Thursday, July 06, 2006
Thoughts, Now in Fun Size!
- It would be cool if we provided basic liability insurance for cars through a gas tax. (People who wanted more-than-basic could always buy it on the existing market.) As it is, if I took a bus to work twice a week (assuming, falsely, that the option existed), my cost of driving would decline only by the gas I didn’t consume. But if insurance were tied to gas, my savings would increase by the insurance I didn’t consume. Increase the marginal cost of new miles. (We’d have to leave collision insurance to the existing market, for some fairly obvious incentive reasons.)
- Why is it that, even though I last had a Shamrock Shake about 30 years ago, I could still describe its flavor, color and texture, but if you asked me which shirt The Boy wore yesterday, I’d be stumped?
- Why is bunting illegal in softball?
- Why is it that major franchise chains totally dominate the hamburger market, and increasingly dominate the hoagie/sub/grinder/hero market, but are relatively minor players in the pizza market?
- Has there ever been a lyric as inane as Van Halen’s “only time will tell if we stand the test of time”? (And I’m not counting “yeah yeah” or “oo oo.” Sentences only.)
- Back when Indecent Proposal came out, I remember Mom objecting that the premise was implausible. Robert Redford and money, or Woody Harrelson and poverty – to her, there was no dilemma; take Redford and the money, end of movie. I have a similar response to Big Love. Bill Paxton is married to Jeanne Tripplehorn. Definitely with ya so far. Then, he feels the need to marry Chloe Sevigny. Huh? The other way around, I could understand. This way, no.
- Why is it that nothing is more certain to lower my morale than morale-building exercises?
- If education is the key to success, why are there so many struggling adjuncts?
- If estate tax is reimposed fully on Jan.1, 2011, which is currently the state of things, I suspect there would be some very suspicious deaths around December of 2010. Incentives, and all that.
- If water is clear, why is the ocean blue? (The Boy asked me this, and I drew a blank.)
- If Chester the Molester moves onto my street, and the state posts his whereabouts on the Megan’s Law website and my property value drops, is that a ‘taking’ for fifth amendment purposes? If so, am I entitled to compensation for my lost property value? After all, the state’s act of publicizing his presence effectively confiscated the value of my property, in the name of a public use (that is, safety).
- Does the Constitution require that a President not use a pseudonym? (I’m thinking that Jimmy Carter’s given name wasn’t Jimmy, so maybe not.) I’m just askin’...
- On the 4th of July, I caught the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN. I couldn’t look, yet I couldn’t look away. The highlight, about ten minutes in, when the two frontrunners were in a virtual dead heat: one announcer says, “Now it all comes down to hot dog management.” Indeed it does.
- Is there a better compliment in the world than when The Girl pushes the The Boy off my lap, yelling “My Daddoo!”? (I’ll answer that one: no.)
In the UK, the numbers seem to go up one side and down the other, which confuses me.
"My humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps."
Water scatters light. A glass of water doesn't have enough width to scatter light, but the ocean does. Also in part it reflects the sky.
I've owned a car for 9 years in 3 different states, and each time when I set up my auto insurance, they ask me "how many miles do you drive to work each day?" and when I tell them, "zero," they classify the car as a "pleasure vehicle" and get me lower rates.
YM, as they say, may vary.
Morale building is depressing.
Pizza chains are dominate in certain parts of the country, particularly the west, in the same way that hamburger chains are dominate.
It's much more common over here to be odd one side and even the other. But we will always try to start from one and work upwards.
But I'm right with your mum on Indecent Proposal: Robert Redford and the money? A no-brainer. Of course, why Redford was supposed to fancy Demi Moore (ugh) was always beyond me.
I guess we'd need to define "dominate" and "minor players" here, wouldn't we? Pizza Hut? Dominos? Papa Johns? Where I live they've got a relatively large--and growing--market share.
I think it was Roger Ebert who said Indecent Proposal would've been more interesting (if not better) if the millionaire were a little more dubious in looks and persona (James Woods, Christopher Walken, De Niro) and the young wife by someone more 'virginal', Jennifer Jason Leigh or Bridget Fonda.
it's easiest to see in those towns or parts of towns that have clear grids. houses south of 4th street SE are numbered 401, 402, etc. houses north of 135th st NE are 13501, 13502, and so on.
The problem with the 'pleasure driver' category is that it's all-or-nothing; either you drive to work, or you don't. Tying the insurance to gas would allow for reductions for people who take the bus one or two days a week, or who carpool.
Maybe it's the large Italian population in these parts, but in addition to Pizza Hut and Domino's, we have lots of little local places with names like "Vinny's" and "Tony's." They're usually better, and cheaper, than the chains.
Come to think of it, Chinese take-out is almost entirely little local places. There's a HUGE business opportunity out there for whomever starts the first mass franchise for Chinese takeout.
You never had a LeeAnn Chin's in your area? Maybe not. It's been very popular around the Twin Cities, but when General Mills bought the chain from its founder and tried to 'take it national', they didn't have much luck.
She's more virginal now than she used to be. (I saw her in Flesh and Blood, opposite Rutger Hauer, and was scarred for life.)
Pizza: It's 'cause we're in the Northeast, DD. We have tons and tons of Italian families who know how to make good pizza, and next to them, Domino's is just left standing.
OTOH, we have nothing but chain Mexican. Go to Texas or SoCal, and you can't throw a rock without hitting a great little taqueria.
As for the pizza v. hamburger franchising, yes, thee are pizza franchises where I live, but the local places (or semi-local - chains that are only regional or in this particular metropolitan area, for example)thrive alongside them. The neighborhood pizza place still exists, even though there isn't a huge Italian population here. That said, I don't think I've EVER seen a non-franchise hamburger place where I live.
I like the idea, though discrepancies, such as low-mileage vehicles having higher liability costs, may need to be worked out. (SUVs may provide a counterexample of higher costs being justified, though.) I find it frustrating to spend $4/day on insurance for a car that I use once or twice a week. I have a train but no zipcar.
Property values: This analogy may be a stretch, but I think there was some judicial review in the context of environmental regulation affecting property values. (An owner was restricted in how they could use their land due to the presence of protected wildlife species.) I forget the legal outcome, though.
Pizza here is local places (northeast). I sense that upscale restaurant chains (Capital Grille, McCormick and Schmicks, ...) are becoming more prevalent, even in cities with a good local restaurant scene.
You can show The Boy that the blue ocean water is clear if you fill a cup or bucket with it. I think a bathtub may even be enough water to get a faint tinge of blue.
You make a really great point here. And I'm sure that you're not going to suggest that ignorance is the right solution. So what is? This is one of the reasons I favor the death penalty for Chester the Molester.
You notion that the state should be held liable for your loss of property values is misguided, as the state didn't commit the crime (unless one characterizes premature prison release as a crime).
It reflects the blue sky. When the sky is dark or cloudy, the ocean is grey.