Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


THIS BEGINS the fourth year of Many thanks to those who have made its composition so very satisfying. Today I offer a selection of past items and accompanying videos that were satisfying to me (and happened not to be automotive in character).


True, the first one, appearing May 7, 2015, is titled “Ferraris I Have Known,” however all three of these Ferraris qualify as non-automobiles. First, it was Signor Ferrari who ran the Blue Parrot, in competition with Rick Blaine’s Café Américan in the 1942 classic film Casablanca. Second, Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari was a composer of early 20th-century opera, his father German, his mother Italian.

And third, my favorite of the trio is Benedetto Ferrari, 17th century Italian composer, whose Amanti, io vi so dire (Lovers, I know you say) is sung so charmingly by Canadian soprano Peggy Bélanger with theorbist Michel Anger. Sit back and enjoy.


Soprano Peggy Bélanger and theorbist Michel Anger’s video of Benedetto Ferrari’s music.

Another musical item, originally here on February 12, 2015, and most timely these days, is the 1-Minute Opera Vlucht MH-370. It was on the Dutch TV program De Wereld Draait Door and performed by singers Nora Fischer and Martijn Sanders accompanied by the Dudok Quartet.


Vlucht MH-370, a 1-Minute Opera presented on Dutch TV’s De Wereld Draait Door (literally “The World Keeps Turning,” figuratively “The World is Going Crazy.)”

The performance of this 1-Minute Opera is all the more haunting in light of recent recovery of a wing panel from the missing Malaysian flight washed ashore on Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean.

I especially enjoyed preparing the July 16, 2014, “Son of Director’s Cut” and its related items on the 1876 Otto Silent Engine. In particular, computer-modeling the Otto using GMax software was great hours-gobbling fun.


Wayne Grenning’s restored 10 HP Schleicher Schumm engine.

I recommend the video of Wayne Grenning operating his restored 10 HP Schleicher Schumm slide-valve engine, a kin of the Otto. Note the husband/wife interaction around the 5-minute mark.

The August 9, 2013 celebration of Peter Ustinov touched on the multiplicity of talents possessed by this English polymath. Especially fascinating is his fantasy conversation with Russian novelist Feodor Dostoevsky.

Last, what with actress Maureen O’Hara as part of it and my own personal involvement, I had fun researching the Grumman Goose item offered on September 23, 2014.


Antilles Airboat Goose sets down on St. Thomas Harbor.

I took the item’s embedded video of an Antilles Airboat Goose setting down in St. Thomas Harbor back in the 1970s. As I said concerning the website item’s musical score, “Come here! Get down!”

I’d offer hints on future SimanaitisSays topics, but like a dear lady once noted, “How ever am I to know what I say before I say it?” ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2015


  1. Peter Ginkel
    August 13, 2015


    Congratulations on your fourth anniversary of Your musings have been a welcome tonic each morning!

    Pete Ginkel

  2. J Perry Arnott
    August 13, 2015

    Four years – and I didn’t find your blog until a few months ago. I feel cheated. I enjoy all of the anniversary links, of course, but I particularly appreciate the one to the Ustinov conversation with Dostoevsky. That allowed me to find the link to Ustinov discussing (in German, unfortunately) the Maserati Quattroporte, one of the most beautiful car designs ever. I hope you’ll keep up the blog for many years to come.

  3. Frank Barrett
    August 14, 2015

    Dennis, thanks very much for being so consistently excellent. Nearly anyone can start a blog (or a magazine, for that matter), but it takes real dedication to provide fresh material regularly for four years!

  4. simanaitissays
    August 14, 2015

    Many thanks to you all. As noted, this “begins the fourth year.” In all candor, it’s only the third anniversary of But who’s counting? It’s a ball to put together.

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