In Which Your Author Tests His Patience Over A 53 Year Old Plastic Cadillac

Two Sundays ago I attended the twice-a-year model car/promo/kit swap meet and show in Countryside, IL, in suburban Chicagoland. As usual, I brought plenty of cash. As usual, I spent a lot of it. I got several nice Cadillac promos. One of them was this dark red 1966 Cadillac Coupe de Ville promo, which I got from my buddy Jim Smith. And all was well-until last night.

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Airstream Funeral Coach: A Hearse Made Worse

Note: My buddy Tony LaHood emailed me yesterday and said, “Hey, how about running this for Halloween?” Who am I to argue? -TK

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Girls Need Their Own Place To Play Sports, Free From Male Hormones And Organs

Being a parent nowadays is a constant battle of holding onto and trying to instill the best of your Generation X values in a world that is doing everything possible to rip them away. No, I don’t believe all the things that I believed in 1996, but some things just remain true, no matter what.

Here’s a great example. My daughter, Regan, is playing soccer this season on a pretty decent club team for a second year. I don’t talk about my daughter’s soccer anywhere near as much as I talk about my son’s, and that’s because she isn’t 1/100th as serious about it. She quit for a year when she was seven, but started again because she likes going to soccer camp in the summer and playing the fun games that they play. More than anything, she likes the social aspect of the game, and, of course, she has fun when they win.

She’s scored approximately 3 goals in the last three seasons combined. The most significant event that’s happened during this fall soccer season, according to her, is her acquisition of a pale blue, 40-ounce, wide-mouth Hydro Flask (sksksksk). God, I just linked to Vox. Anyway.

Of the nine girls on her team (they play 7-on-7), she is no better than sixth-best, and possibly as low as ninth, depending on the day and her motivation. She plays the fifty percent that is required by the club, but not a minute more, as the coach (rightfully) opts to play girls who are more skilled, focused, and intense about the game, and she doesn’t mind. But yesterday, she had a bit of a moment.

She was marking a girl on a throw-in, and this girl was easily half a head taller than Regan, if not more. The bigger girl, sensing that the slightly-too-concerned-with-her-hair girl guarding her might be an easy mark, shoved her hard and called for the ball. Something snapped inside of Regan, and you could see the look on her face change as she lowered her shoulder and charged directly into the other girl’s abdomen, knocking her off balance and almost off the pitch. I think the referee was too shocked to call anything. All of the parents gasped in unison, and then laughed and cheered for her.

That night, over a chocolate chip cookie, Regan informed me that “It’s fun to shove people!” and that she couldn’t wait for the next game to do it some more.

Girls need these moments.

They need to be able to compete on fair and equal ground with other girls in athletics. They need the chance to take leadership roles that will translate from the pitch to the boardroom. They deserve the opportunity to create healthy, active habits that they will carry through their lives, regardless if they ever play a sport past high school. They deserve to know what it’s like to have the chance to win championships, to hold the trophy high above their ahead and celebrate a victory into the small hours of the morning.

Unfortunately, there are a group of science deniers who seem to think that it’s fair to rob girls of these opportunities.

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No, Hasbro, Hedy Lamarr Did Not Invent WiFi, or Cellphones for the Matter

Image result for ms monopoly hedy lamarr

The Hasbro toy company owns the Monopoly brand and of late its been trying to extend that brand with special editions like the Star Wars Monopoly I got my adult son for Chanukah last year. More recently, they’ve tried their hands at satire, with parody editions like Monopoly for Cheaters, Monopoly for Millenials, and Monopoly Socialism. That last parody hit the mark so close to the bulls’ eye that a socialist college professor went on a Twitter rant about how inaccurately it portrayed his favorite political/economic system. A lot of the special editions are exclusive to the Target chain and after the Marxist professor’s rant went viral, much to his chagrin, I’m sure, Monopoly Socialism sold out on the Target website, with the $19.99 game going for as much as $80 on eBay. I myself managed to find five copies at a local Target, gave one to my son, kept another for me, and flipped the rest, more than doubling my money. I love the smell of monetizing SJW hate.

Hasbro’s latest version of Monopoly isn’t a parody, however. Ms. Monopoly is all about You Go Girlism, encouraging girls to become inventors and entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, it perpetuates a number of myths, Continue Reading →

Paul’s Discount Finally Calls It Quits

Even today, in 2019, there are still local retailers. But as of late last month there is one less. Paul’s Discount, a small two-store chain in Iowa, finally closed the end of July. It wasn’t a fancy place, but it was an honest place. And their customers tended to be remarkably loyal. But times change, people change, profits dwindle despite busy stores. And progress, for better or worse, slows for no one.

I remember, years ago, my dad taking me to the Iowa City store after my annual check up at University Hospital. Years later, circa 1997-98 when I started driving myself around, I’d go up to Clinton in my ’91 Volvo 940SE, just to go for a ride, and check out the store there. Only those who remember being recently licensed to drive may understand why it was a thrill to drive thirty miles to a small city north of home base, with nothing much more than a few stores, a small downtown, a marina and GM and Lincoln-Mercury dealerships. It was a nice drive, along the river road from Davenport, via LeClaire and Princeton.

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Spotted: 2020 Ford Explorer ST

Last Sunday I drove over to Dahl Ford in Davenport. One of the owner’s collector cars, a 1959 Fairlane 500 Galaxie Town Sedan, was being sold off to make room for-you guessed it-more vintage cars.

I found the unmistakable pink and black ’59 immediately! More on that car later, by the way, don’t worry.

But as is my wont, I wandered around the dealership for a while after, to see if there was anything else interesting. And in so doing, saw my first 2020 Explorer.

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The Forest Inn: Surviving Supper Club

I’ve always enjoyed out of the way restaurants. Non chain, often family owned, and in existence for decades. The 1940s through the 1970s were probably the golden era of the supper club. Chains and the increasing monotony of towns and cities across the country over the last thirty years have done their work. But the restaurant, roadhouse or supper club, usually located on the now-secondary, once-primary highway routes, are still out there.

My dad’s parents were really into supper clubs in the late ’50s and ’60s. On a Friday or Saturday night, they thought nothing about hopping into the car with several friends and driving into Iowa City to The Highlander, or The Lark, in Tiffin, Iowa, for a night of steaks, chops, tossed salads, cocktails and gigantic baked potatoes. Of course, they went in style, dressed to the nines. Such was the time.

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Rewind: “99 Red Balloons”

I walked into a dealership this week that was doing a “gypsy sale.” It reminded me of this fictional tale that I wrote almost exactly five years ago, so I thought I’d repost it here. Fun fact: this story was based on many, many true things, not the least of which is that I knew of a GM store in New Orleans that had (and probably still has) exactly this balloon strategy on the lot every Saturday. It was heartbreaking to watch children dancing around with red balloons. 

Enjoy.

-Bark

“Saturday morning, Studly!” Jimmy slurped aggressively from his third cup of coffee. Over his shoulder, past the tall plate glass of the recently remodeled dealership, the sun was just starting to rise. He punched me playfully on the shoulder. “Another chance to make yourself rich and famous.”

Jimmy was one of the more tenured salespeople on my lot. His ever-growing paunch, concealed by the poly blend polo we all had to wear, sagged grotesquely over his belt, severely testing the strength of the waistband of his worn cotton khakis. He had been athletic at some point (or at least the pictures on the wall of his cubicle suggested he had), but now his six-foot three inch frame showed the wear of three years of seventy hour workweeks. Undoubtedly, Jimmy had consumed enough coffee and food from the roach coach to kill normal men.

I had not.
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Today Is The Day You Buy A Grown Man’s Shirt For The Price Of A Chinese Ripoff

I’d be lying to you if I said I was a fan of John Kerry; as the son of a Vietnam veteran, I don’t respect Mr. Kerry’s numerous evasions, exaggerations, and outright lies regarding his own service. Nor do we have much in common on a personal level, although I have to respect Kerry’s unsentimental actions with regards to marrying into $1.2B of fortune and $60M worth of personal residences. That’s the real pimp game right there.

Alas, the handsome (and handsomely privileged) Senator and I have one thing in common: we’re both bespoke clients of Turnbull&Asser, the English shirtmaking house notorious for its three-button cuffs. The cheapest custom T&A shirts are $600, with the most expensive more than twice that. The good news is that they wear like iron; I have one T&A shirt that I’ve worn on a relatively constant basis since 2003 and it’s still in passable shape. You don’t get that same kind of longevity from a Brioni or Kiton shirt — believe me, I know.

If you want to join the fraternity of T&A fans, so to speak, now’s a good time to do it on the cheap. Today the firm is putting an extra 15% vig on its seasonal sale. Which means that you could get an everlasting dress shirt of impeccable quality for about $130. Here’s the link. This is not an affiliate link, by the by. But it will take you to a neat and tidy listing of sale items that you can then filter to find what you want.

With regards to fit: I have a 48″ chest and a 39″ waist, and the standard fit for their 17.5/36 is pretty decent for me. If you are thinner than I am, congratulations! Also you might want to try the slim fit.

Every man should have a few things in his wardrobe that he can wear to any potential occasion, knowing that he won’t be under-dressed or obviously poorer than everybody else in the room — regardless of the room in question. And don’t worry if you’re a committed Republican — the list of T&A clients also includes Ronald Reagan, George Harrison, Miles Davis, and the Prince of Wales himself.

I Got Your Back, Covington Catholic

 

I have neither the time nor the inclination to give a blow-by-blow recap of the events over the weekend involving the students from Covington Catholic High School. Nor do I believe that you need one. You’ve likely already decided what your position on the incident is, and nothing I could say would change that opinion. For the record, I think the kids probably did nothing wrong. After reading the lawyer and PR-approved version of the featured student’s statement, I think it’s actually likely that the kids were intentionally targeted by this crisis actor, Nathan Phillips. a man who claims to be a Vietnam Veteran but also appears to be 64 years old.

(Note: This is being investigated and the records request has already been filed — JB)

No, I come before you today as a parent, specifically the parent of two students at a private Christian school in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

It should alarm each and every one of you how ready and willing the national media is to demonize white Midwestern children. In fact, not only is the media ready to demonize them, it is ready to doxx them and suggest actual physical harm to them, simply for standing in one spot and smiling while an adult political figure beats a drum in their faces.

That’s right—in Liberal America, it is now a crime to be Standing While White.

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