Starry Wisdom

Entropic Words from Neilathotep

Monday, March 29, 2004


I am currently at a cafe called “Douce France” in Palo Alto. I came here beause they have free wireless internet. I see several other people here with laptops, several of them obviously with wireless cards. I wonder how many people come here BECAUSE of the free wireless. Probably more than enough to pay for their networking costs. I’m bringing this up becuase I read an article last week about T-Mobile’s hotspots, and how little money they pull in. Is it any wonder, when they are charging $10 a day a-la-carte to use their network? Lots of the wireless businesses are stupid, but the companies that contract out their wireless to greedy ones like T-Mobile are dumber.

posted by neil at 10:05 am
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Sunday, March 28, 2004

Them Crazy Gernans

Look what they came up with!

posted by neil at 10:43 pm
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Friday, March 26, 2004


I had to work very early this morning, so I came home early. And then I took an almost three hour nap. I woke up at 8:15 and if it wasn’t dark outside I would have sworn it was am not pm. I was very confused.

Only about 515 miles to go until I can floor my new car! So far I’ven ever pushed the gas pedal down more than an inch, and it’s been really responsive. Maybe I’ll never need to floor it. Yeah right.

I thought I had more random stuff to say, but I guess I don’t.

posted by neil at 10:03 pm
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Saturday, March 20, 2004

New Car

I finally got the new car.

You can see pictures of it here.

posted by neil at 6:12 pm
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Wednesday, March 17, 2004


I just sent a fax requesting bids to 10 Subaru dealers. Let’s see what they send me back!

posted by neil at 9:35 pm
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Monday, March 15, 2004


This weekend we went to visit my friend Pete and see his “new condo.” He moved in about 9 months ago, so it’s not really new, but I had only seen it once before, soon after he moved in, and Erin and Adam hadn’t seen it at all.

We also went out to the coast, to Bodega bay. Here are some pictures that I took from some cliffs:

We went down to the beach after this, and then we went to the Armstrong Woods and saw some 1000 year old redwoods. Unfortunately my battery ran out and I didn’t bring my spare along. We got some pictures with Erin’s APS camera, but those can’t be posted until she finishes the roll and gets them developed :(.

After the woods, we went to a place called “Mom’s Apple Pie” in some little town in the Russian River Valley. We bought a pie which we took back to Pete’s, and had it for for dessert after our dinner. The pie was damn good!

posted by neil at 11:34 pm
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Sunday, March 7, 2004

Carmageddon 2004

Today was the day of Carmageddon 2004. My friend Adam and I went to 6 car dealerships today. Why? Well, we are both in the market to get a new car, me in the the shorter term, him in the next few months. And we decided to check a bunch of things out, because well, it’s sort of fun. Here is a rundown of where we went and what we drove.

We started out at Honda, as Adam is interested in the Element. I should mention that Adam is quite tall and that there are many cars that he can’t drive realistically, as either he just doesn’t fit, or his eyes are over the windshield. Anyway, the Element happens to be a car that suits him in that respect. We saw one at the SF auto show back in November and we decided that it was really pretty neat on the inside, even if it looks like a lunchbox. I really can’t get over the styling, but Adam has evidently. Anyway, we test drove one and it drives ok, pretty much like a CRV. No surprise there. All-in-all the Honda dealership was an OK experience, they didn’t pressure us too much into buying a car that day, and such.

Next we went to Ford. As you probably know, I hate Ford. Adam has it in his mind that he might want an Escape, however. Well, this Ford dealership was dorky, and they didn’t seem to want to show us one without a Sunroof, or really show us one other than the floor model. The salesguy just kept talking about financing, and tried to talk Adam into an Explorer. We soon left, none-to-soon in my opinion.

Then it was down the road to a Jeep dealership, after a stop at 7-11 for some Gatorade. We wanted to try out the Liberty, mostly for kicks. We talked the the salesman a bit, who was sort of aggressive even though we told him we in no way were going to buy a car that day. He had an appointment that came in though, so he asked if we could come back in a couple of hours an test drive one. We said OK, and drove off.

Next and best, in my opinion, was our stop at Subaru. Some of you know that I have been jonesing for the new Forester 2.5XT Turbo for the past few weeks. Well, today was the day that I finally got to try one, and I my jonesing was NOT misplaced. The salesman gave us a quick rundown, and told us that he was really impressed with the car, even though he likes to drive small zippy cars (probably like the STI, I guess). Anyway, he let us take the car out by ourselves, and just told us to be back in around 15 minutes. Yeah, he took our licenses and probably ran a credit check, but whatever! We zipped down the freeway and tooled around a parking lot. The car handles like a dream. It’s nominally an SUV, but it really is more like a car. It’s incredibly practical, but also fun. The turbo works very smoothly, the car turns like a dream. The interior is not luxurious, but it is very nice. The sunroof is amazing. This car is just great. We brought it back and had smiles on our faces that we quickly hid before talking to the salesguy. He was pretty laid back and no hassle really. I think I will at least try to let him sell me a car soon.

Then we went to Pontiac, which was relocated in a Cadillac dealer. Adam wanted to check out a Vibe. We spent 20+ minutes tooling around the floor model Vibe and none of the salesmen even acknowledged us. Probably don’t care on the low margin, low commission Vibe. Whatever. On the way out Adam said “Hey, is there a Pontiac dealer anywhere around here” to the lazy salesmen out front, and they looked a little embarrassed and showed us a Vibe on the lot but we didn’t press for a test drive. We just left in a guffaw, never to return.

We went back to Jeep, and we test drove the Liberty. It’s big car, and you can tell it while driving, but it handles pretty well. It certainly is no Forester though. It’s barely in the same class as Forester, CRV and RAV4. They call it is “small SUV”, but it isn’t. Still, it turned pretty quick… the salesman had me do half a donut near a little airport. Good times! He then tried to find out if there was anyway he could get one of us into a Liberty that day. NOPE!

Finally, after all that we went to… SCION. Why? Humor value. We cracked ourselves up on the way so that we could ask with a straight face if we could check out an xB. Well, we took one out and I have to say, I am not impressed. The ride was awful, you could feel every little pebble on the pavement. Also, that engine is just pathetic. Yeah, the car has traction control, ABS, etc, for $14,000, but you know, if it feels like you are driving in a crazy coupe on top of a rock pile, is that money well spent? Not in my head.

Overall it was a great day. Sunny, warm, perfect for driving around. I learned a lot, but mostly what I already knew… that I want a Subaru Forester XT.

posted by neil at 10:46 pm
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Monday, March 1, 2004


Looking to make an investment using borrowed money? How do these terms sound?

  • No Interest!
  • No application forms!
  • No credit checks!
  • Approval is automatic!
  • Borrow up to 40 percent of your pay each year!
  • Borrow until you retire!
  • No Repayment until you retire!

Sound too good to be true? Congress created this opportunity for those who qualify.* Don’t delay – borrow today.

* Available to executives, highly paid salespeople, movie stars and athletes under a 1974 federal law; sorry, but Congress says that no other Americans are eligible for these interest-free loans.

The above is from Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich – and Cheat Everybody Else from David Cay Johnston. Have a good day!

posted by neil at 8:08 pm
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