Don’t Ignore Your Antifreeze!


OK, you’ve seen the 50-50 rule haven’t you? It’s the rule of radiator coolant: you should always have a 50% mixture of antifreeze to distilled water in your radiator coolant tank. Bet you’ve wondered how important this is though. What happens if you have mostly water in your coolant? The answer is that electrolysis corrosion can occur.

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How to Safely Change a Flat Tire


Everyone has a flat tire at some point in their life so it is important to know how to change a tire on a car safely. The car manufacturers put plenty of work into providing car owners with all the tools necessary to change a tire but these tools must be used properly. In this step-by-step guide, we will outline some safe procedures for you to follow when you change a tire. You may want to print it out and keep it in your glove box. For all you visual learners out there, there are a number of videos on Youtube that can help you out via your smartphone also. Note: The auto technicians at Ford Dodge Toyota ( want to remind you spare tire is not meant for extended travel, so only use your spare tire to drive to the nearest tire shop or home. Most manufacturers rate them for some 40-50 miles of travel.

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Should You Wax Your Car?


A few decades ago, everyone waxed their cars on weekends. It was the thing to do to make your car’s paint not only shine but last a long time. Today you rarely see anyone waxing their cars. The question is: should you? Here’s the story:

It started with horse-drawn carriages. The coatings on the carriages of yesteryear were oil-based. Oils, such as tung oil, linseed oil, were applied to both painted and unpainted surfaces. After drying over several days, they were hand-buffed to a high gloss. These oils not only looked good, they sealed the wooden surfaces.

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Hybrid cars are probably cheaper than you think


Hybrid cars are more expensive than conventional cars, sometimes by $5000 or more. The obvious question is: is worth it? Do you recoup that additional vehicle cost from gas mileage savings at the pump? The answer is: almost certainly if you own the car for a while, but there are many other ways that buying a hybrid can save you money, some you may not know about.

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Drink of the Week: The Anti-Americano

The Anti-Americano.People who know me in real life know that, if there’s a way to worry about something, I’ll find it. However, one thing I never worry about is running out of cocktails to write about for these blog posts. It’s not just that people have been making up new drinks since well before the Industrial Revolution, it’s the fact that making up a new cocktail is absurdly easy. Find a great cocktail, switch out one or two ingredients that work about as well, and voilà, you too can be the creator of a mixological milestone (that no one will probably notice).

This week’s drink is a definite case in point and I really shouldn’t claim any kind of ownership because lots of people must have made this drink before…I just can’t find any evidence of it. It’s a very simple spin on the previously featured the Americano and the Aperol Americano; it’s also a sequel of sorts to my earlier putative creation, the Ugly Americano.

Of course, just as the Ugly Americano wasn’t particularly ugly, the Anti-Americano isn’t anti anything. It’s just that this child of the Cold War can’t resist having fun with the political expressions I’ve grown up with. The drink itself though, is as far from controversy as anything alcoholic is likely to get. Whether you like your drinks sweet or sour, hard or light, own a moth-eaten Che Guevara t-shirt and quote Noam Chomsky on an hourly basis or adorn your home with pictures of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, you’ll likely dig this one.

The Anti-Americano

1 or 1 1/2 ounces Aperol
1 or 1 1/2 ounces dry vermouth
Soda water (to top off)
Cocktail cherry (somewhat desirable garnish)

Combine the vermouth and Aperol in a highball or Collins-type glass filled with plenty of ice if your using 1 1/2 ounces of booze, if it’s just one ounce of Aperol and vermouth your using, then you’ll do it in a rocks glass. Top with soda water and toss in a cocktail cherry. Try not to sip it all down too darn fast but, if you’re like me, you probably will.


I started down the Anti-Americano road because I wanted to use up a tasty open bottle of Vya Extra Dry Vermouth in my fridge before it went the way of all vermouth and stopped tasting as good. It seemed like it needed a garnish and I initially didn’t have an orange on hand, so I opted for a cocktail cherry over the traditional Americano orange slice.

Combining fizzy water with the dryness  of the Vya and the fruity, complex sweetness of Aperol, a favorite product of mine that’s been described as “Campari with training wheels,” made for a predictably refreshing, fruity, and balanced beverage. It still worked when I ran out of Vya and replaced it with inexpensive but always acceptable Martini Extra Dry.

The only thing that seemed to harsh the low-key cocktail mellow ever so slightly was losing the cherry and adding the orange slice. Don’t ask me why, but I guess the Anti-Americano just doesn’t want to be too much like the Americano.