Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Nordhavn 62' Trawler Yacht

One of my dreams is to cross the Atlantic in a powerboat, I am not however suicidal and have appropriate respect for the power of the open ocean.  A healthy fear of drowning  limits the number of boats I would be willing to risk a crossing in and the Nordhavn 62 (along with the new Queen Mary) is on my short list.  Heavily built, the 62 is built to cruise at 9 knots non stop for over 2 weeks and has an effective range greater that 3,000 miles.  The Nordhavn is full of clever features such as it's redundant "get home" motor that under ordinary circumstances provides hydraulic power to the bow thrusters.  Should the main engine fail, the auxiliary engine engages a feathering prop to motor to the nearest port.  The comfort of the passengers is also well thought out and the boat is equipped with two sub zero fridges & freezers, washer-dryer, trash compactor and the usual bevy of creature comforts associated with an upscale home.  Hell, the Pilothouse Glass is 1/2 inch thick and the hull is one and a half inches of solid fiberglass drawing 6 feet of water with 3 1/2 tons of ballast, this ain't no Bayliner.  If 62' is too small for you, Nordhaven makes trawlers up to 120'.  You can get the full scoop on these very cool boats here

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Most Awesome BMX Stunt Video OF ALL TIME...ALL TIME

Quite sure I have never seen anything like this

Ford Mustang SVO & Merkur Xr4ti

In the late 80's, all the cool cars had two spoilers and Ford (I believe under the direction of Bob Lutz) was beginning to move it's American product line more in line with it's European division. The Mustang SVO and the Merkur XR4ti were strong steps in that direction. For a few years, Ford's leading performance cars were powered by their excellent turbo 4 cyl engine. Unfortunately for Ford, gas remained relatively cheap and the temptation to push the 302 v8 Mustang GT and the ultra profitable Explorer SUV for the quick buck proved too great. If Ford had also kept developing their turbo 4 performance efforts, they might have been better prepared to weather the current economic situation and also could have competed more effectively with the EVO/WRXsti demographic. Either way, these are two of my favorite cars of the period, and they are both eminently collectible.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Gilligan's Island - Hamlet the Musical

Look, I like Lost as much as the next guy, but in terms of
weird and inventive plots, Lost can't touch the original 
castaways of Gilligan's Island.  Smoke Monsters?  Bah, how
about a guy who surf's a tsunami all the way to the Island, and
then (with the help of the Professor, catches the wave on the
rebound to surf all the way back home)  Hatches? Pthfft !
How  about a radioactive meteor that ages people prematurely.
And finally, the coup-de-grace, how about a musical rendition
of Hamlet? Let's see Kate and Sawyer do that !

Mini Bikes - Sears Catalogue Throwback

In the 1970's, the arrival of the new Sears catalogue was an eagerly anticipated event and was met with a level of enthusiasm virtually unheard of today (I must confess, to this day, I remember what the catalogue smelled like).  The phonebook sized, full color, "Dream Book" was the key to a full year's worth of childhood fantasy.  Looking through the catalogue you could piece together in your mind the room that would eventually be expressed as so many adult "Man Caves".  The Briggs & Stratton powered "minibike" was a staple of those catalogues and enjoyed a brief period of popularity more or less concurrent with Banana Splits reruns.  All in all, a pretty crappy little vehicle, the minbike's short reign as the object of boyhood lust was ended with the introduction of 80cc Japanese Motocross bikes, three wheelers and BMX Bicycles.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cool Bus - Suk it Kramden !

When I was a kid we didn't have no "Cool Bus", we had to fight our 
way past Nellie Olsen both ways, uphill, and we liked it that way.

The FlyMo - The Coolest Lawnmower Evah !

Although virtually unheard of in the U.S. (Most likely because of our excellent law schools), the Flymo Hover lawnmower enjoyed considerable success in the U.K. and is still being sold there. The Flymo was available in the States for a short time and I remember seeing a few ads on UHF TV alongside the Popiel Pocket Fisherman and Monkees LP's. I was in middle school and mowed lawns during the summer for money and the Flymo held out the tantalizing promise of effortless lawn mowing, to say I wanted one is the understatement of the year. You have to remember that this was around the same time Star Wars came out and the Flymo was the closest you could come to Luke's landspeeder and it was a good bit more practical to boot (what with it's ability to mow the lawn and all). With spinning blades and the ability to hoover, I think the Flymo has the potential to be an excellent all around anti-Zombie weapon when modified McGruber style.

Austin Mini Moke - "Moking is Not a Health Hazard"

Designed alongside the Iconic Mini by Sir Alec Issigonis, the Moke was laughably intended as a military vehicle in the same vein as the American Jeep and Land Rover. How Sir Alec and BMC thought the underpowered Moke, with it's low ground clearance and clown car wheels, would make a good military vehicle is beyond me. Needless to say, the British Army wasn't buying this notion either (though the Navy showed some interest in using the Moke on aircraft carriers). A flop in uniform, the irrepressibly goofy Moke was a natural entertainer and enjoyed considerable success in films and television. The Moke was the henchman's vehicle of choice in Bond movies and the TV show "The Prisoner". The villains were apparently on to something as the Moke was also popular as a resort shuttle when fitted with the obligatory striped canvas roof.
Bonus Trivia:  The name Moke is a slang for Donkey.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Aston Martin Lagonda - "It's Wafer Thin"

Hand Built in Britain by a storied company on the brink of solvency, the Lagonda
was the best of the times and the worst of the times. Selected by Time magazine as
one of the 50 worst cars of all time and yet the subject of almost universal longing,
the Lagonda was an emaciated, coke addicted disco supermodel of a car. With it's
moonraker inspired , computerized CRT instruments housed in a hand polished walnut
dash the Lagonda is exactly the opposite of what should be done. It's a Bizzarro World
Mercedes, using complex, fiddley computer instrumentation to monitor a v8 engine with
fiddly weber carburetors. Why? How the hell should I know? Like the answer to the
question that could only have been asked by a drug addled Saudi disco prince at 3am,
it probably made sense at the time.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1978 VW Rabbit Diesel YACFMP (yet another car from my past)

The first car I can remember my parents buying new.  During the Carter
years, with gas surpassing a dollar a gallon, this was the car to have.  I do
remember there being a waiting list and the usual dealer shenanigans, we
had ordered a white one with tobacco interior, but ended up with a silver
4 door with black leatherette.  The 1.5 litre 48 hp diesel Rabbit returned
an unheard of (and still respectable) 53mpg highway 40mpg city.  It also
boasted "peppy" performance and was capable of sprinting from 0-60mph
and with a good tailwind it could even climb a respectable grade.
It could also impress the ladies, and cemented my reputation with Martha
as a wizard with cars.  I was driving this car while we were dating and being
a poor college student routine maintenance took a low priority.  Shortly
before our courtship began, the starter solenoid switch went bad, so to start
it, one took a set of jumper cables and bypassed the switch to energize the
starter and fire up the motor.  During this process, you appeared to be jump
starting the car without another vehicle attached, which I guess is a pretty
good trick.  Go figure. 

1951 Rumi Sport 125

Perhaps as we move towards the promised post consumerist society, people will begin to put as much thought and craft into the creation of products as they clearly did with this little post war gem of a motorcycle.   Thanks to the excellent moto blog Bike Exif