Friday, March 1, 2013

Way too many cars, need bigger garage soon!

No, not me, unfortunately.  But there's this guy I know...

Okay, I don't really know him well.  I've been in meetings with him.  He's my boss' boss' boss' boss.  Way above my head.

Looks like he bought another Ferrari last year.  From Ferrari Life:
"The Auction for Emilia - or how I came to own a 599XX EVO"


A co-worker pointed out that Ben has a LOT of nice cars.  I've seen his McLaren MP4-12C at work, in California.  Yes, his daily driver, apparently.  Yes, even VPs have to get to work somehow.  Pictures here:

Apparently (see thread below) he later got a custom plate for the car:
The instigating begins -- the McLaren has the license plate "I8A 4RRE" on its way  My wife promises retribution.
MP4 frame:
"I Love Ferraris
They Taste Like Chicken"

458 frame:
The Other White Meat"

We're just that kind of couple 

He is also active on various automotive forums.  Recently one of the posters on one such forum apparently didn't believe that he really owned all these cars.  Which led to this, as described by Jalopnik:
"Google Exec Proves His Identity On Car Forum In Most Hilarious Way Possible"

Looks like it started with this thread, on
"Two more excellent reasons to hate Treynor"
See, this is the danger of marrying a woman who is also a car enthusiast. Between the two of you, there's no longer any check and balance. The results can be... dramatic.
Notice Ben's signature on the forum.  Go ahead, click the links.  :)
Way too many cars, need bigger garage soon!

And the comments:
Someday I would love to walk into a dealership and "Accidentally" buy a Ferrari lol
My god man! An impulse buy? Did you have to cook at home a couple times this week to afford it lol? Very cool congrats!

We were wondering why he posted on an SVT forum.  According to Ben:
Originally Posted by daydark View Post
Why do you post on this forum? I'm sincerely curious. My impression is that you don't own a mustang. I'm not saying you must have a mustang to post here, but there are many other forums more suited to your "stable" than this one.
Fair question. Three reasons:

1. My first car was a '87 5.0 Mustang, and they've always had a special place in my heart.
2. I've been reading and posting here for about a decade, I know several of the people (including L.L.) who are here, and I like the ambiance.
3. This Thread keeps bringing me back 

A hint of what was to come:
Originally Posted by SVT F15O View Post
Maybe I am taking it the wrong way but this just seems like a really shitty post. 

I personally love his posts and wish more well off people were like Ben. A VERY wealthy person that shares the same interests as I do is pretty damn neat in my opinion. I find myself daydreaming what-if scenarios all the times. I'd be a little upset if he stopped posting here. Posts like yours don't make the site seem very welcoming. 

That's one of the great things about this site, we have all walks of life here. 

I think one of the best threads ever was where Treynor was called out for using a point and shoot camera to take pics of his 458. He responded not with words, but with a pic from a $60k+ camera 
It was not lost on the members of the forum that he took the later pictures with a camera worth more than most people's cars!

And the challenge:
Originally Posted by treynor View Post
I collect them all in my .sig, which I keep fairly up to date. I figured I'd make this thread the "charting the changes" log. But PM me if you've got a different request and I'll see what I can do; I'm trying to thread the needle between "here's pictures of cool stuff for a group which loves cars" and "here's my shameless brag thread full of expensive toys".
Speaking of requests, I don't think you're real. I request a picture of your new 12C Spyder with a piece of bread on the hood.

Naturally, Ben obliged:
LOL. Let me find a really cheap camera to use for the pic :-)

Another poster chimed in on the challenge:
I was on an offroad forum where some dude was fraudin. Posted all these badass race trucks, toy haulers etc... turned out it was one of the biggest copy/paste scams in all of the internets. 

Bread on the hood or gtfo
Ben replied:
All will soon be revealed. With Bread.
See pictures here:

And here:

How did we ever live without the Internet?  :)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Riding in The Now

As I've gotten busier and busier with work over the years, I've had to cut down on various motorcycle and car magazine subscriptions.  I currently only subscribe to one magazine: Motorcycle Consumer News (MCN).  Why?  Because it's the best.  Let me show you why.

In a recent issue of MCN, February 2013, Dave Searle wrote a piece called "Riding in the Now."  I hope someday MCN will post it to this page:

In the meantime, however, Dave was kind enough to share a copy of the article with me: Riding in the Now.

In my opinion, in the "Riding in the Now" piece, Dave absolutely NAILED IT.  Completely expressed the main reasons I ride.  GREAT piece of writing.
...many of us enjoy dangerous activities because the threat of harm keeps us in the present, in the Now.
Although I know it's easily possible to be distracted with thoughts while we ride, the concentration necessary to ride at a rapid pace makes that less likely.
When I'm flying down my favorite canyon road, reading the turns, feeling the tires, rolling the throttle, I have no time for other thoughts.
In fact, riding is the best way I know to exercise the muscle that wrestles all kinds of fear.  I worry when I see timid people take up riding.  For whatever reason, they have been compelled to put themselves in harm's way, but are insufficiently bold to deal with it.
I’d love to find enlightenment watching a sunset or climbing rocks beside a waterfall. It shouldn’t be necessary to place myself in danger. But for now, I know of no better way to dissolve the past and future and live in the Now than motorcycling.
Ironically, while the above piece is not posted, I did find this:

Dave titled it "Now" back in March 2003.  Yes, the above article I mentioned is a repeat, almost word for word, from 10 years ago!  I don't point this out to criticize.  In fact, I truly am happy that he saw fit to run this piece again, years later, now that I'm in a better position to appreciate the wisdom in it.

Additionally, in the same February 2013 issue of MCN Mark Barnes also nailed it.  He also captured a main reason why we ride, Happiness.
So, motorcycles are happiness machines.  Not because they supply us with non-stop, effortless fun, but because they present difficult challenges and serious risks that we can take on with at least some degree of modulation to fit our immediate level of need.  They help us get back to our personal centers, with just the right amount of adventure.  We have to do some struggling to acquire and sustain the necessary knowledge and skills, and we have to endure the inherent discomforts and costs, but in return we gain access to whatever amount of novelty and challenge we need.  This is a terrific deal--use it.

Two great articles about why I ride in one magazine.  Very well done.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bad River

Another story showing the hypocrisy of the left.  It's okay, go ahead, feign surprise if you like.  I understand.

Before we get started, I want you to think about your vision of an Indian.  A proud Native American.  Sitting on a horse on the plains, perhaps?  Hunting in the forest?  I'll come back to this later.

Let me get to the main story.  You might not know this but there is a company, Gogebic Taconite, that his proposing to build an iron ore mine in Northern Wisconsin.  There is iron in the ground up there; the county adjacent to the county where I grew up is called Iron County for a reason.  The mines have been closed for a long time, however.  The locals want this mine for the good jobs it would provide.

The left, the Democrats, have been doing everything in their power to stop the mine from being built.  One group caught my eye more than others, though.

From the Huffington Post:
"Wisconsin Iron Mine Project Faces Challenge From Bad River Band Of Lake Superior Chippewa" by Todd Richmond
"The view you get here is the view your ancestors had," tribal chairman Mike Wiggins Jr. said as he scrolled through photos of the reservation's beaches and spectacular sunsets on his laptop. "These things really do matter."

Tribal leaders fear run-off from mine waste will poison the watershed with sulfuric acid and sulfates. Democrats and conservationists agree. A Lawrence University study conducted on behalf of the state's Chippewa tribes concluded that the waste rock could generate acidic run-off, but state officials say there hasn't been an authoritative analysis.
From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
"Bad River Chippewa could have say in Gogebic iron ore mine"  by Lee Bergquist

And their statement, on The Water's Edge:

Now let's take a look a look at reality.  The Bad River Chippewa Indians are HYPOCRITES.  They run a wastewater treatment plant that has violated pollution standards for years.

From Media Trackers:
"EPA Data Points to Clean Water Act Violations by Bad River Chippewa" by Brian Sikma
In particular, the reports indicate that the tribe has been releasing excessive amounts of E. coli, phosphorous, and suspended solids into Denomonie Creek, which, according to an issued permit, runs into the Bad River.
A 2009 investigative report by the New York Times found hundreds of facilities around the country that were in violation of Clean Water Act standards. No other facility in Wisconsin, according to that report, had more violations of the Clean Water Act than the Bad River Band’s wastewater treatment facility. The report called the facility a polluter and implied that it was contributing to lower water quality.
Now THAT is saying something.  More violations than any other wastewater plant in the state???  Remember, they're competing with Milwaukee, which dumps vast amounts of raw sewage into Lake Michigan regularly.

Listen to these lies from the Bad River Band of Chippewa:
The Bad River Band and Chairman Wiggins have consistently expressed tremendous concern over water quality in northern Wisconsin as debate over the proposed mine continues to unfold. They argue in part that diminished water quality would negatively impact the wild rice beds of the reservation. In a letter posted to a blog, Wiggins declared, “without our wild rice and Kakagon Sloughs, we won’t live.” State Rep. Nick Milroy (D), declared at one legislative hearing on the mine, “Wild rice is the Eucharist of the Ojibwa people. If we take that away from them, we take away everything that they believe in.”
I don't think we should be listening to a single word the Bad River Chippewa say.  Their words mean nothing.

As promised above, let's go back to our vision of an Indian.  What did you come up with?  Well, let me tell you about what I saw when I was growing up.

Driving through Odanah in the 70's and 80's, seeing the cars lined up at the smoke shop.  Yes, cars.  They had a drive-thru window just to buy cigarettes--by the carton--to avoid the federal cigarette taxes by buying on an Indian reservation.

Later I remember the Casino being built.  There were always cars in that parking lot.  People love to stand in there and put money in the walls.  I didn't understand it then and I don't understand it now.

And through it all, one image stays with me.  The image of the Indian walking with a six-pack in his hands from the gas station on the highway back to his trailer.

I'm not sure exactly how building an iron mine interferes with any of these traditional Indian activities.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Google Glass, closer to reality?

Do you like Google Glass?  I do.  I can't wait.  In the meantime, check this information out:

Google Glass web page:

You can sign up to get Glass ... if you pay $1500.  That's still a bit steep for me.  But if YOU get it, please share!

And a video, showing what Glass is all about.
"How It Feels [through Glass]" from Google

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gun Control or People Control?

Great point.  There is no such thing as gun control.

"Former Secret Service Agent on the 2nd Amendment"

"There is no such thing as gun control.  Don't co-opt their language.  There is only people control."

"I don't remember ever having the conversation, during my years in the Secret Service, 'I mean listen, we're taking the President to Baltimore or to Chicago, so let's just disarm because they have really strict gun control laws.'"

"I never, in 15+ years of doing this, have ever arrested or investigated someone on a gun crime who had that gun legally."