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Posts By: Jeff Puthuff
Some of you were around earlier today when TTAC went dark. Our main man Marshall was bringing the site up to code after a disastrous pre-VerticalScope encounter with Estonian programmers alienated us from WordPress compatibility (go figure). Well, we came back from the other side of the moon relatively intact. But there’s a bannage bug that’s sent out an error message to the multitudes saying you’re banned. Well, you’re not. Well, some of you are, and those of you who are know who you are. The rest of your aren’t and I apologize for impugning your good name. We’re sorting this out STAT. Meanwhile, the plugin is deactivated. If you WP pros see any suspicious code lurking about—when and how the bug manifested itself—I’d be most appreciative if you dropped Jeff a line. The good news: the upgrade clears the way for our redesign, one that you will enjoy. RF
During the last three weeks, our WordPress software has [wrongly] interecepted some of our Best and Brightest’s comments as spam. While we sympathize, we really have no control over what e-mails get flagged this way. Perhaps you participate on another blog that uses Akismet and that blog has misidentified you as a spammer. If so, Akismet will identify your username, e-mail address and/or IP address as a spammer and hold your comments for manual approval. We manually release all such comments—once we check the filter. One of the admins has to do this, so it may take some time before the comment appears under the post. If you resubmit the comment, it only compounds the problem; we have to tell Akismet, “No, Not Spam,” for each submission and then manually delete the duplicates. If your comment doesn’t appear immediately, please have patience. We’ll eventually get to it and release it into the wild. Thank you for your understanding.
Our fine government is a model of efficiency. Why just a week ago, the statistics for year 2007 vehicle thefts were published in the June 10, 2009, Federal Register. I’d hate to think how long these stats would have taken to compile without the advantage of computerization. I digress. Let’s take a look at the data.
Now is the time to clear out the cobwebs, dust off the servers, tidy up the code, and polish the site. The frenzy of breaking (bad) news, sales and takeovers, and flamewars has somewhat subsided and we take this time now to vet some ideas we’ve been kicking around.
First, are you, our loyal readers, satisfied with the number and time of postings? More specifically, do you prefer the way we do it now with a bunch of postings made early in the morning, a few an hour until around noon PST, and then a posting or three in the afternoon; or, would you prefer we schedule the posts to publish every hour throughout the day? Does the current method give you enough time to read the article and participate in the comments?
TTAC reached 10,000 posts on Wednesday!
We couldn’t have done it without the 12,000+ subscribers, 1,000,000+ unique visitors (monthly), numerous contributors, and the 250,000+ comments made so far.
Here’s to 10,000 more posts!
“Inside the Obama White House” (which re-airs today at 12 p.m. EST on NBC) gives us a rare glimpse inside the US President’s limousine, known as Cadillac One. This isn’t “The Beast,” the newest limo built by GM and delivered shortly before Obama’s inauguration, but one delivered while G. W. Bush was still in office. This DTS-lookalike-but-not-really is rumored to have an Escalade powertrain including all-wheel drive. I did a cursory search and came up with bupkis on other video shot from inside a moving US presidential limo, so what can we learn? Ignore the chitchat between the President and Brian Williams and listen to the super-annoying rattle and the surprisingly-noticeable exhaust note. Also, note the dearth of luxury on the inside: cloth seats, vinyl trim, etc. Oooh, and they weren’t wearing their seatbelts!!!
What do you do when your £50,000 ($82,000) Range Rover requires, in the span of 42,000 miles, the following repairs?
- Six front ball joints;
- Four front arm bushes [bushings?];
- One new seat base;
- Front and rear [near side?] struts;
- Air conditioning system;
- Anti-roll bar bushes; and
- A “full” suspension unit
Yes, I realize animated GIFs are so twentieth century, but when I try to explain how my car cover works, I’m often met with looks of confusion and bewilderment. Known as SmartCover, this product lands between the nearly useless cardboard/foil foam windshield reflector and a whole-car-takes-ten-minutes-to-unfurl-and-position-before-you-realize-it’s-inside-out cover in both price and usability.
Summers in the California Central Valley are brutal. Just last week we had a few days of 100°+ temperatures that cause the leather interiors of most cars to become skin singers. First-degree burns on the backs of thighs aren’t fun (don’t ask me how I know). When you think about it, what good is a windshield shade if the sun is in its highest position or if your car is pointing away from the rising or setting sun? Not much good at all. Better to shield all your car’s windows if you’re going to bother.
Folsom, CA (Yuppie-burb of Sacramento) is in my neck of the woods. I was browsing the online car ads of my local struggling newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, and was struck by the number of trucks for sale.
“We’ve got more trucks than ever before . . . ” Yes, over 1,000 is quite a lot. (Get it?)
Does PETA know about this? But seriously, some racehorse owners have too much money.
Currently, there are numerous bills in Congress that relate to cars. So many, in fact, that it’s near impossible to keep track of them all. The fine folks at govtrack.us have developed some tools that are enabling TTAC to stay informed on just what’s happening on the Hill. We thought you’d want to know, too. We’re mainly concerned with the scrappage schemes proffered by our representatives, but we’re tracking any bill that has to do with cars or driving.
The list is long. Really long. And growing. But, just because a bill has been introduced doesn’t mean that it will become law. Most bills never make it out of committee and die at the end of session. As we reported earlier, regarding the cash-for-clunkers bill, “Assistant to the Speaker Van Hollen suggested a vote might not take place this year.”
Car-Related Bills in Congress
In California, weary road warriors who need a place to temporarily rest have few options if they’re traveling outside the reaches of its sprawling cities. The drive between the capital and L.A. is especially dreary: miles and miles of industrial farms, oleander and eucalyptus trees. Worse, rest stops are barely-maintained, glorified pit toilets. You’ll never forget the stench of an I-5 rest stop toilet hut.