Sturgeon’s Law

Ninety Percent Of Everything Is Crap

Derived from a quote by science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon, who once said, "Sure, 90% of science fiction is crud. That's because 90% of everything is crud." Oddly, when Sturgeon's Law is cited, the final word is almost invariably changed to 'crap'.

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A Decade Ago

  • TDTVS - That Damn TV Show Thursday we watched 2 0f the 4 episod …



@2000MX5 From your tweet to David Stuursma's ears. #MotoringChallenge
- Sunday Jan 3 - 12:44am

#MotoringChallenge Thousands of gallons a minute dumped from Lake Thurmond. Could have been 1st Sneak Peek of 2016..
- Saturday Jan 2 - 12:49am

#MotoringChallenge Photo no. 143 and last for submission taken today. Coffee Shop (with Friends) Is it 2016 yet?
- Sunday Dec 27 - 3:36am

I want to win an #Outlander T-shirt from @litographs & @Thats_Normal
- Thursday Dec 24 - 2:55am

Collection Of 200 Free Windows 10 Icons
- Tuesday Nov 10 - 3:41am

Reconstituted Dinosaurs



Sonata or Miata

Hunting Aliens

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Ask Brian

Moss Motoring Challenge Ideas

Last year while driving around hunting for the 2015 Challenges Donna and I tried to come up with ideas for the 2016 contest that we could submit to the organizer(s). Here is the list we compiled that used to be displayed over on the left:

  1. Tattoo Parlor = 1pt
    • Tattoo Parlor w/ Fresh Tat = 2pt
    • Tattoo Parlor w/ Moss Logo Tat = 5pt
  2. Food Bank = 1pt
    • Food Bank,Dropping Off Donation = 2pt
  3. Identifiable Roadkill = 2pt
  4. Military Hardware Display = 1pt
  5. Harley-Davidson Dealer = 1pt
    • Harley-Davidson Dealer & Wearing their T-shirt = 2pt
  6. Photogenic Bridge = 1pt
  7. In a Cemetery/Graveyard = 1pt
  8. College Football Stadium = 1pt
  9. Large Outdoor Mural = 1pt

By the time I sent in the list, it was too late, next year’s flyers/entry forms were all ready being printed/produced. How did we do as prognosticators? Not bad actually.

We had three direct hits, Tattoo Parlor, Military Hardware Display & Cemetery.

And three near misses, Harley-Davidson Dealer came in as Biker “Gang”, Photogenic Bridge became Drawbridge (raised) and College Football Stadium turned into University Campus.

Food Bank and Large Outdoor Mural have real merit and might have made next year’s list, but Roadkill not so much.

$500 Car Wash

The Purple Whale just got back from his 60k service appointment and before they give you car back as a “free” perk they wash and vacuum it.

We dropped off the car yesterday, so this morning I called the Service Adviser to see how how much this was going to set me back I was told it would be $491. When we showed up to get the car back he told me the total was $527 which I figured was the price + tax. We I got home and looked at the back page of the sheet he gave me there were itemized costs for labor, parts, misc and tax with a total of $580.33. Right underneath that he had hand written in -$53.08 bringing the total to the paid $527.29. WTF? The math isn’t even right! The original $491 plus the 7% sales tax should have totaled $525.37.

The recommended service is to inspect a zillion things, the major items are changing several filters and draining, flushing and replacing the big three fluids (oil, coolant & transmission.) Where did the $580 come from, hard to tell, because the inspections aren’t itemized so all the cost is lumped in the blocks for the 3 fluid changes.

While he was in the shop he also had a couple recalls taken care of. One was some sort of brake pedal stopper which might cause the car to not start needed to be replaced. The second was inspection for engine block noise which might indicate possible main bearing failure. Some engines apparently didn’t get all the chips flushed out during manufacturing. The Purple Whale was fine on that count.

A couple of other observations:
1) They noticed a clunk when turning and replaced a steering coupling under warranty. I have been hearing something like that when backing out of the driveway when transiting off the little curb there, but thought nothing of it. In the write up section for this it says, “Replaced steering coupler per TSB 14-ST-002. One time good will for customer satisfaction.” So they changed something per a Technical Service Bulletin and it is goodwill?
2) In another shining example of car dealer math, Hyundai recommends changing the oil every 7,500 miles and in a little note towards the end of my service print out it says “next oil lube service due @ 63,258 miles, or about 3,746 miles more than the car has now.

Started up, went down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 06/25/15: 141

Cool Vehicles From All Around the World

The title of tonight’s post is a section on this year’s Motoring Challenge. There are ten blanks with the first 6 worth a point each and while 7 & 8 are worth two points, car number 9 is worth three and #10 will be worth four points. It is sub-titled Your car alongside sweet rides from 10 other countries and wins Brian’s prize for the most open for interpretation ever.

Do you need to find cars from ten other countries? Are there even ten countries that make cars?

What country is a car from? Is our Sonata Korean because that is where Hyundai is based or is it American because it was built in Alabama.

And just what does other mean anyway? A country other than the one I’m in? A country other than the country of the car’s origin?

Lastly, who decides what’s cool? If it was up to the folks on Jalopnik I would need to find 10 German or Swedish station wagons preferably brown with manual transmissions…

Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 06/25/15: 138

Immobile Draw Bridge

A raised Drawbridge is worth a big 4 points in this year’s Motoring Challenge and that was today’s big destination. I found a list of our state’s movable bridges on the SC Highway Information pages. There are ten and only 4 are drawbridges. The one that seemed the most promising was the Wappoo Creek Bridge on SC-171 near Charleston. We have crossed over this bridge several times before, including doing the 2014 Challenge when we went to Folly Beach to get a picture of a pier. According to the page it opens on the hour and the half hour between 9:00 AM & 7:00 PM on the weekends. As a bonus there is a seafood restaurant on one side of the bridge that would make a perfect lunch spot.

There is a boat ramp on the West Ashley side of the creek that offered up a perfect spot to get a photo of the bridge in action. We parked, got out to stretch our legs a bit and then just chilled for a while. Eleven-thirty came and went and the bridge didn’t go up. What the heck? Then the landlubbers that we are, it dawned on us, those opening times are for boats and then only if there is one waiting. SC-171 is a very busy road, especially on a weekend, even on a winter day, so why would they grind traffic to a halt every 30 minutes if they didn’t need to. Doh! This is going to take a bit more planning.

Still, the day was very productive, 8 photos worth a total of 13 points:

Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 06/25/15: 137

Motoring Challenge Points 13, Approx Miles Driven 310
Totals So Far: 29 points & 440 miles

Happy Curmudgeon Day

For the past however long1 we have worked at the Valve Store ™ we have had 9 holidays off. They were New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the Friday after, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.

Depending on what day Christmas & it’s Eve fell on it was mostly always turned into a 4 day weekend with the exceptions being if Christmas fell on a Wednesday or Thursday. A large group of employees would combine this with the New Year’s Day holiday and most of their 2 or 3 weeks of vacation disappear from the middle of December and not return until January 2nd.

I say we had 9 holidays, because the company decided that starting this year they were replacing Christmas Eve with a Floating Holiday of the employee’s choosing. This floater had to be scheduled like a vacation day by filling out a vacation request, but noting that it was your Floating Holiday. But it would have to used like a holiday in that you couldn’t take it in 2 half days and it was not allowed to be carried over.

Around lunch time yesterday Donna decided that maybe it would be nice to turn this into a 4 day work week by taking today off. We decided instead of wasting a vacation day we would go ahead and burn that floater. So I hearkened back to my bicycle club newsletter days and went looking for a esoteric holiday to celebrate. Found several and opted for Curmudgeon Day. So I put on the vacation request handed in to our supervisors, January 29th, Curmudgeon Day (in honor of William Claude Dukenfield’s birthday.)

When my acting supervisor asked me who William Claude Dunkenfield was I told him it was W.C. Fields. Ever the smart-ass he said, “Oh, I know him, he makes the cookies.” Not to be out smart-assed, I replied, “No, that’s his wife.”

Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 06/25/15: 136

1. cough, cough twenty-seven years, cough, cough

The Mother Road?

The Mother Road

Went for a little walk in Hitchcock Woods on Sunday and stumbled on this trail. Most of the other trails in the woods have names derived from the early days of the city’s Winter Colony and equestrian themes, but this one…?…decidedly modern and automotive. The sign is relatively new (first time we’ve noticed it, but then we usually come in a different entrance) judging by its patina.

I don’t know who gets the honor of naming the trails in the woods, but this person has a sense of humor. Both because Hitchcock Woods is a horse riders paradise where no motorized traffic is allowed and this is a short connector trail very unlike its US highway equivalent.

Started down, went up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 06/25/15: 135

Just When I Thought That I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In… Again

Gillian Anderson

If you looked over to the left and down where it says “A Decade Ago” yesterday the 22nd, you might have noticed a post entitled Just When I Thought That I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In where I talked about my falling off the posting photos of Gillian Anderson wagon because she was back everywhere in the media due to gig on a PBS period piece show.

Well, because of the run up to the Fox revival miniseries starting tomorrow night, she is everywhere again and the above photo came from a GQ mini-interview with her called Gillian Anderson Answers All Your Questions about the New X-Files Revival that I found a decade later, January 22, 2016.

To do my own prep for Sunday night I’ve been cherry picking some of my favorite episodes to watch. So far, in this order, is what I’ve re-watched:

  • The Post-Modern Prometheus
  • Bad Blood
  • Jose Chung From Outer Space
  • Clyde Bruckman
  • The Field Where I Died
  • Never Again
  • Christmas Carol & Emily
  • Small Potatoes
  • Triangle
  • Dreamland & Dreamland II