I should have at least been complaining about the weather, but I have been too depressed to do much more than feed myself, or take a shower. I can’t tell you when the last time I turned the TV on except I caught the last lap of the 24 Hours of Daytona last Sunday.
Anyway I forced myself out of bed and the house to pay property taxes Friday which I did for 2 of the three taxing bodies who lay claim to my property unless I pay their ransom. Just kidding I don’t mind paying taxes so much because they buy me something I like to refer to as civilization small “c” because the one with the capital “C” is a registered trademark.
Now the reason why I paid my taxes in February instead of January, and why I only paid 2 of 3 taxing bodies in my town is we have been covered in ice since Tuesday, actually light ice followed by light snow, followed by heavy ice that brought down tree limbs, and some trees, powerlines that weren’t buried, ditto phone lines that weren’t buried. It wasn’t a grid disaster like 2021, power outages were local and confined to likes broken by ice or brought down by idiots who can’t drive taking out poles and substations. I heard a rumor that the driver that destroyed a substation transformer died from the high voltage, but I’m pretty sure that was wishful thinking on the part of a person without heat because no electricity to run the thermostat or fans.
Anyway, I paid city and county property taxes, but the schools offices hadn’t reopened, so I can’t pay them until Monday of next week. Which means I have to spend more money on transportation, to go with the $30 extra I had to spend paying city taxes because we were out of checks and had to use a card. Summoning a Lyft or Uber is only about $10 with tip, but that’s a significant drain on the budget multiple times a day like what happened Friday because although the streets were clear the sidewalks and parking lots were NOT! This meant that as a person using a cane to navigate I was at more of a peril that usual because of limited traction to go with the bad balance. I managed, but not without some scary moments. And I have to do it again Monday, because GISD offices were still closed on Friday.
Anywho, enough of the meandering narrative or lack thereof. Time to put this to bed.
I like motorsport. Put 4 wheels and a motivator on it and make more than one of them and compete against each other and I’ll watch it, or participate if I can. And so far I watched the Sprint Cup race live from down the road in Ft. Worth, then the F1 race from China, then after morning service was the IndyCar race from NOLA Motorsports park over in LA.
Working backwards, the race in NOLA was mostly a parade behind the pace car as it was a wet race with streams crossing the track but dry in other places, and they did not have a tire combination that could deal with the conditions. Intermediates wore out too quickly, but slicks hydroplaned across the streams. I think the longest green flag run was maybe 3 laps before someone would either run over another car or slide off the track in a bad place and require a rescue. The carnage was massive. IndyCar is running with the same chassis as last year, but the engine package you choose dictates the bodywork you run. So it’s possible to identify which engine a car is running this year by only being able to see the sidepod in front of the rear wheel, or the wing package on the back bumper. The front wing is different, but I can’t tell the difference in the shots I saw today. BTW James Hinchcliffe managed to parlay good pit work and timing to get to the front of the pack and avoid the carnage behind him to win the race.
That takes us to the fun in Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix. There were some wrecks but compared to the IndyCar race later in the day it was almost pristine. There were lots of wheel-to-wheel battles in the pack, but up front it was a tactical battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, which was won by Mercedes with Lewis Hamilton driving the winning car and Nico Rosberg driving the second Merc to second place. It was a great race to watch.
That backs us up to the Sprint Cup race. Now THAT was a race! Lots of passing, lots of pit tactics, some rubbing in the turns at over 180 MPH in spite of the fact that there were 4 separate lines through the turn that all went to the same place at the end of the turn. That caused some beating and banging. Jimmie Johnson won through a combination of adjusting the car to take advantage of changing track conditions, sharp pit work, hard driving and mistakes on the parts of other teams. The level of reliability displayed in the race was nothing short of astounding with 30 cars finishing on the lead lap of a 500 mile race. Read that again, that wasn’t 30 cars on the track at the end of 500 miles, that was 30 cars on the freaking LEAD LAP, out of 43 starting. I don’t think anyone had a mechanical DNF, everyone who dropped out had a wreck of some kind or blew a tire. The tires are designed to wear out and not running the tires ragged is part of racing Sprint Cup these days.
And tonight’s evening service was also good, as we focussed on the archetype of Death. The Shoe Hiding Fairy was merciful this week and only moved the young lady’s shoes a small distance away from her chair. I knew it was coming and was watching for it, but I still missed seeing the SHF moving the footgear.
And I’m ready to end this post now, because I need to get ready for tomorrow when I go to the tax preparer. A significant chunk of the paperwork needed for this trip is on my hard drive, so I can’t pre-filter the links and leave them up while I compose the post tomorrow, I have to wait until I get home from doing my taxes.
PSA, Opus the Poet
Posted in Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged cars in a bike blog, Formula 1, hiatus, IndyCar, IndyCar race, indycar racing, NASCAR racing, NOLA Motorsports park, pace car parade, racing in the wet, reliablility, road course racing, shoe hiding fairy, Sprint Cup, Sprint Cup race, taxes
I was watching the F1 race from Austria early this afternoon, and Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel is just snakebit, his luck is so bad. Today was his 3rd DNF in 8 races this year. Last year it practically took an Act of Gawd to keep the Red Bull team off the top two steps of the podium, the difference between last year and this year is just so stark. And Williams’ performance change this year is also astonishing, but in the other direction, as they put both their cars on the front row in qualifying. And then Mercedes was battling the limits of reliability in their braking systems while watching other cars literally blowing up their brakes (I didn’t catch who, but there was a carbon brake disk that caught fire and shattered taking out the car). Anywho, it ended up being a Mercedes 1-2 finish again, at least the 6th time this year, maybe the 7th.
I didn’t catch where anyone else finished in the F1 race because I switched over to the Sonoma Sprint Cup race. Road course races are the big equalizer between the big and little teams in Sprint Cup, and A.J. Almendinger demonstrated that by winning the pole. The race is a long way from done at the moment, and there have been a few wrecks that have significantly altered the flow of the race with leading cars or cars that had been leading and working back to the front after a pit stop. And Marcos Ambrose somehow keeps coming to the head of the field to fight for the lead. And Carl Edwards survived the carnage to win the race, but I missed seeing if he did the trademark backflip.
Yesterday’s RPG session was a bit different than usual. Instead of playing a D&D 3.5 campaign we went to a 1st edition Palladium game called Beyond the Supernatural set in Modern Day Earth with a twist. My character is Godwin Smythe, heir to and CEO of the 4th largest logistics company in the world, Possible Evil Twin, and Natural Adept Mage. My stats with this character are Pure Awesome, with mental stats in the super-human range and high (near-Olympic level) physical strength and endurance. So far the most my character has done is survive someone blowing up the bar where he was slumming to enjoy a quiet beer with “normal” people, then using healing spells to keep the other PC from attracting attention from authority, then healing a PC to keep him from dying. Then I got arrested as a terrorist suspect for being in the bar when it was blown up and not getting killed. How they got from “one of four people not killed in explosion” to “terrorist suspect” just shows the kind of convoluted conspiracy theory thinking that was normal for that game setting.
And I have to go to evening service now, so I’ll see y’all tomorrow.
Posted in Wreck-free Sunday post
Tagged cars in a bike blog, d&d, F1 race, Formula 1, NASCAR racing, Palladium Games, Pure Awesome, Red Bull, road course racing, RPG, Sprint Cup