Spoiled Slackers, Thou Protest The Wrong Things

consequences

I believe in the First Amendment.  I also believe that actions have consequences, and that rights come with obligations.  This  being said, the controversy about sports players protesting the national anthem speaks volumes not only on those who think it fitting to spit on the graves of those who fought and died for our country, but on those who approve of such disrespect.

Anyone has the right to protest anything, as long as that protest does not involve destruction of property or injury to others. Your First Amendment rights end when those rights interfere with my right to my person and property.  Even as despicable and odious as such “protests” that disrespect our nation and our Veterans are, they have the right to do it.  They also have the obligation to face the consequences of their actions.

Today’s younger generations – starting sadly with Boomers and GenXers, and to a toxic extent among Millenials, have no sense of history because history is barely taught. The rudimentary “history” taught in today’s public schools is nothing more than a leftist diatribe that condemns traditional American values, throws on an unjustified white guilt trip (reverse racism) while lifting up globalism and socialism. Both globalism and socialism are failed and defeatist systems.  The former USSR and present-day Venezuela are good examples of how leftist principles in government (don’t) work.

When one doesn’t understand history, and when the popular faux history that is widely taught demonizes American nationalism and American hegemony, and one mistakes celebrity soundbites for Gospel truth, any kind of poison and inanity can be easily spread around.  All it takes is for one jackwagon who would be better off sticking to carrying a football to run his mouth without consulting the facts to create a controversy that should never exist.

We as a nation should know better than to entertain the race card, especially when the accusations of “oppression” come from someone who has never known it.  I find it hard to believe that football players who make millions of dollars a year in the NFL are “persecuted” or denied opportunity due to their race.

It is true that equality of opportunity does not guarantee equality of outcome. One’s race is not a hindrance to education, employment or opportunities.  One’s culture, upbringing and lack of personal ambition are hindrances to all of the above though, which should cause individuals to look at him or her selves first.

Before you scream “Oppression!” look in the mirror.  It is necessary to ask, and not just of the black community but also of certain white communities as well who have bought into the governmental dependency cycle, to look in the mirror.  If you expect the world or the government to give you everything without you having to earn it, you are the problem.  Only you can fix it.  Not the government, not “whitey,” but you.  Rights have obligations.  Get off the welfare dole and do some sort of meaningful work. Put down the crack pipe.  Stop killing each other. Start working with law enforcement to clean up our communities.

Do you have the right to protest the national anthem and/or to disrespect our country and our flag.  Yes you do.  I also have the right to call you out for the despicable fool you are.

 

 

One Dog Down the Cat Hole, and One Against the Thugocracy

SAMSUNG

It’s easy for me to forget that Lucy is substantially smaller than the other two dogs.  I thought that since Lucy has a rather large head for her size, that she was too large for the cat hole.  I have since realized that Fanny can get through a smaller hole than previously thought possible, and Lucy can get through a much smaller hole than I’d ever imagined.

Let me explain the logic behind the cat hole.

SAMSUNG

The New Improved Cat Hole: Just big enough for 17# Fanny to fit through…and nothing bigger- I hope!

Dogs absolutely lust over cat food, and most dogs are inexplicably enamored of snacking on cat shit as well.  Neither cat food (too high in fat and protein for a dog’s metabolism) nor cat shit (well, it’s shit, ’nuff said) is healthy for dogs to consume in any kind of quantity.  It’s sort of like humans living on bacon and candy- it might taste good at the moment, but it’s just plain unhealthy, and such a diet can lead to serious disease. Dogs are not the best arbiters of healthy eating, and they really shouldn’t be left to free-forage.  As George Carlin once wisely pointed out regarding “gourmet” cat food, “How many gourmets lick their ass?”

Since we have four cats and three dogs, the cats need a safe place to hide when the dogs get on their nerves, as well as a safe place to eat and crap.  The dogs need to be kept out of cat food and kept out of cat shit.  In our house, the dog-free zone is the basement.  There’s a roughly cat-sized hole cut in the basement door that (in theory) keeps dogs out while letting cats move freely in and out.

bff

Big Fat Fanny- that’s what I get for naming the cat while listening to Queen.  The dreadful 70’s linoleum- not really my choice.

The original oversize cat hole worked just fine for Clara and Lilo, who have long since realized that they aren’t going to get to go downstairs to munch.  Clara is slender but even so, she’s still 65#.  Lilo is about 55#, and not terribly motivated to pursue anything that doesn’t afford her easy access.  Lucy, at a comparatively tiny 45#, however, decided to use her thick skull to worm her way through the cat hole.

The cat hole was a bit oversize because Fanny is a bit oversize.  Our cats range in size from 4 1/2# Jezebel to 17# Fanny.  Isabel is just slightly bigger than Jezebel at right around 5#, and F.B. is about 8#.    I have four cats and only one is “normal” sized.  Go figure, and I have no idea why the two black ones are so tiny.  Jezebel eats more than any of the other cats, but she’s still the smallest.  Her (Jezebel’s) feral relatives that live on the body shop lot are all petite cats as well.  Perhaps city cats have some sort of advantage in smaller size vs. farm cats who tend to be large like Fanny.  Isabel and Jezebel were both city ferals at one time.  Fanny was from out in farm country, and I have no idea where F.B. came from before we took her in when her first owner died.

As long as Fanny fits, and Lucy keeps from ramming it, the reduced size cat hole should keep cats and dogs in their proper places.

detroit again

If Obama gets his way, the rest of the country will be just like Detroit.

I’ve tried to keep my mouth somewhat shut about the political rancor and just plain stupidity going on in Washington right now, but I can’t understand why there are still dimwits out there who don’t get it about Obama.  Including Jerry’s Dad, the former Klan member. 

kkk

“Take a shower!”  or was that “White powder?”  Ass pilot.

I can’t say I condone the Klan, but frankly I’m tired of any racial or ethnic group demanding preferential treatment.  The white supremacists are just as stupid as the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons and Muslim extremist crazies of the world, believe that.  But Jerry’s Dad seems to have done a 180° to think Obama’s the best thing ever, and I really don’t understand why or how he would.  Maybe he’s gone senile and he’s feeling guilty for 70+ years of unabashed racism?  Or maybe he’s just batshit crazy.  I tend to believe suggestion #2.

kill whitey

This guy is a nut, too.

The thing is, I can feel bad over injustices committed against black people – or any other oppressed group-in the past without feeling a need to offer a free pass to Obama’s present ineptitude, incompetence and malice.  Equal opportunity includes the obligation to own up to your own epic failures.  If you can’t run with the big dogs, I don’t care what color, gender, ethnicity or whatever you are.  Stay the flying flip on the porch.

Instead of working together with others in government toward responsible leadership, Obama has established a thugocracy- a culture in which there is one central premise: that big government knows what’s good for you, and we’ll take what you have by force, ostensibly in the name of “the common good.”  In reality it is about big government feeding itself at the cost of those who work, produce and create.  Communism / socialism didn’t work in the (former) Soviet Union and it doesn’t work now.

I don’t know who came up with this summary but it’s pretty good:

Socialism: Moochers electing looters to steal from producers.

walmart-black-friday-2012-tvs-5-am-2

Joy and rapture.  Welfare day at Walmart.  I think I’ll wait until the second week of the month to do my shopping.

I’m just hoping Lucy doesn’t get downstairs to dine on the magical dog candy again.

Sometimes the Truth Hurts, I Am Not a Confectioner, and an Update from Fly-Over Country

I think Little Mogadishu (corner of Morse & Westerville Rd.s in NE Columbus) was an excellent place to display this sign.

I’ve always believed the First Amendment works both ways.  Unfortunately when conservatives exercise their First Amendment rights, some ass-pilot has to jump in and block that freedom of expression, and they succeed in doing it far too often.

The Voter Fraud sign- which is part of the Ohio Revised Code- was deemed to be “racially offensive” and that it caused “voter intimidation” because it was put up in neighborhoods where voter fraud might be an issue (i.e. precincts that supported Obama heavily back in 2008.)  Unfortunately Clear Channel caved in and removed the signs, leaving us with another public service announcement asking whether or not we know if we are using the right car seat.

Granted, car seat safety is important, but so is making sure people understand that when you vote you follow the rules.  What is racist or intimidating about that- unless of course, your aim is to cheat, wink-wink?  This sign should only be intimidating to potential cheaters as far as I’m concerned.  What’s the problem?  Oh, apparently conservatives are not protected by the First Amendment?

This really pisses me off.

I am voting- at my polling place on Nov. 6th, because early voting in Franklin County is being held at a location in a not-so-safe part of town, where I feel intimidated even in broad daylight- smack in the middle of  the ‘hood.   I’m sure I’m not the only one of a certain ethnic background (aka: white people) who feels that way either.  But I am voting once, under one name, after showing my ID and signing the book, in accordance with Ohio law.  The voter fraud billboard wouldn’t bother me in the least if it were displayed in my little corner of suburbia- or on every corner- because I plan on following the rules.  Why is it “offensive” down in the ‘hood?  Why do I have to be afraid to go to the early voting center because of how it’s oh, so strategically placed?  Which voters are being intimidated here?

I may not vote early, for fear of not surviving the parking lot of the early voting center in one piece, or with a car in one piece, but I’m still voting.  I just want to be sure my name is in the book at my precinct and that my ballot is counted correctly.

I’m not a confectioner and I don’t candy coat the truth.  Racism sucks no matter which direction it’s pointed, and frankly I am tired of being made to feel guilty for being white and for refusing to apologize for being conservative.

It breaks my heart to see what Obama has done in this country, but especially in the arena of race relations.  I have friends of many different races – even Jerry is mostly Native American- and it makes me sad to see the veracity with which most black people hold on to the very ideologies that keep them from achieving more and getting off of governmental dependence.  I hate Obama’s politics not because he’s half black but because his politics are dangerous and wrong. As far as I’m concerned Marxism, socialism and communism are failed ideologies that need to be consigned to the waste bin of history- just like the list of “50 difficult things you can do to ‘save the earth'” list the greenies put out some time ago (which would be funny- if it wasn’t so downright lamebrained.)

I am afraid Obama’s woeful mishandling of foreign policy, his utter ignorance of history, and his thorough disdain for the importance of the Constitutional mandate for national defense is going to prove to be deadly for not only the US but the rest of the formerly free world.

As far as displaying billboards with laws and penalties on them, why aren’t the smokers screaming about this one:

These are posted in all sorts of places where smokers might want to light up!

I don’t condone smoking.  In fact, I loathe it in my car and in my house and Jerry is well aware of that fact.  But the anti-smoking sign follows the same principle of the voter fraud sign- the no smoking sign would only prove offensive to those who wish to violate the no smoking rule- yet these puppies are posted in just about every public place where a smoker might think it safe to light up.  It’s supposed to deter the smoker from violating the law.  What’s wrong with posting a law in a place where people may violate that law, to discourage them from violating that law?  If it’s not the law and just a threat, I’d understand the whole intimidation charge.  If it were legal to light up in public places and you posted a no smoking under penalty of law type sign then it would be intimidating smokers from doing something legal.  People voting multiple times, dead people voting, and ineligible people voting is illegal.  What’s the problem with pointing that out?

On a lighter note, Joe Biden made an appearance at the high school in Marion today (retch, gag, barf) but he forgot he was in OHIO and not IOWA.  People in Ohio do know the difference between Ohio and Iowa.  Ohio is further east and not quite as flat- for those not acquainted with the Midwest or who have never been to fly-over country.  I hope the people in my hometown see through this laughable ass-clown.  The Democrats have heavily contributed to fact the place has become a cracktown with very few jobs besides welfare. I will have to get the lowdown from the locals, but I don’t think he attracted too much of a crowd- other than the high school students who were probably forced to attend.

The actual movie “Beavis and Butthead do America” was funny, but these two ass-clowns are tragic.

Absolute Authority, Colonel of the Urinal, and Which Circle of Hell is This?

I can’t say I envied her death by guillotine, but she had an awesome wardrobe for a time, whatever that’s worth.

(Just imagine all the lice in that wig…)

Today I am reminded of Lord Acton’s Dictum: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”  This being said, I don’t want to be in charge of anything more lofty than getting Jerry’s AV equipment working for him.  It’s a TV and cable box, (God forbid he wants to figure out how to play a DVD at 6:30 AM) but for him, the TV remote might as well be Mission Control at NASA.

We have achieved ignition!  The TV is on!  Now Jerry can watch the news, and I can get on with getting my own shit done.

I know I shouldn’t pander to Jerry’s ever-present Helplessman mode.  I know he wants attention, otherwise he wouldn’t have unplugged all that crap a couple of weeks ago, forcing me to contort my body into positions it was never meant to assume in order to plug all of it back in and get it working again.  I couldn’t do Kama Sutra positions when I was younger and actually had sex every now and again.  Why the hell should I suffer like that knowing that sex is just a distant memory, and all I’ll get out of it now is dirty and pissed off?

Now that he knows I really hate the contortionist bullshit I have to go through to plug everything in again, it follows that when he whines about not being able to operate the TV, I will just turn the box on and leave the box on, and set the power button so the power button only works the TV.  If you turn off the box, then you have to turn the power button on, then turn the box on, then hit the power button again and then hit the TV button, which is just too many steps for Jerry.  If he would just leave the damned thing alone except for turning the TV on and off with the power button, it would work just fine, but he has to jack around with things he doesn’t understand.   Guess who gets to fix that mess?

Yes, he was raised by wolves, and his childhood sucked, and he didn’t get enough attention from Mommy, and all that psychological clap trap, but by the time you’re 55 one would think you would have learned to let it go and just deal.  Maybe I just took my own dysfunctional childhood the other direction and became insanely self-sufficient out of necessity and also out of recognition that if I want something done, it’s on me to get it done.

Depending on the charity or beneficence of others is sort of like wishing in one hand and taking a big juicy crap in the other.  We all know which one is going to fill up first.  Either I do it myself, or pay someone else if it’s something I can’t do myself. I don’t expect anyone to do my laundry, or hook up my TV, or fix my meals.

It’s well to remember that before the mid-20th century, most Americans were rednecks raised by wolves, bathing twice a year whether they needed it or not, and using the facility in the woods along with the bears.

I wish we had another working toilet.  There is a toilet in the basement, but it doesn’t work.  It’s some kind of weird electric (?) flush up type thing, but it’s permanently out of order unless Jerry can find someone to fix it or replace it or something.  Plumbing is a skilled trade- that I know absolutely nothing about.

All I know is that it cost $250 for the plumber to re-do the kitchen sink drain after Jerry tried to put a catfish head down the kitchen sink disposal.  The bad part about sharing a bathroom (and even though Jerry’s as filthy as a  horde of hogs, I would rather share a bathroom with a dude than a woman any day) is that it seems he has to take his place on the throne at the same time I need to brush my teeth and put on enough makeup to avoid traumatizing small children and dogs.

“Shit with a Hint of Mint” is not a flavor I think the product developers at Colgate had in mind, but more often than not, that’s the experience in my world.

This one would be flying off the shelves… not!

Perhaps I shouldn’t be so sensitive.  I should be more thankful that I don’t have much of a sense of smell.   If it stinks to me, it positively has to reek to the rest of the world.

I’m also thankful for the MP3 player, as the abysmal selections of country music being played by others in my vicinity seem to get worse every day.  I don’t care about saving horses and riding cowboys, nor do I give a hang about some hillbilly’s alcohol problem. I have realized that being exposed to country music- constantly and against my will, especially- only makes me loathe it more.  That’s OK.  I’m listening to the live version of Journey’s “Line of Fire,” which is drowning out the oat opera quite nicely.  I don’t want to be rude, but I would like to tell both the oat opera offenders where they can shove their damned radios and how high.  Those things have headphone jacks…please for the love of God use them!

I miss Reagan even more after the current Obfuscater in Chief sent out yet another misguided apology yesterday.

Back to our friend Lord Acton and his Dictum.  One person or one misguided group of people holding all the power is a very dangerous thing.  Humans are evil by nature, and without checks and balances- just imagine a five year old left alone in a car with a very expensive interior with nothing but his imagination and a Sharpie.  I’ve seen it.  It’s not pretty.  Neither is what has happened to the current government of this country.

I think if anything the system that we have to fear in this country isn’t so much Marxism or socialism or communism, but government by oligarchy.  The good ol’ boy system is nothing new, which is why the Framers of the Constitution tried to design safeguards into our system of government to help prevent one person- or even one ideological group- from getting too much power.  Obama on his own- he’s not that bright.  But the self-appointed “elites” who run things behind the scenes know exactly what they’re doing to this country and by proxy to the entire world.

Some pigs are more equal than others, as Orwell pointed out.  Al Gore might preach to the world to “mind their carbon footprint” and “wipe with reusable cloths,” or to “bury your car,” but this jackwagon is riding about in private jets and SUVs and sucking down more fossil fuels in a weekend than some entire countries do in a year.  You can bet there’s no Charmin shortage at Chez Gore either

Let them eat Big Macs!

A Moral Quandary, Humor in Unlikely Places, and Victorian Ways to Die

  I do not like him, Sam I Am.  I’d rather vote for green eggs and ham.

Alright, here lately my emotional (yes I do have some) and thought lives have been a bit of turmoil lately.  Yesterday, I discovered, to my disbelief and disappointment that not only is Obama going to be sliming around in Ohio yet again, he’s also showing up at Capital University.  For those not familiar with the Columbus area, Capital is a Lutheran university (that gets some of its funding from the Lutheran church) and also the home of Trinity Lutheran Seminary.

Capital is known for its prestigious law school and its high academic standards, so it would stand to reason that they would want the opportunity to host a sitting president (though it’s a shame that the president they’re hosting is the Worst Ever.)  But when I got wind of who was promoting the event- Obama for America (what an oxymoron there, but I digress) I was truly disturbed.  This is not going to be a chance for Christians to ask Obama the hard questions regarding defending life, the economy, foreign policy and national defense.  It’s going to be another KoolAid swilling Obama-love fest- otherwise he would never have agreed to show up.  Now I know how the people at Notre Dame must have felt when Obama invaded their campus.  But no matter how much I loathe his policies and how deeply I believe he is evil and wrong, after much soul searching, prayer and thinking it through, it’s probably good that he is speaking there even though he will be spouting off the same rhetoric and lies as always, and the “other side” will not be represented.

Romney visited the Capital campus back in February and spoke (though he didn’t call it a “rally” necessarily, he didn’t travel to what most people consider to be Cow Town for leisure.)  So at least I know that both “sides” are getting an opportunity to speak, which tempered my response quite a bit.  After all, law is all about debate, and even if one “side” is fatally flawed they do deserve to be heard.  What grieves my heart (and yes, I do actually sort of have one) is that political rhetoric from either “side” requires people to engage critical thought.  A critical thinker is very likely to see the techniques Obama uses to deceive people and to call him out.  I know I’m tired of the blame game and the race baiting and class warfare that Obama relies upon, because I see it for what it is.  He has no vision other than failed socialism, and nothing to offer except the promise of being Santa Claus to the entitlement crowd.  My fear is that there are still too many people who have not engaged critical thought and who still believe the lies even though the evidence is clear that Obama’s policies are failed.

Why not try thanking God that Americans were never really into the guillotine?

Yet, as we’ve seen with Obama’s court jester, Joe Biden, he’s becoming his own worst enemy.  Biden is simply a dull buffoon whose singular talent is making an ass of himself, which is funny.  At least Biden provides some comic relief.  Obama is humorless even when he screws up, but the more frustrated he gets and the more threatened he feels, the more he says stupid things- stupid things that he knows better than to say, but that he actually believes, such as the “you didn’t build that” epithet directed at small business.  The more pandering, strident and vicious Obama gets, the more his true colors shine forth.  This venomous snake is going to grow some longer fangs.  Obama will get nasty, and he will go ad hominem even more than he already has.  Maybe for the first time some people will wake up- but not until Obama offends their emotions.  Some people are going to need to move beyond the myriad logical arguments against Obama, because some people don’t rely on logic before emotion.  The emotionally oriented people out there might just need to see his frustration and experience that red fire of hate for this country and what it stands for as it shines in his eyes.  It will come to that point as “Emperor” Barry sinks lower and lower in the polls and more and more people aren’t afraid to stand on the roof top and scream, “The ‘Emperor’ is NAKED!”

Obama’s going to self-implode.  And he’s going to do it to himself.  As much as I detest him sliming around Ohio, especially at a Lutheran seminary, the more he opens his mouth, the more he’s going to incriminate himself and alienate the electorate.

Let him keep on spewing his tired rhetoric and hot air.  He’s standing in his little boat, shooting holes in the bottom, and wondering why it’s sinking.

On a lighter note, I think Obama might want to consider a new frontier:

(It’s OK if you want to leave early, as long as you take Joe and Hillary with you.)

I am more fascinated with postmortem photography and other creepy stuff from the Victorian era than I should be.  I’m not the only one though, because there are positively tons of this stuff all over the internet.  Actual prints (rather than the .jpg scans that I troll for) of people who died 150 years ago go for big money, even if you have no clue who the dead people are.  Most of the people in my family were too poor to even afford taking pictures of dead people, so I don’t have too many pictures taken before 1960 or so of my actual relatives available to me.  Dad has a box of Grandma’s old pics, but he’s not had time to go through them to identify the ones he can so I can scan them.  Most of those pics are from the 50’s and 60’s.

Probably the worst things about the Victorian era were the daily presence of death, and the really nasty ways people died.  Today most people don’t die from a case of Montezuma’s Revenge, but in those times crapping yourself to death was a very common way to die.  Cholera, typhoid and typhus were all common mechanisms of death brought on by ignorance of hygiene and squalid living conditions.  Infant mortality was sky-high because if a child developed any type of dysentery it usually led to death, as well as scarlet fever, rheumatic fever and measles were common, and deadly.  Antibiotics were not discovered until the 1940’s.

If a person were injured in an industrial or farm accident their chances of dying were pretty good as well.  The only treatment for a mangled limb was amputation- if the shock of the amputation wasn’t enough to kill you, the infection that set in your stump usually did.  Sepsis and communicable disease killed more soldiers in the Civil War than were killed in combat.

It’s all going to be OK…well maybe not so much…grab that rusty saw, Dave!

I would wonder how many people got tetanus from having a limb chopped off with a rusty saw.  People died from tetanus back then, as well as from rabies, tuberculosis, syphilis, you name it.  And worst of all, they only bathed three or four times a year.

Brains! Brains! Brains!

Some Pigs are More Equal, Vertical and Breathing, and Fun With Cars

 The French, God love them, in spite of their penchant toward socialism and love of abysmally designed motor vehicles, have a saying: Plus ça change, plus c’est la méme chose.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The difference today is, sadly, that there is still a pro-slavery crowd preaching the morality of forced servitude to the masses.  It is a far more deceptive form of servitude, though.  The preachers of the religion- and it is a religion in which Government is God- of socialism keep telling the masses that we can reach some grand utopia if only we let government have all of our resources…so the government can “redistribute” them.   I can go on and on ranting on that point, but suffice to say that someone has to pay for all the “gimmes” to the entitlement crowd, and it seems that “someone” always ends up being people like me.  It’s just a tad bit grating knowing that all the money I pay out in taxes and insurances goes toward other people getting (for free) things I can’t afford.  If I think about it too much, it really pisses me off.

I can’t stress it enough.  Read  George Orwell’s Animal Farm.  Which pigs are more equal?  Of course, the phrase “more equal” is an oxymoron to begin with, but the political correctness movement has brought us an era in which being some sort of protected minority du jour buys one privileges that the rest of the population is not accorded.   Is it truly in the interest of “equality” to give special scholarships to black students, while white students with better GPAs and more notable achievements are denied, or to hire a person who belongs to a minority group who is less qualified to do a job?  Doesn’t this send the message that ____ group is inferior and can’t achieve anything without someone fudging it for them?

I am all for equal rights, but I despise “affirmative action,” which is simply reverse discrimination.  It’s an attempt to make “some pigs more equal than others.”  There will never be equal rights in this country until or unless there is no preferential treatment given to anyone on the basis of race, religion, gender, disability, national origin, sexual preference, ad nauseam.  No one has equal rights until no one has special rights.

Ok, I’m done with today’s rant on government and society, before I piss myself off too much.

You win some, you lose some.  I do well to remain breathing and vertical.

Speaking of remaining vertical, tomorrow my illustrious son and his buddy are going to go to Cinci to retrieve his car, saving me at least part of the road trip, and I get my car back. I want to go hang out with Dad for awhile but I’m trying to think of creative ways to avoid having dinner at the nursing home.  I’m still having nightmares about that shrivelled up piece of sausage (?) and whatever that dried up film was on the outside of the coffee cup, but there are times when dining is more about being social and polite than it is about pretending to be a frigging gourmet.    Perhaps it is a sad commentary on my life that I am looking forward to driving a Yaris, but I have driven far worse in my life. I’ve owned a plethora of cars in my time- some good, some abysmal, some classic, and some forgettable. Maybe I can remember them all:

1979 Subaru DL- it was completely trashed long before I got it, but memorable because it was my first car, and when I got it there was a behemoth pack of Trojan rubbers in the glove box.

1975 VW Rabbit- this car completely sucked because it was a (rare) carbureted Rabbit – (same powertrain and induction as an old Dodge Omni… those one barrel Solex carbs sucked… and just as depressing to drive) and it had a number of bizarre electrical faults. It would not start if you turned it off at Burger King, for example, which makes no rational sense.

1977 VW Rabbit- ugly as hell but would run like a raped ape because we put the air distributor from a Porsche 944 on it (more air=more fuel on the old mechanical Bosch CIS injection systems)- this was the car I beat the boys with the Novas and Chevelles with the 350 engines and 411 rear ends in the quarter mile.  I know, drag racing is bad, but when you’re 18 and like to teach young punks some simple physics, it was really fun.  Horsepower means nothing unless you have the low end torque to back it up.

1972 VW Super Beetle-my first and last air-cooled VW- had to sell it to the ex to have money to move.  Loved the car, in spite of getting frostbite in my ankles from driving it in winter, but sometimes getting away from an ex is worth the trade-off.

1979 VW Rabbit- not as fast as the ’77 but it was my very first 4 door, and my very first Blaupunkt stereo with 16 speakers and 100 watt power amp.  Led Zeppelin cranked up in this car was awesome. Spending $800 in repairs in one month- brakes, control arms, front shocks, rear shocks, tires and a starter,  was not so awesome.

1990 Chevy Cavalier- worst piece of shit I ever owned- and I bought it new.  The week after I bought it I had to have the hood painted.  The lifters clanged like a diesel’s, and the oil pan drain plug was stripped from the factory. I was glad to see that son of a bitch go.

1983 VW GTI- I could kick myself in the ass for selling this classic. Damn, it would run fine…  But it was black, a 2 door, and the A/C didn’t work.  Plus, at the time I had an infant in a car seat, and that does NOT work with a 2 door that has no A/C.

1988 VW Fox- not magic, not tragic- it had 4 doors and working A/C, but I sold it before I ever had to have the clutch replaced.  Clutch replacement on front wheel drive cars with longitudinal engines is a bitch, and a repair that’s way too expensive for me.

1994 Toyota RN series truck- I loved this truck.  It had 250K on it when I begrudgingly let the old man trade it in on his ’99 Tacoma. The old 22RE engines were virtually indestructible.

1998 Toyota Corolla- It was purple and I loved the color.  But I made the mistake of putting aftermarket aluminum wheels on it and had nine kinds of trouble with them, and then I became enamored of the Celica I saw in the showroom.

2000 Toyota Celica- Another car I could positively smack myself for trading in.  This beastie was fun to drive and fast as hell.  But Steve-o couldn’t fit in the back seat, and the lease was up so I had to trade it in on something.

2005 Scion XA- This car was fun and it had 4 doors and more room in the back seat.  The only reason I traded it was because the lease was up.  I don’t see myself doing leases anymore.

2008 Toyota Yaris- I liked this car too, until I got rear-ended and was paranoid taking it back even after the body damage was repaired- and I was offered a hell of a deal to just buy a new one with more safety features on it.

2010 Toyota Yaris- This is my current ride- exactly like the 2008 only with power everything, cruise and side airbags. Why the hell they don’t make the sedan anymore is beyond me.

In all honesty it is difficult to find a decent car if you’re one of the 13% of American drivers that prefer a manual transmission.  The Europeans offer the best rides for those who like to shift gears themselves- but they’re also the most expensive.  The Japanese do offer manual transmissions in a variety of models, but most of those are base model econoboxes, (my vehicles of choice) so if you like options you’ll likely end up dealer trading for them or special ordering them.  I’ve gotten lucky with most of the cars I’ve bought recently- nobody wants the manuals with all the toys- so I get better deals.

Steve-o found out today that his automotive hypocondriasis was exactly what I thought it was: something stupid.  Steve-o is also a member of the 13%, and he’s also aware that the Europeans have the best offerings for those of us who pass by all the cars on the lot that only have two pedals.  Audis, especially turbo Audis with 150K+, are very temperamental when they have vacuum leaks.  He had an improperly sealed valve cover and a slightly cracked flange leading to one of the vacuum lines. It was miraculously devoid of the catastrophic failures he envisioned, and frankly, I barely noticed the trivial, almost indiscernible miss on cold start before he took it in for repairs.  He would crap himself if he had to fire up Dad’s ancient Mazda van and listen to the lifters clang like a diesel’s until the temp gauge gets at least half way up.  That disturbs me- and I try to be very easy on it when it’s cold- but I admit the play in both the ball joints scares me more than the lifter noise.  I hope to avoid the larger potholes and divots with this thing.  At least I get my car back tomorrow, after I hear his whining about how it hydroplanes in the rain (no shit when you’re going 85) and the wind blows it around. I’ve not heard any whining about the 40+ MPG it gets on the highway though.

I have to wonder what kinds of drugs the artist of this painting was on.  Cats with umbrellas, in the snow?