May 312017

Dad, Nathan, Aaron, and I went back to the Indianapolis 500 this year for the first time since 2013. This time I wanted to get there early enough on Saturday so we could see the museum at the track, so we left about 4:30 in the morning. That worked out fine. (It’s really a pretty painless drive.)

No free parking inside the track, with race weekend stuff going on. But the museum was a lot of fun, even though the bus tour of the track wasn’t available anyway.

(An excuse to go back on a non-race weekend, and couple it with another thing or two to do.)

I love the thrill of being at Indy. Goose bumps, even on Saturday. And they’re pretty much continuous on race day.

Saying hello to Vice President Mike Pence.

I didn’t do such a good job getting us all in the frame. It was hard to see the screen.

Weather was a threat right up to the green flag, and then we never saw any rain until over an hour after the checkered flag. Here’s our view of turn one, with Tony Kanaan leading:

It was an exciting race. Congratulations to Takuma Sato, who drove marvelously to pick up his first Indy 500 win and second IndyCar win overall. As competitive as it was, it was a shame to see so many with cars strong enough to win—Scott Dixon, Fernando Alonso, Ryan Hunter-Reay most notably—put out. (Though I imagine Dixon was pleased to walk away from his accident and call it a day.) The gentlemen behind us were huge Alonso fans, and I felt bad for them when he lost his engine.

Thanks for another marvelous time, Indy! Until next time!

 Posted by at 7:21 pm
May 292017

Dad, the boys, and I had a wonderful time attending the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 this weekend. I shall blog about it.

However, I’m a little too tuckered to do it tonight. Instead, I will briefly write about the only real negative of the weekend here, in order to a) isolate it from the overwhelmingly positive recollection to come; and b) get it out there so I may have my hair of plausibility in thinking that he might see it. Are you sitting comfortably? Excellent. Then I’ll begin.

To the police officer directing traffic in Speedway, Indiana, at Lafayette Rd. and W. 30th Street, about 9:50 the morning of May 28, 2017:

Listen, you contemptible prick. I drove through the intersection when you waved me through. Eminently reasonably, I believed that to be the end of our interaction.

Now, unbeknownst to you, but knownst to me, I needed to change lanes from the right to the left to get to my parking lot. Seeing an opportunity to do so after you waved me through, I did so.

Apparently, this was me getting one over on you somehow, because you then beat on the side of my wife’s car and appeared at my window. When I lowered it, you yelled at me to get back in the right lane immediately.

Not wishing to further anger an obviously irrational man with a gun, a club, and the authority to take me into custody and ruin my race weekend, I complied.

From here, I’ll say hey man, what the hell?

I am a big supporter of the law enforcement community. I appreciate the work you do. But I really resent you unloading on me, particularly when my “violation” was apparently against some made-up shit in your head. Straighten up, you jackass. We’re trying to have a society here.

(And hey, if you recognize yourself in this narrative, feel free to email me. I’ll give you your side of the story! Make you an Internet sensation!)

 Posted by at 7:04 pm
May 252017
  • The weather this day and evening are/were perfectly indicative of why it’s so expensive to live some places.
  • “We could have been killed—or worse!” “Check city records and see how many umbrella factories have been opened in the past three days.” “A corner table, please. I don’t wish to attract attention.” These are some of the gems the boys and I enjoyed during our initial exploration of my new Batman (1966) box set of all 120 episodes.
  • Nathan is exploring my Styx CDs. He told me Dennis DeYoung seemed kind of hit-and-miss. I said yeah, talented guy, but sometimes he didn’t know when to quit. (Definitely more good than bad though.)
  • Top Gun 2 is a terrible idea.
  • The current Camry is a prettier car than the current Accord. I think this is the first time in the history of those models that I’ve thought so.
  • I’m loving Ryobi’s ONE+ cordless tools. My most recent desire is the 10″ orbital buffer, after fighting with keeping the cord in mine a couple of weeks ago. I’m trying to take care of the batteries. I’m hoping they’ll be robust and long-lived if I do so.
  • Weather is looking questionable for Indy. Can we pack all of that rain on either Saturday or Monday, please?
 Posted by at 9:11 pm
May 242017

I forget about May. May is hard. It doesn’t seem like it should be, but it is. The kids are prickly. Lea’s called on to be a superhero twice as often as normal. There are multiple concerts and football games (really).

Some days this month I’ve felt up on plane. Other days I’ve felt like I wiped out immediately but forgot to let go of the rope, and nobody in the boat is looking at me.

And people. Sigh. People are disappointing me. Now there aren’t very many folks who wake up considering my ongoing assessment of their choices as a significant factor in how they might make future ones, and I get that. I also get that there’s a pretty well-known verse about a mote and a plank.

And then I wonder: how much of it is my own filter I’m looking through? Am I disappointing people? Which ones?

“Can I explain this to Jesus in 30 seconds?”

Still not a bad way to live.

And beat it, May.

 Posted by at 11:40 am
May 192017

With a Carolina Reaper pepper I’m about to eat, August 2014.

There is a bit of buzz this week about the “dragon’s breath” chile pepper, which is supposedly threatening the Carolina Reaper as the world’s hottest pepper. There are a couple of things giving me pause here.

For one, this can’t be an oddball that showed up on a plant or two. It has to be a stable hybrid cultivar to count. Are there dragon’s breath seeds, that grow dragon’s breath peppers again and again, with no variation? There isn’t really any language in anything I’ve read to support that such has occurred, despite claims that they’re waiting on Guinness to verify.

For another, there are some silly things being said about how hot this pepper supposedly is. Fears that it could “literally burn your airways” are ridiculous, because capsaicin doesn’t produce its burning sensation by actually damaging tissue. Anaphylactic shock? Well, if you’re allergic, sure. But why would this pepper be any more likely to trigger such than any other in a susceptible person?

The reported heat level is 2.48 million Scoville units. The Carolina Reaper was/is 1.5 to 2.2 million Scoville units. The dragon’s breath, if a real thing, isn’t so much hotter than the Reaper that it’s going to introduce any unique health concerns.

There is some smoke here, but I smell a little too much bullshit in it right now for me to believe in the fire. If the dragon’s breath chile is a real thing, then it’ll be around soon enough, and yes, I’ll have one. For now, let’s sit back and see what happens.

 Posted by at 9:36 am
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