Cruiser 1, raccoon 0

July 8, 2015


I found out last night the water got high enough
at one point to knock out our water heater. Once
the water was removed a fan was placed on the floor
to dry out the basement. And at 1:45 this
morning the water heater was relighted.

I came upstairs, cleaned up, and got ready for a
good six hour nap. The wife had other ideas and got
me up at 6 a.m. for a trip to the local Farm & Fleet.
I gulped down a cup of coffee and we cruised to
the north end of town only to find said purveyors
of all things farm and outdoors didn’t open until
8 am.

No problem. We just backtracked and stopped at the
truck stop for breakfast. After a leisurely morning
meal we were back on the road in search of a trap.
The Lord was feeling my pain because we found a
trap with a picture of a raccoon on the label that
was made in the U.S.A., included a bonus smaller
trap inside, and was on sale for half price!


But there was another bonus. The trap listed that
raccoons, opossums, feral cats, groundhogs,
armadillos, and muskrats could be caught with the
trap. So if I ever find an armadillo in the base-
ment I won’t need another trap.

While I was feeling blessed and lucky I decided to
seek out a pair of rubber boots since I’d had no
luck yesterday. You got it. Not only did they have
the rubber boots in my size, they were made in the
U.S.A., and on sale. And people say they hate this
Comments are always welcome.


The critter has been captured, and hauled away.


Last seen it was running as fast as it could and
I can only imagine to get away from me.

Brilliant idea or propaganda?

May 22, 2015


It should be no secret that I don’t like ethanol.
I get confused on why it is a good thing when it
harms cars and small engines, reduces our gas
mileage, and pollutes more than what it replaces.

Now comes talk of E15 and how is supposed to help
our environment even more because it harms cars
and small engines, lowers our gas mileage a little
more, and pollutes more than what it replaces.

Well if it so safe to use in our cars, why are the
automakers saying hold the phone? Why? You may
remember when the talk of E15 first started we were
told it could be used on models 2001 and up.

A few asking questions and few more spouting facts
didn’t do much to stop the mandate. But forgetting
what we’re told, and what is listed on the label on
the pumps, what do the automakers say?

Ford states it is acceptable for 2013 and newer
models, GM said it can be used on cars made since
2012 except the 2015 Chevy City Express, and
Chrysler says not to use it in any of its vehicles.

The backers of E15 usually pipe up about this time
and state that only one American manufacturer has
actually come out against it and they are uninformed. Ok.
Then how about Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, and Volvo all said
no to E15. For their cars built after 2012 they say to
check your owner’s manual and if E15 isn’t recommended,
keep using E10.

We are getting the bull shipped again. Who would
you rather believe, the talking government head
with an agenda, or the people who build the cars
we drive? Even AAA has an opinion.
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.


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.

Keep on trucking

March 21, 2015

Sometimes something catches our eye and usually
that something has wheels and an engine. This is
no exception to that rule.

People either love or hate WalMart. We find it
good exercise to walk the acres of aisles while
trying to find something we don’t really need.
But WalMart has another side you may not know

WAVE, or WalMart Advanced Vehicle Experience, is
the truck design end of the company that looks to
improve efficiency, lower emissions, and thus
have an impact of their bottom line.

As the video shows, the aerodynamic truck cab has
a center mounted steering wheel with LCD screens
on both sides instead of gauges. The power-train
is a Capstone micro-turbine and an electric motor.

Even the trailer is different as it made of carbon
fiber. The single piece 53 foot sides are the
largest carbon fiber pieces ever manufactured. But
enough of our take on it, Watch the video and judge
for yourself.

Since we’re talking about trucks anyway we’ll add
a couple more to the mix. Even if these never hit
the road they are fun to look at. And there are
some out there that look stranger. Check out the
following and see for yourself.

In 1992, the Mercedes EXT 92 debuted at an
exhibition in Hanover. All these years later and it
still looks like something from the future.

So we wonder if we will see WalMart’s version, or
one of the other versions, in our lifetime actually
cruise the concrete ribbons. That would be
Comments are always welcome.

Technology of the future today

January 28, 2015


Think much about spinels? No, not the transparent
red spinels called rubies before the end of the
18th century. Nor the natural white spinel or any
of the naturally occurring magnesium aluminate now
know as spinel.

The spinel we speak of is man made, trademarked,
and just may help automakers meet the emission
standards of the future while replacing rare earth
metals in catalytic converters.

The catalytic converter basically takes high
tempurature exhaust and grabs some oxygen out of
the NOx and turns it into nitrogen then the trapped
oxygen attaches to CO and hydrocarbons turning them
into CO2 and water.

The technology is easily explained by anyone who has
a basic knowledge of the sciences. Unfortunately,
that isn’t me.

But as we understand it the problem is twofold:
emission standards are going to get a lot tougher,
and engines using turbos for power rob the exhaust
of some of the energy needed for the current
catalytic converters to work.

So, in 5 to 7 years the Tier III Bin 30 will
require an 80% drop in NOx tailpipe emissions. To
use more rare earth metals (platinum) to solve the
problem is too costly. The spinel technology can
lower the emissions for a lot less.

Clean Diesel Technologies, Inc is the company
behind the nano-structured spinel material and are
predicting it will be ready in less than 5 years.

So that means we will be able to produce the part
for less, cut emissions by at least 80%, and keep
all the high performace goodies we’ve become
accustomed to. It doesn’t get much better than
Comments are always welcome.

Interesting subjects

October 15, 2014

We like things that get us thinking and new
inventions that seem amazing to us. So we’ll share
some with you.

We’ve been following the development of the
drehplattentur (flip panel door) for a few years
now and though not available yet we really like
this version. The video is only 34 seconds long
but if you’re like us you’ll watch it several

Do you weld, grind, heat parts, sweat copper pipe,
or work with other heat sources. Then you probably
know something about fire safety and have a fire
extinguisher or two around. Fire Service Plus now
sells FireAde. An environmentally friendly foam
that can be cleaned up with water.

Have a cold spot in your house and would like to
warm it up? You could always make a solar heater
out of tin cans and odds and ends. For around $50
you can keep your toes toasty all winter.

Not really brand spanking new, but interesting, is
the nuclear-powered, ballistic missile submarine.
For those who think submarines in general are new
we offer this tidbit; the Navy accepted its first
submarine in 1900.

Older still is an article we found in the Onion
from March 21, 2011. It is not politically correct,
and will upset some, but since it mentions our
little city on the river we’ll share it.

The article is titled Town of Davenport, Iowa
Descends Into Hell Following Gay Marriage Ceremony.

And finally, a Budweiser commercial.

That’s what we found interesting and hope that you
did too. Until next time…
Comments are always welcome.

Powered by what?

September 7, 2014

There is a new player in the game to fuel our
world and it isn’t ethanol. As a matter of fact, it
isn’t even a gas. We’re talking about thorium.

A piece of thorium weighing 5 grams, and small
enough to fit in the palm of your hand, could power
a car for 100 years! And we’re told it is as
plentiful as lead.

We still didn’t know what it was, why we needed
it, or why some feel it’s a good investment. I mean
is buying a car that can run for 80-100 years
without a refill that big a selling point? And if
it was, wouldn’t we have to improve the cars bodies
and suspensions to last that long?

Sounding like a cost estimate from our city
leaders, claim is it has a half-live between 25.52
hours and 14.05 billion years. Well that certainly
narrows it down.

There has been talk of converting nuclear power
plants to thorium use, but so far none have. The
Thorium Fuel Research and Development Program was
activated by the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)
in the early 1960s.

Then there are those who lecture we could build
a thorium powered city on the moon, or even here.
Mr. Sorensen makes some interesting points in this

If you watched both videos you should have a grasp
of what thorium is. But yet we wonder. If it is so
cheap and plentiful why use anything else?

Want to read about thorium? Here is a Forbe’s
article about it.
Comments are always welcome.


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