My truck was running poorly the other day. I tried a little mechanical detective work to figure out the source. It came down to the combustion cycle, the quality of the spark, the propriety of the air/fuel mixture, and the question of whether there was a bum cylinder due to piston ring wear or head gasket seal failure.
I am pretty confident in my mechanical abilities, but there's a whole lot of experts out there in the InterWebToobz. Many of them pose at great intellectual prowess, eidetic memory horsepower, and a universally broad knowledge base. I asked a few of them what they thought.
Well most people think it's micro-, like air/fuel or combustion cycle stuff. But I think it's about the price of gasoline. You probably paid too much for your gas, and this is the result. Macro is where you should look here, not micro.
The first automobile was designed by __________ and prototyped in __________. It ran on what today would be _____ octane gasoline. The gasoline was refined by what today is called Amoco, or American Oil Company. If we merely examine the history of spark plugs the answer will be obvious.
First of all, we need to consider the views of those who might be offended by slang terminology, which often is misogynistic and offensive to women and, most especially, gay men who wish they were women. Consequently the term "spark plug" needs to be stricken and replaced with Device for Combustion Ignition Electrical Impulse Across Metallic Gap at Regular Intervals. To protect the sensitive. Once you have done that, the answer will be obvious.
--Michael J. Smith
I learned all about internal combustion engines when the New York Times assigned me to cover the construction of a Ford Motor Co plant in Brazil. I saw one assembled on the factory line. I've driven cars before. You can believe me when I tell you that I know as much about this subject as the most skilled automotive diagnostician or mechanic. I'm for the little guy! Trust me on that one!
The problem with this particular gasoline-powered motor vehicle is that those reactionary Republicans have controlled the Congressional discussions of EPA regulation for far, far too long, preventing average Americans from learning just how evil the Republican Party is, at its core. (footnotes omitted) As a staunch supporter of Americans' civil rights from my Brazilian bedsit, I can tell you with great confidence and authority that we'd know just exactly what is the problem if only the Republicans would stop meddling in EPA regulatory affairs. (footnotes omitted) Obama's been trying to fix that, but there is too much power in the Republican Party for Obama to overcome. (footnotes omitted). *UPDATE* An astute reader has reminded me that John Dingell is a Democrat. **UPDATE II** Obviously he's a DINO and just one bad apple in the bunch. It's still the Republicans' fault, mostly due to Bush/Cheney.
The problem should be regressed to its original cause. In this case it is a matter of symbology, of semiotics. The spark plug represents something far more primal. The spark plug is just like a shofar sounded at the close of the day on Yom Kippur. It represents divine judgment on the adequacy of the air/fuel mixture. If you had read any single one of my many, many published works you would not have needed to consult me on this. I'm growing tired of these Q&A sessions. I'm ready to move to a nice squat in Tel Aviv and spend my millions on hookers and blow, Israeli style, leave all this behind. But I made my promises to MIT and Uncle Sam, and I'll abide by them. Barukh atah Adonai eloheynu.
We must begin by examining the concept known as The Wheel. Most people assume The Wheel is and always was and forever will be. However, there was a time before the Wheel and there will be a time after the Wheel. Right now we are in the Time Of The Wheel, so it makes sense to start there. If we examine The Wheel, we notice it is round, and is made up of roundness, round-ish-ness, sorta-round-ness, and then everything that isn't round is just not related to the Wheel. You're with me here, right? Of course you are. This is typical of my era, communicating like this. What am I communicating? Well, I'm giving you words. And punctuation. And syntax. Blank spaces, inked spaces. Alternating. In patterns. From all this, it should be clear: if we simply allow the spark plug to be in control of its own destiny, and stop letting gasoline be the basis for valuation, you will once again be in control over the combustion cycle. You, and not the spark plug or the gasoline. You. With the ignition key. In between you and the ignition key are several stages, which must be visited or else you will not have the key in the end. In each of those stages you will give up more and more control over the combustion process. But this is natural, and is necessary in order to eventually get the key. Confusing? It is to me, too! But don't worry. By the time you're reading this, I've been dust for over a hundred years and couldn't care any less. Viel Glück!