Saturday, May 22, 2010

73.8 mph Moped

Tony Simoni's 74 mph Moped from rafter on Vimeo.

I did a post on this bike a couple of months ago.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I just stumbled on the blog of Emulatio, a professor of architecture at the University of Notre Dame. He extols the virtue of "emulation" in contrast to imitation. In his own words: 

"EMULATION is a word that sums up our culture's missing link with the beauty of the past: neither humble imitation nor adventurous invention (although both have their place), emulatio means a competitive desire to equal or surpass previous achievements on their own terms. If there is an understanding of the past for which popular caricatures of servile imitators or romantic "creators" ill-prepare us, it is this, and laying out how we can recover its balance of respect and aspiration will be a lot of what I aim to address. I hope you'll find it rewarding reading."

I'm not so sure imitation is quite so "humble."

Towel Day

If you are a frood who really knows where his towel is, then you already know that Towel Day is in 14 days...

I brew my beer I bake my bread...

Fifty-six bottles of home-brewed American style all wheat. I sampled some of the stuff before we bottled it and, minus carbonation, it tasted delicious. Now I just have to wait.

And yes, I did use a large wooden spoon.

Velocity Stacks and Garden Tractors

I experienced the unexpected thrill this weekend of a garden tractor pull in Shipshewana, heart of Indiana Amish country. While there were of course no Amish entrants in the event, the gray-hatted boys seemed quite interested, gathering around the machines as they prepared for their run in front of the adjustable weight.

Thrill might be a bit of an exaggeration; tractor pulls in general usually attract a very specific audience... That said, large tractor pulls are certainly a bit more exciting with a lot more power accompanied by massive wheelies, but my appreciation of small engine tuning was well rewarded with velocity stacks galore, massive carburators, and homemade exhaust systems--even if they were all four-stroke.

While most of the smaller tractors retained there starters, all of the more powerful machines required this interesting dolly mounted starter. Since tractor engines are longitudinally mounted this device was simply wheeled up next to the tractor and a belt run from the electric motor mounted at the top of the dolly. The car battery at the foot of the dolly kicks over the started and the tractor fires to life, while the belt slips harmlessly off.