June 30, 2005

Automotive Quality - JD Power

JD Power's long term vehicle durability survey results came out today. It is showing that the American Automotive companies are catching up fast to the Japanese on long term durability.

The gains by Detroit's automakers show that recent quality improvement efforts are starting to bear fruit. U.S. automakers took the top spot in 12 of 19 vehicle segments, compared with 7 of 17 product categories a year ago.

Below is the chart of top vehicles in each segment (Bolded=American Vehicles)
Compact car: Chevrolet Prizm
Entry midsize car: Chevrolet Malibu
Premium midsize car: Buick Century
Full-size car: Buick LeSabre
Entry luxury car: Ford Thunderbird
Midsize luxury car: Lincoln Town Car

Premium luxury car: Lexus LS 430
Sports car: Mazda Miata
Premium sports car: Porsche 911
Midsize pickup: Chevrolet S-10 pickup
Full-size pickup: Cadillac Escalade EXT

Entry SUV: Honda CR-V
Midsize SUV: Toyota 4Runner
Full-size SUV: GMC Yukon/Yukon XL
Entry luxury SUV: Lexus RX 300
Premium luxury SUV: Lexus LX 470
Minivan: Ford Windstar

Long term durability is what keeps customers coming back to that vehicle brand or company so this is a very important survey for the American Companies.

The positive showing for Detroit automakers comes at a time when Asian brands, perceived by consumers to produce better quality vehicles, are gaining market share in the United States.

If this gets out into the mainstream media then maybe people will start believeing that American Automotive Quality is just as good as Japanese Automotive Quality. There is a huge stigma out there that American Automotive Quality is far worse then Japanese Automotive Quality but that is just not true, now we have the numbers to prove it.

Below is a table of defects per 100 vehicles, industry average is 237 (American Companies bolded):
Lexus 139
Porsche 149
Lincoln 151
Buick 163
Cadillac 175

Infiniti 178
Toyota 194
Mercury 195
Honda 201
Acura 203
BMW 225
Ford 231
Chevrolet 232
Chrysler 235

Saturn 240
Oldsmobile 242
GMC 245
Pontiac 245

Mazda 252
Hyundai 260
Subaru 260
Volvo 266
Jaguar 268
Dodge 273
Nissan 275
Mitsubishi 278
Mercedes-Benz 283
Saab 286
Jeep 289
Suzuki 292
Audi 312
Daewoo 318
Isuzu 331
Volkswagen 335
Mini 383
Land Rover 395
Kia 397

So the next time you buy a vehicle for the long haul, don't exclude American Vehicles because of perceived quality problems. American Vehicles are just as good as Japanese Vehicles in the long run.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:47 AM | Comments (5)

Today in Automotive History

1953 Little White Corvette

The first Chevrolet Corvette, a white convertible roadster with a red interior, was produced in temporary facilities in Flint, Michigan. The Corvette was born as a dream car for the 1953 Motorama. The first all-fiberglass-bodied American sports car, the Vette turned heads with its release. The sleek lines of the 1953 edition are among the best produced by American car design. But underneath its exterior, the first Corvette's inner workings were less than impressive. They were comprised mostly of existing General Motors' (GM) parts, including a "Blue Flame" inline six-cylinder engine, a two-speed automatic transmission and the drum brakes from Chevrolet's regular car line.

The Corvette was at best a half-hearted attempt at a sports car. Events, however, combined to keep the Chevrolet Corvette in production in spite of its dismal sales record early on. Ford's release of the T-Bird in 1954 necessitated the existence of the Corvette as GM's answer in the small, sporty market. GM gradually improved the vehicle's design until, by 1961, it was undoubtedly America's favorite sports car. Unique in American history in its longevity as a model, the Corvette has remained an impressive machine throughout its lifetime. In recent years, GM has been able to rank the Corvette among the world's elite sports cars in 0 to 60 times, top speed, and overall muscle. The Corvette's list price modestly remains half of its European competitors.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:20 AM | Comments (2)

June 29, 2005

Now Twice The Doggie Blogging Fun

I'm a Furmommy again!

Yep, that's right. Another puppy!

The story behind the 2nd puppy is after having Lance for 4 weeks out of the blue my hubby says "I think Lance needs a playmate, lets get another puppy for him"

So we've been looking but haven't found any, out of the blue we decide to email Lance's breeder and ask if any of his littermates had been returned. Breeder said she had a call that week from someone saying they wanted to return puppy because they had problems with housetraining her.

We visited said people and brought puppy home on Sunday. Lance was happy to see one of his sisters and they are getting along pretty good.

So say hello to Maggie

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So now you will be getting twice the dog blogging!

Posted by Quality Weenie at 01:40 PM | Comments (5)

Today in Automotive History

1985 Psychedelic Limo

Jim Pattison purchased a custom-painted Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine that had belonged to John Lennon for $2,229,000. Lennon had purchased the car in 1966 and asked a friend to paint the car with a period-typical psychedelic design pattern. The auction sale price was 10 times Sotheby's initial estimate.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:15 AM | Comments (4)

June 28, 2005

Doggie Blogging

Can't you just imagine him saying "hey babe, wanna go chew on my bone"

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Posted by Quality Weenie at 03:35 PM | Comments (3)

Today in Automotive History

1914 Wrong Turn

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, Bosnia, while riding in an Austro-Daimler that was chauffeured by Otto Merz, a Mercedes team driver. The assassination resulted in the outbreak of World War I.

The archduke and his wife, Sophie, rode into Sarajevo in a motorcade consisting of four cars; the royals occupied the second. On the way to the City Hall as they crossed the Milijacka River at Cumuria Bridge, Serbian nationalist Nedjelko Cabrinovic threw a bomb at the Daimler carrying the archduke and his wife. Franz Ferdinand managed to deflect the bomb onto the street. About a dozen people, including Sophie, who was hit in the face with shrapnel, suffered injuries, but no one was killed. The assassin swallowed a cyanide pill and jumped off the bridge. Unfortunately, he coughed up the pill and landed in only a foot of water. He was taken into custody.

The first two cars of the motorcade continued on their way to the Sarajevo City Hall. Upon his arrival at the welcome ceremony, Franz Ferdinand interrupted the mayor's speech, seizing him by the arm and crying, "One comes here to visit and is received with bombs. Mr. Mayor, what do you say?"

He later calmed down and finished his own speech with a reaffirming pledge of his regard for the people of Sarajevo. After the speech, Franz Ferdinand ordered his chauffeur to carry him to the hospital to visit the victims of the bomb; Sophie accompanied him. Their driver took a wrong turn after crossing the Imperial Bridge and the car ended up on a street named after Franz Ferdinand's father, Franz Josef. Noticing his mistake, the driver applied the brakes and the car came to a halt a foot short of another Serbian nationalist, Gavrilo Princip.

Princip fired his pistol into the car, striking the archduke in the neck and his wife in the stomach. In shock and unaware that she had been wounded, Sophie cried to her husband, "For heaven's sake, what's happened to you?" Franz Ferdinand keeled over whispering "Es ist nichts, Es ist nichts..." A lengthy investigation into the conspiracy failed to prove any complicity in the plot on the part of the Serbian government. Nevertheless, the Austrians sent their army into Serbia and World War I was born.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:17 AM | Comments (1)

June 27, 2005

I'm A Statistic

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

I found this over at Bou's place. It's a suvey about weblogs and useage. So go be a statistic yourself

Posted by Quality Weenie at 09:44 AM | Comments (1)

Today in Automotive History

1990 NASCAR's Thunder

Paramount released Days of Thunder, a film created by the team that brought the world Top Gun. In Days of Thunder, Tom Cruise stars as Cole Trickle, a brash young stock-car racer with more skill than brains.

He gets a ride from team owner Tim Daland (Randy Quaid), and sets out to take the NASCAR establishment by storm in his Mellow Yellow car. In his way stands hard-nosed Winston Cup champion Rowdy Burns (Michael Rocker). While Cole is faster on the qualifying track, Rowdy teaches him a few lessons about car contact ("Rubbin's racing," he says to Cole after pushing him into a wall). But Cole Trickle has experienced pit-crew leader Harry Hogge (Robert Duvall) to lend him an experienced perspective.

Hogge has demons to chase out of his own closet relating to a mysterious accident that caused the death of a former driver, for which he blames himself. The plot thickens when Rowdy and Cole crash into each other at the Daytona 500, both suffering career-threatening injuries. Rowdy never races again, and the two men overcome their competitive differences to become friends. Cole must erase the specter of his life-threatening accident in order to regain the edge he once maintained.

He's helped by his neurosurgeon and lover, Dr. Claire Lewicki (Nicole Kidman). Incidentally, Cruise and Kidman fell in love on the set of Days of Thunder. Now, with Harry, Rowdy, and Claire in his corner, Cole rejoins the circuit. The new racer to beat is another young hotshot, Russ Wheeler (Cary Elwes). Cole turns the tables on the fast, cocky Wheeler--clearly a reference to Top Gun's Iceman--and captures Daytona.

Days of Thunder may be a formulaic film that draws heavily from Top Gun, but its cast and its racing scenes more than make up for the somewhat dubious script. Days of Thunder was released at a time when NASCAR was taking over as one of America's most popular spectator sports. The movie inspired even greater interest in stock-car racing, spawning video games, fan clubs, even a documentary.

In retrospect, Top Gun appears a pale shadow of its protégé. Call to mind the emotion you felt when you first heard Maverick say, "I'll hit the brakes and he'll fly right by," with the surge of adrenaline you felt when Cole, over the roar of his engine, yells into his headset for the last time, "Harry, I'm dropping the hammer."

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:41 AM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2005

5 Things That Society At Large Enjoys That I Don't Get

I've been tagged by Lee Ann at Lee Ann's View for the meme 5 Things that Society enjoys that I don't get.

Better batten down your hatches cause I'm more than likely to piss a couple people off.

1 - People who diss on SUV's as gas-guzzlers. Really people, large SUV's (Expeidtion, Excursion, Suburban, etc) don't get that much less gas mileage than a Regular Pick-up Truck, smaller SUV or large car (ie Town Car, Cadillac, etc).

2 - People who drive SUV's don't know how to drive because they are driving an SUV. Again people, really, put those same people into various vehicle catagories (small car, small truck, large car, etc) and they will drive the same.exact.way. It's not the vehicle, it's the person

3 - Hybrids - I think everyone knows who I feel about those.

4 - Unions - I have grown up under the union umbrella, they have given me a lot and they fight for their people. Give their people good wages and insurance, especially in the automotive industry right now. Someone has to fight for the hourly workers. It isn't the unions that are bringing down the American Companies, it's management. Mis-management and greedy executives who have no lost one single penny of wages or benefits.

5 - Kids - Why is it that women who don't have kids are seen as defective? There could be a number of reasons why someone my age doesn't have kids and frankly it's none of their god damn business.

So I am going to tag Denise of A Peak Inside My Mind, Susie of Pratical Penumbra, and Harrison of The Terriorist.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 01:12 PM | Comments (10)

Today in Automotive History

1900 Motorized Parks

Oliver Lippincott became the first motorist in Yosemite National Park, when he drove there in his Locomobile steamer. Lippincott would start a trend with his visit, as motorists increasingly chose to drive to National Parks, avoiding the more time-consuming train and coach rides.

By 1901, a number of other motorists had made the trip to Yosemite, mostly in Locomobiles. A personal account survives from motorist William A Clark, who, with his wife, drove the fifth car into the park. Clark, who traveled from San Francisco, eloquently expressed the miraculous feeling of climbing to the elevation of 7,500 feet above sea level on the Big Oak Flat Road: "Individually, our souls were inspired; mentally, we were enchanted; personally, we could say nothing, for words fail when the Creator lays before us the sublime in the highest sense."

Of his arrival into the Yosemite Valley, Clark described a less sublime, but equally sympathetic, brand of satisfaction: "We ran our machine into the midst of a circle of Eastern tourists, seated around a large campfire. To say that the apparition of an automobile suddenly appearing among them called forth general applause and hearty congratulations but feebly expresses it." The automobile is in large part responsible for creating the uniquely American culture of the National Park.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:35 AM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2005

Do Hormones Affect Driving

I found this over at The Car Connection, so the next time a man says those magic words you can retaliate with this:

"That time of the month again?" asked my (smug) (male) passenger after I cussed out my fifth driver in a row - this one a little old lady driving a Buick at glacial speed.

Rather than give him the satisfaction of a snippy reply, I performed a quick calculation and said, "No, actually, I'm on day 15. From days 15 through 17, a woman's estrogen and testosterone levels drop. When estrogen drops, it causes serotonin to fall, which causes noradrenaline to rise . . . "

"Pull over. I'll drive," he said.

". . . which leads to temper flares and impatience," I said through gritted teeth. "But it's not as bad as PMS. It's just a warm-up."

Having just read 28 Days: What Your Cycle Reveals about Your Love Life, Moods, and Potential - I was showing off my newfound hormonal smarts.

Read the rest of what your cycles reveal about you at The Car Connection

Posted by Quality Weenie at 09:01 AM | Comments (1)

Most Popular Car Colors - 2005

The most popular car colors for 2005 are as follows:

Sports/Compact Cars:
Lt Brown
Med/Dk Grey
Green Yellow

Mid/Large Size Cars:
Lt Brown
Med/Dk Grey

Luxury Cars:
White Pearl
Lt Brown

White/White Pearl
Med/Dk Grey
Lt Brown

Ok Sally, comment away!

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:15 AM | Comments (7)

Today in Automotive History

1991 Sun Rises On Le Mans

Bertrand Gachot, Johnny Herbert, and Volker Wiedler won the 24-Hours of Le Mans driving a Mazda. It was the first time an automaker outside of Western Europe had won the prestigious title. The 1990s has seen a resurgence of interest in Le Mans, as companies struggle to make better handling more durable sports cars for the world market. The 1991 Mazda was also the first car to win Le Mans with a Wankel rotary engine. The engine consisted of four rotors with three sequential spark plugs per rotor. The Mazda drove 4,923 kilometers at an average speed of 295kmh.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2005

Today in Automotive History

1934 Porsche's Dream

Ferdinand Porsche contracted with the Automobile Manufacturers Association of Germany (RDA) to build three prototype "people's cars" over a 10-month period.

The contract was a direct result of Hitler's personal request to Porsche that he design such a car. The result, of course, was the Volkswagen. But it would take years for Porsche to accomplish his dream of bringing a small, affordable car to the market.

In 1899, at the age of 24, Ferdinand Porsche became one of Europe's most famous automotive engineers with the introduction of his Porsche-Lohner electric car. It was his first offering to the world, and it was characteristically ingenious.

Ferdinand Porsche is the automotive world's answer to "the Natural"; his designs have always been incomprehensibly ahead of their times. At a time when all automotive designers focused all their energies on mustering speed, Porsche's car came with two separate breaking systems, one mechanical and one electric, while still supplying competitive speed.

For the next 35 years Porsche would strive, often under the auspices of Daimler Motors, to produce the smallest, fastest cars in the world. So recognizable was Porsche's genius that his quest was sadly hindered by outside interference. Consider that in 1932, while first working on the design for a "Volksauto" for Zundapp Motors in Germany, Porsche was approached by a group of Russian engineers with a remarkable offer. Having studied his work, the Russian engineers had deemed Porsche the greatest automotive engineer, and as such offered to take him back to Russia to show him the state of their country's industry. Porsche didn't know what they wanted but, flattered by the invitation, he went along. He was received like royalty, an honored guest of the state. The offer from the Russians was inconceivable: they offered him the position of state designer of Russia, a position in charge of all automobile, tank, and electric vehicle production. Every one of his designs would be realized by the country's vast sources of material wealth. All he had to do was sign a contract. Porsche respectfully declined, but such was his prowess that only two years later Adolf Hitler approached Porsche with the project of designing a people's car for the state of Germany.

Because making a small, affordable car was Porsche's dream, he jumped at the offer. The Volkswagen prototype was completed in 1936. But war in Europe erupted before production could begin. Porsche was asked to supply tank designs, which he did, creating the Tiger, Ferdinand, and Mouse tanks for the German army. Hitler moved Porsche from Stuttgart to the remote Austrian town of Gmund, in order to keep him away from Allied bombing.

At the end of the war the U.S. Army captured Porsche, interrogated him, and released him to his villa in Gmund. Then French officials arrested him for his participation in the war, and Porsche served a two-year sentence at the Renault estate in France. He was finally released in 1947, and he returned to Gmund. There he undertook, with his son Ferry, the project of building a small performance car with his own name. Meanwhile, the Volkswagen had gone into mass production. The first Porsche, the 356, was a convertible sports car version of the Volkswagen with much improved suspension.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 09:11 AM | Comments (3)

June 21, 2005

Toyota Disses Hybrid Technology for American Use

When Toyota's own people say hybrid technology just doesn't make any sense for American use you know that it will not get much bigger in America then what is being produced now.

From the WJR Auto Report (local radio station)

No manufacturer has been more aggressive in bringing hybrids to market than Toyota. So you can imagine my surprise when I read the results of an interview with the Japanese automaker's new chief of research and development. According to Kazuo Okamato, hybrid technology just doesn't make sense for American motorists. Actually make that dollars and cents. Okamato told the Financial Times that "when you just use the argument of fuel efficiency," the technology is "not justified." In other words, you can't save enough money on gas to pay off the higher price for a hybrid vehicle. That's not to say Okamato is writing off the technology. A hybrid's biggest appeal, he suggests, is to those who want to do their part to save the environment, something you can't always work into an economic equation. That's the sort of logic that has confounded many of Toyota's competitors, including General Motors. But the long waiting list for Toyota's hybrids suggests American buyers are clearly motivated by more than just economics.

Other hybrid posts, in which we find that hybrids don't get all the miles that are being claimed by the auto makers.

Hybrids, Not As Popular As Expected
How Do Hybrids Work
Hybrids Really Don't Go The Distance

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:14 AM | Comments (4)

Today in Automotive History

1947 Imperial Wedding

William Clay Ford married Martha Firestone, uniting two of the greatest fortunes in the American automotive industry. Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone had been close friends and allies during their lives after Firestone received the exclusive contract to supply tires for Ford's Model T. Neither man lived to see the union of their families.

P.S. - Martha's Uncle was J.L Hudson

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:08 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2005


Spurs over at Pull My Finger asked about nicknames one has had during their lifetime.

I never really had many until I got married.

In Junior High, my (I thought) best friend nicknamed me Frog. Her's was Moose (cause she was tall) and she claimed, at the time, it was because I was a lot shorter then her and Frogs were a lot shorter then Moose. I come to find out after High School that she called me Frog because my glasses gave me bugged out eyes (because they were so strong). Gee thanks.

In College I had exactly 4 people that called me Shelly. What is funny is others have tried that and I refused to answer to them. I hate that name, but for some reason those 4 bestest friends could call me that and I didn't mind at all. To this day they still call me that.

Since I have gotten married, my hubby has used my god given name in front of me less than 10 times. We have known each other for almost 12 years. The day we got married was only the second time I ever heard him use it, it almost freaked me out.

He has always called me by some pet name. The most popular are Pookie and Boo.

We have gotten so comfortable with them that we use them in front of people and in stores.

Mine for him: Hunny Bunny or just Bunny.

So what are yours?

Posted by Quality Weenie at 09:59 AM | Comments (7)

Today in Automotive History

1987 Go-Kart

Racer William Smith captured the Junior Division of the Eastern Shore Go-Kart Classic at a three-quarter-mile cross-country course outside of Easton, Maryland. Smith's victory in his 50cc Yamaha Green Dragon was the first Junior Division Go-Kart race sanctioned by the Mid-Atlantic States Go-Kart Association.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day Harvey

For Father's Day, I thought I would get my blogfather, Harvey, something he could really use at the various comment parties.

This can be used for unruly family members or even unruly Moose!

Enjoy your present!

Posted by Quality Weenie at 07:39 PM | Comments (2)

June 17, 2005

Friday Doggie Blogging


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Posted by Quality Weenie at 09:13 AM | Comments (3)

Today in Automotive History

1923 Ferrari And The Horse

On this day, Enrico Ferrari, who would go on to an historic career as a driver for Alpha Romeo before being put in charge of their racing division, won his first race, a 166-mile event at the Circuito del Savio in Ravenna, Italy. After the Ravenna race, Ferrari met for the first time the Count Enrico Baracca and his wife, the Countess Paolina, who would later suggest to Ferrari that he use the prancing horse emblem of their son. "Ferrari," remarked the Countess, "why don't you put my son's prancing horse on your cars; it will bring you luck." The Countess's son, Francesco, had been Italy's premier flying ace in World War I before he was shot down and killed at Mount Montello. On his plane he carried a white shield bearing a prancing black stallion. Ferrari would adopt the emblem, changing the field of the shield to canary yellow in honor of his hometown of Modena.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 07:28 AM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2005

Today in Automotive History

1917 Golden Submarine

Harry Miller completed the Golden Submarine, the first of his expensive custom-made race cars that would change the shape of things to come in American auto racing.

The Golden Submarine carried an unimaginable ticket price of $15,000 at its completion. Its gold color was the result of a combination of lacquer and bronze dust. Built for Barney Oldfield, America's most brash race-car driver, the Golden Submarine had an enclosed cockpit. Oldfield, who helped design the car, thought the closed cockpit would make the car safer if it rolled; he'd lost his close friend, Bob Burman, in a crash the year before.

The Golden Submarine was the first American race car to possess an all electrically welded steel chassis. Also unique to the sub was the liberal use of aluminum in engine and body components. The engine--the component that would later define Miller's career--contained four cylinders and a single overhead cam. It put out 130hp at 290 cubic inches of piston displacement, and, most remarkable for its time, it only weighed 410 pounds. Consider that the car's competition carried engines that produced around 300hp at over 400 cubic inches of piston displacement, and it is clear how forward-thinking Miller was.

Prior to Miller's designs, engines had just been getting bigger and bigger. With the use of alloys and revolutionary engineering, he began introducing light cars that handled well but provided enough power to push them down the straightaways at speeds comparable to those cars carrying the massive aircraft-type engines. Miller's engineering and Oldfield's daring were put on public display in late June of 1917, when Oldfield in the Golden Submarine raced arch-rival Ralph DePalma in a conventional Packard with a 12-cylinder aircraft engine. To start the 25-mile race, DePalma barreled past Oldfield in the first straightaway. After the first turn, though, it was clear that the lighter Golden Submarine was better suited to the track, and Oldfield won by an overwhelming half-minute margin.

The Golden Submarine never won the Indy 500, though it ran in 1919, pulling out with engine trouble; but its designs foreshadowed the future of American racing. Miller's design would dominate Indy for over 30 years.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2005

Today in Automotive History

1986 A Royal Milestone

Richard Petty made his 1,000th NASCAR start at the Miller American 400 in Brooklyn, Michigan. Petty's records of success and longevity are likely never to be broken. "The King," as he is called, is first all-time in wins (200), races started (1,184), top-five finishes (555), top-10 finishes (712), pole positions (126), laps completed (307,836), laps led (52,194), races led (599), and consecutive races won (10). His statistical domination of NASCAR racing is unparalleled in the sports world. Petty, of course, grew up on the NASCAR circuit watching his daddy, hall-of-famer Lee Petty.

Richard started his first race on July 10, 1958, just after his 21st birthday. During the early part of his career he normally had to beat his dad to earn victories--and Lee wouldn't let him have anything for free. Richard explained his accident in his first Grand National race this way: "Daddy bumped me in the rear and my car went right into the wall." By the late 1960s, Petty was the dominant figure in stock-car racing, recording the astounding record of 10 consecutive victories in 1967, a year in which he won 27 of 48 races.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Petty dueled spectacularly with fellow Ford driver David Pearson. Petty's star power was in large part responsible for keeping NASCAR alive in the lean years of the '70s. Winston began sponsoring the circuit in 1972, and in that year Petty's car was the only one to run with factory sponsorship. STP offered "The King" lifetime sponsorship and for the rest of his 35-year career, and now long into his career as a team owner, Petty cars have carried the red oval. Petty won his last of seven Daytona 500s in 1981. Victories began to dry up over the next few years, but Richard's enthusiasm for racing and his fans kept him running.

In 1984, with President Ronald Reagan there to watch, Petty won the Pepsi Firecracker 400 at Daytona raceway to capture his 200th win. The second winningest driver in circuit history, Dave Pearson, won only 105 times. From 1984 to 1992, Petty didn't win a race but his name recognition was important to the sport. Not knowing what else to do with himself, "The King" stayed on the circuit to watch NASCAR become one of America's most popular spectator sports.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2005

Blogspot Posts Added

Since the Great Pixy Misa figured out and shared with the world how to import blogspot posts into MT, I know have all my posts from blogspot on this site now.

All Hail Pixy Misa!

Posted by Quality Weenie at 10:40 AM | Comments (4)

Today in Automotive History

1928 Miller Special

Leon Duray drove his Miller 91 Packard Cable Special to a world close-coursed speed record, recording an astonishing top speed of 148.173mph, at the Packard Proving Ground in Utica, Michigan.

Two weeks earlier, Duray had posted a record lap of 124mph at the Indy 500, a record that stood for 10 years until the track was banked. From a mere 91 cubic inches or 1500cc, the Miller's supercharged engine produced 230hp while weighing in at a svelte 290 pounds. The front-wheel-drive Miller Special never won an Indy 500, but its 1928-1929 results there prompted track officials to ban supercharged engines from the contest for over a decade. The 91 was engineer Harry Miller's crowning achievement.

Today, one of Miller's masterpieces sits in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian. After the 91s were forced out of Indy, owner Leon Duray took his two Miller cars to Europe and proceeded to set international speed records for cars of similar engine displacement. He drove the 91 at 143mph over one kilometer and 139mph over five kilometers. Ettore Bugatti was so impressed with both the Miller's front-wheel drive and its engine design that he bought the cars form Duray in order to study them. Bugatti's later engines borrowed heavily from Miller's innovations to the designs of the combustion-chamber, port, valve, and head.

Miller built only 11 of his front-wheel-drive superchargers, and today they are prized antiques. The two cars that Bugatti purchased were discovered, dusty but intact, by a Danish diplomat in a Bugatti warehouse in France in 1954. Auto historian Griffith Borgeson bought the two cars in 1959 and had them shipped to his home in Los Angeles, the city in which the cars had been built. One of those cars sits in the museum at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Harry Miller was, simply put, a legendary genius in the history of American racing. The technology he pioneered with his Miller 91s is still in use today. Miller went bankrupt in 1929 and all of his assets, including his drawings and designs, were sold at auction. One of his associates, Fred Offenhauser, struggled to purchase enough of the drawings and patent rights to carry on what Miller started. From 1922 to 1965, Miller and Offenhauser engines won all but six Indy 500s.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:13 AM | Comments (1)

June 13, 2005

I Feel So Violated

Well Lance has finally realized he is a male dog.

Yep, violation took place over the weekend.

Nope, his toys are all still virgins (that we know of).

I learned this weekend that male dogs do not differenciate between female dogs and female humans in "heat".

I am (technically to him) in "heat".

I feel so dirty, blech.

He would get behind me and grab my hair and *shudder* ... oh I can't go on, but it's seared .. seared into my head (literally).

We had planned on competing with him in Conformation (showing dogs in the ring), which requires "intact" males.

His showing days maybe over before they even started cause I am not putting up with that on a monthly basis.

I think I maybe scared for life.


Posted by Quality Weenie at 01:26 PM | Comments (9)

Today in Automotive History

1978 Break-Up

Ford Motor Company Chairman, Henry Ford II, fired Lee Iaccoca from the position of president, ending a bitter personal struggle between the two men.

Since his grand emergence into the spotlight with the release of the Ford Mustang in 1964, Lee Iacocca had risen precipitously through the ranks at Ford, ascending to the position of company president in 1970. As president of Ford, Iacocca--previously known exclusively as a sales and marketing expert--set into motion a rigorous cost-cutting policy that would increase Ford's stagnating annual profit margin.

Within four years, he recalls, his policies had earned him "the respect of the one group that had always been suspicious of me: the bean counters." Over the course of the 1970s, Iacocca instituted quarterly reviews of Ford staffers by their superiors. Known as an authoritarian, Iacocca would not take excuses from his employees, and he held each employee personally responsible for their output.

His policies proved successful, but as Iacocca became more and more obsessed with making Ford profitable, he neglected to maintain the approval of the family business's volatile boss. Personal relations between the two men turned from distant to ugly. The rift is often explained by Ford's notion of Iacocca as a lower-class hired gun, a gifted immigrant salesman good for business and little else.

One Ford public relations spokesperson explained, "Mr. Ford always regarded Mr. Iacocca as a rather vulgar Italian." And all the while, Iacocca believed that his future in the automotive industry rested wholly on his balance sheets.

Iacocca admits to becoming blinded by his hefty salary, and to ignoring Ford's poor treatment of him. He claims, though, that "in 1975, Henry Ford started his month-by-month campaign to destroy me." Ford launched company investigations into travel expenses of leading executives. He targeted many of Iacocca's proteges. Iacocca was repeatedly asked, at the risk of losing his job, to fire close friends of his. Iacocca wouldn't resign because he had spent his whole professional career at Ford and, as he puts it, "I wanted that $1 million [salary] so much that I wouldn't face reality."

Ford installed a series of new positions to decrease Iacocca's power as company president; finally, in 1978, he called Iacocca into his office to inform him his services were no longer needed. Iacocca stated that Ford gave him no reason for the firing. "It's personal. Sometimes you just don't like somebody," Ford had said. So Lee Iacocca, arguably the automotive industry's most successful executive, was left without a job. He would later agree to run Chrysler.

P.S - Iacocca is one of the people I greatly admire. He worked his way up through the ranks and personnally oversaw Chryslers re-birth from Bankruptcy.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 09:17 AM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2005

Will Evil Glenn Get A New Job?

So I wonder if Evil Glenn will apply for the newly opened positon?

This is the same Zoo that recently had a problem with penguins getting an STD.

SAN FRANCISCO - The San Francisco Zoo has lost its renowned penguin keeper after she disagreed with a veterinarian about how to treat her flock for chlamydia.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 03:17 PM | Comments (2)

Today in Automotive History

1947 Say Hello To Saab

Saab introduced its first car, the model 92 prototype. Saab had been primarily a supplier of military aircraft before and during World War II. With the end of the war, company executives realized the need to diversify the company's production capabilities.

After an exhaustive planning campaign that at one point led to the suggestion that Saab manufacture toasters, company executives decided to start building motor cars. Saab director Sven Otterbeck placed aircraft engineer Gunnar Ljungstrom in charge of creating the company's first car. Ljungstrom sketched his ideas for an aerodynamic, light-framed, safe automobile and then enlisted the skills of noted industrial designer Sixten Sason to translate the sketches into an automobile ready for production.

In search of a name for their new car, Saab executives elected to stay with their existing numbering system. As numbers one through 89 were taken up by military aviation projects, and 90 and 91 by commercial aircraft projects, the first Saab car became the Model 92. Saab ran a series of prototype 92s with German-engineered DKW engines until the Saab engine was ready in the summer of 1947.

Not surprisingly, the car received rave reviews from the Swedish press after its unveiling. The first 92s didn't hit Swedish showrooms until December of 1949. The 92 came equipped with a two-cylinder, two-stroke engine that provided 25hp and propelled the car at a top speed of 62mph. All Saab 92s came in the standard color of aircraft green. Only a month into production, Saab began its distinguished history of rally-car racing by entering the 92 in the Monte Carlo Rally.

Between 1950 and 1980, Saab cars were a force in the world of rally car racing, due in large part to their durability, handling, and mid-range acceleration. Saab reentered rally racing in 1996, after a 16-year hiatus from the circuit. Rally races are held on long, arduous off-road courses, and they test the stamina of both car and driver.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 07:16 AM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2005

Glad I AM A Weenie

It's on days like today that I am glad that I got that education.

It's 86 (according to the weather pixie) with 60% humidity.

The plant doesn't have AC, offices do.

My office is in the plant, but it's got AC.

It's like a freaking steam bath in the plant, so much that walking from my office out into the plant to the main offices I start to sweat. Sweating with nylons is a very evil thing.

Thank god our uniform shirts are blousey, cause going from AC to plant to AC my high beams have been flashing like an electrical short in a flashlight.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 02:43 PM | Comments (3)

There Is A God!

NEW YORK (Ticker) - The lengthy NHL labor dispute may be on the verge of coming to an end.

According to a report by the Globe and Mail of Canada, the league and the Players' Association have reached an agreement on a formula for a salary-cap system based on team-by-team revenue.
I was hoping this would end soon, cause if it went into next season my status as a fan would be ending.

While pissed off, if settled at this point I would be just a disgrunteled fan.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:55 AM | Comments (1)

Today in Automotive History

1916 Whiz Kid

Robert Strange McNamara was born in San Francisco, California, on this date in 1916. McNamara received a degree in economics from the University of California at Berkeley, and then later an MBA from Harvard Business School.
At the age of 24, following a brief stint at the accounting firm of Price, Waterhouse, McNamara returned to Harvard to become an accounting instructor at Harvard Business School.

With the outbreak of World War II, he attempted to enlist in the Army but was rejected because of his poor eyesight. The fortuitous rejection prompted him to volunteer as an instructor for a Harvard program designed to teach Army Air Corps officers the principles of systematic management, especially in regard to the allocation of personnel, materiel, and money.

McNamara's excellence in this field eventually earned him a commission as a Captain in the Army Air Corps. He was one of the first members of a special unit called the Office of Statistical Control, led by Colonel Charles Thornton.

The OSC was charged with assembling and analyzing data to provide logistical support for American bombers. After the war, Thornton marketed his team's management skills to private companies. Enter Ford Motor Corporation.

Reigning atop a messy, outdated family company registering heavy losses, Henry Ford II was smart enough to recognize that the system he had inherited form his grandfather was in need of an overhaul. He hired Thornton's group, en masse, to begin work in February 1946. The members of the group ranged in age from twenty-six to thirty-four, signalling a major change in Ford's until-then stodgy hierarchy. The group was labeled the "Whiz Kids."

They instituted a modern economic approach to Ford's business administration, implementing organizational changes to make the planning and production processes more systematic. Six of the Whiz Kids eventually became vice-presidents and two, Arjay Miller and McNamara, rose to the position of company president.

Thornton left Ford soon after he started, and McNamara became the de facto leader of the Whiz Kids. He instituted the systematic sampling of public opinion, "market research"; he hired Lee Iaccoca; and he conceived the Ford Falcon, Ford's most successful car until the release of the Mustang in 1964.

A registered Republican, McNamara was offered a cabinet position by John F. Kennedy after the 1960 presidential election. Given the choice of becoming secretary of defense or secretary of the treasury, McNamara chose the Defense Department. McNamara remained secretary of defense until 1968, when his changing attitude toward the war in Vietnam led him to resign.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:02 AM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2005

Excessive Vocaliztion

Another way to say it ... Big Words

The New Engineer at work, uses them, excessively. I think he is trying to make everyone think he is smarter then them.

Today he was asking me where we get our testing specifications from, but it wasn't asked for as simple as that.

After 5 minutes of conversation with him I wanted to scream "stop speaking in tounges, just say what you mean". It took me 4 tries with various statements to figure out what the hell the guy was talking about.

He does this all.the.time.

Drives me crazy.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 01:39 PM | Comments (4)

Today in Automotive History

1986 Remembering Tim Richmond

Tim Richmond won the first of his seven Winston Cup Series races in 1986, a total that would vault him to third place in the Series point race and solidify his reputation as one of NASCAR's greatest drivers. NASCAR named he and fellow racer, Dale Earnhardt, co-drivers of the year.

Born in Ohio, Richmond started out racing USAC sprint cars and Indy cars, and he was named Rookie of the Year in his first year on each of those circuits.

He turned to NASCAR for the first time while recovering from an injury he suffered in an Indy race. Richmond immediately fell in love with stock car racing. He won his first superspeedway event in 1983 at Pocono International.

In late 1985, Richmond got his break with a powerful team. Team owner Rick Hendrick picked Richmond to drive his Folger's Coffee car. The 1986 season was Tim's breakthrough. He and Earnhardt captivated the stock-car world with their aggressive driving styles and their contrasting looks off the track. Earnhardt was the prototypical NASCAR racer. He wore boots and a cowboy hat, and drank beer on the weekends. Richmond, on the other hand, was a true child of the '80s. He wore Armani suits, dated beautiful women, and rubbed elbows with a variety of jetsetters, including actors and rock stars. On the track, Earnhardt and Richmond were both flat out all the time. NASCAR's executives were less accepting of Richmond's flamboyance, but they could do little to prevent their sport's newest star from expressing his opinions. The fans, for the most part, loved him, and his teammates and co-competitors respected him.

Richmond fell sick during the winter of 1986-1987. At first diagnosed with pneumonia, Richmond struggled to get himself ready for the 1987 season. His condition continued to worsen and he was soon diagnosed with the AIDS virus. His friends and family were caught off-guard. His team leader and mentor Rick Hendrick explained, "It was like my first time... I didn't know what it actually meant--what the prognosis was. The more you found out... it just killed you." AIDS was still a mystery to most at that stage. Richmond missed the 1987 Daytona 500 with double pneumonia. Slowly, rumors leaked about his condition. The Miller 500 at the Pocono Speedway was Richmond's first race back. Earnhardt approached him before the race and asked, "You ready to get it on?" Richmond won the race. Earnhardt, Kyle Petty, and Bill Elliott drove alongside him to offer congratulations, and Richmond burst into tears. He remained in tears on victory lane. It was his last victory.

In September 1987, Richmond resigned from Hendrick's team. When he attempted to arrange a comeback at Daytona in 1988, NASCAR did everything they could to keep him off the track. Slowly, Tim's friends and supporters dwindled. NASCAR trumped up a failed drug-test charge to keep Richmond off the track. He sued, but later withdrew his case on the grounds that he wanted to keep his condition private. He died that winter.

Richmond has virtually disappeared in the NASCAR history books. "It all boils down to AIDS," said his friend Kyle Petty, "I don't care what anybody tells you, nobody knows how to handle AIDS, especially in a sport as backward-thinking on so many things as this sport is." Recently asked about Richmond, Earnhardt responded, "I miss him. Period." Undeniably, Tim Richmond was one of the most talented drivers to ever race a stock car.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:22 AM | Comments (0)

June 07, 2005

Detroit Area Weather Report

NintyFuckingTwo Degrees today!

Summer is finallyfuckinghere!

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:32 AM | Comments (2)

Today in Automotive History

1954 The Immortal Edsel

On this day in 1954, the Ford Motor Company formed a styling team to take on the project of designing an entirely new car that would later be named the Edsel. The decision came as Ford enjoyed its greatest historical success in the 1950s. The 1955 Thunderbird had outsold its Chevy counterpart, the Corvette, and the consumer demand for automobiles, in all price brackets, was steadily increasing.In exuberant Ford plants, signs that had once read "Beat Chevrolet" were changed to a more ambitious tune, "Beat GM (General Motors)." The Ford Motor Company consisted of four brand names: Ford, Mercury, Lincoln, and Continental, listed from lowest to highest in price range. Ford executives believed that there was a gap in the marketplace between the Mercury and the Lincoln, where a new car would compete against GM's Oldsmobile and Buick lines.

In the mid-1950s, Americans seemed to have an insatiable hunger for high horse-powered, heavily styled cars, with lots of chrome and many accessories. So Ford planned to fill the public's appetite with a suitable answer. The company spared no expense in the development of its new car, even going so far as to employ famous American poet Marianne Moore to supply possibilities for its name. After an extensive name search and no satisfactory result, somebody suggested that the car be named after Henry Ford II's father, Edsel. Ford balked at the suggestion initially and later relented, on the grounds that his father deserved a tribute; he urged the car's designers to live up to his father's name. Edsel had always had a knack for design, even if his business sense hadn't always lived up to his father's expectations. The Edsel project was launched with great fanfare and vigorous advertising. During the years between the car's conception and its production, the American economy took a downturn.

By the time the Edsel was released in 1957, the high end of the car market had once again contracted. Public reaction to the car's exaggerated styling was tepid at best, with particular objections aimed at the Edsel's awkward-looking "horse collar" grill. Sales for the car started slowly and foundered. Newly appointed company Vice President Robert McNamara was charged with the task of salvaging the operation. Had McNamara held the position years earlier, historians point out, the Edsel project may never have been taken on, as McNamara strongly believed Ford should concentrate on the economy car market. McNamara attempted to improve the car's construction and appearance, but when the attempt failed, he was forced to halt production of the car at a disastrous loss of $250 million.

To this day, the Edsel remains the biggest failure in American car history, "a monumental disaster created for tomorrow's markets created by yesterday's statistical inputs." History has treated the Edsel more kindly, as its looks are now considered to be an attractive example of 1950s flair. Like its namesake, Edsel Ford, the Edsel has come to be known as an unfair victim of circumstance.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

June 06, 2005

Great Minds Think Alike?

I found these quizzes at Orge's.

The quizzes said he should have Asperger Syndrome cause he scored really, really low.

Well I didn't score as low, but I'm near the bottom. I'm thinking this quiz is flawed cause just about everyone is scoring low.

I scored 26 on the Empathy Quotent test

0 - 32 = You have a lower than average ability for understanding how other people feel and responding appropriately. Most people with Asperger Syndrome or high functioning autism score about 20. On average, most women score about 47 and most men about 42.

I scored 57 on the Systemizing Quotent Test:

51-80 = You have a very high ability for analysying and exploring a system. On average women score about 24 and men score about 30. Three times as many people with Asperger Syndrome score in this range, compared to typical men and almost no women score this high.

I think I scored this high because I am an engineer, we are very systematic and analytical people.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 02:37 PM | Comments (5)


I have followed the directions to get my TTLB Ecosystem site changed to my new site but it won't do it. I am placing the tag in the header section, but am I putting it in the right header section.

I went into the blogspot template and just threw the tagline into the section that says header:

{div id="header"}
{p style="text-align:center"}
{ link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://qualityweenie.mu.nu/" /}

Is this not correct? If not where exactly does it go?

TTLB directions:

If you have not turned on your new URL, or are not automatically redirecting traffic from your old URL, you can simply add the following tag to your old URL's front page in the header section:

< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://www.mynewblogurl.com/" />

The tags will be picked up on the next evening's nightly scan, so check back the following morning and you should see your URL updated all nice and neat. And if you don't, please let me know.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 11:35 AM | Comments (2)

My Childhood Memories Meme

I was tagged by Spurs at Pull My Finger with this meme:

Five Things I Miss From My Childhood-

I am supposed to remove item #1 from this list, bump everyone up one place and add my blog to the 5 spot applying links to all.
1. Villainous Company
2. Riehlworldview
3. Third World County
4. Pull My Finger
5. Quality Weenie

5 Things I miss from my childhood:

1 - Decorating for Christmas. My dad and I were huge christmas fans and it would take us days to decorate inside and out. Hanging lights, putting fixtures out, putting the tree up and making sure everything was in it's correct place. As I got older it would be our special time to talk about the year and just bond. *sigh* I miss that, especially because hubby, I swear, is anti-christmas and refuses to hang even one bulb on the tree.

2 - My birthday. My dad always made sure your birthday was extra special, always made a big deal about it. He would ask what you wanted for dinner and you could have anything made you wanted, the cake was always your favorite. You could do anything you wanted on your day, he made me feel like a little princess on my birthday.

3 - Florida for Easter. Every year, for 13 years, we went to Florida for 2 weeks during the Easter Holiday. I have been to everything place, visited every attraction that was in Florida before 1982. We would tow the pop-up camper and spend 2 weeks as a happy camper family.

4 - Christmas morning. I would always wake up early and sneak down to see what santa had left and wait until the appointed hour and then run and wake up sibilings and parents and dog and run out to open gifts. My dad would always make breakfast after the gifts were opened, pancakes and sausage links. The pancakes would be in the shape of Mickey mouse.

5 - Camping during the summer. We would camp for 8 weeks during the summer up at a local campground. We met people there and all of us would camp for the summer together and have lots of fun hanging out, swimming, gossiping, causing trouble and having fun. Those were uncomplicated summers, spent growing into women, learning that stuff together.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 10:44 AM | Comments (1)

Today in Automotive History

1932 Gas Tax

The first gasoline tax levied by Congress was enacted as a part of the Revenue Act of 1932. The Act mandated a series of excise taxes on a wide variety of consumer goods. Congress placed a tax of 1¢ per gallon on gasoline and other motor fuel sold.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:27 AM | Comments (1)

June 03, 2005

Today in Automotive History

1864 Ransom

Ransom Eli Olds was born to Pliny and Sarah Olds in the northeastern Ohio town of Geneva. When Ransom was 16, the Olds family moved to Lansing, Michigan, so that Pliny Olds could start his own business. He opened a machine shop called Pliny Olds & Son. That son wasn't Ransom but his older brother, Wallace.

Ransom, though, worked in the shop part-time, after school and on weekends. He took business courses at the Lansing Business College, but his attention remained in his father's machine shop. When Ransom turned 21, he bought his older brother's share of the business. Ransom worked tirelessly. Not long after becoming his son's partner, Pliny realized Ransom was better capable of taking their family business to another level, and by 1890, Ransom Olds acted as general manager of the family company.

Ransom guessed that the demand for the steam engine would increase through the 1890s and he turned the company's attention to manufacturing the engines. His guess bore fruit, and it also led Olds to experiment with steam engines as a means for propelling water and road vehicles. It's not clear exactly when he began working on road carriages; he claims in 1886, but it was likely sometime after that.

His first vehicles were crude, displaying little outside information of existing steam-engine technology. His father disapproved of his son's obsession with road vehicles, saying, "Ranse thinks he can put an engine in a buggy and make the contraption carry him over the roads. If he doesn't get killed at his fool undertaking, I will be satisfied." Ransom continued his experiments with steam engines, enduring much ridicule, until he decided the steam engine was not the future of the self-propelled vehicle.

Nevertheless, one of his last steam engines, a 1200-hundred-pound vehicle ostensibly capable of pushing 15mph (provided the road was flat), gained Olds the attention of Scientific American magazine. Then, in 1893, Ransom's vision took shape when he saw demonstrations of gasoline engines at the Chicago World's Fair. By 1895, his company had already applied for a patent on their own design of a gasoline engine. Production of the gas-burning engine brought record profits to Olds' business.

Ransom began experimenting with gas-burning horseless carriages, and in June of 1896 he completed a prototype. It wasn't the first such vehicle (among others, the Duryeas had already built gas-burning cars) but Olds' car generated unprecedented interest--due, at least partly, to the successful manufacturing company that lay behind it. Olds then raised money to go into production on his car. He incorporated the Olds Motor Vehicle Works separately form P.F. Olds & Son. The venture was largely speculative, fueled by the money of already rich Lansing businessmen who were willing to part with a small sum in hopes of getting a great return.

As it turned out, the money wasn't enough for Olds to go into production. In searching for more capital, Olds merged his family business with the Olds Motor Works and sold new shares of their combined stock to raise the money he needed. On March 8, 1899, the Olds Motor Works, the actual grandfather to today's Oldsmobile, was formed.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 07:37 AM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2005

There's No Crying In Baseball

Nor in Manufacturing either.

Christ almighty I feel a little like Contagion.

We have a huge defect with our parts right now, affecting all parts for a specific line. So we are having the operators test with an Ohm meter the voltage coming from the part to make sure it's not to high.

I go out to let the person testing know that if they get one that doesn't register or tests to high to give it to me right away, while I am standing there they had tested 3 parts without the Ohm meter moving nor moving the part correctly.

So into my boss I go to make sure exactly how they are to be testing (for verification), nope they are not doing it right so I tell my boss they are not doing it right. We go out and I tell their supervisor that theyare not doing it correctly and all the parts made that morning needs to be re-tested just in case, which I tell the inspector to put aside all the parts made that morning. So that is 3 people I have told this to. (this will be important to remember later in the story).

I show them how to test and move the part correctly and go back to my office.

A couple hours later I find out this employee broke down and started crying on the line and said I was going around to everyone in the plant telling them what a bad employee she is and she is passing bad parts. She then went to the HR manager and said I was harrasing her and maligning her.

I was floored. I don't know how "your not testing correctly" became "your passing bad parts and are a bad employee".

So I just let it roll off my back because this employee is a huge whiner.

This afternoon (the next day) my inspectors tell me she broke down again, started screaming she was going to quit and it's all my fault because I am spreading rumors about her. The HR manager comes out with the production manager and she starts telling this story to them. Then later she's telling everyone on the floor that this whole thing is going to blow up tomorrow and I am getting in trouble.

I talk to my boss, he has heard none of this except what I told him yesterday. He says he believes me over her because she has done this before. I also told my boss that if she doesn't stop spreading these rumors and going to the HR manager about this petty thing I am going to file a harrassement complaint against her, my boss agrees with this also.

Tomorrow should be interesting to say the least.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 03:38 PM | Comments (5)

Cutest Dog In The World

Your weekly fix of the cutest dog in the world.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Posted by Quality Weenie at 01:51 PM | Comments (6)

Today in Automotive History

1970 The Mighty McLaren

Car racer, designer, and manufacturer Bruce McLaren was killed when his McLaren M8D lost its back end at high speed and collided with an earthen embankment at the Goodwood racetrack in England.

Born the son of a truck driver in Auckland, New Zealand, McLaren contracted a childhood hip disease that would keep him in hospitals for three years of his early life. By the age of 14, he had recovered fully.

His father, a part-time mechanic with an interest in racing, helped Bruce build his first car. Bruce entered his first competitive event, a hill climb, when he was 15.

At 19, McLaren was picked by his mentor, successful Kiwi Grand Prix driver Jack Brabham, to serve as New Zealand's representative in the Driver in Europe Program. Bruce took quick advantage of the exposure, winning the Formula Two section in his first race at the trying Nurburgring track in Germany.

The following year he became the youngest man ever to win a Formula One Grand Prix event, a record that he still holds today. In 1961, he finished a close second in the World Championship race to his team leader at Cooper, Jack Brabham.

But Bruce McLaren didn't make his greatest impact on the track. By 1964, he was building his own race cars and aiding Ford's design team in its highly successful GT program. McLaren exhibited a gift for car design. In 1966, he won the 24 Hours of LeMans for Ford. In 1965, McLaren started his own Grand Prix racing team. He and his close friend and fellow driver, Denny Hulme, won three races in 1968 in McLaren-Fords.

Then McLaren turned his attention to the sports-car racing of the Can-AM Series. As the Can-Am Series grew, so too did the McLaren Team's domination of the event. After four impressive years at the top of the series, in 1969 the McLaren Team posted a clean sheet, winning 11 of 11 races. By entering his car in Formula One, Can-Am, and Indy Car events all in the same year, McLaren established his team as a success in diverse classes of racing. His peers regarded McLaren as a perfectionist.

He summed up his attitude toward the dangers of car racing eloquently: "To do something well is so worthwhile, that to die trying to do it better cannot be foolhardy. It would be a waste of life to do nothing with one's ability, for I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone." In 1970, testing his newest Can-Am car, the M8D, McLaren lost his life pushing the limits of his abilities; the racing team that bears his name survives him as one of Formula One's dominant forces.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:17 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2005

Today in Automotive History

1917 Liberty Leland

Henry Leland, the founder of the Cadillac Motor Car Company, resigned as company president on this date in 1917. Ever since William Durant had arranged for General Motors (GM) to purchase Cadillac, Leland and Durant had endured a strained relationship. But Leland's electric starter had made Cadillac so successful early on that Durant had avoided meddling with the autonomy of his company.

Leland's next great achievement at Cadillac was his supervision of his son's proposal that Cadillac should introduce a V-8 engine. Previously Cadillac, and most other American companies, had only offered four-cylinder engines. The in-line six- and eight-cylinder engines experimented with by other companies had proven troublesome and required constant maintenance. Henry's son, Wilfred Leland, suggested that Cadillac oppose two four-cylinder engines in a V-shaped formation. The idea was not unheard of, as the French automaker, DeDion-Bouton, had already used such a configuration. But Cadillac aimed to create a more powerful, higher quality V-8 engine.

In order to keep the project secret, Leland contracted the engine parts for his new engine to over half a dozen New England firms in such a way that the companies had no idea what the parts were for. They were then delivered to a dummy manufacturing firm called Ideal Manufacturing Company.

The new Cadillac car with its V-8 was put on the market in 1914. It was received with a good deal of skepticism, based on the claim that such a complicated engine would create problems for drivers. Nonetheless, the engine proved a great success and was standard in Cadillacs until 1927.

The success was followed, however, by the outbreak of war in Europe. Leland had visited the continent a few years earlier as part of a contingent of engineers. He had returned to America convinced that war in Europe was inevitable, and that it would decide the fate of Western Civilization. He was adamant that the United States would become involved sooner or later, and at the outbreak of the war he urged Durant to let Cadillac convert its facilities to the manufacture of aircraft engines, specifically the Liberty engine.

The two stubborn men butted heads. Durant refused to respond to Leland's urgings, and Leland resigned. Durant assistant Charles Mott suggested that Leland had not resigned but was fired for other reasons. Whatever the circumstances, Leland left and started the Lincoln Motor Car Company.

In 1917, he won the first contract to manufacture Liberty engines for the war effort. Leland worked closely with British, French, and American engineers to design a high-production, high-powered twelve-cylinder airplane engine for the war effort. By the war's end, Lincoln had manufactured more Liberty engines than any other single company. Two GM brands, Cadillac and Buick, also manufactured Liberty engines.

Posted by Quality Weenie at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)