Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Memorial Day

A few friends came over on Monday and we grilled out. I had the first steak I've had in a couple of years. It was delicious. The highlight of the day for me was playing croquet with Wendell and Brigham. I used to love playing croquet during formative years with my Dad and Grandmother. We used to have some pretty spirited games. We had a few spirited games Monday also. I hope it's something we do now and then. I don't want this croquet set I bought to be a household item I only use once and then forget about. I was worried that would happen with my golf clubs and I've kept up with that so maybe croquet will work out as well.

Here's a shot of me and Brigham during one of our matches.

Monday, May 29, 2006

It makes me sad

I see that Barry Bonds passed Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list. When Hank Aaron did this I was too young to really appreciate his achievement. As a follower of baseball I read more about the history of than watch and follow the current game. I think I understand the statistics enough to know that someone passing Babe Ruth in total home runs should be one of the great sports stories of my life. But, due to baseball's apathy towards steroids (owners and players and reporters), I just don't care.

I've seen some quotes from current players saying that, no matter what, you have to appreciate what Barry has accomplished. The game has always been bigger than the players and owners, that is what makes baseball so endearing. It's a tragedy that the game wasn't bigger than steroids.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

don't watch!

Since I've mentioned racing on here more than a few times you might be considering watching some of the race Sunday night. If you have not watched a race and are curios please do not watch the race Sunday. First of all, it's the longest race they run which makes it a bad race to watch unless you are really into the sport. Second, NASCAR seems to be doing everything they can to make the race real long. A new surface, hard tires, and smaller fuel cells are going to make Sunday's race even more of a marathon. I'm really afraid we are going to see a few bad crashes like the one Kahne and Martin got into when there is side by side racing.

I may not even watch it myself after reading this. Humpy and his guys, NASCAR and Goodyear need to unscrew Lowe's Motor Speedway and do it right away. Charlotte is the best track they got, why mess with it?
Wonder no more

Just the other day someone asked me what soldiers in the field during World War I used for urinals. This is what I found to answer that quesion.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Middle of the week

It's the middle of the week and you can't help wonder why the recovery of that horse with the broken leg is being covered with an enthusiasm usually given people who are screwing Tom Cruise. Is this horse screwing Tom Cruise? Is this horse a follower of L. Ron Hubbard? I guess when your sperm is worth more than mercury whether or not you will coninue living is a big story.

I went by Borders today to check out their new gizmo that allows you to pick and choose songs to burn to a CD. The cost was around 8 bucks for seven songs and ninety nine cents per song after that. It's not a bad idea but the interface is clunky and the screen is too sensitive to touch and the audio snippets they offer of the songs are lo-fi. Offering low quality audio samples when you are trying to sell audio seems self defeating to me. Maybe they are worried that if they offer quality audio samples someone might bring a recording device with them and then bootleg high-quality thirty second samples of Black Sabbath songs. Or it could be bandwidth. All I know is if you have ten songs you know you want then it might be a valuable tool but if you feel like browsing then do it at home.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sleazier and sleazier

Prosecuting reporters for reporting on the administration's wrongdoings? Ah, what can you expect from the sleaze ball that rationalized torture?

I see another enlisted man is being prosecuted for prisoner torture. When are people like Gonzalez going to answer for their role in bringing back torture?

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Allstar race

As usual, last night I watched the NASCAR all-star race. It used to be called The Winston and now it's called something else much longer. Every year this once-exciting race just gets harder and harder to watch. It's become a wreck fest with interminable delays between the segments. It's just not fun anymore. The race consists of three segments and after the first segment the friggin' stinkin' Red Hot Chili Peppers played a song. Not only that, in a race that is short and brings out aggressiveness in the drivers they used a hard tire that seems designed to best serve long green-flag runs. Like restrictor plate racing, it's almost like NASCAR intentionally designed this race to have a big wreck. I guess aggressive driving and an inverted field wasn't a good enough guarantee, NASCAR made sure they got "the big one" with an inappropriate tire. I don't know if I am going to even bother next year. Last night was the second race in a row at Charlotte that sucked.

If it hadn't been for Robby Gordon driving in the open I might have fallen asleep before the end. His blatant disregard for his, or anyone else's, race car was truly a sight to behold. Three wide in turn one? Let's give it a shot. I was half expecting him to get his right side tires up on the wall and pass like he was Tom Cruise in "Days of Thunder."

It really is time to change the nature of this race and I have the perfect idea. I think they should leave Charlotte and take the race to Bristol. They should then completely change the format. They should run a series of ten to twenty lap shoot-outs and invite everybody: Busch drivers, Craftsman Truck drivers and a few regional champs to duke it out with the big guys. You could do it like the U.S. Open, if you have success at a high enough level then you can bring a car and test your mettle with the best. Each heat would have one or two Cup drivers and they would be on the pole, everyone else behind them would scramble for the last transfer spot or two. Heck, you could do this over two nights. It would be huge and could attract race car drivers from all over the country like the Daytona 500 used to. Just imagine a two night stock car shoot out championship at the coolest race track in the world? Surely there would be a Cinderella or two and people go crazy for those kind of competitors. I really should be in charge.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rainbows at the library

I went downstairs to buy a soda in the breakroom about 7:45 tonight. When I got back upstairs the downpour from earlier was now a steady rain. Looking out the windows behind the reference desk there was no rain, just dark steady-moving clouds. Sitting at the reference desk and looking across, out the windows opposite, I could see a golden rain lit by the sunset. I thought that there must be a rainbow in these conditions. I looked back out the windows behind the reference desk and, sure enough, a half rainbow arcing out of the trees and to the left out of sight. It's nice to have windows at work.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The porpoise is waving, goodbye, goodybe

Ah, god bless the RIAA. They keep jamming their heads further into the ground. It's a losing battle and they are fighting it horribly. Thank god for that, it'll end the recording industry sooner.

Monday, May 15, 2006

More on the race

I can't begin to tell you how fun it is to go to Darlington for a race. I wish you all would come next year. It would be fun. We'd camp out. Eat some food, drink some beers and then go so the race. Fun times. Scot Fowler in a recent Charlotte Observer column called Darlington the closest thing NASCAR has to a Wrigley Field or a Fenway Park. He's right, the place is just that cool. A big track in the middle of Nowhere, SC is where every Cup race should be held.

A few observations: I have a couple of pictures of that kid and his father that were next to us in my little photo essay. It really bugged me that they were there for almost the whole race and the child had no ear plugs in. That is so negligent on the father's part. It really distracted me for a while. Huffy did a cool thing. He let the kid where his radio headset for a while. He really appreciated it.

Unless you had a Nextel telephone, wireless phones were almost useless at the track. I understand that Nextel is the sponsor of the series but to shut out so many race fans that are trying to contact their friends is baloney. I can't get a signal and some guy using a Nextel phone walks by yakking into his phone is just a litte infuriating. Especially when you are trying to get together with a friend you don't see that often. Unbridled marketing turns NASCAR into a whore once again. The intentional denial of service to fans who pay eighty bucks to camp and eighty dollars for race tickets is a giant kick in the balls by those getting rich off your money.

Poor Jeff Gordon. He used to get so roundly booed during pre-race introductions. Now the bile directed toward him is nothing when compared to the hatred the fans turned on Kurt Busch on Saturday. Ever since Jimmy Spencer punched him in the face Kurt has been villain number one to the fans in the stands. Congratulations are in order. Like Gordon once said, "At least they are paying attention to you." The complete ambivalence shown a couple drivers was really funny. I think I would rather get booed than ignored.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ed and Huffy go to Darlington

I got back from the race in Darlington this morning. Last night was the second annual mothers day weekend Darlington night race. It was awesome. Here are a few photos.

We camped of course. Drank beer at the camp site. Of course. Here's Huffy getting ready for his first beer. Maybe his second. Possibly his third?


Me at the camp site. After a beer or two.


Guys walking across the sand from the liquor store next to the campground.


My favorite porta john.


Our campsite.


Me practicing pointing out trouble in turn one in my brand new Mark Martin t-shirt.


Now were are inside the track. Here fans give the finger to Kurt Busch.


Race fans.


The start of the race.


A few minutes later. Cars whizzing into turn one.


This cute kid sat next to us. He was with his father and neither of them were wearing ear plugs. The kid's going to be deaf before he is a teenager.


Father and son watching cars go by.


Guys in the grandstand above us.


Of course there was a fight.




The guy with no shirt being hauled off after causing the fight.


A few cars going by. Notice the number 6 car of Mark Martin.


The walk back to the campsite.


The morning after. Showing no sign of ill effects from the night before.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fascinating

There's a new Google tool which allows you to see how often a certain search term or terms are used in Google. During my independent research I discovered that the most popular member of KISS is roughly equal in searches to the least popular Beatle. Kinda puts Gene Simmons huge ego into a proper context.

More cell phone stuff

Yesterday and today I spent a lot of time calling people I know and harrassing them. I haven't harrassed Ms. Yockey yet. You're next, sugar.

I also downloaded a couple of ringtones. I couldn't help. Highway to Hell by AC/DC? Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden? How could I say no? I tell you, nothing beats the opening riff to Highway to Hell to alert you to an incoming call. Lawdy, it's nice.
I'm with Cap

Monday, May 08, 2006

The big news

Are you ready? OK, the big news is that I got me a cell phone. That's right, Troy is the only one left. I am going to hang with Troy on not reading the Da Vinci Code but I had to back out of the cell phone thing. Just to be a dick I tried to talk on my phone while driving today. Driving on a cell while driving with a manual transmission is really hard. I might have to go hands free.
The big news

Are you ready? OK, the big news is that I got me a cell phone. That's right, Troy is the only one left. I am going to hang with Troy on not reading the Da Vinci Code but I had to back out of the cell phone thing. Just to be a dick I tried to talk on my phone while driving today. Driving on a cell while driving with a manual transmission is really hard. I might have to go hands free.
Big dang news

I am going to purchase something during lunch that will rock your world. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

World War III?

Wow, just when you think he couldn't say something more idiotic. You have to be in awe of his ability of continuing to stick his foot so far in his mouth that it comes out his ass.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Nicely said

The 2006 and 2008 elections must be defined by three issues: The Constitution--DEFEND it; the war in Iraq--END IT; and national health care--PASS IT.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Surround sound question

Those of you with surround sound have you noticed, or is it just me, that the surround on CBS in inferior than the surround on Fox? By inferior I mean CBS sounds like shit compared to Fox. I first noticed this during football season. During Football games on Fox you could almost feel the crowd surrounding you while on CBS most of sound came out of the center channel (this was most noticeable during the playoff game the Panthers played in Seattle when I really cranked it up). Yes, when watching CBS, I even tweaked the settings. I don't get it. Why should there be such a difference? The only reason I can think of is that the Fox network makes an effort to ensure their surround is superb while CBS doesn't really care.

Speaking of surround, HBO sounds fantastic. Each Sunday, when I watch the Sopranos, I crank it up and revel in the awesome surround provided by HBO.
Some Youtube advice

One of my favorite searches on Youtube is to plug in the word "nascar" and then sort the search by date. If you do this starting on Tuesday what you will get are a few handheld shots of that weekend's race. Often you get a nice feel for what it is like sitting in the stands at a race. Watch for my video from Darlington on May 15th.

After watching a couple from Talladega I don't see why anyone would ever bother to attend one of those races. It's just a big pack of cars going by every 45 seconds. Boring.
The blogosphere was a-buzzin'

If you don't think that Stephen Colbert thing was a big deal, I received ten hits in a row from Technorati on that day from searches people did on Colbert. My hits almost doubled that day also. I see the NY Times finally did an article about Colbert's performance. I don't want to beat a dead horse but just the results from my blog show there was more interest in this event than you would gather from the newspapers. That's all. God bless the internet and, as always, our shitty president.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Mark Martin
I took this picture back in the first couple of years that they ran under the lights at what was once known at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. I don't know why I am putting it up. Maybe just because it's cool.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Mark vs. Talladega

We all know restrictor plate racing is a joke. I think that was established last year in a few tirades. I'll leave this restrictor plate tirade to my favorite driver Mark Martin: "It's ridiculous, it's way beyond angry -- it's stupid," he fumed. "It would be ignorant for me to be mad about it. It was one of the most fun places I ever came, in 1982 it was just a blast to race here. But in today's day and age, it's hard to have fun when you know that the pin is out of the grenade. "It's just a matter of time before it goes off," he said."
Again, with the paper?

In case you don't have enough to look at on the internet, I a have a letter in today's Charlotte Observer.
Stephen Colbert again

OK, I found links to the Stephen Colbert appearance at the correspondents dinner. I've sent these in an email to a few people. I think it's one of the most amazing comedic performances I have ever seen. It truly shows the power of comedy. I understand this is getting no coverage by the so-called liberal media. Too bad, it's genius.

Part 1.
Part 2.