July 31, 2007

Today In Automotive History

1916 : NASCAR's "first female" is born

Louise Smith, 1950Louise Smith, NASCAR's first female act, was born on this day in 1916. Known as racing's "Good ol' Gal" she competed in stock-car racing during its decidedly "good ol' boy" years. A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Smith raced various Modified, Sportsman, and Grand National series events between 1946 and 1956. Her fearless attitude made her a novelty at a time when most women were homemakers. "I enjoyed every minute," said Smith, reflecting on her career. "I traveled all over North America, racing everywhere I could, and I had fun with it. Didn't make a whole lot of money, but if I could do it again today, I'd do it and I think I'd make it." In the earliest years of NASCAR, Bill France, NASCAR's founder, president, and chief promoter, used Smith to attract spectators. Smith got her start when NASCAR held a race near her hometown at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway, and a local suggested Smith on the grounds that she could "outrun every highway patrol and lawman in Greenville." France agreed to give her a shot. In her first race, Smith explains, "They told me if I saw a red flag to stop. They didn't say anything about the checkered flag. I wondered where all the cars were and then as I was all alone on the track, I noticed them in the pits. They finally threw the red flag and I pulled in. I had finished third." In Smith's 10-year career, she captured 38 victories. In the mid-1970s, she became involved with the sport again, sponsoring drivers Ronnie Thomas, Bobby Wawak, and Larry Pearson. Smith was inducted into the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.

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July 30, 2007


Does anybody know when you fill out the Family Medical Leave paperwork does the company get some kind of credit or anything like that from the government?

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China Is Still Trying To Kill Us

China is back at it, still trying to kill us through our food ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Sacramento, CA -- July 29, 2007 -- Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), today warned consumers not to eat fresh ginger imported from China after the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s residue monitoring program detected the presence of aldicarb sulfoxide in some batches of imported ginger. Aldicarb sulfoxide is a pesticide that is not approved for use on ginger.

You can find more about the recall at the FDA

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July 28, 2007

Saturday Doggie Blogging

It's Saturday and since all my doggie pictures are on my home computer I have access to them.

I got the puppies a new chair, so far they are not to much into it but I am sure eventually they will like it and use it frequently. Here is Maggie posing in the chair.

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I also got the puppies some new collars. This one is in preperation for the upcoming football season, they both got one but Lance's picture turned out the best.

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Happy Birthday Tammi

Today is my blog momm'a birthday, Tammi of Tammi's World, go over and wish her a Happy Birthday!

I also got my blog momma something she could really use, but I'll put it below the fold because you know, not safe for work.

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Shot at 2007-07-28

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July 27, 2007

Longer Miles Between Oil Changes

Everyone knows the mantra by now ... every 3,000 miles you have to change your oil or you will eventually ruin your engine.

The Auto Manufacturers are now changing their tunes, due to improved oil and engines they are stretching time between oil changes.

Ford Motor (F) is lengthening the recommended interval between oil changes for its 2008 models to 7,500 miles, up from 5,000 miles. Volkswagen just got done increasing its oil-change recommendations to 10,000 miles on its 2007 gasoline-powered models.

And Chrysler Group (DCX) no longer gives a recommendation. It is installing indicator lights starting in all its 2008 models that track driving habits and tell motorists when it's time for an oil change. Honda (HMC) and General Motors (GM), among others, already have similar systems.

This is good news for your pocketbook, but watch for oil changes to go up in price for people not going to get their oil changed as often.

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Flag Waving American

I was over at House of Zathras yesterday. She had a quiz posted, which I took but realized that the questions were very left leaning. So being the great person that Mrs Who is she found a right leaning political quiz just for me (awwww)

How to Win a Fight With a Liberal is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Conservative Identity:

You are a Flag-Waving Everyman, also known as a patriot. You believe in freedom, apple pie, rooting for America at all times, and that God gave us a two-day weekend so we could enjoy football and NASCAR.

Take the quiz at www.FightLiberals.com

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July 26, 2007

Ford Reports A Profit


Revenue of $44 billion, 6 percent above second quarter 2006.

Net income of $750 million, or 31 cents per share, for the second quarter of 2007.

Profit of $258 million, or 13 cents per share, from continuing operations excluding special items.

Significant year-over-year improvement for all Automotive operations.
Ford Motor Credit pre-tax profit of $112 million.

Cost reductions of $600 million; $1.1 billion through the first half of 2007.

Automotive gross cash at June 30, 2007 of $37.4 billion (including cash and cash equivalents, net marketable securities, loaned securities and short-term Voluntary Employee Benefits Association (VEBA) assets).

Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] today reported a net profit of 31 cents per share, or $750 million, for the second quarter of 2007. This compares with a net loss of 17 cents per share, or $317 million, in the second quarter of 2006.

Probably won't help with the contract negotiations they are in the middle of.

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July 25, 2007

Sneak Peek - 2009 Cadillace Escalade Hybrid

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The Escalade Hybrid won't officially be seen until the 2008 calendar year. Cadillac will be introducing the Escalade Hybrid for 2009 as an all-wheel-drive hybrid model, with an expected 25 percent fuel-economy savings from its dual-mode system. We expect the Tahoe and Yukon hybrids to arrive first, with the Escalade following sometime in 2008 (for the 2009 model year). The only hybrid markings on the Escalade will be simply a badge.
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July 24, 2007

Strange Dreams

I had a very strange dream last night, I can usually remember pretty well what my dreams are.

I dreamed that I was in a lake, but it turned into an ocean, a cold ocean so we swam to this island. It was sort of like Iceland but it wasn't Iceland.

We got on shore and all of a sudden the seasons were screwed up, it was winter (snow on the ground when we got on the island) but all of a sudden it was summer and spring came and told us it would be next.

So we called ZZ Top (yes, the band) because they were the only people who could fix the seasons. They were going to play a concert and the seasons would go back to the way they should be.

Don't know if it worked as my alarm went off.

And no, I haven't heard any ZZ Top songs in quite a while.

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July 23, 2007

Scary Thoughts

Driving to work this morning I had a thought that scared me.

I was driving past a gas station and thought to myself "Wow, gas is really cheap right now"

The price per gallon?


Yes, I was excited over gas being $2.93. Sad, sad, sad.

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It's Handshake Day

Today is the opening handshakes for the UAW / Ford Contract talks, talks offically begin today.

The contract runs out September 13th, lets hope there is a good settlement without a strike by then.

What is really pissing me off is that the Auto Manufacturers are really playing to the press and trying to negotiate things there way by talking big talk in the press, putting a lot of blame on the auto workers and there "big" pay. Of course they never mention the horrible decisions that the executives make and the fact they are not designing cars that people want.

The UAW refuses to play the contract talks out in the press and has kept quite on everything.

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July 13, 2007

Trade Agreements Unfair To US

Everyone said that when the first trade agreement was passed that American jobs would not be hurt or lost.

More than 3 million manufacturing jobs -- one out of every six -- have been lost during the NAFTA-World Trade Organization era. While American workers' productivity has soared, real median wages remain flat at 1970s levels as the NAFTA-WTO globalization model subjects U.S. workers to a global labor arbitrage where the clearing price is the misery of $1-per-day wages.

Meanwhile, our current trade model has resulted in a nearly $800 billion trade deficit which, at 6 percent of our national income, threatens U.S. and world economic stability.


And it's not just jobs that have been lost, the trade deficit grows everyday.

Two-thirds of the country's $88 billion trade deficit with Japan in 2006 was auto-related, in large part because of the 2.4 million vehicles imported. Imports could reach a nearly 20-year-high this year, based in part on stronger demand for Japanese vehicles here, according to estimates by U.S. automakers and lawmakers.

Two-thirds of the trade deficit with Japan is automotive related.

Now I know your going to say, well maybe the Japanese just don't want American vehicles.

We won't know if that is true because american automotive manufacturers are extremely limited on the number they are allowed to sell in Japan, this is done to protect the Japanese automotive manufacturers.

Japan imports more vehicles in the US than it sells in the US.

Japanese auto exports to the United States rose 13.7 percent during the first six months of 2007, .....while sales of U.S.-built vehicles from Japanese manufacturers rose only 2 percent.

Why is that, because the Yen is undervalued and allows a huge cost advantage to import vehicles into the US rather than build them here. It also allows a cost advantage in that the Japanese imported vehicles can be priced down thousands of dollars making them cheaper to buy then the american vehicles.

A weak yen makes Japanese exports to the United States less expensive and U.S. imports to Japan more expensive. Domestic automakers say it amounts to a $4,000 to $10,000 subsidy on Japanese vehicles sold here.

So while Japan is importing hundreds of thousands of cheap vehicles in the US, the US is limited greatly in the amount of vehicles it can sell in Japan.

Congress must stop making trade agreements and enforce the ones in effect so that free trade is exactly that and not one sided.

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Rob Lowe, The New Hybrid Expert

The house is discussing plug-in Hybrid vehicles in Congress and who do they invite?
Auto Manufacturers would be the obvious choice, since they would be inventing, designing and building them.

But that isn't who Congress invited, Congress brought in an "expert" on plug-in technology.

The hearing also will include the mayor of Austin, Texas, and actor Rob Lowe, who supports hybrids.

So Congress just proved that they value Hollywoods opinion on critical matters more than they value the people who it effects the most, the Auto Manufacturers.

Oh, I know your saying maybe your just looking at it from a bias point of view.

"Innovations such as the plug-in hybrid should not have been sitting on the shelf for so long," said Markey. "After all, this isn't rocket science; it is auto mechanics."

Yep, Inventing and designing new, breakthrough technology is nothing more than auto mechanics.

But you know, none of this push for higher fuel economy or plug-in hybrids is actually for the better of the country. It's Congresses way of finally being able to punish the automotive manufacturers for having good wages, benefits and stable job security (well until recently). The Automotive Manufacturers have been held up as the job to have and many people resent those that have those jobs or even the states that have automotive manufacturers in them.

The hearing was a mix of sympathy, castigation and bluster that has become typical of any debate about the auto industry on Capitol Hill. While General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler are building prototype plug-in hybrid vehicles, none was invited to the hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Yep, nice to not invite the industry that will be majorly impacted by any decisions you make.

Not to mention that plug-in Hybrids are no better than regular non-hybrid vehicles and from what the automotive manufacturers are saying less safe.

Automakers have been critical of the effort. Converting a vehicle not only invalidates the manufacturer's warranty, but also requires the installation of several hundred pounds of batteries and often forces the removal of the spare tire.

Toyota, which has sold 1 million hybrids worldwide, including 750,000 in the United States, over the last decade, said converting a hybrid risks vehicle fires, and actually increases greenhouse gas emissions.

Charles Ing, Toyota's director of governmental affairs, told the Senate that tests of two converted plug-in Toyota Prius vehicles show they had significantly higher emissions of nitrogen oxide.

"This raises the question of whether the government should be paying people to make their cars dirtier," Ing wrote.

So this isn't about what is good for the economy or the environment, it's what is bad for the automotive industry.

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July 12, 2007

New Fuel-Economy Data Out

The new EPA testing for fuel effiency is out, you can see the data at the Department of Energy's website.

The new numbers more accurately reflect real-world driving, meaning the window-sticker ratings shoppers use to compare cars drops 1 m.p.g. to 2 m.p.g. for most gasoline-powered models.

The change for hybrids is more drastic, about a 15% to 20% decrease. The Toyota Prius' fuel economy dropped from 60 m.p.g. to 48 m.p.g. for city driving.

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OSHA Trying For Gun Control

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed new rules that would have a dramatic effect on the storage and transportation of ammunition and handloading components such as primers or black and smokeless powder. The proposed rule indiscriminately treats ammunition, powder and primers as “explosives.” Among many other provisions, the proposed rule would:

Prohibit possession of firearms in commercial “facilities containing explosives”—an obvious problem for your local gun store.

Require evacuation of all “facilities containing explosives”—even your local Wal-Mart—during any electrical storm.

Prohibit smoking within 50 feet of “facilities containing explosives.”

It’s important to remember this is only a proposed rule right now, so there’s still time for concerned citizens to speak out before OSHA issues its final rule. The National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute will all be commenting on these proposed regulations, based on the severe effect these regulations (if finalized) would have on the availability of ammunition and reloading supplies to safe and responsible shooters.

At the NRA Legislation site they have a pre-made letter you can send.
Go now and send it and write your congresscritters. We must end this blatent attempt at gun control through ammunition restrictions.

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July 08, 2007

Into The Wild Blue Yonder

This weekend was the Thunder Over Michigan Airshow. I gave a sneak peak on Friday.

I watched the show on saturday, but my camera died so I couldn't get any pictures. On sunday I watched again, this time with charged batteries.

Here is a slideshow of the pictures I took. Remember this is while I was sitting in my backyard. They did a fly over at the end of each show, the noise was so loud it hurt ones ears.

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July 07, 2007

FridaySaturday Doggie Blogging

A day late, but not a dollar short.

I have been experimenting in black and white photos of the puppies as I want to get some good ones to frame and hang on the wall.

These two are pretty good candidates for framing.



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Thunder Over Michigan

Every year around this time we have an Air Show over at Willow Run Airport. I have mentioned before that I am about 4 miles as the crow flys from the airport.

Well this year, for the first time in nearly a decade the Blue Angles are in the airshow again.

Yesterday hubby was home during the day on a forced shutdown and they fly over the house.

His exact words: "They came screaming over the house, hauling ass. I have never seen something go so fast in my life"

They were practicing a little after I got home from work and they came screaming over the house again. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera handy, but I did get a couple of them pretty close to the house.

The shows are today and tomorrow, I will be outside today watching the show hoping they come screaming and hauling ass over our house again.

Just a little sample of me sitting on the grass in our yard watching them pratice.

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July 06, 2007

Hybrid Owners Disilusioned

Hate to say I told you so, but I told you so.

I wrote about the inflated MPG of Hybrids a couple years ago, with the
Japanese companies using the outdated EPA's tests for establishing
MPG while the American companies use the EPA's tests plus their own
real world tests to determine MPG.

So now that Hybrid owners of Japanese cars are not getting the outragious
mileages that are on the stickers they are pissed
, because they are
getting mileage more closer to small non-hybrid vehicles yet paid thousands
more the "hybrid" badge on the vehicle.

Facing $3-a-gallon gasoline prices in California last year, John True decided to stop driving his Mercedes-Benz E320 and bought a Honda Civic Hybrid.

Impressed by the gas-electric hybrid's advertised mileage -- 49 miles
per gallon in the city, 51 mpg on the highway -- True plunked down
$28,470, at least $7,000 more for a comparable nonhybrid Civic EX.

But after 6,000 miles of driving, True said he averaged 32 mpg in
mixed city/highway driving.

$7,000 more for a hybrid vehicle. I hope he did the math before he wasted
all that extra money. You have to know how many years you will keep the vehicle
and how much you will drive it to see if you are spending more money just to
get better mileage or not.

True's frustration with the actual mileage of his hybrid vs. the advertised mileage echoes that of other owners, many of whom voice their complaints on online message boards, and reflects the findings of some independent tests, including one by Consumer Reports.
Honda and others note that EPA tests, which hadn't been revised in two decades, have overstated average fuel economy for all vehicles. Last year, the EPA announced it was revising its testing procedures to better reflect real world driving conditions, beginning with the 2008 model year.

"I can tell you that the 49/51 figures are EPA numbers, not Honda
numbers," Honda spokesman Sage Marie said Thursday. "Some customers
achieve the EPA mpg figures and some don't, as fuel economy
performance is a function of conditions, traffic, driving style,
load, etc."

He said the "vast majority of Civic Hybrid customers are satisfied
with the performance since it delivers consistently and substantially
higher numbers than comparable nonhybrid vehicles in the real world.
It is possible to attain the EPA estimates, and customers do all the

So Honda is blaming the EPA for the unrealistic MPG numbers, yet Honda
isn't forced to put those numbers on the vehicle. They could have done
their own testing and put lower numbers on the sticker. But with the inflated
numbers it makes their hybrids look better than American hybrids who do use
a realistic number on their stickers. Studies have been done showing that
American Hybrids MPG numbers on their stickers actually reflect true MPG numbers
while Japanese Hybrids MPG numbers on their stickers are very inflated, usually
by more than 35%.

In an interview Thursday, Anderson said True's legal team will now begin the process of discovery, in an effort to determine how many complaints Honda has received and what the automaker's internal mileage testing shows.

"It's just dishonest to twist the numbers that they know people can't
get," Anderson said. Just because the EPA conducts tests, it doesn't
give Honda license to advertise fuel economy numbers that aren't
achievable, he said.

So, Honda has done internal testing and knows that they can't achieve what
the EPA tests shows that they can achieve.

It will be interesting to see what the outcome of this is.

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July 04, 2007

Happy Independance Day

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Today is the day we celebrate our Freedom.

Something we seem to take for granted today, something that needs defending everyday of our lives.

So enjoy the day, enjoy what you are doing because without the fight of our forefathers we wouldn't be enjoying this day.

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Yankee Doodle Daddy

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Today is my Dad's birthday ... he would have been 67 this year. I always called him my Yankee Doodle Daddy because he was born on Independance Day, a holiday baby.

In 19 days it will be the 14th anniversary of his death.

I miss him as if it was yesterday, yet is seems like forever.

He never met my hubby, didn't get to dance with me at my wedding, didn't see me graduate with my Engineering degree nor eventually my Masters degree. He didn't get to see either of the houses I've lived in with my hubby. Didn't get to celebrate my 30th or 40th birthdays, nor do I get to celebrate his 60th birthday or his retirement. Doesn't get to play with his granddoggies, he would have gotten a kick out of the two of them. He doesn't get to help hubby with projects or talk shop with him. My hubby never got to meet him nor know what a great man he was. So much alike those two are, two peas in a pod they would have been.

So enjoy your day dad, the day in which everybody has the day off for your birthday.

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July 03, 2007

Cradle to Grave Vehicle Costs

CNW Research center has done a study on what it costs per mile for vehicles from "Dust to Dust" which means from building the vehicle to tearing the vehicle apart.

CNW Marketing Research Inc. spent two years collecting data on the energy necessary to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a vehicle from initial concept to scrappage. This includes such minutia as plant to dealer fuel costs, employee driving distances, electricity usage per pound of material used in each vehicle and literally hundreds of other variables.

The whole report can be found here, along with as interesting article on hidden costs of driving a Prius.

The most popular vehicles and their lifetime per mile costs:
(in US $)
Chrysler Neon - 0.728
Jeep Wrangler - 0.604
Toyota Corolla - 0.732
Hyundai Elantra - 0.723
Ford Focus - 0.803
Honda S2000 - 1.455
Honda CRV - 1.478
Jeep Grand Cherokee - 1.495
Ford Explorer - 1.612
Ford Mustang - 1.758
MINI Cooper S - 1.908
Hummer H3 - 1.949
Dodge Viper - 2.176
BMW X5 - 2.368
Ford F-Series Truck - 2.392
Range Rover Sport - 2.420
VW Golf - 2.697
Honda Insight Hybrid - 2.939
Hummer H2 - 3.027
Chevy Corvette - 3.158
Toyota Land Cruiser - 3.184
Honda Civic Hybrid - 3.238
Toyota Prius Hybrid - 3.249

So all those smug, over pretensious Prius owners can kiss me SUV loving, gas guzzling ass.

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July 02, 2007


I have been memed by my blogmomma, Tammi of Tammisworld

Here are the rules:

Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

8 things about myself that you don't know ... hmm, I gotta think of things that won't get me in trouble ..

1 - I am a routine orientated person. I have to have a routine to keep me on track. In the mornings if my routine is messed up and gets our of order my day is shot, completely, irravocable shot for the entire day. I have a routine for the weekdays and one for the weekends.

2 - I hate fans blowing on me, it's skeeves me out and makes my skin crawl. Wind doesn't bother me, it's fans. I can't sleep if Mr Weenie's fan is blowing on me, I have to wake him up and have him adjust his fan.

3 - I can not drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks in one sitting anymore. Due to the medication I am on, more than 2 drinks will send my heart into a pitterpatter that is quite a pain in the ass. It sucks and must be paybacks for my college days.

4 - I apply Lean Manufacturing principals to my kitchen. I FIFO (First In, First Out) my dishes and foods in my cuboards.

5 - I am a closet Copy machine repair person. I have worked in an office environment so long I can fix almost any copy machine problem.

6 - My Arthritis changes every 3 years for the worse.

7 - I have a very un-natural fear of worms, so much so it takes all I have to walk across a parking lot, driveway, etc full of worms. I come very close to melt down.

8 - I came this close (holding fingers 1 inch apart) to joining the Army Reserves at 19 to pay for college but I backed out due to threats, fear and intimidation from my mother. I have never forgiven my mother for it nor myself.

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