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Here you will find random bits of me

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

sema gooda thinga to do ata the time


ron just left to go pick up the shitzus. he thought he was just going to the groomer’s but as it turns out susie left them at the day spa.
well, you can imagine the cruelty involved in taking them to a regular groomer.
on his way to get the dogs, ron is stopping by to rent a new bentley as the day spa doesn’t allow anything less than a car of that price to carry away any of the animals they groom.
i hope the poor things weren’t rushed to quickly from their soak in the hot tub.
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i have spent much of the past couple of weeks out of town.
it started with a trip to las vegas for the sema show and ended with a trip to santa monica and the afm show.
since i intend to add a few videos, i’ll probably do this in a couple of installments.
my trip to vegas began early sunday evening, october 28 when helen (who doesn’t want me to write about her, so just pretend you didn’t read her name) picked me up here in pebble beach. after a cruise around the coastline we headed over to cannery row for an unremarkable dinner at one of the area mexican chain-restaurants before driving north to san jose.
early the next morning we left youknowwho’s place for breakfast and then a quick jaunt over to the heavily congested san jose airport; what a mess that place is!
despite the craziness my flight got off on time and, for most of the trip, followed hwy. 101 as far as ventura before heading out to sea.
we began our approach to orange county’s john wayne airport with a sweeping turn over catalina island giving those of us on the starboard side of the aircraft a great view of the isle.
as we made our very graceful landing, we passed a b-25 and b-17 bomber, two c-47s and one reconnaissance (black, of course) aircraft that i could not identify that were parked on the tarmac. hopefully, they are all flight-worthy; it would be such a waste to see them rest as static museum pieces.
within moments i had my baggage in my hand at the carousel and walked to the “white loading and unloading zone” to meet my longtime and dear friend alan. he greeted me with a really pretty charcoal grey mustang he was attempting to diagnose a problem with a computer, which alan says is the first such problem he has seen in the model. he also told me that, in his opinion, which i would have to value being he is fairway ford’s technical service manager, the mustang is the best car ford is making at this time. this only served to make me want one even more.
we circled the airport and headed over to a little, very noisy place for some really remarkable fish tacos and a chance to get to talk, albeit loudly, face-to-face for the first time in about 5-years.
in far too short of a period, alan took me back to just across the street from the airport to meet ron where he was having a luncheon meeting with some of the roex folks.
before long we were headed northeast, across the mojave desert, to sin city and our suite at the luxor.
we checked-in, unpacked and trammed/walked over to the mgm grand for the first of the several parties we were invited to attend, one devoted to electronic devices intended for use in cars.
there was a seemingly unending supply of interesting and delicious foods to enjoy and rivers of upper-top shelf liquor (“knob creek, please!”) pouring from the three open bars as beautiful spokeswomen charmed and flirted with those of us in attendance.
our reason for being at sema was to recruit sponsors for the western automotive journalists media days 2008 in april. so, this party was a veritable gold mine of potential sponsors.
besides making some great contacts both ron and i walked out with brand new gps-receivers courtesy of magellan. neither of them appropriate for geocaching (like most magellans). but, both are wonderful for navigational purposes sporting features like address-to-address navigation and traffic detour routes. mine will find its way into the deathmobile and later into the mustang if things come together with the big project ron and i are working on.
after a cab-ride, which we seemed to wait for forever, the entire following day was spent on the floors and parking lots of the convention center schmoozing more potential sponsors and mugging with attractive spokescreatures of every flavor imaginable.

that night we attended a party put on by honda where the food and liquor continued until, assumingly by the way the crowd seemed to not waiver, far after we left.
before leaving, however, i noticed somebody sitting near our table who looked very familiar. i was certain he was a former bonneville official named bob, but for the life of me i could not remember his last name. finally, i approached the gentlemen and asked: “have you ever been to the bonneville nationals?” “only every year since 1961!” he replied. by then i was close enough to see that his i-d badge read “bob mcmillian.” bob mac, as i always (except for the previous 20-miuntes) remembered him.
bob was always one of my most favorite bonneville-people and it was great to see him that night! his friend, john, grabbed a picture of the two of us and i gave bob one of my business cards, so i hope to have a picture it in my online album before too long.
in further proof that this really is a small world: bob was not only at laguna seca for the american le mans, described in a previous edition of my blog, but was also in the audi vip suite! what a trip!
from the honda party we walked about 50 feet to the next pavilion to the nissan party, which was much more exclusive in as far as invitations went, but not nearly as fun as the others. but, the free makers mark poured freely in the form of a triple; my last drink of the night, of which i only got about halfway through before deciding i had had enough.
we took the monorail across town to the mgm grand and walked/trammed back to the luxor.
the next morning we were on our way back to pebble beach bright and early with a brief stop at david heavener’s movie-ranch in tehachapi.
more on david in the story of the afm in santa monica in the next blogisode.
we made it back to pebble in time to greet the first of the only 4 or 5 groups of trick or treaters to dare approach the castle gate.
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i just got an email from bob mac, which included this picture:

monty and mac

bob has been busy since i saw him in vegas: the nhra finals; el mirage exhibit at the wally parks museum and off to el mirage tomorrow for the lakes meet.

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