April 25, 2004 4:20 AM   Subscribe

Hey Crackhead: An engineer rants. Via random($foo).
posted by timeistight (30 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
[this is good]
posted by Satapher at 4:28 AM on April 25, 2004

heh, that is funny, but I do know why the crackhead doesn't own a crackpipe. Them things are dropped the moment a cop comes sniffing around. "No officer we won't loiter, we're just leaving officer. No we don't have any crackpipes in our pocket." Why do you think they're made out of easy-to-get items? Well, easy for the crackhead, major inconvenience for the bike owner.
posted by dabitch at 5:34 AM on April 25, 2004

This is a fantastic rant.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:50 AM on April 25, 2004


...but I do have to take issue with any 'engineer' who:
(a) doesn't own any tools and has to take his motorcycle to a shop just to change the spark plugs.
(2) when he does buy tools, doesn't even know the proper tools to buy.


yes, I know there are all kinds of engineers, but dammit!
posted by dorian at 6:52 AM on April 25, 2004

hehehe... That was very good! :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 7:23 AM on April 25, 2004

it was probably the same guys that stole that lassies handbag.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:41 AM on April 25, 2004

This is *excellent*. A pretty articulate rant.
posted by chunking express at 7:59 AM on April 25, 2004

This was posted on best of craigslist, which is well worth the occasional visit.
posted by kickingtheground at 7:59 AM on April 25, 2004 [1 favorite]

dorian: I think he had the tools already, he just didn't bother buying one and putting it on himself the first time; then the second time he realized he didn't have the right ones.
posted by abcde at 9:01 AM on April 25, 2004

What if the crackhead is an engineer too ?
posted by elpapacito at 9:32 AM on April 25, 2004

eh, seems kinda weak ... "didn't bother" to buy a couple plugs for 5-10 bucks and diy, vs. $45 tow charge + $50 shop bill ...?

and most vehicles are either metric or sae, there are a few that mix both but not many -- what the hell is he going to do with an entire standard socket set, if his bike is metric? (ah right, strip lots of bolt-heads....)

posted by dorian at 9:34 AM on April 25, 2004

What if the crackhead is an engineer too ?

oh great, you made bourbon come out my nose and all over the keyboard...!
posted by dorian at 9:35 AM on April 25, 2004

There is something funny about a biker who can't change his own plugs calling someone else names.
And for you non-riders - no self respecting biker leaves home without a plug wrench, or is taken by surprise to find that their bike is metric.
I bet he has some fancy leathers, though.
posted by 2sheets at 11:02 AM on April 25, 2004

Jeeze people, he's an engineer - cut him some slack. His admirable English language skills alone are worth praise.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:09 AM on April 25, 2004

Heh. What Krrrlson said.

Although, in his defense, ... the sears toolkits come with a SAE sparkplug adaptor, and metric and SAE sockets ... but the sockets aren't long enough to pull a sparkplug with. So if you have a bike with 18mm plugs, you need to go and get a separate spark plug adaptor.

As a biker, I never leave home without a full toolkit, and that's made life on the road a lot more pleasureable. A lot of guys just put a few thousand miles on their bikes every year and don't really care about maintenance, though. Oh, and if some crackhead had been messing with my bike and I didn't know every nook and cranny like I do on my bike, I probably would've had a shop take a look at it, too...
posted by SpecialK at 11:41 AM on April 25, 2004

This one's almost better...
posted by SpecialK at 11:49 AM on April 25, 2004

... Did we kill Craigslist's servers?
posted by SpecialK at 12:15 PM on April 25, 2004

das werkt hier gut, I don't think we managed to kill it...

to be fair, I do seem to recall that you're right SpecialK -- the default plug socket in many craftsman sets is the non-long one that's only sufficient for, say, lawnmowers and such; I can't be sure as to metric sets coming with a standard sparkplug socket as it's been so long since I got all mine, but you know it really would not surprise me. I'm still smarting after their last pitiful 'redesign' of the classic socket wrenches...sears bastards.

still, step #1 for me after acquiring any big hunk of metal is to buy the service manual (the real manual, not some flimsy chiltons or such...) and figure out what wrenches and sockets I need to destroy it.
posted by dorian at 1:09 PM on April 25, 2004

SpecialK; i have to agree. That link is pretty fantastic. This one is good too though, so i won't say one is better than the other, i would just encourage people to read both.

i should rant more. It can be so cathartic.
posted by quin at 2:25 PM on April 25, 2004

...but we scare men and attract fags. WHY, GOD?!

posted by drinkcoffee at 3:19 PM on April 25, 2004

Whee! Both those rants made me laugh.
posted by evinrude at 4:32 PM on April 25, 2004

There's tons of awesome stuff on Craigslist. The rants section is a daily read, esp the LA and SFO ones... there's tons of amazing stuff that doesn't get into Best Of.
posted by SpecialK at 5:23 PM on April 25, 2004

Oh, and Dorian, Re: the sockets ...

The short sockets are really nice for the cramped confines on most of the bikes I've owned. My road kit only has short sockets, 'cept for the long sparkplug one.
posted by SpecialK at 5:26 PM on April 25, 2004

I'm a regular in the Houston Craigslist where the RnR section has produced some funny posts of it's own. This post about morning pillow talk nearly had my coffee coming out my nose this week.
posted by DragonBoy at 6:15 PM on April 25, 2004

Beautiful, DragonBoy. Tears (mostly of laughter, some of sympathetic horror) are running down my nose as I write this.
posted by Vidiot at 6:34 PM on April 25, 2004

Might not have been a crackhead. The ceramic on sparkplugs is favored for silently breaking car windows to allow access to and theft of same.
posted by NortonDC at 8:53 PM on April 25, 2004

I'm with 2sheets and company here - I can't shake the feeling that this guy is an incredible dumbass. Yes, it sucks when your plugs get broken and/or stolen. This is one of the drawbacks to owning an efficient and convenient vehicle in a major metropolitan area. Spark plugs are relatively cheap, though, and pretty dead simple to replace yourself. But, you know, if you're too dense to just, you know, put the damn bike into neutral and push it across the street to avoid a cleaning day ticket... well, maybe you're better off taking the Muni, anyway. You can even keep on wearing your fancy leathers - we won't tell.
posted by majcher at 9:30 PM on April 25, 2004

Well, skallas, you just have to remember that most crackheads would rather spend that $5 on crack. And also, as was said earlier, pipes have a nasty tendency to get thrown when cops come around, so there is always demand for more.

The term 'pipe' is a bit of a misnomer, since all we're talking about is a ceramic or glass tube. Steel wool is packed into one end, and then the slabs, which are typically only around a centimeter square, are placed on top of that. Lighter at one end, lips on the other, and voila.

Also, tin foil is no good because it heats up too quickly. Soda cans do work, but the only way is to insulate them with cigarette ash. The process from going from soda can to crack pipe is therefore a longish one and they are a) not portable and b) easily destroyed by wind. So obviously the tube approach is prefferable. Think this with steel wool where the bottleneck is.
posted by ChasFile at 11:15 PM on April 25, 2004

most urban centers don't have large amounts of bikes laying around

So? Nobody lives in "most urban centers"—they live in a particular urban center. In NYC, there are plenty of bikes lying around, and I imagine crackheads have long since adapted to that situation, caring little or nothing about how crackheads in less bike-ridden situations manage.
posted by languagehat at 8:12 AM on April 26, 2004

On my Vulcan, I was very disappointed to discover that not only are the plugs 18mm, but also that a standard 18mm spark plug socket won't even fit in the hole surrounding the spark plug. I had to take about 1mm off the outside of the socket with a bench grinder just to fit it.
Of course, that ruined the anti-rust properties, and within 2 weeks my shiny new spark plug socket was covered in rust. The extremely tight clearance around the plug may be at least partially responsible for why my plugs have never been stolen.
posted by leapfrog at 8:21 AM on April 26, 2004

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