To the Moon, Alice

Today’s post comes from Wessew
My car is now named “Alice”. On November 6, 2016, my 2007 Impala attained average earth/ moon perigee. According to the odometer, it had traveled to the point in the heavens that on average is closest to the moon’s orbit of the earth. I named her “Alice” in honor of the long-suffering wife of Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason of Honeymooners fame) who frequently threatened to launch her toward that celestial body.  If the Chevy reaches the orbit of Mars, 46.8 million miles, “Alice” will transgender to “Ray” in honor of The Martian Chronicles author, Bradbury. It seems unlikely that I will witness that event given the time necessary to achieve it. I think I’ll give “Alice” that opportunity by putting her disposition in my last will and testament. The person who gets the most monies must also take care of the car. Thereafter, my forebears can effect the renaming rites.
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This is the first automobile I’ve had that has recorded such a distance. I bought it new, so all but 50 of those 225,884 miles are mine. Alice did reach the milestone of closest lunar approach to earth, the Beaver Moon, earlier then the actual event. On November 14, 2016 the moon will be at perigee 223,000 miles, the closest to earth it has been since 1948, an event not to be repeated until 2034. So either she is early or I am late with this article. In either case, she and I are well on our way to apogee. Also, I’m quite certain that my total mileage logged driving cars puts me on the return leg of a second lunar round trip so there is no need to quibble over a few thousand miles when were talking about nearly a million.
My driving career began with tooling around the farmstead in a 1948 Studebaker Champion. It was no longer road worthy and hadn’t been licensed for years but for the sake of driving practice it was perfect for my needs. My Dad had given it to me with the thought that I might become some sort of restoration mechanic. Well, that never happened, although it would be great to still possess what is now a classic automobile. We also had a 1964 Rambler station wagon with a push button automatic transmission. My sisters liked learning to drive with that car as it relieved them of having to shift gears using a clutch. Wimps!
Many makes and models have now come and gone. Most of the time they were good companions but the brand that caused the most trouble was the 1983 Renault Alliance. It was Motor Trend and Car And Driver magazines Car of the Year. Those publications have since apologized for their recommendations; hundreds of repair dollars and tons of frustration too late for me and thousands of victims. The gas pump failed. The oil pump failed. The transmission failed. The air conditioner failed. Even the radio failed. It never even made 30,000 miles. The model did make Car Talk several times and Tom and Ray had some sympathy for the people who owned that junk but none for those who made it.
“The Renault Alliance proved the adage that nothing bad will happen to the person who owns a French car, because it already has.”
What is the best thing to come out of France?

59 thoughts on “To the Moon, Alice”

  1. Funny you should ask, because last night I watched “Midnight in Paris” for the third time. Without choosing any one person or thing or sensibility as “best”, that presents a lot to choose from. Not the least is the gypsy jazz soundtrack…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bread and all those yummy sauces. We just bought a covered clay baguette pan. It should arrive next week.

    We just learned that the Swany White mill in Freeport is back in business after the fire several years ago. You can’t beat their flour for bread. They ship, and I plan to order some soon.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. I’ve been infatuated with gypsy and gypsy style jazz for a long time. Django and Stephane Grappelli, of course, but also Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang and more currently Birelli Lagrene, Tchavalo Schmitt, Jimmy Rosenberg and, in the US, Pearl Django and the Hot Club of San Francisco. I had tickets to see Joe Venuti at Orchestra Hall in 1978, but he died shortly before his scheduled concert.

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    1. white burgundy was a favorite and the subtle treatment of the nuances is a nice way to go.the sauces are all i have to go on really as the vegetarian part of the french diet is sparse. wonderful but sparse. since recently proclaiming a test for gluten free and lactose intolerent as totally unsuccessful (yes to each) i have become a potato eater only to discover potatos are a problem too. celery and peanut butter apples and peant butter .. i will need to work on soy based sauces. bread butter and potato envy r us

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    1. we are rolling again. thanks baboons. i think if we can keep fresh posts p we are likely to do this again as a regular deal. it certainly could be that we are all fasinated by bills cowboy shirts and the trick question at the end (shades of dale ) (wessew too) but ist sure is good to see.
      clydes verbal contributions may have opened a floodgate of input. cmon clyde.
      ,

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  3. Berthe Morisot and Claude Monet.

    I have a warehouse run this morning but I’ll be back online this afternoon. Can’t wait to see what else baboons like from France. Thanks Wes!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Edith Piaf, roast chicken, French Fries ( ha, from Belgium really) the WWII French Resistance which was remarkable, baguettes and croissants. And my ancestor Prudence Marche circa 1580.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. i have been to a lot of trade shows in my life and the european shows tend to have an area for uk, germany, china, usa, benelux, and then over to the side are italy spain and france, greece, turkey hungary are off to the side ot of the mainstream.
    the difference in the culture is notable. the chinese have one way of setting a booth and doing business and the germans another. the usa has a familiar feel and the k is similar, the french and italians are where you want to hang out if atmosphere is the choice. i used to say italy has a priority that the main focs is that life is beautiful. france is very similar. almost no one in france shows up in jeans for work and gray black is not the top color combination. the colors of azure blue not navy, red with a vibrant tang and yellow as an accessory or a main theme to the cause is noteworthy. the mid day and end of the day breaking of bread is an event not a side issue. bread wine cheese meats and sausce fill the tables and all that enter partake. you can feel sorry that they are not world leaders in business but they have a nice way of enjoying the place they are in.
    i had a friend who owned the pugeut above and it was a wonderfl car to sit in but it seldom moved and when it did it didnt last long. i have had the same experience with the jaguar i wanted to own because of the sex appeal but it broke and never got going again.
    yes vs along with monet i say french impressionism is the top achievement to date.

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  6. There is so MUCH to choose from! Agree about the French Resistance.

    But I may have to say my favorite is their language. I love love love to hear it spoken, and love to try speaking it.

    Another is their way of honoring the Americans who fought in France in the World Wars. Here’s a USA Today article my sister just sent, about a family who found their missing uncle’s grave in the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial, Lorraine FR.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/11/06/family-finds-grave-missing-wwii-pilot-french-cemetery/93403200/

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I want to endorse Wes’ suggestion that the French should never try to make cars. I doubt many Baboons remember the Renault Dauphine. But you probably remember the ratty old Peugeot that Columbo used to drive (always insisting it was a “classic”). More of you might remember the ugly Citroen Patrick Jane (the Mentalist) drove.

    Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are Italian, the mechanics are German, the lovers are French and it is all organised by the Swiss. Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians.

    Putting that another way, in Heaven the cars are German. In Hell everybody drives Peugeots or Citroens.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. But as Wessex indicates, nobody has produced such bad cars with such style. Sweden would give them a run for the money if it were not for that Volvo brand. Nobody produces bad cars as badly as England.

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        1. A friend owns a really early Citroen. Like from the 1940s. The windows don’t move up and down but sort of fold to let fresh air in. I don’t know why my friend bought this thing. In fact, he doesn’t know why he did. He’s afraid to drive it. It looks good in its garage.

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  8. Lafayette. So many artists, all the impressionists, my first love in great painting when I walked the Chicago Art Institute. These days it is Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Some of the best cinema. There is still a discernable french style to cinema that rarely fails. French food is not my favorite, Did not like wine when I could drink. But the French style of eating we could duplicate. Dumas and that whole era of French romantic novels, Over the top drama that works. Three Muskateers. Count of Monte Cristo. Some excellent travel writing about travel in France, but France has produced no real travel writers. The best tennis tournament in the world, where people have to play the whole game and not just serve and volley. The French Resistance. GOOD mustard. A model that a country can survive bad leaders. A certain arrogance.
    The worst is Bonaparte. The idolization of a man who I see as a pre-Hitler. The most drug-riddled sporting event in the world that teaches athletes how to avoid being caught. A certain arrogance.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am reading, or trying to with these eyes Jan Morris’s book Oxford, which is a delightful telling of the city and university. But I am deeply ashamed to say, she (But he was a he then) does not uses the Oxford comma. Pure sacrilege.

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  9. I was never a fan of the Honeymooners. I notice today that the most constant reference to it is when a man threatens physical abuse on his wife. I guess it is just a joke, for Alice would kill him if he tried. I do love Last of the Summer Wine, but the character Compo commits sexual assault on a Nora or Ivy or both in most shows. it is funny in its burlesque context (burlesque in the sense of a style of humor), but I am glad times have changed. But I have a certain sensitivity to this issue, I suppose. I wonder if we will go back to that kind of humor.

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    1. A lot of comedy doesn’t travel well through time. I was never a Jackie Gleason fan, but anyone could tell his threats “to the moon, Alice!” were just shallow bluster. That little joke was central to understanding the relationship. Ralph was obliged to bluster. That was funny to earlier audiences because men theoretically dominated everything but often all the real power was with the wife.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love the French language (4 years in high school and 4 years in college). Impressionism. Ah, mais oui, la cuisine Francaise!

    La Cage Aux Folles. Captain Jean-Luc Picard (although why he has a British accent when he’s from France in the show is beyond me). Just a few I can think of …

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    1. Love La Cage Aux Folles. When they made Birdcage I was so skeptical; why remake such a classic? But I have to say that I was entirely won over by Robin Williams and Nathan Lane.

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  11. There is an old theory, or maybe just a joke, that other counties learned to preserve meat by drying it like the Scandinavians, or salt like the English or pickle it like the Germans, none of which the French learned how to do so they just covered up the bad meat with sauces.

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  12. I actually like many things from France, starting with the young Catherine Deneuve. I’m currently reading a fascinating book called Dawn of the Belle Epoch, a history of Paris in the years from 1878 to 1911. It was an amazingly creative period when there was an explosion of innovation in art, literature, architecture and just about everything else. The author is Mary McAuliffe. I think just about anyone would enjoy it, but as I read it I keep thinking VS would love it.

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  13. I have been watching two squirrels high up in leafless trees. They were eating something, maybe young twigs. Looked them up in Wikipedia and found this line.Fun fact: The eastern gray squirrel is one of very few mammalian species that can descend a tree head-first. It does this by turning its feet so the claws of its hind paws are backward-pointing and can grip the tree bark

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  14. If you go to change.org there is a petition to the Electoral College to overturn the election. It was posted about 12:30 pm and is viral. It now has over 3 million signatures. You can add your name if you like.

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    1. As much as I’d love to see Trump not be President, a President Pence would be much worse. With Trump we’re still not sure what we would get. With Pence there would be a Theocracy. Think Cruz times 10 and you’ve got Pence.

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