Cars, Culture, and Etc.

Archive for the ‘Comment’ Category

My new website…

In Comment on September 22, 2008 at 1:56 pm

All, please change your bookmarks to:! But don’t worry; all of the posts formerly found here, (and the comments) have been moved over, and this site will be no longer maintained. So take a look. Cheers, Michael


Comment: The need to lead; on dinner with Bob Lutz and other things

In Analysis, Comment on September 17, 2008 at 11:19 am

AS I TOLD “MAXIMUM” ROBERT A. “BOB” LUTZ BETWEEN SIPS OF A BLACK COFFEE AFTER THE OTHERS LEFT, I grew up in a non-domestic family. Save for the two Ford Aerowindystar minivans my mom needed to haul us kids around in. I watched Formula One intently from the age of naught — Alain Prost, then Michael Schumacher were my favourites — while laughing at the American, Michael Andretti.

I could list for you, at age five, all manner of European sports cars. At 10, I was on to things like the Isdera, Alpine, Ruf Porsches, and a few odd Japanese cars — like that “V6 supercar,” the Honda/Acura NSX. I attended the Detroit Auto Show every single year with my father, and while I can guarantee I was blown away by the Ford Indigo, GT90, and Dodge Copperhead, I would make a complete circuit of the show and purposely cut through the domestic wares to get to the next–closest Euro or Japanese show stand. Read the rest of this entry »

Comment: Beware of ‘Journalists’

In Comment on August 22, 2008 at 1:10 pm

This was scrawled into my dayplanner a month or so ago, and had forgotten about it until now. Enjoy.

I’m in business class, behind one of the top auto writers in the country. He’s got a brochure and booklet for the 2009 Mazda 6 on his tray table, beside his laptop, typing his story.

It’s an appalling article, even calling the engine — in a car he hasn’t driven — as “one of the smoothest and quietest in the segment.” Come on.

Oh, and do you think, “active adaptive shift control” are his words, or the marketers?

Comment: On drives

In Comment on August 13, 2008 at 6:55 am

Lights and lanes, ticking by. Thoughts and dreams walking by. Body at ease, mind at the ready. Driving…

So much of life in the West is devoted to the pursuit of wealth and status, with personal happiness seemingly related to both but really a different idea altogether. I say idea because although 10,000 can pack a comedy theatre and enjoy a few laughs, true happiness is personal and exclusive to that person.

For me, it’s driving without a destination. Despite the backlash I get for saying that I both enjoy driving and that I do it for fun, one person driving one modern car affects the environment far less than you’d think. What I’m on about here is keeping clean your mental health.

What does it for me is the motion. The fact I have control over an object that can move me far faster through the world than I am capable is an absolute rush. It never gets old. Thinking ahead becomes a necessity, and adding traffic to the road mean that I have to start flowing in relation to those around me.

When movement permeates my thoughts, my heart slows. My fingers and toes rest. It’s like standing in the shower with warm water running over my face. At. Ease.

I’m saying to you to find what puts you at ease. What takes you away from life. What allows you to disconnect without losing yourself in the process. Whether it’s exercise, reading, art…do what makes you happy and keep doing what makes you happy on a regular basis. Find yourself through happiness, true happiness.

Comment: A Twitter a day…

In Comment on July 31, 2008 at 6:47 pm
The main screen of the Twitter microblogging service.

The main screen of the Twitter microblogging service.

…keeps what away? For me, Twitter is an essential tool for talking to people with like interests and careers. It’s a microblogging platform designed for speed of use, ease of use, and fun. Sometimes it goes down (IE FAILWHALE) but for the most part, I find it pretty stable.

I did want to share with everyone a conversation started by one of my posts, on the joy of a new Ikea catalogue:

“Is it wrong that I touch myself to the Ikea catalogue?”


@michaelbanovsky as long as you aren’t in the store at the time, they frown on that.”


“@michaelbanovsky do you keep an allen wrench handy with the catalogue?”


“@zaphodd @rojopelo You both have no idea how effective their fogged glass cabinets are for such business matters. Ha.”


“@michaelbanovsky Easily the funniest thing I have read today”


That’s why I love Twitter. Up-to-the-minute feedback. And a fair ol’ bit of fun, too.

Comment: 1,000 visitors!

In Comment on July 31, 2008 at 7:14 am

All, thanks for visiting! In the month of July, my blog crested over 1,000 views. Not a huge amount in the grand scheme of things, but definitely positive and a great starting point for my upcoming ‘proper’ website.

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. — Andy Warhol

Comment: Technology

In Comment, From iPhone on July 29, 2008 at 11:05 am

This is my first blog post using my iPhone. As you can see, nothing is missing from a “normal” post, except maybe a bit of formatting. No biggie.

Expect to see more of this from now on, including tomorrow when I take the wheel of one of BMW’s Hydrogen 7 Series prototypes…


BMW M3 sound test

In Comment on July 12, 2008 at 10:13 am

It gets really good about two minutes in. Working on getting rid of the background noise.

BMW M3 audio test

Comment: Overseas awesome #2

In Comment, Link on July 11, 2008 at 9:56 am
Honda Vamos

Honda Vamos

As if the Japanese could get any cooler. This vehicle, the Honda Vamos, was found in Honda Japan’s awesome Seevert gallery. Apparently it used a 354cc engine, which is as much displacement as your typical pop can.
There’s even a video on how to raise and lower the top!

Comment: Ethics and auto journalism

In Comment, Link on May 21, 2008 at 12:02 pm


I completely agree with Joe’s editorial and your response. And the horror with the situation is that in my opinion (having freelanced for them for a number of years), the Star Wheels section has the best ethics policy around.

I personally still follow the Star’s policies, including not accepting gifts over $40. And the air miles issue was still…up in the air…but I decided a few weeks ago to donate the miles accumulated at the end of the year to a charity.

Despite the Wheels writers (and some select freelancers) holding themselves to a high standard, where is AJAC in all of this? Why shouldn’t automakers and journalists come together to revamp the system? They’re all members of the same (fucking) organization.

The fact that nothing has changed yet is proof that the voting majority of AJAC members don’t feel their ethics can be bought — but fail to put concrete systems in place.

I was explaining to a good friend just last week the perk issue, and her first reaction was, “You write about products. Perks are part of the process. What’s the problem?”

I said the problem is that for the car buying public, the wrong (or a bought) recommendation can put them upside-down in an expensive loan for years. Cars can emotionally and financially strain people to the point of breaking.

Consider for a second a single mom with an old car, who turns to a reviewer for a new car recommendation. Reviewers not stating depreciation, residual value, fuel economy, projected reliability, and an honest review of the vehicle can unwillingly put her thousands of dollars in the hole.

I went on to say that although it’s consumer reporting, perks — especially gifts — should simply not be offered anymore. The simplest way to do this is for journalists to say no to gifts, but I maintain the question (and choice) of accepting gifts shouldn’t happen in the first place.

Automotive journalists, when doing their jobs properly, protect consumers from making what is generally the second-biggest purchase of their adult lives.

But throw in the usual turnover of a new car entering our 1.5 car families every 3-5 years…and doing our jobs takes on much more significance.

I just wish I didn’t get slapped by our advertisers every time I’m honest.