Channeling my energy into something positive

I’m not one to just roll over and take it. My recent run-in with Ford left me wanting to take some action. Sure, I could write to the highest level Ford executive for which I could find an email address and explain to them how promotion of the Mustang hobby by myself and others really helps their brand. But, that would leave me dwelling on the negative and probably result in a form letter response.

It’s time to move on! In the last month or so I had been thinking about how to capitalize on the close watch that I keep on ebay auctions for feature cars and parts. I realized that by becoming an ebay affiliate I could get credit for referrals from my site to ebay that result in bids, wins and new accounts. This results in no additional cost to the bidder or seller. Ebay simply shares their profits.

I used the energy I had coming off of the Ford thing to get off my duff and sign-up with ebay for their affiliate program. The result to this site is that the for sale/wanted page now starts with lists of feature car and feature car part auctions active on ebay. This is an experiment of sorts to see if being an ebay affiliate is worth the time and effort it will take to maintain the list. They have a number of tools that can be used to embed content into web sites but the set of things I want to link to is so specific that I have found that manually generating it is the best way. I will make every effort to keep the list up to date until I devise my own automation. Therefore, pay attention to the ‘last updated’ date at the top of the page. Refresh often if it looks to be old.

Hopefully the work I do to route out feature car parts on ebay can help you and in return, if you ultimately buy an item that you link to through my site, I might get a little $ that helps to support this site.

On a lighter note – a nice day out

Last weekend, we were driving through an urban area near where I live on our way to lunch and I spotted something off of the interstate in a parking lot. At first it looked like a car show with rows of cars but as I looked closer it appeared to be some sort of competition with cars driving on the far end of the lot through a cone arrangement. At first I thought, drifting! We took the next exit.

It turns out it was an autocross event. It seemed very well organized. Luckily, I had a camera so I snapped a few shots. My camera has a slow shutter release time so it was hard to catch the cars even though they weren’t moving that fast. There was one fox body there. Not the finest example I have ever seen but it was cool to see one.

Autocrossing fox body

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Ford’s actions to protect its trademarks come to

I had read about the effort by Ford to protect their trademarks more than a year ago. At the time I was glad I had chosen “” as my domain name. Well, today I received some very bad news from which is the site that I have been using here for the Shop:

In accordance with our Intellectual Property Rights Policy, Gregory D. Phillips on behalf of Ford Motor Company provided us with a notice stating that your use of Ford’s trademarks, or any confusingly similar variations thereof including its related and subsidiary entities, Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Mercury infringes upon their intellectual property rights (trademark/trade dress/copyright).

I had thought I was pretty careful in respecting those. But, I have used “Mustang” on some items as well as in descriptions and search keywords and also “Ford”; but only in descriptions and keywords and not on actual items. They pretty much disabled every image that I have uploaded except my foxes.

So far I have not determined the pattern used against my images to identify them as violations. I feel that I need to understand this before I can resume the Shop. My best guess is that it was my use of “Ford” in descriptions that attracted their attention. If you search on “Mustang” on cafepress you will still get tons of hits that are no less in violation than my stuff was. This is very different from the results you get when you search on “Ford”. But, it seems obvious that it’s only a matter of time before they crack down on the use of “Mustang”.

Some of the images flagged were not even being used on merchandise and not visible to the outside world (or so I thought). These were the images for the signs I had printed for Carlisle and those are not visible on my public shop and do not contain any description or keywords. I don’t know how they were identified but it makes be very nervous about what I can and cannot use and what sort of depths they are going to in order to find violators.

Not knowing exactly why each image was flagged is what makes me nervous. Is it the content, the description, the usage, what? I have thought about contacting Gregory Phillips and even started to craft an email to him. But, I decided that, by definition, he will have a very black and white view of this as will I can probably predict the answer to any question I would ask — no, you cannot do that.

For now, I am going to lay low and rethink my approach on the items I offer for sale. And, I have to keep telling myself “I am not going to be negative about this.”