Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I don't know, maybe I don't go out much. But a short, 40-mile round tripper to a Dr. appointment today exposed me to two of the most insane, near-accident situations I've seen in the passed few years.

The oblivious
Not even a block away from the Old Town Alexandria practice I visited, we were following an Outback through a string of green lights when lo-and-behold, some one going way over 25 MPH comes flying through an intersection perpendicular to us (running a red that's been red for quite some time). I had more than enough following distance to slow comfortably while the Outback stopped short and turned to the right as the oblividiot slammed on the brakes and came to a halt. Both cars remained a still life photo of near disaster, inches between them as everyone looked on and waited to see how the suspense would end. 30 seconds later, both cars drove off.

The indecisive
Then, on 495 North we took the left exit for 66 West behind an 8th Gen Civic, who decided after exiting that he was going to veer back onto 495N. In the middle of his violent dash to the right, immediately in front of the water-filled crash barriers, he decided to undo his nearly complete veer and turn back to the exit lane for 66 West. The suspension never settled from his initial veer to the right, which made for some very active body roll in a car I rarely see move at all on its struts. If it was an SUV this confused highway driver would have rolled it.

WTF?! Pay attention to what you're doing on public roads, PLEASE!

Monday, November 22, 2010


For the third year in a row, we made it down to Kershaw, SC to ride Carolina Motorsports Park with Sportbike Track Time.


I was just reviewing the notes I took after each session, and confidence is the word of the weekend. I was carrying more speed into corners, getting on the throttle harder and earlier on exit, and reaching higher speeds on the straights. I think I finally get it, though raw speed and hard braking are still my biggest mental challenges. Of course, my accolades this week came after much coaching from the experts!

By the end of this 2-day stint, track days went from being a challenging experience for me to being fun in its most extreme, thrilling form. As the fear dwindles, the positive excitement just gushes.

As usual thanks to Megan for shooting (even though I didn't bring the heavy optical artillery)!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CMP 2010 prep complete!


Thank goodness. I'll refrain from sharing the laundry list, but all that remains are a few minor to-dos and this train is ready to leave!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Off Topic #1

Thought I'd take a minute to rant about some cool, off-topic stuff that's been making my world a happier place the last few months...

Field Notes

Contrary to popular belief (Megan), I got into Field Notes after RetroThing retweeted a video link about how these little notebooks are produced. After seeing the vid, I just had to try them out. I use small, cheapo, spiraled notebooks to keep records for our vehicles (maintenance, repairs, etc. - my Dad taught me to do this). Those notebooks suck, and the more you flip through them, the more they suck. Eventually, the pages start falling out.


So I decided to see how much better little notebooks could get. To put Field Notes to the test, I recorded notes after each session last weekend at CMP.

It feels good to use a product that performs well and has a neat story behind it.
Field Notes perform well and the production story behind them is neat.
:. Field Notes make me feel good.

The Impossible Project

I've learned to love all image recording technologies, but I have a soft spot for black and white film. I'm a year out of practice developing film, though I'm always aiming to get back in gear. My need to capture stills with style was kept at bay when The Impossible Project released their PX 600. I bought a cheap Polaroid camera off Craigslist so I could give this stuff a whirl. And it was fun!


It's not the same as shooting Neopan in my N75, but it allowed me to experiment with monochrome film and reminded me how magical analog photography is. All I had to do was substitute money for time spent developing! Impossible's PX 600 comes out to ~$2/image, and because it's a bit experimental you won't get the image you want every time. But there's a place for experimental, instant, analog photography, and I plan to visit that place when I can...

The AeroPress


It takes an addiction and turns it into a connoisseurism. It uncovers the flavor that people used to have to work hard to extract, and does so in a simple, repeatable fashion. It's the coffee brewer you've been waiting your whole life for and it's made by the same company whose frisbees flew over the horizon when you were a kid. It is the AeroPress by Aerobie (say wha?!).