Friday, December 6, 2019
But not to worry I will return.
In the meantime I've decided to take up playing music again. I quit playing music back in the mid 90's because the music business was more about business than music. I got sick and tired of agents telling us to "Play more hits guys" instead of playing what we wanted to play. So I walked away from it. The music business has gotten a lot worse since then. Just look at what passes for music nowadays.
Anyway regardless I've decided to pick up my guitar again and give it a go for my own amusement and bemusement, and I have to say that man do I suck. But It's coming back to me slowly and I am getting better.
Monday, September 16, 2019
The Ford Model T (colloquially known as the Tin Lizzie, Tin Lizzy, T‑Model Ford, Model T, or T) is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from October 1, 1908, to May 26, 1927. It is generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, the car that opened travel to the common middle-class American; some of this was because of Ford's efficient fabrication, including assembly line production instead of individual hand crafting.
The Ford Model T was named the most influential car of the 20th century in the 1999 Car of the Century competition, ahead of the BMC Mini, Citroën DS, and Volkswagen Type 1, and still makes top ten list of most sold cars (ranked eighth) as of 2012.
Although automobiles had already existed for decades, their adoption had been limited, and they were still mostly scarce and expensive. Automobiles were considered extreme luxury for the common man until the Model T. The Model T set 1908 as the historic year that the automobile became popular for the mass market. The first production Model T was produced on August 12, 1908 and left the factory on September 27, 1908, at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan. On May 26, 1927, Henry Ford watched the 15 millionth Model T Ford roll off the assembly line at his factory in Highland Park, Michigan.
There were several cars produced or prototyped by Henry Ford from the founding of the company in 1903 until the Model T was introduced. Although he started with the Model A, there were not 19 production models (A through T); some were only prototypes. The production model immediately before the Model T was the Model S, an upgraded version of the company's largest success to that point, the Model N. The follow-up was the Ford Model A (rather than any Model U). The company publicity said this was because the new car was such a departure from the old that Henry wanted to start all over again with the letter A.
The Model T was Ford's first automobile mass-produced on moving assembly lines with completely interchangeable parts, marketed to the middle class. Henry Ford said of the vehicle:
I will build a car for the great multitude. It will be large enough for the family, but small enough for the individual to run and care for. It will be constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God's great open spaces.Although credit for the development of the assembly line belongs to Ransom E. Olds with the first mass-produced automobile, the Oldsmobile Curved Dash, beginning in 1901, the tremendous advancements in the efficiency of the system over the life of the Model T can be credited almost entirely to the vision of Ford and his engineers.
Thursday, August 1, 2019
An excellent model over all though I did have a hard time fitting the two outer shell halves together.
There are some minor exterior details that were missed from the kit. I added the exterior detail.
The EVA Pod is a fictional spacecraft used for extra-vehicular activity seen in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Jupiter spacecraft Discovery One carries three of these small, one-man maintenance vehicles. The craft has similarities with the in development FlexCraft for servicing NASA Deep Space Habitats.
The Pod appears briefly in the background in scenes from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (in Watto's junkyard) and Ready Player One (in Aech's garage) as tributes to the film.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Project Gemini was NASA's second human spaceflight program. Conducted between projects Mercury and Apollo, Gemini started in 1961 and concluded in 1966. The Gemini spacecraft carried a two-astronaut crew. Ten Gemini crews flew low Earth orbit (LEO) missions during 1965 and 1966, putting the United States in the lead during the Cold War Space Race against the Soviet Union.
Gemini's objective was the development of space travel techniques to support the Apollo mission to land astronauts on the Moon. It performed missions long enough for a trip to the Moon and back, perfected working outside the spacecraft with extra-vehicular activity (EVA), and pioneered the orbital maneuvers necessary to achieve space rendezvous and docking. With these new techniques proven by Gemini, Apollo could pursue its prime mission without doing these fundamental exploratory operations.
All Gemini flights were launched from Launch Complex 19 (LC-19) at Cape Kennedy Air Force Station in Florida. Their launch vehicle was the Gemini–Titan II, a modified Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Gemini was the first program to use the newly built Mission Control Center at the Houston Manned Spacecraft Center for flight control.
The astronaut corps that supported Project Gemini included the "Mercury Seven", "The New Nine", and the 1963 astronaut class. During the program, three astronauts died in air crashes during training, including both members of the prime crew for Gemini 9. This mission was flown by the backup crew, the only time a backup crew has completely replaced a prime crew on a mission in NASA's history to date.
Gemini was robust enough that the United States Air Force planned to use it for the Manned Orbital Laboratory (MOL) program, which was later canceled. Gemini's chief designer, Jim Chamberlin, also made detailed plans for cislunar and lunar landing missions in late 1961. He believed Gemini spacecraft could fly in lunar operations before Project Apollo, and cost less. NASA's administration did not approve those plans. In 1969, McDonnell-Douglas proposed a "Big Gemini" that could have been used to shuttle up to 12 astronauts to the planned space stations in the Apollo Applications Project (AAP). The only AAP project funded was Skylab – which used existing spacecraft and hardware – thereby eliminating the need for Big Gemini.
The constellation for which the project was named is commonly pronounced //, the last syllable rhyming with eye. However, staff of the Manned Spacecraft Center, including the astronauts, tended to pronounce the name //, rhyming with knee. NASA's public affairs office issued a statement in 1965 declaring "Jeh-mih-nee" the "official" pronunciation. Gus Grissom, acting as Houston capsule communicator when Ed White performed his spacewalk on Gemini 4, is heard on flight recordings pronouncing the spacecraft's call sign "Jeh-mih-nee 4", and the NASA pronunciation is used in the film First Man.
Monday, July 15, 2019
The Dodge LCF (for "Low Cab Forward") was a series of medium- and heavy-duty trucks built by Dodge from 1960 until 1976. They replaced the Dodge Forward Look range of cabover trucks built in the fifties. The 500 through 700 series were medium duty only, while 800 through 1000 series were reserved for heavy-duty versions.
LCF range was also sold in Canada with the Fargo badge. In addition, following Chrysler Corporation policy of badge engineering to provide a greater number of sales outlets overseas, LCFs were also marketed in some countries with the De Soto badge.
LCF cabin section was taken directly from the 1956–1960 range of Dodge pickup trucks, with its panoramic windshield, but was fitted with a unique front section. One of the Dodge LCF's main selling points was accessibility; the sides of the engine compartment and fenders being arranged to swing open. A mechanic could easily stand between the engine and the front wheel while working.
A range of Dodge and International Harvester gasoline engines were available, as were diesels from Perkins (for lighter variants), Cummins, Caterpillar, and Detroit Diesel for the heaviest duty versions, both six-cylinder and V8 versions. Gasoline-powered versions were simply called the "C" series, followed by a numeral indicating weight class, and all of them were V8-powered. Perkins diesel-engined units were called "PC", while inline diesels were called "CN" and V-type diesels were "CV". A "T" following the letters indicates a tandem rear axle. On LCFs equipped with inline-six diesels the engine intruded into the cabin. This was covered with a removable panel for maintenance. A near unlimited range of engines, transmissions, and rear axles were available for what was usually a built-to-order truck. The biggest diesel available was the Cummins V-903, a giant 903 cu in (14,794 cc) unit with a modest 289 hp (216 kW) max output. The smaller 567 cu in (9,299 cc) Detroit Diesel 8V-71N was the most powerful engine, with 300 hp (224 kW) on tap.
With Dodge pulling out of the heavy truck business, the C series' last year in the US market was 1975. A few hundred more CNT800's and CNT900's were exported in 1976 as CKD kits to Latin American countries, where the last units were assembled until 1978.
Friday, July 5, 2019
An all wood and metal kit this model builds up to a beautiful piece.
Stephenson's Rocket was an early steam locomotive of 0-2-2 wheel arrangement. It was built for, and won, the Rainhill Trials held by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in 1829 to choose the best design to power the railway.
Rocket was designed by Robert Stephenson in 1829, and built at the Forth Street Works of his company in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Though Rocket was not the first steam locomotive, it was the first to bring together several innovations to produce the most advanced locomotive of its day. It is the most famous example of an evolving design of locomotives by Stephenson that became the template for most steam engines in the following 150 years.
The locomotive was preserved and displayed in the Science Museum in London until 2018. It was loaned to Newcastle Discovery Museum between 22 June and 9 September 2018, to the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester from 25 September 2018 to 8 September 2019, and will move to the National Railway Museum in York later in 2019.
Thursday, June 13, 2019
Mercer was an American automobile manufacturer from 1909 until 1925. It was notable for its high-performance cars, especially the Type 35 Raceabout.
There was considerable talent and backing for the Mercer Automobile Company; Ferdinand Roebling, son of John A. Roebling, was the president, and his nephew Washington A. Roebling II was the general manager. The Roeblings had extensive success with wire rope manufacturing and suspension bridge design; engineering was not a recent concept for them. The secretary-treasurer was John L. Kuser, who, with his brothers Frederick and Anthony, had amassed a fortune from banking, bottling and brewing.
Washington A. Roebling II was friends with William Walter, who had been making a small number of high-quality automobiles in New York City. The Kusers owned a vacant brewery in Hamilton, New Jersey, and brought Walter and his car factory there in 1906. However, Walter found himself deeply in debt by 1909, so the Roeblings and Kusers bought him out in a foreclosure sale. They changed the company name to Mercer, named after Mercer County, New Jersey. Talented designers and race drivers contributed to the new effort, and the focus became proving their product in competition.
The result was one of the most admired sports cars of the decade; the 1910 Type-35R Raceabout, a stripped-down, two-seat speedster, designed to be "safely and consistently" driven at over 70 mph (110 km/h). It was capable of over 90 mph (140 km/h). The Raceabout's inline 4-cylinder T-head engine displaced 293 cubic inches (4,800 cc) and developed 55 horsepower (41 kW) at 1,650 revolutions per minute. It won five of the six 1911 races it was entered in, losing only the first Indianapolis 500. Hundreds of racing victories followed. The Raceabout became one of the premier racing thoroughbreds of the era- highly coveted for its quality construction and exceptional handling.
In the 1914 road races in Elgin, Illinois, two Raceabouts collided and wrecked. Spencer Wishart, a champion racer who always wore shirt and tie under his overalls, was killed along with the car's mechanic, John Jenter. This prompted the company to cancel its racing program. The Raceabout's designer left the company that year, and subsequent designs did not live up to the glory and appeal the Type-35R had earned.
Earlier in February 1914, Eddie Pullen, who worked at the factory from 1910, won the American Grand Prize held at Santa Monica, California, by racing for 403 mi (649 km) in a Raceabout. Later that same year, Eddie also won The Corona Road Race held in Corona, California, on November 26. For winning the 300-mile (480 km) big car event, Pullen won $4,000 and an additional $2,000 for setting a new world road race record. His average speed of 86.5 mph (139.21 km/h) broke the record of 78.72 mph (126.69 km/h) set by Teddy Tetzlaff at Santa Monica in 1912.
n October, 1919, after the last involved Roebling brother died (Washington A. Roebling II perished in the 1912 Titanic disaster), the company was obtained by a Wall Street firm that placed ex-Packard vice-president Emlem Hare in charge, organizing Mercer under the Hare's Motors corporate banner. Hare looked to expand, increasing Mercer's models and production, and also purchasing the Locomobile & Crane-Simplex marques. Within a few years, the cost of these acquisitions and the economic recession took a financial toll on Hare's Motors. Locomobile was liquidated and purchased by Durant Motors in 1922, and Mercer produced its last vehicles in 1925, after some 5,000 had been built.
An independent effort to revive the marque in 1931 resulted in only 3 vehicles being constructed and displayed.
The company is currently owned by Fred Hoch of Schaeffer & Long.