I’ve been busy

2018 Volkswagen Atlas in water

Been driving a bunch of cars, so this place has been on the back burner. Hoping to improve it, though…

So, what have I written lately?

I covered a bit of the New York International Auto Show from the comfort of Ohio:

Rogue Dogue

Lexus LS500 F Sport

And I’ve reviewed a few cars:

Lexus GS 200t Review

Kia Niro Review

Mitsubishi Mirage Review

Kia Cadenza Review

And I’ve gone full autojourno with my first big automaker press trip – this time to the Texas Hill Country to sample Volkswagen’s new Atlas SUV

 

I wrote some things over the last few months, I promise

 

dsc_0853-dngAnd yet, I neglect this site. Insert excuse here. Maybe I can blame Lightroom, which destroyed some photos like the one above.

That, or I can blame a mouse, who conspired with my beloved offspring to force me to spend ungodly amounts of money to visit a swamp

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So..I’ve driven some cars, I’ve written about others..and covered a couple of auto shows. It’s been … busy.

And there is more to come, I promise. BIG project coming very soon, I hope.

Besides my daily writing duties at CarOfTheDay.com, everything I’ve published has been at The Truth About Cars:

Car Reviews:

Lexus IS200t, Lexus RC F, VW Golf SportWagen 4Motion, Chrysler Pacifica Touring-L, Nissan Rogue

Auto Show Coverage:

Detroit – NAIAS 2017:

2018 Honda Odyssey revealed, 2018 Kia Stinger revealed

Chicago – CAS 2017:

Nissan Titan King Cab, Chrysler/BraunAbility Pacifica

Super Bowl Commercials

Pre-Game, Live Updates

Questions Of The Day

Favorite Auto Commercial?  Worst Shadetree Mechanic Mishap? Fun Car Under $5k? The Family Car of Your Youth? Best Unrealized Concept Car? Forbidden Classics? What Car Would You Buy For Your Kid? What Dead Model Would You Resurrect?

Across The Block

Mecum KC, RM Sothebys Milan, Mecum Anaheim, Carlisle Lakeland, Mecum Dallas

Miscellaneous

Australian Formula Vee!

 

 

It’s FRIDAY!!!! Monthly Round-Up Time!

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I was hoping to update this weekly..yeah, so much for that.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying a few new cars from Nissan, Volkswagen, and Infiniti..and more are coming.

Of course, I’ve been pounding out posts for Car Of The Day every day, too.

And a few more posts at US News have been published, as well.

Of course, school is in session, so I’ve been driving the dad taxi everywhere for sports.

Here’s what I’ve published recently:

Cheap, Fun Used Cars

What Makes A Luxury Car

What You Get In A New $20k Car

Eight Safety Features You Shouldn’t Skip

2017 Nissan Pathfinder–Review

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune–Review

2016 Infiniti Q50 2.0t AWD–Review

Oh, and for that lead photo…my girls decided to get greasy and help do a brake job on the trusty Town & Country. I couldn’t be more proud.

Catching up

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It has been a busy summer, between kids’ sports, involuntary stints as an unpaid high-level shadetree mechanic (see above), and weekend trips.

Oh, yeah, and writing. Lots of writing.

I’ve neglected to mention on these pages my newest literary endeavor:

CarOfTheDay.com:

where we cover several interesting cars for sale, six days a week. I’m the Large Editor at Large – a title I’ve been stewing on since I was a kid and found out that my hero in the world of auto writing, Peter Egan of Road & Track, was an Editor at Large. I’m doing a good bit of writing there, too.

Beyond COTD.com, I’ve written a few pieces for TTAC since I last haunted these digital pages:

Digestible Collectible: 1989 Ford Sierra Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth

How Decision 2016 Will Affect the Auto Industry

Ohio Ford Dealer, Selling 727HP Roush Mustangs for $39,995, Tells Hellcat to Step Outside

Was Your Focus RS Order Cancelled? Buy This Cool-Looking Ford Instead

2016 Rio Olympics: The Cars of Brazil

It’s Been A Good Run: Nissan Tsuru Production Likely To End Soon

Government Surplus Auctions Can Yield Amazing Treasures

Furthermore, I’ve written several pieces for the US News Best Cars blog:

The Difference Between Autonomous Braking and Anti-Lock Brakes

Everything You Should Know About the Nissan GT-R

Eight Reincarnated Cars

Unexpected Everyday Exotics

Best Off-Road SUVs

Certified Pre-Owned Hondas

The History of the Ford Mustang

8 So-Called Foreign Cars Built in the US

So, clearly I’ve been busy. But wait, there’s more! I’ll have some new features coming in the next few weeks – I’m excited to share in some new adventures. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for current happenings – since I clearly can’t be bothered to keep this updated…

 

It’s been a while…

But I’m back, in limited doses.

You see, I’ve recently started a new day job, which has led to a good deal of travel while I get rolling. This has made it challenging to write much of anything. However, I’ve been writing behind the scenes…and stuff is starting to see the light of day.

Monday marked my return to the pages of TTAC, with a brief look at a high-powered bargain Mustang. A brief ~250 word article became one of my most-viewed pieces ever on the site. Several other sites picked up on the deal, as well, as it was originally posted on Reddit.

On Wednesday, as I was working in Tennessee for the day (long story for another time) a new piece on high-tech braking technologies was published at a new-to-me site. I’ve been writing several pieces for US News and World Report lately, but this was the first (of many) to hit the web.

Thanks to all who have supported me through my transition to a new employer. Oh, and stay tuned. I have another project that should be breaking cover soon that I’m sure will turn some heads.

One Year of the Truth

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One year ago today, I published my first article at The Truth About Cars. It’s been a long, fun ride, with 140 pieces published to date.

Thanks to all of my colleagues and editors who have made this possible. Looking forward to many more years.

Career Crossroads

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Where to go from here?

Tomorrow is my last day with a great company that is struggling to deal with changes in the oil and gas industry. My first instinct, of course, is to hit the job boards and toss résumés into the ether for another B2B sales job.

My heart is telling me to hold back, and hold out for opportunities to write for a living.

My wallet – and my mortgage company – are suggesting other options, likely to require ski masks and duffel bags.

I’ll abandon the larceny idea for now, as my size precludes any chance of blending into the majority of the populace while running from the law. But what of the other two options?

Sales

I was born to sell. Certainly my dad had the gift, as that’s all he did since he left the Navy in the 70’s. Save my side gigs in writing, that’s all I’ve been doing since halfway through my first (of many) freshman year at Ohio State, when I started selling lawnmowers at Sears.

Retail sucks, certainly, but I found a gift while peddling small-engined machines that spring. The commission checks were so good that I dropped out of school. I found another gift at Sears a few months later when I met Heather.

I moved up into management at Sears, did a stretch at Home Depot where the hours nearly destroyed our relationship, and eventually walked out of retail into a 9-5 sales career.

I’ve worked both behind a desk and on the road, always selling. I’m good at it.

Writing

Fun fact: I hated writing when I was a kid.

Since, I’ve reasoned that the act of writing wasn’t the primary factor in my dislike – rather, as I grew up without a computer in the home, I had to hand-write all of my assignments. I’ve found that the various cognitive differences -including ADHD – that I’ve had to manage over my life make the slow act of pen-to-paper incompatible with quick sentence formation. I’d struggle because my mind was ten words ahead of my hands.

Now that QWERTY has supplanted Ticonderoga and BIC, writing is a joy.

In 2011, I stumbled upon a post at Jalopnik, linking to a call for writers at the excellent classic-car site, Bring a Trailer. And they paid their writers, which is a big deal in the online world, which often gives content creators “exposure” rather than cash. Matt Inman (the Oatmeal) says it best:

exposure

Anyhow, Randy Nonnenberg, the founder of Bring A Trailer, brought me onboard, showing me the ropes of online publishing. I spent almost four years writing at BaT on the side of my day job, and it was gloriously fun.

Last spring, an old friend best known as Bark M. egged me to submit writing samples to his editor at The Truth About Cars. Derek Kreindler took a chance on me, and now I’m publishing articles under my own name. I’ve over 100 pieces published at TTAC now, for which I have several people to thank:

Bark, for the encouragement; Derek, for taking a chance; Mark Stevenson, our new editor, for letting me grow beyond one piece a week; and Jack Baruth, for providing sage advice and mentoring.

I think that I’ve found my voice, but I don’t know that I can support my family by writing. I’d have to juggle several different outlets as a freelancer, or somehow convince one to put me on staff even though I don’t live in Detroit.

Incidentally, if anyone here happens to hold the keys to such a writing gig..please contact me.

Conclusion

Well, really, I don’t have a conclusion. I need advice and suggestions. Where should I go from here?

[Image credits: Header, By Carsten Tolkmit from Kiel, Germany (crossroads)CC BY-SA 2.0</a>], <a href=””>via Wikimedia Commons, Comic, The Oatmeal]

 

 

(Two) weeks in review

Well, after my big trip last week, I somehow forgot to post up my usual weekly recap. So..here’s what I’ve published recently:

Yesterday, I wrote about Nissan’s Z – my history with the car, and what Nissan seems to be doing with the model.

For the New York Auto Show, I covered several new models, concepts, or refreshes:

50th Anniversary Corolla

Mitsubishi Mirage G4

AMG C63 S Cabrio

Lincoln Navigator concept

And my reaction to the massive Nissan GT-R display front and center at the Javits Center. I’m taking donations for a new camera..and photography lessons.

Ohio Boy in the Big City

This week, I had the privilege of covering the New York International Auto Show on behalf of The Truth About Cars. Certainly I was thrilled to see the new concept cars, and to meet fellow journalists/free-food moochers..but I was truly geeked simply to visit New York City.

SONY DSC

Nissan provided sushi to hungry journalists. Volkswagen, as far as I could tell, had no corresponding knockwurst.

Indeed, it was my first trip to the city. Despite being a days’ drive away from home, I can’t believe I’ve never visited in my 37+ years.

Despite having never been, New York was familiar – as the backdrop to so much of our media and culture, I felt instantly at home. I expected John Munch and Odafin Tutuola to roll up and nab some perv in front of me at any time.

So, in the minimal time between my required duties as a freelance automotive journalist, I set out to explore what many call the greatest city on earth.

I didn’t see enough.

I drove by One World Trade Center briefly, reflecting on the September morning when I walked into the break room at Home Depot to see the TV turned to CNN. I saw a few landmarks, but never actually glimpsed the Statue of Liberty. Much of my time was spent on the subway, between the Javits Center and our AirBnB in Park Slope..so I experienced New Yorkers more so than New York.

I never ventured into Central Park. I saw the southern edge from Central Park West, briefly from an Uber. Otherwise I never went above 34th Street except when driving up the West Side Highway to leave via the George Washington Bridge..which I chose since it’s the only toll-free westbound crossing of the Hudson.

I did have pizza in SoHo.

I had a Sabrett hot dog with kraut and mustard.

I did gorge on pastrami at Katz’s Delicatessen. I prefer the full sour pickles to the half-sours. I did (breaking my streak) have a soda, a Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda.

Pastrami

I only Instagrammed this one photo..no Meg Ryan fake orgasms or anything, I promise. Turns out the Jewish Auto Writers Society was celebrating a Seder in the back of the restaurant, and I didn’t want to call attention to myself negatively in front of people who might want to buy my work someday.

My feet hurt. Turns out that when you spend four dollars on a pair of dress shoes when a store is closing, you shouldn’t expect to wear them for over twelve years. I’ve been home for over twelve hours, and I still can’t walk correctly.

Besides the admittedly-outrageous costs, perhaps the biggest thing keeping me from visiting more frequently is indeed a big thing: Pennsylvania. I’d forgotten how the six hours it takes to drive across the state feels like an eternity. I did notice that there are fewer dead deer on the roadways in PA than in Ohio – I think they pass out in the ditch from boredom rather than attempt crossing the road.

Despite my barking dogs, I enjoyed my brief stay, and want to return soon. There is simply so much happening everywhere that I know I’d never tire of it. Our wonderful apartment in Brooklyn, just a couple hundred yards from a busy elevated expressway, was quiet, clean, and roomy.

I want to take in a show. I want to see a game at Yankee Stadium (preferably against the Cubs in October). I want to take a crap in the parking lot of Citi Field (where Shea once stood) where that damned black cat doomed the Cubs in 1969 by running around Ron Santo in the on-deck circle, tanking the season and eventually taking Ronnies legs via diabetes.

Mostly, I want to go back and experience more.

I love my hometown of Columbus. It is remarkably diverse, and has plenty to do, see, and eat. But New York is the center of the world, and I want to be there.

Next time, I’ll bring decent shoes.