26 June 2005

Sunday in Saint Paul.

I was going to try to incorporate Bob Cooley, Jose Cuervo, and Andrew Craig in to the title of today's post, but I'm feeling lazy.

I finished Cooley's book on the deck of Chateau Octane this afternoon. I knew the basic outcome, but was happy I stuck with it until the end. I needed to get the same sense of closure that the author took, and wanted the epilogue on Marcy, Roti, Maloney, and Aleman. The book was recommended by a friend and business associate who's lived in Chicago from the time of Capone to today. He knows a good book on the Outfit when he sees it. Thanks, JW.

It's a classic summer day here: Hot, muggy and windy. Quiet too; lots of people out of the city, likely "Up North." There's also the occasional 88-inch V-twin rumbling by. It is a perfect day for a tequila sunrise. I had my first one at the Imperial Palace a few years ago. I was there with friends, and we killed most of an afternoon poolside, sweating the previous 24 hours out of our skin. The bar was shamefully out of whiskey and lacking in legitimate beer offerings. Always trying to trust the locals, I asked the pale, Belarusian waitress what the bartender was good at making. She said tequila sunrise, assuring me that "it be having some more oranges juices in it" or something like that. Thanks hon, keep 'em coming.

Along with becoming resolute about finishing books I start, the other thing that drove me outside and away from the tube was the appalling efforts of Big Media to provide me with motorsports coverage of which they could be proud. SpeedTV (aka the "Painfully NASCAR" channel) had a SCCA Trans Am race that was 7 days old, then went to some 250-cc motorcycle race from Assen. What's wrong guys; couldn't find that tape of NASCAR drivers playing Texas Hold 'Em? CBS was even more futile: They tried to show the CART race from Burke Lakefront Airport, but their feed went out, and the nationwide audience was left with the Champ Car logo on the screen, along with Rick Benjamin and Derek Daly via a telephone line. Yea. I stuck with that for 6 seconds.

With television, the cover of the book by which the insides may be judged is the commercials. Want to know who's really watching Desperate Housewives, MTV, or the CBS Evening News? Just watch the commercials. Before the Champ Car race went dark, I was a bit startled to see a spot selling a 2-CD set of old 60's country music. When I got into CART, it was run by Andrew Craig, a Brit who saw a chance to make CART a North-American F1 alternative. His whole thing was to move CART upmarket, away from the canned beer and jacked up Camaro crowd, and toward the Chablis and Brie gang, who drive an XJS to work. Something about there being more money in that gang, I guess. Well I don't know what to think of the honky tonk music offer during today's telelcast, but it sure seems like somebody is heaping much Earth on Andrew Craig's legacy, and making some odd generalizations about open-wheel motorsports fans. Of course, love 60's country music, but I'm weird.

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