Facebook Response: Up or down on the Baltimore Grand Prix (Indycar)

A Facebook friend asked whether I was going to the grand Prix and here’s my response:

“After seeing Mike’s comment (unimpressed) I figured on expounding a bit … I went to the Saturday solely and skipped the Sunday and it turned out to be a good move for me. There were waaaay too many cautions and while, yes, cautions are cautions for a reason, the mixed weather provided for unfortunate conditions. So much so that I actually tweeted with Allan McNish (ex F1 driver, current Audi Le Mans prototype driver) about it. In essence, Baltimore/Indycar need a cherry picker to get crashed cars off of their street circuits in less than two laps — they currently have to send a tow truck around which is much more time-consuming. The Saturday action is much better, but here’s where the mixed feeling comes in. Indycar, as CART, is emerging from the insolvency of the naught years and trying to capitalize on open-wheel racing, and while it’s nowhere near places like Montreal (F1) given the upside for tourism & the ability for the up and coming series to help the city and vice-versa, it something I’d like to see succeed and I don’t know that the non-racing market of native Baltimoreans know the difference anyway, so I think of it a “low-rent” open-wheel racing… And super local.”

Trust Issues

Whew.

Had a good experience taking my car in for some service this weekend. I can’t say I like taking my car in y’all, because, for real, I got trust issues. I’m not sure what came first: me being handy or me being handy because I don’t trust mechanics. But taking my car in, this weekend, I realized that almost anyone (especially females or somebody they think they’ll be able to take advantage of by profiling) needs to be able to talk intelligently about what’s wrong with their car. You can get their in different ways: meticulous records, knowing who and what’s been done (yada, yada), but if they smell blood in the water, the shop may take you for a ride.

Me? I’ve been trying to unseat some CO2 sensors that are so far up-under the car, that I could kill my Saturday doing it myself or take it to a local muffler shop and have them do it. I figure they must do five or ten of these a week. And doing this kinda stuff in your garage, no lift ain’t fun. Plus, I broke the tool I was using trying to unseat it a couple of weeks beforehand. I just figured it was worth the ride, knowing specifically what I needed done.

As much as I love my Saturday, I committed to this mission even after the guy told me that he couldn’t promise when it would get looked at. He started off saying around 3pm, when I went in there at 10am. (Apparently, they had a great coupon out there for oil changes, the guy admitted). Well, they were curious and I was able to speak pretty intelligently about the issue–I pulled engine codes and knew the sensors needed changing, described the ensuing symptoms, etc.

So, all in all I end up waiting about an hour, and after that having been only charged the minimum for an hour’s labor (I got the replacement on eBay), it was ready to go. Given the quick service and the straight talk about what I needed to do next (they pulled codes too), I did something the shop didn’t expect: went to the local liquor store and bought the shop a pack of beer — and not some swill!!

They didn’t expect that, but it’s fairly easy to pay tribute to mechanics who did me a solid by taking care of this quickly and cleanly. Much of their effort is under-appreciated.

Email Just Isn’t Secure …

Okay, I’ve been watching The Newsroom & House of Cards and thinking about Enemy of the State and thinking about the government that exists just below the public surface and wondering, just how big(rogue) it is. Is it small and focused on bad guys or is it unwieldy and looking at people’s fantasy football stats? Either way, just realizing that assuming it matters, despite what is said by top officials, nothing electronic is truly secure … Not that I truly care. Because if someone is monitoring my email, I’d be happy to get help with that thing, you know what I’m talking about.

“All of this tells us the same lesson: Almost nothing we do on the Internet can be protected from government prying and spying,” said Michael Ratner, a U.S. lawyer who has worked for anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

“Secure email service shut amid legal clash with U.S.”, Baltimore Sun, Page 7

Sleepy – time … Need that sleep!!

Dude. Don’t I know it…

For the New York Times Blog : http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/how-sleep-loss-adds-to-weight-gain/?_r=0

Dr. Walker said he suspected that one factor that plays a role is a substance called adenosine, a metabolic byproduct that disrupts neural function and promotes sleepiness as it accumulates in the brain. One of the ways that caffeine stimulates wakefulness is by blocking adenosine. Adenosine is also cleared from the system when we sleep.

Without enough rest, adenosine builds up and may start to degrade communication between networks in the brain, Dr. Walker said. Getting sleep may be the equivalent of rebooting the brain.

“I think you have about 16 hours of optimal functioning before the brain needs to go offline and sleep,” he said. “If you go beyond these 16 hours into the realm of sleep deprivation, then those brain networks start to break down and become dysfunctional.”

Dr. Walker said it was increasingly clear from the medical literature that there is not a single tissue in the body that is not beneficially affected by sleep.

“It’s the single most effective thing people can do every day to reset their brain and body health,” he said.