Well, my introductory post over at Bu$hmerika didn't exactly receive warm reviews, but nobody's calling for my ouster yet as of last time I checked so I guess I haven't done too much damage. We'll see if my login still works the next time I try to post. Turns out that emphasizing the fact that I'm not a Democrat wasn't such a popularity winning item on a left wing blog. Who'da thunk it?
I asserted that I hold no loyalty to Republicans either, but I guess nobody noticed that part, they didn't feel compelled to comment to that effect if they did anyway. Who would've thought that it would be possible for me to not be left enough for a bunch of lefties? I already know that I'm not right enough for a bunch of righties either so I guess I'm just up a creek without a paddle when it comes to politics. That's why except for an occasional foray into the realm of governance, I've mostly stayed away from the subject here.
I started doing this to share a little fun with anyone who happened along, but every time I've shot my mouth off about political issues I've found little if any support, and a whole lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. If I wanted an argument I'd start one, and people would know my intentions to do so immediately because I'd make them quite clear. Maybe that's what I should do, start a big assed argument, I mean a real knock down drag out whizbanger. That's how I did it with Joe Visionary, and we wound up getting along in the end even if I haven't had time to reply to him in a while. Naw, I wouldn't do that at Bu$hmerika, it's Chuck's place and I have too much respect for him and his readers and contributors to do that, but I have too much respect for myself to bend my principles to fit the audience as well. I'll just have to tread a little more lightly I guess, not that I'm all that concerned with being popular but I'm not exactly trying to convince everyone to hate me either. Let the chips fall where they may, I'll still be the same person when it's over, just another working class stiff that's tired of the government screwing with me, unless the current economic trend keeps up, in that case I'll be just another unemployed stiff that's tired of the government screwing with me.
Seems that most people need something to follow, well I don't, I'm not a RePUDlican, and I'm not a DemocRAT either, given too much free reign either one would grab up all the power they could, and anyone that can't see that isn't worth debating in my opinion. Being a glutton for punishment like I am, however, I'm going to continue to try to find the common ground. I'm tired of living my life worrying about what new laws I'm going to be in danger of breaking tomorrow, and I'm sure the people on the both the left and right are too. What difference does it make which laws that we'll be worried about breaking? Why do so many people that say they want to be free, try so hard not to be? I don't understand it, and I guess I never will, but I'm going to keep trying because I'm a hard headed bastard. Gotta be good at something I guess.
I did accomplish something good today at least, my junk pile is now lighter by one POS, still a long way to go but it's a start.
The mudpit dried up enough to get in and out of the shop with something besides a hovercraft, so it was a good opportunity to snag the parts I wanted off of at least one of the junkers and send it to the great beyond. Don't want all of those factories in China to run out of second hand American steel do we? That would be a damn shame, really cut down on the cashflow of those poor, starving Chinese business owners, and after all that effort by the Republicans to send all of our manufacturing jobs over there for them. What's that? China is a communist country so the government owns the businesses? Isn't Socialism a left wing ideal? Well what do ya know about that? There I go on politics again, damn. Maybe the left and right can get along in China at least.
This is today's victim. A Plymouth Voyager minivan. During the minivan craze, which came right after the station wagon craze and right before the SUV craze, automakers in an effort to sell cars and make money, (because that's what businesses do, in a free country at least), tossed together these nifty little grocery getters out of mostly what they had laying around. In the case of the front wheel drive varieties like this one, what they had laying around was a bunch of engines and transaxles that were originally designed for much smaller and lighter front wheel drive cars. Most of these, especially the Chrysler products, were notorious for frying transmissions on a regular basis as a result of their manufacturers shortsighted haste. The gearbox in this one works fine, must've just been replaced or it's about to go I figure, but the engine has an obvious gushing oil leak and a tell tale staccato knock from the lower end when it's running. This makes it rather obvious to me that someone ran it out of oil and gutted a rod bearing. Gutted rod bearings are bad, oil is good, some people don't check their oil, they get gutted rod bearings, gutted rod bearings are bad, so people that don't check their oil are bad, people that check their oil are good. Are you seeing a pattern here?
These right here are two of the most important parts of your engine. Use them wisely, and often. If you get bored easily there's always the radiator cap that could use some attention from time to time as well. We're fighting for equality for all regular maintenance items under our hood, remember. Even if they don't pull their own weight. A good Democrat will pay absolutely equal attention to all of them. Well, some of them anyway, they'll pay special attention to the ones that look different, and a good Republican would never miss a chance to sell more oil.
If you just noticed a tell tale staccato knock from the lower end of your engine and pulled the dipstick to find an absence of life giving oil, be sure to remove the radiator cap while the engine is still hot. That way it will burn you silly, and you'll deserve it for being a dumbass. As you're nursing your blistered arm consider it your car's just revenge for your having tortured it to death, slowly and painfully, and you can't make it better by naming it an "enemy combatant" or a "poor unfortunate victim" either, only a complete replacement or a total overhaul will do. Sounds kind of like the government.
These engines were notoriously tough too, this person had to have been trying to kill it. They might as well have just shot it. Either they had too much sense to discharge a gun so recklessly, or they didn't have one because they didn't believe in them. Guess it depends on what side of the isle their favorite politicians sit on. Maybe the owner of this van didn't care about politics, so they just ran it out of oil. Engines need oil to run, but some people don't think so in spite of all the proof. Oil helps the parts in the engine to work together smoothly, but it isn't so heavy as to slow them down and keep them from doing what they need to do. The government could learn a lot from an engine.
So anyway, there was only one part that I really wanted off of this thing since it was beyond rescue without a hefty outlay of cash for a project that just wasn't likely to give back any returns whatsoever except for continuous expenses. It would be extremely irresponsible of me to teach this van to depend on handouts because it was obvious that it would never pull it's own weight, there comes a time when enough is enough, and a little "tough love" is in order. Vans can't change their ways on their own, people can.
I couldn't find anyone that wanted the transmission even though I offered it free to anybody that would come and get it, so the rear axle was my only obstacle. If you ever have any intention of building a utility trailer, two place ATV/snowmobile trailer in my case, look for a junked out Chrysler minivan. The rear axles are perfect for trailers. They're designed to mount to regular leaf springs, they use 14" tires which are commonly available used dirt cheap/free and will stand up to highway speeds far better than the tiny little 8" trailer tires that come with most light duty trailer axles, and they have much larger, stouter wheel bearings that won't melt as soon as you break 55 MPH. If a person used one of those nifty hydraulic brake actuator couplers they could even make the brakes work if they so desired. I haven't made up my mind whether or not I'll get that carried away yet, but at least it's an option. They make the trailer a lot easier to stop and save on the brakes of the tow vehicle, but they're a big hassle when you have to back up since the actuator will lock the brakes with rearward pressure on the hitch unless a lock pin is installed first. Safety is important, but not always when it hinders freedom.
These are wrenches, wrenches are slow, I want this axle out fast, I'm not going to use wrenches. Wrenches have no political opinions whatsoever. I wish I were a wrench.
This is a gas axe, called an oxy-acetylene cutting torch by purists. I'm not a purist. I call it a gas axe. Gas axes are fast. I want this axle out fast. I'm going to use the gas axe. I don't have time to argue about what to call it, because it isn't really all that important as long as it works. You can call it whatever you like, because the right to your own ideas is part of being free no matter which end of the political spectrum you fit into. I won't hate you if you call it an oxy-acetylene cutting torch, I won't hate you if you call it an orange and green thingy, I won't think that you're stupid or insignificant, but I will get pissed if you tell me I can't call it a gas axe.
These are the U-bolts that attach the axle to the springs. I could've taken the nuts off of them but they're not reusable anyway, and that would've been slow. Slow is bad in this case. I cut them with the gas axe. It cuts fast. I like cutting things fast. Fast is good in this case. Gas axes are fast. Gas axes are good.
Here's what was left of the van when I dropped it off at the junkyard. The axle is sitting next to it. I put the arrow there to point it out. If you don't know what a dipstick is for, the arrow is for you. This is what your car might look like soon. I don't need any more junk, check your oil. Buy lots of it, Republicans need to make a living too. Your engine will last longer, and run better anyway. When an engine runs better it gives off less emissions, and that's better for the environment. Smog is bad, I don't care who you voted for.
So the junkpile shrunk a little today, not as much as I would've liked, but some is better than none methinks. Now I can go snowmobiling next weekend and I won't feel so guilty for not getting any work done. With a little luck maybe the whole mess will be cleaned up by spring and I can take it easy this summer. Never know, I may have some neighbors that are lefties that would want me to get this stuff recycled, or some neighbors that are righties that would love to buy the steel and send it to China so it could be made into Diehotsooos or whatever they're called and sold to those with no eye toward quality control for an easy buck. There I go with the politics again, damn, when am I going to learn to keep my big mouth shut. Likely never, deal with it.