You Got to Be Kidding Me!

Links for Oct 17, 2008

Posted in Economics, Four Wheels, Politics, The Intrawebs, Urban Planning by Stacy McMahon on October 17, 2008

I’ve been too busy to post this week, but here are some of the things I’m looking at:

* Stephen Bainbridge is hinting darkly that we’ll need to keep a close eye on our free speech rights under an Obama administration. The power of blogs: the very first commenter takes him to task for exaggerating the difference between Democrat and Republican smear tactics – and isn’t deleted or banned.

* The ZAP Xebra electric city car (via Instapundit) – I like the discussion of the actual driving regimes and how the electric car meets most of an average person’s mission requirements in spite of its slack 45mph top speed. I did a similar analysis in order to determine that a 200-250cc scooter would meet all my commuting requirements, at twice the mpg of my car. It’s been one of the best large purchases I ever made. It pays to step back and take an open-minded look at how you really do things.

* Jeff Lipshaw at The Conglomerate is praising GM’s board of directors for doing its job and panning the ridiculous idea of merging the General with Chrysler. Yes, upper management really suggested that. Jeff also wonders what kind of government remedy is really appropriate for problems caused by executive stupidity: “But what can we do about “mere” incompetence that imposes severe social costs? As I’ve been telling my corporate law class these last few weeks, current doctrine provides very weak to nonexistent remedies for negligence, no matter how widely its effects are felt.” Well, for starters we could try setting and sticking to a public policy of not socializing the consequences of bad business decisions.

* AutoBlogGreen has video of Audi of America Executive VP Johan Van de Nysschen discussing the “modern diesel engines” Audi is about to introduce in its US models. Vicky, Sean, Larry and I rented a diesel minivan for our trip to France in 2004, and I’d have easily believed it was a gas engine. Smooth, quiet, powerful and no starting problems at all. Roughly, the latest Euro diesel vehicles are getting 40-50mpg with low-sulpher diesel fuel, which is around 25 cents more per gallon than 93-octane gas in the US. That’s a decent business case for a diesel.

* And to go along with that, ABG also has a list of ten diesel vehicles coming stateside in the next couple years. If you can afford them…

* Fairfax County is expecting a revenue shortfall and is planning to make the hard decisions to deal with it. Local governments can’t deficit-spend, which may be something to keep in mind when thinking about what kind of elected office qualifies a person for the White House.

* Also via Instapundit, one-pot meals for around $10. We’re trying to do more of our own cooking, so I like the one-pot bit.

* Howard Wolfson has a ‘premortem’ of the McCain campaign up at The New Republic. What is he missing? The media outright campaigning for Obama, which has to have been worth several percentage points (though probably not the whole election)

* Planetizen is admiring Falls Church’s new urbanist infill development. I drove over to Coleman Powersports Monday and the new apartment blocks going up across the street (next to Elevation Burger) seem to be doing pretty well. The whole Rt 7 corridor has changed a lot in the last few years.


7 Responses

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  1. Vicky said, on October 17, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Sweet– I made a mention in your blog again. I had forgotten that mini van was diesel. It certainly did not sing the same tune as my father’s diesel suburban!

    Also– I have an addition to your one pot meals! ALL my pots and pans and plates and bowls are in storage, so I’ve been eating a lot of lean cuisines, the steamer bags of veggies (Many KUDOS to Green Giant for now carrying single serving steamer bags of corn and brussel sprouts) and THIS!

    I use a ziplock bag to prepare it and a plastic fork I keep washing! It was Ryan Somma who taught me the simplicity of the recipe!

    Anyway, here is a One Ziplock Bag Meal!

    Ziplock Tomato Caprese
    1 package of cherry or grape tomatoes
    Mozzarella cheese
    Olive Oil

    1) Rinse tomatoes and if necessary, cut cheese into bite-size chunks
    2) Put tomatoes and cheese in ziplock baggie. I tried to make relative equal proportions of cheese and tomatoes
    3) Pour in some olive oil (amount is your preference- I like enough to coat everything with just a little leftover at the bottom)
    4) Salt and sprinkle oregano to taste
    5) Seal bag and mix all ingredients together
    6) EAT!!!!

    I find it to be very delicious AND filling. Also it is convenient enough to make that it is a good camping food as well!

  2. Vicky said, on October 17, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Oh yeah– here is a picture of the finished product:

    I eat it right out of the ziplock bag.

  3. […] 17, 2008 Today on Stacy’s blog he links to an article that shares some “one-pot meals” for under $10. Since I’ve […]

  4. Stacy McMahon said, on October 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Sweet, I’m definitely going to try the ziplock bag meal! I might microwave it though – we tend to prefer our meals warm – and I’m thinking it would be perfect over either pita or a toasted sub roll…

  5. tgaw said, on October 17, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    @Stacy McMahon – Huh. I never thought about that– but you may be on to something!!!

    It’s not a any pot meal– but hummus on pita bread with cherry tomatoes and baby spinach is also easy and delicious. (And coincidentially good hiking meals)

  6. Carolyn said, on October 18, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    I have a one-pot meal too.

    For meat-balls
    3-5 lbs frozen cooked small meatballs (Costco has a 6-lb bag of frozen meatballs)
    1 32oz jar grape jelly
    2 12 oz jars chili sauce (such as Heinz Chili Sauce)
    1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

    Throw it all together in a crock-pot for 4 hours on low.

    This was my boss’s recipe, and I had to borrow my coworker’s crockpot to make it for a potluck. But it turned out to be easy and delicious.

  7. Carolyn said, on October 18, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Ack, I meant to also add that the grape jelly part surprised me, but it worked well.

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