Sort of, the 63 emails in my inbox need attention and I was just informed that I have to drop everything today and work on something that needs all day immediate attention.
So while I am here in spirit, I'm not really here.
A good rant about why good customer service is a must and about chuvanistic men is being formulated in my head.
Today in Automotive History
The first car advertisement to run in a national magazine appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. The W.E. Roach Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ran an ad featuring its jingle, "Automobiles That Give Satisfaction."
I Can't Drive 55 ... Part Deux
Well I am off to Indiana again, this time I am bringing a compadray. This should be a little more fun this time!
Our meeting isn't until tomorrow, so hopefully the hangover will wear off before then.
Be good and leave the party at Tammi's place.
Hope to be back Wednesday.
Today in Automotive History
1941 Willit Run?
Construction of Ford's Willow Run Plant began. Due both to his admiration of the German people and his philosophical alignment as a pacifist, Henry Ford was reluctant to convert all of his production facilities to war manufacturing. Compounding his anxiety was the fact that one of his former employees, William Knudsen, who had defected to General Motors (GM), headed the bureau in Washington in charge of administrating Detroit's war effort. But with the U.S. declaration of war in 1941, Ford had no choice but to participate.
He contributed with his usual sense of competitive ambition. Before the war, Ford had boasted nonchalantly that Ford could produce 1,000 airplanes per day provided there was no interference from stockholders or labor unions. So when Ford was asked by Knudsen to build subassemblies for Consolidated Aircraft, it was no surprise that Ford Lieutenant Charles Sorensen pushed for a deal that would allow Ford to construct the entire B-24 Liberator bomber. The contract included $200 million toward the construction of a new production facility.
In exchange, Sorensen promised Ford would manufacture 500 planes per month, a quote nearly 10 times what Consolidated Aircraft was then capable of producing. Ground was broken on a vast piece of land in Ypsilanti, Michigan, to begin a plant called Willow Run. Over the course of the next few years, Willow Run would be a source of problems for the Ford Motor Company.
Squabbling within Ford over control of the company, government interference, the loss of much of the company's labor force to the draft, and other problems deterred Ford's war effort. By the end of 1942, Willow Run had only produced 56 B-24 bombers, and the plant had been saddled with the nickname "Willit Run?" The government considered taking over the operations at Willow Run.
Just when it seemed that Sorensen's project would fail, Willow Run began rolling out B-24's at a remarkable rate. The plant produced 190 bombers in June of 1943, 365 in December. By the middle of 1944, Willow Run churned out a plane every 63 minutes. "Willow Run looked like a city with a roof on it," remembered Esther Earthlene, one of the many women who worked there during the war. Willow Run was the largest factory of its day. Its workers built planes around the clock, rotating three eight-hour shifts. They were provided with housing and entertainment. Willow Run had a 24-hour movie theater.
By the end of the war, Willow Run had produced more than 8,500 bombers, and it had become a symbol of the American economy's successful response to war.
From the Weenie Family to your family.
I Can't Drive 55
Well, I am off to Lafayette, Indiana for the next couple of days.
Unfortunatly this isn't going to be a pleasure trip, it's for work and it's going to be brutal.
We are launching a new part and it isn't going so well and the customer called and said they want some from quality down there now.
So off I am. Blogging will probably be non-exsistant for the next couple of days.
Today in Automotive History
1909 A New Brake
Wilhelm and Karl Maybach formed Luftfahrzeug-Motoren GmbH in Bissingen, Germany, to produce engines for the Zeppelin airships. The Maybach Motoren-Werke, a subsidiary of the aviation company, would produce the luxurious Maybach automobile between 1921and 1941. Wilhelm Maybach designed the internal expanding brake in 1901. The internal brake operated by pressing shoes against the interior of the wheel or drive shaft. Maybach's design remained the model for most braking systems until the disc brake emerged as an alternative in the 1970s.
Today Is The Day I Have Been Waiting For
All Winter Long.
Today is the day that all nothern people look forward to. That long awaited warm day in which one sheds their scarfs and gloves. The day you first pop open that moon roof. The day you turn your face towards the sun and soak up the warmth radiating from it.
The day that southern people have no idea how much this first day means to northern people.
It's the day that you know that spring and warm weather are just around the corner. The day you start thinking about what flowers you are going to plant, about the lawns turning green, when the buds on the trees are going to sprout open.
Today it's 45 degrees outside.
And I am giddy!
Although that could be the effects of the 44 ounce cherry slushy I had at lunch.
I Don't Gnome Him, But Will Do As I Was Bid
Steal my Gnome, leave trackbacks at Nicks and Chucks place.
1926 River Rouge No More
The Ford Motor Company renamed its massive River Rouge facility the Fordson Plant. The name River Rouge, synonymous with Ford history, would continue to be used.
River Rouge was established in response to the massive demand for the Model T. In the spring of 1915, Henry Ford began buying huge tracts of land along the Rouge River, southwest of Detroit. He later announced his plans to construct a massive industrial complex which would include its own steel mills. Ford proclaimed he would no longer be "at the mercy of his suppliers." Ford Lieutenant William Knudsen disagreed with his boss's notion that bigger was better. The pugnacious Ford responded to his advice with typical urbanity, saying, "No, William, no. I want the Ford business all behind one fence so I can see it."
The outbreak of war in Europe brought with it a scarcity of steel that threatened to halt production of the Model T. Ford ordered Knudsen to buy up all the steel he could. Henry Ford, a proclaimed pacifist, objected to the idea of preparing for war. He likened a war-ready nation to a man carrying a gun: bound for trouble. Nevertheless, once war was declared, Ford stood behind President Wilson and River Rouge became an "arsenal of democracy." The largest industrial complex of its day, River Rouge looked like a small city.
After the war, the factory remained a primary character in the Ford drama. By 1937, General Motors (GM) and Chrysler recognized the United Auto Workers (UAW) as a labor union. But, despite the fact that the federal government, with the New Deal, guaranteed a worker's right to belong to a union, Ford refused to negotiate with the UAW. Instead, he ordered his strongman, Harry Bennett, to keep the workers in check.
On May 26, 1937, union leader Walter Reuther led a group of men through the River Rouge Plant to distribute literature to the workers. Upon leaving the plant, Reuther and his companions were attacked by Bennett and his men. The event, named the "Battle of the Overpass," received national attention. Ford's reputation as a labor negotiator, already bad, grew worse. Amazingly, though, Bennett's fear tactics postponed the inevitable triumph of labor leaders for almost four years, when a massive sit-down strike finally succeeded in shutting the River Rouge plant down.
The Ford River Rouge plant is also well-known for a Ford family controversy over a series of murals by artist Diego Rivera, which were commissioned by Edsel Ford on behalf of the Detroit Art Institute. Henry Ford objected strongly to the communist aesthetic of the murals and ordered their production ceased. Edsel, in a rare moment of defiance, refused his father's demands and the murals remained on display at the River Rouge Plant. Today, just as Henry Ford desired, the Fordson Plant at River Rouge really is "the Ford business all behind one fence," where we can see it.
P.S - I've been inside this facility and it is impressive and I was always awestruck when inside it. They just opened a new eco-friendly production plant inside the facility, they are building F-150's at the plant, and you can take a tour of the plant.
I Maybe Evil, But I Look Good While Doing It
Your objective is simple: Soul Accumulation.
Your motive is a little bit more complex: Sadistic pleasure
To begin your plan, you must first traumatize a news reporter. This will cause the world to give one another worried looks, terrified by your arrival. Who is this demon straight out of hell? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good in a corporate suit?
Next, you must obliterate United Nations. This will all be done from a corporate tower, a mysterious place of unrivaled dark glory. Upon seeing this, the world will scream, as countless hordes of computer programmers hasten to do your every bidding.
Finally, you must send forth your armies of destruction, bringing about the dead rising from the grave. Your name shall become synonymous with fuzzy bunnies, and no man will ever again dare make you clean your room. Everyone will bow before your unmatched physical prowess, and the world will have no choice but to worship the ground you walk on.
UAW Members Disgusted With Gettlefinger Comments
Every one, even public figures, occasionally says out loud things they instantly regret.
Ron Gettelfinger, president of the United Auto Workers, discovered last week that like any other public official, he doesn't have a Teflon coating. In a recent fit of pique, he decided that Marine Corps reservists could no longer use the parking lot at UAW headquarters, which is near one of the Marine's armories. In the past, the Marines had been allowed to park in the lot, which is marked by a large saying foreign cars are not allowed. The no-foreign-cars sign has stood since the early 1980s but an exception was made for the Marines.
Gettelfinger, however, had become agitated by the pro-Bush stickers on some of the Marines' vehicles. Like many other union leaders, Gettelfinger has made no secret of his distaste for Bush's economic polices and that has only risen in the wake of the 2004 election, as Republicans have renewed efforts to curb what remains of union influence.
However, after issuing the new ban, Gettelfinger found himself caught in the middle of the kind of public relations nightmare that has undone lots of public figures. The ban quickly became a big story on Detroit television with some deft help by annoyed Marines. UAW headquarters was inundated with messages from appalled UAW members. (ed note: editors emphasis)
Hattip: The Car Connection
"Father" of the Pontiac GTO Died
The "father" of the Pontiac GTO and auto mogul of his namesake company after leaving General Motors, John Z. DeLorean, has died. The 80-year-old executive passed away on Saturday from complications suffered after a stroke last week, near his home in Summit, N.J.
DeLorean made his early career in Detroit, where as the head of the Pontiac division, he presided over the creation of the GTO and triggered the musclecar era in Motown. The Detroit native, known for his glitzy taste in jewelry and distinctly un-Detroit lifestyle, had joined GM in 1956 and left the company in 1973 to start his own car company, DeLorean.
After winning financial incentives from the government of Northern Ireland and developing a stainless-steel-bodied sportscar, DeLorean began production of the cars and launched a downward spiral that included the demise of the sports-car project and federal drug charges in the early 1980s, when DeLorean was arrested in Cailfornia and charged with conspiracy to sell cocaine. After his acquittal on the charges in 1984 DeLorean kept a low profile in the automotive industry but the popularity of his cars experienced a brief surge when they were featured in the Back to the Future movies in the latter part of the decade.
DeLorean declared bankruptcy in 1999, the Associated Press adds, as he cleared the legal tangles left in the wake of the collapse of his car company. "John DeLorean was one of Detroit's larger-than-life figures who secured a noteworthy place in our industry's history," GM CEO Rick Wagoner said in a statement Sunday. "He made a name for himself through his talent, creativity, innovation and daring. At GM, he will always be remembered as the father of the Pontiac GTO, which really started the muscle-car craze of the '60s."
Today in Automotive History
1950 Tucker Turns Tables
Preston Tucker filed suit against his former prosecutors. Tucker, made famous by the 1988 film Tucker starring Jeff Bridges in the title role, was one of the car industry's most spectacular postwar failures.
Having built a reputation as an engineer during WWII, when he served as general manager of his company Ypsilanti Machine & Tool Company, Tucker looked to capitalize on the high demand that the postwar conditions offered. No new car model had been released since 1942, so the end of the war would bring four years worth of car buyers back to the market.
Tucker intended to meet the new demand with a revolutionary automobile design. His 1945 plans called for an automobile that would be equipped with a rear-mounted engine as powerful as an aircraft engine, an hydraulic torque converter that would eliminate the necessity of a transmission, two revolving headlights at either side of the car's fender along with one stationary "cyclops" headlight in the middle, and a steering wheel placed in the center of the car and flanked by two passenger seats. In the end, only 51 Tuckers were produced, and none of them were equipped with the features Tucker had initially advertised.
Still, loyal fans of Tucker claim that Tucker was the victim of industrial sabotage carried out by the Big Three. Tucker was indicted by the Securities and Exchange Commission before he could begin to mass-produce his automobiles. He was eventually acquitted of all charges. Emboldened by his acquittal, Tucker filed suit against his prosecutors. Historians who argue against the conspiracy theory maintain that post-war manufacturing conditions left small manufacturers little room for success. They suggest that, if anything, Tucker's acquittal was merciful. Tucker failed to meet the requirements for capital and production capability that his project demanded. After raising almost $15 million from stockholders, Tucker defaulted on federal deadlines for the production of car prototypes.
When he finally did produce the cars, none of them were equipped with the technological breakthroughs he promised. Still, the Tucker was a remarkable car for its price tag. Whether as an innovator silenced by the complacent authorities or a charlatan better fit to build visions than cars, Preston Tucker made a personal impact in a post-war industry dominated by faceless goliaths.
A Blogger Knows How To Fix Social Security
I was over at blogsis Teresa's reading and I came across a post about scary headlines. She was talking about the headline "Obesity threatens life expectancy", but within her post she eventually concludes this
cause if people die young and fat - they won't get old and collect social security!!! What a bonus. I think the government should start passing out coupons for cans of lard, and encouraging those trips to McDonald's. That way they won't have to revamp the Social SecurityHow freaking funny and she just solved our social security problem
I going to go email my senators with that suggestion now.
What Kind Of Alcohol Are You?
Congratulations! You're 93 proof, with specific scores in beer (40) , wine (50), and liquor (78).
All right...you're getting into the harder stuff. A good martini, a Mai Tai or straight shots of hard liquor is what you're into
Today in Automotive History
1947 Death Of GM Founder
William C. Durant, the founder of General Motors (GM), died in New York City at the age of 85. Economic historian Dana Thomas described Durant as a man "drunk with the gamble of America. He was obsessed with its highest article of faith--that the man who played for the steepest stakes deserved the biggest winnings."
General Motors reflected Durant's ambitious attitude toward risk-taking in its breathtaking expansionist policies, becoming in its founder's words "an empire of cars for every purse and purpose." But Durant's gambling attitude had its downside. Over a span of three years, Durant purchased Oldsmobile, Oakland (later Cadillac and Pontiac), and attempted to purchase Ford.
By 1910, GM was out of cash, and Durant lost his controlling interest in the company. Durant would get back into the game by starting Chevrolet, and he would eventually regain control of GM--only to lose it a second time. Later in life, Durant attempted to start a bowling center and a supermarket; however, these ventures met with little success.
Happy St. Patricks Day!
A little history of the day:
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17, his religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for thousands of years.
On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink, and feast—on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
All Things Irish
History of Ireland
Some Irish Facts:
There are 34 million U.S. residents who claim Irish ancestry. This number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself (3.9 million). Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, trailing only German.
There are three states in which Irish is the leading ancestry group: Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Irish is among the top five ancestries in every state but two (Hawaii and New Mexico).
There are 54 counties where Irish is the largest observed ancestry group. Forty-four of these counties are in the Northeast, with 14 in New York, 11 in Massachusetts and five in New Jersey.
A total of 4.8 million immigrants from Ireland have been admitted to the U.S. for lawful permanent residence since fiscal year 1820, the earliest year for which official immigration records exist. By fiscal year 1870, about half of these immigrants were admitted for lawful permanent residence.
Today in Automotive History
1914 Better Views On Buses
The Fifth Avenue Coach Company of New York introduced the first bus with cross-wise seats. Prior to this introduction, all buses had been equipped with longitudinal seating. Cross seats allowed passengers to face forward, affording them a less one-sided view of their world. The company's double-decker buses were capable of seating 44 passengers.
Why Ford Motor Company Rocks!
This should be made into a commerical!
Anti-Japan Sentiment on the Rise in S. Korea?
Japanese automakers such as Toyota, Honda, and Nissan seem irritated over rising "anti-Japan sentiment" in South Korea, caused by the ongoing row between South Korea and Japan over the ownership of the islands between the two countries.
The territorial disputes over the islands - called Dokdo by South Korea and Takeshima by Japan - comes at a time when the Japanese automakers are trying to further strengthen their leading position among foreign carmakers in South Korea.
The growing anti-Japanese sentiment, which is often shown through protests by South Koreans in front of Japanese embassy in downtown Seoul and TV and newspaper reports, could deal a heavy blow, particularly to Toyota Motor, which is striving, via Lexus, to vault ahead of longtime luxury leader BMW in Korea.
Toyota Motor says the anti-Japan sentiment isn't leading to a decline in its sales in Korea right now, but "could damage its sales in Korea if the dispute continues" to a point where the rich are reluctant to buy foreign cars in fears of social anger.
The Lexus ES330 was the number-one model last year among foreign cars sold in Korea.
Also fretting about the rapidly rising anti-Japanese sentiment is Honda, which has emerged as one of leading sellers in South Korea after its launch in May of last year. The Honda Accord 3.0 was the third best-selling car last year. The negative feeling toward Japan isn't good news to Nissan either; it is preparing to sell five models of its cars including its luxury brand Infiniti, beginning in April of this year.
Japanese automakers have been making rapid inroads into the South Korean auto market, taking advantage of their relatively cheap prices compared to other major players including BMW.
At the end of February, tensions flared over the islands when Japan's ambassador to Seoul, Toshiyuki Takano, restated Tokyo's position that the islands were "historically and legally part of Japanese territory." He made the statement during a press meeting at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club (SFCC).
Although Tokyo and Seoul have had relatively chilly relations due to Japan's colonization of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945, Japanese products such as electronic goods and cars are popular in South Korea. -Peter Chang
Hattip: The Car Connection
Chevy Blazer = Death Trap?
The The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a study on vehicles and driver death rate, ranking the Chevy Blazer by GM the car with the most driver deaths.
The Institute looked at various types of crash situations with both single and multiple vehicle crashes and the Blazer weighed in with 308 deaths per million. The Blazer also has the highest driver deaths in rollover accidents with 251 per million.
While the Insurance Institute and media hype this study and keep the mantra that SUV's are death traps, what they didn't mention and what GM pointed out:
"It is impossible looking at these statistics to know what role driver behavior, such as drunk driving and driving without a safety belt, played in these deaths. We know from decades of work that whether a driver dies in a crash has more to do with behavior than with the vehicle."
Which is exactly right. The media never does take into account the role the driver has in the crash or their own death. People also need to understand that SUV's need to be driven differently than a car. The stopping length is longer and with the higher center of gravity one needs to take corners slower.
So now we should be hearing the hippies, liberals and democrats all chimming in about how dangerous SUV's are and they should be banned.
Today in Automotive History
1958 And 1966
On this day in 1958, the Ford Motor Company produced its 50,000,000th car, a Thunderbird. Ford averaged nearly a million cars each year since the company's inception.
Ford and General Motors (GM) are the largest car manufacturers in the United States.
To put their relative sizes in perspective, on this day in 1966, General Motors produced its 100,000,000th car, an Oldsmobile Toronado. GM's larger production is the result of always having been a conglomeration of automotive companies, while Ford was, for a very long time, a centrally run, vertically administered family business.
Who's To Blame
I am going to present a senario and you tell me who is to blame for the accident.
- Teen driver, hours after the accident still had a blood alcohol content of .02
- Teen driver, driving an SUV at a high rate of speed failed to negotiate a turn in the highway, ran off the road and lost control, rolling the vehicle several times.
- 3 Teenagers in the SUV were unbelted, thus ejected from the vehicle as it rolled. 2 died, 1 seriously injured
So who is to blame? Take a guess, I'll wait. *tapping foot* Ok, what's your answer? Well your wrong.
The trial you ask?
- Opening day of the trail a lawyer stands up and says he is taking over the case for the driver.
- Opening day, which was Valentines Day, the local lawyer for the driver sent two dozen roses to each juror.
- One of the jurers was the girlfriend of the drivers lawyers (something that wasn't mentioned during the picking of the jury).
- Said jurer was also the Aunt of one of the plantiffs and persuaded the plaintiffs to sue Ford.
- Ford asks for a mis-trial and a new judge. (The judge knew about the girlfriend link).
- Teen Driver hands in sworn statement saying he never retained above lawyer to represent him.
Guess what, motion was denied. But they did remove the girlfriend jurer. But the town didn't know about the motions presented by Ford because someone went around and bought up all the newspapers in the town before anyone in town could read the news.
The trial went on with the plantiffs lawyers claiming that if the Explorer was equiped with laminated glass on the side windows instead of tempered glass the laminated glass would have held the victims inside the vehicle the deaths and injuries would not have occured.
Ford was found 90% responsible for the accident by the jury, gee go figure. Ford is appealing on 3 grounds, the most important in that the plantiffs didn't show burden of proof that there was a defect.
Now I worked at the Glass Division of a certain Automotive company, so I think I can speak with some authority here on glass.
Lamenated glass, windshield glass, is two sheets of glass with a thick sheet of "plastic" sandwiched in between the two sheets of glass. This is done so that upon impact the windshield will not shatter in a thousand pieces. It is also harder to break through if one is attempting to esacape the vehicle. While strong and could hold a person in the vehicle it sure won't prevent injuries. In fact it could make them worse as you are hitting a solid object that doesn't move much.
Tempered glass, side windows, is a thick sheet of glass baked at certain temps to increase the strength of the glass. Also allowing it to not shatter, one of the reason auto manufacturers went to tempered glass in the 60's. It is much easier to break through than lamenated glass, for escape purposes.
So if lamenated glass were in side windows (it is in less than 1% of all vehicles for side windows) one could have problems trying to get out of the car if one could not use doors. It may hold occupants who are unbelted into the car, but it won't prevent injuries (as the lawyer is claiming). Those teen who died, may have died anyway, or could have sustained injuries that left them paralized. They would not have walked away unscathed.
Most of the blame should be placed onto the driver, who was impared from alcohol, driving too fast and obviously didn't know how to handle a SUV. The other part of the blame should be placed on the unbelted occupants. With all the data avilable about how seatbelts will save your life, people who don't wear them are asking for whatever happens to them. With the variations that seatbelts offer today using the excuse of it hurts, it's too tight, etc doesn't play.
But the victims families see the deep pockets of Ford Motor Company and see nothing but dollar signs. They want to lay blame to anyone but their own children.
Harvey asked so I am going to blog about Free Virgin ...
Radio that is (perverts).
Harvey has just discovered Yahoo Launch radio and I commented about Radio Free Virgin. I like it a little better than Yahoo because there are no commericals and I think they play a bigger variety of new music on each station. I listen to the country station and in a day never hear a repeat while the Launch country station I hear repeats of the same song 2-3 times per day. Virgin doesn't offer the skip a song button, but there are never any songs I wish to skip.
Like Yahoo Launch they also offer a upgraded pay version, but being cheap I sticking to the free stuff.
Check it out for yourself. I listen all day at work, it breaks up the day and the silence. And I have been known to break out in song every once in a while.
Today in Automotive History
1990 The Ford Explorer Rolls Out
The Ford Explorer was introduced to the public on this day.
One of the first generation sports utility vehicles released by the Big Three in the early 1990s, the Ford Explorer became one of the company's best-selling models almost immediately.
Like sports cars before them, "Sport Utility Vehicles" (SUVs) became the chosen automobiles for the glamorous world of entertainment, and their virtues were even extolled in pop music. Ice Cube rapped, "I put the petal to the floor of my two-tone Ford Explorer," in his song "Down For Whatever."
However, SUVs have come under fire recently for the relatively high proportion of deaths resulting from accidents involving them.
Marines Driven Out Of UAW Lot Cont.
I have read a lot of different blogs on this article and the comments made by people. And let me tell you, I have never seen so many petty people in my life.
People, it was the UAW President Ron Gettlefinger that made this decision about the parking lot at the Solidarity House in Downtown Detroit. The Solidarity House is the UAW HQ.
I will speak slowly so everyone understands this. This issue has nothing, nothing to do with the American Car Companies nor its employees. By claiming that you will never buy another American made car just shows your ignorance of the issue and by claiming that workers at the companies are semi-illerate and stupid shows your own stupidness. By putting down the quality of american cars because of this issue shows what little brain you have.
Keep to the topic, which is the UAW HQ building and President of the UAW, Ron Gettlefinger not allowing Marines with foreign vehicles and Bush bumper stickers to park in the Solidarity House parking lot. Direct your anger at the Solidarity House and Ron Gettlefinger not anyone else. The UAW does not speak for the line workers, the car companies or anybody else.
And flame away.
Marines driven out of UAW lot
As many of you know, I
am was a big supporter of the UAW and Unions. But after I read this article in Sundays Detroit News my support for them has dropped to almost zero.
The UAW has long allows Marine reservists to park at the Solidarity House in downtown Detroit if they were working at the Base on Jefferson Ave.
The Marine Corps motto means "always faithful," but the union says some reservists working out of a base on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit have been decidedly unfaithful to their fellow
Americans by driving import cars and trucks.
So the UAW International will no longer allow members of the 1st Battalion 24th Marines to
park at Solidarity House if they are driving foreign cars or displaying pro-President Bush bumper stickers
This just sickens me and why should they just exclude Marines. I think they should extend these same rules to their own UAW members working at the assembly plants as they have to know not every one went out and voted for Kerry.
You can contact the UAW: (They have no email addresses)
Here is a list of UAW Officers
UAW Solidarity House
8000 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48214
or call us at: (313) 926-5000
Today in Automotive History
1914 Father Of The King
Stock-car racer Lee Arnold Petty was born near Randleman, North Carolina, on this day. Now famous as the father of Richard Petty--the all-time "winningest" racer in NASCAR history--Lee Petty was no slouch in his own day.
In 1959, Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500 at the brand new Daytona International Speedway driving a new hardtop Olds 88 to a photo finish with Johnny Beauchamp. The Pettys would switch to Plymouths midway through the season that year. Lee and Richard Petty drove Plymouths, Chryslers, and Dodges for most of their remaining careers. Together the father-and-son team combined for 254 wins, including eight Daytona 500s. However, Lee and Richard also took father and son competition to its extremes.
The embodiment of stock car racing's hard-nosed past, Lee Petty never lost a race on account of being too kind to his competitors, even if his competitors were family. Richard Petty remembers his quest to win his first NASCAR race at the Grand National Exposition in Toronto, "Cotton Owens was leading and daddy was second. They came up on me and I moved over to let them pass. Cotton went on, but daddy bumped me in the rear and my car went right into the wall." Richard finished in 17th place.
In 1959, Richard thought he had won his first race after finishing first in the Grand National at Lakewood, Georgia. However, Lee, who finished second in the event, protested his son's victory. The protest was upheld, and Lee won the race. Before you call Richard Petty "The King," remember "The King" isn't an absolute monarch when his daddy is around. Richard's son Kyle is also a successful NASCAR racer, and no doubt benefits from the family's competitive edge.
Ford To Cut T-Bird After 2005 Model Year
If you were looking to get a new Ford T-Bird you better do it soon.
We had fun, fun, fun 'til Ford took the T-bird away.
This could mean two things, either come August prices will sky rocket as the last of the cars are bought up or the prices will plummit because they want to get rid of them.
Ford Motor Co. said Thursday the 2005 model year will be the last for the current-generation Ford Thunderbird, a retro-styled convertible that went on sale in August 2001.
Ford had planned to discontinue the Thunderbird after the 2005 or 2006 model year but told employees Thursday production will end in July.
Florida To Issue Crappy Taxes
Let's see what the Florida Legislature is up to:
Florida's Legislature is flush with good ideas. Sen. Al Lawson's involves a 2 cent-per-roll tax on toilet paper to pay for wastewater treatment and help small towns upgrade their sewer systems.
But what do the Republicans think of the charmin tax?
In a Republican-dominated Legislature that doesn't like new taxes, the idea is likely to pretty quickly end up in the tank.
"We're not wild about tax increases," said House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City. "But we'll certainly let it go through the system."
Governor Bush's view on taxing the bottom:
He said that if toilet paper is taxed, people might use less of it. "That's not necessarily a good thing," noted the governor. .
Hyphen In English Isn't Hyphen In Spanish
We supply parts to a plant in Mexico. That plant just brought on board a sort company for it's suppliers to use if sorting is needed. We need to use them, so I called to set this up.
They asked for my email address so they could send me information.
A little note on my work email address, it's first name initial, full last name at companies name.
My last name is hypenated (maiden-married).
Mexicans don't know what a hyphen is, at least from the english language point of view.
It took me 5 minutes trying to figure out how to explain a hyphen to this person. Of course when I hung up I then thought of the minus sign.
Maybe I should take a beginning spanish class after the beginning Japenese class I should take.
Good Workers - Fact or Fiction
Blogbrother, Contagion of Miasmatic Review had a post up asking "Where did all the good workers go" laminating on the fact that at times he feels like the only worker in his company with a good work ethic.
I might assume that every company has it's fair share of problems with lazy workers, but I think some more than others have it worse. And I work at one of the "worse" companies.
I work as an Engineer in a manufacturing plant, we make parts for the automotive industry, so we are talking mundane assembly line type jobs. One doesn't need to be a rocket scientist to work these jobs, just "up right and breathing" will do.
I see that about half of the people will use their lack of higher education as an excuse to not work hard. They have no work ethic at all and go to great lengths to get out of working hard. I think ones education status should have no bearing on how hard one works, or use it an excuse not to work hard and if they put as much effort into their jobs as they put into not working they would be great workers.
I have a problem with operators thinking they know better than the people who actually create the work instructions on how to make the part. They take a lot of short cuts, either doing something incorrectly or not doing it at all. I have explained time and time again that the instructions are to be followed for a specific purpose and they are getting paid to follow them how we have them set-up.
I will be out on the floor watching the operators and they are not following the instructions, I go up to them and tell them why we have them do things a specific way and can they please do it that way and I also tell their supervisor that they are not following the instructions. I can go back out onto the floor only 1 hour later and those same people are not following the instructions again, repeat process. It does not change and they don't get fired. Why? Because the supervisor refuses to write the people up saying they can't be expected to be perfect all the time.
I call bullshit on that. And not just because I am a Quality Freak, it's because I was taught growing up that hard work, giving all that you can give, doing the best job you can reflects on the kind of person you are. There are no such things as free rides and hard work is what gets you to where you want to be.
On Friday we had a huge problem that actually made me question my longevity at my job. The week before we had a minor problem at a plant, easily corrected by the operators using a Go/No-Go gage to measure the part, which they should have been using in the first place because it was stated as such in their work instructions. The operators and supervisor decided to ignore me, thinking that they knew better.
Shit meet Mr Fan - yep, this past Friday all hell broke loose and we ended up scraping 80% of everything in house plus 90% of everything at the assembly plant. All because the operators didn't want to expend energy on doing the extra step, that they were suppose to be doing. Nobody got fired, the supervisor got yelled at but not put on warning.
This isn't something new either, this happens way to much. And the operators feel no guilt over the problem, no remorse. They are actually mad because they are now being forced to do the "extra" step.
Pride - where the hell has it gone?
Today in Automotive History
1927 Tough Customers
On this day, the Flatheads Gang staged the first armored truck holdup in U.S. history on the Bethel Road, seven miles out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the way to Coverdale. The armored truck, carrying $104,250 of payroll money for the Pittsburgh Terminal Coal Company, drove over a mine planted under the roadbed by the road bandits. The car blew up and five guards were badly injured.
Today in Automotive History
1964 Mustang Sallies Forth
The first Ford Mustang was produced on this day. The Mustang wasn't released to the public until April 16, 1964. However, one journalist described its unveiling as "the most sensational introduction of modern times."
The Mustang was the result of Ford's desire to make a small, sporty car which was inexpensive enough to appeal to young car buyers, an increasingly important market. The Mustang was the brainchild, or at least the mouthchild, of Ford executive Lee Iacocca. David Halberstam explained Iacocca's relationship to the Mustang: "Outside the industry, Iacocca, who controlled the publicity for the car, was always considered the father of the Mustang... Within Ford, however, Don Frey, the product manager, was seen as the brains behind it."
But to sell short Iacocca's impact as a salesman would be a mistake. The car's development never would have made it past the reluctant upper echelons of Ford management without Iacocca's push. The Mustang was not an entirely new line of car in the traditional sense. In fact, Iacocca's production team intended to make a car readily adaptable to existing Ford parts. By making the Mustang a Ford Falcon under the hood, Iacocca's team cut their costs dramatically. Iacocca called the Mustang a Ford Falcon with "a whole new skin and greenhouse." He would never have called it that during its development, however.
Iacocca stressed the Mustang as a whole new breed of Ford: muscular, small, and young. The base price of the car was only $2,368, but buyers averaged over $1,000 of extra features. Iacocca said, "People want economy so badly they don't care how much they pay for it."
Over its first two years the Mustang earned $1.1 billion in profits for Ford. Iacocca created an astounding media blitz surrounding the car's release. He and the Mustang made the covers of Time and Newsweek, and the car appeared in every major business and automotive publication. Historian Gary Witzenburg explained, "No new car in history had ever received the publicity and attention that the media lavished on Ford's sporty small car." One of America's most popular car models, then, is a testament to one of America's greatest salesman.
5 Things I Would Have If Money Were No Object
Grau over at Frizzen Sparks has started a meme, and like a good sheep I am following the crowd.
He asks, if money were no object what 5 things would you own. One stipulation, it has to be legal.
Well here are my 5 things:
Jaguar XKR Convertable - one for each day of the week.
My own Island, in the Caribbean somewhere. That way I won't have to put up with asshats for neighbors.
My own Jet, to fly family, friends and I to said Island. And so I can vacation without having to go through airport security nor be stuffed into coach.
My own manufacturing plant, so I can run it correctly. Having both high production numbers and awesome quality at the same time.
The Detroit Tigers - something to make my hubby happy and with enough money I would be able to buy a World Series.
Al-Qaeda Assassination Plot
Al-Reuters has uncovered an assassination plot by Al-Qaeda to destablize the United States.
I know, your asking who? President Bush? Nope, VP Cheny? Nope, Arnold? Close, but no.
Russel Crowe, yep the Gladiator star. Out of everybody on this earth, Al-Qaeda picked Oscar winner Russel Crowe for assiassination in an attempt to culturally destablize the United States.
Al-Qaeda must be getting really desperate, but what they don't know is that they would be doing us a favor.
I'm not kidding either, the article is here. Another article here.
Today in Automotive History
1901 Olds On Fire
On this day, a fire destroyed the Olds Motor Works factory in Detroit, Michigan. Legend holds that Olds employee James Brady pushed a Regular Runabout, affectionately called the Curved Dash, out of the building to safety.
Over the course of the previous year, Olds had developed over 11 models for cars, all of which varied greatly in price and design. He had reportedly not decided which Olds models on which to focus the company's production capability, but, as the fire destroyed all but one prototype, fate decided that the Runabout would be the first major production Olds.
The Runabout, a small buggy with lightweight wheels and a curved dashboard powered by a one-cylinder engine, not dissimilar from today's lawnmower engines, became the Olds Motor Company's primary automobile. The Runabout maxed out at 20mph.
Olds later viewed the fire as a miracle, a sign that the Runabout would make his fortune. He expressed his enthusiasm for the little car, "My horseless carriage is no passing fad. It never kicks, never bites, never tires on long runs, never sweats in hot weather, and doesn't require care when not in use. It eats only when it's on the road. And no road is too tough for the Olds Runabout."
In preparation for his success, Olds contracted other companies for parts to comprise his Runabout and, in doing so, he revolutionized the automobile industry. Previously, all cars had been built from start to finish on one site. Olds' methods allowed for an assembly line in which parts were produced outside his factory and systematically assembled in his own factories. Among Olds subcontracted partners were the Dodge Brothers; Henry Leland, who founded Lincoln and Cadillac; and Fred Fisher, whose family produced bodies for General Motors. The Olds Runabout sold for $650.
Today in Automotive History
1969 Firebird Trans Am Debuts
The Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was introduced. The Firebird Trans Am was just one in a series of muscle cars released by Pontiac in the 1960s, including the Grand Prix and the GTO.
It all began in 1959 when Pontiac hired a young car designer named John DeLorean. DeLorean's designs increased sales for Pontiac by 27 percent between 1962 and 1968. The Grand Prix and the Firebird accounted for half of the gain. On the basis of its muscle cars, Pontiac ruled the youth market of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The Trans Am, originally a limited model Firebird, would become a symbol in the muscle car niche of automobile manufacturing
Fun With Statistics
(A) The number of physicians in the U.S. is 700,000.
(B) Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 120,000.
(C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.
Statistics courtesy of U.S.- Dept. of Health Human Services.
(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S. is 80,000,000. Yes, that is 80 million.
(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups, is 1,500.
(C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.0000188.
Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
Remember: "Guns don't kill people, doctors do."
Fact: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE DOCTOR.
Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand.
Out of concern for the public at large, I have withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention.
Hattip to Ed at Hardtack and Havoc
And Yet Another Family Member Procreates
Man this is getting time consuming, posting all these procreating posts.
My blogbrother, Johnny-Oh of Closet Extremist has procreated a blogdaughter.
I think I'm really going to like this newest member, she knows how to use Power Tools. I think I am in love, well you know in a Bad Example Family member way.
So head on over and check out Sarah The Penguin at Because We Have Thumbs.
And remember, an obligatory Penguin/Evil Glenn comment is mandatory.
Why Do I Live Where I Live?
Jon at We Swear asked people why they live where they do.
I live 30 minutes outside of Detroit, Michigan and my Answer is similar to Jon's, I live where I live because this is where my great-grandparents settled when they came over on the boat.
And I hate every freaking minute of being in this state. The weather is the big thing, my joints hate it and it gets worse every year. It's cold and I hate cold, even the summers are cold to me.
Why do I stay, well I have no choice. You see, hubby has a great job. A job that is so closely tied to the auto industry that going elsewhere would almost be impossible. I would have no problem in getting a job in a different industry.
I am counting down the days until we retire because I have told him in no uncertain terms the day after he retires we will be moving south or west.
My choice states: South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, New Mexico or Arizona.
Today in Automotive History
1932 March on Hunger
The Communist Party of America organized the "March on Hunger"; the procession traveled from downtown Detroit to the Ford Motor Company's River Rouge Plant in order to protest the company's labor record.
When police and firemen were unable to disperse the thousands gathered at River Rouge, Ford strongman Harry Bennet, notorious for his mob tactics of labor management, ordered his "servicemen" to quell the crowd with fire hoses. Defying the freezing temperatures and icy water, the crowd refused to give up its protest.
Bennet, who ruled Ford's enterprise with nothing short of terrorist tactics, confronted the crowd, ordering them to disperse once and for all. The determined crowd, unaware that they were faced with their nemesis, began to shout, "We want Bennet. And he's in that building." Bennett corrected their mistake, and for his trouble he was showered with bricks and slag pieces. He was struck in the head during the barrage. Before he fell to the ground, the combat-ready Bennett pulled Joseph York, a Young Communist League organizer, to the ground on top of him. Seeing Bennett bleeding profusely from his head, the police opened fire on the unarmed protesters. York and three other protesters were killed.
Ford's trouble with labor unions came to a head five years later when Roosevelt's New Deal guaranteed the workers the right to join a union. Again Bennett would be at the center of a violent confrontation at the River Rouge complex.
BTW - My grandfather took part in this demonstration and the 2nd one refered to in this article.
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother. No Wait, He's My Nephew.
Aw heck, the hell if I know what he is. I think he's on the West Virginia branch of the Bad Example Family Tree.
Yep, this newest family member is a by product of my blogdad, Harvey, my blogsister, Bou and the Crazy Uncle, Grau, that really isn't an Uncle but everyone just calls him that because well he hangs around and won't leave.
It's Contagion of the temporary but maybe permanently named blog, Spoon and Blade Annex.
So head on over and say HI to the newest family member.
Today in Automotive History
1902 Birth of AAA
The American Automobile Association (AAA) was organized on this day. The American Motor League (AML) had been the first organization to address the problems that commonly plague motorists, but it fell apart due to a diverse membership that featured powerful car makers who wanted to limit the AML only to issues that affected car manufacturing and engineering.
However, soon trade groups such as the Association of Automotive Engineers took its place, paving the way for more specialized automobile organizations. AAA was formed to deal with the concerns of the motorists themselves, and has been America's largest organization of motorists since.
Having given Cadillac a shot in the arm with lots of new models, now General Motors is turning its attention to Buick, with a multi-year effort to replace Buick's entire lineup of cars. First was the 2005 Buick LaCrosse, which replaced the Buick Century. Next will be the 2006 Buick Lucerne, a stylish replacement for the Buick LeSabre.
Buick has not yet shown the third new sedan, but these latest spy photos, taken inAustralia, give the first glimpse of the all-new rear-wheel-drive full-size sedan which will be Buick's new top-of-the-line model, and will replace the Buick Park Avenue for the 2008 model year. One possibility for a name, used by Buick on concepts before, is Lausanne.
The prototypes reveal a very rounded roofline with steeply slanted windshield and rear window. At the front are big headlight clusters with small-diameter high-intensity headlights along with turn signals and parking lights that result in a two by two matrix of lights behind a large clear cover - covered with tape for disguise on the prototypes. The rear taillight cluster is also large, and has multiple round lights. A few luxury touches include parking sensors in both the front and rear bumpers, and lights in the lower portion of the side mirrors.
More info and pictures at The Car Connection
Does Your Vehicle Really Get The Estimated MPG?
I posted last month about Hybrids not getting the mileage that the manufacturers are reporting they should get.
Well AAA has done a study of popular vehicles on the road today and shows that they are not getting the mileage that the manufacturers are reporting that they should get either.
They have found that:
These driving tests found dozens of examples where vehicle miles per gallon of 2003 and 2004 model years were overestimated because of outdated 30-year-old EPA tests.
AAA is throwing their support behind the "Fuel Efficiency Truth-in-Advertising Act of 2005" that would require the standards be updated.
AAA did state that the testing they did was not scientific or standardized but they did:
put vehicles through a range of driving cycles that included stop-and-go traffic, climbing steep grades, trips to the grocery, and a combination of both highway and city driving.
The EPA tests were established in 1970 and are based on the old 55mph speed with the AC off.
Go here for the full test results, but here is a sample of what they found:
Vehicle - Year - EPA City - EPA Hgway - AAA Est
CHEV TRAIL BLAZER - 04 - 15 - 21 - 13.6
DODGE NEON - 04 - 27 - 33 - 24
HONDA ELEMENT - 04 - 21 - 25 - 20.4
JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE - 04 - 15 - 21 - 14.5
MERCURY MOUNTNR - 03 - 16 - 21 - 14.2
MITSUBISHI MONTERO - 04 - 15 - 19 - 14
NISSAN ALTIMA - 04 - 23 - 29 - 22.3
NISSAN PATHFNDER - 04 - 16 - 21 - 15.2
TOYOTA TUNDRA - 03 - 14 - 17 - 12.9
TOYOTA 4RUNNER - 04 - 18 - 21 - 17.8
TOYOTA COROLLA - 04 - 32 - 40 - 28.9
So it looks like the EPA needs to do some "real world" testing on the vehicles for MPG instead of inflated testing in situations that people are hardly ever in.
What Flavor Are You?
All unfamiliar meats taste like chicken, and that's what I am, an unfamiliar meat.
Found at Blogmom Tammi's place
Today in Automotive History
1949 Tucker Folds
The postwar car market was so strong in the United States that a number of bold entrepreneurs formed independent car companies to challenge the established Big Three. Arguably the most remarkable such independent was the Tucker Corporation, founded by Preston "P.T." Tucker.
Tucker, a gifted marketeer and innovator, created a phenomenon felt through the automotive industry when he released his car, the Tucker. Along with the cars, Preston Tucker sent a magazine called "Tucker Topics" along to dealers, hoping to increase the salesmen's enthusiasm for his automobile.
The Tucker was equipped with a number of novel features. It had six exhaust pipes, a third headlight that rotated with the axle, and a "bomb shelter" in the backseat. Beyond the frills though, the Tucker packed a powerful punch, making zero to 60 in 10 seconds and reaching a top speed of 120mph.
Great anticipation surrounded the awaited release of the Tucker, but in 1949, before his cars could reach their market, the Securities and Exchange Commission indicted Preston Tucker on 31 counts of investment fraud. Tucker had only produced 51 cars.
On this day in 1949, the Tucker Corporation went into receivership, and the Tucker automobile became merely a historical footnote.
You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
Today in Automotive History
1925 Highway Numbers
The first nationwide highway numbering system was instituted by the joint board of state and federal highway officials appointed by the secretary of agriculture. In order to minimize confusion caused by the array of multiform state-appointed highway signs, the board created the shield-shaped highway number markers that have become a comforting sight to lost travelers in times since. Later, interstate highway numbering would be improved by colored signs and the odd-even demarcation that distinguishes between north-south and east-west travel respectively. As America got its kicks on Route 66, it did so under the aegis of the trusty shield.
How To Change Your Oil
Pull up to Jiffy Lube when the mileage reaches 3000 since the last oil change.
Drink a cup of coffee.
15 minutes later, write a check and leave with a properly maintained vehicle.
Go to O'Reilly auto parts and write a check for 50 dollars for oil, filter, oil lift (AKA kitty litter), hand cleaner and scented tree.
Discover that the used oil container is full. Instead of taking it back to O'Reilly to recycle, dump in hole in back yard.
Open a beer and drink it.
Jack car up. Spend 30 minutes looking for jack stands.
Find jack stands under kid's pedal car.
In frustration, open another beer and drink it.
Place drain pan under engine.
Look for 9/16 box end wrench.
Give up and use crescent wrench.
Unscrew drain plug.
Drop drain plug in pan of hot oil; get hot oil on you in process.
Have another beer while oil is draining.
Look for oil filter wrench.
Give up; poke oil filter with Phillips screwdriver and twist it off.
Buddy shows up; finish case with him. Finish oil change tomorrow.
Next day, drag pan full of old oil out from underneath car.
Throw oil lift (AKA kitty litter) on oil spilled during step 18.
Beer. No, drank it all yesterday.
Walk to 7-11; buy beer.
Install new oil filter making sure to apply thin coat of clean oil to gasket first.
Dump first quart of fresh oil into engine.
Remember drain plug from step 11.
Hurry to find drain plug in drain pan.
Hurry to replace drain plug before the whole quart of fresh oil drains onto floor.
Slip with wrench and bang knuckles on frame.
Bang head on floor board in reaction.
Begin cussing fit.
Cuss for additional 10 minutes because wrench hit Miss December(1992) in the left boob.
Clean up; apply Band-Aid to knuckle.
Dump in additional 4 quarts of oil.
Lower car from jack stands.
Accidentally crush one of the jack stands.
Move car back to apply more oil lift (AKA kitty litter) to fresh oil spilled during step 23.
This is the God Awful truth too, at least in the Weenie Household.
Harvey's At It Again
Yes, he procreated again. I swear, I don't know how that man has the stamina to keep doing it. At least this one wasn't a gang bang or from the West Virginia branch of the family!
So head on over and meet Pam my newest Blogsister of Camp HappyBadFun.
Oh and she likes big words!
Today in Automotive History
1937 Connecticut Tags
The first license plates for the purpose of identifying registered vehicles were issued by the state of Connecticut. The plates, made of plain aluminum, featured black letters and color inserts that designated the year of registration.