Sunday, June 22, 2008

On hypermiling, camping, and moving crap...

I have been trying to adopt the behaviors of hypermiling, now that I have a car again. Early results are rather interesting, as two fill-ups (at 1/2 tank and 3/4 tank, respectively) have resulted in calculated mileage of 37 and 40 mpg. Of course, I have new spark plugs and fuel cleaning additives, so that may have contributed to the results. Driving conservatively may also be having a big impact. Hypermiling is certainly easier, I would think, having a manual transmission.

At any rate, I am trying to empty the gas tank as much as possible so that my next fill-up results in a more accurate calculation of mpg. Of course, I just got an oil change, and they futzed with the tire pressure, so who knows what my numbers will be this time.

All this talk about insane mileage has me chomping at the bit to take a camping trip. It looks like I am headed for the Upper Peninsula, with the destinations narrowed down to the Keewenaw Peninsula, Pictured Rock National Lakeshore, and Isle Royale. Of these, Isle Royale would be the most interesting, and most taxing. First, it's an island in Lake Superior, and therefore pretty damn far from urban light pollution, which appeals to the amateur astronomer in me. Second, it is almost purely rustic, so no weak campers need apply. Third, bugs bugs bugs.

That said, I am all shagged-out, having moved a lot of my crap from my brother's apartment to my own--something postponed by the lack of a car, in part. I am way out of shape, which would seem to bode ill for any trip to Isle Royale, too. Harrumph.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Arts and Alcohol

Over a year ago, I interviewed for a job with an arts group which, as part of it's overall marketing plan, sponsors a winefest.

Now, I like wine and other intoxicants as much as the next guy. However, should any non-profit group ally itself with what could arguably be considered a social scourge? What inherent connection is there between art and alcohol that makes such a connection legit?

Arts groups often get funding based on educational objectives. What is educational about connecting art and alcohol? What are children being taught? Funders are winos? Wealth means getting tipsy? Art belongs to the elites?

Sure, such a strategy brings in funding, but, I ask, at what cost to society?

Besides VP...

Anyone have a dream cabinet?

How about Biden at State?

Edwards as AG?

Just a couple of thoughts. ;)

Class Act

John McCain's been married before...

Friday, June 6, 2008

It's always something...

The Moonbeam has been absent for a few days. Seems the power plug in my PowerBook has deteriorated further, in the latest development growing from a tripping hazard event a couple years ago. For now, the plug has been reseated, and seems to be functioning, but it is very precarious, and I fear jostling the laptop even a little bit. A job cannot arrive too soon for me.

In brighter news, Moonbeam has a new car. Well, new to me. A 1999 Escort Wagon SE. It needs a tune-up, and maybe detailing, but it is much better than the rotting hulk it replaces.

And, just in time for 90 degree heat, I cleaned the filter of my recently-purchased window a/c unit. So now my room is cool without the musty smell the a/c came with.

Of course, incense is hardly ever a bad idea.

Speaking of which, less than a month to go to the Rainbow Gathering, a.k.a to the Moonbeam as the Hippiefest in the Woods. If the car proves worthy, there might be a road trip in Paullie Moonbeam's near-future. Let us hope!