Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Which News Source Has the Worst Writers?

AP has often been one of my favorites when it comes to using annoying or unbelievably trite cliches. Often their sentences get lost midway, losing all sense of coherence.

There are others in the news game who are nipping at AP's incredibly incompetent, biased heels.

Here's an example from NBC:
Both her and her family are likely far from destitute, so they don't need capital right now, but current tax laws mean she will likely sell off a large chunk of it before 2013.

Dear NBC "her" is not the word you were after there. The whole thing is very trashy, if your goal is a level of professionalism.

Breaking part of it out we have, "Her is likely far from destitute...", and you, NBC, be's far from having yo' head not way the hell up yo ask.

Maybe the Season

There are days, like today, when I feel a distinct lack of patience for anything, especially fellow humans who cross my path in any way. Or those who seem slightly pushy in whatever way.

Right now, I want to bolt from here, go far away and not have to deal with anyone. Not that there aren't swell, nice, together, fine people here who seem to think I should say hello every now and then--especially on holidays. It is just that I'd rather be off somewhere as a stranger, unknown to anyone for miles around.

These are times when you just swallow the restlessness, hoping that your presence enhances the experience for the others at the gathering. It usually works out.

I'm pretty sure my entire outlook and chemistry have changed in some way beginning several years ago. I care, but inside I think I may be flipping off half of humanity at any given moment. It's like I really don't know if I give a damn if I end up alone in life forever, or not. I used to say I did not want to be alone forever. Now I'm not so sure.

That's right, just drop by, use me as you will, and then who cares. I'm more inclined to strive to be a slut than to be a permanent husband. We are talking hetero here. I realize, in these times, one must spell it out or the assumptions run amok. I'm almost as ignorant as one form of interaction as the other these days, so who knows.

Anger is a strange thing. It could make you drive off a one thousand foot high bridge or kick the cat. It is almost like dope or alcohol, it can induce behavior which you know won't work out well later. This is why I never get angry or raging mad.

I just lie instead.

Auto Repair In Simplest Context

By simple context, I mean the easy stuff. So much is controlled by computer and sensor that it is hard to know what's what. The path of all that can be very contra-intuitive.

But there are many simple things which can affect the complex things. For example, if you are out of gas, the car won't run at all, yet the fix is easy enough that the dimmest of wits can do it.

Sometimes a problem can be sensed, but, due to the expense most problems represent, and the likelihood that it is too complex for the reluctant handyman to tackle safely, we don't even open the hood to take a look see. Just turn up the music volume or the talk radio, or open the windows a bit at highway speeds so that wind noise drowns out any audible irregularity.

Perhaps ignoring things which pose potential hardship can become a reflex. One may not even realize he is ignoring the red flags of imminent repair.

I noticed some odd behavior of my power steering a time or two while on my last land voyage. It was frequently herky jerky and peculiar in a parking lot situation.

Once in a rare while I'd hear a bit of squeak or squeal which quickly disappeared. Maybe a belt could use a little tightening. That is probably complicated so I'll think about it later. And the power steering pump must be shot and that is probably complicated. I'll look at it in my next life.

That steering thing seemed to be getting worse. Finally, while at a bank in Poway, I could take it no more. I decided to check to see if there was any steering fluid in there or if something else obvious might show up.

I pressed the outside of the belt which runs power steering and alternator and it felt tight enough. It is mostly covered so you can't see every detail. Then for some reason I reached in and felt underneath it. It is one of those low profile belts with a bunch of grooves in it, not the old style V-belt.

It not only felt like half the grove things were worn away and that it was falling apart, but I could feel a longitudinal split. If it had continued all the way around, then I'd be running on two skinny belts instead of one wide belt.

This thing could blow at any minute!

I got new belts from the parts place, and figured I could make it home. All I had was a multitool leatherman and a small crescent wrench in the car.

As it turns out, it is far easier to change these belts on a Subaru than on my old Honda. Dear Honda owner, check that main belt and be sure it is OK. It runs everything and is not easy to change out.

You can change the Subaru belt from up top, in front. No extreme reaching or difficulty. A few nuts and bolts come out or loosen, but nothing extreme.

I last put the belt on the Honda while working at the airport. It went south right there, or close enough that I made it in on the battery. I was in the special lot for supervisory people, close to the airport but outside.

I have no idea how I got to the parts place for the belt. Maybe someone gave me a ride, or I risked running down the battery.

What I do recall is having to work from underneath the car, in the middle of the night, in a light rain. It was raining on the hill when I changed the Subaru belt too. The Honda was more of an accomplishment, I can tell you. I got good at it because the first belt they gave me was the wrong one.

Somehow I got it worked out. Taxi cab I think. I rarely call anyone for anything and at that time in my life, I felt like a misfit and I was angry enough at everyone not to want to ask any favors.

The truth is, I am regularly angry at everyone to the point of being somewhat incommunicado. Or angry at myself. I don't get it a lot of the time so I avoid.

Either way, the Honda belt worked fine, and the Subaru belt resulted in no more power steering oddness. It did not seem like it was slipping that much but the thing is working far better. It is doing better at speed too. I guess it was slipping enough not to cut out as soon as it should so it made steering at lower speeds a bit funky at times.

So, a case of an easy fix which could have affected more complex systems. I had no idea their belts were so easy to change. Good move with a car supposed to go anywhere so you can be an environmental whiner. You can change the belts with minimal tools regardless where you are.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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