The car you drive says a lot about you.
I like cars, but then I like all things engineering and mechanical, up to and including the RMS Queen Mary.
California seems to have a Love / Hate relationship with the internal combustion engine, but there are some great cars out there.
A cool guy should drive a cool car, (if you have to ask; ‘which is a cool car?’ then you aren’t a particularly cool guy). Any cool woman can drive any car she likes and it will always be very cool.
I think Marmaduke likes a Bentley
Women don’t like mind games. Most women like romance.
I’m just a guy, you know? Ergo I don’t actually understand the woman I care for, and sometimes I don’t really know what she wants from me. However, in an effort to be a ‘better’ guy I’ve been exploring the internet, and I believe these are the behaviours a woman would like me to bring to a relationship.
You know what? I worked out #1 all by my self.
- Do not be a jerk. (From time to time I have been a 21 carat jerk.)
- Give her respect. Respect her opinions, career, interests, friends, family, needs, dreams, and desires. Respect her body, her mind, and her soul. Accept and understand who and what she truly is.
- Give her time and space. She’s an independent lady, so don’t be clingy and dependent. She is not responsible for your happiness, you are. Don’t pressure her into doing things she’s not ready for. But, when she needs you, be generous with your own time; always be there for her.
- Be confident and capable ~ take charge when you need to. She needs to know that you can always be relied on to take the lead when necessary.
- Always help her to feel safe. Don’t ever be threatening, and if she’s worried about someone or something, or scared of something or someone ~ then help her to deal with it!
- Respect her privacy. Don’t ever intrude where she wants to be private, and never, ever, comment on what she posts on social media.
- Follow through with your plans and ideas. Women like to know that if a guy says he is going to do something, he will actually do it.
- Be completely honest, unless complete honesty is hurtful. Women don’t like liars, and once you have lost a woman’s trust it’s hard to get it back again.
- When it’s appropriate be romantic. And, what is truly romantic changes from time to time, and from woman to woman. To be romantic; You need to get to know her.
- Be polite, well-mannered, and well-spoken. Very good manners take a little effort ~ but I’m lucky here, I’m a true English Gentleman, and good manners come naturally to me. And never, ever get drunk when she’s around.
- Self-deprecating humour. Don’t make jokes at her expense, but it’s OK to poke fun at yourself. She will probably like gentle humour, and dislike you trying to be funny by being vicious and nasty about other people.
- If she ever feels the need to apologise, accept her apology with grace. Especially never, ever, mention the things she’s apologised for ever again.
- A Man should never be late. She may have no sense of time, she may always be late for everything, but you should always be there on time~ always. If you’ve promised to call at eight o’clock, then you should call her at exactly eight.
- Be consistent, reliable, and trustworthy. Women don’t seem to appreciate unreliability, a good guy needs to be the same good guy every minute of every day.
- Listen to her. When she wants to talk, listen patiently with acceptance and understanding. Don’t give her solutions she hasn’t asked for, just listen to her.
- Respond to her texts and emails in a timely manner. She may take forever to reply to you, but if you get a message from her, then respond as soon as is humanly possible.
- Always be clean, tidy, and well-groomed. You and your place should always be pretty immaculate, especially the bathroom. And, if you are ever invited to her place, treat it with the utmost respect. Clean your shoes, get a manicure, get a haircut, have some great pictures in your place….
- Be faithful in word and deed. Don’t screw around, don’t date other women, don’t constantly flirt with other women, don’t check out other women, don’t ‘like’ other women’s pictures on social media, and do not constantly jerk off to porn.
- Be complementary. Tell her she looks pretty, her hair’s nice, tell her you like her. and if it’s appropriate tell her that you love her.
- Do things just for her. Clean her car, make sure she’s always got petrol, (gas), in the tank, fix things for her, send her flowers and perfume, but bear in mind point #9, and be romantic in the right way and when it’s appropriate.
- Sex. Do not try too go to far and too fast. If anything, follow her lead, and remember point #10 , and always be polite and well-mannered. And, if and when you sleep with her, remember that her pleasure is important. You may need sex, but perhaps what she really wants is love.
Writing this stuff, it all makes perfect sense, and I don’t believe I’ve got anything badly wrong in this list. But, Ladies, if I have, then please feel free to tell me about it.
And, writing this stuff I realise that I do most of these good things most of the time, and some of them all of the time. Sadly, that isn’t good enough. Point #14 behoves me to be consistent, reliable, and trustworthy ~ I need to do all of the above all of the time.
That’s a tall order, but if she is worth it, and you really care, then she’s worth all of it all of the time.
In future, I shall make every effort to follow my advice from this list. I am going to do this stuff.
pictures by Jack Vettriano
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Nissan Rogue SUV
I’ve been on long road trips, (Tuscany, The Loire Valley, back to Tuscany, Exploring California, and driving 3,000 miles to witness an eclipse), in all kinds of cars; Triumph TR6, Lotus 7, Ford Mustang, and lastly driving from California to witness a total eclipse of the sun in a Nissan Rogue.
Although it isn’t always completely possible, the car should completely suit the trip.
And this choice of car comes down to where you’re going, how far it is, what’s the weather going to be like, what kinds of roads are you going to be driving , and exactly who is the girl riding shotgun.
For my recent trip I knew I was going to be driving up to 600 miles in a day, on a mixture of LA freeways, long desert roads, and mountain climbs. Also I knew that the girl riding shotgun was going to want to feel safe, be comfortable, and carry an unconscionable amount of luggage.
There also had to be room for Marmaduke.
Ergo, I chose to rent a reasonable-sized SUV, and Enterprise at LAX could offer me a Nissan Rogue, which was vastly over budget, but my friend with all the luggage was worth it.
What’s good about this car? It’s big enough for two on a long road trip, (swallows luggage with ease), it does good mileage, (we averaged 29 mpg, and that’s US gallons), it’s quiet, comfortable, holds the road well, and the engine has a lot of low-down power. What’s bad, well, it was very over budget, and has some annoying blind spots.
Would I recommend this car to a friend? Yes. In a New York Second. With definite confidence. (Of course, you may find your dream car on a long road trip.)
Another important thing on a long road trip: don’t have a girl riding shotgun who thinks she can drive better than you.
The lighthouse stands, sending out hope through the night.
solitary in my loneliest phare
I dream of a wondrous lady fair
spending long nights missing her
she is my leading light a beacon far
romance in a long-distance love affair
charm, glamour, exotic mystique, amour
true love echoes the sea’s perpetual thunder
get a cool lighthouse calendar
There is something very therapeutic about working with wood.
Marmaduke and I made a stool as a Christmas gift for a close friend. A cool guy should be able to do some carpentry.
By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade. ~ Desiderius Erasmus
I seem to have really caught the carpentry bug again. So, what’s next? Build a boat in the basement?
no little teddy bears were hurt during the making of this little cracket
I like the desert. I also like Palm Springs, mountains, and cable cars ~ although this one near Palm Springs is called an Aerial Tramway. If you want to look like a manly man don’t be scared of cable cars.
All these shots were taken with a LUMIX Panasonic DMC-X53 pocket camera, which is far better to cart up a mountain that my old 35mm SLR with all its attendant lenses. My days of carrying around a heavy SLR are done and gone.
pictures by jack collier
and the girl riding shotgun
I am a Cat Person.
Instinctively I like cats, and I like people who like cats. As for dogs ~ a bit of a nuisance at best, a damn nuisance most of the time. And, some of the time I actively
hate dislike dogs.
One may think that’s just a matter of taste, or have something to do with my not being brought up around dogs. However, following some recent research about cats and their liking for boxes, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s far deeper and a lot more interesting than that.
If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much. ~ Mark Twain
I firmly believe there are Cat People, and then there are Dog People, and the two groups have very different psyche. And it turns out that all the stereotypes about cat people are true.
Cat people like to nap a lot. They are also smarter, more sensitive, and less conformist than other people. Cat people don’t believe that rules apply to them.
Cat people prefer to have a small safe place they can retreat to when they feel under stress. Cat lovers prefer solitude.
Cat people stand out from the crowd and have very distinctive personalities.
Cats and cat people are very bad when it comes to resolving conflicts, they are sensitive, neurotic, independent, and don’t obey rules. Instead of working things out they tend to run away and hide.
Like real cats, cat people are ambush hunters, liking nothing more than lying in wait for their next target.
If cats looked like frogs we’d realise what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember. ~ Terry Pratchett.
Felines and feline people like to be cozy and warm, hating to sit around in the cold, go out in the cold, sleep in a cold bed.
And it seems that cats love circles. In my case I much prefer spirals to circles, but circles are good too.
Perhaps the most important question to ask on a first date isn’t all that crap you get from people like eHarmony ~ instead just ask; ‘Do you prefer cats, or dogs?’
Time spent with a cat is never wasted. ~ Colette
I know which type of woman I’d prefer.
these views are mine and mine alone
A new report says that more and more women are buying classic cars, both as an investment, and as fun and sexy drive. So, is it a good idea for women to buy classic cars? Generally speaking no, or maybe yes.
Classic cars are a much, much, more satisfying buy than any ‘ordinary’ used car, and a financially much better buy than all but a miniscule proportion of new cars. Buy a new car, and as soon as you’ve driven it off the lot you’ve lost a huge proportion of its value, (the exact loss depending on how well you’ve chosen in the first place). In contrast, most classics will at least hold their value in real terms, and may well appreciate in real value over the years, (again depending upon how well you’ve chosen).
There are a couple of problems owning a classic car, and especially for women owning a classic car;
- As an investment a classic car really only offers capital appreciation. It’s not impossible, just very, very difficult to generate an ongoing income from your classic car. However, in most tax regimes there is no tax liability on the gain in capital value of your classic.
- Classic cars are difficult beasts to drive on an everyday basis. A classic car will need regular specialised maintenance, and a more sympathetic driving style than your regular automobile. In my experience, most women are not good at either of those. Some will not even be able to start a classic car.
For example; your classic will likely burn oil, have suspension and drive-train joints that need greasing, carburettors that need tuning and balancing, and an electrical system designed by Heath Robinson on a bad day. It will most likely have manual gearbox, (stick-shift), use more petrol, (gasoline), than a more modern car, it won’t stop as well, and it will most likely leak when it rains.
On the upside; it will be better looking than a ‘modern’ box, have loads more character, be much sexier, (any attractive woman looks even better getting out of a classic car), it will be cheaper to insure, and if it does go wrong a good mechanic will be able to repair anything and everything on it. For example, take the little Austin-Healey Sprite. I can, (and have), rebuilt one of these things from the ground upwards. They’re cute, fun, nice looking, great when the sun is shining, and when properly looked after will keep up with modern traffic and run forever.
At the other end of the scale is the utterly beautiful Jaguar XJ saloon. This gorgeous car re-defined luxury transcontinental motoring. Lovely to look at, comfortable, blisteringly fast, and as reliable as the sunrise if properly looked after. But the XJ is complicated ~ take one of these beasts into your usual garage and they probably wouldn’t have a clue, (if it’s a V12 they definitely won’t have a clue).
Or for something completely different, the ‘proper’ Land Rover is now achieving status as a classic car. If you live out in the country, or need to tow anything, or you live in an area where it snows a lot, or you just want to intimidate other car drivers, then a ‘proper’ Land Rover may be the classic car for you. Once again, these things are very strong and very reliable, if they are properly maintained.
In some ways a classic car is a very good investment, it’s almost certainly a much better home for your savings than any savings account / product offered by any bank. You benefit in other ways too, a classic is a great car to drive every day. But, no real classic car is a plain vanilla, drive it and forget it, eco-box. Classic cars need tender loving care to survive and thrive. This is where a smart woman will find a can-do guy.
Any interesting car can become an appreciating classic, especially if it’s a sports car. My tips for upcoming classics; Land-Rover Defender, Early Mazda MX-5, Toyota MR2, Jaguar XJS and XK8, just about any Saab, And the first generation Ford Ka.
If you’re thinking of buying a classic car then, read the magazines and look at the prices, go to car shows, think about who you are going to get to look after the thing, (because it will need on-going care and maintenance at least every weekend). When you think you’ve made your choice of car, then join the appropriate owners’ club, take specialist advice, and never, ever, wear rose-tinted spectacles. (The Triumph GT6 pictured is a really cute and practical car for any woman to own and drive on a daily basis.)
Personally, I think I’d really like an MGB GT V8, with full length Webasto sunroof. Or any MGB GT really.
This Sunday there’s some pictures of a rich man’s house. Just a few from a road trip I took with a friend. Almost everyone, (especially attractive women), likes to look around other people’s houses, it’s just that there aren’t many places like the Getty Villa.
All these shots were taken with a compact LUMIX Panasonic DMC-AS3 camera, using the built-in features. This camera is so lightweight, small, and smart that it’s perfect for a long day in the sun.
pictures by jack collier