Let’s start with the unrest in the air… Delta airlines, having swallowed Northwest, the airline we loved to hate, is out to become even more hated. Dr. Steve Miles, the media’s go-to guy on medical ethics, just exposed Delta’s trick of charging their “frequent fliers club”  members higher fares than plain old customers who surf in and buy a ticket online or maybe even at the counter. So next time your airline of choice (or more likely neccessity) offers you some petty bribe to sign up for their “frequent fliers club”, it’s probly time to surf on or even hit delete!

Gettin’ crazy on the rails, too… The long anticipated battle for Canadian Pacific went down today, with the old guard and the corporate raiders battling to a draw- the raiders got 7 of 16 board seats and the old guard CEO suddenly retired. No announcement yet of ex-Canadian National CEO Harrison Hunter being coronated as new CEO, so looks like we’re in for a long battle between the warring parties on the board while the middle management and grunts try to keep the railroad running. The Canadian Pacific museum, Holiday Train, and shortline DM&E haven’t been posted up on eBay yet, but I’m tempted to sell my CP stock.

Moving downscale to trucks, as expected, Navistar is gettin” hit with EPA fines for noncompliance with the 2010 emmission standards of $1900 a truck. Actually, they’re lucky- the EPA could shut them down completely until they get legal. Competitors are demanding just that, and suing EPA to force their hand. Navistar’s in a helluva mess, having dropped Cummins and their EPA 2010 compliant engines from their option lists a few months back. Volvo/Mack, Daimler (Freightliner/Western Star), and Paccar (Kenworth/Peterbuilt) wisely kept Cummins engines on their option lists just in case their own engines didn’t receive the EPA’s or their customer’s approval… Navistar burned their bridges. With the truck building industry recovering and components in short supply, Navistar can’t just order up a few thousand Bosch injections systems and SCR systems or even whole Cummins engines and get legal… Navistar is “so screwed”.

And finally, some two wheeled relief: After nearly a thousand miles since the big stripped cylinder stud repair on the R100GS I did a minor service yesterday. Couple valves had tightened up a hair, and only a couple shiny specs in the oil filter. Noting the excessive vibration, rechecked the torque on the engine mounting bolts… 40 ft./lbs., right for an older airhead but I hadn’t noticed that the spec for the later models like this was upped to 64 ft./lbs.. Cranked ’em up to spec and seems a bit smoother… Who knew schrunching the engine and it’s mounts together a bit would make a difference? I may move the GS from “keep close to home” status and ride it the 170 miles to the cities for our MN Airhead Tech Day this weekend. Next project is replacing a leakin” fork seal, working up the courage for that one…