Monthly Archives: February 2012

Driving The Past Into the Future

More captivating to me than any moment in last night’s enjoyable yet typical Oscars telecast is a commercial that preceded the show’s opening, one powerfully rich in historical presentation, striking a beautiful balance between the past and the present, while launching viewers into an exciting immediate future.

Seconds into the one-minute spot, I was riveted.  As the visual timeline unfolded, I watched closely in awe, smiling all the more.  By the end I was breathless, sold on the “breathtaking” item at hand.  To the advertising professionals who created this piece, I applaud a job beyond well done, thankful for yet another wonderful MBZ showcase I will enjoy watching again… and again.  This product indeed has a lifelong hold on me, after all.

History “drives” us into the future.  True as this can be in most aspects of life, it’s certainly a very powerful advertising principle, one that always works for me no doubt.  This said, the commercial is here for all you car lovers and Mercedes-Benz aficionados to enjoy as much as I do.

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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in And That's My Opinion, Cars, History, Mercedes-Benz


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A First!

While never before thinking I’d say so, I’m saying it now:  I’m impressed.

This is to say, my first glance has me looking twice– three or four times even– at not an Aston Martin or a Jaguar as the front-end lines might suggest, but rather at what indeed happens to be– yes, it is– a Ford sedan.  This all-new 2013 Fusion quickly captured my attention, which I must say for most any Ford product is a first!

Perhaps we’re left to wonder what this evolving American automaker has in store across the board in the next few years.  And no doubt this is exactly what Ford expects us to do.

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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in And That's My Opinion, Cars


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Script-free & Unedited

She never sat down with Barbara Walters and spilled her guts.  There was no public airing of her dirty laundry.  To her great credit, she maintained dignity and privacy throughout her life, granting no interviews.  As such, never did she create the typical high-profile media event akin to so many others– one that’s scheduled, promoted, sensationalized, over-analyzed and ultimately replayed time and again.  She simply did not share herself with us in the way we might have expected and enjoyed.

The closest she ever came– and the most we’ll ever get– exists in the form of her audio recordings of 1964, made public for the first time just this past fall, as I then enthusiastically reported.  Just months after the indelible event of November 22, 1963 that changed her life, the country and the world, the recently widowed Jacqueline Kennedy spoke on tape with historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., providing a rare yet quite extensive glimpse into her feelings, outlooks and recollections of not only her time in the White House– among everyone and everything that came with it– but also of the rigorous path to getting there, along with the seemingly countless figures by whom she was constantly surrounded.

I’m pleased to say I’ve now had the pleasure of hearing this insightful audio collection in its entirety, and not a moment too soon.  Five months ago my words were based solely on the small pieces of these recordings that the media reported.  As with most material of particular interest, however, it’s far better to listen, learn and judge for ourselves.  This I’ve done, leaving me satisfied, informed and rewarded.

Much ground is covered, with numerous names, dates and places to recall and keep track of while listening to Mrs. Kennedy speak.  Fortunately the book which accompanies the CD recordings presents her words verbatim, while within the pages annotates the individual or circumstance being discussed.  This makes for a series of fascinating and thorough history lessons.

Granted, some topics of conversation prove more interesting than others.  This is a never-before-heard Jackie, wonderfully raw and unedited.  With this come her often-fragmented thoughts, her mid-sentence changes of course, and her occasional long-windedness.  Still, it’s precisely these elements that make these recordings so compelling.  After all, at no other time have we heard her in this manner.  Unlike her 1962 White House Tour, or her 1964 thank you to the nation, we’re treated to the real Jacqueline Kennedy, free of script, rehearsal or cue.

For anyone who appreciates the many varied players and events of the Kennedy administration– and of course admires Jackie herself– this audio collection is not to be passed up.  My copy will remain with me for years to come, and maybe even find its way into my lending library!

And that’s my… oh, need I bother?


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Classique Du Jour

Yet another impressively well maintained, original-plated automotive classic stopped me in my pedaling tracks this morning, this one on Lake Street outside the Presidio.  We’re looking here at a 1972 Cadillac Eldorado— hub caps, moldings and badges all intact– with if not its factory paint job, still very likely its original metallic color.  Once again, I pause with a nod of appreciation for this “classic of the day.”

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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Cars, Daily Activities, San Francisco


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V-Day Humor

Happy Valentine’s Day, at any point you might be in your heart!


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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Humor


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A Different Kind…

“You know how in Scrabble sometimes you look at your seven letters and you’ve got only vowels that spell nothing? What do you do? You go back to the pile. You throw your letters back and hope to pick up better ones to work with. That’s what Republican primary voters seem to be doing. They just keep going back to the pile but still coming up with only vowels that spell nothing.” (Friedman, 2/11/12)

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  This op-ed sums up the present state rather well, not that I necessarily agree with every specific point.  Nonetheless, there’s indeed a necessary distinction to be made between “conservative” and “radical,” especially when both terms are– ironically enough– placed on the same side of the aisle.  Among all else, I’m reminded of what I wrote here just two weeks ago, while enjoying the present echoing of my sentiments.  A “different kind” is most definitely in order.  Obviously this is not just my own opinion.

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Posted by on February 12, 2012 in And That's My Opinion, Current Events, Politics


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Two in One

The sightings of classic Mercedes-Benz automobiles– two of them, in one day, and in the same neighborhood that is– no doubt call out for a camera.

First we see a 1966 230 SL, followed by a 1972 250 C, both well used yet more than decently maintained.  Not only are these two magnificent cars obviously still on the road, but even better– they’re both still on the road with their original license plates, thus adorning the badge that marks their true age, while allowing a California license plate numbers guy like myself to pinpoint their precise model years and months of purchase.

All in all, I say this was a terrific day to be on foot in San Francisco’s Lower Haight!

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Cars, Mercedes-Benz, San Francisco


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Nothing stuck in my mind.  Upon awaking this morning, I had to remind myself of what we had seen.  Aside from the typical cuteness and expected creativity, on the whole I was underwhelmed.  Unlike last year, when my favorite spots so entertained me that I watched them over and over again, the entire lot this time around just seemed rather dull, lacking those certain anticipated degrees of energy, attitude and pizzazz.

If for some odd reason you missed this year’s Super Bowl commercials– or if you want to see a certain one again– most are right here for your viewing pleasure.

Of course there were some clear standout moments, such as the reappearance this year– after last year’s absence– of the always flawless Betty White, following an only mildly amusing cameo by the sometimes funny Elton John.  Then, history always wins in my book, with nods to Budweiser’s Prohibition spot, the NFL’s safety technology timeline, and even a “mature” Ferris Bueller!  Altogether, out of the generally forgettable bunch overall, a car ad emerges as my favorite unsurprisingly enough, and not Clint Eastwood’s.

Audi was back, but not nearly as powerfully as last year.  In the end, I’m left asking in disappointment:  Where was Mercedes-Benz this time around?  I guess I’ll watch last year’s MBZ Super Bowl spot one more time.  After all, the Super Bowl commercials of a year ago are far more memorable than yesterday’s.

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in And That's My Opinion, Media, News, Reviews


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Given His Options…

Like him or not, Donald Trump always commands media attention.  And agree with him or not, the media does listen to what he has to say.  The question is:  Will the public?

Trump’s endorsement of Republican candidate Mitt Romney for president might not make a big difference in the long run.  We’ll see.  Given his options however, I say Trump made the best choice.

If nothing else, The Donald once again captured the media’s attention today, as well as mine, and– probably even yours too.  Don’t worry, you can admit it!


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I Wonder…

“A nominee who can win in November, not necessarily a “true conservative,” is the candidate they want.” 

This, referring to Republican voters in Florida this week, comes as no surprise.  Of course “it’s the economy, stupid,” as true today– if not more– as it was out of James Carville’s mouth 20 years ago!

Could Florida Republicans actually be demonstrating some much-needed political common sense, a strain of which could rapidly spread to other states?  I wonder…


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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Current Events, News, Politics


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