Monday, February 13, 2017

Frederick Law Olmstead, the person responsible for the location of my "project".

Frederick Law Olmsted

During the later half of the nineteenth century cities in America underwent tremendous changes. More people were moving to the cities than ever before. It became evident that cities needed to be transformed into more hospitable places, and not just centers of commerce. No longer could the leaders of society or the City fathers sit back and watch the Cities operate.  Towards the end of the 1850s city beautification became an issue that more and more leaders followed and explored. The theory behind this movement was that the more aesthetically pleasing you make a city, the more people will want to live in that city, and the happier they will be.
One of the greatest champions of the City Beautiful movement was Frederick law Olmsted. Olmsted was the leading landscape architect of the post-Civil War generation, and has long been acknowledged as the founder of American landscape architecture.
Frederick Law Olmsted (1822 - 1903) was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He was raised as a gentleman, and while he never fully attended college, he did become a very learned man. When he was 18, Olmsted moved to New York to begin a career as a scientific farmer. Soon after that career failed to take off, he toured Europe with his brother, served as a merchant seaman, and traveled throughout the southern United States as a newspaper correspondent, publishing several books as an outgrowth of that career.

Through several connections gained as a columnist with the New Yorker, Olmsted was able to gain the appointed as the Superintendent of Central Park, New York City, in 1857, early in the development of that park project. He soon met Calvert Vaux, who had been working on a design for the park with Andrew Jackson Downing. When Downing died, Vaux approached OImsted about collaborating on the project. Their plan, titled Greensward, was ultimately selected as the winning design.

In 1859, Olmsted married the widow of his brother, John, and he adopted her children. In 1861, Olmsted obtained a leave of absence from his duties at Central Park so that he could serve as the Executive Secretary (the head of administration) of United States Sanitary Commission, an early version of the Red Cross, which was responsible for aiding the well-being of the soldiers of the Union Army during the Civil War. In 1863, he was offered the position manager at the Mariposa Estate in California, a gold mining venture north of San Francisco, and he left the organization. He later returned to New York when the project failed, joining Vaux in designing Prospect Park (1865-1873), Chicago's Riverside subdivision, Buffalo's park system (1868-1876), and the Niagara Reservation at Niagara Falls (1887).
In 1883, he departed New York City and relocated to Brookline, Massachusetts with his practice. Olmsted had begun work on a park system for the City of Boston, eventually he focused much of his time on the Emerald Necklace. This along with his work on the design of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago were among the last of Olmsted's projects. In 1895, due to failing health Olmsted turned the firm over to his partners, and soon senility forced him to be confined in the McLean Hospital at Waverly, Massachusetts. Ironically, Olmsted had designed the grounds of the institution.

Frederick Law Olmsted died on August 28, 1903. The landscape architecture firm he founded was continued by his sons and their successors until 1980. Subsequently, his home and office were purchased by the National Park Service and opened to the public as museum. His papers are now housed in the Library of Congress, while the Olmsted National Historic site preserves the drawings and plans for much of Olmsted and his firm's body of work.

We have one of these cars.  It goes to the history of the WozPin, and the longevity of keeping something around.  Lots of fun in this car of ours, and it's still parked in the driveway.  Now, to find the next worthy owner.

Ford Mustang SVO

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Third generation
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
AssemblyDearborn, Michigan
Body and chassis
Body style3-door liftback
LayoutFR layout
PlatformFord Fox platform
RelatedFord LTD
Ford Thunderbird
Mercury Capri
Mercury Marquis
Mercury Cougar
Lincoln Continental
Lincoln Mark VII
Ford Mustang
Engine2.3L I4
Transmission5-speed manual
Wheelbase100.5 in (2,553 mm)
Length179.6 in (4,562 mm)
Width69.1 in (1,755 mm)
Height52.1 in (1,323 mm)
SuccessorFord Mustang SVT Cobra

1986 Mustang SVO

Rear view

Mustang SVO 1986

86 SVO engine bay
The Mustang SVO was a limited-production version of the Ford Mustang sold from 1984 to 1986, during which time it was the fastest, most expensive version of the Mustang available. Although it departed both physically and mechanically from any prior version of the Mustang, it held the same spot within the lineup, both in terms of performance over "lesser" variants and in prestige, as had variants such as the Shelby tuned and "BOSS" Mustangs of the 1960s and 1970s.


In the wake of the oil crisis of the 1970s, the American muscle car had effectively died off, the result of ever-rising fuel costs and the advent of more strict safety and emissions controls imposed worldwide. As a result, the "big three" automakers (Ford, General Motors and Chrysler Corporation), for whom muscle cars had been a steady and reliable source of income, began to suffer somewhat financially. Many of the great vehicles of the muscle car era had been either completely discontinued or had been painstakingly detuned to help keep them in compliance with new Federal emissions regulations and the rising demand for better gas mileage. The Mustang, although still in production, had suffered greatly through this time; diminished power output and Ford's seemingly complete inability to come up with an attractive body style in the post-fastback era were major issues.
Ford began to make a major push forward with the Mustang in 1982, nearly completely reinventing every aspect of the vehicle, which included putting a new emphasis on the model's sporty nature. Just prior to this, in the fall of 1981, Ford decided to form a division that could oversee both the company's racing program and the production of limited-edition, high-performance street-legal vehicles based on or taking technology from the race vehicles. Officially, the division was called the Special Vehicle Operations Department, but the public came to know them as simply SVO (S-V-O). Tasked with developing something that was both plainly American and competent to compete with entry-level European sports cars of the day, the team went to work on the new Mustang, deeming that it was the most obvious choice as a platform basis for a high-performance vehicle.

1985½ Training Article

Turbocharged Power

Still ultimately concerned with issues such as fuel consumption and emissions, SVO engineers opted to pass over the venerable production 5.0 liter V-8 in lieu of an updated, turbocharged, and stronger version of Ford's 2.3 liter inline four, originally used in the Pinto. Endowing the engine with an advanced, computer controlled fuel injection system and an intercooled turbocharger system helped push power output to 175 horsepower, fairly high for the time. In addition, a "fuel grade" switch was added to the dash, allowing the driver to adjust the vehicle's performance level depending on if premium or standard grade fuel was being used. A factory installed Hurst shifter was made standard in order to improve feel and quickness. With fine tuning and the addition of a new water-cooling system, power output rose to 200 horsepower (149 kW) for 1986 (205 horsepower (153 kW) for 439 85.5 SVOs). Also the 1985.5 and 1986 SVO had new "aero" headlights. These headlights were designed for the 1984 model, but regulations would not allow them to be used until the mid-1985 update. The vehicle's standard Borg-Warner 5-speed manual transmission was updated then as well, receiving revised gearing to match the new 3:73 rear end ratio,
Mustang SVO horsepower and torque ratings by year
1984175 hp (130 kW) @ 4400 rpm210 lb·ft (280 N·m) @ 3000 rpm
1985175 hp (130 kW) @ 4400 rpm210 lb·ft (280 N·m) @ 3000 rpm
1985.5205 hp (153 kW) @ 5000 rpm248 lb·ft (336 N·m) @ 3200 rpm
1986200 hp (149 kW) @ 5000 rpm240 lb·ft (330 N·m) @ 3200 rpm

The Overall Package

In addition to the advanced engine, the SVO featured several key modifications over the standard Mustang to help increase performance. The front suspension geometry was modified, 15:1 ratio power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system replaced the standard system, a limited slip, 3.45:1, 7.5" Traction-Lok axle was added for the first year of production (later models used a 3.73:1 ratio, 7.5" axle), a new, ventilated four-wheel-disc braking system (sourced from the Fox platform Lincoln Continental) replaced the GT's disc/drum setup (a first for the Mustang), specially designed pedals were used to aid "heel-and-toe" shifting and a complete Koni suspension system featuring specially tuned adjustable struts, shocks, and horizontal dampers replaced the setup used on the Mustang GT. Five-lug, 16 × 7 inch aluminum wheels wearing P225-50R16 VR Goodyear Eagle "Gatorback" tires were standard as well (originally shod with German Goodyear NCT tires, and later Gatorbacks). The rear disc brakes, the five lug hubs, the sixteen inch (406 mm) wheels, the quad-shock rear end (early 84 units used a solid steel traction bar with a rubber cover), and the Konis were used on the SVO before any other Mustang.
Interior was only available in charcoal grey (leather or velour) and features included adjustable sport seats with lumbar supports, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, shift lever, and emergency brake handle, power windows, door locks and A/C and a premium stereo system, options that weren't normally found on small American coupes. However, an optional Competition Prep package deleted many of those features to save weight.
The exterior had a unique front grille and hood that was only used on the SVO line, thinner side moldings, smoother sail panels behind the rear quarter windows, small rear wheel spats and a biplane spoiler that was also unique to the SVO. The pinstriped taillights introduced on the SVO were later used on the 1993 Cobra model as well.
Catch up on all the latest WOZPIN news at  There has been plenty of new action on the Facebook page so please keep in touch.   Woz...

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Year of Presidency

September 7, 2014

This has been an eventful year, 2014.  I've been to Anaheim for the CAFOP biennial conference as the President of the SFBAFOP17.  I've been to Columbus Ohio and I've returned the President of the S&WCA, and I've been the President of LSdC being sworn in at the January LScC meeting.  It's been eventful as I lost my motorcycle collection to a fire, and my truck & trailer and every tool I've collected since I was in high school auto shop. 

I have been extremely busy and have not posted here in some time.  Give me a chance to catch-up and I'll be back.

You can see the easy stuff on my Facebook page(s).  Yes, there are three of them and they're easy to find.

Same house, same car(s), same pretty-much everything other than the days and weeks and months and years that are gone forever.

My cemetery project of many years is now maintenance free.  You will be able to follow that project soon as well.


Right now, I have a 52 year old car that I'm driving to vintage car shows (1959 Edsel Ranger parked out at Mom's) and a 29 year old car that I just can't release, as I wanted it as soon as I saw it and the story of acquisition is historic (83 Porsche 944 also parked out at Mom's) and my daily driver right now is a 27 year old car (1986 Cadillac Sedan de Ville parked out in front) and when I need to carry things, it's my truck & trailer (2003 Ford F-150 HD 100th anniversary commemorative & Logan motorcycle trailer, truck out front and trailer parked out at Mom's). I still have the "Breadtruck" and it's "non-op'd" and a 24 foot Wilderness trailer parked out there too (to sleep in as my little cottage out there is filled to the brim with "stuff".)

With ten motorcycles registered and insured as well, my insurance bill and vehicle registration costs might actually be able to buy you one of those cars, although probably not the Audi R8 which goes for about $125,000.00 or so, but maybe the Lotus? Anyway, I'm living the life of a Spartan these days to just be able to keep what I have, as I have fully retired from all of my "retirement" jobs and now just the maintenance costs must be covered by my "less-than-adequate" retirement pension.

So, I'm glad that I got everything I wanted (or needed) in the past and now, it's the next twenty years or so of just basking in whatever accomplishment I've been able to attain.

Oh yeah, by the way, we've learned that the Quail Lodge Motorcycle Gathering will be once again held at Quail Lodge (yeah, how about that?) May 4th (setup) and 5th (show day) 2012. We will once-again be trying to get in and show off our American Sport Bike Night motorcycles. We hope to be able to include you.

Thanks for the race,


This post was scheduled for publication in April 2014

2014 and the Presidential Year it has become...

As 2014 starts off and it's actually before my January birthday I'm humbled and pensive about the year to come.   It's been a while since I've posted here and it's easy to say "I've been busy" however as the years seemingly fly by and the months and days get shorter as the calendar pages seem to be driven by the wind, maybe an update is in order.

Since my complete retirement from my post-retirement jobs as a security person, a bartender, a business owner, and several other revenue generating attempts, I've been engulfed in some very rewarding volunteer activities.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Frank Sinatra... 12-12-12


On December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was thought to be stillborn until his grandmother revived him under cold water. He was the only child of Italian immigrants Anthony Martin and Natalie Della "Dolly".
Sinatra dropped out of high school at 15 and decided he would follow in the footsteps of his idol, Bing Crosby. In 1935 he entered a radio talent program called Major Bowes Amateur Hour. For the performance Frank partnered up with a singing and dancing trio called the Three Flashes and formed the Hoboken Four. They won first prize and went on to more performances with Major Bowes' traveling show. Within a few years, Sinatra was singing regularly on several radio stations. He got his big break while working as a singer and waiter at an Englewood, N.J. restaurant, the Rustic Cabin. There, trumpet extraordinaire Harry James found the young Sinatra and decided he would fit well as the lead singer for his band The Music Makers.
Sinatra quit James’ band after 7 months and joined Tommy Dorsey's swing orchestra. It was with Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra that the classic Sinatra crooning began and the idol began to form. By the early forties Sinatra had made a name for himself and he bought out his contract with Dorsey to pursue a solo career. Success followed him and so did swarms of adoring teenage girls just to hear his unique phrasing and emotional performances.
The first Frank Sinatra hit song was recorded in 1939 with the Harry James Orchestra. "All or Nothing at All," was actually released in 1943 after Sinatra had left James’ group and signed on with Tommy Dorsey’s Big Band.
In 1946, Sinatra signed a five-year film contract with M-G-M which diverted his primary focus away from music and toward acting. Just as on stage, Sinatra’s charisma came through on film and he went on to star in a variety of films that often featured his songs. The most successful of the early films was Anchors Aweigh with Gene Kelly in 1945 and On the Town in 1949.
The tough times began in the early 1950s. In 1951, Frank left his first wife Nancy and his three children for movie starlet, Ava Gardner. Their five-year relationship was a precursor to the more modern tabloid headline grabbers of today. In 1952, Sinatra suffered a severe blow to his career when his vocal cords hemorrhaged. At this point in his career the music was painful and the movie roles were poor. Professional abandonment came for Sinatra at age 37 when he was dropped by Universal, CBS-TV, Columbia Records and his agent.
The downhill road began to show incline thanks to Ava Gardner’s assistance in securing husband Frank the role of Angelo Maggio in 1953's From Here to Eternity. Sinatra himself loved the role and knew he was born to play it. He fought hard to convince the producers the same and even agreed to take a huge pay cut and take the role for only $8,000. His performance as Maggio opposite Burt Lancaster and Donna Reed showed that he could hang with the big boys of Hollywood. The fitting reward for his dramatic performance was the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in the film.
His acting prowess wasn’t a flash in the pan as Sinatra went on to give a riveting performance as a heroin addict in the 1955 Otto Preminger film The Man With the Golden Arm. He received critical acclaim for his role in the 1962 Cold War psychodrama The Manchurian Candidate. Along with the dramatic roles, Sinatra maintained his involvement in more light hearted, entertaining musical feature films like Guys and Dolls (1955), High Society (1956), and Pal Joey (1957).
The Rat Pack was formed by Humphrey Bogart in 1955. The then "Holmby Hills Rat Pack" was meant to be a gathering of the guys for nights of drinking and fun. After Bogart's death in 1957, the Rat Pack as we know it today was born under the leadership of the Pack Master, Frank Sinatra. The new Pack was comprised of Sinatra's pals, namely Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop. Later honorary members included Milton Berle, Shirley MacLaine, and Tony Curtis. Sinatra actually preferred the title "The Summit" for his group but the Rat Pack is the name that stuck. From the late 50s to the early 60s, the Rat Pack was booming. They hammed it up on stage and screen with a huge fan base to feed the growing attraction. They performed together with a relaxed yet intimate humor the likes of which is not often seen today. It was a unique and classy bunch of entertaining friends.
The Pack performed on stage together, partied together and made movies together. Ocean's Eleven (1960), Sergeants 3 (1962), Four for Texas (1963), and Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964) reflected the creative lifestyle of living it up till all hours of the night. More than just a party, the Pack had social influence, no one more than the Pack master himself with his increasing political and cultural power.
In 1953, Sinatra’s musical career was reborn when he signed on with Capitol Records. His collaborations with arranger Nelson Riddle produced some of the most popular albums of the time, such as Songs for Young Lovers, A Swingin' Affair, Come Fly With Me, Swing Easy, In the Wee Small Hours, and Songs for Swingin' Lovers. During this period Sinatra went through a vocal evolution from the crooning heartthrob to the more mature and interpretive artist. He covered the gamut of emotions with his albums and pulled it off each time. He described his bipolar accuracy with the quote “being an 18-karat manic-depressive and having lived a life of violent emotional contradictions, I have an over acute capacity for sadness as well as elation.”
The hit songs kept coming and the persona and success ballooned during Sinatra’s so called “come-back” in the late ‘50s. Yet, it’s hard to call it a comeback when he ended up surpassing where he had been in the first place. It was more like a come back followed by unbelievable yet well-deserved achievement. He was back at the top of the music, movie and even TV world. Entertainment was synonymous with Sinatra. Here the legend took form as a result of the way he handled himself during such fruitful times. Always cool and collected, he carried himself in a way that most in the limelight do not. He worked hard to maintain the standards he set with sold-out concerts, hit records, and popular films and television specials. "The Chairman of the Board" added successful businessman to his resume with many successful deals including the co-founding of his own recording label in 1961 dubbed Reprise Records.
The up and down love affair/marriage with Ava Gardner ended in divorce in 1957. Sinatra the bachelor was back and he pursued such Hollywood sex symbols as Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland, and Lauren Bacall. He ended up marrying the little known actress Mia Farrow (30 years his junior) in 1966. They divorced in 1968 and in 1976 Sinatra married his fourth and final wife, Barbara Jane Blakely Marx, Zeppo Marx's widow.
Sinatra announced his retirement from both recording and acting in 1971. He was far from finished, however, and in 1973 released the television special and album, Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back. In 1980 he appeared in the urban crime drama The First Deadly Sin. He appeared sporadically on TV (Who’s the Boss and others) and in film throughout the ‘80s.
In 1988 Sinatra launched a hugely successful Rat Pack reunion tour with Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin but when Dean pulled out due to the strenuous schedule, Liza Minnelli provided a very qualified replacement. The release of two albums featuring Sinatra with other popular artists of the times, Duets (1993) and Duets II (1994), proved his style of music was still in demand. The two Duets albums outsold any of his albums. Frank proved he could cross-generational barriers with as much ease as he sang a song.
Many people overlook the generosity of Frank Sinatra throughout his life. He was a favorite of the media due to his alleged mob ties and the focus usually centered on what he did wrong instead of the many things he did right. In 1971, the Motion Picture Academy awarded him the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his many charitable deeds. He received the Kennedy Center Life Achievement Award in 1983 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985. In 1987, Sinatra was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the N.A.A.C.P. If any of those accolades can be topped, they were in 1997 when Frank Sinatra received the highest honor the U.S.A. can bestow upon a civilian in a Congressional Gold Medal for his countless accomplishments as a singer, actor, and humanitarian.
Frank Sinatra passed away as a result of a heart attack on May 14, 1998 at the age of 82.
Most people wish for success during their lives and to be happy in their occupation. Frank succeeded in just about every thing he attempted professionally. He regretted not being physically able to serve his country but he gave back and served in his own way. He lived a full life that many people admire, whether fans of his music or not. It’s easy for great music or theatrical performances to live on, but for a persona to persist as long as Mr. Sinatra’s shall is a true testament to his legacy.