Friday, March 06, 2009

What I drove: Subaru Legacy

I never thought much about Subarus. Mostly, when I thought of a Subaru I would remember that my 4th-grade teacher drove a Subaru Brat and there was a car-care commercial way back when that had a lady saying, "Whoopdidoo for my Subaru!" (I think it was for Simonize or some such product. See how well advertising works?)

After driving the Forrester a few months back and the Legacy just last week, I'm thinking about Subarus a lot more -- and in a highly positive light. They're nice looking cars (the exception, in my opinion, is the Tribeca that went from weird looking when it was introduced to bland now) and they're not as pricey as I once thought.

The Legacy I drove came in at $22,960, with some nice options, like a moonroof and an upgraded sound system. There are plenty of cars cheaper than that, but only a few that also offer all-wheel drive and the Subaru reliability. The salesman I talked to told me that 95 percent of the Subarus registered in the past 10 years are still on the road. "You can't kill them," he said.

After being bored with the last few vehicles I've test driven, it was nice to get into a car that offered some excitement. The Legacy I drove was equipped with a 2.5-liter, SOHC, aluminum-alloy, 16-valve, horizontally opposed, four-cylinder Subaru Boxer engine that pumps out 170 horsepower. You can opt instead for a turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder or a beefy 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine. The six-cylinder will give you an additional 75 horsepower over the test vehicle.

To quote myself:
"The Legacy zips along with a quiet, comfortable ride. It handles twists and turns like a sure-footed Bighorn sheep. The Legacy — like a Bighorn — seems to have been built specifically for Colorado terrain and weather."

Thursday, March 05, 2009

In other news

Here's a dose of doggy for your Thursday morning.


During a moment of panic, in an act of desperation, I sent a resume off to a small newspaper more than 100 miles south of home. I was qualified for the job, but never really thought I'd get it. So I never really considered what I would do if they contacted me. Imagine my surprise when this morning -- nearly nine month later, mind you -- I received an answer:
"If you are still looking for a newspaper reporter position, please let me know."
It seems the newspaper I applied to is part of a much larger parent company, so this person could be looking for reporters for any number of cities. It could be quite an opportunity. However, (being the grumpy skeptic that I am) I have a few problems with the situation.
  • I'm not really keen on relocating. The house is almost perfect now, and I like the town where I live.
  • I like being a freelancer (even if I need to be more ambitious about it) and working for the Literacy Center part time.
  • I'm not really a "newspaper reporter" and never really was.*
  • It's been nine freaking months since I sent this resume. Do they think I was just sitting around waiting for them to reply to me? I have a lot going on -- this blog, for instance. Do they think I can just drop everything because they call? Well, do they?
I'm thinking of replying, asking what the job is, where, the pay, etc. I can't imagine I'll want to pack up and move for it, but it can't hurt to ask, right?

* I'm more of a writer. And that's not
just semantics. The articles I write are more along the lines of feature stories that don't involve tracking down leads or investigative reporting. Interviews I do tend to be with experts in their field. I've never had to talk to a parent who was mourning a lost child or holler at a corrupt politician for a sound bite.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Why I need a hippo

Apparently their arms are quite comforting.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Today's weather: What the heck?

It's freaking March, and I'm not wearing a coat, nor a jacket, not even a long-sleeve t-shirt. To friends and family east of the Mississippi, I'm sorry. If it makes you feel any better, this warm dry weather means much of the area is under a Red Flag Warning. In fact, I can see the smoke from an area wildfire from here.


Do you Twitter? Are you on Facebook (or some other networking site)? How out of touch am I?

Just the other night a friend asked if I Twitter. I felt so out of touch admitting that I don't. But hey! I have a blog. I was assured that Twitter is the wave of the future. Also, that I would connect with more people on Facebook. Knowing that less than a dozen people actually read my blog, maybe I should be trying some of these new-fangled thingies. On the other hand, I may just be "(a rotting corpse), grabbing for any glimmer of relevance."

Monday, March 02, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss was born this day in 1904. Here's a goofy little something in honor of his birthday.

Dreams fed from stories told.
Lessons taught to young and old.
Dust specks saved from boiling oil.
Nature's gifts we shouldn't spoil.
A Grinchy heart went up a size.
Your stories still can mesmerize.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss.
Imaginations, you set loose.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

What I read: "The Beast in the Garden" by David Baron

I read "The Beast in the Garden: A Modern Parable of Man and Nature" by David Baron for a book club I was recently invited to join. It's not a book I would typically read -- I gravitate toward fiction almost exclusively. It was a difficult read. Although the book is only 240 pages long, I took almost two weeks to get through it.

It's difficult in part because the subject matter hits close to home -- quite literally. The book tells the story of Boulder residents in the late 1980s who are besieged by hungry mountain lions -- mountain lions who have become so bold as to grab pets from enclosed pens and off of decks. The tale culminates with the killing of an 18-year-old man by a mountain lion.

The book covers the history of the founding and taming of the Front Range, then goes on to explain the conflicts between the wild world and civilization, between the Old West and the New West. Boulderites suffered inner conflicts over living with wildlife. There are sacrifices to be made in keeping the wilderness wild, and the book makes a good show of covering both sides.

The author obviously cares about nature and mountain lions, and I don't have a problem with that. We moved into the lions' space, removed their natural predators (wolves), encouraged their natural prey (deer) and allowed them to get used to having us around. It's an interesting subject, combined with a rich history of the state of Colorado. However, Baron's almost clinical descriptions of dogs being eaten and humans being stalked and attacked left me cold.