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Ahhh do you hear the sound of the engines?  I do and they sound good.  Saturday was the day I was waiting for: The Bud Shootout.  Originally I thought I was going to have to boycott the shootout because the new rules initially left Tony Stewart out of the shootout because he switched from Toyota to Chevy for this season.  But luckily the wildcard system allowed Tony into the Shootout, with new teammate Ryan Newman sitting on his pitbox.  Tony Stewart started the shootout in 6th position and he was all over the track- everywhere from last to even leading for a few laps towards the end of the first segment.  I will say that one of the most incredible jobs driving during that first segment and possibly during the whole race has to go to Jeff Gordon for winding his way through that first wreck. The wreck that took out rookie drivers Joey Logano and Scott Speed.

Stewart’s biggest complaint was that his car was too tight and seemed to struggle during most of the second segment of the race.  During the very last caution he took a gamble on a pit stop and ended up lining up 8th for the green-white checker finish.  I admit I questioned the pitstop but apparently the car wasn’t too his liking (DAMN I MISS MY HOTPASS).   Due to the wreck that ended the race, Tony lucked out and ended up third because the accident tangled up drivers in third through 7th position.

It was my first glimpse of Team Office Depot and they seemed to be right on.  Pit stops looked nice and clean and Tony seemed fairly calm despite having a car that was all over the place. It was a good finish in typical NASCAR style-part effort part luck.  Seeing Team Office Depot in action makes me even more excited for the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

And speaking of the Daytona 500 I want to also talk a little bit about Pole day on Sunday.  First off I was esctatic to see Ryan Newman come out of the Stewart Haas stables so strong and nearly make the first row of the 500. I think that says a lot for the Army team.  However- for some reason I thought Tony’s car was the one who was in the top 35 in owner points not Ryans- so that surprised me a little bit that Tony was out there trying to qualify on time (although it makes sense if I think about it considering he would have the past champion’s provisional to fall back on if needed). However this makes for a VERY nervous Amy during qualifying. I didn’t watch all of it but luckily I was able to catch the bits and pieces I needed- including Tony’s run.  During Tony’s run I was actually pleasantly surprised. While he didn’t grab the pole or even get a top five – he did manage a top ten and was able to lock into the field on time and not have to worry about falling back on the past champion provisional.  I know that I read somewhere that Darian Grubb wants to help Tony focus on qualifying better and I think he is off to a great start.

Random NASCAR notes for the week:

  • There are so many changes of drivers and sponsors this season that it is taking me a long time to wrap my head around them all. It seems to me that the one I am having the hardest time remembering is Casey Mears being in the Jack Daniels 07 car.  And I can’t even find Clint Bowyer in that Cheerios car.
  • Speaking of can’t find a car…Tony’s new car too closely resembles Kasey Kahnes car to me. During the shootout I would really have to squint to tell who was who. I have a feeling that the Vegas race is gonna be an experience with me often losing Tony and mistaking him for Kasey Kahne and vice versa. At least until I get my Team 14 eyes trained.
  • Scott Speed.  I hate to say it but I don’t really like him.  He acted like a goof during the National Anthem, he acted like a goof giving his post-accident interview.  He just is a bit too goofy for me.
  • Way to go Travis Kvapil who had an awesome qualifying run and was also able to lock himself into the 500 on speed. Good Job. If you have been reading for any length of time you know that while I love Tony- I am also a strong supporter of Kvapil because I think he has great talent.
  • How embarrassing it must have been being Joey Logano during the Bud Shootout Draw.  Because the starting positions are disguised in Budweiser bottles and because he is only 18 he had to be accompanied by his crew chief Greg Zipadelli who actually had to draw for him.  He was the only driver who did not pick their own bottle.   I will say that I do applaud it though since Logano is technically underage.

Coming Soon: The Tony Stewart Advertisement Machine and Why I Don’t Collect DieCasts

If you are here looking for my Bud Shootout post don’t worry- it’s coming tomorrow morning.

Roxy Snuggled In Bed

Roxy Snuggled In Bed

Roxy goes to get her stitches out today and boy howdy is she ready.  Frankly I am too because I am sick of her taking the cone and jamming it into my leg.  While initially really freaked out about the cone collar- she had learned to use it to her advantage by taking her foot and flatting it down and making it into more of a bulldozer scoop.  What was once a perfectly shaped very clean cone now looks almost scallopped and beige even though we have cleaned it several times.   She is definitely her spunky self and despite doctors orders for NO JUMPING until the stitches come out she has been jumping up on the beds and her chairs like there is nothing wrong. The worse part of this afternoon will be the drive to and from the vet but Roxy I am sure can’t wait to have her head out of the cone.

Thank You

Posted by Amy in General - (1 Comments)

A while back I wrote about my dry hands and a contest I entered at the time to win a Vaseline Intensive Therapy gift basic (including a $25.00 gift card to my favorite store- Target).  Well I may have forgot to mention…

My Vaseline Gift Basket...

My Vaseline Gift Basket.

I won the gift basket. It came on Thursday and I immediately tore into it (I may or may not have eaten all the chocolate raspberry malt balls right then and there).  You can click on the picture to be taken to the flickr account where you can see exactly what was in the prize pack…but let me tell you- it was awesome.  Thank you Elizabeth and table4five.net!!

Of course the minute I opened it I had to try on some of the lotion…and I loved it.  The smell is light and fresh- definitely not the old lady/ rose scent I was complaining about in my original entry.  It did sting on the one area of my hands where I was really dry and broken.  However frangrances in lotions and soaps do that to me…I noticed there is an unscented version- I might try that if I get really chaffed again where my hands are actually cracked and I know it might hurt to use normal fragranced lotion. This stuff however does an AWESOME job on making my skin feel smooth AND protected.  And i am not just saying that because I won it…it really did. I even looked at my hands right before bed on Thursday and thought to myself…Damn my hands look good.  Oh yeah…its that new lotion!

I have a fairly new (as in about a year old) Chevy HHR.  I love her and I take good care of her (i.e. keep her nice and shiny, regular oil changes and services, etc). As a matter of fact I took her in on Wednesday to have her 15k service.

I was driving to work friday morning and it was raining. I am sure in the last year it has rained harder. It wasn’t sprinkling, it was a definite rain, and the ground was pretty wet and every time I went around a corner the damn automatic traction control would flip on and the car would grip real hard (yeah I know that is the purpose of the traction control) and make it extremely hard for me to turn.  Now this usually happened when I was either slowing way down to make a turn or from a stop making a turn.  It happened multiple times and it just seemed a tad excessive and the difficulty I was having with the turning of the car was freaking me out just a bit. Now I will tell you right now I wasn’t driving too fast for the road or anything- at least not that I thought- I tend to drive like an old lady in the rain.

So I do what I always do when faced with car problems. I called my dad. Yeah I may be in my 30s but he tends to know more about these things than I do. We had the following conversation:

Me: Um I was driving to work this morning and the traction control kept coming on and I was having a really hard time turning the car and it just wasn’t right. Do you think I need to have it towed to Chevy? It was really hard to drive.

Dad: I don’t much about that automatic traction control…um..was it not right or did it just feel different?

Me: Um…both? It was hard to turn…and just felt…different.

Dad: (I could hear one of his coworkers talking to him in the background) Can you turn off the traction control?

Me: Yeah there is a button right on the dash.

Dad: Just turn it off. I think its for driving in the snow. If it doesn’t feel right just turn it off and drive it.  Did it feel like trying to drive my truck in 4 wheel drive on the pavement?

Me: Um…I dunno I have never actually driven in 4 wheel drive on pavement or not.

Dad: Yeah just turn off the traction control. If you still have a problem then call the service department.

So later I took a break and took the car for a little spin. It was still raining but not as hard and I left the traction control on. I went around lots of turns both left and rights and the traction control didn’t come on AT ALL.  Same thing at lunch (although at lunch it was a lot dryer by then and only a light sprinkling).

My question to you is:

Do you have a car with traction control? If you do does that sound normal? Also do you think low tire pressure could cause this? I notice that when they rotated my tires they now have (according to the little computer anyway) lower tire pressure than I like to keep in them. (the are all somewhere between 32 and 34 lbs and I usually like to keep them more in the 37 lb range (max is 40).

I am worried only because I plan to take a road trip at the end of February (can you guess where to?) and if I need it looked at I would rather it be looked at now.

Here’s what you do. I start a story with five words. You continue the story with five more words. The next person adds five words, and so on…

“Her head’s under the hood, …”

Continue the story in the comments section.

Here is Fill-in #110:

1. Please don’t tell Mom The Babysitter is Dead.

2. Can you make me breakfast in the morning?

3. The color orange makes me want to smile!

4. I have a craving for pepperoni pizza with white onion and extra cheese and maybe some pineapple (seems like my answer any time there is a craving one).

5. If my life had a pause button, I’d pause it while having a bad day to give myself a minute to regroup.

6. Eyes are the most fascinating part of a person to me.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going home and relaxing, tomorrow my plans include THE BUD SHOOTOUT YEY and Sunday, I want to SLEEP IN!

Well pretty soon we will be heading into The Bud Shootout at Daytona and it can not get here fast enough for me.  Of course I am especially excited to see Stewart-Haas drivers Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman in action- and see the teams working as a whole.  I remember being shocked and slightly horrified when Tony made his initial announcement last season that he would be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to form Stewart-Haas, but the more I heard him talking about it throughout the rest of the 2008 season the more excited I became and less anxious.

Then we entered what I like to call the dark part of the year, the NASCAR offseason, which is torturous for me.  The news about my favorite drivers is far and few between and I am left to read what other bloggers think about the new season.  Rumors and opinions abounded this off season and one thing I was surprised to find out is that there are a lot of people out there who do NOT think Tony will be a good owner and that this owner/driver situation will NOT work out for him.  They talk about his temperament not being fitting for an owner and they talk about others who have gone before him (Michael Waltrip is often brought up into these discussions).

What many of these people fail to mention is that Stewart IS already a team owner.  He is owner of the successful Tony Stewart Racing USAC and WOO teams.  Not to mention that Stewart actually owns other companies, including an R/C company and True Speed Communications.  He has been quoted as saying all along- he learned from Joe Gibbs that it’s important to put the right people in the right roles with in the company. Also- have they seen any of the pre-season press from Tony this season. For someone who isn’t the right temperament- he sure looks fairly relaxed and pretty happy.

Do I Look Stressed To You?

Do I Look Stressed To You?

I, of course, would love for the naysayers to be totally wrong.  I want a strong showing right out of the gate at Daytona. I know that the odds are stacked against them for that- since the team is in its infancy pretty much.  That being said I am going to predict (Ok..so it may be me being hopeful and biased) that Stewart Haas racing comes out of the stables for a fairly strong showing at Daytona.  They will then struggle a little bit in the early spring and pick back up in late spring- early summer. Per usual Tony will heat up with the weather gets hot.  And I think that when Tony gets hot this season he will be smokin’ hot (pun intended) and maybe even qualify better than he has in recent history.  I think that at least one Stewart Haas racing car will make the Chase and right now I am putting my money on Tony.

BethFish made up her own meme despite hating them. I decided to play.  She revamped the old “Interview me” meme by interviewing anyone who wanted to play along…And I am so going to play along.

I will revert back to the original meme rules though and if you want me to interview you please leave me a comment and I will email you five questions of my own…you will post the answers and offer to interview your readers.

Here are Bethfish’s questions and my answers:

1. Remember the movie Brewster’s Millions? That happens to you, except on a smaller scale. You receive a million dollars that you must spend in 30 days. However, you cannot have any assets to show for the money at the end of the month (and you can’t buy something and then destroy it), you cannot waste the money, you cannot give it away, and you cannot tell anyone what you are doing. How do you ditch the dough in a month or less?  First off- I don’t think I ever saw Brewster’s Millions so I hope I am answering correctly. I would sponsor a race team anonymously for a couple races. Maybe Ryan Newman’s car…since it needs sponsors for something like thirteen more races. I could use that money to take care of a couple of them- doesn’t it cost like 200,000 roughly to run one car in one race?

2. You are locked in a toy store overnight, with no way out until it reopens in the morning. What do you play with all night? I probably wouldn’t stick with one aisle. I would probably spend the most time in the puzzles, cars and barbies aisles though- maybe I will make like a city out of legos or something spectacular.

3. If you could have a dinner party with any three famous people, living or dead, you would be wasting your supernatural powers on hosting dinner parties. What would you do instead? I would use my powers to fix the economy. Or give myself the ability to transport myself to a specific place in like a second. Its a toss up.

4. What’s the best thing since sliced bread? Now, sliced bread ain’t all that impressive, so what’s the best mediocre, hum-drum improvement or advancement that has made modern life just ever so slightly more convenient for humanity, along the lines of saving yourself five seconds every time you want a piece of bread. Joey Logano. Or boxes of raisins. I can’t decide.

5. What’s your best quality? The response to this question must be a simple declarative statement. You may elaborate on that statement, provided that your elaboration does not include the words “but,” “however,” or “although,” or any other hedging, equivocating, back-sliding, gerrymandering (which is not at all appropriate in this context, but I think it should be, don’t you?) or any other type of backing down from the simple declarative statement with which you began your response. I am an awesome planner of vacations.