Thursday, February 29, 2024

F1: Another Tsunami looming?

Or can the opposition temper this Freak ‘O nature?


Forgive me for the lack of any riveting Pre-season Formula 1 banter Y’all! But as Yuhs know, I’m simply out of the loop right now. Not to mention having considerably “cooled” upon Formula 1 due to whom Claudio’ coned as the Dutch Tsunami’s utter domination!


Y’all know that pesky ‘lil Pipsqueak named Maximilian Verstappen! Whose made a total mockery out of Formula 1! Although I still swear large parts of His success is due to someone named Adrian Newey and His amazing racecar designs.


Thus I’ve totally missed  the past weeks riveting three days February 21-23 winter testing at Bahrain International Circuit. Where I’d expect that Red Bull and MaxiMillions’ were on top again, unless they’re just keeping Thar “Powder Dry” for the regular season.


While I do know that the first two races of the stupendously long season are being held on Saturday in order to not clash with Ramadan in the Middle East.


As the Bahrain Grand Prix at Sekir takes place this Saturday, March 2nd, and possibly the first day of F1 practice has already ended? Followed by the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on the streets of Jeddah commencing March 9th.


Unfortunately, due in large part to the current Power Unit (PU) development freeze we’re in until 2026. Along with Adrian Newey’s brilliance! I’m resigned to MaxiBoy’ (Verstappen) Blitzing the field for another two years, Sigh! And being a five times World Champion by 2025, Groan!


As the $64k Question is whether or not either McLaren, Ferrari or Mercedes can actually pose a proper fight agains Max?


Since obviously these are the only three Formula 1 teams I can see possibly giving Max some grief! Not to mention you can never rule out ‘Ol Frederico Suave, aka Fernando Alonso. Although I don’t know how good the Aston Martin will be this year?


Yet with zero driver changes upon the grid for the first time in forever. Y’all would think this itself should allow for some condensing of the talent gap to Verstappen and Red Bull? 

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

F1: Racing Bulls is the latest Nom de Plume

“As what’s in your Wallet?” Err that’s somebody  else’s Tag-line…


Surely the outcome for the Faenza based squad that began life as Minardi will be far better than the short lived Lola Mastercard F1 Team’s outcome!


Yep, this is old news, but I’m just finally getting into the swing ‘O things here upon No Fenders. Having totally enjoyed my sabbatical away from Zed Keyboard, and being the first story I’ve scribbled since…


And even though it’s latest official name is Visa Cash App RB Formula 1 Team. And reputedly there was internal pressure over not using the moniker Racing bulls. For ease of typing, along with not pimping for a Credit Card Behemoth! I’ll just use Racing Bulls to delineate what former Austin F1 Sherpa Claudio’ proclaimed as the ‘lil Bullz’ many Moons ago…


Longtime Team Boss Franz Tost, (now 68yrs old) has been replaced by new Team Principal Laurent Mekies, who previously worked for la Scuderia, aka Ferrari. Whilst Peter Bayer  becomes it’s new Chief Executive Officer. (CEO)


And it’s new Chief Technical Officer is somebody named Tim goss. Hmm, where have I heard that name recently?


Oh yeah, Goss was the FIA’s previous Single Seater Technical Delegate before resigning, apparently to take up His new role at RB F1.


And lastly, Jody Egginton is the team’s latest Technical Director, who I’ve never heard of before.


Meanwhile, last year’s drivers pairing of DannyRic’, aka Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda remain, and will compete aboard this year’s F1 chassis known as the VCard 01, still powered by the All conquering Honda-RBPT Power Unit. (PU)


As the Red Bull “B Team” with strengthened ties to Milton Keynes, will obviously wish to move forward from it’s lowly eighth-place Constructors ranking this year… 

Monday, February 26, 2024

Thoughts upon IndyCar’s current Engine dilemma

As I Hate to say this, but what’s Indy Cars NXT move?


In a forever languishing story I’ve intended to scribble here upon No fenders for years regarding the long forgotten Luddi’ lumps’. For which Engine Developments Limited, a racing engine manufacturer founded by John Judd and Jack Brabham during the early 1970’s built those unsuccessful Lotus IndyCar engines campaigned briefly during the 2012 IndyCar season.


As I still recall No Fenders Offical Photographer Carpets’ asking the late Dr. Who, aka Tim Wardrop tongue-in-cheek if He wanted Him to throw something on-track? In order to bring out a caution so “Mean Jean” (Alesi) could catch-up to the pack?


As that was when sitting in the IMS Flagroom having a few Adult beverages and just Joshin’ around following Carb Day practice, where bothLotus powered entries had been dead last!


Making it hard to believe that it will have been twelve years ago come this May! Since I also fondly recall Dr. Who asking me incredulously, What’s a Last Row Party? But I digress…


As I’ve previously scribbled a brief version of Honda’s IndyCar history in my three part tome about Honda celebrating it’s 75th Anniversary, so no need to reinvent the wheel here.


As I first became aware of Judd engines Wayback’ in 1988. When Team Willy’, ergo Williams F1 had lost it’s supply of then Honda’s All Conquering 1.5-litre twin turbo V-6 lump’ to Arch rivals McLaren. Primarily due to Il Lione’, Red 5’, Bloody Nige’ or simply Nigel Mansell wringing the stuffing out of His underpowered Judd CV V-8!


Since for some vague reason, I rememberd that Bloody Nige’ had stood on the podium at Silverstone that year. Actually finishing runner-up to McLaren’s Ayrton Senna. With Alessandro Nannini third in the Benetton Ford, while Mansell also set Fastest lap during the race.


Judd then built the narrow angled EV V-8 lump’ before constructing the GV V-10 engine, for which I’d forgotten JJ Letho finished third for BMS Scuderia Italia in the ’91 San Marino Grand Prix no less.


Since I tend to recall that the naturally aspirated Judd V-10’s had far more success in Sports Car racing. With Kevin Doran inserting one into a Ferrari 333 SP! Along with winning the 2002 Rolex 24 in a Doran Lista Racing Dallara SP1 chassis.


Yet as mentioned, Judd provided Formula 1 customer engines during the 3.5-litre normally aspirated era of the 1990’s, mandated for the start of the 1989 F1 season. Not to mention building Honda’s first IndyCar engine Wayback’ in 1986, when it made it’s CART debut with Geoff Brabham driving for Galles Racing.


Thus Judd had extensive experience building racing engines for the top two Open Wheel Racing series, and you’d like to believe that this would have transferred successfully to it’s abortive 2012 IndyCar campaign, where it’s 2.2-litre turbocharged V-6 motor sadly became the laughing stock of Indy Cars, myself included!


As all I can figure is that obviously the Judd Lotus IndyCar engines were underdeveloped and once again lacked sufficient horsepower to challenge Chevy and Honda, both having more current IndyCar engine production and competition experience vs. Judd…


Having read Racer’s December 20, 2023 Mailbag, I came away with some new thoughts towards the conundrum of IndyCar’s current engine dilemma, due to Honda’s Mega’ Shot across the Bow warning over potentially leaving at the end of it’s current supply contract in 2026.


First, I now feel sort of glad that IndyCar hasn’t been able to lure a third engine manufacturer into the fray. Since if Toyota had joined, then Arse-sumedly with the exception of going Hybrid, we’d still be stuck in the same racing rut.


Having been fortunate to “Grow-up” during the CART Glory Days, including Groan, Nigel mania. Unlike what Marshall Pruett claims about today’s 20-something’s, I did care about the actual, individual engine manufacturer battle!


And being a died in the wool FoMoCo’ devotee. Naturally I was thrilled when Ford released it’s new Cosworth XB lump’ which was Uber competitive, followed by the XD Me Thinks…


Thus I have to admit I’m not at all interested in a single-spec engine formula as Honda’s Chuck Schifsky has proposed. Yet obviously I also do not wish to lose Honda from the series. Since a small part of my appeal to today’s IndyCar series is there being two engine manufacturers giving us amazing competition!


Initially I thought of why couldn’t IndyCar propose an engine development freeze period like Formula 1 is currently in? Although I don’t know if Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda/RBPT are still spending vast amounts of income for engine “reliability” updates?


Thus I liked one Mailbag reader’s question of why not implement a single source V-6 Short Block and allow engine manufacturers to develop their own cylinder head or some other portion of the engine?


Or am I just remaining a Dinosaur by not admitting the future of Automobiles and racing purely electrical?


As I still do not understand why none of the amazing F1 Hybrid technology has made it’s way into mainstream Automotive application today, some ten-plus years later?


Whilst as much as I detest IndyCar’s No. 1 Puffed Shirt Mark Miles. I do agree that IndyCar really cannot go forward until the current Hybrid Energy Recovery System (ERS) is properly sorted and working seamlessly in competition!


Especially since it’s such a complicated piece of Kit! Needing to be implemented into an existing design with exceedingly tight packaging constraints!


So perhaps the way forward in the future after all is to simplify the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) portion. And perhaps have either somebody like Engine Developments Limited or Cosworth or others win a tender to provide spec long block engines?


As I do realize whilst typing this that the lower tier LMP2 and LMP3 Sports Car categories for both European, Asian and North American series have currently been utilizing sole sourced spec engines…


Yet I just feel that this totally Dumbs down the DNA of top-flight motor racing series. Since would Formula 1 still be considered the Pinnicle of Motorsports running a single-spec Power Unit? (PU)


Or would there be such a proclaimedBuzz over IMSA GTP if the same sole specification Hybrid engine was required? Nor should IndyCar, the top Open Wheel Racing single seater category in North America be forced to do so…


Since after all, what’s that U.S. Open Wheel Racing series that currently utilizes single-spec chassis, engine and tyres? Oh yeah, Can Y’all say Indy NXT? 

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The Tomaso files: Pondering Life’s Changes

Uploading: 2230272 of 3519163 bytes uploaded.

No Fenders Head Scribe Tomaso poses with one of Florence’s maritime critters from the nearby Sea Lion Caves. (The Tomaso Collection)


“Time indeed in a Gypsy Caravan which will leave you stranded in Dreamland. And Distance is totally a long range filter.” As sing it Geddy!


Yeah, Arse-sumedly I’m still here Y’all, albeit still recovering from my very invasive Open Heart surgery!


Meaning I’m subjugating Yuhs to another of the plethora ‘O Canned stories I feverishly poonded’ out before going to Hospital. As I’ve just crossed the threshold of one month since having mechanical Heart valve replacement surgery Or even better yet, having received the Crossed flag for being Halfway through my recovery period!


As who would know that you cannot push, pull, liftor carry anything over 10lbs for eight weeks! And putting that into perspective that a gallon of milk weighs 8lbs. Whilst it’ll be two to three months before my sternum’s fully recovered, Yikes!


Hmm, what’s that ‘Ol Beatles song about Getting Better All the Time, Eh?


As the genesis for this riveting No Fenders yarn came via another of Marshall Pruett’s enjoyable Podcasts. Where Marshall spoke with John Edwards, the racer, upon His trading one cockpit for another…


As it’s hard for me to believe that I actually saw Edwards racing for Gerry Forsthye’s Red Bull backed Toyota Atlantics team at Portland International Raceway Wayback’ in Gory 2007! Not to mention that John began racing professionally before He’d earned His “pedestrian(civilian) ” Drivers license!


As Edwards, now 32, pragmatically talks about His decision to step away from His Werk’s BMW drive with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in favour of becoming a Aeroplane Pilot to support His Family.


Where Marshall points out the obvious. Telling Edwards do you realize how few racing drivers get to choose and go “Out” on their own terms?


And my learning of Edwards career change came whilst I was also pondering another’s career evolution. As Hoser’ Barry was the first to inform Mwah ofRush “Frontman” Geddy Lee’s latest book titled My F’ing Life!


As we debated the merits of Geddy’s singing voice, for which I still say sounded Horrible Wayback’ in the summer of 2015 when I last saw Rush performing during their 40th Anniversary tour at the Key Arena in Seattle, which forever will simply be known as the Coliseum to Mwah…


Next Barry informed me about Geddy having released at least two new songs. Most notably Gone, a Haunting, melodic tune obviously devoted to lost Bandmate Neil Pert, thee Rhythm Professor…


As listening to Gone made me realize how long it’s been since I’ve listened to Rush, albeit sporadically pulling up an occasional old Rush album on Youtube over the years. But still, I realized it had  been eight years last winter since I was still devoted to Rush.


As it was good to hear Geddy’s signature voice sounding good once again, and having lowered His octive range. Since after all, Geddy’s 70 Freakin’ years old now!


And while the more times I listen to the song, the more I enjoy it, along with the range of emotions it can bring to me. I still come away feeling somewhat hollow, since it just doesn’t seem to quite have the same punch with Peart playing Drums upon it.


Also listened last December to a very enjoyable 38-plus minutes interview, minus it’s sound wonkiness on Youtube with Geddy Lee when scribblin’ this. Hmm, perhaps my issues with sound quality is akin  to Geddy professing He’s a perfectionist, eh?


But as I’ve said repeatedly before. Y’all know that Blind people have Super powers, Righto?


The interview’s titled Geddy Lee on my F’ing life, Rush and the story of Neil Peart’s audition.


Naturally the portion about Neil’s death was very powerful, touching and made me cry. With Geddy explaining how underappreciated Neil had felt on Rush’s final tour about how nobody praised His epic drum solo. To which Geddy said, who’d know, Eh?


Yet Geddy also briefly touches upon how living in the past can be dangerous, and how He’s ready to get on with His life and pursue His “Pet” projects. Arse-sumedly including recording His own, new music…


All of which left me circling back to what initially Haunted me after being told by my Heart surgeon that He thought I’d be a good candidate for mechanical Heart valve replacement surgery.


Asking Mary ellen why did I deserve to get a second chance? Upon learning what the odds of my surviving without treatment were.


Further learning that the British Medical Journal notes upon patient’s symptoms being diagnosed with severe Aortic stenosis. They have as low as 50% survival rate at two years, and only 20% at five years if not treated, Aye Karumba!


As we’ve All heard those prophetic words of make the best of your second chance, as we only get one life!

 And we’re “Only Immortal for a limited time!” So make the best of it.


For which although totally true, has always come across as a cliché to me. For which now I’m struggling over how to do this very thing being in the Autumnal chapter of life… 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Ode to DannaCar (2023 Edition)

Yep! It's that time of the year once again to honour the Disco Queen of 'RASSCAR! Although I’ve got No idea  think She’s got a Valentine's suitor this year?


Having just learned that Danica and Carter Comstock Broke up over a year ago. Hmm? Isn’t “Tommy terrific,” aka Tom Brady available?


Nevertheless, here we go, And Ah One and Ah Two!


Toe to toe
Dancing very slow
Barely breathing
Almost comatose…


Wall to wall
People hypnotized
And they're stepping lightly
Hanging on her every move each night in Rapture

Back to back
Spineless movement
And a wild attack

Face to face
Sadly solitude
And it's finger popping

Twenty-four hour shopping

InDannaCar Land!

Flavour Flav HMS Monogram told me everybody's high
DJ's spinning' are saving' my mind
Flash is Fast, Flash is cool
Jacke Vanilla sez fast, Flashe' no do

And you try to stop

(Watching’ MAC Montoya, Sam Hornish & ALL those Open Wheel DEFECTORS!)


Just go out to the parking lot
Get in your car and you drive real far

Away from the track!

After you drive all night, you see a bright flashing light

And it comes right down and lands on the ground
And out pops a Girl in a shiny sequin bathing suit from RASSCAR!

And you try to run but She's got a gun
And She shoots you dead and “She eats your head
And then you're in the Girl from RASSCAR!

You go out at night, eatin' Racecars

 You eat Marches, Reynard’s, Swift’s and Panoz’s too…

And you don't stop, you keep on eatin' Single Seaters
Then, when there's no more Racecars left
You go out at night and eat up Open Wheel Racing series instead

Like Champ Car and the IRL

While ‘Ol timers desperately cling to fantasies of a renaissance…


Face to face, dance cheek to cheek

One to one, man to man
Dance toe to toe
Don't move to slow, 'cause the Girl from RASSCAR is cutting thru

(Excuse me HULIO!)


But Mrs. Hospenthal is through with the competition

‘cause She's been eatin' a ton ‘O snicker bars
Yeah, wall to wall, door to door, hall to hall
She's gonna eat 'em all


Be pure
Take a tour; through the sewer
Don't strain your brain

Just check out that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue instead!

And then say it real fast

Boog-itee- Boog-itee- Boog-itee!

Paint a train, cause you’ll be singing' in the rain

If dare ain’t some ‘Tin Tops on real soon
I say stop throwin those mountain dew cans at Pretty Boy Floyd

Junior Nation!

Just be good ‘ol boyzs and cheer for ‘dannaCar instead!

Well now you see what you want to be

Just like Mike, who’s trying to pump up ‘Dem Spin-Car ratings on TV
'Cause the Girl from RASSCAR won't eat Candy bars when She’s PEAK-ing

In the bright lights…


As now She's gone back up to MARS Where She won't have a hassle with the human race ‘cause now its ‘DannaLand!

And you hip-hop, and you don't stop
Just blast off, sure shot
'Cause the Girl from RASSCAR stopped eatin' Racecars
And now She only devours IndyCar

get up, ‘Cause She’s gone HOLLYWOOD!


(Original lyrics: Blondie, Rapture)


Originally written by Tomaso on Feb 15, 2008

(Last Modified: February 7, 2023) 

Friday, February 9, 2024

A few Drivers with Heart issues

Who’ve obviously had different life outcomes…


Naturally, as I’ve scribbled previously here upon No Fenders, Gil de Ferran’s unexpected Death on December 29, 2023 at age 56 was a total shock for Mwah! For which sent a Chill down my spine, especially since I was awaiting Open Heart surgery when Gil unexpectedly died!


I’m sure there’s been countless more racing drivers with Heart issues over the 37-odd years I’ve been dutifully following motor racing! But off the cuff I’m hard pressed to come up with many names. With only two popping up upon my internal Jukebox.


Obviously the most famous would be ‘Ol shel’, aka Carroll Shelby. As this legendous’ Texan raced with nitroglycerin tablets underneath His tongue, in case of having a Heart Attack whilst racing!


Nevertheless, Shelby who’s more famous for His Shelby cobra’s and winning the 24 Heurs du Mans as leader of Shelby American, Spearheading FoMoco’s (Ford Motor company) victories in 1966-67. Recently being immortalized in the 2019 film Ford v Ferrari, also won Le Mans as a driver in 1959 for Aston Martin with Roy Salvadori.


Shelby suffered from serious Heart issues for many hears before finally receiving His long awaited Heart transplant in 1990. Also having a Kidney transplant in 1996, before dying at age 89 in 2012.


As Shelby’s the only person I’ve paid for an autograph. Doing so in 1997 at Laguna Seca’s Monterey Historics. Where I readily agreed to pay $25.00 which was entirely donated to His Childrens Heart Fund! With ‘Ol shel’ doing His Texan bit by drawling son, what’s your name as I handed Him my Historics program.


The only other driver I could come up with, and I had to “google” His name, since I’d long forgotten the RASSCAR’ driver! Was Brian Vickers, who I knew once drove for the Red Bull Racing NASCAR team, which also featured A.J. Allmendinger, Scott Speed and others.


Vickers, whose now 40yrs old, ultimately had to retire from racing after suffering a bout of numerous Blood Clots before going on Blood “thinners”, which I’m told is misleading nomenclature! And really should be called Blood “Slipperiers” instead. Which I myself unfortunately have begun taking for life following my mechanical Heart valve replacement surgery…


And like De Ferran’s lifelong friend tony Kanaan said, although it was actually His wife Lauren who said you’re getting a Check-up! With TK’ admitting racing drivers are Athletes who Don’t go to the Doctor’s…


Whilst I never thought I’d be doing so myself here upon No Fenders, But! If you’re feeling Bad or not well like Gil was, then get yourself check out by a doctor immediately!


And if you have any sort of Heart palpitations or Arrythmia that lasts over five minutes like I did, (twice) Dial 911! As I feel extremely lucky that I got away with ignoring my first elongated Heart palpitation episode.


For which my Heart, Brain and body said five days later, apparently you didn’t get the Memo we sent you dude! Which like I said before, scared the Crap outta me!


And then, if like Mwah.  Having to persistently barrage my Primary Care Physician (PCP) throughout my ordeal, stay determined! Like seriously Dude, you want to know why I want a referral to a Cardiologist? Can you say severe Aortic stenosis, WTF!


Yeah, it’s Freakin’ fantastic becoming Old, cough-cough!


Naturally, that was what I’d uploaded onto Ye Blob’ a day earlier. Before hearing via my ESPN Online Motorsports Headlines news feed about Wilson Fittipaldi Jr.


As the 80 year old brother of Emerson suffered Cardiac Arrest on Christmas Day, also being Wilson’s birthday! As His wife later reported on His Instagram page, Her Husband had choked on a piece of meat whilst celebrating His 80th birthday before going into Cardiac Arrest!


Wilson was subsequently resuscitated and taken to Hospital where He was sedated and intubated, awaiting recovery. As Wilson’s son Christian Fittipaldi was at Hospital with Him…


Wilson raced in 38 Grands Prix, along with creating the Fittipaldi Copersucur F1 Team that competed between 1974-82. Briefly racing alongside His brother, Two-times Formula 1 World Champion. With Emerson further winning the Indianapolis 500 twice and the CART/IndyCar Championship once.


As hopefully Wilson’s made a speedy recovery since this incident! Making me ponder what is it about former Brazilian racing drivers? With these two incidents occurring four days apart… 

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

The Tomaso Files: My first Hospital experience

An “upright” Tomaso poses in Cosmopolis at a Blind person’s Crossing sign. (The Tomaso Collection)


As what’s that ‘Ol Jackson Browne song about “Doctor my eyes, tell me what is Wrong…”


Having Surgery for the very first time ever in my life at 60yrs young was an Eye opening experience, even if it was just an Angiogram procedure.


Now I’ve only donned a ridiculously thin paper Hospital gown once before when going to the ER for what turned out to be just a very nasty chest cold several years ago!


And since I wasn’t a priority case and my room was needed. I was ceremoniously wheeled out into the hallway and left in the corridor lying on a gurney waiting to be seen, and seen by everybody passing by! And after an hour and a half or longer? I stopped somebody and said I needed to eat something! Having a turkey sandwich before finally being X-Rayed. So that was my one unsettling “Hospital” experience…


Apparently to Mwah, something was lost in translation following my initial Cardiologist exam on November 21st, which was how I celebrated Turkey Lurkey Day! Although getting lucky once again, since this was the only appointment available in November, with everything else being in December, so I took it.


Explaining my Blindness and needing time and Help to set-up transportation to my Angiogram, for which my Cardiologist told me was my next step. He assured me thata Medical Social Worker (MSW) would be involved and He understood that I was Blind!


Thus naturally, Y’all can imagine my surprise when 24 hours later, the telephone rang with Cardiology ready to schedule my Angiogram, Say What! And being on the perpetual Fast-track, I chose the only December appointment available. Even though I could have pushed it out until January 5th, it’s check-in time was a ridiculous 5:30AM!


Fortunately, Poppa Bear Tomas Sr. and Step Mum’ Linda who’d live in La conner, Warshington’. Volunteered to drive the 400 miles and transport me to and from Springfield, Oregon, some 75 miles North East of Mwah.


Electing to spend the night in Springfield due to my 7:15AM check-in time. Tomas Sr. woke me up at 5:45AM to ensure not being late for my Angiogram. And being completely checked-in by 7:09AM and wanting to use the Loo’, ergo ‘lil boy’s room. Two Nurses were waiting patiently outside for me afterwards, to escort us to my Hospital room for the day.


My father helped me put on my Hospital gown, which although still unflattering, at least was of a thicker cotton material. Although obviously I couldn’t do up the button snaps on it’s backside! Before I clambered up into my awaiting Hospital bed.


Seated in my room and describing the beautiful, decorative curtain/room divider to me. Linda said that She guessed some of this was kind of new to me? For which I said you can take the words Kind of out of there! Since I’ve never had surgery before. And certainly have never had my groin shaved as the back-up incision site, Oh Boy!


Then my main Nurse Torina came in, who was great to me, although I kept wanting to call Her Torino. Hey, once a Car Guy, always a Car Guy! Even going so far as to explain the Torino bit to Her…


As the entire Nursing Staff were exceedingly kind & patient with me All day long! Although we swear, i.e.; my parents and I think they were using me as a Blind training “Dummy”, Hya!


Having put up two signs. One on my Hospital room’s door and another on my bed, without my knowing saying Legally Blind with a picture of a Blind person with a Cane. As I swear it felt like I had some 15-odd Nurses overall!


But every single person was exceedingly kind, polite and professional to me the entire day. Even caring to make sure my gown was pulled down when getting in ‘n out of my Hospital bed! To worrying about my taking too long in the bathroom after my Angiogram…


Even one of the Male Nurses in the operating room named Nate got in on this, saying He had a question for me. Having just transferred me onto the operating table. Asking me is there such a thing as Illegally Blind?


While another Female Nurse named Hope told me they’d be like a Pit-crew working on me. With a whole bunch of items on my chest, so if I needed to scratch an itch, please inform them. With Hope lightening the Operating “Theatre’s” mood by telling me about Her prior work with Guide Dogs and other bits of Humour.


Telling me when checking my shaved Groin about how waxing was gonna Hurt if they hadn’t prepared it correctly,  thanks sister!


And everyone was extremely attentive to me. As Audrey, the Head Nurse who read my consent form a second time in my Hospital room, before wheeling me down the Hallway to the third and final time in the Operating room changed Her words to possible Stint procedure, which I appreciated!


While I really like my Mom’s reply when I told Her I could even hear the clunk clunk clunk of the X-Ray machine processing the pictures. But of course you could! Hey, everybody knows Blind people have Super powers, Tuh Duh!


Afterwards back in my room, with a compression sleeve over my right arm’s incision. Some sort of medical monitoring device in the front pocket of my gown, and an automatic blood pressure device on my left arm Another Nurse wheeled in a portable EKG machine and warned me that Her hands were cold as She placed the various stickers All over my upper body to attach it’s electrical leads to. And then simply yanking the wire clips off before hastily departing.


While nobody told me that I couldn’t raise my arm to eat my turkey sandwich when the automatic blood pressure monitor kicked-in every 15mins. As it began beeping as I was trying to take my second bite…


And then when it was time to finally discharge me just after the Nursing Staff change, the new Nurse had a slap your forehead moment when Pops’ asked what about All of the EKG stickers still on me? For which the friendly Nurse said I’ll try to pull them off quickly…


Although true to His word, my Cardiologist got me in to “See” my Heart surgeon upon discharge. Even though the entire Cardiovascular Ward had gone home for the day. With my Heart surgeon patiently waiting round for me in His “Street Clothes”, so that I didn’t have to make a separate trip to Springfield for a consultation.


As it’s a very odd sensation being told that you’re too young for minimally invasive TVAR Heart valve replacement surgery.


And instead I’m having mechanical Heart valve replacement surgery performed on January 23, 2024, Yikes!


Musing to myself how I’ll be missing this year’s Rolex 24, and whatever else going on in the world of motor racing…


A few days later, somebody from the Hospital called to Follow-up on me. When asking for Feedback, I told Her they’d set the Bar extremely High for my first ever Hospital experience! Since the entire day went exceedingly well, and actually dare I say it? Fairly enjoyable for my first ever Hospital experience.


For which I can only hope my second surgery and subsequent five day stay in Hospital goes as well!


As it will be a very short four months and seven days from my first elongated Heart palpitation/Arrythmia episode to Heart surgery, which seems exceedingly quick to Mwah! Before I endure my eight weeks recovery period.


Or putting it into perspective. That’s 53 days shorter than this year’s IndyCar Offseason! (182 days)

For which presumably I should be well enough to listen to the first IndyCar race from St Pete on March 10th. And definitely that Whose your Daddy Sweepstakes Gala event in the Californian desert March 24th… 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Tomaso files: How Blogging Saved my Life!

Tomaso with His favourite Hoond’ Hang 10’ Hilo at one of His favourite Beaches upon Ye Oregonian Coast. (The Tomaso Collection)


Although I cannot describe how much Blogging has become a daily ritual in my life to Y’all. Or how much I enjoy the physicality of typing words on a keyboard…


Having religiously poonded’ out riveting Blog stories here upon No Fenders for over 17 years now, it’s funny what I’ve divulged and kept to myself All of those years. Since I’m always leery of putting too much info on Al Gore’s wonderous invention, Hya!


Yet I was somewhat bemused when recently Googling my name to instantly learn what city I currently live in, my age and former cities I’ve resided in. Not to mention apparently my address, phone number and email address…


No “Life’s a Bowl of chocolates” analogies here! But it is amazing what we Humans allow to cause stress in our daily lives! As stress has to be one of the largest killer, Righto? Along with coronary Heart disease!


Moving into my Bungalow by the Sea in Bumfiddle’ Florence, ironically on the very same day that thee Young wicky’, ergo Robert Wickens suffered His Horrendous accident at Pocono! Upon establishing a new “General Practitioner,” (Primary Care Physician) I was surprised when He told me that I had a Heart murmur. Before He performed an EKG during my initial exam visit along with ordering an Echo Cardiogram.


Being Blind, have I mentioned that lately, Y’all? I depend upon verbal or electronic information, since naturally I cannot read written information. And not being informed of the My Chart electronic patient portal system back then. Along with my “GP” not saying a Bloody word! I never knew the results of said Echo Cardiogram…


Thus I went about my daily life and merrily blogging away, totally clueless over what Heart palpitations or what is also known as Arrythmia was. And when I had these random, sporadic palpitations over the next several years. I foolishly said it was just my Heart murmur talking to me…


Fast forwarding to last Fall. A Fortnight following Marcus Ericsson’s birthday, in the middle of the night I awoke to the longest, most severe episode of Heart palpitations I’d ever had, lasting over an hour! Although I had gotten creeped out listening to the Cabinet of Curiosities book about harvesting Body parts to extend one’s life expectancy over 100 years that evening…


The next few days I wound myself up into a frenzied lather trying to poond out copious blog stories for your consumption whilst on Holiday Up North Eh celebrating another milestone birthday.


Furiously Poondin’ away on my No Fenders five part Triple Crown Sports Cars winners tome. For which I’m happy to say after the fact, was some of the most read blog stories last Fall! Which makes it somewhat worthwhile.


Yet ultimately the stress this put upon my ‘Ol ticker’, for which I could feel my chest tightening wasn’t a good thing! Especially since I have No set deadlines to publish anything! Other than the internal deadlines I set upon myself…


Five nights later after “watching”, Err listening to Who’s Coming to dinner on Turner Classic Movies. (TCM) Ironically Spencer Tracy’s final Film, dying of a massive Heart attack 17 days after filming ended. I had my second, and far worse Arrythmia episode! Lasting intermittingly from late evening to early nextmorning, Holy Heart Palpitations Batman!


Calling my GP’s office and saying I wanted to see a Cardiologist Stat! A triage Nurse phoned me later that evening during dinner and asked me what my symptoms were?


After a long silent, pregnant pause. She asked are you Married? Do you have a Girlfriend? A Boyfriend? Before informing me they All would have said Dial 911 immediately!


She then said that my Doctor had a next day appointment available and could I make it? To which I did so, since obviously my two elongated episodes of Heart palpitations, especially the second one scared the Crap outta me!


My Doctor, whose actually just a “PA” (Physician’s Assistant) told me He still heard my Heart murmur during my exam. And then ordered a second Echo Cardiogram nearly some five years later. Along with the wearing of a 14-day Heart monitor.


Now here’s where it begins getting Funny, HaHa! Having asked my GP if it was Ok to where my Heart monitor Up North Eh! To Oh Kanaduh’ to celebrate my birthday. He said they’ve got Hospitals in Canada, where are you going? Into the Bushes? As I had no idea He was a comedian some five years later…


Scheduling called me for my Echo Cardiogram and began by saying they were booked way out into mid-December. Wait a minute, we’ve just had a cancellation, can you come on Sunday, October 1st? I’ll take it! Being less than a week since I’d seen my Doctor…


Amazingly, and She recognized me immediately when “Fetching” me, presumably since I’m one of the very few individuals in our sleepy Seaside town who utilizes a white cane. It was the same Female technician who’d done my previous Echo Cardiogram at the beginning of 2019. And Alarm Bells instantly began ringing when She told me to tell Her what’s going on and why was I there?


Needless to say, I was stunned to learn during the course of an Hour’s plus thorough exam, that I had progressed from moderate to severe Aortic stenosis, SHIT!


Since All my doctor had told me during that prior exam was that I was in the prime age bracket for Male’s having Heart disease, and He could still hear my murmur…


Ten days later, I returned to the same building to have my Heart monitor installed. For which was another new experience for Mwah! And after having my chest shaved by a Female Nurse. When applying the monitor with it’s two adhesive strips directly above my Heart.


She said out loud I’m going to send the instruction booklet home with you, before looking at me and my white cane and wondering out loud if I could read it?


And as I’ve said above, I cannot read written material on my own. I am able to scan printed text into my computer and have it converted into OCR format. Optical Character Recognition which my Gal’ “Zoey the Princess Warrior!” My current Zoomtext Fusion Screen Reader voice can read to me.


She said She’d just go over the booklet’s main “Talking Points” verbally with me instead. To which I said, even if I wasn’t Blind. I’m Colour blind, so I have zero clue how I’d discern whether or not the monitor’s light was steady green or blinking orange, even if I could see it?


To which she replied, and I kid Yuhs not! She sardonically told me that was above Her pay grade, She’s just the installer and I should call the booklet’s 1-888 phone number…


Then I asked Her my one silly question before being released. Telling Her how a one certain precocious Hoond known fondly as Hang 10’ Hilo likes to lay sitting upright fully reclined against my chest and sleep in this position! Resting against my chest, I wanted to know if the Heart monitor would be picking up double Heart beats? Since I can hear Hilo’s heart beat when He lays against me like this. To which She assured me that the Heart monitor would only pick-up my Heart beat.


The other silly thing about wearing said Heart monitor for 14-days is that yes, you can take showers whilst wearing it. But you may do so only with the water on your backside, since obviously the monitor cannot get wet.


Being Blind, this was simply a recipe for Disaster! Like I can “See” where the water’s hitting me Sister!


And “So It goes”. Although I’ll never know, and have long since stopped trying to guess what triggered my two extensive, elongated Heart palpitation episodes five days apart. Suffice it to say. I believe without having gotten wound-up trying to finish those five blog stories and having “triggered” these two episodes. I’d never have known that I had a serious Heart condition!