A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fuel Mileage Test

Since picking Berniece's 2010 Honda Civic EX automatic coupe up from her in Sacramento last year and driving it back to LA via US 50, I've driven it a bit, but have never really been impressed with the economy of the little car. I seem to recall that her 2004 Civic 5spd coupe could pull 45 mpg all day long but this little car seemed to only want to be in the mid 30's.

I've driven it to work for the last week to make sure that everything is working and nothing has failed over the year of storage. beyond cleaning a spot of corrosion off the brake light switch, everything appears to be perfect.

I decided to do an apples to apples comparison to my Strat, so I topped up the tank and drove as closely as possible to how I normally drive the Strat.

Just gassed up the car. 577.5 miles on 13.261 gallons of gas for a whopping 43.55 MPG. I did not hypermile the car at all, the only thing I did is not use the A/C and not drive over 65 mph. If it was a manual, I could've easily gotten another 3-5mpg out of it by coasting.

Would someone tell me why anyone would want the extra expense and complexity of a damned hybrid?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tour of the Richard Childress Racing Musem

Since I took about 170 pictures while I was there, I'm not going to post them all. I did, however, upload them into their own folder at Photobucket.

Here is the link:


And a preview:


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Corrosion. It's a gas.

So I procrastinated fortuitously in collecting my trash cans this week and when i finally did stumble up the drive to retrieve them, I found that when my neighbor had mowed her lawn, she had bumped my gas line and the rust that was holding the gas in finally let go. I shut off the gas and started digging.


Here is the problem and the neat compression coupling that connects the galvanized pipe to the plastic pipe in the ground:

And all tied back together after a couple hours and $30 in parts:

That should last much longer than the original as I insulated the pipe and coupling from the worst of the dirt. Since the original lasted about 26 years, I shouldn't have to worry about this for awhile. The mirror connection from the ground to the house on the other hand....

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Travelling Surprise

I've been in Charlotte for work this week. The job went well, but this
airport has the dubious distinction of having provided for me the worst
rental car in my travelling career. The dreaded "Chevy" Aveo. A more
hideous POS has rarely been conceived.

My hopes were not high coming in.

I got a text as I arrived that a Nissan Sentra was awaiting me in stall 93.
At least it wasn't a Cheveo.

Oddly, this 28800 mile specimen turned out to be pretty decent. It smelled
like bad cheese. The front disks were warped and something in the right
rear clacked pretty badly under breaking, but this was the first Nissan
with a CVT that was light enough to feel like it could get out of its own
way. Very roomy for its size and averaged 35.9 mpg for my three quarters of
a tank. It actually handled pretty well, too. Certainly more nimble than
the brand new Mazda 6 I had last week.

Not that I'd ever buy one, but I could certainly recommend one as basic