Friday, February 27, 2009

What is the amount of foreign objects allowed in food?

In the wake of the peanut butter recall people are asking how much foreign objects are allowed in food?

It may make you sick to know that the FDA allows up to 30 insert parts or vermin hairs for each 100 grams of peanut butter! Yum!

In some countries, they allow foreign objects in the food, like this jumping maggot cheese:

Cheese with live maggots

And, in China, they eat vermin, both city rat and country rat:

Yummy stewed rodent head

Most people don’t know that they eat vermin and bugs every day, all allowed under the FDA regulations on the amount of foreign objects allowed in food.

In fact, some fish products (red fish & orcan perch) allow parasites and the accompanying pus pockets to be included!

However, it remains a felony for any food preparation service to place a foreign object in served foods:

The finger-lickin good Chili from Wendy’s was a scam

Please note that the FDA allows small amounts of rat feces and insect parts in Ketchup, because it’s virtually impossible to remove all particulate matter from mass produced tomatoes.

They make the distinction between natural contaminants (turds, dead critters) and foreign objects such as staples, broken glass, or jewelry. This loaf of bread is a violation:

An example of too much contaminent for foods

The FDA publishes a Food Defect Action Level list. Here is a sample of the amount of gross things that are allowed into our food:

NOODLE PRODUCTS - Insect filth: Average of 225 insect fragments or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples. Rodent filth: Average of 4.5 rodent hairs or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples

CHOCOLATE - Insect filth: Average is 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams when 6 100-gram subsamples are examined OR any 1 subsample contains 90 or more insect fragments. Rodent filth: Average is 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams in 6 100-gram subsamples examined.

CANNED CITRUS FRUITS - Insects and insect eggs: 5 or more Drosophila and other fly eggs per 250 ml or 1 or more maggots per 250 ml.

FLOUR - Insect filth: Average of 75 or more insect fragments per 50 grams. Rodent filth: Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 50 grams.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Programmer as Musician

I remember back in the 1970's when IBM would only hire music majors, and teach them programming.

This video says it all, and true too, listen to the lyrics!

Write in C

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

List of Surviving B-29 Bombers

42-6376 - to storage at Davis Monthan 6/27/49

42-65281, Miss America '62 - at Travis AFB Museum, CA

42-27297, Bock's Car - the Nagasaki bomber, now on display at WPAFB Museum, OH

44-27343 - at Tinker AFB Air Park, OK

44-61975 - at New England Air Museum 44-69729 - on display at Seattle Museum of Flight, WA

44-69972 - stored on range at Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, CA, moved to United States Air Museum, Inyokern, CA and is under restoration

44-70016 - at Pima Air Museum, Tucson, AZ

44-70064 - on display at Castle AFB Museum, plane is actually made up of three derelict targets from China Lake

44-84076 - on display at SAC Museum, Offutt AFB, NE

44-86292, Enola Gay - dropped atomic bomb on Hiroshima

44-86408 - used to collect radioactive samples during postwar atomic tests, now on display at Hill AFB Museum

44-87779 - at South Dakota Air and Space Museum, Ellsworth AFB

45-21763, Kee Bird - abandoned after landing frozen lake in Greenland, during to recover, caught fire and burned May 21, 1995. Check out PBS Nova episode about the efforts to recover Kee Bird.

45-21787, Fertile Myrtle - used as carrier aircraft for D-558-II, registered as NACA 137, now with Weeks Air Museum, Miami, FL

45-21800 - used as "mothership" for X-1 trials 45-21801 - used by NACA between 1945 and 1955

List of surviving operational B-17 bombers

I have a special relationship with the B-17, and I would not be here today if it were not for the superb engineering of these magnificent aircraft. My father flew 52 combat missions in B-17’s during WWII, and if it were not for their amazing toughness, ole Dad would not have been there to conceive me!

Ever since I was a child, I’ve thought of the B-17 as one of the most beautiful aircraft ever built, (and I still do) and it’s sad to think that there are only 13 of these national treasures in flying condition.

44-83514 CAF, Mesa, Arizona. Flies as Sentimental Journey.

44-83546 1941 Historical Aircraft Group, Genesco, New York. Flies as 41-24485, Memphis Belle Replica.

44-83563 Martin Aviation, Santa Ana, California. Flies as 42-97400, Fuddy Duddy.

44-83575 Collings Foundation, Stowe, Massachusetts. Flies as 42-31909, Nine-O-Nine.

44-8543 - Vintage Flying Museum, Fort Worth, Texas. Flies as Chuckie.

44-85718 Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston, Texas. Flies as 42-38050, Thunderbird.

44-85734 Liberty Belle Foundation, Douglas, Georgia. Flies as 42-97849, Liberty Belle.

44-85740 EAA Aviation Foundation, Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Flies as Aluminum Overcast.

44-85778 Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs, California. Flies as Miss Angela.

44-85784 B-17 Preservation Trust, Duxford, England. Flies as 41-24485, Sally B.

44-85829 Yankee Air Force, Willow Run Airport, Ypsilanti, Michigan. Flies as Yankee Lady.

44-8846 Associtation Forteresse Toujours Volante, Paris, France. Flies as Pink Lady.

Granny watches her first South Park episode!!

Janet’s Mom is in her 80’s and she hangs out in our house quite a bit. Last week she called Janet, quite agitated, seriously pissed-off!

Evidently she was watching a Carolina game (she is a big basketball fan), and the DVR machine interrupted her game to record an episode of South Park!

Evidently, lots of Grandma’s are die-hard sports fans:

Grannie's like sports!

Because people lose the ability to operate a remote control after age 75, granny sat helplessly while she was being treated to this unwanted potty humor!!!

This is the episode where people are warned about the dangers of Cheesing:

Cheesing - Getting high by inhaling cat pee!

Well, Granny was furious!

Not only did she miss the game, but she was upset at the “nasty” language and nudity in the cartoon! She said that there was a nasty woman, wearing only a belt.

We recognized it as “Major Boobage”, one of the funniest and raunchiest South Park episodes ever!

Speaking of nudity, have you seen this "granny flasher" Halloween costume?

I hope that I don’t lose my sense of humor if I’m lucky enough to live into my 80’s . . .

Order New Mexican food over the Internet

Ever since the Manhattan project introduced a generation of atomic scientists to the wonders of New Mexico food, people have been lusting for this wonderful fusion of Indian and Hispanic influences, an amazing fusion treat found nowhere else on the planet except in the high deserts of New Mexico.

But how can you get New Mexico food shipped to you and order it over the web? Here are my sources:

- Red and Green chile sauce - For years I've bought red chile and green chile from Monroe's in Albuquerque, and they can ship the New Mexico red or green sauce anywhere in the world.

- Red Chile sauce and tamales - Sadie's Salsa sells a great red chile sauce and fantastic tamales by mail.

- New Mexico Chile Rellenos - New Mexico Chile is a great source for Chile Rellenos, cheesy and hot. They make their rellenos from scratch, after you order.

New Mexican food is not just delicious, it’s quite addicting. In New Mexico, chile (never to be confused with "chili") is a cultural thing, the peppers that bind you together (and un-bind you later).

Hatch New Mexico has the world's best chile peppers

In Albuquerque you can get hatch chile on anything! You can buy a Big Mac with green chile added at McDonalds, and you can get a green chile pizza at Pizza Hut.

You can buy green chile sauce by the case, shipped anywhere on the globe.

See my full note here on buying New Mexican food on the web.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The bean dogs of Northern Mexico

I recently discovered the joys of the "beaner dogs" of Northern Mexico, hot dogs served-up with bacon and beans!

Who ever heard of putting beans in a hot dog? It sounds gross, but these “beaner dogs” of Northern Mexico are are fantastic treat!

Beans or not, these Mexican hot dog are truly a thing of beauty. Made from a "cheap" hot dog, wrapped in fatty bacon and slathered in beans, chile, mayo and hot sauce, it's a meal with a real retort, an absolutely delicious snack that you will taste for hours.

When Americans think of "cheap" hot dogs they think of those ones made from red dye #5,and serial, with bits of lips and buttholes (called "rennet) for a real meat-like flavor.

To a Mexican, a cheap hot dog is made from spleen, just like their spicy chorizo sausage, and bound together with hot dog helper.

No lips or buttholes in these babies, they are just pure offal.

Nestled in a warm Mexican roll, these gut bombs go down smooth.

The colors of the yellow mustard, green peppers and white mayo is not done for flavor, it's considered patriotic and done because of the white, red, and yellow hues of the Mexican flag.

Thank God the Mexican flag does not have any brown in it . . .

See more notes here on Mexican food in the Sonoran desert.

What's a Chav?

Let's learn to speak British!

The British love to make-up new words and sayings, and most of them are quite ridiculous. I like this new British slang word, Chav, coined from the language of those thieving tinkers:

The Chav

Evidently, a Chav is a low-life English teenager of questionable provenance, bad manners and, of course, bad teeth.

The Chav is the British equivalent of po white trailer trash. . . .

Chav's also like to wear designer clothers, quite odd:

Like the old saying goes "The Brits, they are a funny race, they fight with their feet . . . "

Monday, February 23, 2009

Funny foreign names

I’ve had friends and acquaintances with funny foreign names like Buger, Nad, Spooge, Freek and Grubb, and it’s sad that they get made fun of behind their backs, all because their parents did not do their homework!

See my notes on how foreigners can avoid giving their children funny names. Here is my list of child naming guidelines for new foreign parents:

- Crappy names: Avoid all names that begin with “shit” like Shital and Shitaqua. I also recommend avoiding any name that begins with the letters “ass” like Astrid.

- Hippie Names: Names like Trip and Freek should be discouraged.

- Body part names: Avoid names that sound like body fluids like Spooge and Dooshe, and never give names that sound like breasts like Maboob or Titt.

- Genital names: Avoid giving baby names that describe naughty bits, names like Butt, Wang, Balldeep, Baal, Nad, Vergina, Cherry and, or course, Furpie.

- Homonym names: Avoid names that sound funky when pronounced, names like Fu Kiu, Don Key, Maiballs, and Wang Kerr.

After watching “The Office” episode where a woman named her baby girl “Astird”, it became clear that all parents need to be conscious of how funny a name sounds. The name Astird is of Old Norse origin and its meaning is "fair, beautiful goddess".

But it sound like Ass-turd . . . Oh well . . . .

Some American names are also funny, names like Drewell, which look good on paper, but sounds like “Drool” when spoken. And let’s not forget Dick Handler and Joy Beavers . . .

And let’s not forget those funny name airport announcements, making fun of weird names . . .

I also just finished reading the book “The Joys of Engrish”, a great laugh on funny foreign product names.

But it works both ways. There are some funny American names (Ms. Minge, Mr. Plonker) which have a bad meaning in other languages, like the British speak. British people have very funny product names:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Original Aviator sunglasses

Every 10 years or so, aviator sunglasses become the fashion rage, and most people associate “aviator sunglasses” with the Ray Ban aviator glasses frame.

In reality, few people have ever seen the original aviator sunglasses which were made by “Pur-O-Ray” company. You can still buy WWII original aviator sunglasses on eBay for about $150.00 a pair.

Here is a pair of original WWII aviator sunglasses from a US Army Air Corp museum:

The original aviator sun glasses

The Barbie doll and Lilli, a German whore doll

Yes, it's true, the beloved Barbie doll was modeled after a German whore doll named Lilli!

When most folks associate “Germany” with beer, Nazi’s, sauerkraut or Hitler, but few associate Germany with the Barbie doll.

It’s in the news that the famous Barbie doll has turned 50 years old, but few folks know that the wholesome Barbie was modeled after a German whore doll named Lilli!

I just finished reading “The Stella Awards” book by Randy Cassingham, a tad dated, but a must-read for anyone interested in frivolous lawsuits and tort reform (also a popular web site), and read a page on a Barbie lawsuit where the judge noted that the Barbie doll was originally introduced by Ms. Ruth Handler, based on the German whore doll called “Lilli”:

Lilli - The German whore doll

In a discussion of the amuzing Mattel vs. MCA lawsuit, Cassingham notes the connection between Lilli and Barbie:

“A professional floozy of the first order, Bild Zeitung’s Lilli traded sex for money, delivered sassy comebacks to officers, and sought the companionship of ‘balding, jowly fatcats’. . . .

While the cartoon Lilli was a user of men, the doll (who came into existence in 1955) was herself a plaything – a masculine joke, perhaps, for West German males who could not afford to play with a real Lilli.

A German brochure from the 1950’s confided that Lilli (the doll) was ‘always discrete’, while her complete wardrobe made her the ‘star of every bar’. (1)”

As Mattel relishes in Barbie’s 50th birthday, let’s take a moment to reflect on Barbie’s hooker past:

Barbie gets in-touch with her prostitute roots

(1) The Stella Awards, Page 244-247

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Willful misconduct is not a disability

I’m sick and tired of fat pigs taking-up space in disabled parking slots, and cruising around in those motorized wheelchairs.

Obesity is not a disability!

Challenge the fake disabled

In this age where nobody is responsible for their own actions, willful misconduct is ignored and losers of every type now claim to be victims:

Drunks - Alcoholics are blameless victims of a “disease”. That’s crap.

Fatties - Morbidly obese lardo’s who eat 8,000 calories a day claim to be victims of “glandular conditions”. That’s hogwash. Take any of these gross fat pigs and put them in a concentration camp and they would be slim in no time! It’s simple physics.

Stop feeding the pigs and they lose weight, gland condition or not.

I’ve had enough of this “victim” mentality, and I’m not very PC when I confront the “fake” disabled with suggestions that if they stopped being a glutton, then perhaps, they might not need a wheelchair.

Don't coddle the fake disabled

When I see these fat balls of human crap clogging passageways I go out of my way to be intolerant of them. It’s not so much that they are disgusting, but that they think that people are stupid enough to believe that their own willful misconduct somehow qualifies them as truly disabled.

If these sloths want to eat themselves into a wheelchair that’s their business, but they should not have the right to claim disabled status.

There are enough “real” disabled people out there without lumping-in idiots who eat themselves into a wheelchair.

Obesity is not a disability. Let’s call it what is, willful misconduct.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sony - Master of need creation

Sony has a reputation has the master of need creation.

Ever since the walkman, Sony has pursued the “ah ha! I need that!”, leveraging on the idea of “need creation” with all of the talent of Ron Popeil, a man who could sell iceboxes to Eskimos.

Greenland store, selling iceboxes to Eskimos

Need Creation through history

People have been coming-up with "need creation" products for centuries:

- Shaving cream - Plain old soap has worked fine for centuries

- Fingernail clippers - Folks have used sissors to trime their nails since Roman times

Has this need creation has gone far enough? The Onion has this germane commentary (Warning NSFW):

Monday, February 09, 2009

Help protect America’s jobs!

President Obama has vowed to return over a million jobs to their rightful owners, and it’s sad that despicable corporations are getting in the way, keeping cheap overseas labor in favor of qualified Americans!

And this article makes me want to puke, a good American being sued by illegal aliens! That’s right ILLEGAL aliens. America is a country of LEGAL immigrants, and I applaud all Americans who keep our country free from undesirable criminals.

And this article makes me want to puke, a good American being sued by illegal aliens! That’s right ILLEGAL aliens.

America is a country of LEGAL immigrants, and I applaud all Americans who keep our country free from undesirable criminals.

An American Hero, being sued by criminal aliens

I’m writing to my Senators and Congressmen right now.

Sample H1b Visa complaint letter

Sample H1b Visa complaint letter

Senator Richard Burr
217 Russell Senate Office Building,
District of Columbia 20510-3306

Dear Senator,

I am writing to complain about loopholes in the US laws that permit H1B visa workers to displace American professionals and to encourage you to help create programs to train American workers to take these well-paid computer jobs.

Please help Americans keep their jobs and institute a training program for Information Technology workers to fill the slots currently occupied by the H1B visa workers.

Fraud is rampant within the H1B visa program, with studies showing fraud of over 20%.

Even more shocking, there are news reports that tens of thousands of H1B visa workers have gained citizenship using fraudulent credentials. It is my hope that you agree that United States citizenship obtained through fraudulent means is grounds for revocation and deportation, and that you will support measures to identify and deport these criminal immigrants.

There is no shortage of American high-tech professionals, it’s all about money. There are plenty of Americans who would love to have these high-paid software jobs, and it should be a crime to allow large corporations like Microsoft to fire hardworking Americans while retaining their cheaper H1B visa labor.

As an industry professional, I’m saddened to see Americans being displaced by H1B visa workers, and I hope that you will work hard to permanently suspend the H1B visa program and revoke the citizenship from any H1B visa workers who gained American citizenship through fraud.


John Q. Public

Brain eating parasites

Something that eats your brains sounds like it came out of a zombie movie, but it’s a serious issue. Trichinosis is a very common ailment, a side effect of eating undercooked pork or wild critters.

These little nasties literally eat your brain out from under you, and like the pork tapeworm, they are a leading cause of brain seizures.

But there is some misinformation here which has caused a decline in pork brain consumption:

Brains - Eatin’ high on the hog

When my cousins butcher a hog, they fight over who gets to crack open the skull for these tasty cerebrals. Me, I much prefer canned brains, because fresh brains have a leathery membrane cover which is a real pain to peel off. . . .

A North Carolina favorite is a heaping helping of brains and eggs (scrambled eggs), and while brains are seriously high in cholesterol, the canned brains have been properly cooked and do not have parasites. Most gray matter from grocery stores comes in milk gravy . . .

Beware of infected brains

But what about people who might eat brains which are being eaten my parasites? This New York Times article notes that doctors advise not to eat the brains of wild critters:

"Families that eat brains follow only certain rituals.

Someone comes by the house with just the head of a squirrel,'' Dr. Weisman said, ''and gives it to the matriarch of the family.

She shaves the fur off the top of the head and fries the head whole. The skull is cracked open at the dinner table and the brains are sucked out.'' It is a gift-giving ritual. "

See my notes here on upscale redneck cuisine and the role of fresh brains in a healthy diet.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Classic cars can be a good investment!

I've just invested in a classic Rolls Royce and I;m hoping that I will have a fun car to drive which will actually appreciate in value!

Investment cars are fun!

But what are the dynamics of using classic cars as an investment?

This math whiz has developed an equation that claims to accurately determine the depreciated value of a car, an exponential equation:

V = (intitial_cost)e- 0.18645t

initial_cost = new showroom price in dollars
t = age of car in years

As a rule of thumb, any investment car that is at least 15 years is likely to be “fully depreciated” and ready to appreciate if the conditions are right!

The hope when investing in a classic car is that you will be able to buy the car at the fully-depreciated value (usually 10-15 years), and that the market for the car will increase over time.

Some factors that drive this demand:
  • Scarcity – Scarcity is a determining variable in the appreciation of an antique car, but it’s not the only factor. For example, an ordinary 1967 Mustang can be bought for under $15,000, but a rarer Shelby Mustang can cost upwards of a quarter million dollars. On the other hand, a 1959 Cadillac “Fin Car” might be quite rare, but because people laugh at you if you drive one, they are not worth much.
  • Peer appeal – Everybody wants a “cool” car, and the fickle market surges whenever James Bond drives a classic car, or when Jay Leno endorses a restored classic vehicle.
  • Original value – a car that was once hugely expensive has more market appeal than a moderate car, and the classic Rolls Royce or Ferrari cars are excellent examples of cars that tend to appreciate. Lesser tier expensive cars (Mercedes, BMW) also tend to hold value more than non-luxury automobiles.

When investing in a classic car there are several rules:

  • Protect your investment – Keep the car original and garaged to protect the exterior finish.
  • Buy what you like – Don’t invest in an AMC Pacer just because you think that it will appreciate.
  • Consider your opportunity costs – In a market where interest rates are low and investments risks are high, buying commodities like classic cars may be a good idea.
  • Use an expert – Don’t skimp. Pay a local expert (like Motorcar Investment in Raleigh) to do a “bumper-to-bumper” health check before you buy any investment car.

For more details on invbesting in antique cars, see my full notes on how to invest in classic cars.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A Redneck Valentine’s Day Gift!

In redneck tradition, a Valentine’s day gift should be home-made, and what could be sweeter than a gift of love that you have shot yourself?

This page has a nice selection of local valentine’s day gifts for the redneck.

Redneck Valentines Day Gift - squirrel ear rings

Microsoft testifies to Congress

This Businessweek article says it all:

“The software giant that has pushed for more H-1B visas faces tough questions as it lays off 5,000”

Friday, February 06, 2009

Playing cowboy!

I grew-up in New Mexico, where it was not hard to find part-time work as a cowboy. Riding all day is harder than it looks, and you gotta look the part with Yosemite Sam blue jeans, a big silver belt buckle, a cowboy hat, and those pointed "roach killer" cowboy boots!

If you want to project a real cowboy image, your choice of horse makes a difference as well . . .

There were working ranches everywhere and they all needed cowboys to herd the condemned cattle, especially at the feedlots and cattle auctions. It was there that I developed my love of horses, and since our house looks like the inside of a barn anyway, we let the baby foals inside from time to time:

For the guide horses for the blind, Janet also trains them to sleep in bed:

While I was never proficient as a “real” cowboy, I did have great fun twirling a lariat, and I roped many a fencepost, and other inanimate objects! I was able to rope a goat once from horseback, but that was pure luck!

When I married Janet, I went more for the traditional English riding, but we still keep some western horses at Burleson ranch.

Our top western horse is Dude, an aggressive stallion, who is murder to ride.

I tried riding him once, and it was painful. I accidently ran my heel over his rump, and he bolted at a full gallop with me standing in one stirrup, hanging on for dear life! It was a short ride, and I peed blood for a week afterward. Today, he is at stud, spending his days eating and breeding, living the good life . .

Stupid criminal fake ID

The stupidity of criminals never ceases to amaze me.

This is a fake ID by an illegal Mexican, who thought that there would be no problem including his Chiquita in the driver’s license photo!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Tucson New Mexican Restaurants

OK, it’s cold again, here, and time to head south again, this time to Tucson.

I have two priorities, golf and food! For golf, it looks like these are the do-not-miss courses

- Loews Ventana Canyon Resort - 800-234-5117
- Starr Pass Country Club & Spa - 877-782-7727
- Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf Resort- 800-445-8667

Mew Mexico Food in Tucson

When choosing food, it’s important to distinguish between “New” Mexican food and “New Mexican” food:

- “New” Mexican food – Made-up crap like smoked duck quesilldias

- “New Mexican” food – Down-home New Mexico cooking, real Hatch Red and Green Chile, posole, Mexican/Indian/Gringo food

While I’m thrilled that you can now find Anitas (or Little Anitas) New Mexico Style Mexican Food coast-to-coast, from LA to DC, you cannot count on finding one in every city. They are like night and day, so I’d best do some research:

- Taquito Mio: 4951 E Grant Rd # 115: New Mexico Chile enchiladas a specialty – New Mexico enchiladas are a life-changing experience, and they are great with a fried egg on top

- Poco & Mom's Restaurant: 1060 S Kolb Rd: (520) 325-7044 - Serving Breakfast & Lunch Dinner, New Mexican Flat Enchiladas W/Fresh Red & Green Chili. Could this be some of the world’s best Huevos Rancheros I’ve been dreaming of?

- El Charro Café – The El Charro Café is a “New” Mexican grub chain, per dinner menu, and has some good reviews. DO NOT miss their legendary Carne Seca – Carne Seca is re-constipated meat. It’s first dried, ground up (or shredded) and then water is re-added. It’s sort of like beef jerky.

Downtown 311 N. Court Ave. (520) 622-1922
Eastside 6310 E. Broadway Blvd. (520) 745-1922
North 100 W. Orange Grove (520) 615-1922
Speedway 4699 E. Speedway (520) 325-1922
Ventana (520) 514-1922

Investing in luxury cars

Janet and I are notoriously thrifty and we always turn a nickel over twice, which is the main reason that we don’t have any reliable transportation! We have skimped and saved for years, and friends and family have encouraged us to go forth and buy a luxury car.

Our kids feel guilty at the prospect of inheriting money, and they want us to spend it all before we croak, and that's OK with us.

We have five vehicles now, but they are old, crappy cars (several of them don't even start), and we decided it was time to get some reliable transportation.

Ole Yeller is getting old - Time for some new wheels

We checked-out the Cadillac's and we were not impressed. The Escalades are truly a land barge. You need a ladder to get in them, they drive like a tank, and are super-hard to park (they even have a back-end video camera!).

The land barge - Hard to drive, harder to park

And talk about crap that you don't need, junk to break-down, like individually heated and air conditioned seats. If I want my seat to be warm, I’ll just rip one into the cushion . . .

Luxury or not, we decided that the Cadillac sedans are for old coots and codgers, so off we went to the Rolls Royce dealership.

Rolls Royce dealers don't sell new cars!

Our first surprise was that the Rolls Royce dealerships will not see you without an appointment! They don't answer the phone when you call, ostensibly to get your name and phone number so that they can do a credit check on you.

One epiphany is that you cannot buy a new Rolls Royce at the dealership! That's right, you have to plunk-down $400k and wait six months for delivery!

That's no fun.

They say that a new car loses half its value as soon as you drive it from the lot, and the Rolls Royce is no exception! One from last year had depreciated in value by 50%, to only $200,000!

At 4,000 miles, that's fifty dollars per mile depreciation, a very expensive ride!

Jimmy shows Janet a used Rolls Royce

The Rolls Royce dealer was super-friendly, and sold us on the quality and craftsmanship of a Rolls Royce. The numbers indicate that buying a high-end vintage car would give us the luxury that we wanted, without the grief of losing our hard-earned money to depreciation. Better still, you can buy a classic car, drive it for a decade, and sell it for more than you paid for it!

We chose this 1972 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow long wheel base sedan:

Old, steady and reliable - Just like us!

We went to Motorcar Investments, a dealership in Cary that has restored classic cars like Maserati Porsche Rolls Royce and Ferrari, all gently used, but way cheaper than new.

It's run by Larry Daniel, a UNC graduate and car buff, who did a great job in educating us about the process of investing in a vintage car. Here is us at the car lot.

Larry has an amazing Shelby Mustang for sale, at only $750,000:

If you like to invest online, you can also buy Rolls Royce’s on eBay for great prices.

Our Rolls Royce extremely well-built, costing $50,000 in 1972, and it only has 78,000 original miles! Best of all, she was cheap, costing less than $20,000, and she is seriously fun to drive, which is a luxury to us!

And it has an 8-track tape player!

See my complete notes here on buying classic cars as an investment.