Mon. Mar. 2, 2020 – here we go…

Warmer and damp. [64F and wet]

It got to be shirtsleeves comfortable out, despite the occasional misty drizzle and the overcast skies. It was nice to work in the garage and driveway at that temperature.

I’m hoping for dry but cool today. We’ll see.

There are still people out there that do not think we’ll have any great disruption from the WuFlu (and some right here) but ordinary people are starting to feel unease about the situation. Given that the news if full of quarantine and cities under lockdown, the more forward thinking can imagine that happening to them, and are rushing to get what they think they’ll need in their involuntary idleness. One guy had a gallon of coconut oil and several cases of condoms. I don’t even want to speculate.

The folks here that are not too concerned are also in better shape prep-wise than Johnny Paycheck to paycheck, so they don’t have much to lose by not upping their game. For the folks with nothing put aside, there is a long curve. It helps that this is hopefully just going to be a prolonged house arrest and not the fall of society. If China kept the lights on, we should be able to too.

Second order effects are going to reshape the world though, perhaps for a long time.

In any case, I’m going to keep getting ready, while at the same time continuing to make plans as if everything was normal and fine. That’s a bit harder, but kind of hedges my bet.

My advice, keep stacking. Assume you’ll be essentially homebound for a prolonged period, and that in the wider world, the disruptions to the global supply chain caused by even just what has happened in China so far, will have long lasting effects on our world.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

64 thoughts on “Mon. Mar. 2, 2020 – here we go…”

  1. Someone mentioned the difficulty of vac sealing wet or powdery foods.

    I can’t help with the powdery, except to say make the bag bigger so the seal is farther from the bulk of the material, but for wet food, just freeze it first. I’ve got a piece of disposable ‘tupperware’ that is square and shallow that is just the right size for a pound of ground beef. Freeze it first and it vac seals without pulling all the juice out.

    I use the same size container to freeze liquid too before sealing.

    n

  2. Powdery stuff is easy if you bag-in-bag with a flimsy produce bag first. Squeeze the air out and leave an escape path for remaining air when you put it in the vacuum bag.

  3. Yesterday, no cases in FL, today, TWO presumptive cases.

    Which part?

    As with WA State, it makes a difference. Healthcare infrastructure is generally good in the state, but there are weak areas.

  4. Manatee county and some county that started with an H, Halleran?

    n

  5. Hillsborough. Tampa. Mucky-muck who traveled to Italy recently. Might be a tourist, but the city has some old school secretive Catholic organizations whose members give enough money to The Church to get meetings with the Fake Pope … and his illness.

    https://www.newsweek.com/coronavirus-update-us-new-cases-deaths-1490013

    Tampa Bay has decent healthcare infrastructure for the most part. In Hillsborough, the gap was once in the tomato farms in Ruskin, but all those were plowed under for Amazon’s warehouses almost a decade ago. Pinellas lost the last of its commercial citrus farms to subdivisions after a freeze in 1989.

    The tomato farms were ground zero for some scary antibiotic resistance numbers about 20 years back, far scarier than the virus today.

    I’d be concerned (well, more than normal) if a case popped up in Belle Glade and neighboring communities around Lake Okeechobee or the “armpit” where the Gulf cost bends south along the peninsula, north of Crystal River. Those areas are fairly isolated. No one ventures into, say, Perry, without a really good reason anymore.

    Key West is another place of concern. Tourism, sure, but Monroe county has (or once had) one of the highest AIDS infection rates in the country. Healthcare infrastructure quality is limited by living expenses of the Keys since it is another part of the country where the whole world wants to live thanks to Jimmy Buffett.

    (I am a near FL native and despise *Mississippi native* Jimmy Buffett for what he’s done to the state.)

  6. How do you guys plan on handling mail and packages during this outbreak? A little worrying since it can apparently live a while on surfaces and lots of unknown people will handle both before they get to you.

  7. Political news, some millionaire no one ever heard of quit running for prez, and Pete Jokesjustwritethemselves apparently did too. Lost to Bernie and Old Joe, oh my, you really are a nobody.

    n

  8. Oh, the estimate for my Expy, $4200. Timing chain and everything associated with it, cover, head gaskets, valve replacement, machine work on the heads, misc fukery, etc. 22 hours labor.

    Cheaper than a replacement engine but not by much. ONE TENTH the cost of a new truck though and I just put money into the exhaust and cats last year.

    When it rains….

    n

  9. Political news, some millionaire no one ever heard of quit running for prez, and Pete Jokesjustwritethemselves apparently did too. Lost to Bernie and Old Joe, oh my, you really are a nobody.

    Mayor Pete will have a seat at the table in the inevitable brokered convention. Plugs probably pledged a cabinet position to get him out of the race before tomorrow’s voting.

    I still believe Robert Francis is the VP nominee who will result from a brokered convention. TX is critical for them. A lot of cars still roll around town with B_TO bumper stickers, and Florida is a lost cause for the Dems.

    Tomorrow will be make-or-break for Plugs, possibly for the party. The convention will be a wake if Bernie emerges as the clear front runner tomorrow.

  10. 22 hours to replace a timing chain? Where do they get these mechanics, from the Helen Keller vocational school?

  11. Shut down the schools???? Are you insane??!! What will parents — especially single mothers, the most vulnerable segment of our society™ — do without tax-funded daycare????? What are you, LiterallyHitler??!!!!!!

  12. How do you guys plan on handling mail and packages during this outbreak?

    Normally. Washing hands, some sanitizer. Healthy people really don’t have much of a worry. The singles vaccine is much worse. The death in Washington over which the media had a hissy fit was a person that was over 70 and in a nursing home. Not exactly a picture of health.

    22 hours to replace a timing chain?

    A lot of other stuff involved with removal the heads, resurfacing, replacing valves, removing and replacing all the plumbing and other crap on top of the engine. It was 5 hours labor to replace the rear window in my F-150 because a large chunk of the rear interior had to be removed and replaced.

    Panic buying has hit New York City

    Same think happened in Germany according to one of my exchange students. She even came down with something that has much the same symptoms as KungFlu, basically the flu. She called her doctor very much concerned and the doctor basically said go away, no big deal.

    This entire KungFlu is being driven by the media, bolstered by officials who don’t want to look clueless. No other big crisis to keep the press happy and the people scared with officials looking to be elected or re-elected.

    There is money to be made on this “crisis”. Can’t let that go to waste. Local TV stations are pulling people out of the woodwork to find some local connection. Thus the TV station can say they were first for more advertising revenue.

  13. Bootyjudge and ClubAchar out. How will the Dumbos get Pocahontas out? Bureau of Indian Affairs promise? If she doesn’t go the Dumbo convention will be worth watching.

  14. Bootyjudge and ClubAchar out. How will the Dumbos get Pocahontas out? Bureau of Indian Affairs promise? If she doesn’t go the Dumbo convention will be worth watching.

    IIRC, Warren doesn’t hold any delegates.

    Crockajawea received a big chunk of Super PAC campaign cash in the last week. I’m sure some of it will find its way into her pocket in return for going away quietly.

    Mrs. Bernie can school her on how to divert “media buy” money properly. Win or lose, Mr. and Mrs. Bernie will be 100-millionares easy after this run.

  15. I like that idea. In fact, Trump, Mr I Troll at the God Level himself, should offer Warren the top job at the Bureau of Indian Affairs if she doesn’t drop out and stays in all the way to the convention.

  16. Shut down the schools???? Are you insane??!! What will parents — especially single mothers, the most vulnerable segment of our society™ — do without tax-funded daycare????? What are you, LiterallyHitler??!!!!!!

    That’s exactly the reaction they will get except the most vocal will be traditional two-parent households living in bedroom communities of big tech areas.


  17. I’m sure some of it will find its way into her pocket in return for going away quietly

    I am certain there are family members, maybe a company founded by fake-a-hontous, that are being used as “political consulting” and are being paid handsomely. BBBBBernie does not hold the magic secrets on this scam.

    Warren the top job at the Bureau of Indian Affairs

    Has she ever had a real job? One that requires actual thinking and productivity?

  18. The world WILL be different on the other side of this, and not just China.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/ayatollahs-senior-advisor-dies-coronavirus-iran-rejects-offer-us-aid

    –it’d be nice if the whole senior government changed….

    Hopefully they were all licking the same statue:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8063267/Videos-Iranians-LICKING-holy-shrines-despite-coronavirus-outbreak.html

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


  19. Has she ever had a real job? One that requires actual thinking and productivity?

    Not that I know of. That’s why she has the experience needed to be the chief (DYSWIDT?) of a useless bureaucracy.


  20. Warren the top job at the Bureau of Indian Affairs

    Has she ever had a real job? One that requires actual thinking and productivity?

    Well she was a professor at Harvard…. never mind.


  21. Cheaper than a replacement engine but not by much.

    It seems you have made your decision, so I will go with that. A shop rebuild can be as good as a mass rebuilder’s engine. The importance is picking a good shop, and knowing what goes into the rebuild. As a minimum, any high mileage engine should be completely disassembled and cleaned of debris. That will tell what needs to be done.

    I did some looking, but there are so many versions of that engine that I couldn’t find anything that probably fits your situation. All I know is that some of these engines exhibit the problem you and Lynn had. It would take some research. No matter, yours lasted a lot (?) of miles, and the rebuilt should last at least as long.

    The major mass rebuilders apparently make modifications to the oil (drain?) passages in the heads, block, or both. Some of these mods might be approved by Ford. Ford might have done these as running changes later in production, which is common. The machine shop that rebuilds yours might make these and other mods, but no guarantee. Even if they don’t make those mods, they will probably make others.

    Examples of changes from stock are most frequently different brands of pistons. It is rare to use factory parts, unless you insist on them, and that is probably not wise. Aftermarket parts, especially pistons, often have different design tradeoffs. These can be better than what the factory chose. They might have different ring widths and fit specs. Bearings: main, rod, and to a much lesser extent, camshaft, might be set up with different clearances. This changes the oil viscosity needed.

    When you get it back, especially if yours has ANY changes over stock, pay attention to the oil brand, grade, and change intervals recommended by the rebuilder, which might be different from original. Your rebuilt engine will be new, and might come with different needs.

    An unrelated example is an oil grade change by the manufacturer of a particular engine, which had a long production run. The new models had different clearances, and were specified to use a lower viscosity oil. Some people used the old recommended viscosity, and had a noisy engine. Counterintuitive? Yes, but true. These newer cars are not your grandfather’s Oldsmobile!

  22. Normal shopping trip today with stops at Winco, Fred Meyer, and Walmart. No hand sanitizer, no bleach, toilet paper and paper towel shelves almost bare.

    So far today our news has reported 3 new no-contact cases of WuHuFlu in Southeastern WA State. An unknown number of new WuHuFlu in Spokane and the same goes for North Eastern Oregon. The Wildhorse Casino has closed indefinitely after an employee tested positive for WuHuFlu.

    I feel the panic is going to be worse than the disease.

  23. So far today our news has reported 3 new no-contact cases of WuHuFlu in Southeastern WA State. An unknown number of new WuHuFlu in Spokane and the same goes for North Eastern Oregon. The Wildhorse Casino has closed indefinitely after an employee tested positive for WuHuFlu.

    SW WA State with the p*ss poor healthcare infrastructure combined with the Apostolic Lutheran community and other groups distrustful of government and/or the medical system is the area to watch. The Measles pandemic last year originated in Vancouver, and, as I’ve written before, the very same office in Washougal where my wife worked was a hot zone for transmission for several hours on Valentines Day morning in 2019.

    And I thought the Measles pandemic was my permanent “Get Out Of Jail Free” card covering my unilateral “I’m done” decision regarding Vancouver six years ago.

  24. Oh, the estimate for my Expy, $4200. Timing chain and everything associated with it, cover, head gaskets, valve replacement, machine work on the heads, misc fukery, etc. 22 hours labor.

    Cheaper than a replacement engine but not by much. ONE TENTH the cost of a new truck though and I just put money into the exhaust and cats last year.

    When it rains….

    Are they going to do a full rebuild, piston rings and such ? Do you burn much oil ? Mine was burning a quart of oil every 1,500 miles and had all the issues associated with that. It would have probably needed a new set of cats soon too.

    Thunderbolt motors is $3,795 for a rebuilt engine if you want a second quote. Installed. But they might be taking your engine and rebuilding it. And any parts that they need such as valve replacements will be extra (not cheap !). So, you probably getting a good deal at your shop. Two years down the road, it will be a good investment.
    https://www.tbolt.net/

  25. And I am doubly glad that I do not live in New York City.

    You and me both, brother.

  26. 22 hours to replace a timing chain? Where do they get these mechanics, from the Helen Keller vocational school?

    It is an incredible amount of water just to get to the timing chains on the F-150 or Expedition. Order of removal:
    1. front grill
    2. transmission oil cooler if present
    3. air conditioning condenser
    4. radiator
    5. engine fan and water pump
    6. timing chain covers

    Plus it sounds like they are going to pull his valves too. That gets exciting in a hurry as you probably well know.

    BTW, there are two timing chains. Only one cam and timing chain for each bank.

  27. Here in the small town, semirural Indiana heartland, with a hospital even local practitioners refuse to send patients to, there doesn’t seem to be much worry about CORVID-19 as yet.

    Local Kroger has a few disinfectant wipes left, but not big brands or the store brand. Lots of rice left on the shelves, and other non-perishables. Didn’t notice much in the way of increased traffic today, but I didn’t go inside. I’ve been using their pickup option since this thing got going.

  28. An unrelated example is an oil grade change by the manufacturer of a particular engine, which had a long production run. The new models had different clearances, and were specified to use a lower viscosity oil. Some people used the old recommended viscosity, and had a noisy engine. Counterintuitive? Yes, but true. These newer cars are not your grandfather’s Oldsmobile!

    I am seeing people recommend using 5W-30 instead of 5W-20 in these engines. Apparently the lighter weight oil has troubles properly lubricating the top of the timing chain sprockets.

    Of course, mine made it to 208K miles without having a serious problem with the engine. I did have a reman tranny put in at 190K miles. And the engine lasted another 2K miles with reduced hp before one of the timing chains broke. Way beyond the design life of 150K miles.

    Of course two, Ford would really prefer that you buy another new truck WAY before you hit 210K miles. Just saying.

  29. I have a La Crosse “radio controlled” wall clock. On Feb 29 it became an hour fast. I think DST changed a few years ago? Maybe it does this every year and I’ve never noticed.

    I have an Oregon Scientific clock. It also shows the date. It didn’t leap forward.

    Maybe the La Crosse is nearing replacement age. DST starts soon. I’ll see what happens. I don’t need it as a clock…. just outside temp. Moon Phase is nice to get the Grandfather clock on track every few years.

  30. And my stupid truck….

    I can get a used/refurbed instrument cluster on eBay for $160 plus $20 shipping. There are cheaper options but I don’t want a cluster from bubba selling parts of his wrecked truck.

    Because of evil. My central a/c system parts talk to each other. T-stat, compressor, and blower motor. It works. On truck? It seems that if the VIN doesn’t match between the instrument cluster / body computer and the engine computer AND the ABS controller, stuff breaks and bad.

    Like it bricks everything. Just evil.

    The shop manual seems vague. But first to pull the cluster and check for voltage and ground on a few pins. Maybe a mouse was hungry.

    Right now the truck runs like a sewing machine. It has low beams and running lights. No brake lights or turn signals or gauges or dome lights. But come the Zombie Apocalypse, who cares?

    I’ll get this figured out.

  31. The problem with assessing how many COVID-19 cases there are is that the only way to distinguish it from the flu is by the lab test. That’s the only differential in the diagnosis. So, tracking contacts and looking at severity in at-risk populations is the way they are finding cases.

    Also, there may be many times more sub-clinical cases out there than the symptomatic ones. In retrospect this may be no more lethal than a “bad” flu strain.

  32. Because of evil. My central a/c system parts talk to each other. T-stat, compressor, and blower motor. It works. On truck? It seems that if the VIN doesn’t match between the instrument cluster / body computer and the engine computer AND the ABS controller, stuff breaks and bad.

    What the hell is wrong with vehicle manufacturers nowadays ? My dad has a 2016 Mercedes (just a fancier Chrysler) E300 turbo four. He ran over a pig the other night between Ganado and Palacious. Lost his left front headlight. Got the headlight replaced and the fender fixed for $3K. Then the shop informed him that the headlight has to be programmed by a Mercedes dealer for $450 to get his high beams and turn signal. Same kind of crap, they have to match the part to the car before the “optional” features work.


  33. this may be no more lethal than a “bad” flu strain

    Or a normal flu strain.


  34. What the hell is wrong with vehicle manufacturers nowadays

    Anti-theft? Price gouging? Many of the electrical parts in a car today operate on a network system (CAN – Car Area Network). There is power and signal to all the devices such as power windows, lights, radio, heating, etc. Pressing a button or turning a knob just sends a signal to the device. Minimizes the wiring harness complexity and reduces the weight. It is also easier to diagnose electrical issues with a device. Along with this by matching each device to the vehicle stealing a radio will not allow it to work in another vehicle. Same with very expensive headlight assemblies.

    Good or bad? I don’t know. Anti-theft is good, reducing weight is good. Cost and inconvenience is bad.

    My friend had a Cadillac that developed a problem with the CAN. Car would not start and run. Dealer replaced the computer twice. There was an issue with the wiring, some sort of ground loop or grounding issue. Dealer finally gave up and said the car could not be repaired. One of the earlier implementations which lacked enough test points. The problem was apparently (guess by the dealer and the factory) in the wiring hidden in some channel that was not accessible. My friend sold the car for scrap.

  35. 22 hours to replace a timing chain?

    If it were me, I’d pop for the replaced engine. With all the work required (22 hrs) the chances of a mistake are much higher. Just drop me in a motor with a decent warranty and I would feel more secure.

  36. The William Quick who commented in today’s post is the owner of Daily Pundit, one of the original political blogs. I’ve pasted links to specific articles from time to time but don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned the blog as a whole. You should check it out. I want to say the viewpoint is mostly libertarian, but, to tweak a quote, I didn’t leave the libertarians, the libertarians left me. I guess I’ll just say it’s mostly a conservative viewpoint.

    Bill also has a prepping site which is likely of interest to many here.

  37. WRT my engine, they will be looking at the tranny (for a typical problem with this model, since it will be open and off the motor.) they will also be looking at the lower parts after they get the upper parts off.

    I’d just decided to run the oil channel cleaning stuff with this oil change, and then it blew up. No issues with overheating or oil pressure but it’s a design issue and can be addressed. But never got to it.

    It’s got 159K miles, but WAY more hours. It was a cop vehicle and spent a lot of time idling. The chain looked well oiled on the part I could see…..

    Comes down to not wanting a new truck payment, and $5000 (where it will probably end up) vs $55K for a new one. If I have to trade up, I’d go all the way to new if the incentives were high enough, otherwise 2 year old trucks still command a high price here.

    My mechanic did offer to buy it from me and fix it up himself to sell, as he saves the labor…. He also said it would have to be very cheap. I didn’t bother to ask how cheap.

    n

  38. Wife says her FB group reports our local Costco is sold out of TP and all the other things…

    8yo was talking with her friends about us being prepared, and reports that they didn’t seem to have any preparations made. Sh!t. Forgot to tell the 8yo about OPSEC. I really hope that doesn’t bite our assssess.

    I was talking to an old friend who lives in the LA area. He’s not concerned and laughs at the chinese neighbors wearing their surgical masks. He mentioned that it’s ALL chinese around him now.

    I was going to make another run past costco this am, but other things got in the way. Now I guess I won’t worry about it.

    n

  39. I grabbed one of the Twins (off from Uni) and went on a shopping round. Two Sams, both out of TP, paper towels, wipes, soup, canned meat and Ramen. People were asking when restock was coming. Hit two Smith’s, most big bundles of TP gone, but still plenty, lots of paper towels, wipes, soup, canned meat. No Ramen, though. Well, just the shitty ones.

    Loaded up on more TP, soup, canned meat, some water. I don’t see water as a WuFlu problem. I did notice most of the bottled water was gone, not all. I’ve got water stocked, plus various filters. If the water dies, power, etc. in Vegas, it will be a true Barackalypse.

  40. What the hell is wrong with vehicle manufacturers nowadays ? My dad has a 2016 Mercedes (just a fancier Chrysler) E300 turbo four.

    The Germans raped the pipeline on their way out of Auburn Hills, but I’m amazed that Mercedes would mess with the E series.

    The CLA and GLA were easy smash-n-grab theft.

  41. I was talking to an old friend who lives in the LA area. He’s not concerned and laughs at the chinese neighbors wearing their surgical masks. He mentioned that it’s ALL chinese around him now.

    My wife’s mother finally called and told us not to go to any stores where Chinese people shop.

    What? Like HEB? I see a lot of Chinese people in there.

  42. I’ve been adding bits and pieces from the asides mentioned here. Thanks all!
    The heavy lifting supplies were laid in more than awhile ago. Snivel meds are still coming in from that Big River along with bleach pellets and “good as milk” cans. Took a chunk of cash outta da bank.

    Building fire (this is an apartment) and utility failure are the measures that are hardest (not possible here) to prep for. Fortunately, heating season is ending and the winter was pretty mild. Thanks Greta!

    Mega doses of Vitamin C, D and some Zinc supplements may help when the crunch comes. Not expensive and gives the kidneys something to do.

  43. @frank, wrt mail and packages…

    I’m not doing anything different now, as what evidence there is suggests half life in hours or a day at most. That was assuming the carriers weren’t sick.

    I think the easiest thing to do is sunlight and time, if you have both. Bleach mist is only going to work if it gets fully wet. Just time is better than nothing. Leave it on the porch or use gloves to move it to the back of the house so it won’t get stolen.

    n

  44. I’m reminding everyone that I think sanitizers, cleaners, and disinfectants are next up for the shearing of the unprepared.

    Lowes had liquid bleach in the pool section, 10% strength too so less is needed.

    Tractor Supply had disinfectants.

    Pet stores might have kennel cleaners.

    Ebay and (probably) amazon prices have already started to go up, so better to try locally.

    Restaurant supply places will have strong cleaners, disinfectants, and bleach test strips. That is an item on my list for tomorrow, time available.

    I’ve won a bunch of cleaners in an auction so I hope I’m good, but after reading some guidelines for making sanitizer from bleach, I think I will get more. 1/2 cup per gallon of water will use up the bleach much faster than making drinking water.

    n

  45. Wife says her FB group reports our local Costco is sold out of TP and all the other things…

    Cash flow. COST was up 10% today.

    Cash is life blood at Costco. That’s why they try so hard to get you to upgrade to the “plus” (or whatever they call it these days) membership and rebate you the money later. Bob and I had several discussions on the subject over the years.

    When I redeemed my Costco Visa rebate for 2018 last year — a whole $5 — the customer service people gave me grief for not taking the gift card instead of the cash. They’ll really flip when I ask for the $60 for 2019 this year.

  46. What the hell is wrong with vehicle manufacturers nowadays ? My dad has a 2016 Mercedes (just a fancier Chrysler) E300 turbo four.

    The Germans raped the pipeline on their way out of Auburn Hills, but I’m amazed that Mercedes would mess with the E series.

    Mercedes is the GM of Europe. Before GM sucked. If I wanted a luxury car, I would buy a Lexus.

    My dad has always been a big fan of Mercedes though. He bought his first one in 1969. I just wish he would stop driving 80 mph on country roads in the middle of the night. We have already discussed this several times and he promised not to do so anymore.

  47. The wife is back from North Texas ! She messed up and accidentally drove into the north side of Austin on I-35 so her drive got prolonged. I was allowed to hug her but no kissing. Of course, she kissed the dog who was jumping all over the place.

  48. My wife’s mother finally called and told us not to go to any stores where Chinese people shop.

    What? Like HEB? I see a lot of Chinese people in there.

    Oh my goodness, my section of Fort Bend County is about 50% Asian when you count Indians.

    Speaking of HEB, I saw a family entering as I left the other night. The woman was wearing a cloth head covering and a full lower face mask, just her eyes were showing. It would be nice if these people would drop their women shaming ways when they move here. And if this makes me a cultural pig, so be it.

  49. When I redeemed my Costco Visa rebate for 2018 last year — a whole $5 — the customer service people gave me grief for not taking the gift card instead of the cash. They’ll really flip when I ask for the $60 for 2019 this year.

    I got a Visa gift card for my juror service the other day. What a joke for $6.

  50. Would you walk past a $5 bill on the ground? Thought not. Money is money.

    n

  51. Would you walk past a $5 bill on the ground? Thought not. Money is money.

    I know, I know. I will apply this to my next Amazon purchase.

    I don’t know why they did not give me a check. These Visa gift cards spook me. I don’t understand the business model other than to get our name, address, and buying habits.

  52. Took a chunk of cash outta da bank.

    Me too. The ATMs, credit cards, and Texas Lone Star cards will be the last thing to shut down though. My SIL told me a couple of months ago that they were doing four billion transactions per day now at XXXXXX which blows my mind. I just don’t even understand how they keep the system up and going. I do know that they have many data centers and automatic failover systems.

    I also don’t understand the credit lines behind the system. There is an intimate relationship there that is very important to the system and not very obvious. The big banks limit their risks somehow which is important to them also.

  53. Nick, with 159k miles, I would strongly recommend replacing the rings and taking a hard look at the piston and bore wear. Not familiar with your engine, but even those with a history of very low bore wear would get a very careful look at the bore. Depends on how many miles you intend to keep it. Just think about 300k on those rings if you don’t replace them. If you need only new rings, a simple brush hone can deglaze the bores. Not the best, but might last 100k miles or more. The problem is that the ring lands on the pistons will be worn, and might not last many more miles. The inevitable bore and piston skirt wear will allow the piston to rock ever more slightly, causing shorter ring life. If the bore is worn enough, then boring and oversize pistons are needed. I had thought you were going to do that, but I guess not.

    With 159k miles, I would definitely consider a mass rebuilder. Getting a factory rebuilt engine from a place with a good reputation and a warranty is worth more. And, Harold is right. Field repairs are much harder than in a factory with controlled conditions. Sometimes, just a fastener torque error will lead to later trouble. Good factories do a lot of things that cost much more in the field.

    As for many hours of idling, that is not much wear. I have mentioned that Ford did some studies some time in the 1970s, and found that something over 90% of bore wear occurred in the first ten minutes after a cold start. Once fully warm (how long this takes depends on the engine design and driving characteristics,) the wear is practically nonexistent.

    I can’t tell if you used the oil system cleaner, or were just thinking about it. Cleaning deposits on a high mileage engine is almost always a bad idea. It will dislodge the deposits and can cause serious trouble. It can also be hard on valve seals. If you had done this regularly since new, there won’t be deposits to dislodge. The preferred way is to prevent deposits with good oil and frequent changes. If you happen to buy a used engine with light deposits, the safest way is to change the oil frequently until it can run a few hundred miles and drain clean. This can take two or three changes. And, don’t buy an engine with major deposits. Voice of experience.

  54. Thanks for all the detailed info Jim. I had not done the gunk cleaner yet. Just bad luck that the timing of the timing failure perfectly matched with my decision to try that.

    I’ll ask them some more questions if I get a chance today.

    n


  55. They’ll really flip when I ask for the $60 for 2019 this year

    My rebates at Costco for the last two years have been close to $700.00. I use the Costco card for as much as I can. Trips to Europe rebate me 3%, gas is 4%, the two biggest items. Costco gives me a check, only option for that amount.

  56. Yeah, even after paying for executive level, I still get a bunch of cash back most years. I used to double dip, getting AMEX points too. That was sweet.

    n


  57. Yeah, even after paying for executive level

    I would barely break even at the Executive Level at Costco. The 2% earned would give me $70.00 for last year with the upgrade costing $60.00. A $10.00 benefit is not worth it as the year before that I would have only earned $50.00, next year may be less, may be more. A guessing game. My closest Costco is about 20 miles away and I generally only buy (too much) when I am in the area. Mostly I get gas for the 4% rebate, their fuel is cheaper by a little bit, and is top tier gasoline which is the good stuff.

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