The differences between a Willys, Ford and Hotchkiss Jeep

Posted By on August 5, 2020

Ever since reading Boys’ Life magazine as a kid and perusing the “military surplus” advertising, I’ve wanted a classic military Willys MB Jeep (or Ford GPW). I’m sure that I was not alone? Willys_MB_Jeep_1944

The old restored Jeeps have been staples at car shows, parades and aviation fly-ins for decades and I’m always attracted to them .. and yet only recently learned about the Hotchkiss M201 versions that were built well after WW2 and were nearly identical.

PHOTO RIGHT: Once the jeep’s design had converged, and was standardized, Ford and Willys built over 600,000 jeeps virtually identical to this 1944 MB (see Wikipedia link on the Willys MB)

Also the fact that Jeeps are made in Toledo, which is my original hometown, gives the “GeeP” (GP or GPW) soft spot in my heart. I can remember playing with the Tonka version of the little go anywhere topless “toy vehicle” the beach and ogling the Jeepster Commando (below), CJs, Wagoneer, Cherokee and pickup trucks (J-series and Comanche) when I was contemplating first and next cars.



Not recommended: Triangular shade sail for driveway shade

Posted By on August 4, 2020


The summer sun makes it too hot to work with the 10 x 12 foot south-facing garage door on the back of the detached outbuilding which is something I’ve struggled with for years. I’ve rigged up tarps, drop clothes and the like in order to cut the harsh sun, but let some light and breeze into the doorway. I finally decided to give one of those triangular shade sails a try and bought an inexpensive 16 x 16 x16 sail which is rigged between 2 solid points and one that I either peg with a bungee just above the ground (angular shade) or onto a temporary pole 9 foot in the air (prepping for something more permanent).  It sounded like a good idea … but it is just okay.

The cut and curve of each side make it difficult to get full shade. I’ve been moving it around and shifting side to side at the attachment points to try and get the angle a little better. This photo above is at 4 PM on Sunday afternoon with the tack point a couple feet above the ground (probably better on the 9-foot pole with summer sun overhead … verse the spring and fall sun lower in the southern sky. In the afternoon a rosebud tree (to the left out of the photo) offers better shade but its not close enough to shade the work area or back door. Unfortunately, even with the new shade sail, the sun still angles inside the door most of the time due to the curved cut; I can somewhat cut down the harshest rays by keeping the 12 door part of the way down. All in all, I would not do this again, even though I may keep tweaking things.


The weekend gave me an excuse to get the Packard a little fresh air, but it is not in drivable condition. Yes … eventually, I’ll get a little more ambitious and work to get it roadworthy, but even though the car is mine now, it is still my dad’s car and I don’t quite have that personal connection as with cars I buy and restore (I know, it is my own psychological issue … and I should just get over it!)

Music Monday: “The Captain And The Kid” – Jimmy Buffett

Posted By on August 3, 2020

JimmyBuffett_DownToEarthIt is not like I haven’t included Jimmy Buffett on a Music Monday before, but this video is unique in that it was recorded last month as part of a Facebook interview (as part whole #StayAtHome but still keeping busy during the Coronavirus shutdowns).

No matter your COVID19 thoughts, listening to Jimmy Buffett singing his old The Captain and the Kid song LIVE with his guitar is a great escape … and an even better memory from his Down to Earth album for me (mp3 album version below).

  The Captain and The Kid
      Jimmy Buffett | 1970

This is the kind of Buffett music that “caged” me into being a lifetime Parrothead (“cage” … “parrot” – groan!). Speaking of “cage” … it reminded me of the “Pacing The Cage” post from 2017.

Buffett wrote this poignant folk song in honor of his grandfather, who took him sailing when he was a kid and instilled his love of the sea. Captain James Delaney Buffett, a former sailor who could never quite adjust to life on land, died on January 2, 1970 at age 82. When Buffett came home to Nashville after the wake, he poured his grief into song.

Checking on the path of Tropical Storm Isaias – 8/2/2020

Posted By on August 2, 2020

While working on a few chores this Sunday, I checked on the path and strength of Hurricane now Tropical Storm Isais. It has moved just a bit more to the east than expected so for those who are on the east coast of Florida, take a deep breath. The storm could still pack strong winds, heavy rain and a 2-4 foot storm surge, but shouldn’t cause the damage that a stronger storm would. Thankfully with the new COVID19 outbreak in the Sunshine State, people won’t be huddling in shelters to avoid the storm (I doubt many would go anyway. Frightening thought).

A cute beach crab GIF and an eye-opening #filler shark photo

Posted By on August 2, 2020

ABigHammerheadSharkThis is when you are glad that you at least out on the water with a long board.  #surfing

And if that is not your cup of tea … maybe strolling down the beach and poking a crab is more your speed?


Looking back 15 years on the blog and wondering what’s ahead?

Posted By on August 1, 2020

ArchiveTrip2005My goodness, where have the years gone!?! I know that I’m not the only one who asks that question, but when it stares me in the face from 6700 blog post ago … it is a big reminder.

I’ve noted in this post that 15 years ago Taylor and I headed up to see my friend Jeff in the Canadian Rockies. It was actually a third trip their for me, as I went once at age 16 in 1975, then again in 1989 when we took my mother and father-in-law as a family for their 40th anniversary. Thankfully I was able to take Taylor in 2005 … and he again went in the winter with a couple of his friends in 2014.

mtindefatigableviewThe thought has me contemplating going back with Brenda some day or maybe as a family (the discussion has come up) has me wondering if we’ll ever be able to really hike there again.

This may just been the current medical diagnosis talking as Brenda has a few hefty medical concerns … which could partially be leftover from her 2015 accident? She really did have a remarkable recovering considering the damage, but this past years has been dealing with back and leg pain. The initial treatment for this since January seemed to have her on the mend, but the last few month has reversed what we thought were gains. After recent multiple doctor visits and for a “better than X-Ray” look at things the diagnosis may not mean that there will be a quick fix. 


Tech Friday: How to “shift-click” select multiple emails in Gmail

Posted By on July 31, 2020

It has been a while since reviewing the stats of My Desultory Blog, but realized that one Tech Friday post in particular was getting quite a few looks. It is obvious that I’m not the only Apple Macintosh Magic Mouse user to have scrolling issue when using the popular Google Calendar pullhair_ani_thumband stopping the infuriating scrolling with a Scroll Disabler is helpful. Since this is not a new problem, I’ve been surprised that this irritation has not been addressed internally, but continues to require a Chrome browser extension to “fix” (and now one on Brave for me). Anyway, from the traffic, it is a problem for others.


In keeping the the popular Google Products theme, there is Gmail tip that might be worth passing along just in case it may have been missed. HighlightingMultipleGmailMessagesOften times when doing email housekeeping, there is a need to selection list of messages. You can of course click the select-all checkbox or use the search features, but most people just highlight one email message at a time by clicking the checkbox in front of it or delete them one at a time.

Instead, try highlighting the first email in a list, then holding the shift-key down when selecting another one further down the list. This will check all the boxes and assist in quickly deleting … or moving the messages quicker than doing it one at a time.

How to Select Multiple Messages in Gmail

  1. Click the checkbox in front of the first message in the desired range.
  2. Hold the Shift key.
  3. Click the checkbox in front of the last message in the desired range.
  4. Release Shift.
  5. Click the checkbox in front of any non-adjacent messages to select them as well.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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