St Louis Missouri | Car Shows | Hot Rods | Street Rods | Custom Cars

Custom car is a passenger vehicle that has been modified in either of the following two ways. First, a custom car may be altered to improve its performance, often by altering or replacing the engine and transmission. Second, a custom car may be a personal “styling” statement, making the car look unlike any car as delivered from the factory. Although the two are related, custom cars are distinct from hot rods. The extent of this difference has been the subject of debate among customizers and rodders for decades. Additionally, a street rod can be considered a custom.

Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term “hot rod” is unclear. One explanation is that the term is a contraction of “hot roadster,” meaning a roadster that was modified for speed. Another possible origin includes modifications to or replacement of the camshaft(s), sometimes known as a “stick” or “rod”. A camshaft designed to produce more power is sometimes called a “hot stick” or a “hot rod”. Roadsters were the cars of choice because they were light. The term became commonplace in the 1930s or 1940s as the name of a car that had been “hopped up” by modifying the engine in various ways to achieve higher performance.

There is still a vibrant hot rod culture worldwide, especially in Canada, the United States, the United KingdomAustralia and Sweden. The hot rod community has now been subdivided into two main groups: street rodders and hot rodders. Hot rodders build their cars using a lot of original equipment parts, whether from wrecking yards or NOS , and follow the styles that were popular from the 1940s through the 1960s. Street rodders build cars (or have them built for them) using primarily new parts.

A common factor among current owners of hot rods is to make them more noticeable. There are now many different sectors of hot rodding, some of which are:

  • Street rod: a very popular branch of hot rodding. Contrary to the implications of the term hot rod, street rods are a mix of hot rods, custom cars, and modern Detroit cars. Emphasis is on high-quality custom paint jobs, comfortable interiors, and modern engines and running gear. As specified by the NSRA (National Street Rod Association), a street rod must have been manufactured prior to 1949.
  • Pro-Street rod: a branch of street rodding featuring mildly customized sedan and coupe models not normally associated with hot rodding that have monster engines and huge rear tires inside the fender wells. They retain all the other luxury features of street rods.
  • Billet rod: street rods featuring many items being machined from billet aluminum
  • Traditional rod: built according to a particular point in time and stick to those build techniques and materials
  • Rat rod: constructed to resemble an old time jalopies, although they may require more work than a show rod
  • Show rods (created to compete in national car shows such as America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR), and the Detroit Autorama).

There are hundreds of local car clubs supporting the hot rod/street rod community. The National Street Rod Association (NSRA) is the largest club in the world and sponsors many local events including the Street Rod Nationals which serve as a showplaces for the majority of the hot-rodding and street-rodding world to display their cars and to find nearly any part needed to complete them. Collectively they are all referred to as Hot Rods.

Drag racing is a competition in which specially prepared automobiles or motorcycles compete, usually two at a time, to be first to cross a set finish line. The race follows a straight course from a standing start over a measured distance, mostcommonly ¼ mile (1,320 ft (400 m)) for most cars, with a shorter 1,000 ft (300 m) for some Top Fuel dragsters and funny cars. Electronic timing and speed sensing systems have been used to record race results since the 1960s.

Before each race (also known as a pass), each driver is allowed to perform a burnout, which heats the driving tires and lays rubber down at the beginning of the track, improving traction. Each driver then lines up (or stages) at the starting line. Races are started electronically by a system known as a Christmas tree. The Christmas tree consists of a column of lights for each driver/lane, one blue, then three amber, one green, and one red, connected to light beams on the track. The first, a split blue open circle, is split into two halves. When the first light beam is broken by the vehicle’s front tire(s) indicate that the driver has pre-staged (approximately 7 inches (180 mm) from the starting line), lights the first half of the blue circle, and then staged (at the starting line), which lights up the second half of the blue circle, and also the corresponding bar in the middle of that circle.

Below the blue “staged” light are three large amber lights, a green light, and a red light. When both drivers are staged, the tree is activated to start the race, which causes the three large amber lights to illuminate, followed by the green light. There are two standard light sequences: either the three amber lights flash simultaneously, followed 0.4 seconds later by the green light (a Pro tree), or the ambers light in sequence from top to bottom, 0.5 seconds apart, followed 0.5 seconds later by the green light (a Sportsman tree, or full tree). If the front tires leaves from a stage beam (stage and pre-stage lights both turned off) before the green light illuminates, the red light for that driver’s lane illuminates instead, indicating disqualification (unless a more serious violation occurs). Once a driver commits a red-light foul (also known as redlighting), the other driver can also commit a foul start by leaving the line too early but still win, having left later. The green light automatically is illuminated on the opposite side of the red-lightning driver. Should both drivers leave after the green light illuminates, the one leaving first is said to have a holeshot advantage.

The winner is the first vehicle to cross the finish line (and therefore the driver with the lowest total reaction time and elapsed time). The elapsed time is a measure of performance only; it does not necessarily determine the winner. Because elapsed time does not include reaction time and each lane is timed individually, a car with a slower elapsed time can actually win if that driver’s holeshot advantage exceeds the elapsed time difference. In heads-up racing, this is known as a holeshot win.

See the photos at Photography by McGraphics
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The Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden | Photo Outing

The Lantern Festival (also known as the Yuanxiao Festival or Shangyuan Festival in ChinaChap Goh Meh Festival in IndonesiaMalaysia and SingaporeYuen Siu Festival in Hong Kong, and Tết Thượng Nguyên” or “Tết Nguyên Tiêu” in Vietnam; corresponding Japanese event Koshōgatsu); is a festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the Chinese calendar, the last day of the lunisolar Chinese New Year celebration. It is not to be confused with the Mid-Autumn Festival, which is sometimes also known as the “Lantern Festival” in locations such as Singapore and Malaysia. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles on the lanterns (simplified Chinese: 猜灯谜; traditional Chinese: 猜燈謎; pinyincāidēngmí). It officially ends the Chinese New Year celebrations.

In ancient times, the lanterns were fairly simple, and only the emperor and noblemen had large ornate ones; in modern times, lanterns have been being embellished with many complex designs. For example, lanterns are now often made in shapes of animals. The lanterns can symbolize the people letting go of their past selves and getting a new one, which they will let go of the next year.

Throughout the history of China, lanterns have been symbols of hope, rejuvenation, and celebration. Lanterns are integral to the most mundane or important rituals of life; in support of communication with the god; for ceremonial purposes; as symbols; and in festivals.

The Lantern Festival falls on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, usually in February or March in the Gregorian calendar. As early as the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 25), it had become a festival with great significance.

This day’s important activity is watching lanterns. Throughout the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), Buddhism flourished in China. One emperor heard that Buddhist monks would watch sarira, or remains from the cremation of Buddha‘s body, and light lanterns to worship Buddha on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month, so he ordered to light lanterns in the imperial palace and temples to show respect to Buddha on this day. Later, the Buddhist rite developed into a grand festival among common people and its influence expanded from the Central Plains to the whole of China.

Today, the lantern festival is still held each year around the country. Lanterns of various shapes and sizes are hung in the streets, attracting countless visitors. Children will hold self-made or bought lanterns to stroll with on the streets, extremely excited.

Commemorating its 25th year of work on the Flora of China project, in 2012 the Garden hosted Lantern Festival: Art by Day, Magic by Night, a unique opportunity to witness a spectacle rarely staged outside Asia.

via Lantern Festival: Art by Day, Magic by Night.

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55 Stunning Botanical Gardens to See Before You Die

Sunset Country Club Golf Course in the spring | Sunset Hills Missouri

The golf course at Sunset CC is part of the classic era of course design.  With features and characteristics found only in these turn-of-the-century layouts, Sunset has the charm and intimacy lovers of the game truly enjoy. Designed as a shotmakers course, they took the lay of the land and positioned the holes in locations that best fit the rolling terrain. It is a true testament to the original Foulis brothers design that the routing of the course has been essentially unchanged since it first opened. However, our membership remains in tune with the needs of today’s modern golfer.  Consequently, recent upgrades have been made to our outstanding zoysia fairways, the remodeling of our reens with the latest A1/A4 bent grasses, new chipping green surrounds and updated green complexes, make Sunset a challenge for players at all levels.  Included in recent upgrades is our new 300-plus yard practice facility with five target greens, making the Sunset golfing environment one of the best among area clubs.

See the photos at Photography by McGraphics
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St Louis is the first of its kind in the nation to Welcome Home the troops from Iraq Parade

St Louis, Missouri was the first city to welcome home the troops from Iraq on Saturday January 28, 2012. In looking around at the tens of thousands of people waving American flags and cheering, Army Maj. Rich Radford was moved that so many braved a cold January wind Saturday in St. Louis to honor people like him: Iraq War veterans.

The Welcome Home Heroes Parade included more than 80 floats, two marching bands and the Budweiser Clydesdales.  The parade began at noon Saturday at Kiener Plaza and ended at Union Station with a Veterans Resource Center set-up inside.

People waived American flags and cheered “thank you” as veterans made their way down Market.  People also held up Welcome Home signs.

It was inspiring to sit there while I was taking photos and watching the children to senior citizens smiling, waving and yelling “welcome home” at the troops as they past by. It was a day I will not forget.

See the photos at Photography by McGraphics

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  • More cities consider parades for Iraq War vets (
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  • Cities Consider Parades for War Vets (
  • St. Louis hosting 1st big parade on Iraq War’s end (
  • St. Louis hosts first big parade to welcome Iraq War veterans (
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Photos from Forest Park, St Louis

I have done a gallery of photos I have taken in Forest Park in St Louis, Missouri. Here is some information on the St Louis land mark.

Forest Park is a public park located in western part of the city of St. Louis, Missouri. It is a prominent civic center and covers 1,293-acre. The park, which opened in 1876 more than a decade after its proposal, has hosted several significant events, including the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 and the 1904 Summer Olympics. The park is known as the “heart of St. Louis” and features a variety of attractions, including the St. Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Missouri History Museum, and the St. Louis Science Center.

Link: Photography by McGraphics

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See Christmas in St Louis

I just add Christmas in St Louis to Photography by McGraphics. There are photos from the past and now. You will see photos of snowmen, Christmas trees, Christmas decorations, Christmas ornaments, Christmas light, Gingerbread houses, and Santa Clause.

Christmas decoration is any of several types of decorations used at Christmastime. The traditional colours of Christmas are pine green (evergreen), snow white, and heart red. Blue and white are often used to represent winter, or sometimes Hanukkah, which occurs around the same time. Gold and silver are also very common, as are just about any other metallic colour. Typical icons of the holiday include Baby JesusSanta Claus, and the star of Bethlehem. Typical winter icons include snowflakessnowmenicicles, and even penguins and polar bear.

In North and South America, Australia, and Europe, it is traditional to decorate the outside of houses with lights and sometimes with illuminated sleighssnowmen, and other Christmas figures. Municipalities often sponsor decorations as well. Christmas banners may be hung from street lights and Christmas trees placed in the town square.

Link: Photography by McGraphics

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Kurt Warner and Dick Vermeil

Kurt Warner and Dick Vermeil at a golf outing at Fox Run Golf Club

Richard Albert “Dick” Vermeil (born October 30, 1936) is a former American head coach for the National Football League‘s Philadelphia Eagles (1976–1982), St. Louis Rams (1997-1999) and Kansas City Chiefs (2001-2005). He is in the Sid Gillman coaching tree and has coached at every level; Vermeil owns the distinction of being named “Coach of the Year” on four levels: High School, Junior College, NCAA Division I and Professional Football.

Kurtis Eugene “Kurt” Warner (born June 22, 1971) is a retired, and former quarterback for the Arizona CardinalsNew York Giants, and St. Louis Rams of the National Football League. He was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 1994, after playing college football at Northern Iowa.

Vinegar and Olive Oil

Vinegar and Olive Oil studio shot

In countries that adhere to the standards of the IOOCthe labels in stores show an oil’s grade. The U.S. is not a member.

  • Extra-virgin olive oil(EVOO) comes from virgin oil production only, contains no more than 0.8% acidity, and is judged to have a superior taste. Extra Virgin olive oil accounts for less than 10% of oil in many producing countries. Used on salads, added at the table to soups and stews and for dipping.
  • Virgin olive oil comes from virgin oil production only, has an acidity less than 2%, and is judged to have a good taste.
  • Pure olive oil. Oils labeled as Pure olive oil or Olive oil are usually a blend of refined and virgin production oil.
  • Olive oil is a blend of virgin and refined production oil, of no more than 1.5% acidity. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.
  • Olive-pomace oil is refined pomace olive production oil possibly blended with some virgin production oil. It is fit for consumption, but may not be described simply as olive oil. Olive-pomace oil is rarely sold at retail; it is often used for certain kinds of cooking in restaurants.
  • Lampante oil is olive oil not suitable as food; lampante comes from olive oil’s long-standing use in oil-burning lamps. Lampante oil is mostly used in the industrial market.
  • Refined olive oil is the olive oil obtained from virgin olive oils by refining methods that do not lead to alterations in the initial glyceridic structure. It has a free acidity, expressed as oleic acid, of not more than 0.3 grams per 100 grams (0.3%) and its other characteristics correspond to those fixed for this category in this standard. This is obtained by refining virgin olive oils with a high acidity level and/or organoleptic defects that are eliminated after refining. Over 50% of the oil produced in the Mediterranean area is of such poor quality that it must be refined to produce an edible product. Note that no solvents have been used to extract the oil but it has been refined with the use of charcoal and other chemical and physical filters. An obsolete equivalent is “pure olive oil”.

Varieties of Vinegar

  • Malt
  • Wine
  • Apple cider
  • Fruit
  • Balsamic
  • Rice
  • Coconut
  • Palm
  • Cane
  • Flavored vinegars
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Sunsets from Sunset Country Club in St Louis, Missouri.

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