A Continuing Theme RE: Hybrids

So, I’m not sure if anyone clicked through to read (re-read?) my old blogs about about hybrid FUD, but I actually did go back and read my old stuff today,  Back in 2006, I wrote:

In 2004, Robert Lutz, GM’s Vice Chairman of Product Development came out very strongly saying that building hybrids didn’t make economic sense.  But next year, they plan to introduce the Chevy Tahoe as a hybrid.  To be fair, Lutz was specifically saying that compact hybrid cars didn’t make sense, and that SUVs were a better option.  So, it’s not a complete contradiction.  However, he justified this statement by citing the price of gasoline – then $1.50/gal on the average – as the reason it didn’t make sense.  The current price is around $2.36/gal.  Considering that the national average was over $3.00 just a few short months ago and hasn’t been below $2.00 for over a year, I think it’s safe to say some new calculations are in order.  Especially if Dubya makes good on his thinly-veiled threats to invade Iran, a move than many economists believe would drive the price of oil to a staggering $100/barrel. 

Wow.  Yeah, so . . . back then, I talked about those “crazy” high gas prices of $3.00/gal.  I’d kill for that now.  Gas crossed the $4.00/gal point back in June of this year.  Furthermore, that “staggering” price of $100/barrel that I worried about is ancient history.  We haven’t been under $100/barrel for months and we peaked at over $140/barrel back in June.

Still think hybrid are just for tree-huggin liberals?

Did I mention: Gotcha bitch!

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Puh-leeze. More Hybrid FUD

I’ve previously mentioned (here) the ridiculous level of FUD out there related to hybrid cars.  In one of my previous posts, I pointed out the silly hand wringing related to the “dangerously silent” hybrids.  Well, it looks as if the California state legislature is set to outlaw the silence:

Electric and hybrid vehicles may be better for the environment, but the California Legislature says they’re bad for the blind.

It has passed a bill to ensure that the vehicles make enough noise to be heard by visually impaired people about to cross a street.

The measure would establish a committee to study the issue and recommend ways the vehicles could make more noise.

Are you effing kidding me? 

Great idea.  Here’s my new design for the Prius:

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Unplanned Outage

JoseMonkey.com experienced an unplanned outage for a few hours this afternoon when The Bean discovered the button on the front of the server under Daddy’s desk.  Sorry about that.

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Smart Bean

When I became a parent, I told myself that I’d never let myself become one of those deluded parents who thinks their baby is a freakin’ genius.  You know the ones — the parents who proclaim that every one of their baby’s actions, not matter how insignificant or coincidental, is a sure sign that their child is the smartest baby ever.

Now, I love the Bean.  A lot.  But I try really hard not to let my adoration interfere with my ability to objectively evaluate her cognitive development.  In fact, sometimes I worry (because I worry about everything) that I hyper-correct this behavior and fail to recognize her actual achievements, chalking them up as coincidences.  I hear myself saying things like, “Come on, she couldn’t possibly have learned that that fast, right?”

Yesterday, I was sitting on the floor with Mrs. JoseMonkey and the Bean, and the Bean was pointing out the Sesame Street characters on a piece of wrapping paper left over from her birthday party.  (Photos coming soon.)  The Bean loves to point at things, and we dutifully respond by telling her what she’s pointing at.  (Mrs. JoseMonkey does this all day long; she’s a trooper.)  Anyway, I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to do this up until yesterday, but I realized that it might make sense to ask the Bean to find each character on the paper.

So, I asked, “Where’s Elmo?”  The Bean thought for a moment, then pointed at Elmo and smiled.  (She loves Elmo.)

I tried again.  “Where’s Big Bird?”

Think think think.  Point.

“Yeah!  Where’s Ernie?”

Point.

“Woo-hoo!  Where’s Abby?”

Think think think.  Point.  Smile.

She even got Bert, whom I figured she’d miss since 1) he’s not one of her favorites and 2) he was only on one corner of the paper, sort of upside-down.  But she found him anyway.

Now, Mrs. JoseMonkey goes through these character names with her frequently, and the Bean watches lots of Sesame Street, so I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised that she is able to do that.  But I was floored.

Later that same night, I was giving the Bean a bath.  We broke out some new bath toys for her, a set of eight little animal “squirties” that she got for her birthday.  When I lined them up on the edge of the tub, she immediately went into the pointing routine, wanting to know what each one was.

We went through the animals twice, naming each one.  On a whim, I quizzed her:

“Bean, where’s the sheep?”

Think think think.  Point.

“That’s right!  Where’s the piggy?”

Think think think.  Point.

You get the idea.  She was able to identify them after hearing their names just twice?!  And she’d never seen these toys before!

Delusions, my ass.  I think we’re dealing with an above average IQ here.  W00T!  SMARTEST BABY EVAH!

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I am a Well-Trained Monkey

When we first got our dogs, my wife had a neat idea.  She hung a small bell on the door that led to their yard.  She then taught our goofy dogs (who are deceptively smart) to ring the bell when they wanted to go outside.  They learned this rather quickly, and we were very proud of ourselves.  Of all the tricks we’ve taught them, this one seemed to impress people the most.  “So, you’re telling me that they ring the bell when they want go out?  All by themselves?”  Yes, we were quite proud of our stupid little beasts.

The Damn BellOver time, I’ve come to despise the sound of The Damn Bell™.  This is mainly because the dogs ring it non-effing-stop between the hours of 5pm and 10pm.  They usually wait until your ass hits the sofa. 

Ding! 

Then, shortly after you let them out, they want to come back in.  (The coming back in part involves barking; there’s no outside bell.  You’re welcome, neighborhood.)  This is usually around the time you’ve decided to sit down again. 

Here’s the worst part, though.  While we like to smugly pat ourselves on the back for training our dogs to do this, the sad truth is that Mrs. JoseMonkey and I are the ones who are trained. 

Ding!  Get up and let the dogs out. 

Ding!
  Again. 

Ding!  Ding!  We’re very good at it. 

My Pavlovian instincts were never more apparent than this morning.  You see, The Bean discovered The Damn Bell™.

As she was cruising around in her walker, she found this wonderful item dangling from the door knob.  You can guess what happened next. 

Ding!

Ding! Ding!

My training immediately kicked in and I started walking toward the door.  Realizing it was just The Bean, I laughed it off and went back to what I was doing.

Ding!

I headed for the door again, totally on auto-pilot.  I am a well-trained monkey. 

Somewhere, a beagle is laughing. 

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The Baby Formerly Known As V

Baby V will henceforth be known as “The Bean.”  We’ve been calling her that for months now, but I had stuck with the “Baby V” thing here since that’s how I had first introduced her to you

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Give Up Already!

The two competitors had been at it for a long time.  The guy I was backing was obviously going to win; he’d opened up a sizable lead early in the contest.  His opponent kept at it, though, even though any objective analysis clearly indicated that no recovery was possible.  There would be no comeback.  His lead was insurmountable.

The presumptive winner began to get frustrated, silently wishing that the other person would just bow out.  I couldn’t help but share his frustration.  “Oh, come on!  Give up already!”  I shouted at the television.  But the loser wasn’t listening.  Even though the result was obvious, this chump didn’t see the writing on the wall. 

What’s that you say?  Oh, you thought I was talking about the Democratic primary?  Well, actually, I’m talking about watching my brother-in-law Matt kick people’s asses at Guitar Hero last night.  They never seem to know when to just throw in the towel.  So he has to play all of “Through Fire and Flames” every single time, even after it’s clear to everyone that it’s a total effing beating.

Oh, and Hillary should quit already.

(Matt: Yes, you are Barack Obama in this analogy.  Your mom would be so proud!) 

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