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© 2001-2003 Brian F. Schreurs
Even we have a disclaimer.

Thank heavens that the rhinoceros can't fly.
The plain fact is that you people, our loyal fans that we love so dearly, simply cannot leave the O Pine essays alone. You feel compelled to share your views! So, fine. Who are we to fight it?

Go to The O Pine, read an essay, and share your thoughts.

If you'd like to make a Cave Drawing of your own, please report to the Main Cave.

From Stephen Houck on 31 March 2003:

Concerning the issue of "buy American cars" - the main point you miss is 
where the dollar ends up. American cars keep the profits here, which are 
taxed -foreign cars do not. Fact. While Japanese cars will continue to 
sell, I would look for Euro cars to slow, as Americans are starting to 
realize they are not really our friends. Thanks for an interesting 
Ah but is it so simple? How do American cars keep the profits here when the American companies reinvest the money abroad? Do the taxes paid by consumers for foreign-made goods, or the income taxes levied on American wages paid by foreign firms, or the taxes paid by the American subsidiaries of foreign firms, not count? And, really, let's look at the crux of your argument: is the benefit of buying American simply so that we can fatten the coffers of those buffoons in Washington? Many questions, few easy answers. Thanks for reading the buying American essay.

From Douglas Sheldon on 25 February 2003:

Until the American Pod Effort is realized, we can help the environment by driving
more fuel efficient vehicles, including hybrid gas-electrics and fuel cell vehicles
as they become available.  Improvements in these technologies and thier successors
may eliminate the need to implement the American Pod Effort at all.  Is it just me or
does the term "pod" evoke an image of hordes of AMC Pacers zooming about?  Hopefully
it doesn't ever come to this.
I'm all for the hybrids but so far they are only coming out in weak little commuter cars. Just not suitable for this environment. I suppose if they had built a hybrid back when I bought a Neon, and the hybrid was the same price, I would have gone for the hybrid. The trick is to make these hybrids economically feasible for the consumer -- they need to be just as powerful and roughly the same price as the alternatives on the market. A major hurdle indeed. I hope the manufacturers are up to the challenge.

From Craig MacMillan on 4 February 2003:

A weakly defended position for the laymen at best! Your argument does 
not consider taxation, OPEC production rates, political stimuli, the 
increase in the number of oil producing countries in the last 20 years 
(which has increased competitive pricing)...etc..

Short version for those journalists with poor research skills:

If the demand decreases (with higher fuel efficient vehicles) the price 
of fuel will dramatically decrease. Fortunately, since OPEC has never 
been successful in price fixing, and more countries today produce oil 
outside of OPEC, a reduction in supply by OPEC will have marginal 
effects on gas pricing. Taxation also reduces as governments strive to 
provide financial incentive for companies and consumers to reduce 
emissions and lower greenhouse gases. What do you think Kyoto will do 
to gas prices??

In conclusion...get someone qualified to write this drivel and dont 
make ridiculous claims to protect your right to own an SUV. Its 
America, so waste what you want, when you want. 
You've missed the point of the gas prices essay, I think. The sole purpose of the essay is to illustrate that the large number of trucks on the road today is not influencing gas prices. This is easily demonstrated by comparing fleet fuel economy to gas prices, which the essay does. Since there is no correlation between fleet fuel economy and gas prices, it can be concluded that fleet fuel economy is not a major factor in gas pricing -- that other factors, some of which you have identified, play the much larger role. Until those factors are neutralized -- which will probably never happen -- it is erroneous to point to trucks as the prime cause of price increases.

If you will let me know which part of this assertion is ridiculous, I will be happy to rebut with greater precision.

From Douglas Sheldon on 29 January 2003:

[Cave Drawer's Note: This missive started as a reply to your Winter Braking article,
but quickly spun out of control and slipped off track, ending in a snow bank of a
challenge.  I need a better gripping keyboard...]

Dear Winter Braking guy,

You use brakes in winter?  What a wuss. ;)

Actually, I'm surprised that you hear a lot of SUV bashing out in your very hilly,
fairly snowy, small city.  I don't find an SUV to be an inappropriate vehicle in your
area.  I'll admit to being one of those who bashes SUVs in my fairly flat, rarely
snowy, dense urban area.  SUVs are a tremendous waste of gas for an area that doesn't
require their capabilities (Although some would say that downtown potholes DO require
 off-road capabilities.  They've got me there.).

For occasional snow and winter trips into western Pennsylvania I have a secret
weapon: my V6 powered, front-wheel drive, Chevy Corsica.  The engine weight on the
drive wheels with good tires has gotten me through every time.  Four-wheel drive
might be useful if I ever found myself off the road in a snow bank, but that has
never happened in my secret weapon.

I whole-heartedly agree that good tires are a key ingredient to my success.  But even
with good tires, I've experienced noticeably worse handling in lighter cars with
smaller engines (4-cyl) even with front-wheel drive.  So I think vehicle weight,
especially weight on the drive wheels makes a difference.  I don't know how much the
greater inertia of a heavier vehicle counteracts the improved tire grip (friction). 
Any physics majors out there?

I've also heard you say that a rear-wheel drive car is fine in the snow once you get
used to it, but I've never had the control on snowy roads in a rear-wheel drive car
that I've had in my front-wheel drive Corsica.  I can remember my grandfather relying
on cement blocks and bags of gravel in the trunk for weight along with snow tires
(and sometimes tire chains!) for winter driving.  The Corsica's always been fine with
decent all-season tires, and no other special precautions.

Your Subaru Outback Sport makes up for its lighter weight with all-wheel drive.  I've
seen the pictures on Thumper's Chronicles of some of the snowy roads on which you've
taken that car.  It'd be interesting to see if my Corsica could handle the same back
roads that Thumper has, or if my assertions are just delusions of snow handling
grandeur.  If only I could get my wife to agree to a road trip in a snow storm to
visit your "proving grounds."  Then we would see.

Very well said, Doug. Thanks for sending an intelligent counterpoint. But that's not going to stop me from having a go at you! Your intro is correct insofar as you do not really address the point of the original article, so I'll examine your argument on its own merit rather than in that context.

Your "secret weapon" Corsica is only 150 lbs heavier (yes, I looked it up) than your Focus. Therefore, if you are having trouble taking that Focus places where the Corsica does fine, you'd best start looking elsewhere for the cause (could it be tires? hmmmm?). Meanwhile, our Outback Sport is 300 lbs heavier than your Corsica (and therefore almost a quarter-ton heavier than your Focus), so making up for light weight is perhaps not its biggest problem. Before ragging on AWD vehicles, give one a try in the snow or rain. If nothing else, they are just plain easier to drive in bad weather, regardless of what the outer limit of their abilities may be.

What constitutes adequate snow-travelling ability in your relatively mild area around Washington, D.C., and what we need out here in the mountains, is considerably different. When I lived in your area, I got by just fine in a rear-wheel-drive Firebird with all-season tires. Out here, that's simply not possible: I have to use dedicated snow tires. And with those snow tires, I can drive all winter long in my Camaro without any serious complaint.

Driving a rear-wheel-drive car in the snow is not particularly harder than driving a front-wheel-drive car in the snow; it just takes a different technique. In fact, my complaint against front-drivers is identical to yours for rear-drivers: I hate the lack of control offered by a FWD car in the snow. It would seem that it boils down to a matter of style. I learned how to drive on RWD vehicles so I am very comfortable with them.

That crack about your grandfather is completely beside the point -- judging today's modern RWD cars based on the precautions necessary in the age of open differentials and bias tires makes about as much sense as avoiding FWD because you had a bad experience with a Toyopet. I mean really.

Ultimately what I see here is a guy picking on me because I spend $400 on snow tires for my RWD Camaro, while he takes the more "sensible" approach of maintaining a whole second FWD car because he is dissatisfied with the engineering of his Focus. Never mind the Outback; you're welcome to visit the next time we get a serious snowfall, and I'll bet my Blizzak-shod Camaro will give your all-season Corsica a good flogging.

From Alexander Kruppa on 25 January 2003:

hey ozzy! you rock's, baby!
Hey shirley! You jest, baby!

From some smartypants on 25 January 2003:

The 1970 dodge charger had three point (lap and shoulder) belts standard.
No it didn't either. I have one. It has this horrible strap that hangs from the ceiling like a python waiting to strangle whoever is unlucky enough to sit too close. It is miserably uncomfortable and is most definitely NOT a three-point belt.

From Nathan Eggleston on 16 January 2003:

pine rebate from best buy has not sent my $30.00
What a bunch of meanies!

From Douglas Sheldon on 15 January 2003:

I found your essay on buying American interesting.  I agree that it's 
hard to find a truly American car these days if you were even inclined 
to try.  My 2001 Ford Focus was assembled in Hermosillo, Mexico.

You have, however, overlooked one flaw of foreign companies setting up 
domestic manufacturing/assembly plants.  Most states chosen by foreign 
auto manufacturers are ones with no history of car making, and therefore 
no auto workers union infrastructure.  So while providing jobs in places 
without them is admirable, they are still getting away with paying their 
workers less than American workers in Dearborn and Detroit, and 
undercutting the big three US automakers when it comes to US labor.  
Perhaps the "American" companies would keep more manufacturing in the US 
if they weren't bound by their union committments.  But then discussing 
the value of organized labor in the modern day is a whole other O'Pine 
for another time.

It seems to me that if BMW found it helpful to build a car plant in South Carolina, then GM could see the same benefits. But a quick scan of industry literature suggests that no one is being abused in the right-to-work states: it seems that average disposable income is higher in those states, and the workers in the factories located there have repeatedly rejected unionization. Another thing the literature noted was that the non-union factories were far more flexible and adaptable than their unionized counterparts, which makes them fundamentally more profitable even if wages were matched dollar for dollar.

From Janet Bucknall on 13 January 2003:

Okay then clever clogs, tell me some.  I already know a few like:-
ingratiating underground and underfund but the way I read my question the 
middle part of the whole word has to be a complete word in itself which 
doesn't apply to ratiat ergrou and erf. Now do you see my problem?
Oooh you called me "clever clogs", my feelings are so hurt, I'm gonna go sulk. In all seriousness, I don't have a master list, so you'll have to paw around in Wordsmyth same as I did.

From Janet Bucknall on 12 January 2003:

Are there any other words that start and end with the same letters in the 
same order apart from "Ingratiating" and "underground"  Perhaps some that 
have more than three letters at beginning and end.  I have been set this as a 
quiz question with no clues as to the full length of the word or the number 
that have to be the same at the beginning and end.  The question seems to 
imply that the middle part of the word has to be a complete word in itself as 
well as the two identical at each end.  Please can anyone help?   It's 
driving me mad!!!!!
Not another one of these goofy word games. There are TONS of words that begin and end with the same three letters. All I can tell you is to hit up a virtual dictionary and start doing searches with wildcards.

From Eric Schlesinger on 8 January 2003:

To the author of the Devon rant:  
I am writing you to make you aware of the fact that the dealership you
are referring to, Devon Nissan, has been sold.  The previous owners that
you are referring to in this web page have opened a new Nissan
Dealership approximately 8 miles from the previous location.  This
dealerships name is Exton Nissan and can be located at  .  I represent the
Sloane Automotive Group and the new Sloane Nissan of Devon.  If you
could please amend your Web Site to reflect this ownership change, it
would be greatly appreciated.  We do not employee any of the previous
sales associates or mangers from Devon Nissan nor do we conduct business
in such a manner.  
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call me or send me
an e-mail.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
Eric Schlesinger
Eric M. Schlesinger
Director of e-commerce
Sloane Automotive Group
Hi Eric! It sure is good to know those turkeys got the boot. It's no problem at all to add a note to the top of the Devon Rant clarifying the change of ownership.

From Brandon Shriver on 7 January 2003:

Here's a few for your page.
"What engine you got?"
"Is it all original?"
"How much have you spent (so far)?"
Those are more of questions than statements, so they don't really fit the theme of the Hot Rodders Translated page, but I'll take a crack at 'em here in Cave Drawings.

"What engine you got?" --meaning, either, "If I suck up to you enough maybe I'll get a ride in your car" or "I need an excuse to look down on you and maybe your puny engine is my ticket to self-righteous superiority."

"Is it all original?" --meaning, "God forbid your 1966 Mustang has been updated with modern technology; I love drum brakes and 2bbl carbies."

"How much have you spent so far?" --meaning, either, "I love your car and I'm praying I can afford to duplicate it" or "I hate your car and I'm fishing for a reason to call you an idiot behind your back."

From Mary Dixon on 7 January 2003:

ha ha- you sucker

i read your story about the tax problems you had regarding the 
non-running car and trairler. first off i think its hilarious. seciind 
off, isuppose you noticed i don care about the english grammatical 
process. feel free to correct. but anyway, i hop youve learned the 
invaluable lesson that unless you have gazillions of dollars, dont waste 
your time [messing] with government. all they want from you is money. and 
all they give you is bills. ha ha ha ha aha haaaaaa. allow me to express 
my appreciation for your posting your objections to local government on 
the web and wish the more power to ya. good luck with your crusade and 
please, pursue it with animosity and hatred towards the powers that be 
because without people to do that, there would be no progress. i'd do it 
myself but i know nothing of html and the like so.......    GOOD LUCK


by the way, if you wanna email me and want a response, refer to not whatever it is im sending from

Power brother........ ha
Right then, shall I send YOU the bill instead?

From Antonio the Metric Italian on 14 November 2002:

My apologies for not signing my previous note.. a lapsus calami (you should
understand this). 

I believe I have touched a sensitive spot in you -- oh well !!! e` la vita-- some
people get defensive-- and I am very sorry that you have taken things out of contest
from my note rather than to widen the spectrum--very briefly:

· I concurred with you that the metric system is not based on any part of the body
· The example on the relation between weights, length and volume was to explain the
simplicity of the calculation at the scientific level as well as every day use, hence
when you say a car is 3,000 cc (or cl. or ml.) or if someone tells you to carry a
case containing 24 bottle of beer each measuring 360 ml , thanks to me, you know how
big it is or how much it weights … even if they don't tell you.
· Thanks for the link, I had forgotten I mailed you a note and although you have made
some corrections, your miscalculated table is quite visible (I would remove it--it is
·The metric system is approximately 200 years old
· And what the heck are the months or years got to do with this??? Actually, since
every four years we have a leap year and every 400 years February has 30 days, if we
should divide the year by 10 it would be 36 days and 16 hours and 3.7 minutes but
then we cannot because we measure the days according to the earth revolution around
the sun (you must have heard of Galileo)-- I hope I am not confusing you.

At this point I feel obliged to explain the system in a simpler manner:

· In the old system you wouldn't say someone is 2 yards tall, you would say 6 feet;
you would not say that someone is 1 yard 2 feet and 6 inches but 5' 6" and most of
all you do not say someone is 6' 3" and 1/8 tall, you round it up and as such you
would not say 182 cm rather 1.8 meters (unless you have a complex of inferiority)
· The old system was in use till late 1700.The problem was that with time (800 years
from the fall of Rome) everyone was measuring slightly differently and although, for
commerce, the standard used was the Florentine system of inches, feet etc. etc. it
remained difficult to calculate small measurements especially when dealing with
volume (and not as you mentioned to measure the height of a man).
· When metric was introduced (mid 1700) everybody found the old system more suitable
to his or hers everyday need and would not change until it was decreed  (it sounds
familiar, doesn't it???) 
· Now the big question: why England was still with this system?-- Easy to say: they
are hard in changing-- Their old monetary system (another left over from ancient
time) was only changed lately (50 years ago); today they resent joining a single
currency, and they are still driving on the left (a "left" over from medieval times)

Hence I must say your response was-- interesting--. actually very interesting--I
could say it lacked as much in understanding the issue as the amount of sarcasm you
used in posting my address-- In any case I may be boring but definitely not bored--
or contradicting myself--  My friend-- let me tell you that prior to motor-cars there
were wagons pulled by horses, prior to ATV there were horses, prior to RUV there were
chariots, prior to jets they were simple flying machine, prior to guns they were bow
and arrows-- etc. etc--I am sure the people of that era felt that the old way was
better (does it sound familiar???) -- but we know what we use today--. Hence I really
don't think your reasoning in the posted bulletin "measures up with progress" . And
all this my friend, I believe is simple enough --


Post Scriptum--. I hope that you also post this note following your rebuttal to my
previous one and I will appreciate if you advice me accordingly.
Mea culpa! You're clearly way more impassioned about the metric system than I am.

From a very bored Italian on 18 October 2002:

Dear Sir,

By pure mistake I stepped in your web site and I read your note on the yard
stick (Ruler of Measure); I had to read it three times and I must say I have
never heard such remarks. Are you for real??? The only good thing that you wrote
was the word  "Imperial ". 

As a matter of fact, being Italian, I appreciate your efforts in wanting to keep
alive a system, which we designed 2000 years ago, and called Imperial thanks to
Augusts (Emperor), but let me tell you the Roman, due to their numeral system,
found it easy to divide or multiply by 6  (for example: the day has two half of
twelve hours, the hour has 60 minutes, the minute has 60 seconds, there are
twelve month  in a year,  etc. etc. etc.), and all this even if the body has
even numbers: 10 fingers and 10 toes. Furthermore you should know that the
Italians (Roman, 2000 years ago) used other tools as well as body parts for
measuring: bushel, chains, miles, knots, and yes yard which equaled to 3 feet,
palm, fingers (inching is the act of positioning one finger after another), arms
etc. etc.. If you still find this unbelievable you may want to call BBC to mail
you the episode: "What the Roman did for us". You will also know how, also how
simple, the system was. 

You may find the Italian system easier to use but its simplicity is not longer
applicable to today standards.

You are also right when you mention that the metric is not based on any part of
the body as a matter of fact it is based on the mass of earth (to long of a
conversation I would suggest you get any encyclopedia for this) and the result
was amazing. Imagine, water at 0 Centigrade (also called Celsius) has a relation
within the measurements of volume, weight, and distance.

1 liter  =  to 0.1 cubic meters  = 1kg 
or you may say

1000 cubic centiliters =  to 1000 cubic millimeters = 1000 grams.
Or you may say

1 kl. (1000 liters) = 1 cubic meter = 1 ton (1000 kg.)

Now try to do this with the old Roman way... impossible

Furthermore the fact man are 6 feet tall, which equal to 1.80 meters, or if you
wish to express the height with smaller measurements 72 inches= 180 centimeters
and not has you mentioned 152 cm, has not bearing to the standardization of
feet; for this you may want to look at Leonardo da Vinci work and realize how
the human body is proportionate (... and yes he measured in feet, thumbs, palms,
etc. etc.)... Furthermore men have reached the height you mentioned only later
in the 20th century, as a matter of fact prior to the last century the average
height was 5 feet, which based on metric (unknown till 1800) is equal to 1.50 m.
(One and Half Meter) which based on your reasoning is more adequate than using
the old Italian way.

Let me also add that I am not sure what you meant with the various tables you
published. If you were trying to prove either system cannot be dived by certain
numbers you should have saved the time, although, of particular interest is the
division by the number "2" mentioned as first example, which clearly shows that
you do not understand the metric system, let me do it for you:

1 m/2= 0.5; .05/2= 0.25; 0.25/2=.0125; .0125/2= 0.00625; 0.00625/2=0.003025;
0.003025/2= 0.001525 etc etc etc 
to infinity

At this point as you can see I have taken One meter to 1.525 millimeters (which
you wrote it is unresolvable, but I think you meant irresolvable), and you can
take it as low as you wish or for what it matters, as high as you wish, which is
clearly not the case with the Old Italian Way (Roman), try to divide 9 by 16 or
better yet 9/64.

You may agree with me that some corrections in your publication are in place.

Fell free to write back if you wish so.
Argued with the passion of a scientist. I respect the amount of effort you have put into this response, and indeed I have put a link to it at the bottom of the Yardstick essay. However, I feel obliged to point out that on a typical day a typical person will never need to know how much a liter of water weighs; that a unit of measure convenient only for the height of 19th-century humans proves it lacks adaptability; and that the point of the charts is to illustrate how a yardstick is more versatile than a meter stick. Anything that's not a hash mark on the stick is unresolvable for any practical purpose. It's not a question of which is better in a theoretical sense, but in a practical sense. And there, the metric system doesn't measure up.

From someone who needs more meds on 8 October 2002:

just saying your a [stinkin'] idiot who knows nothing about anything but n'sync 
or backstreet boy's.If you were a true rock/metal fan you would know Ozzy and 
his whiny crap about himself or substance abuse is the same [stuff] that 
influenced most of the band's today.MORAN!
Here's a tip for ya: when you set out to flame someone, turn spell-check on. There's nothing more embarrassing than misspelling "moron".

From Adam De Fouw on 8 September 2002:

If you're gonna compare a Camaro SS to a Ford Mustang GT then at least use the
same magazine bud ..
We all know that 260 hp is less than the close to 350 hp that a Camaro SS puts
out, but 13s are possible in a Mustang GT with a decent driver and a manual
transmission.  That quarter mile time you provided was from an auto tranny GT. 
Although I have to admit I've seen a True Blue 01 Vert go 13.98 @ 98MPH at the
drag strip here.  So it is possible.  I've seen GTs on all motor run a 13.5 with
a manual tranny (not even with slicks ..)
Anyhow .. not mad at you, you should just consider changing some of those
I have to go with what the magazines give me for my Camaros essay. Show me magazine citations where the Mustang runs faster, and I'll print them.

From someone not good at word problems on 10 August 2002:

    I hate to say this but your math doesn't add up. If the car was 19000.00
and your trade was worth 9500.00 which after all it was a neon and clean
doesn't matter those cars are just not worth anything. then the total would
be 20900.00 with just the 6% pa sales tax the total would be 22114. so wheres
the problem I am not a fan of car dealerships either but I don't think your
slander is appropriate. I have done advertising for dealerships and they do
mislead customers but to say the number was 5000.00 over is totally unjust.
I'm not sure how you could misunderstand this. We agreed to a sale price of $19,000. When we arrived, they changed the sale price to $22,000. We agreed to a trade-in of $11,500. When we arrived, they changed the trade-in to $9,500. The difference in these prices from the agreed prices is $5,000. What's not to understand? Devon Nissan still sucks.

From Laurie Keating on 7 July 2002:

Brian --

I hope you won't mind if I'm linking to your style guide.

I'm teaching a graduate class in PC troubleshooting for Framingham State College
(Massachusetts) . In my section on using Help systems, I can't help but go into the
history of technical documentation, since I was doing it way back when. l was
actually looking for something else, but find your site so much less prepossessing
than CMOS or even Warriner's Grammar that I'd like to use it.

 I'm sure, though, since we have so many elementary school teachers who know the
 traditional Three Little Pigs,  and also love to teach Jon Scieszka's True Story of
 the Three Little Pigs, that they'll love the new wrinkle that your version will
I'm glad you found the Tech Writer's Style Guide helpful! You're certainly welcome to link to it. I'll link back to you, if you give me a URL!

From Andrea Holladay on 21 June 2002:

Alrighty, so I take it your job is to edit the "intractable" writings of
engineers. By definition, doing so is extremely difficult. Kudos to you for
your supreme talent and your T-shirt is in the mail.

What first comes to mind is that if engineers were also English majors,
there would be no use for you (Hmm.. Sorry 'bout that, maybe you should go
deliver pizza or something). The next thought is that engineers rarely bash
the journalistic type for their inability to solve elementary differential
equations. Engineers know that the artsy-fartsy English guys don't know how
to do that stuff. The confusing part is that the English fellas assume that
everyone should know every rule of grammar and punctuation with all the
"except fors" and "only ifs", while they forget that it took a four year
college education to obtain their literary omniscience. Are the concepts of
grammar within technical writing so simple that engineers (as well as anyone
else who should dare attempt the sacred art of the scribe) should be born
with an internal editor? If so, looks like its back to the pizza gig for

Most engineers appreciate the feedback that is obtained through their
editors. If your suggestions are rebuffed with "immutable" attitudes and
indignant stares, may I suggest that you are not only working for poor
technical writers, but poor professionals. Editors exist for a reason.
Mostly because there are already plenty of delivery guys in town.
You're living in a dream world if you think that most engineers appreciate having a technical editor to help them, at least in the IT industry. No, the problem here is not that engineers forgive editors for not knowing higher math while editors expect engineers to write Shakespeare. Certainly not -- there are enough bad editors around for us to recognize that true in-depth familiarity with English is hard to come by, even among those who should know it. The difficulty comes with those engineers who are so enraptured with their all-knowing engineer might that they actually think they know more about writing than a professional editor! You will never hear a technical editor tell a civil engineer how to build a bridge (a newspaper editor might have a go at it, but those guys are paid to meddle), but an engineer will waste no time in telling an editor that he is wrong about some basic point of grammar on the basis that he learned it differently 30 years ago in engineer school. Which is why we find engineers amusing sometimes, and you could enjoy a good laugh too if you wouldn't keep your slide rule buried so far up your back pocket.

From Rebecca St. Germain on 27 April 2002:

i am not a ten grade student, but, i just thought  that i would write to let you know
that the album is awesome then again anything by Ozzy is awesome
And what are YOUR qualifications for reviewing music albums? Better watch out, there's a wanker on the loose inspecting everyone's music-review credentials!

From some wanker who won't sign his e-mail on 19 April 2002:

... I have no idea what makes you think, that you are at ALL capable of
rating a CD of any kind. Muchless someone on the level of Ozzy Osbounre.
Your comments about him are about as empty as your skull. There is NO
ONE in the history of Hard Rock / Heavy Metal that has lasted longer
then Ozzy ! That's a fact. My opinionon the other hand is, that Ozzy is
lyricly one of the best of all time. I listen to a wide range of music
from Jazz to Death Metal. And I'm not 15, although you would love to
belive that. I'm 26. Your comments about Zakk Wylde are about as
uneducated as you are, I'm sure. I have NO idea weather you actually
"Play" and instrament, but I seriously doubt it. And if you do, there is
NO doubt in my mind that you are not 1% the talent that he is. I admit,
his solo project were terrible. But his skill is never effected by that.
Your break downs of the songs, are sad, and really show just how shallow
you are musically. "one song vaguely about substance abuse" ? Vague ?
For you not to be able, to clearly see, that song is about Heroin, you
must be listening to it backwards.
"Yes, this pre-review is harsh. But Ozzy has laid his future based on
the works of his past. He could break the mold and do something
surprisingly fresh, but this has never been his modus operandi. Ozzy is
nothing if not predictable, and his album in a few weeks will illustrate
People don't buy Ozzy CDs to listen to something that he's not. People
know what Ozzy is about. His fans like what he does, which is why all
his CD have gone platinum ! Why should he do something that would
disappoint his fans ??? What do you want ? Ozzy to do Hip Hop ? How
about some Teeny-Bop crap !? You have no concept of what is different.
You can not look past what you have programed in your feeble mind. Your
overall preview sucked. Not because I like Ozzy, but because it was
filled with lies and BS.
Mighty big talk from someone who won't even sign his own e-mail. Where are your credentials for reviewing a website music review? Where is your high-traffic website with international press recognition? Could you even program a webpage by hand if you had to? If my opinion on Ozzy is worthless because I have failed to be successful as a heavy metal performer, then please show me YOUR wildly successful website so that I know that your credentials as a website reviewer have merit. Longevity? Popularity? Have these become the standards that heavy metal success is measured by? Artistic integrity is no longer a part of the formula? If so, then where does Ozzy stand in the big scheme of things? Do you think Ozzy will have as many cover bands as, say, Beethoven? And, finally, what happened to your humor gland? Did you euthanize it with too much crack or what? Lighten up before you wake up one morning and find yourself dead of a hemorrhage from puckering up your tight ass too much.

From Brian Wilson on 16 April 2002:

HEY man, You suck.
ozzY is god!!!!!!!!!
AS soon as I get outta class, I'm gonna go by the new ablum.
Do you wave when you go by it? Someday, if you ever get a job, you might be able to stop and actually purchase the thing. Of course, at that point, you might find your money is best used elsewhere.

From Bob Faltas on 2 April 2002:

go [duck] urself.
I'm sure your employer, Pegasus Consulting Group, will be thrilled to know how you spend your workday there, Bob.

From Audrius Kavar on 9 March 2002:

from afrika

i,m from Lithuania old fun of Ozzy
right me
Well, I'm confused. Lithuania is in Europe, not Africa. Sounds like you might be sending this e-mail from Holland, where the cigarettes aren't tobacco.

From "Juan" Mickey from Whittier on 8 March 2002:

you obviously are measuring Ozzy's music to another band or sound. Who is
that band? I don't hear any " whining " on this CD. In all honesty, there
were more slower songs than I expected, yet it was vintage Ozzy. The dynamics
of his songs are unlike any of the other wanna-be metal bands out there. And
for Wylde's guitar playing, I don't hear his style of play out of any current
bands out there, and I know why. The fact is, that my generation is lazy.
They don't want to take the time to learn their instrument. So, they ask
mommy and daddy to buy them their guitar, learn to strum all 6 strings, and
buy tablature of Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Linkin Park. All that [stuff] doesn't
come across good live anyway. I've yet to hear a real band that rocks as hard
as this old man.
You're right, it IS vintage Ozzy. And if I want to listen to vintage Ozzy, I'd go break out my old CDs. No need to pay for a new CD that sounds mostly like the others. Ozzy is in a rut. Maybe if he wasn't hamming it up for MTV in his Beverly Hills palace, he'd find something new to sing about.

From Ryan Boyle on 4 February 2002:

Phrase: You wouldn't catch me dead with an RX7 in my garage.....stupid rice burners.

Translation: "I have no [fancy] clue how a rotary engine works so I am going to stick
to my late 70's Malibu that I'll paint someday."

                                        - and -

Phrase: My IROC (or substitute GTA/ 5.0/ GN) would smoke that big block 442...that
thing weighs too much, it's a Lead Sled.

Translation: "When I saw him pull the front-end 8 inches off the ground as he
hole-shotted me I decided to turn right and crank my stereo."
Thanks Ryan! Okay you gearheads, Ryan got us started, bring 'em on!

From Liar Speed Demon on 24 January 2002:

just like any other band ozzy goes with what works for least he
makes new music instead of like the so called best rock band that ever played
(led zepplin)...a few years ago they put out a little remake album of songs
they did 20 years pathetic can that be....anyway..ozzy still moves
on and with his wife they have been able to remain in the spot light even
through the 90's with music changing in every aspect year after
twenty years when you have been doing what you do for that long...your
reviews will probably be the same old crap like this one on ozzy's new
album...ozzy hasn't gotten anywhere with his band ozzy is ozzy because of his
wife...the band just plays to whatever tune she creates...thats not without
saying that they don't put up talent or they ability to write good
songs...cause its not a secret that ozzy doesn't write all the songs
himself....but someone has to hold it all together and in his credits as he
does on most of his albums is thank his wife the most....for us fans we still
love what he does even if the motivation for him is probably money....but
were still having fun enjoying what he puts don't piss on our the way....i'm 31 2 kids 2 houses and good job and nice
cars...and i still find time to take my kids to concerts and have
fun....maybe you ought to do the same...ozzy does
No you're not, I looked up your profile on AOL and it says you're "single and loving it". Liar liar pants on fire!

From Andy Fuller on 20 January 2002:

Since you left the email address at the bottom of your Ozzy down to earth
review I, of course, felt obligated to write :P
If whomever set up this address actually reads your mail regarding your
reviews, I thought I'd say I got one hell of a kick out of reading that. At
least you gave Ozzy some of the due respect by saying you liked the album. I
never thought to analyze Ozzy's work at all, but damn you guys hit the
bullseye on that cd. Aaaand, that's all I felt obligated to say
Oh, I read them all, but mostly I get hate mail. I'm glad you're able to see the humor in the piece, unlike many fans who seem to be blinded by love. Ewwwww.

From James Goldsberry on 2 January 2002:

hey stupid

you are a sorry excuse and need to get a life ozzy is the man and always will be you
have no right to say anything about ozzy i only wish i could see you at an ozzy
concert so i could beat your little [girly] [bum] listening to ozzy live thankyou
punk [bum] nobody

get a [gosh darn] life
You missed your chance four times. Of course, that's understandable since you probably weren't listening to Ozzy in elementary school.

From Jayne Milana on 30 December 2001:

You have too much time on your hands.

Maybe you could get a job, with your acerbic wit and cynicism. Ozzy is still
God. BTW, I'm a few years older than Oz and a legal professional, typing
this while the lawyers aren't looking -- but they don't care, anyway. I
enjoyed your site immensely. Give the guy a break. Thanks.  Jayne
He gave himself a break in the tub a few months ago... no help needed from me. Hey Ozzy... more rich chocolate Ovaltine please!

From B.C. Steele on 17 December 2001:

First of all, I did agree with alot of what was said about the album, but
Zakk only had a Jam band called Lynyrd Skinhead, which was renamed Pride and
Glory and did rather well with that CD, also Zakk has a newer band called
Black Label Society that has 2 1/2 albums out of pure Brewtality that have
done so well it even earned them a spot on last years Ozzfest. Also Mike
Bordin (drums) and Robert Trujillo (bass) have been in Ozzy's Touring band
since the Ozzmosis tour and are seasoned veterans coming from Faith No More
(Borin) and Suicidal Tendencies/Infectious Grooves (Trujillo). And if it were
not for Zakk the songs that Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) and Dexter Holland
(Offspring) wrote for Ozzy and Tim Palmer (producer) would have been on this
album. Zakk saved this albums ass from being another "Ozzmosis" or a [stinkin]
psuedo Foo Fighters record, THANK HIM!!! So to sum up, Ozzy is not much
without Zakk, and Bordin and Trujillo kick [butt] and should be given their
props (even if they were not pictured in the disc liner, an injustice as far
as I am concerned).

                                                   B.C. "God of Thunder" Steele
So... basically what you're saying is that Ozzy sucks without his backup band?

From Anand Kumar on 5 December 2001:

Hi there,

I hatelove the new Ozzy as much as you guys. You'd really love to see the
Madman get a little more inspiration from somewhere or someone or something...
Anyway, your right/wrong-ratio depends on wether you think "Gets me
through" is about Ozzy "himself" or if you think (like I do) that it is
basically "whiny crap" lyrics although the word "me" is in the title.

Cool review,
"Gets Me Through" was a very tough call, but ultimately I had to list that one as a song about himself. Had he been writing more about the fans that it is supposedly dedicated to, I would have listed it as whiny crap. But if you listen to the lyrics, the song is basically about himself and how much he needs to be worshipped. Of course, if I accept your analysis, then my score would be higher! So your arguments have merit. Thanks Anand!

From Tim Hicks on 10 November 2001:

Hows it going. I found your page on the net. Now, I'm
no grade 10 student, I'm 26 yrs old and have been a
Ozzy fan since my grade 10, 1990. But I just couldnt
resist writing to u. And I know your Ozzy fans so
thats cool too. I admit this album is ok, with some
"filler" songs on it. But the band is not a nobody
band. The Ozz, and Zach dont need explaning, but the
drummer Mike Borden used to be in Faith No More, a
band back in 1989 who were way head of their time. And
the bassist Robert Trujillo used to be in Suicdal
Tendencies, another band who is considered by some to
have influenced todays Metal bass playing. So its not
a no-name rhythum section. The album is better than
Ozzmosis. I think the Ozz wanted to put out another
album to show younger bands who grew up listening to
the grunge/punk 1991+ era stuff that u can still play
heavy [stuff] and still be melodic. That u can make a
good song by playing heavy without shouting/growling
like a moron. That kinda [stuff] sucks. I am a  big Limp
Bizkit fan, but their breakthrough song, the Faith
remake [really] sucks. Kudos to the Ozz for showing em
how to record an album. Like I said, its ok, not my
favorite album, and some stuff u just wanna skip over,
but It's good in its own sense. I just had to write
about the band. All metal Veterans.
I appreciate you taking the time to write, and I tend to agree with your assessment.

From David Goldsberry on 8 November 2001:

ozzy makes a hell of a lot more money than you will ever see in your life
and has the fans that love him and all his songs are very very good so
pick your self apart
The Backstreet Boys also make more money than me and have fans that love them.

From Katrina Mitchell on 1 November 2001:

hi   no matter who this wonderful person has in the bands line up, after
hearing the new album(cd)themaster of reality andthe unmistaken talent of
this musician shines through once again,welcome back(down to earth)    yours
mitch  (a devoted fan from the war pigs age).
Well, if Ozzy swings by my little page, I'm sure he'll appreciate the sentiments.

From K. Tucker on 27 October 2001:

I'm no tenth grade Ozzy fan,and I happen to
be listening to the new album right now and I haven't heard one "whiny crap song
yet, but then again I don't believe Ozzy has ever written one. I feel the only
reason you don't like Ozzy is because his music is too complicated for you to
understand. When is the last time you listened to "Megalomania" or "The
You must not have gotten to "Dreamer" yet...

From Steven Dristy, Sr. on 20 October 2001:

can't agree with that- the number of trucks out there, times the amount of fuel they 
require, compared to comparable figures for the same number of cars (note well--
according to the nhtsa, the number of new truck purchases has passed the number 
of new car purchases) is more likely to give a better answer.  Yes, demand and 
supply DOES account for a  lot, but demand would be lower if trucks got anything 
close to what cars do in the area of mpg.  I have both, and drive both about as much
- my 97 nissan car holds 12 gal and I can drive for a week - 300 miles - to and from 
work on about 10 gal.  My jeep (also 97) holds 16 gal, and has to be filled up twice
to go 400 miles : do the math!
I did exactly what you suggested. I calculated the total number of cars and trucks for each year, and calculated the fleet fuel economy for each year, and came up with a big fat goose egg in correlation between fuel economy and gas prices. No, it's not the answer you might expect, which is why I bothered to post it online.

From Jason Hedlin on 18 October 2001:

You have to be the most stupid idiot in the world. How could you say that about the 
Oz. I mean come on every one knows he is heavy metal. And number 2 he is not 
predictable. You are wrong my friend Ozzys new album is his heavyest and fiercest 
Just because everyone "knows" Ozzy is heavy metal doesn't seem to stop him from writing total garbage like "My Little Man" and then actually recording it, and then actually putting it on an album! Or have you not heard that song? IT SUCKS!! It sounds like a Paul Simon song being sung very poorly at a karaoke bar. That some of his stuff is still good doesn't change the facts of the analysis. Remember, the point of the essay was to analyze his past work and predict the future with it. What part of the analysis do you disagree with, other than the conclusions? Or are you just being negative?

From Randy Velvin on 11 October 2001:

why are you doing this web site anyway

you dont know what you are talking about the drummer that is playing with ozzy has 
been around, and will out live youre [rear] he played on every faiht no more album
and toured with them youre whole attitude is fore [spit] but you sound like youre
used to hearing that             31 year old male
Yeah, after the heck I've caught from the Dukes of Hazzard people, I seriously doubt you Ozzy fans are going to faze me. So. My entire analysis is invalid because you think you've found a factual error? Or are you conceding that the rest is correct, aside from the remark about the rhythm section? Which would turn out pretty well for me, since you missed the point. The drummer won't be WITH OZZY for long enough to matter. You'll see; he'll be gone before you know it. Glad you liked the essay!

From Chris B Anderhub on 2 October 2001:

[phooey on] you and your analysis.  ozzy is a god, and will always be a god.
you wouldn't know good music if it crawled up your [behind], festered for a
month, and climbed out your [stinkin'] urethra.  if you can't respect and
appreciate ozzy and his music than you have no [darn] right to critique it.
 and just in case you ignored it before.........[phooey on] you.
About what I expected. A purely emotional response with no basis and no reasoning, sent to counter an analytical examination of Ozzy Osbourne's new album. Instead of countering that songs like "Old L.A. Tonight" are the cutting edge of modern heavy metal, or that a revolving lineup of bassmen injects energy to the sound of the album, you simply resort to personal attacks. How clever. Long live the stereotype of heavy metal listeners being incoherent morons. Let's hope the next guy manages to do better. My God man, the review wasn't even that harsh! Are you going to enter therapy when your favorite TV show is cancelled, or what?

From David Sparks on 28 August 2001:

I am compelled to comment on "Trucks Don't Raise Gas Prices"  I was dismayed to 
see how the author tried to use "scientific data" to present his case.  It is
ludicrous to try think that his "Scientific" presentation proves anything.   The
problem is that his scientific data is anything but "scientifically" applied to the
issue at hand.  This again is yet another case of how presentation of data allows the
author to "Prove" anything.  As presented, we are expected to believe that there are
only two variables when in actuality there are hundreds of socioeconomic influences
effecting vehicle size, economy and gas prices on both short and long term basis.  To
use this generalized data to show collation between gas prices and fleet mpg is
impossible if all the other variables are not taken into effect.  Although I cannot
afford to spend the time listing all the reasons why his whole presentation is
missing the boat, I will mention the most glaring oversight the author neglected to

This oversight is the time lag between what is happening today at the pumps and the 
mpg of vehicle fleet of the past and present.  How can we expect the gas guzzling 
SUV engineered 5-10 years ago and bought within the last five years to reflect what 
OPEC decides to charge for a barrel of oil today?  Come on!!

This case is best analyzed using good old common sense and not tainted unclean 
"Scientific" data.  The reason we have high gas prices is good old supply and 
demand.   We demand more and more gas from dwindling supplies and the prices 
WILL go up!!!  Surprise Surprise!  And yes because we don't think that one more 
SUV will make a difference we buy the vehicle and subsequently DO contribute to a 
faster rise in gas.  Enough people do this over enough time and then the data will 
show less gas avaluble and those that sell it will be able to charge more.
Collectively we DO in the long run contribute to higher gas prices because we are
using vehicles that get lower mpg which means less gas avalubale which means higher
Hi David! The point of the essay is that other factors exert far more influence on the price of gasoline than the fleet fuel economy. Note spikes in gas prices around the time of the oil embargo and the Gulf War. Note the dip during the Asian economic crash. But more than that, note in the graph how the fleet fuel economy has tracked a steady curve while the price of gas has been on a rollercoaster ride. Surely the amount of fuel we consume plays some small part in the price of that fuel. However, there are many other factors that affect fuel CONSUMPTION as opposed to fuel ECONOMY, and it appears that the price swings are affected in far greater proportion by other factors. There simply is no trend between fleet fuel economy and gas prices.

Putting all other factors equal, aside from being impossible, is pointless. All other factors will never be equal in the real world; in fact, the whole purpose of this study is to show that all other factors are the prime determinant of fuel prices, and not the vehicles. The recent drop in gas prices, by some 20 cents, illustrates this point.

From Larry Woldt on 13 August 2001:

Now that we have narrowed down the type of vehicle you drive let me just
say that you should check your sources.

First, you are now taking government stats to prove what they want you
to prove? Remember, Mark Twain said their are lies, damn lies and
statistics. And when the numbers come from the government I am doubly
suspicious. No, I am not a conspiracy buff but I was in The Marine Corp
from 1966 to 1968 and they told me we were killing the Vietnamese to
make 'em free. Besides, this is the same government that says
conservation is of little importance even though conservation in
California recently reduced their energy (not gasoline, I know)
consumption by double digits.

Next, not sure of how you totaled the numbers but light trucks, SUVs and
vans have a lower standard to meet. They also lack a few other details
like steel side-beam protection among others.

Why not just call GM, Ford and Mopar to get your numbers. We all know
they are honest.

You aren't related to President Shrub or VP Dick(me Cheatme are you?
Hi Larry. I take it you disagree with me that trucks don't raise gas prices. That's fine, but actually I don't drive a truck unless I absolutely have to. I have a farm truck that I use for hauling stuff, but I only put a couple hundred miles a month on it. My daily driver was a Miata (before getting destroyed by a teenager in... a truck!) and my wife's is a Neon. So much for stereotypes.

I agree with you that government information has to be approached with skepticism. However, information is limited; the numbers I used were drawn from two different agencies and analyzed by me, not by the feds. Essentially, my analysis was drawn from:

* fleet fuel economy numbers were derived from annual light-truck and passenger-car averages provided by EPA, with the annual rating weighted by the percentage of that model year's vehicles still on the road, as determined by the Department of Energy.

* fuel costs were reported by the Department of Energy.

So, who is likely to be fibbing?

1. EPA is lying about annual fleet fuel economy -- despite the fact that their own testing methods are well-known and conducted by the manufacturers, not the agency.
2. DOE is lying about the number of vehicles in operation. Since this is a simple study of vehicle registrations, it's hard to imagine the motivation to skew the numbers.
3. DOE is lying about the cost of energy. I suppose this is possible, since overall trending of energy costs is no doubt tricky business, but again I have to ask why they would do so.

I think it is reasonable to believe that these statistics are reasonably accurate. And, faced with the fact that there are no alternate statistics, I have little choice but to use them.

Regarding your points on standards, my study did not take any of that into account. It simply studied fuel usage, not why trucks get lower fuel economy. I didn't contact the manufacturers directly because my study includes all vehicles, not just domestic marques, and it seemed easier to let EPA do the averaging than me doing it.

I'm not related to the current administration, but if you'll look at the chart again you'll see that it takes approximately six to seven years from when a drop in annual economy results in a drop in fleet economy -- in other words, whatever we suffer for the next half-decade is a legacy of the previous administration.

Not that I think presidents have much to do with the fuel economy of passenger vehicles.

My basic question to you is, if trucks raised gas prices last spring, then why have pump prices dropped by 20 cents a gallon in the last two months? The national fleet just doesn't change that fast. Other things affect the market for petroleum far more than the type of vehicles we choose to drive.