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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
- #1717: The Rhinestone Sundance
This week on the Best of Car Talk, Savannah wants to decorate her Plymouth Sundance because, well, they couldn't make it look worse, could they? Is she going to appear even more wacko by asking Tom and Ray for advice? Elsewhere, Peter may wish that whining sound coming from his car is his mother in law after he finds out what it's going to cost to make it go away; over in Germany, Steve is wondering whether his Tracer can survive keeping up with the BMWs going 100 on the Autobahn; and Richard is so desperate to find out why his cab has vapor lock, he's willing to kick out a passenger so he can talk to Tom and Ray. All this, plus one listener's fond Puzzler memory, and lots more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1716: Au Contraire, Leah
This week on the Best of Car Talk, Hannah is about to graduate from Smith College and move in with her boyfriend. Does cohabitation extend from their apartment to his Ford Explorer? But first Hannah wants to counter our pal Leah's thoughts on all-women colleges. Elewhere, Marni wants to pay tribute to her departed dad by pouring some of his ashes into his beloved Corvette's gas tank; Su wants to use a hair dryer to straighten her dented fender; and is the whirring noise Eric is hearing the death-bed cry of his Saab's turbo? All this plus a lesson in inter-species communication between humans and mechanics, and lots more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1715: Alas, Poor Wobble Butt
This week on the Best of Car Talk, Laurie's Pathfinder earned the unfortunate nickname "Wobble Butt" because its rear end rocks from side to side. Can Tom and Ray calm Wobble Butt down and save it from further embarrassment? Elsewhere, Bob wants to know just how wacko his brother in law is for proposing adding duct work to improve the heat in Bob's mom's car. Also, Ellen's dad scolded her for having too many keys on her key ring; Chris got a little aggressive with his Dremel tool on his Camry; and Ray shares the joys (and terrors) of teaching middle school, while trying to help Susannah strengthen her anemic windshield wiper squirt. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1714: The Return of Leah
This week on The Best of Car Talk, our favorite depressed college freshman, Leah, checks in with an update on her whereabouts—physical and emotional. Did she adjust to life on campus and follow Tom and Ray's advice to embrace failure? Elsewhere, Andy wants to know if electronic gizmos can improve his Suburban's gas mileage to, say, 5 miles per gallon; Chris' Belvedere is growing flowers in the front seat and stinks of blue cheese; and the severity of Dan's coolant loss may be directly tied to his religious practices. All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1713: Click and Clack Defined
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Merriam-Webster helps answer the second most-asked question in Car Talk history: which brother is "Click" and which is "Clack." Unfortunately, they can't the answer the most-asked question: How did these jerks get on the radio in the first place? Elsewhere, Lee's mechanic told him he has a cracked "whoop tube," which may or may not refer to Lee's Town Car; a wayward binky has Marietta's driver's seat stuck in a bad spot; and traveling musician Valerie can't decide whether to dump the Dodge van that tows her trailer in favor of a Cadillac—sounds like a no-brainer to us! Also, on Stump the Chumps, we find out if Wendy used the snorkel test to figure out why her husband is fogging up her car. All this and more, this week on the Best of 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.