Monday, April 27, 2009

RIP Pontiac

MD with Pontiac Firebird on California Big Sur coast road, November, 1982

The woes of General Motors seem interminable. Today they announced the phasing out of their Pontiac "excitement" division with the loss of 21,000 jobs worldwide. The loss of great automotive names always seems sad especially when one has a personal connection. The first car I bought when I arrived on the shores of California back in 1982 was a Pontiac Firebird. Truthfully it wasn't a great car but it had a nice V8 motor and transported me around San Francisco as well as the California coast and mountain roads for 7 or 8 years. It survived a head on collision with a stolen VW Beetle (suffering a mere scratch to its bumper -the VW was destroyed) and an on another occasion after having had a door dented in an accident (again not my fault) the insurance cheque helped pay for my first Apple Macintosh. I never did get the door fixed and the car acquired a wonderfully battered Mad Max look. The transmission failed the night my daughter was born and having lost reverse gear I remember physically heaving the thing backwards in order to get it our of its street parking slot so that I could make my way to the hospital. Eventaully it was sold in San Diego to make way for an outrageous Trans Am (remember them?) but that, as they say, is another story...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Postcard from Alaska

Over the Easter weekend I had occasion to visit Alaska. My itinerary included a couple of nights in Anchorage and a brief road trip down the Kenai peninsula. What an amazing place -quite possibly the USA's final frontier. Despite the spectacular scenery, I don't think I have the fortitude to ever live there. Anyway here are some photos:

Glacier run off from the Chugach Mountains.

Blatting down the Seward Highway. Traffic is sparse to say the least.

Hungry teenage Moose didn't object to me taking his photo. By the end of the year this animal will have grown a full rack of antlers.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Long Good Friday

I'm still feeling pretty groggy but at least I'm up and about -there was a time at the beginning of the week when I thought I might be found in few weeks with the cat eating my carcass. What a nasty little bug that was. Anyway until my creative juices start flowing again I'm going to leave you with a clip from The Long Good Friday, a classic British gangster flick which apart from being 30 years old features a menacing Bob Hoskins in just about the only character he's ever played, a young Helen Mirren, Pierce Brosnan's in his debut role, some great photography of London's Docklands before it became yuppified, a terrific soundtrack by Francis Monkman and source material for just about all of Guy Ritchie's films. A true classic.

Best wishes to all for a happy Good Friday.

P.S. Inexplicably, the above clip credits Debra Winger for appearance in TLGF. As far as I know the closest she got was a 1978 offering entitled "Thank God It's Friday" which was about disco! 

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Psittacine Cain

African Grey Parrot (image from Wikipedia and used under a creative commons license: original photo by Tournon)

Dear Readers,

I'm sick as a parrot and feel like hell! Everything hurts including my hair. I think I might have bird flu. Doubtless it's some filthy bug I picked up on my travels in the UK last week. Normal blogging will be resumed when the drugs begin to work...