lundi, mai 07, 2007

Brother Can You Spare an Electric Car?

Okay, can I complain about gas prices for a second?

My complaint is not the price itself (although paying $40+ for a tank of gas is shocking to me), it's the reason cited for the high price.

Supposedly, refining is down because refineries are undergoing much needed maintenance. Well, just as it's not a good idea to renovate a school during the school year, it seems odd to me that refineries would undergo maintenance just before the season when demand is at its peak.

In other words, why cut production when demand is rising?

Add that oil companies have had at least 6 consecutive quarterly earning records, and I'm frustrated.

I heard a news story indicating that deregulation (under Reagan) allows the artificial manipulation of supply to increase price (and revenue...income).

Whatever the reason, it strikes me as a bad idea to allow a resource that ultimately impacts the cost of everything to be so vulnerable to the basest corporate skullduggery.

It also slays me that the political party that claims to favor small business is fiddling away while the fire rages.

mercredi, mai 02, 2007

LOA, Whiter Teeth, Fresher Breath

Hello readers!

Sorry to be MIA. Work has kept me busy (but it's been challenging and meaningful work, and I enjoy my job very, very much).

There's no graceful way to transition from my somber post about the Virginia Tech tragedy, but I do owe you all a post about my experience with Crest Whitestrips. So, let this be just one more absurd juxtaposition in a world of absurd juxtapositions.

So, here's my experience with Crest Whitestrips:

My teeth are noticeably whiter, but not the super-mega laser white that some get by using the super mega laser thing. They're actually a nice, natural white. Overall, I'm pleased.


The Whitestrips are a bit of a drag, here's why -

First, you are supposed to use them twice a day for thirty minutes. That's not a complaint, just an observation.

Second, talking while they are on is difficult.

Third, they're pretty good for commutes,'re advised not to wear them immediately after brushing your teeth. So, if you're like Duf, you can't wear it on your morning commute (just brushed) or your evening commute (talking on the phone*).

Fourth, them don't taste no good. Them really don't.

Fifth, the reason I know they don't taste good is because the tape slides a bit when you move your mouth (in fairness, this might not be a reflection on the Whitestrips so much as it is a reflection on my inability to keep my mouth still - but I assume my struggle here would be the average user's struggle). To me, this is the biggest flaw (when I shopped for the strips, I noticed that some Crest competitors have trays. If you're considering low budge** whitening, I would really steer you toward a tray. I really would.

Sixth, the packaging is far from descriptive. As you use the Whitestrips, questions will come to mind. It would be great if those questions were answered by the packaging. One question I had was - what should I do after removing the strip? Rinse? With what? Another question I had was - is there any impact if I skip a day? Is ten consecutive days ideal?

Last, opening the packages which contain the strip, and applying the strip is not easy. It's also messy.

But I sound more unhappy with my whitening experience, and I'm not. I would do it again, but I'd probably lean toward a tray-based whitening solution.

*But not while driving, natch. Ahem.

**"low budge" is short for "low budget" and is used here to describe the over-the-counter solution. The other options are fitted trays supplied by a dental professional and the super-mega laser thingy. I assume there are other options.