Friday, March 18, 2005

Random Thought Polymorphous Carnival Cavalcade Roundup Rodeo

Just a couple of things I must say, so you'll know somebody still lives and writes here.

The Persistent Source of Irritation Award for this month goes to news coverage of the most recent spike in gasoline prices. People are reporting on this as if it was the result of ciorcumstances beyond human control, and all the while ignoring a couple of facts I find highly pertinent.
  • Large gas-squandering vehicles are more popular than ever, boosting consumer demand. So according to the "law of supply and demand," the combination first amendment and first commandment of the Capitalist faith, SUV drivers are partly if not largely to blame for the current state of affairs. Car dealers and manufacturers are big sponsors of news media in all its forms, so this is maybe not so surprising.

  • Oil company profits are up. Way up. That resolves the mystery of where much of the increase we pay at the pump is going. Oil companies are also big sponsors of news, so don't hold your breath waiting for this point to crop up. You may have to do a little digging on the internet to even confirm that this is the case. At any rate, if you see or hear anything that sounds like an oil company implying that they're feeling a squeeze between consumers and the oil-producing countries, you'll know they're blowing smoke.
In other news: Super-cool freeware for writers RoughDraft has a new beta version out. I'm hoping to play around with it some more and see what it can do. If you are a writer looking for a handy toolbox, you should check it out.

Gratification Further Delayed Department: Our new copy of The Incredibles on DVD has a glitch on it, and will have to be exchanged. Blast. Thank goodness the store we bought it from is four minutes away instead of forty. By the way, there are separate fullscreen and widescreen editions for sale. The store had the fullscreen version playing on their TVs, and it's one of the worst things I've ever seen. It looks like they squeezed the picture horizontally to fit most of it in, and the result is jarringly bad, like watching a widescreen DVD with the player on the wrong settings for the TV it's hooked to. I have been told that some people don't notice the difference, but it gives me vertigo. Buyer beware.


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