The View Through The Windshield - Car Blog

A Blog About Cars ... And Everything Else That Catches My Eye

Friday September 30, 2011

car blog"Oh, The Days Dwindle Down ..." Fall has arrived. On the first day, it rained and the skies remained sunless and Winter gray. Yesterday was sunny but there has been a change in the light - it now has that Fall Look - waning and shadowy. The sky is a paler, anemic blue.

On Thursday, I fired up my '39 Plymouth coupe and gassed it up, performing the annual ritual of the Adding of the Sta-Bil To The Gas Tank. Then I took a nice 11-mile drive on rural roads.

I may get another ride or two in before the bad weather returns; it all depends how I'm feeling.

Regular readers of this blog know that I have been experiencing health problems for the past 18 months or so. A long-standing autoimmune disease (ulcerative colitis - I've had it for 27 years) flared up and I could no longer keep it under control with the medications which have worked their magic for decades. (Update: My long-standing ulcerative colitis eventully begat colon cancer in 2014 - a different sort of medical battle.)

Recently, I changed medications. The new meds have helped in many ways (lab measurements show substantial improvements) but one of the new prescriptions is very strong and the side effects are numerous: difficulty breathing, chills, loss of appetite, nausea, bruising, headache, joint pain, abdominal pain, alcohol intolerance (no wine tastings for me these days), excessive sweating and unusual tiredness and weakness.

The side effects come and go without warning. Some have diminished in frequency/intensity over time; others stubbornly persist. My gastroenterologist told me that I will be on this medication for quite a while, so "get used to it." He didn't say it to be cruel; he was just being realistic. The good things outweigh the bad.

These problems are serious enough that I have decided not to put up my train layout at Christmastime this year. I don't have the stamina to do the many little tasks required to make it operational.

There is also a side-effect that the literature refers to as 'brain fog'. It results in a shorter attention span, difficulty in performing critical/creative thinking and a diminished desire to engage/communicate. I sometimes find myself sitting down staring off into space for extended periods ... in a fog, if you will.

As a consequence of my chronic illness and the pharmacological side-effects, I have fully retired from my business consulting practice. I informed my clients two weeks ago. I mean, you can't call up clients and say, "Hey, let's meet right now because I'm feeling OK today and my brain seems to be working right now."

As of this writing, I am now 68 years-old and have been working in one form or another since I had my own lawn-cutting customer route when I was 12. During high school and college, I always had summer jobs and often held weekend gigs (working at a gas station, at a golf course, a car wash, delivering appliances, tutoring, etc.) during the school year. During my post-college career, I worked for Uniroyal, Rohm & Haas, Discovery Plastics and, finally, Sherlock Strategies. So, I feel no guilt about joining the retired class. Over the years, my wife and I have worked hard and saved hard and are now able to easily live off our accumulated retirement savings.

Because of the 'brain fog', my time spent online has dropped by 75%; I'm visiting less than half the sites I used to. It is a struggle to correspond with friends; words do not come easily these days. Lengthy conversations and social interactions sometimes leave me brain-fried.

My ability to create blog content is quite impaired. That's why I haven't been blogging much lately. I'm not going to close down 'The View Through The Windshield' but there will be no regular posting schedule. I expect that entries will be less frequent for a while. Hopefully, as I get used to the medication, my brain fog will clear.

Thanks for your understanding. Stay tuned ... (permalink)

Tuesday September 27, 2011

Solyndra On Wheels: Tesla, the Little Electric Car Company That Couldn't, has asked the government - specifically the U.S. Department of Energy - for more funding.

Tesla spokeswoman Khobi Brooklyn reportedly confirmed that the loan application was completed, adding that the money would be used "in our continued mission to make more affordable electric vehicles."

Book Review: 'In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir' by Dick Cheney

In this autobiography, former Vice President Dick Cheney paints a portrait of American politics over 40+ years reflects upon on his role in the many historic events from the period.

I was surprised to learn that ... (more >>>)

Quote Of The Day is from Groucho Marx: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."

Friday September 23, 2011

I Don't Know Whether To Be Insulted Or Relieved: Fiat has contacted several car bloggers, offering a Very Special Fiat Experience.

"You and a guest will be picked up by a FIAT Product Specialist in a FIAT 500 for a test drive to a local restaurant. You and your guest will be treated to a FIAT-inspired meal and receive a FIAT gift pack. The Product Specialist will take this time to drive around the city while you two enjoy your complimentary meal. The Product Specialist will then drop you and your guest off at the location you were picked up."

I haven't received an invitation. Maybe it's because the only Italian restaurant in Battle Ground closed earlier this year. Of course, there's a Subway in Gardner Center which offers meatball sandwiches. (I think this counts as Italian - there are at least two Subway stores in Rome.)

Battle Ground also has a McDonald's. During our 2002 trip, we spotted numerous Mickey Ds in Italy, including one at the Rome train station. And yes, you can supersize your order. Just tell the counter clerk, "Gustalo Maxi!"

It All Adds Up: Courtesy of Instapundit, "Obama is great at math. He divides the country, subtracts jobs, adds debt and multiplies misery."

Bad Pun Of The Day: The batteries were given out free of charge.

Wednesday September 21, 2011

New Wheels: On Monday, my daughter took delivery of a brand-new 2011 Subaru Forester Limited, replacing her 2004 Honda CR-V which was totaled in a crash.

sherlock car blog

She looked at several new cars before making her selection. She was disappointed in the build quality of the 2011 CR-V compared with her 2004 model. "Everything seemed flimsier," she said.

The small SUVs from Hyundai and Kia seemed cramped inside and overly large outside and did not feel as sure-footed as other CUVs she drove, although, she noted, they did offer a lot for the money. The Toyota RAV4 did not have as good visibility as the Forester and RAV4s were is short supply.

Here's hoping that she gets many good years out of her new Subaru. (permalink)

Bad Pun Of The Day: A will is a dead give-away.

Monday September 19, 2011

Free Is A Very Good Price: Ford has created a new television commercial called 'Drive One: Press Conference' that casts a critical eye on the automotive bailouts of 2009.

Chris, the star of the TV spot, said, "I wasn't going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that's standing on their own: win, lose, or draw. That's what America is about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta pick yourself up and go back to work. Ford is that company for me."

Ford's ad has been aired without charge on several news networks. In addition to the free advertising exposure, the comments by talking heads was mostly favorable. I think it's a smart move but future, near-term sales will determine the effectiveness of the message.

Book Review: 'Pinched: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About It' by Don Peck

I cringe at books and magazine articles that try to drive home points of with little vignettes. Consider "Frank Massoli (a pseudonym)" - stories are less credible when real names aren't used - and his struggle to find employment, as related by sympathetic author Peck. Of course, 47 year-old Frank didn't help himself when he told a church-paid human resources consultant, "Kiss my ass." No wonder he can't find/keep a job.

This book is full of ... (more >>>)

Quote Of The Day is from Thomas Sowell: "How did the British survive the nightly bombings of London during World War II without an army of shrinks giving them 'grief counseling'? More important, could they have survived if there had been armies of shrinks urging them to wallow in their emotions?"

Thursday September 15, 2011

Suddenly It's 1959! Or '79! Concept You, claimed to be the "new look of Volvo luxury," debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The front end is reminiscent of the old PV544, while the fastback four-door configuration brings to mind the Buick Aeroback.

Prayer Requests: If you're so inclined, there are people close to me who could use your prayers and good thoughts:

My friend and former coworker, Harry G., will undergo brain surgery Monday to remove a tumor. Please pray for a successful outcome.

My daughter and her new husband were rear-ended on Labor Day on Interstate 5 while returning from their honeymoon. Her beloved Honda CR-V was totaled. While their injuries appear to be soft tissue only, prayers for a speedy and complete recovery would be appreciated.

My fellow car nut and friend of 50-plus years, Ray, suffered severe losses in last week's record-setting floods in North Central Pennsylvania. Ray telephoned Sunday morning on his cell phone. He and his wife had spent the last two nights sleeping at the local fire house. They are now staying with friends. Ray said that their house is "toast" with substantial flood damage.

His Mustang convertible, Cadillac and two vans were moved by flood waters and are damaged and/or ruined. His '88 Corvette seems OK but a lot of insulation from the garage fell on it. His red Dakota pickup truck is OK; when they evacuated, that's what they drove. One of his lawn tractors was swept away - present whereabouts unknown.

Ray could use your prayers as he and his wife decide what to do next.

Quote Of The Day is from Will Rogers: "Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie!"... until you can find a rock."

Tuesday September 13, 2011

New Addition: Sparks Models are limited-edition, resin-cast models manufactured in Macau by Minimax. The little cars are pricey but I've never been disappointed in the look or detail of the 1:43 scale models.

sherlock auto blog

I treated myself to a Figoni & Fallaci coachbuilt 1936 Delahaye 135 Grand Sport. The model arrived yesterday and it's a beauty.

The real car debuted at ... (more >>>)

Book Review: 'After America: Get Ready for Armageddon' by Mark Steyn

I loved this book. Ann Coulter wrote of it, "Only Mark Steyn can write about the decline of America and leave you laughing." The subject matter - a world without American leadership - is very somber but Mark is the guy who quietly cracks one-liners while you're standing in line at a funeral home viewing.

In his earlier book, the New York Times bestseller, 'America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It', Mark predicted collapse for the rest of the Western World. Now, he adds, America has joined the Europeans on the great rush to self-destruction.

The Obama-lead attempt to take over America with ... (more >>>)

Energy Recipes: Paul Gigot of the WSJ once suggested that "ethanol is produced by mixing corn with our tax dollars.

In the same vein, Mark Perry has added that "solar energy is produced by mixing sunlight with our tax dollars."

Quote Of The Day is from Cicero: "Anyone can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error."

Sunday September 11, 2011

Ten Years Later: "The people ride in a hole in the ground. New York, New York - it's a hell of a town!"

Every time I hear those words from the musical 'On The Town', penned by the legendary songwriting duo Betty Comden and Adolph Green for the 1944 Broadway musical about three sailors on a 24-hour leave in New York City (later transformed into a 1949 MGM movie, starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Ann Miller and Betty Garrett), the 'hole in the ground' part acts as an aching reminder of that tragic September 2001 day in Lower Manhattan when terrorists murdered 3,000 innocent souls and created a ginormous hole and the fact that - 10 years later - there's still a big hole (two, actually) at Ground Zero.

joe sherlock blogYou can clean it up a bit, decorate it with a few trees and a water feature but it's still a hole.

Five years ago, James Lileks wrote, "If 9/11 had really changed us, there'd be a 150-story building on the site of the World Trade Center today. It would have a classical memorial in the plaza with allegorical figures representing Sorrow and Resolve, and a fountain watched over by stern stone eagles.

Instead there's a pit, and arguments over the usual muted dolorous abstraction approved by the National Association of Grief Counselors.

The Empire State Building took 18 months to build. During the Depression. We could do that again, but we don't. And we don't seem interested in asking why."

Ten years later, a pack of Islamists - those thin-skinned jerks who get outraged at everything - want to tweak America's collective nose and create some outrage by building a mosque and Islamic "community center" in the shadow of this sacred spot. I think Kathy Shaidle was right when she wrote, "I told you we should have nuked Afghanistan no later than 2:00 pm Eastern, September 11, 2001. ... We did it with Japan, and it worked great."

Of course, World War II was the last war we actually won. We did so because we engaged the 'real' enemy directly. Every war since then has been a proxy war, with us fighting the puppet state of the real enemy. Whenever we fight proxy wars, we don't win.

North Korea was (and still is) the puppet - a proxy - of China. We didn't win the Korean War because we wouldn't attack China.

Vietnam was also the puppet of China. We didn't win the Vietnam War because we wouldn't attack China.

Iraq and Afghanistan are puppets of Iran. I wish we'd get together with Israel and nuke Iran. And do some tactical nuking of North Korea's nuclear enrichment labs - they should be easy to find; they're the only places with lights on at night. And then send a postcard to China with a short message: "You may be next."

Yes, the Bush Doctrine has kept us safe. But it needs to be updated and expanded. We still need to secure our borders, especially the one with Mexico. As for that fetid piece of real estate known as the Middle East, I'd like to know why, ten years after 9/11, are we still reliant on obtaining our energy supply from the most volatile and chaotic region in the entire world? Especially since our petrodollars are finding their way to terrorist groups.

Let's drill in America. And build a big refinery - or nuclear powerplant - on every abandoned military base. Waive all EPA regs to get it done. Make it part of our national defense program.

In its day, World War I was called "the war to end all wars." We're not even allowed to call any of the current conflicts a "war." It might upset someone. Like that little PC pussy NYC Mayor Bloomberg who smugly pronounced that "no first responders nor religious are welcome at the Big Apple's 10th-anniversary observance of 9/11."

Something about America has changed. The outrage and resultant 'get 'er done' attitude has waned.

We have reclaimed the luxury of becoming a bickering, partisan nation again. But Islamic terrorism has neither disappeared nor lost its focus. There is a global jihad being waged against all "infidels" - Americans, Europeans, Russians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and others - in order to re-establish the medieval Islamic global empire.

America must continue to assertively and aggressively protect and defend itself from this violent jihad. On September 11, 2001, America learned that radical Islam is at war with us. It's a war we must win.

Never forget.

Thursday September 8, 2011

Liar, Liar, Porsche On Fire: Over at TTAC, Jack Baruth lays into a fellow journalist whose Porsche Panamera blew a turbo and caught fire during some track testing.

Canada's National Post auto writer, David Booth utterly eviscerated Porsche for "building cars that can't handle simple track work." But, in a bizarre case of opposite-logic, ultimately recommended the car to his readers.

Many car buffs are critical of Mr. Booth but I must refrain from excoriating him and invoke the 'people who live in glass houses' rule.

car blog

You see, when I went to look at a 1957 Continental Mark II in the Fall of 1987, I arrived at the Boring, Oregon owner's home a little early. As they were trying get the beast started, it backfired copiously through the carb belching flames and setting the engine compartment ablaze.

While one of the helpers was trying to find a fire extinguisher, I quickly tore off my beloved gray hoodie and beat the flames out with it.

I bought the car anyway. And enjoyed it, driving it through five different states over the next five-plus years.

And it never caught on fire again. (permalink)

joe sherlock Plymouth blogSunny & Hot: Temperatures eventually reached 94 yesterday but while the temperatures were a relatively cool 79 degrees at 12:45, I took the Plymouth out for a spin. The skies were almost cloudless and visibility was endless on this warm rural summer day.

Between wedding get-ready activities and feeling punk for the last week or so, I've failed to fulfill my promise of more rides this year.

Here's hoping I can make up for lost time.

Outta Juice? I spotted a Nissan Leaf electric car on a flatbed on Wednesday morning. It wasn't being hauled away because of an accident - the car looked perfect and brand-new.

I don't think I've seen an almost-new disabled car since ... I dunno ... 1962 or so.

Alt Bus: Volvo Buses is developing a plug-in hybrid bus that can drive long distances silently and exhaust-free on only electricity. Three buses will be tested this year in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The plug-in hybrid bus is essentially the same Volvo hybrid bus as today but equipped with a large battery pack an on-board charging equipment.

The concept is based on placing battery charging stations at the end stations of the bus lines. By charging the battery there for five to ten minutes, it could significantly extend the time that the bus is able to operate only on electricity - for distances of 6 miles or more - pretty long for a bus route these days.

It can be controlled so that the bus operates on electricity in densely populated areas or in particularly sensitive environmental areas, while the diesel engine can be used on other parts of the route.

auto blogIn the 1950s, the Swiss ran flywheel-powered buses. They recharged (spun-up the electric motor) from electrical poles along the route - took 30 seconds or so. Zero pollution. No overhead wires either.

It was the Gyrobus made by the Swiss firm, Oerlikon. The Gyrobus had a 3,300-pound, steel flywheel located beneath the floor spinning at 3,000 rpm. The flywheel spun the motor's armature, turning it into a generator. The electricity it produced powered a second electric motor, which drove the bus wheels.

Every three to four miles on the route there were posts where the flywheel was recharged - three poles on the bus were raised to make contact with a three-phase alternating current source.

Different powertrain than Volvo's but, interestingly, the conceptual approaches were quite similar: smooth, silent operation, fast-recharge.

A Face Only A Mother Could Love: It just wouldn't be a European car show without something weird from Citroën, in this case the Tubik Concept, a minivan of the future to be exhibited at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Split Wood: The once-mighty Jeld-Wen, Inc. Oregon's largest privately held company, is reportedly facing potential bankruptcy after failing to sell bonds needed for a rescue deal.

Founded in 1960, when Dick Wendt joined four colleagues to buy a window company's wood mill in Klamath Falls, the company now employs 20,000 worldwide including 2,500 in Oregon.

The window-and-door maker has closed plants, sold assets, laid off workers, cut spending and amassed debt after a body blow from the 2008 housing market crash. The firm's problems were exacerbated when it tried to issue bonds in a weak and skittish investment climate.

The company's sales slid from $3.6 billion in 2008 to $3.1 billion in 2010.

If this business fails, much of the blame can be laid at the feet of the U.S. government - for ruining the homebuilding market and killing the bond market.

59? Are You Kidding? Mitt Romney has offered a 59-point Economic Plan and accompanying 160-page book which almost no one will read.

America needs a 5-point economic plan. Even Letterman barely gets away with 10 things these days.

Romney is so stupefyingly dull, I'm already getting sleepy zzzzzzzzchrytlkewqp Ow! I just hit my head on the keyboard.

I bet he has read 'War and Peace'. And 'Dune'. zzzzzzzzchrytlkewqp Ow!

Nunsense: Gregory Sullivan accurately (to me anyway) remembers Catholic elementary school: "Catholic school was likewise full of warnings that the machinery of the universe would tick over immediately to punish the incautious. Hell, (whoops; sorry, Sister) if you threw your dessert uneaten into the trash some foreign kid would immediately keel over and die for the want of it.

That was never his fault, somehow, and it didn't matter that dessert was prunes from a huge dented can, and even Biafrans were known to turn up their noses at those.

You killed those people. A+B=C. Period."

Quote Of The Day is from Tom McMahon: "I've never understood how there can be a Quaker Oats but no Roman Catholic Spaghetti."

Tuesday September 6, 2011

Auto Sales Report: The overall SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) for August was 12.1 million - up 5.3% from August 2010.

joe sherlock car blog

General Motors reported a sales gain of 18% from year-ago levels. Ford Motor Co. sales were up 11%. Chrysler had its best August sales in four years with a 31% sales increase.

Toyota and Honda, still reeling from the effects of the March earthquake in Japan, were the biggest losers. Toyota sales fell 13%, while Honda tumbled 24%. Hyundai gained a remarkable 29%, while Nissan sales increased 19%.

At Chrysler, Jeep was up 58%, led by the Compass which jumped 130% compared to August 2010.

At Ford, Fiesta sales increased 76% to 5,833 units. Lincoln sales also increased by 25% to 8,006 units, lead by the MKZ - jumping 50% from last August to 2,337 units. The Lincoln no one asked for - the hearse-like MKT - dropped by 33% to 408 units.

At GM, Cadillac sales overall were up only 4% to 13,208 units; the CTS lead the sales parade with a 40% increase. Sales of the Buick Regal were up a surprising 124%.

At Toyota, 2,392 Avalons were sold - a drop of 13% from last August. Lexus sales were down 7% to 18,103 units. Only 810 Lexus LS sedans were sold in August, a decrease of 16% from last year.

Jaguar sales were down 43% to 810 units. It is difficult to see how Jag can stay in business with such low numbers.

The Ford F-Series was the top selling model in August, racking up sales of almost 48,000 units. The Chevy Silverado was a distant second with sales just under 38,000 for the month.

"Toto, I Have A Feeling We're Not In Stratos Anymore." Lancias were rarely seen in the U.S. but in Europe, it was an iconic brand since its founding in 1906.

automobile bloggerLancia has a long tradition of producing fast touring, sports and racing cars. Memorable ones, too - like the Lancia Aurelia luxury touring car of the 1950s and its successor, the Flaminia. Or the Stratos and the ultra-wedgy Stratos HF concept car. And even the ill-fated, mid-engined Scorpion of the 1970s.

Now, in perhaps the ultimate case of badge engineering, the Chrysler 200 (nee Sebring) convertible is offered as Lancia Flavia Cabrio.

That subterranean hum you hear is founder Vincenzo Lancia spinning in his grave at 6,000 rpm. (permalink)

No Amnesty: John James Zupan, founder of Portland's Zupan's Markets (a local grocery chain), was struck by a car last week in Portland and later died. Mr. Zupan was well-liked within the business community and the grocery community and was described as an innovator. Zupan, 66, of Vancouver was riding his motorcycle on Northeast Marine Drive at 7:52 p.m. when an eastbound 1998 Honda Civic crossed the center line and struck the 2009 BMW cycle head on.

Edy Reynoso-Ramirez was taken into custody after police said he fled the scene.

Investigators said Reynoso-Ramirez, 32, was driving erratically and speeding eastbound when he crossed the center line and crashed head-on into Zupan's motorcycle near the 138th Avenue intersection. Everyone who has ever been on Marine Drive knows that it is a dangerous road and passing is both reckless and stupid.

Especially if you're drunk, which Reynoso-Ramirez apparently was. And it's not his first time at that dance. He was arrested for DUI in Oregon in 2003. He is also apparently in this country illegally.

Last month, in Milford, MA, 34 year-old Nicolas Guaman, an illegal immigrant, hit and killed 23-year-old motorcyclist Matthew Denice, with a pickup truck and dragged his body a quarter-mile. Denice was alive when Guaman dragged him with his truck, said Worcester County District Attorney spokesman Paul Jarvey.

Guaman has been charged with negligent vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of liquor, leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury and death, possession of an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, failure to stop for police, unlicensed driving, failure to yield at a stop sign, resisting arrest and wanton or reckless conduct creating risk to a child.

the view through the windshieldThis guy had been arrested three times since 2007 for driving without a license. Milford Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin said Guaman told police he was in the country illegally. He said the incident underscores the importance of the Secure Communities Act, which would allow fingerprints to be sent directly to Homeland Security officials. In this case, Milford Police had to call federal officials to send them the fingerprints.

In related news, Obama's Uncle Onyango (or Obama's Uncle Obama or Uncle Oingo Boingo, whatever), the long-time illegal alien was recently apprehended for drunk driving in Massachusetts, when he nearly plowed into the vehicle of a local police officer. He is now being held at the Plymouth County House of Correction on the deportation order that was entered in his case 20 years ago.

Illegal immigration, violence and crime seem to be inexorably linked.

Want to create jobs for Americans and reduce the crime rate at the same time? Get rid of all illegals. Right now.

And fire all ICE personnel who have conspired to allow Reynoso-Ramirez to stay in this country after his 2003 DUI, who have ignored Guaman and his many traffic violations and who have permitted Uncle Oingo Boingo to loiter here for 20 years.

Start rounding 'em up and shipping 'em out. (permalink)

Got Better Things To Do Than Photo-Op With Barry O: NASCAR has said that five drivers - Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart - will not be attending the White House visit due to "schedule conflicts."

Any Port In A Storm: A Hamilton, Ohio man was charged with public indecency after being caught having sex with a stolen inflatable pink pool raft. "Edwin Charles Tobergta has four previous public indecency charges, including one involving an inflatable pumpkin."

Bad Pun Of The Day: The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky ground.

Thursday September 1, 2011

August 2011 - An Unforgettable Month: I haven't been blogging lately because I had been preoccupied with a far more important matter. My wife and I were very busy preparing for our daughter's wedding which took place last Saturday.

Father of the bride and the bride arrive at the church in a chauffeured 1947 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith.
Bride and groom depart for the reception as they toast the crowd with champagne.

We have been working on this event for over six months, with much-needed assistance from our family and friends. We are grateful for all their help.

I am pleased to report that our planning efforts were not in vain. The wedding came off flawlessly. At the church, the pastor, Fr. Dave Gutmann, delivered a very meaningful and personal homily and a beautiful Mass. Music was provided by a pianist and a vocalist - a big guy with a deep, operatic voice, like Luciano Pavarotti. My daughter's best childhood friend performed a flute solo as well. There were five groomsmen, five bridesmaids, a flower girl and two ring bearers.

The reception at Rock Creek Country Club couldn't have gone better. Wine flowed, beer was drunk and people had a really good time. There was much dancing; the DJ/MC my wife hired - Bust-A-Move DJ Services - did a spectacular job. Everyone raved about the food, especially the meatballs (people joked that it wouldn't be a Sherlock function without them), the salmon filets and the prime rib carvery. The bartenders and servers were courteous and attentive. We offered two different red wines and two kinds of white wine as well.

The church ceremony, reception, after-party - absolutely everything - came off without a hitch. Everyone did their part flawlessly. Even God ... Saturday's weather was sunny with high temperatures in the low 80s.

It was the perfect wedding. And the last one we'll ever have to do.

In Vino Veritas: In May 2007, we visited the Arbor Crest Winery in eastern Washington state, which is located high on a hill and offers spectacular views of the Spokane Valley and the Spokane River.

We purchased a pricey bottle of 2001 Arbor Crest Dionysus, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc. The guy at the tasting room told me not to open it until 2011.

We had originally planned to consume it at our 45th wedding anniversary in June. But, at the time, I wasn't feeling well, so we didn't open the bottle. (I'm feeling much better these days, thanks to a change in medication.)

Since my brother and his wife are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in September and had flown cross-country for the wedding, we decided to open the bottle during their farewell dinner at our house.

The wine was spectacular - offering layers of polished red cherry, currant and berry.

Only 560 cases of 2001 Dionysus were produced.

The text on the bottle claims "the alluring aroma of maple sugar, cedar and black raspberry unfold on the palate as plum, nutmeg and black cherry - thoroughly seductive."

Damn. I should have bought several bottles of this stuff.

Quote Of The Day is from Kinky Friedman: "Obama has done for the economy what pantyhose did for foreplay."


This blog is about cars, automobiles, vehicles of various sorts and more.

The facts presented in this car blog are based on my best guesses and my substantially faulty geezer memory. The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Probably.

Spelling, punctuation and syntax errors are cheerfully repaired when I find them; grudgingly fixed when you do.

If I have slandered any brands of automobiles, either expressly or inadvertently, they're most likely crap cars and deserve it. Automobile manufacturers should be aware that they always have the option of trying to change my mind by providing me with vehicles to test drive.

If I have slandered any people, politicians, celebrities or corporations in this blog, either expressly or inadvertently, they should buy me strong drinks (and an expensive meal), while patiently attempting to prove that they're not the jerks I've portrayed them to be. If you're buying, I'm willing to listen.

Don't be shy - try a bribe. It might help.

copyright 2011-16 - Joseph M. Sherlock - All applicable rights reserved