Rod Run to the End of the World…2017!

This event is one which we have attended and participated in for the past three years: the Rod Run to the End of the World. It is an enjoyable event for those of us who love the allure, artwork, and sheer poetry of the classic, American-made automobile. This is the 34th time that it has been held, and the town which hosts it has changed very little in those 34 years.

Other than the vehicles, the only other reason to attend is for the opportunity to taste some of the best barbecue this side of the Rockies! Terrell’s Texas BBQ, out of Portland, Oregon, is slow-cooked to bring out the juicy tenderness of ribs and brisket. Award-winning and succulent, even southern-fried rednecks can’t help but glomp down on a spicy ‘Hot Mama’ and smile! Nomnomnomnomnom…

Here are just a few of the pictures I took today. The sun came out after some refreshing rains – we even had a thunderstorm blow through, clearing away the dryness and bringing much-needed fresh air and moisture. Believe it or not, I do get away from the computer once in a while!

😉 😀 😎

The Fragility of Life

This is the perfect title for this post: it encompasses the topic and ties the seemingly meaningless rambling and ranting that will follow. Without preamble, I’ll jump right into the deep end…grab my hand if you care to join me. Be advised, this may well be a VERY long post, as I have a lot to say – brushes with death tend to make one reflective! Oh, you think I’m being melodramatic? Fuck you, then, and stop reading now:  I have no time or patience for your shallow assumptions. Expletives will abound! In fact, I’d urge you to scroll down to the songs at the end of this post, crank up your speakers (if you have them), and listen to them while you read…

First off, all eyes have been on San Francisco and the accident involving Asiana Flight 214. It was a Boeing 777 which slammed tail-first into a seawall on 6 July 2013 during a landing attempt at San Francisco Airport (SFO), killing two and injuring dozens of passengers. Much speculation has been bandied about, and much finger-pointing going on. I think that the flight data recorders are still in the hands of authorities and undergoing analysis. Here’s the latest from the BBC:

“The evacuation of Asiana flight 214, which crash-landed on Saturday in San Francisco, was delayed because the pilots initially said passengers should stay put, a safety official has said.

The evacuation began 90 seconds after the Boeing 777 skidded to a stop – and only after a flight attendant spotted fire outside, the official said.

She called the failure to immediately order the evacuation “unusual”.

The crash killed two passengers and injured about 180.

At a press conference on Wednesday, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Deborah Hersman said the pilots were in contact with air traffic controllers in the seconds after the plane crashed, and told flight attendants not to order passengers to evacuate.”

So far, the evidence points to pilot error, possible fatigue, a supposedly untrained deputy or ‘teacher’ pilot, glare off of the glassy surface of the calm ocean waters, etc., ad nauseum, ad infinitum. I also noted the immediate assumption of ‘terrorism’ – that word was interjected into many reports in the immediate aftermath of the incident. There were a number of airline accidents before ‘9/11’ which were caused by catastrophic mechanical failures; if you think about it, the two NASA space-shuttle tragedies could easily be listed in that roster. The way most news reports are told now, nothing in the world happens (or is noticed) unless it can be labeled and filed under ‘a terrorist attack.’ Because of the knee-jerk reaction, people forget this simple fact: a ‘terrorist attack’ results in a massive loss of life and major structural destruction. Don’t tell me you don’t recall what we all saw on television on 11 September 2001!

Next, there are train-cars in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, which had been carrying volatile petrochemicals. 73 cars mysteriously decoupled from parked, locked, and (supposedly) secured locomotives. These cars derailed in the center of town and five of them exploded into flames, displacing over one-third of the 6,000 people who reside there. The BBC reports:

“Canadian police have said 30 people missing since Saturday’s train crash in a Quebec town are “most probably dead”.

Twenty bodies have already been found after a runaway train carrying oil derailed and exploded in Lac-Megantic.

During a visit to the town, Quebec’s premier said the train owner’s response to the disaster had been “deplorable”.

The head of Rail World accused a local driver of failing to set a series of hand brakes. Swathes of the town centre were wiped out in the huge blast.

Some 2,000 town residents were forced to flee their homes.”

Keep in mind that I have acquaintances who work for the Burlington Northern / San Francisco railways, and they have intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of that industry. They have been free with that knowledge with me from time to time, so I’m not a layperson on how locomotives and their cargo are secured and transported. At any rate, there’s no reasonable, conceivable cause for train-cars to suddenly cut loose and run free on their own; even a suspicious fire which preceded the incident was discounted and dismissed. I ask this, then: is this an act of ‘terrorism?’ If it is, why isn’t it being called what it is? Who would do such a thing: separatists who want to maintain a ‘pure, French’ community? It’s very strange; still, I haven’t heard the Canadian reports calling it a terrorist attack. Are they less paranoid and reactionary than we? I seriously doubt that!

What else…well, we have the riots and clashes following the…coup? Military takeover? Ousting? Nobody is clear on what to call what is going on regarding former President Morsi in the country of Egypt – what it’s being called depends on who is reporting what, and what statements they choose to air. For instance, Al-Jazeera reports this:

“Egypt is bracing for rival rallies between supporters and opponents of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

Factions on both sides have called for a day of demonstrations after prayers on the first Friday of the holy month of Ramadan as tensions within the country continue to escalate.

Earlier on Thursday, the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi’s power base, had vowed to keep protesting until he is reinstated, despite the fact that much of the group’s leadership has been detained by the army, calling into question its ability to mobilise effectively.

The anti-Morsi camp has also called for rallies, including a mass iftar, the breaking of the Muslim fast, in Tahrir Square which has been the epicentre for demonstrations against the ousted president.

Egypt’s new premier said on Thursday he does not rule out Muslim Brotherhood members in his cabinet, even as the group vowed to keep defying the military action that resulted on Morsi’s fall from power.”

While the BBC reports this:

“The US has urged Egypt’s leadership to stop the “arbitrary” arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members, warning against targeting any particular group.

“You’re working against yourself if your effort is to be inclusive,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon also warned against the exclusion of any party.

Rival rallies are expected in Cairo on Friday amid rising tensions over the army’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last week.

Supporters demanding Mr Morsi’s reinstatement have continued to stage mass protests in Cairo this week near the barracks – where he is believed to be being held.”

NHK said this:

“Tension is mounting again in Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood called on supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi to gather in Cairo after Friday prayers.

The Islamist organization issued the call on Thursday through social networking websites.

Prosecutors had ordered an arrest warrant for the group’s leader and 9 other senior officials on suspicion of inciting violence on Monday. More than 50 people were killed in clashes with security forces.”

…and NRK reported this (translated):

“Over the next few weeks, the United States delivered four new F-16 aircraft to Egypt, despite the troubles that plague the country.

There is no change in our plans to deliver F-16 aircraft to the Egyptian air force, “said an anonymous source in the Department of Defense to the Reuters news agency.

The first aircraft will be delivered in august plans, while further eight should be handed the Egyptian air force in December.

United States is following the situation

Today reiterated the spokesman at the White House that the u.s. Government does not consider the previous Wednesday by Mohamed Morsi accruing as president as a military coup, but that they are considering the situation carefully.

“We follow closely how Egyptian authorities respond and deal with the situation in the country, Jay Carney told the press in attendance in the u.s. capital today.”

Perspective and perception – everything is relative. Personally, I find it morbidly fascinating, in a way: people killing each other over who should lead a country. I just know that there are some ghoulish freaks in this country, wishing that they could do just that with our political leaders! Who gives a good gawddamn if they were democratically elected and that their politico-religious beliefs were known beforehand; it’s time to ‘throw the bums out’ because changes didn’t happen overnight!

The murder trial of Zimmerman is drawing to a close; the jury has received their instructions and the attorneys have made their closing arguments. I feel that there will be no satisfactory outcome – a young man is dead because a racist fucktard stalked him and instigated a confrontation. Those are the facts. Zimmerman did not need to follow Trayvon. He did not need to get out of his car. He did not need to lie through his teeth when he called the authorities. This was premeditated murder, plain and simple – the facts speak for themselves, no matter how those racist psychotics wish to twist them.

I own guns and have gone out target-shooting; Thursday of last week was the first time I’d done so in over 20 years, and I’m still a decent shot…and I truly hope that I never have to use it against another human being at any time. It goes to show what a coward Zimmerman is! He instigated a confrontation and instead of taking his lumps like the grown man he is, he shot a teenager. He shot a 17-year-old young man at point-blank range. If you’ve never held a gun, then you don’t know what a heavy, deadly weight it is in your hand…no sane person would take that responsibility lightly – sadly, I can admit that a good number of gun owners in the U.S. aren’t sane enough to own guns! Thanks, NRA, for keeping life-taking weapons in the hands of paranoid psychotics.

This brings me to ask a general question: have you ever stared death in the face? Have you ever caught a glimpse of the reaper’s grin, silently gliding past as things go into slow-motion? Ah…then you are clueless and juvenile. I hate you fucking histrionic attention-whores who screech over fucking NOTHING, demanding that everyone heed your words! What in the ever-lovin’ FUCK makes YOUR FUCKING WORDS SO GAWDDAMNED FUCKING VALUABLE!?! Miserable fucking CUNTS!!! You can’t spell; you have no ability to utilize proper grammar and sentence structure, and you take everything out of context! What makes YOU such fucking experts on life, when YOU’VE NEVER FUCKING LIVED?!? You don’t appreciate the fucking life you’ve collectively been given, so get over yourselves already! Ye Gawds…the sheer hubris that drips from the empty words on your under- or over-populated pages are mindless and soul-killing. Misery loves fucking company, and it’s quite evident with you scabrous swine!

I currently vacillate between relief and rage…relief at being alive, able to type this vent, and suck down some shots of Goldschläger. Rage at the mindless fucking CUNT who nearly killed my fiancée and I yesterday! Some vile, pus-spewing pile of SHITE who decided to do at LEAST 75 mph in a 55 mph zone…not only that, this worthless skel decided to pass NINE FUCKING CARS in a COMPLETELY ILLEGAL SPOT!!! You don’t cross the fucking double-yella line in the fucking roads in the USA!!! Gawds…nearly a head-on collision…cresting a hill and seeing a car in front of us. Seeing it and thinking that something doesn’t seem right, and it isn’t, because it isn’t the REAR of a car, it’s the FUCKING FRONT and it’s heading straight at us!!!! Gawdgawdgawdgawdgawd…everything goes into slow-motion. I don’t scream and I prevent myself from clawing uselessly at my fiancée’s arm; that would do no good and only make things worse, so I just watch…he turns away from the car, which doesn’t even slow down as it whips past…our turn is sharp and our car begins to skid; he turns into the skid as drivers are taught to do, but he had to over-correct because of the other oncoming vehicles…losing control…skidding sideways; tires squealing and catching the pavement…it’s a hot-rod with big tires and weighs 2,500 lbs., fiberglass body…deathtrap if anything goes wrong. Convertible – no roof, no safety roll-bars…instant death if we flip, even with our seatbelts on…other oncoming cars are slowing and veering out of our way as we thread the needle…he is the Wind-rider, and we ride on a wing and a prayer. We’re in a 180-degree spin, slewing and yawing back and forth for about 500 feet. Our angels and deities are at our shoulders as we slam into the guardrail on the opposite side of the road, then slowly roll to a stop…it’s over. We’re alive and unscathed. My fiancée lets loose a stream of appropriate expletives and epithets while I feel my pounding heart and hear my shaky breath. Oh…incidentally, you don’t shit yer drawers when something like that happens. Your ass clamps shut – or, at least, mine did – my fiancée didn’t need a change of shorts, either, so it’s either a myth, or something that doesn’t affect everyone. To my understanding and medical experience, the loss of consciousness, a severe spinal injury, or death that causes one to void their bladder or bowels. Extreme fear, though? Jury’s out on that one, IMHO. Perhaps that is what is meant when one says that they’re scared shitless – you couldn’t shit if you wanted to!

The other saving grace was the three people who stopped to provide witness statements, as well as a fourth, a woman, who followed the suspect vehicle and got its license number. The driver who caused us to crash was apprehended and arrested within half an hour of the near-miss, so we have many phone calls to make today. Our car has two damaged rims, bent leaf-springs, scrapes and dents, and a skewed axis. We’d just had it “dyno-tuned” at a shop in Vancouver and were heading home after a lovely meal of sushi; the sun was shining, and it was a beautiful, sunny day – then that walking, breathing abortion decided that her ‘need for speed’ (literally and figuratively) was more important than the lives of many people, not just my fiancée and I. It could have been a multi-vehicle accident with many injuries and a few fatalities. Timing is everything. It all happened so fast…

We hoped to cruise in it during the Unique Tin Car Show in Longview, Washington; we were also going to enter it in the Beach Barons Rod Run to the End of the World in Ocean Park, Washington – those plans are on hiatus at the moment, obviously! Hopefully our ’37 Plymouth pickup truck will be in driving condition by the September show!

My arm hurts from hitting the door when we impacted the barrier – I’m going to have one hell of a bruise. My fiancée’s back is killing him. We ache much more this morning. Once the adrenaline wears off, you feel every ache, pain, pinch and twinge – even if you don’t realize that you probably got jarred worse than you thought. My mind keeps replaying the incident…I medicated with alcohol to get some sleep. Wish I had some of that ‘legal’ Washington State weed right now; puffing on pot always helped ease my insomnia so a dose would be nice…unfortunately, I don’t have a ‘green’ card. But, I digress…

Time to head to a physician and get our bumps and bruises looked at. We have Haggerty insurance for the car so we’re pricing what a replacement body will cost – it’s a Wescott frame so it’s doable…it is doable. I have to research the legal side of things; how to recoup monies from a person who was driving recklessly, how to press charges against them, how to get every fucking nickel and dime possible from that foul, loathsome beast. This will be interesting…I’ll keep you posted on further developments, provided I didn’t scare you off with my venting! If I have, too bad, so sad – it’s your loss, not mine. I don’t have time to worry about hurting the tender fee-fees of insecure cretins…I have bigger fish to fry. If you take anything I say personally, that’s on you – my life isn’t about you and neither are my comments and/or observations…and the ‘you’ I speak of is the general population. I reference nobody specific, because I don’t know you. Conversely, you really don’t know me, either – this is why what others say don’t really affect me. It’s your direct actions, IRL, towards me and mine that I take seriously!

Simply put, it wasn’t my time to go yet, so I’m determined to live life to the fullest – and much more so than I do now! That’s saying a LOT…I greatly appreciate that I am still here, with the man I love, and our journey and adventures can continue. Here are some songs about just being alive…enjoy.

Pink Floyd: “Signs of Life

Pearl Jam: “Alive

Gorillaz: “Feel Good Inc.”

Love & Rockets: “So Alive

Brewer & Shipley: “Witchi-Tai-To

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