Thursday, January 26, 2006

Car shopping with George

We all know President Bush and I don't get along. He won't return my calls, I cringe when his name is brought up in social settings. I didn't even get a Christmas card from him this year.

So with all this angst between us, I was quite surprised to see we actually agreed on something.

Mr. Bush says American car companies can save their own asses just by making decent products people actually want to buy!


Then, of course, Mr. Bush went and said something totally stupid.

Anybody wanna guess how long it took me to find a link that fit in that last sentence? =)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Ford Falters

I usually enjoy saying I told you so. But today it's a bittersweet moment.

In my third post ever to this blog, I predicted. the Ford 500 and Mercury Montego were not good enough to compete and would not save the company as Ford hoped.

Today, Ford announced it is cutting 30,000 jobs and closing 14 plants. It's good to be right, but not at the cost of people's incomes. I truly hope Ford rights itself and comes back from this amputation stronger than ever.

But I stand by my belief that for Ford (or any other carmaker) to succeed, it must have product the buyers want. And besides the Mustang, Ford ain't got it.

SNL Sidesplitters

About the only SNL skits to ever bring laughter-induced tears to my eyes are the Jeopardy skits featuring Sean Connery. God I think that's funny.

So I was overjoyed to run across a few on Google video. Enjoy...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Pyschotic Kitty

Anyone who has visits our house we greet first with hellos and howareyous. But almost immediately after we hit them with warnings not to touch the calico cat. "She bites," we say. "You have been warned."

Inevitably, almost every visitor attempts to pet Callie, and, almost as inevitably, they're all bitten. "They were warned," we'll probably tell the judge one day.

But, that may be changing.

Callie's on Prozac.

Now, wait. Before any of you condemn us for drugging our high-strung, aphephobic cat, hear me out.

From very on, Callie has been, uh, special. A co-worker in Jackson, Miss. found her alone, cold and hungry near a Dumpster and took her home. This co-worker knew Christina wanted a cat and delivered. We loved Callie. We fed her. We gave her shots. We petted her. We withdrew our hands in bloody, stinging pain. And we peeled the cute, cuddly Callie from our faces one claw at a time. She was, in a word, difficult. Our veterinarian even then proposed pharmaceuticals, but we decided instead to cure Callie with love, attention and patience.

It didn't work.

But that's not why we're drugging her. Callie has recently developed, as diagnosed by our vet, an "obsessive grooming habit." She's going bald in spots. And bald kitties are neither pretty nor happy. The vet theorizes it could be because of some stress like Christina being pregnant or all the rearranging we're doing in the house to get ready for Baby T.

The main side effect of the drug is a calmer, more loving Callie. But we found out quickly that she still bites. So the drug has made her easier to love, but hasn't changed her personality. And we like that.

You have been warned.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Detroit News III

OK. Last automotive post for at least a day or two. Promise.

The new Buick Enclave SUV was unloved, the Honda Fit seemed to, uh, fit better into my readership's lifestyles. Now I'm curious about another automotive genre.

None of my regular readers have hit middle age yet, but have any of you lusted over a high-horsepower, low-utility sports car? I'm curious to see if any of the latest eye-candy from the world's automakers has caught the eye of any of you.

Screw practicality. To hell with trunk space. Back seat be damned. F**K fuel economy. Do any of these recently announced vehicles get your motor running?

It's the epitomy of retro design. It's the Dodge Challenger. And it brings 425 tire-melting horsepower with it.

In 2002, Chevrolet produced the last Camaro. As a former Camaro driver, I was saddened. But the Camaro is back with a retro feel combining 1969 design cues with 2006 angles and 400 horsepower.

Ford resurrected Mustang heritage (and sales) a few years ago. Now it brings back another Mustang memory with the Shelby GT500. It packs 500 horsepower in both coupe and convertible form.

Sure, it looks like a little like a Miata and has no back seat, but it's said to be tremendous fun on twisty roads and beachside highways. It's the Pontiac (yes, that Pontiac) Solstice GXP and it sells for about $25,000 with 250 horsepower. Or you can have a less powerful version for about $19,000.

BMW is known for luxurious performance. Its latest offering is the Z4 Coupe.

Thanks for any input you guys have.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Detroit News II

The Buick was knocked for being big, expensive, boring and environmentally destructive. Can't argue with most of that. Let's try something different.

What do you guys think of this one?

It's got 105 horsepower, five doors, gets 38 mpg on the highway, and has a 160-watt, six-speaker stereo. And it can all be yours in April for around $14,000. The best part? It's the Fit from Honda.

So. Whatdya think?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Detroit News

Even though most of the (semi-)regular readers of this blog are not as nuts about cars as I, AbAsp was intended to be a mostly automotive-targeted site.

And, in the world of gearhead geeks, this is a most holy of weeks. This is the time of year many of the world's manufacturers roll out their latest creations and their wildest dreams in sunny Detroit at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Since many of you have been somewhat sheltered from all the auto show hoopla, I'd like to ask a favor. I'm gonna post some of the more notable new cars and ask you for your feedback on them. Comments, critiques, etc. are most welcome. You may not know a B-pillar from a c-clamp, but any comments you make will be most interesting to me.

So, here's the first one. It's the Buick Enclave. About the size of a full-size SUV and can seat six. Expect it to have a V6 engine and a somewhat luxurious interior. I'd guess it would sell for about $30k-$40k. Whatdya think? Would you consider it if you were shopping for a new car?

These images, btw, were blatantly stolen from AutoBlog. If you ever want to know the newest and geekiest stuff about cars, there's your source. Thanks AutoBlog!