. she goes above and beyond the call of duty as a teacher and gives me hope that kids dont just learn grammar and math in school