Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

The things that carry us.

The old girl in her native habitat.

Reading this article reminded me of one of the eccentricities of automotive loving folks: we tend to name our vehicles. In a mildly sexist way, most vehicles seem to end up being women. Coaxed to start by gently cooing, "Come on, baby" on cold mornings and cheered onto the freeway with an "Atta girl!" it's not a demeaning reflection on womankind in general, but more of the male realization that some things in life require more attention and care than others.

The first run of cars I had were all given gender-neutral names. the '81 Honda known universally as the Aluminum Mallard after a favorite video game, the '88 Toyota that was the Fiberglass Falcon to keep the joke going and the '89 Honda that was the nail in the coffin for the running gag was known as the Bronze Buzzard. My motorcycle (of which I have written about previously with much longing and heartbreak) picked up the name Karen, a corruption of the Japanese word Kirin, and has treated me like an on-again, off-again lover for the duration of our three year relationship.

The Volvo I rescued out of a field in Geer, SC (literally), is both the biggest car and first "adult" car I've ever owned. Buying a station wagon, at the time, seemed like giving up on the run-around, lightweight flickability of the Japanese imports of my youth. And while the old girl doesn't bust out the moves like the little chicks of my past, she'll crunch though places the others would fear to tread, and do it with a surprising amount of grace. During the snowfall pictured in the photo above, we went out and cut a series of long looping donuts in a local parking lot. She may not breakdance, but she'll twirl around in lines that would put a ballroom dance to shame.

So she's been nicknamed the Volvinator for a very impressive performance in getting my sorry tail home on a night when the heavens opened up and the streets were flooded past where mortals would dare to tread, but on those times when I discover a wonderful bit of grace engineered into the stout tractor heart of her red-block engine, she'll always be Freja. A stately, yet quirky gal, who'll haul it all a long distance, but always get me back home safely.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Random thoughts, scribbles and other nonsense.

The above image has been my desktop for the past week.

My apologies to Mr. Watterson, but it was the only thing I could look at that made me feel better.

When I had a few free moments in the bum's rush of insanity that was this past weekend, I slowly and carefully re-read my old Calvin & Hobbes books. They made me laugh.

If there's a higher complement than that, I can't think of it.

I'm still numb.

I'm still sad.


I'm still here.

Monday, March 1, 2010


"You only get so many chances to screw up your life, you'd better make 'em all count." - Toby Morriss. 1973-2010