Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Toy Story, Revisited

You gotta check out this video.

Thanks, or Funny Bits and Pieces in my blogroll.

World's Shortest Aircraft Carrier

Check out these hoons. Scroll about 1/2 down the page for the video. Pretty remarkable feat, though.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What I Saw Today

Over the weekend, a friend, who lives down Mickey Mouse way, was in town visiting a co worker and called me to join them for, what I thought was cocktails at 8, but was really dinner at a restaurant called "The Deck Down Under".

Just down the street, there is a restaurant called "The Ocean Deck", which Lil Mom, Lil Jim, the youngsters and I dined at during their visit this summer. Now that particular restaurant has three levels, one of them an oceanfront deck at the beach level down under the two other levels of restaurants above. When queried as to whether I knew "Where The Deck Down Under is?", I replied in the affirmative, about 8 minutes from my home. So I arrived fashionably late and they were not there. I called and was informed "The Deck Down Under" is located about 45 minutes away and got its name because it is located down under one of those high bridges.

So I set off and by the time I arrived, they had finished eating, which was alright by me. I had already had dinner as I did not know this was a dinner invitation. In total there were 7 of us and I guess they had gotten talked out because once I arrived, I was pretty much grilled about everything and got, almost, the third degree. It was okay, you know how I am, just pull the string on my back and I will just go.

And I did.

It turns out the three guys there are all car guys and we had much in common. Turns out one of the dudes owns, not one, but two 1979 Lincoln Town Cars. For those of you unfamiliar with that body style, I have included an image I lifted from AutoTrader of one. Think HUGE.

After dinner, some of us went to a beach bar near the Taj Mahal for a cocktail and, as my friend from Mickey Mouse land said, 'Why not, we are at the beach after all?' It was nice. One of the dudes, Don, who lives quite near the Kid, got to talking to me about my cars and of course I had to relate my On The Road adventures this summer.

Anyway, it was a very pleasant evening and, at its conclusion, I gave Don a card and told him to call me and we could do something. As this was only the third store bought meal I had had since I moved to the Birthplace of Speed, it was a nice change of pace.

Don called me today to tell me about a neighbor of his who has a vehicle I would like and to come on over.

Guess what I did?

Of course, I had to drive the olestationbus, I mean, if you are going to look at cool cars, you just have to drive one.

And this is the vehicle Don was adament I would like.

And he was right. A 1983 Dodge Rampage, very similar to the one I referred to here, but a whole lot nicer.

This sweet old truck is owned by Fred Meridith, no relation to Don Meridith, you know me, I had to ask. Anyway, as Fred is getting up in age, he has decided to liquidate some of his vehicle collection and asked me if I was interested. I told him yes but, unfortunately, I don't have the toy budget the bus and the horsefarmer have so I would have to pass at this time.

It is a bummer, I have lusted after one of these rare shortroofs for, well almost, ever. Certainly since I drove Patti Hunter's Dad's way back when. I have not even seen one of these in years, and believe me, I would have remembered it.

Ole Fred treats his vehicles as did my Dad. If something broke, was near broke, or not a stock piece of equipment, it gets replaced. I mean, just yesterday, the fuel supply was in question and Fred replaced the fuel pump. Can you imagine how hard it is to find a fuel pump for one of these? Well actually not hard, it is basically an early 80's Chrysler product.

Replacing that tailgate would be an adventure to be remembered.

This is a good clean truck. He had owned it since 92 and has repainted it twice. A couple small rust bubbles at the drip edge but I almost didn't even see them when Fred pointed them out.

He was laughing as he told me he replaced the standard transmission with an automatic so his wife could drive it, which she has, three times in 16 years.

The odometer shows 29,000 miles but Fred admitted he replaced it when the old one quite working and he is unsure of the mileage on it. I will tell you, I could see he had replaced the struts, shocks, all the rubber bushings underneath and the tires have a ton of tread life on them. All for $3,000. Bummer.

And that is what I saw today.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Cute State Trooper Joke

Got this from another blog,

Thought you would enjoy it. I did.

A Wisconsin senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of a Milwaukee dealership. Taking off down the road, he floored it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left.

“Amazing,” he thought, as he flew down I-94 towards Madison, pushing the pedal even more. Looking in his rearview mirror, he saw a State Patrol car behind him, blue and red lights flashing. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120.

Suddenly, he thought, ”What am I doing? I’m too old for this,” and pulled over to await the trooper’s arrival.

Pulling in behind him, the trooper walked up to the Corvette, looked at his watch and said, ”Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a reason for speeding that I’ve never heard before, I’ll let you go.”

The old gentleman paused, then said, ”Years ago, my wife ran off with a Wisconsin state trooper. I thought you were bringing her back.”

”Have a good day, sir,” replied the trooper.

Eye Candy at The Turkey Rod Run

Just a Car Guy is a blog I frequent. Over the weekend, we traded emails about blogspot and navigating around it. Well, he checked out By The Numbers and inserted this old man's blog into his with reference to the Turkey Rod Run in the Home of The World's Most Famous Beach, the town just to the south of the Birthplace of Speed, my hometown.

In that post of his he pulled some shots taken at the Turkey Rod Run from their website. I thought I would do a blog with some of the cars I have seen, over the years, at the Rod Run. Of course, come Thanksgiving, I will be posting a lot more of them and will keep you posted as to them.

The Turkey Rod Run is held over Thanksgiving weekend and features, predominately, street rods, but everything shows up. They have a huge flea market, car show, car corral event at the

Daytona International Speedway. No racing this weekend though. They shut down the entire facility to racing and have a huge event. 5,000 plus cars, uncountable vendors and tons of food trailers.

Everywhere you look there are cool old cars, new cars and everything in between. In the photo above, shot at the 2006 Rod Run, I can see in this photo a Barracuda, Corvette, Thunderbird, LeSabre, Challenger and an old Longroof. I know there are many I am missing.

This year will be the first year I will attend the event as a local resident. In the many years past, I have driven in the day after Thanksgiving, gone to BelAir plaza on Friday nite, attended the show on Saturday, BelAir plaza on Saturday nite and home to wherever on Sunday.

This year will be fun as I am now a local resident. As a matter of fact, my Taj Mahal is located 5 short blocks north of the BelAir plaza and is home to my local Publix grocery store, something I think is pretty cool.

Now, I realize I have not noted what significance the BelAir plaza is.

During the Turkey Rod Run, there are the sanctioned events out at the Speedway, but every nite during Thanksgiving weekend, a whole bunch of cars fill up the parking lot at the BelAir plaza, with a hundred more in the LaPlaya Hotel across A1A in the parking garage, as well as another several hundred or more just cruising around. It is like something out of the 50's and early 60's. A giant cruise in....and a total blast.

But during the day on Saturday, for several years, I have attended with the Kid and his sister Taylor, sometimes their Mom and usually the jeep junkie hooks up with us after work.

One year I gave Taylor my digital camera and when I got it back, the memory was full!! Not a lot of useable shots but that is what Uncle's are for.

She did like this Purple People Eater Dodge Power Wagon.

the jeep junkie got a kick out of this Vega Woody. As I mentioned, there is a bit of everything at this show.

I love this early 60's Pontiac # 3, campaigned, not by Dale Earnhardt, Sr., but by David Pearson.

This is the jeep junkie's friend's mid 60's Bronco we took to BelAir last year. Note the oleragtop in better days in the background.

Gratuitous picture of me next to an old farm implement. Can you say, "Do you think my tractor is sexy?"

A cool old Studebaker Ice Cream Truck. "You scream for ice cream, I scream for ice cream, we all scream for ice cream."

This is a cool old Buick longroof. After the show, I saw this car for sale on ebay. I emailed the seller mentioning I saw this olelongroof at the Rod Run and he included that description in the ebay ad. The price shot up $4,000 the day after my comments were posted. A really super sharp piece of art, by the way.

The next couple shots were taken at BelAir plaza. Sorry about the preference toward longroofs but, well, enjoy. A late 50's Merc.

Same era Pontiac. Surf boards are okay but not necessary. I would rather have seen some period correct luggage.

A decade later, Dodge produced this Monaco longroof.

And three decades later GM came out with this longroof, although this one is highly modified.

On the way to Daytona Beach for the Rod Run, I saw this Mercedes McLaren while driving by the refueling depot on International Speedway Boulevard. I believe this was the first year they were introduced.

Again, that is me, even long before this blog came to being, I was keeping an eye out for this kind of stuff.

A not so good shot of an old bug. The local VW contigent has some really nice stuff here. I was surprised I didn't have more images of them in my library. Don't worry, that will change come Thanksgiving '08.

Another old bug.

I have always been an admirer of this body style Mercedes 280. Look at the variety of cars in this image. That is the Rod Run.

Conversely, I love this olelongroof just as much. I know, I know.

This one is cool also but the roof isn't long enough for me. But, if I had the bus's toy budget, it would be in my livery.

Taylor took this image. I think she loved the color. It is a pretty car though.

Now this is a pretty cool old Nash but look at that wagon in front of it. You see all sorts of that kind of stuff down this way.

An old Indy Pace Car.

I told you about those old wagons.

You can rest assured, this year the Kid will be at BelAir with his cj5

and I will be parked right next door to him

in the oldstationbus.

If you are there and see us, stop and say hello. the jeep junkie will probably have a cold adult beverage he can spare.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Clarification Corner

A couple or three posts ago, I exerpted some commentary from Peter DeLorenzo over at about the Detroit 3 and NASCAR.

As I published this information without his knowledge, although credited, I thought I would drop an email to provide this knowledge to that site.

This is the email I sent:

Your Name or Initials: John
Your Email:
Hometown: Ormond Beach, Florida

Message: Mr. DeLorenzo:

I am a long time viewer of theautoextremist and wanted to let you know you are spot on with your analysis of the US and worldwide auto industry.

I have searched your site for your copywrite information and reuse policies. To date, I have found none.

I just wanted to let you know I used your August 6 post about the Detroit 3 and NASCAR on my blog.

I did credit you with the content and changed the font so my viewers would know it was your work.

Do you have a copywrite policy for your content? As this is your profession, I felt compelled to ask.

Thank you for your time and I enjoy the fruits of your ability and insight. Thanks for sharing your views with us.

Warmest Regards,


theautoextremist response:

Re: Form Submission - Contact AE


In the future, we'd appreciate it if you let us know when you want to use any of our content.

Here's the disclaimer that's on the bottom of every page of


But thank you for giving Peter and AE proper attribution.

The AE Editors

Upon reading this email, I felt quite bad. I mean this guy and his staff work their butts off providing insight to me and, while I made no attempt to represent their views as my original views, I felt rather bad about even the perception of plagiarism.

About an hour later I got this email from them.

No worries, John...we're can access our site any time and when it's appropriate for your needs, post some of our content.

Thanks for reading!

The AE Editors

I sure feel alot better about that post.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Over at, this thinking ad exec offers some pretty good advice about discussions, meetings, and email.

Glad the horsefarmer and the bus know this already.

Tiger Woods and The Jesus Shot

Friday, August 22, 2008

Polo in the Industrial Age

From those hilarious folks over at fengtastic. I call them Humorous Old Photos with Captions.

Based on the number of spectators in the stands, I am not surprised.

Detroit and NASCAR

If you aren't a motorsports fan, you might want to pass this post on by.

As we all are aware, regardless of what our fearless leaders tell us, we are having a spot of trouble with the economy here in the good ole USA.

This includes, not just the construction industry and the retail industry, but also, especially, the automobile industry. They are in the process of reevaluating every dollar they spend. GM has pulled out of sponsorship of the Academy Awards and all of the US manufacturors are also reevaluating their relationships with NASCAR.

Whether you like NASCAR or not, and I fall into the latter category, it is the most watched form of motorsports in the country. To bad, as there are a couple great sports car series around. You can see them here and here.

Having said that, one of the blogs I frequent, has these comments on the future of NASCAR with reference to the Big 3 automakers involvement.

The author of this blog is Peter DeLorenzo who spent his career in the marketing of Detroit's products and has had this blog going for quite awhile.

His post can be seen here.

I actually hope NASCAR lends an ear to these propositions.

Reason being:

Racing is all about "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday".

The Car of Tomorrow, and quite frankly NASCAR, since they steered away from actual STOCK cars is relatively boring, unless you like wrecks, which I don't.

The initial appeal of NASCAR came to me many years ago in the form of Grand National Racing. This was back in the day, late sixties, early seventies. The cars on the track looked like the cars in the showroom. It was a fun time with all of the teams doing what they could to win.

They still do that today, but they all start with the same platform and have limited opportunities for modification.

I believe that should change.

I mean I would rather watch a car I can buy in a showroom race, turning left and right, such as this this Mercury Cyclone and Chevy Monte Carlo.

rather than these, I am not sure what they are (Chevy Impala/MonteCarlo and Ford Fusion/Taurus?, race around only doing loopty loops.

NASCAR, in their justification for the CoT noted they wanted to save teams money. Well as Darrell Waltrip mentions in one of his columns on, as he quotes an unnamed NASCAR owner,

And finally, my all time favorite quote -- and trust me, I have heard a lot of them -- is from a car owner currently in the sport. More prophetic words have never been spoken when he said, "I don't think I can afford for NASCAR to save me any more money."

Camaros, Mustangs, and Challengers racing all together on the same track and looking like STOCK cars. This might even be enough to get this old man, and many more, to tune in more often and maybe even buy something from Detroit.

Fickle Fay Fading Away

So, our Tropical Storm Fay has decided she has spent enough time in the East Coast of the Sunshine State and decided to head out west toward the youngest member of the Lee Clan in Panama City, Florida. As the radar map shows, she will be hit with some pretty severe rain over the next few hours.

It is interesting, at least to me, here in The Birthplace of Speed, we did not get all that much rain, especially on the coast. Given the configuration of Fickle Fay, the "eye" was rather large, measuring about 70 miles. As she froliced up the coast line, the "eye" stayed right along the beach. As a result, yesterday, from Ormond Beach to Jacksonville, there was only light rain. The worst rain we got was when the top of the storm and the bottom of the storm passed through. Out west of here in Sl-Ocala, they got more rain than we did here on the coast. Amazing but most hurricanes are.

I drove around a bit today to see if I could find any more orange pylons blown over, and saw this

Not quite as potentially dangerous and this, but, ah, for the want of an anchor line. I don't think you could ask for a better place to sink a boat though.

I then headed down to the beach. I knew all was well when I saw seagulls out and about.

No tourists out in the surf today, thankfully.

But they didn't totally stay off the beach.

It appears we lost a fairly significant amount of sand and wonder what the beach will look like when this all settles down.

It appears the major rainstorms have left and we will continue to monitor this.

Oh yeah, the hoons are still out there, this time in my old hometown.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Floundering Fay Update

It is with extreme sorrow I report what I found out about all those cops on the beach as related in my previous post.

Apparently, a 35 year old woman visiting from Brooklyn, New York drowned while playing in that rough surf. My condolences go out to her family and friends.

And, as I also mentioned in my previous post, these lingering storms affect many behaviors, including this dude, right here in the Birthplace of Speed.

Fickle Fay Flounders

Well, Fickle Fay has Floundered around these here parts for way to long. Everyone I spoke to today is ready for her to get on up the coastline and into Georgia where they really need some rain.

Lingering storms such as this make us all stir crazy and cause some hoons to do some pretty weird things.

As I was returning to the Taj Mahal after my early afternoon dentist appointment, yes life does go on, I was driving north on A1A and spotted an ambulance and a fire truck parked at the end of one of the beach access streets.

Well, by now you know I had to whip and Ueee and check it out.

I neglected to get an image of those trucks but did get some of all the cops down on the beach.

No one knew what sparked this activity but once I find out, you all will be informed.

I think it has something to do with some idiot out in the water as that jet ski has "Ocean Rescue" printed on the front of it.

I think every cop and beach patrol on duty was at this spot.

Check out the surf in the background of these images. The waves are more structured today than they were yesterday.

While I was out, I did happen to catch a bit of destruction down on Main Street.

Other than that, just waiting for Fickle Fay to Fly Away.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fickle Fay Update, Redeux

There is absolutely no question in my mind these, young at heart, women are having a blast negotiating their way, in that oleragtop, out of the destructive path of Our Friend Fay,

They would be having just as much fun in this or


After frolicking around on the beach down near the Cape, Fickle Fay decided to continue her stroll up the beach toward the Birthplace of Speed .

She has arrived. Full of herself and strutting her stuff. A relatively minor storm, as far as hurricanes go, but yet still noteworthy. The first time I have been on the coast for a weather event in many years. Thankfully this is a minor one as I am pretty dismissive about it. But really, the everyday storms we have are just as windy, just not so longlasting.

Fickle Fay is not as noteworthy as this though. I am sure he is pissed.

the Kid and the jeep junkie passed by the Taj Mahal a bit earlier and we talked about this sweet young woman named Fay. I got a shot of them leaving, just as another bout of rain was rolling in.

As we were talking, I mentioned how much fun it was this summer up in the Ozarks and that reminded me of an image I had seen earlier, online. Oh Why, Oh Why, Kristin, did you let that dude borrow that old trike?

And if these folks are evacuating also, why are they bringing the canoe along?

All you landlubbers should know, this is just a light rain shower down our way.

Finally, since there is actually a Tropical Storm down here in these parts, I hope this Gospel Car will come around for my salvation, as the drive in is flooded out.

Seriously, oh hell, why? All is well here, just a severe thunderstorm, but without the thunder.