Have You Heard

The personal site of Jack Baruth

Rock You Like A Huracan

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My Huracan article from this month’s issue of Road&Track is now available on the website. I’d rather you bought the magazine, but this is the year 2015 and not everybody needs the comforting rustle of a turned page, right?

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Spotter’s Guide To The June 2015 Road And Track

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Pity the poor Lamborghini Huracan. As an all-wheel-drive street car with a fair amount of tire stagger, it will always display understeer at low speeds and in situations where the tires are not managed properly. Since low cornering speeds and mismanaged tires are pretty much what autojournos do, pretty much every article from the Huracan press launch overseas last year emphasized that trait. There is also, of course, an Emperor’s New Clothes thing going on in this business where, when one person at a press dinner claims that the car “understeers like a pig,” the rest immediately agree so as to not display their lack of understanding or track experience.

What was my experience with the Huracan? Well…

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This Arrow Kills Bimmers

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Or it frightens them off the track, anyway. See below.

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The Miller’s Tale

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You want an allegory for life in 2015 America? Here it is: A $100 million world-class racetrack facility is being abandoned by its builders, at least in part because the State of Utah has identified the land beneath it as a great place to build a prison. That’s right. With all the open land in that state, the place they want to lock up non-violent drug offenders and people who don’t pay 100% of their child support just happens to be Miller Motorsports Park.

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Here’s A Few We Did Elsewhere

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You already know that you can find my writing other places than in TTAC, (or, if you’re just waking up from a two-decade coma, Bicycles Today) but did you know that my brother, the infamous “Bark M”, is setting up shop elsewhere as well?

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MoFi, Steve Hoffman, and So On

Although it’s only Wednesday, it’s already been a brilliant week for Seventies music here at Casa Baruth. Certain music-forum posters and/or Road&Track editors are likely to disagree, of course.

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On Any Saturday

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I’m knocking on the laminated wood of my desk as I write this, but it looks like I finally have my CB550 almost entirely sorted out. The new fuel tank is leaky, but it only leaks around the cap. And a few zip ties have turned the transparent blue fuel lines that my friend Josh and I installed a few weeks ago from fire-spraying nightmares into perfectly usable items. The stumbling and hesitations I’m getting with every change of the throttle opening indicate that I still need a carb rebuild, but I’ll probably put that off until the winter. All in all, I covered nearly fifty trouble-free miles on the ol’ 75 between Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

The best news of all: adding a second motorcycle to my insurance policy actually dropped my rate. I suppose they figure that any time I’m not on the VFR is good news, even if that means I’m on a forty-year-old rattletrap. Maybe they’re right. Life goes by more slowly behind the handlebars of a fifty-horsepower bike than it does behind the fairing of a 105-horsepower one.

But if what I saw Saturday afternoon is any indication, when it comes to having fun, a twenty-four-volt bike beats both of them, hands down.

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Guess Where This Sixty-Five-Dollar “Sustainable Towel” Was Manufactured

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A few years ago, a lady friend of mine introduced me to Touch Of Modern. I wish she hadn’t. “ToM” stocks a variety of utterly fascinating design-y stuff that, by and large, I don’t need and would not actually use were I to purchase it. And when you do order something from them, it usually takes four to six weeks to arrive, just like you were ordering from Sears Roebuck back in 1905. Half of the time, what you get is broken or wrongly sized.

Despite these continual disappointments, I still read through their spam with devoted attention. Two days ago, ToM alerted me that they had a limited supply of sustainable, high-net-worth beach towels. I checked out the description on their site, and because the descriptions on ToM are wrong as often as they’re right, I checked out the description of the towels on the manufacturer’s site.

Then I got suspicious.

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Once, Wet Children Made It Into The Restaurant’s Lobby And Took Mints

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This past week, I went to New York for a couple of days to catch some gigs and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time in my life. Cue my departed grandmother: “If all your friends jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it, too?” Grandmom, if you’re up there, the answer is “probably, yes.”

I’m frankly fascinated by the so-called “Great Inversion” in which, we are reliably told, the next generation of affluent young whites will move to the inner city to live vibrant childless hipster bodega lives, driving housing prices through the roof and banishing the uneducated poor to newly ghetto-ized suburbs. Where the next generation of affluent young whites will be found is anybody’s guess, since as a group middle-class American white people have chosen to voluntarily self-exterminate through lack of interest in having children. You can think of it as “Subliming” if you’re an Iain Banks fan, and the idea is the same. An entire culture has looked at the future and the responsibilities attached to that future and responded with a hearty “Fuck that, I’d rather drink craft beer.”

It’s been rather convincingly argued that it ain’t working, and that American cities are more poverty-stricken and hopeless than ever before. You’d have to be blind, however, not to see that nearly every formerly-scuzzy pothole-rathole from Brooklyn to the Tenderloin has installed, or is currently installing, some sort of sanitized Downtown Disney for the convenience of newly-converted urbanites. My adopted hometown of Columbus is no exception — and, as you might expect, not all is going smoothly.

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H9, P29

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Brief updates on my musical and racing lives:

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