Housekeeping: Two Million Ways To Waste Your Time

Thirty-four months to the first million and twenty months to the next. When I started this blog I had no expectation that it would eventually attract a couple thousand readers every day of the week. It’s not like Bark and I have done very much to make that happen. Rarely do we have more than a few new posts every week. Much of the credit has to go to the tireless and perceptive Tom Klockau. His classic curbside (wink) reviews are tremendously popular here, and with good reason.

As I did at the one million mark, I’ll answer some Infrequently Asked Questions below.

Dude, is the book ever coming out? Short answer — no time soon. I said that “2016 is the year of the book” but in reality that was at least two years premature. I’ve just been too busy to write the original content that would justify releasing the greatest-hits stuff in paper form.

And the album? It’s possible that in 2018 I will do a four-song EP. The material is already written. I need to pick a month where Patrick is available and just get it done.

How are you physically? I’d just about recovered from the broken leg when I managed to crack a bunch of ribs and tear my shoulder at a skatepark around the end of June. For those of you who are counting along at home, that’s between fifteen and seventeen fractures since January of 2014, depending on how many ribs I actually damaged. This is a low point for me physically and mentally — I’m twenty-five pounds heavier than I was four years ago and I’m not nearly as strong. I’m hoping that I’ll be injury-free in 2018 and that I will be able to slowly work on getting better.

And your passenger? She managed to go more than a year without surgeries, during which she became obsessive about the P90X program. At one point she could do fifty pushups in a row, followed by five pull-ups. We just took her into the shop for a quick tune-up and she will be back to twice-daily workouts in no time. She obtained her SCCA license and completed her first SCCA race this year.

And the boy? As my regular readers know, he is in the middle of his rookie Sportsman season, made more difficult by the ineptitude of his parental crew. He spends his spare time riding his BMX bikes, building levels in Little Big Planet, and programming video games on the MIT “Scratch” platform; his latest game has more than a hundred blocks and eight levels, one of which challenges the player to steer a small morsel of food from the mouth of a T-Rex to its cloaca. He thinks this is very funny, because he is eight years old. I also think it is funny and I have no excuse. He can hit a Coke can with a BB gun from about ten yards out. I’ve seen a lot of better parents have a lot of worse kids.

What about Bark? This has been a banner year for Bark career-wise and personally. I’m pretty sure he earns more money than I do and I know for a fact he is in better shape. However, I am still much taller.

What are your racing plans? We will be running Marilyn, the MX-5 Cup car belonging to Danger Girl, at the final two AER races of the season. Next year I hope to contest the entire regional SCCA schedule and get at least half of the AER schedule. However, John’s kart racing is Priority Zero in 2018 so all of the above is subject to change. I’m about to turn forty-six and I have to consider the fact that whatever money and effort I put into my own career would be better spent on him.

Anything else? Not really. I’ve really enjoyed returning to BMX this year despite my injuries. I’m looking forward to a great year of riding. I still miss my friend Nick. I’m still overweight and I’m still not getting less sleep than I need and I remain the greatest talent to ever mash a keyboard in the automotive milieu. Most importantly, I remain pathetically grateful for your readership. See you again at three million!

29 Replies to “Housekeeping: Two Million Ways To Waste Your Time”

  1. SajivW

    Regular reader, VERY infrequent commenter here. Congratulations on the 2 Million mark and may 3 Million arrive even quicker! Thanks for being the most unique and honest voice in the Autojourno game, as well as the most entertaining!

  2. Economist

    Any motorcycle news? I come to the blog for the sharp writing and thought-provoking topics, but I stay for the musings on motorcycles from both you and the commentariat.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      I am hoping to buy at least one and maybe two bikes in the upcoming year, having successfully sold my VFR800 a few months ago. Right now I’m just waiting to see what that Kawasaki Z900RS is going to look like.

  3. Rick T.

    Always a stop for me. Take comfort that you can always get in better shape but Mark will never get taller…I don’t think.

  4. Brian

    Long-time reader of your work and I also just wanted to say congratulations. Your insight into all things automotive as well as all the other aspects of life are why you’re my go-to voice of reason in this backwards, mixed-up world. Keep on, keepin’ on, Jack!

  5. Frank Galvin

    Your writing steered me to finally pulling the trigger on getting a bike. Weighing your advice on a Suzuki and a friend’s sweet offer on 76 Honda CB350.

  6. TheMook

    Congratulations on the 2 million visitor milestone!!!

    I regularly leave this site feeling slightly more intelligent than I actually am. Hell, even the comment section is typically packed with talented writing around here.

    Also, thanks again for selling me the Korina Marvbird. It’s getting played. a lot.

    I Vote Baruth!

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      It’s the shirts, not the suits. Suits can be fixed but my bespoke Turnbulls are like the skin on a stuffed sausage right now.

  7. Deadweight

    I don’t dislike either you or Mark, and in fact, am a big fan of some things that you wrote a long time ago (Watery Big Bang; Lexus/Lincoln/Cadillac/Porsche musings; socioeconomic thoughts on how vehicle ownership is particularly punishing on lower income class, etc.), but this is one LAZY ASS BLOG SITE and rarely has anything worth reading.

    It’s as if you and Mark couldn’t give a shit, because neither of you probably do.

    It’s as if this is is a safe space for either of you to rant for cathartis whenever you’ve been triggered, for the most part.

    But it’s your blog so it’s all good.

    Keep on rockin’ in a free world.

    (I stopped by because I’m extraordinarily bored and thought maybe there was a one in million chance you finally put some effort into a writing here — nope.)

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      Strictly speaking, the purpose of this site is to collate and provide links to what I write elsewhere. So yeah it’s a bit lazy.

      Question. What would you prefer to see here, besides the aforementioned roundups and parenting updates?

      • Deadweight

        Female T&A.

        Also, definitely a discussion of the lameness and/or legitimacy of the recent foodie, “artisinal,” and “local” food/beverage scenes in seemingly every city with a population above 50,000 people and gentrification (15,000 types of craft beers, 1,500 kinds of free-range Berkshire or Chester White-sourced pulled pork sliders with an organic duck egg on top, 150 kinds of artisinal gelato, etc – Portland, Maine is a good example of just one such place, but there are thousands more with no industry except food and beverage touristy stuff).

        House flippers that are going nuts right now (paralleling the number of home flipping shows on basic cable).

        And maybe a deep dive into quantum mechanics.

        • jz78817

          while I agree that too many hipster douches take things to an absurd extreme (e.g. artisanal gluten-free bullshit) as a beer guy I’m all about the growth of the craft brew scene. While a cold Bud or Labatt is great on a hot day or at a Tigers game (but not this year) I love trying out all the varieties of pale, amber and dark ales.

          Except wheat beers. fuck that swill.

        • Sean

          “House flippers that are going nuts right now (paralleling the number of home flipping shows on basic cable)”

          A trend that needs to die.
          In my area they can’t unload the houses for what they need to profit so they become rental houses. Poorly built and maintained rental houses.

      • Kevin Jaeger

        “What would you prefer to see here, besides the aforementioned roundups and parenting updates?”

        If you want to boost your traffic participate in the heart-shaped boob challenge.

        Or better yet, make it a series – heart-shaped boobs for Harambe.

  8. Wulfgar

    Sincere wishes for a full and healthy recovery. I’m dealing with a couple of years of back surgeries due to a misspent youth racing motorcycles and working in law enforcement. Both had their moments of sheer excitement but were hell on my body. From running 8 miles a day yo asking myself how much do you think it will hurt to ride that old Ducati today? The weight comes on easy but the dreams of a healthier future exist as well.

  9. 1a

    Mark, are you on a ‘commercial’ on Amzn’s Fire HD 8 product page? If not, looks like you.
    (Look, but don’t buy; I’m not recommending them at all!)

  10. Sean

    Congrats Jack and Mark!
    I’m a frequent visitor and rare commenter here as I’m not as “deep” as some others here but really enjoy the site. Tom plays a part as well, we’ve been acquaintances since 2014 (?) And always enjoy his work.
    Keep up the good work!

  11. VTNoah

    Congrats Jack and Bark. For whatever reason I check your site everyday. Not just for the content but for the sheer quality of writing. Thank you for your perspectives and I look forward to your continued success.

    Now where’s my Texas Edition badge?! My C-max needs a much needed dose of Texas Swagger. Can’t be intimidating these granola crunching Vermonters with any ordinary Hybrid!


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