Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Remember when going to the car show was a treat. When it wasn’t just an exercise in trying to see what you wanted to buy for your next commuter transport or which minivan would suit your family best. You went to experience automotive eroticism. Your heart raced as the latest models came into view. In an instant you were peeling out of the showroom and onto the pavement, unsuspecting citizens scattering everywhere as you chased two guys wearing suits, fedoras and driving gloves in a black Charger……..
The car show used to let you get close to the new models before they began showing up on the street. You didn’t feel like you were on a multi-badge car lot. Now the brands all seem the same, there appears to be no real style innovation and everyone is selling every type. Each badge has an SUV, a crossover, a sedan a mini and a van. When Lincoln offers a pick up and Porsche an SUV you know there is some market bleed-over. All is not lost though, there are many reasons to go to the Auto show even if you won’t feel like you need to go to confession afterwards.
We went in search of the largest luxo mafia cruiser. It seems only Mercury and Cadillac believe there are guys who need leg room (and trunk room when the need arises – for those one way trips to the fishing pier if you know what I mean – fogetaboutit). Although these cars are only a mere shadow of their prehistoric ancestors built in the late 60s and early 70s they do scream F O (the second word is OPEC – you can guess the first).
We got to see Ronald MacDonald. Its not every day you get to see a guy in a bright yellow suit and red hair. He gave us a great auto show gag line – he doesn’t understand why he drives on a parkway and parks on a drive way. Sort of reminiscent of the bad stand up comics before the burlesque shows – they tell me (I’m following the cars as sex theme here).
We got to see a metro-sexual climbing out of a crème colored convertible VW bug. The really sad thing is that this car looked so bland it probably didn’t even give him the “look at me, look at me” feeling he was trying to achieve when he stepped into the car. He probably went directly over to the Buick section after that. Little did he know that we weren’t looking at him but the bug. It didn’t bring back memories of driving our Vdub along the southern California coastline. It just looked like a bland pseudo euro bad styling attempt at retro.
Speaking about the Buick section we spent a record 14.24 minutes in the Buick/Olds/Pontiac section (or the oatmeal section) before we could feel our automotive will to live being bled from our veins. We had to escape. We bounced over to the GMC Tahoe Hybrid. We didn’t want to make the jump too quickly. Going directly into the classic cars or the exotic imports could have caused autophilactic shock.
We did learn the Tahoe Hybrid used a technology called “regenerative braking” to charge the battery. It seems you generate kinetic energy when you brake, which usually ends up building up as heat. This vehicle uses that energy to charge the battery. Neat idea, I wish I felt like spending the $55 grand it would take for this model to show my support for such great innovative ideas. We need more of that in our auto industry.
GMC also has another Hybrid, the Malibu. We wanted to ask a sales person if it also had regenerative braking so first we looked to the young female GM rep near the car, but she was using a manual to look something up for the guy she was talking to (you can create your own Hybrid Malibu Barbie joke here) so we decided to ask an older gray haired car guy who was also a GM rep. We asked him about the technology on the Malibu Hybrid and as he was droning on trying to sound like he knew what he was talking about but wasn’t clear on anything, I looked at his badge. It said his name “Jack” and below it was “Product Specialist”. Isn’t it cool that they can make up titles for people who shouldn’t have them. The guy who gave me my food at the concession should have been wearing a badge that said “gastronomic supply technician” but he wasn’t. And Jack certainly wasn’t a “Product Specialist”, in fact he didn’t seem to know Jack.
We did find out that Toyota was the most experienced in the hybrid market. They had three models that were labelled Hybrids. The Preis, the Hylander and the Camary. The Preis has been around since 2000 and is the darling of the Hollywood crowd who want to let everybody know they are environmentally conscience. The only problem with buying a Toyota is the “we are dominating the world” tax Toyota has on the use of their name. They require you pay them $7 each time you say Toyota. I can’t go though life not saying the name of my car. In fact I owe them $28 for this paragraph.
We found out two other things about hybrids. When you ask Nissan if they have a hybrid they will say yes but it is available in only twelve states and Chevrolet won’t make a hybrid Corvette. The first is like making a full sized chocolate car, nice but you are never going to get it home, the second is like a chocolate suppository, at first an interesting idea, but after you think about it for a minute you think – what was I thinking.
We found out that metallic orange is in this year. Every manufacturer seemed to have a car in that color. The problem with stylish car colors is that they eventually fall out of style and then you are stuck with a really expensive reminder of how old your car is.
We also saw the Camaro concept car, there is no way the production model is going to look like that. After the feds get a hold of it, it will probably look exactly like the Grand Prix. The Bullitt Ford Mustang was a cool concept car that is actually available. It looks close enough to the real thing that if you saw a sandy haired guy tearing around the streets of San Francisco in it you would look for a black Charger.
Well I exited the main hall after gathering a few brochures and just as I thought I would have to go home a little too squeaky clean I spotted the classic car section. There were a few T-birds and a Chevy Nomad. Just staring at me, seeming to say, yes you can leer and you won’t get an elbow in the side. I lingered but the crowd pushed me along.
Just after I was over that I spotted Mustang row. Eight vintage Mustangs lined up with their hoods open. I didn’t even care if someone caught me staring. I was experiencing visual sensory overload. I could hear the horsepower of the 302s and 351s being revved. The paint was shinny and the leather seemed as if I was the first one to gaze upon it’s supple softness. I had to move on.
I passed through the exotic car section. There they were, Italian beauties capable of putting me into heart arithimia. I could feel the pounding in my veins. I just wanted to linger, to touch, should I dare say it, to sit in the driver’s seat and be enveloped by the warm and lusty feel of the Rocaro seats grabbing my hips and …… I had to get out of here quickly or I would embarrass myself.
I broke out into the hallway and headed for the door. As I exited the exhibit hall I passed a 1950 Ford Custom Deluxe Utah Highway Patrol car. The pounding in my head was subsiding and my pace slowed a bit. That helped me return to normal, but I would probably have to go to confession anyway. I can’t wait for the next car show – maybe I’ll drive to Vegas.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Couple of dumbasses I tell ya.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
- If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 38 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Wisconsin.
- If you're proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Park Falls is the coldest spot in the nation, you might live in Wisconsin.
- If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you might live in Wisconsin .
- If you instinctively walk like a penguin for five months out of the year, you might live in Wisconsin
- If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, you might live in Wisconsin .
- If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might live in Wisconsin .
- If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in Wisconsin.
- If you have either a pet or a child named 'Brett,' you might live in Wisconsin .
- If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in Wisconsin .
- If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Wisconsin .
- If you know how to say Oconomowoc, Waukesha , Menomonie & Manitowoc, you might live in Wisconsin.
- If you think that ketchup is a little too spicy, you might live in
YOU KNOW YOU ARE A TRUE WISCONSINITE WHEN:
- 1. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.
- 2 'Vacation' means going up north past Hwy 8 for the weekend.
- 3. You measure distance in hours.
- 4. You know several people who have hit deer more than once.
- 5. You often switch from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back again.
- 6. Your whole family wears Packer Green to church on Sunday.
- 7. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.
- 8. You see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings and funerals ).
- 9. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.
- 10. You think of the major food groups as beer, fish, and venison.
- 11. You carry jumper cables in your car and your wife or girlfriend knows how to use them.
- 12. There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Mill's Fleet Farm at any given time
- 13. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
- 14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
- 15. You refer to the Packers as 'we.'
- 16. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.
- 17. You can identify a southern or eastern accent.
- 18. You have no problem pronouncing Lac Du Flambeau.
- 19. You consider Minneapolis exotic.
- 20. You know how to polka.
- 21. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.
- 22. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.
- 23. Down South to you means Illinois .
- 24. A brat is something you eat.
- 25. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole shed.
- 26. You go out to fish fry every Friday
- 27. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.
- 28. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.
- 29. You find minus twenty degrees 'a little chilly.'
- 30. You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to all your
Thank you Lisa (the sister) for that list. I was laughing my butt off. Especially the first one. I'm not a big fan of either the cold or fishing. One time on the way up to our property, passing by Strawberry Reservoir, there were a bunch of people out on the ice fishing. I look over at my brothers and say "It's cold, it's wet and it's fishing. Just my kind of sport."
Friday, January 04, 2008
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
- I rested. Some may say recuperated. Either way, I spent the day watching SG-1. And did some laundry. Want to be clean for school tomorrow......
At least I don't have to keep up with this insidious 12 days of Christmas crap anymore.