Weekly Roundup: Thank You For Five Million Edition

When I was a contractor for VerticalScope, home of TTAC and many other collapsing websites, one of the senior executives admitted to me that “When it comes to site traffic, we pretty much make the numbers up, and so does everybody else.” The situation hasn’t gotten any better since 2013. Once upon a time, there was a genuine source of truth: the Apache logs on Linux and UNIX webservers. Today, the lizard people use astoundingly stupid and broken tools like SimilarWeb, Adobe Analytics, and Google Analytics to figure out how many people are looking at the advertisements. All of these metrics-collection services can be manipulated, and none of them can say for certain that fifty people using restrictive security settings behind a major corporate firewall are not, in fact, one person. Nor are they sophisticated enough to know that the “three unique users” they just reported to the Lizard-In-Chief are actually one person browsing the site via work laptop, tablet, and phone.

Jetpack, the freemium logging service offered to WordPress users, isn’t any dumber than the Adobe software, and I think it’s more conservative in estimating actual user volumes, which is probably a good thing. It thinks that Riverside Green has a steady audience of about 35,000 readers, and that we have served just over five million pages in the past nine years. I’ve done some sanity checking against my Apache logs and this doesn’t appear to be far from the truth. So… yay!

As I usually do at the million-visit marks, I will answer some general questions after the jump. Since this is a Roundup and not Housekeeping, there will also be a link to stories at the bottom. If you don’t have time to continue, please accept my thanks for being a reader. Most “creative types” like to pretend that they don’t need readers or listeners, that they would be happy just committing their pearls of wisdom to the custody of futurity, secure in the knowledge that they will eventually get a Nick Drake’s worth of critical recognition and respect. Of course, Nick Drake probably killed himself because he couldn’t sell more than five thousand copies of an album, but nobody likes to think about that. I’ll be more forthright. I cherish my readers. If you really hate me, the best way to hurt me is to stop reading. Please don’t do that.

Alright, let’s continue with Q&A.

Are you going to do anything substantial outside the Hagerty umbrella in the near future? Not right now. I can and do freelance occasionally on topics that do not compete with my employer, but I’m not going to release a novel or a short story collection until I quit or get fired. I’ve considered writing a sci-fi book, because if I made the whole thing about aliens and robots there’s a slim chance I wouldn’t get immediately canned for Henry-Miller-plus obscenity. Of course, with my luck if I wrote a book exclusively about hyper-intelligent aliens from the eighth dimension, those aliens would then arrive for real and immediately complain to HR that I’d mis-dimensioned them or something.

In the event that I do quit or get fired, I can guarantee you that I will have a novel out in 120 days, and that it will set new standards for on-page insanity. I know a thousand dirty little secrets and horrifying stories. I’ll be packing them into my prose tighter than the W-8 was packed into the Passat.

How are you physically? The worst, and saddest, I’ve ever been. My left wrist is trashed, my left thumb finds playing a D/F# to be nearly impossible, I’m overweight even for me, and six months spent on limited weightlifting and unlimited storage-unit re-boxing has rendered me just about useless. That being said, I think I’ve finally hit rock bottom and am climbing back out. Two months from now I expect to clear every jump on “Rainmaker” at Trestle Bike Park in Colrado. Four months from now I’ll fit in my Radicals. Six months from now, people will describe me as “mildly obese” rather than “morbidly obese”.

How is Brother Bark? Brother Bark is now officially a member of the fabled One Percent. If he wants to talk about how he did it and what’s next for him, I’m sure he will come on the site and tell you, but I suspect he is going to retire from public life and quietly enjoy everything from a Grand Seiko collection to a McLaren longtail. I think there’s something inspiring about the fact that you can behave as badly as he has behaved for the past forty-four years and still get rich. Only in America, I tell you. When I think of how many people in this business and elsewhere absolutely despise him, and how powerless they have been to prevent him from enjoying the very finest of everything there is in life, it fills me with joy like a Mylar experimental balloon soaring to the troposphere. I’ve asked him to hire me to be his underling, since even being his underling would be far more impressive than what I’m doing now, but he says he is only hiring people for whom excellence is a passion.

The most tragicomic part is that he just drove a Genesis G90, which all of you know is my unattainable dream car, and then decided it wasn’t worth his time to buy one.

Racing plans? The rectification and configuration of my little hobby farm is going to make it hard for me to get out much in the first half of the season. I’ll likely run my Neon in NASA a bit later on in the year. The Accord is moving to SCCA, where I’ll campaign it in the STU class. My 1340cc Radical will be running in SCCA P2. There’s more to say on this, perhaps hinted at in the previous sentence, but ask any Instagram influencer: there’s nothing quite as (un)cool as vague-posting about future plans. MAKING MOVES IN SILENCE! HEY, EVERYBODY! I’M MAKING MOVES!

What’s in store for the site? During the past year I decommissioned my server racks in Powell, Ohio and San Antonio, TX. Doing this cut my costs to the point where we don’t need to run ads to keep Riverside Green afloat. Perhaps you’ve noticed that Tom Klockau has really been carrying an unfair share of the publishing burden here during 2021 and 2022. I’d like to change that, so if you would like to share anything with my readers on a regular basis, please let me know. If you’ve already contacted me and didn’t hear back, it’s not a “California No.” It’s a reflection of the fact that sometimes I get 150 serious emails in a day and occasionally I just have to archive them before they are all handled.

Will you ever do some kind of OnlyFans Patreon Substack? Over the years, many of you have offered to contribute financially to the site and/or buy whatever service I have to offer. I’m not going to take advantage of this kindness until I think I have a product worthy of your consideration. I also want to be very careful about political and/or controversial writing. Riverside Green readers are hard-core populists, tradcons, moderates, limo-liberals, and black-clad anarchists. I don’t suffer from the modern malady of hating my customers, and I don’t want to alienate them. If you hold your beliefs in absolute sincerity, I consider you my friend, though we disagree on everything under the sun.

I worry quite a bit that all of us are losing our humanity to a reckless faith in ideology. Former TTAC and RG contributor David Sanborn, known to some of you as “Piston Slap Yo Momma”, recently wrote a heartbreaking post about the ways in which the modern political divide has torn his family asunder. If any of you out there feel personally insulted or “thrown away” due to the way I handle political discussions here at RG, please contact me directly so we can fix it to your satisfaction. That being said, if any of you decide to show up at my funeral and speak about “what an inspirational and sincere person Stacey Abrams is and our hopes that she’d become governor of Georgia,” the way David did at his mother’s burial, I want you to know that I’ve set aside five thousand dollars in my will to have you forcibly tased by an off-duty policeman.

Thanks for reading, everyone.

* * *

For Hagerty, I wrote about various pickup trucks and spun a story about a “GR Sienna”.

104 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Thank You For Five Million Edition”

  1. PaulyG

    Congratulations on 5M! Since I live a pretty sheltered life these days surrounded by the virtue signaling entitled crowd here in Fairfield County, reading the opinions both from you and the commenters has really expanded my understanding of the wide range of views. And by in large, this is a pretty civilized bunch. Thank you for this forum.

    Reply
    • jc

      If that’s Fairfield County, CT then my aunt and uncle live there. They’re great and I love visiting them, but it’s a super weird community out there. The vibe I got was guys with more money than I’ll ever think about making living what they think is a simple country life. I could be wrong tho, I haven’t spent a ton of time out there.

      Reply
      • PaulyG

        Yup, you have it correct, it is a strange place. I grew up in a small economically depressed town so observing life here gives me endless amusement.

        The strong gravitational pull of Wall Street means that doctors and non-corporate attorneys are not the wealthy people around here. As my older daughter called it when she was in high school, Bubbleland. A very thick bubble as most people around here taking Charles Murray’s famous questionnaire would see https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/do-you-live-in-a-bubble-a-quiz-2

        Most around here would tell you that it takes a lot of money to live a simple life 😉

        Reply
        • jc

          I had similar experiences. My brother and I have some super funny stories about our cousins from up north visiting our small town. Their private school tuition was more than the average family in our county made. It’s a different world man. I’m glad I don’t live like that but they’ve said the same thing about the way we live so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

          Reply
  2. CJinSD

    I don’t consider David Sanborn to be a credible narrator. He describes anyone that he disagrees with about whatever the NYT told him to believe that morning just as he described his mother.

    Reply
    • stingray65

      I read Sanborn’s narrative and it seemed he loved his mother when she was as crazy Left-wing as he was, which in reading between the lines was probably what drove his Right leaning brother’s away. I wonder if he would have been so anxious to put her in a home and under guardianship if instead of turning crazy Right she has gone further Left and starting ranting about there being 176 genders (or not being able to give a definition of a woman), or about the “peacefulness” of protesters who somehow did $4B in property damage, or about Trump’s illegitimate election in 2016 due to Russian collusion, or how the way to deal with $4 gasoline prices is buy a $60K electric car, or any other Leftist delusions. In other words, he seemed like the typical “caring” and “open-minded” Leftist who is only caring and open minded about people who agree with him.

      Reply
    • Ronnie Schreiber

      I couldn’t read the whole thing.

      Last week was the 4th anniversary of my mother’s death. She had dementia and while her estate wasn’t worth a huge amount of money it was certainly enough to fight about, something my siblings and I have thankfully avoided.

      My late uncle was a successful eye surgeon, his brother was a lawyer. Both were millionaires but they died not speaking to each other over their father’s estate, which was significant but wouldn’t have materially affected their lifestyles as they were already well off.

      Fighting with your siblings over your parents’ money is unseemly enough, doing it in public can’t be justified.

      Reply
      • Disinterested-Observer

        I thought it was odd that there was a comment from one of his brothers that he responded to, but the comment was removed by the moderator, which I would have thought was him, and another comment from one of his brothers that the brother deleted. Regardless of who deleted what, don’t do your laundry in the street.

        Also anyone who idealizes a politician is a child. I don’t mean that in a “there’s no difference between the parties kind of way,” I mean in in the sense that it takes a special kind of person to be willing to endure campaigning, and that kind of person is a lunatic.

        Reply
      • hank chinaski

        It’s a proxy for parental affection and a lifetime of slights and grievances, with fights over millions that can be equally fierce over a pittance and collectible trifles.

        I found that article odd from a middle aged man…..grade school girl drama queen level odd.

        Reply
  3. stingray65

    Congratulations Jack on reaching the 5M milestone, and I thank you for the content of this site that is always thought and comment provoking. Sadly to be thought provoking is often not appreciated in these divisive times, but it should be and I truly appreciate this site as a little oasis of sanity and mostly thoughtful and civil conversation, and I look forward to the 10M announcement.

    Reply
    • Sobro

      That 10M would come quickly if Jack installed auto-refresh on the front page like many “modern” sites do, but since he doesn’t rely on fake views for advertising income I’m sure he won’t.

      Reply
  4. jc

    Do you plan to do more writing on parenting? Your perspective is interesting to me because you and your son are about the same age difference as my dad and I. I’m about 10ish years older than your son and it’s hard seeing dad slow down.

    If Bark has the interest, something that would be interesting from him is some thoughts on sales. I like my job now, but it’s a lot of travel so I’ll be moving to a new job in a few years. I’ve heard of people moving from field engineering to engineering sales types of jobs. I just don’t know if I’d do a good job at sales or like sales.

    Reply
      • jc

        Looking forward to the article! I’ve been using the Bark travel tips. Work is sending me to Bama next week, Barcelona a few times between this summer and 2023, and probably more if I do well in Bama.

        Reply
    • Scout_Number_4

      I went from field engineering to sales and it was the best move I ever made. I, too, would like to hear Bark’s take on sales, etc.

      Reply
  5. Brian

    Conrgrats, Jack, Tom and Bark! Here’s to the next 5 million. Can’t wait to read your future articles on backyard chickens… something I know a thing or two about.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Well I doubt he has ten million bucks but he is earning serious money now, with more to come.

      Reply
      • Eric L.

        Dang, then he’s currently unable to hire me as his underling. 🙁 Doesn’t he have a lot of SAAS startup ideas he’s ready to pour his wealth into? 😇

        I’ll be in Louisville at the end of this month, Bark. Email me. 😘

        Reply
    • Ken

      Now I really want to know more about Bark! From cell phones, to autos, to unemployment, and now rich?! It’s great to read / hear, knowing how much effort he’s put in; it’s good that he and his family are doing well. I was especially impressed (and surprised) how open he was with the tougher phases of his life. I’m also a father of a boy and girl similar in age, (currently, and we planned for this) the only bread winner; so, I was very empathetic when he wrote about those difficult times. I believe I would feel very much the same. Glad it’s worked out and fueled his success.

      Hope to hear more about the good news. Again, that’s great and well deserved.

      Reply
  6. NoID

    I wonder how tall a non-AT4 Sierra is.

    I mentioned here (or maybe TTAC) before about my experience seeing an early 90s F350 Super Duty parked beside a late model version of the same truck at a camp ground, and the difference in size was stark. I wonder what the market would be for a truck with current towing/payload capability but 90s packaging. It might not even be possible, but I’d love to see one of the Big Three try.

    Reply
    • Eric L.

      I saw a LIFTED SIENNA with a 6-bike Velocirax on the back in downtown Boise this week. THEY SELL $700 LIFT KITS FOR THE 2003-2019 AWD SIENNAS! (and FWD, but who’s lifting a FWD Sienna?)

      Reply
      • Jack Baruth Post author

        Velocirax… ugh. The only Chinese choice in a market full of great North American alternatives from Lolo, North Shore, Alta, Saris… That’s Boise for you.

        Reply
  7. SajivW

    Congratulations on hitting the 5 Million mark!

    Thank you for creating this excellent and always thought provoking little corner of the internet. Speaking for myself, even when I disagree with your viewpoint on an issue, I usually learn something new.

    Also, living in the “third world”, where politics is significantly dirtier than anyone could imagine , it’s very interesting to see that even America is not immune to dividing itself because of ideology.

    All the best for the next 5 million!

    Reply
  8. Disinterested-Observer

    re live axle pickup trucks. I had a Ranger for a long time and it was mostly ok. One time on a cloverleaf in the rain a little ripple got it completely sideways, once on 95 in a very light dusting of snow I had cruise control on when I found myself staring at the road through the driver’s side window. Went lock to lock three or four times across all four lanes before it straightened out and I got off the road. Miraculously there wasn’t anyone around when it happened.

    Reply
  9. Pietalian

    Congratulations on the milestone, JB! As a longtime reader (and briefly as a contractor at TTAC while you were EIC), I have always admired your uncommon interest in your readers. Most would have cloistered themselves by turning off the comments years ago

    Reply
    • Eric L.

      +1. And he reads and (usually when he’s not busy, it seems) responds to emails, which is super bizarre. Maybe it’s better time management than mortals to do the latter, but few people are tough enough to engage with the weirdos who form a, ugh, community around a personal web log like this one. Especially when some of those weirdos are hell-bent on destroying your ability to make money.

      Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Unlike the late LJK Setright, I enjoy interacting with my readers, even the ones who hate me.

      Reply
  10. CitationMan

    Congrats on the 5 million pages and 35,000 readers, which is impressive especially considering you’re not trying to sell us anything, ever. This site is a very lively discourse full of interesting thoughts I’m not going to find anywhere else, so thanks for the time you spend doing this and for giving up some personal privacy to illuminate the present. It makes me happy when you and brother Bark, and anyone for that matter, can make it through the bizarro American corporate world and end up with a positive outcome or outright success. Here’s to many more years!

    Reply
  11. tmkreutzer

    Congratulations on 5 million and thank you for the hours of entertainment you have so graciously provided for free over the years.

    Reply
  12. Eric L.

    Did you see the “Dear Future Thief of My Old Porsche” article hit the top 3 or so on Hacker News? I was excited to see a Hagerty article there, but figure anything going viral probably doesn’t result in any pats on the head for your editorial direction.

    I setup nginx to only keep 90 weeks of logs, because it felt weird to hang on to them indefinitely. What that means is that I’ve (deliberately) lost the records of two of my own writings making it near the top of ol’ HN. Maybe 30~40K actual readers*, which is staggering. The one about hiring software devs resulted in an email from a Leo Radvinsky, asking for help creating a hiring process for some open-source Mastodon federated whatever he’s working on. He tossed in this chilling line as an aside, “I’m also involved with a number of other equally exciting projects with millions of users where we’re always looking to hire new developers and make sure they’re a good fit.” Ugh, gross.

    I thanked him for his interest, but told him straight up I will never take money from someone who made their money off the “adult industry.” He didn’t reply.

    What I need is to have an editor take a red pen all over my scrivings so I can figure out how to make them suck less. Like this rant that consumed 3+ hours late one night: https://lawler.io/scrivings/on-rotting-software/ There’s no… there there. I’m not sure what it’s missing. A clear call to action? Better organization of the thoughts? I think I might only be writing as some form of therapy, but it’s always nicer if you can create something that’s not a waste of someone else’s time to read.

    After accidentally writing an embarrassing number of words in response to some coworkers innocent “Hey, you MTB with your 9-year-old? How can I get a decent bike for my own early-elementary kid?” in Slack, I should have another longer form article to braindump on all the stuff I’ve picked up from, heh, reading about what you and Lil’ J do.

    (105,663 bots unique visitors have visited my website in the past 90 weeks. Thanks, Go Access dashboard!)

    Reply
    • silentsod

      WRT rotting software – the dynamic libraries and complexification lines jumped out at me.

      I had the misfortune of bringing down a demo application written in nodejs to investigate something at work. After fruitlessly trying to get it to run for a while: weekend me had the genius idea of looking up the versions of the packages referenced that would have been available at the time the demo was written. Lo and behold, the demo spun up and more or less functioned perfectly once that was done.

      Why was this written using dynamic references which guaranteed a non-working product four years later? Why was this written in nodejs at all with all it’s requisite crap to do stuff that it shouldn’t like having javascript that writes files to your hard disk, unzips and rezips files, etc?

      I find myself torn in terms of how I want to develop my career. On the one hand the best pay seems to be in whiz bang tech and complexification, on the other hand I want to build things that can stand the test of time.

      Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      For what it’s worth I think you make your points fairly well. It could have been a “bigger” piece, looking at (and perhaps refuting) the changes in modern architecture, or it could have been “smaller”, focusing more on how Microsoft balances between future focus and respect for the past. Ever since ColecoVision claimed the capability to play VCS games, or perhaps earlier, backwards compatibility has been a necessary evil in computing. The opposite viewpoint has been held by Apple, who seem to delight in obsoleting everything from cables to PROCESSORS. (I had to basically say goodbye to a perfectly good 21″ iMac home stereo player because it couldn’t accept future OS updates; those updates, of course, were necessary to run updated music software.)

      Reply
  13. JMcG

    Thank you, Jack and Bark, and congratulations. It’s good to know there’s still a clean, well-lighted place for us. It’s very good of the two of you to provide it.

    Reply
  14. Newbie Jeff

    Jack, I get a lot out of the website and always look forward to the email notification of new content. I always enjoy “going down the rabbit hole” of the various sidebars you link, and of course your Hagerty pieces…

    “I’d like to change that, so if you would like to share anything with my readers on a regular basis, please let me know”

    I have a competition license and I’m a passionate motorcycle enthusiast, but I doubt anything I could write here on racing or riding would “wow” this crew… HOWEVER, if you are interested in an aviation contributer, I’m game. Over the years, I’ve found that guys interested in things like race cars and motorcycles also have an interest in airplanes, and vice-versa… I have a lot of stories from years of flying experience, some industry/mishap insight from my professional flying career, and a recently renewed passion for the joy of flying now that I have a Super Cub. I’m not quite Gordon Baxter, but I’ll sure as hell try…

    Reply
  15. Newbie Jeff

    On the “heartbreaking post” by Mr Sandborn… not sure if that was included in good faith or sarcasm, but my takeaway certainly wasn’t a insightful warning about the modern political divide… I’d say it’s more of an example of exactly what IS wrong now.

    Sandborn complains, “because if you can’t get a misleading political jab in at a funeral, when can you?”… this, from a guy who fills his entire eulogy to his supposedly mentally-ill mother with all the predictable left-wing “political jabs”: MAGA, Fox News, “extreme right wing bigotry” and [of course] “Russian disinfo”… the post was – I’m shocked! – mostly about him, his troubles, and the injustices he sees inflicted upon him, instead of his mentally-ill mother dying of cancer…

    I suppose if Sandborn is a regular contributor to RG, we might get to hear from him directly… although I don’t expect much more than a diatribe about how we’re all “right-wing bigots”, all from his lofty perch of moral superiority that enables him to be simultaneously offended by a sermon on freeloaders at his mother’s funeral but then sends her into her final resting place talking about the “inspiring sincerity” of Stacy Abrams.

    Nope… I can’t imagine where all of this political toxicity comes from.

    Reply
    • John C.

      Right wingers understand when they should keep their mouth shut, most of the time. Left wingers not so much. Mr. Sandborn thus was in for a shock traveling to a red state and seeking out a Preacher. An old Pastor of mine told me he disliked doing the Service for those he didn’t know. If he knew the deceased, he could be confident of providing comfort to the grieving, by explaining how they were now at peace, one with God. In a room preaching to the nonreligious strangers, a Preacher might think it was sinful of him not to not make a pitch while having their attention but not much to say. .

      Even here, I thought of giving Pauley a +1 on his first comment congratulating Jack. That way Jack would know we all felt proud of his achievement but the comments below could go to more interesting topics. I thought the better of it, because Pauley gets triggered by many of my comments and so I worried me agreeing with him would freak him out.

      Reply
      • tmkreutzer

        Is learning to keep one’s mouth shut a left/right thing or an age thing? I used to be happy to mix it up but today, in my mid-50s, I am no longer inclined to discuss my political opinions. It just isn’t worth the hassle.

        It seems to me that discussion and debate are lost arts and that our society no longer values an effective exchange of views. All that remains is anger, angst and shrillness and I don’t need that in my life.

        Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      If I might be permitted to engage in the grossest of stereotyping for a moment: The rank and file of the American right-wing appears to be made up of people who do not travel, do not read, do not think critically, and are often just plain dumb. The rank and file of the American left wing appears to be more or less identical to the people released from Arkham Asylum in “The Dark Knight”. Every kind of damaged, deranged, sexually twisted, low-self-esteem, disconnected-from-reality, too-mentally-ill-to-work-at-McDonald’s freakazoid out there. If you are “poly”, or claim a corner-case sexuality, or were abused in childhood, or engage in Munchausen-style illness fetishization, you are almost certain to think the “OccupyDemocrats” and “BrooklynDad-Defiant!” social-media accounts are really, really brilliant.

      The thing about RG is we tend to skim the cream off both sides, so the right-wingers are successful, self-reliant family men and the left-wingers are provocative, educated freethinkers. Were this country solely populated by my readers, we could settle most political disagreements in amiable and thoughtful fashion.

      Reply
      • Daniel J

        Jack,

        I think you are spot on with your generalization with the right.

        I think your generalization of the left is generalizing quite possibly the far left or the really young left. Most middle aged lefties, as best I can tell through media, social media, and friends, are more likely the liberals of the Clinton presidency. Some gun control, limited abortion, some environmental controls and a some basic entitlements. Most of them aren’t buying CRT, Defund the Police, or the “grooming’ of children.

        The rank and file left are getting more and more disenfranchised I believe.

        Reply
        • Daniel J

          Wow, I hate no edit or preview button.

          To further clarify, I think most of the left aren’t out of the Arkham asylum. Just the far left fringes.

          Just look at won Biden the presidency: The empathetic suburban moms who couldn’t stand Trump’s potty mouth. These are the rank and file “lefties”. Not the Tatooed hair colored twenty face piercings 20 something on TikTok.

          The scary thing is, in 10 years, these folks WILL BE the rank and file left.

          Reply
        • stingray65

          What is worse, believing in the radical Left viewpoints of the current Democrat political mainstream and voting for it, or not believing in defunding the police or CRT, and not supporting net zero or the grooming of children, but then voting for people who do?

          Reply
        • Panzer

          “Oh yeah, the right are just stupid, and we on the left are just really caring and empathetic”

          Cool Story Bro

          Reply
      • stingray65

        “The rank and file of the American right-wing appears to be made up of people who do not travel, do not read, do not think critically, and are often just plain dumb.”

        I have to disagree with you Jack, because there is little evidence to support it. For example, Jonathan Haidt has conducted research where he found that Leftists were not able to accurately describe the viewpoints of the Right, but that the Right was very able to accurately describe the viewpoints of the Left (and Haidt is a Leftist who was disappointed by the results). Republicans are also much more likely to be able to accurately answer basic civics questions such as how many states there are (something Obama couldn’t do), what the 3 branches of the federal government are, or who their governor, representative, and senators are. Unlike our newest Supreme Court justice, I also suspect that very few on the Right (even those who are not biologists) would struggle to answer the question: what is a woman? I also suspect that most of those on the Right would understand that shutting down pipelines and drilling permits are responsible for the rising cost of energy, or that opening borders and letting in lots of unskilled workers is not compatible with a welfare state or helpful to low income Americans, or that replacing police with social workers and putting cops in jail for trying to arrest overdosed career criminals is not an effective means of reducing crime. I could go on, but these are just a few examples of the many issues where the Right is much more rational and knowledgeable than the Left.

        Reply
  16. Steve Ulfelder

    Mmm, Grand Seiko. Bark is a man after my own heart. My tastes run toward vintage GSs and King Seikos from the Grammar of Design era.

    Reply
  17. MD Streeter

    I have more fingers on one hand than there are people whose writing I actually look forward to reading. You’re one of them, and probably the only one I’ve consistently read since college. I really like your take on politics and current events but it’s understandable that you would want to reign yourself in these days.

    I’ll be here at the 6 million visitor mark, too. Congratulations.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Thank you for your kind words — this kind of response balances out a hundred moronic comments.

      Reply
  18. Dirty Dingus McGee

    Congrats on hitting 5 million (plus a few thou now). It’s been interesting over the years to see the topics change, no more busking at the sammich shop, etc. And various commenters come and go (whar Jim Z?), some more interesting than others, myself included somewhere in there.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      I believe that JimZ is now following me on Instagram; he has changed his life considerably over the years and now seems to be quite happy.

      Reply
  19. jwinks6500

    I enjoy your writing very much. I think I found you through Curbside Classic and thought your writing stood out due to your eloquent verve. Later during a boring meeting I stumbled upon your yacht rock exegesis.
    I don’t understand why your brother dismissed the Genesis (named after my favorite band) G90. My wife and I are trying desperately to land a GV70 and there were a few (a couple) 90s at the shop. It’s a dreamboat. To me it’s like a modern day ‘59 Cadillac. We have a strict budget but I was trying to get her to like it. I look forward to your continuing posts, only wish you would have more guitar/music content.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Bark has a G70 and a G80; he thought the G90 would be like a big G70, the way a 740iL Sport was very much like a big 328i. It’s not; as you pointed out, it’s a luxury car for grown folks. Which he just ain’t!

      After touching every single one of my musical instruments, amps, and stompboxes in the past few weeks, I expect I’ll have a few posts coming up on music and musical instruments.

      Reply
        • Eric L.

          I wouldn’t. I bought a hoodie and a bunch of shirts from American Giant and can’t afford any more US-made products right now. 😭

          Reply
          • gtem

            I’ve been buying from All American Clothing out of Ohio as a (very) budget friendly USA-made option. Aside from some weird sizing thing on the last pair of jeans I bought, I’ve got nothing but great things to say about their products. $65 for a set of jeans made of nice heavy denim, no brainer for guys on a budget IMO.

    • Daniel J

      I wish you the best of luck with a GV70. I’d have to go 200+ miles to test drive one. On top of that, most dealers are asking 5-10K markup.

      I honestly don’t know how Genesis remands a brand. I guess they are keeping stock in larger cities. Most dealerships in a 250 mile radius have about 3 or 4 cars total, and that is it.

      Reply
  20. Q

    Congrats. Quality stuff here, and the various references/links in the articles over the years have turned me on to more.

    That Sandborn post…sad in so many ways.

    Reply
    • sgeffe

      I agree with some who say that Sanborn is a sterotypical left-winger looking to make everyone unhappy along with him. (Present company in the comments on this site excluded.)

      Though, my good God, I certainly can see where someone could be fucked in the head a little given the abhorrent family life he describes!

      Therapy would help!

      Jack, I’ve kept up with you since the triple-digits-in-a-Phaeton days on TTAC. Keep doing what you’re doing, give yourself time to physically heal, and enjoy your “Baruth Farms!” I wish you much continued success in the years to come!

      Reply
    • Nick D

      Our neighbors’ family with 5 kids disintegrated over a branch of modern politics. Both parents were strong conservatives, Trump signs in yard, thin blue line flags, etc. One parent, however, got deep into Q, JFK/RFK return and the lot, leading to divorce in the past year and moving out of a house that they could afford together but not separately. Yet more wreckage from polarization that will alter the lives of the 5 who depend on Mom and Dad.

      Reply
  21. ASWOJoe

    Congratulations on the milestone Jack! Definitely one of the best auto writers / storytellers in the business and I think the only one that I actively search for by-lines since your time at TTAC.

    Reply
  22. Manbridge

    ‘Twas reading you before the first Prius ever unintentionally accelerated.
    Congrats on the 5M.
    May the good Lord continue to bless and keep you.
    At all costs, continue to remain bold.

    Reply
  23. Nick D

    Congrats on the move and glad to hear you’re investing in your health, whether you’re doing it for your own benefit or simply to spite your enemies by being around for a long time.

    I know at one long-ago point in your writing you mentioned you cut out booze – for me, that was the catalyst for much better sleep, weight loss, and driving my resting heart rate to below 50bpm.

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      I think my primary difficulty is that I’m unwilling to punish myself via diet, so I have to punish myself via exercise. When I’m riding and lifting seven days a week, it kind of works out. The minute I can’t do that, I get orca fat. Not “autowriter fat”, mind you. I can still see my toes when I look down.

      Reply
      • Nick D

        I learned of intermittent fasting through this site! I’m a firm believer that laziness is the foundation of efficiency, so just not eating until a dinner of a delicious Ribeye, sides, and a semi-reasonable dessert was the way to avoid any sort of ‘food journal’ or other crap that I have no patience or desire to follow.

        Reply
        • Manbridge

          I’m also an intermittent guy. But I wanted to try it after reading too many books where people had to go hungry. Art Spiegelman’s dad, who once overheard Art casually remarking about his friends stated, “Friends! Lock yourself in a room for ten days with no food and you’ll find out who your friends are!”

          Eating when I’m feeling weak only, and then only super foods. Never felt better.

          Reply
      • Daniel J

        Ugh. I jog 7 miles a week and lift weights 3 times a week. I haven’t lost hardly any weight.

        My team leader where I work, a one time QB for a 2A college, keeps telling me that ‘you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet”.

        Sadly, I think he’s right.

        Reply
        • stingray65

          You can exercise your way out of a mediocre diet, but if your current level of exercise is not moving the needle it means you need to do more in frequency, duration, or intensity. You can also burn significant calories just making some minor adjustments – take the steps instead of the elevator (within reason), walk a few blocks for local errands instead of driving, take the dog for a walk instead of just letting him run around the yard (or replace a flat route with a hilly alternative), carry your carry on bag instead of rolling it, etc.

          Reply
      • Ice Age

        One of the things that drives me nuts is trying to get straight answers about health.

        For every source that says, “As long as you stay active, you can eat whatever you want,” there’s another who’ll swear on a stack of Bibles that, “You can’t outrun your fork.”

        Reply
  24. Daniel J

    I don’t know who this David Sanborn is, but after reading his post all I can take away is that he seems angry, and possibly angry at the wrong thing. I had a grand mother who had dementia and was extremely susceptible to suggestion. What I’m getting at there is that the author here is blaming Youtube and Fox and Friends, when I, or anyone else, could write the same article about Youtube and Joy Reid or Brian Selter.

    I also find it hilarious that he’s talking about mis/dis information when all we’ve had for close to 6 years is “Russia Russia Russia”

    I did a test about a year ago on youtube being logged out of my google account. I started watching “BLM” videos and videos that called for the end of the police. After watching just one, Youtube suggested more of the same. I then watched videos about the AMC / Gamestop run against the hedge funds, and guess what? Youtube started suggesting more videos just like it.

    So, fundamentally the guy is blaming a corporation for doing what it does best: Suggesting content that the viewier would like the most.

    I also find it hilarious is that Youtube is extremely censorious and has been since Trump was in office. I can’t imagine anything *that* extreme on Youtube, as most of those personalities have been booted off.

    What is heartbreaking to me is that a sibling would use whatever situation they can to try to weasel their way into some sort of inheritance. It’s also heartbreaking that the guy is angry at what he believes is mis/dis information that drove his mother to do what she did instead of blaming the perfecting rational sibling. Or, at the very least, throw more anger that way.

    Reply
    • CitationMan

      When you are dealing with someone who has dementia, as I did with my Father, it’s YOU who has to change. The person with dementia does not know what is happening, only you do, so you must change your thought process to deal with it. Blaming disinformation instead of disease for a person’s mental issues is what a lefty who only sees the world through emotion and feelings would say. This is pure cognitive dissonance. He needs to get out of his bubble.
      This may sound harsh, but I saw friends and family deal with relatives with dementia to the best of their abilities in a caring and loving way, no matter how difficult the path was. No one blamed disinformation.

      Reply
      • stingray65

        The question is what disinformation is from the Right? The QAnon example is often given, but it still isn’t clear whether it is another Leftist false flag like the Whitmer kidnapping, Russian Collusion and Jan. 6 protests designed to make the Right look crazy and dangerous. Sure some on the Right have fallen for it, but is the kiddie Porn Pizza place story so crazy in an age when Democrats are welcoming rapists and sex traffickers from south of the border and grooming 1st graders to be transgenders?

        But what else? The passage of time has demonstrated that Trump really was spied on by the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton really was behind Russiagate, Hunter’s laptop really was his and clearly proves the corruption of his father, Hydroxychloroquine and zinc (and Vitamin B) really are effective treatments for Covid, and yet the mainstream media reported all these stories as fake and has never admitted error or apologized for any of them.

        Reply
        • CitationMan

          The whole disinformation label is just so the lefties can ignore reality, Their world view does not allow for the truth. If they would accept the truth, it would induce cognitive dissonance and they would be shaken to their core. They will never question their beliefs. They are always right, and if you don’t agree with them, you are evil.

          Reply
        • John C.

          What do you think of the disinformation that voting for establishment republicans will make a bit of difference. Whether McConnell donating to Liz Cheney or Romney confirming Kengi, it is hard not to note how hard rhey try to stay in the Cathedral

          Reply
          • CitationMan

            Yes many Republicans suck, too, especially the leadership. In my old state of Illinois, you were either an insider or outsider. Political labels didn’t matter.

          • stingray65

            Mitch has his moments such as refusing to hold Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Garland, but he like many of his colleagues is obviously corrupted by the big money and special interests of DC. On the other hand, is he better than Schumer or Pelosi on his policy positions: Answer: yes he is. Cheney is soon to be retired by Wyoming voters, and I would be shocked if Mitt can win a 2nd term in the Senate, which is illustrates another difference between Democrats and Republicans as in Republican voters are much better at getting rid of Republican politicians that refuse to vote Republican in DC. So you hold you nose and vote for the least bad Republican you have available, because with very rare exceptions such as Joe Manchin they are almost always the better choice for the country than their Democrat opponent.

          • Daniel J

            I don’t understand why some republicans try so hard to stay in the good graces of the media. The media doesn’t have any love for them and never will. I suppose they are too afraid of what the history books will say. I guess 50 years from now, Romney will be adored in the history books, right?

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            Regarding the Cathedral, I found it troubling that a Supreme Court nominee, a federal judge who already has lifetime tenure and someone whose confirmation was assured as long as she didn’t eat any babies in front of the senators, someone who shouldn’t suffer any consequences from speaking her mind truthfully, was afraid to answer the question “What is a woman?” for fear of being excommunicated from the Cathedral.

  25. bluebarchetta

    I started reading your stuff back around, what – 2009? – when you took part in that CTS-V Challenge and beat everybody but a pro racer (IIRC). I’ve enjoyed your discussions of parenthood even more than your discussions of cars, music, and politics, which is saying something. (Couldn’t care less about watches, though…sorry.)

    I admire your attempt to be even-handed about politics, but it seems we’re getting pretty close to the time when each of us is going to have to align with the globalist/communist/equity/53-genders crowd, or the God/guns/Trump crowd. No nuance, no in-betweens. Pick a lane. Sad, but true.

    Reply
    • Greg S

      “it seems we’re getting pretty close to the time when each of us is going to have to align with the globalist/communist/equity/53-genders crowd, or the God/guns/Trump crowd. No nuance, no in-betweens. Pick a lane. Sad, but true.”

      I completely agree with this statement. Political issues are two-sided arguments, and if you aren’t deeply conflicted about your position, you aren’t thinking about it enough.

      It seems like more and more people have too much of their identity wrapped up in their political affiliation and it becomes like Yankees vs. Red Sox. There is no room to criticize “your” party, or admit that the opposition might have valid points or ideas worth exploring.

      Reply
      • Nick D

        Jean Edward Smith’s Eisenhower in War and Peace drove home how far we’ve fallen from the time where striving towards the national good served as the talisman rather than tribalization.

        Borrowing from the Hadith (probably the first reference on this site): “Whoever fights under a banner of blindness, raging for the sake of tribalism, or calling to tribalism, or supporting tribalism and he is killed in this state, he will have died upon ignorance.”

        Reply
      • Greg Hamilton

        Congratulations on your milestone. Your writing is very distinctive and unique. It’s full of perspectives that I haven’t read previously. There’s a quote from the novel Dune about fear. I guess it’s best not to be fearful, but vigilant. Good luck to you and your readers.

        Reply
    • hank chinaski

      I’m too lazy right now to dig it up, but there was a sadly telling clip making the rounds recently of Tulsi on ‘Hannity’. She was doing her best to apply some reasoned nuance to the Ukraine debacle and was shouted down by his incessant ‘Amerika, Fuck Yeah, bomb them all to glass or the terrorists win’ crap. In other words, a shining example of the American right wing as provincial mouth-breathers that Jack mentioned above.
      It’s been obvious to even midwits like myself that reptilian husks like Romney, Graham, Cheney, Collins, Murkowski, and Cocaine Mitch are there to keep us on the two party reservation. Class clowns like ‘MTG’ (the GOP ‘Ocasio’ if you will) are allowed to entertain the rabble within very strict limits. The class nerds like Rand Paul (much like his father) are largely ignored.

      This is all according to plan. Break the bonds of citizens with every institution in society by making them obviously untrustworthy, grossly incompetent or downright alien: government, the law, media, medicine, science, education, religion, our ‘co-residents’ and family. Now, even the sex of our children. Prime them with poverty, cold and starvation, then they’re open to whatever ‘Reset’ you have in store for them. In the last 5 years, our dystopia has decidedly shifted on it’s axis from ‘Huxley’ to ‘Orwell’. ‘Make the brain perfect before we blow it out’.

      Afraid, indeed.

      Reply
      • Ronnie Schreiber

        James Lindsay did a three part video series on “groomer schools” wherein he makes the point that the goal of the lunatics who have taken over the educational asylum is not necessarily to turn kids gay or trans but rather “queering” them, making them into misfits who have no firm identity (hence all the add-ons to LGBT), and making sure that whatever identities they may have are in opposition to normative culture. The goal is to turn disaffected misfits into the vanguard of the Marxist revolution. Lindsay notes that there is ultimately tension between identity politics and disphoric queer theory, but this wouldn’t be the first time that the left has papered over or retconned intramural conflicts. Communists and Fascists seemed to have gotten along prior to Operation Barbarossa.

        Reply
    • tmkreutzer

      You either align or you learn to STFU and be disappointed by both sides.

      Years ago when I was a poi-sci student, I saw a graph that showed how both the left and right had to appeal to the middle to get elected. The theory went, as I recall, that the more extreme sides of whichever side of the spectrum you were on would always be dependable voters. There was no way they would ever cross over and vote for the other side so you had them trapped. To win elections, then, you had to move towards the center and win the people who were on the fence. It was one of the reasons why the two parties were so similar – they were after the same voters.

      Today, however, we have a lot of things working against that. First, it is not a given that the extreme members of one’s party will vote for you. They may splinter and vote for a third party spoiler or, as I think happens more and more often, simply not vote at all. Now, you have to secure those votes and that means the party’s center of gravity has shifted towards the extreme.

      Additionally, with big money donors and polarized blow-hards at work, it is easy for centerist candidates to get primaried. That also pulls parties towards the extremes and I think that as the two parties get more and more different, the people on one side naturally looks more and more abhorrent to the people on the other.

      And even the party leadership structures themselves are facilitating this trend by choosing the candidates well in advance and causing other viable candidates to forego running at all. Since they have no chance at receiving a nomination, who wouldn’t prefer to be known as a six-term senator than a unsuccessful presidential candidate.

      What should happen is a third party in the center should emerge. One who wants to help people but who understands that there must be sticks to go along with the carrots. A party that doesn’t want to see the cops beat people up but understands that sometimes force is a natural part of enforcing laws on people who don’t want those laws enforced. A party that could really care less about what gender a person wants to be but that also thinks society shouldn’t have to change the English language to avoid offending them. And a party that doesn’t care what happens in someone’s bedroom between consenting adults but that thinks it isn’t necessary to expose eight year olds to all the different takes on morality during lessons on learning basic biology.

      Say any of those things in public, however, and you will be ripped to shreds by attack dogs on both sides of the political divide. Choose a side or STFU…

      Reply
      • John C.

        The thing about the most strident voters being locked in to the party in the general election is maybe where it’s changing. On the right, knowing that the clock is ticking down on demographics, seeing the establishment of the party punish the more strident while celebrating those that say one thing and do another in office, is maddening. Then throwing on the balot harvesting on top of the long standing existing issue of Dems paying blacks to vote. Right victories lately were more and more, just Electoral College victories. How much more time has to pass before even that becomes not duplicatable. Why then hold your nose and vote for the likes of a Rubio or Haley in 2024? They hate me probably more than Biden,

        Reply
        • Daniel J

          When you say “hate”, are you talking about overall policy here? I mean, I’m sure Trump could give 2 cents about me, but I sure appreciate his policies more than I do Biden’s ( or most of the left, for that matter ). Tulsi Gabbad might be the exception.

          Reply
          • John C.

            I don’t think Biden cares about me. However a Rubio type does hate. If people who thought like me ran the party, he could not get done his priorities done. Many of his priorities are happening under Biden. Rubio’s type would be awake at night worried about John C types taking power in a way they are not about Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. Notice how many retired or switched to Biden when Trump lead the ticket if not the party. It didn’t take long did it for the Lincoln Project to go from conservatives who just didn’t like Trump to an openly Democratic grift fighting Amy two name for the Supreme Court and funding and trolling for Terry McAuliffe over some Republican chamber of commerce type. They were already in the same place as the Dems just needed the push of Trump to admit it.

  26. VTNoah

    Congrats on the milestone Jack. Best of luck in your physical recovery. I too am having to start from scratch due to some health issues and it is a gut check to realize you aren’t as strong as you once were. Thankfully we’re still breathing and can continue to push ourselves. Onward and upward!

    Reply
  27. soberD

    Congratulations. I’ve been reading your work for what feels like decades. All for free no less. All I can offer is my sincere gratitude.

    Also, I only maintain 1 acre and a house and it eats up a huge percentage of my spare time. Not sure how you’ll find time to do all this other cool shit while running a homestead.

    Reply
  28. CJinSD

    I just received an invitation to check out the new Maserati CUV from Umansky Honda in Charlottesville. I read it several times, because sending an invitation to look at a Maserati Grecale from a Honda dealership that shares a building with a Umansky CDJR dealership makes little obvious sense. Are they hoping people won’t notice it is a Jeep Grand Cherokee if they stick it in the Honda showroom? Did they run out of Hondas to sell?

    Reply
    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Seems that way, doesn’t it? Just like the main Hagerty site, which has about twenty regular commenters yet regularly clocks more than 1.5 million unique views a month.

      Commenting isn’t for everyone!

      Reply
      • Panzer

        It’s better that way though, means you have a committed community that has substantiative conversations

        Reply
        • Eric L.

          Any other votes to have Baruth implement PHPBB so we can better track John and stingray’s precise post counts?

          Reply
          • John C.

            If you are saying that myself and Stingray are the only comments that matter…. I disagree. You had me reading in this thread, for example, your post on the tech of old video games, not a subject I would have expected to feel stupid upon. Yet you suceeded in convincing me that top quartile can be bottom quartile in the right setting.

      • Pete Madsen

        One reason I don’t have much to say on here is that most often my points have already been made more cogently by others. This does not mean that I won’t be reading your stuff, Jack.

        Reply
  29. Jon

    Thanks and congratulations, Jack. I am one of the regular readers but irregular commenters. Always appreciate yours and all the regular commenters’ perspectives on current events. Started reading your pieces at TTAC, but keeping up with automotive news isn’t high on my priority list anymore.

    It helps that I share some of your hobby interests and get to read about topics of interest.

    Is the ISP at your new home less conducive to hosting web traffic? Were you previously on a business internet plan?

    I enjoy working with servers and would like an excuse to build up a small datacenter for future learning experiments in IOT, and to host my family’s very minimal web and blog content. 1000 sq ft of house and 5 kids put the emphasis on small.

    I was wondering how Comcast would handle that if we ended up getting more traffic then expected. Wouldn’t want to get on their bad side and be stuck with DSL or cellular/satellite. Any pointers in that regard?

    Reply
  30. AoLetsGo

    Congrats on 5M from a faithful reader and occasional, not so insightful commentator.
    Keep up the good fight as a Dad, Husband and contributing citizen of this Great Country of ours.
    Yes I know of our many faults and internal fights, but I still believe.

    Reply

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