Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Should I Give the Person Next to Me, Crotch or Butt??

Written by T-Rod

Men are faced with many decisions in their life.

Whether or not to root for your hometown football team, or the team in the city or state you grew up in. Or what size TV/home system to get based on the dimensions of the room, as well as how well the room resonates sound. Well, when on an airplane or in a movie theater; a guy always has a BIG
decision to make when exiting the seat row. 

"Should I give the person next to me crotch or butt?" 

There a few different situations that will help decide this.

1st: Is it a man or woman? If it is a woman you always give them crotch, just because you
don't want to walk with your backside to them and then accidentally fart in their face.

2nd: Is there enough room to walk straight out? If there is, then do it.

3rd: Is everyone standing? This can go one of two ways: 1) you can walk on the seats
behind the people, or 2) they know you are exiting the row, so they will turn their body
sideways, so nothing is faced with another. This is the most ideal situation if a person is
next to you.

4th: Is it a child? If so, give them butt. Kids like to hit things, so make sure it ain't the crotch.

5th: Is he a man? And if so is he standing or sitting? If the man is standing (this is the
most difficult situation), walk by him facing him directly, with one hand in front of your crotch.
Of course, do not make it obvious, as that draws attention to that area. If he is sitting, walk out
facing away from him. This maneuver is dangerous, and also the second most difficult,
because if you fall, you might end up sitting on his crotch. To properly do this maneuver,
make sure you have a firm grip on the chairs in front of you. That way, in case you fall, you can
catch yourself before you fall onto his lap.

6th: Most Ideal Situation(s)?? These situations require no thought or skill in order to
exit the seat row. 1) No one is in the seat row with you. This is most ideal, as there is
no worry of any face-to-lower body stares, and 2) this is an ideal situation, but can still
warrant a quick and skilled response. You are on the end seat, but other people are in the
row. See below for this situation.

7th: When sitting on the end chair, are there other people in the row? If the answer is yes, you
are faced with a situation. What if those people need to exit the row? If they do, make
sure your face does not come into contact with their lower body. These people might not
always follow the above advice, so be careful. Keep your head either face down or turn
your head to the side opposite they are going. This way there is no chance of accidental
face crotch. If you are standing, just turn to the side and let them pass.

So there my advice of the day; I Hope U Hate It, and Fail in Your Attempts at Applying

Free Willy

I was destined to be a car guy from birth.  My mom and dad - 21 and 22 years old respectively - brought me home from the hospital in their shiny new sports car: a 1985 Dodge Daytona Turbo.  Sadly, I don't remember that car.  Its place in the garage was given to an '88 Ford Taurus GL a couple years later, I assume because the Daytona wasn't what you might call a baby-friendly car.
The Taurus I remember quite vividly.  I grew up with that car.  I still remember the sound of the doors opening and closing.  I remember counting how many times the car shifted (subsequently, I remember that the car was a three-speed automatic.)  I remember the musty smell of the heater.  That car carried me to and from school every day for years.  It carried me safely through whiteout blizzards with my mom at the wheel.  I slept soundly in the back seat on vacations and late night trips back from Denver.
That car was my first automotive love.  Truthfully, it wasn't a bad first love either.  When Ford released the jelly-bean car in 1986, it changed the automotive landscape and created the template to which midsize cars today adhere.  Automotive styling soon followed Ford's lead and the boxy cars of the '80s gave way to smoother and more rounded shapes in the '90s.  Finally, America had made a car that was a proper competitor to Japanese cars which had been steadily permeating America's roadways. 
But then, Ford kind of forgot to revamp it for 20 years.  They added one gear to the transmission, a new optional engine (while the old Vulcan pushrod engine continued to live long and prosper as the base engine,) and they took the jelly bean design a bit too far.  So in 2007, sadly, there was no Taurus (though they did continue to sell the quintessential rental car to - uh - rental agencies.)
In '08, however, the Taurus returned.  In its hiatus, it grew a few sizes, and had much shinier teeth.  The really big news came in 2010, however. Its shiny teeth gave way to a trapezoidal Norelco shaver face, narrow headlights, and a lower, sportier stance.  The bloated Passat roofline was replaced with a flatter, more conventional roof.  The dowdy, AARP interior of the old Taurus was replaced with a console reminiscent of the control panels on the NCC-1701-D Enterprise.  The near 45 degree center stack and low roofline no doubt are cause for criticism that the car feels cramped.  That said, the wide range of seating adjustments and the tilt and telescoping wheel make it easy to find a comfortable seating position.
The best part of this car is the drive.  If you approach this car expecting a sports sedan, you will be disappointed.  If you approach it expecting what it is - a large, American, near luxury sedan - you will be treated with a surprisingly sporty, large, American, near luxury sedan.
The first thing you notice when getting behind the wheel, is how high up you feel.  You look out over the hood like in a small SUV.  Despite this, the car responds well to all inputs.  The throttle is neither as responsive or jumpy as the throttle in an Infiniti, but it is closer to Infiniti response than, say, Toyota.  The Duratec 35 has more than enough power to move this big bull with authority, and sounds good doing so.  Not thrashy at all.  Although the shift paddles are a bit awkward in execution, (pull on either paddle to upshift, push on either to downshift,) I soon found them to be second nature.  At one point, a near redline shift caused an upshift that felt like an old TH-350 with a shift kit.  I laughed out loud.  Ford has made a luxury car that has no problem being a hoodlum.  I love it.
The steering was the biggest surprise.  I was really expecting it to be worthless.  I was expecting Shamu to wallow and weave under hard turning loads and it just didn't.  It felt light and direct.  Again, willing to be a hoodlum. Ford found a great medium between ride and handling with this car.  It's truly a car I would drive every day.  I would love to drive it against its main front-drive competitors like the Avalon, Lacrosse, Azera, etc.  I've driven both Avalons and Azeras, and can say that the Taurus was an all-round better driver, but the Asians still have the edge in interior quality.  It's difficult to give a definitive verdict without driving the cars back to back, but I have a feeling that the Taurus would end up at the top of the class in most respects.
Finally, the once neglected Taurus has grown up.  It's ready for prime time.  It's still flawed, and isn't exactly a game changer, but if Ford continues to update the Taurus, it should have no problem fending off the new Azera, Impala, and Avalon when they come out later this year and early next year.  I'm glad cars like this still exist.  As a car guy, I would not be ashamed to park one of these in my garage.  It does a lot of things for American cars that the original Taurus did in 1986.  Ford is quickly gaining a better reputation, and cars like the Taurus are the reason.  Lets just hope it doesn't take them 20 years to update it this time.


The pan in the sky creates green. 

When your Stanley has fewer than -5 ears, my angler grounds primarily for waterfalls. 

This message brought to you by the Post Teen Mutant Morphin' Power Apes. 

Can you smell the color of the Cocaine Puffs?

I have said here fewer than five boxes.

A writing exercise chews its cud.  Can I get subtitles please?

Star fall, half pipe, halo, dead.

Granular clouds of gelatinous happiness will sink to the bottom of Pegasus.

Permanent Jerry Curl tastes like ugly.

Trees find your arrow dart.  Oops, your eggs.

Monday, July 30, 2012

I'm Addicted To Pokemon Again

I have to say that I owned a copy of Pokemon Red way back when it came out for the first time and I played the heck out of it.  Of course Red and Blue were released in the United States in 1998 which would have made me 16.  Yes, I was playing Pokemon in high school.  Problem?  I didn't do much research on stat pools or who was better than what because Alakazam raeps your shit.  Massive speed + One shot Psychic = no strategy required.  But when they released Gold and Silver I bought Silver and hated it so bad.  The day/night cycles were pointless and the pokemon I loved were replaced by weird looking shit that I didn't want.  So I stopped playing.
Then I got into the Trading Card Game, bad.  Me and my three friends Tim, David and Jason created our own rule set for four player rotating battles.  You were attacked by the person on your right and you attacked the person on your left.  You could play trainer cards on anybody but if anyone got all their prize cards they won so in some cases you could be beat by the person across the table from you who didn't attack you or get attacked by you once.  But building our decks for that kind of combat meant that we were worthless in head to head.  I played a tournament once and my deck was so slow I think I only won once.  I'm sure what I used had a name but basically it revolved around either getting Venusaur out and dumping energy onto Charizard to nuke all their pokemon or filling the bench with junk and continuously doing 60 damage every turn with Wigglytuff.  But after the Fossil expansion I got bored and stopped playing.
I didn't touch anything Pokemon related until just recently.  I bought a used DS and they accidentally left Pokemon Diamond in it.  So I played it.  It was kind of cool, but still too much stuff going on and Pokemon that I couldn't relate to at all.  It reminded me of all the reasons I hated Silver.  But it intrigued me enough to buy Pokemon Black and oh boy...  I LOVE POKEMON BLACK!  I could play it all day long and not get bored.  The fact that they essentially lock out every other Pokemon except the new ones from the fifth generation until after you beat the game the first time makes it play like the original game, except much better looking.  You can still see how the game is basically a rehash of Pokemon Red in some ways: Patrat is obviously Rattata, Pidove is Pidgey, Sewaddle is Caterpie and so on, but the game has a lot of charm.  The best part is that there are multiple rivals that you battle.  Cheren is the typical "rival" in that he picks the starter that yours is weak against, Bianca is a rival that is made for you to beat on (typical Japanese) and then there's a creepy guy called N that talks really fast.  Then there's team Plasma which is some creepy Pokemon cult that wants everyone to release their Pokemon or something.  Anyways, you beat them all up and there's a half dozen or more legendary pokemon to catch and what-not.  Then you beat the game and magically a bunch of pokemon from the other games show up!  And they're all level 60!  FUCK!  And the Elite Four have pokemon at like level 80!  DOUBLE FUCK!  Cursing is cool when you're talking about something made for children.  I hope this comes up when a kid is searching for how to evolve his Oshawott.  Fucking is what Daddy did to Mommy to make you!  Go say it to them now!  Also say shit and damnit!
But the thing I miss the most is the strategy.  It doesn't take long to realize that status moves are a waste of a move slot.  Most battles will be one or two exchanges at best unless one side or the other abuses items.  It's the equivalent of fighting with sledgehammers.  Either you or your enemy gets one-shotted.  With that strategy in mind, my second time through the game is going much easier.  I started with Tepig instead of Snivy even though the Snivy has more character because Tepig's evolved form Emboar is Fire/Fighting, so basically epic damage.  Then I got an Excadrill because massive attack + Earthquake, epic damage.  Then there's Seismatoad which is Water/Ground so Surf and Earthquake, epic damage.  Oh, you are having Psychic pokemon?  Scrafty is fighting/dark plus Hi Jump Kick, oops, epic damage.  Oh, you noticed I am having lots of ground and fighting so you are having flying?  Zebstrika has Spark, oops, epic damage.  Excadrill also has rock slide and is steel type so he will also be having of the fuck with your flying.  So basically just build a set of Pokemon that raep everything and play.  Most every gym leader dies without even getting an attack off and I'm not even levelling up that much.  I think the only type I am really weak against is fighting but I usually just use Seismatoad against those because of their low special defense.  Wow, epic Pokemon rant, see, I am addicted again.
But I haven't even gotten to the best part of all.  The complex team building, stat pumping and type comparisons keep me interested but it is also simple enough for my daughter to enjoy.  While I trade her Pokemon so that she doesn't have to level grind too much, she has managed to get three gym badges on her own so far.  And that's cool, because she likes to play and the games are social which makes it doubly fun for both of us.

But I am not starting that card game again, too much crap.

Obituary: Lincoln 1917-2010...What Led to Its Timely Death

Yes, I'm fully aware that Lincoln is barely alive. Noticed that I didn't say well...because it is anything but that.

Why did I pick 2010? Because that was the year that the real last Lincoln was widely available to customers...the Lincoln Town Car (fleet sales ended in 2011). In fact, I would go as far as to say that the Town Car is what personified Lincoln in the modern era (after 1980). The Continental had a great run, but once they flipped it to a quasi-Taurus/Sable platform in 1995, it began a running bad joke until its demise in 2002.

But more about that later.

The gradual descent to its grave really started in 1998, with the cancellation of the Lincoln Mark VIII. This signaled the end of the famed Mark Series, which was bestowed to their flagship coupes. My father owned two of these great vehicles, the Mark V and Mark VI. Looking back at his total automobile purchases, I feel like these two, as well as his '69 Ford Torino 428 Cobra Jet were the highlights. Oddly enough, his dream car is the Corvette...but I suspect it is for most men his age (60).

The Mark VIII was discontinued because Ford decided to discontinue the platform that it rode on, also canceling the Ford Thunderbird. What was originally a direct competitor to the Corvette, it grew over the years to become a GT (Grand Touring) coupe with "sporty aspirations". I do miss both vehicles so, and whenever I was an Internet Sales Manager for a Lincoln-Mercury dealership, we were still selling every pre-owned Mark that we could get quickly, and for close to the asking price.

The best thing about this was the engine...it was an Intech 4.6L V8, and it drank the good stuff (premium petrol), but gas was ridiculously cheap, and this bad boy churned out up to 290 bhp in LSC guise. Not bad for an 4000-pound plus luxo-barge. As the saying went, "you could turn off the traction control and go hunting for Camaros".

What did Lincoln replace it with? The LS...a generic name for a generic-looking vehicle. It seemed to take every design theme from every sports sedan on the market and put it all into one vehicle. Unfortunately, I saw quite a bit of the Mitsubishi Diamante in the car...mind you, I don't think that it's a bad car per se, but still...Lincoln should have aimed higher.

Despite its looks, it was quite a driver in its day, and it did lure many of its intended conquest demographics (young 30's, married, no kids) into their dealerships to at least take a look. Men were quite interested in checking out this BMW 3-Series competitor, while most women scoffed at it being a "old man's car". They would be somewhat correct in saying that, seeing as the other two vehicles for sale were the Town Car and the Continental...both cars that appealed mostly to older people.

Speaking of the Continental, it met its demise in 2002 after Ford decided to end it...not necessarily because of the platform itself, but because of slow sales. It was quite an incredible car, despite it being FWD...I would say that this was the only thing wrong with the vehicle. You could get it in 5 or 6 passenger seating (honestly, the 6 passenger is for your wife to be able to "sit closer to you" while cruising down the road), with a host of technological options to satisfy even the most gadget-happy driver. I particularly loved that you could change the ride and handling, which is something that I missed in the newer Town Cars. Not to mention the leather was the best that Ford had offered in their vehicles, save for the F150 King Ranch Edition (Connolly leather, the same stuff that Astons and other better British cars had).

But the best thing was the engine...which was essentially the same as the one in the outgoing Mark VIII. Although it wasn't pumping out nearly 300 bhp, it was churning out "only" 275 bhp. Despite its weight and luxury aspirations, it could really get up and go. In short, despite me being a two-time Lincoln Town Car owner, I would gladly admit that this was their best car on the lot.

So why did it not sell? Simple...because Lincoln had a car that was nearly identical on their lot...at least in their customers' eyes. The Town Car was bigger, yet had less features in it, and it sold for the same price...even had the same average transaction price (thousands were slashed off of the MSRP, although most people would negotiate the trade difference. They had bags of money and quickly grew tired of the colour of Town Car/Grand Marquis that they had). Yet people couldn't justify paying the same amount for "a smaller car"...even though this supposedly smaller car had better leather, a better engine, and more features.

Also, Ford didn't know how to market the vehicle, and with the flashy new LS and Navigator pulling in younger customers, plus the ultra-loyal customer base of the Town Car, the Continental was the redheaded stepchild that was locked away in their room, while the others played outside with all of their friends. Its death in 2002 as all but a formality. My old General Sales Manager would say that "having six Continentals means that we have a two year supply of them". That should tell you how often we sold them...same went for other dealerships in the area.

So, what about the LS? Well...it was killed off in 2006, barely alive to see a significant refresh. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to entice customers to come back, and with the new six-speed automatic transmission being rushed out into the market by PAG head honcho Wolfgang Reitzle (it also saw duty in the Jaguar S-Type), it became a warranty nightmare for dealerships, with customers constantly having to bring back their vehicles for repairs that were an exercise in futility. The refresh in 2003 should have been the original vehicle that was launched back in 2000, and the auto tranny should have had a couple more years of development and testing. I feel as though it would still be alive today...or rather, it should still be alive today, battling for RWD entry-level supremacy with the Cadillac ATS.

Finally, last but not least, is my beloved Town Car. Yes, I know, it was getting a bit long in the tooth. But I honestly feel that given the right amount of platform/interior upgrades, this car would (and should) be the flagship of Lincoln. As with almost every other car, Ford let it "die on the vine", neglecting to react quickly to the ever-changing automotive landscape. Thankfully, those days are long over, thanks to one Mr. Alan Mulally, the saviour of Ford.

I had owned two Town Cars, the 1995 Signature Series Spinnaker Nautica Edition, and the 2001 Signature Series. The '95 was superior to the '01 in every way, from creature comforts to the ride and handling. The '01 was an example of cost-cutting getting out of hand, and Lincoln losing focus on their loyal customer base. No wonder people quit buying them and started buying Grand Marquis. For every new Town Car that I sold, I would sell 10-20 GMs. Why? The GM was better looking.

So, with all of that being said, what did Lincoln replace these cars with?

Mark VIII was replaced with the LS.

The LS was replaced with the Zephyr.

The Zephyr was replaced with the MKZ.

So, it went from a luxury flagship coupe to a fancy Fusion.

The Continental was never officially replaced, the Town Car would absorb the 10 or so sales that it would of had every year. In my opinion, the Continental and Town Car were effectively replaced with the MKS.

What's a MKS? A Mark S. Yes, the Mark name came back in 2007, but it was only internally known as Mark. It's being marketed as MK, because apparently Lincoln decided that it was a better brand than two of their nameplates with brand equity that most automakers would kill for.

Officially, the Town Car was replaced with the livery version of the MKT.

There you have it...two storied nameplates and a promising entry-level RWD sedan being killed off and replaced with FWD fancy Fords is why Lincoln went from being the best selling luxury brand in America (1998) to being a mere afterthought in 2012. Actually, does anyone even think about Lincoln when purchasing a luxury vehicle? Sales numbers don't lie...just customers.

At least the Navigator is still around, but something happened a few years ago...the marketplace passed it by. It's only a matter of time before it'll meet its demise, just like the great Lincolns before it...and you know that it'll be replaced with a FWD minivan called the Lincoln MKN or something stupid like that...

Oh wait, they already have that now...

Jessie Louthan is the Editor-in-Chief for Toyota Deathwatch Updates, a website dedicated to exposing the truth about modern Toyotas. He is a nine year automotive industry veteran, having worked for companies such as Ford, Mercedes Benz, and BMW.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Prius and the Hummer: Which is Truly Greener?

Written by Tyler Allen

The Prius and the Hummer: Which is truly greener?

As I was taking a shower today, I do what we all do, wonder about life and everything of the like. Well in the midst of my wondering and questioning the Cosmos, I pick up the new bottle of shampoo my mom bought. I begin reading it and it says “94% Bio-Degradable formula” and “Made from 50% recycled plastic” (Referring to the container itself obviously ). 

That’s when I remembered something I had heard a while back and heard multiple times from different sources. That the Hummer is actually greener then the Prius. Puzzled by such strange words, as Hummer and green are never used in the same sentence, I decided to do so some research. 

What I found was rather surprising…

While this isn’t a Prius bashing article, I’m just using the Prius because it is the most popular “Green car” on the market. This should give you an idea of how bad “Green cars” really are.

From a gas mileage stand point, the prius is much, much greener, but from a production standpoint, not so much. To make the Prius’s batteries, you have to mine the nickel. Nickel is a rare metal found fused with iron in the wild. To get this, you must mine, either open pit or underground. After the iron ore is collected for nickel production, it is then smelted down at super high temperatures or you can separate the nickel from the ore by using chemicals. 

Once enough nickel is collected, it is then shipped off to a European refinery (Nickel for the Prius is mined in Canada). Where afterwards of being refined in Europe, is sent of to China, where something else done, then it finally ends up in Japan, ready for Prius duty. So this basically uses more energy as it is shipped from place to place, causing a bigger carbon footprint. 

Then there is the issue of what to do with the Prius battery pack once it is depleted or the car has met its fate. As of now, not enough Prius’s have met their fate to cause alarm. But it will eventually happen…with every green car, not just the Prius.

Now the point of this article wasn’t to bash the Prius, even though I hate Toyota and have no qualms in saying such. It was more about how green cars, really and truly are not all that green as the media portrays.  Other green cars that will eventually face this same thing are the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Any Tesla car, and the Fisker Karma. While there are more cars with battery  packs, this was just to give you an idea of how un-green, green cars really are. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

29Hz: The Low on Why I Like Bass and Car Audio

The Low on Why I like Bass & Car Audio

Written by: T-Rod

So this blog is not going to be filled with rage and broken eggs; I sense you are already mad about that. This will be about just as what the title says, BASS!!!!

I love bass, not the fish, the low frequency sound waves that are between 20 and 90Hz. I love how it just shakes everything around it and when really low notes hit, you can feel your insides be filled with bass.

I was never really into car audio and bass until my friend bought a 99 Passat and had 2 8inch subs powered by a 1500w amp in it. Those subs hit so hard. He still has that system in his Integra now. Anyways, that got me into car audio; what REALLY got me into it was my other friend’s system. He used to have 2 12s in his Nissan 200SX; I think that is what he had sub-wise. He currently has 3 12s in a massive ported box; don’t remember what they are powered by. I rode in his car about a month ago and my ears were almost blown out. Soo much bass, the jimmies of anyone within 50 feet were instantly rustled. So much bass he has; he broke his spoiler, drivers’ side door and a couple of roof braces. This system has REALLY gotten me into car audio.

I can not listen to a song without bass. I have the bass turned on in my car for the speakers; because I must have some bass, even speaker bass. The 6x9 speakers I have in the rear put out a good bit of bass for speakers rated at 60Hz on the low end. My not being able to listen to songs without bass is the reason I started listening to Dubstep. This type of music has epic bass. It has lots of lows, heavy drops and even some good mids and highs. Some of the Dubstep I am surprised has not blown my rear speakers. They are good speakers for re-producing bass, but the treble and sound quality they have are not all that good. But there ability to put out good bass overwhelms these other things.

I hope to get a system here soon; like in the next month. I want more bass. That and I have never bought anything for the car that it didn’t need. I bought speakers because the factory ones blew, therefore it needed them. I bought a head unit because the factory was dying; again the car needed it. A sub and amp will be something I WANT for it. I already have a system picked out, just waiting for B-day money (which I will be getting in the next week or so), so I can by it. It will not be an expensive system, my friend with the 2 8s is a $500 system and my other friend, well I do not know how much his cost, but I am guessing $1000+. My system will be $176 before a sub box. It will be about $200 with a box included. The system I have picked out is a Powerbass S-124DX 12 inch subwoofer, a Boss NX1600.2, 1600w 2 channel amp, and the sub will be in a sealed box. Eventually, maybe around Christmas, I will get another sub and then have 2. But for now, one will be enough. Also the title of this article, 29Hz, is the low end of the sub I am getting. It can reproduce bass as low as 29Hz, which is pretty low.

In the future I would like to really get into car audio; hopefully in the next year or two. I have been thinking of how I want to do it. I have thought of keeping Cam Cam when I get a Mustang and use Cam Cam as a audio project car, or keeping Cam Cam and getting an older Tahoe or Exploder (Ford Explorer for those who don’t get that), and using those as audio project vehicles. I can only dream now, but hopefully I am able to get into car audio the way I want to soon. I’d like to maybe run 4 12s in a ported box in some sort of vehicle. I will most likely, depending on my setup, enter it in audio shows and such. That is another thing I’d like to start doing is go to audio shows. I just never know when they are. So that is why I like bass and car audio people; with a little future plans blurb. I hope this rustled your jimmies just as lots of bass would.

Trolling: The Game

You just lost the game.

Anyways, like everything else in the world, I've been trying to think of a way to turn trolling into a game.  Initially I wanted it to be something like a "sports" game where you built up your "roster" and tried to crash various forums with your trolls.  Your trolls would have stats and blah blah blah but it just didn't really work for me.  I couldn't figure out how to make it any more than watching people typing on virtual computers and seeing the troll face.  So I searched other genres and I think I found one.

Trolling: The Game (you lost again) is a Dungeons and Dragons d20 style table top game.  I'm kind of hashing this out as I go so forgive me if I leave stuff out.  Basically each player will have a character sheet that shows their troll's stats which I'm still trying to think up.  Then you have saving throws against other trolls which I'm still thinking about as well.  The point of the game is that you and other players face situations put forward by the DM and you attempt to troll other people without getting trolled yourself.  Consequences for failure can range from losing reputation points (which determines your troll's standing) to banning from the forum (which is essentially character death).  The figures of advancement are experience points which determine your troll level and can be earned through acts of trolling and reputation points which determine how well known your troll is.  Your troll level determines your ability and your ability to resist the trolls of others.  You also receive stat increases by levelling up.  Reputation is essentially a form of "currency" for the game.  You earn rep by pulling off trolls against other forum members and lose it when you get trolled.  You can spend rep to do stuff like getting mods off of your back and building up an army of NPC troll followers to assist you in major trolling.  I'm thinking about "equipment" that can be purchased but I'm not quite sure how that would work out yet.  Maybe stuff like memes that you can deploy to make others mad and IP spoofing to avoid banning.  Like I said, I am still hashing this out here.

So basically once the whole character is created you log onto your forum and start trolling.  Based on your character's style, you would employ different types of trolls and try to outmanuver other trolls who are your primary enemies.  Except at first, you may not know who the NPC trolls actually are.  So you have to employ trolling defenses against everybody or risk getting trolled.  There's nothing worse than deploying a well thought out argument to make the other guy look bad to get "you posted so much text" back and get trolled.  Reputation loss.  But then you can't just "eggs eggs eggs" to troll and get banned so TROLLING!

I don't know, I'm kooky.  I'll think about it some more while I'm supposed to be driving or something.

The State of the Law

Did you know that only 55% of the graduating legal class of 2011 found jobs upon graduating? Did you know that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people who hold a J.D. (Juris Doctorate) that are stocking shelves at Wal-Mart and serving fries? Did you know that the average law school graduate is almost $150,000 in debt? Did you know that on average the nation creates openings for an additional 28,000 lawyers per year and yet law schools are turning out over 40,000 young attorneys?

All of this came up during an interesting conversation that I had earlier today with some friends of mine from college and law school. The state of the legal community today is just in shambles. There are even lawsuits where unemployed young attorneys are suing their Alma Mater's for fraud. People are mad, they are claiming that law schools are lying to them and website have popped up all over the internet about how law school is a scam and certain law schools need to be closed down. Essentially, there are people who are claiming the sky is falling.

So, is this the point where I say don't go to law school? You won't get a job and you will be a debt serf for the rest of your life. Or, worse yet, you'll actually get a job and hate it. Well, not at all. I encourage people to go to law school. If you want to be an attorney there are still great opportunities out there for you. The only thing I'll tell you is that don't fool yourself about the reality that you face. Getting a J.D. is no longer the instant ticket to unbelievable riches that it used to be. The legal field has finally reached a level where its inclusive enough to make it as competitive as business was decades ago. Go to law school if you want to be a lawyer but first know some fact and take a good hard long look at yourself in the mirror before you do.

I was once asked by a young member of MT about law school. Well, I'm ashamed to say that the advice I gave him is already probably out of date. When talking about law school the first thing that comes up is the all important question of where to go? Do you want to go to Harvard? How about the little Christian school down the street? What if I can't get into U.S. News and World Report's no. 72 ranked law school? Should I go thousands of dollars into debt to go to no. 31 or go to no. 123 for free? The answers are not as simple as we've been led to believe. If you want to be the big time attorney working for a giant firm like in the movies then a top flight school is going to be a big help to you. The nasty little secret is that your grades and your personality are going to be far better indicators of where you will wind up and if you love your job or not. In this county though we don't like to talk about intangibles because they make us take a good hard look at ourselves. It makes the fat kid with acne and no social skills with a 170 LSAT and a 3.9 GPA reconsider his place in the world and ask himself if there is something better that he could do with his life. Should a kid who got a 150 on the LSAT and who drank their way through Frat houses while screwing hot women and making friends on their way to a shining 2.8 GPA not go to law school? The fact is, in the right situation and with the right people the "idiot" in this circumstance is the guy I'd rather hire.

The world is full of anecdotal evidence. The thing is that no matter how useless anecdotal evidence is in trying to prove something on a grand scale they are decent indicators when the circumstances and the question are very limited. Take myself for example, I've been practicing for only a hand full of years now. I've done, well I wont be shy about it, astronomically well. How did I do it? Harvard? My family connections? Paying people? Did I play my hand right according to the general knowledge in the industry? The answer to all of this is a resounding NO! Where did I go to school? Samford University's Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham Alabama. My family doesn't have anything in the way of connections in this city where I was educated and where I work. Did I pay people? In a way I did. I certainly didn't give anybody any money but I always showed up and on time to boot. Did I play my hand right? Thats to say did I go to the highest ranked school I could get into? Nope! Samford is ranked a whopping 148, it wasn't ranked when I went there, or something like that. Why did I go there? I must of bombed the LSAT and drank my way through college. In fact, I did drink my way through college but I graduated from the University of Alabama with honors. Then I cranked out an LSAT score in the mid 160s. Anyways, the point about Samford is that its one of the lower ranked schools in the nation, there are probably only 30-40 schools in the nation that the rankings squads say are worse. Why in the fuck did I go there? Am I making my test score  and GPA up? Hmmm, this is where the whole thing gets really interesting. How in the fuck did this happen? The prevailing knowledge is that anybody who went to a Third Tier Toilet, herein refered to as a TTT, shouldn't even be in law school much less practicing and taking a job from somebody who went to no. 23. BAM! We've finally hit the root problem of the whole damn industry.

What is that problem you ask? The problem is a focus on rankings and test scores instead of people. Hold on, I know that sounds fluffy and shit. It isn't, in fact, its more harsh than a 142 on an LSAT. The LSAT and GPA are just indicators, that are often times correct, of how smart somebody is and how good of a lawyer they will be. At Harvard, where the real best and brightest go, most of the folks in there are going to be successful but not because of Harvard. They are going to be successful because they are smart, hard working, and yes they went to Harvard but that is far less important than the first two. An interesting little fact is the bottom 15% of Harvard folks still can't get jobs. As you move down the rankings the percentages change a bit. When you get really low they get alarming. There are schools in California where only 18% of kids get jobs that require them to take the BAR. Samford's real employment rate is, supposedly, around half. OUCH! This is a really simple concept, as you move down the LSAT and GPA scale the people actually do become dumber on average, but not always. The single smartest attorney I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with went to Mississippi College in Jackson, which is even lower than Samford. He graduates first in his class. So now you may be wondering who is smarter, the Harvard kids or the one single solitary guy coming out of Mississippi College with a brain? Well, I can't answer that entirely. The thing is though that that man deserves every bit as much respect as any Harvard grad because he is their equal. Sure, the bottom 50%, or even the top 6-20% from Mississippi College aren't. This is generally where people get lost now especially bright eyed young kids looking to become big time attorneys. They say, well if he can do it then I can do it because I'm a special little snowflake. You aren't. "I'm going to go to law school and be first in my class." Good luck, you are aware that there is a 99.9% chance you wont right? "Nobody can measure my will to work hard and study hard, I will do this!" The chances are that you wont and the fact is that this statement is not true. No, the other part isn't true. Somebody actually can measure how hard you are going to work and how well you will do, you will. If you couldn't be bothered to take 20 minutes to study an LSAT book, or put 20 minutes into studying to get a C in HY 201 then you probably wont magically reverse yourself and do well in law school. That isn't saying that it isn't possible but you need to take a good long hard look at yourself. Did you get a C because you didn't try at all, your mom died or what? Or, did you get a C because the shit was difficult and you never tried because you were too afraid to fail and would prefer to keep telling yourself how special you are instead of facing the fact that you really aren't?

Well, we'll call this part one of my coming series if anybody is interested. I'm off to dinner with tits from my previous blog.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bitches be mad!

It's just the truth! Bitches are always mad; they are like liberals. So, I've been dating this girl for a few weeks now. She isn't my usual type since she is classy, successful, and generally doesn't look like a stripper. What can I say, I love trashy women? We all know why! Anyways, we had plans this weekend which she wanted to change. Some shit came up with one of her friends and so she wanted to hang out on Friday night. Well, I'm busy all day Friday and don't plan to be in town. For anybody interested I'm going to meet with some folks about a new exciting and horrible paying job. I tell this woman that and I get chewed out because I'm not flexible enough, which is of course total bullshit. It took everything I had to not tell her, "bitch we've been dating for just a few weeks, your tits are awesome but I'm not sure I want to deal with this". I didn't say it by the way but goddamn if I didn't think it. So now we've established that she is mad, has nice tits, and Roti is annoyed. Moving on! So after the thorough ass chewing, after which I felt like I needed to check my o-ring, I called her back and offered a peace offering. I told her that I'd drive home tomorrow night and take her out to dinner and after that we'll go to the beach for a few days or to Biloxi. I'm a nice guy what can I say? Well that was a giant mistake. She tore into me again about how now I ain't considerate because her friend is having issues. It probably didn't help to settle the situation down when I asked her, "what did his boyfriend break up with him?" Oh no! I then got, "you're an ass hole sometimes, he isn't gay." I know she couldn't have said that with a straight face. The dude in question is about as tough as a ham sandwich soaked in dog piss. He has more hair products than a Beverly Hills stylist and drives a Bug, sorry Westys. Continung on, the situation soon deteriorated further. Very calmly I laughed and said, "so what's his issues this time" to which she replied "he's having some kind of trouble with himself, he's upset about his life in general", so then Roti says, "is it masculinity issues again", to which tits retorts, "I have no idea" then Roti laid down the wood saying "it probably is, I mean it's hard to think of yourself as very masculine with a dick in your mouth." The sound of a phone hanging up filled the car! The morale of the story is twofold, I'm a real ass hole and I'm probably looking for a new pair of tits to play with. Anybody want to go to Biloxi? On a side note, fuck the police.

A Post on Memes

Meme (pronounced meem) is an idea, style or behavior that spreads from person to person within a culture.  Of course, with the Internet, memes can spread even more rapidly and the term itself is now used for image macros that are disseminated on sites like Reddit and 4Chan.  But the term "meme" can be used for so much more than that.  You know "Obamacare"?  That's a meme.  The truth is that something doesn't even need to be true to become a meme.

A couple of years ago now I started the meme of "trolling" at MT forums.  Of course people trolled for several years before I even got there, but the idea of "trolling" was new to the forums.  I started saying "problem", "u mad" and "u jelly".  People got mad.  But others saw "problem" and joined in.  Specifically it gave a lot of identity to a certain troll that was later banned from the board.  Nobody called Tonavi a troll until I brought trolling to the board but he never really changed.  As time went on, more things that weren't even trolling started to be called trolling.  Stuff like nonsense posting and threadbombing.  These aren't trolling at all, but since the meme of trolling was there, people focused their rage against "trolls", namely me.  That was proliferation of a meme.  Memes spread through the board all the time.  The LF-A?  A meme.  Mustang is better?  A meme.  Ridgeline?  A meme.  Basically memes show how the ideas or actions of a single person can make a huge impact through a culture.  I attached the word "problem" to a bunch of my on-topic posts and now the culture of Motor Trend Forums is forever altered by the force of "trolling".  And of course, eggs.  Eggs itself is an interesting case study because the person who introduced "eggs" (Westy) didn't actually spread the meme, Topheezy and myself did through a game we played against each other when we wanted to change up our own use of a dead meme called "The Game".  We made every single post in a day have the word "eggs" in it and eventually people got mad about eggs so we kept doing it.

Of course, memes come and go.  I think the whole "Ridgeline" thing is pretty stupid honestly because it was a meme that was before my time and it has passed since the Ridgeline isn't relevant anymore.  Heck, even "Mustang is Better" is irrelevant anymore.  This is a concept known as a "dead meme".  Of course, fans of the dead meme will still attempt to revive it from time to time and people will reminice about how funny the meme was and participate in it for a little bit, but the spark dies quickly because you can only zombify a meme for so long before it goes away again.  So this brings forth the idea that memes have a lifespan.  And I've noted that trolling itself is a meme.  Will "trolling" become a dead meme someday?  Definitely.  People will still post to try and make each other mad, but it will be given a different name.  The joke will get old, the trolls will get bored and people will move on.  But the import fans on the board can't manage to post anything but troll threads so there will always be mad.  But life goes on. 

In the wider Internet, one can see how fast a meme can come and go.  I visit the site quickmeme.com on a regular basis and there are two things that stand out to me: 1) mostly every meme these days is unfunny and 2) memes die fast these days.  All the jokes have been played out by memes that were actually funny.  So then that creates another question, are Internet memes themselves going to pass on?  A scary thought, but not really.  Because the funny memes like Yo Dawg, Insanity Wolf, and Troll Science will always still be out there.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cam, Cam, Fail, Fail

Cam Cam, Fail Fail

Written by T-Rod
The Toyota Camry has been a best selling family sedan in the US for decades and also one of the most reliable cars you could own in its early years. The Camry debuted in 1982 as a 4-door sedan and a 5-door liftback (basically a fail looking hatch). The Camry use to be a Celica Camry, until Toyota decided to split the two and make them separate models. Over the years the Camry changed looks, going from 4-door sedans and 5-door liftbacks to 4-door hardtops and sedans to 5-door station wagons to 2 door coupes (Camry Solara) to now only 4-door sedan. Ok so enough on the history of the Camry has it is not really important. If that makes you mad you have issues. Now I shall discuss some reliability over the years for this car.

The Camry was a very reliable vehicle in its early years. As a matter of fact it was probably one of the most reliable cars on the road through the 80s and 90s next to the Honda Accord and Civic. The Camry started having reliability issues around 2002 and on. This website gives a complete list of recalls for the Camry for 2002-2011. http://www.toyotadeathwatchupdates.com/2012/06/complete-list-of-toyota-camry-recalls-2002-2011/ Recalls aside, the biggest issues the Camrys had through the 90s, were ignition cylinder lockups, valve cover leaks, sludge (1MZ-FE motor), and head issues (5s-fe motors after 150K miles). And the 2000s Camrys had even more issues. Many still consider the Camry a very reliable vehicle despite these issues and recalls. I am NOT one of those people. Problem? I have had many issues with my Camry which I will discuss below.

I currently own a 1998 Toyota Camry LE with the 2.2 DOHC L4 (5s-fe) motor with the craptastic, slow shifting A140E transmission. (4sp auto) This car has been far from reliable for me. Start off with a bit of history on the car. I am the 4th owner and I bought it a year and half ago with 113K miles on it. The dealer had replaced the front right strut and the EGR valve for me. Currently it has mid 131K on it. I bought the car in November of 2010; a bit later the brakes went out. (Not sure exactly when, Not sure when any of the issues happened miles and time wise) Both the front brakes crapped out on me. Nothing was left of the pads, the rotors were shot and the calipers locked up on me at 50mph and were done. Total cost to repair that, $500+. Next two things to go out, the transmission failed on me at around 119K miles I think. No forward gears on that. According to the tranny mechanic, previous owners never serviced it. Also both my rear struts went out and the car was sitting about 3 inches low in the rear. Car is currently sitting on 3 new struts and one factory. Cost for the tranny; $450+/- and the struts around $500. Also my exhaust had a leak, which was a $150 repair I believe. The car has had a valve cover leak since I bought it, and has gotten worse over time, but not crazy bad. Also my ignition cylinder locks up and I am unable to start the car. These last two issues are common on the 98 Camry. I will be able to save some money with these, as both repairs I can do myself with little effort. Other little things I hate about this car are the rattles. The front right side rocker panel in the wheel well rattles like crazy at low speeds. Also the car is very noisy; A LOT of wind and tire noise gets into the cabin. The interior is very cheap and crappy. It breaks easily. I broke the visor mirror cover by just flipping it up to hard and the center console cover broke off after I slammed on the brakes one time.

A few more things I despise about the car in conjunction to the above. Sluggish transmission, not enough power (though decent low end torque), factory sound system is crap, and the slope of the rear window is too steep. It is very difficult to remove and reinstall the rear deck brake light and also deal with the rear speakers. There is not much I like about the car, except for the comfortable seats and the accessibility of the engine bay. Also the size of the trunk, 14 cu. Ft. Overall the car has been generally good for me. I am thankful the motor has stayed the only reliable thing in the car. Though I have read the 5s-fe’s start having sludge and head issues starting around 150K miles, so I will have to hope that doesn’t happen. I hope to keep this car for at least another 2 years, and then ditch it for a Fox Body Mustang. So that is it, my Camry fail. I hope you hated it; I hope it filled you with rage and broke all your eggs, as you probably thought the Camry was a VERY reliable car. HA, you’re wrong. Problem? Mad?

Motor Trend Forums are Not The Place For Discussion

U are already getting mad, I can tell.

I know I haven't made a habit of talking about the forum directly, but today I am pissed off.  Currently there is a movement to undermine trolling mainly because of an imaginary issue with eggs.  Not one person has actually been able to supply a thread that I derailed with eggs but it seems to be an issue because it detracts from mature conversation and my "followers" think that "eggs" is the signal to derail a thread.  Well, first I don't have "followers", I am not the leader of some stupid cult or "wolfpack".  I simply try to generate conversation by voicing unpopular opinions just like when someone, who complains about trolling, waltzes in trumpets blaring to any thread about transmissions to tell you that, DAMMIT AUTOS ARE BETTER BITCH!  Yeah, I'm the one that trolls.  I've also been banned multiple times for my offensive comments...  OH WAIT!  Then I get bitched at because "mods and admins are getting tired of constant trolling".  Well then maybe you should tell the mods and their sock puppets to stop trolling.  I know XFists belongs to a mod and I know Enberliner belongs to a mod so waaaaaaah.  Almost the whole damn moderator squad trolls!  Eggs eggs eggs ehhgz egghhhhhhhhz!  Let the tears flow bitches!

But the truth is, Motor Trend Forums are not there for civil discussion.  Motor Trend Forums are there for battle!  Trolls battle trolls.  Fanboys battle fanboys.  Assholes battle assholes.  It's a game where everyone is manuvering for the best troll against their enemies.  Telling us to stop trolling is essentially telling the board to stop posting.  Every thread is a troll thread.  Every thread is an open challenge to the other side.  Everyone on the board is established and we know each other's views so when we see the other side post the battle screen comes up and "Round 1, fight!".  The trolls mess with each others heads to see which can make moar mad and then eggs eggs eggs.  Nonsense posting is part of the battle, it is there for a reason.  Thread gets posted and civil conversation ensues?  Dead after 10 replies.  Trololol thread about ATS?  FUCKING 1000 POSTS BITCH!  MOAR MAD!

The point is that trolling is not making the forum hard to have conversation on.  The arguments and endless whining are.  So many tears.  I don't derail your threads, you derail your threads.  If your threads don't get derailed then they die.  Same thing happens on CF.  The only threads getting any posts are the ones that are full of "FUCK YOU" "NO FUCK YOU!".  So have your tears and rage, I love them and obviously you enjoy them as well since you have them so often.  Eggs eggs eggs eggs eggs umad?

Oh, and I'm still waiting for even a SINGLE INSTANCE where I derailed an on-topic thread with eggs.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wal-Mart and the Wal-Aura

Wal-Mart is a pretty terrible place no matter how you look at it.  Their business and labor practices aside, going there is just a horrible experience.  First, there are a bunch of screaming children and people that are also angry to get in your way.  Second, Wal-Mart only has "just enough" staff so if you need anything that isn't normally staffed (like site-to-store) you get to wait and the checkout lines will be atrocious.  And third, there is just this feeling of negativity that swirls around every single person in the store.  This is what I call the Wal-Aura.

The Wal-Aura is always negative.  People go into the store angry, they are in the store angry and they leave the store angry.  This should be the Wal-Mart logo.

Yes, you are mad.  You were prepared to be mad the second you entered the store.  Why?  Wal-Aura.  The store is a cesspool of negativity and the moment you enter, you become part of it.  I haven't yet been able to figure out exactly what causes the Wal-Aura but I would wager that it has something to do with people just expecting to be upset the moment they enter the store.  I've tried testing myself to keep from getting angry.  I'll go into the store and just buy a few things and be as chill as possible but either between not being able to find what I'm looking for because things don't make a damn bit of sense in their locations or having to wait in line for over 30 minutes because the store couldn't be bothered to hire another minimum wage grunt because it would tip too far into the profit margin, I end up mad.  I once got through and 3 starred 20 stages of Angry Birds waiting for a stupid site-to-store person.  Wal-Mart trolls you.

So, how do we respond to trolls?  We don't get mad and we show the troll how not mad we are while they try harder to make us mad and get mad themselves.  Make Wal-Mart mad.  Move stuff around in the store so they have to put it back.  When there isn't a greeter, be one.  Make people happy as they come in the front door instead of mad.  They will have a better experience.  Buy eggs.  Why?  Because eggs.  Be totally not mad while in Wal-Mart.  If enough people did it, Wal-Mart wouldn't be a terrible place anymore.  Make the effort and things will improve.

Target though?  That place is horrible!

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Am Too Nice

I am too nice.  I know what you are thinking, "This guy is king of trolling and he wants us to believe that he is too nice?"  Well, yes.  And, no.  And eggs.  In person, I am very friendly and respectful because that is what one should do in person.  Except if you keep me up till 2 in the morning, then all bets are off.  But really, I feel like I am too nice.

This weekend I decided to have ComCrap come install Internet and TV at my house because it was ridiculously cheap and I was tired of not having TV.  My "install window" was from 12 to 2.  Well, needless to say that 2 passed by without so much as a phone call.  By 2:30, the tech had finally called and said he was having to do a bunch of extra work and that he would be to the house in an hour.  So now I'm looking at 3:30 and yet I have still not complained or even raised my voice.  Well, 4 rolls around and still no call.  So I call up the 800 number and pound buttons until I get an actual person.  I tell the person on the other line the whole situation in a kind tone and wait for his response.

"Well that's pretty late," the guy says in his best impression of Goofy.  And they proceed to offer me a $20 credit.  Since they were already charging me over $40 for the install, that was a consolation prize at best and he still couldn't tell me when someone would actually be at my house.  My daughter really wanted to go swimming and here I am stuck waiting for some early 20s, pot smoking (yes I assume all early 20s kids smoke pot, mad?), cable install junkie to finally show up at my house but still, I have not raised my voice.

So finally around 5, this kid who looks like Seth Green shows up and proceeds to start working on installing my shit.  I hear some sob story about stuff that "wasn't on the work order".  PROBLEM?  I secretly hope that my house will eat him.  Then it turns out the cable connection for the house is in the addic where my almost awesomer than I am air conditioner has been depositing all of the crap hot air that I don't want all day long.  PROBLEM?  Then fucking Andre the Giant shows up which is compounded by the fact that Seth Green lookalike is only like 3 foot 6.  So now I have these kids that look like a damn comedy routine running around trying to get the cable working in my house.  Finally at 7 these guys are done and I have more TV than I was expecting and my Internet was pulling down at 35 Mbps so I am a happy camper.  Then I hustled the kid for a bunch of component cables because dammit, not everybody has a stupid HDTV.  So he went back to smoking pot and pants dialed my phone so I could hear him swearing about how much it sucks to be an independent contractor.  Yeah, it does suck.  Capitalism owns you.

But then I went swimming and enjoyed the entire large pool at the Kroc Center all by myself because it is "too cold" for most people.  Good, go play in the piss pool, pansies.

What was this post about again?  Oh yeah, eggs.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Why is GM in the Toyota Crapper?

This is purely opinion so if you're looking for good statistical reasons to hate General Motors, this is not the place to look.  Are you upset?  Eggs.  The GM that I liked was the GM of the 90s.  Yes, I'm insane, but GM was far better in the 90s than it is now.  Mostly because of Pontiac.  Yes, they were covered in plastic and mostly all front wheel drive but at least they had some passion.  Everything that GM pumps out these days are sterile appliances designed to make peak numbers in a certain area.  For lack of better words, GM has become Toyota.

A few years ago, GM decided that rebadging one car 5 times was probably a bit of overkill so they decided to remove some of their brands and only rebadge one car 3 times or so.  They rightly killed Oldsmobile and Saturn as Saturn had a reputation for vehicles you could put your fist through and Oldsmobile hadn't produced a vehicle of note since well the 60s.  But they couldn't kill Chevrolet as a billion Dale Earnhart loving rednecks would kill them so fast that nobody would remember their name and they couldn't kill Cadillac because they needed something to rebadge Chevrolets as to sell them for twice as much.  So to me, the choice was obvious, end Buick.  You already have a brand to sell to old people in Cadillac, no reason to have two.

Sadly, GM is run by monkeys.  No, that would be an insult to monkeys.  It was bad enough that they had turned Pontiac into some fucked up Audi where everything was a "G" something except for the rebadged Toyota, they decided to finish it off and pander to the Chinese by keeping Buick.  And if that wasn't bad enough, instead of rebadging awesome V8 powered Australian rockets, they started rebadging underpowered German boats as Buick.  FUCK!  GM sucks so hard.  Malibu = Camry, Cruze = Corolla.  Cadillac = Lexus.  GM is Toyota.

So basically I'm really pissed that they killed off Pontiac.  They think that just because they made a Camaro again and really expensive Corvettes means that they still have their passion but nope.  They are Toyota now, passionless, soulless, performanceless.  I just made up a word, jelly?  But I hear you already in your rage trying to say something, blah blah blah CTS-V, blah blah ZL1.  Nope.  Cadillac competes with Hyundai, mad?  Equus is better than XTS.  Genesis is better than CTS.  You are raging pretty hard right now, I can tell.  You know Lincoln?  Better than Cadillac.  Oops, your eggs.

So as GM strives for more MPGs and Hybrids everything, remember, that's what Toyota does.  Toyota competes in NASCAR too.

Oops, your rage!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dark Age of Cars Part 3: Alternative Fuels

This post should make you mad.  Keep in mind this was written in June 2010 during the Deepwater Horizon incident.

Ah, another of my favorites, especially in the current political environment.  Environmentalists think that with all of the oil erupting into the Gulf of Mexico that people will be more accepting of the idea of alternative fuels.  The reality, people are going to be more accepting of the idea of getting more of our oil from foreign countries where it has less of a chance of messing up our land and they’ll buy less fuel from BP.  Trust me, I want a replacement for oil just as much as the next person, but I’m not going to punish myself for it, and that is the key.  Any replacement for our current vehicles will have to be cheaper, faster and more affordable for it to be embraced by the public.  The average consumer will not accept a Zapcar as a replacement for their standard vehicle under any circumstances.  Consumers are also not going to purchase a fuel that is better for the environment but costs them more and decreases the power and efficiency of their vehicle.  Alternative vehicles that succeed will be the ones that divert as little as possible from the current formula while providing equal power, range, convenience, and value that is at least equal to the current automotive offerings.  Car buyers will not be punished into buying more efficient vehicles, if they don’t want them, they won’t buy them and they especially won’t buy them if they’ll cost more to operate and own.  Four dollar gas wasn’t enough for consumers to kick traditional vehicles to the curb so why should we assume that higher gas prices will force a change?  The only change that high fuel prices force is a recession and inflation.  What I’m trying to get at is that people will not be convinced to use anything but internal combustion engines until someone offers them a vehicle that is better than what they have for them, not just for the planet.
            So, if we want to accomplish that, what do we need to do?  Well, our future vehicle needs to have great power, be safe, be able to do at least a 300 mile round trip and be cheap to operate and own all of the time.  Electric vehicles can do all of these things.  While they lack the auditory charm of internal combustion engines, electric motors are incredibly efficient and powerful by comparison.  Their instant torque would be incredibly useful for the standard driver’s commute and they make much more efficient use of their available energy.  Therefore I argue that the vehicle of the future will definitely be powered by electric motors.  However, the average sedan should have about 150 kW (~200 horsepower) of power and sports cars will need upwards of 250-300 kW (~335 – 400 horsepower) of power.  The problem with this is that there is currently no inexpensive, safe, or reliable way to carry enough energy on board to supply that level of power for the 5-6 hours needed to complete a 300 mile round trip.  The Chevrolet Volt carries enough power to move a car with 110 kW 40 miles before needing recharged and they expect to charge $40,000 for this!  I’d wager most of that inflated price is due to the batteries.  This being the case, any vehicle wanting to replace internal combustion engines is going to need an energy storage system that currently does not exist.  Hydrogen fuel cells could replace internal combustion, but the only known production example (FCX Clarity from Honda) is hyper-expensive ($600 per month lease, similar to a high end luxury car) and has lower power and range than the requirements I’ve listed above.  Current battery technology cannot even come close.  The Tesla Roadster is the most promising example because it meets the power requirements but again, the technology is hyper expensive and the range is sporadic at best.  So the goal should be to find a way to get 120 kW/h of energy into a car and make that car cost less than $30,000.  Such a feat is completely impossible at this time.  The roadster has 53 kW/h of energy and the replacement cost for its battery pack alone is expected to be $36,000 for less than half of the needed energy.  This battery pack is said to allow 288 miles per charge but most actually achieve around half of that and we haven’t even talked about recharge times.  These examples are still decades away from being functioning replacements for the internal combustion engine.  The average consumer cannot afford to be spending more than $30,000 on a car and for that you can barely get a Zapcar that goes on the freeway not to mention the huge number of cars now on the road in China and India that will need a viable, cheap replacement as well.  A new technology is required and if we are going to realize it in time to make a difference, a huge capital investment is going to have to be made soon.  This is not pessimism, its realism.  I suppose it could be possible through the use of massive gasoline taxes and fascist emissions laws to punish people into more efficient vehicles, but can we really consider ourselves the ‘Land of the Free’ if we dictate which vehicles our people can and cannot drive through economic means?  We need to spur innovation and the best way to do that is by spending boat-loads of money.  Whoever discovers the battery technology necessary to complete the electric car is going to be swimming in money so why not make a healthy capital investment in discovering it?  We aren’t talking about an impossible feat here, but if we continue at our current pace, the electric car will come far too late to make any difference against global warming.  We need to stop wasting money on Band-aids like hybrids and more efficient internal combustion engines and spend that time, money and innovation trying to find a solution that makes hybrids and internal combustion engines obsolete.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Prius is Better

The Prius Has It All!

We have all heard the same ole same ole about the Prius - it's slow, it handles like a tub of lard, it's ugly. Guess what? Those are all subjective points of view. That makes each one of them wrong as no opinion is right. You lost.

The Prius is better because no other car has solar panels. These solar panels RUN the AC unit in the car eliminating drag on the batteries. The result is a constantly cool car even on the hottest days. The AC will run in a parking lot while you are off watching a movie or whatever. Self-cooling = better.

The Prius is clean energy on a budget. Who needs a Chevy or a Ford for $80,000 when you could get a Prius for $25,000? Who wants to wait for the IRS to do something right? I don't. Take the power away from them and their dumb tax credit. Get a Prius and save $55,000. It is just the right thing to do.

The Prius has advanced traction control and air intake management systems. Dyson, the cyclonic vacuum maker has licensed their technology to Toyota. The result is a Dysonic Intake and Traction Control. Let's discuss the Intake first. Dysonic Intake simulates a vortex within the intake runners by reticulating the intake splines and causing the air to swirl as it moves past them. This maximizes the efficiency in the gas part of the engine giving it awesome power and efficiency without the use of a formal turbo. The Traction Control is fairly simple as well. The cyclonic effect of the vacuum, is applied inside each wheel. When the system is on, it effectively sucks the car down to the ground allowing it to handle 2 g's of cornering force. It could climb the side of a building but the entry/exit angels don't allow access. What happens to all the air that is vacuumed up behind each tire? It is mixed in with the air pulled thru the intake for a super cold charge of dense air for that extra boost of speed.

The Prius has two engines, and electric one that can drive the car up to 15 mph and a gas helper engine that takes over once speeds exceed 15 mph which is not too often. The gas engine can be thought of as a 98 hp turbo booster to the main electric engine which already makes all of the torque at 0 rpm. The combined effect of the two engines, working together seamlessly, is equivalent to the power of 400 elephants charging out of control over the Serenghetti. It is a very powerful engine.

Toyota, however, in their infinite wisdom and learning, have figured most people like to drive slow cars and have dialed back the performance of these systems to allow for more fun. The Traction Control system only allows for .8 g's during cornering as no one wants a car that can fly around a 25 mph corner at 100 mph without a loss of control. They are borrowing from the FR-S model here to great effect. Likewise, the cyclonic intake uses just one spline allowing for modest swirl and decent punch. The one flaw they have with the engine tuning however, is tuning the electric engine's torque to peak higher in the rev range rather than at 0 rpm. There's no fun to be had at a stop!

I hope this lets you all know just how much better the Prius really is and how fortunate we are to be able to buy one of these fine pieces of automotive awesomeness. Toyota should be heralded as the Enthusiast's Choice for cars since they apply so much technology from unlikely sources to make every product that much better than the rest.

Next time you see a Volt or a Fusion Hybrid or even a Golf TDI, you can scoff at them knowing full well they overpaid for their overrated vehicle. The Prius is King. The Prius is awesome. The Prius is BETTER.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Vector Prime of Trolling

The Vector Prime of Trolling

Posted by Westys in behalf of Jessie Louthan II

Out of all of the trolls that currently reside in RedchocoboTrend land, I consider myself the Vector Prime of trolling. Why’s that? Let’s find out.

My trolling actually began long ago, in a land far, far away...in fact, it no longer exists. I’m talking about MSN Chat. Yeah, you know, that one. Thanks to Chris Hansen and “To Catch A Predator”, they took away my hours of entertainment, talking to friends, hooking up with random hotties, and working on my elite typing skills (now at 65 wpm). U jelly?

Actually, what really killed it is that they decided to “keep it open” and start charging $20/year to chat. What once was a free service, now Microsoft wanted us to spend our hard-earned money on this...this is one of the reasons why I hate them so much. That, and they make crappy software for even crappier PCs. Don’t hate, it’s mostly Apple here, even though I have an eight year old PC for kicks and giggles...with a picture of the 2012 Nissan Sentra Base as the wallpaper.

Getting mad yet? I hope so.

So anyways, I wandered into the great unknown that is the interwebz, and stumbled upon MySpace...thanks to my hawt 32 year Grandmother (she was 32 at the time) friend. I know, you’re mind is blown. Too bad I lost touch with her, she was way cool. I was getting that slowly started up, but really missed the instant interaction that MSN Chat provided to me. Yahoo Chat was still teh phailz, so I was stuck with messenging random hotties and whomever I could find from the old MSN Chat days.

Then, one fateful day in November 2004, my life changed forever. For reasons that I still don’t know to this day, I somehow stumbled onto the Autoweek Combustion Chamber (AWCC). I joined right away, still new to this thing that they called a forum. It was about car guys talking about cars, and other stuff as well. I wound up talking to these crazy guys everyday, and some I still do to this day.

But the best part was...the epic trolling! Anything, and I mean anything, went at AWCC. The main fight was between the Domestic car side (Chandlers), and the Import car side (Monica). Epic flame threads could not do this justice. I threw in my fair share of trolling, with this statement as my all-time favourite: “If we had done our jobs right, there would be no Japanese flag”.

I almost got permanently banned for that one...there were other comments, but that one still sticks out in my mind. Eventually, AutoWeek tried to kill off AWCC for good by “switching over to another server” for the forum, but we all knew that short of killing off AutoWeek altogether, they would stop at nothing to get rid of us.

They finally did on a sunny spring day in 2007...by then, I had fully transitioned over to Motor Trend forums. It was pretty dead there, and despite how the old and new administrators felt/feel, we were like the Mormons to Las Vegas...we brought it back to life! The trolling continued, but they actually had admins that cared, and were willing to enforce the rules. Personally, my own trolling had reduced in severity and consistently over time, to the point where I was nominated to be a moderator...a title that I still hold to this day.

As a moderator, I cleaned up MT by banning the worst of the worst trolls out there (like those that were making personal attacks against other posters)...some people said that I was too harsh, and others claimed that I had turned my back on my own kind. You can find them over at CarFanatics Forum...his name is Cmicasa, who is ironically a moderator himself.

About this time, Facebook was really starting to ramp up, and eventually, I began to build up my friends list, mostly with friends and family, but also with friends of friends, and people that I had met through status updates threads. You know, social networking. Most people have forgotten what that is, and think that FB is a place where they can feed into their own vanity. But that’s another article for another time.

What is great about FB is that you’re exposed to many different walks of life, and those with different beliefs...even ones that you may not agree with. This eventually took my trolling to a whole new level.

Here are my favourite people to troll:

1) Conservative Republicans: I can have a field day with these guys...all I have to do is either post something stupid that a Republican said (I limit it to once per day, but I’ll never run out of material), or something about President Obama. That really sends them over the edge. Obama stuff works in particular, because it exposes the racist in some people...they still can’t get over the fact that we have a Black President. I say, deal with it. Also, he was a better President than Dubya...problem?

2) Bible Thumpers/Jesus Freaks: having lived in the Bible Belt for all of my life, I have a particular disdain towards Southern Baptists and Non-Denominationals. Between “I’m going to Hell” and “Every other religion is wrong, plus religion is wrong” and “it’s not about religion, it’s about Jesus”, it makes me wonder if these people prefer to be brainwashed and choose not to think for themselves.

Also, me being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or “the Mormons”, only adds to their hatred of me. I find it comical that they claim to know more about my religion that I do. Sorry, I don’t take advice from paid clergymen with an agenda to pad his membership numbers to secure loans from banks, so that he can live in a McMansion and drive a bunch of luxury cars...while his own members go broke and hungry.

3) People that drive Toyotas: I, like most everyone here, hates Toyota with a passion. Granted, they used to make great cars, but don’t anymore. In fact, I hate Toyota so much, what started as me sharing articles about the infamous Toyota floormat/accelerator pedal recalls, grew into a full-fledged website called Toyota Deathwatch Updates. Check it out, I’m sure it’ll burst your bubble if you own one. Don’t be mad at me if you turned your back on your country and gave money to the evil empire. That’s on your own conscious.

So, where am I at now in my trolling? Still trolling on FB, ramping up on MT, and of course, always doing some “informative trolling” on TDU (just like on FB). Stay tuned, and be prepared to hop on board the school bus, because who knows...I might just take you to school.

I'll Take My Rice Fried: Part 2

What is going on in Japan these days? Just over a decade ago, the market was littered with fun cars from the Land of the Rising Sun. We had the Prelude, rowdy Integras (including the only Type-R to ever be sold on our shores,) the Supra, Z, 240SX, a Civic Si that revved forever, Celicas, MR-2s, and so on.  There were so many I can't even name all of them.  Now, I can count all of the Japanese sports cars with just over half of my carpal digits.  Not only that, but only two of them are even desirable.  The GT-R is the ultimate troll car, saying "u mad?" to physics.  Despite the fact that it's only available with an automatic transmission, it's a bonefide supercar.  The other one is similar; kind of like a mini GT-R: the Evo X. 
Granted, both of these are awesome pieces of machinery.  Both are truly Japanese scalpels; perfect studies of precision and obsessive compulsive engineering. 
But alas, these two laser guided missiles swim in a sea of mediocrity.  I will never get over the fact that a V6 Mustang beat Subaru's mighty Impreza WRX STi around Virginia International Raceway in Car and Driver's Lightning Lap a few years back.  That's downright embarrassing.  A car primarily bought by rich daddies for their high school daughters beat Subaru's flagship "sports" car.
And it's not just performance that has suffered in Japan, it's the build quality too.  The 370Z, for instance, has been plagued with problems, including brake failure, differential failure, and transmission failure.  These are not small problems.  Hell, even the GT-R has major transmission problems in its first model year. 
From the country that was once known for honest little econoboxes that were well built and fun to drive, this descent into mediocrity (at best) is alarming. 
 By now, you must be wondering why I have made no mention of the Toyobarion Whatever FT-FR-GT-BRZ-POS-II-86.  I've said before that this car is a slap in the face to enthusiasts.  This causes rage among those who have been drinking Toyota and Subaru's Kool-Aide.  Saying that a modified, rear wheel drive Impreza (and we know how slow even the top-line Impreza is) is a successor to an economy car, turned drifting monster, is like saying that a coconut is a successor to the color fuchsia.  It just makes absolutely no sense.  On top of that, they have the nerve to charge $25,000 for it, and sell it at Scion dealers, just so they don't have to barter on the price. 
I could go on, but most of you have already heard my rant on that car.  Car magazines everywhere can't stop fapping to Toyota and Subaru's bastard love child, but I'm not convinced.  If this is the best Japan can do right now, then maybe they should stick to making Priuses and Cubes.  I'm not using your propaganda word "Prii,"Toyota.  Problem?

Monday, July 16, 2012

I Have Chortles

You've come here, presumably because you are a masochist and insane.  You like to read shit that irritates you and sometimes comment on how much you disagree with the verbose diarrhea on these pages. 
I want you to know, we are kindred spirits, you and I, bothering ourselves with things of no consequence like cars and video games.  We do as the Bible said and eat, drink, and be merry.  We find chortles in flatulence and sarcasm, and we enjoy causing frustration on teh internets.  We are guys and gals of simple taste, and we don't give two small rodent stools whether you agree or not.
Why can more people not be like us?  Why must everyone concern themselves with chasing after the wind, while we laugh over broken wind?
It's money, isn't it?  Serious folk in suits and ties watch as the world burns in direct relation to the expansion of their bank accounts. 
Oh dear.  This is getting too serious.  I sharted.
Anyway, reader of these pages of infinite wisdom and gaseous shart-ish qualities, don't get too serious.  When stuff gets to serious, shart.  You'll be outta there in no time.

Some Ramblings

You get two posts from me today.  Consider yourself lucky to experience a small portion of my awesomeness two times in a single day.  But I’m going to bring it down a notch and just mention a few things that are on my mind today.

First I’d like to thank the ever growing list of RedChocoboTrend contributors, without you the place wouldn’t exist.  I would also like to extend a special thanks to Topheezy.  He’s gone the extra mile to market the site on both MT Forums and Facebook.  A majority of our page views are due to his efforts.  He also brought Mr. Westy into the fold, who is responsible for the current look of the page itself.  Basically between this blog and the Facebook group, we have a nice troll community growing.  If it sounds like I’m making an acceptance speech for an award, I am far to used to it.  I had to tell the Awesomeness society to stop giving me awards because I was getting a new one every single day.

So, what should tomorrow’s topic be?  I haven’t prepared any of these yet and I would like to see if the community has a preference.

1)      Wal-Mart and the Wal-Aura.  Basically a look at why people get so mad when they go to Wal-Mart.
2)      Praise Gobblagobblagobbla.  Everything you need to know about the 50-foot Churkey that represents Flatulism.
3)      Memes.  A bunch of stuff about every meme I can think of, could be fun.

Post your choices in the comments, or even other suggestions, I don’t care.  I may just choose to ignore your suggestions entirely but probably not.  Anyways, I hope you hate this post.