The Times Wants You To Sob For The New Nabobs

Within weeks, Ms. Jalakam, who has a degree in biotechnology, landed a job as an analyst at an insurance company. The next year, she and her husband, Vinay Kumar, a software engineer, bought a house. In 2017, the finances of the Indian immigrant couple were secure enough that they decided to have a second child.
All that planning, though, is in jeopardy. Ms. Jalakam and thousands of other spouses of skilled workers have been told that their special work permits — authorization that can mean the difference between struggling and thriving in their adopted homeland — are likely to be revoked.

Well, this sounds very sad. I would not want anyone to struggle when they could thrive instead. As you’ll see, however, not everybody has the same definition of “struggle” or “thrive”.

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Retro Road Test: 2011 Lincoln Town Car Signature Limited – The Last American Car

The Town Car. The last Lincoln. Or so some say. Frankly, I think the current, resuscitated Continental is a fine automobile, but that’s not the subject of today’s post. Nope. It’s all about the Town Car, that famous full-sizer that started out as a trim package on late ’60s Continentals and became a luxury car mainstay for decades afterward.

Of course I am biased, being a Town Car owner myself. And while, like all cars, they have their drawbacks and advantages, I do enjoy them enough to have two of them.

2007 Town Car Signature Limited

As a result, I am known alternately as “That Town Car Guy” and “That Fool” locally. Enough so that my preferred salesman at Strieter Lincoln, Peter Clarke, emails me when a nice Town Car gets traded in. Just a couple of weeks ago this nice ’07 in Dark Cherry Metallic arrived with 77,000 miles on the clock. Moonroof too, which was the last year it was offered-Canadian TCs were not available with it. If you see an 08-11 with sunroof, it’s aftermarket. I was tempted, but not enough to trade off one of my existing TCs. And I’m not a fan of the aftermarket tops. Priced at $9900, it sold in less than a week. I think the general manager told me it was on the lot about five days.

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Weekly Roundup: She Can Leave, But It’s Going To Cost You Edition

One of the commenters here clued me in to the fact that Russell Crowe is having a post-divorce auction. His wife, shown here in post-Wall-impact status at her current age of forty-eight, decided she needed to dump ol’ Maximus. In consideration for being the highly-compensated wife of a dude that about half of the female world would have blown in a studio bathroom for free, Ms. Spencer received an $11 million home and $20 million in cash. Talk about the art of the deal.

Meanwhile, Russell says “Once I commit to something, I stick with it, so you never know… I’ve loved Danielle Spencer since 1989; that’s never going to change,” he said. Oof. Dude, get a hold of yourself.

The auction is already over — Australia is thirteen hours ahead of the East Coast — but click the jump anyway to see some of my favorite items and also, incidentally, what I wrote last week. Oh yeah… the title is, of course, a reference to Anna Gaye’s caustic statement regarding her own divorce and the musical response given by her husband.

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Bark at the Theatre: Sleep No More review

Okay, let’s get weird. #sleepnomore

A post shared by Bark M. (@barkmfors) on

Have you ever gone to see a play, perhaps a movie, or even visited an art museum, and walked out thinking, “What the hell was that?”

I had that feeling last Tuesday on the west side of New York City after experiencing the “immersive theatre experience” called Sleep No More, which has been selling out every night, non-stop, for eight years. It’s loosely based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, with elements of some Hitchcock films like Rebecca and Vertigo. The whole performance is set in 1929, and it’s not a play in the strictest sense—there’s no dialogue, no seating, not even a stage.

Sleep No More takes place on six floors of a giant warehouse, and the actors are more accurately described as dancers. There’s very, very little information given to the patrons, who are simply handed a mask and told that “fortune favors the bold” before they’re dumped out into the warehouse, which is immaculately prepared. Within the structure, you’ll find a jazz club, a hotel, two apartments, a sanitarium, a forest, a graveyard, a city street with multiple shops, a ballroom, and much, much more, all of which are presented in a perfect, Hitchcock-style milieu.

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Spotter’s Guide To The First Quarter 2018 Issue Of Cycle World Magazine

For years, Cycle World shared an office with Road&Track on the West Coast; they also shared the crowd-pleasing privilege of publishing Peter Egan’s musings. Today, both magazines continue to release work by the individual oft-acclaimed as the “new Peter Egan”, an obscure former BMW mechanic and not-quite-six-foot-tall manlet who writes under the deliberately generic nom de plume of “Sam Smith”, chosen in tribute to the English pop singer whose music is rivaled only by the soulful work of Darius Rucker for center stage in Sam’s heart.

Unfortunately for the readers, “Sam Smith” commands a remarkably stout freelance fee due to the immense number of exotic cars and motorcycles that pass through his grasping fingers at a torrential rate. Therefore, to save money on their newest issue, Cycle World called on yours truly, the Lowest Cost Choice Of The Low Priced Three.

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Introducing… The 633CSXi (Or is that the X6 3.3?)

From the fertile mind of automotive sketch and Photoshop artist Zykotec comes this decidedly retro take on BMW’s infatuation with the CR-V form factor. I’m feeling a bit of Princess in the overall look, but I also think it’s a dramatic improvement over the current X6. Most importantly, it looks vaguely depressed, just like the original 6-Series did. What say you, dear readers? Would you smash?

1988 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser – Hail The Traditional American Station Wagon!

Of all the GM wagons made in the final full-size, B-body station wagon years, I think I loved the Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser the most. I mean, first of all, is that a cool name or what? “Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser.” Even if you didn’t even know what kind of a car was, you’d probably agree that is a most excellent name. And these final Olds wagons remained unerringly, unapologetically full sized to the very end in 1992. They even eclipsed their Eighty Eight brethren starting in 1986, establishing them as perhaps the Broughamiest Olds in the lineup.

1986 full-size Oldsmobiles: Ninety-Eight, Eighty-Eight and Custom Cruiser.

Yes, the second round of downsizing hit the Oldsmobile full-size line in the mid-’80s. The first round, for those of you just joining us, was in 1977, when the trim, smaller on the outside yet bigger on the inside B-body GM sedans, coupes and wagons appeared on the scene. Round two started in 1985 when the top of the line Ninety-Eight shrunk, along with its corporate cousins, the C-body Buick Electra and Cadillac de Ville/Fleetwood. They were also front wheel drive, and unit-bodied. Not a rare format in 1986, but completely new to the Olds flagship, which had been proudly gigantic and full-framed for decades.

The Eighty Eight got the same treatment in 1986. So now all of the big Oldses were front wheel drive, V6-only and unit-bodied. What was a full-sized car lover to do? Buy the wagon!

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A Little Ignorance And Malevolence, Comin’ Right Up

Earlier today, I wrote about a difficult conversation I had with a friend regarding American bicycle manufacturing. One of the commenters offered up this link to counter my “bullshit”.

Here at Riverside Green, we take our readers seriously, at least until they are unmasked as shibari addicts or serial fantasists. So I promptly went over and read the suggested article, which contains the following paragraph:

Given the abundance of facts about manufacturing’s strong position the US economy, why would anyone argue that it is even struggling, much less in decline? Other than ignorance or malevolence, I don’t have a good answer to that question.

Ah, but the writer does have a good answer to that question, and I’m happy to show you why.

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In Which The Author Learns Some Hard Truths About American Bicycle Manufacturing

Last month, I pointed an emerald-green S63 AMG across the California desert separating Pasadena from Apple Valley. My purpose: to meet up with my old pal Bill Ryan, owner of Supercross BMX. I hadn’t seen Bill for more than a decade and a half, although we had kept up a sporadic conversation via email and social media. My plan was to order a new race frame to replace the 2001-vintage Supercross UL that Bill had custom-built for me and maybe to make some plans for my son’s next race bike.

Bill was in fine fettle when I arrived and we chatted for the better part of two hours. “Let me give you the tour,” he said. We walked through a series of warehouses. “This is where the fabrication line was… this was where we painted the frames… Right there was where we did all the machining and drilling for the stems.” And as we walked it dawned on me that every single drill, every single jig, and every single fixture I saw was coated with the thick dust of long neglect.

We returned to his office, where a massive whiteboard detailed every incoming shipment of frames and parts along with cost, supplier, and various conditions regarding delivery. Almost without exception, the names of the contractors were established Taiwanese OEM cycle suppliers.

“Bill,” I said, “I don’t understand it. Fifteen years ago you were making a ton of stuff here. Regular production, custom builds, small parts. What happened?”

“Well,” he exhaled, and some of his infamous manic energy seemed to evaporate, “…we’re in California.”

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Facebook Is Making You Fat

Hey there! Do you need another reason to quit Facebook? Not a problem. It turns out that people who quit Facebook experience lower cortisol levels after just five days. Cortisol, for those of you who don’t receive the daily email updates from LIVESTRONG, is the “fight or flight” stress hormone. One of the side effects associated with high cortisol levels: extra fat creation, especially belly fat.

I wish I could tell you that I’ve gotten thinner since quitting Facebook. It ain’t necessarily so. I do feel mentally healthier, however. I’m kind of looking forward to the day where I don’t write for a living any more. I’ll delete all my accounts everywhere and disappear like Salinger or Bobby Fischer. The only difference is that nobody’s going to come looking for me. They will still be glued to their phones.