enraging enron

Political Music of the Moment
Eron's Got The Power...those recent taped Enron-daming phonecalls set against Snaps "I Got The Power".

Geek Link of the Moment
Slashdot linked to a look back at "The Mythical Man Month", one of THE most important works in computer engineering even though it was written like 30 years ago...the article shows what's aged well, and what hasn't. That book gave us ideas like "Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later."

Reminds me of my other current favorite "The first 90% of a project takes 10% of the time. The last 10% takes 90% of the time, too."

Car Thoughts of the Moment
So I'm getting closer to make a decision about a car, I think. Interestingly the top contender has changed... I test drove a Scion xA the other day. Unlike its more popular brother, the uberboxy xB, its design really appeals to me, strong-looking without being overbearing. Scion is a new division of Toyota, just Honda has Accord and Toyota also has Lexus, but geared for 20-somethings. It is a little odd to me that the most appealing car is actually cheaper than the one I bought 8 years ago, but still...it's modern euro in styling, and I've always liked the "miniminivan" hatchback look (I actually looked at getting an Eagle Summit back in 1996, but I doubt it would have lasted as well as the Civic hatchback has.) For worse or probably better, Scions are "no haggle" set priced, like Saturns.

The MINI Cooper is still a posibility. It has a "ooh I wanna see that" factor that chicks might dig, and Scion is still in the "what's a Scion" stage (and with much more attention being paid to the other two models.) But Mike cautioned me about the reliability of MINIs, and Consumer Reports says they're the pits in terms of problems so far. (Scion is too new to have data on, but given how well the other Toyotas rank, I wouldn't be too worried.) Another advantage the xB has is having 4 doors plus the hatch...I don't drive groups a lot, but if I got a MINI...the leg room for people sitting in the back is just cruel and unusual.

Other cars I've thought about: the Toyota Prius is a decent idea, but the styling is too "space buggy" looking for me. I think in general I like hatchbacks: some cargo ability, but it's still a car, as opposed to even those small little SUVs. (I've come to realize that, just like a felt like a goon for being a single guy in a whole house, driving to work in what wants to be a truck feels wasteful as well.) I've thought about some other vehicles: Consumer Reports loves the Ford Focus, but I guess I don't get good vibes from American cars. I even toyed with a Jeep Wrangler, but, besides feeling a little like a poser for having such an outdoorsy thing, it's not recommended as a great highway vehicle.

I also glanced at a nice used car place. Eh, my instincts are saying new will be better.

Ultimately, of course, this is my decision to make and live with (and I am getting better at getting the gumption to make big decisions and accepting that the responsibility is all mine, and that I'm not a terrible person if I do make some dumb moves.) Still, I'm glad Mike pointed out the MINI's possible issues...so I gotta ask...if the main reason I'd be getting a MINI Cooper over a Scion xB is because I think chicks are more likely to dig it...is that likely to be a big factor in those crucial first impressions women will make about me? Could my appreciation of oddball car design hurt my potential dating life? (Yeah, yeah, anyone I'd want to get serious with wouldn't care about that, blah blah...but I mean really...)