Archive for October 28th, 2008

It’s that time of year.  Halloween, not home foreclosures.   But one could debate that this year’s home default rate is scarier than last when this comic first released.

It’s only a few days away and preparations have resulted in spider webs and jack-o-lanterns everywhere.  I’ve never been one of those people who need a dose of “pants-crapping terror” which seems to always occupy the movie theaters and TV shows this time of year.  I do enjoy giving out “treats” and seeing neighbor kids in the ‘hood’.  Kids bring a certain “life” to any neighborhood.  Besides it’s a nice break from the stock market swooning, home sales slumping and political talking heads bloviating future fears.  Even hundreds of flesh-eating zombies howling and lurching through the cul-de-sac is an improvement over talking heads!

The word ‘Halloween’ originates from ‘All Hallows Eve’. This night is November 1, and called “All Hollows Day” (or “All Saints Day”). It stems from the Catholic religion and was a celebration of saints. The American version of Halloween has its origin in the ancient (pre-Christian) Druid fire festival called “Samhain”, celebrated by the Celts in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. In Scotland, the celebration was known as Hallowe’en. This Celtic celebration was thought to be an end to summer and that the “veil between the worlds” was at its thinnest, and the dead could communicate with the living.  The “trick-or-treat” custom comes from America in the 1930s. The custom was intended to control and displace disruptive pranks. Good children were encouraged to go door to door and receive treats from homes and shop owners, thereby keeping troublemakers away.

Since spooktacular is a Friday this year its important to rember how its a particularly deadly night due to drunk drivers.  The Oregon DMV site states that in 2006, 44% of all highway fatalities across the nation involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher.

Be safe out there…

Haunted Houses photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain News and the talented Ed Stein.

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Do you have a friend whose motorcycle is, well ummm…not so easy on the eyes…?  Afraid to tell them in person, then you may want to forward this post?

Harley-Davidson just launched yet another demand creation marketing campaign disguised as a contest.  The prize could be a new Harley motorcycle – the one you customize online. Your job should you take this mission is go online, enter the “Build It and Win It Sweepstakes” and then design the motorcycle of your choice for a chance to win that motorcycle. The sweepstakes uses The Customizer, an interactive web tool which through the magic of the internet attaches to Harley-Davidson.com.  It allows contestants to build a virtual dream bike based on 2009 Harley-Davidson models and then select from 100’s of custom options, including custom paint, Screamin’ Eagle performance components to decorative collections.  All the while you can add and remove them on your virtual motorcycle.  

Fortunately (for Harley) as you create the bike and add each new component it appears in a running “tab” window and you can see exactly what the finished custom motorcycle will look like along with retail pricing. And oh yeah, you can check on availability and run your payment calculator while you’re at it.  Save that dream bike in your personal profile or “Garage,” along with a convenient, printable list of each component with its part number.  I would anticipate receiving email once the sweepstakes are over to remind you that someone else won and now is the time to buy that custom motorcycle from a dealer near you.

The sweepstakes closes, Nov. 6 at 5 p.m. ET when a Motor Company representative will randomly select one virtual custom bike that has been entered into a personal profile Garage. The person who created the profile will be awarded the 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was created on-line, complete with all the accessories you attached. The winner will be notified via email.

I quickly customized a “bobber” Sporty…heck, I don’t want to break Harley’s checkbook when I win!

Screen photos courtesy of HD web site.

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Münch Mammut 1200 TTS

Münch Mammut 1200 TTS

The results are in for the MidAmerica Vintage Motorcycle auction.  Thirty-six bikes sold for a total of $188,680.  The event took place October 11th in St. Paul, Minnesota. The auction high water mark was set by a Münch Mammut 1200 TTS, which sold at $57,240.  Most of the other bikes sold in well under $5K each. View the complete results here (.pdf) courtesy of SCM.

The Münch Mammut (translated from German), at the time the largest and fastest motorcycle in the world was designed by Friedel Münch of Münch Motorrad, its standard engine was a “massive” NSU automobile 1200 cc, 4-cyl. It offered three engine options, including a supercharged version. The company also offered a varied combination of seats and tanks. It was best known for its comfort and speed. The original company declared bankruptcy in 1971, then again in 1973. Friedl sold the rights to his company, but struggled on with production for several more years.  He attempted a comeback with the Mammut 2000, a DOHC, 1998cc, fuel-injected inline-four, with Cosworth cylinder heads and Schwitzer turbocharger which pushed 260 bhp and had a limited top speed of 159 mph – and sold for more than $80,000.

With banks failing and stock values deteriorating quicker than a rusty Vespa these collectibles are a safe bet in these troubled times…

Photo courtesy of web site.

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