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March 1, 2021 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Unstable and driven wild

Man in car. Cannonball Run Audi driver (Screenshot Vin/Wiki Car Stories)

Not planning to be Cannonball fodder. (Screenshot: Vin/Wiki Car Stories)

Too much tweaking can end up driving anything bonkers…even those not of flesh and bone.

There was enough shaking during the pandemic, but even a modified Audi can be pushed to its’ limit.

Bad enough it was dressed up to look like a police car for a coast to coast Cannonball Run

But obviously it was pushed to its’ limits just trying to do its’ job…

Think of devoted WALL-E.

Crossing the Heartlands, the poor incognito Audi started to be almost uncontrollable – barely responding to human steering.

The driver’s first thought was the tires were somehow compromised: hot, mushy, and not going to work.

Slowing down to 60 mph didn’t help. (They needed to average 120 mph for the record…and it was questionable if they would even make it through the mountain passes if this weird problem continued…)

A test of spinning the steering wheel only resulted in the car serpentining back and forth across the lanes. It seemed to be driving itself.

It was all about the icon. The one showing “Lane Assist” is engaged.

The poor car, its’ main directive from the factory being to not only provide transportation, but to assist and protect the humans inside, was desperately attempting to counteract any human steering outside the lane ahead.

No doubt it was shivering, desperately squeaking in frustration over the human idiot behind the wheel. Being sidelined from responsibility and disconnected was probably a relief. Can’t protect some people from themselves.

Domestic robot Rosey, housekeeper of The Jetsons.(Image: Fandom)

Some models you would never trade in.(Fandom image)

Anyway, the video is part of an interview giving all sorts of tidbits about this run. It’s not a lone car dashing around by itself – there are team members that meet cars at gas stations to pump gas while the drivers run to the facilities, and there’s “escorts” driving ahead to spot and draw fire if police cars are in the area. A real team effort. (The lane assist steering episode is about halfway through. About 10:00 on the recording below.)

A guide to America’s illegal street race here.

Fast times

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Update: Normal Texas weather this week: upper 70’s(F) and 80’s(F). A “cold” front is dropping it back into the 60’s today.

Can’t tell which of the long car lines are for COVID jabs and which are for water/food distributions. In the it’s always a contest department: the sports teams are turning disaster recovery into a competition: started with food and water being distributed by one, then the Rockets added free barbecue meals to that. Shortly everyone was handing out food, water, and hot meals. Next it became food, water, hot meals, PLUS carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors (which are needed by many despited building codes) You though it was done when the Texans football team stepped up to offer food, water, hot meals and “Come on down and use our showers and sit in a warm place”…but no! One group yesterday was giving out food, fresh produce, water, hot meals AND $25 grocery gift cards. Is every night spent deciding which hand-out place to visit the next day? The line are long and start early. But it’s good. Have to smile and thank all the teams, restaurants, barbecue cookers, even Beyonce and people who sent that truck from Chicago. 

It does occur that one reason there’s limited groceries on the shelves and little bottled water is that companies are shipping those directly to the well organized Houston Food Bank, and other distributing organizations so there’s little left for the stores.

The water issue now is mostly broken water pipes in homes/apartments/buildings. So plumbing pipes and parts would be welcomed as much as groceries. Not surprisingly some restaurants are offering free food for pipe/plumbing replacement parts. And people are creating “Take one, leave one” plumbing parts trading centers.  All the repairs needed is going to be a big opportunity for plumbers, home repair, and landscapers.

Can’t wait for the new 10″ pruning shears to arrive. Broke the last ones. So much brush and mush. Chop chop! (Hurricane season isn’t that far away!) Hasta later.

Edward Scissorhands (NY Comic Con. Image Richie S from Brooklyn)

I need to hire this guy. (Image: Richie S from Brooklyn/



  1. easyweimaraner / Mar 1 2021 6:13 am

    poor car…. that’s much more worse than to be the car of our mama….

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 1 2021 6:36 am

      It apparently took them awhile to figure out how to turn off “lane assist” feature…didn’t have the owners’ manual…probably added too much weight HaHa
      Hope it’s less soggy there so a short road trip might be on board for you guys…oh, OK a walk will be OK, too. Thanks for parking a comment by barking along


  2. shoreacres / Mar 1 2021 6:40 am

    Did I mention the rumors of whiskery guys in dirty trenchcoats lurking in alleyways, hissing, “Hey! Buddy! Wanna buy a ball valve? Some tape? I got some Pex in my trunk.”

    One of my friends has a son here who had a small assortment of plumbing problems. He emailed his brother in Kansas, and the good brother went to the store, bought the necessary supplies, and overnighted them. There’s always a way!

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 1 2021 7:26 am

      It’s almost as hilarious as the cartoon hawkers of toilet paper during the shortage.
      Some good ole boys from out of state did load up a truck with all the plumbing parts they could find and drove them down to hand out. (and assist a bit as they were plumbers or had some acquired skills)
      There is always a way. Looks like renters in big/older apt complexes are the ones in worse position now.
      Funny how disaster unify more than mandates, riots, and shaming? Left over behavior from the frontier/pioneer days perhaps.
      Hopefully they won’t cancel the “old help one another” history.
      Thanks for turning on the comment faucet

      Liked by 2 people

  3. disperser / Mar 1 2021 7:19 am

    Thanks for the update . . . as for the race, I think I’d do well . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Mar 1 2021 8:09 am

      No doubt with that.
      I think we all need a road trip….just take the owner’s manual along just in case HaHa
      Thanks for the rally comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sustainabilitea / Mar 1 2021 1:13 pm

    Lane assist. Ha, ha. Poor thing! Hurrah for all the good news about people getting together to help. Good news is always in short supply and has been even more so for the last year or so. I’m happy because my husband got an appointment for his first vaccination shot a day after my parents and I will be getting our second. Travel can be seen if not looming, at least peeking over the horizon. Oh, frabjous day!



  5. The Coastal Crone / Mar 1 2021 3:57 pm

    Texans can be generous. Hurricane season starts in three months. Better stock up now! Thanks for the update in your area. HEB stores here had sparse shelves because the trucks could not get down here from San Antonio. Nueces County judge has asked HEB to establish a distribution center in the area. We’ll see. Happy trimming!


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