Saturday, September 16, 2023

brilliant design for work truck storage, a slideout tray that uses the backseat area of a 4 door truck

a group named the Bike Zoo in Austin Texas has made these cool butterfly bikes for outdoor events and parades

this is just suicidal... those big cats are planning revenge, I just know it

early 1950s 28 foot Chicago made trailer named Lighthouse DuPlex

Australian company introduces glow-in-the-dark highway paint technology

Friday, September 15, 2023

I'd rather get a cheap used car with a heater for winter, but hey, that's just me.

action highlights from the 2023 Dakar

the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, is working to recover the remains of airmen lost during World War II.

Germany is one of 45 nations where the agency is searching for missing U.S. service members from past conflicts. 

There are still over 81,000 personnel missing in action, so the agency's work will continue into the foreseeable future.

How the POW /MIA do the job, process the excavation sites, etc, is in a very informative article at

Five years after 17 people died when a duck boat sank on a Missouri lake, the U.S. Coast Guard has issued new rules for the amphibious World War II vessels retrofitted for tourist excursions.

But the new rules have limited impact: Only 16 applicable vessels are still in use.

The rules apply only to repurposed World War II-era Army vessels now used for land-and-water tours — not newer vehicles built specifically for tourist trips. The 16 older vessels in use are operated by three companies, the rules document states. The Coast Guard didn't say where those boats are, but 10 are part of one Arkansas fleet.

Ten of the 16 remaining World War II-era vessels in operation are part of National Park Duck Tours in Hot Springs, Arkansas, which takes about 100,000 visitors each year on a tour of the historic downtown and a water ride around islands in Lake Hamilton.

Duck boats have been involved in more than 40 fatal accidents since 1999. 

these are historic times we live in, where a LOT of people are just trying to earn a reasonable paycheck. For the first time in history, all of the Big Three Detroit automakers are without a union labor force (Tesla is non-union)

The first-ever Stand-Up strike will rotate walkouts at various Detroit Three plants without prior warning.

“The locals that are not yet called on to join the Stand-Up strike will continue working under an expired agreement. No contact extensions,” Fain said on Facebook Live. Though the contract has expired, terms and conditions remain in place, and the union members cannot be fired or disciplined for no reason.

“This strategy will keep the companies guessing,” Fain said. “It will give our national negotiators maximum leverage and flexibility in bargaining. And if we need to go all out, we will. Everything’s on the table.”

GM, Ford, and Stellantis earned a combined profit of $21 billion in the first-half of 2023, according to American Public Media’s Marketplace.

For 2022, GM’s Barra earned nearly $29 million, Ford’s Farley earned about $21 million, and Stellantis’ Carlos Tavares earned $24.8 million, according to Securities & Exchange Commission filings cited by NPR. Fain says a UAW worker at GM’s Ultium battery cell plant in Lordstown, Ohio, starts at $16.50 per hour.

The UAW’s last strike, against GM in 2019, lasted 40 days and cost the automaker about $3 billion.

The UAW has a war chest that is enough to make $500 a week payments to each member for 3 months

Current UAW Demands

Eliminate tiered wages. Top pay for the entry hire tier is about $19 an hour.
Wage increases of 36% over the four years of a new contract. The UAW started at 6%; Latest offers are 20% from GM and Ford, 17.5% from Stellantis, says the AP.
Restore the annual cost of living wage increases.
Defined benefit pensions for all workers.
Re-establish retiree medical benefits.
Restore the right to strike over plant closures and the Working Family Protection Program, which pays workers from closed plants for community service work.
End “abuse” of temporary workers (who are hired and laid off at-will with the ebb and flow of production demands).
More paid time off to be with families.
Significant increase in retiree pay.
Though not specified on the website, Fain also has called for a four-day, 32-hour work week, citing evidence that the reduction in hours typically results in better productivity. But as the UAW also says most of its members typically put in 60 or more hours a week, this demand would essentially add eight hours per week of overtime pay.

Most of the union demands above would reverse concessions the UAW made after the Bush and Obama administrations’ bailouts of the US auto industry some 14 years ago. In particular, the two-tier wage system and stopping pay for workers laid off under factory closures ended GM, Ford, and Chrysler’s deep cost-disadvantage to non-union foreign automaker “transplants” and more recently non-union Tesla.

Prior to the onset of the strike, Farley also told CNBC that the union’s proposal could quite literally bankrupt the company.

Ford noted that it had received a counterproposal from the UAW hours before last night’s deadline. The automaker said that if it agreed to those terms, it would “more than double Ford’s current UAW-related labor costs, which are already significantly higher than the labor costs of Tesla, Toyota, and other foreign-owned automakers in the United States that utilize non-union-represented labor.”

The workers received support from President Joe Biden, who dispatched aides to Detroit to help resolve the impasse and said the Big 3 automakers should share their “record profits.”

The union agreed to a series concessions made to help the companies get through the Great Recession. “We’ve done nothing but slide backward for the last 20 years,” Green said, calling Fain’s strategy “refreshing.”

Even Fain has called the union’s demands audacious, but he says the automakers are raking in billions and can afford them. He scoffs at company claims that costly settlements would force them to raise vehicle prices, saying labor accounts for only 4% to 5% of vehicle costs.

Many say it’s time to get the concessions back because the companies are making huge profits and CEOs pay packages are soaring.

Historic times... the UPS strike, Railroad strike, Hollywood Writers and Screen Actors strike, LA Teachers strike.... I bet there are other big union strikes going on this year also. 

Hand drawn 1890 map of the established State Roads in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan about 1890

you can go to this link, and use the online map and zoom in to see the individual roads

from 2010 to 2019 at least 43 people died and 107 others were injured from crashes involving New York City commercial garbage trucks

Since 2010, all fatal collisions in New York City involving a commercial garbage truck that was stopped and then put into drive, involved a cab with a conventional design. In 2017, the City of New York released its Safe Fleet Transition Plan for government trucks, which called for high vision truck cabs when available.

Side guards are barriers installed on the side of trucks to prevent vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists from sliding under the truck during a side-impact collision. Side guards can result in a 40% reduction in fatalities compared to trucks without this

Technologies like surround cameras, safety lights, automatic braking systems, and additional mirrors can reduce fatalities and injuries. These and other technologies adopted as part of the City of New York’s Safe Fleet Transition Plan for City fleet vehicles can also improve safety for private garbage trucks.

A 2019 law requires the sanitation department to create 20 “commercial waste zones,” and assign as many as three private haulers as the only companies that can pick up garbage from businesses in each area. The new regime was meant to crack down on duplicative routes, safety issues around the current system, and reduce the emissions (between 34% and 62%) of pollutants most closely linked to respiratory illnesses created by truck's exhaust

“Many existing routes are geographically dispersed, often serving several neighborhoods across multiple boroughs,” the study said. “Routes from the same and different carters often overlap along key routes and neighborhood streets, creating duplicative services across the city. For many routes, garages and transfer stations are far from the core service area of the route.”

IAW New York City’s Business Integrity Commission Local Law 145 of 2013, 6,000 heavy-duty vehicles have until Jan. 1 2019 to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2007 diesel emissions standards.

 The commission said that about 30% of trucks covered under the law don’t make the grade. While most trucks that have to meet the new emissions standards handle construction materials and debris, among them are about 1,850 that collect commercial waste, recyclables, medical and food waste, and junk.

In Los Angeles, for example, every private garbage truck is required to be “clean-burning,” using fuel like compressed natural gas. 

If the same standard were applied in New York City, less than 0.1% of private garbage trucks — only five of nearly 6,000 — would be street-ready, Moore said.

Private garbage trucks travel more than 23 million miles in New York City every year, a 2016 city Department of Sanitation and Business Integrity Commission study found.

Michigan's Railroad History 1825- 2014 36 page PDF is online


time is never wasted when looking through the new content (I do it every evening) of The Daily Timewaster blog

aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky told his son that when he was young, there were plenty of scientific “naysayers,” even after the airplane had become a reality. (even the telephone was predicted to be impossible)

One of the prevailing “facts” was that there was an upper limit to the maximum weight of an aircraft of about 2,000 pounds. After all, nature proved it by the fact that the ostrich was the heaviest bird on earth, but it could not fly.

Bob Riggle, pilot of the nose up Hurst Hemi Under Glass Barracuda, has passed away earlier this week

thanks George!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

coolest and largest collection of Pixar cars (real ones made to look like the ones from the movies) I've ever come across, displayed at the Eskala Roosevelt mall in Guatemala, until 2022

Pepe Cohen began the collection in 2013, with the purchase of a 1954 International to make modifications to turn it into Mater.

His son's love for cars and movies led him to have more vehicles and in 2016 he had up to 15 vehicles and now in 2022 he has 38.

Then it became a problem to store them, so he had to sell them 

When the Avro Arrow program was cancelled in February 1959, many of the engineers were rendered jobless. Ross Ferguson, found himself looking not only for work, but for a project into which he could channel his untapped ingenuity.

He found the former at Northern Secondary, teaching machine shop to tenth-graders; and the latter in a sports car he’d already started building from scratch.

As it turns out, a lot of the skills Ferguson honed as a machinist developing tooling for the planes could be directly transferred into the design and fabrication of a Le Mans-inspired homebuilt roadster. 

He had planned this build for almost a decade, but in 1959, its construction began in earnest. Eight years later, in 1967, the garage of their little bungalow in Downsview had parked in it a car unlike any other.

The windshield is a Vauxhall rear window flipped around, but the bubble-style side screens are Plexiglas, heated up in the family oven and formed by his wife standing on the molds. (The headlight covers, which carry the body lines through their length, were similarly molded.)

He ordered the Fairlane-spec K-code 289 a 271-hp unit with a four-barrel carburetor, date-coded May 1967 – from the manufacturer in the U.S., via a Canadian dealer. Or at least, he tried to.

 “The first two engines didn’t make it across the border—they were stolen, because these engines were so sought-after,” explains his daughter Lesley. Fed up with Ford’s failed deliveries, Ross eventually crossed into the States after work one evening to pick up the third V8 himself.

Then one day in 1967, the eight-year-long project was complete, the Ferguson Super Sport, resplendent in its metallic green, sharing space in the driveway with Ross’ new 1967 Ford Mustang. It wouldn’t be long, however, before this rolling testament to one man’s ingenuity would be hidden away.

Ross continued to occasionally drive the Ferguson, but by ’69, he’d resolved to take advantage of changes to Canadian aviation regulations and pursue the pilot’s license that his use of eyeglasses had kept him from his entire life. 

By the mid-’70s, the workshop behind the Ferguson house was being used for its intended purpose—a space for Ross to build his own airplane.

The Super Sport was basically abandoned. 

“It would sit on blocks, and then it rusted out,” says Lesley. Maintenance on a one-off car isn’t easy, so a thousand little fixes piled up until after the plane was finished in 1983. “He pulled it out of the garage, and after over a decade, it was a mess,” she recounts. “He had to strip the car down, the seats had to be redone, the engine had to be overhauled.”

The restoration was but a brief reprieve for the Super Sport. In 1988, perhaps nostalgic for his work on the Avro Arrow’s turbojets at Orenda, Ross got the itch to engineer a warbird from scratch—a two-thirds-scale replica of a Second-World-War-era Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane, powered by a Buick-Rover automobile V8.

 That is to say the Super Sport was neglected yet again until the Spitfire saw its first flight in 2003, save for a second refurbishing in the late ‘90s. The one-time head-turner was became a dusty relic mired in myth.

It found a new owner in 2020 after Ross died

Thank you Terry!

well dang, I know I'm not as qualified as the other people that are going to apply, but this is a cool job, simply upgrading Toyota trucks. Mike, have you heard of, or been to this Miramar Road shop with your taco?

the first and only all-women sanitation crew in New York county

Traditionally, the Department of Public Works (DPW) roles have been male dominated, but these three pioneering women, Kanya Antwi, Khadijah Patterson, and Chakka Christopher, have joined the ranks and are holding their own.

 According to their supervisors, they stand out as some of the finest workers in the department, displaying both exceptional skills and leadership qualities.

 All three initially began as seasonal workers under the "Love Our City Campaign," which was funded through the American Rescue Plan. They contributed to cleaning up "zombie homes" and sidewalks and exhibited remarkable potential. 

the Pure Stock Muscle Car Drag Races are happening this weekend at the Mid Michigan Motorplex (1/2 way between Grand Rapids and Saginaw)

There is only one factory left in Costa Rica still manufacturing oxcarts (started in 1923), and Uriel Castro has been working for 70 years in the business his father started