Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Dangerous Brothers.....

Labels: , ,

Happy tunes....

Nerina Pallot- Everybody's Gone To War

Natasha Bedingfield - Size matters

Push Stars - Well Anyway

Polyphonic Spree - Hangin' Around

Plus 44 - When Your Heart Stops Beating


Monday, January 28, 2008

1929 Ford Model A - The Deceptive Gentleman

You See a Beautifully Restored Stock Model A Coming Your Way-- but What's That Noise?

It sounds angry. Really angry. And man, it's hauling ass on those wooden-spoke wheels on a winding road through the beautiful Finnish countryside. By the time you catch up to it at a diner down the road, it's chugging, sputtering, and sounding like a standard 200.5ci L-head four-cylinder engine. What's going on here?

You've just encountered the most clandestine prewar sleeper we've ever come across. What appears to be a nuts-and-bolts restoration of a Model A sedan is actually a very precisely tuned and stealthily constructed hot rod.

Kari Maekelae and his team of metal craftsmen at Maekelae Auto Tuning(MAT,, which specializes in building and restoring vintage sports cars and race cars, is the mastermind behind this surreptitious build. The owner of the A, a widely renowned rally driver who wishes to remain anonymous, found it and a '24 Model T while racing in the World Rally Championship in Argentina in 1993.

The cars were mostly complete,and the word is that he didn't pay much more than the price of shipping to get them back to his native Finland. The T received a full resto back to stock standards, and the A was slated for the same until the intrepid rally racer happened to mention to Kari that he'd like a bit more power underhood, but without going the typical hot rod or street rod route--he wanted to maintain a vintage look to the car.

After a few moments of bench racing with Kari about what could be done, he mentioned that his favorite engine from his decades of racing was the high-strung Group 4Ford Escort BDA built by Cosworth. That sparked an idea, and Kari immediately started envisioning what the car should be. After airing a few ideas, he persuaded the owner to give him full license to build the A as he saw fit.

The key to any good performing car is the platform, so the first order of business was to strip the A down to its basic elements and develop a plan for the chassis. Of course boxing the rails was on the list, but to make the frame exceptionally rigid, Kari designed crossbracing and brackets that would not only stiffen everything up but also blend right into the chassis and give a factory-built impression.
The stock front suspension was strengthened and given a Panhard rod, but the rear had to be completely rethought. No banjo rearend could survive the wrath of a race-bred Cosworth, so a Toyota 4x4 van rearend (which was actually used in Toyota rally cars) was selected for its width and durability, and a parallel four-link with a Panhard rod was designed to locate it. Coilovers would have been the easy choice but not the right one for this car. Kari's team fabricated mounts to use a stock-style buggy spring modified for a progressive rate and swapped in friction shocks from an Aston Martin DP4. Who would have thought? The list of illusory mods is lengthy, but to really appreciate the level of detail and time spent on every aspect to keep the identity of the A correct requires hours crawling all over it.

Now the answer to the question on everyone's mind: What does a near-stock-height Model A with a race-prepped original chassis and a drivetrain that'll propel it 0-60 in a tick over five seconds feel like on the open road? Stupid fun--and we don't use that term lightly. A good sleeper puts a wicked grin on your face, and there's no bigger sleeper than this. The absolute contradiction of sitting in the gentlemanly interior grasping the four-spoke steering wheel and stock-length shifter and hearing the high-strung wail from the Cosworth is delicious

If given the chance to enjoy the A for a weekend or so, we'd go for the ultimate covert action and dress in our Sunday best as if the only intention was a leisurely drive to an antique car show--with the MAT-designed ignition misfire circuit activated so it chugged laboriously along like a stock Model A. Of course we'd only pull the Simpson race harness over our shoulders at the stoplight once the guy in the BMW in the next lane had thoroughly dismissed us as nothing more than an antiquated and sluggish museum piece. Then, with a flip of the misfire switch and a tip of the hat, it'd be time to lower his smugness a few points. You with us? Bonus points for doing it with vintage driving gloves and a newsboy hat.

The naturally aspirated Cossie revs to 8,400 rpm to make 250 hp and sees 200 lb-ft of torque at 7,200 rpm.

From here.


Roll clouds are tubular shaped clouds associated with storms or advancing cold fronts. They're formed when down drafts usher in cold air toward the ground. This colder, denser air then spreads out along the surface in the direction the storm or front is advancing and undercuts warmer air. When moisture in this tumultuous near-surface air condenses, and if conditions are favorable, a roiling, rolling cloud occasionally forms.

From here.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Went for a ride today. The sun was shining, I felt good from a gym visit earlier, and most importantly, I'd found some time and ambition to add heat to my bike last evening.

The thermometer read 32degrees, the roads around Seattle were clear. I pointed the bike east, trying to escape the hordes of city drivers clogging the lanes, looking for a gently curving road. The heater wires buried in my jacket liner were doing their job wonderfully, allowing my core to stay warm and therefore continue to pump warm blood down to my extremities. Nice. I have a full set(socks, pants, jacket, gloves) of heated gear for my cruiser, but it's alternator throws out 550 watts or so, to my sportbike's measly...well, honestly I don't know. But I figured a high beam pulls 55 watts, the liner is rated at 44, so as long as I left the high beam off I should be ok. I was.

As I got to the higher elevations, though, the roads were increasingly wet with rain and de-icer solution, which accumulates everywhere, quickly fogging a visor with cloudy, easily smeared goo. Not good. I put off my camcorder trial.

Earlier I'd bought a small HD camcorder to begin filming my exploits, and although you can see the mount coming off the left mirror, I didn't want to get a new camera all nasty on it's shakedown run. So, the video will have to wait.

Got back home just as the sun was setting, revitalized by even a short,wet ride. Heat is Good.

Gerbings Heated Gear


Tunes you might like..

Mates of State

Sometimes disjointed, interesting syncopation, disharmonious voices that somehow gel and work.

Mates of State - Hoarding it For Home

Mates of State - 10 Years Later

Mates of State - Ride Again

Labels: ,

Hey, got a cat? Want to keep that cat in your backyard?

This weight on a stick claims to do just that.....

"Backyard Cat works by disturbing your cat's balance when attempting to jump. Backyard Cat takes the recreation out of jumping. The entire Backyard Cat device, including the cable, weighs about one pound. Backyard Cat has been tested under the supervision of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

Backyard Cat is a revolutionary training system that teaches your cat acceptable jumping behaviors. The Backyard Cat training system includes all of the elements you will need to produce the behavior change in your cat. The change in jumping behavior will provide your cat the opporotunity to roam around fenced property without the worry of jumping over a fence.

The Backyard Cat cable is long enough to allow your cat to sit upright without strain and can walk and run with normal posture. Your cat will thoroughly enjoy being outdoors. Our cats go out on a nice day 4 -6 hours a day."

The Site.

Labels: ,

A Tarantino take on the "Top Gun" movie.... Lots of naughty words, so nsfw (2:21)...

Labels: , ,

Friday, January 25, 2008

So, y’all remember “Calvin and Hobbes“? I hope so. A boy and his stuffed tiger have all sorts of adventures and mischief. The tiger (Hobbes) is alive and can talk to Calvin when they are together and nobody else is around…and stuffed and immobile when other people are present.

Yeah yeah…a metaphor for imagination. Or take it literally and believe in magic, either one works.

Calvin and Hobbes was touching, funny, exhilarating, and life-affirming. It ws nothing short of brilliant. I hated that the artist ended the strip even whilst I understood why. I wished it could go on and on, even knowing that it simply couldn’t be.

I ran across some things today that brought all those feelings back with a vengence…

First, there’s this Lilo cartoon, poking fun at the (rather uplifting) ending of Calvin and Hobbes:

Initially, I got a chuckle out of it, but then started pondering the level of cynicism, the death of innocence, and the sheer disbelief in the magic found in our world that this drawing represented…all to get a chuckle.

For those of you that don’t remember, here is the last REAL strip from Calvin and Hobbes:

So…while I was pondering all those deep thoughts, I ran across this next image…an alternate ending for Calvin and Hobbes done by somebody cutting/pasting from the real strips and adding their own dialog.

It is probably very close to the reality of the world today…and given the spirit of the entire Calvin and Hobbes saga…it is quite possibly the saddest and most poignant thing I’ve ever come across:

What will the world be like…with no imagination. I’d weep for the lost dreams of a generation…but they have a pill for that too.

Daniel Meyer

From the always entertaining blog of a fellow Valkyrie rider. Here.


Labels: , ,

Aunt Martha? Oh, she died. But I'm wearing her right now.....

The LifeGem® is a certified, high-quality diamond created from the
carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life, or as a symbol of your personal and precious bond with another.

The proprietary LifeGem creation process creates diamonds from the true essence of our loved ones, the carbon. Our families receive the ashes as all others do when choosing cremation, except our families also receive a certified, high-quality LifeGem created diamond to memorialize their loved one's unique and wonderful life.

This process of creating a LifeGem begins with a portion of the cremated remains from any standard cremation. From here, we extract the carbon to begin the LifeGem diamond creation process.

????? Yep. For real. The Site.

Labels: , ,

What you do with this knowledge is now up to you...(3:24)

Labels: ,


Labels: ,

Some Grey Bloke....

Gym Membership...

Light bulb joke...

Labels: ,

That's a lot of Post-it's.....Walt's Jag...

From Here.

Labels: , , ,

Pay attention....(0:31)

Labels: , ,

Lots more weirdness at Basicinstructions

Labels: , ,