Thursday, January 13, 2011


And she sounds PISSED

Finally, nearly six years to the day since her 455 last shook my neighbors' windows, the Toronado is running again.

The last few months saw a flurry of activity-- re-re-assembling the engine after finding out I had messed up my piston ring installation, a full brake and suspension upgrade, and squaring away the wiring. Yet to be done are completing the interior (in the immediate run all that are going back in are the front seat and dash,) and welding up the rust holes the vinyl top "donated" to the quarter pillars. The Landau top will stay off, and everything above the hood is getting a touchup. The rust holes and the dings on the decklid and quarters are going to be history.

First stop on the road: Mobile Memorial Gardens. Dad needs to hear this thing. The Funeral director might get a little pissed at me for opening up the throttle in the middle of a cemetery and waking the dead. Maybe I'll be responsible for the Zombie Apocalypse, this thing has a throaty exhaust note that can definitely wake the dead!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Longest hiatus yet

When the shit hits the fan in my life this is the first thing to go. I'm more accustomed to using Facebook for posting purposes, since I haven't felt nearly as long-winded or as willing to waste time with Blogger's clunky, slow HTML interface. That said, here's a rundown of where I've been since February:

1) Spring semester sucked ass. Or more correctly, I sucked ass and did very bad things to my GPA. Digging out of that hole now.

2) Work on the Toronado ground to a halt for ~6 months. Back on it. Engine rebuilt and ready to drop in, prepping the car to take it now. Pictures below.

3) Alienated quite a few people in my life. I miss some of them dearly, but there are many others I wouldn't cross the street to help if they were lying on it in a bloody heap within an inch of death. You know who you are, so feel free to play a game of Hide and Go Fuck Yourselves.

That said, how about some gratuitous car porn?

In addition to the engine build, a total suspension and brake rework is in the offing, once I find a little more time. The interior is completely stripped. New carpet on the way, a new headliner as well, and the seats and panels are cleaned. New weatherstrip laid up today. Hoping to have her running before the end of the month and fully kitted out before Christmas.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Operation "High-Toned Son of a Bitch*" is a go

My carbon footprint is bigger than yours

A recent scratch-off windfall gave me the money to get back to work on the Toronado for the first time in two years. The interior is shot, but I don't care. I'm going to get the engine up, the powertrain serviceable and the suspension squared away. Then I'll worry about how she looks.

Here's the little bastard that started this whole mess. #7 piston, burned down through the ring lands:

The two compression rings went with the metal, and only a sliver of the third (oil scraper) ring remained. Hell of it is, even with such catastrophic damage, she'd crank up and run until I started dismantling the engine. She'd go through oil like Captain Hazelwood on the Bligh Reef but she still ran.

#8 was pitted so badly I sent her to the machine shop to bore the cylinders .030" over, increasing the engine's displacement to 461 cubic inches with the stock crank and rods. Because a fool and his money are soon parted,  I had the crank reground .010" under and fitted it up over the weekend. Oddly enough they put the Jager away long enough to give me a nice, tight rotating assembly.

Main Caps in place:

Crankshaft in, dial-gauging crankshaft end play and runout:

I don't want to bollocks this job up, so I verified the plastigage readings with a micrometer:

Here's the crankshaft in place and torqued down, now I'm waiting for the shop to press the pins into the new pistons so I can start installing them tomorrow evening:

I suck at video editing, but I ran this up on short notice:

* In Stephen King's The Dark Half, the protagonist's psychotic, straight-razor wielding alter ego drove a 1966 Olds Toronado with a bumper sticker reading "HIGH TONED SON OF A BITCH."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Groundhog Day

It feels as if I've spent the last year or so spinning my wheels. The days run together as if in repetition. I just don't have the stones to commit a spectacular and highly visible suicide a la Bill Murray in Groundhog Day to test the theory.

On the other hand, in the last week I've finally made headway toward getting other wheels spinning! The Toronado's engine is out of the machine shop and I've gathered the necessary parts to rebuild it. Also on order are the components to convert its unholy, utterly useless "Fade-o-Matic" front drum brakes to a disc setup cannibalized from a 1977 Toronado. Pictures and details to follow; I'll cobble together a post and the latest pictures after I get butchered by a pair of exams tomorrow.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Long Slog

It's my brain that's turned to mush, not what's underfoot...

Going through one of my old Calvin and Hobbes books the other day I stumbled upon this:

It always amazes me how Bill Watterson could encapsulate so much of the human condition in a comic following a hyperactive, overimaginative kid and make it relevant to me and my life from the time I was 7 or 8 until today.

My current routine is Work. School. Fuckton of homework. Pitifully inadequate sleep. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I know I have a problem since I dream I'm falling asleep while plugging away on a CAD project at work, only to snap myself awake and notice that I'm in bed and my alarm will be going off within 5 minutes. My dreams are far too literal. I can't even escape work or class in them anymore. Haven't set a paddle to water since May, haven't fired a round in about as long either. I haven't even been good and drunk in a long time. Extracurricular opportunities are far too thin on the ground at the moment. This absolutely blows.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Still standing

Between a colossal case of Writer's Block, the new job and the time-compressed summer class schedule it's hard out here to write a post once in a while. The high points of the summer:

New job

I am know a shop tech/ CAD draftsman at LA Research and Engineering. That's LA as in Lower Alabama, not the massive smog/smug maelstrom on the west coast.

This is a small firm which generally picks up small one-off projects. The pay blows but it abounds with wonderful opportunities and learning experiences. A fair number of engineering students pick up summer co-ops with large companies and better pay, to end up as go-fers or copy bitches. All in all I'm happy to wrap my mind around projects ranging from re-configuring the x-rays at my school's new Health Sciences building to developing machinery for pet supply manufacturers. All sorts of weird shit comes down the pike but at the end of the day I get to cut my CAD teeth, and then go back to the machine shop and build the job from scratch. In the process I've become a decent welder and a semi-competent machinist; life is good.

New Classes

Taking two classes over the summer is a PITA; I'm glad the GI Bill considers 7 semester hours over the summer to be a full-time schedule. I've made up for the spring CAL II debacle, and wrapped up my last gen-ed requirement with a microeconomics class. This week will bring about finals and a much-needed respite from the morning and night classes that bracket my workday.

New Place

In the middle of all this, I somehow found a way to move all my shit into an apartment five minutes' walk from three decent bars and a corner grocery, to say nothing of a ten minute walk from campus. If I didn't have the 45-minute commute to work each day I wouldn't need to drive at all.

That's about it so far. I've relented on kicking around the Obamatard now that the kool-aid has worn off and more people have finally seen that ass-clown for what he is, as his idiotic economic measures fail and his polls plummet.

More to follow.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Recipe #2: Nuclear Jambalaya

Hans Brix? Oh No!

If I made this jambalaya any hotter, Hans Blix would start nipping at my ankles and I'd need a concrete and steel containment shield for my kitchen.

To get there:

1 lb. chicken breast
1 lb. shrimp
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, 1 tomato, 1 bell pepper, 1 clove garlic (all diced)
3 cups rice
5 cups water
3 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning
2 tbsp. Dale's

Rex's shrimp and crawfish boil and ground cayenne pepper to taste. Here you have 3 options depending on how badly you want to scorch your palate:

Alpha: 1 tbsp. cayenne, 2 tbsp. Rex's.

Beta: 3 tbsp. cayenne, 6 tbsp. Rex's.

Gamma: Empty your cayenne jar, add 1/4 cup Rex's, and wait for the IAEA to turn up and demand inspections. Tell them to pack sand. The UN will be angry with you, and they will write a letter expressing their anger.


Sautee the onion and garlic in your pan. add the chicken, shrimp, pepper, tomato, and spices. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add rice and water, return to boil, and add some more Rex's if you're feeling ballsy. If the fumes from the simmering critical mass in your pan make eyes tear up across the room, you have it right. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Serves four generously, eight as a side.

Good luck, and don't come crying to me if you fry your esophagus. In addition, you might find yourself suddenly popular with Iranians and North Koreans.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rubber-stamp politics

This is what happens when the dime-store solons we retarded voters keep sending to office vote on legislation without bothering to read the bills they approve sight unseen. Remember the fiasco that the stimulus vote in February turned into? Pelosi and Reid trying to force the bills to cloture without permitting anyone in the house or senate time to read them before sending us deeper into debt? The same thing is at play here.

Bobby Jindal, rightly suspicious of the strings attached to 98 million in stimulus money allotted to Louisiana unemployment programs, rejected the funds to forestall a state tax increase to pick up the program's fiscal slack when the federal money inevitably runs out.

A democratic legislator snuck a small rider into a bill dealing with workers' compensation yesterday which effectively overrode Jindal's refusal.

Here's the money quote from the article:
The House adopted the amendment without questions and then quickly approved the bill, sending it to the Senate for debate with a 99-0 vote. During the final vote, House Speaker Jim Tucker, R-Terrytown, was heard asking an aide, "What does the amendment do?" The aide responded that she didn't know.

These fucking idiots didn't even read the amendment, much less the bill, before shipping it off to the state Senate. They all need to be recalled and horsewhipped, Democrat and Republican alike.

More Islamic Buggery

Imam at Tampa Mosque Charged With Sexual Battery of 13-Year-Old Boy

Maybe he was recruiting a new homicide bomber

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sundance channel sure knows how to pick 'em

I question the timing

Two years ago today maladjusted little shit and all-around loser Cho Seung-Hui killed 32 people at Virginia Tech. It was the worst mass killing by one shooter in U.S. History.

What does this have to do with the Sundance Channel and their indie-film programming? In the wee hours this morning, Sundance was running Oldboy, a film Cho supposedly enjoyed and imitated. One of the pictures in the bizarre manifesto Cho sent to NBC was his pose in apparent imitation of one of the film's posters.

Good timing, geniuses.

Out of morbid curiosity I watched the film. What a twisted crapfest. If Cho liked that movie enough to identify with it, he really was fucked in the head.

Burn in hell, Cho.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Home invader shot in Vermont

Dispatcher: WTF?

Meet Jerry Lee Jones, Jr. He's achieved room temperature since breaking into a Vermont home and being shot by the homeowner. Apparently Jones was extremely drunk and had been booted out of a friend's car after trying to pick a fight with him. He attempted to break into the Hoover home by tossing a wrought-iron chair through a window.

Mr. Hoover's wife was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher when the shots were fired; the recording is at the link. After listening to it, I have a bone to pick with the Botetourt County 911 dispatchers.

After the shots were fired, Mrs. Hoover told the dispatcher that Jones had been shot but was still moving. The dispatcher told her to have her husband put his gun down. Uhh, WRONG.

If you're the subject of a home invasion and shoot an intruder, do not put your weapon down until the police arrive. Especially if the per's still moving. A wounded intruder can still be a threat, and he may have accomplices either outside or undetected in the house. Don't assume that you have the all-clear. Do not fuck around with your family's safety.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cooking for the single guy

When ramen's lost its fun

IPD (Improvised Poultry Device:)

When you want a semi-decent chicken dinner for one and don't want to waste hours in the chicken, you can run this up in about 5 minutes, bung it into the oven and go back to watching the race/game/scrambled porn:

Bring it!

1 9X9 casserole dish
1 cornish Hen
8 slices of wheat bread
2 eggs
1 half-onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 TBSP butter
1 TBSP Lawry's seasoned salt
Spices to taste or availability (I used a generous pinch of sage)

Wash your hands first unless you like the runs. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread slices in a blender and chop to fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into the casserole dish, and follow them up with the chopped onions and celery. Add your spices and then fold the two eggs into the mix. Get your hands in there and make sure the mix is evenly wetted. Wash again.

Rinse off the hen and then salt it generously inside and out. Place it in the center of the dish after clearing a hole in the stuffing mix. Pour the melted butter over the hen and rub in to ensure it's distributed evenly.

Then, cover the whole mess in foil and chuck it in the oven. Allow to cook for 90 minutes. When it comes out, you have two good meals ahead of you unless you're a fat bastard. If you are, this'll barely qualify as an appetizer.

Voilá!: Improvised Poultry Device. Serve with beer and veggie of your choice.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

So this is how they do it:

Sadly, this methodology makes more sense than anything to come out of Treasury in the past few years:

Enviro-nuts get it wrong. Again.

Unwilling to research

California to reduce carbon emissions by... banning black cars?!

This is beyond idiotic. These legislators obviously did not bother to research automitive climate controls before going off half-cocked and riding the wave of environmentalist sentiment.

The flawed premise here is that the climate controls on darker-colored cars have to work harder to keep them cool than those in lighter-colored cars. The only difference between a car painted black and a car painted white is the paint itself. Sure, the darker car will absorb more heat. Problem is, both cars have identical air conditioning systems that work the same way, put the same load on their engines, and have the same effect on power output and fuel economy. A dark car will take more time to cool, but its air conditioner will function at the same rate as that in a lighter car.

Allow me to explain: With a car's air conditioner on, a compressor circulates refrigerant through the system. In the passenger compartment there is a condenser, where high-pressure liquefied refrigerant is expanded to a gas. This expansion dissipates heat, causing rapid cooling in the evaporator. Air is blown through the condenser box, and water vapor condenses on the evaporator coils. this air is sent through a valve that mixes air from the evaporator box with ambient air or air from a separate heater core (the temperature control on your dash controls the setting of this valve. Regardless of your temp setting, the evaporator functions at its maximum capacity as long as the air conditioner is on and the compressor is loading the engine.

The upshot of this is that if you think that reducing your temp setting but still receiving some cooling benefit will save you gas, you are mistaken. The only way to improve fuel economy is not to run your air conditioner at all-- try that in a traffic jam in July!

Yet you still hear radio ads and see TV spots advising you to "turn down" your air conditioner to save fuel. These dumbasses never bothered to check their premises before going on the air and wasting money on uninformed advertising.

Don't suffer needlessly- If you need air conditioning, set it for your own comfort. A thermostat set to 65 degrees in a car will put just as much of a load on an engine as an AC set to 80 degrees.

It's even more important not to suffer the idiocy of an uninformed, petulant nanny-state. If you live in California, call your representatives and lean on them to shoot down this travesty of a bill.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oratory the right way

Look Ma! No Teleprompter!

Dan Hannan, MEP, Speaking to the EU Parliament. Watch! This requires no further explaining or amplification on my part.