There and back again

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Labor Day weekend had me on a long road trip. I left home on Saturday, Sept. 3 @2:30pm, and returned Tuesday, Sept. 6 @8:30pm. That’s 3300 (+/-) miles in four days.

Home to Tucson and back again.

That’s a lot of time in the car to think.

Nevada is mostly boring.

I like my bed.

Found out I can do it.

Trying to catch up on sleep and other stuff.

More next week.

Selling point

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So, here’s another question for you. I don’t expect that you are going to answer it but I have to voice it – partially because it’s a frustrations of mine but also because sometimes (well, most of the time) I think people are just stupid. The question: Why do people post that the “tabs are up to date” when selling a vehicle?

Do they think this is a selling point that needs to be advertised? Because if they really thought about it (and here’s where the dumb part comes in), it isn’t.

The tabs on a license plate indicate that the vehicle has been registered and is therefore legal to be on the roadways. In most cases, it is registered to the owner of the vehicle. So, to some degree is also signifies who is financially responsible for the vehicle (yes, insurance also does that too but there is a difference).

Here’s two reasons saying the tabs are up to date is dumb and really incomprehensible as to why someone thinks this is a selling point.

  • The person buying said vehicle will have to transfer ownership into their name (usually within 14 days) and in doing so will also have to register it themselves, meaning it doesn’t matter how much “life” is left in the current tabs. They will have to buy new tabs to license the vehicle in their name. Once registered, they will get new tabs (and in some cases even new license plates). There is extra money coming out of the purchaser’s pocket no matter what, so this doesn’t save anything for them.
  • The person selling the vehicle wants the purchaser to transfer ownership of the vehicle so that they aren’t held responsible for financial damages\issues when the vehicle is used improperly. Whether it is ticketed for some reason, or abandoned, or used to commit a crime, the former owner doesn’t want it staying in their name.

I am sure there are more reasons why this particular statement makes for a poor selling point, but that is all I can think of right now.

What do you think? Am I way off on this or do you agree? Does it really make a difference in a decision to purchase a vehicle?

Cruise control

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Do you use cruise control in your vehicle when you are on a long drive? Do you like to set it and forget it…until some jackwagon decides that pacing you in your blind spot is a good idea and then you have to cancel your cruise by stepping on your brake?

You know it is inevitable, right? Is that Murphy’s Law or is that bad karma or is it just a coincidence?

I took a road trip this last weekend (12 hours total driving time) and I noticed that just about every time I set the cruise control (about 7-8 mph over the speed limit, mind you) that within about 10 minutes I would have to step on the brake and cancel it.

I was driving across the state, on the east side, where there are long stretches of nothing. It’s just highway – long, flat, some rolly hills, but mostly uninteresting. You would think it would be a great place to just set the cruise control and just drive.

Nope.

Seemingly without fail, about the time I would need to pass someone on the left there would be a car pacing me, in my blind spot, and not allowing me to change lanes.

It’s almost as if they were doing it on purpose. Miles and miles and miles of unobstructed driving until that moment.

And instead of recognizing what is about to happen in front of or next to them and speeding up just a little so as to not have to slow down themselves, they just keep their own pace and make me break mine. Jackwagon.

Do people realize you can step on the gas while cruise control is on and speed up and it DOES NOT cancel your cruis control or change your speed? No need to reset it. No need to click Resume. The vehicle just returns to the speed you set it for. Kinda like magic.

But instead, it would appear people like to annoy the hell outta me (and probably others too).

That just figures.

Locked out

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Buying a car from an auto dealership and using the service department is one of the biggest jokes that can be played on a consumer. They tell you when you buy the car that you have a warranty, you have lifetime oil changes, you have access to loaner cars if needed…they tell you a lot of things.

What they don’t tell you is that they are severely understaffed (which has only gotten worse). What they don’t tell you is that their service department hours are limited to the hours you are working (no weekends), so it makes it virtually impossible to schedule even routine maintenance without having to take time off. What they don’t tell you is that they don’t really have loaner cars, just that they will get a rental for you IF they deem it necessary.

So, the long story…

I bought a 2018 Kia Niro almost four years ago. I like the car. I really haven’t had any issues with it up to this point. But, the routine maintenance has been a challenge for the reasons listed above. It’s just hard to schedule an appointment.

About three or so months ago, the car started to give me issues when unlocking the car. Initially, the car wouldn’t recognize when I walked up to it (mirrors open and lights come on). The keyfob is the trigger for this function so I started keeping my eye on how often it would happen. It slowly began to progress to the point that pushing the button on the keyfob wouldn’t unlock the car. Pushing the button on the door handle wouldn’t unlock the car. Eventually, after pushing the buttons for several minutes, it would eventually unlock.

It did what most people would do and I assumed the battery in the keyfob was going dead. Afterall, it’s been four years with lots of use. I was actually surprised it took so long for it to be needed. So, I replaced the battery.

Did is solve the issues? Nope. It seemed to have made them worse.

Not only was it still difficult to get the doors unlocked, but now suddenly the car wouldn’t start! The car is a push button start, so there is no auxillary ignition slot for a key. Now I was getting a message that the keyfob needed to be in the car – while I was holding it while inside the car! Again, after furious button pushing, eventually it would start. But now I am wondering when I would be stranded for good if something didn’t happen soon…

So, I took the car to the dealership (last Wednesday) to see if they knew if there as an issue that was something fairly easy. They initially discussed that the keyfob might need to be reprogrammed to the car.

Cost? Approximately $75…

Mind you, there is NO OTHER WAY to start the car as there is no key. The keyfob is the key!! So, it is kinda required equipment. To charge a customer for this is absurd!

I complained loudly. The car is even still under warranty. There should be no charge for this!

They decided they better investigate further and find out if that really is the issue. So, an appointment is needed. Remember the whole schedule thing? Can’t do it and I am afraid I am going to be stranded. Soonest they could get me in would be five days (a Monday) because their “electronics guy” is out for training. They offer to pay for a rental while I wait for the car to be looked at.

OK, I supposed. Whatever.

Monday comes, no call from the dealership.

I call. I am told they are too busy to look for the paperwork, they’ll call me back. Two hours later, I call back. I am now told that the car wasn’t looked at and that the “appointment” wasn’t really an appointment so much as they were going to see if they could squeeze me in. I am told they will for sure get to it tomorrow…Tuesday…as yet, still no call with a status update.

Are car dealerships set up this way just to be a pain in the ass? Does everyone else have an issue with their car dealership after purchasing a car?

Deaf ears

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Can you believe that President Biden hasn’t really done a thing about fixing the gas prices? It’s as if all the pleas of Americans at every economic level in the United States has fallen on deaf ears, and I am not just talking about the fact that he’s old and can’t hear that well. He literally is ignoring the only solution that would fix the issue – pumping more oil domestically.

He just told Americans (and basically the rest of the world) that they are going to just have to continue to suffer under high inflation and high fuel prices. He will ask OPEC to pump more oil, which we’ll have to buy on the open market at market price, while everyone else in the world faces the same issue. He’ll ask Congress to suspend a tax for short term relief, which for most people amounts to very little savings at the pump. He’ll scold oil companies for making a profit.

Notice he didn’t say he would open areas for more drilling in the US? Notice how he didn’t say he would do anything about opening a pipeline in the US? Notice how he didn’t say he would do anything to increase refining capacity in the US? Notice how none of the things he is doing make the US energy independent? Notice how none of the things he is doing are long term solutions and will have little to no real impact at the pump for a majority of Americans?

Not only is Biden hard of hearing physically, but he is apparently deaf politically too. His own political followers are bearing the brunt of his poor economic policies and he can’t hear that they’re totally suffering and unhappy.

“Build Back Better” was his slogan. Know what he has built back better?

Resentment. Inflation. Economic recession.

Anything else we can add to that list?

Good grief!

Law enforcement

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Law enforcement, literally, can’t enforce the law when the laws are made to keep them from doing it. There’s an easy explanation for why driver’s aren’t stopping – because law enforcement can’t stop them.

Recently reported in WA state was that police have noticed a huge uptick in drivers who don’t stop for traffic stops. Actions speak louder than words, and in this case the action is that not stopping works most times because law enforcement can’t chase. The law has hand-cuffed them…

This is an easy correlation to make. There shouldn’t be any guessing about the reasons. It baffles me that people are puzzled over this. Tell criminals law enforcement can’t do their jobs, criminals will find ways to avoid consequences.

I am sure you have probably noticed in your town/city (or at least one close to you) that the homeless problem has increased exponentially. Now, the REASON those people have become homeless and STAY homeless is a whole other topic, But what isn’t debateable is that the laws concerning vagrancy, loitering, overnight camping, pan-handling, crime, drugs, etc., haven’t changed. However, all the bleeding hearts have basically told police to not enforce the laws or take a more “hands off” approach and there suddenly has become no (or little) consequence for all the litter, crime, camping, etc. Think there is a correlation to that?

Last year there was increase in rioting, looting, property destruction, etc. in Seattle. Why? Not able to enforce the law. Or, when it was attempted to be enforced they were told they were doing it wrong. Thus, the destruction and lawlessness increased.

John Adams once said that, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” We have reached the amoral and irreligious times he was talking about. The lack of self-restraint and focus on entitlement has taken over. Morality has been turned on it’s head and is completely backwards now, purely because many believe they are more important so they have redefined words and morality to fit their needs. Gun crimes or gun violence is directly related to an immoral population. We are seeing and hearing about it every day.

Law enforcement can do nothing, will do nothing, if the people of the country can’t self-regulate themselves. Government will become more repressive as the self-regulation spins out of control. We are well on our way down this road. It isn’t a matter of if or when. It’s now.

The real question is how far will people let it get before they decide to change the direction, if at all.

Vacuum Tube

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*Eye roll*

*Sits back and watches insanity unfold*

So, there is still this argument by a large segment of the population that kept saying “Follow the science” that isn’t going to accept the fact that the science never supported the mandated masks on airplanes. In most cases, in general, the mandated masks were never really supported in most places. But, this is a victory for all who have ridden in a large, silver, metal vacuum tube and felt suffocated by the policy.

As I am sure you are all aware now, the mask mandate on public transportation, the biggest of which was airlines. The CDC, which instituted the policy while under the watch of President Trump, was ruled to have exceeded their authority – really no surprise here. At first, it seemed a reasonable step as there was so much unknown about what was going on (I am trying to avoid being shadowed banned here, possibly, so being a little vague but you know what I mean). Through every iteration of the unknown, the mandate has remained in place even though the severity, and risk, has diminished substantially.

The CDC themselves said that the science showed that most face masks didn’t work for stopping the spread, but there was never a requirement instituted that you had to wear a certain kind of mask on a plane to stop the spread. More science showed that the air in an airplane (granted this is the industry that stands to benefit from riders) was mostly safe since it was cycled in and out regularly and often. As such, when you put those two scientific finding together, masks on an plane didn’t make much sense.

Isn’t it weird (actually it’s not) that one side of the aisle screams follow the science when it fits their agenda but doesn’t want to follow the science when it doesn’t?

Now, there are people all over social media screaming and crying about having to fly in a metal death trap tube because masks aren’t required. Hold up! Wait, wait, wait! It’s not required…not banned…meaning, if you still feel the need to wear a mask, wear one! If you feel at risk and the bare faces of the people around you makes you feel anxious, don’t fly.

It’s pretty simple…you know, just like they were telling those of us that didn’t want to get stuck or wear a mask or provide proof…if you don’t want to do it, just don’t go the the place that require it. Take your business somewhere else that will accommodate you. Or just don’t.

Shoe’s on the other foot now, isn’t it?

Dark and stormy

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I was driving home last night across one of our state’s mountain passes – Snoqualmie Pass. The highway is Interstate 90 and I have to say that the pass is one of the worst places to drive at night while it is raining. The roadway is so poorly marked it is near impossible to see where the lanes of travel are and you pretty much have to guess and hope you are maintaining your lane.

Look, I get that it is hard to have reflectors and stripes and other means of marking the roadway on a mountain pass, one that needs to get plowed fairly often during the winter months. I realize that the plow blades rip up nearly everything you put down on the roadway. I get it.

But, seriously, all the technology that’s out there and means available to adjust the way those lane markers could be applied to the surface so they don’t get scraped off each winter hasn’t been found yet?

I don’t get it.

What I do get is that there are portions of the highway that are downright dangerous to drive when it is dark and raining, which is approximately half the day and most of the year.

Maybe it’s just my old eyes. I can’t imagine that there aren’t other people that feel the same way.

So, if you have to travel through WA, stay off the passes at night. They’re all pretty much that way.

You’ve been warned.

Not science

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Don’t where mask. Wear masks. Masks won’t help, masks help, masks are virtually worthless. No mask mandate, mask mandate, no mask mandate, more mask mandates, relax mask mandates. Now, the CDC says that masks aren’t needed by most people while indoors. OK, so what does that mean? Well, “the CDC says…” is at it again. Only other government agencies don’t seem to be listening to them either.

The TSA just extended the mask mandate for another month, despite the fact that the CDC said it was safe to drop the mask mandate. So, for those of you flying on planes over the next month and a half (or so) you will still be wearing the nearly useless (the CDC’s words) face condom.

The curious thing is that when people were flying early on in this whole thing, the government and airlines were touting that airplane air was nearly the safest you could have because of filters and quick recycling, etc. The need for masks on a plane seemed strange then if there was this whole PR campaign around how safe it was. Now, as the whole things is beginning to wind down and “the CDC recommends…” is back on the menu, they want to extend mask usage “in the safest air” space.

So was the science true or not?

Perhaps this is more of the parental “Because I said so” statement from the government rather than for real good reasons. When you combine the information from what “science” says with what the CDC says, maybe it should be left to the individual on whether or not you should wear a mask. For those who are scared and feel unsafe, wear a mask. For those who are not or feel protected sufficiently, they should have the choice not to.

Seems simple enough, right?

Traffic in Oregon

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There are a lot of things wrong in Oregon. The direction of the state, politically speaking, is headed entirely in the wrong direction and the policies of the state are on full view as you drive through the state. However, that isn’t the point of this post.

I am not sure what the hell is wrong with drivers down there, but they (as a whole; generalization, I know) are terrible.

My recent trip through the state left me with a bad impression. It seems many of the drivers down there have little road knowledge or just have decided they are going to have no roadway courtesy at all. I couldn’t drive quickly enough to get through the state after all the frustration.

First case in point, left lane vs. right lane.

I-5 through most of the state is two lanes wide. Sure, it widens to some degree in major cities and through mountain passes, as needed, but for the most part there are more miles of two lanes than three. This is a problem for drivers who are going through the state.

It seems in Oregon a vast majority of the drivers (I can see license plates so I know what state they are from) like to camp in the left lane instead of being courteous and moving back to the right lane after overtaking a vehicle. They just perpetually are left lane drivers.

Now, for the road illiterate…on a two lane highway, the right lane is for slower vehicles (in general) and “local” travel. The left lane is the “fast” lane and for through (or distance) travel. However, courtesy says that on a two lane highway traffic should keep right except for passing (in some cases, like WA, it is state law). Regardless of your speed, even if you are “fast,” you should still move to the right (if space allows, think minimum 100 yards) until you overtake the next vehicle.

Anyway, Oregon drivers apparently don’t know these rules or they have total disregard for them. I can’t tell you the number of times I had to step on the brake to come out of cruise control to slow down behind a long line of vehicles in the left lane. In some cases, it was actually faster and a greater distance of free travel in the right lane because of these idiots!

I’ll tell you…you learn things on road trips (or maybe are reminded) and I learned again and was reinforced that I dislike people, and Oregon.

**disclaimer: I do really like the natural beauty in Oregon, but that is about it.**