Wednesday, August 26, 2009


It was at a swank hotel in Portofino, Italy. I was about 13 years old. I don't remember the name of the place, but it's in all the pictures as it looks down on the harbor. Back then this hotel had an elevator operator. A UNIFORMED elevator operator. At the bottom floor, I caught him chatting up a woman - he had left his post in the elevator and was just around the corner. I snuck inside, closed the door, and took it to the roof, where I left it on manual control. I then ran back down the stairs to the ground floor and kept pushing the button, as if I knew nothing. The operator came around the corner only to find his elevator was missing!

It was a wonderful moment.

I also stole one on a ship, but I don't remember much about that one.

It only works when there's an operator. Sadly, opportunities are very rare these days.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


I didn't mean to get MYSELF a new phone, but for work, Terri needed to upgrade to a Blackberry so off to Verizon we went. There, on the wall, was a sign that said "Buy any phone get another one free" and somehow this related to the Blackberries. However, the clerk said no, we didn't qualify since we weren't at the end of our 2 year service agreement, and that buying the Blackberry would cost $430. We insisted that the sign was misleading, agreed that we might have to buy one outright since our term hadn't expired, but that should be a two-fer. He said no.

And so it went, back and forth.

The resolution: $250 total for two Blackberries, offset by two hundred dollar rebates.

You might think we WON big - and we did do considerably better than the way it looked initially, but they still will make about $840/yr in increased services to these two units so they can get email.

So I find myself in the new techworld - again.

Other than for voicework, where my agent must be able to reach me asap, I don't live a life where that immediate connection via email is crucial. Phone calls, yes; voicemail, yes. Texting or emails, I can wait until I am home at this keyboard. Or I could.

My hope is the thing has a better camera and better video than the last phone - that's where I am coming from. Too bad we don't have cows - I think this phone will do milking.

Yeah, those iPhones are way cool, but for $25, I'll use this thing. (Note: listen! You can hear the corporate laughter!)

To think that my father used to work for the telephone company, got free telephone service, but was always worried about abusing the system when we placed our annual Christmas call to the west coast relatives... the times, they sure have changed.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Another 'dillo trapped!

That's now 1 raccoon, 1 cat, 3 armadillos!

There must be some armadillo graffiti at the armadillo bar - "For a Good Time, dine at Wood's! Dine under the shrubs!" It's a %$#@ PARADE of 'dillos, it seems.

Another ride up Highway 71 with a stinker in the trap in the trunk - about 10 miles... and release. This one was slow to escape the cage and immediately went under the car and a tire. HEY!

I am NOT going to accept suicide after schlepping this varmint this far.

And so, I edged away, and the beast was seen waddling away up a hill.

Monday, August 17, 2009


It was a sunny, hot, expensive day. We drove up to the local Audi dealership, asked for directions to the sales manager who printed a form. I circled two items on the form. We wrote a deposit check. That's it. Now wait.

I suppose it will feel good when I see the car - it's somewhere - or not - either built and on a slow boat from Germany, or not yet. Meanwhile, no owner's pride or buyer's remorse.

I am happy to get that behind me. I can say it wasn't a pleasant experience, what with misinformation coming from several different places. Recession or not, Audi isn't pricing their cars as cheap. Hopefully the value will linger for years, if not as a Blue Book Price, then as an enjoyable and dependable ride.

This car will be much more nimble than my present one which could be a boat anchor with a little hammering. But that's for the dealership to decide when they take the trade-in.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I contacted 6 dealerships by email. I heard back from only 3 of them. Conflicting info was passed to me as to whether or not the car I want actually exists, or will have to be built. The only significance of this is the timeline.

Price was too close to call, but local trade-in tipped the scale. Well, that, and convenience.

Saturday we will double check with our local dealer that what I have in writing is true, and will leave a deposit.

I am AMAZED that 3 Audi dealerships didn't respond.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Two Audi dealers - each contacted by internet - each telling me different stories about wheels. I believe they are both using factory supplied information. Who's right? How can I tell?

Today I expanded my search. I have low expectations.

Called the GM at the local dealership - got voicemail - he hasn't returned my call.

However this turns out, it's not a pleasant experience.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I am stunned. I know the exact car I want, have had conversations by phone or email with various dealers, requesting info as soon as the 2010s are known (availability info, dates, pricing, etc.) They all failed this. Every one.

I finally did enough detective work to find out the cars are arriving at the port of Houston. Now, the one dealership that seems to have information (after I 'reminded' them about my pending sale) tells me the very car I want will not be available anywhere in the midwest (served by the port of Houston.) I want a silver one with grey interior. Nope. They'll build one for me.

So I sit with amazement on my face. This is the sort of salespersonship you get above $50k, apparently:

After shaking this dealership-cage with a WHY HAVEN'T I HEARD FROM YOU when I know the cars are coming? Here's what I got:

"I have never received any information about you until 5 minutes before I contacted you. I just received the prices from Audi today, so here are the prices.
For a 2010, Prestige 3.0T quattro, with 19"wheels. The MSRP is $57.525. If you would like to give me an offer on this car I would be glad to present to my manager.
Also as I mention, I also have a 2009 Audi A6 3.0T quattro, prestige,side assist, Adventure Blue Pearl ( which is kind a dark gray), with light gray interior, it was lightly hail damage but fully repaired and demo from the owner with about 6000 miles. (MSRP $56.525) Would you be interested on this 2009 or only 2010?
Please let me know."

I just don't get it. Ready to go many miles out of my way to award the biz to a good dealer with a good sales ethic (you're laughing - I can HEAR you!) I cannot find one.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Speeding Hippie attempts to drive through the Early70s barrier.

I've opened a new website as a pathway to more opportunity locally. Why not take a hobby and turn it into a service? Thus:

At most I would hope to serve as a local freelancer here in the Austin area. No weddings - not that large a scale... but for real estate pictures, family events, etc., I am there.

There are some good pictures on the site and I hope you enjoy them! Contact info is also there. Have a look.