16 Tacos

Originally I was going to title today’s post “40 Days and 40 Nights” because, counting today, that’s how much is left of the year 2020. I decided that was too much “on the nose.”

My wonderful wife and I have been in Arizona for about three weeks. In that time I have eaten 16 tacos from Jack In The Box. If any of them are reading I can imagine the reaction of the food fascists, “Ew, those aren’t real tacos. How can you eat that stuff?” Uh, being smug, self-righteous and arrogant is no way to go through life. (Yes, an Animal House reference, sort of.)

I love Jack In The Box tacos. The only concession I’ve made to age is that I order them without the sauce. From the time we left Texas almost 13 years ago until our move here my access to Jack In The Box had been extremely limited. I am making up for lost time.

I doubt I will continue to average almost a taco a day, but I will have them whenever I want. From a site called Serious Eats, a picture of those tacos:

 

See the source image

 

I have a long history with Jack In The Box. I have always been an avid reader. When I was young, a Jack In The Box store was next door to the library where I would borrow books and I would usually get whoever drove me to the library to stop there.

Around the time I began college that store closed as did most others in the eastern half of the country. From about 1980 until I moved to California in 1995 I did not eat at Jack In The Box.

When I moved west I remember waiting at least ten days before I went to one, perhaps in an effort to heighten the anticipation. Of course, I ordered tacos, two at first, but I think I ate at least two more. When I pulled the first one out of its envelope I couldn’t believe it. It looked and smelled exactly the same as I had remembered it and when I took my first bite it tasted exactly the same. I was euphoric.

If you don’t like their tacos, then don’t eat them. Don’t you dare tell me what I should or shouldn’t eat. My life doesn’t belong to you. When you can run three 11-minute miles three times a week (despite painful bunions and arthritis in my feet), then maybe you can have a say. Then again, maybe not.

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Not “remembering” the shooting death of John F. Kennedy today is not an effort at demeaning the significance of the incident. I will say, though, that based on the limited amount of reading I have done, my “theory” is that while Lee Harvey Oswald did intend to kill JFK, he was actually killed by a bullet accidentally fired by a Secret Service agent.

This theory is outlined in the book Mortal Error (published in 1992) by Bonar Menninger. The book is based on the work of Howard Donahue, a gunsmith, sharpshooter and ballistics expert. In 2013, Australian journalist and former police detective Colin McLaren published a book and documentary both titled JFK: The Smoking Gun, examining and supporting Donahue’s theory.

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See the source image

See the source image

 

On this day in 1893, legendary automobile stylist Harley Earl was born. The top picture (from Car Type) is the Buick Y-Job, Earl’s creation and the first “concept car.” The bottom photo (from Classic Cars) is, of course, a 1953 Corvette.

On January 1, 1928, Art and Colour, the automobile industry’s first dedicated styling department, was created by General Motors. Harley Earl was named its head and this department was, essentially, created for Earl by Alfred Sloan, President/CEO/Chairman of GM.

After seeing many cars like the Jaguar XK 120 at an event in Watkins Glen, Earl was inspired to create an American two-seat sports car. On June 2, 1952 he gave Chevrolet Chief Engineer Ed Cole (who eventually became President of GM) a sneak preview of an Art and Color mockup of the “secret” two-seat sports car, code named Opel. Cole loved the idea and pushed for permission to put the car into production. With no offense intended to the memory of Zora Arkus-Duntov, Harley Earl was the real father of the Corvette and Ed Cole also deserves much credit for its creation.

 

#16Tacos

#JackInTheBox

#HarleyEarl

#BuickY-Job

#ChevroletCorvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Monday Musings 43

It’s amazing how much more often you have to run the dishwasher when you’re cooking and eating all of your meals at home…

 

On this day 50 years ago the great Secretariat was born at the Meadow in Doswell, Virginia. You see, not all great racehorses come from Kentucky. Technically, all thoroughbreds have the same birthday, January 1, but that’s just a contrivance to classify horses.

In case you don’t know, [everyone] or even if you do, Secretariat won the Triple Crown—the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, the Belmont Stakes—in 1973. He is recognized as the holder of the fastest time in each of those races although his Preakness time is the subject of controversy. His time in the Belmont Stakes remains the American record for 1 1/2 miles on dirt. Andrew Beyer developed a metric, now called the Beyer number and which is included for every horse in the Daily Racing Form, that combines the “raw” time of a horse in a race with the track variant, a number that represents the inherent fastness and slowness of the track on a given day. I’ll let Beyer take it from here: “[For the Belmont Stakes] I came up with a figure of 139, which is by far the best of any horse I’ve seen…Secretariat was in a different dimension than any other horse we’ve seen in modern times.”

He was also the first horse to be named American Horse of the Year as a two-year old. The Triple Crown is for three-year olds only, meaning that Secretariat was Horse of the Year the only two years he raced. (As part of his syndication sale it was stipulated that he would not race after his three-year old season.) I am not an expert on horse racing history, but to me he was easily the greatest thoroughbred racer of all time.

From Horse Racing Nation a picture of Secretariat during the 1973 Preakness:

 

Secretariat 615 X 400

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Speaking of thoroughbreds of a sort…on this day in 2000 the 1999 Chevrolet Corvette was named “Best Engineered Car of the 1990’s and Best Engineered Car of the 20th Century” by The Society of Automotive Engineers, SAE International. According to SAE, “The 1999 Corvette was selected as the ‘Best Engineered Car of the 20th Century’ for having the highest marks for successfully introducing a new engineering system, longevity in the marketplace and achieving better performance than its contemporaries by virtue of the excellence of its engineering.”

Um, that’s quite an honor. I believe that a percentage of Corvette fans do see the car as a “diamond in the pigsty,” the only bright light in a field of dark sameness. However, I don’t think an honor like that is something that a company can merely stumble upon like the proverbial blind squirrel that stumbles onto an acorn. To me, that’s why the many failings of General Motors are so frustrating. Historically, the company has been capable of greatness. Currently, the C8 Corvette is an example that GM can still produce greatness. Why it does not do so on a regular basis could be, and has been, the subject of a book and is too big a topic for a 500-word blog post. From Bring A Trailer a picture of a 1999 Corvette, in Red, of course:

 

See the source image

 

My first Corvette was of the same generation, a C5, although I didn’t like red cars when I bought it in 2004:

 

 

That’s my 2002 Corvette in Electron Blue Metallic. I would like to read the thoughts of the Corvette owners out there about their cars and how they see the Vette’s role in the automobile universe.

 

#Secretariat

#ChevroletCorvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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