Wednesday, March 6, 2013

TexxArse Twister - Austin does F1 in style...


2012 Austin F1 Fan program handed out at airport upon arrival...
Howdy Folks, another year, another story woefully late from the overflowing No Fenders Storybox, as ‘Indy bureau chief Daniel Baines Cooper cheekily quipped last November; what NO ‘Confuzers in Texas? And I suppose Y’all don’t have TV’s either? As sorry folks, but I don’t have a laptop, do TWIT-er or Facebook - thus unable to do any “live” reporting; whilst preferring utilizing ‘Lucy, my ESS-Steamed Screen-reader whilst poondin’ slowly aways upon my old school’s desktop keyboard, hence the stories like fine wine, take awhile to reach their maturation date...

As perhaps Y’all will recall that your humble No Fenders scribe attended last year’s inaugural Formula 1 race at Austin, Texas - the first F1 race Stateside in five years time, having attended my last USGP at Mother Speedway in ‘Twenty-oh-six when some chap named Michael Schumacher stole the show! As I still revel in the memory of doing my bestest ‘lil German boy baton conducting symphony maestro to the soothing sounds of the Italian national anthem at Indianapolis, following the German anthem towards the end of this never ending playing of country songs for DER TERMINATOR and la Scuderia, (his Ferrari Constructor) once again standing upon the top step of the podium; but I digress...

Tues, 11/13
Some of Y’all who may know Mwah? Would be shocked to learn that I purposely decided to forgo thee Power Trio, nee ‘Kuhnadiun Krunch, aka RUSh concert taking place that very same evening at Seattle’s Key Arena in favour of getting up at the obscene time of 3:30AM in  order  to go to the airport instead for the long day’s trek to Austin, Texas; YIKES! As I can only imagine this is what Grizzled ‘Journo Joe Saward does on a weekly basis during the Grand Prix season, eh?

And its pretty STUPID how the airlines deliberately take great pains to ensure that NO direct flights to Austin are available, ergo like trying to get to Indianapolis non-stop; but I digress again, as I don’t want ‘CARPETS to get all worked up over my travel details, right?

Arriving at Austin via a 32-minute flight from Houston, I was greeted by another of the multitude ‘O escorts assisting me, who promptly offered me another wheelchair ride to baggage where Nelie was to meet me. The funniest part about this, was having folded up my white cane, and as Mary Ellen has informed Mwah; you don’t sport the traditional “Ray Charles” dark sunglasses look - so you’re obviously NOT blind...

Thus as we exited the security perimeter a woman was standing in the hallway passing out F1 magazines, to which my escort stopped so the lady could stick one into my lap, even though I couldn’t read I-T! Riding the elevator the man said can I look at it? But kudos to Austin for going this extra mile, as who knows how many of these magazines they handed out the week prior to the Grand Prix; while my escort also boasted he’d already seen Mario Andretti walking thru the airport - which is funny since I agreed with Danny that Mario would obviously be flying on his own personal jet and going first class the entire weekend as part of his compensation for being the Circuit Of The Americas ambassador...

After picking up my luggage, as don’t get me started on the STUPID bag fee - we went to my very first Sonic burger resturante, as apparently Tuesday evenings are half-price burger nights. This was before I fell into a stupour - of Sleep Danny! After my day’s travel...

Wed, 11/14
After a peaceful morning’s slumber, it was funny to listen to the local ‘Internetz only KUOW2 Tacoma, WA broadcast and the day’s weather forecast, not to mention being two hours behind time wise... Thus I listened to a program I’d never heard of before called the Diane Reims Show and a very interesting and intellectual writer named Wendell Berry, who I’d never heard of before - as the people calling in all seemed to gush over this person and his wisdom with words, as I very much enjoyed his no-nonsense approach by telling the listeners I didn’t change you, you have to change yourself. As apparently this is one person to definitely check out his works of literature.

And whilst Clyde pittled about outside, I listened to a Fresh Air program discussing the book Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness with its author, Susannah Cahalan which was all about a very rare brain disorder - which literally makes your head feel like its on fire and causes a range of what we deem irrational behaviours...

Austin’s skyline with the Congress Avenue Bridge, Town Lake and tree-framed cityscape. (Source: istockphoto.com)
Afterwards, we piled into ‘claudio’s well worn PickemUp truck and lumbered down Congress Ave. towards downtown Austin before parking upon a side street prior to crossing the bridge. Thus, on an absolutely perfect fall day, or summer to your Seattleite  scribe, weather-wise, i.e.; mid-70’s (deg-f) we went upon a brief ‘Walkabout and henceforth crossed over the famous Congress Avenue bridge which is known for its multitude ‘O bats that live underneath it. As I was told up to two million bats take up residence underneath the structure during summertime, before flying south for the winter.


Clyde & I made our way to the local transit office in order for him to acquire his senior citizen bus pass and then meandered about the downtown area having spotted work already in progress for the weekend’s forthcoming Fan Fest. As Clyde mentioned there was a large delivery style truck sporting the word Pirelli upon it parked in the square area being set-up for the fast approaching Fan Fest forum.

Having walked around the small square, we headed back towards the bridge now facing into the sun, stopping briefly for Clyde to point out to Mwah the cities skyline of hotel buildings behind us, as far as the eye could see. Then we passed by a giant construction project where a multi-story condominium building was being built before heading home and a relatively lazy evening...

Thurs, 11/15
The lazy morning routine continues, as this is the quiet before the storm soon to be known as Formula 1. Thus I started the day by listening to Diane Reims once again, and found it delightfully refreshing to hear her call BULLSHIT on one of her guests who’d called Hogwash upon his opposite number in the debate on the impending shortage of commercial aeroplane pilots. Diane said you’re welcome to disagree but that type of language won’t be tolerated on my show; how quaint.

As my poorly scribbled notes start off by denoting the range of emotions the day’s activities bring. As it was very disturbing to listen to the (Diane Reims) program about Covenant House and the issue of parents physically abusing and abandoning their children upon their coming out over their sexual preferences, as I was aghast over the thought of making teenagers homeless simply because they decide to become gay or lesbians - which in turn led to the discussion of being taken advantage of on the streets as hired sex workers typically leading to sexual diseases or even death...

So, from potential aeroplane pilot shortages, to homeless teenagers and life on the streets we then segwayed to recycling and two truckloads of refuge to the local Ecology Action facility in the heart of downtown Austin, which seems somewhat surreal; as this would be akin to having a recycling station smack-dab in downtown Seattle, say like at the site of Century Link Field; Y’all know where those astounding Seahawks play some ‘lil ‘Ol Pigskin game., right?

2013 ROUSH Stage 3 Mustang at PLYMOUTH, Mich. April 4, 2012. (Source: roushperformance.com)
On finishing unloading our second load of recyclables, Clyde noticed two NARLY looking Mustangs and asked if I wanted to go look at them? Uh, Duh! So he drove across the street and parked nearby them. Exiting the dilapidated ‘Feurd’s (Ford) cab, Clyde asked me: What’s Rousch Charged? Holy Superchargers Batman! That’s in as of Jack Roush fame, who builds a truly BAD ARSE “Tuner” Mustang and the Charged bit obviously means they’re supercharged dude! NO idea if these were the all conquering Stage III beasts or not, but they were so BAD ARSE lookin’ I’m just gonna ARSE-sume they were the *540bhp” Stage III behemoths Roush Performance is currently producing.


Clyde asked the two male occupants what they were up to? As the two ‘Stangs sat idling, albeit eerily quiet for such nastiness shoehorned underneath the custom bonnet, as Clyde remarked they sure didn’t look like NO FREAKIN’ stock Mustang! As one of the gentlemen told him they were just looking up directions for Highway 71; Oh, are you going to COTA? Yep, nice, we’ll see Yuhs at the track tomorrow as the two “Slime Green” (lime green) Roushes with no license plates, instead just sporting paper tags slithered away under a low rumble...

Funnier yet, was after those two beasts left us in their rear view mirror, we were passed by a rosso Ferrari 360 Modena or 430? As I can no longer discern my ‘Exoticarz due to what I’ve coined as my “Jellybean vision,” i.e.; everything just looks like a huge freaking coloured blob from a distance to Mwah these days...


Returning home and having consumed one of Nelie’s countless fine meals, the two lads ventured off to the neighboring town of Buda, Texas in search of the State Park where this ‘lil town was hosting the warm-up act for the weekend’s Fan Fest in Austin, as we arrived “Justin-time” to hear the local band named Charlie Hurt ‘N The Hecklers take the stage in what was now becoming a very cool evening. As I cannot explain I-T; BUTT this band’s harmonics were so bad (purposely out of tune?) that I actually began to sorta like them in a strange, twisted, funny Ha-Ha type ‘O way... As this made me think that perhaps this is what a true “Honky-tonk” band sounds like?


Then there seemed like an overly long delay to reposition the stages instruments for the night’s featured act: Kim Wilson and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, which I’d only ever heard their one hit song “Tough Enough” on the radio before. As they actually sounded quite good, and Kenny Sargent of Speed Freaks fame claims ‘Ol Kim Wilson can sweat up a storm if Yuhs let him, whatever that means? As Clyde noted it looked like the only original member of the band was Messer Wilson, with the rest of the band mates looking quite a bit younger.

We stayed awhile, as they played a bit of music off of  their forthcoming 2013 CD before they played that hit song Tough Enough before Clyde & myself now becoming quite cold and needing to awake at Oh DARK 30 to go to the racetrack tomorrow called it a night...

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