Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Slomo - Short Film

Caught this on the New York Times site.  Fantastic message, story, and short film all rolled into one.  At currently 52 years old, this film connects with me on many levels.  Escape from the rat race theme, do what you want - skating, cycling, surfing - whatever your thing or link to the happy place is.

Give it a roll, well worth the 17 minutes out of your (ironically) busy day.  Click here to play.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

LeMay - America's Car Museum

Recently I dragged the family down to Tacoma, about an hour drive for us, to visit the LeMay museum.  Full name being LeMay - America's Car Museum.  Me, interested in checking the place out - especially for the current Volkswagen exhibit.  Family, well - just along for the ride really. Even so, off we go down busy and rainy I-5 South.  We've driven by the museum before, noting its interesting architecture, now we'll finally venture inside.

Once inside, realize the place is much larger then anticipated, four floors of cars and motorcycles on display.  After poking around the Volkswagen exhibit for a bit, we hit the cafe for lunch.  Not a bad spot, burgers for all, complete with museum overlook view.  

Once fueled up (burp), back out to gawk at more cars and displays.  Even the family seems to be interested now.  I took an insane amount of photos while wandering around, posted a few to give you the sampler platter of what's on display...

1954 Volkswagen panel van looking minty fresh in this fantastic shade of blue.  Old school VW buses always look cool, especially the older models.

1943 KdF Wagen, certainly the prototype for all things Beetle related.  Oldest VW I've ever witnessed in the flesh, uh, metal.  I can only imagine what this is worth today, large sacks of money required.

Impressively restored camper awaits extended vacation touring national parks, or to be gawked at by museum patrons.  Your choice.  I've always wanted one of these, though mine would have the hopped up motor and disk brake conversion.  Call me sacrilegious.

Federal law dictates every Volkswagen display contains the Herbie replica.  Go ahead, look it up...

Original Meyers Manx dune buggy keeps the clean 21 window bus company.  Quite the couple I might add.  Many copies of the Manx buggy available during the late '60s and early '70s, the original models now pretty rare.

Very orange '73 Volkswagen Thing stuns the retinas, safely hidden behind low level barrier. I owned a '73 Thing, though in yellow, for a short time during the '80s.  Mine was exceptionally clean with only 40,000 miles on the clock. Saving a garage full of 'em would have done better the my current 401k.  If only I had a crystal ball and a really big garage back then.

Vintage Chevy Impala looking very red and very long.  I dig the fins.

Pontiac GTO stands tall under cool looking wooden architecture.

Vintage Cadillac has it eye on you.  Make that eyes, many of 'em...

1924 BSA basks under modern lighting.

Muscle car stare down.

Drop in and do the ton on this '56 BSA.  LeMay hallways possibly long enough for this.

The envy of current cafe racer hipsters, may I present the 1962 Norton.  Very nice indeed.

Beep Beep'm Beep Beep Yeah...

I'm old enough to remember Truimph and other classic cars being just old sports cars, the classified ads full of 'em.  I owned a '77 Triumph Spitfire for a spell during the '80s.  This one a clean example of the GT6 model.  I'd dig owning one still today.

Being two wheel guy, was pleased to find various examples on display - including this '64 Rickman - fresh from the dinosaur era of motocross.

Old school BSA flat track racer, rear suspension and air cleaners be damned.  Boots and steel shoe included at no extra charge.

CZ showing off Czechoslovakia motocross technology, straight out of '72.  I do notice modern rear shocks, so perhaps ready for a little AHRMA action.

Plonk, plonk, dab, dab. 1964 Triumph ready for some vintage observed trials.  I get a kick out of the rear suspension combined with sprung saddle, for the dual boing action.

1969 AMX covering the muscle car base for AMC.  Cool body style that still looks good even now.

As the hot rod example, the "Ferrambo" for your consideration.  1960 Rambler wagon with mid mounted Ferrari 360 engine.  Not exactly something you see everyday.  Much hand work on this rig.

Vintage funny car action.  Getting up close to these old school drag racers, realize safety aspect not so funny.  Basically the nitro burning bomb in your lap, with spinning slicks next to the sides of your head.  Luckily the ride is a short one...

Stock car racing, back when they really were based on stock cars.  Again, poking your head into the cockpit, lack of safety gear impressive and scary at the same time.

Bultaco Metralla has been on my fantasy vintage motorcycle list for years.  Please send money...

The kids dug racing slot cars on the large track.  Snapping pics of flying slot cars ain't easy, good thing film is cheap nowadays...

Well, I guess the '47 Ferrari would be just that.

Cannonball run winning '71 Ferrari Daytona.  Ironically, I just finished reading about this car being piloted by Dan Gurney and Brock Yates, just before my museum visit - fun surprise.

Mommia mia, that's a long string of Ferraris.

Just your average, every day rally prepped Citroen.

Flying solar panel with room for one.

Tucker and friends.  Pretty cool building, eh?

1959 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia leads the way.

Beatle mania.

Vintage Formula V and race Bug discuss their glory days.  Putting together a street legal version of a vintage Bug racer, has been on my mental dream list for too many years.  Now just need a suitable Bug, spare time, extra room, and spare Pile-O-Cash.  Hence, the mental dream aspect.

Orange 1911 Flying Merkel enjoys the dappled afternoon light.

We closed the place down, as witnessed by sunset over stylish museum.  We'll be back.

Trip to the museum highly recommended.  Gear heads will be bowled over by the impressive display of cars from various countries and eras. Sprinkle in tasty motorcycles and other displays as well.  Non gear head types should enjoy the vastness and modern layout of the place, very well done.  Toss in a lunch stop and you have a full day of it.

On the photography front - endless cars, details, and lighting to play with.  I only posted a smattering of what I shot and a small glimpse into the possibilities.  From what I understand, they change exhibits occasionally, so heading there again on my agenda.

I suggest you do the same…

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Chasing Ice - Glacier Calving

Impressive glimpse into our changing world.  You don't get the full scale of it, until the end of the video.  Mind boggling...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

International Motorcycle Show - Seattle, Washington

The Progressive International Motorcycle Show rolled into town recently, town being Seattle and last stop of the tour.  I've been to many variations of this show over the years, dating back to the '80s in the NYC area.  Main point of show for manufactures to show off models for the upcoming season, so for this year all 2014 model on display.  Then mix in some vintage and other bikes, and you have yourself a few hours of walking and gawking.

And that's exactly what I did on a rainy late Saturday afternoon.  Plenty of gawking, walking, and snapping photos...

Suzuki DRZ400 SM.  SM for Super Moto, as per dirt motorcycle with road oriented wheels for pavement fun.  Would be a cool commuter and backroad blaster.  I've never ridden one, but call me curious.

Huge Ducati mural fills the frame and imagination.

Ducati 1199 gleams in red.  I've always had a thing for Ducati, though never owned one.  I've ridden a few older models, nothing recent.  I'd still dig a vintage 900 SS or the late '90s 748.  Would also be quite a bit less expense then new.  When that winning lottery ticket arrives, a new 899 would be on the list.

Ducati Hypermotard also pretty sweet.

KTM makes some really cool stuff in various flavors, from dirt to street.

Custom Harley or possibly Buell project bike.  Interesting look for sure.

View of downtown Seattle from the convention center, where the show was hosted.

The reborn (again) Indian motorcycle company display of Bill Munro's streamliner.  I'm assuming this is a replica, looked a little too perfect - but hey - what do I know.  Been a few years since I've seen it, The World's Fastest Indian, well done movie on Bill Munro.  Worth checking out.

This BMW 650 GS appears to have been places and done a few things.  A well used motorcycle is always a good thing.

Vintage Norton looking splendid in orange.

Extreme patina alert.

Well done '76 Yamaha RD400 that I've spotted previously in the Seattle area.  I've owned two RD350s many years ago, fun bikes.  Eventually I'd like to grab another one.

Suzuki RM370 from my era of motocross, looking ready for the next AHRMA event.

VME displayed an interesting collection of very vintage iron.  1946 Norton here as proof.

2012 era Norton, fantastic mix of Old 'N' New.  2014 model also on display, very similar to this one.  Place your order here.  While you're at it, order one for me...

Enjoy your temporary X-ray vision...

Big boy pants required...

Triumph Thruxton with a few Triumph accessories added.  One of my favorite bikes of the show.  Old school lines with modern reliability and performance.  I'm a Triumph fan and owned a '97 Speed Triple for a few years, which I still miss.  I'll weep silently in the corner.

Cool looking Triumph project bike.  Project bikes are always great to look over, but I wonder how they actually ride...

My favorite bike of the show, hands down.  Triumph factory flat track bike, modern serious with a touch of history to boot.  I talked to the builder for a bit, he mentioned Triumph investing resources into this project.  I've never been to a flat track race, need to get that on my agenda.

Honda CB160 spec class racer, affordable way to get out there.  This being the WMRRA booth, these folks sanction road racing events here in Washington.

Certainly the most photogenic bike of the show, 1968 Egli Vincent Black Shadow.  Cafe racer dream for many.  I shot this example for quite awhile, interesting bike from many angles.

1982 Suzuki GS1100 project bike.  I dig the current cafe racer craze, some interesting bikes emanating from it.

Dual sport camping set up.  Plenty of options for such adventures here in Washington State.

Slot car race action in progress...

Zero motocycles had a few models on display.  Electric motorcycles are becoming more and more of an option, but they need to get the price down to bump up the interest.

Kawasaki Ninja 300 in black.  I have a hankering for this small bore bike - light weight, high MPG, enough real world speed.  I need to test ride one soon...

Honda Grom 125, sorta like a modern CT70.  Kinda, but probably even more fun.

After three hours of wandering around, packed up and headed home.  Decent show with enough vintage bikes to interest me, and also cool to see the new models gleaming under the lights.  Two wheels in any form always fun to ponder and enjoy.  I'll keep this event on my calendar, see you next year...