Home / General / In his defense, I don’t think he understood it was an insult

In his defense, I don’t think he understood it was an insult

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SEK takes his car to TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN in order to make sure it won’t explode and kill him when he makes a road trip next week.

TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: You just put a new battery in it?

SEK: That I did.

TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: Means your electrical is reset, our computer can’t do a lot of the tests.

SEK: So long as its fluids are replenished and it doesn’t have murder in its heart, I’m fine.

TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: So when do you need it by?

SEK: I have a meeting at 2 p.m.

TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: I don’t think I can have it done by 1:30.

SEK: No a problem, I work online. Just need to be back home and I live around the corner.

TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: What do you do?

SEK: I write online.

TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: People do that?

SEK: As long as they pay me to.

TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: I thought that was computers did that.

SEK: ?

TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: They don’t have that shit programmed out yet? Our computer tells us what happened with a car, figure it was the same with what the President said and shit.

SEK: I don’t think they have a computer that can do that.

TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: Couldn’t be worse than what they’ve got.

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  • tonycpsu

    “They have the Internet on computers now?”

    Quite honestly, I’d be shocked if someone hasn’t developed an algorithm that can parse transcripts of Obama speeches and generate the leftosphere / wankosphere analysis of them.

    • SEK

      Point taken, but Skynet hasn’t Interface’d the Presidency yet, I don’t think.

      • Orphos

        that’s what they want you to think

    • NonyNony

      Computer people tend to want to focus on Artificial Intelligence.

      There really isn’t a market yet for Artifical Stupidity.

      (Though Artifical Stupidity is good for making rhetorical points. And also humor.)

      • BigHank53

        Natural stupidity appears to be an unlimited resource.

        • Aimai

          I assume that Artificial Stupidity can’t compete with the real thing–it costs more to produce artificially than to just harvest what is out there. When our national stupidity reserves get really low, and we are doing the equivalent of frakking to produce Republican candidates, then I think synthetic stupidity will really take off as a product and be competitive in the market without subsidies.

          • When our national stupidity reserves get really low, and we are doing the equivalent of frakking to produce Republican candidates

            I shudder to imagine what that equivalent would be, if the Tea Party isn’t it.

          • Origami Isopod, Commisar [sic] of Ideology for the Bolsheviks

            JenBob alone could power entire cities.

    • R. Johnston

      I’d be shocked if the algorithm to parse transcripts of Obama speeches and generate the right-o-sphere analysis took more than one line of code. It wouldn’t need any input, after all, and the output is the same in every case.

      • Pat

        And it’s probably what the trustworthy local auto guy listens too! Kudos for him for realizing that it’s largely algorithmic instead of analytic.

      • shabadoo

        10. PRINT “SKREE”
        20. GOTO 10

        • BruceJ

          Two lines.

          one line:

          while(‘Obama’ eq $President){print “SKREEE”;}

        • Let’s see what WP thinks of this:


          let wingsphere_response = function
          | "Obama" | "Obummer" | "Oblamo" -> "SKREEE"
          | "Pelosi" -> "SKREEEEEEE"
          | "George W. Bush" -> "who's that?"
          | x -> "Clearly " ^ x ^ " is part of the new OBAMANATION!!! SKREE"

  • Vercingetorix

    This is why nobody bought your anti-Soderbergh screed. These don’t read as real.

    • SEK

      This is why nobody takes you seriously — I didn’t write an anti-Soderbergh screed, I praised him. You don’t read as intelligent.

      EDITED TO ADD: I’m also totally lying about having a meeting to attend today at 2 p.m. CST, as everyone else whose name is up there in the masthead can attest. Unless they’re all lying about it too! The game is afoot — too bad you’re too thick to understand it.

      • Uncle Ebeneezer

        Sure, rub our noses in your fancy, ivory-tower edit buttons, whydon’tcha..hmph

        • SEK

          If it’s any consolation, one of the items on the agenda of today’s meeting is, in fact, the possibility of a new commenting system.

          • Pat

            It’s pretty damn clear that bloggers don’t attend meetings.

          • Tyto

            That does it. I call troll…

          • Murc

            If it’s any consolation, one of the items on the agenda of today’s meeting is, in fact, the possibility of a new commenting system.

            I would like to say that I am totally okay with not having the ability to edit as long as it means we don’t ever, ever ever ever, have to deal with Disqus.

            Also, please make sure we always have nested sub-threads. There are often unrelated conversations happening in each comment thread and on sites that don’t nest it is a pain to tease them all out. In fact, I love that each subthread is in its own seperate box. Nobody else does that and it is amazing.

            • Jordan

              Vox media sites have a really cool approach to threading (you can collapse threads for yourself at any point by clicking on a comment’s subject; clicking on another button on any given automatically scrolls up to the parent comment etc)

              But in general, yeah, no disqus and keep the nesting :)

            • Barry Freed

              I take it by the edit above that there is no such meeting and thus there is no new commenting system being contemplated by the LGM Overlords. Nevertheless, I find the prospect alarming enough to weigh in and endorse Murc’s comment. I hate Disqus and have left sites that implemented it. I love Roy Edroso and Alicublog but the reason I haven’t commented there since Haloscan days is Disqus.

            • SEK

              I would like to say that I am totally okay with not having the ability to edit as long as it means we don’t ever, ever ever ever, have to deal with Disqus.

              With said meeting now adjourned, I’ll be sure to pass this along to the other participants. I’m on the anti-Disqus side, and there’s no real proponent for it, but it did come up as a possibility.

              • efgoldman

                With said meeting now adjourned

                C’mon. There’s no way you lot could have had enough to drink between 2:00 and 3:45.

            • JustRuss

              +1 for nested sub-threads. I can live without an edit button, in fact the lack thereof has made for some pretty funny typos in this site.

            • Lee Rudolph

              The mobile form of this site, alas, doesn’t do the nested boxes; and although it numbers the posts consecutively, which would (I guess) allow responders to refer by number to the posts to which they are responding, only mobile-device-using responders would be able to do so, since the numbers don’t appear to appear to non-mobile devices.

              • Jordan

                You can view this site nested on mobile, if you want.

                • Lee Rudolph

                  How? I was forced by a young(er) relative to get a phone which, if not smarter, is at least more cunning than I am; and my feeble attempts to nest have so far been failures, but they have at least had the virtue of distracting me in waiting rooms on various occasions.

                • Jordan

                  You know, I’m honestly not sure. Someone mentioned how to do it here a few months ago, and I did it (it was really easy, like clicking one button or option or whatever). Hopefully they or someone else will show up (until then, I’ll keep dinking around on my phone and try and figure it out).

                • Yeah, way down at the very bottom of the page is the option to “switch to our desktop site.”

                • Jordan

                  That sounds like it. Thanks Jeremy.

                • On some mobile browsers (e.g. Chrome on Android) you can use the “Request desktop site” menu in the browser to “pretend” to be a desktop browser for that session. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, that’s when the “switch to desktop site” thing is needed. I’d prefer if clicking that “switch” link set a cookie to remember that setting, but sadly, no.

      • elm

        Plus, I don’t think anyone doubted what you said about Sodebergh were true, just that it didn’t make him seem as assholish as you seemed to think it did.

        • SEK

          As I noted in that thread, that’s fair enough. I still disagree, but it’s a valid criticism.

        • malindrome

          If we’re doing suggestions, I humbly request more detailed stories of celebrities behaving badly. And INFOCOM parodies.

          • SEK

            The latter can be done, but I only have so many celebrity stories, unless you want me to start making them up, and they’d be way more believable if I did that when I was in CA instead of LA.

            But I can try!

            (I do actually have a meeting next week with some of the people responsible for True Detective thanks to my AV Club connection, so maybe I can convince them to get to McConaughey to do a few drum solos for me?)

            • Jordan

              Cool! I’m friends with Pizzolatto’s brother, so I have to think that Nic is cool as well. Plus that Louisiana thing :)

    • SEK

      And just because I’m twiddling my thumbs waiting for the LGM meeting to start, I’ll add this:

      I’m always amused that people say, “The conversations you have don’t sound believable, you always say the same type of stuff in them.”

      Because, you see, always behaving the same way isn’t believable, but if I behaved radically differently every time I engaged in a social interaction, that’d pass all muster. I don’t think so.

      I assume people like Vercingetorix just don’t take the time to talk to normal people as if they were human beings, so they’re unaware of the vast diversity of potential responses one human can have to something another says. Which, of course, says a lot more about him or her — who am I kidding, he’s clearly a him — than it does me.

      • Brian

        To be honest, I am more interested in your motivation to manufacture a conversation with an automobile mechanic.

        Was it to show his analysis of our current political punditry, and by so doing show us that your liberal elitism is capable of appreciating the simple down to earth folk?

        Was it to show his understated yet biting wit in implying that online writers are just spewing algorithmic responses?

        Was it to mock this man’s ignorance of how the real world works?

        Or my favorite, you are fishing for trolls.

        • SEK

          To be honest, I am more interested in your motivation to manufacture a conversation with an automobile mechanic.

          To show that I’m One With The Little People, so I can use this as evidence of my Oneness With Them when I eventually run for office.

          It’s not like there’s anything online that would make me a less-than-suitable candidate, after all.

        • That kid in the corner

          SEK is obviously muscling in on Loomis’s full-employment-through-Luddism shtick. I look forward to SEK’s 2025 posts about the weird things his self-driving car says when he asks it to take him to the bookstore.

          (Just teasing the Loomis, if it wasn’t obv.)

          • efgoldman

            SEK’s 2025 posts about the weird things his self-driving car says when he asks it to take him to the bookstore.

            You mean, when it says “Bookstore? What is a bookstore? It does not compute. Error… error… error….”

        • Snarki, child of Loki

          Or my favorite, you are fishing for trolls.

          Better to troll for fish, I think.

          • wjts

            Whenever it was time to name the new R.E.M. album, Peter Buck (I think) would always push for “Trolling for Olives”. Michael Stipe’s proposed title for Out of Time was “Cat Butt”.

      • Trollhattan

        Have a friend who like you, apparently, is both a freak magnet and has the ability to recall and transcribe conversations in detail. He’s one of my best friends in good measure because of the stories, the amazing, amazing stories.

        How do you know you’re a freak magnet? If two are walking down the sidewalk on a hundred-degree day and encounter a man wearing a fur coat and Speedos walking the other direction, the one said man insists on stopping and talking to is the freak magnet.

      • Another Holocene Human

        Shit, for a moment I thought you were talking about a Celtic warrior king who defied the Roman imperium.

      • Vercingetorix

        I totally believe that a auto mechanic would think computers write all the online stuff. Because he’s a working man, he wouldn’t know.

        • SEK

          Because that’s what we like to do here at LGM, laugh at the working man. It’s #2 on the list, right after “Cheney/Romney 2016!”

  • in order to make sure it won’t explode and kill him

    But then you sue!

  • Anonymous

    It’s an interesting point though. Sure some of the diagnostics wouldn’t have been logged, but 15 years ago I bet the trusty local auto man would have manually done many of those tests. Now not only does the computer do it, but when it can’t he’s basically giving up.

    • SEK

      I don’t doubt that he has a lot of diagnostic information at his disposal, but he still has to be trained to read and understand it, as well as be able to act upon the information given. I think it’s less a matter of unintelligence and more a matter of not understanding that other people’s jobs are as complex as your own.

    • daveNYC

      That’s assuming he has the tools to do the tests. The car’s computer can probably output things like fuel and oxygen levels in each cylinder, potentially identifying blocked injectors or other whosits that might have problems. I’m not sure what you’d use to identify such issues without being able to get it directly from the computer.

      Although I’m not sure why swapping out the battery would cause a reset that disables the car’s diagnostics.

      • SEK

        I don’t know either, that’s why I chose a TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN over the alternative.

        • wjts
          • Lee Rudolph

            SEK has only asserted that the auto man is worthy of trust; he has not asserted that he (SEK) in fact trusts him.

            • ajay

              SEK has only asserted that the auto man is worthy of trust; he has not asserted that he (SEK) in fact trusts him

              I don’t think that’s a meaningful distinction. Can you believe someone is trustworthy and not trust them?

      • joel hanes

        Speculating:

        operating condition history data is stored in volatile RAM because it’s much cheaper than non-volatile

        hard power-down (disconnect battery) causes loss of that data

        so the only history data available will start at power-up after the new battery was connected.

        • Trollhattan

          Yeah, it’s an actual thing. We had a car that didn’t pass the biennial smog check earlier this year because the battery had gone flat and needed replacing just prior. Had to drive about a hundred miles and retorn to the shop before the analyzer could pull the proper codes that ensured it was in compliance (in addition to the actual dynamometer cycle test).

          • Trollhattan

            “retorn” sheesh.

            • Bill Murray

              why did you tear it in the first place? Inquiring minds want to know

        • daveNYC

          But why speculate when you can just type the question into Google?

          When you disconnect the battery on any vehicle that has computerized engine controls (which is virtually every car and truck that has been built since 1981), the loss of voltage to the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) causes it to forget is adaptive memory settings in its Keep Alive Memory (KAM) chip. Adaptive memory contains the adjustments the PCM has learned over time for the fuel mixture, transmission shift points and other control functions. The Keep Alive memory also includes all the results for the diagnostic self-tests the PCM runs on itself, its sensors and emission control components, plus any fault codes that may have been set (including history codes and freeze frame data that may be needed for diagnosis).

          Feel free to visit whatever this place is to learn how SEK is risking life and limb by getting a new battery. Seriously, given the list of potential issues, I was almost expecting a warning that swapping batteries would mean your car was no longer governed by the three laws of robotics.

          • Pee Cee

            But why speculate when you can just type the question into Google?

            It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

          • MD Rackham

            When my battery left me stranded in the grocery store parking lot recently, I called AAA who sent out their battery truck. After verifying that the battery was indeed dead, he brought out a battery-on-wheels, connected it up, then replaced my battery.

            No power outage so no engine computer reset and no need to re-program all the audio presets, etc.

            Seems like it should be standard practice now given how important some of the stored info can be these days.

          • NonyNony

            I was almost expecting a warning that swapping batteries would mean your car was no longer governed by the three laws of robotics.

            Hmm. This would explain why my car has been actively trying to kill me recently.

        • bluefoot

          I had this happen – needed the battery replaced but then couldn’t get my registration renewed because there wasn’t sufficient data to pass inspection. Got a ticket when I completely forgot I had to take the car back in after the recommended month’s worth of driving. Grrrr…

          • SEK

            That’s what they told me — I need to drive 150 miles, pointlessly, in order to get more data for them to analyze. So…I’m sure I’ll have another story about this at some point in the near future.

        • efgoldman

          so the only history data available will start at power-up after the new battery was connected.

          Hell, my truck’s thirteen years old. It has diagnostics and electronic control, but not like today’s new car. But I still have to reprogram the saved radio buttons if the battery’s unhooked.

      • Anonymouse

        Swapping battery pulls power from ECU, the its test results are reset. It’ll take a minute to relearn idle on the next startup, and then it will begin the process of completing the self-tests (which are mostly for emissions related equipment).

        To complete all of the tests, the car has to go through a drive cycle determined by the manufacturer, so if the swap was recent the tests all may not have completed. In addition, the learned parameters like short and long term fuel trims will have reset and the ECU will be relearning those as well.

        Locales with “plug in to the OBD-II port” emissions tests will not be able to complete those tests until the car has completed all of its self tests, prevents a vehicle with a check engine light from pulling the battery cable to try to pass the test.

    • efgoldman

      It’s an interesting point though. Sure some of the diagnostics wouldn’t have been logged, but 15 years ago I bet the trusty local auto man would have manually done many of those tests.

      You should have seen the look on my trusty local auto man’s face when he told me about doing some simple under-the-hood maintenance, “and then you have to reboot the whole damned car.”

  • Gwen
    • ploeg

      You’ve been beat to it, sorry to say.

      • Gwen

        Don’t be sorry, be glad that our LGM Overlords are so ahead of the curve!

        (I just need to read more!)

  • Bitter Scribe

    Maybe your mechanic knows more than he thinks.

  • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

    PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH ANALYSIS 1.0 (c) 1986 FUTURESOFT INC

    10 PRINT “MOSTLY BULLSHIT”
    20 END

    Version 2.0 has not, to this point, been required.

    • Autonomous Coward

      If you can get 2.0 to recite the Green Lantern Oath, bemoan the “death of the spirit of bipartisanship of a foregone era”, then wank itself into a coma you could probably make some coin selling it to the networks and the NYT.

    • Cheap Wino

      10 IF PRESIDENT IS REPUBLICAN GOTO 40
      20 PRINT “MOSTLY BULLSHIT”
      30 END
      40 PRINT “TOTAL BULLSHIT”
      50 GOTO 30

      • Autonomous Coward

        GOTO considered harmful. :(

        Also, CS Goto’s writing is considered harmful if you’re a 40k nerd.

        • Pee Cee

          If spaghetti code is wrong, I don’t want to be right!

        • Philip

          president match {
          case _: Republican => “Total bullshit”
          case _ => “Mostly bullshit”
          }

  • Bob Loblaw

    Someday, all of our Game of Thrones recaps will be written by robots.

    • CaptBackslap, YOLO Edition

      They do have the competitive advantage of built-in eye lasers.

    • njorl

      On the bright side, the actors will also be replaced by robots which will have lasers in their eyes.

      • Bender

        You say that like it’s something that will happen in the FUTURE.

        Here, let me introduce you to Tom Cruise, or as we call him around the RobotSlum, “Calculon In A Meatsuit”.

        • joel hanes

          When Xenu and the Marcab Psych Overlord Invasion finally arrive, you’ll be glad that Tom Cruise and John Travolta and Kirstie Alley are around to defend the planet with their gnarly Super-Sekrit Operating Thetan Intention Beams.

          • Autonomous Coward

            Psych Invasion

            I, for one, welcome our new James Roday and Dulé Hill overlords?

  • LeftWingFox

    When I graduated from animation school, I worked a stint as the receptionist. One day, this older woman walked in. She had seen our school on television, and wanted our computers to make an animated feature film for her, based on 16th century European woodcut prints.

    She didn’t have a script, wasn’t an artist, and was completely confused as to why she’d want to hire people, when the computer could “do it for her”.

    • SEK

      Speaking of animation schools and people I lie about knowing and/or having known, one of Disney’s animators did a pretty, pretty, pretty good rendition of me recently:

      • SEK

        I honestly can’t believe that worked.

        • Murc

          Witchcraft.

          • Autonomous Coward

            If you think that’s a “sly, come-hither stare” I’m… not really sure what to tell you.

            • SEK

              I’m married. If I go around making sly, come-hither stares, I’m going to get in trouble.

              • JustRuss

                If they look like that, no you won’t.

                • SEK

                  YOU’D BE SURPRISED.

                  (HYPOTHETICALLY OF COURSE.)

        • Autonomous Coward
          • SEK

            But of course.

        • Jordan

          Y’all can edit comments and embed images???

          • tsam

            SO NOT FAIR. I have a hard drive full of Most Interesting Man memes that I would love to unleash on you lovely people.

            • SEK

              I’m pretty sure y’all can embed images too. Doesn’t require anything more than I did, which was just the regular “img src” HTML code…

              …crap, I’m going to get in trouble for revealing this secret, aren’t I?

              • Jordan

                test2

                • Jordan

                  test3

                • Jordan

                  Nope, its just you 1%ers who can do it :)

                • Jhoosier

                  Just to see if it’s possible from another person:

                • SEK

                  Guess that means I’m still part of the 1 percent. WHEW. Was a little concerned for a second there.

      • mds

        Okay, I’ve been willing to believe your Socratic dialogues from the get go, but claiming to know James Suhr defies all credibility.

        • SEK

          I’ve only known him since I was 13. I know! My credibility is shot forever!

          But damn, ain’t he talented? He spends his days animating the estimable Kenneth Parcell, but took time out from watching sportball to capture me.

        • Scott’s lying. I don’t exist.

      • LeftWingFox

        Sweet :D

      • Barry Freed

        That’s awesome.

    • herr doktor bimler

      wanted our computers to make an animated feature film for her, based on 16th century European woodcut prints

      A perfectly reasonable request.

  • Whatever kind of “meeting” you’re having, it’s a waste of time compared to reading Ambrose Bierce.

    • rea

      They’re having a meeting at Owl Creek Bridge

      • SEK

        But did we? I mean, really?

  • Bugboy

    “TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: I thought that was computers did that.”

    Don’t chalk the poor guy off too soon:

    http://nikkeivoice.ca/japan-develops-worlds-first-android-newscaster/

    • Aimai

      Chalk off must be one of those things, like a cross between an eggcorn and a just really misunderstood idiom. You “chalk it up” to something. You “cross off” something. But you don’t “chalk [someone] off.”

      • Bruce Webb

        Speaking of Googling the Intertoobz I did a fruitless search on ‘Chalk off’ that did direct me to an Australian slang site’s definition of ‘Choke off’ http://australiandictionary.net/choke+off
        choke off

        To get rid on

        Well okay then. Now my version of English (Mid West cum California) has an expression “get rid of”, but I am drawing a blank on “get rid on”. But good to know that if I am ever in Oz I have a translation for ‘choke off’ in case I need it. “Oh you mean ‘rid on’!”

        so maybe I should just chalk off. (which does rhyme with ‘stalk off’ for what it is worth)

      • Liam

        Malapropisms like that really chalk me off.

        • Lee Rudolph

          So, finally a real live example of someone who doesn’t know chalk from cheese! Are you, also, too, by any chance, as green as you’re salad-looking?

      • Linnaeus

        Scene: A courtroom in Baltimore, Maryland.

        [Judge Phelan]
        Be seated. The jury is to be thanked for its services in this case. Deputies will return defendant Barksdale to pre-trial for processing prior to release.

        [Detective Barlow]
        (to Stringer Bell) Think I give a fuck? I’ll be chalking you off one night.

        [Stringer Bell]
        (to Barlow) You have a nice day.

      • Bugboy

        I guess we all have to have our thing. “Irregardless” is one that drives me up a wall.

        But I think Linnaeus gets the gist of what I’m meaning: Chalk off as in a body at a crime scene.

  • anon1

    May I recommend a new mechanic?
    If you had a “check engine” light on, then replacing the battery or disconnecting the negative terminal might have “erased” the code.(This can happen with a loose gas cap. First it throws a code. Then you replace the cap. Disconnect and reconnect the battery terminal. No more check engine light on the dash.)

    In any case, you came in with a new battery and this guy can still scope your car for a read-out. Did you ask him to check the voltage on your alternator? Hey, I know that wasn’t part of the curriculum in grad school but you both came off as ignorant fucks.
    Why did you take the car to the mechanic in the first place ?
    Do you know where the jack is for jacking up your car if you get a flat tire?(Doesn’t he know I have AAA.)
    It’s time to read Conrad’s short story the “Outpost of Progress.”

    And pleassssse do not assume that everyone lives on the Internet.
    Some of us are spared Virtual classes, and 1am emails asking us to explain the assignments missed and that are due at 9am.

    Regards.

    • Jordan

      I guess they do have a computer that can do that.

    • SEK

      Why did you take the car to the mechanic in the first place?

      As noted in the post, I’m about to embark on a really long road trip, and I wanted to make sure my old-ass car was in tip-top shape, so as not to end up stranded in some Texas wasteland between Houston and El Paso.

      As for coming across as “an ignorant fuck,” I’ll admit that my knowledge of cars is limited, which is why before I embark on long road trips in old-ass cars, I consult someone whose knowledge isn’t. I know, that’s stupid of me…

      • Linnaeus

        A sawbuck says that if you hadn’t taken it in, and embarked on said long road trip and something had gone wrong, you’d then be chided for thinking you knew more than you did and not going to qualified people because grad school or something.

        • SEK

          It’s tough being an elitist these days, I tell you what.

      • liberalrob

        I wanted to make sure my old-ass car was in tip-top shape, so as not to end up stranded in some Texas wasteland between Houston and El Paso.

        There’s a reason “No Country For Old Men” was set out there.

      • Jordan

        Hey now, San Antonio is not terrible!

      • efgoldman

        so as not to end up stranded in some Texas wasteland between Houston and El Paso.

        Why do you want to go to Texas?

        • Lee Rudolph

          Because it’s between him and somewhere else, I suspect.

      • anon1

        SEK

        Please accept my apology.
        I know cars aren’t your thing but the resources are there now for everyone’s learning curve. YouTube does a terrific job in teaching people how to trouble-shoot problems and how to do the actual repair.
        You live in a different world than a guy who turns wrenches for a living. Talk to him about tires, fishing, or any other activity that uses manual labor.
        If he mentions to you that he plays in “Magic the Gathering” tournaments, feel free then to talk to him about the Internet or differential equations.

        • Jordan

          But the actual playing of Magic the Gathering is absolutely an IRL thing, not an internet thing. METHINKS SOMEONE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    • Tristan

      It’s time to read Conrad’s short story the “Outpost of Progress.”

      Yeah, SEK, stop trading slaves for auto repairs

  • NorCal

    TRUSTWORTHY LOCAL AUTO MAN: “Couldn’t be worse than what they’ve got”.

    Might it be you were the one handed a [sly] put down? I mean, you’d be surprised- some of them grease monkey’s got brains. Simply substitute “they” to mean “you”, as in therefore you’re just a malfunctioning part of a much greater problem-with-the-engine.

    • SEK

      Might it be you were the one handed a [sly] put down?

      Certainly — if he wasn’t talking about someone other than me. It’s a Southern thing, the politeness, and he’d clearly moved on from the topic we’d started discussing and was just pontificating generally about the state of political commentary.

      We talked for another 15 minutes, bonded about being fans of losing teams — though he’s a Cowboys fan, so I had no sympathy, but in that passive-aggressive sportsball way — so I don’t want to make it appear as if I’m knocking him. (Especially as he did a bang-up job on my car.)

      • NorCal

        “Especially as he did a bang-up job on my car”.

        Perhaps even more especially because your Tom Friedman-like invocation might get back to him? To the man who holds the life of your car in his hands, every time you hand him the keys. I sure wouldn’t want to piss that guy off.

        Or am I being cynical again?

  • W. Kiernan

    Your “trustworthy” car guy isn’t actually trustworthy. You can pick error codes off of OBD readers just fine even after having changed out the battery. At worst you will have to drive a couple dozen miles to re-register any faults, whoop-de-doo. It’s assholes like that who make me drag my tired ass out in the sweltering Florida heat to fix my own cars, a job I’d gladly forego, rather than trusting them to such a pack of sleazy, semicompetent finks as they are.

  • RobertL

    Can you change the comments system so that conversations are threaded on the mobile version?

    • Lee Rudolph

      In response to my earlier plea,

      Jeremy says:
      July 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      Yeah, way down at the very bottom of the page is the option to “switch to our desktop site.”

      I haven’t tried it yet, but I live in hope!

  • J R in WV

    Between El Paso and Houston there is a Border Patrol checkpoint where every single vehicle traveling eastbound is stopped and potentially searched.

    There is a happy dog who will provide the Border Patrol staff with necessary probable cause to search every single fold and crevice of the vehicle and its contents by “reacting” to an odor wafting from the vehicle.

    Then when (yes, not if, when) they find contraband they will have probable cause to put into a holding cell for as long as they care to hold you.

    This kind of hobby takes up something like 90% of their time, as opposed to actually identifying and taking into custody narco terrorists, or actual terrorists, or locating and identifying contraband smuggled from across a border.

    So be forewarned, don’t take anything you wouldn’t want officer Fife to see along on your cross-country trip!

    • SEK

      Between El Paso and Houston there is a Border Patrol checkpoint where every single vehicle traveling eastbound is stopped and potentially searched.

      Somewhere in the archives there’s a post about my time there. They stole one of my cats for an hour, because I don’t know why.

      • Lee Rudolph

        To microchip it, of course.

        So Old Tom is dead? Now I’m the King of the Cats!

  • Tristan

    Amusing anecdote, or the start of an unanticipated detour into

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