Friday, March 16, 2018

go home excavator, you're drunk

The season finale at Riverside, the final race of the Trans Am 2.5 Challenge, had no trophies. The winner was given an old fishing hat by SCCA Race Steward Joe Henderson

The season finale at Riverside turned out to be the final race of the Trans Am 2.5 Challenge.

Morton wins Riverside, with Peter Gregg 2nd

For winning a Riverside, John Morton was awarded an old fishing hat by SCCA Race Steward Joe Henderson. It seems that the SCCA, with their fantastic organizational skills, forgot to have trophies made for the race.
The SCCA's Executive Director would not even approach the winners podium.

In fact things were so bad the O-2 series ended early for lack of interest. The 2.5 Challenge continued alone

“There is no race queen, no trophy, no celebration at Riverside,” wrote Wilkinson. “In the embarrassing scene in the winner’s circle, Joe Henderson, the SCCA series steward, presents John his old fishing hat because no one has provided a trophy.”

Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren movie about a last cruise on the open road in an old RV

just stick the landing for max points.

Hot rods vs fairgrounds cruisers

Graham pointed out something interesting about a car Darryl photographed. It's painted in the colors of a tv station sports dept

Above, thanks to Darryl!

which got me to thinking... how fun it would be for the news vans of a cities tv channels to have some race challenges.

So, if the Ron Burgandy movie people were looking for a new idea to add to the next movie's big fight scene between news depts of the many tv channels in San Diego... that might be a fun one

Peter Gregg, SCCA Trans Am winner of 1969 (under 2 ltr), 73, and 74(overall winner due to format change), successful Porsche race car driver, successful Porsche dealership owner, and at age 40 married a 25 year old piano playing, horse riding, art director turned racer. A life of tragedy. No joke

Peter Gregg was a Harvard grad of English Lit, a navy Air Intel officer for 4 years at NAS Jacksonville while simultaneously becoming a race car driver who became the International Motor Sports Association`s all-time winningest driver. The year before mustering out of the Navy he won an SCCA race with a Vette, and then went racing a 904... while still in uniform.

He was one of America's greatest and most successful road racers with 152 wins out of 340 races he started.

He was an atheist who stumped the press, who asked how he'd won 3 sequential 24hrs of Daytona, with "It's because I'm right with Jesus"

He owned the 2 most prestigious Porsche dealerships in America, in Atlanta and Jacksonville (bought after leaving the Navy), and a Mercedes Benz dealership (bought 3 years after the Navy), partly because his 1st wife was so wealthy that she let him do what he wanted, and then go racing.

He became rich enough to be placed as director of the Jacksonville Natl bank

He drove for Peter Brock in the BRE guest car in 1972, and raced in Can Am 1973

He co-drove to win the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1973, 1975, 1976, and 1978.

And he had a problem. He was a barely tolerable ass at most times. He lined up his dealership employees shoulder to shoulder, military style, and sidestepped down the line, having each employee step forward, state their name, and income, and then he decided if they were still worth that.

But was that a sudden departure from his previous lifelong personality? The previous summer, he'd crashed while driving through France, to avoid an crash while overtaking an ox cart on the road in front of him, and suffered double vision and migraines afterward. That's brain damage folks. 

The Greggs first met in July 1980 at a party, and initially bonded over a him challenging her to a race after dinner. Deborah had never actually raced. He challenged the group to a spin behind the wheel of his Porsche. Deborah took him up on the offer, and they were off -- she in his Porsche, he in a friend's BMW -- on a late-night drive through Jacksonville's deserted downtown streets.

Her dad was a retired WW2 and Korean War bomber pilot--B-24s and B-29s

Their relationship progressed quickly, and they married within 5 months.

Together, they shared a home in Jacksonville, Fla., where Gregg owned four car dealerships and the Brumos Racing team. He had organized the team and used it to win a record 47 IMSA GT races.

Deborah was left with four auto dealerships, worth an estimated $19 million, Peter`s racing team and a shattered life.

However, just 9 days after they married, Peter Gregg committed suicide with a .38 on a deserted beach south of Punta Gorda, near their home, leaving a note that, essentially, told his wife his death had nothing to do with her.

He had changed his will in favor of Deborah, and left her a note telling her not to blame herself for what he had done.

With the help of her business partner, Bob Snodgrass, Gregg was able to keep her husband`s holdings intact. She was still in dire need of emotional resuscitation, so seven months after her husband`s death, she enrolled at Bob Bondurant`s driving school

It has become a way of life for Gregg, 32, a rookie on the SCCA Trans-Am series. A veteran of IMSA`s various circuits, co-driver with lyn St James, Gregg is the newest member of Jack Roush`s successful Lincoln-Mercury factory team, spearheaded by series point leader Scott Pruett and Pete Halsmer.

Before August 1987`s 66-lap race at Lime Rock (Conn.) Park, she was ranked third in the point standings, thus becoming the first woman to break into the top five.

A life changed dramatically by a guy she knew for a couple months.

A guy who was 7 when his mom left to buy him a birthday cake, but on the way home she set it down on the subway platform and stepped in front of a train.

Like I said... a life of tragedy. He had manic depression before that was common enough  for drs to be educated and experienced enough to diagnose or treat. I doubt meds were tested and approved to the point of selecting the best one for a person based on some trial and error (needed to find the one each patients brain chemistry reacts the best with).

1 800 273 8255  1 800 799 4889
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of 161 crisis centers that provides a 24/7,  line available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

No matter what problems you’re dealing with, whether or not you’re thinking about suicide, if you need someone to lean on for emotional support, call the Lifeline.

1800 488 3000
The Boys Town National Hotline is a ​free hotline available to kids, ​teens and young adults at any time. We provide help when you need it most. Call, chat, text or email. We are here to talk if you're depressed, contemplating suicide, being physically or sexually abused, on the run, addicted, threatened by gang violence, fighting with a friend or parent, or if you are faced with an overwhelming challenge.

Fifty Years with Car and Driver By Marty Padgett

kids love to play on planes, and tanks, and boats.... playgrounds have been gifted with some cool stuff to please them accordingly

This pair of colorful ex-Soviet Army tanks are permanently caught in the crossfire, so to speak, in front of the Great Patriotic War Museum in Kiev, capital of the Ukraine.

captured from Egypt in the 6 Days war in 1976, on a playground in Israel

in Copenhagen

This retired warrior was one of thousands of OT-62 TOPAS amphibious tracked armored personnel carriers developed jointly by Poland and Czechoslovakia and produced between 1963 and 1972. Now resting in peace at last, this basic variant of the OT-62 TOPAS has retired to the pastoral Benesov District of the Czech Republic's Central Bohemian Region.

The most famous playground tank of Omsk – with a T-62. In the village of Chernoluchye, near the city of Omsk in southwestern Siberia.

the small city Kiryat Shmona,in Israel is most well known for attacks by Katoesja rockets that are fired from Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon.

This USAF Lockheed T-33A “Shooting Star” ,Serial Number 53-5421,it is on loan to the Town of Los Gatos by the United States Air Force and it is located in the Oak Meadow Park. The aircraft has been in the playground area since July, 1974.

F7U Cutlass Fighter Jet in the Wheaton Regional Park Playground in the 1960s

a real Grumman F9F-2 Panther jet flown by the U.S. Navy in the 1950s, was originally installed in the park in 1960.

Air Force pilot Ted Tanner brought it to Costa Mesa more than 50 years ago.

“It was a hell of a deal,” said Tanner, who paid $1 to take the jet off the government’s hands. “I doubt I spent more than $500” to move the plane from a Tucson junkyard to Costa Mesa.

His service group, the Costa Mesa Exchange Club, bought the fighter jet used in the Korean War from the government in 1960 with the condition that they transform the plane into a playground landmark. His club refurbished it for the Lions Club Fish Fry parade weeks later, and installed it at Lions Park at 570 W. 18th Street that same year.

we used to have nice things in America.... and then we stopped caring about the country and went into deficit spending to get the most impressive toys for the military who hasn't won a war since WW2.

In the early 1960s, an old Washington DC police impoundment lot for abandoned vehicles was an eyesore in an impoverished Shaw neighborhood that had few amenities for children, until attorney general Robert Kennedy spurred an effort to build a playground there.

Funding came from the flamboyant head of D.C. Transit, who chaired the nonprofit National Committee on Playgrounds for Young America and raised $150,000 to build the playground, which was designed by John Carl Warnecke, the architect who designed John F. Kennedy’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

The Air Force donated two T-33 training jets, the Army a tank. A 64-foot tugboat — the Blue Horizon III — was towed through the city from the Navy Yard and deposited in the playground. There was a World War II-era landing craft. There were two streetcars. (Chalk had access to plenty. The last one had rolled three years earlier.) There was an 1876 Baldwin steam locomotive called the Jupiter that had spent its career hauling bananas and coffee in Guatemala.

by the 70s, malaise had set in, and the park was a criminal mess after dark. Soon it was trashed, and recycled by removing the planes, and sending the steam locomotive to the Smithsonian, where no one is allowed to climb on it ever again.

Galvar liked the next post about the jets in the park, and shared with me that where he lives there is a playground with a car for kids to play on (Thanks Galvar!)


It was there for decades, a long time ago it was GAZ-67B and now they put a UAZ 469. Kids love it. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

the Navy jets that kids got to play on, back when kids were allowed to risk a scratch or scrape out side the home, in the park.

From 1959 to 1993, Larsen Park hosted three different retired Navy jets, each donated to serve as imaginative play structures for the children of the Parkside District. The first was a Grumman F-9 Cougar reconnaissance plane from Squadron VC-61, driven up from Moffett Field in Mountain View with the cooperation of the California Highway Patrol and all the police department jurisdictions in between. The second jet, a Navy F-J Fury, replaced the Grumman in 1967. Both jets had ladders added to help kids climb into the cockpits. The third, and perhaps best-remembered jet, as it occupied the park for eighteen years from 1975 to 1993, was an F-8 Crusader.

But even though old-timers wish a real Navy plane could have been obtained, modern safety regulations and the prohibitive expense in taking on and remediating a real jet just made it impossible, even if the government had aircraft to give.

Also, San Francisco isn’t the Navy town it once was—many people object strongly to having an instrument of war in a public playground.

So now, something has been made to look the part, hopefully not just made of Nerf material, and the kids don't really seem to mind the lack of authentic airtime.

But a Helicopter with blades? They'd go bonkers for a CH53 in the park, you just know it. Too bad the military wasted all those bombers and choppers in the graveyard in Arizona, instead of offereing them to public parks across the country for kids, and adults, to play in and on.

Wouldn't it be great if cities or states still gave out awards to the safest drivers? Back in 1936 Mrs. Nell Leavitt of San Francisco was the state’s safest driver, with 650k miles completed

the director of the DMV himself gave her the award, recognizing that Nell Leavitt definitely deserved the honor in California: no recorded accidents or violations in a 34-year-old driving record, much of it in the days of poor roads, horse-drawn wagons, few signals or traffic controls.

at the time of this award, she’d owned 21 different makes of car between her first, a 1902 model she described as a “‘one lung’ red roadster, with tiller control and chain drive” and this Dodge

total WTF of the month... repair shop wanted a warranty claim on this waterpump they installed last month

when Snap on charges more for a workbench/cabinet/tool box combo, then lots of people in America pay for a house, you ought to realize you're overpaying

this was 62k.

That's about 42k more than I figure even Snap On should charge for sheet  metal, locks, casters, drawer handles, and paint.

Seriously, 62k? Get your local metal shop/or custom fabrication shop that builds stuff to make you one for half that price, and they'll probably remember you on Xmas.

smart way to see if the mass air flow sensor works

when the dealership service dept realized the customer paid $70,000, but won't cough up $15 for a new filter

and instead carved their own from a house ventilation system filter bought at the local Home Depot

it's plain to see that people have fallen out of practice using a key to start a car, this company car only has 2000 miles on it

950 ton, 30' wide, 174' long, bridge built to allow Sweetwater's Florida International University students to cross above a busy street to cross "safely" has collapsed suddenly, proof that it wasn't safe 5 days after being placed, and a year before opening to pedestrians and cyclists.

at least 4 vehicles were flattened. Several people are wounded, several are dead, and it's going to be awhile until the span is lifted and a full press release occurs.

And with two architectural bridge engineering firms partnered to design and build it... this is going to be a long delayed diagnosis as to the cause, and no doubt will go forgotten and unnoticed years from now.

I doubt the bridge was tested once installed, to determine the load bearing ability. I wonder if was even going to be tested?

"The bridge was reportedly put to a "stress adjustment" before it collapsed over traffic before 2 p.m. on Thursday. Two workers were on top when it pancaked on top of vehicles waiting at a stoplight.

Perez and Miami-Dade County deputy mayor Maurice Kemp would not confirm if that test did take place."

"One factor in the tragedy may have been that adjustment that Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said crews were conducting on the span.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted late Thursday that the cables that suspend the bridge had loosened and the engineering firm ordered that they be tightened. "They were being tightened when it collapsed," he said on Twitter. "

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who is an adjunct professor at the school, noted the bridge was intended to be an innovative and "one-of-a-kind engineering design."

Renderings showed a tall, off-center tower with supporting cables attached to the walkway. When the bridge collapsed, the main tower had not yet been installed, and it was unclear what builders were using as temporary supports.

And for all the fancy computer engineering that went into making a 950 ton slab of concrete that needed to be sound and last for decades... I wonder if anyone considered studying the bridges that have been built and lasted for centuries, and made without computers staffed by young engineers and architects? You know, when only the most experienced geniuses could figure out how to get people over an open space without a support structure underneath.

the oldest bridges in use now are 3000-3200 years old. But the ones that actually have a long enough comparable span are 200+ years old

ever feel like you can do about anything when you've got the whole place to yourself? Like singing on the train?

there are some people who are not going to put up with stupid shit... they'll adapt, overcome, and innovate. So, now we are warned that some even carry battery operated high speed cutting wheels, and ain't afraid of using them

pretty twisted

looks like the right hand side of the photo has some loose dirt that got that wheel stuck while the rest of the rig was on concrete

Someone's boss is going to be be as torqued as that frame

the great artist Fortunino Matania working outside his studio, both comfortably sitting on his Rolls, and his camper trailer the Rolls pulled for the comfort of his model, and storage of his painting supplies

I missed the Rolls Royce on the left edge of this photo the first couple times I looked at it.  Great trailer with the hatchback canopy

and below, his painting of his studio as an example of his incredible skill

Matania was recommented to Hollywood director Cecil B. DeMille and produced a number of paintings of Rome and Egypt from which authentic designs could be made for the movie The Ten Commandments.

Matania applied his very realistic style to illustrations for Edgar Rice Burroughs' Pirates of Venus and in Lost on Venus.