Memories For a Sunday

As an aging Boomer I have many memories….some not so good (war stuff) and some excellent (my time living in Europe)….in 1959 I was living in Spain and that June my father took me to two auto races… France….the French Gran Prix in Reims and the 24 Hours of Le Mans…..two occasions I shall never forget and to this day I still adore the auto racing…..NASCAR not so much….”drive fast and turn left” for an entire race just is not that interesting to me.

To this day I still am a fan of sports car racing and Formula One……the sounds, smells and colors….cannot be beat.

I bring these memories up because of a new movie about the 24 Hour race at Le Mans……(sorry a bit of a spoiler)……

Ford v Ferrari put its competition in the rearview, racing to a $31 million debut at the box office in a No. 1 finish that counted as a win for big-budget originality. James Mangold’s racing drama rode into the weekend with strong reviews and Oscar buzz for its for leads, Christian Bale and Matt Damon. And audiences enthusiastically greeted it, giving the $98 million movie an A-plus CinemaScore.

A dramatization of the Ford Motor Co.’s push to unseat the perennial power Ferrari at France’s 24-hour Le Mans race in 1966, Ford v Ferrari has been considered a kind of throwback film—built largely on story, practical effects and star power. Elizabeth Banks’ Charlie’s Angels reboot couldn’t keep up. The Kristen Stewart-led film opened below expectations with $8.6 million.

Ford GT wins the 1966 24 Hours Le Mans……

One story that was left out of the movie was that of the test driver Ken Miles and his death……

The story told in Ford v. Ferrari has become one of the great modern automotive yarns because it’s one of boardroom egos and corporate revenge. This is a narrative of space-race, moonshot-like ambition that was pervasive in 1960s America, except with cars. Ford was going to build a car to beat Ferrari in the world’s most important race, Le Mans—a race Ferrari had won five years in a row.

Sadly I was not there in France when the Ford GT won and beat Ferrari….but I celebrated along with the Ford team when the news broke here in the states….

Thanx for allowing me to step back into my youth…at least for awhile……there are just some memories that I hold on to for dear life.

Autumn has arrived about 2 months late…..


The Red Oak gets its color…..have a good day and enjoy your time.

I leave with the antics of MoMo who finds cooler temps refreshing……I wish I had that much energy….

Random Thoughts For A Saturday

A Saturday and an egotistical douche bag has been put in his place….Tom Brady…..

Tom Brady can still be terrific. He just can’t be Terrific, the US Patent and Trademark Office has decided. The star Patriots quarterback had applied for trademark protection for the “Tom Terrific” nickname, which has long been applied to baseball Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, 74. The applications by Brady’s company involved commercial uses of the nickname on trading cards, posters and shirts, reports Such uses would “falsely suggest a connection” with the retired Mets pitcher, the ruling said. Because the nickname refers “uniquely and unmistakably” to Seaver, he’d have to agree to Brady’s trademarking of it.

Brady’s application outraged many fans, especially Mets fans, and he said he didn’t intend to actually cash in on the nickname. He doesn’t like it, he said, and just wanted to keep others from selling products calling him “Tom Terrific.” The quarterback said: “It wasn’t something I was trying to do out of any disrespect or ill manner or anything like that,” per ESPN, calling the episode a “good lesson learned.” The trademark applications will be dropped automatically unless Brady responds within six months to the ruling.

Weekend begins and of Nazis…..we were talking about Nazis, right?  We seem to always be talking Nazis these days.

Not a big fan of German sports cars, especially Porsches….but this one is just cool…..

In the late ’30s, Adolf Hitler commissioned a special “people’s car” to be built for a Berlin-to-Rome road rally, and what resulted was the 1939 Porsche Type 64, or what Jalopnik calls the “missing link between Porsche and Volkswagen.” Only three of these vehicles were built, and just one survives to this day, so when it was announced that RM Sotheby’s was putting it up for auction, the automotive aficionado world lit up, with predictions the car would go for as much as $20 million. But a current glimpse at the auctioneer’s website after Saturday’s much-hyped event shows a “still for sale” notice, the result of what Jalopnik calls a “weird and unsatisfying ending.” Bloomberg explains an opening bid of $30 million jump-started what appeared to be a fierce bidding war, rising all the way to $70 million—until the auctioneer suddenly corrected himself, noting the top bid was $17 million, not $70 million

A video of the auction shows the bizarre incident unfolding. Whether it had been an accident or, as Jalopnik puts it, a joke meant to hype the sale and boost bidding, potential buyers were miffed, and no one ever topped the $17 million bid. MSNBC notes that because $17 million was below the seller’s minimum price, the sale was nixed. “A massive f—up,” one observer notes, per Bloomberg. “As bidding opened … increments were mistakenly overheard and displayed on the screen, causing unfortunate confusion in the room,” RM Sotheby’s says in a statement. “This was in no way a joke or prank on behalf of anyone at RM Sotheby’s, rather an unfortunate misunderstanding amplified by excitement in the room.”

Remember back in the day when red meat and full fat dairy was going to kill you if you kept eating it?  All that tasteless cheese and watery milk……that may be changing….

Eating full-fat dairy and red meat will not increase the risk of heart disease or stroke, according to a new study.

The major review of Australian and international research found little evidence to suggest healthy people should restrict their intake.

The study has prompted the Heart Foundation to hose down concerns, going against previous recommendations for Australians to stick to reduced-fat dairy products.

(Sky News)

One of our most visited National Parks, Yellowstone, has a dark tale to tell……

Plenty of op-eds in the New York Times these days worry about a political apocalypse. A new one warns about the old-fashioned variety. More specifically, author Bryan Walsh is reminding everyone that Yellowstone National Park has a supervolcano, one that last blew 640,000 years ago. If it goes off again—there’s a 1-in-730,000 chance of that in any given year, Walsh writes—the “eruption would be like nothing humanity has ever experienced.” The park itself would be wiped out, of course, and as much as 3 feet of volcanic ash would be dumped on large parts of Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah. But the effects on the rest of the nation and the world would be catastrophic as well, with reductions in sunlight and rainfall, the widespread destruction of crops, and a breakdown of the electrical grid.

This makes it an “existential risk” for the planet, a catastrophe with a capital C that could theoretically wipe out humans. Asteroid strikes and nuclear wars also qualify, and those risks get more attention and money. But the world has 20 supervolcanoes of the Yellowstone variety, and we humans at the very least should make sure that all are being monitored at the highest levels to reduce the risk of surprise. “What has happened before can and will happen again, eventually—but because we remain confined to the brief human time horizons of our own experience, we treat them as unreal,” writes Walsh. This lack of imagination leaves us vulnerable, he warns. (Read the full column.)

Plastic is the big no-no for the environment these days…..and markets are not telling the truth on their use…..

It’s next to impossible to be a plastic-free grocery shopper. Unless you live near a boutique store that offers goods naked, you likely don’t have much choice about buying food wrapped in plastic netting or transparent film. 

Walk into any of the biggest grocery chains in the United States, and you’ll see row upon row of items in containers and bags that are designed to be used once and trashed. Americans produced 14.7 million tons of such waste in 2015, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Of that, only 14.6% was recycled. 

Plastic is necessary for boosting the shelf life of perishable foods, without adding much to the sticker price. Getting rid of it entirely isn’t realistic. But there is a growing consensus that companies responsible for creating this packaging overuse plastics and could easily cut down on the amount sold to consumers. 

A quick run down of absolutely useless information to begin your weekend…..

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Thought On A Saturday

This weekend is one of auto racing’s premier races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans…….this was one of the races I got to see first hand when I was a youngster…the sounds, smells and sights were something I will never forget.

I bring this up because one of the worse accidents in racing happened at Le Mans in 1955……

Fifty-nine years ago, the 1955 Le Mans 24-hour race started like any other. It ended with the usual champagne, as well. In the middle as many as 130 died in the most horrific disaster in motorsports history. [Warning: graphic content]

It’s hard to say just how many people died in the crash. The French police files have never been opened, and one long time Le Mans racing chief later estimated the death toll at 130. Within hours of the crash, the local police reported sixty five dead, as one racer remembered, and now the death toll is usually reported as something in the 80s. An initial news report claims 82 spectators killed, some decapitated by a flying hood “like a guillotine.” Another 120 were “maimed,” according to current writing, though initial news stories estimated around 70. All of this was from one car cutting through the crowd alone.

It remains the worst disaster in motorsports history.

I’ll try and give an explanation of how it happened, why so many people died, and why the organizers didn’t cancel the race after the crash.

I will be switching between the race and the Women’s World Cup….I do not like too many sports but I do appreciate the beauty of football (soccer to Americans)

I hope everyone has a good day I know I will…..

Remembering Wolfgang

When I was a teenager my father took me to the French Gran Prix and I fell in love with Formula One Auto racing… favorite driver was Wolfgang von Trips of Team Ferrari…….I bring this up because today is the Italian Gran Prix at Monza and in 1961 my favorite driver was killed in a horrendous crash that also killed 13 spectators…..

So before the race I had a drink to remember my favorite driver… the Wall Street Journal also remembered von Trips back in 2011 with the 50th anniversary of his death…..

They began the race as friends and rivals, knowing that one of them was almost certain to be crowned world champion at the end: Phil Hill of Santa Monica, Calif., and Count Wolfgang Von Trips of West Germany. They were Ferrari teammates, each a master of speed. The date: Sept. 10, 1961. The place: the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Two hours, three minutes and 13 seconds later, Hill had become America’s first Formula One champion. Von Trips was dead along with 14 spectators-killed when his Ferrari scythed into the crowd like a helicopter blade.

I still have fond memories of my favorite driver…..

If It Is 2018 It Must Be France

Formula One is my one sports passion……it began in 1959 and I went to my first Formula One race in France….and now today France returns to the Formula One schedule after a few years away.

The race calls for champagne and snacks as I watch…..

I bring this up because I would like to bitch about something the Formula One is considering… see they have a full schedule every year of 20-22 races to determine the championship……well the new owners of the Formula One is considering a race in  Miami…….which I think is bullshit.

Formula One, the world’s preeminent auto racing league, is actively scouting downtown Miami as a potential site for a new Grand Prix.

Executives and engineers with the global racing brand were in town this month, meeting with Miami’s new mayor and the city’s head of film and culture to go over potential racing circuits and logistics. Racing planners have already put together a half-dozen routes that would have high-performance vehicles zooming around AmericanAirlines Arena, over the causeway to Dodge Island, down Biscayne Boulevard and — in what sounds like a non-starter — through the PortMiami Tunnel.

Every country has one race that has always been the way of things…..and the US already has the United States Gran Prix so  we do not need a Miami Gran Prix.  As a matter of fact I feel that we do not need other races like Singapore or Bahrain or Abu Dhabi ……..NO other country has a second race on the schedule…why should the US get special treatment?

Oh No He Didn’t!

Today is Sunday, 22Oct17, and the US Gran Prix.

I am a big fan of Formula One racing ever since in 1959 I was at the French Gran Prix….even though some of the best drivers in the world were American, especially in Formula One….Penske, Gurney, Andretti, as a matter of fact Andretti was the world champion in Formula One driving for Ferrari……the sport does not have much of a following here in the US any more.  Needlessly to say that means not much PR here in the states….but that could change today.

I bring all this up because of something that has been reported for this race.

By now every American knows about the “takin a knee” in protest….it is possible that it will make international news today.  Why?

Formula 1 championship leader Lewis Hamilton says he might take a knee in protest when the national anthem is played prior to the United States Grand Prix later this month.

The Mercedes ace has already spoken out against racism and voiced concern for the current political climate in the USA. President Donald Trump has recently criticized NFL players for what he calls a lack of respect in kneeling during the anthem.

Hamilton suggested, in an interview with The Sunday Times out of the United Kingdom, that he could very well do the same on Oct. 22.

“I’ve not even thought about that race, but of course I will have to start to think about it — what would be right for me to do, or do I even need to get involved?

“It’s not my national anthem, but the issue that is in the States … well, it’s not just in the States, it is a global thing. It’s more focused and probably at its worst perhaps in America. I think we all do need to stand together.”

This could be the only report of the United Stats Gran Prix….that is if he carries forth his threat.  That should make F1 the talk of the town and Lewis Hamilton as well……
We will see if this Mercedes driver has the cajones to go through with the protest.
Personally, I will enjoy the race with or without this show of defiance.

The Dream Car

The weekend and I get to talk about anything but the news of the day…it is very therapeutic…at least for me.

Back when I was a teenager I got to go to the French Gran Prix….when there I fell in love with Formula One racing and a sports car called…FERRARI.  It was a 1959 Ferrari, red with natural leather seats…..I sat in it and the leather smell and the feel was something I cannot describe(goose bumps appeared)……and ever since that day I have loved Ferraris in all their models……but not a fan of the F40 or the LeFerrari.  And I still have the love of Formula One racing.

So when I read a news report like this it makes me want to cry…..

Buying supercars engage a lot of responsibility apart from the track shenanigans one would want to do to quench their thirst for speed. A brilliant example of a track-oriented machine that is road legal is the Ferrari 430 Scuderia which was recently bought in the United Kingdom. However, this rich buyer most likely didn’t realise the performance of this brutal machine and crashed it within an hour of his purchase. The baffling part, however, is not just the crash which happened on the M1 when the car went off the highway onto the nearby green patch and finally catching fire, it’s the ‘excuse’ this driver gave to the South Yorkshire Police. According to a report in Fortune, the so-called driver stated to the police that ‘I’ve only just got it’. No wonder the police would have been baffled. The driver sustained minor cuts and bruises, however, if he loves his cars, the damage to his spirit would have been more. ?Road conditions were wet at the time and as officers arrived on scene it became clear there was a vehicle well alight and colleagues from South Yorkshire fire and rescue were in attendance squirting water all over some kind of sporty motor some 50 or so metres down a banking,? stated a post from the South Yorkshire Police’s Facebook page

The Ferrari 430 Scuderia is essentially a Ferrari 430 with higher performance figures and a lighter body. According to Ferrari, the primary reason to build the Scuderia version of the 430 was to showcase the track prowess in a road legal car. The Ferrari 430 Scuderia was furthermore introduced to commemorate the Formula 1 Constructor’s World Championship in 2008. Compared to the standard 430 model, the Scuderia version is 100 kg lighter and has approximately seven more horsepower. A total of 509 hp on tap at 8,500 rpm means it can cross the 100 kmph mark from a standstill in 3.6 seconds onwards to a top speed of 319 kmph. Ferrari claims that around their Fiorano test track in Italy, the 430 Scuderia has a similar timing to the Ferrari Enzo and the 430’s successor, the 458.

Coming back to the car in question here which has been completely gutted to the ground, there will be no coming back from this incident for the driver. Although he wasn’t badly injured or lose his life, such incidents do emphasise that with powerful cars such as this one, the driver of that particular vehicle has to be even more careful.

The car left the road in wet conditions and slid across a field before bursting into flames 

After a good cry and If it were me I would ask the officer if I could borrow his gun….first to put the car out of misery and then to do the same for myself.

Apparently this guy had more money than brains.

Keep in mind that this 430 is about 10 years old….so it was a previously owned vehicle, which is a PC way of saying “Used Car”……

Have a good day and enjoy your time away….chuq

Closing Thought–30May17

Gentlemen Start Your Engines!

I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend…..that family and fun went hand in hand…..

Me?  I had the perfect weekend…..especially on Sunday… see I am a auto racing fan….and Sunday had it all for me….GP2 race…..Monaco Gran Prix and the Indy500…

Most Americans know very little about the world of auto racing if it is not NASCAR then it is not racing….well that is bullshit!

NASCAR is thrilling but I prefer Formula One, GP2, GP3. Indycar series, sports car racing like Le Mans and Rally car racing……unfortunately if you live in the US you get very little news about most of the racing I enjoy….so I have to subscribe to a couple racing mags from Europe and dammit they are expensive…but it is worth it for the info I get every week.

My love affair with auto racing began when my family lived in Europe and I got to go the the French Gran Prix in 1959 at Reims France……and since that day I have been a Ferrari race fan……

The Monaco GP was a bit boring but at least Ferrari finished 1 and 2 ….when I say boring I mean this race is usually who leads at the start usually wins…but not always…..

GP2 is the “minor league” of Formula One and a helluva race….these guys only have 30 laps and they drive all out….makes for an interesting race indeed.

Then there was Indy500….as always a fantastic race…..I usually do not care much for oval racing but in this case this race is always worth watching.  It has everything… speed, blown engines, wrecks and some amazing driving.  The only thing I do not understand is the winner gets milk not champagne….why?  I mean do know how hard it is the spray the crowd with milk?  Where’s the fun in that?

A little history for you….it was American racer Dan Gurney that started the tradition of spraying champagne on the crowd after his 1968 win at Le Mans in the Ford GT…….in case you were wondering.

All in all I could not ask for a better day on Sunday.

Monday was a somber day for me……it was Memorial Day and I spent in remembrance of my 3 fellow LRRPs from my team that died in Vietnam.

That closes out my day……thanx everyone for you visits and your comments….you guys are what makes this blog a joy to write…….

See you guys tomorrow…….chuq

How To Break The Boredom

My Sunday dawned with some much needed cooler weather….

I would like to give my observations on a subject that is my guilty pleasure….auto racing.

No not NASCAR….while it is unpredictable and exciting at times….I just cannot get into fast driving and turn left the whole race.

Instead I enjoy sports car racing like Le Mans and Sebring and Formula One racing…..I have been an F1 fan since my childhood when I got to visit France for their 1959 Gran Prix…my long love affair began there…the sounds, the cars, the smells and the drivers…it is all too amazing….and in all that time I never never wavered from my support of the Ferrari racing teams….

Last Sunday the 2016 F1 season came to a close with the Abu Dhabi Gran Prix won by Mercedes….back in the day it was heart pounding fun…today it is just too damn boring for words.

The leader in lap one is usually the winner.  The past decade has seen too much technology and little human involvement….it is no longer car and driver but rather computer to computer as these machines squirt out graphs and stats….no longer is the driver in charge…..instead sensors are used to determine tire changes, speed, gas consumption……etc.

Like I said…all too boring.

I have found the “minor league” races far more fun to watch…GP2, GP3, Formula E, electric racing, and Indy Car Series… least they are interesting and fun to watch……

Formula One has been bought by an American company Liberty…but NO amount of marketing will get rid of the boredom….Americans want racing that is why NASCAR is so popular…F1 as it is today will NOT attract many Americans to the races….plus there are NO American F1 drivers…that will be a draw back also.

F1 needs to return to the days of cars and drivers….not techno geeks and computers….if they want to make F1 more appealing then give them something to watch and cheer.

Is Your Sport For Sale?

Can you imagine the the NFL could go on sale?

Would you like to wake one day to find that some media giant has bought the NFL?

I am not talking about a team being for sale I am talking about the whole damn league up for sale…..can you imagine that?

Step back for a moment…….

Image result for Formula one

I am a huge fan of Formula One racing and have been since 1959 when I watched the French Gran Prix at Reims…..

Image result for Formula one

The other day I saw where Formula One had been sold….WTF?

It’s not every day you switch on your TV or open your web browser, to discover one of the world’s biggest sporting series has been taken over by new owners. This week, such an occasion took place as Liberty Media bought Formula 1, for just over six billion pounds. It had been well rumoured among F1 regulars before the official confirmation came through late on Wednesday night. The deal itself is very interesting and exciting for the future of the sport.

Now owned by a media corporation, Formula 1 will finally move in line with the times. It will be embracing new mediums such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all the many other social media platforms out there. Chase Carey the new chairman of the Formula 1 has said positive changes will be made, allowing the sport to grow. He said in a statement on the evening of the announcement, “I greatly admire Formula 1 as a unique global sports entertainment franchise attracting hundreds of millions of fans each season from all around the world. I see great opportunity to help Formula 1 continue to develop and prosper for the benefit of the sport, fans, teams and investors alike.”

Source: New owners give F1 a bright future – L&T Motorsport

It is like if you woke up to find the ComCast now owns the NFL lock, stock and barrel…..

To say I was shocked would be an understatement……now I am having some thoughts about this sale… will they turn this great sport into the entertainment crap as say…Wrestle-mania……

This could be a good thing but only if they hold true to the spirit of Formula One….I will have to wait and see if there are any changes to the format or the way it is broadcast.  I smell pay per view or something similar…..

Any thoughts?

Enjoy your Saturday and I will be back tomorrow…peace out!