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I was born in East Cambridge, Massachusetts (yes, Our Fair City). I spent most of my "formative years," as they say, on Harding Street. This was the greatest neighborhood on the planet. Kids everywhere. Just hangin' out. Nothing much happened. Just good times. (My wife insists that if I had had a normal (i.e., abusive) childhood, I wouldn't be plagued with those continual bouts of raucous laughter.) I went to the Gannett School and then the Wellington School and then CHLS— Cambridge High and Latin School.
From then on, it was downhill. I went to MIT— or the "Tute," as we used to call it. I turned down Harvard, because MIT gave me $200 bucks more for scholarship money, and that was... Read More...
I spent my early years in East Cambridge (Our Fair City). I was the quiet little brother, and for as long as I can remember Tom was 12 years older than me. In fact, he still is. Tom and our sister, Lucille, to this day say they didn't notice me until I was about five years old. Mom claimed one morning Tom came into the kitchen and said, "Hey, who's this little kid who's always following me around?"
I can't say that I remember much from my early childhood, except it was wonderful. I had everything a kid could want: two square meals a day and a basket to sleep in and an imaginary dog. I do remember one thing, however. Mom always had us in bed at 7:00. If I were any kind... Read More...
From Car Talk
- #1712: Nature Vs Nurture
This week on The Best of Car Talk, if Art passes his AMC Concord onto his 16-year-old son, is he setting the kid on a life path of collecting junk cars? In other words, Art wants to know what Tommy's first car was. And worse, would the Concord doom his son to no social life? Elsewhere, James is about to relocate to Haiti, but needs a car with high ground clearance. His Honda Civic may not fit that description. Also, Wendy's husband is fogging up her car; Troy's VW sounds "satanic" at 1500 RPM, and Mary Rawson's friend offered to fix her brakes, but wants to be more than just friends. If she stops his advances, can she expect her car to stop? All this, plus the bright side of an expensive diagnosis, and lots more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1711: Love and an Automotive Weenie
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Darlene loves her husband but his ignorance about cars has left her at the mercy of a mechanic she doesn't know if she can trust. Meanwhile, Susan may need to to dump her boyfriend before his "lazy shifting" croaks her Miata. Also, Richard is planning a road trip in a '64 Dodge Dart and wants to know what spare parts he should bring along--although he might do better with a spare car; Dick's van needs a new alternator every time the seasons change; and, will Tom and Ray actually give helpful advice to a used car salesman? Find out, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1710: Miles Per Mothball
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Jim thought he had a disaster on his hands after he left his gas cap off during a rain storm, but his pal came to the rescue by pouring mothballs into the gas tank. Can Tom and Ray give any explanation for why the mothballs got Jim's truck running? Meanwhile, Ray's got a theory about Heather's Jeep's popping noise that may win points for creativity and bogosity. Also, Patrick hopes the guys can help him design the perfect soapbox derby car; Ann needs assurance that putting a new engine in her beloved Fuego isn't the most ridiculous idea ever; and has one of our listeners identified the true scent of a man? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1709: The Evil Twin
This week on the Best of Car Talk, Stella bought matching Monteros for her kids but dumped one because it spent more time in the shop than on the road. Should she be worried about the second Montero? Who better to weight the chances there's one good brother and one evil brother than Tom and Ray? Elsewhere, Heather has taken to calling her Jeep "Clunking Matilda"; Abe has an idea to navigate traffic in Our Fair City that may get him to work faster (but with a fat lip); and can Anne risk one more road trip in her overheating Subaru before it blows up? All this, plus a round of Stump the Chumps and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1708: The Roof Snow Theory
This week, the Best of Car Talk kicks off with a proposal that could revolutionize snow measurement, if it wasn't completely bogus. Later, the bogosity continues as Tom and Ray try to explain why Anne's dashboard gauges all stopped working after she filled up her gas tank at a Shell station—twice! Also, Kay's 38 year old daughter left mom's Explorer running all night, and Kay's wondering if she needs to blow out the car's engine or the cobwebs in her daughter's brain; 14-year old Matthew's struggles to wash his parents' car could be a valuable life lesson in how to get out of doing chores forever; and will Rush ever be able to get the smell of rancid butter out of his Land Rover? All this and more, this week on the Best of Car Talk.
- #1707: Book This, Rebecca
Remember Rebecca from a few weeks ago, whose anal-retentive dad insisted she keep detailed records of her gas mileage in his book? This week, Dad has his say. Topher explains the book's origins in a Datsun 510, and what it will take for Rebecca to free herself from book duty. Elsewhere, Scott may have to decide whether he wants to be right or be happy, as he and his wife disagree on how to use their truck's 4-wheel drive; Art's wife drove home from an oil change missing one small ingredient—the oil; and Judy's getting good at holding up her car's hatchback with her head, but would like to get it to stay up on its own. And, what happens when a computer traffic model tries to understand Boston drivers? All this and lots more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1706: My Tire Passed Me
You've no doubt heard Tom and Ray warn callers about the danger of wheels falling off their cars. Well, this week on The Best of Car Talk, Mike's wheel fell off—twice! Happily, he lived to tell the tale. Can Tom and Ray help prevent Strike Three? Elsewhere, Carl's daughter drove from Boston to Colorado, and swears her truck added gas along the way; Father John has decided to splurge on a Miata, and doesn't know if he'll get the best deal with his clerical collar on or off; and on Stump the Chumps, we find out if Alison's starting problem was really caused by a cracked breather, or if her mechanic had a cracked skull. Also, could listening to Car Talk really be good for your health? (Aside from the migraines and waves of nausea). All this and more this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1705: Book This, Dad
This week on the Best of Car Talk, how do you handle a slightly anal retentive Dad who insists on keeping verrrry thorough car records? If you're Rebecca, you ignore Dad's beloved gas mileage book, tell Dad what you really think, and then call on Tom and Ray to try to get Dad to re-open his wallet. Elsewhere, should Carl try quieting his Rolls Royce by bending the door frame, or splurge for official Rolls duct tape? Also, Jane fears her mechanic may have purged her of $87 with a bogus repair; Ben's girlfriend thinks he needs to factor wind chill into warming up his Rabbit; and Tom and Ray ponder how one sign with two simple words could lead to a utopian society. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1794: They're All Jerks
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Joyce's mild-mannered husband teaches meditation by day, but when he gets behind the wheel, he turns into a cross between Mario Andretti and Tony Soprano. Is it the car, the traffic, or does Joyce's husband have a dark side? Elsewhere, Andrew is concerned about his washer fluid lacking testosterone; Catherine has lived five years with a buzzing oil pressure indicator; and Aaron's Impala now takes off like it's dragging a ton of bricks. Also, Jim is worried he may be a Fire Starter, after his battery and muffle both exploded. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1703: Oh Shut Up
This week on The Best of Car Talk, might three simple words be Cathy's best response to her dealer's accusation that she was lax in changing her Camry's oil? Elsewhere, Martin's love for his Cadillac has him concerned that he might actually be older than his Dad; Tony is sleeping on the sofa after his failed attempt to fix his wife's starting problem; and Sarah can only enter her car through the trunk, since the doors are frozen shut. Also, does the ECS light in Ilsa's Subaru mean "Expect Catastrophe Soon"? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.