Emptens Interruptus

Just when I thought I’d finally found a car which suits my needs (smallish saloon, stick shift, decent horsepower — turbo maybe — with decent reliability), comes this news:

The new Civic sedan already looked good. It’s got a sharper design, a nicer interior, and loads more tech. The only problem was no manual transmission. But Honda manual die-hards can relax. Your hero has arrived. It’s the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback.

I’m not a Honda die-hard;  in fact, I’ve never owned a Honda of any description.  But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t, given that everyone who has owned one seems to like them.  (Best line ever, from a friend who had just bought his wife her third Honda in a row:  “Not even Irene can fuck up a Honda.”)   Oh, and by the way:  that “loads more tech” thing is actually a negative for me, of course.

Unfortunately, though, the reason I’ve never owned a Honda is that in my opinion they’re always just a tad too expensive for what you’re getting — whether new or second hand.  Here’s a comparison (CarMax):


…and it should be noted that the Civic doesn’t have a stick shift, but the Jetta does.  Up till now, Honda’s only offered a stick shift in their racier models (Si and Type-R), where the prices — even second hand — are prohibitive.

That price disparity, by the way, is the same in new cars (Edmunds):

…and both cars have manual transmission, in this case.

The only thing I have going for me — touch wood — is that I can afford to wait a while, because while second-hand car prices are increasing, that’s not the case with stick shifts.  It seems that few young people can drive them nowadays (Daughter and #2 Son can, Son&Heir could, but prefers not to), so there’s that.  And the Tiguan still rolls along, 115k miles and counting.

As I’ve written before:  I’ve owned three Jettas in my lifetime, and loved each one.  None of them gave me any trouble whatsoever.  The only reason I sold two of them was because we’d just moved to downtown Chicago and didn’t need two cars.  Then I sold the third, a wagon, because we needed a Suburban.

I wish I could say I enjoy this, but I don’t.  Buying cars is only pleasurable if you’re rich, and I’m not.

Rescue Gun

We all know about rescue dogs, cats, etc. — but what about guns?

Longtime Reader Dave L. sends me his story:

Hi Kim
About 2 weeks ago I told you that I’d ordered one of those ex-Italian M-1 Carbines from Midway. I finally got it cleaned up and ready for the range and I thought that you might enjoy seeing a couple of pictures.
The carbine in the picture is a 1943 manufacture Winchester. The wood was black with dirt and Cosmoline and the action was filled with Cosmoline as well. I cleaned the stock up with Simple Green and a nylon scrubbing pad and the dirt came off pretty well. As you can see the wood has some dings but I think that’s part of the character of this almost 80 year old rifle. I applied a couple of coats of tung oil and I think that it looks okay. I also used Simple Green and Gunk engine cleaner and degreaser on the metal. The bore is excellent and I’ll bet that the round count is very low. [One hopes not for long — K]

As you can see my rifle has the late production adjustable sight and late lever safety. The sling and mag pouch are reproductions that I found on Amazon (forgive me) for about $30. I have two 15 round and two 30 round magazines that are recent Korean production. I know that finding good magazines has always been a problem for the carbine but mine will just be a range toy due to the limited supply of ammunition. I have other rifles that I can use for serious social purposes.
Right now I have 100 rounds of Prvi that I found on the Net. I will eventually pick up some reloading dies should small rifle primers ever miraculously fall from heaven.
As I said earlier, sometimes a guy has to spend the money so that he doesn’t spend the rest of his life regretting his safe, sane and sensible actions.

You see?  An old, decrepit and sick gun has been restored to health, has found a good home and can now enjoy the rest of its life in loving hands.

If I may add just one thing, Dave:  long after you’ve forgotten how much you paid for it, you’ll still be enjoying it.

Well done.


Chatting to my Oz son-in-law over the weekend, he informed us that New South Wales has gone into a two-week lockdown because (I think) one limo driver had the Indian (“Delta”) version of the WuFlu and now everybody’s getting it.

From what I can see, the OzGov’s policy is:  EVERYBODY PANIC!!!!

Over Here. of course, the WuFlu caused the Perpetually Fearful to praise Oz’s harsh lockdown state-by-state policies last year, which policies might have made sense if only they had been followed up by a massive inoculation / vaccination drive as happened both Over Here and Over There (UK).

For no apparent reason, the OzGov never did any such thing — even though with a population numbering in the single-digit millions (or less) in most states, it should have been an easy, slam-dunk job.  But inexplicably, that never happened, so now they’re faced with a largely-unvaccinated population, no herd immunity and all the consequences that flow from that incompetence.  Hence the frantic rush now.

I invite my Oz Readers to correct my opinion on this issue, of course, but I think I have it mostly correct.

Real Enthusiasm

So why would anyone believe or have any time for a movie stuntman (!) talking about his favorite tanks?

About one-and-a-half minutes in, you’ll see exactly why.

Money quote:  “If you can’t afford a Spitfire, [an Achilles tank] is the next best thing.”

Absolutely brilliant.

Then there’s this caustic take on horrible British tanks by a man after my own heart.

Money Quote:  “It’s not really bullet-proof.  Except from a revolver.  For a while.  From a distance.”

I have never before subscribed to any EwwwChoob channel, but I think I’ll do so for The Tank Channel.

Quote Of The Day

From the late (and very-much missed) Col. Jeff Cooper:

“If you are reading this and can’t put your hand on your defensive firearm, all of your training is wasted.”

The only time that’s not true for me is when I’m in the shower, and even then it’s only a step or two outside the bathroom.  (I know, I know… but I’m not going to go there.)