Thur. May 31, 2018 – short time

Another typical and beautiful day here in the swamp. Just gonna be a bit hot and humid…. starting out almost exactly like the last 3 days. NOAA has us clear for 3 days. I’ll be watching. They’ve been all over the map for the last month after months of accurate forecasts. I know it’s gonna be hot. I know we will get some rain. All I ask of a forecast is what day will we get the rain? Will there be a LOT of it?

More surveillance traffic on the scanner yesterday, although different part of the city. They did a drug take down just a few miles up the road from my rent house. Lots of coordination, LOTS of cops. No idea if it was the same team or same targets.

I’ve put in a call to a friend in law enforcement to discuss it with him. Either they forgot, someone mis-configured the radios, or they just don’t care/ can’t do anything about it. If it’s either one of the first two, they need to know, or they’re gonna get an undercover officer killed.

We’ll see how it goes.

Despite the family drama, I did get some work done on the rent house yesterday, so hurray for me. One step closer.

And more work to do today…

n

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58 Responses to Thur. May 31, 2018 – short time

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    Meanwhile in Canada…

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5788457/Toronto-man-stands-unaware-gun-pointed-head-shocking-footage.html

    Hmm, guys in hoodies shooting people. In Canada. But but but… gun control?

    n

  2. Ray Thompson says:

    Leaving for Germany on Sunday and there is a problem in my right ear. It has become very difficult to equalize pressure changes. It can be done with some bizarre mouth distortions opening and closing but is never really complete. This is a big concern with the upcoming flight.

    So I am off to the ENT today to have a hole punctured in my right ear drum. Supposedly heals within 10 days and that presents another problem. The flight to Croatia and then the flight back home.

    I may see if a German doctor can redo the hole or perhaps a doctor in Croatia. An alternative is to have the doctor here place a tube in the ear drum so the hole remains open. That option was not broached on the last visit so I will ask on this visit.

    Last thing I need on a airplane, pressurized to 8K feet from the 700 feet of Atlanta is an ear that will not relieve the pressure. Aside from the pain the chances of severe and irreversible damage is possible.

  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    I once had a slightly stuffed up ear “pop” or release on a flight. A bunch of really really vile tasting cr@p went down my throat and I had SUPER hearing for a few minutes.

    Very strange experience, painful, gross, and was never repeated.

    I also learned the hard way not to fly with a neck injury. I’ve never been so nauseous without actually puking as when we were getting to altitude. Once there, pressures equalized and I was fine, but on the way, oh boy. When I got home I made a comment to the doc and he was all “oh, yeah, that’s a common side effect”. Jeez, you might have warned me…

    n

  4. Nick Flandrey says:

    Different tactical channel on the scanner this am- and another drug bust is going down. This one just a couple blocks from my secondary location…

    These guys are much less chatty.

    n

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    Scratch that, they just used the name of their contact.

    n

  6. Nick Flandrey says:

    This is why you should always protest your valuation if you can:

    Year Property taxes Change Tax assessment Change
    2017 $8,690 — $333,172 +0.3%
    2016 $8,690 +88.1% $332,171 +7.8%
    2015 $4,620 — $308,278 +77.6%
    2014 $4,620 — $173,569 +16.4%

    This is the tax assessor’s valuation of an empty house on a dilapidated lot, fronting on a major thru street.

    Once that value doubled, it was locked in. Note that the house and the neighborhood haven’t changed! But suddenly it was worth double?

    Look at the pricing history, as it’s sitting there VACANT.

    Price History
    Date Event Price $/sqft Source
    05/09/18 Price change $400,000-2.4% $238 Realm Real Est…
    01/31/18 Price change $410,000+47.0% $244 Realm Real Est…
    07/11/17 Listed for sale $279,000 $166 Carloyn Lightf…
    04/06/17 Listing removed $279,000 $166 Carloyn Lightf…
    03/10/17 Listed for sale $279,000+3.7% $166 Carloyn Lightf…
    12/31/16 Listing removed $269,000 $160 Carloyn Lightf…
    11/07/16 Price change $269,000-2.2% $160 Carloyn Lightf…
    06/08/16 Price change $275,000-19.0% $164 Carloyn Lightf…
    05/17/16 Price change $339,500-49.3% $202 Carloyn Lightf…
    01/22/16 Listed for sale $669,000 $399 Carloyn Lightf…

    $669K !!!!!!

    zillow listing–
    https://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale/globalrelevanceex_sort/29.812485,-95.512737,29.809898,-95.517135_rect/17_zm/

    The speculator that owns the property seems to think the dirt is worth more than my house and lot, 2400 sqft on 9000 sqft in a mature, HOA controlled neighborhood, with 24/7 Constable patrol, located just a couple miles away…. And NOT across the street from two different scary apartment complexes, and right next to a flood control ditch.

    n

  7. brad says:

    Hearing… I had a really strange experience two days ago. As many of you, I have tinnitus, in my case at a particular frequency (4kHz), where I apparently damaged my hearing some years ago.

    Anyhow, day before yesterday, I suddenly had a whole new serenade in my left ear – and simultaneously lost most of the high frequencies in that ear. According to an online hearing test, everything 4kHz and up just dropped 20dB in sensitivity.

    I didn’t bother going to an audiologist – what are they going to do, beside confirm the loss? But it’s weird, and very disconcerting, to have a sudden drop like that.

  8. MrAtoz says:

    Woof! President tRump to pardon Dinesh D’Souza today. Progturdian heads will exploded coast to coast. Another Obola crime done away with. Bye! Byeq legacy.

  9. DadCooks says:

    A bit of a light in the darkness? Let’s hope so.
    Black Stanford student decries Black Lives Matter in viral video: ‘White liberals in black face’

    Ebbie Banks, a black Stanford University student, took the spotlight during a College Republicans event on Tuesday night and railed against the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it “white liberals in black face.”
    What are the details?

    On Thursday, The College Fix reported that Banks, a freshman, made the comments during a “Make Stanford Great Again” event hosted by the College Republicans, and featuring Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens.

    During his remarks, Banks tackled the Black Lives Matter movement, which he said he believes is contrary to black family goals.

    According to The College Fix, Banks believes that the movement “does not champion the need for strong black families with husbands and fathers as the role models.”

    During the Q&A portion of the event, Banks stood up and said, “I’ve been researching Black Lives Matter and I’ve been understanding the politics and how they are funded by white liberals.”

    “Recently,” he continued, “I’ve been feeling like [Black Lives Matter is] white liberals in black face. … It’s because the white liberals are all about feminism, LGBT — white liberals don’t really care about black people. I realize, white liberals don’t really care about me, bro. I’m off the plantation, bro! I’m off the plantation, bro!”

    Banks, emboldened by his own remarks and the positive response of the audience, added, “I’m empowered. They don’t want me to have power. They want to keep me dependent. But I’m realizing this. They put white liberal ideas — LGBT, women, non-binary, white feminism, all that Hillary Clinton stuff — put it in black face!”

  10. Greg Norton says:

    The speculator that owns the property seems to think the dirt is worth more than my house and lot, 2400 sqft on 9000 sqft in a mature, HOA controlled neighborhood, with 24/7 Constable patrol, located just a couple miles away…. And NOT across the street from two different scary apartment complexes, and right next to a flood control ditch.

    Realtor games for clueless out-of-state cash or mostly cash buyers. Unless things have changed dramatcially since we bought our house four years ago, the assessment would never come back as $400k, and in a 30 yr fixed, 20% down situation, either the seller would have to accept the assessment as the purchase price or the buyer would be forced to pay PMI absent additional down payment.

    Is the neighborhood dominated by immigrants, specifically non-Indian Asians?

  11. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yeah, no one wanted it at $270K, wth would anyone pay $400k? Looks like the original realtor got tired of it too.

    With an empty lot next door, the ditch, heavy traffic, etc.

    I looked because some of the lots on the south side of the street in this area are HUGE. Big enough for a gated compound, and some (brave or foolish) people are starting to notice and build big homes here. Not this lot though.

    n

  12. Greg Norton says:

    Yeah, no one wanted it at $270K, wth would anyone pay $400k? Looks like the original realtor got tired of it too.

    Did that area flood in the hurricane? I’m guessing that it didn’t for that price.

    Our house went through four realtors before the couple finally accepted reality and sold out for the independent assessment that came back after we made our initial offer.

    Stock up on popcorn. It will be quite a show when 30 year T-bills go to 4%. Texas missed the big run up 10 years ago. When I sold my house outside Tampa for what the *market would pay* in 2010, I forced six neighbors into some combination of short sale, foreclosure, and/or liquidation bankruptcy. THAT was a show.

  13. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yep, there is something different about the banking and insurance regs in TX that make it much harder to use your house as an ATM. That means we missed the huge runup before 2008, but we also were somewhat insulated from the resulting crash too.

    For the rest of the country, the timing of your individual circumstance made a big difference. If you made it thru the initial frenzy, the banks didn’t WANT any more unsellable properties on their books and were much more willing to deal, or ignore the problem. Millions or possibly hundreds of thousands of people were in technical default and should have had their loans called, but it wasn’t in ANYONE’S interest to mark those homes to market value.

    n

  14. Nick Flandrey says:

    “Is the neighborhood dominated by immigrants, specifically non-Indian Asians?”

    All of our neighborhoods are dominated by Mexicans and hispanic OTMs, but the Koreans are making strong inroads. Most of the non-hispanic commercial property in the immediate area has Koreans behind it.

    n

  15. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hey wow, this just landed in my email…

    How many here remember Karen’s Power Tools newsletter and programs?

    Well, she’s passed on, but someone has picked up the torch.

    https://www.karenware.com/newsletters/2018/2018-03-12

    I used several of her utilities back in the day, and may still have one or two installed on even my main machine.

    n

  16. DadCooks says:

    WRT Karen Kenworthy:
    I too used to regularly visit her site and use her programs. I don’t know when or why I drifted away but she was unique. The PC community now has another Angel watching over them. Lord knows Micro$oft needs her.

  17. Greg Norton says:

    Yep, there is something different about the banking and insurance regs in TX that make it much harder to use your house as an ATM. That means we missed the huge runup before 2008, but we also were somewhat insulated from the resulting crash too.

    Assessments for the mortgage companies were tightly regulated and *extremely* independent in Texas when we bought our house. The one we received came from an assessor based in Lubbock who took a hard look at numbers in the neighborhood.

    I’m concerned things have changed recently. A friend bought a condo recently in Austin at what I thought was a crazy price, and the assessment came back supporting the sellers’ number even though comparables in the same complex for the same year were signficantly lower.

    Lose control of assessments, and the sky’s the limit. That’s what Florida taught the real estate and banking industry. Many banks are *still* sitting on foreclosures, especially the MacDill-related credit unions, for fear of collapsing the market.

  18. Nick Flandrey says:

    @brad, I’ve had similar hearing artifacts. They always came back to normal quickly though. You don’t mention it stopping and returning to normal…

    In my case, it kind of ramps up, then sort of ‘whites out’ is the only way I can describe it. Every time it’s scary, because it could be the time it doesn’t return to ‘normal’.

    n

  19. Paul H says:

    re: Karen’s Power Tools
    I’m still using Replicator for my daily backups, no mess, no fuss, no freaking compressed proprietary file formats.

  20. brad says:

    @Nick: I’ll hope you’re right, but it’s not back yet…

  21. Nick Flandrey says:

    Jeez o pete:

    “Teen Vogue tweet advising young readers how to ‘get your best summer vagina ever’ is mocked for suggesting women’s intimate parts change with the seasons

    Young fashion bible published an article on caring for your genitals in summer
    Unfortunately many readers joked they didn’t know there were different seasons”

    this is the same publication for teen girls that extolled the virtues of anal sex last year.

    n

    Oh, and this nonsense from elsewhere is an example of controlling the words to control the concepts.

    ” Beards can be feminine too,’ she says as she gives the middle finger to the camera.”

    “‘I’m not gender-fluid, I’m not gender non-conforming, I’m not gender-free,’ she told FEMAIL previously.

    ‘I believe that if you want gender then you can have it. If you want to label yourself then sure. If you want to use history to describe who you are then there is nothing wrong with that. But don’t limit me on the way that you limit yourself. I am “I.” That is it. I’m not my body.’ ”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5767781/Model-Rain-Dove-posts-inspirational-message-body-hair.html

    added- given that so many people in power in publishing, politics, media are pedos, doesn’t an article encouraging anal sex in teens count as ‘grooming’?

  22. mediumwave says:

    Expanding on my “STEM’s impending doom” comment of yesterday:

    Diversity Policies Are Corrupting the Sciences

    A previous attempt at mixing science and politics:

    Deutsche Physik

    “Deutsche Physik (literally: “German Physics”) or Aryan Physics (German: Arische Physik) was a nationalist movement in the German physics community in the early 1930s. A pseudoscientific movement, it nonetheless won the support of many eminent physicists in Germany. The term was taken from the title of a 4-volume physics textbook by Nobel Laureate Philipp Lenard in the 1930s.

    “Deutsche Physik was opposed to the work of Albert Einstein and other modern theoretically based physics, which was disparagingly labeled as “Jewish Physics” (German: Jüdische Physik).”

    Deutsche Physik did have at least one positive aspect: Hitler never got his A-bomb.

    A fictionalized and entertaining account of German nuclear science from the 1920s to the late 1940s is In Search of Klingsor. If the book is an accurate reflection of reality, seemingly staid, buttoned-down Erwin Schrödinger was an amazingly randy old goat.

  23. Ray Thompson says:

    ” Beards can be feminine too,’ she says as she gives the middle finger to the camera.”

    Maybe she/it/thing/shim/sher/fag/queer/dildo queen/prick punk/weirdo or whatever they want to be called could send more of a message if they shaved their pubic hair and glued that to their nose. Then they could be a real dick head.

  24. Greg Norton says:

    A previous attempt at mixing science and politics:

    Computer Science has already fallen. I was repeatedly told at my last grad program that a good computer scientist graduate student is not necessarily a good programmer.

    Translation: OPT diploma mill tuition checks are at stake.

    In WA State, I watched the department carefully shepherd a questionably competent single mother of six through the undgergrad program, not only with a passing grade, but a high enough GPA to graduate with honors and speak at graduation.

    Afterwards, she’s had three jobs in four years since graduating.

  25. lynn says:

    Afterwards, she’s had three jobs in four years since graduating.

    That may be her moving around to fill somebody’s quota and getting bonuses, etc.

    It’s all about the Benjamins !

  26. JimB says:

    Lynn, Have you found out what went wrong with your Ford’s transmission? Inquiring minds want to know, and hope it is inexpensive to fix.

  27. lynn says:

    Lynn, Have you found out what went wrong with your Ford’s transmission? Inquiring minds want to know, and hope it is inexpensive to fix.

    Well, my transmission in my 2005 Ford Expedition with 193,412 miles ist kaput. Something cut loose inside it. This is the local Ford dealership diagnosis. I had four options:
    1. get them to pull the tranny and see what is wrong inside. $1,000 to start plus replacement of whatever is broke. No warranty unless I replace everything inside.
    2. get them to pull the tranny and put a FoMoCo remanufactured tranny in it, $4,100. The “new” tranny has a three year unlimited mile warranty and can be worked on at any Ford dealership in the USA under warranty.
    3. tow the Expy over to Joe’s transmission shop and get his rebuilt tranny, $2,500. His warranty is no good if it breaks in Dallas, etc since I would have to tow the vehicle to his shop.
    4. junk the vehicle which has a worth of $5K with a working tranny and buy a new truck off the lot for $40K to $45K plus TTL

    I chose option #2 after consulting with the wife. I really want to keep the Expy as a backup vehicle when I buy a new truck on my own time and my own terms. The engine is in good shape as is the rest of the vehicle. The wife voted for option #2 also.

    I’m not sure that I am making a good decision here but we will find out.

  28. paul says:

    I see the appeal of Option 2. For the money I’d probably go with Option 3.

    Because, how often does one have transmission problems?

  29. Ray Thompson says:

    I’m not sure that I am making a good decision here but we will find out.

    I think you made the correct decision. Rebuilt transmissions by any transmission shop generally never work for long. Too many precise measurements that are not possible with a bench vise and channel locks.

    You want to keep the vehicle. Value to you is in your mind, not NADA. So get a warranted transmission. Cost of operation.

  30. Ray Thompson says:

    Because, how often does one have transmission problems?

    From Bubba’s Transmission and Salvage? A lot. I know two people that chose that option and had nothing but problems. “Warranties” were denied from silly reason, poor performance with erratic shifting and rough shifting, loss of one or more gears, complete loss of shifting, etc. Both people regretted their decision.

    One person had the credit card transaction reversed which resulted in a mechanics lein on their vehicle. The car owner took the shop to small claims court, won, and it took another two years and two more court visits to get the lein released.

    Automatic transmissions are more complicated than any other system in a vehicle. Transmissions are also subject to some hard use in normal operation. Towing as I do aggravates the strain. Rebuilding takes specialized equipment and very precise equipment along with a well trained person. Factory rebuild is the only viable option in my opinion.

  31. lynn says:

    I forgot to mention in option 3 that I travel a lot using my Expy. It has been to Norman, OK once this year and to Victoria, TX several times. I have even been back and forth to the Mecca of the Weird, Austin, TX. I will be taking my mom and Dad to Dallas in September. My peace of mind is worth a lot to me now. And, I have the cash. I do not have enough cash for a new truck though and I hate car/truck payments.

  32. nick flandrey says:

    besides, you want to wait for the $10k off list deals. Dodge is doing them now, ford will be along soon.

    n

  33. lynn says:

    BTW, the guy that towed my Expy from the gas station to the Ford house was driving a 2002 Ford F-550 with over 400K miles on it. The 7.3L diesel was original but he is on his fourth transmission. He drove it like he had a baby asleep in the back instead of my Expy. I remarked on his gentleness with the foot feed and he said that he had decided that babying his bosses truck was a lot easier than explaining a wreck or another tranny. He liked his job and I was his fifth tow of the day. He charged me $90 for the tow of about 10 miles through heavy traffic. Right after that, I remembered that I could have called Amica Insurance to arrange a tow on their road hazard portion of my car insurance.

  34. lynn says:

    besides, you want to wait for the $10k off list deals. Dodge is doing them now, ford will be along soon.

    I was offered a $53,600 MSRP 2018 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4 last week for $44,380. White, 6.5 ft bed, crew cab, skid plates, grey cloth seats with fixed console, 20 inch chrome wheels, 3.5L biturbo (ecoboost) engine, max towing (5 row radiator, transmission cooler, 36 gallon tank), navigation with voice activation, spray in bedliner. The turkeys sold it to someone else when I did not buy it !

  35. Ray Thompson says:

    I could have called Amica Insurance to arrange a tow on their road hazard portion of my car insurance

    Contact them anyway and submit your tow bill. You may get reimbursed.

    My peace of mind is worth a lot to me now

    Good enough reason to spend a couple extra thousand and get a factory rebuilt transmission with a warranty.

    I have heard good words about Jasper rebuilt engines and Jasper rebuilt transmissions. These are done at a central location with very well trained technicians and the proper tools and testing equipment. Local shops just don’t have the resources to acquire the expensive equipment. Ford will stand behind the transmission and that is worth more than a few dollars saved.

    He charged me $90 for the tow of about 10 miles through heavy traffic

    Fuel pump went out on my ’99 F-150 many years ago. Stopped to get gas. Truck would not start. Pushed the vehicle to the side and got a ride the short distance home. Called a local tow guy and he charged my $100.00 to take the vehicle about 27 miles to a Ford dealership. $900.00 later I had a new fuel pump. Lot of work to drop the tank and get the new pump installed. Pump was about $350.00 of the price. Expensive device. But it does have to maintain 35-40 PSI in a rather hostile environment.

    I also think you are going to start encountering more failures in your Expy as time progresses. A/C motor speed control, now transmission. Things are starting to reach the end of their useful life. What’s next? A/C compressor, water pump (probably overdue for replacement), hoses, injector or two, coil pack here and there. I foresee more repairs in your future.

    And in other news I had a tube put in my right ear drum. Can barely hear in that ear and it is somewhat uncomfortable, even down in to my upper neck. The hole was an option but would have closed by the return trip so a tube was a better option. The tube has to remain for six months. No swimming or water activities, showers OK if I protect the ear. I may have barked up the wrong tree on this event.

  36. nick flandrey says:

    Well, that didn’t take long–

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-31/starbucks-quietly-walks-back-homeless-shelter-bathroom-policy-new-color-brave

    And there are plenty of examples of prog newspeak in the article and workbook…

    “We want our stores to be the third place”

    “Starbucks Executive Vice President Rossann Williams gave an example of how an employee should approach a “disruptive” customer using foul language:

    “You are in our store every day, and we love that this is your third place, but from one human to another human, the language that you are using is making other customers uncomfortable. So either you have to change your behavior, and stay and be a part of our third place, or I’m going to have to ask you to leave, and you can come back at a later time, when you feel like you can be a part of our third place. And in fact if you want to go have a seat, I’ll bring you over a cup of water, just to make sure that it’s a great rest of your day.”

    “the coffee seller’s new ethos focused on teaching employees to be “color brave” ”

    n

  37. Ray Thompson says:

    I was offered a $53,600 MSRP 2018 Ford F-150 XLT

    With towing it also had an engine oil cooler and the turbo requires an intercooler up front. Lots of cooling radiators in the front of the engine needs to move lots of air. The fan can get noisy at times.

    navigation with voice activation

    Navigation is not that good, at least not in my ’14 F-150. Hopefully Ford has improved. I still prefer my Garmin. Map updates on Ford are $150.00. I have not paid and will not. Garmin map updates are free. Another reason to have a different navigation option.

    spray in bedliner

    Only way to go for a bed liner. I had mine done by Line-X and colored to match the color of my truck. Nice red bed liner that looks much better than the standard black. An extra cost option of course.

    36 gallon tank

    That’s a big tank. Mine is only 26 gallons. Filling that is painful. When I had my ’83 F-100 I had dual 19 gallon tanks with a tank selection switch in the cab. It was rough pumping 35 gallons on occasion when the gas was still less than $0.50 a gallon.

  38. lynn says:

    I also think you are going to start encountering more failures in your Expy as time progresses. A/C motor speed control, now transmission. Things are starting to reach the end of their useful life. What’s next? A/C compressor, water pump (probably overdue for replacement), hoses, injector or two, coil pack here and there. I foresee more repairs in your future.

    I am getting the A/C recharged also on this trip. First time if I remember correctly.

    And yes, I have already replaced many parts. I am on my third set of plugs. I think all the coils have been replaced at least once due to failure. My front left brake caliper has been replaced.

    I do have the max towing package in my Expy which gives me the five row radiator instead of the three row, the transmission oil cooler, and the limited slip rear axle. I have never seen my temperature gauge go high, even at 120 mph (indicated). Keeping cool saves a lot of problems.

    ADD: I have replaced the brake pads and discs three times.

  39. Ray Thompson says:

    I have never seen my temperature gauge go high, even at 120 mph (indicated). Keeping cool saves a lot of problems.

    Indeed it does. I have a transmission temperature gauge in my F-150 which is standard for any Ford F-series with a towing package. I have seen that climb, never into the high zone, when towing up Roane Mountain, a change in altitude of about 1300 feet in five miles. Towing puts a lot of strain on an automatic transmission.

    Automatic transmissions have gotten much better and more durable over the years. Busses use them, some heavy trucks are starting to use them. Even a couple of the trains we rode in Germany had automatic transmissions connected to a diesel power plant (no electric drive). Computer controlled and cooling make a big difference.

  40. nick flandrey says:

    “Garmin map updates are free.”

    SOME garmin devices come with free map updates. Many, especially the cheaper ones, are a big expense. Easier to do without, or cheaper to buy a new device.

    n

  41. Ray Thompson says:

    SOME garmin devices come with free map updates

    Even the cheapest Garmin vehicle GPS unit at $99.00 comes with lifetime maps. The years of charging for maps updates are long gone for vehicles. Specialized units for trucks and RV’s do not come with life time maps. Many come with lifetime traffic as an option for not a lot more money. The GPS in my Ford does not offer traffic and I have found that to be quite valuable on trips. The unit will indicate an obstruction and offer an alternative route that will save time.

    Add in route tracking, avoidance, lane guidance (really nice feature), junction view and much better trip information (customizable) the Garmin wins over the GPS in my Ford hands down.

  42. nick flandrey says:

    I don’t like the ford infotainment “sync” system in general, and don’t think it will hold up well with age.

    None of my garmins have map updates. None of them are anything approaching new though. I like the garmin voices and graphics. The traffic on one of mine comes from a radio receiver built into the cord, on the other it comes from microsoft. naturally the radio one still works, and the MS one doesn’t.

    On pretty much any trip, I’ll put the garmin up on the window, and put google maps on my phone as a double check. I like the garmin altitude and speed warnings and the countdown clock. But since I haven’t updated maps and the freeways in Houston have moved a lot, it constantly chides me during the early phase of the trip. The fact that the google maps are up to the minute is great, even with the surveillance issues.

    n

  43. lynn says:

    I don’t like the ford infotainment “sync” system in general, and don’t think it will hold up well with age.

    I think that the early Ford Sync system was Windows based. I thought that the new Sync 3 was Linux based but I was wrong, it is QNX, the Blackberry operating system. Interesting and scary.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Sync

  44. Ray Thompson says:

    I don’t like the ford infotainment “sync” system in general

    I am not impressed either. It works, but clumsy and not well thought out in my opinion. Parts of it are not easy to access or figure out. I also wonder why the song titles are truncated in the Sirius radio portion. Is that the fault of Sirius or Ford?

    What Ford, and other auto makers, should be doing is partnering with Garmin for the GPS portion of their system. Use the Garmin maps and display capabilities. Allow map updates to be loaded to a SD card (my truck uses that for firmware updates) and update the maps.

    Or the auto makers should integrate Google maps and get the updates to the maps real time through the cellular network via a bluetooth connected phone. Accurate maps, real time traffic, etc. What a deal, if the auto makers would take the initiative.

    Even with current maps on the Garmin I have encountered situations with new roads that the GPS is unaware. Even roads that have been in place for two years are not reflected in the Garmin maps. Annoying it is. Especially for roads that have been closed and thus you cannot use on your route. Do Google maps suffer from the same issues?

    Even with Garmin navigation the wife and I still carry maps. We like to know where we are relative to the area as many times while following a route we have no clue where we are located. The paper maps also give us an indication of where the next town is located so we can plan the next stop. We also sometimes take a different route than the navigation unit wanted because we think it is a better route or at least more interesting.

    I do like the toll road avoidance available with Garmin. Especially in places like Florida and Austin TX where toll roads are rampant. Several of the toll roads went the same direction you just avoided intersections. Some were annoying as the only way to take the toll road was with an EazyPass (or some sort of tag). No tag, no use of the toll road. Some you could take and just get a bill in the mail. Not worth the hassle and the Garmin avoids such situations.

    Then you have the cases of the idiots that blindly follow the GPS unit, when the road is closed, becomes gravel, narrows to one lane, and becomes snow covered. Obviously not traveled but the idiot continued to follow the GPS. Such a case occurred in Oregon resulting in the death of the driver as he attempted to walk out. His family was found by the car alive, he was a distance away frozen to death. Darwin wins again.

  45. JimB says:

    Lynn, thanks for the several updates. I agree you did the best option on your transmission, especially since you need to travel. Factory rebuilt transmissions, done by the OEM, should be as good as new. Should.

    I have rebuilt my own, but I am careful and a serious hobbyist. I do some things even the pros don’t do, although that might be overkill. I also have been acquainted with automatic transmissions for a long time. Ray, actually, the newer automatics are much simpler with computer control, although they have different failure quirks. Gone are the hydraulic controllers, replaced by electronic ones. Different world, with many improvements, such as coordinated shifts. And, automatics have often been more durable than manuals, in the hands (and feet!) of operators with limited skills. Keeping them cool and clean is paramount.

    I don’t need to add that I don’t keep up with the latest automotive trends. I finally bought a car whose model year begins with a two. Yes, the newer cars are fun, but complex. I enjoy the simplicity of the older ones as well. Have some of each. Liked almost every car I have owned, and would have kept them all if I could. I don’t drive many miles any more, and combined with the good weather here, a car can last a long time. I have two that have not been driven in the rain since I have owned them. The joy of retirement in the desert. Just keep cars inside, and the nonmetallic parts can last a long time. Rust is unheard of. Last year, I sold (to a friend who is still a friend) a 1977 Dodge D100 that I owned for 28 years. I hated to part with it, but replaced it with a very nice newer PU, still made in the 2oth century. (Oh, and I call all of them “cars; don’t mean to step on any toes, but to me a truck has more than six wheels.) I am keeping my older cars, both ’68s. Nothing older right now, although I have craved a Model A, and might have one some day. Or, maybe a Kaiser Darrin or its stepchild, a Karmann Ghia. So many toys, so little time.

    Having tried some on board nav systems, I hope the reported trend to ditch them and simply link a phone to the car’s screen happens soon. I have used various phones for navigation, and to me the best feature is that they go with me when I exit the car. And, cars need much bigger screens, similar to the Tesla’s. I’m tired of watching movies on my phone while driving!! 🙂

  46. nick flandrey says:

    “I’m tired of watching movies on my phone while driving!! ”

    Prohibited by law in the US….

    And reminds me of another plus of the phone or freestanding GPS, NO NANNY BS. So many times I or the wife need to enter something or change a menu on a rental car, and the nanny software won’t allow it unless we’re stopped and the car is in park.

    Machines need to do what I tell them to do.

    n

  47. JimB says:

    “NO NANNY BS”

    Right. So far. On occasion, I have seen these options offered on my phone. Always opted out.

    I note that it is still legal in some jurisdictions to read paper maps or eat while driving …but we were born free – JP.

  48. nick flandrey says:

    I get some nanny stuff on the phone, don’t turn it up so loud, you can hurt yourselff, and even don’t make the screen so bright, you can hurt your eyes, or run down the battery faster…..

    Bah.

    n

  49. Greg Norton says:

    That may be her moving around to fill somebody’s quota and getting bonuses, etc.

    It’s all about the Benjamins !

    Her first job was Intel, the *only* WSU Vancouver CS grad to get a permanent badge there from that graduating class. IIRC, she’s the only one in the last five years. I can’t imagine better quota practices … or more Benjamins.

    In Portland, someone with a permanent Intel badge who isn’t a manager is rare.

  50. Greg Norton says:

    Well, that didn’t take long–

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-31/starbucks-quietly-walks-back-homeless-shelter-bathroom-policy-new-color-brave

    The institutional investors dropped a dime on the Starbucks CEO. Vanguard, T. Rowe, Fidelity, et. al. If nothing else, SBUX is a huge component of index funds, and I’d demand stability/accountability if I actively managed something like Magellan.

    Good or bad, Disney ended up with Eisner because a few big stockholders lost faith in Ron Miller, regardless of the reality on the ground. Don’t think that wouldn’t happen to Schultz at Starbucks.

  51. nick flandrey says:

    I think Eisner made some good calls early on, revitalized their rep, got Roy back, and got them back into animation.

    He stuck around WAY too long, screwed up with ESPN and ABC, buying them because HE’D always wanted to, not because it was a good business decision, and generally lost his freaking mind as his ego expanded.

    n

  52. Greg Norton says:

    He stuck around WAY too long, screwed up with ESPN and ABC, buying them because HE’D always wanted to, not because it was a good business decision, and generally lost his freaking mind as his ego expanded.

    Eisner always botched handling of the parks IMHO.

    Disney needs to unload ESPN … soon.

    Another Eisner-style shareholder push was brewing over the last few years to make Sheryl Sanberg CEO. I’d sell my stock if that happened, but, fortunately, it looks like Iger will stick around a while.

    I noticed Sanberg was off the Disney board. I always voted against her being retained, but I thought she was there for life.

  53. SVJeff says:

    None of my garmins have map updates. None of them are anything approaching new though.

    Both of my newer units are lifetimed so I don’t know if this would work with what you have… When my older 4.3″ unit’s maps got so old as to be almost unusable, I bought the map update on media card via eBay. Later, someone gave me a similar unit and I cloned the card to another one like I would have done a hard drive. Worked like a charm…

  54. SteveF says:

    Starbucks Executive Vice President Rossann Williams gave an example of how an employee should approach a “disruptive” customer using foul language

    I assume the example did not involve the words “with a .45 in hand, cocked but not pointing at anyone”.

  55. nick flandrey says:
  56. nick flandrey says:

    Huh, someone else noticed all the emergency alert problems too:

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-01/whats-all-false-alarm-warnings-emergency-alert-system-lately

    not just my paranoia….

    n

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