***********BeezleBub, his girlfriend Twirl Girl - if you met her you'd understand - and I spent yesterday making repairs to the electrical system in his Jeep. It seems one of the previous owners had replaced the steering column. Since the electrical connections on the electrical system weren't the same as the one on the steering column he spliced in a mating connector. That in and of itself wasn't a bad thing. But it was the method he used that caused problems.
Rather than using butt connectors or a new Molex connector, he either used wire nuts to hold everything together or just twisted the wires together and covered them with electrical tape. Wire nuts work just fine on electrical connections that are static, but putting them in something that vibrates, jounces, and shakes is a formula for failure. The same can be said for twisting wires together. And so it was for BeezleBub's Jeep.
After a couple of hours of work (including a quick trip to the local hardware store to get the right sized butt connectors), success was ours.
He still has a few minor things to take care of before everything is 100%, but for now he's good to go and can drive himself to school and work.
***********I have to agree with the folks from Powerline about public employee unions: It's time to rethink them.
Frankly, it was a bad idea to allow them in the first place. We've seen the outcome and it isn't pretty. Maybe it's time to ban them altogether because they really serve no useful purpose other than to enrich public employees at the expense of the folks paying their salaries. The biggest problem? We aren't getting our money's worth.
As if we need more evidence public employee unions are a bad idea, there's this.
***********David Paul Kuhn is calling 2010 “The year that humbled the DC establishment.”
Indeed. And it wasn't just the liberal Democrat establishment that got slapped up the side of the head. The GOP establishment saw their power diminished as upstarts in the form of the TEA party told them to lead, follow, or get out of the way.
But there was a particular irony to the chasm between the excessive rhetoric that greeted this president and the electoral rebuke that closed the year. These were, nearly, the best of liberal times. The most progressive legislation passed since at least the Beatles broke up. But it was also the worst of liberal times. Liberalism's most historic midterm defeat since the radio broadcast of Orson Welles' adaptation of "War of the Worlds."
***********Have you gotten the feeling that Global Warming explanations are made up as they go along?
Yeah, me too.
(There's a nice little poll at the end of the linked article that asks about the cause of Global Warming. I think you'll be surprised at the poll results.)
***********I have to echo Glenn Reynolds on this one: Is the GOP going wobbly on Fannie and Freddie?
Lord, I hope not. F & F were two of the major players in the housing bubble and the following meltdown that dragged the housing market and a large number of banks down with them. While it must be understood that neither Fannie or Freddie can be reformed or abolished overnight, GOP Congresscritters had better stop trying to channel Barney Frank on this issue or suffer the consequences in 2012.
***********Bogie gives us her report on the blizzard that struck New Hampshire the day after Christmas, commenting on the difference in the response to the storm between her old place of employment and her new one. It's not surprising considering her old employer manufactured a tangible product and her new one does not.
***********David Starr has a series of posts about ending the Great Depression 2.0.
Part 2 is here.
Part 3 is here.
Part 4 is here.
And Part 5 is here.
He comes up with a number of valid points. While I may not agree entirely with all of his solutions, for the most part he's right on.
***********Matthew Continetti draws some interesting parallels between present day and December 1931.
Some of them are uncanny.
(H/T Granite State Pundit)
***********I like this: a sports hybrid! And it figures that it's from Honda.
The CR-Z is reminiscent of the original CRX, a two seat sports compact that got great gas mileage and performed well at the racetrack.
One thing I really like about the CR-Z? A six-speed manual transmission. How many hybrids have you heard of with a manual transmission? As far as I know this is the only one. After all, a sports car is supposed to have a manual transmission. None of those CVT slush-boxes for me!
I want one. I really want one.
***********Famine is a bad thing. Famine in America due to government caving in to watermelon environmentalist groups is even worse.
And so it goes in central California.
***********The last of the Christmas decorations in The Manse came down today. BeezleBub and Twirl Girl spent the latter part of this morning undecorating the tree and getting the ornaments and lights packed away until next Christmas.
My only rule for them in regards to getting it done was that they had to finish before the Patriots game. After all, it's my job to clean the house over the weekend and I didn't want my chores to overlap into game time.
Call me crass, but it's my house so it's my rules.
***********Oh, now he gets it!
On his last day in office, New York Governor David Paterson decided it's time to sound the alarm about the state's upcoming pension debacle. As if no one else was aware of this economy killing crisis waiting in the wings?
There's a Yiddish term for Paterson's decision to reveal this last minute revelation: chutzpah.
(H/T Viking Pundit)
***********After this last snowstorm BeezleBub and I came to the conclusion that the Official Weekend Snowblower was on its last legs. Even though it's only 11-years old it has seen a lot of action and been used heavily. Despite regular maintenance and repair on our part it's wearing out. The auger and the impeller have seen better times and have been in better shape (one impeller vane is bent and we have no idea how or when that happened), we're having problems keeping things bolted together (this past storm we lost 4 bolts, two of which hold the gas tank in place), and the transmission needs readjustment again...and that's after one use!
BeezleBub has been on the 'Net researching our next snowblower. His pick: the John Deere 1330SE.
It has a larger engine (13hp vs 10hp on the present snowblower) and a 30” cleaning width, which is 6” wider than our present machine.
We will put off the purchase until late in the winter to take advantage of the end-of-season sales, assuming our present machine lasts that long.