If James Bond Had Ever Settled Down…

… I’m convinced that this is the car he would have in his garage.

No doubt 007 would have it outfitted with all manner of special weaponry and secret agent toys, but I sure wouldn’t turn it out of my own garage even in its current form. Given the fact that my garage space is pretty doggone limited, I would even build a garage specifically for it! The DB5 is a gorgeous machine to begin with, and who could resist a wagon/shooting brake version of the car? And to me, the color combination is perfect; black exterior & red leather… Wow.

This car was featured in a Hemmings Blog post this morning; for the details on the car and their thoughts on it you can click through to their article. The short of it is that the car recently went on the auction block at Bonham’s & sold for an astonishing $704,200 (the full copy from Bonham’s is included below in case it disappears from their site.)

What more can be said about such a gorgeous machine? I think I’ll just sit & stare at the photos for a little while.

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Oh, The Irony…

Bad-news stories usually don’t faze me, but when I heard this story on the radio this morning, I nearly cried:

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – A Sioux Falls man is accused of tying up and beating his girlfriend after discovering she had used the Internet to research how to leave an abusive relationship.
Police spokesman Sam Clemens says 20-year-old Jose Sanchez allegedly tied up the 18-year-old woman with a belt and electrical wire and then beat her for about 20 minutes before she persuaded him to take her to a hospital.
The Argus Leader reports that a judge set bond for Sanchez at $10,000 on charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping and interference with emergency communications.
KELO-AM News — Wednesday, February 23rd 2011 12:39pm

Good Lord; how could Jose not see the irony in what he was doing? In cases like this, the judicial system could save itself a lot of time and money by relieving the offender of two bits of his anatomy; one swipe of a knife delivers punishment and ‘cure’. Geldings tend to be much gentler.

A Clear And Present Danger

In an interview, a San Diego Assistant Port Director Al Hallor confirmed that nasty stuff has been found coming into the country. I guess this really comes as no surprise; the surprise is that we don’t hear about it more. One day we may get complete disclosure on all of the potential disasters that have been put down because of the diligence of people like Al.

One thing about this story that really makes you wonder is why the major networks haven’t picked up on it. I heard about it on a talk radio show tonight, and the host — no fan of President Obama’s — says it has to do with the mainstream media outlets being in the tank for Obama and not wanting him to look bad. I don’t buy that; the successes of Homeland Security (in spite of Janet Napolitano’s denial about the southern border) ought to be feathers in Obama’s cap. If anything, the silence on the issue is being purposely kept quiet to keep people from freaking out. Like Kay said in Men in Black, “A person is smart; people are dumb panicky dangerous animals…”

Yet Another Reason Windows Blows

The PC users at work are pretty much standardized on Windows XP, but a couple of people use applications that are slated to be upgraded soon, and one of the requirements with that upcoming new version is Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate. I had zero seat time on Win7, so to prepare for that upgrade I installed it on my computer a few months back. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to XP just yet, so I thought I’d be smart & set it up to dual-boot between XP and 7. That process went pretty smoothly — so much so that I don’t even recall how exactly I did it. After a few initial glitches, playing with testing 7 went pretty well, and it’s now been a long time since I’ve needed to jump back to XP. I’m finding that 7 is much more stable and user-friendly than XP (go figure… I’m even liking some features, like the one-key jump to the Search Programs & Files thing, which is very similar to QuickSilver’s app launching feature on the Mac) so it’s here to stay on my desktop.

Last week I ordered a couple of new Dell machines to replace some older hardware elsewhere in the building, and both of them arrived with Win7 already installed. Both had more horsepower than my (then) current desktop machine, so I decided exercise my prerogative as Preventer of Information Services to shuffle my year-old desktop down to one of the other users and drop one of the new machines on my own desk. Migrating my stuff over to the new machine — Windows 7 to Windows 7 — was pretty slick (another nice Win7 feature, but what about moving apps?), but when I set about ridding the machine of the dual-boot situation, I ran into a snag…

When I set up the XP/7 dual boot, I installed 7 on a second hard drive, thinking that when I decided to either go back to XP or stay with 7 I could just pull the other drive and sail along on my happy way. After all, it’s worked that way with the Mac OS since about forever… (must’ve been lulled into thinking the guys at Redmond had made some legitimate advancements to the Windows platform.) I shut down, pulled out the XP disk, and the computer refused to boot. Fantabulous.

So to Google I goed, and found lots of help to get me where I needed to be, but it was far from easy… The short of it is, I had to boot up in XP, copy the boot record files from the XP drive/partition over to the Win7 drive/partition, boot up with the Win7 installer disk, go into the Repair mode, jump into the command line and enter some magical incantations, and finally it would boot up from the Win7 drive. Of course it took me quite a while to actually get there… The video below was the best set of instructions I found to get the job done, but because that tutorial deals with a dual-boot setup on one disk and deleting the XP partition, I had to make several adjustments along the way. Plus, setting this computer up was one of those peripheral tasks I was doing while doing a couple of other things, so it was more of a minor annoyance; I was about this close to just nuking the disk and reinstalling from scratch when the planets aligned and everything came together. All’s well that ends well, I guess.

Windows 7 is definitely an improvement over XP, but it’s still no Mac OS X.

“It’s Precision Technology!”

Here’s something fun; a ‘manual’ straight from Haynes on Wallace & Gromit’s Cracking Contraptions!

I’ve probably enjoyed the Wallace & Gromit claymation movies more than the kids; Gromit is probably the most entertaining of the pair, even though he never speaks a word.

A few favorites from YouTube
The Tellyscope
The Bully-Proof Vest
And The Turbo Diner“That’s 300 horsepower of pure suck! Not bad, eh?”

BMWotD — 1973 3.0csi

Now this is a gorgeous car.

I’ve always loved the body lines of the BMW e9 coupes, and this one has received some improvements that make it even more desirable. For one, the original carbureted M30 has been replaced with a fuel-injected M30B35 for better reliability and lots more horsepower.

The e9’s are notorious for rust, but this particular car was stripped & repainted by Hardy & Beck in Berkeley, CA. Hardy & Beck also provided the wheels, which fit the car’s style to a ‘T’. Up until last week the car was owned by one of the “>mye28.com members“; he bought it a little over a year ago, but some recent financial & life difficulties forced him to sell. It was listed on CraigsList with some of the gorgeous beauty shots shown below, an oddity that caught some attention at Jalopnik. Bring-A-Trailer also picked up on it. All the attention led to it being sold pretty quickly in spite of the $25,000 price tag.

Much as I like the looks of this car, there is just no way I could own it unless I could garage it and only bring it out on the nicest of days. And considering the car, its relative rarity & value, that would be only fitting. So, like so many other cars, I’ll just enjoy it vicariously by way of the photos.
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Murilee Martin Is Quite A Guy!

Jalopnik has long been one of my favorite online haunts, and one of the features that I enjoy(ed) there was the Project Car Hell challenges;

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that’s the coolest… and the most hellish!

Basically a game where you get to choose between two hopeless basket-case project cars that were found on eBay, CraigsList or wherever. In 2008 I stumbled across & submitted a pair of oddball cars I saw on eBay, a 1967 NSU Type 110 and a 1985 TVR 280i. They were pitted against each other in a post called Project Car Hell; Alphabet Soup Edition (get it; TVR? NSU? alphabet soup? Yeah, corny, but it was the best I could come up with!)

One of the perks for readers who submit cars for a PCH challenge is a custom-made t-shirt designed & built by Jalopnik contributor Murilee Martin. Not sure exactly what happened, but I didn’t get my t-shirt. I think it had something to do with a shortage of Dave-sized shirts at the time… Like I need another t-shirt anyway (just ask my wife!) Time went on, and I pretty much forgot about it.

Then last September, Murilee announced that he was dropping the Jalopnik gig for bigger & better things. I left a comment on the post expressing my disappointment (as well as my understanding and support for his new endeavors), then the next day I remembered the missing t-shirt & threw a comment on that thread about it. And whaddya know, Murilee offered to make good on the oversight!

A few emails were exchanged (including one that I totally overlooked for quite some time), then yesterday I had a surprise waiting for me at home; a package from Denver with my name on it. Inside was the long-lost t-shirt:

Yvonne’s reaction was predictable; “You’re not really going to actually wear that, are you?” I don’t think that was a question. It was the team shirt for the Tetanus Racing Neon Team from the Laissez Les Crapheaps Roulez 24 Hours of LeMons race that was held in New Orleans in November, 2010. Team Tetanus came in 9th overall out of 50 entrants in that race; not bad, especially considering it was a true 24-hour race, using a $500 car!

In reality, the shirt will probably sit on the shelf in my bedroom closet until one of us puts it in a box destined for a thrift store. Still, it’s pretty cool that Murilee made the effort to send it. He also threw in his business card (finally ending my curiosity over what his real name is) and a cool little window/bumper sticker from LeMons. My car will wear that sticker proudly!

I still miss Murilee’s posts on Jalopnik — the PCH and DOTS (Down On The Street) stories were the best. Plus Murilee had a way of putting together great stories. I still follow Murilee’s online stuff from time to time — he maintains a website featuring a catch-all blog, a photo gallery from past LeMons races, and a pile of desktop wallpaper images from the junkyards he frequents. He’s got one book under his belt already and is currently working on another. Yes, Murilee is a true Renaissance man; gearhead, author, blogger, LeMons judge… He’s quite a guy, girl’s name notwithstanding.

Awesome Visible Shock Wave Video

This sort of thing has always fascinated me; a plane moving at supersonic speed leaves a shock wave in its wake. The sonic boom is one thing, and is pretty awesome to experience, but the visible shock wave is something else entirely! This video of the launch of an Atlas V rocket shows a visible shock wave that radiates out horizontally as the rocket ascends; it looks like waves in a pool after a rock was thrown in the middle. I’ve never seen anything like that before.

And this video has the same event but from a different camera & vantage point (it’s toward the end of the video, at about 2:20.) Lots of other good video footage in it that I’ve seen before, but still amazing.

When I was in the SD Air National Guard we had somewhat regular training exercises where we would do our jobs as if we were really at war. To add some realism, pilots & aircraft from other bases would often be recruited to play the aggressors. On the Saturday morning of one very memorable training exercise, an aggressor snuck in under the radar and screamed past the base at supersonic speed (or very near it.) I happened to be walking across the flight line as he flew over, and remember it distinctly; looked up & saw this F4 Phantom fly past silently but incredibly fast. A half-second later the shock wave hit, and it almost knocked me over it was so LOUD… Wow. Because I was on the flight line and he was dropping imaginary bombs and strafing the aircraft on the line with imaginary 20mm rounds as he flew past, I instantly became an imaginary casualty and spent the rest of the guard drill laying on a cot in the morgue. Cheery.