31 March 2005

Ridgeline Road Test

I reported some time back on the new Honda Ridgeline pickup. Here's the first test I've seen of it, in Newsweek of all places.
Pretty, it's not. Practical, it certainly is. Need to haul 1,500 pounds of cargo? No problem. Want to tow something weighing 5,000 pounds? Sure. Its 3.5-liter, VTEC V-6, 255-horsepower engine is up to the job, and the four-wheel-drive traction works well. It also sports a tighter chassis than some other trucks in its price range, making it a stellar road handler. I felt completely safe plodding through L.A.'s rain-soaked streets during a recent storm; there wasn't a slip from the 17-inch wheels.

Not pretty? I think it looks great.
Still, I noticed one oversight: that all-important visor vanity mirror. Then again, maybe not everyone wants to check her lipstick while hauling 1,500 pounds of drywall.

Oh, that explains it! I always put mine on before I leave the house. Women testing pickups! What'll they think of next?

16 March 2005

Happy me!

The Mrs.' parts came in today and went in without complication. Set the toe-in and it's off to the alignment shop in the morning. I left it with the Indian this afternoon so he could drive it with an objective eye (I get anal with my own shit). I'm a HAPPY guy. Maybe tonight she'll let me move my bed back in from the garage.

Update: 15:10:

Indian just called and said he got it up to 70 on the S-turns in the hills near the shop and the car steers like a charm. I'm doing the Dance of Joy!

15 March 2005

Of course

Of course I can't get parts for the Mrs.' car in the aftermarket world so I hadda order 'em from Ford. Still waiting . . . The Mrs. still ain't happy . . . Car's still at the shop . . .

14 March 2005


The local news said this morning, that if you want to travel by car to all 5 Boroughs of NYC in one day, it would cost you a minimum of $27 in tolls. Welcome to New York, bring your wallet.

13 March 2005

Shit happens

I snagged a high curb with the right rear of Mrs. F's Explorer last night while I was getting gas on the way home from a restaurant. Thankfully, we weren't far from home because I couldn't get it over 20mph and I was getting a wicked oscillation when I tried, or when I hit a bump. I know I broke a control arm because the right rear wasn't pointing straight ahead last night. Thankfully, I didn't tweak the frame (all the doors open and close properly). I gotta head out and look at it in the daylight (and sober, let that be a lesson to me), and figure out exactly what I'll need for parts. Then I gotta call my friend Kenny to come with the flatbed and bring it to the shop. Oy! Let's just say the Mrs. ain't pleased. Thankfully, she left for Charlotte early this morning and won't be standing over me as I check out her car. She also made it known she has to drive to Philadelphia on Friday and intends to use the Explorer.

So, it sucks to be me this week, don't it?

Update: 09:45:

Just came back in from groveling under the Mrs.' car and it ain't as bad as I thought. I blew the right rear tie rod in half and the running board got shwacked, but nothing I can't fix easily with a minimum of parts and a run to the wheel alignment shop. Yay!!!!!

10 March 2005

Friendly advice

Even though Jeep calls it 'shift-on-the-fly' 4-wheel-drive, when your Grand Cherokee is 10 years old and has 198K on the odometer, it's not a good idea to slam it into 4x4 at 60 mph. Unless you want me to pick up your transfer case, and its contents, with a broom and snowshovel.

07 March 2005

Crash tests

DETROIT - The Dodge Neon, Ford Focus and Volkswagen's New Beetle are among the small cars that got the lowest safety rating in new side-impact crash tests performed by an independent, nonprofit organization.

[. . .]

Do I need to say any more than 'duh'? A small car doesn't survive accidents well, period. Basic physics, ladies and germs. If you're in something that weighs 2500 pounds and you're hit broadside by something that weighs 4500, you're gonna be seriously fucked up, I give a shit how many airbags you got. In fact, if I were driving a little car, I wouldn't want an airbag. I'd want to be killed outright rather than have my wife feed me and wipe my ass for the rest of my life. "Look, F-man lived through it but he has to breathe through his ears and piss out his nose." No thanks.

My point is, right or wrong, if you're in a little car, and you want great gas mileage, you're gonna give up some of the safety you get in an SUV. I give a shit what all these consumer reporters say, they ain't been in the business for 35 years. A full-framed vehicle survives an accident (and so do the passengers) better than a unibody. That's why the Mrs. drives an Explorer. I insist on it for her safety, just in case some moron (we got a lot of 'em here) decides to drive into her.

06 March 2005

Andele, Vatos!

I just watched the first-ever NASCAR Busch Grand National race in Mexico. It was held at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico city. It is a road course, naturally, as all the ovals in Mexico are for bullfights. I like road races because it's fun to watch the stock car boys try to turn right.

There were several Mexican drivers in the field, including a woman, Mara Reyes.

Local piloto Jorge Goeters (Ford, Brewco Motorsports) of Mexico City set fast time and led from the pole for quite a few laps until his motor went caca pupu, which is the only technical phrase I know in Spanish, and means "done blowed up" in English.

Martin Truex, DEI Chevy, won. Adrian Fernandez, Mexico's Athlete Of The Year and superstar driver, came home in the top ten.

I liked it. The facility is very nice, and hosted 105,000+ spectators.

The NASCAR truck drivers convoyed from the border, which must have been quite a sight for the locals along the route. Mrs. G says that they can fit quite a few pollos in the haulers for the trip back north!

01 March 2005

Really Dead Ed

Indian just called me. Our office guy, Dead Ed passed away a couple hours ago, finally succumbing to scleraderma. He fought it until the end. Take care, pal, and happy trails. Good to have known ya.

Ed Distilli