Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Del Shannon - Runaway

Written and recorded by Del Shannon on January 21st, 1961. It would reach the #1 spot on the billboard charts that April. Runaway was recorded after a previous session which yielded poor results, a session that almost never happened. De'ls Manager had to convince them to re write and re-record "Little Runaway" and release it as a single.

Possibly the worst version of the song that will ever exist.

Jersey Speed Skiff

The jersey skiff was originally designed as a surf launched fishing boat. The first versions of the boats began to appear in the early 1800's. Once the boats were launched through the surf they were sailed to and from the fishing grounds. The flat bottom of the boat and the shape of the stern allows it to be retrieved bow first through the surf. Many other boats require they be beached stern first so breaking surf would not swamp the boat. The utilitarian nature of the boats allowed them to become lifeguard and salvage vessels in the early 1900's.

Once prohibition began and rum running became a profitable business, people began putting engines into the small skiffs. The skiffs were designed to run out to international waters and pick up rum form larger slower shipping vessels. The small size of the skiff made it a hard to see and track, and allowed smaller motors to push the boat at a good clip. During the height of rum running as many as 60 skiffs at a time have been spotted off the Jersey coast near New York city. Just as people began to race soup-ed up cars that were built for moving whiskey, boaters began to race their skiffs. The racing continues today, and luckily is hasn't blown up into a Nascar like event, a though there is definitely a similar vibe to them both.

My friends dad is restores classic wood motor boats, and he
restored one of these for his son when I was 16. The boat was possibly one of the scariest, but most fun things I have ever ridden in. His wasn't even powered by what the nicer racing skiffs are powered by and the thing still flew. The fun lasted about a week before we threw a rod in the poor boat. I still debate every summer whether I should just save up for boat instead of a nice car to tool around in.

Jersey Speed Skiff Heat 1 Wildwood 2009 from Michael L Pakradooni on Vimeo.

Jersey Speed Skiff Split Screen - Heat 1 Sunday Port Deposit 2009 from Michael L Pakradooni on Vimeo.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Badge of speed

Inspired by a time to get. A cars emblem doesn't just represent who manufactured it. The emblem connects it with the lineage that makes that car special, be it a history of racing, luxury, or durability. One gets a very different mental image when they see the badge of an Aston Martin then when looking at a Toyota. In some cases the image may be negative but usually an emblem ties a car to whichever era it shined brightest. The consistency of European automakers emblems makes me wish that American and Japanese auto makers followed suit. I feel like the change in logo separates the cars from its predecessors. Maybe this is a good thing, I'll take anything that will remove the foxbody from the history of the mustang.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Record Store Day

April 17th, 2010 is the 4th annual Record Store Day. I've already got my eyes on some releases that I hope Newbury Comics will stock. Most notably the Joy Division box set and some Sonic Youth reissues. Nothing beats a day where I can spend money that should go to food and rent on a bunch of LP's. I'm definitely proud this developed from a New England based store.

What is record store day? Here is some history from Wikipedia:

Record Store Day was conceived by Chris Brown, employee of the independent record store chain, Bull Moose, located in Maine and New Hampshire and was founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally. Record Store Day is celebrated the third Saturday in April.

Basically what you can expect is a whole slew of awesome new releases to hit your local independent record store. On top of this many stores will heavily discount their current selection of records. Lots of places will have live music or other event, so definitely check out your local stores website too see whats happening. I enjoy it because it gives me a reason to recklessness spend money on vinyl.

The official website can be found here. To find out if a store near you is participating go here. For a list of the specific releases that are unique to record store day and usually extremely limited go here. If a local store near you is participating and you want a specific release many will tell you what they ordered and in what quantity so give them a call if something catches your eye.

To talk a little bit more with you about record store day here is there ambassador Joshua Homme. Warning there is some coarse language.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Been Down Too Long

12 Hours of Sebring

Spent the weekend up in NH at my parents. Got a good day of snowboarding in at Sunapee, definitely wish I could have made it out to the Open though. While I was home I got to catch a good portion of the 12 Hours of Sebring. A lot of blogs post about the glory days of racing, but good racing is still out there. Sure there is too much money being dumped into it and useless drama, but racing is racing and the excitement and competition is still there. I'm definitely glad American Le Mans didn't totally fall apart after Audi pulled out. Audi dropping out wasn't a huge deal for me as GT2 is definitely my favorite class to watch. All in all it was a bad day for Porsche and the Corvette teams but most of that was just bad luck. Although the Corvette pit crash was pretty oafish. It's good to see BMW competing again in GT2, I'm definitely excited for the season as the M3 is one my favorite cars of all time. The Ferrari teams had a good day out as expected. I definitely feel GT2 will bet the class to watch this year depending on what teams show up for P1 in the next events.

Check out the Peugeot P1 car getting through traffic at 1:12.

I was really glad to see speed hunters sent one of my favorite photographers to the race. Its cool too see a tuner oriented site cover more classic racing.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Margret Moth: Fearless to the end

Margret Moth died yesterday in Rochester Minnesota after battling cancer since 2007. Definitely one of the coolest people I've read about recently. Very few people will ever have half the guts that she had. CNN did a good write up on on her life as a photojournalist and after.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend

Best live performance of the song ever.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lotus 7

Designed by Lotus founder Colin Chapman the Lotus 7 is the pinnacle of the Lotus philosophy: Performance is directly related to simplicity. Open wheels, two seats, no roof, no bumpers, everything but the drivetrain is the bare minimum. The Seven was first released in 1957, being named after a previously abandoned design. It would go on to be one of the fastest street legal track cars ever made. The first model of the Seven was released with a 40 horsepower ford engine displacing just over 1,100 cc's. The car was so light, even this small motor made it a rival on the rece course. Four versions of the seven would follow, with the Series 2 being released in 1960, followed by the Series 3 in 1969 and finally with the Series 4 in 1970. Each new edition added more exterior elements to the car and made it more usable in size. The 4th iteration was too far from the Lotus bare bones standard and sold few models.

British tax law at the time allowed the car to be sold as a kit and assembled by the buyer. This allowed buyers to circumvent the tax surcharge that would apply if the car was purchased as a whole. Tax laws required that no assembly instructions could be included, otherwise the surcharge would be applied. To get around this Chapman included disassembly instructions, which technically were allowed by law. This allowed buyers to easily build the purchased kit cars. The British Magazine The Motor bought a test lotus for 1100 pounds, this included the tax surcharge. If the car had been purchased as a kit and built the cost would have been under 700 pounds. The low cost of the Seven combined with its performance made it one of the top selling track cars of the day.

In 1973 in an attempt to move away from the kit car tax credit image Lotus sold the rights of the Seven to Caterham Cars. Caterham has continued to sell versions of the Lotus 7 Series 3 to this day. Although much of the car remains the same, the advances in power output of small engines has made the Seven just as good of a performer today as the original was when it debuted. Much like the AC Cobra, and Porsche 550 Spyder the Lotus Seven is one of the biggest selling replica cars. Over 160 companies offer versions of the Seven with parts sourced form different motor companies. These replica's are often simply called clubmans.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


AFOL A Blocumentary from AFOL on Vimeo.

Act Now and Recieve a Free Pair of Chrome Shoes

From Chrome:

In an attempt to let the world know how committed they are to their footwear line, Chrome announces their Turds For Gold Shoe Exchange. For two days only, Chrome will be slinging a new pair of shoes to anyone that sends them a worn-out pair of kicks.

"There are a lot of great shoe brands out their but few, if any, are made to handle the harsh demands of riding in the city," says Chrome Marketing Director, Matt Sharkey.

“Our shoes are built to hold up under the toughest conditions and are designed 100% to address the needs of the everyday city cyclist. Not only did we want to build a shoe that was durable and functional, but we also paid close attention to overall fit and timeless style."

The exchange begins on Wednesday, March 17 and ends promptly the next day on Thursday, the 18th. Packages must be post marked by 3/18 to qualify and should include a return shipping address and shoe size info.

Please ship all packages to:
Chrome Industries
Attn: Turds for Gold/Sharkey
580 4th Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

Chrome may be what some consider the Wal-Mart of messenger bags and biking gear, but most of their products are of decent quality and priced competitively. I've owned a chrome bag for almost four years now and its still in great shape, and while now I prefer Baileyworks for my bag needs, I still consider the chrome bag one of my best purchases. I haven't had a chance to try on their shoes, but a free pair of shoes for a pair of work out kicks is a good deal no matter what. Hopefully I'll get time tonight to send a pair of my ragged Samba's in.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lick My Balsamic

My friend Aaron runs an awesome cooking blog at lick my balsamic. He not only makes creative and delicious dishes, he takes some amazing looking photo's of them for people like me to drool over. Lots of local sourced ingredients, and even many homegrown items. Definitely worth checking out.