A Glorious hello to all! The race is only 47 hours away (maybe a bit less) and there is already much to talk about.
First and most importantly, congratulations to this year's reining Rutabaga Queen, Queen Dyna Might! She was glorious last weekend at the Rutabaga Ball. We will be talking to her at 10am on Saturday from the Plaza to kick off our live coverage of the race!
I have also been to the lab to see what our friends are up to there. Ken, June and Duane all have new sculptues (art) this year. And there are some other familiar faces. Ken's machine is the Hookah and Ladder engine 420, because, "Where there's smoke, there's firemen." They are racing not acing this year with a large crew of pilots. They are also going to action off one of their fireman's hats along the way. Look for the silent action sheet, and you could own a piece of kinetic history. They will be splitting the money raised equally between Kinetic Universe (the wonderful people who are putting on the race) and the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Dept.
Duane has resurrected his Surf and Turf machine and has given it a new skin of recycled aluminum. Be on the look out for his depiction of Ken and the fire engine (just like Duane always puts, "Ken is a nerd" on every kinetic poster--try to find it in this year's.) And be sure to look out for the fire emanating from somewhere near the top! (Burning Man has had its influence on Duane.)
June's machine this year is Gladys. She is a green giraffe with a cold. Naturally she is wearing high heeled pumps covered in red rhinestones. June is a master at bringing movement to her creations, so expect Gladys to do a lot of different things. June does warn us that because she has a cold, you won't know when Gladys bends down if she will cough or give you a kiss, so have your hankies (and red lipstick) ready!
Also coming out of the kinetic lab this year are a couple of young pilots who used to race with Duane. You may remember Jenn being trapped under the dragon when it flipped in the bay. She and Billy are not only back, but upping the ante with a machine of their own. It is "Dia de los Tacos" and it looks like a taco truck being driven by skeletons. Look for the ofrenda (altar) in the back. They are promising a "surprise" at the beginning of the race. (I'm hoping they will be selling tacos from the machine!)
I don't know what Fun Guy! is up to. He was attending his wife's graduation from HSU the day I went by, but we know it will be big, bold, loud and wonderful (just like he is.)
And finally, I was contacted by Michael (you may know him from the Peace Peddler of old) about his machine this year. They will be the "Sprocket Brothers" and these private eyes will be solving a mystery in three acts along the race this year. Here is what they sent to me:
Sprocket Brothers, Private Eyes
The Mystery of the Freelove Circus Animals
It was early spring in Arcata when Shea Freelove, Ringmaster of the internationally famous Freelove Circus, contacted Sprocket Bros…Private Eyes for some help with a problem he was having over at the Circus. Something was quite wrong with some of the animals. It seems as though Tina the Elephant, a normally cooperative and entertaining member of the circus family had been acting out in some unusual and disturbing ways. She had begun making a lot of noise, trumpeting about going rogue, intimidating the spectators, being totally uncooperative with the other animals and their human friends. Eeyore, the singing donkey, who was usually very cooperative and humorous and outgoing was hiding in his stall and acting down-right depressed and scared. He kept muttering under his breath something that sounded kind of like “My balls, my balls, I can’t find my balls.” Well, needless to say, this is a problem for a ringmaster that needs to have a smooth running show with all the animals getting along and helping out with making the spectators happy. Well, as the saying goes, he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. Free tickets to the circus, a little clown, Giusseppi, to help us solve the mystery, and all the peanuts we could eat. Well, we never like to admit that we will work for peanuts, but, hey, we got Giuseppi, too. So that’s how it began. Axel and Ring O. Sprocket…the Sprocket Bros were on the case. We immediately started getting the Sprocketmobile ready for another adventure. Giusseppi would need a place to ride, we would need to make it fit in with the circus entourage so we could go undercover to solve the mystery, and it needed to be really cool! As we got more and more closely associated with the circus family we started to realize there is some serious funny business going on over there. It isn’t easy to make sense of something as silly and funny as a circus, what with the dancers, fire breathers, fire twirlers, drummers, band people and the animals. It was a zoo over there. With the next big event coming up….The Kinetic Grand Championship…Shea needed answers and solutions-FAST. So that’s how Ring O and I ended up entering this highly irregular competition on a quest for clues.
Thus unfolds the Mystery of the Freelove Circus Animals. This is a play in three acts…Day One, Day Two, and Day Three…culminating with a solution in Ferndale to restore order and harmony to the circus family.
For the Glory!