A Storied Past

Over the last few days, I’ve been finally taking care of some work I’ve been meaning to do on the TT.  In particular, doing the front brakes and testing the car’s coolant for exhaust gases (to see if the head gasket has failed).  I figured while I was doing the brakes I’d paint the calipers red to match the powder coated rear calipers that I put on a couple years ago.

It’s been a multi-day project, only because I’m lazy and did one side at a time – waiting a day for the paint to dry for each side.  But while I’ve been waiting, I had the urge to go back through and try to categorize and put all of the work I’ve done over the last three years into a single database of sorts.  A place for me to see the work, see the age of the work, and keep track of the cost and timing of everything.

It’s been a long road thus far, and I’ve done a lot of work.  From more serious work like servicing the timing belt and replacing the soft top, to smaller things like oil changes and car washes.  I dug out the spreadsheet I put together when I first bought the car, where I cross-referenced the CarFax with the actual garages that did the work, and contacted each garage in hopes they could forward me the service records they had for the car.

Some of it was boring same ole same ole:  5K scheduled maintenance.  25K scheduled maintenance.  35K scheduled maintenance.  Etc.  Some of it was intriguing though: Interior trim repaired after 1400 miles.  Clutch/flywheel replaced after 22,000 miles.  A storied past.

It got me really thinking.  The car has nearly 100,000 miles on it now.  That’s nearly four trips around the planet.  I’m the fifth owner of this little black roadster, and I sincerely hope to be its last.  It was first purchased in April of 2004, which makes it over 14 years old at this point.  In April of 2004 I was just finishing up my sophomore year in high school.  I wouldn’t have my driver’s license or my first car for another year and half.

It’s interesting to think about the car’s history before it came into my possession.  I have no idea who the previous owners were, what they did for a living, or how old they were.  Maintenance was clearly lacking from some of them.  It wasn’t modified, but it was driven hard.  Can’t help but think about who left the baton underneath the driver’s seat – why they had it, what they thought when they realized they left it there for me to find.

I wonder about the front-end collision the car was involved in years ago.  Insurance was never involved so I have no idea where the car was worked on, or what was replaced.  But the skid plate is completely gone and the battery box is broken in multiple places.  In fact, a lot of trim is missing from under the hood.  The covers for the battery and the power steering pump in particular.  Where did they go?

It’s fun to think about where the car’s been and what it’s seen.  The work that’s been done over the years, and who has had their hands on it.  The conversations that’ve been had in the cabin.  The abuse it’s endured, the care it’s received.

To some people a car is just a piece of property that gets us from Point A to Point B.  Something remarkably uninteresting and resigned to its job as a utility and nothing more.

But to others, it’s an unfinished book.  A book with pages missing from its earlier chapters, but a book that we’ve taken authorship of nonetheless.  And I just hope that I can make this little TT’s future chapters as interesting as it’s past.

The Bestivus History of Cars – Great White

As an aside, this post was originally going to be about Chloe the TT.  It kind of ran off the rails and I ended up talking about my history in car modifications, so I guess I’ll just leave it at that.  And before you clowns remind me of Blue Death (RIP), I never modified her, so I’m leaving her out.

ANYWHO, I guess this whole thing started back in 2007, if I had to really pin the year down.  That was when I first started getting interested in automotive modifications.  It wasn’t something I had planned, but when you need better sound from your stereo, one thing leads to another… Continue reading

The Odyssey – Day Two

The follow-up to Day One is a little bit late, but whatever.  Me and the fam will be hitting the road tomorrow, so I figured this was the last chance I’d have to write.

We peaced out from the Sturgis Travelodge pretty much without incident.  Stopped at some podunk gas station to fill up the car.  I had a pretty good laugh at the sign that was inside the station that said basically “K2 and bath salts not sold here”.  Ah the small town life.  My mom mentioned later on that the lady behind the desk at the hotel was telling them a story while checking us in.  She came out to Sturgis to see family and her car broke down at some point.  She didn’t have enough money to fix it, so she’s been stuck there trying to save up money to get out.  Jesus…

Thank God that didn’t happen to us.

The roads through Indiana and Illinois were pretty easy going.  Boring, but easy going.  Ran through some storms along the way.  Saw a crop dusting plane.  ‘Twas legit.  But that’s when some bullshit came our way.

Somewhere in Illinois, we were sitting nice in super light traffic.  Cruise was set to 75.  AC was set to 70°.  Music was on some news show that we picked up.  In the oncoming lane a Ford Edge was busting a bitch (doing a U-turn) in the median.  We passed by without much a thought.  Now, enter a couple minutes after that.  I’m in the passing lane, attempting to get past a truck that must have had his cruise set to half a MPH less than us.

The Ford Edge from earlier is literally, by means of osmosis, becoming one with my rear bumper.  Now bear in mind, up until this point, my cruise control has not left 75 MPH in probably 100 miles.  I see this Edge clearly wanting to get a move on, and since he had just pulled a U-ie, figured he forgot something and was in a hurry to get back to wherever he came from.  I disengage cruise and speed up just enough to get in front of the truck in the driving lane.

Big fucking mistake.  Whoop-whoop, red and blue flashing lights come on from the Edge.  Are you fucking serious?  I pull over and get ready for whatever bullshit this guy tries to sell me.  Comes up to the passenger-side where my grandmother and dad are seated.  Roll the window down.

You know you were going 8 over right?

Ya don’t fucking say.  Could it be because you were up in my face like Mayweather was up in Conor’s face?  (Yes I realize the fight happened after this occurence, so fuck you.)

I try to explain that I was keeping up with traffic and saw he was in a hurry, so I was trying to get out of his way.  He didn’t want to hear it, asked for my license and headed back to the Stealth Edge.  At this point I’m thinking to myself, “If I get a ticket, I just won’t ever come back to this shithole state again.”  He wanders back to the window, hands back my license, and says “Just watch your speed folks” and leaves.

Now granted, he did basically wave traffic over into the passing lane so we could leave, which was a real bro move, but seriously?  Pull over the family from New York for some bullshit “speeding” charge?  JenniferLawrenceYeahOK.gif

Anyway, we get back on the road and continued on with the final leg of our journey.  A few hours later, it’s getting to be lunch time and no one can decide where to eat.  That rule of no local eats remains in effect, so grandma’s suggestion of Subway is out.  After some miscommunication on Route 80, and some quick exiting of said highway, we found ourselves in some small town called Durant, Iowa.  A T intersection with Subway in one direction and a place called the Wilton Cafe in the other, I made the executive decision to hang a Ricky and head to Wilton.

Best.  Decision.  Ever.

Oh yes.  This little cafe, let me tell you.  Their lunch entrees all came with a side of soup by default, which I thought was pretty strange, but equally awesome.  I ended up ordering a burger, because fuck yeah, ‘Merica.  I put some ketchup on said burger and thought nothing of it.  My mom was the first to realize the ketchup bottle had a green cap on it.  Dafuq?  This is why:

That’s fucking right.  JALAPEÑO KETCHUP.  How in the entire world have I never heard of such a thing before?  Mind blown, because it was absolutely amazing.  It wasn’t unreasonably spicy, just a perfect amount of heat to go along with the ketchup taste.  Unreal.

After finishing up a surprisingly awesome lunch stop, we got back on the road towards Nebraska.

Now, let me illustrate the state of Iowa for everyone reading this.  Nothing but straight roads surrounded by flat fields of whatever.  That’s it.  Literally the worst and most boring part of the trip was Iowa.  At this point in the trip, I just wanted to get to where we were going and be done.  There were some cool parts, like an absolute shitload of windmills.  Like, think Fenner but at least ten times as many.  The featured image was taken by the dashcam of some of the windmills along the side of the road.  It was real impressive.  Along the way, we passed by a lot of tractor trailers hauling windmill blades, actually.

Finally, after about 10 hours of driving on the second day, we arrived at my aunt and uncle’s place.  The Fusion performed admirably, surprisingly enough.  Oil level was perfectly level and didn’t smell burnt.  Win fricken win.  Total stats for the entire trip from NY to NE:

Total Miles – 1169.8
Total MPG – 28.3
Total Time – 18:10:23

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Driver’s Etiquette – PSA For Motorcyclists

This is a Public Service Announcement for motorcyclists.  If you drive a motorcycle, I hope you don’t take offense to this PSA unless it applies to you – which in that case, I don’t give a fuck.

For a while now I’ve seen cars with stickers on them that say “Watch For Motorcycles.”  And ya know what?  That makes sense.  Cycles are small, quick, and maneuverable whereas cars have blind spots and aren’t as nimble.  But honestly…  After this morning’s ride into work, I think I’m going to print out stickers like this:

Why?  Because some motorcyclists apparently take the “Watch For Motorcycles” campaign and take it to mean:

“HURR HURR, it’s not my responsibility to drive safely and watch out for cars.  They need to watch out for me!”

Fuck.  That.

The reason behind this post, honestly, is that some fucktard on a crotch rocket decided to blast down 690 doing 90+ MPH.  Weaving in and out of lanes.  Not signaling.  Being a fucking douchebag in general.  I have absolutely NO tolerance for reckless driving and that’s exactly what this asshat was doing.

Now I’m not passing judgement on every motorcyclist out there.  I know that a majority of them drive safely and obey the rules of the road.  But it’s jackasses like this that give the rest a bad name.

So in conclusion, unless you want to end up like this:

Slow the fuck down for your sake, your family’s sake, and the sake of every other fucking driver on the road.

/End PSA

Pacifica Drivers Are Assholes

Alright, you can call me out on this if you want to.  But either way I’m going to tell you to go fuck yourself.  I drive 45 minutes to and from work 5 out of 7 days of the week.  And on the weekend I probably drive even more than that.  I see my fair share of vehicles on the road.  But there’s one car that time and mofucking time again is piloted by complete and utter retards.

The Chrysler Pacifica.

This fucking car…  I don’t get it.  It’s the weirdest thing, every time I’m driving behind one of these, in front of one of these, or if I just effing encounter one on the road – the driver is a complete asshat and/or retard.  Seriously!

It started back in like 2006 or 2007 when I was working out in Circuit City.  I was caught behind the biggest retard ever.  Doing like 10-15 below the speed limit (which aggravates me enough) but then this gets over in the passing lane for no reason other than to piss me off further.  Then he goes to take a turn, but feels the need to slow down to 5 MPH to ensure he doesn’t roll it.

“Oh ho ho ho, ooooo boy this turn is so sharp I can’t roll my precious Chrysler so I’mma take it down to a toddler’s pace just to be safe!”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Gawd…  So I thought nothing of it – I run into idiot drivers all the time, right?  Well, as time goes on, I start noticing a trend:

Everyone that drives a Pacifica drives like ass.

Next time you’re driving and you drive up to this:

You’ll fucking remember this post.  And you’re gonna be all like, “Damn, Adam was right.  Every Pacifica is driven by a mentally handicapped dickbag.”

K thanks.