Trying to stay calm on Wreck-Free Sunday

First of all, before I get into this post I need to let everyone know I got the post on turning a Halloween costume mask into winter gear fixed. I got the right URL for each picture and loaded that URL into the post where that picture went, and Voila!, pictures in the blog post. I still can’t get the alt text to work, but that’s not as important as the pictures were.

At the moment I’m watching the Daytona 500 on the idiot box. I can’t help it, I love NASCAR. Some of those guys are family to me, and I’m a geek for technology and finding an engineering solution to a competition problem. The new car is a very small box to work inside metaphorically, and the crews are NOT allowed to “think outside the box”. I’m still trying to find out some of the changes that were made for safety in the new car. I have heard that there are new roll bars added to the cage front and back, but all I have seen so far is the front bar that goes across the top of the windshield just in front of what used to be the halo hoop under the roof. So what I can find out about the car is that the extra bars are to give more bearing area to keep the roof from collapsing into soft dirt in a roll over. This allows the roof to be lower without much chance of the roof getting into the driver’s head in a wreck.

I had planned to do a huge diatribe about how dangerous cars are with the release of the preliminary numbers from the government of the people killed by motor vehicles, but that would be redundant for this blog. We already know that motor vehicles are more deadly than guns, by about 6K per year last year. All told more than 36K people died as a result of motor vehicle crashes, while just over 30K died from getting shot. But the attention is on guns because children were killed at school by a man with a gun. Make no mistake Sandy Hook was a tragedy, but guns are not even in the top 10 of things that kill children in this country. What’s the number one killer of children in the US? car wrecks. Until recently with the introduction of infant car seats that are miniature crash cocoons that make an armored car even more armored for infants, that statistic went all the way down to birth, now car wrecks are the number two killer under the age of five. Guns are not even close at any age up to 35.

Back to the race, Danica (yes, only one name just like a real celebrity) led some laps under green to be the first women to lead green flag laps at Daytona after being on pole to be the first woman to be on the pole at Daytona. Two of the three JGR Toyotas had engine failures just a few minutes ago, one a big blow-up (Kyle Busch) and the other just a bit of smoke. And after watching the race instead of blogging, the race is now over and Jimmie Johnson has won the Daytona 500. Danica finished 8th after the fustercluck behind Jimmie sorted out, and Mrs. the Poet’s favorite driver Mark Martin finished 3rd. The driver I was cheering for was taken out in an early race wreck, sorry Smoke (Tony Stewart). It was such a good race that even Mrs. the Poet was glued to the tube watching it with me. She usually hates racing (“cars going around in a circle”), but this one was such a nail-biter that even she had to watch. My friend Mikey managed to finish 22nd (I used to hang out in Darrel Waltrip’s speed shop in Franklin TN, and bought kart parts from Bobby and talked to Mikey from time to time).

OK I don’t like cars on the roads, but I love cars on the track. AFAIK nobody has killed a cyclist on track during a NASCAR race.

PSA, Opus

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