Tuesday – Grim Reality Check

[date Wed, Aug 10, 2011 at 12:23 PM]


Caveat emptor……..buyer beware.

I am getting older than dirt. My gut (which is quite prominent) still sends me signals.

I ignore the signals, as I always have. To my chagrin. Some things don’t change.

This year’s summer toy, Lazuli Lady, failed her final check-up before her inaugural swim. On Monday the first of August, I discovered her engine wasn’t up to Ren and Stimpy standards:

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=lwESraWEpSU]

Woulda, shoulda, coulda be damned. Time to remedy the problem. I suspected a bad main bearing / oil delivery obstruction. In the shop on Monday morning –

You see, the engine didn’t sound quite right, but I couldn’t put my finger (or any other appendage) on it. What should it have sounded like? Which made me think of Sing, Sing, Sing. Arguably the paramount “Big Band Swing” song, written and performed originally by Louis Prima. However, if you listen to this version by Benny Goodman you’ll get an idea of what I’m talkin’ bout. Be sure to turn the volume way up, and leave lots of space for hand shakin’, bum wigglin’, toe tappin’, feets don’t fail me now motionation:

Benny Goodman’s version – [youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=r2S1I_ien6A&feature=related]

That there is what a big block Ford sounds like when it’s running on all 8 and feelin’ great!

Here’s another version by the “Swing Girls”. If these are Chinese kids and they are really playing and it isn’t Chinee “hawrywood” (ref. 1941 w John Belushi) there might be some hope for those who are “fabrique au Chine”. I think nay nay….. (remember how they opened the Olympics with the dubbed voice for the youthful singer?)….. not much trust from me. A nice dream, tho’. Take a listen:

Swing Girls – [youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=L7N6slVrQeY&feature=player_popout#t=62s]

Not Benny Goodman by a very long shot. I’d like to say the Lazuli Lady sounded this good, but alas……

Here’s the mad man of the horn himself, Louis Prima, with his version of his own song. Have a listen. For me, not as much requirement for space or volume:

Louis Prima’s signature version – [youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=WGM2HPM6BDc&feature=related]

We may disagree, but there was only ONE horn man of that era – (one of) Betty Grable’s

husbands – Harry James – he da man! Louie does it his own way, at his own peril….. Prima? – a catholic Italian. Goodman? – New York Jew-boy. Harry James? Lucky man…… here he is featuring singer Helen Forrest, with “It’s Been a Long, Long Time”. WARNING! If you play this tune you better have someone to clutch and sway with, ’cause it is that kinda music:

Harry James – [youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=JYvONFHI2xw]

HJ and HF again with “I’ve Heard That Song Before”:

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=ZrBEVMOuzuQ&feature=related]

No argument. He’s the best…..and so is she! But, I digress. The old 460 didn’t sound as good as Louie P., and no where near Harry James (I could only wish).

This version of Sing, Sing, Sing features Benny Goodman, Gene Kruppa, AND Harry James, with vintage video. It is very up-tempo due to the Kruppa-man sitting at the drums. They say he could maintain 64 bps and hit 128 bps on special formula:

BG, GK, HJ – [youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=j9J5Zt2Obko]

Here’s a wee bit ‘o Kruppa video, ending with his own jazzy version of “Sing, Sing, Sing” and some jazz dancers too (so you don’t have to):

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=IOVZ1gZDexo&feature=related]

Although this last version is too frenzied and Kruppa-ized for my taste, I’d be happy if the Lazuli Lady sounded that good.

Unfortunately, this is what she sounded like. I DARE you to listen to the end!:

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=ZrBEVMOuzuQ&feature=related]

Meshuggah – Combustion. Need I say more??? Who is responsible for that man’s medication? Jack up the dosage!! Poor Lazuli Lady!

By the end of Monday, with pieces all over the shop, I had discovered the mighty heart of the Lazuli Lady had expired – no oil pressure, scored and spent bearings, damaged oil pump. For example, here’s a picture of the rod bearings from cylinders 1 and 5 –

If you’re not familiar with what these should look like, here’s a picture of new ones:


What to do?

Well, start burning the midnight oil (or eeeerektricitee as the orientals say), and get ‘er done!

A quick assessment of inventory pointed to two likely prospects – a 1990 fuel injected 460, or an older ’77 460 marine build.

The long and short? The ’77 got the nod because the ’90 FI motor has incompatible heads for the Bassett headers. However, the FI motor donated an oil pan and pick-up. The original motor donated the intake, carb., and valve covers. After a couple of 1:30 a.m. mornings and all day efforts, the problem was remedied. Here is a picture of the new power plant for the Lazuli Lady on the engine stand –

On Sunday the 7th, Katy Davidson and her beau Mike had an engagement party with family and friends. I was invited to attend (I love you, Katy!), and brought LL as a date (she can’t say “NO!” to me….) I had a great time. Katy looked wonderful! Let the pictures speak –

Here’s a picture of Mike (for those who haven’t met him) –

I don’t know the wedding date, but it will be next summer sometime. It was a fabulous get together. Rick was “le chef”, Ellie was her gracious self, the sun beamed down, and the kids’ friends / family were awesome. Thanks for the invite, Katy! It was an honor.

And the Lazuli Lady? Ask Tanner or Garrett or Dave Blake what they think. I think she’s damn scarey. And scary, too. On the plane at 2200 rpm, about 40 mph at 2500 rpm, too fast at 4000 rpm. Two minor issues to sort out (broken seat, reverse thruster cable inoperative). However, an excellent day of boating has two components –

  1. You don’t have to paddle home
  2. You don’t have to swim home

It was an excellent day of boating. The Lazuli Lady has had her inaugural swim. Here she is draining some of the water Tanner and Garrett let over the transom (jet boats are different to drive than prop. drives) –

To those cherished friends coming out at the end of the month, you will have to sign a waiver to ride in or drive the Lady. I don’t want to be sued for any heart failures…..

I’ve been saving some political comment, too. Time to dump before I burst….

Afterburner with Bill Whittle offers this short video on the power of iconography:

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=GdtqtfXdR-c]

I picked the lemming as an icon years ago –


I am the Lemmingman! It’s under review…..

Here’s an excellent piece admonishing those who make non-romantic choices with their emotions vs their intellect. It is a story of due diligence – just because it “feels” right, or should be right, or had better be right: it just don’t make it so….. :


The old adage states “when uncle Sam gets a cold, the third world gets pneumonia” (I don’t know if this is the old adage, but it sounds about right). When technical or scientific issues are “resolved” with “feel good” solutions, only the economically strong can weather a negative outcome. Financing an unsound experiment with the public purse and without Science by “consensus” is as stupid as having a “democracy” where there is no “means test” for voters. Just because 51 out of 100 vote for something doesn’t make it acceptable or right, it only ridicules the word “majority”.

How about that England? For an “on the scene” reflexion (English spelling), here’s a link to Square Mile Wife talking about the (latest) issues:


As the band played on, the Bobbies stood and watched. I long for the days of Empire….. or an armed citizenry. Not much mention of “color” or “race” in the “lame stream media” (ht to Laura Ingram for the coinage).

There are some indications of hope. Here’s a link to an article about the people in these areas trying to protect their communities:


I laugh at the use of the word “vigilante”. It is NOT vigilante-ism to defend your property or community or self; it is an ever escalating necessity. The police are like the cavalry – they show up to bury the settlers….. And here’s another about the “positive” reaction, which I agree IS positive:


Lot’s more to say, but I’d rather go outside and play in the sunshine, which has FINALLY deigned to appear. Actually, it ain’t the sun appearing, it’s the clouds disappearing….

The economic soap opera in the States is a topic for another day, in depth and in detail. Until then, chew on these. Rick Santelli is arguably the spark that ignited the Tea Party:


How about Ray Stevens on the Obama economic “solution”:

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=J6TcpfBHlbs&feature=player_embedded]

And, from the man worth every penny he earns, Mr. Rush Limbaugh, discussing Obamageddon / Barackalypse Now! / Debt Man Walking:


Ah well, what the hell!

Humor is always a good diversion…..






Hope everyone’s summer is going well, and not too fast.

Mine is….. going too fast. I need 186 days of summer…. need Nat “King” Cole:

[youtube http://youtube.com/w/?v=lB8-gj8KRVM]

Joe (Crazy, Lazy, Hazy) Mekanic

p.s. Ramirez, he da man! If he can’t do it, no one can!





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