Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Giant Uniroyal Tire on I-94 in Allen Park, was the 1964 Worlds Fair Ferris wheel, and when put on permanent display, they simply removed the Ferris wheel

6 am is too early for the sun to be up, and too early to deal with sinkholes! But one poor guy happened to be on the scene just before dawn, and damn, drove right into it

Salute of the day to Joy Lofthouse!

In 1943 Joy Lofthouse, a 20-year-old bank cashier, replied to an advertisement she had seen in the Aeroplane magazine. It was for women to train for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), and although the competition was intense her application was successful. As a result she went on to become one of 164 female pilots during the second world war who were given the important job of ferrying military planes around the UK from one air base to another.

both Joy and her older sister, Yvonne, were dedicated to sport in general and to tennis in particular. Joy began working in the local Lloyds bank just as war broke out. But she had greater ambitions than to be a cashier, and sought inspiration in the pages of the Aeroplane magazine

When Joy applied to the ATA she had no idea that Yvonne had also put in an application, just before her. Both were successful and served together until the end of the war.

The pilots’ work expanded rapidly from the transport of medical supplies and personnel to ferrying fighters and bombers to bases around the country. For Lofthouse this meant a posting to Hamble, near Southampton, in 1944.

Alongside workaday aircraft she also flew more spectacular machines. There were Hawker Tempest Vs, North American Mustangs and Supermarine Spitfires, all 400mph fighters. She flew a total of 18 types of aircraft – relying on a map and the view out of the cockpit for navigation – but the Spitfire was her enduring favourite.

In 1946 EC Cheeseman’s book, Brief Glory: The Story of ATA, was published, listing, on page 230, “Third Officer Gough, Joyce, Miss”. But jobs for women pilots were then practically nonexistent, and she had to turn to other things.

After the war she married Jiri Hartman, a Czech Spitfire pilot whom she had first encountered while working at Lloyds. The marriage ended in divorce in 1966. Two years later, while training to become a teacher in Portsmouth, she met Charles Lofthouse, a former bomber pilot who had been held at Stalag Luft III prison camp in what is now Poland, where he had worked on preparations for the 1944 Great Escape. They married in 1971, by which time he was a headteacher and she was teaching children with special needs.

It was only towards the end of the 20th century that the scale of the achievement of women such as Lofthouse began to be appreciated. Throughout her life she retained her links with her former female comrades in the ATA and attended many reunions. In 1990 she met young women aspiring to be RAF pilots at Biggin Hill, and in 2008 she was a recipient of a commemorative badge for the Attagirls issued by the government. She was also a patron of the Fly2Help charity, which encourages young people to take up flying. In 2015, at Goodwood in Sussex, she took to the air in a (dual-control) Spitfire for the first time in 70 years.

Happy Birthday pinstriper and artist Doug Dorr!

A 73-year-old Australian had a motorcycle accident and fractured his neck. He literally held his head up by his hair until he reached his home and called an ambulance.

Doctors confirmed he had fractured his top two vertebrae, C1 and C2.

on Dec. 8 when he was riding, hit a hole, and toppled forward.

The crash sent him over the handlebars, and he knew something was not right the moment he got to his feet.

Doctors confirmed that Jim fractured two vertebrae near the top of his spine.
He then got up on his bike, held his head up by his hair, and rode 500 metres to his house to call for help, before being taken by ambulance to the Dandenong and then Austin hospitals.

Gerald Quan, head of spinal surgery at The Austin Hospital, said Jim was “very lucky” that he did not damage the nerves that are located in his spine

Thanks to Dick & Jenni Froemming for reminding me about these corrupt LA Sherriffs Dept (and I was sticking to only posting good cop stories, but Dick and Jenni insisted I post the bad ones too)

Four LA Sheriffs Dept officers arrested by the FBI for drug charges, including making a deal to protect cocaine and met shipments in trade for $250,000

Deputy Sheriff Kenneth Collins, 50, of Chino, 51-year-old David Easter of Hyde Park District, 34-year-old Grant Valencia of Pomona and 56-year-old Maurice Desi Font of South L.A. are charged conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

This was the second such incident. Collins received $25,000 in exchange for providing security for a Nov. 14 transport of six kilograms of meth and marijuana and counterfeit cigarettes from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. This transport was in fact part of an undercover sting by the FBI.

Collins told undercover FBI agents that “all of our transports make it through,” the DA said.

According to an affidavit filed last week, Collins told to the FBI that he provided security and claimed to have three teams that were providing security for multiple drug operations in L.A. and San Bernardino counties, the DA said.

Collins acknowledged to the undercover agent that he was a law enforcement officer. Over the course of several meetings, he claimed he could “fix problems” using a team of “cops,” the affidavit states.

At one point, Collins told the agent he had set a luxury truck on fire for a Boston client.

“Deputy Collins sold his badge to assist an individual he thought was a drug trafficker,” said United States Attorney Nicola T. Hanna in a statement. “The deputy allegedly used his status as a law enforcement officer as a guarantee when he promised safe travels for large quantities of illegal narcotics.”

San Antonio police, not any different than the rapists and murders they are supposed to be arresting, Thanks to Dick & Jenni Froemming for reminding me about these!

A San Antonio police officer was arrested Saturday and accused of raping a 19-year-old woman on the South Side early the day before. At a news conference Saturday, police said the officer has been accused of sexual assault before. Police Chief William McManus said a different woman made a similar complaint against Neal a few years ago.

Neal was suspended in September for three days for dating an 18-year-old member of the Police Explorer program about two years ago. The program is meant to encourage young people to consider a career in law enforcement.

Jackie Len Neal, 40, was arrested on a charge of felony sexual assault,

Neal is accused of handcuffing and raping a woman he pulled over while on duty around 2 a.m. Friday. The surveillance cameras in the patrol car were not working at the time the assault was reported, according to KXLY.

On Friday morning, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, Neal allegedly tailed a woman until she pulled over on Betty Street

Neal asked the woman to get out of the vehicle so he could pat her down, according to the affidavit. The woman said she felt uncomfortable and asked that a female officer pat her down, but her request was ignored.

During the pat-down, the affidavit said, Neal groped the woman, placed her in handcuffs and moved her to the back of his patrol car.

The document said he then raped her and instructed her not to tell anyone.

On July 26, 2012, San Antonio police officer Michael Garza was a valued member of the police department. His superiors praised him as a rare talent in the gang unit with a gift for undercover work. Twice in his 10 years on the force, the 33-year-old was named Officer of the Year.

Now, he is not allowed to interact with the public. Garza’s annual salary, with benefits, is $72,333.

By the end of his shift in the pre-dawn hours of the next day, the officer stood amid a grim scene. The woman sat in his passenger seat, bleeding from two gunshot wounds. Her ex-boyfriend lay dead feet from his front door, shot in the back.

As The Washington Post reported in August, more than 451 fired officers have been reinstated to 37 of the nation’s largest police departments since 2006. San Antonio has rehired 31 officers.

City officials would fault him for drinking on duty, failing to seek medical help for a wounded woman, and chasing down and shooting an unarmed suspect.

Top San Antonio officials insist that Garza should remain off the streets.

“Officer Garza’s actions were so egregious, I was flabbergasted when I received word that an arbitrator had overturned the termination,” San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “We felt that he was not capable of serving our community well and was a liability to the city.”

An attorney for a fired San Antonio police officer Matthew Luckhurs, who allegedly tried to feed dog excrement to a homeless person has said he’s “confident that in arbitration” the former officer would win back his job.

In May, he allegedly sandwiched dog feces in bread and left it next to a homeless man. Luckhurst told other bike officers, who immediately told him to throw away the sandwich, according to the source.

Luckhurst later bragged about his antics to other officers, who reported them to the department’s Internal Affairs division in July, prompting an investigation.

Two former San Antonio police officers were found guilty Friday on multiple counts of sexual assault

and other charges after a lurid trial in which three women described how the men seduced them with the promise of money and legal favors for participating in what turned out to be a fake undercover operation.

Thanks to Dick and Jenni Froemming for reminding me about these! 

How did Dick and Jenni do that?

With this email:
Hey, Jesse.  Screw you and your incessant cop hatred, ok?  Yeah, I’m sure there are enough assholes out there behind a badge, but the vast majority of them are good men, putting their fucking lives on the line every day to keep dudes like you and me safe.

I guarantee you, if some ammosexual starts shooting up your neighborhood, you’re going to be pissing yourself, hiding in the bathtub, until the SWAT team shows up to take this guy out.
Suggestion:  just stick to automotive-related articles.  You’re good at it.  You post some nice stuff.

But this cop hatred thing - shove it up your ass.

And Dick has this on his facebook page. Hypocrite.

If you're as fed up with bad cop stories as I am, let Dick and Jenni know! Tell them to quit interfering with the guy who makes the blog who isn't going to be fucked with. is their email.

Why did they step in it, and try and tell me what to do with my blog? (remember it's just a blog, it's not a newspaper, magazine, subscription service, or anything they have to look at or pay for)

So, don't complain to me anymore, complain to them

What got them so warmed up that they decided to push my buttons? I guess the article I finished last night about the 1970 speed trap outside San Antonio. That' would be the 5th Speed Trap City story I've done. I don't remember anyone getting butt hurt like a Isis goat before, so maybe it's some other bad cop story that's giving Dick and Jen the uncomfortable itchy red butt they can't sit on. 

Coolest thing we'll probably see all day, the Metal Family, aka Avantasia, Story Ain't Over, by Tobias Sammet

Getting ahead of the mudslide, in Burbank last week, by this much, and coming out of the experience without harm

oh shit, we've seen how this turns out before

crank it up, Ride of the Valkyries, by VWs

wait for it

4.3 miles long, over 300 Union Pacific locomotive engines are passing time in the Arizona desert until they will be needed or sold

I think he got lucky, lucky he didn't kill himself. Anthony Napolitan

Coffee and donuts video of the morning! Excavator wiz Juha-Pekka Perämäki puts a hot dog together with a Caterpillar 308 excavator.

Why don't you show off the dexterity of your massive machine and use it to make your lunch?

That’s right, usually used to dig a big holes in the ground, this excavator has been turned to making a hot dog.

It’s all part of a wacky hot dog promotional campaign but it’s pretty impressive to see the operator as he expertly makes up his dog.

The impressive act is performed by the Finnish excavator operator Juha-Pekki Perämäki who is famous for showing off his control of the huge machine.

Matthew was going through the old family albums, and found this cool pedal car photo! Thanks Matthew!

"I was going through some old family stuff and came across this photo. The occupant of the car on the right is almost certainly my uncle Ted, who was born in about 1916, so I'm guessing this picture to be from about 1921 or so. Somewhere there are other pictures of that car, quite a nice one. But of course what caught my eye in this was the amazing Mack truck. I have no idea whose it was, or where it came from, but aside from all the rest, I think it grand that the driver appears to be a girl.

The photo was probably taken by my grandmother, and almost certainly in Meriden, Connecticut. Beyond that I know not much. Please feel free to put this on your site if you like it. Maybe someone else can fill us in on that truck.

Cheers, Matthew Currie, Benson, VT.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

financing its municipal services from the pockets of unwary travelers.... aka the Selma Texas speedtrap of the early 70s

Selma’s speed trap collected an esti­mated $168,000 a year, or more than $800 for every man, woman, and child who lived there. That's 4 times more than even the state of Texas, as all the state taxes added up produced only $215 per Texan.

Despite their growing notoriety, Selma’s officials showed no signs of halting their lucrative operation. They even concealed the full extent of their activity by violating several Texas statutes, and, as Texas Monthly Magazine found, appearing prepared to wage a protracted legal battle to shield their municipal records from public scrutiny.

Located 16 miles outside San Antonio, along busy Interstate High­way 35, between Austin and San Antonio, next to Randolph AFB, Selma was perfectly situated for a speed trap, as the highway 1603 loop crosses the I 35 right on the town's south city limit

Northbound travelers approach it over the crest of a long hill, at the bottom of which, under the 1603 highway bridge, cops had a speed trap

Created in 1964 under a wild west law that allowed for a fly by night hanging judge roadside courtroom type of town, Selma was carefully created to sidestep laws requiring oversight by the county and the state capital. Yes, seriously. It was founded back in 1847 as a stagecoach stop, and they picked up some legal loophole info along the century since

It was incorporated as a “general law” town under a statutory provision that permits as few as twenty people to map out some proposed town boundaries, allege that at least 200 people reside within them and petition county au­thorities to call an election. If the re­sulting vote favors incorporation, the new community is free to elect a mayor and aldermen, establish municipal ser­vices including a police department, and, if it wishes, set up a roadside courtroom to dispense its own brand of justice.

29 people signed the original petition to create Selma in 1964, 1/4 of them were all related, and the mayor was one of them.

The proposed city limits never extended more than a thou­sand feet from the highway, were 2 miles long, and may not have had many people to begin with, but no proof was required when getting incorporated, and 4 months later, Selma claimed to have over 600, which happened to be the minimum needed to qualify for title 28. A couple years later the census found only 207 people in city limits

The cops issued 500 tickets a month, they were for $35 for 65 in a 55. The common complaint about the Selma cops to the state attorney general was that the police add on an extra ten miles to the alleged speed, because the Selma prosecutor woudn't prosecute drivers for going less than ten miles over the limit.

Failing to send a check for the speeding ticket, and then failing to appear in court, resulted in a 100 or 200 dollar "failure to appear" fine added on. Out of staters didn't get the optional court visit to appeal, they could pay up, or post a bond. The court was only open one day a month, on a Tuesday, 1 pm. If they weren't at the 1pm roll call, they forfeited the fine, if they were there, they'd have to wait outside all day, in Texas heat, or give up and pay at the handy window outside the court next to the line. If they did wait, they normally lost their case, and paid up anyway.

Then they ticketed the governor's wife.

The result was House Bill 550 of the 1973 Legislature, which prohibited towns of less than 5000 population from using radar on Inter­state highways.

No one testified against it except a Selma police­man who unearthed a 1935 decision of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals holding unconstitutional a legislative re­quirement that policemen in cities over 10,000 population wear uniforms and badges when making arrests. Selma interpreted this decision to mean that it was “beyond the authority of the legislature” to regulate small-town speed traps

Of course a list of other Texas towns includes Webster (pop. 3250), between Houston and Galveston in the NASA area. “A notorious one oyer the years,” according to a spokesman for the Ameri­can Automobile Association. There are frequent complaints that Webster’s speeding arrests tend to escalate into DWI charges. The town is currently under investigation by the U.S. Depart­ment of Justice for alleged harassment of an astronaut’s wife.

Think anything changed or improved in 40 years? Nope. People and cops still suck.
So does Selma, rapidly growing from 788 in the 2000 census to 10000 residents now, it's moved it's enforcement a little...

Not only is speed monitored along the access road (45 mph – do not increase speed until you are actually *ON* IH35!), but they will cite you for failing to yield (on the southbound access road), failure to come to complete stop (at intersection near Gillman Honda), crossing the double white line (northbound access road), etc. I was told by my policeman friend in NB that Selma PD are very heavy handed when it comes to vehicle searches

Similarly, Lumberton Texas has 75% of it's police officers on patrol to issue tickets on highways 69 and 96

Lumberton police issued 22 tickets per day last year, third-most in the region behind Beaumont and Port Arthur.

and Selma's speed trap is featured in the following

I'm just out of Austin bound for San Antone
With the radio blastin' and the bird dog on
 There's a speed trap up ahead in Selma Town
But no local yokel gonna shut me down

Guitar Town is the debut album from singer-songwriter Steve Earle, released on March 5, 1986. It topped the Billboard country album charts, and the title song reached #7 on the country singles charts. Earle was also nominated for two 1987 Grammy Awards, Best Male Country Vocalist and Best Country Song, for the title track.

Burt... this ought to be made into a door size poster

cool idea for garage lighting

Utica Drop Forge & Tool display cabinet

That's is some art right there. Seems like you could make a calendar of tool box porn, and sell out of them in no time!

Sweet Plomb tool box and collection

kids are never as conservative as their parents

It's snowmobile season... enjoy it while you can!

This is why it is important to fix potholes

here's an unusual, and cooler, variety of tool box. Photos weren't taken worth a damn, but they're all I got to share to show this interesting design

Simonsen cantilever... nice looking design!

some lucky guy scored this Blackhawk tool crib for free in trade for a job estimate

tool porn, Starrett level

What am I doing today? Oh nothing, just heading to the beach

Nice double image of the horse's head.

9C1 Celebrities were actually ordered as police cars

the world's oldest active fire boat... still in service, and it was put in service 3 years before the Wright brothers flight.

Buffalo's fireboat, the Edward M. Cotter, was built and commissioned during an era when Buffalo's waterfront and port were booming, the Cotter has been an invaluable asset of fire protection for the numerous warehouses, grain elevators and other facilities that line Buffalo's shores. Many of these structures pose unique challenges for firefighters and would be difficult, if not impossible, to reach using conventional land equipment. With her pumping capacity equal to that of 11 firetrucks, her importance is immeasurable.

In addition to her extraordinary firefighting capabilities, the Cotter serves another critical role as the city's sole ice-breaking resource. By breaking up ice jams in the Buffalo River, the water and ice in its upstream tributaries can flow freely, helping to prevent flooding - not only in Buffalo, but in neighboring communities as well.

In 1978 USS Little Rock, a retired United States Naval guided missile cruiser on display at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park, began taking on water and listing. Edward M. Cotter and several Buffalo Fire Department fire engines pumped water out of Little Rock for five days keeping the ship afloat and level while repairs were made. Edward M. Cotter also assisted the disabled United States Coast Guard cutter Ojibwa during the winter of 1983. Ojibwa, while on Lake Erie, had lost her steering and was taking on water. Edward M. Cotter towed Ojibwa to her base in Buffalo and helped keep her afloat while repairs were made.

In 1996, the Edward M. Cotter was designated a National Historic Landmark.

She is known to be the first fireboat to cross an international border to fight a fire in another country and the only fireboat, at the time, to be totally consumed by fire.

Originally named William S. Grattan, she was built in 1900 by the Crescent Shipyard of Elizabeth Port, New Jersey. Due to age she was rebuilt in 1953 and renamed Firefighter upon her return to service. The following year she was renamed Edward M. Cotter. Her namesake, Edward Cotter, was a Buffalo firefighter and leader of the local firefighters union who had recently died.

using a ditch to unload the race cars

Monday, January 15, 2018

nice Mercedes bus! I don't think I can recall seeing a bus with a drivers side door before... great skylight windows!

5 dollar 1935 Craftsman box found at an estate sale

a vintage Huot drill index, I've never seen on that was a chest of drawers before

Autoweek magazine's 2018 Car Culture award winner, Kazunori Yamauchi is the CEO of Polyphony Digital, and his creation, “Gran Turismo,” is the most popular video game racing simulator series in the world

In junior high, he started making video games; at 14, inspired by heroes like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, he founded his own movie production club. His love of that craft is obvious in the first moments of any “Gran Turismo” game. The cinematic intros feature real and virtual race footage from all eras, animated engine internals, moving assembly lines and smelting plants, all set to a rousing score.

Kaz, as he’s commonly known, started his career in 1992 at Sony’s small yet growing video game department, where he created “Motor Toon Grand Prix.” A cartoony, go-kart take on racing, it nevertheless contained the bones of the future series. In 1997, the first “Gran Turismo” was released for PlayStation. 10 million copies later, Sony suggested he start his own company; in 1998, Polyphony Digital was born.

“Gran Turismo 2” came out a year later, featuring 650 carefully rendered road and race cars and 27 tracks. But it wasn’t until 2007’s “Gran Turismo 5 Prologue” that things began to get interesting. With it came the Nissan GT Academy, a competition that turns gamers into real race car drivers.

After “GT5,” manufacturers were all in. Chevrolet gave Polyphony Digital early access to the C7 Stingray Corvette to digitize it, complete with camo body cladding. The covers were pulled off simultaneously in the game and at the Detroit auto show.

Why have a 1979 G class Mercedes suspended in 44 tons of amber-colored solid resin? To get across the point that, just like dinosaurs in amber, the DNA is the same, and will be used to resurrect the beast

the same shape maintained strong sales for almost four decades. In its statement, Mercedes-Benz also claims the G-Wagon’s slanted position is an acknowledgement of its off-roading heritage and abilities.

“Our cult off-road vehicle has been continuously evolving for nearly 40 years—without losing its character or its core values,” Güthenke said.

“Its DNA is stronger than time and then any fashion trend. The cube expresses this to stunning effect and thus embodies the objective for advancing the G-Class.”

The casting process was a 90-day endeavor and is the largest installation of its type.