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This topic was actually suggested by Ryan: I’d like to read more about your Blogroll. What interests you about writing/reading blogs? What kind of information can you get from reading a blog that you can’t in a daily paper or traditional media Web site? Things to that nature.

I wanted to take my time to devote to this entry because I think Ryan asks a couple of really REALLY good questions.

First Ryan asks what interests me about writing/reading blogs. I will start with writing. I write this blog because I naturally have an overwhelming need to write things down. I personally believe it was a desire I was born with. My mom said that when I was three I asked my parents to teach me to write. My dad sat down and made a border around my desk with the alphabet and I would sit there and practice writing letters. So I was obviously compelled to write at even a young age. I even doodle words more than pictures…and I am a big doodler let me tell you. Anyway- not a lot of people around me are NASCAR fans so that is how NASCAR wound my way into my blog…then people started responding to the NASCAR stuff so I have extended my friend base- thus I keep writing about NASCAR…but I try very hard not to limit it to NASCAR because a lot of the people who read me with any regularity come here from before I even started writing about NASCAR on my blog.

Now- what interests me about reading blogs. Most of the blogs I read are personal blogs. I use it as a way to keep up with friends both virtual and real world ones. Some of these people I knew before (Like ETS) blogging or I use to know in real like and have reconnected with (Like Andrea). Some I met through blogging (almost all the rest!).  Most of these people I relate to in someway or another.  Lisa for instance likes NASCAR.  Janet loves cooking and takes tremendous photos that I love to look at (especially the ones about cooking) and is always up to something- plus she has two adorable dogs! Bill is a musician and I like his writing and hearing about his family and his gigs- plus he got me into the MI-5 meme circle.  Pete I actually met through ETS-  we have similar political values and I love that he is such a smart(ass) guy- plus he hosts badgroove so I love him for that right there.

I do read motorsport (mostly NASCAR) blogs as well just to see what people are writing about and to know what people are thinking in the community about certain topics.  Others I read purely for the rumor factor…which you always have to take with a healthy serving of salt.  Then there is a third category of informative blogs. For instance- I read THE NASCAR INSIDERS because it gives me a total insiders perspective on NASCAR related happenings – often times in a way that I have never thought of before.

I think it is an important skill to have in today’s society to know the difference between a reputable news/information site and a blog. I read both and I am pretty darn sure I can asertain the difference between what is actual news and what is something that is opinion or rumor.

I don’t read a newspaper much anymore. I farm most of my news from internet sites like CNN, MSNBC, and my local news websites.  For NASCAR news I stick to nascar.com, foxsports and yahoo sports.  I am so much of a news right now kind of person. Plus the television media is so depressing sometimes…I hate to even watch. Using the internet I can choose which stories I want to read and which I don’t. Plus I like having all the information before the paper so when my mom calls me at work to tell me something I can roll my eyes and say “That is such old news Mom!” and then giggle to myself!

Don’t forget to enter my 3-Giveaway. Information Here

Don’t forget to enter my 3-Giveaway. Information Here.

I absolutely love The Monterey Bay Aquarium. If it weren’t so damn expensive I would go all the time- like once a week or so. The last time I went was for my birthday in January of 2007.  By far- my two favorite displays at the aquarium are the Jellies:

They are so peaceful to watch swim around

They are so peaceful to watch swim around.

and the feedings in the big Kelp Forest Tank:

Tad feeds the fishies at the aquarium

Tad feeds the fishies at the aquarium.

The cool thing about the feedings is that you can go up to the man in the red shirt on the outside of the tank and ask him questions and he will ask the diver who will then answer.  You can even tune in on the internet at 11:30 and 4:00 to watch the feedings (times all pacific).

I am also a big fan of the otter exhibit…but I don’t have a great picture of the otters. I don’t have a picture of the otters- but the aquarium website has a great ottercam you can watch.

I am going to try to go next month- because Monterey County residents can usually get in free at the beginning of December.  Plus they usually have cool ornaments in the gift shop around Christmas time!

Whodamanny suggested this topic.

3- A Giveaway

Posted by Amy in General - (5 Comments)

What does the number 3 mean to you? Is it just more than two and less than four? For NASCAR fans, 3 is a number synonymous with a legend.  Even as a NASCAR fan it can sometimes be hard to comprehend exactly what Dale Earnhardt was to people.

I was given the opportunity to share with my readers a DVD entitled DALE EARNHARDT – 10 Greatest Wins.  This is a 5 dvd set- containing highlights from 10 of Dale Earnhardt’s greatest victories. The races span from 1984-2000 and include on of my favorite wins ever his victory over Bobby Labonte by .006 seconds at Atlanta Motorspeedway.  I was given two copies. Originally I was going to do what I did last time open one and keep for myself to review and then give the other away. However this time I think I will give both copies away.  The DVDs are in a high quality metal jacket- it’s a very nice set indeed.

AND

Someone- through a comment on this blog- suggested I read the book St. Dale by Sharyn McCrumb- which is interesting….I am about three quarters of the way done with it. It centers around a bus load of people who are on the first ever Dale Earnhardt Tour paying hommage a to the fallen champion a little over a year after his death. Its a very interesting read-where NASCAR plays a signifigant part of the storyline- however does not dominate the story.  I think  So I am going to give one copy of this book away as well.

So to recap- three prizes are available. Two copies of the Dale DVD and one copy of the paperback of St. Dale. How do you win? Easy- just leave a comment on this post. Three winners will be picked at random.  Winners will be contacted and must be willing to provide mailing address.  The contest runs from the day this is posted to noon (pacific time) on November 26th, 2008.  Good luck!

Halloweenie

Posted by Amy in General - (2 Comments)

So I took half a day off on Friday because it was my nephew’s first ever Halloween. He is 7 months old now. So the first thing I do when I get home is call to make sure my sister-in-law is home- which she is so I go across the street to give him his halloween present- which was mostly clothes because I feel that this is the one and only halloween I can get away with that as a present. My snl asked me if I wanted to accompany them to the the pumpkin patch because my brother needed one more pumpkin to complete his pumpkiny masterpiece. I agreed because I still had not gotten any pumpkins myself. I had fun with my nephew at the pumpkin patch. He got so excited and waved at all the pumpkins. He waves at everything!  I got a pumpkin and went home and created my masterpiece:

Jack Skellington the pumpkin:

Just one white pumpkin, some black paint (next time I will use acrylic instead of latex- the next day his eye peeled off).

Just one white pumpkin, some black paint (next time I will use acrylic instead of latex- the next day his eye peeled off) and about ten minutes is all this took.

Jack in the display:

Jack in the foreground, Clint (or Buford- depending on who you talk to) in the background...

Jack in the foreground, Clint (or Buford- depending on who you talk to) in the background...

And the best part of Halloween this year? My nephew of course:

My nephew dressed up as Winnie the Pooh

My nephew dressed up as Winnie the Pooh

Ok- first off? This time change sucks for me. I think I am the opposite of most people who like this time change-this one really screws up my internal clock royally. This morning for instance? I woke up at 2:45 am. Fun times. Just when I get back into the swing of a normal sleep pattern it will be time to switchover. Oh well.

So I just have a couple things to discuss today:

  • First off is the whole Rookie of the Year battle royale that is going on right now in the NASCAR Cup Series.  Sam Hornish Jr. was leading Regan Smith by a measley two points after the Atlanta race last weekend (results haven’t been updated for this past race). The reason for bringing this up is that I am surprised that Hornish, JR is doing better than Regan Smith- my overall impression of the two is that Regan is doing better than Hornish, Jr. Well apparently I am wrong there.
  • I was fairly impressed with Brad Keselowski’s cup debut. He finished 19th- not bad for never starting in a cup car before. Unfortunately Joey “sliced bread” Logano was not so lucky. He finished a mere 40th.  I have a feeling that if NASCAR hadn’t parked Gilliland he would have been even lower.
  • Not only did Carl Edwards win the race at Texas Motorspeedway but he is also the recipient of that race’s Gillette Young Guns TimeShaver of the race. He edged out his closest competitor Clint Bowyer by quite a bit…so this week the competition wasn’t even close.   Denny, Kasey, Ryan and Kurt were all disqualified for not being on the lead lap.
  • I am going to admit right now that I don’t follow other racing series as closely as I should. Because of the later start for the Texas race- I was lacking for something to watch on TV in the morning as I did my laundry and other things- and ended up landing on SpeedTV watching the F1 race in Brazil. It was quite an exciting end with the rain coming into the picture and fact that all Lewis Hamilton had to do to win the World Championship at Brazil was finish fifth or higher…and with a late last lap pass of Timo Glock. This made Lewis, at 23, the youngest F1 World Championship driver.  Congrats.

I wanted to write about Halloween today too- but with NaBloPoMo this month I am going to spread the wealth a little and not post about that until tomorrow.

The sound on the Stewart team radio really bit this week. I could barely hear Zippy the whole race and Tony wasn’t too talkative. Probably because he was busy trying to move up from the back.  I should have known this race would not be a good one for him.

I was off early on Friday because it was my nephew’s first Halloween and I wanted to see him in all his cuteness (more on that later). So my friend called me and told me that her driver got the pole (Jeff Gordon) I asked if she noticed how Tony did. When she told me he qualified 8th my words were “Nu-uh! You are teasing me! He’s probably about 22nd right?” and then I found out she was serious and here I was naysaying my favorite drivers damn fine qualifying session.  I felt guilty. She also told me later that night that he was fairly high in one of the practices…so that excited me too until I found out that he suffered a blowout and they brought out a backup car. Arg.  Figures. I seriously almost signed on yesterday to brag about how great Tony was starting at Texas. I am glad I didn’t.

I was frustrated with the radio communication because I couldn’t hear it. I am assuming that they could all hear each other or it would have been more of an issue- but I could NOT hear anything Zippy was saying. It all came out like a low mumble in the background.  I could hear Tony loud and clear and Mike the spotter somewhat better but zippy was unintelligible.  I can say that what I saw of the pitstops- they looked good and solid.  Some were a little long- but I assume that was because of the changes they were making to try to make Tony’s car better.

My big surprise for the race was the big fuel gamble.  I was impressed with that move…it was pretty nervy.  Especially at this point in the chase.

So who was the aggressor in the Gilliland/JPM skirmish? I say Gilliland. My friend says JPM. I say either way Gilliand at least will get fined.

Next Week: Phoenix

As I mentioned- I am going to be taking part in NABLOPOMO again this year.  For those not in the know- it means that you simply write one post each day for the month of November.  For those who pay attention- I actually usually don’t blog daily. I am not a big weekend blogger- and definitely not a holiday blogger- except this month I will be.

I do have a couple of suggestions for things to blog about this month (thanks to Ryan and Whoda) but if you have suggestions- please feel free to ask. I would be happy to try to cover the topic of your choice (politics is one thing I will NOT blog about)- I will need ideas or else you all might be forced to deal with a month of pictures of my nephew or my dog. Not that there is anything wrong with that because frankly my dog…well she thinks she is a human but she is good blog fodder and my nephew is just cute. What you don’t believe me? Look at this:

Matthew waving. Trust me- that hand stuck out with the fingers curled? Thats part of his wave!

Matthew waving. Trust me- that hand stuck out with the fingers curled? That's part of his wave!

First is G’s Halloween MI-5

1.  What was the worst costume you ever wore?  What was the best?- The worst was this stupid supergirl one that I begged for. The stupid mask broke about 10 minutes in. The best? Probably either the time I went as a mechanic or an identity crisis.

2.  Tell us about the scariest nightmare you’ve ever had. Oh I so remember this. I figure I was about 15 or 16 and I was in bed and thought I was laying in bed awake but I must have been asleep dreaming I was in my bed awake at night and in my dream I saw a black shadowy figure come out of my closest weilding a silver knife that glittered in what little light there was left in the room. It was sooo freaking realistic that I slept with my light on for two weeks after that.

3.  Does your family have any Halloween traditions? Well for us Halloween is a test run for Christmas decorating wise. I know I have mentioned we are the Grizwalds when it comes to christmas decorating. So the house is decorated up all scary. My dad comes home from work and dresses up. Usually he is either a wizard or a cave man. He revels in scaring kids.

4.  Have you ever seen/felt/heard something strange that you just couldn’t explain? Once when I was 13 I was walking home from school and we live at the end of the block so I had just turned onto our block and looked up the block towards where my house was and I saw a woman and a little girl standing in the middle of the street. They were dressed exactly a like. Both had long red hair and long white dresses on but their dresses were sooty and their faces were smudged with ash. When I looked back a second later they were gone. I never saw them again. No one on my block looked like that. It was creepy.

5.  What do you find scary? People invading my personal space. I went to Halloween Horror nights at Universal Studios one year and was probably there about an hour before I left. It was too much for me. They get right in your face. I mean we probably spent about 15 minutes just trying to get past the entrance way because there were these men in pig masks weilding chain saws and chasing people.  We finally got past them and did two of the mazes and left. In the one maze you were walking through a graveyard and people would grab your legs and stuff. I got freaked out and buried my head into the back of my friend so I wouldn’t have to look and when I decided it was safe to look back up the one guy got right in my face and said “Don’t you like my make up? I put it on just for you!” Now I realize that he was just trying to reinforce that it wasn’t real but I was so out of there. I basically RAN through the Rob Zombie maze and left the park.

Bonus Question-Do you have any stories to share about your experiences with The Rocky Horror Picture Show? I saw it once. I don’t understand the hoopla.

AND FRIDAY FILL-IN 96:

1. My favorite food seasoning is garlic (but really I like to mix things up- I never stick to one spice too long).
2. The fact that I am leaving at noon today is music to my ears.
3. Lucky is the fates conspiring with you instead of against you.
4. Writing is something I take very seriously.
5. Many people believe I am rude but really? I am just shy.
6. A greeting card with a Papillion, a greeting card with a beagle and a pair of camo socks for my nephew were the last thing I bought at the store.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to giving away our candy…or eating it if it rains, tomorrow my plans include totally sleeping in and enoying it and Sunday, I want to watch Tony win Texas- I have to get my fix in now- the season is almost over!