A Blog About Cars ... And More
Monday June 1, 2020
Supreme Road Trip: Recently, my wife found the July 1958 issue of The National Geographic Magazine. Inside was a lengthy article by William O. Douglas titled 'West From The Khyber Pass'.
During the summer of 1957, United States Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas accompanied by his wife Mercedes and her friend Mary Watkins, drove from Karachi (Pakistan) to Istanbul (Turkey) in a 1956 Chevrolet 210 station wagon without air conditioning. Their route generally followed the southern edge of Russia. When they gassed up, it was often with poor-quality Russian gasoline. They drove over 6,800 miles, much of it over unpaved roads and encountered numerous car problems along the way. I think that Douglas would have been better off traveling in a Mercedes (probably a Unimog 401 with closed cab) and accompanied by a wife named Chevy.
From 1950 to 1961, Douglas traveled extensively in the Middle East and Asia. Douglas wrote many books and articles about his experiences and observations during these trips. Douglas said that travel gave him a world-wide perspective that was helpful in resolving cases before the Court. It also gave him a perspective on political systems that did not benefit from the legal protections in the American Constitution. He admittedly needed to make money from writing in order to make alimony payments to his first wife. Mercedes Hester Davidson was the second of Douglas' four wives. They were married from 1954 to '63.
Mercedes was his de facto mechanic. Douglas had poor mechanical skills, admitting ... (more >>>)
Scumbag Auto Dealer: A Hyundai dealer in Culver City, CA had several vehicles that customers had dropped off for service towed off his dealer lot when the business shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak.
That's left the vehicle owners facing thousands of dollars in towing and impoundment fees. One affected owner said the towing company that moved her car has told her that a lien had been placed on her vehicle and would be sold if she doesn’t cough up $6,000 in cash to settle towing and accumulated impoundment fees.
The head of Hyundai Motor America communications describes a deteriorating business relationship and says Nissani voluntarily ended its affiliation with the brand in April. The dealer is now closed and reportedly fenced off. Hyundai said it apologizes to the affected owners and pledged "to make this right."
Last year, co-owner Hooman Nissani was ordered to pay $2.4 million as part of a settlement over what the state of California said was cheating workers at a car wash he owned out of wages and overtime pay over three years.
Maybe Next Year: The iconic Hershey Swap Meet has been canceled for the first time in its 65-year history. The jam-packed event is usually held in October each year.
Up And Away! On Saturday, SpaceX launched NASA astronauts into space - the first such launch from U.S. soil since 2011. The launch is the first time a private company, rather than a national government, has sent astronauts into orbit. Launched atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the astronauts traveled to the International Space Station in a Crew Dragon spacecraft built by the Elon Musk's space company. On Sunday, the capsule linked up with the ISS.
The Falcon 9 took off like … well … a rocket. After 15 seconds, it was doing 130 miles per hour. 30 seconds: 290 mph. One minute: 623 mph. 1.5 minutes: 1,375 mph. Two minutes: 2,330 mph. Three minutes: 4,185 mph. Zooooom!
It was wonderful to see America get back in space. Thank you, President Trump. His predecessor Barack Obama, ignored the space program, famously telling NASA that its job was "Muslim outreach."
When I heard the NASA announcer say to the two astronauts, "Godspeed, Bob and Doug," I thought I was watching a new episode of 'The Great White North'. Take off, hosers - eh!
The Road To Nostalgia: For hundreds of years, doctors thought nostalgia was a disease.
David Berry wrote, "In 1688, a Swiss medical student named Johannes Hofer gave the name nostalgia to a malady he had noticed in young Swiss people who had been sent abroad."
Hofer concocted the term from "Ancient Greek: nostos roughly means "home" - although it more often means "homecoming," which incidentally was also the name for an entire subcategory of Greek literature, most notably the 'Odyssey' - while algos means, more simply, "pain," derived from Algea, the personifications of sorrow and grief, and a common classification at the time, attached to a variety of maladies that have since gotten either more precise or more vernacular names."
Now, nostalgia is merely ... (more >>>)
Truth In Fiction: Ten years ago or so, in his novel, 'Guardian of Lies', author Steve Martini wrote, "In the nineties, politicians eager to pocket million-dollar speaking fees from foreign trade groups embraced the concept of a global economy. They teamed up with Chinese businessmen and Mexican manufacturers and carved out a zone along the U.S. southern border where trade restrictions were virtually eliminated.
American politicians sold the country on the concept of our being an information economy, that we no longer needed manufacturing or heavy industries, as if you could drive words and eat sentences. They shipped entire job sectors abroad and then railed at the demise of the middle class."
Wuhan Virus Update: Clark County's cumulative death toll remains unchanged at 25. Out of 551 positive tests (1,148 per million people), only 6 people are hospitalized - none in intensive care.
In my rural zip code, there are 29 cases - a rate of 756 per million. This is well below the national average of 5,401 cases/million and the Washington state average of 2,875/million.
No portion of Clark County has been permitted by the governor to move to phase 2 reopening at this time.
Something To Think About: Shem Horne tweeted, "Don't forget, the same people attacking President Trump and blaming the 100,000 coronavirus deaths on him were just two months ago saying there would be 2 million dead by now. Going by their numbers, they should be praising him for saving 1.9 million lives."
But of course, that wouldn't fit the Never-Trump narrative.
Twitter In A Nutshell: Dave Burge tweeted, "Can we all just accept that Twitter is a garbage website that attracts lunatics and is curated and filtered by lunatics and under no circumstances should you believe a single thing anybody says here, and all of this is perfectly legal?"
In case you didn't already know, I am not on Twitter.
My Great Idea ... but two decades too late. The people who make Silly Putty should have purchased a fleet of Honda Insights for their sales staff and painted the cars the color of the SP egg. (permalink)
Thought For Today: The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.
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