Happy 60th Birthday Chevy Small Block V8

sbc

I came across an excellent article celebrating the birthday of this fantastic engine.  Whether or not you are a gear head or a fan of another car maker, your life has been impacted by the small block Chevy V8.

It has powered family vehicles, hot rods, commercial vehicles, boats and even motorcycles.  Revolutionary in its design, made possible by numerous advances in technology and fuels after WWII, the basic design of the engine is still being used in the modern version.

While most car companies have turned to the overhead cam engine designs to actuate the valves, the SBC V8 continues to use the push rod design and has managed to maintain an efficient and powerful engine that produces more torque than the OHC design.

Personally, I have owned numerous vehicles powered with the SBC V8 and have never had a problem with them.

May the “Mighty Mouse” engine live on for decades to come.

The article mentioned can be found HERE. It is well worth the read.

Execution Watch: Manuel Vasquez(TX) *UPDATED*

I have to apolgize for not posting on the last execution, Donald Newbury, which took place on 4 Feb 15. Work this year has been demanding.

Tonight’s scheduled execution looks like it will go forward, unlike so many stays we have seen recently.vasquez

*Thug: Manuel Vasquez(29 at time of offense)
*Date of execution: 11 March 2015
*Date of crime: 19 Mar 1998
*Victim: Juanita Ybarra (female, 51)
*Last Meal: For his last meal, Vasquez was served Pepper Steak, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, carrots, ranch style beans, sliced bread, and apple glazed cake, with a choice of water, tea, or punch to drink.(per Last Suppers Book)
*Last Words: thanked ‘the Lord for his kind mercy, faithfulness and unconditional love.’ ‘In Jesus’ name I pray,’ he said, then told the warden: ‘I’m ready.

After a violent criminal history in his short life, this contract killer for the Mexican Mafia will finally face justice some time after 6p.m. CST.

The media advisory from the State AG can be found here.
His criminal history was not only a violent one, it was extensive:

During the punishment phase, the State presented evidence regarding Vasquez’s violent criminal history, including (1) Vasquez’s receiving a 10-year sentence for aggravated assault for his role in the Aug. 31, 1986, death of Robert Alva during which Vasquez (along with his younger brother and others) choked Alva with a belt, beat him with a crowbar, kicked him, and set him on fire after dousing him with gasoline; (2) Vasquez’s commission of robbery by threats on Aug. 31, 1986, for which he received one year probation; (3) Vasquez’s March 5, 1992, execution style murder of drug dealer Richard Pacheco in retaliation for Pacheco’s failure to pay the [organized crime gang]’s “tax” on proceeds from the sale of illegal drugs; (4) Vasquez’s nearly fatal stabbing of Hector Zacharias on May 31, 1992, and resultant conviction and 8-year sentence for attempted murder; and (5) Vasquez’s participation with several other individuals in a series of burglaries and a pair of unsolved robberies committed in September – October 1996.

The State also presented evidence regarding Vasquez’s potential for future dangerousness. A Bexar County Sheriff’s Department officer testified that Vasquez was “a disruptive, violent, aggressive and dangerousness inmate” who was kept in segregation or isolation for the entire period in jail as a result of his assaultive behavior towards staff and inmates. Vasquez continued to associate with an organized criminal organization while he was awaiting trial for capital murder and was found in possession of a letter from a general of the criminal organization and a pair of treaties executed by the criminal organization with other prison gangs. Finally, while Vasquez was incarcerated at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, he obtained disciplinary actions for possessing a weapon, inciting a riot, and engaging in a fight.

The details of the crime he is being executed for is as follows:

On June 10, 1998, a Bexar County grand jury indicted Vasquez for the March 19, 1998, capital murder of Juanita Ybarra, charging that Vasquez intentionally killed Ybarra by strangling her with a ligature(a telephone cord) while in the course of committing and attempting to commit the offense of robbery.

Vasquez was attempting to collect a ten percent tax on Ybarra’s drug sales for the Mexican Mafia, a “dime” as they call it.

Finally, his violent criminal history that began almost thirty years ago(as far as we know) will come to an end. Our state and our cities will be just a little safer.

For Vasquez, the words from our old friend Robbie ring true…”Some people are just no damn good.”

I Love Football, Which Is Why I Despise The NFL

I always find it interesting when I meet someone from the North East area of this country and ask them if they are football fans. It is a set-up by me, as I know what they will say. They invariably talk about the NFL and expect to get in a jab at me by mentioning the Dallas Cowboys. The looks on their faces when I tell them I don’t follow the NFL, because I love football, is priceless.

I love football, which to me means high school and college. The NFL is just Hollywood and is as equally morally bankrupt,

I will elaborate, and whether you agree with me or not I think you can at least follow my reasoning.

My interest in football began fifty nine years ago. Football then was very different than today in terms of the rules, popularity and the player’s size and speed. Regardless of those changes it is still a physically violent game based on team goals.
As a young boy I admired the best players and teams at every level of play, and while the NFL was still in its infancy it too was played by men who loved the game and not money, as the sport didn’t pay very well.

As time went by the game has gotten more popular, at every level, and the potential for a very small group of men to make enormous amounts of money at the professional level has made it an attractive goal for the youngest football players.

I followed the NFL from the mid 1950’s until the NFL finally turned me away in 1993. I saw the very first nationally televised NFL Championship game between the NY Giants and the Baltimore Colts in 1958.

I can no longer support the NFL because of what it is, a morally bankrupt organization that I refuse to contribute to, as I will make no purchase of any product that displays the NFL’s official logo, nor will I watch their games. On what has become a national holiday of sorts, “Super Bowl Sunday,” I always tune into the “Puppy Bowl” on Animal Planet channel.
Continue reading

Belated Execution Watch: Robert Ladd(TX)

Not going to use the standard format for this murderer, as his execution took place on 29 Jan 15.

I knew he was scheduled for that day, but based on the number of stays the courts have been issuing lately and his defense teams motions claiming Ladd was “mentally incapable” of understanding his pending execution, I thought this would be another delay. After all, it was already eighteen years since he murdered this victim, Vickie Ann Gardner.

Unfortunately, by the time I discovered his execution would go forward, after clearing the last court hurdles, I was away from the computer and busy.

Ladd had a lengthy criminal history which included the murders of a woman and her two infant children. In 1980 he received two forty year sentences for murder and one sentence of twenty years for arson, then in 1984 he received another forty year sentence for murder. A total of one hundred forty years of sentences by 1984, and yet he was free to murder again twelve years later.

This trash should have been taken out long ago, but for reasons we can only speculate, he was repeatedly released from prison for committing violent crimes and as expected he continued with his murderous ways causing needless suffering to an untold number of people.

In my view, the people responsible for continuing to release this creature from prison should have been strapped down on the gurney next to Ladd.
Continue reading

EXECUTION WATCH: Arnold Prieto(TX)*UPDATED*

arnold*Thug: Arnold Prieto(age 20 at time of murders)
*Date of execution: 21 Jan 2015
*Date of crime: 9 Nov 1993
*Victims: Rudolfo Rodriguez 72, his wife Virginia 62 and Paula Moran 90.
*Last meal: TBA, no special requests allowed.
*Final words: TBA.

*UPDATES*
*Last meal-For his last meal, Prieto was served barbequed chopped beef, pinto beans, and carrots, with the usual choice of tea, punch, or water to drink. (per Last Suppers Book)
*Final words-“There are no endings, only beginnings. Love y’all. See you soon.” Then, as the injection began…”whoa.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For the first execution in Texas for 2015, after two earlier stays this January, comes one Arnold Prieto. He will finally face justice for his part in the murders of three elderly people twenty two years ago.

It’s difficult to understand why it has taken so long, perhaps the fact that there are two other defendants in this case contributed to the numerous and time consuming legal procedures.

There is some conflicting information about the crimes Prieto is being punished for, some say it was his elderly relatives that were murdered, but I will rely on the Texas OAG as the factual source.

The OAG provides the following info:

The Hernandez brothers, Lupe and Jesse, were friends of [Prieto]’s who supplied [him] with free cocaine. The Hernandez brothers, particularly Lupe, would often mention a rich uncle in San Antonio, Rodolfo Rodriguez, who was married to the brothers’ aunt, Virginia Rodriguez. They told [Prieto] their uncle was a loan shark who kept a closet full of money.

[Prieto] and Lupe began taking cocaine early on the day of the offense which occurred in September 1993. Lupe repeatedly asserted that he wanted to go to San Antonio to get his uncle’s money. [Prieto]’s confession claimed Lupe “pressured” [him] into going to San Antonio to get his uncle’s money. The Hernandez brothers and [Prieto] set off from Carrollton in [Prieto]’s car for the victims’ home in San Antonio. They took cocaine throughout the trip.
~~~~
During the penalty phase of Prieto’s trial, jurors learned that Prieto was federally indicted in January 1994 for engaging in organized criminal activity and stealing 163 laptop computers – worth approximately $676,000 – from his Dallas-area employer. Prieto was associated with an organized-crime ring involved in the theft and resale of various products: tires, chemicals, furniture, and computers. The jury also heard evidence that, while incarcerated awaiting trial, Prieto was disciplined for multiple instances of disobeying orders, violating security rules, possession of contraband, yelling, and changing television channels without permission. Finally, jurors learned that Prieto was arrested and confessed to the 1990 burglaries of a Lincoln, two trucks, and two vans.

Some time after 6p.m.CDT Prieto will finally pay the debt he owes the state of Texas for murder. His short, but menacing criminal ways will come to an end.

My Dear, Sweet Momma’s Theme Song

It has been ten years ago this day that my dear, sweet Momma went to her Heavenly reward.

Unlike five years ago, this sad anniversary didn’t ambush me.

Love you Momma.

NCAA Rushing Record Broken: The Perine Effect

I mentioned young Samaje(Sa-mah-jay) Perine(Pee-rhine) this past summer as the OU Sooners were preparing for the 2014 season.

He’s big for a RB at 5’11” and 245lbs, and also has excellent speed in the 4.4 to 4.5 forty yard dash range.

Not many had heard of the young man before his breakout game at WVU. He had offers from every D-1 school, but finally committed to OU over Bama during his Senior year of high school.

On Saturday November 22, 2014 in a driving rain at OU’s historic Owen field he set a new NCAA rushing record of 427 yards that I hope can last longer than the seven days the previous record stood.

Here are the records that he set on Saturday:
1. FBS Single-Game Rushing Record: previously held by Melvin Gordon, 408 yards
2. FBS Single-Game Rushing Record by a FRESHMAN: previously held by Marshall Faulk, 386 yards
3. Big 12 Single-Game Rushing Record: previously held by Troy Davis, 378 yards
4. University of Oklahoma Single-Game Rushing Record: previously held by Greg Pruitt, 294 yards
5. University of Oklahoma Rushing Touchdowns by a Freshman(19): previously held by Adrian Peterson, 15 TDs
6. University of Oklahoma Rushing Record In One Half: previously held by Adrian Peterson, 210 yards

It was truly an historic day, adding to the legacy of great RBs at OU, who now hold the single game rushing record in the NCAA(Perine), the NFL(Adrian Peterson) and the NFL RB with the most 100 yard games to start a season(Demarco Murray).

Congratulations to Perine, his blocking fullback Ripkowski and the entire offensive line for making this game historical.

**See also**
A fanstastic collection of photos from the day HERE.

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