By on October 11, 2016

1991 Spartan Fire Truck

My four-year-old grandson Aryeh wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. He’s got a full fire chief’s outfit and his ears perk up whenever he hears a siren. That’s probably due to the influence of Fireman Sam cartoons and the fact there was a fire in one of the buildings in the apartment complex where he lived until just recently.

There are worse things he could do when he gets older. For example, scouring auction listings of oddball vehicles he can’t really afford — like his grandfather. (Read More…)

By on October 21, 2013
One of these is the last Crown Victoria Police Interceptor made by Ford, now owned by the Kansas Highway Patrol

One of these is the last Crown Victoria Police Interceptor made by Ford, now owned by the Kansas Highway Patrol

My brother got picked up at Parker’s, got him a ride in a new Crown Vic.
They said that he was movin’ on a federal level but they couldn’t really make it stick.
Never Gonna ChangeDrive By Truckers

At a site where Panther love reigns, it should come as no surprise to the Best & Brightest that now that Ford’s  Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, out of production since 2011, is gradually being taken out of service, law enforcement officers are wistful about the Crown Vic’s impending demise. A while back, the New York Times took a look at the last Crown Vic bought by the Washington State Patrol, assigned to Trooper Randy Elkins. “It’s kind of the end of an era. My goal is to keep it to the end, right to the last mile,” Elkins told the NYT. With about 1,000 miles put on the cruiser in a typical week and the WSP’s designated retirement mileage of 140,000, that last mile will come within three years.

(Read More…)

By on September 30, 2013

Sorry for the tease but to get the full effect of this post you’re going to have to click on Read More. It’s not that we want the additional clicks, it’s just that I’m using a graphic to illustrate this post that is so eye-searing that the layout and graphic designer in me just couldn’t put it on the front page above the break.

Once you do make the jump, you may have trouble focusing on the text in the image below. That’s because of a phenomenon known as chromostereopsis, which the American National Standard Institute (ANSI/HFES-200, Part 5) defines  as “the perception of depth resulting from the close proximity of two colors of disparate wavelengths”. There’s a good explanation of chromostereopsis here. Because of where in our eyes the receptors for different colors are, and how our eyes focus, we perceive different colors as being at different distances. Printers and others who do graphic layout have long known that because they are at opposite ends of the spectrum, it’s not a good idea to use blue letters on red backgrounds and vice versa. Most people perceive blue as closer than red, and as a result the human eye cannot focus on both red and blue at the same time, causing the optical illusion of blurry letters in the graphic below. (Read More…)

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