Category Archives: Editorial

Coping with COVID19

Greetings and salutations to the loyal readers (albeit small) of this blog during this unprecedented time, hoping you are doing well and being safe, while coping with COVID19.  I’ve been working from home for the last 2 1/2 weeks and it has been quite an experience.  Don’t take me wrong, I am very grateful that the company I work for, has the necessary resources for us to work from home, but it has been quite an adjustment.

I”ve lived in the United States for 40 years and never, in my wildest dreams would I have thought things would get this dicey.  And according to Drs Fauci and Birx, things are going to get even dicier.  My heart and admiration goes out to all the unsung heroes of society:  the health workers, the UPS/FEDEX drivers, truckers, grocery store employees and the list goes on.  I heard a story on NPR the other morning,  that explained the extreme sacrifices being made by utility workers and water treatment plant operators (click here).  Like standing up RV’s so they are not too far from their plants.  Why you ask?  Because there are not many folks willing to specialize in that type of work – but yet, they are the foundation to our “civilized” society.

This blog is not political; neither is it about parties.  I just wish these dunces we call politicians would set aside their personal agendas and do the right thing for the good of our beloved America.  My father (who would have been 98 years old today) – member of the Greatest Generation and a decorated WWII veteran – would have been appalled to see what is happening today to the nation he so selflessly defended.  Dad was alive for 9/11, and I remember he wept.  I honestly don’t know how he would have reacted to what is happening now…

Bill Withers passed away today.  An American treasure…

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on
If there is a load you have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load

2017 Mileage Roundup

Time for the 2017 mileage roundup for the fleet.  I started this type entry a year ago when I summarized the mileage totals to start collecting history on mileage traveled.  I made it a point after acquiring RedRock to create an account at Fuelly.com and then installed the app on my iPhone.  With a little discipline, I’ve recorded every fuel-up and the results are interesting.  The website provides a yearly totals view and that is where these screenshots came from…

Here is my 2017 mileage roundup:

Totals for: RedRock

Totals for: S2000

Totals for: bowtie6

Comparing to the totals from last year, I must drive MORE!!!

Finally, like I did last year, here is a gallery of the three dashboards taken on New Year’s day, 2018.

Note:

This might be one of the few times I post a picture of the mileage on bowtie6.  It shows 23,519 miles and this is a bit misleading (adding this as a reminder to myself too!):

  • I’ve driven my 1972 TR6 for 23,159 miles since I put it on the road after the full restoration.
  • The first engine – a 3.4L V6 from a Camaro –  ran for 14,513 miles.  That is when we discovered an irreparable frame failure with stress cracks and my cousin Jim built the new frame from scratch.
  • The 2.4L Ecotec engine/gearbox came from a Pontiac Solstice with only 8 miles on the odometer.  This powertrain was then installed in a new frame built at Jim’s shop.  On October 15th, 2011, bowtie6 left Jim’s shop and has been a hoot to drive.
  • The new Ecotec powertrain has 8,998 miles so far.

 

Ford Tough

Driving RedRock to work this week, I see this vehicle at a red light proudly wearing a Ford Tough sticker…

But wait a minute…  What is wrong here?  This is not a Ford Tough SUV!!  This is a Honda Pilot.  😯

I get a kick out of the different stickers people plaster on their cars…

  • Stick families (gotta include the dogs/cats)…
  • Holy rollers…
  • “My kid did this or the other special crap”…
  • Political affiliation – these are even more entertaining when comparing candidates vs car/SUV/truck…
  • Hardware (as in guns)…
  • In memory of…

And then, one of my favorites:  the ones that make no sense at all.  As in today’s featured picture making a Honda Pilot “Ford Tough”.  Wonder how the boys in Dearborn feel about that?

As we say here in the South, “Bless his heart”.  But it’s all good, after all he is a Clemson Dad.  😉

Question of Motor Oil Qualities

I decided to change oil on bowtie6 and headed to AutoZone with three jugs of used oil and responsibly disposed of the old stuff in their recycling tank.  Since they let me do this, I try to keep business with them so I picked up an Ecotec compatible K&N oil filter and a 5 quart jug of Mobil1 5w-30 oil.

The fellow behind the counter scanned the goods and said the bill was almost $50.  This didn’t make sense because the posted price for the oil was $29.  He said that is the price with a Mobil1 oil filter; otherwise the price of the oil is $38.  This is a scam because the Mobil1 filters are slightly double what the K&N filters go for.  So at the end, the price is almost the same.

I told him I would pass on the oil; instead I just bought the K&N filter.  This is when I asked him why the price discrepancy because I can buy the same jug of Mobil1 oil from Wal-Mart for $23.

His reply was very interesting…

Before he started answering my question, he informed me he was a previous manager at a Pep Boys and had also been in charge of an automotive department at a Wal-Mart before working at AutoZone.  And, he gave me the “look”, as if to say what he was about to say was the inside dope on matters.  Then, he proceeded to tell me that Exxon-Mobil makes two different qualities of oil.  AutoZone gets the premium batches while Wal-Mart gets the scraps.  Thus the difference in price between the two.

According to this fellow, the AutoZone Mobil1 oil gets certified as premium oil.  He then informed me that the Mobil1 oil sold at Wal-Mart is of a lesser quality.  In his words: “the Mobil1 sold at Wal-Mart is the bottom of the mixing vats and the size of the molecules is not up to par with the batches they sell at AutoZone”.

Hmmmm…  Again, I did some Google searches on this subject and indeed it is a matter of debate.  All I have to say is that given the law-suit friendly climate prevalent in our nation today, why would a huge company like Exxon-Mobil expose themselves to loss by making two qualities of oil branded under the same name?

Yet more food for thought:  what about the Mobil1 sold at Costco?  They don’t sell the jugs, instead they carry the six-packs.  Yet the price is comparable to the Wal-Mart price.  Reckon this has to do with volume of good sold and not necessarily quality?

What are your thoughts on this?

Like my Dad used to say, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one”.  😉

Until next time…

Shooting Clay Pigeons

This past Saturday, I got together with some good friends and spent a few hours shooting clay pigeons.  We had a nice collection of shotguns:  from vintage models to state-of-the-art; from 20ga to 12ga.

I took two vintage shotguns that have been in my family for a very long time.  My grandfather’s 16 gauge double-barrel and my Dad’s 12 gauge pump.  About 35 years ago (damn that’s a long time) I took it upon myself to dismantle the stock and fore-end and sand it down.  At the time, I had a distant relative that owned a wood-shop, and he showed me what to do.  Three and a half decades later, the gun still looks great.

Today’s featured image was taken by a drone.  My friend Doc has an awesome drone:  the drone has its own remote control unit including a mount for an iPhone, self compensates, is GPS aware, the works.  As the drone flies, video is transmitted and one can see images real-time on the iPhone.  Very impressive stuff.  Oh and if you look close enough, that is me next to the open door on the red Chevy pickup.

I have great respect for our 2nd Amendment and this past Saturday I was reminded yet again of how precious this right really is…

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.