Archive | August, 2011

Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged Is A Go

Well, that day is nearly here, on Sunday I will be getting married. It’s been an interesting road getting to this point. Not quite as many emotions as I would have thought, but as of this morning it is all starting to hit me. I’m excited and anxious.

Earlier in the week I started reconsidering Operation Blackout. I have decided to go forward and unplug for an entire week as I had originally planned.

To make things even easier, I will not have my computer with me during the week. It needs to go in for repair, and I figured what better time to be without it than the week I will be unplugged.

Just to be safe, incase the world ends and I need something, I’ll have an external hard drive with a clone of my computer. This way I can boot off Karen’s computer, you know, if the world ends.

I have purchased Bob Lutz’s new book and fully intend to read that, smoke some cigars, fish, hang on the boat with Karen, and take naps with Otto. Sounds like a terrific week.

Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged with commence on Monday when Karen and I leave town. I will not touch the Internet until Monday night the 5th. I might even wait until Tuesday morning the 6th, I mean at that point, what’s the difference?

Update On Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged

Two weeks ago I announced what I dubbed Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged. Since then, it has been extremely interesting to hear and see peoples reactions. With less than a week until the wedding, and only a week until Operation Blackout commences, I figured an update was necessary.

Many of my friends, and even family, have made comments about how they just don’t think I can do this. While some believe I can do it, most don’t think it will happen. Really feeling the support if you can’t tell.

This past weekend Karen and I were having dinner with my parents. Operation Blackout came up in conversation. After my mother informed me she didn’t think I could do it, she asked for more details. During this discussion I quickly realized that Karen plans to use the Internet, surf Facebook, and post to Twitter. Excuse me? So I’m planning on giving up the Internet and she’s not?

So apparently I misunderstood how this all happened. You see, Karen was asking me not to work during our vacation. She wasn’t asking me to give up the Internet. Talk about miscommunication. Further, when I took it the wrong way and said, “I can totally give up the internet for a week,” well she decided to take advantage of that and let me commit to it…publicly. So here I am, committed to not using the Internet and or posting to my own social media for a week. On one hand I almost feel tricked. She clearly knew I misunderstood the situation and let me continue. I’m pretty sure she just wanted to see me try.

So now I’m at a crossroads. There’s no question, I’m not working on my vacation. But I will admit, it would be nice to post  picture from the lake here and there while on vacation. But according to the rules I set out initially, that is prohibited.

I really want to prove to the world I can go a week without touching the internet. But is it worth it? Is changing who I am and how I live for a week going to make my vacation more enjoyable or less enjoyable? What’s wrong with posting a picture to Facebook while drinking an alcoholic beverage and fishing? What happens if I catch a big fish? Then I can’t share it with all you loyal followers.

This is the situation I’m in. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, but I definitely am not a quitter. More to come later.

Hey Minneapolis: Test Drive A CTS-V, Get $50 For Providing Feedback

Hey, what’re you doing this Saturday? How about driving a Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Sedan, Sport wagon, or all of the above at no cost to you?

I have been alerted that Wally McCarthy’s Cadillac in Roseville is having an open house this Saturday from 10 am until 6 pm. There will be free food from the barbecue, a free car wash, and apparently much more (no promises on what exactly that much more will be). The dealership will also have a raffle for Twins tickets, gift certificates to local restaurants and other prizes. Of course, GM Preferred Pricing will be offered to anyone that comes in that day.

Cadillac would also like to give you a penny for your thoughts, well actually 5,000 pennies to be exact. Engineers from Cadillac will be on-site and providing $50 Amex cards to consumers who will sit down with them and provide honest feedback. You can sit and tell them why your BMW is so much better than a Cadillac (if that is how you feel, though I’m guessing at that point you haven’t driven a CTS-V variant), and they’ll still give you the $50. All they want is feedback. Though fair warning, I’m told there are a limited amount of gift cards.

Full Disclosure: Cadillac did not pay me to write about this event. It didn’t urge me write about this event. A friend at Cadillac merely gave me a heads up that this open house would be happening in my area and I figured, who wouldn’t want to drive a CTS-V and eat free food. From a guy who has driven a handful of CTS-V variants, if you really don’t have plans, go drive one of these cars. It’ll probably make your day.

Review – 2012 Fiat 500c: The Italian Go Kart

I’ll never forget my fiancée Karen pulling into the driveway and asking me what kind of go kart was parked in front of the garage. She was referring to the new Fiat 500c. She did go on to say how cute the go kart was. This was how my week with the 500c began.

The 500c is one of those unique cars that make you instantly turn to the person next to you and say, “Isn’t that the cutest thing?” The stylized sheet metal is fantastic in a retro and unique way. Read More…

Review – 2011 Ford F-150 Platinum: The Platinum Standard

Hey, remember the Lincoln Mark LT? It was a really nice Ford F-150 with a Lincoln badge and different grille. It didn’t sell well. Seems as if people didn’t want a Lincoln pickup truck.

So, how do you sell a high-dollar pickup truck with all the luxury amenities you can stuff into it? Ditch the Lincoln badge and label it the Platinum F-150. So the question is, is the F-150 Platinum the platinum standard? Let’s find out. Read More…

Announcing Operation Blackout: Feder Feder Unplugged

As some of you might know, I am getting married in a mere three weeks from yesterday. I know, I know, I can’t believe she is going through with it either. But from what I’m told, the dress is paid for, so she better not back out now.

Many have asked where we will be going for our honey moon. After a short discussion, we both agreed that leaving Minnesota in August to go somewhere exotic seemed a little bit weird for us. So we decided to head up North to our family cabin and spend a week there alone. We will probably take some vacation to an exotic location during the cold winter months here in Minnesota.

Something that has commonly come up in discussions with pretty much everyone is how will I “disconnect” for a week after my wedding. Can I disconnect for a week? Most people seem to think I can’t. Even my own fiancée thinks I can’t go a week without posting to Twitter, Facebook, and checking in on the auto news.

So today I am publicly announcing/committing what I am dubbing Operation Blackout. From the time we leave Minneapolis on Monday morning August 29, until I leave the cabin on September 5, I will not open my email, look at Twitter or Facebook, or surf the internet. The only thing I will touch the internet for is if we decide to watch Netflix or check local movie times.

Yes, the first two days I may get the shakes. This is after all me going cold turkey with no social media…or internet.

This is happening. It’s necessary….and I’m going to prove to the world I can go a week without the internet.


MN C&C – August 2011

Another summer month has passed us by; that means this past weekend auto enthusiasts got together in Chanhassen, MN and drank coffee, ate doughnut holes, and looked at cars. Of course I was up North at my cabin with family. Luckily, photographer extrordinaire Alex Bellus was on-site taking some amazing photos.

August typically is the largest month for C&C here in Minneapolis, and this year was no exception. I’m told the lot was full at 8:06 am. In talking with the ring leaders, the numbers broke out to be about 600 cars on site and approximately 2,000 spectators.

I’ve posted a few of my favorite photos below with permission from Alex. A full gallery is embedded below for your viewing pleasure.

Review – 2011 Lincoln MKS Ecoboost: Another Gussied Up Ford?

Like so many people, I wonder what Lincoln is all about these days. Most models seem like gussied up Fords. It has gotten to the point where I wonder if Lincoln can really compete with the imports. Can it even compete with the domestics?

Read More…