Pictures can tell a story …


This post, which I suspect will be a little shorter than what you normally come across in this blog, could have easily been written as a series of comments to other posts already published. However, it turns out that there is a common theme even if you have to look hard to find it. We have just dodged another snowfall – somehow it’s taking place well to the south of us – but it is mid-January and we have weathered seven snowfalls so it seems as though we should be preparing for the worst to happen deeper into 2021.

The picture above may have appeared in previous posts, but I am not sure. Its inclusion here is for no other reason than I wanted something that depicted changes and this kind of fits the bill. Taken less than two years ago, we no longer have anything depicted here; not even the trailer in the background or the garage itself. But then again, spending as much time at home as we have now done, we keep wondering if we should have held on to the RV. And what about the motorcycle? As for the Corvette its replacement is already in the works. The reality is that it simply was time to start a new chapter and clearing out this garage and getting rid of its contents was simply a starting point. 

Pictures do tell a story and the photo above is what really triggered this post. Returning to our local Costco, I was pleasantly surprised to see an attendant stocking a shelf with Penfolds Bin 28 Shiraz. My surprise was a result of Costco continuing to add Penfolds to its wine offerings. You may recall in the previous post my excitement to discover Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz blend being offered and how I bought six bottles. Well Bin 28 was priced at less than half of what Bin 389 cost us and while nowhere near the quality of that Bin 389, for everyday Shiraz, Bin 28 more than adequately fits the bill.

Coming home with yet another six bottles of Penfolds was quickly remedied as I returned a matter of a few hours later to buy six more bottles. Somehow, we had almost cleaned out all our Penfolds stock so it’s brilliant to be able to purchase this fine wine once again. Many thanks extended to the Chinese government for somehow thinking the local drop of red was superior to Penfolds. Need I say more? Now, if only Costco began carrying Magill Estate or RWT that was reasonably priced and Margo and I could feel comfortable drinking the remaining bottles we have stashed away in our wine fridge.

There are just two items I would like to address before wrapping up this short post. We acknowledge we have a new Corvette on order – what the industry is calling GM’s latest offering as the C8. Our particular Corvette will be a hard top convertible otherwise known as a HTC and we have added the Z51 Performance option. What struck us is that even as we changed our minds about getting another Corvette, once we had sold our previous Corvettes, the garage just didn’t look right. It wasn’t balanced, so as to speak. What do you think of the color?

When I arrived in Edmonton, Alberta, in March 1976 – almost 45 years ago to the month – my first order of business was to walk into a Chevrolet dealership and order a C3 Corvette in silver with a similar interior. But it didn’t work out as the dealership wasn’t all that keen to prioritize and order – why wouldn’t I buy the Corvette on the showroom floor? So off I went to BMW who were only too happy to take my order on a 530i that would be built to my specifications. Who knew? In North America, as soon as you look to order a car you pretty much abandon any possibility of negotiating a more competitive price.

Starting later this month, I will be republishing my series of articles published in Speed News, the digital magazine of the National Auto Sports Association otherwise known by the acronym, NASA. I suggested it might be worthwhile to include a column aimed at first-timers to NASA that simply spelt out what you may want to consider taking to the track and probably more importantly, what tasks you needed to complete before taking your car on track. NASA staff agreed and so began my exploration of what NASA calls, High Performance Driving Events (HPDE). Signing up for HPDE will see you start at the bottom and with time being given an opportunity to move up the ranks.

First time participants typically start with HPDE 1 where an instructor is provided and depending upon which NASA region you join, you will pass through HPDE 2 and HPDE 3 before topping out with HPDE 4 which is all about time trials where the competition becomes more intense. I have elected to repost these articles to Margo’s and my blog as many of you have asked to read them, but the magazine was restricted to only NASA members. So, in a matter of a few days’ time, expect to see that firs post. If you have any interest whatsoever in taking your Mazda Miata or Honda S2000 to the track, these articles may just be what you need to read that will get you all fired up to turn a few lapses on your favorite road course.

You may recall this picture, too. It appeared in our second ever post to Buckle-Up back on June 6, 2008 – a post I simply titled Off to the races … And that is me behind the wheel of our blue C6 Corvette heading up to the top of the Omega at Willow Springs. Yes, so much has changed – our garages have been cleaned out. We are restocking our wine as they too (for the most part) had disappeared for all intents and purposes. You might even say I am cleaning out old posts and articles and that may be true as well.

Altogether, it’s winter and a time to take a deep breath, enjoy winter’s snowfalls as and when they occur and to entertain thoughts about what new chapters are to be written. The beauty with seeing life as a series of chapters is that there is always the opportunity to begin one more chapter. From Margo and me, all the very best for 2021 and may this year relegate all thoughts of 2020 to a place where we can best leave them, undisturbed, forgotten and yes, not to be dragged out for many years to come! 


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