Goddammit, I hate craigslist. He’s like a filthy, STD ridden whore that is somehow necessarily entangled in your life, like an ex that is also your boss. You need craigslist, as it is the only game in town. But you really don’t love it.
The rant began with a questionable decision. I decided to sell Betty White, also known as my Civic. Why would I sell a well-running 2000 Civic Si, which is mint in the inside, clean as hell on the outside?
There were two reasons really. I strongly prefer rear wheel drive. Also, thanks to the economy, I’m suffering under the weight of student loan payments and credit card debt resulting from long-term unemployment.
So, I put an ad up for $7,500. The price was a bit high, especially for a bluebook value of $4,500, but the KBB ignores the reality of the Civic Si marketplace. There are almost none left. The cars were rare to begin with, as only a small percentage of the 1999-2000 Civics made were of the Si variety.
Combine that with an insane amount of thefts, ricer mods, and the driving habits of the target demographic (young, Asian male stereotype, probably driving recklessly… sounds like half of our staff) and you have a car that is worth far more than the bullfeces Kelly Blue Book quotes. Did I mention that it has an immaculate CarFax?
The result is a rare sports coupe with a 1.6 liter engine, 160 HP, and seats for five. The market price is around $6,500-$7,000. The rest of the price was made up of the immaculate condition of the vehicle, minus a couple of shopping cart dings, and the sheer number of amenities added as options, including moon roof, iPod connector on the stock stereo, dealer-optioned leather interior, and gold badging. It’s a ricer’s wet dream.
That’s why I was confused when a middle aged white man, sporting a Village People police officer’s mustache, wanted to purchase it. He came, test drove it, and looked it over. He found one issue: there is an ever so slight alignment issue that created uneven wear on the front passenger tire. I never noticed it, which tells you how minor the issue was. The front tires are bald anyway, so I really didn’t, and don’t, give a flying [fornicate].
Today, he texted me.
Village Person: I did some checking. Blue Book for your car is more like $4500; factor in a new tire and alignment and that’s more like $4000: how low are you willing to go?
After a series of text messages, it became clear that he was not going to move up from that price, nor was I going to move downward significantly. Perhaps my price is unrealistic. That’s my perogative as a seller.
If you are a buyer, don’t be a dumb fuck who wastes someone’s time by doing a test drive when you aren’t prepared to pay anywhere near the asking price. I expected a lowball. I was thinking he’d come back with $6,000, and I’d use my lawyerly negotiation skills to push it to around $7,000. But $4,000? You must be out of your goddamned Village People-looking mind.
P.S. Shave the stache bro. You’ve got a wife and a kid. The cop stache screams, “Blue Oyster.” There ain’t nothing wrong with that, if it’s your preference, but based on your lifestyle, I’m going to assume it isn’t.
P.P.S. I’m keeping the car, for now. It’s pretty, comfortable, and reliable. F**k it. It’s worth the 22% interest I’m building up.
I was on my way home after a gym session in the Sunset District of San Francisco. I pull up at an intersection going Southbound on Junipero Serra Blvd and I see headlights coming up fast. VERY FAST.
A Red BMW Z3 comes to a screeching stop to my right, and I look over expecting to see a spoiled punk with spikey hair looking to “go at it” on green. Instead I’m met with the silhouette of flowing, dark hair, and soft, young, Asian features. She is beautiful, and her car is as well. I catch myself gaping and almost miss the light change. She speeds-off.
A second car (red sedan, of Japanese origin, and making more noise than necessary), zips by me chasing the red convertible. He attempts to punk the cabriolet for two blocks, but it can’t be touched. He turns-off at the next street, tail-between-legs. Hah! My turn.
I look over and give an approving nod to my fellow BMW-enthusiast as we pull up at the second-to-last intersection before Junipero Serra Blvd turns into HWY-1. We both rev our engines in synchronized, glorious, 6-cylinder harmony. The high-pitched whine of her naturally aspirated 2.8L i6 compliments the baritones of my 3.0L i6 and cat-back exhaust.
Light turns green, and we’re off. Tires squealing, the smell of burnt rubber and engine exhaust fill the air.
Both of our cars jump off-the-line at the same time. I can tell she’s a decent driver. But the smaller displacement engine in a stock Z3 proves to be no match for my modestly modified M3. I pull-away slowly, slowly. It’s unfair.
We stop at the last intersection, and play once more. She turns-off on Brotherhood Way, and I continue onto Hwy-1/i280s.
Goodbye my love. I do hope our paths cross again, so I may share another dance with you…
Man, you guys REALLY suck. I mean, I’ve gotten 20 comments in the last 24 hours. I know no one is actually reading this blog. We just launched a couple of weeks ago and we’ve been treating it like the proverbial ginger step-child.
I must give you props however. Your spamming has gotten really good. The comments are somewhat reasonably thought out, and usually have something to do with the post. However, each of them has some weird fake email address and has a link to a strange woman’s Facebook profile.
So, how am I so sure that you are spamming? Your IP address tracks to Amsterdam. People in Amsterdam have better things to do, like bleach their hair and smoke weed.
Also, you posted a comment about melting Nissan Leaf batteries that started with “this might work, but the overheating” blah blah. It was on the BMW Trunk Lid post. My guess is that your automated software pulls comments off of other blogs and matches up keywords. Smart. If only I had thought of it and monetized it first.
With that, I only have one more thing to say to you. Go [fornicate] yourself. I’ll stop being a lazy bastard now and install better spam filtering plugins.
P.S. Real SPAM is awesome. Your disgusting profession taints the name of the greatest pre-cooked canned meat in existence.
What a piece of crap! Seriously, I hate this monumental time-suck of a freeway. It’s one of the few East-West arteries in the South Bay, so it’s always got traffic. I’ve left for work early, at 7:00am. Parked. I’ve left late, at 9:00am. Parked. I’ve gone to lunch from work (in Sunnyvale). Parked. I’ve driven on it at 10:00pm. Parked.
And what’s the deal with the dumb [fornicating] car pool lanes? I get the point. We want to save the trees, so let’s create a traffic jam by making one less lane. But, the “Car pools between 6-9am and 5-7pm” is just too complicated. It took me a week to figure out what times the lane was open and what times it was closed to solo drivers. The enforcement is also a joke. Every day, there are dozens of solo drivers rockin’ the CP lane and I’ve never seen one get pulled over. It’s bull excrement.
There are better options, though no good ones, for the daily San Jose/Sunnyvale/Mountain View communter that has to to East/West. Personally, I prefer the Central Expressway. I end up having to take about five miles in surface streets each way, but at least I can cut people off. I can’t even drive like an [arse]hole on the 101. It’s too stop and go to actually go fast enough to cut someone off.
When I first moved here a few months ago, I though L.A. traffic was second only to Manhattan in terms of sucktitude. I’d put the entire Bay Area on the same level. I also thought Piggy might have been mildly mentally disabled for constantly taking surface streets everywhere. I’m now much more enlightened.
Plus, on the Central, even though the Speed Limit is 50, traffic usually goes 55 in the morning hours. Compare that with the 101, where traffic goes 5.
The only thing I hate about the Central is the right-side car pool lanes. Really? Car pools get the right lane? Is that supposed to be an incentive. If I’m a car pool, I don’t want to get stuck in traffic. I don’t want to deal with idiots merging at 25 mph, or people cutting me off so that they can exit. Instead, I’m going to drive in the normal lanes and create more traffic.
And if I’m a law-abiding citizen, or someone too broke to afford a ticket, I can cross the car pool lane to exit, but I can’t drive in it. So, how close exactly do I have to be to the intersection to get into the car pool lane? Do I wait until 100 feet before the intersection and cut someone off, or do I get in the lane right after the previous intersection, when there’s plenty of room to get over without causing an accident? If I do the latter, am I going to be the first person in history to be pulled over for abusing the CP lane?
A few years ago, CuriousJorge and I were randomly targeted and became victims of auto vandalism in our duplex’s parking lot. We woke up one Sunday morning, about to grab some breakfast at a local Denny’s (Yeah I know, who goes to Denny’s for breakfast anymore right?) and found our cars smashed-in with rocks/bricks. Nothing was stolen from inside our cars, so it’s pretty reasonable to assume that this may have been a hate crime. Fucking ricers.
Anyways… CuriousJorge, luckily only had his windows smashed in, whereas my BMW had its windshield smashed-in and the boot (trunk) lid dented significantly. [See pic below]
A few weeks ago, I finally found a guy with a cosmos black (metallic black) M3 who was looking to part-out his car due to a serious front-end collision. Which meant that the boot was still intact. I managed to nab the donor part for $80. No badges, no mounting hardware, no locking mechanisms. I guess I’d have to use my existing hardware. But at least I wouldn’t have to bother with the paint.
And like a dumbass, I forgot to print-out the DIY’s for this particular project. But I did manage to recruit the assistance of Willsbury (with a bit of dietary coercing <[^__^]v).
The replacement did take a bit of elbow grease, sweat and “fisting” [see pic below]. Threading the wiring into the body was probably the most difficult part. Since the donor boot lid still had part of the wiring attached we were able to figure out [albeit with very colorful language] where the proper lead ends were attached to.
So pretty much after disassembling the wiring from the donor, and unbolting the lock-mechanisms from the original, the job was really straight forward. In all, the job took about 1.5 hours and a burger at Chilli’s.
Rewind a few months ago, to when I was approached by a coworker asking about how I work on my own car as a hobby.
“Ohh, you’re a Ricer?”
A common misconception concerning the car tuning culture is
“any person who modifies his/her own car is a Ricer.” But let’s take another step back shall we?
The term “Ricer” is a shortened expression originating from the 80/90s vernacular “Rice-Rocket;” and for obvious reasons, this term is reserved for Asian cars. During the mid-90s, small family hatchbacks/sedans were viewed as versatile, and incidentally this particular market was dominated by Japanese automotive manufacturers. These cars were not seen as particularly eye-catching or fast, but merely useful and economical.
So spurs the modern hot-rodding culture of Japanese cars.
The plethora of small economical cars and their relatively cheap cost of operation meant that everyone from your grandmother’s uncle to your younger sister owned one. You probably even owned an economy car at one point. These cars were also eventually handed down to, and bought by individuals who dreamed of owning a sports car, however decided to make do with what they could afford at the time.
Engine components, suspension modifications, and extreme car-body makeovers became so commonplace that the aftermarket car part industry… actually became an industry rather than just a culture.
But I digress.
The label “Ricer” is now viewed as a derogatory term. The streets became littered with gaudy paint jobs and body styling so flamboyant it would make Liberace seem more like Agent Smith. However, please take notice that there is a difference between a tuner (an individual who will perform performance modifications to his/her car) and the ricer (modifications purely for non-functional cosmetic purposes).
Enter the Budget Ricer.
These individuals become so infatuated with altering the appearance of their ride that they resort to fastening hardware store constituents to their bumpers and duct-taping makeshift spoilers to their boot lids. In the end, a feeble effort in pursuit of budget [sort of] vanity.
Ricer [Exhibit A]
And by the way, I drive an M3. It’s German.
My fellow salesman just went to the General Manager’s office and stole his food. No drawer could ever stop this man. Another salesman is currently sleeping in the used car lot. And where is our receptionist, did she got abducted by aliens? I know customers are not exactly storming down our doors, but the phones are still ringing. I do love this place, but I am positive somebody is filming a reality TV show here, I just can’t seem to find the camera.
The Achilles’ heel of electric cars has always been the lengthy time that it takes to charge the batteries. The Leaf too suffers from this genetic affliction. In addition, at this point you are probably thinking, “ah but Piggy, won’t we get the quick charge station here soon, thus enabling us to live in a Jetsons-like future?” However, this is the part where I crush your hopes like a basketball coach crushing the hope of a 5’5” white player. The charging stations are made by Sumitomo and are priced to cost around $10,000. However, we heard through the grapevines that the chances of these 480 volt stations ever arriving are almost next to none.
Because the Leaf battery pack is like all other battery packs, it requires quite a bit of careful management in order to squeeze out maximum life. For example, Nissan suggest that the battery should only be charged to about 80% instead of full, and that it should not be run all the way down to empty. All these are reasonable assumptions to keep the battery living a long and happy life. However, the average American is anything but a careful customer. If they can fuck it up, they will.
As the Leaf and its contemporaries move from a mere niche market into the mainstream, you will have a much large customer base who will treat these cars as if they were a throw away cell phones. How many times have you left your cell phone with a dead battery overnight? Likewise, we are all guilty of running out of gas or getting very close to that in our vehicles. The end result is usually only a mildly embarrassing unintended delay to your road trip, whereas repeated occurrence will only lead to fuel pump failure, which is not a significant expense.
In an electric car, this same behavior will result in a much more expensive battery failure. The battery packs themselves are upwards of $10k. If quick charging stations should proliferate, the failure rate of battery packs will increase noticeably, as those quick charges severely reduce the longevity of your battery’s lifespan. This will of course result in a large pool of electric cars that bricked themselves. The upside is of course that charging is reduced to minutes rather than hours.
Today you can fill up the tank on your car in about 4-5 minutes, and have about 4 to 5 times the range of an electric car. There exists the argument that you can fill up your electric car for pennies at a time. However, is it worth replacing a $10k battery pack every 5 to 10 years just to reap the rewards of being able to be powered off the grid?
Owning an electric car is like owning a car that has a gas tank that shrinks with every passing day. A gas tank that ultimately goes for broke 5 to 10 years down the line, and costs about 10k to replace, which is probably more than what your piece of shit Leaf is worth at that point. Suddenly all those cheap fill ups don’t seem so cheap anymore.