Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Introducing The M16-28 Project

After searching for a couple of years for a truck from the 1930's (my favorite era from a design and aesthetics point of view) I finally found this cool old truck with a story.  I brought it home a couple of weeks ago and have just started to remove the front clip and some of the interior components in what I think will be around a two to three year project.  So it won't take up much space in the blog, but I will pop in an update once in a while. 

So what is an M16-28?  Well this is an M Series Studebaker with a 128 inch long wheel base with a 1.5 Ton rating.  The amazing thing is that this truck was in service until the 1980's.  It is now 70 years old!  The technical challenge of getting it restored has led to uncovering some really interesting history - more about that as I post updates.  This truck has an old Gar Wood dump system and a Bendix power brake circuit too.  Neither function today, but will over the following months.  I've learned that the Studebaker Museum has build sheets for any S/N and manuals - both shop and parts manuals that identify all of the bits and pieces. 

All that remains of the Bendix R-60...  LOL a couple of hoses and a clevis where the unit used to be!

The great news is that the PTU, drive shaft to the gear pump and control block for the dump system are all there.  Seized at the moment, but all there! 

More later, as the year come to a close, I'll be posting my prognostications (New Years), and roadside oddities for 2016 in the weeks ahead. 


Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

Well another Thanksgiving has come and gone.  There's so much to be grateful for!  This year's Grace was special to me as I was fortunate enough to recount so many special and meaningful gifts.  Not everything is perfect, we all have challenges and that is what makes those wonderful blessing so much sweeter.  Many of my blog visitors are not from the US.  Actually tens of thousands have visit from nearly 100 countries now.  So what is this "Thanksgiving we celebrate in the US?  The following section is from: http://myocn.net/thanksgiving-explained/  I re-post it here without a link for your reading pleasure. It captures the spirit of this day at least for me.  It's notable to understand that this holiday came about as a tradition inspired by the carnage of the American Civil War. 

Thanksgiving Explained

The Orthodox Christian Network is proud to feature inspirational writings that serve as reminders of ‘Sparks of Good’ and examples of God’s grace and all for whom we remain thankful.  ‘Lincoln and a Wartime Thanksgiving’, republished below with permission from the author, is a masterfully researched, beautiful article that reminds us, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, to offer “Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”.  We invite you to remember this article each Thanksgiving, as a reminder of this national day of “Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer”,  and read this with your families for many years to come.

By Stephen M. McLean
It would be wonderful if Thanksgiving could take place in a year of broadly enjoyed prosperity at home and tranquility abroad, but that is not to be.  All the more important, then, to recall that when Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863, the country faced far graver circumstances.
In early spring of that year, the war that had split the United States seemed destined for a disastrous outcome. Union defeats throughout 1862, culminating with the horrific loss at Fredericksburg, demonstrated the nation’s precarious position. President Lincoln struggled to address the military and political challenges confronting the country.
Source: Washington Post. Abraham Lincoln in 1865. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Source: Washington Post. Abraham Lincoln in 1865. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)
Yet Lincoln was also concerned with the soul of his nation. He gave voice to the convictions that lead to the creation of Thanksgiving in two proclamations. The first was on March 30, and in it he sought to share with his countrymen his sense of personal humility, calling for a national day of “Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer”:
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.
“We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
“Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”
That summer proved to be the turning point in the Civil War, with Union victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg. Though the rebellion appeared to be receding, Lincoln was under no illusions. Enormous risks and challenges lay ahead. The war’s end was nowhere in sight, but once it had ended, as Lincoln would later observe in the Gettysburg Address, the “great task,” the “unfinished work” would need to start with reuniting a nation.
Amid the signs of promise in 1863, it was time to thank the God whom Lincoln credited for both personal and national success. In October, the president issued an invitation asking all Americans to join him in expressing gratitude for their deliverance. He also asked that amid their celebration, people request God’s grace for the families who had borne the worst of the brutal war.
In his proclamation establishing the Thanksgiving national holiday, President Lincoln said:
“The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God. . . .
“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged.”
Source: Whitehousehistory.org and National Archives and Records Administration.
Source: Whitehousehistory.org and National Archives and Records Administration.
On Thanksgiving, President Lincoln’s thoughts are worth recalling in a nation grown more prosperous and powerful than the 16th president could have ever envisioned. They are particularly relevant when so many of its sons, daughters and their families still bear the burden of protecting democracy, and when on the home front so many are anxious about the direction of the country and the economy.
Amid happy and grateful Thanksgiving celebrations, we would do well to reflect also that the United States remains, as it was in Lincoln’s time, a nation with a boundless capacity for renewal.

An amazing message.  My hopes for you are good health, prosperity and peace.  Please don't forget to tell those you love that they are in your heart. 

So what did we do?

This is NOT a very serious competition! Most importantly is to enjoy the company of others as you work off a few hundred calories before the REAL competition - eating that Turkey Dinner!

We did the 5 kilometer walk/trot/run/eat that was sponsored by our local Civil Air Patrol.
 Then we ate! 


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Project M16-28

Another wonderful weekend... this time a wander through the Pabst Mansion and the last of the Christmas gift shopping.  All good stuff.  But the big news is the launch of the M16-28 project!

More about Project M16-28 as time goes on.  This is the first post of my '47 project truck.  Over the next few years I'll update the blog on progress.

The Pabst Mansion.  We've toured many of the old money mansions around the US.  Capt. Pabst is the quintessential American success story.  Learning about his life and touring his home was a little bit of a history lesson coupled with the visual experience of walking through the old estate.  The hidden cabinets, the acoustic tricks, the fantastic art.  I saw "Columbus in Chains"   and a plethora of art that meant something to the man and the time.  Simply amazing.  I learned  so much on this tour.

This atrium was actually part of the Pabst exhibition at the Chicago World's Fair.  The cross at the top replaced a stained glass dome and was added during the time that the mansion was in the possession of the Catholic Diocese.  Photography is not allowed {normally) so this is the best I can do to share the visual experience

Then it was on to the Milwaukee Art Museum. This is an outdoor sculpture.  The artist was trying to evoke the feelings of loss associated with is own personal feelings involving automotive accidents and loss of life. 

The main level of the MAM.  The wings weren't deployed today because the winds were too high.  Calatrava is an incredible architect.   This structure has complicated load paths, wings and cantilevered beams that sit on pinned connections...  Beauty and science fused in a concrete and glass.
Hope you all liked the pics!


Thursday, November 17, 2016

A night with the Glenn Miller Orchestra

We saw the Glenn Miller Orchestra tonight at a sold out theater.  Big Band music is timeless.  Here are a few snippets...  I was very surprised to see many twenty somethings buying the bands CD.  Only enough time tonight to upload the clip in MOV format.  I'll try to repost it as a more universal MP4 this weekend. Sorry if the MOV file doesn't play on your computer...

I love big band music and have several CD's.  What a delight to see and hear the Glenn Miller Orchestra tonight.  As the show went on, I was imagining what it must have been like to hear these songs on the radio back in the 30's and 40's.  Glenn Miller's band only existed from '38 to '42 and in that time composed over 800 pieces.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tonight's Super Moon as seen from my deck under a beautiful clear November sky.

Tonight’s full moon will appear bigger and brighter in the night sky than it has in nearly 70 years!  So I spun the adapter on the Celestron for the trusty Nikon and took a few pics to commemorate the event!  I hope you enjoy!

This got me thinking about the variability of other stuff in our cosmos

Our planet varies it's ellipticity over a 100,000 year cycle... Thank you Milankovitch for calculating that.

The Earth's tilt is not constant either... nope.  It varies from 24.5 to 21.5 degrees over a periodicity of 41,000 years.

So good 'ole planet Earth has a 100,000 year eccentricity, a 41,000 year obliquity and a 21,000 year precession. I wonder what the effect of all that wiggling has on climate change?

Then there is the variation of our sun... The 1500 year Suess Cycle...

The sun itself rotates around the center of gravity of the Solar System every 11.1 years! So it does not spin in the center, but spins around the CG.

There are other tricks our sun does every 22, 87 and 210 years that influence solar storms, galactic velocity and who knows what else?

The last time the moon was this close to Earth was on Jan. 26, 1948, when it came about 30 miles closer. The next time we will see anything like this won’t be until Nov. 24, 2034, when the distance between the two bodies will be 40 miles less, even closer than '48.

The moon’s orbit varies due to the ever-changing distances and relative position of the sun, moon and Earth. Thanks to these variations in  gravitational forces, the moon’s orbit is sometimes more oval shaped, and other times more circular.  AML NLO, JRO and SEO AML

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The World Waits... Really?

Election day in the US after notably strange campaigns ran by pretty much all candidates is finally here.

So I thought to myself - Self; have elections always been so wackyHas the press played partisan politics in the pastHave other elections been as annoying as this one?

Well lets have a look at the current state: 

Currently I think something like 76% dis-approve of congress.... that should tell the average onlooker something about the sentiments of the voting public.  Right or Left... people in general are a bit grumpy about their elected lawmakers.  Strangely - in this election I rarely saw party affiliations on roadside signs.  Hmmmm.  Maybe the next president will actually work with congress!  Or, maybe not...

What does history have to say?




So take heart...  it's been crazier - seems like it's all been done before as hard as it is to comprehend that.  Chances are tomorrow will be pretty much like today. At least that is what history tells us - we're resilient and the countless numbers of people who make up public sentiment is pretty awesome.  The big ideas and c-change events that make things better - or worse... take time to evolve into actions and even longer to be implemented.  Those things come from normal people with exceptional ideas who always create the "next big thing" in their garages - far far away from congress.  For the better, me thinks, this is generally a good thing.

One thing that I am very grateful for is the end of all of the absurd commercials.  I'm also looking forward to tuning back into network news after a long hiatus of watching the "Farm Report" every morning!    Actually - I have to say, I really like the RFD-TV and I would never have found this channel were it not for the droning on of polemics on network news shows every day.  Thanks ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX!  I now have a much better appreciation for pork bellies and soy futures. 

Hope everyone in the US went out and voted your beliefs or hopes...  may the best ones win!

Post election - here's a map by county showing which candidate received a majority of votes.

Red is Trump  Blue is Clinton


Sunday, November 6, 2016

The nicest November I can ever remember waterfalls post!

So we did a little hiking!  Amnicon Falls is a wonderful park nearby.  The day time temps were 70 F which is amazing for the first week of November for latitudes this far North in North America.

BUT first... my latest pizza adventure.  Many of my blog readers know I have zeroed in on the perfect crust... this latest creation has apples, walnuts, gorgonzola and few other secret ingredients!

Onward to Amnicon Falls! Named in the Ojibwe for "spawning grounds..."

We're headed into the second week of November and it was 70F here today! 

The river is low, but the geology and the beauty is still there.

There are about a dozen falls in this section of the river.

The upper falls are in basaltic rock.

The lower falls are in sandstone.  The sandstone formation is over 3000 ft deep.

No bugs, gentle breeze and 70F.  One of those late fall days that are so memorable for the pleasant temps and blue skies!

The river branches into two in the upper basalt basin.

This park is also accessible in winter for snow shoeing.  We may return for some winter falls pictures.

The transition from basalt to sandstone is very abrupt.  Here we found that there was juuust enough flow in the river to create a small flow over...

This pano actually spans the basalt to sandstone transition

A beautiful day!

You'll never guess what this water is called...

Numerous and beautiful!

Another view of the basaltic fork.
A great day to be walking in the woods and enjoying this park.  We also trekked nearby trails to an old rock quarry and explored the ruins of a long abandoned village that tended the old quarry.  Life is GOOD!