All posts for the month July, 2015

… only if you check it. Drownpour on the way home from work that started about two minutes into the ride and ended about two minutes before I got home. Fifteen minutes of pounding surf.

Yeah. There was a little bit of water in my boots.

Poor boots!

I saw it on a beer ad – “Always drink responsibly.”

I thought about it for a while and wondered who teaches our children to do this responsible drinking thing? By the time my children can legally take a sip of wine, they will be past the point of me teaching them much of anything. At twenty-one years of age, they can for the first time partake of an alcoholic beverage. Three years after they have left the protection of my home. Three years after they have flown the coop. Three years after I have had the best chance of instilling some sensibility in them.

With this, I would like to raise the question – how can I teach my children to drink responsibly if they cannot drink with me and learn from me?

Other nations have sorted this out. During our time in Germany, we availed ourselves of the local liquor laws that allow children to partake in this dangerous game so long as they are at home and in the care of their parents. A sip of wine with dinner and tastings of various beers that crossed our threshold were little chances to expose our kids to America’s forbidden fruit. They discovered all kinds of things – bubble wine tickles. Sweet whites are “yucky”. Dry wines taste like the earth. Light beer is not really beer. Dark beers all taste different. And so on. One simply liked trying new things and the other turned into a cheese snob with a preference for dry whites. Their feedback and comments were delightful as they learned about the role of beer and wine on the table for those three precious years. And now, we are back in the US. It’s not as much fun when we can’t include them in the pairings we’ve carefully arranged for dinner.

Had we stayed longer, we could have bought them a beer at a restaurant at the tender age of 14. One beer, which in our town was a whopping 7oz. At 16, they could buy themselves beer or wine, and at 18, hard liquor. That’s right – graduated drinking laws. Just like graduated driver’s licensing, which nearly every US state has now.

Imagine being able to introduce your kids to alcohol in a holistic setting. Imagine them running off to college while thinking that the only reason to drink wine was to improve dinner. Imagine teaching your kids responsible drinking, right in your own home, when they are still receptive to your guidance. Imagine their first poor judgement call as a teaching moment instead of painful shame. If you have daughters, imagine preparing them for the worst, arming them with self-knowledge needed to protect themselves from potential harm.

I want my kids to drink responsibly. I want them to learn to drink from someone whose ulterior motive is something other than drunken stupor. I want them to know when to say when, before they have to for real.

It’s time to start a new discussion about US liquor laws.

I hereby claim this idea and name – The Motronic Whisperer®.

Do you have a vehicle with Bosch management? A German vehicle that wishes it had Bosch management? Something with lots of wires that is driving you crazy?

Contact me. I’m starting to get pretty good at this Motronic Whispering thing.

Holy poop on a stick.

I finally threw in the towel on the Sherpa. A kind friend offered up a contact with a trusted mechanic and I jumped on that. Why not. I figured that two hours of expert time would seal the deal. Either it was going to run for him or not. I dropped it off last week.

Two hours later (right on schedule), I had an answer. I was assembling the slide diaphragm the wrong way.


I was just dumping the slide into the bore and sealing the diaphragm into the groove, inserting the spring, and fitting the top cap and bolts. Well…. It turns out that you are supposed to hold the slide open while doing all of this. Holding the slide open allows the diaphragm to fold up properly in the vacuum chamber. Installing it the way I was doing it caused the slide to basically stick shut and the constant vacuum effect was not able to materialize.

I would have never figured that out. I’m searching through manuals now to see if it is something written down somewhere that I should have read and followed the instructions on. The mechanic said that it is just a fact of CV carbs, a sort of apocryphal knowledge.

This explains how the bike ran once – I probably was goofing off and held the slide up without knowing it was important.

Whatever. The Super Sherpa runs once again and I rode it home. I’m happy. I might even try to do the rejet just to prove that I can do this crap. I also now have a resource when I need it – a great mechanic who’s nice and fun to talk to, too.