Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Racing Dreams

What little boy has never dreamed of being a race car driver. I can remember watching the Indy 500 and being mezmerized by the speed and the sleek cars. I can also remember watching Richard Petty is his blue STP car. Back then, as much as I wanted to be a driver, I thought the guys who worked on the cars must be pretty smart. Even my dad who was VERY smart did little more than wash his car. I thought it was very cool to be able to fix something as complex as a car.

As I got older, got a car and got grease under my nails, I realized I was not smart enough. Or was I too smart? After experimenting on my first car and ultimately blowing the head gasket, I decided to leave the hard stuff to the experts.

Now that I live in Race City, USA - everything around me is focused on racing. There are plenty of opportunities for middle-aged guys to try and start a 'racing career'. While I no longer have any aspirations to strap on a racing helmet, I am still drawn to the sport. Living in this town, it is easy to find a connection. Through church, I have gotten to know the McReynolds Family. Larry Mac has a wonderful family. Three wonderful kids and a charming wife. All three kids are very reserved and respectful.

Brandon is the middle child and only boy. At 14, he is already a very good race car driver. He competes in the Bandalaro Young Guns ranks. These cars are very souped-up go-carts. Brandon's mom invited me out to the track and I jumped at the chance. For the first few weeks I was an awe-struck observer, but last night I made my leap. Before the main event, I met Brandon and family in the garage at the track. We chatted, but mostly I watched what was going on. An actual race car was being prepared right in front of me. Before Brandon got strapped into the car, his mom asked me to pray with him. WOW! I led a quick prayer with them and before I knew it, I was helping Larry Mac push the tool cart to the starting grid. We were out there with the other racers (kids) and their families/teams. A few of the dads are Nextel Cup drivers. After a prolonged opening festivities, the race was underway and I was standing with Larry as he leaned into every turn that Brandon was making on the track. Brandon did very well and finished 3rd. After the race we met him in the inspection garage and then went back to the garage to pack up. While I was helping load the hauler, Larry Mac commented that I bet I wished I never offered to help. He was so wrong. I am hooked!

Brandon aspires to race in the big leagues. I would love to help him get there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

All Systems are GO!

I had planned on writing a post regarding the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery two weeks ago. Since the Chalenger accident, I have been optimsticly awaiting our return to space. Space missions have always held my intrest due in part to the fact that I was born within a few miles of the Kennedy Space Center during the Apollo missions. Since then I have observed a number of launches.

Now that we have returned to space, I can return to filling in this Blog. I will also be watching the mission closely thanks to NASA TV.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

What is so important?

I have followed drivers who spend their whole trip on the phone. What is so important? Who can they be talking to? Granted, most of these drivers are women. What can they be talking about? My wife is not a 'phone talker'. She is able to get where she is going bu just listening to the radio. Sure, I talk on the phone when I drive, but only for a few seconds.

So many wrecks happen because of distracted drivers. Let's all get speakerphones and keep both hands on the wheel!

Monday, July 11, 2005

Life is a Beach

Welcome to Hurricane Season.

Hurricanes tend to showcase human stupidity. First we have the news crews standing in the wind and rain or at the edge of a very angry surf. Sure it looks cool, but death is never far away. 100 mph wind can blow a straw through a palm tree. I bet those roof shingles or gas station signs could do some damage.

The second class of stupids are the people that build a home on the beach. I love the beach as much as the next guy. I don't like it when I can't see nature's beauty because of a house on the beach. But the stupidity comes in as the hurricane tide washes the house out to sea or across the street. The home owner cries at their loss. Seems like they had no idea.

The third degree of stupidity comes in the form of the state and federal agencies that fork over the $$ to rebuild the houses.

Get smart people!.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

How's your soil?

The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest. (Lk 8:8)

God has cast us (seeds) all in different directions. We are given different surroundings and opportunities (soil). It is what we do in our surroundings and with our opportunities that determines how we grow spiritually and produce fruit.

Some of us are cast in good soil and will produce fruit with little effort. These people seem to do the right thing with little effort. However, some people in the good soil (good surroundings) end up not getting watered enough. To the other extreme, some of us are cast into sandy or rough soil. It is easy to just give up and turn out no fruit.

If you are in sandy soil it is possible to be fruitful. It will take extra work, but it can be done. Doing good, going to church and praying is not BS - it is actually fertilizer for the soul. Adding good soil a little at a time and taking care of the garden will help the seeds.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Make this world a better place

There is so much to do to make this a better place to live - for others.

Sure, we can give of our time and money. There are people out there that need a helping hand. Help them.

What I want to see are simple things. Smile more. Let someone go ahead of you in traffic. Just be nice - especially if it hurts you to do so. If someone doing something for you is having a difficult time - a new waiter, the check-out girl - cut them some slack. Tell them they are doing fine and that you are not in a hurry. Give them a stick of gum or a piece of candy.

A little kindness will go a long way. Depending on where you live, you may be thought of as crazy, but you will not be forgotten. That person will be so much happier - and you will be too.

I cannot promise that all of my posts will be this happy or preachy - but I will try.