By on December 30, 2016

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You’ve heard a lot in the media about how 2016 has been Literally Hitler Terrible. Princess Leia died. Donald Trump was elected. The McRib only returned in selected markets.

I can’t sympathize with those people. 2016 worked out fine for me, and it was the first year since 2012 that I wasn’t hospitalized for some injury. That doesn’t mean that I’m not resolved to make 2017 even better. Have you made your resolutions yet? If not, I have a few suggestions:


Make this the year you learn more about driving. This applies equally to sixteen-year-olds on their learner’s permit and SCCA National Champions. Get out there and become better at your craft. Don’t be afraid to learn from other people and to take competent advice. Face your shortcomings head-on. Speaking personally, I’m resolved to be better at single qualifying laps this year, and I’m going to do it by increasing my aggression level and taking more detailed notice of visual markers on-track.

Make a bold automotive choice, if you can. Are you shopping for a car this year? Get something that’s not nine useless inches off the ground. Buy something interesting, something smart, something that isn’t just another blobular bullshit square-mobile. Stop using your annual Home Depot trip or your Thanksgiving-turkey-sized designer baby to justify a Toyota Sequoia or a Honda Pilot. Get a car.

Learn how to do something to your car. Change the oil. Put winter wheels on. Rebuild a Kugelfischer injection system. Whatever level you’re currently on, step it up a notch.

Help somebody else out. What do you have sitting in your garage or basement that could make a real difference in someone else’s life? Sell it cheap or give it away.

Finally:

Take a moment to understand someone else. Maybe you’re a Burligame-based merchant banker with a seven-figure annual income. Maybe you’re a dirt-poor Sunfire driver in Mississippi. No matter who you are, the next time you’re tempted to dismiss someone’s opinion because they match an unpleasant stereotype in your head, take a moment to consider that other person’s perspective. This goes double — no, triple — for those of you with contempt for everyday working Americans. Take a moment to consider the value of someone else’s opinion.

As for my actual list of New Year’s resolutions, it’s something like this, if you care:

  • Compete in fifteen wheel-to-wheel races in 2017.
  • Spend thirty days on-track.
  • Guide my son to wins and podiums in 206cc karting.
  • Return to skatepark riding. Get back up to the coping of a ten-foot halfpipe.
  • Listen to new music.
  • Improve as a guitarist and singer.
  • Read more diverse opinions and perspectives.
  • Do a hundred pushups in a row.
  • Clean the basement.

I’ll see you all in 2017!

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142 Comments on “QOTD: Are You Resolved?...”


  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    If we actually take the vehicle off road semi-frequently (say, 1x a month) can we buy something with 9 useless inches of ground clearance?

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Hey I bought one of the last Saab 9-5’s this year so I avoided the CUV craze and I changed a tire for someone today.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I think things are set for me the way they are.

  • avatar
    B.C.

    “first year since 2012 that I wasn’t hospitalized for some injury” … there’s still a day and a half left, y’know.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      Good point – a little time at the skatepark and especially at the half pipe could certainly keep that streak alive.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Damn. Haven’t been hospitalized, but each of the last 5 years I’ve suffered an injury that’s taken at least a painful month to heal. I’ve been congratulating myself on finally breaking that cycle, and you have to remind me there’s still time.

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    I’ll buy a cheap Jaguar and let it bleed me dry.

    There’s a cherry 98 XJ-6 in the ads right now.

    Unfortunately, I’d still wonder what driving and owning a V12 XJS is like.

    Here be seamonsters…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      That should be AJ-V8 and not the AJ16 you might be expecting. AJ-V8 has a known defect in the Nikasil iron cylinder liners which leads to cylinder decompression and can ruin the motor. Jaguar performed a silent recall at the time and replaced motors have a plaque stating this which faces the firewall IIRC. Every AJ-V8 had this defect until August 2000, I believe also the replacement engines but do your due diligence to confirm. You have been warned :)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaguar_AJ-V8_engine

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I already help people out too much, and I have learned to somewhat understand those in different positions in society (not quite accept, but at least understand), and I’ve done so much to cars over the years that I’m almost ready to start paying others to do it for me.
    But, I aknowledge that my driving skills are really deteriorating as I get older. As my oldest is reaching legal driving age (it’s 18 here, but you can start learning at 16 after a small drivers theory class) I’m trying to teach him how to drive properly, and I have noticed some bad habits I need to unlearn.
    And I’m really tempted to replace the safe Japanese thing with way to many inches of ground clearance with some manitenace nightmare that has decent seats and have given some thought to ergonomics.
    It’s not easy to find a rear seat that can handle an adult and two childseats, but as the oldest is mostly with his boyfriend already, and the 2nd is growing out of his carseat, my options are certainly opening up.
    I just have to decide if I want to go through all the trouble of lowering and modifying a CR-V all over again, or just buy a car that is already somewhat at groundlevel (and then modify it anyway).
    Since I was clever enough to buy a house at the top of a hill, some sort of 4wd makes my life a lot easier a few weeks each year, and I’m a 1 car person until I build myself a garage.
    Thanks to last new years resolutions I haven’t smoked at all in 2016 (barely tried it when drunk, and I don’t drink anyway near as often as I should), so now I have a tiny eating disorder instead, and I hate everything and everybody all the time.
    So, my 2017 new years resolution will be go get back into shape a bit, and get better even at speaking my mind in general. Some people just need to be told that they’re idiots, and I can’t ignore them that easily when I’m not smoking anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      macmcmacmac

      I will never, NEVER, help anyone buy a car again, or build or purchase a computer. You suddenly find out what 24-7 support means.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        This. So much this.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        Totally agreed Mac – once you touch it (or weigh in on it), you have adopted support eternally. I have learned to keep my mouth shut regarding anyone’s car purchase unless the car they are buying is truly awful (e.g. used with noticeable damage or flaws).

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          I’ve got a friend who loves cars, reads all the magazines, watches the insipid English TV shows and goes through cars like I go through IPAs. Unfortunately, he has terrible taste in cars. He’s had two good ones since he came to the US in the ’90s, and they were the two he paid the least for when he fist came over from Latvia. Last time we spoke, his DD was a new leased Jaguar. A few years ago, he needed a cheap used car after new VW ownership had destroyed his finances over the year or two VW fought him in court over the lemon they built. I tried to help him find something decent, but he bought a Ford. I told him not to call me for help when it strands him for at least a year, and he only called me one time for help with it before dumping it for a lease-exchange 335i. I will only help people post-purchase who actually take my advice, which essentially means I don’t end up needing to field any calls about roadside disasters or expensive service visits.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            So, you have a friend, but refuse to take his calls when he’s in trouble. Yup, you’re a Republican.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            He isn’t a charity case. I helped him through losing a good car to a mountain drive wreck, a Nissan, his first Ford, his second BMW, and a new VW purchased against my advice. That’s plenty.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            You let VoGo guilt trip you.

            You are weak!

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            “So, you have a friend, but refuse to take his calls when he’s in trouble. Yup, you’re a Republican.”
            .
            Ba-DUM ! .
            .
            That was a very cheap shot .
            .
            Asking folks to take responsibility for their actions is *exactly* reverse of what the teabagger ‘tards do .
            .
            FWIW, I’m the staunchest Conservative you’re ever know but I dislike dishonesty, dog whistles and bullshit .
            .
            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Finish him!

          • 0 avatar
            GeneralMalaise

            “So, you have a friend, but refuse to take his calls when he’s in trouble. Yup, you’re a Republican.”

            Hey, I thought I’d read this political demonization was supposed to stop. C’mon, vogo, just resolve to not make any more cheap shot, d-bag comments in 2017. You can do it!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            ra ra ras.Putin

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Sorry I interrupted your safe space, General Malaise!

  • avatar
    NoID

    Making a bold automotive choice would require more room in my budget. If I do pull the trigger, it will be on exactly what you despise: A 2017 Renegade Sport 4×4, because in FCA’s list of employee-lease vehicles that’s the cheapest I can go. Well I could get a 4×2 Renegade Sport but owning a 2WD Jeep, even the cute-ute Jeep, is unfathomable. If it pleases King Baruth, and least it will be a fun color.

    My resolution is to get some track coaching and actually learn how to drive in anger. Maybe pay a visit to Bondurant and learn from those guys, or tag along on a development trip and weasel in some jump seat time with our professionals. Find a local autocross and participate in the Tinivan.

  • avatar

    31 days in December. Moved out 32 cars. I’m looking to keep that momentum going for ’17, which will actually be our company’s 30th anniversary.

  • avatar
    albert03

    Regarding riding, I have one word for you: Ray’s. It’s indoors so you can get a jump on summer, it’s got fun areas for every level of riding skill, and if you can’t get stoked about riding at Ray’s, you’re dead already. Wish I lived closer. And they rent bikes.

    Good health,

  • avatar
    Turbo Is Black Magic

    #1- Not watch or read the news anymore for a least a year. I can’t watch the orange con man anymore.

    #2- Get a nice old VFR800- V4 for the soul.

    • 0 avatar
      mtmmo

      Enjoy those sour grapes!

      • 0 avatar
        Turbo Is Black Magic

        Not sour at all (lifelong republican), just can’t believe how many people got duped by this bozo. The party of Reagan being lead by a clueless P.T. Barnum….that sides with Russia…what a joke.

        More sad than anything. This is the dumbing down of America they always warned us about.

        Hopefully the other branches of Government will work to check this moron, but judging by how they are all lining up to comment on the emperor’s new clothes… I’m doubtful.

        • 0 avatar
          April S

          Heck, Ronald Reagan would be considered a flaming liberal these days.

          In the meantime I’m going to see if I can borrow one of my friend’s Geiger Counters.

          Just in case.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            Fascinating how if one positions one’s perspective to the extreme Right, then even “center-Right” naturally looks like Communism/Marxism. Seriously, Ronald Reagan was a Communist, right?

            Mr. Baruth, love this line ” Stop using your annual Home Depot trip or your Thanksgiving-turkey-sized designer baby to justify a Toyota Sequoia or a Honda Pilot. Get a car.” However, I would replace Honda Pilot with a pickup truck that is half the length of a school bus.

            BTW I still have two long scars on my left forearm for plates in and out a year later to fix a broken arm I suffered on a huge skateboarding ramp in 1979.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Ronald Reagan wouldn’t be considered a flaming liberal. He was all about deregulation and fighting the Soviet Socialist Republic. Speech codes and religious persecution? Alphabet rights? Misanthropes triumphing over property rights, the most fundamental building block of freedom? Flaming liberals would have remembered that Trump was one of their own five years ago after a single Reagan speech.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Let’s look at the actual evidence before we condemn Reagan as a liberal, shall we?

            – Never held a real job most of his life. Check
            – Part of the Hollywood Elite. Check
            – Divorced and remarried. Check
            – Favored animal rights. Check (Bonzo!)
            – Loved America

            OMG, he checks all the boxes. Reagan WAS a liberal!

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            President of SAG? Governor of California? Are you sure those aren’t real jobs that prepare one to be POTUS? Did he ever favor animal rights, or did he just believe in preventing animal cruelty? There is a huge difference between the Hitlers of the world who think animals have rights rivaling those of people and the Reagans of the world who think you shouldn’t torture animals for the fun of it.

            Saying that liberals love America is positively shameless. I hope the American flag you’re burning catches your pants on fire.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Todd,
            There were 30+ years between when Reagan graduated college and became governor of California. If all you can point to is leadership of a union as his only real job during 3 decades, then I think I’ve made my point.

            I don’t burn the flag, although I also don’t work myself into a frenzy when others do – I try to understand what drove them to such an action.

            I also don’t trot around with the flag of treason and racism, calling it my ‘heritage’, but that’s just me; I wouldn’t want to be considered a traitor to America.

            We liberals DO love America, whether you like it or not.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            There are two general kinds of conservatives:

            1) The ones with genuine conservative principles. Reagan was in this group. You could disagree or agree with his beliefs, but they were actual beliefs that could be articulated. You can discuss and debate ideas like “let’s de-regulate the government” and come up with workable policies.

            2) The ones who think being a conservative means saying ‘liberal’ 128 times an hour. They have no actual ideas. You can’t discuss and debate ideas like “liberals suck.” All you come up with is the the stupid trash-talk that prefaces WWF matches.

            And ToddAtlas, I’d say that willy-nilly calling someone unpatriotic because of a political disagreement might make some people wonder what category you fall under. That’s not debate – it’s just being rude. Period. What’s the f**king point of talking to someone like that?

            Lest anyone’s concerned I’m not being fair, the same observation can definitely be made of my “side of the fence.” There are plenty of liberals who do think that being liberal means hating conservatives.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Did you even notice that Vogo said loving America made Reagan a liberal? Your filter is showing.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          yeah, if there was ever a clearer example of “bread and circuses” I don’t know what it might be.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Turbo Is Black Magic – I need to get a bike too.

  • avatar
    raph

    Let’s see…

    Make this the year you learneed more about driving – Yeah, I’ll get a chance to schedule the free driving class that comes with the GT350! Also plenty of HPDE stuff coming up I just need to find time.

    Make a bold automotive choice if you can – Maybe I’ll find that cheap Miata I can turn into a dedicated track car! That’d be bold – not keen on going all bro-code with the GT350 since I’m making payments on it. Also not interested in easily acquired 5.2 FPC drive train for a project fox car right now.

    Learn how to do something on your car – easy enough the Shelby is a Mustang after all and leaving any Mustang completely stock is against the religion.

    Help someone else out – see above, one of the better aspects of owning a Mustang and hanging with Mustang people. There is always a project going on and somebody needs space, tools, experience and so on.

    Take a moment to understand someone else – I dunno, I can’t find much common ground with your average small town conservative Christian Trump supporter but I can always try… I guess…

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    vasectomy. im 49, and dont have, want, or like kids.

    stop settling for whatever 200 pounder on okcupid just because they like me, live within 15 miles, and enjoy sex (and ren-faires… ugh)

    get back on the looptail PK Ripper and ride it the whole 8 miles to the beach like i used to. and back. i felt a lot better when i was doing that, physically and mentally.

    cut down on the drinking, even though its “only” coors light.

    finish little projects ive started, and start more. its too easy to sit here with beer, read, and comment.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Hey big girls need love too. (I could see a Ren-fairie being fun, for a hookup, in full costume, one time.)

      • 0 avatar
        SoCalMikester

        oh, no doubt, and no chubby chick hate either. im no skinnie minnie myself. its basically the “settling” part im so frustrated with myself with?

        im old, want no kids, but settle for youngs that do? its that whole “who can change who” deal?

    • 0 avatar
      brettc

      Get the snip-snip done! I had decent insurance when I had mine done, best $15 co-pay I ever spent.

      • 0 avatar
        SSJeep

        Peter Griffin: Well, guys, my vasectomy is tomorrow.
        Cleveland Brown: You poor bastard. After all, sex is pointless without potency.
        Quagmire: That’s right. You take the venom out of a cobra and what do you got? You got a… a belt.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          It is funny how guys get all worried about a loss of masculinity when it comes to getting a vasectomy. It has zero effect on performance.
          I was sent to the spay/neuter clinic after 2 pups and all is fine.

          Time for a nap by the fireplace.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            RE: Vasectomy ~
            .
            Few Women seem to know either .
            .
            I had it right after my Don was born and believe me, it makes you better because you no longer have to worry about ‘ accidents ‘ .
            .
            No worry = better and completely uninhibited performance follows….
            =8-) .
            .
            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Ironically, pregnancy is considered a compilation of the procedure ;)

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    I just received my 2006 SAAB 9.5 last Friday and it is a wonderful car. I got it for $625 at the Hawaii Copart auction in August and had it shipped to southern California in October. With just over 46,000 miles it runs perfectly. A newer car for my fleet and something to enjoy in 2017.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Do you feel that anyone on this site “has contempt for ordinary working Americans?” I feel like I’m looking at a big orange straw man that is in mortal danger when you say that.

    That aside, my New Year’s resolutions:

    – Get back on the bike (the kind without an engine) at least a couple times a week. I weigh about 30 pounds more than I should right now, thanks to overwork + lack of exercise + lack of sleep, and the bike + Seattle hills is the quickest way to take them off.

    – Don’t succumb to road rage. I used to be really good at not doing that when I drove for a living. In recent years it’s been harder just to turn the other cheek. I have much more road rage as a pedestrian than as a driver. There’s anger when dumbass people who can’t read signs or lights because they’re too busy with their phones nearly hit you when you’re walking on a Walk sign. But I spend enough time on foot that it’s bad for my health if I keep that anger around instead of letting it go.

    – Finally get that auto climate control unit sitting in my garage, and the custom harness I fabricated for it out of eBay junkyard parts, installed in my old Legend.

    – Make sure that, if I were to meet my untimely demise at any time, I would have told my wife and two sons within the previous 24 hours that I loved them.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I worry that Jack has contempt for those who work hard at retaining their extraordinary contempt for ordinary working Americans.

      But seriously, those are some good resolutions.

    • 0 avatar
      SoCalMikester

      ive given up on the “fukkit- its all gotta burn” people. i enjoy that satisfaction. lets do it!

      but yeah- i need to get back on the bike. ride. listen to music. it cant be all bad, and if it is? i just dont know man.

  • avatar
    Von

    Trump’s election is a good thing when you consider the other choice.

    You brought it up in the article, so don’t incite some no politics rule and wave the ban stick.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The other choice was a competent status quo statist technocrat.

      Trump is a narcissist with a thin skin who can’t out one word in from of the other, much less cope with the technological world in which he lives. And that’s before we get to his character flaws.

      It’s like we elected America’s drunk uncle. The statist technocrat would have been a less destructive choice.

      • 0 avatar
        April S

        I think I would rather have an actual drunk uncle in charge.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        the sad part isn’t that he had a message people were willing to hear, it’s that they were stupid enough to believe it coming from him.

      • 0 avatar
        Von

        @Luke,
        We’ll just have to disagree. I see her as someone who’s long career is peppered with multiple incidences of abusing power for personal gain, many times illegally. And there are few achievements to speak of. The US has lost prestige and power in the world since she became Sec. State; which is kinda exactly the opposite of the aim of that position. Maybe if she could spend less time meeting with donors to the Clinton foundation and doing them favors, or if she didn’t have to spend so much time facing congressional inquires, she could do better. But the results are not confidence inspiring and if that is the level of success we can hope for her as a president, I’d rather take a chance on someone else.

        Trump, for all his faults (and he has many) and his father’s money that gave him a head start, came back from being billions in debt. And since winning the election, whether I agree with what he’s trying to do or not, he’s working his butt off. Which is more than can be said for Obama or W.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        Hard to imagine anyone from the midwest who does not understand that your whole life was screwed over by NAFTA, compliments of Bill Clinton. All of the riches flowed to east and west coast cities where two million dollar small homes have become common. And, in the midwest, 35 lost years. Yet, too many folks who populate the midwest supported the next Clinton who made no secret about wanting even more free trade. Talk about stupid …

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          jimmyy – It is easy to blame one person especially when that person is of a different political stripe.

          Free market “neoliberal” laissez-faire capitalism was first pushed by Ronald Reagan. Ever here of Reagonomics? The Bushes were also laissez-faire capitalists.

          Blaming Clinton for NAFTA is rather myopic. It would have occurred anyways.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Funny how these guys blame Clinton, and somehow forget that US legislation is voted on by Congress, which in this case was Republican controlled.

            Traditionally, free trade has been a Republican aspiration, as it suits big business.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      I don’t get this. “We hate professional politicians,” says everyone. Well, okay, but consider the job at hand. It’s like you’re sick, and the doctor can’t quite figure out how to fix you, so you say, “screw it, I’m calling a plumber.” That’s not gonna make it better. And when the plumber shoves a pipe up your @$$ and tells you you’re cured, you really don’t get to be surprised. There were viable, intelligent, qualified individuals who weren’t HRC and who disagreed with her policies in both parties. None of them got elected. The human equivalent of a gold-plated G-wagen did instead, and you have to be a very specific kind of person to be happy about that.

      • 0 avatar
        Von

        @smart
        I would venture that approximately 50% of the electorate is not all that specific, a lot of white women voted for him and even among minorities, his support level was a lot better than what the breathlessly hyped media would have people believe.

        @vogo
        I shouldve been more specific, Obama worked pretty hard at first, but totally phoned it in after bin laden was killed, and the last year was just coasting or at best on cruise control.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “Obama worked pretty hard at first, but totally phoned it in after bin laden was killed, and the last year was just coasting or at best on cruise control.”

          Pretty much the same thing all lame duck presidents do.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      I blinked a few times.

      Did I really just see an example of civil political discourse? I’ll be damned.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        I sometimes fear for America our neighbour to the south based on the fact that it could not find 2 better or more qualified people to run for President.

        Fortunately a great many of the Founders of the USA had some education in the liberal arts and therefore understood history and philosophy. Therefore they put into place a system of ‘checks and balances’, which ensures balance in their political system and regular input from the electorate. This system has withstood many tests and should ensure that the next 4 years are neither as tragic nor as wonderful as those on either sides suspect/hope.

        And forget the McRib, the true loss was the McPizza which was a Canadian invention.

        • 0 avatar
          GeneralMalaise

          “I sometimes fear for America our neighbour to the south based on the fact that it could not find 2 better or more qualified people to run for President.”

          But then you remembered Canada elected Justin Trudeau.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @GeneralMalaise – the alternative was Harper who was becoming more “extreme”.

            “The list of anti-democratic measures by the Harper government is lengthy and documented: there was the robocalls scandal, the surreptitious changing of election laws, breaking election laws, putting party logos on government cheques, muzzling backbenchers and civil servants, stacking the CBC board of directors with Conservative supporters, bullying the Parliamentary Budget Officer, the Supreme Court and Statistics Canada (especially cancelling the long-form census), being in contempt of Parliament, mocking Question Period, proroguing Parliament on dubious grounds, etc. But the main one, the one the average citizen finally took notice of was his disdain for the press, arguably our most visible and important democratic institution.”

            “The Conservatives came to power promising to make government more accountable and more transparent. In the early years, they made steps in that direction. They also promised to make government less burdensome, and made strides there, too.

            But over time, the government started to resemble some of what it campaigned against. It created watchdogs like the Parliamentary Budget Officer, but threw up roadblocks in front of them. Early in its mandate, it made elections fairer by imposing strict limits on campaign donations, but, a few years later, it weakened democracy, under the pretext of fighting non-existent cases of voter fraud, by making voting a bit harder under the Fair Elections Act. The party talked about defending citizens’ privacy rights, but in the name of fighting terrorism it handed intrusive powers to government via Bill C-51. It gutted the long-form census, falsely invoking privacy rights. The Conservative government sometimes gave the impression of being at war with evidence and science -”

            “In the name of law and order, it picked fights with judges and the Supreme Court. Using the excuse of national security, it defended its glacially slow, nearly impenetrable bureaucracy for Syrian refugees. For the sake of oil industry and pipeline jobs, it gave the impression it was monkeying with environmental review processes – which unfortunately made it even harder for new pipelines to gain public approval. And on the pretext of promoting social cohesion, it sowed social divisions by inventing a crisis over the niqab.”

            I voted Harper initially because of the promise of smaller, more transparent and more accountable government. They went the other way with most things and their human rights platform in the last election was very poor.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “the alternative was Harper who was becoming more “extreme”.”

            Was he going to stop being polite?

  • avatar
    r plaut

    ” Do a hundred pushups in a row. ”

    This is very possible, but not as easy as one would think.

    In 2009, at the age of 65, I was laid-off from HP. Believing that living well is the best revenge, I set about to get into the best shape possible through exercise and careful eating.

    I wanted to do 100 push ups. Non-stop.

    I started at 20.

    It took 2 and 1/2 years.

    Now at the start of my 3 times-a-week exercise sessions, I do 100 consecutive push ups. Sometimes it’s easy, other times a bit harder. When it’s easy, I go for the maximum (my all time record is 130).

    You are surely younger than I was then, so you can do this within calendar 2017.

    I think.

    It is definitely worth it.

    As for different music, try this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7m1n5IFmyA

  • avatar
    April S

    Now that I have a decent car…

    Do the 8 hour drive to Houston, Texas to see this one cool local band I follow.

    My bestie (a Magical Girl) and I hitting the road to visit one of the larger Anime conventions.

    A 15 hour mega road trip with friends to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania for Anthrocon.

    No matter what I need some big distractions because 2017 is gonna be tough for me and my peeps.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Cultural deprivation is a sad thing .
    .
    I’ve had _three_ McRibs and yes, they still taste good like they did forty years ago =8-) .
    .
    Sadly my Son is the only one who’ll eat them with me .
    .
    I’m always trying to improve my driving, never stop this as it keeps driving fun .
    .
    Doesn’t everyone automatically help others occasionally ? .
    .
    Why the hell not ? .
    .
    Hopefully more Motocycle riding in 2017 !.
    .
    -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      The “Return of the McRib” is generally a sign of poor pork prices. That is also true when the cafeteria is serving “BBQ Pork Rib Sandwiches” which is a low fat version we serve to the nation’s school children.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        The reason there is a McRib:

        Pork scrapings didn’t do well in Fancy Feast.

        • 0 avatar
          -Nate

          Izzat so ? .
          .
          I always thought it was annual because that’s when they cleaned out the Zamboni they used to sweep the factory’s floor….
          .
          I don’t care ~ they’re sanitized, no one ever got sick eating one and I like ’em as a Holiday treat now and again .
          .
          -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            April S

            It’s still pretty sad when you need to paint grill marks on your food product.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            @April ;
            .
            “It’s still pretty sad when you need to paint grill marks on your food product.”.
            .
            Agreed but long before this those fake grille stripes have been added (like 50 years ago) and no one ever complained .
            .
            Far worse is the allowable amounts of dead rodents,hair and other gross stuff .
            .
            When I was much younger I worked various jobs in Food Service both Institutional and for the Public, I saw things that ensured I’d never go into some places again but these McRib things while not healthy, are not going to make you sick either and they’re yummy .
            .
            -Nate

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Finally visit Las Vegas (a mutual friend of Mrs. PrincipalDan and I is getting married there in March)

    “Speak truth to power.” Which should be an interesting resolution given that the school board suspended the Superintendent (on 12/20/16 – with pay) until the end of his contract.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “take a moment to consider that other person’s perspective”

    BAHAHAHA.

    Yea, I’ll get right on that.

  • avatar
    BobinPgh

    Jack, this time next year I want to see if you accomplished any of these resolutions!

    Let’s see what you look like when you are strong enough for 110 push ups.

    Video of you doing half pipe biking.

    I want some video of your guitar playing and who you might sound like. What will you be listening to?

    What car will you buy and what will you sell that is in your garage.

    Before and after pictures of your basement.

    Oh, and speaking of the pushups, I wanted you to make an underwater video but maybe you should do that after the 100 push ups. And don’t be tempted to wear a Speedo!

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I can tell you what I look like when I can bench 265: exactly like I do now. It’s so depressing.

      • 0 avatar
        BobinPgh

        Still, I would like to see some video of you performing (if there is any). If you do any video of the biking, be sure to wear the “baggy” clothes the rider above is wearing. If you wear the tight shorts that “show off” you might have Danger Girl divorcing you. Like Speedos, those “stupid bike shorts” will “show off all your parts”, that is what my sister, married to a bike rider, tells me.

        Also, do you plan to epoxy the basement floor?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Yeah, but it’s just how you look – it’s how you feel. At least it is for me. Your mileage, as they say, may vary.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I’d like to lose about 15-20 pounds, as I don’t exactly want a Randy-bobandy cheeseburger locker gut.

    I might buy a new car in 2017. Friend just bought a 2014 Forester, but I don’t need a GD Subaru when winter tires are a thing. If anything it’ll either be a C-Max or maybe a Volt.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    1) Finish building my garage
    2) Use said garage to continue building airplane
    3) Obtain Corvair engine to rebuild as engine for aforementioned airplane
    4) Earn IFR and Commercial ratings
    5) Fly/ride motorcycle more – Ideal day: ride motorcycle to airport to fly airplane

    • 0 avatar
      gearhead77

      Why Corvair engine? Isn’t there any number of better options out there now for “owner-built” aircraft?

      Good luck on those ratings though. Instrument is completely worth it.

      • 0 avatar
        racer-esq.

        My understanding is that air-cooled is preferred for weight and simplicity but I like the ambition of using a flat-6.

        http://blog.covingtonaircraft.com/2012/06/05/aircraft-engines-liquid-cooled-vs-air-cooled/

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      That’s a fair question.

      Rotax? Too expensive for what it is is. Limited servicing options.

      Jaibiru? Also expensive, and it has had cooling issues. Plus, with the recent turmoil in the company, not sure I want to commit almost $20K to it.

      O-200? My experience with the 0-200s in our flying club has taught me that they too, are expensive. We did two majors on our two aircraft at an average cost of $14,000 and worse, long waits to get the aircraft back into service.

      0-235 or 0-233? Again, expensive.

      Why the Corvair? Well, for the cost of one Rotax, I can build two Corvairs with similar power and have enough left over for a modest flat-panel. Second, There is a very large body of knowledge and experience with it and a number of enhancements that make it a good engine (externally-mounted fifth bearing, forged crank, etc.). Second, it’s a way to really know every aspect of my aircraft. It follows the letter of the FARs that allow experimental: “for educational purposes”. Plus it will be fun.

      For more information try flycorvair.net

      • 0 avatar
        -Nate

        Curious Bunkie :
        .
        Do you use the stock compression ratio or lower/higher ? .
        .
        Cross drill the journals on the crankshaft ? .
        .
        TIA,
        .
        -Nate

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        Solid answers. I’m not well versed on the homebuilt side of flying, so I was wondering why a Corvair motor would still be relevant today.

        Of course, since aircraft still have magneto ignitions and simple mechanical fuel injection (if they aren’t single carbs), the engines in most light aircraft were last relevant in 1920.

        To give folks here some idea, the workhorse of small aircraft is either the Cessna 172 or Piper Cherokee family, depending on what you prefer. Yes, plane guys have their manufacturer allegiances too. Most of my time instructing was in the 172, so I prefer Cessnas.

        The 172 is powered by a 360 cubic inch air cooled flat 4 cylinder. Depending on the model and when it was built, it’s good for 160-180hp. From 1997 on, they are fuel injected. They run on 100 octane leaded fuel. In a winged vehicle with a max takeoff weight of about 2600 lbs.

        There is currently a turbodiesel version available too with 155hp. Diesels in airplanes are a big deal, since they can run jet fuel, burn less per hour and have electronic controls, eliminating the need for the pilot to control the fuel/air mixture. You know, something cars have had for nearly 40 years, reliably for 30 at least.

        Sadly, a new Skyhawk is 350k. A new diesel Skyhawk is 400k. Too much money, since you can find a decent older example for between 40-200k+ depending on what you want in terms of age and avionics. Yes, that’s a huge range, but the 172 has been produced for over 50 years (except between 1986-1996 when Cessna didn’t build a single new single engine airplane.)

        There’s also variations, since light aircraft manufacturers in the 70’s made their product catalogs like the Big 3 in their heyday. -172 too upright and dowdy? Try the 177 Cardinal, which to me is the “personal coupe” of the Cessna family.
        -Need more load hauling? The 182 Skylane is for you! (full-size car).
        -More room? Cessna 210 Centurion, the Colony Estate wagon of the sky (though closer to a full-size SUV in reality).

        And so on. Piper and Beechcraft were no different, but Cessna is like the GM of airplanes.

  • avatar
    karonetwentyc

    “Rebuild a Kugelfischer injection system.”

    Dammit, Jack, this is pushing me ever-closer to the inevitable purchase of a Peugeot 504 convertible. Or maybe a 404 with the injected motor.

    Either way, I look upon this as an omen for 2017, and a possible foreshadowing of the state of our kitchen table for years beyond that.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    Fit into those 30 year old cream-colored corduroy pants I used to love so much.

    Hey, why break a 20 consecutive years resolution streak?

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    I have resolved not to make any resolutions.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    2016 worked out okay for me as well. We had the second kid we were trying to have for several years. I lost the soulless job I hated and almost immediately picked up a new job that I love. Lost two family members, but they are both now in a better place.

    Goals for 2017 are (in no particular order) to complete my old pickup truck, possibly for resale (I just don’t use it), get my G8 to the track, and perhaps make more money with this job I’m doing.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    My 2017 resolutions in no particular order:
    1. Take and pass the national registry exam for EMT. I already took the course and passed three other exams.
    2. Change the timing chain on the 450SL (warm weather job)
    3. Rehab my quadracep tendons and start up bicycling this spring
    4. Get back to lifting weights as soon as the tendinitis in my elbows heals.
    5. Continue the exercises to increase spinal flexibility I learned at golf lessons last summer.
    6. Have zero muscular skeletal injuries next year (sure!)

  • avatar
    Dilrod

    I resolve to learn to shift on the fly with that fancy transmission in my Hyundai. I just have to get past the picture in my head of dropping it into first going 70 and blowing the guts out of it….

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The way most modern transmissions are set up the shifter just tells the computer which gear you desire and then the computer decides if that is accpetable. So there should be no danger of dropping it into 1st at 70mph. Note however that in many cases the shifter is still connected to the transmission to operate the parking pawl and usually reverse too. As long as you are talking flappy paddles or a +/- gate then you can’t get to park or reverse.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    2017 might be the year I try the two car approach. I’m sick of trying to make one car do it all. I’m leaning toward another E39 540 for a highway missile and maybe an RX-8 for manual transmission, sporty fun. Two notorious maintenance train wrecks. They can’t both break at once, right?

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Jack,
    You missed one commitment ……. to actually honour commitments, especially when dealing with other people.

    The world is not about Jack.

    So, now, when are you going to honour your commitment regarding the “gifting” of those Texas Edition badges.

    Then finish the article with the photographs and related article for TTAC?

    Your first New Years resolution should be to honour commitments you make to others’.

    Respect is based on trust. How can one respect when manipulated and/or lied to.

    See the problem, or are you an unreliable narcissist?

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    “Help somebody else out. What do you have sitting in your garage or basement that could make a real difference in someone else’s life? Sell it cheap or give it away.”

    Done. 2016 was the year I gave away a boatload of unused crap. The circumstances don’t matter; but I needed to clean out and found charities who actually WANTED the stuff.

    Unlike Goodwill, which throws away 80 percent of what they get.

    “Learn how to do something to your car. Change the oil. Put winter wheels on. Rebuild a Kugelfischer injection system. Whatever level you’re currently on, step it up a notch.”

    That’s happening. Out of work, I have to.

    On the Taco, I’ve learned OLF. Not easy on that generation; but I done it.

    On the V-Strom bike…I’m soon going to learn how to set valves. Or not; but since the cost of a dealer service would pay a month’s rent…I’m damn sure gonna try.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Make this the year you learn more about driving – I went through the MSF course and bought my Yamaha R3 in August and daily drove it until December 1st when it actually snowed while I was riding. My riding skills as well as driving skills went up everytime I got on my motorcycle, and as soon as the misery weather subsides, I’m right back on it.

    Make a bold automotive choice, if you can – I’d like to get some stripes for my Challenger, the Mercedes lease silver paint bores me to tears.

    Learn how to do something to your car – I’m in reliable car with a warranty nirvana, and I don’t want to mess with it.

    Help somebody else out – I’m good with this, all I do is give people free stuff or fix their stuff at cost.

    Take a moment to understand someone else – I grew up in a diverse urban area of Massachusetts in a lower middle blue collar family, who have taken advantage of welfare in the past to get by, me and my mother are now firmly in the middle and living comfortably. (And we both voted for Trump.) I lived on a good balanced American diet, and my conclusion is most people are decent and will try to do what they need to do without screwing anyone else. (I might be wrong)

    For the people talking about music, check out Lights. She’s not super mainstream, but she’s one of the best musicians and songwriters I have ever heard.

    https://www.[youtube].com/watch?v=tRedqQIEsh4

    https://www.[youtube].com/watch?v=4SILyk72viA

  • avatar
    jlbg

    Make a bold automotive choice: I just purchased a Cayman. Because fuck practicality. Though, I do need to carry shit and I want to go snowboarding so I also plan to purchase something with 9″ of ground clearance.

    See you at AER! I’ll be the guy in the grey Cayman Friday Morning, and the M635csi the rest of the weekend.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Didn’t TTAC make a resolution some time ago to remove personal attacks and political BS from the comments?

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    This may be the year I gladly turn in my auto enthusiast card. Looking to break the 7 stickshift car streak most likely with a Camry or Accord V6 sedan. Just want something that sounds good/is cheap to run/comfortable to replace the Civic and can hold me over until the crop of awesome cars I actually want (M235i, current GS350/F, F80 335i… maybe even an A6 3.0T, TLX V6 etc) get down in my price range. Hoping it will force me to slow down a bit though I do want to upgrade the suspension/brakes/tires. Main gripe with the Civic is wind/tire noise.

    Probably going to get wifey a crossover just to trigger JB on IG too. New Sportage looks good.

  • avatar
    Chan

    I’m planning to make two bold automotive choices this year, neither of which sits 9″ off the ground.

    One may have manual steering, but the other is definitely going to be a long-wheelbase model.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Jack–Big Al from Oz really wants the Texas Edition badges. One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to listen more and talk less. Also steer clear of political discussions, especially after the last election. Keep my 18 year old truck running past 20 and to lose some weight. Happy New Year!

  • avatar
    Neb

    If I’ve already managed #5, can I be unbearably smug about it?

    It’s not exactly a resolution, but I plan to continue reading more history. One big thing I get out of it is an effective counter to all the “oh, this is literally the worst thing *ever*” line that is incredibly common, regardless of modern media. You learn instead that everything has happened before, and usually in ways that so much worse than it is today.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    1. Make this the year you learn more about driving.

    That is always a sound resolution. I’ve been taking my 2 sons out to gravel pits and trails to teach them to drive. It makes you look at your own driving habits.

    2. Make a bold automotive choice, if you can.
    For some people, a blob of 9 inch clearance SUV is their bold choice. It is all about getting what one wants and for most of us, there is a lot of compromises made. That is a part of life.

    3. Learn how to do something to your car.
    You mean other than wearing it out?
    Makes sense but some people should be self-aware and stay very very far away from anything mechanical.

    4. Help somebody else out.
    That should go without needing to be said but here we are.

    5. Take a moment to understand someone else.
    If you work on this one then “Help somebody else out.” falls easily into place.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This was actually a damn decent year for me, bad news in the world notwithstanding. I’m 115 pounds down. The kids and S.O. are good. Work is going OK. Hell, even the ex is (kind of) behaving herself and not making much trouble now. I have my first new car in 11 years.

    Not very happy about who’s coming into power, but the Republic will survive, no doubt. We survived Nixon, after all.

    Lesson? Just do whatever it is you resolve to do, whether it’s a big or small change in your life. I’ve found positive momentum is its’ own reward.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Oh, shit .
    .
    Two of our grown and gone Foster boys spent the night here, came in late last night and this morning told us that their Cousin got caught in a cross fire in South Central Los Angeles last night and now has brain damage….
    .
    Shit .
    .
    When will this madness stop ? .
    .
    -Nate

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    I made my bold automotive choice in the waning season of 2016 with a 4Runner. 9.6 inches of useful clearance. Never thought I’d stop being cheap enough to plunk down for an actual 4×4 and it *will* be used for more than the commute and mall crawl because I gave up a GTI to have it.

    I’d love to be bold with a third driver-focused 2-door, but the Toyota is effing expensive so there will be no new vehicle for quite some time.

    I’ve got the usual litany of non-automotive self/life improvements that I’ll try to make progress on as well but if I list them then I’ll feel obligated to work on them and the failure will be bitter :)

  • avatar

    1. Make this the year you learn more about driving.

    I’ve been doing that on a regular basis, taking backroads and what not to learn more about what my cars can (and can not) do.

    2. Make a bold automotive choice, if you can.

    I already have a RAV for daily duties and hauling crap, and a new CRV for family duty, so now I’m looking for a cash car with a manual. Honda is my top choice, although I’m open to other things. It has to have a back seat (because I want my son to experience the fun) and a manual (so I can teach my wife). It also has to be cheap to own/run/insure.

    3. Learn how to do something to your car.

    There’s a few more things that I’d like to do to the RAV, before I eventually sell it off. I’ve already laid down quite a bit of sound deadening, and I’ll put more in once I have a new stereo system put in. I’m also going to have the wheels redone (or get used ones, I haven’t decided yet). There’s a few more bits and pieces that’ll need to be replaced.

    4. Help somebody else out.

    I do this a lot, but I want to up my volunteering game this year. Eventually, I’d like to start my own non-profit, which will be donating new shoes to the homeless (and other people).

    5. Take a moment to understand someone else.

    I’ve been shying away from political arguments, and embracing discussions as a whole. Seeing things from someone else’s perspective helps me round out my own opinions.

  • avatar
    DirtRoads

    I resolve to try to ignore VoGo’s comments in here, as they add nothing to the discussion but discord. I avoid miserable people who like to go around telling people how superior they are to all other people who don’t think like them.

    Ta da! That’s an easy one.

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