Monday, September 20, 2010

The definition of badass

This is the cheapest combo pack of approved fire-safety apparel available through the LeMons store. That's right, I'm cheap even when it means I could start on fire.

I think I'm trying to do a muscle pose, but as usually happens when I try to look manly, I do it wrong. Somehow "muscle pose" became "walk like a retarded Egyptian." Maybe the heat (the outfit is very warm) and the excitement of getting stuff in the mail were acting on my brain.

All my regretful expenditures racing supplies arrived on Saturday. They saved on shipping by stuffing the fireproof long johns, racing harness and gloves inside the helmet. That was weird, but efficient.

The harness is blue, and so will match the epically uncomfortable Kirkey aluminum racing seat. My suit, all black except for gloves and neck brace, fits fine but is far from flattering. I was hoping red-with-black-accents would look badass. It does not. It will, however, keep me from starting on fire. So that's a nice perk.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Save the Manuals!

Everybody who can drive a stickshift, get on board. The manual transmission is at risk of disappearing from this country, and without it, enthusiasts will suffer. It is my firm belief that people who know how to shift their own gears are more aware drivers, and have more fun at it too. A clutch has borne more car enthusiasts than any poster of a Lamborghini or Porsche.

This isn't about decrying new technology. It's about learning a simple skill that can save you money, help the environment, and make you a more versatile driver. Manual transmissions are better than automatics in many ways. Let me briefly list a few:
  • Longer lasting
  • More efficient (better mpgs!)
  • Better car control
  • Cheaper to buy
  • Cheaper to maintain

Join the fight! Get yourself a sticker or a button. Spread the word. Offer to teach friends and family how to row their own gears (or learn from someone, if you don't know). If you're shopping for a new car, insist on seeing one in a stickshift. Help make America a better place for drivers.

I voiced my support for this movement early on, and for that, Car & Driver sent me a sticker and a button. Amanda wanted the button for her purse. I, the sticker fanatic, have yet to decide where I'm putting that sticker (in the background of the photo above). Don't worry, it'll be on one of my cars soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

How to make a billiard ball shift knob

This is something I've wanted to do for a while. I was intimidated because people on the internet suggested fancy things like drill bits for glass and tile, and using a drill press (which I don't have), and so on. I found a set of used balls on Craigslist for $10 and decided it was worth a shot. Below is a slideshow detailing how to do it. Turn the captions on and off with the button on the bottom left. (Or click here to go directly to the photo gallery with captions.)

If you're feeling lazy, I could make one for you. Click my face in the sidebar and send me an e-mail; we'll work something out. The M10x1.25 thread works for many imports (Mazda Miata and Protege for sure) and Ford Escorts. Probably lots of Hondas and VWs too.