Tues. Mar. 9, 2021 – bought a truck, gotta pick it up

Clear, small chance of rain, and still cool.   Yesterday was clear and comfortable all day.  Really nice weather.   Humidity is high, but mitigated by the cool temps.  It’s just that stuff doesn’t dry.   For now I can live with that.  (58F and 93%RH when I went to bed, 130am)

Spent most of yesterday either buying a new truck or cleaning out my old one.   FILLED the Ranger with stuff from the back of the Expy.   And the front of the Expy.   And the middle.  I have to make another trip to finish, and to get the roof rack and sirius/xm module.     I had a lot of stuff squirreled away in that truck.   Not all of it is going back into the new truck either.   200 pounds of b ody ar mor for example….  I bought the plates and forgot they were in the truck.  I found a dewalt impact driver I can’t remember buying, or getting as a gift.  Battery was still charged though.  Gotta love lithium batteries.

I was supposed to spend today doing one pickup of the gennie I bought, and two drop offs at local auctions.   I cancelled one drop off already and I’m going to try rescheduling the gennie pickup.   I can usually pick up from that seller late, but the forklift might not be available.   I have ramps, but it won’t be easy.  I really need to make the drop off at the new auctioneer though.

I’m scheduled to pick up the new truck around 330, after picking up daughter 2 from school.   That will involve about 2 hours total and blow my late afternoon.  It’s always something.


My CD and DVD ripping project continues.  It is becoming very clear that if there is some media you like and want to continue to have available to you, you need to OWN it.   Books are being banned.  Films are being re-edited. Books are disappearing from sales at amazon (I can’t remember the titles so it could be commercial reasons, but the removal of the book TITLE suggests that it’s more than a royalty or rights dispute, and amazon has clawed back kindle books and edited kindle books in the past so they are suspect).

Some movies are only available with a scold attached, for now.  Eventually they’ll be gone.

I am not buying most media new, so I’m not feeding the monster (or the creators, but that’s a different discussion).  I am building my library, and my media collection.   Will it ever get to the point that they come looking for them?  I can’t say.   For most people, relying on the ‘cloud’ and streaming services, there won’t be any badthink to come looking for.  It just won’t be available in the first place.   The classics of western civilization and the bedrock writings of our country’s founding are already under attack, de-emphasized, and pretty much have to be marginalized in order for the social changes to go unopposed.

Make sure you have food for the mind and the soul stacked up, as well as actual food.   Keep stacking food.  Hungry people are desperate people.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

76 thoughts on “Tues. Mar. 9, 2021 – bought a truck, gotta pick it up”

  1. Would you categorize DeSantis as a conservative ? I really do not know much about him other than he seems to be an excellent governor, especially for Florida.

    It is really hard to say at this point. DeSantis and his predecessor, (now) Senator Rick Scott are hated by the press and state political punditry so anything they say is automatically distorted.

    I know Scott leans RINO because I almost ended up working for him (long story). Plus, Scott is an unindicted conspirator in the largest Medicare fraud in history perpetrated while he was CEO at Columbia HCA.

    The real power in Republican primaries for state-wide office in Florida now lies in The Villages, a giant retirement community that spans three counties northwest of Orlando/Disney. If your schtick plays well there, it doesn’t really matter what the establishment party … or Publix … or The Mouse … wants.

    DeSantis didn’t play the heavy anti-abortion games pushed by lobbyists two years ago like Abbott did here in Texas. The FL Governor’s attitude was, paraphrasing, “You guys figure it out. Get something reasonable through the Legislature. If it looks good, I’ll sign it, but I’m not going to push the issue.”

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  2. The crazy neighbors have made themselves known again. We’re planning on constructing a one-room annex to our house. This annex technically sits on a different plot of land (we bought two plots next to each other). The second plot has no access except over our first plot. Our first plot has access over the crazy-neighbor’s land – that’s official, entered into the property register, and apparently the thing that makes them so crazy.

    Anyhow, the crazy neighbors are now forbidding us to build on the second plot, because the entry in the register only provides access for our first plot. So they want to forbid any vehicles or people from crossing their land, if the intent is to visit the second plot.

    To us, it seems obvious that transitivity applies: We cross their land to get to our first plot, and then cross our first plot to get to the second one. I mean, how else would you do it? Of course, the second plot isn’t listed for their land, because it doesn’t even border them.

    But regulations are strange things, so we have to be sure. Time for another (virtual) trip to the lawyer.

    3
  3. @brad, that is nuts. If you couldn’t cross a property from another, no one would be able to go anywhere.

    Keep your eyes open too. Lots of news reports of long standing feuds suddenly going violent.

    n


  4. I would likely get the Mark III or a later model and go for better quality and low light performance.

    All of my cameras have the battery grip. A single battery will not last an entire football game, or two basketball games (girls and boys play on the same night). An average night is about 1100 images. Of which I toss about 900 of the images as not interesting, interference, or just bad. The battery grip adds just enough to make the camera comfortable in my hand.

    The 12-100 on the Oly is a bit short on the long end.

    In my experience the 12-100 works well for basketball. I am not going for the other end of the court.

    When I travel the 12-100 is the lens of choice. In my OM days my favorite lens was the 35-70 f1.8. Was never lacking. When outdoors, unless photographing wildlife, I find no need for a long zoom. I want to photograph the entire expanse of scenery and a 24 equivalent zoom works just fine.

    I need a longer telephoto for baseball, softball, soccer and football. There is a downside in that movement of the camera becomes more of an issue. A monopod just gets in the way. Probably needed for a full size Nikon or Canon camera but the Olympus is light enough that I don’t require the use of a monopod.

    I don’t mean to sound like an equipment snob.

    Not even close. Like many things acquired over time the equipment tends to stack up.

    One other item about the Mark III is the image stabilization. It cannot be used in rapid shooting, only single shots. But the stabilization is amazing. It provides, in my experience, four stops additional exposure. It really is that good. Using an Olympus lens designed for the Mark III there is a button on the lens to control the stabilization. Hand hold at f2.8 at 1/2 of a second and it is impossible to get a sharp image. Turn on the stabilization and immediately the image stabilizes and a sharp image is produced. Olympus claims 4 second hand held shots are possible. Naturally I cannot use stabilization for sports.

    There is also image stacking for tricky exposure conditions. The menus are much better and more options. The shutter is quieter. Using the mechanical shutter I get 10 frames per second. Use the electronic shutter I can get 18 frames per second and that is really fast. There is also dark sky focus

    your church has very good lighting

    It used be quite poor. Over time bulbs had burned out and never replaced, light controllers not working so some lights never could come on. All the lights in the sanctuary are on a large light controller panel controlled from the balcony. We have can lights in the ceiling pointing down on the stage.

    The TV broadcast drives a lot of the lighting requirements. Although the cameras have very good low light performance the needs goes beyond just making the place show up on cameras. There needs to be good light on the speaking part stage relative to the rest of the platform to minimize the background. We also have lights in the ceiling behind the speaker location to get lighting on their back to separate them from the background. The lighting needs to very even across the entire platform otherwise it shows badly on TV. Bright and dark spots. The cameras will adjust but it shows.

    Lighting for TV takes more than just throwing some bulbs in a fixture. What my church currently has is well done and works really well. It shows on the live broadcast and the stream. Looking at other church’s streams our lighting is much better. The other churches were forced to stream. We have been broadcasting for 30 years, streaming for 10 years. We had time to work out the issues.

    We hired a company to come in and fix the lights. For $7K they replaced ALL the bulbs, replaced the power connecters with locking connectors, fixed the controllers, removed some lights, and aligned what was left. A professional lighting company that did a good job. They were hurting for work in the middle of COVID and wanted the work. I suspect they did not make much as there were four guys working for four days plus the cost of the bulbs and connectors.

    I also suspect they want to get the contract for replacing the entire lighting system. The initial fix got their foot in the door. The lights will be replaced with LED, several RGB units, controllers eliminated as the lights have built-in controllers. Some of the cans can be retrofitted with LED, others completely replaced. The estimated cost for that project is about $120K. The decreased electrical usage and cooling in the summer will pay that pack in about 20 years. The company will get the contract.


  5. Lots of news reports of long standing feuds suddenly going violent.

    Yep. My project list keeps growing instead of shrinking, but I really need to bump security cameras higher on the list…

  6. @ray, that is exactly the sort of project that my wife provides support for. She’s a step or two up the food chain from your local company. Unfortunately you are out of her area of coverage.

    You’ve done great work getting them bedrock to build from.

    And I do find it strange that the Catholic Church, with all its history of pomp and excess hasn’t embraced better lighting and sound. The evangelicals and similar offshoots probably do because of the early influence of television evangelists. The Catholics might consciously reject it because of that association too.

    n


  7. The evangelicals and similar offshoots probably do because of the early influence of television evangelists.

    The protestant church A/V booth. Where dads who really don’t want to be in church go to hang out with the other dads who really don’t want to be in church. However, they’re “working”… for the church… so, it’s the same as sitting in a pew. 🙂

    2

  8. A couple of days ago I found what appears to be the same book from another publisher. Some sort of tiff between the original publisher and the current one?

    There are a lot of “bootleg” copies of old sf and fantasy. For example, all the “Doc” Smith Lensman series are still in copyright. All the ones I’ve seen on Kindle are bootleg scans from the paperbacks. (The last in the series “Children of the Lens”, is a mess and unreadable.)

    Also, some publishers pull back Kindle rights. Colleen McCullough’s “Masters of Rome” series was available for a while and then all but the last two books weren’t for years. They just came back on Kindle in the last year. It’s possible that the contracts for the first books were written such that the epub rights weren’t included explicitly. Her estate may have wanted to negotiate a deal for them, so they were pulled back. Strangely, they were available in the UK from Amazon. Probably a different contract was written for the UK rights.


  9. She’s a step or two up the food chain from your local company. Unfortunately you are out of her area of coverage.

    We used Bandit Lites for the project. They have done very large projects and several churches. The conversion to LED will probably not happen for another 4 or 5 years.


  10. The protestant church A/V booth.

    My only qualification is I am not afraid to push buttons. I knew little about video switching and broadcast. I am still learning. Just discovered “clean feed” available in the switcher. I will now change aux buss 1 which feeds the screens to clean feed source to enable the lower thirds graphics used on the broadcast to not appear on the screens.

    The switcher actually has 5 video busses. Program which is the live broadcast, preview which is what gets transitioned to program AUX 1, 2, and 3 which can be fed any source including internal in the switcher, but cannot be controlled by the transition. The AUX busses feed the main screens and monitors on the balcony. Then there is the 4 upstream keyers for PIP or chromakey. And two downstream keyers for lower thirds overlays.

  11. Ray, thanks for the detailed reply. I will have to read it carefully later, as I am heading out for a day of some volunteer work.

  12. HEB is waffling on it’s face diaper policy. My local HEB took down all their “diaper required” signs three days ago. HEB CEO now says nothing has changed. Their real waffle is: diaper required, but not enforced after they offer you a mask and you refuse (that’s not a *required* policy). HEB today or tomorrow, I wonder if the “diaper required” signs are back. I’m going to try out a face shield this time. I wonder what people will say?

  13. HEB is waffling on it’s face diaper policy. My local HEB took down all their “diaper required” signs three days ago. HEB CEO now says nothing has changed. Their real waffle is: diaper required, but not enforced after they offer you a mask and you refuse (that’s not a *required* policy). HEB today or tomorrow, I wonder if the “diaper required” signs are back. I’m going to try out a face shield this time. I wonder what people will say?

    San Antonio up to Austin along I35 is heavy Prog. The HEB stores in the urban and suburban areas are going to placate the West Coast transplants who showed up in the last year looking for less lockdown but still spouting the “CDC knows best” party line.

  14. “Wind Power Is a Disaster in Texas, No Matter What Paul Krugman Says”
    https://mises.org/wire/wind-power-disaster-texas-no-matter-what-paul-krugman-says

    “Incidentally, there are literally no numbers in Krugman’s article (except for numerals referring to dates), which is a signal that he’s pulling a fast one on his readers. From his qualitative (not quantitative) description, most people would have assumed that when the unusually cold weather hit Texas last month, electricity generation from various sources was down across the board, but that it mostly fell from natural gas, while the drop in wind was insignificant. As I’ll show in the next section, this is utterly false.”

    But there are MWH numbers in this article.

    I repeat, wind and solar are no good if you want to have power outside of the 32 F to 95 F range. And temperature ventures below 32 F and above 95 F are very common in Texas. Very common.

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

    1
  15. BTW, keep your gasoline and diesel tanks full ! There are zero refineries running in Texas. Every single refinery was frozen up with extensive damage that they have been working 24×7 to fix. Exxon is trying to start their 311,000 barrel/day refinery in Beaumont as of yesterday and I have not seen yet if things are going well. Refineries use steam to keep their lines warm (300 F to 600 F) and all of the steam plants froze up. No Texas refineries have buildings that I know of, too much a chance of volatile gas collection and explosion.

    1
  16. The estimated cost for that project is about $120K. The decreased electrical usage and cooling in the summer will pay that pack in about 20 years. The company will get the contract.

    It may be quicker than that. We are in the beginning of a doubling of the cost of natural gas and crude oil fuel. Maybe a tripling when they get their carbon tax. $100 crude oil by Memorial Day is commonly said now.

    Plus the Yemeni / Saudi War got an uptick yesterday when Yemen dropped a large bomb drone into a very large farm.
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/saudi-arabia-drone-attack-oil-infrastructure-ras-tanura-dhahran-houthis-yemen-iran/

    1
  17. A couple of days ago I found what appears to be the same book from another publisher. Some sort of tiff between the original publisher and the current one?

    There are a lot of “bootleg” copies of old sf and fantasy. For example, all the “Doc” Smith Lensman series are still in copyright. All the ones I’ve seen on Kindle are bootleg scans from the paperbacks. (The last in the series “Children of the Lens”, is a mess and unreadable.)

    Also, some publishers pull back Kindle rights. Colleen McCullough’s “Masters of Rome” series was available for a while and then all but the last two books weren’t for years. They just came back on Kindle in the last year. It’s possible that the contracts for the first books were written such that the epub rights weren’t included explicitly. Her estate may have wanted to negotiate a deal for them, so they were pulled back. Strangely, they were available in the UK from Amazon. Probably a different contract was written for the UK rights.

    Publishers did not include epub rights in their contracts until 2000 or so. So many of the authors have made their own epub versions for books before 2000 and put them on Amazon and B&N. And all publishing contracts are by country as each country has different copyright laws so each publishing firm has a subsidiary for each of the first world countries. It is a horrible mess.

  18. HEB is waffling on it’s face diaper policy. My local HEB took down all their “diaper required” signs three days ago. HEB CEO now says nothing has changed. Their real waffle is: diaper required, but not enforced after they offer you a mask and you refuse (that’s not a *required* policy). HEB today or tomorrow, I wonder if the “diaper required” signs are back. I’m going to try out a face shield this time. I wonder what people will say?

    The customer is always right !

    I heard that somewhere. Maybe one of my customers.

  19. “Doc” Smith may be still in copyright in the States but he is Public Domain in Canada. fadedpage.com has 15 of his books available. We went from 50 to 70 year copyright last year but works that were in the public domain will remain so. There won’t be anything new for another nineteen years. Hollywood won and Justin caved in.

  20. “BTW, keep your gasoline and diesel tanks full”

    –just stopped at Costco to fill up, and there was a LOT of line…. far more than normal for a Tuesday afternoon. Word must be spreading.

    n

    (took 4 tubs, and 52 pairs of men’s dress shoes to the auction) Rescheduled my pickup to tomorrow. Headed out to get kid2 from school and go pick up my new truck.

    n

    1
  21. –just stopped at Costco to fill up, and there was a LOT of line…. far more than normal for a Tuesday afternoon. Word must be spreading.

    Gas shortage!

    Just in time for the first big weekend of Spring Break. Hmmm …

  22. “Socialists swept Nevada Democrat Party elections. Hours later, the entire staff quit.”
    https://noqreport.com/2021/03/09/socialists-swept-nevada-democrat-party-elections-hours-later-the-entire-staff-quit/

    “Nevada is a microcosm of the Democratic Party of today as the Democratic-Socialists, aka the Neo-Marxists, are taking over the party in their quest to take down the nation.”

    Here come the National Socialists !

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

    1

  23. There are zero refineries running in Texas.

    Gas prices that I see are up about 50 cents per gallon over a month ago. I’ve been wondering how much is weather/refinery related and how much is purely political.


  24. The protestant church A/V booth. Where dads who really don’t want to be in church go to hang out with the other dads who really don’t want to be in church. However, they’re “working”… for the church… so, it’s the same as sitting in a pew.

    Just like the high school A/V squad for the geeks that would rather run the projector than sit in the auditorium and watch the boring film. And yeah, I was one of them…


  25. @nick; just curious, the control in the lower half of picture number 29, what is it for?

    Cruise control. Set, on – off, cancel – resume. The four rockers with the Ok button is unknown.

    Blurry switch is unknown. The other switch might be for the headlights and cluster brightness.

    Nice looking set of wheels.


  26. Cruise control. Set, on – off, cancel – resume. The four rockers with the Ok button is unknown.

    The group of four buttons control the information display. Fuel range, trip counters, towing display, backup warning, etc.

  27. Seems to be a huge wake-up call in chip production happening. Everyone is realizing that without microchips they can’t manufacture much of anything. Lots of governments looking to incentivize more diversification in chip manufacturing and a lot of large companies pondering whether they should be making their own chips.


  28. Cruise control. Set, on – off, cancel – resume. The four rockers with the Ok button is unknown.

    @paul; thanks, meant pic 20 though, 29 was a typo.

  29. @paul; thanks, meant pic 20 though, 29 was a typo.

    Total guess. Trailer brake controller.

    It looks like it functions like the module hanging under my dash. I don’t actually know how to use it, I read the directions once. I don’t have a trailer with electric brakes.


  30. Here come the National Socialists !

    Too many won’t know what that means, I’m afraid. Or that they ARE on the left.

  31. @paul – “trailer brake controller” is what I was guessing too. Nice feature, if you are hauling.

    Although I saw a trailer brake controller that was inline with the 7-pin connector, and senses deceleration amount to control brake actuation. Like this one https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Brake-Controller/Curt/C51180.html – wireless. Just plug it into the 7-pin connector. Vulnerable to ‘walking away’ because of where it is, but doesn’t require any installation – just plug and go.

  32. Total guess. Trailer brake controller.

    That would be correct. The + and – control the gain. The squeeze buttons apply the trailer brakes, the more they are squeezed the more current is applied to the brakes. The current supplied when normal braking is based on brake pedal pressure and the amount of gain.

    I have the built-in controller on my F-150, part of the trailer package. Computer knows if there is a trailer connected.


  33. trailer brake controller that was inline with the 7-pin connector

    Uh, no thanks, not in pig’s eye. Get the real thing tied into the brake system with a control in the cab. Manual control is useful in case of trailer sway. Apply the the trailer brakes and not the vehicle brakes. That device would not be very useful when going downhill when mild braking is needed to control speed. Trailer towing is serious business and can go whacko in seconds.

  34. @ray

    That brake controller (inline) has an app on your phone (dash) that connects to the device via Bluetooth, to control the amount of braking – the braking control that you would have in an in-dash/under dash device. Uses the brake pedal force (via it’s accelerator/decelerate) to apply trailer brake force.

    So it works like the mounted device, but uses an app and bluetooth to communicate with the ‘plug’, rather than having to hardwire an in/under-dash device.

    But, I have little experience with trailers – or braking devices. Just a bit of web research on devices.

  35. Cruise control. Set, on – off, cancel – resume. The four rockers with the Ok button is unknown.

    The group of four buttons control the information display. Fuel range, trip counters, towing display, backup warning, etc.

    And tire pressure display, average mileage over the last 30 min, etc, etc, etc. All kinds of info, mine has about two dozen information screens.


  36. That would be correct. The + and – control the gain. The squeeze buttons apply the trailer brakes, the more they are squeezed the more current is applied to the brakes. The current supplied when normal braking is based on brake pedal pressure and the amount of gain.

    A lot of Ford owners here so asking just as an observation, and no knock on nick’s new ride, which looks sharp on the exterior (especially like the alloy wheels), but some of the interior seems a little dated for only a four year old model. For example, the radio and HVAC controls (pics 18 and 32) stand out. Don’t know when I’ve last driven a Ford other than my ex-wife’s 1978 LTD (which she called “The Tank”), and I’ve owned foreign for at least 40 years. Is this perhaps reflective of carry-over from more utilitarian Ford pickup trucks?

  37. Here come the National Socialists !

    Too many won’t know what that means, I’m afraid. Or that they ARE on the left.

    If they do not know what the National Socialists are now, they will find out soon.


  38. So it works like the mounted device, but uses an app and bluetooth to communicate with the ‘plug’

    In a quickly deteriorating situation there is no time to take out a phone. Unless the phone is mounted on the dash and is always open to the app. Unless there is a physical connection to the brake system the device would have zero knowledge of brake pedal pressure. Sensing deceleration would not be enough. It might work for a 3,000 pound cargo trailer, might. I wouldn’t trust the device for anything bigger, especially a travel trailer (RV)

    I have been towing a trailer of some kind for 55 years. From trailers with no brakes (single axels, dual axle requires brakes by law), hydraulic surge brakes, drum brakes, electric brakes. Towing a RV requires manual control available. Trusting a Bluetooth app on a phone, no way. Trailer towing is serious business and can go south in a hurry.

    Adding a truly integrated controller is not that expensive. Best option is factory installed and integrated option.

    Only thing I would use for Bluetooth for when towing is tire pressure monitoring. Which I have.

  39. “SpaceX Wants to Bring Starlink Internet to Cars, Boats, and Airplanes”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/spacex-wants-to-bring-starlink-internet-to-cars-boats-and-airplanes

    “The company is trying to get clearance from the FCC to use the Starlink dish technology on moving vehicles, citing the need for high-speed internet on trucks and freighters.”

    Starlink wants to supply your internet needs no matter where and what you are doing. Very aggressive !

  40. A few days ago someone mentioned brass caps on Amazon to seal 1# propane bottles.

    I can use a few. I bought a dozen, the price per each was better. Nice product, well made.

    The last time I tried using the Coleman stove, yeah, no, not happening because having an extra burner around a control knob is too exciting for me. I disconnected the tank from the stove’s hose and the tank leaks. Re-connect the hose and what do you know? Two years or so later the tank still leaks gas. Good hose. Brass cap here we come!

    I brass capped the rest of my stash. Interesting thing is that all of the plastic caps, other than the Coleman bottles, were brittle and crumbled. They are in the shade. I suppose there is enough UV bouncing around in the shed. All of the bottles felt full.

    I need to look at the stove. By memory the fitting where it was leaking is crimped. Which is a shame, the stove has been used very little.

    On the bright side I have plenty of mantles for the lantern. Nothing like cranking it up in a cold room. Lots of heat and about 500 watts of light on full blast. Dims down nicely for reading a book.

  41. “Texas just experienced its 11th coldest February on record”
    https://spacecityweather.com/texas-just-experienced-its-11th-coldest-february-on-record/

    “Data are in for the country as a whole in February, and it shows the contiguous United States experienced the 19th coldest February on record, which goes back 127 years. Temperatures were 3.2 degrees below the 20th century average, according to NOAA. This was the country’s coldest February since 1989.”

    “Texas experienced its 11th coldest February on record. Notably, Austin set a record with temperatures remaining below freezing for six consecutive days, Waco had a similar record stretch of nine days, and wind chill values below zero were recorded as far south as the Rio Grande River.”

    It was freaking cold !

  42. “Gas prices that I see are up about 50 cents per gallon over a month ago”

    —seeing the same here in Houston, maybe even more depending on the station.

    —The control in picture 20 is the integrated trailer brake controller, as some of you said. It works with the traction control logic too, unlike an add on controller, and supposedly can do sway control with software/hardware combo, part of the Heavy Duty towing package.

    BUT — not going to be mine… we were signing the paperwork and a small detail I missed came up, and my wife caught it and voiced her surprise. NO WARRANTY AT ALL. Not a single day or a single dollar. Carmax does 90 days, Carvana does 100, and while they don’t cover everything they do cover most of the expensive stuff. I was almost ready to do the deal anyway but the pause gave me time to think. What’s the point of buying at the dealer if not to get some assurance that the vehicle is ‘right’ and will stay that way? I could save money by buying private party, or at the auction myself if I wanted to assume all the risk…

    They were offering an extended warranty, at $3600 for 3 years, cancel anytime if not used and get pro-rated refund. I declined and that’s what brought up the complete AS IS status.

    On a $10K vehicle, I’ll roll the dice. On $31K, no. The price was fair and well in line with comps. And $100/month for the warranty isn’t even that much if you use the coverage even once, but I really dislike having to pay for all the coverage to get ANY.

    It’s all on me too. I assumed there would be SOMETHING, but on used cars there isn’t a requirement. I just assumed the dealer would be similar to other used car sellers. I was wrong. Now I think I know why the truck sat for 3 months.

    Having to wait an hour with wife and kid in tow before the finance officer (the money/contract guy, we weren’t looking for financing) was available didn’t help my mood either.

    He asked what it would take to save the deal. I said ‘pay for a year of the extended warranty’. He went away (to ask) and came back with a ‘no’. I’m pretty sure they make good money selling the warranty, ie. they wouldn’t pay retail for the year. I would have taken a counter offer of 90days, same as carmax’s warranty.

    He refunded the card deposit, and we walked.

    They came out as we were getting our stuff out of the truck (daughter had already tucked her glasses away) and offered lifetime power train coverage, at that dealer. Then finance guy qualified that by saying it only covers parts with internal oil lubrication. NOT the turbo, for example. So, no.

    We’re still considering the deal at home, and doing some research on the warranty company, as well as the actual coverage at the other places.

    I have a truck to drive. I should look for more than two days. It was everything I wanted at a fair price, but I have time and should use it. I half expect them to call with a better offer tomorrow. Cars aren’t exactly flying off the lot right now, and I suspect that they were about to send that truck back to auction anyway, it hadn’t been detailed and they’d dropped the price $1500.

    Oh well, we’ll see. That is 5 hours gone, 2 yesterday, and 3 today, and I tipped the sales guy because he did his part just fine and I feel bad that my assumption cost everyone the time.

    Lesson learned, I can’t always go with my intuitive approach.

    n

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  43. @Ray

    As I understand that device, the app on the phone takes the place of the controller box on/under dash. It is to provide initial settings, just like the controller box.

    The braking action is controlled by the accelerator/decelerator inside the plug thing. The more deceleration found, the more braking action applied, according to the force levels preset with the app.

    That’s how I think it works – the app is the controller box which tells the plug the ‘force level’.

    But, I could be confused. Often am.

  44. @Lynn
    “You know, Cuomo is starting to look like a mass murderer. ”

    Biggest in US history. Second is looking to be Walz in MN, although his method was different (lock grandpa and grandma in assisted living and let the low-wage staff bring the virus in).

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  45. I feel bad that my assumption cost everyone the time

    Don’t feel one bit sorry. They wasted your time over a few dollars. That is life in the car dealership business. As for wasting your families time, well suck it up cupcake. It was not a waste if the time with the spousal unit if she saved you some misery. When they said no to one year you should have immediately countered with 90 days bumper to bumper warranty at the dealer. If a problem arose all the dealer would be out is paying for the tech and their cost on parts. As it stands now they lost a sale, not your problem.

  46. Elon to the rescue…

    https://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-texas-battery-power-grid-supply-energy-elon-musk-electricity-2021-3

    “Tesla is making a giant battery to plug into the Texas power grid, and it could store enough energy for 20,000 homes”

    Nice try but no banana. There are over ten million homes in Texas. Gonna need at least 500 batteries that size to fix the problem (but the problem is not fixable by batteries).

    And there are three batteries that I know of in Texas bigger than that one Tesla is building.

  47. I have a truck to drive. I should look for more than two days. It was everything I wanted at a fair price, but I have time and should use it. I half expect them to call with a better offer tomorrow.

    The problem is that Expy has the options that you want and a good price, not a great price. A good salesperson will call you tomorrow with a new option.

  48. There were a couple of other things that made me less understanding.

    They didn’t tell me there was only one key until delivery. It’s a push button start, so you need the remote fob as it IS the key. $200 for an additional new key.

    The owners manual was for an F150. You need the original which has the code for resetting the remote entry, and the radio security code (if it has one.) They can get the code and the salesman got a correct manual, but it goes to attention to detail. It means they didn’t check the recall either- which was for missing pages in the manual.

    The seat memory buttons didn’t work. That meant, with no warranty, I was going to have to test every single option before taking delivery, window defroster, and all. I did check the major stuff during our 1 hour wait, but I’d have been systematic during that time had I known. Because if they didn’t catch the seat buttons, what ELSE didn’t they test?

    n

    added- all the used car value estimators ding you if you don’t have both original keys and they ding you for a missing manual too. And I KNOW the dealer gets a better rate on replacement keys than I could.

  49. A lot of Ford owners here so asking just as an observation, and no knock on nick’s new ride, which looks sharp on the exterior (especially like the alloy wheels), but some of the interior seems a little dated for only a four year old model.

    A lot of trucks are used for *work*, but if you want to comparison shop, look at the interiors in the current GM SUV and truck designs. Even the Cadillacs are meh as of late.

    The Expedition got a big overhaul for the next model year. Of course, that means big money for the gadgetry.

  50. While it’s a great truck and you are in lust and it looks to be a good deal, that the dealer will not give any warranty is a big no for me.

    What? They pump the a/c full of Freon before test drives?

    And the seat buttons. What else? Just one key fob?

    I think you just dodged a bullet. There’s something wrong with the truck if the dealer won’t give any warranty. Let them send it to auction.

  51. Oh, I missed replying to the interior style question. Valid question. The major update was betwen the 2014 and 2015 models. Then they updated the interior and exterior styling again in 2018? I actually looked behind the glove box and the manf stock sticker on the dash called it ‘2015 greystone dash’. It also had a part number sticker with 2016 on it. That dash and styling was common across the pickups, expy, and exploder but started in each line at different times.

    It’s the same styling as my 2008, in different color combinations, and I like the ‘squareness’ of it.

    n


  52. The more deceleration found, the more braking action applied

    That is the issue. I often times lightly apply the brakes when going downhill to control speed. There is little to no deceleration involved. I want the trailer brakes applied in addition to, not just the tow vehicle. Applying tow vehicle brakes and no trailer brakes can make the front and back of the vehicle/trailer assembly swap ends, especially in the rain.

    As I said, it might work OK for a small, open cargo trailer. I would never trust my life to a Bluetooth device controlling the brakes on a heavy trailer.

    There are a lot of units that will integrate into a vehicle without a controller if the vehicle has trailer wiring, typically 7 pins at the back. The controller gets information from the braking system in the computer and uses that to send current to the trailer brake. They are not that expensive, less cost than the Bluetooth device.

    If a vehicle does not have a seven pin electrical connector then consider towing choices carefully. Surge brakes are an option that works well for boat trailers. Mostly because submersing electrical components multiple times is never a good idea. U-Haul uses surge brakes and they work well. Towing a RV requires sway control because of the physical size and that does not work with surge brakes. Electrical is the only viable solution. That requires a 7 pin electrical connection.

    Biggest safety measure when towing is maintain a significant distance between the tow vehicle and vehicles in front. Look far ahead and plan. Consider options and what is going on many vehicles in front. And take your time. Speed is your enemy. Arriving 30 minutes later than usual is OK.

  53. “I think you just dodged a bullet. There’s something wrong with the truck if the dealer won’t give any warranty.”

    @paul, I’ll be trying to convince myself of this… they claimed that the dealer didn’t offer any warranty on any of the used vehicles. Mentioned that they ‘could’ do certified preowned, but it would cost $1200 more, and they like to keep the price down. BUT the warranty acceptance document had check boxes for “warranty” and “as is”. Why have a check box for something you never offer, especially as it will remind people that you don’t?
    n

    And remember too, the dealer who took it in trade sent it to the auction. It was just barely out of manf warranty (3 year, 60k mile). That tingled my spide-y sense a bit. AND the OWNER traded it as soon as it was out of warranty.

  54. The local Cecil’s Imperial-Chrysler-Dodge-Plymouth-Jeep dealership has the “warranty” and “as is” check boxes. (Cecil has several dealerships, not all Mopar.)

    I know of several vehicles with “warranty” that never needed anything. I can’t think of any bought with “as is”. Hey, you’re paying extra to buy from the dealer.

    And remember too, the dealer who took it in trade sent it to the auction. It was just barely out of manf warranty (3 year, 60k mile). That tingled my spide-y sense a bit. AND the OWNER traded it as soon as it was out of warranty.

    You just dodge a Lemon.


  55. I think you just dodged a bullet.

    Maybe so based on the additional information posted. When I sold (well traded in) my Highlander, got the CarMax price, there were several things wrong. The front bumper was off one side, broken bracket, wife hit a post while parking. Dealer did not care about that. What the dealer did not know was the slow leak in the A/C condenser, about $1,400 to replace. The other major issue was the electrical draw. Sit for four days and the battery was dead. That would never show in a test drive. And I suspect whomever bought the vehicle from Bubba’s Used Cars was fairly ticked off when they found out.

    Because if they didn’t catch the seat buttons, what ELSE didn’t they test?

    Rear window defrost, mirror defrost, seat heat and cooling for all seats (mine only works from the screen, no buttons), dual climate control, does the trailer controller work as that can only be tested with a trailer or checking current on the trailer electrical connection while applying the brakes.

    You were correct to ask for a warranty. In the case of those items that don’t work tell the dealer to fix before you sign. Absolutely demand a second key at no charge. We did that for the Highlander we bought from the dealer. Dealer balked and we said no key fob, no sale. Dealer said they would get one, we had it put in writing, two key fobs. Two weeks passed, no key fob. Dealer said that was not part of the deal so we showed them the paperwork. Dealer said that was a mistake to which we replied we had in writing and the DA would be getting involved. Two hours later we had the key fob.

    The seat memory not working indicates electrical problems as those are simply buttons that issue commands to the computer to store settings. There is something wrong and may be serious if it is a wiring issue.

    Warranty or walk.


  56. Seems to be a huge wake-up call in chip production happening. Everyone is realizing that without microchips they can’t manufacture much of anything. Lots of governments looking to incentivize more diversification in chip manufacturing and a lot of large companies pondering whether they should be making their own chips.

    Gee, if only a few dozen or hundred people had been saying that we need on-shore chip fabs. Saying that for years.

    re Starlink on the road, I’d probably sign up for that. I’m feeling the wanderlust and, once The Child is grown, might well spend a year in a van or bus, driving around and seeing what I haven’t seen yet.

    re Nick’s aborted purchase, looks like you dodged a bullet.

  57. Why have a check box for something you never offer, especially as it will remind people that you don’t?

    Required by law.

    AND the OWNER traded it as soon as it was out of warranty

    Unless it was the end of a three year lease that is a bad sign for an expensive vehicle. Of course there are those that get rid of vehicles as soon as the warranty expires, but it is not as common as people would think. Especially for a utilitarian vehicle and not a luxury vehicle.

    My Highlander came off a three year lease, 60K miles. I had it inspected by Toyota and it got a clean bill of health. Has served me well for 4.5 years. Only failure was the alternator which took out the battery. $800.00 repair, and a tow.

  58. I’m beginning to be convinced. The funny thing is, with a bit more info some of the stuff could be shown to be innocuous.

    Like who was the owner? Was it gramps who died and then kid sold it? Who was the dealer that took it in? Was it Lexus and they just sent it to auction because they don’t sell fords?

    There was nothing in the service history on carfax to indicate any big issues. One tire repair. One tire balance. Routine inspections. oil change every 8k on average. Low miles for one 6 month period… after a high mile year, then normal miles.

    The ford dealer should be able to get a full service history if the work was done at a dealer, I’d think. Probably ownership too.

    In any case, there are a couple similar at carmax but they are $4000 and $6000 more (with much lower miles). This price was good. The carmax listings don’t mention HD tow package but do have the big gas tank listed. I think that might be a good indicator of the HD package. They both have the installed brake controller, but I think that is just part of the tow package even at the low level.

    Hard to tell the details.

    n

  59. I had to replace an alternator in a parking lot once. Not a big deal: swapped the alternator, got a jump start, and idled in the parking lot to charge the battery and make sure I wouldn’t need anything else.

    A real PITA job in a parking lot was disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling a starter. I’d driven to an out-of-town contract. Starter crapped out on about the third day with the car in the hotel parking lot. I caught a ride to the client site, determined that no one reasonably close had a new starter, and then fixed the old one in the evening. It lasted until I gave away the car several years later, so I guess it was just crud on a contact or something. (Yes, for those who wonder, I used more than my quota of profanity that day.)

  60. I’ve changed a starter in the gutter. Laying on my back in the street. If you put one side of the vehicle up on the curb, you get more room underneath. That was a chevy S10 pickup.

    Tried to change the starter on my Expy. Three bolts right? Well, there are videos of how it’s possible to do it at home, without removing frame components, but it takes a very specific combination of socket extensions and swivels. I ended up taking it to my mechanic.

    n

  61. @nick – knowing the installed packages on a vehicle is important info.

    That’s why I liked the Toyota VIN lookup. You’d get the factory sticker – minus the pricing – so you could see exactly what was installed on the car. Very useful tool.

    Dunno if there is a similar thing for the Ford line. There are lots of VIN lookup places, but some charge extra for the needed info. And others don’t give you detailed info, just a list of specs.

    CarMax may have a VIN lookup that will give you the factory package info, maybe. Or perhaps the gang here knows a good site. I just know a good site for Toyotas, which doesn’t help you much.

    As for used vehicle shopping: Patience, Grasshopper.

  62. @Nick
    Increasing gas prices will put downward pressure on truck prices.

    The problem with “no warranty” is the twilight neverland of knowing but not knowing–if they don’t look in the tranny they don’t know about the sawdust. Vehicles get washed and detailed (not this one, but generally), and oil change, steam clean the engine, new off-brand tires that ride like carp, and other little things to erase the evidence of use. Launder it through the auction. Plausible deniability.

    Not washed and detailed means they did nothing at all when they got it. The keyfob is a chickenshit move. Wrong manual is an brown M&M. Makes you wonder why they got this in–hints of a more complex deal, package or three-cornered?

    I’m not sure what this dealer is bringing to the table on this vehicle. If this vehicle goes back to the auction it will have a big question mark for anyone with a lick of sense. If they call I’d listen to any new offer that they made, but probably just sit tight and watch.


  63. They came out as we were getting our stuff out of the truck (daughter had already tucked her glasses away) and offered lifetime power train coverage, at that dealer. Then finance guy qualified that by saying it only covers parts with internal oil lubrication. NOT the turbo, for example. So, no.

    I’ve have close friends who have had issues with those warranties issued by the used auto dealership where if there are any issues it must be fixed at the dealership by their mechanic. Usually it’s duct tape and bailing wire (and a variety of “stops leaks” products) to get you out of their hair until the warranty expires. I’d never accept a warranty that says it must be fixed at a particular shop. Even factory warranties on new cars can be fixed at ANY dealership.

    They didn’t tell me there was only one key until delivery. It’s a push button start, so you need the remote fob as it IS the key. $200 for an additional new key.

    This problem is rampant at used dealerships. There’s only ever one damn key fob. I traded a car in years ago and gave the dealership BOTH keys. I backed out of the deal and went to get my trade-in back and was handed ONE key. I gave them my biggest WTF rant and the best they ever did was give me a generic cheap replacement key. I was a little paranoid the “lost” key would result in it getting stolen, but I traded it in elsewhere a few days later. It’s like it’s somebody full time job to grab every second key fob at a dealership and throw it away.

  64. I’m paranoid about the fob too. They kept the base lock code and the fob is missing. With those two pieces you can steal the truck just like driving it.

    n

    lynn linked to a vin decoder, but it didn’t list vehicle specifics, only the things that were in the vin, like color, etc. The tow package is in a weird part of the specs on the window sticker. Most of the places I’ve looked didn’t have the sticker available.

    I think the large gas tank only comes with the heavy duty package, but I am not sure yet.

    I’m going to keep looking. And if they call tomorrow, unless there is a real warranty involved, I’m not listening. Too many little things possibly adding up to a big thing.

    n

  65. Odd smell in the house. I wonder if I have another dead rodent in the attic. I guess I’ll be looking for that tomorrow.

    n

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  66. I’m beginning to be convinced. The funny thing is, with a bit more info some of the stuff could be shown to be innocuous.

    @nick; have you (or a trusted independent mechanic) mechanically inspected the truck? Had it up on a lift vs. poking your head underneath? How extensive was your test drive? Did it include getting on a highway? Their return policies are one advantage of considering CarMax or Carvana. One other red flag to me is that I’d expect a Ford dealer to put a little more effort into fixing some of the issues you found when selling a (used) Ford vehicle. I could understand it better if it was say a GMC but hey, don’t they care how they represent their own brand? Also, is this a high volume or lower volume dealer? My experiences have been that the high volume dealers only care about churning through the inventory.

  67. Nick, as others have mentioned.. there is something odd re this Expo and as you say, it’s often the little things that tell the true story.
    Here in Oz there is mandated 90 day warranty for a used vehicle from a dealer if the factory warranty has expired. But in most cases trying to claim anything is a pain. Same goes for dealer extended warranties. Mostly run by insurance companies with the dealer as a broker.

    You have done the right thing.. Nothing worse that it biting you on the arse six months down the track..

  68. @nick; one last thought before I head off to bed…if (when) the SHTF, is this the vehicle (or whichever you ultimately buy) that you are ready to rely on in tough times, one that you might need to be still driving 20 years from now?

  69. I’d never accept a warranty that says it must be fixed at a particular shop.

    Those shop vehicle warranties are only worth the length of their driveway.

  70. I’m going to keep looking. And if they call tomorrow, unless there is a real warranty involved, I’m not listening. Too many little things possibly adding up to a big thing.

    $29K plus TTL for a vehicle that needs to last you 90,000 miles to 150,000 miles gives a base cost of about 35 cents/mile. Not bad. A Ford Factory warranty of at least 12 months would nice. That would get you past the expensive engine and transmission failure points.

    They were offering an extended warranty, at $3600 for 3 years, cancel anytime if not used and get pro-rated refund. I declined and that’s what brought up the complete AS IS status.

    Is this extended warranty from Ford or the dealership ? If Ford, something to think about, especially if they will split the cost with you. If the dealer, forget it.

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