Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Chief’s Greatest Secrets Revealed

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The time has come to reveal some things, even though it may alienate quite a few people in the process, very likely including some close friends. Recent events have forced my hand, and I’d rather go with those who know me (and those who don’t) knowing the score rather than wondering just how weird I was.

First off, I have been involved with extra-terrestrial entities since I was extremely young. At first, my brother saw some of them too, but I’ve since come to understand that this was because it was hoped he would see what these creatures wanted to teach us—and my brother couldn’t and wouldn’t “get with the program”.

The ETs have been around for a long time. They are, as a race, older than Earth’s humans, going back into the time when life here had yet to leave the sea. The ascent of man caught them a bit by surprise, but as they saw the possibilities, they decided help guide our fate, even to the point of interacting with humans.

This led to the rise of what we today refer as mythology, with all world cultures sharing the knowledge that there were “gods” to help them. The stories varied a bit, but basically the gods lived “in the clouds” or “atop a tall mountain”, which referred to their orbiting stations. Although they were described overall as human-like, there are episodes which refer to their original looks, resulting in stories about centaurs, Medusa, the Amazons, and Poseidon.

Dinosaurs did not become fully extinct, and this led to tales of the kraken, dragons, and other monsters as the aliens controlled them when they encountered them or allowed humans to destroy these beasts.  I was unaware of why I understood these things as the aliens instructed me, but it was instilled in me that I couldn’t openly talk of them, not only because it would be harmful to them, but because the reactions of humans would probably be to “put me away and throw away the key”.

My naturally inquisitive mind took all this in stride, especially the historical aspect of the “gods” and how they were involved with humans. It was explained to me that while many stories in the Bible were based on fact, man’s limited abilities greatly distorted them. The story of Moses involved quite a bit of alien science and even biological weapons that we can only begin to grasp.

Then came the big shock, one that even today most people refuse to believe: Jesus was the result of a genetic experiment—a human-alien hybrid implanted into Mary via artificial insemination. Humans of that time had no way of explaining the process, so it became known as “the immaculate conception”. I have hinted at this over the years and met with scorn and ridicule, and I no doubt will again, but I can deal with the cascade of belittlement and negativity.

This is why I have never believed in God as long as I can remember. Fortunately, my mother was a most understanding human being, which I learned had something to do with the fact that my real dad was also involved with ETs, and so she just cautioned me to remain quiet about my beliefs to avoid (possibly deadly) confrontation. There was great tension when it came time for Sunday school, and I first encountered how intellectually inadequate some humans were. My parents were forced to move, and I went through an extended period of constant moves to new neighborhoods and schools. My step father decided to move us out of Canada and I was back where I was born again: in the United States, but there was a price for my parents—they never again attended church until their respected deaths, which was fine by me.

I don’t intend for this to be a book, so I won’t go into all the details about biblical stories that you won’t believe anyway. I stand by one thing, and that is that humans have been misled for thousands of years, and my voice alone will not change that. I accept that humans need “God” for their survival, and accept that need on your part. What you choose to believe does not offend me, so in turn please don’t be offended by this and we’ll be even.

More important to this is one ET in particular: Galfin. He has been my mentor, my guide, my friend for some sixty years now. His race lives a greatly expanded lifetime—in some cases hundreds of years—and this has led me to have a misguided view that I will also have a long life. Galfin and his race are secretly involved with a number of humans, and in turn we are all connected. In my case it’s via a group that follows world events and the direction man is taking. Many of these worked in New York, most notably in the World Trade Center, which President Bush ordered destroyed by using a highly intricate attack which has since become known as 9/11 and led to the death of hundreds of my friends, including “Genoa Joe” Camino, an alien chemist who was one of my closest friends.

Galfin was my real dad’s mentor as well as mine, but I did not find that out until a few years ago as Galfin began a deeper phase of my learning that included 9/11 information. He explained to me that there were other alien races operating on Earth that were not what you’d call “nice guys”. They are the ones who abduct humans for experimentation and tap the power of their minds for their own use. The people they abduct have “expanded” mental capabilities, usually due to involvement with aliens such as Galfin. This makes me a prime target, but Galfin and his friends are doing their best to protect us.

Unfortunately, there are not enough of them to do an absolute complete job. Recently, you have heard me talk about “involuntary geo-temporal relocation”. The “bad” aliens have developed a process which allows them to “pluck” a human from anywhere and transport him to where they are, do whatever they want, and return them to where and when they got him. Most of the time they are unaware that they have been moved and “operated” on, but in some cases the event stays in the victim’s mind, creating the effect known as “déjà vu”, where the victim remembers being to a place he’s “never” been.

That has happened to me recently. I was taken to a place where part of my brain was removed and “converted”. Galfin found out and stopped the process before it was completed, but the damage was done. The part of my brain that controls communication and balance was corrupted. I now have some difficulty in speaking at times and lose my balance on occasion. Galfin tells me that even his people haven’t been able to correct this problem, and our science isn’t even close to coping with it. It’s now only a matter of time before I do something that may be the death of me—unless Galfin can help me.

 There is so much more I wanted to do before I die, and I don’t intend to give up on life yet. I will continue to live life to the fullest, but you can understand what an event like this can do to a person’s mind. I needed to tell someone, hoping they will understand and not think I’ve already gone nuts. I’m taking a chance telling you this, but it had to be done. Thanks for reading and understanding.

(I don’t know what happened at the end there to alter the spacing and alignment. I apologize for that.)

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2014 Ford E150, Part Deux

ImageToday, we got our second 2014 Ford E150 van. With only 125.7 miles on the odometer, this was a great chance to test out a factory fresh model and compare it with the one from December 15. Sadly, there were no differences, so it appears that the things wrong with the first one weren’t a mistake. Driving this one was as body-wracking as the first one was. To coin a phrase, it rode like a truck, or worse, a buckboard.

To be fair, I must repeat that the dashboard is simple yet highly informative, with temperature, oil pressure, battery and fuel gauges that are easy to read, and there are two separate “trip meters” available. The power windows and mirrors are also easy to use and well positioned. There is an “overdrive” available, but the radio, although it has a plug-in auxiliary feed, is just as bad sounding as the first one we tested.

The engine still complains like an angry mother-in-law when you try to accelerate, and once you’re past 30 mph it zips through the stratosphere and you’re doing over 60 too quickly and have to depress the brake too fast for comfort. I don’t recall if I mentioned this the last time, but the power steering is fairly non-existant—it’s there but seems to be on vacation. Ever drive a car whose power steering belt broke? That’s what steering the E150 feels like. Making a turn requires two to three lanes of space, leading to many near-misses, then you find yourself heading for the curb as you try to wildly correct your direction, putting yourself in even more danger. I may be old, but I’m no weakling. If we switch all our vans to E150s, I foresee a number of steering-related crashes in our company’s future.

Honestly, I can’t see or understand what happened to Ford since the 2010 E150 we used to have was so much better than these 2014 vans. Are you listening, Ford? You need to do some serious overhauls on your 2014 E150 before the lawsuits start. 

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2014 Ford E150 Misses The Mark

One of the perks with my employer is that they occasionally upgrade their delivery fleet with new models. We just received our first 2014 Ford E150 commercial van, and it’s clear that with the rave reviews the F150 pickup is getting, Ford is definitely not following the same direction with their vans. There are few good points to talk about and a variety of things wrong with this vehicle.

 

Overall, the E150 is a clean-looking, businesslike truck that at first glance looks ideal for commercial use. Our model came with the 4.6 liter V8 and four speed automatic transmission. This sounds like a relatively perfect match, but the powertrain struggles noisily through the gears, with changes happening at between 3,000 and 4,000 RPMs most of the time. This seems to be a bit high when compared to the Chevy van, where most gear changes occur at around 2,000 RPMs. There is also a loud complaining from the engine, which sounds like your wife or mother-in-law nagging you constantly. You can almost make out the words “What’s wrong with you? Where are we going? Why are you doing this?” when you try to accelerate. It’s initially slow out of the gate, but if you disregard the engine’s anti-social response, once you pass thirty miles an hour, it speeds up fairly well.

 

The instruments are laid out nicely, with the tach, speedometer, coolant and battery gauges highly visible for the average driver. The radio included an MP3 jack so you’re not restricted to the inferior grade AM/FM choice from the factory unit and sub-par speakers. That said, the sound system controls are simple to use, as were the climate controls. Our vehicle also includes cruise control, power mirrors, windows, and door locks with a remote control key fob that should lock and unlock the doors, except that ours only locks them and the “unlock” button doesn’t work. This is especially troubling if you’ve got an armload of stuff and you have to put them down to use the key in order to access the truck’s somewhat small cargo doors.

 

About getting in—Ford claims a 7.4 inch ground clearance, but it’s a bit misleading when it comes to getting into the driver’s seat. I have long legs and had to make an incredibly large step up after opening the door. That step is made on a rather narrow sill plate made worse by the overly wide seats which interfere with your legs as you attempt to get in. There is an assist handle on both sides, but unless you’re Shaq, it’s not easy to reach. I found myself having to reach across the seat and pull myself in using the seat cushion. Very awkward. The high back buckets are uncomfortable and hard, so you may want to upgrade to an optional seat and not the plain vinyl ones.

 

The ride is equally uncomfortable, and you feel every bump, hole, and painted line on the road. In spite of being about two weeks out of the factory, there is a slight pull to the right when you apply the brakes, which themselves leave you wondering if you’re going to stop in time. Maybe they’re better on the E250 or 350, but the standard brakes on the E150 do not inspire confidence.

It would appear that Ford is concentrating too much on the F150 and not enough on their vans. We had a 2009 E150 that was much better than this one. Pay attention, Ford. If you continue to make vans like this, you’re going to lose market share to General Motors and Chrysler in this segment. Image

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Toyota Sienna Is Perfect Family Ride

ImageI’ve never been a big fan of minivans, but I think my view has been changed, thanks to the 2013 Toyota Sienna. I had an opportunity to drive one on December 5, and was left with something I haven’t felt in a long time: the satisfaction of driving a good quality vehicle that I would actually recommend. This minivan drives and feels like a solid, top-notch luxury car. It has a tight suspension that absorbs all road conditions like a sponge.

Inside, it features beautiful seats which are both soft and comfortably firm, and the electric controls include a wonderful lumbar support. There is a good supply of cup holders for all passengers, and the power accessories are conveniently located and easy to use. The quirky automatic transmission shifter is mounted on the dash and uses a Mercedes Benz-type “S” shaped pattern with each gear locking in place easily, with the gear symbols conveniently located next to the shifter and an additional small digital display in the dash’s center showing “P”, “D”, etc.

The dashboard is logically laid out and everything is readily visible to the driver, unlike the Dodge Grand Caravan I also test drove around the same time (see review elsewhere on this site). The climate controls are easily understood and the inside and outside temperatures are displayed on a small but extremely sharp screen that when you shift into reverse gives you the view from the back-up camera. Also appearing on this screen in the upper center of the dash is a constant message reminding you of how many miles you can drive until you’re out of gas.

The V6 engine is peppy and feels like a V8 when you step on the gas, even though it sips petrol most economically. In spite of its overall length, this baby will turn on a dime and give you back a nickel change. A final note about the superb sound system: it gives you the number of the station you’ve tuned in, then flashes the station’s name, the artist’s name and song title. Very handy if you don’t know the song’s name.

Among the other goodies you’ll find are a number of charging outlets and a special USB connector you can use to charge or play your computer, MP3 player, or phone. Speaking of phones, the Sienna has a Bluetooth phone control on the steering wheel’s right side, a perfect match to the radio/CD controls on the left side. The rear view mirror has a built-in compass and garage door opener.

With seating for eight, this minivan can handle the whole family in comfort. To paraphrase the world’s most interesting man, I don’t always drive minivans, but when I do, I prefer the Toyota Sienna. I gave it five out of five tomahawks.

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Dodge Grand Caravan: Kind of Blah!

2013 Grand CaravanGot a chance to try out a 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan on December 6, and was not overly impressed.  Mind you, I’m a Chrysler fan from way back. My first car was a Chrysler, and I’ve owned more Mopars than any other brand over the years. I hear that the Dodge Dart is extremely cool, and everyone raves about the 300 and the Ram trucks, but the Grand Caravan left me cold. Perhaps that was because it was night, and the heater controls were a pain to figure out. Who needs five similar knobs to control air conditioning and heat anyway?

The dashboard layout was far from intuitive. Huge, same size dials report the speed and RPMs, and each of those has a small, hard to see secondary dial giving the coolant temperature (left side) and fuel level (right side). These are hidden away at the bottom of the larger dials and are usually obscured by the steering wheel, as is the minimal digital speedometer on the lower edge of the cluster in the middle. The small speed digits are about as big as the numbers on the regular speedometer, but why is there a digital speedo when you already have a large analog speedometer? Even stranger, you can’t get a mileage reading on it unless you stop the engine and open the door.  Some people actually want to see the mileage because it can help them gauge fuel economy.

Another point of interest: there is no regular door or ignition key, only a couple of battery powered remotes to unlock the doors, which are a “central locking system” that all lock at about 20 MPH but don’t unlock until you pull the door handle to open it. Like many higher-end Japanese and European cars, you insert the small end of the key fob into the large slot in the dash, a signal goes to the starter, and you turn the fob to start the vehicle.

The auto trans shifter is mounted on the dash, where you put the shifter through a zig-zag maneuver to change gears, probably to give the driver the illusion he is actually shifting gears. The Toyota Sienna I tested had a similar setup, but the gears showed up in an easily seen digital dial, whereas in the Dodge, the gears showed under the digital speedometer, unseen unless you stared over the steering wheel, a dangerous deed indeed. In the Sienna, the gears also were alongside the shifter, but in the Dodge, the shifter was unmarked.

The seats in the Grand Caravan (seating for seven, including four captain’s chairs and a third row bench) were soft to the touch and the seating area was long enough to give adequate thigh support, but the seat itself was harder than it looked, and had no lumbar support (advantage Sienna,  again). There was no rear view camera even though its tall profile gave many blind spots, and the rear hatch and rear side windows were overly tinted, making them useless at night for gauging if there’s anything or person next to or behind you. The side view mirrors were also inadequate to the task, but there were more than enough drink holders built in for all passengers. The sound system was way below par and not easy to operate, but it did include a CD player and an MP3 input jack. Fit and finish of the interior was good, but the material looked inferior.  Ride was bad, and the shocks of apparent cheap quality, which gave you the impression you would even feel driving over a feather.

Final verdict: I would not buy this minivan for myself, but if you’re looking for a fairly roomy ride with stowaway seating to give you more room, this could be the vehicle for you. I gave it three out of five tomahawks.

 

 

 

 

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