The hallowed entrance to a Barnes & Noble as seen through the Minnesota-esque windshield of the beloved Tacoma.
Yet another case in support of my insanity entitled "The Tacoma". Who would, during a less-than-ideal financial climate, fly to Seattle to purchase a new 2015 Toyota Tacoma and drive it 3,000 miles back to New York City? The fact that 15 is my second favorite number and it was the only manual transmission SR left in the entire U.S. does not seem reason enough. I'll skip raving about the phenomenal Michael's Toyota of Bellevue with it's extraordinary staff; it's generous use of Volga Blue granite; cavernous eat-off-the-floor lobby featuring a 33inch-tired, Revtek-lifted Tacoma INSTALLED BY THE DEALERSHIP. Here is a state-by-state recap:
- Washington: What right-minded person wouldn't seize the opportunity to photograph a brand new Tacoma next to a Tacoma, Washington sign? Who cares that it's an hour in the wrong direction from the dealership and there's 5 solid days of driving ahead? Who knew that the car on fire on the highway ahead would result in 2 hours of stop-and-go traffic and an irritated clutch-foot bunion? Settling for a boring shot in a gas station parking lot beside a "Port Of Tacoma" sign, heading east was no picnic either. Since half the state is on fire, interstate 90, the only road out, was being closed.
- Idaho: Pausing in a wind vortex in front of a Love's to view the surrounding scenery - all sixty feet of it, which is as far as you can see in the blinding sandstorm that has been sandblasting the unprotected new vehicle for an entire day. Not to mention electrostatically coating every square inch of surface of the interior and everything inside it in an ultra-fine brown powder as well as hair, eyes, lips, throat and lungs.
- Montana: More of the above - all 551 miles of it.
- North Dakota: It's the first day travelling with "Recirc" off and not having the cabin immediatly fill with smoke and dust. The yellow stone rock formations make the 352 miles fly by, appropriately ending in a visit to Fargo.
- Minnesota: What is perceived as an approaching rain shower turns out to be a storm of mosquitoes and black flies the size of small birds. They seem to prefer lurking near the hotel entrance or it's walking path on the Mississippi River, or the Tacoma.
- Wisconsin: Smooth sailing other than the alarming discovery of an apparent travellers' collection of fridge magnets of all the states and provinces.
- Illinois: Trucks. And the unexpected ultra-dive Days Inn of Alsip.
- Indiana: More trucks. Brief oasis in South Bend to visit the beautiful architecture of Notre Dame.
- Ohio: Using every excuse in the book to stop at truck stops and search for the missing fridge magnets to complete the collection.
- Pennsylvania: Trees. 344 miles of them. No major cities. Road was cut through to provide a corridor from Ohio to New York
- New Jersey: After driving all day every day for days, why not take a side trip to Lodi, NJ to analyze in person the differences between the three polycarbonate glazing options offered on insulated glass garage doors?
- New York: Traffic.
And the Grand Finale: The DMV and it's out-of-state licensing hell. There is nothing casual about New York City or it's DMV. The beloved Tacoma now sits parked on a well-deserved rest for an undetermined length of time while repeated attempts at providing the ever-changing required documents go unheeded. Latest: a Power Of Attorney from Toyota Motor Company to allow to sign on their behalf - not joking.
Despite all, feeling very lucky!! No: running out of gas; flat tires; overheating; beverage spillage; skunks; hail; pine-tar; locusts; urinating dogs (that I'm aware of); accidents; theft; vandalism.

Company Name of the Month:
UnStable (thoroughbred racing stable, Fairport, NY)

Word of the Month:
Lunacy (intermittent insanity; extreme foolishness or an instance of it)