Taking downtime for a professional transition.

There hasn’t been much updating here at MSS, so I decided to drop in and say what’s up.

At the moment I’m in a transitional period– yup, one of “those” things. Deciding that the blog and efforts to get into automotive media can take a back seat to actually, I dunno, having a career.  As much as I wanted to advance and clean up this site, separating the CarsDirect content from my own more unique stuff, I just can’t get a system worked out to make a page to transfer the CD articles.


Having a new direction in life means my shift is just going a little more practical.  Not long ago I went over what it’s like trying to bust into the writing market— it’s not pleasant, and I’m fortunate to have gotten this far.  But I don’t want to have to fight for small gigs that, at times, don’t even pay enough to pay a tank of gas (and that’s for 11.9 gallons of Toyota Echo– not much past $30).  Railroading is going to be my aim, so I’ll be wearing a hardhat and orange vest while dangling off the back of an inter-modal railcar (good thing I’m one of those people who can pull off orange).  That’s a job that isn’t some soft luxury for peoples’ entertainment or information, but an economic backbone of steel, wood, and concrete.  There would be a feeling of genuine usefulness and more meaning than sitting behind a desk, pretty much faceless and unknown except for a few loyal readers/watchers.  Yo, Jalopnik!  I don’t know a single one of your names!  (Mike Spinelli doesn’t count, I know him from /Drive)

Fear not (if you had the heart to be concerned), I still love cars and will still write here and on forums (likely Motor Trend; easy layout and I know the people better).  Writing is just a back-burner thing for fun– leave it to writers that are lucky enough to be more timely and get more money and satisfaction.  I’m just not motivated to blog what with having to move, swap out for a better bank, get the paper work for the school taken care of, etc.  It’s time to move on in life.  That, and as much car stuff has been going on as of late (new Mustangs, Camaros, the demise of Paul Walker,  and such), I’ve been more distracted by my own toy– I have a 4-2-1 header off Craigslist for the Echo, and it only cost me $30, if that’s any indication of my distraction. But hey, it’s shiny and something I have actually been wanting for years.

The header and light weight pulley are two of the better bolt-on pieces for making the Echo less slow (I won’t say “quick” right now).  The bug has bitten me.

Hopefully once donning Village People worthy garb as a rail-yard worker (eventually engineer or conductor), I can earn enough to settle down, get the fun/cheap bits on the Echo and a beater Miata on the side, maybe buy other quirky/cheap cars and try to portray my fun with them as I have with the Echo all these years.  A ’94 Escort hatchback is a great little machine to drive, for example.  I drove a ‘Scort worth under $900– the headliner shredded with dog paws, the drivers seat wiggling like one of those spring-mounted animals at a play-park, and a dancing speedometer that like watching a sped-up Nurburgring take.  Absolute ball.

If you haven’t already subscribed or liked Manually Shifted Soul on Facebook (or something more active such as Pheobe the Echo) and want updates for when I do feel like there’s something worth writing, subscribe/like now so you can get the updates.


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