Saturday, April 25, 2009

US Car Manufacturers

I don't really have strong political opinions often, but there is one thing going on right now that is driving me NUTS, and since this is my venue for pushing my opinionated opinion in a public setting, here goes...

So, the US car manufacturers are suffering and looking for help from the government.
They are not making sales, therefore, not making profits.
And of course, the help is requested so that they don't have to lay off people and add to the high unemployment numbers. So that's the pulling-on-the-heartstrings "help us" line.

Here's my rub.
1. They killed the electric car for stupid selfish reasons.
2. When car manufacturers outside the US started building more fuel efficient, affordable cars, they instead SUPER-sized. "Daddy George will protect us by keeping the oil coming" "Americans like big cars" "Big cars are safer".

What did the people do? They said:
Speak with your Wallet! Don't buy these big cars! Don't support these manufacturers!

so, umm, hello, no one's buying their cars!!
why is it a surprise?!

This is a basic tenant of capitalism.

The consumers are speaking with their wallets and letting the manufacturers know "We don't want huge gas-guzzling cars"! If those manufacturers are not listening by changing their focus, they deserve to go under.
They are the ones who took on the responsibility of all these employees; they are the ones abusing that role, not the US Government.

Now the government is giving them money, with conditions, and the media is making THAT the story.
You know, if you bailed out a company that was suffering because of a bad business decision, wouldn't you "loan" that money conditional on those business decisions changing?
Why should the government be any different?
In fact, if they gave OUR tax money to these manufacturers without any conditions on changing their ways, wouldn't that just be "enabling" the perpetuation of whatever got them into trouble in the first place?

So, come on, Media!!! Get the story straight!
US Car Manufacturers need to take responsibility and listen to the LOUD voices of the consumer!
Make smaller cars, stop your propaganda about safety in size, and focusing on efficiency.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Lisa 4.0

Over the years that I lived in Arizona I made friends with very good people. If you know me in life, you know just how wonderful those people are.
Now I find myself in California, looking for ways to make new friends, and realizing that I have a world of Lisa-discovering to do.
I gave this conundrum some thought.

I realized that one of the things that makes these friends of mine so interesting is that they are very active. Not only do they run, bike, swim, row, rappel, they set personal goals for their physical endeavors and then do what is necessary to meet those goals. As things change – they realize a goal, they change their minds, they get an injury – their goals change. They are always challenging themselves and striving to be better. This gives you a unique outlook on life. It is positive, it means that there are no limits, and anything is possible.
I love my friends for these qualities!

Anyway, I decided that I want to meet more of these people in my life.

Coupled with that, I started thinking about what Lisa might like to do.
Now, one thing I really love doing (I don’t know why) is snorkeling. Being underwater with all those fish! There is a whole other world down there! Wait! Maybe its ‘cause I’m Aquarius??? Hmmm.

Anyway… I told my friend that I wanted to get certified to go scuba diving. I looked online and yikes, there are so many different ways to get out on the water starting from this Southern California coast! My friend said he would like to join me, so we are signed up to get certified next month.

My friend loves the outdoors. In exchange for him facing his fear of sharks (in a SWIMMING POOL!) I am going to take a course to overcome my fear of heights so that we can go rappelling together down waterfalls! I have done this once before with Meg and Tim down Salome in AZ, and I really enjoyed that, so am willing to take on this fear and add a harness to my list of gear. Why not? I’m trying to figure out what I like to do, and how will I know without trying?

I told my friend about adventure racing. I don’t know why, but I love it! I would be happy to volunteer at races I love being involved so much. My friend is intrigued. He thinks we should try do one together. I said to him… sir, you do realize that I don’t mountain bike, right?
His response: why not?
I thought a bit, and realized there was not valid reason.
So, we went out and bought bikes! And have gone riding. My friend is patient, and helps me resolve my concerns one at a time… which shift lever does what, using my legs instead of my gears, taking breaks, and becoming more confident hitting ruts.
I have a lot of endurance and leg strength to build, but I tell you, mountain biking is MUCH better than the leg-press machine!
I have been given the challenge of deciding on a race for us to do in the summer.

YIKES! What a bold new world of opportunities out there for me!
What possibilities?!

Now, I thought that my Musings might take on a new focus over these next weeks as I try out all these new activities and go through the learning process one thing at a time.

So this is Turning 40, Part 2.
Its “Lisa 4.0”
Its the future.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

NY in LA

Over the past couple days strange things have been showing up on the corner of Spring and 7th Street.

NYPD? Taxi with a NY plate?

The other day I saw this:

it made me laugh!

Here's another picture...

Today, I realized what was going on from a "Street Closure: Filming" door hanger.
They are filming CSI: NY on Monday and Tuesday. The hangar says that there will be a gun fire, lots of action, lots of explosions, with a semi crashing into a diner!

I might have to take a walk up there tomorrow...

Figuring it out...

Its funny what you learn about yourself if you open yourself up to it.
Over the past month, I have learned a lot of things about myself… there has been some purging, some weakness, some introspection, some assistance, and in the end, a lot of realizations.

Here is a question I’ve been thinking about:
What do I like to do?

Well, I have been just about work for the longest time, and when I think about things outside of that, the list is pretty short:

Now, if you are a friend that I’ve had over to a house, you might want to add cooking and baking to that list. Well, these are things I have done, but they are not my favorite things to do.
I am pretty crafty, but got to the point that I started to wonder what to do with the crap that I crafted, so I’m over that.

Let’s talk about the first two: Autocross is something that is usually done only once a month in a region. It can also get expensive because you have to keep your car serviced, maintained, and in good shape. I wonder if having the MINI club (DMC) in Arizona made the autocross easier and more fun. I plan to go out to the track this weekend here in CA, and see how things are run in this region.

I have done Flamenco most of my life. I started because it was far more interesting than ballet, and that’s what my mom had me busy doing as a child. The thing about Flamenco is that its an emotional expression in the form of dance. I have never felt that I had the right expression. I thought that maybe “one day” I would be older with lots of life experience and I would have something to express. I’ve started to realize, now that its “one day”, I’m older, and have had a lot of life experience, that I still don’t think I’m very good at expression. I’ve accepted that maybe its just not me.

So, if you minus the Flamenco, and the autocross is very infrequent, what do I like to do?