Do you have a match?

So David forwards me this e-mail:

Quick question, what side of your car is your gas tank? If you are anything like me, you probably can’t remember right away. My solution is to uncomfortably stick my head out the window, strain my neck and look. If you don’t do this in your own car you definitely have done it in a borrowed or rental car.

Well ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to share with you my little secret so you will no longer look like Ace Ventura on your way to the gas station or put your neck at risk of uncomforted or injury.

If you look at your gas gauge, you will see a small icon of a gas pump. The handle of the gas pump will extend out on either the left or right side of the pump. If your tank is on the left, the handle will be on the left. If your tank is on the right, the handle will be on the right. It is that simple!
I don’t know how you feel right now but when I found out this morning I felt cheated!

Why don’t the dealers share such important information with car buyers? I don’t understand why this isn’t in the drivers ed manual? I don’t get why any mechanic I have ever been to or know has even thought of mentioning this to me? The only possible explanation can be that all these people probably don’t even know!

Go out and share the world’s best kept auto secret with your friends as this information is way too important to be kept secret.

So I rush out to the garage to check my Mini Cooper. The pump handle is on the right, and the tank is on the left.

(sigh)

Perhaps it’s because she was built in England with the steering wheel on the left?

How about everyone else’s cars?

Murray sticks with it

I see that Andy Murray is keeping going with the Bikram Yoga classes. Below is an update from the Guardian:

Murray bends rules and hopes to benefit from flexible approach

Eleanor Preston in Melbourne
Wednesday January 9, 2008

Guardian
When Andy Murray leaps up from his seat to give an impromptu demonstration of the latest Bikram yoga techniques he has learned, you know that Britain’s No1 player is feeling confident about his fitness.

Murray spent his off-season punishing himself in a variety of ways under the supervision of his new fitness trainers Jez Green and Matt Little, both of whom were on court with him at Melbourne Park yesterday for his first practice session ahead of next week’s Australian Open. They have been instrumental in providing Murray with what he believes is the ideal preparation for the forthcoming season; a confidence borne out by his victory at the Qatar Open last weekend.

Both Green and Little are fans of Bikram yoga, which involves doing eye-watering stretches and poses in a temperatures of more than 40C. Together they have made Murray a convert to the art, so much so that he spent much of December locked in a sweltering room with several other people, contorting himself in ever more painful ways. What is even more surprising is that he actually seemed to enjoy it.

“I’ve done five or six classes now and it’s been really good fun,” he said. “You can’t talk about how hard it is until you do it. I did some tough fitness work in the off-season and that’s one of the hardest things to do. With no windows, and with 20 other people in there, and just trying to hold postures and stay balanced and concentrated the whole time, it’s really tough.”

Given the hellishly hot temperatures of which Melbourne is capable at this time of year, Murray may find himself sweating again over the coming days. He is playing the Kooyong Classic exhibition event this week – where he is guaranteed three practice matches against decent opposition, starting with Marat Safin – and can expect his somewhat unusual preparations to come in handy if the thermometer goes above 40C, as it is forecast to do tomorrow and Friday.

Since Melbourne has already seen plenty of what are known locally as “fire days” during this southern hemisphere summer, there is every likelihood that Murray and his fellow players are about to experience one of the hotter Australian Opens of recent years. “You expect it to get hot here,” he said, with a shrug. “Hopefully the yoga means I’ll be used to it.”

The yoga is just part of a wide-ranging fitness regime designed by Green and Little – at least one of whom is likely to accompany Murray to every tournament he plays this season – but it appears to have captured the 20-year-old’ s imagination. “I can’t really do any of the good stuff yet but I think if I keep doing it, then in about six months I think there’ll be a huge improvement in flexibility and also strength as well because you’re having to do stuff like this . . .”

At this point, Murray stopped to hold his leg straight in the air at 90 degrees before pulling it higher and higher by increments, a move which attracted some funny looks from those passing en route to Tennis Australia’s nearby office.

Murray added: “It’s all about progression. It’s the perfect way – you can actually tell if you’re improving or something, because you can either do the exercise or you can’t. I’m pretty flexible for a tennis player.”

Have any Habs tried it yet? There are studios all over London.

Under the weather

Crappy weekend here. In spite of daily yoga and my much changed diet of plenty of fruit, yogurt and vegetables; and no chocolate, caffeine or fast food, I caught a cold. YUK YUK YUK! Thank you, Beth, for teaching my yoga class last night. It was tough to hand that one over as I’m enjoying teaching so much.

The worst thing about this cold is the sore throat. It’s painful to swallow even water.

Please feel sorry for me and leave your condolences in the Comments box.

Yeah, right!

The Pope rocks!

He’s kind to cats!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Once Again, The Pope Is a Cool Cat [Mike Potemra]

A little break from Obama and the Huck. The delight of Pope Benedict XVI in all things feline has long been known, but Catholic blogger Gerald Augustinus of “The Cafeteria Is Closed” has translated a German newspaper story offering some choice details:

He only has little time for himself. Recently he told his “roommates” in the Papal apartment what he does when he has time to daydream—thinking about writing a book on cats.
After the funeral of his friend Pope John Paul II, Joseph Ratzinger thought he’d be able to return home to Germany after 24 years in Rome. He had a plan—writing stories, stories about cats.
Joseph Ratzinger had cats around himself for decades, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The CDF is on the Via Aurelia, one of the most traffic-heavy streets in Rome. Daily, cats are killed or injured. Quite a few drag themselves into the garden of the CDF, where Ratzinger resided and movingly cared for them, feeding them, bandaging their wounds, watching them lie in the sun and slowly get better. And he gave names to all of them.
He wanted to write about these cats, but the election to the Papacy foiled these plans . . .

His friendship with cats has changed the Vatican a little bit. . . . When stray animals tried to enter the Vatican gardens in the past, [the Swiss guards] shood them away. But now, when the guards see a cat, they simply let it pass, into the Pope’s beautiful garden, because they know that Benedict XVI., when he prays at the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the afternoon is happy to see a cat, and he thinks again of his old dream: writing books about cats.

2002 Mini vs 2007 Mini

Wendy (not Rose. I came to my senses) is now 9 days old and I haven’t even finished reading her manual yet. There hasn’t been time to do much over the last couple of weeks. John also gave me an awesome Garmin GPS for Christmas and I’m still plowing through that manual, too.

What I did do, though, is scan the window stickers from Wendy2 (2002 Mini) and Wendy3 (2007 Mini). The latter has a few unreadable parts, but if you’re interested you can look at the two and compare them.

Did I mention that Wendy3 is far superior to Wendy2? She seems to have more power; 40 mpg vs 37 mpg; 6 gears vs 5. The speedometer is much bigger than the original. When you open the bonnet the headlights stay put instead of going up with it. The sun roof opens in the back as well as the front. I love the heated seats and use them after yoga to keep my spine warm. Then there are the automatic wipers and automatic lights.

Anyway, lots of good stuff. In spite of owing $10,000 over the next three years I’m glad I went with a new Mini instead of one that would probably have been “beaten to death” (John’s words).