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Saturday, June 27, 2015

My Classic Motorcycle Stories

Link to My 1971 Honda 750

Link to My 1983 Honda V65 Magna

Link to My Classic Harley Davidson Story

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

3 reasons to book directly with hotels
Article thanks to Kim Komando at Links provided:

June, 2015  When you're planning a vacation, you have two big expenses: travel and accommodations. I've given you plenty of tips for the best days and sites to find cheap airline tickets, so I'm not going to talk about that today.
Instead, I'm going to talk about reducing the expense of your hotel. You might think I'm going to give you some secret days and special sites to find fantastic deals, but you're in for a surprise.
Your best tactic for booking hotel rooms is actually to book directly with hotels themselves. I know that sounds counterintuitive when you see commercials for Priceline, Expedia and others offering amazing hotel deals, but there are some good reasons.
That isn't to say you can't use comparison sites to find cheap hotel rooms; you just don't want to use them for booking. Let's take a look at the reasons why.
Did you know that most hotels will match a competitor's prices? So, if you go on a hotel comparison site and find a great deal, but you'd rather stay in a different hotel, call up the hotel you want and see if it will price match. It probably will.
If you're considering a Marriott hotel, for example, it has the Look No Further Best Rate Guarantee that will match the lowest price and throw on a 25% discount. That's not too shabby.
Most hotels actually want you to book with them directly because it makes them more money. Third-party booking sites take a cut of their profit. If a hotel can book you directly, it can still give you a discount and make more in the end than if you booked through a third-party site.
You can also find situations where a hotel has rooms it needs to fill, and it will give you a discount to get you in the door. In some cases, you can even use a site like BackBid to get hotels to bid on your business.
Of course, booking directly with hotels isn't just good for them. When you book directly, a hotel might offer you exclusive package deals and include perks that aren't available on third-party sites. That might not save you money, but you get more value for your money. And that's not all.
It turns out that hotels reserve certain blocks of rooms for third-party sites, and those generally aren't the best ones. If you're booking directly, you might find rooms in a better location in the hotel or with better amenities as standard for the same price as the third-party ones.
Also, because you booked with the hotel directly, the hotel might be more inclined to do things like upgrade you if you're celebrating a marriage, anniversary or other special event. As I said, they want to encourage you to book directly in the future.
People who book through third parties are also more likely to be sent somewhere else if the hotel ends up overbooked. So that's something to consider.
Even if a hotel is overbooks, you might still be able to find a room on short notice. Check out theRoomer app to find people selling rooms they can't use. You can even use it to sell a room if you can't get out of your booking.
When you buy a hotel room through a third-party site, you not only limit what a hotel can do in the way of rooms, but also the way of service. For example, if you need to change your room dates or cancel, and you booked through a third party, a hotel can't work with you because it has a locked-in contract with the third party. You have to deal with the third party to change the deal, and that often doesn't work out well.
You might find yourself treated better as a direct booking as well. The staff can see how you booked your room in the computer, after all. So, you might find yourself getting things like a free breakfast or other unexpected perks.
Then there's the dreaded situation where everything about your stay goes to pieces. When you're a direct booking, the hotel can decide to not charge you for your stay or give you a larger discount.
If you're a third-party booking, however, the hotel doesn't have that option. Again, you'll need to try and get your refund from the third-party site.
How did you book your last hotel room? Have you found a difference between booking directly or through third parties? Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Direct Drive or Overdrive?
Content below provided by Eaton. Links provided:

Jan, 2015
There’s no single answer to this age-old debate
The long-running debate over which type of transmission – direct drive or overdrive – provides the greatest efficiency is one that’s not easily settled and not likely to go away. Conventional wisdom suggests direct drive transmissions, with their ability to transmit power directly through the main shaft with minimal parasitic losses, should be more efficient – and sometimes that’s true. If only it were so simple.
In reality, there are many variables to consider when deciding whether your fleet will be best served by a direct drive or overdrive transmission.
“Direct drive and overdrive transmissions have existed side by side for some time, but there’s certainly a lot of confusion as to which gives you the greatest efficiency,” says Evan Vijithakumara, Eaton’s global product strategy manager for heavy duty transmissions.
It all depends on the application. Generally speaking, in ideal conditions running on-highway over relatively flat ground, direct drive is the more efficient option. But throw in some hills, higher average road speeds and some off-road requirements and overdrive becomes a better fit.

Direct drive transmissions are well suited to relatively flat on-highway applications.
Eaton advocates the “power of choice” and offers its full line of manual and automated transmissions in both direct drive and overdrive configurations. Vijithakumara warns that while it’s true that a direct drive transmission itself will operate more efficiently in top gear, that doesn’t always translate into greater fuel economy.
“While direct drive can be more efficient as a transmission, that doesn’t guarantee it will be more efficient for the system – the system being the engine, transmission, axle and tire combination,” Vijithakumara explains.
When in top gear, direct drive transmissions do not transmit torque down through the countershaft, so all the power generated by the engine is passed directly through the input shaft into the output shaft. “We consider that a ‘no-mesh’ condition and when you have no loaded gear meshes, the transmission has reduced parasitic loss, resulting in more efficient operation,” according to Vijithakumara.
On the other hand, the higher front box ratios inherent in direct drive transmissions have implications on downstream components that must be considered during the spec’ing process.
“With a direct drive transmission, the torque is passed straight through to the driveline, so an adverse event such as moving from an icy road to dry pavement can transmit a lot of force further downstream through the driveshaft and u-joints, which could be potentially damaging. On an overdrive transmission, you have torque being transmitted through the countershaft gears, so you’re not effectively bypassing the transmission. When a harsh event occurs, the additional backlash and elasticity within the transmission can prevent damage downstream.”

Routes that include harsh environments and hilly terrain are best suited to overdrive transmissions.
Interest in direct drive transmissions has increased in recent years, as fleets explore all available options to increase their efficiency. But the reality is that in North America, high average road speeds and hilly, even mountainous, terrain often make overdrive transmissions a more appropriate solution. It all depends on application and duty cycle, Vijithakumara says.
“I think there is a misperception that a single product can fit all applications,” he adds. “It really depends on what you’re trying to do.”
Overdrive transmissions, with their higher overall ratios, provide greater startability and gradeability, as well as lower transmission sump temperatures in hilly terrain. The contribution this makes towards total vehicle efficiency should not be overlooked. In addition, trucks equipped with overdrive transmissions have more application flexibility which can help with vehicle resale compared a direct drive configuration tailored for a specific route.
Overdrive transmissions also allow for the greater use of downspeeding (cruising at lower engine rpms), which can drive fuel savings. Eaton’s new Fuller Advantage™ Series automated transmission, available as part of the SmartAdvantage Powertrain with the Cummins ISX15, behind the PACCAR MX-13 engine in the APEX package at Peterbilt and the Kenworth T680 Advantage package, and at International paired to the N13 engine, marries the benefits of direct drive transmissions with those offered in an overdrive configuration.  Small-step technology (a 26-percent step between 9th and 10th gear) allows downspeeding in overdrive and efficiency in direct drive that keeps the engine in the “sweet spot” when paired with rear axle ratios in the 2.64 to 3.08 range (depending on tire size and desired cruise speed). This combination of specifications is delivering impressive fuel economy savings versus competitive powertrains.

Small step technology used in the Fuller Advantage series transmissions, as used in the SmartAdvantage Powertrain, keeps the engine in the “sweet spot” to maximize efficiency.
“The Fuller Advantage Series automated transmission is an overdrive which  provides the best of both worlds,” Vijithakumara says of the package that supports both direct drive and overdrive. “It enables the downspeeding capability and robustness you have with an overdrive platform as well as the efficiency of direct drive where it makes sense.”
The Fuller Advantage Series transmissions deliver further gains, thanks to a new Precision Lubrication system that reduces oil churning losses for greater efficiency across all gears.
In recent years, the interplay between the transmission, engine and axles has increased, meaning it’s more important than ever for fleets to take a holistic approach to spec’ing the powertrain as a complete system. “When evaluating transmissions for fit, all parts of the system do factor in,” Vijithakumara shares, and Eaton’s Roadranger network is available to consult with customers on the best configuration available for their application.
“Our Roadrangers assist fleets and dealers with the information they need to help with these decisions,” Vijithakumara says. To tap into their expertise, call 800-826-HELP (4357) or visit
Direct drive and overdrive Eaton transmissions are equally robust and reliable, but to ensure the best performance possible it’s important to consider every aspect of your application, so consult with the experts and then specify accordingly.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Woman Settles Lawsuit Over Cow Attack
An out-of court settlement was recently reached in the case of an Athens couple whose cow allegedly attacked and badly injured an elderly Jackson County woman.
The settlement was noted in a notice of dismissal filed last week in Clarke County Superior Court by the attorney representing Bettie and Elmer Saye.
The civil action sought an unspecified amount of money in compensation for injuries Bettie Saye suffered in the alleged attack three years ago.
It also sought compensation for Elmer Saye, for the “loss of consortium” he experienced as a result of his wife’s injuries.
According to the complaint filed last year, Bettie Saye was walking in her sister’s yard on Mary Collier Road in Jackson County in April 2012 when a cow owned by Athens residents Curtis and Louise Collier
got out of a neighboring pasture and “attacked” her.
“When (Saye) tried to get up, the cow knocked her to the ground a second time,” according to the complaint.
Saye suffered injuries and permanent impairment “from the violent and forceful impact of the livestock and from her subsequent impact with the ground ...,” according to the complaint.
The alleged attack occurred because of the negligence of Curtis Collier, who was “unable to maintain control over his animal” as he attempted to load the cow, according to the complaint. The document does not indicate what the cow was being loaded on to or into when the incident occurred.
Curtis and Louise Collier are both liable “by allowing their animal to be uncontained and run free on the public and private property surrounding” the property where Saye’s sister lived.
Among other things, according to the complaint, Saye suffered a pelvic fracture, an ankle injury, multiple contusions, gastrointestinal disturbances and permanent impairment to her gait.
“Since the time of the attack, (Saye) has experienced great physical pain and suffering and disfigurement from the injuries she sustained,” the complaint notes. “She continues to have pain daily, and she will have pain and impaired mobility for the remainder of her life due to the permanent damage to her gait.”
The woman’s husband, Elmer Saye, is named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit because he suffered loss of consortium from his wife’s inability to perform necessary household duties, “including but not limited to” doing laundry, cleaning and preparing meals.
The lawsuit sought a “sum of money necessary to compensate” Bettie and Elmer Saye for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, the loss of consortium and enjoyment of life, among other reasons.
A Superior Court ordered all parties into mediation, but plaintiff’s attorney Rachel reported back on May 21 that “we are unable to resolve the dispute that exists between us through mediation.”
Grimes last Wednesday filed the notice of dismissal in which it was stated “all issues which could have been raised ... have been fully and finally settled by and between the parties...”
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