Friday, December 29, 2006


Congrats to the the San Francisco Giants on signing free agent LHP Barry Zito to a huge contract. I really thought that New York Mets were going to bring in the young gun but the Giants stepped up and grabbed him by the horns. Barry Zito is not 40 and that is a good thing for San Fran. He doesnt need to get up early on Sundays for the Senior breakfast club. Club members are: Barry Bonds, Dave Roberts, Rich Aurilla, Randy Wynn, and Coach Bruce Bochy. Seven years and $126 million nice job Zito for holding out, very smart by the youngster. People say it was too much for Zito but wait one minute: Jason Schmidt 3 years 47 mil, Gil Meche 5 years 55 mil, Roger Clemens 2 months of baseball 22 mil, Ted "lights out" Lilly 4 years 40 mil, come on the giants stole him 7 years 126 mil, thats funny shit. They couldnt resign Schmidt but went out and spent too freakin' much money on Zito. Zito will have about two outstanding years and then fall apart. Im sorry but that is a little too much for a pitcher. In todays game I can see paying someone that plays every day of the week but not every four to five days. Well all I can say is that the ticket prices for the Giants are going up. Good luck to all of those poor people that would like to watch a game . The bleachers just went from $10 a game to $52 a game. Good Luck to the San Fran Giants.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A few thoughts on the week

The Giants sign a replacement for Jason Schmidt:
Making the cross-Bay move

Just breaking news has the Giants signing LHP Barry Zito of the crossbay Oakland A's to a 7 year $126 million dollar deal with an option for an 8th year. There is also a no trade clause thrown in along with some Zito's demands for some charity money for the Giants to pay that sounds nice. JK should be posting more on this later because he is this blogs go to guy when it comes time to spell out contracts and evaluate worth in the crazy sports market we are living in today. As far as my opinion of the signing I hope that Zito can remain interested in pitching at a high level and stay healthy because he has been a very durable pitcher for the A's. To pay for himself he needs 18-20 wins a year in my book and needs to be able to pitch a lot of innings and I just dont know if that is going to happen. When was the last time the Giants had a lefty as the ace of the staff unless Noah Lowery was considered an ace last year when Schmidt was down? The last lefty that was going to be a great starter for the Giants was a kid named Shawn Estes and we all know how that worked out. All in all I look forward to the upcoming season to see how Zito can help the team and if they can keep anyone on the 35 and older roster healthy.

-Zito agrees to 7 yr deal with Giants-

Bowl Season off to a slow start:

406-559~72.1%~5,549 yds~58 tds~12 ints

Of the handful of games played until last night, the Hawaii matchup has been the only game that has provided any sort of enjoyment thus far. Colt Brennan was unbelievable in the 2nd half and how often do you see a guy pass for 559 yards and have a receiver with 14 catches for 308 yards? Not many people have seen UH play this season because lack of TV time and the fact that they kickoff at 7-8 pm on the islands. I was very impressed with them this year and also Jerry Glanville deserves credit for making the defense much more competitive. It doesnt hurt that he has Leonard aka "the next Troy Polumalu" Peters roaming the secondary. If you didnt watch the game that joke may not be understood very well.

Why wasnt every game like this for Lo Booker?

Last nights UCLA-Florida State matchup was an interesting pairing in the Emerald Bowl from San Francisco. Most people were predicting a low scoring affair in which UCLA would prevail. I even saw a 15-6 prediction. Most believed that UCLA had a huge advantage coming in because of the big win over crosstown rival USC and that the momentum would spill over into the bowl game. That just didnt happen as the UCLA defense did not play as insired or that well as a whole considering the quality of offense they were facing. The final score was 44-27 FSU but the late pick six thrown by UCLA Qb Patrick Cowan made it look like a bit of a rout which it was not.

Former Edison (Fresno) standout Brandon Breazell had one catch, but he made the most of it with a 78 yard TD. UCLA played three quarters of sufficient football and then just imploded. Give credit to "Bobby" and FSU for pulling this thing out, actually displaying what looked like an offense, and building some momentum heading into next year. He had better hire himself a great offensive coordinator this offseason though. Kudos also to FSU Rb Lorenzo Booker in his performance last night (22 carries 91 yds. 2 tds.-5 recs 117 yds). He was as good a prospect as Reggie Bush coming out of St. Bonaventure High in Ventura, Ca, but he never did get it going in his time as a Seminole. He showed well last night and also played the way most thought he would throughout his career in Tallahassee. Fact is, I still consider him a much better pro prospect than he ever was a player at FSU. He is great athlete and he is versatile out of the backfield like Mr. Bush. He is a 2nd or 3rd round Reggie Bush type player that will begin his NFL career with little hype which may just work to his advantage this time around.

-FSU 44 UCLA 27-

A few "potentially" good bowl matchups tonight:
Last game as a Golden Bear?

#21 Texas A&M versus #20 Cal looks to be one of the better matchup leading up to the January 1st slough of Bowl games. Both teams come in at 9-3 and had some good moment in the course of the season, but both leave their fan bases wondering both what could have been and asking how good they really are? The importance of this game on a national stage may not be much at all, but going into next year Coach Fran needs to prove to Aggie fan there is something to be excited about and he is building things for a run next year. Coach Jeff Tedford returns much of the offense next year and has a capable starter in Rb Justin Forsett if Marshawn Lynch heads to the NFL like many believe he will. A good showing for Golden Bear Qb Nate Longshore is in order, he has plenty of weapons to work with, I just think his nonchalance at the Qb position is detrimental to both him and his teammates at times.

The NFL Network will have their first broadcast of a College game tonight when Rutgers matches up with Kansas State in the Texas Bowl. Rutgers season has been intriguing, and the progression Coach Greg Schiano has went through in Piscataway has been remarkable. A loss to a surging Kansas State team could be a damaging and put a negative spin on an otherwise fruitful season for the Scarlet Knights. Fresno State fans such as myself will be interested to see the Wildcats play because they have a road date in Fresno in the 07 season.

Fresno State Sat. Vs. University of San Diego:
Mr. McGuire has been a meast of late

Coming off of a 95-75 victory over Cal Poly, the Dogs will be hosting the Toreros of San Diego on Saturday at the Save Mart Center. Hector Hernandez led the way against Cal Poly with a career high 31 point including hitting 8 of the teams record 16 3s. Unfortunately, guard Javance Coleman has found no sort of touch or scoring ability and is still mired in a slump of epic proportions. Thankfully, junior PG Kevin Bell is running the team well and handed out 12 assists, Dominic McGuire continues to do it on both ends of the floor along with fellow forward Quinton Hosley. They combine to average 19 rebounds per game and team to help makeup for an obvious lack of a true post presence. The Dogs are facing a USD team playing much improved ball of late and need to protect the home court. There is a very tiny margin of error for Coach Steve Cleveland and the Bulldogs because of a soft non-conference schedule and an unproven ability to win a big road game against a good opponent. (Oregon State and USF do not count in my eyes)

-FSU Vs. USD Saturday at SMC-

Michigan will return both Henne and Hart for 07':

Lastly, the Wolverines have had a bounceback year for sure and have proven themselves as a top 5 program again. If they can play well in the Rose Bowl and beat Petey and the Trojans, they will definately solidify themselves as a favorite heading into next year.

-Hart solidifies Wolverine backfield for 07'-

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Next-Gen Trifecta

Well here it is. The XBOX 360 Pro, PS3 60GB, and the Wii. Nearly $1500 worth of electronic crap sitting there. Well I mean, only the PS3 box has anything in it.

The Wii is up for sale to anyone who will buy it. It is now down to the PS3 and 360.

First things first- The PS3 controller is extremely nice, and I like it alot. Besides lacking rumble, it feels great in your hand. The 360 still probably has the better controller overall, but the PS3 was surprisingly good.

I have one game for it, Resistance: Fall of Man. Pretty good game. They need some more games for the PS3, and quick. I am unsure which I will choose at this point, The 360 certainly has the edge being out for a year already, and also most of the marquee games are going to be available on both systems.

On my TV, there is little, if any difference in graphics between the systems. HDMI being used for the PS3 and component for 360. The game(resistance) is a 720p game, and I think to really see a difference between the two, you will need a full 1080p set.

So again, thats a plus for the 360, works just as good on my TV, more games, cheaper.. I will be down to one system eventually, I don't know when though. Could be very soon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bulldogs Stopped at Home by Cardinal

Tough night at the SMC for the Dogs

It was the game that many pointed to coming in to this season, a home date with a middle of the road PAC-10 team that would be a great opportuntity to get the fans out and show them their is a reason to get to the Save Mart Center and support the Bulldogs. That nearly happened Tuesday night if it wasnt for a few key issues.
  • Free throw shooting-Bulldogs finish 14-25 from the stripe
  • Javance Coleman-Finishes 1-10 from the floor and contributes next to nothing in 31 min
  • Eddie Miller-Played 24 minutes and only shot two shots from the floor
  • Stanford made only 6 threes, but they were wide open on 4 of them
  • The inside presence of the Cardinal wore down the Dogs on the interior
  • 2 key lapses on the boards led to second possesions for Stanford that they converted
  • Too many forced 3s as usual, and no patience on the offensive end
  • Lastly, the officials needed to swallow their whistles at key points in the 2nd half
The game started extremely slow, Dogs couldnt get a shot to go down and Stanford started to find it. Coach Steve Cleveland made a mistake by trying to wait for the first TV timeout to not burn one of his. That proved costly as before he knew it the Cardinal went on a 10-0 run and with just under 16 in the first half remaining it was 12-2 Stanford. The Dogs trailed the entire first half and could not cut into the 7-10 point Stanford lead due to poor shot selection coupled with poor shooting. Coleman especially, who finished 1 for 10 from the floor took too many shots that in all honesty may as well be in the turnover category. Too many one and done possesions without an opportunity for an offensive rebound and they didnt run any of the shot clock. Halftime score:34-26 Stanford

The second half started well with junior F/C Hector Hernandez burying 2 threes from the same spot to cut into the 8 point deficit. The way the ebb and flow of the game went reminded me of the Creighton/FSU from Saturday where the Blue Jays could never quite gain control and get over the hump. The Bulldogs were finally able to overcome the deficit and bring the crowd back into it(The largest crowd to ever watch and FSU Basketball game which ended up an announce 15,142) with a Kevin Bell three to take the 44-43 lead with 13 minutes remaining.

From that point on the game was a back and forth nailbiter, the only thing that hampered the overrall enjoyment was the officials insistance to interject themselves in the contest at the most inopportune times. They blew their whistles twice to stop the flow of the game, one a McGuire block that was clean that gave Stanford 2 free throws, and another where Hosley was hustling and made the slightest contact with a Stanford player when he was on his way for a dunk and a 4 point Dog lead. Those two plays were gamechangers for sure, the crowd was definately into it but they were ready to explode and I felt if they did they would overwhelm the Cardinal. The Dogs never could get up by two possesions worth of points, and when they led by three Stanford guard Anthony Goods buried a deep three to knot it up at 56.

Lastly, I want to say that junior forward Dominic McGuire carried this team in the second half with his slashing and finishing abilites around the rim. Without McGuire and Hosley coming up big, this would have been an easy road W for the Cardinal.

Stat line for both of the read:

McGuire-25 pts-13 rebs-2 assts-2 blks-2 stls
Q Hosley-18pts-14 rebs-2assts -1 blk -2 stls

On to Saturday where Coach Cleveland and his Bulldogs will try to shake this difficult home loss with a victory over Cal Poly, who will be making the trip inland to the flatlands from the Central Coast. Will there be a hangover and will the cold shooting remain? Can Coleman find and sort of way to get the ball in the hole? Will ball movement and player movement be a point of emphasis leading up to Saturday? These questions need to be answered with a resounding yes to renew my confidence that this team can not only compete in the WAC but compete for a title in it against the like of Nevada, NMSU, and Utah State. Im a bit worried about that right now.

Also, they really pushed attendance of this game, with a little ad campaign, and it really work with the largest crowd in SMC history, with over 15,500 people.


Box Score

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2008 CTS Sneak Peek

Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn(left) and Vice Chairman Global Product Development Bob Lutz of GM show another sneak peek at the hugely anticipated Second generation CTS.

Let me be the first to say..... WOW. I already saw the 60 Minutes peek that Lutz offered, but everytime I see it I get more excited. January, and the North American International Auto Show is right around the corner.

Here is a photochop to see the whole front end.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dogs Down Creighton-Stanford Next

Saturdays game ball goes to Dominic McGuire
9 pts.-14 rebs.-4 assts.-7 blks.

The Bulldogs were able to get things back to where they are expected to be in the friendly confines of the Save Mart Center on Saturday night versus the Creighton Blue Jays of the competitive Missouri Valley Conference. All three of Measured Buildups bloggers were in attendance on Sat. and were finally joined by more than 6,000 fans which has been about the average seated attendance for home dates this year. My guess was that somewhere between 10-11K turned out for the biggest nonconference game to date for the Dogs whose schedule has been uninspiring at best thus far. The game Saturday comes at the right time after the Dogs dropped an embarrasing game at UCSB and then had to eek out an OT victory at lowly Montana State thanks mainly to Quinton Hosleys 30 point effort. The importance of this game and the Stanford and Cal Poly home dates following mark the most important stretch of the season for Coach Steve Cleveland's Bulldogs because the table needs to be set before entering WAC play. The defense must be ramped up, roles need to be defined and the team must be a unit heading into conference play.

I was interested to see how the Dogs would respond against the Blue Jays, and they were able to shake off both the suspect outside shooting and defensive lapses that have plagued them most of the season thus far. The Dogs were able to jump on Coach Dana Altman's Blue Jays from the opening tip forcing Altman to use two timeouts in the games first 8 minutes. The Dogs came out firing from 3 per the usual, but fortunately they were connecting with regularity. The Dogs were able to attack the Jays in a very balanced manner with everyone getting into the mix offensively, lead by junior F/C Hector Hernandez early. The largest lead of the game came at the 6 minute mark of the first half where the Dogs lead by 17. They also finished a blistering 8 for 19 from three in that first half. Score at half:35-26 Dogs

Dominic McGuire was the story of the game with his huge defensive efforts. The Junior Forward(Transfer from CAL) finished with 9 points, 14 rebounds, and a career high 7 blocked shots. He dominated the paint and even though the defense was penetrated on at times, McGuire held back the Jays basket attacks by blocking their attempts away with his left hand. By the midway point of the first half, McGuire had taken on the role of the stopper and was changing shots with regularity. A couple of the blocks were awe-inspiring, one on center Anthony Tolliver and another on a breakaway layup attempt by guard Nick Porter. Porter thought he had the easy deuce, but McGuire timed his steps from behind and came up with a huge stop, getting a sometimes lethargic crowd to raise its decibal level. Kudos to the students who finally made their way to the conveniently placed on-campus arena and decided to assimalate under a basket assembly in large numbers, I hadnt been able to see them in the home games prior but im sure they were just bogged down with loads of schoolwork and couldnt make it.

Creightons second half efforts were hampered by their poor 3 point shooting. Although they were finding themselves open, they shot 0-13 from three in the second half. They came out and quickly drew to within 35-30 in the opening minutes of the 2nd half due to the Dogs poor shot selection and suspect perimeter defense. Coach Cleve called a timeout and got things settled down. The Jays played within 5 to 7 points for the first 10 minutes in the 2nd half. They were a shot or two away from really putting a scare into the Dogs, but the iron was truly unkind to the Jays on Saturday. The Dogs answered the charge each time the lead was cut to 5. First a McGuire 3 in transition to put it back to 8. Lead down to 5 again Hosley rebounds and a quick outlet and pass to Shawn Taylor for a dunk lead back to 7. Ten minutes to go, lead down to 6 and Javance Coleman finally buries a three and that would be as close as the Jays would get.

All in all, a good and very important win at home. I still do have my worries and there are things I still have questions about. The defensive intensity must remain as it was on Sat, but the perimeter defense must pick up because leaving McGuire in the paint to block shots isnt a good game plan normally. He will pick up fouls early and he cannot be on the bench with foul issues against Stanford. The amount of open shots Creighton had was unacceptable also, if they shoot 33% from three on Sat. we have a whole different game. Can the Dogs play on the road is a question that will constanly plague me. Will PG Kevin Bell limit his outside shots to around 4-6 from outside the paint? Will SG Javance Coleman find his touch or is the injured hand that no one seems to talk about a much larger issue than anyone lets on? Will the team look to Hosley more? He drops 30 one night and leads the team, next game he doesnt see the ball much and takes a role as 5th option on the court. If Bell and Coleman cut out the forced and defended shot attempts and make the extra passes, maybe Hosley gets more into the flow offensively. This team is an extra pass away from being lethal offensively. They settle too much and do not value their possesions when things are going well.

Big game Tuesday against Stanford at the Save Mart Center, the crowd should be a larger turnout than Saturday and should be louder since Dogfans always love to show up against teams from the PAC-10. Since the California schools of the PAC-10 look down on the backwards, white-trash, 4th rate University, and uneducated Central Valley, it always makes for a good time when they finally meet on the court or on the field. Lastly, lets look for the former San Joaqun Memorial stars the 7 ft. Lopez twins to have a disheartening homecomeing to Fresno!

Box Score

ESPN Recap

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Boston And Their "National Treasure"

Congrats to all Red Sox fans out there. You have just signed one of the most talented pitchers of all time. They call him "MATSUZAKA", or "Dice-K," don't those names just give you the chills when you say them? I have chills going down my spine right now. Look at the picture for a moment, take in his huge frame, his confident stroll, and please ask yourself, if he is worth over $100million, what the hell am I worth?

WOW! Well all I have to say is what the hell is wrong with the ownership in Boston. You spend 51 million(DOLLARS, NOT YEN!) to talk to someone who cant speak english (well maybe a little english) and his agent "Man of the year Scott the terminator Boras." Come on now, you have Jason Schmidt, Ted Lilly, and even Gagne on the market. If you sign Schmidt to 3 years 47 million, Lilly 4 years 40 mil and Gagne 1 year 6 mil thats 93 million dollars you get three picthers for the price of one.

What I dont understand is how an unproven Japanese pitcher is worth 103 mil? I know he only signed for 52 over six years but dont forget to add the 51 mil they spent to chat with him over cookies and milk, tea and crumpets, or whatever it is they had as refreshments, maybe fortune cookies? Then Epstein flies in the private jet to Newport Beach of all places, to beg Matsuzaka to sign with the Sox. Perfect place to showcase what the wonderful city of Boston has to offer Dice-K. Hopefully the rug burn wasnt too bad.

Dice-Ks former team in Japan ended up as the real winner here, as they are now able to pay their entire rosters contracts for the next 3 seasons thanks to the Boston Red Sox. With the kind of money these MLB teams are able to throw around and they could have the opportunity to own a team in Japan, they could rule the league. 150 million in Japan could field one heck of a team. Sadly, they probably wouldnt end up champions in the Far East even with the bloated payroll. I believe that baseball is a disaster and disappointment to all of mankind. Well done Chowds, youve done it again.

Photo Courtesy of ESPN.

Fresno St. Basketball

I figured it was about time to throw a little update, seeing as we are now slightly into the season. MB has been to every home this year, I have been to 2 of them, and I believe JK has been to 2, I was there to enjoy his awesome presence for one such occasion.

The Bulldogs record right now is a disappointing 8 and 1. How can you be disappointed with only one loss you ask?

Their one loss comes to UCSB in SB, a team they were favored to beat by about 13 points, and it was by an astounding 28 points. 70 - 42. They had 17 turnovers, and shot 28% from the field. 5-27 from 3 point. Played with no heart, and no desire.

Their schedule thus far has been cake. A little too cake, as they are beginning to form bad habits. They barely beat an average Oregon St. team on the road (a game that we listened to on XM on the way to Santa Monica), then followed the atrocious loss at UCSB, and then played Montana St. for the 2nd time this year, a team they beat 80 - 41 their first meeting, they beat 82 - 77 in OT, a game where Quinton Hosley saved the Dogs by pouring in 30.

The question is, are this UCSB loss and Montana St. near loss an early season anamoly, or because both of these games were on the road, can Fresno St. just not play on the road? If they are going to have road troubles this season, it doesn't look like this team will be going anywhere. With the players they have, the tournament is definately not out of the question. But it hasn't been all bad, they were rebounding with the teams they had been playing recently. A big change, as usually they are pretty passive on the glass.

Hopefully they can work through their recent inability to hit a jumper with any consistency, and play with some intensity on both sides of the ball. With Creighton in 2 days, followed by Stanford, and Cal Poly all at home, they can pick up their game. Creighton will be a tough test, they have been playing extremely tough as of late, even with 2 early losses, behind Nate Funk and Anthony Tolliver.

Two Not So Distant- Future Games

Winning Eleven Pro Evolution Soccer 2007 and apparently UEFA Champions League are coming out for XB360. I cannot find one bit of information regarding UEFA, but Winning Eleven is coming in February and because of the fact that Winning Eleven is regarded as the best Soccer franchise available out there, I think this game should be a little less disappointing than FIFA 07. HOPEFULLY.

Other than that, and Virtua Tennis, I am really not looking forward to ANY game, on ANY system.
P.S. The Wii is now at my girlfriends house, because I thought it sucked. She, on the other hand, likes it, so perhaps Nintendo is smarter than all of us, they are bringing everybody back to gaming. Maybe if they had some better games I would give it more of a chance.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Whats Up
I just wanted to thank JB and MB for letting me join there amazing group of people. Even though there is only two of them. Thanks jk

40 and OVER

The Giant Outfields Favorite Brunch Hangout

Thursday, December 07, 2006

LAIAS Pics from the 1.3 MP Motorola Q(subpar)

We have 2 pictures of the Audi R8 on top(in the first pic we see the RS4 in the background...sorta), the Saab Aero-X(which is apparently ready for production, or so one man was telling his son. he swore it was going to production, ignoring the fact that it has been said numerous times it would not), and some car in the background of a chick who was willing to pose for guys who were not afraid to ask. I bet she'
Aftermarket Ford Edge, they wouldn't even put up a stock one.
Another Lotus Chick pic
front nose of the R8
maserati quattraporte x2 + maserati le mans car
hello nitro chick..... please stop moving so I can get a better picture?
challenger, retro is back.... no wait retro is on its way out
more lotus, yes the cars this time
camaro concept
camaro concept
aston martin vantage

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Measured Buildup Field Trips to LAIAS

Can you say drab? Try 7 hours of it.
Well, the two humble writers of this illustrious blog smashed both of their piggy-banks and were able to put enough coinage together to make a little weekend road trip, one that proved to be better than advertised, but not quite what had been hoped. We ventured from the picturesque flatlands of the great San Joaquin Valley over the hill to the Metropolis that is Los Angeles. We made the trip in the Measured Buildup offical car which is an ordeal in itself with its clunky rear end and dreadfully drab interior. We will let you in to tell you that not only is the official car a domestic piece of iron, it also happens to be a Cadillac of Art and Science fame.

Well the show had a $10 Dollar entry fee which both me an JB had to panhandle by the Staples Center for all morning until we could collect the twenty to gain admission, although we couldnt buy programs which was a travesty in itself. Anyways we attended on Sunday Dec. 3rd which was the third day of the show. First things first was some exotics from a short movie coming out in February that were on display, one of which had been involved in a pretty harsh crash. It was there on the floor of the show in its semi-mangled glory. Took a quick gander at the cars, watched the advertisement for the movie and we were on our way to the West hall of the show containing Ford Motor Company products in all of their greatness along with Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Mercedes/Maybach.

I will describe Ford with a couple of words:repetition and uninspiring. They took a good approach to flooring their cars which was put a multitude of the same cars across the floor across the brands. Multiple Ford 500s, Lincoln MKZs, and Mercury Milans. None of these cars are particularly interesting, I do think the Lincoln has a decent view from the side, just dont look at the grill or the tailights or you may get the same response I had, an upset stomach. I was also surprised at just how much fender-gap the Mustang GT500 had. It had to be 3.5 inches at least. In this day in age I would think that 2-2.5 inches would be the max. It baffled me a bit, but most know I am not a big Mustang guy being that I have owned both a 94 Z28 and Y2K SS. The GT500 is a nice car though. The Mazda Nagare concept was there, it is a rather odd looking thing that I cant describe, but they are supposed to be using styling cues from it on new models. It had a ripple effect going down its side that was pretty cool methinks, but I dont see how it fits into production vehicles.

Near Mercury and their atrocious lineup was Suzuki, sadly they did not bring any sportbikes. Therefore, we did not visit for long. Honda was next to Suzuki, with a special variant of the FCX fuel cell car. They also had the Remix concept, and otherwise, former truck on van chassis of the year, the awesome(for a woman who wants a truck) Ridgeline, and the usual suspects the civic, accord, and hybrid variants.

The Lexus section was boring because Lexus designed cars are a direct result of Toyota, the master of nothing designs. If the soon to be seen at Detroit IS500F was at the show it would have been a point of excitement because I am interested to see how the Lexus performance variant is taken and how agressive it looks. Dont get me wrong I like the IS350 but the cars that Lexus throws out there dont distinguish themselves enough for me to really take a liking to them.

On Mercedes-Benz/Maybach where they had a multitude of cars, most of which arent that special, but of note for me was the S63 AMG and CL63 AMG. Of those two im partial to the SL63 which sported an interior more to my liking. I also like the LED backlighting, it added a nice touch to an already well though out interior design. Of the S550 and the CLS500, one has to lean towards the CLS for the simple fact that the sweeping greenhouse lends itself to the CLS design, and also style points to it for the front end design along with its lighting layout. The S550 and its Maybach roots may be a positive direction in the eyes of some enthusiasts, but the Measured Buildup crew of two are not takers on the styling direction much at all. The Maybachs are worth looking at because how often do you get to see them when you live in the flatlands like us backwards hicks. After the West hall, we headed to the Concourse hall to check out some high class offerings of only one we could ever be in the market for, Lotus.

Ferrari had the new 612 Scaglietti in attendance, along with 360 and a few other cars. Bentley was next to them(didn't pay much attention, but when we turned off of Wilshire to our sister/brother in laws place, there was a Continental GT there on the side, apparently using his navigation for the first time). Lambo was next to them, and we did not really look at them much... Gallardo, Murcielago, again, the usual suspects, nothing we haven't seen there. The Bugatti Veyron, in all of its 1000hp glory, was there. Spyker was there with the C8, and a weird looking SUV type offering, which I greatly hope was a concept. Lotus was last in the Concourse Hall, the one we truly looked forward to seeing. They had a few Elise, a few Exige, and they also brought the Lotus girl, who was definately photogenic. I didn't know they had Lotus, but everyone was quite grateful! The Lotus lineup looks awesome, they had about 8 cars, in all the colors of the rainbow, baby blue, silver, yellow, orange, and others. They are cool little cars.

Moving onto the larger South Hall, we knew there was a little to look forward to. I was looking forward to Audi, their latest generation of cars has really grown on me. And BMW was also there to make a strong showing, as always. As we entered the Hall, we immediately set eyes on the STS V8 they had there, while a formidable car, it is 3 years too late. Time for a redesign Cadi-guys or you will be smoked again by the Asians and Germans as usual. I hopped in for a second to investigate the latest Nav screen offering from Cadillac, played with the XM, could not get it to play XM 48 Squizz, and left. We went and looked at the V-Series lineup, and laughed at the people who thought they were nice even though the CTS-V is on its 4th year(we like to bash what we can have, or the "horse" we rode in on too, not just what we can't have). The color choice for the XLR was interesting to say the least, it may have ruined it actually, but Pac-Man would have loved it. They had at least 4 Escalades, surrounded by people. They should be, they are best in their class in pretty much every aspect, no matter what toyota reports says. Oops I meant to say consumer reports, a faux paux or no?

Next door was Saturn, about the only lineup GM has to offer with product that can compete with its foreign competitors. The Aura was there, the Green line Aura made its debut, as did the Outlook, and the Vue. The icing on the cake was the Sky Redline(Thats a Saturn?), a car MB would own right now had he not second guessed a purchase of a 2-seater convertible. Let me be the first to say, good choice. Then we headed to Pontiac, for some ungodly reason. Buick was next door, and both were desolate because they took the anti FoMoCo approach. That was the approach where you put very few of each model on the floor and leave plenty of empty space. FoMoCo just packed as many cars in as they could to appear as though there was more people and product. I dont blame the folks for not clammoring to be near Buick and Pontiac, there was only about 4 reasons to visit the two. If any 2 divisions needed a time machine to get new product, it is these. Buick at the very least, was showing the Production Enclave, and Pontiac has the Solstice, and GXP variant as well. We went to look at an important car next, the Camaro.

Chevrolet had the Corvette, the new tahoe, Cobalt a bunch of other throw away cars(who wants to talk about volume cars?). The Camaro was swarmed, I could barely see it from 50 ft away there was so many people around. By the way, do something about the interior Chevrolet. You want this car to appeal to the younger crowd so you dont go 100% retro exterior ala Challenger. Then you go ahead with the retro interior. I think that is an error in judgement myself but I will withhold full damnation of it until I set in a production version down the road. That led us to Dodge/Chrysler. With enough new product to make your head spin. We stopped at the Nitro, probably one of the best decisions we had made. Dodge did a hell of a job casting their women to speak about their cars on the turntables, they were the hands down winner if I had to give out a trophy, not flashy or trashy, purely elegant and tasteful like a well crafted Syrah. To say it in a more simple way, the Nitro girl was hot. She had a timeless look about her, piercing eyes, a perfectly proportioned body, a well chosen attire, the necessary height, a great public speaker, and she had that "it" that people talk about. She was the kind of woman that Iam sure would just love to accompany me in my luxury sled back to the flatlands to meet mom and dad, at least dad would be thrilled, right? Best looking gal at the show. Next we went to the Challenger, retro "muscle." Retro is not so good. More on that in a second.

We finally had made our way to Audi. The have a nice lineup of cars, but Measured Buildup thinks these cars are priced 20% too high for the common folk. The RS4 is a particularly nice sedan, but drop the price and they may hit a homerun, its only a 2-bagger for now. I also like the S8 which has its Lamborghini soucred V-10 under the hood. Both cars had nice stances and very well put together interiors, interiors much too nice for anyone to actually sit in because lets face it these cars are too upscale for 98.5% of those attending the show. Now comes a truly bright spot and pleasant surprise in the show. Thats right the Audi R8, a truly amazing car when seen in its entirety in person. I had seen photos online and a magazine spread too, but this car in person was without a doubt a winner. The car is smaller in person than pictures seem, and the overrall view of it is stunning. The rear end ties in very nicely, and everything seems to flow together and make a truly formidable package. If this car would start at 75-85K instead of 95-105K it would be a wise decision by Audi. They seem to take the Caterpillar (Industrial machinery for those of you who arent following) approach to pricing their cars, which is build something equal or slightly better than your competitors but price it no less than 10% higher than them. Well played Audi, indeed youve done it again. One can only think back to the stunning Cadillac Cien concept, which was also a mid-engine car, with nearly the exact same proportions. It has to be JB's favorite concept car of all time, and its a shame such a beautiful car could not make it to the showroom. Perhaps some day they will have something similar to it, as the general is always known for having equal to better performance, with a cheaper price tag.

Now Infiniti, which although having a formidable lineup, does not have what I would call an eye catching lineup. When you place magazine ads of the G35 sedan comparing it to a boat, it cant be a good thing to describe appearance. Predictable, boring, uninspiring are some things that come to mind. I like the M35 and 45 too, but they arent jaw-droppers, they are well thought out machines though. The new G35 sedan was there in all of its Infini-glory, or was that the previous one, I could hardly tell. Infiniti took the if it aint broke dont fix it approach with the G35 and it isnt the worst decision ever, I would have liked to see something that actually made me look again, because look again I did not. Iam interested in seeing the next G35 coupe though, now I would have been a bit more excited to be in the awe-inspiring Infiniti space if that had been the case. How about a visit to Acura, nope it just wasnt worth the time or effort for more than just a walk through. By the way, the G35 sedan has all the makings of a great car with great exterior design for the masses, a solid chassis, a well designed and executed powertrain that has the muscle to push the G, yet the refinement a luxury sedan demands, followed by a perfectly laid out interior design with top notch fit and finish second to none. Although the G35 sedan reaches the pinnacle of luxury sedans, we here at Measured Buildup feel that it falls just the slightest bit short in its attempts to pass the BMW 3-series as the torch bearer in this competitive segment where only one true leader and innovator can rest. That was my little play on Magazine-speak whenever the 3-series is involved in any type of test in every automotive publication.

On to the BMW showing, which is a nice stable as usual despite Chris Bangle's best efforts to ruin the styling or so we are told. The new X5 was debuted at LA and no one seemed to care too much when we were around it, nice vehicle but nothing to get too excited about. The 335i was there in the coupe form, a car I have quite an affection for I must add. The exterior design is enough to keep you surveying its lines, I have it ranked high on my list in that department, and the interior layout is second to none which is to be expected from BMW. Couple that with its all new all-aluminum V6 with bi-turbos and you have yourself a heck of a package. The 330i sedan holds its own as well and is the standard in its segment as I layed out prior in my Infiniti comparison. The affordable M5 was obviously there in all of its glory, but you know what that car is all about, as well as the M-coupe which although an improvement just does not do it for me. Never been too big on the layout and overrall design cues the car takes and this one may be less egregious, it still isnt right to me. Let us not forget the stunning 2002 325 that was in attendance to show off how awesome of a car you can get when you go through certified BMW pre-owned. Iam just here to say that made absolutely no sense to have a 5 year old car in the building that already has been redesigned even if it was to show off the pre-owned greatness that is BMW. No one else did, but the Bavarians seemed to pull this one off in stunning fashion. What can I say, they do a great job there, and they also have the best wheel options on the market today too. I give them many points for the size and style options that they provide. Kudos BMW. I guess I should have some words about Mini here but guess what, I wont.

We then made a turn and went to see the GM company nobody knows about which is the Swedish darling known as Saab. They had the the amazing 9-2x sportcombi on display along with 9-3 and 9-5 Aeros. The Aero name is uber-cool and may be the only connection we can find to the "Born from Jets" commercials we see. A lot of marketing put into a car company that no one buys nor seems willing to buy. The dealer network isnt there, the parts arent available, and the designs are growing tired. Maybe it is time to send the Jets on a one way mission to Europe to stay where the elitists of the EU respect a car the Americans find a joke while they thumb there noses at the Premiership and get fatter. The 9-7x SUV was there too but no one noticed, but the Aero-x concept was the one reason people came to Saab. It is a very nice concept showing off the Swedish jet heritage we all are looking for in our next purchases. Seriously, they need to utilize some of this more bold styling on an 9-3 redesign. Anyways, how do the 9-3 and 9-5 Aero drivers like there AC vents because I hate mine, you can never quite get them on you. Oh you wouldnt know that because no one drives Saabs in this wrongheaded country.

Not to be left out was the great turnaround story know as Nissan. It aint gonna happen folks, you cant turn something around without an actual turn, we all know Ghosn is a turnaround Jesus but where oh where is this product to grow with guys. Nothing new here where is the redesigned 350Z? If the other Nissan cars are any indication, there isnt much to look forward to. Look at the G35, that didnt show much in its redesign now did it. We cant overlook the Murano, oh what an absolutely brilliantly designed an absolutely elegant SUV. Not that I know anyone that drives one that gave me and JB free lodging in Santa Monica, allowing us to afford the trip on the contents of a center console in a Chevy Colorado, or did we break our piggy-banks? Oh well we need all the help we can get, we like SOME domestic cars. Scary, huh? What about Mitsubishi Motors? Well we didnt quite make there to see the Dodge, errr I mean Mitsubishi Raider. Oh, you cant discount the Eclipse, or the Eskips as we call them, but we found a way to discount this entire car company in one brisk walk around it. Im sure they will dig there way out of financial ruin though, right? What a glorious company though, we mustnt judge, its not our place, we arent a real magazine so we have no right.

All in all a good showing across the board and since the LA show is gaining some stature in the show ranks, maybe there will be a growing list of debuts next year. I would also like to tell GM to get their stuff together because walking around Buick and Pontiac made me want to cry and I also felt lost, lonely, and scared when I wasnt standing next to either the Solstice or the Enclave. You had better get out a top notch product and that means bold designs that grab attention and are unique in a positive way, powerful, fuel efficient motors with Displacement on Demand and Direct Injection that are backed by 6 speed automatic transmissions. Dont forget about an interior layout that makes sense, has features, is ergonomic, and has quality materials with a high level of fit and finish. Lastly, skip the rebates and price these things competitively and people will come. Quality product priced right will sell, because it becomes a brand that has a reputation. Step it up at the dealer level too, demand excellence across the board. Cadillac dealers must be more upscale to carry weight against the other luxury brands. Many Cadillac dealers across the nation are in need of an overhaul, with better product finally here along with respect being gained, the next knock is going to be how the Cadillac dealers cant stand toe to toe with the BMW and Mercedes dealers. Do not let this happen because the time is now more than ever before. The margins are thin and mistakes are too costly at this point. Do not go the Ford route, it will sadden Measured Buildup greatly.