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First grump of '21........... Smoke alarm. Excellent idea, has saved many lives.
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One day it might save ours.

But why the hell does the battery voltage drop to critical, triggering the incessant once-every-two-minutes signal, in the middle of the night?!?!?!
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Smoke alarm. Wikeria prison has been under siege internally for the last 6 days by a group of ex gang prisoners who have pretty much burnt it to a shell. Now they're going to get smacked hands and rehoused to another prison while the country has to pay for the mongrels destructive lack of behaviour. They're damn lucky I don't get to choose what their future holds but all these damn do-gooders around the place will see to it that they are housed in quite plush surroundings, while better people than them sleep on a park bench or under a bridge some place. Gotta stop now ... blood's starting to boil.
 

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Today, I have received unequivocal notice from the High Command. My January will be "dry", apparently. In English this means that my cardio-vascular system will receive nothing more 'intoxicating' than Ty-phoo tea until February at the earliest.

All products containing ethanol are banned. Nil by mouth. Zilch. Naff all.

Ah well, January to be spent re-reading the marvellous story about The Three Bears, then...
 

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And thus to a new griping grump. Yesterday, whilst on my return journey from grocery shopping, I spotted a new Audi R8 tootling along slowly in traffic. From its inception, I've rather liked this car. It is imbued with sound engineering and fitted with a body styled by someone who appears to enjoy using a sharp HB pencil.

Each to his own, of course, but this poor, defenceless, inanimate creature-of-Ingolstadt had been daubed. Daubed, mark you, in matt mauve with equally macabre matt charcoal bits at various 'meaningful' positions that served to contrast with the principal panels in matt... mauve...

In brief, it's the sort of thing Dracula might have driven before a heavy night at a Beaujolais Nouveau tasting. Bilious and... 'orrible.
 

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I agree Trisha, it doesn't matter how much money you have or how famous you are you can't buy good taste and style.
 
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A number of people with supercars like to 'pimp' or wrap them with bright colours. I have seen 1 Lamborghini in pea green mirror finish on the whole car and another Lamborghini in mirror finish purple. Never seen a Ferrari subjected to such indignation at least.

Oh and a Maserati Quadroporte finished in silver mirror finish to my horror.

I think it's to help pedestrians to see the driver has a fast and expensive car if they cant hear them constantly over revving the engine while trying to not exceed 30mph.
 

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Gosh, chaps, things have changed, eh? Mike and Matthew, my thanks for your illuminating comments above. I'm not very up to date with current 'supercars' because, I suppose, they seem almost pointless to an old duffer like me.

Years ago when I was... what? A young prune. Was a time when the Type 57 Bugatti was considered as vulgar bling because the radiator shell was a dummy. A fake if you prefer. It served ornamental purpose only...

From whence I hail, an example of showing off is a Land Rover with tyres that aren't bald. It's a Land Rover displaying evidence of having had a broom roughly scraped over the headlamps prior to a sheep sale, and worst of all, the reckless, irrational, and obviously unnecessary purchase of a NEW Land Rover.

Ah well, I continue to learn. My grateful thanks.
 

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I thought that this year for once I had escaped the routine festive dose of bad luck, but no - on the 27th it struck.

SWMBO was getting very wound up about not being able to find the car keys so I pitched in to search the house. They were irretrievably lost. Logical questions such as "where was the last place you remember seeing them" elicited the usual sardonic response in a raised voice, so establishing a timeline was impossible. Having nearly dismantled the house and reached a dead end, the emergency spare keys were brought into use. The consequences of losing these did not need pointing out.

On 28th, there was a nasty surprise when the toilet blocked. The bowl filled up and refused to empty. Both types of effluent were in abundance in the mixture, and both of us blamed the other and Christmas food excess for the log jam. About fifteen minutes of prodding, rodding and plungering finally freed the mess and many flushes later the bowl was running clean. SWMBO then tipped some concentrated bleach into the bowl and after a clean up, I retired for a drink.

The following day, when just about to syphon the python, I saw something in the bottom of the toilet bowl trap. Reaching in, I found the car keys, electronic fob and all.

The fob was dismantled and all components thoroughly cleaned. The electronic bit was dried as well as possible with kitchen towel, the battery removed, and the fob put in a sealed plastic bag with rice (Basmati) in it overnight in the airing cupboard. On re-assembly it worked perfectly. You have to applaud VW. That fob certainly performed beyond the call of duty.

SWMBO refuses to touch the normal keys now. Bad form really, as we have mutually established that it was her that dropped them in it. Smirk.
 

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Never been a real fan of the R8 but we used to have a bronze coloured one come to the garage I used to work at and it changed my opinion on the R8. the the owner changed it for a black and white one and I went back to my first opinion of the R8. Colour can make or break the car.
 

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Theres a Mercedes C Klasse Coupe in London that's been wrapped in white and brown to resemble a cow, not sure why though.

I don't mind supercars but I don't understand why drive them in London, you want to go to Essex or Suffolk where there are some amazing A roads for such cars.

A Series 1 Land Rover? That's good taste.
 

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Don't superfools drive supercars mostly? There's a V12 Lambo in the vicinity of my wife's hair salon. Heard it numerous times, only seen it once. I've heard of the harm that can happen to a car engine if you ring it when it's cold but it seems if you've got loads of dosh and you want the neighbours to hear it, then that simply doesn't matter.
 

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Gripping's story of lost car keys is a familiar one - a twice-weekly occurrence here. On one occasion when keys went missing, I was blamed as usual.

Months later they turned up in my step-daughter's Birmingham flat, where I had never been. I've yet to receive an apology.
 

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I still have a key to a Car I ceased to own years ago, it went 'missing' when it was picked up for scrap but I've got no neferious means to it other than I loved that old rust heap and wanted something to remember it by.

As to wrapping being in the BMW fraternity (the cars you filthy individuals) I see it alot, usually a faux M car built to mimic the Gulf Playground cars of London, to the point one dipstick got a TV show of literally just doing it to various Super cars or Celeb cars naturally paid silly amounts to what boils down to putting on a big sticker.

Wrapped cars don't offend me though, its the ones known as 'Stanced', these automotive death traps usually have camber so servre it looks like the suspension has collapsed and they use tyres 3 sizes too small so it barely fits on the rim its stretched so much, notonly does it look bad but it's acctually quite dangerous rendering a really competant car insomecases utterly useless.
 

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Wrapped and Stanced indeed. I have learned two new terms here thank you. I wondered what the Kevins were up to these days and have seen a couple of these vehicles out and about. They just struck me as expensive and pointless ways to display engineering ignorance and attract attention from Plod.
 

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The other one is Bagged as it fitted with air bags, they can look like they are bad when sat but willbe fine once the cars on and the compressor fills the bags, I completely get it on big luxury cars as it gives to a nicer ride but when it's stuck on performance Cars it seems daft, sure it'll adapt but I'd be worried the bag will go bang when cornering really hard and the excessive wear would make it prone to leaks.

The Stanced thing acctually originates from 2 places Old race cars when set up for long straights and Bozoku (may have spelt the wrong) which basically boils down to what happens when you modify a Vehicle on LSD, Japanese biker gangs started with doing it to chopper style motorbikes and then it transitioned to cars and trucks with massive ott spoilers and exhausts and of course the aggresive Mum just stood on my Hotwheels Stanced suspension.

Either way though it is a bad trend that needs to die off as it's unsafe as well as hideous.
 

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The Stanced thing acctually originates from 2 places Old race cars when set up for long straights and Bozoku
? Old race cars always had positive camber at the front. Only recent F1 cars have had noticeable negative camber. I don't get it.

Bozoku - ha! That looks a bit like what I would call it but with double L replacing Z.
 

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Some cars have never been made to be used in slow traffic. A good number of years ago the publicity company my brother in law worked for in London every 2 years gave some employees a car payment bonus as well as the normal Xmas bonus and a TV every 2 or 3 years. Anyway the brother in law bought a VW Scirocco, but never used it to go to work as he went by train. Another guy in his office, who drove to work every day from South London, bought a Renault R5 turbo and very soon decided it was the worst decision he had ever made. In the stop start traffic he had to try and keep the revs down so the turbo didn't kick in and keep his foot on the brake peddle just in case it did. He soon lost count of the number of cars he nearly rear ended due to the turbo lag and the car shooting forward as the turbo suddenly cut in. At the next car bonus he changed it for a normal hatchback. The brother in law in law keep his Scirocco for years as they changed to bonus to be for a car or train season tickets.
 
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