Early Morning Open Thread

My big, fat, honking new truck:

It’s a 2012 Ford F-250 with a diesel engine. It’s so high up I have to make a running start to jump into the cab, and the dogs have to be boosted in bodily. The acquisition of aftermarket running boards is therefore at the top of our agenda today. What’s on yours?

119 replies
  1. 1
    Raven says:

    I’d rather push my Chevy truck than drive that!

  2. 2
    Santiago says:

    I want one.

  3. 3
    Geoduck says:

    Hope you actually need a truck that big for hauling things.

  4. 4
    Steeplejack says:

    Nice ride, Betty.

    Still slowly coming awake here. I attended the big jungle cat in her morning kill–I believe she took down a nice specimen of Fancifestivus tunii–and made a cup of coffee for myself, and now we have adjourned to our respective workstations. I turned on the heating pad under her microfleece throw, so she’s contemplating her early morning nap. She’s exhausted after bustling around in the dark the last two hours waiting for me to get up.

  5. 5
    KG says:

    For me, (re)learning to drive a stick. Bought a new Challenger, been at least a decade since I’ve driven a car with a clutch, and that was sporadically at best then.

    The F-250 is pretty, my dad has one like that

    ETA: it’s 4:23 here… Awake because of an incident with a friend. Should probably go back to sleep but am in that “I just woke up, no need to sleep” phase of the late night wake up call

  6. 6
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Geoduck: We do.

  7. 7
    c u n d gulag says:

    Beautiful! If you need pickup’s, that is – which you said you do. Congrats!

    I found out yesterday that my 4 cylinder 2002 Saturn Vue needs either a transmission rebuild, or a new one.

    One costs over $3,000, the other almost $5,000.

    It’s been a GREAT car, and the body and engine are still in great shape after almost 150,000 miles. But we don’t have the money to fix it, so I’m at a loss as to what to do.
    I still have my late Dad’s ’95 Pontiac Bonneville – but that needs a lot of work, too. But that may be the cheaper option – though not by much.

    And buying a new, or a decent used car, is out of the question. My Mom and I already can’t make ends meet.

    Too bad Dr. Kevorkian’s dead, or I’d call him. :-(

  8. 8
    kdaug says:

    New pics when it’s dinged, scratched, bug-splattered, and covered with mud. (A weird stain that won’t come out and you don’t know where it came from is a nice touch).

    Drive that fucker into the ground.

  9. 9
    Betty Cracker says:

    @KG: I’m teaching my kiddo to drive using my personal conveyance, which is an elderly Beetle with a manual transmission, for that very reason. I think if you originally learn to drive on a vehicle with a manual transmission, you never, ever forget. Or at least that was how it worked for me. Did you learn on an automatic?

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    @Raven: Who’s gonna win the big game?

  11. 11
    Betty Cracker says:

    @c u n d gulag: Aw, that sucks! They really want $3K for a transmission rebuild? That seems excessive!

  12. 12
    KG says:

    @Betty Cracker: Yeah, learned on an automatic, this is the first stick shift I’ve actually owned. My folks have given up on the stick shift and think I made a mistake, but I couldn’t see the point of a muscle car/sports car with an automatic, even if they’re the manumatics now

  13. 13
    Betty Cracker says:

    @JPL: This Gator predicts that Alabama is going to beat the hell out of Georgia. And then they will crush Notre Dame like a rotten walnut, thus demonstrating once again the utter supremacy of the mighty SEC.

  14. 14
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    It’s a variable speed, All Wheel Drive, car – so the transmission and/or it’s parts, are expensive. That car saved my ass and my life a few times in bad weather, and I do love it so.

    Is there an “Occupy Car Repair” to help us poorer people?

  15. 15
    eric nny says:

    @kdaug: Also a weird smell you can’t pinpoint. Time to break her in!

  16. 16
    anthrosciguy says:

    Is there an “Occupy Car Repair” to help us poorer people?

    Are there no wrecking yeards? are there no used car parts?

    You should be able to find a good used tranny and someone to install it for a good deal less than 3 grand. If he rest of the car is worth it…

  17. 17
    russell says:

    nice ride, just keep it between the lines please.

  18. 18
    c u n d gulag says:

    Yeah, I thought of that.
    I’m going to call around today.

    The problem with those Saturn AWD trainnies, is that they’re complicated. And, there was a recall on them back in ’05, and fortunately, my car had just under the 50,000 mile threshold, so they rebuilt it back then for free.

    Since this might be a problem in the future, I started finding out about those Saturn trannies back then.

    And what I found out was, while I might be able to find a used one – maybe it’s one that didn’t have that recall fix, or, be in bad shape for other reasons.

    But, yeah, I’m gonna look into it, since I do love that car.

    If I was working, I’d think that after over 10 years and almost 150,000 miles, I’d gotten more than my money’s worth.
    Particularly since that can hasn’t given me but one bit of trouble, when the A/C control knob broke, and they had to fix it by taking out the dashboard – for about $350. But outside of that, new tires and brakes, and routine maintenance, was all I’ve ever spent on it. It’s been the best money I ever spent.

  19. 19
    donnah says:

    Betty, you have officially earned your “Cracker” moniker.

  20. 20
    jeffreyw says:

    Yosemite Sam mud flaps! Or I’m disappoint!

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    @Betty Cracker: The AJC had a story about a local family with two sons who play football. Since one is at Bama and one at GA, they know they will be going to the Championship game. Bama lost to A & M so they are beatable.

  22. 22
    danielx says:

    That truck would be the envy of many of the local shitkickers – and forget the Yosemite Sam mudflaps, it absolutely MUST have those flaps with the silhouette of the naked reclining woman. And the decal of the little kid peeing on a Chevy emblem.

    I learned on an automatic, then drove manuals for most of the next twenty years or so –

    67 Olds 442 – yay Detroit muscle, pushing in the clutch really built your leg muscles – couldn’t get around corners for shit but would go from 0 to 60 before you could blink

    Pinto – ideal college transportation, a paper towel car – use it up and throw it away

    Fiat 124 sport coupe – BIG fucking mistake

    BMW 320i – best car I’ve ever owned

    Acura Integra – finally an air conditioned vehicle!

    Isuzu Rodeo – air conditioning AND automatic…

    Nissan Maxima – and even has power windows

    Today’s plans include washing and waxing both da Max and Mrs. X’s Outback (a car I highly recommend, btw) because it’s going to be 60 degrees* here in beautiful central Indiana.

    *Sixty degrees on December 1st, but global warming is a myth, amiright? Time was there would be snow on the ground at Thanksgiving in these parts and it would stay on the ground until February at the earliest. But Bill O’Reilly says it’s all in my mind so it must be true.

    Also replacing some interior door trim at my sister-in-law’s house after her recently adopted beagle-basset mix (aka “that fucking little escape artist”) tried to chew her way through two doors to go outside. Naturally since it’s a fifty year old home the trim is now unavailable, so the options are to steal some matching trim from the inside of a closet door or to get new trim made at a cost of $225 for about sixteen feet of trim (four passes with a router)…I have urged a close examination of this dog by a vet just in case it’s actually some variety of alien, a la Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.

  23. 23
    28 Percent says:


    That Ezra interview prompted me to look up Chrystia Freeland, and it was good. The perspective that she’s offering is really valuable:

    “There will be an attempt to downplay the role economic populism played,” Skocpol said. “I would expect a lot of the Wall Street Democratic crowd to place the emphasis on social issues and immigration. There will be an effort to define it that way.”

    To put it another way, one emerging explanation of Obama’s victory will be that it was about demographics trumping economic policy. Whether that argument becomes the dominant narrative matters, because it will shape what sort of a governing mandate Obama is deemed to have won.

    “He clearly got a mandate for using the government to build an opportunity for the middle class,” Skocpol said. “He has a mandate for higher taxes on the wealthy. He has a mandate for Obamacare going forward. I think voters understand that these differences were clear.”

    David Nasaw, a historian who has written biographies of Andrew Carnegie and Joseph P. Kennedy – two influential plutocrats from earlier eras in U.S. history – agrees.

    “The media, with all due respect, is still frighteningly condescending to black and Latino voters,” Nasaw said. “The black and Latino voters did not vote for Obama simply because he had a black skin. They voted for him because they thought his policies made more sense.”

  24. 24
    Betty Cracker says:

    @JPL: Agreed — they are beatable, at least by Georgia. I’d actually rather see Georgia in the title game than ‘Bama, but my feeling is ‘Bama will take care of business. Either way, Notre Dame is going down.

  25. 25
    different-church-lady says:

    Oh wonderful: now I’m obligated to hate you.

  26. 26
    dr. bloor says:

    @jeffreyw: Also, too, bumper nuts.

  27. 27
    Special One says:

    Ya, mid 60s here too. Guess I’ll do the brakes on the Miata. Finally got the engine back together two weeks ago but it’d been sitting for so long the brakes were terrifyingly bad. Can hopefully get it through emissions next week and have it roadworthy in time for… winter. Crap.

  28. 28
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @28 Percent: I’ve seen people worrying that young voters only care about social issues and will eventually go for some kind of Paulite right-wing libertarianism that allows them pot and condoms in a big way.

    Maybe it’s got some appeal, but the thing I notice is that these kids are broke and unemployed, and Occupy was all about economics.

  29. 29
    Betty Cracker says:

    @different-church-lady: Because of the truck, my Gator-ness or antipathy to Notre Dame? If it’s the former, we have legitimate big haulage needs, if that makes a difference.

  30. 30
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    some kind of Paulite right-wing libertarianism that allows them pot and condoms in a big way.

    I was not aware of the nationwide War on Condoms.

  31. 31
    hep kitty says:

    I want the media (and our President, for that matter) to say this but it is being framed in terms of “raising taxes on the rich.”

    It’s not raising taxes.

    It is letting the Bush tax cuts, which were put in place in a time of war expire. Never in the history of the US have we had tax cuts in a time of war.

    They were set to expire in 2010. They were not intended to be eternal and sacred.

    They were renewed in 2010 because republicans were holding unemployment benefits hostage.

    It is letting the Bush tax cuts, which were IMMORAL, and which were set to expire 2 years ago, EXPIRE!

  32. 32
    Randy P says:

    What’s on yours?

    Dress rehearsal. I’m in a community chorus which is doing their big Christmas concert tomorrow.

  33. 33
    Special One says:

    Hope the Dawgs win. Only thing I could make myself root for in a Bama/Notre Dame game would be for a meteor strike wiping both teams out. Yea, I’m an SEC man, but as a Vols fan it will be a cold day in Hell before I root for the Tide.

    Anyhow, hey look! Chelsea managed to score. Rafa vs. Big Sam in a London derby. The only real winners are the local pastry shops. And those commie hippy freaks at St. Pauli are winning. Woot!

  34. 34

    It seems that there is one gas station in Miami that sells non-ethanol gas for boats and vehicles like antiques that have hoses and fittings that dissolve when they come in contact with ethanol. Fortunately, that station is two blocks from me. So I’m just back from filling up my 1988 Pontiac 6000 LE Safari station wagon (it officially becomes antique on January 1) so that I can take it to the local antique car club holiday party tomorrow.

  35. 35
    hep kitty says:

    Where is your gun rack?


  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mustang Bobby: OMG, I think my mom had one of those back in the day! Green with fake wood trim.

  37. 37
    Baud says:

    @hep kitty:

    Don’t forget the truck nuts.

    ETA: Betty, you should but a confederate flag sticker on it right next to an Obama sticker. Mess with everyone’s mind.

  38. 38
    Lahru says:

    running boards are very inexpensive from salvage yards, as are bedliners.

  39. 39
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Special One: That’s how I felt when Tennessee played Florida State for the title. I was rooting for Chicxulub.

  40. 40
    hep kitty says:

    Kid that I work with used to have a sporty little Mazda sports car. Probably a 2010 model.

    Sold it and now he has a shiny, brand spanking new Escalade.

    99.9% sure daddy bought it for him.

    Last I heard daddy had lost his job, however.

    One percenters, sheesh. Hafta change cars every 2 years regardless. Here I am driving a ’98 Mazda.

    Hope pops has a job now.

  41. 41
    Suffern ACE says:

    @28 Percent: interesting. The ones most likely to miss the economic populism are the high hair dems. On the other hand, the republicans who think “they just voted to give themselves free stuff” get the economic populism interpretation right, but do so on such demeaning ways that the insight won’t be useful for them.

  42. 42
    geg6 says:

    I hate, hate, hate any and all vehicles. I completely resent the fact that I am forced, due to my job and the utter lack of public transportation here, to have one. Thus, I buy the cheapest thing I can find, hopefully a wrecked one, hand it over to my BIL to put back together and then drive it into the ground. I refuse to pay any more than 3K for one. My current ride is an Intrepid from 2003 with 109K miles and I may have put $500 into it since I got it (tires, a radiator). I do not understand why people get so excited about a financial black hole that depreciates more quickly than any other large purchase you can make.

    That said, if you didn’t catch the discussion of filibuster reform on Up with Chris Hayes this morning, you missed the best segment ever presented on cable teevee. Outstanding!

  43. 43
    aimai says:

    I can’t begin to tell you how complicated today feels–two teenagers who are both simultaneously suffering teenage angst for real reasons, who both need to have their hands held and to be driven in two different directions for equally good reasons. 20-30 people coming over to the house for a pot luck I didn’t want to give. They’ve signed up to bring appetizers and desserts, apparently under the impression that the entree fairy will provide–which she will but I need to get cracking. And of course 1) Muslim family so I’m remembering to eliminate the bacon from the boeuf bourgignon just in time and 2) vegetarian indian family so I’m suddenly thinking I should be making a vegetarian main dish and 3) each person who is bringing something seems to have picked from the “I for Inedible” section of their cookbooks–the lactose intolerant guy is bringing chickpeas as an appetizer? A whole grain entree from the worst cook and worst dresser of any person I’ve ever met? I’m waiting for the all tofu dessert sprinkled with fake nuts. The whole dinner reminds me of Tom Lehrer’s song “National brotherhood week.” “Oh the hindus, hate the muslims, and the muslims, hate the hindus, all of my folk hate all of your folk, and everybody hates the jews!”

  44. 44
    Elizabelle says:

    Advice on mud flaps? Check. Stickers (Obama and the stars and bars)? Check. Gun rack? Check.

    The perils of taking an early morning walk. 30 degrees in Virginia today.

    BUT do you have a bud vase, Betty? That would set you apart.

    Also: I learned to drive on a manual 1966ish red VW. In the high school parking lot, taught by my (very patient) dad.

    Learning to drive a manual, and trying out some situations under pressure (starting from a dead stop on a steep hill), are the way to go.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    You’d be right at home where I live. My little compact car looks like a toy next to the mostly-trucks around me.

    The thing about people driving trucks is that it seems they eventually get used to being the vehicle that can just muscle other vehicles out of the way.

  46. 46
    JCT says:

    Nice truck (for a Ford)- and you will appreciate that diesel when your’re pulling. Our Chevy HD2500 diesel just went over 100k last week. Since we are all vertically challenged, my husband and son had to install running bars the day after we picked it up!

    All of my college tams have now lost (damn you Stanfurd), so I am bereft,

    I posted this last night – but this cheered me up after UCLA’s loss: Robyn loves Kaleigh Beagle

  47. 47
    Amir Khalid says:

    If that truck were mine I’d call it “Darth Ford”. It looks like it should be brandishing a lightsaber.

    Auntie Beeb reports on a Norwegian, um, delicacy called rakfisk. Here’s an enticing description from the first para:

    Take a selection of over-ripe cheeses. Place them in the midst of a pile of dirty, wet soccer kit. Leave for a week. Now you have the nose-numbing smell of rakfisk, one of the great Norwegian delicacies.

  48. 48
    WereBear says:

    I could only afford a motorcycle as my first vehicle, so I learned to shift with clutch/hand and shift/foot. I still have trouble with a stick shift on a car.

  49. 49
    cathyx says:

    I’m glad I don’t need one of those noisy gas guzzling pollution spewers.

  50. 50
    geg6 says:


    Agreed. People who have trucks and SUVs, for the most part, are the biggest assholes on the road. I think, in order to be allowed to buy one, you should have to prove a financial need for it and that all parking lots should have special parking areas for them, much like handicapped spaces but at the furthest end of the lot instead of the closest. The only accidents or dings I’ve ever had on my car have come from assholes in trucks and SUVs. Hate them with the fire of a thousand suns.

  51. 51
    Special One says:

    @betty; I’m old school. I’ll never hate Florida as much as I hate Alabama.

    @hep kitty, I’ll always have a Mazda. Learned stick on an 84 626, drove RX-7s until the speeding tickets came near unto driving me to the poor house, Miatas since then since you can drive like a hoon and still be under the limit. Shopping for a lightly used Speed6 now (unless I get picked up by VW – IT contractor at the Passat factory at the moment – and get that sweet employee lease deal on a Golf R or Audi TTS). Plus if I squint the Ranger is a B2300. Oddly, the truck has the same transmission my turbo 7s had. That Kogyo 5-speed is a rock.

    Ooop! Hammers are level!

  52. 52
    AxelFoley says:

    So…if it’s said that men overcompensate for shortcomings with big trucks and shit like that, what does it say for women who buy big trucks?

    I’m just curious.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Special One:
    It must help West Ham’s goalscoring chances that “striker” Andy Carroll is out injured again.

  54. 54
    Violet says:

    @geg6: A Whole Foods near me has tried to do that with the parking spots. Many of the closer spots are “Compact Car”-only spots. And it’s a huge parking lot with plenty of spots for everyone, but of course many of them require walking.

    So what happens? The huge trucks/SUVs park in the compact car parking area. They don’t really fit, so they end up taking two spots. Or maybe it’s a slightly smaller SUV, and they do fit, but it’s so tight that no one can reasonably use the spaces next to them and still open their car doors.

    Where I live, many people genuinely need a truck because they’re hauling their boat or going to the country to hunt or whatever. I don’t have a problem with trucks particularly. I do have a problem with asshole drivers. But there are plenty of those to go around that aren’t in trucks. Like the idiot in the recent model BMW that was driving back and forth across three lanes, stopping in the middle of the road for no reason, not going when the light turned green even after people honked their horns. He was either drunk or on his phone. I almost called the police he was so dangerous.

  55. 55

    @Betty Cracker: Mine is navy blue with the fake wood trim. Had it since it was new and just kept on going and going… It has over 250,000 miles on it, and with a little cosmetic surgery, it will be at the AACA National Show in Lakeland in February 2013. Stop by and say hi.

  56. 56
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    ITT: people hating on other people’s transportation. If you need it, miss Betty, good you can afford it.

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    @aimai: I sure hope that you have plenty of wine. (to share, of course)

  58. 58
    Suffern ACE says:

    @AxelFoley: I believe the truck nuts they buy are tied in such a way to make the men squirm a little. SPT has the pictures, but we don’t post that kind if thing around these parts anymore.

  59. 59
    Elmo says:

    Oh Betty, if it wasn’t a Ford I’d be jealous. As it is, tho…
    I just bought a 2007 Nissan Titan crew cab 4×4, cherry red with leather seats. I’m so happy I could plotz. (I always buy used, lessons from my father I can’t overcome. Also can’t afford new.)
    And yes, Internet Car Police, I need it to haul hay, horse trailer, and boat. Also I just like trucks, so I would buy it even if I didn’t necessarily “qualify” as “needing” it by the standards of the Internet Car Police.

  60. 60
    aimai says:


    I think this is why I like my Channukah parties–because I spend all my time making latkes hot, at the stove, and a) no issues with vegetarians and b) I don’t have to talk to anyone. As for wine, I’m thinking of making hot mulled wine but they are probably all tee-totalers.


  61. 61
    JCT says:

    @Elmo: We haul a trailer with our Chevy diesel, but my husband’s other car is a Ford Fiesta to “compensate”.

    I, on the other hand, still love my Turbocharged Subaru legacy wagon with a manual transmission. So much fun to drive.

  62. 62
    tofubo says:

    so you done did gone w/the diesel, congrats

  63. 63
    Elmo says:

    Actually, if I didn’t live out in the country with lots of animals, I’d probably drive a Miata or a little BMW convertible. I love convertibles.
    I also briefly considered a Volt when my commute was less than 30 miles each way. It isn’t anymore, so a Volt would be problematic.

  64. 64
    luc says:

    I would suggest that far fewer people would be driving “trucks” if they actually looked like utility vehicles and not like macho dreams come true. For example this is how a Ford pick up truck looks in Europe:
    Nobody owns them privately and nobody wants to drive them to go shopping or daily errants – a good thing in my impression. The general “need” for trucks and SUVs is something originally American and strangely does not exist in most parts of the developed world, while these monsters become more hip nevertheless, I have not heard anybody claiming a “need” for them – of course I have no clue what Betty is doing with her purchase.

  65. 65
    Betty Cracker says:

    @luc: Hauling boats that weigh up to 8,000 lbs. I have a Beetle too, but it’s no good for anything larger than a kayak…

    ETA: I would gladly drive the vehicle pictured in your link — I think it looks cool! However, there’s no room for me doggies…

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    @aimai: I can multitask with the best of them, but what you described is the kind of thing that is the most stressful for me – where you really need to be in two or more places at once, for things that really matter, and you can’t be.

    I wish your day could be different!

  67. 67
    Amir Khalid says:

    My last editor (before I took medical retirement, that is) bought himself a Ford truck. The idiot lives in the suburbs and doesn’t have anything to haul around. He doesn’t have a driving licence, either, only a motorbike licence — his wife drives the truck for him. Now that’s dumb.

    I also remember when the only SUV-class vehicles I’d ever heard of were the original Land Rovers. No one drove those ugly, blocky things unless they actually needed to drive on something other than a paved road.

  68. 68
    Soonergrunt says:

    That picture is kind of nightmare fuel. It was a dark blue or black F-250 with a black grill that T-boned me a couple of months back.

  69. 69
    Violet says:

    @luc: Many people need the truck to pull the boat or haul other stuff. They don’t necessarily use it every day, but they can’t afford or don’t have space to keep a town-driving-only vehicle, so they end up using the truck for daily use.

  70. 70
    hep kitty says:

    @Betty Cracker: ‘Tis true. If you’ve got something to haul, like it or not, a muscle truck is needed.

  71. 71
    luc says:

    @Violet: @Violet: Hi Violet, yes I hear you. Nevertheless, we can only hope that the rest of the world never becomes burdened with boats or giant camping trailers that require the daily use of terminator machine. I know it would be “good for the economy”, though.

  72. 72
    WereBear says:

    Flexibility is better than “rules.”

    We live in an extreme climate, where the winters get down to -40. They salt the roads to keep people from being killed. Lots of rugged roads and steep angles.

    We would buy used, low mileage, and expect to still have a vehicle once the loan was paid. But that is not how it worked out. We discovered that people wouldn’t take care of a car they are planning to trade in; and that’s crucial in our environment. We would have a few months with no payment, or not even, and we were getting smacked with high repair bills. We only have one car. Putting it in the shop for long periods of time is brutal on me; my husband is unable to do much because of chronic illness.

    So two years ago I bought a leftover Ford Focus. New, but the rebate for being last year’s inventory covered our down payment. I have a three year warranty. Next year, when it expires, we’re planning to buy another inexpensive leftover.

    It breaks all the “rules.” But, you know, it’s the 21st Century. I expect that.

  73. 73
    kc says:


    It doesn’t bother me when SUV drivers park in compact car spaces, cause then I have a legitimate excuse to ding the hell out of them when I open the door of my actual compact car.

    And the beauty of it is, I don’t give a damn if they ding me back.

  74. 74
    Lojasmo says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    In what stae do you reside? I have a spare car, currently given to my niece (she only needs it for a little while) that I have been trying to rid myself for cheap (read free)


  75. 75
    Lynn Dee says:

    I hate these big honking trucks. My sister was hit head on by one whose driver had lost control of it while she tried to deal with her dogs. I won’t go into the gory details, this being a Saturday morning and all, but let’s just say her glasses ended up embedded in the front of the truck. It just effing whomped on her. She never had a chance.

    I hate these damn things, and I don’t understand why people are allowed to drive them on the road with the rest of us.

  76. 76
    c u n d gulag says:

    I live in upstate New York, near Poughkeepsie.

  77. 77
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Lynn Dee:
    Oh Jeez – that’s AWFUL!

    I’m so sorry.

  78. 78
    Yutsano says:

    @Amir Khalid: Feh. They should have broken out the lutefisk if they REALLY wanted a culinary adventure.

  79. 79
    BonnyAnne says:

    Betty, I love your truck — especially because you are using it to drag boats around (which is the best use for anything, frankly).

    Personally, I don’t need to haul pretty much anything except myself, some groceries, and the occasional mid-sized Costco run… so we drive a smart car.

    You’d be amazed at just how much you can fit in a smart car. Last week it was a queen sized futon!

  80. 80
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @donnah: Betty, you have officially earned your “Cracker” moniker.

    Lol, that there’s a working truck, diesel, too.

    When the local rednecks want to get ultra rednecky (“check out my pecuniary worth! I’m so riiiich I can afford to dump gas down the storm drains! fuck me, sugar, and I’ll take you to the beach and pay for allllll the beer!”) they buy SILVERADOS.

  81. 81
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Yeah. WTF? This truck is obnoxious overkill. Gas hog much? Road hog much? Does the entire household have genitalia size issues?

  82. 82
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Oh wonderful: now I’m obligated to hate you.

    Well, exactly. I’m contemplating the numbers of BJ commenters who are stifling their loathing for this truck and all its ownership represents because BC is an established Kool Kid and front pager.

    The politics and self censorship of the hive mind are fascinating; and exactly how echo chambers are formed.

  83. 83
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Lynn Dee:

    I hate these big honking trucks. My sister was hit head on by one whose driver had lost control of it while she tried to deal with her dogs. I won’t go into the gory details, this being a Saturday morning and all, but let’s just say her glasses ended up embedded in the front of the truck. It just effing whomped on her. She never had a chance.
    I hate these damn things, and I don’t understand why people are allowed to drive them on the road with the rest of us.


  84. 84
    wrb says:

    That’s just a toy truck.

    I learned to drive a 15 speed Fuller this last week. it is fun.

    Bumped into a few things, but when you’re driving a real truck, they squash.

  85. 85
    wrb says:

    That’s just a toy truck.

    I learned to drive a 15 speed Fuller this last week. it is fun.

    Bumped into a few things, but when you’re driving a real truck, they squash.

  86. 86
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Bumped into a few things, but when you’re driving a real truck, they squash.


  87. 87
    wrb says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I confess, I killed a mailbox and a fence with a Kenworth

  88. 88
    Ben Franklin says:

    Bradley Manning has been detained without trial for 921 days. This is the longest pre-trial detention of a U.S. military soldier since at least the Vietnam War. U.S. military law says the maximum is 120 days.

    The material that Bradley Manning is alleged to have leaked has highlighted astonishing examples of U.S. subversion of the democratic process around the world, systematic evasion of accountability for atrocities and killings, and many other abuses. Our archive of State Department cables have appeared in tens of thousands of articles, books and scholarly works, illustrating the nature of U.S. foreign policy and the instruments of U.S. national power. On the two-year anniversary of the start of Cablegate, I want to highlight some of the stories that have emerged.


  89. 89
    Lynn Dee says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Just out of curiosity: Does “legitimate big haulage needs” require a truck so high up off the ground you need a running start to jump into the cab?

  90. 90
    wrb says:

    @Lynn Dee:

    Depends on where you are hauling.

    Our place is well off paved roads & we have 3 vehicals, of 3 different heights- a New Beetle (low) a Merc ML320 (medium) and a Dodge diesel Ram 4×4.

    The bug has been a disaster- tore open the aluminum oil pan 4 time, one time requiring an engine rebuild. Ihad to replace cracked radiators on the Merc 3 times and it is down right now with another one. They dropped the nose to make it encounter cars at their height and that turned the radiator into a rock -catcher. It has required around $10,000 of suspension and undercarriage repairs. The Dodge hasn’t had any troubles.

    btw- all three get around 20 mpg (the bug is a turbo and the Dodge is diesel)

  91. 91
    Donut says:

    I suppose you who are critical of this truck all buy locally sourced meat, grains, fruits and veggies ONLY, and ONLY hauled to market (farmers markets only, please) in a Prius? Jebus on a stick, some of you are asinine little shitheads. My small kids have better manners than some off you.

    New flash, unless you walk everywhere you go AND grow/raise all your own food, you too are likely completely dependent upon big diesel engines to live an America-in-the-21st-Century kind of life.

  92. 92
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Neither of your parents has ever complained.

  93. 93
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Lynn Dee: It is helpful on sharply angled boat ramps and unpaved roads.

  94. 94
    Donut says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    You are a fucking idiot.

  95. 95
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Gas Hog. Road hog. Douchebag drivers with issues.

  96. 96
    Lori says:

    My vehicle is a bicycle, and when I have big loads to haul I use a kiddie trailer for the bike (which I got for exactly that purpose, as I don’t have kids).
    Also I’m lucky to live somewhere there are Zipcars conveniently strewn about, and convenient mass transit too. Actually never have needed to rent a zipcar, though, and rarely ride the bus.

    Many options for transportation – I love mine, and feel lucky to have them!

  97. 97
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Neither of your parents has ever complained.

    Par for white trash who would drive that obnoxious piece of shit.

  98. 98
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I care about social issues and the economy, but I will never, ever ever ever ever ever even with a gun to my head vote against my social beliefs, no matter what.

  99. 99
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @hep kitty: Well, since the legislation expires and is not permanent, you could argue that it’s not an increase. It might be important for political reasons, but what gets called a tax increase and what doesn’t (like, say tax expenditures) is subject to a lot of chicanery anyway.

    But as to the war-I’ll give you the number one reason I stopped respecting Republicans during the last Administration, and the big question they need to answer (among many): it used to be COMPLETELY uncontroversial that, when there was a war, you raised taxes. You started a war, you raised the goddamn taxes to pay for it. So you can either have your War on Terror or your tax cuts, Mr. Bush, but you could not in good faith sell us both. Until they answer me that, they are the fiscally irresponsible party as far as I’m concerned.

  100. 100
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @hep kitty: I’m jealous, but at the same time, there’s something I like about having a beater. Ineffable, I think, but I feel like a higher status car would put a lot of pressure on me somehow. Or uh that’s what I tell myself. If y’all want to buy me an Acura to test my theory, I’m up for it… It’s for um science…

  101. 101
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Violet: Well, you could argue that if your boat is recreational, you don’t “need” a truck, but then I feel bad, because I love me some fishing.

  102. 102
    Lynn Dee says:


    Commercial truckers are specially licensed, certified and have to attend some number of weeks of truck driving school. And I’m well aware of the debt we owe them.

    But any moron with a regular non-commercial license can drive one of these non-commercial honkers — and the rest of us just have to cross our fingers they don’t lose control of their vehicles and we end up on the losing end of an entanglement with them.

  103. 103
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Lynn Dee: Going off that, I wouldn’t be against making these trucks a different classification of licensing. Not as much as a commercial truck, but if you need a special license for a motorcycle, I don’t see what the problem is.

    As it is, our standards for a plain old Class D license are pretty low-I mean, we’ve all driven or at least been on the roads before right? I look back at my 16 year old self, and the though that I could (and did) operate a motor vehicle at that age fucking terrifies me.

  104. 104
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Lynn Dee:

    It’s OK though…I’m certain BC and her man ONLY drive this monstrosity when they pull boats and at NO other time.

  105. 105
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Notice, too, the photo and caption BC chose to proclaim her new ego-enhancement acquisition: Owning this type of vehicle is all about intimidation.


  106. 106
    EconWatcher says:

    @Betty CrackerWell done! I don’t remember seeing Ted And Helen around here until recently, but he/she/they have a real talent for mindless irritation.:

  107. 107
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Ah…another hive minder.

    So you’re good with retrograde road hog/fuel hogs as long as they are owned and operated by BJ kool kids.


  108. 108
    wrb says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Remarkably, a diesel truck like that will burn less fuel than a big-engined gas commuter car, even though it weighs thousands of pounds more.

    My Dodge averages 22-24 mpg.

    A big truck with a careful driver gets as much as 9 mph when hauling 80,000 lbs, although 5-6 mpg is more typical.

  109. 109
    Ted & Hellen says:


    what make and model Dodge? I’d like to research the stats.

  110. 110
    J R in NC (today) says:

    Hi, Betty,

    Congrats on the truck – I want one badd! I have a ’08 F-350 to pull my tractor/backhoe, and it doesn’t get very good milage – 18 w/o freight, 13 with hoe. I talked to a guy at the gas station with a ’11 F-250 and he said he’s getting 20+ mpg, a big improvement.

    How much will a F-250 tow?

    When you live in the country and farm, you gotta have a truck. If you work with a machine, you gotta have a truck. If you gotta have a truck, it otta be a good truck with the power and accessories you need and want. I got mine used – it has leater seats which wipe clean from dog feet.

    I wouldn’t order a PU-truck with leather seats, but when you get a truck you need, that stickered for $52K for $27K with 22K miles on it, you done good. If it comes with a few features you don’t really need but you still save thousands of dollars, you done good.

    Congrats, Betty, and don’t let any urban effete snobs rain on your truck and boat parade!

    That is all,
    J R in WV, temporarily in NC for Aunt Rosemary’s 90th b’day party, Whoot! Cake and ice cream, big crowd, wonderful time!

  111. 111
    wrb says:

    Mine is old- an 1989 3/4-ton 4-wd Ram with the Cummins turbo-diesel.

    The newer ones have somewhat bigger engines and look heavier, although maybe they aren’t, due to more plastic.

    I used to have a Chevy with a gas engine and only got around 6mpg.

  112. 112
    Lynn Dee says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut:

    Good points all. I would like to see another class of license for these really big trucks.

    You’re right of course that hurtling down the freeway in just a regular ol’ vehicle is fraught with its own risks — to the driver as well as others on the road. But, as a society, we’ve made our determination as to what level of regulation is necessary and sufficient (with ongoing tweakings along the way) to minimize that risk. For my money, a little additional regulation for these big trucks would be a good thing.

    I actually don’t have a problem with the gas usage. Or maybe I should say, I don’t think trying to shame truck owners into not using something they need is the way to address the problem.

  113. 113
    Lojasmo says:

    @Special One:

    LOL. Looking for a miata now to rock through the MN WINTER/

  114. 114
    Lojasmo says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    GAS HOG?

    It’s a diesel, dumbass.

  115. 115
    Lojasmo says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    Argh. Well, I’m in Minnesota. Sorry.

  116. 116
    Ted & Hellen says:


    Hey lessjism…so the fuck what? It’s a diesel that gets horrible gas mileage. Or were you under the impression that diesel engines burn air?

  117. 117
    Bunker says:

    @luc: In other parts of the developed world they must not have BIG personal boats to pull around.
    Or Campers, Jetskis, 5th wheels, Horse trailers, ATV’s, Motorcycles, Race Car.
    We Luvs our Toys!

  118. 118
    c u n d gulag says:

    Oh well…
    Thanks anyway for the kind thought. :-)

  119. 119
    wrb says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    In the 80s I had a small toyota diesel pickup that got nearly 50 mpg when gas mini pickups were lucky to get 20 mpg. Diesels are efficient. That is a big part of why people pay the extra thousands.

    Part is how you drive. You can rev it like a sports car but my Dodge has so much torque I can get up to highway speed while barely breaking idle.

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