Friday, November 23, 2007

Factious Fridays

It's hard to be truly cantankerous and factious today. It's still Thanksgiving Weekend. That means more football, turkey sandwiches, a little bourbon, and a day at home to relax with the family. I could start to diffuse the usual factiousness with some cheesy and overdone intro on "warm memories" and holiday meals spent around the table, giving thanks for all the love and blessings in my life.

I have all those things, just like you probably do; But I don't want the high levels of tryptophan still in your system, plus a boring article on my happy childhood Thanksgivings to put you to sleep as you read this. So, I'll put some thoughts of people like our new visitor, southerndaddy, in my mind and get down-right belligerent so that I may "bring the ruckus"* as you have come to expect on Fridays. Here we go.

1. When you buy a new car, relish that new car smell, the smooth acceleration, and pure joy of driving for as long as you can. Why? Because when your bumper-to-bumper warranty expires, you have less than 5,000 miles left before your car hates you.

Fuel pumps, gas gauges, carburetors, suspension system, and your power locks will all desert you like a Kennedy under indictment. Every car owner I've talked to, with the exception of Toyota and Honda owners, have lamented about their post warranty vehicles.

Lesson: Why is the American Auto Industry so bumfuzzled when they see falling sales? Because their workers are unionized and get 15 minutes of smoke break every 45 minutes, plus one hour lunches. The quality is gone, the warranties have more holes than a hooker's pantyhose, and much like the hooker, their service departments are out to screw you for money. It's beautiful Capitalism, baby!

Until the American Auto Industry gets a clue, my money will continue to go overseas. Since all my tax money is spent on failing health and education systems here at home, my personal decision to get quality wherever it may be is as American and responsible as it gets.

Peace, suckers!

2. In case you missed the Nick Saban press conferences this week, here's a summation:

"Fans this, and media that. Tommy Tuberville hit me in the head with a wiffle ball bat."

If you get paid $4 million dollars a year to coach football you should probably allow the players, the media, and the fans that provide the revenue for your salary to expect something in return. A 6-5 record is not it.

Only if Saban can end the streak against Auburn has Nicky-boy earned his paycheck this year. However, the attitude and demeanor of his team suggests that to be an unlikely outcome this weekend. Three weeks ago I would have argued that St. Nick's job was already a success with his defeats of Arkansas and Tennessee, and a chance to jump into the top 2 in the western division by season's end. Those days are long gone.

Tuscaloosa is not Baton Rouge. Saban can't expect to be a rock star at Bama for very long like he was regardless at LSU. If a Bama coach wins a National Championship, he can expect the Tide fans to start asking about what's in store for the team next year by January 10th when the recruiting gets hot and heavy.

There were 92,000 Bama fans at Bryant-Denny for A-Day last April, and Saban thought the expectations weren't through the roof? Did Saban actually think they came to see him just pace the sideline for the scrimmage? Wow. That's some ego, folks!

3. When I do actually find myself becoming irritable or truly cantankerous, all those feelings are washed away when my daughter lays her head on my lap. I just can't be angry or frustrated at all after that. Suddenly all that matters is resting right in front of me.

So, just to let everyone know, I really and truly rarely get that upset because I am at home all day with her. She is my even keel, my anger management course, and the source of much joy in my world......all in one.

I had to give you one "good one" in lieu of the obligatory "I'm thankful for...." list.

Enjoy your food and football weekend. Hold the lemons.
*= All rights reserved by Paavo Tucker, Swamp Inc., 1999.


J. Canterbury said...

"Hold the lemons."


osipov said...

or Hyundai! They have a great warranty! I LOVE my Hyundai Entourage!! And my daughter has a Tucson.

osipov said...

Also, just an FYI - very few vehicles are actually made in America. And some of those "imports" are made IN the U.S. The Hyundai Sonata and Santa Fe are made in Montgomery. Alabama also has a Toyota and Honda plant. On the flip side, many of the "american-made" automobiles we looked at a few months ago were assembled in Canada and Mexico.

And the unions aren't the problem. The problem is when the CEO makes so much money. Japanese CEOs can only make six times what the highest paid worker makes and Korean five times (or something very close to that). American CEOs make around $3000+ an hour. THERE's the problem!

southerndaddy said...

Pennsylvania has lost more than 200,000 manufacturing jobs since 2001, and this alliance of the United Steelworkers and their employers claims more than a third of those lost jobs are due to unfair trade from China.
More than 100 million Chinese are toiling in factories, and the rule there is 12-hour workdays and dangerous conditions not seen in this country for generations. The alliance says America could compete nonetheless if international trade laws were enforced.
Whether or not you buy that argument, it might help if we bought more stuff made here. America's trade deficit is now $2 billion a day. You'll see why if you shop tomorrow. The biggest shopping day of the year will not stray from our standard economic model:
Americans drive foreign cars powered with imported gasoline to malls where they buy clothes and toys made in Asia. The foreign countries use our dollars to buy our bonds so we can finance our way of life plus the war for Iraq.
It's not jingoistic to suggest that's not a model built to last. Rising mortgage foreclosures, a sinking dollar and public debt of $9 trillion -- that's trillion with a "t" -- should be at least as scary as lead paint on Chinese toys.
So I'm suggesting more of us make it a point to buy at least some American-made stuff this year. (Those who find a way to buy only American-made stuff in this environment should get commendations from the U.S. secretaries of commerce and labor.)
Think of it as holiday gift-giving done twice: The first will be the gift itself, the second will be a gift to the manufacturer and its employees, who might rest a bit easier if this season goes well.
How do you know if an item is American-made? Check the label. Ask the merchant. If the merchant looks baffled, you might move on to the next store.

Nicole McIntyre said...

Thus far I've been happy with our two american made cars. One is 10 years old and has over 107,000 miles. Yes, we've had to fix some stuff, but it's still cheaper than another car. The other one is 8 years old and has well over the 100,000 too. Yes, we're saving up for something "new," because we know the inevitable is coming, but we aren't there yet.

And I can't believe I'm about to agree with SouthernDaddy, but I really do try to by American made things if they are of good quality. However, as someone already pointed out, several "foreign" care manufacturers build there cars here in the US.

And the reason we have a national debt is the big boys in Washington don't know how to spend less then the make. We live in a culture filled with debt and that is encouraged to have debt.

Cameron Clark said...

I buy a product with the best combination of quality and price. That's my responsibility to my family, and that's the only thing I care about.

Southerndaddy, I'm going to respond to your comments with the same courtesy you have given others. Keep in mind I would usually respond (in an actual discussion) with facts, figures, and reasoning as to why I think an opinion is invalid or has gaping holes in the logic. If I'm not vague and condescending enough, I apologize.

You're wrong. You don't know what you're talking about. You must spend your days trying to understand only an infinitesimal portion of power politics and national economic structures.

You must spend the remaining portion of your days gearing up to release your next youtube rant.
(I think I found southerndaddy on the web, Taft)

If you ever want a response that has any amount of courtesy and respect for you, go back and answer all the other questions you were asked in the previous discussions. Hold the lemons.

tayers44 said...

Dude, we drive two Hondas.

Or should I say our two Hondas drive us?

They are great cars and even though my Pops is a Ford man, while we've had our two cars....

....I think the total for the step-mom's rides plus his rides sits at around five.

Yay for the foreign market! (Even if I don't like their food)...

Wow, I am ethnocentric.

southerndaddy said...

In my response I will attempt to address everything that I might have stirred up. Let me say, that I am a man with a small bladder, so forgive me if I run out of urine while attempting to “put out the fires.” First of all, I, too freely admit that slaves where very instrumental in the construction of our country. I can also admit, and apologize, for my unfair stereotype of Arkansas (it was my attempt at humor, an area in which my children readily inform me I am not a success). My personality has always been one that has been mocked, ridiculed, and not easily understood. It is easily lost on a keyboard, of this I am sure. Mr. Clark (this may be way too unfair) I believe that we are a lot alike (stop cringing). We respond quickly, many times, without thinking. Your advantage is that you can edit those things that you type on this Blog. You have a built-in mulligan while I am “driving the ball all over the course.” I am sure that Mrs. Nikki is a skinny young lady (very attractive, too, from the pictures I saw…sorry, Nate, a fact is a fact). I sincerely do applaud anyone who drops weight the way that her husband did. As for “tayers44”, you might want to be careful saying that you read the Bible for a living. The Lord said that money was the root of all evil, I wouldn’t want to say that get paid to read the Bible. I also wouldn’t lead a post like that with “Holy Crap” as the tagline. I merely posted from Deut. to prove that we need to watch out because we do not know everything. I made the Matt. 7 addition to remind myself not to be so condescending. I have not once desired to be a puss. I resent the fact that I was called that. I have no problem using my real name, it’s Joseph. I do not desire a “buckshot in my hindparts”. I am deeply remiss for my unfair remarks about the word usage of “missy.” Again Mr. Clark, thank you for the personal bio, but I have no need to take shots at you. We are too much alike. I feel like I am developing a crush on Nicole and her passion. She intrigues me. Therefore, I must say that I know David, aka, “Dave” Ramsey personally. I must say that I spoke out of a problems that he had in his life years ago (that I am sure he has made right with His Lord) and I shouldn’t have defiled him in such a manner. Praise be that he helped you so much (no sarcasm whatsoever). I want to apologize deeply for the way that I took you away from your family. I do want to send you flowers, but I shall abstain due to the fact that I long for Nate to realize I want to cause no more trouble. I do not play the Warcraft games that he spoke of and I do not wear white tighties. I do not like Doritos, I share an affection with sweet Nikki for Cheetos. I do not have the “man groomer” electric shaver. Women have informed me repeatedly that it is overrated. I would love to answer anything that I have not covered. I have deeply apologized and the Lord knows I mean it. He also knows that I am usually right in my heart even if my mind gets in the way and uses hate speech.

tayers44 said...

Nope, He said the LOVE of money was the root of all evil.

Cameron Clark said...

You don't owe me any apology, but I appreciate the gesture. I just wanted some answers to the questions that were repeatedly asked of you.

Nothing is "stirred up," and I don't believe anything that is said on this site should turn into something personal.

For the record, I do not believe that we are very much alike at all, Joseph. Preaching at someone over and over again on their blog is not a practice of mine.

I welcome debate on this site, not homiletics. Keep commenting if you wish, but try to favor discourse over lectureship. I appreciate it.

Nicole McIntyre said...

Slightly weirded out be the phrase "sweet Nikki." Having finally gotten rid of my high school stalker, I'm not taking applications for a new one.

tayers44 said...

Don't worry, Nikki, I bet he has an ankle bracelet on, and can't leave the house.

(Cameron, if that wasn't playing by the rules, my bad bro)

Cameron Clark said...

Nah, man. I know you, do what you want.