Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Some will recall Mr. Schafer as a former Navy Paymaster formerly assigned to the Panama Canal Commission. Mr. Mahan also holds various titles in squash, polo and golf. In 1908, Dr. Rosembaum became the first Jewish player officially ranked in the United States.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Neutral Good A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment because because it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.
Druids gain power not by ruling nature but by being at one with it. They hate the unnatural, including aberrations or undead, and destroy them where possible. Druids receive divine spells from nature, not the gods, and can gain an array of powers as they gain experience, including the ability to take the shapes of animals. The weapons and armor of a druid are restricted by their traditional oaths, not simply training. A druid's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast.
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.
Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)
Not for nothing did we know Ferdie (I can call you Ferdie, can't I?) as the Great Gnosticator; thus, well salted with silver ions were the clouds of fate when he commissioned a concrete-clad bust of himself on a mountainside in Benguet province. Yes, even as Muhammad Sa'im al-Dah de-nosed the face of the Great Sphinx of Giza lo these many centuries past, did "suspects [including] left-wing activists, members of a local tribe—or possibly looters hunting for one of Marcos' legendary treasure troves" blow up his big, stone head two weeks ago. Yes, treasure hunters, just a month before the Philippine government tries Imelda Marcos for embezzling countless hundreds of millions of dollars. And how many dime-store novels and adventure novels have set treasure inside the Great Sphinx of Giza? Many, I'm sure.
F-Mo's big head lasted over 20 years; similarly, a King or Kings unknown built the Great Sphinx of Giza some 40 centuries ago. Both of those numbers are divisible by two, 10 and 20. "Just numbers, you dolt," you're undoubtedly thinking. Yes, but try to graduate from high school without them.
No, no-one knows if the Great Sphinx of Giza was a real person, although undoubtedly it wasn't; and how many of us, really, can say we knew Ferdinand Marcos? Not me, that's for sure. Coincidence? You be the judge.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
South Dakota Barbies on the shelf for Christmas
Sioux Falls Barbie
This queen Barbie is sold only at Macy's. She comes with an assortment of Chanel Handbags, a Volvo, a French poodle named Charisse, and a Lincoln County McMansion. Plastic surgery available upon request. Hey, she has to look beautiful when she works at KELOland TV. CitiBank Ken sold separately.
Rapid City Barbie
This tough little sport comes with optional hiking boots or mountain bike. When she's not selling magnets at Mount Rushmore , she can be spotted off-roading in her Land Rover or running on the bike path. Inhaler included to give relief during forest fires. Buy her while you can because Ken works at Ellsworth and might be getting transferred!
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair,
arch-less feet, hairy armpits, no makeup and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her Ocean . She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Spearfish Barbies and the optional Hybrid Toyota, you get a "Free Tibet" bumper sticker for free.
This "Frost Queen" comes with an entire winter wardrobe! Her parka is reversible and can be used as an emergency igloo whenever needed. Package includes a shrink for seasonal depression.
This young, hip girl actually comes with her own pepper spray. Her USD sweater is made of real wool and her Cavalier gets great mileage between the Empire Mall and Vermillion. Available keg with purchase of makeup. Ken doll sold separately with broken cell phone... he never seems to calls back.
This brassy, tobacco-chewing gal comes with camouflage overalls, Cabela's Credit Card, and a rifle. She can be found just north of town shooting pheasants and drinking an ice cold 40. Cabela Ken available with purchase of Chevy Silverado.
This modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar Minivan or Honda Odyssey Minivan with matching Wal*Mart sweats. She gets lost easily while taking Stacy to her soccer games and has no full-time occupation other than the PTA. Ken doll sold with matching Daktronics company car.
This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, leather chaps, and a Meth Lab Kit. This model is only available after dark and must be paid for in cash (preferably small, untraceable bills) ...unless you are a cop, then we don't know what you are talking about. Harley sold separately along with deadbeat Ken. Jail uniform available with purchase of Mobile Home.
Belle Fourche Barbie
This model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans, a NASCAR t-shirt and Care Bears tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Bud light and a Johnny Cash CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's butt when she is drunk. Purchase her Mega Ton Dodge Dually pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.
She may be a 75 year-old, Brandy drinking, Virginia Slim smoking cuss, but she has more audacity than Calamity Jane. She just got out from Gambler's Anonymous and needs to get rid of some spare change. Deadwood Barbie can be found at the Monday night "Kevin Costner Fanclub" meeting just down the street from Cadillac Jack's Prime Rib Buffet. Ken comes free, but is usually working two jobs to keep a roof over their head.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Waylon Jennings (June 15,1937 – February 13, 2002) was a respected and influential American country music singer and guitarist, born in Littlefield, Texas. more...
Now playing: Clint Black - Are You Sure Waylon Done It This Way
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I recently spent some time talking to current Lincoln designer Peter Horbury, who described the design elements that make up the Lincoln look. This ’70 Mark IV in the car corral had them in spades: Slab sides; a kick-up over the rear wheel; sharp fender creases; a thick, cantilevered c-pillar; bow-wave grille; subtle accents; and a chamfered character line along the side. At $13,000 OBO, and 49,000 miles, it’s going nowhere but up.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Famous for having totally unlabeled switchgear, this mid-1970s 49cc Benelli Blazer showed zero miles, and a $500 price tag. It's a damn good thing I didnit have the $500 on me and as it was, I thought about hitting an ATM.
Benelli? They made engines for Moto Guzzi and Vespa, and the Blazer engine is similar to those. While you could get one from sole US importersCosmo Motors, they were also part of a minor war among the major department stores, each one of which had their own line of scooters or mopeds—Benelli was the Montgomery Ward offering.
Now playing: Michael Jackson - Unbreakable
I’ve never been sure why GM doesn’t create some sort of museum around the 700 or so cars in their private Heritage Collection, but at least they usually bring a few to Hershey. OK, the 1977-only Monza Mirage didn’t differ mechanically from a regular V-8 Monza 2+2, but the addition of a decals and flares package did a nice job of evoking the factory IMSA Camel GT Series car.
Monday, November 26, 2007
You could almost call Stearns-Knight a forgotten Classic, but all post-1925 models are indeed CCCA Full Classics. Patterson Barnes’ 100hp, 6,309cc (385-cu.in) eight-cylinder 1927 cabriolet is one of only 927 cars built by the Willys-owned company in 1927. Patterson is recognized as one of the foremost experts on Stearns-Knight and you can see several of his cars at the AACA museum, so it’s no surprise this is CCCA National First Prize winner as well as an AACA Senior.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Here’s another London-to Brighton veteran, Reed Martin’s 1900 Knox. He ran the English 57-mile race twice, once in five hours, 20 minutes; once in seven hours, 45 minutes, becoming the only three-wheel Knox ever to do so. This is a first-year Knox, with only 15 made; the big 95-cu.in. single thumps out 5hp, but the car is only 80 inches long and turns around in just over its own length, so there’s no reverse gear.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Speaking of Mercedes-Benz, this is George Wingard’s 1913 Tourer, which claimed its First Junior at Hershey. George brought his car from Oregon; it has a body from Carrosserie D&E Snutsel Pere & Fils in Brussels. There was a deep crowd around it all weekend, ogling the Pebble Beach-winning former Brooklands racer. A vast inline-four cylinder aero engine makes 200hp from 21.495 liters, or 1,311.7-cu.in. That’s 328-cu.in per cylinder!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
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Dennis Frick told me his 220-based 1952 Mercedes-Benz Delivery Sedan was part of an amazing post-war tradition in Germany, where there was a need for light commercial vehicles, but little infrastructure to build them. Karosserie Autenrieth Darmstadt—also associated with BMW’s 501 and 502—was one of the larger outfits among many small manufacturers making do with what they had; they made the long roof from 11 perfectly butt-welded sections.
Monday, November 12, 2007
- American Cowboy by Active Interest Media
- Black Enterprise
- Business People Vermont by Mill Publishing Inc
- Cruising World
- Games for Windows: The Official Magazine
- Global Rhythm Magazine by Global Rhythm LLC
- Metropolitan Home
- Parenting plus Sesame Street
- Popular Mechanics
- Pro Sound News - Ny by Newbay Media Llc
- Road & Track
- Tennis Magazine
- The Magazine Antiques by Brant Publications, Inc.
- The Wall Street Journal
- Urban Climber by Skram Media LLC
- Workbench by August Home Publishing
28. Popular Photography
When I think of Hupmobiles, I usually think of either brass-era cars or the fabulous Raymond Loewy-designed Eight, but Walter B. Colton’s six-cylinder ’31 roadster reminds me there were fine cars in between. Walter’s car won its AACA Senior in Ohio in 2004, and he showed it in the Preservation class at Hershey this year. The 228.1-cu.in. engine makes 75hp; 1932 brought 90hp.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
The only surviving 1898-‘99 Hay-Hotchkiss is also the only one ever built. America’s first four-cylinder car has a horizontal eight-stroke, four-cylinder engine in which each cylinder entertains combustion every fourth stroke. William Hay and E.M. Hotchkiss could never get it running quite right, perhaps because of their claim that it would go (albeit a little slower) without either oil or water. Freshly restored by Sean at Red Star Auto in Rhode Island, it’s running right, now, and is a recent London-to-Brighton participant
Friday, November 9, 2007
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The big truck hobby is, well, big. Robert J. Kalbach of Wernersville, Pennsylvania, brought his 1959 Brockway, entered in the Driver Participation category of the Saturday show. Mack Truck acquired Brockway in 1956 but the name lived on, with the heavy-duty, Deluxe (with corner windows) cab Model 257 Huskie.
It was the first full year for the Huskie, and Bob’s not sure what it’s rated at, but I counted 17 leaves in the springs, and may have missed a few. A 572-cu.in straight-six Continental gas engine powers the 9,800-pound tractor.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
In the Beginning
This goes pretty far back, folks. When I was a junior in college the Democratic primary included JFK and Hubert Humphrey. I was a born again HH supporter because of his progressive record going all the way back to municipal office in Minnesota and the great tradition of LaFollette and others he was following. I still have my “It’s Humphrey in ‘60” button. It was during the primaries that Humphrey started talking about the idea which became the Peace Corps. I loved the idea.
Well, he got defeated in the West Virginia primary, dropped out, and JFK went on to the Presidency. Meanwhile I was a scholarship kid at a school for the sons of rich parents. Many of my classmates had been traveling abroad all their lives. I’d been to Canada once on vacation with my parents. When my roommate turned 18 his parents gave him an air travel card; with it he could travel anywhere in the world. He used to go to Switzerland to ski over Christmas, and the Canary Islands for our short Spring Break.
By senior year I had nearly terminal Travel Envy. I figured the only way I could go abroad was through a job and began applying for positions (there was no Peace Corps yet). I ended up with three offers: one with the Quakers for teaching in Tanganyika (now Tanzania, I know); one with another international organization somewhere in Southeast Asia (where is the national currency the bhat?); and one for a small island in the Caribbean, Montserrat. I liked the Africa gig but couldn’t in honesty take the non-violence pledge required – it was so absolute. I couldn’t figure out if the compensation in bhat was enough to live on. The Caribbean job offered air fare and $1800/year, which they assured me was plenty (it was).
So I went as head of the English Department at the island’s secondary school (British system of overseas exams, 11-plus entrance exam, uniforms). It was a great experience. Also taught French and music, did lots of stuff, matured a little. Had two great kids.
(ok, ok, I’m getting there)
While I was there the Cuba crisis came up. Our island was directly on one of the shipping channels. When the blockade was instituted, we could see US warships patrolling not far from us. People were pretty scared of what might happen.
Then Russia blinked, the threat was over. All over the Caribbean there was an outpouring of relief (one of the calypsos out of Trinidad was “He turned dem ships in de opposite direction/Kennedy is de mon for dem”). I was the only American living on Montserrat. I can’t tell you how many people came to me to thank the US.
I had already extended my original one year contract to over two. There was a local guy finishing his degree in England who would be coming back soon and could do the job. I wrote to Washington, basically saying, “take me, do with me what you will.” I do remember asking for a tough assignment.
I got a letter telling me I was accepted pending checking my background and was going to Afghanistan. Sounded fine to me.
I resigned (very emotional leavetaking at the school, at a final Prize Night. My Glee Club sang). I went back to my folks’ house and started to get ready. FBI guys (I guess) interviewed our neighbors. Then came a second letter – Nepal, of course.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
We’d given up on child care. Our experiment in the spring wasn’t a disaster, but you have to trust a mother’s vibe, and B’s vibe with the girl we has wasn’t great, especially after we checked her references. She didn’t lie, exactly, but it wasn’t what you’d call an accurate representation of the facts. After two or three Fridays, we called it quits.
We need B to keep her job, though. After health insurance, saving some and my student loans, about 50% of my salary goes toward rent, and while it should, the remaining $250 a week or so just isn’t going to cover the bills and expenses for a family of three.
For a while, I worked 7-to-5, four days a week, and stayed home on Fridays with the boy. That was great for everyone, but there were some not-so-subtle hints from my bosses that putting family ahead of the appearance of productivity (don’t get me started) just wasn’t cricket, and for the sake of my already-tenuous position, I went back to the 8-to-5 routine.
That meant B had to try to get all of her work done when I could take the boy. And as he sleeps with us, that meant coming home from work, attempting to get dishes done and food cooked, and going to bed at 7:30. Then, of course getting up when B came to bed at 9 or so, eating dinner, bathing, etc. With the poor sleeping we do with X teething, that meant four or five hours sleep on a good night.
I think we’d had Rosemarie Jackowski’s number for a while. She responded to my ad, where I’d written something about maybe looking for a grandmother missing her grandchildren, which is exactly what she is. A couple of months ago, we did send him over for about two-and-a-half hours, the first time alone we’d had in seven months. It worked out fine, but we weren’t exactly what Rosemarie was looking for. We’re adults with our lives more-or-less together, and she explicitly said she wanted to help someone who really needed the help.
But X is irresistible. And last week, he spent the afternoon there, where they had a wonderful time. She won’t be charging for the sitting; I’ll do some carpentry and whatnot around her house in exchange. She bought us a Xavier College T-shirt, because she “couldn’t resist.” She took photos, and gave us a set on his second visit on Monday: Xavier in his stroller by her big brass “Peace” sign; Xavier in her living room decorated with signed Nader photo; Xavier playing with her plush Che doll…
Because Rosemarie is a do-gooder. In liberal circles, she’s got a bit of a rep as the infamous incarcerated war-protesting , Air Force veteran grandmothe, arrested a couple of years ago for blocking the intersection on Main Street in town. She appealed her five-year (!) sentence to the state supreme court, which reduced it to community service; there’s a possibility the case may continue to the High Court in Washington.
I was reminded of a visit with our pediatrician, when Dr. Wood mentioned something about television viewing. I told her we didn’t have any reception where we live, so it’s not a problem, the only thing to worry about is constant NPR exposure. She got very serious then, and said that early on she made a decision to limit all the media consumption her own kids would get.
I don’t believe anyone comes farther left than myself, but I do try to be sane about it. I don’t have it in me to hate Bush, I try not to make ad hominem attacks on people, I make an effort to listen to people of good conscience with whom I might disagree politically.
So now I have to start planning for my son’s social upbringing. I can’t divorce him from world events, although I will make sure it’s not a part of his young life. Shall I do as my grandparents did with my father when they dropped him off at a different church every week, and find some neo-con sitter to steer him the other way? Yes, of course I want my children to share my values—I have them because I think they’re the right ones. And Rosemarie is a fantastic babysitter, who genuinely loves him. If I do my job properly and teach him critical thinking skills over the years, he’ll be able to make up his own mind. I’m certainly not going to remove him from her eight hours a week of care because of political viewpoints that I even share. But I am going to pay attention to my own attitudes around him, about everything if I can. I can’t, I know, but it seems as though there’s nothing better I can do for him than to give him a chance to make up his own mind about things.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
And what, the robber couldn't have texted him?
TheDay.com - Man Calls In To Rob Convenience Store
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
So I'm trying to win a Carlsberg beer contest to see the European football game of my choice. Stoke, natch, although visiting the Camp Nou would be wonderful too. The contest requires your best football story, so I made one up, casting Lehho in the role of the mysterious stranger...:
As an American Stoke fan in America, I’ve never been able to explain my love of the team to anyone I know—my wife doesn’t even understand, although she does her best. Barcelona she gets, but a mediocre Coca-Cola League team? I have a hard time explaining it to myself. So I spend my time on the web, listening to podcasts, watching blurry game clips, alone.
But last winter, I was singing one of the Stoke anthems—Tom Jones’ version of “Delilah”—to myself on a subway platform while visiting my father in New York. “I saw the light on the night that I passed by her window,” I sang, and in my heard the horns that come in after that line. “I saw the flickering shadows of love on her blind.” I heard them again, and it seemed as though I could really hear them above the noise of the station. “She…was…my woman,” I sang a little louder, “As she deceived me I watched, and went out of my mind.” I wasn’t imagining it—as I went into the chorus, singling loudly enough that people were starting to look at me funny and edge away from me there on the platform, someone one the other side of the crowd was singing along with me!
“My, my, my…Delilah,” and he answered me: “Why, why, why… Delilah?” That one got a laugh.
Well, the Stoke version of the song turns dirty after “She stood there laughing,” and I wasn’t sure if I should sing it there in public, and I didn’t want to make my new friend think I was an idiot…so when we got there, I let him sing that line—and he sung the Stoke version, at the top of his very loud lungs.Well, I knew he was my kind of guy then, and as he was very recognizable I went up and found him on the train later on. We’re friends now, and when Stoke wins or loses I finally have someone I meet up at a bar and complain with. Not to mention, a friend I wouldn’t ever have had if I hadn’t been singing one of my favorite Stoke songs at a subway one day. The team brings me a lot of joy and a lot of heartbreak, but they’re both a lot more fun now.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
If you've never seen it, you have no idea how well written and photographed it is (very).
"This...is a Renault Espace, probably the best of the people carriers, not that that's much to shout about. That's like saying, 'Ooh good! I've got syphilis--the best of the sexually transmitted diseases."
By gum that's funny stuff.
Friday, August 10, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
I walked into work today; on the way I came up with this idea for a reality show for Discovery/The Learning Channel. I wrote up this treatment, registered it with the Writer's Guild and submitted it at lunch. I've always been sorry we didn't develop Welcome to Reality further; we could have been Mythbusters.
AUTHOR: David Traver Adolphus
TILE: Barn Finds: Uncovering America’s Lost Cars
LOGLINE: BARN FINDS takes the reality car show on the road, mixing in small-town Americana with humor. The BARN FINDS team visits a new town each week, tracking down legends of forgotten and lost cars. It's every car lover's dream, and they get to live it every week when we open the doors at the end of the show.
A reality-based television show aimed at the heart of America’s millions of car nuts.
Writers Guild of America registration # 1218902
BARN FINDS: Uncovering America’s Lost Cars
Every town has its secrets; every town has its legends and treasures, forgotten behind locked doors. It’s our job to open them.
A pair of wisecracking but sympathetic presenters travel from town to town, exploring the truth behind the universal legend of the BARN FIND car
BARN FINDS is a combination of urban folklore, humor and mystery with a dose of history. We track down stories about lost cars and uncover the truth. Each show begins in the BARN FINDS HQ—garage-style—with a viewer letter to set up that week’s episode. “In 1971, Jimmy Cummerbund bought a new Hemi ‘Cuda, but only drove it for two weeks before he lost his license. He stored it somewhere in town, and was called up to serve in Vietnam before he got his license back. He never came back from ‘Nam, and the car was never seen again.”
The BARN FINDS team looks into the background of the story, talks a little about the car (“Well, if it’s true, that’s a $2 million car today, they only made seven with a four speed…), and takes BARN FINDS on the road to the location, in their distinctive trademark vehicle.
On location, BARN FINDS mixes in local color as we track down the car. Every episode ends with a REVEAL, where we end up at the car’s location, or as close as we can come. Suitable for either 1/2-hour or one-hour format.
As a full-time professional automotive journalist and photographer, I see an amazing variety of American classics, sports cars and muscle cars every day. But more than that, I hear amazing rumors. When you’re traveling with a car guy who’s been in the same location for a while, as you drive around scouting for photography locations, they’ll start a little travelogue. “That’s old man Johnson’s house—there’s a Cadillac in that shed, it’s been there for year. Out behind that house, there’s an old Mercedes under a tarp. See that garage? There’s been a Packard in there for 40 years…”
It’s easy to dismiss all this as rumor, but I’ve seen the truth. I’ve seen a $5 million Mille Miglia-winning Ferrari come out of a barn in New Hampshire after 40 years, an original V-12 Duesenberg from 50 years of storage in downtown Boston, a Shelby Cobra roll after being forgotten for decades. This spring, I was in northern Vermont for a photoshoot, and the car owner pointed to a blue tarp, covered with weeds, in a run-down farmyard. “See that?” he asked. “There’s a Stutz Bearcat under that.”
The idea of a barn find—a car that’s been lost, forgotten or overlooked—is one the most exciting things for any of Americas countless millions of car nuts. This spring, Christie’s sold a 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante coupe after 45 in a barn for $852,500. There isn’t a car nut alive who doesn’t dream about finding a forgotten car; BARN FINDS is how they live those dreams.
VI. SAMPLE PROMO
CLOSEUP on faces of shock and awe. “Oh…my…God!” says one, as whistles and murmurs are heard in the background.
TITLE: Barn Finds: Uncovering America’s Lost Cars
Wednesdays at 9
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
FANUC Robotics America, Inc.
Celebrates 25 Years of Robotic
Leadership For Immediate Release
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich., July 31, 2007 – FANUC Robotics America, Inc., the leading supplier of robotic automation in the Americas, recently celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary during an employee event at the company’s 375,000 square-foot headquarters and Customer Technology Center in Rochester Hills, Mich.
“The foundation of our success stems from having a team of knowledgeable and experienced experts in the field of robotic automation, combined with the world’s most intelligent and reliable robots, software and controls,” said Rick Schneider, president and CEO, FANUC Robotics. “We’re especially grateful to Dr. Eng. Seiuemon Inaba, honorary chairman of FANUC LTD, for his vision and leadership for a quarter century,” he emphasized.
With more than 172,000 units in service worldwide, the FANUC family of companies, including FANUC Robotics America, FANUC Robotics Europe and FANUC LTD offer sales, engineering and support of robotic systems across the globe. Over 80,000 FANUC robots are at work in the Americas in a variety of industries including automotive, food and beverage, consumer goods, glass, metals/machine tools, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and many others.
“Since the company was formed in 1982, FANUC Robotics America has achieved substantial growth and has become the leader in the North American robotics market,” said Dr. Eng. Seiuemon Inaba. “The company continues to play an extremely important role in FANUC Group’s robot businesses.”
Schneider points out that FANUC offers service for robotics at each of its 113 locations around the world, including FANUC Robotics America’s extensive Customer Resource Center. “We’re committed to making it easy for our customers to work with us. We continuously measure our performance to ensure that we meet or exceed our customers’ expectations.”
FANUC Robotics 25th Anniversary Page 2
“I am proud to say that FANUC Robotics plays an important role in helping North American manufacturers compete globally. Whether it’s a simple pick-and-place application, or a process-intensive assembly system requiring vision or force sensing, our intelligent robotic solutions are technologically advanced to handle virtually any manufacturing challenge,” said Schneider.
FANUC Robotics America, Inc. designs, engineers and manufactures industrial robots and robotic systems for a wide range of applications including arc and spot welding, material handling (machine tending, picking, packing, palletizing), material removal, assembly, paint finishing and dispensing. The company also provides application-specific software, controls, vision products, and complete support services. After 25 years of success, FANUC Robotics maintains its position as the leading robotics company in the Americas. A subsidiary of FANUC LTD in Japan, the company has facilities in Chicago; Los Angeles; Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati and Toledo, Ohio; Toronto; Montreal; Aguascalientes, Mexico; and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Over 172,000 FANUC robots are installed worldwide. Contact FANUC Robotics at fanucrobotics.com or by calling 248-377-7000.
Monday, July 23, 2007
It turns out, you can get used to just about anything.
When Jon Cohen showed up on the morning of July 5th in his 2002 Caterham SV, my first reaction was panic. Admittedly, I’d been panicking lightly ever since USA7s Club president Al Navarro hooked me up with Jon for a ride from New York to Deal’s Gap, North Carolina, for a 50th anniversary meet of Lotus 7s and variants. But when I looked down on the thing while taking an overhead photo, I went into full “what the hell did I get myself into?” mode. Especially after Jon showed me how he likes to drive the day before, with a little dodge-and-weave action through Queens at super-legal speeds in his Impreza.
I’m not unfamiliar with small vehicles. I regularly drive an assortment of puny British things like the Lotus Europa, as well as early American cars, which tend to be intimate in their accommodations. A couple of years ago, I did spent a day rallying an MG TD, but we were talking about dicing it up with the semis on America’s superhighways through eight states in a car you can park—the long way—in the trunk of a Civic. A careless knuckle slipped out the window will meet the pavement, and conceivably get run over by the rear tire, which is more or less in the small of the back.
At least Jon’s car was an SV. Us big, fat Americans had been asking for something a little more accommodating than the original “Classic;” as a result, we had an extra three inches of width and four inches of body to play with. We still had to lash my bag to the rollbar, with a small camera bag jammed under the knees of the passenger. I worked my way over the sill and into the thin sport seat, and committed myself to the road.
Caterham started as a Lotus dealership, and began building their Lotus 7 in 1973, after Lotus discontinued it. Caterham Cars’ Graham Nearn, who saw his livelihood evaporating, negotiated with the factory to acquire the rights to the car, as well as portions of the tooling, and started producing a new Series IV Lotus 7, although they soon switched to the more popular Series III bodystyle.
A variety of engines have appeared in Caterham 7s over the years, mostly either small Ford or MG Rover inline-fours. Jon’s version continues that heritage, with a Ford Zetec two-liter, of Contour or Mondeo heritage, but backed up with a close-ratio Cosworth five-speed and a very, very high-geared rearend. Top speed is not where it’s at; getting to 60 in a heartbeat and then having all kinds of fun, is.
Thankfully, even Jon had to respect New York’s AM drive time, to the extent that any New Yorker respects any traffic. The tight, broken arterials taking us out of the city were a tease. It would have been ideal conditions for the car’s point-and-shoot abilities, but the badly broken pavement nixed thoughts of pushing any limits, so I held onto my teeth and enjoyed a view of the Jersey barriers from below. Your average Jersey barrier, by the way, is 32 inches tall.
As we passed into New Jersey, Jon opened it up a little. His SV is equipped with full weather protection in the form of a snap-on fabric roof with two steel bows, and lift-off molded doors with plastic windows. They make a huge difference at speed, but you still can’t hold a conversation over 60, and at 70 or so you’ll get your hat sucked off. We settled into a cruising vibe at 65, which is around 3,400 rpm in fifth gear. The nice thing about hanging out in that neighborhood it that there’s a lot of power on tap; on the downside, the nine-gallon gas tank empties within 200 miles.
So once we were out of urban traffic, and for good measure out of New Jersey, Jon flipped me the keys at a fill-up. He’s the third owner of the SV, but bought it with fewer than 1,000 miles showing. Before our trip, he’d added another 5,000, and we had to lift off the seat cushion and bang on the adjustment mechanism a few times before the seat slid back enough for me to fit in.
In this early generation of SV, Caterham hadn’t developed a separate body for left-hand-drive markets, and the driver’s side is actually tighter than the passengers. On both sides, it’s got a combination of your standard inertia-reel retractable seatbelts and four-point racing restraints. Almost unfailingly, the central lock of the harness ends up underneath you when you crawl in, so you have to fish it out and let it flop on your lap while seated.
I was fooled by the quick clutch takeup and short throws at first. No stalling, but not what anyone would call smooth. Jon pointed out that the key was driving fast and shifting fast. You don’t say?
Learning to live with the car’s height hadn’t been too tough, and fitting into the seat and tunnel merely required some yogic discipline, but driving with a useless passenger-side mirror, minute driver’s-side and totally obscured aftermarket rearview was a leap of faith. There was really only one answer: Drive like jerk and make sure there’s no one faster than yourself on the road who could come up in your blind spot, i.e., everywhere not in front of the car. That worked well for about ten minutes, then even with earplugs, I just couldn’t take the buffeting any more and backed off.
It’s not a bad car to cruise in, just loud and it beats the hell out of you, both physically and emotionally. There’s no dead spot in the steering, and it will follow grooves and anything else in the road wherever they lead. Wind from a passing semi? Not fun. But pay attention, keep your hands on the wheel and you can send it wherever you want. It’s a brick at speed but the gearing makes a quick passing shot into any gap easy. It’s not even as small as it seems: Wheelbase and track are comparable to a modern small car, it’s just that there’s no bodywork
It bakes your feet against the aluminum firewall, and the exhaust is on the driver’s side as well. The narrow footwell means no room for anything but pedals. When things are calm you can stick your left foot behind the clutch, but any time anything looked suspicious, I pulled it out and sat with my knee in my armpit.
The weird thing was, at some point after my butt went numb, I was watching the cycle fenders rise and fall and suddenly it seemed like a perfectly normal means of transportation. Why not drive one around all the time? People drove millions of early Beetles around all the time and they didn’t hurt you any worse than this. The SV even has heat. Lots and lots of heat.
We arrived at the 7s meet site around 2AM, Jon easing his way through thick fog on the infamous Tail of the Dragon to the Fontana Village resort. Sure, the weekend at the Tapoco Lodge was great, but I spent it behind the lens and not behind the wheel, aside from a single trip in a Miata-powered Westfield, so it was actually the trip back I was waiting for. I would have flown home if I’d known. Heck, I’d have settled for a scooter.
Three miles. We made it three miles.
It looked like a chunk of wood in the road; it turned out to be a chunk of one of the cliffs lining the road, but it didn’t matter. Jon swung right to keep it away from the oil pan, it whanged the alloy undertray but good, and the ignition cut out. It had ripped out the rear O2 sensor and about three feet of wiring, which the ECU didn’t like one bit. We pushed it back down the road to a pull off and waited.
Now, on the weekends, Deal’s Gap is lousy with cars, bikes, trikes and anything else. On a weekday, it reverts to the distant backwoods of the Smoky Mountains. This was Monday. After a couple of vain attempts to get somewhere bypassing the circuit, Jon flagged down a truck heading into town—the nearest spot with cel service was a good 20 miles away.
I’ve seen Deliverance. I know what comes next. I listened to the cicadas, I sweated profusely. A truck stopped to warn me there was “a great big bear” around the next corner and I shouldn’t walk that way. Flies…sweating…dead car.
A couple hours later Jon returned with a wrecker, and we pulled the fiberglass nose section off. The wrecker boys looked at the light tubing, the alloy radiator, walked around the car a few times, and decided it was a job for the flatbed, so they headed off to their HQ, about an hour away, to make the call. Three more hours passed.
Of course, while fate could allow one guy to stand by the side of the road for a couple of hours by himself worrying about bears, chiggers and heat exhaustion, two guys had each other for company. Thus the thunderstorms, one after another. We threw the top up and shoved all our gear inside, and retreated to the nearest tree. Eventually, the flatbed showed up and I got another ride down the Dragon, this one in a Ford F-350 to Robbinsville, North Carolina. The 02 sensor was a stock Ford part and we’d found enough bits that they could figure out what was what, so at noon the next day we headed north.
It had rained a little on the way down, and with light rain the answer, as it is with most 7 questions, is to go faster. That only works up to a point, however, and we played hide and seek (mostly seek) with another afternoon of thunderstorms all the way into Virginia. Putting the top up is a pain because we had to repack all the gear each time, but it only takes a couple of minutes. The problem is, it’s a hot car to begin with, and add two bodies, 90-degree external heat and a whole lot of moisture and we were longing for the cool, refreshing heat of a North Carolina noon in July.
Thankfully, we only had to do that eight or nine times. By midnight I was mixing with adolescent partygoers on the highway in New Jersey. I turned it over to Jon at our last gas stop before the city and we entered the Lincoln Tunnel at 4:08 AM, the car still alive and well, a perfect excuse to let it out a little and make the tile walls sing our four-cylinder song.
Destination, Times Square, 4:15 AM. Homeland Security or not, at that time of the night you’re welcome to park a car anywhere you want and if you see a utility truck that would make a good photo platform, go for it. Even then, we were answering questions from onlookers as we had for the last week. Yes, it’s a real car. Yes it’s fast, yes, it’s fun.
It’s more fun than you can imagine. Almost every 7 owner competes with their car, from autocross on up, but few spend more than an hour or two at the wheel at any given time. As the mileage on Jon’s car showed, that doesn’t add up to much. Thirty-odd hours in the car gives you a different impression. With better seats and maybe a little footwell ventilation, there isn’t anything a 7 won’t do. If you’re prepared to put up with a little discomfort and maybe bend yourself to the car, rather than the other way around, you can come to a sort of agreement: You agree to suffer a little, but the car’s part of the deal is that it will do anything you ask. I can live with that.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I no longer remember where I got this (maybe from Lehho?)--but printing it out and putting it up on the "Things that make us smile" board at work, along with the cat and baby photos, got the "Things that make us smile" board taken down for good.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
No editing or manipulation of any kind has been performed on these.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
+44 01383 820397
I suggest calling him and asking for an order "to go."
Click a thumbnail to see a larger image.
2002 MASERATI 4200 GT 2dr Coupe
- 11,800 miles
- 2 Door Coupe
Manual, 11,800 miles, Metallic Black, 11,800 miles, 2 Doors, manual, red bordeaux leather interior, matching wool carpets and mats, sat nav, cruise control, skyhook suspension, 6 CD autochanger, 18" alloys, electric heated seats, electric mirrors, climate control, full Maserati service history, new clutch, new brakes, discs and tyres, tracker fitted, all books and paperwork from new, mot and road tax, previous famous owner. Showroom condition - bodywork, wheels and interior immaculate. No canvassers. £29,950. ono
Contact number: 01383 820397
Distance: 345 miles from sw19 3rq
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Community News briefs: Rare Fruit Growers to meet
By: North County Times -
OCEANSIDE -- The North San Diego County chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers will meet at 7 p.m. May 18 in Room 7003 of the new horticultural building at MiraCosta College, 1 Barnard Drive. A film on grafting will be viewed. Information: http://members.cox.net/ncsdcrfg.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
You sass that hoopy Douglas Adams? Now there's a frood who knew where his towel was. You are invited
to join your fellow hitch hikers in mourning the loss of the late great one. Join in on towel day to show
your appreciation for the humor and insight that Douglas Adams brought to all our lives.
What do I do?
Carry your towel with you throughout the day to show your participation and mourning.
When do I do it?
Where do I do it?
Why a towel?
To quote from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical
value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Let us know
We want to know who you are and that you're participating in Towel Day. Join the forum and let us
know if you're going to participate. The forum Electronic Thumb does not require you to register.
And when you have, feel free to post photos to prove that you know where your towel is!
Those go in the A shread of evidence forum which require you to register.
There are also letters written to us on the Towel Testimonials page!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
SHIVER ME TIMBERS!
VOLVO’S PIRATE TREASURE HUNT SETS SAIL AGAIN
* Set sail on 4 May at www.volvocars.co.uk/thehunt
* Dive safely - booty at the bottom of the deep blue sea
Following Volvo’s successful partnership with Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie last year, Volvo is supporting the latest epic, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End1, with an all-new version of its hugely popular online Treasure Hunt2. And, this year, Volvo has raided the ship’s hold for even bigger booty.
A pirate’s treasure chest has been sunk at the bottom of the ocean, somewhere in the world. Inside is the key to a brand new Volvo XC90. And keeping it company is $50,000’s worth of gold doubloons!
So are you ready to roam the seven seas in search of unimaginable wealth? The online treasure hunt begins on Friday 4 May at www.volvocars.co.uk/thehunt. Eager hunters can register and immediately take to the virtual high seas to solve a series of fun and challenging puzzles.
During the hunt, participants will need to collect a special pirate decoder from a Volvo dealership to continue their quest3. Volvo dealerships across the UK are celebrating the Disney partnership with pirate-themed fun over the bank holiday weekend, from 5 to 7 May.
The hunt concludes on 30 May and the first person in the UK to solve all the clues and submit the correct location of the hidden treasure will be entered into a worldwide4 final challenge on 2 June to win the car and the gold.
Good luck and dive safely me hearties!
Monday, April 30, 2007
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
…And I drove the XKR anyway.
With the little snowflake on the dash flashing and, on top of the mountain, the snow coming down heavy, I drove like a little old lady with a nervous bladder and a trunk full of angry, nitroglycerin-soaked badgers. Why, with “CATS” active yaw control, stability control, etc, etc? Look at those rear meats: Those are 285/30R20s on the two-piece alloys. Not what you’d call all-season rubber. That is, in fact, why the car’s been parked for the last week. But that was only the mountaintop, and thanks to St. Callum, it was clear and dry in the valleys.
All the ingredients were there for me to hate the car: Active handling aids up the wazoo, paddle-shifter automatic, a 38-pound wheel and tire combination. This stuff normally drives me nuts. But oh man, is this one fantastic automobile.
Start with the exhaust note. This is the car with a little tube running from the engine compartment to the dash, to pipe in the engine sound. I don’t care. Push the Start button, and it barks and trembles, the idle rises and falls a little, it sounds every bit the exotic. And it should, with the old AJ 4.2 running at a supercharged 9.1:1 compression. That’s way up there, and get on it a little and the growl rises, the supercharger starts to whine and it sits back on it’s Kate Winslet haunches and flat scoots.
The dubs don’t do the handling any favors; with a distinctly handling-biased suspension setup, you really feel them whanging heavily around down there–no matter how nice they look, stick with the stock 19s. And believe it or not, the paddle shifters actually work. It holds a gear, it shifts nearly as quickly as a manual (especially upshifts), and a two- or three-gear dropdown for passing is always at your fingertips. Do that and bring the tach up towards the 6,250 rpm power peak, and you will run out of road anywhere in the Eastern US before the XKR runs out of breath.
But don’t think you’re going to get away with doing that unnoticed. The Junior Aston look snaps necks around as much as any new car we’ve ever driven. Go ahead and drive a new 400hp Corvette around, and while not an anonymobile, you won’t get eyeballed. Take the XKR for a spin outside of Palm Springs, the Hamptons or Miami Beach, and it’s like standing on a parade float. You will get looked at. Don’t stop. All they want to do is to put their grubby little mitts all over her Liquid Silver thighs, stroke her bonnet…she’s supposed to be yours, you feel the connection, the deep seats are holding you just right…
$85,000? Will you take a post-dated, out-of-state third-party starter check? No?
Riveted and bonded aluminium
Cylinders/valves per cylinder - 8/4
Bore/stroke - 86/90.3mm
Capacity - 4,196cc
Compression ratio - 9.1:1
Maximum power - SAE bhp (kW) 420 (313) @ 6,250
Maximum torque – EEC lb ft (Nm) 413 (560)@ 4,000
Jaguar Sequential Shift with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles
1st - 4.171
2nd - 2.340
3rd - 1.521
4th - 1.143
5th - 0.867
6th - 0.691
Final Drive - 3.31:1
PERFORMANCE (Manufacturer’s figures)
0-60 mph (0-100 kph) - 4.9 (5.2) seconds
50-70mph – 2.5 seconds
1/4 mile – 13.3 seconds
Top speed – 155 mph (250 kph), electronically limited
Cd - 0.341
Ratio - 17.1:1
Turns lock-to-lock - 2.77
Turning radius - 10.97 meters (33.4 feet)
Combined – 22.9 mpg (12.3 L/100km)
CO2 Combined – 294 g/km
Fuel tank – 71.1 Liters
Curb weight – 3,671 lbs
Weight distribution – 53.4/46.6
Length – 4,791mm
Width – 1,892mm
Height – 1,322mm
Wheelbase – 2,752mm
Front/rear track – 1,560/1,608mm