atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#4378: Why are there cowboys at McDonald's?

That is not a question you ever really see yourself asking, but I asked it today. When I went to the usual fast food joint for the usual food cartridge, as I was turning in I saw a man on horseback with the usual cowboy paraphernalia.

Then I saw the bounce houses--some three or four of them--and realized that some kind of event was on. When I got around to the other side of the building I saw that the street was blocked off and there were cars on display. "Ah, I get it now," said I.

* * *

Offensive, yes. Juvenile, yes. Stupid, decidedly. But criminal? Hardly. Short form: dumbass kid jumps up on a Jesus statue and mimes like Jesus is giving him a hummer. This is probably the stupidest thing I've seen in quite a long time; it's juvenile and idiotic, and sure, it's pretty dang offensive.

But you can't outlaw stupidity or juvenile behavior, both of which are frequently offensive; and if you look carefully at the Constitution you find that freedom of expression is quite plainly stated while "freedom from offense" is nowhere to be found.

As offensive, juvenile, and eye-rolling stupid as this kid's behavior is, it's protected speech and there should not be a law against it.

* * *

Speaking of cars the AoSHQ Saturday Car Thread mentions the Fiero! Hurray!

This part of the post contains the same canard that such posts usually do: "GM also tossed aside the suspension designs and used Chevette front suspension and brakes and reversed the Citation front suspension for the rear."

They did not "reverse" the Citation front end; they put the Citation (the X-body, actually) front end on the back of the Fiero in the same orientation that it was installed in the Citation. If they had "reversed" it, the Fiero would have had four reverse speeds and one forward speed, because the transaxle was designed such that the thrust side of the differential could not be reversed.

In the old Beetle, for example, you could take the differential out and "flop" it, thus changing the thrust side and reversing the rotation of the diff with respect to the rest of the transaxle. Volkswagen did this on purpose because that enabled the use of reduction boxes at the outboard ends of the axles--which provided better torque but had reversed rotation at the output--and instead of having to build a special transmission for that you just flopped the diff and carried on as usual.

You can't do that with the GM front wheel drive transmissions; they'd self-destruct faster than you could say "cost-cutting measures". Further, you couldn't build the Fiero engine for reverse rotation (to keep the transmission stock and still have four forward speeds) because all GM engines rotate the same way regardless of what orientation they're designed for and it'd be a logistical nightmare to have one reverse-rotation engine in the lineup.

It was far simpler to take an X-body front end and graft it onto the hind end of the Fiero chassis, but that meant grafting it with the front end forward. That's why the oil filter is such a pain to get at on a V6 Fiero; in an X-body, it's right up front, nice and convenient; but you have to jack the Fiero up and slide under the passenger side to get at it.

Still--it's nice to see the Fiero get some love.

* * *

Inflation! A handy infographic to help you understand how much you're getting screwed by it!

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Hard to believe it, but I've been at my job for eleven months now. About four more weeks will make it a year. Where did the time go?
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