And my next car will be . . .

Volkswagen to Introduce 70 mpg Diesel-Electric Hybrid Golf

Channel 4 writes: “The technology will be used in a number of Volkswagen Group models, including the Jetta saloon [sedan] – which sells in greater numbers in the US than the ‘Rabbit’ – and the Audi A3.”

Okay, I don’t care about the Jetta and the Rabbit, but a 70 MPG Audi A3 is really, really hot. I’ve loved the A3 ever since I first saw one, walking from the train station in London to the house where my sister-in-law and her family were living. We passed an Audi dealer, and every time we went by, there were a couple of A3s sitting out front (Sexy right-hand-drive models, of course). I was thrilled when they decided to bring them over to the States, and now am even more thrilled at the prospect of 70 MPG. Especially if we can get some nice biodiesel stations in the area (I know, fat chance, but I’m dreaming here). Now I just have to convince the wife that 1) We need a new car 2) We can afford an Audi and 3) We can’t afford NOT to get a biodiesel hybrid Audi. Any suggestions?

Some things good, some things bad

Well, I can’t figure out the stupid redirect. I’m trying to redirect the old links ( where XXX is a number) to the new links ( I think there are too many .htaccess redirects going on, and I don’t really understand it all. Otherwise, things are good. The friend who said the old layout “made his eyes bleed” has already expressed his approval. Since he picked the colors, he’d better approve. Next on the list is a different project, but then I’ll get back to reimplementing “Your Complaints” so you can complain about stuff, too.

Things are a little bit rough so far

So I’m converting to Drupal. I have most of the basics working. I’m not sure my .htaccess redirect from the old site is working. It might just take the server some time to figure it out, I don’t know. I know the RSS feed is updated. If you’ve been reading the feed, it should be basically a transparent change. It’s pretty cool so far. Of course, everything gets messed up when I upgrade to Drupal 6, but they aren’t quite ready for the full release yet (Contrary to what it say on their site). Anyway, it’s late, so I’m probably just about done for now, but keep watching. More cool stuff is coming.

Please let this mean that there are no more Flash websites

Adobe cripples Flash video with DRM – Boing Boing

Amazingly, Adobe seems to have entirely missed the fact that the reason that the Flash video format has taken off is that it’s so fluid, versatile and remixable — not because they sucked up to some Hollysaurs and crippled their technology.

I know there are good uses for Flash (Homestarrunner, Google Analytics, YouTube).  But for every good usage, there are probably 100 bad uses.  If you’ve ever been to a site that takes forever to load, and then when it does, it’s impossible to navigate, it was probably made with Flash.  It’s not that the technology itself is necessarily bad, it’s just that the potential for abuse is so great.

Now, with the introduction of DRM and the inevitable flood of DMCA takedown notices, perhaps we will see the end of Flash.  Not that I think the absence of Flash will prevent bad websites, but maybe it will help.


Sometime last night, the DC area was hit by the lesser-known Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, freezing rain. I imagine the city has shut down. I didn’t bother to go outside, although we’re supposed to celebrate my dad’s birthday tonight in Annapolis, so I might later. Last time there was “inclement weather”, on Wednesday, I went to pick up the wife and visit my grandmother in Arlington. It was some of the worst traffic I’ve ever seen in the city. Things went okay down 14th Street until a block before the circle. Then we stopped. And waited. I forget which circle that is, but it’s just south of 14th and N NW. Traffic in the circle wasn’t moving. About half the cars waiting with me on that final block turned around before we started moving. I got most of the way through the circle before I decided to bail out onto Vermont, which I’ve never done before, but it goes in more or less the same direction. That was a mistake. I ended up turning right on K instead of I St. If you live in the city, you’ve probably driven on K. It’s prety much a disaster all the time. I was almost killed there on the way to my rehearsal dinner, following the then-fiancee and making a right off K without using the stupid access road (Who knew you couldn’t go right from the main road?). The problem I ran into was that you can’t make a left from K during rush hour at all. And I needed to be on I St. I ended up going right on 18th, going around the block and coming back down Connecticut. I probably should have gone right on 20th and came down 19th, but I wasn’t sure I could do that, and I like to do my experimenting with new streets when it’s not 6pm and I’m already late. Looking at Google Maps now, it looks like it would have been fine. Anyway, going left on 19th from I St was a mess, too. Luckily I told my grandmother we’d be later than I originally thought, so we were still on time. All of this is basically to explain that I didn’t go into work today and am planning to do some work from here. I don’t expect anyone will even notice (Except one of our team leads, who reads the blog. Hi, Andy!). Edit: Just noticed that DCist used the same “icepocalypse” in their title as I did. I’m gonna sue. Jerks. I mean, it’s not possible that they came up with the same thing I did. I’m just too clever for that. They must have stolen it.

Mmmm, delicious Consecrator Dopplebock

Bell’s Brewery: Brands

I stopped in Whole Foods to pick up some dinner (Salmon and asparagus, at the wife’s request), and saw they had a Bell’s brand I’d never seen – the Consecrator Dopplebock.  It’s still getting cold in the fridge, so I can’t give a review yet, but Bell’s crappy new website calls it “a well balanced, full bodied beer”.  It turns out it’s only available in February, and not even the whole month.

I feel sorry for my West Coast brothers-in-law, both lovers of Bell’s, who can’t get it locally.

I have to say, it’s more fun to drink a beer with a cool name.  I mean, Consecrator Dopplebock?  That’s awesome.  It’s up there with Rogue Dead Guy Ale (A great beer) and Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre (Another great beer).

Response from VA Delegate Scott

Thanks very much for your message about needed transportation improvements. The main reason we in No.Va. suffer from inadequate transportation solutions is that we have not increased revenues in 20 years. Again this year, many of us in NoVA tried to obtain support for new sources of funding, but we had little support from House members from other parts of the state. In response to your specific inquiry, I am copying my legislative aide on this email with my request that she contact VDOT about the specific problem you have described—and let you know what she finds out about possible steps that can be taken.

Jim Scott