Get taxed to drive?

4 01 2009

I know it’s been a while since I last posted and this post has very little to do with tech *cough-GPS-cough* but here’s an article from Autoblog that has got my blood boiling:

Oregon ran a pilot program in 2006 and 2007 that fitted 300 cars with GPS receivers, which kept track of the cars’ mileage. The receivers also kept records of when the cars were on the road, noting whether they traveled during rush hour or not. When the drivers went to several specially-equipped gas stations, they paid a mileage tax based on how far they had driven and when they drove, rush hour being more expensive than the wee hours.

Taxing mileage — as opposed to trying to raise fuel taxes — is an idea that’s not only raising eyebrows, it’s also raising interest. Seven other states are reported to be interested in finding a publicly-palatable way to tax mileage. A panel in North Carolina even recommended that drivers be charged a quarter-cent-per-mile for their year’s driving. In such a scenario, after 15,000 miles you’d owe the state $37.50.

GPS? The hell were they thinking? I understand states are losing revenues they normally would been counting on from gas tax but going the extreme route of charging by the distance traveled is a bit too much on the big brother side. When gas prices were this low 3 years ago, how were the states making money then? If people drove less, it would mean less stress on the roads which would also mean that there would be less maintenance required. Sleazy politicians always trying to find ways to tax the citizens to bring out short-term solutions for their own work performance shortcomings.

At this rate, small towns will be affected even more so. A lot of people commute to and from work from small towns or suburbs which would lead to some of them moving into the already crowded cities to avoid the “mile tax” or “toll booths”. I hate you Lou Dobbs because all you’ve been saying the past 5 or 6 years of your CNN existence has been about “heartland” and “illegal immigration” but now it’s about time you use your clout to stuff your big head into the courtrooms about those governments and do something good for once.

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WRC loses Subaru

17 12 2008

You know things aren’t going the greatest when companies like Microsoft and Google put on hiring freezes, Yahoo! goes on a firing spree, electronics giant Best Buy making moves to reduce staff, folks out at Target Corp getting the chop, and every other person is out there job hunting because of this economic downturn. To make matters worse, credit card companies like American Express began lowering or freezing borrowing from their valued customers making matters worse for those looking to invest. Even my favorite blog site, The Consumerist, has fallen under hard times and is up for sale. You can tell times are bad cuz their ads are so big, they cover blog post titles.

And thereby, we can claim that the economy is just as miserable as the weather is right here in Minnesota.

Unfortunately, this trickle down effect has now hit the world of auto sports breaking the seemingly life-long bond between Subaru and the World Rally Championship. Without going into details, a statement from the parent company Fuji Heavy Industries (owned by Toyota) revealed that (Subaru) has officially pulled out of the 2009 WRC campaign. The economy could be one of the bigger reasons behind this decision but irrespective of the cause, it’s a sad day to see an icon like Subaru divest itself off of the rally championships. This from a company that made a name for itself by designing passenger vehicles from all of their testing and experience in the World Rally Championships. Truly a shocker!

All we have are memories…





A big FU to tailgaters!

6 11 2008

You know how when you’re minding your own business and driving about town, there’s always the one idiot cruising around with reckless abandon? They drive with inches separating them from the car in front and then they scamper off somewhere – usually to smoke with buddies over at by shady run-down apartments or going out to fancy dinners at McDonald’s. Earlier this evening, an asswipe was tucked in behind my car for roughly 10 minutes on the highway with one headlight on high-beam blinding me in one eye and his bumper close enough to compete with Kyle Busch in NASCAR.

So when I got the chance, I pull over to the right lane to let the ass-rider room to go. He zooms off only to get stuck in traffic ahead later. Lucky for me, I found plenty of room on the far left lane and passed him. Some red-neck (possibly hippie) looking dude with long hair glaring at me as I left him behind.

Thought it was over. Not quite for the dude cuz apparently, he was in a battle zone and had to come on top. He raced by at the opportunity hurling obscenities as he blew past a slowing traffic. At times like this, I get distressing thoughts of pointing objects known as guns at said persons.

So in ode to the phantom tailpipe sniffer from tonight, I declare a massive “F-U” to all the habitual tailgaters in this community.





Quit leaving your crap behind on my car!

22 06 2008

I understand there’s a lot of animosity towards the Honda Civic but that’s mostly due to the ricers out on the streets with the giant spoilers and fart-cans crammed in the rear exhausts. Unfortunately, my bone-stock Civic never fails to land me a surprise year after year.

When I first got my car, some asswipes keyed the rear trunk in a parking lot of a grocery store. Another grocery store had someone trying to pry open my gas cover which at that time was around $1.25/gallon. Unfortunately for me, the cover’s controlled from the inside so when they tried to forcibly get it to open, it bent something there and now the gas cover on the outside doesn’t shut all the way. Then 2 years ago, someone left me a AOL CD on the rear window lodged between the rubber strips with a scratched-on Nazi Swastika sign in broad-daylight in the afternoon. That was at the Cub Foods location in New Brighton, Minnesota, considered by many as a nice quiet suburb. Another time, someone left behind pliers on my trunk lid while at some friends place in St Cloud. Some stupid college kid put up a fake ticket behind my windshield wipers last year. We all get those little cards or fliers once in a while but yesterday, there was a “Minneapolis Summer Fun” newspaper stuck on my wipers when no other car had it in the parking lot. If that didn’t get me riled me up, a bloated tampon lodged in the rear trunk-lid surely did. It wasn’t used (ewwww) but it’s still gross.

So what am I doing wrong? There are no bumper stickers to aggravate people of various sociopolitical differences or large exhausts, colorful paint etc that really makes this Civic stand out. No one else I know has had anything like that happen to them and they have rides that aren’t normal, yet I get targetted on a yearly basis. Why? So my message out to all you asshats who pull these stunts is QUIT LEAVING YOUR CRAP BEHIND ON MY CAR or I’ll have to find a way to knight you with this baseball bat on your heads!

Anyone else have similar stories?





The all new 2009 Mazda6 hiding at dealer lots?

17 06 2008

Despite not being released out for sale, you might be lucky enough to spot the newly redesigned 2009 Mazda6 plying on the roads out to nearby dealerships. Just last Friday, saw one of those beauties heading out west (NW) on MN-55 (aka Olson Memorial Hwy) in Minneapolis while on my way to work at like 8:15AM. The car took a left (west) on CR-6 possibly to take a left on Xenium Ln and get back on 394W where 2 Mazda dealerships lie close.

It just stood out very clear from the Camrys, Accords, and Passats with the swooping lines and the heavily accentuated wheel arcs jutting out in a muscular sporty way. I thought it was strange body-kit on an RX-8 from the rear until I got closer and realized it was a 4-door 6. The headlights were unmistakable and so was the overall design. In terms of looks alone, this is a must-have. Sorry Accord. You’re upscale but if the girlfriend thinks you’re “boring” everything I point you out enthusiastically, you have no chance.

Obviously, the plan is that the dealers get peeks at the new Mazda6’s in person to get the extra push to sell off all of their remaining rather plain looking current generation 6. No wonder you see Mazda putting them on the ads on tv every day.

Update: Pictures of the new and unreleased Mazda 6 out in the open, courtesy of Autoblog.





The future Honda/Acura NSX?

22 05 2008

Arguably the world’s first and only true exotic supercar from the land of the rising sun, Honda’s NS-X (Acura in the USA) was a pillar of marvel for automobile designers with it’s light-weight aluminum frame molded into a sleek aerodynamic design. The low-slung mid-engined beauty ran on it’s rear wheels and could out-handle it’s European counterparts from marques like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche.

Unfortunately for Honda, manufacturers and fans of the established exotic sports cars refused to accept the NSX because of the rather anemic V-6 powerplant and the fact that it wasn’t from Europe. Regardless, there is no doubt that it’s design was years ahead of it’s competition back when it first came out in 1990 and Honda is aiming to try and make another home-run.

Honda’s HSC (probably stood for Honda Sports Concept) made the fans somewhat happy but the boring and derivative design wasn’t NSX which is why it was replaced by the equally boring “Advanced Sports Car” concept. This time, it’s going to be front-engined on a rear-wheel drive setup which could alter the balance the previous iteration had achieved.

I must say it looks ugly as f*ck and a lot of enthusiasts expressed similar thoughts when this car debuted last year at NAIAS (North American International Auto Show). Almost Chevy Corvette like and somewhat bland to the eye so I used some quick Photochop to make it once again a mid-engined supercar that it should be.

Didn’t know how to fix the headlights but that’s just my interpretation of the direction Honda should be taking. I know Honda went back to the drawing board after a huge negative reception for the ASC design but would love it if they could take cues from what I have above or at the least, bring back a mid-engined supercar.





Sweet Subaru Impreza WRX STi Ad

18 04 2008

Just thought I should share this while I still have the WRX STi and Lancer Evolution thing stuck in my head.

If you noticed Ken Block’s massive 171 foot jump in his Subaru WRX from the clip above, watch it unfiltered below.