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Seen a while back while waiting on the freeway for roadside assistance: A large pickup truck, painted on the tailgate in huge letters with:


In or out of context this is a jarring thing to see on the road. I hereby provide context:

The owner of this truck owns a Dodge pickup which uses a Cummins brand diesel engine. He feels strongly that said brand of diesel engine is superior to Ford diesel engines, which are called "Powerstroke."

I understand the intent of his message. Clearly he wants to indicate that his engine choice implies a sexual choice: he does not wish to masturbate, hence "strokin."

However, the activities of "cummin" and "strokin" are not exclusive. Aficionados of masturbation will immediately object: Hey! We stroke in order to come! And then we're cummin!"

Since I was stuck on the shoulder of Interstate 710 at Atlantic/Bandini at the time I didn't have time to follow this gentleman and point out the contradiction inherent in his signage.

Perhaps he should have said: "I'd prefer to be cummin due to my conquest of a female human than strokin my own male member in order to achieve orgasm on my own, which is humiliating to me, and I feel the same way about my engine choice of Cummins Diesel over Powerstroke Diesel. It is the right choice for diesel engines without a doubt and gives me the same sense of control and desirability that mutually consensual coitus does over masturbatory activity."

Or maybe he should of just gave the fuck up and not painted his truck with that sign.
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Flat front left tire on the Long Beach Freeway in the beautiful city of Commerce this morning. Inconvenience; grime; noise; moderate danger; expense. Saving graces:

* The useful and free Freeway Service Patrol tow people, who rather than just taking me off the freeway so I could change my tire safely, changed the tire for me with high powered tools in about 90 seconds.

* Modern cars, which can take a front left tire blowout at highway seed without becoming the Grim Reaper's Whirling Gondolas to Hell.

* Working spare.


Aug. 2nd, 2007 12:04 pm
substitute: (legion badge)

I went to two doctors today, both for minor reasons. Both at Newport Center.

These doctors' offices are full of very old, tremulously decrepit white men in cheerful retirement clothing. They're in aloha shirts and khaki shorts and running shoes, slowly dying.

The parking lot has a very low clearance. This results in comedy with SUVs. One patient made it in driving a Suburban; another with slightly larger tires did not, providing a condensed symbol of the Californian relationship with cars and a satisfying crunchy noise.

The pharmaceutical rep in the waiting room was qualified as a fashion model: almost six foot, slender, leggy, cheekboned and coiffed. Thieves and murderers always send out the best courtesans.

I did not buy the pigurines in the pharmacy window.
substitute: (goatse ring love)
Matt Davis, in the online car mag Winding Road, re: the new Audi S5:

"Audi is impetuously tearing open its sensible shirt and flashing its formidable man breasts."
substitute: (brainslug)
Where is a good local body shop? I have enough money to pay for something that isn't broken or cheesy, but not enough to go to the Insurance Disaster places with the big fish tank and the statuesque receptionist.


The guy with the dented front end
substitute: (ratfink)
Summary from Automotive Digest:

  • Chrysler Group to import small Dodge car from China's Chery automaker, beginning in 2008
  • Deal confirmed by DC, 1st such pact w/ Chinese automaker by any major Western producer
  • Tentatively named Dodge Hornet, 'B-car' subcompact will be smaller than Dodge Caliber
  • Chrysler turns to China because cost of building domestic B-car all but wipes out profit
  • Deal pressures UAW on carmaking costs
  • Holding prospect of small SUVs, compacts also farmed out to China

  • Chery already exports cars to about 20 countries in SE Asia, Africa, Middle East
  • Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda praises Chery's manufacturing record
  • Says it's "good fit" w/ domestic automaker's engineering, design staffs
  • Chery deal still to be ratified by DC supervisory board, UAW chief Ron Gettelfinger is member
  • Chery-Chrysler liaison began after Chinese automaker broke off agreement w/ US dealer group working w/ Malcolm Bricklin

Detroit Freep news article has more
substitute: (lamers)
Car accident: dumb. Car accident in parking lot at 3 mph: super dumb. Car accident at 3 mph in psychotherapist's parking lot, partlally due to side effects of therapy: dumb enough to be funny. Said accident being with therapist's own parked car: COMEDY GOLD.

Price to fix just her car: $1200. And then I get to fix mine. Hey, this shit ain't funny now.
substitute: (rejected yield crash)
Why We Fight?

Shot at 19th & Newport in Costa Mesa, CA today. Shiny clean trucks without anything in the bed, and big V-8s.
substitute: (chinatown drive)
  1. Hybrid cars are not intended to save fuel, and do so poorly. They are intended to reduce emissions. The reason they exist is that auto makers are required to reduce their overall emissions and to provide some zero emissions vehicle by law. In order to continue producing luxury trucks with inefficient pushrod V-8 engines, they must produce a token amount of the hybrids, on which they lose money. When you purchase one you are personally producing less pollution as you drive, but the overall problem is not solved, nor are these vehicles a solution of any kind to the problem of the car.

  2. Biodiesel requires more petroleum to produce than ordinary petroleum-based fuels, according to recent studies. This is because industrial agriculture in the United States requires so much energy, from the nitrogen fixation to the machinery used, that the fuel oil produced from crops is basically inefficiently converted oil. Biodiesel is a great idea if you already have a source of free biomass around, and it is a great idea for a small number of vehicles that can live off the waste biomass others discard. The overall problem is not solved, nor are these vehicles a solution of any kind to the problem of the car.

  3. Ethanol and ethanol-gasoline mixes do not reduce the U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Ethanol is made almost entirely from corn. The corn is indeed domestically grown in huge quantities and not imported. However, the corn yields depend absolutely on high-powered artificial fertilizers which require so much energy to produce that they are basically congealed electricity. Unless the plants that produce these fertilizers are somehow powered by some unknown renewable or domestic energy source, this country is still absolutely dependent on oil to make the fertilizer so that the corn can be grown and converted into ethanol. When there is a surplus of corn and a temporary shortage of petroleum, ethanol is a fine idea, because it reduces the consumption of gasoline in the short term. The overall problem is not solved, nor are ethanol-based fuels a solution of any kind to the problem of the car.

  4. Great strides have been made in improving the passenger car. If the current technology was appropriately used to its maximum, pollution and fuel consumption from cars could be reduced tremendously. However, almost everything in this country is distributed by truck. It would be difficult to change this, because the country is very spread out. Commercial trucks predominantly use older diesel engines which are inefficient and dirty. Even if every new truck sold was required to be much, much more efficient and clean, the current trucks would be on the road for a long time. Trucks are rarely replaced; they are repaired. It's very expensive to replace them. Any large-scale change in the trucking industry would require a tremendous amount of government subsidy to compensate the small companies and individual contractors who own these trucks, because they can't afford to upgrade. A sharp increase in the cost of trucking would be felt throughout the entire company. There is currently no good solution to the problem of the truck.
Have a nice auto-doom!
substitute: (ratfink)
So, O.C. goatee guy with the shiny truck. You think you're badass because you blow 10 mpg in your lifted 4x4 and occasionally drive on a trail? Maybe because you have a buddy who did the Baja 1000 once? Let us show you an SU fuckin' V:

This is a modification on the typical vehicle in Iceland, where instead of showing off the locals are concerned with getting around on a mixture of snow, ice, and sharp volcanic rock. Interestingly even though the thing gets shitty mileage it uses a tenth the amount of fuel it would take for an airplane to go the same distance.

via Autoblog and Forbes
substitute: (ratfink)
The promoters of the movie Cars have rented the entire automotive journalism establishment for a month. It's amazing. Every car magazine, tv show, web site, blog-where-people-are-paid, everything is simultaneously doing "stories" relating to that movie.

I realized things were headed this way in publishing some time in the 1980s when I walked by the big newsstand on Cahuenga in Hollywood and saw the same actress's face literally 15 in a row, 15 different magazines, all the same month, promoting the same star of the same movie.

In artillery, a "time on target" is a technique in which different batteries at different locations and distances from a target time each of their firings so that all of the shells arrive in the same place at the same time, multiplying their effect with terrifying simultaneity from all directions.

The marketers have us bracketed and they are firing for effect. Help!


May. 24th, 2006 03:03 pm
substitute: (ratfink)
I've never been a sports fan, but I'm a huge fan of the revolution in women's sports in the U.S. Title IX went in about when I was in junior high school, and the result has been a huge increase in the respect, encouragement, and resources girls get in the athletic world growing up. Not just women's sports, but women crashing men's sports.

The effect on our culture is huge.

I have a special place in my heart for women auto racers, because I am a car nut and because it's a boy's club where women can excel. What's required is endurance, precision, and courage.


Also, inexpicable picture of Danica having a toy car race apparently supervised by Madeline Albright on FOX News. ?

substitute: (ratfink)
From Autoweek's classifieds:


36k Mi, 3.2 Carrera (20k mi) professionally installed. Specialty trans. Cross-drilled discs, 16" Fuchs whls, New Michelins, $22K/bo. Contact: (401)294-9660 (RI) Steve daytime
substitute: (ratfink)
My father was a true Southern California, born in Pasadena in 1921. Like everyone else he was car-crazy. Later in life after living in Europe he became crazy for tiny little European sports cars.

He made this list for a piece he wrote in the Los Angeles Times late in life in which he talked about the cars he'd owned. He was astonished at how many there were, and especially at how many enjoyable sports cars he had as a graduate student. I personally got to drive the '67 MG (he says it's a '68 which I think is a mistake), which was a delight; he didn't get rid of it until the 1980s sometime. The 1990 Volvo my mother still has. I inherited both T-Birds in series.

The Fiat station wagon famously died by dumping its engine on Irvine Avenue with a uniquely Italian flair. I wish he'd kept any of the cars before that. Wow, what a list! The Renaults were, of course, purchased in France and all the Italian cars when he was living in Italy.
  1. '30 Ford Model A phaeton

  2. '30 Ford Model A 2-door touring car

  3. '36 Ford V-8 coupé

  4. '30 Olds coupé

  5. '47 Crosley

  6. '38 Lincoln touring convertible

  7. '40 Chevrolet coupé

  8. '47 MG-TC

  9. '51 Sunbeam Talbot

  10. '48 Morris Minor convertible

  11. '51 Morris Minor sedan

  12. '52 MG-TD

  13. '55 Austin Healey

  14. '56 MG Magnette

  15. '60 Chevrolet Corvair

  16. '58 Chevrolet station wagon

  17. '59 Alfa Romeo Giuletta Sprint coupé

  18. '62 Fiat 600

  19. '60 Fiat 1800 station wagon

  20. '70 Opel Kadett statio wagon

  21. '73 Volvo 144

  22. '67 MGB-GT

  23. '77 Renault 6TL

  24. '70 Jaguar XJ

  25. '84 Ford Thunderbird

  26. '87 Renault II

  27. '90 Volvo 740 sedan

  28. '91 Renault 19 Chamade

  29. '93 Ford Thunderbird LX
If you're interested in the document we found in the files, a scan is behind the cut like so )
substitute: (asphalt)
My car is down for the count, needs a new transmission. Won't have it back until next Thursday. Thank goodness that Freddy at Tustin Acura is giving me a loaner car, and that this is all under warranty and won't cost me more than $50. I wonder what a transmission replacement at the dealer would cost otherwise? Shudder.

Thank you for being a cool guy, Freddy at Tustin Acura.
substitute: (coffee kean)
Idling at Kéan with Mike (used to have a big black beard Mike) today, I saw a stream of Newport Beach stereotypes including:
  • 85-year-old man with perfectly trimmed white beard parking a brand new $200,000 200mph Porsche Turbo sports car, which I then observed to have an automatic transmission

  • A young woman of classic magazine cover head-turning beauty accompanied by two rich and tough-looking beefy older guys. The three of them were having a business meeting, no doubt about her career. They toasted one another with Bubble-Up. The two guys looked serious the way Mafia guys look serious. She looked depressed, which in someone with her looks comes out as a pouty, puppyish yearning look. She smiled once, revealing 47 very bright white teeth.

  • This woman's Ghost of Newport Past showed up, too: a 14-year-old future model, all dressed up in fluffy sweater and tight jeans and slightly-too-grownup heels. Same perfect model face. Her mother was identical and 35, with a very hard and focused look to her.

  • An assortment of very large expensive cars with grilles on the front that looked like BIG MONSTER FANG TEETH MOUTHS. Each of these cars was larger than the others. Several very large diesel trucks driven by small, finely-built men in pressed jeans are included in this category.

  • One 80something gentleman all covered in liver spots and combover who was trying to guide in his friend Mike to the place. He kept getting the names of things wrong, and telling Mike that he wanted to meet him at Plums but they had an hour wait "even after I told them who you ARE". There were at least five of these calls. Two other people showed up to sit with Liver Spots but Mike never showed. His dog, an ancient cocker spaniel named Annie, was doing about as well as he was and kept walking into things like brick walls and trees and then harrumphing.

  • An outrrrrrageously Italian employee of Kéan. This guy was maybe 30 and looked a lot like Antonio Banderas. He was wearing the kind of lacy, frilly shirt that only guys from the Mediterranean can wear. He was slightly sweaty and had a huge 500,000 watt grin and whooshy airy hair that he held back with a headband. I don't know how he carried it off, but he was every housewife's dream European waiter/lover. Jean-Luc!
substitute: (winnebago man)

The Love Van, originally uploaded by conradh.

This vehicle loves you. In the Borders parking lot on 19th in Costa Mesa. Unfortunately the other stuff on the van was just conventional religious ranting.


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