Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mystery People

Within a very short time the presidential race will move into its next stage with the naming of the two vice-presidential candidates. Obama is expected to announce his running mate by Saturday of this week in order to have everything in place for next week's Democratic convention. McCain will follow shortly afterward in order to take some of the press coverage away from the Democrats and their convention. Right now, the favorite media sport is speculating on the VP candidates. The press is narrowing in on three possibilities for the Democrats and three or four for the Republicans. Frankly, I would like the answer to be "None of the above" for this one, both because the people touted by the press are far from capable of shifting the campaigns into higher gears (and who needs more of the same?), and because I would like to see the presidential candidates outsmart the press. At this point I'm hoping that we're in for a pair of surprises...but maybe not of the Dan Quayle type.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Gas Saving Tip

Here's a simple tip for reducing the amount of gasoline(petrol) you use. When you refuel, fill up your tank or purchase a constant number of gallons(litres) so that you know the amount of fuel you have to begin with. Before you leave the pump, reset your trip odometer to zero. When you do this, you will always know the number of miles(km) you have driven since your last refueling. Then remain conscious of the distance you have driven by watching the miles(km) on the trip odometer accumulate. You will find yourself reducing unnecessary trips to slow down the increase in the displayed number, and you will also soon learn how many miles(km) you can expect on your fill-up or constant amount of fuel purchased. This will tell you at any time what percentage of the way to your next refueling you are. Drive so as to maximize the time to your next refueling, and you will purchase less fuel and save money.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Year of the Veep?

The race for president is tightening up, and both sides need something that will generate a boost in the poll ratings and in voter interest. John McCain has succeeded in turning the media's attention to nitty-gritty details as opposed to Obama's long-term "Change" philosophy. They also both have potential liability aspects as voters weigh the impact of age and race on their decisions. The key to victory in this election may well be the identities of the two VP candidates. Each presidential candidate needs to choose someone who will: enhance their combined impact and stature (1+1=3); bring additional votes to the ticket that would not be likely for the presidential candidate alone; give geographic and/or demographic nationwide appeal to the ticket; and offset one or more perceived weaknesses of the top candidate. The selection of VP candidates who cover all of these criteria will be very difficult, but it very well may be critical to the results of the general election and to the perception of the electorate of the worth of each party's ticket. There have been several elections when I voted one way or the other because of my feelings for the vice-presidential candidate, and one or two where I wished the VP candidate was the one running for president. This year the election is going to be extremely close, and the VP candidates may make the difference. I also think that this year's election competition will go right down to the wire and will feature some high-impact last-minute surprises.