2005.  When I was growing up in the '80's, I always equated this year as an extremely far away
time period would be drastically more advanced technologically than what it actually is.  I was
taught everyday at 3:00 that the Transformers had taken their battle to new heights in this very
year.  To say that I am disappointed this has not happened is.. understated.  Imagine the shock of
being eight years old, and finding out that in the year 2005 your afternoon heroes (that you
imagine and beg to go to the store and buy so that you can continue their adventures,) now live in
a pseudo-utopian Earth that is orbited by a fully cybernetic moon.  At that young age you begin
to actually believe the tales as canon, and although you grow older you of course are able to
discern your reality versus your childhood fantasies, you also never forget them.  I suppose this
is no different than realizing that the future you see in movies are highly fictionalized in most
cases, i.e. Back to the Future II, where they go to 2015 and see flying cars.  Everyday I spend in
the body shop business I realize more and more, that chances are, by 2015 we will still not have
flying cars.  But in 1985, to me this seemed a very real possibility and I accepted it as something
that would happen by that time.  I suppose the day will come and I'll watch movies that were
about or set in the then future and say, "yeah, they were wrong about that.." which is a little
depressing that I will only accept those old movies that I marveled at for nothing more than face
value one day, but I suppose that is what happens when you inevitably grow older.  Mom and I
had a conversation about the George Orwell book, "1984".  Let it be known that I detest that
muddled, dark piece of writing that is taught in secondary schools.  This is not to say I dislike his
work, I am a big proponent of Mr. Orwell's other work, though still dark in my eyes, "Animal
Farm".  She commented that back sometime before the year 1984, it was scary to think that might
actually happen by then.  It didn't, so it has little if any relevance to me as I struggle just to get
past the the title.  This is because we all know that 1984 came and went without any of the
book's events taking place.  I suggested they should name the book "2037" to give it renewed life
and maybe as a wry commentary on the dangers of big government.  But, wait a minute, the fact
remains that  this is still a ridiculous, slow as hell read that turns more already attention deficient
high schoolers off than on, so I suggest that if you want big government danger stories, go buy
yourself a copy of 'Sons of Liberty' and swim through that for a while.  Better yet, watch the
news and be politically active.  As far as stories about the future are concerned, I like a more
ambiguous setting, like Megaman for instance, which is set in 20XX.  It leaves much more to the
imagination, and doesn't set a deadline for relevance.  In my mind, it still leaves 95 years for a
rival scientist to wage a robotic war against his former partner.  Okay, that will be enough thought
prokoving for one Rant.  On to the mindlessness that is our reality,  Taylor did in fact get
married.  I did in fact miss the entire wedding rehearsal.  I did manage to make a quasi-drunken
speech about how glad I was he was married to Traci.  Later that evening I introduced my Dad to
Jini and Taylor's dad, something that I was proud to have done.  Speaking of Dad, I did what I
alluded to in an earlier Rant and gave him the motorcycle I had been harboring for a few months.  I
really didn't think the bike could look as good as he has made it look in a very, very short time.  
In no time it looks like, weather permitting, that he will be tearing up the roads on a tough looking
bike.  I pulled the transmission out of the Mustang for inspection.  Dear God, how many more
pages of the rants are you going to find that have transmission stories on them?  The answer no
one wanted is five, yes, five years of two mustangs and a Thunderbird that have had transmission
issues of some kind.  Long story abridged, I bought a Tremec that didn't work under hard
acceleration, effectively negating its usefulness as a street racing tool.  It is a simple matter of
replacing a brass looking ring of some kind.  Thanks to Kev for helping me pull that out. Oh, and
Paul is almost done with whatever it is he's doing.  I'd write more, but he'll never read this
anyways so oh well.  That should do it.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Rants now
spans five years..  scary.
01.13.2005
Monday morning it was raining.  That's a little unusual to think of it now, because Sunday was a
gorgeous day, and I spent it getting lit at the race track.  On my way to work that Monday
morning, I decided it best not to get my usual cup of coffee as I was running routinely late, and
proceeded down the highway into the increasingly bad weather.  As I passed Golden Triangle
road, The rain was offering poorer visibility with each tenth of a mile and I began to slow down
from my traffic friendly 65 mph.  The Thunderbird spun 180 from the right side and put me
backwards, on 35, into the median where the car spun another 360 and now I am spinning into
the southbound lane, in the rain, in the mud, backwards.  Did my life flash in front of my eyes?  
Not today, not in these miserable conditions.  I was able to pull the Thunderbird around and as it
made it's last spin, thanks to a quick jerk of the wheel I know so well, I ended up facing
northbound again and avoided going into wrong side of the highway.  I came to a gentle stop, and
sat there in the middle of the median.  I immediately got out, assessed my situation, no damage to
the car or me, and jumped and cheered in the air like my lucky numbers had just been called.  
What a release, to know you are alive and had beaten and survived a potentially fatal situation.  
Once I got soaked enough and got back inside, I looked at my phone. I obviously hadn't hit
anything and I was alright, so I didn't have a reason to call in to work.  What would I say?  I spun
out, I'm scared?  I wasn't, so I put the phone down, gathered myself and put the blinker on and
merged in an opening on the highway, and made my way to work.  Along the way I thought of all
the ridiculous things that could have happened to me over and over again, so I called Jini Jones,
and probably scared the hell out of her, but the adrenaline was flowing freely and I think I
sounded okay.  I had fun telling the story, but it is definitely something I do not want to do
again.  I'm lucky I didn't flip over and even luckier no one hit me. The one good thing about this
episode is that it seemed to clear my writer's block.  I just hope that in the future, I 'll find a way
to bring you a good rant without the near death experience.
03.23.2005
I am so tired of coming to this site and looking at it any more.  The juvenile navigation, the lack of
decent graphics the unfinished sections..  I want to throw it all away and just start all over again.  
Two nights ago, I drank a few beers and went after the old Photoshop 6 in an effort to make some
sense out of the ridiculousness I call an index page and after two increasingly blurry hours, I was
no closer to a streamlined site than I was a year ago.  Onto other less frustrating news, Taylor and
Traci had their wonderful baby boy, the great Barrett Cade Jones.  I was at the hospital the night
he was born and what a scene that was.  Taylor's family was there, Traci's ambiguously accented
father and family was there; it was like wedding redux.  It was of course very nice to see all of
them together yet again, and we all wish them the best of luck as parents.  We also wish Barret
luck as Taylor is his dad..  If anyone doesn't know by now, I have crossed to the dark side and
have done probably what I swore I would never do, and for reasons that are not to be believed by
anyone who is familiar with my loyalty to the Thunderbird.  I have purchased a Camaro, and here
it is for the whole world to read, if they should accidentally find their way in here.  So, shout out
to Kazakhstan.  What's up.  Yes, the Camaro life is very odd, and I put away the tired (oh, so
tired) Thunderbird in order to get a car that was built in at least the Nineties that had AC with
decent gas mileage.  I'll be real honest here.  I'm quite single, unwittingly.  There was a time when
I would spend a half day cleaning the Thunderbird up for a night on the town, and I remember
those warm summer nights in 1998 where it would definitely be warm alright.  That was years
ago, and I do plan on dating again at some point, but maybe I've gotten old enough (or wise, we'll
see..) that I think, for the sake of who ever it is I'm dating, the Thunderbird may be too old in a
sense.  This is not to say that I think I expect a stupid thing like a car to say anything about my
person, but I don't want to give off the first impression that I just pulled up in a ghetto cruiser.  
The problem with first impressions dear reader are just that; you only get to make one.  To be in
the Thunderbird is a puzzling propostion, and only I know this from the ten years I've had this
thing.  It is definitely an acquired taste, so I don't expect whoever else is in my life at the time to
acquire said taste for a very old car, hence the need for the Camaro, a car that demands nothing
from a passenger, and allow us to focus on a good time on the town in a car where we won't be
making small talk about that piece of armrest that just fell off.  Whew.  So, work sucks.  I get paid
tomorrow, thank God.  I have purchased a conspicuous amount of alcohol in prepartion already.  
Getting a paycheck simply reminds me that my stockpiling is still incomplete by a longshot and I
seriously need to go buy more mind-numbing beverages.  It has also occurred to me that July 3rd
is only two months away at this point.  I had a great time last year, but I expect this year to be
even better for me in particular.  I have something up my sleeve..  So you'll just have to wait to
find out.  Breaking with a Rants tradition of shooting wide (minus the Joey Fiasco of 2004), this
statement is directed at a certain individual.  Could it be you?
05.05.2005
Bwahahahahaha!  Rants comes to you today courtesy of my third cup of coffee and my steady
refusal to do my job, the ongoing chronicles of pseudo-responsibilty and time hack management.  
This is one of those rare Rants that I get to excise my quasi-belligerence at social norms and give
the acrimonius literary middle finger to my detractors.  This uninhibited reactionary statement
comes for the so-called weekend I experienced in a full throttle, drunken, dear God what just
happened kind of way.  And (I know you shouldn't start sentences with 'and'), it occurred to me
that there have been many instances during Rants unremarkable five year span where I have
continually chosen to update the site during, after, or before the consumption of alcohol.  Yes, the
fire liquid, hell's drink, fuel of July 3rd.  Am I to be considered out-of-control?  The evidence is
damning to say the least.  By my own admission, I do and say things that are very abrasive and
questionable during this temporary period of weakness, as if you should be surprised, and that is
once again something very well documented here.  So I guess the burning question now is, Steve,
are you ashamed of this brash, collision course lifestyle?  Well, I'm glad someone asked, because I
can tell you right here and now that the answer is unfortunately a resounding no, and thanks for
the genuine laugh.  I may lament a bunch of junk endlessly (see some October '04 entries for that),
but I do not regret really anything I've done or said, mostly.  "Mostly". That is simply because I
can't possibly feel bad for all the stupid stuff I've ever said.  That unremarkable list, lined up end
to end, would go from here to Mexico, right on down to Chihuahua, stop in at a little town for
some Mexican food, have time to sight-see, line up for cheesy pictures to prove it was there and
then come back.  And that just wouldn't be right..  After all, you are reading this right now
because of all the crappy decisions I have ever made in my life, and that means so much to me.  
So I don't regret this being in a having a good time mode, not because I rely on it, state of mind
that kind of (kind of, another written 'faux pas') that leaves me more or less uninhibited.  Never
underestimate the power of indulgent social drinking, dear readers, at social functions.  
Conversely, I've had a couple of days to turn this over in my head since I originally wrote this
entry, thinking I should polish it or be more clear, but I think that would be a waste of time.  This
really is a very small non-issue, if you could even call it that.  Much bigger things are going on in
my convoluted life right now, and this was a way to poke fun at people's misguided
misperceptions of my priorities, and a long way of saying to someone, "you have no idea what
you're talking about."  The much more concerning thing in my life is the fact that I am so strait
laced, almost to the point that I never really say what is on my mind, unless it is on this website,
hidden away from the immediate reaction of real people.  Call it a defense.  Maybe I'm simply
not assertive enough during the day, and I should encourage myself to maybe let people know
what's going on in my head more often, and clearly, so that my friends and family don't have to
suffer through the cluttered mess that is me.  Welcome to Rants 2005.
05.20.2005
It's that time again.  That would be summer 2005 for those of you keeping track.  This will be the
fourth summer I have attempted to chronicle since the unceremonious door opening of the site in
late 2000.  So here we are, and I'm glad to report I am already beginning to work on my tan a little
bit, and I've gotten in a little pool time at the apartment which, as far as I'm concerned, is pretty
amazing as I usually wait until the middle of July to go down there, wishing I'd gone earlier.  I
decided I would make a couple of predictions for myself this summer and see how I stack up
when September rolls around, but first things first. I've also had the chance to re-read some of the
junk I wrote back in May, and the verdict is not good.  I have had a very interesting development
lately and I, believe this or not, am actually thinking I went a little overboard.  I am in no way
issuing an apology, but I think I don't want to be defined simply by the things I write on this site,
and I am afraid I pigeon-holed myself quite a bit in that last entry..  But, when I wrote that, keep
in mind, I had nothing.  Like I said, now there is
something, and that business last month just
doesn't seem as important now, and I don't want anything to do with it now.  The people it
concerned are in the past and should probably stay there in the future.  Am I through talking in
circles yet?  Is this vague enough for you?  Too bad.  It took me three months to write this damn
entry and this is all you get.  I forgot when I wrote this.  Oh and if you think this is the worst
Rants ever, just wait till next time.
06.28.2005
Well, the call went up for a new entry and I am here to deliver.  I wanted of course, to be able to
print more of these things as the summer has gone by, but once again, you can wish in one hand..  
Some people have noticed the new layout of the site and for that I'm grateful and yet confused at
the same time.  I had no idea anyone paid attention to the small tweaks I make every now and
then.  That said, I owe each and every dear reader that wastes their valuable time here an extreme
apology for grossly underestimating your acute power of observation.  It seems though that most
of the clamor has been generated by the appearance of a certain link that will finally expose the
true nature of the July 3rd extravaganza (which by the way was another unmitigated success) and
its 6th incarnation is soon to be fully documented by this very site.  This also lays the foundation
for all the previous years to make their appearance as well.  To this end, I have semi-recruited the
great Cody Young to help me in this endeavor, which is going to prove to be a large undertaking,
and then we still have to work on the site..  Okay, so how about a little car news?  It looks like it
is summer of 2000 again and I don't have Mustang running.  I wouldn't have it any other way on
this site.  Seriously, the motor should be done by the time most people realize his entry is here
and then I will become an obsessed, compulsive, ignorant car person again with nothing on my
mind but to finish my singular task..  I'm glad certain people got to know me while I was normal.  
The Thunderbird is on life support, nothing new there.  I haven't taken any calls from the
government to end it's life, so I'm just going to leave it the way it is.  The 280Z is off in its own
little world and it will probably stay like that for a while, the red headed step child of the
mustang-tbird Empire.  Lee Chaolan, if you will.  And then, there is the Camaro.  I must say,
after all the venom and vinegar I had for anything that rolled out of Detroit with a "G" and "M"
next to each other, this car has really outperformed itself, and looked good doing it.  But I'm still
kind of hung up on this devil, angel feeling I get from this thing.  On one hand, it has done
everything I have needed it to, but on the other, it is the enemy, deserving of my unbridled hatred
for others of its species.  I'm torn, torn like an old sweater.  Speaking of things I have needed the
Camaro to do, like I said, it has done them well.  The shock of that statement though, isn't
included in the words, however.  Read between the lines and you'll find that the Camaro actually
had a job to do, and I had a job to do with it, which I never expected.  Taking chances can lead to
great things I suppose.  And as far as things have gone to this point, well, I can't wait to see what
the months ahead might bring.  As I type this, I can't help but to remember all the different things
that have happened to me at this time of year, each year past, since 1999, over and over again.  
For the first time in I can't remember when, I am actually looking forward to the month of
August, and that might be the best news of all.
08.02.2005
I have had about all I can take of this thing.  We've had this disaster, and it's bad.  The news, the
media, the politicians, the philanthropists, everyone has an opinion on why this has happened,
what will happen from here.  Allow me to throw one more opinion on this worldwide trash pile
of wasted written and spoken energy created by all the grandstanding.  I watched the great Ted
Koppel do his best to barbecue the director of FEMA, the beleaguered Micheal Brown.  Now,
Mr. Brown for his part, is a figurehead and nothing more; the mouth of an organization that was
ill prepared, whether due to poor reconnaissance or precognition, for the human explosion in
southern Louisiana. Koppel increasingly tried to place sole blame on Brown for this current
rescue situation.  Brown reminded him of course, that the time for second guessing response time
and scope was not now, that the organization was concentrated now on the continuous influx of
people still trapped in the city, doing only what their limited resources allowed them to.  The
interview ended with Koppel managing to make me believe that this overstretched organization
was the only reasonable scapegoat.  After a day went by, I was able to shake off the media
harness placed over my eyes and see for myself, only to find I was angry at the news and the
media for spinning the story the way it has gone.  They simply wanted me to believe that this
was the reason things are bad, and now it is time to check stocks.  To me, it seems more than
likely, if there is blame to be placed, it is on the unforeseen scope of human suffering that
presented itself and not the fault of an organization that may only be equipped to handle
localized disasters within highly localized areas.  Our government set this group up in order to
handle emergencies within our borders, and in the past, hurricanes and the like, mudslides and
earthquakes, have all been dealt with swiftly and efficiently as my memory serves me in
situations like this.  It is extremely hard for me to apply blame here for untimely response,
knowing that I witnessed the response of my federal government to the earthquake in San
Francisco in 1989, the man made disaster at the Alfred P. Murrah building, and of course, the
Twin Towers in New York.  Now our government publicly wants to blame this organization, the
very one they set up and funded, as the sole scapegoat in this situation, when no one saw this
possible outcome.  We apparently only used our past experiences to prepare for unforeseen
future ones.  That's like asking me to gauge the rear impact of a vehicle based off of a past front
impact, and then being upset with me when I cannot fully comprehend the scope of damage right
away, immediately.  It is asinine at best, and I am insulted that our media would sell me
un-information and sell me opinions as indisputable fact, so that it fits neatly within their thirty
minute time slots.  No doubt this is a bad time that no one wishes was happening.  While I may
not believe everything I hear, I do believe that the people who are down there helping are doing
the best job they can, overworked and underfed, in order to help those affected and restore some
semblance or order and sanity to the entire region.
09.02.2005
The call went up for another Rant as I was enjoying my third pit of Shiner Bock at the Flying
Saucer two nights ago.  I am of course eager to please and here is your October entry in the
mangled mess of destruction I call a website.  There really isn't much going on here..  For you car
types, whoa..  I just had an epiphany.  Did you feel that?  The reason to continue on, the fork in
the road, the reason to write a rant just hit me.  Revel in the content from here on out.  As I was
saying, for you car types..  And that reminds me, why am I the only person with a sportscar
anymore?  How did I end up being the only person with a fast car?  What happened to
everyone?  Joey, where did you go?  Did anyone ever find the Impala?  Who's got the 3rd gen
now?  Will the white twinturbo ever run again?  Do ram air T/A's look as good sitting as they do
running?  Am I the only person on the fast car map right now?  How this happened, I'll never
know.  Things were supposed to be different and I never thought I'd see the day where more
single people drove grandma cars than the old crusty folks who were supposed to have them.  
Where's the flash?  The shiny exterior?  The meticulously maintained engine bay?  The, "screw
you, I have a fast car get out of my way" mentality that we worked so hard to groom?  You guys
know who you are.  I don't want to be the last of a dead breed, give me a call.  Let's build
something!  I've had so much fun, and yet I feel like I'm the only one.  I don't want to hear the
money excuse either, just because I know there are many things that one can do for free, or next
to free that will keep the hobby alive.  But after all , this is just a rant, and of course I also know
that this is just wishful yearning for a time past.  It looks like we've all grown up and that things
must change, however unpleasant it may be for those left behind.  These days, everyone is spread
across DFW, and it is hard to catch up when there are so many people to catch up with.  Maybe
that's why the July 3rd party is what it is, a reason for far away people to not be so distant, only
for one night.  I'm sorry to have gone all WB on everyone the last couple of sentences, but I have
just turned 26 and already it seems like things are changing faster than I can keep up with.  People
are spread all over the place, and the harder I work, the more money I make, the less I get to
waste time with the people I want to hang out with.  Fortunately, as I alluded to earlier, for as
many old friends find their own path in life, so do the new ones, and I'm thankful a certain
person's path has crossed mine, giving me more reason than ever to look forward.  So, I'll admit,
grudginly albeit, that this was really early in this rant to get this deep, and you're welcome.  So
for some frivoulous news, the Mustang runs, I got new furniture and Val moved out.  The end.
10.07.2005
I sometimes lament the fact that there is not enough going to warrant going into the website
program and adding another rant.  Other times, stories just grab me and shake me around until I
have no choice but to obey the urge and succumb to the desire to write something substantial.  
The other positive to this is that this story is completely unauthorized and therefore may or may
not throw fuel onto the proverbial fire.  As some of you older 'detractors' of this site know, I like
(read: love) throwing fuel on this e-fire.  Call it the literary middle finger.  You came her to read
gossip, and I will deliver.  Now, this is the part where I set-up and give you the necessary
back-story fundamental to the overall enjoyment you will undoubtedly experience from this
excessive, indulgent yarn.  Some months ago, Cody and JC agreed to a living arrangement to
replace Taylor after the nest got too big, so to speak.  Things were good for a while with those
guys next door and I unfortunately didn't get see JC as much as I saw the other two guys during
that time.  I like JC, he's always been a pretty cool guy, I have zero beef with him.  I even let him
borrow the Thunderbird for a day, with humorous results.  Due to Cody's job being where it is,
he considered moving to an area that would allow him spend less time on the road and more time
at home doing.. whatever it is Cody does now in his free time.  So it came to pass that Scottie and
Cody parted ways with JC and moved to the greater Grapevine area.  But wait, here comes the
meat of the story.  Cody apparently, allegedly or supposedly, covered a number of bills during
that time for JC.  As retribution, Cody confiscated a non-running (4 years now) bike of
questionable value that belonged to the offending party during the moving process.  "Illegal this
is", says Yoda.  No doubt JC felt the same way, and a verbal, nearly physical disagreement
ensued, and yet the episode ended with the parties finally parting ways, Cody in possession of
the bike.  'Cause the boys in the hood are always hard, come talking that trash and we'll pull your
cord..  Anyways..  The greatness of Ms. Rucker and I were invited when the day came to give the
bike back to JC, as he had informed Cody that the money owed would be returned to him upon
delivery of the bike.  I'll be honest, I really didn't want to get involved.  Cody is my good friend
and so is JC, and yet this thing felt strangely.. fishy.  I politely declined and Jon C. Buck Jr.
stepped in to take our place, traveling all the way to the edge of Benbrook lake to return the bike.  
What you must understand about the marina is that all the cars and boats and such are enclosed
within a gate, denying exit from the yard of car ports and barns.  As Cody haplessly drove in, the
trap was sprung and the gate closed and locked, cops on the way, a trapped Cody and Jon inside
with nowhere to go.  I am not there, my biggest problem at the time is what I want for dinner.  
Posados sounded real good and oh my God, aren't the tortillas good?  I like going in and getting
the Posados, the namesake platter, but I decided I would enjoy the tacos so I could fill up on
MGD, salsa and tortillas.  Overall a very good dinner, not the least of which was enhanced by my
lovely companion.  Cody called me, pretty level headedly, and was worried about what the next
step should be, and I basically ended the call more forcefully than I would have liked and told him
the ball was in Cody's court, and to make friends of the cops.  Surely Cody's gift of gab wouldn't
fail him, would it?  So, Jon and Cody remain trapped, while I go to eat, and predictably the police
show up to diffuse the situation. It is agreed that Cody will return the bike to JC, sans money,
something he apparently never planned on giving to Cody in the first place.  Knowin' nothing in
life but to be legit, don't quote me boy I ain't said.. I took a couple of things from the evening after
it was all said and done, and you should too.  Number one, Posados tortillas are undoubtedly the
best you can eat, short of going south of the border.  Greatness cannot ever be denied.  Number
two, I have mixed feelings about my place in all this, should I have been there?  I keep coming
back to no, I don't think I could have helped, I might have been pretty upset myself at the whole
situation, and not been of any use to anyone.  I pride myself on being a diplomat, but let's not kid
here.  If I was locked in a yard like a dog, I would be pissed.  Number three..  well, I'm just going
to have to talk to Cody about that one.  Some things just don't need to be said in public, now do
they?  Oh, this really ought to trump this whole story, I guess I need to work on my lead stories.  
My father, the great Danny Blackwell is turning the big 5-0 in a little more than four days.  Dad, I
love you and that is fifty years you have made the world a better place for the people lucky
enough to know you.
10.21.2005
Rants Archive
2001
2002
2003
Rants and Gossip 2005
Welcome to Rants and Gossip 2005, the biased and inflammatory page that gets in your head and screams loudly.  Since 2001, I have painstakingly
recorded with varying amounts of detail, the questionable doings of the people that inhabit this site and print it.  I always welcome guest writers, and
Rants can be
submitted at any time.
2004