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Grease Thefts On the Rise

By corsa

Well, you knew this was bound to happen. Used fryer grease is now a huge target for thieves. Restaurants couldn't pay to give the stuff away a year ago, but now they are installing surveillance cameras to keep a watch on the "liquid gold."

And get this: apparently processed fryer oil, called "yellow grease," is actually traded on the commodities market. In 2000, it traded for 7.6 cents a pound; now it trades for 33 cents a pound, which is about $2.50 a gallon. It is so valuable and such a target now, one of the nation's largest grease collection and rendering companies has hired detectives to investigate these thefts.

Since most restaurants put their used grease in big vats with their trash, the lawyer representing some of the thieves that have been arrested is claiming that it isn't actually theft, because once you put something in the trash, it is abandoned property. The restaurants, however, don't see it this way.

And neither to the people who have legitimate contracts with restaurants to collect the used oil. Ben Healy, the owner of Healy Biodiesel in Sedgwick, KS, said that on one particular night not too long ago, the oil was stolen from 9 of the 15 restaurants he has a contract with.

So, all you restaurant owners: time to watch not only the cash registers, but the grease barrels.

Source: NY Times

Kansas City Oil Refinery Fire Could Affect Gas Prices

By corsa

Hold on to your wallet! A storm that rolled through Kansas City yesterday sat a vat with 1.2 million gallons of unleaded fuel in it ablaze. Lightning was determined to be the cause, and firefighters are letting the fire burn itself out, which should happen sometime on Thursday.

Just what we needed!

Source: Fox4News

Glory Be to God! Get Ready for Summer Shows and Summer Food.

By GoldyLocks

Some might say that Motortopia is not the place for poetry. I think some of the passion about cars, bikes, boats, and planes here on Motortopia sometimes borders on a poetic understanding.

In any event, I have been to enough shows in the past year to know that a big part of that experience is some good, ole', American fried food. Enjoy this piece, and get ready for some good eatin'

Fried Beauty

Glory be to God for breaded things--
Catfish, steak finger, pork chop, chicken thigh,
Sliced green tomatoes, pots full to the brim
With french fries, fritters, life-float onion rings,
Hushpuppies, okra golden to the eye,
That in all oils, corn or canola, swim

Toward mastication's maw (O molared mouth!);
Whatever browns, is dumped to drain and dry
On paper towels' sleek translucent scrim,
These greasy, battered bounties of the South:
Eat them.

Here are the credits:

American Life in Poetry: Column 166

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

Texas poet R. S. Gwynn is a master of the light touch. Here he picks up on Gerard Manley Hopkins' sonnet "Pied Beauty," which many of you will remember from school, and offers us a picnic instead of a sermon. I hope you enjoy the feast!

P.S. For those of you interested in receiving updates on American Life and Poetry, head on over to AmericanLifeInPoetry.org.

Have a good one.

Hurricane season could blow the gas money right out of your pocket

By corsa

June 1st marks the start of hurricane season. And experts are saying that gas prices could surge up to $6 per gallon if a hurricane hits in July. That's because a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, like Katrina or Rita, would disrupt refineries and pipelines in the southern U.S.

In fact, because of Katrina, gas prices today already have about 5 to 10 cents built into the price of gas by speculative traders. The NOAA are saying there is a 65% chance of a stronger-than-normal hurricane season, and only a 10% chance that it will be weaker.

On the other hand, they are saying that if we make it through hurricane season with no hits, gas prices could ease a bit. But, hurricane season isn't over until Nov. 30, so we have a long ways to go.

Wonderful.

Source: CNN

A very good day in Metuchen. America is alive and well.

By GoldyLocks

"Ready to go? Let's jump and and join the fun!"

With those words Ben Deutschman, aka BenCar, gently instructed me, wife Beverly, sister Rosalie, son Martin, and ever-present-friend Tommy, and the Reverend to find a seat in the 1960 Plymouth Satellite or the 1976 Trans Am 400 for a Memorial Day Parade in Metuchen, NJ.

I was given the seat of honor in the Trans Am; which I later learned was a big part hospitality and a little part devilish gearhead humor as Ben showed me what at 400HP TransAm can do with a little $4.00/gal premium.

It was American and Americana to the max. Small town American, flags, boy scout troops, old soldiers, high school bands, and lots and lots of little children waiving, holding on to their dogs, and trying to eat ice cream before it got to the point of needing "shout it out."

And, what they were shouting was "Hey Ben, you still young enough to drive?" "Haven't been picked up in that thing yet, heh?" There were also a lot of "great car, Ben" comments as we rode through town.

Only 40 minutes outside of New York City by train, I entered a world that I grew up in, small town America. And, upon reflection, I recognized once again that what made a place like New York City possible - with all its deal-makin', finance, and intense ways - are places like Metuchen, NJ and its people and community.

You can't legislate the kind of community that lives in Metuchen and a thousands of other places like that in America. This is the roots and what holds it all together, in my view.

After the parade, I got the first class tour of Ben's garage, his basement workshop, his car projects, Martin's (who is not old enough to drive, but I did think I saw him behind a wheel once or twice ;-) ) own car and train projects.

We sat out back in mother's house (mother has passed away but it is still her house) and had a BBQ..and how good can Key Lime pie be on a Memorial Day holiday! Great.

You can all read about Ben's cars in his Motortopia garage and see some of the pics from the day in his photo album of our day in Metuchen.

Ben was one of the early adopters and supporters of Motortopia and has encouraged me along the way to keep working on things, keep making it better, and keep improving "making it right."

And, those are thoughtful words from someone who takes car of his folks' 1960 Plymouth Slant Six like they were going to ride in it tomorrow; and who has that gleam in his eye as the Trans Am gives that growly rumble as he starts it up for the parade.

I think it is, in large part, what the whole spirit of Motortopia is all about...people who are passionate and focused about their cars, bikes, airplanes, and boats because; well, they know the value of things well done and of sharing those things with others...and not because of the trophies (while those are nice and Ben has a few thousand, I think) because it is the right thing to do.

And, that was a good memory on Memorial Day, as we honored those who did the right thing; many giving their lives for our Freedom because it was the "right thing to do."

Goodness, isn't it refreshing.

Thank you Ben and family for a great day!

Morning Grin. Be Careful About Those Plates.

By motortopia

I'll bet lots of you have customized plates for your cars. Well, check out this plate from Virginia. Someone was not thinking ahead...or maybe they were :-). [photo from photobucket]

Mystery Car of the Day (#8)

By motortopia

We're looking for year, make, model, and owner. Good Luck!

Mystery Car of the Day (#7)

By motortopia

This picture isn't from the main vehicle photo, but the tail lights should give it away... we are looking for year, make, model and owner.

Mystery Car of the Day (#6)

By motortopia

These are too easy! Ok no hints, lets hear the year, make, model and owner of this one...

Mystery Car of the Day (#5)

By motortopia

CrimsonKrush got the last one. OK, now for the next one, you should know who's it is if you've been paying any attention around here ;)

OK I'll throw in a small hint:

In a rocky town in the vicinity of Vegas, this precious stone of a vehicle sits.
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