i refuse to even consider this a possibility
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|6 weeks 2 days ago||Global Economy||
As someone who works in the auto industry and has experience with several tier-1 suppliers and OEMs I can say with some authority that the most "American" car you can buy is...
The Toyota Tundra (dun! dun! dun!!!!):
It's engineered almost entirely in the US at the Toyota Technical Centers in Ann Arbor and Saline, assembled in Texas, and roughly 98% of the components are made in the US- including those made by suppliers, who support the engineering at TTC in Michigan. I've heard (somewhat unsubstantiated) rumors that Toyota Coorporate in Japan wants to kill the Tundra because it never makes back its development cost (AKA- the money goes to Ann Arbor to develop the next one and none is left over for Japan) at it's current production / sale rate. The only reason they've kept it around is that they need to be a "full line manufacturer" in the United States and Canada and in order to have that title you must have a full-size pickup truck in the range.
All that said, personally I have no brand loyalty and care more about the way things drive. The only car I've picked out was a 2004 BMW 330i ZHP sedan that I've been piling miles on for the last 2.5-3 years. It's getting to be a bit of a money pit, but I'm willing to overlook that considering that it's ~12.5 years old (from manufactuing date) and has 177,000 on the clock. And it still drives better than anything you can buy new short of a Fiesta ST, and it's more comfortable.
Couple notes on BMWs though:
1. They're premium sport coupes / sedans - NOT luxury cars. Even though they've gotten softer in recent years, they're still very harsh compared to most competition. They're meant to give you all the amenities of a luxury car and all the tactile enjoyment of a sports car in a reasonably practical (trunk, back seat, etc) package.
2. I would never own one out of warrenty unless you're good to wrench on it yourself 90% of the time and can afford to eat the cost the other 10%. They're not cheap to own, but the used ones are good value for money if you like how they drive (and boy do I).
As for the theme:
I'll never own a Prius:
I'll never own a "conventional" (internal combustion engine) car with a CVT:
I tend to avoid Audi, VW, and FCA.
Though I'm currently considering a Ford Flex as it seems like the perfect vehicle for my band? Or maybe an Acura RSX to split mileage with the Bimmer.
|15 weeks 15 hours ago||Lighting..?||
I suppose it would be good to improve the lighting and get rid of the drop ceilings - it looks like a shitty office building in that regard. Just open it up and throw some shop lights and BFF ceiling fans in there. The weightroom is a place of work. I would think Harbaugh's weigh room would be a place of honest blue collar work so lets make it look like the factory floor at FCA where they build the Viper - exceptionally clean, well-lit, but still industrial.
I'd rather spend an hour on the elliptical at Oregon's facilities, but if I'm gonna pump iron I don't see the benifit of walls of glass or skylights or whatever. Stuff like cleanliness, equipment availability (if the place is too small/crampped that is a problem) and airflow matter a lot more.
|19 weeks 2 days ago||My current whip is a '04 330i ZHP||
For the uninformed in BMW gibberish the ZHP was a performance package offered on the post-revision e46 (2002-2006) BMW 3-series in all body style except the wagon. It basically brings it up to US-spec (because we got screwed, long story) e36 M3 performance, but in a much more refined package. This was officially done to give the performance-minded sedan buyer something since the e46 M3 was coupe and convertable only.
It gets some bigger wheels, factory-lowered suspension, a 6-speed stick, and some nice trim. Mine pretty much looks like this - from 20 feet away, when it's clean:
Anyway. It's been a wonderful machine. I've piled 53,000 miles of commuting, travel, "canyon" driving, and track abuse (only once) on it in the almost 2.5 years I've had it.
Never the less, it has a few (!!! not just one !!!) flaws:
2 - The climate control has a mind of its own when it comes to activating (FULL BLAST!) or deactivating (minimum fan) defrost.
3 - No folding rear seat. The truck is reasonably sized and I've wedged 2x4s diagnolly across the interior before... so it's quite practical for something that goes like it does... But it would be BETTER with folding seats.
4 - It loves to eat tires. My first set of summers made it less than two full driving seasons.
EDIT: The real 'big' one:
A relay in the power locks logic likes to stick in warm/muggy weather which makes it so that you cannot unlock any door except the driver's door. I've forgotten about it since I haven't experienced that one since October. I've got a junkyard-sourced lock unit I just need to salvage a couple relays out of... won't be too hard.
The only other problem is that she's getting old. '04 was 12 years ago... 172k miles and counting (at ~22.5k / year). Maintenance has been surprisingly reasonable though. Parts aren't any worse than any other import brand, it's pretty easy to work on, and I've found a good local indie shop. I'm planning on rolling 'er out to 250k. ^__^
|19 weeks 2 days ago||ZHP BUDDIES ^_^||
I'm running a square stance - 245s on all wheels, and it really helped with the handling. The turn in is much crisper than it used to be. Even so, I imagine the Porsches would be better drivers' cars, but worse "owners" cars. Sounds like a lot of sweat, blood, and gears.
|19 weeks 2 days ago||My guess on the offers.||
My guess on why his offer list seems so short is a mix of a couple things:
1 - Early in the cycle, so lots of places are after "their guy" for fit. Dylan just happens to be Michigan's guy.
2 - A lot offers, even if thrown his way, were probably not taken seriously by the McCaffrey family and therefore not widely discussed. Don't "offer lists" mostly come from prospects and their families, rather than being advertised by the programs?
|22 weeks 1 day ago||I hate to do this but...||
Pink Floyd was my favorite band for many years growing up. It's "Comfortably Numb" and The Wall was released in November of 1979. Pink Floyd's peak era is quinessentially 1970s. I realize that there are several spectacular live cuts of that partiuclar song from the 80s though, so I'll give you this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks6fVbpI98A
And I must say. I approve.
Anyway! Back on topic:
Aha - "Take On Me" - Great song, fantastic music video
J.Geils Band - "Centerfold"
Micheal Jackson - Thriller (song, album, yes)
There's lot of excellent, excellent music that was released in the 80s but from my retrospective a lot of that came from legacy of the 1970s (Queen, Floyd, AC/DC, etc) or was unkowingly laying the groundwork for the 1990s (REM, The Pixies, The Stone Roses, Sonic Youth, MBV, arguably U2etc).
*I was born in 1988 and memories of pre-1995 or so show no awareness of society as a whole.
|22 weeks 4 days ago||No snow in Dearborn||
No fresh powder in Dearborn.
Drinking Crown Royal Mapel on the rock (1 ice cube) and water (seperate glasses).
Glad to see BB pull away there at the end. Enjoyed a great show at the Lager House. All-in-all a great Saturday. :)
EDIT: Had some Hopslam tonight! Need to go pick some up while it lasts! :D
|24 weeks 2 days ago||Fair||
But I couldn't cheer for anyone in that game. FSU is just one of those teams I just... ugh. And while I could get behind Auburn I wanted the SEC Championship streak to end.
But that was a phenominally played game.
|24 weeks 2 days ago||Best Championship game in years||
I think the last one like this was (post 2010 season) Auburn - Oregon. A game of two offenses that was tight and back-and-forth.
Still Clemson just looks mentally dull in their secondary and now coverage units...
That offense is something to behold, but unless they can stop 'bama scoring it's not gonna make much difference.
|25 weeks 5 days ago||I had us at 8-4, so clearly this exceeds those expectations.||
I had us at 8-4 right from the hiring. During the spring I though that might be a bit optimistic given the QB situation and that we hadn't put together a proven tailback based running game in years, but I stuck by it.
After the Rudock transfer I started to have a bit more confidence that whoever started at QB had earned it rather than just being the best bad option available. By the beginning of the season I was starting to think that 8-4 was pestimistic and 9-3 was probably more in line with reality. But the way we got there was quite a ride.
Against Utah the team looked unfinished, but the composure in a night game, on the road, was refreshing after the last couple years.
The offense took a while to find itself but the defense looked completely overwhelming. As the defensive dominence lessened and special teams started returning to Earth the passing offense started to click. By the kickoff in Happy Valley this felt like a proper Michigan team - one that just finds ways to win no matter what strength or weakness was getting exposed. The regular season ended with a defensive breakdown I'd rather not remember or recount, but otherwise it was a damn fine 11 games.
Upon seeing the matchup with Florida I felt we had a pretty good chance to break out the champange a second time in one day; but that performance exceeded my wildest dreams. I figured it was going to be a defensive slugfest where a kick coverage issue (Florida has scored on returns this season) and a few Harris scrambles kept the Gators in it while our offense plugged away in a mildly more efficient fashion. Then our line started opening holes and tailbacks cut decisively into them and refused to go down on first contact. Our recievers shook open with help from Ruddock's eyes and pump-fakes leading defenders to the wrong routes; dissecting maybe the best secondary we've encounted all year. The defense held up their end of the bargin after gaining confidence on an INT in the enzone, keeping the Gators out of scoring range for most of the remaining minutes. It was confirmation that we're going to right direction and (unlike 2011) we didn't have to get lucky to do it.
My expectations for '16 are now much higher than they were six months ago. Find a few key pieces on offense and some linebackers and this feel like a Big 10 championship, and in turn, a playoff year. But I'll probably keep my expectations at a 10-win regular season. ;)
|26 weeks 21 hours ago||WISKY to celebrate WISCY holding on!||
Congrats to the Badgers surviving a major screwjob by the refs. The better team won tonight.
|29 weeks 2 days ago||There are two main ingredients to beating spread to run teams:||
1. Offense: possess the ball for a long as possible and punch it in when you get into the red zone. The best way to do this is a Stanford-like run game that takes advantage of the types of players (smaller, faster) spread teams tend to recruit on both sides of the ball. Go heavy, block everyone but a safety and grind out 5-yards with constraint plays being primarily short passes to tight ends - especially if you can get them mismatched on a CB or safety.
These possessions "shorten" the game and being a "strong" offense (rather than a "fast" offense) lends itself to this.
2. Defense: dominate the line of scrimmage by either getting players through to disrupt the plays in the backfield OR by eating up all the available blockers. This is why double A-gap blitzes or a 'Bear' defense is so effective. You have to rely on your corners holding up without support, and you will occasionally give up a big play downtrend, but this takes away the big run plays that spread to run thrives on.
In theory a "fast" offense wants to score from outside the red zone on big plays. If you take away their preferred big play (the run) and get pressure to prevent long - developing plays to form downfield they'll be forced into dinking and dunking, which is usually unsustainable.
|29 weeks 6 days ago||MD has a couple run-first QBs||
I honestly think this is more of a question of properly utilizing the personnel Durkin is inheriting at MD. The Terps had a decent run game against some of the more average defenses on the schedule and their QBs had some wheels while being turnover machines through the air. It makes sense to structure that team to be an effective run-first offense.
With the talent level at MD and likely to be attracted to them in the coming years, it won't look or feel anything like OSU, but it will probably allow them to have a fairly effective offense with a lot of two and three star talent (with a few stand-out players here and there).
As for the Durkin favoring Meyer's offense rather than Harbaugh's; I probably would too. Meyer's offense is fundamentally/conceptually simple while Harbaugh's is fundamentally complex. The main advantage of Harbaugh's offense in the future will be that it's an outlier. A rare offensive scheme run with top level athletic and intellectual talent will be neigh-impossible for opposing defenses to prepare for.
If Maryland wants to help Michigan warm up for OSU every year - let em.
|33 weeks 2 days ago||I know there was an era when||
I know there was an era when the used to retire ocean-going vestiles to the Great Lakes but then a lot of them broke up because of the choppy nature of the waves in the 'Lake caused metal fatigue so much faster than the swells of the ocean. The thought was that the fresh water didn't erode the hulls so they'd last longer with less maintainance and that you're usually closer to aid (shore, other ships) than you would be on the oceans.
There were a rather surprising number of shipwrecks on the Great Lakes during the 50s, 60s and into the 70s due to ships spontaniously breaking up when caught in the storms. Obviously the navigational aides of the time were also far worse (especially in stormy conditions) but aides don't stop your hull breaking apart from the waves.
I'd beleive a lot of the WWII era vestles that still traverse the 'Lakes were built more to military rather than civilian spec, and are far more durable as a result.
I don't know if the Edmund Fitzgerald was of that era of thinking or not - but it was purpose-built as a Great Lakes freighter. If I recall correctly the main (suspected) culprit was the design of the cargo hatch seals, which in large swells could cause the Fitz to take on some water. Under most circumstances the ship had enough pump capacity to deal with this, but this was a particularly bad storm. The additional ballest caused additional loading well beyond the rated capacity of the ship, which coupled with the waves resulted in strutural failure. It's known that the ship broken in two, but it's believed that the split actually happened as or (immidiately) before the ship capsized.
But I was just really into shipwrecks for a little while as a kid. I'm no navel architect.
|37 weeks 2 days ago||Coach?||
Maryland is definitely and underachiving football program right now, but UA money won't solve the problem itself. Remember that Hoke and much of his staff was paid top-flight money. Elite paychecks do not make elite coaches - but elite coaches earn their paychecks.
Honestly, if I was Maryland's AD right now I know who my #1 coaching candidate would be.
Who is used to running the #4-#5 program in an extrememly tough P5 division?
I'm not sure that Mullen could make Maryland elite, but he'd get them back to 7+ wins / year and he's one of the few SEC coaches that could be "bought out" from his school. Maryland is also more favorably located for recruiting; albiet marginally (more in-state talent, no Freeze). Somehow Virginia and New Jersey seem to turn out some of the absolute best football talent and Maryland is often in the conversation for them before they slip away to better coaches/programs.
If UA wants to write a big enough check to get 'em, I would think that he'd by the guy.
|38 weeks 2 days ago||WHITE SNAKE!?!?!?!||
That was the Scopions.
And I'm 26.
|42 weeks 6 days ago||The Team, The Team, The Team||
The most encouraging thing about this game was the way the team held together in spite of misques here and there. Against excellent D-lines (Utah's is probably the best we'll face until the last two weeks of the season against PSU and OSU) the playcalling and passing game need to correct a bit sooner and I'm not sure we're putting some of our best players on when we need to (Bunting or Hill vs. Williams on a few of those passing downs would've been good).
Some small sample-size high-varience things went wrong in a road night-game environment. The turnovers are what ultimately killed us. Had the pick-six drive gone for a fieldgoal I think we would've won this game. But the lower variance things - like grinding out yards, sustaining drives, and bottling up big plays from key opposing players - were very promising.
It was also highly exciting to see a 2-minute drill that actually looked and felt like a 2-minute drill.
|45 weeks 9 hours ago||Hmmmm.||
My gut says that Malzone probably won't be a starter for a whole season with the possible exception of his true senior / redshirt junior or redshirt senior year. And even then, maybe not.
But I suspect that he'll be a #2 guy for several seasons (starting in '16) and will see a lot of field. I suspect he'll have his "hero" moment when he goes in for someone with either a minor injury or severe underperformance on the road and pulls out a "W" with moxie. This will mark his "arrival" and we might see him starting after that.
Regardless I'm very glad he's part of the program. In a couple years having a guy like this in the backup QB position sets the floor pretty high. Especially in a complex system like the Harbaughfense.
|1 year 18 weeks ago||We ought to have a Mgomotorhead meet||
We ought to have a Mgomotorhead meet. Friday evening before a home game in September, when it still stays light into the evenings and the weather's not (usually) too bad (or we could find a parking garage to hide in).
Sounds like Bo had a fine-tuned classic, Mo tweeked it but didn't change it fundamentally, Lloyd did the best he could. Rich tried to take it a different direction and slowly worked it back to being successful, then Brady tried to take it back to stock, ignoring a lot of the helpful mods that had been made over the year. Removing the coil-overs and fancy modern stuff in favor of the classic way. Jim's gonna make 'er into a Pro Stock Resto-Mod. No bulky, heavy, outdated big blocks here. We're gonna take an all-aluminum LS. Yes, it's fuel injected, but it's still a classic fire-breathing V8, replacing that old finicky charborated big block Brady put in 'er after pulling out the turbo Toyota 2JZ Rich left in there, even though it did win a lot of races those first couple seasons.
|2 years 23 weeks ago||Actually||
Very yes. Brady does a brilliant job of working underneith to find open recievers with optimal timings when they should be open in the zones... I think Gallon could really thrive in that culture.
Of course, I wish him well wherever he goes. (^__^)
|2 years 24 weeks ago||Jaw, I'm very happy to||
Jaw, I'm very happy to introduce you to Floor. I expect that you two will get to know eachother quite well in the coming seasons.
|2 years 25 weeks ago||Lies||
Rear-wheel drive vehicles are the MOST fun in this weather. That doesn't mean they're the easiest or safest (far from it), but fun rarely (if ever) coorlates with safety or ease.
Basically it comes down to three things:
1 - Attitude - is it exciting or is it scary?
2 - Tires - Rear wheel drive cars/trucks pretty much require snow/ice tires in the winter.
3 - Limit Handling of the vehicle - assuming you can get moving and brake (which relies on the tires) effectively, the reduced traction in these conditions reduces the speeds and inputs (to throttle and/or brakes) at which you encounter your vehicles limit handling characteristics. This is where there's potential for loads of fun depending on your car's behavior. As someone who's driven RWD pickup trucks in the winter before, it can be no fun at all. But as someone who currently drives a BMW 3-Series on Blizzaks (snow tires), it can be a total joy.
|2 years 25 weeks ago||The worst I attended was 2008 Northwestern||
Cold, rainy, nasty and a sloppy football game on both sides to boot. Gah.
|2 years 26 weeks ago||I can get behind the||
I can get behind the psychologist idea. If anything I'd rather see the program put money there rather than giving the coaching staff any raises for a dismal season. If anything I'd like to see them pick up a small group of psycologists who would interact with both the players and coaching staff and be available at most hours of the day or night (in some capacity). Student-Athletes are incredibly busy, so having psycological staff available with bankers hours would (probably) not have the desired effect.
|2 years 26 weeks ago||Meh||
After a season such as this it's temping to gather everyone and encouraging them to bring their pitchforks and torches so we can burn the whole mess down and start anew.
I'm not in denial, nor delusional about this team. This season was agonizing in much the same way that 7-6 in 2010 was agonizing. The main differences are that we're now trending "the wrong way" (11-2, 8-5, 7- 6) as the costs of transition and attrition hit us from the coaching change, and that we lost 4 of those 6 games in close, defensive, painful, fashion.
The ranks of the upperclassman have been heavily depleted. Someone posted a diary showing that inner OL experience correlates directly with success running the ball. Guess where we've got RS Freshman.... It's one season, and there weren't really other options.
The class of 2010 yielded a couple key contributors in Devin Gardner and Jake Ryan, and a few other solid players (Dileo, Avery), but was something like a 75% bust including only ONE OL.
The only thing that's been a constant irritation in Hoke's three years is offensive inconsistancy which has been generally attributed to Borges. Everything else has seemed solid until this year and there's a TON of things factoring into it. A million papercuts. I agree that Hoke looks clueless in losing, but there aren't many coaches who look even remotely graceful in that situation until they redeem themselves with wins later. I do think there's a certain amount of truth behind the idea that Hoke isn't a hard-edged diciplinarian or cold, calculating master-mind of a coach. But if the players get behind him he's already proven that he can and will win football games. If nothing else we, as a program, probably need to let Hoke run out his contract (unless he ties his fate to that of Borges) and carefully set up the next coaching hire to work as a progression rather than a succession from the players abilities.
And if you want to Hoke to get the ax so badly, who would you propose as a replacement, and who would you like/expect to see as their assistants?
|2 years 28 weeks ago||I agree with the original poster...||
Fuck this year in Michigan sports. I'm sick of watching our teams performing just well enough that I'm emotionally attached to every. last. fucking. loss.
I mentally understand that these close losses are better than getting blown out because they mean that the program is still within an arms-reach of the top. But emotionally speaking this is turning into pure agony. I think I'm done watching Michigan sports till the bowl game... the wins just feel hollow and empty and that losses keep demolishing my emotional well-being.
(not that I expect the bowl game to be any different)
|2 years 28 weeks ago||It's almost like they made that rule change just to screw Morgan||
Seriously... It feels like they watched the Syracuse game last year in the tourney and decided that "stand in a place and get run into" should be penalized with free throws. >__<
|2 years 29 weeks ago||WTF is with the refs.||
Two terrible calls in a row. Total garbage. Even the taling heads are saying that they didn't see how those were called... Zonkeys man... Gifting the Eagles 8 points. SMH
|2 years 31 weeks ago||OL is the key||
Ultimately the key to Michigan's offensive woes the last two seasons have centered almost exclusively around the offensive line. In 2011 we had the good fortune of our center being a Rimmington award worthy guy who was also a real leader and disciplinarian to the rest of the OL. This opened up holes for two 1000+ yard rushers and established the run game to allow for play-action passing and held up the pocket for enough time for deep routes to develop.
While I wouldn't come close to claiming that I approve of how the offense is running, there've been plenty of times that "execution" has been the problem. Gallon and Funchess had some drops on reasonably thrown balls that would've been conversions... And that's about the only thing our porous OL allows for. Which leaves us without a run game or the option to let deeper passing plays develop. The only thing we can really try to do is take the short routes, which teams are starting to tee-off on looking for a pick-six.
The only way an offense could be successful with Michigan's current level of execution would require a whole-sale dedication to a system that negates those weaknesses - which would be a whole different offense. Our problem is that we keeping trying to go wholesale MANBAWL, finding it doesn't work, and half-heartedly installing other elements. I also hate our emotional resistance to using tempo to our advantage. I understand huddling and burning clock some of the time, but I think we'd have a lot more success running the ball on 1st down if (following a conversion) we rushed to the line and pounded Green right up the middle. Do that a few times and you'd even be able to pull out the dreaded waggle for a shot at the enzone when you're around mid-field (again, no huddle, after a 1st down conversion. Don't give the defense time to think). Given our snail-like pace the rest of the time, just going no-huddle for a down here and there would be incredibly effective.
I'm not sure exactly where the blame lies for any of this. I still think Hoke is our guy and I'm a huge supporter of our defensive staff. Though I have a few reservations about their subsitution policies I think they're doing an excellent job developing young players into stars, and it will start paying big as soon/long as the offense is functional. Hopefully you'll see something new on Saturday... I'm not sure that I can even bring myself to watch.
|2 years 31 weeks ago||meh||
The defense continues to perform at a solid-B level. Given all the turnovers and Frank Clark's penetration today I'd go so far as to give it a B+ even. The defensive touchdown at the beginning of the game more or less offsets Iowa's long scoring drive to start the 2nd half in my book.
They were a little softer than I'd like on a YPP basis, but they made up for it by being very opportunistic with turnovers. They put the offense in a position to win the game repeatedly and even put points on the board.
The only way to really criticize the defense is saying that they could've been truly elite and shut down Iowa on a few key plays late. If you have Michigan State's defense that's a much stronger arguement... this defense is still pretty young and inherently soft in places by no fault of the coordinators. Youth, occasional miscommunication, and some RPS losses at key moments continue to hold them back. But with a little help from the offense in the second half I have little doubt that they could've held Iowa to 21 points MAXIMUM. They just never got any help.