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

Friday, May 15, 2009

Space Shuttle and Hubble caught during solar transit !

These remarkable images were captured by Thierry Legault (a very accomplished amateur photographer) and show the shuttle and HST crossing in front of the sun. The shuttle and HST were travelling 15K MPH and the event lasted less than a second. You can read more about the shot and the mission in this article by the Daily Mail.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

1980's Mini 4X4 Pickup Truck Fad - Paging Marty McFly

In the early 1980's, gas prices, the Truckin' fad and Monster Truck phenomenon gave birth to the jacked up mini truck craze. For a time it seemed like every cool kid had one of these, just like Marty McFly. Sure there were jacked up full size pickups, but the mini pickup was the new cool. FWIW: Marty's truck pictured above is a fairly mild version, many of these trucks were jacked WAY, WAY, WAY up and sported monster Dick Cepek tires. The K.C. Daylighter lights mounted on the roll bar were de rigeur, though Marty's would have been cooler if it sported the KC Smiley Face covers. Eventually (because too much is never enough) things got so out of hand that various agencies started putting limits on the height of the bumper to limit the damage one of these would do to cars. You have to remember the Ford Pinto was still fresh in the memory of most people and without airbags the small cars of the day were literally death traps. Maybe with the death of the SUV craze, mini trucks will experience a revival- Just in time for Marty's mid life crisis.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Isuzu Trooper II 4x4

When we finally sold our VW Vanagon, we bought a used 1990 Isuzu Trooper. Ours was a
Green 4-door with a 4 Cyl motor and stick shift, about as basic and simple as they come. While
the Trooper did have it's faults, reliability was not one of them, it was basically bomb proof.
In many ways the Trooper was a throwback to the early days of Japanese trucks, it's tiny
motor, flimsy bodywork and spartan interior were thoroughly outdated by the 1990's. But
like those early Japanese trucks, the Trooper was blessed with extremely rugged and
simple underpinnings. All in all it was a great truck and one of the last of the true S.U.V's
before the bloated luxo-barges and poser mobiles of the late 1990's and early 00's
(Hummer H2 are you listening)