Selling a dream

December 11, 2017

We follow car auctions just to see how certain cars stand up
to pre-auction estimates. We’ll be paying attention in January
2018 when the RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale comes around. There
will be what we consider a rare car there and pre-auction
estimates are between $1.25 and $1.5 million.

The car is Preston Tucker’s personal Tucker 48. A rare car to
begin with as only 51 cars were built by tucker in 1848 before
the company folded. Tucker cars were advanced for the time and
had features many others didn’t.

The third head light in the center turned with the front
wheels, the engine was an adaption of the Franklin 0-355 flat
six aircraft/helicopter engine converted to water cooling. It
had 355 cubic inches, made 166 horsepower and was installed in
the rear of the car.

For a transmission Tucker used an adaptation of the Cord 810/
812 with a Bendix electric shifter. Tucker’s personal car had
a Tucker Y1 transmission, a larger, more improved version of
the Cord tranny.

The car being auction has less than 20,000 original miles.
The vehicle was Preston Tuckers personal car from 1948 to
1955, was then a daily driver of future Arkansas governor
Winthrop Rockefeller, and was in the Francis Ford Coppola’s
1988 film “Tucker: The Man and His Dream”.

When we hear the results of the auction we’ll put them up.
Now we know a little more about this event. Enjoy our Monday
as we’re one step closer to spring.
Comments are always welcome.

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Bound to happen

November 30, 2017

Our run of good luck just came to screeching halt. Yesterday
was our youngest sons’ birthday and when he tried to call us he
couldn’t get through on our landline. He called the wifes’ cell
phone and told her, then got hold of me online.

I checked said landline only to discover there was no dial
tone. A call to Mediacom had them rebooting our modem twice
which didn’t fix the problem. So we were told there is a wide
spread outage that runs for Indiana to our little haven on the
east coast of Iowa.

This has been an ongoing problem and we were told they would
keep us in the loop by cell phone, but they had no idea how
long this outage would be. Here’s a novel idea; fix the damn
problem. At least we have access to our computers.

The last time this happened a friend tried to call then died
the next day and I never found out what he wanted. I don’t want
that to happen again. I’ve always been a man of my word and
when somebody tries to reach me for help, and can’t, I am not
a happy camper.

We’re happy with cable, the wife likes the TiVo, our internet
is faster than ever, but we keep having problems with the
phone. Not many people have my cell phone number as I can’t
hear it ring half the time and putting on vibrate doesn’t help
as I can’t feel it vibrate against my leg.

Hope this doesn’t last as long as the last time, and thanks
for letting me vent. Enjoy our Thursday, it’s one step closer
to the weekend. Now I need some coffee and need to look for a
bigger mug.
Comments are always welcome.


Lets be careful

November 25, 2017

Cyber Monday is just around the corner and if you plan on
buying online during this crazy day you should be aware of a
few basics to keep yourself, and your money, safe.

First, make sure you have a secure connection and don’t use
public wifi for shopping. Those who want to separate us from
our money will be working overtime Monday. Always check to see
that the site you’re ordering from has a URL that begins with
“https” and not “http”.

You shouldn’t use debit cards to shop online. If hacked using
your debit card gives the criminals direct access to your bank
account. Use a credit card.

Be wary of the scams on social media. Fake offers jump this
time of year so remember to be careful. If you see something
advertised on social media and feel you need to have it, at
least check to ensure the deal is real.

Avoid the pop up ads that may expose you to cross-site
scripting attacks, or malicious sites.

If you use a search engine in your quest for the best deal,
verify the deal by doing a search with the name of the deal in
quotes. If it’s a scam a warning may be issued and that will
show up in the search results.

Delete you Cyber Monday emails that have attachments, this
goes double if the attachment is in the form of a zip file.

There are malicious QR codes out there. These are the codes
you scan with you smartphone camera that may contain coupons,
or marketing materials, but hackers created codes that will
link you to a phishing or malware site.

Finally, if a site asks for too much personal information you
should leave the site. A legitimate business will not ask for
for social security number or anything about your passwords.

We don’t do Cyber Monday so it’s a case of not my circus, not
my monkeys. All we ask is that you be careful while ordering
online. Enjoy our Saturday and will have a snicker later.
Comments are always welcome.


You ever wondered?

November 21, 2017

Yes, this post is late again. But a thought stuck in my head
and a little research is sometimes necessary for me to truly
understand a situation.

I got to thinking about pictures of the earliest cars and how
they all had that tall flat glass. Reasoning that this era was
not known for a population of giants why was the top so high?


from the Model T Ford Club of America

Looking into photographs of the era one notices that if people
are in the shot they are wearing hats. In particular, the men
wore top hats. So I wondered if that had anything to do with
the design of the automobile.


from IFCAR

In the thirties the windshields shrunk as top hats were no
longer in fashion. Fedoras, derby’s, and straw hats were the
rage. These hats didn’t need the extra clearance of the top
hats so windshield height lessened.


unkown


by sicnag

Around the 1950s hats were starting to be phased out as a
daily part of ones wardrobe. And the tops again got lower. Some
of the 1960s vehicles appeared to have taller roofs as the
body height of cars was shortened.


U.S. News

Today there are cars around that I honestly don’t know how
anyone over the age of 20 can even get into. Tne new Camaros
come to mind. While the lower body has gotten taller it looks
like a designer chopped the top.

You may have noticed that the most popular hat today is the
baseball cap. That doesn’t need a lot of clearance, and there
are many who don’t wear any type of hat when it’s warmer out.
And in the winter, a basic stocking cap doesn’t add height.

I haven’t found confirmation of this yet but do believe our
cars were designed around our fashion trends at the time they
were built. If I’m wrong I’ll admit and if I’m right it was
worth the time trying to figure it out.

Enjoy our Tuesday. It means Thanksgiving is only 2 days away.
Now I need some coffee and a couple chocolate doughnuts.
Comments are always welcome.


Sunday service

November 5, 2017

Yes, it’s time for another edition concerning cars. In this
one we’ll take a quick walk down memory lane before going back
to the future. This is one concept we hope makes it to
production.

If you’re old enough to remember commercials from the late
1960s this one might start a stroll down memory lane, “Ford
has a better idea”. Wonder how many Mustangs they sold with
that ad campaign? Well, we don’t know if they had a better
idea in 1968, but we’ve heard of one they have now that
caught our eye.

Ford engine designer, Jim Clarke, has designed an engine that
has a turbocharger for each cylinder. Ever since the fuel
economy standard and the emission laws came out designers have
been looking for a way around them. Ford is already in the
game with their EcoBoost engine with its turbocharger.

If you have an EcoBoost powered vehicle, as we do, you know it
has enough power for a long Interstate cruise and sips gas
while doing. Ours has been reliable in the short time we’ve
had it. The engine also doesn’t suffer from turbo lag.

The new engines are being designed with the intent to get more
and cleaner power out of a smaller engine. These won’t have neck
snapping, tire smoking, super car power but more than enough to
get out of its own way.

Back to Mr. Clarke’s new engine. His concept is called
synergistic induction and turbocharging. That’s 10 dollar words
for an engine with two throttle bodies on each cylinder instead
of just one, and a turbo on every cylinder. The turbos will also
be smaller as there are more of them.

For now this is only a concept, but with a CAFE standard that
will force car-makers to produce vehicles that get over 54 mpg
in the foreseeable future, it’s an option to an electric car.

This isn’t a pipe dream. BMW has 3 and 4 cylinder engines with
multi-turbos, Volkswagen has one with electric turbos, and as
mentioned Ford has the EcoBoost. It will be an honest rival to
the electric with great gas mileage, and we hope they run with
it.
Comments are always welcome.


Who would have thought?

October 26, 2017

It’s that time of year when strange looking green fruit will
show up in the produce aisle. Maybe. The Osage Orange, or
hedge apples will be ripe for the picking. But the price may
be on the upswing. Why you ask?

It now seems that companies are buying the hedge apples to
get the hedge apple oil. Those in the know claim it has been
known for about the last 80 years the oil can have many uses,
but getting the oil out was the problem.

Over that span of time progress has been made and we’re told
companies are jumping on this new investment. The oils of the
hedge apples can be used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and in
essential oils.

Settlers once used the trees as fencing which stopped when
they found the trees invasive. Then they were considered
worthless by farmers and country folk. The hedge apples, horse
apples, hedge balls, monkey brains, or whatever you call them
are now said to be bringing $180 a ton at plants where they
extract the oil.

Osage orange trees are easy to spot once you’ve seen a few,
but not all the trees will have apples on them. That’s because
some Osage orange trees are male while others are female.

The Osage orange is inedible and can even irritate you skin.
Squirrels like them and shred them to get to the seeds while
cattle have been known to choke on them.

Then there is the debate as to whether they actually repel
spiders and other pests or if that’s an old wife’s tale. We
will put some out if we find them just in case. Hard to believe
these oranges, once considered a nuisance, may become a crop.

Enjoy our Thursday and the frost is on the hedge apples here.
Comments are always welcome.


Some days…

October 8, 2017

life just sucks the jelly right out of your doughnut. And
yesterday was just such a day. Grumpy because I hadn’t seen the
man in moon for a few days, I decided to lighten my mood by
chatting with him last night.

The day was going pretty good until I noticed my desktop was
moving at the speed of a dial up modem. Then a message from our
youngest informed me he was receiving Hollywood gossip from my
email and wondered what was going on. So was I as that isn’t
something I would normally do.

Turns out settings and passwords had been changed and the
computer had been hacked. While the culprit hasn’t been located
yet the computer is again working like it should and has been
since about 3 am.

So about midnight I went out and took some pictures of the
moon, had a chat about trivial things, and cooled off. The talk
was just what was needed and gave me time to catch a second
wind to do battle with the hacker. I will locate the computer
they used to hack me and if it is a school or business will
inform them that their system may be compromised.

Thanks Kenny, I would have caught it but your message lit a
fire under me to get it done. And now we’re going to enjoy
some thick cut pork chops, corn, and potato salad for an early
supper. Enjoy the rest of our Sunday as tomorrow starts the
work week for some.
Comments are always welcome.