Although many in the western and southwestern US might not believe me, today is the first day of meteorological fall. Yes it is. Astronomical fall begins with the autumnal equinox, which occurs this year on September 22 at about 9:30 AM Eastern Time. The astronomical start date of each season is based on the position of the Sun in relation to the Earth, while the meteorological start date is based on the 12-month calendar and the annual temperature cycle.
For me, regardless of the number of days that have actually passed as a percentage of the total, September 1 is the beginning of the last third of the year. OK, Captain Obvious, why does that matter? Well, when I note how much time has passed since the beginning of something relative to its expected end, I divide whatever is happening into thirds. The first third is the beginning and the last third is the end. Today is the beginning of the end of the year.
When I was still in school, which started the day after Labor Day in those ancient times, September 1 was a horrible day as it was almost like the executioner’s notice. Despite being a straight-A student, I did not like being in school. (Of course, Labor Day was even worse than September 1 as it marked the last day of freedom before heading to 8-to-3 jail.)
I am not making light of the fact that World War II began on September 1, 1939 with the invasion of Poland, the place of my parents’ birth, by
Nazi Germany. I just wanted to write about something less somber. I guess I did and I didn’t.
Maybe our house doesn’t want us to leave, or maybe it does. Take a look at these pictures of what I am calling tree-on-tree crime:
Basically, a ten-foot long limb from our large oak tree broke off and fell on what used to be our lovely Japanese Maple tree. Half of the Maple was destroyed.
Neither my wonderful wife nor I heard the crash even though we were both home. Scarily, it could not have been too long before this occurred that we were pulling into the driveway in my wife’s convertible with the top down!
Repeat after me for the nth time: NOTHING is all good or all bad and EVERYTHING is a trade-off. The trees are handsome and bring us welcome shade in the summer, but they can cause real damage. In this case, even to each other.
This Corvette Blogger article is about the Falconer ZR-12 Corvette, which is currently on display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (It was about this time last year that my wonderful wife and I returned from our trip to Bowling Green as part of the Corvette Caravan. Where did that year go?)
From the article:
“[The Falconer] Corvette features a 600-cubic inch, aluminum engine created by Ryan Falconer Industries of Chino Valley, Arizona. He basically took a small-block V8 and added four cylinders, two at the front and two at the back.”
“This massive powerplant, used mostly for marine applications, created an impressive 686 horsepower and 680 lb-ft of torque, but because of its aluminum nature, it weighed about the same as an iron-block V8. The entire front of the car had to be stretched eight inches under the clam-shell hood so the motor would fit.”
From the article a picture of the car:
Chevrolet commissioned the build of this car in the late 1980s as a response to the soon to be released V-10 powered Dodge Viper. The ZR-1 version of the C4 Corvette was introduced for model year 1990; the Viper was introduced in 1992.
In 1990, the ZR-1 option added about $27,000 to the price of a Corvette; a base coupe for that year was about $32,000. One key reason the Falconer ZR-12 was never put into production is that the engine alone cost $45,000.
No American production car has had a V-12 engine since the 1948 Lincoln Continental. Given the current trends in automotive design, the odds we ever see another one are slim and none and Slim got on the 2:18 flight out of town.
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