Monday, September 13, 2010

It's Been Awhile

It's been a while since I've posted. Life has a tendency of getting in the way of things I want to do.

Since I've last posted, the dealership where I work has lost it's Ford Franchise. I work at a Lincoln Mercury dealership. I've been a Ford Tech since 1983. I've been there since 2003.

While I understand that things happen, I can't help but wonder what Ford is up to.

They took no bailout money, and as such, was not forced to close a bunch of dealerships by the Imperial Federal Government. Which, I might add, costs the manufacturer virtually nothing, as dealerships are independently owned and operated small businesses. The closing of dealerships saved nothing, and actually caused hundred's of thousands to lose jobs, unnecessarily. Ford was also extremely profitable in the last two quarters.

It's funny, actually; well, okay, I'm not laughing at the moment. I'm out of a job, and the people that employed me for the last 7 years now have a worthless building with too much overhead to operate as much other than a New Car Dealership. But, I digress; Every morning, as a learned Ford Tech, I log(ged) into Ford's website to learn the goings on. One day, there was a notice to dispel the rumors that Ford Motor Company was eliminating the Mercury brand. The next day, that message was gone; couldn't even find it by searching the site. A week later, there was another message, saying that they were eliminating the Mercury brand. But, they were going to really push and promote the Lincoln brand.

Well, I thought, maybe Ford will do something right, bring more Lincoln buyers into our showroom, and make up for the loss of Mercury buyers. A month later, or thereabouts, the big bosses informed us that we have lost our Lincoln franchise, too. Ford, apparently, wants to build the Lincoln into a premier brand. And this includes completely removing their presence from our city. 150,000 in the city, and another 100,000+ in the outlying area. Second or third largest city in Illinois. No. Lincoln. Presence. Really? You want to improve sales by making it more difficult for buyers to find you?

I don't get it. But, then again, I'm just a lowly mechanic, and I'm not supposed to understand, right?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Addicted to Oil?

As I was listening to Beyond the Beltway, recently, the fellow on the left kept bringing up our "addiction to oil."

Addicted to Oil? Yes, our economy is addicted to oil, in much the same way that our bodies are addicted to air, water and food.

Like it or not, the world's economies are reliant on energy. The cheapest, most reliable, efficient and plentiful source of energy today comes in the form of oil, coal and natural gas - fossil fuels. Electricity could be produced much more cheaply, reliably and cleaner with nuclear energy, but we haven't built a nuclear power plant in over 20 years. So, oil, coal and natural gas, it is. The environmentalists and the left hate the very thing that would do the best job in reducing our dependence (not addiction) on fossil fuels.

The left loves to talk of a future powered by wind and solar energy, and I don't have a problem with that - in the future. Those technologies aren't ready for prime time, yet. Several problems are all but impossible to overcome, the least of which is you can't rely on the wind, and only half of the planet is covered in sunlight at a time. Battery technology is still years behind making electric powered transportation mainstream. If you can't hop in your car and drive non stop from one end of the country to the other, without an 8 + hour "recharge" time breaking up the trip several times, it isn't viable. "I'm sorry , but you can't have your package overnight, the truck has to stop to recharge every 5 hours for 8 hours..."

If there were a better way to power our society, wouldn't the capitalists in our world be jumping all over it? Wouldn't every venture capital company on the planet be jumping on the bandwagon to make a profit from it? The facts are that the most efficient method of powering our transportation, industry and households is burning fossil fuels. Until, that is, our government artificially makes fossil fuels too expensive, and that would wreak havoc on our economy.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

President McFly?

I'm sure we've all seen the movie "Back to the Future." George McFly needs to take Lorraine to the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, so they can have their first kiss, set the timeline back to normal, and Marty will still exist. Because Marty interrupted the original timeline, George had to try to win Lorraine over, again.

The reason I'm bringing this up, is because George went through a transformation. The plan was to "rescue" Lorraine from Marty, and win her heart. While practicing what he was going to say, "Get your damn hands off of her," his heart wasn't in it, and he didn't even think he should swear! In the process of trying to save her from Marty, Biff took Marty's place. George's transformation didn't take place, until he realized that he finally had to stand up, be a man, and protect Lorraine. President Obama, tried to make the same transformation, recently. "...And I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."

I'm sorry, Mr. President. But, you can't just act tough when you have never shown any proclivity to it in the past. George McFly didn't know how to act tough, because people had been walking all over him for all of his life. It wasn't until he actually felt angry, that he could actually summon up the genuine anger that was needed in that situation. Bottom line: You can't just act all tough when it isn't genuine, and expect the American people to buy it.

In addition, your "ass to kick" rhetoric was misplaced. While George had a genuine threat that he had assessed and dealt with appropriately, your tough guy act is completely inappropriate, especially given your agreement to deal with actual thugs like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, and Hugo Chavez without preconditions. Find a more appropriate time to try on your big boy pants, sir.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chicago: More Dangerous Than Iraq?

Chicago, that bright and shining example of leftist ideology, is now more dangerous than Iraq.

A police officer, back from two tours in Iraq, was murdered in front of his home, where some thugs were trying to steal his motorcycle. In front of his father. T


Friday, April 16, 2010

"Our Fair Share"

I am getting very sick of the "Census" commercials.

"If we don't fill out the Census, we won't know how many buses we'll need, and won't get 'our fair share' of funding."

Here's an idea; it's none of the federal government's business how many buses we need in my town. If the local government determines it needs more buses, then the local government should decide how to fund those buses. How in the Hell does it make any sense to take money out of my pocket in Northern Illinois, send it to Washington, so they can determine from there if I need another bus? What business does government at any level have determining if I need a bus, at all? If my city needs another bus, there should be private company's determining if it's profitable to provide a bus to cart my ass around. If it is profitable, then private company's should be competing to provide that service.

That would be a hell of a lot more efficient than some bureaucrat in Washington determining if I need another bus that I'll never ride, because I can't afford to be sitting at a bus stop when I have more productive things to attend to with my time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Improper Diagnosis?

I have spent the last 26+ years of my working life as an auto repair technician. We were called "mechanics" back then. I have worked primarily in Ford and Lincoln - Mercury Dealerships. The following statements applies to anyone that earns their living repairing things:

If you don't diagnose the problem correctly, the repair will be ineffective.

For example, if a vehicle comes into the shop with a misfire caused by a burned exhaust valve, diagnosing and replacing the spark plug will be an ineffective repair. The repair will have to involve the replacement of the exhaust valve. Any other repair will be ineffective.

It is even possible that an improper diagnosis could cause more problems than the vehicle originally had.

For example, Ford produced a Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) when the Montego, Freestyle and Five Hundred came out. If the technician diagnosed a CVT concern, and decided that a fluid change was necessary, if the technician puts the wrong fluid back in it, the CVT will be destroyed; regardless of the original concern.

This thought process can certainly be applied to law and lawmakers.

The concern is "Health Care is too expensive." The diagnosis is that government isn't involved enough?

The concern is unemployment is too high. The diagnosis is that government isn't spending enough money on "creating or saving" jobs?

Looking at history, I can safely say that most of our biggest problems are created by lawmakers mis-diagnosing the problem. As Ronald Reagan famously said, "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Toyota Owners...

I am sick and tired of waking up in the morning, and seeing on the front page at, another "runaway" Toyota driver saved by a third party. This morning, it was a CHiPs officer "saving" a runaway Prius.

I would like to make a suggestion. Now, this may seem like common sense; mostly BECAUSE IT IS!!!

I want you to remember this, and repetition is the best way for your "training" to take hold, so maybe practice it while driving. Are you ready?


Yes, it really is that simple. If the engine is racing; whatever the cause*, if you turn the engine off, it won't be able to race.

Any questions?

*The one exception is a runaway diesel. A runaway diesel has an external source of fuel, and cannot be turned off by shutting off the ignition.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


One of my pet peeves (of which I have many), is when suppposedly professional entities cannot take the time to proofread their publications.

In the interest of trying to educate myself, I decided to sign up for the email newsletter I heard about on the radio from "" I was promptly bombarded by emails, several times a day. The straw that broke the camels back, though, was an email that proudly proclaimed in the Subject Line the word "losers," spelled with two "O's," "looser." Nice.

It's not that difficult, people. As near as I can tell, there is no such thing as the word, "looser." When you try to use it, you become a "Loser."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Gas Line Antifreeze?

I was working at my part time job yesterday, restocking the shelves at a major auto parts store chain. One of the proucts I was restocking, was gas line antifreeze, brand name "Heet." I live and work in the heart of the winter wonderland. I wondered to myself, as I often do, who buys this stuff, anymore?

Due to cost cutting measures, and pushed by "environmental concerns," you would be extremely hard pressed to find and purchase gasoline that is not at least 10% alcohol. So, if your car holds 20 gallons of fuel, 2 gallons of that is alcohol.

Do you know what gas line antifreeze is? Alcohol. So, if you add the 12 ounce bottle of "Heet" to your 20 gallons of fuel, you will have raised the alcohol content by - 12 ounces, or .05%, to 10.05%.

So, my question is this, if you've already paid for 2 gallons of alcohol, why would you spend another couple of bucks to add 12 ounces more?

Monday, February 8, 2010


I am a car guy. I am also somewhat if an independent thinker. I think this whole "Green" movement is scary in that it is very misdirected, and people are following it under false pretenses. So, I can't help but wonder if the people that made this commercial:

Aren't just a little hypocritical when they also make this car.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Audi R8 is an awesome automobile. I just think it's hypocritical to claim title to the green movement, and in the same breath, make a car that goes 190 MPH, only seats 2 people, and gets considerably less than 20 MPG. I won't comment on CO2 emissions, because I do not believe that CO2 is any kind of a pollutant.

The other thing that worries me about this commercial, is how far away from that reality are we?

Monday, February 1, 2010

They Think You're Stupid

Last night, as I was driving home, I was listening to Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont, when a caller made the comment, and I'm paraphrasing here, "When flat screens and computers came out, they were very expensive, but as more company's started making them, and competition ensued, the prices came down. Why can't we do the same with health insurance? Why can't we allow insurance companies to compete across state lines?"

This is something that the right has been asking for quite awhile.

The gentleman representing the left responded first. Again, I'm paraphrasing, because I don't remember the exact wording, but his response was something like, "If we did that, we'd have a race to the bottom. Some states do not regulate the insurance industry as well as others (emphasis mine).

Basically, he was saying that you are too stupid to know what you are paying for, and if we don't regulate for you, you would all be suckered by unscrupulous insurance companies.

That is offensive. As someone that enjoys freedom and capitalism; the two are inextricably intertwined, it bothers me that the left has such little faith in the American consumer that they wouldn't be able to tell that some companies are not holding up to their end of the contract.

Yes, some companies will try to unfairly game the system. This is what private insurance rating organizations are for. It is up to the individual consumer to do their homework, to reduce their own risk; not up to the government to hold your hand for you.

Time and again, all through history, when the government gets involved, regulations, costs, and red tape all increase; without fail. When the private sector is involved, almost without fail, ways are found to reduce costs, to increase the individual entities ability to remain profitable and competitive. When word gets out that a company is cheating it's customers, that business either fixes it's reputation, or it goes out of business. When government does it, that's business as usual. Where else are you going to take your business if government runs it?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Left Leaning Capitalists?

My career, repairing cars and trucks, I have often thought was as close to pure capitalism as was possible. If I stand around, not actually working on something, I do not get paid, for I am paid 100% by commission. If I race through a job, and I don't actually fix what I was supposed to fix, I work on it for free the next time (want to fix the Health Care system? Make Doctors work under the same rules - didn't fix it the first time? Fix it for free, now...). The incentive is for me to work quickly, efficiently, and mistake free. Only the "strong" can survive.

So, it surprises me to no end that one of my fellow mechanics can be a left winger. I don't understand how you can work in a pure capitalist system; thrive in it, even, and still vote for the likes of Barack Obama. I see it as supporting a "game plan" that assures your own job loss.

Case in point, the guy that works in the stall next to mine, knows that I listen to right leaning talk radio all day. I try to keep my noise level low enough so as not to annoy my neighbors. Not so with my left leaning compadre. He has decided to listen to NPR loud enough so that everyone can hear it; of course, this is par for the course for this "gentleman." If he sneezes, he is sure to sneeze loud enough for all in the shop to enjoy...

I'm bringing this up because I have a question; if an employer has an employee that is actively working against the best interest of the company, is that just cause for termination? If you employed someone that stood for something that was going to reduce your profitability, possibly even drive you out of business, would you let that person remain in your employ? I don't think this person is in danger of losing his job, because he is productive, so this is purely a hypothetical question. I'm just curious, though.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Government Spending Creates Stimulus - Debunked

'Nuff Said.

I love the last paragraph:

"H. L. Mencken once wrote that "complex problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers." He may as well have been referring to the idea that Congress can foster economic growth simply by "injecting" money into the economy. Government stimulus spending is not a magic wand that creates jobs and income. Repeated failed attempts in America and abroad have shown that governments cannot spend their way out of recessions. Focusing on productivity growth builds a stronger economy over the long term--and leaves America better prepared to handle future economic downturns."