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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
- #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.
- #1702: Acute Tire Phobia
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Peterson is afraid to put air in his tires. Is he doomed to depending on the kindness of strangers with pumps, or can Tom and Ray help cure him—or at least outfit him properly in case there is an explosion? Elsewhere, towing may be Dave's best option for transporting his beloved LeMans cross-country, because the car could fall off somewhere in Nebraska; Hanz can't decide if his wife's behavior at stoplights is utterly brilliant or utterly wacko; and Elizabeth may be asking too much from her Volvo. Is shutting down when she turns on the wipers really such a big deal? All this, plus a world record for parking in a small space and lots more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1701: The Roadmonster That Ate Cambridge
This week on The Best of Car Talk, is Phil's Buick Roadmaster making noise because of a steering problem or because he needs to make 20-point turns to navigate the narrow streets of Our Fair City? Elsewhere, Fred doesn't know whether he should listen to his mechanic or his FSTB (Future Son-in-Law To Be) on how to start the Alfa that's been sitting in his garage for a year. Will siding with the mechanic doom Fred's daughter's marriage? Also, Steve's driver's window glare screen is now a stuck-in-the-door glare screen; Alison's Golf may be suffering from a "cracked breather" and "achin' plugs"; and is Judy's Escort sending smoke signals that it won't make it to the moon? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1653: The Mustang Compost Bin
This week on The Best of Car Talk, Mary loaded her Mustang's trunk with compost two months ago. Her husband says it's rotting the floor, but Mary wants to keep the compost all winter for ballast. One added wrinkle: Mary got the Mustang because her husband works for Ford—at least, for the time being. Elsewhere, Carla would love to escape from Alaska for a bit, but the fact that her truck will only drive backwards is making it difficult. Also, can Kathy figure out her Stratus's burnt popcorn smell without asphyxiating her sons? And is Justin's engine making noise, or is he just hearing people laughing a him for driving an old Beetle? All this, plus a plea for more civil Hate Mail, this week on the Best of Car Talk.
- #1652: Ode to a Monte Carlo
This week on The Best of Car Talk, we thought nobody could be more devoted to an old heap than Tommy, but then we met Lita who has written a poem about her Monte Carlo—we're just relieved she didn't try to rhyme anything with "rust bucket." Elsewhere, Steve moved to Chicago for a job and a girlfriend. He lost both, but he's most confused about why his Acura was the only car not towed from a party. Also, the holiday season brings good cheer and the annual squeak to Betsy's Town and Country; Kate's temporary fix for her frozen door locks is hilarious, and incredibly dangerous; and, did the hottest man in show business set Melinda's radio on fire? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.
- #1651: Predestination of Lightning
This week on the Best of Car Talk, Evelyn wants to know why a bolt of lightning spared her car and struck the road 20 feet away instead. Tom and Ray think Evelyn should just say a few kind words to the deity of her choice and move on, but will nonetheless offer a pseudo-scientific answer that's guaranteed to have MIT demanding its diplomas back. Elsewhere we find out if Bob's wife's car survived sucking a sock into the engine on Stump the Chumps; Gary's steering noise is scaring away his girlfriends; and did Barbara do more damage to her husband's truck, or her marriage, by driving a mile without any oil? All this and more, this week on The Best of Car Talk.