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Slide Rule

The Colonel's slide ruleWe mentioned that we would occasionally get whimsical this summer. 

If you used one of these, or are familiar with a slide rule, and we might as well throw in log tables too.

Tell us about it, leave a comment.

What on earth does a slide rule have to do with anything else. It was perhaps the first hand held calculator.

Agreed it was a slow way to calculate, but it also engaged the brain in the craft of calculating. Since back in the day, your brain was the first calculator.

In the days of the slide rule that craft of diagnosing, and repairing cars was in the human brain.

Perhaps in 2014 we are slowly, and inexorably omitting a level of craftsmanship in most of our endeavors, relying on technology to do the grunt work, the menial tasks, and erroneously thinking that its all good.

We could keep on going here, but surely you grasp that as humans, we are infinitely capable of applying craftmanship, artistry, even genius in our endeavours and activities.

What do you think? Leave a comment. 



Harley Live Wire

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Harley-Davidson electric motorcycle with Jay Leno.



Vroom Room

Good Morning!

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, come in make yourself comfortable, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation, leave a comment.

Must be a coincidence, this week we exchange thoughts with The Colonel on self driving cars, and it seems that everyone else is also discussing self driving cars. The bigger picture is that urban vehicle congestion is reaching an apex...that is a real challenge for urban areas.

Think about this for a moment, sophisticated modern vehicles bristling with technology slogging it out at 40 kph in a maze of congestion.

The other day the thought came to us that its 30 years that ABS (anti lock brake system) was offered on cars. If our memory works it was Mercedes-Benz and Bosch that did all the development work on ABS brakes, and Mercedes in the deal had an 18 month exclusivity agreement with Bosch.

You have to wonder how many folks today know how to use ABS brakes on any vehicle. Its not even a feature anymore, its a commodity that is taken for granted.

Its also about 30 years ago that cellular phones became available for cars. If you remember it was a voluminous box in the trunk, and a sizeable handset. Should we mention that one could not carry a conversation between Montreal and Toronto on the 401. There were not enough cells along the 401 at the time. 

Have you noticed the number of cellular antennas all over the place?

With vehicles full of technology hacking into a vehicle is a real possibility. An informative article and presentation on vulnerabilities, and opportunities to hack vehicles. Survey of Remote Hacking Surfaces.

Robin Williams, what can you say, our thoughts go out to his family. If you remember watching Mork and Mindy then you spent decades experiencing him in various contexts.

Think about this...the comments from most economists and scholars center on slow global growth, the lack of trade, exports, and unemployment. In the meantime real estate and auto sales are inexorably increasing in Canada, and no one seems to have a rational explanation. Go figure...

The Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr. incident, we are sorry for the outcome, in an age of social media everyone can see the incident. A ton of pundits are gladly sharing their thoughts. From our perspective its a deeply unfortunate racing accident that should not have happened. Sadly it did, in a few nano seconds lives are forever altered.

Its the Woodward Dream Cruise tomorrow.

Its the Pebble Beach Concours this week end.

Our habitual old race cars from Carmel Concours on the Avenue.




Indian Scout

Informative video on the design of the Scout...




Self Driving Cars

What are we doing talking about self driving cars? Or autonomous cars?

This morning we have The Colonel with us, lets see if he is willing to share his thoughts about self driving vehicles.

Q: Colonel Good Morning, how was your week end.

A: Great week end guys, yes...I feel good too.

Q: What do you think of the prospect of self driving vehicles?

A: What a loaded question, for urban areas its long overdue.

Q: Long overdue? Are you serious?

A: Have you driven in the GTA lately, or better yet who wants to drive in the GTA. Or any major metro area?

Q: But self driving cars, passively sitting in a vehicle?

A: I do not have much desire driving in constantly congested urban areas, perhaps you guys do.

Q: Have you reached a point that you do not enjoy driving?

A: I enjoy driving on my terms, in urban areas its on "someone else's" terms.

Q: We agree with you that the level and intensity of traffic is increasing on a daily basis, and its not much fun.

A: Precisely, let someone else do the slogging (driving) in traffic. 

Q: You have a penchant for high performance cars, V8's, horsepower.

A: Yes I do, and have come to realise that its not very useful on a daily basis.

Q: It must be frustrating?

A: Way back in the day if you got stuck in traffic with a high performance car it was not much fun, and would usually foul up a set of spark plugs. Today its not the case, but its even more frustrating.

Q: The instant a stretch of highway opens up, folks have a tendency to "throttle up".

A: Exactly, they throttle up to alleviate a level of frustration, and its probably not the safest thing to do.

Q: You are a proponent of self driving vehicles.

A: Absolutely, especially on congested routes (most of them) it would make everyone's life much easier.

Q: This will not happen in the near future.

A: Probably not, but at some point it will happen.

Q: We never would have thought that you were a proponent of self driving cars.

A: See...I surprised you guys this morning.

Q: Must be the reason manufacturers are including a bunch of "driving aids" in vehicles.

A: They are certainly exploring the terrain, and possibilities.