Despite the problems the bio-turkey biz has been having with bird flu and all, It’s been a boom year of raising gearhead type turkeys. Heck, the turkeys we used to get were definitely free range and even kinda gamy, these days there crankin’ out so many mechanical turkeys that they must have dozens of multi acre factory farms with conveyor belt feeders (and similarly mechanized manure disposal) to crank ’em out. But Gearhead Grrrl is up to the challenge… Got the hundred foot long oven conveyor belt fed oven of an abandoned Hostess bakery fired up, and the flour and sugar bins are filled with the trimmings, which will be delivered via 120 PSI pneumatic tubes. Good thing, because they raised some really big turkeys this year!
First in the oven is VW’s chief protaganist, the California Air Resourses Board, better know as CARB, especially amongst those too young to know what a carb is. VW today gifted us bloggers with a pre holiday weekend news dump, reporting that they’ve figured out how to make their last generation Euro diesels street legal with nothing more than software and a little agitating screen that goes in the air intake. Those are the dirtiest VW diesels subject to recall, so looks like the newer generation can get legal with just software updates… Everywhere but in the USA, and especially not in the land of CARB! VW can pull that off because Europe has staged their emissions requirements with increasing stringency, and they reward early adopters who go beyond the regs with road tax reductions. Thus those older generation VW diesels only had to meet Euro4 and Euro5 emissions standards. CARB and their more mellow Fed counterpart the EPA instead cranked up the standards in 2007, and then cranked them up again a few years later. That means a 2009 VW diesel with 300,000 miles on the clock will in the land of CARB have to be retrofitted with thousands of dollars worth of hardware to get legal, or bought back and at least removed from California in whole or parts for thousands more. But for an agency with an unelected board that is in love with electric cars and a better than half billion dollar budget to express that love, would you expect anything less?
Next up is a tough old bird, VW. Now I love VW, but that love is starting to get me concerned… Is their arrogant emissions cheat symptomatic of cheating or just general arrogance elsewhere in the only manufacturer to join the oil and energy company’s in the short list of the globe’s ten biggest corporations? Strip away the VW emblem and translate from german to english, and VW looks a lot like GM before the fall. I mean, do we really need VW, Audi, Skoda, SEAT, etc. versions of the Golf? And why buy Scania over the protests of Swedish shareholders, when they already owned competitor MAN and there were little opportunities for synergy? And what has VW in common with Ducati?… Methinks the Ducati cognoscenti will not be thrilled with a diesel sportbike. Then there’s the brand killing “badge engineering” If I wanted an SUV, I wouldn’t waste my time in a Porsche showroom. OK, maybe we’ll show VW some mercy, provided they sweat off some arrogance and the bloat of too many models and brands as they approach the heat of the oven.
Nobody’s gonna starve, we got plenty of turkeys left…
BMW and HOG(NYSE) in true turkey style make a lot of noise and run around like crazy with total meaninglessness, but they’re both small enough to ride through the oven side by side. Both rely on a decades old image which explains why their buyers tend to be in their last decade or two of life, and both produce bleeding edge esoteric or obsolete bikes that riders who haven’t drunk the relevant “koolaid” have no interest in. May as well send Harley to the oven, as their corporate life expectancy is pretty much tied to their aging customers, and Harley’s end ain’t gonna be pretty. BMW has a million car a year company to cover for them, but what happens when they have to sell those million cars a year at Chevy prices to move’em?
Half ton pickups… OK, we had to smash the roofs down a bit to fit ’em in the oven, but heck they were pretty useless anyways. The couple million a year sales of half ton pickups are a glaring example of how inadequate too many Americans basic education in science and physics is. This is easy math that can almost be done without taking off shoes… A half ton Chevy/GMC pickup usually comes with seating for six, and tends to sell to a rather plump demographic, and is rated for a whole 1400 pounds of payload, So assuming it’s before thanksgiving dinner, those half dozen 200 pound average folks have only 200 pounds of capacity left… Which they promptly fill with 400 pounds of turkeys, trimmings, cases of beer, oxygen bottles, a snowblower, and the leftover ammo from deer camp. Then they hook on the six place snowmobile trailer with no brakes. Is it any wonder that in Consumer Reports latest reliability survey, the 3/4 and 1 ton Chevy/GMC pickups score much better than the half tons?
Next up… *$#! tools! Look at some century old tools in a museum, and it’s obvious that “interchangeable parts” was only a vague concept then, so the dimensional accuracy of a wrench didn’t matter much, ’cause the dimensional accuracy of the fasteners to be wrenched left a lot to be desired anyway. The latter half of the last century was the golden age of tools, with top quality and accurate tools widely available at affordable prices. Today, it’s a race to the bottom… As hand tools as well as impact sockets suddenly become “wear items”. The old Hostess bakery oven could only manage 600 degrees max in it’s heyday, but these tools are made of such pot metal that I’ll have to turn down the oven a bit so they don’t melt.
Craptastic scooters, sidecars. “motorcycles”. etc…. Back before the internet, you had to have a network of at least shabby sheds if not brick and motor stores to sell motor vehicles. Thanks to the miracle of the internet a sleazy 3rd world maker of this junk can sell them online, ship them here by the container load, and deliver them to hapless customers without even the aforementioned CARB, never mind consumer protection agencies, being any the wiser. How bad are they… Well, there’s a reason why craigslist.com is full of ’em!
Electric cars… After decades of promotion by CARB and billions in subsidies, they got a whole .1% share of the market. They accomplish nothing but moving their pollution from little tailpipes to big coal fired power plants… It’s time to pull the plug and dispatch these turkeys to the oven!
With the exception of… The Postal Service! They’re shrinking the list of potential suppliers for a mere hundred thousand plus replacements for their aging little LLV vans. Covering an average of something on the order of five whole miles a day and returning to local Post Offices every night, they’re one of the few applications where electric propulsion makes sense. And all those “green” congressman and senators who appropriate those billions in electric car subsidies will be happy to share them with the Postal Service, which given the red ink on their balance sheets is probably a good thing. But Noooo… The Postal Service is digging themselves a bigger grave, shopping for an even bigger UPS step van sized truck, tall enough to stand up in too… Good luck finding enough batteries for that!
Well, this old bakery’s probably gonna get torn down anyway, so may as well crank the oven up to the max, cause we never want to see this turkey again! Ever here of a middle eastern trucking company called ISIS? Yup, same outfit you see on the nightly news. Now I wouldn’t expect much in the way of intelligent management from any outfit that fights over barren desert turf anyways, but ISIS’ logistics strategy is as bad as you’d expect from an outfit whose PR strategy consists of televised executions. Now you’d think they’d take a hint from their Somali pirate brethren, and become crude “third party logistics providers” on a shipload scale. But no, much of ISIS terror is funded by stealing oil and not even hauling it in overloaded trucks… Instead they crudely transport their oily loot in thousands of gas cans and dangerous hidden tanks in cars and vans, the work done by thousands of literally oil drenched workers in near slavery conditions. ISIS, you’re outa here!