Thursday, November 27, 2014

BOOKES: The Age of Elegance..

So just what is the Age of Elegance? As No Fenders AZ Bureau Chief 'Snobyrd MJ says, its code for OLD age; Hya!

As the author Mary Jane has taken her real life experience of competing in a Miss Senior pageant in The Valley of the Sun earlier this year, having enjoyed the experience so much, she's decided to turn her adventure into a book revolving around a similar pageant with a host of new characters and exploits...

The Tomaso Files: Doggies, Dunes, Dungeness - All roads lead to the "Other" Florence...

The Mighty Grand Coulee Dam. (Image source:
But where's the Turkey; Dude! Oh, Yuhs don't mean the one who "fowled" up the Jersey Turnpike all those years ago? Like I think that Byrd's TOAST; Hya!

onwards  with another mushrooming story; did somebody say mushrooms - Hooah! Like what about the Stuffing, Yams, Cranberry, Mash Potatoes, light or Dark, Wee-Wee!

Continuing on with another Award Winning yarn from thy cellars 'O Nofendersville loosely crafted 'round Thanksgiving; Hey! Don't forget the Vino, albeit NO idea if another of my long ago stories is still up-to-date Vintner-wise, which Y'all can check out from another  Nofendersville vintage, circa '08;

Alas, as many of Y'all may be traveling over this Turkey-Lurkey weekend, what better time than to roll out the remaining  portion 'O my long simmerin' recap. Roll out the Barrel; Err, somebody toss me a Biscuit! As I haven't even dipped into the Shiraz yet!

As this recap of our recent trek to Oregon's Sand Dunes isn't racing related per sei, like Dude! think you've still got some sand stuck You Know Where; Hooah!

nevertheless, I'm including I-T as the Deluxe Travel Notes edition loosely recapping where we hung out during our glorious two-weeks plus Holiday along the Pacific coast. Thus, if Y'all are  looking for some "Hard Hittin'" racing action; Hya! Then please come back to No Fenders shortly!

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!

Florence Travel Notes
After having been picked-up by Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen the day prior, we finally departed from our Tacoma "lair" sometime around noon, (Thurs, 9/4) making another stop, in the multiple errands run upon our way southwards, with our final stop being at Cabella's in Olympia, where I was (correctly) coerced  into purchasing a Mondo' "King-size" cot, which soon became a favourite with thy FURR-rocious lap Hoonds' Mad Molly and thy Pixolator, albeit I felt sorry for them; especially Mad Molly, since they couldn't quite clear the edge of the cot when trying to clear I-T like a hurdler clearing the High Bar; KERR-LUNK; YEE-IKES!

Having spent the first night at our "top Secret" "V2" Campsite upon the Columbia River, on the Warshington' side of the Mighty Columbia! I mused how our campsite's number V2 should be easy to remember, since after all  the Germans used a devastating rocket of the very same designation to reign down terror upon the citizens of London during World War II!

As why can I still remember  the man in charge of this weapon's development name being Wernher Von Braun some 70yrs plus after its invention? Perhaps because of his later involvement as the father of the Saturn 5 rocket; but I digress...

The renown Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen and her two almighty Assistants Molly & Pixie upon the mighty Florence (Oregon) Sand Dunes. (The Tomaso Collection)
Sitting in the miniscule boarding line Friday afternoon for our non-descript 9-car "Ferryboat," which had zero Superstructure, (upper decks) which I'm use to upon our  typical Ferries plying the Puget Sound waters; whilst Mary Ellen was busy making me one of my countless meals, I was startled by what initially sounded like a Billy-goat; BAHHHHHHHH?

Nope, that's  a Cow Mary Ellen replied... (Nothin' WRONG with my "Super Hearing," Eh; HUH?) As the vehicle directly in front of us was towing a trailer with said animal in I-T! Holy Lunch Milk Batman; Hooah!

As this is the first time I'd ever seen a Cow being transported on a Washington State Ferry, although apparently this one wasn't escaping like my favourite Bovine!

Yet like I said, this AIn'T NO typical Ferryboat, since its only apparent super-structure was the pilot's wheelhouse, and continuing on with this downright low-key affair, the relative calm was broken by a loud "Wolf-whistle," proclaiming us to get a move-on! C'mon Yuhs 'lil "Doggies," it's time to board for the once-an-hour 15min sailing across the  Mighty Columbia (River) as that'll be five-dollars please.

'Whale, actually, I've now discovered that this ferry's run by Wahkiakum County - named in honour of Chief Wahkiakum, with the  County being established  in 1854, as I've got NO idea if the chief and his Chinook Indians had the pleasure of meeting Lewis and Clark 'Wayback in 1805? Uhm, wasn't it Chris Columbus bringing the Turkey? Or was it Peter Puget instead in 1792? Inquiring Minds wanna Know; Hooah!

According to WICKEDpedia', (Wikipedia) Wahkiakum County is the second least populated county in Washington State, with just barely over 4,000 occupants. (2013 estimate) And Cathlamet is its largest town, some 530-plus residents strong; where Mary Ellen rejoiced over its Grocery Store in the middle of NOWHERE having everythingy under the Sun!

As the Julia Butler Hanson Bridge built in 1938 connects Cathlamet to Puget Island on the Southern Washington side; which I'd never heard of, seen or visited before this leisurely trip down the coast to Florence, Oregon via the less traveled back-roads...

Previously, I learned about the late American icon Woody Guthrie's song whilst watching some program on thy Telie' a longtime ago, as perhaps it was some Modern Marvels  TV Show? Extolling the mammoth task of building the Grand Coulee Dam, which saw water first cascade over its Gynormous 550-foot tall structure in June, 1942 - ultimately being harnessed to generate power for the then ultra Top Secret Manhattan Project...

Mr. Guthrie was commissioned in 1941 to write a "Propaganda" theme song for the Bonneville Power Administration, (BPA) the regional power administration seeking to popularize support for Federal control of the regions eleven dams  sprouting up upon the mighty Columbia,  most notably the Bonneville and Grand Coulee dams. As I tend to believe he earned the tidy sum of $200 for his 26-song ballad.

While another American icon, simply known as JFK, nee John F. Kennedy stopped at the nearby Hanford Nuclear Reservation on September 26, 1963 as part of his five state visit to inaugurate the construction of N Reactor, another nuclear generator utilized for the ever growing Arms race with the Soviet Union's groundbreaking.

Ironically, in what was probably his last public appearance in Washington, while championing nuclear power, with N Reactor building more Plutonium bombs, Kennedy's trip was to promote conservation...

Actually, there's lots of history regarding JFK's visits to the Pacific Northwest, including his "Presidential Cold" when he bailed out on attending the 1962 World's Fair closing at Seattle Center, telephoning in instead, whilst intertwined in something called the Cuban Missile Crisis...

For our second night's stay, we ended up at a most unusual campground, after having been unable to find  any State Park campgrounds to our satisfaction, albeit, we did meet a very nice  Park Host  lady at Manhattan Beach (Oregon) who'd offered us some suggestions. As she  and her husband lived in a Mondo' RV which they rented out during winter before returning to Quartzsite, a place I've never heard of somewheres in the Arizona Desert, which she claims swells to a 'Mega population of one million during winter; CRIKEYS! And is supplied by a host of various water trucks...

thus we ended up in Bay City; NO! Not the home of the Bay City Rollers; Hooah! C'mon Lads, those Mates were from Scotland when it was governed by Britain; OOPS, Oh Never Mind! Thus, instead, we'd decided to Bed Down for the evening in Bay City,  Oregon, at its City Park where one can camp for the ridiculously low price of $12 per night; SOLD!

For seconds; Err thy second portion of this Deluxe Travel story, see; The Tomaso Files: Doggies, Dunes, Dungeness 'N the "Other"Florence - Where a Good Time was had by All...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Ferrari's version of Black Monday...

Although not a big surprise, nevertheless, FIAT Head Honcho Sergio Marchionne wasted no time implementing his version of sacking  the head coach the day after the season's fini! As the Scuderia Ferrari's Team Principal Marco Mattiacci has effectively been fired less than one year on the job...

Cannot ever recall such a tumultuous season for la Scuderia, with not only one but two Team Principal's being "sacked" in one season, not to mention a massive cleaning of house, with Maranello top cheese Luca Cordero di Montezemolo "retiring," along with other key figures Stefano Domenicali and Luca Marmorini "Leaving the Building!"

As surely Seb' Vettel & Co face an uphill  battle next  year getting la Scuderia to gallop not only ahead of Mercedes and Red Bull, but also "Team Willy," nee Williams...

AUTOS: Florence Rods 'N Rhodies Car Show - 'Vette's 'N More

1965 Corvette Stingray. (Image source:
Never fear Ladies 'N Germs; Hya! The Show's almost over, as we're finally on the home stretch of this Mondo' Car Show review, as I  race back to Nofendersville to put another log on the fire 'N dream alongside my uncle; Oh Never Mind!

More 'N More  Rods'
Prior to initially viewing the AWESOME AMX, we'd run across a 1967 Corvette for which I'd not paid close Attenzione to, and  originally scribbled down in my notes that its interior was Elkhart Blue? To which after scouring  Al Gore's wondrous invention, thee A-L-L knowing Internetz; Hya! Have discovered instead, that Elkhart Blue was one of three body colours offered that year, while the car sported a blue interior and reputedly was the very last 'Vette produced in February, 1967.

Passing by the center of the show's boundaries, where a DJ was casually calling out raffle ticket winners, of which I recall one being for A-L-L of UZE GARDENERS! A pair of solar powered lighted Mickey & Minney Mouse Statuettes; EUREKA!

Then back to the music, as that timeless classic, the Beach Boys 'lil 409 began wailing! With other Hits such as Rhonda and I Get Around wafting thru the crowd as we made our way further down the street.

Approaching a red '65 'Vette, I asked Mary Ellen: Is that a Corvette, which are the ENEMY! Oh, why is that? Cause Corvette's raced against the Cobra and Mustang, and Chevy's are the ENEMY!

To which unexpectedly she told its very nice  owner, Tomaso doesn't like Corvette's because they're the ENEMY and he's an ex-Ford Mustang guy; SWELL! Thanks A lot Mary Ellen! To which his answer totally perplexed me. Telling us 'Vette's are great  to look at but I'm told Mustang's handle better; would you agree?

Yet, I later mused to Mary Ellen that the '65 Stingray has always been one of my favourite Corvettes, ever since watching weekly a long forgotten TV Show on NBC, featuring an AWESOME black '65 Stingray, with the show appropriately being titled Stingray, starring Nick Mancuso. (1985-87)

The very friendly man, who'd later tell us he was 67 and retired,  was 80% Deaf, as I immediately picked up when his cell phone rang. As it was the wife calling and he ran the conversation thru a Bluetooth connection in his ear, whilst I could HEAR the entire conversation.

That's the wife coming down from the Hotel; it's her car. After she got diagnosed with cancer we bought the car. Hey, you only live once  in life, right? So she picked everything out on the car, colour, amenities, etc. As we've upgraded  it quite a bit, like adding power steering, power brakes, etc. The only thing missing that the wife wanted  is AC, but we don't need it in the Vette! Which may have been a convertible? But I don't think so, just simply distracted too much by his and Mary Ellen's entertaining conversation...

She next ended up talking to  a man, who'd bought an 'Ol coffin hauler, i.e.; Coroner's vehicle for $100 off his friend after they'd rescued it from a field it was abandoned in. He then kept it in climate controlled  storage for some 30+ years before finally restoring I-T! Yada-yada-yada...

Meanandered past more Chebbies', primarily Bel Air's, along with another Nomad; having never seen two Nomad's at one car show before. Scooted  past the solitary "FoMoCo"  Mustang on display, a stock looking 1969 coupe, which brought back memories of Tomas Sr. taking a very impressionable Tomaso for a drive in his one morning and saying,  let's see what she can do; claiming he'd pegged the speedometer at 120mph on the Freeway! Like I told Yuhs, I was young 'N impressionable 'Wayback then...

Lastly, was a  1960 23-window VW van, in a pretty shade 'O green. And as we chatted  with its co-owner, we were interrupted by some man saying $110, 120? Wanting to know what she'd take for the vehicle?

Oh, that's our Kid's college fund and we've got four kids who'll need six years of college each, so I wouldn't take anything under $150,000; SHEISA! To which the man retorted; thought so, as it's the most expensive vehicle here! And I've seen them auctioned off for around that...

Standing there somewhat shell-shocked; Hey! I don't typically hang out around six-figure vehicles on a daily basis; Hya! Although I do recall this very same model fetching a then surprising $100k  at a Scottsdale Barrett Jackson auction - with Mega Home builder Ron Pratt the recipient.

The cheerful woman said; Oh, I don't know where my Husband's at, but he's been a VW nut all his life, and we've got a 66 Beetle which I was driving when I had the twins, but we simply needed more room after expanding to four; YIKES!

It's got and he's taken it down the drag strip a few times, to which Mary Ellen enquired; what's NOS? To which I quickly replied is laughing gas for your car, i.e.; nitrous oxide - to which the woman, who I think said she was in her mid-forties?  Concurred, explaining why the engine needed to be  "built," in order to handle the extra horsepower demand. Also noting how her Hubby' hadn't been quite sure 'bout taking I-T out of its trailer that morning, as it'd threatened to rain with low hanging fog giving a mist to the air when we'd first arrived.

Saying our Goodbye's, we needed to go check upon the FURR-rocious lap Hoonds' pulling Guard Duty in our "A Team" look-alike van, before we'd unsuccessfully attempt locating the 26 cars that had dropped in on their way to another Car Show in California and simply headed off to the local grocery store instead.

Leaving the  store, Karmically Mary Ellen spotted an English Bloke' exiting a VW Campervan and summarily chatted him up! As I finally joined the conversation as he mused how he'd sold his first 23-window bus for $400! Then his wife joined him whilst he was showing off all of the working amenities inside the van while regaling how he'd bought the bus sight-unseen, before saying they had to get going.

As Mary Ellen later informed me they were in their  early 80's, and were definitely "Weather Worn," ironically staying two nights in our very same secluded campground...

Although I have NO idea if there's an 'Offical Popular Best of Show Award, Y'all know where simply everybody attending votes upon their favourite. Thus, as per usual, I did my own, very unscientific voting, with my Top-3 winners being, Tuh-Duh; are Yuhs really surprised?

1) 1970 AMC AMX
2) 1941 Willys Americar
3) 1965 Corvette Stingray