Sunday, November 26, 2006

Tel Aviv or Bust

I'm leaving for the airport in a few hours to fly to Tel Aviv for a week. It's mainly a business trip, but I hope to have some time on friday and saturday to do a bit of sightseeing (Israel does not work on fridays).

This trip has been scheduled a couple times before but called off. The joke has been that I won't believe I'm going until I'm actually walking down the jetway, but I'm pretty close to that now.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Who Shot JFK?

I'm in Dallas for a few days to attend a conference, and ended up with a bit of free time. I don't have a car, so it's tough to get very far from the hotel, but I did walk over to the 6th Floor Museum to check that out.

The museum is interesting mainly because you get to put yourself at the actual scene of the shooting, and see Oswald's point of view. The rest of the museum was interesting, with exhibits about the shooting, the immediate history afterwards, and some of the conversy surrounding the shooting, but it's nothing you haven't seen before on the History Channel.

The part of downtown that's within walking distance of the hotel rolls up the streets at night, so it's not a very interesting area for cuisine. We did take a cab the other night to a place called the "Cosmic Cafe", which is a Hare Krishna-esqe Indian restaurant. It's more like a funky hippy reinterpretation of Indian food, but it was good and pretty spicy. More interesting than eating at the hotel restaurant again, in any case.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

High gas prices? What high gas prices?

An article from Fortune about how domestic car buyers have apparently entirely forgotten that gas was well over $3 a gallon this summer, and are shunning fuel-efficient American cars and chalking up record sales of big SUVs. The author blames this on "amnesia" and says that as soon as high gas prices went away, middle America went straight back to their big, fat cars.

While I can't argue against the truth of this, I think there's something he's overlooking about the trend in Ford and GM purchasing.

Basically, small American cars suck.

U.S. manufacturers small cars are invariably their cheapest models, and feel like it as soon as you drive one. There is no U.S. equivalent to the Honda Civic or Mazda '3' -- small, efficient cars that are actually fun to drive, instead of being basic transportation. No one wants to drive a car that makes the statement "This is all I could afford."