Garage Life

 While waiting for Gran Turismo 4, I've finally started to seriously play Auto Modellista, and the game ain't half bad. It's more arcade style than sim, but it does offer some features that the Gran Turismo series sorely lacks.

 You can change the color of your car, alter some of the exterior parts (hood, spoiler, front and rear air dams), and sticker the hell out of the cars. It also features some tracks styled around the Initial D anime series, and these are a blast. But, the one feature that is a stand-out, and keeps me playing, are the items and posters you win for completing races. You can then place them in your garage, wherever you like, and it's wickedly addictive. I can spend an hour just designing the layout of my garage, calculating what's the most efficient organization. It's like a barbie doll for guys, and makes me long for a garage of my own.

 I've never understood people who take a garage and turn it into just another room of the house, or use it simply to store things. It's a holy place, a shrine to tools and automobiles, a refuge for your vehicles, and should be a vital part of anyone's love affair with things that go fast.

 If you've got a great garage, send in your photos and I'll post them here for all the world to see.

Burning Sensation

 I was giving the Corolla a wash today, and when I arrived back at the apartment to clean the windows, there was a truck burning in the parking lot.

 It wasn't the engine compartment that was aflame, it was the cab. When the firemen forced open the driver's side door, orange flames filled the compartment, but were quickly extinguished by the liberal application of some water.

 Someone's baby just died, and another cehicle goes to the grave before it's time.

Semper Fi

 Today, in 1775, the US Marine Corps was created. Happy birthday to the Marines, and let's pray for the safety of all the troops, especially the ones fighting in Fallujah, Iraq.

Tire Safety

 As cars have gotten safer, the safety groups are being forced to focus on marginal issues to justify theri existance. The newest safety "fad" is a tire expiration date. Amazingly, older tires seem to fail, and unlike that gallon of milk in your refrigerator, there's no expiration date on your tire sao you know when to replace it.

 There is a manufacture date on your tires, but like the article syas, "In the United States, consumers and tire dealers must decipher part of a serial number engraved on one side of a tire to determine the date it was manufactured". All it takes to "decipher" your tire's manufacture date is a quick search on Google, and voila, there's the answer. Look for the DOT certification, and the last four numbers are the manufacture date, the first two the week, the last two the year.

 Now, if someone is not going to take the effort to figure this out, how likely are they to pay attention to an expiration date? Consumers abuse the hell out of tires, and you see it every day. Tires with almost no tread, tires that are dangerously underinflated, the list goes on and on.

 It would be one thing if people were dying left and right, but the safety group can only produce 50 examples of this problem, resulting in 37 deaths. Plus, that's data over at least 5 years, not 50 examples in one year. Imagine what a difference could be made if the safety groups focused on something that would make a real impact, like driver education perhaps? Oh wait, then we couldn't blame evil corporations, we'd actually have to take responsibility for our actions. Never mind.

On Pins And Needles

via Cox and Forkum


  What the hell is this graphic doing on this site? Completely inappropriate, ya jackass.

 That's the only comment I've gotten on the 9/11 graphic (permalink here).
It's a very strange comment, and I'm not sure what NickNack is trying to communicate.

 In answer to the question, the graphic is here because I placed it here. It was posted on September 11th, and was the most poignant summary of my feelings for the day. Of all the images from that horrific event, the people jumping to their deaths from the World Trade Center towers still choke me up the most.

 About the graphic being inapproprite, this is my site. I, and only I determine what is appropriate. If you don't like what I have to say, that's fine. There's a million other blogs you can go to. There are many blogs I used to read, but no longer visit, because of their views. I didn't go on their site and leave a comment calling them a jackass, I just stopped reading their blogs.

 In the end, it comes down to how tolerant you are of other views. I disagree often with Autoguy's views and conclusions, but I still think what he has to say is deserving of consideration. Never exposing yourself to other views and different theories keeps you from expanding yourself. Alas, there are people out there who never will.

 If you want to see more graphics like the Never Again one, I suggest a visit to Cox and Forkum.
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