Thursday, January 22, 2009

More on the Doble

Many readers have noticed my infatuation with the Doble Brothers and their automobiles and other derivatives of their steam technologies, such as the Besler Brothers Steamplane of 1932 and the McCulloch attempt at resurrecting the production steam car in the early 1950's.

But I never seemed to have gotten around to providing a photo of an actual Doble automobile. In part this is because only 40 to 45 such cars were ever built and few survive.

However one of the best surviving examples of the marque is in the collection of renowned entertainer, car nut, and steam enthusiast Jay Leno, who has seen fit to make a video about his Doble and generously allow others to link to it.

Thank you Mr. Leno, and if you should ever find yourself in Caledon Eyre please do drop by for some Bellambi Reserve Whisky and test drives of virtual steam trucks and tanks.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Quest for the Northern Gnomes, Part One

It all began a while back in the not so distant past when I was paying a visit to my typist. We had been enjoying a rather nice whisky made in the realm to the north of my typist's home, a place called Tin-a-see. Apparently a chap named George makes it in away in some hollow.

My typist made mention that he and his good lady had plans to travel to that far land in the near future, though somewhat further to the east. To a settlement called Chatty-new-gah, or something of that sort. I confess I wasn't paying attention as I should have been being somewhat distracted by a building issue back home in Caledon that vexed me. In fact I had been trying to sneak a peek at my pocket watch and trying to think of a way to excuse myself without seeming rude for some time.

Then he casually mentioned that he had heard rumour of a tribe of gnomes that dwelt in the mountains therebouts and asked me if I would consider traveling with him and his lady in the search for the gnomes of Chatty-new-gah.

Well if my pointed little ears had perked up anymore at that then they would have punctured the brim of my hat! Of course I agreed to accompany them and we proceeded to lay the plans for our grand adventure.

The day of our departure broke with rain on the horizon and falling temperatures. We rapidly packed some extra warm and dry clothing in expectation of a cold wet day and set forth from my host's estate in Ali-bah-ma. Our predictions of less than ideal traveling weather came true but our spirits remained un-dampened.

Our destination for the first days travel was a way house my typist was familiar with in the north of the realm of Ali-bah-ma. By the time the cold drizzle was just starting to weigh on our spirits our lodgings for the evening came into view and a homey little place it was.
Though obviously built to human scale it showed the definite hand of gnomish influence in its rustic simplicity and solidity and I breathed a heartfelt sigh of relief that my night's rest would be spent in warmth and comfort.

We unpacked and started a nice fire in hearth and a settled in for a restful night after a wee dram of Mr. George's whisky.