Sunday, January 28, 2007

Commies Think Big

The same as the Nazis the Communist had their delusion gander and hoped to create a system that would survive for thousands of years and rival Rome. To jump start history the Communist, in pre-WWII Russia, started planning a Moscow that would have been big, really big. The web site Unrealized Moscow provides a view of what might have been....

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Once More Down the Freeway of Memories

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I bought it in 1978, drove it until 1988, garaged it two years, and then sold it in 1990. I loved the lines of my Volvo P1800, but I never had enough money to really fix it up. I learned that if you want to fix a car up you need a lot of money and a lot of time. There are no easy or cheap ways to a nice sports car.

This picture was taken in 1979 when the car was looking its best. I had just got it back from the body shop all the dents had been smoothed out and a fresh coat of paint applied.

It had a 1.8 liter, in-line four, motor. The transmission was a four speed with an electrically activated overdrive. The overdrive made it a nice highway cruiser. In addition, like all true sports cars, the motor featured two SU carburetors.

A really nice thing the P1800 had that many sports cars didn't have was a real trunk. You could put a lot luggage in the back (in fact some purist used this as a reason to argue that the P1800 wasn't a true sports car). The one other thing I have to say in praise of the P1800 is that it would always start for me no matter how cold the weather.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Ode to Cortina

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I can think of nothing better in life than to be a young man and overseas. However, if you were overseas in the time period of the late 1970s or early 1980s than the one thing that could make this scenario even better was to own a Ford Cortina. This model was never sold in the United States; however, it might look familiar because in European movies it was for some unknown reason often the car of choice for the bad guys, especially in black as my model was.

I owned my 1977 Ford Cortina in South Korea (the Republic of Korea [ROK]) while in the Army. To be totally correct I should call this a Hyundai Cortina, as it was made in Korea under license from Ford. If memory serves me correct (which it at times doesn't, so I could be wrong on the specs) the motor was a 1.8 liter, in-line four cylinder, with overhead cam. Unfortunately because of the high price of gasoline in Korea, Hyundai equipped the motor with a single barrel carburetor so acceleration was never it's strong point; however, it could still race away from a Hyundai Pony (the most popular model for taxi cabs and the primary vehicle, and competition, on the roads back in early 80s).

I always thought the Cortina had really nice looking lines, for a four door sedan. In addition, the transmission was crisp and easy to shift and the suspense and handling were superb. It was great to hit the road in spring and go zipping around tight corners, which Korea had a lot of being very mountainous, with the radio blaring--life just doesn't get better than that.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fire or Ice?

In a grumpy mood, as I look out another day of snow here in Seattle (we don't usually have snow during the winter in the Puget Sound area), I feel it is time to turn to the theory of the "snow-ball earth." This theory says that earths has at times been completely covered in ice for periods lasting millions of years.

The threat of global warming seems to be in the publics' mind much now a days, but the historical record shows that ages of cold and ice have the greatest negative affect on the plants, animals, and humans of Earth.

Let us all hope that we aren't missing the early warning signs of a big freeze in our rush to see a big fry.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

March or Die!

When I was a kid once or twice I thought about how cool it would be to join the French Foreign Legion. However, there was a major problem with joining the Legion. All the recruiting centers were in France.

Now young men seeking adventure have a much better deal. They can check out the French Foreign Legion online. (However, you must still spring the money to buy a passage to Marseilles.)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Segway Banned! Thousands Unaffected!

The vehicle with no reason to live gets disrespected by the Dutch. I don't think even 'Wired' magazine cares about the Segway anymore. Like the boom, the Segway has outlived its 15 minutes of fame.