Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Late night

We were coming home after watching X-Men 3 and the sky was still bright at 9 pm. It was nice. The long days are a welcome change from the 8 hours of daylight in the winter. Okay, maybe 10 hours. But it could be worse and/or better. While I was living in Mainz, the sun didn't set until 8:30, which meant it was bright well into 9 pm with complete darkness finally coming around 10 pm. It was really nice, but I asked when the sun rose and set in winter. 10 am to 2 pm. 4 hours of sunlight. Yuck. That sounds awful and depressing. But that's what comes with sharing a latitude with Nova Scotia.

So Clemson has been in the news recently.
Clemson University student Tiffany Marie Souers, 20, of Ladue, Missouri, was found dead Friday in her apartment at The Reserve, 118 Sumter Lane in Central.

J and I actually met when we lived at the Reserve, then called Jefferson Commons. We lived in 115 however. Here is a link to Clemson's homepage link with most relevant info. Apparently she was strangled with a bikini top, which would suggest a spur of the moment crime. And it's probably someone she knew with no signs of forced entry. Still no word on sexual assault. This is the first homicide in Central (tiny town next to Clemson where the Reserve is located) in 15 years, so I guess that's a good thing but not for Tiffany and her family. I hope and pray that her killer(s) are brought to justice.

The stew provencal that I made on Monday was delicious. And some of it I just had at lunch today was very good too. And Ms. Cootera asked for the recipe so here goes:
2 cans beef broth (reserve 3/4 cup)
pork (about 2 pounds) tenderloin would work well
2 cups green beans (fresh or frozen, I used a 1 lb. bag of frozen)
4 red potatoes cut into chunks
1 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper (can be adjusted for spiciness)
1/3 cup flour

Cut everything up and throw it into the crock pot lined with a Reynolds slow cooker liner EXCEPT the flour and the 3/4 cup of beef broth. Don't bother cutting up the pork unless you really want to. It should be tender enough to shred with a fork once we're done with it.

Then turn it on for 8 hours LOW. J thinks 6 would suffice, but I used 8. Once it's close to done (7-8 hours), mix the beef broth with the flour then pour that mixture into the crock pot. With the lid off, stir and let cook for 30 minutes or until it has thickened.

Enjoy! It's really good and hearty and if you let it cool down, you won't sweat while eating it.

Everyone have a good last day of May!

Monday, May 29, 2006


Happy Memorial Day!

And of course, I'm at work. But please keep in mind all the families of our current troops and our veterans, just like you do everyday but today especially.

Is it safe to say that everyone in the country is related to someone who was active in the military? Both grandfathers and an uncle were deployed and bravely fought for this country and she appreciates every second of it.

J was up late last night (her father's a vet and her brother too) scrapbooking. We stumbled upon some cute cat themed stickers and scrapbooking items and she put them to good use last night. Except for the phrase she glued onto one page. It read "Love makes our a home house." Uh, sweetie? What the devil is that supposed to mean? Oops. I do like the verbal beat of "a home house" though despite its awful grammar. I guess she got a little too tired for coherent thought. She said that she finally came to bed around 4 am. It was midnight for me. Some of us have to get up for work (and then blog for the first 20 minutes).

Results from this weekend's autocross. I got 16th out of 46 and 6th in class. It seems like I'm getting slower but there were lots of fast guys in our class. And I'm slowly coming to the realization that I autocross just for fun. It's cheap and very safe. But I'm a rally junky at heart. I can't wait to get on dirt, gravel or tarmac and fling my car sideways. But I would like to get faster no matter what I'm doing. It might be time to start looking into a driving school or branching out into other accesible areas of racing, like track days which are run at local road courses, Road Atlanta, Roebling Road, Carolina Motorsports Park, etc... But those are expensive and more rough on the car, so maybe I'll just stick with autocross until I can make a more significant financial contribution.

This morning I prepared our dinner, crock pot style. The name of the recipe is Stew Provencal, with the c being one of those weird french c's like in nicoise salad. But it's pork tenderloin, beef broth, red potatoes, onion, green beans, thyme, garlic (which I left out cuz I ain't got none), salt (kosher in our case), and pepper. 8 hrs on low, then 30 minutes on high with some beef broth/flour mixture added as a thickening agent and voila! Dinner with minimal effort! And thanks to chemistry and our friend "the polymer", clean-up is a snap thanks to (I think Protege said) nitroimides, a high temp clear polymer. Yay science!

I'll let you know tomorrow how it tastes. My prediction is....delicious!

Friday, May 26, 2006


I'm always in the dark

Sorry I didn't make it over here sooner. But I'm still a tad confused over what happened. Some good questions, nailed some, stumbled on others. Left the room for them to discuss my fate. Came back in and they said "it's not a pass or a fail; we're going to table this for 6 months and see where we're at." Um, okay. So I didn't pass but more importantly I didn't fail, and it's over, so now I can focus on research again.

There were a few holes in my research, problems that need to be taken care of, a few (crystal) structures that need to be clearer and more defined. They said that a PhD is alot about the approach to the problem and not just solving the problem, which of course is true. And I need to stop trying to do this all on my own. I'm still a newbie chemist and there is just no way I can solve these on my own. I guess I could, but it's not an efficient use of my time. So I'm going to spread out and start using some great resources, my committee members and their combined 60-70 years of chemistry knowledge.

And we'll revisit this in 6 months. So we're still alive. I know what I need to work on and have a better idea of where my research is taking me, I just have to do it. But something tells me I won't be graduating in May. Ah well, there's always August or even December.

I'm okay, J is okay. I just need to copy some of this text and send it to my folks who are still waiting on the verdict.

Autocross tomorrow. Gonna be a good day. I'm feelin fast.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Here we go

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Temporary Manatee

That would be weird if someone spontaneously turned into a manatee.

I like t-shirts. They are by far my favorite item of clothing. I have a decent collection of random t-shirts; some purchased, some free, all special. No, not all. Some suck. They look okay but I have no emotional attachment to them, like the APO shirts that I got for donating blood last year. Those are first on the chopping block.

The shirts can be broken down into different categories. Only at home, working on the car, nice, everyday. The only at home and working on the car are almost one in the same. The exception that jumps to mind is my Henry the Hamster shirt that I made J for her. It is our wearable tribute to our first pet, the sweetest cage-escaping hamster ever named Henry. Once we were at Urban Outfitters and I saw they had t-shirt frames and I instantly knew that I had to have some. They take the shirts out of rotation but not out of our lives.

A few other notables: My laughing mushroom shirt that I bought on Choir Tour one year. No clue which city.

My Napster shirt, which J claims she threw away, but I might have left it at Caveman's house according to his better half. But as long as someone I know has it, wears it and cares for it, it's in a safer place than J's House of Destruction.

My Charlie Brown shirt, which is a replica of the shirt worn by Charlie Brown and drawn by Charles Schultz. I have been offered sex for this shirt, that's how powerful it is. J of course hates it because I love it.

My Louie the Lightning Bug shirt, free from a friend's screen printing place.

And I have recently picked up a Mario Kart "I beat your mom at Mario Kart" t-shirt and a Kids in the Hall "I'm crushing your head" shirt.

This really should've been a photo post, and perhaps it will be one day.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Temporary Sanity

The weekend jaunt to Birmingham was a rousing success. Got to spend some quality time with my mom who had flown in from their new foreign country to be there for her mom's 80th birthday throwdown. We ate at Little Savannah and it was delicious. I had the red snapper ceviche and the smoked duck breast. Both were very good. J had the polenta/shrimp appetizer and the lamb for entree. Also very good although I knew better than to get in between her and that lamb. It's her favorite meat by far and I knew she would enjoy it more than I so I didn't ask. But there were some chantrelle mushrooms on top of the polenta that were incredible. So flavorful and delicious.

Left there and back to the house for dessert and presents and then J and I made our big announcement that we're getting married in Orlando on Nov. 4th. Everyone seemed happy and Mom's mom even made a comment about us sleeping in the same bed next time we come down. A bit creepy but very sweet and I know a big relief for the conservative parents and grandparents.

After that we went out with our friends Caveman and H2O (and I really wish I knew how to do subscripts because that chemical formula for water just doesn't look right Update: I figured it out! Thanks internet!). They were married August of last year and she (H2O) just gradamated from law school and is one bar exam away from being a real life lawyer.

But we went to a restaurant behind their house, had some drinks, tried to get some onion dip (stupid closed kitchen), then went to The Garage

which is a cash only bar on B'ham's southside and it's incredible. Legend has it that it used to be a old folk's home (or raisin ranch as is J's slang for it) that was converted into an antique store. I guess someone bought that outright because all the antiques are still there. Their beer selection is no joke either. I had a MacKenson XXX Stout that was amazing. So dark and delicious. And I wanted to try the Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout but he couldn't find any.

Then we went back to their apt. and hung out a little more, took a "brain age" quiz on their Nintendo DS, which had a hard time recognizing the spoken word "blue".

Then went to the Purple Onion for some late night munchies and then home to our other friend's house.

Then Sunday morning we were supposed to have breakfast with my law enforcing friend, but he called at 7:30 am and we had just gotten into bed at 3:30 am, so breakfast was not shared. It's tough for him to schedule anything because he works the graveyard shift and was recently married and his step-son is 7. So he went from single to married with a kid almost overnight. That's rough, so we try and be supportive of his hectic schedule.

Also found out that my brother, who missed the birthday party to go to a friend's graduation (I'll leave if he made the right decision to you the readers), got a job in Senegal.

Just looking over the info the CIA has collected, looks like a 40% literacy rate, life expectancy of 60, 94% Muslim, French is the official language, they import things from France, Nigeria and Thailand (a strange mix if you ask me, but I'm no African diplomat) and one TV station. But he'll be teaching French and Art at a MK (missionary kid, like me!) boarding school in the capital city of Dakar. Dakar eh? As in the Dakar Rally? That's right. So if I can come up with the $2400 for a plane ticket over there, I can go see the finishline for one of the most grueling races on the planet. Or maybe I'll just ask him to get me a t-shirt or two. He leaves on August 1st to go over there. I'm glad he found a job and hopefully he'll like it. And I think he'll enjoy living overseas again. Okay, I KNOW he'll enjoy living overseas. I just hope he can get the teaching down. Nothing worse than a crappy teacher.

My pre-oral is scheduled for this Thursday, so send out some "You're gonna do great and pass" vibes for me this week.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Hello again

I want to have a serious discussion today. Please sit down, take a load off.

The first occurrence I can recall was maybe at the tender age of 6 or 7. I thought no one was looking so I quickly slid it under there. Phew, problem solved. But after a few times of being completely disgusted by either looking under there or my hand accidently grazing some that was under there, I made a healthy conscious decision to never ever do that again. I of course am referring to gum under the table/chair/bench etc...

So you're chewing gum, which is a questionable habit in the first place reminiscent of a cow with its cud, because you want fresh breath or you're quitting smoking or you just like it. So you're chewing Juicy Fruit and after that initial 3 minute period, all the flavor is gone, and you're done. You want out. NOW. No trash cans around or at least none that are close. You didn't save the wrapper and don't have any spare scraps lying around. What to do? Eureka! I've got it! I'll just put it under this park bench and no one will be the wiser. Excellent.

Crisis averted. But at what cost? What if an innocent (or guilty) child strolls along and puts that gum in their mouth? Gross but not deadly. Unfortunately we're not talking about life or death here. Just gross feelings and inconveniences, but as Americans isn't that what concerns us most? Happiness and convenience?

I still don't know why I placed my hand under that table. I think I was trying to play handsies with J while we were eating sushi and luckily the tablecloth was long but I ran into a still juicy piece of gum. If that tablecloth hadn't been there, I probably would've freaked. I hadn't thought about this problem in years and was caught off-guard.

But who does this? Who are these people leaving their gross habits in public albeit not in plain sight? Who sticks their gum on the wall while waiting in line for an amusement park ride? Is it you? Is it your brother/mother/sister? Is there an anti-leaving-your-gum-under-things association I can join?

You should all be ashamed of yourselves.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Bring the ruckus

We did listen to 36 Chambers on the way home from Road Atlanta on Sat. night. Amazing album and if you don't have it, I highly recommend picking it up.

It's the Wu-Tang Clan's debut album from 1993.

I've been sneezing in multiples recently, mostly in 3s. I'm not too concerned but it is still weird.

We left Friday around 5 pm to head down to Road Atlanta for Formula Drift Round 2. We got to watch some practice and the amateurs qualify for 16 of the 32 spots that are open. Unfortunately there are still some pros and heavily sponsored cars that are trying to qualify for those 16 spots. My friend, Andy Sapp, who is the bottom photo link to your left, received a provisional one event pass so that he could try and qualify. Normally he tears shit up with speed and severe drifting angle. But he was having car issues from his BMW 325. The traction control kept coming on and traction control does not work well for drifting. So he had some lackluster runs, but there's always next year. And ATL has a growing drifting scene so he just gets to keep practicing and practicing and working out all the bugs. Best of luck Andy!

So we left the track at 9:20 pm, and arrived at Fort Yargo State Park at 9:45 pm. The gates close at 10 pm. So we drove around and eventually found our campsite. Set up camp, had some dinner and relaxed. We were awoken by some woman that kept saying "camp post!". It was 8:15 am and I had no idea wtf she was talking about, but luckily our Citadel graduate friend, no stranger to early morning wake-ups, was sharp and said "Yes?"
Do you have a reservation?
Yes. The last name is (my last name).
Ok, thank you.

And that was it. She swung back by about 10 am just for good measure. There was a triathlon that Saturday in the park so to guarantee we got a campsite I had to reserve it, but there is a two night minimum reservation on weekends. Fine, it's only $10/night, so I got both. So this lady asks us if we'll be there again on Sat. night since all of stuff is packed up and ready to go. "Well no, we won't" but I really wanted to add "But since I have already paid for Sat. night, I would like this campsite to be deserted. Thank you." But I didn't. If the GA park system wants to try and extort a ten spot from someone else, who am I to stop them?

So stopped at a crazy busy McD's for some breakfast and a bathroom, then headed back over to Road ATL. The drifting was delayed until 3:45-4 but they had other racing series on-track up until then. It was a great day of racing and we had one of the best spots in the house.

I'll just sum up real quick, but it was amazing. Rhys Millen and Samuel Hubinette were supposed to debut new cars, but they didn't. But it was down to Tanner Foust and Samuel Hubinette in the finals and Tanner turned it on. The first tandem run was his best all day. He was wicked sideways all the way down the hill after the horseshoe and was smokin' the tires like mad in his AEM/Memphis Audio Nissan 350Z (yep, I'm a shill). Tanner is also a rally driver who does very well in Production GT in his Subaru WRX. And also can keep a car slideways with the best of 'em.

Congrats Tanner!

Friday, May 12, 2006


Mmmmm, carcinogens

I'm not really a smoker. Maybe 4 packs a year, if that. But I enjoy smoking. It's relaxing and makes standing around a little more interesting and you look cool (according to 80's cigarette marketing at least). J is against smoking. Her mom has been slowly killing herself for 30+ years with cancer sticks. But it's not the early death thing that irks her; it's the smell. She hates the way I smell and taste after smoking, and I don't blame her. It's not a pleasant sensation.

So J split town and I picked up a pack. In the span of one cigarette I had two neighbors tell me I was going to kill myself. I assume they were truly concerned with my health, and I appreciate that.

I'm not really an advocate for smoker's rights or anything, but I've made a few observations that might help with smoker/non-smoker relations:
- For the love of everything holy and unholy, DON'T THROW YOUR BUTTS ON THE GROUND! It's disgusting and makes everything look trashy and gives off the impression that you don't care about how your environment and neighborhood looks. Try this: Pop the cherry off of the cigarette, blow on the butt so all sparks are gone, and put it in your pocket unless you're close to a trash can. Wasn't that easy?
- Don't smoke around little kids and babies, unless they are bad parents and brought their baby to a bar
- If at all possible, don't smoke in your house. It hurts the resale value and guests won't want to come over. This is gonna be tough, but it's worth it.

I think the biggest thing is the butt trash everywhere. More of those smoking outposts can be seen, but they're not everywhere.

The biggest things that (IMHO) non-smokers hate about smokers:
The trash - baseball games, golf courses, parks, streets, sidewalks, it's literally everywhere
The smoke - some people even claim allergies to 2nd-hand smoke (passive-aggressive nonsense)
The smell - it's everywhere, your car, your house, your cat, your clothes, your fingers, your teeth, YOU
Your non-caring attitude - You know you're killing yourself and you don't care, some people don't like that, as if you don't care about human life (it's yours, sod off)
Supporting cigaretter companies - They have been killing people for decades and even are paying for anti-smoking commercials and people still smoke like freakin' chimneys

I think that's about it. Just try and be mindful of non-smokers and you just might put off only being able to smoke outside (in certain areas) for just a bit longer. Or you'll just have to move somewhere where they don't mind smokers. VA or Europe.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Midget Nazi Hookers

Or the more PC, Little People Nazi Call Girls. How short does someone have to be before they are a tiny person? Are there tiny people?

So J did read my blog yesterday and called for a few minutes. She has awful service in Charleston and zero service on the farm. But she's doing okay. They had to chase down a 2 day old baby calf who had somehow escaped. If you let them run around, the veal doesn't taste as good. Everyone knows that. Joking, I have no clue as to their true intentions with this particular cow. But I don't think they're going to eat it. At least, not right now.

Everyone loves zippers, no? They're on jackets, purses, pants, tents, sleeping bags, various other bags including luggage, etc... They're fast and easy. Sometimes they're hard to start but once they're going, they're great and your coat won't fall off. The only downside I see is that if you break a zipper, that's it. It's unrepairable.

But what are other options? Buttons. Good ol' reliable buttons. If they come off, you just sew it back on. But they don't offer the full closure that zippers do. And as I have discovered recently, they are a real bitch on pants.

I bought some dark jeans from Old Navy/Gap/Banana Republic (all owned by the same conglomerate, so it doesn't matter where I bought them) and they have a button fly. My only question is why? Is it fashionable? Did the little kids in China run out of zippers? I thought we were advancing as a society and that buttons are kind of a step backwards. My biggest complaint is that it really increases the time spent in the bathroom. Nothing huge but it bumps it up at least 15-20 seconds and there are some restrooms where that seems like an eternity.

Advantages to buttons: Amish think you're hip, it's a satisfying sensation to just rip them apart, no worry about zipping your kibbles and bits and having a "Something About Mary" situation.

That's about it as far as I can tell. Zippers are faster and easier but slightly more dangerous.

It's just something I'm gonna have to watch out for next time I go pants shopping. These are my first pair of buttonflys so it's been a learning experience.

To do list for tonight: Dishes, kitchen counters and floors, fold clothes, put away clothes, start packing for this weekend

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


My hips always lie

Heard that new Shakira/Wyclef "joint" on the way to school. At least it's newer than most of the other crap. I need satellite radio. No, I want satellite radio.

I read an amazing excerpt from an article with the Dalai Lama that was in the London Telegraph. I'll see if I can find it online, if not I'll bring it in with me because some of his quotes are priceless. Found it. I'll read through it later and find all my favorite quotes for tomorrow.

Left work a little early yesterday (5:10) and didn't go work out. I wanted to see what coming home to an empty house felt like again. Occasionally I'll miss it but that's just when J gets on my nerves (which hahdly ever happens ;). So I watched some TV, tried to make stir fry and found my baby bok choy to be covered in brown spots and emitting a horribly pungent aroma. Shit, I was looking forward to that. So I made a sandwich with the last of my organic ciabatta bread and sauteed some plantains. Very very good replacement dinner. And for lunch today I have some of our leftover chicken fingers in sandwich form with the leftover plantains. Yum.

So dinner, then I cleaned some, then I made some calls, then I walked the cats which is very difficult considering I was one and they were two. But we made a lap around our neighbor's building and then made it home safely. Then I folded some clothes and vacuumed. I'm going to try my best and keep the house clean while J is in Charleston if for no other reason, to prove to myself that I can do it.

But after that Tomary and Jandy came over. Those names are the paparazzi names that we came up with to refer to our coupleselves. We are Soan. Tomary is actually both full names minus one m. Jandy is also almost both full names but change the a in Jan to an e for the actual name. But I digress.

I had actually planned for it to be a guy's night, but the better halves showed up. More acurately, I didn't want to bore the other halves with our planning and car talk. But it was okay, we made our plans (sort of). I also wanted to show them a DVD I got in the mail with coverage from the first 4 WRC rallies of this year, but I couldn't find it at home and hopefully it's here.

Today's rambling has been brought to you by the letter Q.

I miss you sweetie! (Assuming they have an internet connection on the farm)

Monday, May 08, 2006



One of my favorite Smashing Pumpkins songs. Today is J's last day as a student teacher. And she will have her teaching certificate and has taken all the tests and now is ready to be a full-fledged teacher, shaping young minds and whatnot.

But as she's getting ready for her last day, she's talking to me. I think she doesn't want me to be sleeping blissfully while she's getting ready for work, but that's just my theory. Also I am a much better morning person than her. I fear J in the morning. If she wakes up in a bad mood, you betta run. So that's why I don't wake her up most mornings. For example, yesterday morning Speed TV was showing live coverage of the European Gran Prix from the Nurburgring in lovely Deutschland (Germany). Since we're 6 hours behind Central Europe, race coverage started at 7:30 am. That's early, especially for a Sunday, but I usually get up between 7:30 and 8:30 if left to my own devices. Normally I would have nothing to do so I would go back to sleep until 10 or so, but F1 is on! So I get out of bed at 7:45, feed the cats, grab my pillows and go lay on the couch and enjoy the world-wide spectacle that is Formula One racing.

J finally wakes up with about 15 laps left and didn't know where I was. I closed the bedroom door so the cats wouldn't bug her (not that they would, they were sleeping on me or on Julio's cushion) but she wakes up all cute and sleepy and pseudo-grumpy. Unless she has something important, she won't ever get real mad for NOT waking her up. So I said I would be in in a few minutes, I had almost caught up to real time on the Tivo, so then I could move into the bedroom. So I finally caught up, and then went into the bedroom, cats in tow.

Finished the race, Michael Schumacher taking another win from Fernando Alonso, who came in 2nd, and Felipe Massa's first podium with 3rd. Very diverse podium, nationality-wise, with Michael the German, Fernando from Spain, and Felipe from Brazil. The lone American, Scott Speed, came in a respectable 11th, but he still needs to get faster. He was also the only Red Bull car to finish the race, out of 4.

Not much else happened. Saturday I went into work for a couple hours, did some housework, should've worked out, then went to a friend's house in Greenville for Sexto de Mayo. This is our 3rd year in a row celebrating Cinco de Mayo with them. They're cool and I hope they don't fade away like other grad school friends have done. But I suppose that is up to me just as much as it is to them.

Friday, hung out, ate dinner at Outback, 1/2 order of cheese fries (J's favorite), Walhalla pasta for her, that bleu pecan chopped side salad as an entree for me, and Chocolate Thundah from Down Undah for dessert. Couldn't even finish dessert. And then somehow J left her leftovers somewhere, which was almost all of her pasta. Either we left it on the table, or it was on the roof of the car; gone either way. We rented "Fun with Dick and Jane" and "King Kong" on the way home. Both good. I liked Peter Jackson's take on King Kong, and I have to support my pseudo-lookalike, Jack Black. I kind of see it, but occasionally I'll get someone saying I look just like him. He's cool, so no big deal.

This weekend is Formula Drift at Road Atlanta! It's going to be an awesome time. If you like cars, any cars, or just want to see what this whole "drifting" thing is about, come on down to Braselton, GA exit 129 on I-85. Fun for the whole family. And if you would like to meet the actual Seth, author of this blog, I'll be under the big orange EX-Up that has this logo on it:

See you tomorrow.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Stickshifts and safety belts

Just a quick recap on last weekend. If you would like me to go into detail on something, just ask and I might fulfill your request.

We were supposed to arrive at 8 am on Saturday, so we left the house at 6:30-6:45 am to make sure we got there on time. I had only packed shorts and t-shirts because I figured it would be typical southern April weather, warm and nice. Nope, overcast and a tad chilly. But I soldiered on in my shorts and finally the sun came out and warmed us up to the mid 70's. We arrived and had to wait on someone in charge of the workers to show up with our tickets and parking passes. Done. We need a few guys directing traffic (yuck) and we need another guy to hand out these goodie bags to people as they come in (sounds like my kind of job). So I say nothing and let the two guys who are friends and want to work together the chance to take the traffic job. So I helped load up boxes of these goodie bags onto a golf cart and proceed to hand them out. They also wanted me to sell programs at $3/each, and I sold one. But it's much easier to give free things out, so I focused on that, and I was fairly certain that after all the bags were gone, I would be free to roam around. So I started handing those out at 8:30 and by 11:30, they were all gone. Then the head guy came back around and asked if I had gotten them all. Yes, I found a handcart and lugged the rest over. Awesome. So what do you want me to do next? Oh, you're done. Money.

So then called the guy I came down with and met him at the car. Had some of my snack lunch, an apple, some chips, some water. Then we started walking around. Went down to the paddocks where all the race teams keep their trailers and motor homes and work on the cars while they're not racing. Some great pics and some gorgeous cars. My favorite would have to be this one:

and this is a big reason it's so fast

GIGANTIC super sticky tires! But this is Jacques Villeneuve's old F1 car and it currently holds the Road Atlanta track record. It literally lapped half the field when it was on course. And hearing those F1 upshifts and downshifts literally gave me goosebumps.

(Okay, just measured my hand and in the position that it's in in that pic, it's about 5 inches wide and it looks like it would fit at least 2 more times. Big tires.)

Watched a few races, got too close to the race with the old Mustangs, Corvettes and Porsches and realized that I am definitely bringing earplugs next time. Those V8s are LOUD!

Then wandered out to the autocross course where some of the other guys we know were working the autocross sponsored by Kumho who brought out 3 Minis on 3 different tires. I didn't notice if they were S's or not, too many other cool cars. But I was standing talking to them and the Kumho guy came up and shook my hand and said thanks. Um, okay, you're welcome? But we all went into Kumho's trailer and put our names down and I think I'm getting a free shirt out of that deal. Inside they had some monster rims and tires. He said they were 26s or 28s but pretty much Hummers are the only vehicle that can fit a wheel that big under it's fender. Crazy. So we hung out with them a bit and found a free tire hook-up for the club, which is a big deal. Tires are expensive.

Then we went back to our tent and hung out until dinner started. We had some trouble getting in because we didn't have the right "credentials" but the head worker came over and said that it was okay if we went in. Damn right! They had a chocolate fountain (which more and more I'm realizing is not a good idea outside) with some pretzels and assorted fruit for dipping. They also had multiple coolers of water, soda, tons of beer, and a wine table which had some very good sangria, so that's what I started with. Then we see people starting a line, so we move over. Luckily it was the meat line, prime rib or turkey, or both, then the pickles, pickled peppers, pickled mushrooms (yummy), then the cheese tray, then the fruit tray. They had 3 different tables setup and no real flow pattern to any of them. And one of the tables had in-shell boiled shrimp which seemed like too much work what with the long line and then the peeling of the shrimp, so I passed. The salad was laughable. It was shredded iceberg lettuce (ala Taco Bell or Subway) and 6 to 7 pieces of spring greens, so I tried to get as much of the dark leafy veggies as I could. Cheese balls and a decent spinach dip. But the desserts. Oh the desserts.

Chocolate cake with a delicious whipped frosting and carrot cake with a super rich cream cheese icing. Both very good, but I could only fit one piece of each. I didn't want to get Thanksgiving stuffed, that's rarely fun.

They had a live band and they played some songs. Some people danced. But after we were done eating, we sat around and then we saw the dartboards. So we headed over there. And of course this whole time we're drinking the free beer. I personally drank Amstel Light, St. Pauli Girl, Dos Equis, and I think that's about it. But there was also Harp Lager, Bud, Bud light, Miller lite, Coors lite, MGD, Fosters, and I'm sure there were one or two more. And Bass. Quite a selection.

Dinner started at 6:30. We were all buzzin and playin darts by 9. Then the organizers and head honcho types came in and started playing darts too. I think I called it a night at 11:30 or so. We did have to get up and work again, so I layed off the beer and switched to water, and wasn't hungover, but I wasn't stupid drunk either. You're welcome liver. And I even won a few games of darts.

Forgot my pillow. Had to use balled up clothes. Slept okay. "Hey Jealousy" by the Gin Blossoms was one guy's alarm and we heard it at least 6 times. So we get up, head to McDonald's for breakfast, come back, hang out and then me and another guy get traffic control. It's not that bad except that we don't have light sticks or a vest saying that we're actual workers and not crazy guys on the road. But Sunday is pretty dead anyway and most people were there on Saturday so they know the drill.

We give up around 11 am and go over to the autocross which is now with Lotus Elises! It was amazing. Off-throttle oversteer, 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, amazing car. No cockpit space. You have to know the proper way to get in and out of the car, otherwise it's impossible or you'll break the windshield. Tiny steering wheel, great stereo with great speaker placement. Snug seats and brushed aluminum everywhere. This would be a good day trip car, great track day car, and a great autocross car. I don't think driving cross-country in an Elise is the best idea. But it's possible.

So I drove the Elise around the little track 6 times, we ate some lunch, then we went home. Got home at 6 pm. Unpacked some, showered, then watched War at Home (sorry Michael, but your show isn't that funny, but it had its moments) and then remember watching the first 5 minutes of Family Guy and next thing I know it's 5:30 am and J is moving around the bedroom. I finally got up about 7. So went to sleep at 9-9:15 and woke up at 7. Solid 10 hours. It was sublime.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 04, 2006


Still here

So I haven't had a real post in a few days. I still need to complete my post about Road Atlanta last weekend. I took a nap after lunch today. It felt great. But now it's tough to get going. J asked if I had seen the new kittens on cuteoverload. No, I hardly ever check cuteoverload. I just can't take those cute little bunnies and kittens all the time. They're too powerful to look at everyday.

I'll get back to serious posting soon. I'll be coming into work this weekend. A perfect time for a nice relaxed post.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Lotus Elise

Originally uploaded by Silonius.
So I set-up a Flickr account. Same user name as the one you see above in the url. Just car pics right now.

But I got to drive the Lotus Elise! It was truly amazing. 190 HP, 2000 lbs., amazing handling. An amazing vehicle. It had really nice and predictable off-throttle oversteer, which means if you're coming into a turn, you lift off the gas, the nose turns in and points towards the turn, get back on the gas and power out of the turn. Incredible.

The cockpit is uber-cozy. You have to really like your passenger. You wouldn't rub shoulders but it's close. I had to barely lean over to reach the opposite power window button. No glovebox, just a small opening in front of the passenger.

Great car, and it's actually affordable (or will be someday).

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Bobby Mnemonic

No pics from this weekend yet. I upload most pics to my gallery on the sports car club forums but it was recently overhauled and I can't seem to add any pics currently.

The restaurant we're going to eat at for my grandmother's birthday is Little Savannah not to be confused with Little Havana. I'm posting this for no other reason than it was the easiest way I could think of to give the link to J. She can't check her email at school. I guess I could've just told her the name and said google it, but this is just about the same.

No pics, so I'm not going to recap this weekend just yet, but I will leave you with a helpful tip/mnemonic device.

"Red on black is a friend of Jack, black on yellow can kill a fellow." No idea where that came from but my dad told it to me, so that's where it comes from in my world.

It references the differing stripe patterns on a King snake and a Coral snake. The Coral snake is venomous and deadly. The King snake uses this to its advantage and imitates the coral snakes deadly pattern, but just different enough so that we could come up with a clever way to remember the difference.

Can you tell which is which? It's pretty difficult and I just realized that my dad's saying is a bit confusing. Here is a website with lamer sayings but is more readily clear which will kill and which would only hurt.

Basically the moral of the coral (snake) is if black touches yellow, oh shit, if black touches red, you won't end up dead.

The best advice when encountering snakes in the wild is to leave them alone and walk well around them.

Monday, May 01, 2006


I put a spell on you

The Historic Sports Racing Walter Mitty Challenge went well this weekend. Lots of fun, lots of amazing cars. Two competing events for highlights of the weekend:
1) Jacques Villeneuve's old United Colors of Benetton F1 car that holds the Road Atlanta track record!
2) Me getting to drive a couple Lotus Elises around an autocross course. Incredible. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. But you better like your passenger. Cozy cockpit doesn't even begin to describe it.

I'll get this post up and some pics later today or maybe tomorrow.

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