Thursday, December 16, 2004


The movie by ESPN.

It was OK. It certainly wasn't earthshattering or even that enlightening. It just was a movie about a racer who wouldn't let anything go, certainly not a race.

Perhaps I am more "into" the sport than many fans, but beyond the wives and the explanation of just how all the kids were related (I had never figure all that out before)- I really didn't learn much about The Intimidator.

The performances were fine. The accents were authentic and the dialogue believable in the context. I've seen some chat rooms saying it was cheesy- but have you ever listened to NASCAR broadcasts? All that cheese is touted every weekend and us die-hard fans love it.
One observation I took away. The sport is changing. The competitors are more educated. It was important that Dale Jr. make it through high school at the very least. The days of the profitable and capable moonshiner competing with the professional shops is gone. You need money, smarts and talent these days. Ryan Newman is the new NASCAR.

The use of new footage combined with classic footage made the race scenes believable.
So, I'll give it a 3 out of 5 stars. It did its job. It told his story.

If you're a Big E fan- watch it. If you're a NASCAR fan- watch it. If you're just curious- you'd probably want to skip it.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Is it really that complicated?

Today, while shopping for sandpaper at a Black & Decker Outlet, I noticed a "gift idea". The $40 surefire stocking stuffer was a combination pack that contained a battery powered laser that replaced your tape measure and a calculator that had conversion buttons for inches, feet, yards, etc. The front of the package insisted that this must-have would help you reduce trips to the home improvement store by estimating (estimating? A laser could only estimage?) the size of the room you are working on and providing accurate calculations for materials needed.

I stood and stared at it for several minutes while my husband finished his purchase. It just couldn't be! Are people this hopeless? In fact, I'm quite sure that the time spent learning to use the gadgets certainly wouldn't reduce time. A simple tape measure, a pad of paper and a pencil seemed to be able to do the same job. I said so. The owner of the store laughed. I think he agreed.

We went home and went to work on our living room (OK- so it is a four year project, but we did stop buying gadgets for it last year). The tools of the trade for the day: putty knife, spackle, sandpaper, utility knife, and drywall tape. No computers, no fancy algebra; just good old fashioned hard work. It doesn't take a rocket scientist.

The Home Depot has had several silly options available, too. I think the best is the battery powered tape measure. The box says you only need one hand to use it. Now, I could be wrong here, but it seems to me you will still need to hold one end down while you look at the measurement, to make sure it doesn't move. Hmmm....$24 vs. $7. What do you think? I think $7 will do for now.

Of course, if you spend your whole day measuring things for a living- you might spring for the $24. But I haven't noticed the battery powered tape measure display next to the professional tool section.

Simplicity! That is the idea that needs to be marketed. It might help cut down on gullibility and stupidity.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

NASCAR NOTES- the day before

Title: Ready for the Wrap Up?

Kurt Busch sit atop the Chase I'm not happy about that turn of events.

Jimmie Johnson just 18 points behind.

Jeff Gordon- 21 points out.

and Lil E- 72

Do you have faith grayer heads will prevail?
Mark Martin- 82.

Five really awesome drivers (I said drivers! Not people!) all in the mix. Mathematically, it is unlikely that Earnhardt or Martin will turn the table upside down. However, Johnson or Gordon? Oh yeah!My preference? Well, Jeff adding #5 to his mantle would be gratifying as I've supported him since his first laps around Atlanta 12 years ago. But, you know, Jimmie has really turned in a Championship year. No buts about it.

My personal pick from last year - Lil' E- well, he just had too many challenges to make it.

If Kurt makes it- I'll be ready to toss the Chase down the drain.

Newswise, I have not enjoyed the Chase for the Championship as much as I enjoyed the Race to the Chase. What happened to the other 25 drivers? They have been forgotten. But overall- I think the Chase has been good for promoting the sport.

Other news:

The loss of Happy Hour next year- I will miss it. Anyone who has been at the track during Happy Hour can appreciate just how much energy and excitement is generated through the garage during those 45 minutes. But it still looks like it will be a 3-day weekend, with practice on Friday.

The idea of ensuring that the top 35 in points always will make the race would basically cancel any new team from making a run at the big time. I think that would be detrimental to the sport.

Reducing the flow rate on the gas cans to create slower pit stops- I suppose that is a good thing. The days of twisting a wrench and changing the tires at the race have been lost. Not only a huge cost to the teams to hire expensive over the wall gangs- but a loss of the "team". So- yeah- change the cans and slow down the pits. Either that or allow the tech used in the CART/IRL series to be applied in NASCAR pits.

One more to go and a Cup on the Line. How cruel will Fate be this year?

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Saturday, November 13, 2004

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Friday, November 12, 2004

So- is he dead, yet? The Arafat epic.

First, there was the announcement that he was in critical condition in his compound in Ramallah. Doctors were called- he was in a coma and being transferred to a hospital. The reports, by and large, had Arafat on his death bed- until late that night. Suddenly he was conscious and resting comfortably in a private room. Huh? This was a little odd.

The following morning there was a report that he was dead- only to be refuted an hour later that he wasn't dead. The original report was from the hospital. Were the doctors that incompetent? They couldn't determine when someone was dead? The option was offered that perhaps he was merely brain dead- not really that dead at all.

It was at this point it ceased to be a news item for me and was now more a form of entertainment. Thoughts of Monty Python danced through my head--

"He's not dead!"

"Yes, he is!"

"No, he's not!"

Old man who looked pretty dead pipes in, "I'm getting better!"

Would Arafat get better? I couldn't wait to see.

But alas, it was not to be. He did die- after a suitable amount of noise about people being unfeeling and rushing the man to his grave. But that was the whole issue, anyway. It is in their faith that the dead must be buried within 24 hours of death. The funeral was not arranged- so they had to stall for time. Hence, the comedy show.

Was it worth it? I certainly would have second thoughts about sending anyone to that hospital.

"We'll ma'am, he's just sort of dead. I wouldn't call the mortuary yet until we're more certain."

I haven't seen a political situation more in need of a Saturday Night Live skit in a very long time!

The saddest part was the number of dignitaries who refused to attend the interment due to security concerns. A winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and his graveside was not a peaceful place to be.

Then again- CBS decided that they had made a mistake in reporting the "official" death of the man by cutting into an episode of CSI:NewYork. It is definitely a confusing world we live in.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


That looks so cool! Much prettier than my other site- but that's a community I will never really leave. ooooo- the possibilities :-) This may help to wake my muse up!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Well- here I am!

I've been thinking about trying a blog for a while. I haven't a clue what I'm actually doing- and maybe that's not a good thing to say, but there it is.

I guess over the next few days I'll play with this and see what happens. Now, for something truly inspirational to say....hmmm....