Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Phone-in Heist

I'm not sure, but the clerk at the convenience store where the robber phoned in his crime may be the stupidest person on earth.

And what, the robber couldn't have texted him? - Man Calls In To Rob Convenience Store

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dino vs. 914

Another full proof spectacular extravaganza crazy thing! 1971 Porsche 914-6 (#150) vs. a 1974 Dino. Six-cylinder, mid-engine targa madness!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

We are Stoke

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

The best of the sexually transmitted diseases

The nice people at BBC America, in celebration of Top Gear coming to US TV (it's only been on for 30 years. Seriously), have sent me episodes one and two of last year's season, coincidentally, the first two episodes which will be seen on US TV next week (August 20).

If you've never seen it, you have no idea how well written and photographed it is (very).

" 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

Cat Collar TV

Via Driver Rob's selection. Somehow, I expected more diamond heists and less aimless wandering. Brilliant, nonetheless, especially the bit where he sits there and looks at the sign, several times.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Exact percentage?

Yes, sometimes I answer online surveys. But this took some calculation...

Friday, August 3, 2007

Barn Finds, a modest proposal

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.


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

25 Years of Robotic Leadership

Best title for a press release, ever. And here I thought they'd forgotten me.

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 or by calling 248-377-7000.