Log in

No account? Create an account

Rants and Raves

Recent Entries

You are viewing the most recent 25 entries.

5th December 2009

9:01pm: New podcast
So the podcast has made it a month. So far, we've got some good feedback and we're still playing with the format a little, so any suggestions are still welcome.


Please, if you've got anything you want to say, write it in the comments section of the site or email us at TooCulturedNerds at Gmail dot com.

23rd November 2009

10:10am: One more side project
I figure it's time to share this with the rest of the internet: I've been doing a podcast. My friend Jon and I have a little website where we talk about pop culture and post it on the internets for the peoples to enjoy.

It's http://www.tooculturednerds.com/ and, to be honest, I'm fairly pleased with how the first two episodes turned out. They're largely unedited, so the flow of conversation is very natural, or at least as natural as any conversation between Jon and I could be.

Listen, enjoy, leave comments on the website, and let us know what you think.

14th November 2009

10:33am: Ford to import Indian cars for US sale

There's the story, but to give you the Readers Digest version, some of Ford of India's engineers were at the Calspan test facility making notes on how to build one of their own back home to make cars that will pass US crash standards. If that doesn't mean that Ford plans on importing some Indian cars, I don't know what does.

So what does this mean for the American and international auto industry? Are all big companies going to start platform sharing across continents? Does this mean an end to "Europe gets those cars, American gets these cars"? Just looking for some other opinions.

12th November 2009

9:14am: Toyota no longer the world's number one automaker

Turns out that whole, "Porsche tries to take over VW, VW takes over Porsche" thing worked out in their favor, as they are now the world's largest automaker. It's also the first time the Germans can take that crown home since the invention of the modern automobile.

27th October 2009

11:57am: Fisker to buy GM plant to build Chevy Volt competitor

So Fisker, after being handed a bunch of money by the federal government, hands it right back to them to buy something the government owned in the first place. It seems to me that we could have cut out a step in the middle here.

23rd October 2009

11:09am: Toyota blames video games for decline in sales

Seriously, Toyota? Video games? It's not like the excellent public transit in your own country and global economic downturn have anything to do with it. It must be the video games!

21st October 2009

12:26am: Saab asks for tax break on American headquarters

So Saab is asking for a tax break to build their new North American HQ in Detroit. God knows they need it now...

13th October 2009

10:25am: GM approves sale of Opel to Magna International

GM just keeps getting smaller and smaller. At least they're going through on this one, unlike the Saturn-Penske deal.

9th October 2009

2:45pm: GM to sell Hummer to Chinese company

Sorry guys, I try not to do two of these a day, but this was too big to ignore. GM's sale of the Hummer brand to a Chinese company has been approved by both parties, and it could mean Chinese cars in America in less than two years. Should be fun to watch!
1:44pm: Lexus unveils new supercar in Tokyo

So Lexus decided the way to remove attention from their high-speed crashes and zip-tie fix was to pull the cover from a 550 horsepower, V-10 monster of a car. 400 grand? Really?

As always, every click helps. And if you want to leave a comment, feel free to do so on the news page.

Thanks again, everyone!

6th October 2009

4:00pm: Audi to build e-Tron concept

Apparently Audi has decided to build the electric e-Tron concept from the Frankfurt motor show, despite saying at the time that there was no way, no how that thing was getting made. I guess they sure showed us, huh?

3rd October 2009

10:48pm: Fisker creates jobs... somewhere
Heinrik Fisker defends his Energy Department loan against critics.

And remember, each click is a blow struck for freedom... and my income. Is this going to be too irritating? Should I make a different account to separate this from my personal stuff?


30th September 2009

4:46pm: I'm published!
OK, so the title is a slight exaggeration. In reality, I'm cranking out stories for this website like a little organ grinder monkey, only without the novelty of a fez.

However, I get paid by the click, so do me a favor, click on it, and pass it along. Who knows? You might even learn something about cars while you're at it.


Thanks everybody!

16th April 2009

10:37pm: One line LJ post
Why would anyone want to survive when you can live instead?

6th April 2009

2:07pm: Thw Writers Block QotD
Typically, I don't look at the suggestion that Livejournal makes on their front page regarding entry topics for more than a second, but today's caught my eye. It stated, in not so many words, if you were going to hack into all of the information databases in the world, what info would you look up before you were inevitably caught and thrown into jail for the rest of your natural born life in every country on Earth simultaneously.

Answer: The phone number for these guys: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1152870/Pictured-Bank-robbers-daring-helicopter-jail-break--SECOND-time-years.html

These guys are amazing. With a little more research, I found that one of the fellows they broke out of jail is sort of like a modern day Robin Hood, only with more murder and less talking animals, though that may have only been in the Disney version. He apparently stole huge filthy piles of money and has redistributed them to his poor, oppressed home village and surrounding area. I never condone theft, but seriously? If I was going to do it, I'd want to team up with this guy. He's going on my list of badass people next to Daniel Craig and Christian Bale.

26th March 2009

6:24pm: The Drill
We recently had an emergency lockdown drill on campus to simulate a shooter on campus. Many people, including members of the faculty, have expressed displeasure at the concept, saying that it promotes a culture of fear and that the time would be better spent building a sense of community on campus to persuade any potential shooters to reconsider.

I'll admit, I think an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure 99.9% of the time, but in this case, I have to disagree.

A book was recently published, "Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters" by psychologist Peter Langman. He's been researching the phenomena of school shootings basically since the one in Olean, looking into their personal lives, reading their diaries, police reports, etc, and according to him, there's one thread that connects all of them.

They were all mentally ill.

This is not a case of bullied kids acting out. These are cases of psychopaths and sociopaths performing acts that they saw no objection to. Reasoning with a sociopath is impossible, it's the definition of the illness.

While I agree that these children need help, "reaching out" to them is not going to stop them. They need to be diagnosed and treated for the disorder that they have. While I agree that the drill here is a bit of a farce, I don't think the time would have been better spent attempting to pick out potential shooters and share our feelings with them.

A controversial opinion? Perhaps. Perhaps it's cynical to believe that there are people out there who want to harm others for reasons that can only be described by others as "illogical."

But explain that to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's victims.

10th October 2008

9:36am: Got this from anthrojesus. Give it a shot.


If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now (even if we don't speak often or ever), please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me.

It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished, post this little paragraph in your lj and see what your friends come up with.

8th October 2008

11:22pm: I think we need to block the Discovery Channel...
So I was watching a show called Fight Quest today in between classes. I think I'm going to have to avoid it from now on.

The premise is this: Two guys (One former jarhead and one professional MMA fighter) head off to foreign lands and exotic locales to discover new ways that human beings pummel the hell out of one another. Then, over the course of a week or so, they study this martial art and put it to the test against a professional. Needless to say, they almost always lose, but it's more about seeking personal strength and understanding other cultures as it is about bloody sport. Where does the problem lie, you ask?

I want in.

Watching the two men don their gi's and clear their minds while preparing to put their long-practiced skills and strategies to the test brought back something I didn't realized I missed until this afternoon.

When I got my black belt (a-many years ago), I had to fight two people to at least a draw in order to pass the final exam, in addition to doing 100 push-ups and 90 sit-ups in a minute (Not the same minute) and memorize somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 punch-and-kick combinations and 9 approximately three-minute-long "art-martial forms." (Basically glorified ritual dances.)

I found myself thinking about that fight today, even after the show was off. My fists tightened, my knees locked, and my head was ringing with the many, many kicks it had received over the years.

I want it back. I miss the fight. Even just for a second, I want to feel it again.

Somehow, sitting here, procrastinating on my Occult paper, I don't feel it anymore. But now I know.

It's only a matter of time.

23rd June 2008

10:08pm: A lot of ground to cover...
According to the LJ front page, it's been 21 weeks since I updated this journal. Pretty crummy considering I promised the last few times I would get better at posting regularly.

Summing up the last 21 weeks would be a monumental task that everyone would take one look at and declare "tl;dr" so to save everyone some trouble, I'll just recap the last eight weeks.

Summer thus farCollapse )

22nd January 2008

9:56am: Classes
So the semester is underway, and the classes have started to take shape. The only class that I'm only MOSTLY sure I like is my history class, as that's only met once.

Arabic 102: This is going to be significantly harder than I had anticipated, but I'm greatly looking forward to it. We started working on verbs this week, which is about where he stopped with last year's 102 class. Abuna Michael is always entertaining, and has an obvious enthusiasm for the class.

Persuasive Writing: Not entirely sure where this class is going yet, but I have faith in C-Mack. I felt the same way at the beginning of Journalism as Lit, and we all know how THAT turned out. Besides, with the whole peanut gallery back in the class, even if all the other students decide to try and make the class boring, we won't allow it!

Media Law: Not going to lie, this class seems pretty boring right now. We're just going over the judicial system and how it works, so I'm hoping there will be an improvement when we get into case reviews.

History of Rock and Roll: This class is going to be AMAZING. On the first day, we listened to 13 songs and had to identify them, and while I only could name half of them, I liked ALL of them. Any teacher that promises to spend a semester talking about The Beatles, The Stones, Cream, Deep Purple and all my other favorites has MY undivided attention.

20th Century History in Film: Another class that I have very high hopes for. The Maltese Falcon, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Ghost World and two teachers that think Jim Jarmusch is the only honestly independent filmmaker left? Sounds like a recipe for AWESOME to me.

Also, I figured out my living arrangements last night, but more on that later.

15th January 2008

10:26pm: A real post? GASP!
You know, nothing inspires me to return to the blog-o-sphere than new readership, so I think I'll take this opportunity to talk about something that I've been wanting to talk about for a while, but didn't think anyone would care about.

Hunter Thompson.

Now, before you click away (which, granted, you may have already done), this is not going to be a blatantly pandering speech extolling the virtues of gonzo journalism.

I want to talk about the book, The Life of Hunter S. Thompson: GONZO, a book I received for Christmas. It's really an oral autobiography, meaning Jann Wenner (Editor and co-founder of Rolling Stone) and Corey Semour (Another editor for Stone) recorded a bunch of people, including his ex-wives and famous Hollywood actors, and transcribed their statements into a book.

While the setup and premise of the book are non-conventional, what's more amazing is the brutal honesty with which they talk about Hunter. He was a very complex man, much more so than his writings would let on. He had an emotional side, and a very deeply self-destructive self-image. Reading this has given me a new appreciation for what he did as a journalist, but also opened my eyes to what made him the (moderately repugnant) man he became in life.

If you have even a passing interest in HST, I advise reading the book. If anyone wants to borrow it, just let me know.

I'll make a more personal entry later, but for now, I'm getting some early sleep. Arabic comes mighty early on Monday-Wednesday-Friday...

Current Mood: sleepy

13th January 2008

11:05pm: Quiz thingie
three names you go by:
1. George
2. Gregor
3. DJ Phys

three physical things you like about yourself:
1. My hair
2. My beard?
3. My eyes

three physical things you don't like about yourself:
1. My stomach
2. My legs
3. My ears

three things that scare you:
1. Nuclear war (living in DC, how could I not be?)
2. A corrupt government (See above)
3. The zombie apocalypse... to be specific, me MISSING it

three of your favorite musical artists:
1. Jurassic 5
2. moe.
3. Iron Maiden

three of your favorite songs:
1. "General" by moe.
2. "Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi
3. "

three of your favorie authors
1. Hunter Thompson (Duh)
2. Jean Shepherd
3. J.R.R. Tolkien

three things you want in a relationship:
1. Love
2. Understanding
3. Respect

three lies and truths in no particular order(You figure them out):
1. I can ski backwards
2. I've driven over 110 mph on a public road
3. I can put my whole fist in my mouth
4. I can rap all of Jay-Z's Black Album
5. I already have the motorcycle I want picked out
6. I've seen every episode of House at least twice

three physical things about the opposite sex that appeals to you:
1. An honest smile
2. Long hair
3. Willingness to laugh at oneself

three of your favorite hobbies:
1. Messing around on the internet
2. Dreaming about cars
3. Writing my webcomic

three things you want to do really badly now:
1. Get an internship
2. Get in shape
3. Drink an Orangina

three careers you've considered:
1. Geneticist
2. MD
3. Journalist

three places you want to go on vacation:
1. Steamboat Springs
2. Oak Island
3. Munich

three kids names you like:
1. Derrick
2. Gregory
3. Vanessa

three things you want to do before you die:
1. Drive on the Bonneville Salt Flats
2. Go back to Alaska
3. Actually make money from writing

three ways that you are stereotypically a boy:
1. I love cars, motorcycles, planes, basically anything that has moving parts
2. I love firearms, explosions, and the movies that glorify them
3. I have an irrational facination with crude jokes

three ways that you are stereotypically a girl:
1. I hate horror movies
2. I love kittens
3. I have a strong relationship with my mother?

three people that i would like to see take this quiz (ie I tag):
Whoever is on my list and hasn't taken it already.

16th October 2007

4:41pm: 6 things
Alright, so I've been tagged to do this twice, so I guess I should jump on it. The point of the post is to write 6 things that have made you happy recently, and then tag 6 people to do the same. Here it goes:

1. Kerianne and I went to Pumpkinville over in Great Valley. We did a corn maze, and watched them shoot corn out of cannons, and tried maple cotton candy, and generally had an excellent time together.

2. Over the break, Dad and I put 110 miles on the motorcycles in 2 days. I'm really starting to feel comfortable on the Kawasaki, and I hope the practice will pay off this summer at a magazine.

3. I really feel like I'm getting Arabic. The handwriting is beautiful, IMHO, and speaking it is entertaining in the classroom if nothing else.

4. The Hickey listened to my suggestion and is now leaving doughnuts out all day. Sweet!

5. I'm enjoying living by myself. Don't get me wrong, I liked living with Jared last year, and living at home with the family is cool, but I like being semi-autonomous.

6. I'm re-reading The Best of James Herriot, an autobiography by a vet in the farm country of England from the 30's to the 50's. I listened to his books on tape in the car when I was a child, and I forgot how much I loved them.

Now for the tagging. I guess I have to tag Jon, Colleen, Nate, Miguel, Mike and Johnny aka Crumb-Bum.

24th July 2007

10:19am: Only one week this time...
So just to give everyone a little update, I've been in talks with Warren Brown, the car reviewer for the Washington Post, about maybe getting a job reviewing motorcycles for them. Perhaps this requires background.

Part of my job is moderating online discussions on WashingtonPost.com. I always do Warren's chats on Friday mornings, and we've had some interesting conversations about what was going on in the automotive world. His writing style isn't my favorite, but who am I to judge a nationally syndicated columnist anyway?

So one day, someone in the discussion asked about the possibility of bringing motorcycle reviews back (We had them for a while before, but we dropped them when the columnist left for a real motorcycle magazine.). I asked him about it in private, and he said that they were working on bringing it back but that they needed a writer. I volunteered.

This was almost 3 weeks ago. Warren hasn't returned my phone calls or e-mails since. I've still been doing the chats, but our conversations have basically stopped.

I've given up hope. In fact, I've kinda given up on reviewing motorcycles for a living. Honestly, I think I started too late. Most of the reviewers in the professional mags started on dirtbikes when they were 9 or 10. I'm too far behind the curve.

Plus apparently Warren doesn't think I have whatever it is they're looking for.

So now I don't know what I want to do for a living. I will say this though: With GOD as my witness, I will never work retail again if I can help it. This job at Swarovski sucks.

Speaking of which, I need to go take care of that.

14th July 2007

11:17am: Again with the 6 weeks between updates...
I know, I know, I'm still awful at updating this thing. But at least now I have an excuse.

Behold! I'm a real journalist now!


I have to admit, calling up the president of a national business and pushing her buttons was kinda fun. Now I get to look foreward to another article about cars set to go live sometime in mid-August.

On another note, I was informally offered a job reviewing motorcycles for the Post on Friday. More on this story as it develops.
Powered by LiveJournal.com