Thursday, March 9, 2023

FranktoidTM No. 23 - Triggered

 A lot of people associate the word "triggered" with experiencing a strong emotional reaction of fear, shock, anger, or worry, especially if they are made to remember something bad that has happened in the past, myself included. The trigger that is about to unfold here is not bad, emotional perhaps, and is best described by another definition of triggered which is a particular action, process, or situation. In my case is was a particular action that triggered me.

I was going through old photographs and ran across one that was taken back in the early 90's. I had completely forgotten about this photo but man, did it ever bring back a flood of memories. To almost anyone else it is just an old, grainy photo. But to me it speaks volumes, as it includes my first house, my first real garage (pre Amberlight), my daily driver '69 Chevelle Malibu, my project car - a 1966 Chevy Impala SS convertible big block car, our '85 Honda Accord family car, and barely visible - another '66 Impala, this one was a hardtop ex-street racer aptly named "The White Whale". I can even see my Craftsman air compressor, still in it's packing crate, that I had purchased at Sears. Who would of thought one photograph could trigger so many memories? 

I think photos are one of the more powerful triggers out there, both good and bad. I sympathize with those that see the bad ones. I am sure that old pictures of the Twin Towers in New York bother a lot of folks, especially if they lost a loved one there. For myself, I do not like seeing photos of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. My son was at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in 2017 and almost lost his life in the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. To help deal with the stress I literally wrote about it the next day. Sometimes words have a healing effect, at least for me.

The reason I was going through my old photos was to organize them and put them into photo albums. Remember those? I think it's so much better to be able to access your photos in an album then to keep them filed away in a box. I consider myself lucky that the vast majority of my photos are physical photographs, not JPEG files. Remember that the next time you are searching for a pic on your phone or PC. Digital does come in handy but I think there can be a balance between the two. So if you have some old photos tucked away, go dig them out and trigger yourself, in a good way. 

L to R - 69 Malibu, 66 Impala SS, 85 Accord, 66 Impala Hardtop

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Death of the Firing Order

 Quick, off the top of your head, can you tell me the cylinder firing order of the pre-LS Chevrolet V-8? I have the inkling that only the older generation of gear heads can recite this numerical order by memory. Having worked in the parts industry for decades I knew the cylinder firing orders of GM, Ford, and Chrysler engines by heart, but that was long before a certain device was invented. What is this device that I speak of? None other then the "smartphone" you are holding right now or the PC in your house. Back in the day auto parts stores had catalog racks, not computers like today. To prevent having to look up the same part number time after time, we memorized things, lots of things. One of the most famous examples of auto related memorized data was in the 1992 movie My Cousin Vinny, where Mona Lisa Vito says: "Chevy didn't make a 327 in '55, the 327 didn't come out till '62. And it wasn't offered in the Bel Air with a four-barrel carb till '64. However, in 1964, the correct ignition timing would be four degrees before top-dead-center." Given the fact that this movie was released prior to the availability of search engines like Google,Yahoo, and even AltaVista, plus during the infancy of the internet itself, the writers really did their research and provided an accurate line for the movie. 

Years ago I remember reading this quote by some self-proclaimed expert: "Why memorize when I can Google it?" In reality it was probably an ad hoc created by Google, much like the very early subliminal message in the 2002 movie Maid in Manhattan, starring Jennifer Lopez as Marisa Ventura. In that movie her characters son, Ty, asks her why Simon and Garfunkel broke up. Marisa responds with "You got me, you can Google it at school." In under one generation society has been conditioned to "Google it", or the equivalent, to find the answers to their questions. The aforementioned smartphone is now actually smarter and growing more intelligent with each new version that is released. Remember the CRAY-2 super computer from the 80's? Well your Apple iPhone 12 is 5000 times faster then the CRAY-2 and 5500 pounds lighter! Think about that for a second, or Google it.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

A New Year, Maybe

It is the first day of a new year and I will once again go out on a limb to predict what the rest of 2023 holds in store for us, John and Jane Q Public. I think I can sum it up in just a few words: More of the same. That's the vibe that I'm getting, and if my past predictions are any indication, it will probably be spot-on. The "new normal" is becoming just that and it's a little disconcerting. For all you truthers out there I see a lot of inconvenient proof coming out that will open a lot of folks eyes to what is really going on around them. I'll stop right there lest I wax on about politics and really do a deep dive, and that's not what this blog page is about. 

I will also predict that there will more content posted on this blog for your reading enjoyment and 100 percent free of charge! Now that I am retired it should be pretty easy, right? Ha! I'm still unpacking from our big move. On top of that the new Amberlight Garage is a disaster plus I am in the planning stages of a major addition to it, but not to worry, "good things come to those that wait". For those wondering if they can use that quote on their significant others and their to-do list, the answer is unequivocally NO.

The new year hopefully holds some major progress on Project Yellowjacket as well. Now that I am down to just one project I can put the proverbial nose to the grindstone and git-r-done! The plan has always been to put a 455 in it, which I am still in the process of gathering just the right parts for, but I started wondering about the 350 that is currently in it. When I bought the car back in 2014 I was told that the engine did run but had been sitting for at least a decade due to a major oil leak. I did discover that the oil leak was actually in the transmission. One time when I tried to add oil to the trans, the ATF ran out onto the ground almost as fast as I was pouring it in! In theory the engine should run if everything checks out okay. Time will tell and maybe you will see a "first start in 20 years" video... maybe.