Friday, June 27, 2008

Bull Frog Sunblock

Bull Frog Sunblock is amazing. I just happened upon it at a drugstore once and grabbed a bottle only to find that it seems to work better than any other. In 100 degree temps I can put it on once and be out in the heat all day and never have to reapply. The only thing that bugged me with it is that you do need to wash your hands well after application or you can get it in your eyes easily and it burns pretty good. In fact, I don't care much for putting it on my forehead as it seems to mix with sweat and can get in our eyes easily that way, too. They've got a new "stick" out that may help that, however. It's like a larger "chapstick" type tube. This should be great for applying block to the faces of your kids.

Sunburn isn't just aggravating. It can definitely lead to skin cancer. Use sunscreen. You have been warned. Dang, I'm full of warnings today.

Rappers Are So Smart

Robin Lopez was selected fifteenth in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns and will become the backup center to Shaq. In the post-draft interview, he said “I know I’ve called myself tough before, so I guess this will really put it to the test. And whatever doesn’t kill me, will make me stronger, as Kanye West says.”

Uh, try G. Gordon Liddy in his autobiography. And he probably stole it from someone else. Like Nietzsche. And I'd just point out that Liddy is actually a more handsome man than Lopez. Which is pretty sad.



You be the judge.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Steakhouse Incident

Okay, let me warn you first. This has foul language and discusses the topic of a person having a particularly bad bowel movement. That said, it's one of the funniest things I've ever read. I happened to know the author as we were both NCSU students at the same time, but you don't have to know him to find a large amount of humor. Be warned that you need a decent amount of time to read this, and you probably shouldn't do it with children sleeping close by. Seriously. And don't bother if you don't think you can stand a little bit of potty humor.

With all that said, click here to see what I'm talking about. But remember, you have been warned.

The Chair

I don't know why, but this just seemed like a cool scene. Stumbled upon this chair by itself on the beach between Avon and Buxton. It's probably still there if anyone nearby needs to sit down for a bit.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Bucket List

No, this is not a movie review. But while I sit here watching UNC in the College World Series, everyone else on our beach trip is in the room near me watching The Bucket List. I haven't seen it yet, but I know the premise is a couple guys doing things on their "I gotta do this before I kick the bucket" list. Well, today I got one of those myself...I caught a big marlin while deep sea fishing off the outer banks coast. More pictures and such coming at some point, but for now I'll say it was about 85". We didn't take any chances of hurting it by trying to get it in the boat, and it's customary to release these things, so that's what we did.

It probably took a full ten minutes or so to reel him in. He did jump a few times and was probably fifty to sixty pounds of fish. He sure pulled like he was a tractor, though. Angie, Matt, Alan, Jane, and Pavo were all on the trip, and everyone caught at least one fish and we got twelve total dolphin (no, not the mammal, the "mahi-mahi" as they are also known). The total weight of the dolphin was 70 pounds and we ate some of it tonight. Very good fish. Alan knows how to use a grill!

If you're ever looking for a deep sea fishing charter in Hatteras Village, I highly recommend Hattitude Sport Fishing. Our mate, Brian, was awesome. Our captain, RT, did a great job of finding us some fish on a day that was pretty dismal for most boats. The boat was also very nice and comfortable. It's definitely one of those things that everyone should do sometime!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"When is your next race?"

I get the question "when is your next race" quite a bit, but to be honest I couldn't answer it very well for the last few weeks because I tend to get a bit of tunnel vision with my planning when there's a really big event looming like our upcoming beach trip. But I decided I should get that schedule worked out more over the last week and have hammered some things out. I figured I'd post here so those of you who read this blog won't have to ask me in person when my next race is!

Things get started in late July with a likely trip to to the Finger Lakes area of New York state for a big ProSolo autocross. I'm not entirely sure what I'll be driving at that event yet and may not go. But it's getting somewhat likely.

Then I have a trip to Miller Motorsports Park just outside of Salt Lake City planned for two days of driving school. If the planets can get themselves aligned I may work that trip in with another ProSolo autocross in Wendover, Utah as the two are only a couple days apart.

Things start to get a little crazy in August. It all starts with the Koni Challenge race in Three Rivers, Quebec. I'll be driving a Mazda RX-8 in ST prep in an hour-forty-five minute endurance race. I'll be partnered with Jason Saini, a friend of mine and the reigning Mazda MX-5 Cup champion. I raced at Three Rivers last year in an MX-5, so I'm familiar with the track and the RX-8 should drive a reasonable amount like the MX-5 does. The next weekend I should take delivery of my new Spec Miata from OPM Autosports (which will look very similar to the silver and blue car they have pictured on their site) at Carolina Motorsports Park for an SCCA National race. The week after that I have two days of testing scheduled at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) in my Acura RSX-S that's basically World Challenge Touring Car spec'ed and built for ITE regional racing (specifically, the 13 Hour endurance race at VIR in November).

September is busy with the ProSolo Finale and the Solo Nationals followed immediately by another Koni Challenge race with Jason at Miller Motorsports Park. I've never been to Miller and that's why I'm doing that school in July. The school will have me driving race prepped Ford Mustangs, but this race will have me back in the RX-8.

October starts with another Koni Challenge race. This time it's at what I consider my home track, VIR. With any luck I'll get the RX-8 from Jason a few weeks before this one (or maybe right after Miller if we don't hurt it there) and can get some testing at VIR in it. I'm also hoping to race the MX-5 Cup finale at Mazda Laguna-Seca Raceway if I can get a rental car for it. Then there's a double regional at VIR that I'll likely race my Spec Miata in. The very next week is the 13 hour where we plan to race the Acura RSX-S. That takes us into early November and caps what I consider my race season.

Whew, that's gonna be a lot of racing!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Why I'm not getting an iPhone

I had many reasons for not wanting an iPhone before today. The biggest of which is that the Edge high speed network that the previous iPhone used was pretty terrible. Not very available and not very fast when it is available. But thanks to the ATT/Cingular merger, ATT now has a faster network, 3G. It's been wildly expanded, too. Apple announced today that the 3G iPhone will be available on July 11.

What did they improve other than the network, though? Many things. The biggest for most is that they now cost about half what they did originally. The next is the size...they are a good bit thinner. A cool feature I like is the addition of a GPS and mapping and navigation software, which should help folks that travel a lot. Given that it also has a camera and acts as an iPod, those of us who normally carry several devices can now carry just the one.

So why not get one now? The first devices will still max out at 16G of storage. I can't fit my music collection in that, and I feel like it's probably not too far off before they offer a larger model. I really need 32G at a minimum and would dearly love 64G. I currently use a 32G iPod Touch for music and love it, so a move to a 32G iPhone would be pretty great. I use a Blackberry World Phone for my phone and the one thing it has over an iPhone is the thumbpad. The iPhone/Touch requires you to use the screen for text entry and that works okay, but isn't as fast as the thumbpad and takes up valuable screen real estate to use it.

So for now I'll live with the two separate devices.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Oh happy day!

Great news! Verizon is gobbling up Alltel! Why is this great news? The end of the worlds worst advertisements...the Alltel TV commercials! YES! See for yourself.

Movie Review

Ash and I went to the theater to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. That's a pretty big deal as I usually wait for DVD releases to watch movies, but in the case of big Lucas movies and all the Harry Potter flicks I make an exception.

I try to never spoil anything, so don't fear. But I will say that I found the story a little weak in this one. Sure, each Indy is "out there" as far as reality is concerned, but they still somehow make you believe pretty well. I had a tougher time in this one. That said, the acting and the production quality is very good. The action is somewhat believable. Perhaps most importantly, I saw good potential for some really fun Disney rides.

All in all, I'd recommend it, especially if you normally enjoy all things Lucas. I do, and I had a fun time. It's so easy to be critical when we have such a large body of work to judge it by, but I'd say it's good. Maybe not quite as good as the other three, but close enough to warrant the Indy name. Probably the best humor of all three, too.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Just get a Mac

Okay, I've been using a Mac for several months pretty much exclusively. I do still have a Windows machine on my desk because I have some software that requires it, but my laptop is now a MacBook Pro. I can't just say I like it...I REALLY like it. What makes it better?
  • The UI is easy yet powerful and completely intuitive (at least once you drop your Windows-centric assumptions).
  • Fewer reboots required by a lot.
  • The hardware is really well made and seems it will last very well.
  • Apple stays on the cutting edge with cool features like the multi-touch touchpad.
  • Built in hardware like the webcam works great.
Apple used to pain me in how tightly they controlled their hardware. I used to think the competition offered on the PC platform thanks to the piecemeal nature was good. And at the time, it probably was. Now I feel like there are just far too many options competing and that requires far too many drivers on the Windows side and that's gotten impossible for Microsoft to keep things working together sanely. Apple just chooses the best bang for the buck to stick in their machines and makes sure the drivers work transparently. No conflicts between drivers, no strange issues. Things just work. At the end of the day, isn't that what it's all about?

Plus Apple has the best commercials.

My first Apple laptop was the MacBook Air. I do still love that device, but it's only good for the user who only does web, email, and documents. If you want to process any video or need to do a lot of image processing, it just doesn't quite have the horsepower. The Pro is wonderful in that respect. Apple still needs a machine in between the Pro and the Air, in my opinion. I don't need quite as many ports as the Pro and don't need quite as big a screen, but I do want the CPU and disk. But I'm pretty happy with the Pro as is, especially when compared to PC laptop options.

Is Apple worth the extra dough? I think they are.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Movie Review

Finally got to finish Michael Clayton today. I watched most of it on the plane ride back from Kansas City a couple days ago, but finished the last fifteen minutes today. I thought it was a very good movie. It's a lawyer movie with a few interesting twists, sort of like The Firm and other really good lawyer flicks. Definitely recommended.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Did you know?

Okay, this is a new category of my blog. I'll start it off with an interesting statistic. Apparently there are about one billion cars on the planet. But cars still have a long way to go to pass cows, of which we apparently have about 1.4 billion.