Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Tomaso Files: ‘Gee-tar, Grills, a Growler or Two, Greens and Gondola’s ...

Ah, the life ‘O a Word Butcherer, or as Ralph Sheheen has labeled those of us on the sidelines: Keyboard Warriors; Hooah! Cymbol crash please...

I must confess a certain tranquility (now shattered from returning to le keyboardz) after a very pleasant 10-day Safari away from le Confuzer over a very relaxing fourth ‘OOH, AHH; NOT! July, albeit not quite as rewarding as grizzled ‘Journo Joe Saward’s when he’s handed the keys to a brand spankin’ new Infiniti FX35, or Meesh getting her hands upon a Honda CR-Z Hybrid to road trip to Indy and Belle Isle in...

As our mode of transportation was none other then the trusty ‘Ol ‘RattleLacc... The venerable ’92 Caddy that just keeps on taking a licking while  keepin’ on ticking; Err running ‘N running despite its obvious mechanical woes - hence its moniker; but I digress...

And where to begin; as although I’ve just been painfully reminded that this is supposed to be a “pure” racing site devoted to Formula 1 and Indy Cars... Nonetheless I feel compelled to wax-on eloquently ‘bout my recent travails, which after all did indeed encapsulate some aspects of thy PetrolHeadz existence...

’GEE-TARZ
Thus kicking off this zany trip was  the partaking of another Tommy emmanuel concert, our second in the past 17-months, as I’d initially seen this ‘GEE-TAR Virtuoso last February prior to going Down Under for the 2011 Australian Grand Prix... As I found it bemusing that that show was opened by a female guitar player from New Zealand followed by the ‘Aussie guitar legend - since I’d be touching down in both countries en route to Adelaide...

Grills
LeMay-America’s Car Museum
Tacoma, Washington

Not to be Cornfuzed with that hit Motley Crue song Girls-Girls-Girls; Hya! As I went with my G-laden title as I didn’t wish to reveal the original working title which I was told would make an excellante Children’s book title instead...

Afterwards, thanxs solely to Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen, I made not ‘Juan but Doce pilgrimages to this fabulous new Automobile museo in Tacoma, which is in the No Fenders pipeline of future stories; YIKES! Whenever mize fingerz ‘N knucel’s permitz, eh?

As I’d mentioned previously although I was definitely planning a trip down to Tacoma to visit said museum, I became overly stoked about visiting upon learning of the uniquely odd looking Smokey Yunick Hurst Floor Shift Special IndyCar being on display...


No. 61 Cummins Diesel Special Sister Car seen at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Hall of Fame museum May, 2012. (Photo Courtesy of No Fenders ‘Offical Photographer ‘CARPETS)
IMS Hall of Fame museum ‘Loaner’s...
1) 1925 Miller Junior 8 Special, No. 1. (Single Seater)
2) 1930 Miller HiSpeed Special. (Two Seater/Riding Mechanic) 
3) 1931 Cummins Diesel Special, No. 8. (Two Seater/Riding Mechanic) 
4) 1940 Sampson 16 Special, No. 32.
5) 1938 Gulf-Miller Tucker Special, No. 12.
6) 1948 Kurtis Roadster, No. 98. (J.C. Agajanian)
7) 1959 Watson Roadster Leader Card Special, No. 5 (winner)
8) 1964 Hurst Floor Shift Special. (Smokey Yunick)
9) 1968 Lotus 56 Turbine, No. 70. (Graham Hill)

As these nine outstanding examples of Mother Speedway’s illustrious history were denoted as the Speed of Sound collection, just one tiny portion of the museum’s cavernous four floor’s and six-ramps exhibits... Of which although I got to view the Indy Cars (twice) and the Ferrari’s, plus the British Invasion, Alternative Technology and the Nicola Bulgari collection in two days of visiting... We’ve barely scratched thy surface of this wonderful new addition to Tacoma’s skyline. Having only explored the side ramps whilst the larger center sections still await us!

Yet if you’re in the Pacific Northwest and have the time to venture into Tacoma, I strongly recommend a visit to the LeMay-America’s Car Museum - as the Indy Cars are slated to be on hand another 11-months; more later...

‘Growlerz ‘N Greens
After this brief respite Mary Ellen, the ‘Hoonds and I piled into thee ‘RattleLacc for a trip Up North Eh! As we were on a mission, a mission from; Oh Never Mind! As the two hoonds Molly & Pixie are two of the most unique small dogs I’ve ever known, as Molly, a Tibetan-mix quite literally growls grrr-grrr-grrr... When either deciding to play chase with Pixie or whilst rubbing her belly... While Pixie, a Chihuahua-mix enjoys growling lowly at Molly whilst trying to eat its food in a leisurely fashion; and instead of gorging myself upon ze Tellie, we took the hoonds for several ‘Walkabouts instead, first at New-Brighton - down along the waterside and train tracks... Then the next day to Lord Stanley’s place, which was overflowing with pedestrians, tennis players, bicyclists, lawn bowlers, etc. As I listened to the unique sound of baby Herons - whilst having somebody describe how they’d just christened an unsuspecting parked Minivan; YIKES!

The next day I was introduced to my second ever Frisbee-golf course as we took a very circuitous route around the majority of Queen Elizabeth Park, which I’d never heard of and then Sunday it was off to Burard Park where a fellow dog owner played fetch the ball with Pixie for our amusement...

This was followed up by a fantastic dinner at Soffit’s who’s from India, and thus I couldn’t resist asking him if he’d ever heard of Vijay Malia and what he thought about him? Oh you mean Vijay Mallya - he’s not doing so good these days, very big trouble financially... Hmm? Interesting, as this seems to support Joe Saward’s latest article;


And later on when Soffit was explaining what a VJ was, which I believe is a visual jockey vs. disc jockey? As he’s trying to learn how to do three-dimensional projectry which apparently is quite popular in Poland, as Mary Ellen said I think it’s done in Crack-cow? Of which I couldn’t resist quipping ‘bout oh you mean Krakow where Robert Kubica is from, you know the Formula 1 driver I named The Krakow Kid! Hey, it’s rough working F1 and IndyCar into any conversation these days, right?

As sadly, I fear Kubica’s F1 career has come to a close... As he continues trying to heal from his multiple injuries; but at least he didn’t lose an eye like the very unfortunate Maria de Villota did - who perhaps can take an example from Red Bull’s Dr. Helmut Marko, eh? Provided its NOT turfing off current Red Bull drivers... 

Have you noticed the 17-story Ferris wheel on the Seattle waterfront? (Source: mynorthwest.com)
Gondolas
It just so happens to be a somewhat long-running joke here at No Fenders between your humble scribe and ‘Offical NoFenderz Photographer ‘CARPETS over the proliferation of Ferris Wheels blossoming at the various IndyCar events - first noted at St. Pete and then warbled on ‘bout during Mikey Andretti’s Milwaukee Indy-fest, where I’d asked the questione if this inside the race track attraction would block the camera eyes view?

Naturally Carpets has since kept me apprised of any Ferris wheel spottings during other races, having even proclaimed to spot ‘Juan during the European GP at Valencia... HELL! I’ve even got ‘Juan on my wall - a great lithograph by Randy Owens which features a Porsche 962 at Le Mans with said Ferris wheel in background; but I digress...

Thus, it just so happened that Snowbyrd MJ had wanted to go ride Seattle’s newest waterfront attraction, a mammoth 175-foot 17-story-plus tall Ferris wheel which had just opened in late June. Thus on a postcard perfect day; WHAT? Sunshine in Seattle? Actual shorts weather; Aye Karumba! We made our way down to Pier 57 and waited in the modest line to take our ride upon thee SuperWheel... Which has 42-gondola cars, with number-42 being painted black and featuring a clear glass bottom... As this is the lone VIP car which only seats four in pivoting captain’s chairs, has  a TV and room for drinks, not to mention allowing you access to the front of the line - all for just double the cost of a regular ticket.

Yet our regular gondola car was very comfortable, featuring plush benches with seating for six occupants, air conditioning and tinted windows - which made our panoramic view of the Seattle waterfront view very enjoyable - NO squinting into the all too rare sunshine... As I chose to face towards the water, which the SuperWheel actually is partially suspended over. Looking straight out the state Ferryboats could be seen making their way to ‘N fro Bainbridge Island, the mountains in the distance, Cruise Ships, etc.

When Mary Jane sat opposite Mwah, she said she could see the venerable Viaduct freeway slated for demolition and replaced by a tunnel - the largest in the nation? With a circumference of 54-feet I believe... Noting she could see all of downtown plus the tops of the tiny automobiles on traversing the Viaduct from her elevated vantage point... As our ride lasted approximately 30-minutes with a total of five revolutions, including the one each to load & unload the other passengers - before we decided to dine at the adjoining restaurante, which I’m not sure if this was the one that its owner had dreamt of said Ferris wheel for some 30-years...


And now your humble scribe is back to the daily grind ‘O poondin’ out stories for Yuhs - whilst busy planning his next escape from Suburbia! Hmm? If only there was an IndyCar race to attend in Portland, eh?   

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