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Tuesday, 28 February 2012


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Yes, the over poop-sharing urge is strong among us. I've slowly weaned myself from it over the past couple years. The other extreme can be bad too, never sharing. How are you supposed to find out if your poop actually doesn't stink?

Off the poopy topic: isn't it about time Wisconsin starts accepting credit and debit cards at its DMV testing centers?

"No Credit Cards Accepted", did I read that right? Is that cash fee for the portrait or the license I wonder...

and what a great post link to the cement Porsche.

I'm not so sure Phil Davis isn't right, when I look at some shot I took a few days later...And even with the ehanced processing photoshop gives, some of it never does make even moderately good fertilizer. By the way I'm similar in size to you. Have you ever tried to fit into the driver's seat of a Nash Metropolitan?? Its the only car I ever got into that I needed help to get out of.

Interesting that you'd ask about the least expensive American car. I'd like to know what the group mind turns up. I've been pricing the upcoming Toyota Prius C, which starts at 19,710, and gets 53/46 mpg. Given my current car, and current gas prices, gives me a 2,500 discount over 10 years. (A typical lifespan for cars I own.) I've modeled several gas price scenarios, and this is looking like a very good deal. (Some scenarios reduce the price to around 11,500 or so, an excellent price for any new car.) Very like counting megapixels, though: I see a substantial savings because I'd double my effective gas milage.
The try it before you buy it problem is likely to be much worse, though. I wanted a Prius when they first came out, but the wait list was so discouraging that I essentially forgot about it for years.

"Can you name the cheapest American car ever?"

YUGO? Though not American-made, but still.

I have the feeling that, if I pulled out a real camera (not a sneaky cell phone) in a New York MV office, I'd probably get shot. Only question is whether it would be by a customer or the staff.

How to tell if you are too drunk to drive:
1. Go to the restroom and look in the mirror.
2. Get out your driver's license and hold it up to the mirror beside your face.
3. If you look as bad as your driver's license photo, YOU'RE TOO DRUNK TO DRIVE.

When I shot film and developed it myself, I'd develop a whole bunch of rolls, dry them and then contact them and put them in a binder. I wouldn't really go over them for a few months and by then the "Look what I made!" would have faded and I could look at them objectively. That's also when I'd find the hidden gems.

Mike, I'm about 6'2" and close to '230' in American parlance. Since we won't buy cars in the UK without a demonstrator, I'll endeavour to sit in one for you - purely in the interests of reasearch you understand.

Amusingly, as weight is mentioned and my mass is somehat more than desired, I am fully aware that the best way to improve my cycling ability is to reduce my weight and not the bike's... another recession busting plan I think!

Have you ever considered how odd it is that you have to get a permission slip from the government before you drive the car that you own on roads that you paid for at gunpoint?

Don't sneer. Richard Avedon got his photographic start making mug shots of his fellow merchant seamen.

My Subaru dealer told me that there will only be about 3000 BRZs for the whole US this year, about 5 or 6 per dealer, and that, as you mentioned, most will be pre-sold.
Sad. It's a great idea, but apparently they're not really serious about it.

"No Credit Cards Accepted", did I read that right? Is that cash fee for the portrait or the license I wonder...

Ed, I just renewed my Alberta licence and it was the same payment restriction even though the registries are privately run.
No credit cards, cash or debit only....and if you used debit, they charged an extra handling fee. I felt like going to the bank and getting it all in the smallest change possible!
Might have to go to the Calgary Auto Show. The Scion iQ is intriguing...

Be careful about shooting government employees doing their work in government offices! It shouldn't be a big deal, but nowadays you take a real chance of being hassled if you do something as dangerous as take a picture of a federal building. Maybe the DMV is more lax about it, but living near DC has made me wary of shooting anything relating to the government.

"Have you ever considered how odd it is that you have to get a permission slip from the government before you drive the car that you own on roads that you paid for at gunpoint?"

I'll take it you're writing from another alternate Universe...

I certainly don't consider it odd at all. The thought of drivers who are any less prepared cluttering the road than those who already do is something I find distinctly alarming, though.

In my view the training for drivers ought to be stiffened considerably. At the very least, everyone should go through a one-day performance driving course at a closed track, centering on safety maneuvers such as panic stops, ice braking, and skid recovery. I'd prefer it be three days. And I think everyone ought to be required to demonstrate proficiency with a manual gearshift as well. And I think the driving age should be raised to 18 nationally, and that very young and very old drivers should be tested more frequently.

Finally, I don't have a gun pointed at my head. And never have. So far...fifty five years and counting. Courtesy of the police and armed forces ably provided by my government. In lots of places in the world, people do have guns pointed at their heads, and that's not funny.


According to the inflation calculator here -


- $290 in 1922 had the same purchasing power as $3,912.67 in 2012. (You said the 1923 model was introduced in fall '22.) I would have to think that's in the running for cheapest ever, although I'm not nearly enough of a car guy to really know.

That's using CPI. There are a bajillion ways to calculate inflation; that gives one reasonable estimate.

The term that's usually used for dollars when you haven't adjusted for inflation is "nominal", which makes sense -- they are dollars in name only, not in purchasing power. Adjusted dollars are usually called "real". "Absolute" could be confusing, because there's a sense in which adjusted dollars are absolute: they allow you to compare prices from different eras. Hope that's helpful, not just pedantic.

"The guy in the picture takes more portraits every day than almost any of us." And no photoshopping.

At some point, I would think that almost everyone buys cameras by mail order.

Those who are on the tip of the money pyramid (digital back, Nikon D3 users and so on) simply buy "the next flagship" the second it's released. I don't think they even bother on trying the equipment.

Those on the bottom (who have 'some lenses' and can't afford to change the system they're in) just buy "the best they can afford", whatever that model is.

For me, the only time I've really tried a new camera before actually buying it was when I got a brand new Olympus D520. I couldn't decide between that one and the Coolpix 2000.

@Andrew Burday: another way to do this type of comparison calculation is to determine how many months of pay [for the average worker] is required.

Andrew, that's intriguing. It may also be useful speculate whether it is possible to manufacture a Model T for $3,912.67 today. Remember, the thing had no starter, no airbags, no seat-belts, no... I could go on and on.

More instructively, the Tata Nano, introduced a couple of years ago at $2500, is a technologically superior car, delivering a much safer and faster ride.

I know I'd rather be safe in a $30,000 Volvo, BMW or Chrysler 300 (or a $2,500 Nano) than sorry in a $3,912.67 model T. Thank goodness for technology.

I managed to get some seat time in the BRZ at the Toronto Auto Show the other week. If you fit in a Miata you'll fit in this, although it's much smaller than I thought it was going to be. It's significantly shorter than my Genesis Coupe, enough so that the rear seats are completely useless. Should be great to drive though, it had a very functional interior, nothing special, but good nonetheless.

My report from the show:


And you know what, sometimes those auto show snaps don't come out too bad!


even with the pinpoints and the shiny metal.

Sold out BRZs and no test drives should be no surprise. It's that way for any hot new car. The 1990 Miata was the same way: list price (and then some!), no test drives, nonrefundable deposit if you even want to be on the list. It was egregious avarice by wanker car dealers, and it bit them in the ass later. No one had anything good to say about that kind of profiteering.

Same thing with any hot car though: 1964 mustang was the same way, and various others through the years. Give them a year or two to cool down and then prices and availability get back to normal.

Much of the time, the cars that get hyped up so much and overpriced like this aren't even worth it, though hopefully the toyota/subie will be better than say the 1990 miata (which, while interesting and fairly fun to drive, was gutless with no torque and performance-wise left a lot to be desired. It was light and RWD though, that was about all it had going for it IMNSHO.)

Agreed with Mike re: driver's tests. 3-day track event in your own car should be mandatory. Refreshers for 1 day every 2 years thereafter too. Skip Barber and others have Teen driving programs, which when my boys get to that age, they will definitely be attending.


That car show anticlimax really reminded me about the period of time after the X100 was announced, but no real cameras really existed (although there where roumors of some beta cameras around). I was very eager to try it out and when the big photoexcibition in Lillestrøm was held, Fuji-Norway announced that you could see the new camera there. Joy-o-joy, I took the train over there, and found the Fuji boot quite fast after arrival. The boot was quite large with a big part of it set up as a beach scene where one could try the different Fuji models, taking pictures of your own kids or something. No X100 was to be seen there however. Finally I noticed it, over in a corner there was a small glass display with a X100 mock up in it. The mock up iteslf, however authentic in shape, was not working and there was no way to touch it. The Fuji representative did not know much, no price and no information about the camera itself that could not be deducted from the paperwork. He did'nt even know when the camera would arrive in the country.

The rest of the sales boots of the show was boring, but the photo excibitions was not, so the trip to Lillestrøm was not a total vaste after all.

And of some strange origin! The new Bentley for Jeremy Clarkson.....


Greetings, Ed

Zander's first solo car ride huh? For a laugh he should retell the experience for his buddies at http://www.firstcarstory.com/

A gallery exhibit of driver license mug shots might be fun to see. I'd love to read the accompanying cards of artist statements or the curator's introductory remarks.

Not to be a nag or anything, but does your state have restrictions for new drivers? It can be a very, very good idea to keep his first 5000 miles of driving solo miles--friends tend to be large distractions and/or temptations for inexperienced drivers.

Got the Bazooka Cam beat. My first camera, around 1954, cost fifty cents and two Wheaties box tops. Of course, the Wheaties may have cost more than the bubble gum, but I bet I still came out ahead. I still have a picture from that camera, too.

Back in the day I did send in the Bazooka comics and received a really crappy plastic 120 film camera called a Diana. It was flimsy and leaked light and I took a roll or two before giving up on it.

Many years later I found a new-in-the-box Diana in the Salvation Army thrift store for $1.50. After learning how to use it, it has become my favorite camera for the past 15 years. It has given me many great photos and I have a special feeling when using it. I developed a confidence that I could make a great image while using it and for me that is the most important factor about a camera.

First pic from original camera, second taken more recently



Cheaper then a Ford T, but the difference was to smal to matter in the end......and an inspiration for the Bentley boys BTW in my earlier post.

Greetings, Ed

Well, Zander would be a better driver, since his father also likes cars. That hobby usually runs through the genes, hahaha. As for the Model T, it symbolizes how Americans started to produce that culture of making and purchasing cars. It was the first car that was truly designed for the masses.

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