Sunday, September 12, 2010

3000 mile oil changes are bullshit

Penn and Teller ought to do a show just on this. Ok, maybe not. This article I saw online today was only news to me in the sense that most "news" is news - that it was reported, not that it was known.

I have been driving since I was 16 years old (really, a little before that, but only in Driver's Ed). In all that time, I have NEVER gotten an oil change more often than about 7500 miles - and usually less often than that. And I've never had any issues. Now, perhaps this is because of the cars I have driven - all Hondas - but I think it is true of most cars. Getting an oil change more often than that is just a waste of oil and a waste of money. I've known this for over 20 years and I am someone who knows next to nothing about cars.

My car's manual (I have a Honda Civic, 1998) indicates regular maintenance every 7500 miles. I figure they are conservative, so I stretch it out to about 8000 miles or so. My car runs great and has never had any problems. I just take it to the dealer every 8000 or so miles and let them do whatever is next on the schedule. That is also the only way I ever get any oil changed.

So here's a great money saving tip for anyone who doesn't know - change your oil every 8000 miles or so - really, do what the article says and look up the information for your particular car.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

News is Depressing

There are so many things depressing about the news these days, it is even depressing to get the news from the Daily Show.

Obama has gotten fewer judges confirmed than pretty much any president. And like a good, wimpy, worthless Democrat, he's done nothing to push the issue and there's nothing in the news about it other than an occasional, isolated article. Of course, all of the Republicans who were panting and screaming about how it is unconstitutional to stop judges from getting up or down votes when Bush was in office are silent and given a free pass from the media, as they always do.

The GOP is also given a pass on all of the crazy shit they say - look at the Governor in, what was it, Arkansas? Who blew the debate and said crazy shit about headless bodies in the desert and she feels free to just walk away from reporters and ignore any questions about it - because the crazy-ass GOP voters will vote for her anyway. Hell, they are probably MORE likely to vote for her.

Meanwhile, Democrats, afraid of their own shadows, cave in at every turn and even look like they will vote for extending the tax cuts for the rich, cuts we can't afford. Of course, all of the GOP shouts about the deficit leave out the cost of extending those tax cuts for the rich, and again, they get a free pass to say whatever the fuck they want to say, facts be damned.

I ought to run for office - as a Republican - just to see how much crazy shit I can say and get away with. The Right-Wing media machine will give me tons of free press. And I won't have to worry about any opposing media machine to counter any crazy shit I say. If a Dem says something even non-crazy and true, it will get distorted and trumped up to the worst thing imaginable by the right-wing noise machine, which is then picked up by all of the MSM. But if you are a Republican, well, say whatever you want. You won't get nary a peep from the media criticising you, and you'll get free interviews on Fox Noise.

Someone just shoot me now.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Over the past few months I've played in two different Pathfinder games, and I have to say, I'm impressed. I really like the Pathfinder rules and I like what they've done to the base classes, adding interesting little tidbits to them and also taking the tidbits they already had and making them better.

It feels like I'm playing a whole new edition, though it is really very close to 3.5 - 3.75 they call it. And it feels like playing Dungeons and Dragons. Which, sad to say, 4E D&D simply did not.

At this point, Wizards/Hasbro would have to do quite a number with a 5E to bring me back. Given where they've gone, it seems terribly unlikely. So it looks like, to me, Dungeons and Dragons now is officially a Paizo product. I know, they don't have that name, but they have its spirit. Hasbro foolishly gave it up to make something that simply isn't D&D.

In the meanwhile, I can't wait to play more Pathfinder. Right now, I'm playing a fighter in one game and a Paladin in another. It would be interesting to try a spellcaster next, though that may be a while, since these other games are just getting started. I've even been inspired enough to start doing writeups again, though I'll have to see how long that lasts. It does take a long time to do. I'm doing it for the Paladin. I'm having quite a bit of fun with him. Bjorn Skaarsgard the Just. Maybe I'll post a link to my writeups for him here.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Social Security SOLVED

Since cutting taxes apparently increases revenue, according to the GOP, I have the simple solution to our Social Security funding crises - we cut the social security tax. Since cutting increases revenue, we should maximize this by cutting it from what it is now (what, 7.5% or something like that) to 0.1%. That should solve the crises forever - after all, cutting taxes by like 99% we should see revenue collected increase by 99%, right?

But we should write into that law a failsafe - that if the revenue actually does not go up, we cover any shortfall with an increase in the capital gains tax sufficient to cover it - no matter how high it may need to be. The GOP should, of course, agree to this immediately, because, after all, if tax cuts increase revenue, this failsafe would never actually need to kick in, right?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Best Description Ever of Why it is Pointless to Debate Theists about Atheism

Larry has outdone himself - after ten years of attempting to debate and really understand and reason with the theists, he has figured out there is no point in doing so because they fundamentally have no interest in facts or reason, nor do they want to admit that this is so. But don't read my paraphrase - get it from the source.

I'd have to say that the only reason I would try to engage the ridiculous theist arguments now would be to answer questions for my children - to hopefully steer them into rational territory and keep them out of the coral reef full of bullshit that is religious thought.