A sign of Autumn and our 1987 Mercedes Benz 560SEL #TBT

| September 24, 2020

We had our first taste of cooler fall weather for 2020 last week as the hot 80+ degree days of August and early September gave way to pleasant mid-to-high 70s and cooler evenings dipping into the 40s. Brr, my body has not adjusted yet. As autumn approaches and the temperatures are more tolerable in the […]

Time for another BMW X5 35d oil, filter and air filter change

| September 23, 2020

The weather has been just perfect for evenings in the garage or outside, so it is a good time to be checking off a couple of to-do list items – it was enjoyable. Although I’ve been slightly overdue for an oil change, the Ravenol oil I have been using is high quality synthetic oil so […]

BMW X5 35d diesel fill-up for $1.39/gal with Kroger fuel points

| September 12, 2020

With a few miles of driving this week (nothing like my years of back and forth to NE Ohio) … I kept an eye out for anomalies in diesel fuel price. prices. It just so happened that Sidney and Wapakoneta prices were a bit lower than either Toledo or home in Cincinnati, so I planned […]

Few photos of vintage racing match this Nigel Corner image #TBT

| September 10, 2020

Nine lives, fate, stroke of luck, divine intervention? Here’s a Throwback Thursday #TBT shocker. One never knows just how “forgetting to put on a safety belt” could be seen as the smartest thing someone would do when racing. On September 17, 2000 it would give racer Nigel Corner another day on this earth. After seeing […]

My memories on an obsolete automotive oil spout gadget #TBT

| September 3, 2020

I shared a question to a few of my automotive friends on a Twitter a few weeks ago … prior to my WordPress post disappeared due to a mysql crash (grrr!) … A question for #Millennials: What is this automotive “thing” and how does it work? So much of what we remember from our youth […]

Made a new car guy connection when discussing the Packard

| August 29, 2020

On Friday afternoon I stopped in to talk with Rick Benhase, the guy looking at the Packard transmission for me. He is a truly old car nut and can’t seem to get rid of his “fleet” once he buys or fixes them. This applies to more than just cars, too (read below if you must […]

Sent the Packardbaker out for some transmission work

| August 21, 2020

My dad’s 1958 Packard Hawk, mine for the last 5 years, has hardly been touched since it was flatbed delivered from Sidney, Ohio. I moved it once … and then covered it up with a battery tender after I noticed a pool of transmission fluid all over the floor. So on the 5th anniversary of […]

Saving a custom Mercedes Benz W123 “LaPickup” photo

| August 15, 2020

Since I’ve highlighted a couple other “functional” versions of the Mercedes Benz W123, here’s another owner conversion. (see ONE, TWO … and THREE just for the humor). I do find myself constantly needing (well “wanting” really) a pickup truck, but can usually put things in my Honda Odyssey “work vehicle” or hitch up the utility […]

Someone’s Tesla is plugged into my 220VAC welding circuit?

| August 9, 2020

We had a great time with Katelyn, Drew, Annalyn and Ellerie as they visited for a mini-vacation, as my daughter called it (family photos archived later in the week). They drove the Tesla Model3 down from Perrysburg and were able to squeeze in two car seats, their luggage and a larger stroller. Impressive! Drew planned […]

The differences between a Willys, Ford and Hotchkiss Jeep

| August 5, 2020

Ever since reading Boys’ Life magazine as a kid and perusing the “military surplus” advertising, I’ve wanted a classic military Willys MB Jeep (or Ford GPW). I’m sure that I was not alone? The old restored Jeeps have been staples at car shows, parades and aviation fly-ins for decades and I’m always attracted to them […]

Not recommended: Triangular shade sail for driveway shade

| August 4, 2020

The summer sun makes it too hot to work with the 10 x 12 foot south-facing garage door on the back of the detached outbuilding which is something I’ve struggled with for years. I’ve rigged up tarps, drop clothes and the like in order to cut the harsh sun, but let some light and breeze […]

Social networking with like-minded friends about cars and remembering camping with my family when growing up #TBT

| July 23, 2020

Having the comradery of social media friends who enjoy similar interests doesn’t necessarily replace face to face friendships, but at least during the Coronavirus pandemic it is a way to stay connected. There are a few of us like-minded car guys who sort of have an appreciation for the mundane cars and share stories, photos and […]

Love our current vehicles, but do miss my VW Jetta TDI #TBT

| July 16, 2020

The publicity around Ford’s new “bucking” Bronco for 2021 had me thinking about cars this week … as well as seeing a post from 12 years ago highlighting 100,000 odometer reading on Katelyn’s first car. Bronco aside, a few of my favorite vehicles are running through my head, but have a special soft spot my […]

A new keyless remote and programming for my Honda Odyssey

| July 12, 2020

The Keyless Remote on my 2002 Honda Odyssey stopped working this past year and figured it was just a dead battery. Unfortunately after replacing the battery … twice …and confirming that my other remote still worked, I gave up and ordered one. After searching the Internet for fixes and replacements, I opted for one on […]

The Fiat 500X and selling hot dogs from a VW bus in NYC

| June 7, 2020

Just an automotive kind of filler today after sharing Erwin Wurm’s “chubby” Volkswagen Hot Dog “microbus” from NYC last week on Tom Appel’s Twitter feed. The discussion started when I commented that the Fiat 500X Sport reminded me of the “plump when you cook it” Ballpark franks commercials in the 1990s.  Eventually I shared the […]

Replacing the blower motor and fan in the 2010 BMW X5 35d

| May 15, 2020

If all goes well, my weekend project on the 2010 BMW X5 35d will be a new blower motor, just as with the old Toyota RAV 4. This past winter has been irritatingly challenging since the squeaky motor bearings have acting up, although sporadically. As the weather warmed and the wear continued, the “only on […]

Diesel fuel fill-up and another Scrap Wood Challenge idea

| May 13, 2020

After shipping back the defective mini amplifier that I purchase  a few weeks ago (grr!), I decided it was a nice evening for a drive in the old Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel. Since I was out and needed a few gallons of diesel fuel, it seemed like a good time to fill up the jugs […]

Plugging yet another tire and “smelling the roses” #video

| April 18, 2020

Another nail or something in the tire, this time in Brenda’s Acura RDX. Thankfully it was in the tread and small, so an easy plug … but plugging two tires within 30 days? (the animated gif above is just a little soap water sprayed on the tire for leak detection) As for a video that […]

Engine Parts word search from ConsumerGuide Automotive

| April 16, 2020

For those automotive enthusiasts who are spending A LOT more time at home due to the Coronavirus stay-at-home orders and interested in ways to entertain our minds, try the ConsumerGuide.com Automotive blog’s Engine Parts word search. Tom Appel and crew always find something interesting for their blog (and car stuff podcast). Click image larger or […]

Has it been 4 years since we donated the beloved Toyota Rav4?

| March 19, 2020

Every once in a while MyDesultoryBlog’s “Year(s) Ago On This Day" script pops up something that shocks me. It is hard to believe we donated Brenda‘s 1998 Toyota Rav4 back in 2016? It does not seem that long … but "life moves pretty fast …" as the Ferris Bueller line goes. So I’ll repost one […]

Who really wants a plugged tire on their BMW X5 35d?

| March 14, 2020

A little over a year ago I replaced the run-flat tires on the 2010 BMW X5 35d with a relatively economical set of Vercelli NON-run flat tires. This necessitated adding a temporary spare in my underfloor storage area … but besides price, the ride quality is much better. Unfortunately this past week nail found its […]

This sound rings a bell and student loan memories #TBT

| March 12, 2020

Question: How old do you have to be to identify this widely recognized sound from our automotive past?   What is this sound? My first “real job” was as a Shell gas station attendant when I turned 16 years old (although cut lawns, did odd jobs and worked as “boy” labor for a commercial fishing […]

Showing an old Mercedes Benz W123 conversion a little love

| March 4, 2020

One has to admire the ingenuity some go through in taking their love of the classic W123 Mercedes Benz diesel with a love of cheap travel or as the RV and Van camper crowd call it: boondocking. I’ve had daydreams of converting my small utility trailer to a self-contained privative camping trailer, but find it […]

Music Monday: The Daytona 500 from 2006 and Bonjovi

| February 24, 2020

After last week’s outstanding Daytona500 pre-race festivities and the fitting musical performance by Darius Rucker, the “Years Ago On This Day” post from “The Greatest Auto Race – NOT the Daytona 500” from 2006’s appeared. Attached to it was one of my earlier video streaming attempts of the Bonjovi pre-race performance. What a great Music […]

Leftover photos: A lousy Valentine’s Day gift & antique miter box

| February 18, 2020

Here’s a Twofer Tuesday archive from a couple weekend photos on my phone: First, I tried to use Brenda’s grandfather’s handmade, and well worn, antique miter box to cut a couple pieces of trim .. but ended up using my powered Hitachi sliding miter saw to clean up the cut instead (I did use his […]

Rain delayed 2020 Daytona 500, but still a great pre-race show

| February 17, 2020

Although watching NASCAR is not the highest priority on our list of things to do, it has been a long time mid-February favorite whether we were home, at the boat or visiting Brenda’s mom and dad years ago in Florida. This year we treated it as a Super Bowl kind of Sunday and were impressed […]

Filling space with LTE speed test and humorous automotive GIF

| February 11, 2020

A month ago Virgin Mobile sent this happy customer (great service) an update indicating that due to the Sprint T-Mobile combination that the Virgin partnership would be spun off to Sprint’s Boost Mobile prepaid group.They promised an equal or better “deal” which has yet to be noticed … but then it has only been a […]

What car guy didn’t/doesn’t dream of owning a Porsche 911?

| January 28, 2020

As a German car guy from way back (VW, Mercedes, BMW), there was time I really wanted to also have a Porsche. When I was looking for my first car, it was an economical 914 with a Targa top … but ended up with a 1974 Mercury Capri (probably a smart move). Later in life […]

Old jack stands: A friend shared this as an automotive PSA

| January 24, 2020

Just your average PSA guys. Just because you use jack stands, doesn’t mean you’re safe. Always throw something else under the car if you’re going to be under it. My father and I just had a trusty old jack stand fail. Folded right over unexpectedly, luckily he was just rotating tires at the time, so […]

The World’s Best-Selling Car makes car enthusiasts smile

| January 21, 2020

Although mentioned in publications before (here’s an older article), I always smile when I see the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe in automotive stories. In part, because the car is not what people envision of when they read “World’s Best-Selling Car,” but also because the manufacturer, Little Tikes, was founded in Aurora, Ohio (where I worked […]

Tech Friday: The subscription models and the 180K threshold

| January 17, 2020

Back in the late 1980s when I was starting in the commercial printing and eventually ‘small time’ publishing business (Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co), I didn’t realize how far ahead of the game we were when focusing on the subscription model. Early on we were able to capitalize on few people in the printing industry […]

Loved those Volkswagen conversions like the Brubaker Box #TBT

| January 9, 2020

It’s fun to remember all the cool looking Volkswagen conversion back in my youth. I loved the dune buggies and sports car models (that looked fast, but were VW Bug slow). Here’s one that I never saw in person, but back in the 1970s … when “vans were cool” … this would have been great. […]

Who knew Evil Knievel owned a KIA SUV? #video

| January 7, 2020

Automotive history photo and story that got attention last year

| January 2, 2020

Every once in a while, a story about cars and history (my memories) catches eyeballs. One such story in Hemmings Motor News last year did that for me in part because my dad had a 1972 Ford Pinto and because the Mt. St. Helens eruption in May of 1980 was a big deal news story. […]

New Windshield … but the Facebook advertising is too timely

| December 15, 2019

I’ve often questioned just how much data is being collected by Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc … but considering I’m a relatively light user of FB … getting push timely advertising is a bit creepy. I called my insurance company last week for a windshield repair/replacement for our 2010 BMW X5 35d and handled the entire […]

Windshield chips become ugly cracks when it is cold

| December 14, 2019

Don’t you just hate this! Earlier this week I was driving home through construction and traffic as I headed south from Columbus to Cincinnati on I-71 (road construction is not done yet!) and I heard a rock hit the windshield. It sounded pretty nasty, but after looking around carefully from the inside, all was fine […]

A Fluidampr Harmonic Balancer for the BMW X5 35d

| December 6, 2019

One of the engine components known to fail prematurely on BMW diesels is the weighty harmonic balancers on the 6 cylinder crank shafts. Perhaps the park is designed with the vibration rubber material that degrades or perhaps it is just the constant hammering of the diesel engine that is hard on the original design? In […]

Tesla unveiled the highly anticipated Cybertruck #video

| November 23, 2019

Tesla’s version of a “pickup truck” is being offered as a “green” alternative to America’s appetite for a consumer truck. Ford continues to dominate with it’s F-150 with Chevy and Dodge nipping at their heels. For some reason, we Americans want a pickup truck even though few use their dressed up beasts to haul anything. […]

Ever see a two wheeled VW Beetle? Let’s ride …

| October 30, 2019

There are few limits when it comes to loving Volkswagen Beetles – how about a 2-wheeled bicycle version? Pretty creative.

Learning about automotive manufacturing and Digital Buck

| October 22, 2019

One thing about waiting for a start-up car company to build a car is that I’m learning a lot more about the automotive manufacturing process. Nowadays, many of the parts are manufactured by suppliers to the automotive industry and then assembled. The same will be true for the unique Elio Motors three wheel tandem seating […]

Simple mount in BMW X5 35d for Amazon Echo Auto

| October 12, 2019

It isn’t easy to see this little magnetic bracket I made to hold my new Amazon Echo Auto low on the dash of the BMW X5 35d. I opted to make a little aluminum bracket that straddles the pushbutton switch blanks to the right of a few other buttons. It is fastened with automotive trim […]

Did this dad get that automotive anchor symbol wrong? #humor

| October 6, 2019

Saw this on one of my Facebook car groups and couldn’t help but posting on Twitter!

Tech Friday: Loving the new Amazon Echo Auto in my car

| October 4, 2019

Last week, Amazon authorized my invitation and gave me a promo code for the Echo Auto Alexa device for the car (it was a long wait, but they did discount to $24.99 for invitation holders). For the passed several months I’ve been using an Echo Input (no speaker) in my BMW X5 35d in an […]

A 1974 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia: The 2nd car I ever drove.

| September 17, 2019

After receiving for my learner’s permit (at age 16 in Ohio the 1970s), my family took a long summer vacation out west. One of the stops was to visit a long-time work friend of my dad’s who lived just outside of San Francisco in Los Altos. One of the cars he had was a bright […]

Snoozing while a Tesla autopilot is in self-driving mode?

| September 10, 2019

If you are an innovative automotive manufacturer (ie. Tesla) or just a citizen who doesn’t want more government intrusion or regulation, then behavior like this needs to be stopped or prevented in the first place. I appreciate having my freedom and don’t want a bigger nanny state, but I know when seeing this kind of […]

Mercedes Benz W123: The Greatest Car Ever Made? #TBT photos

| August 29, 2019

Have I mentioned that I enjoy driving my old Mercedes Benz 300d Turbodiesel? 😉 “On January 29, 1976, Mercedes unveiled a new midsize car to replace its long-serving W115 model. Known by its internal designation as the W123, the car’s sober good looks and size seemed like a logical evolutionary step over the outgoing model. […]

So love driving the “Old Girl”- my 1982 MB 300d Turbodiesel

| August 24, 2019

On Friday, with August temperatures abating a bit, I decided drive the “old girl,” as my best friend Jeff refers to my 1982 Mercedes Benz 300d Turbodiesel. It is not rare that I drive our “EMP car” since it was my daily driving for a couple years, but now I do it far less frequently […]

The 2006 Honda Pilot served us well for 14 years #TBT

| August 22, 2019

This is not the Throwback Thursday #TBT photo I would recommend using when listing a car for sale, but the 2006 Honda Pilot we said goodbye to this week did have a few minor battle scars (1, 2, 3) and occasionally a little something that needed to be cleaned off (salt above and sometimes LoveBugs). […]

Our 2006 Honda Pilot replacement – A 2010 Acura RDX

| August 21, 2019

We have always shuffled our “fleet” (as my son-in-law calls it) and strive to keep the loss through depreciation on vehicles to a tolerable level … while still driving reliable vehicles. Thankfully our current and recent vehicles have served us well and regularly hit the quarter million mile mark before we retire them. In my […]

Another Volkswagen in the family – Taylor’s 2019 VW Alltrack

| August 18, 2019

Taylor‘s new 2019 Volkswagen Alltrack – 8/15/2019 After a fantastic week with Annalyn here in Cincinnati, Brenda and I are in recovery mode.  I’ll need to spend a little time getting back to my emails and piled up work but I plan on archiving a few photos from the week (in a day or so). […]

Was it that long ago? My BIODZL Volkswagen Jetta TDI #TBT

| August 15, 2019

Has it really been over 15 years since I was commuting back and forth from NE Ohio in my 2003 Volkswagen TDI (and filling up with biodiesel or seeing my car image on other peoples’ blogs?) Yes it has been awhile. After posting about a friend’s new Volkswagen Atlas (Tim Hunter sent me a new […]

Tech Friday: Overcoming Paywalls with the help of Pocket

| August 9, 2019

Currently, I pay for a few subscriptions. Some pricey (Wall Street Journal, Barrons, etc) because I avidly read them. Others, like monthly magazines, I continue to pay for and rarely get around to reading, especially online only subscriptions. Several others, I occasionally receive a link or click on one from those annoying “reader apps” that […]

Content by Netflix and Amazon and filming Hillbilly Elegy

| August 5, 2019

While Brenda and I wait for the new season of our favorite book-to-television Amazon Prime’s “Man In The High Castle” series, we (or should I really say “she”) got hooked on the popular binge watched series “Stranger Things.” It is amazing how our television habits have changed in this past decade? Gone are the weekend […]

Volkswagen is winning us back and easing bounteous warranty

| August 1, 2019

CinciTDI GTG at our house August 20, 2008 – Throwback Thursday #TBT It has been a while since posting anything on Volkswagen or to the TDIClub forums; I’m likely I’m still sore over their “dieselgate” failure and the company giving up on diesel cars in North America. Still, I’m drawn to VWs and their excellent […]

Falling back on fiberglass and autobody skills for house repairs

| July 30, 2019

The summer of 2019 around our house has meant more repairs and maintenance updates than usual. This means weekends have been busy with house projects and in also finding and hiring help to complete the updates that are too overwhelming for this one “aging” guy to handle on his own (although my 60th birthday celebrations […]

An old newspaper clipping and a great summer job #TBT

| July 25, 2019

When talking about the wide spread damage in the Dayton area by a tornado earlier this year with the guys putting on our new gutters (Raspberry Pi cam picked up one of the guys’ legs and tweeted it to me) …  I mentioned that I once did some tornado repairs in my hometown. I couldn’t […]

Tech Friday: There is a problem with live GPS rerouting

| June 7, 2019

A pitfall in real-time GPS mapping services is that, although they “can” highlight road construction and closures, they are not always accurate or give appropriate advice for detours or “route arounds.” This was apparent on a 16 hour drive back from Florida (see comment) and more recently for a road closing leading to our development […]

The Love Bugs are back and bugging Florida residents (and me)

| May 9, 2019

Although the Love Bugs didn’t seem quite a bad driving through Florida this past week as they were a few years ago (added old photo for ThrowBack Thursday #TBT), they still managed to annoy me aboard Encore and messed up the Honda Odyssey. Thankfully there were also several heavy thunderstorms when driving and since I […]

EVs are making inroads – Drew is now a Tesla Model 3 owner

| April 28, 2019

It was the long awaited delivery day for Drew (and Katelyn) as came down from Perrysburg/Toledo to pick up Annalyn AND his new Tesla Model 3 in Cincinnati. I was pretty excited for him and couldn’t wait to actually sit in one. I love the technology and it was so impressive that it almost has […]

Replaced the rear shocks the Honda Odyssey this past weekend

| April 16, 2019

Besides finishing the painful tax filing this weekend, I replaced the rear shocks in my 2002 Honda Odyssey  “work-wagon” and Florida vehicle. It is still the lowest mile vehicle we have, but unfortunately, it is showing its age … especially the rusting undercarriage. Still, it runs well and is reliable … knock on wood. I’ve […]

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.
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