By on March 13, 2020

1978 Mercury Zephyr Z7 in California wrecking yard, gearshift - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

You had to expect it. This QOTD, that is, not the reason for it.

As yours truly basks in the smugness of having stocked up on at least a month’s worth of food, toilet paper, and disinfectant two and a half weeks ago, thus sidestepping the panic-buying hordes picking supermarket shelves bare like buzzards on still-fresh roadkill, his self-satisfaction is nonetheless tempered with an edge of dread.

Frankly, I’m freaked out. Prepared and informed, yes, but worried all the same. For many of us, there could be plenty of days — and maybe even weeks — ahead where we’re not allowed to leave our homes. Your author’s prime minister already finds himself in just such a situation.

How would you pass that time? (Read More…)

By on August 3, 2017

Top Gear America screengrab

Automotive television is, at best, a mixed bag. At worst, it’s a cultural wasteland of gimmicky programing that persists only because of our deep love for cars, bolstered by a handful of engaging personalities. Suggesting that I am generally dubious of any new car-related entry into the entertainment landscape would be a gross understatement. So, when the rebooted Top Gear America aired over the weekend, my expectations were already incredibly low.

I suppose the nicest way to phrase this is by saying it did not exceed those expectations.

While it attempts to capture the magic of vintage Top Gear in much the same way the current British version strives to, the first episode fell far short of the mark. Whether that’s down to the hosts not having adequate time to develop legitimate chemistry or a systematic flaw in the show’s design remains to be seen. But something is definitely wrong here.

Episode One felt extremely awkward, although not entirely hopeless. And I’ve reminded myself that I didn’t much care for Richard Hammond the first time I saw him on the screen, either. Fast forward 15 years and I enter into a panic every time he’s in a scrape, terrified that God might take that adorable little man away from me. (Read More…)

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