Friday, 12 February 2016

10:50 – The Trooper is back in the garage. Lynn at B&T Tire put it on the analyzer yesterday to find out why the check-engine light had come on. As he suspected, it was a problem with the EGR system, specifically an in-line vacuum valve. Lynn said the bad news was that that part was no longer available new and he doubted he’d be able to get even a used one from a junk yard. The good news is that the truck runs fine with the defective valve. If anything, it may actually be running better. I’ve been keeping track of gas mileage on our trips to Winston-Salem and back, and I’ve been getting 17.5 to 18.5 MPG, even running heavily loaded up and down the mountain. That’s better mileage than I used to get driving on Interstates down in the flatlands.

The real shocker was the bill for the check. In addition to running the analyzer, I had Lynn do a once-over of all the fluids, belts, tire pressures, etc. The bill totaled $58.43. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten away paying so little on any visit to a mechanic, other than for a simple oil change. One thing’s sure. When we need automotive service, I know where we’ll take the vehicle.

The bad news is that if something goes seriously wrong with the Trooper, we may have to have it towed off and junked because parts are almost impossible to come by, even from a junkyard. Isuzu didn’t sell all that many Troopers, and most of those long ago went to the crushers. So I think we’ll probably trade this Trooper while it still runs. I told Barbara last night that what I’d really like to have is a military-surplus HMMWV, but she said NFW was she driving a Humvee. I told her that some of the surplus Humvees come complete with machine-gun mounts and armored body panels, but that didn’t seem to sway her. She did finally agree that a pickup rather than an SUV would be acceptable, so I guess I’ll end up with a used 4X4 pickup, probably a Ford F150 or the Chevy equivalent.


93 thoughts on “Friday, 12 February 2016”

  1. If you’re going the pickup route, think long & hard about whether you want a car that looks like a truck (the F150 & C/K 1500 Silverado) or a truck that’s built like a truck. Sadly, that’s what the half-ton has come to.

    Not that the new F150 is bad – 700 lbs in weight savings due to aluminum is not such a bad thing. But they’ve made them drive like cars because they can sell more that way. They’ve given up some of the toughness that made trucks so great. They do ride & handle well, though.

    I think I’m biased – I want a TRUCK. But even with that bias, the half-ton pickups are all pretty good nowadays. I would rather have my wife drive any of the half-tons over any car on the road today.

  2. We had a ’96 Dodge Ram V8 4WD pickup truck but finally had to give it up due to major rust issues underneath, the doors, the rocker panels, etc. Would have taken a few thousand to fix all that. I’ll be keeping an eye out for another older pickup truck that does not have all the computer gear in it and no rust; not concerned yet about which manufacturer.

    Pahtly sunny today and temps dropping to below zero at night. House cleaning ops today and tomorrow and some reorganization of stuff. Mrs. OFD is flying back from SF at O-Dark-Thirty tomorrow and gets back up here either tomorrow night or Sunday, if she’s totally exhausted after said flight. Hasn’t been sleeping well, thanks to smog, traffic noise, kidz and everybody up every day at 05:30, etc. A week to recover and then back down to Manchester, NH for a week, which isn’t too bad, ’cause she’ll be staying with my youngest brother and his wife again at their place just south of the NH state line.

    Said brother is a prostate cancer survivor but now has heart issues; this is a guy who avoids processed foods, mostly vegan, and has jogged and exercised and never smoked or drank, etc., etc. And two other siblings are cancer survivors but have other serious issues, too. OFD has been simply brutal to himself over half a century and dodged the Grim Reaper countless times and all I have currently is borderline high BP and a couple of really minor issues. I’m sure things will get a lot worse before I finally check out, though.

    I hope my predictions are all wrong but man, I don’t see anyone getting smarter about anything or doing what is necessary to save this country. I fear it’s gonna be too little, too late.

  3. WRT leading a so-called healthy life: more and more studies are coming out and the real truth is all the healthy fad stuff is just that a fad, so stuff it. Man is an omnivore, deal with it and my lack of PC genderality. Time and time again it has been shown that a varied diet provides the balance we need. Moderation is also key and so is regular activity. Our ancestors did not spend time running, except when being chased by a Saber-Toothed Tiger. We men spent our days walking for the hunt, eating what nature provided along the way. The women spent their days tending the kids, fixing the tent, gathering firewood, and also “grazing” on what nature provided until the men came home with the meat.

    The Paleo Diet started out okay but is now degrading into a fad and getting away from the basics. Yes, leave it to man to take a good thing and screw it up.

    Did I meet my micro-aggression quota for the day yet? 😉

  4. I’m hoping to find something under $20k but I fear it will probably be more in line with the prices in TX. And if it’s lived most of its life here in the Northeast, rust is a very good probability. I see quite a few brand-spanking-new big-ass pickup trucks up here sometimes and they must cost a mint, but they’re loaded with all the computer chips and electronics, too.

  5. “Did I meet my micro-aggression quota for the day yet?”

    Yeah, probably; every time I see your name pop up, it’s a trigger thing that makes me scurry around looking for a safe space. Such hurtful words! I suggest you contact your local college or university humanities or social science department immediately for some helpful tips on controlling your tendency to hate speech.

  6. I see quite a few brand-spanking-new big-ass pickup trucks up here sometimes and they must cost a mint, but they’re loaded with all the computer chips and electronics, too.

    A new pickup can cost north of $45-50k. My brother’s minivan finally died and he’s been looking for a replacement. If he buys a truck or SUV, he can get the shows he works on to pay him a per diem for usage. But then he gets sucky gas milage for personal use.

  7. @OFD, I refuse to be assimilated by the Borg.

    IMHO resistance is not futile.

    Edit: For those who may not understand my avatar, it is not a nice kitty, it is the Eye of the Tiger.

  8. @dadcooks,

    I agree. Eat what you want. Eat a variety. Eat things that you recognize on the plate. Eat as close to primary sources as possible (not distance, composition.)

    Thru most of history, mankind struggled to get enough to eat. Most regions and cultures have a single staple that make up the majority of calories for most people, supplemented by whatever was available in season.

    Funny correlation too between ease of access to subsistence levels of food and social development. Places where it was tough developed cities, government, tech, farming, etc. Places where it was easy, not so much. Long cold winter? Better get good at planning and storing and develop self control so you don’t eat everything at once. Food literally grows on trees? Well… we’ll get busy manana.

    nick

  9. Not that the new F150 is bad – 700 lbs in weight savings

    I have a fairly new F-150 (purchased new), 2014 model before the aluminum parts. I personally did not want to lose the 700 pounds. I pull a heavy boat, about 6,000 pounds with trailer, and in my towing experience weight in the tow vehicle is your friend. I don’t want the trailer pushing me around.

    My truck does indeed ride nice. But it also tows quite nicely. My version is towing equipped with transmission cooler, oil cooler, inter cooler (for the turbo), switch to change shift points to account for towing.

    I personally would skip 4WD. There is added expense, maintenance cost and expensive to repair. Rarely needed unless you drive on back roads. Don’t even consider going in snow. The other idiots are the problem. If it is difficult to go, it will be just as difficult to stop and all vehicles have 4 wheel brakes. If the roads are bad enough to require 4WD I would just as soon stay off the roads. Especially in the south.

    One thing I can advise, get the crew cab so you have a full seat in the back. It will reduce the length of the cargo bed by a couple of feet. You can get a longer version with a full size bed and crew cab but good luck parking such a beast.

  10. A new pickup can cost north of $45-50k

    Indeed. My version was $54K without taxes. Platinum edition with crewcab, all the extras. Leather seats, heated and cooled, climate control, moon roof, sliding rear, folding and heated mirrors, auto dimming, GPS, rear view camera, HID lights, heated rear seats, power windows and locks, trailer towing package, 8 way power seats, power tilt and extend steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, premium sound system, retractable running boards, and mood lighting.

    But then he gets sucky gas milage for personal use

    I get 20 mpg driving back and forth to work. I have the Ecoboost V6. Surprisingly good at towing with more power than my prior ’99 F-15 with the 4.6L V8.

  11. “Long cold winter? Better get good at planning and storing and develop self control so you don’t eat everything at once.”

    i.e., New England, northern Europe, etc.

    “Rarely needed unless you drive on back roads. Don’t even consider going in snow.”

    Not an option here, usually. And a LOT of unpaved roads, still, in this year Anno Domini MMXVI. Plus Mud Season.

    “…and mood lighting.”

    Oh my goodness.

    I hope you have solid theft protection on that bad boy, hermano.

  12. I hope you have solid theft protection on that bad boy, hermano.

    Security keys. Vehicle won’t start unless the proper key is used. Can’t stop someone from towing the vehicle away which insurance would cover.

    “…and mood lighting.”

    And you can change the color of the lighting which exists in the floor (front and back) and the cup holders.

    Not an option here, usually.

    I was speaking from a southern perspective. If I lived up north where snow is common I would still get a 2WD drive pickup truck. For getting around I would get a Jeep with a winch. Smaller vehicle, higher ground clearance around the body panels. I ain’t gonna risk a 50K plus vehicle on some yahoo who thinks he can drive as fast on snow as dry roads because he has 4wd which has zero benefit for stopping. Not being able to move is not going to cause damage, not being able to stop is when the damage occurs.

  13. “For getting around I would get a Jeep with a winch. Smaller vehicle, higher ground clearance around the body panels.”

    I’ll look into that, too; we once had a Range Rover and we LOVED it, but after we sank $6k into it our son flipped it on black ice and the tow company wrecked it hauling it out of the ditch and the insurance company “totaled” it.

    “I ain’t gonna risk a 50K plus vehicle on some yahoo who thinks he can drive as fast on snow as dry roads because he has 4wd which has zero benefit for stopping. Not being able to move is not going to cause damage, not being able to stop is when the damage occurs.”

    Good points; we certainly have our share and then some of ignorant and aggressive yahoos up here.

    “And you can change the color of the lighting which exists in the floor (front and back) and the cup holders.”

    O stop my pounding haht!

  14. “Why Does Trump Terrify People?”
    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/139119223061/why-does-trump-terrify-people

    “Then there’s the question of who has their finger on the button for the nuclear arsenal. Here Trump has a long history of opposing sketchy wars. At the same time – like Reagan – he wants to project maximum force to deter others from starting something. And we can see from Trump’s recent behavior that he can turn off the “bad boy” act any time he wants. He is completely honest about playing the clown for the primaries, in order to win. We have never seen a candidate this transparent. “

  15. Good points; we certainly have our share and then some of ignorant and aggressive yahoos up here.

    That covers most of the yay-hoos in this area. A couple of years ago I was going to work, four lane divided highway, I was driving slower than normal in the right lane, snow on the road, taking my time, due diligence, etc. Some dipwad in a 4WD truck goes sailing past me in the left lane. About 4 miles later I see the same vehicle on it’s side in the median with the yay-hoo standing outside his vehicle scratching his head.

    O stop my pounding haht!

    I would also tell you about the dual USB ports, three 12V power outlets and 120V power outlet but you might have a stroke.

  16. If you’re going the pickup route, think long & hard about whether you want a car that looks like a truck (the F150 & C/K 1500 Silverado) or a truck that’s built like a truck. Sadly, that’s what the half-ton has come to.

    I love my F-150 with a factory camper top. Also known as the Ford Expedition. And it has a major bonus point over the F-150, it comes with independent rear suspension instead of a solid rear axle. The only bad thing is that you hate throwing a half ton of dirt in the back. I would like to have an Expedition with a vinyl interior instead of carpet.

  17. I personally would skip 4WD. There is added expense, maintenance cost and expensive to repair. Rarely needed unless you drive on back roads. Don’t even consider going in snow. The other idiots are the problem. If it is difficult to go, it will be just as difficult to stop and all vehicles have 4 wheel brakes. If the roads are bad enough to require 4WD I would just as soon stay off the roads. Especially in the south.

    I have the trailer towing package in my Expedition also. Gives you a transmission oil cooler and a locking rear axle. Didn’t stop me from sinking my truck up to both axles in the mud last year but neither would have 4WD.

  18. Where I live, we are always in the running for the Snow Globe competition. We win frequently, so 4×2 is no longer even a thought. f350 crew cab, 4×4, 2007, gasser. Only $15k. Manual everything. Only luxury is AC, which I use 3 days/year. Would love to get the wife an Excursion (’07 or so), but can’t touch them for under $30k. An Expedition may be in the cards. It’s got to be full-sized, though, as our 3 kinder are all going to be at least as big as I am. I don’t fit in small cars anymore.

    For fun, I drive around in 4×2. I know how slippery the roads are by how much the rear-end kicks out. 4×4 is for creeping, or for getting out when 4×2 isn’t enough. I _know_ how it responds.

  19. Where I live, we are always in the running for the Snow Globe competition. We win frequently, so 4×2 is no longer even a thought.

    Gotta be Buffalo or Fairbanks.

  20. Didn’t stop me from sinking my truck up to both axles in the mud last year but neither would have 4WD.

    I have done that with a 4wd tractor. Took two other tractors to pull that stuck tractor out of the mud. Buried that tractor to the bottom of the chassis (basically the engine, transmission, transfer case, and rear drive) which was about two feet of clearance that was bottomed out.

    Power company stuck one of their trucks, all wheel drive, on our property in the winter when the power lines were down. Told them to not go in. They said their truck can go anywhere. Well, it could, just could not get out. Waited almost a week for the field to dry some before the power company had to bring in a D7 dozer with a winch on the back. Parked the dozer a couple hundred yards away and pulled the truck out with the winch. Left nice ruts in the field which the power company had to repair.

    We also had that one hill on our farm that once you started going down you were not stopping until the bottom. Brakes were useless as they caused you to slide losing steering. Most of the time you could go up the hill with care, but going down was always an adventure. Even the tractors had problems. Only vehicle that did not was the d2 dozer.

    One time I got the dozer stuck in the creek while building a shallow earth dam for the irrigation pump. Had to fasten a cable to the tracks, other end to a large tree a couple hundred feet away. Used the tracks as a winch to get the dozer back to solid ground.

    You can get anything stuck. Trick is to not go where you should not be going with the resources you have.

  21. You might consider that a local garage might not be inclined (or knowledgeable enough) to shop for parts on the internet. Why not spend a few minutes at http://www.isuzupartscenter.com or equivalent to see if the part might be out there after all? Also eBay, strange stuff can be found there.

  22. 2007 may be a bit newer than I’ll go for and $15K is definitely more. Maybe something in an F250/350 w/ 4WD ~$8+K. Say a 2000-2003 model. I’ll average < 100 miles per month anyway.

  23. The first time I took my platoon out to the field as a 2nd Looey, we got our lone 2 1/2 ton stuck over the axles in good old Fort Riley mud. We couldn’t even winch it out. Luckily I heard a loud rumbling nearby and flagged down a passing M88. They just plowed into the mud, hooked up a tow-bar and pulled our truck out in two seconds.

  24. “I would also tell you about the dual USB ports, three 12V power outlets and 120V power outlet but you might have a stroke.”

    Too late! Ack..ack…ack…arrrggghhh…

    I want one of them bad boyz! But hey, a massive EMP or local burst from the Norks would toast your bad boy! And I’ll be riding my fatty-tire bicycle up here or one of wife’s hosses, I guess. (I just saw an article on them fatty-tire bikes and jeezum crow, they go upwards of a grand! When did friggin’ bicycles go sky-high?)

    “I would like to have an Expedition with a vinyl interior instead of carpet.”

    weathertech.com

    “When are we going to have some common sense laws about machetes?”

    Not to worry; I’m sure our droves of lefty SJW ass-hats will get around to it sooner or later.

  25. @lynn,

    As a former cop car, my Expy HAS the vinyl interior. Still has carpet in the back area though. They jokingly call the package the “blood kit.” Vinyl floor, vinyl second row seats. Easy to wipe clean….

    I’ve added a weathertech type tray for the back. It catches and holds a ton o stuff. The seat backs of the second row are still carpeted though.

    When I get around to putting in my carpet, I’ll have the vinyl floor for you if you want it 🙂 I thought about just installing the carpet on top for extra sound absorption, but I’d sell it 🙂 Interiors stayed the same from about 08 to the present.

    I love the Expy too. I’d love an Excursion, but they are like hen’s teeth here. Very popular. Surprisingly they don’t actually have that much more interior room than the Expy, certainly not behind the seats. I used to rent Excursions for business travel. 3 big guys and our suitcases just wouldn’t fit in most vehicles.

    If you’re not moving plywood or drywall, the Expy is a great alternative to a pickup. And I’ve got a Ranger for when I need to put something long, tall, or dirty in the back.

    nick

  26. @RBT, WRT Kindle, I got this email today:

    In the next few weeks your Kindle e-reader will receive a free, over-the-air software update, designed with you in mind. We know that readers are always looking for ways to discover their next favorite book, and this update provides new ways to help you do just that. While this update will happen automatically, it won’t affect your library or the e-books on your device. Take a look at what’s new!

    Personalized Home Screen
    Your new Home screen brings forward your most recent reads, samples you’ve downloaded, items on your Amazon Wish List, relevant book recommendations, and more.

    Easily Access Popular Settings
    Our readers’ most-used settings — like airplane mode and device sync — can now be found in the same place with just one tap on your toolbar.

    Get Book Recommendations
    Not sure what to read next? On your Kindle e-reader, identify your favorite genres and a few books you’ve already enjoyed — you’ll see a list of recommended titles to help you discover a book you’ll love.

    Sharing Made Easy
    Share your favorite book or quote with friends and family via Facebook and Twitter. They’ll be able to read a sample of the book for free, instantly — even if they’ve never used a Kindle before. With one tap, they will see what you’ve shared right from their phone, tablet or PC. No download, sign up, or sign in required.

    Find out more: https://www.amazon.com/kindleupdate?ref_=deveng_ku16
    Thank you for reading with Kindle!

    All stuff I don’t need or want.

    nick

  27. “they go upwards of a grand! When did friggin’ bicycles go sky-high?)”

    When the hipsters got involved. Google ‘fixie’ for some more….

    “When are we going to have some common sense laws about machetes?””

    you mean like England?

    Our own knife laws are an oppressive mishmash of oppression- on a state by state basis. Remember the career crim that got police provide holes in his skin in NYC? He was stopped on a knife violation.

    Mostly they get ignored, until the boys in blue want something to stick you with… ha

    nick

  28. “Texas State law only lists “illegal knives.” Those include things like double edged knives, Bowie knives, swords, spears or any blade over 5 1/2 inches. State law only permits those to be carried on a person’s own premises or in their car. However, switchblades, butterfly knifes and folding knives are not illegal.Aug 25, 2015″

  29. @RBT – in case you didn’t catch my edit of my Kindle comment yesterday I’ll repeat the link:
    The other day I came across an article on how to use Android on the Fire without rooting and at the same time getting rid of the “with offers”. Got to go find that now.

    Edit: Found it, I had saved the page in Pocket.
    http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/install-google-play-remove-lockscreen-ads-amazon-fire-tablet-without-root/

    I am adding the link to the ROOTJUNKYSDL site this webpage refers to as it is not obvious where the link is:
    http://rootjunkysdl.com/?device=Amazon%20Fire%205th%20gen&folder=SuperTool

    My wife got that Kindle email over a week ago and the “update” attempted to install a day later. Borked her Kindle. Before I could try to help her she had fired off a flaming email to Amazon. Got an email later that night from someone whose English was not there first language. Email was long, unhelpful, and only apologized profusely with poor English and even worse grammar.

    I did a rest of her Kindle and got her running again. Quickly downloaded her current reading and to-read books to her SD Card and turned off Wi-Fi for now. Lesson learned.

  30. massive EMP or local burst from the Norks would toast your bad boy! And I’ll be riding my fatty-tire bicycle up here or one of wife’s hosses, I guess.

    I could always just take the riding lawnmower. No electronics, just a battery for starting and magneto for ignition. May have to add tail lights and windshield to make it street legal. But in the case of a massive EMP that disables vehicles riding mowers may be the only vehicles on the road.

  31. Then there’s the question of who has their finger on the button for the nuclear arsenal.

    Given that he didn’t know what the nuclear triad is, he’s not fit to have is finger on the button.

  32. Riding mowers, bicycles (legal road vehicles), hoss carriages and wagons, and I’m sure, a wide variety of kludged hacker/Maker vehicles put together by our ever-present sub-population of Rube Goldberg nerds.

    I haven’t got any emails from Amazon regarding my Kindle Fire but I did get one today telling me they’d changed my password:

    “As part of our routine monitoring, we discovered a list of email address and password sets posted online. While the list was not Amazon-related, we know that many customers reuse their passwords on several websites. We believe your email address and password set was on that list. For your security, we have assigned a temporary password to your account.”

    Interestingly, however, that email went to the gmail addy that I do NOT use for Amazon but not to the one I DO use and is my username. And checking just now with my usual password, it was fine, with no alerts to change it. Hmmmm…..something fishy here?

    In any case, I’m dumping both of my gmail addies pretty soon, along with the Yahoo one and going with FastMail and my secure RaspberryPI server for other stuff.

  33. So, I’m looking for an under $5,000 truck, and I found this one. I think it’s great, but my wife would probably think I’d gone crazy off the deep end with the prepping stuff. On the other hand, my daughter would love it if I picked her up from daycare in this. It would barely fit in our driveway. It would be even better when my daughter is a teenager. Although giving every teenage boy within 100 feet of her a cold shower would probably be frowned on by law enforcement. At least by law enforcement without teenage daughters.

  34. Oh hell yeah, Mr. Dave; forget the “gray man” concept with this; peeps, including LE types, will assume you’re a legit FD person on some kinda FD biz. Even after the SHTF. And you can mod that bad boy until the sun goes down and even after with all kinds of nifty stuff. I’m thinking, not only the ice-cold high-pressure showers but a twin Ma Deuce up top with rocket launchers on the sides. Bark over the loudspeaker for the teenage boyz to tie a knot in it!

    I’ve been looking at local AO jeeps of various configs on Craigslist and found several that looked pretty good and for fah less than a pickup truck. We ain’t bugging out anywhere so just need something handy for this AO and ability to traverse varied terrain in very varied weather and road conditions.

    Anyone got a preference for a particular Jeep model??

  35. On a subject other that pickups: Germany has decided to broaden its prosecution of concentration camp guards to include guards who were not directly involved in any atrocities, but are just on the books as having had duty at the camps.

    So some months ago they hauled up a 90+ year old geezer, convicted him, but he died before they could pass sentence. Now they’ve got a 94 year old dude on trial. He’s charged with complicity in 170,000 murders.

    Is it just me, or is this pathetic?

  36. WRT firetrucks: A local fellow had an old 1940s era firetruck that he drove daily and in parades. Restored to mint with beautiful wooden ladders and a full compliment of hoses. And yes, he picked his kids up from school with it. The novelty wore off after awhile. I haven’t seen him around in years.

  37. It is truly pathetic, but then see Justice Jackson’s comments on culpability and the Nuremberg Trials.

  38. “Is it just me, or is this pathetic?”

    I dunno if “pathetic” is the right word. WTF are their priorities? If they wanna prosecute war criminals and murderers they could start with the commies that ran the former East Germany, many of whom are still above ground and fairly healthy. Then they could maybe take a good hard look at treason charges for the fugly pig gaulieter Merkel and her minions at the top, who opened the gates for the musloid invasions that were previously stopped by various medieval and Renaissance warrior-heroes.

    So what this means is they have lots of time on their hands for bullshit and they are distracting the media and populace from the invading rapists and terrorists swarming into their towns and cities.

    What next, digging them up and trying them as cadavers propped up in the courtrooms?

  39. What is truly odd is that Germany has not one but two political leaders who are female Ph.D. organic chemists.

  40. “…two political leaders who are female Ph.D. organic chemists.”

    Hate to say it but the key word there might be “female.” We know that one of them couldn’t get outta the lab fast enough to go do PR flack work for the commie regime in East Germany and then move right up the political ladder. One would think that being a scientist means having a bit of common sense and reason but her actions as Chancellor exhibit anything but, unless one once again looks at the page from the Mr. SteveF playbook: if a Chancellor wished to destroy her country what would she be doing differently?

  41. Frauke Petry also grew up in East Germany, but she’s younger, prettier, and smarter than Merkel.

  42. “Frauke Petry also grew up in East Germany, but she’s younger, prettier, and smarter than Merkel.”

    Yeah, but the question on ChuckW’s lips is undoubtedly “Has she got tiny titties.” 🙂

  43. Even when the local junkyards don’t have a part, it’s likely someone is selling it on ebay; this, for instance, might be the exact Trooper part in question:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/98-99-00-01-02-ISUZU-TROOPER-EGR-VACUUM-VALVE-SOLENOID-OEM-/222008994236

    Not that I can entirely recommend going that route; I recently tried ordering such a valve over ebay, and got three bad ones in a row from three different sellers — all with the same defect, an intermittent break in the coil connection. Complaining and explaining did eventually get me a good one (and my money back on the others), but it took more time than it was worth. By the way, don’t figure that because the car runs fine with the computer complaining it won’t cause problems; the computer will complain even if the valve works almost all the time, while if it’s completely broken that’ll be a different story.

  44. Did I meet my micro-aggression quota for the day yet?

    I perpetrated one today, it seems. My face usually has no expression unless I think to put one on, and a black woman who spoke to me took offense because my lack of expression was to cover up my racism. Or something. My response, “Go fuck yourself, you ugly retard,” was not a micro-aggression.

    Why Does Trump Terrify People?

    Because their reputation, power, moral authority, or income are based on bullshit, and he’s been calling bullshit! on a lot of bullshit.

    if something goes seriously wrong with the Trooper, we may have to have it towed off and junked

    The same could likely be said of you, and most of the people here. Oh, wait, was that a micro-aggression?

  45. “… took offense because my lack of expression was to cover up my racism. Or something.”

    Oh so now even when we have no facial expression…ah fuck it. They can all piss up a rope. I’ll spell it straight out for those who spend their lives being offended: “I don’t like (most of) you muthafuckas and don’t want you anywhere near me. So fuck off and die.”

    So many micro-aggressions, so little time…

    “Frauke Petry also grew up in East Germany…”

    Also ran a biz and is a right-wing breeder. Perfect. And haw, haw, from the goat-fuckers’ mouth:

    http://www.daily-islam.com/2016/02/frauke-petry-germanys-most-dangerous.html

  46. Mr. OFD seems to be mixing up his micro & macro. That, sir, is a MACRO aggression. Bravo.

    Took 75 minutes for a 45 minute drive to pick up the kinder & get home. Lake Effect Global Warming and everyone forgets how to use lanes & common sense.

    I’d ditch the Trooper. Not that it’s not a good vehicle, but if you can’t run down to the parts store & get the part, it’s too much trouble. An early 2000s domestic will be more repairable, and you wouldn’t have to rely on eBay. In the hypothetical grid-down situation, the local parts store could still be a resource.

  47. As a former cop car, my Expy HAS the vinyl interior. Still has carpet in the back area though. They jokingly call the package the “blood kit.” Vinyl floor, vinyl second row seats. Easy to wipe clean….

    I’ve added a weathertech type tray for the back. It catches and holds a ton o stuff. The seat backs of the second row are still carpeted though.

    When I get around to putting in my carpet, I’ll have the vinyl floor for you if you want it 🙂 I thought about just installing the carpet on top for extra sound absorption, but I’d sell it 🙂 Interiors stayed the same from about 08 to the present.

    My Expy is a 2005. Different body, I think. And white exterior with a tan interior. EB.

    I love the Expy too. I’d love an Excursion, but they are like hen’s teeth here. Very popular. Surprisingly they don’t actually have that much more interior room than the Expy, certainly not behind the seats. I used to rent Excursions for business travel. 3 big guys and our suitcases just wouldn’t fit in most vehicles.

    The modern day version of the Excursion is the Expedition EL. About two feet longer in the back area (can actually have the 3rd seat row up and store stuff behind it).

    One of my neighbors has an black Excursion 4WD with the turbo diesel. He has lifted it another 3 or 4 inches and put an above hood intake on it. Looks cool (and sounds cool) until you realize it is 7.5 ft tall and cannot go into any garage.

  48. What next, digging them up and trying them as cadavers propped up in the courtrooms?

    Worked for Cromwell, dinnit? 🙂

  49. “Worked for Cromwell, dinnit?”

    Yep, him and his fellow regicides. Things were different then…

  50. When I have my “final break down” I have instructed the wife and kids to just prop me up on some cinder blocks in the front yard.

  51. Thanks. I tried this when it first hit the news 3 or 4 years ago, but it had no benefit for me. I should give it another try.

  52. [snip] but a good used pickup in Texas costs over $25-30k. [snip]

    Just wait until oil hits $10 / barrel.

  53. “When I have my “final break down” I have instructed the wife and kids to just prop me up on some cinder blocks in the front yard.”

    I’ve instructed mine: no embalming; plain shroud; plain pine box; standard burial mass in the Church; no flags; no gun salutes; remote and isolated, semi-abandoned boneyard in the woods somewhere; slate tombstone with the winged skull, beloved of my English ancestors…

  54. There is something to be said for driving a very common vehicle in a grid down scenario. Those fake hummers, (and the real ones) are gonna have very few parts available. But all the F150s and F250’s and a whole bunch of others all used the same 5.4Lv8. And the clogged up interstate is gonna be a smorgasbord of F150 parts. Not many troopers left, and won’t be any after the fall. Same for Toyota Hylux’s or Land Cruisers. Range Rovers, outside of Los Angeles, are kinda thin on the ground too.

    Suburbans, F150s, honda odessey minivans, all common as dirt.

    WRT the expy EL, it’s just a longer Expy. The excursion was a completely different frame, body, interior, etc. VERY different. And you are right, the body styles on the Expy got a lot more straight and angular in 08. Ford truck’s misguided “bubble” period came to an end then and thankfully so did their horrible color palette.

    PCB-duffer’s got it right. There will be a whole bunch of nice trucks for sale cheap if things keep going down…although a lot of the oil services guys put an enormous amount of miles on their trucks.

    although in the past used prices were very high for ford trucks, and new ones were coming with $10k off sticker from the factory, this time will be different I think.

    nick

  55. I doubt I can die, and if by some odd chance I do, you and everything you know will disappear, for I am the Dreaming God and you and everything you know are but figments of my sleeping imagination.

    However, if by some inconceivable chance I’m wrong, I expect to die violently. Maybe my body will be recovered and identified, maybe not. Not my problem either way, what with being, you know, dead. Of course, all that depends on something or someone managing to kill me, which seems not to be happening.

  56. Hah, that right there is normalcy bias.

    We know death happens! We know that life is 100% fatal. And yet……

    nick

  57. “…for I am the Dreaming God and you and everything you know are but figments of my sleeping imagination.”

    Well wake the hell up now and tell us we don’t really have a bunch of shithead RINO cretins, a Bolshevik, and a war criminal all running for Prez again…

    “…which seems not to be happening.”

    Yet.

  58. “The past week’s MSM crap that too many Murkans stay glued to every day and night while thieves, liars, parasites, commies, serial rapists, war criminals and other scum destroy the country.”

    Yeah.. we have those kind of politicians as well.. 🙂

  59. “…they have lots of time on their hands for bullshit and they are distracting the media and populace from the invading rapists and terrorists swarming into their towns and cities.”

    You are probably not wrong. Also, there is a continual effort in Europe to keep the Holocaust current, to avoid letting it become history. Why? That’s not clear. But it’s really pretty extreme. I was reading about a researcher who wanted to apply some modern forensic techniques to Auschwitz – but decided not to, because if the result came up in any way different from the official line, you can be prosecuted and jailed for “Holocaust denial”.

    Another example: A fairly extreme right-wing politician here tweeted “maybe there should be a “Kristallnacht” [the night the Nazis started rounding up Jews] for mosques”. While distasteful and offensive, I see no reason someone shouldn’t be able to say that – it’s not directed against any individual, it’s not an actual call for action. Nonetheless, he was prosecuted and fined around $100k. Freedom of speech be damned, he made an unpleasant Holocaust reference.

  60. My response, “Go fuck yourself, you ugly retard,” was not a micro-aggression.

    Back to Diplomacy 101 Steve…

    Oh? You’ve failed it so many times they won’t let you repeat it?

  61. “The bad news is that if something goes seriously wrong with the Trooper, we may have to have it towed off and junked because parts are almost impossible to come by…”

    Can’t you just have a new engine slotted in, or a new old engine?

  62. “Also, there is a continual effort in Europe to keep the Holocaust current, to avoid letting it become history.”

    Yet nothing comparable for the tens of millions lost to the Soviet gulag and communism.

  63. Well, this was predictable. There is an eighth Harry Potter book coming out

    It’s a script of the play coming out this summer. It will sell well, but I don’t think she’s doing it for the money. (Terry Pratchett, who sold more books than she has once said: “I was in the audience at some literary awards ceremony or other with J. K. Rowling one time, and she was lamenting how they’d never give her one, so I turned to her and I said, Jo, me neither: we’ll just have to cry ourselves to sleep on top of our mattresses stuffed with £20 notes.”)

  64. We know that one of them couldn’t get outta the lab fast enough to go do PR flack work for the commie regime in East Germany and then move right up the political ladder.

    Remember that in the former East, you did not choose your profession; it was chosen for you. If you really did not like it (but what true German would not kill for chemistry?), then PR for the State just might get you out of it.

    Yeah, but the question on ChuckW’s lips is undoubtedly “Has she got tiny titties.”

    My wife knew of my preference for TT’s but she and a close girlfriend found out in summer school back in the hippie era, that not wearing a bra made their titties shrink. There were a LOT of braless chicks in Berlin during summers; the two are probably related. Who knows if they wore bras in the winter. Neither of my wives had particularly large sets, but neither wanted them any smaller. I always told both of them that getting big when nursing was a sure thing, and why not just enjoy it then, and give me what I want all the rest of the time?

    Also, there is a continual effort in Europe to keep the Holocaust current, to avoid letting it become history. Why? That’s not clear. But it’s really pretty extreme.

    It is NOT coming from young people. From the time I arrived there in 2001, it was clear that German kids (maturing teens) were positively sick of the carrying of WWII shame that the country seemed to willingly take on at the end of that conflict. Now my family’s view (held by many others) was that the country was taken over by a dictator, which was not the general citizenry’s desire. But it was nearly impossible to oppose and live. Put us in their place. If the President as Commander-in-Chief had Congress burned down, as Hitler did with the Reichstag, and the TSA along with our currently military-styled police departments started running things—do you think we would/could stop that? We are pretty close to fully putting in place a structure that could easily be converted to dictatorship.

    A question I was frequently asked by native Germans was “do you think it possible that a dictator could take charge of the US?” Yeah, was my response. Every year since 9-11, we have been moving closer. Americans simply do not believe it can ever happen, and prepper scenarios here always assume we will continue to somehow live free and be able to go anywhere if the SHTF. If you are writing prepper fiction, it ought to include an oppressive government, because that will most likely happen, IMO. We will not be free to do as we want when it happens. When the TSA stops you on your way to your retreat and throws you in jail (we have plenty of those), what good is the retreat then? A good reason to be living now where you ultimately want to be.

    Anyway, while I was there, Germany was clearly shaking off the shame that was keeping it looking backwards, instead of forwards, primarily led by the kids, who simply tired of being whipped by history that they had nothing at all to do with. They were not taking it anymore

    And I will say the same for the US. Millenials have a completely different view of what the US should be than the Mitch McConnells running our law-making bodies. It is going to be a different world with them in charge. And although they are not the agitators and demonstrators the baby-boomers were in trying to take control, they will be in charge one day, when the old farts finally die off.

    Merkel is part of the old guard. I said when she was elected Germany would suffer from her reign, and they are. But governing in Parliamentary countries is all about forming coalitions from many smaller parties. Is that better than having 2 large parties that are virtually the same, like the US? All I can say is that life was much more enjoyable for me and had half the hassles I deal with now that I am back in the US—and the basic necessities like rent, food, and transportation cost significantly less than in the US. 30 to 50 thousand effing dollars for transportation by car or truck? as opposed to the average of $750 yearly I paid for a year’s transit pass to anywhere anytime in Berlin? One is nuts and unaffordable; the other is not. But only the unaffordable one is available in the US as there is no other choice.

  65. I can’t believe that wearing/not wearing a bra makes any difference to boob size. Sagging? Sure.

  66. Women used to be much more relaxed about not wearing bras in public here, and letting it all hang out. Then, for about 20 years they mostly became much more discreet, but now seem to be relaxing a bit more.

    Saw a woman breastfeeding at the local shopping centre a few weeks ago. She just whipped ’em out, hiding nothing. Aureolas the size of saucers… 🙂

    Not Chuck’s type.

  67. Neither of my wives had particularly large sets, but neither wanted them any smaller.

    My wife used to be 34G. I fully supported her decision to drop two plus sizes.

  68. 38D here.

    40DD for Princess.

    They’d kill Mr. Chuck.

    First is 5’10” and the second is six feet.

    They grew ’em big in northwest Europe, I guess.

  69. I am pretty sure this all began with my own mother, who was a 34E. I have vague memories of being smothered at feeding time, thus my lifelong interest in small (don’t block my nose, cause my mouth is occupied). First wife was a 32B; second 34C. I maintain that wearing a bra causes sagging tits. Same as wearing a cast causes muscle atrophy. Only 2 girls I dated went without bras. Both had just the right amount of firmness with zero sag. One of those was really hard to give up. Loved her a lot. Everybody said we were a great couple. Unfortunately, she could not stop herself from indulging in the brew that captures a lot of people. When we were out partying, I always had to tell her she had enough; she always obeyed my request and stopped. But with a grandfather who was an alcoholic for 15 years, and totally unproductive during them, it one day occurred to me that while she was compliant now, the day would come when she couldn’t be. It would not be her fault, but I knew from my grandmother’s relationship with my grandfather, that it was sure enough coming. It tore me up, but we broke off cold turkey. I took an extended vacation to Europe (2 years of 3 week vacations ganged together) and then, after I got back from that 6 weeks away, met my first wife the very next week. (Everybody said we were great together, too.) I only know the ex found somebody who loved the drink as much as she, and I have no idea what happened to her after that. I moved shortly after marriage, and she was in town for school but lived independently of the campus. We met at a wine party where she was an intern involved in promoting some event or other that the TV station was involved in. Hope she got herself under control; she was very smart and very hot.

    The Germans are a fairly compact people. I was nearly 6 feet in my prime (71.5”), and most Germans around me were somewhat shorter, including younger people. Very rare to see a woman as tall as me, but not so rare to see that here. Nevertheless, German men were shorter than me almost always.

    Heads on the Germans are smaller than ours, too. Strange, but true. Noticeably smaller. Swedes and Dutch were almost always taller than me with bigger bones, as people are wont to say. Those cultures are really tall. Danes were smaller than Germans. Except for the 2 front teeth, the British are pretty much indiscernible from Americans.

  70. I’ve seen or met several womyn here almost as tall as me but only one taller, and she was clearly a basketball athlete at around 6’8″ or so. That’s over 60 years. The tall girl was near me in a supermarket and I was sorely tempted to ask her to get something for me off the top shelf, as I have done countless times for others. But I also didn’t feel like getting smacked.

    Plenty of men taller than me, but they’re usually NFL or NBA types or they have that A. Lincoln syndrome going on. I’m the exact same height and weight as Cam Newton right now but he’s over thirty years younger and in slightly better shape.

  71. In the early Eighties, when I played basketball, there was a top male player in the club who was very very very short. And there was a top wimminz player who was very very very tall. (Over 7 feet.) One day at practice they were playing a scratch match on opposite teams and collided, with, ah, interesting results. I wonder if he ever forgot the smell of her pussy… 🙂

    40DD for Princess.

    They’d kill Mr. Chuck.

    I’m willing to let her try that on me… 🙂

  72. I was sorely tempted to ask her to get something for me off the top shelf, as I have done countless times for others. But I also didn’t feel like getting smacked.

    You probably could pull it off if you made it obvious you were joking. I regularly get away with murder (figuratively) and mortal insults because I’m funny when doing it.

  73. When I was in college, I went out a few times with a girl who way my height. Very pretty girl, but she was constantly thinking about being taller than most of the guys. I never did understand why that should matter so much to her. I certainly wouldn’t have cared if she had been taller than I was, and I suspect most other guys wouldn’t have cared, either.

    My roommate one year was 6’10”. He wore platforms, which took him up to about 7’4″, and he dated a girl that was 5’0″. I’d see them walking in the quad hand-in-hand, and it looked like Scott was taking his little daughter for a walk.

  74. I never did understand why that should matter so much to her.

    Brings a whole new meaning to “my eyes are up here”.

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