Monday, June 23, 2014

Car Watching - Camaro ZL1 Convertible

Ah, the Camaro.  Much maligned, but redeemed in this latest version.  It packs 580 horsepower, only outgunned by the mighty Shelby Mustang.  But it's more than that.  It's a car that's built for the track.  This is not your uncle's old and moldy muscle car.  Power and great handling from a Camaro?  Yes.  The convertible body style might take away a bit of this car's edge, but it's still the greatest Camaro ever.  Sort of like the Optimus of Bumble Bees. 

This one had dealer plates.  Hopefully this one makes it into the hands of someone who appreciates it for it's greatness, and doesn't just plug in a horrible sounding exhaust and crappy 22-inch wheels.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dru Potts - A subtle reminder that exceptional people come in surprising packages

Someone said today that death is about the people that are left behind.  I guess I agree with that.  When someone dies, they are freed of the responsibilities and confinements that the world brings.  It is indeed the living that question, ponder, complain, remember, fret, and wonder.  Dru Potts died last night.  Rock on, Dru.

I'm getting ready to go run stairs right now.  Dru would find that mildly amusing.  By the time we were pretty good amateur BMX racers, Dru and I did a bit of riding and "training" together.  I called it training, Dru called it work.  I would train, train, train all week, every week and Dru would show up at a race and kick ass as naturally as humanly possible. 

We traveled a lot to races as we grew old enough to drive, and he was a great traveling companion.  That mf'er could drive like a machine.  When everyone else would be falling asleep at the wheel, Dru pressed on, bragging about the mpg's that his GTI was turning in.  We'd travel to tracks near and far, and more often than not, his grandpa would meet us and film the races for us to watch someday.  That was one dedicated grandpa.  His mom would show up from places afar as well, usually scolding him for something he did (or didn't) do.  I was always worried she would lose her cool and whack him right in front of us, but she kept her composure despite Dru's disinterest whatever it was she was pissed about.

Fast forward to college, and Dru and I would skip afternoon classes at UMSL and hit the mountain bike trails at Weldon Spring.  He as almost as good at mountain biking as he was at BMX racing.  If there were no uphills, he would have been world champion.  Again, a natural on anything with two wheels.

Whatever his troubles in life, he remained the same level headed, dead pan guy he has always been.  We hadn't talked in years, and I got a phone call from him and we picked right up talking about what kind of mountain bike he should buy.  He could tell a story like no one else, taking the long way around, making the story as interesting and shocking as he possibly could, yet it would still be true.

Then I found out he was hitting the BMX bike so that he could spank the young guys at the track again.  At the same time, he was riding his motorcycle and doing well in motocross races again.  He and his lifelong friend Kyle, riding motorcycles just like it was 1986 again.  I didn't get a chance to ride with him in recent years, but he'd stop by the store and catch me up on all of his happenings.  I'm glad for that.

So I'm going to go "training" tonight, and Dru can smirk all he wants.  Hey, some of us don't have the luxury of being so good on two wheels.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Full Moon - Couldn't resist

 Funky lights dancing about my full moon photo.
And then Eli wanted to get a photo with the full moon, too.  They never look as impressive in photos.  Or perhaps I'm must a crappy photographer.  Yeah, that's it.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jefferson Barracks - And why can't I find that gravesite?

 I have ridden to Jefferson Barracks twenty times over the years to see my dad's grave site.  I ride at the park, which is adjacent to the cemetery, quite often.  But it seems that when I ride my bike to the cemetery I lose my way.  I don't think there has every been a time when I've actually found Dad's headstone while on my bike.  Call me crazy.
 So this morning, when I again could NOT find the stone, I rode home, showered, and DROVE back down to the cemetery before work and FOUND the head stone.  Something about being in the car must awaken my feeble mind and I figure out that it's on THAT side of the cemetery.  Anyway, since we did not visit during memorial day weekend, I had to make time to go.
 I'm scowling during this pitiful selfie because, for the life of me, I couldn't get the button to work.  When it finally worked, this is what I was left with.  Titled "Grumpy Selfie with Dad".
I then noticed that there was a tiny deer curled up behind one of the headstones very close to where I was unsuccessfully taking a selfie.  I turned my camera over to take a photo and he bolted.  But I still took a rather cute photo of him.

It wasn't the same visiting Dad without the family.  Maybe on Father's Day we can get it all together and get some proper photos together.  I feel like I will let them forget him if I don't remind them, since none of them ever met Dad.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Rex - The dog who lived....

....carefree, with his junk hanging out for the world to see.  And on my side of the bed.  Atta boy, Jackass.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Car Watching - 1968 Dodge Coronet 440

 If you are at all a Mopar fan, take a minute and right click these photos so that you can see them full sized.  This 1968 Dodge Coronet 440 was the finest example I have ever seen away from a car show.
I whipped into the 7-11 near my house when I saw this beauty parked there.  I saw it's owner getting into the car, so I jumped out and asked him if I could have a photo.  He kindly said yes and asked if I needed him to get out of the car.  What a nice guy!  I told him not to get out and I took two photos.  He then told me that this was a St. Louis car, built here in 1968.  I didn't ask, but if I was a betting man, I would say that the 383 was doing a fine job under the hood by the glorious sounds it was belting out.

Gorgeous car, gracious owner, my best catch in a long, long time.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Car Watching - 1961 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

 When I saw this 1961 Thunderbird sitting at the Dobbs in Chesterfield, I had to stop and take some photos.  I absolutely adore Thunderbirds from their inception in 1955 to the last attractive one (my opinion, of course!) in 1971.  This was a very attractive example.
The rear tail lights always remind me of exhaust ports on fighter jets.  I wanted to get more photos of the beautiful red interior, but the guys working inside were eyeballing me so I busted out after just these two.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Cycle St. Louis March - April 1995

About 20 years ago, the Touring Cyclist used to put out a newspaper a few times a year called Cycle St. Louis. Although it was heavily peppered with TC info and propaganda, it was a nice thing to have around.  The paper had events coverage, race results, product reviews, and the occasional super cool article...like the one depicted on this cover!

The article was about five hot local bike racers.  I don't know about hot, but it was a fun photo shoot and it was fun to pass out to my friends and family and get a good laugh.  I don't know if any of the others on this cover are still racing or riding, but it fills me full of nostalgia and envy for how much hair I used to have.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Sundays are for Baseball

 I caught a nice sequence of Tyson at the plate tonight.
 All prepared.  Tense.  Here it comes.
 Whack! His team fought hard for a tie...time ran out.  They came from behind and it was awesome.
 Eli pitched during his game earlier today.
 His form is looking good.
He had a strikeout, too, which is really hard at this age.  The game crawls by because they throw so many balls.  But they're learning.