Whats Cooking?

I was out driving a few minutes ago, when I started noticing an aroma not unlike someone cooking Chinese Food. I kept looking around at the storefronts, sniffing and asking:

Maybe there’s some kind of big outdoor Stir Fry Wok Style BBQ going on around here“. Always on the prowl for any new sources of Tragazón, I became more intrigued.

It all got stranger as the aroma continued to fill my car as I drove further on. After a couple of miles more, I was really puzzled until I looked at the car in front of me and figured it out. It was one of those old Mercedes with the Bio-Fuel converted engine. The exhaust smells like old cooking grease. Fooled again!

I see quite a few of those cars around my Westside neighborhood. I’ve heard that it costs as much or more than gasoline to run them and that you don’t always pass the Cal Smog Check with the converted engine.

I hope they’re helping the environment anyway. And I hope we can start coming up with more alternative energy cars real soon. We could use them.

This entry was posted in Analysis, Pendejadas, Personal and tagged by AlDesmadre. Bookmark the permalink.

About AlDesmadre

Al Guerrero, Artist/Humorist. Los Angeles, CA. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles from the age of two, Al Guerrero grew up just steps from the famous Chicano strip, Whittier Boulevard. His youth experiences include witnessing and participating in the 1970 Chicano Power demonstrations, cruising cars on Whittier Boulevard, and graduating from Garfield High School. After dropping out of UCLA (with honors), he drew upon his lifelong passion for art and cartooning and pursued a career in graphic arts. During this period, he traveled overseas and found artistic inspiration from the masterworks he discovered within the European Art Museums. His career blossomed when he was eventually hired by the Walt Disney Company in 1995, where he worked as a creative artist for a number of years. Although the artistic work was rewarding, he eventually grew weary & disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the entertainment business, and left to work briefly in the educational field. His credits include producing a feature film with actor, Conrad Brooks of Ed Wood fame, founding and performing with the Punk Rock group “The Psychocats” at numerous L.A. & Hollywood venues during the 1990’s, and in 1999 he founded and created a hell-bent puppet cabaret show aptly named: “The Puppets from Hell”. As a long time active member of the Los Angeles Cacophony Society, Al “Quaeda”, as he was known, was involved in countless Cacophony Society pranks and events throughout the city. He also produced the “Incredibly Strange Cinema” cult film series as well as themed events such as the now infamous “Pornothon Movie Nights” and the satirical “Mexican Night: Noche De Tequila & Putas” shows at local nightclub venues. Throughout his art career, he has exhibited his canvas paintings at various local galleries, and has also written & illustrated numerous comic strips and Graphic Novel stories. Today, he lives in Silver Lake, California and works as a freelance artist and writer with numerous multi-media projects under his belt and in the works. His personal hobbies include collecting vintage toys and comic books, cinema history and Los Angeles City history. Contact: alguerrero@earthlink.net Al Guerrero P.O. Box 29697 Los Angeles, CA 90029-0697 www.alguerrero.com Myspace.com/thepuppetsfromhell

13 thoughts on “Whats Cooking?

  1. so far, diesel car do not need to be smogged in California, but starting in 2010 they will be smogged, but not with the new test equipment that we currently have in place. I have a diesel truck and run B20 (biodiesel 20%) diesel. It costs about 15¢ more, but the engine oil intervals are longer, the engine runs smoother, injection pump and cylinder walls are better lubricated, cleaner burning, better odor (like you noticed) but less horsepower and slightly less mileage. I am saving for my biodiesel converter. That Benz is probably running straight WVO (waste vegetable oil). New cars can’t run on vegetable oil 🙁 which is ironic because that is the fuel that Rudolf Diesel used to run his first engine.

  2. Al, that reclaimed cooking grease fuel is nada, I read in the Chicano Daily News that Manuel at El Tepeyac has perfected a theorum for using frijoles pintos, chile pequin, and fermented two day old menudo as a cheap fuel that will be a catalyst for any and all modes of transportation and movement. The only thing standing in the way of Manuels startling new fuel is the odoriferous exhaust and the strange effect it has on the olfactory nerve of all human kind, in a bizarre compulsory reaction they all yell “Fuchi Fuchi”!

  3. Thanks DQ, I can always trust Chicano ingenuity & technology to develop new ways to help the planet!
    I’ll be ready to test drive a prototype of the new
    “Fuchi 1300Hc/s” Model. I understand that the technicians
    & mechanics over at “El Pedorrero” are working out some minor problems with the braking system. Apparently the car
    tends to leave a lot of skid marks.

  4. I wonder if they will issue a carpool lane sticker for the “Fuchimobile”? Or is that for the hot dog gas crowd only?

  5. You heard some wrong information. People always make shit up and hate on stuff that’s too outside of the norm for them.

    It’s not as expensive or more than gas to run a car like that on used vegetable oil. Not that you could run that car on gas anyway, as it’s diesel. Used vegetable oil is free so your only cost is your time and a few containers (one-time cost or easily found free on craigslist or in the trash) and some cloth filters. A pump makes things more convenient but isn’t necessary; making a funnel out of an empty gatorade bottle and pouring it into the tank works just fine.

    Older diesels (as well as most pre-78 or so gas cars) like that are exempt from the CA Smog Test regardless of what kind of fuel they run on so that’s kind of ridiculous too. Yet this rumor persists. Some activist types have actually taken their converted cars for smog tests just to prove a point and all the ones I’ve heard of have passed. Even if they didn’t, those cars would still be on the road polluting, just doing it with petro-diesel rather than something your food is cooked in. I think its funny when people whine about the food smell, it’s like you know what the alternative is right? I’d rather smell kitchen grease than some nasty cloud of diesel exhaust any day. No one’s ever claimed they are zero-emissions vehicles but we all can’t afford to (or really want to) be rollin’ around in Priuses, you know?

    I have two old Mercedes running on waste oil for almost three years now. There’s no catch, just a minimal amount of labor which most people would just rather buy their way out of regardless of the cost. My cars run much cleaner and smoother than they did on petro-diesel and they’re not sitting in a junkyard like so many of their peers becuase people didn’t want to spend money to fix things but to get a shiny new car (which of course costs money to fuel).

    Its nice to help people out by taking used oil that they would usually have to pay to dispose of and meet people who are interested (and sometimes completely disbelieving) all over the place. The only people who are really suspicious or obnoxious about it are Westside types who think they are so Eco-whatever, the kind who think that driving a Prius solves everything and that those who buy used appliances and clothes instead of EnergyStar and organic bamboo or whatever are scumbags. Them and people who like to make of Silverlake hipsters but haven’t realized that most of the hipsters that bought their cars during the veggie car boom have junked their cars or run them on petro diesel becuase they’re allergic to labor and planning ahead and being economical. Most of the people doing it now are just regular folks, some who have been doing it for many years.

  6. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out one of my neighbors was using vegetable oil to run her old Mercedes. She’s definitely a “regular folk” and most of her family very thrifty.

  7. Urbanista,

    Thanks for the link. Now’s a good time to switch to an older diesel, as prices have fallen alot with la crisis. Dunno if you specifically need a real truck, but I’ve found that my ’82 Mercedes wagon does almost everything my Toyota pick-up does. You can fold the seats down or take them out and the cargo area becomes as big as a lightweight truck bed! It can’t do everything a truck does, of course, but depending on what your needs are you might find them a good option.

    I’m all for cleaner air but I don’t know if these new regs will really help all that much. I never seem to notice bad exhaust from newer diesels. The old ones, though, oh god. I wish there was a law that forced all the ancient ice cream trucks and big rigs who (illegally!) drive down my residential street spewing nasty diesel exhaust into our homes to use B20 or B99 or convert to vegetable oil.

  8. just so as not to get people too giddy about how cheap the cars are to run, remember that most grease cars are fairly old. that alone ups the cost, but not because the car runs on vegetable oil, just because it needs maintenance (brakes, alternators, batteries, etc). the upside is if you’re into working on your own car, you can do a lot more repairs yourself. newer cars have all kinds of gadgets in them (sensors, computers, etc) so it’s hard to do much on your own.

  9. human,

    that’s what makes Saturday mornings more fun… find something wrong to tinker in the garage. 😉 Most of the people running grease cars are mechanically inclined.

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