atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2950: ...but I don't know if I can.

A request has been entered for me to go to New Hampshire to pick up an elderly dog and a bevy of chickens, for eventual transport to Louisiana.


I am not opposed to the proposition on principle. In fact, I want to do it. The problem is, I've got a 10-year-old Jeep with 102,000 on it and a service record which begins at about 81,000.

There's no sign of an impending mechanical failure; but then I think about how, in 1978, my Mom drove my late sister to her first year of college in California in a car which gave no sign of impending mechanical failure...and which then dropped its transmission in New Mexico. (Or it might have been Arizona. It was a long time ago.)

I do not want to be up in Cincinnati or Poughkeepsie and end up having to shell out $1,500 to some jerk to get my Jeep out of hock after he rebuilt the brake system to replace a $50 pair of pads. "Oh, you needed rotors, too! And this caliper was bad! And this brake line--I replaced that too because I thought it looked kinda funny...."

Similarly I don't want to end up paying $3,400 for a transmission in Massachusetts or $350 for U-joints in where-the-hell-ever. Everything I mentioned seems perfectly fine...but I just don't know and I do not have the wherewithal to pay "out of state" rates for repairs.

...and then get home, most likely, and have to fix whatever the asshole screwed up.

Example: my Mom and Dad took their last road trip to Louisiana in (as I recall) 2005, and on the way down there they blew a couple of tires. I think they hit something, or something else happened; all I know is, the mechanic couldn't figure out how to operate the spare tire winch on the van so he cut the cable.

I don't hesitate to drive the Jeep to my brother's place or something within around 100 miles or so because if something breaks, I can have the truck towed home and fix what broke myself. In the case of something major like a transmission, at least I have the luxury of shopping around a bit and can even possibly save myself the cost of removal and reinstallation.

But when you're 500-600-800 miles from home with no tools and no base of operations? If something big goes wrong and the guy says, "Yeah, $4,000, and I'm cheating myself" what can you do? It's a $5,000 truck, for Christ's sake.

If I had time to get things in order first, it'd be a different story. Take the truck over and get everything changed and flushed and inspected, and drive it for a couple weeks before setting out--but I'm not going to change the trans fluid and set off on a 1,000 mile trip, because sometimes transmissions crap out right after you change the fluid, especially if it's never been changed before and you've got more than 100,000 on the odometer.

(Not if you're Og. He changes his trans fluid religiously, where I'm a lesser mortal when it comes to maintenance. I'm better than 99% of the people out there, but Og's better than me, which is saying something.)

Sucks big time, but I have to refuse, and I hate to do it.

* * *

President Jughead has proposed to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.

"No! Wait! His tax increases are on the rich, so how can you say that, you rethuglikkkan nazi asshole? It's about time those fascists started paying their fair share of taxes!"

Most of the job creation in this country comes from the rich. Sorry: poor people generally do not have the wherewithal to hire someone and pay him a "living wage". Rich people, on the other hand, have scads of money laying around that they don't want to leave to the tender mercies of inflation and low interest rates, so they invest it, some of it in things like stocks. Companies sell stock in order to raise capital for things like expanding production and developing new products, all of which requires an expanded workforce.

But you see, this requires that the rich not be taxed out the wazoo for earning money. Let's say Mr. Rich Person has (say) $1 million to invest, and has a choice between investments A and B.

A is something safe, like a tax-free muni bond, and it'll allow him to make a modest profit on his investment. It creates no new jobs, but it's tax-free and Mr. Rich Person is guaranteed a certain return.

B has a good rate of return, and his million dollar investment will result in the creation of ten new skilled jobs. The problem is, the government is taxing all profits from such an investment at a confiscatory rate such that he actually makes less money after taxes than he would with A, and faces a higher risk to boot.

Which do you think he's going to do with his money? Which do you think leads to higher unemployment? Which do you think helps the economy more?

Obama and the Democrats don't f-ing care about that, though. More poor means more people who will vote for Democrats, because people vote their pocketbooks and "bread and circuses" has always won elections. (Almost always.)

The Dow dropped 200 points at open of business today. Wall Street understands what this means. But it's not the "fat cats" who are going to be struggling to pay their bills; it's going to be the poor people who will be freezing in the dark and wondering why Obama hasn't helped them yet.

"...$3 In Tax Hikes For Every $1 In Spending Cuts" and the cuts will never, never, ever happen.

* * *

I could go on about how and why the federal government has a spending problem, not a revenue problem; but I don't think I really need to, not for the Fungus' usual audience.

* * *

Coldest summer in 20 years.

Wait a minute, wait a minute! No less a luminary than AL GORE says we're facing catastrophic global warming! We were supposed to be getting hotter! How can England have its coldest summer since 1991 with all that global warming going on?

Those people are wrong! The computer models say that we're looking at record warming right now!

* * *

And here's another dose of global COOLING on the way. If the Cleveland Volcano blows big, it's going to be a chilly winter. And a cool wet summer again next year.

* * *

"Red onions". *sigh* I don't like red onions; they're too pungent. Vidalia onions are the best on hamburgers, but of course they don't look "upscale" enough and people are morons.

When I make hamburgers at home, I like to put about a 3/8" slab of Vidalia onion across the top of that mofo. OMG, t3h tasty.

* * *


* * *

Today I bought a vacuum cleaner. A Hoover upright--the exact model escapes me--because the last one died in a shower of sparks in May. My brother's vacuum cleaner sat in the living room since then, unused, but he needed it back yesterday so it went with when I went to his house.

And I need to vacuum.

This one is a bagless model, and as a plus the dust filter is washable so it never needs anything other than (I presume) belts for the beater bar.

And I need to vacuum.

I was originally going to buy a unit in the $50 range; but this one was on sale for $99 and was clearly superior to any of the $50 units--and "it only costs a little more to go first class"--so I said, "Hang the sense of it," and bought the thing.

And I need to vacuum.

After K-mart, I did the grocery shopping I've been putting off since Friday; because I stocked up on a few things my bill was $118. Today was an expensive day.

For dinner, I got a frozen Gino's East Chicago-style pizza and baked it, and had a bagel while waiting for it to cook. It's pretty good, but I don't know that it's worth $6; I only know that I would have spent that much at McDonald's and this way I have some leftovers.

Campbell's soup was on sale--10 cans for $10, which is a bit less than half price--so I bought a bunch for the "emergency supplies" bin. You make a lot of food out of a can of vegetable beef soup, a pack of ramen, and a can of mixed vegetables, and it even tastes pretty decent. But I dislike paying $2.50 for a single can of condensed soup, hence the stocking up part.

I bought three pounds of lean ground chuck and a 2 lb chuck roast (I'm going to have goulash again, damn it!). But I need to find someplace to get beef cheaper than the local stores, because beef just costs too frickin' much these days.

More and more I'm thinking about trying to get a deer this winter, because deer meat is tasty and it would end up being cheaper than beef. (Since I'm not going to buy camo underwear and scent-blocking clothing and-and-and.)

Anyway, I've got to go vacuum before I get to play WoW, so I'd better get going.


Looking over the story about Obama's tax hikes, I see that his budget is supposed to save "$3 trillion over ten years".

Be generous and say it's $300 billion every year for ten years. The federal budget deficit is $1,500 billion. Obama's plan cuts the annual deficit to $1,200 billion.

...which is not much help. But we don't have a spending problem, oh no! "We can't cut our way out of this hole!"

But as I said, we will never, never, ever see those cuts anyway, so $300 billion per year is optimistic at best.

UPDATE 2: the new vacuum cleaner does an excellent job of cleaning. The carpet looks about as good as it can, considering its age and condition. This thing pulled the cat hair right off the carpet, too, and when I cleaned the floor in Mom's room there was no cat litter left behind. I'm pleased with its performance.

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