Archive for Driver’s Seat

Pae as you go

It’s as least as silly as “Carpae Diem,” the slogan which appears on Rep. Daniel Pae’s LinkedIn paege. The freshman legislator, a Lawton Republican, is known mostly for this session’s House Bill 1071 [pdf], which scoots the speed limit on rural toll roads up to 80 mph.

“Hot damn,” says Hayley at TLO:

Now instead of puttering along at a slow and steady 75-mph, Oklahomans may soon be able to cruise at a cool 80 on the turnpike. Oh, who am I kidding. Everyone already takes a 75-mph speed limit as permission to travel at least 80, if not 85. But whatever lets me legally shave 7-12 minutes off of a trip to Tulsa to actually see a non-country musician perform in concert is fine with me.

Should this measure be enacted, and frankly I can’t imagine Governor Stitt not signing it, the effective date, typically for new Oklahoma laws, will be the first of November.


Despite all his rage

He is still just a troll in the Quora queue: What can I do if a driver throws a bottle at my car after I flashed my headlights at him for 45 minutes and repeatedly asked him to pull over so that we can discuss his driving?

This is a really good way to get shot. I’m acting on the assumption that there are better ways, but this way is still really good.


Though he’s not so bright

We have here a clod who is desperate to make an impression but who’s dumber than a bag of hair: What type or brand of headlight can i but for my car that has one million candle power?

We’re going to assume he meant “buy” rather than “but,” though the latter comes closer to describing the location of his head. Evidently he covets one of those high-zoot spotlights they sell at the unsporting-goods store. He ignores the fact that, well, they’re spotlights; they aren’t worth a damn for automotive use because the beam is so narrow. I expect he also wants 130 dB of exhaust noise, in which case he should be locked away and the key dropped into the ocean.

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Not the Hershey highway

But it had to be said, if perhaps not by me [warning: autostart video]:

Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory isn’t the only place to house a river of chocolate.

A section of Interstate 40 near Flagstaff, Arizona, was covered in the cocoa confection after a tanker trailer carrying more than 40,000 pounds of the liquid overturned Monday morning around 9 a.m., Arizona Department of Public Safety Public Information Officer Bart Graves told ABC News.

The truck originated in Ontario, Canada, and was headed to Henderson, Nevada, Graves said. Authorities believe the tanker overturned after the latch between truck and the trailer became unsecured and the trailer became separated from the truck, Graves said.

If you’re headed that way, bring your graham crackers.

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Attention unpaid

We’ve all heard about the idiot who drove off from the gas station with the pump nozzle still inside the fuel-filler door, with suboptimal results. Will things improve as we move away from fossil fuels? Obviously not: I drove away with my car still plugged in & the 3 prong plug coming from my car broke off. How do I fix it?

Some things never change:

It broke off right at the plug, so there’s still a good amount of cord coming out from the car (but no cord coming off the broken male 3 prong plug). Is there a specific type of replacement plug should I buy? How do I reattach it to the cord coming from the car?

Then again, there’s a lot to be said for not having an explosion.

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No 69 for you. Not yours:

Areas with a high stoner population have similarly been graced with 419.9 mile markers instead of 420.

US 2 runs for 666.6 miles through Montana. When I was up there on World Tour ’04, the last of the mile markers was 665.

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I know the feeling

Tony LaHood admits to something I could admit to, but won’t:

I am an idiot in any situation involving a woman. One hundred percent of the time, I will follow a great pair of legs into hell (or a Mercedes dealership, as the case may be) with both eyes open.

Then again:

It doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, I get to teeter on the edge of sanity for just a few moments and contemplate things that can’t possibly be, before the real world reasserts itself and gives me a dope-slap.

And, well, the circumstances were right: a sunnyish (for March) afternoon, traffic crawling at 25 mph, and in front of me, a beautiful (this is my delusion, and I say she’s beautiful, so back off) blonde in a Benz.

Not just any Benz, either; this was the SL55 AMG in Arrest Me Red, the first one of these I’ve seen in the city, and for a moment I had a flash of “Am I even allowed to drive around here?”

After about two blocks, I’d gotten to the point where we’d negotiated the prenup, and after two blocks more, we were flying to Stuttgart to pick up some AMG accessories Mercedes had unaccountably forgotten to include in the car’s $124,020 price.

She veered off after half a mile, which at 25 mph takes longer than you’d think, and I wound up a few blocks later inhaling the diesel fumes from a Metro Transit bus. Back to reality.

It always ends that way.

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Bad automotive ideas

The worst automotive idea I can recall was the skirted front fenders of the bathtub Nash, both standard- and Rambler-sized, which made for a turning circle unworthy of a school bus.

But geez, there’s an awful lot of competition for second place.

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Idiot apparently already off the road

But he begs for leniency: How to get an SR22A or SR22?

My license has been suspended and it needs to be reinstated! My license was suspended for reckless driving and a second offense super speeder. So now the DMV is asking me to get an SR 22 so how exactly do I get an SR 22 because I am busting my *** off to get an SR 22 but it literally seems to be impossible I am going through every insurance company but I either don’t get approved or I need to have a vehicle.

The trick here is in the last phrase. Apparently he has no vehicle, which must mean that whatever car he had to commit these offenses (1) wasn’t his to begin with — look around for the angry relative — or (2) he wrapped it around a tree.

And anyway, for the price he’d have to pay for this sort of underwriting, he could buy a damned nice bicycle.

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Take this idiot off the road

The question: Can you buy worthless auto insurance?

First thought: He’s been burned before, and he wants to know whom to avoid.

But no, he has something else entirely different in mind:

im 24 new driver less than a year experience with a car had my motorcycle endorsement for 2 years. Im geting car quotes of around 200 a month liability. could i find some fake insurance that has no value just to register it or is auto insurance have to be legit. ive heard most of the time places like progressive wont pay out anyway an figure it isnt worth paying them to

Stoner on a tight budget, I’m figuring. And every dollar that goes to meeting legal requirements is a dollar that won’t be available for weed.

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So much for this species

Manitoba licence plate ASIMIL8

The United Federation of Canadians is apparently not amused:

Documents from a legal challenge by a Star Trek fan who had his personalized ASIMIL8 licence plate revoked show a Manitoba Public Insurance senior executive was shocked the plate was ever issued at a time when reconciliation with Indigenous people was coming to the forefront.

The email from vice-president Keith Ward to registrar of motor vehicles Carla Hocken on April 24, 2017, said approving the licence plate did not follow MPI procedures and required immediate action.

“We are considering serious disciplinary action for those who were involved and contributed to approving a plate that is so obviously inappropriate at a time when there was significant media coverage about the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, etc.,” Ward wrote.

Maybe Elizabeth Warren can help.

(Via Fark.)

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A task no one loves

I’m sort of hoping that I never have to do this again:

You have no idea what a benefit a company car is until it goes away after more than 20 years. I’m off to look for a cheap used car this morning to get me back and forth to work. It is a ten minute commute, so I just need a vehicle that will start and not need tons of repairs. I’d like a pickup, but used truck prices are ridiculous. I don’t want a payment, but I also don’t have piles of cash and coin in my basement vault where I slide and ski down money mountains like Scrooge McDuck.

And then you have to deal with the Sneakie Boys:

I hate the high pressure “What do we need to get you into this car today” spiel. I can handle that, sales is my profession too. But more, I despise the hours waiting on financing to do their thing then come out with a whole different deal than what you agreed with the salesman. If I find something today, I will wait a little for them to work up the numbers then I’m leaving. They can call me Monday with a final deal. I’m not sitting around the dealership for hours on a Saturday. Mostly I loathe the idea that I’m going to get cheated. I am. I just don’t like it.

The alternative, of course, is to pay the factory price on a Tesla. Connecticut, and a few other states, won’t let you.

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All that cop stuff

In a hybrid? Ford says yes:

It’s a pursuit-rated vehicle, so the hybridized rig isn’t a slouch. With standard gas-electric operation and all-wheel drive, Ford wants this vehicle to be the reason agencies around the country ditch their Chargers and Tahoes.

In Michigan State Police testing, Ford claims the hybrid Police Interceptor Utility ran away from the pack, besting even V8 offerings from other brands. The new rig beats the outgoing 3.7-liter model by 1.1 seconds in a 0-60 dash, and by 4.7 seconds in a run up to 100 mph. Top speed is 137 mph. The automaker states that in terms of 0-100 acceleration, lap time, average lap speed, and top speed, the eco cruiser can’t be beat. Well, except by another, hotter variant of the same vehicle.

There are wise guys out there who will look at that 137 and snicker. I would remind them that they can’t outrun a radio.

And furthermore:

In hybrid guise, the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery doesn’t consume any additional cabin space, nor will it electrocute nearby fish while traversing 18 inches of water at 15 mph.

The only apparent downside is that it’s a 2020 model, so it will be a few months before Dearborn looks at your purchase order.

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Do what you Musk

Tesla, says Bark M., gonna Tesla:

I have no idea why every autowriter in America appears to either be Team Tesla or Team Haterade, but I find myself squarely in the “meh” camp. Musk and crew have proven to be brilliant, and I do mean brilliant marketers. They don’t spend a dime on advertising and yet they dominate the news pages. They have managed to create more raving fans in just a few years than their competitors have with several decades of a head start. Mercedes buyers will consider BMW. Audi buyers will consider Lexus. Tesla buyers only consider Tesla. That, in and of itself, is a fantastic accomplishment. Yes, the cars appear to have some quality and consistency issues on delivery, and I still think that Tesla will fight an uphill battle against dealers and unions. But they are making and selling a genuinely significant number of cars right here in the United States at a time when Ford and GM are fleeing for China. That alone is worthy of applause. I don’t think they’ll go out of business, and I don’t think they’ll dominate the industry from top to bottom. Apparently I’m wrong by not having one of those two opinions, but whatevs, you know?

Whatevs. The fact is, Tesla is somehow managing to deliver about 200,000 cars a year, more than Acura, more than Infiniti, almost as many as Mazda. No one ever questions those guys. And while one may weary of Tesla fanboys, try to imagine the same number of bodies clamoring for Buicks, and admit defeat.


The wake-up call goes to 11

They want 16-year-olds to be able to vote. Were I intent on providing a reason why this should not happen, I need only point to this alleged 20-year-old: I need to get car repod. I plan on buying a car 3 weeks after the repo. Do i have to be worried? Im 20 btw.?

Three weeks? He’ll be lucky if it’s three years.

A blue-clad anonyme told him off right smart:

Do you have to be worried? Yes. It’s not going to happen. If you voluntarily surrender your vehicle, you do not get completely out of debt. The lender will auction the vehicle and deduct what they get for it from what you owe. To that amount they will add the auction fee and repo fees. This will leave you with no car and significant debt, and you will be unable to finance another vehicle for years. The only way you could buy another car after the repo is for cash, but if you had that amount of cash you could make your payments. In short, you’re an ignorant dumbass and soon to become a walking one. I hope you own decent walking shoes.

First thought, of course, was Troll! But I looked back at some of the guy’s previous questions, and he would lose a game of Jeopardy! to two bags of hair.


Nothing to scrutinize, really

This month’s car-insurance renewal is priced exactly the same as the renewal six months ago, so there’s no deep analysis this time around. Lucky me. (I mean, I did turn 65 this year.)

I’m starting to think about once I retire, start the groceries on delivery and getting rid of the car altogether. I have yet to decide whether this is a bad idea or not.

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This will not end well

I’ve had issues with gas stations before. I remember gassing up a loaner G37 one day and not knowing how to open the fuel door. (Hey, my I30 has a proper remote release on the driver’s door.) I got to act foolish for a few moments, one of which I spent looking for the owner’s manual, which the dealership had thoughtfully removed, presumably shrinkwrapped in storage for the benefit of the ultimate buyer. Eventually, I was able to get gas and get going.

Yeah, I was dumb. But I wasn’t this dumb:

Eventually, one of the laughing fellows behind the camera got out and gave assistance to the distressed damsel.

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And Amazon has a chestnut roaster

The Internet has screwed up Christmas shopping, says a Grauniad scold:

Christmas shopping was so much easier when stuff existed.

If you cast your mind back into the distant past, you may remember a simpler time before we lived our lives online. A time when, if you knew your mom loved Linda Ronstadt, you could purchase a recording of Linda Ronstadt, wrap it up, and place it under the tree. On Christmas morning, your mom would delightedly open the package and have something new.

It was hers, this Linda Ronstadt album. It didn’t exist as some sort of intangible entity on some distant corporate server. It was just there, in her house. Your mom had that Linda Ronstadt album, and no one could claim otherwise.

Or let’s say you were 16 and you saw Garden State with your girlfriend, Amanda, and you were both convinced it had changed your lives. Zach Braff, you realized, just understood your generation. When Christmas came around, if you were still under this mistaken impression, you could be very romantic and obtain this film for Amanda. She would treasure it. When she brought her impressive film collection to college, every time she took it out, she would think of you and those heady days of ninth grade, hanging out in Xavier’s basement. (It’s cool you had a friend named Xavier. Not a lot of people do.)

It was a time when the various media everyone accrued was a fundamental part of who they were. Helping to expand others’ collections was a way of helping them build that identity. You were saying: hey, I know what you care about and by God, I’m going to find it for you. And it won’t even be that hard.

I don’t want to brag, but I used to be a great gift giver. You mentioned Smokey Robinson on our first date? Bam, you’re getting the Tamla Motown Gold Collection. You like Sleater-Kinney? Prepare for some B-sides in your stocking. You think you’re some kind of “film buff?” I’ll find you some weird black and white thing you can claim to be really into.

But every year, as more and more stuff evaporates from the physical world to take up residence on a subscription service, the holidays get a little harder. It’s not like you can just buy someone a Netflix account — that’s a monthly financial commitment, and anyway I think there’s only about three accounts in existence, shared by 78% of the global population.

I realize having unlimited access to every form of media ever created has its perks. I just get a bit nostalgic around this time of year.

Fortunately, one ancient technology seems, against the odds, to be surviving. Yes, Borders is gone, Barnes and Noble is in trouble, and e-readers are omnipresent. But small bookshops have actually seen growth, and ebooks just can’t seem to kill off their paper predecessors. Even Amazon, the maker of the Kindle, is going out of its way to promote real books with its own physical shops.

A great New Yorker cover a few years ago shows an alien sitting among the post-apocalyptic wreckage of a future Earth. Nothing works any more, but the alien has still found a way to entertain itself: it’s reading a book.

I bet that alien would be really easy to shop for.

If there’s anyone left to shop for him.

I can’t get quite so exercised about matters. If one sort of gift has been reduced in stature, others are doing just fine, thank you very much.

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Drop the coin right into the slot

You gotta drive something that’s really hot:

Proposed Carvana location in OKC

KFOR-TV and OKCTalk have already reported:

Carvana is planning to build a new facility in north Oklahoma City.

The facility is expected to include a multi-story vending machine that can dispense cars to local buyers.

After purchasing a car online, customers can select the option to pick up their car from the vending machine location. When they arrive at the site, customers find their transaction in a kiosk and the car is dispensed.

The company will continue to offer car delivery to a home or business as an alternative.

The new facility, which will be built at 1800 W. Memorial Rd., will consist of a 5,800 square foot building and vending tower.

Purchase of the land has just closed ($900,000, including the adjacent lot at 13551 North Indiana), and Carvana has applied for a city building permit. Expected cost: $3.5 million. That’s a lot of damned cars. And how is this supposed to work, anyway?

Carvana is the whole new way to buy a car, so our process is nothing like what you would experience on a sales lot. Just like shopping for a new couch or your next favorite pair of shoes, Carvana offers a car buying experience for today’s world: completely online, done from the comfort of your home, on your own time, with delivery right to your door.

Using our list of comprehensive filters, you can narrow down your search and check out the 360-degree tours of the actual cars! No stock photos here. On each vehicle’s display page, we’ve also highlighted all the details and specs, pointed out the most noticeable imperfections, provided review data from Edmunds, and you can even find a direct link to the vehicle’s CarFax!

Once you’ve found the car that’s right for you, click “Get Started” to see all the steps on the online purchase dashboard. There you’ll be able to select your payment option from Carvana Financing, third party financing, or cash. Next, you can choose to apply a trade, add GAP coverage, or add a Carvana Care extended warranty (if available on your chosen vehicle). We will ask you to upload your driver’s license along with some other documents based on your purchase. In the last step, you get to choose your delivery or pick-up details! Once your order is placed, our Underwriting Team will review your account and reach out with an update. Don’t worry, we’ll always contact you to confirm your appointment. The specifics of your delivery or pick-up will depend on your location, so click here [well, not here exactly] for more information. Regardless of your location, every car will come with a 7-day Money Back Guarantee and 100-day/4,189-mile Limited Warranty.

Sounds easy right? It is. We’re committed to putting our customers first and giving you a great experience every step of the way.

So you’re apparently not buying out of the machine: you’re buying from their Web site, and then they ship it to the nearest machine.

I have a couple of qualms, one obvious, the other perhaps less so. I hate the idea of giving up the traditional test drive, even though it’s probably less informative than it used to be, simply because I don’t match up physically with most cars. (Even when I was healthy and walking, I was six foot one with an inseam of barely 28 inches, which means I’m more likely to scrape against the headliner than your average NBA player is. Well, your guards, anyway.) And why 4189 miles? Sounds weirdly specific, and no conversion factor suggests itself. It turns out that the average driver, according to their surveys, drives 41.89 miles per day.

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In lieu of a proper crate engine

This got tossed into my Quora queue: Has anyone ever rented an expensive car, swapped the engine out for the one in their car, then returned the rental car with a different or defective engine?

I thought I’d heard of this having happened many years ago. Fortunately for my odd combination and laziness, someone had already addressed the matter:

Yes, 1966 Ford Mustang GT350-Hs (for Hertz) were rented from the vehicle rental company before the engines were swapped out for nearly identical-looking engines before they were returned. That’s because the K-code 289 engines in the GT350s were rated at 271 horsepower as opposed to the lesser 225 horsepower A-code engines which were covertly smuggled into the cars. The K-code mills were popular for drag racing as well as road racing, and many left the factory making significantly more horsepower than their factory-rated 271 HP.

Today, one of the most valuable vintage Mustangs on the auction market is the GT350-H, often fetching hundreds of thousands of dollar$.

I’m guessing that an original, numbers-matching GT350-H will probably be worth more today than one of those sneakily-derived Frankenfords, but you never really know at a classic-car auction until the hammer comes down.


But they gotta pay me

Doofus thinks the more numbers he throws out, the better his return is going to be: How do I know if my car value has dropped and how much it has dropped?

The moment you bought it, it dropped. But that’s almost another matter:

I bought a new car on June this year, and 2 weeks ago, an incident happened and the car was damaged pretty bad. The car has been fixed and now it looks like new. The incident is not my fault, and I believe it is cause by a defect of the car itself even if the maker, which is Honda, denied it. I probably need a lawyer to talk to them but that is another topic. Now as the car has been repaired once, how do I know if t he car value has dropped? and how much it has dropped. Is there any place I can take the car and evaluate how much its value is?

Update: The reason I am asking the questions is that I plan to ask Honda to pay for my financial damage, including the depreciation of the car, my rental car, my insurance deduction, and so on. I have specific numbers for all the others except the depreciation of the car. that is why I want to know if there is anyway to find out.

Um, you said Honda had already told you to go pound sand. So you’re going to fling a bunch of numbers at them and you expect them to change their mind?

You might want to spend some of your vast cash holdings on proving Honda is wrong. This is going to require legal and possibly engineering assistance; perhaps the best you can hope for is that hiring all these experts doesn’t exceed whatever fantasy value you put on it.

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Power door locks are standard

Anyone old enough to remember Elwood Engel’s ultra-tasteful 1961 Lincolns won’t even bat an eye at this:

Then there is the ever-watchful, always ahistorical, Clueless Twitter:

Though no official communications from Lincoln or Ford use the term “suicide doors,” just about every news report on the new Conti called them exactly that. Autoweek and Road & Track used the term in their tweets about the car. CNN, Fox News, and CBS News all used “suicide doors” in their headlines. Since few people these days seem to actually read, the Twitter mob was provoked by the headlines to inveigh against the automaker for being insensitive about suicide, even though Lincoln isn’t using the word.

Every day I find more reason to be less sensitive.

And seriously, can you really call them “suicide doors” with that big fat B-pillar blocking your exit?

Addendum: On this date in 1961, Elwood Engel, having saved the Lincoln brand from certain death, found himself occupying the Chief Stylist slot — at Chrysler.


Son, I am ahead of you

Get a whiff of this: How do i disappoint my parents on purpose?

Spiteful child explains:

They refused to get me Porsche 718 Cayman S.

I suspect the little twerp has been disappointing them for a long, long time already.

This proffered answer, though, has resonance:

It’s OK, they aren’t your real parents — just the prostitute and her John who found you in a dumpster of medical waste at the AIDS hospital.

They still sound more respectable than the kid.


This is your Holy Father’s Popemobile

And it could, assuming a miracle or two, be yours:

Roughly a year ago, Lamborghini customized a Huracán RWD for Pope Francis. This was not a commissioned job but a gift from the automaker to the Vatican. Tragically, His Holiness wasn’t interested in holding onto it so he could more easily cruise for babes and [the] Catholic Church decided the best course of action would be to auction the vehicle off for charity.

While sold by Sotheby’s in Monaco last May for 715,000 euros (about $813,000 USD), it would appear the final bidder either didn’t have the necessary funds or experienced a change of heart. Maybe it was divine intervention. Regardless, the Huracán is now being raffled off for ten bucks a ticket — though you can choose to donate more and better your chances.

The winner will “head to the Vatican to receive the keys to your new car during a private ceremony with Pope Francis and Lamborghini’s CEO, Stefano Domenicali. Flights and hotel included.”

And what of the money raised?

Proceeds will go toward rebuilding villages “that have been devastated by violence and war, assist victims of human trafficking, provide medical care and education to those living in poverty.” Funds will be distributed through Charities Aid Foundation of America.

The brunt of that was previously said to go toward the reconstruction of the Nineveh Plain in Iraq and aid to help the Christian community resettle the area. However, a significant portion had been reserved for the Pope John XXIII Community — a charity that focuses on helping women who were victimized by human trafficking at the hands of ISIS.

There are seven weeks to go before the drawing.

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Gotta have my status

Loser really hates when he isn’t given the props he thinks he deserves: So I rented a premium car with hertz and they gave me an Avalon for the same price?

You can hear the pain self-righteousness in his voice:

So I had reserved an Infiniti or similar which came out to 80$/day and that’s on the premium car category aka “prestige” the Avalon is just a full size car and they wouldn’t adjust the price. Am I wrong to want to dispute it with my credit card company if they don’t adjust it?

What needs adjusting, farknozzle, is your attitude. The only Infinitis you’re going to find in regular rental fleets are bottom-of-the-line Q50s with nowhere near the amount of equipment you’ll find in an Avalon, and the Q50s are one size smaller besides. (I’ve rented two of the Qs. I know.)

Now, did this cost you a date with an actual (as distinguished from “inflatable”) woman? Then you’re better off. Once she’d listened to you whine for five minutes, it’s over. And besides, if you can’t put the dollar sign in the right place, you’re too stupid for either rental cars or women.

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As things grind to a halt

“Tiny violins sought as infamous Alabama speed trap town sinks into further financial trouble,” says Fark:

In the small Alabama town of Castleberry, once a highly profitable speed trap where the police department was five times larger than the national average, a lawsuit accusing the former police chief of theft, false imprisonment, and enforcing a made-up law, may about to be resolved.

More than 20 months have passed since local attorney Richard Nix filed suit against former police chief Tracy Hawsey and the town. During that time the contentious town law, or ordinance, that enabled Hawsey and his officers to pull people over and tow their vehicles for $500 each has been shelved and the police department shrunken from five full-time officers to two part-time officers that work on their days off from their regular jobs.

But the lawsuit, which is expected to be mediated before Christmas, according to Hawsey, remains. And while it may bring restitution to the plaintiffs in the case, some of which have never had their cars or cash returned, it also has the potential to devastate an already struggling Castleberry.

Yeah, I suppose five full-time officers would be quite an expense for a town of 600.

“We’re still terrible financially,” said Mayor Buddy Kirksey, who narrowly beat out the former mayor by just 30 votes during an election a little over two years ago. “The town can’t afford anything like this so right now we’re depending on the insurance companies to pay for it.”

And what of this Hawsey fellow, anyway?

In 2002, Hawsey saw multiple drug bust cases thrown out of by judges after he and his deputies used improper police procedure when entering suspects properties, according to reporting from the time. Four years later, he stepped down as Conecuh County Sheriff two months before his second term was up, according to the Evergreen Courant. He had just lost a run-off. The resignation was seen at the time as being unprofessional given that deputies under him lost their arresting powers. A new Sheriff was sworn in immediately, only to find that food for inmates at the county jail had run out. New Sheriff, Edwin L. Booker, was forced to use his own money to feed inmates.

Which is not to say Hawsey was loath to spend money:

In 2016, revenues from the court system and the drug towing law, brought in more than $546,000, approximately double from the year before. At the same time, however, payroll for the cops and court quadrupled, according to financial documents.

The city began to accrue new debts, which was compounded by debts incurred by Hawsey’s ambitious plan to grow the police department with personnel, dispatchers, new equipment and at one point five cop cars.

And cop tires, cop suspensions, and cop shocks run into some serious money.

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This started with Fillyjonk having to wrestle with the tire-pressure monitoring system again:

I decided to haul out my little pump and bring them back up to 40 psi (max inflation is 44, but I thought “given the changeability of our temperature, maybe it’s best not to go to the very max on a chilly day” and also it’s hard to read the marks-between-the-tens on the little gauge). So that took maybe 10 minutes to make sure all four tires were up to the right level, but it shut off the light, so that was good.

Now to me, 44 psi, which is what it says on the sidewall of the tire, seemed awfully high, and I wondered if maybe the mandatory label inside the vehicle might call for something thirty-ish. But no, she confirmed: 44 is where it’s supposed to be. Not the first time that she was right and I was wrong.

And of course, this wasn’t any of my business in the first place, but I do get antsy about Ford tire pressures:

On March 6, 2000 the NHTSA began a preliminary inquiry and on May 2, the NHTSA began an investigation (PE00-020) concerning the high incidence of tire failures and accidents of Ford Explorers and other light trucks and SUV’s fitted with Firestone Radial ATX, ATX II, and Wilderness tires. On August 9 Firestone recalled all ATX and ATX II tires and all Wilderness AT tires manufactured in Decatur, IL. On August 31, 2000 the Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) upgraded the investigation to an Engineering Analysis (EA00-023) to determine whether Firestone’s recall covered all the defective tires.

Ford and Firestone both issued root cause analyses to the NHTSA. Firestone argued that vehicle weight, tire design, low recommended inflation pressure, and lower tire adhesion for tires manufactured at the Decatur, IL factory contributed to the tire failures. Ford argued that the tire design led to higher operating temperatures compared to similar tires manufactured by Goodyear and that differences in manufacturing at Decatur led to weaker tires that were more prone to failure. Ford also argued that the size of the wedge, a strip of rubber between the first and second belts, is smaller in Firestone tires than Michelin tires making them weaker than comparable Michelin tires.

Publicly Firestone argued that Ford’s recommended 26 psi inflation pressure was too low and should have been 30 psi. In addition Firestone argued that the Explorer was abnormally dangerous and prone to rollovers in the event of a tire failure, leading to more injuries and fatalities. In the words of Firestone CEO John Lampe, “When a driver of a vehicle has something happen such as a tread separation, they should be able to pull over not rollover.”

One could go back further, to the first-generation Chevrolet Corvair. A rear-engine car with an obvious rear weight bias, the Corvair was fitted with swing axles out back, creating a tendency to oversteer, to which General Motors provided the cheapest remedy possible:

As with the Renault Dauphine and pre-1968 Volkswagen Beetle, Corvair engineers relied on a cost-free tire pressure differential to eliminate oversteer characteristics — low front and high rear tire pressure–a strategy which induced understeer (increasing front slip angles faster than the rear). Nonetheless, the strategy offered a significant disadvantage: owners and mechanics could inadvertently but easily re-introduce oversteer characteristics by over-inflating the front tires (e.g., to typical pressures for other cars with other, more prevalent suspension systems). The recommended low front tire pressure also compromised the tire load capacity.

The General’s recommended pressures: 15 psi front, 24 psi rear. It was in the manual, but your average pump jockey, while he was filling your tank up with Good Gulf, wouldn’t see that as he pumped up those low-looking front tires. The second-generation Corvair had a much better rear suspension, possibly even better than Corvette would get for 1965, but by then, the damage was done, and by model year 1969, so was the Corvair.

Still, none of these were really pertinent to FJ’s TPMS issue, and I guess I’m sorry I brought it up in the first place.

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The incredible shrinking dingus

Overview, from Wikipedia:

Koro is a culture-bound syndrome delusional disorder in which an individual has an overpowering belief that one’s sex organs are retracting and will disappear, despite the lack of any true longstanding changes to the genitals. Koro is also known as shrinking penis, and it is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The syndrome occurs worldwide, and mass hysteria of genital-shrinkage anxiety has a history in Africa, Asia, and Europe. In the United States and Europe, the syndrome is commonly known as genital retraction syndrome. The condition can be diagnosed through psychological assessment along with physical examination to rule out genuine disorders of the genitalia that could be causing true retraction.

Case history, from Yahoo! Answers:

Im a 16 year old guy and my mom bought me a black tdi 2014 beetle convertible cause my mom always wanted one. what can i do to make it manly?

Is it too late for this lad? The question is left as an exercise for the student.

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Terrors of Colorado Boulevard

Francis W. Porretto has apparently been thumbing through the old 45s once more, and briefly he settled on the genre of Car Songs, which was dominated by exactly two acts:

Car and Driving songs: The Beach Boys had hits with “Little Old Lady from Pasadena,” “Little Deuce Coupe,” “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and “My 409,” while Jan and Dean scored with “Dead Man’s Curve.”

I thought at first that I should make a fuss, what with the song about the Little Old Lady being properly a Jan and Dean title — but this perhaps would have been unfair, inasmuch as while the J&D single (Liberty 55704, if you’re keeping score) had crested at Number Three, the Beach Boys did a creditable live version of the song on their late-summer concert LP, which topped the album charts.

Both organizations also put out versions of “Little Deuce Coupe,” which song has provided me with sexual euphemisms (“She’s ported and relieved and she’s stroked and bored”) and a glossary of Californisms (“I got the pink slip, daddy” is “What’s more, it’s paid for“).

But “Little Old Lady” introduced a twist on the California milieu: while anyone who grew up within the broadcast range of Los Angeles stations understood the reference to Pasadena, that leaves only the rest of the world to puzzle over it. The Italians, for one, were not having any of that:

Italian 45 sleeve for Old Ladies Seldom Power Shift

None of this quite explains Pontiac Grand Prix owners Patience Proper and Prudence Prim, members of the Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review and Timing Association, which outros with Jan’s “Go, granny, go” refrain.

Oh, and on Beach Boys’ Party! there’s a cover of the Regents’ “Barbara Ann.” Which Beach Boy sings lead? None of them. That’s Dean Torrance (of Jan and) up front. Now how often is a hit song sung by someone who’s not actually a member of the group? At least once more.

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Another future bus patron

What are these people thinking? I got a title loan on my car is there any way around not paying?

Sure. Just surrender the car to whatever repo person is dispatched to collect it, and hope that it brings enough at auction to cover the balance of your loan.

Of course, this means you’re going to have a credit score of about twelve and a half for the foreseeable future, so you might want to put the money you’ll no longer be spending on the car into a savings account, in case you ever want to buy anything ever again.

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