ImageGawd, we got some big turkeys this year! Fortunately, one of the biggest, the Hostess bankruptcy, offered up this abandonned tunnel oven to roast the turkeys… It’s a mere 12 feet wide and 90 foot long with a conveyor running right on through it, and it’ll run up a heck of a gas bill! Was no great problem to find one in a closed Hostess bakery, all the utilities were on and the stench of the rotting year old flour and sugar hid the smell of these noxious turkeys well. Heck, the pilot light was still lit even… Not really, but the Hostess bankruptcy has been that disorganized. The pictured oven was stolen for $10k at auction, and as best I can tell from the rather small market for tunnel ovens, a new one would probably cost the better part of a million dollars. And while the giant turkey that was once Hostess has now been rendered (even the starving couldn’t stomach Hostess), a whole economic ecosystem of vultures has been feeding off the carcass to the tune of millions of dollars in “consulting” and “legal” fees a month. Now you’d think all those experts and legal eagles would have gotten top dollar for Hostess fleet of 10,000 or so trucks. But Nooo… in fact they threw out the high bid for a package of buildings, made a sweetheart deal to sell them to another bidder for a couple million less, and threw in a few thousand trucks and the ovens and such of at least a half dozen bakeries for free. This thankgiving 18,000 former Hostess workers will have a meager feast while the vultures are probably plotting their next attack on an even bigger turkey we’ll be roasting in a bit…

2014-Chevrolet-SilveradoHighCtry-077-mediumCopyright GM, now for the “fair use and commentary”… Yes this is GM’s new alleged “pickup truck”, and despite the fact they probably spent a billion of us taxpayer’s dollars bringing it to production, it looks just like the 2013 it’s struggling to replace. Oh, and they made a GMC version too, and almost every body panel is different than the Chevy version, though at least the headlights look a little different. And it has all the traditional truck “qualities” of it’s predecesor… 15 MPG or so, massive blind spots all around, and two and a half tons or so of road thugging weight. But when it comes to doing truck stuff, it don’t do much… This is a “3 box” design, and the pickup bed is the smallest box. Heck, a 4 by 8 sheet of plywood will probably hang past the tailgate, never mind the box, and it’s payload capacity rivals that of many minivans! Even if you order the maximum payload package, you’ll need a skinny jockey of a driver to haul a “short” ton, and forget about metric tons. But as the biggest box, the cab, shows… This ain’t a truck, it’s a big ‘ol full size ‘merican car for the Teabaggers to drive to the latest anti-21st century protest rally, stopping on the way to deposit their social security check at the bank. Your tax dollars at work… Not!

yamaha boltCan we get over this cruiser thing, once and for all? Now we’ve come to expect HOG(NYSE) to deliver a continuing series of replicas of every bike they built for the last century… Doesn’t cost ’em much to build a Sportster “48”, cause the frame has hardly changed since ’48. But why do companies like Yamaha that are perfectly capable of making perfectly functional 21st century motorcycles like their new triple, slavishly built near clone cruisers like this? Then again, turkeys are not very bright animals.

diverging diamondThe bleeding edge traffic engineers call this a “diverging diamond” interchange. The tow truck drivers and auto body techs call it “job security”. Now my first run in with one of these wonders of modern(?) interchange design was in a forgettable Illinois town after a nice night of cruising rural two lanes, then being directed by traffic lights into the wrong lanes… WTF???? When in doubt, stop and figure it out… Which is just how motorists respond to this design debacle. Yup, we’ll always be stuck with “bright” young engineers who come up with “creative” turkeys like this… Which usually get bulldozed or blown up after a few fatalities. And if this turkey interchange ain’t stupid enough, I hear they just opened one by MSP with light rail tracks down the middle!

w900_gphoto1Rumor had it that Paccar was going to roast this turkey themselves, exiling this turkey to the “vocational” market. That’d keep it out of the calculations for meeting the new big truck fuel economy standards because it’s an aerodynamic disaster area. But a few “truckers” more concerned with image than profitability still buy it, and they tend to load ’em up with profitable options and don’t bargain much over price… So at least Paccar has given this turkey a stay of execution. But as a truck, it ain’t got much beyond looks… That cab is 11 feet long, and the sleeper adds another 6. Your garden variety Eurotruck cabover packs as much power and interior space into just 8 feet… Which means that long hood and sleeper and tiny cab could be traded for another 9 feet of paying freight. Or shorten the wheelbase up and have a rig that doesn’t need 40 acres just to turn around.

14-hd-tri-glide-ultra-9What happens when you take the worlds most dysfunctional turkey of a motorcycle, add a crude all too narrow and tippy turkey of a trike conversion, and don’t even bother to give the rear axle a differential… You get this hybrid turkey of turkeys, a Harley Tri-Glide (TM, I’m sure) And no doubt the aftermarket and soon HOG(NYSE) too will garnish this turkey with a rack for the walker and matching trailer for the 3 wheel electric scooter. And to think that HOG(NYSE) scrapped their ‘hack to build this turkey…

USPS-Truck-Crashing‘Member those vultures that’ve been piggin’ out on Hostess? Well, that’s just the appetizer, they’re licken’ their chops to sink they’re teeth into our logistics turkey of the year, the Postal Service. Post Office, how far you have fallen… Back in the 50s you could walk up to a Railway Post Office car in the station as the sun set, drop your first class letter in the mail slot, and next day it’d be delivered in another city 500 miles away. Then they scrapped those RPOs and built new sorting centers far from the tracks. And following the logistics logic(?) that worked so well for Hostess, they’ve closed dozens of local sorting centers and ship mail all over the country to be sorted in far off cities instead. And in their latest bit of turkey style stupidity, they’ve combined the morning and evening truck runs into one noontime run, so the carriers can wait all morning for the destinating mail and afternoon originating mail can sit a day or three waiting for the next truck. Our past “winners” in the logistics turkey catagory like Hostess seem to all be gobbled up and gone, wonder how long our Postal Service will live with this turkey of a logistics operation?

Well, the tired old turkey of a Hostess tunnel oven has broken down again, and they already auctioned off the pallets of duct tape and baling wire… See you on turkey day next year!