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The World’s Best Winter Car

After a beautiful summer, the inevitable has happened. The place I call home, Northern Michigan officially has snow in the forecast. Cue the miserable cold, snow removal, holidays, and everyone’s favorite: slippery roads. Many people in what is affectionately known as the, “Snowbelt,” are probably freaking out. Not me though, I’ve got this “winter” thing all figured out. I have purchased a 4×4 vehicle with plenty of ground clearance, limited-slip differentials, and a huge American V8 that I can use to intentionally make my SUV spin around in an exciting fashion. Do those qualities really make up the perfect winter vehicle though? Would I have been just fine driving my beloved VW throughout the coldest, snowiest portion of the year? Today we will find out what makes the perfect winter vehicle and what you need to do to prepare to tackle the snowy hellscape that shows up every winter.

My very own Jeep.
My very own Jeep.

If you asked random people what they would want to traverse the roads during the winter months, many would just say what they have always been told and blurt out, “four wheel drive, duh!” And out of those people, some would require a real 4×4 powertrain, while others would be content with all-wheel drive. The first group of these people, the 4×4 fanboys, are terrified of modern engineering. They think that if you don’t have to pull a lever or turn a knob to engage 4×4 you aren’t going to have a chance driving through the half inch of snow many city commuters have to traverse to get to their workplaces. Friends, I’m here to tell you that if you insist your engine drives all four of your wheels you most likely don’t actually need to have a transfer-case (and if you don’t know what a transfer case is, you definitely don’t need one). True four wheel drive trucks and SUVs are best suited for those planning on doing some moderate to extreme off-roading, and don’t even pretend that you will ever do anything that even comes close. For the rest of us, an awd or even fwd setup will be just fine to help us find traction.

Are these so-called “people” correct though? Is 4×4 what you need to survive a winter in a place like northern Michigan?

A so-called, "person."
A so-called, “person.”

Absolutely not.

If you are wondering why you are still reading this, you are about to get a bomb of knowledge dropped right onto the screen of whatever it is the kids these days are using the access the internet.

The perfect winter car, is literally any car.

winter Beetle

I’ll save you some time by writing out some comments that I expect readers of this article will be saying.

“You idiot, the Bugatti Veyron is a terrible winter car.”

“You suck, SUBARU FOR LIFE, BRO.”

“I have a FWD/RWD car with cheap discount tires and I go in the ditch all the time, you know nothing.”

First, the Bugatti Veyron is a terrible winter car, for a climate that gets cold. But it’s the perfect winter car for a drug lord in Miami.

Second, tell me about the times you’ve had to replace the head gaskets in your Subaru, bro. AWD means nothing when your car is overheating in -25 degree weather, and third…

Proper winter or all-season tires will turn any two wheel drive vehicle into a snow conquering chariot.

The last two winters have been the two worst I have ever seen. It felt like the small mid-Michigan college town of Big Rapids was moved to a location right off the ice road highlighted in the History Channel show, “Ice Road Truckers.” So I definitely had a 4×4 SUV or truck because I never missed a day of class, right? Absolutely not, the car that got me through many blizzards, and whiteouts was a simple Volkswagen Beetle riding on some nice all-season rubber. I vividly remember driving around many-a-stuck SUV in my underpowered hatchback. With a set of winter tires, I could have probably driven to the North Pole. Tires are the only part of your car that touch the road, and a set of snow tires give you the traction you need to get moving. Want to go one step further and go from extremely capable to truly unstoppable? Put a set of snow tires on an AWD or 4WD SUV and tell me how many feet of snow you effortlessly drove though.

So friends, if you have no reason other than snow to purchase something with 4×4 or AWD, don’t! Get the car that you really want, and don’t get too bent out of shape over four months of the year. If an awkwardly tall guy in a VW Beetle can get where he needs to go, so can you in a Ford Fusion with snow tires.

As a little bit of inspiration, I will include many photographs of unlikely vehicles partaking in fun winter activities.

c4-vette-with-plow-1
Photo Cred: Stingrayforums.com
Ferrari-FF_2012_1600x1200_wallpaper_5e.980x0
Photo Cred: carsvibe.com
miata
A Miata, crushing winter.
Photo Cred: Mohammed Alibrahim
Photo Cred: Mohammed Alibrahim
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The Case For Minivans

The first friend that I made at Ferris, my former roommate, is engaged, to be married! What a joyous occasion. Two people beginning their new lives as a married couple. Many things will change in the lives of Caleb and Alyssa (Leb & Slaw). They will move in together, their lives will intertwine even more than they already have, and Slaw will have to put up with Leb’s love of 80s hair bands. One thing will eventually lead to another and in a few years, our friends Caleb and Alyssa will be expecting a small child. At that time neither Caleb’s Volvo, nor Alyssa’s Pontiac will be able to handle the massive amount of nonsense that comes with parenthood and children. Luckily, our friend Caleb is a sensible young man, and he will purchase a minivan.

van

At this point you might be scratching your head. Why would two twenty-somethings purchase a minivan over the sea of crossovers and small SUVs? Apparently, the rest of the U.S. is asking themselves the same question, according to sales tracking website, www.goodcarbadcar.net, minivan sales were down 14.1% year-over-year last month. I see it every day, people come in looking at new and used crossovers (which are perfectly fine vehicles) because they would “never buy a minivan.” But why not? Why not purchase something that will transport you in comfort, while making your life just a little bit easier. There are three big benefits to owning a minivan, and today I will show you why you should aspire to own one of the least desirable types of vehicles on sale in the United States.

  1. The space and layout that you find in a minivan is unmatched by other types of vehicles.

Show me another vehicle like the 2015 Chrysler Town and Country in which you can fold five seats into the floor in less than five minutes, creating enough room to transport a large male alligator. Their boxy shapes are great for stowing things and the amount of seating space that comes with it will be something that will be hard to pass up.

  1. Modern minivans are basically living rooms on wheels.

Notice this photo, two human adult males enjoying a break from the North American International Auto Show in the middle row of a 2015 Kia Sedona. Notice how the humans are smiling, reclined, and even have their feet up! This kind of transportation luxury is seldom found outside of the confines of a first-class seat on Delta Airlines. Vans today are loaded up with everything from Blu-ray players to backseat charging stations to keep those jabronis you call children from actually making intelligent conversation.

Two guys just enjoying a great van.
Two guys just enjoying a great van.
  1. If James Bond was real, and in the CIA, a minivan is what he would drive.

We all like to think that there really is a Sauvé agent 007 driving around in an Aston Martin DB9 taking down criminal masterminds, but what spies really do is blend in and not get noticed. That is exactly what will happen if you drive a van. You will just be some other person driving their kids to soccer practice, only your “kids” are sniper rifles, and “soccer practice” is the assassination of an African dictator.  These traits actually also makes the minivan the perfect vehicle for organized crime, you’re welcome members of the Algerian Mafia.

The key to purchasing a minivan is acceptance. Chances are you would rather have a sports car, but you should have thought about that when you opted to have a second child. For those normal people who just want a comfortable ride and need to transport the future heirs of their estates a minivan is the only logical choice. Fear not though; as your children will eventually go on to have children of their own. You will be able to downsize to that automatic Corvette you’ve always wanted, and you’ll have never look better arriving to the early bird special at your favorite local buffet.

"A man and his van."
“A man and his van.”

Seven Words and Phrases You Needed to Start Using Yesterday.

Your vocabulary is a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd, both personally and professionally. I have decided to put together a list of my most used phrases and words to help out those who care, but that’s not all…I have made the whole list available for the low low price of zero dollar and zero cents. Wow, what a deal.

Let’s go learn something.

scott blog

Rapscallion

This is a word very close to my heart. Google the word and you will see that it technically means, “a mischievous person,” but technically, it means so much more. You can literally call anyone a rapscallion for doing anything questionable.

“Steve stole Kyle’s signature song at karaoke last night,” one friend says to another. “What a Rapscallion.” says the other friend.

Rapscallion really stands out these days, it is a great way to show your disapproval of something while still keeping the conversation on the lighter side.

Jagaloon

I threw down the big ones right up front. Jagaloon (as made famous by the movie, Stepbrothers), simply means lunatic or idiot. Use this term to refer to a person doing dumb things. When your best friend says something embarrassing to the fine lady you are romancing you can just blow it off saying:

“Just ignore George, he’s quite the Jagaloon.” 

Jagaloon is a great word to use along side Rapscallion, the two words together never fail to prove a point.

Jabroni 

The word Jabroni has no true definition, but I think of it as a person who just doesn’t get it. This person wears cargo shorts with white sunglasses and says the word “bro” way too often. Jabronis care way too much about their image, but they don’t understand that their image isn’t worth caring about.

Guy 1: Did you see that last guy in the cargo shorts tee off?

Guy 2: Yeah, my grandmother could hit the ball farther…What a Jabroni. 

In 1964 Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said “I know it when I see it,” in reference to his person test to obscenity. Today, I’m saying the same phrase can be applied to Jabronis.

Out For A Rip

When you really give something your all, you take it Out For A Rip. This is a great way to let people know that you really are the boss, and that you want everyone to be on the same page. See also: Out For A Major Rip to describe something totally awesome.

Man, you really took those tacos Out For A Rip. 

What better way is there to tell people the state of your effort in any particular activity than a phrase that doesn’t really mean anything?

Ultracrepidarian

Do you have a friend who always thinks that they know what they are talking about, but never actually do? Well friend, I have the word for you. An Ultracrepidarian is someone who does just that. Flabbergast them next time they try to tell you a fact they think is correct (but totally isn’t) by calling them out.

Guy one: Did you know that kangaroos often become best friends with Koalas, conveniently sharing the responsibility of purchasing their favorite beverages for their parties?

Guy two: you are so full of it, you Ultracrepidarian.

I can’t believe this article is free.  

The Fans

This simple phrase is used to make yourself sound important. The reason you did something can always be “for The Fans.” It makes you sound super cool, and who doesn’t want to have fans?

Sam: Nice work on that super sweet burnout you did over there, Jack.

Jack: Thanks, I did it for the fans. 

Jack sounds like a super cool dude.

They Knew What They Didn’t Know

What do you say when someone really nails it with something that they said? Do you say, “wow, I can’t believe that you were right?” No, of course not, you proclaim this phrase, stating that they knew it all along. It’s a great way to end an awkward interaction about a news story or to wrap a conversation about something that happened in the past.

Tim: Man, I can’t believe that new Fast and Furious movie was terrible.

Dave: Yeah, it sucked. Although I remember Will telling me years ago that they were going to take that franchise too far.

Tim: Wow, I guess he Knew What He Didn’t Know. 

Say that line at the next party you attend.

SUPER BONUS: Take any word and abbreviate it, you’ll make anything sound fresh, and you save tons of valuable time.

What a Jabrone. 

That was a delicious Zza.

Nice abbreving, mate