Posts By: W Christian Mental Ward

By on May 3, 2014

Do_not_press_button

 Years ago, a coworker constructed a sinister device. Inside of a RadioShack project box he attached a capacitor, a battery, and a 120 decibel personal alarm. On the outside he attached a simple on/off switch, and a button he labeled “Do Not Press.”  He would leave this in conspicuous places, and invariably, someone would pick it up, turn on the power, and press the button despite clear instructions to the contrary. The alarm would shriek and the capacitor ensured that once the power was applied, the alarm could not be turned off until you accessed a hidden reset port with a straightened paper clip to interrupt the circuit. As sinister of a prank as this was, it played upon a human trait; people, especially men, enjoy pressing a button that they’re told not to touch. (Read More…)

By on April 15, 2014

IMG_7500

You don’t have to be interested in coffee to appreciate Cars and Coffee. You don’t even have to be that interested in cars. But if you haven’t attended one, you are missing one of the great grassroots events this grand land of ours has to offer. It is an unfettered melting pot of every gearhead facet of interest and a decidedly pleasant experience you can enjoy with the entire family.

(Read More…)

By on March 22, 2014

Chris-Holmes-Pontiac-3

 The folks over at Metalsucks.net picked up on a recent craigslist post that Chris Holmes, a founding member and guitarist for the 80′s hair band W.A.S.P. until 1990, is selling his “baby.” He will not be taking his 1987 Trans Am and has apparently already left the United States.

The 56 year-old is pursuing opportunities in Europe and while the folks at Metalsucks.net have a rather amusing take on that, we are car people. As such, we will focus on this rock-star quality ride.\
(Read More…)

By on December 7, 2013

BABE Rally 027

This is the final installment of Mental’s adventures in the BABE Rally in 2011. By now their van has been traded for beer. They are looking for a ride to New Orleans and still have to find a way home.

Just outside of Talladega Alabama, the wheels I borrowed from my shop mate have become props for the evening parking lot games. My wife and I manage to secure rides, but in separate cars. That’s probably safer for me anyhow.

She will ride with “The Scots.” They are exactly what you think; two Scottish friends and a sister that have spent their last two vacations coming to America just for this event.

I hitch with “The Ginger Kids.” They are also exactly what you think, a young, fair-skinned, scarlet-headed trio. The BABE rally prior, the driver’s car had broken down in front of the house of a young girl. The ensuring conversation resulted in a yearlong romance and this year she accompanied him and his friend for the rally. You can’t make this stuff up.

(Read More…)

By on December 1, 2013

camry44

Kreutzer was too damm old for this. It had been a mistake to go back to the orphanage, but he couldn’t bear the thought of those small faces going hungry one more night. The briefcase from the last job would keep the bills paid for at least another year. It was worth it, but they had been watching.

They hit he as he exited on the ground floor. He quickly dispatched the first two but a third managed to get a solid shot to his ribs before Kreutzer’s notorious right hook sent him crumbling to the ground. But there were more.

There were always more.
(Read More…)

By on December 1, 2013
Seems like an odd place to bed down for the night.

Seems like an odd place to bed down for the night.

This is part 3 of a 4-part misadventure Mental embarked on in a $400 minivan sans AC. After being awake for 41 hours the Lumina MPV had let them down and was being attended to by a team of misguided and certainly intoxicated mechanics…

As promised, the van was running the next AM, but still required some new parts.  The nearest parts store a few minutes down the road, next to the aforementioned Alabama Museum. Dekalb Auto Parts, it is a true independent family owned auto parts store. Sticking out of the side of the building is the back half of a Datsun station wagon. They were well stocked, knowledgeable and found the parade of festive colored crapcans rather interesting. If you are ever in Ft Payne Alabama, give them your business.

(Read More…)

By on November 28, 2013
Just to keep the door's operational status updated.

Just to keep the door’s operational status updated.

Welcome to part II of Mental’s BABE Rally misadventures. Read on about his tempting of fate, the security of his marriage and his own personal safety by dragging his wife across the US in a $400 minivan without AC. Spoiler alert, his wife didn’t kill him but he did have to sleep on the couch for a while. When we last left our intrepid traveler, he was in a hotel parking lot at 7 AM on his way to the “Tail of the Dragon.”

It’s 7 AM, we have had a shower and I have downed my 5th styrofoam cup of coffee. Our Luminia MPV is covered in sidewalk chalk and rally stickers. As we made ready for departure, the Miata needed some attention, so we were already late.

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By on November 27, 2013

BABE ralley 2011 031

This is the first of a 4 part series about Mental tempting both fate and the security of his marriage by driving across hallway across the US, down through the south and (not quite) back to Oklahoma in a $400 Chevy Lumina minivan. Spoiler alert: his wife didn’t kill him but he did have to sleep on the couch for a while…

Jay Lamm, Chief Perpetrator of the 24 Hours of LeMons wrote that “racing isn’t just for rich idiots, it’s for all idiots.” Chumpcar has a similar philosophy. That covers racing, but what about tours de elegance?  There is an abundance of marque specific or classic car tours available across the US for more well-to-do enthusiasts; they offer a great deal of fraternal experiences, scenic views and luxury accommodations. Unfortunately, the fees start in the used Corolla range and can exceed the price of a new Chevy Cruz.

To paraphrase Mr. Lamm, what about the rest of us idiots?  Up until 2012, there was the option of the BABE Rally.

(Read More…)

By on November 26, 2013

My boss and I drive the same style rental slug Toyota over here, but when his was due for service, instead of a replacement Fortuner, I spotted a 2011 Chevy Caprice in his parking spot. Having spent almost a year without a proper V-8 under my foot, I convinced him we needed to take that […]

By on November 26, 2013

Toyota is one of the largest manufacturers of cars in the world. It’s not a surprise, especially if you have travelled out of the US. They are everywhere. I have only owned three Toyotas; a coma-inducing silver Camry DX, and two MKII Supras. Despite my lack of ownership, I have spent a sizeable portion of my […]

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