Dublin Saab

Cars, politics, sports and what not from my view. (Closed Sundays and Holidays)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Ha Ha!

Chevrolet's Silverado, the official truck of Toyota's Truck Racing Team.

An American Revolution indeed.

Their commercials might look cool doing the balance swinging ramp trick but when it comes to pulling a load Toyota buys a Chevy to get the work done. Classic.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

He was just too darn busy.

In an AP article that sounds more like something from The Onion one of the top officials of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge stated that he was simply unaware of any genocide taking place.

Unlike some other war-crimes suspects from the Khmer Rouge and other regimes who said they were simply following orders, Nuon Chea told the tribunal that his position, the top aide to late leader Pol Pot, insulated him from the killings across Cambodia from 1975-1979.

"We did not have any direct contact with the bases and we were not aware of what was happening there," the 81-year-old former Khmer Rouge ideologue told two investigating judges after his arrest Wednesday, according to the detention order, which lays out the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and the defendant's response.

If only the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials had thought up this excuse.

"Whoa! What was that? They were doing what?! Oh man, I like totally zoned out on that one.", said Nuon Chea upon being informed that his buddy and boss Pol Pot had slaughtered 1.7 million of his fellow citizens.

Friday, September 21, 2007

BOTD: Wagner Valley IPA

Sweet lord has it be a while for the much beloved (for me at least since I get to drink them) Beer Of The Day. In fact it's been over two years! As if I haven't had any beer in the past 24 months, ha! I even had to go back to the last BOTD (8/17/2005) to see what the format was. Anyhow...

Well today we have Wagner Valley's attempt at an American IPA, the Yankee version having more hops and kick than their current English namesakes. Also, according to their web page all their beers are made in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot.

One good brew to awaken the BOTD back from the dead.

The beer pours a bit thick with no scent during the pour. The nose is soft and malty with only a little hint of flower. The beer crashes across your mouth with a strong sharpness, almost biting. The body of the beer is medium to high maltiness with bread like yeast undertones. The beer finishes with a strongly bitter and hopped taste that lingers on like some old rusty Buick. The shocking part is the hoppiness is hidden until the very end and boy did they hide a lot of hops.

Brewery:Wagner Valley
Year: 1996
Origin: America (Lodi, NY)
Style: IPA
Content: 6.2%
Rating: Hoppy performer.
Recommendation: This is not a beer for IPA beginners but has the ability to kept Malt and Hop heads happy stranded on a desert island.

Bathroom gutted

Well our much anticipated bathroom remodel has begun. The bath has now been gutted. (NOTE: the exterior walls are not gutted because they are solid block)

Plaster and lath taken off ceiling.
What's that darkness around the poo hole?
Now: Shop Vac Next: Vanity

Monday, September 17, 2007

Spotted: Ice truck on US 17 in North Carolina

I am not sure what to add to this picture. It was an old F150, laden with a bed full of ice cubes. "WTF" is the only thing that comes to mind in this situation. The really odd part was that I followed him for about 40 miles, melting out dribbles the entire way. I guess you have to drive far in NC if you want to get good ice.

uh... what?

Mark Hemingway, a staff reporter for National Review Online, visited the big anti-war rally in D.C. on this past Saturday. While most of America was getting together for college football's week 3 a few thousand folks went and had a "die-in" to send the single to Capitol Hill that the US is bad and wars that involve the US need to be stopped no matter what, which is pretty much the same single they've been sending since about, oh, 1967.

Anyway, Mark took some photos that can be seen here and here and there is one in particular that stopped me cold.

How, exactly does one sacrifice liberty for freedom? Now Mark takes the time to point out that the quote should be, "Those who would
sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." But I think Mark may be jumping to conclusions that the holder of the sign was in error in substituting the word freedom for security. I think it's quite possible the sign holder meant what he wrote and I for one agree with the sign.

Think about it for a second. If you are willing to trade liberty for freedom you are obviously lacking the needed mental acumen to be allowed open access to society at large and do in fact deserve neither.

If MoveOn had been arround 65 years ago.

Click to enlarge the image. HatTip to RedState.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Things could have gone much, much worse.

In what is becoming a rather disheartening habit Mila, for the second time in a row, had a break down on the way back home from visiting Jeremy in Wilmington. These two occurrences have both happened after Jeremy formalized his relationship with Rachel, who has the worst car luck of any person I have ever met. The women is a walking black hole of CARma, with an emphasis on walking. Now I’m not saying it’s Rachel’s fault per se. I’m just saying.

The last time Rachel’s gremlins waited until I was on the NJ turnpike before popping a hole in a coolant line, leaving me stranded in one of the worst areas of the US over a hole that would later cost me $1.25 to repair. This time they struck while still in NC and with potentially deadly consequences.

I was north bound on I-40, rolling along at about 70 mph and making good time when there was a slight “pomp” sound and Mila suddenly wanted to cross the median in a very emphatic way. I usually roll with a finger or two lightly keeping the car on track, especially in a pancake like the plains of NC but by lucky happenstance I did, at the moment of the “pomp” have a good grip of the wheel. God only knows what would have happened had I not and even with a good grip I still ran halfway into the passing lane before reigning her in.

I pull over onto a wide burm and run off into the nearby woods to change into my “car clothes”. After removing the front passenger wheel I found that the sway bar had popped out of its mounting bushing. WTF? Well, I knew I could pop it back in so I got the tools out and started to crank under the rising NC sun. Fortunately I didn’t have to get too sweaty because I quickly spotted the reason the sway bar had popped out. I had a severely broken lower A-arm, it had snapped clean in two.

The offending A-arm.

Resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going anywhere I put the wheel back on and called my new Allstate Roadside Assistance number, having chosen them over AAA after moving to NY. I was on hold waiting for someone to pickup for almost 30 bloody minutes. The message said they were experiencing “unusually” heavy call volume. Again, WTF? At 10am on a non-holiday Monday? What could be so unusual?

Having made a mental note to switch back to AAA I reviewed my options. A) Wait and see if someone, preferably a state trooper, to pull over. B) Wait on hold for Allstate while my phone battery drains away. C) Walk four miles to the next exit. D) Limp Mila down to the next exit. D wins.

When I got off the exit I was confronted with a wasteland. There was nothing there. There wasn’t even an old closed down gas station. Just tobacco fields as far as the eye could see. Which way to go? Mila made the choice simple, with the failed lower A-arm she could only turn right.

Now is when I began to laugh, but not the warm welcoming laugh of a humorous joke, rather the cold maniacal laugh a man makes on his walk to the gallows. I was traveling a hidden back road in the tobacco fields of BFE central NC, limping along at 5 mph in an esoteric old Swedish car that had a major part failure and while I had no idea where I was going to end up, I did know it was to the right.

I passed a few ramshackle old homes that looked like no help. I then came across a steel pole barn that was set back 60-70 yards from the road that I would have passed had it not been for a tiny sign at their driveway entrance that said, “Car Quest Auto Parts: Tune Ups, etc.”. So I pulled in the drive to check them out.

There were 3 guys working there. An old black man who never said a word and two middle aged rednecks that between them, might have had a full set of teeth. No one of them seemed at all bothered or interested in my having pulled up and walking into the work area of their shop where 5 difference farm tractors sat in differing states of disassembly. But it wasn’t a rude cold indifference to my existence but more like they figured if I was there I must have had a good reason and the last thing they wanted to do was get in my way. More deference than indifference.

I was first greeted at the shop by two fat old Labs, which I'm sure are required of back woods repair shops under law.

I tracked down the nearest guy, one of the “some’r” toothed white guys, and began to explain my situation. He then pointed me to the office and Bruce. Bruce it turns out owns the shop and seemed quite clean cut with a full set of chompers. I explained to Bruce what was up and suggested a call to a junk yard to inquire about getting a replacement part. He seemed willing and directed the grandmotherly lady working the computer (this fills out the complement of 5 employees) to call all the junkyards in the entire county… both of them. Not surprising both calls when something like, “what kind of car?” followed by laughter.

My options now consisted of A) Spend all the money having Mila transported to NY while I get home in a rental. B) Abandon Mila in NC and get a rental home. C) Spend the night a get a new A-arm overnighted. None of these were good options as I hadn’t won the lottery and had to be at work the next morning.

Bruce broke the silence and offered up the fact that even if I had the part I’d still need to get the car to a front-end shop as they need to press things on, do alignments and what not. I then informed him that was not correct. That the lower A-arm on an old Saab 900 was a bolt on part. Bruce gave me a look that said succinctly, “you’re nuts and I’m too polite to tell you so”. He instead offered to put Mila up on “the” lift and take a look at “what’s going on”.

You know you are in the south when the repair lift is outside!

Getting Mila over to the lift required more trips into reverse than a bulimic at a smorgasbord as it involved a left turn but I get her there, eventually, and Bruce was able to look for himself. He counted the 6 bolts – 3 times – and was genuinely surprised that the A-arm did just bolt on and off. He then took a look at the damage and said “well heck”. This is when things began to turn in my favor.

Bruce suggested taking the A-arm off and that he could take it, “into town” – what town I have no idea – and get it welded up. That sounded like a fine idea to me. I assisted Bill, one of the white guys, in removing Mila’s A-arm. He was most affable with the help as he had never seen a C900 before, let alone worked on one and I was not afraid to get dirty. With the A-arm off and in the back of the truck Bruce was off to town to get it welded up and lunch.

During this down time I was given a good ribbing over being from “New York!?”. It’s like something Hollywood comes up with but never really happens. The sophisticated urbanite lost deep in the southern back woods with a automotive break down. However I ruined their dreams by pointing out that I was from Ohio farm country and did not live in NYC. They easily accepted this as I was not put off by their rough nature and could cuss just as well.

I spotted this beauty behind the shop and thought I can't be that far from civilization. Too bad it's a kit car on a Mustang frame.

When Bruce got back it was lunch time, I had a chopped steak with sautéed sweat onions, whole kernel corn and roasted sweet potatoes. After lunch Bill and I got back to work putting the A-arm back on. The A-arm was solidly welded but not quite correctly with there being about ½ an inch of play in the slot the ball joint went into when it should have been a very, very sung fit. We got it on, tightened everything down and cleaned up the work area.

While Bill lowed the lift down I went to Bruce to find out the damages. Bruce asked me if $100 was fair.

$100? I had his lift and a 1/3rd of his work force for half of the day and he fed me lunch and wanted $100. I wish I had been the rich city slicker, I’d have paid him more.

As for the rest of the drive home, it was enjoyable uneventful.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Spotted: 1987 Nissan Maxima Wagon

I don't remember having ever seen one of these before. I wish I could of gotten of picture of the front of this rare ride as it's one car that screams the '80s. This baby was spotted on NY 9 south, near Pleasantville and is in great condition. I bet it's got something like 34k miles on the odometer.