Saturday, August 25, 2018

Joe Merli on Route 20 in Duanesburg, NY (outside of Albany) made a 1952 diesel locomotive into a 1950s malt shop

Joe was a master craftsman who passed away in 2016, a wood worker, metal worker, etc.

His father was a mechanic who, in 1946, built an Esso service station on Route 20 in Duanesburg. His mother ran a luncheonette next to it, and they rented cabins to travelers.

In 1977, he opened a business, Horseless Carriage Restorations

He found he was able to do paint work, and figure out the wood, but for the mechanical components, his only choice was to try to make them. Joe started buying equipment, and eventually put together an entire machine shop.

In 1985 when he was 35, he re-enacted the epic 1903 Olds overland traversal of the country, wetting its wheels first in the Pacific Ocean and then, 40 days and 3,800 miles later, in the Atlantic Ocean.

In 1989, he opened The Merli Carriage Manufacturing Co., building authentic reproduction pushcarts, display vehicles and wagons, primarily for the retail trade that has since produced period push carts and carriages for businesses across the United States, including Disneyland, Busch Gardens and Paramount Studios.

He was a genius when it came to building old style wooden carts, railroad baggage wagonsn and Victorian pushcarts for retail marketing displays with breathtaking precision and detail. It was an art.

While Joe's first effort, a curved-dash Oldsmobile he had built to drive, became an AACA Grand National winner, the project also launched him into the early Olds restoration and reproduction parts business. It was the beginning of a decades-long quest, to recreate the first five Olds motor carriages ever built.

He didn’t quite know what to do with the 1950s-era, General Motors locomotive, but knew he couldn’t allow the 60-ton steel beast go to the scrap yard, so he purchased the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Engine No. 5762 and had it hauled back to his shop and his vision for the Canal Street Historical Society began to manifest itself.

The locomotive was going to be a walk-in ice-cream stand next to his fully original general store, for his little "village" that he was slowly building on his property.  He dug a canal and put a steel knockdown carriage bridge over it.

He first thought about building a replica rail station around the engine as a tribute to early-20th century American industrialism. Then Schenectady’s Wallace Armer hardware store closed in 1997 and Merli’s vision grew.

He had a stockpile of vintage streetlights, a period general store, a restored railroad equipment shack, a boxcar... his main shop was a typical, centralized factory setup, with the woodshop in front, machine shop crammed with equipment behind that, followed by the forge and blacksmith shop.

“I feel like I’m putting something back in America, representing the craftsman, and a time gone by that a lot of people remember,” said Merli

He even found a 1940 Silk City Diner, by Paterson Vehicle, the same New Jersey company that made the Miss Albany Diner on Broadway,  the former 9 and 20 Diner at the junction of Rte’s 9 and 20 near Castleton on Hudson, south of Albany, and Countryside Diner in Schodack, NY, a stainless steel and porcelain 40-by-14 foot eatery he acquired from the village for $1.

Joe died in 2016, and the work he had begun isn't likely to ever be completed, as no one is motivated and as capable as Joe was

Harley and the Davidsons is on Amazon Prime for free.

I've been looking forward to seeing it, and had no idea all this time it's been available on Amazon. 

no time to waste climbing up and down... 1910 Street light maintenance car Philadelphia Electric Co.

Whoa, a kids summer camp with a muscle car and hot rod plan?

Campers learn about the general upkeep required to maintain a healthy vehicle: from changing oil and tires to checking and refilling fluids and minor quick fixes.

This program all started with restoring a 1971 Plymouth Roadrunner! When we first picked up this car, it did not run and looked awful! After a few summers, we had her purring and it even passed a New York State inspection! Each year we tackled a different part of the car whether it was the body, the engine or the interior. The Roadrunner is now the summer mission to put the car back together once the paint sets.

They also have a 1991 Jeep Wrangler campers love riding through the woods which often gets stuck, creating a learning moment about team work, winching, and challenges to overcome. This summer the Mangler will need some maintenance and a few upgrades to the suspension.

one should not add Shelby Cobra grill badges to Gran Torinos. Nope. Just don't.

that's a 71 or 72 Torino... no. That's not a Shelby Cobra

A few years ago, airlines got into one-upping each other with their in-flight videos. Air New Zealand, and Virgin raised the expectations, then Delta broke the monotony of the stale pre-flight speech. Turkish Airlines has now hit the jackpot with a new safety video featuring the characters from The Lego Movie franchise.

Putting together the video, which features “the smallest cast ever assembled,” took over 900 days using close to 3 million Lego bricks resulting in 30 versions (in both English and Turkish) covering safety for the 15 different types of planes in the airline’s fleet.

Several characters from all three films—The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie and The Lego Ninjago Movie—make an appearance, but two of the stars from the original, Emmett and Wildstyle, anchor the four-minute video. Other cameos include Garmadon and Lloyd, Princess Unikitty (with a song that may get stuck in travelers’ heads) and a healthy dose of Batman, who can’t seem to part with his electronic devices.

Virginia travel writers and photographers voted a bike trail #2 in their top 10best Virginia attractions list, the Virginia Creeper Trail

The entire trail length is just over 34 miles, and is entirely gravel except for the wooden decks of the 47 trestles along the route.

It starts up in Abingdon, Virginia and ends over by the border with North Carolina, just past Whitetop Station. The trail takes you through the town of Damascus, Virginia, which helps to maintain it along with the town of Abingdon. It was created back in 1984, but made memorable by O Winston Link's photo

 It is considered to be THE single most beautiful rail trail in the country.

it even goes through this farm

The Virginia Creeper is the Appalachian Trail for a stretch through Damascus. When the rail trail was first approved the local assholes went ballistic. They even burned down the tallest train trestle which then had to be rebuilt to accommodate the trail (thus delaying the official opening of the rail trail).

The Virginia Creeper Trail got its name from a play on words. Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is a native five-leaved ivy found growing wild all over Southwest Virginia

At some point the Abingdon Branch of the Virginia-Carolina Railway that ran from Abingdon to Todd, NC was nicknamed the Virginia Creeper because of the slow speed of the train when climbing Whitetop Mountain. The name stuck and came into common usage though the railroad company did not like the nickname and never referred to it by that name.

Backbone Rock, often called "the World's Shortest Tunnel"

 Originally a rail line, the engineers decided to chop through the rocky fin rather than demolish it. Making for a very thin "tunnel". Located five miles outside Damascus, VA, it's actually just across the border in Tennessee.

Backbone Rock tunnel measures only twenty feet wide and stands seventy-five foot high. This unusual sedimentary rock formation, a ridge of the Holston Mountain in the Cherokee National Forest, stood in the way of a train route designed to connect Damascus and Shady Valley,Tennessee.

The cheapest solution was to blast a hole in the rock... but oops, they forgot to make a hole large enough for the smokestacks too! They hand chiseled a rough gap in the stone, and the Beaver Dam Railroad started hauling as much as 100,000 sawed boards daily for The Tennessee Lumber and Manufacturing Company.

By 1913 logging had played out, and operations shut down for both the lumber mill and the secondary industry of mining manganese ore. Afterwards the United States Forest Service used the railway line as a truck trail, and it eventually became state route 133

On top it's about 10 feet wide. A trail goes up and over the road.

Friday, August 24, 2018

looks like a Keystone Cops caper.. but it's actually a rolled over Goggomobile that had to swerve to avoid hitting a truck that was at fault and pulling out into the road... ending up rolling over, hurting everyone inside

fully optioned and loaded Vespa with Steib sidecar. Probably you've never seen one before, and will never see one again

waited until the last moment to leave

made on a farm I think, out of what was available. First time I've seen a motorcycle sidemounted on a running board to power a cycle car

Jack Brabham at Parramatta Speedway, Feb 1954. Harley V twin powered

1930s Briggs and Stratton Midget Mobile made from plans that were in the November 1936 Mechanics and Handicraft magazine.

elegant and suave, a Ducati Cucciolo

this guy just ruined his entire week

"the narrative is about seriously luxurious technology. No matter how chaotic the outside world, Audi cars provide an ‘escape”. The coolest commercial you'll see today... just my humble opinion

Hans Zimmer takes a spin along the scenic Angeles Crest Highway and composes an original score to punctuate it, for Range Rover

The man who’s written music for countless superhero flicks, animated blockbusters and critical darlings like Dunkirk and Inception knows a thing or two about getting a visceral response, and he does it again here for the luxury car brand.

What’s purposely missing from the short film: any mention of car features or sticker price, engineering, handling or horsepower. It’s all mood.

The project comes from The Atlantic magazine’s marketing arm

When not saving lives, the Chuck Norris Tacoma is surfing, dancing, winning at chess, and getting into a street fight. (Why did it take this long for the Chuck Norris jokes to get into advertising?)

With just his autograph on the fender, the midsized pickup takes on Norris' strengths as an action movie star. The Tacoma is famous for its strength as an off-roader but does not expect it to be tough enough to spawn even famous Chuck Norris Facts, like " Chuck Norris" tears cure cancer Too bad he has never cried. "

Once Norris' signature is on the truck, the Tacoma can leap into action. It starts out when doing donuts where the draws draw a picture of his face. Then, the Toyota starts helping people. First, it's a park ranger by shooting a rope out of the center of the grid, and the Toyota has the need to display the message, "Magic winch not available. " Later, the pickup saves a falling construction worker and gets a kid's football out of a tree. When not saving lives, the Tacoma is surfing, dancing, winning at chess, and getting into a street fight.

Double cab trucks... well, that's a new thing

There is some strange dirt out there... it's called liquefication.

I'm curious, how far will a heavy piece of construction equipment like a dozer or excavator, sink into that?

The tank must have been drunk, as you can see, it's not tired

info behind every Fast and Furious car

Consolations to all the families involved, as one dumb ass 18 yr old You tube star in his McLaren decided to drive over 100mph on a major interstate - in the wrong direction, during the rush hour evening traffic. He killed 3, injured 8

A teenage YouTuber plowed his McLaren into oncoming cars in an alleged suicide smash, crashing head-on into an SUV, killing the sports car driver and the two occupants of the SUV -- a 43-year-old mother and her 12-year-old daughter

The online star, who called himself McSkillet, was reportedly driving faster than 100mph when his  sports car crashed head-on into an SUV, killing its driver and passenger, and erupting into a fireball.

The 18-year-old had made a fortune designing and selling digital "skins" used to customise guns and knives in the first-person shooter video game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO).

The California Highway Patrol identified 18-year-old Trevor Heitmann as the driver of the McLaren. Heitmann was known by online gaming fans as "McSkillet," who watched him play the first-person shooter "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" on video streaming sites such as YouTube.

CHP investigators were called to a school in Carmel Valley, where, shortly after 4 p.m. about 30 minutes before the crash, witnesses say the driver of a black McLaren slammed through the gate, got out of the car, smashed a window on a school building and sped out of the campus parking lot.

He had also owned the gambling site CSGO Magic, which allowed users to spend real money for a chance to win exotic cosmetics, but the site closesd down after a rule change from the game’s developer, Valve. In a now-deleted tweet, McSkillet said “all my steam accounts are banned so I’m not going to try and make videos anymore.”

To get an idea of how little distance is involved, these map images below show Carmel Valley at top, and the crash site at the bottom right on the 805 freeway

as you can see from the image above, the crash happened right about where the motorcyclist is in the image below

so I'm guessing he got on on the northbound 805 at the Sorrento Valley ramps in the top of the below image

as the crash happened at the bottom of this image, at the merge

update Oct 12th

Nice little Mustang, 4v 4 spd 289 and very original to it's window sticker