Archive for October, 2004

I’m going to the 30th birthday party of one of my very best friends from high school and probably my first best friend. We grew up together and I haven’t seen him in years.

Its funny how you lose track of people and don’t mean to. Its also funny which people you end up staying in touch with and which ones you don’t.

Marty is married and has a kid now. I bet he is as goofy as ever, but sometimes being grown up has a strange effect on people. They change.

There is nothing wrong with changing, as long as he doesn’t forget when we broke into the Anthony’s house while they were on vacation. We were watching their TV and eating their food when we heard the door open.

Their house was for sale and the realtor had come to show it while no one was there. We bolted out one door while they were coming in the other…ran straight into the woods and shit on ourselves with fear.

They saw us and the Anthonys asked us, after they got back, if we’d seen anything weird going on while they were gone. Kids are bad liars. I wonder if they knew??

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I can’t believe it. I called the Pickens County Voter Regristration Office today and filed for an absentee ballot. I haven’t voted since 1992, when I voted for Ross Perot.

I think politics is a waste of time, unless your talking about my office politics, which better get me a fat raise at the end of the year.

If I lose at both my forays into politics this year…..I might just have to vote with my feet. I never got any responses to my request for emigration lawyers. However, I did contact a group of lawyers from Holland on my own initiative. No shit, they told me my best bet for getting a work permit was to come to The Netherlands and marry a Dutch girl.

Lawyers that tell the truth! Apparently law isn’t practiced the same in Europe as it is in the good ol’ US of A.

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Since nothing is really going on in my life other than eating, sleeping, working and daydreaming, I’ll share some crap that I read on the Internet today:

A group of British researches claim to have proven Murphy’s Law mathematically by this equation: ((U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10)). They say the equation gives some insight about factors you can manipulate to keep everything that can go wrong from doing so at the worst possible time. Their first suggestion: If you are better at stuff, things won’t go wrong as often.

This one is great:

Steven Stack of Wayne State in Detroit and James Gundlach of Auburn University in Alabama just completed a study showing that the suicide rates for whites in US metropolitan areas is higher in cities where more country music is played on the radio.

In their analysis (Social Forces, vol 71, p 311) they suggest that country music – renowned for its mournful themes – nurtures “a suicidal mood through its concerns with problems common in the suicidal population, such as marital discord, alcohol abuse, and alienation from work”.

In his acceptance speech for the IgNoble Prize for Medicine, Gundlach revealed that if you play country records backwards, your dog and estranged spouse come home and you get your job back.

Someone has filed a patent for the combover hairstyle with the US patent office. That really is unbelievable, not just that someone feels the combover is worth patenting, but that a method of combing hair could be patentable. Why not just patent hair?

And finally, according to the Washington Post, urban sprawl causes health problems. They even referenced Altanta by name: “Very spread out places, such as Atlanta, had about 100 more health problems per 1,000 people than areas that were less so, such as the Greensboro-Winston Salem area of North Carolina.”

I’m not so sure about all that. I bet 90 of those 100 additional health problems are caused by traffic accidents. That doesn’t mean sprawl causes health problems; it means car wrecks cause health problems. I hope no awards were won for that discovery.

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I hadn’t thought about the Vector in years until Josh mentioned it the other day. The freaking Vector!!! I was just sure that car was going to rule the world.

Simply put, the Vector was the fastest and most beautiful car ever to be almost made. 0-60 in 4 seconds, street legal top speed of 215+ miles per hour, a 3 speed automatic transmission with enough horsepower to go to the moon, built to airplane specifications, and looked like Knight Rider on steriods. (Later versions of the Vector were even faster: 220+ top speed, 0-60 in 3.3 seconds)

In 1972 Jerry Wiegert stunned the automotive world with the Vector concept car at the Los Angeles Auto Show. 30 years later, we’re still waiting for the damn thing to to built.

To give you an idea of the cult status of this car, after decades of non-production there are still Vector enthusiast groups, speculating on the next great twist in the Vector saga. (I’ve got a pretty good idea of what’ll happen next…..the same thing that’s been happening: nothing.)

The history of Vector reads like a soap opera. It started in Venice, California then to Wilmington, CA for some money…then was bought by an Indonesian group (MegaTech) with ties to Lamborghini. During these moves a few cars, under varying names and designs, were actually produced. Because the design was constantly changing and the cars were individually assembled, no two Vectors are exactly alike.

Then they disappeared for while, then moved to Florida for some more money, Wiegart was kicked out of the company, there was an SEC investigation…and they went out of business….or did they??

Then they were bought by Tradelink International in the late 90s. Bear in mind that since no cars are being made, investors are really buying the name…but how good can a name be when the owner is mired in court battles, won’t talk about the car in public, and no one actually owns a Vector to say if its any good??

So where is Vector now?? I have no idea. Some people say its re-organized as American Aeromotive, Vector Holdings, Avtech Motors, and/or Vector Supercars. Take your pick. One of them might be a real company….but one thing is for sure: None of these companys will be producing any Vectors.

So how many Vectors exist?? As far as I can make out:

1 W2 (this is the original concept car shown at the 1972 LA auto show without an engine. They hadn’t finished it and rolled it in as a shell looking for money…talk about hype!!)
19 W8s
2 Avtechs (one coupe and one roadster).
14 M12s

These cars reportedly sold for between 150,000 and 450,000 dollars. As recently as June 2004, someone tried to sell the only WX-3 (Avtech) coupe in existence on EBay. The top bid of $199,000 failed to meet the reserve price.

So there are few of them out there, but real Vector enthusiasts do not count the M12s. They say they are more reminiscent of Lamborghinis and do not hold true to the Vector style tradition. (I say what tradition?? 20 cars over 20 years is not exactly a strong tradition.)

Regardless, I still love the fictitious Vector and am sure the saga will continue.

Here are some pics. As you look, keep in mind that this design is 30 years old. Even the Avtech in the Ebay photo was made in 1993. These cars were way ahead of their time.

Vector’s jet fighter inspired console:

The Avtech:

The W8 (which looks very similar to the original W2). These are the “real” Vectors:

Here is a link to a photo gallery (one more)

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Right now is the busiest time of year at work, so I am swamped, although promised that it will let up soon…we’ll see.

I’ve played tennis 5 days in a row. My wrist hurts, I’ve got tendonitis in my arm and my back hurts. I think I need a break before our team match this weekend (I won last weekend).

I have been out of town for the last month. I went to a Clemson game, had a wedding two weekends in a row, and I went to the moutains of north Georgia last weekend. I keep thinking I’m gonna sit on my butt and do nothing, which I would very much enjoy, but it just doesn’t happen.

I bet it won’t happen this weekend either…actually I have a tennis match on Saturday and have to work on Sunday. Some people aren’t all that excited about working this weekend. I’ve worked every weekend for the past 3 months….this one just happens to be scheduled. It makes no difference to me.

Tonight I gave myself a haircut, paid bills and cleaned-up some around the apartment. I’d say I’ve had a grand total of 30 minutes or so of free time today. But it really isn’t a very relaxing 30 minutes when you have in the back of your head the whole time all the things you probably should be doing.

I haven’t been truly relaxed in a very long time…maybe years, unless you count being drunk. I think sometimes we think we are relaxed, but what we mean is that we are less tense than usual. Being slightly less anxious or stressed than your general highly agitated state is not the same thing as a genuine lack of anxiety and worry….a truly clear head. Most people haven’t had that in so long they’ve forgotten what it is.

I know a girl that is an endocrinologist. Her area of expertise is the stress response. She told me that although you think you are relaxed and may identify yourself as so, your body is not fooled.

The analogy she used was people who regularly commute in high traffic areas. They say they get used to the traffic and it is less stressful than it once was to sit in gridlock. But their stress hormone levels remain very similar to what they were when they first began the commute years earlier.

Anyway, I thought of it because today, while I didn’t have a lot of free time persay, I did complete my afterwork activities at a more leisurely pace than usual. I even managed to sit down and eat dinner for about 30 minutes at a restaurant (I usually eat fast food).

If I didn’t know better, I would say I had a relaxing evening.

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