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Cars > lil_paul’s Garage > Blog


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M –34
Anaheim, California
United States


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By lil_paul

That quote is one of the more mysterious yet powerful statements from the late great comedian (A.K.A. stand-up philosopher) George Carlin. I cam across this quote a few days ago after I picked up a life magazine book recappin the last decade in amazing full spread photos and captions. The book was a great reminder of all that we have been through and the changes that have materialized in the first 10 years of this millenium. At the end, the last few pages were dedicated to some of the legendary writers, politicians, actors, musicians, and other celebrities who have passed away in the last decade. Each photo had simply their name, occupation, dates a quote that captured their spirit and lifes contribution to the rest of us. I scanned through and one quote in particular caught my eye. It was simple, yet deep and obvious. For a little while why this was chosen for George Carlin's quote? Surely throughout the decades of his stand-up carrer and television shows something more interesting (and raunchy) could have been chosen. Such as "Figthing for peace is like screwing for virginity." and I am sure the seven words you can't say on television found quote stuck in my mind throughout the weekend and rang true for a few things on the deck right now.

For me, the quote had a few different meanings and applications. It meant that one should simplify one's goals and path toward reaching them to avoid becoming scattered and frazzled. Set a goal, whether it is to get that promotion, stop smoking, ask out that girl you've been after, etc. Then work at it until you've accomplished it. If you can focus on it, it will help to motivate you to get it done. Then, move on to the next goal. If you try to pile on too many at once, chances are you won't accomplish any of them and the stress of failure and overexertion will drag you down. Of course, it being the beggining of the new year, New Year's resolutions came to mind in relation to the quote. But making your resolution that much more difficult to tackle.

Focusing on one item before moving on to the next ca apply to the truck world as well. Chances are all of us have a few projects either lying around being worked on, or in our heads waiting to be fulfilled. For example, while it would be cool to completely tear down your truck for a complete rebuild, and with some this maybe the only option, you can make a goal of something as simple as getting before moving on to the next gives you a chance to focus your energy and funds until you have gotten the truck to a stage you are satisfiedwith. Trying to tackle too many projects at once will add to your stress level, lack of floor space and the chances of one or all of them going dormant is much higher. (Ahem, Mike A!) Sure, a lot of us have truck ADD and wrench on our trucks until something else that's cool or cheap comes along and catches our eye, but the satisfaction of completing something and moving on to the next project while enjoying your current truck is always better. Having finished my truck for the most part (some tinkering will always occur.), I have been working on Project Greystone, my daily-driven crew cab Silverado that has been seen in a few tech articles recently. A large portion of the customizing has already been completed so far. (At least until it is paid off and then the rockers will most likely see the ground!) That being said, I am about to drive into a full fresh project build that you will soon be reading about thanks to the guys over at Status in Rockwall, Texas. Of course, there is also still a little old body-dropped Ranger sitting at my parents' house, but that got bumped lower on the list of whatever's next!

- Jason Mulligan (Street Trucks Magazine)


By lil_paul

This month, I have a very important topic to address. I want more people to understand and appreciate the car hobbyist as well as the committed, hardcore automotive fabricator. there are some people out there who don't appreciate our art. You could say these individuals are trying to control the automotive hobbyist and squash him or her out of existence.

Many of you may or may not know who Nancy Pelosi is and her recent antics. She is the Speaker of the House, and she has an idea to start a national "Cash for Clunkers" program. Speaker Pelosi thinks that destroying old cars would help stimulate the economy by increasing new car sales. The only thing crushing old cars does is create more debt, not to mention the affect it will have on small business trying to sell parts to maintain older cars.

The reason I say more dect is simple: If we don't have a selection of older vehicles to choose from, we are compelled to get a new or newer car, which means constantly making loan payments! Consider that you, the consumer, just bought a new car with a $700 a month payment, plus $300 per month for insurance, not to mention annual taxes. In this economy you never know if you're going to lose your job, which adds considerable stress to the deal.

Alternatively, if you had the option to buy an older, more affordable used car that perhaps requires some love and care, you could pay for it in full. Of course, the accompanying insurance and taxes would be far more reasonable as well.

Parts suppliers will be affected by the proposed measure as well. Some will go out of business, and those hard to find replacement parts will be so expensive, they will be nearly impossible for the average person to afford.

Ms. Pelosi's idea is elitist because it asserts that she believes she has the solution to how the common folk should manage their everyday transportation needs. Ms. Pelosi is totally disconnected from what real working people want and need in this dismal economy. Not only does she want to destroy our ability to buy older used cars, but she will also eliminate our ability to maintain beloved hobby, and further, she'll impair the ability of fabricators to make a living.

This plan is definitely not the solution to repairing our damaged economy. Now, I don't have a degree in economics, but I do know that if I ran my shop the way the goverment is spending my tax dollars, I would be in jail. Since I totally disagree with Speaker Pelosi, here is my idea to fix the budget. Some of you might have heard that some banks and some unnamed American insurance groups have, under severe scrutiny, given back some of their bonuses. To go along with that theory, I feel Congress should take a 40 percent pay cut. After all, in 2009 members of Congress will earn an annual salary of $174,000 with party leaders making more. Speaker Pelosi (D-Calif.) will earn $223500 this year. Amazingly, that is what legislators get paid of their public service. which doesn't include payments on the side for speaking engagements, etc. so, Let's do the math for a second using just the average Congressional member's earnings of $174,000. forty percent of $174,000 is $69,600. Now, let's take that figureand multiply it by 535 Congress members; that's $37,236,000 per year. Wow, now that's a big chunk of the deficit. In addition to that savings, we should make it known that we want them to reduce the costs associated with their "pet projects," cut back their staff numbers and reduce all of their traveling expenses on the tax payers' dime.

Those clowns in Washington work for us, we put them in office. These games that they are playing with our future are unacceptable. Stand up and use your voices Start contacting your local representatives and let them know we support a cap on Congressional salaries in addition to opposing the Cash for Clunkers bill. People are losing their jobs on a grand scale, while CEOs screw us over and take away our retirement benefits. We must stop complacently watching them do these things. and quit accepting the fallacy that we don't have any control. Our children and their children will be paying this money back. We need to make a difference now!

- Lou Santiago


By lil_paul

I'll never forget the very first time I got to go for a ride in a really quick car. Sure, I had been in quick cars before, but I was always with my dad, and somehow I knew he would never put me in harm's way. I never felt like something could ever go horribly wrong. But that all changed when I turned 16. I had my very own driver's license and my own car, and I could get into all kinds of trouble with my friends. There was this group of guys about my age that all had muscle cars and were headed up to one of the popular cruise spots in San Diego. They invited a guy who worked at the local dune buggy shop to tag along. I was dune buggy guy guy, by the way. They were in the shop buying some racing fuel, and I mentioned that I hadn't been to that particular cruise spot before, and one fo them said I should join them.

Well, there was a good reason I had never been to this particular area before, because it was the place to go if you wanted to get yourself into a street race. I ended up riding shotgun in a Nova that would launch so hard it would carry the left front tire most of the way through first gear. I got to ride in that car as it made three "passes" that night, and when i got home I remember being so amped up on adrenalin that I coudn't sleep. I just lay there starting up at the acoustic ceiling thinking what i had just experienced. It was a feeling that was indescribable. I was scared, but at the same time I didn't want it to stop.

I think that scared feeling is something that a lot of peoplehave felt in their hot rods. Especially in the early days of hot roddingwhen everybody who drove a modifiedcar was looked down uponas a scofflaw or a hoodlum. Heck, there are even movies dedicated to just how dangerous "hot rod gangs" were! Of course, hot rodders were just the social outcast group of the moment, and eventually Hollywood moved on to back to scaring themselves and the occasional little old lady.

- by Courtney Halowell

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