Archive for the 'cars' Category

Ford has my number with the new Bullitt Mustang.

November 10, 2007

I know I should not fall victim to marketing.  I should repeat it three times to myself.  But the new Bullitt Mustang is soooooo cool.  Think about it:  it’s a car based on a car from a 40 year old movie.  It’s not even the first time Ford has done this!  Yet, it instantly turns me into a fanboy.  It might be a car based on a movie, but damn, what a movie!  Watch Bullitt in 1080p.  You won’t be disappointed.

The thing is, I have a sports car that I never drive.  It’s a beautiful sports car.  It’s the kind of sports car that makes people stop and stare and ask me about it if I’m nearby.  It’s nicer than the Bullitt Mustang and I never drive it.  Part of the problem is that I have three cars.  I don’t know how Jay Leno does it.  If you have three cars, one of them never gets driven.  I know people with 5 cars.  These people spend most of their time playing with trickle chargers to keep the batteries functioning.

Just like gaming, I have little time for driving.  I drive to work.  I drive my kids around.  I drive to the grocery store.  The last thing I need is another sports car… but it is pretty cool.

Porsche: Call 911 for Stress Relief.

July 23, 2006

Sitting in it’s bay in my garage for two weeks, the car defined patience. Tonight, I walked into the garage intending not to drive it, rather to put my trickle charger on the battery instead. With the garage door open, the sunlight glanced off the Targa’s glossy black sheet metal. In the cool, breezy evening air, I swear the car spoke to me. One word: drive.

I fetched my keys and off we went. Immediately I could not believe that I had not driven my car in two weeks. Even driving through my neighborhood at 30 mph, the stress began to leave my body, slowly being exchanged for the seductive pleasure that is driving a 911.

I exited my development picking up speed to 45. I would rarely go faster than 50 mph for the entire drive. Tonight I just wanted to cruise with the windows down and enjoy the unusual July coolness. I headed for the park. I always baby the car. It’s 18 years old, after all. Yet, with only 58,000 miles, it doesn’t know its age. Still, I’ve never had it over 100 mph. While I take it to PCA shows, I don’t do autocross or any of the other driving activities. Even though I’ve had the car for two years, I just want to take care of it.

I cut a sharp corner as I drove to the park. There are winding roads, no cops and few stop signs. Were I still a kid, I’d probably be tempted to open it up. But there are deer, cyclists & pedestrians, though not tonight. I mostly kept it at 50.

The car turns heads. It’s black on black. Very glossy. You can see the world reflected in it’s blackness. I kept the top on tonight, out of laziness. Lately, I’ve been playing 80s music on the Blaupunkt as when I drive. The car, after all, is a child of the 80s. It seems appropriate.

My favorite part of the park drive is a series of turns at the end of a long road. Unfortunately tonight, that part of the road flooded recently and I have to turn around. It’s been an amazingly wet summer with lots of flooding. I turned around and headed for more civilized road. I passed a Starbucks but I didn’t stop. I just don’t need the calories. At the grocery store today, I could not believe at how big people are generally and I have to try hard not to become like that.

Dog walkers seemed to be everywhere tonight. Many other car aficionados also took advantage of the break in the rain. I saw a Honda NSX and what must have been a Ford Cobra kit. You can’t get original Cobras. I’m not talking about the Mustang Cobra, I mean the Cobra, Cobra. There were no other Porsches, though. There is a guy in my development with my same car almost. The only difference that I can tell is that he has stock wheels; mine are BBS.

I had to fly to St. Louis to get mine. I looked at over 400 911s before I found the one I wanted. Two years later, I am still a happy man. Thankfully, I have not had to do much by way of repairs. That’s a good thing. Everything associated with the good cars from Stuttgart cost money. An oil change is $150. Then again, the Targa takes 12 quarts of synthetic oil.

My trip only took 30 minutes, but it’s hard to imagine how I could spend 30 minutes in this life in any better way. Before, I was lying on the couch gruffly thinking about the work I had to do. Now I’m energized, reinvigorated, yet relaxed. Going for a drive with my baby made me feel better. There’s something to this No Substitute thing, I think.

Shameless YouTube Links: Cute Puppies.

July 5, 2006

Honestly, I was all set tonight to blog on car crashes.  I thought I’d give some homage to the more morbid among you.  Then, I watched a few of the videos.  I’m sorry, but I’m not ready to do that yet.  One of them was so traumatic I had to stop watching them.  In fact, I immediately decided what I needed was more over the top cuteness for my Shameless YouTube Video day.  So I chose cute puppies.  Oh, and they are cute too.  My favorite is the last one.  It helped me get over my car crash video trauma.  I think I’ll stick to either cute or funny for this series. Life is hard enough without watching real life mayhem and death.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ShGhmqw4vM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWNcF0PzXEY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbsIYGlZXM8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBSOeUCzefQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWNcF0PzXEY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfIp8ZXQ4mM

Topics for Friday Night Party Line for June 30, 2006.

June 28, 2006

Here are the topics we’ll cover on the show this week. Please check out our “best of” show from last week (it’s our most popular show ever) at www.fridaynightpartyline.com.

–Is podcasting a medium that’s here to stay? Have any shows you listen to podfaded? What do you think the future holds for it?

–I read an article online about a guy who went undercover as a car salesman. I’ll talk about what he found out, but what’s your personal strategy that you use in dealing with salesmen when you buy a car.

–Both HD DVD and Blu-Ray players are out now and the word on the street is mixed. Are you planning on buying one of these? Who do you think will win the format war?

–How many domain names do you have registered? When did you start doing it? Has it worked out for you?

–If you could meet any three celebrities alive today, who would they be? What would you say to them? How would you like to meet? Over dinner? At an event? In your living room?

–Who are your top 3 least favorite celebrities and why?

— You’ve heard old wives tales as to treatments such as chicken soup for what ailes you. What’s your favorite wives tale or old country remedy that you still use to treat what’s bothering you.

–What was your favorite collection? Stamps? Comic books? Beer cans? Why did you do it? Do you still do it? What made you stop?

–What is the nature of motivation? Is it genetic? Does the environment cause it? Why do we like to do the things we like to do? Why do we like to do some things and then move away from them and on to other things?

–Schadefreude means taking delight in the misery of others. Have you had this experience lately? Tell us about it.

Cars of the Future.

June 22, 2006

In 50 or 60 years, when computers with cameras and sonar and GPS systems can drive cars with fewer accidents and fatalities than people, the interior of the automobile will look completely different than it does today.  From the future compact to minivan, cars will be places where we no longer lose time to travel.  The steering wheel and controls will be gone.  Seats can oppose each other and there will be at least a table for passengers to use and all the latest entertainment or work equipment will come standard.

For larger vehicles, everything will be modular.  You’ll be able to change from bed to kitchen to desk to treadmill.  Whatever you would do normally, you’ll be able to do while hurtling down the interstate at 80 miles per hour.  It will be far better than public transportation, because you’ll have all your home comforts or office necessities in the vehicle. 

Vehicles with bathrooms will be far more common than today.  Eight-hour night trips will be very popular.  Imagine packing your car then setting the GPS and climbing into a very comfortable bed.  You would get a great night sleep and arrive at your destination.

Parking in big cities would be different as well.  You could tell the car to park itself someplace cheap and be back by a certain time.  Or you might tell it to just drive around until you call it later in the evening.  Cars will become the ultimate party accessory when you don’t have to worry about drunk driving.  You can have a full bar and limo-like module pop out for bar hopping complete with disco ball.

Sure, it will be difficult to give up control of your car to machines, but the payoff in time is huge.  Time in the future will be even more precious than it is now.  And I’m sorry, but no flying cars until we can control the weather.  It will be at least another 150 years.

Special Days.

May 7, 2006

Special days are not the same for everyone. There are generic days that are supposed to be special to large numbers of certain groups, such as Christmas or Easter, but what is special, memorable or enjoyable depends on the individual. An event that is fun; an event that triggers all the chemicals in a person’s brain that causes one to feel happiness is rare and special and unique to the individual. I wonder if what one really enjoys in life can be distilled to one day. Can you describe your ultimate day? Can you think of how you would take the things you enjoy in life and put them all into one day, assuming you could do anything you want?

What makes something special depends on upbringing and culture and genetic predisposition. Something that is fun and memorable to a middle aged man in Beijing is going to be different than for a man living in Brazil just as it would be to me. There are some exceptions. The human basics are largely enjoyable to everyone. Eating would be an example although what Beijing gentleman considers a delicacy is probably not going to be something I would enjoy as much.

Look at sports. I know a lot of people who love going to basketball games. For basketball fans, a ticket to the big game is something very valuable and attending that event creates both happiness and a memorable experience. While this could be fun, in most cases, I could take it or leave it. I do, however, get the equivalent thrill from podcasting and other computer related activities. To each his own.

The point is, humans have extremely varied tastes in what they enjoy and what become forgotten moments. The trick is to fill your life with those things that create positive memories and limit the ones that do not to the necessary evils in life.

I’m reminded of the end of the movie "AI." The movie is uneven but it does have memorable spots. At the end of the movie, the aliens can essentially give the robot boy anything in the universe that would make him happy. He chooses one day with his mother. This is his ultimate time of enjoyment. This is how he spends his last day alive, playing games and otherwise spending an ordinary day with his mother. While I love my parents and I would certainly include them if I were planning a final day, there would be a lot of other activities as well. It might be strange to hear that I would spend a little bit of the day at my office and other parts of it doing computer stuff. Driving at high speed from destination to destination would be mandatory in a certain black sports car. Don’t worry, though there would be plenty of family time. I would eat, I would drink and I would spend time with my friends and family. When I think about it (morbid as it is) I think I could plan my last day if I had to (heaven forbid). Could you?