August 27th, 2009

wombat

I Can Haz Legacy

Well, after dithering about how I was going to do this, I wound up taking the Sportage in to the Kia dealer where I'd had the starter replaced and the turn signals (briefly) repaired for its annual inspection. They'd been tinkering with it since 1300 when one of the service managers came out and offered me a loaner, with the implication that the mechanics had no idea WTF and wouldn't be finishing today. Which is no big deal since the windshield also needs to be replaced because it's broken like this, which is not okay, and not like that, which would be acceptable. No, I don't get it either, but it's the LAW. So anyway, they sent me home with a Subaru Legacy loaner, which is kind of like the Optima I had last time except with more bells & whistles and a really odd transmission that lets you decide whether you want to shift your own gears or let the slushbox automagically handle that. As God is my witness, I spent fifteen minutes studying the owner's manual and still managed to miss that until I pulled into a parking lot to find out why the damn thing wouldn't shift out of first gear at 5000 RPM. Curse you, overly clever designers of the Master Race, CURSE YOU!!! *SHAKES FIST*

In other news, the employment commission sent me a fresh copy of my monetary determination letter, which I will now wave at the VA so they'll get off my bozack about the copays I can't afford. Also, syringes arrived just in time for the weekend, which is one less thing I have to worry about.

It's Old But It's Good Department: Samuel E. Morison (Rear Admiral, USNR, Retired, RIP) was a great historian, of a sort not often seen these days*, and towards the end of his life he started a massive opus, The European Discovery of America, of which he only finished two volumes before relocating to Hy-Brasil in 1976. The first volume covered the Northern Voyages from 500-1600, and includes a couple of truly amusing chapters on mythical islands of the Atlantic (some of which persisted on maps well into the 19th century) and silly claims by various people whose national heroes allegedly preceded Columbus to the New world, including Welsh (who became Mandans, allegedly), Norsemen - this part includes a hearty slap at the Kensington Runestone- and other ethnic nuttiness. I can't recommend this book strongly enough.

Old Wine, New Bottles Department: Study shows rooftop solar more lethal on a per-terawatt basis than Chernobyl. Petr Beckmann did this for you in 1976, guys. About time you caught up.

*Which is to say, readable - something Morison complains about in the foreword.