Housekeeping: If You’re Buying Anything Music-Or-Audio-Related

I got a call today from my pal Matt Emick at Sweetwater. Apparently one of you magnificent bastards bought a set of Westone UM2s from him and mentioned this site. Many, many thanks for this. I’ve been working with Matt for eight years now; he’s sold me everything from guitar strings to a Gibson R9 Collector’s Choice and a PRS Private Stock. In all of that time he’s never failed to answer a question, find a particular item, or cut me a brilliant deal on something that I absolutely, positively did not need!

Contact Matt here. Full disclosure: I don’t get anything from Matt or from Sweetwater if you deal with him. I just think that you will benefit from the interaction. The primary thing you can do to make my life better, other than reading and commenting on here, is to join Massdrop and buy something with this link. Every so often, Massdrop sends me fun stuff like titanium sporks thanks to your patronage.

Housekeeping: In Ukraine (and China), The Game Plays You

4,683.

That’s how many fraudulent login attempts this site got yesterday from the Ukraine and China combined. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So starting next week, I’m going to block traffic from those countries. If you’re a (at least semi-)legitimate reader of this site from either of those countries, post in this thread and I’ll email you a workaround. Thanks!

Dashing Through The Snow

The rumors are true: Matt Farah’s Corvette is coming to live at my house. Yesterday we drove it from Venice, CA to Albuquerque over the course of seventeen dismal snowy hours.

If you know the story behind this car, you know it is very loud. 132dB at full throttle. I’m still a little deaf even though I brought and used three different kinds of earplugs.

Here’s hoping you all have the best holiday possible. I can’t stand Christmas, but I don’t expect all of you to share my opinion!

Happy Birthday To Me

Yesterday, I turned forty-five. I wasn’t really inclined to celebrate this birthday; I don’t expect to live to be ninety so I’ve long since stopped kidding myself that this is “middle age”. But that didn’t stop my friends and family from burying me under an avalanche of generosity. Some of you gave me gifts of humbling magnitude. Others gave me time and effort to attend my surprise party two weeks ago, help out with my trio of October races, or visit with me in places as diverse as Powell and Las Vegas. Still others called, texted, e-mailed.

Thank you.

Yesterday, the American people decided to chip in for one last birthday present — namely, the defeat of Hillary Clinton. I voted for Mr. Clinton in 1992, but in the years since I have come to think of myself as a populist. I believe that full employment is more important than free trade; I believe that this country cannot survive unless we are a net producer and a net exporter; I believe that native-born Americans have the right and the duty to determine this country’s direction; I believe that immigration is only helpful when it occurs in a reasonable and prudent manner.

Mrs. Clinton’s plans to bring several million more people into this country who in no way share our common beliefs, combined with her determination to export more working-class and middle-class jobs to further enrich her plutocrat backers, were incompatible with traditional Democratic or Republican values. It is too soon to tell what Mr. Trump will do. But in the words of the recently famous essay, “A Hillary Clinton presidency is Russian Roulette with a semi-auto. With Trump, at least you can spin the cylinder and take your chances.” In other words, we have hope now, where we would have had none. Thank you for that.

Housekeeping: Thanks For Stopping By, Google Searcher

extrap

So. Apparently, over this past weekend, a former colleague of mine decided to send out as many as 100,000 emails to people claiming that I was invading his safe space or something like that and asking for those people to “respond” to my “attack” by attacking me by any means necessary. As a consequence of those 100,000 emails, the number of people reaching this site from Google went from about 75-100 a day to, um, 94. Well. Maybe that’s not an increase. I don’t know. I never claimed to be a “doctor of math”.

I’ve been writing about bikes and cars for print since 1991. I’ve always tried to do what’s best for the readers, not for the bike or car makers. When I see somebody doing things that I think are intended to enrich them at the cost of the readers, whether it’s faking up a Wikipedia page about their business or claiming to have objective data about car manufacturers while at the same time aggressively and privately lobbying those same manufacturers for free cars, expensive trips, and luxury accommodations, I’m going to say something.

Every time I call somebody out for advancing their private interest at the expense of their readers and/or contributors, I make enemies by doing so. Eventually, one of those enemies is going to successfully run me out of the car business, whether through gossip, influence peddling, or their own attempts at libel. The only way to stop that from happening would be to join their team, so to speak, and start looking at my readers and contributors as a resource to be exploited and sold rather than as people who have entrusted me with their time and attention. That’s not going to happen. So go ahead — attack me, attack this site, sue me, slander me, whatever. It doesn’t change who and what you are.

Housekeeping: The Look Of Love

Last night, this site was broken by some folks who wanted to insert some spam links on top of my images.

No user data was compromised and no comments or stories were lost.

However, in cleaning out the damage I inadvertently destroyed our current “theme” settings. I’ll fix them as I have time. In the meantime, please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.

Housekeeping: It’s Alright, The Hardest Part Is Through

You have to admire the consistency of the Lumineers’ drummer. He always wears the same thing. Somebody must have told him it was good for branding. I think he looks like a slightly less intelligent version of Woody Harrelson on Cheers. Anyway. Like the song says, the hardest part of our server transition is over and done with. Sorry for the delays and the difficulty. Once I tune up a few things over the weekend, I expect we’ll be rolling strong for the next three years!

Housekeeping: This Week’s Challenge

chally

Kind of looks like they made this new Challenger T/A for me. In 392 form, it’s got the running gear from the Hellcat but only (only) 485 naturally-aspirated, bulletproof, non-heat-soaking horsepower. Plus double hollow headlights. How cool is that? The answer is that it’s very cool.

I’m in the process of moving this site, and a bunch of other stuff, to a new dedicated server. You might see intermittent availability; we’ve already had 53 minutes of downtime today. So if you try the site and it’s down, just be patient. Thank you!

It’s An Older Code, Sir, But It Checks Out

laguna

Yesterday I asked all of you to identify the racetrack on which that bad-ass Turismo 2.2 was hard-parked. To my immense amazement, you correctly identified it as the Rahal Straight at Laguna Seca, backwards. Much respect. And you’d think I would know better, having a few hundred laps at Laguna Seca. Maybe I just never looked in my mirror there?