Saturday, April 21, 2007

My brief note to Steve Shannon, new GM of Saab USA

This originally appeared in the comments of Swade's site.

Mr. Shannon:

Again congratulations. Saabs are great cars and it appears that the new generation of vehicles will be a great step in the right direction.

We, the faithful, ask only the same in return -- your faithfulness to the fundamental elements that make Saab what it was and what it can be. We ask that you guard our brand against dilution for short-term gain and against expedient mediocrity.

Finally, we ask that you advocate stronger dealer participation in all aspects of the marketing process. I believe that too many of our dealers consider Saab as one of their 'other' brands. I hope that we can gain effort and mindshare with your leadership.

Here's to the new 9-5 hitting the market ahread of schedule,


Thursday, April 19, 2007

I'm published!!

In Swade's absence, I was Saab Blogger for a day (or two)!

Check out my writing here, here, here and here.

Thanks to Swade for the guest writing invitation. It was quite a lot of fun.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lady Commodores win a National Championship!

Well, this isn't something that I ever thought that I would say:

Vanderbilt University is an NCAA national champion.

And, the second, even less likely sentence is this:

Vanderbilt is the reigning NCAA Women's Bowling National Champion.

This is an odd feeling. You're proud to be a national champion at anything, but I simply never thought that it would be in women's bowling.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Heaven? Not quite, but close

Wyatt McSpadden calls it heaven. And, the truth be told, it's not far from it. He's talking about Bar-be-que (BBQ) in some of the hallowed halls of meat smoking found in towns in the South, the Midwest and Texas.

Having eaten in three of his top six, I can attest to this: he's onto something when he says that he's found the best BBQ on Earth. He's not letting on which one is the best, but he's found it among the six.

I'm sticking with Lexington BBQ in Lexington, North Carolina as my personal number one. The original Dreamland BBQ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is likely the most pure -- you can order nothing but ribs with a side order of white bread. No fries, no slaw, no potato salad, no pie. Only ribs, sauce (and what sauce it is!) and bread. Drinks are canned and available from the fridge. And, I'll claim that Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse in Dallas, Texas is pretty fair if you like BBQ made from a cow. Heresy comes in many forms, and calling something BBQ when it's not pork may qualify.

He's left out the venerable Rendezvous in Memphis, Tennessee with its unique dry-rubbed and spicy 'que. Also, no mention of one of my all-time favorites: Johnny Ray's in Birmingham, Alabama with their nearly perfect blend of spices in the sauce and in the batter for the HUGE Vidalia onion rings that they serve as 'wedding bands'.

Hmmm.... I think that I'll eat at BB's this afternoon. I hear some pulled pork calling my name.

PS: Tried Carl's Perfect Pig BBQ in White Bluff, Tennessee this weekend. It was mighty tasty. Great 'que (use the hot sauce) and some darn good okra, too.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Falcon - Empire State Building

What an unbelieveably great shot of a majestic bird of prey in the concrete canyons of New York! Sam -- you're a great photog.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Short collection of electric vehicles

I liked this short article on current and upcoming electric vehicles and the technology behind them.

I'll take a Chevy Volt (hopefully it's gone through the Saab design team and sold as a Saab) with a diesel engine.

Something I'm not willing to do for a ringtone.

Yesterday, as I logged into one of my Hotmail accounts to clean out the spam (that's all that ever reaches that inbox), I encountered this little jewel of a banner advertisement:

Click here to enlarge (at your own risk).

Call me crazy if you will, but I think this one's over the top. Beyond even the most casual brand of decorum imaginable. The clamoring for clicks has gone quite far enough, thank you very much.

And I don't want your ringtone. I find them irritating. For all of you out there vying with one another to have the most obnoxiously nauseating mobile phone ring, try vibrate instead -- people nearby will thank you for not molesting their ears with your tinny reproduction of "Axel F" or "Crazy In Love".

Monday, April 02, 2007

One of the primary reasons to buy a Saab

At 75 mph head-on offset, one of the most difficult crash scenarios, take a look at how the Saabs comport themselves. The passenger cabin is intact, and the glass isn't creating shrapnel-like shards of destruction. Well done, Saab!

Thanks to Gunnar for the assist.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

American Divisiveness On Display Over Saturn Furlough

Even I, a car nut and local Middle Tennessean, have been surprised by the general rancor around the recent furlough of United Auto Workers (UAW) union employees at GM Spring Hill, nee Saturn. As you may recall, all UAW employees are getting 95% of their base pay for the year or so that it will take to retrofit the Spring Hill plant, even though they do not have to actually work.

And they say that the union is good for GM. Right. Good if you thrive with a blood sucking leech attached to your side. A really big leech.

Anyhoo, check out the name-calling 'debate' here. Interesting.

Coolest Sleeping Bag Ever

My son, Robert, turned nine today. He's a great kid.

I got him a new sleeping bag and a pair of portable binoculars for his birthday. The binoculars were a chance purchase -- a whole table full of Bushnell small form factor binoculars for less than $8 per pair at CompUSA of all places. However, the sleeping bag was something he needed since he's long outgrown the Cliford sleeping bag that my wife's uncle bought him when he was two and a half.

I went to Wal-Mart expecting to get a standard Coleman bag that I'd seen online, but I saw the Sleepcell made by Cellcorp and liked the features -- a built-in inflatable pillow, adjustable vents on the side for warm-weather use and additional length created by the oval shape. I bought it and wrapped it up for his birthday today.

Robert opened it in a flurry with the other stuff from grandparents, neighborhood kids, etc. Afterwards, he opened the bag and I inflated the pillow. Mild surprise: the pillow is contoured for your head! The material is polyester microfiber rather than nylon, another unexpected plus. Finally, it really is comfortable for someone of my height!

I think I'm going back to Wal-Mart this evening after church for another sleeping bag for me! I can't let the boy have all of that fun without me!