meets have started!!!!

28 04 2008

I love rolling out every Saturday and driving with these guys. We have a blast! This past weekend I took some video, and I’ve just uploaded them!

Last week, we had a great turnout. Many Miata’s, Elise’s, Exige’s, Forester’s, WRX’s, RX-8’s, 350Z’s, 240SX’s… just to name a few.

Enjoy the video’s! (If you can, watch it in High Quality mode, looks way better!)


– Richie L



Welcome to Failtown: Local Service Department Blows!!!!

18 04 2008

Northbrook Toyota Service FAILS

I know, harsh words. But read on for my reasoning.


One day, I called to ask how much an extra set of keys for the “MR-2 Spyder” would cost. The lady on the other end asked “are you sure that’s a Toyota?” When I finally got some parts prices, it was absurd. About $100 for the key (it is a chipped key, mind you), and $40 for cut and program. In my experience, and those of others, good dealers do this as a courtesy. Strike 1.


Even though they were already on think ice in my book, I went in one day to have them check on the faulty hood latch TSB, and to check if my MR-S had the keyless entry. According to SpyderChat, I do. I have the flashing light on the dash, and a sticker in each window saying, “Toyota Security System”. I Thought this would take about 20 minutes, 45 max. I was there for almost 2 hours. This wasn’t some busy time either. It was an early Thursday afternoon, with 2 other people in the waiting room. Those two people were mom’s getting oil changes and got there after me. In fact, they left before I did.

When the service guy finally got back to me in the waiting room, he said the hood latch was $150+ and the install was $40. He forgot to check the keyless entry for me. He went to go check it, this took him all of 5 minutes. He said the car didn’t have it (I was skeptical), then he goes on to try to sell me on an aftermarket keyless entry for $300 or with the alarm option for $400. I was firmly raising the BS-Flag at this point. I wanted to get my ass out of there as soon as possible, but it took another 15 minutes for the cashier to ring me up. By now, I was surprised they didn’t give me some sort of $40 “estimate charge…” Strike 2.


I asked the guy afterwards, “Since this is a TSB…” then he cut me off. “3 years 36000 miles.” I would’ve gone on to say, “and a factory defect there’d at least be a discounted fee, if not free-of-charge?” but he didn’t let me finish.

Don’t ever give business to this hole of a service department. I think they’re trying to make money off of parts sales, as I’ve heard of others getting keys for $38 cut/programmed. And they have absurd pricing on simple service. $40 to cut and program a key!?

There was no rapport in this place. Not like a good shop, where you can talk to the guys in the Service Department and see what’s going on with your car. This place on the other hand, was cold and ignoring.

My sneaking suspicion is that because they are situated in an affluent community, they can nickel-and-dime you to death, and Mr. and Mrs. Northshore won’t notice a $450 charge when you just go in for an oil change… as long as you “explain” it to them. In fact, I witnessed this first hand. 

The lady before me in the cashier line was appalled at her almost $500 bill. She had just come in for a scheduled service. She was contesting the charge, but then the tech guy came in and “explained” it to her saying that the car was just recently out of warranty. She sighed and signed at the X. Strike 3.


In my opinion, the Northbrook Toyota Service Department fails on all levels.

Not all Dealerships and Stealerships… but this one is.


(FOR SALE) Flexy-style Camera Tripod

5 04 2008

Currently posted on:

Flexy Tripod

These are great. You can mount your camera almost anywhere with these things! Realllllllly suuuuper flexy! I tested this out with my Canon Rebel 350D, and it works with it, but just barely. It would work great with small point and shoots, even larger “prosumer” style cameras, and even lightweight camcorders. It is an “off-white”/gray color.

I have a strong feeling that these are simply Joby GorillaPod rebrands. They look exactly the same, and have the same mounting design to the last detail. Those retail for $25

If you’re looking to buy directly from here, I’m looking for $19 (+3% Paypal) shipped anywhere in the US and APO/FPO. I will ship to other countries, but it’s more expensive.

You can send a PayPal payment to It would be best to email me beforehand, just to make 100% sure I have it in stock. Use my or links if you want to use a Credit Card.

Get flexible today!



  • Availability: 4/6
  • Condition: Super-NEW-tastic!!!


Initial D! Whoo! (fan-subs>english dub)

4 04 2008

Initial D!!!!

I’ve been an Initial D Fan for many, many years. I remember hearing about it first when i was a wee tyke in Junior High School. It was then, and is now, good stuff.

Recently, I decided to start re-watching all of it, from 1st Stage to 4th with everything in between. I have yet to finish 4th Stage completely, but damn, it’s still just as good as I remembered. This time around, I decided to “try-out” the English Dub by Funimation…

All I have to say is, “wow, that shit sucked.” I almost made it all the way through 1st Stage with the Dub, but by the last five or so episodes, I’d had enough. It’s like the show was completely different. I loathed it. The reason I decided to try the Dub was because I would watch the episodes before I went to sleep, so I really didn’t feel like reading text on the screen. I know most super-anime-otaku would say that watching it in Japanese is the only way to go, and for the most part, I’d have to agree. But then again, a properly done Sub has it’s place in my library.

The three places where the Initial D Dubs lacked was:

  1. Character Names – “Yo Tak!” Cole, Iggy, Natalie, Maya, Simone, Kent, KT, Ry….. that all equals lame-sauce, enough said.
  2. Personality Change – I don’t know if it’s just me, but the characters seemed different. “Tak” seemed more into racing and more “energetic” than O.G-stylz Takumi.
  3. Story Diversion – For the most part, this stayed true to J-Spec, but there were some weird differences that I picked up because I knew it was different when I had seen it in the subbed version. Some instances, Natsuki’s enjo kosai action was dialed down, and instead of Mako/Maya saying she was gonna give up her virginity to Iketani/Cole became, “I’ll be your girlfriend.” That made the whole story arc weaker.
  4. Soundtrack!!!! – I think this in most fans books (mine too) is the worst omission. The rap/hip-hop track in the English Dub is really lame. It doesn’t go at all with the battles. The Europop simply enhanced the experience and grew in energy as the battle raged on.
Note: I also began to miss the JDM voices. I know this is something that has to be changed with a Dub, but I missed hearing Shingo’s sadistic laugh during the Gum-Tape Death Match.

Anyway, on to the rest of the series. Going back to JDM-Mode was awesome. You could obviously see the advances in the animation from series-to-series. My favorite was when they started going cel-shaded (4th Stage). Not only did it look the best, but I felt it flowed more with the rest of the show.

It’d be really cool to see the entire series reanimated with 4th Stage animation style. It would look soooooooooooooo good!

I haven’t finished the entire series, so I’ll have to finish that up and post about it later.

Fan-Subs 4Ever!


April Fools… awesome-sauce.

2 04 2008

Rick Roll!

I had wanted to Rick-Roll everyone for April Fools, unfortunately, so did everyone else. YouTube, ThinkGeek, they both Rick-Roll’d ya.

It’s all good, I got a bunch of people, whether it be through IM or on forums. it was good times! Got a bunch of people multiple times.

I don’t just send people to the YouTube link either, I send them to my favorite “browser-crasher” Rick-Roll. I don’t know why people don’t like the song that much, I find it to be quite catchy. The campiness of the video is classic too! You haters should take the time and just watch the video sometime!

I also would find myself using the Rick-Roll prank dialer. It’s hard to know if it works 100% of the time, but the image in your head is good enough.

Rick-Roll “browser-crasher” – ***use at your own risk***

Standard YouGotRickRolled link.

I heart the Rick-Roll.