Saturday, 14 October 2017

09:06 – It was 54.5F (12.5C) when I took Colin out at 0625, mostly cloudy. Cooler weather is starting to move in. Our low temperature on Monday is forecast to be just above freezing.

I’m trying to get my application for ARRL Volunteer Examiner (VE) status completed and submitted. A VE functions basically as an exam proctor, keeping an eye out to avoid cheating, scoring the tests completed by license candidates, and submitting the results to the FCC. SPARC, the Sparta Amateur Radio Club, is currently running a training class for people who want to get their Technician Class license. There are a dozen students, which surprised me.

Administering the exam requires at least three VE’s be present. At this point, I believe SPARC has four VE’s. Unfortunately, two of them are related to some of the people who are taking the exam, which means they can’t be VE’s for that exam session. So I offered to become a VE.

At first, I thought it’d be easy. One of the current VE’s sent me the application form to become a VE with the Western Carolina VEC. I filled that out. All it required was my license and contact information and the names of three references. With their permission, I used the three VE’s who’d been examiners at my own exam. I submitted the form by email, and heard nothing. A week or so ago, one of the current VE’s sent me the VE application form to become a VE with the ARRL VEC (rather than the Western Carolina VEC).

That one requires a lot more work, including studying a 96-page VE manual and then completing a test. They say it’s not actually a test, but it sure looks like one. Then I have to submit all the paperwork and wait to be approved. I’ll try to get that complete and submitted in the next couple of days.

Of course, since I have only a General Class license, I’ll be qualified as a VE only for Tech Class exams. At some point, I’ll get my Extra Class license, which will qualify me as a VE for all three license classes.


57 thoughts on “Saturday, 14 October 2017”

  1. Congrats, Mr. RBT. That’s something I should be working on, too, and I am, sort of, in bits and pieces, while I negotiate a bunch of other stuff up here. Just not enough hours in the day too often.

    Overcast and still breezy, temps around 63 and chance of showers through tomorrow night. Looks like sun and blue skies for the early week, though and temps in the 50s.

  2. “Unusually thick ice in Antarctica – Thousands of penguin chicks starve”
    https://www.iceagenow.info/unusually-thick-ice-antarctica-thousands-penguin-chicks-starve/

    “12 Oct 2017 – Scientists tracking 18,000 pairs of Adelie penguins in East Antarctica discovered that only two chicks survived the most recent breeding season.”

    “Unusually thick sea ice forced the adult penguins to travel further for food. The unfortunate chicks starved to death as they waited for their parents to return.”

    Well, that sucks. I think that penguins are neat. We’ve got a boatload of them down in Galveston at Moody Gardens.

    Hat tip to Rush Limbaugh.

  3. @Dave
    I fell off the planet for awhile so missed what you were pursuing at college (girls? Sorry, had to be said).

    College costs are astronomical and not on par with the value received. I suspect most here hold that opinion.

    University of the People is all online (no meat space, sorry), limited in their offerings, liberal as heck (most are), and distance accredited instead of regionally. Your work (what the average person would consider a LOT of writing, 1,500 – 2,500 words a week, more as classes increase in complexity) is peer reviewed and graded. Absolutely requires decent internet access.

    But.

    No tuition.
    No books to purchase.
    No bogus fees.
    They accept transfer credits at $17 / class and no charge until you agree to accept what’s offered
    They aren’t a diploma mill
    You have work to complete each week
    A term is 9 weeks and they hold 5 terms a year, no summer break
    A flat $60 (I think) application fee
    $100 per class testing fee
    A two year degree is $2,060 and a four year $4,060, pay as you take classes at about week 5 of the class
    2 and 4 year degrees in Computer Science, Business Administration, and Health something or other.

    There are obviously a lot of drawbacks. Not the least of which is you have to read and grade some appallingly written papers and offer constructive criticism that doesn’t involve suggestions for self-maiming. If you are getting a degree for snooty factor or going into a field where regional accreditation is going to matter UoP would be a poor choice.

    If you need to be able to tick off the box ‘has a college degree’ it offers good value. I haven’t drunk their Kool-Aid, like I said there are plenty of drawbacks and there are times when the peer review model for grading sucks rocks.

    But an interesting idea and worthy of a couple hours reading their catalog.

  4. ““Unusually thick sea ice”

    “locked up on land as snow and ice”

    man, glowbull warmening, is there anything it CAN’T do?

    n

  5. Caught another guy cheating on ebay. While researching prices for various pieces of salvage gear for sale on a surplus auction site (so I can decide how much I want to bid), I discover an ebay seller, with a brand new account name and 2 transactions, with those EXACT SAME items for sale. He’s even using the PICTURES from the surplus auction. His sales on ebay all end before the end of the surplus auction, so if he sells the items, he can buy them from the surplus auction. Of course, he has to WIN the surplus auction (or tell the ebay buyer he can’t complete the transaction).

    This is straight up fraud, and against ebay policy. You can’t list for sale something you don’t own. This is the second time I’ve found someone doing this. This time the seller cropped out the surplus auction’s watermark on their pix, the other seller just when ahead an used the watermarked pix…

    I reported the items to ebay and they seem to have been removed.

    Freaking scammers, I hate ’em.

    n

  6. This is straight up fraud, and against ebay policy. You can’t list for sale something you don’t own. This is the second time I’ve found someone doing this. This time the seller cropped out the surplus auction’s watermark on their pix, the other seller just when ahead an used the watermarked pix…

    I’ve seen a number of EBay auctions lately which sell merchandise from Amazon at a bit of a markup with free shipping. Some of these are legit, using wholesaler accounts, but many are not, shipping the items as gifts from standard Prime memberships.

    I reported the last auction I encountered, but the Amazon rep on the phone (American!) seemed kinda bored taking the info. I don’t know if the Fraud Dept. is a bad job or the rep knew not much was going to get done about the case.

  7. “@Dave
    I fell off the planet for awhile so missed what you were pursuing at college (girls? Sorry, had to be said).

    There are several Daves here but I assume you mean me; I’m working on a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with the Addictions track, part- to full-time, with a 1,000 hours of internship at the end of the course work, with real clients. The VA is paying the full freight, but I had to withdraw this semester due to my medical/physical situation, which basically involves pain and paralysis. I do not pursue the undergrad grrls there because I’m old enough to be their grandpa, and the women in my classes? Old enough to be their dad. I can look, though; I might be married but I’m not dead.

  8. Good luck to the NFL finding new audiences/fans. They’re toast now. The Commish is a well-known shitweasel anyway for what he did to Brady and the Patriots.

    And another view of Harvey Slimestein:

    http://takimag.com/article/lets_talk_about_harvey_taki/print#axzz4vWGwHnj6

    I think he’s a big nasty pig but I don’t cotton to the hypocritical lynch mob that suddenly loses their minds over accusations now coming out from incidents of years ago. As they’ve done with Cosby and tried to do with tRump. You don’t get to come out with shit twenty years later and wreck someone’s life based solely on what you say and nothing else, especially when you do it through the media. Got a case that a court will hear? Then fucking bring it.

  9. “Ron Paul: “The Fed’s Massive Bubble Is Creating A World Of Economic Pain””
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-14/ron-paul-feds-massive-bubble-creating-world-economic-pain

    I do not agree with Ron Paul here. If you look at Shadowstats, we still have have massive unemployment and underemployment.
    http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

    I talked with a bank about refinancing my office property on Thursday. Three of their guys showed up which was weird. My mortgage balloons next year and I would like to lock in a good rate for a few years. I also want to build another 5,000 ft2 four unit office warehouse which might cost $350K or $400K. I don’t have the cash so I need to borrow it and I won’t go much above 5% for a ten year lock with a twenty year term. I do have over 60% equity in my office property.

    The big problem is that I think that the county is going to force me to add a fire suppression system to the new office warehouse. Since I only have a water well, I will have to put in a 10,000 gallon water tank 40 ft up in the air. And then I will need a 400 psig fire pump and a generator to power that pump if the power is out. Plus the weight of the water pipes generally causes the I beams in the office warehouse to be a size or two bigger. That is about $200K additional and I won’t do it now.

    The office warehouse that I want to build is like this but not as big. Each unit is 50 ft deep by 25 ft wide. There is a 3 ft by 7 ft glass door and a 10 ft wide by 14 ft tall rollup door. I will provide water and sewer connections, hopefully to my existing septic tank. Each unit will have its own electric meter and panel.
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/6115+Farm+to+Market+Rd+762,+Richmond,+TX+77469/@29.5385231,-95.7097844,3a,62.7y,1.68h,89.19t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1soulgus1Djq6AKnXGK5yCvA!6s%2F%2Fgeo1.ggpht.com%2Fmaps%2Fphotothumb%2Ffd%2Fv1%3Fbpb%3DChAKDnNlYXJjaC5UQUNUSUxFEmYKOAkfH7r6Z-JAhhHybQfxQUO8nBokCxDThbhCGhsSGQoUChIJHx-6-mfiQIYRggbwr4_vreMQ4y8MEgoNljebERWk2PPGGhIJO7fkeDn9QIYR2FGLpLBJv9QqCg1ESpsRFd_b88YaBAhWEFY%26gl%3DUS!7i13312!8i6656!4m5!3m4!1s0x8640e267faba1f1f:0x9cbc4341f1076df2!8m2!3d29.5389764!4d-95.7096993

  10. What kills me about the Weinerstain debacle is the “there is gambling happening here? I’m SHOCKED! Shocked I tell you!” nature of the comments. EVERYONE knows this is how the game is played. It’s called a “casting couch” FFS.

    It ties to the hypocrisy of the left wrt Trumps pussy comments. Of COURSE men talk shit like that. Men are savages. Is that a desirable trait in a person? Patton seemed to think that carnal desire was an essential part of a man. Talking about it? Just another facet of male dominance and positioning games in the pack. Distasteful to a modern ear? sure. Women might be appalled but they shouldn’t be surprised. We’re built to respond to visual stimulus (and judge women’s desirability as a sexual partner), because we can’t SEE genius, or compassion, or the ability to love. We can see hips, t!ts, lips, etc.

    Fat fukcer Weinerstain was just in a position when he didn’t have to control or moderate that savage desire. And knowing hollyweird, for every 1 unwilling victim, there were 10 who were willing to ‘go along to get along’ or said, “hell yeah, put that multi-film contract in writing and drop your shorts, call my investment broker and get ready to spend the $10 MILLION paycheck.”

    In fact, to my ear, the only thing surprising was how MUCH he was willing to pay or promise. A three movie deal is literally worth millions. ‘Course it was other people’s money…and so easier to spend. But damn, $10 Million for sex?

    n

  11. Wow, Eric Raymond writes on this kinda stuff nowadays? Okey-dokey. And to read all the comments would take me all night, looks like. But I get his point and generally agree with it. Like Taki said, too; this guy was a known slimeball and any women who cozied up to him or were even in the same room with him alone are on their own. Is he a rapist? A pedophile? I have no idea. Find a court that will hear it legitimately, not the New York Times.

  12. I do not agree with Ron Paul here. If you look at Shadowstats, we still have have massive unemployment and underemployment.

    Before we left Vantucky in 2014, the number I read for the effective adult unemployment rate for Clark County, WA (the WA State side of the Portland Metro) was 37%.

    Portlandia is where young people go to retire, but that doesn’t explain Vantucky. The WA side of the river has fewer services, nearly 10% sales tax, and housing costs similar to the OR side of the Metro.

  13. Official gummint stats are mostly lies anyway. There are many of us who were involuntarily retired when our jobs were offshored or outsourced or right-sized in the last ten years and I know I could have kept working full-time, barring this latest problem, another ten years, easy. Instead I’m collecting SS and VA payments and wife is carrying most of the financial load, and she’s only a couple of years younger than me and her job could go away any day, too.

    The genuine figures for employment are hard to come by and certainly not being reported in the MSM. There are parts of New England, for example, that look like they got sucked into a time machine with the dial tuned for 1930. Ditto north-country New York. In the winter choose between groceries, heating oil and meds, and be lucky to get two outta three.

    And then there are all the young people who seem to do OK with no visible means of support or work responsibilities, yet have late-model vehicles, big-screen tee-vees, and apparently not a worry in the world.

    Half the country supports the other half, and pretty soon it will be down to a third supporting two-thirds. And most of the two-thirds vote Left when they vote, which was all part of the Plan half a century ago.

  14. The office warehouse that I want to build is like this but not as big.

    Do you have a Dollar General and tattoo parlor down the street like that building?

    Location. Location. Location. 🙂

  15. Like Taki said, too; this guy was a known slimeball and any women who cozied up to him or were even in the same room with him alone are on their own.

    Didn’t Rose McGowan cash a $100,000 check to stay quiet about Weinstein? How is she not in deep legal (as in civil court) trouble right now?

  16. Didn’t Rose McGowan cash a $100,000 check to stay quiet about Weinstein? How is she not in deep legal (as in civil court) trouble right now?

    I read a discussion of that. Most lawyers say she’s good if a crime was committed no matter what NDA said. Corey Feldman, the actor, says CA statute of limitation laws are so strict, no matter what happened if the time has passed, YOU, get sued. They could all be shithouse lawyers, though.

  17. Is he a rapist? A pedophile? I have no idea.

    Cankles being interviewed by the BBC says tRump “After all we have someone admitting to being a sexual assaulter in the oval office,”.

    Sounds like slander to me, unless she was talking about BJ. The Libturdian are going crazy trying to deflect Weinerstain back onto tRump. Soon the recanting will start. Unless some really juicy dirt come up on Hollyweird.

  18. The office warehouse that I want to build is like this but not as big.

    Do you have a Dollar General and tattoo parlor down the street like that building?

    Location. Location. Location.

    I am three miles down the road from that place. The guy built that place about ten years ago for $700K, sold it last year for $1.3 million. Not bad ! Timing is everything. And all 14 units are constantly rented.

  19. ” Got a case that a court will hear? Then fucking bring it.”

    Well, Gloria took Cosby to court.

  20. The office warehouse that I want to build is like this but not as big.

    Do you have a Dollar General and tattoo parlor down the street like that building?

    Location. Location. Location.

    I am three miles down the road from that place. The guy built that place about ten years ago for $700K, sold it last year for $1.3 million. Not bad ! Timing is everything. And all 14 units are constantly rented.

    BTW, here is my office warehouse property:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@29.5360486,-95.6673827,3a,75y,86.88h,79.13t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sD4_ZDofrk3HpmXaA7yS0Tg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    The new office warehouse will be in front of the existing office warehouse, parallel to it.

    And that streetview does not show the 20,000+ square ft of asphalt that I have put on the roads in the last four years.

  21. “You can’t make this stuff up.”

    Nope. Troot is stranger than fiction nowadays. Must be why so many are married to their unreality pixels all day and all night.

    WRT to Slimestein: oh boy, dat chit has certainly blown the Russian fake nooz off the landscape for now, ditto Lost Wages.

    From the I Had Hoped For Better Department:

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/10/eric-margolis/iran-must-be-destroyed/

    Fellow ‘Nam vet Eric Margolis on the hot mess developing in the Middle East. Again. I guess we can deploy some more Vermont National Guard and Reserve troops. Again.

    And I suppose with Cankles we would have had World War IV already. Shit, this sucks.

  22. Fellow ‘Nam vet Eric Margolis on the hot mess developing in the Middle East. Again. I guess we can deploy some more Vermont National Guard and Reserve troops. Again.

    Either there or here ?

    “German official’s proposal for Muslim holidays gets rejected”
    https://apnews.com/0937a90b4d644d8f8e3c2e4fd84d1497/German-official's-proposal-for-Muslim-holidays-gets-rejected

    I wonder if it will get rejected next time that Merkel proposes it ?

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  23. “Either there or here ?”

    Oh we send them over there for multiple deployments, so if they have a regular job back here, it’s almost impossible for them to keep it. And the constant getting jacked back and forth and total joke that “stop-loss” is, it’s no wonder their brains are scrambled. We’ve had several of them in our group, and it’s taken a couple of them YEARS to get basic functionality back and they still have bad days. Now multiply that by tens of thousands every year, nationwide.

    WRT Merkel; some German patriots need to re-enact the 07/20/1944 caper and succeed.

  24. I am three miles down the road from that place. The guy built that place about ten years ago for $700K, sold it last year for $1.3 million. Not bad ! Timing is everything. And all 14 units are constantly rented.

    “Ink” is actually a big money indulgence.

    If your land stayed high and dry, I imagine that your rental units would be desirable. Hopefully, you can build for the right price.

    Did they finally open the “World’s Longest Car Wash” at the Katy Buc-ees?

    Anniversary dinner tonight. The menu at the restaurant included “Chicken Fried Elk. Denver Elk battered & fried Texas style, served with mashed potatoes & gravy.”

    I went with a more conventional meat choice. Only in Texas.

  25. I woulda gone for the elk. More adventurous with food now that I’m an old fart, for some reason.

    Reminds me; our 20-year anniversary (JP ceremony) is next year. And the 20-year caper (in the Church, signed off on by Saint Pope John Paul II) is in 2020, also the 400-year anniversary of the Mayflower arriving in Maffachufetts. Your humble northern correspondent will be down in Plymouth sometime that year visiting our ancestor’s house (John Howland) and partying like it’s 1599.

  26. “Ink” is a big money indulgence.

    ???

    Did they finally open the “World’s Longest Car Wash” at the Katy Buc-ees?

    No idea. That is about 20 miles north of here and 2X the traffic. No, make that 3X the traffic. I stay away from those places if possible according to RBT’s advice.

  27. I went with a more conventional meat choice. Only in Texas.

    That Elk meat probably came from Colorado ! And sounds yummy XXXXXXX awesome !

  28. “Ink” is a big money indulgence.

    ???

    People getting tattoos spend serious cash.

  29. prepper note:

    a 700w inverter runs a car battery down pretty freakin’ quick.

    We had our rec association ‘Trunk or Treat’ event this evening and I dressed up the minivan with a nice little vignette. (these events are very popular down here, your group gets together somewhere, lines up the dressed up vehicles, and the kids go trunk to trunk trick or treating.) Ran the battery flat in less than 2 hours. The Low Batt alarm was ringing (still making power for the lights and display) and the battery didn’t have enough juice to start the engine. I def thought the battery would last under moderate load far longer than that.

    Second note, the little, gimmicky cigarette lighter to cigarette lighter jump start device takes freakin’ forever to charge your flat battery. NOT a practical option. Buck up and carry a set of extra long jumper cables. Gotta find room to stash a set in the wife’s vehicle. (both of MY trucks HAVE cables). After giving up on the gimmick it took about 30 seconds to start the car with real jumper cables, provided by someone else. I do think the gimmick would have eventually worked, but where are you gonna find a Samaritan that’s willing to wait around over an hour for your car to re-charge?

    A very fun time was had by all, and a great little bit of community happened as well. Meatspace!

    n

  30. Agreed on the extra-long jumper cables, and I have also become less than a fan of the gimcracks, gadgets and geegaws that are supposed to jump your vehicle. Unless you spend a couple of hundred bucks on the portable units that tow trucks carry.

    Both of us here are now crippled; wife slipped on melted ice cubes in the kitchen and fell, twisting her bad knee and banging her head. She’s hurting and I’m in the position now of helping HER get around when I can barely do so myself. This is freakin’ ridiculous!

    I will now totter, and I mean that literally, off to bed and the Land of Nod. We’ll try for a bettah day tomorrow.

    Pax vobiscum, fratres….tempus fugit….

  31. For a car jumping gimmick:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NB0A8SP/ref=s9_acsd_al_bw_c_x_2_w
    I have the previous model, works fine. A bit peculiar about its hookup but has done the trick when needed. Will also charge cell phone and the older model had cable/tips to charge a laptop. Haven’t needed that feature.

    A lot bulkier but also very serviceable:
    https://www.amazon.com/84039-Adventure-Power-Jump-Start-Compressor/dp/B00BLIM1FW/ref=pd_sbs_263_10?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=2JZPECZP14G5XV36HDA7
    I have the now discontinued Energizer branded version.

    And for no d*cking around tire filling:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000X9BXQS/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    They make cheaper models powered thru what used to be called the cigar lighter.

    Real jumper cables and a modicum of various tools help reduce my gas mileage. 🙂

  32. If you’re going to carry jumper cables, carry heavy duty ones. The cheap ones available at * Mart or an auto parts shop are little more than lamp cord, you want the largest diameter (smaller gauge #) that you can buy. And a reasonable length tow chain is also a really helpful item if you have someplace to stow it.

  33. I’ve done OK by carrying what the “big boyz” carry, i.e., tow trucks, ranch and farm vehicles, etc. The stuff they make and sell for ordinary cah drivers are mostly crap.

  34. Both of us here are now crippled;

    Geez, buddy, is it time to baby-proof the ol’ homestead? I hope dualing wheelchairs aren’t in your future.

  35. reasonable length tow chain is also a really helpful

    No, you want a tow strap. A heavy duty tow strap. Chains break without warning as they have no give. A strap has a little bit of give and will not fail as suddenly as a chain. Straps are also easier to store, don’t rust, lighter than chains, and can be more easily fastened under a vehicle. It is also possible to tie straps together in a really desperate situation.

    Heavy duty towing strap

  36. I’ve done OK by carrying what the “big boyz” carry, i.e., tow trucks, ranch and farm vehicles, etc. The stuff they make and sell for ordinary cah drivers are mostly crap.

    One of the reasons I continue to drive a minivan even though 2/3 of my kids have moved out is that there’s plenty of room for tools n stuff. I routinely have over a hundred pounds of toolbox, jack (not the crap included with most cars), jump box, cables, oil and tranny fluid and brake fluid and coolant, flat fixer, and some other stuff. And there’s still plenty of room for groceries, daughter and friends, 600 pounds of garden manure, or whatever.

    (Please note that the juxtaposition of my daughter’s friends and manure was sheer coincidence. They’re not at all easily mistaken for each other. My daughter and her friends don’t come anywhere near 600 pounds, nor are the kids packaged in convenient plastic sacks.)

  37. Agreed on the tow STRAP versus the chain, per Mr. Ray.

    And I’m finding that while the RAV4 has plenty of room for mundane household stuff, there’s not enough for the additional things, like the ones Mr. SteveF mentioned. And those convenient plastic sacks may come in handy for when the grrls all reach their teenage years; may the Lord have mercy on you.

  38. I’ll just convince my daughter and all her friends that all the popular girls are putting plastic bags over their heads because it makes them look slimmer/cuter/bustier. Problem solved!

  39. I release all my gas while I am walking up the aisle departing. No one knows who to blame and the people behind me trying to escape the plane are certainly not happy. Wife refuses to walk behind me anymore while getting off the plane.

  40. I only fly somewhere about every ten or twenty years and the accumulated gas is enough to shut down all air traffic in the Northeast.

  41. While my Wife really likes our new Subaru Forester, she is now realizing how much we used the ’93 Dodge Grand Caravan ES (ES for extra ‘spensive). We are getting by. She was intimidated by the Caravan’s size and cumbersome maneuverability. She really likes to drive the Subaru; great visibility and all the collision avoidance technology.

    The Subaru does have a nice partitioned storage area above the spare tire and below the cargo area base. Easily holds the 25’ HD jumper cables, a couple of tow straps, tow hooks (come standard with the Subaru and go in those little covered spots on the bumpers), EMT grade trauma kit, first aid kit, water bottles, emergency food bars, duct tape, tool kit, and more.

  42. I release all my gas while I am walking up the aisle departing.

    Ray, are you the one who discussed leaving fart grenades in couch cushions? Whoever came up with the idea, I told my daughter, and she’s been doing it at various places other than home. She told her classmates and friends, and says they proclaimed her an evil genius. No word yet on whether the friends are leaving fart grenades and spreading the word to others.

  43. Ray, are you the one who discussed leaving fart grenades in couch cushions?

    Yes, that would be me. Never let a good gas expulsion go to waste. Airplanes are particularly good spots. So many people crowded together no one knows who to blame. Those flights to Europe and back have been an unpleasant olfactory experience for some unfortunate souls. You just have to be careful to know what you are discharging. The ass-hole is the smartest muscle in the body. It can separate gas, liquid and solid.

  44. While my Wife really likes our new Subaru Forester, she is now realizing how much we used the ’93 Dodge Grand Caravan ES (ES for extra ‘spensive). We are getting by. She was intimidated by the Caravan’s size and cumbersome maneuverability. She really likes to drive the Subaru; great visibility and all the collision avoidance technology.

    I really like my 2005 Ford Expedition. The factory camper top is freaking awesome, no leaks. We never use the third seat which is good as I have all kinds of crap back there. And I should throw my HD 50 ft tow strap back there too, I have only used it once. Should I mention the awesome visibility and the ability to hit 60 mph in 7 seconds ? Or the top speed of over 120 mph ? Or the limited slip rear axle that allows me to go just about anywhere.

    And yes the wife is very intimated by the sheer size and hugeness. And the 28 gallon gas tank, I use $200 of gas minimum each month.

    What I do not like is the $55K MSRP with a driveout price of $50K for a 2018 model. I may just buy a 2018 F-150 4×4 XL crew cab long bed with vinyl seats instead for $40K.

  45. “our 20-year anniversary (JP ceremony) is next year. And the 20-year caper (in the Church, signed off on by Saint Pope John Paul II) is in 2020”

    You mean you lived in sin for two years? 🙂

  46. “You mean you lived in sin for two years?”

    Yup. Although the Church didn’t think so; we were in a fully intentional-to-marriage relationship and for “the good of the Faith,” JP II signed off on it. That’s about as high up as you can go. Almost.

    I want another truck but I’ve been ruminating on the van and SUV ideas; I don’t want all the pooter gadgetry, though, nor do I want to attract unwanted attention during SHTF scenarios. So I’ll be looking for older pickup trucks w/o all that stuff when the time comes. Probably cost me $15-20k for one in good shape w/no rust.

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