January 23-31, 2006
Watcharee and I were in Bangkok when Wilma struck south Florida in October. We knew what our Florida house looked like when we left it; but we didn't know what it would look like when we returned. Fortunately the house rode out the storm perfectly ... but the palm trees by our pool took a beating.
Shifting gears, it was a bit of a jolt this morning to find that I had about 300 extra horsepower under my right foot. In Bangkok I am used to driving my SLK200 with its prepubescent less-than 180 horsepower engine. Do I really need 500 horses here? Though the local traffic is not Bangkokian, a 11 MPH (17.7 KPH) day suggests something is out of synch. So does that 9 MPG (26.14 L per 100k). (*) Maybe we should move to Wyoming.
(*) I am going to ask Paul to flash us back to the stats I used with the Bangkok car.
"Paul, according to the several photos of my dashboard pollution dials on the two cars, which contributes more to global warming: Bangkok traffic or big V8s in the US?"
"Alf, what contributes most is that you drive a car when you could either be taking public transportation in Bangkok or riding a bicycle when you are in Florida."
"But, Paul, I only do it so I can control my music. Isn't that a good enough reason?"
Reader M. F. from Gaza writes: "The SL and the SLK ... what is the difference? Do you have pictures? Which one do you love more?"
In my opinion it makes no difference that one is a right handed and the other left handed. But, I actually prefer being inside my SLK200. It's hard to say why. The SL55AMG has more things to play with but the SLK is so ... I don't know. If both were women I'd want to marry the SLK ... and have the SL as a mistress (mia noi). Or, maybe the other way around. Or, move to Utah or Cambodia and have them both under one roof.
I guess it's best that one is in Bangkok and the other in Florida. Otherwise there might be a cat fight.
But, when I am with one I think about the other.
We are preparing for a road trip. I hate to keep going on and on about this car ... but, it really has very little storage space in the trunk, especially when the roof is tucked into it. The trunk space in the SL only lends itself to an assortment of small and odd sized bags. It is not happy with a standard Zero Halliburton.
So, I was very pleased to find that the Mercedes Collection offers a 'suitcase' that is custom fitted to that almost unusable space directly behind the seats. The bag is short enough so as to not block the rear view; long enough to take advantage of the width of the car; and thin enough to allow the seats to recline to their mechanical limits.
I know you guys are getting tired of cars. How about some abstract art? Any guesses?
PS: For foodies: it's stone crab season in Florida.
Reader B. from Fort Lauderdale sent this German ad for eye glasses (896k WMV).
Readers are invited to guess who is the subject in this portrait. Click here for hints.
Reader S. W. from Cooper City Florida writes: "I am more interested in the mechanics of your car roof tuck-away system than in the other drivel that you write about. Can you show me some freeze-frames of the system at work?"
Of course! In this sequence the top is going from down to up. Just play the pictures backwards if you want to see it going from on to off. Got that?
Tired Christmas decorations from the same person who brought you the same last year ... or was it even earlier (maybe both).
And, I think there is even a holdover from Halloween.
Zoning? Peer pressure? Property prices? None a factor over there! Why? The guy is genuinely liked! Why? I don't know!
Nope, eat this first.