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  • My Favoritre Quote

    'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.'

    Theodore Roosevelt 1907

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East Coast Indoor Nationals

“Rain early in the day, followed by sleet turning to snow late in the afternoon.” That was the weather forcast as of Friday night, prior to my two sons and me heading for the Baltimore area to see the East Coast Indoor Nationls Car Show. We considered canceling but since it wasn’t supposed to get really nasty before early afternoon, we figured we would miss most of it. My youngest would drive up from N.VA. to my house and we would then head up to Mt Airy to pick up my oldest and head out Interstate 70 for the show in Timonium Maryland.
Click the ‘Read More’ link to finish the article and see the images Continue reading


How Wives View Men and Their Toys

I can’t offer you a scientific explanation for the mysterious chemistry that there is between men and their cars because, I’m a man. But there is something about getting behind the wheel of a powerful monster that brings out the boy racer in nearly very man I know and no, it’s nothing to do with the er…extension theory. In my mind I think it’s more about control.

Let’s face it, although most men won’t admit it there’s a not a lot that your average adult male has the better of. If they think they wear the trousers in their household, they’re mistaken. And I’ll let you into a secret, most men know this. And we know that our wives know too. And we know that we are given this illusion of control, courtesy of our other halves, just to keep us happy.

Let’s face it a lot has changed since the good old Stone age times when men were really men. Now, I’m afraid to say, we’ve nothing to do. There’s no competition. There’s nothing to test our mettle against. In other words there’s no real meaning to our existence anymore. When the dinosaurs became extinct I’m afraid, so did we. No dinosaurs – no real men. So it’s obvious isn’t it?

There’s only one beast still around that we can test ourselves against and I don’t mean our wives. I’m talking about the combustion engine. Put it on wheels and what do you get, that’s right, the motor car. A monster of our own making that we must tame, that we must control, that we can take to the limit daring it to fight back, and of course, sometimes it does. So there’s your answer, an element of risk. That’s what we men need in our sad little lives, an element of risk. Just like when we hunted the dinosaur club in hand. An element of risk that sometimes, just sometimes, ended with fatal consequences.  And unfortunately, that risk comes when we tell our wives that we would rather go to a car show on Saturday than spend the day with her choosing flowers for the garden.

That is not always the case though. One couple I know,  Barry and Lori Bryan, have a good thing going. They both love their muscle cars.  Lori drives her black Nova and Barry drives his gray Nova.  Both love the car scene and visit many of the local cruise-in sites. But unfortunately, not all couples are as evenly matched when it comes to cars. So, how does your wife feel about your car passion? Does she join in, tolerate, or just down right hate it? Post a comment and let us know.

Custom Car Covers

I’m sure that most of my readers house their automobiles in garages to protect against the elements. However, even in a garage, stuff happens. Dust and other particles end up on the car which can, in some cases, damage the paint. And there’s always the possibility of an accidental scratch. This is where car covers help and custom car covers are best.

Custom car covers are covers that are made from measurements and contours of your car. Unlike regular made car covers that come in selected designs and shapes to fit all cars, custom-fit car covers are created according to the specifications of your car and fit the car perfectly.

Some companies that provide excellent quality car covers, custom-made especially for your car, are listed below.

Car Cover World, Mats-n-Covers, Auto Anything, California Car Cover, Car Stuff, WebCovers, T.J. Custom Car Covers, Buy Automotive, Car Accessories, Auto Seattle, The Amazing Roll-up Car Cover, J.C Whitney, Car Bytes, Eastwood, Drive Werks, Exotic Wood Dash, Metro Parts Markets and Race Pages

Car Cover World, Auto Anything, Car Stuff, T.J. Custom Car Covers, Auto Seattle, The Amazing Roll-up Car Cover, J.C Whitney, Car Bytes and Eastwood are some companies that offer customized car covers from CoverCraft, a renowned brand among manufacturers of car covers. Other big names that produce high-quality customized car covers are Coverking, Lebra, Mopar, Bestop and SmittyBilt. Most of these companies also provide a guarantee.

Car covers provided by these companies are made up of certain materials that vary in their functions. Materials used by cover companies are Noah Barrier Fabric, WeatherShield, Polycotton, Tan Flannel, Evolution Technalon, Sunbrella, Dustop, Soft Weave and Plushweave. While Noah Barrier Fabric and WeatherShield works great in both indoor and outdoor conditions, Tan Flannel works best indoors. Dustop is believed to be extremely suitable for indoor uses, as it provides excellent protection against dust and other particles. Stormweave can work in any sort of extreme climatic conditions such as snow, rain and industrial pollutants. However, Noah is designed especially for hot climates.

Usually, the essential elements to look for in a car cover are wash- ability and its ability to breath, so that it won’t rot. Water-resistance, UV protection, snowstorm protection and acid rain protection are also extremely important.

Blatant, Conspicuous, Flagrant, and Glaring Advertisement

Ok, you get the idea, this is a promo piece for my new store. Today was just a bit too chilly for me to break out the bike so I stayed inside and worked on my site.

If you are like most of us, you are proud of your ride, but some days,  for whatever reason (like life getting in the way) it stays in the garage, safely wrapped up under a car/bike cover, just begging to be shown.   So what do you do? Easy, you have a custom portrait made and hang it on the wall.  And as they say in all those infomercials; “But wait! There’s more!” (gotta love ’em)  No one but family and close friends will see that poster hanging in the den or in your ‘man-cave,’ right? WRONG!  Now you can carry that image where ever you go. Get a tee-shirt, cap, mug, travel-mug or multitude of other items with an image of your vehicle emblazoned for all the world to see.

For more info, click the STORE tab above.

1932 Ford

Yesterday, I started work on this car, a 1932 (I believe) Ford Sedan.  I have a number of images to work with so I’ll be doing different variations throughout the week.  But first, let’s start with the basics.  After adjusting the exposure and masking out the background, I ended up with just the car. I loved the shot because the lifted hood made it look like some type of monster just waiting to gobble up a chevy or two…heheh. But  I digress; so where can we go from here? I think my first attempt will be to put this car in a fantasy background of some sort.  Something that will match the age of the car and with the same overhead lighting (sunlight) conditions.  Check back tomorrow to see what happens.

Cruise to the Moose Lodge

Wayyyy back in 1968 the a group called The Rascals made popular the song,  “It’s a Beautiful Morning,” and the lyrics started out like this:

It's a beautiful mornin' ahhh
I think I'll go outside a while
An jus' smile...

As soon as I got on my bike this morning, those lyrics started rattling around in my head. That, and one of my favorite Bible verses: “This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

If that song and verse were ever written for a specific day, today was it. Beautiful blue sky, some scattered clouds and vapor trails left by jets flying overhead and the temps perfect for outdoor activities.  And fortunately, this is the day the Shady Grove Cruise-in group chose to caravan over to the Wheaton Moose Lodge for their car show.   The image above shows just a few of the cars lined up, waiting for the go signal from our coordinator, Chuck McDonald.

The group cruised through Mont. Co.  and arrived at the Moose Lodge around 11:00 A.M. By then, the spaces were already starting to fill with some of the areas most beautiful cars.  The oldies music was cranking and you could smell the food cooking from the highway.   I always enjoy the shows at the Moose Lodge and look forward to the next one. A beautiful morning it was, and considering that we have these temps in the middle of November, we have a lot to be thankful for. Be sure to check back daily to watch as I create a wall portrait and or fantasy portrait of our Featured Car. (see right column)

Suzuki Intruder

I thought that this week, I would take you through the steps that I go through, as I create the artwork for a print. I’ll start with my current motorcycle project, a Suzuki Intruder owned by Vic Jordan. Here is the original image we will be working with.original As you can see, it’s just an average shot, taken in the parking lot where the Shady Grove Cruise-in takes place every Sunday morning. My challange this week is to take this image and create something worth hanging on the wall.   The first step is to mask out and remove all background. This is the most painstaking step and can take anywhere from 1-4 hours, depending on the bike, whether it has a windwshield and/or spoke wheels, etc. Once completed, the image now looks a bit easier to work with. firstdraft

Now, we get rid of as many unwanted reflections as possible and clean up the photo. Once this is complete we are ready to start doing the artwork which is the fun part.  First on the agenda is deciding what type of background to use. What color will work best with the bike to show it off? For the initial run, I chose a light blue. I also a bit of shadow to give some depth. Here is what the image now looks like. draf1

As you can see, the image is starting to take shape.  The image looks nice, but it is missing something. This is where I usually start playing (artistically speaking of course )

I think what we need is a mat to set things off. I chose a darker blue and gave it a canvas texture and we end up with the following image.It’s a bit off center because of the way WordPress handles images but the actual image mat is centered.


Ok, it’s time for a break from the serious work. I’ll get back to it tomorrow. In the mean time, I’ll create a fantasy image using this photo dicks drivein

Ok, nice image but how can I put the motorcycle in it and make it look ‘natural?’ The motorcycle was photographed on a bright sunny day and this image is obviously a night shot.  Mmmm, let’s see, if we had a street light, shining down on the motorcyle, that should work.  We want the motorcycle up front so it can be easily seen and the street light would need to match the overhead direction of midday sun.  Here we go. Check back to watch me continue to transform this one image into many.