Italian Car Day and Police Emphasis Patrols!

We’re on for this Saturday, July 6, for those who missed it in the giant red banner, is Italian Car Day, and one of our biggest days all season. This is a day when we dial it up for all exotic and rare cars made in Italy, but still welcome all other nationalities as long as they meet the usual criteria. We’re expecting some very special stuff to show up as we get every year.

We will be taking the whole center section of the mall, wrapping around to the primary lots near BJs Restaurant. Don’t forget, you can also stay at the Archer with a wonderful discount on our accommodations page.

Emphasis Patrols

We had a great conversation this past week with the Redmond PD. We’ve asked their assistance in helping us keep the event safe and to help us stamp out bad behavior. This isn’t just about E@RTC. Redmond Police also pointed out the large number of pedestrians around Redmond and they don’t want anyone to get hurt by some idiot racing through town.

Listen up! We’re cheering them on if they write you the fattest ticket you’ve ever seen in your whole life for behaving badly. We are firmly on their side. We hope they go so far as to impound you if they have to get the point across. Please tell your friends if you want to get around Redmond and save yourself a surprise expenditure.

They also plan to bring a patrol car to the show and we welcome them back. Police cars are always a huge hit when they show up. Please thank them for the service they provide to the community and Redmond PD has been an outstanding supporter since the day we started. Thank them for helping us keep E@RTC a world-class event.

We’re also expecting more Washington State Patrol emphasis along 405 and 520 to get those morons who decide to race into or out of Redmond. You know, the ones who try and do a fly-by along 520 before they have to go home to mom’s basement. We hope those folks get hog-tied and impounded for sure!

A Little 4th of July Public Service Announcement

Today is also the 4th of July and as we pointed out last year, someone out there will have less than ten fingers after tonight. So if you plan to have a few beers and play with explosives on this beautiful important day, take a look at your hands before you venture out, because it may be the last time you see them in the current unmodified configuration. It’s just a little reminder that the boom you hear, my be the sound of an involuntary but sudden hand disassembly. Think of how long it took you to grow that hand in the first place! You won’t have a way to grow another. Stay safe!

This Saturday is Italian Car Day! (Oh, and we had some behave badly this week...)

One of our biggest days of the season is this coming Saturday for Italian Car Day. As always, other car nationalities are still welcome, but this is when we put those Italian beauties front and center and take over the center of the mall. We typically draw almost 500 cars this day and more spectators than at any other time, so come out. This is one you don’t want to miss!

Why are the most expensive cars in the world from Italy? Why not Greece? What, they have no imagination? Even Japan! Japan makes great cars! Yet, Italy and everyone’s heart skips a beat.

You buy a Japanese car and it breaks, the engineers all get together to find out what went wrong. They go through this whole process to discover who screwed up on the assembly line. They fire them, their entire family, shame their ancestors, and erase all trace they ever lived.

An Italian car breaks down, and the engineers get together and respond, “Well, it was a beautiful night for you to walk home.”

Bad Behavior

For those of you who are sensitive to me flaming people for bad behavior, stop reading now... Just so you sensitive Sallys know, I’m about to pull out the blow torch once again.

Apparently a few of you have not learned your lessons about how to behave in and around Redmond and word got back to us. There is that asshat with the green Huracan that’s not welcome back. He’s been a problem before but somehow got back in, even though I suspect it was the same dude who was banned. We have those diaper babies in the Audis who the police finally nailed and you’re definitely going to get kicked out by security. If you know who they are, let them know they are not welcome to ever come back.

We’re asking the police to do some emphasis patrols in and around Redmond to nail these self-absorbed narcissistic morons who only think they matter. We know it’s just a few who want to ruin things for everyone else and the police will be out to generate some decent revenue from your nonsense. We’re cheering them on when they hogtie your ass and throw you in jail and impound your cars. Cha-Chig on that bill. We’re not kidding even a little. We’ve had ten years of success and we’re not going to let a few immature toddlers ruin it for the whole community. You give the entire car community a bad name and we care about sustaining this event. You give your own mom a bad name. Whoops, no, she did that herself having you! She did that other thing, but I’m being polite.

Flame thrower is now off…

Sorry for the PSA everyone. It’s sucks to write that stuff, but as long as there is bad behavior, we have to call it out. This isn’t Seattle. See you Saturday!

We're On for Saturday... and other stuff

It’s looking like we’re on for Saturday, but barely, and the trend is improving. The weather folks go on vacation so who knows how hard they try this time of year, but it’s all we have to go on. My knees won’t tell us anything. It’s not like a have a magic wart that acts up when it’s going to rain. We’ll trust them for now.

Thanks to all those who came out for German Car Day. It was a huge success and we had zero reports of bad behavior, which is what we love to experience. Thank you all for making it a wonderful event and for helping us keep everyone so well-behaved. It means a lot to us. It’s a very big deal when we have these events and no problems with people doing bad stuff.

Next weekend, July 6 will be Italian Car Day, so don’t forget that extra-special day. It’s one of our favorites all year. It’s also one of our most heavily attended events all season. We don’t have another special day after that until British Car Day, which is also a terrific day for us. So come out for those as well. Then go have a pizza!

This Saturday we expect a lot of out of town visitors and those who’ve managed to escape from other places so bring out your cars. Seriously, some of these out of town guests have never seen these cars in person before so it’s a huge deal when you come out. Give them a thrill! Come show off your stuff. No, not that stuff. The car.

Tourists are here to see our beautiful city and have a nice vacation. Wait until they get a load of Seattle and the sewer that place has become. Don’t mean to interject politics, but wow, what a sad situation! Don’t let our Eastside politicians make the same mistakes. This isn’t about party, this is about garbage. Lots of it! We try and stay out of politics. We do get mad about garbage. It’s everywhere.

Don’t forget to make your plans for Monterey if you are thinking about going. It’s hard to believe it’s only about eight weeks away, depending on what day you’re heading down. If you plan to drive, we’ll see you along 101. Come pat Babe the Blue Ox nut sack! We will post our details as we get closer.

See you Saturday!

Italian Car Day will be here soon and so will Monterey... read on

We had another fantastic German Car Day this year. Nobody got arrested, everyone behaved. Gold star to everyone! Shocker!

This marked the first of our three theme days this season. Thong day was not going to happen. We can only afford to pay for so much therapy and the bill would have been huge. Besides, we want to stick with cars.

We have Italian Car Day on July 6 as our next event when we turn up the volume to 11 again. That’s our biggest day of the season, next to opening day. Meanwhile, we don’t want to get a lot of email about if we’re still meeting on Saturdays. Yes, we are, unless it rains. Next Saturday is looking so-so right now as I write this. Anything could happen. Destiny awaits. So does laundry.

For those of you thinking about Monterey this year, it’s late for hotels, but it’s still something to consider if you’ve never gone before. It’s way better than a crafts fair. Anything is better than a crafts fair. I’d rather go in for a chest waxing. I’d rather pull a nail out of my foot.

We’re traditionally off the weekend of August 17 because, well most of our volunteers are in Monterey. It’s like the big E@RTC migration south. This year we’re heading out the prior Sunday morning nice and early and heading down the coast, something we do about every other year, with night stops in Newport, OR, followed by Eureka, CA, then Monterey. It splits the drive into thee six hour segments, so lots of time to play coastal tourist and eat stuff we’d never otherwise touch. As I sit here, I could have been a world class trapeze artist if it wasn’t for my love of pastries.

By the time we reach Trees of Mystery on Monday, we always find people we know at that stop. It’s kind of dumb, but fun at the same time. It’s like the power line where all the birds land. If we don’t already know you, we may see you there. If you’re thinking about driving down, don’t wait to make your reservations. Do it now or you’re sleeping in your car or under a dumpster somewhere. Don’t wake up with gravel stuck to your face.

We are still getting lots of email about qualifying cars and all of it helps us fine tune our list. Don’t email us late Friday and expect an answer before E@RTC. It’s our only tweezing time. Some of us have other stuff we have to get done and my not answer until the weekend. We do our best, but we’re all volunteers here.

See you this coming Saturday unless it rains. It could. You never know around here.

German Car Day... and Brats

Saturday is German Car Day! It’s one of our biggest events all year for those who love German cars. Every year we get some surprises and stuff shows up that we’ve not seen before so come out! Yes, other car nationalities are still welcome. We just dial it up for Germany.

The weather is looking decent for Saturday but then after that it looks like a long stretch of rain or almost rain. That stretch right now runs into the following Saturday so this could be the last decent Saturday for a couple of weeks, so this would be a good one to try and make. Fill out those yard pass forms early. Do something around the house. Make a nice quiche, then come to E@RTC!

You could go have a brat somewhere. Nothing like a good brat. Buy the ones from Wisconsin. They say so on the package. Johnsonville are close. There would be a Johnson in the name. Makes it kind of easy to remember. That’s where all the good brats are grown. The ones grown here are significantly closer to lawn sausage. Don’t make me explain that. No, don’t taste test.

Be sure to cook them well on the grill. You don’t want to get trichinosis. No, that’s not when you suck at magic. It’s a real thing. Read about it. Just cook your brats.

You could stay at the Archer! Get all snockered on good German beer and just sleep it off at the hotel and not drive anywhere. So many possibilities! It’s way better than trimming a hedge.

See you all Saturday!

June 22 is German Car Day... Others Still Welcome!

Next week is German Car Day, and those enthusiasts come out in force! They will be all around the mall, down the center, the sides of the mall and just about everywhere. We also still get lots of other nationalities, but it’s the one day of our season when we turn it up a notch for those built in Germany. Yes, we get a lot of Porsche. We get a lot of everything so you won’t be disappointed if you still want to see something else. it’s like we have a big menu and German Cars are on the chef’s daily special sheet.

We do get some extraordinary cars so come out! We get stuff you didn’t know was around here, and some of these beauties come from a long way away so don’t forget our accommodations page so you can overnight here at the Archer and get 20% off. It’s way better than sleeping in your car like those crazy kids from Montana who drive all night to make it to E@RTC. Glen, I’m talking to you…yeah, you.

Where I’m going here, is we get bombarded with email asking if their Italian or British car is still welcome and the answer is yes. We don’t lower the bar either so your Diesel Rabbit still isn’t getting in and probably won’t until we’ve colonized another galaxy somewhere.

Last year the group was great and we didn’t have any problems. We’ve noticed that when we made it about countries rather than brands, that some of the ego stuff was dialed back considerably, so we’re happy with the change. It makes it a lot easier on us too. Lines of cars to get in will be long so get there early. We’ll move you through as fast as we can. There is plenty of spectator parking around the mall so that’s never an issue.

We’ll see you all on Saturday!

We're On For Saturday!

We’re completely on for Saturday. As if you didn’t know that already. We didn’t see even a little threat of rain all week. Next week looks a little wobbly, but this Saturday should be a nice morning to come out and hang with your peeps.

Hey, don’t forget the Archer Hotel is doing brunch so river-dance on over and give it a try and let us know what you think. We’re glad they are all finally open after watching that thing get built over the last two seasons. It looks nice. Redmond has come a long way.

That south section of RTC turned out to be kind of the nasty food corner for a long time. Desert Fire went under. They had some good food, but the restaurant design was odd and the food slowly turned into something that made you want to run away. The place that followed would cause you to pull 6 Gs on the toilet on any given day.

Remember Claim Jumper? They sure started out strong when they first opened. They had meals bigger than you, and it attracted some of the largest humans I’ve ever seen on two feet. They needed those double doors. But, over time, the place just kind of got weird. Yeah, weird. The food was just so-so, and they couldn’t attract flies. It was a real shame too. That place was built like it was there for the single goal to fatten you up. That may have been its demise.

BJs… well we try. Nuf said. So, we’re hopeful that the Archer hits a home run and it looks like they are off to a good start. Lunchbox Lab is good. Massive and good. I also think the Fuji Steak House is very good too. Just don’t wear anything remotely flammable. It’s a cook-at-your-table-style restaurant, where knives move fast and where I’m guessing they have a decent amount of Band-Aids stashed somewhere.

Redmond Town Center does a lot for us so we want to support them as much as possible. You help us all tremendously when you shop or dine there. It’s turning into an experience center, so you can go there and experience stuff, like hot yoga with other hot sweaty people. Go see some of your friends sort of look like a goat from behind. Something to do. Buy a phone. Eat a cookie. There is so much there.

See you all Saturday!

Looking Like Sunshine Forever...

I checked the weather and it doesn’t look like rain is in the forecast anytime soon so we’re probably on for Saturday. This gives you ample time to negotiate that yard pass. I think we’ve already set a record for more nice Saturdays than not for this time of year. As always, we’ll post our final call on Thursday in case the weather folk are just messing with us and expect a deluge.

I found out that the Archer also has a breakfast buffet on Saturday. Mosey on over to our Accommodations page if you want to spend the night and arrive in grand style. Get to the buffet before Nick. That’s all I’m saying. This is great because you can see some cars, grab a quick bite and get back out to walk it off. We’re thrilled that the hotel is right there in the parking lot given how many of you come from a long way just to see these cars. We’re grateful for your effort to come see us and we don’t want to ever disappoint.

Also check our special events page to see what’s coming up. We don’t always post when we’re getting some surprises in town. You never know what will show up so come out and see for yourself so we don’t have to excitedly wave our arms so much.

I try and post something on the blog every Sunday and Thursday, but sometimes I have stuff to do too, but I do my best to get something here. It’s nice to see we get a lot of readers according to our stats, but our mail goal is to just make this whole thing a lot of fun and not take ourselves too seriously. It’s not like we’re all showing up for kidney surgery or anything. See you Saturday!

Looks Like We're On Again... After Some Lightning and Stuff...

This looked like a crazy weather week. It’s like admiring that beauty from afar who’s acting just a we bit bat-poop crazy, and you’re not sure if you like it or not. That’s how the weather looked all week, but glad to see we’re now on, after what looks at this point, like Friday from hell. We may even see lightning on Friday. Not the best day to foil your hair on that wide-open roof deck.

We don’t get those spectacular crackling thunderstorms like we did in the Midwest. You weren’t living unless you saw lightning hit something important. You always knew that odd kid who got struck once or twice and every time they would tell the story you’d fight off laughing like hell as they would talk about the experience of blasting across the yard like a cheap lawn dart. You’d grit your teeth and try to act sympathetic. There would be that one eye sort of wondering off as you tried to reason with the kid about the dangers. A tip; next time there is lightning, don’t decide to go play with that old golf set from gramps.

Oh, don’t forget we have German Car Day coming up on the 22nd. That’s always a big day. That one is rain or shine as we move it into the garage if it’s raining. It’s the only event we do that’s rain or shine so it’s kind of interesting when it does rain. Either way, come on out!

Also don’t forget, that’s two things not to forget, we now have our accommodations page for your additional comfort and enjoyment while staying at the Archer Hotel. For those of you coming from out of town, it’s a great place to stay and wake up to fun cars rolling in the next morning.

You know Redmond Town Center has a lot more places to eat than ever before. Good places! Places you will actually like and not the prison quality stuff you’d find at other malls. Redmond itself is more interesting than the old days when all you could buy was some feed and bag balm for the herd. Don’t know what that is? Look it up. :)

You didn’t know that? Redmond was a cow town. Really! Where you see apartments once stood grain elevators, and places to scrape the poop off your shoes. I’m not kidding.

Thank you for all your support and for reading this blog this far. We try and keep it fun. That’s what E@RTC is all about; cars you’d love to see and fun.

We Have an Accommodations Page!

As you can see, we now have an accommodations page on our website to better accommodate you. It’s our hotel page linking to our nifty discount at the Archer Hotel where you can savor 20% off while staying there for an E@RTC event! This means that refugees from Fresno have a place to go. The hotel is right in the parking lot so you can do the worm from your room all the way over to our lot without burning through your shirt!

I got a report of some Audi pilots not connected to our event still behaving badly around the mall and we need all of you to help us get that under control. Your help in policing this matter is much appreciated as we don’t want to ban all Audis, but we will do something if this keeps up. I don’t know how well village idiot jobs pay these days, but these guys may want to consider applying somewhere. The right town might be willing to pay a lot for a good one.

We’re still getting lots of emails about car qualifications and again, we’re always happy to get a response out to you just as fast as we can. Do us a favor and don’t email us the night before and expect an answer by morning before the event. Some of us need our beauty sleep. You don’t want us to show up all crabby and stuff.

E@RTC is becoming an internationally known event and it’s all because of you and the cars you bring. We’re extremely appreciative of all of your support and all the fans that come out to see your machines. The whole thing is wonderful.

Oh one reminder, we never allow mimes. They annoy the hell out of everyone. Feel free to drag any you see out of the event with their invisible rope. Annoying AF!

The Archer is now Open! You Get 20% Off! Darrin Got Married too!

We’re on for Saturday! We know you’d rather come out than steam clean that ugly rug or have to go plant something, like a long-lost dead relative somewhere. Sorry. Okay, that was dark.

We’re thrilled to announce that Archer Redmond, the new hotel is now open! They did a terrific job on the design and they welcomed us with open arms as they got closer to opening. We will do all we can to help them be super-successful in Redmond.

They gave all of us from E@RTC this nifty portal for 20% off! What’s cool is that they have their own internal parking making it safe for all those cars that come from Vancouver, BC, or Portland, or Chesaw. Yup, Chesaw. There are people there. I’ve seen them before. No, Chesaw is probably not a good vacation spot unless you like wild random shrubbery.

Oh, the hotel serves breakfast as well! Think about how fun to drive in, spend the night and not have to go anywhere, then roll out of bed, scratch yourself, then walk out to enjoy E@RTC! You can then go to BJ’s for lunch. It’s a bit awkward to put that name with a hotel, I admit. I had to edit it a few times so it wouldn’t come up in the wrong search. I’m not the one who gave that food establishment such a terrible name!

Still, I can’t think of a more fun weekend event. We’re glad they are finally open after two years of painstaking construction. It’s a nice looking building too. Thank you Archer for your support!

We should see a nice turnout this weekend after last Saturday’s rainout. It was just starting to rain as I drove through Redmond that morning. It was nice that the weather folks got it right. So far they are doing better this year than last. We got flamed a lot over the weather calls, which we don’t make.

A big shout-out to Darrin Wong, who just got married on Monday. Darrin has been a supporter of E@RTC all the way back to our very first weekend. We wish he and Suki the best. Congratulations to you both! Darrin has been a great friend to all of us all these years and we’re very happy for him. Darrin was a big part of the car community long before we founded E@RTC.

As we were at the wedding, it made a bunch of us think about all the relationships and friendships that began with E@RTC. Some got married, others divorced, some became business partners and almost all helped each other in some way. It’s what community is all about. Yeah, a few got in arguments, but as far as we know, nobody got punched. It’s a beautiful thing. See you Saturday!

Memorial Day Thanks And More About Criteria...

It’s Memorial Day and our moment to think about all those who gave their lives for this country and for all those who served. It’s because of you that we have the freedom to clown around in a parking lot on a Saturday morning. Who knows what this country would be like without all you did. We all deeply appreciate your sacrifice. Thank you.

It’s still five days away as I write this, but Saturday is starting to look like it will be nice! This means we will have a good turnout. It’s always the situation when we have a good Saturday after a rain-out. It’s like people need their car fix and get that twitch above their left eye if they don’t see cool cars.

Apply for that yard pass early. Paint something, anything to get that pass. Paint always works, except on animals. That never works.

Someone asked why we’ve never commercialized E@RTC. It’s simple. We wanted to build a real community event and make the focus about you and not us. We have some sponsors, but it doesn’t cover our costs. We get support from Redmond Town Center and the rest is picked up by us to keep it independent, and about all of you. The goal remains to bring car enthusiasts together to see both exotic and rare cars for all our mutual enjoyment while having a good time. It’s like a weekly block party without beer throwing, fistfights or anyone getting hogtied and tossed in a police van. College was fun.

We’re still getting lots of questions about what cars make it into the event and what doesn’t. It’s on our criteria page. If you can’t find it there, just drop us a note and someone will get back to you within a day or two. Dan does a good job of maintaining that section. We all have other jobs so we get to email as fast as we can. Just don’t play the “worthy” card with us. It misses the entire point of the event. We think about what people will drive a long way to come see up close. It’s about as simple as that. Not, really, but close.

We love it when you write us and give us feedback. Even when you have to vent about your sister. We’re completely understanding, especially the sister part. We’ll take a letter about your brother too. We’re always up for a good laugh.

We’ll post our usual weather update on Thursday; if we’re on or off or if a submarine is coming by chance. We’ve not had one of those either.

We're Rained Out... And the Answer is No!

We’re rained out for Saturday. Looks like you will now have time to organize your sock drawer or go make chili. We’ll try again next week. We soon hit that stretch of consistent nice Saturdays, but I guess it’s not happening yet. Typical.

When I sit down to write this, usually a day or two before we post, I don’t have any idea if we’re on or off, but the preceding paragraph will say just that. Right now it’s anybody’s guess. Well, not anybody. There are a few out there who’s guess I could do without. I’ll start with anyone who ever said, “hold my beer” and ended up in the hospital, in a bed with tubes everywhere.

I do have some good news to report. There were no problems this past weekend with people on exit, we were still receiving complaints about someone from the week before, complete with photos, so we’re dealing with that behind the scenes since we got names and addresses and lists of music they hate. We’ll send them an embarrassing garden gnome just to show we mean business.

One of the most often asked questions we get, outside of car qualifications is if someone can have a booth or card table to sell or promote some business at E@RTC. The answer is no. Not just a little no, it’s a very big NO. It’s RTC policy ratified in their sacred mall constitution and signed into law in 1861. It can’t be changed without a vote of the one person who invented the modern shopping mall and he’s dead, so there is no possibility to change it. Them’s the rules.

We do occasionally allow nonprofits such as America’s Car Museum or some car clubs to do something, but that’s usually in response to their participation and support in our event. When was the last time you went to the museum? It’s cool. Tell them we sent you.

Let’s be real for a moment. About the last thing you all want is to be sold that beer juicer thingy while you’re participating in E@RTC. We don’t care how good your fudge is either. The farmer’s market is right around the corner and you can sell it there. They have some good chutney to take home to Gram-Gram.

Oh, one question just came up, do we ever have a revving competition? The answer is F-no! (Don’t need to explain the F.) Rhymes with duck. Revving is never allowed. Ever-ever. We have offices around us. People who we need to get along with and stuff. It would not end well. Sorry. To most people, it may surprise you, but it’s annoying AF. I think an event recently got shut down because of revving. That would do it. It’s like accordion music, or bagpipes, that would get us shut down too.

Why We Fire Up The Flame Thrower Now And Then...

We got a comment from someone complaining about our flaming some bad behavior on the blog. I didn’t want to post the comment because it brings out the trolls, but here is our thoughtful response.

Our number-one job as Thugs is to protect and sustain the event. This means us thinking about safety issues, event sustainability, (not to be confused with that, “sustain issue” that requires pills). We protect the event sometimes in a manner that seems, well, harsh.

Let’s walk down the little parade of decision points people have in front of them to stop, ponder, and absorb rules we ask people to follow, and the resulting consequence of ignoring our mini parade floats of what we think are good ideas.

  1. We first post our rules all over our site and we write them with good humor so people read the darn things. We track how many read our rules just to make sure.

  2. We hand out friendly etiquette cards when cars come in. We’ve handed out thousands so far.

  3. We post reminders here on the blog…again and again…and well, again.

  4. We stand at the corners and the median telling people to not go out hot, and we’ve directed traffic to other exits. The median can be a bit terrifying, especially when someone lets your mom out.

  5. We’ve asked Redmond PD to assist us and they do, when they are not on a call. But, some still ignore all that and don’t get the message that we really do mean it.

  6. We individually ban cars when we know who they are and have their contact info. Those are the ones you don’t see. If we know someone who knows the individual, we do it that way.

  7. As a consequence, we also drive by their house playing Barry Manilow really loud.

People are surprised by how swiftly we act, and sometimes consider that, “harsh.” We’re rather error on harsh and have someone mad at us, over someone thinking we’ll get over it, and physically harm a spectator on exit. It only takes one. I encourage you to Googlify all the other events around the US and how they eventually shut down because of bad behavior. Yes, they just move the event elsewhere sometimes because they were kicked out, but unless you’re on this stuff, the same bad behavior follows you to the next location, each one a little worse than the last. Sort of like dates in college.

So you don’t like the blog…but did you die? Did, you, die? The answer is no, so continue…

We have a couple of choices, given we’re all volunteers. We can kill the whole event entirely. After all, none of us are paid to do this. We could ignore the problem of a few, in which case someone could get hurt, or get enough complaints that the mall decides it’s not worth the hassle. All of those things kill it for everyone. We tried being nice; see steps 1 through 7 again. Okay, step 1 through 6. Skip 7.

Rather than complain about our flaming a few, help us keep the bad behavior from happening in the first place. You’re otherwise just virtue signaling and not helping us solve the bad behavior of a few. It’s not like we’re asking you for a kidney. Pitch in!

We’re the beloved parking Thugs for a reason and we’re here to make the best event possible but we’ve been tough on rattle-waving diaper babies from the week we began. It’s how we got our lovely name. If you don’t like how harsh we are to some people, then do us a giant favor, and you do the work and find your own way to monkey-stomp those who behave badly, and we won’t have to flame them, then we’re all good. We’d much rather talk about cars, or our love of pastries, or even share mildly embarrassing stories about each other.

Let’s look at it from an entirely different point of view for a moment. Let’s say we do noting, say nothing, be “nice” about it. Do you honestly think we’ll get results? It’s not worked in the past. We tried! Again, read steps 1 through, okay 6, yeah 7 is admittedly mean. What then if something bad happens? Won’t you be thinking, “Gee, we wish they would have been a little more serious about this and flamed those booger boys when they could…” (Tears streaming as you sob against a tree.)

We love that people write us differences of opinion. That’s a great thing. We welcome the feedback and we will respond as lovingly as possible.

Here, think of it this way. Dealing with this bad behavior is like getting poop on our shoe. This is just us scraping it off.

Don’t forget, we’re not here for commercial purposes. None of us make a buck off this directly or indirectly so we don’t try to appeal to everyone. It’s never been our mission to be all things to all people. We started as a small event, and if people wanted to go elsewhere because they didn’t like the tone, good luck trying this type of event somewhere else, then sustaining it. Meanwhile, we’ll keep the flame thrower ready to go as long as the behavior persists. It’s our way of protecting you…

We Need a Blimp Visit!

It’s looking like we’re ON for Saturday. It’s hard to believe, but it was going to happen sooner or later where there would be significant weather suckage on Friday and Sunday, but skip Saturday during our event. If you’ve been here a while, you know that or normal pattern has been the complete opposite where the only day with weather suckage has been on a Saturday… with nice days on Friday and Sunday. So, we look forward to seeing you! The folks on the news were saying we’re due for a “wet pattern” whatever that means, but assume it means lots of days of rain for a while, so come out while you can!

We hope this week everyone behaves and that I can write about other things besides rattle-waving diaper babies driving fast cars… that probably shouldn’t. Flaming bad behavior is not our favorite. We’d rather write about fun stuff, but we’re serious about protecting the event for everyone. We want this to be something your kids enjoy…even the ones you don’t know about.

You know, it occurred to me, we’ve never had a blimp at E@RTC. I just hit me like a ton of heavy objects. No blimp. We’re car people! Cars and blimps kind of go together. We’ve never had one even fly over and say hello. I’m feeling a little dissed, aren’t you? I should send a letter to Goodyear and see what they say.

“Dear Goodyear,

Please, please, please bring your new shiny blimp to E@RTC. You will get the best parking. You qualify under our rare car category and we have enough volunteers to walk you in. Yes, we’re aware that you’re 196’ long, but we’ll make room, we promise. It just has to be clean and in show condition.

There is a Starbucks nearby for you and your crew and we have enough people to hold the ropes, as long as it’s not that windy. I can’t guarantee they will hang on, but we’ll give it a try. We think it would be good for your brand and ours and you will all have fun, we promise, and you may even sell a few tires, or just some rubber. We all need a little rubber. Just to be clear, we’re not talking about those shitty 159s, mind you, we’re talking about the other tires you sell.

We’re in the lot next to BJs, but it’s probably not work-safe to Google the name. Original Pancake House may be better. We look forward to your visit.


The Thugs”

You know, they never teach you in school that blimps aren’t the most practical things to own. It’s one of those things you set your heart on, only to find out later they require lots of care. You learn those lessons the hard way. It’s not like you just let one bounce around the yard until it’s time to go flying. They require a bus load of people to help land. Then after a lot of yelling and screaming they all sit around and ask, “Why?”

It may rain in spots overnight, but probably not our spot, so still show up. We’ll save you from having to go eat casserole somewhere.

39 years ago this Saturday, Mt. Saint Helens erupted! Hard to believe it was that long ago. Most of you were not even born and know nothing about having a mountain chase you. Not fun!

We Had Some Bad Behavior Again...

Two fabulous weeks in a row! This is better than skipping Fresno!

We were just sent a link to a great video from last week by Sara M, one of our participants. It’s well done and gives you a sense of the excitement and grander we all felt the last two Saturdays.

A little tip for those who post videos: On YouTube, use both “E@RTC” and “Exotics at Redmond Town Center” if you want people to find your stuff. Don’t do, “Redmond Cars and Coffee” as it’s not our name and you end up looking like your socks don’t match.

We also had to turn cars away today and we hate to do that so come early if you want to get in. Don’t go rolling up at 9 and expect us to get you in. Hey, just because the ferry leaves at 9 doesn’t mean you show up then, right? Same-same. You can do this! It’s not hard.

As we write this, the weather isn’t looking so good for next Saturday, so we could go back to winter… until around July. We never know. We average around 20 events a season and it varies every year by just one or two. Thank you all very much for supporting us. It was an extraordinary day. Yet, with that we still had some bad behavior that we have to write about to nip in the sack if you know what we mean.

Exotic Car Rentals Banned!

To the careless drivers of a certain car rental place who went flying out of E@RTC, you are now permanently banned from E@RTC. Go take your behavior somewhere else. What you fail to recognize is that these events require the well-mannered and mature behavior of everyone who participates if they are to continue, and you’re clearly not at that level. Don’t bother apologizing either. We’ve had enough. Here is a company consistently giving all exotics owners a bad name. We see a car pulling up with your crap on it, we’re turning it away. Go live in Fresno.

And to the pack of Audi Twits…

We also had a problem with a group of equally jejune Audi owners parked at the west end of the south lot who then showed their own lack of sensibility by driving around the mall followed by racing down Bear Creek. Go meet at one of your mom’s houses and take the bus so you don’t hurt someone. Talk about the girlfriends you wish you had.

We’ve notified RTC security and if we have to ban an entire class of Audis to make the point, we will. Let you deal with your brand-brothers and sisters who do respect the event. BTW, as for your post, we’re not, “Cars and Coffee” either.

What you asphalt-shaming nose-pickers fail to understand is that you tarnish the very brand you covet. This is like packin’ up the camp gear and headin’ into the woods to go huntin’ for your own foot, then blowing it off the second it moves. It’s that moronic! Friends, I’m afraid your stupidity rivals cheese! I just received a 25 pound bag of peanuts to feed the squirrels and every one of those peanuts is smarter than you.

Seriously, do you really think racing down Bear Creek impresses anyone not in a stroller? What…you have a toddler waiting for you… cheering you on because you see a rattle wave? You’re like kids on a swing set. Grow up!

Did it ever occur to you that there is an actual reason in addition to the class of cars that you’re not allowed in? As you’re sitting in your mom’s basement contemplating your life over a bowl of Rice Krispies, while waiting for her to give you gas money, ponder the cause and effect of what you just did. People often ask why we ban certain car models, and modded cars. The answer is you- because certain cars and bad behaviors go together. This is why. It’s right here in full demonstration along with all you rattler-waving toddlers who race down Bear Creek. Weeee! Impressive!

For you loyalists who know these kids, please try and reason with them…if that’s even possible. I know, it’s like talking to a radish. For God sake, please go park somewhere else, like Memphis. Well, we can only wish, right?

We are going to ask Redmond PD to keep an eye on your ass as we have photo with your license plates, just to simplify the paper work for the city. It’s jerks like you who ruin what we do, so we’re not letting up.

I’d much rather write about more pleasant things than the lack of proper upbringing that goes with car events, but it’s the territory we’re in. Shaming them here for the most part gets the point across.

We fully intend to protect the event, and we will kick anyone out who doesn’t treat the whole thing with the respect it deserves. People come from a very long way to participate in E@RTC and thousands of hours of volunteer time go into making it work and we’re not going to let a few diaper babies ruin it for all of us.

We will post again on Thursday afternoon, after we get the weather reports unless it’s obvious that we’re on or off. The reports come in around 3:30-3:45 and we make our decision shortly after, unless there are weather report conflicts, then we go watch them fight it out in a parking lot somewhere.

We're On And It's...Topless Day!

Yes, we’re on, and it’s going in the 80s on Saturday! Right after our season opener too! That’s never happened before. Two nice events in a row! This is like that hot prom date who says she’d go out with you again! How rare was that? Especially after what you did!

It’s expected to rain the following week, so this may be it for a while, so don’t miss this Saturday or you will regret it until you’re at least 70. If you’re already 70, you probably don’t remember last week so it doesn’t matter.

With a day this warm, we know what that means…the tops come off. No, not on Nick. We’ve already warned him. This means all the open top, open cars, cars with no doors, sides, roofs, come out in force. This is when we see the Arial Adams of the world and those cars that have no heater. You can tell by the hypothermic driver who shows up with lockjaw and is shaking like they accidentally Tased themselves on Bear Creek Parkway. Even after they park, they are twitching around the lot for a good hour.

On those really cold mornings when they venture out, they can’t get their fingers off the steering wheel until they warm up a little. They just sort of sit there and shake with a frozen grin. You see the tears of regret.

These warm mornings are when people bring some of the old and unusual stuff. It’s a bit more festive when it’s this warm for some reason. But, I have to warn you, as I’ve said before, those white hairy legs can scare you into therapy, so bring sun glasses. The men are even worse! Wear a big floppy hat. It makes you look sophisticated.

Even if you came out last week, you’d be surprised by the number of different cars that will show up this weekend. The true number of exotics in the Pacific Northwest is extraordinary and more come out every year. You’d never know it just driving around. There are a lot of things you never know just driving around, now that I think about it. It’s also driving around when I realized that a pastry was screaming my name much louder than the ballet studio…which softly said, “Reste à l'écart gros garçon!

Hey, a giant thank you to Jessica from Redmond Town Center for making us those extremely cool feather-flags for opening day. We love them more than our own pets! Thanks Jessica for all you do for us. You can all help us immensely by shopping at Redmond Town Center while you’re there. Starbucks isn’t the only place! Buy some drums for that late night drum circle on the beach! When was the last time you had a good harmonica?

Then there is BJ’s Restaurant right there. It’s become a popular spot with spectators. Sorry, I can’t help it… of all 676 two-letter combinations in the alphabet, they decide those two letters in that order are the best choice. Really? Okay. Wouldn’t you like to see some Bangkok back-alley rub-rub joint getting into a trademark fight? I’d buy the popcorn for that. I can’t imagine trademark confusion. “…ah, am I in the wrong place?”

The Archer should be opening soon and we can’t wait for that. They will be serving breakfast too! The photos are now up on their website so you can see what the rooms look like. Seems like a nice place. For those driving from far away, think about staying there the night before. We will be getting an E@RTC rate and will post that here on the blog.

Hope to see you all this Saturday!

Our Best Opening Day Ever...Ever! No, Really, Ever!

It was so great to see all of you on our opening day. We had an official count inside of about 480, but had a second backup row that we couldn’t fill, so we’d have maxed out at 500 or so. I’m guessing we had another 100 cars show up that we couldn’t get in because they hit that snooze button one too many times or couldn’t pick out that right pair of jeans that morning. You know, it’s not like you had to get up and rake or anything.

We had cars backed up in two rows, around the Microsoft building and down Bear Creek Parkway, yet we moved as fast as we could, and can only get you sorted as fast as your ability to back at an angle. Once we were full, that’s when we saw a bit of chaos as people were waved off in groups. It was like a botched carrier landing with flailing arms to get you to abort from three directions.

Spectators were in the thousands, and I can only guess at around 3-4,000 based on my counting a small section then extrapolating. Besides, nobody holds still. To get a real accurate count, we’d have to superglue everyone in place, then count who’s wiggling.

The volunteers did an extraordinary job and we had many that started this year. Thank you all! Jason did a lot of foundational work behind the scenes to get our new volunteers ready and we can’t thank them all enough for their contribution. They were outstanding. We welcome all of them to the family and we know all of you will make them feel right at home.

This event requires the help of a lot of volunteers and we’re now large enough that we have experts in key areas to make the whole thing happen. We all play our respective roles well and it’s fun to be a part of this group. Sean is extremely good at sorting cars and remains our resident expert. He is our sorting hat.

We had only a tiny number who showed up a little grumpy because they had to wait in line, but we were landing 500 cars as fast as we could, most in less than an hour in all in the right spots, so there. Some of you can’t park your car on your own at Safeway, so give it a rest! You know who you are! Don’t fib. You could just stay home and cook a nice piece of fish.

What I loved most was all the good humor and fun as cars arrived. The excitement is seeing so many people eager to get in and say hello to old friends while thinking about the additional chubbessence added over the winter. We know you think it. I could have been a fine gymnast if it wasn’t for my love of pastries.

Oh, we did have a small group of narcissistic self-absorbed BMW M-car owners go out hot in a row in spite of being reminded to slow down, not to mention our highly-collectable behavior card we freely give out upon your arrival. There they were, in spite of our warnings, scooting down Beak Creek like a toddler with a binky. Yeah, you did get a card. You know who you are, and we will further restrict certain cars if it continues. We still debate banning all M-cars for this reason. Some groups are just worse than others and have no problem ruining and event for everyone.

Opening day always brings those few, so we call them out. As I ponder this, I fondly recall that I took biology in both high school and college. It was a class I loved. I took it seriously. I never thought it was even remotely possible for a blow-up doll to give birth and raise offspring, but as you flew out, there you were.

On the flip side, most were very good about their entrance and exit and we can’t thank you enough. It means everything to us and it shows a high level of respect to all of those volunteers, spectators and participants who contribute to preserving E@RTC. You were brought up well. I saw a lot of faces of those who were with us from the very beginning who have been loyal to us for the last ten years. That a very big deal to all of us. Thank you!

Overall, it was the best opening day we’ve ever had and we now look forward to lots of Saturdays, so fill out those yard pass forms early. Limber that jaw. Paint the house if you have to! Do that thing they like.

I met a few who were there for the first time, and people such as Ibrahim who drove down with his mother from Vancouver, BC, just to take in the show. That’s dedication! I’m surprised how far people will drive just to attend and support the event. It’s why we do this. Thanks to all of you.

Last, a shout out to Vic who started this thing with me ten years ago. We’ve been through a lot getting this launched and up and running to this point and there were many out there continually betting on our failure. We’ve had a lot of laughs over the years and Vic remains one of the best event ambassadors we have. Vic is the calmest person I know, yet when I hear Vic got mad at anything, I take it seriously. Thanks for being a great partner from the beginning. Ten years!!!

The event belongs to all of us, yeah, some a little more than others, but we all work together to make it about having fun. Thank you!

Also, write us! We love hearing what you have to say. Let us know how we can make things even better!

See you next week!

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.