Category Archives: Cars and Motoring

Deskbound to an Early Death?

Office work is injurious to your health.

If you spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk, your health will suffer, your fitness will suffer, and you may be heading to an early grave.  In fact over a 20 year period you are 60% more likely to die than someone who leads an active life, (defined as a couple of hours physical activity a day).  A sedentary lifestyle can kill you.

A deskbound, sedentary lifestyle means that you will be  far more likely to suffer from all kinds of nasty illnesses, including; heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression, dementia, insomnia, poor circulation, back pain, neck pain, brittle bones, arthritis, gout, obesity, stomach problems…

However, there are some fairly easy changes you can make to your deskbound lifestyle to make up for the fact that for eight hours a day you’re mostly a potato.  All you really need is a little bit of self-discipline, and you could transform your life by following some, (or all), of these simple suggestions.

Seems like a lot of fuss and effort, doesn’t it?  OK, don’t bother to do any of this.  Don’t make any changes to your sedentary life.  Be a boring person, get sick, feel terrible, die before you should.  With one exception I don’t give a damn if you follow any of this advice or not.  It’s your life, such as it is, you are free to be a desk potato, if that’s what you really want.

But remember, if you just sit at your desk for eight hours a day, then you have to do a solid hour’s exercise in the evenings just to undo all the harm you’ve done to your body, mind, and spirit during the working day.

Get more exercise and have a nice life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Mazda M-X5

Sports Car, Cool Car, Girl’s Car.

At a time when mainstream British car manufacturers thought it impossible to go on making small convertible sports cars, Mazda from Japan came up with the M-X5.  The little Mazda carried the torch first lit by classic English sports cars like the Austin-Healey Sprite, MGB, Triumph Spitfire ~ and in particular the brilliant Lotus Elan.  The original Mazda M-X5 could almost have been copied from the Elan, what with its 1.6 litre twin-cam engine, pop-up headlights, and clever longitudinal truss, (Power Plant Frame), that mimics the Elan’s backbone chassis.

The MX-5 wasn’t designed in Japan either ~ it was planned in California by a team led by Englishman Bob Hall.  An Englishman in California is just about the perfect combination when it comes to cars.  Of course what the Mazda team didn’t copy from Colin Chapman’s Lotus was fragility, unreliability, and extreme lightness.

First launched at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, the M-X5 was and is a fairly small front-engine, rear-wheel-drive roadster, with a twin-cam engine of between 1.6 and 2.0 litres.  There’s a five-speed gearbox in the middle, double wishbone independent suspension at both ends, and disk brakes, (ventilated at the front).  The original model weighed in at almost exactly ton, (which is a portly 600 pounds more than the diminutive Lotus).  It even looked like a Lotus Elan ~ which was no bad thing.

As well as the looks and layout, what the original design team got right was balance.  The unladen M-X5 has an ideal 50/50 weight distribution, which means that the handling ~ the feel of the car when you drive it ~ is just about perfect.  This makes the little Mazda a ‘nice’ and ‘fun’ car to own and drive.

The M-X5 is by no means a fast car.  The 1989 original came with just about the same power as a Lotus Elan, but it weighed a third more, so it was a tad sluggish.  The traffic-light sprint 0-60 mph time was over 8 seconds and it would run out of steam at about 115 mph.  But do you know what?  With the top down, on country roads, with the brilliant handling and roadholding the design naturally produces, the original M-X5 was more than fast enough.

Among older English car enthusiasts the word to describe the way an M-X5 drives is ‘chuckable’.  (It reacts easily, safely, and can be forced into doing things it really shouldn’t ~ it probably won’t kill you.)

The little Mazda is also a great car for a long road trip.  It’s a nice place to sit for hours, rides fairly comfortably and quietly, there’s decent luggage space, it’s economical, and the top comes down.  What’s not to like?

If you are mechanically minded with some practical skills, you could buy yourself an early M-X5 for a couple of thousand pounds / dollars.  The thing is simple enough to allow a complete rebuild, in the same way that one could rebuild an MGB.  But why would you bother?  The Mazda M-X5 is a classic design, but it isn’t actually rare, (unless it’s a really early car in light blue mica or British Racing Green), and a newer car needing much less work is within the spending reach of just about everyone.

A new M-X5 will set you back around £20,000, (or $30,000), depending on the exact specification.  For that you will get a very capable, very over-engineered, and very over-styled car that is so attractively modern-metrosexual it should only be bought by make-up artists, hairdressers, or real estate agents.

At the upper end of the scale a new M-X5, the fastback with a retractable steel roof will cost you about £28,000, (you can get one of these for $35,000 in California).  That would also give you a 160 bhp two-litre engine and six-speed gearbox, all in an overstyled package that weighs in at 2,470 pounds ~ no thanks.

The new M-X5 is so far away from its Lotus Elan spiritual inspiration that it’s not even in the same millennium.  I would not waste my money on a new M-X5.  If I was really in the market for one of these little Japanese / English / Californian sports cars I would look for an early example, pop-up headlights and everything.  In comparison to rebuilding a rotted MGB, working on a Mazda would be child’s play.  The three critical areas for structural soundness are the Power Plant Frame and the front and rear subframes, and all three can be replaced.

Some cars are obvious Guy, some Girl, and a few go both ways.  Why is the Mazda a Girl’s Car?  If you have to ask then you’re either a girl, or a metrosexual male who doesn’t know one end of a torque-wrench from the other.  You wouldn’t expect to spoil your manicure if you owned a new Mazda M-X5.

Would I buy one?  Yes, so long as it does look like a Lotus Elan.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net.

beachcombing

~

if you’re fond of beaches and salty air

pretty seashells found everywhere

then someday I’ll take you there

~

words and pictures by jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

travel broadens the mind

To travel is to take a journey into yourself.

Doing a little research on something else, I was bored enough to read a narrow-minded American’s opinion of visit to England, which pissed me off somewhat.  Here are some real facts about Americans;

64% of Americans do not own a passport.

In states such as; Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina only about 25% of US citizens own a valid passport.

When most Americans visit another country it’s to either Mexico or Canada.

Annually, less than 5% of Americans travel overseas.

More than half of all Americans have never been outside of America.

Most Americans have not been to more than 5 US states.

Many Americans have never been more than 100 miles from where they were born.

The commonest complaints of Americans visiting England are;

  • ‘the bacon is terrible…’
  • ‘few ethnicities are represented in London cuisine…’
  • ‘there is no Mexican or Latin American food in Britain…’
  • ‘British people are cold and hard to befriend…’
  • ‘the London subway is unreliable…’
  • ‘the British are obsessed with the Queen and Royal Family…’
  • ‘it always rains in England…’
  • ‘the English drive on the wrong side of the road…’
  • ‘British cars are undrivable…’
  • ‘free healthcare is such a stupid idea…’
  • ‘British TV sucks…’
  • ‘refrigerators and washing machines are very small…’
  • ‘there’s no dress code…’
  • ‘black people are just people…’
  • ‘they eat with their forks upside down…’

SFairportI’ve travelled all over the world, I’ve worked, lived, and had many vacations in the United States, I have some close friends in America, and none of the above surprises me one little bit.  American culture is so in-your-face and all-pervasive, (you only had to watch the recent Oscars ceremony to realise that), that all Americans think the rest of the world is just like America ~ trust me, it isn’t.

In addition, working Americans are allowed and take so few vacation days, (average 10 days a year), that the idea of visiting some of the great cultural sites in Europe just never crosses their minds.

The whole world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a single page.  ~  Saint Augustine

Which is why it does not surprise me that;

  • Middle America elected Donald Trump as their President.
  • Americans are obsessed with social media like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.
  • More than 80% of Americans believe in conspiracy theories, and that the Government has kept secrets about UFOs.
  • More than 85% of Americans believe in one or more of; aliens, flying saucers, angels, astrology, extra-sensory-perception, Big Foot, ghosts, reincarnation, the healing power of crystals, witchcraft, that they can win money in Las Vegas casinos, and that winning the lottery is a viable financial plan.
  • Over 75% of Californians believe that more than 25% of Americans are Gay or Lesbian, (the true figure is 3.5% of Americans are LGBT).
  • 25% of Americans believe in creation theory and that the Earth is the centre of the universe.
  • 25% of Americans believe they won their Independence from a country other than Great Britain.
  • All Americans feel they need a planned and fixed itinerary before setting off on their travels.

A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.  ~  Lao Tzu

To a well-travelled, well-read, and well-educated Englishman like me, it’s very sad that most Americans are like a Monday morning quarterback ~ they think they can talk a good game, but mostly they talk bullshit.  Actually, it’s worse than that, most Americans think their opinions matter to others.  They need to get out into the world a bit more.

And in England, ‘Trump’ is still another word for ‘Fart’.

Have a nice day.

~

flagjack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Scenes on Sunday ~ Sunset

the eventide sun sinks silver

in salmon and soft fuchsia skies

by sleepy peaceful crepuscular lights

casting blue and gold shades in the west

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P1030445pictures by jack collier

and the girl riding shotgun

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

relationship assumptions haiku

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the road is long

walk with me, or not

it’s hard with one

~

P1010419jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Scenes on Sunday ~ Mt. San Jacinto

Palm Springs Aerial Tramway & Mt. San Jacinto

just a time being you and me

cool at the top of the mountain

that’s where we both want to be

long way to the top of the mountain

at the top the air is crystal clear to see

a far piece from the top of the mountain

the majestic view of land and town still free

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better if a cool guy isn’t afraid of heights

words and pictures by jack collier and the girl riding shotgun

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

5 Ways To Lose Money Fast

a fool and his money are soon parted

sexy-woman-and-car

If you want to lose money really fast, or just guarantee that you will go broke eventually, then here are some brilliant ideas for you;

  1. Online Gambling.  Gambling in any form ~ from playing the slots in Las Vegas, to betting on horse racing at a high-street bookmaker in England ~ is guaranteed to lose you as much money as you like.  All those attractive online gambling sites just allow you to lose your money with 24/7 dedication from the comfort of your own home / office / car…  Online Forex Trading is just another form of gambling ~ you will lose loads of money.
  2. Wall StreetForex Trading.  The foreign exchange market exists for some very sensible reasons ~ it allows me to pay for a hotel stay in Wyoming, (priced in $), on my English credit card, (denominated in £).  Unecessary trading on the the Forex Market also allows idiots to risk vast amounts of money, and then inevitably lose it.  I’m an expert in all this stuff, and it would take me a week to teach you the basics, so just trust me, you will lose if you go online trading.  Even companies like Rolls Royce get burned, (lately to the tune of £4 billion), due to unecessarily hedging the Forex Market.
  3. Expensive New Cars.  A hot set of wheels might boost your ego,  get you a hot date, and it will also lose you a fortune.  Almost all cars depreciate over time, and some high-status cars depreciate at an horrific rate.  Add in the high cost on insuring your new car, and the good chance that you’ll crash the thing if you ever drive it hard, and an expensive new car can be a real money pit.  Best of all, get drunk, drive really fast, and then roll your car down a freeway embankment.  By the way, never believe a car salesperson, all sales people are professional liars, and I should know because I used to be one.
  4. Online Dating.  If your expensive new car hasn’t got you a real date, you could be a totally insane pathetic loser and try online dating as well.  Online dating isn’t cheap, both in terms of money and time.  And, it’s one of most dangerous things you can do, for example both human and robot scammers target the sad people who use online dating sites.  Or, you could get used, abused, robbed, raped, or dead.  If you just want to ruin your life, the get yourself addicted to paid online porn.
  5. Dangerous Drugs.  I include here; street drugs including marijuana, prescription drugs, party drugs, legal highs, tobacco, and booze.  To really waste a great deal of money while ruining your health and your life along the way, then get into everything at once.  Best of all get buzzed and go on the internet with your credit cards to hand.  Do not go near 12 step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.

There are some other brilliant ways to go broke fast; trophy wife, mistress, toyboy, high-class hookers, marrying a foreigner, getting sick abroad without proper insurance, buying a home without having a full survey, signing things you don’t understand, and perhaps best of all guaranteed get rich quick schemes.

smoking-slutIf you really throw yourself into the above activities, not only could you lose all the money you have, you could also get yourself heavily into debt with some nasty people.  Along the way you are very likely to lose your self-respect, job, real friends, home, family, health, and maybe your life.  If you want to go downhill really, really fast, then I recommend you start at #5 and work your way upwards.

Most of you will never get as far as #1 because you’ll be on the streets, in jail, or dead long before that.  If you work diligently at #5 you could be dead broke and dead in a couple of years.

Good luck with totally ruining your life by getting heavily into any of the above financially stupid moves.

~

smoking-whorethese thoughts are mine, and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Scenes on Sunday #28

Jaguar or Bus?

Valentine’s lovemaking in my sports car

Sweetheart, that was not ever going to be us

I’d never take our first conversation quite so far

but, I’d rather make love in a Jaguar than on a bus.

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Sara

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p1030309words and pictures by jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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transatlantic romance

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long distance love affair

wondering if she does care

some may even say it isn’t fair

and feelings are too hard to bear

she’s just some chick way over there

all I know is my heart’s going nowhere

a new day has come, and life is in the air

~

P1030943words and pictures by jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk

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