Thur. June 18, 2020 – lying liars that lie

Hot and humid, although with the way my joints feel, we’re due for a change in the weather.

Yesterday was hot (104F in the sun in my driveway) but fairly comfortable if you just sat in the shade with the breeze.  Not so comfortable if you were working outdoors.

At swim practice I was chatting with a friend, one of the other dads, and the subject of security and sketchy neighbors came up.  I gave him some advice on cameras and we talked about his new neighbors.  Like mine, several unrelated or partially related groups living in the same house, making noise, disrupting the neighborhood.  Like mine, also finding that intimidation doesn’t work, and the cops do come when we call for ‘nuisance’ complaints.  And yes, we both plan to monitor and if necessary  harass the renters until they decide to leave.  Time for them to conform to and accommodate OUR cultural norms.

Other places, like Atlanta and Seattle, are going to get a lesson in what happens when you abandon the rule of law.  The good citizens will either leave, or they will take action.

I mentioned to my wife that I thought we’d have Republic of Texas passports within ten years.  She laughed and thought I was kidding.  I’m not.  I’ll even go so far as to say +5, -3 years as bounds.  Ten years is a long time.  Literally anything can happen.  We won’t be the only breakaway either.

We’re not going back to ‘normal’ either.

Dinner was leftovers.  Almost cleared the fridge.

Gotta make room for more.  More stuff, more skills, more connections.  If you don’t recognize your City Councilperson/Alderman/etc and Mayor on sight, and know your local state and federal Representatives by name, you need to do some homework.  Who is your Sheriff?  Who is your Chief of Police?  Do you have an opinion about their politics and competence in their jobs?  Do you know your State DA?  What about Attorney General?  All politics is local, so start there.  Vote in the mid term and off year elections.  Talk to someone and find out which Judges to vote for or against.  If you have kids, start paying attention to your school board.  These are the politicians that will have the most impact on your life, and over whom you have the most control.  Use it.

And keep stacking, this is far from over.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

57 thoughts on “Thur. June 18, 2020 – lying liars that lie”

  1. I thought we’d have Republic of Texas passports within ten years.

    There have always been secession movements. Unfortunately, I think too many people have moved to Texas from elsewhere. The old Texan attitude of “we’re only staying in because we want to” is a tiny minority view nowadays. Add in that lots of the people came from progressive strongholds like California, and I just don’t see a secession movement gaining any real traction.

    Not that it shouldn’t happen. Both the EU and the US should break (back) up into smaller countries, with free-trade between them.

    A topic only vaguely related: I see the US is trying yet again to overthrow the Syrian government. The time-before-last, the sanctions drove Syria into Russia’s arms. Last time, the US funded and equipped Syrian rebels, who basically turned into ISIS. What could possibly go wrong this time? Speaking now as a European, we really don’t need another wave of refugees out of the Middle East…

    Anyway, why does the US feel it has the right, and the need, to overthrow foreign governments?

  2. And yes, we both plan to monitor and if necessary harass the renters until they decide to leave. Time for them to conform to and accommodate OUR cultural norms.

    Is Texas still under rent amnesty?

    Florida extended theirs another month, probably because all hell will break loose when it ends given the extremely generous squatter laws in the state and the probability of the Sheriff being overworked.

  3. “I thought we’d have Republic of Texas passports within ten years.”

    There have always been secession movements. Unfortunately, I think too many people have moved to Texas from elsewhere. The old Texan attitude of “we’re only staying in because we want to” is a tiny minority view nowadays. Add in that lots of the people came from progressive strongholds like California, and I just don’t see a secession movement gaining any real traction.

    The money printing plant in Fort Worth had Republic of Texas prototype currency displayed on the walls of the gift shop in 2016. When I asked the clerk if they were preparing for something, the deadpan response came back “No comment”.

    The succession ship has probably sailed in Texas. Once the CA money behind both Robert Francis’ 2018 run and MJ Hegar’s 2020 bid for US Senate finally win a state-wide race, they’ll have a demographic map to turn Texas into CA. Ron Nirenberg for Governor 2022!

    Natives and near natives will have no one to blame but themselves, especially if the Governor continues to chase Ann Richards ghost with political deals for more abortion restrictions in the 2021 Legislative session and Republicans don’t primary him in 2022.

    (Ann Richards daughter no longer runs Planned Parenthood, Republicans)

    This year’s US Senate race in Texas is arguably more important than how the state goes for President. If you think the status quo will contine, realize that it will be another month before the Progs really start tearing into the incumbent, following the delayed runoff election in July, and the push for mail-in voting continues in courthouses across the state.

  4. We’ve already got ID to vote, and very generous early voting. We got rid of straight party voting.

    Abbott has been very careful to go our own way with CV response.

    I don’t know exactly what will bring about the change, but I’m pretty sure what can’t continue won’t…. Texas has made some tough calls before. Turning down the Obamma welfare trap was one. Things are changing and 10 years is a long time.

    n

  5. Like hospital admissions (as long as you aren’t saturated), excess deaths gives us a sideways look at the possible impact of wuflu. It negates the arguments about ‘those people were gonna die of something’, and ‘only sick people got tested so the percentage is artificially high’, and ‘obviously sick people didn’t get tested because it was a waste of a test’, and ‘everyone who died got lumped in’, and a bunch of others as well. It’s especially useful in countries with no or little testing, and an official tendency to lie.

    How many people have REALLY died of Covid-19? Review of excess deaths in 27 nations says the number of victims is nearing 600,000 — even though the official number is just 450,000

    Review of death figures in 27 countries shows true toll far higher than 440,000
    Ecuador, UK, Italy and Spain among countries with worst ‘excess death’ tallies
    Lack of widespread testing means thousands of patients die without diagnosis
    ‘Excess deaths’ are the number of fatalities above the five-year average

    n

  6. I don’t think the elderly generation was prepared for the callous attitude of a decent chunk of the under-30 crowd. “Hurry up and die already so my craft beer bar can reopen.”

  7. Raise a generation or two of selfish narcissists, throw in envy and jealousy, class warfare, agism, tell them how bad they are every time you talk about them, don’t give them any real education to suck up excess mental energy, and shorten their time preference and impulse control…

    Quick to anger and mobilize, too ignorant to see the manipulation, too distracted to be a threat to their masters, and then start wielding them to your advantage…

    n

  8. I don’t think the elderly generation was prepared for the callous attitude of a decent chunk of the under-30 crowd. “Hurry up and die already so my craft beer bar can reopen.”

    Wait until the Millennials enter their prime earning years, still crippled financially by student loans, and the 80-something Early Boomers’ Social Security checks start getting cut as the trust fund runs dry. 10 years, if that.

    The Entitled vs. The Entitled.


  9. I don’t think the elderly generation was prepared for the callous attitude of a decent chunk of the under-30 crowd. “Hurry up and die already so my craft beer bar can reopen.”

    Then they weren’t paying attention.

    Which is, frankly, often a failing of the elderly generations.

    That Millennial nickname for ChinaPlague – “Boomer remover” – should have been a clue.

  10. I made a Walmart run this morning – wanted to see if they had empty small squeeze bottle so I can transfer hand sanitizer from the big bottles. They had them, so I picked up a few.

    There was a bunch of 10oz bottles of hand sanitizer in stock – $4 a bottle! They also had surgical masks. Box of 20 was $17.99…

  11. Took the MIL to her doctor yesterday. She referred us to a neurosurgeon for back surgery evaluation. When I saw the neurosurgeon was named Dr. Zachary Smith I almost fell over laughing. The young GP looked at me sideways. “Don’t you get it? ” I said “Dr. Zachary Smith.” … blank look … “Okay” I said, feeling suddenly old, “just Google it. “

  12. Speaking of feeling old. Professor Glenn Reynolds made a sideways reference to the classic 70s comedy group Firesign Theater today on instapundit. I wonder how many people would get the obscure reference or even remember the group.

  13. Took the MIL to her doctor yesterday. She referred us to a neurosurgeon for back surgery evaluation. When I saw the neurosurgeon was named Dr. Zachary Smith I almost fell over laughing. The young GP looked at me sideways. “Don’t you get it? ” I said “Dr. Zachary Smith.” … blank look … “Okay” I said, feeling suddenly old, “just Google it.

    Oh, the pain!

    “Lost in Space” is back on MeTV every Saturday, but their current time slot is late at 1 AM ET, Midnight CT.

    We’ve reached the point with Gil Gerard’s “Buck Rogers” where we believe that he really needs a rest for a while. “The Invaders” too.

    Interestingly, a few weeks ago, when I dropped the “Cover sheet on the TPS report” reference, most of the younger co-workers got it while the guy only 10 years younger than me (still outranks me), was clueless. Maybe it is because “Office Space” filmed in and around Austin.

  14. From Brad’s comments yesterday about not working on cars because they have more electronics and especially computers, I find this ironic. This, from folks who teach or work with software? Modern cars are filled with software that make them much easier to work on in most ways. All you need is a simple OBDII code reader, and you can diagnose lots of things not possible pre computer. Oh, sure, there can be a whole new set of problems, and I have fought those, but I find it fascinating that my car can tell me what is wrong with it. At the very least, get a decent code reader and use it before taking the car to a tech. We used to call them mechanics. 😉

    As for changing oil and other simple things like inspecting brakes and rotating tires, I believe this is good practice to keep tabs on how the car is doing. When I was young and lived in cccold country, I occasionally took my car to a highly reputable shop for oil changes. Needed to every couple of months in that severe weather, and hated freezing my butt off working outdoors. What I saw made me stop doing that. Very few mechanics are as good as the Car Wizard, and the prevalence of mangled threads and other violations of things that make a car seem old way before its time are proof. If you find a good independent shop, give them your loyalty and business, and tell everyone you know. Such finds are rare. Avoid dealers, even if you have a warranty. Most dealers “service” departments are bottom of the barrel, and should only be used for serious warranty work. Then sell the car.

    I will admit I am prejudiced. I grew up around the domestic auto industry, and knew many who worked for the major companies. 110% of them were even more opinionated than I am. One good thing was that they used word of mouth to spread good and bad news about shops and dealers. Yes, there are some really good ones, even dealers. Just don’t roll the dice.

  15. Speaking of feeling old. Professor Glenn Reynolds made a sideways reference to the classic 70s comedy group Firesign Theater today on instapundit. I wonder how many people would get the obscure reference or even remember the group.

    Radio Caroline occasionally plays their stuff as well as Cheech and Chong and other 70s comedy album acts.


  16. What I saw made me stop doing that.

    Ditto. That is, what I saw of the results; I was hardly ever able to see them at work. Aside from cross-threaded bolts, pieces left off when reassembling, and lying about having done work, twice I’ve driven a car to a shop to be fixed and then had to have it towed out of their lot. And both times they attempted to tell me it was like that when I brought it there.

    I dislike doing car work, but I do all of my own that I can.


  17. I dislike doing car work, but I do all of my own that I can.

    +1

    I learned a lot from my father and other family members. Mostly, I learned how to work with my hands. I also started at an early age building small things like model airplanes and electronics. There was a culture of problem solving and fixing things. An influential adult owned a TV repair shop, and taught a few of us kids a lot.

    Looking back, I thought making and repairing things was fun, satisfying, and economical. It also taught me patience. As I get older (never!), I don’t look forward to being unable to do some of the things I do easily now. One of my heroes was Jack Lalanne, who overcame poor childhood health to inspire many. The last time I saw him, he was standing next to some young thing who was pitching a juicer in an infomercial. I thought, how sad, but then I realized he had found a way to do something he could no longer do well. Hmm.

  18. I used to work on my own cars, but since they’ve turned totally electronic, I don’t even change the oil anymore, because that’s about all that you can do without special equipment. And, anyway, it’s a mess without a proper lift.

    My new F-150 4×4 has skid plates for running over rocks and feral pigs. Turns out that you have to remove the engine / tranny skid plate to get to the oil filter. I did not know that when the oil change guy was under my truck with an electric drill putting the plate back on so I had to ask the manager.

    I changed the oil the first time at 5,000 miles and will be doing so at every 5,000 miles in the future no matter what the engine monitor says. I now have over 7,000 miles on the new truck and have averaged around 17 mpg so far. Freaking incredible technology for a brick to get that kind of mileage.

  19. Avoid dealers, even if you have a warranty. Most dealers “service” departments are bottom of the barrel, and should only be used for serious warranty work. Then sell the car.

    I’ve documented my general unhappiness with my 2018 Camry’s CAFE-friendly acceleration here, but the car has run better since I had Caliber Collision do the last wiring harness replacement due to rodent damage, the first non-dealer service the vehicle received.

    One more oil change under Toyota Care and then I’m done with the “factory authorized” service except warranty repairs until I sell the car. I’ve been through all of the local Toyota dealers about the acceleration, and they all adhere to the Toyota company line about the 2018s.

    As for DIY, part of the push over the last 20 years to turn cars into an automated (note I did not use the word autonomous) on-demand utility is that many HOAs, especially those managed by national service companies with lots of lawyers, have prohibited the practice of car repair/maintenance in your driveway. Read your deed restrictions and be aware of the penalties, especially in Florida.

  20. One of the issues for me is access. When we were kids banging on my buddy’s ’68 Mustang, you could SEE the entire engine. You could climb into the engine compartment if you had too. It was also a very simple engine. If it wasn’t running it was basically air? fuel? spark? and if you had those it ran. Now, you have to remove 3 or 4 shrouds, covers, and many times, other parts of the engine. There are sensors, vacuum, pressure, coil packs, and tons of other extraneous crap and problems with any of it can keep the vehicle from running. You can’t see the TOP of the engine, let alone the sides in a typical car. Changing the starter on my Expy involved removing the wheel well shrouds, and a very specific combination of extensions and swivels for the socket wrench, and working blind on the last bolt (of 3). Changing the right front turn signal lamp on my wife’s Caddy SRX was a ‘return to dealer’ service because you literally couldn’t get to it without removing a quarter of the engine compartment.

    The systems have gotten more complex, the number of failure points has multiplied, and the access is ridiculously bad. Those combine to take the fun out of self service for most people.

    n

  21. I’ve documented my general unhappiness with my 2018 Camry’s CAFE-friendly acceleration here, but the car has run better since I had Caliber Collision do the last wiring harness replacement due to rodent damage, the first non-dealer service the vehicle received.

    OK, out of my league here, but I have read about the “tuner” shops. Dealers have to stick to factory specs for a lot of reasons *cough* lawyers. Independents are not bound to that. Nuff said, although it is increasingly hard to get software mods that aren’t just hacks.

    As for DIY, part of the push over the last 20 years to turn cars into an automated (note I did not use the word autonomous) on-demand utility is that many HOAs, especially those managed by national service companies with lots of lawyers, have prohibited the practice of car repair/maintenance in your driveway. Read your deed restrictions and be aware of the penalties, especially in Florida.

    If I lived in such a place, I would vote with my feet. I find it ironic that here in Cali, at least in our little slice of the world, there is only one planned development, complete with a HOA. Anyone who wants to live in cramped quarters knows that and choses of free will. The rest of us avoid it. I live on acreage, and there are county restrictions, but I can live with them. I really don’t want to drill an oil well or raise hogs.

  22. The systems have gotten more complex, the number of failure points has multiplied, and the access is ridiculously bad. Those combine to take the fun out of self service for most people.

    The tradeoff is that just about every new car will go 100,000 miles with the bare minimum maintenance. Beyond 100,000 without a seriously unaffordable repair is a big question mark given the complexity introduced as of late, but the manufacturers could luck out on the rolls of the dice they made with the pipeline when they thought they would have to hit 54 MPG CAFE in 2025.

    I’ve heard stories that Honda rolled snake eyes with their DI system leaking gasoline into the crankcase, but, as with their transmission problems 15 years ago, owners who bought new are taken care of, regardless of warranty.

  23. I had Jiffy Lube do the oil change on my 2008 Highlander last week, prepping it before giving it to my daughter. (We just purchased a 2019 Highlander XLE with 22K miles, one owner.)

    Had to stay in the car so there was no sharing of Covid Cooties, so couldn’t watch the whole thing. But it appeared that they drained the oil through the filler tube, rather than removing the oil plug. Other than that, it was the usual experience. Competent, as far as I could tell.

    Been lucky with auto repairs – nothing major needed. I get regular oil changes, tires when needed (from Discount Tires; recommended; they do free rotations, air pressure checks, and flat fixing). I’ll replace the disc brakes/rotors once on the cars. Last 6 cars have been Toyotas; they’ve lasted about 275K miles.

    Had to crawl under the 2008 Highlander to remove the power cord (from battery to tow hitch) for the powered wheelchair ramp so I can get it installed on the new one. Not too hard; it was routed under drain pans etc and fastened with zip ties. Need to get the local trailer hitch place to install it on the new car – much easier if it is on a lift than me trying to crawl around under it.

    Overall, liking the new 2019 Highlander XLE. You can tweak a lot of the settings via the big screen. Had a tow package (OEM) installed at the dealer when I bought it. They wanted to charge $1750 to do that. I pointed out that it only cost $700 when you do the “build your own” on the Toyota site. I was ready to walk away as a negotiating tactic. But they came down to $800, along with another discount. I’d done my research to find a good KBB and Edmunds price on the car, and the final price was under those numbers, so I figured I did well on the negotiations. Just took a while, but got the deal that I wanted.


  24. One of the issues for me is access. When we were kids banging on my buddy’s ’68 Mustang, you could SEE the entire engine.

    I still have one of those! Bought it in 79, and renovated it. Not quite done… shoemaker’s kids. I try to choose cars carefully, but do make mistakes. Example: we bought a 91 Plymouth Grand Voyager. It was a fun (!) car, and easy to do normal work on. Liked it so much we bought a 97 Chrysler Town and Country. Still have it, and like driving it a LOT. Routine maintenance is still easy, but some things, like replacing the radiator or changing the spark plugs (at 100k miles) are ridiculously hard. Still liking the concept, we happened across a near mint 06 Chrysler Town and country. It is truly wonderful, especially the fold down seats. Danged if they didn’t completely redo the engine compartment. Still easy routine maintenance, and, bonus, everything else is easy. Kudos! I want a 2016 Town and Country, the last year for the line. I hope it is as easy to work on. We’ll see. There is always a gamble.

    Ever work on a VW Beetle? I had experience with four. Talk about frustrating. Hitler’s revenge! But… the fun per dollar is unmatched by any car I have ever owned. I can’t promise I will never have another. Life seems to work that way. I would really like a Karmann Ghia.


  25. The tradeoff is that just about every new car will go 100,000 miles with the bare minimum maintenance.

    Yes. I may adopt that idea some day. I have known that modern cars are a b***h to live with near end of life. Either run them until they die, or sell them when they still have enough value to make it worth the effort.

  26. There was a bunch of 10oz bottles of hand sanitizer in stock – $4 a bottle!

    And to think Amazon and EBay were prohibited from selling the items due to price gouging. Seems that is exactly what is taking place by all the big box retailers. Bottles of one ounce of sanitizer that were given away at advertising booths during events are now selling for $2.00 each.

    named Dr. Zachary Smith I almost fell over laughing

    When I was stationed at Langley AFB in Virginia in the ’69 to ’71 time frame there was a colonel Klink on the second floor and a sergeant Schultz in the basement area where I worked. Shame they did not work together. And yes, the sergeant was truly as dumb as portrayed in Hogan’s Heroes.

    My new F-150 4×4 has skid plates for running over rocks and feral pigs

    Mine does also. But mine is not metal but some type of pressed fiber board. The latches do not work. After the first oil change at the dealer the plate was dragging on the ground. I had to crawl under and fasten again. It was a recurring problem. Eventually the thing fell off and I ran over it with the rear wheels. A replacement was $300.00. Needed not for skid protection but for airflow around the engine. A required item. It is now fastened with zip ties through the attachment holes. Good news this time if it falls off again the Ford dealer will replace it for free. Makes me think it is a known problem from lazy designers.

    Those combine to take the fun out of self service for most people.

    I used to as much servicing as I could on my vehicles. When I had a ’74 VW Super Beetle I did all the work once the warranty expired. The last major event was a complete engine rebuild at 75K miles which I did in my carport. Quite easy to do if one was patient and followed the book. No real special tools except for ring compressors and valve spring compressors. The rest was just metric sockets. That vehicle developed cracked fuel lines and I replaced one and I traded the car shortly after at a dealer. The person who purchased the vehicle only had it for a week at which point it caught fire and burned completely. Did I mention failing fuel lines?

    I no longer enjoy or desire to work on vehicles. I really didn’t back then but did so as a matter of saving money.

  27. “U.S. Supreme Court blocks Trump bid to end ‘Dreamers’ immigrant program”
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-immigration/u-s-supreme-court-blocks-trump-bid-to-end-dreamers-immigrant-program-idUSKBN23P2HM

    “WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday dealt President Donald Trump a major setback on his hardline immigration policies, blocking his bid to end a program that protects from deportation hundreds of thousands of immigrants – often called “Dreamers” – who entered the United States illegally as children.”

    “The justices on a 5-4 vote upheld lower court rulings that found that Trump’s 2017 move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, created in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, was unlawful.”

    “Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in finding that the administration’s actions were “arbitrary and capricious” under a federal law called the Administrative Procedure Act.”

    You have got to be kidding me. Previous executive orders outlast the prez who wrote them ? This is a first.

    And somebody has got something on John Roberts.

  28. Now, you have to remove 3 or 4 shrouds, covers, and many times, other parts of the engine.

    I never understand why car manufacturers decided engines needed to look pretty when you lifted the hood. My engine doesn’t need to be aerodynamic. The body? Sure. The engine? No.

    No worry here, my Kroger has PBR.

    I was a PBR fan until it became the official beer of hipsters. That sort of ruined it for me for a while.

    RE: COVID-19

    What’s all the fuss about all these supposed “spikes?” Seems like it’s been mostly flat for the last 30 days:
    https://dynaimage.cdn.cnn.com/cnn/digital-images/org/2c0aa23b-01b8-4260-966a-79729680c9bc.png

  29. “China finds heavy coronavirus traces in seafood, meat sections of Beijing food market”
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-china-seafood/china-finds-heavy-coronavirus-traces-in-seafood-meat-sections-of-beijing-food-market-idUSKBN23P20T

    “BEIJING (Reuters) – China has found the trading sections for meat and seafood in Beijing’s wholesale food market to be severely contaminated with the new coronavirus and suspects the area’s low temperature and high humidity may have been contributing factors, officials said on Thursday.”

    I am not sure if I trust the Chi-Coms to tell the truth here.

    We are all going to die.

    The last book that I read from Ben Bova, “Death Wave”, had this quote at the beginning, “Everyone knows that they are going to die, but no one really believes it. – Spalding Gray”.

  30. When I was stationed at Langley AFB in Virginia in the ’69 to ’71 time frame there was a colonel Klink on the second floor and a sergeant Schultz in the basement area where I worked. Shame they did not work together. And yes, the sergeant was truly as dumb as portrayed in Hogan’s Heroes.

    Ironically, John Banner served well enough during WWII to appear in a recruiting poster.


  31. You have got to be kidding me. Previous executive orders outlast the prez who wrote them ? This is a first.

    And somebody has got something on John Roberts.

    Absolutely ridiculous. Roberts has defacto said an EO is law. Illegal crimmigrants should be deported no matter how they got here. Unconstitutional. Roberts is a joke. Crone Ginsberg must croak soon.

  32. @JimB
    Ever work on a VW Beetle?… fun per dollar is unmatched by any car … I would really like a Karmann Ghia.
    I had a 1973 VW Squareback, with an automatic ( ! ) transmission. I -loved- that car. Drove the Alcan with it in 1993. First winter in Alaska was horrific. I don’t think that car thawed out from October to April. It was a fantastic car for getting around in the Alaskan winter in terms of drivability – never slipped, never got stuck. It was colder than a witches …

    I sold it in the spring of 1994 out of a desperate need for a car that was warmer than an icebox.
    I spotted it in 1998, just before I took a hiatus from Alaska (or I would have bought it back). And again in May 2003 – regret not buying it back than (we were house shopping…).
    Here’s my VW Squareback from the May 2003 sighting.

    I did all of my own work on it. My mechanic father was appalled that I’d bought a VW. He told me he wouldn’t touch it and I was on my own. I bought a copy of ‘How to keep your volkswagen alive’ and had at it. Did my own tune ups, valve jobs, etc. I am small and have tiny hands, so other than that 4th darn spark plug that was super hard to get to, no complaints. Funny story – it wasn’t ‘smogged’ when I bought it and I learned within a few hours of purchase I might have a problem getting a clean smog check. I was directed to a back alley mechanic with a machine. He had me fire up the vehicle, attached his sensors, then sat at the back, fiddling with a screwdriver on the engine until he got a length of clean tape. Case of beer and $20 bucks later I was able to register my car.

    When I drove it to Alaska, dad relented and gave it a check up. He asked why my wipers didn’t work. I explained they did work, I just had to pull the fuse / insert the fuse, to turn them on / off. His eyes rolled wildly in his head and he installed a toggle switch.

    Several years before that, my first car was a 1976 Honda Civic. Tiny engine. I blew the engine seeing how quickly I could reach 100 mph (not quickly). -shrug- dunno what happened dad, just started smoking and making funny noises. The eyebrow lifted, he knew I was a big fat lying liar but didn’t call me on it. We replaced the engine together. He told me it was from an Accord and had a bit more power, but would work. So I put a hairline crack in that one seeing if it got to 100 mph any faster. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    I now drive more moderately. I love cars, though. And I do my own work on them for some stuff, still.

  33. Joe Biden: “You ought to marry into a family of 5 or more sisters… You know why that’s the reason? One of them always loves you.”

    Plugs’ brain now resembles a sea sponge. It’s almost as if The Swamp let him off his leash to destroy himself. Geez. Dumbocrats certainly aren’t voting for him. I can’t wait for his VP pick.

  34. “Amazon to build massive warehouse southwest of Houston”
    https://www.chron.com/business/real-estate/article/Amazon-to-build-massive-warehouse-southwest-of-15349865.php

    “The new fulfillment center is being built on a 93.5-acre site at 10507 Harlem Road in Richmond, just southwest of Houston. It will have an 850,000-square-foot footprint, the Seattle-based company and Texas developer Trammell Crow Co. said Thursday in a press release.”

    “The project is expected to bring 1,000 jobs to the area when it opens next year”

    No, no, no, no, no, no. This is about five miles north of my house. We already have massive traffic issues in Fort Bend County with around 820,000 people. We are forecast to double in population by 2050, I will be long gone by then.

    And we are getting a new railroad hub on 5,000 acres to complement the new deep water (65 ft) port in Freeport, Texas (45 miles south of here). 5,000 jobs to build and 1,000 jobs afterwards about 15 miles west of my house.

  35. Jenny, too bad you didn’t have a gasoline heater in that Squareback. Not sure if they could be fitted, but in a Beetle they were fantastic. Never had one, but a friend did. He worked on his car in a small garage, and that heater heated the whole garage!

    I maintained a 70 Squareback for a friend for many years. It had an automatic transmission, and drove like a dream. Very nice car, but the owner neglected it. I could only do so much. Engine access was good. There were a million rubber hoses in the fuel (analog electronic!) injection system. I replaced them a few times. The ones under the gas tank were not fun.

  36. And somebody has got something on John Roberts.

    Roberts does not like the politicization of the court, where politicians and voters expect the Justices to bail them out of “foolish choices” … like Obama!

    Replacing Ginsberg under Trump will be a fight where she was rubber stamped going into the payola seat 25 years ago. God help us all if the “Roe” seat comes up this year — Breyer is 81 and up for retirement next after Ginsberg. Roberts does not like his court being known for the contentious nominations every single time.

    Trump can use Judge Barrett without a lot of fuss for the Payola seat, but putting her in that Roe chair would be a guaranteed fight this year.

  37. No, no, no, no, no, no. This is about five miles north of my house. We already have massive traffic issues in Fort Bend County with around 820,000 people. We are forecast to double in population by 2050, I will be long gone by then.

    On our last trip to Houston, we noticed that the toll lanes on I-10 are going to start 10 miles west of Katy. Bastrop to Houston will eventually be one big exurb.

  38. My first car was a ’61 beetle. Bought it used in 1968 for $600.00. It had a problem where it was difficult to start when cold. Installed an electrically heated fuel feed for the carburetor and that fixed that problem. Then the clutch started having problems. That was beyond my skill set. A fellow in town replaced the clutch for $25.00. I think he knew I did not have any money and probably footed part of the bill and used a used clutch. Whatever, it worked again.

    Hit a deer with that car, bounced it on the hood. Left a big dent and broke the left headlight. Punched out the dent from the back side and it actually popped back into shape and difficult to tell there was any damage. Replaced the front light assembly with one from a junk yard.

    I also used retread tires on the car. I think I paid $14.00 a tire when I needed them replaced. The retreads got about 15K miles before they needed replacing, not exactly high mileage. New retreads again for about the same price.

    Changing oil was a mess as a large plate was removed in the bottom of the engine dumping all the oil. A large catch basin was required. There was no filter and oil changes were required every 1,500 miles. Single drive belt whose tension was adjusted by changing pully diameter by changing the groove size in the pulley. The belts tended to stretch over time and it was a maintenance item checked on each oil change.

    Heater was a joke in Oregon winters, car was always cold. Face was about 12 inches from the windshield if I remember correctly. AM radio augmented by a portable cassette tape player in the glove compartment. Crappy sound in a noisy car but I didn’t care, it was mine.

    Aunt and uncle owned a Carman Ghia and the squareback. He drove the Ghia, she the squareback. Both fairly reliable cars from what I remember. Manual transmissions all around. Only real downside to all the vehicles is they were only six volt systems. Lights were generally inadequate and the generator weak.

    I worked for six weeks at a Volkswagen dealership in Medford Oregon after getting out of high school. I worked in the detail department where used cars were cleaned up. Volkswagens brought in on trade generally had the entire interior removed and cleaned, spray painted to cover rust and dirt, and put back together.

    Many times items were found, coins, cheap jewelry. I was allowed to keep anything I found unless it was valuable. I did find an expensive diamond ring one time and turned it in to the dealer manager. He called the lady that last owned the vehicle and she stated the ring was worth $5,000.00. Probably already claimed on her insurance and got a settlement. She gave me a reward, $5.00, for finding the ring. Cheapskate.

  39. Is Shot Girl up for re-election this week?

    Yes, against the CNBC anchor, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, in the primary.

    Even if she wins, NY faces losing three seats due to redistricting so Shot Girl will have to cut a deal with the party mainstream, including Stretch and Cuomo, to keep the cushy gig. No more rejecting Amazon HQ2 type deals on principle.

  40. Cancelled my season passes for Dollywood and getting a refund. The park is open, everyone wears masks, none of the shows are operating. I go there to watch the shows and ride a few rides. Not going just to ride some rides.

    Season passes were extended to June 2021 rather than January 4, 2021. I would need to buy a pass in July to get to the Christmas shows, full price. Not going to happen. I would have been better served to have the passes extended to all of 2021 and normal closing early January 2022. Thus I will purchase a season pass in November of this year that will cover the Christmas shows of 2020 and all of 2021. I basically had a season pass I was not going to use. I would have kept the pass if Dollywood had extended the pass expiration. What I am doing basically accomplishes the same thing.

    The call center has been slammed with people asking for refunds. I called this morning at 9:30 AM and was instructed to leave my phone number. I was finally called back at 4:30 PM. At least it was the same day. Dollywood is going to lose a lot of money on this Covid-19 mess. They lost my $327.00. And my passes were significantly discounted, senior and veteran discounts.


  41. Modern cars are filled with software that make them much easier to work on in most ways. All you need is a simple OBDII code reader, and you can diagnose lots of things not possible pre computer.

    I use a reader-app combo called FIXD.

    I leave the electronic reader permanently locked into the car’s reader socket, and if anything comes up on the CEL, or if I just feel like it, I open the app on my phone (it connects via Bluetooth), wait a few seconds, and see what codes come up.

    That’s where I came up with the P410 code I mentioned earlier.

  42. I think you have to buy a Raptor to get real skid plates under an F150. There is a light aluminum one right behind the bumper and a fiber one, like Ray says under the engine. I have never had the dealer work on mine so it is still in good shape – I know how not to cross thread screws…

    Ford did eliminate worries about stripped out oil drain plugs. The ecoboost plastic oil pans now use a plastic plug that comes out with only a 1/4 twist. Drains fast! No way to over tighten. Seems pretty idiot proof – although the web has examples of guys breaking them.

    No more worries about rusted out oil pans either – something I was always worried about on my 1999 Powerstroke diesel – did not want to pull that monster to change oil pans!

    I just changed the waterpump on my 2008 Corvette. Was actually a fun job other than the hose clamps. I hate wrestling with the new style clamps – although they are technically much better than the old screw clamps.

  43. I think you have to buy a Raptor to get real skid plates under an F150. There is a light aluminum one right behind the bumper and a fiber one, like Ray says under the engine. I have never had the dealer work on mine so it is still in good shape – I know how not to cross thread screws…

    My F-150 4×4 with the FX4 package has two or three metal skid plates, all about 1/4 inch thick. They protect the engine oil pan, the transmission, the transfer case, and the 36 gallon gas tank. Plus the FX4 package adds an electric locking rear axle. Low gear in the transfer case is 4:1, a real grinder. Plus it has a short lift kit of about 2 inches with huge shocks front and rear. Not a Raptor (you don’t want one, they bounce you all over the place) but halfway there (still bounces though).
    https://www.kimbercreekford.com/blog/what-is-ford-fx4-and-how-is-it-different-from-4×4/

    Ray saw it the other day and called it a Cowboy Cadillac. Not quite but it is rather comfy and very useful.

  44. According to multiple sources today, Tesla bought out the gravel mining operation to build their truck factory at the site marked in the center of the map, not far from Austin-Bergstrom airport.

    https://goo.gl/maps/pQMpeBNpiJvar2eL7

    That does put them in a better position to sue Texas to be allowed to sell direct within the state to consumers. The law is extremely discriminatory and unfair.

  45. “One weird sign of trouble in the banking sector”
    https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/one-weird-sign-of-trouble-in-the-banking-sector-27986/

    “With this migration mega-trend in mind, my team and I have been sourcing residential real estate over the past few months, specifically looking at undervalued opportunities in low cost, low tax jurisdictions. both inside and outside the United States.”

    “Within the US, Texas is one obvious candidate.”

    “The state’s lockdown rules were far less Draconian than they were in other parts of the country. There’s no state income tax.”

    “Living costs in Texas are much lower than in most of the US. And there are plenty of wide-open spaces.”

    Oh no. Please no.

    Somebody build a wall.

  46. I mentioned to my wife that I thought we’d have Republic of Texas passports within ten years. She laughed and thought I was kidding. I’m not. I’ll even go so far as to say +5, -3 years as bounds. Ten years is a long time. Literally anything can happen. We won’t be the only breakaway either.

    Here are two countries:
    https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/americas-divorce-left-and-right-each-get-half-the-country

    Here are seven countries:
    https://www.kut.org/post/map-carves-us-seven-nations-and-splits-texas-three-ways

    Here are nine countries:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nine_Nations_of_North_America

    From:
    https://theweek.com/articles/805689/should-chop-america-into-7-different-countries-seriously

    I suspect that if the USA breaks up, it will be the result of a serious civil war. Or a real pandemic that kills half of the people it touches (“The Postman” by David Brin).

    But I also suspect that we will look back and regret breaking up.

  47. Somebody build a wall.

    “Why deal with the taxes, socialism, and obscene costs of Manhattan when you can spend half the price, pay no state income tax, and live on the beach in Clearwater, Florida?”

    They’ve never been to Clearwater. Xenu be merciful.

    The homestead exemption law in Florida works against carpetbaggers -er- relocating citizens from other states, but I don’t think it is constitutional long term, having been carefully crafted to fail by the RINO Governor Charlie Christ.

  48. Scanner is very active tonight on the encrypted HPD Field Ops channels. Lots of very long transmissions. So many and so long it’s annoying me to have the scanner stopping on those channels and getting “stuck”.

    n

  49. The homestead exemption law in Florida works against carpetbaggers -er- relocating citizens from other states, but I don’t think it is constitutional long term, having been carefully crafted to fail by the RINO Governor Charlie Christ.

    Carpetbaggers come from the Yankee states.

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