Most of us have a car battery story we could resurrect if asked. I have a few, but the most memorable was in 1986 when my son was born. On our seventh anniversary, my wife and I had dined at the now-forgotten Lemon Drop Restaurant on London Road in Duluth, Minn.
The Internet is abuzz over the latest Blackstone Labs newsletter. OK, “abuzz” may be a stretch. But the newsletter certainly has sent the motor oil geeks among us into a tizzy. The distinguished oil analysis laboratory sought to answer the age-old question: Does it really matter which brand of motor oil your use?
Early automobile engines didn’t use oil filters, or air filters for that matter. For this reason frequent oil changes were a must. Motor oil quality wasn’t really that important in those days, anyway. It was the discarded by-product of processes designed to create other products from crude oil, like fuel, benzene and other petrochemicals.
As a young farm kid, before I could operate the tractors, I had to pick rocks and sticks in the farm fields. I sometimes unearthed boulders that would have broken the blades on the tiller immediately.
A 10-mile trudge down gravel roads more trafficked by mosquitoes than people. That’s the situation I faced after dumping my Honda 350 motorcycle on a patch of loose gravel. Back then (the mid 1990s), cell phones were a luxury, especially deep in the woods of northern Minnesota where I lived.
Everyone is aware of the multiple dimensions in which human beings live. There’s the physical dimension, the emotional dimension, the spiritual dimension, the psychological dimension and so on. And there are layers of dimensionality among and throughout. We get that, intuitively, if not academically.
In 2005, Congress instituted a new renewable fuel standard. In response, refiners made a wholesale switch, removing methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and blending fuel with ethanol. Ethanol helps reduce petroleum use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Derived from corn, ethanol supports U.S. agriculture and helps support energy independence.
My dad owned a construction company when I was a kid, which meant summer break wasn’t really a break. One summer I was tasked with cleaning up an old asphalt paver. It took a couple days to get it as clean as possible. I greased it and told my dad it was all cleaned up.
My mother took the Culligan Man to task not long ago. Not the flesh-and-blood Culligan Man, but the actor on TV. It happened when I was visiting my folks during lunch. I have lunch at my parent’s house here in Superior, Wis., every Wednesday.
For all the grin-inducing benefits of owning a European car – finely tuned performance, sophisticated styling, prestige – they can be a pain to own. According to this list, four of the top five most expensive vehicles to maintain hail from across the pond.