82 thoughts on “January 6, 2016: That Truck”

  1. I miss having a truck that isn't immobile in my garage because it needs a new rear main seal.

  2. I've emailed CH about this a little, but I am dying for a boxy 70-80s pickup for farm work.

    1. I think you'll probably find one soon enough. Winter's tough if you're doing a more local search, but come the spring there will be more activity in local listings. I saw a pretty good looking late-Sixties Cornbinder for sale the other day (outside the Midwest), but there's no way I can add to the stable without somewhere to put it (and certainly not without getting the F100 back on the road).

      1. I've found a few promising listings, I just haven't been able to bring myself to pull the trigger what with the baby and all.

        1. Very understandable. A friend of mine once observed that it was easier to buy toys before kids, but it's not impossible afterward. Pops bought his '60 Buick the winter before his fourth child (and my youngest sibling) was born.

          1. I spent $40 on a new receiver so I could listen to my turntable. The PR got me "Boys And Girls in America" on vinyl for Christmas. I want to get "Separation Sunday" and "Almost Killed Me" too, but I feel bad buying more albums. I do technically have Christmas money, but I feel like I should buy diapers or something with it.

            1. I have been told this kind of guilt will eventually subside, but I don't know when that happens.

              Getting a receiver (new "new," or new to you "new"?) for forty bones is pretty good. I got my Sansui for a Franklin and was happy – after I finished carrying it home from the anquite mall. Uffda, that was heavy.

              1. I don't know that the guilt really fades, it just shifts forms and gets overwhelmed by the fact that I really needed socks/a coat/etc. Maybe it's that the "toys" shift?

              2. New to me mid-70s Rotel XR-150, came with two speakers. The speakers will need to be upgraded eventually, they're just entry-level. But the whole shebang for $40 that gets me my turntable back. Yes, please.

        2. There's a half-tempting truck just down on Hwy12 from us, maybe 15 minutes away. 87 W150. But it's got stack exhaust, which I hate, and needs a new front balljoint and rear leafsprings.

          Those are repairable (given time & money), but the rust around the wheelwells is worrisome.

    2. EAR and I have been talking about getting a light pickup for... 15+ years.
      We're still a one-vehicle family, but when we buy a second, it'll be that. CER is nearly 13.5, so we'll need one. Has to be an automatic because

      With only a "double" garage (which fits 2 vehicles as well as a "full" mattress sleeps 2), we'll have to permanently park it on the driveway. Ugh.
      (Alternately, we could build a shed for bikes, mower, gardening stuff, etc.)

      1. Has to be an automatic

        Don't give in! help me try to fight the disappearance of a proper transmission!

        1. I'm very much in favor of getting my truck to be a manual, but it is something I'm willing to budge on.

            1. That is the dream, but my limited budget constrains me. I might not get to be that picky

                1. There is probably no truck with more aftermarket/reproduction parts support than that generation of Chevy. I like the cab visor (my '67 has one, too). If it runs/drives without serious issue and has fairly solid bodywork I'd be pretty tempted to offer $800, were I in your position.

                  1. Want to meet me in Thorp to give it a once-over?

                    J/k that's a hell of a drive for you

        2. I see I trailed off.
          I guess it was my dad who gave in because I never learned.
          Some friends in HS tried to teach me to drive their manuals, but after so much gear-grinding and killed engines, I stopped at an intersection and COULD NOT find first. "Get out, get out!" and they never tried teaching me again.
          EAR knows how.

          1. And my daughter figured it all out on the first lesson. She's like, "what's the big deal?"

          2. Dad never tried to teach because my brother was so bad at it. Many scary mid-intersection stalls.

            My dad though eventually got his first automatic in his late 50's. Said he was too old and tired to drive a stick.

            1. I'll probably have to buy an auto when I'm in my fifties, but it won't be my choice *sad face*. Walking into the dealerships when I was car shopping and asking for a manual was always basically greeted with "yeeeeaahh, about that..... "

              Damn lazy Americans.

    3. So I got rid of my 4Runner at Scandia, and rentals don't have a ball-hitch.

      On New Year's Eve, I hosted the fam for chili feed, and afterwards, we went for our usual post-dinner hike. This particular route brought us past Abrahamson's nursery, where one of the Abrahamson's was tooling up the road towards us on an old Farmall (a model designed to ride above taller crops).

      My older HNos is way-into old tractors (understatement of the New Year), and so we loop back and they ensue into tractor-talk.

      Bottom line - I gotta get me an old tractor. Crank gear and all.

  3. A parent of one of the other two children at the Poissonnier's daycare notified us this morning that her child has come down with a very definitive case of pinkeye. Yay.

    1. Wooo! Pink eye! My wife has that and my son had a very mild case as well to go along with the cold he was recovering from and an ear infection. Its good times at our house right now.

    2. Ah, pinkeye ain't so bad. We just got over a case of that. The kids hate the drops, but at least you can get 'em and just keep them on the shelf and use them next time now (and there will be a next time).

  4. In case you were wondering, the Goofers' new football coach has a higher salary than the following managers (ordered by career wins): Dusty Baker, Buck Showalter, Clint Hurdle, Terry Collins, & Don Mattingly. The Yankmes pay Joe Girardi a paltry $300,000 more per year than the newest B1G college football coach.

    (Manager salary data has become increasingly scarce, it seems. Cot's doesn't have a salary figure for Molitor and many other current managers. Are clubs no longer disclosing manager salaries?)

    1. Sounds like those managers need better agents.

      You missed noting that the newest B1G coach will be the 6th highest paid coach in the conference; i.e., this is, whether we like it or not, the market the University is in. But, no, everything bad about college sports is only and will always be only Minnesota's fault. I'm sure sooner or later your coach (the highest paid public employee in Wisconsin) will get a raise and I look forward to the day you come here to complain about that.

      1. DK, I think you may be the only person here who is in the dark on my opinion on college athletics.

        1. Oh, I'm perfectly aware of what you say. I just feel in practice your (and a few others around here) ire is directed at one institution beyond all others.

          1. Then you understand that my criticisms are rooted in the entire enterprise of college athletics. To be clear: I hate college athletics and would love to see the entire system torched. I have no problem detailing my extreme displeasure with own institution's athletic department. I have found, however, that far fewer folks around here are interested in UW compared to the UofM, which makes me more inclined to participate in the subjects that do get traction. That may appear to you to be some kind of nefarious bias worthy of a derisive call-out, but it's basically the same reason I have nothing to say here about the Brewers, Bucks, or Packers (other than my complete exasperation with the ubiquity of the Packers in any social setting).

            1. Fair enough. I'm sorry I called you out derisively. For whatever it's worth, I give you credit for your criticisms of the entire enterprise, even though I do not share the desire to see the entire system torched. There are others around here who are clearly totally fine with college athletics in general (they root for laundry that is yellow and green, or scarlet and cream, or buff and blue, for instance, among others) but will also happily pile onto your legitimate criticisms of that enterprise if it gives them a chance to performatively express their hateons for Minnesota in particular, and seeing your points used that way is very frustrating to me as someone attached to the University beyond my interest in its athletics.

              1. C'mon, I specifically referenced the Gong Show that was the buff and blue's summer on Festivus, so I'm not giving them a pass. However, the Gopher football team has provided such low-hanging fruit lately, that it's going to get mentioned. Plus, LOLeidner was just so comically awful (that touchdown pass, on my God!).

                1. No, I get it. I don't expect people to call out their own schools if there's nothing out there about them to call out. And if there is something to call out, as you did, I appreciate that. Certainly there's been a terrible incident and a bad broader situation at the UofM that needed mentioning, and certainly it fits into the broader criticisms of the entire thing that CH talks about. To me it just feels like that discussion, about Minnesota, gets morphed a lot into attacks on only that University ("Minnesota is terrible/the worst/should shut down their programs") here by more people than just CH, who is against the entire system, but rather people who have investments in that system continuing, and who I never see mention things like the Joe Mixon thing, the Baylor coverups, or the North Carolina academic stuff, that are all either at least as bad, or worse, than Minnesota's situation, or represent longer-term institutional failures.

                  And yeah, I get it, this state is what it is and people want to talk about the school here, but to me there's talking and there's nothing but bashing, and people do a lot more of the latter here than the former.

                  1. Right, here's a good example of what I'm talking about. Claeys is bad and doesn't get it. The University fired him after he demonstrated those characteristics. I'd love for you to explain what else you want the University to do or to have done after this stuff happened. And if your answer is only "shut down all the athletic programs" I'd love for you to link me to the comments where you said that about Baylor, or Penn State, or North Carolina, just for a start.

                  2. I mean, the very comment you're replying to includes DPWY, to his credit, making a reference to his own institution's recent dismissal of its head coach (does a University only qualify as Deficient if there's a Deadspin link about it? Cause there's a Deadspin link about it!) but I've never seen you moralizing on here about George Washington University's similar apparent ability to also hire bad leaders.

              2. I can understand and empathize with that, DK, believe me. I love the institution I work for (which I also attended, twice), and I'm pretty aggrieved by the emphasis put on what should be, at best, a sideshow to the real work being done on campus. The head football coach being the highest salaried state employee is absolutely appalling, particularly in light of the budgetary casualties suffered by the actual learning institution the athletic department utilizes for its marketing. Meanwhile, exceptional scholars and teachers are either getting poached because they can get better funding elsewhere, or because we have a chancellor who, while not totally inept, has been waxed by the education-hating human manifestation of Droopy Dog.

                My point in the initial comment above was simply to contrast the salary awarded to the person managing an athletic team comprised of amateurs and alleged students with those of people managing teams comprised of multi-millionaires and other well-salaried professionals in a billion-dollar private industry with a Congress-approved monopoly.

                1. Also for whatever it's worth, I wish often that this entire system wasn't the way it is. I enjoy following several college non-revenue sports and even though they're far from perfectly "amateur" either, I wish the revenue sports could operate more like those and separate the semi-pro indentured nature into actual developmental leagues or something. I don't think I'd enjoy college basketball any less that way (I can and will live without football when the day it dies out finally comes).

                  I am uncomfortable a lot with liking college sports, but I've also lost a lot of my interest in all the pro sports the last couple years, except the NBA for some reason. I don't really know why. But I do feel guilty about not divesting from the system sometimes. Kind of like I sometimes feel guilty for enjoying eating meat, or enjoying driving a car. But I still do all three.

    2. Comparing college football coaching to MLB managing is apples to oranges. Jim Harbaugh is making $9M per year at Michigan, which I believe is the highest salary of any coach in any sport, at least in the U.S., college or pro. There's a reason college football coaches are so well paid. They make the critical decisions in games, coach and develop players, and, most importantly, recruit the players. They are by far the most important person for the sport that pays for all the deficits in all the other sports other than possibly men's basketball and perhaps women's basketball at UConn and Tennessee and a few other exceptions.

      I've got to say, though, Mark Coyle navigated this minefield very well. He brought in what was mostly the consensus top young coach available in just a couple days. This was pretty much the ideal scenario, especially considering he's only paying the guy around the average pay for a B1G coach.

      1. I think the criticism of Coyle has been unfair. The guy has been on the job for 6 months.

        Claeys and Kaler, on the other hand, deserve it.

        And my opinion of Jerry Kill has definitely changed.

      2. I'm not so sure that head coaches recruit players in football. In hoops, yes. But in football, not so much. They are more CEO types in football.

        1. This ESPN story from 9 years ago indicates that head coaches are "only" allowed 1 home visit per recruit. If they have to have rules limiting how much recruiting a head coach does, I'm guessing that means they have a hard time delegating that responsibility to others. I'm sure they give assistants responsibility for various regions, but then the head coach will come in with his home visit in an attempt to "seal the deal," especially with the top recruits. I would think the best recruiting coaches spend less time doing it because they have a higher success rate per recruit.

          1. I would guess that the head coach is only there to "seal the deal" with very blue-chippy recruits for whom there is substantial competition. But various assistants and recruiting coordinators do most of the minding and petting of recruits.

      3. You're missing the point, socal. These coaches are being paid multi-million dollar contracts to run a sports business that relies on unpaid, amateur laborers who frequently incur brain damage in the course of making that business a lot of money. This for-profit business operates under the guise of non-profit institutions dedicated to developing minds –including the minds of these laborers! – and using those institutions for marketing and facilities.

        If you really want to extend the critique, one might observe a clear majority of these unpaid laborers who routinely suffer work-related brain damage are black, while their bosses are predominantly white and the profits from their labor are used for the benefit of participants in athletic programs which frequently are majority white.

        Contrast that with the fairly low salaries paid to managers in multi-billion dollar for-profit, monopolized sports industry with labor that is exceptionally well-compensated by comparison (relative to the unpaid laborers, if not franchise owner profits).

        1. Not "unpaid" unless they are walk-ons w/o scholarships (or the value of their scholarship only equals what they would have gotten via need-based aid). But certainly one could argue that the NCAA's cartel behavior insures that they are not compensated appropriately.

          1. We need to be careful about describing athletes on scholarship as "paid." While they may receive compensation for their labor, this compensation does not come in the form of a liquid good. Essentially, an athletic scholarship is a form of company scrip; the laborer may only exchange it at the company store (the Bursar's office) for the education goods or services provided by the institution. The laborer cannot take that compensation and fund an education at another institution with it, nor can they sell or exchange it for an asset that they can use for any other type of private/personal purchase or investment.

            When you consider that the majority of D1 college athletes are on single year instead of multi-year scholarships that the coach can rescind on a whim (at-will employment), and that those scholarships are frequently partial instead of full (compensating in the low single thousands of dollars), the characterization of an athletic scholarship as payment is even more inaccurate.

            1. We need to be careful about describing athletes on scholarship as "paid." While they may receive compensation for their labor

              I'm pretty sure that "paid" means compensation for one's labor.

              We have no disagreement that the employment relationship is highly asymmetric.

              1. Athletic scholarships are, at best, a truck system reliant on debt bondage. It is a classic example of socially excused exploitative labor practices. Describing this as a form of payment equal to a wage because it meets a broad dictionary definition of "payment" simply normalizes this practice within a frame that is wholly to the benefit of the exploiters rather than the laborers.

                So, given that we agree that the relationship is highly asymmetric, we may want to consider describing it in language that does not reinforce and rhetorically support that asymmetry.

                1. Now you're just getting ridiculous.

                  And that is coming from someone that thinks they should be paid.

                  1. Why is it ridiculous? How many types of work can you name that require the laborers to incur a debt to their employer that the employer then "forgives" as long as the laborer remains in the good graces of management? As I said above, the majority of scholarships are not full rides, nor are they multi-year obligations for the athletic program. This means the laborers are repeatedly placed into debt to their institutions as a condition of their employment, since they must meet NCAA eligibility criteria that require full-time enrollment. For many of these laborers, this also means out-of-state tuition rates and greater debt. Keep in mind this arrangement is also going to be more appealing to potential laborers without sufficient economic means to fund their own educations. The majority of them are responsible for carrying their own health insurance and could lose their scholarships if they become too injured by their work to continue to work.

                    Once in the system, the laborers are specifically prohibited from accepting goods or services as gifts from outside the system, from selling anything that can be associated with their personas, or operating a business that can be associated with their personas. They are specifically prohibited from making any money off their likenesses, which may be their most valuable asset, particularly for the most elite laborers in high-profile college sports. These prohibitions exist solely for the protection of the public perception of the employers' industry as "pure" and "amateur"; the laborers receive no benefit from this condition on their participation in the industry.

                    Is it the kind of debt bondage you think of when you hear that term? Perhaps not, nor is it as abhorrent. But it's still an indentured servitude so socially ingrained in the United States that the current President is routinely asked by journalists which exploited laborers he thinks will be victorious over a rival group of exploited laborers in each upcoming seasonal national amateur sports spectacle.

                    1. They aren't borrowing money to play sports. They're borrowing money to pay for an education at a discounted rate. The only way your logic holds is if that education is worthless. If the education is worthless, why would they attend a school on a partial scholarship? Why attend school at all?

                      If we are talking partial scholarships, we aren't talking about big-time players in big-time programs. You are talking about people that generate no revenue for the school and are lucky they get any kind of discount.

                    2. No revenue for the school is probably an exaggeration. More appropriately, they are of marginal value -- there are many close substitutes in the football labor market for the cannon fodder kids on the roster. Those kids are probably being compensated fairly. Likewise the kids who don't become starters until they are redshirt juniors and seniors -- the school is investing quite a bit into those kids to raise them up to a place where they are big contributors on the field.

                      But, just as in the NFL, the scarce talent is scarce, and it generates much of the value on the field. Those kids are, I would say, significantly under-compensated. At least their formal compensation is depressed....

                      The NCAA has created and enforced an environment in which it is very difficult for many of these kids to get the education to which they are being given free/cheap access, because D-I college football is pretty much a full-time job. (even at the D-III level, the commitment is substantial; easily 20+ hours per week during the season; at D-I, the commitment is pretty much year-round).

                      The minimum salary in the Arena Football League is $31,000. The sticker price (all-in) for an in-state student at a University of California campus this year is $30,150. For a low-income kid, the out-of-pocket cost might only be a campus work study job and a loan. A reasonable position to take might be that every D-I college football player should be compensated in the neighborhood of an Arena Football League minimum salary, NOT including financial aid he would otherwise qualify for.

                      That would not address the disparities in marginal value between cannon fodder and stars, but it would be a start.

    3. The market for college coaching salaries is distorted because they don't pay their players. MLB teams rightly put most of their budget focus on players. But colleges can't/won't pay the players, so the only way they can spend to improve their program is to pay the coaches.

      Of course, the NCAA could limit coaching pay the same way they limit player pay...but apparently it's important for amateur sports to be coached by millionaires.

  5. AMR (and other birders), I've sighted several spectacular birds of prey soaring over Nagasaki. I asked around, and it sounds like they're hawks, though I don't know anything beyond that.

      1. Rodans, like their cousins Robins, tend to puff out the chests in winters, and might be confused with Hawks.

    1. I saw a couple more today and got a not-very-good shot of one perched on some lights. The lights are very large, so you don't get a good sense of just how big this bird really is.

        1. "Jungle Crows" IIRC. Named by the Brits who first encountered them in India.
          I don't have any books on East Asian birds, but I do have family-focused books on Corvids (Crows & Allies) and Raptors, so I'll get back to you and Pepper.

          1. My book on Crows has them as a separate species in Japan, "Large-billed Crow", but the taxonomy in wikipedia counts it as a subspecies of Jungle Crow (though if they're one species, the scientific name is "macrorhynchos": "Large-billed").

            Japan also has Rooks and Daurian Jackdaws (both winter migrants mainly found on Kyushu, Skikoku, and southern Honshu), Common Ravens (mostly restricted to Hokkaido and the islands north of them), and Carrion Crows (higher-pitched voice)

        2. I've definitely heard some noisy crows here. Every time I hear one, I think it's my father because he has an odd habit of cawing like a crow from time to time.

      1. I think this is a Tobi, or Black-eared Kite, which is a bit larger than our Red-tailed Hawk, but smaller than Eagles.
        Considered by some to be a large subspecies of Black Kite (my book has them as separate species).
        Before I looked into it, I had no idea that any Kites came that big.

        Other Large Raptors in Japan in winter:
        Common Buzzard (the only other possibility, very closely related to the Red-tailed Hawk of North America, slightly smaller on average. I think the Japanese subspecies only has a white breast)
        Golden Eagle (same species as in North America, larger bill, darker breast, don't show the white on the back of the wings)
        Mountain Hawk-Eagle (whiter breast, crested, on white on back of wings)
        White-tailed Eagle (slightly larger close relative of the Bald Eagle, looks similar but without the white head, just lighter brown)
        Stellar's Sea-Eagle (another close relative of Bald Eagle, even bigger, with honking large yellow bill; rare winter vagrant in Japan; most definitely not this)
        Osprey (same species as in North America)

        1. You're right--I got confirmation from people here that it's a Tobi. They're quite large--my first thought upon seeing one was that it was a Golden Eagle.

          Here's a photo I took today from the top of Mount Inasa:

  6. I know the Wolves offense is better rated this year than last because three pointers, but man there are stretches of the game where it looks listless and heroballish.

    I miss Sam Mitchell's mid range and pound it into the low block offense.

    1. I think the problem is you are mostly comparing the Wolves' 12th-ranked offense versus their opponents' offense, who are playing against the Wolves' 26th-ranked defense. Thibs was supposed to be a defensive-minded coach. Haven't seen that yet. FWIW, Wolves were also 12th on offense last year and 28th on defensive, so they have shown a slight improvement in defense, but that's an extremely low bar for comparison. More experience for the core players should bring at least that much improvement.

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