All posts by Mark Hiatt

And Again With the Losing

This week, I am wearing pants 4 inches smaller in the waist than I was a year ago.

This keeps washing over me. Even my pants are lighter now, because there is less fabric in them!

A little here, a little there. It all adds up. Or more properly, it all subtracts.

Now I still enjoy a Jamocha shake now and then. I still enjoy a lot of things that made what I am today, or what I was yesterday, or however that best parses. But I’m a firm believer in the saying:

Moderation in all things.
Including Moderation.

 I’m sure there will be setbacks. I’m sure there will be plateaus. I’m okay with that. I didn’t get here overnight. I’m not going to get back in a weekend or a week, either.

But for now, I’m wearing pants that are 4″ tinier in the waistband than last week!

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Mark Justifies a New Car

So I bought a new car a while back. It’s not a big deal—it’s actually the smallest car Honda imports into America, pardon the pun. But in keeping with my Hiatt-ness, I got the loaded-uped-est version I could find.

I bought a 2016 Honda Fit, sight unseen, having never driven one, on the strength of the reputation of the brand, the dealership and the salesman and the recommendation of friends. Take that, Consumer Reports! The dealership had to trade with a dealer in another city to get it here because with gasoline trending comfortably under $1.70 at the time nobody was interested in a car that got 45 miles per gallon except for me and they had only two on the lot, neither of which I was interested in.

Constant Lurker will remember I was embarked upon a journey to keep a 1995 Honda Accord forever. It had 176,000 miles on it and all of the old timers kept telling me, with a chuckle, it was just getting broken in. It was a simple car with automatic transmission, cruise control, electric windows that pissed me off, electric door locks that the original owner installed that pissed me off and anti-lock brakes that had given up a couple of years ago, reverting to, well, just brakes.

I had always repaired and replaced things with the best I could find. That car received the best tires, best brakes, best battery, the best, the best, the best whenever it went in for service. It was going to be my forever car, after all. And I have no doubt that someone received a wonderful machine.

I guess I got tired of it or lost faith in it or something. I’d recently started a new job and they don’t have a harsh unapproved absence policy but it is pretty strict and the thought of going into an ugly winter season with a car old enough to drink intimidated me a little.

When I first started driving, I made a list of the luxuries I would one day own in a car of my very own. My dream machine would have one of those toaster-oven rear windows, so you don’t have to scrape the frost off of the back. It would have radial tires, for a better ride and handling. It would air conditioning and cruise control and it would have a radio with a digital readout so you could precisely tune in the radio station you wanted.

The Accord had all of those things and I was really happy with it for a long, long time. We drove that car for more than 100,000 miles of our own and never made a car payment, having purchased it with the equity rescued from the wreck of our 1996 Honda Civic. Yeah, we went back a year and up a size after our Civic was totaled.

But I wanted gadgets. I wanted doo-dads. I wanted better mileage and I wanted to be able to leave for my sister’s house or to go on vacation and not have that nagging doubt that something would happen along the way that would mean I’d end up staying in a Motel6 somewhere waiting for parts. And I wanted in-dash navigation to see where I was and how far was left in the journey.

I have friends who drive Honda Fits, a car sold many places in the world as the Honda Jazz (I might re-badge mine, since I love jazz guitar). Now, I really loved the look of the first two generations of the car. Nice, small package. Tight little car. Room for four, or two adults and three kids or two adults and a dog or two adults and a ton of stuff. And of course, excellent mileage. And it looked nice.

The 2001 version was a simple little four-door hatchback that looked great and sported light weight, wonderful mileage, great handling, and a happy personality. Did I mention it looked great? In 2007 they redesigned it and so help me, the only change I can notice is the single crease in the hood became two creases. Still a cute little car with nothing on it that doesn’t need to be there, wonderfully gas mileage and what the magazines call “tossability” in the handling department. My friends raved about theirs, so I decided I had to have one. I could get one by writing a check. It would get great mileage. I could park it just about anywhere and the new ones came with GPS navigation, correct electric windows and door locks and all of the rest of the goodies.

The game was afoot….

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I Miss Jay Leno

It’s been sixty-some shows now and I am really happy for the success that Jimmy Fallon has had, but as much as I hate to admit it, I miss Jay Leno.

Part of it has to do with longevity. Leno, like Carson before him, was on for years and years and years. It became a part of life, to get through the day and crawl into bed and see who was on The Tonight Show, tonight.

But the thing is, I was never really much of a fan of Leno. Continue reading I Miss Jay Leno

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Back in the Saddle, Again….

I’ve been using this Web space for a great many things for a long time, now. Mostly I use this domain for e-mail, but I have been using the Web space for proof-of-concept kinds of things.

You know, you read about some new technique or technology and you think you’d like to try that out. But you don’t want to put it on your server at work (you don’t want anyone at work to know how little you know!). So, I purchased this domain years ago and have used through the years to noodle around with HTML5, CSS3, JQuery, PHP and MySQL and more.

You’ve heard the old saying that “Cobbler’s kids go barefoot”, right? Well, that’s me. After a long day of slaving away in the Web trenches, I wasn’t too keen on building out a real showcase site for myself—until now. Now, what started out as another proof-of-concept deal has lit a fire under my desire to learn much more about WordPress. So, here goes….

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