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Doc Bryant

And now for something completely different

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Enjoy the following pictures. My apologies that they are not super gigantic size. I wish they were super gigantic size. The picture is of my niece, Katherine.Can you guess what aircraft she is in?

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Same aircraft. Different seat.For the Super Grand Prize, for best outta the blue guess....Can you tell me what she does for a living?Doc Bryant

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>Alright, here's a clue to both questions!Mmm... C-17?Marco

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Aw! you gave it away, Doc. From the first picture, I thought it was the right seat of a Lincoln Navigator and from the second picture it seems that she is a safety inspector.But, the third picture gives the final clue. It is not a Lincoln, but a Caddy! Too big for me, those gas guzzlers.What's the airplane picture for?Were you on another tour at the local airfield?Best regards.Luis

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I am such a dummy! Thanks, Doc, for setting me right. It seems that the Caddy belongs to the Army (or Air Force, or one of those doodads.)So, now we know why the defense budget is so bloated - it is not the Iraq invasion, but because they are buying Cadillacs!Well, I am all for buying American, but wouldn't a Hyundai be more sensible?Best regards.Luis

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>It seems that the Caddy belongs to the Army (or Air Force, or one of those doodads.)>>So, now we know why the defense budget is so bloated - it is>not the Iraq invasion, but because they are buying Cadillacs!>>Well, I am all for buying American, but wouldn't a Hyundai be more sensible?But Luis, they are helping pay my pension :-) :-beerchug

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Oh, well, Dan, I take it back then. Buy as much of the General's cars as possible, Mister Rumsfeld. (Wait, is he still around?)By the way, I've always had an Olds (you may laugh!) and am sorry that they are no longer around.Best regards.Luis

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Doc finally and confidentially revealed the secret of those pictures to me. Thanks, Doc.I still think she would do better to be a safety inspector at G.M. It's bound to have a better pension plan than her present occupation. At least, one would think seeing Dan's pretty sports car.Best regards.Luis

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Luis,I was listening to NPR today and the discussion came up about GM and the fact that they are cutting retiree benefits. Other US companies are doing the same to become more competitive in the world marketplace.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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That is just astonishing, Jerry. Commercial pilots, auto workers, does nobody get a pension any more?Best regards.Luis

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>I still think she would do better to be a safety inspector at G.M.>It's bound to have a better pension plan than her present occupation. >At least, one would think seeing Dan's pretty sports car.>LuisOK, four points:1. When you retire at age 54, the pension "ain't real big". :-)2. So, it was the 401(k) rollover into an IRA that bought the "pretty sports car".3. Man 'oh Man, it's a raging road-race track special Vette, not just a "pretty face". Kinda like the difference between "driving" a "real GOOD woman", and an "eye-candy blonde". :-roll 4. I was a Engineering Staff "safety engineer", not a factory "safety inspector". You just don't know how WIDE THE DIVIDE between salaried and Union. Unfortunately, that has been a long-time "part of the US car problems". :-jumpy But, then I wouldn't expect you to know all "the details".Hope all is well down in "warmland". :-wave

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>I was listening to NPR today and the discussion came up about>GM and the fact that they are cutting retiree benefits. Other>US companies are doing the same to become more competitive in>the world marketplace.GM has been "cutting" salaried benefits for years.With the stated goal of "so the union will help by cutting a bit too".Never happened. They will go down the tubes before "giving in".For many years, we paid NOTHING for health, prescriptions, dental, vision, and pretty good life insurance.Now, we have monthly contributions, deductibles, and co-pays up the you know what.Which came about when the Japanese started eating our lunch, and we didn't respond well AT ALL. But, I've always said, our salaried benefits may have been "cut",but most people in the country would LOVE to have our benefits.For instance:My health insurance "monthly contribution" is going up in 2007 to $110 from $94/month in 2006. For myself and my wife.The exact same coverage, from the exact same company, through AARP is$358 per month for my wife ONLY.Gee, I wonder how I know that right now ? :-hah

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Sure, sure, Dan, you must love that Vette (always my dream car when I was a kid), but you don't show a lot of pictures of her.It would be so great to have the top-down model, except it gets really hot here and I have come to appreciate the air-conditioning.Best regards.Luis

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>Sure, sure, Dan, you must love that Vette (always my dream>car when I was a kid), but you don't show a lot of pictures of her.Here you go, something new, and something really OLD ! ! !My Corvette Forum "Avatar".http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/161691.jpgDay trip from our Pagaosa Springs, CO condo to Taos, NM for lunch. Looking east.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/161693.jpgMy brother from Omaha, on the "lunch trip", looking west.He has a supercharged '05 Mustang Cobra SVT. (Special Vehicle Team).http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/161694.jpgOne of several road-racing cars I helped build, and crewed, 1969-1972.This car won the 1971 12 Hours of Sebring Grand Touring class with Dickie Smothers co-driving with "The Boss".I "woke" up after the "celebration" in some McDonalds in Kentucky.It was my turn to drive one of the car-haulers back to Michigan. http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/161695.jpgGeneral Motors ad which ran in a lot of magazines in 1974.Not only was I a LOT younger, I was 30 lbs. lighter than my current 175. :-) http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/161696.jpg

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I remember seeing that ad! I swear I do! I even remember thinking, "that guy has it made!"And it was you! Incredible!I used to follow Dickie Smothers' racing "career" - it seemed as if he was having a lot of fun. By the way, that L-88 was one of my dream cars, along with the proto Mako, and also this:http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/161703.jpg1955, a very good year!Well, let me just say, Dan, that it is truly a pleasure to know you. You made the cars that gave us all a lot of joy, even if it was only vicarious.And many thanks for the pics. By the way, how fast did you go on the lunch trip?Best regards.Luis

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>I remember seeing that ad! I swear I do! I even remember thinking, "that guy has it made!"Well, GM's "Campell-Ewald" P.R. firm gave me that "mounted picture".At the bottom, it lists the mag's it appeared in, the month, and the year.Car Craft, Hot Rod, Rod & Custom, Scholastic Magazine Group (Sr. and Jr. High), Boy's Life, Nat'l 4H-News, Scholastic Teacher, Science News, Science Teacher, Nat'l Future Farmer. All Dec. '73 to May '74.So, you must have been a grade school student reading car mag's, eh ?I suppose this was my "15 minutes of fame", 'cause I haven't hit the jackpot since.But, as far as my life has gone, I do feel like "I've had it made" for a lot of REAL GOOD TIMES.Which, of course, generates a LOT of war stories. Hide the children first. >And many thanks for the pics. By the way, how fast did you go on the lunch trip?Uh, this would be "classified". It's all relative.Is 100 "over" in a 35 zone "faster" than 135 on a 75 mph Interstate ?Sure feels like it. My "35" stretch has NO houses, NO driveways, and NO sight obstructions. :-)I will admit to > 80 mph in the thunderstorms.And, I have NEVER exceeded 135 mph on the highway. Or, maybe, 137. The HUD "blurs" a bit up there. There is a LOT of open space in the west. With great "sight distances".OK, that's just brag. NO truth here. Disregard.However, my BROTHER did do a lot of extended 125 plus on I-15,on our way home from the USC vs. Husker game earlier this fall.We were "tucked in traffic traveling the same". They peeled off at Barstow to go to Vegas.And, I would NEVER approve of such deviant sociopathic behavior.Because, gas mileage sucks at that speed. And Gaia would disaprove. >Best regards.>Luis:-)Thanks for the kind comments. Dan :-beerchug

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Scholastic (mom worked there) and Boy's Life, not Nat'l Future Farmer. Also Popular Mechanics, for the real car stuff.High school by then, but a kid at heart.Always loved the muscle cars - who doesn't? - and that means Vette and Jag.To heck with gas mileage, anyway. The petroleum reserves are going to sputter out someday, so we may as well suck them dry with great cars and lots of fun.Best regards.Luis

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>To heck with gas mileage, anyway. The petroleum reserves are>going to sputter out someday, so we may as well suck them dry>with great cars and lots of fun.Well, I keep going on and on, but I can't resist replying to THIS !My Vette is rated at 405 horsepower, 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and the 1/4 mile in 12.6 seconds at 114 mph.You'd think this would be a gas-guzzler, eh ?Actually it gets MUCH better mileage than my pickup, Jeep, or '71 Z28.My Vette "tank average" runs 21-23 mpg back and forth the 25 miles to Prescott.Usually with a couple of full-throttle "stop sign to 60-70 mph hits".On trips, like the 460 miles from here to Pagosa Springs, CO I get around 28-29 mpg. This is mostly 2 lane roads at 70-75 mph. And plenty of real kick-bxtt passing.Interstate "cruising" at a steady 84-86 mph nets 31-32 mpg.I think that is one astounding engineering feat. Nice job, by my friend Rick and the rest of Corvette Engineering Team. :-beerchug

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405 horses? Kazowie! What's the torque like on that engine?But, Dan, 0 - 60 in 3.9 seconds? Your tires better be pretty sticky to avoid spinning - but then, it must get pretty hot in your part of the world.How does something so powerful handle? I would be scared to floor the pedal with such an engine.Best regards.Luis

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Hey Luis, WAY MORE than you wanted to know about my Vette. {:^)>405 horses? Kazowie! What's the torque like on that engine?Uh, that would be 400 lb-ft at 4800 rpm. From 346 cubic inches. To go with the 405 hp at 6000 rpm, and a 6500 rpm "rev limit".But, the REAL good part is the "GM Powertrain Development" boys and girlsmanaged to produce a VERY wide torque band.My '71 Z28 has a VERY CLOSE pattern to the old Zora Arkus-Duntov "30-30" cam.Actually, about 310 degrees exhaust and intake duration, with a LOT of overlap.This makes for a wonderful "loping" idle, but just kills the low end torque in return for high end horsepower.The difference in "driveability" between "my old Z28" and "my new Vette" is amazing.This is due to computerized fuel injection working with "the cam and stuff" for power. And, it makes "mileage" and "emissions" work too.From 65 mph in 5th gear in the Vette, I can "pull a pass" like you can't believe, without even down-shifting to 4th.The "problem" is holding it "down". Yesterday I passed "an idiot", and by the time I pulled back into my lane, I was doing 122 mph.THAT is NOT the way to keep your driver's license. Or, your insurance. :-) >But, Dan, 0 - 60 in 3.9 seconds? Your tires better be pretty>sticky to avoid spinning - but then, it must get pretty hot in>your part of the world.On a lot of the "surfaces" in this area, it's pretty easy to spin the tires in 1st or 2nd gear.I do have a couple of "stop sign" areas that have been recently paved with "Armour Coat", which around here is a pulverized "sharp granite" overlay.Makes for a REALLY good grip. I can "leave" at 3500 rpm, and quickly nail full-throttle, with no wheel-spin.>How does something so powerful handle? I would be scared to>floor the pedal with such an engine.Well, straight-line acceleration is not what this car was designed to do. It's really pretty easy to control the "wheel-spin", and control the "lateral movement" with just a "bit of steering".Practice and experience does help, of course.And, the 'Vette has an "Active Management" system.1. Regular mode is always on "unless". The "algorithm" is designed to take "parameters" such as longitudinal and lateral acceration and yaw rates and decide when you have "messed up". And, reduce engine power and apply "one" of the brakes to bring you back "in line" and save your a--.2. You can "ask" for competitive mode. Same as one above, but lets you spin the rear wheels, if you think you can do better than "the computer" for straight-line stuff, and exiting corners. (I can).3. NO computer help. Basically, for experts on road-racing tracks.I never use this on real world highways. OK, not VERY often. {:^)Braking into corners, cornering "lateral acceleration", and acceleration out of corners was "the goal" for this car.On the original "designed for this car" Goodyear Supercar F1's, lateral acceleration generally has been tested to be about 1.03 g.My current Michelin Pilot Sport Two's are about as good, and quitea bit better in the rain (yes, it rains here). For "only" $1600 a set.Of course, I DON'T do this down the "White Spar" mountain road which drops several thousand feet from Prescott, to the southwes.Or, on the east "over Mingus Mt." road to Jerome. Jerome is an old mining town perched on the other side of Mingus.They sell a tee-shirt there, "I survived 158 curves in 12 miles to Jerome".I call the driving I do "7/10 th's". This is reasonably safe, but enough to make "non-driver" people whimper.That is what I call "fun".It's one thing to "kick butt" in a straight line. Not really a problem.It's a totally different thing to "push it" in mountain curves with rock walls on the inside.And "nothing but air" on the outside.But, finally, I have to say, there are many things in life you can never have "too much of".Money.Hair.Looks.Breasts (OK, within "reason").And, last, but not least, on an incomplete list, "horsepower".OK, let's at least add "s_x" as "somewhat important". :-) >>Best regards.>>LuisHope all you'all had a good Thanksgiving.I did. Except maybe just "a bit much" wine. {:^)Dan

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Dan, you can probably tell that I love sports cars. I love talking about them, looking at them, listening to their beastly engines. I love the really old ones and the really new ones.So, thanks very much for carrying on this conversation. It is balm to me, nectar of the gods.In the end, I must conclude, as I did when I first saw you over 30 years ago, that you really have it made.Best regards.Luis

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