Big Bucks

Posted February 14, 2013 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized

5000fI picked up a copy of Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye at the library this week.

Later, as I opened it up to read, I noted it still had the old “sign out” card in a pocket inside the front cover. The second  name on the list was that of my first grade teacher with a due date of June 1956. Now, some 57 years later I get around to reading it.

While there is little mention of dragons slain or grails quested in the book, it is clear that things have changed  a bit since this book was written. After having to Google a couple of automobile makes I had never heard of, (only a few Jowett-Jupiters  back in my neighborhood) my interest peaked with the story’s arrival of a five thousand dollar bill. Marlow receives one in the mail from a client/friend and comments  about it, ending with the statement that there were only about a thousand left in circulation.

Consulting the wise sage Google, I found that, as of May 30, 2009 there were only 342 of these bills that had not been destroyed after being officially discontinued on July 14, 1969. (Hey, I did find one for sale in Chicago for only $69,000.)

I’m sure that had I been rich enough to have had one back then, I would have probably  driven my Jowett-Jupiter  to the automatic car wash and shoved the bill into slot (as I did with a $20 one time) and been  inundated  with 19,976 quarters in change. However, my real interest was in how Chandler came up with the data on the bill’s circulation to began with. One would hope that there had been a recent magazine or newspaper article featuring high denomination bills that he had remembered. Researching this in the late 40’s or early 50’s would have been a chore at best, requiring much more than picking up my iPad and typing in “$5000 bill”. . . which, incidentally, took less time than reading this sentence.



Posted March 31, 2011 by monerai
Categories: 101 Uses For Napalm








Okay, for those who have read 101 Uses For Napalm #2, I have a solution. (Well, click on the dang link and read it.)

The batteries in my precision tire gauge went belly-up the other day. Long shot, but looked at Kroger’s and Lowe’s where we had groceries and Lowe’s thingies to buy – no luck.

I have been procrastinating a Wally-World trip, as the latest store remodeling has left a nightmarish labyrinth where nothing  appears where it should.  As a side note – the last trip there was also for some small batteries – and I went to 4 different locations in the store where there were shelves of batteries. I finally gave up and asked. You guessed it – “What’s it for?”

I was then directed to a fifth location, where I did find the size battery I wanted.  I think I’ll plan a special trip to count the number of locations where Wal-Mart has batteries. But in the mean time, I did a quick “google” to ascertain the air gauge batteries were not some rare item that could only be obtained with a security clearance and  NASA purchase order. Google directed me to Battery Bob’s where I found a two page list of the electronic toys that these same batteries operate.

Now I can’t wait for the clerk to ask me “What’s it for?”

In response I could pull out the following list:

Fits: Mannix Digital Thermometer DPT300E Calculated Industries Qualifier Plus IIIx calculator SR44 Lithium LR44FE44 FR44 Performance Tool Co. Digital Caliper W80153 Sears Craftsman 2875114 Air Compressor/Inflator Nikon FM 10 uses two Taylor Digital Thermometer model 9840 Guide Gear Standard Tactical Weaver Laser Sight Breezy Singer Chirping Bird Temp Rite thermometer model 980N Arthur Court Duck Timer Nikon F3 Camera Nikon FG Camera Nikon EM Camera Nikon FE Camera Olympus 35 EC2 uses 2 HP Calculator HP10b HP Calculator HP11c HP Calculator HP15c HP Calculator HP16cHP Calculator HP42sHP Calculator HP32s HP Calculator HP17b HP Calculator HP17bii HP Calculator HP20s HP32sii HP10b HP11c HP15c HP16c HP42s HP32s HP17b HP17bii HP20s HP32sii Lux Win 100 thermostats Maxxima MF-43W Turntable light Micronta 22-165 Digital Multimeter Micronta 70/440VAC P-89 Voltage SensorPulsar Watch Model V701-9A00 FUNDEX GAMES Mexican Train board Audio-Technica Pro 24 stereo condenser microphone 6″ MITUTOYO Digital Vernier Calipers Model # 500-115 Mitutoyo 500115 Mitutoyo Oregon Scientific Pulse Monitor/Pedometer PE316PM Intermatic model DT27 Casio PQ10 Alarm Clock Texas Instruments Calculator TI1750 uses 2 Diamon Crown Precision Hygrometer personal cigar humidifier WELLGAIN Clock Model MS508 Texas Instrument TI30X Calculator Cen-tech digital caliper model number 93293 a knock-off of the Shopsmith 6″ caliper Music Book for children ShopSmith Digital Caliper Barbie Island Princess Doll uses 2 Fisher Price Rescue Heroes MSW LR44 CELL LR44 Casio Alarm Watch PQ-10-1R uses 2, Texas Instruments TI-30Xa Battery Scientific Calculator, Oregon Scientific Model PE316FM, Hewett Packard Calculator HP-27S, GE 51208 Personal Keychain Security Alarm uses 4, Sharp EL-531W, Metris Instruments TN002PC Mini Infrared Thermometer, Mews Ments 2 in 1 Laser Pet Toy Exerciser and Flashlight, Texas Instrument Calculator TI35X, TEXAS INSTRUMENTS Calculator BA35, Xena XM 10 Xena, Xena XM10 Xena, Xena disc lock alarm for a motorcycle, Irwin 3061002 Chop Saw Laser Guide, Multimeter made by Wavetec model DM78A, Olympus OM4T camera, Frankford Arsenal Electronic Digital Caliper, Kettler Golf exercise bike, SmartyKat Loco, Zircon LaserBall 360 for leveling, Takara Motion Activated Bluebird, Sharp EL-5100S-T programmable calculator, Oregon Scientific OUTBREAKER Sportwatch RX 107 wheel sensors, Tiny Love Activity Ball, Accutire pressure R092000, Hewlett Packard, HP22, 4520003 Model PU-701 Pulse Meter, TI-30XA, Calculated Industries Real Estate Master IIIX Model 3405 calculator, Hach TDS meter, TI-60, Texas Instruments TI-60 Texas Instruments, Sharp Scientific Calculator EL506G, SYLVACELL GP76A Sylvacell, SYLVA CELL GP76A Sylva cell, Good Cook 25111 Thermometer, Sharp EL 509A Scientific Calculator Sharp EL509A Sharp, Digitech travel alarm clock ATC-401 Digitech, TI-30XA Calculator TI-30XA, Texas Instrument TI-30XA Texas Instrument, Beretta Model 92 Beretta, Casio FX250H Casio, Casio Calculator FX250H Casio Calculator, Hallmark Ornaments (Assorted Models) Tasco Red Dot Scope, TAYLOR DIGITAL THERMOMETER 9640A Taylor, Intermatic EJ500C wall timers, Intermatic EJ500C Intermatic, HP calculator HP-32s2, HP calculator HP-12C, HP calculator Hp-20S,ACCUTIRE air pressure gage Accutire, CEN-TECH Caliper #47257 Centech, CEN-TECH Caliper 47257 Centech, CEN-TECH 47257 Centech, LR44 PANASONIC LR44, LL44, A76 RW82, TI BA 35 CALCULATOR, HP11C, HP32SII, HP 11C, HP 32S II, HP calculator model 11C, HP calculator model 32S II, Hewlett Packard calculator model 11C, Hewlett Packard calculator model 32S II, Texas Instruments TI-35 Calculator, TI-35 Calculator TI-35, Techko model #S086C Techko, Techko S086C Techko, Texas Instruments TI35 Calculator, Sportline 360 Fitness Pedometer, SHARP Business Financial Calculator EL 731, EL731 Sharp Calculator SHARP Business Financial Calculator EL731,Intermatic timer Model TB121 digital programmable timer, Intermatic timer TB121 digital programmable timer, Shack EC4030 calculator, Meprolight LED FingerLight 66111, Intermatic TB121, MAXELL CR 44, MAXELL CR44,EL531R, Sharp Scientific Calculator EL531R takes two LR44, Sharp EL531R, DT121C timer, Shimano Wireless bicycle computer SM-6501, HP 11C calculator, HP 12C calculator, HP 15C calculator, HP 16C calculator, HP 32S calculator, HP 32SII calculator, Sharp EL-506H calculator, SKIL Laser Level 610924433, EL733A, Sharp EL-733A Business Calculator, Instant read cooking thermometer Taylor model 9840, Taylor model 9840 instant read cooking thermometer, 63-911 Radio Shack, Radio Shack 63-911, Intermatic digital DT121C timer, Pedometer made by Yamax sw-701, Yamax sw-701 Pedometer Disney PIXAR Cars Tour the Town Play A Sound Play Boo, MiracleBeam Class IIIA Laser, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong II JR55, Redi-Check Model No. ET-3 Meat Thermometer, pH Spear meter 1211032 manufactured by Oakton, Oakton 1211032, Accusplit Pro Survivor stop watch, SUNCOM LR44 Sportline Stopwatch Model GW4203AS, Sportline Stopwatch GW4203AS, Olympus Digital Voice Recorder Model WS-311M, Hewlett Packard HP-11c, Hewlett Packard HP-16C, HP-11C, HP-16C hex calculator, Accusplit Pro Survivor Stopwatch, Sportline 350 Pedometer, Sharp EL-533, Intermatic Electronic Timer model EJ500, Intermatic Electronic Timer EJ500,Thomas the tank engine lights and sounds, Music N Lights Safety First Walker, Kolcraft activity center for the mini piano, TI-30XA Calculator, Stylus 08513 Micro RC Racer, Laserlyte Bore Sighter universal .22 – .50 cal, Telco Model S086N, Radio Shack Headset Microphone 33-3012 Radio Shack, Circuitmate DM78 by Emerson Electronics, HP 15C calculator, RADIO SHACK LR44, Yashica FXD Quartz SLR, SHARP scientific calculator EL-509A, mySportline talking Pedometer 343, HP15C calculator, HP 15C Calculator, Pyrex brand digital meat thermometer, PANASONIC LR 44, SHARP EL 506D, SHARP EL506D, SHARP CALCULATOR EL 506D, SHARP CALCULATOR EL506D, Sennheiser Shotgun video microphone, WESLO Cardio Glide, IntelliTEC WPT1000 Digital Water Purity Tester, LR44, HP 32S calculator, lavalier microphone audio technica, ATR35s, Radio Shack EC4000 Scientific Calculator, Dyna Trap insect trapper, Nikon FE2, Pentax K1000, Texas Instruments calculator model TI30XA Texas Instrument Calculator, HP 11C calculator, HP 12c calculator, Lord of the Rings Goblet, CheckMan Mini LCD Volt/Ohm Meter model DM 1000, DM1000, ACURITE model 13003 digital LED Alarm clock, ACURITE 13003 digital LED Alarm clock, 13003 Acurite, Hewlett Packard HP12C, Hewlett Packard HP-12C, Circuitrace DM73 digital multimeter, DM73, Circuitrace DM-73 digital multimeter, G13 C, Minolta Flash Meter III, Sunbeam Misquito Repeller, Sesame Street story books, Texas Instrument Calculator BA35, TI BA35 Calculator, The Pampered Chef Kitchen Clock/Timer, The Pampered Chef Kitchen Clock Timer, The Pampered Chef Kitchen Timer, The Pampered Chef Clock, Evenflo ExerSaucer, Nashbar Cyclocomputer, Baby Einstein Animal Melodies, Accu-Gage digital tire gauge, Motorcycle Disc Lock Alarm XENA XM9, XENA XM9, LaCrosse Wireless Infra-Red Thermometer, BECKMAN DM78, CIRCUITMATE DM78, and these Calculators: Calculator TI-30X-A, and many toys, tools and portable devices.

Creating A Dilemma

Posted May 13, 2010 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized

Just finished mowing our lawn – and I use the word lawn only in the sense that the Wikipedia states that: A lawn is an area of recreational or amenity land planted with grass, and sometimes clover and other plants, which are maintained at a low, even height.

I, of course, am pushing the “ other plants” part, as our three and a quarter acre” lawn” consists of predominately wild onions and dandelions. However, if kept mowed it does pass the “ low, even height” criteria.

Today’s mowing did reveal that the moles have started early and this year’s infestation may be a new record – which triggered my natural ability for genius (this is my story, and I’ll tell it however I want.)

First of all, I looked up wild onions and was surprised to find that several species are treated as culinary delicacies, so thereafter mine will be referred to as wild leeks.  Additionally, with the current rush of wineries in this area, I’ll also declare our dandelions as prime for dandelion wine making. Therefore I’ll apply for the farm property tax rate which appears to be about one-sixth of its real value here in Illinois. There is also a clause that states  If it does not have a contributory value, it is valued at zero.” We’ll get to that later.

Illinois ranks as number three in the nation for farm subsidy, with over $3 billion annually, so I figure a decent income from the government on those delicious leeks. There are also several new business grants as well as a $72,750 state subsidy to the Illinois wine producers group. I expect a decent share of that for my fine dandelion wine.

The state subsidy information was footnoted to a publication titled, “2010 Illinois Piglet Book” which purported to be about government waste in the state, but must actually be a guidebook for enterprising  entrepreneurs  and agricultural investors such as myself.  It is full of advice such as:

*$34,000 grant to a tree farm – I’ll get my share of that from the trees I’m digging up in the neighbor’s woods to replace the storm-loss I suffered last year.

*$1.6 million paid to county fairs for subsidizing entertainment – again, if the neighbors don’t get a kick out of this. I’ll give my share back.

*$100,000 or so to music groups – mowing with my iPod blasting ought to account for something.

*$9 million to tourism or visitors – everyone who drives by seems to look at our place . . .

and the list just goes on.

Additionally (and this will also go back to the clause in the tax law that I referenced regarding the non-contributory land) there is an “Agriculture Risk Protection Act”  which provides for crop loss reimbursement, using a rather unnecessarily complex formula. For example, if I insure for fruits and vegetable loss at $22 an acre, . . .  well, who really cares.  I’ll get paid for the loss. What with the moles and my neighbor’s soiza grass steadily creeping along, it appears that my total production will be lost and subsequently subsidized (which also makes three or four pretty decent alliterations – my English 101 instructor  would be proud. And with the millions the state gives to universities. . . )

Now, with all this potential farm subsidy as well as the loss reimbursement, I’m faced with the dilemma of whether to leave the new Porsche at the summer home in the Hamptons and the Ferrari at the winter place on Montserrat – or vice-versa.

My wife said not to count my chickens.


Chicken non-farming?

Jesus or Barry Gibb?

Posted December 6, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized

Last week brought the latest sighting of Jesus – this time by Mary Joe Coady, of Methuen, MA on the bottom of her steam iron.

Far be it for me to be skeptical, (ha!) but a quick search shows alleged images of Jesus on everything from potato chips to interior doors advertised on eBay at prices rivaling Porsche Boxsters.

Why is it always Jesus that everyone sees? No one knows what he actually looked like – all we have are paintings and such that are only depictions of what the artist thought he might look like. We do know what Barry Gibb looks like and most of these “images” do have a faint resemblance to him. Yet no one goes running off shouting that there is an image of Barry on their steam iron, potato chip, etc.

For some boring background take a quick look at Wikipedia , and while this source is not the last word on anything, I think we can all agree that Kodak moments were in short supply during Jesus’ life;

The first photograph was made in 1814 by Nicéphore Niépce using a sliding wooden box camera made by Charles and Vincent Chevalier in Paris, the photograph was not permanent though and it faded. Niépce built on a discovery by Johann Heinrich Schultz (1724): a silver and chalk mixture darkens under exposure to light. While this was the introduction of photography, the history of the camera can be traced back much further. Photographic cameras were a development of the camera obscura, a device dating back to the Book of Optics (1021) of the Iraqi Arab scientist Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen),which uses a pinhole or lens to project an image of the scene outside onto a viewing surface. – Wikipedia

And additional sleep inducements (again from Wikipedia) on the idea of Jesus’ image;

The depiction of Jesus in art took several centuries to reach a conventional standardized form for his physical appearance, which has subsequently remained largely stable since that time. Most images of Jesus have in common a number of traits which are now almost universally associated with Jesus, although variants are seen.

The image of a fully-bearded Jesus with long hair did not become established until the 6th century in Eastern Christianity, and much later in the West. Earlier images were much more varied. Images of Jesus tend to show ethnic characteristics similar to those of the culture in which the image has been created. – Wikipedia

So.  Who do you see on the iron?

Chinese idea of Jesus

Polydor Records idea of Jesus


Bad boys, bad boys. Watcha gonna do?

Posted October 27, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized

JC & othersPatty, Brett, JC’s son, a sober JC and wife in our garage at Daytona – bike has been renumbered for a short race the morning after the 8 Hour. (Photo from Oct ’06 Race)

This year’s October bike week at Daytona was opened in grand style by our old “friend,” sometime sponsor and millionaire playboy, Jamie (JC) France. Jamie’s opening act was to get himself arrested in a high-speed chase while racing across the Seebreeze Bridge in his Lamborghini against half-brother Russell’s Porsche Cayenne . Both were drunk and Russell ended the fiasco with a shouting match with arresting officers where he was quoted with such intelligent tidbits as, “I am a France. Do you know what that means? We own this city.”

Followed by, “I am gonna have your job. This is the biggest mistake ever. You are so done in Daytona.”

And the smartest thing he said was the, “Oh f—“, when the officer rifled through his pants pockets and found a plastic bag full of cocaine.

In an additional display of brilliance, a woman riding in the front seat with Russell (who said she hardly knew him) told police, “He was going so fast, I put my seat belt on.”

While Russell’s little tantrum topped it off, Jamie’s participation was good enough to gain him a “lifetime” suspension from his day job of driving the Brumos Porsche in the Rolex Sports Car Series. (We’ll see how this works out – as daddy owns the series.)

Brett suggested we call him and offer to fill in driving the Porsche for the rest of the season – however he’d have to change the number to 76.

And if you don’t understand, you just haven’t been reading this blog. (Bike Racing)

Serious Thought For The Week

Posted September 17, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized


Money can’t buy happiness . . .

But it feels better crying in a Porsche than a Hyundai or Kia!

Okay . . . Who Is Actually On First?

Posted September 13, 2009 by monerai
Categories: Uncategorized


While building five airplanes and tinkering with dozens more, I have worked with a lot of types of aluminum; 1100, 3003, 5052, 2024, 6061, and 7075 alloys – in various stages of temper; 0, H14, H32, H34, T3, T351, T42, T6, T651 all in both bare and Alclad finish.

I have purchased the aluminum from probably as many as 12 different sources over the years and have never once seen it listed as “Aircraft” aluminum.  Yet, browsing though any automotive, boating, motorcycle, lawnmower, kitchen appliance, etc. catalog will produce any number of items manufactured out of “Aircraft Grade” aluminum.

Being a born worrier, it has always bothered me that I didn’t know what this “Aircraft Grade” aluminum really was . . . until last night. While looking through a new aircraft accessory catalog (of all things), I came across a page of GPS mounting kits that were made of . . .

You got it!

Marine Grade” aluminum.