The Nell

Mitsubishi G3M Nell, or Type 96, was a long-range medium bomber of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

They first rolled off the assembly line in 1935, and engaged in combat in China (to be shot down by the Flying Tigers of the AVG) and in actions early in the Second World War. They worked well in situations where there were no enemy fighters to oppose them and limited AAA to punch holes in their fuel tanks (not self-sealing). However, in 1941, they were front line aviation of the Imperial Japanese Navy.


Mustang Evolution

Full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of the modern mustangs. I had a ’69 with a 390 in it and it was comfortable and powerful, but it required a lot of maintenance to keep it on the road. I had to pull the engine to change the spark plugs – oh and we did go through those. It would be fun to have it now.


Is the AK-47 Cool?

There is a lot of hatred spewing from the mainstream media about the AR-15 (an American weapon), but they don’t say much about the Commie rifles. Maybe the lefties in Congress feel that if you pack an AK-47 you’re somehow a paisan?

I’m fully aware of the limitations of the AK-47 and of the AR-15 for that matter, but the weapon is the person who pulls the trigger, isn’t it?


Royal Marines on the sea somewhere near Norway



Man-Portable Air Defense Systems level the playing field to some extent. In the photo, below, a Russian SU-25 Frogfoot ground attack aircraft was able to return to base after taking a hit over Chechnya.


Left and Right(s)



Finger Lickin’ Chicken?

Is KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) Chinese?

In January 1997, PepsiCo Inc. decided to concentrate on its two strongest businesses– soft drinks and snack foods– and spin off its huge restaurant division as an independent publicly traded company.

Since 2016, all of the 8,000-plus KFCs, Pizza Huts, and Taco Bells in China have been owned by an independent company registered in Delaware and traded on the New York Stock Exchange called Yum China.

That’s not to say KFC is American, either. Yum! Brands, the company which owns all of KFC’s intellectual property, including its name and recipes, is headquartered in Kentucky, but Yum China is headquartered in Shanghai.

Probing the franchisee’s corporate filings, you’ll find references to more than 80 subsidiaries in nine jurisdictions, including more than a dozen in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and some Caribbean tax havens. In disclosures, Yum China even warns investors that any lawsuit filed against it in the United States—still officially its home country—may be fruitless as nearly all its assets are in the Chinese mainland.


  1. 2015, I bought a 68 Mustang and we spent two years restoring it to nearly original condition. She is now to the point where we have taken her on trips from central Florida to Atlanta or Mobile.

    Daytona holds a semi-annual event called the “Turkey Trot” which is a gigantic car show/sale which we attended in 2017 and I got to drive around the track. I often tell people I crossed the finish line at Daytona more times than Danica Patrick.

    • I enjoy car conclaves (show/sale/hang out/bullshit/eat fair food) and know some real artists with a wrench. Sadly I am not one of them. The best I can do is hold my own. So I have a lot of admiration for your efforts in restoring your ’68.

      I had a friend with a 69 Roadrunner 441, which was a beast of a car. It was great straight but even with monster sway bars, it wasn’t as good as my Mustang on the corners. I often wonder what happened to him and the Roadrunner. Another friend of mine turned a Demon into a funny car and he races it. He made a CALEXIT to Idaho two or three months ago. I know that the car went with him.

      • And a small block Mustang corners even better! I had a ’67 coupe that rusted away before my eyes, and Mom had a ’68 coupe that I took care of for her.

        Really loved my little ’67. 289 2-V, and when the single exhaust needed replacing I put “True Duals” on it. Sounded sweet, and the gas mileage improved to around 20MPG, pretty good for a 289 with a C4 automatic.

  2. Years ago I had a friend, influenced Bullitt, acquired a ’68 Mustang fastback with a high performance 390 under the hood. I never got to drive it, only he had that privilege, but I did get to ride shotgun on occasion. Performance was impressive though you could almost see the fuel gauge move.

    • Yes, you could SEE the fuel gauge move if you stuck your foot into the carbs. If I had it now, there are some things that I would do, the march of time being what it is, and would have put more insulation between the engine and the passenger compartment (firewall). It got warm in there on warm days.

  3. For reasons not articulatable, I’ve not been a patron of KFC, Pizza Hut or Taco Bell for years and years now. Thanks very much for giving me an actual reason for my avoidance.

    • Chi-Com Chicken…not the first choice anymore. There was a time when I liked it. Too bad, really. I especially like the coleslaw.

  4. As the Top Gear boys – mainly Clarkson…Hammond loved American performance cars and pick ups – would enjoy saying: ”Fast in a straight line, just don’t try to turn.”

    High School in the 70’s the parking lot was a mix of cars and “works in progress”…bondo and primer on ‘Stangs, GTO’s, etc. We learned how. A few years later some of the motorheads, now with good jobs, got serious, expanded their talent, and had stunning nice weather muscle cars, with a $300 winter beater for everyday. We would spend a full day detailing. Life was good.

    Kids today have no clue which end of a wrench to use. Electronics have taken over, and indoctrination centers (aka public schools) have done their worst. Mike Rowe is one champion trying to change that, showing the younger generations the satisfaction of working with your hands and brain. The SARS CoV-2 has thrown a wrench into that effort, yet the trades are very busy for those already them.

    The ChiComs (h/t Rush, R.I.P.) are locusts. We are not much for Fast Food unless it’s a road trip emergency. Now we have a reason to stay away… besides, some truck stop restaurants are much better for the same money (anymore)…best burger and fries was one place off 90 outside Great Falls, MT…and guaranteed not to be owned by some Chinese conglomerate.

    • Mike Rowe is a stud. They clank as he walks. I know that he’s changed many people’s lives for the good — all honor to the guy.

      The younger generation has cars that are a lot more difficult to work on than we had – to be fair to them. The electronics shouldn’t be tampered with. It’s a far cry from a ’57 Chevy. A friend of mine in HS (son of a pharmacist who was well off) had a cherry ’57 and I’d go to his house as we tinkered, added glass packs and tweaked performance, adding better traction, etc. I have no idea what happened to him, but I hope that he kept the car. You just can’t do the same thing with a 2021 anything. I had a ’57 International Travelall – a species of tank, optimized for rough mountain driving. Earl Scheib paint job, steel girder for the front bumper. Not a sleek Chevy, nothing to catch the eye of a skirt, but the guys liked it because I could push over a 4″ aspen like it wasn’t there. Women disdained the Travelall, stock seats, noisey on the road, no headliner (long since gone). They didn’t appreciate the auxiliary fuel tank system, the headers, the beefy rear leaf springs that were unforgiving unless you were carrying 2000 lbs of sand for traction in the winter, etc.

      What do women know of cars? Today’s womyn (don’t check DNA) glory in a different sort of tranny, promoted by DC, and you don’t want them riding shotgun.

      • Back when vehicles were cool and pretty basic. And agreed, todays are tougher to work on, do the wrong thing and the ECM costs a small fortune to replace. Some mouse chewed a sensor in MrsC’s ‘07 Jeep Liberty…started funny, check engine light came on. Popped the hood and saw the tiny broken sensor wire on the throttle body (manufacturers went to some idiotic soy-based insulation formula and the rodents love the taste). Pulled the battery to clear the code, stripped and taped the wire for a temp repair, started fine. One stupid sensor and the computer gets lost.

        • I have a friend who bought a new, top of the line Volvo. Rodents tore into the wires. They loved the insulation.

  5. My first rig was a battleship grey California state surplus ’64 Comet. 4-door, 289 V-8, A/T. Plain vanilla transportation that served me well through high school. A few years later I sold it when I lucked into a ’69 BMW 2002. My, what a revelation in handling. I eventually installed a Weber carb, a header, and 320i rims and rubber. Much fun to drive in the California hills.

    During my Army hitch in the mid-70’s, Our small arms shop had one of these–×6-shop-van-m109-m35-variant.html

    –which I became quite comfortable driving in West German traffic.

    When I came home to my Beemer, it felt like traffic was moving in slow motion. It was about three months before anyone would ride with me.

    For fried chicken, there is only one place we go–

    +1 on Mike Rowe.

    • The biscuits and honey (picture on their website) caught my eye. If you can do chicken, fresh hot delicious biscuits and honey right, the world all falls into place. You don’t need to eat Communist Chinese Chicken no matter how many herbs and spices are involved.

      • It gets even better. All the main dishes are served family style. Fried chicken for example–every order gets one each breast, drumstick, thigh, and wing. ALL the chicken for the table comes on a big platter. ALL the sides (under Vegetables & Breads) are unlimited, ALL you can eat. So yeah, chow down on the sides and take the left over chicken home.

        • I’ve eaten in several restaurants in Texas that serve food in that way and it’s always delicious. Arizona has a lot to learn when it comes to serving up food. They need to adopt Texas Style.

          There is a restaurant chain in Missouri, “Lambert’s: Home of the Throw’d Roll”. Similar philosophy. When you’re ready for another roll, they’ll throw one to you. It’s quite good. And I mean, who doesn’t love a fresh roll with butter and honey?

  6. Travelalls. Had three. My winter, go now matter what, was a 4×4 with Detroit Lockers front and rear. Got about 8 miles per gallon. Really needed that auxiliary gas tank to get from one gas station to another in the Intermountain West.

  7. One trick for changing the plugs on a early Mustang with a big block was to torch a hole in the shock tower that lined up with the plug.

  8. Oh, boy….Musclecar Memories is setting in. I graduated high school in 1969, and “came of age” in the 1970’s, so I watched and participated in the factory horsepower wars, and street scene. I was into Big Bore SCCA stuff, too, because I could use that info to build a better handling street car. And I hung out at the local strip because that’s where I did my “testing”. Several times in my career, with just a gentle puff of the winds of persuation, I could have easily gone into the Automotive Industry, and probably would have done quite well.

    Kids these days don’t have it so hard. Most any go-faster part you can imagine is available, for a price, to modify newer cars. We literally had to design and fabricate our own parts, usually based on ideas we got from the Big Boys, like Penske, Bud Moore, and Guldstrand. In some cases you could buy their parts, but we fabbed our own.

    Now, if you want big brakes, you have many choices, all far better than the disc brakes even the racers used back in the day. Want an independent rear suspension for your first or second generation Camaro/Firebird/Mustang? Would you like one based on Corvette parts, or a Dana/Ford center section? Would you like that new rack and pinion steering electrically or hydraulically boosted?

    And on, and on. You can still do simple things like exhaust and “cold air” intakes. Most of the fuel injection systems have enough latitude to handle those small increases in air flow. Hey, we run closed loop with dual Oxygen sensors!

    Change a cam? Call Crane, or Comp Cams and they’ll have all the parts you need.

    Not less “tinkerable”, but more delicate and different, and requiring different knowledge. It’s still a 4 stroke internal combystion engine, and what’s happening is the same as in 1910, but the hardware has evolved considerably.

  9. Round about 1980, a neighbor had an original ’68 Shelby Fastback he decided to sell. It had been setting on blocks in a climate controlled garage. It was all original and kept in mint condition. He was firm on the asking price of $8,500. I didn’t have that kind of disposable income at the time. It is perhaps the only Mustang I would have liked to own.
    That is saying a lot for a confirmed MOPAR boy.

    I have driven a 2005 Mustang with six gears and torque you’d think you’re in a race car. But too many bells and whistles for my taste. (I’m always thinking of cost of maintenance for all those features.)

    Some years ago I got a kick out of the fact that the FAA had included in the FAR/AIM a warning about MANPADS which also named a few select countries ending in -stan. As if you’re in those certain countries and you don’t already know.
    However, apparently three or so years ago there was a credible scare (so they say) of MANPADS in Chicongo.

    The Royal Marines are another bunch of badasses I would not think to mess with.

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