If you received a road side emergency kit for Xmas here are a few facts. Most are a great help during a roadside emergency, the expensive are of course a bigger help, but anything is better than nothing.
I don’t see road side flares as a good idea, you store them in a warm trunk for who knows how long and will they work and if they do for how long.
The booster cables in many kits are worthless they are of such small gauge wire there is no power left when it gets to the battery. A good set is expensive but worth it when you need them, they should be a minimum of 16 – 18 feet long and heavy enough to supply power.
Duct tape or I prefer gorilla tape is a must for any kit as are a few basic tools and a first aid kit. There are several list on line and also kits are available but I would make up my own to your own set of skills and needs in an emergency.
Here again buy what you can afford, I know it is tough to spend money just to have it sit in storage until needed but trust me you will be glad you did when you need the kit.
Road side kits and emergency survival kits are a separate kit and the needs are different but in conjunction with each other they can be a life saver. A post later on home evacuation kits.
Trivia… Ford, who made the first pick-up trucks, shipped them to dealers in crates that the new owners had to assemble using the crates as the beds of the trucks. The new owners had to go to the dealers to get them, thus they had to “pick-up” the trucks… And now you know the “rest of the story”.
Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall. There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010. The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall. 39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger. 8,283 were just 19 years old. The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old. 12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old. 5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old. One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old. 997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam. 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam. 31 sets of brothers are on the Wall. 31 sets of parents lost two of their sons. 8 Women are on the Wall. 244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall. The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths. The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 – 2,415 casualties were incurred.
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Nissan Motors LEAF has finally taken off their sales so far this year surpasses 2012. The sales increase has caused a supply problem and all dealer order may not be filled. A problem many manufactures would like to have. The question I have is this because they cut the price $6000, made a lease plan $199 a month available or moved there production to the US. Perhaps it was just time for the buying public to take a look at buying a EV and all of the previous items made them take a serious look at an EV. I also think more Americans like to buy US products where possible. Many and I am one have just started to accept the price of gas is going to stay high and we should start to plan our transportation purchases accordingly.The LEAF is the highest selling EV in the US but I think it still has some drawbacks and the main one is charging. IF you want a slow overnight charging system most household’s electrical systems can handle it, but if you want a quick charge the cost can be substantial. Also charging stations available to the public are hard to find. I just don’t think that the average driver is ready to plan his trips around available power or charging stations. I know I would not be comfortable if I had my grandkids and waiting for a LEAF to charge before I had transportation. I don’t see myself with only one vehicle either. I don’t know how high gas would have to get before I would give up my 4X4, I do know I am driving less. I am doing more several stops in one trip and planning my errand runs. Also living in North Dakota I just don’t see a LEAF being my vehicle of choice when it is -40 and the snow is blowing .
As we honor and thank the veterans and serving military, today don’t forget the families of current military personnel they also serve and sacrifice. I really miss the Hooligans fly over on this day of course with the cloud cover there would not be one but I still miss it. I know this does not mean much to many of you but the Hooligans were a Air National guard unit that flew cover over Washington DC during 9/11 and they have since changed missions and no longer fly fighters.
While on vacation in Arizona, we came back to early still snow on the ground, we rented a 2013 Dodge Journey. Overall it was a nice ride, a little low on power but then most rental cars are. The seats were very comfortable even the far rear that made it a 6 passenger were not that bad according to the couple that rode about 25 miles back there. The one problem with the seats was the adjustment and the feature that made the second seat slide forward to gain access to the rear. The rear seat was difficult to slide and we never did get the rear access feature to work. The HVAC and radio controls were touch screen and very easy to use. Satellite radio was also a nice feature when you are in a strange town and don’t know the stations it is a great help. My wife said that it sounded like the same guy on the 60s station back home, not only sounds like but is. Gauges were sparse, only temp, which I imagine is a necessity in Arizona. I liked the speedo which had both needle and digital. The remote lock and unlock was keyless, which is becoming standard, but the lock and unlock feature was a bit difficult to understand how it was working. Any closer than 5 feet and the doors lock and unlock when you pull on the handle. The handle also has a lock all button which is nice, you do have 5 seconds to check for a locked door which I like to do but the time is to short. Owner’s manual would have helped here and with the seats. Finally found it by the spare tire on the day we were leaving. The major drawback is the rear visibility, if you have ever driven in Phoenix you know what I mean. The traffic is terrible and the speed limit is largely ignored. The second row of seats have high headrest which restrict visibility and the mirrors just seem to be improperly placed. Would I buy one, doubtful, I like to drive a pickup and my wife likes her Bonneville. If I was shopping for a crossover I would give it a second look but only after driving a few others.
As usual I had coffee this morning with Santa as we have done for many years, he needs my advice on his naughty or nice list. So if you have been nice no worry and you know the rest of the story. I did notice fewer politicians on the nice list this year. One deserving addition to the nice was Heidi. As usual you will have to wait till Christmas morning to find out which list you are on. Sorry no coal this year, to expensive, using charcoal in its place. After many years I still could not convince him to put me on the nice list. Just can’t see the upside in being good all year, I would miss out on so many things. My advice to all of my friends who are on the wrong list with me is to go out and buy yourself something nice. My Christmas is made complete by a wife of 48 years, who still puts up with me, 2 great kids and 6 great Grandchildren. Santa can’t put that in my stocking MERRY XMAS TO ONE & ALL
You are driving and having a discussion with your passenger when your radio joins in and offers a few comments. You cars computer system has been hacked. Now I don’t know if the ability to talk will be possible, but it is possible to listen into a conversation. The hacker can also tell your location using the GPS, disable and apply your brakes, they could also disable the ignition and lock or unlock your doors. I think there are several more apps that will come up as more hacking is done. Think of that 17 year old you have been yelling at to stay off your grass having control of your cars computer systems. He will be the one laughing as you try to unlock your doors to exit your car when you get home. You will notice many of the items that can be hacked are also ones that can be accessed by On Star, don’t know if this a coincidence or not. I am sure the HVAC system will be on this list as will security systems. That 17 year old could possibly turn up the volume and change channels on the radio, remember you are locked in. Rethinking that emergency escape tool you seen advertised earlier.I don’t know how the manufactures plan to update the onboard computer systems but I hope some serious security is part of the plan, but then some other 17 year old geek will beat it. Listen up shops time to hire a geek, don’t wait give them the opportunity to get in on the ground floor. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed but I started when computers were in there infancy, greetings cards have more memory then my first computer, I grew along with them. When I say MS DOS or Windows 95 and you don’t start giggling you don’t know what I am talking about.
Just had a flat and you open your trunk to discover no spare, you may have a tire inflator or some other tools that are supposed to inflate the tire but trust me these seldom work. Time to call a tow truck, at the shop they tell you the price of the tire and you respond ”no I don’t want to buy a whole set just 1 tire” and then you find out that is the cost of 1 tire. Several manufactures have dropped the spare from their vehicles in the past several years with little publicity about it. It would not be a bad idea to check if you haven’t that there is a spare. A few have included different options to reinflate the tire but if it is a sidewall or blow out or you were on the highway and shredded the tire these are of little use and tow trucks can run well over $50.The part I don’t understand is they are using very expensive tires on these same cars. Are they thinking because the tire are expensive they won’t have a problem? I just don’t see any cost saving here. It may be a weight thing, but I don’t see the saving as being that much. I have had several pickups that did not have a spare or it was impossible to get it out, I did give mine a kick this summer and it felt like it had air in it. So far no problems, now I wish I wouldn’t have mentioned it as I probably will have a problem. What is next 2 buckets with pillow for a back seat?