Christmas Magic

Dear Whoever I Had to Steal the Nativity Figures From:
      Please forgive me for taking your light-up nativity scene from your yard. I had planned this Christmas display last year and I ordered my own light-up Holy Family several weeks ago. However, after sourcing a suitable Volkswagen Bus, transporting it to my yard, and getting all the lights I needed FedEx lost the package containing my nativity scene. With frustration mounting and nowhere else to turn I borrowed your yard decorations. They will be returned to you after the holiday. Thank you for your contribution to this holiday tradition. You have provided joy for many (mostly just me).

The guy who puts decorated VW's on his lawn for Christmas.

Really, I think this is the most magic I've been able to muster for any Christmas to-date. Is that rotting 1977 Volkswagen Transporter on your lawn?  Yes. Is that the Holy Family you kidnapped? Yes. Are those old milk jugs or luminaries? Yes.

Should you feel your Christmas just wouldn't be complete without seeing this vision in person, just follow the star.



That Just Happened People!

Should you find yourself reading this you are probably one of those who I have subjected to my long and horrible rant about how much I hate computers. The other week, my arch nemesis (a.k.a. my HP Pavilion DV 9000, a.k.a. the bane of my existence, a.k.a. satan incarnate) decided to zonk out. The lights on the board would come on and the fan would turn on and then it would turn off and start all over again. So what did your intrepid hero do? (After pitching a fit and swearing off computers forever) I went to another computer, researched the symptoms, found out that it was a motherboard gone south, found a new motherboard from the internet, and (against my better judgment) dismantled my laptop and replaced the motherboard.  AND IT WORKED! That's right, I (mister manual typewriter) fixed a computer....and I still hate it.


Great, but not really

I LOVE this commercial. I mean really; what red blooded, slightly sentimental, American, gear head doesn't get a little misty eyed when watching this?

 Or this?

I do own a Chevy product and I will admit that it has wiggled its way into a small corner of my inky black--predominately VW occupied-- heart. (as a side note, said Chevy gets summarily kicked out of that corner every time I visit the gas station, which is often). Over the years Chevrolet has made itself a great brand and has had a large number of great designs, but Chevy's story isn't really a great one. A great story would be that of its rival, Ford.

The story of one man building an empire on his ingenuity and vision, and then decades later his decedents investing millions of dollars for the sole purpose of developing a racing program to settle a grudge match with an icon like Enzo Ferrari is only part of it. Such a tail of dreams, ego, and triumph doesn't always make for great brand building or bean counting (except for the time when Ford was the only domestic automaker that didn't take a government bailout), but a great story like that does inspire. In all honesty it's probably a more inherently American story then Chevy could ever muster,.... but the commercials are great all the same.


The Roaming Wagon

Any guesses where (or what) this is?

The winner of this contest is only entitled to the singular joy of making me mildly impressed. 
Best of luck! 

Verterans Day in Santa Monica

Not only was I not expecting to see this on the beach, but the homeless guy who insisted on arguing with the memorial's organizers over the actual number of dead veterans was too good not to watch. 
(actually, I found the number of homeless people sleeping on the beach shocking)


A Better Car Tale

In my continuing quest to be associated with all things having to do with car collecting I hauled a Jaguar XK120M up to a specialist in Blackfoot, Idaho of all places.

This place is actually located 15 miles or more outside of Blackfoot. It sits out in the middle of a field and as near as I can tell it used to be one of those ill conceived, self built hillbilly mansions. The interior is now gutted and contains all the trappings of proper garage. I wish I would have gotten a picture of it, but outside there were, literally, 50 cats or more. You may, in fact, have called it a heard. The man and his crew are geniuses though  and I can't wait to see what they do with it.

On a side note, the iPhone failed me on this trip. I had it look up the most direct route from Ely to Blackfoot and it led on a winding and tortuous route down supposed highways that turned out to be barely paved. Have you ever wondered what is hanging out in the Northwest corner of Utah? Well I now know.

FYI: TV is NOT Real

A month ago or more I put up a 1980 Volkswagen Caddy (Rabbit Pick-up) for sale on the inter-web. I got a quick response from an estate buyer in Southern California. I mentioned that the person I was selling this truck for also had a significant stockpile of vintage car parts. The guy got excited and we set up a day for him to come up and get the truck and then go picking in the warehouse. In my mind this was going to go just like the History Channel show "American Pickers", i.e. this guy would come up and be excited and load up his truck with a bunch of stuff and I would be left with a big stash of cash and it would all be done in about 45 minuets (not counting commercial breaks). Well, the guy was tired and a little cranky due to the fact that he spent all night on the road and my time estimation was way off. He spent ALL DAY pawing through stuff. He did load up his truck with a bunch of junk and he did leave me a big stash of cash, it just took forever and wasn't nearly excited as I had imagined.
Live and learn I guess.


Nevada Day (orthodox)

As many of you may (or may not) know, as of 1998 Nevada Day has been officially celebrated on the last Friday of October. However, today is the actual Nevada Day. Enjoy!

State Motto: All for our country
State Locomotive: NNRy Locomotive #40
Nevada State Tartan: Yes, we have one of those


Things I have a Severe Soft Spot for

This is by no means a comprehensive list. I just need to air some of these. I wish that I had at least one good reason for liking any of these items as much as I do, but I don't. Don't judge me:

Gas Station hot Dogs-

The longer that a hot dog has been on one of these roller grills the better it is. I don't go for any of the other stuff, like the jalapeno cheddar dog or bahama mamas. Just the good old beef dog that has been quietly waiting for me all day. Mmmmmmm

Mariachi Bands-

Yes people, that just happened. I'll pause while you regain your composure. ----------------  I don't care what they're playing or where I find them, but a live mariachi band is something not to be missed. (stay tuned for the report on the planned trip to Baha)

Station Wagons-

I have no idea why I love these. Some of you might find this soft spot particularly odd as you know me to purchase and drive Volkswagens almost exclusively. Once again, I can't explain it, it just is like the phases of the moon and the changing of the tide. My parents recently bought one of these:

I love it. Granted, as cars go this one has some glaring deficiencies. The interior rattles, the finishes feel cheap, the seats are insufferable, and did I mention I love it.  L-O-V-E   I-T!

Really Odd Music Videos-

Is it black and white? -Check
Does it have two hags of questionable gender cackling and rolling tires down the road? -Check
Mariachi Band? -Double Check

I can't resist, just one more-


Poached Pears as Dessert Guests

(Please Note: I am a terrible food pornographer.) 

Perhaps it was the bag of pears I insisted on picking at the church ranch; perhaps it was the concussion that I inflicted upon myself while I was folding laundry; most likely it was the suggestion of a fellow foodie that drove me to try and poach pears.

It took a good half hour of haggling over which pears were in the sufficient state of ripeness, not to mention a good hour the night before at the grocery story trying to procure the correct spices. The spices in which the pears were poached smelled fantastic. The chocolate sauce made with baker's chocolate, cream, and a little honey was,... well I won't cheapen chocolate with poorly chosen adjectives. In the end, while it looks decadent, I ended up with a pear in my ice cream and chocolate sauce. It wasn't bad, but it didn't thrill me. I'm willing to try again so I if anyone has a great recipe for poached pears please share.


The 2012 Beetle Got Awesome

The last New Beetle was totally bogus. The 2012 Beetle is much cooler for a number of reasons a few of which I will mention here:
  1. They dropped the name "New Beetle" and just call it the "Beetle".
  2. It's not a hemispherical bubble (like the New Beetle), it's actually shaped like the old Beetle.
  3. Those wheels are quite possibly the coolest thing I have seen on a new car in years. 


Squirrels and Derailments

Some of you may have been wondering what became of the filthy foxes that I posted about earlier this summer. I am happy to report that the battle is over and I won. I will admit to nothing, but know that they are gone...  until next spring at any rate.

In the mean time a new enemy has infiltrated the foundations of a number of buildings in the rail yard. Squirrels. Mean, conniving, relentless squirrels. They don't actually live in the rail yard, they live across the street from the depot in some big pine trees that surround the old superintendent's house. I suspect that they moved over about the time that I ran the foxes off. So, I have unwittingly found myself wrapped up in the intricacies of nature and the natural order of the food chain. Nonetheless! I will prevail. 

Hopeful I will have better luck against the squirrels then I did on my first rail speeder ride this past week. Rail speeder look like this:
I spent about eight hours in a safety class, took a 2 hour long test, and spent a morning being instructed on how to operate one of these speeders. We are getting ready to do some pretty extensive track upgrades at the railroad; as part of that the railroad management wanted an inventory of the their track structures done. Some of these track structures are only accessible from the track right-of-way itself. I volunteered to walk, but they insisted that the speeder would be more effective. After all of that training I had been on the speeder a grand total of five minutes before I managed to fling the thing off the track. My downfall? Switches. During the class there was a good hour or so on switches. "Oh I know how to work those", I thought to myself, "I had a toy train. It's not rocket science." Apparently, it must be. I had left the shed where the speeder was stored and I was reversing to a switch at the other end of the yard. Naturally, I had my head craned around to see behind me. As I got closer to the switch I eventually noticed that the switch was set against me, but unfamiliar controls meant that my reaction time wasn't quick enough to get the contraption stopped. A few shorts moment later and I was sitting in the dirt. The track crew and master mechanic showed up and helped me set the speeder back on the track and I was off, not without a good bit of teasing though. In fact, by the time I got back to the yard that afternoon the whole railroad had heard about it. Yeah, they're going to keep bringing that one up for awhile. Live and learn.

Next Best Thing

As some of you may know one of my favorite books ever is "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller. A few months ago a friend of mine lent me this book and said it was pretty funny. First off, I can't begin to describe the brilliance of this book. This is the only work of this author who died before the book was ever published. Sometime after the author's death his mother took the book around trying to get publishers to pick it up and it ended up winning the Pulitzer. Fare warning, if you did not like "Catch 22" you will not like this book. However, if enjoyed that WWII satire then you will love this book. I can't believe I hadn't read it sooner.


I can do that...

I am happy to report that after a harrowing and epic struggle I managed to retire from the dental office last month. Upon finding myself retired I took a victory trip. I first traveled to Utah to pick up a 1990 Jetta Turbo Diesel that I thought I would be bringing home to add to the collection (more on that later).

I then packed up and headed North. I first stopped in Blackfoot to visit Vintage Jag Works, which is actually a dilapidated farm house 15 miles outside of town where a genius craftsman works miracles. I then continued on up to Bonners Ferry, Idaho for a few days of food and site-seeing. It was summer the day that I drove up to Idaho, but that was apparently the last day as the next day was obviously Fall.

My main reason for making the quick trip up North was to attend Pig-Out in the Park in Spokane. The food was delicious and I (and everybody else) was wet. Fall had decided that copious amounts of rain was called for on the day that I decided to attend Pig-Out in the Park. On the bright side, this meant that the lines at the food booths were non-existent. We quickly ran from booth to booth eating as fast as we could. Also, everyone knows that its easier to stuff yourself when its cold. I ate huckleberry this and that, bacon wrapped hot dogs, other stuff. It was tasty, but I might have to try again next year and hope for better weather.

My goddaughter is nearing three years old and is a very assertive go-getter. Every task was met with a cheery, "I can do that", from opening car doors she couldn't reach to cleaning up her little brother's half digested lunch off of the carpet. At one point I was in the garage fixing a sticking accelerator on the Jetta and I turned around to see her holding a screw driver. "Oh, hi there", I said. She asked what I was doing. "I'm just fixing my car", I said. "Don't worry, I can fix your car", came the cheery reply. Very cute. Here parents are working on finishing their basement this month and I'm sure she will be right in there.

My friend took me down to Wallace, Idaho to look around. I had bought a book about a huge forest fire that happened there in 1910 the last time that I was up at my favorite book store.

Their mayor has some lofty theories. They had a lot of interesting things to see. We stopped by a few museums, ate lunch at a saloon, went on a short hike, and I even restrained myself from going to the bordello museum.

After my quick trip I returned to Utah where I attended my cousin's wedding. It was a lot of fun getting together with family and eating and laughing ourselves sick. The Jetta was then requisitioned for other purposes and I returned to holding my breath and hoping that it will still be in once piece by the time their done with it.

Post wedding, I was on the "return Polynesian grandpa to his house" duty. He didn't nap on the trip down nearly as much as I had hoped he would. We had a good time though.

More on retirement to come...



I also have no idea what this song is about, but it's catchy.


Private Plane

This past spring I was in Northern Idaho for a week. On a corner near to where I was staying was sign for a BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway) field office. After a few days of seeing this sign I thought I should look into what kind of jobs they were hiring for when I got back home. Long story short, one thing led to another and this past week BNSF flew me to Dallas, TX for an interview. I currently enjoy what I'm doing for a living (most of it anyway) and anyone who knows me knows that I am all about living in White Pine County, but one should never turn down a good opportunity.

They flew me right out from Ely which was nice. Ely has one flight a day provided to us by the government EAS service. The flight rarely has any passengers on it. This means that I was the only person on the plane.

Some perks of having a plane and crew at your sole disposal: the gate attendant comes up to where you are seated to get you a bottle of water and pick up your bags to lead you to the gate for boarding; the pilot meets you at the plane steps, shakes your hand and welcomes you onto the plane; once you're on the plane the pilot puts your bags away and helps you fold the seat in front of you down so you can put your feet up on it; your flight leaves early because you requested them to.

I could certainly get used to having my own plane (even if it is on the government's dime- no wonder the country is broke).

The interview went well... I guess. I was impressed by the company and interested in the position that they were hiring for, but I won't find out for a couple of weeks whether or not they want to hire me. I felt pretty good about at least getting the interview given the number of people that had applied for the position. This interview was the last round and there were about 16 people they flew down to interview for 5 positions. Dallas was hot and muggy. I was able to meet up with some friends from Provo that I hadn't seen in almost two years and we had a nice dinner at the Texas Roadhouse- go figure.

I came back to Ely to find the weather cooler. Sometime around the first of August winter usually stops by for a quick visit to remind us that it's only a matter of weeks away. Late summer is a great time in Northern Nevada. Thunder storms usually roll through in the afternoon and evenings. If you go out to the rail yard or out to the airport you get a great view of the storms as they move across the valley to the North.

Make sure you enjoy the rest of the summer!



When my family undertakes to plan and prepare a holiday meal they have no restraint. My family won't pick a few dishes and that will go well together and then call it good. First, they think of every possible dish (side or main) that has ever been associated with said holiday. Second, they make a list of everything they want to eat for said holiday. Third, they review the two lists and refuse to remove any item from either list. Fourth, they ask any extended family or guests what they would like to eat for said holiday and they add those items to one of the two original lists. Fifth, they make EVERYTHING and it takes days. The meal is usually over in a matter of 20 minutes or so and everyone is sick. Then they bring out dessert.

There you go. That was my 4th of July--well, that and copious amounts of time with family and a monsoon with hail and flooding in the middle of the parade.


Garage II

Since I happened to have the silver bug out I thought I'd take some pictures to show. It's kind of dirty, but you get the picture.



The Battle

For some time now there has been a family of foxes (and by family I mean some bastard pups, 2-3 looser males, and at least one female of bad reputation) living under the carpenter shop down at the railroad. Nothing quite undermines a building like a giant hole (i.e. fox den) under its foundation. So in my naivete I decided that the foxes must go and that I could easily get rid of them. The battle started some time ago. I began by just filling in their den while they were out. After a few times of me filling their den in I figured they would get tired of re-digging it, take their shoddy squirrel skin throw rugs, and go back out into the valley to live. No such luck.

Round 1 to you, Foxes.

Next I tried spreading bleach around the entrance to their den as someone at the BLM told me that the smell of the bleach would drive them away. Apparently I was dealing with the cleanest family of foxes ever. After laying down the bleach it seemed like they invited even more foxes over to live with them.

"You know the weirdest thing happened the other day, someone just cleaned my den for me while I was out."
"I've got to come and see that! I'll be over this afternoon with my less than reputable sister."
"Sure, bring the whole pack with you."

Round 2 to you, Foxes.

Nearing the end of my patience with these foxes I went back to the department of wildlife to try to get them to take the stupid things. I was informed that they didn't want anything to do with foxes as they aren't native and bother everyone's precious pheasants. You see, I'd been operating under the assumption that these dumb things were protected, but now the gloves are coming off. Yesiree, you filthy neck warmers. This episode of Jersey Foxes (Ely edition) is soon to be over! I'm going right for the jugular this time.
Round 3, TBA...


Running with the Jet Set

Travel Stats:
  • 14 hours travel by car
  • 8 cities
  • 6 flights
  • 2 weeks gone
  • 2 much food at Pat's BBQ
  • 1 batch huckleberry muffins
  • 1 carry-on
  • 1 rental car
  • 1 car purchase adventure
  • 1 graduation
  • 0 tornadoes
  • 0 checked bags
If you're exhausted and glad to be home then you know it was good vacation. This vacation was two visits rolled into one big, long trip. I started by flying into Spokane where the goddaughter's family picked me up and took back to Bonners Ferry to spend a week. The weather was cold and rainy, and company was great. I, of course, made a stop at my favorite book store. I then had to ship my books home as I had no room to take them on the plane with me. As of today they haven't arrived yet, but I haven't lost hope yet.
In addition to all that I got to try out a new Brazilian restaurant in Coure d'Alene as well as other good food. I was also around for my friend purchasing a 1980 3/4 ton Chevrolet truck. It'll be fine, I'm sure.

Next, it was onto Missouri to see my Uncle and his family. As we taxied up to the terminal in St. Louis I couldn't help but notice that half of the terminals windows had plywood instead of glass thanks to the last tornado. The rental car office took the time to let me know that if I got caught in a hail storm that I would be responsible for the damage. As cold as Nevada is at least I don't have to deal with tornadoes and softball sized hail stones. They had a few severe weather warnings out while I was there, but thankfully the only things trying to kill me were the legions of gnats and the oppressive humidity. We took a little hike to a cave located on base and were rewarded with the only scenic view in rural Missouri. 
Next time that I visit them they might just be living outside Shenandoah National Park instead of a US Army base in the backwater of Missouri. I can't wait for that! On the way back through St. Louis I visited the Transportation Museum, ate at a great pasta restaurant and stopped by the impressive Union Station. I returned to Ely to find snow still on the ground and clean, dry air that I can breath. Spring? Summer? Who needs them.

What's next? 
Spokane's Pig-out in the Park?
Hawaii for someone's graduation?
Amtrak cruise?
New York?

Who knows...


Shining Moment

Last weekend there was a big road race in Ely. This happens twice a year and means that during the weekend the town is full of Ferrari's, Porsche, BMW, and other very expensive high end race cars running around. Late Saturday night the trusty Bug and I ran over to the grocery store to pick up a few items for Sunday dinner. I happened to pull into the parking lot along with a Viper, Lamborghini and one or two other expensive cars. As I was getting out of my parked Bug one of the high school baggers that was collecting shopping carts in the parking lot kept spinning around to look in my direction. I thought nothing of it and walked into the store with the drivers of the fancy cars. After collecting the things I needed I got in line at the check out stand be hind the aforementioned fancy car drivers. It was at this point my night was made, perhaps even my week. The high school bagger who was out in the parking lot (now bagging at the checking stand) gets my attention and says, "that's a cool car you're driving." The fancy car drivers paused and look back in my direction to look at the ridiculous grin on my face. I don't usually tip baggers, but in this case I made an exception.

Two pints of whipping cream: $1.98

3 Cucumbers: On sale for $1.00

Having the coolest car in the parking lot:   Priceless


You Talkin' Double

I will readily admit that I have no idea what this song is about, but I love it. 
Fitz and the Tantrums - Money Grabber


Osama Party

Like many, I was relieved to find out that they finally got bin Laden. Was it worth the money, human effort and sacrifice of so many? I'm sure the jury is still out on that (in mind anyway). It seems that protecting innocent people by exacting justice on perpetrators is never something that should be taken lightly or flippantly.

That's why I was rather shocked by the photographs capturing the reactions of some of the groups around the country after the announcement that bin Laden had been killed. Now, while there were many people showing an outpouring of support, love, and relief to those who had been directly affected by the 9/11 attacks, some of the celebrations seemed uncomfortably inappropriate. First off were several pictures of different college campuses where students had decided to strip to the waste and run whooping into the streets like they had just won the championship. Let me just point out that by-in-large these students were in the range of 8-10 years old during 9/11, and I can't recall the last time I saw the family of the victim throwing a drunken frat brawl at the execution of the murder. Perhaps the most upsetting display in connection with the announcement of bin Laden's death was this guy:

Was this guy just holding onto this particularly atrocious piece of full body spandex waiting for a chance to use it!?!? A word to the wise: full body spandex is NEVER appropriate. I have at least one friend who will back me up on that.

Some quotes that I think do a fair job explaining why these reactions might not be the best, for Christians at least:

Catholic News Service reported , "The Vatican said the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, a man who sowed division and hatred and who caused 'innumerable' deaths, should prompt serious reflection about one's responsibility before God, not rejoicing." Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, acknowledged in a statement that bin Laden bears serious responsibility for spreading hate and death, "In the face of a man's death, a Christian never rejoices, but reflects on the serious responsibilities of each person before God and before men, and hopes and works so that every event may be the occasion for the further growth of peace and not of hatred."
Joe Carter wrote on First Things that, "We have a tendency to want to think of our enemies as sub-human vermin, as being so distant from ourselves that they are almost a different species. … Yet our relief at his death must be tempered by a Christian view of humanity. We must never forget that the evil comes not from the actions of 'subhuman vermin' but from the heart of a fallen, sacred yet degraded, human being. If we are to preserve our own humanity we must not forget that our enemy differs from us in degree, not in kind. Like us, they are human, all too human."

Is the world a little bit of a better place without Osama bin Laden? Yes
Did bin Laden have it coming to him? Of Course!
Do those facts (and I'm sure a host of other good reasons) void our Christianity? I wouldn't think so.


I've Crossed the Line

A few days ago I went to the grocery store. We were out of cream cheese so I bought a couple of tubs. We were out of cream cheese because during my time at home by myself these last few weeks I've managed to polish off a few bricks of the heavenly substance by myself. I'm a little reluctant to admit that most of the time I didn't even take the time to spread it on a cracker or bagel. I just ate the stuff straight. Now I love cream cheese, this is no news flash. However, in addition to the cream cheese I purchased some of this:

I love this stuff. As most of you know this is, by far, the best chocolate ice cream there is. As I walked home the only thing I could think about sinking my teeth into was the cream cheese. At that point I knew that I had crossed a threshold. I had chosen cream cheese over chocolate. I'm getting my blood checked next month and if my arteries aren't clogged the only limit to the cream cheese I will eat will be when my bank account runs dry.

Spring Inspection

Spring is on it's way. The snow is now only holding on in the shade of the trees on the North facing slopes. The temperature during the day is usually in the 40's and 50's. I love it. With spring comes dirt works and drainage projects. Here's the Blazer helping me do culvert inspection on the railroad. As often as I voice my disdain for the Blazer it's really growing on me as a back-country explorer, and this summer that top is coming off (just before it decides to rain, I'm sure).


Guess What it is!

While many of you are basking in the sun and budding greenery of spring I am not. The end of last week Ely received close to a foot of new, wet snow. Fortunately, snow this time of year usually doesn't stay around long. The snow pictured here is all but gone now and the next storm is already on the horizon.

Answer: It's a 1974 VW Super Beetle

Dedicated to Linda Bohn who loved puzzles, and who was a tireless supporter of whatever it was that her children or grandchildren were interested in.

On one occasion my cousin and I were driving Linda back home from Provo. I happened to be wearing my "extreme Volkswagen addict" T-shirt. Upon reading the shirt she remarked,"that's a bit of an understatement." Love you Grandma!


If only my mornings were this magical

Everybody wishes that their mornings would start with a crazy dead classical composer bursting through their dining room wall riding a grand piano and yelling, "Guten Tag!" and distributing cereal that instantly gives you a classy white full beard.


Chasing Classic (Volkswagen) Cars

Sorry that I haven't been posting as often so far this year. I've just been too busy................buying cars.

Just before Christmas I happened to be surfing the KSL classifieds. (Actually, I religiously check the classifieds at least twice a day, usually more.) Upon my screen appeared a '75 Volkswagen Standard Beetle. It was cheap, it was the year and model I want to modify and take to Alaska and it looked clean. I called the guy up, shot him an offer, and he accepted. This all happened in about 15 minutes start to finish. I had my brother, who lived in the same city, pick it up and take it to his place. It was a couple of months before I could go pick it up. Sad to say I don't have any pictures of it currently. You know what old Bugs look like though. This one is Silver. 

Perhaps you've run across a program called "Chasing Classic Cars". Most of you reading this blog probably just continued surfing past it. The program is about this guy who deals in high end classic cars- Bentleys, Mercedes and stuff. He has clients who hire him to find and fix up cars for them. Then he sells them for these clients, supposedly at a profit. I have a commiserating car junky as a neighbor and I ran this idea past him. He mentioned that he'd always wanted to own a Karmann Ghia and that was it. A suitable specimen was found and the purchase was made. 

This is a picture of that car being picked up in California. My friend in Napa was nice enough to keep the Ghia at his house until the weather over Donner's Pass cleared.

I actually didn't learn that the car was orange until after the purchase. (it looked red in the 60+ pictures I was given) Orange is pretty fetching though. It's a clean car that needs some TLC.

This particular car is a 1970 VW Karmann Ghia. These cars were designed by Ghia of Italy (a design firm there) and the bodies were built by Karmann (a German coach builder in Osnabruck). The bodies were then shipped to Wolfsburg where the VW underpinnings were fitted. Billed as the world's slowest sports car it's no less fetching to look at. The fixing up part hasn't started yet. We've just been enjoying it some. It really gets lots of looks. It currently is the only Karmann Ghia in Ely. I'm hoping to have it ready for showing and selling this summer. My neighbor might not be willing to let it go though. I think he may have been bitten by the bug (no pun intended).  

The new car hanging out with the first car down at the shop.


A Warning From the Other Side

The story of my life is that of the Government Cheese Wagon always being out of reach. As you may have guessed I have just filed my taxes and found out that I OWE MONEY! That's right,......I'll pause while all of you baby laden school nerds pick yourselves up off the floor because someday it will happen to you too.

The day I turned 24 I filled out my FAFSA and applied for grants. The terse reply came back that I made too much money to qualify for grants. Outraged, I marched down to the student aid office and was told that, yes indeed, I made too much at my part time job to qualify for aid. The counselor consoled me by saying that had I sat on my butt and taken out student loans to pay for school I could have the government picking up the tab and showering me with money. "FANTASTIC!", I thought, "we only help people who do nothing in this country." I eventually calmed down and was just happy that the government at least gave me my income tax back at the end of the year.

Now all that has changed. Not only is the government going to take around 18% out of every,... last,.... one of my paychecks and add just over 6% to the things I buy, they are going to hold out their had for more when I file my taxes. And I can look forward to paying more money in taxes the more I make. There's incentive for ya! This country cost too much to run.

Welcome to real life, Nathan. 


Not Waffles

   Inevitably, it happens. One day as you're merrily puttering around the shop you notices a small spot on the floor or as you're poking around under the hood you see a wet area. You lean in to determine what color the fluid is and the sweet smell of waffles and hot syrup hits you. The liquid is green.............*sigh* engine coolant. 

This is what I get for letting water cooled cars into my garage, nothing but a winter full of bad water pumps and an endless supply of leaks. The Blazer has blessed me with 3 leaks so far and one bad heater core. The wagon thanked me for it's recent oil change by letting its water pump crap out. I'm not sure what the GTI has in store but I'm sure it will have to do with the green stuff. My bugs never gave me this problem,......never.


Christmas Attack Zone!!!

I am happy to report that I survived my Christmas holiday. The weather was murderous with temperatures frequently dropping below freezing and snow that piled up in feet. Family came and went throughout Christmas and it was nice to see them all.

For New Years I went down to Logandale to be celebrate my grandpa's 80th birthday. It was great to get out of the snow. The New Years was rung in with all of the joy of having 21 family members in a 1500 sf house. Add to that all the neighbors and friends who came for the birthday party and you have the making of.........I'm not sure what.

For a quick respite from the crowd my uncle and cousin and I when down to the new Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.

If I only had something to drop off. I was really temped to throw the family of terriers off that some schmuck had brought on the bridge (in blatant disregard of the sign stating that no dogs should be brought on the bridge).Some how I managed to restrain myself.