Things I'm not Proud of

By J.G. Pasterjak
Jun 14, 2018 | Posted in Columns | From the May 2017 issue | Never miss an article

Like stories like this? You’ll see every article as soon as it’s published by reading the print edition of Grassroots Motorsports. Subscribe now.

In my last column, I gave you a list of things you could do when you finally crawl out of your parents’ basement and stop ranting on social media. Many of them involved using your hands to make things, or interacting with other people.

Well, sorry. Reboot your computer and log back in. I take it all back.

Okay, only part of it. I still want you to find some sort of fulfillment in the analog world, but when you do choose to fire up the ol’ ‘putin’ machine, please point it toward our new live broadcasts on our Facebook page.

Yes, that’s right, live broadcasts. Using technology thousands of years more advanced than NASA used to fake the Apollo moon landings (Armstrong and Aldrin actually landed in a Kroger parking lot in Lenexa, Kansas), we beam a behind-the-scenes look at our world to you every Wednesday.

“Why are you doing this?” is a question I hear a lot in both my professional and personal life, but in the case of our live shows, the answer is a lot more straightforward and contains fewer swears. Though the look and feel of the live shows are still evolving–and will likely continue to evolve for months or years as we grow with the ever-changing technology–the real driving force behind the show is furthering our belief in community and authenticity.

This past weekend I was in Fort Myers, Florida, for the season kickoff of the SCCA ProSolo series. As typically happens at events, I got the chance to meet a few longtime readers who have seen our growth through the years. What keeps them coming back–for the most part–is our ability to “keep it real.” Readers get a sense of authenticity not only from the things we communicate, but the way we communicate them.

My theory? It comes from the fact that our staff is largely made up of people who were car folk before they were magazine folk. Naturally, through three and a half decades of being in the magazine business, we’ve had to train ourselves in the ways of successfully operating a magazine, and we’ve gotten to the point where we’re pretty darn good at that, too. But that was born of necessity, not passion. The passion is for the product, not the process.

So it’s that passion you’ll hopefully see in the live shows. I’ll freely admit they’re a little “raw,” but we like it that way. We could follow a formula and do a three-act, digest-style show with commercial breaks at 11:00 and 22:00 and all that crap, but that would be sooooo boring.

Instead, we’re going the full authentic route. Our live shows are essentially glorified security-camera footage of us doing what we do. Sure, I “host” things a little bit to keep the action flowing in some sort of cohesive narrative. But what you’re getting is a pretty realistic look at how we do work in our shops–work we later write about doing.

As such, I can’t promise that the work you see us doing during these shows will always be best practices. But that’s part of the learning process, isn’t it? I’ll even admit that I’ve started a job with little idea of how to finish it, but interacting with viewers during a broadcast pointed me in the right direction. Maybe I’m biased, but that’s compelling TV.

Oh, and did I mention it was interactive? That’s right. Live, interactive video broadcasts where you can chime in with helpful suggestions, pithy commentary or dumb jokes. Just remember that those chat logs are saved forever. Forever.

At the moment, we’re live on Facebook every Wednesday, alternating daytime and evening shows each week. When the technology cooperates, these shows are also simulcast to our message board; afterward, look for them on our YouTube channel as well. We’re also broadcasting live at other times during the week: when we’re at events or doing something else cool that we think everyone should know about.

It’s your chance to log on and be part of our community in real time. We hope you’ll take advantage and join us before we get super famous and the action figures and lunchboxes come out. That way, you can say you knew us when we were still cool.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more articles.
View comments on the GRM forums
DjGreggieP Reader
6/14/18 11:27 a.m.

If they are aspiration figures then you are still cool.

parker Reader
6/14/18 11:42 a.m.

"Started a job with little idea how to finish it" pretty much sums up my life history.


grover GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/14/18 11:48 a.m.

I've been involved in creating tv shows...I think you're doing great- keep up the good work. 


JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/14/18 2:01 p.m.

Kind of interesting reading this year-old column and seeing how the actual show has evolved since then. I think we're sticking pretty close to this ethos while bringing enough polish to it that it's not painful to watch. 

PT_SHO New Reader
6/14/18 11:58 p.m.

J.G., the shows are fun.  (I left you a comment on YT about how the last two archived ones have unsync'ed sound.)  And I was stunned to see how well the burn-it-out method works.

But you're barely better than a large proportion of the 'Hey, Watch This! I Gotta Garage and a Video Camera' shows in one area.  Safety.  Where I worked, if you were torching ANYTHING in shorts and open toed shoes (lead photo for this story) you might get away without being fired the first time, once only.  And holding the part you're torching with nylon and pleather work gloves?  Same.  Please try to at least set a non-moronic example for safety issues.

te72 Reader
6/15/18 1:20 a.m.

In reply to PT_SHO :

I enjoy the shows when I catch them, often months later, on youtube.


I agree with the sentiment above though. I know Florida is hot guys, I do. I'm practically a wookie, long hair, full beard, with the hairy arms and legs to match. However, any time fire is involved, I bust out the welding gloves, jacket, steel toed boots (you'd be surprised how efficiently slag can burn through or find its way into looser shoes...), and the welding helmet. A fire extinguisher is located within quick reach, as well as other precautions. Allow me to drive the point home: a job-well-done beer is a lot better from the comfort of your favorite porch chair than from a hospital waiting room.

StuntmanMike New Reader
6/15/18 7:34 a.m.

From the title and the picture, I thought this was going to be a safety article, and judging by some comments, others thought the same! Seriously though, I'm not one to bash for safety because I only do things out of learning the hard way. "Sunburn" from welding excessively wearing shorts and short sleeves when even jeans and coveralls get burned thru quickly with molten hot magma, and repeatedly smashing my feet from wearing flip flops doing major work in the garage. So I'm not judging, just surprised you guys haven't been forced into more safety too.

Anyways, what I really wanted to say is that I love the rough format. It feels like we are all hanging out in the garage working together, reminding me of the all night garage sessions with friends when I could go to work with no sleep and somehow do a satisfactory job. Something I don't get much of anymore since we all have families and somewhat more professional jobs that oddly expect something for their salary. So keep up the great work and don't change a thing! Except maybe put on some jeans and boots, we don't want y'all out of commission and not making great videos and articles!  

Also loved the "why are you doing this?" comment. I don't hear it much because most people I know are too nice, but I'm sure neighbors and friends think it often.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
6/15/18 8:08 a.m.

It has been fun watching the show evolve since the beginning. Along with adding a few bad jokes to the comment feed.  

Every now and then it can make me think, "maybe social media isn't all bad..."

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/15/18 8:27 a.m.

If I'm doing something that isn't best safety practices, I feel l ike I at least mention that safety could be tighter. But, yeah, I seem to mention that a lot. I'm actually working on a shop safety show which will be as much for me as it is for you. 

parker Reader
6/15/18 5:50 p.m.

At least give him some credit for wearing a gas mask... 

te72 Reader
6/16/18 1:34 a.m.

In reply to JG Pasterjak :

We just care about ya bud, that's all the motivation we need to give ya a hard time about being safe. =)


Stuntman Mike said it well, about the "hanging out in the garage" feel of the show. Most of my friends are entirely too busy with families and other interests and obligations to hang out anymore, so I can relate!

Our Preferred Partners