So I’m 46 years old. I’ve been on hiatus from my “mechanical hobby”; restoring cars, for nearly three years. I’ve been doing this since I was 18, and sold off my last Citroen DS21, on January 18, 2005. On a self-enforced hiatus for two years, it’s been another year because the Ideal Ride that lurked in my head just never materialized.
Enter “Test Pilot Bill” in Phoenix. I’ve known him for years through my wife, Sheila. He is possibly one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet.
Last year by happenstance he showed me his newly acquired 2004 Triumph Bonneville that is absolutely perfect, low miles, and an H.G.-Welles-Time-Machine moment (I orginially attributed it to Orwell – forgive me!) with all the wonderful things about British bikes and none of their vices.
As I threw my leg over the Bonnie, something funny hit me. Kind of a “yeah… nice”. It fit not only my butt – it fit into my thoughts. Something deep inside me began eating away two of the four wheels that my Ideal Ride had always possessed. From that moment, I began to think of a motorcycle as The Thing to replace the Car Habit I had nurtured for more than 30 years.
I didn’t know if my search would result in a Triumph like Bill’s, but I knew that I would start on a journey of self-discovery and, as I write this, I couldn’t be more excited about anything I have ever undertaken.
Continue reading Getting back into Motorcycling: Embracing your Mid-Life Crisis — Part 1
The bar was set high before last Christmas dinner. We had spent a week in Rome, Siena and Florence at this point, and had driven between these towns, stopping at every espresso bar for coffee, and every restaurant to sample one thing — Spaghetti Carbonara.
It’s nothing like what you get at most run-of-the-mill restaurants, and even some so-called authentic establishments just fix you a plate of spaghetti and slather their “Alfredo Sauce” with some peas and quickly fried ham pieces in it. It’s going to take serious therapy to get out of my head what these authentic Italian Restaurants in my San Fernando Valley have prostituted themselves into . But, in our story, we were in Italy, were we not?
Sheila (my darling, patient wife) and I adore Carbonara, one of the simplest pasta dishes. Simple, but when made well, will blow the winter out of your system like a Breva in the Alps, fill your stomach with childhood memories and your eyes with adoring love for humanity. Spaghetti Carbonara is Italian Heroin — A really good portion will just make you feel so good that absolutely nothing else matters, and your craving for it will never end.
During last winter’s trip to Italy, we had sampled Carbonara in multiple locations in Rome, Siena, a small family diner in Montefiascone, and now Firenze. Continue reading In Search of Carbonara