We Are On For Saturday...But Read On...

Wow, it’s finally happening! We’re on for our opening day, this Saturday, May 4! We nearly wet ourselves with excitement. We wouldn’t really admit it if we did!

Do us a giant favor and please read the entrance directions and follow the arrows to get in. Do not come in the old way as you will be waved off and embarrassed in front of your mother… well if not your mother, at least someone’s mom. Here is the map that shows the route in green, and the yellow is where we park the cars that attend. The arrows mean the direction you drive, in case you’re from Fresno.

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We anticipate upwards of 600 cars of which only around 500 will get in some come early. Don’t show up late and throw a toy-isle tantrum in front of thousands of people if you don’t get in. Come early, get in line and just have fun. We will get you landed as fast as we can.

As for spectators, park in the north parking structure and walk on over. It’s easier to get in and out that way without much in the way of traffic. Don’t forget to buy something at the mall. How about some summer undies?

For those of you who arrive late and don’t get in, you snooze you cruise. Set the alarm, get there early. Go have breakfast and just kick back and talk to people. We’re going to see upwards of three thousand spectators, or more so it’s the place to be for sure. This is way better then sitting at home tweezing for that one pesky hair.

If you’re new, just leave it up to us when you arrive. We will get you settled in. Introduce yourself and we will do all we can to make you feel right at home. For those who like to test our rules opening day, FYI, there are plain clothes police, cameras everywhere, and a fresh set of handcuffs just waiting for you. That smokey burnout you ponder will have more evidence in court than OJ. Redmond has been hanging people for burnouts since the mid 1800s. Reckless driving will be an expensive ticket, not to mention that drop from your insurance, so just don’t do it. Be smart for once. Hide your narcissism for just one morning. It won’t kill you.

For the rest of you, welcome to our tenth anniversary!

Where We Go For...

Right about now, I’m starting to feel like the guy killing time tap-dancing on stage, waiting for the next act to come up, who’s running late… Let’s hope we’re on for this Saturday because I can only dance so much.

I’ve been watching the forecast for May 4 since we posted on Thursday and the weather is moving in the right direction. We may be setting a trend of always a month late, exactly like the water bill in college. Thanks for your patience with all of this. We’ve had surprisingly little hate mail about it this season’s weather delays which is nice for once. I always fear the verbal wedgie.

Where we go…

A lot of you ask where to go after E@RTC, and where to drive. Some stay at the mall where there are some new food choices that are very good. Don’t forget to move your car to a normal spot after 11. This is important otherwise you kind of look like a football-headed douche-canoe taking up two spots. Park in the South-east corner and you’re fine if you’re worried about door dings.

Most just go home… the yard pass was only good for a few hours and staying out is… just too costly. Besides, some don’t want the miles on their cars.

Some go up to Salish Lodge where you will be pampered rather nicely. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s the exterior of the lodge from the famous show Twin Peaks; not to be confused with that other “twin peaks” you once dated. She was lovely. She excelled at T-shirt.

If you’re heading up to Salish, please call the valet stand in advance 425-831-6539. Again, as a reminder, they do not let you park your own car because they are crazy-busy on weekends and can’t take the time to give you special treatment. They are the very best valets in the Northwest so treat them well. I stayed there recently and the newly-remodeled rooms are very nice! The food is fabulous. A huge shout-out to Chris and the other valets for always making us feel welcome.

If you want to do something super-cool at the lodge, get a group together and do the “Chef’s Studio” dinner with about a dozen of your closest friends. It’s where Chef Benjamin Riggs hosts a small dining room downstairs and comes out and explains what you’re eating. Surprise! I could not have been more impressed by his work and we all had a great time. He takes what he does very seriously and you will learn a lot. Thanks again Ben for an extra-special dinner.

A lot of people head down to America’s Car Museum in Tacoma to see more cars. This is the thing to do when you have people in from out of town. The museum is constantly changing their rotation of cars and it’s always improving. The food in the cafe is surprisingly good. It’s far superior to the prison-quality food served in most museums.

We have a lot of hidden spots we like to visit without a lot of fanfare. Some want to be seen in their cars while others don’t, and just want to meet up with a few friends, have some laughs, and call it a day. The trick is always about parking when considering your choices. You don’t want some dude standing on your car taking a selfie while you’re at lunch.

In case you’re wondering, yes, there was a time when we went to Barking Frog, but in spite of all our efforts to work out a great continuous relationship, they treated us like a nuisance as a group, so we stopped going. It was once our favorite spot until a different manager took over and reservations became tedious. We miss the late James Simkins a lot. We just avoid the place. There are too many other great choices.

Kirkland is full of them. Park in the library garage and nobody will bother your car. Trellis closed, at the Heathman, but a new place is about to open called the Hearth which should be good. It’s a great place to walk around. It’s kind of festive, but parking in Kirkland is otherwise a real PITA.

If you want to put on some miles, it’s fun to drive to Leavenworth. It’s about two hours each way and it’s a beautiful drive. If you’re thinking about the Cascade Loop, plan on about twelve hours from start to finish. It’s eight hours of solid driving and four hours of stops. It’s a lot of miles. It’s also fun to stay at Sun Mountain and do the wagon ride down for a ranch dinner. The views are unmatched. In Leavenworth, the hotel of choice is The Post Hotel.

I like the Whidbey Island loop, where we cross from Mukilteo to Clinton, then head to Langley, then up to Coupeville, then Deception Pass, then the Anacortes Lookout, then down to La Conner, then home via the back ways, of which there are a few. It doesn’t take all day either and it’s scenic with lots of great places to eat.

Some go to the lovely town of Snohomish, but parking is not always easy either. A few like Palasades, but it’s kind of known as the poser palace, meaning you’re not there for the food, you’re there for the entrance, which is too bad. They have lots of parking. The food is good too. We otherwise stay out of Seattle.

If you’re looking for really good food, Cunio’s in Clearview is outstanding, but not at all fancy. It’s in a tiny strip mall at a gas station. There is plenty of parking, and it’s damn good food. Take a look at the menu if you don’t believe me. Filet Mignon Sliders! Yes that’s right, F-I-L-E-T M-I-G-N-O-N S-L-I-D-E-R-S! Hey, not far away is the Maltby Cafe… but it’s a grave lot and the lines can be long. The cinnamon rolls are bigger than those twin peaks I was talking about.

I kind of like Buzz Inn Steakhouse at the Snohomish airport on a nice sunny day. It’s fun to have a cheap steak and watch terrified newbies jump out of planes followed by that massive grass slide at the end…speaking of wedgies. You can hear the screams of terror on a nice sunny day. It’s something different. No, not the best food, but it’s cheap and it’s novel.

Just remember one thing, when you go places in an exotic or rare car, be nice. Never ever treat the valets or wait staff badly. Word gets around and we learn who the jerks are who are rude and don’t tip and generally are not nice to wait staff. Yes, we get the calls sometimes when someone is especially bad.

One exotic owner got mad at hotel because the valet moved the seat. It was as if the earth just ended! Yes, we heard about that stuff. Well, it was a different driver retrieving the car who would have zero idea where the seat position was to begin with and the original driver could only guess where it was. Getting upset about that makes you look like an entire tool bag to just about everyone. Even a complete douche would call you a douche. Just be nice. It’s not that hard and you will feel better, I promise. It only takes a few to create a reputation none of us want. It’s why we have a zero-tolerance policy for the results of bad parenting at E@RTC. We’re not going to let a few ruin it for everyone.

Oh, and those of you who are nice. We hear about that too! Someone will tell me, hey such and such was super nice to us! We think it’s wonderful and you’re great ambassadors for exotic and rare cars everywhere. We do all we can to make everyone feel welcome at E@RTC even if you’re not an exotic or rare car owner. While we have to draw the show line somewhere, our goal is to always make both spectator and participant feel welcome and a part of the family. We’re all about community and with that comes a few standards of conduct, but not a lot.

Okay, the next time you hear from us is on Thursday afternoon when we make our weather call. We do it around 3:45 PM, right after the weather update for Saturday is posted. We’ve made it this far, a few more days won’t kill us. Well, it shouldn’t anyway.

Aww, Crap! We're Rained Out Again...

Ms. Nature is fastidious this spring and appears to be picking Saturday as her watering day. We’re rained-out… again! I know, bummer! Spend your time cleaning. Melt cheese on something. We’ll give it a shot again next week. We have plenty of Saturdays left.

Hey, we thought we’d share something interesting with you all about putting on these events. As far as we know, we’re the largest and oldest weekly gathering of exotic and rare cars in the US. It gives us goosebumps. Whoops, sorry, I guess it’s a rash.

Did you know I could have been a world-class poll vaulter if it wasn’t for my love of pastries?

Yes, some car gatherings are larger, but they are only monthly, not weekly, and not devoted to exotic and rare cars. Doing this every week is an entirely different species. We continually share what we know about building a successful event, yet so many have their own ideas and ultimately face-plant their event in the freshly-laid cow pie of life.

When we began, we used a technique called “inversion thinking” not to be confused with what is a common criticism of rectal-cranial inversion which while it may be a cousin, isn’t what we’re thinking. Inversion thinking is starting with the premise of what can go wrong then trying to solve every conceivable problem before it becomes a problem. We also thought about what would make the best possible experience from the moment you arrive. Nick will even lick the parking lot if we’d let him.

The event was built around solutions to problems we were thinking about. (BTW, don’t you wish you applied that before you got “involved” with that now-not-so-special someone? Hmmm?) The remaining event is the result of inversion thinking. This is also a little tip; it’s a great way to build a business for those of you with an entrepreneurial bug. Better to deal with that bug than the one you got at that truck stop bathroom in Mexico. You know the one.

You can see how such an event can devolve into problems such as the ones they are having at the Scottsdale Motorsports Gathering, which you can read here. We see this happen often if you don’t try and solve problems before they happen. We worry about it happening to us. It’s why we always need plenty of volunteers. We wish them success with their relaunch, and we’re willing to share anything we know as we’d love to see more events around the US thrive. If the organizers get in touch with us, we will share everything we know. Still, once the problems start, it’s hard to get that pissed-off cat back under control. What’s helped us build a successful event is all of you participating in the policing of E@RTC. It’s because of your support and good manners that we are still here and we’re very appreciative of your contribution.

We’re about pulling a car community together for mutual fun and we know there are always going to be those self-absorbed who want to ruin it for everyone. Our job, with your help, is to not let them.

Let’s ponder sunshine for next week.

We're in 93 Countries and Other Interesting Stuff...

Well, lookie at what happened. It was a suitable Saturday, but no, we were off. Bunnies, you owe us. We may be rained out again this Saturday looking ahead to next week. The forecast right now isn’t looking so good, but you never know what’s going to change in a week. Some people fall in love in less time. Or break up. Nothing like a frying pan to the forehead while you’re in the shower to say it’s over.

It kills us to not get our season started, but we always manage to get in about twenty nice Saturdays so don’t get too stressed over this. It will happen. Besides, it gives you more time to slim down. That Ferrari jacket you love was making you look a little balloon-animal-ish if we’re being honest. I know, I love the pastries too.

We’ve had a lot of pictures sent to us of cars that are not on our list. We keep refining the list as questions come up so it’s a never-ending work of art. What it tells us is there are a lot of surprises waiting to come out to E@RTC. This is what makes it so fun, that we never know what we’re going to see. It also makes us realize that there are far more interesting cars hidden around than we could have ever imagined.

Some ask us who’s writing our blog. I write it… (I’m being intentionally vague.) I don’t sign it because it’s from all of us. It’s never been about me, and instead it’s about all of you so we just write what we think makes you laugh a little. We don’t write for everyone. We piss off a few and I’m continuously banned from Fresno. I know there is a nun somewhere who breaks out in a sweat praying for us every night in the desperate hope that I’ll stop writing. Others want to find out so they can yell at me about something or give me the finger in person… or take one of mine. For those who don’t like our blog, either don’t read it or carefully wrap yourself in high-quality bubblewrap and ship yourself somewhere that makes you happy. This way we both win.

Did you know that people from 93 countries visited our website in the last year??? I didn’t either until I counted. Shout out to the two people in Kenya. They must love cars! Or they were looking for a real Impala. One never knows. We will post if we’re on or off on Thursday afternoon after the weather report comes out.

We're Canceled Because of Bunny Hunter Congestion

Don’t forget we’re off this weekend, O-F-F, no matter what the weather looks like on Saturday…which is looking kind of nice… Aw, shucks. (It’s not what I really said…but kids read this.) Apparently the bunnies need the parking lot for Easter. Repeat, NO E@RTC FOR SATURDAY APRIL 20! (I hate yelling.)

This Saturday, RTC is having their Easter Eggstravaganza where they don’t just hide eggs, they also collect and hide your car keys and wish you luck finding them. Some cars have been there since last year.

I guess thousands of sugared-up kids show up to raise hell all jacked on marshmallow eggs, and chocolate bunnies so it sounds like a great time if you’re into knee-level tornados! Bring your kids! Bring some you don’t even know, but get permission. We don’t want that flaming letter in our inbox.

Wouldn’t you know it, it would have been a decent Saturday too. The chance of rain is around 5%, well within our typical safe range! Damn you bunnies! Don’t fret, this has been a typical opening month. We rarely have our opening day on opening day. It’s why we don’t invite the press or people we like. We should call it our non-opening day and still celebrate in some bar somewhere.

We will try again next week. We still expect a much bigger opening day whenever it happens. Traffic on our site is up substantially; roughly 37% over last year. It’s amazing how many people read this blog and from all over the world too. We can’t thank you enough for that. We could thank you enough I guess, now that I think about it, but the point is, it’s a lot of thanks.

We have some new volunteers joining us this season so please be tender. It’s much appreciated. We don’t want anyone to be scared into therapy on the first day. It’s a small favor. We don’t want them going home and hiding, thinking, “what the hell was that?”

Meanwhile, we’ll keep you up to date on the latest. We have some America’s Car Museum updates to add so you could drive down there and show them some love too. They are in Tacoma if you’re new around here. Yeah, Tacoma… We didn’t put it there!

From Pooh Bear to Pool Noodles, We Cover It All...

We’re sorry it’s going to be a while before our next chance at another good Saturday. Look at the bright side. Never mind, I couldn’t think of one. The 27th will be here before you know it. No matter what the weather, we’re off on the 20th because it’s the annual Redmond Town Center Easter Hunt and Bunny Shoot. …I’m just kidding about the bunny part… I could just see the hate mail from that one. Not to mention all those who’d show up from Fresno and start blasting away at the little fur balls.

The new hotel is opening up soon! It’s called the Archer. It’s the one right there in the parking lot that we’ve watched go up over the last two years. They already got in touch with us to see how they can become involved. We want to be great neighbors and support them any way we can. They also serve breakfast! We welcome them to the hood and will be there for them. Be kind and don’t go parking in their garage either unless you plan to spend the night. We have plenty of parking anyway.

They are going to give us a special weekend rate and we will post it here on the blog as soon as we receive it. Think of how fun that will be to show up the night before and wake up already at the event! Watch the cars roll in from the safety of your own room. Stand on your deck and like a warlord summoning your worshipers, all while in full Pooh Bear. (That means you only have a shirt on.) Oh stop, you Pooh Bear when you work-Skype from home. Don’t tell me you don’t.

Redmond Town Center has a lot going on these days and so it’s worth spending some time checking out the place. Did you know there is a place for kids to learn to swim? Really! It’s called Goldfish Swim School. I wonder if they teach kids float upside down. We didn’t have anything like that growing up. No, for us as kids, it was just tossing us out of the boat! The only instructions we got were, “See-ya at home!” There was no music and dancing in shallow water. We didn’t have swim noodles and water wings. We were handed big giant rocks and told to hang on. Yet here we are! Well, most of us. Kids have it so easy today.

Just so you know, we try to get the blog out every Sunday and Thursday with the weather announcement. This is where we post the latest happenings and occasional gossip. Write us if you have comments. We love mail.

We're Rained-Out Again...But We're Here Just to Have Fun!

Sorry we’re rained out…again… Ms. Nature feels the need to hose us down one more time. We will try to have our opening day again in two weeks… assuming she’s done watering. We wouldn’t start next week, the 20th because of the Easter Egg Hunt, so our next possible opener is the 27th. We will get there, I promise. It may take a few weeks, but eventually we get our first nice Saturday and the whole world will be perfect. Just remain calm. Find a squeeze ball, or a puppy. Have some pancakes! They fix everything!

Why We’re Here

We built this ship for one reason only and that’s to have fun with cars on a Saturday morning. We’re not out to sell anything, or promote ourselves personally; nope, just a bunch of people wanting to have a good time on a Saturday morning without involuntary handcuffs, bruises, or protruding bones followed by screams. (I don’t know about you, but I never want to say hello to my own bones.) None of us are in the car business either, so there is no indirect beni in all this. We do what we do because we love cars. We love watching interesting exotic and rare cars roll in, then talking about cars while standing around giving each other a badly-needed hard time. We do this for no other reason than to have fun on a Saturday morning. This is a chance to come out and be a kid again and not get yelled at, assuming you were properly granted that yard pass and did all your chores.

It seems like everything in the world has become so PC lately, hasn’t it? What ever happened to sling shots, chemistry sets, and lawn darts? Ooooohhhh, that…okay, never mind. You can’t do anything fun anymore. Remember when we didn’t have to wear helmets for anything? Sure a few of us could only eat soft foods for a while, but we had fun, didn’t we? E@RTC is like all those good old times but without the helmets. If you really want, you can come to E@RTC and wear a helmet, but you will sort of stick out a little bit and people may talk to you real slow, but we will still welcome you.

I just realized I could have been in the ballet if it wasn’t for my love of pastries.

Meanwhile, when you read our blog, you see us continually assail those who sometimes unknowingly try and take our fun away from us. It’s our visceral reaction to preserving the very spirit of E@RTC. Don’t worry, we won’t let them do it. Besides, we can dish out more insults than Don Rickles with his foot nailed to a board. We’ve been insulting each other for years and we’ve perfected the art of a good diss. We do it, because well, it’s funny, and too often someone is in need of a good tongue flogging. It also preserves the fun, so there is that. We’ll try again in two weeks…but it’s not looking so good either. That happened last year and we all lived.

What to Expect if You're New

We got through the postponement of our opening day with no complaints this time. That’s a first. I’m guessing whoever caused all the ruckus finally got another basement job somewhere. We post if we’re on or off every Thursday afternoon and usually have the post up before 4 PM. This gives you ample time in most relationships to complete your chores and necessary paperwork for a Saturday morning yard pass.

We’re getting a lot of email about car qualifications; probably five per day on average. We’re answering every one so if you sent something and we missed it, send it again. I’ll wake everyone up around here if they aren’t answering. Nothing like calling a fellow Thug in the middle of the night all jacked up on Redbull.

We hate to turn cars away. It’s bothered us from the day we began. We know that to you it feels like we’re an unwelcome toot in a crowed elevator. We badly want to deny it’s even an issue. But it is. We hear you, but we’re out to put on the best event possible, and we’re glad your understanding the situation.

So you’re new…

If you’re completely new to E@RTC, here is what to expect. Think of E@RTC as one big flash mob with super-crappy dancers and no music anyway. We show up, have fun, then we’re gone like it never happened.

Take a look at the map then follow the signs and come in one block east of the parking lot. Nothing screams “newbie” louder than coming in the wrong way, unless you have an actual sign on your car that says, “NEWBIE,” or you’re in a stroller.

I just realized I could have been an olympic swimmer if it wasn’t for my love of pastries.

You will be greeted by Sean, the great wizard who is kind of our sorting hat. He will either let you in or politely tell you the car doesn’t meet the broad definition of rare, exotic, etc., all stuff we cover on our website here, and point out a good spectator lot. He’s an extraordinarily nice guy. He also knows a lot about cars so don’t try to BS him either. He probably knows more about your car than you do. Complaint forms can be found here.

Sean radios what’s coming through the gate to the other Thugs and one of our marvelous Thugs radios back where we’re going to park you, usually with a few insults tossed around between Thugs, but you never hear that part because they are wearing ear mics. It’s a big part of our fun. Us Parking Thugs live to make fun of each other. And, as we’ve said before, we’ve never let fine breeding, a proper upbringing, respectability, good manners, honor, character, or even moral decency, ever get in the way of a good joke. So there is that. If you don’t like to laugh and have a good time, just stay in the basement and look for leaks or carve something meaningful out of soap, or search the freezer for something with freezer burn and think of a good way to make it taste good.

Once you’re waved through the intersection and into the lot, someone will walk you over to your parking area and help you get positioned. The marvelous and highly-dedicated Thugs know what they are doing and how to make your car look its best. Keep your window rolled down as you enter. This is very important. If you have no window, you’re one step ahead of us.

When you’re parked, let us know you’re new, even though we probably know already. We tend to remember people very well. We’d be happy to introduce you to a few folks so you get to make some new friends. You will find the whole thing very welcoming and people will remember you when you come back the next week. You don’t even need to wear the same stuff to get recognized!

We frown on those who arrive with a sense of entitlement who don’t think the rules apply to them. We frequently send them to Lot 9, (shhhh, it’s in Moclips). Here is Lisa on an actual Lot 9 inspection.

Lisa certifying to the general suckiness of Lot 9. Avoid us sending you to Lot 9. Lot 9 is for bad people.

Lisa certifying to the general suckiness of Lot 9. Avoid us sending you to Lot 9. Lot 9 is for bad people.

Should we send you to Lot 9, here is how to get there. It’s just a mere 2 hours and 37 contemplative minutes to get there where you can stand with the other A-holes.

Should we send you to Lot 9, here is how to get there. It’s just a mere 2 hours and 37 contemplative minutes to get there where you can stand with the other A-holes.

If you’re a new spectator, we’d suggest parking in the north parking structure and walking across the mall. It’s easer to leave when you’re sick of the whole thing and just want to go home and crawl into your jam-jams. This way you can conveniently hit all the food places before you head over; Starbucks, Original Pancake House, French Bakery, etc., bathrooms… if you’re “cleansing.”

The car owners are always there to talk about their love of cars and are more than happy to answer questions. Just don’t ask to sit in someone’s car. It’s bad form. It’s cringeworthy bad form. They love to talk about what they brought and look at other cars. Make yourself at home. Spectators and participants are all alike and can’t be told apart until they drive off, so stereotyping attendees won’t work.

Let’s hope this Saturday works out and if not, we try again next week. Oh, and give a thug a hug while you’re there. Don’t if you have ebola.

About Our First Rain-Out of the Season and the Resulting Tantrums

Well, sorry to say it’s our first rain out of the season, but there will be more Saturdays, and more rain-outs so don’t fret. We will try again next week. Have some fruit. Netflix and chill? No?

Before you go full postal and threaten a professional hit, let’s explain our thinking as we kick off the new season. We cancel every time the chance of rain is 30% or higher. There is no point in arguing with us. We’ve all dated gingers at one point in our lives and are completely immune to irrational threats of bodily harm.

Before you send us a screenshot of your magic phone showing a less than 30% chance of rain, all while you monkey-stomp your feet in protest, we want to point out that we draw our data from more than one source. We get it from NOAA, Wunderground.com, all four local TV networks, Weather.com, and the weird dude under my porch eating all the peanuts I put out for the squirrels. That guy was eating 25 pounds a month before I even noticed!

If all of this weather forecasting stuff conflicts, we average it, sometimes we debate it, sometimes we even delay our call until the next report in our attempt to get it right, but once we make the call, your magic phone’s weather app doesn’t count for squat. It never did count for squat, so stop framing those screen shots and mailing them to me. I’ve got p-l-e-n-t-y.

Once in a while the weather folk all get it wrong and are not that great at forecasting. It’s why so many weather nerds are divorced, so ponder that little factoid.

So why do we call it on a Thursday after 3 PM? Well, that’s when the weather reports come out and that also gives people time to cancel their plans and do other things besides stand in the rain on a Saturday morning; later writing to us, just to let us know how much it sucked. It also gives our volunteers some time off. They do need time off or they get cranky, and that’s no fun either. It also gives those who made hotel reservations a chance to get their hotel deposit back, not get on that flight to Seattle, or cancel that date.

Why do we cancel at all when it’s raining? Well in spite of what you say, nobody likes to stand in the rain and talk about cars. If they do, something is curiously wrong and they probably need to get off the roids or reduce their Redbull intake a skosh. In spite of that mushy letter you once wrote about your love of walks in the rain just to nail that snappy date, I’ll bet you can’t prove you really do. You think we’re a bunch of wimps? Drive your freshly polished car over to Green Lake and count the number of people standing out in the rain walking in little circles and report back. I’ll bet the ones you count have no idea they are even there.

The point is, each season, we get the kids who are all upset when we call it off due to rain. They make the most noise, sort of like bagpipes, accordions and a didgeridoo all blended together into sweet, yet painful music. We suggest they go back to their parents basement and take it out on the game console. Go play with some packing peanuts. We’ll try again next week…or possibly the week after…or the week after…and so on and so on…until one day, sun and opening day!

Why We Enforce Our Rules

We all know it sucks to have rules. As a toddler, you only had to pull the TV down on your head just once to know there was a reason dad said don’t touch, right? And it kind of hurt, didn’t it? Rules are for a reason, and sometimes it’s to protect ourselves or others. We don’t make rules unless we have to. Guess what, we have to. I’d have been an olympic runner if it wasn’t for my love of pastries, so there is that.

We don’t charge you to get in, and all of us volunteer our time, so it doesn’t seem like a lot to ask when we want people to just follow the rules. It’s all so we can keep the event going so just play along. This isn’t hard stuff. All of the wonderful people involved in E@RTC have spent thousands of hours on this event and none of them want it to end badly. Put another way, if we’re to sustain this glorious beast for another ten years, we have to abide by some rules or we’re toast.

Some rules have zero tolerance. You’re not likely to hurt someone if you wear that terrible combination of plaids and stripes, but if you did a long smokey burnout, you could harm someone so there is a huge difference. For that reason, if you break a rule and you were banned, well, you’re still banned. It doesn’t matter if your bad behavior was last season or not. We have a better recollection than that neighbor who remembers that moment you pooped on their lawn after that party you don’t remember. We have the awesome power of a collective memory, and keep in mind it’s not just the thugs who remember and want the rules enforced. It’s also our participants who care about the event too!

The only reason we create rules is because a few don’t have the common sense God gave a radish and things have to be explained in great detail. They are the ones who didn’t just pull that TV down on their head just once either. For some, it’s a life theme. We just wish they would not participate.

We’re sorry we have to hammer this each season, but opening day is often when we seem to get the “maturity-challenged” at the event. For everyone else, we look forward to seeing your shining faces!

Two weeks to go! That and Knives and Flames... Read on!

We’re just two weeks away from our big season opener! Before you do the happy dance where your neighbors can see you, keep in mind we get rained out on opening day most years, so remain tuned to what’s happening by checking the blog. This is when we play rain-roulette with Mom Nature and she’s not always the most cooperative.

Last night we ate at Fuji Steak House right there in Redmond Town Center, directly above the lot where we will all be mulling around looking at cars and noticing each other’s added fat… and the food was really good. It’s sort of like Benihana except it was…well, really good. We were sitting at the bar but could hear the knives and see the flames, but as far as we know, nobody got singed or filleted, with zero evidence of arterial spray anywhere. It will be a fun spot after E@RTC along with all the other great places to eat at RTC. I wouldn’t recommend FSH if you’re combustable, but for the rest of us, it was very nice.

Thank you Jessica for the nice time and the good food. Redmond Town Center is awesome so please, please, please, (I said it three times) come and visit the mall! Don’t you need socks?

We were there to discuss our big party plans for July 6. We’re going to not say much about it, but put a big “x” on your calendar for that day and preserve it like you did that orchid from the prom, or that finger you lost and accidentally cooked at Benihana.

We are getting lots of email about our updated criteria for this year and so far, most of it has been swimmingly positive. We had a couple of negative comments, but that’s normal this time of season. Hey my day isn’t perfect without a negative comment from someone. I was raised by nuns so bring it on! There is always that one kid who thinks they are special. Wait until they get forced out of the basement and have to look for a real job.

Some have asked why we have such a weird questionnaire for our volunteers. Well, the short answer is because it’s funny. The long answer is that we’re trying to get a sense of who you are and if you’d fit the volunteer culture. We’d want you to have as much fun as we do and if you don’t see the humor in all of this, well, I feel bad for starters, and the alternative is you could get a "customer experience” job at Comcast. We all know they are fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re not going to keep volunteering, and so that sucks too.

We like to have a good time and we care if those who show up have fun. That’s very important to us! No really! This should be a good time for everyone except for city politicians and sociopaths. We prefer they remain at home. Yet, judging from the volume of email and the traffic on our site, this should be another great season of good times!

We still don’t have a date for classics, muscle and collector cars so as soon as we get one from someone, we’ll post it. If your name is Mark, click here.

Changes to our Entrance Criteria... Here Come the Flame Throwers!

Okay, well, here we are, once again with the dreaded list of changes to this year’s entrance criteria page found here. Before you down the muscle relaxers to relieve that involuntary, yet sometimes-embarrassing quiver in your forehead, please understand our reasoning. We get too many cars that people don’t get all that excited about, and our spectators complain! That’s right, we get it both directions.

As we say so often, we’re not out to be Cars and Coffee either, because too often both suck. We think that’s a recipe for failure and everyone that ever starts one of those eventually collapses under the weight of immature yahoos that ruin it for everyone. We’ve spent ten years explaining what we do and why, and it’s all over our website, so please chill. “Moossaaa…” Feel better??? No??? Try again, “Moossaaa….” More moo this time. Try some grapes.

Our goal is exotic, rare, and special classic cars. We’re not a modded show or a Safeway parking lot either.

Dan updated our list with help from Sean who works the front entrance and has to put up with the arguments over the years. He raised a daughter so he knows a thing or two about empty, pointless, un-win-able arguments. So, if you try and push that they only made 10,000 in your color, it won’t do you much good.

Here are the changes to the entrance criteria page this year.

Audi: RS4+ Models, S8 (D4+ Chassis ONLY), All R8s, No other S-line models besides the S8, No RS3s. 

BMW: LIMITED PRODUCTION M2/3/4 MODELS ONLY - due to the large number of M cars, only the rarer examples will be allowed and in limited quantity (1M, GTS, CSL, etc, no standard M2s/3s/4s), M5, Alpina Models, 850, I8, Z8. No SUVs (including X5M, etc), Select Vintage (starting at E30 and earlier for M3s cars)

Chevrolet: C7+ only Corvette Z06, C6/C7 ZR1, 6th+ Generation Camaro ZL1 1LE (Not SS-1LE, not base ZL1),  Select Vintage

Maserati: Gran Turismo, Quattroporte, select vintage. No Ghiblis or SUVs.  

Mercedes: AMG models - Latest generation or very limited production AMG Models only such as Evo and Black Series cars only, E63 wagons, all SLS models, Select SL Models*, Mercedes McLaren SLR, G series 4x4² series (no normal G series), Select Vintage

Porsche: All 911 S+ models (no base 911s), all air cooled models, 918, Carrera GT, All GT Trim models (Cayman GT4, GT3RS, GT2, etc), All R Models, Panamera Turbo trims (no non-turbo models), Vintage and rare. No: Boxster, Cayman, Cayenne, Macan, etc, except R and GT# trims (GT2/3/4, not GTS).  

Ms/AMGs/911s/Teslas/Ghiblis: Due to the overwhelming number of cars we get and the regularity of 911s, M, and AMG cars we see, we are now limiting the number and focusing on special production vehicles. 

Offroad Vehicles:

We love some good 4x4s, but they need to be really special. Often these fall into our vintage category or are considered specialty cars. A Hellcat swapped Jeep works, so does a trophy truck or Dakar rally vehicle. 100k in Overland mods into your FJ Cruiser or Wrangler is probably amazingly capable, but also not exotic. Ask us; these can be quite a crowd pleaser and we welcome the more extreme.

Still come out and enjoy the event. Your friends won’t think any less of you if your car doesn’t get in either as it’s no measure of who you are as a person. Nobody will laugh and point, I promise… unless you try and sneak in then all bets are off.

We Need Your Help

No, we’re not going to ask you for a few bucks to fix someone’s lower lip. We’re looking for more volunteers for our 2019 season. We don’t want to burn out the dedicated and beloved Thugs we have now. So, if we’ve put up this nifty attention-grabbing notice on Facebook to see if some of you colorful folk want to join us for more laughs.

No seriously, click here!

No seriously, click here!

I’ve been one of the beloved Thugs for ten years and I’ve made life-long friends who made my life better. Well, most of them did. There is one or two who probably shouldn’t ever be seen in daylight, but that’s a different problem. This is a chance to do the same thing with your life, and make some new friends. This is a chance to give back to the community and do something that makes you and everyone else around you feel good!

This is our tenth anniversary so there will be more festive moments than ever before. One day we may even count wrinkles or stand on a scale! Who knows! Hey, we’re all aging at the same speed… unless you’re in the hooch every night, then you’re going down hill like a runway freight train on fire. It’s just a matter of time before that liver wants out and you know it. Where was I going? You probably shouldn’t volunteer, but for all of you others, come join us. You likely won’t regret it. I can’t guarantee for sure, but chances are, you won’t.

Meanwhile, we will see you all very soon! We’re on the home stretch before Mom Nature starts messing with us. April 6, unless she decides she can’t hold her water that day. Depends.

Less Than A Month To Go!

We’re working behind the scenes…well, not really behind the scenes. It’s not like we’re sneaking around at night or anything, but we are working to get ready for our eleventh season! We’re not finished adding events to our, “special events” calendar just yet so don’t get your undies in a bunch if you don’t see the Classic, Collector and Muscle car date posted. We will have it as soon as we hear what will work. We will give you plenty of time to get your yard pass paperwork in order with your significant other. For some it’s as complicated as TSA Pre Check.

We recently updated the site to make it current so if you see something that’s out of date that we may have missed, besides someone’s dated haircut, please let us know. We already know about the haircut.

Dan’s going to update the entrance criteria while Nick practices his squats to get his figure ready for Speedo season. Jason is working on our “volunteer enhancement” strategy and it’s all moving along nicely.

We anticipate another big year for E@RTC as the event draws more and more people and cars from further away. We’re working on addressing issues such as trailer parking, added foreign language lineage and more people with clipboards to stand and look important. We shall give them whistles.

We are still looking for more volunteers for this upcoming season. It’s a great way to make some friends and have some fun with some of the best people I know along with one or two who are just a little scary. They can’t walk into a hospital without someone throwing them on a stretcher, but I digress.

It will be good to see all of you again this season. Judging by all the email, it looks like it will be a great start to the new season. People are already asking about where to park the trailers, and how to best negotiate a pass from their significant other.

It's our Tenth Year and We Could Use Some Additional Help...

This is our tenth anniversary. In fact as I write this, it was about ten years ago this coming Saturday that we stood out there and froze our naughty bits in the damp cold air. What a day that was!

We want to celebrate with a party this year, but to do that, we’re going to need your help. We need more volunteers. While we still have the same robust core as usual, we need more people, not just to help us on Saturday mornings, but we’d love to find a group who knows how to throw a great party sometime later in the season. We’re thinking early July so we have the very best chance of a nice day around here.

We have our first volunteer meeting on February 17 and you can attend that, or we’ll have another soon after just for the new folks who are looking for something to do this summer. It’s a great way to make friends, have some laughs, and have a good excuse to get out of the house with less paperwork.

We’re behind the scenes here working on the website, getting it all looking fresh for the new season as there is a lot to do between now and opening day on April 6. Of course, this depends on the weather. Last year we were a month behind. Sort of like rent in college.

See you all soon!

If You Show Up on Saturday...

You will be a little disappointed. Where exotics once stood, you will see just about the same cars you saw at work on Friday. About the only exotic thing you will are possibly some pink windshield wipers or some wheels that we’re not exactly factory. Even then, the mall doesn’t open until later so chances are the lot will just be empty. The produce delivery guy will be dancing for joy, but that’s about it. In case you missed the memo, we’re done for the season.

Still, some will show up and be standing there thinking, “where the heck is everyone?” (you know you wouldn’t use the word ‘heck’) The answer is we called our season ender last week you illiterate fool. This gives our volunteers one nice weekend off before the rains hit…or so they show in the forecast. Most will head to Leavenworth (not the prison) for some beer and polkas. You need beer for polkas. As Gary Larson once so insightfully illustrated, in heaven they hand out harps. In hell it’s accordions.

I see they are forecasting a mild winter. In all my years living out here in Washington State, they never got it right even once. The weather folks mis-forecast our Saturdays a few times and that was just 48 hours before the event. There is about as much chance of them getting it right as there is Beyonce rocking a tuba.

The Farmers Almanac says it will be a teeth-chattering dare I say, nut-hugging cold winter. So we’ll see who’s right. I’ll bet on the Almanac.

We’re already planning our 10th anniversary celebration. We still can’t get an aircraft carrier up Mill Creek, but we tried. Can you believe we made it ten years? I still can’t get over it. We thought we’d survive a couple of seasons, have a few laughs and that would be it. We’re now the oldest weekly event in the US. That says a lot.

We're all done folks! But...

Well, that’s it for the season everyone! What a great turnout on our last day. We managed to squeeze 342 cars into our space and we still turned away twenty or more, not to mention those who drove by that couldn’t get it. Sorry, but we can only take on so many BMWs before others have an aneurysm, given that our first priority is exotic and rare cars.

As usual, there were a few, dare I say, ass-hats on departure, given it was our last day. The gal in the yellow Porsche who fishtailed her way past me is not welcome back. She was already warned, but nope, she thinks her fun should come at the expense of everyone else. Talk about self-absorbed!

By the way, in case you don’t know what an ass-hat is exactly, it’s sometimes referred to as an ass-gasket, or in some places, simply a free cowboy hat. It’s that toilet protector you see in bathrooms that looks far more dangerous than the toilet itself. I’d rather poop in a field, but that’s just me. Some will be offended by reading this, probably because they really thought it was a free cowboy hat.

Most of the ass-hats were driving up and down Bear Creek who didn’t get in, but felt the need to just race around Redmond, which isn’t all that thrilling for the rest of us. We have better things to do with our time.

So, we will keep posting here all winter. We always have something to say about something. Our opening day for 2019 will be April 6. It will be our 10th anniversary! We are planning to do something for it, so it will be big. Thank you all for a wonderful season. It was a terrific last day and one of our very best! Thank you all!

Come out, come out, come out!

Okay, get up out of bed Saturday morning and come down for our last E@RTC of the season. Come and say hello and good-bye all in one shot. It’s going to be a beautiful Saturday morning of fun and great people and cars. This is really it, our last Saturday of the season and then we set in for a long winter. We’re not going to have our opening day until, Saturday April 6! That’s 24 Saturdays away! That’s almost six months! Some of you could have kids by then!

Our last day is always a great turnout so don’t miss it. Okay, miss it if you have typhoid, but otherwise don’t miss it.

Saturday, October 13 is our last chance to hang out for the season...

Well, we’re down to one more Saturday. Pull out the tissue. Get ready to start raking!

I ran some stats. We had a total of 28 available Saturdays this season. Of those, we were “rained out” 41% of the time. This is a record for us. “Rained out” includes all days when we called it because the chance of rain was 30% or higher. Some of those Saturdays saw no rain at all, so blame the folks in the weather cave. We typically average around 20-22 decent Saturdays, but this year we only had just 16 events. It’s hard to believe, but that’s how it all worked out.

Traditionally, when we’ve been able to call it for our last Saturday, it’s been one of our biggest days of the season, so next week if it doesn’t rain, we will see a lot of cars. You won’t want to miss it!

Again, there is America’s Car Museum to get you through the winter. They have a lot of cool stuff going on all winter so make the drive down!

Don’t forget to shop at Redmond Town Center! Hot Yoga and a movie! Not in that order, but you get the idea. Please come and support Redmond Town Center for all their support of us all season. Do all your Christmas shopping there, even if it means buying gram-gram a set of drums. It will give her something to do other than watch Oprah reruns. Lots of good food there too! No need to starve!

See you all next week unless it rains.

We're On For Our First Saturday Encore!

Wow! We’re on two weeks in a row and it’s October! How cool is that? Let’s call it our first encore.

Just so we’re clear, and so we don’t get everyone’s chronically unemployed uncle writing us for clarification, I’ll repeat it again. If it rains next Saturday the 13th, we’re done for the season. If it doesn’t rain it will be our last Saturday of the season and everyone can just go home and rake. This means, there is all the possibility that this will be our last Saturday. Now, watch how many write me to explain what I just said…wrote.

This is a great time of year to go for a drive and take in the fall colors. It’s fun to get that last drive in around the North Cascades over to Winthrop, then down to Leavenworth (not the prison) and home. It’s that time when the squirrels are busy gathering up the nuts, irony is that cold does the same thing… moving on.

We then move into Thanksgiving, and holiday parties. You win that ugly sweater competition you didn’t know you entered. It’s sort of a free shot at your every-day wardrobe. Before we know it, it’s going to be spring again. We’ll all show up fatter, again, again.

Don’t forget the museum! I’m talking about America’s Car Museum in Tacoma. It’s a great place to go and hang out, see your friends, and talk cars, all while staying warm and dry! The food in the cafe is very good. Seriously, it’s surprisingly good! It’s not the same prison-quality stuff you get on the ferry either.

This could be it folks! It could be your last Saturday to come see us, hang with us, talk about your spouse, car or doctor, or all three, or those yodeling lessons you won at the auction. Come out say you goodbyes, find a winter snuggle buddy or something. There is someone there for everyone. See you Saturday!