Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dog Day

The Jap Chin is a cute little dog and very smart. The pic above looks very much like the late Chewy and the pic on top is a litter we found. My poor mom-in law is still torn to pieces but we are securing a pup for her today. She'll have him by the 4th of July.

That will make three new pups for this family as we just got a Min Pin 6 weeks ago and I am getting a Golden Retriever in about 3 weeks that I secured before her birth. Below is a pic of my pups Grandfather... a world champ from Belgium and the father of my pup was imported to upstate NY from Belgium and is also a show champ. I only want a pet!! But I just love this bloodline. I have already named her... "Chase"

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Round Two

Okay, so maybe my sense of humor is abit on the dry side and sometimes my writing is so abstract that even I have a hard time reading between the lines. My real take on Sunday's Coke 600........... LONG!! But overall a decent race. Although it was just another Hendrick victory, I liked seeing Casey Mears get his first win ever and Yeley's 2nd place was too cool. He is a driver with so much potential. The topper was Kyle Petty's 3rd place. That really made the whole bizarre finish worthwhile. Jr.'s thoughts of finishing 2nd only to find out he took 8th is a testament to how screwed up the finish was. The race did remind me of a trip to our local Lowe's. This particular store is always mobbed on any given day with people bumping into each other and it takes forever to get in and out of there.

I am looking forward to the Monster Mile. A nice transition from Lowe's. The following week is the Pocono 500 and I will be in the stands for that race. I'll try to get some photos worth posting.

Back at the Cottage... Sad news. My in-laws live around the corner from us on a quiet village street, but this did not stop their family dog from dying yesterday from his injures due to an SUV hitting him. It was no ones fault as "Chewy" was heading over to our house as he used to do a lot. My poor mother in-law is devastated as the little Japanese Chin was her shining star. Worse... she witnessed it. Chewy can never be replaced but we are already looking for a new black and white male Jap Chin pup for her. Maybe one of my readers knows of one?? We found several online but it's so hard.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Lowe's Experience

Being a General Contractor takes me into our local Lowe's nearly on a daily basis. This is out of necessity rather that preference. The majority of the lumber I use is from a locally owned supply center because Lowe's stacks it's lumber inside the store where it is subject to a very dry environment. It's hard to find a straight 2x4 and the pressure treated lumber is twisted and warped beyond use. But the location of Lowe's is very convenient and they do have just about everything under the sun and even though there is also a Home Depot up the road, I find myself grudgingly entering the doors under the looming blue and gray sign. It's usually a horrible experience and I like to equate it as to going into a Dr.'s takes forever to get in and out. Once in there one must fight their way through the swarm of traffic and just when you think you found a safe route down one of the long isles you run into one of the giant step ladders on wheels and the guys in the blue vests have put up caution tape. There have been times when I actually ducked under the tape but I was nailed by the blue jackets and told to go back the way I came only to find a forklift in another isle with more caution tape, all this while pushing one of those blue carts that squeals like a pig when pushed and they have to be squeezed through tight isles full of other blue squealing pigs. There is no way out and the carts scrape each other on the isle walls. Once the horror is near the end it's time to go through the check out only to find traffic backed up except for the lucky few who sneak through the self-checkout with a light load.

This pretty much sums up last night's race at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Happy Memorial Day Folks!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Kahne is Able

It was a Busch Series race but nonetheless Kahne finally breaks his losing streak. Could the kid possibly pull off a win today to give him two consecutive Coke 600 wins? What a slam that would be to Queen Jimmy! Anyway, the race last night was certainly entertaining with several lead changes and just enough cautions to keep the field tight. Big Bro Busch had the car, but they messed that up with a poor pit stop and Kurt claims the car only got worse. I think the clean air plays a big roll at Lowe's as those who led seemed to keep the lead. Some of the Busch regulars finished well for a change but that was due to the whacker's having problems. Kudos to Mears for a decent run taking 2nd and Clint in the 3rd spot. For awhile it looked like J. Burton had the car but 4th is awesome and Regan Smith actually kept the body on the chassis and took 5th.

I'm going to take it easy today and sit down for the F-1 race which comes on the tele at 7:30 a.m. followed by the Indy 500, weather permitting, but I think the rain from the midwest is over as it is now approaching us here in the northeast, we need it!!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Weekend Thoughts

For reasons none other than my own ignorance and/or preoccupation this is the first year I've seen so much attention given to Memorial Day weekend by the racing world. There is always the possibility that I have, only my own memory fails me. I have no idea what I did last Memorial Day weekend let alone what went on in the racing world. This year is leaving a lasting impression on me, or so I think... ask me next year. The memory is a funny thing because I'm certain someone such as my wife, Pattyjo, could remind me what we did last year and I would recall it all and exclaim "Oh yeah!! Now I remember". What never leaves my mind is the true reason behind this Holiday of Memory. Our home sits right on top of battlegrounds where the battles were fought that helped give our Country her freedom. It is an area rich with history, war memorials and war museums. Albeit Memorial Day began it's observance following the Civil War, which the history for this abounds in The South, but the official birthplace of Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York and it was originally called "Decoration Day". As per Wikipedia... "Many of the states of the U.S. South refused to celebrate Decoration Day, due to lingering hostility towards the Union Army and also because there were very few veterans of the Union Army who lived in the South. Many Southern States did not recognize Memorial Day until after World War I since many veterans of World War I were from the south, although they continued to have a separate Confederate Memorial Day, with the date varying from state to state. A notable exception was Columbus, Mississippi, which in its 1866 Decoration Day commemorated both the Union and Confederate casualties buried in its cemetery." We have long since become as "One" and truly the war of all wars was the one fought to free our country of the British throne. Living in New England reminds us of that daily...although we are in New York state we are right on the western borders of Vermont, Mass. and Conn. so this particular area of New york is considered part of New England. We still have many standing forts mostly in their original forms and constructed out of logs with cannons that fire on the hour. The rebuilt replica [the original was destroyed in the war] of Fort William Henry stands today on the southern shore of Lake George and was the sight of the movie "The Last of the Mohican's", but what many people don't know is that the movie was filmed mostly in North Carolina where the fort was reconstructed/duplicated. This because southern Lake George is totally commercialized. Ice cream shops and souvenir stores abound with nightclubs lining the shore and cruise boats that take tourists to places like Roger's Rock where Roger's Rangers main camp was located. The North Carolina landscape closely resembles that of northeastern upstate NY...hence the sight chosen to film the movie. Ironic isn't it? Our beautiful country has come so very, very far and we must always remember Paul Revere's famous words "The Red Coats are coming".

Friday, May 25, 2007

Flyin Ryan...Again

It's Penske at the helm for the Coca Cola 600. And it doesn't surprise me. Ryan Newman and Company have really pulled things together. In an earlier post I wrote about his recent surge to sitting now just outside the top twelve in the point standings and I fully expect him to rise further with a spot in the Chase imminent. With teammate Big Bro. Busch next to him they should run well.

It's amazing to see half of the top ten qualifiers being Dodges. E. sad rounding off the top 3 and Bobby L. sitting in 9th with Stremme topping them off in 10th. There's even a Toyo up there with Blarney, oops, I mean Blaney leaving two Fords, Kenseth and Rudd....WHAT??? Where are the Chevy's?? Lo and behold there are two lonely Chev's and thankfully it's Jr. and young Denny. Another amazing outcome is the closest Hendrick car is 16th and of all four it's freekin Mears!! He better be careful because Shrubs is right there in 17th. Having taken out his own brother he is capable of anything.

Kudos to the Rocket!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Go Gene

Gene Haas is making huge strides in his garage with plans to build one of the world's most advanced wind tunnels. It's estimated to cost $40 mil. The contraption will have a rolling road that will roll at 180 mph and matching wind speeds. I'd like to see Dale Jr. fetch his hat out this wind machine!! In addition he has hired Matt Borland as the new competition director and has software giant Microsoft coming on as a major sponsor. I'm sure this is related to his main business of automated-robotic machining. Jeff Green must be jumping outa his Best Buy suit.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Big Thumbs Up

Brian France and friends have been labeled many things, negative, positive and everything inbetween. The broad spectrum says they are unfair in their rulings of infractions and related consequences. This topic is arguably the single most popular discussed, debated, ranted and written about on the negative side. I am guilty of it, but how can one not be? It seems as if the balance of the justice scales waver weekly, so it's only natural that fans will rant.

The recent decision the make the CORN the full time ride for 08' came down yesterday and although there was plenty of pressure from the team owners, the powers that be listened and granted their wish. Absolutely the right thing to do. On this topic I must give kudos to the crew upstairs and along with Kurt Busch, they have moved up a notch or two on my scale of respect. The CORN has a long way to go with changes needed, but at least now team owners can feel better about the huge expense involved.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Grow up Punk

It seems to be unanimous and having just read an article "Brotherly Shove" Full Story ... I concur that this young [idiot} man needs not one but several trips to the woodshed. Perhaps an alternative would be to put J.P. Monty and Baby Busch in a Wreck-em Derby race and those two could possibly get it out of their system's. Now I am not a big Hendrick fan [not one iota] and I make no secret of it, but Shrubs is a disgrace to what is otherwise a pretty decent organization. Although his "Better Than Thou" demeanor fits in with his sense of entitlement, something the Hendrick's drivers have in common, short of Mears, but Busch has NO CLASS whatsoever and if I were Rick Hendrick I would be ashamed to have him on my payroll. Please excuse my ranting but I for one [of many I'm sure] am old school when it comes to self discipline and when the "self" fails some bigger entity should step in, like a big, very big head slap!!

Have a great day folks... I am loving the late spring weather here in the Northeast and my power tools and air nailers are too!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Brotherly Love

That was the crash of the century. Kurt said it so well in a post-crash interview... "it was only a matter of time & I won't be eating Kellogg's anytime soon." That was hilarious!! For me... except for Harvick winning, it was the highlight of what was an otherwise boring race. I know this left Rick H. shaking his head and wondering if there is
room at "The Inn" for Jr. afterall.

It was so nice to see Queen Jimmy take 2nd and I mean that maliciously. A 2nd year win, at Lowes, a Hendrick car, etc. etc. The post-race interview with J.J. was showing his true colors. What I saw was a look of disgust and a sense of entitlement. He was not in the limelight and he did not like it. Harvick did an awesome job at holding Johnson off and he acted like his mommy told him he couldn't have that shiny new "Hotwheels car". A lot of what determines whether or not I like a driver is what's in their personality and all I've seen from the Queen since his early days is a pompous ass... but he fits in well at "The Inn".

Kudos to Judge Shoob for holding off the posse and allowing RCR's #31 to sport the AT&T logo. I just hope that they change the base color orange to a blue or white. The last minute logo change will go down in history as the Cingular Orange becoming the New AT&T a' la carte.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


"Those were the days" and Archie Bunker used to say "We better not, ya know, kill our chickens before they cross the road." Judge Marvin H. Shoob of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, granted AT&T's motion for preliminary injunction in its suit against NASCAR but NOT SO FAST... NASCAR sought and was granted a hearing with Shoob at 11:30 a.m. today seeking a stay. If that is granted, Burton's car will have the Cingular logos in tonight's race.
As the wheel turns!!

And more days of old... This is pre-Nextel. Matt Kenseth's #17 carrying the AT&T paint scheme. The days when sponsor wars were rare. And speaking of Matt... they ruled last night.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Thursday, May 17, 2007

All-Star Fun

NASCAR's All-Star week really is a breath of fresh air. It's just plain fun competition with big rewards for those who win the various events. I was out in the field last night discussing project plans with a client when the focus shifted to NASCAR. I had noticed a Craftsman Truck bar stool in the clients dining room [very cool looking] so I had to get on the subject and after he and I hashed over the various "crap" goings-on, favorite drivers...etc., we both spoke about the All-Star week and race with great relief and passion filled joy. It's the kind of stuff that makes it all worth it and enjoying a much less serious side of the sport. I was reading a recent post, "Shocking- SHOCKING I tell ya!" at Full Throttle and marc had a link posted labeled high dudgeon. What a bunch a whine-asser's!! It's comical yet it reveals how some fans are just full of the negativity associated with other's shortcomings. I love this sport and the people, but take the time to smell the roses!! It's supposed to be fun!!~~~~

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dirty Dancin

OKAY... So can someone please tell me where having a slightly nonconforming rear wing is far more serious than that of a driver allowing his friend to take his NCTS truck out for a few laps during testing only to wreck it?? Johnny Benson was fined only $10,000 and docked a mere 50 points while his crew chief was suspended for two, yes two races!! There is some dirty dancin in that so called NASCAR rule book!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Lady Prevails

There is no denying that Ryan's recent comeback is anything less than amazing. Yesterday's performance at The Lady had him come up from a 29th place start to running in the top 5, leading many laps and receiving a 4th place finish. He has climbed 10 spots in the point standings in just 2 races sitting just outside the top 12 in 14th. A stellar performance!!

Smoke also had an impressive day after a rear flat left him a lap down only to climb back up to get a 6th place finish. And teammate Denny... wow!! He should have had that race had his tire changer not dropped a lugnut, not once but twice. He had the car and his 2nd place finish kept HMS from a 1-2 finish. DEI also had a great day with Dale Jr. landing the 8th spot and his protege' Truex Jr. was close behind in 11th.

Hendrick continues to dominate, but it's become the norm this season and how could it be expected to be any different? Life goes on!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mothers Day Race

Enjoy the race mom's!!
And the rest of us

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gentleman and a Scholar

Denny is, in my book, one heck of a nice kid. He is a master at the more difficult tracks yet he races clean. Rarely is it heard or seen that he has a problem with another driver or visa versa. He is just a down to earth young man with a heart of gold. Last nights win at The Lady was deserved after running solid all night and to top it off he flew the VT banner in honor of the recent tragedy. Then he announced that his trophy will be donated to VT. He is a Va. native and I have to wonder if Virginia breeds gentlemen... hence Jeff Burton. I hope that one day Mr. Hamlin will hold the Cup.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Way to go Jr

I can only imagine good things coming from Jr.'s departure. Step momma only held him back. HMS or RCR?? Or perhaps it'll end up being a total surprise. I gotta hand it to Espn's NASCAR Now... they did a good job covering this story last night.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Flyin Ryan ??

The Dodges of Penske South are gaining ground. I do like Newman and Kurt Busch has moved up a few notches on my "drivers I don't like list". Teamwork seems to be paying off with reportedly both teams working together in the garage areas. With Ryan currently sitting 19th in points, which is a +5 from last week, he does have an ever so slight chance of working himself into the top 12. The Dodges are not doing well with just 4 in the top 20... Busch in 9th, E Sad in 16th and Stremme in 17th leaving Newman in 19th. Testing at LMS this week has the Dodges flyin!! Now if they could just keep them off the wall and get a variety amongst the Chevy's.

Speaking of Chevy... I won't even begin to speculate what is going on with Jr. and company, but apparently the whole world will know later today.

With Mother's Day being Sunday we lucked out with a night race!! I respect that NASCAR does not race on Mother's Day, but it is hard to miss a week.

Back at the Cottage... The tip of my right index finger had a run-in with a table saw blade yesterday. Lucky it is only superficial but ya really find out how much that finger is used when there is a banana size bandage on it. First time in 30 plus years of running power tools that a blade has gotten me.

A little pride... Our son Adam {center} holding a first place trophy from a paintball tourney last Saturday.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Mark Martin is taking the #5 out for a spin at Friday nights BGN race at Darlington. He is the most winningest Busch driver with 8 at Darlington alone, but he best wear some extra padding. The #5 can't seem to keep it's wheels on the ground, maybe two wheels is the answer.

I have some new found respect for Jack Roush. I was watching TV in bed last night and came across a documentary of sorts featuring Roush's custom fabrication shop. Absolutely amazing place! And Jack's life was the focus too with talk about his childhood and how he was a drag racer that was nearly killed. It was on our local PBS channel in HD and some of those Pony cars looked awesome in HD.

Back at the Cottage...I have been extremely busy lately. The contracting business is crazy for me this time of the year, so I have not had a lot of time to read too many other blog's that I miss!! It'll get back to normal soon.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Eclectic Hendrick Collection

Not for the Hendrick faint of heart!!
Just a little humor for those of you who are disgusted with Hendrick dominance.

Well... I wouldn't go as far as to say thet are cheaters...but one must admit, these are some funny pics and there are certainly a lot of non-Hendrick fans out there for them to take the time to make these images. All found on

Monday, May 7, 2007

And the Winner is.......

Sorry...just couldn't resist posting this photo

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Monkey Wrench

Mother Nature certainly has a way of screwing things up. I wonder how many of the fans at Richmond made plans in case of rain. We learned the hard way that it's always a good idea to plan an extra day when traveling to a race. Lucky for us it all worked out and we were able to stay, but there are always those that cannot and well, they are basically SOL. Our plans here at the Cottage had to have last minute changes also and Pattyjo had last night off from work. She was happy for the night race that is until the Monkey Wrench was thrown. She has to work today. Thank goodness for the digital world we live in today. As for me...I have to assemble a large trampoline that Santa brought for our daughters. I had recruited help for this with the assembly line forming around noon, but things have worked out and it's taking form at 9:30 this morning. This because my elves are also race fans.

The car set-ups are for cool track conditions but the weather in Richmond for today looks like mostly sunny with temps near 70. Yet another Monkey Wrench, but one that may give some other drivers an edge. Should make for a good race!!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Borland Axed

Can anyone please tell me what's up with Matt Borland? I was surprised again after just reading that he was let go as the #44 crew chief. Again, because I was also surprised when he departed the #12. "Reasons" are always so vague, but in Newman's case it was clear to some least it seemed, but Ryan is still not doing so hot. Together they were strong! Newman and Borland, both engineers, became masterminds almost immediately, and played the fuel mileage game better than anyone else in the garage. And you could almost count on that 12 car winning the pole about every other week. Matt is an awesome crew chief, but I favor the guy. Being a fellow engineer and a Michigan native... he can't be all bad!! Perhaps, as the picture suggests, Dale doesn't understand things from an engineering stand and would do better with a good ole' motor-head!!

I love the racing at Richmond International Raceway. Another CORN race!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

What If ???

NASCAR's qualifying system has to change, but the answer is not easy and by the time there are changes implemented it may be too late for some teams. The current starting grid allows the top 35 in drivers points... no secret there... automatic entry. This is too many. So what is the magic number? Some folks say "make them all qualify". That would be interesting with possible disastrous results. What would happen to ratings and ticket sales if someone like Dale Jr. or Smoke failed to qualify with any consistency? Should the #35 be changed to... say 15? Or maybe there is a way to totally redesign the whole system. I am an engineer by trade so my mind automatically tries to analyze and my dad taught me at a very young age the old cliche'..."if it's not broke, don't fix it"... but the qualifying system needs fixing!

Other news... Anheuser-Busch is making plans for a Nerf style beer container.