Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Own Private Mile High Club

I'm an aerogeek - a person with an airliner fetish. No, I don't run around dressed up like a Braniff flight attendant circa 1967, asking "coffee, tea or me?" but I have been known to stop my car in order to watch a plane land. And if I'm at an airport waiting to board a flight, you can be sure to find me in a trance-like state by a window near the runway.

So when I found, it was like joining the Mile High Club all over again. Seriously, this site is a never-ending multiple airgasm. There are thousands of photos of airliners. All kinds, too. Vintage, military, commercial, private - you name it, they've got it.

During the Second World War, my dad was a gunner on a B-17 bomber and became a bit of an aerogeek himself. When I was about five years old, he started taking me to the airport to watch the planes take off and land. We'd sit in his Chevy convertible just beyond the fence where the runway ended, and stare in awe at the propeller-driven DC-6s and Lockheed Electras as they roared over our heads. Since then I've been hooked.

And here's something I'll bet you didn't know. At 239 feet, 3 inches long, 79 feet, 7 inches high, and the capacity to carry 525 passengers, the Airbus A380 is the largest passenger aircraft in flight today. (Thanks to fellow areogeek Cleocatra for pointing that out to me.)

Yeah, I know - Nerd Alert!

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's Not Easy Being Green

I need to understand why the geniuses at Toyota who developed the Prius engine felt they needed to add an annoying beeping sound to the reverse gear. Every time I put the gear shift in R, my little hybrid wonder sounds like a giant piece of construction equipment on the jobsite of yet another condo complex in progress.

But only inside the car.

Here's the thing. I can hear it and my lucky passenger can hear it, but if you're behind me and about to get hit, you're not going to hear it. You see, I know I'm in reverse. I'm the one who moved the damn gear shift. So who's being warned here?

And I've been putting up with this since July. Finally fed up, I found instructions on that explain how to disable that relentless beep. I haven't tried it yet but if it works it'll feel almost as good as going 500 miles on a tank of gas.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Gayata, Mini Poofter or Lezbaru - Which One Are You?

Yesterday's New York Times presented an interesting perspective on the theory "you are what you drive." Apparently, certain types of cars can reflect one's sexual orientation.

According to the article, Miatas and Mini Coopers are perceived as gay boy cars, and if you drive a Subaru Outback you're probably on your way to the Michigan Women's Music Festival.

This sounds like fodder for a Learning Annex class on "How to Develop Your Gaydar."

Okay, I understand that stereotyping isn't going away any time soon, but I have a hard time believing one example in the article about a hetero woman who drives a Subaru Outback. She claims she lost her chance for a second date because the guy she was with perceived her as a lesbian. Give me a break. Maybe she needs a copy of "He's Just Not That Into You."

Or maybe Subaru should rename the car the Coming Outback.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's Like Deja Food All Over Again

It's Pesach - that time of year when we Jews remember our ancestors' exodus from Egypt by telling the story and eating foods symbolizing both the struggle and the celebration. And we do it for two consecutive nights. The same food. The same story. The same shpilkes when we realize we've been sitting for three hours.

It makes sense. We're Jews; we make suffering into a celebration. You ate too much last night? Fine, you'll eat too much tonight, too. And no kvetching, already.

If G-d had given us just one night of Passover, Dayeinu! (It would have been enough.)

P.S. Next year in Jerusalem.