Bladerunner (Roy): “Time To Die”

Nasa says so…

From the “May you live in interesting times” category we have a Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun headed at us “right now” so sometime between August 3 and 4 (in who knows what time zone) we have this:

Somehow I don’t think it’s going to be that dire…

Then again, I have the needed power generators, cars with NO computers in them, and stored food to not really care.

Preparation is a wonderful things.

The wonderful thing about being prepared is that you do not need to worry about all the “Doom and Gloom” hysteria. It’s just not important much any more. I came through the 7.2 Loma Prieta quake with the loss of one wine glass from the fireplace mantel. We had a “wine and cheese party” with satellite TV of the “Catastrophe” for our friends who where without power and food. It transforms “catastrophe” into “party”; and that is a beautiful thing…

For What It’s Worth, I really don’t expect anything at all to happen. Just more Doom In Our Time hype from NASA folks trying to justify large pay for little other than playing with big computers ala Global Warming.


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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11 Responses to Bladerunner (Roy): “Time To Die”

  1. KevinM says:

    “The wonderful thing about being prepared is that you do not need to worry about all the “Doom and Gloom” hysteria.”

    A high price to pay for life without variable speed windshield wipers and cruise control if you ask me.

  2. You should be prepared, instead, against NASA, NOAA, it may surely affect your wallets…:-).

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @KevinM: Well I do have multi-speed windshield wipers and cruise control.

    I do drive a Mercedes, after all. Just one from 1980 before they discovered you needed computers to make all that stuff work ;-)

    It’s a Diesel, so the entire “ignition system” is mechanical. Even the ignition key / lock has a vacuum valve in it to turn off the fuel mechanically. The cruise control in discrete components and are inside their own metal box inside the metal box of the engine compartment. It might survive a major EMP, but if it didn’t I’d be ok “Cruising Doomsday” without cruise control…

    Of course, I also have to give up having a “Black Box” in my car to tattle on me, or having any on board tracking system with radio tattling on me either ( ala “OnStar”). Then I’ll also have to put up with the fact that those neat little engine killer things the police have wont work either. Yes, it’s a lot to give up… all that monitoring and external control… /sarcoff>

    And then I have to put up with getting excellent “gas” mileage while riding in great comfort in an uber-safe full sized car.

    Take 2 tons of German Steel, collide with 1 ton of Japanese steel. Each will take the same share of the total M * V (momentum) but I’ll take my share as a lot of M, while the other will take it as V. Since they get 2 *V and since energy goes as V^2 they will get 4 Times the energy I take. ( I get 2*M * 1/2 V, while they get 1/2M * 2V so my energy is 1/4 V^2 while their energy is 4* V^2; as a first approximation and ignoring things like the degree of elasticity of the collision and that the ‘crumple zones’ will take some of it)

    Basically, big German tanks make great bumper cars…

    And the ride comfort is the best thing I’ve been in for long trips. I arrive feeling like I’ve driven about half as long. So in my Honda, I arrive pretty much worn out after 9 hours of driving. In the Benz, no problem.

    Though there is ONE thing I have to give up that pains me greatly.

    Cup holders. It was well after 1985 before the Germans put in cup holders. They simply did not believe folks would drink coffee or soda while driving. No speed limits autobahn and all that… 200 kph and drink coffee? So you have to get one aftermarket. I know, it’s a sacrifice…

  4. j ferguson says:

    I wasn’t clear on whether the threatened electro-magnetic burst would permanently fry chips. If it did, we’d have a very hard time getting fed anytime soon (actually later), because I suspect almost all diesel trucks now on the road have computer controlled injection.

    I do think that cupholders in your old Benz or the 220 I had would have been fine. Mine could do 85 after a veeerrry long run – quite sedate.

    I always thought of it as a farm tractor with comfortable seats and better rain protection – I loved the sounds and the smell.

    Had to be driven like a 40hp Beetle, If you wanted to pass someone on a 2 lane road you needed to drop way back, gather speed, and hope there would be an opening in the other lane when you got there. I’m sure you’re quite familiar with this assuming yours is a 240.

    I always wondered what your take was on a Carrrington Event predicted for 2012 by the usual folks.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @J. Ferguson: Well, I’ve got waaayyy to many old Benzs …

    My “daily driver” is a 240D, but we also have a 300 Turbo that does get up and move, fast. (Though I’ve not had it over 110… honest). The 240D is a stick shift, so does a whole lot better than the automatics. Also “thin the mix’ a little with about 10% Regular Unleaded Gasoline and it goes better (especially on this new low sulfur Diesel) or put in 20%+ of Biodiesel makes it happier too.

    I’ve also got an SL with a big V-8 in if, fuel injected, when I want to zoom. (I’m pretty sure it was all mechanical injection back in it’s day – ’81 ) and a newer 300T with the injected in-line 6 (that I’m pretty sure is electronic – 1990 ish). Then there is the old 230T. Yup, a 4 cylinder in line carburetted station wagon (that’s what the T stands for – Touring…) It can get up to over 110 MPH “right quick”, but I can’t, so I shut it down before it wants to quit. I have no idea how they do that from 2.3 L of engine in a nearly 2 ton car shaped like a brick. I use it for my “truck”.

    So I’m pretty sure that 3 of these are devoid of sensitivity to anything electrical. (2 diesel, 1 carb) and that of the 2 fuel injected ones, I will likely have the mechanical one work fine too.

    FWIW, I expect absolutely nothing of interest to happen in 2012 other than we’ll be a bit colder than now. We’re already almost all the way to the galactic alignment position (these things take something like 25,000 years for a cycle, so we’re what, 2/25,000 ths away already?) Add that the sun is dozing and showing no signs of excess activity, nor of much awakening, and I just expect a big snooze.

    Also, FWIW, the Dresden Codex of the Maya that predicts the end of the grand cycle does NOT predict gloom and doom. It predicts a new cycle of the calendar and not much else. It does say that the cycle will be accompanied by a lot of rain (a water jug is pouring water from the sky) and we likely WILL have that, thanks to a warm ocean and cold air. So what? Some extra rain is not exactly the end of life as we know it…

    While I just *love* disaster stories and disaster preparation excuses: It is nearly a profound certainty that unless a giant rock from space hits us, nothing much is going to happen. Geology things and climate things take decades to centuries most of the time (volcanoes excepted… but you get to wait centuries for them to have their 15 minutes of fame.)

    So “Be Prepared” but include a bunch of good books because it’s likely to be very dull for a very long time.

  6. John A says:

    Apparently they spotted another CME following the main one heading our way, but I’m not bothered about£^&%^”$%*%^£$^£%NO CARRIER

  7. j ferguson says:

    E.M. Wow. Wow.

    Assuming this fleet all run, do you ever get the feeling you are a slave to the motor pool.

    In my early ’40s, I accumulated at one time, vw bus, rabbit, beetle, Kaiser M725 (mobile tool box and cracker-jack cold-weather plane starter) 2 old style Ducatis and Cessna 210B, not to mention company car (which I didn’t work on)

    I think you have t least 5 cars there.

    My free time was consumed by maintenance. I thought I liked it at the time, but now I’m not sure. This was before Cessna got their early version of SAP and found out what it actually cost them to provide parts for everything they ever made. They then charged accordingly. Combustion air filter went from $35 to $175 in a short period and I understand it is over $350 today.

    I always wanted a 180D, the kind that looked a bit like an elegant 1951 Ford.

    Right now, the genset on M/V Arcadian is down. raw water screen filled with Jelly Fish, coolant overheat. I’ll have to pull all the stuff out of the bilge to get at the screen, inspect the cooling system hoses to assure flow, top off coolant, run to assure everything is ok, then put everything back together and stuff junk back in bilge.

    so instead, it’s more fun to write this.


  8. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, they all run. But yes, it’s a “passion” for me. Then again, I’ve got 4 drivers to support and that’s more of an issue 8-) but with graduation this year and next, the demand is dropping…

    Son has the 230T right now. Wife drives the 300TE. I drive the 240D (unless I want some party time zoom, then it’s the SL…) and the 300 D is the “swing car” driven when something else is in the shop. My daughter was the driver of the 300D and/or SL but wanted a newer Honda, so I”m more or less ‘one in excess’ at the moment.

    5 cars makes sense when you have 4 drivers and one in the shop from time to time. And once I’ve gone through them after initial purchase, they take no more maintenance than they did when new. The paint does oxidize after 1/4 century though ;-) (Ford and GM seem to have the paint die in about 8 years…)

    But I am looking forward to having fewer “dependents” on the auto policies and fewer mouths to feed (both organic and metal…) in the next couple of years.

    Most likely I’ll keep the 300D forever along with the 240D. The 300TE is a consumable car; I have no attachment to it. The 230T has no real market value, so don’t know what to do with it. Most likely the SL will go, as “climbing up” from the low seats to get out is becoming harder over the years and I’m less and less interested in “zoom”… I gave the 230T to the son, but he wanted a BMW… And now he has a job so the 230T will likely be homeless soon. Does make a nice ‘truck’ though. And my Honda is nearly DOA (transmission failing) so it’s likely crusher fodder Real Soon Now.

    But at the end of the day, it’s the miles that determine the maintenance schedule, so with no commute any more it can be a year between ‘regular maintenance’ visits on some of them. When I was cranking out 30-40,000 miles a year it was a great benefit to have a ‘spare car’ and I just left one at the shop all the time so we’d just drop in and swap every 5 k miles (giving the mechanic a 2 month window of something to fill the ‘slow days’, a feature to him). But now, for example, the SL has been on his lot about 8 months just waiting for a smog check. I probably need to let it go…

    At any rate, it’s not much of a problem as you can get 400,000 miles on the Diesels without major engine or transmission work. (My first 240D went to over 400,000 or so then developed a ‘quart of oil ever 500 miles’ drinking habit…) The 300D had the valves ground about 200,000 miles, but I think that was because a radiator hose broke and the head over heated before I got it stopped. It’s got about 315,000 on it now with nothing more done other than tuneups. They do seem to need A/C tending every couple of years and the cruise controls periodically need attention. Biggest issue is that at 30 years you need to do paint and sometimes upholstery.

    Frankly, the cars are going to last longer than me. I’ll be failing the eye exam before they quit running and I’ll be long gone before their engines fail. Oh well…

  9. Wayne Job says:

    Dear Mr Smith,
    I too am reaching the age where the longevity of my vehicles will exceed my capacity for consumption. Thus far though I have not out lived my need for speed. My passion for flora has not decreased, but the planting of slow growing trees has ceased, and I now have a passion for annuals.
    The global warming thing is a worry, as evidence is thin on the ground. I was looking forward to a bit of warm, as the sporadic pains in unusual places are exacerbated by the cold.
    Those buggers promoting global warming and calling themselves scientists are a real disappointment, fibbers would be the correct term. Looks like I’ll be cutting wood and liberating sequestered carbon until frailty overcomes me.

  10. j ferguson says:

    E.M. Car preservation in Cal seems to work better than Chicago. The 220 rusted out with 275,000 miles in 15 years.

    Worst ever was 1968 BMW 2002 which lasted 4 years before suffering rust that I thought structurally compromised front suspension supports. On investigation, my car was discovered to have un-primed, unpainted sheet metal in the interior (but exposed to weather) sections just forward of the firewall. I wasn’t first owner so had no recourse.

    But that car was really fun until everyone realized that it was not an NSU Prinz which couldn’t quite get out of it’s own way. Those days might be a bit before your time, but it was an absolute gas, so to speak, to drag the supercars of the day on a canal-side drive in Evanston where handling was required, get up to 110 and stop at the next intersection which they couldn’t do.

    It appears that most cars now available are much more rust resistant.

    I still think you should establish an unthreaded thread which you might call “Unraveled” or maybe the Coffeeshop, where these wildly off-topic topics could be pursued without apprehension of driving off your serious clientele.

  11. j ferguson says:

    AAAAAK. it’s should of course be its. sorry, once again.

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