Archive for the Personal Category

Audience Participation Time II — Help Choose My New Car

Posted in Personal with tags , , , , on February 25, 2011 by thelasthonestman

So this is what my wife and I have been reduced to on the road.  My wife’s car, a Ford Escort bought back in 1999, has well over 200,000 miles on it.  The engine was replaced a couple of years ago on the relative cheap, and while the vehicle is still running well enough — for now — it’s evident that this car is on borrowed time.  My own car, a 1996 Ford Mustang, has only a little more than 73,000 miles showing on its dashboard — of course, that’s more a result of a broken odometer than it is a lack of use.

Which all means that it’s finally time for us to buy a new car.  With my wife driving an hour to work every day, and with gas prices continuing to rise to obscene levels, fuel economy is probably going to be the number one priority when we choose our new vehicle.  With that in mind, we have some choices that have come immediately to the forefront at we begin our search.

Chevrolet Cruze Eco

The Chevrolet Cruze Eco would be our first choice if we had to make it today, though it’s no slam dunk.  What we like about the car is the outstanding gas mileage (42 mpg on the highway), its top-ranked safety ratings, and the good reviews we’ve read on it.  Plus, my wife likes the way it looks.  Also on the radar is the Ford Fusion, which gives us a couple of options itself (the S version which gets slightly better mileage than what my wife’s current car does, or the Hybrid which gets even better).  And then there’s the Toyota Prius, which get the best mileage of all of them — but which has been described in some reviews I’ve read as handling like a “toaster” on the road.

We’re not locked into just these options, but they seem to be the best candidates so far.  So who out there has some suggestions for me?  Chime in with your opinions in the comments about these three options as well as any suggestions you might have.

Flu 1, The Last Honest Man 0

Posted in Boxing, Personal, Sports with tags , , , , on February 22, 2011 by thelasthonestman

So it’s been a while — and so much for that Super Bowl pick from me you were doubtlessly waiting on (for the record, I was going with the Pack).  So what happened for the last couple of weeks?

The flu — and a terrible case of it.  I ran a fever for more than a week, a fever that got close to 105 at times and made me feel — well — pretty much as bad as I’ve felt in a long time.  At my worst, I felt like Marvis Frazier facing off against Mike Tyson back in the day.

What was worse, I tried to work through it at first — and let’s just say that my strategy didn’t work out so well.  It took me two weeks to feel anything close to better, and even now, I’m still coughing stuff up from my lungs.  Bleh.

Needless to say, I fell behind on everything — including updating here — as getting through each day while sick was about the only thing on my mind lately.  As I’m trying to catch up on everything else — work, home stuff, my upcoming fantasy baseball drafts, etc. — I’ll also try to catch up here as well, so thanks for being patient.   And stay away from the flu — you’ll be glad you did.

Happy New Year!

Posted in Personal on January 1, 2011 by thelasthonestman

Happy New Year to all the readers of The Last Honest Man!   Enjoy a safe holiday and here’s to a great 2011 for everyone!

Merry Christmas!

Posted in Personal on December 25, 2010 by thelasthonestman

From me to everyone out there reading, I hope you and yours have a safe and joyous Christmas holiday.

Weekend Quickies

Posted in College Basketball, College Football, Comic Books, Entertainment, Movies, News/Current Events, Personal, Sports, The Wrapups with tags , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2010 by thelasthonestman

It’s a hit-and-run update this weekend (but thankfully not like the hit-and-run my wife suffered earlier in the week), as my personal schedule gets a little tighter — though I’m not going to complain about the reason.  I’m one of the lucky ones out there, as I’ve just picked up some supplemental income in the form of a new job.  That makes me one of the fortunate ones in a country where unemployment is now sitting at just under 10% and where unemployment is at a seven-month high — even as we’re smack dab in the middle of what’s supposed to be the biggest retail time of the year.

The Economy will be fine! We're going to recover any day now! Nothing to see here! Nothing to see!

It’s not just retailers shedding jobs, however — industry, financial institutions, and the government are all cutting their workforce — which makes some of the people making claims that we’re entering a recovery look about as clueless as the late Leslie Nielsen telling us there’s “nothing to see here.”  We’re a long way from getting to where we want to economically, and so long as our Congress continues to work in their own self-interests (and the self-interests of the people supporting their re-election bids) and we continue to ignore the problems that aren’t going away — the deficit, a loss of our manufacturing base, and the lack of creating new technologies to spur new industries, just for starters — then we’re going to continue heading in the wrong direction.

— Speaking of the deficit, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that while people being polled these days are in favor or cutting the deficit, viewing it (correctly) as a major problem our country is facing — they largely want the deficit to be slashed while not touching the programs that are important to them.  Well, of course.  It’s that kind of narrow thinking — and a belief of entitlement that our parents and grandparents never had, but that current generations have come to embrace — that’s led us into the quagmire we’re in now.  And unless everyone is prepared to ante up in the form of sacrificing something, then the problem won’t ever get fixed — until as a nation we find ourselves truly looking into the abyss (cue ominous music).

— I saw a large uptick in the traffic here over the last week, and a large part of it were people being drawn to the site searching for Jimmy Valvano-related items.  Jimmy V Week just ended, and for those of you who somehow aren’t familiar with the story, The Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and the late coach Jimmy Valvano.  Over it’s over 18 years, the foundation has raised over $100 million for cancer research.  I wrote a piece about it last year around this time that included Valvano’s inspirational speech from the 1993 ESPY awards — yow owe it to yourself to listen to it if you’ve never heard it (and even if you already have).  Click here for the piece.

"Someday, the Heisman Trophy Club will just pretend I never got this."

— As we head into the weekend and the announcement of the Heisman Trophy winner on Saturday, my friend Steven pointed me over to direction of the Heisman Trophy Winners list at the official Heisman Trophy website — for a good chuckle (and once you’ve finished marveling at the days when players from Army, Yale, and Princeton could actually win he award) scan to end of the list and to the winners of this past decade.  See anyone missing?

While we’re at it, maybe we can take bets on whether or not Cam Newton will be conspicuously absent from the list as well in another five or six years.  If I had to guess, Vegas has that result off the board.

— And finally, the trailer for the new movie from Marvel Studios — Thor (based on the comic book hero of the same name) debuts today (at 6:00 PT).  All I can say is that, if the footage I saw that was leaked a few months ago is any indication, Marvel is hitting it out of the park again so far as their adaptations go.  With the Captain America and Avengers movies forthcoming, it’s a great time to be a comic book fan!

As soon as the trailer is available, I’ll try to get it up here — so check back later tonight!

— With that, I hope everyone has a great weekend — and I’ll see you back here next week.

Showing A Complete Disregard For Safety Behind The Wheel

Posted in Personal, Rants with tags , , , on December 6, 2010 by thelasthonestman

Nothing good comes from a phone call at seven in the morning.

When the phone rang this morning at a little bit past seven this morning, I knew it was trouble.

No one calls me that early.  Frankly, no one calls anyone that early, usually — unless there’s a problem.  When I glanced to my cell phone and saw it was my wife, I was definitely concerned.  I had just talked to her when she’d left the house for work a half an hour or so earlier, and she normally doesn’t call to chat on the way to work so that she doesn’t run her cell phone battery down (and so she can keep it charged for her drive home).  So while I didn’t know what was wrong, I knew something was definitely amiss.

Unfortunately, I was right.  She was calling me to tell me she was in an auto accident, her second in less than a week.

Neither wreck was her fault — not that it matters much.  The first accident happened last week when she was rear-ended on the interstate driving home by a young woman who’d fallen asleep at the wheel. Thankfully, my wife had spotted the woman’s car coming up quickly in her rear view mirror, and she sped up as she approached.  Her quick reactions minimized the initial contact, and the jolt was enough to wake the sleeping driver.  Both my wife and the woman were able to control their cars, and neither were hurt, while the damage to both autos was minimal.

Gasoline trucks are EVIL.

Today while driving to work this morning, my wife was hit again on the interstate — this time she was rear-ended by a large truck (one of those huge gas/flammable liquid trucks — think Stephen Spielberg’s Duel, just less dirty).  The truck pushed up behind her from her right, sliding into her lane and ramming her in the rear.  It crushed the back end of her car and then — the driver fucking sped off!  He didn’t stop to see if she was all right, he didn’t even so much as slow down apparently.  He certainly could have killed my wife if things had gone worse,  and he could have killed any number of other people on the highway with them if the accident had turned into something larger (my wife was able to somehow control her car enough to keep it from spinning while getting it off to the shoulder and out of further harm’s way).  But apparently he didn’t care one stinking iota about anything other than keeping his sorry carcass out of trouble or his time schedule from being delayed.  It’s possible that, due to the nature of the jobs, it’s possible that the truck driver, like the other woman in the first accident, may have been asleep at the wheel — while that might give him an excuse as to why the accident happened, it certainly doesn’t excuse his fleeing the scene.

Meanwhile, while my wife subsequently got a description of the truck and the driver to the police, she was unable to get the plate number (it’s hard to do when you’re fighting to keep your car from wiping out).   But at least there were people who stopped to help her when she was shaking — terrified — in her smashed-up vehicle, and there were people who called the police themselves when they saw the accident happen and reported the driver.   Oh, wait — I forgot — none of that happened either.  No one else stopped or called or anything.  What a wonderful world we live in.

At the end of the day — what’s most important is that my wife is safe (she’s suffering from a sore neck, but she’s otherwise okay — and it could have been a whole lot worse).   But I’m still ticked at that driver and the fact that he’s probably going to get away with what he did.   Maybe next time, the people whose lives he’s ignoring as he barrels on recklessly away from a wreck won’t be as lucky as she was.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in Personal on November 25, 2010 by thelasthonestman

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone reading here!  May you and your families have a safe, wonderful holiday.