Random Thoughts....

ninjacoco

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I wonder if Richard Porter could tell me what to worry about with the next deep-south Lemons Rally? Heh.
 

Matt2000

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I wonder if Richard Porter could tell me what to worry about with the next deep-south Lemons Rally? Heh.
I don't want to spoil the story completely but
He didn't have any idea about what would happen as he was in the New York at the time, until a friend from the deep-south told him over dinner. Whoops, too late.

Corrected the mistake about where he was, my memory was wrong.
 
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Perc

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There's a chapter about the whole Alabama situation in Richard Porter's book And On That Bombshell. It's a good read for any TG fan.

I blame you for the €4,58 that was just withdrawn from my account. I’ve got a nice new Kindle book waiting for me at home.
 

Matt2000

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I blame you for the €4,58 that was just withdrawn from my account. I’ve got a nice new Kindle book waiting for me at home.
Is now a bad time to say that his Boring Car Trivia books are also good for car nerds like us and he is releasing a third imminently if not sooner?
 

NooDle

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This is true. I listen to his Smith&Sniff podcast and it’s absolutely brilliant. They sometimes even talk about cars!

Also, I must order these books because I’m going to read them anyway and they’re dirt cheap
 

Perc

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Is now a bad time to say that his Boring Car Trivia books are also good for car nerds like us and he is releasing a third imminently if not sooner?

I have them both and I know there's a third one in the works. :D
 

Matt2000

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I have them both and I know there's a third one in the works. :D
Looks like the third one was published yesterday. On Kindle at least and in the UK, I will wait for the paperback. He mentioned it in the latest disease-fest podcast with Jonny Smith.
 

93Flareside

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Looks like the third one was published yesterday. On Kindle at least and in the UK, I will wait for the paperback. He mentioned it in the latest disease-fest podcast with Jonny Smith.

That has become my new favorite podcast. The automotive references to daily life to how something sounds or operates is great. The piss bottle explosion story is pure poetry.
 

Matt2000

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That has become my new favorite podcast. The automotive references to daily life to how something sounds or operates is great. The piss bottle explosion story is pure poetry.
It's thanks to you that I got over my declared hatred of Richard Porter and started listening to it, it's the only podcast I listen to.

The chap who sent in the piss bottle story is so unassuming in real life, when he brought them the double Sade CDs at the show he just quietly delivered them and disappeared. There was a moment during the Q&A where Richard said he wasn't busy, I tried to ask if that meant they could both now go to a Santa Pod race weekend but didn't have the chance.
 

gaasc

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I blame you for the €4,58 that was just withdrawn from my account. I’ve got a nice new Kindle book waiting for me at home.
You could've waited for me to find my copy :p

Presented below is the chapter in its entirety

There was an unspoken rule on Top Gear which was so
unspoken I don’t think we could bear to admit it to ourselves.
It said that the regular features we planned would most likely
turn out to be useless whereas the big ideas that became
successful were almost certainly accidental. It was hard to
acknowledge this because what could you do with that
information? Start planning to do things accidentally?
You can see the fruits of this theory in carefully planned but
never-loved features like Barn Or Bin and the utter tossfest of
Top Gear Stuntman. And conversely, the 2006 attempt to
make a normal-sized VT out of an American road trip, which
spiralled out of control, earned a whole show all to itself and
spawned the idea of the annual Top Gear special, completely
by accident.

There are a couple of things people seem to remember from
that inadvertent special. The first is the cow on the roof of a
Camaro. Jeremy came up with this one in the field, possibly
literally, and since there weren’t any dead cows lying around
he rang the office back home and one of our researchers
hammered the phones into the night until he found a nearby
farmer with a recently mooing corpse we could use. I often
thought Top Gear had the most talented and dedicated
production team in television and there’s your proof: our
people could source locate a stinking, bloated, rotten, disgusting
cow corpse from 4,000 miles away.

The second thing the American road trip is remembered for is
the slogans daubed down the cars. I’m delighted to boast that
this was my idea. In fact, it was my idea from long before the
US road trip came about and it formed the backbone of
something called The Texas Smartcar Challenge, in which a
presenter was required to drive a tiny, bright pink car covered
in jauntily liberal slogans across the Lone Star State to see
how far they could get before a lynching occurred. This idea
was well received in the office but fraught with complications.
We’d need to ship the Smart over there, and have it wrapped
in pink, and we’d have to fly in our crews from the UK, and
it all started to sound like a lot of time, expense and effort just
to get someone’s head kicked in. So the idea went away.
It came back to me when we started planning an American
road trip and our intended route appeared to take in some
places where ‘liberal’ is basically a swear word. I mentioned the
slogans part of my Smart idea in a meeting. People seemed to
like it. ‘So basically, you want us to be killed?’ said Hammond
with mock indignation. No, no, no, I’m sure it’ll be fine, I
insisted.

Since the idea seemed to be a goer, I wrote some suggested
slogans on strips of paper, divided these up among three
envelopes with the presenters’ names on them and waved
everyone off to the airport. Around this time I’d started a
long-distance relationship with someone in Los Angeles. If you
live in London and start seeing someone in, say, Sheffield then
you can meet halfway. In Leicester, for example. Or Kettering.
Not places known for their romance, but at least they’re
driveable. If you’re dating someone in Los Angeles, the halfway
meeting point is New York, which is rather harder to reach in
a car. Instead, I took some time off while half the team was
heading to Florida and got on a plane to JFK.

I spent a few days dandering around Manhattan and heard
not a word from our Southern states road-trip shoot. Then
one afternoon we went for a drink with a friend called Tracey,
who’s from the American south. We’re actually filming in the
south at the moment, I said breezily. Yes, it’s all terribly
amusing, I went on, we’re writing slogans down our cars and
driving them through Alabama. Tracey looked aghast. ‘You’re
doing what?’ she spat. No, no, it’s fine, I laughed. We’re just
messing around, I’m sure it’ll just be a little bit awkward or
something.

‘Trust me,’ she continued in that casually aggressive tone New
York obliges its inhabitants to perfect. ‘I’m from down there, I
know those people. They. Will. Fucking. Kill. You.’ Oh dear me
no, I said, trying to maintain an upbeat tone. I’m sure it’ll all
be fine.

Shortly afterwards my phone rang. Several times in fact. I can’t
remember the specifics of what was said, but the words
‘properly angry’ and ‘bloody scary’ might have been used and
I think Jeremy possibly claimed they were ‘almost literally
killed’. A woman had shouted at them. Some angry men had
turned up. The atmosphere had turned sour. In the resulting
panic, Wilman had jumped into the wrong crew car as it
scarpered, leaving another team sitting on the increasingly
menacing forecourt staring at the empty seat in the back and
assuming its occupant had been kidnapped. God, that sounds
extremely frightening I thought, as I sat in a New York bar
preparing to order another cocktail.

The reaction to this sequence when it was broadcast in early
2007 was pretty extraordinary. Some ultrafans on the internet
minutely dissected it and concluded that some of the sounds
made by objects hitting cars seemed dubbed on, thereby
proving that all the locals in the scene were actors and the
entire thing was fake. I’ll let you into a secret: sometimes in
TV sounds have to be enhanced in post-production because
microphones don’t always record things with the clarity and
volume you would like, especially when they’re attached to or
being operated by people who are fearing for their lives. I can
certainly promise that at no point did one of our researchers
call up an Alabama am-dram society and demand that they
provide us with a job lot of their most toothless simpletons.
Some Americans didn’t seem to like this scene either and took
particular exception to the idea of pompous British bastards
coming to the nether parts of their great nation expressly to
poke the inhabitants with a stick until they bared their teeth.
On that score I suppose we were a bit guilty but I don’t think
we ever imagined our foolish plan would actually get such a
visceral reaction. I certainly never imagined that some idiotic
things I’d invented in an office in London could be daubed
down three cars to such dramatic effect. Secretly, I was quite
thrilled. Obviously, it’s easy to be thrilled when you’re 1,000
miles upcountry with your face in a bucket of mojito. Even so,
it was quite remarkable. It was one of several times when a
dumb, throwaway idea on Top Gear turned into something
unexpectedly memorable. I’m only slightly ashamed to admit
that it’s one of the proudest moments of my career.


On the one hand, every single member of the TG production team assures us that it was absolutely true. On the other hand, the US Department of State's investigation disagrees vehemently with that assessment. That being the actual reason their visas were restricted into the "Factual Programme" thing (it makes sense, with the shit other entertainment shows pull off in the states, a cow on the roof is positively tame).

As far as Porter is concerned, I don't hate him. This does not mean I enjoy how he wrote for TG. A lot of really dumb ideas that I pinned on clarkson seemed to trail back to him. Sniffpetrol and Boring Car Trivia seem to be far better uses of his skill.
 

93Flareside

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If it makes you feel any better, a couple of years later there was a huge discussion on this board on whether it actually happened or it was staged, and there was sufficient evidence (and hearsay) for it to go either way.
Oh no, that's proven true.
I don't want to spoil the story completely but
He didn't have any idea about what would happen as he was in the New York at the time, until a friend from the deep-south told him over dinner. Whoops, too late.

Corrected the mistake about where he was, my memory was wrong.


Plus, in 2016 when Richard Porter was first on The Smoking Tire podcast, he brought up that story and how they had no idea what would have happened. Afterwards as @Matt2000 says, Richard wasn't there but got a phone call.
 

Matt2000

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Ordered a new Scandinavian Flick tee in the Redbubble sale as my old one had faded, this time on a black tri-weave. Still really like that design.

I don't know where the money from those sales go now, does it go to Alex's family or into the FG fund?
 

93Flareside

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Ordered a new Scandinavian Flick tee in the Redbubble sale as my old one had faded, this time on a black tri-weave. Still really like that design.

I don't know where the money from those sales go now, does it go to Alex's family or into the FG fund?

Speaking of FG shirts and such, can I still get the Verdeck Systemfehler hoodie?
 

Quiky

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Ordered a new Scandinavian Flick tee in the Redbubble sale as my old one had faded, this time on a black tri-weave. Still really like that design.

I don't know where the money from those sales go now, does it go to Alex's family or into the FG fund?
FG Fund. The sales figures have tapered off significantly over the years, so overall it contributes about 30$ or so per year to the hosting funds/software licensing.
 

Matt2000

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Speaking of FG shirts and such, can I still get the Verdeck Systemfehler hoodie?
I wouldn't put it up on sale again knowing the quality isn't very good, I still need to go through and remove others from my designs. Pin badges too, because they print off-centre and look crap. I don't want people to receive my designs on products that look crap. :(

If you know a local place that does better printing I'd happy share the design as an Illustrator file or PDF.

FG Fund. The sales figures have tapered off significantly over the years, so overall it contributes about 30$ or so per year to the hosting funds/software licensing.
I suppose old TG references only have a certain lifespan, as good as they are. I'd love to contribute designs to help the FG fund, we would have to decide what we want though. I'd quite like an alternative Ringmeet shirt to the Ringmeet X one and if we can come up with some mass-market stuff it should help too.

I only buy tri-blend shirts at the moment so I think you get a little more profit on those, mine is the black tri-blend that came through.
 

93Flareside

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I wouldn't put it up on sale again knowing the quality isn't very good, I still need to go through and remove others from my designs. Pin badges too, because they print off-centre and look crap. I don't want people to receive my designs on products that look crap. :(

If you know a local place that does better printing I'd happy share the design as an Illustrator file or PDF.

Church I used to go to would use I can't remember exactly, either customink.com or think ink. https://www.customink.com/ https://www.think-ink.com/
 

ninjacoco

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FG Fund. The sales figures have tapered off significantly over the years, so overall it contributes about 30$ or so per year to the hosting funds/software licensing.
Ooh. I may need to re-order a shirt or two.
 

ninjacoco

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back to random:

can't poop can't poop CAN'T POOP

Currently blasting it with Buldak 2x Spicy ramen and some additional hot sauces on top of that. C'mon. I really wanna poop.
 

NooDle

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I have never had this problem.
If you keep eating, it will come. Eventually.
Also thanks for the overshare, we were due one of those
 

Redliner

Y'all got any lamps?
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T-shirts: I'd buy a few if we could get it shipped from within the EU. Portugal now taxes ALL things from outside the EU, regardless of value. I don't mind paying, but that means paperwork and 2-3 months wait.
Considering we have quite a lot of people from here, is an European store something feasible?
 
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