Truck Month – Stumped In Oklahoma

0331 Now I am confused, Toyota has a commercial out that says “this is Toyota Truck Month” which is okay, I suppose.  But just the other day, I see one that explains that “February is Ford Truck Month.”  So we either have two auto manufacturers that are clearly outta whack, or it could be that the Japanese are just copying our products again.

Here is something else to add to the mix.  

Each time that Chevy truck commercial comes on where they hook the truck to a tree stump with this massive chain and rip the stump out of the ground.  Well, I just sort of smile to myself.  This is because I remember Earl and Wally, who in their profound wisdom did the very same thing, with a somewhat different twist.

Earl, in an effort to appease his wife, agreed to pull some shrubs on the front of the house.  He called Wally and he came over.  They positioned their trusty 4-wheel drive pickup on the front lawn and hooked cable around some huge bushes in front of the house.  During this preparatory cabling, they consumed several beers in the process. 

After insuring that the bushes were properly wired up, and being as they were more or less, oiled or gassed up to some extent, they decided that a “whole lot of digging around the root system of the bushes” wasn’t all that critical or necessary. Jumping into their trusty steed idling on the lawn, Earl reached down and deftly put the truck in 4-wheel drive (just like on the commercials by gawd) and engaged the throttle for all it was worth.

Vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvroooooom!  Ka-pow, ka-chink, ka-thunk.

The bushes stood their ground, as if they were completely oblivious of what was going on.  Earl’s truck however did not fare so well, they ripped out the transfer case on the 4-wheel drive to the tune of some $6,500.00 Now as you sit there and digest that, make a mental picture of it all, I will try to illustrate to you in words, the time they were both driving in Wally’s car, just below the dam at Lake Hefner.  Coming home from the Red Dog Saloon in Wally’s Chevy two-door sedan. 

Late at night, when all of a sudden out of nowhere, this big buck ran across the road in front of them, and they hit it. Stumbling around in the dark, they locate the animal, in their somewhat inebriated condition decide that it is dead.  This is when Wally gets the great idea that “we can take it home, hang it up in the garage, butcher it and we will have venison” for everybody.

As they drag the animal back to the car there is a lively discussion that ensues on Barbecue etiquette and who not to invite.  Plans are made, agenda’s set, it is on … This Saturday Night!

They open the door of the car and after a little time, they finally get the animal into the vehicle and into the backseat.  They then get in, and start on down the road to Wally’s house to butcher and field dress the animal.  They open their last beer, and as with all good buddies, they split it and one more dead soldier is laid to rest.  

 This is where the master plan starts to unravel, you see, the buck is not dead.  

It was merely unconscious from the blow it received from the automobile.  It awakens and comes to life, in the backseat of the Chevy 2-door and it is definitely not a happy camper. At this time, Earl and Wally, figuring discretion is the better part of valor, exit the car and for the next ten to fifteen minutes, watch as the deer (and his rack of antlers) manages to destroy the interior of Wally’s car.  It rips up the seats, the headliner, just about anything it comes in contact with, until finally it extracts itself from the automobile.  One trashed car, no barbecue and no deer jerky.

Well, there is the bottom of the page rolling up, I see it is time for me to close.  

Next time I will share with you how this dynamic duo, this terrible two-some, decided to go coyote hunting and sat under a tree with this digital tape of a rabbit in a snare (the bait call).  Both of them sitting there, in the dark, playing this tape over and over, sippin on their brew.  Everything was going just swell … Until this huge owl swooped in to their location out of the dark, homing in on the sound, and put his talons into Wally’s head and they had to take him to the Emergency Room for stitches.

Not really sure if any of this happened during Truck Month, will have to check on that, and get back to you.

OOO

The Day After

Day after Christmas, time to reflect on what was what.  Exciting place for us, all the grandkids under foot and the family unit (such as it is) back in place for a short span of time.  With each year, the meaning of, and the feeling of the holidays change somewhat.  As one year comes to a close, a new year begins, and often, you cannot help but to be a little bit sad.

Sitting in my easy chair, I watch the parade of my life from the curb and clap as it rolls by.  I watch the Ford commercials on television and smile to myself.  Mike Rowe has a better idea.   These new Ford commercials they are running with the Dirty Jobs guy kind of crack me up.  Dirty Jobs on the Discover Channel profiles the unsung American laborers who make their living in the most unthinkable — yet vital — ways.  Our brave host and apprentice Mike Rowe (currently looking for dead fossils in Utah when he is not pimping off half-tons on TV at the Mall) leads us through this process.  On any given day, you will find Mike on the Ford Commercials on just about every television channel you might find.

Doing his level best to pointing out sublime cool neat accoutrements such as cigarette ashtrays and Big Gulper cup holders.

I often get a kick out of these commercials, glued, no riveted to the screen, I watch as Mike goes to the mall and talks about the new Ford automobiles and trucks (Funny but I never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine going to the mall to find a good deal on a truck … what was I thinking?).  With grace and seemingly no work at all, he hawks their apparent advantages to the cost-conscious car buying public.  Tonight he was pushing a Ford pickup on this unsuspecting American pickup buyer and after the spleel, the guy looks at Mike and says …. “Wow!  Where do I get one of these?”

Yes, I know.  Incredible.

(Uh try Big Lots Bucko, they might have one or two models on sale that were left over from Christmas)

Noticing the lights are coming on for the holidays, but it is still daylight, I guess I will have to reset the timer.  After the 21st of the month (first day of winter) the days naturally start to get even longer, such is the case here now.  It cannot be all that far off now, where American Idol will once again be a staple of our viewing fare and our days are spent in the shop sharpening the lawnmower blades in anticipation of spring.

My mind can now reflect on the Christmas that was and work on my new list for next year or other important things.

But there is good news, having stopped the ridiculous snow machine on my webpage and the days being longer, leaves me more time to find and point out the ludicrous things that happen on a daily basis, this process we call … Life.  Things like spending $400 on a battery powered dump truck, extra batteries, a battery charger, wrapping it all up and presenting it to a four year old.

Only to watch him spend the rest of the entire day playing with the box that it came in.

Stuff like that.

2011 has been an eclectic mix of this and that, and like most everyone else, I am not sad to see it leave.  I am in fact, looking ahead with great anticipation to 2012 which is incidentally the last year on the Mayan Calendar.  I am hearing a lot of grousing about “it being finally over” so I feel that I am not alone in my outlook for a New Year.  A fresh beginning, I have always been a sucker for something new.

That is today’s post … a dirty job … but someone has to do it.

yuk-yuk … (Okie Humor)

OOO

Big Sky

13 on the floor!  The other one out the door … Hammer down, Hammer down! 

This time of the year is terribly hard on a guy, especially a guy who has the wanderlust gene like myself.  I want to get out and roam, although I know that this is no longer a reality, it is not possible in this day and age.  So I fritter the days away sitting on the porch and I find other ways to amuse myself, like wondering, “What is the longest English word you can type with only the left hand?”

(Stewardesses)

Important issues like that.

Spring time.  Back in the day I would find myself lying on a blanket with some sweet thing and we would be whispering into each other ears, sonnets and secret phrases, but alas, they are gone too.  Now I wonder if the old air conditioner will make it thru another season?  How much water I am going to have to put on the lawn this year, to green it up and keep it that way.  Why women find it impossible to sleep in a bed that has a fan blowing across it.

I secretly pine for Montana, it is never far away in my thoughts, often just around the corner.  The pale blue sky opening up over Bozeman seems to stretch forever.  The air is fresh and clean at the top of Bear Tooth Pass outside Red Lodge and the roads empty before, now most likely are bare altogether.  A long BNSF freight racing across the land at breakneck speed to Chicago, clear water streams and long hot summer days.

In the summer, you can drive across southern Montana and the haystack dotted farmland seems to roll on and on forever.  You drive by the small outfits, and they haul out to the front fence, what they have to sell.  Worn out, beaten up pickups, a combine here and there, well used tractor an old motorhome, whatever.

I have driven on two lanes so striking, so majestic and mesmerizing, hauntingly familiar, that you swore they were objects of art.  Rolling green sea’s of prairie grass, visions of Native Americans, stampeding horses, bison and of course, cowboys taming an unruly bronco fill my mind.

You would not expect anything less of someone who’s favorite western is “Dancin’ With Wolves.”

Eye candy for the soul is how I always seem to refer to it.  A place in time, that lingers in your mind and often helps you thru your day.  Distant roads are calling me.  Through scenery so spectacular that much like a fine oil or a colorful print hanging on the wall it takes your breath away.  The mood and the feel of the land permeate your soul in big sky country, the home of Louis and Clark, the chisled Grizzly.

I yearn to roam.

The old time towns and the architecture mixed with the new style trendy restaurants and galleries of the new west.  Pickup’s with gun racks,  Small detailed dream catchers hanging from the rear-view mirror, a blue healer dog in the back, one stop light at the end of the block.

And always, a canvas of baby blue (sky) right above you.

Man, I hate living in the city.

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CHROME  Catch you on the flip-flop

My Old Hoopie

Fly By Nite

Fly By Nite

2008 Auto Sales Drop By 3 million

USA Today 01-06-09

Recently I read a blog-page where the writer was talking about how she had only eight more payments on her truck and that the payments were “$800” per month.  I saw a guy sign the papers on a new Chevy Suburban last summer and it was “$1140” per month.

As I understand it, the “average” car payment in America is now something like $620 per month and the months far exceed 72.  Either one of those, compounded by high insurance rates, would be a real killer for me to make.  Incredible money to be made in the automotive sector eh?

There are also huge sums of money to be made in the repair of their products.  Actually, I believe they jack the price around on the repairs as some kind of twisted incentive to get the consumer to purchase a new car from them.  They have gotten so disgustingly high, downright outrageous on repair costs, that a guy would just about say, “Ah screw it.  I will take the money and buy me a new one, before I pay that!”  It could be designed to do this very thing, I know it sure irks me and I as a consumer, believe it is out of line.

They are certainly off the charts and outrageous when it comes to repair work and parts.  It could be greed. It could be because their cars have become so reliable, that they have to get more for repairs now because they see them so seldom. They are after all “supposed to be” more dependable now.

Not like the old days when it was rare to see the 50,000 mile mark.

My old hoopie is almost a teenager, she is 12 years old and she has cost me a quite a lot of money over the years, just to keep the ——– running and in good working order.  My current mileage on the truck is now standing at 160,000+ and I have made up my mind that I am going to drive it until it actually falls apart and dies …. Then I am going to take it to the Vet. and have it put too sleep.

Over the years, this truck has cost me some bucks.  I used to joke and say “if you start it up and let it go, it will drive itself to the dealer for its own repairs.” It hasn’t been a whole lot of fun at times, and has put me in the foot patrol more than once.

That is what GM stands for, “Get A Mechanic”

or GMC = “Got A Mechanic Coming.”

A week ago, my old pig-iron-pony threw another shoe and went down on me.  I recently had to put it in the shop again and it was $1,263.00 to bail it out.  Which on average is what I have spent per year to keep it in great shape and reliable, about $1200 per year.  Now think about it, do the math, $1200X12= $14,400 over the life of the truck, which doesn’t even count purchase price.  So you can see why I am less than enchanted about all this.

This time it was a power assist boost assembly (power anti-lock brakes), replace the fuel pump (you had to crawl underneath it and beat on the fuel tank with a hammer to get it to start) an oxygen sensor (which was #5 on a truck that only has four) at $107 each.

Now here is where the fun begins:

Dealer cost for one fuel pump and installation, $1,060.00, for the power boost assembly, $748 part, and almost $500 to install, (less than a 45 minute job start to finish).  After taxes and parts, labor and anything else they could throw in over $2,500.00.  Which did not make my day … in any, way, shape, manner.

After driving around and doing three estimates.  I took it to an independent shop, ASE certified Technicians, Diagnostic Scope work and they did all of the above, plus they checked all fluid levels, installed a new oxygen sensor, fuel strainer, oil/lubed, and the whole nine yards for the above mentioned $1263.00. The independent shop performed the extra work for a total of $152 and some change, this was not even mentioned on the dealer estimate.

Now look at the parts:

  • Power brake booster $170.33  — Dealer:  $748.00
  • Fuel Pump:  $160.95 — Dealer:  $568.00
  • Labor on booster:  $218.40 — Dealer:  $500.00
  • Labor on Fuel Pump:  $405.60 — Dealer:  $500.00 again.

In a nut shell here is the cost of everything:  Lube, oil, filters (3), differential lubricate, transmission fluid level inspection, all fluid levels checked, frame inspection, air filter and breather inspected, tire pressures, and basic inspection of the truck for “almost HALF the dealer estimate of $2500 and some change.”

When I looked at the Dealer rep and said, “Man, are you sure?  You people are pricing yourself right out of a job.  I can get this done elsewhere for a lot less money.”

He just looked at me and said, “See you later.”

Which is basically the way I feel when they come to Washington and beg for tax payer money.

See you later boys.

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