Just rambling

June 24, 2015

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These pictures tell what the sky looked like after
a little rain came through our area the other day.
I only wish I would have ran outside with my good
camera.

In other news, we survived the Vegetarian Cook Out
and look no worse for wear. The weather was picture
perfect, the food looked great, and we had a good
time. Thanks for the invite Todd and Ronnie.

Then I heard a story that kicked my imagination
into overdrive only to have my bubble burst again.
The story was about how the Navy stopped using
steam powered catapult on aircraft carriers and
went to an electromagnetic launch system.

The story featured said launch systems being
tested on the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) and the
text told of the carrier launching flatbed trucks
to test the system.

I’m thinking, we never got to see anything like
that when I was in and I envisioned 1-ton Ford,
Chevy, and Dodge trucks sailing through the sky
to crash land in the sea. Not so Uncle Joe, but
I think the video proves the system works.

We’ll end with this video from 2014 of the saluting
boy on Omaha Beach. It tells an interesting tale if
you haven’t seen it.

And now my rambling mind needs coffee. If you
can’t avoid the rain we hope you have an umbrella.
Comments are always welcome.


Buying American?

June 22, 2015

2

We have been down this road before but the new
Kogod Made In America Auto Index is out and we’ll
bring it up again.

This index from the Kogod School of Business tells
us how “American” our cars are. They compute in
the following:

1. Profit Margin: Where the automaker’s global
headquarters is located. This is relevant as profits
from cars return to the shareholders in the home
country. (6 percent)

2. Labor: Location of assembly, included as the money
supports workers in this country. (6 percent)

3. Location of Research & Development activities:
Essentially, where the headquarters is located.
(6 percent)

4. Inventory, Capital and Other Expenses: the
location of assembly. (11 percent)

5. Engine: The location of production.
(14 percent)

6. Transmission: The location of production.
(7 percent)

7. Body, Chassis and Electrical Components:
The location of where they are made. (50 percent)

Who won?

It is a tie for the most American vehicle with the
Ford F-series pickup and the Chevrolet Corvette
sharing the top honor with a score of 87.5. That
is followed by the Buick Enclave with an 86, the
Chevrolet Traverse with an 86, the GMC Acadia with
an 86, and the GMC Denali Acadia also with an 86.

Who lost?

The Ford Transit Connect came in 67th with a score
of 14.5. At 66th is the Chevrolet SS with a 15.5
and tied with that is the Chevrolet Caprice also
at 15.5. At 65th is the Chevrolet Spark with a
16, and the Ford Fiesta took 64th with a 22.

The Dodge Avenger is the first Chrysler product
shown with an 82.

Other makes are covered but we’ve always equated
the Big 3 with the words “American Made. The list
is long and the makes and models are varied. For
the entire list go to the link above.

If you are thinking of buying a new vehicle you
may want to make this index part of your research.
The times they are a changing.
Comments are always welcome.


Imagination

June 1, 2015

We like to read about people who use their head
for something other than a hat rat. The thinkers,
the dreamers, the ones who take “it can’t be done”
not as a threat but a challenge.

So when we read someone stuffed a jet engine into
a Mini Cooper and took it to the track we had to
investigate. And we found out a few things out
along that path.

First our imagination kicked in and we thought of
a fire breathing, tire shredding little Mini at the
drag strip. After all, they were smart enough to
complete the car.

But sometimes intelligence and common sense don’t
necessarily go hand in hand. As the video went on
we noticed something and knew there would be a
wreck.

We didn’t need our imagination or dreams to
discovered they opened up the jet engine on a road
course track! We don’t know if it was the only
track around or if the driver honestly thought he
could shut it down in time. But it did make for an
interesting, albeit short, video.
Perhaps this driver will run for president.
Comments are always welcome.


Obama, a cooler, and a song

May 25, 2015

We sometimes mention how our country has gone from
being a super power to a laughing stock. Other
countries use our politicians as punch lines and the
media here doesn’t seem to care.

But what does the Muslim world really think of our
president? A friend shared a video published May,
20, 2015 with the answer and we’ll share it with
you.

The video would make it appear that panel members
in the video understand what’s going on here better
than the uninformed voters, liberals, and Obama
backers.

Then we received a video about the coolest cooler
kickstarter. We don’t know if he raised the money
to start making the coolers, but we like his
thinking.

When we watched the cooler video a song popped
into our heads that took us back to the time when
we practically lived out of a cooler. From 1952 here
is “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” by
Kitty Wells.

Memorial Day is drawing to a close, we observed
our moments of silence, and life goes on. If you
remembered the fallen the today, thank you. If you
didn’t, please do, and if you won’t, bless you
anyway.
Comments are always welcome.


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
it.

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.


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
less.

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.


Steam powered what?

April 7, 2015

Did you know that the first police cars in Boston
were steam powered? The first police vehicle in the
city was a 1903 Stanley Steamer. These steamers
were faster than their gas powered counterparts,
but only held together for about 7,000 miles.

Why are we bringing up steam powered police cars?
Glad you asked. It ties into a story about how
California decided to fund a trial of steam powered
law enforcement vehicles to offset pollution.

What could go wrong with that idea? Would you
believe just about everything. Oh, did we mention
this happened in 1969? Anyway, the California
legislature funded a trial of steam powered police
cruisers and even found two companies who take on
the task of converting gas burning police cars to
the more environmentally friendly steam power.

1

The Dodge Polara was chosen as it was popular
model in law enforcement at the time along with an
Olds Delta 88. The Olds was sent to Thermodymanic
Systems for conversion and the Polara went to
William P. Lear’s company.

Neither vehicle was ever seen again. The group
assigned the Olds raised the white flag almost
before they started and the company working on the
Dodge soon followed. Of course when this happened
the plans for steam powered buses also went up
in smoke.

We can’t pretend to guess if the government even
thought this one out before passing it. A heat
source had to be available to make steam and
propane was being seriously looked at as a source.
But the government wanted no pollution and the
project was finally officially ended.

And that is yet another reason some people scream
in fear when they hear the words “I’m from the
government and I want to help”.
Comments are always welcome.


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