The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Man Down! Man Down!

I was treated to a wonderful day at work Tuesday. I discovered my walk-in freezer was on the fritz. That's not a good. I had just ordered in a bunch of ice cream for the next ad and the clock was ticking. I couldn't use a hose to thaw it out (imagine lots of water damage to product) so I rigged up a blowdryer with some bailing wire and crossed my fingers.

I got it all cleaned out before I lost much product, but the ice cream wasn't a survivor. Neither was I unfortunately.

I had to stand on a ladder to reach the coils and there wasn't much room to move it around in the freezer. When I had to reposition my patent pending blowdryer/bailing wire contraption I switched to 1 foot on the ladder, 1 foot on a shelf. I already knew this was a bad idea in more ways than 1, but didn't have an option other than unloading the freezer and lose all the product. My main concern was the shelf collapsing and everything come tumbling down, so I tried to keep my weight on the ladder.

Let the games begin...

The shelf didn't collapse, but the ladder (now being pushed laterally by my weight) slid about a foot then tilted. I am now doing the splits suspended mid-air with no way out. Let's just say I don't take yoga classes, so after a few seconds I had to let go and come crashing down bouncing off racks and boxes along the way. Seems the only thing that got hurt was my right leg. I got a nasty bruise from the corner of a box that dug into my calf and hurts like hell. I take Plavix so even a little bump will leave a helluva bruise. This one looks like I was beaten with a baseball bat.


Could have been worse. Why I didn't pull my groin is a miracle.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

You've got a good thing going here.

The new season of Breaking Bad is coming this July.

Prediction: Mrs.White gets whacked.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More Morgan Spurlock Greatness

The Next Discovery

Get ready for another new network from Discovery. Velocity is going to be the first network targeting the upscale men's market according to Discovery President David Zaslav. The network will feature cars, motorsports and adventure programming.

The Daly Planet reports former Speedvision founder Bob Scanlon will be at the helm. This is very interesting. Bob Scanlon was responsible for Inside Winston Cup Racing, the best weekly show about NASCAR in the history of ever. It was a quirkly little show shot live on tape from a not so soundproof studio near the dumpster in a Charlotte industrial park every Monday night on Speedvision that featured panelists Kenny Shrader, Johnny Benson, Michael Waltrip and host Allen Bestwick. It was a cool show that got swallowed up in the FOX buyout of Speedvision and is the benchmark for any NASCAR discussion program. There was very little script but it always ended on Bestwick's disclaimer "We'll be back next week, network executives permitting".

Here's hoping network executive Scanlon can put together more programs with the soul IWCR had. 

Discovery HD Theater will become Velocity later this year.

(edit) Nobody is jazzed about this? I'm envisioning a US version of Top Gear (subnote: A&E holds the US franchise for Top Gear) in a broader network format. While it won't carry the TG brand name, it certainly will embrace the spirit. SPEED suddenly has some serious competition.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mean Green

I'm a fan of green power. It only makes sense to harness what you can for energy. You never know when the grid may go down in a disaster and cutting your power bill is always a good thing. The drawback has always been bang for the buck. That was especially true with solar. Efficient panels are expensive and to be honest, not that efficient.

That may be about to change.

Scientists at Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory have announced a breakthrough with a high efficiency solar cell that can work... in the dark! The new full spectrum solar cell can capture lower bandwidth light like the moon, stars and other energetic sources. Scientists at Ohio State have a second generation panel in the works that improves performance loss due to heat.

In the meantime you can just grab a few cans of  photovoltaic spray paint. That's right, turn the barn into a battery!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

She's Got Steve Buscemi Eyes

This is oddly disturbing but I can't look away.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Oh.. My.. God!!

Bud Light is introducing new Etch It bottles. With these new bottles you can write your name or personal logo right on the bottle with a pen or use a coin to scratch your mark just like a lotto ticket. Now you can bust those beer thieves red (or in this case blue) handed.

I knew those NASA missions to the moon would pay off some day. What a giant leap for mankind!

(Coulda used some of those in can form last weekend.)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Be It Ever So Humble, There's No Place Like Home

I could have sworn I made a post yesterday but it somehow got deleted. Sorry 'bout that.

First the big news, we got a dang good rain the other night and skipped most of the bad weather. Did see a few minutes of pea size hail but nothing like they got south of here. I need a new rain gauge. My old one is busted into itty bitty pieces and has been for a while.

Hey it's good to be back home again.

It was a shortened weekend at TMS and that turned out to be a good thing. They got some major wind damage Sunday night. Normally we pull out of camp on Monday morning so we dodged a huge bullet. Around The Corner pointed out some major damage in our campground. Honestly, I had enough stuff go wrong without having my RV flipped over to boot.

With all the heightened security and drama over the ATV's, it really took a lot of the fun outa going to TMS. I expect it will only be worse next time. There were NO BANDS/NO DJS signs warning everyone about next time. That will be the proverbial nail in the fun coffin.

I don't want to sound all doom and gloom. There was plenty of partying going on in the campground and it turned out my Suzuki was at the epicenter. Who would have thought it would have been that big of a hit? I built it mostly as a joke, but it got a workout Saturday night.

I quickly learned I don't have a clue what young'uns like to dance to (apparently Ted Nugent and AC/DC aren't hip anymore) and relying on the radio is not the way to go. Fortunately, I have friends that do know what is booty shakin' and now I have a good hour long set of songs I've never heard of  loaded on my phone for next time.

Speaking of loaded on my phone, I did manage to find some blog friendly video that I can post. It's pretty dark, but it gets that way at  Midnight  3am.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

All's Well That Ends Well

Turns out the horror stories I was told about ATV's were false. We had zero problems parking along the fence, but to be safe I took a different route. The racing was pretty dull. Matt Kenseth broke his losing streak and Jr. extended his to 100.

The after party more than made up for it. Let's just say you can find many videos of it in action on Facebook. I'm famous! Well, my Suzuki is. I'm sure I can edit up some blog friendly footage when I return to The Mothership in a few hours.

That's all from TMS Spring 2011.

I'm going to bed!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Man Is Keeping Me Down

Well a new wrinkle has been added. We just heard from a reliable source that TMS isn't allowing ATV's on their property today. If you leave the camp you might not get back in.

What the heck is going on down here? They are trying very hard to take the fun out of coming here.

Wendell, I promised I'd come by this weekend, butthings are not looking good for that to happen.

A Quick Update

Wow,I've never seen police coverage like this at our campground. I've never seen FWPD in here unless there was a problem, and those have been few and far between.
Tonight there were no fewer than 6 cars patrolliing Finish Line.

Good news is they are just doing show of force. I haven't seen anyone hassled pr arrested. They did break up one party when the crowd blocked the road. Very low key.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Watch Me...

Well BroInlaw finally made it to the track just in time for the Nationwide race. So we all loaded up on the Suzuki and headed for the track. When we got there I got the usual dazed look of confusion from TMS traffic control. In the past I've always been able to reason with them that it's an ATV and park with the golf carts and Mules.

Tonight we ran into the TMS version of Barney Fife. He acted like we were criminals trying to break into the bank. I tried to explain it's an off road atv, he said it wasn't. He said if it was an ATV I needed a TMS campground pass. I asked where the campground pass was for the 30 or so atv's parked there. He threatened to have my Suzuki towed and me arrested for tresspassing (yeah, he went there) I decided to park off TMS pavement... For a bit.

At lap 20 I walked out to the truck and moved it up against the fence where I was going to park in the first place.

Honestly, I'd think TMS would embrace me. I haul fans in and out for free.

TMS update

In the clear light of day things don't look any better on the wiring front. Luckily I have a complete set of schematics of the RV. Now all I need is an electrician.

Bumped into old camping friends last night as they pulled in around 10. One thing is for sure, nobody will go hungry when Lance and his crew are here. Them boys cook some mean vittles.

Dust. Lots and lots of dust. Get used to it.

More to come after BroInlaw gets here with my Suzuki later this afternoon and I can mill about.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Live Fom Texas Motor Speedway!

Well I finally made it to TMS in one piece, more or less. Turns out a mouse decided to move into the RV during the winter and feast on my wiring. This is a mess. All my 12volt system is chewed to pieces and I,m not sure I can fix it in camp, but I'm gonna give it a shot.

This is a vacation, right?

UPDATE: I've abandoned the wiring for tonight after getting the overhead lights to work. But Imade a fatal error and kiled the generator while working on the wiring. Now it won't start.

I'switched to drinking mode and mounted an assault on the beer chest. Think I 'll take a stroll over to where the band is playing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Did It My WAYYYYYYyyyyyyy!

Such early promise...

Who knew it would end up like this?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Leap of Faith

  • Been a while since I posted anything original. Sorry bout that, I've lost my writing mojo. 
  • Big week ahead as NASCAR rolls into Texas Motor Speedway for a shortened weekend and The South 40 takes the show on the road to Finish Line Campgrounds. This will be interesting since they moved the race from Sunday to Saturday night. We'll see how the partiers adjust. Personally, I feel gypped.
  • This should be the best documented trip yet. I now have a laptop, HD digital video camera and a new smartphone. I have no excuse not to bore you to death with vacation pics.
  • This will also be the worst prepared trip I've made to TMS. More on that in a bit.
  • I've made it a mission to visit W's camp Around The Corner From Over There this trip. Life is just too short not to meet cool people when you have the opportunity. The problem is sneaking my minitruck into a TMS campground. They have become incredibly strict about atv's and my Suzuki sticks out like a sore thumb. OK, a sore thumb with strobe lights, sound system and an 8 ft polished stripper pole. But I have my ways of getting past the roadblocks and checkpoints. The Suzi has great 4 wheel drive!
  • The Space Shuttle is in the shop getting the brakes fixed. I blew thru a red light on 114 last trip. Applying the brakes was more of a suggestion than a command. I swore that wouldn't happen again but on the bright side I learned the air horns work perfectly... Turns out it was a stopped up line going to the rear axle and the rest of the system is fine. Whew!
  • I'm supposed to test drive it and possibly bring it home this morning but I have a slight problem. I don't have a 2nd driver to drive my truck home. Gonna have to work on that one.
  • I stupidly let the auxiliary batteries run dead and didn't have time to charge them before I put it in the shop. That means I still have to fix that and test the generator (praying that it has no problems) before I can do the rest of the preflight.
  • I'm also praying some of Dad's frozen waterline mojo rubbed off on me. I'm pretty sure I drained the onboard water system completely, but had no way to check. The manuals I have are pretty generic and low on details. I emptied the water heater and the drain next to the fill connection, but couldn't locate another drain so I'm running on faith until I can fill it up and check for leaks. Of course I'll have all kinds of time to get all this done because I'm working thru Wednesday.
  • As I write this I have no camping space pass, no race tickets, no loading plan, no menu, no booze and a non-functioning RV.
  • All will be fixed by Thursday morning.
  • Have a little faith, Baby. Have a little faith.