Monday, June 20, 2011

Fathers, Convention, and Redemption

Yesterday was Father’s Day, and, like a large portion of you, I spent a few minutes on the phone with Dad, catching up on everything from the excessive family dinners I missed, to drought-stricken lawns in central Florida.  A few hours after that happy heartfelt call, the phone rang once more.

Perhaps you have been curious as to why Bolita hasn’t made the presses yet.  The book has been on a temporary hold pending feedback from one of the principle characters whose history gave inspiration to the story.  After a two-month wait, that call had arrived…kind of.  I made an earlier Facebook entry referencing a letter to the widow of a detective murdered by the mob.  I thought writing that letter was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.  I had no way of knowing it would incite the detective’s eldest surviving son to call and pour his emotions into the wires for about two hours—describing the anger, the frustration, his quest for answers; that seemingly nobody cared to help, and how his boyhood was lost the moment they placed a folded flag in his hands—and he called me on Father’s Day.

Suffice to say, the experience was surreal.  It was as if I was listening to a book on tape, except it was live and interactive.  Two hours and we finally hung up, drained, completely out of gas.  Epic.

Back to the book itself, Bolita will see a small touch-up over the next month, which will undoubtedly garner a few edits.  What I can now predict is that the text should see the shimmering lights of the internet retail stores sometime in August.  Look for it! 

Motor Heads and Tales - Follow-up

With the price of petroleum receding from plaid to ludicrous, the relevancy of fuel consumption may take a temporary reprieve—or so goes conventional perception.  Not by my standards!  After the discovery of continental disparity in the previous, “Motor Heads and Tales” entry, I hadn’t given it much more thought until the very, very, very, fine folks at Top Gear posted a blurb about a new Jaguar XF 2.2L diesel boasting 8-second 0-60 times and over 50 MPG.  Grrr!

This prompted another quick look into manufacturer’s offerings and current endeavors for clean diesel in the States.  A new XF for us?  Nope.  Infinity promised one of their crossover-SUVs in a diesel last year, but soon shelved it for the US and gave it to western Europe instead.  Still nothing mainstream from the Big Three…or is it Four now? (Toyota)

 I read a few articles plainly stating that manufacturers had two main reasons for the lack of diesel offerings in the USA.  First, they say there is a hefty development cost for meeting the EPA’s emission certification standards, specifically “Tier 2”.  Second, they cite that there isn’t quite enough demand to justify the development expense.


All right.  I’ll buy the first excuse, perhaps.  I had no idea we wasteful, porky, un-green Americans could possibly have tougher emission standards than Nanny Central.  Sarcasm aside, the second reason is pure poppycock.  Not enough demand?  Oh, the tirade one could install in this very paragraph!  I just don’t have it in me today, however.  Rather than fill line after line with the most acerbic vitriol, I’d rather recall a few consumption champions such as the VW Rabbit, Golf, and Jetta, Mercedes Blue-Tec, and…oh.  That’s it?  Grrr!

At least the Germans love us.

The Congressional Redemption

If you happened to catch the last rounds of the US Open last week, you witnessed a gargantuan comeback.  I'm talkin' 'bout 2011 Masters whipping post, Rory McIlroy.  Just two months ago he blew his last round lead so ridiculously, Greg Norman likely poured a bourbon and toasted his monitor.  Except, Norman never really came back after his Tin-Cupper.  Rory, on the other hand, decided to get back on his thoroughbred and give it the whip.  At the end of the tournament, McIlroy scored an Open record—a full four strokes better than the previous record set by Tiger Woods.  What a performance!

Golf, I think, has a new narrative. 

T. Nelson Taylor | Official Site | DusT | Bolita