The Love of Dangerous Things

 

There’s talk – silly, absurd talk – of banning the private ownership of cars. Molon labe, baby! You can have my Yukon, my three-ton id, when you pry it from my cold dead hands. And you can forget the self-driving nonsense, too: up here where I live, you can’t see the lines on the road four months out of the year on account of the blowing snow. Good luck dealing with that, Google.

Ayn Rand, in one of her two major works of fiction (I’m going to go with Atlas Shrugged, but someone correct me if I’m wrong – it’s been almost 40 years since I read it) has her heroine wax rhapsodic (as if there’s any other way to wax) about the act of smoking. Dagney (or possibly Dominique) marvels at the flame held in obeisance inches from her, the spark of destruction so casually lashed into service for the pleasure of mankind. Never having been a smoker, and coming of age as I did during the first great anti-smoking crusades of the ’70s, I admit that the imagery was less compelling for me than it might have been for someone of my parents’ generation. But Dagney’s ruminations have remained with me, an oddly vivid example of our peculiar attraction to dangerous things – and to mastering them.

I like guns. I didn’t always: when I was a child, I was indifferent to them. Then I became a man, a lover of liberty, and an enthusiastic critic of the insipid and emasculating idea that safety comes first. Lots of things are ultimately more important than safety. Being able to credibly say “thus far, and no farther” is one of them; merely reaffirming that we have the right, the moral right and the legal right, to say that is another.

Safety is important, don’t get me wrong. But of all the parameters that define the human experience, safety isn’t the one we should seek to maximize. John Lennon’s “Imagine,” the most comprehensively evil song ever written, is an ode to safety above all else, the pathetic celebration of the apathy-induced coma. I’m glad Lennon never became a US citizen.

Living as an adult male – as opposed to an androgynous, pajama-clad, cocoa-sipping man-child – means spending years, decades even, standing precariously close to the edge of doing something stupid. (The life of a young man is a race between the rising arc of sensibility and the statistical certainty that, if we’re only given enough time, we’ll have our “hold my beer” moment and, if we’re lucky, the ER visit that goes with it.) That sometimes leads to tragedy, but most often to maturity, and there’s no path from baby to man that doesn’t, at least occasionally, tread close to a dangerous edge.

The best things in life are dangerous: freedom, love, faith, women, sex. Children – those raw nerves we thrust out into the world. Cars. Guns. Saying what you think.

Time to go. My son, the one who works at the gun shop, just arrived with a tee-shirt for me.

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  1. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Henry,

    Claire is trying to stop the American Skyscraper.

    “The skyscraper, an expression of arrogant American capitalism of the end of the nineteenth century is denounced from this time.”

    Don’t let Claire see this movie.

    Actually, a good arrogant American capitalist comes in handy now and then. Skyscrapers can be sexy.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #31
  2. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    Safety is my life. It is my career, and my father’s career. I hold an advanced degree in safety and have worked in the field since finishing college, which was sadly a long time ago. But what does a safety professional actually do? Safety is about compromise – finding the method to achieve an acceptable level of risk for a given task. Safety is always associated with another goal.

    If you only maximize safety, you end up living in a padded cell or a nursery. Everything is fluffy and safe and happy, but there is no freedom, no capability to do anything. There is nothing gained from solely maximizing safety. It’s all about “How do I do X safely!”

    What mandating safety does give you is control. Safety is a value judgement – what degree of risk is acceptable – and the ability to control what is acceptable is always an immense power.

    I once read a book for and by nursing home administrators. One of the authors made exactly that point, that he could tie his patients into their beds and there would be no risk of falls whatsoever.

    • #32
  3. Reese Member
    Reese
    @Reese

    Here’s the progression when you have unlimited government money to keep your cryogenic system cold with liquid nitrogen.

    1.  We had a service tank outside the building, plumbed to a manifold inside.  We’d open a valve to fill portable dewars via a hose and diffuser.  The portable dewars were then wheeled to the cryogenic system and LN transferred via silicon hose.  Always due respect to the dangers of LN.
    2. For safety, we replaced the manifold with a “Nitromatic” automatic filling station.  Tens of thousands of dollars.
    3. Manager walking through, asked “What if the Nitromatic plumbing somehow broke and the outside tank magically and instantly changed phase and displaced all the oxygen? [in the large well-ventilated lab space].  We installed a hundred thousand dollars worth of oxygen deficiency monitors and alarms and a display showing the current oxygen percentage of the lab’s air.
    4. That’s fine for the people inside the lab, but what about the people outside the lab.  We installed displays and emergency cutoff buttons wired to a solenoid at the service tank at all entrances.  The O2 monitor could also shut off the tank automatically.  The system automatically notifies emergency personnel two miles away of the alarm, sending help!
    5. Not good enough.  We are replacing several $50,000 instruments with $100,000 LN-free instruments.  O2 monitoring system is now obsolete.  This all happened (after step 2) in a period of about five years.  Managers gotta manage, I suppose.  Everyone gets kudos for improvements in safety.  I could still trip on a loose shoelace.
    • #33
  4. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    Henry Racette: John Lennon’s “Imagine,” the most comprehensively evil song ever written, is an ode to safety above all else, the pathetic celebration of the apathy-induced coma.

    If Trump is really a fascist dictator, as so many lefties seem to think, can he get “Imagine” wiped from all media and banished from the memory of man? He would get my vote…if, you know, a fascist dictator needed votes.

    • #34
  5. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    ST (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    being irrelevant to the story, Rand managed to keep this scene down to 2 pages.

    LOL

    Well at 1168 pages, the novel could have used some editing.

    • #35
  6. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    ST (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    being irrelevant to the story, Rand managed to keep this scene down to 2 pages.

    LOL

    Well at 1168 pages, the novel could have used some editing.

    Says who?

    • #36
  7. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
    Safety is my life. It is my career, and my father’s career. I hold an advanced degree in safety and have worked in the field since finishing college, which was sadly a long time ago. But what does a safety professional actually do? Safety is about compromise – finding the method to achieve an acceptable level of risk for a given task. Safety is always associated with another goal.

    If you only maximize safety, you end up living in a padded cell or a nursery. Everything is fluffy and safe and happy, but there is no freedom, no capability to do anything. There is nothing gained from solely maximizing safety. It’s all about “How do I do X safely!”

    What mandating safety does give you is control. Safety is a value judgement – what degree of risk is acceptable – and the ability to control what is acceptable is always an immense power.

    I’ve never heard a safety professional talk that way.  I guess it’s because I’m not a part of their fraternity.  Instead, I hear bromides about how no accident is acceptable.  Well, if there’s an acceptable amount of risk in any tasks, then that means a certain number of accidents are acceptable.

    What you say above makes sense.  What safety professionals say to us rubes, doesn’t.

    • #37
  8. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    Skyler (View Comment):
    When I was a manufacturing engineer at Dell, the safety Nazis came by and told me I needed all the assemblers to wear safety glasses. My response was to ask “what on earth for?”

    Well, I guess my question is, why not?  It’s your eyes.

    You can make arguments that gloves restrict your hands, or maybe even that a hard hat gets in the way in certain circumstances (auto mechanics don’t wear them).

    But how do safety glasses restrict anything?  It’s a low cost protection protecting a very valuable asset.

    • #38
  9. Henry Racette Moderator
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    When I was a manufacturing engineer at Dell, the safety Nazis came by and told me I needed all the assemblers to wear safety glasses. My response was to ask “what on earth for?”

    Well, I guess my question is, why not? It’s your eyes.

    You can make arguments that gloves restrict your hands, or maybe even that a hard hat gets in the way in certain circumstances (auto mechanics don’t wear them).

    But how do safety glasses restrict anything? It’s a low cost protection protecting a very valuable asset.

    Al, I think Skyler’s point (and he can correct me if I’m mistaken) is that there is no plausible way in which the assembly operation in question could be expected to harm someone’s eye. If we assume his assessment is correct, then it makes as much sense for the assemblers to wear safety glasses at work as it does for them to wear them anywhere else.

    Perhaps we should all wear safety glasses all the time, on the off chance we get a poke in the eye. After all, as you reasonably ask, how do safety glasses restrict anything?

    • #39
  10. Postmodern Hoplite Coolidge
    Postmodern Hoplite
    @PostmodernHoplite

    ST (View Comment):
    we just do/ did it to show off for the chicks.

    Well, YEAH…

    • #40
  11. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    When I was a manufacturing engineer at Dell, the safety Nazis came by and told me I needed all the assemblers to wear safety glasses. My response was to ask “what on earth for?”

    Well, I guess my question is, why not? It’s your eyes.

    You can make arguments that gloves restrict your hands, or maybe even that a hard hat gets in the way in certain circumstances (auto mechanics don’t wear them).

    But how do safety glasses restrict anything? It’s a low cost protection protecting a very valuable asset.

    And don’t forget to wear your lead underwear because you never know when someone puts radioactive metals in your chair. It’s just as likely as a screw levitating.

    • #41
  12. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    When I was a manufacturing engineer at Dell, the safety Nazis came by and told me I needed all the assemblers to wear safety glasses. My response was to ask “what on earth for?”

    Well, I guess my question is, why not? It’s your eyes.

    You can make arguments that gloves restrict your hands, or maybe even that a hard hat gets in the way in certain circumstances (auto mechanics don’t wear them).

    But how do safety glasses restrict anything? It’s a low cost protection protecting a very valuable asset.

    And don’t forget to wear your lead underwear because you never know when someone puts radioactive metals in your chair. It’s just as likely as a screw levitating.

    Just so no one thinks I am cavalier about safety, I’m not.  I worked in an asphalt roofing factory (actually I was responsible for two of them as the plant engineer) and I was constantly having my techs building guards to put over sprockets and chains and putting up guard rails and other safety measures.  That was an extremely dangerous place to work and I didn’t accept the line “It’s always been like that.”

    Screwing hard drives and logic boards into a computer chassis is simply not in any way going to hurt you unless the chassis supplier failed to coin the edges of the sheet metal.  The resulting occasional cuts to the hand were minor but no one wants to find blood on their expensive computer.

    • #42
  13. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    ST (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    being irrelevant to the story, Rand managed to keep this scene down to 2 pages.

    LOL

    Well at 1168 pages, the novel could have used some editing.

    Says who?

    Me!

    I found it to be a very difficult read. It was just too long, it could use a trimming of about 55%.

    Shakespeare for example wrote much more succinctly – his plays are on average 22 000 words long, Hamlet is his longest at 30 000 words, and Comedy of Errors is the shortest at 14,700, Atlas shrugged is 645000 words – more than all of the Shakespeare plays combined.

    • #43
  14. TedRudolph Inactive
    TedRudolph
    @TedRudolph

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    TedRudolph (View Comment):
    I had a coworker go ballistic because I mentioned that I changed the brakes on my car over the weekend. And I once had to change doctors because my new doctor wouldn’t sign off on one of my club’s annual physical forms – they considered my car hobby “unnecessarily risky” and “environmentally irresponsible”.

    I have to say, that’s astonishing. I always sort of feel bad for guys that can’t do something as simple as changing brake pads.

    What was your coworker’s beef? That it was dangerous?

    She – a very proud Progressive who was very vocal about her views – felt that I was putting others in danger because I was not a licensed professional mechanic.

    The fact that my grandfather owned a large repair shop, which was passed on to my father (where I worked from 10 years old until I graduated college with an engineering degree) was irrelevant to her. I did not currently hold any type of professional car repair certification, therefore I was wrong to try.

    Scratch the surface of a Progressive and you’ll find a totalitarian that wants to tell you how to live your life… for your own good.

    • #44
  15. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    TedRudolph (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    TedRudolph (View Comment):
    I had a coworker go ballistic because I mentioned that I changed the brakes on my car over the weekend. And I once had to change doctors because my new doctor wouldn’t sign off on one of my club’s annual physical forms – they considered my car hobby “unnecessarily risky” and “environmentally irresponsible”.

    I have to say, that’s astonishing. I always sort of feel bad for guys that can’t do something as simple as changing brake pads.

    What was your coworker’s beef? That it was dangerous?

    She – a very proud Progressive who was very vocal about her views – felt that I was putting others in danger because I was not a licensed professional mechanic.

    The fact that my grandfather owned a large repair shop, which was passed on to my father (where I worked from 10 years old until I graduated college with an engineering degree) was irrelevant to her. I did not currently hold any type of professional car repair certification, therefore I was wrong to try.

    Scratch the surface of a Progressive and you’ll find a totalitarian that wants to tell you how to live your life… for your own good.

    So progressivism is based on ignorance and fear of not knowing how things work and assuming everyone else is as ignorant as them.

    • #45
  16. TedRudolph Inactive
    TedRudolph
    @TedRudolph

    Henry Racette: The best things in life are dangerous: freedom, love, faith, women, sex. Children – those raw nerves we thrust out into the world. Cars. Guns. Saying what you think.

    Having thought about this over the last couple of days, I’ve begun feel like I need to object ever so slightly with part of this post’s theme. Please bear with my not-fully-formed additional thoughts that follow….

    A pet Cobra, Alligator or Lion is truly a dangerous thing.  They are autonomous, instinctual & unpredictable.

    I’ll intentionally leave women, sex & children out of this discussion… (but feel free to insert your own joke here: ” “)

    My cars & my guns are simply hunks of metal, rubber, plastic & fiberglass that do absolutely nothing unless I am operating them. My freedom, faith & opinion (i.e. “Saying what I think”) have no physical impact on other people regardless of how I use them.

    In all these examples, there is absolutely no danger to others as long as the “operators” are responsible, rational actors – i.e. Adults (not pajama boys).  In the hands of a sane competent adult – even when used in the vicinity of other sane, competent adults – there’s nothing to fear.  The “danger” is merely the perception of some other people, not the reality of the activity.

    In two of my perceived “risky” hobbies, I’ve been around long enough to act as an instructor (either officially or unofficially) for multiple decades. My observation is that the Thrill Seekers find that thrill in about 30 seconds and are gone. The people that stick around, learn & sometimes excel have no love or interest in “danger” – their motivation is in mastering a difficult task. They want to get the most out of their abilities, not scare themselves. Being ‘in control’ is a fundamental tenant of the participant.

    I firmly believe the claimed fear of danger is merely a symptom of what sends Progressives to the fainting couch.  Their distrust of others to make rational decisions, regardless of ability, is what really scares them. In their mind that distrust justifies the outward actions of their inner dictator.

    Just my $0.02.  YMMV.

    • #46
  17. TedRudolph Inactive
    TedRudolph
    @TedRudolph

    Skyler (View Comment):.

    So progressivism is based on ignorance and fear of not knowing how things work and assuming everyone else is as ignorant as them.

    Perhaps…. although I suspect they perceive it differently.  Most intellectual Progressives are generally in love with their own ideas & opinions. I don’t know if they’d ever admit to a shortcoming or other form of “ignorance”: Their arrogance wouldn’t allow it.

    At the same time, the same folks tend to be experts in some narrow professional area – and they rarely like to be challenged. As a result, I’ve always surmised that they feel any challenge to other ‘experts’ (or even the licensing of said experts) is a potential challenge to their own expert status. It’s a form of insecurity.

    In the case of my co-worker, she considers herself a DataBase expert. She’ll go ballistic if there’s even the slightest challenge to her opinion. Sadly, she’s so terrible at her job that her boss only gives her the most menial tasks – and has another DBA recheck her work later. If it weren’t for previous lawsuits that have H.R. terrified, she’s be long gone.

    • #47
  18. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    TedRudolph (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: The best things in life are dangerous: freedom, love, faith, women, sex. Children – those raw nerves we thrust out into the world. Cars. Guns. Saying what you think.

    Having thought about this over the last couple of days, I’ve begun feel like I need to object ever so slightly with part of this post’s theme. Please bear with my not-fully-formed additional thoughts that follow….

    A pet Cobra, Alligator or Lion is truly a dangerous thing. They are autonomous, instinctual & unpredictable.

    I’ll intentionally leave women, sex & children out of this discussion… (but feel free to insert your own joke here: ” “)

    My cars & my guns are simply hunks of metal, rubber, plastic & fiberglass that do absolutely nothing unless I am operating them. My freedom, faith & opinion (i.e. “Saying what I think”) have no physical impact on other people regardless of how I use them.

    In all these examples, there is absolutely no danger to others as long as the “operators” are responsible, rational actors – i.e. Adults (not pajama boys). In the hands of a sane competent adult – even when used in the vicinity of other sane, competent adults – there’s nothing to fear. The “danger” is merely the perception of some other people, not the reality of the activity.

    In two of my perceived “risky” hobbies, I’ve been around long enough to act as an instructor (either officially or unofficially) for multiple decades. My observation is that the Thrill Seekers find that thrill in about 30 seconds and are gone. The people that stick around, learn & sometimes excel have no love or interest in “danger” – their motivation is in mastering a difficult task. They want to get the most out of their abilities, not scare themselves. Being ‘in control’ is a fundamental tenant of the participant.

    I firmly believe the claimed fear of danger is merely a symptom of what sends Progressives to the fainting couch. Their distrust of others to make rational decisions, regardless of ability, is what really scares them. In their mind that distrust justifies the outward actions of their inner dictator.

    Just my $0.02. YMMV.

    I used to get a thrill from roller coasters and other amusement rides.  But unless they are poorly maintained or assembled by a slip shod carnival, they are always safe.  The thrill isn’t really there.

    Driving a car on a race track is a thrill, but usually you aren’t going to die, though it happens.  I liked that but it was very expensive.

    Going to war is thrilling.  No guarantees.  So far that is the most thrilling thing I have ever done.  Unless you’re the one getting killed or blown up, it’s a lot of fun.

    • #48
  19. Henry Racette Moderator
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    TedRudolph (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: The best things in life are dangerous: freedom, love, faith, women, sex. Children – those raw nerves we thrust out into the world. Cars. Guns. Saying what you think.

    Having thought about this over the last couple of days, I’ve begun feel like I need to object ever so slightly with part of this post’s theme. Please bear with my not-fully-formed additional thoughts that follow….

    A pet Cobra, Alligator or Lion is truly a dangerous thing. They are autonomous, instinctual & unpredictable.

    I’ll intentionally leave women, sex & children out of this discussion… (but feel free to insert your own joke here: ” “)

    My cars & my guns are simply hunks of metal, rubber, plastic & fiberglass that do absolutely nothing unless I am operating them. My freedom, faith & opinion (i.e. “Saying what I think”) have no physical impact on other people regardless of how I use them.

    In all these examples, there is absolutely no danger to others as long as the “operators” are responsible, rational actors – i.e. Adults (not pajama boys). In the hands of a sane competent adult – even when used in the vicinity of other sane, competent adults – there’s nothing to fear. The “danger” is merely the perception of some other people, not the reality of the activity.

    In two of my perceived “risky” hobbies, I’ve been around long enough to act as an instructor (either officially or unofficially) for multiple decades. My observation is that the Thrill Seekers find that thrill in about 30 seconds and are gone. The people that stick around, learn & sometimes excel have no love or interest in “danger” – their motivation is in mastering a difficult task. They want to get the most out of their abilities, not scare themselves. Being ‘in control’ is a fundamental tenant of the participant.

    I firmly believe the claimed fear of danger is merely a symptom of what sends Progressives to the fainting couch. Their distrust of others to make rational decisions, regardless of ability, is what really scares them. In their mind that distrust justifies the outward actions of their inner dictator.

    Just my $0.02. YMMV.

    Ted, thanks for the comment — and I agree with you, entirely.

    I mentioned several things that differ in the way in which they are dangerous, or are associated with danger. Cars aren’t particularly dangers in and of themselves, but tens of thousands of people die every year because we value the freedom cars give us more than the safety of a car-free world. Similarly, guns are not intrinsically dangerous, but, again, we accept the danger of their misuse, preferring that risk to life without the freedom to own guns.

    Children aren’t dangerous either, except in the sense that they expose us — as everything worth loving exposes us — to the risk of sadness and loss.

    I don’t actually love my cars or my guns. But I love the freedom I have to possess them, and the idea that Americans value that freedom more than we do the hoped-for safety  that removing them might bring. It is imaginable that we could live safer, more anodyne lives, at least for a time, if we didn’t insist on being free to do sometimes dangerous, sometimes foolish things. But I’d rather have that freedom than not. And it’s vaguely plausible that, if young men were trained to have the sensibility of young ladies (if that were possible, which I doubt), they’d avoid making the kinds of mistakes young men make. But then they wouldn’t turn into adult men — not really — and whatever safety gained wouldn’t be worth that cost.

    Thanks again for the comment.

    • #49
  20. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    OkieSailor (View Comment):
    At the tire plant in OKC whenever a minor incident occurred, almost always due to operator error, a new guard rail was devised. All of them meant the machinery was more difficult to operate. It had been originally installed with all the guards that made sense. I told several managers that if they improved the tire (assembly) machines much more I wouldn’t be able to build tires at all. Years later the plant was closed down, not primarily due to such things but I wonder, how much did it contribute to that loss of good paying jobs?
    Once a crew of three, clipboard equipped, came by seeking opinions from the ‘floor’ about a plan to install a ‘kill bar’ in front of the drum which operators used to build up the insides of a tire. My building partner at the time thought it might be a good idea as an unfortunate young lady had gotten her long hair caught in the underside mechanism recently resulting in a serious abrasion injury to her face. I spoke up to ask if any of them had taken HS Physics. They allowed they had done so. So I explained that my arm was a lever, my shoulder was the fulcrum and by increasing the distance to the load I was bearing they would be greatly increasing the effective load. And they should expect a large increase in back and leg problems as a result. So that was the last we heard of that particular ‘solution’ but why did I have to explain to three college graduates the nonsense involved?

    I happened to have taken a course on ergonomics / human factors.  Repetitive strain injuries are up there with slips, trips, and falls on the list of causes of injury.

    Operator error is omnipresent because we are human.  A well-designed plant will be designed to deal with the inevitable mistakes.  Guards are great since they work all the time – think of a guard around a rotating shaft, it works even if you fall on it.  That doesn’t mean you use them all the time.

    My instincts would have been to require hair to be tied back, install an easy-to-use kill switch that is accessible for the operator in an emergency, and look at the reason the lady had to get that close to the machine while it was online – see if it could be eliminated by better practices.

    • #50
  21. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    TedRudolph (View Comment):

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    TedRudolph (View Comment):
    I had a coworker go ballistic because I mentioned that I changed the brakes on my car over the weekend. And I once had to change doctors because my new doctor wouldn’t sign off on one of my club’s annual physical forms – they considered my car hobby “unnecessarily risky” and “environmentally irresponsible”.

    I have to say, that’s astonishing. I always sort of feel bad for guys that can’t do something as simple as changing brake pads.

    What was your coworker’s beef? That it was dangerous?

    She – a very proud Progressive who was very vocal about her views – felt that I was putting others in danger because I was not a licensed professional mechanic.

    The fact that my grandfather owned a large repair shop, which was passed on to my father (where I worked from 10 years old until I graduated college with an engineering degree) was irrelevant to her. I did not currently hold any type of professional car repair certification, therefore I was wrong to try.

    Scratch the surface of a Progressive and you’ll find a totalitarian that wants to tell you how to live your life… for your own good.

    Ask her if she does her own hair and makeup,  or does her own taxes,  as opposed to hiring a licensed professional.  I’d also assume she only uses taxi drivers to get around.

    I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to change brake pads on a car, and I have not personally changed my own oil.  I’ve fixed a fair number of flat tires though, and I presume I could do it with a manual, a good jack, and a toolbox.

    • #51
  22. Tex929rr Coolidge
    Tex929rr
    @Tex929rr

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I’ll be honest, I don’t know how to change brake pads on a car, and I have not personally changed my own oil. I’ve fixed a fair number of flat tires though, and I presume I could do it with a manual, a good jack, and a toolbox.

    Those tasks are a couple of routine maintenance items that are actually surprisingly easy to do; online parts ordering have made them dramatically less expensive.  Oil changes are tricky because legally disposing of the old oil is tougher than it used to be, but it’s still doable.

    The quick oil change places vary in quality; most auto dealer service techs are good but the prices are high.  Oil changes are one area where the savings don’t necessarily justify the hassle of doing it yourself.  Brake pads, air filters, tire rotation are all things where the labor savings are well worth it.

    • #52
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