Thursday, April 30, 2009

Whole Bunch of Nissan Stuff For Sale...

1st Gen Nissan Frontier fiberglass fenders--$300 from original $400

Long Travel Total Chaos Hardbody kit--$800 from $2500

Titan Coil Spacers--$115

NCD Titan 2.5" Spacers--$80

Detroit locker for Hardbody--$300

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

2nd Place Thus Far in...

the ongoing OiLibya Tunisia Rally where Christian Laveille (whose Nissan burst into flames and burned to the ground earlier this year) and his Team Dessoude Nissan are performing well thus far.  The only Nissan in the top six, Laveille is close enough to the race leader, Orlando Terranova and his X-Raid BMW to make a run at him but given that Terranova has a number of teammates in close pursuit who are likely to provide aide if needed, any improvement over a 2nd place finish for Laveille would be remarkable with only 3 of the 10 stages of the race remaining....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Offroading Is Not A Crime T-Shirt...

Simple...straightforward.  Just like all those bumper stickers that said "skateboarding is not a crime" that we've all seen, this tshirt takes it to our given sport.  Skateboarding has entered the relative mainstream and towns use taxpayer money to build and maintain skateparks, while offroading, dirtbiking and ATVs are now the new "scourge of suburbia" and have become the politically correct hobby to hate.  A product of RDC and at a great price, these tshirts are guaranteed to offend all the soccer moms and tofu dads at your local natural food co-op.  Get one now!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nissan Takes Another Rally...


This time it is the Rally New York on April 4 and 5 as the first event of seven in the United States Rally Championship series.  While the the AWD vehicles were dominated by the Monster sponsored STi of Ken Block, the 2WD winner was an old Nissan Sentra driven by Dan Brosnan.  He beat out a whole host of VW GTIs, a Mazda 323, an RX-7, and a Ford Focus SVT amongst others.  Again a Nissan car well more than a decade old has laid the smack down on a group of newer and "racier" vehicles.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Review: At the Mountains of Madness...


by H.P. Lovecraft

Boy do I wish I read this book at a younger age.  A phenomenal novella, it would have had an even more profound impact on me was I not been as cynical and prejudiced against fiction of nearly all kinds as I am now.  Even still, though this book draws heavily upon its predecessors (Edgar Allen Poe and numerous other authors who wrote about Antarctica in the 19th and early 20th century), it remains the base template for a large portion of all horror/sci-fi to come after it...As nearly all science fiction films draw heavily upon Blade Runner from the mid 80's on, so it is with all horror/sci-fi books written after At the Mountains of Madness.  It truly is that groundbreaking and genre shattering.
The story of an Antarctic expedition looking for new geological and fossil specimens, the book was written at a time (early 20th century) when nearly all of Antarctica remained unexplored, the South Pole having been reached only a few years prior and many of the tallest mountains in the world remained unclimbed.  Thus, it was entirely plausible that mountain ranges higher than the Himalaya and enormous ancient cities remained hidden and as yet unseen when the story was penned.  Now, though many fewer mysteries about our world remain (if hardly any at all) the atmospherics and ability of Lovecraft to create a highly detailed world of fantasy remains the hallmark of the story.
Creatures unimagined who dissect the humans they encounter with ease and yet who themselves are torn to pieces by an even greater evil lay the groundwork for creations by authors such as King and Barker later in the century while Lovecraft is able to use the white, sterile environment of the Antarctic as the true main character of this tale.
Told in the first person by a survivor of the doomed expedition, At the Mountains of Madness will remind many of both the first and second "The Thing" films based on a later short story ("Who Goes There?") which also borrowed heavily from Lovecraft's vision.  In fact, Carpenter's monster in the more recent "The Thing" bares a striking resemblance to one of this story's creatures.
To anyone who is a fan of horror/sci-fi or stories of the unexplained and unexplored you owe it to yourself to read this novella.  As a last note, Guillermo del Toro, the director of Pan's Labryinth, Hellboy, Hellboy II and the upcoming "Hobbit" movies, is reportedly in the process of turning this story into a film.  One only hopes he can do it justice...

Monday, April 13, 2009

SharkBite Connection System...

OK...as a fairly new homeowner (less than 6 months) I have a lot to learn about home repair and upkeep.  As my home is 40 years old, retains its original copper plumbing and is run off of well water which happens to be VERY hard, both my heating system (forced hot water) and sink/toilet water piping is in questionable condition.  We have had a few leaks thus far and one instance of a frozen/burst pipes due to last November's ice storm and the accompanying power outage.  So being able to repair pipes has become a skill I HAVE to have in order to keep the house running properly, the wife happy and son warm.  Paying a plumber at some $100+ an hour rate to come out and fix a leaky pipe connection every few months is NOT an option (especially given my current unemployed status).
Until this past weekend I believed my only legitimate option was to learn how to sweat and solder pipes and pipe fittings.  Admittedly a good skill to have I got its basics down fairly quickly and am able to sweat a fitting adequately.  A problem arose however when a hot water pipe that sprung a leak was discovered to be far more pitted, corroded and damaged by the hard water than would be repairable by a simple cut and refit into its "T" junction.  In this case I would need to remove a long (1 foot +) section of pipe.  Great I thought, there goes Easter dinner...
So off to Home Depot I went, looking to pick up some more copper pipe, a new tank of propane and some more solder.  In asking one of the employees about a few things the local Londonderry Home Depot (always VERY helpful and friendly--the best HD I have ever been in) worker pointed me instead to this new line of products they are selling called the "SharkBite" connection system.
Sold in Europe for many years, this product is now making inroads in the U.S., requiring no special tools, no torch, no soldering--nothing except your own two hands and perhaps a pipe cutter--to create a connection good to over 200 psi and 200 degrees.  Using a proprietary "O-Ring" fitting, the system is amazingly simple, merely pressing the copper (or CPVC or PEX) tubing into the various SharkBite connectors.  Seriously, what would have taken a half hour or more of prepping metal, slathering flux, heating up the metal, dripping solder into joints and wondering if it was all done correctly now took less than 3 minutes of simply cutting the tubing to length, pressing each connector on the tube (requiring no more force than popping the top of a beer bottle) and then connecting them together.  It was literally child's play.  The connections do not come apart without a small nickel sized "C" clip that opens the "O-Rings" and will
 remain water tight and flexible (more than I can say for the brass/solder/copper fittings that fill the rest of my water system).
In all seriousness I have NEVER run across any product in any field that worked as well or as easy as the SharkBite connections and the amount of time and aggravation that it saves me from soldering pipes and their fitting back together is astounding.  If you are a home owner you MUST have a few of these connections in your home to have on hand.  Oh, and thats the other thing...they are dirt cheap for what they do...a few bucks a piece for each connection.  Save yourself time, money and headaches if you own your own home--get the SharkBite connection system...

Friday, April 10, 2009

"I'm Not Dead Yet!!" Or the Nissan Titan Story...


Yup...just when you thought the Nissan Titan in ANY form was as dead as a doorknob word comes (from Nissan themselves no less) that the Titan is not dead and to the contrary, is likely to continue into the foreseeable future no matter what happens to Chrysler/Dodge and the agreement Nissan had with them for help in the production of the 2nd Gen Titan...
If Chrysler/Dodge do go under and/or do not have the ability to assist Nissan in the next phase of Titan production Nissan intends on going it alone as they have a substantial portion of the work already completed and in house.  What that means for the current Titan (the oldest of any full size pickup on the market by a number of years at this point) is anyone's guess but it would appear that it will remain in production through 2010 with perhaps(?) its replacement coming in 2011...


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Short Course Nissans Back In Action...

This past weekend in Primm, NV at the inaugural event for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series (LOORRS).  Despite Nissan's exiting from major support for motorsports efforts in North America now two years ago, Nissan "Pro", "Ultimate" or whatever you want to call them "Lite" trucks continue to perform well.  Casey Currie (#2), Jose Reyes (#76), Todd Cuffaro (#46), Jon Probst (listed as #5 but shows #15 in pics) and  Jimmy Stephensen (#33) all fielded Nissan trucks.  On Saturday's race these Nissans finished 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th and 13th out of 18 entries and on Sunday's race they ended up 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th with Jon Probst having a DNS on Sunday due to previous day damage.  Just goes to show that these underfunded privateer efforts can still run strongly due to their excellent underpinnings.  Just hoping Nissan comes back to these guys with SOME support in the near future.  Probly not going to happen in this economy but if anything, now, during the tough times is when you can generate a lot of goodwill amongst your potential customer base with targeted, low cost, minimal risk marketing efforts...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jari-Matti Latvala WRC Crash...

or--Why they put roll cages in WRC cars...

This crash is from the recent WRC Portugal event...Latvala may lose his ride in the WRC as this was his third race ending crash in his last four events.  Regardless, he is OK and is an example of just how good race car safety has become...



video

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Project Super Equator...


Petersen's 4Wheel & Off-Road has continued their build up of a '09 Suzuki Equator ('09 4Wheeler of the Year) with the most recent issue representing their third installment of upgrades.  As it is built off of the Frontier platform, the Shrockworks front bumper is a perfect fit on the Equator and the Total Chaos suspension system works perfect.  I like the choice of the Hankook Dynapro MTs as well...don't see too many people running those...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hennessey GT-R: 0-60 in 2.8 seconds...

One mile at 186+ mph...and the driver missed a shift...A claimed 715 HP, 662 lb. ft. of torque, 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, 1/4 mile in 10.8 seconds at 133 mph and hits 191 mph in this video...Not bad for under 100K including the car and all mods...

video

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Old School SE-R Takes Prod. Class at Doo Wop Rally!

Out in Southwest Washington state, a Nissan SE-R piloted by Bruce Tabor took first place in the Production class in the NASA Doo-Wop Rally back on March 7th and 8th as part of the Pacific Northwest Rally Championship Series.  Looks like a great mix of snow and ice and mud and dirt and sleet....How can it get any better!?!?!  Well, NASA, unlike Rally America or the SCCA has opened their series to Rally Moto competitors, running motorcycles on the same course as the cars---Way to move the sport forward!!  Well done!!