Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hibernate....

Well it's Halloween eve and we just put the hot rods in the garage after a little run around town with Dan & Ramona. We have a run November 27th and one in December but for the most part the hot rods will be garage dwellers till March. We will take them out on warm days....just to drive around and give old people a bad name but no more organized deals for the year.

We attended 67 events this year....one less than last year....I don't know what that means? We have made some new friends and deepened some relationships during the year and generally enjoyed ourselves while playing with hot rods. The two hot rods ran fine most of the year and I'll be upgrading and maintaining them during the winter.

The next post will be after Thanksgiving and one more in mid December then silence till March.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fun with aiplanes and cars....part deaux

Saturday, October 23, 6AM….Dan & Ramona, the Princess and I begin our dark and dreary 63 mile cruise from Stafford to the Leesburg Airport in Leesburg, VA. We took I-95 to Rt. 234N to the Mother Road (I-66) then Rt. 15 to Leesburg and the airport. Rt. 15 is a nice rural road to cruise except for the traffic circles. These little heart stoppers do add a level of excitement to the trip. I know the traffic planners think they do a better job with the traffic flow than stop signs….and I know they are in use all over the world….and I know Gordonsville has had one for many years….but I think they are a cruel joke on old people. You can’t read and understand the signage in time to make sensible decisions about what you are going to commit to before you enter the maelstrom of head lights, tail lights, break lights, turn signals, horns and people telling me that they think I’m number 1….? Stop signs or traffic signals take most of the conflict out of intersections. I think traffic circles are a product of some twisted traffic engineer’s desperate attempt at humor….I don’t like traffic circles. You will not find any in the Slacker’s perfect world. After surviving two circles I was more than a little shaken and started to feel lost. I had pre-driven the route on MapQuest and Google Earth during the week to familiarize myself with the surroundings but Saturday morning in the dark all I could see was the road in front of me! I contacted Ramona in the back of the troupe because they always run with a GPS….I hoped she could keep us from ending up in Florida! She told me we were on track and the next turn was 6 miles ahead…. whew. Isn’t technology wonderful?! I had thought about taking a GPS with me in the RedRat but it just wouldn’t work with the “Hot Rod” persona of that car….getting lost is better? It’s a “man” thing.

We arrived early and had to line up on the ramp to wait till all the airplanes were moved so we could drive to our parking spaces among the airplanes. The display was designed to raise awareness of Wounded Warrior Project and add some additional interest to the air show. We were the only “Hot Rods” in the display of exotic cars. It was neat to be in the company of so many special cars. Some of which you only read about but never actually see. There were many Ferrari’s and a couple Lamborghinis with various other “exotic” cars in the mix. The original Mini Cooper was special and the Renault was….as I remembered them. Bob's yellow and blue hand built Jag was off the chart cool but I liked the Porsche racer from iMA Motorsport the best….the Gulf Oil colors made it work for me! I remember the same colors on the Ford GT-40’s but they look better on the Porsche. Wyatt was there with his DeLorean and kept a crowd of spectators around his car all day. It was interesting that when some of the cars were lined up in the morning the RedRat was the tallest of the bunch! It looked weird….but it really stood out.

The spectators were, for the most part, respectful of the cars but some of the other participants were encouraging people to sit in their cars. So when they got to our cars they didn’t understand why we wouldn’t let them crawl onto and into the hot rods. The little ones especially just didn’t understand….so we had to enlighten them about scratches in the paint on the running boards from their shoes and how that is not something we are happy about! The Princess is real good about conveying that message ….being a school bus driver for 26 years!

The day was perfect and as the airshow wound down the spectators surrounded the cars again as they left the venue and we had some lengthy conversations until the crowds started thinning out. This was the first try by Ray and Bruce at one of these display deals and I think they pulled it off just fine. I know the Princess liked the donuts…hint hint! The spectators appreciated the cars being there and I know it added to their enjoyment of the day. I think the cars will be an attraction that needs to be advertised next year to help with the attendance at the airshow. It was also a good day for WWP as they raised $665 and the public awareness up a notch or two.

Dan & Ramona cruised to Winchester and overnighted there then attended the Hoppers show the next day. We cruised home to get ready for the bonsai trip to PA and back the next day to see our newest granddaughter. I kept humming ‘on the road again’ as I drove….

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Playing with cars, trucks and airplanes....again!

Saturday October 9, 2010 and its SHOWTIME! It’s time for the 11th Annual AirFest at Culpeper Regional Airport in Brandy Station, VA. Dan and I have been planning this event since the day after last year’s event! The parking staff of Andrew on the road, Speedo Dan, Princess Whinesalot and me, started the parking process at 0630….in the morning! It began in the dark but the morning broke perfect and the blue sky, puffy clouds and light breeze would stay all day. The temperature even stayed out of the hateful range!

Our event is a display, not a show, and as such after the parking is complete the bulk of our work on show day should be done. But what we all agreed to do was to stay near our vehicles and be readily available to answer questions when the spectators ask them about our vehicles. Most of the participants stayed with their vehicles all day and answered any questions the spectators had about their rides. Some, like the Model T, had a steady stream of curious visitors ….whole families….not just the dad or mom. The visitors would generally stay in the vehicle compound going from one vehicle to the next for 15-20 minutes then proceed through the main gate to the Air Show. Dan & I only invited 22 vehicles because we didn’t want to overpower the air show. We just wanted to be one of the many displays….a complement to the air show not competition to it….I think it worked!

One of the vehicles we invited was Ray & Terry with their Wounded Warrior Project race car. This vehicle is privately sponsored so no money given to WWP goes to sponsor the race car. Ray & Terry bring the car to shows when their race schedule allows and accept donations to WWP. But most importantly they raise awareness about WWP and how that group assists our returning Heroes. Saturday they collected $400 in donations which was a good day for WWP. But since Ray & Terry were there representing WWP and since the Prince William Cruisers were present at our display because they sponsored us….it seemed like a great opportunity for PWC to give Ray & Terry the WWP donation checks that they had received from their last show. The checks totaled $2600!...a great day for WWP.

Those of you that know me, know when I get “focused” on a project I start suffering from tunnel vision….that happened Saturday and consequently I didn’t get any pictures of the airplanes and vendors. I was so intense in making sure everything went well for our display that I forgot to step back and see what else was around us. In fact I didn’t know when the show was over till people started coming back out the gate! I know there was some magnificent flying that I missed, especially by Dan McCue in his Corsair. Oh well maybe next year I’ll delegate more car stuff and watch the airplanes more….we’ll see.

P.S. Dan and Andrew DID take a bunch of pictures….whew, thanks guys….be sure to check them out.

http://rides.webshots.com/album/578757281MuAMna

http://rides.webshots.com/album/578759531gfhuRd


And my video is parked at;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4-NppwJ_d0


video

Monday, October 4, 2010

Crazy Crazy Weekend

Friday evening and the Princess and I cruised to VA BBQ in Fredericksburg, VA to attend the weekly cruise. Some people we rarely see came out like Dan & Ramona with their black ’55 Chevy and Tony & Janice and their grey ’71 Super Bee and Wesley brought out his black & white ’56 Chevy panel, nice. I liked the little yellow English Ford with the small block and tube frame….the yellow ’35 Chevy sedan was new to us as was the red ’57 Chevy drop top. There were about 60 cars through the course of the evening and the event was special because they were raising money for one of our wounded warriors, Sgt. Lyon. I can tell fall is here because the Princess started whining about the cold before the event was over so we left early.

Saturday morning we met at Bob Evans for breakfast then cruised 25 miles to the ninth annual Christ Episcopal Church show in Spotsylvania, VA. The show had many crafty vendors and a Chinese auction….why is it called a Chinese auction, why not a Canadian auction or Australian auction….I worry about that. They had a quilt auction and good food cooking most of the day. The restrooms were inside the church and kept tidy by the church staff. The venue for this show is varied; you can park on level grass under trees or on a grassy hill in the sun or in a parking lot next to grass where you can erect your canopy. We chose to park on the grass right off the parking lot….it was a great spot.

There was a good variety of the 80 cars I saw and many of them were very nicely done cars. We had seen most of them at the various shows and cruises we attend, that is the down side of attending so many local shows. But we always see something new and this show was no exception. The yellow & black suede ’68 Chevelle was very different….and the little red MG-Jeepster-thingy was too far out for me. I did like the purple ’40 Ford coupe and Arnold’s purple ’57 Chevy convertible the best….but there were many other very nice cars too. The only negative thing about this show is the cannon! Yes a cannon that is fired from the back of the parking lot at various times during the day….the loudness is near paralyzing….I think it would be like getting tazzed….every so often….for no apparent reason….you are just having a conversation with an old friend and wham, it scrambled my senses like I just took 45 million volts through my ear lobes….I think some people were getting ready to pay the cannoneer an unfriendly visit! But fortunately the show ended before that happened….that should be deleted from the entertainment committee’s choices next year.

We left the show and followed Steve and some other friends to the cruise in Locust Grove. We had heard rumors of a cruise on Rt. 20 that was getting 50+ cars on the first Saturday of the month. The cruise started this year in June/July and seemed like it was a hit! We arrived a little early and the isolation/caution tape had not been put us so we parked where we thought would be allowed….then Mike decided to move where there were no lines on the pavement and be closer to the shade….so we all moved too, like lemmings! Mike is a very independent guy….he has a V-6 in his red ’29 2 door so he is going against the grain a little just by showing up! We decided to check out one of the local eateries and hid inside Mama’s Pizza restaurant for an hour or so. There are three food choices and the next time we will check out one of the others. Mama’s Pizza was great….the Princess says that the Lasagna was done just right for a Princess? I guess that means we lowly bottom dwellers should be happy with the food too! It was good, fairly priced and the service was fun.

As with any cruise they take on their own personality and this one was definitely a local country cruise. The live Gospel singing and bluegrass music set the tone for the evening and I kinda liked it. There were about 55 cars by the end of the evening but I like the yellow ’49 Jeepster….you never see these cars around and the one at the cruise was flawless. The only negative thing about the cruise was where the cars came into and left the cruise compound. They should have a person at the end of the lot lifting up the caution tape to allow ingress and egress, not through the canopies with the musicians and all the people gathered around listening. The kids were running around and after dark it was dangerous to drive in that area. We stayed till it got cold then cruised on home….I actually had to roll up both windows because of the cool weather….I love it!

Sunday since we were going to work in the show that got rained out last week so we took our mule, ’07 Sport Trac, up the road so we could haul more stuff for Wounded Warrior Project. The show is put on for Wounded Warrior Project and Jill’s House, two worthy causes. Last week we had 34 cars show up in the rain and we were hoping for many more this week. The weather guesser’s forcasted rain for the afternoon, they just didn’t agree when it would be here. So we pressed on with the show. Steve and the rest of the Prince William Cruisers had set up everything. The Princess and Ramona were going to be selling the event T shirts, Dan was going to help take the money and I was going to help Jo with the registration.

As I have said before the venue is great but we had received almost 6” of rain during the last week….so the grassed area was a little soft, not muddy, just soft. We got there before 8AM and the cars started coming in shortly after that. One of the main drawbacks of this show is the food. The park had permanent food facilities which should be good….but the food is subpar and the service is minimal to laughable. I shudder to think that those young people are the future of our Country….they can’t even make change for a hamburger! And the bathrooms were really bad this year….they were dirty and not adequately stocked.

But on the good side it didn’t rain till after the show, the band was kickin out awesome music and the event ran like a Rolex. The success of the event was due in part to the generous contributions of Mr. Devine, Mr. Morissette, Mr. Phillips and Mr. Brown. Those contributions allowed the Prince William Cruisers to raise $5200 for the two charities….a real good day by any measure! All of the Prince William Cruisers that came out to make the day successful should be thanked for their dedication and unselfish volunteering.

100 cars were registered but the field was flooded by Camaros, 15 of them entered the event before it was over! The “rest” of the field was varied and included some very nice cars. The one I liked the best was the blue “65 Buick Special, with the V-6. Between the one barrel carburetor, the V-6 crank throws, the convertible top and standard transmission those evil little cars would never idle nice like the V-8 would….I worked on a few of them when I was a mechanic in Riverside, CA and tried to make the car run like a “Buick” but usually failed. It was very interesting to see one again. To say I’m glad I was not asked to help with the judging is an understatement….the cars were very nice and the judges job was tedious at best.

The award ceremony was completed a little early and the Prince William Cruisers struck the camp quickly….by 4PM you couldn’t tell anything had happened at the park! WOW The rain started about 5PM!