What car brands are consumers satisfied or dissatisfied with?

Posted By on August 29, 2014

wsjcarbrands2014

Mercedes-Benz leads the pack in having the most satisfied customers, with only the American brand Buick making the “most satisfied” WSJ screen shot. I can’t say that “satisfied” list was a big surprise, but I was shocked that the “least satisfied” brand was Acura … according to the survey by the American Customer Satisfaction Index.

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Replaced the old halyards and roller furling line

Posted By on August 28, 2014

oldjibhalyard140826I picked up the repaired sails from South Sails this week and had initial success after stitching in a nylon thimble multiple times (I’m learning) into Encore’s new jib halyard. I still have the main sail halyard to go, but hopefully it will go smoother after the practice? I noticed the old halyards were oversized for the Westerly Corsair II according to information oldjibhalyard140827derived from SailboatOwners.com – 1/2” rather than 7/16” – so for the next time I will assume 1/2” line will go through the sheaves? The old halyards had “hardened” and stiffened in the weather, something I noticed when stitching the new halyard to the old when replacing without going aloft. The rock solid core of the old halyard has me wondering if it could possibly be a premium cored low stretch line? (something to ask an expert)

The Harken roller furling gear was a little bit more straight forward although the old 3/8” line was a bear to dig out of where it is knotted at the bottom of the drum. All in all, the upgrade will may me a little bit more comfortable when attempting to furl the headsail in a strong wind.

I’ve noticed that it is also time for a bottom cleaning so I gave my DiverDown buddy Roy a call and set him up for next month. Need to get back on an every other month rotation anyway. I’m not happy with the added expense, but it sure beat hauling out and powerwashing … or getting into the brackish water and scrapping it myself.

Archive: Checking a cars recall repair up-to-date-ness

Posted By on August 27, 2014

A pass-a-long link for pre-owned used car auto shoppers from my friend Tim Hunter that could be helpful:

NHTSA created a new search tool to search vehicles (newer then 15 years old) by VIN to see if they are up to date with all the recalls on the vehicle.

https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/

S.W.E.A.T. — Mike Rowe has ideas that needs to be heard

Posted By on August 25, 2014

Uncommon brilliance from a voice “for” the common man … that would be Mike Rowe. His answer to a reader Facebook post from earlier this month is worth reading.

mikeroweimageOff The Wall

Interesting conversation over on the wall. It was started by a guy called Jayson LaVictorie, who has posted a few thousand words about what’s wrong with America. He started with these observations, inspired apparently by my S.W.E.A.T. Pledge.

Jayson: “The 12 points are stupid. Corporate SHILLS don’t want you to think (critically) of how the average worker of the United States are getting screwed over by the ultra rich! They don’t want you to know that you are losing your jobs to people that are working for nothing or next to nothing! Why do they get freebies on Labor Costs, and Corporate Welfare, then bitch if the average American has to rely on Welfare? The Hypocrisy is overwhelming when it comes to the free market thought, which no one seems to follow! The free market has no room for corporate welfare!”

Hi Jayson -

Like many today, you seem to believe the poor are poor because the rich are rich. I do not share that view, not because I’m a corporate shill, but because I don’t find your arguments to be very persuasive. Name calling aside, I do not believe that I’m “shilling” for a corporation when I espouse the virtues of hard work and self-reliance. In fact, I don’t understand how anyone could argue with a straight face that such qualities should not be encouraged.

To be clear – I believe the world is a fundamentally unfair place. From what I’ve seen, it’s filled with people of unequal talents, unequal intelligence, unequal looks, unequal empathy, unequal luck, and unequal senses of humor. Some will agonize over the unfairness of all this inequity, and others will rise above their circumstances, no matter how grim. Personally, I prefer the latter group to the former. That does not mean I tolerate injustice or cruelty. I find those those qualities equally contemptible in corporations and individuals alike. But I don’t run a foundation designed to eliminate Corporate Welfare. My goals are to elevate the basic notion that hard work and personal responsibility are simple choices that we must all either reject or embrace as individuals. I believe this to be a simple truth, regardless of your race, gender, or tax-bracket.

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Keeping my eye on Tropical Storm Cristobal

Posted By on August 24, 2014

cristobal

It looks like all the weather models are keeping tropical storm Cristobal offshore which is both good for Encore as well as my travel plans … although those in, or going to, Bermuda may want to be prepared for some wind and rain.

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The Way Forward: Who has the right idea? Paul Ryan?

Posted By on August 24, 2014

The stock market roars to new highs as the summer comes to an end, but investors continue pouring money into higher risk equities as if they have forgot what can happen. ByeGeorgeThis is in part due to the low yield in fixed income assets and the new indice highs have more than a few economy watchers nervous. We all know that it is time for Quantitative Easing to end and the Fed to start increasing interest rates, but can we take it?

I’m not the only one wondering if markets are getting overly rich when it comes to the reality of corporate earnings and in particular small business profitability. How much of this is  the devaluation of the dollar?

What changes have we made?

The job market still stinks; unemployment is still above 6%; long term joblessness is “way high” and too many abled bodied Americans are not participating in the anemic rebound … let alone are on a career path.  I’d be bold enough to say that the policies coming from bureaucrats with the purpose of helping our economy have actually cost taxpayers more than they have help create job and employ Americans … particularly when it comes to the working poor. Americans who struggled with debt and paying their bills pre-recession, are still struggling with debt and are now older facing retirement without the proper saving, if they have any left. Those who were fortunate to key a steady job have seen wages stagnate have trouble believing their future is bright when they watch millions of illegal immigrants flowing into the country looking for a chance to fill a workers’ shoes. College students are still facing few jobs in their field of study and have to assume that they will be carrying student debt most of their lives. For them, having extra dollars to put into retirement savings, a house or the attention getting stock market are not seeing the same bright light at the end of this recession.

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The new halyards for Encore are ready for splicing

Posted By on August 23, 2014

newhalyard140821The convenient way to replace running rigging on sailboats are to purchase lines pre-made for a particular boat at places like SailboatOwners.com.  Of course that would be the “easy” way, but it does discourage upgrading shackles and thimbles or whipping and splicing your own lines. Since our Encore is strictly a cruising sailboat, the premium lines, in my opinion, would be overkill, besides just buying raw rope can save a few bucks too. Upgrading to a better grade of shackle and thimble on the other hand seems justifiable (a few bucks more for shackles vs. many more dollars for super low stretch lines). I previously decided to go with Samson’s XLS Yacht Braid for its known “handling” characteristics and reputation as a strong, low stretch rope halyard. In fact, I recall that one of my favorite non-biased publications charted (below) it attractive when looking at “stretch vs. cost”  too – Practical Sailor.

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TechFriday 2: Testing embed.ly with an Elio video story

Posted By on August 22, 2014

A second Tech Friday post: I’ve been looking for an excuse to try embed.ly … so here it goes with a Fox Business News Elio story … and a good PR one at that.

TechFriday: My three favorite cases for the iPhone 5 and 5s

Posted By on August 22, 2014

After almost two year of using several different wraps and “powered cases” for my iPhones, I whittled my picks down to three … or 4 if you consider “no-case” as an option. In fact, using the iPhone without a case makes it very small and lightweight; slipping the tiny iPhone 5 and 5s in a pocket is hard to beat for convenience. The build on this little full-featured smartphone is a thing of beauty … commuter_series_features_lgbut that solid block of aluminum and glass is definitely a problem if when you drop it. So it is my conclusion that some kind of case is necessary.

Here are my three case choices:

  1. The Otterbox Commuter series case with the two layers of protection and large lip around the screen; is is near perfect for the occasional and likely bump or drop. I’m also fond of the little plugs to keep dust and debris out of the opening. If it were not for needing a longer battery life, this would be my everyday case and costs about $20 at Amazon. (more…)

Quick police response: I thought you said no one was available?

Posted By on August 21, 2014

quickpoliceresponse

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.