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Wednesday, April 18, 2012


A new 2010 Ford Escape with gas engine:  $20,515 
The hybrid version stickered for $31,500!

I read an article in either the Arizona Republic or the Phoenix Gazette in the early 1990s about a guy in this area converting his 1980s vintage Ford Escort from being gas powered to solar powered.

I remember he was a middle class guy who had an aptitude for that sort of thing and, although the car was comically ugly to look at, it would go about 100 miles on solar power.  I don’t know any other details other than in the picture it looked like a Rube Goldberg invention with those big panels on the roof.  It was ugly but effective and saved the guy some gas money.

In 1996, the EV-I electric car from General Motors emerged only to disappear after a couple years.  It was leased through Saturn dealerships and was well liked by many customers.  Eventually GM decided to get rid of them in spite of customer protests as they were considered unprofitable.  They called in all the leases and the cars were crushed.  GM obviously doesn’t screw around when they take a car off the market!

Fast forward to 2012 where the best the car companies can come up with in their green mentality are hybrids or electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt.  Since the Leaf and Volt are basically jokes, we’ll dispense of them quickly.  If you can get 100 miles range from them you are doing well. 

The cost is too much even with the extravagant rebates the feds offer.  The Volt’s battery weighs about 400 pounds and the car has been known to catch on fire.  At about $40,000 these heaps are grossly overpriced and not practical for Americans.  Strangely, under the Opel badge, the Volt is the car of the year in Europe.  It must be because of the shorter distances driven.

Much more popular for the green freaks are the hybrids but they have their minuses too in spite of what the showroom salesman may tell you.  They will rave about the gas mileage and in many cases, although not all, the hybrid will get better gas mileage than a standard gas powered engine.  However, because of the increased cost of a hybrid, anywhere from $2000 to $10,000, it takes a long time for it to pay off in savings from gas expense.  Repairs are also more expensive especially if the battery needs replacing.  That can cost in the $3,000 range.

An R. L. Polk survey shows that the Lincoln MKZ and the Toyota Prius were the only hybrids that saved owners money over a six year period.  However, that was based on gas costing $8 per gallon.  So, the green enthusiasts might say, “Yeah, but hybrids are good for the environment!”  Not necessarily since there are large batteries involved which can strain the environment if needed to be disposed.  Also, since manufacturing includes making two engines, the environment can be affected by that.  Since most of the work is still being done by the gas engine, the environment is still affected from exhaust although a bit less.

To sum up, I would not buy a hybrid.  I think the technology is too complicated with the two engines and many gas powered cars get as good if not better mileage without driving a contraption.  One test showed a BMW getting better mileage than a Prius.

For now, my gas powered Hyundai is looking pretty good.


Gas Guzzlin' Glo said...

I'm a gas guzzler. I have been since 1967 (when I learned to drive) and will be until they pry that smelly, mettalic gas pump from my cold, dead hands.

Don Williams said...

I also will not buy a Hybrid however for the folks who choose to do so, I have no issue with their making that choice.

Don Williams said...

I also will not buy a Hybrid however for the folks who choose to do so, I have no issue with their making that choice.

A Hired Gun said...

I agree that technology on these cars is currently suspect, inefficient and over-priced. What really irks me though is that big oil has bought up all the promising technological ideas and buried them to keep the price of gas inflated. If I was in charge, I would direct the DOJ to bring an action against the oil companies and seek them to disgorge or develop the new technology. Reminds me of what the big 3 automakers did to the Tucker.

ms15 said...

As a hunter and camper a hybrid car just won't work. I have a 22 foot travel trailer and have to have a 4x4 to pull it and get to the places I want to hunt.

Rick Kepple said...

The recording engineer at Dell Mack's must read your stuff. Just by chance, he was talking about hybrid cars today and said that he had an idea to build an electric car with an axle driven generator. He's brilliant and he's always coming up with these crazy ideas. It's an artist thing, I believe. My rototiller tines axle bearings are wallowed out and the entire thing is trash. So I think if I get an old Yugo, scrap out everything, tie the 6 hp tiller engine in the back with baling wire and use the belt to put around a 100 amp car alternator and a regulator and tie that in with duct tape. Kevin's idea and mine could be incorporated and we could build a hybrid car resembling a roller skate. If it works, then we can take the time to actually bolt stuff together. It's a Yugo. That's the way they're built anyway! Kevin said that we can get Gene Simmons to finance it. I guess he likes investing in creative ideas and it's my tiller engine that I'm tossing in! No sense of paying for a hybrid when I can just build one for about a hundred fifty bucks!

Rick Kepple said...

Hybrids. Sounds like it should be illegal.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

I am completely with you on this point. From Ford's model T to now, we still run a car by lighting a fuse and throwing it into a can of gasoline - literally.

Combustion is not the way to go, and if we hadn't so much fossil fuel available, by now they would have found a way around this stupidity.

Hybrid is an expensive joke!


Jim McAllister said...

From: Larry, 12:28 pm, April 18

I never see any figures on the cost of the battery construction or the daily/monthly/yearly tab for the electricity to charge the battery(s). (Or the ultimate cost of disposal thereof.)
With battery and gas tank, I'll bet there's not much trunk space, either.
Are they run off of 110 or 220 volt systems? If the later, most people would have the added cost of running a 220v line to their garage.
Gee, somewhere I read about this guy who's looking for people to invest in his new engine that runs on water.............. I'm gonna look at that again.

Jim McAllister said...

Guzzlin' Glo,

Ah, yes. To paraphrase the movie line about napalm in the morning, "I love the smell of gasoline straight from the pump in the morning."

Hybrids to me are a first step and they have a long way to go. Big expensive batteries?, a gas motor?, an electric motor? No, thanks.

Don, I'm with ya; if that's what they want, let 'em have them.

Jim McAllister said...


The DOJ? Do you think Holder would be strong enough to pull that off?

The EV-1 is another example. People who leased those loved them and wanted to keep them GM said No! Not enough profit for us!

Every now and then I see a silver one of them or the Honda like it in Scottsdale.

Poor old Tucker didn't have a chance. Nash, Kaiser, Hudson, Studebaker all eventually fell too.

It's a tough business. John DeLorean would admit that if he was still alive.


Definitely not a setup that would fit your needs.

Jim McAllister said...


EVERYBODY reads my stuff! LOL

That $150 Yugo sounds like a good idea. Throw in a roll of duct tape as a free accessory. $150 is about what the original Yugos were worth.


I love your quote: "I am completely with you on this point. From Ford's model T to now, we still run a car by lighting a fuse and throwing it into a can of gasoline - literally."

That says it all. Hybrids are just expensive band aids. That little electric motor doesn't accomplish much other than causing higher repair bills when it goes out.

I think the manufacturers are just trying to show they are making an effort. Unfortunately, a Rube Goldberg contraption with two motors doesn't cut it.

Jim McAllister said...

This is off subject for this blog but I felt I needed to make a comment on the death of Dick Clark today (4-18) at age 82.

I grew up in the Dick Clark era and saw him make stars of people like Bobby Darin, Paul Anka, Chubby Checker, and many others.

In the 50s it was standard procedure to check out Dick Clark's American Bandstand on the old black and white TVs of the time.

I don't remember ever hearing a bad word said about him. We 50s teenagers worshipped the guy and will miss him.

Jim McAllister said...

From Joe Finnerty 11:20 pm 4-18

A middle-aged unmarried six foot tall pal of mine owns a Prius and likes driving it. He accepts the fact the car is not a good investment. It pleases him the car emits less harmful emissions than his previous gas engine vehicle.

From time to time, he has taken me for short trips around town in his new chariot. I found the passenger seating space a bit cramped, but the ride quite comfortable.

If an owner outgrows the current one and only Prius model, there are no other hybrid choices on the market. They’ll most likely be forced to purchase conventional gasoline driven cars.

An interesting fact about power from batteries and gasoline I came across: It takes about 1000 pounds of batteries to equate to one gallon (about 8 pounds) of gasoline.

I believe the next great step forward in man’s quest to travel without using scarce and harmful fossil fuel will be the development of wind power. At this very minute, Toyota is cooking up a design that will carry us away. They call it a “Kite.”


The "kite" huh? LOL Wouldn't that be amazing if they really pulled it off. I'm sure the oil companies would be front and center trying to stop anything that interfered with their dough.

There are plenty of hybrids on the market other than the Prius. Ford, Chevy, Hyundai, Honda to name a few. Just in case they become an "item" they all want their share.

To me, they are just a first step; kind of like in the late 40's when people happily bought TVs that were 7" black and white for $800. If people are patient enough, anything new will drop in price. But, there will always be those who have to be first on the block with the latest whatever.

midnightsstaff said...

Joe gets the award for best tongue in cheek remark for the day...
don gets two minutes for excessive padding the blogsite, *note*- hit the key once and wait... just a friendly reminder.

I was off to a weekend in Vegas with Liz one Friday sometime around the turn of the century and we were taking the scenic highway 66 route from Amboy to Needles and there was some kind of contraption rally going west about half way between and it was one of those moon vehicle type after another... big solar panels and a convoy of support vehicles..

I didn't have a dig. camera yet so I couldn't just pull over and take pics- but it was amazing.

This government experiment has nothing to do with concern over the environment nor does it have anything to do with any energy concerns.. it is a raw control grab issue with the usual group of meddlers.

We have decades of recoverable energy sources in this country but despite that we are the most regulated away from using that advantage of any sovereign nation in the world.
I had another girl friend in the early nineties who had a Jetta diesel, it got over fifty miles to the gallon and you couldn't tell except for the exhaust that it was a diesel once the glow plugs start up issue was over.
But the regulators hate diesel autos for that very reason, because diesel engineering mocks the insanity of the government's incessant desire to make everyone in the nation drive an electric golf cart for the masses.

I'm still waiting for some brain dead Volt owner (if you can find one) to tell me what their range is with air conditioning running at Phoenix conditions... haha. probably the end of the street.

CJinPhoenix said...

It is unfortunate how resistant to change & new ideas we all are. You know, if IBM hadn't picked up the Apple idea in the 80s & offered everybody a bite, thereby turning PCs into a cultural revolution for the masses, most of us would still be putting any ideas we might have to write about down on paper in writing or typing them out. Of course, then I might still have a job and making close to what all these years of experience are really worth ... Yep, there are always two sides to every apple for sure. There is always the sweet tasty side & then there is side with the worm (or the snake if you want to get biblical about it).

Want to know how to bring those prices down & make the cars more cost effective, Jim? Buy the cars. Even computers were fairly cost prohibitive at first. Then we can all tell those greedy oil monsters to go to hell -- whom you probably wouldn't like if you met them as a person anyway -- where they can take over for Gutenberg (or maybe Steve Jobs).

Jim McAllister said...


This is from the "How Stuff Works" site concerning clean Diesel:

"In recent years, European-style clean diesel engines in small cars have gained a bit of a foothold in the U.S. market, and not without good reason. Diesel's former reputation as smelly, dirty and sluggish is now a thing of the past. That's primarily due to new diesel-fuel technologies, like the Mercedes-Benz BlueTec system and federal limits on particulates. And when it comes to fuel economy, diesel-powered cars are nearly as good as some of the hybrids in the city and they can even outperform some of the hybrids on the highway."

It looks like doesel has come a long way. Pretty expensive though; about $4.80 a gallon at the moment.

Remember how diesels made an attempt in the late 70s to compete with gas cars since gas was going up so much? I remember GM getting into the business with diesels in Pontiacs. Those cars really blew out the black smoke!

Guys like Mike would probably have a Volt if he could afford one.

Jim McAllister said...


Since I only trade cars when they reach 120,000 or more miles, I doubt if I will be buying a hybrid anytime soon. It surprised me that they are as popular as they are with their higher coast and inability to pay for themselves in gas savings.

If I live long enough to buy another car it better have a lot more advantages to it than what we have now.

Jim McAllister said...

From Uremus, 11:20, 4-19

given current

Jim McAllister said...


midnightsstaff said...

"It looks like doesel has come a long way. Pretty expensive though; about $4.80 a gallon at the moment"
"Diesel, Driesel, Drozzle Drum, time for this one to come home..."
fractured fairy tales..

I was gonna say, the diesel is very popular in Europe, the new ones don't even sound, drive or look like a 70's Mercedes Smokestack Lightning (not to be confused with the SL series) or a GM truck.
here...not so much- and it is entirely due to incompetent and illogical Federal Regulations..

Jim McAllister said...


I have to proofread this stuff better. Doesel? lol

In the late 70s we had all those belching diesels from GM rolling around because diesel was so cheap; considerably cheaper than gas.

I didn't even know about the clean diesel the article is talking about. I'll bet it would really be expensive here with all the regs.

midnightsstaff said...

I believe it is just made from a low Sulfur crude or if not of low sulfur crude then scrubbed in the cracking process.

hell you can make diesel out of coal... and what are we the Saudi Arabia of ??
*ding, ding, ding*- we have a winner!
- yeah coal.

Raul came in one day and told his brother Fidel
" I hear you have decreed all of the State's valued farm animals from now on will have to spend the nights inside with the citizens- is that true?"
Fidel said "yes".
Raul said.. "don't you know the smell will be awful and they will be complaining?"
Fidel then said " it's true the smell will shock them at first but the animals will just have to get used to it for the good of the State"

So how do you like your new Volt there citizen, as much as your healthcare?

midnightsstaff said...

"If I was in charge, I would direct the DOJ to bring an action against the oil companies and seek them to disgorge or develop the new technology. Reminds me of what the big 3 automakers did to the Tucker"

Well you're not in charge or you would be harassing the State of Arizona for trying to defend itself when the Federal government who's responsibility it is to do that is not interested..
Or harassing Sheriff Joe the Magnificent for purely political civil rights charges that have no bearing to anything he has done.
Or you would be trying to get any dirt possible on House members investigating your own involvement in the biggest scandal in the nation's lifetime in the fast and furious cover up.

But you're not apt to bring down the unholy terror of government on the capitalists that have provided our very life's blood of Freedom Joe-
oil itself and bringing it to us in abundance and at a very affordable price- just look at the price inflation of gasoline as verses say..... a four year college education.

BTW- if they just stopped production, what do you think that would do to your life?- are you ready to start saddling a horse again?
So it's unlikely you will get that chance because you are a Scottsdale ambulance chaser that has to pump his own gas and wash his own car, not a Washington District of Corruption Attorney General who is hip deep in alligators in the very action that funds ambulance chasers with unnecessary, fallacious investigations and endless harassment of our Constitution.
all rise..

Jim McAllister said...

Poor old coal. These EPA freaks are always crying about the use of coal. For some of these tribes coal is really an economic thing to produce electricity. Of course Obama backs the green freaks with his usual liberal mindset.

I'm surprised he has the time what with his worrying whether we are apologizing enough to Afghanistan for our good soldiers killing the enemy. He has never served a day or even had a job. What the hell does he know about being in the military and what effect war has on guys who served?

He better start worrying about his own house and find out what the hell is going on with the Secret Service and the GSA. They both make him look like an ass.

Now his wife is complaining about no supermarkets in blighted areas of big cities. What a dumbass she is. If she knew anything she would realize that large supermarkets don't locate in the ghettos because of the unbelievable amount of robberies, shooting of store personnel, theft, and other reasons that prevent them from being profitable. She should get her ass in those areas and see if she can change that lifestyle. That is, if she could squeeze in the time between vacations.

Speaking of "citizen" I see today that all cars in the model year 2015 and on will be required to have a black box installed. Big brother is closing in.

Love the Fidel joke.

Jim McAllister said...


Yeah, Joe is leaning a bit too far left with expecting the DOJ to interfere with the operation of private companies for the purpose of making them give up their technology.

That's like me competing against another guy for a big order and me outselling him. Should I cut him in because he wasn't as good a salesman as I was? Hell, no! It would be up to him to get his ass in gear and outdo me the next time.

Damn! There I go talking like a damn capitalist again! What I really should be doing is helping him improve and letting him have some of the business. You know how it is: It's good to spread the wealth around. It's all part of "fairness." lol

To that I say "Bullshit!" Fairness is when everyone lines up at the starting line and hauls ass when the gun goes off. If you finish last, too bad. Work out harder for the next race.

Glo said...

Jim: I know this is way off topic, but I just heard that the original Barnabas Collins, vampire extraordinaire, played by Canadian actor Jonathan Frid passed away today at 87. I remember vividly growing up in Hartford getting home from school 1966-1971 to watch Dark Shadows at 4 PM. That haunting theme music! I have the DVD set with his back story of how he turned into a vampire. He has a cameo as a prty guest in the new Depp movie, but he will always be Barnabas!!

Jim McAllister said...


I saw the obit on Frid this morning. You and I are in the same mindset: we well remember his run on Dark Shadows from 1966-71.

He owned that show. People who didn't even watch or care about daytime TV changed their ways when it came on. It really gained a following and was water cooler talk for a long time.

You're right, as good of an actor as Depp may be, there will always be only one Barnabas and it was Jonathan Frid.

I'm glad he had a long life and made it to 87.

Rick Kepple said...

I am reading President Obama's address re: Syria and they have to find a way around the seige, or this could go on for years and the Muslim Brotherhood has other countries to collapse. Financial pressure is now being put on Syria. Isn't that interesting how they are using financial weapons in light of what has happened? It would be a good time for the Republicans to push for the Keystone Pipeline again. And I want a Barbara Eden remake of the Jeannie thing. I've been tired lately. Yep, but all this stuff happening is stressful. Guitar.

midnightsstaff said...

Is this a great hockey team or what?-

Jim McAllister said...


It will be interesting to see what Obama does with the new pipeline proposal. He is kind of stuck in the middle on it as I'm I'm sure his EPA buddies will still be against it but he would probably like to take credit. Probably nothing will happen until after November.

Barbara Eden has already done two follow ups to Jeannie: "I Dream of Jeannie...15 years later" in 1985 and "I Dream of Jeannie Again" in 1991. At 78 maybe they can prop her up for one more sequel. LOL


I have to admit they are playing good hockey. Too bad about that second game. They we 5 seconds from a win and this series would be over. At 3-1 though, it's looking pretty good with the next game here. If Chicago can win 3 straight, they deserve the series. Hopefully, that won't happen.

Jim McAllister said...

From "Anonymous, 6:50 4-19

I am really satisfied with this posting that you have given us. This is really a stupendous work done by you. Thank you and looking for more posts.


Thanks, I'm flattered by your remark! Keep tuning in.

DarkerShadeofBlue said...

No hybrid for me.

But....several years back someone in my Search and Rescue group had a truck that had the "used cooking oil conversion". He said he could go forever on a tank of diesel. (Apparently you run diesel to warm the engine up and when you are almost ready to turn it off you clear the lines. In between, you run the cooking oil.)

I started looking around for an old diesel "beater car" I could buy so I could try to experiment as a second car. But finding a diesel beater car was difficult. Lots of other people were looking for them for the same reason and there aren't very many older diesels out there.

Oh....I have been told it is also illegal to run this type of alternative fuel because the government loses out on all that tax money. I still like the idea of having one as a back up car...especially since I now have 24 different stores I work at and work all the way out in Glendale some days......but also because I have a soft spot for old "beater" cars. They typically have a lot of

midnightsstaff said...

One problem looking for a beater is they just don't make beaters like they used to.

The great era of beaters was found in my and Jim's youth- the days of picking up a cherry 55 chevy to play around with are one and done.
America quit making potential classics in the mid seventies, after that Detroit iron was pretty much one disappointing model after the other.
Actually that might be a good topic Jim, everyone has owned a beater with a history- how about a beater you have owned blog title?

Yeah the chicken fat conversions have merit but not on a wide scale application- you really have to filter that stuff unless you want problems, and like you said used cooking oil tends to solidify in normal human living conditions... probably would work in Phoenix though, but really if everyone did it there wouldn't be enough to get us very far.
I saw a blurb in Drudge the other day that said kids are not getting driver licenses and somewhat rejecting the concept of owning a car themselves.

Honestly I think we are raising a generation of aliens.

Jim McAllister said...


Could you give me a list of the stores you cover? When I go out to steal, I want to be sure that I don't have to worry about you tackling me as I try to go out the door!

I imagine an old beater diesel would be hard to find. I haven't thought about it much but I haven't seen any old American diesel heaps for a long time.

I remember when some people were using cooking oil but I haven't heard of it lately.

I knew a guy in Kansas City about 30 years ago who had a big Pontiac four door that was a diesel. That was when gas was so expensive with Carter and GM made some diesels because it was cheaper. Those were some really smokin' hogs! That Pontiac had a red light on the dash telling you when you could start it. Apparently diesel was fairly solid and waxy and had to be hot before the car would run. Needless to say, they didn't last long!

Not surprising the govt. makes cooking oil illegal. Big brother is always watching!

Jim McAllister said...


That's a good idea about the beaters being a blog subject. I have another car blog on my list and I'll add that to it. I'll make sure you get credit for the idea. However, you WILL NOT receive remuneration! lol

I read the other day about kids not caring about driving. What kind of ding dongs are we raising today? I guess the thrill of cars is out of the equation now. It's more important to check Twitter and Facebook all day and send text messages. Jeez! I'm glad I was born when I was.

One kid in Mesa or Gilbert was mentioning a while back how he thought a lot of his friends sent too many text messages and he didn't believe in overdoing it. When asked how many he averaged in a day he said "about 300". Hello?

When I was growing up in the 50s, cars were number one with kids. There was always someone I knew that would be working on some heap like a '38 Chevy or '40 Ford in their garage. It would be a general meeting place for all of us.

Another popular place was the drag strip by Beechmont Levee in Cincinnati. That was the place to be on Sunday.

There was always the pro dragsters too and the rock stations of that era ran great ads for them. I still remember WHB radio in Kansas City with their ads of "Sunday at Kansas City international drag strip.......!"

Cars ruled in those days with kids. Now, kids don't even care about cool cars or whether they have a driver's license. We used to count the days to be 16 and get that license.

buzzard said...

I remember that Jim, all summer on every rock station in Cleveland. I raced at Dragway 42, in West Salem Ohio.

The answer is no. Hybrids are definitely not worth the trouble. why pay more for technolgy that doesnt work very well.

"Plug-in vehicles like the Chevy Volt will be very cost-ineffective in states like California without major overhauls to the electric grid"

ya gotta love those lib democrats, they want hybrids but they also want gas taxes, so now they want to put an extra tax on hybrids because they use less gas.

Jim McAllister said...


Those were great ads. I got to Kansas City via the Air Force in January of 1962 and WHB was THE rock station to listen to. I remember the hits at the time like "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by The Tokens, "The Peppermint Twist" by Joey Dee and the Starlighters, Len Barry and The Dovells doing "The Bristol Stomp", "Hey, Baby" by Bruce Channel and many others.

WHB also did a ton of ads for Kansas City International drag strip. They would really scream it out with a loud guitar riff screaming in the background: "SUNDAY! at Kansas City International Dragstrip see Chris Caramacina and his red hot Plymouth Funny car exploding off the line with 400 horsepower. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!!!!"

Those were fun days. Hot summers, cold beer, and drag racing with WHB blaring hit tunes.

I drove through Cleveland in January of 1967 going to a USAF friends wedding in Buffalo and I remember a great rock AM station there called (I think) WKYC. They played all the rock hits of that time, my favorite being "Gimme Some Lovin" by Spencer Davis Group and sung by Stevie Winwood. They advertised that they played 58 minutes of music per hour and they did. I listened to them up and back from Buffalo.

midnightsstaff said...

Holy Cowabunga!!! we have lost Jim completely to the magical or should I say mystical allure of the late fifties and early sixties..

I guess it was just a matter of time before he would finally get off on that train stop, we could all see the signs, a fondness for black and white cinema, a vast knowledge of many forgotten stars of a Hollywood era that like many aspects of American life will never be again.

Highway 66 in Jim's memory is as vivid as a familiar drive around Scottsdale when the light is just right...

Yes Jim it was nice knowing you, but I feel comfort in just knowing that you are in a better place now.

Jim McAllister said...


Yeah, I love history but I'm not foolish enough to think it was that glorious. In retrospect, it is always fun to remember youth with the parties, old cars, music, adventures, etc. and at the time it seemed like it would never end.

During those 4 years in the AF, all I could think of was getting out and getting back to civilian life. But, today I look at my hitch with good memories. (I must have forgotten about basic training! Whew!)

The greatest thing was making it on my own during that time, spending a summer of 1963 in Europe on the military's dime, and making Airman First Class in under 4 years which was unusual then.

But, the study of history, in particular American history, has always intrigued me. I love Americana and those old films give us a sound and picture story of what manners and life was so many years ago.

Life wasn't perfect then but the one thing I notice that was especially different then from now is civility. Manners are something that have virtually disappeared from our society. Just ask any women who expects men to let her on or off the elevator first or open a car door for her. And those are just two mild examples!

Rick Kepple said...

Blue's story of clearing the lines to use previously owned cooking oil for diesel fuel is simply never gonna work for me! I don't own a diesel anymore, since I sold the tractor some time ago. Cooking oil is good for setting brush piles on fire ... not that I need it, but it's just a good way to get rid of it!

Rick Kepple said...

Been a little busy Jim, etc. I'm still working for free as a publicist. Been focusing on Dell Mack and I emailed the Louisiana based Goldband Records to see if they could release Dell's music, specifically the circa 1966 S.M.B.H.T.Y.H. (Smoking May Be Hazardous To Your Health) song banned by the tobacco companies. The feds had just mandated the tobacco warnings and Dell recorded that song. I think it would be timely. And Dell's track record shows that he always sang hit songs first before other, greater performers picked them up and made them famous. I notice that practicing a musical instrument is becoming trendy for stress and I've been writing about that for a few years now. And Australian bands want my help. I have no clue how that happened. Yesterday was a big day and I was in excrutiating pain all day, but events don't wait. I can't pop pills like I did before, cause of the liver damage. The North Shore Animal League was there by invitation and the newspapers didn't cover it. Then last night I went to a roadhouse and took photos of the Randyman Band. Remember the name. I have no clue where I'm going with this music publicist stuff, but to borrow from Goldband Records late founder; it's 90 percent B.S. and 10 percent music. Oh, and I'd never buy a new hybrid. I've done PR for "green companies" and I get free products like guitar picks, etc. I'd take a free hybrid car, but at what they're charging for them, I'll bet you'd have to mortgage the home to fix them! And Jim, the University of Missouri engineers are in that solar powered car race on Old Route 66 every year! The technology always breaks down. I've photographed them too.

Rick Kepple said...

Why is Bank of America suing the Bank of America? I'll bet they give the executives a performance bonus for ... suing ... themselves ... I clearly do not understand corporate executives.

Jim McAllister said...


It sounds like your method of dumping cooking oil may be the easiest and best. I remember a few years ago there was some talk around here about using it for fuel but it never took off or if it did, it wasn't publicized.

I listened to a couple of Dell's cuts and he sounds good. I especially liked "I Never Knew What the Blues Was." It seems like he should get plenty of gigs in your area.

Speaking of Australian bands, did you see that Greg Ham of Men at Work was found dead at 58 in his house in Australia? They were a pretty good band from the early 80s, had a couple pop hits.

That guy was right about publicity: It is about 90% BS and 10% music. I guess I shouldn't really say "BS" since it is a selling job and I used to be a salesman. Let's say it is maybe a bit of romancing an item or person in order to get an order. However, once you sell the item, it better perform. Using flowery language to get the point across doesn't hurt though if it sells the customer.

I agree on hybrids; they will have to make them a lot more attractive and simpler before I look at them; cheaper too.

Jim McAllister said...


Bank of America suing Bank of America. I have accounts there but I haven't heard about that.

If so, I'm sure there is some ulterior motive involved.

Rick Kepple said...

Bank of America claims that it is a necessary thing to sue themselves. Now we know where all the heroin from Afghanistan is going. It's apparently a necessary business thing. Yes, we put our trust in lawyers, yes we do!

Rick Kepple said...

Jim, those songs of Dell Mack's are from the 60's and 70's. Dell is 74-years-old and he doesn't play guitar at shows anymore, he plays bass. Some say that he plays bass better than anyone in the music industry! The last time he left the house was to attend a picnic for his friend, Mike "Gomer" Wilkins, from Devils Elbow. I took photos of that event. Sadly, Mr. Wilkins only has a few months to live, but he still played and sang with Dell Mack! There are a number of requests for Dell Mack to play on stage in the South. Everyone in Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee all know Dell. He's still friends with folks from the Presley family around Memphis. Dell said that Charlie Daniels drops by sometimes. It's kind of strange how I'm getting known in a world that I was never allowed to work in, and I love writing about music. It's so cool getting to hang around the guys that I heard on the radio as a kid. It's like the feeling of Christmas! But the one person that I admire most, won't talk to me. Music is a lot less stressful than other writing, although I get chest pain when I'm under pressure to get things done. So I'm still not there yet. Maybe never, but I get to hang out with the professionals and I'm finding that they are just like me. Incredible! So I'm focusing on helping Dell Mack to be the legend and it's remarkable how much musicians care about each other. Then I hear, "You're one of us now, Rick." That's pretty cool.

Rick Kepple said...

Oh, and check out Jon Seppanen on Youtube. His is the Youtube user name, jonnysep65. Jon is a former Army sapper and been in a number of battles and he sings about war. I put his song for his new CD, Wadsworth Terrace, on the Army's website and others and he's getting great reviews! He sounds a little like Toby Keith. Jon Seppanen. He doesn't have forty million dollars, but he's got an eighty million dollar voice!

Jim McAllister said...


Seppanen is good; I watched two of his YouTubes.

It has to be cool to hang with guys like Dell. It's too bad he doesn't tour anymore but at 74 I'm sure he has been in more southern honky tonks than we could imagine.

That's a hard life and I'm sure he did more one nighters than he can remember without getting the pay he deserved for his talent. I'm sure you are learning a lot from him.

Rick Kepple said...

The day that SN asks me to go to her concert and everything paid, gives me a million dollars, is the day that I go to another concert and stay for the entire thing. Yeah, I learn about the business of music with Dell Mack. And yeah, I write a lot about how sweet SN is and I write how she gave me the tender advice and so on. Yes, she's an angel. It's Dell Mack who is helping me and the queen of rock made it all possible long ago when she was doing a million in coke. What's she gonna do? Say that no, she only snorted the blow and didn't do anything nice for anyone? Had some kid blacklisted? If I Were HER, I'd be kissing up to me.

midnightsstaff said...

Rick... we have real issues to deal with like that penguin that was kidnapped and then let loose in shark infested waters and then chased by dogs before being rescued and returned to his own frigid cell block.
so what are you doing boring us with the you know who rundown again? nobody gives a rat's ass about some over the hill rock star that by luck of the draw lived in Scottsdale..
Hell I don't even know if she is still alive or not..
pick up the pace man, you had a real string of lucidity going on and then you had to fart at the dinner table.
I expect far better from you.

Jim McAllister said...

I just read where incandescent light bulbs will be illegal in 2914 and that 100 watt bulbs are already out of production in the US.

Better stock up and close your blinds in case the light bulb police come by!

What a joke these clowns are!

Jim McAllister said...

Oops! I mean 2014.

Proofreading has it5s merits.

Rick Kepple said...

As Middy and Jimmy prove, perception is the name of the game. I've learned a great deal about public relations and psychological perception of reality from Jim's blog. Jim and Middy are like siblings, aren't they? One big happy family. Anyeay, the day of "Party like a Rock Star" is dead. And I'm learning a great deal from Dell Mack and how the mainstream music industry was created. They were geniuses back then, but now ... WMG taught me a lot about the mainstream too. I'll never forget the day when some poor Warner Music Group executive screaming at me on the phone saying, "We're not in financial trouble!" then hanging up. Then the CEO Bronfman Jr. got busted for Insider Trading and they got outsourced to the Russians. That's gotta suck! But, the music monopoly stopped the Vietnam War and the Powers-That-Be is not going to allow that to ever happen again. So that's why independent music is being promoted and I give away guitars. There's a guy who used to work for FEMA and is in the music industry and he does a lot of PR for Indie. A competitor, but in secret, we're all working together cause the mainstream must fall to create a better world. The monolopy that once existed, but is now collapsing under their own enormous bulk, like the singing fat lady eating too many Nilla Wafers. There is nothing so relaxing as to hang out with a bunch of musicians trying to build a new CD for an investor willing to finance it. I get to talk to producers in the mainstream and even company presidents. It's cool. Occasionally, I'll give some strategic military advice to Obama, but Syria's stuck and it must fall. And in the perfect world where Romney or Obama are running it, Americans are playing musical instruments and everyone for a couple hundred bucks can be their own music label. Sorry to hear about Middy's penquins, but technically, I think he's violating federal laws with the animals that he has. Free advice. Don't BS a journalist. There's no profit in it.

Rick Kepple said...

Oh yeah, I'll endorse hybrid cars if they give me one. I can give them some nifty slogan like, "Buy a hybrid. It's like mixing Rod Stewart with HeavyGrinder." Well, you guys are old, but the kids buying the hybrids will get it.

buzzard said...

Hey Jim,
your light bulb comments bring your blog full circle.
It shows the idiocy of the libs.

they want to force you to use a certain light bulb to save a small amount of energy and then they want to waste a large amount of energy to charge the pos hybrid car.

midnightsstaff said...

That's better Rick... a whole thought without the use of the two letters S&N or even any reference other than the unfortunate fat lady eating Nilla wafers which can be taken either way I suppose.
Yeah these effin' morons just boil down to a collection of busy bodies and malcontents, electric cars, godawful wind farms polluting the pristine desert environment and killing our birds at the same time, crappy lightbulbs, putting poison in the gasoline that will not degrade and pollutes the whole water system..
(remember MTBE's?)
deliberately burning our food source driving up prices for no good reason- (after all we have decades of oil available) is treasonous in my opinion and treasonous people should be executed.
yeah as far as I am concerned we could line the bastards up and shoot the whole lot of them that alone would go far to cleaning up the world of it's scum.
Do I sound harsh?- well the son of a bitches started it, they should be exterminated like the vermin they are for the betterment of humanity.
Firing this fag of a president and his communist beard of a wife is a good place to start, I cannot wait.

midnightsstaff said...

meanwhile the Russian stock market has been closed for three delay attempts to restart it and not a word about it in the msm...

probably nothing to worry about eh?

Rick Kepple said...

An endless supply of oil is just too funny. Yeah, they strip mine it in many countries, but it takes energy and water to make the oil. So there are actually two groups of Republicans on the issue; one that says we have an endless supply and it's the Democrats' fault if gas is high. The other Republicans (Reagan's advisors) are saying that gas is going to continually go up in price because the outsourced jobs is helping impoverished people to buy cars. Suppy and demand folks. Supply and demand.

Rick Kepple said...

Mitt Romney is your hero. Right? Uh ... no. The Christian Science Monitor says in "Mitt Romney's Five Biggest Liabilities as GOP Nominee," that Romney is opposed to abortion rights, gay rights and he's against gun control and yes, I know Middy. I can count and that's only three. Romney used to be for abortion, he used to be for gays and he used to oppose firearms, until he decided to run for President. So Americans are wondering when he's going to flop after flipping. A New York Times poll says that 68 percent of Americans don't believe his word. He changes his story according to his audience. It's believed that he's the GOP version of Obama and they will present their own version of national health care in 2013. He's a pacifist and during the Vietnam War, he declared religious deferment based on that he is a preacher of the Mormon church and a pacifist. Again ... guns. But there's an Army officer just a half mile from me and he's Mormon. He's a pacifist and he serves in the Army! I guess if al Qaeda attacks again, we can just turn the other cheek and let it go, or maybe he will be more tolerant of Islam taking over Scottsdale and kicking the infidels off their property. The Romney campaign compares him to Reagan, but this guy is NO Reagan. Romney claims that the NRA endorsed him, but they didn't. The fact is that President Obama has done more for gun sales than any President has ever done! According to "Right Wing America," Romney is not trusted to protect the Second Amendment since he has a record of supporting gun control. Romney might speak at NRA conferences, but the NRA does not support him, because he's against guns. Romney will probably claim to be Santa Claus if it will help him get elected!

Jim McAllister said...


Have you seen the new light bulb from Phillips. It's meant to compete with those idiotic curly Q fluorescent things that don't give off any light. Cost? $60!

I don't know; the old incandescent bulb has been pretty effective for a long time. I don't think we need a change. We all better stock up.

Rick Kepple said...

I love working in the music industry for free! I'd rather be paid, but I was blacklisted in the mainstream and I have years of making up to do! The Dixie Chicks use my words, Paris Hilton uses my sentences, even publicist Liz Rosenberg uses my paragraphs! I write a little something for the Christian celebrities about said short person, and they say that's really nice of me. But outside of Maricopa County, I can write her name without fear of terrorism. People love me for how nice I am to the music industry and for trying to save it. I'll probably get an award someday. Maybe go into the CMA Hall of Fame and even Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, or something. Damn, I'm good! On the occasion that people talk smack about me, I just let it roll off, since those people don't matter. I'll say that the chick got me my start, but it was Dell Mack and so many others who worked very hard to educate me that not all mainstream artists are blackhearted evil demons from hell. I recently told Rolling Stone magazine how sweet the old gal has been to me and they are just thrilled and thinking of a special edition just for her! I said that if it wasn't for her, I would not be the man that I am today and helping Dell Mack and everyone else for free just wouldn't be possible! So maybe the old rocker will get the Golden Rocking Chair award! Sadly, I don't go to award ceremonies, but if I ever get one, gee whiz, I'll have to go! I'll send some hot stripper to the podium and she can spill out some boobarage to say thanks. It's all PR, folks. Michael Jackson rules. Naturally my old mentor won't be there, since that much greatness of her and I can't occupy the same room together. I'm just repeating what people tell me. Other publicists with decades of experience have offered to help if I need it, but I graciously decline. And I'd like to see alcohol abuse and drug addiction stop in the music industry! Yes, I'm leading the way now. People love me! I'm a nice guy! Note: Normally, I don't hype myself up, but like Dell says, I'd better get used to it!

Rick Kepple said...

I do want to thank Don Petersen for all of his help. He has been nice and helpful for no apparent reason.

Jim McAllister said...


Don is a good guy. Maybe he just likes you and that is reason enough to help you.

Rick Kepple said...

Don has some good advice and great stories. Dell Mack has stories similar to his and Dell said that he knows his name. Country music wants me to defect from rock. But the recording engineer has been quite enthusiastic asking me to practice more lead guitar. He pulled a Sam Phillips: "If you were lying in a ditch and you had one last song to play ..." yeah, so I played some Blues. In a music studio. Don doesn't talk to me much. He's got a new guitar and has been jamming out, plus recording again. I guess I inspired him or something.

Rick Kepple said...

Jim and Middy, this is my day off. It's an OCD thing. Lana's here cleaning and she says, "They know where you are! One of these days, they're gonna aim a satellite at you and suck you right out of your chair!" Y'all should have been honest, but what's done is done. Lana's asking if men name their guitars after women. Yep. And I prefer music to the game. Screaming guitars. Well, I helped a Chinese woman to defect to America, they don't get me to defect. Meow! So Country music isn't going to get me to abandon Rock n' Roll and I'll keep writing nicely about my favorite person, but just not here. The woman who taught me most about music and the industry. Honesty would have been nice, but it's the grocery business and it's mean. And I guess I was wrong about DarkerShadeofBlue. I've been sending cards to my favorite person, but I'm testing the system. I dislike dishonesty to the fans and as a publicist, if someone sends a letter to Dell Mack, it gets answered. Even mean ones.

Rick Kepple said...

Write a blog about Sam and Jud Phillips and I'll post it around, unless you don't want to be famous as a blogger anymore. And the Waynesville Daily Guide and other newspapers are looking for bloggers. They are beginning to pay money too. I can be your publicist, like everyone else, for free. A favor. But I need honesty via email. Secrets remain secrets. I'm sick of things as they are in the world. The feds are right; I can change things, but it starts with the music industry. And pride needs swept away. It is imperative that Sierra Nevada and kin openly be friends with me. The fame will suck, but the government hates them. If Romney gets in office, it won't help. He's too much like Reagan and that President hated that woman for what she said to me. The Clintons tried to help; the concert at the White House, but it didn't work. Things are never as they seem, but God always makes things work out. So post another blog, and I'll help you out.

Rick Kepple said...

Jim, if you want to buy the farm, but I think that time is past. Lana says that I'm OCD'ing and she insists on kayaking today. Tomorrow, back to music writing. Some day, maybe I'll buy a nice new hybrid, in keeping with the topic. Heh heh.

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