The Grand Prix of 1973


Spotted on the Hemmings blog: 1973 Grand Prix: The first Pontiac I ever drove.

The first Pontiac I ever drove was my brother’s ’67 G.T.O., but a ’73 Grand Prix was the first car I ever owned. Here it is in action:

1973 Pontiac Grand Prix

Outside of Belmont, Nevada. June 1984.

West Side Highway, Death Valley

And me at the wheel – hauling down the West Side Highway in Death Valley. December 1983.

Would love to drive one again for a hour or so, but I’m happy to mostly leave it in the past.

They Are Still Out There

Revisiting modern myths yet again


What’s better than a barn find? How about, preserved under a Ponderosa Pine tree! The second owner of this early ‘54 Vette drove this car to a friend’s house to have the seats reupholstered and took them out, set an old wooden Pepsi pop bottle case in place of the driver’s seat and drove it home and parked it under a Ponderosa Pine tree. That was 1963 in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado at an elevation of 9,000 feet.

Well, 43 years later, I had the good fortune of rescuing this gem. All of the tires were flat and sitting on the ground, one would think there wasn’t much of a frame left. Well, not only is the frame rust free, but the original painted frame stamp from the factory is still on the frame and very much legible. The umbrella of green pine needles above and 6-inches deep on the ground miraculously saved this car, along with the rare hardtop.

Other similar stories.

OK, so there’s the still the occasional rare car find out there. Surely all the major mountains have been climbed, right?

There still exists today large unclimbed peaks in the Himalaya. But they are generally very remote, closed to climbing, or perhaps uninteresting sub-peaks of larger mountains. To find one without these characteristics is not only rare, but also alludes to a very special peak. To find one that is the visual centerpiece of a major Himalayan valley, the Rolwaling; a peak that hundreds of trekkers and climbers pass by every year; a peak so prominent, you can view from its summit six 8,000-meter peaks plus every major peak in the Rolwaling and Khumbu valleys; a peak that rises over 3,000 meters above the valley’s largest Sherpa settlement – this is extraordinary. This is Kang Nachugo.


Puryear and Gottlieb’s story of the climb is worth a read. So many climbing stories these days feature military-styled assualts with troubled millionaires that’s it’s nice to read about a couple of life-long climbers who figure things out, have fun along the way, and succeed at it.

R.I.P. Robert Asprin


On May 22, 2008, Bob passed away quietly in his home in New Orleans, LA. He had been in good spirits and working on several new projects, and was set to be the Guest of Honor at a major science fiction convention that very weekend. He is survived by his mother, his sister, his daughter and his son, and his cat, Princess, not to mention countless friends and fans and numerous legendary fictional characters.

He will be greatly missed.

Indeed. I stopped reading the Myth books somewhere around book eight or nine, but they were (and still are) among my favorite things to read when I’m ill – especially those old Starblaze editions with the goofy Foglio art. I ran across them the same year that The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy was impacting and quickly absorbed the lot into the nerd zeitgeist I was developing for myself at age fifteen (Steve Jackson’s micro games, Apple II assembly language, Tempest/Missile Command, and Raiders Of The Lost Ark being the other big cornerstones)

Happy Fourth of July: Another Gallery Of Great Americans

Inspired by Coop’s list here’s my additions…

Robert Mitchum


Ed Abbey


Charles & Ray Eames


Fiorello LaGuardia


Julia Child


Judge Roy Bean


Sun Ra


Jean Shepherd


Jackie Cochran


Link Wray


Harry Franck


Bill Gaines


Iggy & The Stooges