Last Call: Trip A Edition

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I don’t care how little OCD you might claim to have, there’s just something universally satisfying about when this happens.
Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day.  It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.
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  1. Maybe this warrants its own post, but I’ve been watching a replay of the Indycar GP of St. Petersburg, and it got me wondering – which on-air team is most out of touch when it comes to actually calling a race? I submit to you that Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever are possibly the least exciting pair of former drivers to ever sit in front of a camera.

  2. As an expert movie-trailer watcher*, I have seen the new Top Gear, and it is good. I’ve been skeptical of the reboot, but I think seeing them laughing through the ridiculous and the sublime is the key to the whole thing.
    *Without previews, I can pick good movies about 10% of the time. Sturgeon’s revelation. With previews, my sheet says I’m currently at 55%.

    1. Ironic? More likely he killed it because it was his predecessor’s project. Usually, the higher up you go in an organization, the more petty the people.

      1. That would also make sense. I just thought it was funny he killed off a mid-engined sports car project because it was “impractical and costly” and then turned around a few years later and built a mid-engined sports car in what was, in my eyes, an impractical and costly way.

  3. Craft beer is utterly useless. Unless you have a big, silly beard. I don’t pour beer on my fruit. Don’t put fruit in my beer. And I live in a town with numerous micro-breweries. I like Yeungling, Labatt’s and Molson.

    1. I’ve always kept a foot in both worlds. You’re absolutely correct, in my book, that blueberries and all that are really off-putting. Craft beers can be quite tasty, though, without being a psychedelic trip for your taste buds. Thankfully, they’re starting to make them in lower-alcohol varieties (still freaking high, though!)
      Of course, I do have a big silly beard, so my opinions are suspect. But it’s more this kind of beard than the one you’re referencing…

    2. It depends on the craft beer. The local brewery here ( http://fargobrewing.com/ ) stays pretty reasonable… the flagship (Wood Chipper, b/c the Coen brothers’ movie) is an IPA, then they have two ales (Stone’s Throw = Scottish, Iron Horse = pale) and a porter (Sodbuster) to round out the year-round lineup.

    3. It’s one of those things that people like to like because its cool to like it. The actual taste seems to be hit or miss, but I like trying new beers when I get a chance. None of that quintuple hopped IPA stuff though, that’s the beer equivalent of making chili with habaneros or ghost peppers just to make it more extreme so that those with high pain thresholds can feel better about themselves for tolerating the end result.

      1. Ha! I do actually enjoy very spicy food, but spice has to contain a compatible amount of flavor. I feel the same way about beer, minus the heat. There are just some flavors that simply do not meld well together. Beer and fruit live on opposite sides of the fence in my world of tastes…

    4. I’m no beer snob… High Life is my go-to.
      But I do like to try new stuff when I want to forget what I did that day.

    5. I’m not a beer snob, but I like porters and stouts, which seem to be hard to come by, and the craft beer industry is upping the selection of those types of beers, although at a ratio of about 1:50,000 for stouts released to pale ales released… (I freaking hate pale ales.)

    6. As a Canadian, I feel entitled to say Labatts and Molson are awful (although Labatts at least has Alexander Keiths, which is decent for a macrobrew). And my wife starts telling me I look homeless long before my beard can get big and silly. For every microbrewery that wants to take some long-extinct Bavarian beer style, and then make it taste like a PB&J, there’s one that makes pretty typical varieties, but don’t use corn for the cost cutting.
      Actually, Labatt 50 is okay, but basically only available in hipstery places anyhow.

  4. This morning, I was able to tell the executive director of a homeless program, serving a quadrant of my state, about the LeMons initiative to provide car repairs to low income people.
    I was at a conference that was focused on the difficulties posed by the structure of government assistance programs, which disadvantage people substantially as they (re)enter the job market and start earning higher wages. Folks working at low wage, unskilled and precarious jobs are hostage to their ability to reliably get to work on time, much less pick their kids up from day care, go shopping and all the rest. Too often public transit just can’t cut it. And, shocker, poor folks often have the oldest, least reliable vehicles.
    I am totally impressed by this LeMons project, and hope it takes root and spreads. Helping people to help themselves, so they can be contributing, productive members of society, and manage to permanently get off of government support. The only thing better, would be for these LeMons folk to incorporate training and education into this car maintenance, so car owners can take on more of their car’s maintenance needs themselves.

  5. While being the most faithful of servants to my kids yesterday morning, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful cover of white snow that had made it all the way down to us. My plan for the “free thursday” had been to continue working on a room in the dark and damp basement which I am fixing up, but an epic battle of morality ensued whether I’d rather go cross-country skiing or not. A quarter of a second later I started packing my stuff. The relevance here? The last stretch of ~20 miles to the high mountains was oddly deserted – it’s the winter vacation now and I had expected a lot of people. But they seemed to stay in their cabins, and the solo men that usually drop work on days like this to populate these roads and mountains…well, they weren’t there either. Sideways van driving ensued.
    http://s8.postimg.org/4ffxigng5/DSC_0066.jpg
    http://s8.postimg.org/d6mycq6r9/DSC_0067.jpg
    http://s8.postimg.org/bg3xb8p85/DSC_0070.jpg
    http://s8.postimg.org/i7uce3e7p/DSC_0071.jpg
    A good start on a perfect day.

  6. So, this week the ti lost a brake line. I haven’t gotten under it yet to be sure, but given the puddle of brake fluid under the driver’s seat when I came out from work. it’s a safe bet that the main front to back line let go. Thankfully it happened in the parking lot at work and not on the road.
    So, it got towed home and I’ve been driving the Mazda3 this week. That led to the discovery of a nice shake at highway speeds (daughter: “Oh, yeah, I meant to tell you about that.”) which led to poking my head in the front wheel wells and shaking tie rods (both good) which then led to the discovery of very worn control arm bushings. At 170K, I guess it’s time.

  7. Dedication to OCD is remembering to reset your trip meter at 122,667. I’ll be writing myself a note.

  8. The Elgrand post has me thinking. I’m appreciating vans more these days. Around here, folks will shell out another $20k that they don’t have and get a Suburban or Tahoe to haul their kids and stuff around less conveniently. I only have the two offspring, but every time they get to fighting in the back seat of Mrs. Neight’s sedan, the value of opening a door remotely and having them quickly and autonomously place themselves in separate rows sounds like the kind of attainable quality of life improvement opportunity that doesn’t come around too often.

    1. My perception is that the reserved attitude lots of people have towards vans is coming around again. Just witness all those “vans are really better than SUVs”-posts across the car-web – may it be here, at or whatever. I’m not good at getting the emotional side of this whole thing – why did people buy SUVs instead of vans in the first place? Dunno – but for a family it definitely makes sense to get the most space out of the least footprint (something that also ensures the least cost for the amount of space purchased). We have used our seven seater for hauling droves of kids a lot of times, ferrying visitors back and forth etc. Won’t miss it.
      That said, there are seven seaters around that are, emotionally speaking, absolute winners.
      http://m.en.autogidas.lt/gaz-kitas-universalas-1975-0125619274.html?return=YToyOntzOjQ6InBhdGgiO3M6MTQ6Ii9hdXRvbW9iaWxpYWkvIjtzOjY6InBhcmFtcyI7YToxOntzOjM6ImZfMSI7czozOiJHQVoiO319
      http://autogidas-img.dgn.lt/4_17_51515032/gaz-kitas-universalas-1975.jpg
      http://autogidas-img.dgn.lt/4_17_51515080/gaz-kitas-universalas-1975.jpg
      http://autogidas-img.dgn.lt/4_17_51515085/gaz-kitas-universalas-1975.jpg

      1. See, there’s no reason that couldn’t be done in a modern Subaru Outback, which I also like. There’s definitely a cyclical thing of popularity/resentment/acceptance going on the car intarwebs regarding vans. Regionally, there is still a cultural tie back to a more rural lifestyle where everyone needed a truck fairly often, so when we have kids, we think, “I should get the truckiest thing I can and still haul my kids in it.” There’s profit in those types of irrationalities. I just need to seat them as far away from each other as possible.

        1. Here in the Ozarks, that is certainly the case. Many people still seem to have the belief that bigger is safer, so a suburban or Tahoe is the natural choice for hauling a child around.

          1. No doubt this is contagious. You wouldn’t want to be flattened by a huge truck in a Civic seven seater…so that is, sort of, a rationale right there.
            I’d love to see a seven seater Outback! But I think there is one big issue with it: Modern wagons are so incredibly “built in”. Plastic cladding all the way reduces both cargo capacity in width and height quite a lot. Would it fit? Dunno. Volvo stopped offering extra seats in the boot (V70) in the 00’s, if I recall it correctly.

    2. I am a big fan of the modern minivan. Nothing really does more things better. 6-8 passengers, 25-29 MPG, swallow 4×8 sheet stock, tow light trailers, comfy, easy to maneuver, etc. Lots of vehicles can top one or two of those things, but a van does them all.
      That said, when we went from our ’99 Odyssey to a 2010 Saturn Outlook (for increased towing capacity), there was definitely something satisfying about driving that big CUV that the van lacked. There was less room inside, for sure, and an average of 17 MPG really sucked, but it felt more solid, looked better and just felt more upscale. Certainly, 11 model years newer and more toys were part of the equation, but a big part was the butch looks and heft.
      But every time I packed a bunch of gear on the hitch mounted rack because I couldn’t get it all inside like I could in the van, I missed that Ody.

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