A few upcoming events

May 31, 2009

This is the last day of May so here’s a post of some upcoming car events that happen in June. We have neither the space on the blog nor the time to list every event so these are some that we try to attend.

Friday, June 5 there is a cruise-in at the Dick-N-Sons Lumber Complex in Blue Grass, Ia. It runs 6-9pm and there is no entry fee.

Saturday, June 13, is the 4th Annual Blue Grass Fire Department Car Show in Blue Grass, Ia. It runs from 7 am to 3 pm at 120 E. Orphed St.

Saturday, June 13, is the Quad Cities Cruisers XXVII Car Show at Southpark Mall in Moline, Ill. It runs from 4-9:30pm. It will be held in the lot by J C Penny. For more information call their hotline at 563-355-0036.

Saturday, June 20 the Rollin the Oldies cruise-ins kick off with the first
of the year Northpark Mall cruise-in sponsored by the River Valley Classics car club. It’s held in the northeast corner of the mall lot behind Sears. It runs 6 pm to whenever everybody leaves. There is usually a $2 charge to get in and it’s well worth it.

Something a little later in the year will be the 2009 Lightning Fest on August 7th and 8th at the North RC2 Parking lot located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Hwy 136 and 20, Dyersville, Ia. This is just south of Hwy 20 on Hwy 136. There isn’t an entry fee and if you pre-register you’ll get a Johnny Lightning goody bag. They’ll have a large selection of Johnny Lightning cars, the car show, a charity auction, vendors tables, and special guest John Schneider star of “the Dukes of Hazzard” and “Smallville” among other TV shows.
For more information, or to preregister email: clreiter@rc2corp.com

On the north side of Dyersville is the Field of Dreams movie site; they also have the National Farm Toy Museum and other attractions. To see what’s around the town go here.

Comments are always welcome.

Little thoughts

May 30, 2009

On May 29, 2009, The New York Post ran an article that said the FBI computer network was hit with a vicious cyber-virus and that the FBI couldn’t recieve or send emails.

Of course the situation got blown out of proportion in the newspaper and the FBI issued a press release to clear up the matter. I haven’t heard if a correction was released by the newspaper or not but you can go to the link above to see how the FBI handled it.

It is just me or does anyone else feel we’re missing out on the whole global warming thing. I thought it was just a tad chilly early this morning for the end of May. At any rate in another month we’ll probably be wishing for weather like this.

Since the weather is cool, I’ll have to get some yard work done this weekend. I don’t think the City would care if I declared my yard a rain forrest. Since I started carrying my cellphone again it seems like I have to get things done in short spurts.

There was a lot of activity after dark along the riverfront last night. Almost all the parking spots were taken and groups of people were fishing, cooking out, and one group was even dancing in the parking lot. All in all it was good night to be out and about in the downtown area.

There are going to be a lot of car events popping up all over the place shortly and I’ll try to list some of them. I may do a post on this tomorrow as the fliers keep coming in.

Comments are always welcome.

A new police car?

May 29, 2009

A lot of things have been in the news lately so I thought I’d do a post on something that didn’t make it. With all the negative news about carmakers, why not do a post about an up-and-coming carmaker on the cutting edge of technology?

Have you heard of the Carbon ‘E7’? How about Carbon Motors? What this Company is trying to do is sell purpose built Police vehicles to various Police Departments around the country. The company is still about three years away from actually being able to deliver these vehicles, but they’re getting a lot of lookers.

Today’s technology means taking a full-size Ford or Chevy and fitting them with all the equipment to make them squad cars at an added cost of several thousand dollars. The Carbon E7 is the first vehicle designed from the ground up for police work and is supposed to be about the same price as a converted Ford or Chevy.

To start with the E7 uses a high-performance six-cylinder dual-turbo clean diesel engine for power. It also has bullet-stopping ballistic panels in the front doors and dash panel. It also features emergency lights and flashers in the roof, body and bumpers; a 360-degree exterior video and audio monitor with recording capability; video and audio monitoring of rear passenger compartment; an automatic
license plate recognition system, sniff out dirty bombs,and a lot more they can’t even tell us about.

Here’s more about Carbon Motors.
And here’s the Police One take on it.

So if this company can produce a faster, safer, greener police car; how come it isn’t news?
Comments are always welcome.

Little rant

May 27, 2009

Somethings that are going on just don’t make a lot of sense to a simple man like myself. I read the stories and wonder where we went wrong. If I were a worrywart, things like this could keep me up at night. The following is my take on the state of different issues around the country and our area.

I’ve heard rumors that some people in the green movement are pushing for everyone to paint their roofs white to slow global warming. They say that this would be the equivilant of taking cars off the road for over 10 years. If that’s all it takes, too many people have too big a problem with Americans wanting to drive their cars. I don’t think we need it any cooler around here.

Everytime things get tough, politicians still get raises. Their answer to the current economic problems is to cut benifits to seniors and raise taxes to ensure their next years raise. Anymore I think most of them have a lot of nerve calling themselves “public servants”.

It appears Hillary Clinton hasn’t heard the news that our military forces are about as small as they’ve ever been. The way she’s ranting about North Korea also shows she hasn’t been told we can’t fight two wars at once. Besides not having the manpower, our country can’t afford it, and this legend in her own mind doesn’t get it.

I’ve also been hearing about a rise in crime that hasn’t made the media. Property crimes rarely do and vandalism does if enough people raise a stink about it. But lately I’ve recieved news of everything from stabbings to grafitti. Since ex-Police Chief Bladel changed how the City reported crimes to the FBI there has been no data to work with. Which makes me wonder why, if it wasn’t reported correctly before the
change, isn’t it being reported now to be included in the Uniform Crime Report?

Speaking of crime, how about the poster child of Career Criminal magazine, Mr. Pachino Hill? Yes the Alpha Dog of repeat offenders is once again causing grief to the local taxpayers. Because he got his trial moved, due to pre-trial publicity not innocence, we’ll be getting a bill for up to $50,000. I can only hope we get our moneys worth this time and they pump him daylight for several years while he is enjoying the amenities of one of our lovely prisons.

Comments are always welcome.

An interesting story

May 26, 2009

I recieved an email from a friend and cannot find a link to say it isn’t true. This doesn’t mean it is true, just that I can’t find any proof that it isn’t. I will print the letter from George Joseph shortly after a little clarification. First, I do not blame the government for this if it’s true but rather Chrysler and their parent company. Next, there is a George
listed as owner of Sunshine Dodge-Isuzu. And lastly, almost 300 Chrysler dealers have a lawsuit over the closing of dealerships. Here’s the letter-

letter to the editor

My name is George C. Joseph. I am the sole owner of Sunshine Dodge-Isuzu, a family owned and operated business in Melbourne, Florida. My family bought and paid for this automobile franchise 35 years ago in 1974. I am the second generation to manage this business.

We currently employ 50+ people and before the economic slowdown we employed over 70 local people. We are active in the community and the local chamber of commerce. We deal with several dozen local vendors on a day to day basis and many more during a month. All depend on our business for part of their livelihood. We are financially strong with great respect in the market place and community. We have strong local presence and stability.

I work every day the store is open, nine to ten hours a day. I know most of our customers and all our employees. Sunshine Dodge is my life.

On Thursday, May 14, 2009 I was notified that my Dodge franchise, that we purchased, will be taken away from my family on June 9, 2009 without compensation and given to another dealer at no cost to them. My new vehicle inventory consists of 125 vehicles with a financed balance of 3 million dollars. This inventory becomes impossible to sell with no factory incentives beyond June 9, 2009. Without the Dodge franchise we can no longer sell a new Dodge as “new,” nor will we be able to do any warranty service work. Additionally, my Dodge parts inventory, (approximately $300,000.) is virtually worthless without the ability to perform warranty service. There is no offer from Chrysler to buy back the vehicles or parts inventory.

Our facility was recently totally renovated at Chrysler’s insistence, incurring a multi-million dollar debt in the form of a mortgage at Sun Trust Bank.



This is beyond imagination! My business is being stolen from me through NO FAULT OF OUR OWN. We did NOTHING wrong.

This atrocity will most likely force my family into bankruptcy. This will also cause our 50+ employees to be unemployed. How will they provide for their families? This is a total economic disaster.


I beseech your help, and look forward to your reply. Thank you.


George C. Joseph
President & Owner

Comments are always welcome.

Another drug problem?

May 25, 2009

We hear a lot about the H1N1 flu, the dozen or so deaths nationwide, and the speculation of how bad it will be but we don’t hear about other things that should concern or even scare us. The following is true with links to the DEA website if you wish to check or learn more.

The National Prescription Drug Threat Assessment 2009 was released May 20 by Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy. The report finds pharmaceutical crimes pose a serious threat to public health and safety, with unintentional overdoses and treatment admissions involving prescription opioids increasing significantly over a four-year period. Among other key findings:

Controlled Prescription Drug (CPD) abuse is most prevalent among young adults.

Unintentional overdose deaths involving prescription opioids increased 117 percent between 2001 (3,944) and 2005 (8,541), the most recent year data is available.

There were approximately 6.9 million current (past month) non-medical users of CPDs aged 12 or older in 2007, the latest year data is available.

Violent and property crimes associated with CPD diversion and abuse have increased over the past five years.

The economic costs of diversion and abuse of CPDs is steep. For example, the estimated cost to public and private medical insurers is $72.5 billion a year.

Diverted controlled prescription drugs are often more readily available than heroin in all drug markets. Opioid pain relievers are the most commonly diverted. Methods of diversion include prescription drug fraud, theft, internet pharmacies, and friends and relatives- the primary sources of controlled prescription drugs for most abusers.

Sounds to me like we have a problem. Since it’s a rare occasion if I take an aspirin I didn’t realize this was going on.
If you want to see the DEAs take on it with nice graphs and a lot more information go here.
Comments are always welcome.


May 25, 2009

On this day when we remember those who have fallen to keep us free I have a short history lesson. If you bear with me I believe you will find it worthy of a read. The information below was provided by Lt Colonel Lewis Kirkpatrick, (Ret) Reserve Officers Association

The history of “Taps” goes all the way back to the Civil War in 1862 when a Union Army Captain named Robert Ellicombe was near Harrison’s Landing in Virginia facing the Confederate Army accross a narrow strip of land. During the night Captain Ellicombe heard the moan of a wounded soldier from the field. He decided to get the man and bring him back for medical attention even though he didn’t know which
side the man was fighting for. Crawling on his stomach through enemy fire he reached the wounded man and pulled him back to his camp.

When he safely reached his camp he discovered it was a Confederate soldier, but the man had died. After the Captain lit a latern he turned the corpse over and at the sight of the soldiers face he caught his breath and went numb with shock. The dead enemy soldier was his son! The son had been studying music in the south when the war broke out, and without telling his father he enlisted in the Conferate Army.

The next morning the Captain went to his superiors and asked permission to give his son a full military burial despite his enemy status. They turned him down, but out of respect for the Captain they said he could have one musician and he chose a buglar. He asked the buglar to play a series of notes found on a piece of paper in his dead son’s uniform and the wish was granted. This music was the haunting melody we now know as “Taps” used at military funerals.

Day is done,
gone the sun,
from the lakes,
from the hills

from the sky,
all is well,
safely rest,
God is near.

Fading light,
Dims the sight,
And a star gems the sky
Gleaming bright,
From afar,
Drawing, near,
Falls the night.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
Neath the sun
Neath the stars
Neath the sky,
As we go,
This, we, know,
God is near.

They will not be forgetten.
Comments are always welcome.


May 24, 2009

Today is mom’s 81st birthday and shortly we’ll leave to go to a little party in her honor. As dad would say “aren’t you glad you’re out of the
terrible 70s”. As a 48+ year cancer survivor you are one of my heroes and and I wish you many more healthy birthdays.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day, or Flag Day, depending on your generation.
It is a holiday that some of us take very seriously. If you can’t make it
to the cemetary please take a moment and remember those we have
lost. A moment of silence only takes a few minutes, doesn’t cost
anything, and you might even feel better when you’re done. To all our
brothers and sisters who have made the ultimate sacrifice we salute
you. Though you are gone you will be remembered.
Comments are always welcome.

Car thoughts

May 22, 2009

We’re about to start a 3 day weekend for most families and we hear travel is going to be down this year. I know we’re not going any farther than we have to. I might even get the garage straightened up and start on one of the cars this weekend. All I need to do is remember where I put the piece of window track I fabricated, find the rest of the window parts, locate the mig welder and clean off the bench.

I’ve been thinking alot about this climate change thing some people are convinced is happening and the people who want us to make sacrifices while the uber rich buy carbon credits. I’m leaning toward rebuilding a big blog I have setting in the garage and making the 48 a real hot rod instead of a mild custom. I figure it would get about 8 mpg if I babied it, but it sure would sound pretty.

If you own a Mustang, here’s a sale at American Muscle that may interest you. Even if you don’t, if you own a Ford there may be something that catches your eye. Here’s the email I recieved from them-

On Memorial Day, we celebrate and honor the fallen heroes who served our country and protected our freedom. We also use this time to celebrate by getting together with our families and friends, having a barbecue, and settling in to watch a little baseball or the Indy 500.
AmericanMuscle will help you to keep the celebration going with up to 32% off our Memorial Day Sale items.

We’ve selected some great Mustang performance and styling parts that will make you even more proud to be an American… and a Mustang owner

Comments are always welcome.

Early mini-rants

May 20, 2009

It’s Thursday so here’s some mini-rants. To begin with I spend a lot of time searching the internet for all things automotive. While I can supply with the link to the site, I found a picture of a prototype for the Obama Motors SUV.It’s nowhere near production yet but I’m told the President loves it because it doesn’t use any gas! Here’s the picture-

Gas prices are on the rise which shouldn’t surprise anyone this time of year, but perhaps the reason why will. There is no shortage of oil but other Countries are hoarding it. Yes worldwide inventories are really high with an estimated 150 million barrels being stored. At the same time worldwide demand for oil is at it’s lowest point since 1981. So if the whole world really loves America since Bush is gone and Obama was coronated, why the increase?

I recently recieved an email from a friend with a picture attached. I’ll warn you ahead of time that this image will be offensive to some. I added it for two reasons; first it will show how our languange has changed over the years, and it makes a point. Yes the gay community has been embraced with open arms while us smokers are still the redheaded step-child if we light up outside. While I’m glad that the gay couples can get married I wish everyone would accept the fact
that smoking is legal. Here’s that picture-

5th and Marquette is in the news again because another car got hit by a train tonight. I didn’t hear much on the news but recieved a phone call before the dust settled. The caller claimed the driver was deaf and was driving a brand new car he had just picked up. I was also told TV6 got it wrong on the 10 o’clock news and the only one in the car was the male driver.Talk about a bad run of luck. I was under the impression there were flashing lights at that intersection when a train gets close. This is the third time a vehicle has been hit by a train at this corner.Isn’t it about time to look into why this is happening. I also just heard there was a two vehicle accident in the same area
at 10:30 pm.

That’s a couple mini-rants about what’s going on. I didn’t mention the fight at Horizon Homes because we covered that in the last post.
Comments are always welcome.