Sunday, April 27, 2008

Racing update from VIR this weekend

I think this was the first weekend I've ever been to VIR where I wasn't racing or instructing...I was merely a spectator. I went on Saturday to watch Jason Saini run in the World Challenge Touring Car race. Sadly, before the race started, they were forecasting a bad storm with 60MPH winds and large hail that was to hit right in the middle of the race. I decided I didn't want to watch that bad and left. Turns out it only sprinkled at the end of the race with no big storm. Argh. Probably not a big deal since Jason started last thanks to a broken transmission in qualifying and could only work his way from 16th to 11th in the race.

Today I went back to watch the Rolex race, which features GT and DP cars. Of particular interest was the Farnbacher Loles team. I'm running the One Lap of America in a week and my partner is Leh Keen, who drives a Farnbacher 911 in GT. Leh did great and ended up in third today. Nice job, Leh!

Off to continue One Lap preparations...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thank You!

Okay, this is my favorite thank you card, ever.

On the inside, it just said "Mucho Grassy Ass." I love it. Thanks Angie E.!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Are you a tinkerer?

If the answer is anything more positive than "sort of", well, have I got a magazine for you! It's called Make Magazine and it is truly wonderful! Try an issue (you can likely find it at larger news stands) and if you like it, buy all the back issues! Seriously. It's only been around for a couple years and the magazine is soooo good. (Thanks to Paul Jones for turning me on to this a while back!)

Not a tinkerer, but still a craft maker? Check out their sister publication, Craft Magazine. I don't subscribe to this one, but knitters, sewers, painters, and all things with a craft twist should love it.

Short Vacation Recommendation - San Antonio

So the wife and I are in San Antonio for the Final Four (let's not talk any more about that event, however). We had been to San Antonio recently and were fairly impressed with the riverwalk, even though we didn't do much other than walk one tiny part of it and eat at a couple restaurants in that part. This time we took a boat tour of the entire thing and walked much more. It's very nice. There is a mall with some fairly normal mall things in it at one end, and there appear to be a few other tourist type things to do around the riverwalk like arts and crafts stores. If you want to get away for a couple days without kids, this could be an enjoyable destination. Southwest flies to San Antonio, so if you live near an airport that Southwest flies out of, you can probably get a decent flight there.

We didn't have a chance to hit Market Square or the Hemisfair, but those looked interesting. There's an Imax theater right downtown. If you're doing only downtown things, consider just taking a taxi or shuttle back and forth to the airport. Both appear to be priced similar for two people, but if you have a third or fourth with you then the taxi is cheaper. There are a ton of good hotels downtown, many right on the riverwalk. Don't fear the ones that are a few blocks away if you want to save some money, though.

If kids are part of the equation, don't fear! In this case I'd recommend getting a rental car (well, technically I recommend a rental minivan!) and plan to spend at least one day at Sea World San Antonio. It's about 15 minutes outside downtown and fairly easy to get to. Unlike the Orlando Sea World, this one is a little more of a full service theme park complete with a pool and water ride section as well as roller coasters and such. We didn't get a chance to do any rides, but the Shamu, Beluga, and water ski shows were all very good. The dolphin petting area was also good, giving you a chance to buy a few small fish that you could feed to the dolphins, which meant they'd let you pet them a little.

I thought that park was top notch...very close in terms of facilities and people to that of a Disney park. All in all, I think San Antonio is a pretty good little vacation destination for a short trip that's a little different.

Not in my backyard!

Today's rant is about landfills. From the title you might think I want to scream that some entity wants to put a landfill near my property and I don't want it. Nope, that's not it. It's almost the opposite, really. I'm sick and tired of people fighting to keep a landfill out of "their backyard." As long as politicians bow to this, we're going to build a serious problem.

In Orange County, North Carolina, they are planning to start trucking their waste somewhere else when their current only landfill is full and has to close. Are you kidding me? This is not a county completely built out into an urban metropolis here. There's plenty of rural area available. But when they've been proposed, people fight it to keep it "not in my backyard!" So what are they going to do? Truck it somewhere else. That's right, the county that's home to Chapel Hill, a town that will allow no new drive-through restaurants to be built because they don't want to encourage cars to sit still idling, is going to pay for trucks to drive the waste to another county and then pay to dump the waste.

How does this make sense? And while I'm on the topic, why are there so few initiatives to reduce the amount of relatively non-biodegradable waste we produce as it is? One of the worst offenders, in my opinion, is also the most annoying, and that's the famed "blister" packaging. The vacuum formed clear plastic that's encased our entire retail world is also the most obnoxious packaging on the planet. I suppose in some way it reduces theft. I'm also sure it presents the product in a pleasing manner. But what I know is that it must be CHEAP. Dirt cheap. And whats worse? There's no way to recycle that stuff that I know of easily. You just throw it away. And then it sits in the ground for tens (and probably hundreds) of years before it breaks down into something else. Whatever it breaks down into is probably toxic, too.