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Saturday, January 19, 2008

I Write Sins Not Tragedies

I expect you were waiting for another PERS post. Alas, there is nothing new to report aside from the hundreds of people appealing their PERS benefit adjustments and getting turned down for the same reasons. From the looks of the letters, PERS doesn't even have enough respect for us that they can write these form letters on actual stationery. For all I know, they are pre-written and one paragraph is added just to make it look personalized. I myself haven't gotten my appeal response, although it is approaching the 45-day mark. I expect my form letter will arrive real soon now. I'm still debating whether a contested case would be a useful thing to do. At least one attorney friend of mine has volunteered to do it for me on a pro bono basis, but I'm still not sure I'll go through with. I have some slim hope that Judge Kantor will get off his duff and issue an opinion soon - maybe even before I file my income taxes for this year.

While I tend to share relatively little personal information on *this* site, I've been trying to reduce my carbon footprint a bit. I drive a big SUV that gets crummy gas mileage. We can't afford to get rid of the car because we still need it for travel and for hauling the dog around. But I've decided to buy a new toy that gets far better gas mileage - 32 combined MPG - without purchasing an ugly hybrid (sorry Prius owners, but those cars have no style and I'm a stylin' kind of guy). So, yesterday I took the plunge and bought myself a new Mini Cooper. If I can figure out how to use the MiniUSA site to capture the image of *my* car, as configured, I'll post it. Like any fuel-efficient car, Mini's are not exactly plentiful on the lots these days. Mine is on order and won't be here until late March. I drove one for hours yesterday and I've never been in a 118 hp car with so much power and is so much fun to drive. Of course, it will be an utter pain in the rear on the Sunset Highway (26) at about 5 pm, but while I'm creeping along, I'll take comfort in the fact that the miles per gallon is an underestimate and that I won't be spewing out hydrocarbons costing me $3.25 or more per gallon for 15 miles per gallon. I'll try to figure out how to post a picture in case anyone cares. My daughter - 16 in April - is already pissed at me because I bought a manual transmission and I'm not going to teach her how to drive it right away. She can drive the car we've saved for her, poor mistreated child. Here's my soon-to-be gas-sipperMy Mini.jpg


akubra91 said...

I have a 2003 Cooper. It is fun to drive AND economical. 45k with nothing more than normal maintenance.
Good luck with it.

mrfearless47 said...

Thanks. Apparently quite of few readers own them and have had your experience. We have a BMW that has been trouble-free and it is the same dealer. The new ones come with 36K or 3 year $0 maintenance charges (everything from tires to windshield wiper blades) and a 50K mileage or 4 year warranty. I'm confident that this will be economical both in terms of cost and fuel economy. Now if I could only get the state to reconsider the stupidity of the 90:10 ethanol mix. Duh! Lower gas mileage = more fuel consumption for same miles driven. Not sure how this saves the environment or saves the hydrocarbons.