As I sit here between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I look out at the fifth consecutive day of rain. The news is calling it “Stormwatch 2014.” For those of you not in California, you might not know how hysterical the newscasters get over even the slightest bit of rain. They lose their heads—or at least I sometimes think their heads might explode. In this case, my area has had literally no measurable precipitation this entire year, until now.
Of course, said precipitation comes the week before I was planning on spinning wrenches on our ’01 Wrangler and my ’98 Grand Cherokee. I have a couple of stories I need to get in, and the parts have finally arrived. The garage isn’t an option because of the flatfender in there (not like the Grand would fit anyway). As always, there are deadlines looming, and as a bonus, that ’01 has an appearance to make at a Toys for Tots event. Normally, I’d either just get wet and go work on the Jeeps, or I’d put up an EZ-Up or my mobile paint booth. But that stuff takes time too, and annoyingly, they still aren’t putting any more hours in a day.
So, both Jeeps sit while I am inside warm and dry staring at their new parts in my living room. I sit here laughing at myself because I wasn’t always from Southern California. I’m originally from the Northeast, and I know that when you guys read this in the early spring, it will most likely be raining outside. Or if winter is as bad as they say it will be, you’ll be looking at snow. And here my pansy ass is not putting parts on Jeeps because of a little drizzle. Oh well, someone has to put this magazine together.
I just had a discussion with Ali Mansour about “New Process” versus “New Venture” and “New Venture Gear.” I threw it over to Tori Tellem to maybe include in Dispatch or Sideways but some of the language is questionable, so I’m not sure the censors will let it through. We exchanged a lot of stuff about when Chrysler and GM got together to make gearboxes. OK, mainly I extemporized about when I remember the change being and when the magazines finally picked it up, but it was kinda funny. Remember, I’m a Jeep guy trying to make a magazine. I know Jeeps. I’ve lived Jeeps. As I write this, I’m 37. I remember when the YJ came out and how annoyed I was about the square headlights and plastic BS dashboard. Both annoyed the heck out of me, and I was younger than any normal person who cared. You can do the math.
Look, I know we’ve had a lot of JK tech recently. We aren’t moving away from old Jeeps. It’s in our blood. All of us love ’em, but both Ali and Verne just had the stork come by, and a JK makes sense for the new family members. Plus, the new Wrangler is on the horizon, and once that shows up, we will need to tear it apart. Well, that’s figuratively speaking—or, maybe not. In the meantime, we’ve got some body armor stories, a brake theory piece that might help explain some confusion, and some fun with SEMA coverage. Hope ya like it.