Tues. Dec. 4, 2018 – Got about half my list done yesterday

Cold and wet this am. Still no new battery for my weather station. I feel like some pre-scientific peasant. “Ugg, cold.” On the other hand, weatherunderground shows several of my neighbors reporting 44F and 45F. From sensors in the yard via radio to the house, then uploaded to the internet, then combined onto a zoom-able map in real time, for me to see on my computer after a round trip of hundreds if not thousands of miles…. all pretty near instantaneously. AND NOT provided, provisioned, or purveyed by the government. SF writers got that wrong.

Plenty to do today.

The world continues to hurtle toward the brink…

but my kids need breakfast, clean clothes, and hugs, so I better get busy.

n

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60 Responses to Tues. Dec. 4, 2018 – Got about half my list done yesterday

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    It looks like Macron is caving to the mob….

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-04/macron-suspends-gas-taxes-more-violent-yellow-vest-protests-loom

    Anyone notice the truth leaking thru??

    “Macron justified the gas tax by saying it was essential for combating climate change. ”

    –snip–
    ” But there’s a catch: If taxes must be cut, then public spending will also be scaled back, Macron said; in other words once the smoke clears the anger will be even greater as social welfare programs are slashed.”

    So they were using the tax increase, which was sold as a ‘green’ policy, to fund welfare programs… and the tax was only suspended for 6 months. Kick the can down the road… maybe the proles will forget about it. Or maybe Mme. Guillotine will feast on the new aristos…

    n

  2. Alan Greenspan says:

    Oh no, the rampaging hordes of “those people” are coming to take your hugs! Better hide in your basement! Also, too, George Soros!

    I’m bored. When’s the guy with interesting information about computers and chemistry coming back?

  3. ITguy1998 says:

    Got my car back yesterday. No contact from my service advisor all day after leaving multiple messages and calling frequently. I decided to stop by after work. Got there, and found out he was off. No other service rep around – the shuttle driver had a heck of a time finding one, but he finally did. It took her a moment to find the info on my car and determine the work was complete.

    The differential leak was determined to be caused by a plugged pcv vale. I didn’t know a diff had one of those, though it kind of makes sense. They replaced that, and both of the axle seals. No mention of the driveshaft seal, and I forgot to ask. I’ll put the car on the lift this weekend and look it over – and likely clean the diff to remove the leaked lube. Anyone care to bet if they actually cleaned the differential housing??

    After getting a copy of the paperwork, I got in (wow, the ATS is a small car compared to the CT6 loaner) and drove off. Drove fine but the handling felt off – someone super-inflated my tires. They should be 33 psi front and 35 psi rear. They were at 39 psi all around. The car was cold, so it hadn’t been driven. I took care of that issue this morning before I left for work. Handles much better now…

    Now to call Costco and get scheduled to have the tires I ordered installed.

  4. brad says:

    Macron reminds me of the Shrub, or maybe a bit of Obama: He comes in riding a wave of promises to be different, but turns out to be just another member of the elite.

    France consists of two countries that don’t understand each other very well: Paris and everything else. Very much like the US coasts and flyover country. Over the decades, they have been far, far too generous to certain segments of the population, at the expense of other segments. This aligns to a large degree with Paris/everything-else. For example, civil servants – concentrated in Paris – have ridiculously early retirement with very generous terms. Meanwhile, everyone else is paying higher and higher taxes.

    What makes the current situation difficult is that everyone who’s pissed off is protesting – leftists, rightists, centrists – everybody. There’s nothing at all that Macron can do to satisfy the movement – even if he resigns, what happens then? It looks to me to be a very dangerous and unstable situation…

    The 1% in France need to be careful. Guillotines are part of French history – that’s how the population got rid of the elitist snobs the last time.

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    @alan greenspan,

    “I’m bored. When’s the guy with interesting information about computers and chemistry coming back? ”

    Um, he’s dead? Not coming back. Or at least it is EXTREMELY unlikely.

    There’s still plenty of computer content, but all self generated in the comments, and as discussed here recently, most of us have moved from “enthusiast” to “just use the darn thing” wrt computers. They just aren’t that interesting anymore until you get WAY out into the weeds. Still, specific questions usually get a useful answer.

    Chemistry stuff has moved, see the link to kits in the black bar at the top for the continuation of that legacy.

    Texas doesn’t have basements, because they would flood. Some places the POTHOLES flood. If I did though, it would be awesome, full of cool stuff and tools.

    I DO have a secret lair where I plot the downfall of the world’s supervillians, like G. Soros. It has frickin’ lasers! I even get to use it when the kids aren’t having a tea party in it….

    n

  6. JimL says:

    34º and sunny today, maybe clouds later. And I won’t get to run today because of a silly meeting. Not the greatest.

    This morning the wife had a Dr’s appointment at 7:15, so I got to stay home to get them ready to go to school. Like most mornings, but no Nana to relieve me at 7:30. (Wife is on vacation this week, so I get to work early & home early. Better for everyone.) Hugs & kisses before & after breakfast, which is different than Mom. I make them come to the kitchen, we talk while we eat & do dishes, then off to get dressed. They KNOW what they’re getting from me every morning, which is just about perfect. They need stability & a loving atmosphere.

    The 9-5 is driving me to drink, however. Excuse me while I go attend a meeting.

  7. dkreck says:

    9-5? What the heck is that? 8-5 here and then some.

  8. dkreck says:

    We’re never getting California back.
    http://thefederalist.com/2018/11/30/paul-ryan-right-californias-election-laws-vulnerable-fraud/

    Add to that outside money and millions of immigrants wanting a free ride.

  9. Nick Flandrey says:

    I spent about half hour listening to a radio show produced in Cali about the current elections. The host was interviewing some woman who had some sort of third tier elected position in local .gov and was active in the Cali Republican party. She was insisting that they need a NEW party, that the Rs need to be burned to the ground and rebuilt before they can win elections.

    Her new party? Well, we need to repudiate Trump, embrace climate change, do something about income inequality, and most of the rest of the lefty platform. In other words, she wants the Rs to BECOME the Ds.

    My reaction was “how about embracing the conservative elements, close the border, lower taxes, cut spending and regulation, support your elected leader, and QUIT TRYING TO BE DEMOCRATS.”

    Nope, she kept hammering away at it, saying repeatedly that the new party would need to develop new ideas and new solutions, without even actually NAMING a new idea or a new solution. Just need to develop them. In her heart she knows they don’t need ANY ideas or solutions as they would never be implemented anyway, they just need to TALK about it.

    Cali is dead to me.

    n

  10. Nick Flandrey says:

    This is worth watching, despite it being brutal.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6458335/Police-hunt-vicious-mugger-caught-video-brutally-beating-man.html

    The initial approach is called the “interview” phase. That’s when the attacker will see if you will engage with him, they will ask for something small, see if they can get close to you, and will often test you by touching you in some way.

    The shift to the attack is very quick, and you have to be watching for it, but the attacker “blades” or turns slightly, and shifts his feet. Then comes the punch.

    What is disturbing is that the victim doesn’t really try to defend himself and doesn’t eve try to move away. He might be stunned from the first hit, or he might have some pre-existing condition. BTW, that last hit doesn’t “knock him to the ground”, it knocks him unconscious.

    Don’t let them engage you. Don’t fail the interview by letting them get close. Watch for the pre-attack indicators. Fight back, or GTFO. This guy could have been killed when he fell if he’d fallen straight back and hit his head. It happens with one punch knock outs all the time.

    n

  11. Greg Norton says:

    Macron reminds me of the Shrub, or maybe a bit of Obama: He comes in riding a wave of promises to be different, but turns out to be just another member of the elite.

    Well, as Dr. Pournelle used to say, Sooooprise!

    Macron is a former Rothschild lackey. Obama is the more apt comparison since his grandmother was associated with the World Bank but everyone projected humble origins onto him.

  12. Greg Norton says:

    We’re never getting California back.

    California got very lucky during the last economic downturn in that their revenue situation turned around before things got really bad. They won’t be so lucky next time, especially in light of the reduction in the Federal deduction for income and property taxes.

    I believe it was Bill Maher who said, “You want Republicans at times, mean old men who take care of your money.”

    CA used to occasionally elect (R) Governors. MD just reelected theirs.

  13. lynn says:

    “Macron makes U-turn on fuel-tax increases in face of ‘yellow vest’ protests”
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-protests/macron-makes-u-turn-on-fuel-tax-increases-in-face-of-yellow-vest-protests-idUSKBN1O30MX

    Can you imagine these carbon taxes here in the USA ? The truck drivers and uber drivers would burn the place to the ground.

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

    BTW, the people who are electing these pretty man-child pedicured politicians to office need to learn that the rest of the people will not be lorded over. I am beginning to wonder if France is going to tip over into a civil war. I doubt it but things are getting very rowdy over there.

  14. dkreck says:

    In California Dems now occupy all executive offices and hold a super majority in both the state senate and assembly. Watch them try to impose their socialists laws on everything and everybody. They may so overdo it that a backlash could occur, but don’t count on it.

  15. nick flandrey says:

    “Watch them try to impose their socialists laws ”

    They already DO.

    It’s only gotten worse since I left there, and it was bad then. Any productive person who isn’t tied to the land should GTFO.

    n

  16. nick flandrey says:

    —— just a drill —————

    And WTH???? Harris county EOC just got activated… because someone else’s EOC just activated.

    No idea why.

    n

    added, it’s something happening at the Port of Houston, their fire command issued a shelter in place… scanner is cool, but frustrating.

    ah, some sort of bad release, now they are discussing a “plume model”.

    BTW Port of Houston is right in the middle of ‘downtown’.

  17. lynn says:

    Questionable Content: “Define “normal””
    https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3887

    Heh.

  18. Jenny says:

    California – I left in 1993. I was in my early 20’s, making good money despite lacking a college degree and not yet into computers. The writing was on the wall then and had been for some years.

    I go back periodically because friends and family.

    It’s the island of the damned. As far as I can tell they like it that way.

    Saw the original Superman with husband and 6 year old last night. She loved it. We loved it. It was great – Christopher Reeve was marvelous. But I was secretly rooting for Lex Luther and his plan to dump California in the Pacific.

    I’ll do a write up of our Alaska earth quake and prep stuff in the next day or so.

  19. lynn says:

    Saw the original Superman with husband and 6 year old last night. She loved it. We loved it. It was great – Christopher Reeve was marvelous. But I was secretly rooting for Lex Luther and his plan to dump California in the Pacific.

    I thought that also recently upon a reviewing of the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie. BTW, isn’t that about the fourth or fifth Superman movie ? Or maybe I am just remembering the TV series.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman_(1978_film)

    Nope, the second Superman movie.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman_in_film

  20. JimL says:

    Just done with the meeting(s). Supposed to have an hour between. Didn’t.

    9-5? What the heck is that? 8-5 here and then some.

    Okay – how about 8-6? Or 7-5? Those are more like the hours I work. But “9-5” is easier to talk about when I talk about the different things I do.
    * 9-5
    * My timing business. (What I really want to do, but don’t get enough work.)
    * Running
    * Family time

    Unfortunately, the 9-5 is too much a part of my life, and crowds out the more important parts.

  21. nick flandrey says:

    –just a drill —

    any of us in houston, if you are south of I 10 and inside the 610 loop on the east side, whatever spilled in the port area is probably headed your way. they are shelter in place from city dock 3 to navigation blvd.

    n

  22. lynn says:

    “US Postal Service says mail delivery suspended Wednesday as George H.W. Bush arrives in Washington”
    https://www.chron.com/news/article/Washington-to-pay-respects-bid-farewell-to-13439349.php

    Is this normal ? I do not remember USPS shutting down for previous presidential deaths ?

    Sorry, but I will not be shutting down my business.

  23. ITguy1998 says:

    Redstone Arsenal sent out a notice that they will be operating on holiday schedule on Wednesday and it is to be treated as a holiday for civilian workers. A silly person asked on facecrack if that counted for contractors as well….

  24. nick flandrey says:

    My former employer has some display systems at Redstone… but I never got there.

    and the scanner is silent once more. I guess the incident at the port is under control.

    The 3 surveillance ops I was listening to before I locked onto the port ops seem to have all gone silent too.

    That is the frustrating thing about scanner listening.

    n

  25. Greg Norton says:

    Nope, the second Superman movie.

    The CA scheme was in the first movie. We went to the 40th anniversary event the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

    All of Jackie Cooper’s best lines are intact.

    One ‘p’ in rapist.

    Two ‘t’s in bloodletting.

  26. Greg Norton says:

    Saw the original Superman with husband and 6 year old last night. She loved it. We loved it. It was great – Christopher Reeve was marvelous. But I was secretly rooting for Lex Luther and his plan to dump California in the Pacific.

    Superhero movies were fun once.

    If you don’t already have it at your house, find Disney’s horribly underrated “Sky High”. The script came from the Mouse’s best writing team (IMHO), and the director indulged himself with the casting of the adults.

  27. nick flandrey says:

    Ahhh, the port thing is a DRILL.

    n

    added- would be nice if they’d updated the houston OEM website, or if the traffic had “notional” with every transmission

  28. Ray Thompson says:

    But I was secretly rooting for Lex Luther and his plan to dump California in the Pacific

    It’s still a good plan in my opinion. CA is so far out of touch with reality they should become a separate country and that way they can be denied all federal money, most of which goes to waste.

    My older brother left for Idaho, worked for the state most of his life in the highway department. Gets retirement from them but is unsure how long that will last. Same with his medical coverage. If CA goes broke he will loose most of those retirement benefits. Brother is ticked off that his retirement money from the state will still be taxed by CA even though he lives in Idaho. CA’s position is that the money is still earned in CA and therefore CA is entitled to income tax on that money.

    Younger brother wants to leave but is stuck because of stubborn MIL who can’t be chiseled from her home. Wife unit clings to his MIL and the only way he could leave is divorce from his wife or killing the MIL. He has wondered about the latter he is so anxious to get out of CA. A couple of nieces and nephews are still there and are also making plans, slowly, to leave the state and go somewhere reasonable.

    All are frustrated with the high taxes from sales, property and gas; wasted money; liberal agenda; environmental whacko’s; illegals from Mexico; etc. CA is building itself into a major disaster area. Maybe that is what they to get lots of federal money to bail them out. More people in CA get government benefits than there are people working. That is not sustainable.

  29. Ray Thompson says:

    US Postal Service says mail delivery suspended Wednesday

    Stock markets will be closed on Wednesday. Did not know about the mail delivery.

    Now we will hear speeches about how all Americans are mourning the loss. That statement is blatantly untrue. I, and probably thousands of others, are not mourning the loss.

    Sort of along the same lines of elected officials making statements such as “As your leader……”. Bzzzzzztttttt, wrong. They are not my leader. They are elected representatives. They need to get that through their thick skulls. Only the Boy Scouts have leaders.

  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    now that I know it’s an exercise, and it’s back on after a lunch break, it’s even more interesting to hear them managing the drill.

    Big drill btw, fireboat, several hazmat teams, command and control, other vessels…

    n

    interesting, the fire mgmt team uses software called CommandBridge

    http://aressecuritycorp.com/commandbridge/

  31. Greg Norton says:

    Maybe that is what they to get lots of federal money to bail them out. More people in CA get government benefits than there are people working. That is not sustainable.

    Even if you don’t live in CA, you probably have a vested interest. Most 401(k) and pension funds’ growth models are now dependent on the success of Silicon Valley and CA real estate valuations remaining inflated.

  32. Nick Flandrey says:

    and Cali’s giant funds wield an outsized influence on the financial sphere…

    n

  33. Nick Flandrey says:

    more interesting, they have a firefighter wearing an apple watch, the scenario calls for him to do jumping jacks to simulate high heartrate, which pops up on their monitoring system, and then they initiate a rescue…

    n

  34. Nick Flandrey says:

    and that’s it for the exercise. I wish I’d known earlier to listen, or gotten the call to participate as an actor.

    n

  35. lynn says:

    “Third Time” by John Varley
    https://varley.net/nonfiction/varleylog/third-time/

    “At 10:34 AM yesterday a SpaceX rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, where we watched several launches when we lived on the Central Coast of California. It was a Falcon 9 rocket that had already been used (twice!) and it was about as perfect as a rocket launch and landing could be. There were 64 satellites aboard, most of them about the size of a microwave oven. The first stage landed on the floating barge as lightly as a butterfly. (Well, if a butterfly was 180 feet tall and spouting fire out its ass, anyway.) The videos from this launch were the best ever. You can see the first stage re-entering the atmosphere and landing on the barge.”

    “Since Sputnik and Explorer 1, our exploration of space has consisted of dropping multi-million-dollar rockets into the ocean. It has been clear to me for a long time that we well never get very far into space if we use our rockets once. It’s hideously expensive, and just plain crazy. Our goal must be 100% re-usability. Elon Musk has taken the first steps.”

    We are living in awesome times.

  36. MrAtoz says:

    If you don’t already have it at your house, find Disney’s horribly underrated “Sky High”.

    That is a fun movie.

    Paul Joseph Watson has a good youtube vid on the joys of Portland:

    Portland is a Sh*thole

  37. Nick Flandrey says:

    Sweet jebus that vid was depressing. and stress inducing. When I see those @ssholes blocking streets and assaulting people, I start getting really anxious. Not a good reaction.

    I’ve got bear spray in my glovebox, but I think I’ll add some 180db sirens to my vehicles. Blast them with that, you don’t have to open your window.

    n

  38. lynn says:

    I’ve got bear spray in my glovebox, but I think I’ll add some 180db sirens to my vehicles. Blast them with that, you don’t have to open your window.

    Aren’t train air horns rated at 135 db ?

    We have a gentleman with an train air horn mounted on his pickup. He drives all around our subdivision blowing it. Just about makes me come unglued when he is behind my house.

  39. Greg Norton says:

    Paul Joseph Watson has a good youtube vid on the joys of Portland:

    I’ve noted it before, but it merits repeating: When watching reruns of “Cops”, listen carefully right before “Bad Boys” plays — a radio call goes out to “132nd and Bush”. The intersection is a well known problem area of Portland on the east side of town.

  40. Greg Norton says:

    We have a gentleman with an train air horn mounted on his pickup. He drives all around our subdivision blowing it. Just about makes me come unglued when he is behind my house.

    Back in the 70s, my father mounted a diesel locomotive horn under the hood of my mother’s Fairmont when she complained that the car’s factory horn was a piece of cr*p. Having a decent horn in 70s era Tampa Bay was essential — God’s waiting room.

    The car in general was a piece of cr*p, but, being a Ford employee, my father could never admit it. IIRC, the car was gone at 60,000 miles due to compression issues with the engine. Dunno if the horn went to the junk yard in the car.

  41. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’ve got some cop car sirens from an auction. I don’t know the actual rating, but it’s 100w into 11 ohm at 32v. It comes with a warning that it can cause permanent hearing loss, even when installed correctly on a boat or motorcycle.

    https://www.ebay.com/p/Federal-Signal-Dynamax-100-Watt-Police-Siren-Speaker-Model-MS100/2255646067?iid=253701256678

    One for each vehicle, but I don’t have the driver boxes yet. I DID have them, but sold them because I didn’t have the speakers….

    n

  42. Greg Norton says:

    “Beto O’Rourke met with Barack Obama as he ponders a 2020 presidential campaign”

    Is Robert Francis scheduled to speak at the Bill and Hillary Houston hoedown? If not, the fix is in.

    I read the other day that the idiot Castro brother … okay, they’re both idiots … was working the donors to challenge Cornyn in 2020. No si habla? No Senor Rafael Edward — no problemo!

    Viva La Raza!

  43. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve got bear spray in my glovebox, but I think I’ll add some 180db sirens to my vehicles. Blast them with that, you don’t have to open your window.

    Federal law doesn’t allow you to use bear spray on the dirtbags, even if you are in fear for your life.

  44. Nick Flandrey says:

    Hmm, well, I’ll take my chances on that. It’s a BIG canister. I don’t really want to risk it blowing back in my face, hitting the interior of the car, or rolling the window down to use it. It was the best I could come up with during the BLM rioting.

    I think some super loud siren noise would move the crowd too. Pretty sure it’s a violation to have the siren too.

    Better than shooting them…
    n

  45. Rick H says:

    @Greg: regarding federal law and bear spray; I can’t find any references to federal law banning it with a quick googles.

    There is a Wikipedia entry that states:

    “Bear spray is legal across the United States. It can be purchased even in Hawaii, New York, or Massachusetts, where standard pepper sprays are illegal unless bought locally by certified firearms dealers or pharmacists.[14] In Canada, while legal for use against bears, bear spray is a prohibited weapon if intended to be used against humans.[15] ”

    This link seems to indicate that using bear spray on a human is OK if used in self-defense.

    There is also a thread on Reddit about using bear spray on a human.

    But that thread also states that bear spray is not the best defense against a human. Bear spray is meant to spray in a cloud, whereas pepper spray sprays in a stream. So pepper spray would seem to be a more accurate defensive spray against a human.

    Another deterrent is a high-powered FLASHLIGHT. (Had to mention that, because we need more mentions of FLASHLIGHTS here.) Although perhaps not as useful in the daytime; except (on reflection – heh) a very bright strobing FLASHLIGHT might work during the day).

  46. SteveF says:

    A megawatt FLASHLIGHT (and, yes, it deserves to be capitalized in this usage) would deter close-in rioters. Where “deter” can be read as “vaporize”.

  47. Nick Flandrey says:

    I like the big canister for crowds, I want to cover a big area. Blowback is a real risk though.

    n

  48. mediumwave says:

    Although perhaps not as useful in the daytime; except (on reflection – heh) a very bright strobing FLASHLIGHT might work during the day).

    And if the FLASHLIGHT is big enough and heavy enough, wielding it like a nightstick should be quite effective at any time!

  49. Nick Flandrey says:

    ATT fiber was up and down all day yesterday. The map showed outages all over the US. It’s been up and down again tonight.

    n

  50. Lynn says:

    I have a new grossness for owning a swimming pool. DEAD SQUIRREL IN THE SPA !

  51. JimB says:

    Regarding the discussion about California, while it is true that the coastal areas are very blue, the internal areas are very red. Unfortunately, the blue areas, while smaller geographically, have a higher number of people. So, democracy (mob rule) in action. Here are some interesting maps:

    I live in one of the most conservative areas, and the people are wonderful in my community. We are also somewhat isolated. But, yes, we are influenced by the state. Overall, for me, life is pretty good, certainly much better than anywhere else I ever lived. I just hope it lasts for the rest of my life. If not, there is that long walk in the desert, which works in either summer or winter 😉

  52. JimB says:

    Regarding the discussion about California, while it is true that the coastal areas are very blue, the internal areas are very red. Unfortunately, the blue areas, while smaller geographically, have a higher number of people. So, democracy (mob rule) in action.

    I live in one of the most conservative areas, and the people are wonderful in my community. We are also somewhat isolated. But, yes, we are influenced by the state. Overall, for me, life is pretty good, certainly much better than anywhere else I ever lived. I just hope it lasts for the rest of my life. If not, there is that long walk in the desert, which works in either summer or winter 😉

  53. JimB says:

    The car [Ford Fairmont] in general was a piece of cr*p, but, being a Ford employee, my father could never admit it. IIRC, the car was gone at 60,000 miles due to compression issues with the engine.

    I said a couple of days ago that I have liked every car I owned, except one. That one was a 1971 Toyota Corona (note the spelling; it was NOT a Corolla) four door sedan that my wife bought new about a year before we married. It was all she could afford after losing her 1966 Mustang to another driver who spun out on black ice in the Midwest. She liked it. Consumer Reports probably liked it. I hated it. It drove like a truck. It had power disc brakes that worked well, but did not need power assist. It had non power steering, but desperately needed it. It had a balky four speed manual transmission and the worst clutch operation I have ever experienced. I could go on. OK, one more thing, it drove OK on the highway, although it was very noisy. Trouble was, we needed it for short trips.

    That was bad, because the engine was the slowest to warm up of any car I have ever seen. This was a design flaw, well known, nothing in need of repair. When it was eight years old, it was mercifully totaled by a 4WD pickup driver who rear ended us. The engine had only 42k miles, and was smoking noticeably due to failing valve seals and stuck piston rings. I take good care of my cars, including this one, but it was beyond me. I changed the oil every three months in the summer and two months in the winter. I drove it 20 miles at least once a week to attempt to keep the crankcase clean. No help.

    More. The upholstery was shredding from sun damage. Our other (American) car was two years older, and lasted another several years after the Toyota under similar operation. It eventually clocked a little over 200k miles with no major problems. I have had four VW Beetles, and all lasted a long time. They were fun to drive, although a little slow on the highway. They had upholstery that was comfortable and lasted. So, it was definitely that Toyota.

    When my friends rave about their Japanese cars, now mostly built in the US, I just keep quiet. There is something about being ahead of the times. Am I bitter? Not at all. Would I buy another Japanese car? Well… three years ago I looked seriously at a very nice 1991 Lexus LS400, but found it was not nice enough. But, if it had been, I might have a better story to tell. This first generation Lexus is highly regarded by some. A friend owned several Lexuses (Lexi?), starting with this model, and liked it the best.

  54. brad says:

    “Her new party? Well, we need to repudiate Trump, embrace climate change, …and most of the rest of the lefty platform”

    For me, that’s pretty much the definition of a cuckservative. Conservatives who don’t actually want to conserve anything.

    Trump is a fruitcake, but he’s a useful fruitcake, because he actually gets things done. Things which ought to have been on the conservative agenda for decades, but haven’t been, because the cuckservatives don’t want to offend anyone by standing up for conservative values.

    So she’s right: The R’s need their party (or party organization, anyway) burned to the ground. Cuckservatives like her need to be replaced by people possessing actual spines.

    Fortunately, things are changing. It used to be incredibly dangerous, personally and professionally, to criticize leftist positions. That was the progressive weapon that turned conservatives into cuckservatives. But just in the past few years, it has become possible to question political correctness, and more people are willing to do so.

    As an example: I recently posted a comment on Slashdot, pointing out that one of Nigeria’s problems with democracy was the abysmal state of education. Which is true – Nigeria ranks somewhere near the bottom internationally. Some prog tried to call me a racist, even though I said absolutely nothing about race. A few years ago, people would have rushed to virtue signal by agreeing with him. This time, instead, other posters pointed out that he was reading things into my post that I did not say. Standard SJW tactic fails – refreshing.

  55. Ray Thompson says:

    I have had four VW Beetles, and all lasted a long time

    I had three VW beetles, the last one, a ’74 Super Beetle was a piece of junk.

    I had to have the speedometer replaced three times because it would just go berserk. The fuel pump had to be replaced twice. Fuel gauge was replaced five times as it would fail to work at all. All within the first year. The car had a water leak when it rained hard and water would accumulate in the floor, one time having as much as two inches. I had the car at the dealer about five times over that issue. The seat belt system (in ’74 sensors were required by law in the seats and the car was not allowed to start unless the belt was buckled) would fail and the car would not start and I would have to unplug the sensor eventually leaving them unplugged. Even then the car would sometimes fail to start and left me stranded twice. All while under warranty.

    The brakes were a constant problem. Sometimes they would stick and drag and severely overheat. This required the replacement of the drums and the pistons. Done twice under warranty. The dealer installed A/C would freeze up on long drives and would require it be shut off for 20 minutes or so with the windows rolled down. Not pleasant in south Texas.

    All of these problems were under warranty. There was before lemon laws and the dealer would eventually just refuse to fix the problems even though it was under warranty. I made a stink in the showroom which caused a couple of customers to leave. This got the attention of the owner who told me to never set foot in his dealership again. I complied but also did as much as I could to spread the word. Even to the point of holding a sign in front of his dealership while standing on a public sidewalk. This pissed him off big time and he called the police who told him I was on public property and I was doing nothing illegal. Yes, it made the papers. A few years later he went out of business as the dealership changed names.

    I continued to drive the car. I drilled a hole in the floor to let the water drain when it rained. It required a complete engine rebuild at 40K miles, a new exhaust system at 30K miles. These were all done by a local mechanic in exchange for some custom computer software.

    At about 70K miles I filled the tank, drove 30 miles and when I stopped the fuel gauge read half full. The tank was indeed half empty. One of the fuel hoses to the carburetor had developed a leak and there was gas all over the engine. I replaced that hose, should have replaced all the hoses.

    A month later I had enough and traded the car for a ’79 Honda Accord. The Honda dealer sold my old car to a young girl who returned to the dealer a week later for a new car. Seems my old car had caught fire and had burned to the ground. A fitting demise in my opinion.

    The Honda was a good car for many years. After about 100K miles it then developed a wicked shimmy in the front end at times when braking. Changing tires, balancing on a high precision balancer used by racers did not help. Multiple trips to the dealer were no help. New rotors did not help. Honda was called in and authorized the replacement of the entire front drive assembly, but not the transmission. The shimmy still existed. Honda threw up their hands and said they did not know why. I decided enough and traded that car in for a ’89 Chevy Astro Van.

    We liked that van but it had problems. At about 22K miles we were driving home from Texas using the cruise control. All of a sudden the van accelerated, then slowed, accelerated then slowed. The speedometer was going whacking displaying all kinds of weird numbers. The van would no longer shift into overdrive. It was the cruise control acting up. So I drove the remaining 500 miles without cruise control.

    Took the van to the dealer and it was discovered that the speed sensor in the transmission had failed. While on the lift grease was discovered on the rear brakes. The axle seals were leaking. The van was out of warranty. I called GM and pitched a fit that these items are not wear items and should not fail this quickly. GM agreed and covered the repairs. No other problems until we sold the van.

    I have extremely good fortune with Toyota over the last 25 years. I think a lot has to do with the dealer who has taken really good care of my vehicles, often covering repairs on their own when outside of warranty.

    On my ’94 Camry the vehicle had developed a noise in the front when turning. The dealer said they found no issues. A week later while I was under the vehicle changing the oil I discovered a cracked axle boot. I took the car back to the dealer and said they should have discovered the cracked axle boot. They agreed and covered the replacement of the CV joints and axle boots at no charge to me, not even for the parts.

    Another time the starter failed on the Camry. I went to the dealer to get a rebuilt starter, about $250.00. The parts guy said he had a better option. Instead I should remove the starter and replace the contacts, $8.00 in parts. He said if that did not work he would credit the price of the contacts so I had nothing to lose. He was right, it was the contacts. He could have shafted me with a replacement starter but did not.

    My wife had a ’74 Pinto when we married and thus would up driving that for some time. She liked the car, I hated it. Some engine bolts were metric, some were SAE. Threw a fan blade and shredded the shroud and one hose. I replaced the parts, contacted Ford and they covered the cost of the parts. Of course there was that little gas tank issue.

    That massive rear window was a huge source of heat in south Texas. We had to have that tinted to make the car tolerable in the summer. The A/C system was a constant on system with a bleed valve for controlling the temperature which bypassed the expansion coils and sent the Freon back to the compressor through the receiver/dryer. We took a trip to Dallas, about 250 miles, on a hot and humid summer evening. The A/C receiver/drier was in the right front wheel well. When we got to the hotel turning right you could not turn all the way and there was a scraping noise. The receiver/dryer was caked in ice, several inches thick. Two bad design flaws, the location, and the bypass expansion valve.

    Regardless, that ’74 VW was the absolute worst vehicle I have ever owned. It was defective from the factory and a reasonable dealer would have replaced the vehicle at no charge within the first year. Because of that I will never, ever, own a VW vehicle again. 1974 may have been the height of bad vehicles from every manufacturer.

  56. Nick Flandrey says:

    The mid 70s were awful for US auto manufacturers. Very few of those cars survive on the roads today. Blame the .gov mandates for fuel and safety.

    We should have considered the arab oil embargo (when was the last time you heard that phrase) as an act of war and spent some blood for oil. Their blood, if possible.

    n

  57. ITguy1998 says:

    Another time the starter failed on the Camry. I went to the dealer to get a rebuilt starter, about $250.00. The parts guy said he had a better option. Instead I should remove the starter and replace the contacts, $8.00 in parts. He said if that did not work he would credit the price of the contacts so I had nothing to lose. He was right, it was the contacts. He could have shafted me with a replacement starter but did not.

    This is an example of what I really miss – people who give a crap and have knowledge of the job they are doing. I remember dad taking me along with him to various auto parts and electronics stores when I was young, and he always seemed to get great help. I’ve even experienced it before, though it is more rare. I don’t expect anything useful from any auto parts store anymore. I even had a sales scum at autozone have me go behind the parts counter to find the correct u-joints I needed for the Corvette since the ones in the computer didn’t match what I had. I joked that I was going to send them a bill for part retrieval….just got a blank stare in response.

  58. Ray Thompson says:

    This is an example of what I really miss – people who give a crap and have knowledge of the job they are doing.

    That is why I continue to use this dealer. For vehicle purchases and for service. I trust them. It costs a little more but is worth it to me. No trial and error crap or unneeded repairs. And I know it will be done right or they will make it right.

  59. Greg Norton says:

    The mid 70s were awful for US auto manufacturers. Very few of those cars survive on the roads today. Blame the .gov mandates for fuel and safety.

    The US auto manufacturers and the unions pretty much did it to themselves in the 70s. The emissions and safety mandates were nowhere near as onerous as they are today because the industry pushed back against EPA meddling.

    if you want to understand 70s cars in 30 seconds, find the bootleg of “The Star Wars Holiday Special” and wait for the GM commercial featuring the union thug doing the half-a**ed solder job on a Cutlass Supreme as the cameras roll. That is *exactly* where every one of those cars rusted through eventually, 5-6 years max.

    I remember when it leaked out of Car and Driver that Brock Yates drove an Accord. As I’ve noted before, among his many contributions to the car culture includes creation of the term “sh*tbox”.

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