Norfolk Virginia Mechanic

I don’t know if anyone still reads here considering how little I post any more, but I’m putting this info out there for informational purposes. I had a hard time finding a good mechanic shop so I’m hoping that this info will help someone else in the same boat out.

We used to use the Firestone Mastercare at Military Circle. They were OK. I was never hugely impressed by them, but they did competent work at a reasonable rate. They did have a habit of trying to “upsell” by trying to convince you to have them do work other than what you were there for, which was annoying, but I’m very well practiced at saying “no thank you”…however we started having issues with them a couple of years ago.

First, they failed my truck on an annual safety inspection because of a tiny tear in a wiper blade. The guy had a very hard time even showing me the tear that he was failing me for. They wanted to charge me $60 to replace the wiper blades before they’d pass the inspection. I changed them myself for $15.

Then my wife started having issues with them over her car. She took it in to get the oil changed before a drive to Indiana while I was on a business trip. They convinced her that the car wasn’t safe to drive unless she had the hoses and belts replaced…but after they realized they didn’t have one of the hoses in stock, they declared that it would probably be OK to drive to Indiana on that hose as long as she brought it back to get it replaced after the trip.

So it’s OK to drive when they don’t have the parts, but if they’d had the parts, the car was unsafe without them? Really?

A few other incidents followed, but the straw that broke the camel’s back was when they tried to tell my wife that her radiator was cracked and she needed a new one but, strangely, there had been no evidence that the radiator was leaking. I was, again on a business trip, so I had her take it to a mechanic friend of ours to check it out to be sure…he verified that the radiator was not cracked or leaking and that was the last time we darkened the door of Firestone mastercare.

We then went through a plethora of mechanics in this area and each and every one of them had issues. My friend the mechanic is a good mechanic, but is a very small operation and doesn’t have the diagnostic equipment or tools to work with modern cars, he’s more of a “classic cars and motorcycles” kind of guy. Some mechanic shops just didn’t strike me as particularly competent, some tried to rip us off in one way or another (trying to overcharge, or fix things that weren’t wrong), some the staff was rude or downright jerks. We just couldn’t seem to find a shop that did good work, charged reasonable rates and were honest.

That all changed on Friday. We’ve had an ongoing problem with The Wife’s car; a loud “roaring” road noise and slight vibration when steering, especially at highways speeds. I thought it was probably either a CV joint or wheel bearing, but didn’t have time to mess with it myself. The Wife found a mechanic shop with good reviews on Yelp so we gave them a try.

Accurate Tune on the corner of 14th and Monticello in Norfolk is now officially our “go-to” mechanic shop.

The Wife called them Friday morning and asked if they could get the car in. They assured us that they would be able to take a look on that day (almost never happened at Firestone).

When we dropped the car off, JT at the front desk was straightforward, friendly and professional. He outlined what they would do to troubleshoot and assured us that they would get to the bottom of the problem.

A couple of hours later, JT called and verified that the problem was the driver’s side wheel bearing. Since the bearing is integral to the wheel, they’d have to change the whole wheel. They quoted a price of $240 which I felt was very reasonable for such a repair and we authorized the work. BTW: I’d had a similar problem with my truck a few years before and replaced the wheel myself. The part was about $90 and it took me about 6 hours to do the work.

Anyway, they called back a few hours later and told us the work was done, we went and picked up the car. They did not try to “upsell” other service, they didn’t try to tell us anything else was wrong with the car, they just fixed the problem, the first time, perfectly.

The problem is resolved. JT even called The Wife the next day to make sure everything was OK with the car after the repair.

So, if you’re in the market for a good, reliable, honest mechanic in Norfolk, VA; my mechanic is Accurate Tune Plus on Monticello and, so far, I recommend them wholeheartedly.

Respecting the Constitution is “going off the rails”

At least according to “one senior member of congress”:

[There is] a growing certainty that President Obama is planning to enact amnesty by executive fiat, blowing up the chances of legislation for the rest of his presidency.

“It’s going to happen. He’s getting a lot of pressure, and he’s already told some people he’s going to. He’s told a bunch of people. I think he will. I think he has to,” said one senior member of Congress who asked that his name not be used.

“I’m hearing that he will do it by August. When that happens, it’s poof! The right will go off the rails, just because it’s unconstitutional — and they’ll be right about that stuff. They’ll fly off the rails, which will then get the Democrats [to close ranks]. And then it’s a presidential election. That’s coming, and as soon as that happens, it’s over,” the lawmaker said. [Emphasis Added - ed]

Um…I’m sorry…I prefer to think that the President of the United States, in direct violation of his oath of office, legislating by fiat, is what should be called “off the rails”, not any potential reaction by Republicans.

If he actually does this and ISN’T impeached…that’s what I would say is the sign that “it’s over”.

Actually, it would only be another sign among many that it’s already over. Constitutional government in this country is over. Government “of the people, by the people and for the people” in this country is over. The rule of law in this country is over.

This is why I haven’t been blogging lately. I really don’t think anyone is very interested in the daily happenings of my life and everything else is too depressing to blog about.

The United States of America as created by our founders is dead. I am no longer flying a US flag in front of my house as I have done for most of my adult life. The flag is really just a piece of cloth. The meaning is in what it used to represent. What it used to represent is gone. Done. Dead.

So much for our little experiment in self-governance. I think the founders probably realized it was doomed to failure from the start, but had to at least give it a try.

There is a large minority of people who want nothing more than to be left alone to live their lives as they see fit. These people tend to stay out of other’s business and expect the same courtesy in return.

There is a very small minority of people who see themselves as the elite and believe that the rest of humanity is incapable of caring for themselves without being ruled over by that elite.

And there is the majority of people who are desirous of and suited only for slavery. They want nothing more than to be provided for by others, any important decisions made for them and held responsible for nothing. It is this majority that causes any society to revert to it’s natural state: despotism and serfdom. We had a pretty good run. It took roughly 100 years before the natural order of things really started to take hold and another 150 or so before it really became the prevalent state of being. But it’s here now.

This is pretty much as good as it gets for a human society in historical terms. The past 250 years has been nothing but a fluke, a mistake, an aberration. Without another revolution (the outcome of which is by no means certain…in fact historical precedent indicates that we’d be worse off after it than before) it can go nowhere but downhill from here.

I (literally) weep for our descendents. We had such a good thing going for a little while, and we just gave it up.

See?

Depressing.

I finally figured out what I did wrong

Yes, I know it’s been a loooong time, but reading an article this morning really rang my bells and I had to break the hiatus for this.

Here’s the backstory: I spent a year in The Naval Police while on board the USS Enterprise. I started out on patrol, was promoted to Patrol Supervisor, then went into investigations. I did well in all phases, but didn’t really enjoy the patrol part. I didn’t really enjoy the job until I got into investigations…and I was good at it. Good enough that the Security Officer was willing to send me to Navy Investigator School (very unusual for someone who’s actual job specialty was not Master At Arms (What Navy Cops are called)) if I’d volunteer to do another three years on board the Enterprise. I wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice (the Enterprise was, at the time, not a pleasant environment to work in).

At any rate, after I retired from the Navy, I considered becoming a cop. I figured I could endure patrol for a few years and work on being advanced to detective, where I could really thrive in the job.

So, I applied with the Virginia Beach Police Department. I did fine with the process up to a psychological test where you sit in front of a television monitor playing a video of actors portraying scenarios. The candidate is filmed reacting to the scenarios as if he were actually there as a Police Officer and the film of the candidate is evaluated by experienced officers to determine if the candidate has the right psychological makeup to become a cop.

I failed this test and was not advanced. I’ve since been told that it’s very common to fail this test because it’s so subjective and that many candidates have to try more than once before they pass it.

Anyway, after reading this story this morning, I think I finally know why I failed the test.

You see, one of the scenarios presented was of an obviously mentally ill guy armed with a knife in city hall trying to lay claim to the city for some alien civilization that was due to arrive in their spaceships at any time.

I’m pretty sure that this is the scenario that caused me to fail the test, because I didn’t follow standard Police protocol.

I tried to reason with the crazy guy, reassure him that we were there to help him and convince him to put down his weapon so we can work all this out and verify his possibly legitimate claims.

Apparently, I should have just shot him down where he stood. That seems to be the proper Police procedure when dealing with a crazy dude waving a knife around.

I’m often glad that I didn’t make the cut. Between the requirement to shoot crazy people, and the standard procedure of killing family pets while serving search warrants, I really don’t think I’m nearly authoritarian and heartless enough to be an effective cop these days.

The race trump card

It’s long been accepted that black people have a shorter life expectancy than whites.

It now appears that this is nothing more than another manifestation of the white man keepin’ him down:

Accelerated aging and a greater likelihood of suffering from an age-related illness at a younger age are two consequences being linked to African-American men who have experienced high-levels of racism throughout their lives.

We interrupt this blogging hiatus…

To bring breaking news:

For all of those living in the frozen tundra (yes, I’m talking to you Vanilla…and CB too), I just wanted to gloat a little.

todayHere’s what it’s like right now here in Southeastern Virginia:

Unfortunately, it’s going to be pretty short lived.

Here’s the forecast for tomorrow.

tomorrow

Welcome to Virginia. If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes, it’ll change.

The Voice of the Rockets

My Son has been announcing football games for the Lafayette-Winona Rockets football team (the school he teaches at). I went to a game on Saturday. I think he does a great job. He’s got a good voice for it. This was the last game of the playoffs and the Rockets won 26 to 6. First kid’s game I’ve been too since he was playing in the City Leagues years ago. It was fun.

Next stop is the intercity championships on November 7th. I may have to hit that game too.

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The Liberal Mindset

Alternate Title: “Responsibility part deux”

This should be the motto of the Democratic party and liberals in general:

“I was all for Obamacare until I found out I was paying for it”
-Unidentified Anthem Blue Cross Customer, California

From this story (hat tip to Drudge).

Isn’t that just like the left? They’re all for providing for the “less fortunate”…as long as they can force someone else to foot the bill.

As soon as they realize that they are included in the “someone else”…all bets are off.

Follow Up

Back when I put together my M4gery AR Carbine, I reviewed the Sight Mark red dot sight and the mounting base I got from Midway USA.

At the time I mentioned that I’d follow up if anything changed.

I just wanted to report that, finally, after approx 4 years and maybe 2,000 rounds of ammo, I’ve finally got an update other than “it works great”.

I took 6 new shooters to the range (I know, I know, I didn’t post a new shooter report…bad blogger…I’ve been busy) a few weeks ago, new shooters (especially guys) tend to like to shoot the AR carbine, so it really gets a workout on those trips. During firing, we had two minor glitches, one with the sight itself and one with the mount.

On the mount, one of the top screws started backing out. I didn’t have the right size allen wrench so I couldn’t tighten it back down right there, there are three screws on each end of the top of the mount, so I figured 2 would work and if the screw came completely out I could just buy a new one at Tidewater Fasteners. Well, it never came all the way out so it ended up not being a big deal. A little locktight and a correctly sized allen wrench and it’s good to go.

The other minor problem was on the sight itself. The hinge pin for the front flip cover came out while firing. The shooter at the time recovered both the cover and the spring, but couldn’t locate the pin. I haven’t fixed that yet, but it’s simply a matter of finding a piece of wire or spring steel that will fit in place of the pin and putting it back together again.

The rear pin seems solid so I don’t know what caused the front one to come out. Again, just a minor thing and the sight still works great…by the way, the battery life on this sight is excellent. I haven’t tested it straight through from turn on till it dies, but this last time, the batteries were brand new when we started, we started shooting at around 3pm and they forgot to turn the sight off after we left the range, I didn’t think to check it until the next morning at about 0800 and the dot was still strong, so, based on that, the run time is in excess of 17 hours.

Anyway, that’s my update. Granted, I’ve never tested this setup in harsh conditions, just at the range, or at my step-father’s farm in PA, but for civilian purposes and a rifle that’s probably never going to see more harsh conditions than standing in a field shooting watermelons from 150 yards away, I’d say this sight is well suited for the task, at a fraction of the cost of the brand name optics.

Responsibility

Someone (I don’t remember who now…my apologies) linked to this opinion piece earlier today:

The message of Emily Yoffe’s Slate article about binge drinking and sexual assault on college campuses was as important as it was obvious: The best step that young women can take to protect themselves is to stop drinking to excess.

Young women everywhere — not to mention their mothers — ought to be thanking Yoffe. Instead, she’s being pilloried.

Read the whole thing, but the gist is that feminists are up in arms that someone had the audacity to tell young women that they should make some attempt at remaining lucid when out in public to prevent bad things from happening to them.

Of course the whole “you’re blaming the victim” trope was bandied about (and even continued into the comments of the linked opinion piece) as well as “in stead of telling women not to drink, how about we tell men not to rape”, etc.

Good idea.

Because telling people not to commit crimes is so effective in other areas, right?

The bottom line is that we are as responsible for our actions as the perpetrators of crimes are. If we make it easy for them to ply their trade, it is not our fault that they chose to commit a crime, but it is our fault that we made it easy for them.

The bottom line is that bad people are going to do bad things…heck sometimes even basically good people do bad things when under the influence of large amounts of alcohol, especially teenagers and especially in packs.

In light of that fact, you can either strongly support the prosecution of those who take advantage of women who have imbibed too much…which ensures the blame is placed in the right place and the perpetrator is punished, but does absolutely nothing to “unrape” the victim.

Or

You can strongly support the advising of potential victims to take a little responsibility for themselves, keep their wits about them and prevent the rape from happening in the first place.

(or both, which would be my preference)

Which do you suppose is more beneficial for the intended victim?

Apparently, much like the anti-gun lobby, rabid feminists aren’t overly concerned with actually preventing crimes against women, only with effectively exploiting those victims after the crimes occur.