Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bits and Bobs

I haven't posted about "Her Majesty" in awhile because, well, not much is going on with her.

I haven't been very happy with the install of the left side mirror. It jiggled too much and when I pulled it back out for repairs I ended up destroying the little custom wing nut. I decided to just fab a replacement and settled on this little rubber stopper from Home Depot. I drilled a hole down the center for the machine screw to rest inside and slid it back into the handle. It is much more secure now.

Last month I ordered an ACE Canister air intake system from Classic Motor Works, but the line was discontinued due to a faulty reflector screen (it was burning seats!). I was on the fence about whether or not I should just replace the cheap-o filter until I came across a K&N unit for $40. I've used K&N products in the past and have been really happy with the results. It was an easy install.

Other than a few nagging items she's all ready for her visit to the shop and the dreaded "state inspection of doom".

The $.80 rubber stopper.

I drilled a hole down the center for the machine screw.

Here's the result. It looks and feels a bit more professional.

The old and very bulky filter box.

Old intake - gone.

My new K&N from Classic Motor Works.

Installation was easy and future cleanings will be even easier.

Not exactly the look I was going for but engine performance should be much improved.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Automobiles d'Art Deco

"Life imitates art far more than art imitates life."
-Oscar Wilde

If you are a lover of classic automobiles and you find yourself in Oxnard, California it would be worth a visit to the new Mullin Automotive Museum.

According to the museum website:

The French Curves Collection exemplifies the zenith of the French automobile. The collection includes some of the most beautifully styled and amazingly engineered French-built cars covering several decades: Bugattis, Delages, Delahayes, Hispano Suizas, Talbot-Lagos and Voisins.

Many notable cars in this collection have won prestigious awards at concours d'elegance throughout the world. In addition, a number of the race cars have been past winners of historic races, such as the Grand Prix de Pau and Le Mans.


Photo credit to eXtravaganzi.

Ready For The Weird?

A few years ago I read a small article in Rolling Stone magazine about an avante-garde/synth-rock band up in Pittsburgh called Black Moth Super Rainbow that had been making some waves in the local music scene. I purchased their third album, Dandelion Gum, fell in love with the sound, and worked my way through their back catalog. I had the chance to catch a live show last year here in Washington, DC and was blown away. BMSR is currently on hiatus as band members explore side projects.

On May 25th, Tobacco (songwriter and vocoder-man of BMSR) released his second solo album Maniac Meat, featuring vocals by Beck on two tracks, "Fresh Hex," and "Grape Aerosmith."

I haven't had the chance to listen to the entire album yet, but the two artsy videos below may throw your brain into sensory overload. The second should be viewed at your own risk. Don't say I didn't warn you:

TOBACCO - Grape Aerosmith (feat. Beck) Official Video.

Watch this next one at your own risk. No, seriously. It's NSFW:

TOBACCO - Super Gum.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Vinyl Trip

I picked up two relatively new albums this past weekend at my favorite local vinyl one-stop-shop. Don't hate. I may be a tweenie bopper but at least I stay Current.

The thing I love about the revitalized record biz is that most companies now offer either a free mp3 album download or a free CD included in the packaging. If you can't beat the heat you can at least save a little coin.

Anyway, both albums are pretty dope and I'll be rocking them until the end of summer.

Carry on...

1977 Honda CB400

Friday, August 20, 2010

Method and Motorcycles

Warren Beatty cornering on a Triumph.

While cleaning up some old photos on my computer I came across a file titled "random actors on motorcycles". Upon further investigation I realized that they are not really random at all. In fact, they share one important bond aside from their love of speed. That is to say that they are all associated with The Method school of acting.

According to one description:

The “Method” required a performer to draw on his or her own self, on experiences, memories, and emotions that could inform a characterization and shape how a character might speak or move. Characters were thus shown to have an interior life; rather than being stereotyped figures representing a single concept (the villain, the heroine), they could become complex human beings with multiple and contradictory feelings and desires. it was the ability to convey the complexity-indeed the confusion of inner feelings that made the Actors Studio-trained Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, and James Dean such emblematic figures for the Postwar era.

So there you have it. Now if I could only rationalize their affinity for Triumphs.

Steve McQueen glides around on his Triumph.

Paul Newman ready for some desert scrambling.

Actor Mickey Rourke on his Kawasaki in this production still from the movie Rumble Fish, 1983.

Marlon Brando lounges atop his Triumph Tiger in this production still from the movie The Wild One, 1953.

James Dean astride his Triumph.

Jack Nicholson in The Rebel Rousers, 1970.

Dennis Hopper rides his customized Panhead in Easy Rider, 1969.

Al Pacino in Paramount's Serpico, 1973. Seen here on a Honda Superhawk CB77.

ca. 2001 — Daniel Day-​​Lewis in Brimmed Hat on Motorcycle — Image by © Steve Smith/​Corbis

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Retro Obsession: The Houston Oilers

The Astrodome, Houston, Texas.
(AKA "The House of Pain") (AKA "The Eighth Wonder of the World")

It is a tough thing being a football fan. Even more so when your team no longer exists. For me that team was the Houston Oilers. The most frustratingly great football franchise in NFL history, and a lifelong addiction that I still can't seem to kick.

You see, football addicts generally have the opportunity to confront their sins, their past misgivings, and/or their failures. As an Oilers fan I will never have that opportunity. I was rocking my baby blue and white #1 jersey while other kids my age were sporting black and silver Raiders Starter jackets. But, it has been well over fifteen years now and I still haven't recuperated from that ridiculous loss to Denver in the playoffs, and, ummm...that 1992 Wild Card "game" against the Bills.

Despite all of the setbacks, the Oilers were able to draft and sign some tremendous talent, bring in larger than life personalities, and field some remarkably good football teams. Everything was big about that franchise. The cowboy hats, the hype, that "good-old-boy" Texas-sized ego, the marketing schtick, the on-field and off-the-field player antics, and the rivalries; those fabled matchups between the Steelers, Browns, and Bengals.

The teams over the years had serious swagger even if they couldn't always back up the trash talk, and provided entertainment at a time when the league's future was very much in jeopardy. I used to work with a guy that played for the Oilers back in the late 60s and he had some great stories from that era.

I will never know what true redemption feels like regardless of how many times the Tennessee Titans make it to the Super Bowl. And no, I am not a Tennessee fan now. I am a Redskin. A real glutton for punishment.

R.I.P. Oilers (1960-1996)

Still Luv Ya Blue!

Outspoken Oilers team owner "Bud" Adams (left) and singer/songwriter Mack Hayes. Hayes wrote and sang the tune that would eventually become the Oilers fight song.

Coach Bum Phillips. As coach of the Oilers, he became the winningest coach in franchise history (59-38 record). He was known for his folksy mannerisms, and for wearing his trademark cowboy hat on the sidelines, except when the Oilers played in the Astrodome or other domed stadiums. (He stated that his mother taught him not to wear a hat indoors.) Via

The unstoppable Earl Campbell. Every kid growing up in Texas had at least one #34 jersey in the closet.

Hall of Fame defensive end, Elvin Bethea. Bustin' heads no doubt.

Campbell doing what he does best. Attacking that line of scrimmage.

Billy "White Shoes" Johnson doing his famed "funky chicken" in the endzone after a score. Yeah #37, you just got burned.

Jerry Glanville. Is there a more hated head coach in NFL history?

Hall of Famer Warren Moon. My favorite quarterback. Ever. 49,325 career yards and 291 touchdown passes.

Target 1: Drew Hill. Five 1,000+ yard seasons with the Oilers. 9,831 career receiving yards and 60 touchdowns.

Target 2: Haywood Jeffires. Two 1,000+ yard seasons with the Oilers. 6,334 career receiving yards and 50 touchdowns.

Target 3: Ernest Givins. One 1,000 yard season with the Oilers. 8,215 career receiving yards and 49 touchdowns.

Target 4: Curtis Duncan. 3,935 career receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. All as an Oiler.

Blue collar defensive lineman, Ray Childress. Nasty.

Hall of Fame guard Mike Munchak protecting Moon in the pocket.

The Houston Oilers Cheerleaders - The Derrek Dolls

Running back Lorenzo White looking for a seam to run through.

Chris Dishman. The brash, flashy and outspoken cornerback. The Oilers' answer to Neon Deion. In 1991 he had a seven game stretch where he forced at least one turnover in each game.

One of the greatest offensive tackles ever to play the game. Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews.

Running back Alonzo Highsmith. One in a long line of great rb's from The U.

The great Eddie George beginning his career in Houston.

The late-great Steve McNair.

Houston Oilers Roughneck, Art Horridge, banging his drum for the last time. Sunday, December 17, 1995 at the Dome.

I need this in my life.