The Beginning....

The Beginning....
When William Least Heat-Moon toured the country many years ago, his steed, if you will, was a van that he named Ghost Dancing. His journey of America was 13,000 miles. His book is Blue Highways, A Journey Into America. My steed will be a Subaru WRX. My travels will be, what in the past were called, the blue highways of Virginia. Years ago, maps showed secondary roads in blue. Yes, the ones less traveled.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thank Goodness My Pup's Going to Be OK!

On my last post I mentioned that I was going to layoff religion, for at least a while. However,
this is a positive post. Yes, religion is doing something good. Here's a link to what Pope Francis has said about pups going to heaven. Wow, I feel so much better.

Hmmm. But, I wonder. Will they know that my pup can only eat prescription dog food? Yes, she has colitis. Hmmm. Maybe when you're in heaven, ahh, do all of your physical problems go away? If not, are they able to get her records from her vet? Will they consult with Dr. Andrew about her well-being? It's heaven, they'll surely take care of her, won't they? Also, since she was little she's had the same peanut flavored treats in the shape of a small dog bone. Will they have them? Just remembered, what about grooming? Wow, I now have some real concerns. 

Maybe I shouldn't pose this question, I mean after all, I do truly appreciate what the Pope is doing--but, should I maybe look around at other heavens? You know, maybe there's one out there that has been taking dogs for a long time. Maybe they'd be more setup to take care of my pup. Dang, now I'm starting to really worry. Surely I can count on the Pope to take care of her, can't I?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pay it Forward and Christmas is Almost Here.....

So, can an atheist get excited about Christmas? Well, surely not in the sense of praying, going to church, thinking the earth is only a few thousand years old, and that there was a virgin birth.

But, I have noticed that some people, believers or not, seem to be a little kinder and understanding, if you will, during the holiday season. And, of course that is good. People who are usually gruff and abrupt may even, with a smile no less, wish you a Merry Christmas or a Happy Holiday and at least at the time they're saying it, mean it.

I think that if we can all take a few minutes and think about what we have...yes, our material things as well as our friendships and relationships; that we can pause and appreciate that we have a job and can support ourselves and those who rely on us, whether we think our job is the greatest or not.

Anyone who happens by here and is reading this surely is most likely doing at least OK in the grand scheme of things. Yes, we may want our marriages and relationships to be better. We may want our job environment to be better. We may want a new car or a fancier place to live, but when the marks are tallied, we most likely have it pretty good.
Click on the ABC link below to learn who owns this car....
None of us are going to bed hungry. And, I'm sure we all have shelter and clothes to wear.

So, I guess what would be great, is for those of us who have this other feeling around the holidays, could maintain it throughout the year. Yeah, be nice to folks because it's good to be nice to folks. And, not just do it because you feel by tradition that you should......

So, George, did you fall and bonk your head? What's up? I know that you may find it hard to believe but just because a person is an atheist doesn't that that they aren't the same as a

believer, except for that one small difference. Yes, we don't believe in god(s).

So, what brought all of this on? Good question and I'm not exactly sure. I've been thinking about writing something like this for a while. I guess, what nudged me a little was an article on the ABC website. And, yes, I realized that constantly ranting  and raving about the evils of religion is doing nothing other than keeping me riled-up.

Sometimes we just need to sit and be unemotional and objective about our situation, and at other times maybe looking around us and seeing how others have it will cause us to better appreciate our station in life. Try to imagine trading places with those who don't have what we have. Sometimes a little introspection can better make us appreciate what we do have.

So folks, be nice... yes, during the holidays as well as the rest of the year. And, if you see someone who needs help and you're able to assist, that would be great.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Religion Again, Yes, Still the World's Greatest Evil.......

Good people do good things
Evil people do evil things
But, it takes religion to make good people do evil things...

This, I believe, is a philosopher, whose name I can't remember.......

There are so many evils and horrible events that are perpetuated on a daily basis in the name of religion. And, yes, that's it's religion and we surely don't want to not allow religious people to act as they want. Yes, they are special.

Here in the States there are all kinds of religious exemptions or whatever you want to call them.

Yes, the Jews circumcise and then suck the blood from the infant's penis. Hey, a few will die and some will have brain damage and some will have herpes, but, what the heck...hey, it's our religion.

Child gets sick, don't take them to a doctor, we're going to pray over them. Hey, that's fine.

Don't want to vaccinate your kid, hey, that's fine as long as your religious views forbid it.

Want to offer up a sacrifice to a god or goddess, hey, that's fine as long as your religion says you should. Oh, you're going to torture animals....heck, go ahead, dang, you're offering up a sacrifice to your gods or goddesses.... We surely don't want to stop you.

Please note, this link to a CNN article I found quite disturbing. But, hey it's religion. Not sure if you should see it. Yes, there are photos. And, again, I found it quite disturbing.

Yes, I need to get on the road and travel a little. Sadly, I doubt if we will ever rid ourselves of religion. It will just go on and on.

Yes, I do need to get on the road.............

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Do You Folks Read Labels? On Bottles of Booze?

Courtesy Silverback Distillary
Well, I confess, yes, I'm a label reader. I read them all. When I go in a grocery store,  I read the labels. And, when I go in the ABC store (In Virginia, all booze is sold by the state in Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) stores.) I read the labels.

Actually, I often pick out a new booze if I like the label. Hey, it might have a little humor or comedy to it. And, that's what happened today.

For several years when I buy gin I buy Broker's. Yes, I started buying that brand because of the label and a little tag they hang on the bottle. Today when I went in the ABC store it was going to be a gin day and I went to find the Broker's.  It was on sale, I think two bucks off, and I was going to buy three bottles. For some reason, I glanced to the left of the Broker's and there it was....Strange Monkey Gin. Well, I couldn't resist.

I picked-up a bottle and turned it around and read the label. 

Here's the label......

Charles Darwin said, "No other member in the whole class of mammals is coloured in so extraordinary a manner as the adult male mandrills." We like to think that If Darwin drank our hand crafted gin his quote would be "no other spirit in the whole class of libations tastes as extraordinary as STRANGE MONKEY GIN." There is no better hand crafted gin than STRANGE MONKEY. EVERYONE NEEDS A LITTLE and then.

Hmmm. The needing a little strange seems a little crude...but, so be it.

Yes, I bought one bottle. Dang, can't remember how much it was but it was far-more expensive than Broker's. I guess what helped cinch the deal is that it's made in the Silverback Distillery in Virginia. Now, why should being made in Virginia matter? Well, that's a question for another time. I guess another thing is that these folks just opened this year. You know, give them a little support. I'm hoping it's a bunch of pals who got together, maxed out their credit cards, second/third mortgages on their houses, and said, Hey, we're going to make some darn good booze. Frankly, if I find that a huge multinational corporation owns them, I'll be less enthused.

They have more products coming.

So, how is the Strange Monkey Gin?

Courtesy Silverback Distillary
Do I have any special training in evaluating or testing spirits? Nope. I do drink them from time to time, though. OK, I'll give it a try.

It's not harsh. It's at least as smooth as other gins I've had.  I think the only thing unique is a taste that I can't describe other than to say it's interesting. Spicy? Hmmm... I'm getting way out of my area here.

Well, yes, just tried a couple more sips. Yep, this is stuff is pretty good, whatever that means.

Will I being buying more Strange Monkey Gin? As of this moment, yes. In fact, looking forward to them having their other products available.

You folks out there who drink, Hey, try Strange Monkey. You shouldn't be disappointed.

Edit: November 29, 2014

I asked the Strange Monkey folks permission to use these two images that are theirs. I got an immediate and pleasant response saying it would be OK. 

And, no it ain't no multinational corporation who own the distillery.

The gentleman included the following in his letter to me.

Here are the ingredients we distill with in our Strange Monkey:

Juniper Berries
Lemon Peel
Sweet Orange Peel
Mandarin Bitter Orange Peel

He invited us all to visit his distillery, which is in one of our State's most beautiful areas.

 Silverback distillery at 9374 Rockfish Valley HWY, Afton, VA 22920

He, Denver Riggleman, also mentioned that their BERINGEI Vodka is now on the shelves at your favorite ABC store. Also, available at their distillery is their Blackback White Grain Spirit (Bourbon Mash Moonshine) and they will have a bourbon and rye whisky. 

I had forgotten to mention that their distillery is green, I believe that is the term used, as they are looking out for our environment.

Here's an article from the News Advance about the distillery.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

OK, Folks....What Car is More Likely to Get a Ticket...Hmmm.....Actually, Drivers Who Are More Likely to Get a Ticket? What Car Are They Driving?

Folks, if you're driving a Subaru WRX you're more likely to get a ticket than if you're driving any other car. Yes, for better or worse, the Subaru WRX ranks first in the ticket getting contest. I guess the kids out there who are driving this model, now have a smile on their faces. Hey, I'm an old guy, and no I don't speed. Well, there are only two places, but never on the highway; I drive the speed limit or at the most five over and I'm getting to the point I rarely use the five over. I will admit this car can get you in trouble if you don't watch yourself.

You really need to watch this. Yes, Breakfast in your control. Dang, I was shocked to learn that someone else gets their bread like this; I thought I was the only one. It's amazing that a car company would have an ad like this. Hey, go get your Subaru. Not sure about whether the young lady will join you for breakfast? Subaru doesn't show her as an option.

Photo: Courtesy Subaru

Take a look here to see how your car stacks up for tickets.

Not for the faint of heart.  A lap around the Isle of Man in a Subaru.

Mark Higgins, again. Trying to break his lap record. A different view.

Yes, you might call this a public service announcement, of sorts.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Latest From the Religious Front...Sort Of.....Maybe I've Solved Your Christmas Card Problem???

Well folks, Christmas will be here soon. And, soon many of us are going to start a bizarre dance if you will, and head out shopping. Many of our gifts  will not be appreciated or wanted. And, we seem to do it every year. In fact, many families go in debt to buy these gifts that no one wants. However, I have found the perfect Christmas card. Well, perfect for me. Take a look.....   

Most Christmas cards have Baby Jesus, Rudolph, wreaths, Santa Claus, snow men/women, and so on. However, few can give you a laugh. This is the postcard version of the Christmas card. The Christmas card inside, has the punch line, if you will, For the first time ever, Mary was glad she was engaged to an idiot, along with Merry Christmas. Hey, get the greeting out along with a laugh.

Here's where you can buy the Christmas Card version.

And, here is a cool website where the card originated. I tried to find how I could contact the lady who owns the website to get permission to use the card; however, couldn't find an address. I hope she doesn't mind my using it. Hey, I'm a good customer.

Can't think of a gift to give to one of your Christian buddies. How about this one. Was Jesus really married with kids?

Wish you all a good holiday season. Try not to get in a panic over buying Christmas presents. And, if you have a few drinks don't drive! Nothing will spoil your holiday season more than a DUI or worse, an accident caused by booze.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ahhh, Another Go-No-Where Project? Or, Will This One Somehow Work Out?

Well, I'm not sure exactly how this got started. Let's see, it was two/three days ago. I'm not even sure what the catalyst was. Anyway, I started looking at bikes. Yes, fold-up bikes. In particular, the Brompton that is a well-known British bike.

Hmmm. Wow, they were sort of pricey but all the reviews were positive and folks seem to love them. In fact, a young couple sold everything they had, bought two, and yes, hit the road and are traveling around the US.

At first glance the folding bikes look somewhat toyish. But, they seemingly aren't and there seems to be few disadvantages to them. Of course one of the main selling points is their foldability. If you want to take it somewhere to ride, you don't have to put on a bike rack or take off wheels to try to jam it in your car. Just fold it up and put it in your trunk or back seat. It weighs about 25 pounds.

Anyway, I started looking at other manufacturers and after spending the better part of a day reading reviews and such, ended-up at  Bike Friday.  And, yes, I'm buying a Bike Friday bike that should be shipped about December 19th.

And, after talking to my pal Eddie who knows just about everything about bikes and with the patient and knowledgeable help of Robbie Dow at Bike Friday, man oh man, I'm going to have a terrific bike. No folks, they ain't all the same.

Another cool thing, if you will, is this baby is going to be custom made. Yep, you send them measurements, inseam, height, and so on...yeah, riding style (Since I don't have a riding style, I guess I'll have to pass on that one.). And, they make the bike for you.

It's going to have disc brakes and a Gates belt-drive; no chain to oil or mess with. Also, it's going to have a cool Shimano 11-speed gear gizmo that's sealed and requires no maintenance. You are able to specify just about any parts that you want. Yes, it's truly made for the buyer just the way he or she wants it.

Well, enough for now. When it arrives I'll take some snaps and be back.

If any of you folks have the sudden urge to buy one of these cool bikes, give Robbie a call at 1-800-777-0258. If you want it by Christmas time, you'd better call soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Do You Folks Hunt? I Don't, But My Neighbor Does......

I've never had the urge or desire to go hunting. 

I just always figured I couldn't shoot a deer; or a squirrel, or any animal for that matter. 

Of course, I let other people kill chickens, pigs, and hogs so I can go to the grocery store and buy what I want. I feel sure that many of us would stop buying meat if we went to a slaughter house and actually saw how these animals were killed. I doubt any of us can imagine the terror that the animals must feel.

That said, I've talked to my neighbor a little about hunting, trying to understand the allure or whatever you want to call it, to get up early in the morning, drive several hours, and then tromp around in the woods, often times with rain and cold.

While I surely don't know if my neighbor is representative of all hunters, he often times goes hunting and comes home empty handed. He usually says he didn't see anything big enough to shoot.

While I haven't quizzed him about how many shots does it take and so on, I would imagine he is a skilled marksman and the animal doesn't suffer. At least, I hope, the animal doesn't suffer.

He seems to follow all of the rules whether he is hunting or fishing. And, yes, he does both as often as possible. When asked, how often do you go hunting, he says, As often as she (yes, Mrs. Hunter) lets me.

I think most hunters would say that if they weren't out hunting that the deer population would get so large that there would be an increase in the number of deer who starve.

Mrs. Hunter and Sadie watching.........
Of course, I know nothing about that.

I'm not even sure why I'm posting this. I walked my dog and there my neighbor was cutting up his deer. Maybe it was just a photo op. I guess I would say, that after talking to my neighbor, I most likely look at hunting a little differently. It would seem that those who oppose hunting on the grounds that it is cruel to animals should be able to realize that it would seem no more cruel than how we slaughter the animals that end-up in our grocery stores. 

To give the deer a sporting chance, it would seem that you'd need to provide them with the sames weapons the hunter has or that the hunter would put aside his/her weapons and go into the woods with nothing more than what the deer has. Hmmmm.... I doubt that's going to happen.

Edit: OK, I can't resist. What's up with hanging animal heads all over your  house? Does this go back to the time of the caveman, when he'd come into his lair and make a mark on the wall to let everyone know he'd just bagged another mastodon? Or, maybe a gunfighter from the old west carving a notch on their gun. Or, maybe a pilot painting another mark on their plane for a kill. 

Seriously, you go out in the woods with a giant gun, kill a deer, whack off its head, have it mounted, and hang it on the wall of your den????? We normally only bring attention to things that we are proud of or that make a statement. 

Well, I guess a person could be proud of shooting a deer. 

But why, I might ask? 

No, this is not the same as asking should you go hunting and shoot a deer.

Monday, September 29, 2014

NASCAR, Pisses Me Off.... Well, Let Me Explain.....

At 75, I think I can say that I've been a race fan forever.

My dad took me to my first race about 1945. Wow, that has been a few years ago. It was a local track where they raced midgets. Since then I've followed racing of all types. I remember years ago when I watched TV, I was desperate for some racing and watched a 24 hour riding-lawnmower enduro from England broadcast on Speed Channel (no, I didn't watch it for 24 hours).

I went to my first sports car race in 1956 in Mansfield, Louisiana, held on an airport track.

And, I actually raced sports cars a little in the sixties.

My favorite racing to watch was and is road racing.

But, of course, there was always NASCAR, which I also watched.

After giving up TV and Speed Channel many years ago, somehow I've been keeping-up with NASCAR over the Internet. A couple of years ago, my pal Eddie, found a place on the Internet where all types of racing is available.

OK, what am I leading up to, here?

Back in the old days the racers actually raced cars that looked the same as the cars we could go to our local dealers and buy. And, though highly modified they still looked like the cars out front at our dealerships. Didn't they used to say, Race on Sunday and sell on Monday, or something like that?

Yes, today we have so-called stock cars with a million horsepower that are called Toyota Camerys. Oh, well. When reading fiction we often have to suspend disbelief.

NASCAR has become a well-choreographed spectacle. No, I'm surely not saying that's bad. Folks, there are millions and millions of dollars at play here. It costs millions of dollars to get those cars out on the track. Nope, we long ago got away from the time when some of  these cars were actually hauled to the track on an open trailer.

Typically the drivers are introduced and most likely driven around the track in a pickup truck with the drivers waving to the fans.

Then there's a fly over, often times with really cool old planes.

Yes, there's a showing of  colors. Yep, when our military men and women are shown with the American flag.

And, the National Anthem.

As an aside, NASCAR and most racing organizations have made great strides in safety over the years. Now a days we see NASCAR racers flip and roll a hundred times and the driver jumps out unscathed.

OK, so what I'm pissed-off about. The convocation. 

Yep, that's what gets me. And, that's what pisses me off. 

Actually, pissed-off most likely doesn't accurately describe my feelings. I think it is more being disappointed that in 2014 we ignore all reason and logic. That we cling to beliefs that are wholly-based on superstition and myth; that when it comes to religious beliefs we put on our intellectual blinders and no longer require evidence.

Back to the convocation. Typically, it's a local pastor, minister, or what-have -you. Yep, and it goes something like this.

With the minister looking upward at times, Dear heavenly Father, we ask that you protect these racers from harm and that we have a safe race. We ask that you look over them and we also pray that you look over our men and women serving overseas.....blah, blah, blah....we thank you for the beautiful weather today.....blah, blah, blah....and, yes, Heavenly Father.....blah, blah, blah.....and, yes, we ask in the name of Lord Jesus Christ....blah, blah, blah.

Wow, so much BS! What does the old reverend say when someone is killed or severely injured in a race? God works in mysterious ways???? God's testing us? We can't question God?

Of course, this is NASCAR's show and they have the right to do whatever they want and believe whatever they want. Hey, this is America and we still have freedom of speech.

And, this is my blog and I have the right to say whatever I want. Great country, ain't it?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

We Have Really Stepped on Our Collective Wieners.... Haven't We?

Yes, I'm sure  this post will make it apparent that I know little about what's going on in the Middle East. However, that said, here is what little I do know.

We started a war in Iraq for no reason. Well, yes, we were told that there was WMD (yes, the old weapons of mass destruction). Of course, there wasn't.

Then Afghanistan. Weren't the Russians there for ten years or so and finally gave up? Also, weren't we supplying those folks with weapons to fight the Russians? Hmm... What was that movie? Was it Wilson's War? Just looked it up, it's Charlie Wilson's War.

Now, up to the present day. Let's see, there's a rebel group trying to overthrow the government of Syria. And, of course there's ISIS/ISIL. Now, we are presently spending millions and millions of dollars a day supposedly bombing ISIS/ISIL

We have given or about to give weapons to the rebels who are fighting the Syrian government. I just read that the rebels are pissed at us because we are bombing Syria. Hmm.... Maybe the rebels will join ISIS/ISIL.

Oh, yeah. Forgot to mention, we, yes the US, are bombing our weapons and equipment that we gave to the Iraqis that they abandoned and I guess are being used by ISIS/ISIL.

There must be something wrong with us. No matter what, we just keep going to war. Yes, our elected officials are prancing around and always talking about boots on the ground. I think that is an absolute insult to the men and women of our armed forces. Boots on the ground. Our exalted leaders completely ignore that fact that there are folks wearing those boots and they our citizens who they keep sending off to war. And, yes, they actually get killed. 

Hey, maybe we should fire-up the old B-52s and drop boots on them. 

Or, better yet, maybe we should fire-up the old B-52s and drop our politicians on them.

EDIT: This is what Charlie Sheen's character, Chris Taylor, said at the end of the movie, Platoon.

"I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. The enemy was in us. The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called "possession of my soul." There are times since, I've felt like a child, born of those two fathers. But be that as it may, those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life."

Sunday, August 31, 2014

James Randi, One of My Heroes...Take a Few Minutes to Get Acquainted With Him........

Take a few minutes and read an August 30, 2014 article in the Miami
Herald. Randi has been traveling the world for years, offering, what is now, a million dollar prize for anyone who can prove any type of paranormal, psychic ability, astrology, energy healing, and so on.

Thankfully, I live in a country (USA) where I can say just about anything I want. I can believe what I want. I can think what I want. And, no one, not the government, or citizens can take that away from me.

Yes, we are allowed to be duped and taken advantage of by charlatans and quacks of all
stripes. We can go to faith healers who can’t heal, chiropractors who adjust vertebral subluxations that don’t exist, take homeopathic remedies that are inert with no active ingredients, and on and on.

Randi has devoted his life to exposing these people. But, often times that does no good. Peter Popoff is a good example. Years ago Randi exposed him for what he is. Popoff wanders through the audience at his so-called faith healings and seems to know so much information about those who come for healings. Randi recorded the conversations between Popoff and his wife who was transmitting information to him that had been gathered from the prayer cards filled out by those seeking healings. Yes, he subsequently went bankrupt but is back at it again. Here's his new place. In the upper right hand corner, click on the to get the miracle water. You'll be entertained. I did that many years ago. As I best remember, I asked him to pray for my
cancer (which of course I didn't have) and some of the letters he sent mentioned my cancer. I would also get some pretty creepy messages from him. If nothing more you'll cost him a few bucks.

I could go on and on but am going to stop for now. If you are one of those seeking treatments from Reiki Masters, using Bach Flowers, seeing your chiropractor a couple of times a month, well…..I doubt that anything that I can say in a few words is going to change your mind.

Remember, the reason it’s called complementary and alternative medicine is because it doesn't work. Period. When treatments work, it's called medicine. This is poorly written but frankly, I don’t want to spend any more time on this at the moment.

And for those of you who say, What’s the harm? Well, take a look here..

Edit: Yes, just posted this. And, it is poorly written and for that I apologize. The answers are not with your astrologer, numerologist, psychic, or a so-called god up in the sky. Folks, try a little reality. The world is a great place as it is. And, when you are having medical problems seek treatment from real doctors. Oh, well.... Remember, Mr. Randi has a million bucks waiting for your Reiki Master, astrologer, psychic, and the rest of them. The next time your Reiki Master is shooting all that energy to you, why not ask them why they haven't gotten Mr. Randi's million bucks?

Yes, you may have noticed, I have a Ph.D. in  beating dead horses.

EDIT-November 22, 2014:  Read this November 7, 2014, New York Times article written by Adam Higginbotham.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

MTV Awards. It Reminded Me of a Dog Show....Sort of.

This photo is along the right side of the blog. Yes, these
pups are all gussied-up.
You guys know about MTV Video Music Awards? Well, it was mentioned in our local online newspaper and by following a few links, I ended-up here.

Back to the dogs.... The pups in the photo are relatives of a great pup, Scout, who was with me many years ago. What a great dog she was.

I knew that I would have to train her. Well, she was going to end-up being too big to not have her minding. 

There was a local obedience club with a bunch of nice folks. And, it cost almost nothing as all the instructors were volunteers. Anyway, it was kind of cool and the pup seemed to like it OK....well, as best I could tell. And, it was amazing how she did. I couldn't let it go at that. I think I went to two of the classes and then Scout and I started going to obedience trials.

The obedience trials test the dog's ability to follow commands; stay, down, heal, and so on. She actually won a third-place ribbon (long story for maybe another time) scoring 170 points out of 200.

Anyway, back to what I wanted to say.

There are many types of dog shows or trials. The casual viewer is mostly familiar with confirmation shows such as Westminster. This is for all practical purposes a beauty contest; yes, the pups must meet the breed standard. But, it comes down to the dogs prancing around in a ring.

If you go to the link it seems that all of these ladies...... are in a bullpen kind of place where the watchers or fans or whatever you want to call them, are looking down into the pen while they prance around and get photographed. Yep, just like the dogs...well, there is one difference, the dogs have no choice. The folks prancing around in the bullpen do.

My mom always told me to never make fun of how someone looks. And, my mom was right. That said, wow, what a bunch.....yes, there were exceptions but most there were tacky, tawdry, cheap looking, hard looking, sleazy, or a combination. And unappealing, if you will, at least to this old guy of seventy-five years. Actually, I rather watch actual dogs.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tony Stewart Ran Into and Killed Kevin Ward, Jr.

I was somewhat amazed that all of the news channels reported on this.

CNN, ABC, CBS, and others are reporting. And, there are several op-eds kind of essays about whether Stewart should be charged because of this tragic event.

Some are saying Stewart is a hot head and ask, did he try to buzz (for lack of a better word) Ward and accidentally kill him? None of us know this. Would any of us believe that Tony actually wanted to hurt this kid? I hope not.

This death is different than most racing deaths. Most deaths happen because of accidents while the race is in progress. Yes, these are tragic also; however, they are different than what happened to the young fellow who Tony hit. He was not in his car, he was on the track.

Today was the Michigan race. And, yes, Tony Stewart had Jeff Burton fill in for him. This is the second race Tony has missed. What the future holds for Stewart none of us know. And, I surely wouldn't want to be him at this time.

I had a limited and not-noteworthy racing career. Raced with the SCCA (cars), the AAMRR (motorcycle road racing), and lots of short-track motorcycle racing. And, held a novice license with the American Motorcycle Association (AMA), not the American Medical Association.

Yes, a Norton motorcycle. Sorry, yes, I grabbed this from the Internet.

I think for anyone who has raced, there are races or events, or particular instances that we will always remember.

Speaking of, my definition of buzzing is when a competitor passes you really close. Yes, closer than needed or necessary. Now, I'm not saying this is inherently bad...but, they sure have come close when there was plenty of track-room available.

The one that I best remember, the buzz, was at a AAMRR race at Virginia International Raceway. Yes, folks, this was in the sixties. I was riding a stock Yamaha 350 (yes, two-cycle) and was on the main straight, maybe going max of 115 when a fellow on a Norton, came by me. And, yes, he definitely buzzed me. He was going at least 20/25 mph faster, and yes, missed my handlebar by mere fractions of an inch.

And, so it goes. I hope Tony Stewart can come to grips with this tragedy.

EDIT: August 19, 2014
From our local paper, an AP article by Jenna Fryer about Tony Stewart.

EDIT:  September 26, 2014
An amazing article about Stewart, a usually private person, talking about how he's been since the "accident."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sarah Palin Now Has Her Own TV Program......

Well, I just couldn't resist. Yes, we can now watch Palin on TV. Yes, she has her own show.

"Palin publicly announced her project Sunday.
In a video on her YouTube channel, she called it “a news channel that really is a lot more than news.” It will cover stories about her family, behind-the-scenes looks at events and “the issues that the mainstream media won’t talk about,” Palin said.
Palin expressed hope that the channel would be a “community,” where viewers could share their concerns directly with her. However, this community does come at a cost. The subscription rate is $9.95 a month or $99.95 a year."  (ABC News, July 28, 2014)
And, if you want to be part of her community, cough up a few bucks a month.

Frankly folks, this does not speak well of us. It would be interesting to interview a few of you who are subscribed to her channel. Yes, and interview a few of you who voted for her. Of course in some ways, she can be an inspiration, for if she can run for the next-to-the-highest office in our country....well, maybe there's hope for the rest of us who aspire to such things. Remember, when she was running for office, she repeatedly couldn't accurately say what is the job of the vice president.
Here's a link to her new TV program.
And, here's a link from The Young Turks with a little something about Palin.    

She could do a Timex watch commercial. Yes, she just keeps on ticking.