Quit Yer Whinging!

I have *no* sympathy for the US automotive industry whining that it cannot possibly make the "large cars that Americans have come to expect" and meet the fuel efficiency standards presently being proposed by Congress. First of all, Americans need to quit expecting to drive land yachts. We got away from driving them during the 1970s fuel shortages. We can get away from driving them now. Furthermore, the fuel efficiency requirements in Europe and China are much more stringent that those being proposed by Congress, yet the big three auto makers seem to be able to compete just fine in that market.

Here's a bit of trivia: China has better fuel efficiency requirements than the US, despite having not really having an automotive market until the past ten years. I find that embarassing. This little upstart country showing the US up like that. Too bad there isn't a way to shame the US auto makers into doing better.

Other Congress Critter news:
Bob Corker complained that the proposed rewards for renewable energy sources would penalize the south since they haven't got any renewable energy sources. Let's think about that, shall we? First, let's consider what some of the renewable energy sources are: biodiesel, ethanol (made from corn or switch grass), wind, solar energy, hydroelectricity, landfill gas. I can personally assure you that there is indeed wind and sun in Tennessee, despite what Mr. Corker says. I drive past several hundred acres of corn each day as well and I know for a fact that there are at least a few ethanol production plants in this state, though they primarily produce ethanol of the drinking variety. I wonder if those companies might be interested in multi-tasking should there be some profit involved.

Methinks Mr. Corker doth protest too much. I suspect that there is considerable special interest lobbying going on. There are a number of coal mines in this state and I imagine they aren't keen on seeing other energy industries being rewarded with tax breaks. Too bad they can't get their facts straight or at least get Mr. Corker to speak more accurately.

Vegetable Bounty
I'm being overrun with veggies. I have almost a dozen zucchini and half a dozen cucumbers now, plus two cups of green beans and two freezer bags full of lettuces. I'm very nearly self-sufficient with regard to lunch and dinner at the moment. All I lack are tomatoes and sweet peppers to make a killer salad.

As you can tell from the blossoms in the picture, I won't be running out of zucchini any time soon. I'll take some of the zucchini to work since some of my co-workers said they'd like some. I don't know that I'll be as generous with the tomatoes once they ripen. I know it's not nice, but I'm going to hoard them, with the exception of taking a couple of them in to Marsha since she asked very nicely if I could bring her a few tomatoes several months ago.

Today's driving lesson:
It is apparently against local custom to stop for the yellow left turn arrow, even if there is oncoming traffic entering the intersection. Or at least the driver behind me who honked repeatedly seemed to think it was a bad idea. This may explain why his SUV has dents in the side and my little car has none.

Fun at Work:
The decision was made today to reformat my computer at work. The Windows Updates aren't automatically installing themselves, so the computer guy decided that was the solution. It's a good thing that I have a laptop or I wouldn't be able to work at all. I'm going to laugh if the re-installation of the world doesn't actually fix the problem. I did make a complete backup of all the data I have prior to turning over the machine to computer guy.

A co-worker who is normally quite fashionable might have been featured as a Fashion Don't. The outfit included a pair of black leggings, white t-shirt and a short baby doll style dress. The impression I had was of a 1980s era hooker. I am positive that wasn't the look for which she was striving.

I think I tried applying logic to my co-workers again today. We need to file some paperwork on an infectious disease case, but we are missing some of the necessary information. Co-worker A called to request this information. She also indicated that she needed information on some other cases. She was told to make a list of everything that was needed and to send it along. Co-worker A spent almost an hour telling anybody who would listen that it was impossible to do the paperwork filing without the information she wanted and seemed shocked that she was told she would be given the information if she would only tell them what she wanted. I was really confused by her irritation. They told her they'd send her what she wanted if she'd tell them what it was. How is that *not* cooperating? I don't get it.

In other news, the Defense Intelligence Agency is looking for scientists with an infectious disease background again. :o)

Weather Blues
I hope it rains tonight. It's cooled off nicely. The high temps have been in the 90s lately and the humidity in the evenings has led me to keep the windows closed at night. We are presently experiencing the driest weather on record. I've been watering my flowers, the new shrubs and the veggies. The grass/weeds in the yard are on their own. The good news about not watering the lawn is that it's also not growing very much so the mowing frequency is once a week or less. I miss having the windows open at night.

A Musing on Men and Their Behavior
A few postings ago, I mentioned a conversation I had with a male friend after I had made a comment that he hadn't answered the phone because he'd been on a hot date. He called to tell me he couldn't have been on a hot date because he's got a fiancee and didn't I know that? In previous conversations in person he'd been extremely flirtatious and told me several times that I'm very attractive. Apparently since he was out of town (thus away from the fiance), he felt free to call me and to flirt. He also called me on my personal cell phone while he was traveling to chit-chat. I was mostly interested in getting to know him better and building a friendship since we have a number of interests in common. I suspect that I won't hear from him again now that he's back home. Question: If it's not acceptable behavior when you're home, why would it be acceptable behavior when you're traveling? Isn't it still bad/inappropriate behavior regardless of your current location and the proximity to your fiancee?

I find these discrepancies in behavior to be interesting, infuriating and confusing. When I was growing up, I was too unattractive for anybody to ask me out (or so I was told). Now I'm too attractive to be friends. Of course, I'm also too independent and intimidating to actually date. But the whole concept of "behave inappropriately around females while away from the significant other" is a strange one to me. If the behavior is inappropriate while the SO is right there, why would it be ok if s/he were never to find out about it? In my personal code of ethics, there is no difference. I should (and do) behave as though my SO were always there. If something I do would hurt my SO if they knew about it, why would I do it? I guess it's another example of how I think differently from other people.


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