The Importance of Using Top Tier Detergent Gasoline/Diesel

So yesterday I said Phoenix was having some major surgery, replacing the fuel injector in cylinder #4. I got a call this morning and they reported that the tech was then getting a misfire code in cylinder #2. Turns out that injector is also clogged and needs to be replaced. As a preventative step, they are recommending replacing all four and are doing a complete deep cleaning of the engine.

This is on a car with only 50K miles, by the way. Of the five vehicles I have owned, I have never once had to replace a fuel injector. Nor have I ever had to have a total carbon clean out.

The reason? All of this could have been prevented simply by using fuel that meets Top Tier Detergent Gasoline standards. When the EPA set their minimum treatment rate back in the 1990s, auto makers realized it wasn’t enough, and especially since that caused a lot of fuel companies to lower their treatment concentration. When things like the above happened, that’s when several auto manufacturers (of which VW was one) came together and devised the Top Tier standard.

I personally run exclusively Chevron or Texaco in my vehicles, as I have always gotten the best mileage out of them (note that Chevron bought Texaco some time ago and it’s now the same fuel). The Techron additive just seems to have a little extra magic in my experience, but not all engines are the same obviously. Nonetheless, the website linked above provides a list of Top Tier licensed brands.

Anyway, this is a prime example of why if you want something done wrong, let the government get involved. The Top Tier standard is an independent standard developed by the automotive industry for fuel companies to voluntarily participate in. As we become a more informed consumer base, for a fuel company to stay afloat they’ll have to go there. Just goes to show that true free market capitalism does work. This, my friends, is why I am a die-hard Libertarian.

Anyway, be informed. Pay the extra few cents per gallon and save yourself a lot of headache, heartache, and expensive repairs later.

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“Greatest Country in the World?”

Seriously? Look at these statistics:

That’s pretty shocking isn’t it?

Yes, I just have to make an obligatory Independence Day post. And it’s not one that you’d expect from someone who actually lives in the states. Alas, here were my remarks on Facebook earlier today:

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Some sobering statistics. How does one even quantify “the greatest country in the world?” That’s all subjective opinion as it were.

I’m not saying I dislike this country. I’m also not necessarily saying I’d be less miserable elsewhere. However when we look at objective measuring sticks we see the subjectiveness of such a claim.

There is no “greatest country in the world.” There is no worst either. It’s a matter of personal opinion that when asserted as fact sounds totally asinine.

I pledge no allegiance to any country or government. I pledge allegiance only to my own conscience. I’m an American citizen on paper but at heart I’m a non-citizen of the world, for we are all interdependent upon one another regardless of some imaginary lines drawn in the earth.

Have a good day everyone.

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So there you have it. I now leave you with this song, which has more substance to the lyrics than this entire country seems to. It’s also fitting in that this song perfectly describes the blind patriotism of most American conservatives.

What Am I Gonna Do? What Am I Gonna Do To Feel Like Freedom’s Mine?

This third installment in a series of four posts might have a little more crypitc lyric reference title so I might as well just tell you where it comes from. Those of you who follow Indie Rock might know of a guy named Dustin Burnett, who goes by the stage name Zayde Wolf. The title is the first pre-chorus in his brilliant song “Live Life” and don’t worry, if you haven’t ever heard it (a lot of my followers have because I’ve featured it on SLS twice when that was still a thing), I of course will share the video at the end of this post.

So where did I first encounter this song? It was in 2016 on Season 23 of Dancing with the Stars when NTT (then Verizon) IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe (#5 SPM Honda) did a foxtrot routine to this song with his professional partner Sharna Burgess  on premiere night. It was a truly fitting song for him too – the year prior he had an accident that would have killed any of the rest of us but he was in such great shape he survived an accident no random Joe Blow would have survied.

Alas, sometimes it does take something tragic to realize how much we take this life for granted. We also don’t realize with our everyday mundane boring jobs just how quickly our lives are passing us by, and we don’t realize how much of our precious time we are just absolutely wasting bending over backwards for people who couldn’t give two ducking ducks (ahem, I mean fucking fucks – damn you Autocorrect!) about us (here’s looking at our bosses) and wouldn’t shed a tear if we suddenly dropped dead. Don’t lie to yourself – you know they couldn’t give a shit about you as a person. All they care about is what you do to line their pocket books while paying you a disproportionately small salary in exchange for the amount of revenue you’re bringing in.

Alas, that’s what corporatism/crony capitalism in the US has boiled us all down to. Again, we’re being forced to sacrifice our own happiness and utility to fit the mold. It’s painful for all people, neurotypical or otherwise, but even more painful for us neurodivergents because these environments are completely and totally toxic to our well-being. That masking I talked about yesterday? Yeah, we HAVE to do it to retain our jobs most of the time, and if we don’t it’s a case of see ya later. Well that certainly explains our much-higher-than-average unemployment rate right?

At the end of the day, very few, if any, of us are truly made to sit in offices all day. We were made to do cool shit with cool people. So what are we gonna do, what are we gonna do to feel like freedom is ours? Well, it’s time to break the mold and live life like we never have and live life through the good and bad! Not only do we need to be ourselves and quit masking, there’s no better time than now to take that chance, do something that the spiritually dead would call crazy (I use the term as this almost feels like a spiritual awakening).

Is it really crazy though? I don’t think so. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results. Maybe those of us who get out there and live life like we never have aren’t the crazy ones. Maybe we’re the sane ones after all. Again, down with society’s arbitrary social norms and expectations. Their bullshit expectations are why so many people are on fucking antidepressants and shit these days (I truly believe this – again thanks to corporatism/crony capitalism).

Alas, I think I know what I have to do now, and that will be the topic of the fourth and final post in this series to come tomorrow. As for today, I’ll leave you with this bold and powerful song. Hope you enjoy.

I Got Trump Fucked

Just a little aside.

Though my adjusted gross income between this year and last year was within $400, my tax refund was half what it was last year. The re-structuring hit me hard, putting me in a higher tax bracket and doubling down on the “single with no kids” penalty, yeah, I’m hurting badly.

At least I didn’t owe I guess. Bleh. Yet another way this administration has hurt those of us in the working class. Excuse me while I go cry.

Selective Censorship and the Downfall of Facebook

So here I am again, I’ve hit the maximum length for Facebook jail – 30 days. I didn’t even do anything wrong either, but fight back a bit. I’m sorry, but I will not sit by idly and be called a “fag,” “wanker,” “beta male,” among other things and not say something in return. I will stand up for myself. Alas, when these assholes get a free pass and I’m the one who gets slapped with a 30 day jail sentence, that’s when I know for sure things are a problem.

I have no problem with Facebook’s “community standards” as it were. They are a private company and can have whatever code of decorum they wish. That’s not the problem. The problem is how inconsistent they are in enforcing these so-called “standards” and why someone gets a pass for something egregious and then others get in trouble for something trivial.

To me, it’s cut and dry – either consistently enforce your so-called “community standards” fairly, impartially and equitably or don’t have them at all and let the place devolve into a free-for-all. One way or another I don’t really care, but when some rules apply to some people and not others? Yeah, not cool.

What’s even more troubling is the selective censorship of certain viewpoints. I often disagree with the viewpoints that are censored, don’t get me wrong, but when that viewpoint is expressed tactfully and in a way that does not violate the community standards as written then that’s a serious problem. I frequently have philosophical debates on the merits of existence and/or antinatalism that sometimes turn ugly, not from me but from the other party. I can’t count how many times I’ve been called the names above or been told to just kill myself yet somehow all of those get a free pass. Yet somehow by arguing for the antinatalist view I’m “encouraging suicide?” What the actual fuck?!?!?

As a Libertarian I have always advocated for freedom of expression, so long as that expression does not violate the rights of another. If we can’t have a forum with which we can exchange ideas, how are we ever going to learn? How are we ever going to grow?

With that, I think it might be about time for me to pull the plug on Facebook. If they aren’t going to be fair and equitable in their enforcement of their so-called “community standards” then perhaps we should all vote with our feet and find a new platform (or found one). It just sucks there aren’t many other platforms available for me to really keep in contact with my international friends especially. International calling and SMS is ridiculously expensive, and Google Voice only supports international SMS to certain countries.

A Unique Challenge to the Anti-Abortion Position

Warning: Political content ahead.


Here we go, the annual bullshit “March for Life” thing. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING makes me madder than religious idiots thinking they have the time and place to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us. That includes on the topic of abortion. It seems the best any of the anti-abortion camp can come up with is to thump the Bible (read also: Qur’an, Torah, etc.). Well, as an atheist, obviously that doesn’t convince me in any way.

Alas, I’m sure you’ve heard the common defenses for a pro-choice political position. I’ll not go into those here because they usually fall on deaf ears. Instead, I am going to present a unique challenge to the anti-abortion position that many might not have heard about in order to get the gears turning.

The challenge is what South African philosopher Dr. David Benatar calls the “pro-death” view in his 2006 publication Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence. The pro-death argument for abortion comes from combining the common view of fetal moral status (specifically that of pre-sentient fetuses) along with his arguments in favor of antinatalism (the view that it is bad to be born). When you combine these two views, it generates the pro-death argument that would naturally suggest that it would be preferable to abort all pregnancies in the early stages of gestation.

So there we have it, a “pro-death” view of abortion, which is directly counter to the pro-life position. Now, both of these are philosophical/religious and not political views in and of themselves (I, for one, know a lot of people who are pro-life philosophically but pro-choice politically).

That said, let’s take the anti-abortion position, which is the term I prefer for the political stance. Now, let’s say we have a political lobby group that, consistent with the pro-death philosophical view of abortion, lobbies for a political anti-birth position. That is,  a policy where even those who hold a philosophical pro-life view would be forced to abort against their wishes. Let’s also say this were to become law in some states/countries.

Maybe if faced with the scenario above, those who are legally anti-abortion would see the value of the legal pro-choice position.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

“Virgin Shaming” – A Lesser Known Sexual Shaming

I’ve talked some about my sexuality (or, since I’m asexual, maybe more accurately lack thereof) on this blog but I don’t think I’ve ever addressed a problem I see a lot directed toward me (particularly from cishet, white, conservative men) – “virgin shaming.”

I should preface this post by saying I am in no way downplaying the problem of so-called “slut shaming” – I absolutely hate that term by the way. As far as I’m concerned, one’s sexual practices (including random “promiscuous” sex) do not devalue a person in any way, shape or form. So long as all parties are consenting adults, I couldn’t care less. You are no less of a person if you sleep around than you are if you’re donning a purity ring and a chastity belt.

Alas, that does bring me to the topic I’m addressing today – something I’m dubbing “virgin shaming.” I’m sure everyone who abstains from sex is subject to this at some point, but it seems to me this is one type of sexual shaming that men are subject to a lot more often than women, and for a very obvious reason. Virgin shaming is yet another byproduct of patriarchy and toxic masculinity.

If I had a nickel for every time some random joe-blow trailer trash inbred redneck Bible-thumping hillbilly told me I needed to “get laid” I’d be a millionaire. This often times comes up in my debates regarding antinatalism and existential nihilism. These “men” (if you could even call them that) all say one reason I’m miserable is my lack of sexual activity.

I’ll be quite frank here: the concept of sexual activity (in ANY form) absolutely grosses me out. Like the idea is repulsive to me. Just thinking about it is making me sick to my stomach. That doesn’t mean I can’t have romantic relationships with others (being biromantic I can go either way), but I will say it does complicate things quite a bit. I know not all asexuals are totally abstinate and some are able to “put out” for their partners on occasion but I’m just not that type. Actually, a lot of people I’ve talked to on the autism spectrum think/feel very similar to the way I do. Maybe it comes with the territory.

Does that mean I, and other asexuals, should be shamed for that? Absolutely NOT. I don’t see what business it is of these assholes what mine or anyone else’s sexual practices are. Alas, I do notice that trend I mentioned earlier – women tend to be a lot more accepting of it and even respect it, maybe in large part due to the prevalence of male-on-female rape/sexual assault (seriously guys, shape the hell up and quit excusing that bullshit). Some men are even OK with it, but again, it seems like it’s largely an issue that the demographic mentioned up top seems to hurl.

I will openly admit asexuality is probably the least understood sexual orientation of them all (by anyone, psychologists or laypeople). That doesn’t excuse ignorance. Educate yourselves, and for fuck’s sake (no pun intended) quit telling people they need to get laid if/when they very clearly do not want to. It’s insulting.

The moral of the story: let people live their lives and don’t give unsolicited “advice” about what they’re doing wrong. Who the fuck are you to give bullshit “advice” like that. If I wanted your so-called worthless bullshit “advice” I’d ask for it. Since I didn’t ask for it, I don’t want it. Now STFU.