12-22-07 » Merry Christmas! Clipper work during November kept me pretty busy. I kicked out a 76 hour work week, and a 59 hour week over Thanksgiving. T-Day was sort of subdued, Amanda went to her parent, and I worked in the AM and went to Aunt Joy's in the afternoon. Adriana and Mike couldn't come this year. The rest of the month, well I don't remember.
In December though, I made a huge batch of rumballs with black walnuts. They are very pungent compared to normal walnuts. I also made lemon cookies, a small batch. Amanda helped me With those, she's a sweetie. She made some mince meat type of cookies. They' are different. We watched Elf. Rudolph, White Christmas, the usual classIcs. No Wonderful Life yet. We'll see A Christmas Story on TV on xmas day I guess, at Amanda's parents place.
At work, the teams decided to have a decorating contest. It was simply amazing. Every wall covered in printouts, decorations, gingerbread. wrapping paper, cotton snow, elves, reindeer. You name it. Lots of color printouts, wrapping paper, brown paper. A flammable nightmare! Plus it's surely an environmental disaster. But it's in good fun, and we did not have a Halloween contest at work this year, so I won't begrudge teams some good fun. But seeing how much of that stuff was thrown out was pretty sad. In work got new recycling containers to pick up bottles and cans at war outside dumpsters soon too! I am looking forward to Spring and planting some trees at work.
Which brings me to my housing development's tree project. I got finally got that approved. Me and 9 neighbors who will plant a total of 13 trees along with me. Well it's actually 15 tree. ON lady is sort of doing her own planting. We will have lots of pine trees and some Maple trees. I feel proud to have the project get done and feel like I did a good thing for the planet. Plus trees should help with wind and shade, hopefully help everyone's heating bill will go down a tad.
11-4-07 » In September I was at Summit Point for a second time, and Dad came along to video tape. That was awesome to have to cool vids of me driving on track. I had a really good time but wasn't pushing quite as hard as before in some areas and braking a little sooner, but I did pick up significant speed in other areas of the track. Again there was a lot of traffic that held me up. I really should get signed off nex time I go. The weather was overcast all day and threatening to rain. At the very start of the last heat it started to mist, then by the middle of the heat it was wet enough that I felt the car stepping out just a tiny bit in corners. I had to pull it in and stop, I don't need that kind of stress (or damage). Dad helped change tires quick. Thankfully I am used to changing brakes also and it's a quick job. On the drive home though it poured down on us. I was sort of dismayed about that, having to drive the TA in such bad weather. I never wanted to drive it in rain ever if I could help it, but well, I rolled the dice on the day and thankfully it was the drive home and not first thing in the morning at the track.
Amanda and I got the save the date wedding cards designed and will have them mailed soon, I hope. We've talked about registry stuff. My tree planting campaign for the development finally got going as well, I talked to almost all the homeowners about it and had positive response. Just last Friday I got a call from the last person I really needed on board and he is a go also. Now I will have to get on Roots (tree nursery) to get me a plan and avoid any utility lines underground. At my own house, I planted some new little bushes underneath the front windows, to replace the dead azaleas.
Work in October had a nice double OT week, and I took full advantage. Then I had plans to spend all the extra money quick. Uh oh! Last Friday and Saturday I went to a racing school, Formula 101. That was in Hershey and is kind of like a mini-autocross and road course combined. There are 2 tracks, you get about 10-12 laps on each in little Indy-car like racecars. I did the gold certificates for John for several years and had some time in a car before. But I did 2 full days this year. What great fun! Very challenging! I could have raced those cars for an hour (or until my arms gave out). I could really feel myself building more speed on each lap and testing the limits of braking and turning and trying to get on the gas sooner at each corner. I thought I was doing pretty well. I got first prize on Friday and Saturday for the "shootout", which is a timed competition of 5 laps on the course. I was more than 1.5 seconds faster than the next person on Friday, and 3 seconds faster than the 2nd place person on Saturday. I also got 2 very large nice cup trophies, better than any autocross award ever given! I also won the "cat & mouse" round, where 2 cars are on opposite sides of one course and the goal is to see who can close the gap to the other car. Friday the Central Penn Business journal was there and did a story on F101, and took my picture when I won the c&a round and had the checkered flag. On Saturday during the timed shootout laps I was pushing so hard, trying to brake super hard and late, I almost threw it all away (ie., spun out or hit cones). That happened once in my warmup laps and then twice during my timed laps I think.
In September I went with Amanda to the York Fireman's Parade and helped out and took pictures. It was a lot of waiting and then a short parade. Parading is kind of tough, especially if you are in a walking unit. My friend Mike Miville had a surprise birthday party at his house, he was out helping build an 'extreme makeover' house during the day and was kind of tired then. And not fully surprised.
The last autocross of the year was rainy on Saturday. I didn't race. Sunday was nice. I had a lot of fun, my race tires are officially shot and dried up, so I was intentionally doing wheelspin and burnouts on each corner. I won my class again, mostly from lack of competitors. Which is OK because I would lose sorely in another region, due to my lack of hardware on the car. The fall drive went off easily this year, it was only 2 cars, us and Ken Taggart and Barb. We drove up to Shamokin and back on twisty roads and had a nice day. Too bad John can't make it any more.
Well November and Fall are officially here, so I'll be working lots. I'll try to catch up with the blog again later. If you need xmas gift ideas check the link at the top of the page for both me and Amanda!
9-12-07 » I forgot to add from the last month, this story that might make you laugh. When Amanda's parents came for dress shopping with her, Dad (in-law-2b) and I were going to get my Honda from the shop and go to Lowes (guy work, you know). Before we left, Rolf ran under the bed and hid. I guess he's still a little scared of newcomers. So I had to get the vacuum cleaner and flush him out of the bed. And I closed the doors and we left. When we got home, maybe 2 hours later, Houdini ran out of the bedroom! UGH! I thought the vacuum would have scared him out also. And he decided to leave me another nice pee spot on my bed. The cat is lucky he still lives.
I washed the comforter and sheets but had to scrap the mattress pad and we got a new one. Thankfully its the totally waterproof kind. But the ultimatum for the cat was either GO as in leave the house forever, or get a collar with a cat alarm on it so I can find them. Additionally the bottom of the bed got sealed up, and Amanda found some short range beepers-on-keyrings that we promptly mounted on collars for the
rodents felines. We press a remote control button and they go 'beep beep beep'. So no more losing the critters before I leave the house.
9-8-07 » Big winnings! I won an award at the Clipper meeting last week. It was good to get 'the triangle' and be recognized for my cool work and programs I make. That also entitles me to go on the trip to an all-inclusive resort next year! They speculated it would be in Dominican Republic, but not for sure. I don't have a date for it either, except in other years it was late March to late April. Hm... just before the wedding! Can we make it a "pre-honeymoon"?
So I also won a prize in the raffle! My old little digital camera finally crapped out for good about a month ago. I hadn't gone to buy a new one. Last week Amanda had a funeral to play at and we were going to buy a new camera Friday. But at the Clipper meeting I won the raffle for a new Canon ELPH camera! How fortuneate! It's the teeny tiny camera about the size of a deck of cards.
We had the big PA States autocross last weekend. Check out some pix. Heres one of me, and some more and more. I only came in 3rd overall, we had some 'outsiders' come in and whip us all. The weather was fantastic both days!
On Saturday night we went to my friend Richard Wildman's wedding. That was a fun time. It was about average size. The DJ did some crazy funny things. I ended up playing air-drums in the middle of the dance floor. Also I got the garter, and Amanda got the flowers by twist of fate/luck. Originally a 9 year old girl got the flowers but the DJ made her give them to someone else, and a lady from our table told her to give them to Amanda.
In less good news, the Honda needed major work. The exhaust pipe rusted off just behind the catalytic converter, and sounded like "WWWAAAAAAAHHHHHHH" so loud I could barely think. Then 2 days later, the engine didn't run right. So I got a new pipe, and new distributor for a bill of over $900. Ugh.
In other fun racing news, I drove over to Hanover for a go-karting series with SCCA. We had a 1-hour endurance race on a 20 second track. About 12 teams of 2 guys. My co-driver couldn't make it 2 nights! One night I had someone drive with me. He had a limp arm and his driving wasn't as good as other folks. The other night I did the whole hour by myself. I had a great time but my arms were ssooooooo tired by the end. It's hard work turning the wheel on the karts. They require a lot of effort, and turning once every 3 seconds really is work. But I made it up to 4th place finally. I was really putting in some fast laps for a while and had some good stretch of open track sometimes. Here's some pictures of that on the first night.
Amanda and I took some pictures of her playing bagpipes in a little woody glen in town. She doesn't have 'good' pictures of her playing. Usually it's at a parade or competition. But these we could do makeup and hair and pose them nicely. We had fun time and got some nice photos. I put 2 on her page on the site, see the links on the left sidebar here. She also put on some fancy heels and did some other less traditional poses. I like those a bit more.
7-7-07 » Transformers x2 today! Yep saw it a second time, it was that good! The only mild criticism I have is that I would have like to have seen more pulled out shots and glamour shots of the 'bots, 'bots fighting, cars rolling, etc. Some super fight scenes were very intense (good) and shot in the first person-shaky-cam sort of view. It was a little bothersome, from the "I want to see the 'bots" perspective. Plus they could have been a litte simpler so the 'bots themselves weren't so difficult to see what was going on, or how they were constructed. That aside, the movie flowed well, had a ton of great action, and made sense story-wise. 3.75 stars!!
Today we went to see Ratatoille at the theatre, it was a fun movie. Tomorrow is TRANSFORMERS day! We got early tickets and will go with some other friends from work! I love TFs, I had a lot of them as a kid. They were great fun. I hope the movie lives up to my expectations.
6-26-07 » A wedding date is finally picked, MAY 24, 2008 (Saturday of Mem. Day Wknd)
6-13-07 » In the news this week: I had a very bad case of hard drive data corruption. All my images of my Trans Am and related technical documents and documentation of modifications were lost. Thankfully I had a backup drive, but I had erased the images from there! Luckily, using some drive recovery software I was able to get the files back.
Last weekend the parents finally got to meet. We had steaks and salad here at the house. It went pretty well. We walked to Rita's for some ice cream and continued to chat.
Amanda and I will be visiting a bunch of wedding venues soon to pick a place to go and to nail a date down and then we can massage the guest list. She is going dress shopping in July so her mom told her to get a date so there's no more guessing.
In car news, I have to have the TA worked on for the oil sump switch. Seems like its going bad. I'm investigating my project MR2 diesel car options and things look... moderate. Sponsorship aside, will the engine I'm eyeing really do the job? Not sure, my goal is 50+ mpg but also be faster than my TA. Well, faster requires about 225+ hp/torque. Not sure if a diesel engine is gonna be up to the task of meeting both of those goals, at least not my 177/295 motor, even in a light littler car like the 2.
5-27-07 » Amanda's almost totally moved in now, during what was a busy weekend. We did some moving Friday night, then Saturday we did some organizing, and went out to dinner. When I came back in the house, my grey cat ran out of the bedroom. Uh oh, bad news! Cat peed on the bed. So off to the laundromat to wash the comforter and pad until late hours. Sunday we went to Amanda's FonkFest music fest all day. It was very hot there, and not much breeze. I ran home to get some CFL bulbs for the house exchanged and pick up our swim suits. We swam for a while and cooled off, and then enjoyed more fonky music (more like blues-ey). A thunderstorm rained on the barn but didn't dampen the blues. It was a fun time but long and tiring. Sunday we moved more stuff, went to a bbq at my parent's place, then moved some more! It's almost done now!
5-20-07 » Amanda's moving has moved into third gear. We got the big furniture moved last week. Amanda has her room painted and is moving her books and stuff in.
I've got my new computer set up, and already have trouble. My old LaCie drive seems to have burned out my Firewire ports. So mad. Now I have to try to get a new motherboard or something. The good news is its fast. My new programs have been updated for Adobe CS3. Racing season is here and I had to cancel my first track day. It was supposed to be rainy, so I cancelled. It ended up not really being rainy, but I needed the day to get my programs built and get some rest. Autocross this year is really hit and miss, we are having lot problems, maybe more events will be at Park City if the other locales drop out.
Check out some pictures from Lockport, NY.
4-14-07 » Big time in the Big Apple! The annual but last NYC bus trip was great success, high five! The usual plan is to see the Auto Show, but this year I went up and got engaged to my sweetheart Amanda! At the top of the Empire State building even. After a criminally long wait to get up, it was worth it to pop the question. Amanda was sort of shocked since she did not think it would happen up there, after I asked if she just wanted to cut out of line and leave before reaching the top. There was a lot of hugging kissing and some crying (in a good way) then. (More photo gallery)
Some additional answers to your questions: No there's no date picked. No color scheme. Yes, I was rather nervous. We talked about ring design but we did not shop together for it.
The day was mostly shot then, time-wise, so we sped through the Auto Show, which honestly was not as good as other years anyways. The other bright spot of our day was riding on some free rickshaws first thing to get over to the ESB. A tip about the ES Building- if you are going there, get tickets online ahead of time. Skip at least half of the line. Or even spend the extra money for the 'fast service' ticket and cut to the front of the whoooole line.
4-13-07 » So much to tell you, so little time to blog! Exciting news, "the Bed" has been built and we are happily sleeping upon its softness. It's a great design and worked out well, except for painting of the curved headboard. I'm just not too good with brush on paint and it got ugly. Amanda swooped in and fixed it up. "Constructing" a SleepNumber bed is interesting. I find that I like it very smooshy, a number 25. Lets me sleep on my side comfortably.
Amanda will be moving in soon and that will consume a lot of time in April and May. Already we have a lot of weekends used up in bagpiping. I am wondering if it will ever be warm here, I have racing scheduled for early May that I might have to bump. I'll be getting a new computer soon and though that won't change a lot of things I do, hopefully it will speed them up and let me get done with things sooner.
3-07-07 » Work on the new bed is moving along. Woodworking is sorta fun. This new bed is gonna be great. I think I'm finally keeping my cats off my furniture sufficiently. Some beeping alarms and an army of stuffed animals seem to do the trick. Autocross season is getting off to a bumpy start with events getting cancelled or rescheduled. Ugh. I gotta get to some DC events again this year. Wintery weather still has PA in its grip but I am hoping for a warm April to get the TA out soon. Battlestar Galactica's timeslot is now Sunday nights and I'm nearly forgetting about it. Plus I hope they start moving things along. They'll not get home in 4 years at this rate. Heck even Trek:Enterprise got killed after only 4 years and that was not even on cable. I have less patience for TV than before.
2-14-07 » I love you all for visiting! Today we are getting slammed with a big winter storm, as most of you probably already know. I managed to crack my Honda's windsheild while scraping/banging hung amounts of snow off it. Not a big crack and not in the middle, but still it makes me a little peeved. Amanda and I went out swing dancing/lessons Monday night before the storm. Boy I need more practice. But we had fun. I'm planning out building a new bed frame soon and getting a SleepNumber bed, the current one is getting a little too saggy for our better health.
I'm wondering what I should do to trim down this home page. Archive content by date? Just delete? Keep up and make the biggest home page ever?
1-09-07 » Apple introduced it's next great killer hardware, the iPhone. Too bad it won't be here for 5 months. I think it's more phone/PDA than iPod, and I was waiting for just the big screen iPod itself. In the meantime, I finally bought myself an 80GB iPod. I also finished wiring up my house with all the ethernet cables I installed when I moved in last week. 17 ports total in the house. Every room with at least one jack except the bathrooms and garage. Next up: new PowerMac for me!
1-01-07 » Happy New Year! Amanda and I had a great time at her parent's place for several days. We opened gifts, had some good dinner, looked at Christmas lights, watched some Christmas movie, and went to the Air & Space Museum. For New Year's we went to my cousin's place in Annapolis. We had a great time listening to some music and getting salsa lessons. Amanda played her bagpipes on the street at an "open mic" stage and had a good crowd gather, then she hung out with the bagpipe band and played with them at the square. We toasted at midnight inside, it started to rain at 11.30. We had a fun weekend! Pictures and some movies of Amanda playing.
12-21-06 » Merry Christmas to all.
I made some special cookies in honor of Champ Car.I tried to use the cookie caulk gun, but the shape was difficult to cut in the aluminum form, and did not really make a good looking shape. I then just used some brass and made a 'regular' cookie cutter and rolled out the dough.
11-17-06 » Coolest movie of the year: The Fountain
11-11-06 » Congratulations to the Democratic Party! Congratulations to AMERICA! Congratulations to everyone for making a good rational decision, one that will help balance the country again. I salute you, voters! Be you hard core Democrat, or Republican who is fed up with how unresponsive & subversive the administration has been, thank you. Let's put America first! Freedom Forever!
10-13-06 » Day at Summit Point Race Track
I spent a day at Summit Point to be able to drive the Trans Am at 'full power'. Autocross is fun, but driving at 5/10ths or 7/10ths at 40-115 mph on a dedicated big track is a whole lot more entertaining! PIX HERE!
I was in the novice group, and had to, of course, get the classroom instruction with Greg "the drill seargent", who would bust chops on everyone, even for giving the correct answer. I responded to 'what is the blue flag with yellow stripe' and he mocked me for my correct answer in a tone like like "I'm a preppie guy who knows it all" then proceded to tell me I'd see a lot of them (ha ha, um, NOT) and called me "Trans Am guy" thereafter. Some late comers really got the shaft. Later in the next classroom session some guys were confused about what was going on and decided to stay outside instead of joining us.
We were given a score-card for our instructors to grade us on the track. My instructor, Frank, drove my car around the track a couple laps to give me an idea of how it was. I had studied the course layout for the past week or so and sort of knew where it went, but not how to drive it. So then I got in, and we put on a headphone system to talk to each other.
I went out and got the feel of the road. I started 'slow' and was working my way up to speed in later sessions. I was able to drive the car in 4th gear on the whole track, I had enough torque down at the slowest parts, maybe about 40 mph, and was just going to hit red line at 110 mph on the front, but I wasn't fully pushing it there. Turn 1, at the end of the front straight, was pretty slow and tight, a full on braking zone. It opened right up into a fast semi-curved accleration zone (with an allowed passing area). Then the uphill section comes. It's a strange turn in area, where I was coming it at about 80mph and I had to start turning in early, then hug the left curb, let the car slide to the right a little bit, as I go over the crest of the hill, the car slides, or I let it, slide to the right and roll over the right side curbing. Then is a long downhill, and I set up to the left side of the track and turned right while also putting more power on. It seems counter intuitive, one usually brakes before the turn, but this is a more gentle turn than it looks and by adding in more power helps the car plant. It another 80-90 mph zone. Then immediately comes a left hand tight turn. Literally as soon as I was through turn 5 I was full on braking, and hugging the inside of the left turn, very slow, slowest part of the track. Then the carosel turn is next, and I swing the left and set up a long long long right hand turn, hugging the left outside curbing, picking up just a tad bit of speed. Turn turn continues and I touch the right side curbing, turn to the left and hold the left edge of the track, and the go right and uphill into the back straight. Under the bridge I think I'm hitting 90+ mph again. The last turn needs a little brake, and is pretty fast and goes onto the front straight.
On my 3rd and 4th heats I shifted into 5th gear on the front, and pulled it up to about 115 on one of my last fast laps. I was also taking it down to 3rd gear in turn 5, the slow one. I can't easily heel-toe because the pedals on the TA are too far apart, I had to let off the brake to blip the gas. It made for a slower braking time, but hey I wasn't there to drive 10/10ths anyways.
In my first heat I had one of the guys from SUSQ spin his Neon right in front of me. On the third heat, a guy in a GTO spun at turn 2 off in the grass but no harm. We had a black flag while he got back to the pits. In another group, a guy put his yellow Elise off and banged up the rear suspension.
In all I had a total blast! It was great fun. I had that nervous "I gotta pee" feeling just before I went out (a good thing, means its exciting), but that went away pretty fast. I was trying to stay calm most of the time. The front straight gave me time to totally relax, relax my arms and legs, look at the guages, and not worry.
The entire time, I had no brake problems all day. Thanks to Scott for giving me the Hawk brake pads, they were awesome as soon as they warmed up. The brake ducts I built early in the year worked great too, when I came in and put my hands next to the discs they were warm but not burning up. Brake fade was unknown to me all day as well. I did have a bit of ABS action on turn 5 a couple times, and in my 3rd heat the ASB-INOP light, E-BRAKE-on light, and LOW TRAC light all lit, but everything still worked OK. Next heat they were reset. In the 4th heat I had Check Engine Soon light come on, but still everything ran fine. I had that light on until I parked the car at home, so I think an O2 sensor was having a fit due to dumping so much gas for so long, or maybe the octane boost I added.
I had a couple laps where I was stuck behind a slow car, and sometimes it seemed like they were just ignoring me. I got a pass signal by several cars at the end and had clear track for my last laps of the day.
Overall I enjoyed being able to drive at fast speeds and really feeling like I was driving professionally. I got pretty good marks on my scorecard, but the reward was just being there. Experiencing real track driving, at speeds way over autocross speed, and way over speeds I'd ever hit on backroads, was awesome.
Here's me in the 4th heat:
10-2-06 » I'm just back from my 4 day trip to Road Atlanta to see the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) 10 hour race. What a fun race that is to watch, and I get nearly 10 hours of it too! It's a bargain for dollars paid per hours of racing. Go here for the photo gallery!
Some stats: I shot about 743 pictures (but edited the gallery way down). It is about 733 miles one way from my house to Gainesville/my hotel, 1465± round trip. I used about ~38 gallons of gas and got around ~38mpg round trip. At one point I got 47 mpg on a tank!! My drive time home including stops was 11 hours 40 minutes, my average speed was 62.7 mph.
My trip to ALMS Petit Le Mans 2006:
The drive down was about 11.5 hours. I got stuck in some truck 'slow drag races' on the highway, 2 semi's side by side, not passing each other, for miles.
My hotel was nice, clean, and had a full mini-kitchen so I could store my cold stuff. I packed a bunch of food for 4 days and made due without having to dine-out or buy anything other than some more ice each morning. I took: a loaf of bread, 3/4 lb ham, some cheese slices, pepperoni, mustard, 6 gatorade, 8 waters, a premade sub sandwich (to eat on the way down without stopping to make a sandwich), 4 apples, 3 bananas, peanut butter, jelly, mayo packs, bag of chips, bag of tostitos, bag of twizzlers, oatmeal, and some pre-frozen big ice packs. All this for less than about $45.
Friday at the track was a chilly start. I took my girlfriend's mountain bike to pedal around. It really helps, the hills inside Road Atlanta are steep, and to get from one end of the track to another is about a mile. You have to walk uphill twice to get to the far end. I took in some practice of the Panoz series and IMSA lights and ALMS. The Speed World Challenge Touring Car race was on, I was cheering for our local SCCA driver Chip Herr, and saw him in the victory podium area. I really wanted to get the hat that Speed gives the winners, but he said it was already promised to a team member; understandable.
I wandered through the paddock area while drivers were doing autographs on posters, calendars, cars; the Corvette team had a huge line. During the Porsche GT3 race and IMSA lights race I was in the vendor area. I took some great pix during the morning session and then the afternoon ALMS qualifying. The Speed GT race was on in the afternoon, and there was some good action in that as well.
I was making a sun plot of the way the light hits the track, so I could shoot better. Take a look at this map for the best locations to shoot from and how the sun points at various times of the day. Last year most of my pix were into the sun and the cars were washed out, this year I was prepared and got at the right corners in the AM vs. PM.
On Saturday I got to the track extra early to get a decent parking spot. It was very crowded already! The sun wasn't even up. First thing in the morning there were parade laps by a group of Ferrari's, including and Enzo! Of course the speed was very low on track. ALMS warm up happened, and again some more good pix. I waited at the end of the pit lane to go on the traditional Grid Walk. ALMS series lets ALL fans go out and walk on the grid before the race, and it was a HUGE crowd this year, much more than last year. I sort of sped through, since I did it last year and got nice up close pictures, which I could not have done this time. I watched the beginning of the race from the turn 1/2 area, it was a good spot. After about 1.5 hours I went over to the back straight, then to the top of the hill at the esses. I saw Guy Smith have his car crash him coming up the hill. I went to the back end, turn 6, for some really great driver head close ups. Good thing they had a yellow so the cars were a lot slower! Even with a new digital camera, its hard to get a good photo.
I then watched from the back straight again. Those cars are so fast. Then I had dinner and hung out and watched at turn 10 as the sun went down and it got cool. Before the race was over I walked over to the pit area and the winner podium. I saw the last couple laps and saw the winners as they got their big silver goblets and had confetti shot on them. The Aston Martin team won GT1, and the driver did a doughnut right in pit lane for celebration. Well they deserve it, after Corvette has beaten them so often. I hung around till the very end and the teams were pushing the winning cars back into the paddock area.
Sunday was another long drive. I saw the start of a high-speed crazy pursuit, as a guy pulled off the highway and then into the wrong lane of traffic. On one of my tanks of gas, I was averaging 47 mpg! WOW. After almost 12 hours I rolled into home.
10-4-06 » Let's keep our news sort of unbiased. Check out Keith Olbermann on MSNBC. I'm not a fan of the "MS" part of the network, but they are more unbiased than Fox news.
9-19-06 » Confusion and Double-Thought. This was one of the prime concepts in the novel 1984. The government sought to keep the middle class 'subdued' with constant rhetoric and confused by conflicting ideas. Now this sort of thing isn't just limited to fiction. Let's look at some examples:
- The "War" on Terror (or Drugs): The so called 'war' is not a true war, neither of them are. The Drug War was started by Reagan to stop illegal narcotics from entering the country. But it's not a war that can be 'won'. Same with the terror war. You can't defeat terror, it will continue to pop up anywhere. Terror is a tactic. Drugs are a substance. War is fought against other people and countries. War is won when no more combatants are left, when they lay down their arms and acquiesce, or they all are dead. Then the victorious can take their land or have peace and leave, the defeated country no longer able to spread or harm. Terror is a tactic that is used by people. You can fight terrorists, but you can't stop acts of terrrorism; only prevent against them. Same with drugs, they will always exist in nature, you can't stop people from using them. [here, here]
- Roman Catholic policy: The policy of the RC faith, is that birth control and contraception is evil and should not be employed. Also, abortion is a sin and morally wrong. This is certainly a slightly veiled contradiction. They say "we love life and want everyone to have more babies even if you don't want them because you shouldn't plan ahead." This is certainly a conflicting concept. If you don't want abortions, then you should be for contraception and be a big proponent of it. Additionally, the church wants to help save third world countries, like India and countries if Africa. But with those countries having so many poor unfed unhealthy children, the church insists promoting abstinence and not contraception. So they continue to have children and spread AIDS and stay poorer than dirt, and die. [here, here] Honestly, I think that the church is subvertively 'anti-sex'.
- Koran, book of Islam: From what I know, certain aspects of the texts can be interpretted as any violence against other people as a crime, but other parts can be regarded as saying jihad should be taken up against any person not a Muslim. Thoroughly confusing. No wonder so many are ready to go to 'war'. [here, here]
9-13-06 » The most important movie of this decade: Why We Fight ; please see it.
Yes, we are responsible. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5335362.stm
Keith Oberman rips the Pres a new asshole (video clip)
TV commercial: Are we more or less safe after 9-11? (QT video)
8-21-06 » Amanda and I took a long weekend to Ocean City Maryland. The weather was perfect, about 85 and sunny. We laid on the beach, we splashed in the waves. We ate some good seafood and crabs, and ice cream! We went parasailing too, and that was awesome to be up over the beach, we saw dolphins too!
6-27-06 » In the news... I'm the very lucky winner of a trip to Toronto to see the Champ Car race!
I will have an interview and some pictures up on the Champ Car website after my weekend is done. It seems like I am going to get: A ride in the pace cars, a tour around race control, meeting with some of the drivers, VIP seating, pit access up close and personal to the drivers and the cars, and a new set of Bridgestone tires for my car! Wow this is gonna be great!
Wow it was great! Beyond belief! A full blog, lotsa pix!