I need to ask you guys about something super-important. I think I’ve discovered a conspiracy. Two times during the past month or so I’ve been pumping gas into my ludicrous little wind-up car, and noticed (way too late) that it’s 93 octane going in. I know I punched the 87 button, but it’s somehow leaped all the way across 89, and settled on 93. Expensive-ass 93… I think these electronic pumps are programmed to switch grades for every fifth or sixth user, or whatever. Like a Philadelphia voting boof.
The frustrating thing? I’ve shared this earth-shaking discovery with a few people, and they always just say, “Huh, that’s weird.” But there’s a hint of “you punched the wrong button, dumbass” in their demeanor. Know what I mean? And that infuriates me. I know how to operate a gas pump, dicklips. I’ve been doing it since the Carter administration. Man, I’m getting fired up.
I think I’m going to call Alex Jones. He’ll believe me. He strikes me as a very level-headed gentleman.
In any case, do you folks have anything on this? Have you noticed it happening? ‘Cause it is! Oh, it’s happening. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself pumping Lamborghini fuel into your Ford Fiesta or whatever. It’s a scandal! This could extend all the way to self check-outs at the grocery store. Maybe they’re redirecting Ticonderoga tomatoes to Tayback Beauties, or somesuch? Admittedly, I’m not up on the latest tomato lingo.
But I’d like to get your thoughts on this. Has it happened to you? Let’s investigate this bastard.
A few nights ago the oldest boy called me at work, and asked if I would stop at McDonald’s on my way home and get him two McDoubles. I’m not sure what a McDouble is, but told him no problem. However, I reminded him that it’ll take me 40 minutes. So, don’t be asleep.
And when I got here around midnight… he was completely out. I made a half-assed attempt to wake him, but he was in pretty deep. Grrr…. I put the sack on the kitchen counter, sent him a text message that said something like “I got these burgers for you. What the hell?” and continued with my evening.
The next morning I got up, looked at my phone, and there was a text from him. It was from 4:06 am, and it said, “Thanks for getting those burgers. They were good.” What the? I went downstairs, and asked Toney where he was. Still in bed, she told me.
So, he got up in the middle of the night, came downstairs and ate two cold hours-old hamburgers, and crawled back under the covers? Nothing should surprise me at this late date, but I found that to be a bit odd.
I’m sad to report that my desktop computer is dying. It’s very old, still running Windows Vista. At this point it won’t connect to certain websites, like Facebook. It’s also crashing and freezing… I don’t think you’re supposed to keep them for twelve years, right? But, until the last couple of months, it performed like a champion. I get a little attached to things, like computers and cars and houses. My parents, on the other hand, get attached to nothing. They just rent a dumpster, fill that bad-boy with precious memories, and keep on going. I always feel like I’m going through some kind of low-grade breakup whenever I have to make those kinds of changes.
Plus, how much does a new desktop cost? Like $800? Even more? What am I, Ted Turner? Hey, maybe I’ll rob a bank? That seems like a good option.
In any case… do you get attached to cars, gadgets, houses, apartments, etc.? Or are you like my folks, and just walk away? When I take a computer out of service, I feel like I’m being disloyal to an old friend, or something. Is that weird?
I have to go now. I have more, lots more. But I live in a vortex of chaos. It’s like I’m writing these updates in a Greyhound bus terminal. Sweet sainted mother of Eddy Grant!
I’ll see you guys again on Monday.
Have a great weekend!
Now playing in the bunker
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Uh, first? How the HELL did that happen??
I haven’t noticed pumps spewing a grade I haven’t chosen, but you should be careful: some engines aren’t designed to burn the higher octanes. My ’68 Buick Riviera, on the other hand, was designed when you could get 100+ at the pump, and these days I have to add octane booster to premium fuel just to get ‘er to run right (and squeak out 12 mpg).
I had to buy a new one last summer. I got it at Sam’s Club. I was still running XP.
I usually buy refurbished or off-lease computers for $100 to $200 from Micro Center. I’ve also bought them direct from Dell; they run a day-old bread store of sorts online. The other online retailers may have such a thing too: Newegg, Tiger Direct, maybe even Amazon.
The machine you get will be three years old and fixed-up-like-new. It will also come with a small amount of RAM, and a miniscule hard drive pre-installed with the latest version of Windows Home Lobotomy Kit. I buy a stick or two of RAM and a decent-sized hard drive and end up with a nice new desktop for $300.
Lee Harvey Ramone says
It seems entirely proper and fitting that Vic Tayback would have a tomato variety named after him.
On a related note, Polly Holliday raised the tone of All the President’s Men. When she told Woodstein, “Kiss my grits”, it was like Bette Davis, who wouldn’t die for another thirteen years, had come back to life.
I knew Vic better by his stage name, Jojo Krako.
just read an article about something like that today, gas pirates or some such.
I hadn’t noticed errant gas pumps like that. But I have to get gas on the way home today, so I’ll watch out for it. I *have* noticed the seriously obnoxious “Gas Station TV” shouting at me while I pump gas. Stations that have this “feature” go on my Fecal Roster as they are discovered.
I’ve never experienced the octane shift at the pump but I have noticed that, regardless of the selected octane, the pump racks up about $0.08 before gas actually begins flowing. It seems to be a cheesy way to make a few bucks but these gas places are not run by Franciscan monks. Just an observation.
If you are using your desktop for email, facebook, word processing etc. check into a local repair shop. They frequently sell refurbished units with fresh software, an updated operating system and (usually) a respectable but limited warrantee…plus you know where they work. $100-$200 may get you back into the show.
A couple of stations near me have the buttons in reverse order. So the most expensive is on the left……and if you are in a hurry you don’t realize they are not in the order you expect them to be.
Never had that happen to me at a gas pump, so I’ll say “uh huh”.
I always feel sad when I leave a house or apartment for the last time. Normally feel sad when cars go too, but when I replace my current 180K POS daily driver I may push the button on the crusher myself.
Many serious studio musicians and arrangers have claimed that Wichita Lineman, as sung by Glen Campbell, is the perfect pop song. If I hear that or Galveston on the radio, on the TV from another room, or through the ether, I stop and listen, even though I’ve heard them hundreds of times. Yeah, I know he was mainstream, but if you ever stopped to hear him play guitar breaks and solos, you hear the Wrecking Crew echo down the years, and know the guy with the prim haircut had street cred. Godspeed, Glen.
Agreed, those two songs, although not really my taste, are finely crafted recordings. Wichita Lineman especially, that’s a piece of art. How would you improve it?!
Gentle on My Mind is always on my play list. I remember seeing John Hartford on TV as a kid. Probably the Glen Campbell show. I’ve never forgotten how he clogged on a hunk of plywood.
Root 66 says
Never had a gas pump do a “level-up” on me. I’m a cheap old so-and-so and I would notice something like that in a heartbeat! Maybe some gas pumps have a new kind of software that looks at your car and examines your buying habits and selects the grade for you…who the heck knows?!?
Two cold McDoubles at 4 AM–why not? Drink a Mountain Dew with them suckers and you’ve got the “breakfast of champions” right there!
I try not to get too emotionally attached to stuff, but our old Toyota Corolla was so good to us, I miss it like a dead relative. We replaced it with another one, but I don’t like the newer models nearly as much. In hindsight, I should’ve dropped a new engine in it and kept on truckin’!
I have to expense our gas receipts so I scrutinize them and never saw an octane jump. But nothing surprises me anymore. I know I’ve gotten home from the grocery store and saw incorrect prices on produce that made me want to kick someone.
My eyes welled up when they came to take away my Chevy Beretta! That was my first brand spanking new car and that baby took me everywhere.
We’ve got my late husband’s 2001 Chrysler Grand Voyager with almost 190,000 miles on it. She has started to shut down, in traffic, and we haven’t figured out the problem yet. Probably just old age and years of abuse. He used to haul everything, from firewood, to motorcycles, to grand-babies and groceries. My daughter has helped replaced the alternator, fuel pump and lines, some of the electrical work. It will be like losing a member of the family if the problem can’t be fixed and no one wants to give up on her yet. Yeah, we do get attached to our vehicles.
Replace the in-line fuel filter. 8 bucks and a screwdriver.
I still mourn my 1995 Jeep Wrangler. I’d had it for YEARS before I started a job that required that I get a new one every three years in order for them to pay for the gas and upkeep. The subsequent years grew in suckiness until my last one, a 2008, made me want to drive it off a cliff.
I would love to have another old Wrangler now.
I also had a 95 Wrangler that I loved, and even when my wife and I had kids, upgraded(?) to a minivan and a larger sedan for me, I kept that Jeep and just took the hardtop and doors off and only took it out when it was over 75 and sunny. Kept it like that for an additional 6 years, taking my kids in it to feed ducks and fish until we upgraded our house in 2006 and I decided I’d rather have the 6k it was worth to hire painters and movers than take 6k out of my savings to do it. Worst decision of my married life. My daughter is now almost 16, my son is 13, and neither one of them have forgiven daddy for getting rid of his “Old Green Jeep that he used to take us out in when it was sunny.”
Now that daughter has gone to college I have my car back. Lucy is a ’98 Volvo wagon that brought daughter home from the hospital. She has toted everything from kids and dogs (including an Irish Wolfhound), bails of hay and grain and enough slate to tile a kitchen and living room. Hell, old Lucy pulled Ethel the horse trailer. She started leaking fluids but that was a good thing. It taught daughter how to check and fill the oil and radiator fluid. After a couple grand in repairs she is running like a sewing machine. I Love Lucy.
The Qweezy Mark says
My 2000 Audi TT was murdered in November by some jagged faced f***face. He sped out of an apartment complex without stopping and onto a big wide boulevard on a perfectly sunny day and crushed my passenger side driving the wheel into the transmission and motor. Totaled. That car had driven me through most of the continental US and had more ass in it’s passenger seat than a ladies’ room at the mall. New car is faster. Wish I had the old car.
I generally don’t have an issue with throwing out anything that has seen it’s day. But, I’m one paranoid SOB when it comes to identity theft. Whenever I throw out a pc I remove the hard drive and place it in a box and then smash the crap out of it repeatedly with a sledge hammer. And then I make sure to dispose of them both on different garbage days, just in case some riff-raff see the pc and decide to hunt around for the hard drive. My identity may never be stolen but it’s possible my sanity already has been.
Basket O' Deplorables says
The Qweezy Mark says
I’m sentimental about houses/apartment and cars. Our cars have NAMES, for crying out loud.
Also sentimental about old photos, letters, pictures, which is why there are multiple tubs of the stuff still hanging out in our bedroom. Going through them and purging is just not high on my list of things to do, but apparently having 80 pounds of fire hazard at the foot of my bed is.
Never have had an issue with the gas switching on me, but I have noticed a re-ordering of the gas grades at the pump, which unnecessary and makes me really crabby.
Phil Jett says
I just bought a brand new HP desktop bundle, 8g sdram, 2TB hard drive with 24 inch HD monitor, keyboard and mouse with a DVD burner for $449 during a one day sale. Very small compared to my last HP tower which weighed about 40 lbs and was running XP when it died. Not a big fan of windows 10 and all the apps and this cu*t Cortana that it runs, but this bitch is fast and Netflix and HBOGO looks great on it.
The Qweezy Mark says
Yeah, Windows 10 (other than touchscreen) was just change for the sake of change. I usually just right click to get the old timey menu for access to a lot of stuff when needed. Cortana doesn’t do a thing for me. She can go to Hell.
You been on my mind.
Yeah, you’re on my mind.
When I think about you, baby,
I just can’t keep from cryin’.
B. Dylan via Allen Ginsberg
Charlottesville is the raison d’être of Godwin’s law.
“When their lager soaked breath just marched on past
Coupling German ‘sieg heil’ with their Union Jacks
That’s one arranged marriage, you’d have to agree.”
I just saw computers super cheap in Best Buy, like $300 – but maybe yours just needs Windows wiped and reinstalled? Some friends who are computer geeks told me that over time, Windows slows down the registry so a fresh install can sometimes clean it up and make it fast again. But that can be time-consuming and almost easier to just get another computer. Hard drives, if they’re not solid state, generally last about 2 years. You got good mileage, bruh!
LOVE your blog!