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Blake Noble

What the Hell I’ve Been Up to For the Last Two and a Half Weeks

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Well, I’ve had a busy last few weeks and you’ve probably noticed I haven’t been posting new news or regular commentary around here.

Let’s get to the big news first. As of May 22nd, 2012 I am officially a Journalism major with an undetermined minor concentration.

That means, in due time, all of the Moorish creases in my writing will be ironed out and the burrs filed down. It also means I’ll be an intern at some newspaper or magazine, possibly even a television station within two years time — that’s a requirement to graduate.

It’s been unnecessarily difficult getting to this point and it’s required a lot of sacrifice, so hopefully it’ll be worth it.

Also, a few days prior to officially enrolling in classes for fall 2012, I bought a new car. This probably isn’t news to many members here since I hinted at it in a thread late last week, but it is still worth mentioning because it’s a car that isn’t exactly … well, typical of me considering the cars I’ve owned in the past.

It’s a ‘08 Saturn Astra 3-door with under 36,000 miles. In fact, I tested the car a few months ago for an upcoming installment of Fabulous Flops, although I didn’t intend on purchasing it when I first drove it. Yes, pics are on the way since I just washed and waxed the car.

Other than that, I’ve been trying to work on new op-ed pieces and settle back in from all of the running around I’ve been up to before and after my college orientation and official enrollment. I thought I would be back to my regular grind before the end of this week, but I had some unexpected business to attend to.

For those of you who don’t care, well that’s okay. I can’t say I care either. We'll just discuss how a man in Florida had his face gnawed off in this thread instead.

Edited by black-knight

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Well, congrats on gettng into a journalism program. Your writing talent matches your sketching ability, and I mean that in a good way. College will only add a couple of coats of wax to an already good product.

Also congrats on the Astra. At 36K miles its barely broken in, and it should end your string of bad cars. Though I have to ask why this over the lime green Beetle vert I posted in the other thread. I mean, it's the perfect vehicle to rock out to your Miley Cryus CDs :duck:

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Congrats on the car and getting into J school..this is in Kentucky? Good luck w/ the car and school. Those Astras are pretty sharp, don't see them very often.

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BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, for a lot of people, their "college orientation" turns out to be something they might never have expected for themselves while they were in high school. Experimentation is good for you though, and comes with the freedom college life allows.

Or maybe that's not wut you meant.

I must have pics of the Saturn Astra immediately.

BTW congratulations and work hard. Hard work is much more likely to bring good ruck.

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I should mention I have a few thank yous that are in order.

First, I'd like to thank my parents for helping me out with getting something decent to drive and helping me out with getting back into class. I will be scratching their backs big time for their help when this is all said and done.

A big thank you to Oldsmoboi is in order. Without him tolerating and allowing me to publish here the driveling rubbish I've written, I probably wouldn't have went back to college for a journalism degree. I didn't realize how much I actually liked writing articles and op-ed pieces before I began writing them here.

And a thank you goes out to everyone here for reading what I wrote so far and for playing along.

Well, congrats on gettng into a journalism program. Your writing talent matches your sketching ability, and I mean that in a good way. College will only add a couple of coats of wax to an already good product.

Also congrats on the Astra. At 36K miles its barely broken in, and it should end your string of bad cars. Though I have to ask why this over the lime green Beetle vert I posted in the other thread. I mean, it's the perfect vehicle to rock out to your Miley Cryus CDs :duck:

Thanks, Z.

While the Beetle vert would've been a great choice for rocking out to Miley Cyrus, it's nothing like driving a pink Nissan Micra with Rebecca Black cranked up to 11.

Congrats on the car and getting into J school..this is in Kentucky? Good luck w/ the car and school. Those Astras are pretty sharp, don't see them very often.

Yep. My local university offers a four-year journalism course. And thanks Moltar. The Astra's uncommonality is one reason why I like the car so much. That, and it isn't a hunk of junk like a Cobalt. It's much more satisfying to drive and look at.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, for a lot of people, their "college orientation" turns out to be something they might never have expected for themselves while they were in high school. Experimentation is good for you though, and comes with the freedom college life allows.

Or maybe that's not wut you meant.

:lol:

I must have pics of the Saturn Astra immediately.

BTW congratulations and work hard. Hard work is much more likely to bring good ruck.

They will be here tomorrow. I found a great spot for photographs when I was snapping shots early last month for the Forester review I'm so unsure about posting.

I also think you'll approve of the color.

Working hard is my number one priority, and it's never really been a struggle to do so in college. When I enrolled to take graphic design courses for a semester in the fall of 2010, I had achieved a 3.6 GPA before I left in Spring 2011.

And, of course, thanks, Blu.

Edited by black-knight

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Well, congrats on gettng into a journalism program. Your writing talent matches your sketching ability, and I mean that in a good way. College will only add a couple of coats of wax to an already good product.

Also congrats on the Astra. At 36K miles its barely broken in, and it should end your string of bad cars. Though I have to ask why this over the lime green Beetle vert I posted in the other thread. I mean, it's the perfect vehicle to rock out to your Miley Cryus CDs :duck:

He only listens to Justin bieber, what are you talking about, man.

Oh, and good luck Knight!

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That's great that you managed to get into college, hopefully it pans out for you dude.

I'm sure the Astra will be a good car for you. It'll be economical yet it isn't a soulless box.

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Congrats on the car and your new Schooling. I know you will succeed and then continue to dazzle us with your writting. Greatly appreciated. :)

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Well, congrats on gettng into a journalism program. Your writing talent matches your sketching ability, and I mean that in a good way. College will only add a couple of coats of wax to an already good product.

Also congrats on the Astra. At 36K miles its barely broken in, and it should end your string of bad cars. Though I have to ask why this over the lime green Beetle vert I posted in the other thread. I mean, it's the perfect vehicle to rock out to your Miley Cryus CDs :duck:

Z pretty much said everything I wanted to. Good luck Knight, I wishing you best of luck

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Congrats man on both school and the car! I even think you'll enjoy the schooling this time around... :)

Good choice on the Astra. Those Ecotecs are tough...and if I remember correctly, yours is the "european" version, now found in the Cruze.

You might even mod it up a little to really throw it around....

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No photo shoot for today. We're having pretty ugly weather out here; overcast with spotty rain showers and abnormally cold tempratures (the Astra's DIC read 59 degrees).

However, I do have one photograph I snapped for the Flops article I can share. The car's appearance has changed since I snapped this a couple months ago. I had the dealer take the pinstriping off. I can't stand that crap.

IMG_0205.jpg

And once again, thanks for the warm wishes DF, mudmonster, Camino, dave, dfelt, and reg. I really appreciate it. 8)

Told you you could write!

And I owe you an exceptionally belated thank you for the encouragement Camino.

Congrats man on both school and the car! I even think you'll enjoy the schooling this time around... :)

Good choice on the Astra. Those Ecotecs are tough...and if I remember correctly, yours is the "european" version, now found in the Cruze.

You might even mod it up a little to really throw it around....

I think they're (more or less) using the same LUW 1.8 in the Sonic now too. What really suprises about this particular member of the Ecotec family is that basic matienance is so relatively simple. The drain plug and oil filter cap are in logical areas that don't require the car to be on a lift to gain access to them. The spark plugs are all accessable from the top of the engine. From what I gather, the only special tools you really need to work on the 1.8 are a complete Torx bit set.

The only real flaw concerning the 1.8's serviceability is that a new coil pack will cost around $600 if you buy it from a parts house like Advance or O'Reilly's. It actually costs half of that price to have one shipped over from Europe. That does make me wonder if the coil pack for the Sonic and Cruze are the same and if they are any cheaper.

Mods are in order for the Astra. I've already been researching it, and K&N will sell the correct CAI kit for the 1.8 Opel Astra here in the States. I'm also looking into what options I have concerning headers, exhaust and throttle bodies. I'd like to tune the car to make at least another 15 to 20 bhp. The Astra doesn't have much trouble getting out of its own way or anything, but an additional few horsepower would make the car much more lively to drive.

The stock headunit and rims are also on the chopping block if I get into seriously modding this car. There's touchscreen sat-nav and iPod/iPhone compatible headunit out there that retains all stock DIC and steering wheel control functionality for about $400 that I really want.

Someday, I'd also like to install an OPC bodykit. Before you say that would be very costly and difficult to have the parts imported, it's actually already been done before with minimal fuss. Many European companies that support the Astra in the Old World are happy to support Astra owners here in the States and all of the parts can be shipped here VAT exempt.

Edited by black-knight

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LURVE the colour! I clearly remember putting nose prints on many an Astra door glass. I went so far as to test drive one before giving up on the idear only because of AADD (Automotive Attention Deficit Disorder).

And to be brutally honest, I do not lurve your modification plans. Yes I understand them, as even at my age I am tempted to do something to every vehicle I've owned. But then I realize that I'd be spending money to ruin the resale value of my vehicle.

I hope you give it a year before you decide to go through with any modifications. By then you might love it just the way those Belgians built it.

Edited by ocnblu

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