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International Pi Day

Albert Einstein

3/14 is Albert’s birthday and

Π Day.

PiI assume you have all shopped for the perfect gift.

To get you started: Π ≅ 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419
716939937510582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211 70679…..
[post at 1:59am]

39 comments

1 Steve Bates { 03.14.10 at 2:09 am }

Well, yeah; it’s irrational. But if you have a 3, you can have that big piece of pi… <grin_duck_run />

2 Kryten42 { 03.14.10 at 4:08 am }

*sigh* ๐Ÿ™„

I was required to know Pi to 7 decimal places (we only used 6 at most usually, the 7th was to check the error and rounding if required), and still do. It’s fun watching the reaction of young Uni students when I reel off Pi or one of the several other constants I was required to memorize many years ago. These days, if it’s not on a calculator or PC, it’s not important! And of course, it would be completely useless to know what they are so you can ensure that the calculator maker or software writer got them correct, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ GIGO, every time! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you want to make a student’s head explode, try something simple like asking what 2.PI.R2 is for. ๐Ÿ˜†

3 Kryten42 { 03.14.10 at 4:26 am }

BTW, just because *every* PC, and most calculators can calculate Pi, doesn’t mean they are accurate, certainly not after a dozen or more places. There are several algorithm’s and methods for calculating Pi, and many have been proven to have severe convergence errors. The most accurate so far (at least that hasn’t yet been dis-proven) is by the Chudnovsky brothers in 1987. I know because I was a distro for Wolfram’s Mathematica in the early 90’s. Stephan Wolfram is a Math prodigy. I met him in Urbana and Champagne Ill (at the Uni of Ill. and Wolfram Research HQ). Mathematica also has one of the best pseudo-random number generators and PrimeQ test algorithm’s around. We used them for creating very strong crypographic systems. ๐Ÿ™‚ I still have a copy of Mathematica, but haven’t used it in years. I sold a bunch of Sun & Mac systems with Mathematica to Macquarie Bank. Macquarie is now a top-10 listed company here. They used it for such things as creating Futures Forecasting algorithms. They were the most progressive bank I’d ever known at the time, no other Bank even had a single Unix system back then, let alone actually used them seriously! I also sold them an amazing modeling/simulation system called Extend that I discovered while I was in Santa Cruz, from a little husband/wife company called Imagine That! Inc. It only ran on Mac’s back then. ๐Ÿ™‚

*sigh* If I’d only known then… etc, etc. *shrug*

4 jams O'Donnell { 03.14.10 at 5:15 am }

There is a blogger I visit, (Maddy – Whitter on Autism) who makes some wonderful Pi dishes!
.-= last blog ..Rising =-.

5 Badtux { 03.14.10 at 2:11 pm }

I once made the mistake, while teaching a high school geometry class, of showing students how this mysterious 3.141592… number was discovered and originally estimated. After circumscribing and inscribing polygons on a circle with radius 1 and showing how the Pythagorean Theorem could be used to compute the area of a polygon with N sides and then taking it out to six or seven sides, I got the typical hand raised and “Is this going to be on the test?” question. At that point I talked about how, as we raised the number of sides towards infinity, the estimate would become closer and closer to the real thing and that hopefully they would take Calculus and learn about how to handle things that approach infinity, and went on to something that was on the test. The kids just don’t care where all these magic numbers came from or that they are not, in fact, magic — that actual human beings discovered the things and that yes, mere mortals can figure out how to do these things too. All they’re interested in is banging each other and making a good enough grade to get into a good college (for the college-bound kids) and memorizing the minimum amount of information needed to do so. Siiiiigh!

– Badtux the Former Teacher Penguin
.-= last blog ..Angels =-.

6 Bryan { 03.14.10 at 10:02 pm }

We aren’t allowed to make pastry jokes in Florida, Steve – someone will send in the bomb squad. I would say something about metaphors being nothing like the Chicago Seven, but I was once in law enforcement and shouldn’t complain.

We only had to remember 3.14159 Kryten, but we also dealt with upper level math with slide rules, so the answers didn’t have a lot of precision. Yes, the algorithm used is vital when you start dealing with vast distances, like space flight, or, even medium range ballistic missiles. The level of faith some have in technology is scary if you have ever worked in the industry.

Hell, Kryten, if we had bought gold and Berkshire-Hathaway we would have to deal with a staff, and getting someone to service the Rolls. Who needs aggravations like that? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Would that be “ceramic” or “blueberry”. Jams?

The bloody tests have banished thinking from the classroom. I hated teaching the regular students at college, and much preferred the “adult” students at night, because the “adults” wanted to know why as well as what. Trying to teach binary arithmetic in the standard classes was beyond aggravating, I can’t imagine what dealing with ten digits and the full spectrum of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and trigonometry were like. Teaching children is probably why you are so fond of the emptiness of the desert. Badtux.

7 Kryten42 { 03.15.10 at 11:14 am }

When I studied Number Theory (it had been suggested as an elective for being useful for both Engineering and cryptography), there were a couple students in the class that had the realization dawn on them that they had made an error in judgment in thinking that a class called ‘number Theory’ would be easy. ๐Ÿ˜†

I found it quite fascinating. ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember wondering in awe at the minds of the people of long ago that came up with some of the amazing theorems that are only *today* being proved (or dis-proved), such as the so-called “Fermat’s Last Theorem” proposed by Fermat in 1637, which remained unproven until 1994. ๐Ÿ™‚ I still have some of the books from back in my Uni days. Some of them are weighty tomes! I have one on Hilbert’s Transforms that’s about 3″ thick (similar size to a phone book). It was required whilst studying digital signal processing (DSP). How many times I’d wished that Mathimatica (or some such similar) was available back then (or even just the computer that would run Mathematica would have been huge!) ๐Ÿ˜†

Was similar in Operations research and Graph Theory (or, Graph theory in Operations research). A lot tougher than they sounded.

Been years since I’ve had to use much if any of that. Sometimes if I’m bored enough, I’ll look around to see what’s happening in the fields I used to study. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s even worse here now (education). Now… we have the wonderful ‘Competency based tertiary education’ system. Where a student can only achieve one of two outcomes… C (competent) or NYC (not yet competent). I kid you not! I just spent the past 6 months studying this… and came to the conclusion our standards have fallen lower than yours! It’s part of this whole educational ‘level playing field’ stupidity. If I was an employer and someone walked in for a job and only had a diploma marked ‘C’, I’d be asking “WTF does that mean??!” Competent in what way? By whose standards? What areas are they strongest in, and which were they weakest? etc…

Pffft… Rolls! If I’d decided to stay in Business and not get into the MilInt World… I’d probably have a Bentley Mulsanne for going to meetings, and a Bently Continental Supersports for pottering around on weekends! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜† I had a Porsche 928 S4 before I signed up (though I have to admit I got it at a very special deal through a friend at about $40k under the book price. And when I sold it years later, I got my money back). It kept it’s value remarkably. Though one required deep pockets to keep the bugger on the road! One special brake pad was about $100, and it had twin calipers front, for a total of 12 pads, replaced roughly annually depending on usage (thanks to swiss-cheese disks). A new clutch-plate was almost $4k! You get the picture…) ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was an absolute dream to drive though. ๐Ÿ™‚ Whilst I was serving OS, I discovered my business partner was an idiot and all I had when I got out was debt and a very nosy Tax Dep’t to deal with! He was running for his life after cheating on his Wife whose wealthy Hong Kong family (that owned Restaurants all over Hong Kong and Aus. amongst other things) were seriously pissed and preferred to deal with such things the *old fashioned way*. Some people are just born stupid!) I had to sell almost everything I owned. *shrug* Didn’t really bother me, I figured I could build it all up again, then I got very ill, which took a few years and every cent I had left, and that was that.

Life… Who’d have one? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜›

8 hipparchia { 03.15.10 at 9:51 pm }

rolls… bentley… wev… i’d have a house on the beach and a succession of junkers, because who wants a rusted out rolls royce?

what, we’re not allowed to tell pie are round jokes? that’s no fun.
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

9 hipparchia { 03.15.10 at 10:21 pm }

ok, i want the 4×8 poster of pi to a million digits, in red.
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

10 Bryan { 03.15.10 at 10:38 pm }

I have long believed that you are cheating kids of a real education in mathematics if you let them use a calculator before they prove they can get the answer with paper and pencil. If you can’t do it on paper, you can enter it correctly in the calculator, and most important, you do know if the answer is reasonable. Essentially, you have to know what question to ask, and how to ask it, before you can possibly know if you got the answer you needed.

You have no concept of how often I had to message people that the coordinates they were providing were produced on a map with the wrong scale. When you are doing targeting using overlays that is a major problem. Some idiot decided that larger scale maps were more convenient, than using the same scale as the operational units. Fortunately there was a verbal description that accompanied the coordinates or people wouldn’t have any idea what the hell was wrong. When you are dealing people who don’t understand the importance of scale on a map, things is sloppy.

In computers, when you have a sales force that has no idea what the limitations of hardware and/or software are, you have a problem. Needless to say, you can’t have a network with a single user operating system.

That said, I don’t think they need to memorize everything we had to memorize, but they do have to know about it, and how to use it if the power goes out.

Maintenance is where the real profit is for Porsches. The $1k tune-ups that my brother had for his wimpy little 924 were absurd.

My problem was insurance. I had an opportunity to buy a classic Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, but when I asked my insurance agent, after he calmed down, he said no rather emphatically. The premiums on the insurance for a year were more than I was going to pay for the car. You can’t afford to buy a fun car until you’re 40 because of the insurance. I snuck the Plymouth Barracuda by the agent by showing up in a barely street legal version with graphics and loud silencers and he bolted out of the office yelling “NO!”. When I came back with the car I bought, he thought it was a more sensible choice. It was quieter, but it had two 4-barrel carbs instead of three 2-barrels, and more aggressive gearing. It was a lot quieter, but I didn’t need the noise, anyway.

He was happy that I gave up my foreign sports car for an American coupe. The foreign sports car was a VW Karmann Ghia coupe, that I bought from my older brother when he moved to New York City, and he wanted it back when he moved to California.

The last I knew the ‘Cuda was in an auto museum in Orlando. The guy who bought it from me kept it for decades and finally sold it the museum.

I left it behind when I went to Europe and was considering buying a Porsche, but didn’t buy anything because public transport was too convenient, and cars weren’t.

11 Bryan { 03.15.10 at 10:43 pm }

We are a coven or cabal of geeks, Hipparchia. If I had a beach house, you could have it because I don’t like up close and personal views of storm surges.

These days a small pickup is the most useful thing I can imagine. I like driving less and less every year.

12 hipparchia { 03.16.10 at 1:38 am }

i adore driving. now, if we could just get all the other idiots off the road and out of my way….

i have to admit that on my trip to nyc, i parked the car once i got there and never missed it. never even thought of it again until about 30 minutes before i was ready to leave.

small pickup trucks are most excellent, but my favorite all-round vehicle design for usability would be the chevy vega station wagon, or the chevette, or maybe the vw rabbit/golf/wev. tiny and boxy, with a tailgate.
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

13 Badtux { 03.16.10 at 1:44 am }

Uhm, the Vega was a nightmare. The Chevette less so, since it was an Opel with some revised parts, but there were still things on my Chevette that I gladly let the auto shop handle (like when the oil pressure sending unit let go, it was buried between the exhaust manifold and the intake manifold and I said not no, but h**l no). I had to weld the shock tower back onto that Chevette when I hit a big bump and the shock put a dent in my hood, turns out that the spot welds holding the top of the shock tower on had rusted out, a buncha welding wire later (with a wire welder) I’d remedied that situation. Of the recent cars, I like the Honda Fit the most, it has a ton of space for such a tiny vehicle. I figure it’s the modern Golf/Rabbit. As for my Jeep, it is what it is, and makes no apologies for being what it is, which ain’t nothin’ practical or efficient but that’s not why you own a Jeep ;).

14 Kryten42 { 03.16.10 at 7:16 am }

I had a house on the beach. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜› Well… not exactly *on* the beach… Was about a 10-min walk, and it wasn’t a ‘beach house” per se… I got it as an investment because it was a huge block big enough for 5 2 & 3 bedroom unit’s with plenty of space for a nice garden each and privacy. ๐Ÿ™‚ It had a run-down weather-board house on it that needed demolishing, so it was quite cheep, especially given the area! ๐Ÿ™‚ But I ended up living there after building a house that would become the first unit. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yeah, insurance and parts/service were a pain. I had to go to some meetings in Canberra and stayed a nice new Hotel in the center of Canberra. They had valet parking and offered to wash my very dirty white Porsche (I drove from Melb to the ACT, and it was a dusty trip). When I got back later that day, the Valet said there was a problem with the car. They had taken it to one of those auto-wash places, and it had mangled a pop-up headlight (they automatically popped up when it got dark enough, like tunnels etc. And the radio antenna had been ripped off. It was an auto-antenna that raised when you turned the ignition or radio on. Just getting a new antenna cost $260! That’s about an avg weeks wage back then! The headlight assembly was over $1k. I was plenty pissed… of course, the Hotel had to pay. If they had said they would use an auto-wash, id’ have said no. The owner’s manual actually stated not to use them (they damage the body work too).

Before the Porsche, I had a good old Ausi Ford GT Coupe (with the Cleveland 351CI V8, not the crappy Windsor 351 they usually used here). I spent the next few years heavily modifying it with some mates. We spent over twice what the car originally cost, but it was beautiful once we were done. We even won a prize in a car show (which was one of the reasons we wanted to do it). ๐Ÿ™‚ I just found out late last year that the Aussie actor Eric Bana had the same model car at about the same time and also spent his life doing it up! He did a feature film about it last year called Love The Beast” (watch the shorts and you’ll see it). He raced it in the Targa Tasmania! You’d HAVE to be insane to even attempt it, as Eric discovered, sadly! ๐Ÿ™ As Jeremy Clarkson commented when talking to Bana about the car… “So… 600 HP and leaf springs? Are you mad??!!” (In the category he raced, you had to keep the original suspension). At least in my *Beast*, we dumped the original suspension (and breaks, and drive train, exhaust, etc…) and used a whole new modern (at that time) designed system (which took some trial-and-error and lot’s of cash to do!) We got the inspiration for the artwork from Alice Cooper’s song ‘The Black Widow’ that became our theme song at show’s etc. ๐Ÿ˜€ We used black mainly with gold and red (even had a gold spider web on the hood with a black/red/gold/ spider that used to scare the heck out of kids and some adult’s! One of my m8’s was an amazing artist, and we figured out how to do a 3D mural on the bodywork (his Dad was a manager for Dulux, and we got some special paints very cheap).

Brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye watching that! *sigh* Loved that damned thing! Truth is, If I had the choice today of my old Ford or the Porsche… I’d go with my old Ford. ๐Ÿ™‚ I put a lot of time and sweat into that car. ๐Ÿ™‚

I liked the Karmann Ghia btw. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you drive around the outback here, you’d lee a lot of old beat up Land Rovers, Jeeps and VW Combi van’s! ๐Ÿ˜†

Even LadyMin was a bit of a car nut… She had a Pontiac Firebird (I think it was)… ๐Ÿ˜†

Yup! A cabal of Geeks!! Rock on! ๐Ÿ˜€

BTW, I should have stated that the course was called ‘Elementary Number Theory’ (I remembered today). It’s the word ‘elementary’ that get’s the naive every time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

15 Kryten42 { 03.16.10 at 9:05 am }

I just remembered, thinking about the film “Love the Beast”, I remember that his dad had an old red ’67 Thunderbird. He hadn’t driven it since Eric was about 10. But his dad maintains it, he loves the thing, even though he doesn’t drive it any longer. ๐Ÿ™‚ At the end of the film, Eric and his m8’s fix up the old Tbird for his dad, and they take it for a drive. Yeah… keeping it in a garage gathering dust is no way to treat a machine. They deserve better respect than that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ™‚

Funny things, machines… they can get under your skin, a bit like a puppy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sometimes… the strangest machine can mean more to someone than some people (though, in today’s World… that’s not too difficult to imagine!)

I think that the attitude people have today for machines is reflected in the way they treat people. Seriously… I’ve traveled and seen a lot. My life has depended on machines. I respected them and cared for them, and they never let me down. In Cambodia and other places, if my machines failed me, I was dead. Same with my team. If anyone of us failed the others, we were dead. It was because of that experience that I was able later to get back into Industry, and build an award winning bleeding-edge, design team of winners. I’d like to think that the learned from me and did the same afterwords.

My mother always told me not to regret the things I’d done, they can’t be changed. For the most part, I don’t have regrets, though some may think I have a lot to regret. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I do have one regret… I regret selling my *Beast*, even though, at the time, it seemed the best thing to do.

16 hipparchia { 03.16.10 at 10:47 am }

i loved my vega. and my chevette too. traveled all up and down the east coast, from florida to maine and back to florida one summer, in that car. never had a rabbit/golf.

yeah, all 3 cars would never have won awards for dependability, but they’re all small, maneuverable, and carry an incredible amount of cargo for their size. later small cars like them have been better-built, but once we got into the aerodynamic-design age, all those curves made a lot of the interior space unusable.
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

17 hipparchia { 03.16.10 at 10:55 am }

Funny things, machinesโ€ฆ they can get under your skin, a bit like a puppy.

oh very much so! all mine have had names.

congratulations on the car show prize, that’s way cool. some of my friends in high school got into that [they even tried to buy my vega from me, the station wagons were popular with that crowd and there weren’t many of them available].
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

18 Kryten42 { 03.16.10 at 11:05 am }

OT: BTW Bryan… I’ve been reading some interesting news the past year. Curious events transpired where several companies moved production to Poland early in the year (such as Dell and Cadbury-Schweppes) from what were considered safe manufacturing havens like Ireland. Then at the end of the year, the Tech companies like Dell moved their manufacturing from Poland to Taiwan (Foxconn in the case of Dell). This essentially means that a Dell PC will be about the same as any other PC Foxconn manufactures (which they do for several companies), so why would anyone pay double for a Dell? And people will work it out in time. It’s strange for several reasons, including that this will harm their EU sales which hung on Dell being committed to production within Europe. There is also still a big cloud over whether China will reign in Taiwan one way or another, which makes any long term planning rather difficult (which is why many companies such as Dell went to Ireland in the first place).

Also, I was reading that economics blog, and found this article interesting (and it’s something I have been saying for awhile, since I was a member of a team working on security and *risk* for Aramco and learned a lot.

Two peaks for the price of one

The problem was never ‘running out of oil’, thought that will happen as it’s a finite resource. The problem is that the more of the deposits that are extracted, the more it costs to do it. So, whilst it may have been said that “SA could extract 25 million barrels per day for the next 50 years” and it may even have some basis in fact, the truth is that it would never happen because the cost would grow exponentially and become insane. At best, it was a half-truth, which one get’s a lot from the Energy industry (and others). ๐Ÿ™‚

Interestingly, the only Nations that have any capacity for growth in oil supply, are Iraq, Iran and Nigeria. What a surprise… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

But… it was NEVER about the *oil*! ๐Ÿ™„ (Is there actually anyone left on the Planet that believes that now? I don’t include the neoCON’s in this, they know it’s about the oil, and will do anything to hide that fact.

19 LadyMin { 03.16.10 at 12:51 pm }

Even LadyMin was a bit of a car nutโ€ฆ She had a Pontiac Firebird (I think it was)

She still is. It wasn’t just a Firebird, it was a Formula 400. After that I had a Camaro Z28. The insurance was a killer and those cars were impossible to drive in the winter snow and ice. So I moved on to something more practical but still sporty looking. I realize the rear spoiler on my current car doesn’t make it go faster but hey, I like the illusion.
.-= last blog ..Inspiration At The Garden Show =-.

20 Kryten42 { 03.16.10 at 10:03 pm }

๐Ÿ˜† Thanks Hipparchia. (Sorry, I didn’t see your posts when I posted. I was in a hurry to get to bed. Was way in th AM here.) It was a worthwhile prize (at the time) and we deliberately chose the toughest category to compete in. Took four years to get the car to the level required to compete, most of that was on the *eye candy*. Luckily for us (or maybe it wasn’t luck really), I’d convinced the huge new Ford plant near where I lived then to help out. They gave us access to tech info and some facilities on the weekend, when (at that time) the plant only had a skeleton workforce. For example, they allowed us to use their *paint shop* which included a huge oven we could quickly bake enameled body panels in. Saved several days of work. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also their 300ton press and serious welding gear were helpful. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ford even gold tinted/laminated the glass for us, and some custom gold tinted mag wheels. Yeah… the car was beautiful! ๐Ÿ˜€

Once we’d won the prize, we had people coming out of the woodwork to buy it! Even Ford made an offer. Typical… ๐Ÿ˜‰ But we held off for a while and continued working on the car and doing meets and shows. We won a prize at one stage for the fastest street-legal car in Vic. ๐Ÿ™‚ I and a couple of my mates decided we’d had enough full-time fun and went off to Uni (we’d started working on the car when I was about 17. I even left school to get a Mechanics apprenticeship with Shell so I’d know what i was doing, in theory!) Anyway… The car was sitting in my garage under a tarp, and one day I was made a very generous offer… so we decided to sell. *sigh*

I’d actually seen the car on the road in NSW about 12 years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚ Was bitter-sweet to see it, and I was so proud. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ahhh… yeah! I forgot about the Z28 LM! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜€ You were such a hoon! ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜†

21 Kryten42 { 03.16.10 at 11:14 pm }

I’ve been meaning to post this tidbit for awhile (I have a list in my PIM of ‘curious stuff’ to post when an opportunity presents. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway… I decided to *throw it out there*! ๐Ÿ˜†

Did you know: “The increased electricity used by modern appliances is causing a shift in the Earthโ€™s magnetic field. By the year 2327, the North Pole will be located in mid-Kansas, while the South Pole will be just off the coast of East Africa.”

Just in case anyone is wondering why it’s getting colder there… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜† OK… maybe not! But give it another hundred years or so! ๐Ÿ˜›

And see… Kansas! Told you over and over… Kansas is trouble! ๐Ÿ˜›

22 hipparchia { 03.17.10 at 1:27 am }

Iโ€™d actually seen the car on the road in NSW about 12 years ago. ๐Ÿ™‚ Was bitter-sweet to see it, and I was so proud. ๐Ÿ™‚

awwwww… [sheds small tear in sympathy] i helped some friends rebuild a couple of cars since one of them had a hobby garage. we didn’t have anywhere near the facilities you did [particularly for the eye candy part!], but they sure do become more like pets and less like machines once you start putting that much time and heart into them.

as for the timing of posting, no need to apologize to me! one of the reasons i like people people better on the internet than in person is that we all get to respond in our own good time! ๐Ÿ˜€
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

23 Kryten42 { 03.17.10 at 2:28 am }

Dat’s true, dat is! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜† (response times)

I’ve had to move around a lot over the past 30 years, and much of my stuff including photo’s, awards etc were all stored on many boxes (well over 60) that went from one place to another. Some went missing, and several got severely water damaged oer the years. So, I’ve lost a lot of stuff, including the albums bar one that had all the photo’s in it. It was a pictoral history we made of the process of turning a stock street car into a super-hot muscle car! ๐Ÿ™‚ One of my friends (the artist actually) was into photography, and convinced me to go buy a good 35mm SLR (I got an Olympus OM1). I learned a lot about photography that way, and Mom had gotten me the Time-Life Photography Series encyclopedia/tutorial (I think there were 12 in the set, gray covers with a different representation photo set in the center of the cover) as a Xmas gift. It served me well later, and was one of the reasons I was offered entry into the World of MilInt as a Scout-Sniper (I could shoot very well, I’d done a Mechanics apprenticeship, I’d gotten several badges in Cubs and then Scouts, I could use a camera and understood the theory, I’d done some martial-arts, and then I’d gotten a degree in Industrial design – digital electronics. Saved them about a year’s worth of training. I was a bargain!) ๐Ÿ˜†

anyway… The album I still have has pic’s of the great race at Bathurst in ’76 where Allan Moffat and Colin Bond won 1 & 2 in Ford XA GT Coupe’s. Everyone wanted one! ๐Ÿ˜† I got the next model, the XB.

Moffat re-established his dominance in 1977 with a two-car factory-supported team under the Moffat Ford Dealers Team banner. He won his second consecutive ATCC title that year, the third of his career, but this performance was overshadowed by the crushing 1-2 victory of Moffat and team-mate Colin Bond at Bathurst. By the mid-point of the race, Moffat and Bond led by over six laps from the rest of the field. Late in the race, Moffat’s car encountered brake problems and had to slow, allowing Bond to catch up for the cars to complete the final lap of the race side-by-side and cross the finish line in tandem, with Bond allowing Moffat to stay barely in front. This moment is remembered as one of the most famous in Australian motor sport history, and still regarded by many as Ford’s finest hour. The following year Moffat received an Order of the British Empire in 1978 for exceptional services to motor sport.

Everything has a Wiki! LOL

Then of course… there was Mad Max!! Hell yeah! Every kid wanted his car (An XB GT). ๐Ÿ˜† It was abig part of our inspiration. But we didn’t want to *copy* it, we wanted something Unique. Still, we *borrowed* a lot of ideas. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The History Of The Mad Max Interceptor

Sadly, that album was mostly photo’s I took of that race at Bathurst, I was trying out a new (at that time) high-speed 35mm film that was only in B&W, but it worked well, especially with a good camera. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have some great pics where the two cars look like they are standing still, and the background is racing past. ๐Ÿ™‚ The album also has pic’s of a car show when my artist friend had done some mural work on some of the cars (was one way we paid for our *hobby*) ๐Ÿ™‚ Our car wasn’t there, was not ready by that time. But I do have a photo of the car pre-operation (when it was green! I hated that color! But was the only one we could get that the Dealer had right then. And we knew that color would be history soon enough). ๐Ÿ™‚

To give you an idea of how much these cars (XA & XB GT Coupe’s) are wanted, a good condition roadworthy car is worth about $70k now. When I got the XB, it was just under $7k new). ๐Ÿ™‚ And… that’s a *STOCK* model car! Here’s an example:

XA GT coupe for sale

I was told about 5 years ago by an insurance assessor, that my ‘Black Widow’ would be worth $220k+ now! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Glad you had a chance to be part of rebuilding car’s! It’s a lot of work, but a lot of satisfaction too! If I’d known you *back then*, you would have been welcome to join us! Heck… We only did it to *get the girlz* anyway! LMAO

*sigh* ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

24 Bryan { 03.17.10 at 11:07 pm }

Full disclosure:

a ’54 Opel European model with the flipper turn signals. I tore out the front bench and installed a maroon leather bucket from a Humber that I found in a junk yard. There was no seat on the passenger’s side, but no one was stupid enough to ride with me anyway.

Nest was the Corvair with the shift lever in the dash which was followed by a 58 Chevy sedan. Both were forgettable.

Then came the Karmann Ghia coupe that I should have kept, except for the total lack of heat.

It was replaced by the 1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda which had a top speed in excess of 139 mph – I still had tach left when the Arkansas State Police got their radar reading, but put it in neutral and coasted to a stop. They wrote the ticket for 10mph over the limit because I didn’t make them chase.

After Europe it was an MGBGT, a Beetle, a Beetle convertible, a Rabbit [I really needed the heat], a Toyota pickup, a Chevy van, and the current Honda Civic.

The worst handling car I had to drive was the damn Ford 460 police pursuit car. It had huge amounts of totally wasted power sitting on a worthless suspension, with a front seat slicker than black ice, a tendency for the dashboard to burst into flame for no known reason, various bits of trim that fell off without warning, a gallons per mile fuel efficiency rating, blind spots everywhere except straight ahead, and an exhaust system that ate catalytic converters and mufflers/silencers. What a piece of garbage, and the heater was no better than a Beetle.

If they could have discovered a better way of heating them, I would still have the Ghia or the Beetle convertible.

One of my neighbors bought the ’87 Toyota and it still gets 30mpg with minimum maintenance and a quarter million miles on the ‘clock’.

25 hipparchia { 03.18.10 at 1:13 am }

Heckโ€ฆ We only did it to *get the girlz* anyway!

๐Ÿ˜€ well, i was rebuilding little 2-seater triumph convertibles so you would have had trouble catching my eye with [or heart] with the muscle cars. your xa gt link did wake up a couple of the cats though! there were two of them perched on top of the computer when the vrooooom came roaring out of it. ๐Ÿ˜†

and the om1 was a sweet, sweet camera. i hope you do post some of the pics of your car someday.
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

26 Badtux { 03.18.10 at 1:43 am }

The Beetle/Ghia actually had a damn good heater if you stuck an electric blower motor in the hoses from the back, the problem was that without the blower motor the heat was expected to just kinda waft up to the front all by itself without any intervention, perhaps through some sort of German equivalent of the Free Market Fairy waving her (his?) magic wand to make the air move. Those heat exchangers surrounding the exhaust pipes were capable of transferring a *lot* of heat, and swiftly too (you could get heat almost immediately after starting the car, didn’t have to wait for it to warm up), but, alas, the Germans somehow thought the tiny bits of air bled off from the fan housing to the intakes on those heat exchange were sufficient to actually do something. Which was decidedly *not* the case!

One thing I like about my Jeep is that it’s old school. Want to shift the transfer case from 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel drive? You grab a mechanical lever that is connected via a rod to a lever on the transfer case, wherein when you pull your lever up, you’re directly tugging on the gear sets in the transfer case. No electric button or motors or anything involved, nothing to break except a mechanical lever that, if necessary, can be patched up with duct tape and bailing wire or you can even just get out of the Jeep, slide underneath, and shift the damned thing by hand by grabbing the lever on the transfer case side. Try *that* with one of these new electrically controlled transmissions! My brake pedal pushes down on a two-piston plunger, which pushes fluid directly into the wheel cylinders. Yes, pushing the plunger in also opens a vacuum port which gives vacuum assist, but if the engine dies or your electrical system catches on fire, you can still stop the bloody thing, you just have to push harder. And so on and so forth. It’s rude, it’s crude, it’s primitive, and I love the damned thing because you don’t have to go to the bleepin’ dealer to get the computer reprogrammed every time you put new tires on the friggin’ thing. (Don’t laugh — the new vehicles with the electronically controlled transmissions, stability control, etc., freak out if you put slightly different size tires on them until you take them to the dealer to get the computer reprogrammed for the new tires!).

Worst car I ever owned was probably that Chevette, and it wasn’t all that bad, it was just bleepin’ hard to work on because the original was German, but then when they brought it over here they had to put the American bumpers and headlights on (this was back in 5mph bumper days, it had big steel things on both ends hooked to what looked like shock absorbers), and while they were at it they took out as many German bits and pieces as possible and replaced them with leftover Vega parts, though luckily *not* the engine (phew!). Mine leaked oil around the oil pan, which was gasketless by design (supposed to be siliconed), I looked at repairing it by putting a gasket on the thing (which apparently GM left off to save 50 cents — for true!) and found that I’d need to use an engine hoist and loosen the engine mounts and hoist the whole drivetrain up by about four inches to get enough room to get the oil pan out past the Vega steering gear (different from the Opel one because of the crash test stuff) and the under-engine crossmember. I decided it was cheaper to just put newspapers under my car when I parked it and put a quart of oil into it from time to time, and when it went to that great car crusher in the sky I’m sure it was still leaking.

The other thing about that Chevette was the rust holes it developed, especially around the windshield. Every time it rained, the floorboard got wet. And then one day I hit a big bump and heard a “whang!” from under the hood and got out and raised the hood. The top of my shock tower had come off! It was just spot-welded on and the spot welds had let go. I limped home and used a wire welder to do a continuous weld, hit it with some spray primer and spray paint, and called it good :). And the leaks problem got solved by the guys who did my windshield when a rock got it, they sprayed that black windshield glue into the holes and sealed it up good. Despite all this, that Chevette took me through college and about four years afterwards, and the only thing that killed it was when they did the Freon changeover in 95/96, which meant I couldn’t keep the bloody thing cool anymore and in the hot Louisiana summers that simply was not acceptable. I was living on a farm at the time and really needed a truck so I traded it in on a Ford Ranger, which was the most evil-handling pickup truck to ever be put onto a public highway thanks to its narrow track and swingarm front suspension. I can’t really say much about that Ranger, though, because I only owned it for six months or so before I totaled it trying to avoid a deer — that swingarm suspension just tucked right on under and flipped me over the moment I tried to steer it quickly around the deer! Luckily I was wearing my seatbelt and got out of it only with some cracked ribs…

27 hipparchia { 03.18.10 at 1:44 am }

They wrote the ticket for 10mph over the limit because I didnโ€™t make them chase.

i once got a speeding ticket for going 9 mph over the speed limit [back when it was 55, and 10mph+ over the speed limit was more points on your dl]. the conversation went something like this:

trooper: do you realize how fast you were going?
me: hmmm… probably about 75 when you saw me.
trooper: [after thinking this one over for a moment] i clocked you at 74.

then there was a longer silence, probably he waiting to see what else i would confess to, but i have a younger brother — i know how to play ‘make the other person blink first’. the entire conversation was polite and friendly, and he didn’t even ask me how fast i was going before i saw him.
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

28 hipparchia { 03.18.10 at 1:53 am }

… or you can even just get out of the Jeep, slide underneath, and shift the damned thing by hand by grabbing the lever on the transfer case side.

dang, i’d forgotten about that. i had a friend who had one of these jeeps, great fun to ride around in, and i’d love to have one for a ‘pet’ car someday, but i’d totally forgotten about having to pull over and stop so that somebody could get out and make that adjustment before going on- or off-road.
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

29 Kryten42 { 03.18.10 at 10:26 am }

Oooh my! So many memories! ๐Ÿ˜† This could be a looooong thread! ๐Ÿ˜€

I also helped to rebuild a boxy little red Triumph TR6, and a Fiat X19 (now that was a cool little sports car!) ๐Ÿ˜›

One thing we thought was hilarious about the old VW Beetle was you could take the ignition key out and it would keep going. We discovered this while being driven home by the relatively sober owner of a beetle and one of my less sober friends in the front passenger seat said “Hey! Wanna see a trick?” And reached over and took the key out and threw it out the window. We all laughed hysterically of course (even the driver who suddenly stopped and did the whole “Hey… wait a minute…” thing, then hit the brakes and reversed back, which made us all laugh harder of course! ๐Ÿ˜† We found the keys eventually. When we could stop laughing enough to look for them. It was about 2AM, and dogs were barkking and lights came on and people yelled… great fun! ๐Ÿ˜€ This was before the current .05 blood alcohol limit or mandatory seatbelts of course.

“well, i was rebuilding little 2-seater triumph convertibles so you would have had trouble catching my eye with [or heart] with the muscle cars

Well, hate to tell ya H… but this was a work of art!! Trust me when I say… MANY a girl (and their mothers!) wanted to got *for a drive* in that car, under almost any conditions! ๐Ÿ˜‰ And no… I am not joking. ๐Ÿ˜† IT worked out well actually… my m8’s liked the girts about their age… I preferred their mothers. ๐Ÿ˜† Give me experience and only mature women have any time! ๐Ÿ˜›

I’ve been trying to find out if anyone has posted pics or info about the car on the ‘net… no luck so far. I found a few things though.

Here’s what it looked like when we got it from the dealer (scroll down to May 1976):
Ford XB GT Hardtop in Tropicana Green

Gawd… I hated that color!! ๐Ÿ˜† If I didn’t know the body/interior would be completely stripped and redone… No way I would have bought it! ๐Ÿ™‚

This will give you a kinda idea after we finished stage one (engine rebuild) and part if the body/exterior work (about the end of the first year):
Cameron’s XB Coupe

We had an Arcadipane Concorde fiberglass nose kit and fiberglass side wheel arch kits (the original wheel arches had to be cut away because of the different suspension, axle’s, brake’s and wheels we would be using). Pete (Peter Arcadipane) was a designer at Ford, and started his own part-time biz with his wife making fiberglass kit’s. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s the only pic I could find so far of the kit we had, but this is a panel van version, not a coupe. Oh, and Pete’s wife wasn’t included either! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜†

Arcadipane Concorde Nose

It wasn’t just for looks BTW, we actually needed that air dam at the front. We used the large hole in the center for an oil cooler and fan (which only operated when needed, usually at idle or low speeds), the two smaller holes either side had hoses taking air to the front brakes which could get quite hot when stopping the beast at speed (11″ swiss-cheesed disks with a large leading edge break caliper set with hard compound high-speed pads).

We had completely rebuilt the engine from the sump up! We really only wanted the Cleveland block because it was much better to work on than the usual Windsor block. It had 5 main bearing journals (W had 3) and the block was thicker (and heavier) and had more fins for strengthening and cooling. We used a specially designed Crower cam with a 6deg overlap between the intake and exhaust lobes (to ensure all the burnt fuel was expelled, so we could get better detonations) and special alloy rockers and valves with duel springs. A Bosch L-Jetronic electronic fuel system with 2 Holley 200gph electric fuel pumps (one at tank, one at block, to keep fuel flow pressure high at high acceleration) with stainless-steel fuel lines and red anodized connectors. We reamed out the cylinders and used stainless steel sleeves honed at an exact 45deg angle, with alloy racing pistons and shafts. Water and oil channels were enlarged where possible and polished. Exhaust system was designed by a Melb specialist and was 4-Y tuned system leading to two rectangular exhaust outlets on each side of the tail (one exhaust/2 cyl). The manifolds were also designed and made bu a local company (Head Mod or HM as they were known). I could go on and on just about the engine mod’s and the drive chain… ๐Ÿ˜‰

The engine rebuild was almost simple compared to the interior and body! We’d decided on the whole ‘Black Widow’ theme and my artist m8 had drawn numerous sketches until we were all happy. ๐Ÿ™‚ Only to discover that what we 8wanted* to do was near impossible, or just bloody expensive! Luckily, his day who was a manager at Dulux was able to come to the rescue! ๐Ÿ˜† What we wanted, was to have the base body black, but we wanted to go from a very matt deep black at the front, to a high-gloss black at the rear in a certain pattern. On the hood we wanted to have a golden spider web and a black widow spider (in gloss/matt black with red/gold highlights). A strand of the web would trail over the side to the rear and spell the name ‘Black Widow’ in a handwriting script. But we didn’t just want a 2D mural… we wanted it to *live*! So, Dulux came up with a paint called Pearl Coat and Clear Coat. HORRIBLY expensive normally! But, we got a great deal, and we only had to put a couple of small tasteful “Paint by Dulux” signs on the windows, which Dulux did as clear decals with gold lettering in the same style we used. Basically, we put the base black coating first, then a layer of Clear Coat, then my artist m8 would paint the first bottom layer of the spider and web, then another clear coat, another paint layer… etc, etc! Took ages! But was amazing to see! You would seriously think this giant spider with the glittering eyes (pearl coat and gold/high gloss black) was looking at you and about to pounce! (A ns seriously, a few people screamed at car shows!) ๐Ÿ˜† Mission Accomplished!! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ However, it wasn’t actually intended to be an *evil* spider (despite the BW’s rep!) Eventually, people who had the courage to look carefully, noted that she was smiling and had eye lashes and was knitting with her fore legs (the gold web). Once the kids got over the initial shock, they would point things out to each other and be laughing. ๐Ÿ™‚ The kids would usually chide their mom’s who wouldn’t get close. ๐Ÿ˜† Anyway… she was a big hit. She was called Charlotte, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚ The book ‘Charlotte’s Web’ (from 1952) was a big hit with the kids (hence the movie of course). ๐Ÿ™‚ We actually tried to get permission to put ‘Charlotte’s Web’ on the corner from the US publisher’s… but it was all to complicated and they wanted royalties. So we just put ‘Charlotte’ (and even then we got a warning, and my Mom told them in no uncertain terms what they could do with themselves)! ๐Ÿ˜† My Mom was a tough Irish lass… You don’t mess with those! I am sure that car was responsible for selling a lot of Charlotte’s Web books. But WE were never offered any royalties! A-holes.

BTW, the Matt paint Dulux supplied us was apparently originally developed for submarines. It almost absorbed light! Was amazing stuff… if you looked at it long enough, you thought you were going to fall into a very dark hole. ๐Ÿ™‚

The interior used Recaro racing seats and was all black/red/gold themed of course. My mom actually did a lot of that, she even helped design and made the Black Widow (Charlotte) emblem patches and sowed them onto the seats and other places. ๐Ÿ™‚

*sigh* You really have to see it though! I’ll try to find a pic… I truly dunno if I have one… I know I have one of the original green… but so what? I do know where I can contact one of the guys who worked on it with me, he had a set of pic’s… but we haven’t spoken in years (it’s complicated, of course!)

Oooh!! That reminds me! I DID find my mothers Cook book I mentioned ages ago, just last week! But I am very hectic for now… But I’ll post some recipe’s ASAP. ๐Ÿ™‚

LOL @ Badtux: I remember that also! One of the things I learned in the Military. ๐Ÿ™‚ And yeah, I believe you about GM being penny pincher’s! They were always tight b*stards here too (as GMH). They got in trouble a few times with car’s not meeting the Aus standards. There was a model Torana they made that you could only really own in the ACT (as the ACT is a Territory and not subject to State laws or regulations!) ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was un-roadworthy in every State because the rear bumper was too low, and there was some problem with the exhaust.

Mmmmmm… I almost owned an MGB GT! I had an opportunity to get one… But the times conspired against me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh, well… *shrug* ๐Ÿ˜‰

Phew… Said this would be long, and could have been longer! ๐Ÿ˜›

30 Badtux { 03.18.10 at 6:03 pm }

LMAO at those finger-squishing “flush” flapper door handles. How did we ever think those things were a reasonable way to get your doors open? Of course, my Jeep has those AMC “paddle” door handles on it, which are even worse for chewing up your fingers, but then it’s using the door handles that AMC put on the original Jeep Wrangler when they started designing it in 1983 so I guess there’s history to be considered there :).

31 Bryan { 03.18.10 at 9:00 pm }

I tried three different blower arrangements on the Ghia, and none of them worked well enough to drive without mittens. Of course, I owned them in Nebraska and upstate New York, so below zero wasn’t unusual in the winter, A friend had the auxiliary gas heater in his Bug. I worked great, but used more gas than the engine.

The reason I owned so many VWs is the same reason you still own a Jeep – you could wrench the suckers. I had all of the specialty tools for VWs and several great manuals for them, so I knew how to buy a used one and get a great deal. I also had a supply of spare parts that were better than the originals and installed them immediately so I didn’t have to worry about them.

Those were the days when you could clean and gap distributor points with a book of paper matches.

These days you have to debug the software to keep the suckers in motion.

That was a serious paint job, Kryten. I’ve seen a few gold or silver flake jobs that rely on the clear coat spacing, but most people don’t have the patience to do it right. Lots of time between coats, even with an oven.

I was going to have the Rabbit’s interior re-done by a guy in Tijuana, but half the time the padding contained cocaine, and things got sticky at the border. Then if you got it in they slashed the upholstery to recover the possible drugs. Other than that, he did great, understated work.

32 Kryten42 { 03.19.10 at 12:48 am }

It was really amazing what you could do with a VW! I used to see so many variations at shows and on the road! There are hundreds of conversion kits, aftermarket mod’s etc… When I lived in Sydney, I became friends with a guy who repaired or rebuilt VW’s, he mostly did mod’s on beetles to put Porsche engines and running gear in. I remember his pride and joy was a Porsche stations wagon that was actually designed and the body was built by VW, and the mechanical’s were Porsche ( I *think* it was called a 924 Estate, not certain about that.) I’ve never seen a Porsche wagon (Estate) before or since! Apparently, not many were made. I found some pic’s that look familiar… it was a while ago. ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course, Porsche had a long history of working with VW/Audi, and several models were a usually successful joint effort in some way.

eBay Find Of The Day: Porsche Wagon

They call it a 944, it’s not. And it was built by a ‘coachbuilder’, if you call VW in the 80’s a coachbuilder! LOL Apparently, the new Porsche Ceyanne wagon is a big load of garbage at an insane price. Typical.

The later S4 variant was IMHO the best of the 928 series. It had a 5ltr V8 rather than the original 4.7ltr, even though the Aus version had a basically de-tuned engine because of lower octane fuel requirements (we had high octane fuel, but it was expensive). When I got my S4, I had it blueprinted and restored to full spec. We clocked it (on a raceway/test track) at 0-100KM/h (0-60Mph) in 5.6 sec, and a top speed of about 176 MPH, with the engine generating about 320hp. The S4 also had a much lower Cd (drag) than the earlier models of about 0.33 (compared to 0.39 which was embarrassing for a Porsche!) The later model I owned, had a trip computer and a diagnostic/warning system added, an electric sunroof, much more efficient AirCon, alarm/anti-theft system, anti-lock breaking and a 40% locking diff (and people think anti-lock breaking is new!), much better sound system with power amp’d surround speakers (very important for long road trips), and better passenger seat (lumbar support and adjustments added). ๐Ÿ™‚ The 928 was really quite an evolutionary car, there were actually more than a dozen variants produced over the years. It was truly the last of the GT’s (Grand Touring). Oh! I almost forgot… It had heated seats too! Great in Winter. ๐Ÿ˜€

I finally found a photo that looks pretty much like mine (there were so many varients!):
White Porsche 928 S4 1988

Ooh! I remember the owners manual stated in the front (I have to think about this, memory’s not that great these days!):

“Judging by the car you have chosen,
you are a motorist of a special breed,
and you are probably no novice
when it comes to automobiles.”

๐Ÿ˜† I always knew I was special! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜†

*sigh* Anyway…

One of my friends in the early 80’s had an AMC AMX. He loved that thing! ๐Ÿ™‚ And it wasn’t a bad car we thought at the time. ๐Ÿ™‚ They were actually assembled here in Melb and were popular for a time. I remembered it had a bloody big engine for a little car (360CID from memory, with a 390 optional)!

I have a friend who just got her 3rd VW rabbit (the latest model of course). It’s changed a lot since her 1st boxy styled rabbit way back when in the late 70’s! She swears she’ll blow up VW if they stop making it! ๐Ÿ˜† She’s one of the sweetest women you ever want to meet, but I believe her! Funny how people become attached to a certain car… ๐Ÿ˜‰

At least we don’t have to worry about drugs running across borders to other countries, since we are the only country on out continent! ๐Ÿ˜† (well, I mean by road of course, Sea/Air are a different story, as anyone who reads/hears Aus news over the years would know!) ๐Ÿ™‚

Ahh well… I better get some work done!! I have so much to do, and no time! I shouldn’t be spending time doing this really, but I need a break, and this helps make me feel good, and I can gett better work done, so it works out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for the memories my friends! You really have no idea how much I needed this trip down memory lane right now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Things are not good here right now. Thanks for allowing me to ramble on guys. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s very much appreciated. ๐Ÿ™‚

In one way, I feel kinda sad, even nostalgic. But also pretty good! At least I have good memories, and I can be pretty proud of the things I did. I made some good choices. ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t really do much better than that. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bryan, I was once asked in one of those many Psych eval’s we do in MI if I had planned to get into MI (which could be viewed with suspicion of course) because of all the things I did in my early years which were very useful for the coveted and secretive Scout-Sniper unit (which I’d never even heard of until I was asked if I’d be interested). Everyone knew about the SAS, but the SS (which always made us either cringe or laugh, and we wondered what bright spark came up with that unit designation! Though, officially, it was a Regiment of 3RAR, like the SAS). Anyway… Much of my early life was really formed by my Grandfather who was a WWI and WWII vet. I wondered much later if he planned it… I have a suspicion that he did, and I always wondered why. It annoyed me that he passed away before I could ask. Motives… everyone has one! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers! ๐Ÿ˜€

33 Kryten42 { 03.19.10 at 12:59 am }

Oh! Almost forgot…

You are dead right BT! Those damned door latches were a PITA! We got rid of those when we redid the interior, even had electric windows (since we had to get them specially done with the tinting/laminating anyway). ๐Ÿ™‚

Ciao! ๐Ÿ˜€

34 hipparchia { 03.19.10 at 2:34 am }

๐Ÿ˜† a knitting spider! i think spiders are cute actually, with the exception of black widows, brown recluses, and the like, and i loved charlotte’s web. i would definitely have admired that paint job!
.-= last blog ..Run, ntodd, run! =-.

35 Kryten42 { 03.19.10 at 9:11 am }

Well, if you live in Aus you can add a few more to the exceptions list, such as white tail & funnel web. I like the big Huntsman’s… I’ve had a couple *adopt* me over the years! ๐Ÿ˜† It’s true… They are very territorial, and great hunters (hence the name I guess). You will generally only find one in a house, and they keep the insect population, including other spiders, way down. I lived in a house many years ago, and one day I was working in my office, and I suddenly looked up and saw this big huntsman sitting on the edge of the ceiling & joist corner, and I *SWEAR* he was looking at me! I have no idea how I 8knew* it was there, but I did. Made me a bit nervous I can tell you. I was wondering if he was wondering if I was good to eat! ๐Ÿ˜† But, he just sat there. Eventually he moved off and I guess went hunting, but he came back. After that, whenever I sat at my desk to work, he would eventually take up his post and sit with me. I got to saying ‘Hi’ to him and saying stuff like “I hope your hunting goes well” etc. ๐Ÿ˜† And then one day… He didn’t show up. I guess he died, made me feel kinda sad actually! Silly I guess… but not to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have no idea how long they live or how old he was when he started visiting, but he was definitely a full adult. I can’t even really say how long it was that he was around. Seemed quite awhile. I’ve always liked living creatures (not just animal’s) of all types (with some exceptions that in my view are only here to be food to other creatures and annoy hell out of Humans! Like Mozzies, flies, fleas etc.) Anyway, I had another Huntsman *adopt* me several years later in another place. ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to often wonder why. *shrug* ๐Ÿ™‚ Some things *just are!* ๐Ÿ˜‰

My description hardly does the *paint job* my m8 did any kind of justice at all. He was a true artist, and meticulous. I’ll try to find the album I have, it has some of his other mural work that he did on other car’s, if not our beast. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh… I designed the dash & instruments myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ All digital (LED displays). Pretty unusual for the day. Had an LED bar graph for the tacho (adapted from an audio power meter from the recording studio I worked at as an apprentice engineer/session drummer), 3-digit speedo, fuel, oil pressure and temp, water temp, fuel pressure, and various other indicators for warning sensors. Most of the bits were commandeered from or through the studio (with permission of course). The senior Engineer was a pretty cool dude and he helped me design it all. I was spending an absolute packet on books! Tech manuals etc. There was a specialist store in the city called “the Technical Book Store” (It’s still there I believe), and I practically lived there! they all knew me by name and I knew them. ๐Ÿ˜† They would get me books from the USA and UK that they didn’t normally carry, like the book for the engineering of Crower cam’s. They were a really good store. The usual conversation would be something like:
Me: I need a book about *whatever* (and any special requirements)
Them: OK. We’ll see what we can find and get back to you:
Me: OK, thanks.
within a few days I’d get a call from the store:
Them: Hi , we found a book that seems to fit what you wanted. *some info and description*
Me: That sounds great! Order it please.
Them: already ordered by courier. Should be here in a few days.
Me. Wow, thanks! You guys are too good! ๐Ÿ˜€
Them: No problem at all. Anything you need, just call.
Me: Always! Thanks again, bye.

The manager found out one day that I would buy a book they ordered special even if it wasn’t really what I wanted. And told me not to do it and to return the books I didn’t need for a refund or credit. He said they would always find someone who wanted it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I just kinda thought that since they got it special for me, I had to buy it. Seemed the right thing to do to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ That was really good of them I thought, and cash was getting a bit tight! ๐Ÿ™‚

Customer service, for real! What a novel concept these days, huh? *sigh*

Good thing I was good at math I can tell you! ๐Ÿ™‚ We bought a blank billet (un-machined cam shaft) from Crower USA (through Ford) and had a little specialty machine shop that someone at Ford put us onto (that worked on racing/drag car’s) to machine it up for us. They did it for nothing if I would let them use my design that they found interesting. Sadly, I knew nothing about ‘Intellectual Property Rights’ back then! Still… Not like I ever used that knowledge ever again. ๐Ÿ˜† So, I guess it wasn’t a bad deal. Would have cost us about $400 otherwise. ๐Ÿ™‚

Although the car was primarily designed to be a *show car*, it was very functional too. A lot of structural/chassis work was done to strengthen and lighten the car. We designed it so that two people could convert it into a full-on race car within a couple days. Including a bolt on supercharger (Weiand 6/71 blower with Scott injector hat) and twin 4-v Carter TQ’s (Thermo Quad) 850cfm carbies with racing injectors and needles replacing the L-Jetronic system on a HM low profile manifold (designed so the blower doesn’t sit too high). Most of the interior could be removed and a secure bolt on roll cage installed (mount points already existed and a cage was built that could be quickly assembled using titanium bolts because of the sheer forces if rolled at high speed). Actually, the rear seats could be removed and the area used as luggage space since most of the boot (trunk to you) was full of fuel tank and spare wheels (one front, one rear), fire extinguisher (and a smaller one in the front cab for quick access), tool kit and spares. We even put in hidden (covered, removable) mount points on the floor, B-pillar and ceiling to put up a strong taught web net behind the front seats so that breaking at high speed wouldn’t cause loose luggage to knock your head through the windscreen (even though the luggage could be secured with a web net also). ๐Ÿ˜† Great if one or two people wanted to go on a long road trip. ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually, a lot of the ideas came from my friends parents and Ford engineers etc. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was actually during this time that I first heard the term *Risk assessment and analysis* and got very interested in the concept (and bought a book on the subject of course, which I still have). Risk Assessment was fairly new in the 70’s and there weren’t many books on the subject, most were industry specific.

And speaking of books… maybe I *should* write one! ๐Ÿ˜‰ If I thought anyone would read it. And I had any time! ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜‰ Unfortunately, I can’t write about all the *really* interesting stuff for another 5 or 6 years yet, If I live that long… watch out for it. It’ll be all over the news, so you won’t miss it. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well… back to work! No rest for the insane or the wicked I’m told! ๐Ÿ˜€

PS. Sorry for all the glaring grammatical errors in the above (and probably this) post! I’m typing fast and don’t have time to check grammar. The spell checker only highlights spelling errors. I should preview and review I guess… but I can’t be bothered! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ciao, again! ๐Ÿ˜†

36 Kryten42 { 03.19.10 at 9:46 am }

BTW, I was the proud owner of a Texas Instruments SR-52 calculator and used that initially to help with the various designs. ๐Ÿ™‚ In ’78, I discovered the new Ti-59 and PC100C printer, and I *HAD* to have one! I’d built a microcomputer published in an Aus Electronics mag in the 70’s called the EDUC-8 Microcomputer (pronounced ‘educate’, and I swear to G*d, I still remember the op-codes!) ๐Ÿ˜€ But it was useless for this kind of math at the time! Both the SR-52 and TI-59’s were programmable and had a mag card reader, the 59 could write to a blank card also. ๐Ÿ™‚ My parents and Grandparents got together and got me a 59 and printer for Xmas that year, and it was truly amazing! There were several program modules available for about $50 each. I got a few, then clubs were springing up all over, and people started writing their own code and sharing it around. ๐Ÿ™‚ Stupid TI got greedy and tried to stop it, which only drove it *underground* and it grew and grew, cutting TI out of the loop. TI actually sent out a mailer to all owners warning them not to use ‘illegal programs’ (or illegal instructions, as some people had discovered hidden codes on both the 52 and 59, such as for hexadecimal math). Almost nobody understood what TI was on about or why they were trying to keep codes secret. But all the letter did was make a LOT more people who hadn’t a clue before, sudden;y very curious! ๐Ÿ˜† Idiots. Just like The Dweeb moron with his stupid *open letters to the shareware community* idiocy.

Greedy morons never learn, until it’s too late. Me, I just laugh at them all! ๐Ÿ˜†

Rightho! Bye… again… again! ๐Ÿ˜†

37 Kryten42 { 03.21.10 at 11:30 am }

Speaking of Bathurst and racing… I was watching the 12-hour endurance race on Sat, and saw something I’ve never seen at Buthurst before! I’ve seen a roo jump across the track, and that happens occasionaly, I’ve seen boulder come down the mountain onto the track (that was fun!) But never a tree right on the bend of Conrod Straight (the long straight where the car’s go flat out usually) blocking the full width of the track. Luckily, the cars were all slowed behind a safety car as the weather had turned bad and visibility was a problem. Otherwise, it could have been very nasty.

Fallen tree shortens Bathurst raceFallen tree shortens Bathurst race

Amazingly, it fell at the worst possible point of the track. Anyone flying up conrod wouldn’t have been able to stop in time on the wet track by the time they saw the tree on the bend. Very lucky. Nobody knows yet why the tree fell in the first place. Time will tell I guess.

It took the SES about an hour with heavy equipment to get rid of it and clean the track. They did a shot of the Pit crews watching the monitors in bewilderment, and I saw Eric Bana watching and the crew were all laughing and shaking their heads (his team were racing), since it’s a long-distance (1,250+ KM) endurance race, they have 2 or 3 drivers who work in shifts.

Poor Eric can’t win a trick the past year! His team were in 5th place (in his class, there are 10 classes racing from a few cars in a class to a dozen,) this year until his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10 got creamed by Dean Herridge’s Subaru Impreza (he’s a Rally driver usually, so… *shrug*) ๐Ÿ™‚

38 Bryan { 03.21.10 at 8:35 pm }

Eucalyptus trees do that all the time in Southern California, just fall over for no obvious reason, but that isn’t supposed to happen in Australian. The SoCal trees were imported from Oz to be grown for use as railway roadbed ties, but they get brittle and twisted in the US soils and environment, unlike in their native soil. People like them for the odor and shade. but they are a dangerous tree to have around in fire weather.

That looks like I-65 North during the evacuation for Hurricane Opal.

39 Kryten42 { 03.22.10 at 12:18 am }

Yeah, Eucalypts were the main reason for the bad firestorm Feb last year. They explode, especially when dry. And when you have several thousand in an area in the middle of a very hot firestorm and high winds… All bet’s are off. Would have been like having hundreds of lbs of C4 going up. Many chopper and fire bomber pilots said there were several hotspots they couldn’t even get close to. I thought at the time it’s definitely one of those situation where the military should have been put in charge. Civilian authorities were seriously caught with their pants down and out-matched. It really was like someone dropped a bunch of daisy cutters over thousands of acres. And the military know how to deal with that kind of firestorm… They could have used APC’s designed for that and transport choppers (they have winches to get people out fast in high danger areas) to get people out. We trained for that, we were trained to get to a spot and hover above tree level, I’d repel out fast, grab someone on the ground, hook them up and put a face mask on with oxygen feed, and get winched up fast. All over and gone in 30 sec. Actually, our Navy train to do that all the time, and have rescued many a stricken vessel occupants that way. The Army & Navy Rescue/Evac Choppers are designed to take a lot more grief than the civi equivalents, and the pilots and crew are better trained too.

I would have seriously fired whatever moron was put in charge that day. Maybe literally.

Actually, that Bathurst news heading is wrong. The tree didn’t *shorten the race*, it started at 6:30 AM and finished at 6:30 PM, on schedule. What they did was adjust the drivers totals (since they are only allowed to race for a set time, and several teams would have been fined for being over the limit). Nice of the organizers, ehh? ‘) ๐Ÿ˜†