Rainy day musings

May 31, 2006

Is it the end of the world, or is Al Gore wrong? Gore claims global warming will be the end of civilization. Although the weather has run hot and cold for years, he’s on the job. The link to the story is here.

Another interesting story, seems when a local Porno shop was set to open and prayer didn’t work, someone devised a “weapon of mass destruction” to slow them down. For more on this story go here.

Will Chicago be the first major city to go wireless? It might if the mayor gets his way. For more on this go here.

Now some local thoughts. If the red light and speed camera’s are bringing in so much dough but causing more accidents, as some claim, is it a worthwhile trade? Once tourist get home from vacation and recieve the tickets, will they return?

With all the uproar over off-duty police and liability, my solution would be a simple one. Since they are basically sub-contracting their services, why can’t they just get bonded and insured as part of the package. If they don’t have any problems the insurance would stay reasonable, and the trouble makers would be weeded out by the high cost of coverage.

Lastly, the concrete retaining wall on East River Drive. I think if you pour a cement wall, and stain it to look like stone, you have a cement retaining wall. I thought the real stone wall that was there looked better when kept up.


May 29, 2006

If everyone could go to sleep tonight learning only one thing this holiday, I hope it’s “Freedom isn’t free”. A lot of brave men and women gave their lives to keep that freedom for all of us. We can worship where we wish, have firearms, protest, vote, and everything else that comes with a free society. Some say those who came back were lucky. If being lucky involves burying over half your friends by your 55th birthday, or having major health issues when we should be raising hell, then we are a blessed bunch. I hope everyone takes at least a silent moment to give one of these vets thanks, because freedom isn’t free.

Memorial Day thoughts

May 27, 2006

Here’s an e-mail I recieved that got me thinking-

Sent: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 6:14 AM
>Subject: How Dare They
>Today I went to visit the new World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.
>got an unexpected history lesson. Because I’m a baby boomer, I was one
>the youngest in the crowd. Most were the age of my parents, veterans
>”the greatest war,” with their families. It was a beautiful day, and
>people were smiling and happy to be there. Hundreds of us milled
>the memorial, reading the inspiring words of Eisenhower and Truman
>are engraved there.
>On the Pacific side of the memorial, a group of us gathered to read
>words President Roosevelt used to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor:
>Yesterday, December 7, 1941– a date which will live in infamy–the
>States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked.
>One elderly woman read the words aloud:
>With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination
>our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph.
>But as she read, she suddenly turned angry. “Wait a minute,” she
>”they left out the end of the quote. They left out the most important
> Roosevelt ended the message with “so help us God.'” Her husband
>”You are probably right. We’re not supposed to say things like that
>”I know I’m right,” she insisted. “I remember the speech.” The two
>dismayed, shook their heads sadly and walked away.
>Listening to their conversation, I thought to myself, “Well, it has
>over 50 years. She’s probably forgotten.” But she had not forgotten.
>was right.
>I went home and pulled out the book my book club is reading — “Flags
>Our Fathers” by James Bradley. It’s all about the battle at Iwo Jima. I
>haven’t gotten too far in the book. It’s tough to read because it’s a
>graphic description of the WWII battles in the Pacific.
>But, right there it was on page 58. Roosevelt’s speech to the nation
>in “so help us God.”
>The people who edited out that part of the speech when they engraved
it on
>the memorial could have fooled me. I was born after the war. But
>couldn’t fool the people who were there. Roosevelt’s words are
>in their hearts.
>Now I ask:
Send this around to your friends People need to know before everyone
forgets. People today are trying to change the history of America by
leaving God out of it, but the truth is, God has been a part of this
nation, since the beginning. He still wants to be… and He always

Then I looked around and found that families of 9-11 victims recieved an average of $1.1 million, but a soldier’s family only recieves about $7,700 when they’re killed in Iraq. The link is here.

neat car stuff

May 26, 2006

I’m just going to post a few things I found interesting. The first is a 2005 Mercedes that goes 0-100 kmh in 3.9 seconds. That link is here.

Also in the car news is Chevy’s announcement that it is bringing back the SS line of cars and trucks. For a better look go here.

Car shows are always big news so here’s a link to the Los Angeles Auto Show picture page. Lots of pictures of concept cars and more. It’s all here.

If you’ve ever wondered what a Star, Franklin, Thames or other cars look like go here.

And on a different note, it seems the VA had an employee take a CD home with personal information on 26 million vets. This info includes social security numbers and birth dates. I don’t know about other vets, but I have enough troubles without this news. The link is here. Also WQAD TV website has more info at wqad.com.

car showing

May 24, 2006

I just heard there’s going to be a little car show at Big Lots in Davenport, Saturday, May 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is going on in conjunction with a Memorial Day sale at the store. The store’s address is 3562 Brady St., in Davenport. If you have an old car bring it out, if you like old cars come have a look. Even if you just like to shop you can stop over and say hi.

Upcoming events

May 21, 2006

Here’s a short list of car related events coming up next weekend.

Whoever is in charge of marketing at Quad City Raceway must have a sense of humor. Here’s their latest promotion-
Sunday May 21st “In-Laws Night”
(Bring your in-laws, if their name is Don, Tom or Shirley they get in FREE!)

Also this Friday is School’s Out Kids Night at Davenport Speedway. Cordova Dragpark has test and tune, and Midnight Madness Street Drags.

Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids is having All Seasons Equipment Night.

For people who like to cruise or look at cars, Saturday is the Midwest Classic Car Show & Auction, at QC Auto Auction in Milan, Ill., from 8 to 8; and Savanna, Ill., is having Savanna Spring Car & Bike Show from 9 to 4.

cruising season

May 21, 2006

The cruising season kicked off with a bang this weekend. There were shows in Dixon, Ia., Sublette, Ill., And of course Little Hershey in Belvidere, Ill., today. There were two cruise-ins locally, earlier in the day at Village shopping center, and tonight at Maid-Rite in Bettendorf, Ia. The cruise-in at the Village probably only had around 25 cars, but at Maid-Rite it’s probably around 350. Also tommorrow, the Camp Courageous Car Show is on in Monticello, Ia., Little Hershey conitnues in Belvidere, Ill., the All-American Cruisers have a show in Manteno, Ill., and the Molcolm Eaton Classic Car Show is in Freeport, Ill. This isn’t everything going on, just what I heard about.

That makes for a very busy weekend. I’m still working the bugs out of my truck after running some 10% ethanol in it earlier this month. It still has power, just not as much as it did before. On top of all this the fairgrounds had races, and Monday there’s a Cummin’s tool sale at Knights of Columbus. Seems for us car guys it’s either chicken or feathers.

Ethanol again

May 19, 2006

The Ethanol Board claims ethanol will increase gas mileage. On new cars set up to run ethanol, how do we know? People choose to buy ethanol because it cost less. On an older vehicle I think mileage decreases. My reasoning is this- ethanol is an oxynginate. It adds oxygen to the fuel mixture. In a car not set up for ethanol the carbuerator must be enriched. If you add more fuel to the mixture, you are using more gas. This is a simplified explantion, but I believe it to be true. To go a little further in this line of thought, if you run an older (pre-smog) motor with modifications, it uses still more gas. In my pick-up, I have a motor factory rated at 350 horsepower. With the upgrades I have done, it’s probably closer to 375 horsepower on good gas. When I work out of town and have to put 10% ethanol in it, it runs more like it did before the changes and the mileage went down.

The problem is when I refuel with unleaded and change the fuel filters, the symptoms don’t go away. After three fill-ups it’s still doggy. When leaded gas was used, the lead was a lubricant for the valves. Now on older engines, if driven, the only available options are hardened valves and seats, or lead substitutes. Makes me wonder whats so great about ethanol or unleaded if these things have to be done to less complicated engines.

Will Nascar and ethanol mix

May 18, 2006

Is Nascar going to buy into the hype and switch to ethanol? If and when it does it would surely affect local racers. For a link to the story go here.

As someone who has experience with what ethanol does to cars not designed for it, I hope not. In this region of the country cars often sit for six months at a time and ethanol and steel tanks don’t mix. I personally have had to replace gas tanks on three of my vehicles. The only thing that changed was the gas. Ethanol is not as efficient as gasoline, robs power from the motor, and lowers miles per gallon over regular gas. There is also more of a condensation problem with ethanol, hence the problem with the steel tanks. I for one cannot see putting a plastic gas tank in my 66 year old car. Corn shouldn’t be the first choice for ethanol as sugar cane would produce a better end product. When the lead was taken out of gas the substistute was a bigger polluter than the lead. They have since fixed that, but if you want to replace gas, give us an alternitive that is at least as efficient.

Alcoa and St. Ambrose vs. the Union

May 18, 2006

According to the news St. Ambrose has agreed to house scab workers if Alcoa goes on strike. Being raised a Catholic, and having several friends who work at Alcoa, this makes absolutely no sense to me. On the one hand I realize Alcoa must donate a sizeable amount to the college every year, it also has students whose parents work Alcoa and are union members.

Should union members be allowed to block the exits on campus to disrupt the scab traffic flow? After the no show during illegal immigration protests, will the police get involved? Will union members pulling their children out of St. Ambrose have any effect? I sometimes wonder about an organization that pays millions of dollars a year in sexual abuse hush money but fires a teacher because she was artificially inseminated, and takes a stand against the working class. When I still went to church, they supported the worker not mangement.

Here are a couple links from the Quad City Times on the subject
Ridolfi editorial

Rogalski editorial