LooseCrew-JeffO: April 2011


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Elijah Lovejoy's Printing Press

Elijah Lovejoy was an abolitionist who was killed before the Civil War. He ran an abolitionist newspaper. This was his 4th newspaper, as he kept getting run-out of other states and towns. In Alton, Illinois, a mob came to burn down his house and shop, so he went out with a gun. Several shots were fired and one of them killed Elijah instantly. The mob dumped his printing press into the Mississippi river.

To give you some insight into my ADD brain, I'm a very slow reader. One reason is I can't read past stuff like this. I get "stuck" in constant diversions.

The dumped his printing press into the Mississippi. Did they really? Was it dumped underwater? Or in a thicket near the water? Did it sink into mud?

Wouldn't it be cool to find Elijah Lovejoy's printing press? If it was covered in ink, would that help preserve it from rust? Presses sure did get inky-dirty. Not to mention all the grease they had to slather on. And if it submerged into mud, that might have helped to preserve it. The Mississippi changes course as it meanders, and today it could be in the middle of someone's corn field. Or maybe it wasn't deep enough and someone found it, not knowing what it was, and hauled it off to another dump-site? Maybe a building is on top of it?

It's probably un-findable. But wouldn't it be cool? To find it and fix it up as best it's rusty remains might allow, and put into a museum?

I Googled this and can't find any info on anyone looking for or finding his press. They know where his house was, and you can't easily cart-off a heavy printing press, so it's bound to be close to the shortest distance from his house site to the river's bank, at that time.

See, this is why I have a stack of un-read books so high it keeps falling over. I can't seem to get through any of them. Everything i read sends me on constant diversions that are more interesting to me than the original text.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Auto show 2011

I just went to the auto show in Denver. Shocked that automakers are still cranking out low-MPG cars. I'm not talking about sports cars or SUVs, either. Basic sedans getting 16mpg. They really didn't seem to get the memo - gas has been expensive, and it isn't going to get cheaper. My very old Honda CRX got 49/54, but I once pegged 60-61mpg fully loaded with backpacking gear and two people going generally uphill from Wichita, KS to Colorado. No hybrid, just regular carburetor.
It was odd that most makes of vehicle, the smaller sedans got the same or only 1mpg better than the big honkin' SUVs. Just what exactly are they doing to destroy sedan economy?

I've been dismayed at my Subaru Forester XT's mileage of only 22mpg, but after looking at all the ratings for new cars, I'm glad to have my XT. It is WAY faster than most of the vehicles at the auto-show, and better economy.