g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
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Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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Saturday, August 7, 2010
06:04 - An idea whose time has come ... and gone
http://jalopnik.com/5606884/top-gear-usa-the-first-trailer

(top)
Color me skeptical but slightly optimistic: here's the teaser trailer for Top Gear USA.

No Adam Carolla, for whatever reason. My first reaction is that the hosts all look the same and are way too supportive of each other. But my second is that we have no idea how these guys all actually act when they're establishing their own characters and chemistry. Maybe they really have given up on the idea of trying to recreate Top Gear with American clones of the British presenters.

Which is probably the way it should happen, if they're going to do it at all. I mean, the whole concept seems superfluous; we already have the real thing on BBCA, and if the producers think the American audience is failing to follow it because they can't understand the accents or the local politics or car brands like Vauxhall and Citroën, they need to talk to a few car people. Everyone loves it just as it is.

If the show is being created by people who think there's domestic advertising money that can be made from a domestic Top Gear, they must be fully aware that all those advertisers will be car companies, and therefore the show won't be able to slam bad cars. This isn't the BBC. So I guess they must be redesigning the format of the show to focus more on the challenges, the feats of driving, the... character interplay?

Top Gear strikes a balance between omniscient voice-overs explaining truths about the auto industry and goofy first-person driving experiences by a trio of misfits whose foibles we're all intimately familiar with. Character is all-important to the existing show. Without it even Top Gear would be unwatchable.

The only way Top Gear USA would not be is if it's being cast as a completely different kind of show.

I'll definitely watch it, just out of morbid curiosity. This trailer makes it look like they've got at least the building blocks in place. But there's so much more that's all still up in the air.

I think it'll suffer without Carolla, I really do. No matter what kind of show it is. He would have been perfect.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
14:15 - Lighter is still better
http://www.leftlanenews.com/2011-lotus-elise-to-achieve-46-7-mpg.html

(top)
Don't suppose this is that whole "green economy" thing everyone's been talking about for so long:

Lotus has finally taken all of the wraps off of its newly upgraded 2011 Elise roadster, with the big change coming in the form of a startlingly high 46.7 U.S. miles per gallon on the European cycle. Lotus says this new Elise also manages to put out the lowest amount of carbon dioxide of any gasoline driven sportscar in the world, with just 149 grams per kilometer.

Between this, the Porsche 918 Spyder, and the various Ferraris with "green" credentials (mostly due to paint), I guess we have to conclude that the busiest people in the automotive industry these days are the ones trying to figure out how to make sports cars eco-friendly while still maintaining acceptable performance—and even increasing it.

It'll inevitably mean more computer control, since it's difficult to imagine a car with minimalist feature sets and manual powertrains at the same time as invasive hybrid systems and fuel-saving and emissions-controlling features (EGR and catalytic converters and direct injection tend to do more harm than good to performance).

Still, this sounds like a whole lot better proposition than a Tesla.

Via Lance.

10:24 - Is there anybody out there?

(top)
Wouldn't surprise me if not. Maybe one of these days I should go ahead and change the blog code to show a minimum of x posts if there are none from the past week, but a) I've always considered it a failure of the endless decade-and-counting blogmathon if I resort to such a solution, and b) how can I think of modifying this, the world's most perfect, feature-rich, and well-conceived blogging software that I wrote in about eight hours back in 2001?

What's to say, anyway? I hate making empty statements for the sake of keeping traffic flowing. But there's just not that much I can pontificate about these days. iPhone 4? iPad? Haven't yet had the pleasure. Cars? Nothing too photogenic or storyworthy to report. Life in the Big City™? It's still there. Politics? Um... what?

Oh, hey, I just got a 401 scam-spam with the subject line:

LETTER!!

Why yes... yes it is.

Hmm, anything else....



Oh wait! Here's something:

Dogs that bite are not ordinarily lavished with praise, but Jerry Douthett's little dog Kiko is being hailed as a lifesaver.
Kiko apparently sensed an infection festering in his master's right big toe -- and chewed most of it off after Douthett passed out in a drunken stupor.

A trip to the hospital confirmed Douthett's digit required amputation, and Kiko is being heralded by his owner for helping him realize he has been suffering from Type 2 diabetes. Douthett had a dangerously high blood-sugar level of 560 when admitted -- many times the recommended 80 to 120.

"Jerry had had all these Margaritas, so I just let him sleep," said his wife, Rosee, a registered nurse. "But then I heard these screams coming from the bedroom, and he was yelling, 'My toe's gone, my toe's gone!'"

That's a hell of a way to wake up. But I love the writing style in this article:

In the meantime, he and friends are trotting out every pun they can think of to lighten the incident. That would include hosting a concert -- a "toe-jam" -- to recognize Kiko, and jokes about how Douthett should patronize eateries like Noto's.

Even before surgery, he said he asked a nurse, "Is there any chance I can get whatever's left of my toe, so I can give it to Kiko as a treat?"

He said she replied, "That's the sickest thing I ever heard."

Um... good dog!

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