Some days

May 19, 2015

Sometimes when the fickle finger of fate pokes you
it’s a good thing. I was on the pity pot earlier
because my search for another project is going
nowhere fast. Then I cruised the information
highway and discovered it didn’t matter.

I was thinking of the days when cars didn’t have
power steering or power brakes and the dimmer
switch was on the floor. Thanks to some friends
sharing videos and the places they took me I’m a
much calmer person now and will share some of them
with you.

The first video is about the Model T and how it
looks 100 years later. If you watch it I’m sure
you’ll agree we’ve come a long way since then.

Another one, oddly enough, is about a bicycle. It
is well worth watching just to see people try to
figure out how to ride it. The bike was engineered
to steer in the opposite direction the handlebars
are turned! Doesn’t sound hard to figure out, but
the results are funny to watch.

And even a short video from Toyota about hydrogen
powered vehicles is interesting. It’s called
“Fueled by Bullsh*t”.

Then this short one shows a blown Mopar idling up
to a parking spot. It has an idle so mean it chirps
the tires.

We don’t speak Russian, but this is one of the
biggest ATVs we’ve ever seen.

And because I also like guns, here is a video of
a lady attempting a 200 yard shot with a handgun.
You’ll have to watch the video to see if she makes

We’ll end once again with a song. You may remember
“The More I Turn The Bottle Up” by Mickey Gilley.

Project? Too busy to look, I have a few more
videos to get through.
Comments are always welcome.

An amazing life

May 18, 2015

Margaret Dunning died this past Sunday while
visiting in California. She was born on June 26,
1910 in Redford Township, Michigan. Had she lived
until July 26 she would have been 105 years old!

Her death doesn’t make her interesting, her life
does. She got her first driver’s license when was
12 years old, spent her first 13 years on the dairy
and potato farm owned by her father until her dad
died, and had Henry Ford for a neighbor.

She and her mother moved off the farm and later
ended up in Plymouth, Michigan where she attended
the same country school that had educated her father.
She went to a private school, came back to graduate
from Plymouth High School, attended the
University of Michigan and then the Hamilton
Business School in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

She liked tinkering with old cars and worked for
a short time at the Phoenix Mill Ford plant making
voltage regulators. She then worked several years
as a teller at the First National Bank of Plymouth.
In 1947 she bought Goldstein’s Apparel and renamed
the store Dunning’s. She sold the store in 1968.

But she also gave by volunteering and with her
philanthropic activities. From 1942-1945 she
worked with the Red Cross in their motor pool and as
a driver. In 1947 she and her mother purchased land
and a building to house the Plymouth branch of the
Wayne County Library System.

She served on the board of Community Federal
Credit Union in Plymouth from 1962-1984, 19 of
those years as president. In 1971 she donated over
$100,000 to the Plymouth Historical Society to help
build a new museum, and in 1998 she donated $1
million for an addition.

At 102 she went back to college on a scholarship
and drove the Packard to school. At 103 she still
owned, and drove her 1930 Packard although she
admitted her daily driver was a 2003 Cadillac.
Here’s an earlier video of her talking about
the Packard she bought in 1949.

A loss to many, but a life well led. She did lead
an amazing life. Our condolences.
Comments are always welcome.

It’s funny…

May 17, 2015


Our government is a great source of amusement if
you think about it. First they came up with the
idea of a gas tax to pay for road repair. These
taxes remained level for many years until…

The same government ruled all automakers had to
start making cars that got better gas mileage. Of
course when you drive the same distance in a vehicle
that gets better gas mileage than the one you used
to drive, you use less gas.

You use less gas and the government gets less gas
tax monies to fix the roads. What to do. Well,
government’s answer was simple, raise the gas tax.

A little later on government started pushing the
car makers to produce electric cars again, as a
more kinder way to treat our environment. So a few
manufacturers got on board and produced electric
cars again. Then the government found out these
vehicles don’t use gas so owners paid no gas tax.

And as we know government’s solution is another
tax. Although called a per mile fee it is a tax.

During all this the government decided that the
gas we had been using for decades was no longer
safe for the environment. So the talking heads got
together and decided to make fuel out of moonshine.

They couldn’t call it moonshine so they named it
Ethanol. Touted as the cure for what ailed us.
Yes it lowered gas mileage but the environment
liked it so much the birds started singing again,
and the oceans quit rising. Or so we were told.

Now it turns out that the millions of acres
converted to farm corn for the ethanol is causing
environmental damage with runoff into our water
ways and pollution of our air.

But again we were assured there is no problem. Ok.
Scientist Joost de Gouw from CIRES and NOAA did a
study on a refinery in Illinois and discovered the
pollution is actually 30 times higher than the
government estimates, generates ozone forming
compounds, and is helping the buildup of smog.

One government entity did do something about it.
The Hawaii House of Representatives ended their
state ethanol mandate because using our corn for
fuel caused food prices to increase and the state
had recognized the unintended consequences.

And that is a small fraction of why we are amused by
our government.
Comments are always welcome.

Car talk

May 13, 2015

Since it has been a while, and friends have shared
various tidbits of information, this post will be
about cars. A subject some of us never get tired of


Ralph Nadir had his book out which meant the end
of the Corvair. Gm began producing the Corvair in
1959 and the unique little car was made until the
last the one rolled off the assembly line on May
14, 1969.

Funny thing about the last Corvair. The last of
6,000 produced that year, the car was used and
photographed during a ceremony denoting the end of
the model line. The car was quickly spirited away
by GM and was never seen again. Could it have been
scrapped or did GM hide it in their version of
Area 51? We may never know.

We heard of a strange custom vehicle being built
for someone named “Frogman”. Some called it a 4
wheeled motorcycle while others called it a quad.
Regardless of what you call it, after you watch the
video you will have an opinion on the Rocket III.

If you like burnout contests the following video
is for you. Produced in 2013 this is action at the
Rumble In The Stalks.

If you’ve never heard 11 year old Lexi Mae Walker
belt out the Star Spangled Banner you’re in for a
treat. This is from the Stadium of Fire 2013.

Like motorcycles but know a shovelhead from a
panhead? You’re in luck. Below is a guide, complete
with pictures, that shows the difference.


I know, but I just couldn’t help myself. Have a
great night and an even better tomorrow.
Comments are always welcome.

After the fire went out

May 1, 2015

When I called today it was a burn day, and burn I
did. There was a time we could burn leaves too, but
those days are long gone. After putting out the
fire I got to thinking that since the moon peeked
out from behind a cloud it was time to do something.


So I had another cup of coffee while remembering
the Fast and Furious movies and wondered; where did
it all start? How did they pick that phrase?

As I cruised the information highway on my quest
for answers I believe the answer to one question
was found. In 1955, John Ireland starred in a movie
called “The Fast And The Furious”.

It even involves fast, for the time, sports car
racing footage! Cool Jaguars, a police pursuit, a
kidnapping of a beautiful young woman, and the
race to Mexico!

And since movies make me think of the old Drive-In
movies, how about a double feature? This one from
1956 is about teens in hot rods running wild and
all that goes with that. Sit back and enjoy “Hot
Rod Girl”.

Now I need more coffee and a pizza. Enjoy the
movies and enjoy the weekend. I know we will.
Comments are always welcome.

Good weekend to cruise

April 30, 2015


It was looking like rain last night. While I was
watching the sky for any sign of moisture it just
suddenly went cloudless. That reminded me it was
cruising season and I haven’t listed many events
yet. Since tomorrow is the first day of May we
should get started.

Friday, May 1, there will be the car show at Dick-
N-Sons Lumber & Flower Shop in Blue Grass, Iowa. If
I remember correctly things get going around 6 pm
and it is a good little show.

Also Friday is the 3rd Magic Dragon Steet Meet
Nationals held at Bagell Dam Strip in Lake of the
Ozarks, Missouri.

This Friday and Saturday is Vintage Torquefest
2015 at the Dubuque County Fairgrounds in Dubuque,
Iowa. Fun show with traditional rods and customs,
bobbers, pin-ups, and a lot of rockabilly music.

Also Friday and Saturday, is the Spring 2015 Auto
Parts Swap Meet at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in
Des Moines, Iowa.

If you’d rather be racing, Cordova International
Raceway in Cordova, Illinois can help you out.

Friday, May 1 is Fun Night and gates open at 5 pm.
Saturday, May 2 is Spring Fun Day with open racing
for all and gates open at 10 am.
Sunday, May 3 is Battle of the High Schools
presented by KISS-FM and gates open at 10 am.

Sunday, May 3 is the J.C. Whitney Car Show at 761
Progress Parkway in LaSalle, Illinois. Show hours
are 9 am to 4 pm, the show is free, and 3D Sound
will handle the music and anouncements.

And those are just of few events that are going on
this weekend. We’re still checking our schedule to
see if we can make at least one of these events.
Enjoy the weekend, should be great weather for it
Comments are always welcome.

Confusing technology

April 25, 2015

If you are a V-8 type of person who likes your
pipes loud and back tires wide, you may not
have heard of the new technology called VTEC.

VTEC stands for variable timing and lift electronic
control. Yes you guessed it, ten dollar scientific
jargon for a system that improves the efficiency of
a four-stroke internal combustion engine.

Invented by Honda engineer Ikua Kajitani it is a
brand new set up as the old set up, VVT or variable
valve timing, only advanced the valve timing. VTEC
also changes the camshaft profile and valve lift.
Since Japan taxes vehicles based on engine size
the car makers there try to squeeze more out of

Hence the VTEC technology. This allows for one
engine to provide two profiles with one camshaft.
One profile best for low-RPM and fuel efficiency
and the other best for high RPM power output. But
it is still a small engine.

Which got us wondering what this mechanical marvel
sounded like. Would this set up have a throaty
roar, or a quiet whisper? And we found out. The
following video explains it all.

Thus concludes our unscientific, politically
incorrect look at VTEC technology. We will atone
for this lapse of cognitive thinking with a Sunday
snicker post and say three Hail Mary’s.

Comments are always welcome.


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