How Tricky a Triangle?

For a few years now I have become an avid fan of NASCAR.  I would even place it above most of the team sports that I used to follow closely.  Perhaps my more recent involvement in motor vehicles has contributed to this.  I also believe that the advances in TV production have made the sport even more watchable.  However, it seems to me that recent NASCAR changes to vehicles have been a major failure.


What I am talking about is this year’s changes to the car aerodynamics.  The current vehicle type is in its third year of use.  The last two years the organization has successively reduced the downforce on the vehicles.  It has gone too far: the cars have become too difficult to control. 

I have felt this for the last few weeks, but last week in Indianapolis was the clincher for me.  Everyone who watched it saw wreck after wreck without a collision being the cause.  The wrecks were caused by cars passing on the outside and causing the inside car to lose control.  This doesn’t seem to me to be quality racing.  Cars are swinging wide to avoid getting turned around by loss of downforce.   Drivers of fast cars are being dumped out of the races too easily.  Something has to be done.

I plan on watching today’s race with a keen eye on how the drivers struggle to keep their cars under control.  If you drove a car model that always lost control when you were passed, you know that would be a huge class-action, product liability suit.  It seems to me that most of the drivers are “biting their lips” these days about this situation.

NASCAR has been very vocal about how it does everything it can to protect the drivers and other participants.  But are they really?  This current configuration is thrusting more and more drivers into crashes that really not need happen.  The drivers are the most valuable asset the sport has.  They need to have cars they can adequately control in a wide variety of situations.

NASCAR, please tighten up these loose cars!  

Posted in automotive, care, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

My thoughts on the election’s outcome

I admit to being a bit surprised.  I did not believe Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee when he announced his candidacy nor did I believe any of the possible “paths to victory” were attainable.  Yet, here we are today, with President-elect Donald Trump.  After watching the returns closely almost all of last night, it is sinking in.

With over 120 million Americans voting, I cannot begin to conceptualize what everyone was thinking.  It is not possible to distil it down in one sentence or statement.  It seems to me that the Republicans had done a terrible job of selecting their nominee and running their campaign.  This leads me to the point that the Democrats were far worse.

In theory, a candidate with experience in both the legislative and executive branches should have no trouble defeating a candidate with none.  In reality, she came up way short.  I believe she beat him in each of the debates.  In hindsight, this appears to have not mattered at all.  Even though Hillary won a large victory in the urban city centers of the country, her advantage was overwhelmed by the margin from combined rural areas.  How can someone who knows so much wind up looking so foolish?

That point is a very good explanation for why I was a registered Democrat for a long time but I am now a registered Republican.  I became a little disillusioned with the direction the Democratic Party was going but was very exasperated with intelligent people who fail to succeed on a regular basis.  I could not align myself with people who have very high IQ’s but cannot seem to figure out how the electoral college works let alone what appeals to people in this country.

In some ways, the DNC is like a group of college professors living in their ivory towers.  They have great ideas about what could be and should be in America.  They have a terrible record of convincing America they are right.  Often, when they get the chance to put their ideas into practice, they have failed.

I also feel it is important to point out that about 5% of the voters did not vote for either candidate.  There really was not a viable third party candidate that received more than the tiniest amount of media coverage.  I was part of that 5% because I could not in good conscience vote for Trump or Clinton.  Perhaps some people in both parties might make more than passing notice of that.

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I got a big laugh out of this

Here is a link to an article on ESPN’s site I just read.  What if other school’s football uniforms got the Oregon Duck’s influence?  It just might come out like this.

What if other schools got “Oregonized?”

And here is my much earlier post on Oregon’s uniforms.

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It is a time for change

I have been thinking about making some changes in my life.  I have for many important reasons demarked my life into ten-year periods.  Now is the beginning of a new decade and I have decided to clean things up and look ahead.

The first change is to my email address.  Although it might seem trivial to some that I consider an email change to be significant, for me it is.  The email address I have been using for the last ten years included part of my name and the city I lived in at the time.  Since I have not lived there for many years it seems to me to be a detail that has lingered for too long.  Certainly, not all of my memories of that place are positive and I see this as a way to sever some bad feeling from my life.

I believe I am on my way to a greater metamorphosis with some of these changes but like the ten year period I am looking ahead to, it will take some time.


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10 plus 10 equals what?

I suppose that I ask the question “why?” in response to many situations.  This is one such case: why should I compose this post?  Am I doing it for anyone’s edification besides my own? If so, what are the chances any such person will even be aware of this post?  I chose to put those questions aside because for me this a very significant day that deserves to be acknowledged in some way.

I have mentioned in this blog space what happened 10 years ago today.  I feel it is important to look back and reflect on what has happened since June 30, 2006.  I cannot not go into detail, for lack of space,  but I think just hitting on a few points from that conversation will give you a glimpse into my thinking on this day.

Tweet.  Ten years ago I coined the word “tweet” for an entry on the proposed site known as Twitter.  This is the most used social media site in the world.  If I were only know for having the idea to “tweet” then I would be famous around the world.  This blog is like an anonymous tweet.

Crocs.  You could say that Crocs have come and gone.  Oh well.

Car.  The car we spoke of is still in my possession.  I recently had it repainted and it looks even better than the day I bought it.  I remember writing down the car’s specifics when I was still in high school and laughing to myself about this preposterous idea.  Ironically, almost everything else that was a part of my life has fallen away and the car is about all that remains.  I am probably more known this day for being the guy with that car than anything else.  This must be the most ironic aspect of my life.

Bible.  Ten years ago I said the words and the strokes of Scriptures would change.  They did, and hardly a soul has taken notice and realized what it means.  This has to be the biggest disappointment of my life.

Aliens.  Many years ago the thought that there were or are alien races in this Universe was a notion believed by only the fringes of society.  Now, it appears to be gaining a place in mainstream belief.  I may not be able to take any credit for that but I feel I have made an impact in this realm.  Who knows how soon we will find these thoughts actually becoming an accepted standard.

Friends and family.  The family part of that hardly exists.  I have not been in close contact with relatives and I guess I am fine with that.  I still have a few friends from years ago and have made a few more since then.  I do have a social life but am set against building a long-term intimate relationship.  It can be boring but it also means much less stress.  I am satisfied with my choices in this area.

Money.  I do not have much money to my name but more than I had a few years ago.  My experience over the last year has me focused on what I really need and far less on what I want.  I am barely making ends meet but I have a roof over my head, I pay my bills, and my credit rating that was trashed from its high point of ten years ago is slowly recovering.  It has been a long struggle but I feel I am stronger than ever in this area.

Entertainment.  We covered so many people and works on that day.  I find myself almost completely divorced from mainstream entertainment.  I have seen one first-run movie in over seven years.  I may have purchased an album or two.  I have less interest in what the industry produces than I ever have and only find some joy in hearing the most local of acts.  Even then, I would probably rather be reading a classic book.

Work.  I am supposed to be doing some kind of work but my motivation is really at a zero point.  I feel I have done more than enough for everyone and have received nothing in return.  What more can I do that will change anything?  I ask myself less and less frequently what I can do for the rest of the world today.  I keep things small and really concern myself with taking care of myself, only.  It really is simpler that way.


Posted in aliens, automotive, cat, Crocs, environment, fun, God, Holy Scripture, house, Jesus, judgement, king, love, Messiah, money, movies, music, peace, prophecy, religion, TV | Leave a comment

Texas. Like a whole other country?

In the wake of the #Brexit vote there is a recent rise in the use of the #Texit hash tag that has Twitter in a bit of a buzz.  There are also some people in other states that have had aspirations of going it alone without the rest of the United States.  Is this realistic?  Could any of it happen?

At first it all seems like nonsense to me.  Besides the fact that leaving the Union is not allowed and could set off a civil war and all previous attempts to vote a state out of the Union have failed, I want to consider some of the factors involved in this scenario.  Growing up in California, I know how many people liked to talk about how great the state is and how large the economy is.  This largely ignores the fact that part of the state’s power derives from the fact it is part of the United States and leaving the country would most likely have a severe detrimental effect on it.  I think it is also worth noting that all attempts to divide California into smaller states (two parts, three parts, and even six parts) have all failed.  Can cutting off your nose to spite your face ever be a good idea?


Let’s say that Texas could somehow engineer an amicable divorce from the rest of the country.  My most recent experiences in Texas might lead me to feel if that is what they want, then let them leave.  However, I will try to leave my personal feelings out of this.  There are plenty of federal assets in Texas.  Is it reasonable to think that Texas could just appropriate all of that?  No, there would have to be some kind of division of that property that makes some kind of legal sense.

With Texas consisting of about 8.5% of the total US population I think it is fair that an independent Texas assumes 8.5% of the United States’ national debt.  They did their part in running it up and they should pay it down in fair proportion.  What about all the Army, Navy, Air Force and other Defense department assets?  I think they should be required to return all of that to the rest of the country because it mostly belongs to the rest of the country.  Okay, maybe let them keep about 8.5% of all of that.  If you want to go it alone Texas, you will have to defend yourself.  Maybe the rest of the country will agree to some kind of defense alliance, in case you somehow get into a conflict with Mexico.  We haven’t forgotten the Alamo, either.

Oh, and since Texas might want to be their own country again, like they used to be, they won’t have the bureaucratic Social Security Administration taking and giving them money.  I am sure that your citizens will love keeping their Texas dollars (or whatever your new currency will be) and not paying Social Security taxes.  But what about the Texans who currently receive Social Security benefits?  They would be cut off, I would assume.  Your new government looks like it is going to have to raise a lot more tax revenue to take care of those people.  Does this really sound like a good solution to your perceived problem?

My view is that you really should keep your boats out of US territorial waters because we might perceive that as a hostile act.  You have plenty of coastline so stay in your section of the Gulf, too.  I am sure there would be plenty of other US citizens in the Gulf of Mexico that might perceive a stray Texas watercraft to be a hostile act and shoot first and ask questions later.  For all you know we might cast the Texas terrorists as the bad guys.  Who knows?  The rest of the country might not want you crossing our borders on land, either.  Consider traveling elsewhere with your new Texas passports if we don’t want to issue visas to Texans.

Texas has plenty to be proud of and could envision a scenario where independence sounds like a terrific idea.  Seriously though, please consider all the ramifications of this decision.  I know that many people like me would not be too hasty to let you back “deep into our hearts” a second time.


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It’s already one of those days

Lately, I have been extremely frustrated with the world around me.

Generally, I can accept things are as they are and not what I always want.  I count my blessings and do my best to look at the positive aspects of my life.  However, it seems almost everything around me is not getting done the right way at almost every turn.

What I think makes all this worse is that I have plenty of time and very little money.  I try to realize that everyone else is on a different schedule and has different priorities and that I need to try to match their pace.  It makes me feel like screaming.

I need some maintenance done around this unit and it seems like we have a screw up followed by other screw ups.  I have been without my car for over two months and we cannot seem to get all the pieces together.  My computer is sometimes one glitch after another.  I have a headache because I must be figuratively hitting my head against a wall.

Time to go back to counting my blessings. . .


Posted in addiction, automotive, disasters, environment, health, house, money, peace | Leave a comment

I knew it, didn’t I?

I believe that all of us are psychic.  Even before reading some studies that have proven our brains have some level of foreknowledge, I have believed it.  I think that people are somehow conditioned to think of psychic abilities as nonsense and therefore discount any claims that anyone could know anything ahead of time.  I believe that all of us could embrace our innate ability for foreknowledge, exercise it, and be better at knowing what lies ahead.

That might have been an odd way to begin the post on this subject, but what happened today does not piqué my interest so much about what happened but all the mental and psychological angles on it that came to me.

I have a Chinese made 150 cc scooter.  I have had it a few years, and as happens for many who have machines like mine, there are many issues that crop up from time to time.  Many people in the know have stated that when you own one of these machines “you are always wrenching on them.”

Recently, I have had a charging issue.  I had replaced the regulator-rectifier on it some years ago and thought at first it needed replacement.  After watching a video on YouTube on how to troubleshoot such an issue I got out my multimeter and began testing.  After double checking my results it appeared one side of the stator was generating enough voltage, but the other was not.  I had yet to pull the cover off the stator and was a bit reluctant to do so.  The stator sits inside a flywheel and since the flywheel is on a tapered shaft it cannot be easily pulled off.  You need a special tool to do that and I had collected the parts I needed but had not drilled the holes yet.  I thought I was going to do that yesterday, but had a bad previous night and just wasn’t up to it.  My plan was to do that today.

Last night, I went out with some of my local scooter friends and since the place we met up was close by I believed I still had enough battery power to get there and back.  Since the battery would be draining slowly I backed out early, a bit embarrassed, because I did not think I could complete a possible drive around at night.

I got home even more determined to get this problem fixed today.  As I thought about it I did what I call a bit of a psychic exercise.  Perhaps it could be called a logic exercise but I was focused on determining if I could “see it” before I looked.  Knowing what the problem’s symptoms are I tried to anticipate what the cause was.  There are a few reasons that could cause it but when I thought about the possibility that there could be a piece of debris in the magneto, which would interfere with AC being generated I had a “good feeling” about that.  I believed when I pulled the stator’s cover off that I would find something attached to the magneto that was causing the problem.

Today I pulled the cover off and immediately noticed there was something wedged on the left side of the magneto.  I had the immediate satisfaction of feeling I had seen it before I looked.  I wasn’t sure what it was, it was sort of gray-silver: I thought it looked like a piece of duct tape.  I began to remove the fan from the flywheel and this dropped out.


I immediately recognized what that is but my reaction was denial.  I know it’s an exhaust gasket but refused to believe it was.  This is the odd psychological angle.  I continued to unbolt the fan to see where this piece is supposed to go.  Should that have been between the fan and the flywheel?  No, of course not!  I was then able to “accept” that this item is an exhaust gasket that has no place in the stator assembly.

I am beyond actually being angry at this point.  I replaced the stock exhaust years ago.  I remember thinking when I took the old exhaust out, “why isn’t there a gasket in there?”  I added a special gasket, similar to this one, when I installed the new exhaust.  I remember thinking that not using a gasket was a really stingy way the bike company could save a buck.

Now it seems when they assembled this thing some worker thought the gasket belonged in this spot, between the fan and the flywheel, and not between the engine block and the exhaust. 

I find that to be a bit disturbing.


Posted in automotive, scooter, Uncategorized, YouTube | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Something to think about while watching sports

Check out @JesusKrishna’s Tweet:

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I have a credit card

After several years of working my way out of the hole I dug by making some bad choices, I can now say I am moving up.  I have a credit card.  No, it is not here in my hands but I know I have been approved and my credit card account is online with the bank.  It might not seem like a noteworthy event, but for me this is a real milestone.

It is a secured card: I have given the bank cash to receive this privilege.  I had recently tried to get some of the easy to secure credit lines but was denied.  I wanted to avoid this type of arrangement but I had come to realize this was my only option left.  After spending time paying off the old bad debts and waiting for the others to be removed from my report that I could not negotiate down, I was left in the “too thin a credit history” scenario.  Although I have been paying off my bills regularly, and have been a good tenant for almost two years, none of these entities report to the credit bureaus.

Now I can begin to move up, a small step at a time, to being a well documented bill payer.  As long as I am dutiful for a year, which I have every intention of being, I will graduate to a non-secured card in one year.  I also look forward to getting my cash back at that time.

This really has no impact on my self-worth or even my immediate plans for the future.  However, this does change that what the rest of the world perceives of me.  Honestly, I really don’t care about that but as I have found out, that has a large impact on what I am able to do in this world.  For the first time in many years, I feel like I am moving on from the past.

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