Rewind: “Capsule Review: 2005 Hyundai Accent GL A/T — Now Redacted For Your Comfort”

(Originally published on August 21, 2010.)

It’s come to my attention that many TTAC readers are extremely disturbed by my willingness to share the lurid details of my Technicolor lifestyle with all of you. Some of you don’t believe anything I say; others believe it all and are simply horrified. After some quiet counseling with my spiritual advisor, I’ve decided to confine myself to traditional auto-writing for a while. Unfortunately, I made this decision after completing the review you’re about to read. For your comfort, I’ve redacted the ridiculous jargon, shocking sexual audacity and repulsive images of the ghetto. Whenever you see a word in brackets, like this –> [Wildflower] < -- it means that I've changed the text from the original. Please read on in total bliss, knowing you will not be offended - JB

As previously discussed, I’m a little short on cars at the moment. Therefore, when I heard that there was a spot open for the 2011 Ford Edge preview, just 403 miles away in Nashville, TN, I didn’t know how I was going to get there. Luckily, I know a [fellow] who was more than willing to help. [He] is a former exotic [animal trainer] who now works as a hair-[spring winder at a major Swiss-watch company]. Somehow [he] escaped from [his] last relationship with a free 2005 Hyundai Accent GL automatic. I’m not sure how [he] got it; when I asked [he] said something about a particularly vigorous reverse [cowboy]. No matter. We decided to head down to Nashville for some auto reviewing and an all-night [recording] session.
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What Happens When The Job Market Is Too Good?

I’m actually tired of winning. Like, really, I am. Because this Trump economy is making it impossible to hire people. Everybody who is worth even a single damn already has a job and is completely satisfied in his or her role.

As I type this, I have multiple sales roles available with guaranteed competitive base salaries, full benefits, 401k matching, and a career path with a 160-year-old established company, and I haven’t found anybody worth hiring. And trust me, I’m not being picky.

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Strictures of Steel

For the first time in my life, I commute by train. Some of you, knowing that I have spent more than a decade living in Japan, are going to call bullshit on this statement, but it’s true. I do admit to riding the occasional train, of course, but at no point did I use Japan’s famously efficient rail network as a part of my commute. And let’s not even talk about the bus – that shit’s a non-starter. No, believe it or not, most days, my ass was in the driver’s seat. Continue Reading →

Rewind: “Trackday Diaries: Have to see a man about a dog.”

Originally published February 25, 2013

“Say, Rodney,” I inquired via phone, “I wonder if you might be interested in helping me look at a Town Car in Pataskala for a guy in Czechoslovakia.”

I wonder,” Rodney responded, “if you might be interested in bringing a pair of motherfucking McChicken sandwiches over to where I’m staying at so that it might lubricate my willingness to perform this inspection. And remember, I said two McChickens, you cheap cracker.”

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Fixing Stuff That Isn’t Broken: Hands-on with TK

Despite the old adage, “If it works, don’t fix it,” I have never been able to keep my hands off of things that aren’t broken. That’s bit me in the ass more times than I’d like to admit, something I was well aware of when I decided to “improve” our new Nissan Versa. I’m not sure if that decision makes me fearless or just stupid, but whichever it is I went in anyway. I guess it’s time to talk about what happened. Continue Reading →

And Now It’s Time For The Backlash

Nearly a year ago, I wrote that “Sexual harassment has been weaponized. There can be no doubt about it, no discussion required. Anyone, at anytime, can be accused, and the accusers’ testimony must be believed, even if it is questionable.” But I don’t come before you today to pat myself on the back for my Nostradamus-like prediction. Rather, I wonder if the Democrats and the Soros machine played their hand too soon, or perhaps with the wrong cards.

Before I continue, I want to be crystal clear on a few subjects. Rape is abhorrent and wrong. Sexual assault is abhorrent and wrong. There are no exceptions to this. No justifications. If Justice Kavanaugh had been an actual rapist or assailant, there would have been no voice louder than mine in demanding his immediate withdrawal from candidacy for the court. Of course, it turns out that he wasn’t.

Had Christine Blasey Ford been a more credible witness before the Senate—if any of the vast, vast number of inconsistencies with her story hadn’t been so blatantly obvious—I think it’s quite possible that Kavanaugh’s nomination could have been derailed. If there had been one corroborating witness, for example, or if she’d been able to remember where the house was, how she got there, how she got home, how many people were at the party, etc., Ol’ Kav might have been kicked back the the district court, regardless of his guilt or innocence. Hell, even after Ford’s testimony (but before Kavanaugh’s), some conservatives, like Ben Shapiro, were still convinced that Kavanaugh should have removed himself from consideration. Thankfully, both Justice Kavanaugh and President Trump conducted themselves as they should have—Kavanaugh replying with furious, seething anger at being falsely accused, and Trump allowing an FBI investigation to take place.

But now that the sexual harassment/rape card has been played, Democrats will find it difficult to play it again with any degree of success.

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Just A Couple Of $300K Cars On A Wet Racetrack

I can’t tell you which car won Road&Track’s Performance Car Of The Year test, and I can’t share any driving impressions that would help you figure out which car won. I can tell you that the McLaren Senna is the best million-dollar car I’ve ever driven and that it has astounding seats to go with the rest of its astounding-ness.

What I can show you is a couple of wet laps around NCM West, just so you can listen to a couple of really neat limited-production sports cars.

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(Really Seriously) Made In The USA: New Balance ‘1978’

How’s that old saying go? If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Which is why I’ve spent a couple of days kind of spinning my wheels regarding the Nike endorsement of Caperman or whatever his name is. I haven’t owned a set of Nike shoes since maybe the early Nineties. In 1998 I got my first set of USA-made New Balances and I haven’t really looked back since then. So instead of talking about Nike, their overseas production, or their political activism, I’d like to talk about something that just recently became a possibility: the 100% American-made athletic shoe.

New Balance is well known for their Assembled in USA products which contain less than 70% USA-made materials, and for their Made In USA line which contains at least 70% domestic materials. Until recently, however, they had no shoe that was sourced entirely from the United States. That’s changed thanks to a massive infrastructure investment by New Balance. Unfortunately, the reason for that investment has proven to be a false hope.

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Not Every Story Has A Happy Ending

A friend of mine died this week. Died in his asleep, presumably alone. He was 42.

In this age of social media, maybe I’d call him a former friend, because he deleted me from Facebook a long time ago, but if he had called me needing $100 to make it to his next paycheck, I’d have given it to him without a second thought. The reason I use that particular example is because, knowing his story, it’s probably the mostly likely reason that he would have contacted me.

I won’t use his real name, because I’m going to tell his story in true Speaker For The Dead fashion. Let’s call him “Bob.” Bob was a musical compatriot of mine for a few years, and we toured much of the midwest together in an Econoline van that had a penchant for eating alternators at the most inconvenient times. He was a brilliant guy, easily my intellectual equal and maybe even then some. But Bob’s life was, to put it mildly, a trainwreck.

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Just To Save You The Hassle Of Reading Vice Or Buzzfeed…

THE OLDEST BLOCKCHAIN WAS PRINTED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES!!!!!!!

That’s the clickbait headline that’s going around a couple of the garbage sites like Vice and Buzzfeed. To prevent you from having to read them, I’ve found an alternate source for you, free of charge: Finding The Oldest Blockchain.

If you don’t know what blockchain is, then you’ll want to start by reading my Explain-Like-I’m-Five-Years-Old piece on hashes. It was written for people with an interest in Bitcoin. I suspect that interest in Bitcoin has greatly waned since I wrote it; judging by the current market cap, it’s a third of what it is now. Which reminds me. I have a Bitcoin story of my own to tell. Watch this space.