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.

Odds and ends

April 22, 2014



A friend sent an email about a phone scam going on
where the caller claims to be with the IRS. The
caller ID may even display IRS and a bogus phone

But do not fooled as the IRS doesn’t ask for PINs,
passwords, credit card, or bank information. They
also warn of other scams concerning the lottery,
or debt relief while claiming to be from the IRS.

The callers will use phony names and badge numbers,
may be able to tell you the last 4 digits of your
Social Security number, and even call back claiming
to be with the police.

If you think you have been targeted, or if want more
information, go here.




And it now appears that the bio-fuel industry has
taken a big hit on the “green” front. We’ve been told
for some time how much better for our environment
renewable fuel is.

But it turns out the corn based fuel may actually
release more greenhouse gasses than conventional
fuel. The story on that is here.

So there is some news you may not have seen nor
care much about.
Comments are always welcome.

Country protest songs

April 14, 2014

There are times when a song can lift our spirits,
sadden our hearts, enrich our patriotism, or seem
written for a later time.

While talking to our son he mentioned listening to
C.W. McCall’s “Classified” which was on the 1974 album Wolf Creek Pass. You may not remember the song,
but it might make you smile.

For some odd reason, this reminded of a rare single
from 1980 about the Iran hostage crisis. It was
considered a politically conscious song at the time.

“You guys in office!
You better listen!
We’re sick an’ tired of gettin’ took
This ain’t no crap game!
This is our future!
So run this country by the book”

Which reminded me of another of his songs from the
Wilderness album of 1976.

“There won’t be no country music
there won’t be no rock ‘n’ roll
’cause when they take away our country
they’ll take away our soul.”

McCall had bigger hits and more popular songs, but
we think these three are worth a listen. Love them or
hate them, agree with them or not, these songs should
at least make you think.
Comments are always welcome.

Some cheap tricks

April 14, 2014

Spring has sprung and before we know it weeds will
start growing like, well weeds. So once again we list
some homegrown solutions to the problems life throws
at us while we’re making plans.


Some say just fill a spray bottle with vinegar and
soak the weeds while others claim box salt will do
the job.

Something we have tried is mix a gallon of vinegar
with a half cup of table salt and give it a squirt of
lemon dish detergent. Then use a watering can, pail,
or whatever is hand is pour on the offending weed.

Just remember that if it kills weeds it will kill
grass so be careful.

Summer is just around the bend and that means
sunburn. We keep vinegar in spray bottle for such

And warmer weather means ticks if you are an outdoor
lover. If you have pets mix a cup of water, two cups
of distilled white vinegar, and two spoonfuls of
vegetable or almond oil and put it in a spray bottle.
Ticks hate vinegar and the oils contain sulfur which
is a natural tick repellent.

For you and the family mix 2 cups distilled white
vinegar and a cup of water then put it in a spray
bottle. If the smell bothers you add 20 drops of your
favorite essential oil.

Baking soda has many uses outside the kitchen, here
are just a few. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda in a
half glass of water for heartburn. If you have a
rabbit problem, sprinkle baking soda around your
flowerbeds to keep them out. If you sprinkle baking
soda around your tomato plants you will get sweeter

Lemons are useful too. You can remove stubborn odors
from your cutting board by rubbing a lemon half over
it after washing. Lemon juice and toothbrush will
clean grout between your tiles, and a quarter cup of
lemon juice added to your wash will brighten whites.

A study done at Copenhagen University found that
drinking a cup of hot water mixed with two
tablespoons of honey and a teaspoon of honey every
morning relieved arthritis pain.

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


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 865 other followers