Lost their way

Not long from now, you’ll be seeing a Mini SUV on the road. As in, Mini Cooper.

It’s just wrong.

Focus… stick to what your core strength is. My guess is that they will sell about twenty. (I am joking — but I do not think that this will be their most popular model.)

It gets as little as 20 mpg. It’s 16″ longer and 6″ taller. If you will remember back to when the Mini was reintroduced (2001), the idea was to have a sporting car that got decent fuel economy. No more.

My take? Buy a used Mini and a used Toyota RAV instead. Then you will have your SUV — and what God intended — a fun, sporty car. All for less than the $29,000 starting price of a new Mini Cooper Countryman AWD.

Photo courtesy of Road & Track magazine.


Don’t go there

Yes, it’s true — I think Starbucks just made a mistake.

I get their weekly emails, and last week’s featured their new flavored coffees: “Natural Fusions”.

I’m showing my bias here — I don’t like flavored coffees to start with. (Those Frappuccinos and such — well, that’s a different matter. I like those. But they aren’t really coffee.) But my take is that those who like flavored coffee (or flavoured, if you are in the English-speaking part of the world) should add syrup to their freshly-brewed cup. Just like your neighborhood coffee bar would.


Pete vs Frank

I love hot sauce. I normally have at least three different kinds of Tabasco waiting to use when needed. But I like variety.

A recent Sunday newspaper provided me with a 50c coupon for use on a bottle of Frank’s. So when I was out grabbing something else at our nearby supermarket, I thought I’d pick up a bottle. Alas, Frank’s bottle was priced roughly double what Texas Pete’s was — even after the coupon. So Pete won out.

And I had to point out to you that Texas Pete is not from Texas. He’s brewed in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Flavor? Pete’s is milder than Tabasco. I like it enough to recommend that you add it to your hot sauce arsenal. (Apologies that I haven’t yet tried Frank’s.)

This post is inspired by my blogging friend James Taylor. He said, “I literally put Tabasco sauce on everything…”

Finally, apologies to my overseas readers — I’m guessing Texas Pete has not taken his sauce outside these borders.


Forever changed

Wananchi” is the Swahili word for “people”. We lived in Kenya for five years. I heard “wananchi” a lot. (Generally, in African cultures, the whole is more important than the individual — the opposite of in Europe and America. Again — generally speaking.)

So whenever I see “Wanchai”, my brain converts it to “wananchi”. Our time in Kenya forever changed us, and this is just a small example.


The Christian T

I’m not fond of the idea of Christian merchandise that costs twice what regular stuff costs.

I have long been a silent critic of stores that sell candles with Bible verses on them — costing five times what they might cost at Target without the verses.

A secondary thing… I am not willing to put a symbol on the back of my car telling the world of my faith in God. The simple reason is this — I am not a perfect driver. One day I might accidentally cut off another driver — and make her angry. She will then see that symbol and lump all Christians in the “bad driver” bucket. Furthermore, I doubt that anyone will change their course toward God through seeing a symbol on my car.


Amazing capacity

Heather is amazing.

She and a couple of other American ladies are involved with some refugee women from Nepal. They usually get together on Tuesday nights to study the Bible. She had wanted to show their teenage daughters a slice of Americana — and what our lives are like. So after the meeting one week, she piled them into our minivan and brought them out to spend the night at our suburban home. (One of the ladies’ young son happened to tag along.)

I, of course, was overwhelmed — but Heather took it all in stride. She went for a walk in our neighborhood, our sons played ping pong with them, and a good time was had by (almost) all.

I’m glad that people are different. It’s great to be married to Heather.


Amazing kindness

Over the weekend a package arrived. A friend sent me a Kindle e-Book reader. He gave it to me as a gift.

Amazing. I was and am totally blown away by his kindness!

This was completely undeserved.

Takeaway: What ways can you show kindness to someone this week?


Helping her fight

Rachel has the collector gene. I know it. Heather knows it.

These reading glasses broke recently. To avoid her keeping them for an unknown art project to come, I skipped the step that might come a few years down the line and quietly put them in my nearby waste basket.

Yes, you can call me mean, but since she doesn’t read this blog (yet), she won’t hear you. I’m just helping her fight our dreaded collector gene.

Update: check out the comments. Value added — and changed thinking — are reflected there.