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Interstate Love Song

Adam Davila
  • Adam Davila
  • E-mail: admanthemadman25@hotmail.com
  • Adam Davila is a press operator at the Lodi News-Sentinel. He started reading car magazines as a boy and is now proficient with brakes, suspension, engine repair / modification, and paint. He has also spent time road and drag racing.
Thursday 05/10/2012
Keeping cool when your A/C blows hot

When my wife and I go out of town, I wake up early. I normally wake up around one in the afternoon, but for weekend out-of town trips, I get up around eleven. When I am forced by circumstance to wake up early, I am grumpy, clumsy and forgetful. I fumble around the house getting my toiletries into little bags and do my best not to wrinkle my clothes as I stuff them into an overnight bag.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, May 10, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 5:26 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 05/03/2012
Madman tells the tale of the mid-engine that could

Growing up I can remember a few tales that taught me to be a better person. One of my favorite stories involved a dog, his bone and still water. A little dog was walking along with his yummy bone in his jaws happy and content. When the dog happened upon a still body of water, he saw another dog in the reflection.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, May 3, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 5:48 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 04/26/2012
Madman’s column and the Cobra turn 50

While sitting before a blank Word document, I had a realization. I name my articles numerically, one, two and so on. This is where I paused and had my little realization. You see, this is my 50th article. I understand professional writers can produce 50 short works with little effort, but I am not a writer.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 5:49 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 04/19/2012
Campfire tale madman vs. the car thief

Ask the man on the street where he heard the best fish story and he is likely to say, “around a campfire.” Yes, the campfire setting has the distinct advantage of an environment conducive to tall tales.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, April 19, 2012 4:05 am. Updated: 6:14 am. Comments (0)

Friday 04/13/2012
Madman’s shocking opinions about electric vehicles

Night shifts in the Lodi News Sentinel lunch room are where great debates are won and lost. While the press crew enjoys pleasant conversation like weekend plans and the weather, we also argue about everything.

Posted in Autos on Friday, April 13, 2012 3:00 am. Updated: 6:01 am. Comments (1)

Friday 04/06/2012
Madman’s guide to forced induction

There is no replacement for displacement. I have heard this well known saying my entire life. Everybody from drag race veterans to my eleventh grade auto shop instructor.

Posted in Autos on Friday, April 6, 2012 2:57 am. Updated: 6:00 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/29/2012
Shelby GT 500 back for 2012

As I was on my evening commute today I felt fiscally responsible. After all, my little green Civic gets about 37 mpg. With gas topping four bucks a gallon I feel like the smartest madman on the way to the asylum.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 1:42 pm. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/22/2012
Madman discuses the dangers of driving while distracted

Today was going to be the day that I was going to drag myself out under the sun to begin getting my yards ready for spring. While winter has been stubbornly hanging around these past weeks, rain and subsequent sun has brought out the weeds.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, March 22, 2012 5:33 am. Updated: 5:45 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/15/2012
Madman and the horror of the smog check

The chilly October air nipped at my ears as I opened the front door and headed to the mail box. It was getting close to Halloween and everyone had decorations up.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 11:58 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/08/2012
Madman take on the Shimabuku, Patrick scandal

Danica Patrick is a female in what many would consider a man’s sport. Patrick is a race car driver and a very successful one. Being a woman in a man’s world has not been all bad for Danica Patrick.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, March 8, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 5:54 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/01/2012
Madman turns on TV, discovers Velocity channel

My alarm goes off at two in the afternoon. It sounds like I slept in, but I was up until six that morning. It is my day off and I have a lot to do. The trees need pruning, the garage needs cleaning and the Civic could use a wash.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, March 1, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 9:04 am. Comments (0)

Friday 02/24/2012
Madman talks tuning OEM style

A few years ago my dad and I were in the garage changing oil when I heard a peculiar but wonderful sound. It was a deep exhaust burble that was not familiar to me.

Posted in Autos on Friday, February 24, 2012 2:55 am. Updated: 5:50 am. Comments (0)

Friday 02/17/2012
Science moves far too slowly

I am a big science fiction fan. I find that science moves far too slowly and I am ready to travel light years into the abyss of space. Having said that, it is easy to understand why I found the X-47B so interesting.

Posted in Autos on Friday, February 17, 2012 2:49 am. Updated: 5:48 am. Comments (0)

Friday 02/10/2012
Madman talks gas mileage: Is 100 mpg possible?

The White House is touting the recession is officially over despite the fact that the economy is moving at a pace that makes Cal Trans workers look speedy. There is no denying that business, especially the car business, needs a jump start. Washington's bailouts saved General Motors' and Chrysler's bacon, but did not pan out too well for the tax payers.

Posted in Autos on Friday, February 10, 2012 3:09 am. Updated: 6:45 am. Comments (0)

Friday 02/03/2012
Madman looks to the past and discovers the Hyundai Veloster

Millions of years ago the world was a different place. Giant dinosaurs roamed the planets commanding respect wherever they went. Unfortunately for these behemoths, the planet's climate changed and they were no longer equipped to survive - unfortunate for the dinosaurs, but lucky for the auto enthusiasts.

Posted in Autos on Friday, February 3, 2012 3:07 am. Updated: 6:46 am. Comments (0)

Friday 01/20/2012
Madman gets pampered by the Hyundai Genesis sedan

Executives are very important people. This particular breed of worker participates in power meetings and power lunches and spends much of his / her time in a corner office with lots of windows.

Posted in Autos on Friday, January 20, 2012 3:05 am. Updated: 6:43 am. Comments (0)

Friday 01/13/2012
Madman reviews the auto industry’s New Year’s resolutions

As the morning daylight came through the bedroom window, I reluctantly opened my eyes. I am truly a child of the night and it was way too early to get up. It was that last "El Capitini" cocktail I imbibed while ringing in the New Year at the Ahwahnee Hotel that was adding to my discomfort.

Posted in Autos on Friday, January 13, 2012 3:03 am. Updated: 6:42 am. Comments (0)

Friday 01/06/2012
Madman’s automotive news: Rumor edition

I was sitting on the couch this evening watching TMZ and wondering how much of their content is true and how much is speculation. For example, both Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger were seen recently wearing their wedding rings. This is interesting because Shriver has filed for divorce and has told friends that it is over, but that was last month. While this development may likely be true, how much "real" news begins as nothing more than a rumor.

Posted in Autos on Friday, January 6, 2012 3:00 am. Updated: 6:41 am. Comments (0)

Friday 12/30/2011
Madman talks about the civic and Honda Motor Co

Disappointment has come in many forms during my lifetime. When I was a kid, it was the remote controlled car that stopped working almost as soon as I installed the batteries. When I was a teenager, disappointment was the acne cream that that smelled like turpentine and eliminated not one blemish. Lately the Honda Civic has turned me into a serious small car cynic.

Posted in Autos on Friday, December 30, 2011 2:58 am. Updated: 6:40 am. Comments (0)

Friday 12/23/2011
Ho, ho, ho …. Madman’s last minute gift guide

Ahh, the holidays are here - mistletoe, eggnog and packed shopping malls. I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy the holidays despite the season's annoyances. Lets see, there are beautiful light displays, time with the family and gift giving.

Posted in Autos on Friday, December 23, 2011 2:56 am. Updated: 6:39 am. Comments (0)

Friday 12/09/2011
Madman climbs Apple Hill in the Lincoln MKX

There are many things I like about fall. I like the cool temperatures and excuse to buy some new clothes. The holidays are around the corner and folks tend to smile a little more. Then there are the colors of the leaves, red, brown and orange.

Posted in Autos on Friday, December 9, 2011 2:53 am. Updated: 6:38 am. Comments (0)

Friday 12/02/2011
Madman’s automotive news: Turkey edition

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection for me. I think about all of the things that make life worth living, the little things. I am thankful for my loving family and a job I enjoy. As most folks would be, I imagine. I am also thankful for mono block aluminum brake calipers and double wishbone suspension ... without these things life would truly stink.

Posted in Autos on Friday, December 2, 2011 2:51 am. Updated: 6:47 am. Comments (0)

Friday 11/11/2011
Madman’s take on electric vehicles

I am not totally sold on cars that are powered not unlike my toaster oven and microwave. It just doesn't seem right - yea, I'm referring to electric vehicles.

Posted in Autos on Friday, November 11, 2011 2:46 am. Updated: 6:35 am. Comments (0)

Friday 11/04/2011
Five cars for the rich and famous

Some people say "nothing lasts forever." I guess that is essentially true, especially among the rich and famous. Kim Kardashian and her long-legged, basketball-playing, out-of-work husband Kris Humphries are calling it quits after seventy two days of marriage.

Posted in Autos on Friday, November 4, 2011 2:43 am. Updated: 6:47 am. Comments (0)

Friday 10/28/2011
Madman’s 2011 automotive awards

"Sport Compact Car" magazine had been around since the late eighties and was my favorite magazine. As the magazines title implies, SCC featured small, powerful and well - handling cars from all over the world. SCC was written by a different breed of automotive writer, guys who walked the walk. Unlike most mainstream automotive rags, the SCC crew built their own project cars, raced in organized events and spent most of their free time under a hood. SCC was my car bible until like many other excellent publications, it fell victim to falling add revenue and declining readership. SCC published their last issue in March of 2009, I was absolutely gutted.

Posted in Autos on Friday, October 28, 2011 2:38 am. Updated: 6:46 am. Comments (0)

Friday 10/21/2011
Top five car chase movies

I have noticed lately that people have different ways to show their displeasure for others. Some folks make a clever (or not so clever) sign and camp out in a park with others who have the same disdain for Wall Street, banks in general and rich guys. Then there are people who pelt golf superstars with nitrate - filled wieners. I am talking about thirty - one - year - old Brandon Kelly, the guy who chucked a hot dog at troubled golf great Tiger Woods during a tournament. This wacky sausage flinger said he was inspired by the film Drive to do something "epic." Yea, he definitely did something "epic," epically silly.

Posted in Autos on Friday, October 21, 2011 2:58 am. Updated: 6:46 am. Comments (0)

Friday 10/14/2011
Madman's automotive news

Being a generation X kid, I don't have much of a choice when it comes to keeping in touch with friends and family in a hi-tech way. Mobile phones, email and social networking are a necessity. While I don't give constant Facebook updates, I do check in on occasion mostly to see how old my friends are getting.

Posted in Autos on Friday, October 14, 2011 2:54 am. Updated: 6:32 am. Comments (0)

Friday 10/07/2011
Madman’s 2012 Fiat 500 review

It was late as I sat in a comfy chair in my hotel room. I was watching television while my wife slept. We had a big day in San Francisco planned.

Posted in Autos on Friday, October 7, 2011 2:50 am. Updated: 6:33 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 09/28/2011
Madman’s parking lot nightmare

The day started like any other. My wife had given me a list of groceries to pick up and I was running short on time. I still had to go shopping for beach clothes as we were preparing for an extended weekend at Sea Ranch with my family. My parents had rented a house on the ocean and Jordan and I were planning on cooking her famous vegetarian chili for dinner one night. I had my list in my pocket and I was out the door like a man on a mission.

Posted in Autos on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 6:19 pm. Updated: 6:21 pm. Comments (0)

Wednesday 09/21/2011
Are retro cars any good?

Most people I know like to reminisce about the "good old days." Car people aren't any different - well, we are, but we do reminisce. Like an old song or grandmas apple pie, some old cars send our minds into rewind. My father tells me tales of his old 65 Chevy Impala super sport and I can't help grinning when I think back to my Y2K Acura Integra GS - R. Well, those killer rides are long gone, but car makers are churning out old cars as I write. Confused?

Posted in Autos on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 5:01 am. Updated: 5:03 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 08/31/2011
Madman's drivers safety tips

I had just removed some sizzling chicken breasts from the grill and was heading inside to begin the munch fest when the phone rang. For some strange reason a local elementary school calls my number with long automated messages and they always seem to call while I am making dinner. I picked up the phone and mumbled, "hello," while rolling my eyes. Much to my surprise it was my dad calling to fill me in on a recent family event. My niece Katie was involved in a rollover accident.

Posted in Autos on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 2:53 am. Updated: 2:57 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 08/17/2011
Four California cities with different car preferences

I enjoy working. When I am not laboring at The Sentinel, I work in my yard, in my garage or on a car. I am happiest wiping sweat from my brow with a wrench in my hand and a faint aroma of industrial solvents in the air. But, I do relax from time to time. There are a few places I can be found relaxing, both locally and on the coast. I like Lodi and Stockton for dinner out and some laughs with my dinner companions; but I often find myself in San Francisco and most recently Carmel. There is something alluring about the cool sea air, tourists snapping photos .... and the cars.

Posted in Autos on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:56 am. Updated: 4:03 am. Comments (0)

Monday 08/01/2011
Madman's automotive news

Have you ever had a feeling of excitement that is so powerful it overwhelms your train of thought? My three pound Chihuahua Piper is very accustomed to this phenomenon. Whether I am letting her out or reaching for the remote, she acts as though every move I make could tear a hole in the time space continuum. Piper bounces around, runs in circles and barks in a high pitch capable of breaking glass. She always makes me laugh and I love her dearly. Lately, Piper and I have had this brain agitating excitement in common.

Posted in Autos on Monday, August 1, 2011 2:15 am. Updated: 2:25 am. Comments (0)

Monday 07/18/2011
Is it a dead battery or a bad starter?

When I was young starting from a stop was effortless. Now that I am getting a little older I need a little help to get moving. Whether it is my wife telling me its time to get out of bed or the smell of fresh Starbucks, I do need a jump start. Your cars engine is very similar, your engine needs help waking up also. The gasoline engine needs the help of a small, but powerful electric motor appropriately named the starter. Without the starter you would have to turn a hand crank directly connected to the engine. These hand cranks were located at the front of the car and I can assure you...they were not fun.

Posted in Autos on Monday, July 18, 2011 3:19 am. Updated: 3:26 am. Comments (1)

Tuesday 07/05/2011
Madmans guide to understanding tires

I enjoy buying new tires which is good - because the way I drive wears through tires like a kid goes through shoes. I am a little weird because I like the way new rubber smells and how well tires grip the road when they are fresh. Over time tires become hard and dehydrated, which is why tires are manufactured with their birthday stamped on the side.

Posted in Autos on Tuesday, July 5, 2011 2:55 am. Updated: 3:06 am. Comments (0)

Monday 06/27/2011
How to keep your car clean like a pro

When I was a snot nosed little scamp, I was charged with some simple chores. Taking out the trash, loading the dishwasher and mowing the lawn were a few that come to mind. However, my father would like to forget that he saddled me with lawn duty because I made a total hash of it. I was known as the sprinkler head assassin...my moniker should need little explanation. As a result of my gardening ineptitude, I was given the responsibility of auto detailer. Keeping my old man's station wagon and my mom's gorgeous Lincoln Mark VII sport coupe, clean and shiny was right up my alley.

Posted in Autos on Monday, June 27, 2011 5:56 pm. Updated: 6:02 pm. Comments (0)

Friday 06/10/2011
The mighty Hyundai Genesis is human after all

The Hubble telescope is a very sophisticated means by which scientists can study the heavens. This marvel of scientific engineering took a collaboration of several institutions like NASA and Lockheed. It took several years and a budget of thirty million dollars to go from drawing board to reality. The Hubble telescope was absolutely a landmark scientific achievement.

Posted in Autos on Friday, June 10, 2011 10:57 pm. Updated: 11:03 pm. Comments (0)

Thursday 06/02/2011
Diversity can be refreshing

The year was 1996 and several car guys and I were hanging out in a Vacaville garage. The Garage belonged to a good friend and fellow car guy by the name of Rick. Rick had an old eighty-eight Honda CRX. The guys and I were attempting to shoehorn an Acura Integra engine in the tiny CRX. This is not an easy task as the Integra engine is much larger than the original Honda power plant. We were doing this engine swap back before it was common. In a way we were pioneers or madmen. It goes without saying that a job like this is tough and takes a lot of ingenuity and well...cussing.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:25 am. Updated: 4:30 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 05/31/2011
The new Hyundai Genesis Coupe two thumbs up

I enjoy shopping for a new car. The seductive glow of new paint and flawless sheet metal is alluring. I also find the new car smell intoxicating. I enjoy thumbing through brochures and bantering with the salesmen, especially when in their enthusiasm to sell, they may tend to exaggerate. That's when the car salesman in me comes in handy. But, most of all I enjoy sitting in cars that I have no intention of purchasing. "Yeah, these seats feel like something from the park the only thing missing is the bird poop." I can be a brutal critic, but there is always one car on the lot that calls out to me, like an attractive woman from across the room..."hello."

Posted in Autos on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 2:50 am. Updated: 2:57 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 05/19/2011
Sometimes failure is a new beginning

It all happened on a blustery May afternoon. The trees swayed back and forth as if under the control of an invisible howling breath. The sun was high in the sky, but seemed defeated by the chill in the air as every living thing shivered in the cold. There she lay on a hard slab, dead , a green mass slowly decaying. The scene was heartbreaking as she was once full of life. She had been there in the dark, alone for some time, seemingly forgotten.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, May 19, 2011 2:05 am. Updated: 2:19 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 05/12/2011
Top 5 Films madman style

Summertime is quickly approaching. The weather is getting a little warmer the lawns are greener and some folks are going topless. I mean...dropping their convertible tops, of course. Yes there are many things to look forward to when the mercury rises. As a car guy I am anticipating warm cruising weather, car shows and time under the hood. Car guys/girls also enjoy all the big summer blockbuster films, just like normal people. We however get a big kick out of other superstars of the silver screen, the four wheel variety.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, May 12, 2011 4:43 am. Updated: 4:57 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 05/04/2011
Illuminating the differences between headlights

It was a Monday night and I was pooped from a long night in the pressroom. I wanted nothing more than a cup of tea and an episode of Family Guy to relax. As I drove past A&W on my way to Highway 99, I saw a blinding light in the distance.

Posted in Autos on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 7:10 pm. Updated: 7:12 pm. Comments (0)

Monday 05/02/2011
What is right about wrong wheel drive

My wife and I were heading out for lunch one stormy day, when Jordan noticed an interesting sight. On the shoulder of the road sat a Chevy truck facing the wrong way. The Chevy was wrecked, backed into a guard rail and looking very sad. Giggling, Jordan asked me, "how...how did he, how is that possible?" I just smiled and said, "He is just talented." I had Michael's Pizza on the brain and did not feel like explaining how that was not only possible, but common. Today I will explain the properties of all wheel drive "AWD," front wheel drive "FWD" and rear wheel drive "RWD". I will give you the long answer I was too hungry to give my wife.

Posted in Autos on Monday, May 2, 2011 2:47 am. Updated: 3:03 am. Comments (0)

Friday 04/22/2011
Hot Wheels

Last June while I was on my honeymoon in beautiful San Francisco, I saw something that made me feel like a boy again. My wife and I were on our way out for a night in the city when my eyes and attention were suddenly hijacked. We were staying at the Huntington Hotel and parked out in front was a big red toy. The Ferrari 458 Italia is a super car by definition; but it is more than just a car. The 458 is a beautiful creature, far more than the sum of her parts. The Italia is-- I am somewhat embarrassed to say-- car pornography. Ferrari made a pinup, plain and simple; eye candy that young men like myself can admire and daydream about.

Posted in Autos on Friday, April 22, 2011 2:22 am. Updated: 2:38 am. Comments (0)

Friday 04/15/2011
Bang for your buck at the pump

I was filling my car with gas today, watching the numbers flip ever upward on the pump and scowling. Judging by the faces of the people around me, we are all troubled by the prices at the pump. So, I concluded fuel efficiency is something readers would be interested in.

Posted in Autos on Friday, April 15, 2011 3:41 am. Updated: 10:31 am. Comments (0)

Friday 04/08/2011
It’s never easy saying ‘goodbye’ to a loyal friend

I am enthusiastic about anything with four wheels and a proper engine. Give me the steering wheel in a conversation and I will inevitably tell you how a turbocharger works. However, my heart will not allow me to write with the enthusiasm and levity that I wish to.

Posted in Autos on Friday, April 8, 2011 2:57 am. Updated: 10:28 am. Comments (1)

Thursday 05/10/2012
Keeping cool when your A/C blows hot

When my wife and I go out of town, I wake up early. I normally wake up around one in the afternoon, but for weekend out-of town trips, I get up around eleven. When I am forced by circumstance to wake up early, I am grumpy, clumsy and forgetful. I fumble around the house getting my toiletries into little bags and do my best not to wrinkle my clothes as I stuff them into an overnight bag.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, May 10, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 5:26 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 05/03/2012
Madman tells the tale of the mid-engine that could

Growing up I can remember a few tales that taught me to be a better person. One of my favorite stories involved a dog, his bone and still water. A little dog was walking along with his yummy bone in his jaws happy and content. When the dog happened upon a still body of water, he saw another dog in the reflection.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, May 3, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 5:48 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 04/26/2012
Madman’s column and the Cobra turn 50

While sitting before a blank Word document, I had a realization. I name my articles numerically, one, two and so on. This is where I paused and had my little realization. You see, this is my 50th article. I understand professional writers can produce 50 short works with little effort, but I am not a writer.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, April 26, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 5:49 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 04/19/2012
Campfire tale madman vs. the car thief

Ask the man on the street where he heard the best fish story and he is likely to say, “around a campfire.” Yes, the campfire setting has the distinct advantage of an environment conducive to tall tales.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, April 19, 2012 4:05 am. Updated: 6:14 am. Comments (0)

Friday 04/13/2012
Madman’s shocking opinions about electric vehicles

Night shifts in the Lodi News Sentinel lunch room are where great debates are won and lost. While the press crew enjoys pleasant conversation like weekend plans and the weather, we also argue about everything.

Posted in Autos on Friday, April 13, 2012 3:00 am. Updated: 6:01 am. Comments (1)

Friday 04/06/2012
Madman’s guide to forced induction

There is no replacement for displacement. I have heard this well known saying my entire life. Everybody from drag race veterans to my eleventh grade auto shop instructor.

Posted in Autos on Friday, April 6, 2012 2:57 am. Updated: 6:00 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/29/2012
Shelby GT 500 back for 2012

As I was on my evening commute today I felt fiscally responsible. After all, my little green Civic gets about 37 mpg. With gas topping four bucks a gallon I feel like the smartest madman on the way to the asylum.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 1:42 pm. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/22/2012
Madman discuses the dangers of driving while distracted

Today was going to be the day that I was going to drag myself out under the sun to begin getting my yards ready for spring. While winter has been stubbornly hanging around these past weeks, rain and subsequent sun has brought out the weeds.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, March 22, 2012 5:33 am. Updated: 5:45 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/15/2012
Madman and the horror of the smog check

The chilly October air nipped at my ears as I opened the front door and headed to the mail box. It was getting close to Halloween and everyone had decorations up.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 11:58 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/08/2012
Madman take on the Shimabuku, Patrick scandal

Danica Patrick is a female in what many would consider a man’s sport. Patrick is a race car driver and a very successful one. Being a woman in a man’s world has not been all bad for Danica Patrick.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, March 8, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 5:54 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 03/01/2012
Madman turns on TV, discovers Velocity channel

My alarm goes off at two in the afternoon. It sounds like I slept in, but I was up until six that morning. It is my day off and I have a lot to do. The trees need pruning, the garage needs cleaning and the Civic could use a wash.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, March 1, 2012 12:00 am. Updated: 9:04 am. Comments (0)

Friday 02/24/2012
Madman talks tuning OEM style

A few years ago my dad and I were in the garage changing oil when I heard a peculiar but wonderful sound. It was a deep exhaust burble that was not familiar to me.

Posted in Autos on Friday, February 24, 2012 2:55 am. Updated: 5:50 am. Comments (0)

Friday 02/17/2012
Science moves far too slowly

I am a big science fiction fan. I find that science moves far too slowly and I am ready to travel light years into the abyss of space. Having said that, it is easy to understand why I found the X-47B so interesting.

Posted in Autos on Friday, February 17, 2012 2:49 am. Updated: 5:48 am. Comments (0)

Friday 02/10/2012
Madman talks gas mileage: Is 100 mpg possible?

The White House is touting the recession is officially over despite the fact that the economy is moving at a pace that makes Cal Trans workers look speedy. There is no denying that business, especially the car business, needs a jump start. Washington's bailouts saved General Motors' and Chrysler's bacon, but did not pan out too well for the tax payers.

Posted in Autos on Friday, February 10, 2012 3:09 am. Updated: 6:45 am. Comments (0)

Friday 02/03/2012
Madman looks to the past and discovers the Hyundai Veloster

Millions of years ago the world was a different place. Giant dinosaurs roamed the planets commanding respect wherever they went. Unfortunately for these behemoths, the planet's climate changed and they were no longer equipped to survive - unfortunate for the dinosaurs, but lucky for the auto enthusiasts.

Posted in Autos on Friday, February 3, 2012 3:07 am. Updated: 6:46 am. Comments (0)

Friday 01/20/2012
Madman gets pampered by the Hyundai Genesis sedan

Executives are very important people. This particular breed of worker participates in power meetings and power lunches and spends much of his / her time in a corner office with lots of windows.

Posted in Autos on Friday, January 20, 2012 3:05 am. Updated: 6:43 am. Comments (0)

Friday 01/13/2012
Madman reviews the auto industry’s New Year’s resolutions

As the morning daylight came through the bedroom window, I reluctantly opened my eyes. I am truly a child of the night and it was way too early to get up. It was that last "El Capitini" cocktail I imbibed while ringing in the New Year at the Ahwahnee Hotel that was adding to my discomfort.

Posted in Autos on Friday, January 13, 2012 3:03 am. Updated: 6:42 am. Comments (0)

Friday 01/06/2012
Madman’s automotive news: Rumor edition

I was sitting on the couch this evening watching TMZ and wondering how much of their content is true and how much is speculation. For example, both Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger were seen recently wearing their wedding rings. This is interesting because Shriver has filed for divorce and has told friends that it is over, but that was last month. While this development may likely be true, how much "real" news begins as nothing more than a rumor.

Posted in Autos on Friday, January 6, 2012 3:00 am. Updated: 6:41 am. Comments (0)

Friday 12/30/2011
Madman talks about the civic and Honda Motor Co

Disappointment has come in many forms during my lifetime. When I was a kid, it was the remote controlled car that stopped working almost as soon as I installed the batteries. When I was a teenager, disappointment was the acne cream that that smelled like turpentine and eliminated not one blemish. Lately the Honda Civic has turned me into a serious small car cynic.

Posted in Autos on Friday, December 30, 2011 2:58 am. Updated: 6:40 am. Comments (0)

Friday 12/23/2011
Ho, ho, ho …. Madman’s last minute gift guide

Ahh, the holidays are here - mistletoe, eggnog and packed shopping malls. I would be lying if I said I did not enjoy the holidays despite the season's annoyances. Lets see, there are beautiful light displays, time with the family and gift giving.

Posted in Autos on Friday, December 23, 2011 2:56 am. Updated: 6:39 am. Comments (0)

Friday 12/09/2011
Madman climbs Apple Hill in the Lincoln MKX

There are many things I like about fall. I like the cool temperatures and excuse to buy some new clothes. The holidays are around the corner and folks tend to smile a little more. Then there are the colors of the leaves, red, brown and orange.

Posted in Autos on Friday, December 9, 2011 2:53 am. Updated: 6:38 am. Comments (0)

Friday 12/02/2011
Madman’s automotive news: Turkey edition

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection for me. I think about all of the things that make life worth living, the little things. I am thankful for my loving family and a job I enjoy. As most folks would be, I imagine. I am also thankful for mono block aluminum brake calipers and double wishbone suspension ... without these things life would truly stink.

Posted in Autos on Friday, December 2, 2011 2:51 am. Updated: 6:47 am. Comments (0)

Friday 11/11/2011
Madman’s take on electric vehicles

I am not totally sold on cars that are powered not unlike my toaster oven and microwave. It just doesn't seem right - yea, I'm referring to electric vehicles.

Posted in Autos on Friday, November 11, 2011 2:46 am. Updated: 6:35 am. Comments (0)

Friday 11/04/2011
Five cars for the rich and famous

Some people say "nothing lasts forever." I guess that is essentially true, especially among the rich and famous. Kim Kardashian and her long-legged, basketball-playing, out-of-work husband Kris Humphries are calling it quits after seventy two days of marriage.

Posted in Autos on Friday, November 4, 2011 2:43 am. Updated: 6:47 am. Comments (0)

Friday 10/28/2011
Madman’s 2011 automotive awards

"Sport Compact Car" magazine had been around since the late eighties and was my favorite magazine. As the magazines title implies, SCC featured small, powerful and well - handling cars from all over the world. SCC was written by a different breed of automotive writer, guys who walked the walk. Unlike most mainstream automotive rags, the SCC crew built their own project cars, raced in organized events and spent most of their free time under a hood. SCC was my car bible until like many other excellent publications, it fell victim to falling add revenue and declining readership. SCC published their last issue in March of 2009, I was absolutely gutted.

Posted in Autos on Friday, October 28, 2011 2:38 am. Updated: 6:46 am. Comments (0)

Friday 10/21/2011
Top five car chase movies

I have noticed lately that people have different ways to show their displeasure for others. Some folks make a clever (or not so clever) sign and camp out in a park with others who have the same disdain for Wall Street, banks in general and rich guys. Then there are people who pelt golf superstars with nitrate - filled wieners. I am talking about thirty - one - year - old Brandon Kelly, the guy who chucked a hot dog at troubled golf great Tiger Woods during a tournament. This wacky sausage flinger said he was inspired by the film Drive to do something "epic." Yea, he definitely did something "epic," epically silly.

Posted in Autos on Friday, October 21, 2011 2:58 am. Updated: 6:46 am. Comments (0)

Friday 10/14/2011
Madman's automotive news

Being a generation X kid, I don't have much of a choice when it comes to keeping in touch with friends and family in a hi-tech way. Mobile phones, email and social networking are a necessity. While I don't give constant Facebook updates, I do check in on occasion mostly to see how old my friends are getting.

Posted in Autos on Friday, October 14, 2011 2:54 am. Updated: 6:32 am. Comments (0)

Friday 10/07/2011
Madman’s 2012 Fiat 500 review

It was late as I sat in a comfy chair in my hotel room. I was watching television while my wife slept. We had a big day in San Francisco planned.

Posted in Autos on Friday, October 7, 2011 2:50 am. Updated: 6:33 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 09/28/2011
Madman’s parking lot nightmare

The day started like any other. My wife had given me a list of groceries to pick up and I was running short on time. I still had to go shopping for beach clothes as we were preparing for an extended weekend at Sea Ranch with my family. My parents had rented a house on the ocean and Jordan and I were planning on cooking her famous vegetarian chili for dinner one night. I had my list in my pocket and I was out the door like a man on a mission.

Posted in Autos on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 6:19 pm. Updated: 6:21 pm. Comments (0)

Wednesday 09/21/2011
Are retro cars any good?

Most people I know like to reminisce about the "good old days." Car people aren't any different - well, we are, but we do reminisce. Like an old song or grandmas apple pie, some old cars send our minds into rewind. My father tells me tales of his old 65 Chevy Impala super sport and I can't help grinning when I think back to my Y2K Acura Integra GS - R. Well, those killer rides are long gone, but car makers are churning out old cars as I write. Confused?

Posted in Autos on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 5:01 am. Updated: 5:03 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 08/31/2011
Madman's drivers safety tips

I had just removed some sizzling chicken breasts from the grill and was heading inside to begin the munch fest when the phone rang. For some strange reason a local elementary school calls my number with long automated messages and they always seem to call while I am making dinner. I picked up the phone and mumbled, "hello," while rolling my eyes. Much to my surprise it was my dad calling to fill me in on a recent family event. My niece Katie was involved in a rollover accident.

Posted in Autos on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 2:53 am. Updated: 2:57 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 08/17/2011
Four California cities with different car preferences

I enjoy working. When I am not laboring at The Sentinel, I work in my yard, in my garage or on a car. I am happiest wiping sweat from my brow with a wrench in my hand and a faint aroma of industrial solvents in the air. But, I do relax from time to time. There are a few places I can be found relaxing, both locally and on the coast. I like Lodi and Stockton for dinner out and some laughs with my dinner companions; but I often find myself in San Francisco and most recently Carmel. There is something alluring about the cool sea air, tourists snapping photos .... and the cars.

Posted in Autos on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:56 am. Updated: 4:03 am. Comments (0)

Monday 08/01/2011
Madman's automotive news

Have you ever had a feeling of excitement that is so powerful it overwhelms your train of thought? My three pound Chihuahua Piper is very accustomed to this phenomenon. Whether I am letting her out or reaching for the remote, she acts as though every move I make could tear a hole in the time space continuum. Piper bounces around, runs in circles and barks in a high pitch capable of breaking glass. She always makes me laugh and I love her dearly. Lately, Piper and I have had this brain agitating excitement in common.

Posted in Autos on Monday, August 1, 2011 2:15 am. Updated: 2:25 am. Comments (0)

Monday 07/18/2011
Is it a dead battery or a bad starter?

When I was young starting from a stop was effortless. Now that I am getting a little older I need a little help to get moving. Whether it is my wife telling me its time to get out of bed or the smell of fresh Starbucks, I do need a jump start. Your cars engine is very similar, your engine needs help waking up also. The gasoline engine needs the help of a small, but powerful electric motor appropriately named the starter. Without the starter you would have to turn a hand crank directly connected to the engine. These hand cranks were located at the front of the car and I can assure you...they were not fun.

Posted in Autos on Monday, July 18, 2011 3:19 am. Updated: 3:26 am. Comments (1)

Tuesday 07/05/2011
Madmans guide to understanding tires

I enjoy buying new tires which is good - because the way I drive wears through tires like a kid goes through shoes. I am a little weird because I like the way new rubber smells and how well tires grip the road when they are fresh. Over time tires become hard and dehydrated, which is why tires are manufactured with their birthday stamped on the side.

Posted in Autos on Tuesday, July 5, 2011 2:55 am. Updated: 3:06 am. Comments (0)

Monday 06/27/2011
How to keep your car clean like a pro

When I was a snot nosed little scamp, I was charged with some simple chores. Taking out the trash, loading the dishwasher and mowing the lawn were a few that come to mind. However, my father would like to forget that he saddled me with lawn duty because I made a total hash of it. I was known as the sprinkler head assassin...my moniker should need little explanation. As a result of my gardening ineptitude, I was given the responsibility of auto detailer. Keeping my old man's station wagon and my mom's gorgeous Lincoln Mark VII sport coupe, clean and shiny was right up my alley.

Posted in Autos on Monday, June 27, 2011 5:56 pm. Updated: 6:02 pm. Comments (0)

Friday 06/10/2011
The mighty Hyundai Genesis is human after all

The Hubble telescope is a very sophisticated means by which scientists can study the heavens. This marvel of scientific engineering took a collaboration of several institutions like NASA and Lockheed. It took several years and a budget of thirty million dollars to go from drawing board to reality. The Hubble telescope was absolutely a landmark scientific achievement.

Posted in Autos on Friday, June 10, 2011 10:57 pm. Updated: 11:03 pm. Comments (0)

Thursday 06/02/2011
Diversity can be refreshing

The year was 1996 and several car guys and I were hanging out in a Vacaville garage. The Garage belonged to a good friend and fellow car guy by the name of Rick. Rick had an old eighty-eight Honda CRX. The guys and I were attempting to shoehorn an Acura Integra engine in the tiny CRX. This is not an easy task as the Integra engine is much larger than the original Honda power plant. We were doing this engine swap back before it was common. In a way we were pioneers or madmen. It goes without saying that a job like this is tough and takes a lot of ingenuity and well...cussing.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, June 2, 2011 4:25 am. Updated: 4:30 am. Comments (0)

Tuesday 05/31/2011
The new Hyundai Genesis Coupe two thumbs up

I enjoy shopping for a new car. The seductive glow of new paint and flawless sheet metal is alluring. I also find the new car smell intoxicating. I enjoy thumbing through brochures and bantering with the salesmen, especially when in their enthusiasm to sell, they may tend to exaggerate. That's when the car salesman in me comes in handy. But, most of all I enjoy sitting in cars that I have no intention of purchasing. "Yeah, these seats feel like something from the park the only thing missing is the bird poop." I can be a brutal critic, but there is always one car on the lot that calls out to me, like an attractive woman from across the room..."hello."

Posted in Autos on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 2:50 am. Updated: 2:57 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 05/19/2011
Sometimes failure is a new beginning

It all happened on a blustery May afternoon. The trees swayed back and forth as if under the control of an invisible howling breath. The sun was high in the sky, but seemed defeated by the chill in the air as every living thing shivered in the cold. There she lay on a hard slab, dead , a green mass slowly decaying. The scene was heartbreaking as she was once full of life. She had been there in the dark, alone for some time, seemingly forgotten.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, May 19, 2011 2:05 am. Updated: 2:19 am. Comments (0)

Thursday 05/12/2011
Top 5 Films madman style

Summertime is quickly approaching. The weather is getting a little warmer the lawns are greener and some folks are going topless. I mean...dropping their convertible tops, of course. Yes there are many things to look forward to when the mercury rises. As a car guy I am anticipating warm cruising weather, car shows and time under the hood. Car guys/girls also enjoy all the big summer blockbuster films, just like normal people. We however get a big kick out of other superstars of the silver screen, the four wheel variety.

Posted in Autos on Thursday, May 12, 2011 4:43 am. Updated: 4:57 am. Comments (0)

Wednesday 05/04/2011
Illuminating the differences between headlights

It was a Monday night and I was pooped from a long night in the pressroom. I wanted nothing more than a cup of tea and an episode of Family Guy to relax. As I drove past A&W on my way to Highway 99, I saw a blinding light in the distance.

Posted in Autos on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 7:10 pm. Updated: 7:12 pm. Comments (0)

Monday 05/02/2011
What is right about wrong wheel drive

My wife and I were heading out for lunch one stormy day, when Jordan noticed an interesting sight. On the shoulder of the road sat a Chevy truck facing the wrong way. The Chevy was wrecked, backed into a guard rail and looking very sad. Giggling, Jordan asked me, "how...how did he, how is that possible?" I just smiled and said, "He is just talented." I had Michael's Pizza on the brain and did not feel like explaining how that was not only possible, but common. Today I will explain the properties of all wheel drive "AWD," front wheel drive "FWD" and rear wheel drive "RWD". I will give you the long answer I was too hungry to give my wife.

Posted in Autos on Monday, May 2, 2011 2:47 am. Updated: 3:03 am. Comments (0)

Friday 04/22/2011
Hot Wheels

Last June while I was on my honeymoon in beautiful San Francisco, I saw something that made me feel like a boy again. My wife and I were on our way out for a night in the city when my eyes and attention were suddenly hijacked. We were staying at the Huntington Hotel and parked out in front was a big red toy. The Ferrari 458 Italia is a super car by definition; but it is more than just a car. The 458 is a beautiful creature, far more than the sum of her parts. The Italia is-- I am somewhat embarrassed to say-- car pornography. Ferrari made a pinup, plain and simple; eye candy that young men like myself can admire and daydream about.

Posted in Autos on Friday, April 22, 2011 2:22 am. Updated: 2:38 am. Comments (0)

Friday 04/15/2011
Bang for your buck at the pump

I was filling my car with gas today, watching the numbers flip ever upward on the pump and scowling. Judging by the faces of the people around me, we are all troubled by the prices at the pump. So, I concluded fuel efficiency is something readers would be interested in.

Posted in Autos on Friday, April 15, 2011 3:41 am. Updated: 10:31 am. Comments (0)

Friday 04/08/2011
It’s never easy saying ‘goodbye’ to a loyal friend

I am enthusiastic about anything with four wheels and a proper engine. Give me the steering wheel in a conversation and I will inevitably tell you how a turbocharger works. However, my heart will not allow me to write with the enthusiasm and levity that I wish to.

Posted in Autos on Friday, April 8, 2011 2:57 am. Updated: 10:28 am. Comments (1)

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