Why We're Not Cars & Coffee...And Hate Mail From Mimes

Because of my last post, I got a nasty letter from "Mime Your Own Business" a mime school in Weyauwega, Wisconsin. You know you have a bright future ahead when you plunk your hard earned dollars down on that tuition. Anyhow, I think it's a nasty letter, but I'm not completely sure. Inside was a badly-folded blank sheet of paper which in Mime means, really bad things. I crumpled it and mailed it back. I guess the mime war is on but you probably won't hear a thing about it.

By the way Weyauwega loosely translated means, "Horse go no further."

We get email fairly often where we're someone will refer to us as "Cars and Coffee" and we've never been Cars and Coffee. The term makes that little vein in our foreheads quiver a little. That's an entirely different event. We made a choice to distance ourselves from the beginning because of a wide range of issues, including behavior associated with the brand, and our desire to build our own unique identity and set of expectations for all of you every Saturday morning. We don't just represent you, we also represent the reputation of RTC and we care about how they are perceived. Besides, if they are nice enough to give us the space for E@RTC, we sure as hell were going to do everything we could to live up to the gift.

The very term "Cars and Coffee" doesn't define anything. It doesn't tell you what to expect other than, cars and coffee. Every Starbucks parking lot meets that definition, so does every Safeway, Target, and Walmart parking lot, so does every McDonald's so does every gas station, so does every funeral home, feed store and bait shop and appliance store, not to mention just about every parking lot in the country where there are cars in the parking lot and a pot of joe nearby. The term sets no standards, just cars...and, well, someplace within walking distance, coffee... That's it. The bar is usually so low that the biggest event in the country counted both spectator and participant cars for their total participation. Why pray tell? Because they couldn't tell the difference!

When I think of Cars and Coffee, the immediate image that comes to mind is a faded Honda Civic with a fart can that nobody wants to drive fifty miles to see. We know you love your car, we all loved our first cars, well most of us. Mine could out-rust the Titanic, but I loved it anyway.

From our first day, we wanted E@RTC to be something different. We set an expectation for multiple reasons, including to cultivate higher standards of behavior, including the willingness to ban those who behave badly. So what if our volunteers got beat with the ugly stick here and there, they can still run a mean event.

We wanted E@RTC to be something special to you. We wanted it to be the motivator to get up on a Saturday morning and see what shows up. To even our own delight, we see new stuff every week and we're there every Saturday!

See you all Saturday! It's looking like it will be a nice day...at least so far.

We're on for Saturday!

The weather is looking good for Saturday so come on out before it's too late. This could be your chance to meet that special someone to get you through the winter! It's expected to rain the following week, so this really could be your last remaining opportunity to see some great cars, have deep meaningful conversations, and a chance to build a beautiful future with all your new friends. Then again you could just stay home and clean the fridge. We're way more fun. Save fridge cleaning day for garbage night. You don't really want your neighbors to see you throw out that 20 year old orchid from the prom.

We never had garbage night when I was growing up. My brother and I ate everything that wasn't nailed down. My mother sat us down one night and tearfully told us it was embarrassing to be the only family on the block with no garbage. We secretly borrowed the neighbors so we looked wealthier than we were.

This is when it starts to tricky when predicting our season-end. We don't have an end of the year party, we just look at the forecast and call it; that we're done for the season without any big tearful farewell like the Titanic leaving port for the first time. We just stay home like it never happened. That's when you clean the fridge. We look at each other and say, WTF just happened?

For those of you who signed up for our email. I'm still sorting it out so this comes to you automatically. We're gathering up the email addresses, and we're checking the right boxes, etc., but we're still dealing with some minor technical issues. Once we have that all sorted out, you will get this the same day we send it. To that nursing home who got all our mail, there are no bedpan races. Damn spell check.

 

Only About Five or Six Weeks Left...But...

We sure had a lot of fun at the America's Car Museum Summer-Ender Fender Bender. They had an extremely good turnout while it rained in Redmond. They didn't see rain until later in the afternoon as the droplets marched south like a tiny invading army.

We also had a great conversation with the folks there about all the fun stuff we're contemplating for not just the end of our season, but also what could happen this winter, such as a few gatherings at the museum just to hang around and see each other so we don't forget names, faces, or the bucks we owe someone. This way you're also reducing the chance of getting hugged warmly by that sweaty guy on opening day; desperately trying to remember names, with no clue who has you in a surprisingly awkward struggle snuggle as you softly call for help before you panic and pass out.

You know, we're not terribly excited about mimes showing up at E@RTC. We don't talk about it much, but we sure make the hand gestures. We just don't like them and wish they would mime their way over to the dumpster. Pull themselves over with an invisible rope and get in. While we all know a mime is a terrible thing to waste, we're glad there isn't a mime school within 2,000 miles. Reminds me of the lyrics to the Willy Nelson song, "...you're always on my mime..." It wouldn't surprise me one bit if there was a mime colony in Fresno. 

We're going to want more feedback from you about what you'd like from E@RTC in the coming season. Cover the white but glossy hairy legs is already on the list. So is better looking Thugs. We hear that one a lot. We're going to change the exit direction of E@RTC so cars aren't causing a problem on Bear Creek.

We will have more breakfast choices at RTC in 2018, so we've covered that one as well. We're working on some theme ideas, but we'd love to hear yours. We should have announcements for 2018 sometime in November so you can schedule a good rake on other days.

Did you notice we called it right on the weather and beat Mom Nature at Mumblety- Peg for once? Meanwhile she's showing those car events in Florida what "rained out" really looks like. We're all pulling for everyone down there. Also, on a serious note, please be careful where you send your money and check out the charity before you send a dime. There are lots of so called "charities" out there that use disasters more as fund-raisers without distributing squat to those in need. Some well known charities are on that list too. So, do your homework. If you spend a buck, make sure that buck actually goes to those in need, or you just paid for someone's new office rug, bedroom rug, head rug, or possibly that slurpee machine, or even someone's dad to play Santa at the annual company Christmas party.

You may have noticed the GIANT email subscription invite at the end of each blog. We have about as much control of changing the size as we do growing our own limbs. Sorry! We're using it to keep you in the loop. It will automatically send you this blog which should then show up in your email around 6 PM. We're just working out the bugs. It's not really bugs, it's more like me not knowing what the hell I'm doing just yet. But we appreciate you subscribing. We're humbled! I promise I'll get it all figured out. If a little old lady calls you from Dubuque, screaming at you to knock it off, I may have screwed something up. Scream back!

The Weather Gods are Playing Mumblety-peg With Us!

Remember the game? How many of YOU have a scar on your leg to prove it? My brother does! Okay, I'm not a good aim. Ooops! I mean, sorry! There was no X-box for us growing up. We actually bled. We lost teeth, broke bones, counted our stitches. There were no helmets, except the cheap $1.99 football helmet we'd find at the toy store, but that was only used when going off a cliff in a wagon. There was none of that sissy stuff while sitting in the comforts of a basement. Our moms were all emergency room mechanics who could shove a bone back in our leg while doing the laundry. Pussies! Oh and most of you women could Martha Stewart the crap out of a crypt before you were ten. If you weren't the one in the wagon, you were certainly pushing it. The girls were so tough in my neighborhood that they put creepy dudes on milk cartons.

While Mom Nature is busy messing things up with hurricanes and stuff, she's was thinking about tossing a little water our way on Saturday but things are improving the hour so we're on. (I'm adding this little caveat on Thursday afternoon, that the weather is still changing so we may not call it until Friday morning.)  This looks like one we should get right, but this is Washington, and at least we're not having to guess if a hurricane is going to hit us or not. That's mumblety-peg with a flaming chainsaw. We're all thinking about them.

We're now into that end of the season where we never know from one day to the next if we're going to make it to the weekend. We actually get on the phone like an old-fashioned gossip tree and debate the hell out of the weather like old men rocking on a porch swing and coordinate outfits when we're unsure what to do that day. I can assure you there is a 50/50 chance we'll get it right.

No matter what, even if we were rained out, which I don't think will happen, we'd still drive the daily drivers down to The Summer-Ender Fender-Bender that will be on rain or widespread sun. There is a 50/50 chance they will get it right too. Please come join us. This is our last chance to see Nick and Vic dance together like hippies on shrooms.

The other night we were talking about what we'd like to see happen as we grow E@RTC. Our thinking is that we'd like to draw cars from other parts of the country that you'd all want to see. We need more arms and legs as volunteers, along with a few decent heads, and so we will be looking for more people to help us on the administrative side in key areas this winter. We always want to see the event get bigger, but we don't want to lower your expectations either. We love it when we hear from you and your words matters more to us than a bus full of screaming nuns heading home from a hockey match.  We love it when we hear that you value our criteria to get in and all the help refining our standards so we're always putting on a great show, worthy of your time on a Saturday morning.

As for some other stuff, we are debating changing the exits of E@RTC to reduce problems along Bear Creek with some that just don't have the genetic capability to think of others. When gene therapy is something you can get at a 7-11, then maybe these individuals can comprehend how to best behave. We're also going to now river-dance over to the sidewalk and talk to those who encourage bad behavior. They too are a problem and ruin it for all of us so if you see it happening, please tell them to knock it off in the nicest of ways. You don't have to be super nice, but don't throw anything. RTC is already low on rocks. I read it in a memo.

We begin our calendar planning sometime in early November for 2018 so that we can get all the date conflicts worked out before everyone shows up in the same outfit. Some want more center circle events while some want less. There are drawbacks and benefits to both so if you have ideas, we'd love to smell what you're cook'n.

We're also contemplating a better organized and bigger drive down to Monterey next year that would leave immediately after E@RTC and arrive in Monterey on Wednesday, then blast home on Monday after the Pebble Beach event. We will need volunteers to work on that project too. Just because our season ends, don't think the Thugs just get put in the shed for the winter like those patio chairs. No, we have lots of poop to get done so we have a decent season opener. Hard to believe that next year will be our 10th season.

Thank You America's Car Museum! AND Join us for ACM's End of the Season Fender Bender Party!!! ...And Other Stuff

A giant thanks to America's Car Museum for donating season's passes for our dedicated, and outstanding, yet not particularly hansom Thugs who worked so hard this season. We're extremely grateful for this generous show of support from the museum and we look forward to driving down after E@RTC September 9 for their second annual Summer-ender Fender-Bender!

This doesn't mean we're done for the season, oh no-no, but it sure is a lot better to have a party now than wait until it's soggy when we're all standing in the rain wishing we were somewhere else, (except Fresno of course). It's nice to have this party while it's warm and the food isn't all wet. Potato chips just don't crunch in the rain.

Our plan for the Summer-ender Fender-Bender, sponsored by Fender Guitar, with live music and food, is to head down to Tacoma after E@RTC and all vehicles are welcome, however exotics, rare and unique cars will have special parking like they did last year. The party will go on much of the afternoon and the weather should be great! Please come and have some fun and enjoy the grounds, the view and the museum!

For those of you who don't know, this is the largest car museum in the US and the exhibits and cars on display keep changing. There is always something new! The old fire wagon in the lobby is especially cool. It looks like a camp stove with chrome intestines.

And Now For A Serious Note

Once again we had two cars behave badly on exit and neither one is welcome back to E@RTC. We had a dark red Ferrari 430 go flying out of E@RTC and we have it on film and so does Redmond PD along with their plate number and description. There is plenty of video of these two acting like like ass-hats! Good luck with your next drive through Redmond. These two ruin it for everyone, but I'm sure they don't care, because it's all about them. Who cares about you or the volunteers who work so hard to sustain the event. They are both really stupid! Oh, and when they do get arrested, we supply the spectator popcorn for the hearing.

The other car was a flat gray 240Z that did something similar. Yup, you guessed it, both cars were asked to behave as they left the event, but when you're dealing with attention-seeking, self-absorbed, narcissistic children, they tend to not listen anyway, because of course, they are attention-seeking, self-absorbed, narcissistic children in the first place. Both of these idiots now have video of their behavior shared with Redmond PD and likely to be on YouTube for others to see. Now everyone in the car community also knows they are attention seeking, self-absorbed, narcissistic children. Even your significant other (if you have one at all) will now have evidence to support her belief that you're an attention-seeking, self-absorbed narcissistic child. I should just skip writing as it would be a lot to expect these two to think of anyone other than themselves, because again, they are attention-seeking, self-absorbed, narcissistic children to begin with.

For those of you who wish personal success in your life, it's hard to ever get there and achieve greatness at anything when you're an attention-seeking, self-absorbed narcissistic child in the first place. Greatness, in case you never learned, comes from what you do for others, not what you take away. It's never too late to straighten up. Where is Willy Wonka when you need him.

Oh, for those of you who like this blog, you can now subscribe below! Just think, you will always feel like you're in the know! Come on, it will be fun.

Just A Few Weeks Left In Our Season So Come Make New Friends!

This has been the longest stretch of nice Saturdays since we began E@RTC on that cold February morning in 2009. It was so cold everyone was peeing slush. I don't think I've been that cold since.

We've had a lot of fun this year and we don't want it to end. For those of you who have thought about coming out to spectate or participate in E@RTC but haven't yet, you need to come out and make some new friends before winter sets in and you're stuck with the old ones who tell you the same stories over and over again, probably fifty-three times by spring. I know you secretly want to super-glue their lips in their sleep. Instead, just come to E@RTC, say hello to some new people and improve your life! It costs almost nothing, and according to the app we use called, "Stay the Fu*k Away From Me!" very few of our participants and spectators have active restraining orders! They are generally extremely nice people. Yes, there are is an occasional sea urchin that will show up now and then, but don't step on them and you're fine. I think I dated a sea urchin once, I don't remember.

Stop for a moment and ponder the thought of another winter hearing your friend tell you about that time at work that they spilled soup. You know the story word for word. Wouldn't you want to actually say your busy and have it be absolutely true? We only have about seven or eight weeks left in our season and a couple of those Saturdays will be rained out, so who knows. You could meet your next ex-wife or business partner with the million-dollar idea. We could be done in a couple of weeks too and you'll miss the chance like the other nights lottery! We just don't know. We could ask a DeLorean owner when our season ends.

September 9 is the America's Car Museum's end of the year Fender Bender as sponsored by Fender Guitar and it's a party. Get it? Fender-Bender? I know I'll get lots of email about this because so many don't read our site and get badly confused. After E@RTC on September 9, at 11 AM we drive down to join the party at America's Car Museum down in Tacoma and have a good time. If you've not been to the museum before, it's the largest car museum in the US! (food's good too) It will be a party all afternoon! It's not the end of our season, just sort of their fall party, so don't write us asking if we're done for the season. We're not until the rain gods hose us down.

GOOD QUESTION, when DO we call it? When the forecast tells us it's not just going to rain on Saturday, but that we should round up two of every animal and build an ark. Even on clear days it's just too damn cold to be standing outside. We know better. The sudden ending of our season happens sometime towards the end of October, but almost always before Halloween.

We're Baaaack...! And Some Talk About Marketing

We had an outstanding time in Monterey and Nick and I caught the eclipse on the way home. We don't know if you heard about it but it was kind of a big deal. We thought it was very cool, but from Newport, Oregon, on the beach, the sky never went completely black. It was more like that moment at night when you're parents would scream at you to get your butt inside before you end up on a milk carton.

It took us over fifteen hours to get home in the sea of refugees heading north from war-torn Oregon, or so it felt. A guy in a sack race holding scalding coffee could beat us. We kept seeing the same kid on a skateboard the entire way. I've pushed cars faster.

We did have one issue that came up that I'll explain here before we get some email about it. No, it's not a candid talk about garden gnomes but that too is something we try and avoid. We have a rule for the Thugs, no "garden gnoming" at the event. Think about it for just a second... OooOoohh...

We had a text message go out last Saturday inviting people someplace that was a bit of a misunderstanding. It should not have gone out and we apologize. They have no connection to us and are in fact, now competing! 

We don't promote other companies who are not involved in E@RTC and we never have. We stopped doing drives to events that were not sponsors and hardcore supporters a long time ago when it became a problem in our first or second year. I know others have asked for permission to do the same thing and it's not something we can do for a variety of reasons. If you start a business, best not to rely on E@RTC for your marketing funnel. We'd love to see a healthy car community but all too often it's at the expense of something we worked hard to build ourselves and doesn't contribute to E@RTC's success.

We're tying to not make this a bigger deal than it is, and wanted to set the policy straight so you don't come back to us and remind us that we did "it" before. There was merely a miscommunication about the approval or it never would have happened. E@RTC is about you coming and having a good time at E@RTC and not about marketing to you as a focal point. We won't let that happen again, especially with our participants getting hit up for some other venture. We know our participants don't show up on a Saturday morning to be sold anything. We're there to have fun and see some great cars and make friends. We're also working to attract some very cool stuff, but that means the right audience and spectators have to be there. It's that chicken and egg problem again.

We do want to figure out a way to get more stuff into E@RTC that benefits you for participating, but that's still in the works as we want to do it right. We have some ideas but we're still pondering them carefully as we have a lot of interests to consider. We have a lot to do yet to keep building E@RTC so that you're delighted every Saturday.

We have about eight more weeks of decent weather before the rains hit and already we're working on our 10th season. There is a lot going on behind the scenes as we keep working to improve E@RTC. We're on the map in a big way and we're going to use that leverage to bring more cool stuff to our event.

The weather is looking good for Saturday and we don't think that will change. Everyone is back this week with stories to tell, pictures to show and bandages to remove so it should be a good Saturday!  See you then!

No Exotics at Redmond Town Center on August 19! We Really, Really, Mean It!

This is just a reminder that E@RTC is not happening tomorrow. We don't want to get email from you about some crappy Prius that got in and nobody cared. That wasn't us. We have the day off.

Tomorrow is a parking lot just like the one at Safeway, only with bushes and stuff. A lot of us are down at Monterey looking at much of same stuff we see at E@RTC only with different colors and people driving them that we just don't know. I can report, we're having a lot of fun.

We have the big fender-bender coming up on September 9 right after E@RTC that day, and before you get your undies in a bunch we're not talking about a real fender or a real bender. We're not going to smack into each other on the way out. This is the event at America's Car Museum to kind of wrap up their end of summer, but we're not done. Oh-no, we run straight until about mid October when the weather turns to crap and we all look at each other and agree we've had our fill until spring.

 

 

We're Taking the Weekend Off! and Bad Exits

Yes, that's correct. You read it right, there will not be any E@RTC this coming Saturday, August 19 because of car week in Monterey. A lot of our regular attendees and volunteers make the annual migration down to Monterey for Car Week. Besides, most of the volunteers have been working for thirteen weeks straight without a Saturday off and need to moisturize.

As a bit of trivia, a few of our volunteers actually go work the Concorso event in Monterey as if they can't get enough of E@RTC. So, if you're heading down, no you didn't take a hit to the head with a frying pan from your special someone in the middle of the night, or eat the wrong mushrooms, those are actual E@RTC Parking Thugs working those event too, only with different shirts! Some of the Thugs can't get enough of car shows so they have to do it or they grow hair where it shouldn't grow at all...ever.

Bad Exits

Once again, we had a few self-absorbed individuals lacking in maturity and self-control do burnout and behave badly when leaving the event. These individuals don't care one bit about our sustaining the event or you. They just want some attention they didn't apparently get from mom. We know who they are and are not welcome back. They ruin it for everyone. We ask you all to help us remind these poop waffles that the sustaining of these events requires good behavior. We go way past a zero tolerance policy, we go all the way to a minus 13 tolerance policy, which means banning you and thirteen people who look like you. Please exit like you're in a hospital zone. Remember those? DON'T RUIN IT FOR EVERYONE POOP WAFFEL!

 

Lamborghini Day! And... We Just Might See Rain...Guess not!

Redmond Town Center figured out a way to accommodate us for the center circle by moving the stage to the other side so we're back again in Center Circle for Lamborghini Day. Sunday is their FitFest event which some of us should attend...well all of us really. When I first read this, I thought they were talking about squeezing us fat guys with beach (ball) bodies into stuff half our size just for some laughs, but no, it's about fitness. It sounds like a fun event, even if snoozing on your couch is your favorite exercise.

Our Lamborghini population in the Northwest is not massive, but they are always impressive cars and there is nothing better than the sound of them all running at the same time. That hum is glorious! We want to also thank Lamborghini of Bellevue for their sponsorship and for helping us round up the cars. We do expect a good turnout.

The chink in the armor, bug in the soup, wrench in the gears, etc., is that there is a small chance Saturday will have some rain early in the morning so we're watching the weather closely, even though we're on. It's one of those weather systems where no matter how we call it, someone is going to complain if it does rain, but right now E@RTC is between the higher chances of rain. We're doing our best to get it right. 

We also have a lot of people starting to head down for Monterey after E@RTC for the annual car week where you get a see a lot of what we already see and do every Saturday morning! If you've never attended the car events at Monterey, it well worth the experience. It's everything from auctions to shows, car parades, to parties, etc., all in a single week. Some are flying, others are driving, nobody to my knowledge is walking or crawling. If they were, they should have left a few weeks ago. Some of us Thugs are heading down on Sunday, some Monday, others Tuesday...

I'm driving down and it's always a wonderful road trip and one of my all-time favorites. We have the best coast drive in the world and it's surprising how few people have done this spectacular drive. It's so worth it so just get in your damn car and go! Seriously! You will have fun.

 

 

Today I'm Covering Shaved Legs, Combustibles, and Zombies

Saturday is going to be our best weather ever. It will be a day so perfect, people will write about it for centuries. Even the zombies in the great zombie apocalypse will sit around burning piles of trash, arranging protruding bones, reminiscing about this spectacular day. With a day-time high predicted to be in the upper 80s, we're going to see a very nice morning and probably a big turnout of cool stuff, especially with topless cars and guys in shorts.

Ten bucks to Vic if he shaves his legs! Twenty if he shaves only one! Anyone willing to up the bet? Hey, it's something to do! It's way better than looking out for snow.

We're still getting people who want to argue with Sean about what gets through the gate. Sean is the resident guru gate-master who does such a wonderful job of managing expectations on both sides. It's a much harder job than it looks and he deserves a very special thanks for his work without tazing anyone this season. Seriously, if nuns has Tazers when I was in high school, I would have spent my entire four years wiggling on the floor.

Nick will be back from Watershed and far less combustable than last weekend. Rumor is he had a very nice time, reminiscent of a spiritual retreat into the high mountain wilderness when he was a small boy. I say 'small' in relative terms. Some of our other Thugs will also be back after a badly needed weekend off. Some were also off in the woods finding themselves. I shant say more.

See you all on Saturday!

 

Excuse Me While I Gush A Bit

I'd like to gush a bit about our amazing car community! I'll start with the volunteers who get up early every Saturday morning, SHOWER, get dressed and drive to RTC, plan the lots, stage the flow for the day's anticipated traffic, and get the space ready for the day's show. It's like poetry in motion, synchronized swimming fat guys in Speedos, formation flyers with no planes, ball room dancers with radios; all working together, having each other's back to make the event run smoothly every Saturday as they do. We were down a lot of volunteers today because of badly needed time off for some, and yet, the others picked up the slack with no problem, all with a smile. What a team! I can't think of a greater bunch of people to spend time with on a Saturday morning.

Then we have our participants who bring out their stupendous machines for everyone to enjoy and today it was the Classic Car Club with their extraordinary group of cars that they painstakingly manage to keep running and in complete show-room condition. We had some of the finest examples of classic cars you will ever see along with their outstanding owners who were all a complete delight to host. Thank you all for coming out! The trouble a lot of you go through to bring your cars is not trivial and we can never thank you enough. The pictures from today will hardly tell the story.

Then we have our spectators who help this event remain as marvelous as it is, and are so respectful of the cars. These spectators often tell us to thank the participants who bring them out each week. Many spectators are seeing these cars for the very first time and have only otherwise seen them in pictures. Even those of you who are from Fresno who I pick on for no reason, other than, well, you're from Fresno and you can't explain why. You too play an important role.

I can't begin to express how rewarding it is for us volunteers to see so many people having such a great time each Saturday morning and how many enthusiasts there are for just about every car imaginable. I'm sure there are Ford Pinto enthusiasts group somewhere. I'm not sure I'd want to meet them, but we know they exist. Yeah, probably in Fresno.

I can't forget our photographers, better known as the "drive-by shooters" who do such an amazing job of getting their work posted. The quality of their work is on par with the best automotive magazines and if you look at how they do it, how they show up early, set up, etc., carefully plan their shots, you see how much thought goes into it. Can you imagine if what we typically know as drive-by shooters were using cameras instead of bullets? "Hey man, got a shot of you in your crib in your jam-jams..."

Then there is Redmond Town Center who has been behind us from the day we started and fully understands the meaning of community. They do a lot for us and are always there to help us improve the event somehow. There are a lot of people who come a long way to see what we all built and so I'm sitting here typing this while beaming with pride over what an outstanding event this has all become thanks to each and every one of you.

Thank you! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Yes, gushing with pride!

Classic Car Day and Our Mini-Parade

July 29 is Classic Car Day and you won't want to miss this one. Not only is it Classic Car Day, but we're going to do something fun and different. We're going to gather up the Classic cars over by Bed Bath and Beyond and bring them into RTC through our normal entrance by BJ's Restaurant then up 164th Avenue NE, and into the center circle at the mall where we will get them all parked in a row.

The reason we're doing this is because it's one thing to see Classic cars, it's another to experience them as they roll by. It's like watching Nick jog. We know it's possible, but we still want to see it with our own eyes. Then again, maybe not.

This is really a special day for us and it means a lot to us to have the Classic Car Club of America join us. They are a very well run, active organization and we we'd love to see more of our participants and spectators become a member of this worthwhile club. Some of the history of these cars is fascinating and it's well worth your time to ask questions and learn about these beauties. See you all on Saturday!

For those of you showing Classics, come meet us over at Bed Bath and Beyond at 8 AM.

 

 

It's Great to Be Free!

I'm surprised by the number of people who email us asking how much it is to get into the show. I always want to say five hundred bucks for our last row ticket for 2019. When I tell them that it's free, sometimes they just don't believe me, even though I'd bet my dog on it. She's looking at me right now as she ponders the odds. We're free, we've never charged anything except for two events- one was our spectacular breakfast drive to the falls for the Lamborghini event and the other was our Carz party. In both of those events, they were still subsidized by us, but we all had a great time. We make it up in volume. (old software joke)

We in our regular lot this week followed by Classic Car Day next Saturday which will also be an outstanding day for us. We also have Lamborghini day coming up in August so be sure and come out for that one. It's all on our events page. We've always loved the feel of the regular lots because we get to talk to more people and it has the look and feel of a flash mob that can't dance.

We've been having our best season ever and we can't thank everyone enough for helping us make this happen every week. A big shout-out to Redmond Town Center, our sponsors on the sponsor page, our participants who bring out their amazing cars and our fabulous spectators who generate the enthusiasm to draw the cars. Thank you all for being a part of this. Thank you to the nice person who reads this blog. I'll slip you a few bucks when I see you. Everyone plays a part making this happen, which is why it's as free as a naked guy on a beach on a hot sunny day.

See you all Saturday.

Saturday July 15 is Car Collector Day!

We have some amazing car collectors in the Northwest so we should see some very special stuff this Saturday. When we're learning how to collect anything we all kind of work up to cars. In college the only thing I could afford to collect was dust. By the time you can afford to collect cars, well you've made it.

Think back for a moment. All of us are collectors in some way. We have those voluntary collections and involuntary collections. As an example, stamps, baseball cards, and unique beer cans are likely voluntary. Mismatched socks, broken electronics, ill-fitting clothes, bills, arrest warrants, restraining orders, are probably involuntary. The cars that likely show up at E@RTC- definitely voluntary.

Oh, a dating tip for you ladies; guys who collect cars-good. Guys who collect fingers-bad. BIG difference! Cars, good. Fingers, bad. Repeat twelve times before that next Tinder date. We don't want you to show up at E@RTC looking like a land crab explaining how he seemed so nice. We've heard that one before.

Is my car exotic enough (10PM the night before the event)?

While we're always happy to answer the question, we get a surprising number of late night emails from people who want to know if their car is exotic enough who plan to be there early the next morning. It's not a good time to ask the question. We're not Walmart so we're not open all night. Some of us need our beauty sleep and if you saw us, you can see we're not getting enough. We do our best to get you a response, but please, ping us a couple of days before in case we need time among us to decide if it's on the fence. Not literally on the fence, but you know what we mean.

Improvement

We always want to know how we can best improve E@RTC and while we've heard the suggestion to put bags over our heads, we're hoping for something that will be a little less...Oh, I don't know, obvious. Yeah, we've heard get Vic a stool numerous times. We love feedback, so keep the email and blog posts coming!

 

 

Happy 4th! Back To Our Regular Lot On Saturday!

Happy 4th of July everyone! We hope this is a perfect holiday for everyone and that you don't burn the burgers and buns, not to mention -you-.

We're now back to our regularly scheduled events this coming Saturday and we expect to have more surprises as the season continues. I'm talking about in the form of cars, versus the other, "Honey I'm pregnant!" kind. We wouldn't be a reliable predictor of that one.

We're getting a lot more email from much further away from people who plan to bring their show-quality rides from all over the Pacific Northwest and make a vacation out of it. We're humbled when they make the effort to come from far and wide to participate in our great event. It means a lot to us. Someone from Fresno is bound to show up one of these days, either to chew me out for making fun of their town, or to tell me they are out of soup.

We typically get a lot of out-of-town spectators this weekend who are here on vacation so it's always nice to show off what we do so well. Many have never seen an exotic before and are thrilled to see what you brung. 

I don't know if you noticed but we've added a few more photographers to the list on our photo page. We've lovingly called them the "drive by shooters" since we began. They are doing an outstanding job of uploading their work so please thank them for the effort. A lot of them are real pros with poster-quality stuff. Yeah, we wish we could do blocks of photos on the individual pages, but we're not that sophisticated managing this site. Someday, we'll get that customized. Those photos as they are go everywhere and it's a big part of why our website continues to grow traffic. Thank you all for your efforts! (I'm typing with my thumbs up.)

After a lot of rained out Saturdays in a row, I believe this was the first time we were not rained out even once in June! For that reason, we ask that you thank a volunteer when you see them for their dedication and good cheer. They only get a day off when it rains. It also means that they gave up every Saturday morning in June. It's a lot to ask of anyone and we're deeply appreciative of the work. They have to get there long before the event starts to make sure everything is in place and to decide what's going to go where. Then there are all the little details, radios, shirts, signs, etc., so we're forever grateful that they come out.

We still have our criteria list of cars to post and it's going to stir up some stuff, so we're hesitant but we're just trying to make it easier for people to figure out where we have the line drawn this season. We hate having to draw the line in the first place, but we don't have any good choices on the matter and we hope people understand and don't start mailing us poop.

With regard to our last post about clubs behaving badly, we sure got a lot of great feedback. We didn't just get comments on the page, we also received email on the subject and as always we love to hear from you. Most understand the spirit of why we do what we do and the importance of having fun. It's just a parking lot. Nothing magic happens when you stand on it. Believe me, we've checked. Nick may have even licked it once to see if it was different. Nope, tasted just like all the others, he said.

Thanks again to all of you for participating and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

When Clubs Don't Behave

First, a bit of history. When we first started E@RTC, one of our biggest problems to solve was the fights among brand fans. We had each group of enthusiast fighting the stereotype of the other to the point where we were unsure we'd ever get everyone to play nice in a parking lot on a Saturday morning. Some said building a new space shuttle would be easier.

Our beginning was a little bit bumpy with some factions of the car community, so we decided to mix the lots up each week to prevent one piece of asphalt from having a different status from another. It's just a parking lot. We've changed up the locations of cars every week since we began for that very reason, so some brand fan doesn't tweak and have a wiggling schism in front of everyone over parking.

Outside of the brand circles, each brand has their own community reputation and some tend to run on the negative side. We knew that going in and wanted to fix it to grow the community. Who wants to buy a car if a negative reputation is one of the standard features? Still, a handful feel a sense of entitlement with their cars in public and have earned a bad reputation at some restaurants and resorts for basically being jerks. We were never ever going to let that behavior be a part of E@RTC. In fact, we do our best to destroy that very image every chance we get. I wish it was as simple as fire hosing them to the curb. Our success is predicated on the standards by which we operate and good manners is right up at the top.

We wanted to change that negative image of exotic owners, especially self-entitled near-exotic owners, and we've worked hard to be great citizens at E@RTC. Our mission is to bring spectators and participants all into one big happy family with great stories, fun memories and we've succeeded for the most part or we wouldn't be growing. We rarely get complaints about jerks as we tend to spray them with a squirt bottle and yell "bad owner!" the second they give us a problem. We have a very low tolerance for the self-entitled and we've been like that from the day we started. This is a great community event and we're fierce protectors of that reputation.

We started doing themes from our very first seasons; first with Minis as our first group, and it sort of grew from there. We wanted to show some love to a broader car community, and again it worked very well over the years with just four theme days. We've grown those themes but it may be time to cut it back a bit. The British car folks set a high bar on how to behave and they are such a joy to work with. They set the example for everyone to follow.

We only have one group that consistently has a block of members who didn't get the important memo about manners and just standards behavior in general. These members give us problems and somehow have a continued rolling sense of self-importance and entitlement on the very day where we invite them as a club as our guests. Our guests! Key words, "OUR GUESTS." We apologize to those who had to deals with these narcissistic self-absorbed individuals. They ruin it for everyone and frankly they are embarrassing to all of us who love cars.

They don't "run" our event. It's not their day to, "take over," as one put it, they are invited guests who behave very badly and frankly, they can go play somewhere else so we can get back to having fun. Somehow they think because they are a part of a large group, there is some entitlement that comes with it. Nope. We could flood the lot with other brands if that was our only goal. We're an exotic car community event and behaving nicely should go without saying anything.

We also want to protect our volunteers who give up their free time to help out. When these club members act like jerks to our volunteers, it burns up their enthusiasm too. Of course, these spoiled brats don't think that far outside themselves. It's all about them. Our apologies to our volunteers who had to put up with the crap. You don't deserve it either, and we have each other's back on this one.

We're not going to mention the brand because it furthers the stereotype. We know it's a handful of people who ruin it for everyone else, but we have a reputation and a brand image of our event that we will uphold, and well, when they don't have manners, we just don't invite them back. While the individual cars and decent owners are welcome anytime, we're not so sure about the club anymore.

Saturday, July 1 is Porsche Day And A Shout-out To Our Photographers!

This Saturday, July 1st, is Porsche Day, one of the biggest events of our season. We get more P-cars than any other event day and once again it's a chance to talk in a foreign accent, either German or ambiguous European. Given that so far the forecast looks like perfect weather and another warm Saturday morning, so expect to see a lot of really wonderful cars and not just Porsche, but like I said, there will be a lot of them. We do have to limit what gets in and that's always a challenge.

We now have 35 contributing photographers on our photo page and they all do magnificent work. If you've not scrolled through those photos, you're missing some very cool stuff. You may even find a photo of you! (assuming you're a regular attendee) You may see a photo of an old friend you've not seen since that time you spent in a Turkish prison who owes you a few bucks and some soap. You may also spot your dream car, girl, guy, dog or hoagie. We're not judging, so check out the photo page and if you know who they are thank them for contributing to our page. We're very grateful for their support and contributions to the site. See you all on Saturday!