July 26, 2006
F430 vs Eclipse Update
Okay, so I saw a new Eclipse Spyder today. I did NOT see any F430s today.
So that's Ferrari F430: 1, Mitsubishi Eclipse: 2. I saw another Eclipse at the local Chrysler dealer, but those don't count. If I went on about all the cars I see on car lots you guys would be bored to death. As opposed to now.
I did see an Aston Martin V8 Vantage today on my way to McDonalds. I didn't notice it at first, but it has a VERY nice rumble to it.
You know what else has a nice rumble to it? The SSR. I still want one . My car needs a rest no matter what... even if I can fix the minor problems it has now, it's just old and that's that, even though I don't like to admit my car is old because that means I'm old.
That SSR purrs. It's got a big V8, it's a convertible... it's like everything I could want in a car. A bright yellow one would be perfect! It's summer, so there aren't many for sale, but you can get an 04 pretty cheap.
July 24, 2006
I Don't Spy: Jeep Patriot
So Jeep is coming out with a new vehicle called the Jeep Patriot.
I've never actually seen one of these, but armyrn13 requested pictures, and I will pretty much do anything you ask of me because I'm desperate for actual readers. I don't even think my wife, who is supposed to WRITE for this site, reads this stuff.
Anyway, this vehicle is very reminiscent of the old Cherokee, except it's not 4WD, and you'd probably break it if you took it off road. I don't understand why they got rid of the Cherokee and replaced it with the girliest Jeep ever. All I ever think of when I see a Jeep Liberty is stupid Lana Lang and her blank expression. By the way, how is it that the kids on that show can afford such nice cars?
Speaking of cars, remember when I said I was seeing more Ferrari F430s than new Eclipses? Well I've been keeping track.
Last week I saw ONE Mitsubishi Eclipse in the parking lot at Taco Bell.
And last night I saw ONE Ferrari F430 driving up the hill towards home. He disappeared and I'm not sure where he went to... probably some house on the lake.
So right now it's a tie... 1-1! Which car are there more of on the streets? Who will win? Will it be the $20,000 Mitsubishi? Or the $200,000 Ferrari? My bet is on the Ferrari.
July 18, 2006
Oklahoma City Wants Basketball Team... Oklahoma City Investors Buy Seattle Supersonics... Can You Guess What Comes Next?
The big news in Seattle today is that the Seattle Supersonics, as well as the WNBA Seattle Storm, have been purchased by a group of investors from Oklahoma City.
Of course, the new owners claim they do not intend to move the team. That makes total sense. A group of investors from a completely different city (one hosting the New Orleans Hornets but without a permanent basketball team) have purchased a basketball team 1500 miles away. Does it seem likely that they are buying it for the sole purpose of moving it?
77% of Seattle Times readers think so. I get that this is a sensitive issue for some, but investor groups who lie to people like this ought to be publically flogged. Why not just buy the team and say "we're moving it." Instead you create false hope.
In a town with crumbling freeways, a school district in crisis, and two brand new shiny stadiums (not to mention a recently renovated area for the Sonics), we just don't have our heart in building a whole new facility. Bye Sonics. We probably won't miss you all that much.
UPDATE: Now that I think about it, what kind of person invests in a basketball team? You're talking about an investment that can't succeed unless the government spends lots and lots of money every 15 to 20 years for a new facility. The only reason you own a sports team is civic pride. That's why Paul Allen owns the Seahawks. That's why Nintendo owns the Mariners. These are very expensive toys for the very, very rich.
The only reason you buy a sports team thousands of miles away is to move it. There is absolutely no interest in securing a proper facility here. The deals have probably already all been made.
July 11, 2006
Why is Movie Popcorn So Expensive?
So when you go to the movies, most of the money from your ticket does NOT go to the movie theater. Most of it goes to the people who produced the movie, leaving the theater with a specific cut... somewhere between 25 to 50 percent. It varies depending on the movie. So given that, movie theaters aren't really in the business of selling movies, but rather they are in the business of acquiring customers who may potentially purchase popcorn, candy, soda, etc. Then they try to charge you an arm and a leg. These places will charge you $4.50 for a soda. Their cost? Almost nothing. It's pure profit. Popcorn and candy are mostly profit too. The cost of showing movies, etc, should be offset by the minimal percentage of box office revenues, so movie theaters are making almost all of their money selling popcorn, etc.
Which begs the question... is $4.50 for a soda really the optimal price? I mean, it just seems kind of high. Surely they've done the numbers... so they must have determined that these sky high soda prices make them the most profit. I wonder if they take other factors into consideration though. Taking your spouse and two children to the movies can run you upward of $60-80 these days! Even for a matinee, you're still paying $20 just for tickets, and at least $10-15 for popcorn, etc. I guess it depends on how big a pushover you are when your kids ask for a gigantic bag of Skittles.
Regardless, how many people are just giving up and waiting to rent, where they can spend $2.50 to get a movie, and buy popcorn and soda at Safeway where they might spend $5-10 at most? Granted, people are still going to movie theaters, and movies are making more money than ever! In 2004, Shrek 2 made $441 million, making it the third highest grossing movie ever! But ticket prices are higher too. Adjusted for inflation, Shrek 2 comes in at #29. Number one is still Gone with the Wind, which made $1.3 billion domestically. Star Wars comes close with $1.1 billion.
I know it's hard to get me into a movie theater these days. We saw Superman Returns a couple weekends ago, but that's a big event movie, and I would probably have watched it consisted of Superman mowing the lawn for two and a half hours.
Furthermore, movie theaters haven't done anything to make the experience better in the last ten years. Stadium seating and digital sound were great improvements a decade ago. What's happened since then? A lot of theaters are adding digital projection for the twenty minutes of advertising that precedes the show. Strangely, very few theaters are also including digital projection of the features. So the movie chains are investing in the one area that most ticket buyers hate the most!
Seems like the movie business is putting itself OUT of business. What do you think?
I Spy: Audi Q7
Seen the other day... the new Audi Q7.
This thing looks even more ugly in person. It looks like an Audi with a pituitary gland problem. Plus, isn't this just a fancy VW Touareg?
Also, was there some sort of fire sale on F430s? I see more of these than Mitsubishi Eclipses. A LOT more.