Friday, May 05, 2023

Ruth Nichols

Nichols flew every type of aircraft, including dirigibles, gliders, autogyros, seaplanes, biplanes, triplanes, transport aircraft and even a supersonic jet.

the president of an Elvis fan club, had cerebral palsy, but was still the financial provider for his parents - because he was damn smart, and a hard working fan club president. Elvis gifted him a 57 Chevy partly as the payment for handling Elvis fan mail!

Gary Pepper would look every morning through the local papers and cut out articles that mentioned local business. These companies would pay Gary for the articles he'd find. 

After Gary read that Mrs. Presley had started a scrapbook for Elvis, he started providing her with clippings that mentioned Elvis. Gary had cerebral palsy, but he was self-supporting in running his own business.

His kindnesses led to a solid friendship between Gary and Mrs. Presley. The whole family became close with Gary, and Elvis bought for Gary, his mother and his nurse, a house on Dolan drive, and for xmas 1964, a new wheelchair. Elvis hired Gary's father, Sterling Pepper, to work as a gate guard at Graceland.

You can read an article Gary wrote about a concert Elvis did in the 70s at

Sadly, their was a squabble over the things that Gary left to his nurse in his will, because his parents wanted to profit off selling the numerous Elvis items that Gary had received from Elvis himself. The court ruled in the nurse's favor of course, iaw Gary's directive

Among the keepsakes Presley gave Pepper were a gold jumpsuit, a lock of hair, a 1957 Chevy, and autographed photos of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, according to a complaint filed by Pepper's heirs.

Pepper and Whitehead attended Elvis' funeral, and Presley's father gave each of them a white rose from the casket

During his life, Presley paid Pepper for maintaining the fan club and also asked his friend Carl Nichols to find a nurse to look after Pepper, who suffered from cerebral palsy. Nichols approached devoted Elvis fan and nurse Nancy Pease Whitehead, who immediately took the job - although it was unpaid - and eventually moved into Pepper's home abutting Graceland's backyard.

Nancy also testified that Pepper told her he did not want his relatives, who were not close to him during his life and were not Elvis fans, to have the collection

 'Given this evidence, a reasonable jury could find that Gary wanted the collection to be owned and maintained by a friend who shared his love of Elvis, who had taken care of him and his mother for years, who recognized the significance of the collection, and who would keep the collection unless and until he asked her to return it', the 10-page opinion concluded.

When it did sell, in 2009, it went for 250k

"To Gary thank you for the beautiful bible your friend Elvis Presley" in blue ballpoint pen. 

Gary had given Elvis a bible when Gladys invited Gary and his wife to the 1957 Graceland Christmas party.

so stupid

you don't see this level of moron evidence everyday

anyone else fed up with headlight covers getting oxidized? Why the hell aren't they made of glass? 

for info on cleaning them the hardway, just like wet sanding paint, with 1000, 2000, and 3000 grit sandpaper, and then using a polishing compound _ or buying a Meguir's kit  

did Lo Jack ever work? Regardless, it may as well be obsolete now... the New York City Mayor and NYPD just recommended using Apple's Air Tags

 LoJack used to cost more than most people wanted to waste on an RF tracker that wasn't likely to result in your car being found by cops, IF cops even bothered looking for your stolen car. 

I've never heard of ANY car being found because of LoJack, or ANY car thieves or crime ring being busted because of  Lo Jack... have you?

But every week I read about people getting their lost luggage back from aitlines because they had an Apple AirTag in their suitcase or baggage

Lo Jack cost about 800 dollars... Apple AirTag? 30 bucks. 

An AirTag is a small tracking device no bigger than a quarter that only costs $29, and it can be used to locate any kind of missing or stolen items using the app on your iPhone. 

Car keys, purses, backpacks, and luggage are fairly common recipients of Apple AirTags. The same method can be applied to your vehicle in the event that you forgot where you parked, to discover that it has been stolen. According to the NYPD, by sharing your car’s information and location with the police, they will be able to track down, locate, and recover your vehicle.

While this does sound simple and helpful, it isn’t 100% foolproof. This is due to the fact that Apple AirTags are also equipped with a feature that if the thief has an iPhone, and attempts to steal a car with a hidden Apple AirTag, they will receive a notification to their phone of the AirTag’s presence. The same can be said for Android apps that can scan for the presence of an AirTag too.

Thursday, May 04, 2023

Dudley Fisher was an astonishing cartoonist... and how is it I've never heard of him until today when Steve threw me a life line? These are fantastic!

Dudley Fisher was born in 1890 in Columbus, Ohio. He attended the Ohio State University, attempting an architecture education. He soon dropped out in order to be a layout artist at the Columbus Dispatch newspaper.

During World War I, Fisher worked as an aerial photographer, the influence of the "view from on high" is evident in his cartoons

After a brief stint at Columbus State University, Fisher worked as a layout artist for the Columbus Dispatch. When hired by the Dispatch in 1911, Fisher was a retouch artist, he later worked side by side with another famous cartoonist, Milton Caniff.

In 1919, he resumed working for the Dispatch. It was here that he developed the nationally syndicated strips, “Jolly Jingles” (in 1924), and “Right Around Home” (in 1937). Fisher’s storylines involve ordinary American families (representing an idealized Midwest aesthetic), in ordinary situations (again, idealized American situations, such as Christmas and other American holidays) in rural or pastoral settings. Fisher, especially in later strips, created single panels with multiple storylines and characters, all interacting within a single scene and in parallel plotlines. The tones of his pieces were either whimsical or nostalgic (or both). He used clean ink lines to convey his characters and settings.

In Right Around Home, readers enjoyed a bird’s-eye view of a fictional all-American neighborhood, an innovative narrative point of view that distinguished the Sunday strip

The large, single-panel feature, which debuted on January 16, 1938, was likely, for the 47-year-old Fisher, a mixture of imagination and a remembrance of things past. Right Around Home was never overtly nostalgic, but invariably had—and still has—that rare ability to evoke feelings of nostalgia from readers not of the time or setting. 

The era that it depicts, however, is distinct, especially compared with our own self-centered times. In contrast to the me, my and mine culture of today—with its grasping delineations of what is mine and what is yours—the most common possessive pronoun used in Right Around Home is our. For example, when Fisher drew newly married local sweethearts, they are referred to as “Our Bride and Groom.” 

The neighborhood is one large family to which the reader feels they belong. And it is worth pointing out that the Home of Fisher’s title refers not to any single residence but instead to a neighborhood; a community. Dudley Fisher’s new creation was not an anomaly of its time; its inclusiveness and sense of mutual destiny shared the Midwestern sensibility

The full page cartoons didn't last much past WW2, newspapers cut them to half pages, then 1/3rd pages (and it's a crime to humanity! Little Nemo in Slumberland only worked because of the size allowing for the incredible art) 

Fisher worked for the Dispatch, and as a cartoonist, until he died, in 1951.

Fisher never actively sought syndication, but was rather picked up by King Features Syndicate after his popular work at the Columbus Dispatch. His strips ran up to 1964, 13 years after his death. (These later strips were completed by other artists)

the New York Times wrote up his Obit... sadly, he died when arriving in Massachusetts for a vacation  but that's all you'll find out because of the paywall 

a Colorado woman and the ACLU sue over Kansas police - because out-of-state motorists are disproportionately stopped and detained and searched simply for having out of state plates and possibly marijauna -as Kansas still hasn't made pot legal recreationally

The trial is the third in recent weeks over how Kansas troopers conduct stops. 

The ACLU of Kansas says troopers target out-of-state motorists coming from places where marijuana is legal. Kansas is among the few states with no legalized form of marijuana.

Federal juries have twice found that individual troopers violated constitutional rights.

Jones, a former county sheriff, was appointed by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelley in 2019. In a separate lawsuit, Jones was sued by five female current or former patrol employees who allege a hostile work environment, a culture of sexual harassment and gender discrimination under his leadership.

Republican lawmakers have pressured Kelly to force him out. Jones is stepping down effective July 1 but has said he wasn't asked to leave.

“The constitutional right to travel is not infringed even if, as the Plaintiffs allege, out-of-state motorists are disproportionately stopped and detained after a traffic stop relative to Kansas motorists,” Arthur Chalmers, an assistant state attorney general said in a court filing, he represents Jones

The Tenth Circuit Court ruled in June 2022 that an ACLU of Kansas lawsuit claiming the state highway patrol routinely and illegally stopped motorists with out of state license plates, can continue.

last September, FoMoCo faced a shortage of Blue Oval badges, now, it’s a shortage of door handles for the Ford F-150 pickup

Though Ford F-150 inventory levels have improved as of late, production was temporarily halted this past weekend after the automaker had trouble sourcing the correct door handles for the best-selling pickup. Production has since resumed, but workers are installing substitute handles on some trucks in an effort to keep assembly lines moving until the proper pieces arrive. Those handles don’t have proper key holes in some cases, and in others, aren’t painted the correct color.

This allows workers to not only be able to get in and out of the pickups, but also to perform checks inside the vehicles as it moves through he production process. These mismatched models will then be parked until the correct door handles arrive and can be swapped out for the temporary pieces. 

In an old alley in downtown Indy.

compliment of the day!

  All I can say is I wish you were my neighbor.

Hank M

In 1925 Robert Paxton McCulloch was 14 years old when he inherited part of a fortune, later in life, he bought the London Bridge and moved it to Arizona... in between, he raced, made superchargers, and chainsaws

His grandfather, John I. Beggs, made his fortune by implementing Thomas Edison's electrical powerplants in cities around the world, manufacturing and selling electric trolley cars, and founding Milwaukee's public utility system. McCulloch, along with his two siblings, inherited his grandfather's fortune in 1925.

McCulloch graduated from Stanford with a degree in engineering.

While still an undergraduate Milwaukee-based Robert McCulloch was making his mark in the world of speed. He raced in outboard-motor hydroplane contests in more than 15 states and Canada, winning two class championships and collecting some 50 trophies.

Two years after he graduated from Stanford University, he married Barbra Ann Briggs, whose father was Stephen Foster Briggs of Briggs and Stratton.

McCulloch’s first business target was auto racing. He and his team built a four-cylinder two-stroke engine of one liter from which 90 bhp were extracted. Targeting the compact unit at midget racing, McCulloch installed it in a four-wheel-drive chassis.

Taking note of the wave of supercharger launches by Duesenberg, Graham and Auburn, in 1935 Robert McCulloch turned his talents to a compressor suitable for the ubiquitous Ford V-8. The resulting McCulloch Supercharger was launched in 1937 as an $85 kit. More than 5,000 superchargers were sold before McCulloch ceased producing them after 1941 in order to turn his attention to wartime requirements.

McCulloch had a good war, designing and producing Roots superchargers that were used for railcar engines, generator sets and power units for high-speed patrol and torpedo boats. Shifting operations to California, McCulloch was not idle. His post-war activities included experimental helicopters and the compact two-stroke engines that had always been a passion.

Starting with their first McCulloch-branded chainsaw in 1948, his team engineered breakthroughs in small and light saws that became major money-spinners. Exploiting his middle name, McCulloch poured some of his profits into a new enterprise, Paxton Engineering, set up on May 1, 1950 to explore new business opportunities. He decanted more than $700,000 into development of the Paxton variable-speed centrifugal supercharger that achieved wide acceptance both in the aftermarket and as original equipment for Kaiser, Ford and Studebaker.

Then he made a car prototype designed by Brooks Stevens who ingeniously provided for its hard top to slide backward and down to nest snugly over the rear deck for full convertibility.

For anyone that isn't engine/mechanic/car minded, McCulloch might be best known for purchasing the "New" London Bridge, which he moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona—one of the cities he founded. 

In 1963, on the courthouse steps of Kingman, McCulloch purchased a 26-square-mile parcel of barren desert that would become the site for Lake Havasu City. At the time it was the largest single tract of state land ever sold in Arizona, and the cost per acre was under US$75. 

In 1968, McCulloch was searching for a unique attraction for his city, which eventually took him to London. By the early 1960s it was apparent that John Rennie's 1831 "New" London Bridge was gradually sinking into the River Thames and the City of London Corporation decided that a new bridge was needed. Rather than demolish the existing bridge, they decided to auction the historic landmark.

TIL that in the 2015 Neiman Marcus Xmas Catalog was a $150,000 motorcycle with a shop tour and 2 day coastal ride with Keanu Reeves

May the 4th (dual cool day - my first movie I watched in a theater was Star Wars in 1977 when I was 6, and it's my birthday) be with you Star Wars trivia car enthusiast tie in (tie in, see what I did there? HA!)

Skip to 26 seconds

The sound of a TIE fighter engine was actually created by combining an elephant bellow and a car driving on wet pavement.

TIE Fighters in the Star Wars universe are named after their "twin ion engines," but many fans may not know that George Lucas chose to name it after bow ties due to their shape

Wednesday, May 03, 2023

when I posted about the Victorian era steampunk car racing mystery Hullabaloo 10 years ago, it was just an idea, in need of a crowdsource funding project.... and it's nearly complete, but not entirely  was when I learned of it at the CTN Expo in Burbank 

I'm still wondering how this didn't get completed during covid lockdown when everyone was quarantined at home for 6 months.

The original goal was an 80k fund to make one short film the old fashioned animation way (cellophane overlays if I recall correctly) and the effort resulted in a 588% funds raised, so the resulting funds were then distributed over 4 episodes. Well, that's what they said 10 years ago. Yes, I've contacted James (creator of this, former Disney animator) and asked WTF is with the lack of updates on your website and or Facebook page? And he didn't respond with anything to satisfy the curious or interested. If you go to the Facebook page, you'll see a lot of comments that are echoing the same question,"what's the status? When is the estimated completion date?"

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang illustrations in the early 1970s Houghton Mifflin reading books like I had in 1st and 2nd grade in the mid 1970s

if you got a kick out of the late 60s Beatles and music concert art, and the illustrations and graphics of that era, you'll get a kick out of this link

Charles Bachman, whose dad was a football coach at Michigan State, got a win at Soapbox Derby racing, and went onto study data structure access in computers (RAM) because he got a education at the university

 His dad was the quarterback for Knute Rockne, and they invented the forward pass, and that got him the coaching job at MSU

They could do that forward pass because Wilson sporting goods made a better football (less like the Rugby ball) that could be thrown overhand.

Wilson did that because he had worked in the Chicago stockyards and meat packing industry, and figured out what to do with meat byproducts, like the leather from pigs, aka, pigskin footballs

The stockyards in Chicago came along because the civil war's increased need for meat to feed the soldiers 

That appetite of the soldiers increased because there was one guy appointed to the rank of Captain of feeding the union soldiers, James Sanderson who had been in the restaurant and hotel industry, and who made a cookbook with some basic rules of how to properly run an Army field camp cooking stove to reduce diseases transmitted in the food (rancid meat, un hygenic pots and pans)

All things I learned from 6 degrees with Mike Rowe, on AMC +, episode one. Which I wanted to try because of Connections with James Burke

Doug is sharing this license plate from the Virgin Islands, it's NOT a vanity plate special ordered, it's a consecutively numbered plate! Thanks Doug!

since you might not believe me

REO Flying Clouds had very nicely engraved instrument panels

there are a couple of cars that had nicer engraved panels, but I've only found 2 or 3, they all were made between 1925 and 1930, the Cadillac, Hudson, Gardner, and Essex... see them at

just last week I was wondering about production cars with the smallest wheels, and this past weekend I came across this Fiat 500, and they have 12 inch rims

making a replica of a car is a whole lot of work to go through to own the car you've always wanted to own, but a 46 Delahaye woodie station wagon isn't going to come along again in any other way

the only Bricklin I've come across in over a decade

the origin of the name Nerf, that an advertising person realized was perfect for their Hasbro's line of kids toy branding in 1969, is from off roading guys putting soft foam around roll bars

The first product Nerf toys made, was a soft bowling ball size sphere for using indoor play so old people, lamps, and windows wouldnt' get hurt

Ukraine farmer Oleksandr Kryvtsov made a remote controlled land mine finder, with his tractor and armor plates from destroyed Russian military vehicles (thank you Marc B! )

Kryvtsov, an agricultural company general manager, decided he couldn't wait for help from overworked official deminers to clear fields

Instead, he designed a remote-controlled tractor that could withstand blasts.

"We started doing this just because the crop-sowing time has come and we can’t do anything because the rescue services are very busy," Kryvtsov told Reuters.

"We ran over an anti-tank mine. The protection got blown out (but) the tractor is safe," he said." Everyone's alive and safe. The equipment was restored and repaired."

 Russians, regardless of the public information campaign by Princess Diana, and others, for decades, put land mines over about 30% of the Ukraine territory that they had access to in order to hamper the Ukraine economy and inflict collateral damage, and fill hospitals. Unscrupulous fuckers. 

the bridge that has been seen by more people than any other (very likely true) but until today, was not identified or known - has finally been identified, and located. The bridge in the background of the Mona Lisa painting

Research coordinated by the historian Silvano Vinceti has identified the bridge that Leonardo da Vinci depicted in the background of the Mona Lisa, as the Romito bridge in Laterina, in the province of Arezzo. 

Based on historical documents and comparisons between current photographs and the painting, it was possible to identify the real Mona Lisa bridge. 

"It is the Romito Etruscan-Roman bridge, also known as Ponte di Valle, located in the municipality of Laterina in the province of Arezzo," explained Vinceti. 

 The Romito bridge had four arches, resting on two cliffs, was part of a byway, or shortcut, that made it possible to shorten the journey between Arezzo, Fiesole and Florence by several kilometers.

"Only one arch remains of the bridge today, but in the period between 1501 and 1503 the bridge was functioning and it was very busy, as shown by a document on the state of assets on Medici family properties, found in the State archives of Florence". 

It was precisely at that time that Leonardo was in the Val d'Arno area, first at the service of Cesare Borgia, and then for the gonfalonier of the Republic of Florence, Pier Soderini.

Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Lucian went to Santa Pod and took photos to share with everyone on his facebook page!

this is just the usual small sample of a handful I like the most, there are dozens more at

the only Fageol Twin Coach I've ever come across, it's a whole lot bigger than the Helms Bakery Twin Coach

survivor Mark Donohue Javelin

Kim is road tripping across Japan, and blogging on the way to share his adventure! Check out the Busa powered Tyrell replica !

Preview for Gran Turismo, directed by Neill Blomkamp (such great work on Chappie, Elysium, District 9), starring David Harbour and Orlando Bloom

an echo of the wiper delay back stabbing of the 60s (remember the Greg Kinnear movie?), Ford was found guilty of reverse engineering a contracted companies software, by a jury

Last October, Ford was found reverse engineering  for its own use without a license, voiding a contract to continue using Versata’s software, claiming that it had developed its own software for that same purpose.

Ford was ordered to pay $104.65 million in damages to Versata following this decision, but Ford appealed and won on technicalities with a sympathetic judge, who overturned the jury decision

Jim Wangers has passed away, he did more than most with the car manufacturing companies and in drag racing than most car guys will recall - and worked with some incredibly iconic people, including Hefner, Hurst, DeLorean, and JFK Jr  if you didn't see these posts the 1st time around, his helping JFK Jr, helping AMC with the Hornet, helping Pontiac with the GTO, helped Hurst get the Pontiac contract in 1961, helped Needham get the Trans Ams for Smokey and the Bandit, and he won the 1960 Top Stock Eliminator at the nationals in 1960. That's some serious drag racing historic winning title, and I don't think anyone ever gave him his due respect for that.

He worked with Hefner at Esquire, I shit you not, before Heff went independent with Playboy, and Jim even owned a Chevy dealership in Milwaukee.

Since I've written several articles that cover all this before, if you want to read them,  I won't re-write them here.  

Hard to believe, that someone as accomplished and well liked as Jim doesn't have a Wikipedia page. 

James Wangersheim was born on June 26, 1926, growing up on Chicago's north-side, and as a child, he clipped car ads out of magazines, and decorated his bedroom with these automotive images of mechanized motivation. 

Following graduation with the class of '42 from High School, a year of study at the University of Illinois was completed before Uncle Sam called him to duty, he went into the Navy.

From 1944 through 1946, Jim's wartime service in the Navy found him aboard the U.S.S. Bunker Hill as a Radioman 3rd Class. Shipboard, he wrote to all the carmakers for his own copies of their latest sales brochures. The highly decorated ship and crew found themselves knocked out of the war by Japanese kamikaze attacks while supporting the invasion of Okinawa in April of 1945

a retired Canadian is building full-size replicas of WWII planes, including a 1916 Sopwith Camel, a 1918 Fokker DR 1 (Red Baron's plane), a 1944 Spitfire, a 1944 Messerschmitt ME 109, a Sherman Tank, Willys Jeep, a Hawker Hurricane and the front end of a 1911 Pacific Type steam locomotive. (thank you Robert G!)

Ian Baron, a retired nuclear plant mechanic, has spent the last five years building life-size replicas of old fighter planes from various kinds of junk. The joke around his home is that he only did these airplanes after restoring 8 Model As, and his wife said NO MORE CARS!

Ian started after visiting the Ford museum where he saw what can be accomplished by bending metal. He had experience building dune buggies and restoring Model As, and he truly believed he could create a fighter replica with stuff he already had around the house. The few things he didn’t have, like sheet metal from above-ground pools he scavenged from scrapyards and neighbors.

Although the planes are static and don't fly, the rudders and other controls are operational.

Of course, when Luverne suggested to her husband that he'd built enough planes, he turned to constructing other war replicas: a Sherman Firefly tank that drives, and for their pond, the conning tower and gun tower from a World War II German U-boat.

Mr. Baron doesn't splurge on the materials. The planes, tank and U-boat are made almost entirely from recycled or scrap items, though the welding supplies, paint and rivets can cost around $2,000 per project ($45 each for 20 cylinders of oxygen, $60 each for 10 cylinders of acetylene and $50 per gallon for eight or nine cans of rust paint). Discarded, above-ground swimming pool skins are used to create the outer shells for his creations.

"I'm on pool number 29 now," says Mr. Baron. Most of the pool skins are free; some cost him a case of beer.

The Sopwith Camel's wings are made from bent-up farm gates, TV aerials and concrete rebar. The landing gear on the Messerschmitt is made from legs from a children's teeter totter and its tail wheel came from his wife's wheelbarrow. The Spitfire's fuselage is fashioned from bar stools and has 15 authentic British airplane gauges he paid $5 each for. Its wheel wells are fashioned from the tops of 45 gallon drums.

Mr. Baron's passion for motorized machines started with his father, who was a mechanic and sergeant with the 23rd Field, Fourth Canadian armoured division in World World II.

Mr. Baron has an encyclopedic knowledge about the original versions of his creations. He does extensive research on the Internet and has gleaned other details from a 92-year-old farmer from Manitoba who served with his father during the war.

He also receives information about the original machines his replicas are modelled after from people who have heard about his collection through or who have noticed the war replicas while driving by. One veteran who stopped in supplied him with details about the Sherman tank, while another drop-in visitor was the son of an engineer who designed a part for the Spitfire.

His lawn art collection of cars and planes delights guests at the family’s Model “A” Acres Bed & Breakfast.

The Hurricane Bird is bare metal and getting bodywork