As My Desultory Blog grows, it is becoming increasingly difficult to search and find archived information #TBT

| February 27, 2020

Six years ago, which seems like yesterday (considering everything that has happened), I recalled and blogged on my first journaling in 1977 noting that the focus was on planning my life around sailing – to quote George Bernard Shaw, “Youth is wasted on the young.”  The reference was that the number of posts on MyDesultoryBlog […]

A Fuelly.com update on my 2010 BMW X5 35d #diesel

| December 27, 2019

Since I’m often asked what kind of fuel economy I’m getting on my slightly “tweaked” 2010 BMW X5 35d diesel SUV, here’s the yearly update from my log on Fuelly.com. Nothing to write home about, but then there have been far more local trips than the interstate driving a few years ago … besides, my […]

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 […]

Do you recycle or think about your environmental footprint?

| July 24, 2019

As a conservation minded “conservative” and as someone who has always balanced the cost vs benefits of decisions, I once thought “recycling” was as simple as “not littering” and cleaning up pollution highlighted by the 1971 ad campaign (Iron Eyes Cody photo above). From an early age we were bombarded by pointing out how careless […]

Just a little diesel automotive #humor to end the week

| February 22, 2019

Normally, I don’t forward emails or reposted viral images on social networks … but as a diesel car guy and TDIClub and BMW forum reader … I couldn’t resist including this as a humorous response to recent Democratic Socialists promoting their ambitious 10-year Green New Deal to combat climate change (still shocked Bernie drives this van?) 😉 […]

What will higher diesel fuel cost mean for the economy? #inflation

| February 5, 2019

The prediction that diesel fuels will rise (“double in price” – note the last minute of the interview) is bound to impact the price of goods. Everything is shipped using diesel fuel, be it on ships, trains or trucks, and with those prices rising significantly, consumers will be paying. On the personal side, those of […]

Thoughts on Rolling Coal

| October 10, 2017

Although I’m the last person to criticize folks for tweaking their diesel engines for performance and efficiency, I cringe when I see modifications that purposely over fuel and pump a bunch of black smoke when it is unnecessary (not under load). There has to be a commonsense balance between neutering diesel engines with excessively costly […]

Diesels are not Done

| January 1, 2017

Much has been made of the death of diesel after the VW cheating scandal … but there is still room for debate and a need for diesel vehicles – innovation benefits diesel as well as EVs. Electricity has potential in passenger vehicles, but in its current state of innovation, it falls short to the Diesel […]

More repairs and parts. The John Deere 330 diesel this time.

| October 17, 2016

Actually this repair is long, LONG overdue. A decade or so ago when I was heavy into running biodiesel, a sticky batch of fuel ended up in our John Deere. I really never hesitated to run about anything in this little Yanmar diesel engine, but the biodiesel was a mistake. The solvent nature of the […]

Why North Americans will like clean diesel vehicles – Range.

| October 1, 2014

Finally had a noticeable dent repaired on my Mercedes 300D

| June 19, 2014

My old Mercedes Benz will never be a show car, but it never fails to attract looks or comments whether I’m traveling the interstates, filling up at the diesel pump or just running errands around town. It still has a couple scratches, a few bubbling rust spots and several minor leftover hail dimples on the […]

Do you keep a couple spare gallons of diesel under the hood?

| June 8, 2014

I was planning to just work on yard and home chores Saturday while Brenda was working, but  got completely distracted by a thought that a 2 gallon fuel container would fit under the hood of the Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel nicely. Hmm, looks like it might even work if I plumbed a secondary fuel line […]

Back to running some biodiesel after a long time away

| April 18, 2014

Let’s call this a follow up post on tracking fuel economy (or “non-economy”) as I took the opportunity to fill the 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel with B-20. My station of choice between Mansfield and Columbus Ohio is a Sunoco at the I-71 exit 151 and has carried a variety of domestic renewable fuels including […]

Diesel fuel prices: Cracking, Fracking and Biodiesel Brewing

| December 8, 2012

My kids roll their eyes when I strike up offhanded conversations with strangers in parking lots, gas stations, etc. Take Friday for instance, I saw a guy get out of his new Passat TDI and glanced over to ask how he liked his new diesel. He grinned and exclaimed, “I’m getting 47 mpg!” which I […]

What “buying votes” in a swing state looks like

| September 20, 2012

I’m an advocate for using recycled cooking oil and non-feedstocks (and surplus soybean, etc.) to produce biodiesel fuels and am particularly fond of algae based biodiesel fuels as an entirely new renewable industry. It is one that can create tens of thousands of jobs as well as utilize our desert areas in this country for […]

The future for diesel powered cars in the U.S. is promising

| April 30, 2012

Interesting article with perhaps a slightly bias option … but in an article today Bosch projects that by 2015 one in ten new cars sold in the U.S. will be powered by a diesel engine. … data from CNW Research says that with greater awareness of new clean diesels, and a lower cost premium for […]

Northern Tools and Equipment markets to biodiesel customers

| September 26, 2011

It has been a while since I mentioned anything on biodiesel … primarily because the feedstock used to produce it have risen along with oil. The fact that new cars and their emission controls have also thwarted biodiesel fuel in higher than 5% doesn’t help. Still, it is interesting to see companies catering to the […]

Trident Iceni 70 mpg biodiesel supercar

| June 20, 2011

Although I’m a big advocate for diesel power and biodiesel fuel, call me at least a little skeptical regarding the boastful numbers … At the heart of the sleek Iceni is a modified 550 bhp, GM 6.6 liter, twin-turbo diesel V8 running bio-fuel, and according to previously released info, the Iceni will run to 230 […]

Let it be known that registration is open for the 2011 TDIFest

| June 13, 2011

The invitation to the annual TDIFest may not be the biggest and best car show in the nation, but for a group of loyal Volkswagen (and Audi) TDIClub members, it is the big bash of the year – and not to be missed. Previous “fests” have been hosted by local dedicated members of the TDIClub forum […]

Algae based biofuel company Solazyme goes public

| May 27, 2011

I’ve been watching (but not participating) in the initial public offering of Solazyme (SZYM), one of the first algae based biofuel companies to come to the market. Although they haven’t been trading for much more than an hour, the price well well above their $10 target and $19.70 open. As I post this over my […]

B99 biodiesel from Jatrodiesel in Miamisburg OH | CinciTDI.com

| April 18, 2011

If you live between Dayton and Cincinnati and drive a B99 biodiesel capable car (word of caution for some of the latest models), you can now fill up for substantially less than the current $4-plus/gallon price of petroleum diesel … and do your part to help the environment. Biodiesel is now available on a regular […]

Cars for teens, VW TDI diesels, biodiesel and medical school

| April 17, 2011

… and Google Video! With Google shutting down ‘cloud’ storage of videos users may have archived for years on their service, I decided it might be best to save a few important ones to my computer and personal webserver – a lesson for those putting to much trust in ‘cloud’ only storage. Later this month, […]

Algae to biodiesel: Look at Solazyme

| April 11, 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about biodiesel … perhaps because I’m not driving a diesel vehicle at the moment. Nevertheless, the promise of “growing fuel” is better then ever considering the panic we find ourselves in over the high price of fuel. Currently I’m seeing regular unleaded gasoline at $3.80/gallon and a […]

Clean Fuels Ohio to talk about the future of transportation

| January 23, 2011

For those who might be interested in what is happening in transportation here in Ohio (and the nation), Clean Fuels Ohio is hosting a lecture and a facilities tour at the Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research. The February 16th lunch will be a great opportunity to hear about the changes coming to the […]

Algae-based biodiesel is being tested on a Navy gunboat

| November 8, 2010

The US military continues to move forward with renewable alternatives to petroleum. The latest being the a 49-foot naval gunboat testing a algae-based biodiesel in Norfolk, Virginia. (See Green Investing article from Green Chip Stocks) — Algae Biodiesel Filling U.S. Naval Tanks Last week, a 49-foot naval gunboat was the first to test-drive algae-based fuel […]

Federal stimulus funds available for Ohio Biofuel companies

| October 27, 2010

Federal stimulus funds are political hot potato as the Novemeber 2010 election draws near, but it is still good to know where the money is being spent. According to Biodiesel Magazine,  the Ohio Department of Development will be using "$8 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to help biodiesel and ethanol […]

Fuelly.com MPG numbers on my daughter’s VW Jetta TDI

| October 24, 2010

My daughter recently started tracking her 2001 Volkswagen Jetta TDI fuel economy numbers on Fuelly.com and we have both been impress at the significant improvement since replacing her tires. Although she doesn’t have a lifetime of postings for her car, the regular private calculations haven’t been near the 50 mpg mark. She (we) couldn’t be […]

Update on Biodiesel prices in Mid Ohio

| September 15, 2010

When I drove my Volkswagen diesel, I regularly filled at this renewable fuel Sunoco station on I-71 in mid-Ohio. I haven’t stopped for a while and opted to fill my Honda Pilot (regular unleaded) there today and  checked biodiesel pricing. Although diesel is a few cents more than other stations around the state, biodiesel has […]

What engine/fuel option will you consider for your next car?

| September 15, 2010

Earlier this month, the folks at TFLcar ran a non-scientific test where they compared three different fueling options in three different cars. All three vehicles are known to offer good fuel economy … but only one is fun to drive. 🙂 Unfortunately, the test doesn’t offer any high degree of accuracy due to the small […]

Thinking Green – Diesel or EV?

| September 3, 2010

Although I have nothing against an all electric vehicle for running around town or commuting in the city, one has to wonder about the components being mined, transported and produced for batteries (or the eventual waste/recycling), as well as just how the power is generated in order to charge an all-electric vehicle – Edmunds ‘Swiss […]

Algae for biodiesel research continues

| July 26, 2010

For alternatives to petroleum, the hype has recently been about EVs and almost all auto makers are rolling out their electric vehicles, yet for most American automotive owners they are far from practical considering the miles of highway and distances we travel. For that, efficient clean diesels running biodiesel makes a lot of sense … […]

Follow up ‘teaser’ for Volkswagen’s bigger 2011 Jetta

| July 9, 2010

It is interesting to watch small cars marketed to North America grow a little in size with each generational change. Just as small cars from Japan grew from the late 1970’s to today (Camry, Accord, Civic, Corolla, etc), so did the small German Volkswagen Jetta Sedan. From the 1980’s it has grown into a very […]

John Matras offers fair review of 2010 VW Jetta TDI Cup Edition

| June 9, 2010

I enjoyed the “Auto Examiner” review of the limited edition 2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup Edition review partly because it was a car I’ve had an interest in. Unfortunately the truly limited production will keep it away from most would be buyers in that they are only taking building after receiving orders — “The Jetta […]

Keep the TDI ‘clean diesel’ tax credit deadlines in mind

| June 4, 2010

Worth mentioning if you’re considering a new Volkswagen TDI this year … via cincitdi.com Posted via web from richc’s posterous

Crude Oil continues to slide owing to high inventory & oversupply

| May 18, 2010

Oil is ‘cheap’ according to graphs depicting Unleaded Gasoline against the dollar this past year (right) and crude oil over the past two years (below). The crisis in Europe and lack of robust economic recovery worldwide is contributing to high inventories and the faltering Spring rally in oil. Lackluster demand aside, oil production countries remain […]

Diesel pickup from India headed for the U.S. by end of year

| May 14, 2010

Mahindra & Mahindra to be the first company to sell a small pickup truck made in India to the U.S. market. A company spokesperson announced that they intend to sell their compact diesel pickup truck here by the end of the year. The company’s president of auto and farm equipment, Pawan Goenka, stated that the […]

Cyclox. A cleaner diesel fuel using papermill waste

| April 25, 2010

An article in AutoblogGreen highlighted some positive research on developing a greener diesel fuel.or really an additive that improves petroleum diesel fuel. According to the article, Michael Boot, a doctoral student and researcher from Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e) in the Netherlands, calls this new fuel Cyclox. It’s actually a blend of petroleum diesel and 10% […]

Subaru still considering diesel boxer engine for U.S. if fuel price drops

| April 11, 2010

Although the cost to bring a diesel Subaru to the US is high (new model, service training and parts inventory, etc) but knowing how Volkswagen diesel buyers love their little diesels, the fit for Subaru and their loyal following seems perfect. Who driving a Subaru doesn’t want 40 mpg in a solidly build 4 wheel […]

Audi A3 TDI luxury hatchback has high mileage but high price

| April 9, 2010

Mark Phelan, a columnist at the Detroit Free Press, offered a balanced article on the small A3 TDI by Audi. I’ve been ogling the luxury hatchback as an eventual daily driver for my long jaunts. Disappointingly the lack of the excellent Audi Quattro feature and high price for a small car has shying away. Still, […]

Pete Bethune fighting for his freedom and The Cove

| March 18, 2010

A few long time blog readers remember my blogging and supporting Earthrace her captain publicizing renewable fuels in a record breaking trip(s) around the world a couple years ago. More recently Captain Pete Bethune and his renamed vessel, Ady Gil, became part of an anti-poaching marine wildlife conservation organization called Sea Shepherd – see previous […]

Volkswagen to push “Think Blue” to the automotive forefront

| February 27, 2010

Starting February 27th, Volkswagen will be implementing a "Think Blue" marketing campaign stressing the company’s focus on "sustainable mobility" which to CinciTDI and TDIClub members highlights the fuel efficiency of VW TDI diesel vehicles and the environmental awareness of new "clean diesel" TDIs and biodiesel fuel options. Volkswagen is building on the "BlueMotion" label and […]

CinciTDI Volkswagen diesel GTG tomorrow in Cincinnati

| February 19, 2010

Slipped my mind, but wanted to make a note on my blog to be sure all Cincinnati area VW TDI people knew about the CinciTDI.com / TDIClub.com GTG tomorrow — 8am February 20th. — Feb 20th GTG @Dubwerx Its official, Dubwerx is hosting our GTG on Feb 20th, at 8:00 to whenever we get kicked […]

Audi A3 TDI clean diesel “green” ad has lovers and haters

| February 9, 2010

I had to chuckle this morning when registering my vote on the Wall Street Journal poll for best and worst commercial during the Super Bowl – Audi was first in both (click for graphic of poll). See ad video below — It’s "Green Police" ad was the sixth most popular in USA TODAY’S Ad Meter, […]

Car maintenance weekend project before the Superbowl

| February 7, 2010

Replaced the rear brakes on my daughter’s 2001 Volkswagen Jetta TDI for the second time in its life this weekend. They were in pretty bad shape, but I enjoyed being able to exchange the “liftetime warranty pads” at Autozone for free. The loner tool program and easy to use warranty make it a “recommended” place […]

When will we see a Subaru diesel on this side of the pond?

| January 25, 2010

Still waiting for the boxer Subaru diesel in the U.S. I know a few people who would enjoy a solidly built all-wheel drive diesel, be it one from VW, Audi or Subaru … or for that matter a domestic manufacturer. Subaru Impreza 2.0 RC diesel MENTION the Subaru Impreza and most people think of the […]

Volkswagen displays the UpLite, a 70mpg diesel hybrid in LA

| December 2, 2009

Volkswagen continues to entice those appreciating ‘green’ diesel vehicles with their UpLite concept at the LA Auto Show. The new design is said to use diesel electric combination to achieve 70mpg, while still offering a degree of comfort and styling. From the photos posted on Autoblog.com, the new VW also looks to be offering function […]

Ocean grown algae based biofuels

| November 25, 2009

The Discovery Channel is active in reviewing science research in alternative energy and can usually dice apart the ‘self-promotion’ of company researcher as well as combat the establish energy industry’s lobby efforts.  One industry that I advocate  is  ‘algae to biofuel fuel’ research. The benefit in using algae as a feedstock for biofuels is that […]

2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI Road Trip

| November 23, 2009

John Matras, Auto Review Examiner, posted a great write up on his Road Test of a 2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI. It’s an enjoyable and informative read highlighting a few lessor known features on Volkswagen vehicles. “The Jetta SportWagen’s front seats must be moved forward to lower the rear seats but then can be moved […]

Ohio renewable fuel biodiesel price update

| November 21, 2009

Belated adding of an update regarding biodiesel fuel prices from my trip to New York last week. This Sunoco is a favorite renewable fuel station even though I’m no longer driving a diesel vehicle. The current price is and has been higher than regular unleaded gasoline ($2.51), so it doesn’t bother me too much; the […]

Time Magazine as Q&A with President of Audi highlighting diesel

| November 17, 2009

From Time Magazine’s How Audi is Cleaning Up with Clean Diesel‘s question and answer with Johan de Nysschen, president of Audi’s U.S. division: Audi is instead touting the benefits of diesel technology. How do you get around the negative perception of diesel cars in the U.S.? Clean-diesel technology represents an immediate technological leap — you […]

Algae based Biofuel/Biodiesel highlighted

| October 20, 2009

An article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal highlighted algae based biodiesel as one of the “Five Technologies That Change Everything”  recognizing that a new generation of biofuel made from nonfood crops is one of the more promising sources of energy. — Snippet from WSJ Article: Researchers are devising ways to turn lumber and crop wastes, […]

Saw my first 2010 Volkswagen TDIs today, but just lookin’

| October 3, 2009

While picking up some touch up paint today, I saw the first couple 2010 model TDIs. Here’s a nice looking diesel Sportwagen in a Plat Grey color (Palm Pre photo) … and sporting the new front end. It definitely looks ‘sporty’ … although this one was the DSG transmission.

Surprise pricing by Volkswagen on the 2010 Golf TDI

| October 2, 2009

Volkswagen diesel fans have been waiting  a few years for the return of the Golf (Rabbit) TDI. It’s due arrive to North American shores as a 2010 model. Shockingly the four door 2010 Golf TDI will be priced $150 cheaper than the four door gasoline powered Rabbit: base price $19,890. See Motor Trend’s Wide Open […]

Biodiesel powered EcoJet screams … literally

| September 28, 2009

You just gotta love a biodiesel powered car like Jay Leno’s “more money than brains ” (his words) EcoJet (previous post).  I’ll be anxious to get the full performance reports (with economy figures) and look forward to solutions to keep the EcoJet quiet — here’s a thought?

No 2009 Volkswagen TDIs, but 2010s are on there way

| September 28, 2009

It has been frustrating for wannabe Volkswagen TDI buyers planning to purchase a new 2009 diesel late this summer or fall. Most have discovered that there are none to be had and that MSRP and sometimes above is required to get on a dealer list for a 2010 first off the boat (happening this week!) […]

Protecting the underside of a VW TDI with an alumium skidplate

| September 21, 2009

Volkwagen TDI friend Eric R. and I filmed a new CinciTDI “How-To” video on Sunday afternoon and as installed his new Dieselgeek Panzer skidplate and ‘Full Metal Jacket‘ side skirts (great kit Jim). The installation was easy and although we were puzzled by a couple of the tabs on the side skirts — but it […]

BMW displays new biodiesel compatible vehicles at Frankfurt

| September 17, 2009

The 2009 X5 35d and 2009 335d The Frankfurt Automotive show is  one of the biggest in the world and is a good place for diesel vehicle makers to show their new ideas. BMW is no exception, having debuted a couple new and very impressive twin-turbo diesel in the U.S. this year — my comments. […]

Diesel 170mpg VW L1 takes the stage in Frankfurt

| September 16, 2009

At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen debuted its ultra-efficient L1 Concept, which follows in the footstep of the One-Liter Concept from 2002. The L1 derives its name from the fact it takes around one liter of diesel fuel to propel the car 100 kilometers (62 miles). According to press reports, the car is said to […]

Popular Mechanics article weighs in on diesel

| September 10, 2009

The conclusion many might make from a recent Popular Mechanic article is that  diesel vehicles might be a good solution when fuel prices are high, but they don’t want to spend more for them when fuel prices are low. According to JD Power’s Omotoso, hybrids are projected to become 9.5 percent of the passenger-car market […]

Diesel inventories dry up with Cash For Clunkers program

| September 9, 2009

Inventories for diesel vehicles in the U.S. are near ‘zero’ — it’s a frustrating time for a guy who has been waiting for his next  Volkswagen TDI … or BMW diesel. Thankfully I can wait and am not in absolute need of a new car, but having to pay MSRP and above, “IF” one can […]

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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