Monday, August 04, 2008

I don't believe it!
There she goes again!
She's tidied up and I can't find anything.
All my tubes and wires and careful notes
and antiquated notions, but it's poetry in motion.
Thomas Dolby, She Blinded Me With Science

Okay, the gas thing has been in the news a whole bunch lately, including helpful tips from Barry Hussein Obama (Holla!). He recommends we all get tune-ups. *ahem* I'll get back to that in a minute.

First I need to quote someone brilliant on the subject of tune-ups. Namely: me. From a blog post about a year and a half ago in which I waxed bitchtastic over crap screenwriters/set dressers/prop people get utterly wrong in filims:

Then there's Billy Bob Thornton's (horrid, in my opinion) much ballyhooed Monster's Balls. At one point, the inveterate racist BBT has come around to realizing that he's attracted to Halle Berry, whose husband he's just executed at the penal facility at which he works. He has a real Barney Fife moment when he takes HB's car to a mechanic for repair. As he's walking away from the
garage--the big man--BBT sends all credibility(?) to hell when he says to the mechanic "Be sure to check those plugs and points." [THIS would be a reference to what was referred to as a tune-up] Now, her car is a late 80s/early 90s ride of Asian extraction. All production passenger cars are made with electronic ignitions these days, and there ARE no points. Made after the 1970s? Pretty much
no points in that dog. The points to which he would be referring if the car had points, would be breaker point distributors. The bps controlled the flow of the 20-40 thousand volts of electricity from the battery and ensured they were distributed to each spark plug at the right time. Advent of electronic ignitions mean that points is one less thaing Billy Bob Thornton has to worry his purty little haid about. Someone shoulda told him.

Actually, I have to add a little bit here. I confess that upon reflection, I've gotten more chuckles' worth than the price of the rental on this movie just remembering BBT's Barney Fife moment of hiking up his britches and manfully saying "be sure to check the plugs and points.". Maybe BBT knew what he was doing, knew his audience would know and that he was being ironic. Some people call it a mower blade, I call it a sling blade/Some people call it A Simple Plan, I call it an uncomplicated plan/Some people call it change, I call it the antichrist.

Yeah, and someone shoulda told that asshat B.O. (I'll just call him body ordure, if that's okay wit choo), too, while they were at it. There's an old joke about not flying off the handle when you're full of bull. If Mr. Smarty Man is so wise, so all-knowing and so frelling brilliant, how's come he's going around telling people they can save gas by performing maintenance which was obsolete before many of his biggest fans were even born??? Bamalamadingdong may as well have advised us to improve mileage by checking our cars' hooves and refilling its oat bag every 10 miles. Yes, Obama fans-- the tune-up comment was on that very order of stupidity. Be embarrassed.

The irony is it's not un-heard of for some mechanics to be un-scrupulous in their dealings with a gullible public. How many garages do you suppose have added the new service of tune-ups to late-model vehicles in the past week? Oh, but I'm being mean, aren't I? Maybe Obama's just advising tune-ups because he's been paying for tune-ups himself for the past 30 years. He's a man who covers all the bases, real and imagined, and he wants to do the same for the highest office in our nation. Who are we to hold that against him? In fact, let's just cut to the chase: let's skip the nightmarish redux of a Carter presidency and put Obama to work for Habitat for Humanity. I'm even cool with the Nobel prize nomination for him and all that if we can just skip the horrors of a B.O. presidency in the interim.

Yeah, you know what? While we're at it, we can save gas by quitting our jobs, staying home and living off the gubmint. But if we do that, who'll pay for the free ride all his supporters are expecting?

Break's over. Back on your heads.


JPG said...

Karl Childers: Some folks call it a sling blade, I call it a Kaiser blade.

I reckon I shudena wrote that but I jest couldn't help it, hmmm.

breda said...

It's like Jimmy Carter recommending we all wear sweaters.

Thud said...

It's such a pleasure to be lectured by the obamessiah...a privilege even!

Anonymous said...

My '94 Civic had a distributor cap with 4 points around the distributor rotor. The rotor spun hitting each point in order to create spark at the plugs. Are these the points you're talking about?

This was why I bought the car - so I could retard or advance the ignition timing for fuel economy or performance, respectively. I've since moved on to my truck (after my Civic got stolen last year).

phlegmfatale said...

jpg - This is a help-it free zone. I encourage blurting, darling.

breda - Yup. A lot like that, indeedy!

thud - We are blessed.

redneckinny -- Surprised by your comment, I axt an expert mechanic I know about your model of car, and here's what he said: Those are just the electrodes on the inside of the cap-- every distributor cap ever made has those
Points are not on the cap-- they were on top of the distributor

DW said...

My people, go down to Advance auto and get your self a part time job, an hour or two a week (find out when truck day is and don't go that day) you will be required to take a computer based rianing course that will help you overcome a lot of misconceptions about what your auto does and doesn't do.

I worked there for fun, belive it or not, I enjoyed helping people, even those who only knew their car was BLUE.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Heh. I remember the "tune-up".

Had a beat-to-death '67 F100 with the 360 V8 for a while, that still had the single point ignition.

While it was nice to have something capable of being tuned to close to top performance with a business card, screwdriver, and hammer, it would have been nicer to have something that didn't need a tweak weekly, or if the weather changed more than fifteen degrees. Oh, colder today? Let me give the idle needle a half twist before we run around today... we're loping a bit much? Tap the distributor over a degree or two with a hammer at the next gas stop.

Can't say much else though... got it extremely cheap because previous owner didn't know all that and the points were set to barely open, truck would run for 5 minutes then load up and die flooded.

Rabbit said...

I moved into the 1980's with Ol' Hulsey, my '60 F-100 pickup almost as soon as I took possession of it. 'Twas my grandfather's truck, bought new when he retired. When I got my hands on it, I swapped in an aftermarket electronic ignition, put the old points and condenser in a pill bottle in the toolbox, put in new spark plugs and wires (I found 2 surface gap plugs in there, presumably for a Johnson outboard- he was known to 'make do') and proceeded to drive it.

It vastly improved the miles per gallon and the driveability. Amazing.

I keep thinking about pulling off the old carburetor and putting on fuel injection, but that's a project for cooler days.


Zelda said...

But...but...Obama is a Lightbringer. We can't expect him to lower himself to discussing petty annoyances.

Dr. StrangeGun said...


Http:// Mix that with... oh, a CFI unit from a mid-80's Thunderbird V6 or Lincoln 320CFI and you've got a winner. Those CFIs are performance anathema so they're probably quite literally a dime a dozen at junkyards, and they fit the 2bbl Autolite carb bolt pattern.

As simple as the electrics are on older vehicles, shouldn't take you a day to assemble and a day to tune :)

Rabbit said...

Cool! Thanks!


SpeakerTweaker said...

"Break's over. Back on your heads."

I had forgotten that one. I wonder if I'm the only one who took notice?