Since it's Disney Channel Games week, . . .

Screw the games with guys racing each other inside inflated balls. The sidekicks on Disney's shows are, shall we say, more interesting. Since as a father I have to watch this stuff anyway---otherwise the offspring units will be Very Pissed and not eat their broccoli---throw us dads a bone.

Mix it up with the Spike crowd and expand your viewership, Mickey. Work the studio system to the full extent and make sure these properties actors have a future once they are old enough to check themselves into rehab. Not every one of them will be a Kurt Russell.

Alyson Michalka represents Phil of the Future.

Anneliese Van der pol shouts it out for That's So Raven.

Wrestling in vanilla pudding.

Old gray mare ain't what she used to be

My sister-in-law's Volvo sedan has rolled its odometer twice. Not sure what's wrong with it now, but many of the motorized electrics don't work, such as a window or two, and other maintenance items are adding up to the conclusion that it needs to be replaced.

SIL wants a hybrid. I stress that hybrids' price premiums will not break even on the saved fuel unless gasoline prices climb above maybe $5 a gallon and stay there, or much of that price premium disappears in 6 months. She's also 6'3" or so, and of, er, ample proportions. The little streamlined monocoques of the Prius or the hybrid Honda will probably not fit her.

She has a loooong commute from Herndon VA to Frederick MD every damn day. Any place she'll move to early in the life of this car will create a commute of comparable distance.

If she wants the fuel economy and the long engine life, and the option to use a biologically derived fuel, I'm thinking diesel, as I am thinking of it for myself. Will a woman of SIL's proportions fit into a Jetta TDI? (yeah, they take a price premium too---ever price a pre-owned TDI? Still, it's manageable.)

Are any other carmakers offering or planning performance-diesels for passenger cars?


We are with in-laws in Western NY, and took in Six Flags at Darien Lake yesterday.

Firstborn enjoys the fast coasters, though she becomes a sobbing mess while waiting to get into the car. "Is she OK?" ask concerned riders just before we climb in. "Is she gonna be alright?" Makes me feel like a child abuser. But the sobbing is gone after the first steep drop.

Predator was very good, but Ride of Steel is the shiznit. After that, two turns on the Viper and she was done with rollercoasters for the day.


Now that we live within a couple hours' drive of this place, all I needed was an afternoon free as the excuse to get there.

More on this later when I craft a satellite overhead comparison of this to the original. How faithful were the builders? Have differences in its location on the Earth been compensated for?