Blathr Wayne Lorentz

What is Blathr?
Showing blathrs with the tag “Cars.”

More flashy is more safety!

Friday, August 25th, 2023 Alive 19,113 days

A Midtown traffic stop

Remember when police cars had just one, single rotating red light on their roofs?

This Harris County constable truck has over 50 flashing lights on it. Is a truck with 50 flashing lights more safe than one with 49 flashing lights? If more flashing lights is better, why not a hundred flashing lights?

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Traveling solo

Friday, July 30th, 2021 Alive 18,357 days

Queequeg loaded onto a transport trailer

Darcieʼs car has to ride in the back of the bus.

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Friday, July 2nd, 2021 Alive 18,329 days

An incognito Volkswagen

Living in the desert in the summer, you see a lot of strange things. One of the oddities is cars with wild paint jobs.

Car manufacturers need to test their cars in extreme real-world conditions, so itʼs not unusual to see test cars driving around the desert. They stand out because they are usually covered with strange grid patterns, spots, or other visual camouflage intended to hide the details of the carʼs shape and abilities.

But like all cars, they have to stop for gas eventually, and their drivers have to go to the bathroom, so they turn up regularly at gas stations on the fringes. Perhaps not often enough for automotive spies to move to the desert, but certainly regularly enough that I see them a couple of times a month.

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Walking works, too

Sunday, June 28th, 2020 Alive 17,960 days

Maybe if I didnʼt drive on “roads” like this, I wouldnʼt have transmission problems

I left the house today. Just a short trip down the road to Walgreens for medicine and M&Ms. Itʼs the first time Iʼve driven my car since Saint Patrickʼs Day.

It started OK, but it wouldnʼt go. When I tried to move it, it just sat there and the dashboard showed “Transmission error. Place car in N, turn off car. Turn on car. Place car in R or D1.”

Iʼve had a lot of odd problems with this carʼs transmission over the years. Once while driving off-road across the desert in deep sand the screen showed a red message with some gears icon and the message “Transmission overheat.”

A couple of years ago, I had to replace the transmission computer entirely for $400, plus labor. Iʼve also had to replace every single light bulb on the car at least twice.

The engine and transmission were made in Italy. The rest in Serbia. I guess thatʼs why they say FIAT stands for “Fix It Again, Tony.”

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Friday, February 15th, 2019 Alive 17,461 days

A quick repair job

Meanwhile, outside my office window, a guy tries to fix his car.

Itʼs 50° and windy, and heʼs shirtless. I can only assume he doesnʼt want to get it dirty.

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Saturday, January 19th, 2019 Alive 17,434 days

An illuminated Fiat

Because Fiat electrical systems are steaming piles of blown-out Pampers, Iʼve had enough practice that I can now change a headlight on Darcieʼs car in under eight minutes.

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Itʼs parked on the sidewalk

Sunday, January 6th, 2019 Alive 17,421 days

A peanut-shaped R.V.

You should never feel bad about the car you drive. Unless you drive this.

Then even the Wienermobile is laughing.

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Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 Alive 17,319 days

A vintage bumper sticker on a vintage car

Saw this on my way home. So many things to say that I donʼt even know what to say.

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Thursday, September 20th, 2018 Alive 17,313 days

My carʼs warranty expired September 4.

Itʼs now September 20, and the car needs $600 worth of repairs that would have been covered.

Yet another reason Iʼll never buy another Fiat.

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Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 Alive 17,305 days

My car showing me all of its warning signs

“Today was an OK day.” Three minutes later…

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