Monthly Archives: March 2008

Private Detectives Need Strong Coffee and Clean Windshields


You don’t need the detective skills of Andy Sipowicz or Remington Steele to be a successful private investigator. Basically, you’ve got to have a tenacious attitude, a fast camera, potent coffee, and a crystal clear windshield. After years of fighting with the lousy wiper blades from my local auto parts warehouse, I finally made the switch over to PIAA wiper blades. Now I’m hooked.

When I tell people that I’m a private investigator, they always ask me to take them for a ride in my Ferrari. Little do they know, but real life P.I. work is nowhere nearly as glamorous as Magnum makes it out to be. Maybe they do things differently in Hawaii, but I’ve never met a private dick on the payroll of a mysterious billionaire. Don’t get me wrong—I wouldn’t turn down an invitation to live in the Robin’s Nest, even if it meant having to put up with a bunch of vets. I just have serious doubts that it would ever happen to me or anyone else.

No. The life of a sleuth is hardly romantic. Most of my time is spent cooped up in my Eldorado running surveillance on a cheating spouse. To be honest, it’s pretty damn boring. If it weren’t for sudoku, I’d have taken my own life a long time ago. And when I’m not copping a squat in my car, I’m out walking the streets following up on leads and knocking on stranger’s doors. You don’t even want to know how many pairs of Keds and tubes of hemorrhoid cream I go through each year from all the pavement I pound and all the long nights spent sitting on my keister. Then, at the end of the day, I barely pull down enough to keep up with my mortgage and alimony payments.

But I don’t like to complain. I’m actually a pretty accomplished investigator. Back in 1994, I won the coveted Dick of the Year Award for nabbing a ring of yutzes who were running a worker’s comp scam out in Inglewood. I’ve learned a lot of things over the years—mostly the hard way. But I’ve come to realize that a great P.I. really only needs a handful of traits and tools: a persistent personality, a high-quality camera, plenty of strong coffee, and, above all else, a clean windshield. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve had a primo shot ruined by some smeared bird squeeze or a streak of water spots.

I used to think that all windshield wipers worked just as good and that only rubes paid extra for the deluxe blades. However, I finally got fed up with staring out of a grimy windshield all day long, so I plunked down the extra bread on a set of PIAA wiper blades. The difference was night and day. Those wipers cut through everything from dirt to bug guts. Even the milkshake that someone I was tailing chucked at me was no match for my new blades. And my photos have never looked clearer. I don’t usually like to give away trade secrets, but I just couldn’t keep this to myself.

wiper blades

Wiper blades are often overlooked or forgotten, until you actually need them. I would suggest being a little proactive and looking into getting a set of PIAA wiper blades. They made a huge difference for me and my business.

Add Floor Liners And A Cold Air Intake To Your Wish List This Year


Don’t know what to ask for this Christmas? Why not ask for something you can actually use – durable floor mats.

The fresh smell of evergreen and incessant jingling of bells can mean only one thing: Christmas time. Ah yes, the season for giving. But your days of toys and bicycles and games are behind you. Don’t fret, there are plenty of good gifts to get.

He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice… Have you been naughty? Have you been nice? Have too many curse words poured out of that cynical mouth of yours? Been flirting a little too much with the new leggy secretary? Hopefully, your courteous and noble deeds have landed you on the nice list this Christmas season. If so, cash in on that good behavior and make a killer wish list.

So what should you ask for? Well, you may not be able to get that new truck you’ve been dying for, but you can still get some great accessories. During the winter months, a majority of our country is bombarded with snow and ice. I used to live in Boston so I know how long winter really is. A solid set of floor liners make an excellent present. And although they may not be the “coolest” present, they are a great investment. Plus, they aren’t cheap! Why not have someone else shell out the bills for them so you can spend your money on what really want – beer and season tickets.

If you’re like me and enjoy getting to the mountains, then rubber mats are a “must have” item. When I get into my car after a long day of snowboarding, I don’t want to deal with being clean. I just want to rip open some chips and chuck the wrapper on the ground. I also to keep my feet warm, especially after being in ski boots all day. So my car’s floor heater will melt all the snow that my boots have accumulated. Without my floor mats, my feet would be resting in a puddle of water by the time I get home. Any not to be too gross, but my feet usually aren’t too “fresh” after skiing. Actually, I think the smell of damp, sweaty feet will probably make you gag. Now that I have liners, I can just open the door at a red light, pour out the water and be good to go. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but I highly recommend getting some mats.

Now that I have covered the practical mats, the Dr. Jekyll if you will, I want to suggest getting a cold air intake, the Mr. Hyde. There are few “fun” presents to ask for once you hit 18, but I believe this is one of them. I don’t drive a Ferrari, but I still crave performance and get a thrill when I slam on the gas pedal. A cold air intake is an aftermarket air intake that is specifically designed to draw cooler air into the engine, thus giving you more horsepower. And this part will also give your vehicle a nice throaty growl; unlike your buddy’s Honda with the tin can muffler.

It depends on your vehicle and what modifications you have, but adding a cold air intake can add anywhere from 5 to 40 ponies. Not bad for a few hundred bucks if you ask me. I recommend these two products because they are moderately cheap and give you the best bang for your buck. If you are really craving performance, then you might want to ask for a whole performance exhaust system. But I guess that depends on how naughty or nice you were this year.

I personally use a Volant Cold Air Intake and Husky Liners, but shop around first to find a combo that fits best for your vehicle.

If You Are In A Pinch, Use A Winch


Living in New Jersey, I’ve grown accustomed to bad attitudes. That’s why it always surprises me when someone helps you out. Last weekend I was out with a few buddies ripping through the woods on our quads and I cruised into marsh. Eventually, a guy and his son stopped to help me. His big utility ATV had a winch on it, which pulled me right out. I guess Jersey might home a few decent people.

I have lived in the wonderful state of New Jersey for twenty two glorious years. This meant spending summers at the shore, drinking cawfee, and considering Italian food its own food group. This armpit of a state is the home of bad hair cuts and even worse accents. I can usually stomach the stereotypical flaws of the state, but I can’t stand the attitude. It’s like every kid growing up here had a poster of Tony Soprano on his wall instead of Superman or Batman. While I was busy jumping from trees with a cape around my neck, they were greasing down their scalps with enough hair gel to make John Travolta jealous.

Certain parts of Jersey don’t seem like reality. My high school parking lot looked more like a BMW dealership than a public school. You would think it was standard issue for the DMV to hand out sets of keys after passing a driver’s test. I guess our state needed something to replace iroqs. It probably doesn’t help the state’s general attitude if everyone is driving around in a BMW with a gold chair hanging from their neck and a ring hugging their pinky. Anyway, after years of hearing such comments from wise guys like “What are you looking at?” I started to think that the state was doomed. Maybe our country would be better if it cut off that little state and sent it floating off across the Atlantic for Europe to deal with.

I used to think that way until this past weekend. I was out with a few friends tearing through the woods on our quads, having a blast. It had rained the day before, which made the ground perfect for doing doughnuts and drifting turns. I started to cruise to a new part of the woods, but it was actually a marsh. Unfortunately, I was going pretty fast so my speed carried me halfway across the bog. I tried revving my engine, spinning my wheels, but not moving an inch. My quad is meant for racing, not mud so it only has two-wheel drive. My friends were all over in another part of the woods, leaving me stranded, covered in mud and frustrated.

Just when I was about to give up and trudge back through the woods to find my friends an older man on a big utility ATV passed by. “Oh great, now I have to deal with this guy giving me a hard time,” I thought. But he pulled up, took off his helmet and asked if I needed a hand. Did my ears deceive me? A Jersian asking to help? Well of course I did. He had a winch system hooked up to the front of his bike. This guy and his son tossed me the cable, which I hooked to my frame, and he pulled me right out. When I finally made it back to my friends, they didn’t even know I was gone.

winch

We may not be the best, biggest, or cleanest state, but you can get one amazing slice of pizza. And if you look hard enough, in the deepest woods apparently, you may find some decent people. I was so thankful that the guy came along and that he had a winch. I think he said it was called a Warn winch or a Ramsey winch.