Pro Kart Challenge, Dromo One,
S2ki.com, etc, March - May 2005
More Hijinks & Shenanigans
"We were somewhere around Rosamond, on the edge of the desert, when the Go-Fast Crack Pipe kicked in"
Teletubbies? Terminator robots? Technogeeks? Just plain dorks?
Yeah, I know it has been another couple of months between updates. Things got real busy around here again. After reading the story, you'll understand why! So before I go another month without an update, here's a quickie update of what has been going on the past couple of months.
The next race was the second Pro Kart Challenge event at Moran Raceway. The first event had great organization and enthusiasm, so we just had to support these guys and go out and do it again. The rain has been following us around like a big ass black cloud. Every time we get ready to go out and practice, it rains. We went out to practice at Moran two days before the big race on Saturday, and it rained on us again. Damn. In fact, all of southern California was rainfree on this day except for this little patch of sky surrounding the kart track. My kart still didn't feel like it was launching from a standing start correctly, and a couple of guys at the track mentioned that they thought it was jetting related, but another guy said it could be clutch related. Wayne and I switch carburetors, just to make sure it isn't the carb. The track is wet, so we cannot push the karts super hard, but both our karts sorta feel the same after the carb swap (meaning mine sucks, and his runs good), so we figure there is something else wrong besides the carb/jetting.
I had a mole removed under my eye, and Wayne thinks the nose Band-Aid will help him breath
On the way home Thursday, I called JM Racing and asked them if they still had their kart dyno, as I wanted to have them check my kart motor vs Wayne's kart motor, and show us who was putting out more power, and more importantly, why one or the other was putting out more power. I said I would drop my kart off at 9:00 a.m. Friday, and uh...asked them if they could have it done by late afternoon, as we have the race on Saturday. The guy that answered was an unfamiliar voice, and my cell phone connection was slightly garbled, but he said, "Yeah, no problem".
I drop the kart off promptly at 9:00 a.m., and around 2:00 p.m. they call me back and said it was a combination of the jetting, reeds, and they wanted to put a new clutch pack in. Their "factory driver" proclaimed it to be working a lot better now. I ask them to dyno the karts, and a different guy from the previous day said, "Kart Dyno? We don't have that anymore." Damn. I can't believe I can't find an ffing shifter kart dyno within 20 miles of our shop. I mean, we got access to virtually everything we need within a 4 mile radius of our shop. They also tell me to not do more than two standing start practices in a row, or else I'll burn up the clutch due to excessive heat. Oooops. Maybe I shouldn't have done all those practice starts in a row earlier.
Almost everything we need is within a four mile radius of the shop. Except for an ffing kart dyno.
(Click here for bigger)
I get the kart back, take it for a quick spin around the shop, and it does feel better. We'll see what happens tomorrow at a different altitude, different air density, and sticky tires. Will it launch or won't it launch? Back in the good old days when MSFT was at $119 (split adjusted = $55) and Cisco was at $82, we shoulda bought a damn kart dyno. And a car dyno, for that matter.
February 20th, 2005
Hunter S. Thompson dies. RIP. Hence the paraphrase in title for this chapter, as we were really somewhere around Rosamond (Willow Springs) in 1992 when we got hooked on the Go-Fast Crack Pipe. Rolling Stone did almost a full issue on him after his death, with some very entertaining stories. Unfortunately, none of the articles in this issue are on the web. One of these days I'll have to write a "gonzo" style chapter of the NSX-Files.
Somewhere around here, I also started watching that Veronica Mars show on UPN. They do a good job of profiling life in high school as I sorta remember it. Good character writing, for what could be construed as a "chick show".
February 26th, 2005. Saturday morning.
The gates are supposed to open at 6:30 a.m. I'm there at 6:00 a.m., and there is only one RV and Jeff from Classy Detail in front of me in line. By 6:20, there are about 40 trailers lined up behind us. Suckas. Snooze you lose. Jeff and I have our pick of the best spots in the pit area to park our trucks and trailer. Of course, since the rain is following me around, it is sprinkling a little bit, with lots of mud everywhere, and the pit area is all wet. In the first 10 minute practice session, the track is damp, but I feel like a god out there, passing lots of people. Since uh....every time we go and practice it is raining, so we are used to the limited grip track.
The TAG group had an old LeMans-style Dash For Cash fun race
Next 10 minute session, track is a lot dryer. Kart feels pretty good, but there really is nowhere to practice your standing starts. You can't drive the car in the pits, and you can't stop on the track and do a burnout while other people are running hot laps.
Qualifying is a 10 minute session where everyone in your run group goes out on the track to try to set their fastest lap. You can run one lap, or run the entire session in an attempt to get on pole. I do the warmup lap, and as I start coming onto the straightaway for the start of my first hot lap, the kart bogs and starts to die. CRAP! I pull off into a runoff area by the hot pit, and push my kart back to the trailer. For qualifying, as soon as you come off the track, you are not allowed to go back on, as the pre grid area has about 20 karts for the next group getting ready to go out. The Pro Kart Challenge runs their event like clockwork. Snooze you lose.
I check my kart, and the throttle cable came loose from the carburetor. It look like the nut holding the needle/cable down was loose so the cable popped out. Dammit, this is Wayne's carb, which we switched out the other day when we were practicing. It figures that his equipment would have a screw loose. Wayne comes in from the qualifying session, and he is gridded 5th out of 28. Not bad at all for a beatup 5 year old kart! Maybe we don't need new karts. Wait. I'm gridded 28th, with screws falling out of the kart. We need new karts!
Qualifying at the end of the grid again! I suck? No, my equipment sucks!
The pace of the event is really nice. After each session, we have to get scaled to make sure we make our 405 lb minimum weight. By the time that is finished, we have about one hour until the next race, which is just enough time to have a quick snack, drink some water, check the kart, make minor adjustments, and then back out on the grid. The organizers of the Pro Kart Challenge are extremely time conscious, and run the event within minutes of the schedule. Hey, if only the damn car clubs could run their events on time like these guys. When was the last time you saw a driver's meeting for a local car club actually start on time? The only way the scheduling could possibly be work better than the Pro Kart Challenge would be if I was in charge of the time table, since I'm never late. In fact, I'd run the race heats 3 minutes early, just to get even for all those times that run groups ran late.
Green flag drops for Heat Race #1. Starting from the back, I get a crappy launch but thread my way through traffic and a couple of crashes in turns 1 and 2, and Hey Now, I'm around 15th coming out of turn 3. Damn I'm good. But then right in front of me, two karts collide, and I have to jerk the kart to the right into the dirt, I bounced up and down in the rocks, I take out a cone that was sitting there(not sure what that was for), and then get back on the track, narrowly missing contact with other people that are swerving around/positioning themselves for turn 4. I almost take out Jeff from Classy Detail when I get back on the track. Damn, now I'm back in 28th spot. SHIT. Anyways, I duke it out with the guys in back, me catching them on the turns, but not having enough power to get them on the straights. At least I have the helmet camera footage, which should be a great first lap before I had to go off track. I get back to the trailer, turn the camera on.....and the record button must have gotten bumped to the off position. Damn....no footage. Wayne gets a flat tire, so he's a DNF. We are both gridded at the back of the pack for the next race.
Wayne qualifies 5th with his 5 year old kart. Ha!
Green flag drops for Heat Race #2. Wayne and I are again gridded at the back of the pack. This is embarrassing. Don't these kart geeks know who we think we are?
I have yet another horrible start. I'm last going into turn 1, and I struggle the rest of the way. Wayne takes off like he was shot out of a cannon, and passes about 15 people in the first half of the race. Wayne says he held his position, and was probably 5th in the race. Cool man. Except for some weird reason, his transponder didn't work, so he officially.....finishes behind me. Bummer for him. I knew I shouldn't have given him his transponder to charge a couple of days ago. My guess is that he didn't charge it long enough, but he insists he did. I end up close to last in my class. My kart isn't making power. I get behind someone, and it is like Schumacher hounding Alonzo at Imola. I just can't finish the pass. I could take a chance at sticking my nose into one of the turns, but what's the use of crashing with guys at the back of the pack and screwing up the kart? I decide to just finish the race.
Green flag drops for the Final Race. I have yet another HORRIBLE start. I'm last going into turn 1, and struggle the rest of the way, again trying to pass people with no luck. I finish damn near last in my class. Wayne gets another blazing start, and takes 5th overall! http://www.mylaps.com/results/newResults.jsp?id=121935
March in California
March 6, 2005
The next event was the S2ki.com track day at California Speedway. S2ki.com decided to have a weekend "regional event" at their San Diego headquarters, and then end it with a track day at California Speedway. Redline Events had the track reserved for that day, so S2ki.com reserved 50 slots for S2ki.com members.
The "infield course" at Cal Speedway
They only had the short track rented, but that would be a fun track to play with the great handling characteristics of the S2000. Since I've had two sets of used Hoosiers mounted on rims for the past 1.2 years, it would be a relatively cheap event. And I haven't driven the NSX in a few months, and it has some throwaway slicks mounted on it already, so I could run it a session or two just to make sure everything still works on it. I spend a couple of days getting the S2000 and NSX ready, and pack everything in the trailer to head off to Cal Speedway. Everyone needs at least one race track that is only 54 miles away from their house!
Michael "Big Chief Tomahawk Head" Le
Now I know a lot of people don't like the short course, but personally I thought it was a lot of fun in the S2000.
The best corner is in red, but we didn't use it on the short course for this event
I run the S2000 three sessions, having a great time, although I wish the short course utilized the best turn on the track, the really fast left-right turn into the hairpin. If you do it right, it is just a teeny lift and then back on full throttle before the left hand turn, which sails you into the right hand turn, and then you have to slam on the brakes for the hairpin. Good fun, it is, Young Luke.
What a wheel nut should look like
On the third session out there, I'm blasting into the hairpin, and all of a sudden it feels like something is dragging, forcing the car to slow down a lot. Damn. I pull over off the track into the grass after the hairpin, and my gauges all seem okay. I decide to limp the car into the pits. Turns out that I snapped the axle, right where the axle nut goes. How the hell did that happen? I didn't cheat and fly over curbs excessively on that side of the car. Could it be from stress? Luckily, the caliper held the wheel on via the brake rotor, otherwise my wheel would have went flying off the car while I was blasting away into the hairpin. That woulda been ugly. I seem to have a lot of equipment failures at Cal Speedway. Let's see.....two flat rear tires on the NSX on different occassion, one blown motor on the NSX, one completely blown out tire on the NSX, and now one S2000 axle....all with no car damage. I live a charmed life at California Speedway with the tire/equipment failures that I have had there. I coulda had two crashed cars as the outcome of all this Raceaflais induced chaos.
What mine looks like
I pull out the NSX for the last run group, and buzz that around to make sure it is still working okay. The tires are way greasy, and the car is sliding around, but everything else on the car seems okay. Karner and Rylan still kick my ass, but once I have some decent tires on the NSX, that will change in a hurry. <grin> Anyways, I take the fourth fastest S2000 time behind the guys with the fast "ringer cars" (Karner's Honda Cup car, Rylan's sawzall special, and Kyle's really nice looking "more streetable" S2000 that he somehow got down to 2300 lbs or so). Of course everyone behind me in an S2000 will say that I had Hoosiers on, and they didn't, but hey, they were Hoosiers that were worn out and more than a year old! And the bench racing continues...
Karner is the fastest dude on the track on this day
Top 10 fastest lap times for the S2000 groups:
David Karner 01:15.5
Doug Hayashi (NSX) 01:16.6
Kyle Shon 01:17.5 (Street car. But 500 lbs lighter than mine!)
Doug Hayashi (S2000?) 01:20.0
John McCanless 01:20.7
Craig Oka 01:22.1
John Reikes 01:22.2
transponder 1878086 01:22.3
Wayne brought the Evo to the track, but didn't run it because apparently his
injectors were leaking some gas into the motor oil. So he and Jason just did
an oil change at the track, trying to diagnose what is wrong with the car.
March 14, 2005
Dearing decides to hold a Dromo One indoor karting event, using the Oval Configuration. They run the Oval only on Mondays. The laps are about 12 seconds long, and you get about 12 qualifying laps, and then about a 40 lap race. Since we know Dearing has run this configuration before, we can only assume the rest of the opentrackracing.com guys have been practicing. Wayne and I haven't run this configuration before, so you know what this means: Time for Cheating Bastard practice. I immediately try to fax in reservations for races before the 5:30 p.m. Dearing timeslots, but Dromo calls me back and says that they only do reservations 48 hours or LESS in advance, and here I am four days before the event trying to GIVE THEM MONEY IN ADVANCE and they are refusing it. They obviously didn't take their Intro to Business 101 class in college, which states, "Get the cash ASAP and don't look back".
We tie wrap the Hot Lap receiver to our neck collar.
Wayne and I figure that in order to have a chance at winning the event, we need to get some immediate feedback on how we are doing on the track. Most of the karts at Dromo do not have in-kart displays showing laptimes. We need to figure out a way to get the Hot Lap equipment on a Dromo kart. I think the receiver will fit on a neck collar, and Wayne says if we put the plastic piece designed to be tie wrapped to a rollbar on the receivers, it should work. Next, we have to put the display somewhere where we can see it. We can't really tie wrap it to the steering wheel like you do on a regular kart. So I'm thinking it is going to have to go on our forearm somehow. Wayne grabs some clear packing tape, and tapes it to his forearm. Hummm......now all we need is a way to get the cable connected.
Used clear packing tape to secure the display to the forearm, and a phone cord up the sleeve
Wayne grabs one of the 100's of phone headset cables with the curly cords that are lying around the Phoneguys warehouse, and we snip off the ends and put on RJ45 connectors. We thread the cable through our suit, down the sleeve, and plug it into the Hot Lap display unit. Voila! We are all set for some instant feedback on how fast our laps are. We setup 3 sets of neck collars and display units, as Jason is going to come down and join us for the event. I can't believe we didn't think of this sooner. Like five years ago.
Technology, innovation, and pure cunning can help ya move up on your competitors
The Dearing event is scheduled for 18 people, six people in each race. Each person only runs one heat race, and then the top two finishers of each heat race go to the finals for bragging rights and trophies. The first heat race is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wayne, Jason, and I get there at 3:45 p.m. in order to do a "practice race".
I'm bringing Hot Lap equipment to all indoor karting events from now on
And another one at 4:15. And another one at 4:45 p.m. So we will run about 160 laps of warmup races prior to the official heat race. Each time we pass the start/finish line, we look down at our wrist to see how fast that lap was in comparison to previous laps, so we can adjust our line/technique. The oval configuration is actually harder than it looks to get a fast laptime. We are running around 12.5x laptimes, depending on if we get the luck of the draw and get in a good kart. Wayne wins the first two practice races, and is black flagged for bumping me in race 3. The winner in race 3 is Dearing's ringer friend, Al. I come to the conclusion that the biggest factor is luck of the draw as to which kart you get seated in.
Dearing talking smack back to Lance
We go to the heat races. In my heat race, I end up taking 2nd place, so I move on to the final race. Wayne is in the next heat race, and he takes 2nd place in his heat race. Dearing takes first in his heat race, so now we got six people gridded up for bragging rights. I somehow get gridded 3rd instead of on pole. Hummm....my time was pretty fast, but Dearing and I think Tom were faster. Anyways, the final race gets the green flag, and there is lots of bumping and pushing and blocking, and it turns out that no one can catch Dearing, and he wins his own event! I take second, and Tom takes third. Just like Formula One, qualifying is very important, because it is tough to pass at Dromo. Rumor has it that Dearing and Lance went back to Dromo the next week, and were running sub 12 second laps! I think most of us were running 12.1-12.4 at our event.
Dearing, myself, and Tom take the podium
March 21, 2005
Wayne and Amy bring baby Carter (daughter) into the world at 5 lbs, 11 ounces, 19.5 inches! Mom and baby are doing fine! Wayne's adjusting pretty well to fatherhood. And now you know why we haven't been racing as much lately.
Hey! Lookout world, there is another Mello that just entered the universe!
The S2000 is still waiting for diagnosis/parts/etc from Erik. Maybe I'll get it back before summer. Every time Erik orders a part, gets the part, and the tries to put it on, he finds another part that is messed up, and has to order it. In the meantime, I'm driving the F355 every other day to get my go-fast fix. It now has 40,000+ miles on it. Car is running good except that the suspension "warning" light is on, indicating that it feels something is wrong with the suspension. There is a button to switch between "sport mode" and "regular mode", and all it really does it activate a motor at the top of the shock and turns the screw to stiffen the shocks up. Apparently one of the motors has died, so the car puts all the shocks in "limp mode", meaning very soft. The suspension didn't feel quite right even before that, so maybe it is time to get the shocks rebuilt.
Ozzie Smith - World's greatest defensive shortstop ever?
April 7. 2005
Nikko Smith, son of Ozzie Smith, is voted off of American Idol. How could the son of the world's greatest defensive shortstop waste his inherited gene pool by SINGING instead of playing baseball? I wish I had that video clip that showed Ozzie diving for a hard ground ball deep behind second base with his glove hand stretched out, the ball then taking a bad hop and seemingly going over his glove, but Ozzie compensates by grabbing the ball with his other bare hand (despite still being fully airborne and vertical to the ground), recovers, gets on his knees and throws the guy out at first base? Nikko, utilizing proper nutrition and exercise that is available today with the genetics he was born with, probably had a chance at being even better than his dad.
Nikko - you could be doing this instead of getting voted off of Dork Island
Poster shot from here
Wayne decides to invade the small business VOIP market with the Nortel Business Communication Manager(BCM). Phone people have no clue about computer networking. Computer folks can't figure out how to operate phone systems, as the user interfaces for these Nortel/Panasonic phone systems is geared toward people who want to memorize feature codes and phone extensions. I tell Wayne that I will help him setup the VPN so he can work out of his house just like he was connected to the office phone system using a VOIP Nortel phone that connects to the BCM at his office. Except the damn el cheapo Linksys BEFSX41 VPN/Routers could not keep the link up. I was going crazy trying to make them work. Turns out Linksys ships out faulty firmware (1.50.18) with these boxes, and won't admit it sucks. Some network gurus on dslreports.com figured out what was wrong, somehow obtained a beta copy of the firmware that is about a year old (1.45.7) that they tested and felt was pretty stable, and posted a link to this "beta" firmware. I downloaded this file, and suddenly I got a stable link. That only wasted about 40 hours of labor on my part...
April 13th, 2005
Today is our last game of the season. It was a long softball season. We went 0-5 our first five games. It was ugly. We didn't practice during the long winter break, and it showed. It took us five games until we got our groove back on, and then won four in a row, but lost our last game, ending our season at 4-6. There were some bright spots. The woman who lives in the house next to us is the best female pitcher in all of Huntington Beach, so we have successfully recruited her to pitch for us now, which is why we had that four game winning streak. She also has a one year old son, so she desperately needs to get out of the house now and then, and plays for us even though we kinda suck compared to the Coed C-1 teams that she usually plays for.
One day soon, we will win the Championship of the World. (Our world, that is)
The C-1 teams usually have ex-college female softball players on the roster. C-2 also quite a few college softball players, so that league is pretty tough. We have been stuck in C-3 for the past 14 seasons or so, not quite having enough talent to win the league and move up to C-2. Which in a way is good, because the team that won C-3 last season went up to C-2, and they went 0-10. The next season starts up May 18th or so. We will see if we can take 1st place in the C-3 league for the first time. People in the C-9 league are the folks that can barely fog a mirror and ride on the short bus, if you know what I mean.
F355 GTS on the lift cause body to flex almost an extra 1/4 inch. WTF?
May 2, 2005
I get the S2000 back from Messley, who serially had to replace axle, caliper, ABS sensor, upright, clips, etc, with most of them in separate orders, one after the other. I decided that I might as well replace all four rotors and brake pads. So now I got the daily driver back! All vehicles working okay with the exception of the suspension warning light in the F355. Around this time Wayne gets the Evo back. Turns out that it appears the old engine management system was spitting too much gas into the motor, which is why there was gas in the oil. Autowave and Jason recommend to just go all out and put the AEM fuel management system and a wideband on it, along with some cams. Wayne's car is out of commission for a month at Autowave, and is revived at 310 RWHP at 16 lbs of boost with pump gas. But Wayne of course turns the boost up to 20 lbs, so he's figuring he's around 400 RWHP. It set him back another $3500 or so.....ouch! He had to let the car sit there an extra week until he sold enough phone systems to pay Autowave.
F355 on the lift, shockless
Wayne and I were waiting for some business ideas from you NSX-Files readers about how to make some quick cash. The most profitable sounding one was helping to invest in a strip club, but unfortunately it was too far away from us in another state. Could be profitable, if the feds or mobsters don't shut it down. We are unsure about the stock market, so we decided to buy a commercial building about 1000 feet from the Phoneguys/Pulp Racing building, and went into escrow on this day. It is about 10,600 square feet. We got a fairly good price on it, $130 a square foot. Nice buildings in the area are going for $160 a square foot, and this one is a little beat up, but we figure we can do some el cheapo renovations and try to rent it out. If all fails and we cannot get someone within a couple of months, our backup plan is to move the Phoneguys/Pulp Racing into this building, and rent out the existing building (7200 square feet). There is a shortage of commercial real estate buildings in Huntington Beach, probably because people who have small businesses like the Phoneguys do not want to move their business to cheaper areas and deal with traffic, so they buy locally. Hopefully in 5-10 years we can sell it and spend the profits on much needed items. I'm still trying to convince the wife that an F50 is a much need item..... She's still trying to convince me to get a real job.
Bunch of crap has to be unwired and moved to get the front shocks on the F355
The real estate housing market over here seems pretty crazy. The wife and I figure that we will rent a while until the big crash, and then buy a house. She found an interesting real estate site while doing some research on houses in the area. There is a website where you can type in the zipcode, and it will pop up a map showing the area and houses that have sold. You can click on the house, and it will tell you the address, when it sold, how much it sold for, and....WHAT THE EXISTING MORTGAGE IS ON THE HOUSE. That's pretty wild. There's a nice neighborhood in the area (92648) where houses that were going for about 1.1 in 2002, then 1.6 million back in Sept 2003, and now they are asking 2.3 to 2.5 million. Get outta here! None of the houses have moved in the past 8 months, so they are gonna have to start dropping their prices. According to this website, these guys are holding onto mortgages from a million to 1.5 million bucks. Ouch! I need the interest rates to go up a few points, and small patch of unemployment, let everyone max out their home equity lines of credit, and I think there will be a massive fire sale from everyone that bet that low interest rates and rapid appreciation would last forever. Either that, or I'll be stuck renting for the rest of my life.....
This is wild. Maybe soon it will say what the interest rate/type of loan. Zip is 92648
Interesting thread on ekarting.com. Apparently the stock Honda motor is making big inroads in the karting world. Alex Barron in a stocker vs. Alex Speed in a built motor, and the stocker was only one second off the pace. And Barron would have been 4th on the G1 grid (the built motor guys). Hummm....maybe we don't have to buy expensive, hard to maintain built motors to keep the go-fast crack buzz alive. A stock motor goes for about $3500, a built motor from $6000-8000. And a stock Honda requires minimal maintenance for pistons and bottom ends because, hey, it's a Honda, not an finicky Italian go-fast-crack-buzz-generator. Hummmm........maybe I can sneak this by the wife in the near future....
At the opposite end of the karting spectrum, so how much would it cost to run for a national shifter kart championship? Can you say $50,000-$100,000 a year? Ouch!
Wayne practicing on his trusty #800 kart - photo by Doug Ota
May 6th, 2005
There aren't any good freeway onramps in Huntington Beach that I drive on regularly, meaning full 270 degree type banked turns. But I get on one in Newport Coast with the F355, and the car leans so much that is seems like it is going to tip over. Damn, time to get those shocks fixed. The F355 goes up on the rack. Messley said he'll be by later to take the shocks off, send them to Bilstein to get rebuilt, and have the motors checked to see if one of them has failed. Bilstein is back ordered on a lot of parts. Great. Hopefully they will have the parts I need, so I can get the car back on the road before uh....summer time.
Practicing at Grange - photo by Doug Ota
We did a couple of "practice days" with the karts at Adams Karting Track in Riverside, just to stay in shape. Adams is about an hour away from home, and it isn't a great track, but at least we can get a quick half day's worth of practice in to stay in shape, and keep those competitve juices flowing. My kart seems to be running exceptionally well at Adams and Grange, but for some reason we can't quite get Wayne's kart motor to run well at either track. The new clutch is working great after I got used to it, and now I can do burnouts on the start like the F1 cars. I'm ready to race now, bring on those poor fools that kicked my ass the last two races, I wanna rematch!
Andy picked up a used Tony Kart with a Pavesi engine on Ebay, so he's been going out with us to Adams, and once to Grange.
With Wayne and Andy at Grange for a little kart practice
Save the OTC!
Hey, we are trying to get entries signed up for the 2004 Open Track Challenge. So far, we only have about 16 people signed up. We need 17 paid entries by May 15th, and 35 by June 1st, otherwise I'll have to proclaim the Hayashi/Messley/Mello team the overall champs of potentially the last ever OTC. Get those entries in! Knock us off our high horse. Or just come out and have some fun with some track nuts! www.opentrackchallenge.com.
Andy bought ghetto houses. Fixed them up. Sold, bought beach house. Fixed it. Sold it. Bought Kart!
Possible reason why stock market isn't going up.
You guys are ffing around too much at work! Dammit, do something productive! <grin> Check it out.
May 17th, 2005, 1:26 p.m.
And now for the real reason why it has been THREE MONTHS since there was an update to this website:
May 17, 2005, 1:26 p.m. Cooper James Hayashi. 6 lbs, 8oz, 19.5 inches
Having a pregnant wife that can barely move around and is cranky about her pregnancy diabetes diet (basically Atkins diet, so no sugar, no fruit, no bread, no pasta, no cereal, no chocolate, no potatoes, no french fries, no rice, no tortillas. Test blood before and after each meal. But she only could gain about 24 lbs on this diet, so maybe Atkins wasn't a crank after all), and a two year old who is teething and CAN move around at light speed is exhausting. It is impossible to concentrate. The wife wakes up five times a night, the teething baby 2-3 times a night. Plus I still have 100 boxes from the move (yeah, 8 months ago) all over the house that my wife won't let me move until she "sorts the contents out". I'm wiped out. I can't get more than 10 minutes of "quiet time" before all hell breaks loose. Now that the new baby is here, I'm thinking I can get back to a normal schedule.....yeah right!
Baby Cooper was named after Michael Cooper, the Sixth Man of the Showtime Lakers
I was thumbing through one of those dopey books on baby names, and none of them seemed any good. I started thinking around, and thought that Cooper would be kinda cool. A relatively unique name. Nickname would be Coop. Excerpt from some dude's website about Michael Cooper: "Flashy numbers? No. Hall of Fame bound? No. One of the biggest reasons the Showtime Lakers won all those titles? You better believe it. Playing alongside Kareem and Magic, Michael Cooper was the heart of the defense. He was named to the All-Defensive Team every year from 1981 to 1988, and won the Defensive Player of the Year in 1987. Cooper was the Sixth Man of the squad, and a very clutch three-point shooter. It is because of Cooper that the Lakers won the 1988 title. He hit three huge game winning shots in those playoffs. Cooper was drafted by the Lakers in 1978, but missed most of the season. So he was essentially a rookie the same year that Magic Johnson was. The two became very good friends very quickly, and along with Byron Scott, were a trio of friends. Cooper's career came to an end in 1989-1990, as Showtime was coming to an end. Cooper is easily in any Laker Hall of Fame, and is a name no true Laker fan will ever forget. He is total proof that those players who "fight in the trenches" are the ones who win you championships, your superstars just get you there."
Larry Bird (arch nemesis of the Lakers) said that the best defender ever against him was Michael Cooper. I still give Larry the finger (along with Ainge and McHale) whenever I see him interviewed on TV. Cooper would be all in Larry's face, denying him the ball, leaping 12 feet high trying to block shots, etc. Cooper vs. Bird would be like two street fighters with knives duking it out in a dark alley on a hot summer night, thinking they are the best in the world at what they do, and out to prove it every time they meet.
On the offense, Magic would throw no-look alley-oop/Coop-a-Loop passes to Cooper who would thrown down some stunning dunks to fire up the crowd and the Showtime Machine. From 1980-1990, those were the glory days for Lakers fans, that will never, ever been seen again.....unless of course, Baby Cooper decides he's gonna live up to his namesake and become the first draft pick for the Lakers in the 2026 draft.....
F1 Driver? NBA Defensive Star? MLB Golden Glove? It's up to him!
Don't even get me started on the Lakers of today. I haven't been a fan of the Lakers the past 5 seasons, even when they were winning championships. They suck, because:
1. They don't play team ball. They set shitty examples for kids playing basketball.
2. Kobe doesn't make players around him better. He makes his teammates worse players.
3. Shaq was shooting below 50% on his free throws. The reason they are called free throws is because they are ffing FREE. Free points. Shaq was missing 5-8 free throws a night, which is the difference between winning and losing 7-10 games a season. And what was worse, he wouldn't practice his free throws. He said they were "unimportant".
4. Their defense sucks
5. Their attitude sucks
Everything went south when Jerry West retired from the Lakers organization in 2000. Yeah, they won a couple of championships after that, but West got the players that they needed to make that happen. If he were still around, he would not have let the Shaq/Kobe situation get out of hand like it did. And he surely would not have traded Shaq for three journeyman players. If West were still around, he'd figure out a way to trade Kobe for LeBron James, motivate Shaq to shoot 70% from the free throw line. West, Lebron & Shaq would give the Lakers three titles in a row before Shaq calls it quits. You can build on Lebron, you can't build on Kobe.
Sports Illustrated Honors Long Beach Poly
The latest issue of Sports Illustrated has declared my alma mater as the best high school in America for athletes. (or something like that, I got the voicemail from Tom Dodds when I was at the hospital). Go Long Beach Poly High! My high school will kick your high school's ass! Tom is from Philly, and I took him to a Poly vs. Mater Dei football game for the CIF High School Championship back in 1997. The game was held at the old LA Coliseum, where the Rams/Raiders used to play. Mater Dei ran onto the field out of the locker room looking like a Division 1 college team, highly organized. They had huge cheerleading squad, seemed like a 100+ people. Big precision marching band. Tons of red helium balloons tied together on their sidelines like you would see at a parade. They were going for the intimidation factor. Poly strutted on the field, with their players wearing different socks (some low top, some high top. Some white socks, some black socks). Bandanas and stuff in their hair. They looked like hoodlums and Snoop Dog associates. No helium balloons. Cheerleading squad was about 1/5th the size of Mater Dei. Poly band really didn't march in synch, they kinda pimped around. They kinda looked at Mater Dei and said, "WTF? This is gonna be a culture war". We sat on the Poly side, and Tom looked a little scared at the Poly crowd, and Tom's a 250 lbs., 6' 8" white guy. I told Tom we have to sit on the Poly, because Mater Dei is a private religious school, and uh....bullets won't fly toward the Poly side, if you know what I mean. Poly kicked their ass, and after the final play of the game, Poly players and Poly fans ran over to Mater Dei side and ripped down all the Mater Dei red helium balloons and stomped them into the ground. Intimidate this, bitch! Tom thought it was one of the craziest things he'd ever seen. Yeah...you can say there is a rivalry.....the next year, Mater Dei got their revenge, and beat Poly (who was rated #2 in the nation for high school football teams by USA Today that year) for the CIF title by one touchdown. Long Beach Poly won the CIF title again this year, and were rated 10th in the nation.
Update: May 19th. Just looked at my issue of SI. Ha! Long Beach Poly Mascot (uh..Jackrabbit) is on the cover of the mag (albeit about 1 inch high, as Randy Moss is on the cover). Eat dirt Mater Dei! Two page spread on current Poly high school athletes. That's cool! No mention of NSX-Files author as alumni. Oh well, I guess I didn't make it to the big leagues in the racing world. I did pitch against Tony Gwynn in little league. I think he hit 1.000 against me in his little league career way back then. Same graduating class as me in high school. I thought he was a better point guard than baseball player back then, but I guess I was really wrong about that! Gwynn was a really nice guy in high school, always smiling and joking around. I coulda played with him on the varsity baseball team my senior year, but we got a new baseball coach, and he wanted everyone to cut their hair short (uh...excuse me, this is Long Beach Poly, not the Lakewood Crewcuts), so I ended my baseball career, and so did a few other players. I fought with my parents for years to grow my hair over my ears, I sure as hell ain't gonna gonna get a crewcut to play high school baseball on a losing team. (Poly was strong in football, basketball ,and track, we sucked in baseball.) I had nightmares of me being on the mound, "Hayashi 0-7 on the mound, with a funny crewcut". Instead, I got a part time job my senior year, and spent the money on beer and concerts. Man, those were some good times!
Phoneguys is entering a car in a Demolition Derby. Brent will be the driver
July 9th - Brent (salesman at Phoneguys) convinces Wayne to enter a car in the Orange County Fair Demolition Derby. Brent will be driving. We will doing a crash course in Cheating Bastard Techniques for Demolition Derbies.
Wayne gets outta control. Buys a Blitz Intercooler. Good for 22 lbs of boost!
Update: May 21
Special Thanks to William and Jason at Blitz North America for helping Wayne out on his EVO, Wayne has the Blitz boost controller in his car and had a small problem with it and those guys got him back on the road with 20lbs of boost....and now Wayne has the new Blitz Intercooler so he'll be able to crank up the boost to 22lbs....Thanks again to William and Jason for helping out the Pulp Racing EVO Team!!! Wayne doesn't even drive the 360 Modena anymore, as it seems too slow and doesn't handle as well as his newly boosted Evo! He's thinking of taking to Sofronas' GMG track day next week at Big Willow. I'll be changing diapers that day at the house.....
It will take a few weeks to get settled in with baby Cooper, and then we will see what the summer activities will be. Karting? Wheel-to-wheel with cars? Time Trials? We will need to do something to keep up the racing buzz, without spending too much money. Without the dopamine flowing, we are nothing....we must feed the buzz up to stay alive.