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Showing posts from March, 2009

We speak the same language

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   These photos were taken by Ian Rome this winter at the Rusty Nuts Car Club’s first full-fledged car show in Cuba. Learn more about this joint Cuban-Canadian effort here .    Top photo: 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Four-Door H/T Sport Sedan was a show winner; Above: '51 Chevy Styleline with hot rod paint; Below: 1950 Ford Country Squire 8-passenger wagon was voted Best Truck .

Checkpoint Che

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And to make the “ultimate revolutionary fashion statement,” check out The Che Store , headquartered in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, which no doubt is where Che Geuvara would have retired to, had things in Bolivia gone differently. (Ol’ Ernesto would be comforted to know that at The Che Store, “all Che Guevara merchandise is officially licensed.”)

One truck, many makers

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  Photographed this fine Fiat truck in Santa Cruz del Norte, one of my favourite vehicle-spotting towns.    Except it isn’t a Fiat, is it? It’s a Citro├źn. No, a Hino. In fact, this customized camion is a KAMAZ (that “3” in the truck’s true nameplate is, to English-speakers, a Z) from the Kamskiy Avtomobilny Zavod, a manufacturer in Tartarstan, part of the Russian Federation.     KAMAZ , which started production in 1976 and is described as Russia’s largest truck manufacturer, builds a tough machine – its entries have won their category in the Dakar Rally eight times. For another view, click here .

The Americans are coming! The Americans are coming!

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   It’s a myth, writes Lisa Monforton of the Calgary Herald in this report , that United States citizens are barred from travelling to Cuba. Certain categories of Americans can and do go, including teachers, charity workers, journalists and, on a restricted basis, Cuban Americans.    And then there are the Americans who slip into Canada to take advantage of cheap package holidays to Varadero or Holguin, secure in that knowledge that Cuba does not stamp tourists’ passports.     You’re not fooling us, by the way – we can pick out your Michigan and Ohio speech patterns at the resort buffets as easily as you recognize a Canadian accent.    Soon, however, many more Americans could be making the 90-mile hop (or as we would put it, 145 kilometres, eh?) across the Straits of Florida.    The Freedom to Travel Act now before U.S. legislators would relax restrictions, probably starting with the Cuban Americans who under the terms of a 2004 executive order by George W. Bush are limited to one

Medical aid delivery report: The urchins stole our homework

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   RE: Not Just Tourists suitcases    Dear ***, and the other NJT volunteers:    I’m pleased to report that we successfully delivered our four cases of medicine and medical supplies to Cuba and have returned with suntans (already faded) and memories (still rosy).    Unfortunately, what we did NOT bring back was our completed NJT forms.    Here’s what happened.    We travelled on *** Airline, which, as you know, allows a generous extra baggage allowance to passengers taking part in programs such as NJT. This airline does, however, ask that all humanitarian aid be marked as such, so we printed up some special labels and taped them to our NJT cases.    Whether it was those stickers or something else that raised the curiosity of the Cuban officials at the airport at ***, we found ourselves pulled aside for an examination of three of our cases (the fourth, for some reason, whistled through).    A confused official scrutinized every item in each case, and then called others to review

Your emissions test results are in

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Cuba Drive Clean Program Vehicle Emissions Inspection Report Test Date/Time: Feb. 17, 2009 Year: 1950 VIN: Unknown GVWR: 2000 kg Make: Plymouth Engine size: 217 CI Estimated Test Weight: 1531 kg Model : Special De Luxe Cylinders: 06 EMISSIONS CONTROL SYSTEMS INSPECTION Air injection system: N/A Exhaust Gas Recirculation System: N/A Positive Crankcase Ventilation System: N/A Catalytic Converter: N/A Fuel Evaporative System: N/A Thermostatic Air Cleaner System: N/A Gas Cap Pressure Test: PASS Fuel Filler Integrity Test: PASS 40 KM/H TAILPIPE EMISSIONS INSPECTION HC ppm Limit 60 Reading 454,732 Result FAIL CO % Limit 0.33 Reading 1.00 Result FAIL NO ppm Limit 0862 Reading 7897 Result FAIL OVERALL TEST RESULT: FAIL MISERABLY RECOMMENDED REPAIRS: NOTHING MUCH