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Monday, June 12, 2017

Questionable Decisions and an Impending Wedding

My blogging is being affected in a bigly way by the impending marriage of my number three son. He lives in DC and his wedding is on the 24th. The preparations have been immense and as we come down to the wire the Diplowife's tyranny has grown.

Today I had to do the thing I hate the most on this earth: try on clothes. Went to a local clothing store a few weeks ago, ordered a couple of suits, ties, etc., and thought that was the end of it. But no! Today I had to go try the things on and, of course, the Diplowife was unhappy with how I looked--now she notices? Alterations, fried nerves, agitation, looming deadline. . . ugh! When I left the State Department I ceremoniously trashed all my suits, ties, sport coats, dress shoes . . . I sought to live the rest of my life in sweat pant and sneaker glory.

Now to have to go back and get that stuff again . .  . well, it has ultra frazzled my already frazzled nerves and is making blogging very difficult.

Anyhow, the boy is marrying a perfectly delightful lady--she appears on FOX News as an expert on education, and works at the Heritage Foundation . .  . so, of course, she has the Diplomad Approval Stamp. She's a YUGE Trump fan, proving that not all youngsters are lost to the progressive maw.

I've been a bit discombobulated, and have made some decisions which I hope are not too questionable. I sold my 1966 Olds AND my 2015 GT Mustang. My 73 Mach 1 and my 76 Cadillac are also up for sale (Laguna Classic Cars).  Please buy them and make the Diplowife happy.

I have bought two Jeep Wranglers to console myself. They are great! Lot of fun. I am decking them out with everything I can think of, and some day, yes, some day, might actually take them off-road. The Diplowife doesn't want to hear it because, as she says, we've spent most of our married life "off-road" in places such as Pakistan, Guatemala, and Bolivia, and she's had enough dirt roads and rocky climbs to last her a lifetime. So I think my wonderfully equipped Wranglers will be confined to making COSTCO runs, but they will impress!

As an old-school fart, I have made sure that both Wranglers have six-speed manual transmissions--keeps the number of potential wanna-be drivers down. Yesterday, in fact, I was showing off one of these beauts to my neighbor when he looked inside and asked "What's that third pedal for?" This is when it was confirmed to me that my beloved Western Civilization is in a deep, deep crisis . . . "What's that third pedal for?" shall be the motto, the very leitmotif of our campaign to organize, to rally, to lead the drive to restore that Civilization to its former glory! NO automatic transmissions! No driverless cars! No hybrids! No electric cars! No power windows! OK, OK, we will accept cup holders, but that's it!

Back to something about cleaning the house for when our foreign guests arrive after the wedding. No more GSO to take care of that sort of thing . . .

53 comments:

  1. Congratulations- enjoy the whole shebang!

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  2. There are many wonderful off road trails in California...my hubby and I go all time...enjoy your jeeps..they truly love the outdoors

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  3. You sold the Mustang??? I got 2 Wranglers and a Mustang, they play nice together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're "Trained" aren't ya?

      You, my friend, are what my grampa called "Whipped".

      Delete
    2. Broken. A shell of my former self.

      Delete
  4. Old story:
    A man and his wife are at their vacation cabin when he suffers a severe injury, and as a consequence cannot drive his jeep. The wife cannot drive a stick trans. He died as a result.

    I was surprised to find that tow ratings for pickups/SUV's with sticks are at most 1/2 the weight as those with an auto trans. Partly due to rear gearing ratios intended for better gas mileage.
    The number of new vehicles sold with a stick is minuscule now. Single digit percentages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The number of new vehicles sold with a stick is minuscule now."

      I sold my last manual trans truck last year (arthritic hips and 70 years on the clock). I took it to a cousin-in-law who sells vehicles and he said he just can't get rid of a manual. I found a local guy who wanted it, but not at much of a price.

      My kids know how to drive one, at least.

      Another fred

      Delete
  5. Hate to say it, but I bet the CVT in my new Subaru drives better than a stick.

    Driving stick today feels like writing assembly language 20 years ago. Yeah, if you really work at it you can keep up with the C compiler. But if you're honest with yourself and actually profile your code vs. the compiler, chances are that the compiler does a much better job keeping track of which registers are really needed and which instructions leave status bits alone. And it's infuriatingly excellent Every. Darn. Time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the CVT in your Subaru is better than the one in mine. Well, mine's fine now that they replaced most of it at less than 1000 miles.
      And no, it doesn't drive better than a stick.

      Delete
    2. My WANG does quite nicely, thank you . . .

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    3. Cool! You went "Deep Geek" and lost 99% of your audience. Being a firmware programmer from way back, I actually knew what you were talking about.

      Delete
    4. My '84 silver anniversary mustang is stick, and I can beat any damn auto tranny from a full stop.
      Comes in VERY handy at intersections.

      Delete
    5. Bahahah! I laughed out loud at that one. One of my first jobs ever in the civil service (Word Processor Operator) was on a Wang system.

      Delete
  6. Ahh, the 24th is my Birthday. Google Desert Explorers. A fun group of folks in SOCAL interested in off road explorations in the desert Southwest. Great for couples of a certain age.

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  7. Is this the Mustang: 734006? If I had a bigger garage, the kids were all out of college, nice...

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  8. Go Diplomad!!! Save the manuals. They are slowly moving driving to the Lowest Common Denominator. There is skill involved in driving an old Jag with the Moss 4 speed, or a Model A with a crash box, Same with the ability to skillfully navigate a twisty road at speed. Refuse to give in to automotive automation.

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  9. Go Diplomad!!! Save the manuals. They are slowly moving driving to the Lowest Common Denominator. There is skill involved in driving an old Jag with the Moss 4 speed, or a Model A with a crash box, Same with the ability to skillfully navigate a twisty road at speed. Refuse to give in to automotive automation.

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  10. "Six speed manual transmissions are great.." ... says the guy who *doesn't* have to commute an hour each way in stop-n-go traffic! :)

    - reader #1482

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  11. Don't be tempted to use that third pedal and change gear if you're crossing a river. Fatal.
    After a career using and fixing Land Rovers in the back country I got wise -- bought a 70 Series Toyota Landcruiser with an automatic box, full floating axles and diff lock. 550,000 trouble free kms later and it still runs like a watch. Nor have I been stuck in a river with a useless slipping wet clutch to jeopardise my life.

    Mick

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  12. "The Third Pedal of..........." That could be an old Chinese slogan for a political program. Let's see "The Third Pedal Of Heavenly Progress" or

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  13. I love my 16 year old Boxster S with a six speed. But I read that Porsche has stopped making manual trans cars. Damn shame.

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  14. Not sure what your point in selling your classic cars, if you are going to buy TWO ?! Jeep Wranglers. By my count you are still even on the number of vehicles you own. I just gifted my 13 yo Jeep Liberty to my newly-graduated daughter who had the nerve to complain that it wasn't really a good present if she had to pay for the licence, registration and insurance. I also sold my 17 yo Volvo station wagon, my Vespa and my RV. I am officially without vehicles and it feels great! Delilah

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  15. This totally has the "back in my day..." vibe with a little "get off my lawn" thrown in. Of course I totally agree with you, but that cause I'm an old guy too :)

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  16. I gave up the manual trans when the children were small. I could not shift the car and throw snax into the back seat at the same time...
    When the first of these children came of driving age we bought a Subaru with manual trans so they would learn to shift a stinkin car!
    17 years later it's still on the road. Best car we ever bought.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now if you'd just tossed a wildebeest haunch in the back with the little darlings at the start of the trip, they could've gnawed on that the whole way.

      Delete
  17. Congratulations on your Diploson#3's upcoming wedding. In fact, my daughter is getting married the same day. So I'm taking this as a good omen.
    While I share your love of Jeeps, and I know what the third pedal is for, I'm going to have to side with "Reader #1482" on this one. I'm often stuck in the Seattle metropolitan area's stop-n-go traffic. I had a Saturn SL Sedan w/a third pedal--and no cruise control (another invention worthy of keeping along with the cup holders). Driving it in heavy traffic was annoying to say the least.

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  18. Be sure you are armed when you drive the stick. A carjacker killed the owner of a car he tried to steal because he, the carjacker, could not drive a stick shift.

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  19. The preparations have been immense and as we come down to the wire the Diplowife's tyranny has grown.

    The mother of the groom is the tyrant?? I think clergymen generally tell you it's the mother of the bride who is evil (when not contending with Bridezilla herself).

    I'll wish you good luck. I'll wish you a double-helping. Elaborate weddings are tempting fate. An officiant, the couple, a pair of friends, and a dinner at a pleasant Indian restaurant is something an engaged couple should consider.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to tell my daughter she should consider eloping.

      Delete
    2. Sigh, me too.

      Didn't happen...

      Barry

      Delete
  20. "sweat pant and sneaker glory"

    Epic Lewis, just epic.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sorry if I am prying, but I have to ask...

    Two years ago (regarding your 2015 GT Mustang), you wrote: "Overall, it's the best car I have ever driven, and not justOverall, it's the best car I have ever driven, and not just the best one I have owned. the best one I have owned."

    Why did you get rid of it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diplowife kept saying it was uncomfortable (sigh)

      Delete
    2. No longer have an air-cooled 911. Got rid of it a few years before the prices started going up. Wife did not like the hard narrow seats. She also didn't like driving it - the steering is diplomatically referred to as highly communicative. She felt it was always on the brink of seizing control and killing her. A great wife's wishes trump having a great car....
      Oh, and congrats on the impending nuptials - have a great time and don't worry about how you look - nobody will be looking at you anyway.

      Delete
    3. ..."don't worry about how you look - nobody will be looking at you anyway."

      EXCEPT, 'she who must be obeyed' Brother chuck... Party Hearty Sr.Dip', and best wishes for a happy life and loving marriage for #3 and his beloved, Cheers!

      On Watch~~~

      Delete
  22. Have a fabulous time at the wedding!
    And you'll look snazzy while at it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. I will look like a rumpled old guy forced to wear a suit.

      Delete
    2. Ha!

      You'll look like me.

      Barry

      Delete
    3. I solved the suit problem by getting one made by a Hong Kong tailor. I might have looked like a sack of tatties but I was a stylish, fashionable sack of tatties.

      What I'd really wanted to wear was a Morning Suit, complete with topper. It was vetoed.

      Delete
  23. After our daughter's college graduation in 2015, we got her a car. She had never driven a stick, but specifically requested one with a manual transmission, so we got her a nice little Honda Civic Si with a six speed. I taught her how to drive it. She (and now her husband, too) loves driving it. Keep the faith!

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    Replies
    1. Honda has one of the best manual transmissions around. Silky smooth.

      Delete
  24. I'm sure the DiploDogs enjoy the jeeps. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Dear DiploMad - Please accept both congratulations on the impending wedding of your son and condolences on the loss of four fine automobiles (and dealing with suits). As one who has done business in 64 countries (now retired) I can appreciate your wife's attitude but not the loss of toys. Out of curiosity, does your wife use a third pedal or not? Just asking, nothing wrong with having alternate cars for odd and even numbered days (in some countries a required evil). BTW, I am going to steal your "third pedal" comment if I ever start my own blog. Godspeed and fair winds my distant friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Diplowife learned to drive a manual when we were in Guyana. She learned on an incredibly beat-up Morris. When we were in Pakistan she also drove my manual Chevette. Now she claims she doesn't know how!

      Delete
  26. My daughter never wanted to learn and my wife complains that it does not have cup holders so my 5spd 928 is mine, all mine, bwhahahahah. OTOH my sons are coming up the ranks...

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    Replies
    1. That's the way it should be . . .

      Delete
  27. Take the Jeeps to Moab. And congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Best wishes for the nuptials.

    And accept your removal from the subscription list at
    Jay Leno's Garage with grace.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Diplo, you do know that Trump was saying, "big league " not "bigly" right?

    (No worries. .. I had it wrong for awhile myself)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, but I like bigly and yuge and have appropriated them.

      Delete
  30. I'll wish you good luck. I'll wish you a double-helping. Elaborate weddings are tempting fate. An officiant, the couple, a pair of friends, and a dinner at a pleasant Indian restaurant is something an engaged couple should consider.
    thank you for this good topic !


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    ReplyDelete