Category Archives: Cars and Motoring

Songs on Saturday ~ Billy Joel

people disappoint, passion is ephemeral, pasta is eternal

A long, long time ago, I can still remember when this music used to make me smile.  That was before I started wearing Italian suits, dated an Italian girl, bought an Italian car, and almost married into the Jacionelli Family.  Suit Ferragamo, Shoes Gucci, Car Alpha Romeo, Girl Sophia, Ice Cream Jacionelli.

Some say that you can’t ever truly know a woman until you’ve taken her out for dinner to your favorite little Italian Restaurant.  And that you will never what she’s going to look like when she’s older until you’ve met her mother.  All I know is that I’d rather have an Alpha Romeo sports car than a Morris Oxford.

History may be repeating itself ~ as history does

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

beautiful, expensive, temperamental

Surviving Disasters

survival is nothing more than recovery

on a cruise, know where your lifeboat station is

Only the very fortunate will not suffer some kind of disaster in their lives.  The very unfortunate may stagger from one disaster to another, with barely enough time and energy to get over one catastrophe before they have to face another.  Some may be forever scarred by one negative experience in their life, while others will survive and thrive no matter what kind of crap the Cosmos throws at them.  One person may never get over a single unhappy love affair, while another will still come out smiling and optimistic after having their heart ripped out by a promiscuous cheating partner.  Some may face ordinary adversity and die, while others will live through the most horrible experiences imaginable.

It’s all a question of attitude and preparedness, the difference between surrender and hope.  You are not who others say you are, you are the sum of your own beliefs.  A man owes very little to what he was born with, a real man makes himself.

Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but for only one second without hope.  ~  Charles Darwin

Disasters come in many forms, but disaster recovery has only one shape.  Be prepared.  Because one thing is almost certain, one day, in some way, most of us will face a disaster; unemployment, being broke, betrayal, divorce, violence, flood, fire, earthquake, terrorism, wildfires, death of a loved one, critical illness….

You might say; ‘how can anyone prepare for all that….’  or, ‘how can you prepare for a disaster if you don’t know what kind of disaster you are going to have to face…..’  That’s defeatism.  People who talk, think, and believe in those ways are less likely to recover well from a disaster than someone who knuckles down and optimistically gets ready to face whatever fate throws at them.

There are just three rules;

  1. Do not delude yourself.  If you live in an earthquake zone prepare to survive an earthquake.  If you marry a bastard / slut then prepare to end up broke and on the street.  If you set sail on uncharted oceans prepare to get dis-masted and lost.  If you leave a contractor alone in your home expect it to be wrecked when you return.
  2. Be as fit and healthy as you can possibly be in body, mind, spirit, finances, and ‘stuff’.  Work at it.
  3. Learn things.  Read books such as How To Stay Alive by Bear Grylls.  Go to night school to learn car mechanics.  Learn about camping.  Learn how to grow your own food.  Be curious, stop wasting your most valuable commodity; time.

There is a thing called Disaster Shock, and it will kill you ~ the more prepared you are the less likely you will suffer from this and die.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

have your important stuff easily to hand, so you can drive away from a wildfire within minutes

 

 

 

Scenes on Sunday ~ Desert

when you’re in the desert, you look into infinity

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

big wide horizons out there

Songs on Saturday ~ Lionel Richie

I can’t dance, don’t ask me

As a matter of a fact I can’t sing much, some would say that I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I can dance.  A dancing fool for the right woman.

Please listen and feel happy.

If you need to move your feet, then that’s happy too.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

a better car than the one in the clip

Triumph TR7 V8

so, after a lot of committee work they came up with a curate’s egg

Here in England there is a long tradition of curious and interesting sports cars, with a few names being right at the top of the list when it comes to cars the classic enthusiast admires.  Sadly, the Triumph TR7 was never a car to put stars in the eyes.  Mostly that was because it was so different to it’s better-looking and more hairy-chested predecessors.

The original TR7 was a two-seat fixed-head coupe, powered by an overhead-cam four that churned out some 100 bhp.  Underneath was a fairly sophisticated suspension for the time, bolted to an incredibly strong monocoque, which made the little car heavy at just over a ton.  (Trust me, if you are ever going to roll a sports car, and expect to live through it, then make it a TR7.) But, deep down, the TR7 was a great car waiting to get out from under something far more ordinary.

The TR7 had two basic problems; #1 it wasn’t a convertible  #2 it was underpowered for its weight.  Despite that, and despite its terrible build quality it sold very well in the USA.

To give the TR7 more power the designers chose to drop in a 150 bhp version of the Rover / Buick 215 cu in aluminium V8, producing what was either a TR7 V8, or a Triumph TR8, (depending on who you talk to).  This thing went like shit off a shovel.  Then, to make it more appealing to Californians the steel roof was chopped off.  The thing was, the original TR7 was so strong that not at lot of additional strengthening was needed to compensate for the lack of a roof and those hefty C pillars.

What resulted was a pretty little proper sports car that was fabulous to drive,  so long as you remembered all that weight up front.

I’ve never driven a TR8, but I did like its less powerful TR7 FHC variant.  Imagine a stiffer and more powerful MGB and you will have an idea.  The ohc four up-front revs better than the venerable B series four-pot, and the shorter wheel-base makes the TR7 more nimble.

If you want one of these things, then first of all they are rare.  The TR8 drophead is a rare as hen’s teeth.  Finding one in as good condition as the gold number pictured here could take a very long time indeed.  Outside of California any un-restored example is likely to be infested with rust.  Any original car is likely to have problems with the electrics, cooling, gearbox, rear axle, suspension…..  But do not let that put you off.  Given a decent garage / workshop I could rebuild / build one of these things from the front spoiler backwards.  Just about everything is available, and there are thousands of bits languishing from other British Leyland cars of the era.  In fact you could take a rotten TR7 FHC shell and build a convertible with as much performance as you want / dare.

Some say the Triumph TR7 is like a curate’s egg, good in parts.  And that only a hairdresser would want to own one.  All I know is that the TR7 intrigues me ~ in any form it’s like a beautiful woman hiding her charms.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you might want to do something about that ‘period’ interior upholstery

 

90% of Contractors Suck

do not ever pay for work that isn’t done right and completed on time

what the Arc would have looked like if Noah had used a contractor

Stop letting contractors screw you over.  There is NO excuse for work that isn’t done right, finished on budget, and completed on time.  I’ve heard it again and again that some contractor totally fucked up a job, or charged far too much, or did work that didn’t need doing, left an utter mess behind them after they finished, caused far more damage than they were asked to come in and fix, never finished the job at all, didn’t do the job they were asked to do, or didn’t even turn up…..

This is not a new story for me, so why am I bothering to flog this comatose horse?  Well a couple of friends of mine, and another couple of nice people whose blogs I follow, have all had problems with contractors in the past few days.  In my expert opinion 90% of contractors of every ilk from decorators, to plumbers, to electricians, to garage mechanics, to moving men et al, are utterly useless, partly skilled, dishonest, lazy, misogynistic jerks.

So how to avoid being totally ripped off?

  • Do not hire a contractor based on somebody else’s unsupported recommendation.  Especially do not hire anyone recommended by another contractor; say your realtor.
  • Do not ever, ever hire a friend, or a friend of a friend, to do ANY work for you.
  • Do not ever hire a contractor without first having a totally clear picture of the work you want doing, when you want it done by, how much you are going to pay, and when.  If you don’t know any of this stuff, GO AWAY AND FIND OUT!
  • Do not ever hire a contractor who can’t show you a current copy of their appropriate certification, and customer references.  Check these out, and never just by making a phone call.
  • Do not hire a contractor who can’t give you a firm written quote, on a proper letter-head.  If possible get three quotes, (if it’s a big job then you must have at least two firm quotations)
  • Do not ever pay a contractor before they have started work, and never ever pay them in full until the work is completed to your satisfaction.  Agree stage payments if appropriate.  Go over everything your contractor has done with a fine tooth comb.  Your word is the final word!
  • Do not ever, ever allow an unsupervised contractor into your property. And, ensure they are watched over 100% of the time thereafter.
  • DO NOT hire day rate illegal aliens under any circumstances.  And don’t hire anyone who isn’t fluent in your language.
  • Learn some DIY stuff.  Learn a hell of a lot of DIY stuff.  It is always easier, cheaper, and better to do the job yourself than hire some utterly useless, partly skilled, dishonest, lazy, misogynistic jerk to do the work for you.  And if you have some idea about how to actually do a bit of say; decorating, then you are in a far better position to control your idiot contractor.
  • Finally; do not be a woman.  All contractors think women are easy marks.  If you are a woman then follow the suggestions above with the utmost regard.

This is your job, your money, your home, your safety.  If your plumber floods your home, your electrician sets fire to your home, or you home just blows up……  then ultimately it is YOUR fault.  Do not let ANYONE tell you how you should go about dealing with a contractor.  (except me)

Some say that they have had a really good contractor.  And that not all contractors are bad.  All I know is that anyone who says they have had one good contractor will also have had three utter disasters.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

some decorators can’t even varnish a floor without making a mess of it

Monochrome Monday ~ Desolation

solitude, desolation, and despair~ the good, the bad, and the ugly

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

broken heart’s final memory of despair

Tunes on Tuesday ~ The Italian Job

you’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off

Matt Monroe sings On Days Like These which was the main theme from the 1969 classic heist / chase movie, The Italian Job.  This song doesn’t really fit the movie, other than it’s a Lamborghini Miura on a fabulous mountain road.  I’ve driven the Great St. Bernard Pass, but in a Triumph TR6, not a V12 Italian Supercar.

Please listen thinking about vacations in the Italian Sunshine.

Or a Mini Cooper.

Or Sophia Loren.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Intimate Strangers

some things are socially acceptable, and then again…..

Promiscuous casual sex is morally reprehensible, socially unacceptable, and fucking very dangerous.  Or rather, that is what I believe to be the truth of it.  One reason for this post is a news story concerning a married woman who picked up / was picked up by a stranger in a bar, went back to his place, where she was stabbed twenty times by the drug addict thug, who then tried to cut off her head.  The body was naked.  They’d had sex.

This was by no means an isolated incident of casual sex turning into something very worse.

Picking up a stranger in a bar may be exciting, sexy, erotic, physically satisfying, with a frisson of danger thrown in, but it can also be fucking damaging to your self-respect, health, wealth, sanity, existing relationships, future relationships, social standing…..  You could end up being humiliated, mugged, beaten, raped, passed around, stalked, gaslighted, ghosted, or dead.

Some of the same goes for people you ‘meet’ on social media, dating / sex dating sites, or any of the other myriad ways we can connect via the internet.  Basically you have no idea who these people are, where they’re from, what they’re really like, their history, criminal record, and what the hell they really want from you.  Are they the sex / age / ethnicity they say they are?  If there’s a picture is it of them, and how long ago?  If it’s an intimate picture they are probably not someone any decent person would want to know anyway.

There are labels for women who have casual sex with strangers and post intimate pictures of themselves on the internet ~ all of those labels are extremely derogatory.

Personally, I have three things in my favour when it comes to social media / email / long-distance friends and relationships.  #1 I know my way around blogging.  #2 I am a man.  #3 I am very smart / computer savvy / I was trained to spot liars a mile off.  Not everyone has my advantages, and yet women do engage in intimate relationships with people they only know from what they see on their own computer screens.

Personally, I have never knowingly ‘hit on’ a woman I didn’t know from Eve, picked up a woman in a bar, had first date sex, had multiple partners, been on a sex dating site, had sex with an ex, had sex with anyone much older / younger than me…..  Maybe I am staid and naive, maybe I’m shy, or maybe I have standards, ethics, and morals.

Some say that fucking a stranger is incredibly hot.  And that having multiple sexual partners is where it’s at.  All I know is fucking a stranger has nothing to do with love and a lot to do with instant gratification, or money.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

If you’ve been there with a stranger I don’t want to know

 

 

Random Jottings ~ Infidelity and Casual Sex

no normally healthy men and women can be ‘just good friends’

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he could tell she was easy

the plunging neckline, short skirt, and no lingerie was a giveaway

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no matter how careful you are, you will always get caught

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the best apology for cheating is changed behaviour,

it never happens

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it takes two people to make a relationship work

but just one promiscuous person to make it fail

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bad marriages don’t cause infidelity

promiscuous infidelity causes bad marriages

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‘I love you…’ she said’

get in the back seat…’ he replied

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

casual sex is never just a one time thing

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