Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jason's Band of the Week

Band of Skulls. They're from the UK and do NOT have a fascination with the macabre. They're apparently really good live. This live cut sounds as good as the CD.



Give this next song about 30 seconds before you judge. It's not quite what it seems. The harmonies with the gigantic female bassist are neat.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Blog to Follow

I could practically have started this blog: http://itemnotasdescribed.com/. It's a blog of stupid crap that shows up in classified ads and on Craigslist for REALLY over-priced stuff or stuff that should just be hauled off to the dump. It's a pet peeve of mine. I'd go into it more but am out of time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pikes Peak

It's been a little while since the last racing-related movie post. You'll enjoy this one. It's from the recent Pikes Peak hillclimb, which is a time trial race (racing against the clock--not wheel-to-wheel) up the asphalt & gravel road the runs to the top of Pikes Peak.

He gets above the tree line at about 6:00 minutes. It gets nerve racking from there. The car is a highly modified Hyundai Genesis Coupe, which is RWD. The whistling noise is the turbocharger.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

CO Vacation Pics

This photo montage was supposed to be a view from one mountain to another and back again, but it didn't quite work out.

From the top of Castle Mountain you can see Trail Ridge Road zig zag up the mountain side. At the time I thought I could see the lodge at the very top. But on closer examination it was actually on the other side of the ridge.



Here's what the lodge at the top of Trail Ridge Road looks like from the short trail up the mountain side. I took the last pic in this series near where the arrow is in this pic. This shows how the lodge is tucked in next to a bowl area. This is just to the right of the high peak in the 1st photo. Unfortunately it's also behind that pointy peak.



View of Castle Mountain from the RMNP Lodge. Yeah, dang it, you can't quite see where we were, which was on the far side of the mountain about where the arrow is pointing.



Oh well; guess I gotta go back next year and get it right.

Tundra Flower Pics

I was feeling like Kim P while on vacation a couple of weeks ago and snapped these pics in Rocky Mountain National Park while hiking the short trail through the tundra, way up there above the tree line. Reading the info on the signs, there's so little water, sunlight, and air up there that it can take these plants 20 years to grow flowers. Despite this there will still dumb sons a @#$%!'s walking off the trail and on plants/rocks/whatever they felt like. I hope their stupidity catches up with them someday. But aren't these some pretty looking flowers and such... in a manly sort of way?










Extreme Rice

This video kills me. No idea who made it or why.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Song of the Week

New week. New song. That simple.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Yam Okay



Favorite Lines:

1) "I yam okay" -- 0:27
2) "Is your ass broken? -- 0:40

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Motivational Poster



I love this.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Late Night Talk Shows



I was going to going into how much I've thought Letterman has just been phoning-it-in for about 15 years, when I found the Breitbart blog while searching thru Google Images of Letterman. This guy is a lot better writer than I am and really sums it up nicely. Click here.

That particular blog post was written in April after Letterman hopped on Limbaugh for something or other. The new kerfuffle is related to some jokes he told about Sara Palin and her daughter. There have been demands for apologies and for resignations from Dave, which is an overreaction and a waste of time. Is anyone surprised that a bitter old Liberal would make jokes like the ones he did? And does it matter? (answers should be 'no') Dave hasn't been funny in years. In fact before all this happened and Leno retired I was thinking of posting about how the both of them should hang it up. Conan too. Yeah, I said it. He's been pretty boring since Andy Richter left the Late Show. Maybe the Tonight show will be better now that Andy is back with
Conan, but it still looks like the same Conan jokes to me.

I just find Spike Ferenstein, Jimmy Kimmel, and Craig Ferguson to all be funnier and more interesting.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Stop! Pants Shopping Time



Check out the 'breakdown' at 0:50.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Thoughts on Tiller

I gotta say, I'm not all broken up about this. It's hard to feel sorry for a guy that's done so many nasty things. But I'm pretty sure the post-term abortion of the abortionist was not the answer though. I would much rather have seen him run out of clientele and go out of business. Late-term abortion is a grizzly horrible murder of an innocent fully-formed person but the women who requested it were just as bad as Tiller. If they wouldn't have asked for his services they wouldn't have been performed. Instead, since the demand is still there some other creep will just pop up to take Tiller's place, hardened in his/her crusade for womens'* rights.

If more people would come to the conclusion that a fetus or nearly-to-term baby is more than a clump of cells and should not be removed and discarded like a lanced mole, the world would be a better place. Is adoption so hard? Aren't we better and smarter and more merciful than a people who would do something as nasty as abortion?

(* Does not include the rights of aborted baby girls who would grow up to be women.)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

This Weeks Musical Selection

Cody turned me on to the new Grizzly Bear CD (thanks, Cody). I knew nothing about the band but dig the sound of this album. This song, "Southern Point", a bit Crosby Stills Nash & Young, but maybe that's because I heard a lot of CSN&Y as a kid (thanks, Dad).

Cody claims that this sound--sorta folkiness--is really popular right now in the indie/college radio scene (see also 'Fleet Foxes'). I'm not completely convinced but I am far from up on the latest.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

P.R. was Right

I'll be danged. P.R. was right. The videos in my previous post were not a guy pretending to have Downs Syndrome. He actually does have Downs but has a high degree of awareness and function. Also, I'm apparently 'so 2008' for not having seen this video series until just recently.

Someone mark this down. P.R. 1, Jason 0.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Politically Incorrect Funnies

Okay, if a guy who has the looks of a Downs Syndrome person, but doesn't actually have Downs Syndrome and produces a series of comedy sketches about being a mentally retarded policeman offends you, don't watch these videos. They may offend you. For the rest of us...

Favorite Line: "Hot dog! Power trip time!"



Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Complaint



Okay, it's been a few weeks. I need to gripe about something. What is it with people who insist on filling their drinks at fast food places as if it's brain surgery? For petes sake, it should not take anyone who doesn't live in a group home more than 1 minute to operate the machine and put the top on. It's just not that hard.

Yet Beverage Brain Surgeons seem to be everywhere. They take a full minute to get the ice to precisely the right level. Then they carefully consider which drink they'd like, then change their minds, then go for it but are then confounded by the controls. Does it have a button or a bar to push the cup on? A full inspection must be performed. Lord help us if they try to get the water but fruit punch comes out. Next comes the carbonation which quickly overwhelms the Beverage Brain Surgeon because the actual level of the liquid may just be 1 milli-meter below the top and they don't want to get ripped off by Ronald McDonald. By this point a que is building up behind them but 3 more iterations of fizz n' wait come and go before they're happy.

Next comes the ultimate beverage challenge: fitting that tricky lid on the top, which takes another full minute. The truly insane then continue to block access to the machine while they carefully unwrap and insert a straw at just the right depth in the drink and sample the flavor. Honestly, it's enough to make me want to carry around a megaphone. All we need here is a little courtesy, Beverage Brain Surgeons. You get a free refill anyway; just come back. You'll be fine.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pistols for Pandas Project


You must all watch this video. It is vitally important that we protect our rainforests, and these pandas are on the front line.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Got Another 10 Minutes to Blow?

This time it's Danny Popp at the 2008 NASA national championships at Mid-Ohio. This guy is a master. Watch some of these passes.

This time we're in a production chassis Corvette (C5, I believe) with some modifications.

SCCA GT-1 In-Car Footage

This is from GT-1 driver Mike Skeen. It's fun to watch. Careful with the sound volume on your computer; it hits kind of suddenly.

Car is a full tube-frame racecar like NASCAR but closer to the old Trans Am cars. It probably has 600 or 700 hp. Big bucks amateur racing.


Trans-Am at Road Atlanta - March 09 from Michael Skeen on Vimeo.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Samurai!!

Not a real bullet, but still amusing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

GM is Done

First they needed billions of dollars or hundreds of thousands of jobs would vanish permanently (BS!). They got some cash and ran through it quicker than expected. Meanwhile some auditors and analysts announced there was no profitable way forward for the company. Now to get more bailout funds, GM's CEO Rick Wagoner has agreed to step-down immediately at the request of the Whitehouse. Huh? What country are we living in? Caesar has given a thumbs-down and the axe has fallen.

GM deserves this since they're chasing government money after years of poor decisions and low quality (yet another post). But I don't see any concessions from elsewhere. How about also canning Ron Gettelfinger, the head of the UAW, whose organization is responsible for the jobs banks (paying people not to work), higher than average wages, sweet pension deals, and ludicrous labor contracts for un-fireable workers? Understand that the UAW used to refer to GM as 'Generous Motors' because they always caved in contract negotiation. This was in part because GM's business model relied on insane production volumes to make any profit (mistake #96423). Any slowdown meant red ink so the union always had leverage. But the UAW also damaged the other car companies and countless suppliers. Sounds like Ron is a lot more culpable. But I suppose he's too busy playing golf at the UAW's $33M lakeside golf resort at the moment. Nevermind.

So what's next? Obama and various congressional Democrats will probably dictate labor contracts and some product decisions. I guess it's already started, really. Soon anything not 'eco' or not built in a prominent Democrat's state will get canned. But reality will catch up with this scheme eventually. You and I probably aren't going to buy future GM cars for the same reasons we're not buying them now and the product isn't going to improve under the government's watch. If you thought GM's current management made some stupid choices, wait until a bunch of lifetime public-sector people with no business experience make decisions by committee.

How about a $50k hybrid Pontiac Aztec?


(Plastic cladding, odd proportions, ugly details, weird colors, low power, bad handling, and a historic sales flop. NOW WITH HYBRID FUEL ECONOMY AND A HIGHER PRICE! COME ON DOWN!)

What if Obama later voids your factory warranty because it saves the government money? Reference continually erroded Medicare funding and the mismanagment of Social Security.


(We inheritted this minivan transmission failure from the Bush administration who failed to do anything about it. On that basis your warranty claim has been DENIED.)

How about a $40k plug-in electric hybrid? You might as well buy one since we'll be buying a piece of each one via subsidies. This is in addition to the bailout cash.


(Man, the original Volt concept was fugly. Good luck getting more the 20 miles on a charge when it's cold out. Sure hope those low rolling resistance tires haul it down in time to prevent that accident.)

Think design quality will improve under government control? Think quality control will improve under an emboldened union? Don't kid yourself.


(A shining example of a modern leftist government automobile, the Russian Trabant. They still looked like this just before the collapse of communism. No, I'm being serious. They were also not known for being reliable. But only the wealthy mid-level party members could afford a car like this anyway.)

So here's the future. At some point no amount of taxpayer cash and Obama administration proclimations are going to matter if no one buys the cars. Revenue will decrease as overhead stays pretty steady except for what's left of management and engineering, who will be sacrificed. We citizens will be greeted quarterly with news headlines that say "Billions More Than Anticipated Needed to Save GM Jobs". Eventually this scheme will start polling negatively and the floor will drop out. Then we'll get to fund a reorganization that should have happened 4-10 years prior. What a joke.

Slap Chop

Mild adult joke here. But this ad has not been altered in anyway. This youtube clip is exactly what I've seen on TV. Listen to the gutsy line this guy delivers at 0:54.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Autocross Season is Almost Here

Here's an artsy look at what goes on at a typical autocross (now called 'solo', used to be 'solo2') from a professional up in Canada. This video is WAY WAY more interesting than the preview screen shot you see below.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Rogers' New BMW



By 'new' I mean 'new to us' and actually 19 years old. This car is old enough to drive itself to college. But 'new BMW' sure makes for an exciting headline.

It's a 1990 325i 4-door with no engine or transmission. It will be receiving those bits and a few others from the old black 1987 325is 2-door. The 2-door has really been fun to own but unfortunately has some very significant structural rust.

I wasn't really looking for one of these right now but a friend had this 'roller' (car guy slang for a workable car w/o a drivetrain) for a good price and I couldn't pass it up. About the only thing that's going to happen anytime soon is a thorough cleaning. We have way more pressing matters to attend to like the Honda, which is supposed to be my primary commuter car, which needs some work and the front yard that needs sod now that it's nearly mid-March(!). But at some point I'm going to strip the black BMW of parts until it's down to a rusty steel shell which will then get sawed up and hauled to the recycler in the back of my pickup. That'll be a fun blog post.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Nunchucks Again




I'd like a set for the office.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thank You Scott Adams

Dilbert.com

* Note: Sorry to those of you running less than 1024 x whatever resolution whose screen is all jumbled up. I had to widen the blog template to fit this Dilbert comic. It's linked so I couldn't control the width. If this is causing you problems, send me an email rant by clicking here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Almost Want to Buy Castrol

Almost, after watching this new commercial. But Mobile1 and Amsoil are better.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Why Front-Wheel-Drive Sucks

Okay, brace yourselves. I'm about to post a link to an article from slate.com written by Mickey Kaus. You're not going to see this very often, unless I'm picking apart a political argument, but this is a non-political topic and Kaus is a skilled writer. He explains, in laymans terms, why front wheel drive cars are bad. It's a good read for you non-car people and may influence your thinking on your next car purchase depending on the type of car you're shopping for--RWD isn't available in every segment.

http://www.slate.com/id/2081194/


One rebuttal to this article might be that RWD is bad in the snow. My response is that's not true with just a little bit of preparation. A sandbag or two in the back of the car or truck will work miracles. We've gotten so lazy on things like this because vehicles require very little maintenance any more and FWD has gotten us by with no preparation in the past. Sandbags seem foreign now but I'm willing to bet it was common in the past when everything was RWD. Another anachronism are snow tires. No one buys them outside of states that have hardcore winters, but I run them in KS on my cars. They go on in December and come off in late February. It's not much work or expense. The end result is that my RWD BMW with snow tires and sandbags is an above-average car in the snow. It seems to be better off than a lot of FWD cars, including our own FWD Mazda station wagon. About the only thing more sure-footed in snow is an AWD vehicle. That's a good choice if it's available and you don't mind the reduction in fuel mileage, but again, it's not available in every segment either.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ask the Filthy Speeder



I'm sure you've always had the urge to ask me for automotive, political, romantic, or random advice but didn't know how to do so anonymously. Well here's your chance. Simply comment on this blog entry anonymously. To help keep things straight, pick a silly Dear Abby-esque name to sign your comment with like "Pissed Pontiac Owner" or "Addicted to Harpsichords".

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jason's CD of the Month and Possibly Quarter

If you haven't gotten sucked into Fleet Foxes yet, you ought to give this a listen. In fact this particular song was chosen with Cody in mind. He and Kim recently commented that they didn't get the hype surrounding this band.



Honestly, if you had told me 6 months ago that I would be hooked on some melodic mostly-acoustic guitar folky music I would have said you didn't know me very well. But these guys do have some unusual going on. I've got the full length album and the EP. Both are worth owning if you like this song, which is on the EP.

New Title



I've changed the title and color of the blog. Yeah, what a life, huh?

I often say in jest when another unfortunate soul is being handed their ticket that the police officer should "lock 'em up and throw away the key! That filthy speeder!" in a mock grumpy old man voice. I've been extra speedy this weekend so it resonates. I haven't had a ticket in quite a while now. It's been at least 6 months. And it's been more than a year since the ticket/s before that so I'm well clear of the danger zone of license suspension.

Speaking of which, did anyone else see the NHTSA report that came out semi-recently about speeding (source article: thenewspaper.com)?

The report concludes that speeding causes only 5% of accidents.


Here's the break down of the primarily driver error accident causes:

Inattentiveness 41%
Poor Driving Skills 10%
Falling Asleep / Heart Attack / Medical 8%
Too Fast for Conditions (i.e. weather) 8%
Cornering too Fast 5%

If law enforcement really cared about public safety they'd move from radar guns to some sort of 'attentiveness' or 'basic skills' patrol. Distracted cell phone talkers and the inept would fund the city/county/state budget instead of speedy persons such as myself. Well, I can dream anyway.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Baddest Man on the Planet

...is a slightly pudgy Russian dude. No really, I've seen several of his fights. If you have a few minutes, Fox Sports Net has produced a slick video spot on him. I haven't seen the second half of this, but I would say he's the best heavyweight MMA fighter strictly because he's the smartest and calmest fighter around. Watch how he walks to the ring. Very anti-climatic.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Guilty Pleasure



I gotta admit, I like parts of the new Metallica single. It starts off nicely but turns into raw mulleted cheesiness at about 2:00 minutes. And yeah, James Whatshisname, the lead singer, accents the end of every line sung with a "RAH!","NAH!", or "YAH!". Sample: "I didn't want to cut my haaaaiiiiirrr-RAH!". Listen for it. Then listen to every other Metallica song you've ever heard. Then have a chuckle to yourself. Liking Metallica, even a little bit, is like saying you prefer your women in tube tops and Lee Press-On nails.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

$375 Million Dollars for Town of 194



If you haven't heard, the town of Edwardsville, Alabama made a request for 374 million dollars in federal aid for their town of 194 residents in order to fund green technology and who knows what else.

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/stimulus/2009/01/08/why-a-tiny-alabama-town-wants-a-375-million-chunk-of-the-stimulus.html

Of course this ballsy move received national attention, especially from the Citizens Against Government Waste organization. If you read the news story a little further you'll see that this bad press caused the town to rescind the original request. A town representative had this to say (taken from US News):

"The public perception of us being full of greed and the tremendously ugly comments have disheartened and disappointed us to the point that we are withdrawing our projects from the U.S. Conference of Mayors survey."

Am I the only one who thinks this person was stretching their vocabulary just to get this statement out? I think we would all have been much more impressed with this improved version:

"The public perceptification of us being full of greediocity and the stupendously ugly commentifications have unfortunately exposed our dubious cash grab to the point that we can no longer get away with it. Screw all of you."

Sheesh, Edwardsville. How naive must your US Conference of Mayors representative be to try something like this? Did he/she really think that they should burden the rest of the nation with hugely expensive and disproportionatly expensive public works projects at a time when unemployment is at a 7% nationally and our GDP has shrank?

Those small town rubes should have known that only the federal government can do things like this!



Obama's stimuluous package, which Edwardsville was trying to get a piece of, is 800 BILLION dollars in government spending. That's a bit more ambitious than Edwardsville, being another order of magnitude higher in cash, but it's just as stupid and we should be just as appalled at this idea as we are at Edwardsville's. See, the problem with government spending is that the money must come from one of these sources.

1) The Treasury prints more money.
2) The Treasury sells more bonds to China.
3) A minority of tax payers get taxed into oblivion.

The first option devalues the currency because the money supply goes way up. Every asset you own becomes less valuable. This doesn't mean it won't happen.

The second option is on-going and comprises a large portion of the national debt. The Chinese and several other foreign investment entities already own us to a large degree. At some point we won't be able to even pay the interest on these bonds and our currency will collapse globally. It's worse than that even sounds.

The third option is the most attractive (not to me!) and is on going. We are now at the point in time where the vast majority of tax dollars are paid by way, way less than 50% of the tax payers. Since these tax payers are a minority of the population they are out-voted. The majority of the country has decided to confiscate the earnings of a minority. That sounds righteous ("Stick it to the rich!") but there are problems. Those high earners are the ones whose small and large businesses hire people. They are the ones who buy a lot of goods and services which keep us employed, like say 20,000-30,000 of us in Wichita who work for Cessna, Learjet, and Beechcraft who manufacture corporate jets and other aircraft. When we vote to tax them at crazy high rates they can do less of these things and the economy tanks. If you recall, dear reader, this is supply side economics, which was proven by Reagan.

When he set this policy in motion in the early 80's it created a 30 year economic boom whose momentum just petered out, largely due to someone's stupid idea to give mortgages to people who can't pay them. The simplest analogy I can come up with is low tax rates create a bigger pie of which the government takes a smaller portion. High tax rates mean the government is taking a large portion of what is a smaller pie. In each scenario the government gets their pie but our share of pie (the rest of the economy) is much smaller when tax rates are high. Get it?

So I don't have any confidence that a load of governement spending is going to work here. That very action is going to stifle the economy it's trying to save. I predict we're going to have a rocky year or two here while we're ignoring history and trying to spend our way out of debt. About 10% of Cessna is going to be sent home at the end of this month and it will probably get worse later this year. Remember this the next time you vote.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Biggest Cajones - Part II


Notice how the guy trips right out of the gate. Watch what he does later. I have no idea where this trail is, but that reinforced concrete isn't anymore.

The Biggest Cajones - Part I



Hey, they're wearing bicycling helmets. That's plenty.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Jason's Guide to Not Being an Automotive Idiot

Okay, I may not be THE coolest guy around, but I have some strong opinions backed up by engineering geekiness. Here's what to avoid when making automotive decisions.

1) Ditch the wing, Batman.




The number of these things that actually function is very, very small. Most are nothing but aerodynamic drag and extra weight (non-nerd translation: this means worse fuel economy... and you paid for the privilege.) You're not getting any downforce back there and if even if you were it's not needed on your nose-heavy front wheel drive car anyway. Ditto on that $50 Ebay monstrosity made in China that the ricer kids fasten down with deck screws. Face it, your car looks stupid and you're not fooling anyone.

Wanna see how big that wing would have to be to be effective at legal highway speeds?



There you go. Any takers?

EXCEPTION:



The wing pictured above, which have been used on the back edge of SUV's and stationwagons for decades is actually functional. It keeps water and ice from accumulating on the back glass when the vehicle is moving. Notice most of them are small. The older ones were painted flat black so they wouldn't get noticed. Sorry, no downforce. No douche-baggery either though.

2) Bras are for the ladies. And flabby dudes.



Honestly, do you really car about avoiding rock chips on the front end of your car? If so, then why do you leave this goobery padded pleather cover on the front end for years at time, holding moisture, dust, and sand against your paint finish? Ever seen what it looks like under there after a car bra has been in place for a few months or years?



Don't pay to destroy your car. At best you look like an old man hoping his 2001 Oldsmobile Alero with rubber steering wheel cover wins first place at the big car show this weekend. At worst you look like a total follower. The only remedy is a big black cover on the back bumper (aka 'car panties'.)

3) Air freshners, rubber steering wheel covers, ricer-boy shift knobs, bobble head dolls, and stuffed animals are not custom car touches. You look like an idiot.



If this is how you want to express yourself you ought to hold it in. No, we do not think you are 'spunky' or creative. Or inteligent.

4) Your Pontiac is not sporty.



Hey people over 35, this one is especially for you. Back in the good ole days, Pontiac successfully marketed their cars as youthful sporty machines. Some of them actually were. But this hasn't been true since the 1975 Firebird 455 Super Duty edition. Unfortunately I still hear people older than 35 professing to the sportiness of their lame front wheel drive Pontiac with a V6 and an automatic transmission. Unless you own a new G8 (400hp V8 rear wheel drive) or a Solstice GXP (260hp turbo-4 rear wheel drive roadster), you're driving a re-badged Chevrolet/Buick/Oldsmobile(R.I.P). All of those cars have the exact same engine, transmission, chassis, and suspension. The only difference are the plastic front and rear fascias and the body cladding. Your Pontiac isn't any sportier and it's not fast. Come on back to reality. You paid extra for a gussied up Chevy Berretta if you own the car pictured. You obeyed the programming.

MINOR EXCEPTION: If you own one of the supercharged Bonnevilles they are faster than the regular Chevrolet/Olds. But they're the same as the supercharged Buick that grandpa's driving. Yeah, you're still a sucker. Don't take the marketing bait next time.


Well that's enough vitriol for tonight. Stay tuned for future installments on this topic. There are a lot more automotive wrongs out there that need to be called-out.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I'm Sorry

...but I just couldn't help but post this picture. It's such a funny moment in time. The facial expressions, the hand gestures, the sheer volume of fluid. Yes, this kind of quality post keeps the readers coming back for more.