October 3rd, 2018

#6372: Seriously?

Gas jumped from $2.75 to $3.10 in an afternoon because the price of crude oil went up. Story was that there was a big inventory draw that caused it.

Me: "WTF, the United States is the biggest producer of oil in the world. This is crap."

Now we're told that the price of crude oil is dropping because of a "massive surprise" increase in inventory.

The US needs to modernize its petroleum infrastructure so we can refine the stuff we produce. That way, we can withdraw entirely from the world crude market--at least as a buyer--and let those assholes go to hell in their own damned handbasket.

* * *

If you need to know why Illinois is such a shithole, you need look no farther than Mike Madigan. The state has essentially been run as his personal feifdom since 1983. That article explains how.

When I call it the Demokratik Peoples' Republik of Illinoistan, in an homage to how communist nations name themselves, I am not really exaggerating all that much. Because Illinois is not run for the benefit of the voters, but for the benefit of Mike Madigan and the Democrat Party.

...which is why it's on the skids the way it is.

* * *

Modem starts weird bleeping, wife says "We were attacked by China!" because there's a story on her phone.

So I put the TV on and find it's a test of the national alert system, and the "attack" my wife was talking about was when some Chinese skipper decided to bring his ship within 50 yards of a USN ship a few days ago.


As things are right now, China starting a war against the United States makes about as much sense as Canada starting a war with the US. Simple fact is that the prosperity that exists in China comes entirely from selling stuff to the United States, and if they go to war with us, a lot of their exports simply stop happening. Not the least because in a total war scenario even their civilian freighters become fair game.

Because so much of China's economy is built on export, without shipping, China suddenly has no income.

What do the people in "sock city" eat when they cannot even ship out the socks? And ditto for all the other cities that have cropped up around the manufacture of specific commodities? The Chinese government can support things for a little while, even without revenue, but eventually things collapse. And the economic news I hear from China suggests that their "booming economy" is rather hollow.

* * *

Today's job is to get the u-joint in the Jeep done. Og has graciously offered to help with the actual "changing u-joint" part but I need to get my duff over there and get the axle removed from the truck first.

So, off I go.

#6373: Ah! This!

So, it seems odd, but I have discovered something very important that you all need to know.

"Top sliced" hot dog buns are the way to serve hot dogs.

I don't really understand it all too well, but Mrs. Fungus bought Pepperige Farm top-sliced buns some time ago, and we're getting around to having hot dogs tonight, and this is the way to eat hot dogs.

No dripping condiments. The hot dog stays put in the bun. This really isn't a radical change from how hot dogs are normally served but it just seems to work better.

I mean it. Side-sliced hot dog buns are just wrong, and this way is right.

* * *

Og helped me with the failed U-joint on the Jeep today, for which I must take some of his time in Purgatory.

The funny part is, when I pulled the axle out, it was flopping normally; both axes moved easily. But once Og got it apart, the problem was obvious; one of the bearings had rusted so badly that I could not get the rust off, and the rollers had worn a shoulder into the bearing surface.

Og fretted a bit about the joint only having a two-year warranty. The factory original part lasted some 190,000 miles before failing, and I have my doubts about driving this truck that much farther. But I had to exchange it--the one I picked up the other week was the wrong one--and I think the guy who exchanged it for me just gave me the lifetime part, because this one had a grease fitting and the 2-year part did not. And this one was $17 as opposed to the other, which was $11.

Anyway, there's a task done. Now I just need to do all the other stuff....

* * *

While having a look at the front drive shaft, I happened to spin it and heard a trickling sound inside the transfer case. That worried me: it sounded awful thin, like water. So I grabbed my phone and looked it up; the transfer case uses ATF+4. For grins I checked the fluid level; it's pretty much up to the bottom of the top hole and it was pretty warm, which explains it sounding like water instead of oil.

We'll have to see how things sound tomorrow, I guess. Part of me wants to go through the thing and change all the fluids, at least in the differentials and the transfer case.

...yeah, just add that to the fricking list of shit I want to do to that truck:
Replace spark plugs
Front and rear brake jobs
Front end alignment
Install rearview camera
Repair exhaust system
Redo headliner
AND change lubricants in driveline

* * *

Incidentally, the Jeep got 22.3 MPG on its last tankful.


Amazing what you can do if you just slow the hell down, no?

* * *

Tax cheat. The guy who removed the toilets from his house so he wouldn't have to pay property tax ended up having to pay it back.

If you or I tried to cheat on our property taxes like that, our homes would be condemned and we'd go to jail. Welcome to the Peoples' Demokratik Republik of Illinoistan. "Some animals are more equal than others."