Thursday, October 7, 2010
Stop on by if you like by clicking here:
Friday, September 17, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
While I believe in respecting Mr. Hammond's privacy, I have no such beliefs about his entourage.
OK so it wasn't quite as elaborate I led you to believe, but there was definitely people hanging out and they know Richard Hammond.
Either way, I said hello, expressed the immense immeasureable joy that Top Gear brings to us in the US and he expressed how incredibly kind I was and proceeded to Burger King to order a Whopper.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
|2009 Track Configuration|
Then in Valencia there was this:
And if you want to see it with some dramatic music...
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I know you are looking at the BIG words below that say "baby-cam" and thinking about clicking on it. Don't do it. Do not do it. I'm telling you. You really should read this whole message first.
Anyway, the baby-cam is now active (yes, this means to click the word "baby-cam." If it's big and you can click it, go ahead). 24x7 (mostly) coverage of something more interesting than the weather channel and less depressing than Bloomberg TV.
If he's not there don't panic, he's either eating, getting changed, hanging out with the parents or stuyding for his SATs. If he IS there, it would probably NOT be a good time to call.
You can reach it from the top right link on this or any page.
A couple of things to remember. If you are living in the 21st century and you aren't running Windows XP any more you'll probably get a small message bar at the top of your internet window telling you that this site wants to run an Active X control. Just click on the bar and "allow the control to run" or "install this add on" or whatever it's asking you to do. You may also get another window asking you to allow something. This time it's OK to allow. Normally don't allow these things. Also, you can change the size of the image using the controls there under "Size Selection." You can even take pictures if you like.
This camera has a limit of 4 connections. If you get a busy message, just try later. By the way. I don't think this works with Firefox.
OK. Now click "baby-cam"
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Massively sleep deprived, we've resorted to telling them what they want to hear and we also gave up the secret location of the diaper "archives" (under the sink, in the corner).
Don't call us today. We are sleepy. The times of opportunity are randomly scattered and we could get sleep almost without notice. A single phone call will send us into a psychosis.
We'll call you.,. I promise
So entertaining moments aside, apparently Cisco had a dream where he was being chased by formula bottles and a huge Simulac monster. I say this because he was sleeping soundly then wakes from a dead sleep and screams like a lunatic for just long enough for Barb and I to look at each other and think, "Oh hell. Here we go." As those thoughts are being formed and read on each other's faces, he sighs and is right back to dream land. That was unexpected. Granted, there are a lot of things people don't tell you or can't possibly describe when it comes to having a newborn. You would think that this would be a great misery-loves-company moment someone would pass on. As in "Oh yeah, wait till he has a 5 second nightmare on his 4th day of life."
OK, that's not true, this is just what he looks like when he's not having a nightmare.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
We've been here since Monday night. It will be two days tonight. Seems like a week and a half.
So when this guy decides to sleep, he's sleeping. Had him sitting up to pat his back after he ate and he just decided he liked it there.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
"Yeah that doesn't matter now."
"Because I'm having it today."
"Oh, is there a problem?"
"Do they not tell you what you're here for? My water broke."
"Ohm. No they just tell me where to go."
The look on Barb's face was great.
She had ultrasound scheduled today to check the amniotic fluid. There was a concern it might be low and they would have to do a C-section. So she doesn't eat in the morning and goes in this afternoon. Fluid level good everyone good and no need for emergency C-section.
So she leaves around three and is so hungry she stops at Arbys and gets a Beef N Cheddar. C-section scheduled for friday.
Now that there will be a C-section, they want to wait until 8 hours have passed.
So now I've got at least two hours before anything happens.
Yes, there are bad people in all fields but the overwhelming majority of police, Sherriff’s officers, border patrol, FBI and so on, are decent regular people who will not use this as an excuse to attack Hispanics.
If you believe law enforcement is so corrupt then you should be opposed to just about any law as they can all be used unlawfully against illegal aliens, rednecks, teens, women, Asians, the sinistral, or dentists.
The hyperbolic concern with the "bad cop" who violates the law is unwarranted. Address the issue. The answer is not to object to laws that can be misused. Objecting to the law on the grounds of possible abuse is like objecting to hot dogs because someone could choke on them.
Laws are only good as far as they restrict infringement. Laws do not keep people safe, moral, healthy, or free. They punish those who endanger others, punish those who commit acts which society in general agrees are unacceptable, and punish those who endanger our health or liberty (intentionally or otherwise).
Laws are not constructive. They are punitive vehicles. Occasionally acting as a deterrent and mostly providing a way for society to rid themselves of undesirable elements whether they are child molesters, murders, chemical waste or illegal immigrants. I'm OK with that.
If you don't believe it should be illegal to enter the United States without the current processing steps, I'm OK with that as well. Get the votes. Change the law. The current Arizona law does not make it more illegal to be an illegal immigrant. It allows the state to take an active role in the enforcement of the Federal Laws that exist already. Change those laws if you like. Just stop whining about it in the meantime.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Last race was interesting for two reasons.
The Brawn Team redesigned their car to better fit his driving style and he out qualified his team mate for the first time this year and finished 4th.
Secondly, the combined psychic power of the spanish people forced Lewis Hamilton off the track and nearly exploded Vettel's brakes, giving Alonso second place.
Mark Webber wins. Alonso comes second with a wounded Vettel third. Racing goodness.
Absolutely one of my favorite tracks. Not so much for the racing, as there is little passing and actual racing going on.
But for lack of a better word, the event itself. They (who wrote the book of "it")** refer to the Formula One Grand Prix de Monaco as the Crown Jewel of Formula One. A rather insightful metaphor as, much like any remaining monarchy, the track is fat with anachronism.
The only driver to have won this race 6 times, Ayrton Senna.
The first turn of the first lap is always a good time.
We're watching it today. I know this is short notice but sometimes that's just how it works out.
** Atributed to Mike Gilbert expressing disdain for those who argue with only talking-point knowledge of the subject instead of actual knowledge. At least that's my interpretation.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Saturday, May 1, 2010
The Rain in Spain says mainly on the track at the Chinese Grand Prix (A recap of Round Four and comments on Round Five)
Qualifying was entertaining. Perfect weather great strategy and Vettel sneaking in at the last moment to snag pole position away from Webber. The real excitement, however, took place on Friday's practice session.
Yeah, I've never seen anything like that either.
The race had drama from the very beginning. It had begun to rain lightly and the question of "slicks" (the standard non-grooved tires) or intermediate (shallow grooved) tires had no clear answer. So everyone started on slicks and the fun began when the lights went out. Alonso jumps the start, moving from 3rd to 1st. The interesting thing about this was seeing the exponential difference in final speed from such a small (less than a second) head start.
He rockets ahead as the rain picks up and when people start sliding off the track at turn 4 the teams reassess the weather situation.
Everyone comes in to switch to intermediate rain tires. Well, almost everyone. The big hitters Alonso, Hamilton, Webber, and Vettel all stop for tires but Button again stays out on slicks as does Nico Rosberg. Nico's inherits first place and Button a not too distant 2nd.
I find myself pulling for Rosberg as everyone figured Schumacher would trample him this season. It still may happen, but for now, he's doing well. Good on you Nico.
The pit stops seemed to be going on all the time and made for a great first half. The second half was all about Nico's tires starting to wear out, and Hamilton passing everyone trying to catch the leaders. He did an admirable job and managed to snag second place. Nico held on to third (Michael who??), and Button takes another victory in changing conditions.
Next up The Formula 1 Gran Premio de Espana Telefonica 2010
Not sure if it's going to be Wednesday or Thursday but we'll watch as per the ritual.
*If Ancestry.com and one of my father's cousin's research is to be believed, we stopped in Portugal and kicked some ass on our way here. "Kicked some ass" could be interpreted as kidnapped some local women so the term "Homeland" is used losely here.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Rain starts falling seconds before qualifying starts and the "big" teams decide to hold out in the hope the rain is going to ease up. Everyone goes out on intermediate tires and it keeps raining; turning the track into a weird mix of dry at the start of the lap and by the time you get to turn 15 you're in a lake.
Our Polish man Kubica went out early with some of the mid to low level teams and he does a very nice lap that wasn't spectacular at that time but as the rain continues and everyone has to come in for full wet tires you start to realize that it's just going to get slower and slower. Kubica's time stands as best for that session.
Trying hard, Alonso performs a Backside 720 that would make Shaun White proud. Fernando sticks the landing and keeps going. Props for style but like Massa, Hamilton, and Jenson, the weather made it impossible to post times high enough to move on. This ends up being the first time Ferrari had no cars advance out of the first session. Ever.
The rain made qualifying great to watch. Not so bad they couldn't do anything but wet enough that you couldn't look away.
Force India nearly took pole position and I have to admit I was really pulling for them to get it but Webber's laps were getting faster and faster even as the rain increased. He stayed on iintermediate tires and still took pole. It was impressive.
With a lot of the fast guys at the back the race starts and we're just waiting for the craziness to begin. Barichello has a bit of déjà vu and stalls on the grid . Vettel takes the lead from 3rd and although there were lots of passing and repassing going on, he held on to the lead and won the race.
Vitaly Petrov fighting with Hamilton. He passes Hamilton and Hamilton repasses him and then gets warned for "excessive weaving" when Petrov ducks in behind him to get a nice draft.
Alonso develops some odd transmission problem very early in the race and can't downshift correctly. This means he can't slow his car down normally as he enters each corner. He somehow manages to adjust and begins to make up time. Then with a lap to go the whole thing falls apart. Again, I'm conflicted.
- Ferrari missing out on constructor points? Good.
- Fernando missing out on championship points? Bad
- Watching Alonso's driving skill, Amazing.
- Ferrari blowing up? Excellent.
This week's best David Hobbs comment. "There's Michael Schumacher looking fit as a butcher's dog, as usual."
Next up: China
This is always a great event. The track is a great example of the new generation of F1 tracks with one of the most difficult corner sequences the drivers will face all year.
Invites going out today. We'll cook stuff, eat it and remark knowingly about things in general.
Monday, April 5, 2010
The start had Massa getting an excellent start moving from 4th to 2nd before the first turn and when Jenson Button bumped into Alonso** and caused him to spin, Poland's finest drove around the commotion and ended up 4th at the end of lap 1.
Photo totally used without permision from a great site.
Moments later Kobayashi's Sauber, who's front wing had already been replaced at least twice before the race, dropped the front wing in the braking zone for turn 6. As the wing fell off it wedged itself under the front right tire effectively turning it into a ski plate. The lack of downforce which would normally help the tires with their mechanical grip and the loss of braking and steering at one wheel caused the Sauber to head straight through the left right combo and drive over Nico Hulkenburg's Williams. Sebastian Buemi was also caught up in the crash.
Generally likeable good dude Vettel was again leading from pole and easily pulling away when his front left brake exploded and his Red Bull, after careful consideration of its options, decided it liked the option "straight" and there was no point in going on about it. Again, reliability problems plague Vettel.
The wet track meant the race was started on intermediate tires and when Jenson Button decided he should come in to change to slicks (the soft version), we thought he made a mistake. He slid off the track a bit later but managed to keep it together and continue. This was lap 6. There are some that would call this genius. This was not genius, it was carefully calculated risk that could have gone disasterously wrong. What is genious is Jenson's mastery of tire conservation because nobody expected soft high-wear tires mounted 10 minutes into an hour and a half event to last. This really was amazing stuff and is why Jenson won. Changing to slicks got him the lead. His driving won the race.
And let's not take anything away from our lanky Polish friend (who was single handedly responsible for my father in-law watching a formula one race). Kubica also managed to drive on a single tire change early in the race and although he wanted to pit, he kept it out and drove a great race.
Alonso from 2nd to last to 4th. Massa 3rd. Kubica 2nd and Button takes the win.
**Yes, I know how unsportsmanlike it was for Jenson to have the audacity to stay on track. He could clearly see that Alonso's car was moving into the space he occupied. He should have just driven off into the grass as per a little known rule in the F1 Sporting Regulations, Section 4 Sub 3.1 "Face Ferme"
"Drivers must shave cleanly no sooner than Parc Ferme and no later than the Formation Lap. Although drivers are not subject to sanctions for violation, "Recently Shipwrecked" is not a look that we, The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, can really get behind. As such, any driver found in violation shall yeild position to Fernando Alonso."
This rule is known as the "You can't make up for your girly eyebrows with that mange-riddled scruff you call a 'beard' rule" or more commonly, "The Groucho Marx Clause".
Next up the Petronas Maylasian Grand Prix.
This 3.4 mile track has the lads racing for a total of 193 miles and is shaped in the sacred form of the humpbacked dove.
OK so I made up that sacred dove thing but it does kind of look like that.
This circuit has two long straight sections seperated by a hairpin turn. This is what makes the car set up a challenge. Set your car up to favor those straights and you are going to have trouble everywhere else. Set it up to handle the curves well and you will be super slow in the straights. The track is very wide and with the new car configurations we may see some great passing.
Last year Button won on a race that was delayed due to rain and then halted because it was too dark to continue. While it was cool to see the "half-points" rule, it did not make for a very entertaining race.
I'm not sure when we'll be watching it but the invites will go out shortly.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Sebastian Vettel took Pole Position and dominated the race. As we generally view Sebastian as a "good dude" we were OK with this. He had built up a sizeable and very comfortable lead when, on lap 33 of 49, he starts going much much slower than before. Is he conserving fuel? Is he saving his tires? What's going on?
Turns out 3rd place is what was going on. a spark plug failed and he was lucky to finish. Bummer for him.
The race also provided my first emotional conflict.
To sum up:
Fernando Alonso wins = Yeah!
In a Ferrari = BOO!
Going to be a complicated season.
The new scoring system gives the winner 25 points instead of 18 and drivers out to 10th place get points (as opposed to 8th last year). This was cool. and really seems to emphasize consistent top place finishes but even 10th place gets 1 point.
Kubica finished 11th.
On to Melbourne
Initially first on the calendar, the first race, held 15 years ago, was won by Damon Hill as Williams took a 1-2 victory in a race that saw Schumacher retire with Brake problems.
The Qantas Australian Grand Prix track has lots of cool elements and is a pretty well rounded track. First turn is quick and should be a good spot for overtaking at 90 MPH. Decent corners throughout with speeds upwards of 190MPH and sections of over 4.5 Gs.
Some of you more astute readers (that would probably all 1 of you) may notice that this post is post race. We haven't seen the race yet but I promise to try to post them earlier.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Well friends, the time is here. Our version of the Daytona 500. Except the men have more teeth and the women have hairy legs.,
There have been some changes in the off season. Let's review:
- Brawn GP. One year old. Won it all. Bought by Mercedes.
- Toyota. Now that was an expensive recall.
- BMW. May still be a sponsor but is not making the engines and does not own the team.
- Refueling: Banned. Fuel tanks now about triple the size they were. Pit stops are fast and still exciting even without Massa dragging his fuel rig down the pit lane like newlyweds drag shoes and cans.
- 10 Point point system. Now the top ten drivers get points with the winner getting 25, second gets 18, third with 15. Trulli and Kubica still get 0.
- Jensen Button: Current reigning world champion is gone (well, gone from the former Brawn team). He's now paired with Lewis Hamilton and fully expected to return to his root strengths (crying like a jilted schoolgirl because his team doesn't kiss his ass) As much as I respected his earnest passion to win in F1, I don't think this is going to be a good move for him.
- Mercedes GP: The first Mercedes full constructor/engine F1 effort since 1955. Nico Rosberg gets to play apprentice to Michael Shumacher.
- Team Lotus. Jarno Trulli has a new team to blame and different livery to scatter across the gravel traps. Heiki Kovalainen here as well.
- HRT. Spanish team Used to be Campos.
- Virgin Racing. Funded, designed,and driven by mega-mogul Sir Richard Branson. When asked the inevitable "Who do you think you are?" Branson replied, "Didn't they tell you, baby? I'm Richard Branson." Very Beeblebrox, man, very Beeblebrox. Ok so Branson isn't actually driving, It's Glock and Luca di Grassi... but you know how cool that would have been.
- Vitaly Petrov new at Renault. "In Soviet Union, car drive you!"
- Bruno Senna. The nephew of the greatest driver of all time will likely not live up to his family reputation but at least we'll get to reminisce about Ayrton during the inevitable flashback/comparison spots.
- Nico Hulkenberg. Don't know anything about him but how cool would it be if he changed colors when he lost races. "Nico SMASH!"
- Fernando "I cut you with my eyebrows" Alonso is now with Ferrari. (Causing both Mike and I much strife. He hates Alonso, I hate Ferrari ). So two short latin crybabies on the same team. This is going to be good.
- 12 noon to 1 PM ish...
Rockband/Beatles Rock Band... some sort of banding of rocking and such. Maybe some three part harmony, even. Snacks
- 3-4 we transition to watching qualifying. Snacks
- 5 PM
Rock Band/General whatever and grilling of Sausages, Hidden Valley Ranch Burgers, and Hot dogs.
- 6 PM ish Start the race. Snacks
That's about it. Hope to see you guys there.
So this season is going to be pretty damn cool.
As much as I have come to loathe those crimson ninjas, I have to admit that they make a fine automobile and are relentless in their passion for winning. With Alonso's skill and Ferrari's muscle, this could be another good year for Alonso. There is a lot of decent competition this year. Will Mercedes be able to continue what Brawn started? The other teams were really catching up toward the end of last season.
I'm hoping Kubica will get a decent shot. He had some nice drives but got way screwed with BMW's program.
I love the idea of starting the race with the fuel you are going to use for the entire race. That's drama waiting to happen. They'll never bring back a no speed-limit pit lane, but that was cool to see as well.
Let's see how it unfolds.