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Archive for October, 2016

Back Home Again In-

October 27, 2016 2 comments

No, not in Indiana, Jim Nabors. Back home in my house. My own bed. I’m glad. 30 odd hours in a hospital were more than enough.

How do I feel? I would say like I have been run through a wringer, but unless you are my age you probably don’t know what a wringer is. Let’s just say that while yesterday in the hospital bed I was thinking I could go back to work today, today I am thinking that was a very dumb thought.

Fortunately I am not in a lot of pain, more discomfort than pain, but I am very, very tired. It seems like if I am up and around for an hour today I need to rest for two hours. Which I plan to do when I am done with this very brief post.

I can tell you nothing about the procedure. I was wheeled into a very cold operating room. I said hello to the people on the surgical team and don’t remember anything else until I was in the recovery room. However, the doctor thinks the procedure was successful, and that is all that matters.

When I couldn’t sleep Tuesday night and Wednesday morning I did think about a number of things, including racing. I pictured myself next season at Kansas Speedway in the spring. At Fairbury American Legion Speedway in late July, and at Knoxville in mid-September. Nice thoughts, just not sleep inducing thoughts.

Back in July, a routine physical with lab work discovered I had a very high PSA, one sign of prostate cancer. Another test showed an even higher PSA. Some doctors swear at the PSA test, rather than by it. I only know that I am very glad it was done. That we caught the cancer early. That while what was done was major to me, it was not radical to surgeons. What I am saying to my male readers is to get this test done at least every year. Yes, it is important.

And now, I am going to try to read a little and take a nap. I have a feeling I will read very little, and my nap will last until supper time. I am glad to be writing this, and as always, I am thankful you care to read it.

 

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Two Thumbs Down To JGR Teams

October 23, 2016 Leave a comment

What left the strongest impression from this afternoon’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Talladega? No, not the lap after lap of three wide racing, though I am a big fan of three wide racing. Not that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was in the NBC booth as a commentator-and the thought entered my mind that may be where we see him not just next week at Martinsville, but maybe in that spot permanently. Not that Martin Truex Jr. lost a chance at the championship when his Toyota engine erupted in smoke-and that is a shame. No, not that Brad Keselowski also lost an engine and a chance at being the Sprint Cup champ in 2016-I don’t see that as a shame at all. And though I am not a Denny Hamlin fan, it did not bother me that he beat Austin Dillon by one point to advance to the championship round of eight. No, none of those things left the biggest impression on me.

What did impress me-very negatively-was that three Joe Gibbs teams chose to do nothing more than ride around the 2.66 mile Alabama tri-oval. Before the race even began Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, and Kyle Busch dropped to the back of the starting grid and remained there through much of the race, finishing 28th, 29th, and 30th.  Yeah, this was a “bigger picture strategy,” designed to miss the Talladega big one-which didn’t happen anyway. I for one think this sucked.

Fans pay a lot of money to go to Sprint Cup races. They go to watch the best drivers race, not to watch pampered millionaires cruise around 300 yards behind all the other drivers. The JGR driver actions was an insult to fans and to the sport. Bobby Allison gave the start engine command, and Donnie Allison waved the green flag to start the race. I can’t see either of these Alabama Gang members or Richard Petty, or Cale Yarborough, or David Pearson EVER stroking it. I guess the new NASCAR cliché can be “where the best drivers in the world always drive to win, except when they don’t.” Two thumbs down to JGR.

I am going to root for Jimmy Johnson and Kevin Harvick. I can’t bring myself to cheer for Joey Logano or Kurt Busch, but I hope these drivers will be the four to make it into the winner take-all at Homestead in four weeks.

I have been watching plenty of racing this weekend. Friday night and last night I was on Speed Shift TV switching back and forth from IMCA races in Memphis, Missouri to USRA races in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Today it is the finale of the New Mexico show. I envy the people there-it is in the 80’s this afternoon. But it is comfortable here at TROTD Speedway too.

Just a little over 36 hours until my prostate gets cryo-blasted at Fremont Medical Center. Yeah, every hour closer makes me that much more nervous. I am trying to keep my mind on more positive things. Like Thanksgiving with my family. Watching Henry play basketball at the Fremont Y this winter. Going to Kansas Speedway 201 days from now for NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying and later the Camping World Truck Series race. And then two weekends in July, the Silver Dollar Nationals at I-80 Speedway followed by the Prairie Dirt Classic in Fairbury, Illinois. I have to be well to enjoy all of them, and I damn sure plan on it.

So I will be taking a few days off to rest and recover. My prostate-and my cancer-make soon be history, but my opinions will be as strong as ever when I blog next time. Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. Thanks to Kyle Ealy for reminding me that Lee County Speedway is in Donnellson, Iowa-not Bloomfield like I said. Darn, I would have been driving all around Bloomfield trying to find it.

 

Friday Night Lite

October 21, 2016 1 comment

As John Lennon sang so long ago in ‘Wait’:

 

“It’s been a long time Now I’m coming back home I’ve been away now”

 

I have been away. Working full-time, commuting to Omaha to work, a wife who just had knee replacement surgery and somehow in the process ended up with multiple broken ribs and cannot drive-well it all adds up to an overwhelmed me who just did not feel like blogging this week.  And I almost forgot-I am having a prostate cryoblation on Tuesday and that is wearing on my mind more than a little.

 

Anyway, it added up to no blog. I did watch some racing last weekend though. Speed Shift TV showed events from Lee County Speedway in Iowa, and Longview Speedway in Texas. I watch a lot of the IMCA racing from Iowa but it seemed like every time I switched to the Texas track it was intermission.  Lee County Speedway in Bloomfield, Iowa had been on my bucket list, so I enjoyed those races. And Longview Speedway looked like a nice facility, though I can’t say much about racing there.

 

I will be logging on to Speed Shift TV again this weekend as they will be streaming the USRA Fall Nationals from Southern New Mexico Speedway as well as the Fall Nationals from Scotland County Speedway in Missouri.  The USRA show will be three nights starting tonight, while the Missouri races will be tonight and tomorrow.
 

I also watched part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race from Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Having been there for a past qualifying day, I will attest to being there is much for fun than watching on TV. My friend Tony Anville was there and here is what he had to say:

 

The weather Sunday was better than I ever remember it. Only once in the 15 years of the fall Kansas event has the weather been even remotely questionable.  Although the empty seats are increasing, it still looked more full than most of the tracks on the circuit.  The Kansas City race attracts a lot race fans from a six state region.  The facility and service is always top notch.

 

Watching the “boring” racing on the big screen in front of me makes me appreciate that I can watch the live action and it’s not boring.  Many times in the middle of the pack they race 3 wide thru 3 and 4 and then 4 wide down the front stretch.  The parking at Kansas is second to none.  From the time I leave my seat (after watching each car cross the finish line) until the time I’m driving up the interstate is probably a max of 20 minutes.

 

One of my favorite parts of the day is roaming the pit area prior to the race.  It makes me appreciate even more the work the crews put in on a race weekend.  I’m not sure how they do it.
 

NASCAR continues to keep the drivers away from the fans by the way they put up the ropes.  One (and only one of many) of the reasons racings demise is soon to come is the drivers.  Only about 2% care about the fans.  You can tell in everything they do. I say it every time but I was never at a NASCAR event when Bobby Allison and Richard Petty didn’t sign and talk to the fans (this is when they were racing).  The current drivers (except for one) didn’t acknowledge one fan as they were riding around “waving” at the crowd.  They were too busy talking amongst themselves.  I will give kudos to Danica Patrick.  She seemed to be the only one engaged with the fans.  And that was only waves and smiles (which means a lot to some fans).

 

Already looking forward to next Sunday and being at the biggest and most bad ass of them all.  My favorite…Talladega.
 

Yes, Anville somehow manages to attend two Sprint Cup races in a row each fall. Someday maybe I will be able to attend even one. Thanks for your report Tony and I am looking forward to hearing about Talladega.

 

I am not sure I will be posting another blog prior to my procedure on Tuesday. It is being done on an out-patient basis, so hopefully I will be coming home on Tuesday. It is supposed to be less invasive than surgery and have fewer complications than surgery or radiation. A -40C gas is injected into the prostate killing the cancer cells-well, killing the prostate too. I looked up converting C to F on the internet, and -40C was also -40F. Basically damn cold. If you are old enough to remember the Cornhusker Classic at Sunset Speedway, it is that cold.
 

My plan is to rest and heal for a week and then go back to work. Yes, I do know plans often go awry. So keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

Hoosiers, Speed Shift TV, I-80 Speedway, And NASCAR

October 9, 2016 Leave a comment

First and most important, about Jane. She is home now, but is still in a lot of pain, which is normal after knee replacement surgery, but what happened after the surgery has left her in much more pain. She will start physical therapy tomorrow, so right now we are just hoping for the best. I really don’t want to talk much about this in my blog, but for those who know my email, if you want more information, please write.

“Some things never change.” That is a line from one of my all-time favorite movies, Hoosiers. Thanks to Speed Shift TV I have been able to watch B-Mods race from California to Florida and many stops in between. Last night it was Minnesota B-Mods. The cars may be painted different colors, but one thing you can count on is as many-if not more-caution flag laps as actual race laps. Truly amazing.

While I watched IMCA action from Nobles County Speedway in Minnesota (Sport Compacts, Hobby Stocks, Sport Mods, Stock Cars, and A-Mods), I also watched a little of the Sprint Car action from Arizona Speedway in Phoenix. Not because I am a reborn open wheel fan, but because Arizona Speedway will be host to the 2017 Wild West Shootout in January. That is late model action. 6 nights of late model racing. And I would love to go there for a few nights, but if I can’t, I at least plan on watching the action on www.DirtonDirt.com.

I suppose I should have given some thought to attending I-80 Speedway’s season ending Cornhusker Classic. I didn’t though-the days of me really wanting to be at an event with 200 race cars, including far too many B-mods, are in the past. Plus the temperature at TROTD Speedway was a pleasant 68 degrees, no need for a heavy coat or a blanket.

I watched all of the Sprint Cup race from Charlotte today. It seemed more like a full-moon Saturday night for Chase drivers, than a sunny, southeast afternoon. About the only Chase driver who did not make a mistake or have something strange happen was Jimmie Johnson. And guess who won the race? With the win Johnson automatically moves into the Chase round of eight for the first time since NASCAR switched to the elimination format.

Five Chase drivers finished 30th or worse. Two of the Roush Fenway drivers did better than that, making the day doubly strange. Now it is on to Kansas for NASCAR’s top series. I had hoped to repeat last year’s Friday visit to the track, but with Jane’s surgery last Monday, and mine coming up in a few weeks, I just could not take off from work this year. Maybe next season.

Even though I haven’t written for a few days, it is hard to have much enthusiasm about anything but my family right now. I guess we will call this my “season of discontent,” and hope that 2017 will be a “banner year.”

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Please Keep Us In Your Thoughts

October 4, 2016 3 comments

I apologize for not posting any sooner and admit I will not be posting for some time. On Monday Jane had knee replacement surgery on her right knee. It seemed like everything was going great-she was alert, able to feel her right leg and move it around. She was talking of coming home on Wednesday.

I decided to work half a day on Tuesday and was headed to work early when I got a call from Matt. The hospital had called him-they hadn’t been able to reach me. Jane had apparently had an incident, a bad one and had been transported to another hospital. I rushed to that hospital and just got home a half hour ago. Tests were run all day-lots and lots and lots of tests, but nothing was showing as to why she had the incident early Tuesday. And then she had another incident around noon on Tuesday. I know what real fear is now and I don’t want to experience it again.

At this time I do not have a clue what caused the incidents. Test after test was normal or negative, certainly good news, but nothing that told us why this happened. Maybe we will know more tomorrow. I just ask that you will keep Jane, Matt, Amanda, Steph, Henry, and my mom in your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks.

Categories: October 2016