TMP — Catalytic Converters

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off. My peeve today is about WTF is wrong with people.

Catalytic converter

I have an app on my iPhone called Nextdoor. It’s a community app where people connect with others in their surrounding neighborhoods to, as the site promises, “receive trusted information, give and get help, get things done, and build real-world connections with those nearby — neighbors, businesses, and public services.” This peeve is not about Nextdoor. It’s about something I’ve been seeing posted on Nextdoor more and more frequently: people who have had catalytic converters stolen from their vehicles.

A catalytic converter turns the toxic fumes from a car’s engine into less harmful exhaust. As part of the exhaust system on gas powered cars, hybrids, and trucks, catalytic converters play a key role in reducing air pollution from cars, which is why the EPA made it a requirement for all cars to have starting in 1975.

Note that fully electric vehicles, like my car, don’t have or need catalytic converters because EVs, by definition, have zero exhaust emissions. But catalytic converter thefts on gas powered vehicles have skyrocketed in the last few years.

Apparently there are three precious metals commonly used in catalytic converters — platinum, palladium, and rhodium — which sell for high prices on the black market, making them an appealing target for theft. In 2021, platinum sold for about $1,100 per ounce, and palladium sold for nearly $2,400 per ounce.

These precious metals are produced and mined in Russia and South Africa primarily. The war in Ukraine and general supply chain issues have created an exponential increase in the cost of those metals.

Some hybrid models, such as the Toyota Prius, are also targeted because their catalytic converters use higher amounts of rare earth metals to better handle hotter-than-normal exhaust. Also commercial vehicles that are higher off the ground, such as vans that transport people or that deliver our goods, are also targeted. The higher ground clearance allows thieves to more easily get underneath the car or truck to saw off the catalytic converter.

Once a person gets underneath a vehicle, the theft of a catalytic converter can happen quickly. It takes about 30 seconds. They cut the catalytic converter with a reciprocating saw, in front of it and in the rear of it and it just comes right off. Police say thieves can get from $100 to $150 for each converter.

And to make matters worse, because of the scarcity of the required metals and the aforementioned supply chain issues, it can take a long time to get a replacement catalytic converter after it’s been stolen and it’s expensive to replace.

But this seems to be the world we live in these days. This is craziness. WTF is wrong with people who feel it’s okay to do this to their fellow human beings.

And that’s my rant for today. And perhaps yet another reason to get an electric vehicle.

Blogging Insights — Message In a Bottle

It’s Monday and Dr. Tanya is back with her weekly Blogging Insights prompt. She provides us with a quote about blogging or writing and asks us to express our opinion about said quote.

This week’s quote is from American operatic tenor Robert Breault.

“A blog is a message in a bottle, both in purpose and likely readership.

Well, I suppose one can draw a loose analogy between blogging and a message in a bottle. When a blogger posts something on his or her blog, the blogger never knows for sure where it’s going to end up or who is going to be reading it. Nor do they now how the reader is going to respond to their message.

Most messages in bottles are distress calls or cries for help. I don’t think the primary purposes of very many bloggers are either of those, although some might be. At the end of the day, I think Mr. Breaut’s characterization of blogs being like a message in a bottle is a stretch.

Besides, throwing a bottle into a body of water constitutes waste that can harm the environment and marine life. I can assure you that my blog has caused no environmental hazards nor harmed any marine life. That said, some might argue that the posts on my blog do constitute waste.

Share Your World — 09/12/2022

Share Your World

Di, at Pensitivity101, continues to serve as our host for Share Your World while Melanie, at Sparks from a Combustible Mind, continues her recuperation.

1. If you were to go to a desert island and could only take five things with you, what would they be?

A yacht with a head, a kitchen, a fully stocked refrigerator, and WiFi.

2. What popular song (any era) best describes you?

“Over My Head” by Fleetwood Mac.

3. If you could only use three basic ingredients to make a meal, what would they be?

Ground beef, Swiss cheese, hamburger bun.

4. Do you allow your pet on the furniture?

Gratitude: It’s the start of a new week. What are you most looking forward to?

Lower temperatures.

Reblog: The Right To Be You

Jill Dennison has done it again! What has she done this time? I’ll tell you what she’s done. She’s published a post that puts down in writing what I’ve been thinking. She talks about the principle of the separation of church and state in America. And she points out how it seems to be eroding and what that could mean for the future of the American democracy.

I encourage you to take a moment to read her post. If you care to leave a comment, please do so on Jill’s post.

I think that the ‘wall of separation’ between Church and State is critical to maintaining the democratic foundations of this nation.  If 100% of all …

The Right To Be You

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #184

Welcome to Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge. Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenging bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

The image below is from the WordPress Free Photo Library.

For the visually challenged writer, the photo shows a woman lying on a sectional sofa draped by a large, bluish terrycloth towel or blanket that covers all of her body, including her head, except for her lower legs and feet.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.