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Ok so I am a couple weeks behind on the MI-5′s. Why? Well I could blame it on vacation but I think I will just say sorry and play catchup. Here is the latest…followed by the two I missed:

MI5 – The Internet

1. If you can remember, what year it was that you 1st welcomed the world wide web into your home? If you can’t remember, how about a close guess :-) .

Probably around 1990 or so. I really don’t remember. Stared out with an AOL screen name on my dad’s account.

2. How many hours a day in the average week do you spend in front of a computer at home, at work, how much of that requires an online connection?

I figure that at home I am usually online about 2 hours a day average.  At work I am online for 40 hours a week. I am work at a helpdesk getting people online at a university…so I am always online.

3. Do you read anyone else’s blog regularly? List your favorites.

I read LOTS of blogs regularly. See those people listed over there on the right. That would be them! I read them all daily. I will introduce some of my newer ones to you:

Up To No Good (by E): She is a nascar fan…and writes about it sometimes. It’s nice to have another female fan/friend!!! Most of my friends think I am nuts with the nascar thing. She also writes about what is going on in her life…hey kind of like me.
Life is RANTastic (by RockChick): She is a rocker and loves Bon Jovi…what more in a blogger could I love? She is also one of my newer picks and she posts a lot which is great because that way I always have something new to read.
Fingerprint, INC Blog (by Jade Gurss): Jade is Dale Jr’s PR man and co-author of Driver #8…I love the little inside looks at Nascar I get from Jade (sometimes they are things I wouldn’t have thought of myself).

4. If you’ve discovered the wonderful world of Podcasting list some of your favorites. Whether you have or haven’t share your thoughts on the concept.

Ahh podcasting. In general I am not offended by it but it isn’t something I like on my ipod. I am a music whore hound and I don’t like a bunch of jabbering on my ipod (I feel the same way about audio books).  However…I do subscribe to the Dale Jr one that Jade (see question three) does (and yes if Tony Stewart had one I would be all over that too). I can’t listen to it while driving in LA traffic I found out during my last vacation…it can be a little annoying to be driving in rushhour LA traffic while listening to Jr’s spotter go INSIDE…INSIDE…OUTSIDE…you get the picture.

5. Click on your history window share with us 5 websites you’ve recently visited and what brought you there.

cnn.com – Checking out the news…specifically interested in any progress on the utah miners. myspace.com- checking my account.  nascar.com- checking the daily NASCAR news FoxSports.com/nascar- again checking the daily NASCAR news.  montereycountyfair.com- checking when to pick up my entries

(more…)

There are some things I have been meaning to write about but just haven’t been able to find the time…so here it goes- all mishmashed into one entry:

SPRINT CUP

I have been meaning to mention the fact that I DON’T LIKE THE NEW NAME of the Nextel Cup next year. I still remember when the cup was called the Winston cup…and maybe I just don’t like change (ok- most people would tell you that I can be a little resistant to change at times) but I hate the fact that NASCAR has decided to change the name to the SPRINT CUP. Why? Because I think it has the potential to confuse people who might think it is about SPRINT Cars. Silly Nascar.

COT

Are my brother and I the only ones who think that the “Cars of Tomorrow” look kind of like a shrinkydinked version of the Nascar Craftsman trucks? Just curious.

FINES

Tony Stewart got find for saying “bullshit.” Will Kevin Harvick get fined for saying “ass”? And why didn’t Kyle Petty get fined for saying “fuck” on air? Oh I have heard the excuse that it was a network issue but I say that is bs…and he should have been fined like everyone else.

Speaking of the fines, where does the money go?

By the way…maybe it is because I am not easily offended…but I don’t think a little cursing said in the heat of the moment- whether it be in anger or in excitement should be a something that should be fine-worthy.

FIST-TO-CUFFS

And while we are speaking about fines, JPM and Kevin Harvick had a little shoving match at Watkins Glen…and I am interesting to see if NASCAR will fine them for their actions. I do not, however, think it is right to fine drivers for this kind of thing. It shows the drivers are both passionate about their sport and their position in their sport. Frustration is passion gone awry in my opinion. I really think that a little shoving here and there…or yelling matches are not something that drivers should be penalized for.

CRAZY RED FLAG FAN

Was I the only one who thought that guy running out to Matt Kenseth’s car during the the red flag at the Glen last week was hilarious? Did he really think that the driver would autograph the hat? And did he get escorted from the track? And most importantly…what was he drinking that made him think that would be a wise idea?

For my NASCAR fans who happen to be considering going to see the SHARP AQUOS 500, Valli (from The Fast and the Fabulous) still has one more set to give away…I would usually be all over this…but I am out of state that weekend!

Honorable mention in digital photography division, photojournalism

Honorable mention in digital photography division, domesticated animals

Honorable mention in digital photography division, scenic/travel

Did Not Place in digital photography division, still life

****

I must say I am slightly disappointed. I was sure the picture of Roxy would place better than an honorable mention.  On the plus side my father entered four pictures as well and got a 2nd and a 3rd place.

First- The Glen
Tony Stewart was victorious once more at the Glen.  Tony had a strong car that was good at the beginning until he spun….but he charged forth- never giving up…to retake the lead with two laps to go after Jeff Gordon pushed into a corner just a little too hard (probably paying more attention to the orange in his rearview mirror than to the turn in front of him). Carl Edwards pushed hard and gave Tony a run for his money there for awhile.

I must say that it was another entertaining road race- between Tony spinning and then working his way back up towards the front and JPM and Kevin Harvick nearly going fist-to-cuffs over an altercation on the track (there was shoving and helmet grabbing…and threats of ass-kicking)…it was a fun one to watch.  For the last 15 laps or so I was on the edge of my seat…and I admit that the second I saw the 24 car spin out in the corner I jumped up off the edge of my seat and pumped my hand in the air just a bit…I think I even scared the dog…but she is jumpy anyway!  Right after the race was over my mom asked me what I was gonna do- and I looked at her smiled and said: RUB IT IN! I then proceeded to text BFM (the Jeff Gordon) fan this message as I knew she wasn’t watching the race- she was navigating around Hollywood): 24 car spins w. 2 laps 2go. TONY WINS!!! WTG SMOKE!!!

Now THE TOOTH 
Yesterday I was minding my own business eating some CPK COBB Salad with my mother (we were sharing a CPK COBB with NO CHEESE and a Chipolte Chicken Pizza) when my tongue discovered that my front bottom tooth felt a little funny…sharp-like.  So I rush into the bathroom and sure enough I have a chip or crack or something going on- right there on my front bottom tooth. So far it isn’t really painful…but I have been extremely careful with how I am eating. I am going to try to get into the dentist asap tomorrow…we will see if he can fit me in.  Oy the joys that I look forward to on Monday. I wonder if I can take my ipod to the dentist office?

Play along here

1. My commute is generally about 15 minutes from door to door through mostly farmland.
2. Helpful best describes my neighborhood.
3. My neighbors are mostly really cool people.
4. Tico Tacos is my favorite place to eat that’s close to home.
5. If there’s one thing I’d change about my community, it would be better mass transit.
6. The thing I miss most about the town (city/area/swamp) I grew up in is nothing…I still live there.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going home early, tomorrow my plans include laundry and general clean up and Sunday, I want to watch the race at Watkin’s Glen!

As I mentioned…I had a great time on my vacation.

So bright and early on Thursday morning I loaded my bags into the rental car (a red dodge caliber) and heading south east towards San Bernardino…it was a fairly non-eventful drive down south. I ended up in one way traffic control on Highway 46 (yes the same highway James Dean died on)…and I did get a little giddy when I saw the sign for the California Speedway on my way through Fontana, CA….almost at my destination!

BFM gets to the hotel just in time to check us and then I am pulling into the parking lot. I drag my stuff upstairs in the rickety elevator (the hilton might be doing renovations but what they really need? Is a new set of elevators).  I give BFM her (very belated birthday) presents to open (the highlights of those presents being a very small Dooney and Bourke purse and a deck of cards featuring Jeff Gordon-there is a story there…maybe another time).  Then we go grab a bite to eat and return to our room to prepare to embark on the first of many stops on our journey…Lake Arrowhead.  We banter back and forth about who will drive….and I reluctantly agree (despite the fact I was just driving for live 5 hours!).  So BFM  has our directions and is our navigator for the evening.  And once we get on Highway 18 up the mountain? I am about to shit a brick.  If you know me? You know I don’t like heights. At ALL.  And I suddenly find myself driving an unfamiliar car on a very steep, very windy road up a hill…and the view….well most would probably find it breathtaking. I was too busy concentrating really REALLY hard on keeping the car between the lines and NOT LOOKING because…hello…sheer cliffs!!!!  Lets just say I am poking up the mountain so slowly that I use practically every turn out to let cars by me.  I think I probably scared BFM (who claims the seat in that car probably has a hole worn in it).  The whole time she is saying “I am sorry…I should have driven…I am sorry…I know how you are.”  It was THE scariest road I have ever driven on!!  We pass the local high school…and let’s just say the name fits: Rim of the World High School (or Rim High for short).  Because right across the highway…you can see for ever…and not in a good way).  We finally make it up to the Arrowhead Village and settle in for some shopping and our concert.  Let’s just say that the singer even mentioned something about the treacherous road…anyway I probably would have enjoyed the show more if I weren’t busy worrying about driving back down the mountain…at that point I would have rather taken a helicopter down than actually drive it…but I had no choice really (BFM offered to drive…and I might have let her if she was on the rental car contract).  The drive down actually went a lot better than the drive up (so thought I…BFM might have something different to say about that).  We then found our way back to the hotel and crashed for the night…

Friday we woke up early- grabbed some of our free breakfast at the hotel restaurant and headed off to Disneyland.  We have annual passes so we figured we might as well squeeze in a day at the Disneyland.  We got there and the first thing we wanted to do was ride the new “Finding Nemo” Submarines because we were stoked.  That is until we found out that the line for said Submarines…was was 4 hours long.  DA. AM.  We gave up that dream very very quickly and decided to ride It’s a Small World while in the area before it got too crowded…and then we decided to make our way over to Pirates of the Caribbean and that is when we had a magical moment!!! We were winners and got free Dream FastPasses! That was so cool…because basically we had fast passes to rides (only the ones with fast passes) that were NOT dependent on going at a specific time).  So basically we used them right away to walk right into Buzz Lightyear (my third favorite disney ride second only to Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion).  We had a blast at Disneyland and California Adventure (our dream fast pass was good there too).  I thing I ended up suffering from dehydration or something because I was sooo hot…and I just started to feel sick but even the water I was drinking (by the gallon) wasn’t helping…but BFM told me I was probably needed something with some salt in it and I had a diet coke and started feeling better…NOW I KNOW WHY GATORADE tastes salty!!!  While we were in the area we fit in a trip to our favorite southland mall: South Coast Plaza where BFM got a heck of deal on some Dooney and I got a new Dooney myself…and a dooney lunch bag!!

Saturday, yep you guessed it, we had our free hotel breakfast, and then headed off to Hollywood for the day.  As part of her birthday present I bought us tickets to see Wicked at the Pantages.  And while we were in the area we thought we would do the tourist thing…and we ended up at the La Brea tar pits.  It was interesting….albeit smelly.  Wicked was amazing and if you ever have the chance to take it in I highly highly suggest it.  Then it was time for the final part of the BFM birthday celebration…dinner of her choice.  And she chose RUBY’S which is one of our favorite places and we always try to fit them in if we can…there are a lot of RUBY’S in the southland and we figured that the one in Newport would be the least crowded…until we got to Newport…there wasn’t even PARKING and people were sitting out front waiting…so we winged it and ended up at my FAVORITE RUBY’S of all the one in Laguna Beach…I love that one.   It was a bit of drive back but it was fun.

Sunday we slept in and missed our free breakfast window…but we had lunch before we parted ways!!!

Pictures from Left to Right:

TOP: Me stuck in traffic construction on highway 46, Lake Arrowhead, Matt Nelson

Middle: BFM and her new purse, Walt and Mickey, tarry clothes from the paleontologists in Pit 91 of the La Brea Tar pits.

Bottom: Captain Jack Sparrow of course, A bear statue at the TarPits, Tarpits.

The whole vacation set is here on flickr.