A Blog About Cars ... And More
Tuesday June 29, 2021
AutoSketch: 1959 Cadillac Hearse - What A Way To Go!
Of all the '59 Cadillac models to pick from, why draw a hearse? Well, it illustrates the difficulty of trying to integrate conservative funeral tradition with automotive space-age styling.
The Space Race in car design began when General Motors found out about designer Virgil Exner's new 'Suddenly It's 1960' '57 Chrysler Corp. line-up; the GM styling department almost soiled its corporate trousers.
Suddenly, The General realized that Styling VP Harley Earl's age of high 'power dome' hoods and chrome applied by the bucketful with a trowel was over. It was too ... (more >>>)
Hot, Hot, Hot! Anyone else remember Buster Poindexter's hit song of the late 1980s? Well, it is late June around here, and normally we have clouds and highs in the 60s or 70s.
But We're Having A Heat Wave, as the 1933 Irving Berlin song says (Ethyl Merman popularized it in the '38 movie 'Alexander's Ragtime Band', although Marilyn Monroe did it best with a very sexy version in a 1954 movie), with triple digit highs on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, the temperature hit a record 113 degrees - the kind of reading one expects in Death Valley. Or India. We stayed inside mostly, ran the air-conditioner and had the lawn sprinklers water daily at 6:30 am.
On Friday morning, at 9:15 am, the temperature was already in the 70s, so I fired up my '39 Plymouth and went for a drive. I had the windows down and the cowl vent open and stayed nice and cool. The skies were cloudless and hazy blue, Mt. St. Helens was barely visible through the haze and is losing its snow at lower levels.
Traffic was light and the Plymouth ran well. Ever since I got the new custom radiator six years ago (with a thicker core and more tank capacity), I can drive in any weather without overheating.
This unexpected heat wave made me think of the value of air-conditioning. We got our first air-conditioned apartment in 1966. I got a new job in an air-conditioned building a few months later. I bought my first A/C car in 1976. Now we won't want to live without it. Thank you, Willis H. Carrier.
You Can't Be A Car Guy ... without a car hat. I have a miraculous one.
Cruel Dog Carrier: This thing was probably invented by ... (more >>>)
Auction Results: A black, supercharged 1957 Ford Thunderbird F-Code - with a red interior - sold for $203,500 at Mecum's Tulsa auction. Only 196 supercharged '57 T-birds were produced.
A silver 2006 Ford GT, fully optioned and showing just 7,000 miles, "topped the auction sales list at $330,000 (all results include auction fees), followed by the 2005 GT from the Elkin Brothers Collection that reached $302,500, and the other 2006 GT, wearing Gulf Blue and Orange Heritage livery, that sold for $280,500."
"Two Corvettes a 1963 split window coupe and a 1961 convertible sold for $176,000 and $159,500." Overall sell-through rate for this event was 82%; 539 vehicles found new homes.
Ten Best-Looking American Production Cars: Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder. That qualification aside, I hereby announce my choices for the ten best-looking American production (no concepts, no one-offs, no customs) cars (no trucks, crossovers or SUVs) ever manufactured ... (more >>>)
Brainless Mechanic: A friend sent this to me. I don't know if the story is true or a joke. Or both. The writer is from Mississippi: When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver's side door.
As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked. "Hey," I announced to the technician, "It's open!" To which he replied, "I know - I already got that side."
Saturday Night Trump: It was great to see and hear him again. Donald was in fine form at his Ohio rally. His energy and stamina are a reminder of just how feeble and tired-looking Joe Biden is by comparison. It was wonderful to hear a president speak a complete thought, and who didn't whisper or say weird things to little girls.
President Trump is the only president in my lifetime who truly tried to fulfill his campaign promises - that's amazing and remarkable.
Nuts Or Jerks? A study funded by the National Institute for Mental Health claims that 5-7% of the population - perhaps up to 16 million Americans - suffers from Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), or what could be referred to as Road Rage Syndrome. I guess that would be RRS.
Over the last 50 years, we have made great progress in treating mental disorders. Many are now effectively controlled with medications. Such progress must be a crippling blow to those institutions who get their funding only if there is a rampant problem to solve. I wonder if the NIMH is making up new diseases in order to perpetuate the organization.
Many older readers of this blog will not remember that the March of Dimes was formed in the 1930s to cure polio. When the disease was essentially conquered by Jonas Salk in the mid-1950s, the March of Dimes didn't declare victory and go out of business. Instead, they reinvented themselves as champions of all childhood afflictions. This is not to imply that the MOD doesn't do good work today; it's just an example of an organization having a driving need to perpetuate itself.
The American Lung Association's original objective was to fight tuberculosis. When that war was won, the organization put itself in charge of lung diseases of every kind. Call it 'institutional morphing'.
Is Road Rage Syndrome really a "new disorder"? Or just bad behavior by self-centered jerks?
Quote Of The Month is from Major Patriot: "So let me get this straight. Within 24 hours of Mike Lindell, Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani appearance in court to address Dominion Voting Systems lawsuits:
It should be noted that the two Brooklyn attorneys who were arrested and charged with firebombing a police car during the George Floyd Riots last summer can still practice law in the State of New York but Rudy Giuliani cannot.
What a month it has been - especially last week.
Succinct Recommendation: James Lileks offered advice to would-be talk show callers, "Be brisk and concise. Do not say you're a "first-time caller, longtime listener." No one cares. You might as well begin by announcing your height and cholesterol level.
Believe me, if you had felt a nagging tug of spiritual need all your life, finally knelt in prayer at age 53 and said, "Longtime listener, first-time beseecher," God himself would be tempted to strike you dead on the spot."
Who Knew? Queen Elizabeth and Mel Brooks are the same age - they both turned 95 this month.
Quote Of The Day is from Steven Wright: "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"
Friday June 25, 2021
Paint Power: Cal Custom tries for ... (more >>>)
Electrified Luxury: Lincoln has announced plans to introduce a "full portfolio" of EVs, with the first to make its debut in 2022.
"In all, four battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs are now in development. The luxury brand also said a "full line-up of connected vehicles" is in the works, taking things a big step beyond what it currently offers through its Sync infotainment system.
The first offering will likely be a crossover, "based on an all-new 'flexible architecture', a skateboard-like platform putting both batteries and motors below the cabin load floor. The platform will be able to be configured in either rear- or all-wheel drive."
I'm not interested in a technology-packed electric Lincoln. But, if something happens to my Lexus LS, I'll probably be on the prowl for a low-mileage 2006-10 Lincoln Town Car.
Plastic Jacks - Are You Kidding?! General Motors is recalling 135,400 compact crossovers because their emergency jack can break under load.
The problem occurs when the scissor jack - which is plastic - isn't positioned correctly as detailed in the owner's manual. This can cause the jack to fracture. If the jack breaks and the vehicle collapses, there's a risk of injury or death, according to an NHTSA recall alert. The recall involves the 2020-22 Buick Encore GX and 2021-22 Chevrolet Trailblazer.
A GM test driver discovered the problem when he broke a jack during a durability test on a Trailblazer. GM started investigating in April and found 21 claims of jack failures, including one reported injury. "This jack design may not be sufficiently robust against fractures if improperly or incorrectly positioned on the vehicle frame by the user," a NHTSA safety report said.
I don't know what kind of plastic GM is using - it appears to be injection-molded crosspiece subassemblies (black-colored, possibly filled recycled plastic) with metal connectors - but plastic is an inherently poor choice for lifting a car, because it has low tensile strength and flexural rigidity compared with steel.
If you own these vehicles, better buy a well-made steel scissor jack on hydraulic bottle jack - now.
Divine Duesey: There is an oft-held misconception that, even in the depths of the Great Depression, a new Duesenberg cost more than $25,000. While Deuseys were expensive, the statement is exaggerated.
Duesenberg expert Raymond A. Wolff wrote ... (more >>>)
U.S. Currency No Longer Sound: Although, it's still better ... (more >>>)
Eighty Years Ago ... my parents were married on June 28, 1941.
May they rest in peace together.
June Virus Update: Clark County had 24,291 cumulative confirmed cases - 1507 new cases this month, up 17% from the same period last month. 27 people were hospitalized this month - 41% lower than May. The mortality rate for May is 0.8%. This table summarizes data for cases and deaths in Clark County over time, beginning with March 2020.
As of June 22nd, there have been ... (more >>>)
Did Anyone Believe This Ad? I wonder if ... (more >>>)
Didja Ever Notice ...? Quizno's pictures of food look about 700 times better than its real food does.
Possibly True Fact: Jehovah's Witnesses have the highest survival rate from earthquakes. They're always standing in a doorway.
Wednesday June 23, 2021
A Little Over 75 Years Ago: This is what General Motors designers though that cars would look like in the 1950s.
All teardrops ... (more >>>)
Deals Ahoy: The big boat-like Rolls Royce Phantom offers purchasers a big discount - "$18,588 off the price quoted on its window sticker."
The discount "only represents 3.46% of its $537,500 average retail price, and that the resulting $518,912 cost to drive off the showroom floor still makes the Phantom an extremely expensive range-topping luxury sedan. Still, even very wealthy people won't snicker at that kind of savings."
Sleek Gift: For Father's Day, I received a resin-cast 1:43 scale model of a 1953 Pegaso Z-102 2.5 Cupola Coupe made for Matrix Models (a Netherlands company) in China. The model has photoetched detail components and run size was limited to 408 examples.
The Pegaso Z-102 was a limited-production Spanish sports car produced by Pegaso (a maker of trucks, buses, tractors and armored vehicles) in both coupé and cabriolet form between 1951 and 1958. The Z-102 was the fastest production car in the world ... (more >>>)
Wanna Drag? Well known to Philadelphia and South Jersey car enthusiasts, the Atco Dragway opened in 1960. Some events have drawn thousands of spectators to this sleepy Camden County community.
For decades, Atco drew professional racers and amateur motorheads alike ... (more >>>)
Interior Packaging: Today's cars are larger than their predecessors and offer substantially more interior space. The Honda Civic of today is almost identical in length to the Accord of 20 years ago. But it offers a longer wheelbase than that old Accord - translating to a smoother ride. (For a good ride, there's nothing better than a long wheelbase. Ask anyone who's ridden in an old Cadillac 75.) Most cars now stretch the wheelbase and tighten the front and rear overhangs to keep the vehicle's overall length resonable. The result - more interior room and improved riding comfort.
Back in 1972, I sketched such a car - a family sedan offering the interior packaging of a limo. The car was like a VW Dasher, but had an 18 inch longer wheelbase. The overall length was only 185 inches, almost a foot shorter than the contemporary Chevy Nova "compact."
Laugh at the styling (by today's standards) but it offered body-color urethane front and rear 5-mph bump-proof facia and had cleaner lines than many cars of the era. And the interior packaging efficiency was almost 50 years ahead of its time.
Goin' Electric: Volkswagen's Audi unit will stop introducing cars equipped with gasoline and diesel engines from 2026 on. "The report said there would also no longer be any hybrid models from that date onwards."
Mazda will introduce 10 new hybrid models and three all-electric vehicles based on the automaker's Skyactiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture between 2022 and 2025. Many will be built on the same basic architecture to cut costs.
Book Review: 'The IROC Porsches: The International Race of Champions, Porsche's 911 RSR and The Men Who Raced Them' by Matt Stone
It seemed like a great idea at the time. Bring together twelve of the world's champion race car drivers, put them in virtually-identical cars - differing only in color - and have them race, taping and broadcasting the race so that fans could see it without being in the stands.
The International Race of Champions (IROC) was created by Les Richter, Roger Penske and Mike Phelps and was promoted as an equivalent of an American motorsports All-Star Game. Racing fans were pumped because drivers from several different disciplines could be seen competing on a level playing field. For the ... (more >>>)
Ruskie Oil: Remember the good old days when Donald Trump made the U.S. oil independent? Well, it didn't take long for the Biden Administration to screw that up. According to The Epoch Times, "Russian oil imports have set a new record in the United States despite the strained relationship between Washington and Moscow. Industry experts believe the Biden administration's climate policies will make the country more dependent on foreign oil producers."
The United States imported record levels of crude oil from Russia in March and ... (more >>>)
Great Discoveries: Found in my files from 1980 or so ...
Why We Must Suppress Time Travel: Yes, yes, I'm aware of the usual concerns about disrupting the consequences of history: do-gooders would try and stop the assassinations of Lincoln, Kennedy and Archduke Franz Ferdinand with possibly disastrous results.
Not to mention those who would 'save' Jesus from the Crucifixion, probably with lasers, several armored Hummers, Bruce Willis and machine guns.
These are all worrisome but I'm most disturbed that … (more >>>)
Quote Of The Day is from Bennett Cerf: "Politicians are like ships: noisiest when lost in a fog."
Monday June 21, 2021
Do It Yourself: A Build Your Own Motor Car ad is from September 1947. Such small ads were often ... (more >>>)
I've Never Seen This Combo Before: An article in The Old Motor has pictures of a Nash-Hudson-Rambler auto dealership that "had a Roller Skating Rink on the second floor above the showroom and service department. Gifford Motors was located in Puyallup, WA, southeast of Tacoma, WA." The building later burned and the owner constructed a new showroom at another location in town, sans skating rink.
No Business, No Money … Probably Soon Gone: Troubled EV start-up Lordstown Motors revealed last week that it had no binding purchase orders for its vehicles.
Sign Of The Times: The Atlantic Oil Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania used to sell Hi-Arc brand gasoline. In Northeast Philadelphia, there was a small gas station on the Oxford Circle roundabout with a very large Hi-Arc sign which dominated the neighborhood skyline. The huge billboard-type sign with its distinctive clock face first appeared in the 1930s.
Oxford Circle is made up of the intersection of Oxford Avenue, Cheltenham Avenue, Castor Avenue and the 12-lane Roosevelt Boulevard. This has always been a busy and oft treacherous intersection but was particularly so prior to 1950, when the Route 59 trolley ran right through the grassy center of the large circle.
When the trolley cars were replaced by trolley buses (Philadelphians referred to them as 'trackless trolleys'), the buses traveled along Oxford Avenue and went around the circle with all the other vehicular traffic.
The circle was made even safer with ... (more >>>)
Anniversary Drive: At 12:30 pm Friday, it was sunny with blue skies and the temperature was a summery 71 degrees, so I fired up my '39 Plymouth coupe and took my wife for a ride.
I had a good drive on surprisingly lightly-trafficked roads. I enjoyed playing old 1950s music on my sound system and listening to the burble of the Plymouth's Glasspacks.
We had a very nice lunch at our favorite restaurant - celebrating 55 years of marriage. When we returned home at 1:00 pm, it was 66 degrees and partly sunny. I said to my wife, "Let's go for a ride in the Plymouth." She last rode in it two years ago.
We traveled the back roads of North Clark County. Snow-covered Mt. St. Helens was quite visible on this clear day. Traffic was fairly light and we had a nice ride together. As usual, the car ran great. It was wonderful to have her along as we continue down the road of life.
There's another anniversary, too. In 1994 - 27 years ago, I got the Plymouth as a Father's Day present from my wife.
Did You Have A Good Father's Day? I hope so. I did. My kids and my grandson were here. We had a wonderful lunch and a great dinner - filets mignon (Costco Prime, of course) along with scalloped potatoes and a nice Cabernet Sauvignon. We also had pies and a Tuxedo Torte. Memories were shared, stories were exchanged and a good time was had by all.
By dinnertime, the temperature hit 93 degrees. Al Gore may be right. I mean, these ninety degree days now are way hotter than the ninety degree days I suffered through as a kid.
Enabling Homelessness And The Organizational Scams Which Perpetuate It: Christopher F. Rufo has studied Seattle's homeless problem and the ineffective government response. "Over the past five years, the Emerald City has seen an explosion of homelessness, crime, and addiction. Property crime has risen to a rate two and a half times higher than Los Angeles's and four times higher than New York City's."
The Seattle metro area "spends more than $1 billion fighting homelessness every year. That's nearly $100,000 for every homeless man, woman, and child in King County, yet the crisis seems only to have deepened, with more addiction, more crime, and more tent encampments in residential neighborhoods. By any measure, the city’s efforts are not working."
Rufo noted that ... (more >>>)
Cowardly Bureaucrats: The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has walked back a plan to restrict Communion to public figures who are pro-abortion - such as President Biden. "We are no longer proposing a national policy" regarding who may present themselves for Communion, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Indiana's Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese told conference delegates. Biden's administration has - presumably with his assent - undertaken several steps to liberalize federal abortion funding in the U.S. and abroad this year.
"In May, the administration released a proposed fiscal year 2022 budget that omitted reference to the 1976 Hyde Amendment which banned federal funding for most abortion procedures. The president had supported its use until his 2019 campaign for the Democratic Party nomination." Biden has no moral center, his "Catholicism" is simply a political convenience. That's true of ... (more >>>)
Who's Better? Peter Schweizer once wrote a book with the rather lengthy title: 'Makers and Takers: Why Conservatives Work Harder, Feel Happier, Have Closer Families, Take Fewer Drugs, Give More Generously, Value Honesty More, Are Less Materialistic and Envious, Whine Less ... And Even Hug Their Children More Than Liberals'. I haven't read the book but I have read some of the reviews. Apparently, Schweizer has gathered a lot of data to back up the title's assertions.
I can't dispute Mr. Schweizer's data. However, I have a number of friends who are liberal and I find them no more/less screwed-up than my conservative friends. Not all liberals are nasty Daily Kossacks or grungy Code Pinkers. They are hard workers who love their families and try to Do The Right Thing. As - hopefully - we all do.
In my experience, the vast majority of small business owners are conservative. I think it's because they see firsthand the lunacy of government run amok. They see bad employees - whom they have fired - get the benefit of the doubt from gummint do-gooders, while they - as taxpaying good citizens - are viewed with suspicion. Or contempt. They experience the wrath of public-sector drones enforcing silly, useless and obscure codes just to justify some deadwood bureaucrat's job. I understand; owning a small business certainly made me more conservative.
Many of the liberals I know work or have worked in the public sector. They don't understand the trouble/cost of excessive regulations, unfunded mandates, etc.
Conservatives believe in self help. And think that the government is ineffective and inefficient when it comes to delivering social services. Liberals believe that only the government can deliver a fair shake to everyone. This is a fundamental philosophical difference. It does not mean that either side is inherently 'evil'.
The Sad State Of The Biden Presidency … has been summarized by Kurt Schlichter: "It's beyond any reasonable dispute that the slack-jawed old pervert staggering through this punchline presidency is getting more senile by the day. All the while, his cackling understudy is biding her time everywhere but at the border, getting huffy at being questioned, and generally failing at a job historically assigned to morons as a role where they could do little damage."
And: "This epoch is the interregnum, a caretaker presidency presided over by a human asterisk who cares only about his post-lid bowl of mush and being wrapped in a shawl, set in front of the tee-vee, and allowed to watch his stories. The only thing moving less expeditiously than his bowels is his ridiculous legislative agenda, and all the prunes in the world aren't going to help clear out that particular constipation, not with Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema refusing to commit ritual political suicide on the altar of coastal leftist dreams."
Wow, Kurt, tell us how you really feel.
Quote Of The Day is from Yogi Berra: "You can observe a lot by watching."
Thursday June 17, 2021
Remembering The Hirohata Mercury: It was one of the most famous early 1950s customs. Road & Track did a nice photo spread of this iconic ... (more >>>)
Many Of Us Are Sticking With Internal Combustion Engines: Don Surber, who drives a 2010 red Mustang GT convertible (with 114,000 careful miles on it), noted that Ford is building more Mustang Mach-E EVs than gas-powered Mustangs. Don pointed out the famous Glenn Reynolds quip: "Maybe someone should start building electrical power plants to power these."
One of Glenn's commenters wrote, "If you wanted the buying public accept that an electric Mustang is a real Mustang, why would you make it look like an overweight grocery-wagon?"
Don stated, "I have no intention of buying one because I prefer a safe, clean, efficient internal combustion engine. The only place fit for one of those AC/DC automobiles is driving down the Highway to Hell."
Cars Are Getting Older: The average age of U.S. cars and light trucks rose to a record 12.1 years in 2020 (an increase from 11.9 years in 2019), as Americans drove fewer miles and scrapped more vehicles during the Wuhan pandemic, according to IHS Markit. "Vehicle miles traveled in the United States declined more than 13% in 2020."
In 1970, the average car in the U.S. was 5.6 years old and the average light truck was 7.3 years old.
The youngest vehicle in our household is 13.5 years-old, while the oldest is 82 years-old. But we've never been 'average' people.
Give Your Car That Jet Look: ... (more >>>)
Some Things Never Really Change: In 1979, writing for Automobile Quarterly (Vol. 17, No. 3), Allan Girdler noted that, in the pre-1955 days, when Fords had rumbly V8s and Chevies had a less-powerful straight-six engine, "Ford was the hot car - the young man's choice. Chevrolet was the old man's car, built by and for accountants." Yet "doddering old Chevrolet laughed all the way to the bank. Year after year, Ford came in second. Chevrolet, the car for people who didn't know or care about cars, was the sales leader."
Sounds a bit like Toyota today ... the buff mags make fun of Camrys, Avalons, RAV4s, Tacomas and Siennas and call them 'appliances', but the public finds them to be perfectly adequate vehicles, offering relatively pain-free ownership.
The Life Of The Party ... who knew?
Productivity Vs. Philosophy: I have previously discussed the poor productivity of the U.S. educational system, defined as output (grades) divided by cost per student. I suggested that we "junk our antiquated public education system and start over, applying the same technological improvements which have greatly boosted productivity and quality levels elsewhere."
Steve Sailer has pointed out that there's a need for a philosophical change, too. He wrote: "In contrast to most of the rest of the industrialized world, we've demonized "tracking" students by ability and nearly abolished vocational education, insisting that everybody be on the college prep track."
"In contrast, our European and Asian economic rivals have largely resisted the urge to junk tracking. The rest of the world understands what America's educational leaders refuse to admit publicly: with teens with two digit IQs, failure is always an option. We insist that every student stick around until age 18 doing academic work that many despise. Hence, millions just stop coming to school. Over the last four decades, the high school dropout rate in America has increased from about 1/5th to 1/4th, according to Nobel laureate economist James Heckman."
"The amount of money that Japan, for instance, invests in training high school students for skilled blue-collar careers is astonishing by today's paltry American standards."
Steve notes: "In most of Germany, for example, children are still tracked, based on parents' and teachers' assessment of their academic potential, into different types of schools beginning with fifth grade. The lower kinds of schools lead to vocational training and rigorous apprenticeships. The high-quality blue-collar work force created by this system contributes mightily to the famed precision of the country's machine tools and BMWs."
Book Review: 'Beneath A Scarlet Sky' by Mark Sullivan
This is a true story which has been novelized for dramatic purposes. It follows the actions and interactions of Pino Lella, a Milanese teenager caught in World War II and squeezed by Nazis, Fascists and friends in the resistance. The book interested me because little has been written about the Italian resistance during ... (more >>>)
Tomorrow Is Our 55th Wedding Anniversary: This photo is recent - taken on Mother's Day:
Anniversary Dinners: We've had a lot of great ones. A complete list of the first 50 of them is posted here. One of the best ones was during our 2003 Colorado trip. For our 37th wedding anniversary, we dined at the Penrose Room on the top floor of the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. With five servers - every one of whom addressed us by name and were properly obsequious. After cocktails, we had Chateaubriand accompanied by a bottle of Robert Strong Merlot. (We could have had Chateau Latour from 1945, but $5,000 for a bottle of Bordeaux seemed a little excessive!)
The carver was an intense, angry-faced, tuxedoed, older man with a bowl haircut - the spitting image of Moe from the Three Stooges. We kept waiting for him to slap the other waiters around - but Moe stuck to his carving and then disappeared into the kitchen never to be seen again.
We were serenaded by a jazz band (The Ken Miller Trio) with blonde female vocalist, Lila Mori - they had a very good sound.
We had great views of the city and the Cheyenne mountains and watched the sun go down as we enjoyed the food and ambiance.
This year we're having a quiet celebratory lunch at Hudson's Grill in Vancouver.
Sunday Is Father's Day, So Celebrate: To all dads - and grandfathers - Happy Father's Day. I've posted my thoughts about fathers here. And about being a dad here.
I miss my dad; he would have turned 102 this year. My dad's father would have been 145:
I'm looking forward to seeing both my kids on Sunday. I'll be cooking filets mignon on the grill - rain or shine.
A Win-Win Situation: To augment the now-stalled Trump Wall, dig a moat the length of the Mexican border. Take the dirt from there and raise the levies in New Orleans. Then out the excess Florida alligators in the Mexican border moat.
Quote Of The Day is from P. J O'Rourke: "I like to think of my behavior in the sixties as a "learning experience." Then again, I like to think of anything stupid I've done as a "learning experience." It makes me feel less stupid."
Tuesday June 15, 2021
When Stock Isn't Quick Enough: Movie star and car guy Clark Gable picks up his T-Bird after having a McCulloch supercharger installed. Note the ... (more >>>)
Laughing Warmly: CAR magazine's Mark Walton - described as having "driven every pivotal car in the last twenty years, many of them sideways" - is skeptical of Global Warming: "Someone must surely be having a laugh here. If we are really in such a mess ... why are we messing about with low-energy lightbulbs and taxing Range Rovers? It's like bailing out the Titanic with a teaspoon. Either that, or the whole thing is a huge scientific hysterical hoax."
I vote for hoax.
High Noon: It was partly-cloudy and 71 degrees at noon Saturday, so I fired up my '39 Plymouth coupe and went for a drive. Traffic was moderate and, while there were blue skies above there was a partial ring of white-gray clouds partway around the horizon, looking a bit like Ed Asner's hairline. Mt. St. Helens was hidden behind clouds.
As I was headed down a back road, I sighted down the Plymouth's distinctive hood, feeling like I was 16 again. At that exact moment, Conway Twitty's warbling 1958 hit, 'It's Only Make Believe' came through the speakers. Irony - thy name is Twitty. Yes, I'm 60+ years away from being 16 and driving my first '39 Plymouth coupe, but I can still remember when.
The Plymouth ran great and I had an enjoyable weekend ride with the windows down. The rain returned Saturday evening and continued into Monday.
Size Matters: The new Ford Maverick pickup - with a starting price of $20,000 - isn't small at almost 200 inches in length. But it's 11 inches shorter than the Ford Ranger and 32 inches shorter than the F-150.
The Ford F-250 Super Duty is 250 inches long - almost a half-foot longer than a 1959 Cadillac 75 limousine.
Then And Now: Sixty years ago, the owners manual of a car showed you how to adjust the valves. Today, it warns you not to drink the contents of the battery.
How To Kill Business: In case you haven't heard the latest, the Biden administration is getting serious about the plastic waste 'crisis'. According to an article in the Epoch Times, "a three-year ban on plastics production is being pushed by congressional Democrats” that would "collapse the oil and gas industry, causing major national economic damage."
Representative Bill Johnson (R-OH) explained that "Section 902 of the Clean Future Act that is being pushed through the House and Senate by Democrats right now places a three-year moratorium on new permitting for plastics manufacturing." Section 902, "places a temporary pause on new permits for facilities that produce plastics, or the raw materials used to produce plastics (such as ethylene and propylene), as well as facilities that repolymerize plastics into chemical feedstocks. Johnson made a good point to Epoch Times reporter Mark Tapscott, congressional correspondent for the newspaper, when he noted that building electric vehicles - the darling of environmentalists - requires plastic."
I'll add to that by noting that every vehicle made requires plastic, which has done much to reduce the weight of vehicles resulting in more miles per gallon.
Will people stop using plastics? No. But prices will soar as supply is artificially limited and more plastic components will be imported … most likely from China.
The Biden Administration and its Democrat buddies are doing everything they can to kill business development in America.
Entertainer/Entrepreneur: Fifties hitmaker Lloyd Price died in May 2021 at age 88 from complications of diabetes. A self-described 'country boy', Lloyd was born on March 9, 1933, in Kenner, LA - one of 11 children of Beatrice and Louis Price, who owned the Fish 'n' Fry Restaurant.
Price's first successful record was a solid R&B hit - 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy' - in 1952. After a stint in the military, he returned to the music scene, recording 'Stagger Lee' in 1958 as well as 'Personality' and 'I'm Gonna Get Married' in 1959.
Price was also a prolific ... (more >>>)
Versatile Actor: Ned Beatty has died at age 83. "He was one of the top character actors in film, particularly during the 1970s and appeared in more than 160 films. He was nominated for an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain and a Golden Globe Award; he also won a Drama Desk Award."
I loved his portrayal of Arthur Jensen in 'Network'. He played a lot of characters on television as well. He played Detective Stanley 'The Big Man' Bolander on 'Homicide: Life on the Street'. Rest in peace.
Quote Of The Day is from Catholic priest Father James Altman of La Crosse, WI: "They want my head now for speaking that truth. I, a lowly priest, apparently have created enemies among some of the hierarchies."
Altman serves in a blue-collar city in western Wisconsin. But when his bishop demanded his resignation after a series of "divisive" remarks about politics and the pandemic Altman refused to oblige and has since raised more than $640,000 from his conservative supporters to defend himself.
"You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat," said Altman, admonishing people to "repent of your support of that party and its platform or face the fires of Hell." He reiterated that sentiment recently while also criticizing vaccination efforts and restrictions on church gatherings related to covid-19.
Friday June 11, 2021
Too Many Companies, Too Many Brands: Big technological change finds companies flocking to cash in. But, usually there's not enough room for all of them and many just go out of business. This has happened twice before in the automotive business and it's happening again with the new technology of electric vehicles.
In the early days of the 20th Century, there were many companies which raised capital, built a few cars, couldn't compete or make money in a market that had fast-moving technology and consolidation of suppliers dealers and manufacturers. Some were just scammobiles conceived to sucker money out of investors. If you're a car guy with total recall, you may remember ... (more >>>)
Moon Eyes Babes: Three photos of gals wearing Moon Equipment ... (more >>>)
One Man's Truth: Bill McGuire, the man behind the great auto website Mac's Motor City Garage, has owned a Tesla Model 3 for nine months and 8,000 or so miles. He's written about it in a post titled 'The Truth About Owning a Tesla'. Bill has had a mostly positive experience with his new car and provides a detailed report. He believes that the future is electric and makes a compelling case. His article is worth a read.
In other Tesla news ... (more >>>)
Tasty T: In the 1970s and '80s, Tasty Baking used a 1915 Model T delivery van in TastyKake livery to promote their snack cake products. I have a ... (more >>>)
What's In A Name? In 1959, the Guide Lamp Division of General Motors (now a separate company known as Guide Corp.) developed the Twilight Sentinel - a sensor system which automatically turned the headlights off and/or on at dusk/sunrise.
It was first offered as an option on 1960 Buick models …. (more >>>)
Wiener Queen: Presenting Miss Frankfurter of 1952. She's probably ... (more >>>)
St. Woke Prep: My old alma mater, St. Joe's Prep, was once an affordable private Catholic school for the middle-class. No more. Tuition is now over $25,000 per year. Like other expensive private schools, it has, sadly, become Woke. For example, the Prep now has a Director of Diversity and Inclusion.
The school recently published Our Year Of Solidarity' which mentioned "marginalized members of society" and "systemic racism." Systemic racism, I've read, is nebulously defined as "a form of racism that is embedded through laws and regulations within society or an organization. It can lead to such issues as discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues."
I don't buy it. Today ... (more >>>)
Political Observation Of The Week is from Chris Cardillo: "Hunter Biden is the son the left wanted Trump to have."
Quote Of The Day is from Don Surber: "The national sin of the 19th century was slavery. It ended in 1865. The national sin of the 20th century was segregation. It ended in 1964. The national sin of the 21st century is abortion. It, too, will end."
Wednesday June 9, 2021
Mr. Paint: Born in 1908, Earl Scheib never went to college. Instead, he got a job as a gas station attendant changing oil and tires for General Petroleum Co. in the late 1920s. Not long after, he went into business with his own gas station on the corner of Whitworth and Fairfax in Los Angeles. His neighbors soon began asking if he knew anyone who could paint their cars. So, each night, after closing time, Earl would paint cars in the station's lube garage.
It didn't take long for word of Earl's painting service to spread, and soon ... (more >>>)
The King Of Drag Racing: I've added more photos to my Don Garlits page.
Supply/Demand: According to the car shopping website CarGurus, used car values have risen 30% in the past year.
"The list is led by Ram (up 40.5%), followed by Aston Martin (38.1%), Ford (38.7%), GMC (37.9%), Chevrolet (37.3%), Dodge (36.4%), VW (35.1%), Lincoln (32.9%), Toyota (30.5%), and Hyundai and Kia (both 30.1%)."
Kaboooooom! People gathered and watched in the stands as a Dodge Ram with a hopped-up Cummins diesel revved up … and exploded. The engine failed catastrophically and sent pistons and other pieces into the grandstands.
There's a video posted on the link. One spectator is holding a hot shredded piston with a pair of pliers. Who would think to carry Vice Grips to a truck meet? The article and video are posted on Road & Track. R&T's founder, John R. Bond, must be spinning in his grave.
Another Inflation Indicator: Maz Wooley of Model Auto Review reported, "Shipping from China continues to be an issue, with restricted capacity available and costs being quoted now 500-600% higher than they were before the pandemic.
Such increases in shipping costs are not sustainable, without cost increases being passed on to the consumer, so I expect that prices of models announced for 2022 will rise substantially."
Book Review: 'Fish Out of Water: A Search for the Meaning of Life' by Eric Metaxas
I was looking forward to this book because I've read the author's other works ('Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy', 'Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World' and 'Seven More Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness'. I have also seen Eric on television and he is well-spoken.
This book is part-memoir, part-autobiography - it ends with his 'conversion' to born-again Christian thirty-some years ago. I wanted to like this book but his writing tends to be ponderous and - perhaps because he is part German - this one sits heavier than a big serving of Rahmschnitzel with a large side of Dampfnudeln.
Unfortunately ... (more >>>)
The Department Of Trivial Information ... brings you this: "Based on their estimates, each fast-food "value" meal would cost an adult 5¢ more in fuel expenses - as heavier passengers reduce a car's fuel efficiency - and about 35¢ in overall food costs, since heavier people need more calories." I mean, who gives a rat's patootie?
Robo-Clean: Windoro, the window-cleaning robot, consists of two modules that go on opposite sides of the window and hold each other using permanent magnets.
Its creators say that ... (more >>>)
Headline Of The Week … so far, is from The People's Cube: 'Biden proposes bill to spend two trillion dollars on more money-printing factories'.
Ham Radio: Right here ... (more >>>)
Face Diaper - Yes, Everything Else - No: Philadelphia bike riders won’'t need their shirts, pants, skirts or even underwear - just a mask. Organizers of the annual Philly Naked Bike Ride say this year's event will take place August 28th and will require masks, based on the city's coronavirus restrictions.
Thought For Today: Every 20-minute job is one broken bolt away from becoming a three-day ordeal.
Monday June 7, 2021
May Vehicle Sales: The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated sales of 16.99 million SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) in May 2021, down 9.5% from the April sales rate, but up 40% from May 2020. Since April 2020, sales have increased and are now close to sales reported in pre-pandemic 2019. 2021 sales-to-date are up 1.5% compared to the same period in 2019.
Sales in May were likely impacted by supply issues, especially a shortage of microchips. Many car dealers have almost no inventory on their lots. Charlie Chesbrough, Cox Automotive senior economist said, "Supply is more than 40% below last year’s levels, and many dealers have little inventory available." The stockpile of unfinished Ford Super Duty pickups with missing microchips is so great it is visible from space. General Motors has over 20,000 pickups in storage awaiting chips.
Gerard Van der Leun remarked, "The fallout from the 2020 Chinese Communist attack on America continues." Indeed. And while a lot of chips come from China, notice that China is trying to get rid of Taiwan - a major source of microchips. Multiple sources have reported that Taiwan produces far higher-quality chips than Red China. 75% of all microchips are made in Asia. Only 12% are made in the U.S.
Nevertheless, brands such as Kia and Hyundai are posting record months. Honda and Toyota are also reporting big increases thanks to brisk sales in the long-dormant passenger car segments. In May Hyundais passenger car sales increased by 105%, while SUV sales increased 34%. Overall, Hyundai sales were up 56% compared with a year ago as the South Korean brand sold more than 90,000 vehicles.
Kia America reported its third-successive best-ever monthly sales result, totaling 80,298 units, surpassing the previous mark set in April 2021. Four Kia nameplates - Forte, K5, Sportage and Carnival MPV - enjoyed their strongest months ever. Through May, Kia sales are up 43.9% over 2020. Honda, which saw its sales increased 52% in May, cited strong sales of Honda Civic and Accord - even the Acura ILX posted its best sales numbers in five years. Toyota division sales for the month totaled 212,447 vehicles, up 47%. Lexus division sales for the month totaled 29,724 vehicles, up 49%.
Mazda reported total May sales of 42,187 vehicles, an increase of 69% compared to May 2020. Subaru also reported an 8% increase in sales as dealers scrambled to fill orders.
I guess ... (more >>>)
Another June Drive: On Friday, the temperature was 61 degrees and the sky was blue - perfect weather for an old car drive. So I fired up my '39 Plymouth coupe and took off. Traffic was fairly light and I had a clear view of Mt. St. Helens.
I drove with the windows down so I could here this mix of exhaust burble combined with songs of 1957-59 playing through the Plymouth's speakers: Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Ward and the Dominoes, The Five Satins, Lee Andrews and the Hearts, The Platters and more. I felt like I was 16 again.
On 159th St., I saw a blue early-1950s Studebaker 2R series flatbed truck parked in a driveway. These old Studies were so distinctive, you couldn't mix them up with any other truck brand.
Anyway, I had a most enjoyable excursion and the old Plymouth ran great. I'm glad I went out when I did - it rained Saturday and Sunday.
Car Character: Andrew Dederer wrote, "When people say a car has 'character', they mean one of two things. First and foremost, the word is deployed to praise gross ergonomic errors. We're not talking about minor design quirks: Saab ignitions on the floor, CR-V shifters high on the dash, horns on the wheel spokes. Pistonheads trot out the 'C' word to heap praise upon those interior peculiarities that stand up and demand you notice them when you should be doing something else, like driving. While enthusiasts have been praising these automotive "eccentricities" for years, it's time for carmakers to write this character out of the program."
Yes, well ... in my article about Road Test Lingo, I defined 'character' a little differently: "A marque with a storied history but you never know if the car is going to start in the morning."
Auction Results: A unique 1929 Duesenberg Model J 'Disappearing Top' Torpedo convertible coupe with a polished and brushed bare aluminum body, sold for $5.725 million to lead RM Sotheby's Amelia Island auction.
RM Sotheby's reported sales totaling $42,174,340 with over 95% of the 99 collector cars offered going to new owners. "Just four cars did not achieve their reserve prices." Eight cars sold for more than a million dollars each during the single-day live auction, with Ferraris reigning as the next-four highest sellers, with prices ranging from $1.5 million to $3.8 million.
Homicides Leap … in Democrat cities. Examples (year-to-date): Portland +800%, LA County +148%, Minneapolis +93%, Atlanta +52% and Philadelphia +38%.
Make 'Em Pay: Don Surber wrote, "President Donald John Trump to Red China: "You owe us $10 trillion for unleashing covid 19 upon the world." Suing Red China for $10 trillion makes sense.
In fact, that should be the Republican platform in 2022: we will make Red China pay. Fight the real enemy."
In the U.S., over 600,000 people have died from the China Virus. Worldwide, there have been almost four million deaths. Every day, more evidence is revealed indicating that "China may have intentionally unleashed the most deadly bioweapon in world history."
And, here's a shocker: "Sources say DIA leadership kept the defector within their Clandestine Services network to prevent Langley and the State Department from accessing the person, whose existence was kept from other agencies because DIA leadership believes there are Chinese spies or sources inside the FBI, CIA, and several other federal agencies." Wow. Just wow.
Let's kick China out of the World Trade Organization, too. I bet the European Union would go along with us on this.
"A Little Dab'll Do Ya!" Brylcreem hair cream was created in 1928 by County Chemicals in Birmingham, England. Brylcreem is an emulsion of water and mineral oil stabilized with beeswax. It is notable for the high shine it provides.
It is sold worldwide and was very popular in the U.S. from the 1930s through the '60s. It was advertised on radio and television with the jingle ... (more >>>)
New Word: Treeware (noun) The new derogatory term for a printed book, used mostly by ebook enthusiasts. Derived from the phrase "a dead-tree book."
Quote Of The Day is from economist, historian, logician and sociologist Ludwig von Mises: "Socialism is an alternative to capitalism as potassium cyanide is an alternative to water."
Thursday June 3, 2021
Seventy-Five Grand Wrangler: Ezra Dyer of Car and Driver tested the 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 and began by noting Jeep's engine options. "Jeep's lucrative four-wheel-drive anachronism is available with a turbocharged four-cylinder, a naturally aspirated V-6 (with or without 48-volt hybrid assistance), a plug-in hybrid turbo-four, or a turbodiesel V-6. And now, rounding out Jeep's offer-all-the-engines policy, you can get a Wrangler stuffed with a gargantuan 470-hp 6.4-liter Hemi V-8. No, Jeep didn't use the supercharged Hellcat engine. Nobody has enough life insurance for that."
He described the big-engined Jeep as a "mud-bog Maserati. It's "hold my beer" with an eye-level hood scoop. While everyone's fawning over the 2021 Ford Bronco, Jeep is clearing its throat through quad tailpipes and asking for a moment of your attention."
With 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, Jeep claims the Wrangler Rubicon can hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. The fun doesn't last much longer than that, though, as this is the rare sub-5.0-second-to-60-mph machine that can't hit 100 mph. Top speed is governed to 99 mph, so as not to abuse its huge 33-inch, Q-rated BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires.
Prices start at $74,999.
Royal Imperial: In 1953, Chrysler created a one-off Chrysler Imperial show car to celebrate ... (more >>>)
Eighty-One Years Ago ... the 7 millionth flathead Ford V8 engine was produced June 4, 1940.
Truck Farming: A good friend, who lives in Tokyo, wrote me about going shopping: "I went to the huckster." I hadn't thought about hucksters in years. I remember when hucksters (sometimes called truck farmers) used to drive slowly through our neighborhood in trucks with awnings over the beds selling fresh vegetables. It turns out that those huckster trucks actually had a name for the special body configuration. It was known as a 'canopy express'.
A canopy express is a light-duty cargo hauler, often based on the chassis of a panel or pickup truck. They were offered by several manufacturers in various sizes from half-ton to one-and one-half ton. The vehicles had open display areas behind the driver's seat commonly used for peddling vegetables and fruit but also used for other kinds of deliveries that require easy access. Many had roll-up or swing out canvas awnings on the side and back openings.
As the U.S. became more suburbanized after World War II, sales of canopy express vehicles declined. GM offered the last ones in 1955.
In the '50s, everybody in our urban Philadelphia neighborhood had a milkman, a bread man and a farmer. And hucksters. And ... (more >>>)
Attention-Grabbing Headline: 'Slavery Makes Electric Cars Possible'.
The story is about cobalt mining in the Congo. "There is no question that defendants have specific knowledge that the cobalt mined in DRC they use in their various products includes cobalt that was produced by children working under extremely hazardous conditions, that serious mining accidents are common due to the primitive conditions and complete lack of safety precautions in the mines, and that hundreds, if not thousands, of children have been maimed or killed to produce the cobalt needed for the world's modern tech gadgets produced by defendants and other companies."
Every smartphone, tablet, laptop, electric vehicle or other device containing a lithium-ion rechargeable battery requires cobalt in order to recharge. And that comes from cobalt in Congo.
When Stores Were Stylish And Elegant: We live in an age of big box stores - dreary and bland tilt-up concrete warehouses reminiscent of buildings found in 1970s USSR. They are part of the Retail Apocalypse, where millions of department and specialty stores are perishing due to cheapie chains such as Wal-Mart and the rapid rise of online shopping. This inevitable decline was hastened by the 2020 pandemic.
Once upon a time, stores were elegant with ... (more >>>)
Bottled Marketing: In an article about bottled water, John Stossel explained "why 'Evian', spelled backward, is 'naive'."
Tomorrow is National Donut Day:
Go buy a dozen or so and celebrate.
Book Review: 'The Tyranny Of Big Tech' by Josh Hawley
This book has an interesting back story. Senator Hawley's book was cancelled by publishing giant Simon & Schuster, after Hawley refused to blame President Trump for the January 6th "riots" and condemn the participants. I know what a riot looks like, I see television coverage of Portland's daily burning and destruction on my local news programs. I am also aware of the falsehood that D.C. protesters "killed" policemen. The only person killed was unarmed military veteran Ashli Babbitt - fatally shot by an as-yet-unidentified Capitol policeman.
Hawley had correctly questioned the results of the 2020 presidential election, which thousands of people protested at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. And the police invited them inside. Unlike what is seen in Minneapolis, Detroit, Seattle, Portland and elsewhere, there were no fires, no looting and minimal damage during this protest.
In any case, conservative publisher Regnery Publishing picked up Hawley's book and it is now a best-seller ranking number six in Publishers Weekly's latest list of hardcover nonfiction titles. Winning is the best revenge, they say.
This well-written book documents ... (more >>>)
What Many Suspected Has Been Confirmed: An explosive new study revealed that researchers have found 'unique fingerprints' in covid-19 samples that they say could only have arisen from manipulation in a laboratory.
A new 22-page paper authored by British Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr. Birger Sørensen showed there's evidence to suggest Chinese scientists created the virus while working on a Gain of Function project in a Wuhan lab.
The researchers, who concluded that the Wuhan Virus 'has no credible natural ancestor', also believe Chinese scientists reverse-engineered versions of the virus to cover up their tracks.
This vindicates ... (more >>>)
Joke Of The Day is from Tom McMahon: "The psychologist congratulated his patient on making good progress, but the patient wasn't buying it. 'You call this progress?' he snapped. 'Six months ago, I was Napoleon. Now I'm nobody.'"
Tuesday June 1, 2021
The third car from left, a 1939 Plymouth coupe, is parked on ... (more >>>)
Feels Like Summer: The weather icon showed partly cloudy, but it was wrong. Saturday was gorgeous with bright blue skies with a few wispy translucent clouds here and there At 11:00 am, the temperature was already in the mid-60s (it eventually reached 80 degrees), so I fired up my '39 Plymouth coupe and went for a drive. Traffic was surprisingly light and the beat-up road I've previously complained about is now paved, although it doesn't have the top coat yet. The drive is now much smoother.
I had a crystal-clear view of brilliant-white snow-covered Mt. St. Helens. I rolled the windows down and, at one point, got a dose of freshly cut grass from a large field I passed. What was most noticeable was the greenery - it was that unique shade of Spring Green observed during my little tour. Grass, trees, weeds, etc. are a vibrant, glossy, verdant hue with no hint of the dull, dry look of summer.
Having the windows down gave me a great mix of fifties rock-and-roll from the speakers along with the V8 burble filtered through the car's Glasspacks.
At one four-way stop, there was no traffic, so I rolled off and then put the hammer down on the old coupe. The nose lifted, rose more as the four-barrel carb kicked in and the car roared to 60 mph. Geezer delinquent.
Anyway, I had a fun drive along the back roads of Clark County - my old Plymouth ran great. It was a perfect day for an old car drive.
Mr. Peanut Goes For A Ride: A 1929 Planters Peanutmobile ... (more >>>)
Auction Results: A red 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500/540K Spezial Roadster was the top sale at the Bonhams Amelia Island auction, fetching $4.9 million. The sell-through rate fell just shy of 90% with 161 collector vehicles sold at the in-person auction.
Another notable sale was the second-place result, that of the sole-surviving 1913 Mercer Type 35K Runabout, a ale-yellow sport-luxury version of the Indy 500 Type 35 Raceabout, which sold for $2,425,000. A red and black 1933 Duesenberg Model J 'Sweep Panel' Dual Cowl Phaeton sold for $1,655,000.
Another Bad Product Idea From The 1960s ... can be found here.
"Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis …" In St. Louis, Mo., the worst-in-country murder rate is at a 50-year high, the police department has nearly 100 unfilled jobs, and the mayor wants to defund the department and shut down a city jail. St. Louis had 87 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2020, the worst rate in the country.
It's now at its highest rate in 50 years even as the population has dwindled in that same time period.
St. Louis' Tishaura Jones, who became the city’s first black female mayor last month, had campaigned on a promise to enact progressive criminal justice reforms. She said in an interview that "more police doesn't prevent crime." Yeah, right.
How Was Your Memorial Day Weekend? I hope it was a good one. Ours was very nice. Our daughter came over for a visit and a traditional Memorial Day cookout - the kind we've been doing for over 50 years. For dinner, I cooked Don't-Bother-Me Burgers and my wife whipped up her Famous Potato Salad, the closest thing you can find around these parts to the delicious white potato salad once offered by authentic Jewish delis along the mid-Atlantic states. (Foodie photo here.)
The big surprise was lunch - my daughter brought Texas-style smoked beef brisket from Matt's BBQ, a food truck in North Portland. Matt's uses an oak-fired smoker. I've had a hankerin' for BBQ brisket for several weeks and this was a really satisfying lunch. It went well with a side of Famous Potato Salad. I used Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce on it.
In the early 1970s, I had BBQ brisket for the first time at a small restaurant in Tyler, TX. And have enjoyed it ever since. For Father's Day 2014, I FedEx'd in a mess of Corky's BBQ from Memphis. It was great but it's nice to have a source of fine brisket closer to home.
That said, it is important to remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. May those who gave their lives for our freedom rest in peace.
Quote Of The Day is from Steven Wright: "Every morning, I get up and make instant coffee and drink it so I have the energy to make real coffee."
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