Global Skywatch

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Small Town Automotive

by Jeffrey Nichols A friend wrote this essay as a college assignment. I liked it on many levels and, with permission, republish it here. By the way, the dilapidated pickup he mentions is mine. The high-G ‘rat-rod’ CRX Nick custom-built an exhaust system for is also mine. Planning to show my high-G rat-rod next to Jeff’s similar one was the reason I went to the Memorial Day car show. But on to the pleasant guest essay… I took the drive down from Missoula and walked in the back door the other day. Under a dilapidated blue S10 pickup Ben Roland, my father’s current grease-monkey-in-training, gave me the most sincere ear to ear grin a guy could ask for. His arms […]

Memorial Day Car Show

The Hamilton Montana Bitterrodders car club helped put on a fund raising car show for the Valley Veterans Service Center on a beautiful Memorial day. It was cleverly designed where people showing their cars donated ten bucks to the cause and admirers voted for their favorite cars by putting dollar bills in the cups in front of each. I put my “rat rod CRX” in as a minor contribution. Someone (not me, I swear) put a buck in the cup in front of my car … a sympathy vote, fershur. […]

For Sale

I have some clearing out to do. I am posting the information and photos here so I can reference them from other sites. Of course if you are interested in any of it, send mail to Ted at BitterrootBugle dot com Flock of Chickens – $100 This is a nicely balanced flock with 15 hens in their prime, three of them had yet to start laying when winter set in. Quite a few breeds in this flock produce multi-colored eggs, brown, tan, blue and green. I thinned out 2 middle aged roosters a few months ago, keeping grandpa who the girls liked to hang out with and one who was too young to bother the hens. Two of the hens […]

driving … or not

While wearing my baby teeth I was racing toy cars over road-race courses of my own making on the carpet. Smallest of the bunch, I was beating all other home-made coasters on our downhill courses, making maneuvers others did not dare. In bicycle boonie-crashing I had no peers, not from muscle mass, of which I had none, but, well, I am and have always been a driver. Graduating to internal combustion engines, and automobiles didn’t change much in relative skill levels, just put me into a new league. Autocrossing had my Porsche 912, then Porsche 356B, the Porsche 356A Speedster winning consistently. At the time I thought my cars were magical. My 650 single-carb BSA was the lowest horsepower in […]

freshly bathed CRX

I spent over 20 years with a ’56 Porsche Speedster as my main ride. I wouldn’t give up a minute of it. But I sold that to finance my escape from The People’s Republic of California. About 16 years later I got a little runabout that scratches the same itch. Today I gave it a bath. It is very un-pretty. The Speedster highly rewarded washing and waxing. The CRX does not. I probably have not washed it in a year. It may be subtle, but I did notice and appreciate the cleaner look. It would be a treat to drive them one after another at Sears Point, Laguna Seca or over the Lost Trail Pass. That, of course, is […]

DUI vs drunk on power

Literally half a lifetime ago, I read a great essay in either Car & Driver, or Road & Track (I used to subscribe to both) about alcohol-impaired driving. It was a thoughtful, honest appraisal developed with real world field testing. Different people react differently to consumption of beer, wine and liquor. Some at .08 had distinct reduction in driving competence. Others could out-drive them at double that. If you have spent any time around such people, YOU KNOW THAT. But the assumption of prohibitionist legislators is that drink is BAD… any and all. The only limit to what rules they can lay on drinkers is what the legislatures can get away with… almost no limits at all in Utah. In […]

special airplane

The world’s largest airplane just rolled out of its hanger. This is the most ridiculous looking aircraft I have ever seen. It begs for treatment by The Onion. You may want to check with them occasionally to see what the professionals came up with. Meanwhile, I’ll give it a shot, and them some food for thought. Boeing rolls out transporter for clans who don’t get along, but are forced to travel together. FAA rules force airliners to accommodate gender-gymnasts and homophobes on future flights. Airbus halves the time spent loading and unloading passengers with four-door airliner. Cessna, Superglue and JB-Weld partnership develops very special airplane. Billionaire Paul Allen turns Boy Scouts balsa-wood project from his youth into full scale […]

get a grip

I found this post and graphic, but have a much simpler view of it. Number 4, called the 10 and 2 o’clock position, taught in driver’s training, is the correct one for street use. While reasonably relaxed, you can make instantaneous steering changes while retaining complete control of your vehicle. In intense driving situations, such as racing, when you are demanding 100% from man and machine, 9 and 3 are better for control and recovery. They are just more tiring to hold. The only other choice is to remain parked until you are ready to drive. All of the rest are non-driving positions, ready for nothing. It was unavoidable… Accidents happen… If you are lounging in the driver’s seat, you […]

impaired driving

These clips from a news article hardly need an introduction… business as usual for the politicians, the lobbyists and the industrialists. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), citing federal statistics, last week issued an update of a comprehensive 2015 report saying that 43 percent of drivers tested in fatal crashes in 2015 had used a legal or illegal drug, higher than the 37 percent who tested above the legal limit for alcohol. MADD officials also questioned the methodology of the research in the report, noting that there is no scientifically agreed level of impairment with drugs such as marijuana. There is also no uniform test, roadside or otherwise, to determine such a level. To some, the report smacked of an […]

Weekend of a Champion

Last night we enjoyed a 2013 movie, most of which was made by Roman Polanski during three days he spent with Jackie Stewart in 1971, leading up to and including Jackie’s drive in the Monaco Grand Prix. Ya’all ought to know I am A CAR GUY. I have been a dedicated car guy, and in particular, road-racing car guy since I was five years old, or so. Anything that involves high-performance driving turning right as well as left has my interest. I subscribed to Road & Track and Car & Driver in the 70’s, watching Jackie via those pages during his peak. I also found autocross and began legitimate sports car performance competition about that time. I differentiate that from […]

speed limits

Writer and publisher Eric Peters is A Genuine Car Guy. I know, because I am A Genuine Car Guy. We recognize our own kind. His article and video on speed limits below are spot on, inspiring me to share them and a bit more. In my case, I held road races with my model cars on the floor in our house … amusing myself for hours, days and years … just my models and a little kid who loved cars. Mom the librarian, concerned I didn’t read enough, brought home books on auto racing and dogs. Turns out I liked reading the good stuff just fine. In later years I was a loyal subscriber to either Road And Track or […]

gotta have a truck … but

I have to have a truck. They haul stuff. And I like to do stuff. … match made in heaven. But I’ve been a car, racer, sports car guy for longer than you have been alive. I have to have something that scratches that itch. The wimmen in my life don’t like me running about on motorcycles. I have to admit that I run near the edge, and am much more skillful at the edge with cars than I am with bikes. Granted, my skills once were interchangeable, but they are not now, and regaining the bike talent carries certain risk.. Thus, given that I WILL run near the edge, it is a whole lot smarter to do it on […]

chicken strips

Motorcycle tire technology has come a long ways from those state-of-the-art Dunlop K81 tires I put on my cafe’ racer BSA 40 years ago. This is a good thing. The K81s had a distinctly wedge shape to the sides forming a very wide traction patch at what the engineers felt was the optimum cornering angle. Kind-of like this: \_/ I became pretty good at hard-charging corners along the hills, rivers and rugged Pacific coasline in my neighborhood. Until the day my lean angle exceeded that designed into the tire. Going off the broad part in a full-G turn had the bike disappear out from under me and my blue jeans disappear from my knee area before my body stopped sliding […]

home-made motorcycle cover

At the beginning of the month I got an offer I couldn’t refuse on a BMW motorcycle. It was a brand and style I’ve been dreaming about for lots of years, but at a price I’ve never seen the likes of. I thought I could widen the entrance and reorganize our ‘sally port’ to park it under a cover. That didn’t work out. Plan B was an all weather motorcycle cover. I didn’t really want to spend the bucks … well, at least not right away. So I bought the better quality tarp offered by our local hardware and building-supply store. I tied it on with bailing twine, figuring that would get me by for months. That became tedious getting […]