Monthly Archives: September 2015

Where Did Empathy Go?

Coach_USA_ShortLine_50889A detour on the commuter bus into NYC clearly showed how little empathy people have for their fellow passengers.

Because of construction the bus was sent on a detour and ended up taking a wrong turn.  When the driver realized what he had done he asked if anyone knew how to get back to his route.

I provided directions to quickly and easily turn around and get back on track and was immediately shouted at by several other passengers who insisted that he should take the next right and go directly onto Rt. 208.  

When I pointed out he would then be unable to pick up the people still waiting along the regular route there was a collective (and loud) “So what!?

I’m assuming the people acting this way are the same ones that will be on the phone to the bus company if the bus is a minute late.

When did getting to work 5 minutes earlier become more important that making sure that other people are looked after and treated fairly?

 

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Filed under Life - or something like it, Travel

Mandatory Snopes Checks

falseThe Presidential election season is the perfect time for Facebook, Twitter and other social media to implement automatic Snopes checks.  

You know who these people are.  These are the ones that can’t help but instantly share stories about Obama being pro Muslim or removing the phrase “In God we trust” from currency.  Or ones about Donald Trump* saying black people should go back to Africa if they don’t like America.

Implementation would be pretty easy.  All posts would be immediately fact checked with Snopes (or other reputable sources).  To encourage people to think before they share the following tiered level of rebuke would be implemented:

  • First offence:  The post is not shared and you are reminded to check facts before sharing
  • Second offence: The post is not shared and you are blocked from the site for 5 minutes
  • Third offence: The post is not shared. You are blocked from the site for 20 minutes and a mild electric shock is introduced through the keyboard
  • Fourth offence:  Sterilization.  That might seem a little harsh but we really need to clean this one out of the gene pool

interlockThey have ignition lockouts for people that are DUI repeat offenders, so why not social media?

* There may have to be an exception for posts about Donald Trump.  It’s often hard to tell fact from fiction in these cases.

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Filed under Life - or something like it

Simple trick to save money on car maintenance

What if I told you an easy to use $20 tool could save you hundreds or even thousands in car repair bills?  

It’s true!

This week my wife came back to a car with a dead battery after my son left the lights on.  Fortunately there was a friendly truck driver with some jump leads nearby and in just a few minutes the car was running and ready for the journey home.   Twenty years ago that would have been the end of it.  Not anymore.  Now the dashboard was covered in warning lights and scary messages telling her to “Have your vehicle checked by a dealer“.  These would not go away even after charging the battery.

Now she needs to book the car in to the service center, drive to the dealer and wait around while they “check the system”.

We know that the car was fine before the battery died, and it was only serviced a few weeks ago, so I think we can safely conclude that we know what the problem is.  But nooo…they have to run through a battery of standard tests that will rack up chargeable time before they use their tool to reset the computer and send her on her way with a bill for between $50 and $150.

Or you can do what I did.  

  • Spend $20 on a OBD II reader (I already had one)
  • Look up the code it provides on Google to make sure there isn’t anything seriously wrong
  • Use the tool to reset the warning codes

This is exactly what the dealer will do but without the cost and hassle of sitting in a service area waiting room.  These things are super easy to use if you can follow very basic directions and this thing will pay for itself over and over.

 

While I’m sure the auto manufacturer lawyers can make a good case for why fault codes should be checked out, it’s also a great way for the dealers to make extra money.

I can pretty much guarantee that if resetting the codes was performed at the dealer expense they would provide a button in the car to allow you to do it yourself.

Oh…and while you are there they will probably tell you that you need to replace your windshield wipers while you are there and they can do it for only $80.

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Filed under Automobiles and motorcycles