Saturday, June 30, 2007

Feelings of mortality...

...and sheer, overwhelming frustration.

I don't know why I'm feeling as if I'm on the final downward slope. A fresh muscle ache, a small change here or there in the way I feel?

Whatever it is, the clock is ticking and I am morbidly aware of it.

My colleague D., the photographer, called this evening. He wanted to talk about work, in fact wanted me to go with him tomorrow to a work-related event. I told him to call me tomorrow if he felt like doing something unrelated to what we spend too many days doing for money that comes in too slowly, and in increasingly unprofitable amounts.

Somehow, I doubt he'll call.

Earlier today, I was struck by a wave of nostalgia, and decided I would drive 300 or so miles each way to the tiny town of Bridgeport, California, for their Fourth of July celebration. Haven't done that for 17 years, when my then-girlfriend and I more-or-less stumbled on it. They observe the Forth the old-fashioned way, with various kinds of bands performing in front of the local courthouse, home-cooked food and an invasion by a band of friendly "outlaw" bikers*. It's a mix of patriotism and very mild partying.

Can't go. My pet-sitter is out of town -- in fact, I have to watch her cats this week -- and the so-far late arrival of some checks means that I must choose to pay bills over fun.

This brings me to the resolutions I make each year. You know what I'm talking about: "next Fourth of July -- or Christmas, New Year's, birthday, you name it -- I won't let myself be sitting at home sipping Jim Beam and wishing I was not alone/here/poor/whatever." I'm sure each of you has similar resolutions....

Each time I make such a resolution, I dive in energetically to Turn Things Around.

But it never seems to work out.

I'm rambling. Maybe you should just click on the next journal....

I'm painfully aware of each time I've screwed up. I can drag every faux pas, every foot-in-mouth incident, every foolish moment of honesty out and replay it. Over and over.

And, yes, I can remember each person who has helped me fail. Those who say it is all up to one person -- meaning me -- are just flat wrong. I especially remember the most recent ones, of course, who promised much and gave nothing.

The ones involved with my work are, because they made me sick of what I do, now publishing material that is far less than what I could do -- and have done -- whether they realize it or not. They don't care, I guess. My words still fill blank spaces on their pages.

Those who have wandered in -- and out -- of my real life will never know what they missed.

They don't give a happy damn about that, I'm sure.

If any of the latter had bothered to stick around, I would have found a way to take them along to Bridgeport, to revel in an old-fashioned holiday, replete with fried chicken, fresh apple pie, and a local country band, followed by a magical, incomparable excursion to a unique place the next day....

But it's not the same when one goes alone.

So I say to hell with it.

I'm too damn old to go anywhere that I can't share with someone else. There is no joy in solitary exploration for me any longer.

There is only one person from my past whom I would welcome back with no questions and no anger, and I have reason to know she is so immersed in a scene I couldn't get with that it will never happen.

The other, whom I loved equally -- or perhaps more -- is no longer trustworthy. If she ever was.

So I am alone. And likely to remain so.

And going out to find solace and distraction in familiar places holding happy memories, to create new happy memories, no longer seems worth it.

If you've read this far and are bummed out, it's your fault. I warned you.

You ought to see it from this side.

On second thought, I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

* I like bikers. They are patriotic as a rule, dedicated to riding their putts and being free. While I have no desire to ride a Harley and let my beard grow long, many/most of those who do are good people. I'd rather hang with them than blow-dried poseurs in their leased Mercedes-Benzes.

Friday, June 29, 2007

This one's for... friends Joan, Paula, Kim and the enigmatic "JustFly", who expressed appreciation for the Austin-Healey photo I posted a few days ago.

Believe me, if I had known Healeys were chick-magnets, I would have stuck up a bank to be able to keep mine....

Here, for their (and, I hope, your) enjoyment, is a picture of the rarest Austin-Healey of all -- not to mention the one I most wish I could own -- the 1955 100S.

The Donald Healey Motor company built only 55 of these racers, which were lighter, more powerful and therefore quicker than the regular "100." A 140-mph car was really something in those days....

I've put some miles on one (not the one in the picture) and found that it, like so many old race cars, was delightful to drive. I loved it, found it an easy car to drive on the street. I will say that without modern power assists for steering and brakes, it took some muscle to push it along at high speeds.

But that's what makes a Hero Driver!

If I ever win the lottery, get a Real Job or (don't laugh) attract a Sugar Momma, a 100S is at the top of my list....

The Supremes can't sing...

...but they can sure hand down some wacky legal decisions. And when they do get something right, they are slammed by all the usual liberal suspects.

Seems a little odd to me that a student who unfurls a "Bong Nits 4 Jesus" banner is not entitled to free speech, but a student who wears a t-shirt accusing Jorge Bush of drug use and alcoholism is indeed protected by the First Amendment.

As far as I'm concerned, it's not a debate over whether kids should be allowed to glorify drug use (if that's what was going on in the first case, which I'm far from certain was so) or whether Jorge did or does either of those things.

But I suspect those, and not what the Constitution says or implies, were the issues for the nine black-robed ninnies in Washington.

We walk a fine line in this country. I can't go through a day without seeing something I don't want to see, reading something I don't want to read or hearing something I don't want to hear. But that is the price we pay for being able to do, write and say what we want.

Well, for now, anyway. I haven't the slightest doubt that the socialist lefty wackos in government not only think "there oughtta be a law" but are planning to make a law or two stamping out any kind of speech that goes against their peculiar agendas.

The real winner, to me, is the decision that race should not be used as a basis for preferential treatment in schools.

Isn't this what the liberals and affected minorities have been wanting ever since they began their crusades against whites being the preferred race many years ago?

Or are they saying -- as the Democrat would-be presidents seemed to be saying at their most recent debate -- that they won't rest until the "minority" of their choice not only has the right to stand in line for success with everyone else but is guaranteed a spot at the head of the line?

Those of the leftward persuasion are already babbling about "the return of segregation" and are no doubt having nightmares about Sheriff Jim Clark, Bull Connor and Strom Thurmond rising from their graves to put those "whites only" signs on drinking fountains and bathroom doors across the land.

What a load of dung.

This decision does not deprive anyone of their rights, even if Hillary Clinton and Jesse Jackson don't see it that way. What it says, in effect, is that everyone has equal rights.

It's damn hard to pander, Clinton- and Jackson-style, to any particular group when you can't promise them a free pass.

I believe in equality. I have no more rights -- and want no more -- than anyone else who is in this country legally. But I also have no fewer rights, even if I am a white man who doesn't stand up and cheer every time Hillary opens her mouth and wouldn't vote for her even if the opposition ran Atilla the Hun against her.

That, of course, is the reason Mrs Bubba Clinton tacks on that phony down-south preacher's accent every time she talks to a black audience, and why she is so critical of the Supremes' decision. She can get votes from them.

The day after...

...and I'm still amused by the reactions to yesterday's defeat of treason.

It was all so predictable: Jorge Bush blamed Congress for not giving all his amigos (plus assorted terrorists and riff-raff from around the world) a free pass into the country. Senators who pushed for the so-called "Grand Compromise" blamed talk radio, hate-filled Americans (can four out of five of us really be "hate-filled?" I think not) and Jorge Bush. They went on to whine about getting "hate mail" (as if it hasn't happened to them before) and cited single examples out of the millions of letters, emails, faxes and phone calls they received.

What it comes down to is this: for the first time in many years, the citizens rose up to let the Senate know they are not, as they have long believed, all-knowing, all-wise and all-powerful. It was a shock.

Apparently, no one has said "no" to Ted "Chappaquiddick" Kennedy, Dianne "send tax money to my husband" Feinstein, Lindsey "good ol' boy" Graham and others among this elite band in a long, long time.

Bush, on the other hand, should be used to hearing the word "no."

One can only hope this is the beginning of a trend.

What worries me, however, is that Bush, Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and the rest of the traitors in Washington are never gracious in defeat. They are, without exception, vengeful, rabid wild animals when crossed.

They will get payback for this humiliation, and don't you forget it. Unlike normal children, when they throw tantrums they can do serious damage.

Jorge will simply continue to ignore and refuse to enforce the law, as he so often does, and blame us for his failures and malfeasance.

The slime in Congress will hang more restrictive laws on us and burn up our money at an ever-increasing pace. As long as they hold office, they have ways of punishing their opponents.

And, worst of all, Jose Compean, Ignacio Ramos and Gil Hernandez will remain in prison. Jorge put them there, and you can be damn sure that evil bastard will continue to sulk because real Americans are more concerned about them than we are about the masses of lawbreakers with whom he feels kinship.

The public's task is not over, and will not be over until Compean, Ramos and Hernandez are freed.

Not "pardoned," by the way. The only "crime" they committed was enforcing our laws against illegals and drug smugglers. As innocent men railroaded by Bush and his loyal pit bulls, they deserve nothing less than immediate release from prison, compensation for the time and money they have lost and (if they wish) a full, unconditional return to their jobs.

Yesterday was a big win for the forces of decency. But it is in no way the end of the battle. We cannot rest until the venal, self-righteous traitors in Washington are removed from power and punished for their many crimes.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I should be really happy tonight...

...but to tell you the truth, I'm totally knackered.

The euphoria I felt after Jorge, Eduardo and the rest of the traitorous pro-illegal amnesty-loving lime in Washington got their butts whupped vanished quickly.

Thank you, work.

It's like this: I completed a long article last night. Getting it done required considerable research, to put it mildly. So much incorrect information has been published about the subject in the past that I was having to make my way through a minefield of misinformation.

This morning, I was giving it the usual one-last-read before sending it off, when I noticed a detail that didn't seem right. Source A said one thing, source B said another. I checked back through some documents I received through a friend that I knew had to be accurate.

Oh, shit.

Without going into grim detail, Source A has a financial reason for getting his version of this particular sliver of history into print. He told me he had studied various original documentation, from which he had put together the facts.

I never saw the material that he used to draw his conclusions; my friend sent me documents from the same place that contradicted much of A's version of events.

So, after spending several hours on the phone with various people who had puzzle-piece insights, I sat down with the story to see how I could rewrite it so I wouldn't get caught peddling b.s.

I'm almost done now, 12 hours later.

And I'm torn between laughing at the lunacy of the whole thing and being enraged by the way I was played. Wasting a whole extra day on this doesn't thrill me either.

If I told you the story, you'd wonder why the hell anyone would care about such trivia. Without having direct involvement as the writer, I sure wouldn't care. Let's just say that it could make a six-figure difference in source A's bank account when he decides to cash in if I corroborated his version of events in print.

All I care about is not being a chump. Well, that, and avoiding the torture of reading letters to the editor that start: "Where did that idiot writer get the idea that...?"

Jesus. Why can't I just win the damn lottery and hang this crap up?

Gotta go back and finish now....


The Mexican flag over the White House is flying at half-staff today, as the Destroy-America bill got shot down in the Senate.

Little credit need be given the Senators who changed their votes from Tuesday. I suspect the bribes weren't big enough for some, and others saw their cushy little political careers going up in smoke as the public expressed disgust with their treasonous intentions.

It is no coincidence that the wet-brain lefties now want to go after "talk radio" for spreading disinformation. After all, it's unfair to let people express their opinions if they don't agree with open-borders socialists.

Clearly, they believe Americans are stupid enough to buy their reprehensible policies if radio stations are forced by law to ram their insane yammerings down the public's throats.

One of my Senators, the crooked Dianne Feinstein, called everyone who called, wrote or emailed her protesting her support for illegal aliens "racists." That would include me, I guess, and it offends the hell out of me.

PARENTHETICAL NOTE: Yes, I called her a "crook" just as she called me a "racist." But what else can you call someone who held a top position in a Senate military procurement committee and funneled millions upon millions of dollars in contracts to her husband's businesses?

Eduardo "Midnight Swim" Kennedy says none of the opponents to his sellout dreams offered a solution. As usual, he lied.

The opponents have suggested from Day One that existing laws -- against illegal entry, document fraud, hiring of illegals, etc, -- should be enforced.

Still, the American public did chime in, loud and often, and forced the arrogant traitors in the Senate to listen to them.

It's a start, anyway.

Bush got a solid boot in the butt today. So did Kennedy, McCain, Kerry, Lindsey Graham and many other sanctimonious shitweasels who think they have absolute power over us.

Now we need to start removing the traitors from office. It won't be easy, but the country is worth it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The stench is Washington gets worse... the countdown to the deciding vote on destroying the United States goes on.

What Jorge Bush, Eduardo Kennedy, Harry Reid and the rest of the traitors in Washington are pushing is, simply stated, this:

-- A bill that no Senator has read in its entirety, because it is being written as they go along;

-- A bill that has had no rational debate, no public hearings, no opportunity for input from the citizens of America whose lives it will damage;

-- A bill that has not had a proper cost analysis done, except by an outside foundation that estimates it will cost American taxpayers $2.6 trillion;

-- A bill that rewards those who violate our laws and punishes those who have taken a legal path to residency;

-- A bill that four-fifths of the American public dislikes;

-- A bill that opens our borders to terrorists, criminals and others who will only take from, not contribute to, the United States;

-- A bill in which every so-called "enforcement" provision (at least as far as I can tell, since the current version of the bill is not being made public) is followed by a line essentially saying that "nothing in this [section] compels the government to take action;"

-- A bill that gives lawbreakers immunity from crimes they have committed and more rights than citizens and legal residents enjoy.

After listening to some of the Senators giving statements and being interviewed today, I have come to the reluctant conclusion that the fix is in, and the borders will soon be thrown open.

Some time back, I posted a list of questions each Senator -- and Jorge Bush -- need to answer. Since they seem unwilling to answer any questions, even the most basic, I doubt that we'll ever know how many promises (funded with our tax dollars) and bribes (from corrupt corporate entities, foreign governments and drug cartels) they have received.

Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. The price of betrayal has gone up, I'm sure.

But someone is paying the new, higher price, because the betrayal is a virtual certainty as of now.

Enjoy your last days living in a nation where the rule of law has any meaning. Enjoy your last days living under the myth that we have a representative government.

Prepare to be subjected to more government interference in your lives. Be prepared to surrender your job and much more of your money to support people who have violated our nation's laws. Be prepared to become a part of a North American Union.

Be prepared for more crime and violence.

You will be able to thank the treasonous, lying, self-centered, self-important swine in Washington for your new life.

But, as they are not listening to the millions of Americans who have made phone calls, sent letters, emails and faxes in protest of their criminal actions on the amnesty bill, don't expect them to give a damn what you, who pay their salaries and contribute to the maintenance of their corrupt lifestyles, have to say.

They don't have to listen.

They will not have to listen until American citizens and legal residents rise up, remove them from power and force them to face justice in a court of law.

That is how traitors must be handled.

It's good to be omnipotent...

...or at least think your are. It's all too clear that our elected "representatives" see themselves as all-powerful nabobs free to do as they wish while the peasants crawl into their presence to throw gold at their collective feet.

This has been made abundantly clear by the shameful, traitorous "comprehensive" immigration legislation which, it seems, is backed by enough bribes and promised perks to make its way through the Senate.

Never mind that four-fifths of the nation opposes handing the country -- and its treasury -- over to illegal aliens.

Then there's the revival of the odious "Fairness" Doctrine, championed by corrupt Dianne Feinstein, John Kerry and, apparently, those paragons of no-virtue, Hillary Clinton and Barbara Boxer. They don't think it's fair that their far-left, socialistic and arrogant views aren't forced on everyone who listens to the radio, so they want to pass a law insisting we listen to them.

Never mind that the marketplace has proven, over and over, that few people want to listen to wacko-lefties.

But, in the immortal words of Ron Popeil: wait, there's more!

Not only are these so-called "servants of the people" social engineers, they're also mechanical engineers!

Their idea of "comprehensive" energy legislation contains several interesting mandates. The first is a forced increase in the use of fuels made from edible grains to "end our dependence on foreign oil."

Think of it as a "fuel for food" program.

The distilled fuels are not only more expensive to produce -- thus taking more money directly from the consumer, as well as increasing the cost of everything that can't be delivered on foot. And the use of food for fuel (particularly corn at the moment) leads to shortages of everything from tortillas to cooking oil.

The government's message: you can drive, or you can eat.

And it gets worse.

Another demand -- this one loudly cheered by hypocritical tree-huggers like Al "globetrotter" Gore -- insists that car companies' products must average 35 miles per gallon within the next couple of decades.

That's good in some ways. I agree with the sentiment, in fact.

But what it ignores is one simple fact: car-makers produce gas-guzzlers (like SUVs, powerful sports cars and pickup trucks) because that's what the public wants. They are not forcing these products on consumers out of corporate greed; they are, rather, responding to what the market wants.

Those pushing this legislation ride around in Chevy Suburbans, Hummers and the like. For "security" reasons, of course. But they want to force you to buy a Toyota, Honda or Ford hybrid whether you want it or not.

PARENTHETICAL THOUGHT: I recently drove an E-Class Mercedes-Benz sedan with a diesel engine and, over a considerable mileage on freeways and city streets, averaged nearly 32 mpg. But the government regulators don't like diesel engines....

So if the car companies want to meet public/governmental demands and not end up with millions of unsold tiny cars, what can be done? In theory a large SUV can be built that gets 35 mpg; all one has to do is use exotic metals to make it ultra-light (more expensive) and add a hybrid powertrain or adopt fuel-cell technology (both also costly, and the latter not yet ready for prime time). Do you really want to pay $100K for your next Ford Explorer?

Yes, Toyota's profit margins are higher on a Tundra pickup than a Prius. That's good economic incentive to keep cranking out those big, thirsty trucks for as long as customer demand continues.

The surest way to get the public into smart cars and other little economy runabouts that make up the majority of sales in Europe and Asia -- though it must be said that those who Europeans and Japanese who can afford it are hot for big SUVs these days -- is to somehow convince them that the baby-rides are hip.

But the government can't control what people like. Not yet, anyway.

As always, the government chooses the ways that benefit it the most: pass laws, raise taxes.

Even if those laws violate basic laws of physics (which, though it seems hard to believe in Washington, carry more weight than any legislation Congress comes up with) they are laws, and we damn well better obey them. Even if it drives car companies out of business -- and hundreds of thousands of people out of work -- and takes even more money from the common people.

I have no doubt Congress will force General Motors to crank out a couple hundred Suburbans every year for government use....

The only "comprehensive" reform that makes sense is to reform our government.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Shifting gears... the request of a friend who likes car photos.

Last Saturday, I happened to see these cars, each among the Top Ten in my list of contenders to park in the Dream Garage.

Each one is a work of art -- to me, anyway -- and each (or cars just like them) is an absolute joy to drive.

First, a 1930 Alfa-Romeo 6C 1750 roadster, the epitome of the Italian Sports Car.

Next, a 1927 4 1/2-litre Bentley. I'd rather own a 3-litre, but the 4 1/2s are great old beasts. I liked the owner, too; like most of the Vintage Bentley owners I've met, he'd much rather drive the car than display it. In fact, he's driving it to Washington State next month...

Finally, two Austin-Healey "100s." I once owned one of these beauties; not a day goes by that I don't kick myself for letting it go....

Sorry there aren't more to show, but I tire quickly of modern Ferraris, Maseratis and the like. As an acquaintance of mine once said, "if you want a car with automatic transmission and air-conditioning, why not buy a Buick? If you want to drive a sports car, the old ones are best...."

Names on the indictment.

Here are the foul, treasonous cowards who, without concern for the vast majority of Americans who oppose their evil plan or the security of "their" nation, have worked behind closed doors, fueled by promises of personal gain, to destroy the nation they swore to serve:

Senators: Akaka (D-HI), Bennett (R-UT), Biden (D-DE), Bingaman (D-NM), Bond (R-MO), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Brownback (R-KS), Burr (R-NC), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Clinton (D-NY), Coleman (R-MN), Collins (R-ME), Conrad (D-ND), Craig (R-ID), Dodd (D-CT), Domenici (R-NM), Durbin (D-IL), Ensign (R-NV), Feingold (D-WI), Feinstein (D-CA), Graham (R-SC), Gregg (R-NH), Hagel (R-NE), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Kohl (D-WI), Kyl (R-AZ), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Lieberman (ID-CT), Lincoln (D-AR), Lott (R-MS), Lugar (R-IN), Martinez (R-FL), McCain (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY), Menendez (D-NJ), Mikulski (D-MD), Murkowski (R-AK), Murray (D-WA), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Obama (D-IL), Pryor (D-AR), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Salazar (D-CO), Schumer (D-NY), Snowe (R-ME), Specter (R-PA), Stevens (R-AK), Voinovich (R-OH), Warner (R-VA), Webb (D-VA), Whitehouse (D-RI), Wyden (D-OR)

And don't forget the most corrupt, incompetent traitor of all, Jorge Bush.

We will not be safe until the evil they have visited on us is reversed, and punishment is meted out. We will not be safe until each and every one of them is consigned to the obscurity they so richly deserve.

I want to point out that 35 Senators displayed guts and patriotism when they stood against the tide of corruption. They have earned a place in history; at the moment the U.S.A. was pushed to the brink of destruction, they stood strong:

Alexander (R-TN), Allard (R-CO), Barrasso (R-WY), Baucus (D-MT), Bayh (D-IN), Bunning (R-KY), Byrd (D-WV), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cochran (R-MS), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), Dole (R-NC), Dorgan (D-ND), Enzi (R-WY),, Grassley (R-IA), Hatch (R-UT), Hutchison (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA),, Landrieu (D-LA), McCaskill (D-MO), Roberts (R-KS), Rockefeller (D-WV), Sanders (I-VT), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Smith (R-OR), Stabenow (D-MI), Sununu (R-NH), Tester (D-MT), Thune (R-SD), Vitter (R-LA)


From the U.S. Code, as displayed here, with bold-face emphasis added:

§ 2381. Treason

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason...

I consider that ignoring the wishes of the majority of Americans, allowing open-border access to terrorists, committing the economic crime of forcing citizens to support millions of unproductive lawbreakers, placing lawbreakers over law-abiding citizens, taking away jobs from citizens for personal gain and submitting to the desires of foreign governments, would-be slaveowners and drug cartels more than qualifies as treason.

And what is the penalty?

...and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

As of this morning, 64 U.S. Senators, along with Traitor-in-Chief Jorge Bush are guilty of treason.

I will settle for "...not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States."

That is far less punishment then the amnesty/open borders/economic destruction/end of the "rule of law" bill will impose on the rest of us.

The time has come for mass arrests in Washington.

The alternative is a return to the Dark Ages.

While Washington fiddles...

...and is apparently about to let the traitors in White House and Senate hand the United States over to financial ruin and anarchy, three men who should be enjoying the protection of the law remain as political prisoners of Jorge Bush.

Ignacio Ramos, Jose Compean and Gilmer Hernandez.

We know that Ramos is deteriorating in solitary confinement, have heard little about how Compean is faring. Both have more than ten years of politically motivated torture ahead of them.

Now, Hernandez has been moved into general population at the prison where he is serving a one-year sentence, within reach of imprisoned illegal aliens who would love nothing more than to finish the work Bush and Johnny Sutton started.

There are Mexicans whose asses Jorge Bush won't kiss, after all.

American citizens of Mexican descent, that is.

This is the true shame of our nation.

The miserable cowards in the Senate who are preparing to destroy the country are merely pounding the final nail in our national coffin.

At the base of the debacle is a willingness to protect the rights of illegal aliens at the expense of citizens sworn to uphold our laws. A willingness to embrace perjury, obstruction of justice and corruption at the highest levels of our government.

While our so-called "leaders" enjoy the finest life taxpayers can provide as they sell us out, three men are suffering in prison for the heinous crime of believing in America and trying to defend it by enforcing its laws.

The U.S.A. was founded when its people rose up against foreign tyrants and unjust laws.

It looks as if we now have to rise up all over again.

There will be no justice in this land until Ramos, Compean and Hernandez are freed.

There will be no justice until those who would destroy the nation for their own corrupt purposes are made to pay for their crimes.

That means you, Jorge. And all your treasonous co-conspirators in various government agencies and in the U.S. Senate.

On the day each and every one of you are living in the conditions you have imposed on decent, hard-working Americans whose only "crime" was to put American citizens and American laws ahead of personal gain and power, this country can again consider itself a nation of laws.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Not looking forward to tomorrow...

...for a whole bunch of reasons.

Of course tomorrow is the day when the Senate gets back into the amnesty bill. I fear that the pressure from Jorge Bush, Eduardo "the Drunk Caballero" Kennedy, rapacious corporations, corrupt foreign governments and drug cartels will be too strong for those few Senators who still have a small vestige of conscience left, and the bill will go on to eventual passage.

A little taste of the future was given to some citizens in Los Angeles yesterday. Led by Ted Hayes, best known for his advocacy for the homeless, a group of anti-illegal-alien demonstrators applied for -- and received -- a permit to hold a rally in a local park. When they arrived, various pro-illegal demonstrators (sans permit) had blocked entrances to the park. And what did the police do? They told the legal citizens with a permit to go home. Hayes was arrested when he tried to lead the demonstrators into the park anyway.

Welcome to North Tijuana.

As is true with Jorge, Eduardo and the rest of the open-borders traitors, Los Angeles Police Department -- no doubt at the instigation of Antonio "we clean your toilets!" Villaraigosa -- has become a willing tool for the traitors' "Sanctuary City" movement.

Some say the two leading traitors -- Jorge and Eduardo -- are angling for a "legacy." After all, Jorge's greatest accomplishment to date is screwing up, without exception, every opportunity he had to do something positive for the country. And of course Eduardo's sole claim to fame is that he avoided any punishment whatsoever for committing several felonies (including manslaughter) that, for anyone not a Kennedy, would have meant serious jail time and an aborted career.

Oh, wait. Eduardo can sing Spanish drinking songs, too.

They'll have a legacy, all right. So will all the other shitweasels conspiring to pull off this treasonous act.

They will have destroyed the nation that protected them, has given them a far better life than their abilities could have earned them and -- more fools we -- trusted them.

The deathwatch begins tomorrow.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Senate is again ready to sell out our country...

...and the process begins on Tuesday.

I am assuming many of the amnesty-for-all supporters will be too busy Monday nursing hangovers and/or raking in those last-minute bribes from corrupt corporations, foreign governments and drug cartels to be ready to stagger into the Senate chamber.

The rhetoric has become more and more bizarre as the days have gone by, and the desperation of the pro-treason forces has become appallingly clear.

Dianne Feinstein -- taking a break from trying to push government contracts toward her hubby's businesses, and having seen that evil "talk radio" has encouraged ordinary citizens to rebel against the sell-out -- is yammering about reviving the so-called "fairness doctrine," the wacko-left's way of ensuring themselves plenty of air time even when no one wants to listen. She must be watching Hugo Chavez doing the same in Venezuela with mounting jealousy;

Teddy Kennedy, sounding well in his cups, called a popular Spanish-language radio program in Los Angeles on Friday morning and, in a cracking, alcohol-roughened voice sang some kind of Mexican song to show his support for the station's advocacy of reconquista;

Jorge Bush spewed out his gibberish every chance he got;

And of course all the small bought-and-paid-for fish, like pathetic, senile Trent Lott, were busy pimping for the country's destruction as well.

Even if the motives of one or two of the shitweasels (the minor-league ones, anyway; the "bigs" are long past caring about trivia like the Constitution) had anything to do with honest concern for the country -- in which case they would have buried this stupid plan long ago -- their "reasoning" is so specious as to be laughable.

If the fallout wasn't going to hurt every citizen and legal resident in the U.S., I'd laugh.

For example, they keep babbling about the "difficulty" of the "path to citizenship" for the illegals they care most about.

Difficult? No jail time for the many, many laws they've already broken? A $5000 fine -- if the illegals' pressure groups don't kill it -- that they have eight years to pay? Forgiveness of tax debt? Investigations into their possible past crimes that must be completed in 24 hours (when it takes months for a U.S. citizen to renew a passport)?

And here, to me, is the most important point: All of these crooked fools believe the illegals want to become citizens.

Why the hell should they? They'll be able to work here, bring in their families, get welfare benefits and free medical care just as they do now without the "path to citizenship." Why screw up a good thing by becoming a citizen? Citizens don't get what the illegals get.

And, oh yes, they are spreading more lies about "enforcement." They're going to spend $4 billion right away to build fences and hire Border Patrol agents and do all that other stuff they should have been doing all along. They're saying "see? As soon as we're through letting in all the illegals we want, we're going to get real tough on the next bunch."

PARENTHETICAL HYPOTHETICAL STATEMENT: Convicted felon to judge: "Your Honor, just let me rob one more bank and I promise to never do it again."

The best look at what we'll face came, inadvertently, from Trent Lott, the despicable Senator who once spoke so eloquently about how his ultra-racist pal Strom Thurmond should have been president. I heard him being interviewed the other day. He was asked why, if the Senate had approved 700-plus miles of new border fence last year, only a couple of miles of fence have been built so far.

Saith Lott: "We can only pass the legislation, provide the money and tell them to build it. We can't make them do it"

That is what the response will be from Congress's Fifth Column when the the "comprehensive" bill transforms the country into a land as pathetic, poverty stricken and corrupt as Mexico. "We told them to follow the rules...we can't make them do it!"

Or as Teddy Kennedy said when pleading for the 1986 amnesty bill (which led directly to this new, more ambitious bill, and let millions of new illegals waltz in): If we pass this bill, we won't have to deal with illegal immigration again in our lifetimes."

Are we going to let these criminals get away with treason?

I'm starting my third round of emails, faxes and phone calls tomorrow. I hope all of you will do likewise.

BEEG, BEEG OPDATE, MANG! If you don't believe booze-hound Teddy Kennedy was displaying his singing talents to his illegal-alien Mexican supporters, go here.

Push the little button-thing about 60% along, so you don't have to listen to too much John & Ken. They're pretty annoying....

Hope y'all have Firefox. Don't know if the link works in Internet Explorer.

Back again...

...this time, I hope, to stay now that whatever gremlin was keeping me from getting in here seems to have been banished.

Not that I've been wearing out my keyboard with posts over there. Ranting, certainly; there's more to rant about in our disintegrating nation (and world) than I have time to deal with.

"Deal with" may be the operative phrase. I can't "deal with" any of the lunacy that seems to have gripped our government. And, unless you happen to be one of those Big Donors who keeps the political hacks fat and sassy (and insulated from reality), you can't "deal with" it either.

Doesn't mean I won't carry on ranting. If the only place anyone knows (and, on occasion, cares) about what I think is here, so be it.

But there are other issues, closer to home, that sap my strength and fog my mind simply because they are so numerous. It's an unending flood, a tide that washes away enthusiasm and satisfaction.

Don't know how -- or if -- I can write about those things.

But if I do, it'll be here, in front of friends, where I feel most comfortable.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ignacio Ramos

It turns out that Ignacio Ramos has Tourette's Syndrome, and has had it for years. As with most Tourette's patients, he has controlled it through diet and medication, and has functioned in a perfectly normal manner throughout his adult life.

Unfortunately, the prison where that miserable piece of crap Johnny Sutton put him won't allow Ramos his medication, and have been feeding him food Americans (or their pets) just shouldn't have to eat while keeping him locked up in solitary confinement.

Between the lack of medicine, stress and bad diet, Ramos's condition is deteriorating, according to Tara Setmayer, a representative of Rep. Dana Rohrbacher, who visited him recently. He has lost at least 30 lbs. and is showing some Tourette's symptoms. Interviewed on the John & Ken show on KFI radio, the representative said that Rohrbacher has made requests for better conditions for Ramos, but has been rebuffed.

This is the kind of treatment Ramos might have been given in Nazi Germany.

Jorge Bush and Johnny Sutton should not only be ashamed of themselves, they should be imprisoned. What they have done goes far beyond morality and simple human decency; it is criminal.

I suppose those who carried out Jorge's and Johnny's orders -- officials at the DEA, at Homeland "Security," in the kangaroo court where Ramos and Jose Compean were tried and at the prison -- can claim they were "just following orders."

That excuse didn't work for the Nazi "judges" and camp administrators. It must not work for Bush's Open-Border Storm Troopers.

From the top down, they are all criminals.

But they eat well, live comfortably and are denied nothing, while the victims of their lust to kiss the asses of corrupt Mexican leaders and drug-smugglers are losing not just their freedom, but their health.

This is an outrage, and it doesn't get better.

It won't be better until Ramos and Compean -- and Deputy Gilmer Hernandez -- are free, are made whole, and their persecutors are called to stand in judgment for their vile actions.

Playing to my weakness

Seems to me no red-blooded, music-lovin' male-type person could fail to fall under the spell of a gorgeous girl-type musician. It's just plain inevitable.

At least for me.

Oh, I try to talk myself out of it. Really. Such women can be more dangerous than a basket full of angry rattlesnakes. They bite, I die. The combination of talent, sex appeal, ego and a horde of lust-crazed motorscooters standing around with their tongues hangin' out puts sincere-but-none-too-bright dudes like me in a bad, bad place. I know this from experience.

But that doesn't stop me from having the long-distance, from-out-in-the-audience hots for Barbara Dennerlein. I wrote about her in my other journal last year, and posted a couple of YouTube links.

Ran across another video today, one made this month when she appeared on a German TV show: Take a look at this.

That's paradise sittin' on that Hammond bench, fellow babies. At least for me.

She just keeps getting better.

If Barbara and Diana Krall appeared on the same stage, I'd be reduced to a blob of quivering protoplasm.

Being the realist I am, I'll buy Barbara's CDs -- I already have some -- and shell out for a ticket to her performance in SoCal this August so's I can dig the sounds and visuals. Gotta look and listen, even if I can't touch....

But everyone needs a dream, ja?

Friday, June 15, 2007

On and off... the best way to describe my access to this journal during the past week. I couldn't get to it on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I could get in yesterday, but not last night or this morning. Tonight, I can.

For the nonce, those of you who care can find my rantings, ravings and miscellaneous stuff here.

I'll check back here several times a day and, when I feel reasonably certain it will let me in on demand, I'll return to posting here....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Back home!

Finally, for the first time since Sunday, I can see my very own blogspot page!

No one seems to know what the problem was, or if they do they ain't tellin.' I do know from reading in a couple of the discussion groups that others in the Los Angeles/Southern California area were suffering the same problem.

Now, for 24 straight hours, all seems well, and I feel the urge to start posting here again.

I love writing here. It's a simple, direct process with little to gripe about. I have the latest layout done for me by my dear adopted daughter, and there's no "upgrade" to pay for to get good service.

One four-day hiccup in operation isn't major, especially considering what we (don't) pay for the service.

So welcome myself back, me!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The war is NOT over!

I'm not referring to the so-called "war on terror," which Jorge Bush is mishandling so badly. Instead, I'm concerned here with the traitors in Congress and the White House that have declared war on the United States, its constitution and its citizens.

I refer to Jorge, Senators Kennedy, Kyl, Feinstein, McCain and many others as traitors with full knowledge of what the accusation means.

What else can you call those who consider it a holy mission to deprive us of our freedom, money and jobs in favor of encouraging the flow of millions of illegal aliens into our nation?

We defeated their scheme last week. And now we have to do it again.

Yesterday, Jorge said, in his garbled manner, that his priority as president is to encourage the violation of our laws. Likewise, Sen. Kyl boasted that the bill would pass by July 4th.

Which means the death of our nation will come 231 years and one day after we declared our independence.

Unless, that is, we declare war on those who intend to destroy us.

Yes, this is war.

But, unlike the illegals themselves, who have marched and demanded preferential treatment and, unlike the amnesty-driven traitors who brand us racist, hate-filled and unwilling to "do what's right for America," we will fight the battle peacefully, using the law as our shield.

We must start now. Today.

Contact the White House -- and at 202 456-1111 -- and your Senators -- phone numbers and email addresses are available by clicking the "Senators" link on -- and express your unwillingness to acquiesce in their sellout scheme.

Find every petition you can sign (one is at ) and sign it.

When you see pro-amnesty editorials in newspapers -- the New York Times, L.A. Times and Washington Post are regular supporters of this treasonous act -- flood them with emails.

It will take millions -- probably tens of millions -- of patriotic, law-abiding Americans to derail the conspiracy.

I have no illusions about Jorge. He is firmly convinced that every one of his mad schemes and crooked cronies is "right for America." He neither reads nor listens. He is unteachable.

But we have a hold on the Congress. They serve at our pleasure.

And if we cannot convince them to behave honorably -- a gargantuan task in some cases, since they have long gotten away with crimes ranging from misuse of public money and extortion to drunk driving and (at a minimum) involuntary manslaughter -- we will have no alternative but to remove them from office and find honest, ethical and patriotic Americans to replace them.

PARENTHETICAL RELEVANT THOUGHT: we could get more honest "servants of the people" out of prisons. The voters of California, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York and several other states should be ashamed of themselves for repeatedly sending the same scumbags to Washington.

We must not let the United States become a socialistic, third-world banana republic without a fight.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Blogspot seems to be having some kind of problem. If you can read this, know that I can't! I can't access my own journal, or anyone else's. Nor can I get to the help pages, which no longer seem to have any links to email admins for help anyway.

The only pages I can connect to are those that allow me to write new posts and edit old ones, and how much fun is it to write when you can't even read it after?

Answer: not very.

I ain't thrilled.

I thought I left all this nonsense behind at the Old Place....

Warning: it's going to get worse.

One of Jorge Bush's closest amigos, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, made an appearance on the CNN program "Late Edition" and said the immigration reform bill "is not dead. It is alive and well, and the administration is more determined than ever to see it passed."

I could just repeat the question posed in the last entry, but the whys are wherefores no longer matter. As long as Jorge, booze-hound Ted Kennedy and a host of Senators with seriously impaired thought processes are hell-bent on throwing the borders open and turning this into a third-world socialist state, there is but one option, and that is for the millions who rose up in protest over the last few weeks to carry our activism to a new level.

As far as I'm concerned, each of those who appeared in my Hall of Shame yesterday have committed at least one impeachable offense: they have conspired to violate our existing laws. Every law we need to control our borders, deal with lawbreakers and ensure an orderly flow of legal immigrants is already on the books.

Last year's law mandating the construction of 750 miles of border fence -- which would only cover roughly one-third of the border anyway -- was passed and signed by Jorge. To date, estimates of new fence construction vary between two and 12 miles.

What has Jorge done in 6 1/2 years to seal the border? He sent in some National Guard troops, who are not allowed to take any enforcement action. They can watch, and wash the Border Patrol's trucks. Under his direction there have been a handful of show "raids" on companies employing illegals, netting, at best, a couple hundred who were not subsequently deported.

Oh yes: he also managed to get some innocent Border Patrol agents thrown in jail, thanks to the illegal zeal of his Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, his pet persecutor Johnny Sutton and a tame judge, Kathleen Cardone.

For that act alone, Jorge, Gonzales, Sutton, Cardone and everyone who aided and abetted this conspiracy to violate the civil rights of the agents deserve jail time.

It should not be necessary for the public to have to tell Jorge or the Congress -- all of whom are well paid, have wonderful health and pension plans, are fawned over far beyond their value to humanity and live in the kind of splendor King Farouk would envy -- that they were sent to Washington to do one job only: they are there to protect Americans.

Some of you may find my call to remove every one of the amnesty-for-illegals crowd from their offices somewhat harsh and unrealistic.

It isn't.

If they don't uphold our laws, act according to our wishes and care for our legitimate needs, they are violating their oaths of office and must be impeached.

I understand that it's a big job. So, in the spirit of compromise, I suggest we concentrate our efforts to the indictment of Jorge, Teddy, Harry Reid, John McCain, John Kyl and Hillary Clinton for high crimes and misdemeanors. That should serve as an adequate warning to any other political shitweasel who puts personal power and gain over their clear, sworn duty.

Hell, we could kick Jorge out on the grounds of being the stupidest man to ever inhabit the Oval Office.

The alternative? It can only he the total destruction of our country, its economy and social infrastructure and, inevitably, the kinds of armed insurrections and violent protests that regularly plague third world nations.

Because if the amnesty giveaway makes it into law, this will be a third world nation, and in less time than you can imagine.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

What is it about the word "no"...

...that the knavish fools in Washington don't understand?

A treasonous piece of legislation that would give 20 million lawbreakers (and more to follow) a big, warm, welfare-laced welcome to the United States was offered in the Senate. I won't rehash all the provisions in this treacherous bill -- I hope everyone is aware of its contents by now -- but its essence is that illegal aliens deserve better treatment than US citizens and legal residents could ever hope to receive from the government.

Clearly, those pillars of morality, Jorge Bush and Ted Kennedy (both of whom have benefited from "amnesty" themselves in the past) figured they could slide this one right through without any problem, thanks to a Senate filled with limousine liberals and assorted fuzzy-minded do-gooders.

Wrong, bozos.

Millions of Americans rose up in protest. Not by taking to the streets and demanding special treatment, as the illegals have done, but by flooding their elected representatives with phone calls, faxes, letters and emails. They participated in polls as well, making it clear that a vast majority did not want to see their country sold out.

As a result, some Senators -- sometimes under protest -- put the needs of their constituents ahead of whatever bribes were offered and made passage of this hideous legislation impossible.

So what are Jorge, Teddy, Harry Reid and other key players in what can only be described as an act of treason doing? Are they accepting reality and pulling back?


Jorge, using his pathetic and almost unintelligible "moral lecture" tone, is telling us the bill must be reintroduced and passed. Teddy is forcing his alcohol-rotted brain to form words that say essentially the same thing. Dianne Feinstein, who is skating on major ethics violations herself, is bashing the majority of the US population for nor not caving in to the wishes of an unholy coalition of lawbreakers and welfare-state advocates.

We're "racists," people. Xenophobes. Against all immigration. We refuse to understand that we're a "nation of immigrants."


It is time to demand that Jorge, Teddy, Dianne, Harry and all the Senators who have pushed for this despicable bill come clean about the real reasons why selling out America is so important to them. It is time for them to explain why lawbreakers are more important than law-abiding citizens.

A few commentators have nibbled at the edges of the question. Predictably, they ascribe partisan motives to the scum in Congress and the White House. They think everything is partisan, because they are rabid partisans.

Shameful as the notion of wrecking the country for partisan reasons may be, I believe this: there is some kind of major payoff waiting for those who force "comprehensive immigration reform" down our throats. I believe bribery on a grand scale is behind their actions. Where the payoffs come from I don't know, but I suspect certain foreign governments, drug cartels, labor unions and companies that would thrive with an influx of cheap labor are heading the list.

The sums involved must be vast if the recipients are willing to destroy the nation they have pledged allegiance to and sworn to protect.

In Teddy's case, it might be something else, as he was born wealthy, thanks to his Daddy (who was no Pillar of Society himself). Of course some people never have too much money, never get their fill of the spotlight, of power. He may simply be genetically corrupt.

In any event, the fact that these out-of-touch, arrogant, in some cases senile, fools want to try again suggests that it is time for not only continued public pressure against any pro-illegal immigration "reform" legislation, but also time to weed out the traitors through mass impeachment trials*.

Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean remain in jail as political prisoners, thanks to Jorge Bush and his lapdogs. They have been there since January, and are about to be joined by another agent who walked into Bush's anti-Border Patrol line of fire. Like Ramos and Compean, Noe Aleman was persecuted by the despicable Johnny Sutton and tried in front of Judge Kathleen Cardone.

Morality and justice have been turned upside down in the White House and Congress. It is up to us to remove the corrupt from power and restore some decency to our nation's political system.

We must take action before the USA is destroyed.

* Starting with Jorge Bush, and including at least those Senators listed below, who cast votes supporting passage of the bill (this Dishonor Roll is taken from the official voting records):

Akaka (D-HI), Bayh (D-IN), Biden (D-DE), Brown (D-OH), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Clinton (D-NY), Conrad (D-ND), Dodd (D-CT), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Feinstein (D-CA), Graham (R-SC), Hagel (R-NE), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Kohl (D-WI), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Lieberman (ID-CT), Lincoln (D-AR), Lugar (R-IN), Martinez (R-FL), McCain (R-AZ), Menendez (D-NJ), Mikulski (D-MD), Murray (D-WA), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Obama (D-IL), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Salazar (D-CO), Schumer (D-NY), Specter (R-PA), Stabenow (D-MI), Voinovich (R-OH), Whitehouse (D-RI), Wyden (D-OR)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Could you... 23 days in the fanciest, easiest conditions the local slammer could provide if you knew that at the end you'd be going home to:

-- A cozy little mansion in Beverly Hills;

-- A Bentley, a Mercedes and various fancy rides;

-- Non-stop parties;

-- A no-limit line of credit;

-- The freedom to go wherever the hell you want;

-- All the sex, drugs and rock & roll you can stand?

You can bet the fleshy parts of your posterior I would!

I wouldn't even ask for that much. Y'all can leave out the drugs....

I'm feeling as if I'm in jail, on some bizarre variety of work-release program. No matter what I do during the day, it's back to the cell at night, where I sleep -- alone -- on an uncomfortable bed.

We've all been told that wealth doesn't bring happiness, that those supposedly so-in-love couples are wrangling, miserable beasts at home. I'm not sure I believe that, but I'd love to give that high life a shot and see if I could adapt to it.

Never mind that I'd be the same guy I am now, only with my bills paid when they should be and perhaps a little more play time.

I don't have the gene -- or privileged background -- to feel the urge to live high. Just let me enjoy a little better scene than I do now, please.

What a dull person I am.

Grrrr... matter how hard I try to fit in, the world of Modern Technology is out to do me in.

I shot some film in Connecticut to go along with a story I'm writing. Yes, film. I love my digital happy-snap camera, and think it does a great job. But when I have to do serious photography, I fall back on more years of experience with film than I care to admit to having. When I fire the shutter, I have a damn good idea of what I'll see.

So I decided to play a little game with one of my geekier clients, who happens to be the one buying this particular story. I asked the processing lab to put the finished film on CDs, so I could submit them the "modern" way.

What I didn't take into account was the lab's use of some special "photo-viewer" software, as if everyone doesn't already have such programs on their computer. The problem is that their software grabs on to the images with the fiercest of electronic grips, not showing me any way to move them to my own files and, ultimately, to put the edited list of images on a disc for my client.

This pisses me off.

At least I'm better off than my friend D., who just returned from Italy where he lost several hundred images shot for clients on his digital camera, thanks to (a) a faulty memory card and (b) some other malfunction within the camera itself.

Me, at least I have the film.

But it still pisses me off.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Behind the wheel!

One of the advantages of wearing that little blue ribbon that says "Judge" at a car show -- aside from the (temporary) fawning attention paid by car owners to your every word -- is the right to step over the ropes that separate cars from spectators and take a close look at the goodies.

To end the photo series, here is what the drivers of some of the great cars from the show get to see (lucky dogs!):

First, the interior of the 3-liter Bentley. The gearshift lever is uncomfortably close to one's right leg and, as was the practice on some early racing cars, the gas pedal is between the clutch and brake pedals. Once you learn, you never forget...

Here's what the driver of a 1929 Alfa-Romeo 6C (not the car pictured before) had to look at...

Even better, and so traditionally British, is the driver's compartment of the SS100 Jaguar. Those large steering wheels were necessary to give the driver some leverage against the front wheels, let me tell you...

More civilized, but certainly a nice piece of mechanical art, is the dashboard of the Tatra 87...

And finally, the pure-1950s cabin of the Lincoln "Indianapolis," a bit calmer design-wise than the exterior...

Here endeth the car pictures, at least for now. Hope you've enjoyed them; putting them all up here has distracted me from a bunch of real-life crap....

Next to last... from the car show I was involved with last weekend.

This time, I want to focus (so to speak) on a few unusual and wonderful machines. Again, there was plenty of strangeness to savor; I had to choose a very few to share.

First, another one of my favorites, and the car I'd most like to park next to my 3-liter Bentley in my dream garage.

It's a 1948 Tatra 87, that wonderful Czech masterpiece that combined compact size with a huge interior, driven by an air-cooled V8 engine hung out behind the rear wheels, old-VW-Beetle style. This is the best restoration of a T87 I've ever seen...

At the other end of the size scale (from almost any car) is this tiny Isetta 250 from 1956. Note the unique front door through which one enters and exits the little bubble-car, which provides seating for two very close friends. At one time, European cities were full of Isettas, some built in Italy and the rest produced by BMW...

Most of the dozens of motorcycles on display were finely restored jewels, spanning the years from 1912 to the 1960s. But this one caught my eye: it's a 1917 Harley-Davidson Model J, owned by the same collector who brought several shiny examples of early H-Ds. As it happens, this completely original (and thus grubby) bike is the one he rides regularly...

And then there's this strange device, a 1923 NER-A-CAR, which was billed as not just a motorcycle but near(ly) a car. Hence the name. Again totally unrestored, its owner putted around the show on it. Motorcycle fans will notice the unusual steering mechanism, which is remarkably like the setup used on some modern high-performance bikes...

Finally, a major automotive auction was held in conjunction with the show, in which some interesting cars were passed along at hefty prices. The star was a sight one seldom sees these days: a 1938 Bugatti Type 57 "Atalante" coupe. These are rare enough as it is, but this one was a true "barn find" in totally original condition, locked away in a garage where it was recently discovered after a 45-year slumber. Filthy, worn and with an engine covered with mouse droppings and similar detritus, it still commanded a $775,000 winning bid. Sadly, the new owner will probably restore it completely; my inclination would be to clean it thoroughly, get it in good mechanical order and drive it while savoring its originality, but that's just not done with such pricey and rare machines...

One more picture show to come....

Familiar names, unfamiliar cars... least all but one carry famous badges.

Who doesn't recognize a Ferrari? This one, a 1951 type 195, has its racing-car heart covered by a dignified coupe body as so many Ferraris of that era did. Ferrari did not build its own bodies, but sent finished chassis to several Italian firms to be completed; this one was built by the well known Ghia firm. It's still lovely after all these years, and the howl of its tiny V12 engine is as intoxicating as ever...

Aston Martins, on the other hand, have seldom been less than sporting in appearance and performance, as useful on a race track as it was as a Gentleman's Grand Tourer. The first DB 2/4 I saw was on a used-car lot circa 1960, on sale for $1200. One hundred times that amount wouldn't have bought this one...

In contrast, Volvos have always been regarded more as nice, safe sedans and station wagons. This P1900 from 1956 is an exception, and a rare survivor from a short-lived experiment that mated a fiberglass body designed in Sweden but built in California with the running gear of a Volvo sedan...

This one is unfamiliar to most people, and that's a shame. The 1956 Talbot-Lago was the last car from the French Talbot firm, which began building cars in the early days of the automobile. In person, this coupe's simple lines are elegant and understated; some consider it the most beautiful design of its era...

Even Saab tried its hand at building a sports car. This 1974 Sonett III was the company's final try; the first, in the mid-1950s, was a simple open roadster project that was canceled after six cars were built. The later Sonett was built in larger quantities, but when US safety and pollution laws required major changes, the experiment came to an end....

Next: some oddities, on two wheels and four, plus a rare sight....

Back to the show...

...this time, some favorites from Sunday's foreign cars. Once again, this is only a small sample of what the thousands of people who came to the event were able to see.

There are familiar brand names here.

Begin with Rolls-Royce, in this case a 1912 model 40/50, familiarly (but not entirely correctly) known as the Silver Ghost, seen as it was driven into the park early Sunday morning...

Here's a Bentley, a 1926 3-liter. For various reasons, not the least of which is that I've spent many hours behind the wheel of a very similar Bentley, this is the car I most wished I could have taken home with me...

Among the MGs at the show, this 1932 "Magna" was my favorite. It's tiny -- the top of the windshield in a little over waist-high -- and faster than you'd expect...

Jaguars have always been elegant and sporting. This 1938 SS100 is surely no exception...

Few Alfa-Romeos are as desirable as this 1939 model 6C which, despite the flamboyant body design, was built for racing and has an extensive competition history...

Next: More unfamiliar cars with familiar names.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


...because I couldn't resist following the link that talented Joan posted in her journal.

Behold...the HobbesDollar!

He's much, much handsomer than ol' George, isn't he?

The car show will resume shortly....

More photos from the show...

...covering American cars from the 1950s and '60s. There were more cars among this group that delighted me than I can put up here, so I've picked some unusual and rare examples.

First, a 1953 Corvette. This was the first year of the Fiberglass Chevy; it was not an immediate success, as only 183 were sold out of a total production of 300...

"Dream Cars" were big in the 1950s. This Packard "Panther" was built in 1954...

...followed, a year later, by the Lincoln "Indianapolis," a somewhat bizarre design (though I freely admit to loving it!) with a body built in Italy...

A fair number of daddies bought Devin fiberglass bodies to transform VW Beetles or wrecked sports cars into shiny new sports cars. A few bought these 1/3-size Devin "Juniors," powered by lawn-mower engines, for their fortunate offspring. My father took me to Bill Devin's factory once, but bought neither a big Devin body to build a sports car for himself or a Junior for me...

Finally, from the racecar-happy 1960s, came this 1969 Plymouth "SuperBird," which had a special front nose panel and a high rear wing (plus an extra-hot V8 under the hood) to qualify it for NASCAR racing...

Next, some of my favorite foreign cars from Sunday, followed by a selection of cars and motorcycles that caught my eye but won no awards.

Here come the car pictures...

...and there are so many that I've had to break them into groups. Fair warning to those who aren't interested: it's going to be something like two days and five or so entries before I stop posting them!

The show was divided into two main categories -- American cars on Saturday, foreign on Sunday -- and roughly fifty judging classes. Fortunately, only six awards were assigned to "my" judging team. Even more fortunate, I worked with the same guy who has been my partner all six times I've done this show. We are almost telepathic when it comes to picking out the most special among a superb selection of rides.

I'm also lucky that the sweat pouring off of me didn't short out the camera!

So here are a few of the more than 200 cars and motorcycles that made the show. First two entries devoted to American cars and then, in later entires, the great cars from Europe. Most of those seen here will be prize-winners, though there are a few that didn't win but are too cool to ignore.

First, a lovely 1909 Buick whose owner (and family) chose to dress up in period costume. They -- car and family -- were crowd-pleasers....

This 1912 Rauch & Lang electric also drew crowds. It is remarkably like modern attempts at electric cars, a sad commentary on how little the technology has changed (and how little computers and electronics have affected the technology)...

Saturday's "Best in Show" award went, deservedly, to this magnificent 1934 Packard...

Another favorite was this immaculate 1931 Duesenberg Model J...

...which sported a Lalique crystal radiator cap that is probably worth more than some modern cars...

This is, as the rest of my entries will be, only a small taste of the cars shown. It is no wonder to me that this show is considered one of the best three or four shows of its type in the country. I am pleased to have been asked to be among the judges, even if the show program referred to me as a "veteran" in my field....

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

East is East and West is West...

...and I am in the West again.

Looked at from one viewpoint, it was an excellent trip: no airline problems, a nice car (which drew plenty of attention), perfectly suited to carry me through the weekend, a nice hotel, reunions with friends I haven't seen in six years and a few new friends.

A couple of nice future prospects came up throughout the four days, too, but I refuse to jinx them by writing about what may happen. If/when they come off, I'll tell you....

For all that, it was also an awful and enervating trip. As expected, the heat and humidity, which I had to deal with while standing around in the sun in jacket and tie for 15 hours over the weekend, wiped me out. Heck, even the locals were grumbling about it, and those of us who were out-of-towners were sweating like crazy. I drank 20 bottle of water over the weekend.

Of course it poured rain on Monday when I had to drive into NYC to meet a colleague for lunch. Any resident can describe that better than I...just ask them what driving on the FDR at noon on a rainy Monday is like....

But those parts of the weekend that were roughest to deal with had nothing to do with weather. Not directly, anyway. As I mentioned before, it has been six years since I've been to Connecticut, six years since I've made the Newark Airport/NJ Turnpike/across the bridges to Hutchinson Parkway/Merritt Parkway in Connecticut/destination drive, but it felt as familiar as if I had done it a week before. I had brought along a map to refresh my memory, but didn't need it. The memories the whole process brought back were good ones, but also bad because they are memories, not part of my current life.

Exit 3 on the Merritt, exit 4, and exit 7 instead of exit 17....

There is also a strange disconnect between me and the Really Wealthy People I interact with at this event. I looked around at a banquet I attended Saturday night -- free for me because I was one of those invited; almost everyone else paid $125 to be there -- and realized that everyone there had, at a minimum, something like 125,000 times as much money as I do. Sitting next to "Chip" and "Buffy" at dinner ("Chip" is a CEO, "Buffy" is a lawyer in Manhattan) didn't help; my position during the weekend made me interesting, and the subject of much interrogation. Conversely, I found "Chip" as tepid as a glass of room-temperature water. If "Buffy" hadn't been so damn delectable, I might have thought the same about her....

I could rant about the Really Wealthy for hours, especially those in Connecticut and, I suppose, all of New England. But, for your sake, I won't.

It was good to get back to the hotel afterward and sit in the bar with Old Friends, people I respect and who respect me, where the talk was about things that are relevant and interesting.

The one possible major, major problem with the weekend I anticipated and dreaded did not happen, thank God. And those who knew of it were too kind to mention a particular name to me....

The ups and downs wore me out. It's that simple.

When all is said and done, I came from a place where I am alone to be in another place where I was alone, only to return to the place where I am always alone.

I spent today sleeping and, when awake, wishing I was asleep.

Is this my role in life? Am I to make people happy, entertain them, in between hours of incredible loneliness? I am not so much jealous of the people I mixed with for their wealth as I was for the fact that they did not, do not, sleep alone and worry that their place in life is peripheral and, ultimately, meaningless.

Enough of this. The next few entires will be pictures. Unfortunately for those of you who couldn't care less, they will be pictures of cars. That is, after all, why I spent a hellish and delightful weekend in Connecticut.

I'm glad I went. I am much, much happier to be home. I know what my life it like; I don't need it thrown in my face at every turn.