Tag Archives: Mustang

Cops and Me


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Cops surround me even at breakfast.

Cops love me, I tell ya.  We have a special relationship.

Cops and me have met on official business while on the road.

Three times between 2008 and 2010.

But I have not seen the inside of a police car, paddy wagon or jail.

Don’t you wonder why?  I had three chances to do so in two years.

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Leaving Cars and Coffee, Irvine, CA, 2008.  How is it cops can spot my car from a mile away?

During the first two-plus years after customizing my car, I was lit up by CHP, police and sheriff black and whites.

Just once for each law enforcement branch to be modest.

The first time was on my way back from a Ford Mustang car show in San Diego.  Heading north back to LA and after passing Camp Pendleton – home of the US Marines’ famed 1st Division – I noticed a CHP motorbike merging onto the freeway in my rear view mirror

I am very good at spotting CHP, you know.  Especially since the CHP – for some silly reason – is attracted by bright orange¹ Mustangs without mufflers.

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See… Cops love me. A lot of them. On my way to have Jack Roush of NASCAR fame sign my dashboard.

Traffic was heavy heading away from historic Camp Pendleton being a Saturday evening; the entire 1st Division must have just been issued liberty.  I was pretty much boxed in on the highway.  Going with the flow, you know.  There were SUVs and passenger cars all around me, most with tinted windows which are illegal here in California.  I remember one SUV with limo tint.

But sure enough, before Las Pulgas Road and the border check point, the motorcycle cop lit me up.  Hmmm.  I wonder why?  Could it be because my car is orange with racing stripes?  Nah.

So I pulled over, rolled down my tinted windows, put my left arm and hand out my driver’s side window, with my right hand on the top of the steering wheel.  Common sense given the car.

The CHP officer carefully walked up to my passenger window and peered in.  He walked to the front then came back.  “You were speeding back there, have tinted windows and no front license plate.  Driver’s license, registration and insurance, please.”

Speeding?  No problem.  I wasn’t going to bicker with him about the speeding since we were all going at XX mph.  I told him I need to get into my console to which he nodded his head.  He looked at my driver’s license.  He pulled down his sun glasses.  I could see he was MUCH younger than I.  He then looked up from my license, stared at me, then stared back at my license.  He looked into my back seat area, hoping to see if anyone else was back there like a 16 year old son.  “Is this YOUR car, sir?”

I yelled over the traffic noise, “Yes, sir… and I bet I’ve been driving longer than you’ve been alive.”   He smiled.

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Me doing my Lightning McQueen thing.

He walked back to his bike and I’m sure he checked for wants and warrants.  No big deal.  I would want him to do that on every stop. I want to protect my kids, you know.

He came back and handed me a “fix it” ticket while saying, “I’m letting you off on the speeding but you have 60 days to get these violations fixed.”  I now had to officially get my window tint removed and front license plate installed on my then show-quality car, then have an officer sign it off.

“Ok, sir.  Thank you… but you never answered my question if I’ve been driving longer than you’ve been alive.”

He grinned, patted my passenger door’s window sill and said, “Have a good day, sir,” while smiling and walked back to his bike.²

Gee.  I didn’t get tackled to the ground, handcuffed or guns drawn on me.  I wonder why?  Instead, he just smiled.

And I am glad he didn’t ask me to pop the hood…  That’s a whole different type of fix it ticket under there.  It would have been a gold mine for the CHP money bucket.

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Assembling for a cruise to Blackbird Airpark. Now you gotta ask: If all these supercharged Mustangs were going 85 mph and you were a cop, who would you single out?

Another time was at lunch.  I can’t exactly say for sure but perhaps I was speeding just a teensy-weensy bit.  Anyways, a Fullerton PD black and white lit me up.

Same routine.  Pulled over, rolled down my tinted windows and put my hands where he could see them.  He did say he had seen the car driving around before and that he was going to let me go on the window tint, the missing plate and a VERY loud car…this time.  But I do think he recognized the “Voss Performance” stickers all over my car.  Voss knows a lot of cops around there, thankfully.

The other time, the same routine and results, thankfully.  I think the LA County Sheriff felt sorry this nice car was being driven by a decrepit old man in a higher crime area.
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But each time, I did not make mainstream mis-media.  You know, CNN and the like.

I followed the officer’s orders.  Plain and simple.

Nobody came out to say I was being discriminated against because I got picked out of a dozen cars going the same speed, some with a LOT darker tint than mine.  What if I were of a different race and I went after the cop?  Is it because the cop is a racist?

And please don’t say it was just a traffic stop. It’s the same if a cop approached me on a street corner. I interacted with a cop.

But one thought I do have.  Slavery was abolished more than 150 years ago.  There’s nobody alive today from that time – well, at least not since George Burns passed away.  Yet, they still speak to it in volumes in our children’s US history books.  But don’t you find it curious they pretty much overlook WWII which was only 70 years ago?

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My 13 year old son’s US History textbook.  There are pages and pages about discrimination in our children’s textbooks and that it hasn’t improved much. To me, this becomes one overriding concept taken away from school by our children.
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More focus on discrimination. What are the children learning about our nation’s greatness? Can this be a cause for certain people the world is owed them?  Are they thinking America is BAD?
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There were only about four+ pages on WWII with a lot of side bars. There was no true learning about individual sacrifices as a nation to become victorious but ask the children to instead think about discrimination against minorities.

And if any one “race” has a reason to scream discrimination, it would be my father’s generation about 75 years ago.  People of Japanese descent in the “West Coast Exclusion Zone” had all their citizenship and rights stripped away and worldly possessions taken.  I don’t recall any other “race” en masse having their citizenship taken away by the stroke of a President’s pen and put behind barbed wire.

I do feel one thing.  All this poppy-cock about it being solely the cops that caused the riots in Ferguson, Baltimore and unrest in Philadelphia.  It was WRONG for anyone to have NOT complied with the officer’s orders in the first place.  Simple as that.  Why resist arrest or fight a cop?

If someone doesn’t have drugs, weapons or outstanding warrants on their person, complying would be the end of it… like with me.  The only crime I committed was being old.  Well, I guess the tint, no license plate, no mufflers and supposed speeding, too.

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Hmmm.  Do you think I burned rubber while leaving?  Pretty tempting with 505 hp.

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Why isn’t attention being focused on why these so called race incidents occurred in the first place?  Some jerk did not comply with an officer’s orders.  Plain and simple.

Has NOT complying become accepted as an appropriate behavior for thugs when stopped by law enforcement officers… and then for it to be pretty much overlooked if something happens just because of their race?  That a cop can be assaulted and to say afterwards its part of their job to be a glutton for punishment and not have the right to protect himself/herself?  If they fight a cop, what would they do to YOU?

No, I am not condoning someone dying for whatever reason.  But we have to stop overlooking the perpetrators themselves and then using their upbringing as the excuse for their behavior… and make them – and their parents – be accountable for their own actions.  We need to stop giving them hall passes in every way, shape and form.  In essence, we have to stop making ANY race feel special just because of their race.  I blame the DOJ, too, for not placing any blame on the “victims”.

If we don’t, this spiral will never end.

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Notes:

1.  It is orange.  Not yellow!

2. By the way, there are no more “fix it” tickets here in California.  You are cited for tint, no plates or whatever else with no chance to appeal.  Each type of infraction, I believe, is about $160.

Old Man Jack-ism #9 – Respect


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My supercharged Grabber Orange Mustang lived outside 24/7 for her first five years. Old Man Jack’s driveway is to the very left; he would on occasion call me over to his garage to chat.

I was out front one morning, enjoying a gorgeous holiday weekend.  While pointing in my general direction, Old Man Jack said to me from across the street, “Koji, she needs to come in at night.”  My car was in between Jack and me.  He loved my car…almost as much as his F4U Corsair.

Why would he tell me to put my Grabber Orange Mustang into the garage?  He knows it’s parked outside 24/7 because the aggravating ex took away my garage space without saying a word.

“Say what, Jack?” asked I…

I was humbled shortly thereafter by this exceptional and aging WWII combat vet who went to war as a young boy.

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Indeed, I had to park my supercharged, car show winning Grabber Orange Mustang at curbside 24/7.  Blistering sun, rain, ashes from wildfires, toxic sea gull poop and dog pee on my chrome wheels, I tell ya.  The sea gull poop was the worst: unless you got if off before the desert-like sun microwaved it, it would leave the vinyl graphics underneath stained.  Crap.

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Sea gull bomb.
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Aftermath of sea gull bomb – the stain.

But I had to park it outside on the street, as I mentioned, as my darned ex decided to secretly take over my man-cave just months before I got the Mustang GT.

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After the divorce and after throwing a lot of the stuff she didn’t take, this is what the garage looked like. The illegally built room took up about 75% of the space. She even had a door, lights and curtains installed. Definitely no room for a car… Well, maybe a Smart car…but that isn’t a car. 🙂

If you thought Pearl Harbor was a sneak attack, the ex’s takeover of my man-cave was a blitzkrieg.  Let’s just say it was a helluva shock to come home from work one day to find an illegal alien well on his way into putting up walls in the garage.  She was building a “massage room”.  Well, in the end, it was used for much more, unfortunately.

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The cleared out space after I paid my AMERICAN citizen buddy to tear it down and haul it away. My car now has a home.  Notice the door and the window with curtains she had installed. It’s going to cost a pretty penny to have them torn out and filled in. Oh… Look at the bottom right corner… Six feet of my driveway is missing. That is another ex story.

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But back to Old Man Jack telling me that “she needs to come in at night”…

“Jack, I can’t put the car in the garage.  You know that,” I said.

“No, not the car, you dumb shit.  The flag!” he said with his boyish trademark grin and with great fondness.

“Huh?  The flag?” I asked.

“Shit, didn’t they teach you anything in school?  You gotta put a light on her if she’s staying out at night,” he said.

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Old Man Jack with his happy face on and me. He would pass away about a year later.

I then realized he had pointed to the flag behind me and not my car.  Duh.  I had put the red, white and blue out for the holidays as always and had simply left it out – and yes, for convenience.  He must have seen it left out the night before.  But then again, he must have been biting his tongue for years as I had left it out before.

As Popeye, the Sailor Man would say, “How embarrassinks.”

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Well, Old Man Jack was right; there has to be a light shining on the flag at night.  And yes, I had learned that exact flag etiquette as a youngster in school but just plain forgot with time.  Heck, me and this other kid had the honor to take down the school’s flag at the end of the day on a regular basis then properly fold her up while in the 6th grade.  I can still hear the clamps clanking on the metal flag pole as we lowered her.

Anyways, I had remembered that story with today being Memorial Day.  I had the flag out in reverence to our fallen.  I even caught the tail end of a flight of four WWII T-6 Texans just north of us in a missing man formation.

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It is now dark outside and yes, I brought her in.  Can’t upset Old Man Jack, you know.

But it ate my heart out to see it draped over his casket just about three years later.

I was alone with Old Man Jack during visitation.  It was good as I was able to say good-bye in private... The mortuary didn't invest in good quality Kleenex, though.

Thanks for reading and revere our fallen.

Just Some Snapshots #14


I have been distracted for this and that, more so as of recent; life does get in the way as they say.

But just some recent snapshots to perhaps brighten your morning…

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Graptopetalum rusbyi, a Sedum.
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My Little Cake Boss’ shoes.
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, June 28, 2010
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, June 28, 2010, part of the Smithsonian.
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Graptopetalum rusbyi, a Sedum.
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Echeveria pulidonis bloom.
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The Endeavor.
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Graptopetalum rusbyi, a Sedum.
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A kalanchoe’s new branch dazzles you in pink and orange hues.
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A WWII P-51 Mustang presented in sepia. A P-47 Razorback is in the background.
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A Scaevola – Bondi White
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Our flag and the glory days of backyard aviation.
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An English daisy.

c-10-191Have a great day!

Old Man Jack-ism #7


Whhhoooo-eee!

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I have been remiss in visiting Old Man Jack; when I arrived there today, I made sure he heard my Mustang he loved to ride in so much…  I hope his now silent neighbors didn’t mind too much.  As I neared his resting place walking on very sodden soil, it was clear I was his last visitor from some months ago.  The grass had definitely encroached on his gravestone; even the hole where the water decanter should be seen was covered up.

As I trimmed away the overgrown grass, I fondly remembered a “Whhhoooo-eee!” Old Man Jack let out once.   That one time, he had an extra emphasis on the “Whhhoooo”… with even more of a sopranic “eee” at the end.  He then proceeded to tell me about how his old man kept him in line as a boy while handing me something from his past.  More on that later.

And that word’s made up, you know…”sopranic”.  But for that moment, he was definitely Julie Andrews. 🙂

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In our chats in his cluttered garage, Old Man Jack used to tell me how he used to “tussle” a lot while growing up in Glendale, CA.  You know.  Fight.  He wasn’t embarrassed to say he took a lickin’ – once in a while.  He frequently said one reason why he took a lickin’ was that he was a runt so he took up body building for protection – as well as for the girls.  He had flashed his trademark grin while gently shaking his head fondly left and right as while talking about his youthful adventures; you wonder what crazy memories flashed in his mind filled with life’s wisdom to power that grin.

He reminisced that his dad was also a bit of a trouble maker, especially when he had a bit too much libation but that he was the family enforcer.  Old Man Jack said his dad was also a sailor – a baker in the US Navy to be exact but he also had worked as a barber.  They were together out in the SW Pacific during the war but on different islands.  He said his dad would once in a while send him a cake and cookies on a B-25 Mitchell that was making some kind of supply run.  Old Man Jack instantly became the most loved sailor on that island when the cake and cookies were unloaded… provided the pilots didn’t eat them along the way.

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Old Man Jack’s father was Lee Whitty Garrett and can be found on line 11 corroborating his story. You can clearly see he was a baker on the destroyer tender USS Markab’s Muster Roll, dated Sept. 1, 1945.  He survived the war, too, and was on his way home.

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On the way to visit him at his resting place, I decided to listen to the news.  Well actually, the only time I can hear the news is while in my Mustang is stopped at a light – the exhaust isn’t exactly quiet (listen below)… and in that brief instant, the newscaster reported again about a pro sports figure and an alleged “beating” he gave his son.  I turned it off as I am tired of the media making a circus out of every perceived “socially incorrect” behavior.  Of course, I wouldn’t know of the intimate details of the allegations.  Can’t trust the media, you know.

Don’t get me wrong.  I sure as hell don’t condone BEATING a kid.  No way.  But… I believe there is nothing wrong with a spanking – or a “whippin'” as Old Man Jack’s generation used to say.  Because of the social pressures exerted by a faction of our culture, taking a hand – any kind of hand – to your child means police show up at your door – at least here in California.  “Positive reinforcement” goes only as far as your front door.

There is nothing wrong with a good spanking, in my opinion…  Or, when I was going to junior high school, it was called a “swatting”.  There was our PE teacher, a Mr. T.  He had a swat board the size of Rhode Island made out of balsa wood thicker than Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biceps.  It was even taped at the handle to enhance the grip for his elephant sized hands AND he had several large holes drilled into the paddle section to increase the device’s aerodynamic characteristics, i.e., more paddle speed, more pain.  I’m positive he had its aerodynamics tested in a wind tunnel.  If any of my male high school buddies are reading this, they know exactly what I’m talking about.  I think the paddle section was even painted black.  All the PE teachers carried one of their own design.

Believe me, the threat of a swat kept MANY a kid in line…  meaning they really gave it a thought before crossing that line and risk getting caught – and greeting the aerodynamically enhanced swat from Mr. T.  One benefit was it taught respect – the hard way.

Frankly, the prohibition of spanking – in my opinion – has contributed to the growing disrespect and behavioral problems being shown by many of today’s younger folks.  A kid never gets a well deserved licking, i.e., pain, if you did something bad.  All a kid gets now is a painless lesson in positive reinforcement or detention.  No pain, you gained.  You learned it was OK to whine, too.

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But back to his “Whhhoooo-eee”…

As Old Man Jack belted out the whhhooo-eee, he handed me this; it has been hanging safe and sound in my hall closet since he gave it to me:

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Its two feet long and is used to sharpen a barber’s straight edge razor.

It’s a barber’s leather razor blade sharpening strop (not strap).  Specifically, a “Scotch Lassie”; it was his father’s:

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His Scotch Lassie with Old Man Jack’s second love in the background – the F4U Corsair from WWII.

While I wasn’t clear if this was the one that was used or not, Old Man Jack got a whippin’ with this on occasion from his dad…the same one who sent him cakes and cookies out in the Pacific during a vicious war.  From a couple of the stories he told me, it sure sounds like he deserved the whippings and therefore, the reason for his whhhoooo-eee.  And you know what?  Old Man Jack turned out to be one helluva respectful and forgiving man.

Remembering he was giving me that trademark grin while handing it to me, he said something to the effect of, “Koji, I’ll tell ya…  The thought of getting another whippin’ from my dad sure kept me from getting into more trouble…but not ALL the time.”  Knowing Old Man Jack well by then, it made me grin, too.

With that, he said it was time for him to part with it, to move on and that he wanted me to keep it… if I wanted it.

Knowing how it was an intimate guiding influence of how this great man turned out to be as he was, of course I did.  I think he was glad.

But I sure miss his trademark grin and I think he misses my cigar in return… but not the whippin’ I gave him when he challenged me at stop lights in HIS ’68 Mustang on our way to breakfasts.

He hated getting whipped, you know.

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I Take Exception, Mr. President


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The White House as it looked when President Adams occupied it.
whitehousehistory.org

Mr. President, I take exception to your leadership.  I feel it is flawed.

You are supposed to be MY president.

My fellow Mustang buddy’s president.  He’s Black and has a doctorate.  Oh.  He’s married to a Middle Eastern lady – who screams while sitting shotgun in his grossly overpowered car.

My neighbor’s president.  He’s Hispanic, an American citizen and is in the USAF (and who got his pay cut due to The (Dumb) Sequester.)

My blogging friend’s president.  She is Irish with blazing red hair.

Yes, even #41 and #43’s president.  They are Caucasian and BOTH served in the Armed Forces.  Hell, #41 was shot down and lost his two crew members.  Like Old Man Jack, even he must’ve had nightmares for the rest of his life.

You are the elected person to represent ALL of us…together.

But do you?

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Yes, I voted for the other guy.  Glad that’s out in the open.  Whew.  Now hate me.

But all through your campaigns and years in office, you have made it a point to distinguish (imply?) yourself to be Black…and rarely or never infer that you are “White”.

How can that be, Mr. President?  Your mother was White.  Your father was Black.

To me, that’s 50%-50%.

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President Obama’s parents

It’s simple math.  The same simple math taught in school.  Well, pardon me.  Not too many folks recall seeing you in class.

Perhaps you ditched classes, Mr. President, just like my angelic oldest daughter..?  But my oldest daughter got straight A’s.  I’ll let you see her report card if you’ll show me your transcripts.

So I excuse you on your mathematical error.

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Trayvon Martin died on February 26, 2012.

On March 23, 2012, you said on national TV:

“But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon. And I think they are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”  (Note: President Obama, the LOCAL authorities and DA DID get to the bottom of exactly what happened shortly after the shooting, right?)

After the verdict was read, you made another statement.  On July 20, 2013, you said:

“When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son,” Obama said. “Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”

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First speech mentioning Trayvon Martin.

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The Zimmerman/Martin fight took place in a smaller township called Sanford, FL.  The local – LOCAL – authorities concluded there was not enough evidence to hold or charge Zimmerman under their STATE laws.

But alas…  The MEDIA was a huge contributor.  In my opinion, it was primarily CNN who started a fire where there should have been none.  Day after day, they tried to “stir the pot”, as they say.  RACE came into the limelight thanks to CNN fueling the self-grown fire.

Then Obama’s ill-advised comment…  RACE again.  He’s HALF-WHITE.

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Race is one thing contributing to the deepening divide amongst our citizens.

In his first speech, he fueled the frenzy with those words, “…and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.”

Who is “we’re”?  Him?  The Feds?  It fell under state and LOCAL jurisdiction.  And the local law enforcement and DA – closest to the case and evidence – had closed its case.

Obama and CNN was pouring copious amounts of salt onto a festering wound.

By the way…  How does CNN pick which murder to sensationalize?  Why didn’t CNN sensationalize this more recent one – of four Blacks killing an unarmed White college student:

I am curious why you did not come out in front of our nation and say, “If I had a son, he’d look like Joshua Proutey.”

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In closing, how DARE Obama distinguish himself from me implying Trayvon Martin could have been his son – for whatever reason – in front of our country.

You are supposed to be MY president.

You are to lead us… represent all of us… and not imply “favoring” one race over another.

How do you bring this together instead of dividing it?

Simple.  Like this:

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THIS is how YOU should lead OUR country, Mr. Obama.
(White House Archives)

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Face it.  There are racists.

White people who hate other races.  Blacks who hate other races.  Asians who hate other races.

Lead us.  Tell us citizens to quell this lunacy…and get off the minority soap box at the same time.

ps   PLEASE PAY MY USAF BUDDY.  HE IS IN HARM’S WAY AND WORKING TO PROTECT US.  HE IS NOT HOLDING HIS HAND OUT LIKE 47 MILLION OTHERS ARE.

Nuckin’ Futs


Nuckin’ Futs.

That’s the name of an old man.

An old and round Asian man.

Nuckin’ Futs

Only Nuckin’ Futs would drive an orange car…with a wing in the back.

Loud.  Low.

It was so low a cigarette pack couldn’t squeeze under it

Windows in the “you-have-the-right-to-pull-me-over” tint.

Photo by Drew Phillips

In the land of the California Highway Patrol.  LAPD.  LACS.

They love Nuckin’ Futs…a lot.

LEO’s love Nuckin’ Futs’ loud orange car

Why is that?

Polished Roushcharger with polished 2.57″ Carmen pulley; 505 HP VMP tune

Supercharger with pulley

Roush Cold Air Intake

PVD Black Chrome Moroso tanks and valve covers

Car stops on a yen.  Wilwood six-pistons with 14″ slotted and cross-drilled rotors and “Red Stuff” pads with fat Yokohama S.drives

Nuckin’ Futs gets to sit on full six-way power and HEATED leather seats…as does Nuckin’ Futs’ little girl on the way to school…

…while looking at Jack Roush’s signature in front of her.

Mr. Roush signing Nuckin’ Futs’ car

Before the before the “Before the Boo Boo” Now look.  You got it, yes?

Before the before the “Before the Boo Boo” Now look

Before the “Before the Boo Boo” Now look.  Nuckin’ Futs behind the wheel.  Only four of these body kits were in the US; the other three were on show cars.

Photo by Drew Phillips.

Before the Now look

Ouch. 12:30 AM near Gilroy, CA.

The Now Look

Just for fun – anyone see “Cars”?  See ya.

A summary of the larger mods for gear heads