Saturday, August 29, 2020

Lotus Evora GT

I've been debating which new car to buy for too long; it's time to make a decision and I have. I'll pull the trigger as soon as a garage I'm building is finished this year. I hope to be in new wheels by Spring.

My passion for McLaren's super-cars is deep but my confidence in the company got shook this year: McLaren almost went bankrupt and was rescued at the last minute by financing from the government bank of Bahrain. Yes, Bahrain, the Kingdom in the Persian Gulf. That dampened my enthusiasm for purchasing an expensive, long-term product from the company. I need a manufacturer to be around in a decade when I need new parts.

The other obvious option is Porsche 911. I acknowledge, as I must, that Porsche is one of the finest cars ever made. Superbly engineered, super-reliable. But... it just doesn't excite me. I'm not attracted to its design. And the car is so common: I see a dozen every day. Boring.

So, what's left? 

Lotus. A company in England that hand-crafts a small number of exotic sports cars. Lotus has racing pedigree and history in Formula One competition.

Lotus automobiles are truly exotic: fewer than 300 are sold in North America. In my lifetime, I've only seen one of the road -- and I live in a neighborhood where Porsches, Lamborghinis and Ferraris pass by daily. 

The model I'm going to buy is the 2021 Evora GT. Its high price may seem an indulgence but, compared to Lotus' new Evija, the car is a bargain: the Evija costs $2.3 Million.

Why am I choosing Lotus? Read these reviews and you'll see how well it suits me:

Car & Driver: "It's a special machine for the hard core. Alive in your hands. Analog in a digital world. And we mean that in the best possible sense."

Automobile: "The Evora GT is no somber experience, rather being a carnival of speed and noise....The Porsche is talented and the Corvette C8 should be as well, but nothing drives like a Lotus....The new Evora GT may be a little irrational and a little expensive, but driving it is one of the few unique experiences left in our rapidly digital motoring world."

Jalopnik: "The Evora GT is a track weapon that fits into most overhead storage bins and happens to be street legal....The car’s a little rough around the edges, unforgiving, and effectively the gold standard of truly extreme driver-focused performance."

Jalopnik: "It’s not meant for the masses, really. It’s for a very specific kind of buyer, someone who appreciates the craftsmanship at work here and doesn’t want to be in something as ubiquitous as a Porsche."

The Lotus can do 188 mph and, yes, it has a stick. As soon as it arrives, I'll give you a ride. You can come with me on a sedate cruise through the neighborhood or a wild adventure at the track (NJ Motorsports). Oh, and I'm naming the car "Bitcoin." :)

Monday, August 24, 2020

Friday, August 21, 2020

In Requiem

 I'm blue. I'm not good with loss.

Thirty five years ago I moved into my current home. At that time and up until yesterday, there was a huge maple tree in the front yard, protecting the residence from the outside world. The tree was majestic and had interesting bark. It lived not only there but in my imagination.

Yesterday it fell. The storm last week cracked a major branch and, in removing it, the tree company said the entire tree has to come down, so it did. Now, there's just empty space where the tree once stood. It feels surreal. And there's no barrier to stop outside marauders from invading my home.

*sigh* At least I still have this picture I took with Holga a few months ago.

Are there any trees in your life?

Friday, August 14, 2020

Cayuga Lake

I'm heading back to the Finger Lakes today. This time, Cayuga Lake. It's part of my sinister plan to visit all eleven Finger Lakes before anyone catches me.  :)

Ca-yu-ga! Sounds like an old car horn. The named actually comes from the area's original inhabitants, a branch of the Iroquois Native-Americans.

While there, I'm dropping into the Taughannock Falls State Park which has biggest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains; it's taller than even Niagara Falls. I also plan to visit the city of Ithaca for the first time.

Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Where's Ally?

 When I was young, my family socialized and vacationed with two other families (the Grosses and Mayers). My parents were best friends with the parents in those families (Walter & Gertrude; Warren & Inge). Recently, at the urging of Warren's granddaughter, I called him up and chatted for an hour. Warren is 89 years old now but still healthy. His personality hasn't changed a bit. 

Here's a photo from our joint trip to Letchworth State Park in Western New York back around 1970. Can you pick me out?

From left to right are: Walter, my brother Richard, my mother Barbara Jo, Warren, three Gross kids, me, Inge and Wendy (mother of the granddaughter).

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

My Summer With Holga

 When I travel, Holga is always with me. She's capable of magic, enhanced by the anticipation that comes from waiting weeks for her photographs to arrive. (Regular readers know who Holga is. Those of you who don't can click on the link.)

Here are some images created this Summer. The first is beautiful Keuka Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. The second is Long Island's majestic Big Duck who lures me back time and time again. 

The third was taken at a local park I wasn't aware of until my friend Emily brought me there last month. She used to visit it as a child. The pandemic caused Emily to look for someplace we could have an outdoor picnic and this bucolic site fit the bill. That delightful outing was my first -- first! -- social event since the Coronavirus arrived. 

Monday, August 10, 2020

More Kodak News

 Remember that story I told you about Kodak? There's a sequel.

The money is now being held up due to "recent allegations of wrongdoing.” The U.S. government just said “We will not proceed any further unless these allegations are cleared.” (News report here.)

Turns out that while Kodak was secretly negotiating with the Trump administration, Kodak executives were privately buying up company stock. They anticipated, correctly, a huge increase in its value and then sold at a massive profit. The SEC and other government agencies are investigating.

As Captain Renault said in "Casabalanca" while being handed a wad of money as he announced a raid: "I'm shocked! Shocked to find that gambling is going on in here."

Friday, August 7, 2020

International Beer Day


Today is International Beer Day. No kidding! We even have a poster.

Pandemic life is hard. Beer makes it easier.

My favorite new beer comes from Keuka Brewing Co. in the Finger Lakes. I drank their Mocha Stout straight out of the tap (so fresh!) and later went online and ordered their 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Fat Stack Maple Pecan Porter. To each his/her own.


Beer Tweets:

- Here's to all the Americans who think Sam Adams was one of the Founding Fathers

- Wife: I’m heading to the store. Do you want anything?

Me: A sense of meaning and purpose in my life.

Wife: *adds beer to the grocery list*

- I'm impressed with who I become when I don't have an opener for a bottle of beer

- Ever had beer so good that two sips in you're ready to quit your job, buy all that stuff on your Amazon wish-list and move to an island?

- Wife: We need a new fridge.

Me: This is a terrible day.

Wife: You can use the old fridge as a beer fridge.

Me: This is the best day of my life.

- Today is the two-year anniversary of me chipping my front tooth on a beer bottle to impress a guy who it turns out already had a girlfriend

- People are so anxious for bars to re-open like they don't know you can charge yourself double for a beer and stare at your phone at home too

- [morning after party]

Me: I'm never drinking again.

Brother: Want a beer?

Me: Yes.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Beer Crowlers

Do you know what a crowler is?
I didn't until now. Arriving at Keuka Lake last month, my life was transformed by a delicious Mocha Stout served fresh on tap at Keuka Brewing Co. I took home a four-pack, which is now gone, and want to drink more but it isn't sold in local stores. So I opted to buy some from their website and they offer the beer only one way: in crowlers.
Contrary to popular belief, the best way to store beer these days is not bottles, it's cans. Can technology has developed and is now superior to glass containers. Craft brewers try to explain this to customers who mistakenly believe, from past marketing, that cans are inferior to bottles.
A crowler is a 32 ounce aluminum can. Bon Appetit confirms everything I just said above and proclaims crowlers are "the future of your craft beer consumption."