Optimus Prime is heading out to the Middle East:
Thanks to Matt for forwarding me the information that really makes a difference
Transformers! More than meets the eye
Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of The Decepticons.
Transformers! Robots in disguise.
Transformers! More than meets the eye.
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Everybody's talking about it! It's the new thing! Oh hell. I'm terrified.
Our military is the best in the world. I wish our troops health, safety and a speedy return. Saddam Hussein has taken evil actions in the past and he will do so again.
I just don't know for sure that these reasons are enough for us to go to war.
- reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither
- adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq
- likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq;
- acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
Bush's explanation seems to have three parts.
- Iraq is a military threat to the US
- Iraq is disobeying UN edicts
- Iraq supported the terrorists from 9/11
Can Iraq attack the US using conventional military methods? Can Iragi missiles, planes, or troops reach the US?
Isn't the US disobeying UN edicts?
Can a line be traced from the 9/11 terrorists to Saddam Hussein? I would buy general terrorist ties without further explanation, but I want more proof before I believe that this is retribution for the events of September 11th. I have an emotional attachment to the idea of revenge- I want revenge, but I want it to be on the right people, otherwise it's just misdirected anger.
It's too late to debate. We are taking our course of action, and I'm sure that the repercussions are already in motion. Be cautious. Be afraid. We won't be untouched by war forever, and we might have started something that we will regret. We should have waited for the UN.
Then came Peter to him, and said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?”
Jesus saith unto him, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
King James Version of the Bible
Book of Matthew, Chapter 18, Verses 21-22
Then again, didn't a lot of Christians get eaten by lions? Sometimes you have to draw a line. I just think that line should have been drawn amongst international agreement.
The BBC has terrific news coverage. The thumbnails are from their broadcast on the local public television station.
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Somehow, somewhere, at some point in my life, I became addicted to Angel- not just because David Boreanaz is a USDA Choice piece of man-meat, not just because Charisma Carpenter and Amy Acker make me crazy insane. There is a dearth of good Sci-Fi/Fantasy television programming, and Angel makes up for- no, it's the HOT chicks.
So, after a half hour of drumming my fingers while my roommate readied himself for the total experience that is Angel (including special guest star Eliza Dushku as Faith: HOT), we settled in to watch what promised to be the climax to the epic Angel/Angelus story arc. Even Alyson Hannigan was back as Willow, the HOT lesbian witch.
Let's discuss the “HOT lesbian witch” thing for a minute- and not just because that is something that I would enjoy seeing more of. I guess that I could say that I've known hot witches, hot lesbians, and lesbian witches, but rarely do all three coincide. Maybe that's what happens when you live near a hellmouth. Wait a minute, I don't know any vampires or slayers, either. I guess that's just what we will call “the hellmouth effect”.
So anyway, Willow swoops in, saves the day (but, sadly, does not have any American Pie moments), and then leaves with Faith in tow. I guess that four HOT, powerful, intelligent women were too much for Angel. Sonofa. It wasn't too much for me. I felt a little cheated by this episode, since it seemed to have too many extraneous flashback scenes and not enough ass-kicking. This particular mini story arc (the involvement of Faith) was full of wonderful hand-to-hand combat and witty rejoinder, but it ended in tepid Buffy-styled poo. I was expecting a big, climactic battle across mulitple dimensions and visions of reality, but Willow just magically busted the Giant Jar of Angel Soul and twitched her nose until Angel's soul popped back into his body. Terrific.
Oh yeah, spoilers.
I'm still in the “Angel is a good show, worthy of entertaining me” camp, but even good shows can let you down. Also, my friend Lisa correctly predicted the evilness of faux-Cordelia, and mentioned that good Cordelia would never wear something as ugly as at the end of the show - all black and fringey and just plain wrong. It was almost bad enough to make me forget that Charisma Carpenter is HOT.
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Of course it snows again. Welcome to Minnesota, I suppose. I got inadvertantly sideways (while driving in a straight line) on highway 7 in Hopkins tonight. If you're driving in the tracks, make sure that you pay attention when the tracks swerve. I hit 7″+ deep sno-cone material and the
car just snapped sideways 80 degrees to the direction that I had been going. Thank goodness that I had gotten half a mile ahead of the cars
Right as I straightened out again a person coming the other way went into the median. Then, not a quarter mile later, I saw a car in the opposite lane silhouetted against the headlights of the traffic coming that way - completely sideways.
Oh well. Not much snow left, I think.
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Someone tore the door handle off of my car last week. They got one speaker, a tire pressure
gauge, and a gift for one of my coworkers. That's what stings the most - the secret Santa gift.
Holy $#*^@#&$. I found the speaker in the alley a couple days later.
Anyway, to repair the door would be $1000. The genius or geniuses got away with $15 in goods, including the $5 gauge and $10 gift bag of COCOA!
Anyway, does anyone have a passenger-side coupe door that they want to get rid of? :)
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Garrett Sturzl wrote:
I've got a new toy now. I just bought Mike Jerry's (from Boulder, CO) 99 RS-T with an original Minnam kit and LOTS of fun stuff to play with. As Jesse can tell you it's plenty fast right now, but I want a little more from it.
Fast? Fast? It's nowhere near as fast as my next-door neighbors's Fiero. Ugh.
So Garrett came over to sell me some steel wheels (for winter tires…) and let me take his turbo RS (with 4″ exhaust) out for a spin. Wow. It was just plain crazy. If I had a turbo car, I would want it to behave just like that - torquey with firm pulling to the top. I would want a quieter car, though. Wow that thing was freakin' loud.
When we got back to my house, some neighbor kids were pointing with looks of awe and wonder on their faces, and this little kid who couldn't have been older than 10 ran his bike into a curb and fell over.
Then, one of my creepy neighbors came over and asked if the wing was stock or aftermarket. I'm sitting there thinking “look at the intercooler - it's a turbo RS!”, but my partially shirted neighbor wouldn't shut up about his Fiero, and how great the RS wing would look on it. I kept finding myself laughing nervously, perhaps fearing that if we weren't nice to the guy that he would break into my home and kill me and my roommates.
Still, nothing could break the joy and shock of finally driving a nice turbo RS. Wow.
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I just got back from armoring the underside of my 1996 Impreza LX with 23 pounds of aluminum goodness. Paul Eklund was kind enough to send me the front skid plate and rear differential protector (for a modest fee) just in time for today's rallycross. Norm “Stumpy” Johnson and I did the install, borrowing from Paul's instructions, but making a few changes for our own whims.
Really, I got them earlier this week, but I was too sick to install them, and besides, I had to put together the 1.533 GHz PC that I'm typing on. Heh heh heh. Okay, back to Subaru…
When I got the stuff, it seemed a lot bigger than I had expected. The skid plate shipped as 15 pounds (including cardboard packaging) and is much thicker than I expected. 1/8″ thick just didn't register for me under I held it in my hands. Under the car it stretches from tow hook to tow hook and back almost to where the exhaust meets up. Nice. The skid plate came with four bolts and two 2″ Primitive Racing stickers.
The rear diff protector is big enough to hold two medium-sized loaves of bread. It feels some piece of military surplus equipment, and since it was painted(?) grey it kinda looked like it, too. It shipped as 8 pounds, which included ten pounds of newspaper, gauze, and cardboard, because something that attaches to the underside of the car MUST NOT GET SCRATCHED! The rear diff protector came with two long bolts, two short bolts, two long spacers, two short spacers, four washers, and two 2″ Primitive Racing stickers.
We did the front skid plate first.
The car was jacked up by the front cross-member and then lowered onto jackstands which were placed under the frame in useful spots. We test-fit the skid plate and discovered that my car does not allow the skid plate to be tucked behind the bumper cover. We also located the front bolt holes and cleaned them out.
The engine and suspension cross members are tied together with a little hunk of metal. The little hunk has three sets of holes. I cleaned out two years of baked-in rally dirt with my fingers and various metal implements. We put long bolts with lock washers into the two front holes and put two nuts on the bolts to ensure that the skid plate would clear the exhaust headers.
We lifted up the plate, slipped it onto the bolts, and put on small washers and nuts, being sure not to tighten yet so we could insert the front bolts. Once the front bolts (with washers) were inserted, we finished by tightening everything up. We used the jack to lift the car off of the jack stands and then started it to check for rattling.
Next, we rolled the car forward and jacked up the rear. About halfway up I started hearing a hissing noise from the front of the car. All I could imagine was that the car had rolled onto a screw or something. I ran to the front of the car and discovered the can of liquid wrench jammed under the front of the car. We needed it, so I figured we shouldn't waste it on cleaning the underside of the skid plate.
With the car securely on jackstands we loosened the two bolts holding the rear differential to the rear crossmember and removed the front four bolts. (The instructions and the diff protector itself should illustrate which) This process involved a breaker bar, rachets, wrenches, and amazingly, very little swearing.
Theoretically, one is then supposed to use a 2x4 to push on the two rear bolts (which were only loosened) so that enough space is created between the differential and the crossmember to slide in the diff cover. Our regulation 2x4 didn't fit, and the 3/8″ hunk of plywood we had didn't fit either. I looked the other way as I used a real live prybar to massage the diff into place. Norm slapped the cover into place and we were done.
Oh, wait, no. Then we had to bolt the thing into place. Being high from liquid wrench fumes at that point, we tried to assemble the spacers, bolts, cover, and diff altogether, using all eight of our hands. As the air conditioning cleared the garage and our heads of fumes, we realised that we did not have eight hands between the two of us, and that the lip was on the bracket that the cover bolted to for a reason.
Simply get the diff cover into place, then slide the spacers into place and get the bolts into them through the cover. The spacers will rest on the lip. That was a head slapper. Easy, unless your fingers are still numb from breathing liquid wrench. After a certain amount of cussing we got the correct assemblage of bolts, spacers and sheet metal together and tightened everything down.
I used one of the stickers on my monitor at work and two more on my side windows. My car now has four Primitive stickers on it and one in it, assuming that the sticker on the pressure plate is still there. I wonder if I am on the Primitive team yet. I know my car feels faster for every sticker I put on it.
Someday we will go in an either trim away the front of the plate so it can mate with my bumper or drill new holes. I'm sure that the LX just has a weird front bumper.
I drove away a happy man, and somehow, my car seems to be handling more tightly. We'll see if I really needed it after today, since the rallycross is in six and a half hours. Uff da!
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I saw a white WRX last week - SUBARU debadged (WRX badging still there). He was youngish, wearing a tie. He had spiky hair.
He happened to be going the same way as me, and tried to leave me behind at a stop light. I stayed on his tail for the first 50 feet or so, and then his boost came on and my boost didn't.
Also, I let off at 35, since that was the speed limit.
Then, he turned onto Prior avenue in Saint Paul, which happened to be the way I was going. For once, the light was green and the intersection was clear as I made it to the intersection, so I pitched it into the corner and somehow managed to squeal my tires loudly as I layed down the “power” and got the back end out. (this was before the suspension
Anyway, I couldn't tell if he was waving or flicking me off as he turned into the Knox lumberyard. Maybe I was a little crazy going around that corner, but then again, I've made that same turn hundreds of times and he started the whole thing by trying to leave me behind at the stoplight. I waved back and continued home.
Matthew Shaffer said:
That was me! I was just egging you on! I kind of had to when you launch it at the light. when we turned the corner and I saw you got sideways I was waving my fist in the air in Applause!!!
I have no choice but to launch it - it's that whole stiff clutch thing. It's a hard launch or a shuddery, chattery mess, especially when I'm
right behind the first WRX I've seen on the road.
I was sideways? Hee hee. I knew that right rear shock was going out. It's a good thing that I know that corner so very well…
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Let's just imagine that a friend of mine picked up my car (1996 Impreza LX) with a recently installed RS suspension for me and came to Mendota Heights to pick me up from work.
Let's just say that as that friend crossed the Mendota Heights bridge southbound, an A4 1.8T decided to chase him. Continuing this line of hypothesis, let's say that as he exited the bridge and came up the sweeping turns on the hill, he hit 115MPH and left the A4 lurching and weezing behind.
You'd assume that this hypothetical person would then very quickly arrive at my place of work to pick me up. Instead, said person might just get LOST and make me wait, and then forget to tell me this story until seemingly hours later. But, ahem, none of this REALLY happened, *to the best of my knowledge*.
So when I did end up taking the wheel of my 2.2 litre (NA) Impreza LX, I found the difference from the old, stock, blown suspension to be quite enjoyable. Only a little bit stiffer, but certainly more more consistent. No more bouncing over bumps (and then bouncing and bouncing)…
Unfortunately, the rallycross scheduled for Sunday has been cancelled, so I don't get to really put the car through its paces until June. May is the Headwaters ClubRally in Park Rapids, Minnesota, where I'll be working, but not competing. :(
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