Think small

August 31, 2013

When I was a child, oh nevermind. What do
you do with your spare time? Some race,
build, sketch, write, imagine, and more.

We present the following that a friend
shared with us. Just in case you haven’t
figured out yet what you want to do with
any free time you may have in your day.

I felt quite comfortable building model
cars with working suspensions, opening doors
and trunks, steerable wheels, and working
universal joints on the driveshaft. It seems
I may be a bit lazy.


This picture shows a fully operational scale
Corvette engine. There is a quarter in the
picture to show size. Built by the late Lee

The valve covers are 4 and a half inches
long and it can rev to 18,000 rpm!


Not to be outdone, James Weber built this
1/3 scale blown Hemi engine. It has a 1 inch
bore and .90 inch stroke while running on
methanol. It is a whopping 5.65 cubic inches.


How about a Ferrari V-12 that measures 7 1/2
inches front to back? It was built by Jeron
Classic Motors, has two oil pumps for the
dry sump lubrication system, and 6 carburetors.


Everything here was built by Eugene Corl in
1/3 scale. The picture shows wood patterns,
molds, cores, and raw castings in the front
with a finished engine at the top of the


Ever wonder what speed parts for a 1/6 scale
1964 365 hp 327 would look like? The above
are from the engine below built by Jim Moyer.


For the old school crowd.


This scale flathead V-8 running tri-power
with finned heads built by Dick Pretel. The
wooden base holds the starter, batteries,
and more to keep this engine purring.


There is always 1 in every crowd. This
fully operational mini engine can run for
two years on a single squirt of lighter

It was designed to be used as a battery
replacement for mobile phones and produces
700 times the energy of conventional

When I grow up I want to do something like
this in my free time. Either that or forget
I ever saw these and collect cats.
Comments are always welcome.

Strange things

August 31, 2013


The car shown is a 1933 Panhard el Levassor
X74. It was made by Panhard and Levassor, a
French company that was founded in 1891. The
company no longer makes cars and instead it
builds military vehicles.

The X74 model was built from 1933 to 1937
and only 27 had a 6-cylinder engine. With the
6-cylinder engine, it had a top speed of 80


The 1951 Hotchkiss-Gregoire was produced in
France and had a four-cylinder engine. More
interesting is the story behind the company.

Benjamin B. Hotchkiss was an American who
made his money by supplying weapons and
ammunition during the Civil War.

Napoleon II asked him to build an arms
factory in France sometime in 1867. Then in
1872 he patented the Hotchkiss revolving

Embarrassed by how he made so much money
he started making cars at the turn of the
century. His knowledge of steel, machinery,
and manufacture was an asset.

He put out his first car in 1904 and did
quite well. In 1948 the company built a
front-wheel drive car designed by J.A.
Gregoire which was more expensive than his
usual models. Few were sold and the company
stopped all car production.


The 1938 Phantom Corsair came about because
of Rust Heinz. He was helped with the design
by Maurice Schartz of the Bohman & Schartz
Coach Building Company. It never made it into
production because of Heinz’s death.


I don’t have any information on this one
except that it is a 1948 Tasco Prototype.



How many remember the 1963 Chrysler Turbine?

Comments are always welcome.

A simple offer

August 30, 2013


Pop some popcorn and get ready. It looks
like the local political scene is really
going to get interesting.

On the last filing day a few more people
stepped up to throw their hat into the

Keith Meyer is running against our current
Mayor, and Dale Gilmour is running for
Alderman At Large.

You may remember last election when the
whole City Council ran unopposed. What a
difference a few years make.

We are even going to have a primary for
3rd Ward and Alderman At Large because so
many filed. Said primary will be held on
October the 8th.

So, we’ll try something different this
time. If you are a candidate, and wish to
do a guest post, we will publish it without
any changes.

All we ask is that you try to keep it around
250 words.

If you include a picture with the post in
the email we will include it in the
guest post.

We will not comment pro or con on these
guest posts, but will continue to moderate.
Obviously, if questions are asked you would
have to comment because you know your answer.
If you wish to contact me, my email address

And it’s just that simple.
Comments are always welcome.

Another strange little car

August 29, 2013

Since the weather is hot, and the holiday
is almost here, we will forego our post on
upcoming car events.

Instead, we present the following for your

Captain James V. Martin was an airplane
manufacturer who occasionally liked to
build automobiles.


In 1932 he built the Martin Martinette to
showcase one of his many inventions, the
tubeless tire.

The Martinette had 4 wheels and was one of
his bigger vehicles.




In 1948 Martin designed the Stationette with
a 4-cylinder Hercules engine powering the
single rear wheel. The wood body was built
by Biehl Autobody of Reading, Pennsylvania.

The car pictured is a 1950 Martin Stationette
which could reach speeds of 60 mph. There is
no driveshaft or shock absorbers to help keep
costs lower.

It had no frame being a monocoque construction,
and in 1954 was optimistically
called ‘America’s Economy Car of the Future’.

The sticker price on the 1950 model was
going to be set at $995.

Nobody knows exactly how many were made
before he sold the company in 1956. But in
1974 only one Stationette was known to still

The Sedanette falls into what we call ‘so
ugly it’s cute’ category. Our jury is still
out on the Martinette.
Comments are always welcome.

Short rants

August 28, 2013


The politically correct army would have us
believe that nothing is as bad as it seems.
They believe it is all about how you say it.

Here’s the deal. If you are walking down
the road and step on a dog turd, you still
have a mess on your shoes if you call it
a by-product of a living organism.

Chicago has instigated a “Safe Passage”
program where police line the road to see
that the children get safely to school
without being shot.

And we’re guessing nobody will get shot
in the areas the police are present. But
we’d also guess that somebody will get
shot in Chicago.

It gives politicos a warm and fuzzy feeling
while it treats the symptom and not the

On the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther
King, Jr.s famous speech orators from
around the country chimed in. Some were
there in 1963, some watched it on TV,
and some weren’t even born yet.

Talks were of how far there was left to
go to achieve the dream. Very few broached
the problem.

In one part of the speech, Dr. King started
with- I have a dream deeply rooted in the
American dream. I have a dream that one day
this nation will rise up, live out the true
meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths
to be self-evident, that all men are created

He also mentioned not being judged by the
color of ones skin but the content of ones
character. Perhaps those wreaking havoc on
others should be taught this.
Comments are always welcome.

A different kind of circus

August 28, 2013


The Calliope player is warming up, the
elephants are in training, and the rest
of the circus crew is on standby.

Our City Council election is coming up
and the players are jockeying for position.

The final day to file to get on the ballot
is Thursday. If you’re from the Quad Cities,
or know the area at all, you know that
anything can happen by then.

Many around here are getting excited at the
thoughts of suppers being disrupted by
auto-dialed phone calls and mailboxes full
of reasons why one is a much better candidate
than the other.

Our Mayor has filed with no opponents so
far. The incumbent Aldermen At Large, Jason
Gordon and Gene Meeker are challenged by
Kevin Perkins and Cheryl L. Draeger.

Candidates for the 1st Ward are Rick Dunn
and Shelly Fritz.

Incumbent Bill Edmond is running solo in
the 2nd Ward.

3rd Ward has incumbent Bill Boom running
against Carlton M. Wills.

4th Ward has incumbent Ray Ambrose facing
Robby Ortiz.

5th Ward could get interesting with two
incumbents running against each other.
Current 5th Ward Alderman Sheila Burrage
and current 7th Ward Alderman Barney
Barnhill are running.

6th Ward has incumbent Jeff Justin going
it alone.

7th Ward has Mike Matson running again.

And the 8th Ward has Kerri Tompkins and
Jamie Wood in the running.


This is one of those elections where
redistricting is shaking things up a
bit, and there is still time for another
candidate or two to jump in.
Comments are always welcome.

The alternative

August 27, 2013


When AARP endorsed the Affordable Care Act we quickly
cancelled our membership.

When they later got an exemption from said
act, we knew we made the right decision. We
were then looking for another organization
to replace them.

We joined AMAC,
the Association of Mature American Citizens.
It has much the same benefits as AARP but more
closely aligns with our beliefs.

We are told it is the largest Conservative
group of its kind. To give you an idea why we
chose this group, here are some random excerpts
from the Amac Advantage magazine.

Since September is National Preparedness month
there is an article on the “5 steps to Help you
Prepare for a Disaster”.

Another article addresses “Standing Strong on
Conservative Values”. And another called “Don’t
Let Your Children Inherit Your Nursing Home Bill”.

This issue also has the 2013 AMAC Delegate
Honor Roll listing Conservative Congressmen, and
much more. Bills awaiting passage, travel
information, recipes, political races, and spread
throughout is the mention of God.

We like the “Government Watch” section. This month
it mentions a Louisiana Sheriff who has
gotten funding from the DOJ for years for his
Young Marines program.

The Sheriff received notice that unless he removed
“God” from the Young Marine’s oath his funding would
be cut. To which the Sheriff replied, “It’s not going
to happen. Enough is enough. This is the United States
of America-and the idea that the mere mention of God
or voluntary prayer is prohibited is ridiculous.”

It also mentions that $1 million of taxpayer money
has been spent to create poetry in zoos
to raise awareness on environmental issues.

During 2012, our federal government spent $12 million
to help Russian weapons institutes recruit nuclear scientists!

And our personal favorite: in the past 15 years a
total of $5.25 million has been spent on hair care
services for the U.S. Senate!

And from the “Did You Knew” section came this: When
George Washington was elected our first President he
had to borrow money to get to his inauguration. He came
in a plain brown suit and kept his speech short because
his dentures hurt.

Those are some of the reasons we are proud, card-carrying
members of AMAC. If you are tired of AARP and are looking
for an alternative, please check out their site.
Comments are always welcome.

The great crow scandal

August 26, 2013


At times we get emails with subjects that
aren’t being covered in the drive-by media.
We then post these to inform those who don’t
have the full story.

We felt the following was serious enough
to share with you…

To determine how 200 crows died, one would
expect a thorough investigation, however,
who would expect such a finding?

Crow Mystery Solved: Researchers for
the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found
over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently,
and there was concern that they may have died
from Avian Flu. A Bird Pathologist examined the
remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s
relief, confirmed the problem was definitely
NOT Avian Flu.

The cause of death appeared to be vehicular
impacts. However, during the detailed analysis it
was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on
the bird’s beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint
residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had
been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were
killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist
to determine if there was a cause for the
disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car
kills. The Ornithological Behaviorist very quickly
concluded the cause: When crows eat road kill, they
always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn
of impending danger. They discovered that while all
the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one
could shout “Truck.”

Comments are always welcome.

A bit of history?

August 25, 2013


Are you smiling? Because if you are we
would almost be willing to bet you were
born in the 1950s or earlier.

Growing up we believed “Kiliroy” to be
the super GI who had been everywhere and
done everything. After all his name is
on the Statue of Liberty, the top of Mt.
Everest, the underside of the Arc de
Triomphe, various military vessels, rocks,
and buildings all over the world.

His name is even engraved in stone at the
National War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Yet many wondered who the well-known but
anonymous character was.

So in 1946 a radio program called “Speak
to America” sponsored a contest to find
the real Kilroy. The winner, if deemed
the real Kilroy, would win a trolley car.

James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts
won the contest and was determined to be
the real Kilroy. He was a shipyard worker
during the war at the Fore River Shipyard
in Quincy.

He job was to make sure the riveters didn’t
cheat on their rivet count as they worked
by piecework.

He would count a certain number of rivets
and put a check mark on the bulkhead when
done. But since the mark was made with
semi-waxed lumber chalk, the riveters
would come behind him and rub off the
check after they were counted.

Later the second-shift inspector would
come through and count, and check mark
them again resulting in double pay.

At a later point his boss called him into
the office because he was upset over the
outrageous wages said riveters were getting.

Kilroy’s answer was simplicity itself.
He used the check mark but added the now
famous “KILROY WAS HERE” in big letters
next to the check.

The riveters quit erasing the checks and
the rest, as they say, is history.


Servicemen the world over heard of the
Kilroy artwork and soon spread the word.
By the end of the war “KILROY” had been
everywhere from Berlin to Tokyo, and been
there first!


There is even a rumor that in 1945 during
the Potsdam conference at the White House
that the 1st person to use an outhouse
made specially for the occasion mentioned
it. Stalin came out of the new outhouse
and said, in Russian, “Who is Kilroy?”


And the tradition continues, even
outside Osama Bin Laden’s house! Now
you know.
Comments are always welcome.

Sunday school joke

August 24, 2013


The teacher quizzed her Sunday school class to
see if they understood the concept of getting to heaven.

She asked them, If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven? “NO!” the children answered.

If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the garden, and kept everything tidy, would that get me into heaven? Again, the answer was “NO!”

If I gave sweets to all the children, and loved my husband, would that get me into heaven? Again, they all answered “NO!”

I continued, Then how can I get into heaven?

A little boy shouted out: “YUV GOTTA BE FOOKN DEAD!”

Comments are always welcome.