From the hip

There goes my hero, watch him as he goes. There goes my hero, he’s ordinary.

You can't take the sky from me

Reading this nugget of pop culture goodness I felt like I was five again. Are our children going to see David Blaine and Jimmie Johnson with the same eyes we saw Evel Knievel and Richard Petty? If so, I am superlatively disappointed on their behalf. The world needs more crazy mofos hurling themselves through fireballs.

Link:You Stay Classy, America

From the hip

2008 Silverado 350K Pictures

Ron Hornaday Victory Lap

OK, so it’s taken me a month to post any more pictures from the fall races at TMS. I know I’ve been delinquent in that regard. Actually, I haven’t blogged at all since the races, have I?

I’m sorry. I’ve had a lot going on. A couple of trips, a holiday, all sorts of business. I’m sorry for that. I’ll try to be better in the future. And Nostalgia Tuesday will return soon, I promise.

Anyway, I spent a couple of hours tinkering with pictures from the Craftsman Truck race, so here are those. I’ll get to the other two races as soon as I can. (Most likely next week.)

Overall, I’m not nearly as happy with these as I am with the shots from the Nationwide Series race on Saturday or the Cup race on Sunday. I was using a lens I hadn’t tried before and it took me a day or so to get comfortable with it. Also, I’ve learned I simply don’t have the gear to shoot the night races properly. (Or at least how I feel it should be done.) If anyone wants to send me a new Canon 5D Mark II and a massive f/4 or lower L series lens I promise I’ll do better next time…

Anyway, click here to check out the set on Flickr.

From the hip

Justin Allgaier slides across the infield

Justin Allgaier slides across the infield

More images from this weekend’s racing will be coming soon. But I was so happy with this shot I wanted to post it tonight.

Can’t wait for tomorrow’s race!

(PS – To do this shot justice, you’ve gotta CLICK HERE to see it BIG!)

From the hip

The universe likes to taunt me

In protest, of THIS INJUSTICE, I will not eat a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich for at least one year.

Screw you, universe!

From the hip

Barney Smith for President

We need a president who puts Barney Smith before Smith Barney.

I’d vote for this guy if he would run.

From the hip

5 Things

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these memes. I stole this one from Clare.

Five things you were doing 10 years ago?

  1. Spending my last summer in College Station
  2. Working as the sole pit security person at a Shania Twain concert which ended with a stage rush of teenage girls. To this day I have never been more scared in my life than that moment.
  3. Driving my friend Jason home from his internship with The X-Files and trying (in vain) to convince him that it would be unprofessional to NOT take the route that goes through Roswell, NM
  4. Watching one of the MTV awards shows that contained a performance by Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and thinking, “In 10 years people are going to think Christina’s the crazy washed up one.”
  5. Wondering if my roommate had been eaten by bears since he should have returned from a weekend camping trip by Thursday. It turned out he had flown to California to meet his internet girlfriend and he didn’t think to make the length of the trip in his lie the same as the length of his ACTUAL trip. He was not a good liar.

Five things on my to-do list today?

  1. Finish a CD of “offline web resources” for a client
  2. Finish editing photos from the Indy race a couple weeks ago
  3. Try to improve the comment spam moderation on my blog
  4. See if I can’t trade Brian Roberts in one of my fantasy baseball leagues
  5. Call the doctor to make an appointment for a checkup (since I haven’t even set foot there in about 3 years…)

I only expect to accomplish 1 or 2 of these.

Five Places I have traveled? (I’ll give you the five most beautiful roads I’ve driven, in no particular order…)

  1. Route 66 between Needles, CA and Kingman, AZ
  2. The Gunflint Trail north of Grand Marais, MN along the Canadian Border
  3. Blue Ridge Parkway through North Carolina and Virginia
  4. Utah Highway 12
  5. Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway through the Ouachita National Forest during the fall

Five snacks or treats I enjoy?

  1. Pretzels
  2. Cheez-Its
  3. Banana Chips (it’s a real shame they’re so incredibly bad for you)
  4. Dried Pineapple
  5. Cashews

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire?

  1. Shakira
  2. Jenna Fischer
  3. Sarah Silverman
  4. Salma Hayek
  5. Anne Hathaway

What? I was just being honest.

Oh, that’s not what you meant? Oh, fine…

  1. Give the bank all of the money they want for the things I (and my family) supposedly “own”
  2. Buy a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California
  3. Lobby to eliminate patents on “indigenous” food crops
  4. Set up a foundation to give most of it away for good causes. The Bill Gates model is pretty good. Diseases, hunger … root causes of poverty
  5. Bankroll a presidential campaign for someone I can trust. Somebody like my dad, who is too smart to run, even for a billion dollars.

Five of my bad habits?

  1. I work too much
  2. Laziness (on non-work things … just look at my yard)
  3. Stay up way too late
  4. It sounds weird to say it, but sometimes I’m not selfish enough
  5. I’m too patient. (Sometimes the opportunity passes because I’m not in a hurry.)

Five places I have lived?

  1. Lexington, KY
  2. Arlington, TX
  3. College Station, TX
  4. Fort Worth, TX
  5. Arlington, TX

Five jobs I’ve had?

  1. Warehouse monkey at a macaroni factory
  2. Scuba diver’s assistant
  3. Taught advertising to 5th and 6th graders
  4. Electro-Pimp Deluxe
  5. My own boss (this one seems to suit me best … most of the time)
From the hip

Up to 20% of a solution…

So if I eat five packages of this my problem’s solved?

From the hip Stupidity in action

Is pink OK?

There's a party in my glass

If you’ve wondered why you haven’t heard from me in the last few days, it’s because I’m in Topeka, Kansas. I’m up here with my mom and sister helping sort out a few things with my grandmother. So far that’s mostly meant carting her around to a few doctors’ appointments and trying to sort out the sordid details of an 83-year-old’s pill-popping habits. (Who knew Granny was such an oxy fiend?)

Anyway, This afternoon for lunch my uncle took me to Annie’s Place for some local flavor. I highly recommend it. Especially the butterscotch pie. Sweet Jeebus, that’s a tasty slice!

But the reason for this post is an observation my uncle made.

When we were ordering our drinks I asked for lemonade. I generally don’t do caffeine except when I’m specifically trying to stay awake for something. At most restaurants that quickly cuts down your options to water, Sprite and lemonade. Any of those are usually fine with me, but I find I end up drinking a lot more unneeded sugar when I get Sprite. It has something to do with the carbonation, I think. As for water, I sometimes I feel bad for the waiter’s measly tip when you’re at a table full of 10 people and everybody’s ordering water and a half a sandwich. Of course, I also just really like lemonade. Especially if it’s “real” lemonade and not that “contains no actual juice” lemonade that comes out of a fountain. But with that said, I don’t mind the fake stuff, either.

Anyway, long story short (I know … too late), I ordered lemonade.

The waitress asked, “Is pink OK?”

I said, “Yeah, that’s cool,” and she was off.

Then my uncle says, “Have you ever noticed that if you’re a guy they’ll always ask if pink lemonade is OK?”

And he’s right. In fact, tonight at dinner the exact same thing happened again. We just looked at each other and grinned.

I think back, and though I’ve never even given the question an ounce of thought before, now I figure I must’ve been asked that question hundreds of times before. But two things stand out now:

  1. I’ve been asked nearly every time I can remember ordering lemonade and the pink stuff was “on tap.” And I don’t think I’ve ever heard that question asked of a female in my dining party.
  2. I’ve never heard anyone say, “Hell no, it’s not OK! Get that vile stuff away from me!”

So now I wonder, “Are my friends and family just more “pink friendly” than the average American diner?” Are there guys out there who won’t drink pink drinks for fear of someone questioning their masculinity? And is it any more manly to order a drink named Sprite?

To my friends out there who have waited tables before, I ask “Is this really such a big deal?”

To my other friends, I ask, “Have you ever turned away non-yellow lemonade?” If so, why?

From the hip

You never know what’s going to be a hit

This photo of my dad’s Dodge Charger SRT8 is my most viewed photo in my Flickr stream. As of today it is now over 10,000 views. Yes, that’s the right number of zeroes. TEN THOUSAND views.

My next highest ranked photo has just over 3,000 views.

What’s interesting to me is that the vast majority of this traffic (85%) is from Yahoo search. Another 6% is from Flickr search. The rest is scattered among a million little things.

Part of the reason I find this so interesting is that I have 1,825 other photos posted on Flickr. I have several other photos of Dodge Chargers. Why, out of all of these photos, is this one so popular?

It’s certainly not my best photo. It’s certainly not my most sensational photo. Heck, I have good photos of famous people. I even have photos of famous people that have been blogged by the famous people in the photo!

What’s so special about this? Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I’m just curious.

Go figure, huh?

From the hip Geeky stuff Politics

3 things I do that are killing the planet and don’t intend to stop doing

Yes, he's doing exactly what you think he's doing

Yesterday was Earth Day.

The internets were full of all sorts of handy tips of everyday things you can do to save resources and save the planet — things like turning the water off while you brush your teeth or keeping your tires properly inflated.

For the most part, I’m fairly environmentally conscious. I reuse and recycle just about everything I can. I don’t buy bottled water. I avoid plastic bags whenever I’m shopping. (Seriously, dude at 7-11, don’t put my single pack of gum in a bag!) I leave my thermostat set a couple of degrees higher than most people in the summer and lower in the winter.

With all that said, I’m going to use this post to make three confessions. I have a a few habits that many would consider environmentally unsound, but I do them anyway. And I have no plans of changing.

1 – I take really long showers.
We’re talking “until the hot water runs out” long. The shower is a sacred retreat. There are few places more comforting to me than the “think tank.” I love the steam. I love the white noise. I love the lack of distractions. I can’t hear the phone. I can’t hear the doorbell. I can’t hear the cars pass by on Park Springs Boulevard. I love the shower. You can take my steamy, hot shower away when you pry the loofah from my cold, dead, pruney hands.

2 – I drive a bigass pickup truck.
Well, there might be a little remorse here. It’s not so much that I wouldn’t rather be driving a smaller truck, but that I couldn’t cost justify it. And sadly, the “smaller” trucks these days (a) really aren’t that much smaller and (b) don’t get significantly better gas mileage. Put a new Dodge Dakota next to the old Chevy LUV pickup I drove in high school and you’ll see what I mean. When you combined the higher resale value, better utility, and the ability to actually FIND them here in Texas, the bigger truck just made a lot more sense. (Seriously, most dealers don’t even bother stocking the small trucks around here. Go figure.) All in all, I’d love it if they brought back the LUV. That was a great, economical little truck. But when I can get 20mpg in my Sierra, the “mid-size” options just don’t make much sense. I should also point out that I don’t commute. I work at home, so the truck hardly gets many miles put on it anyway. So far I’m on pace to keep the odometer in the four digit range all year long.

3 – I eat cows. Lots of them.
Cows are tasty. Supposedly they consume a disproportionate amount of natural resources, and I think for cows that spend their entire lives on feed lots eating imported grain there may be some truth to that. But seriously people, have you eaten grass-fed beef? Have you had a thick steak grilled over an open fire until it was a nice juicy red medium rare in the middle? If you’ve only been eating “well done” beef, you may as well have been eating charcoal, anyway. You go ahead and switch to a vegetarian diet. I’ll eat your cows for you.