While Kimberlee over at Buggy Side has been blogging about awesome and sensible mechanical wonders that operate on the tundra, I have been distracted by a different automotive trend. It’s neither awesome nor sensible. Either it’s stupid, or I don’t understand it. Here’s a picture of what I’m talking about:


Fake porthole vents adhered to the front fenders of cars…why? I was trying to describe this to my sister Andrea, recently, because she had not seen it, living in Arizona where people probably don’t do such things. My information is certainly limited, but here is what I have observed and my conclusion about it.

For many years during its heyday, the Buick division of General Motors had as one of its trademarks the porthole vents. They were likely functional for a while, but eventually they were fake, even as early as the 1963 Buick LeSabre my parents had when I was a kid. Every now and then, Buick will attach similar portholes to their new models; in fact, some of their current cars use them. (What do you mean “use”, Patterson; they don’t do anything!) But now I see these stick-on “vents” on all manner of modern automobiles. And they aren’t coming from the factories that way. People are feeling the need to affiliate their modern ride with historical Buick. Again, I don’t know why.

The photo above is of a very fine-looking BMW. It has no need to look like a Buick! That’s like deciding to improve the looks of the Biltmore House by putting plastic flowers in all the windows. The BMW still looks good, I will admit, but it’s just wrong. Most of the cars that display the portholes do so to the detriment of their appearance. What is this all about? It obviously has transcended the Buick status symbol and taken on a life of its own. Over the last few days I have observed these chrome-colored plastic scars on two Cadillacs, a Suzuki, two Dodge pickups, a Chevrolet pickup, and (this is so sad) a Nissan Xterra. In recent weeks I have seen them on Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Lincoln, and probably many more. Some of them are diamond-shaped instead of round, but the idea is the same.

Maybe there is a reasonable reason behind it and someone out there can explain it to me. Until then, it’s just a popular trend, and therefore to be ridiculed and resisted.

Published in: on March 31, 2008 at 11:14 pm  Comments (5)  

Hair, Approximately

There was a toupĂ© in the road today. I drove past it four times as I went back and forth to the hospital. It lay there on the center yellow line, feigning youthful whispiness in the breezes. Wouldn’t you like to know the conversation directly before and after the piece made its wife-aided escape from some Buick window? Or maybe the guy was riding a red convertable, and when a vigorous gust scalped him, he simply could not stop and go back for the shame of it. It’s probably part of the code… “If it blows off, let it go; you can afford a replacement, but you cannot afford the humiliation of placing on your head something you picked up off the road. Your twenty-year-old girlfriend would not understand.”

Published in: on March 29, 2008 at 4:47 pm  Comments (6)  

Breakfast and Beyond

More days than do should start with pound cake and orange juice.

Then there was a two-and-a-half hour pre-marriage counseling session. And e-mails and stuff and things and lunch.

In the afternoon, I drove an entire hour to visit a church member who lives in a nursing home in another county. Not locating her in the usual places, a nurse told me she had gone to the eye doctor. I drove back to Lancaster. A woman in the nursing home there told me about having her photo made with the world’s heaviest man — legitimate Guinness Book of World Records guy –, showing it to her mother, and saying that they were going to get married. I strained my neck trying to hear her weak voice. Leftover yellow Peeps were on her shelf, ominously close to my left arm.

E-mails and phone calls and things and stuff.

I put on racquetball clothes and went to the History Committee meeting. Six of us walked the cemetery slowly, researching for an upcoming children’s activity. No, I’m serious. Then I played racquetball. Now it’s time to go to bed.

Published in: on March 27, 2008 at 11:22 pm  Comments (7)  

Green Month, 3-25-8… A Conclusion

Thank you for being a reader. Peace for your own journeys!


[All photos in this Green Month series were taken in July of 2005 during a ten-day search for traditional Irish music. Extensive journaling accompanied the exploration, but that material is not for this blog. Now…on to more current ideas and episodes that may serve the purpose of balance.]

Published in: on March 25, 2008 at 3:47 pm  Comments (2)  

Green Month, 3-24-8

The emerald nation glistens on the horizon of myth, on the shore of need. For all with souls deeper than pockets, a spiritual home is here. And for those who daily hear the music and smell the smoke of a turf fire lifting from its chimney, home itself is a never-ending prayer with senses tingling.

No wonder the state of envy is generally known as green.

Doolin, County Clare

Gort or Corrofin ?, County Clare

Kilmacrenan, County Donegal

Cregg Castle, Corrandulla, County Galway

County Clare

Published in: on March 24, 2008 at 9:31 am  Comments (1)  


I hope your celebration of the resurrection is real and abiding, and that the claim of Christ upon you is renewed by this day’s import.

Published in: on March 23, 2008 at 2:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Green Month, 3-22-8


Published in: on March 22, 2008 at 8:41 am  Comments (1)