Monday, July 30, 2007

The future is going to suck

Thinking about cars tonight reminds me of a conversation Frankie and I had about American muscle cars a few months back when I tried to convince him that I could move to Ireland, work on Chevys and Fords and charge an extra 140 percent margin for servicing "foreign cars."

I saw it as a can't miss opportunity for career advancement, but Frankie thinks I'm an idiot.

The part we didn't see eye to eye on was the overwhelming loyalty to the American muscle car. I still think that there will always be a spot in someone's garage for an old Nova or a Mustang that won't run. I refuse to believe anything else.

At the very least, there will be morons like myself who will overpay for a car just because it runs. I guess it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, huh?

The big thing I think about whenever we go to car shows now is what we'll be seeing in 15, 20 or 30 years from now when we go to "classic" shows. There's not much difference between most sedans anymore and I have no interest in seeing a Corolla for free, much less for 10 bucks a head. Or whatever the currency of the future might be - my money is on the Shrutebuck.

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If I ever have to move to Naperville, I'm getting one of these

All apologies to Frank the Tank, but if I ever get shuffled out to the burbs, I'm totally going this route with my state-issued crotchfruit transport vehicle.

I love this sort of crazy shit.

There are whole subsections of car culture focused on tricking out cars that have no business being worked on. Station wagons, old delivery trucks, Good Humor trucks and others. If you need any other evidence, I'm pretty sure College Humor has all sorts of redneck-constructed vehicles that you can mock for hours on end.

So, having seen this, I know what Frankie and I will be doing the first few months after I move back, when the weather turns and life is better lived in a warm garage.

It's a pretty simple phrase, "220 mile per hour Volvo."

(As a really funny side note a Google search for "drag race" brings up a lot of stories and pictures of drag queens, racing in high heels. Considering the demographic who actually search the web for drag racing stories, I think this is funny on several levels. It's awesome.)

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Happy to be an adult today

It's been a busy summer so far. Between the wedding coming up this fall, the move a week or so before that and all of the usual chaos that comes with the summer workload at the shop, it's hard to keep track of the days flying by... save the gaps I see on the blogs where "I'll write tomorrow" turns into once a week or less.

In the midst of all of this, is the need to mature a little to make sure arrangements are made, rides are taken care of and deadlines are met to make sure we don't have flower-less or guest-less problems at the wedding.

While The Girl is taking care of all of this, I try to keep up to date enough that if I needed to, I could close out the hanging issues. After a week of project management, I just have little to know motivation to try and PM my life.

That's where The Girl comes in. While it will get its own post soon, her recent project of collecting all of my old, unpaid bills, student loans and other financial sinkholes has given me a great deal of peace as I no longer worry about when my accounts will be frozen or when my truck and television - the only real assets I have - would be taken and sold at auction.

Much like any other stressor in life, you don't realize how much something bothered you until it doesn't anymore.

It was a grown-up move to get things back on track, but like most grown-up things in life, it's pretty boring, costs you money and isn't something you can show off to your buddies - like say, a classic car or a boat.

Today, however, adulthood paid off when my old TV took a nose dive and needed to be replaced. With the cost of repairing a six year old TV equal to or greater than the price of replacing it with the same type, it was a pretty simple decision.

However, months of being a homebody, eating in, hanging out with the dog and not buying cars or boats leaves room in the budget for new LCD televisions. It also makes it easier to justify stepping into the high definition world and further cementing my status as an old guy who hangs around the house with his old lady.

You win this round, adulthood...

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The hunter becomes the hunted

There was a point in time where athletes - and for the sake of this post, baseball players - were pretty normal guys.

Before inflated salaries made "sports star" a high end profession on the pay scale, most players made a few thousand a year and lived comfortably, but not miles apart from a mechanic, baker or reporter.

I've read pieces that suggest players and reporters traveling together on the team's dime wasn't such a massive conflict of interest in the 30s and 40s because they were all in the same basic pay grade.

That's what was interesting about this interview that Deadspin - how do you categorize Will Leitch? Kingpin? Founder? Overlord? - writer Will Leitch did on ESPN Radio.

The question about Deadspin's Super Bowl coverage came up and Scott Van Pelt's assertion that ESPN's on-air talent was being stalked as the bloggers waited for them to screw up.

All of this is reminiscent of the change the sports world saw when players went from being categorized as athletes and became celebrities and entertainers.

Not so much fun, is it fellas?

I'd need a lot more space than would be interesting or worthwhile here to get into the whole dynamic and what I consider to be out of bounds - not that I have any great insight, I just have a lot of opinions.

There are a lot of other facets to the interview and larger discussion - mainly the emergence of Internet journalism versus it being a new format for knuckleheads to spew stupidity - but it seems that the years of peace and professional courtesy afforded by the established media are coming to an end.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

The big news

With the cat out of the bag for all the interested parties, it's safe to throw around some cheap excuses here.

We're going home in October, which means moving back to Chicago and hopefully settling back into the lives that I really enjoyed until our move up north.

I'm waiting for the dust to settle, while still keeping the head of steam moving along at the baseball site, so please be patient.

I'm sure there's a whole slew of posts about home, family, moving costs and all sorts of grown-up stuff just waiting to come pouring down the pipe. It's a proven fact that you get a great deal of perspective from these sorts of life-changing events - you won't be able to shut me up in a few weeks.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros

For anyone not watching Flight of the Conchords on HBO, you now have no real excuse.

While it's pulling heavily from their stand up routines, that's not a bad thing. Here's why:

Now, HBO has the episodes streaming on their web site, but only for last week's show. If you're not following this (after Entourage) on Sundays, check it out here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Minnesota, in a nutshell

They don't call it "The State of Hockey" for nothing, as evidenced by the United States Hockey Hall of Fame which is way, way up north in Eveleth, MN.

As I was looking for a place for dinner last night, I accidentally found the world's largest hockey stick. Honestly, I should have been a little more surprised than I actually was.

I have a few pictures here and here, with my favorite here.

The fact that there's a sign up in town that points you in the direction of The Big Stick is one of the most awesome things I've ever seen on a sign.

There appears to be a little rivalry going, with another "Largest Stick" in Canada and mentions of the new and old one in Minnesota - seems like someone had to up the ante to keep those Canucks in their place. The Minnesota one is also listed as the largest authentic stick - what justifies that distinction is beyond me.

Just to make the whole thing more complete for me, when you Google "Big Stick, Minnesota" you get a ton of stories about the state fair and the unnatural attraction to foods on a stick that probably shouldn't be.

These are the things I'll tell my children about.

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