Sunday, July 01, 2007

Taking advantage of parents : part 1

Being a parent of young kids, I'm slowly going through the chain of goods one needs to purchase for a child. The thing that I seem to notice is the for some reason things that are more expensive are more safe, or last a very long time.

Buying a car seat? The most expensive is the safest. Why, you may ask the store clerk? Because. Now, don't mind the fact that they all have standards and consumer reports normally says that the most of them are flawed. Its in the installation. There's even some reports that say that children are not safer in a car seat! The thing that makes car seats so safe are the fact parents actually more prone buckle them in.

I recall babies being held in their mother's arms. I remember steering the car while someone controlled the car. I smile when I thing about rolling around in the back of that old station-wagon. Is that even legal now? In most places no. Are we better off? I won't answer that. If I did I would be conflicted.

So, for now the kids will be locked in their chairs until the age of 5. Unable to move or be adventureous.

Monday, February 26, 2007

I was on a travel stint the last few weeks and had the pleasure of renting a car from this "fine" company. The following list is from actual recent experience and "five minutes will save you frustration":

1) Enter, start the car, adjust the seat and mirrors and turn on the lights.
2) Check that the wipers (and the fluids) work. Also, check that the locks open and close. Turn on the lights and the blinkers.
3) Exit the car and check that the car is not damaged in any way (massive dents, flat tires). Verify that the lights are on and the blinkers are working.
4) Stop the car and take out the key. Exit and lock the door. Now open the door with both the remote and the normal key.

This is not to mention the huge amount of fear mongering associated with their insurance fees. They range from reminders of the inclement weather to other craziness.

The more I travel the worse it gets. And its not only the US.