Category Archives: Humor

DIYing*** – A Cautionary Tale In Car Repair

(in the introductory voice of Rod Serling)*

This all happened probably 20 years ago, but when I detailed my tribulations to a now-defunct Mercedes-Benz internet list, I achieved my Internet 15 minutes of fame. I was known far and wide as “that guy”. I have, for much of my adult life, derived some pleasure and satisfaction in fixing things on my own cars – starting with my 1967 Camaro back in the late 60s.

But lately, with my accrued years, I am seeing the wisdom in letting a pro, with the proper training, tools, and a lift, just do the job.

This attitude started, I think, when I changed the motor mounts of my 1996 Mercedes SL500. The car was on jack stands, I am on my back for a week cursing all the junk I had to get out of the way, just to replace a simple motor mount secured by 2 small bolts on the bottom, and one bolt on the top. And of course, with it all apart, you aren’t going to throw the parts in a box, tow the car with your tail between your legs and plead with a shop to fix your mess! You are committed to finish it one way or another!

But!

I was saving close to $1000 in labor costs! These days I think I’d be glad to let someone with the proper tools do it.

Today’s cautionary tale involves another set of motor mounts on another car. It was a 1986 Mercedes 300E. There was no “junk to get out of the way”, being a simple inline 6 cylinder engine, just a stubborn bolt that would not move.

For starters.

By the way, the reason these had to be changed is that Mercedes has fluid-filled mounts, to cushion the vibration of the engine and over time and miles, that fluid will dissipate. When you notice a vibration at idle, that is usually a good sign that they need replacing. I can’t speak for the rest of the automotive world, but I believe most of these mounts are solid – rubber?


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What’s The Laziest Thing You’ve Done?

This came in on the Facebook feed this morning, courtesy of a lexican. It apparently originated from Reddit , when readers were asked “What’s the laziest thing you have ever done”?

And former sailor TupperWolf had quite a story.

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Miscellaneous Ramblings – 01/06/22

If there is an informal poll for “Worst Commerical Airport – Passenger Category” – my vote would go to SFO – San Francisco. Even getting there, between the weather and the traffic, can be a challenge. I can remember years ago, picking up my parents, that the wind and rain was so strong that I would unintentionally change lanes driving over the Bay Bridge. And on that bridge, it’s a long way down.

And because traffic can really bite you, sometimes I’ll leave an hour earlier than what I think I really need.

Once you get there – turning off from the Bayshore Freeway – that’s US 101 – you are funneled into several “Y” intersections with little time to react.

I think that they built this facility over the years in sort of an “ad hoc” manner and any “master plan” to handle the traffic went by the wayside.

At least that’s my opinion.

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Craig’s Most Excellent Birthday

…and a bit of recent Napa County history

From time to time, I have come across some tales that I have felt should be put to paper (or at least digital binary bits), so others can hear of it.

Our car club has a monthly drive that has been popular for some years. The host will plan a route somewhere in No CA and people are advised of it via email. They can show up Sunday mornings or not, no reservations required.

The drive for August was a drive through the back roads of Napa County, culminating at a Napa County institution in St Helena, Gotts Roadside. To call Gott’s a “hamburger stand” does it an injustice, although gourmet hamburgers is the main faire. How many hamburger stands offer a complete wine list?

After all, this is the Napa Valley.

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Lex’s Last Carrier Flight?

To the reader: I came across this on what was a great blog, Ask the Skipper, back in 2016. The owner of the blog soon after stopped blogging, citing the amount of time it took to have a good blog. Looking at the thousands of posts Neptunus Lex made in 9 years, I came to realize just how much effort Hizzoner put into his own blog.

Anyway, I saved the post, and in going through my documents folder last night, got reacquainted with it. If the owner of Ask the Skipper ever comes across this and wants it removed, I will be glad to do so. All credit goes to this unknown author at Ask the Skipper.

In the meantime, I will leave it to you, the reader, to ascertain whether “Tex” is indeed “Lex”.


It was the 90s. The angst-ridden, caffeine-fueled sound of Seattle’s grunge-scene was oozing its way across the American landscape, what with all their flannel shirts, exposed long-underwear, and boots. The kind of boots you’d typically see on a homophobe, neo-Nazi, construction worker, or some combination of the three. I don’t know what Smells Like Teen Spirit, but I have a sneaking suspicion it has little to do with deodorant.

We were underway in the East China Sea, or the Sea of Japan, or the Yellow Sea, or the Western Pacific Ocean. One of those. There was water everywhere, and you couldn’t see land. Of that I am certain.

It wasn’t necessarily his last flight evah. It was his last flight in that particular tour of duty, in that squadron, on that boat. Then again, there was certainly no guarantee of another sea-based sortie. This fella – if I remember the callsign correctly – we will refer to as Tex from this point forward. His callsign sounded similar. It might have even rhymed.

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Lex Gets Mail

Posted by lex, on October 28, 2008

Sadly, it is not universally approbatory:

i take issue for your biased reporting and statements favoring mccain and trashing obama.  i am a retired usn pilot, two deployments to nam, and know what mccain’s squadron mates say about him…  they dispise him for his PI and nasty temperture.  obama is the clear choice for me.  how come the nam pow are not taking his side???  in closing, since when did nfo’s start taking credit for traps while riding in the aircraft… 

I am dashed. Utterly.

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Nanny state

Posted by lex, on July 10, 2008

Teenage kids push away from Grand Theft Auto games and create a Wiffle ball diamond on what had been, well: Poison ivy.**

After three weeks of clearing brush and poison ivy, scrounging up plywood and green paint, digging holes and pouring concrete, Vincent, Justin and about a dozen friends did manage to build it — a tree-shaded Wiffle ball version of Fenway Park complete with a 12-foot-tall green monster in center field, American flag by the left-field foul pole and colorful signs for Taco Bell Frutista Freezes.

Greenwich neighbors react in dismay, no doubt believing that anything not compulsory ought to be forbidden. Lawyers are summoned.

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Humor, Silliness

You only think your job is a pain in the a**

Posted by lex, on February 13, 2008

Pull this out when you think you’re having a bad day at work. It’s a letter from a deep sea diver to his sister that apparently got airplay on the radio in Louisiana:

“Just another note from your bottom-dwelling brother. Last week I had a bad day at the office. I know you’ve been feeling down lately at work, so I thought I would share my dilemma with you to make you realize it’s not so bad after all.

Before I can tell you what happened to me, I first must bore you with a few technicalities of my job. As you know, my office lies at the bottom of the sea. I wear a suit to the office. It’s a wet suit.

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Filed under Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Good Stuff, Humor

Posting paucity?

Posted by lex on April 4th, 2007

Perhaps.

We’re on a purposeful perambulation, progressively pointing towards Palo Alto. In the pursuit of a pedagogic partnership, prolly.

All in the praise of progress!

It’s at least potentially plausible therefore, that the preoccupations of my profession will proscribe – or at least postpone – prospective parley.

Beg pardon.

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I’ve said it before

Posted by lex on March 20th, 2007

And I’ll say it again – we deserve a nobler enemy:

A US military official has said children have been used in a bomb attack in Iraq, raising fears that insurgents are using a new tactic.

Gen Michael Barbero said a vehicle stopped at a checkpoint was waved through because two children were seen in the back, but was then detonated…

Gen Barbero said there had been also two adults in the car. They parked it near a market, abandoned it with the children inside and apparently detonated it.

The two children died, along with three civilians in the vicinity, officials said.

Pigs.

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Filed under by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Humor