Sliding into Home…

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Ye gods!

Saferide and a few others have saved the day. Well, saved the month. See the pie chart. Hours to go in May… and we’re green… which means, EPautos is in the black!

I have a bunch of mail going out tomorrow. Stickers and other stuff to the folks out there who’ve supported the site. My only regret is we don’t all live in the same town – because then at least I could open my garage door to you guys and fix your brakes or do whatever else needs doing.

So, this (and the items in the mail) will have to do for now.

Thank You!

And: To Oooorgle, too.



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  1. Went to visit my son near Richmond again this weekend. Trying to avoid I-95 as much as practical, we go down I-81 to Winchester and across US17 to Fredericksburg. (I thought of Mike as we went past Spotsylvania.)
    Much of 17, even 4 lane divided, has a PSL of 50 or even 45.

    • PtB, I would need to be heavily sedated for a trip like that, preferably with my Zen going and lying down. Driving would be out of the question. A world gone completely mad…..and me along with it.

      • Complaining to a friend that something was driving me crazy, he replied, “That’s not a drive. More like a 9 iron.”

        • When my younger daughter was about 8, I once told her she was driving me crazy. She said it would be a short drive. A year or two later, she was in a nutty mood and I said that I had always wondered what it would be like to have a weird child. She said I should have just asked my parents.

          I leave that child alone. She is far better armed than I am for a battle of wits.

      • Eight, you have perfectly described the Northern Virginia traffic experience. Especially with “a world gone completely mad”. That’s life here. Or more accurately, a bit north of here. Spotsylvania County is still somewhat sane, other than I-95, which we can’t do much about.

      • “A world gone completely mad…..and me along with it.”

        This sends me far afield…

        We have a system that is fundamentally damaging to people, well many people at least. The road system, the political interferences in our lives, the corporate system, the medical system, on and on it goes a system that is designed to frustrate people, provoke them, troll them, push them to the brink and then we are shocked, shocked I tell you that a tiny percentage of people, usually those who have not only been through the abuse most all of us go through but then have drugs known to cause violent flip-outs to actually flip out violently. But that’s the mentality by which everything here is done. Even the foreign policy. Push other people beyond the brink and when they finally do something they’re bad. Over and over the same theme.

        The society belittles and demeans people who reach the limits of the abuse they can take. When some escape with substances the government punishes them. When they seek help from the system it poisons them. We are supposed to silently accept the abuse, somehow incorporate it into ourselves or learn to live with it. To ever stand up to abuse is criminal or a personal failing. Never supposed to get so much as angry.

        Enough of the rant…

          • Can’t edit….
            There was a cartoon a while back, from the book, “Dealing with the idiots in your life.”
            Three frames:
            1) “You can’t keep a good man down.” He’s standing despite all teh hands pulling him downwards.
            2) “You can keep an average man down for 10 minutes.” The boss is sitting on him, checking his watch.
            3) “You can keep Carl in a bottle.” Literally, Carl is inside a bottle….

            Most of humanity feels safe in their bottle. [Of note, you can find similar sentiment in the game, “Homefront.” I was playing last night, talked to people in the labor camp… One of them LITERALLY said, “You resistance come in here, swingin’ your dicks around, shooting things up. The KPA kills us every time you do something. Go liberate someone else!” Background, BTW, is – North Korean has unified Korea, then started conquering the world. They’ve invaded the US, and you’re a reluctant resistance memeber, having been “liberated” from a prison bus. Well after the invasion, the Korean People’s Army is shooting people in the head in the street, and you, as a pilot, are arrested. Because you’re a pilot, and they need pilots, or don’t want pilots free because the resistance needs pilots. whatever.)
            Point was – most people don’t care about how bad things get, so long as they get their food and have someplace to sleep. We’ll always be in the minority, and so – unless we can FORCE them to leave us alone – we’ll be outsiders regardless, and majority of people like it that way. Routine, or loving big brother, is more important than making their own choices and paying for their failures – or celebrating their successes. Similar message in the original Rollerball. The Collective was all that mattered in that film.
            Same as most westerns – the townfolk don’t want to get involved… don’t want to fight. They’ll accept the marauders, the predators… And do exactly nothing. 7 Samurai is same concept, and the remake as “the magnificent 7.”

            Cannot underestimate people, I think. They just DON’T. CARE. Full stop.
            Because it’s DANGEROUS to stick out. As in Piggy’s “What will grownups think…?”

            Lord of the Flies wins. Even if he’s called Big Brother. Purely because people feel they don’t have a dog in that fight, it only affects, “those bad people over there.”

            FTAFTFH. Until they choke to death…

    • Next time I may try going on down I-81 to I-64. More miles, but may be shorter time due to I-95, even just between Richmond and Fredericksburg, always being jammed up. Though my son, who commutes that route now, says it OK at 5am and 2 pm.

      • PtB, all things are relative. The last couple times I went through the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex I tried a couple different times. Late morning after rush hour traffic landed me in 4 -5 lane hell and I couldn’t even use the fast lane and they have plenty cops to nab truckers who do. Just sitting there idling and then taking off after the traffic that suddenly starts and just as suddenly stops. Coming back through found me at a Love’s truckstop at 6pm, not even a place to park so i left it in a no parking zone and nobody seemed to notice.

        Middle of the winter though and leaving there a half hour later had us in the dark. Crazy damned drivers, zipping across 4 lanes and almost getting run over by various people including me. Funny thing was though, except for the first half hour, the traffic toodled along fairly well since they have the PSL necked down there, ostensibly for saaafety but it was obvious it was to collect revenue with plenty of flashing lights to distract you and screw up your night vision. But 6:30 pm to 8pm was “relatively” better than late morning. I would have done it at 3 am but had to wait for a couple other drivers who can’t get out of bed and go when the going is “better”. Seems like early afternoon going and later night wasn’t a help either. I did make a run and got out early afternoon, the difference being I could see how far ahead the traffic was thick and slow.

        Being an old hand at it though you’d have thought I would take an alternate route but going to Seagoville, the only alternate route would have been to Madisonville and back up 45 a hundred miles.

        I’m trying to get a job based in Hobbs, NM where the land is flat and the traffic is light. I might even get home now and then.

        How far was your trip one way?

    • Hey, Phillip, was that you waving at me on your way through? Seriously, 17 can be a nightmare in the last few miles before 95. There are all kinds of ways to Richmond from where you are. All of them have their own problems. Since 17 and 29 run together after Warrenton, I might try staying on 29 and picking up I-64 at Charlottesville.

      Reminds me of a Robert E. Lee anecdote. After the war, he became the president of Washington College in Lexington. Travel was rough in those days, and there were only two practical ways to get to Lexington, both difficult. A dignitary who was going to visit wrote to Lee asking which one he should take. Lee’s reply was: It doesn’t matter. Whichever way you take, you will wish you had taken the other.

        • I’m so glad yall have such bad war stories. Everything in Tx. is not peachy keen but scenes like you describe practically don’t exist. i made some runs to the NE and E and SE in my youth. After being robbed by a SC trooper, we decided to not go N of Alabama or Georgia. Every trucking job I had I nixed that part of the country. Most companies will give you a choice of where you’ll truck. Damn good thing for me. I got sick of hearing how those damned Texas trucks were such a-holes, such fancy shit and think they can do whatever they want. Hell, I just tried to get through those states without having a wreck. And they thought Texas rigs were fancy cause they were simply compliant with Texas law. I admit, I did have both doors and several mirrors plus all the required running lights and multiple(say it ain’t so Joe)signal and brake lights…..and they were different colors. Those damn Texas truckers, doors on both side, mirrors for various views and signals and brake lights that worked. That’s just rubbing our noses in it.

          They all found out the hard way going to the SW what was required. Gee, Both headlamps? And brake lights too?

          Nearly ended up in jail in La. once for having all my teeth…..and they weren’t brown.

          But then again, some of the best guys I ever trucked with were coonasses, some of the best people I ever knew. I didn’t call them that, that’s what they called themselves. And those guys could cook some fine vittles.

          • Oh 8 – you makin’ me homesick for some coonass vittles. And I never lived there, just worked w/1 for a while. I could go for some mudbugs about now.

            • We used to have a store that would order fresh mudbugs and it was 60 miles away but worth it. Next thing you know though the beancounters had spoken and it was nothing but cooked and reheating sucks. Now and again we’ll find them locally, cooked, as usual.

              The only safe way to eat them around me is to wait till I’m in the mode and adjust away accordingly. Suck the head, eat the tail, hhhmmm boy.

              • I other words, just stay out of your way, right?
                btw, you’re probably luck they didn’t just adjust your ‘grillwork’ so you were in compliance w/the local standard.

                • Naw, it was like that with any mudbug lover. Lots of shelling and separating to do and trying to do it while it’s still hot.

                  A good mudbug joint has long tables and benches and they just roll out a sheet of butcher paper and dump mudbugs like feeding the hogs we were. Hunched over with elbows working up and down and pieces and parts flying is part of the joy of it.

                • Sorry, my ‘grillwork’ comment was in relation to you almost getting arrested for having all your toofes.

            • PtB, back before chemical farming S. Tx. and La. had great restaurants, served all fresh food every day. Early morning would have pickups with various veggies and fruit and since it was cattle country their beef and pork were great and fresh seafood every day. We’d pig out at a place called Buck’s on 59 east of Edna. You could close your eyes and stab the menu and it would be great.

              Every day had a “special” for lunch and that was the thing to get. Being an old country boy I loved all those veggies. There was no such thing served as frozen fries or onion rings and the seafood arrive 3-4 times a week from the coast. Thinking about it is killing me. La was the same way. Now run out and get some fresh okra before you go home….hear?

          • Coonass Claude came to work 1 day saying “I had the old lady down on her knees begging last night.” Now we had met his wife Betsy, so we just said, “Right Claude, sure you did.” And he comes back, “No, really. She was waving that cast iron skillet and yelling ‘Please come out from under the bed.'”

            • That I’ll believe. Had a friend who hated his BIL, a mutual thing. He came in one day and the BIL was supposed to be helping him load firewood he’d cut but he was sitting there on the couch and enjoying the easy life. My old buddy just dove into him and had him down working him over when the lights went out. His mama done skilleted him but it toned him right down, had a big old lump on his head too.

  2. Hi Eric,

    I was close to your stomping grounds this weekend. Went up to meet my brother and sister-in-law in Bristol to check out the Gaelic Storm concert. It’s a really nice area and we will probably return sometime during the summer. Will try to catch up at that point….BTW, experienced a U-Haul clover in Knoxville….what an asshole.


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