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It wasn’t that long ago David was waxing poetic about a hideous spare tire carrier for a Jeep, so although the cats may have eaten a lot of his time lately I’m not convinced his love affair with rust is over. 😉
Geez, I wander away for a long weekend, and miss all the excitement. Anyway…I had gathered that, as entertaining as it was for the readers, David’s situation in Michigan wasn’t sustainable. I’m glad that the move to L.A. seems to have been really good for him. I miss the Jeep wrenching articles, but I’m getting to learn more about the electric car experience, and the kitties are absolutely precious. Of course, I do hope that David will tackle that project ZJ once the website/business are properly on track…not just because of my fondness for ZJs, but I’m really curious to see what he does with the interior. (I’ve only seen one example of a refurbished headliner, and I really didn’t care for it.)
A little late to the party but there will be a next David for wrenching at some point, things change and fast, that’s life. I arrived to the US 5 years ago with nothing but dreams (and 4 suitcases lol), now I am married as a stepdad of 3 kids, 10 cars now! (Help me lol)
Reading David articles convinced me to work on my own cars now, Mercedes writing helped me to get out of my comfort zone. When I was kid I told my dad that one day I will be living in Detroit, the motor city and he calls me crazy every time I inform him of my recent car purchase lol
Comment # 100, posted here after David did an article on the New-Klasse BMW EV of the future:
A slack-scoop on David’s next big project:
David flies to <strike> Australia</strike> Germany and stays at the home of an upper level BMW executive in Munich where the people of the entire <strike>city</strike> marketing department will band together to help him prep the prototype including a complete-detail for an upcoming car-show. Can he make the deadline? Hightlights will include David eating <strike> eating spaghetti in the shower</strike> eating schnitzel in a hot tub, and calling in a specialist to repair cat-claw damage to the vegan-leather upholstery.
I don’t wrench as much as I used to, but I had a few friends in town a couple weekend ago and we undertook a project that was probably beyond our abilities. I needed to pull and replace a transmission. It was a total failure. Mission NOT accomplished.
But, we had a great time. It was a lot of fun.
Wrenching is a hobby and when you like doing it, you like doing it. But, you are allowed to have different or new interests.
I still like reading David’s posts. And everyone else’s too.
I’m all for the new David, for all the good reasons. IMHO there’s nothing to be ashamed of or sad about, to the contrary, it was long time coming. Had David not moved, he would probably rust away himself by now. That said, there is a gap left open, which could (should?) be filled with a new hoopite-saving, rust-combating, wrench-wielding person. Be on the lookout folks!
Personally, I’ve enjoyed the evolution and it never occurred to me that you’re forgetting where you came from. You’re the same guy you’ve always been, just more. I, for one, am here for it. Jim Croce said, “After all, it’s what we’ve done that makes us what we are.”
So, I’ve got a 2015 Jeep Rubicon and a 2005 Mini Cooper S that did LA to Guatemala in 4 days. I did Panama to LA on a Honda 750 and have 4-wheeled for work in a good chunk of Latin America. I now live in the desert with two indoor rescue cats and a spouse who cares for about twelve outdoor cats. Life circumstances change and we all adjust and evolve (or devolve). Personally, I very much enjoy all of David’s journey; wrenching, moving adventures, taking responsibility for cats that own your Jeep, etc. Keep on Truckin’
Re: the “after” pic: DT may now be the guy in a suit heading up to his room on the 33rd floor of the corporate hotel for the night, but he’s still a guy carrying a bag of Funyuns. Which he may or may not eat in the shower after he gets to his room 😉
Whatever it is you’re doing, keep it up sir!
David (if you read this), at some point we all have to make changes, to grow, adapt, etc. And I love your wrenching stories. I’m biased because I’m a Jeep person, but your writing was always some of my favorite. When you and Jason left the old site, my reaction was “shit, there goes most of the content I came here for.” When you started this site, and brought Mercedes, that switched to “hell yeah, all the best stuff in one place.” I miss the previous frequency if crazy wrenching stories (though I enjoy the cat ones), but what you are doing to create through this website is important. You are giving opportunities to the ‘next generation,’ giving readers access to new perspectives and content, and contributing in a way you couldn’t otherwise.
I hope you can still do the ZJ overlanding series (and the trip, for yourself if nothing else). But you gotta do what you gotta do (and deserve a life, too).
It does seem like it is time to pass the wrenching torch down to other autopian writers – you have assembled a great team that can wrench and write about it – it doesn’t have to be you. That said, go help Stef with her Gambler ride- that would be a fun adventure. The kittens, while not my thing, are very engaging and I think I have read all of these articles – they offer both good writing opportunities and a way to show another side of your humanity – keep them up.
I suspect many of us here would like to see a few articles about smaller wrenching projects that we might attempt ourselves on any given weekend. These could be something real simple like swapping out some brake pads, or more complex like replacing struts or other suspension parts. Your non-Jeep articles tended to be much more approachable to those who do not have time for a week of 16-hour days wrenching on vehicles that really should have been crushed years ago, fixing your landlord’s Alero is interesting too. Maybe mix it up and drop in larger projects others on your team are taking on.
You are doing great (better than we all expected) in California, get on with your life while keeping The Autopian going with help from your friends.
It’s fairly ridiculous, no one has to read a cat article if they don’t want to. They don’t then have to complain about it either. Plus we’re talking about a guy who flew across the world not long ago to wrench on a junked out ute! I like the crazy wrenching articles too, but I like cats and i3’s at least as much. I don’t wrench, but I have a cat and I’m curious about EVs and EV ownership. Keep it up, David!
So imagine coming to the site and finding out that you are the Big Bad Meanie of the Day.
In my defense, I was only voicing my opinion–I had no idea that it would blow up like this. I certainly meant no malice, nor did I intend to cause some sort of existential crisis.
I apologize for that.
But, apparently it did strike a chord, and I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing.
I’ve been thinking about this all morning and what to write as a response, and I think it boils down to this:
David, the reason I’ve always been glued to your stuff is that you teach me things. Just like Mercedes. And Torch. And the rest.
I’m invested in you as a reader. That’s a good thing.
And I think i just got frustrated because I found myself skimming though your posts of late, reading one paragraph, and more importantly for me, I wasn’t learning anything.
And that made me sad. And perhaps selfish.
I was wrong to focus on the wrenching in my comment. That’s not what makes you you. It is the fact that you teach us about things, you inform me.
I was exited when you moved to LA. It’s arguably the car culture capital of the planet. I was selfishly hoping you would latch on to that, dig in, and teach me about the car scene out there.
Please know I wasn’t trying to be a dick, nor was I intending to suggest that you “stick to sports.”
Much success to you and the rest of the crew.
I think you nailed a concept about why I love this site, and especially the comments: I learn a lot. I’m older, did a lot of wrenching on the muscle car stuff (primarily my 67 GTX that I sadly no longer have). But where else would I get the first hand info on racing Neon’s? Or overviews on planes, trains and busses? Thanks for sparking this conversion, I’ve learned stuff here too!
I don’t think there was anything mean about what you said. And I think it’s true!
The reality is, my job now is to teach you all THROUGH other writers. By helping them come up with ideas and by editing.
In time I’ll have more bandwidth to write more. But maybe never quite like before.
One of the hardest career transitions is going from being the “doer” to being the “facilitator of doers”.
Instead of focusing on one problem at a time, you are suddenly faced with multiple staffers that you have to coach, mentor, and manage their career development paths.
It’s still hard for me to remember that my main role is to develop my team, rather than make the products myself all the time. I still get to do some of the fussier one-off machining jobs, but my days of tending a CNC lathe for 1800 widgets are few and far between now.
The good news, David, is that it will continue to get a little less overwhelming every week. While you may still have that little burst of guilt for not being the grease-covered hero of the hour, remember that you are developing the next generation of wrenching and writing heroes! No pressure!
Enthusiastic upvote for this: I certainly couldn’t say it better or explain it succinctly.
Thanks! (Really appreciating the reply notification feature here…)
It’s all good! I don’t think you were being mean at all.
Well said, SEJ. No hate here. You voiced what you were feeling at that moment —and thereby sparked some great introspection on both sides of these pages.
The only constant is change, and a major challenge as I age is anticipating that with excitement at what’s to come rather than wallowing in nostalgia for things past
One of the hardest transitions I made in my career was from a Doer to a Leader. Learning to delegate when I knew I could do it better (which was somewhat incorrect) was difficult.
Maybe part of running the website is to find and foster those new voices who can also write great wrenching articles! And in teaching them to be great writers like you are. It turns the one of you into many more productive versions of you!
It seems like you are doing this. Good luck.
This. I’m now an upper-middle-manager where I used to be the guy making the sausage, and that has been one of the hardest transitions ever: I spend my day moving things around from one place to another and helping other people complete tasks vs. making things myself. But knowing I can teach and help other folks is something I’m growing into and getting used to.
David moving from writer to editor is a sign that things are progressing As They Should Be, but it sadly means we won’t get as many rust-bucket hooptie rescue stories as we once did (Gossin, get to work!)
On a side note, because my day job doesn’t allow for much visible progress on actual product, I’ve leaned very heavily into a wrenching project of my own, and it’s been hugely rewarding.
So I’m a member and I’m signed in, yet I still get the “If you want to experience this automotive goodness, please consider supporting us by becoming a member” text. Do I need to upgrade to rich Corinthian leather package or something?
If clearing your caches doesn’t help, email Matt: he’s helped me & others get straightened out. And it’s been quick response for me.
I haven’t read all comments, so this may be redundant.
I understand where Stink E Jones is coming from. From our perspective, articles and authors are a product that we like, like our favorite pizza, and are also something we can live vicariously through. We can read and imagine how “fun” that would be, if only we didn’t have jobs, family, etc.
We can take satisfaction in knowing that David is out there taking it easy for all us sinners… (quote. Anyone?)
It’s easy to get upset when we lose that. i.e. what do you mean you’re not making Hawaiian Pizza anymore?! I haven’t been able to get it in months!!!
However, we need to remember that you are a human, not an industry, nor a product. You can’t wrench in squaller forever anymore than we can, and it’s unfair to expect you to. You deserve to explore life, to find balance, to find happiness.
That does take some of our “product” away, but we really need to understand that.
However it’s great to see Autopian looking for new voices, new authors and articles. I know we’ll get more hard-core wrenching articles! They just may not be by David. That’s okay. If/when David does find the time in his newly balanced life to do a wrenching article, I will binge on that Pizza so fast. Mmm sweet Hawaiian goodness.
Take it easy out there David. I know that you will.
Aw, fer Pete’s sake, ya ain’t broke now, twere just slightly bent previous.
IDK about anyone else, but while the car content brought me to this site, what keeps me here is seeing updates from a group of writers people that I genuinely like. Did Mercedes buy another Smart? What is Jason chain-sawing into THIS time? DOES DAVID HAVE MORE CATS!?
I don’t want the people who run and contribute to this site to be preserved in amber, doing and re-doing the same old cr*p. I want to see how they navigate being Autopians as their lives and circumstances change and improve. I love it when David gushes over the i3 like he’s a Victorian child exposed to electricity for the first time. I’m thrilled to read Mercy’s adventures on the flight line at Oshkosh. I get excited when I see Adrian grumbling about some modern design feature or other, or SWG talking about how he helped keep an old car out of a junkyard in between gigs.
What I’m saying is: keep doing whatever it is you want. We’re (well, I’m) here for all of it.
Seconded. I like the fact that people change. It’s gratifying to see those changes, especially when we have the written history of how writers here gradually evolve. This is good. Life is change. And change is good. Even when we think we’ve devolved, or gotten into a bad spot, usually that just means we aren’t seeing the opportunities which those new circumstances have opened up for us.
Change is inevitable. All us readers are along for the ride and I for one am enjoying watching the changes. From rusty to Jeeps to cheap EVs to….? As long as David stays true to himself the writing will always be good.
Here’s the thing: David has moved cross-country and is living in an apartment while he is running a website, which is a business, and trying to make it grow. He has barely had time to write, let alone wrench. He us also working on a new relationship, so Yoko’s taking up time too (kidding!).
He has a LIFE now, one that’s more than tilting at rusted windmills and trying to get them to…uh, mill. If he isn’t the David “Rust is my middle name” Tracy of old, that’s a Good Thing.
I used to spend my weekends trying to keep an old car running, hitting junkyards, dighing through hulks for parts, enjoying the process. Now, I am lucky to switch over to the snows myself. I have a great job, a wife with a crazy job, two kids, a house, etc. I just don’t have time to wrench anymore even though the bug is biting hard right now (watching a lot of videos about Jeep TJ rust repair). One has to be realistic, and sacrifice some fun for the more important things like family. That’s what David is doing.
Yoko. Was thinking about that as well. Be careful DT, I remember how the first Yoko screwed up John Lennon.
John Lennon broke up Fluxus
Just posted on the other article (first post ever) to say that I’m here because I love David and Jason’s writing above and beyond the topic (and have come to love everyone else’s), and the cat content has just made me love the site more. Keep doing what you are doing. Yours is one of three sites I hit every morning.
Change is a part of life; if you are the same person you were 5 years ago you have become stagnant and are possibly rotting from the inside out.
Don’t be bummed you make different content and not everyone likes it.
Be stoked you have evolved and grown ad a human and not everyone likes it.
I very much enjoy reading about David’s i3 and all the cats. I am also really happy for him that he’s actually living a fuller more complete life now. I was getting pretty worried about him. David is such a good dude, but he had built himself a very weird and unhealthy world there in Detroit.
At the same time I really want to see that XJ get converted from a feral cat and opossum sanctuary, to an actual car again.
Life is absolutely about finding balance though, and reality is sometimes hard to fit the wrenching in. I bought my old ’74 Buick Apollo back in pieces over a year ago, and haven’t touched it. Life as a dad and a homeowner! BUT I have a wrenching party scheduled for the end of this month while my wife and kiddos are gone. I’m hoping to at least hear it run, and maybe get some of the big body panels hung back on it.
Keep us posted — we love an obscure X-body!
David, It’s OK! As I’ve aged, I wrench a lot less than I used to. In fact, I’ve thinned out large tools just so I’m not tempted to take on a big repair/project. We evolve to survive. I too miss the wrenching articles, but find new writers that can fill the hole. There’s plenty of folks that would love publish their “fun”.
Same. I’ve remarked here that I now prefer to drive rather than wrench when I have both free time and energy.
I’ve been trying to reduce my shameful overposting, but I gotta come on here and say that’s the kind of guy who is gonna get mad that anyone isn’t catering to him. He’d probably be just as mad if you were writing articles about wrenching exploits he didn’t care about.
You aren’t going to spend your whole life at Moab and wrenching on a jeep, and it would start to make for pretty repetitive content if you did. Real-world use of a used EV is content that is going to be relevant to a lot of us, whether everyone is eager for that or not.
You don’t have to be the character someone imagines you to be. Change and grow and take us on that journey with you. You’ll likely gain more readers than you’ll lose. Even if we still give you shit about shower spaghetti, we want the best for you. I’m glad we get to be around for your journey.