Saturday, December 24, 2011

End Of Year Post

The environmental nut jobs are on the loose with the proposed Keystone Pipeline that would bring oil from Canada to the United States. So they reject the possibility of 20,000 jobs and would rather rely of the whims of multiple quasi enemies to supply oil?

Maybe these wizards should go back in a time machine and view “The Big Ditch” constructed during WW II. This was known as the War Emergency Pipeline that would supply oil from Texas to New Jersey rather than using vulnerable tankers. In fact they actually started the oil flow before the line was complete.

Sometimes it takes extraordinary circumstance and leadership to address an issue and IMO this is an issue of national security. To set up mindless roadblocks is pure insanity. The pipeline is in our best interests and if it is constructed with the same diligence as the Alaskan Pipeline impact will be minimal or non existent.

Time for some leadership and direct intervention by President Obama.

I have recently been car/truck shopping in a serious mode but one of interest. As a current Pontiac owner I have a special “Off the books” rebate available that is between $1,500 and $3,000. But what I find interesting is the names they dream up. I think all of us have at one time or another bought a vehicle that we gave a special name such as POS or “This car sucks.”

I do believe the American auto industry has done a magnificent job of once again having products that can compete with any. Off course, most large world wide manufactures have their products build in multiple countries and the same goes for parts.

The standard for a vehicle use to be 100.000 miles. Anything after that was a bonus. IMO it is now 200,000 as many of the former bad boys such as exhaust systems and cooling systems use to have a shelf life that was dismal. No longer. But that high end technology comes with a price and that price is exorbitant labor and parts charges. I actually use a collision body shop for many repairs since they are very familiar in their triage business of worse case scenarios. The parts I’ll shop around and check after market or online sources and save upwards to 40%.

Last summer I had the opportunity to tour the Rouge factory of Ford in Dearborn, Michigan. The facility was the original site for Ford production and it is massive but today it is the assembly for trucks. They produce about 1,500 a day and the automation is intriguing. All computer driven. On the assembly line I watched the drones do one specific job over and over while working side by side with their robotic counterparts. The repetition and boredom would have me opening a vein before first break. I can understand why the workers are paid so well since you are being paid for a continually tedious job.

If you wander to Bowling Green Kentucky and are an aficionado of Corvette you can actually observe your car being assembled over a two day period. The computer and production process has your name on everything so you can build your own scrapbook. And being a capitalist society this little venture comes with a price tag - I do believe it is in excess of $500 plus your hotel stay and meals. I also understand with the ‘Vette - an engineering marvel - that virtually the entire car is American made. Few imported parts.

What frustrates me about purchasing a vehicle is that old ploy called “Options Loading.” Try buying a base model. You virtually cannot. Somewhere along the way you will have to determine just what you want and don’t want and attempt to get as close as possible.

What really ticks me off is the way a vehicle is sold. This expensive piece of machinery is then tossed into a dealership that may be ethically deficient or has a sales staff - most do - that reminds one of a street bazaar in Casablanca. It is all about “The Deal” and how “savvy” you are and their need to move the vehicle. Sales quotas, inventory excesses, cash flow and a myriad of other factors all play into how it is negotiated. The only thing that comes close to the full court press at a dealership is being trapped with a time share salesman.

Then, of course, is next up on my hit list and that is advertising. Anything over 200HP is shown in circumstances that are almost impossible with maneuvers that even an experienced NASCAR driver could not do. With trucks it seems every deep voiced actor has been captured to do those commercials. If you are a baritone voice over you have a job for life.

So I finally sprung for a truck. My current battle star had some wheel bearing work, muffle system in need and a bounty of minor ailments that would need to be addressed to the tune of about $2,000 so my ten year old got me a few bucks towards the truck (very few) and will end up in the auto auction. I lost money on that end of the sale but could care less since the aggravation of a private sale was just not worth it.

The truck I wanted was not available at a local dealer so they located one that another dealer would trade off on. Had just the base model and that is a real stripped down one. I have no need for bells and whistles and will probably use the bed so little it is really foolish getting a truck but I never had one. I would have held my breath until the Lovely Cynthia gave her permission.

Then comes one of my real pet peeves and that is the sales tax. You think the wonder boys and girls would have a one week or so open season where they would exclude the first $10,000 on a sale. That is a dream for sure.


Hal Brown said...

Were you stone cold sober or drunk when you wrote this? I mean, the only controversy you could expound on was Keystone XL. I actually agree with you on that.

Then you go on about the automobile business and your new truck but never tell us what you ended up with.

How about some Christmas snark?

Nothing about the town wanting another $30,000 to finish the Town Hall cupola?

No thoughts about the current plans for the rotary, which try as I might, I can't picture with a diagram, sorely lacking in the Gazette.

Speaking of the Gazette, why not weigh in on how our local weekly covered the salient Middleboro news of 2011.

I'm hoping for a memorable end of the year blog from you. I want you to expose and expound on the most notorious Middleboro and national confirmed liars of the year. Isn't it time for you to crown a new queen or king of Middleboro liars?

How about finding out what's going on with "The Green School" and the planned library parking lot at the site of the old Robin's Nest.

I'd like to offer a shout-out to the Middleboro police and area B&E and drug task forces for their work this year. After a rash of Middleboro daytime housebreaks, police arrested several groups of thieving dirtbags. We also had numerous drug busts. Yes, Virginia, there are lots of druggies in Middleboro, and most of them only want a baggie of Percs (Roxi's, 512's, Pauls, Blue Dynamites, Hillbilly heroin) for Christmas.

The new law banning cell phone us if you're under 18, weak as it is, is report to be a dismal failure. Despite all the warnings about distracted driving I still see lots of teenagers and more adults using their cell phones while driving. Instead issuing a warning or ticket, I suggest we pass a town ordinance allowing police to confiscate the phones and donate them to the needy elderly.

Oh geeze, I need another cup of coffee. And to save anyone so inclined to ask whether I have nothing better to do on Christmas morning, the answer is no.

bogofree said...
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bogofree said...

Is Christmas snark like eggnog?

I finally got a stripped down Silverado extended cab with two wheel drive. Had $6,000 in rebates.

The Town Hall Cupola is old news. And is anyone surprised that any public project costs more than originally planned? Just be thankfully Halliburton isn't involved or it would be another zero added on.

There was a piece in the paper about commentary regarding the rotary that dates back to the 1940s. When they say fly by or fly over my assumption is they are planning on Jetson type cars. By the time this rotary gets done we'll be teleporting.

I'm sure Jane is banging out her usual two part year in review for the Gazette. I just hope it is present with that magnificent Yankee Clipper section.

New king and queen? I could just run my finger over the lawyer section of the phone book? Maybe Jessie now has emeritus status?

The task force has managed to just drive the price up on the street. Look for even more pilfering until our antiquated drug "laws" are examined and the government really does make it a controlled substance by controlling it and removing the plethora of seedy middle men. Folks get hooked and their options diminish to phoney prescriptions, thievery or dealing themselves. The pills are cheap when acquired legitimately when compared to street prices.

The cell phone law is more feel good legislation. I use to have an OnStar but the technology changed. This is now a connected generation brought up on YouTube and Facebook. Perish the thought of missing the latest tidbit posted anywhere. The indigent can and do receive communication devices either free or for minimal payment. I can just see donated phones being confiscated for violations and then donated elsewhere and then they violate and then.....

I do think Suo posted a brief update regarding Green School a few months back. From what I understand the project is just about complete. An amazing grassroots community effort. I'm sure CPA money could have done the job if Suo & Co. had delayed but now that dough can go elsewhere.

I have no idea on when that parking lot project will ever be completed. I imagine the library will have to get somewhere in the vicinity of a thousand or so permits from demolition to final paving. Personally I love to see some meters in the area with the proceed given to the library. Quarter for a half hour will not break the bank. Maybe even the new lot?

You know I am always sober, Hal, but it appears that I am "In-the-bag" when I write.

Hal Brown said...
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Hal Brown said...

Reposted because link wouldn't work.

Siverado, isn't that a gay bar in Portland, OR?

Who knew?

Not that it matters.

bogofree said...

Yes it is. I got the special Barney Frank discount and Barney financed it via Freddie and Fannie. Doing that the MSRP was $27,295 and the cost to taxpayers was $144,456,987.17.

LMAO said...

Hal is trolling the internet for Gay bars? LOL!

Hal Brown said...

Don't knock it if you haven't tried it.

When you're as good looking at our age why discriminate when you want to share, right bogo?

bogofree said...

I went to SF two years ago for the Red Sox series and on the way to the park was the Gay Pride Parade. Best parade I ever saw. Shame they didn't start the game later so we could have watched the whole parade. Plenty of stuff on Youtube.

I should have brought home a special balloon for Hal.

anonymous said...

Nice to see Hal posting again as I have always enjoyed his slant on things.

Family Guy said...

With the Keystone project we keep oil in NA and now if it is not built it gets shipped to China. So much for energy independence. The feel good environmental kooks who rally against this should be totally ignored as it is both a security issue and an economic issue.