Monday, March 30, 2009

A really big (Orange) question

It's been a great off season in Vol Nation and it's definitely high fives all around for Coach Lane Kiffin. But I ran across a blog at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting that UT seems to be ignoring QB prospect Nick Montana, son of legendary NFL tosser Joe Montana.

The posting focuses mostly on what Nick Montana liked about his visit to UGA. But writer Michael Carvell also asked him about his interest in Tennessee. Here's some of what he had to say:

"Tennessee hasn’t offered, but I’m still thinking about them. I haven’t really heard from them in a while." (Click HERE to see the entire post.)

Say what? You're a football program in desperate need of rebuilding, especially at the quarterback position, and you're blowing off one of the nation's top prospects?

Unless they got Jesus himself lined up to play QB (and we know that's not possible because he already plays at UF), it makes absolutely no sense at all.

Which brings me to the Orange tractor trailer pictured here. I have often wondered why the Yellow trucking company drives Orange trucks. Why not just change their name to Orange and be done with it?

Like Tennessee's apparent lack of interest in Montana, it makes no sense.


Friday, March 27, 2009

Need an Orange pick(me)up?

It wasn't a great week for UT sports (see previous blog posting), so it's understandable if Vol Nation needs a little morale boost. So where were the little pockets of good news hiding?

One is that reported Nick Stephens got the cast off his right wrist and is back at practice. He may not be the QB of the future, but it's good to have him back in the mix.

It was also great to read that Vols gridiron legend and former UT football coach Johnny Majors attended a recent practice and gave two big thumbs up to the way Coach Lane Kiffin is running things. "I thought it was oustanding in every way," Majors told about the practice. "That's the way football should be practiced."

And then it's nice to hear that former Vols QB Erik Ainge may actually have a shot at the starting job with the NY Jets. It would definitely be nice to see other UT QBs make it big in the NFL along with Peyton Manning.

But if all of that's not enough to boost your spirits, take a gander at this Tennessee Orange Ford F-350 (or is it a 450) that Larry spotted a couple weeks ago. If this heavy lifter can't give you a lift, nothing can.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rode hard and put away wet

Wow, it's been a real crummy week for Tennessee sports fans. The hoops Vols lost in the first round of the NCAA tourney. The baseball and softball Vols were swept by the Gators in Gainesville. The Lady Vols laid a big egg in the women's NCAA.


Other than the discovery of this awesome UT football Web site and Coach Lane Kiffin making some very wise and humorous remarks about the whiney Gators, there's not a lot to be excited about in the Orange Nation right now.

If the immediate situation were a vehicle, I reckon it might look like this here Orange-and-white Chevy pickup I saw parked outside a Publix in Jacksonville a week or two ago. It's spot-on UT colors, but it is a little wore out and rode hard. Kinda like us Vols fans right about now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gettin' on the (Big Orange) Bus

The BOVB usually gets updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

But today I am so pumped that I just had to put Monday's post up a day early!

Causing this jolt of Orange adrenaline this morning is a Web site posted on Twitter last night by VolPress, with the headline "Thinking of Tennessee football."

To be honest, I haven't really even clicked on any of the links on the site yet. What got me all fired up is the constant playing of "Rocky Top" and "Immigrant Song" coupled with images of UT's players and new coaching staff.

After watching -- in person -- the baseball Vols choke 10-2 to the Gators in Gainesville yesterday, this Web site was the perfect tonic.

The flip side, tho, is that I can't get any work done (Hey, you try reading students' papers comparing Hinduism and Islam with Rocky Top blaring out of your computer. It's impossible).

But who cares!?

So come on, now, Orange Nation! Let's all get on the (big Orange) bus and get pumped for Tennessee football!


PS -- that's a Jacksonville Transportation Authority bus I spotted at the University of N. Fla. a couple weeks back. It's bedecked in Hooters ads!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I am rich (with Orange)

I created the Big Orange Vehicle Blog as something fun to do and, hopefully, something readers would enjoy. Never did I imagine it would make me rich.

But, yay, it has in fact done that!

Yesterday an e-mail popped into informing me that I have just been awarded 1 million British pounds! All I have to do to collect it is send them my contact information and a bank account/routing number so the money can be deposited in my account!


And what, you may be wondering, will I do with all this newfound wealth? By gollie the first thing I'm going to do is buy myself a boat — in fact the boat pictured here.

"Saw this boat on the drive to Murfreesboro (Tenn.) from Knoxville," my brother Rod said in the March 15 e-mail delivering what is the first ever floating vehicle in BOVB history. "This was truly out in the middle of nowhere."

Indeed the most wonderful treasures are often found in the most unlikely places: the Tennessee countryside and the BOVB inbox. Hurray!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Time to fly!

This has been a big week for Orange Nation and for the Big Orange Vehicle Blog. The basketball Vols did pretty good in the SEC championship and are in the NCAA tournament. And, of course, as per usual, the Lady Vols are in the big show as well. The BOVB hit a milestone by publishing a cool shot of Space Shuttle Discovery launching from Florida.

But arguably the best news came on Monday when the nation's top running back prospect, Bryce Brown, signed with Tennessee. It was a big win for the university and shows that, if nothing else, coach Lane Kiffin & Co. can certainly recruit and, as GoVolsXtra reported, "they can do it on the fly."

When I read that quote I thought of the photos above. My friend Larry photographed them at the TICO Warbirds Air Show in Titusville, Fla., on Sunday. Both aircraft are vintage Navy trainers. The top one is a T-28 Trojan, the other is a T-34 Mentor.

They are awesome, but here's the question: Are they really Orange? To me, it seems the T-28 is more red than Orange. The T-34 color seems to be a blend of Orange and red. In both cases I might agree that the aircraft are painted with Gator "Orange" (which ain't really Orange).

You be the judge.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Biggest, fastest, bestest Orange ride EVER!

The bad news is the basketball Vols lost to Mississippi State in the SEC championship on Sunday. The good news is that they are still going to the NCAA tournament.

There was even better news for Orange lovers this weekend: Tennessee thumped Florida big time in tennis (hey, we'll take victories over the Gators any way we can get em) and, best of all, the UF's basketball team plays Jacksonville U in the losersville NIT tournament on Wednesday! OMG haaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha that is so funny ahhhh ha ha ha ha ha! Classic.

But the best display of Orange came Sunday evening when Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center here in Florida. The 7:43 p.m. launch came just as the sun was setting, making the flames from the engines and rocket boosters especially brilliant — and Orange. The SRBs could be clearly seen falling to Earth for several minutes after separation. The Orange-and-White smoke trail hung in the sky even longer. Stunning.

I snapped this pic of the launch from downtown Jacksonville. Even with a camera phone it's clear Discovery was riding a Vols-Orange plume into space.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

So sweet, so Orange

True, the basketball Vols have another game to play in the SEC tourney and it promises to be a toughie against Auburn this afternoon.

But what a great night Friday was! Tennessee slam dunked Alabama (always a good feeling) and Florida lost too. The cherry on top is that Georgia lost the night before. No matter what happens today, the glow from Friday will last well into next week.

To celebrate, I am breaking out one of my treasures: This 2005 Lamborghini Murcielago. True disciples of the BOVB may remember this was the vehicle that launched the blog. (Click here to see the first ever posting.)

A perfect vehicle in perfect Orange — perfect for UT's awesome weekend (so far).


Friday, March 13, 2009


Yay! It's Friday!

I'm all excited this morning cuz it is Friday, which means no work for two days (sorta; I might have to cover something on Sunday) and it means UT plays Alabama in hoops tonight for all the SEC marbles. (It's only basketball, but you gotta occupy yourself with something till football cranks back up. Right Orange Nation?)

The joyousness of Friday naturally reminds one of Orange, because Orange is pure joy.

But of course it goes further. "Orange is energy, enthusiasm, get-it-done and balance," according to experts on color symbolism and pscyhology.

When you say "get it done" and "balance" to me, I think of the awesome aerial work platform pictured above!

Introducing the JLG 600 AN Engine Powered Boom (from the articulating narrow series, of course). With a platform that can lift up to 1,000 pounds more than 60 feet above the ground, it's perfect for jobs in high-pedestrian, high-traffic urban areas. (I photographed this one a few weeks ago on Margaret Street in the Riverside section of Jacksonville).

Best of all, based on the Web site it looks like JLG makes most or all of their products in Orange, so they gotta be great! (It's not pure, Tennessee Orange; but hey, beggars can't be choosers, can they?)

So I say thank God it's Friday, and thank God for Orange. . . .



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Big (Orange) workloads

It's Wednesday in what for me has been a crazy busy week, personally and professionally. I'm glad it's hump day. I wish it were Friday.

Thinking of workloads reminds me of this awesome VW 4x4 van/truck. The pic is from Lauren Smart in Coloroado. "Most call me crazy when I talk about VW's but I LOVE this syncro VW van/truck," she tells the BOVB. "Syncro just means 4 wheel drive. I had a syncro westfalia camper van with a pop top, stove, sink."

I don't know about ya'll, but I don't think Lauren is crazy. I think she's brilliant -- and that she has a great eye for Orange.


PS -- Click HERE and HERE to read more about VW syncros!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Are times THAT tough??

By now you'd have to be a hermit not to know that the economy sucks these days. Layoffs and unemployment are at record levels, the banks are in trouble, foreclosures rising, stocks a'tumblin . . . bla bla bla, right?
So it shouldn't surprise anyone that pawn shops are booming thanks to all this turmoil. Folks looking for that extra cash are pawning everything from lawn mowers and CDs to mink coats and wedding rings.

But Orange vehicles?? Are things really that bad??

I am sad to report that indeed it seems to be so. Check out the above photos. The little Orange ATV I photographed in January or February in front a pawn shop on University Boulevard in Jacksonville. Cute and decently Orange, for sure.

Times-Union photographer and UF fan Bruce Lipsky e-mailed the truck to me on Sunday. "First or second year Chevy Blazer K/5 in front of a pawn shop on Blanding Blvd. Saturday," he said. Definitely True Orange.

It's not clear the Chevy was for sale, but that doesn't keep me from fantasizing about owning it.


First or second year Chevy Blazer K/5 in front of pawn shop on Blanding Blvd. Saturday.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Orange (i.e. the best) intentions

I just got home from Wall Street (a bar in Jax) and, for like the hundredth time, someone told me they saw an awesome Orange vehicle but didn't have a camera at the ready to capture it. In this case, it was TU reporter Matt Coleman, who said he spotted a sweet OV in New Orleans recently but didn't have a camera onhand.

To me, this is just as cool as getting Orange vehicle pics at, because it tells me that people are thinking Orange.

I always tell people not to do stupid things to get pics. Don't follow OVs in traffic, because it could scare the drivers. Don't break traffic laws, like running red lights and doing illegal U-turns, to get a pic. Also it's a bad idea to photograph OVs while driving.

All of life's best, most exhilarating activities, from skydiving to riding with the Blue Angels, requires one exercise good, common sense. Photographing OVs is right up there with life's most meaningful activities and requires the same horse sense for successful completion.

So even if you don't have a camera handy or can't get to the OV in traffic, don't panic. I am just as happy to get an e-mail at describing it to me.

Oh, and BTW, included here is an Orange VW photographed in January by David Hunt, who basically broke all the rules to get it. I am not condoning his behavior, but I am definitely celebrating his enthusiasm and stuff.


ps -- not to criticize Coleman, but hats off to Hunt for having the camera ready. Matt, better luck next time!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

High profile, awesome Orange

Like I've said before, this has been, like, THE best football offseason in like, forever.

The Associated Press reported that Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin, aka CLK, aka Kiff, has raised the program's profile without coaching a single game yet.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported that a highly-prized running back has committed to UT.

OMG, it's like totally awesome.

Awesome like this sweet Orange vehicle photographed in the Murray Hill area of Jacksonville by Hannah Hatcher. "Here's your stupid Orange vehicle," she said (or something like that, cuz I had been pestering her to send it).

Not stupid, dude. Awesome.


PS -- anyone know what kind of car this is?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Longing for retirement

OK so I am several hours late posting today's BOVB. Sorry about that.

It's just been one of those days. Up early, taught at 8, a full day at the office and now I am writing a speech I have to give Thursday night to about 100 eager, bright middle and high school students.

Days like this make me long for my retirement dream of just buying an RV and taking naps and reading all over the country.

Which made me think of this Orange RV Lauren Smart captured in Colorado some time in February.

Unfortunately the sun washes out the image a bit, but you can still tell that it's a very-nearly-Tennessee Orange. I'd love to have it.

Oh well, back to work.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Orange Viper

No, not a Dodge Viper. But a Viper space fighter from the old Battlestar Galactica series.

I could have said it was photographed and e-mailed to to from the International Space Station. But the truth is this Viper was conceived, designed and created by my brother Rod. He's an expert in computer modeling/CG stuff.

"yes, i made the viper a couple of years ago," he said in an e-mail. "i made it a 'UT' viper over the weekend because I wanted to see how rusty I was in my modeling tools and need a goal to motivate myself. this was the result."

An excellent result that is my computer wallpaper and today's BOVB star!


PS -- this counts as a vehicle because it transports our imaginations to an awesome time and place where Orange and science come together.