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I can’t believe it actually might be coming to this.

Mrs. Robbo currently drives a 2004 Jeep Cherokee.  It’s got better than 100K miles on it now and has begun to develop suspension and brake ailments that, I’m sure, will require boffo dosh to repair, and that right eftsoons.  Furthermore, the three gels were considerably smaller seven years ago when we bought it.  These days, when they’re all crammed into the back seat together, bitter hand-to-hand combat almost inevitably ensues, usually when either Mrs. R or I are attempting to deal with traffic.

In short, I don’t think it unreasonable to say that we’ve pretty much driven La Cherokee into the ground.  That part I am perfectly willing to accept.  Indeed, it has been casually drifting in and out of my thoughts since the beginning of the year.

No, here’s the tough part:  Mrs. R just forwarded me a link to a  lease deal on a 2011 Honda Odyssey, and rayther than recoiling in horror, I find myself……enthusiastic at the prospect of three rows of seats, slidey doors and Mr. & Mrs. Suburbia creature comforts.

Resistance is futile.

UPDATE:  Perhaps I can put these on the rear window:

(Yes, I know I’m mixing references here.  Just roll with it.)

Who knew there were feral camels in the Aussie Outback?  Well, apparently there are and they’re causing a hell of a problem:

More than 1 million feral camels are thrashing the remote Australian desert, destroying water supplies and disturbing Aboriginal communities to the tune of 10 million Australian dollars a year.

As part of plans to contain the camel’s havoc and reduce the animals’ numbers, managers have launched a website, CamelScan, where the public can report feral camel sightings and damages using a Google maps-based tool.

“They can do enormous damage,” said Jan Ferguson, managing director of Ninti One Limited, the organization that manages the Feral Camel Management Project, which launched CamelScan. “They can eat up to very high heights in our trees. When water is short, they go for running water. They will take pipes and air conditioning units off of walls, and smash up toilet systems.”

Apparently, this is the only wild camel population in the world.

For some reason, I was intrigued as a kid by stories of the U.S. Army Camel Corp, an efforts to introduce camels as transport in the West back in the mid 1800’s.  (In fact, I even have a vague recollection of a Disney movie about the project.)  I recall that one of the questions that always puzzled me was why the camels that escaped or were let go when this project was abandoned never increased the way wild horses did there (and these camels in Australia are doing).  It always seemed to me that camels would be perfectly adaptable to the Southwest, and yet there are no herds.

According to this fellah, Pixar has been engaged in a stealth campaign to condition us all for the Brave New World:

Pixar has given those who would fight for personhood the narratives necessary to convince the world that non-humans that display characteristics of a person deserve the rights of a person. For every category there is a character: uplifted animals (Dug), naturally intelligent species (Remy and Kevin), A.I robots (WALL-E, EVE), and alien/monsters (Sully & Mike). Then there is the Incredible family, transhumans with superpowers. Through the films, these otherwise strange entities become  unmistakably familiar, so clearly akin to us.

The message hidden inside Pixar’s magnificent films is this: humanity does not have a monopoly on personhood. In whatever form non- or super-human intelligence takes, it will need brave souls on both sides to defend what is right. If we can live up to this burden, humanity and the world we live in will be better for it.

You can go and read the explanation in detail, if you like, but the bottom line seems to be that the author, assuming he isn’t writing with tongue planted very firmly in cheek, takes Pixar’s anthropomorphism of animals, machines and monsters……literally.

I certainly love Pixar movies, especially The Incredibles and Toy Story 2, but I’m bound to say that if I thought Pixar really was up to such soul-cheapening shenanigans as claimed here, I wouldn’t enjoy them nearly so much.  


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May 2011