Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sure is quiet

Well, sorry I haven't really posted much in the last week. It's been pretty hectic around here with work and trying to get everything ready for my cruise. Still have lots of little loose ends to try and tie up before I leave thursday.

You ever get the feeling like you're running around like crazy but not managing to get anything accomplished? That's how I feel right now. I'll get started on one task and then realize that I need to do something else before I forget and then it's a while before I get back to the original task.

Feeling kind of overwhelmed with it all. I'll be glad when I'm on the plan and going. At least then I'll know there's nothing more I can do, and it's time to just relax.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Beach Trip!

Well, the mercury was supposed to hit close to 90 in the valley this weekend, so we decided it was a good time to head for the coast. We is me, my girlfriend Jeri, my best friend Mike and his wife and 5 y/o son. So we all loaded up in my truck and headed for the central coast where it was supposed to be mild, though windy. It turned out to be both those things.

First stop was Depot Bay, home of the worlds smallest navigable harbor. This place is great when there's a storm coming it. The waves crash against the rocks and shoot water spouts hundreds of feet in the air and up over the highway. Pretty calm today though. Lots of fishing charters and whale watching boats come in and out of this harbor, and we stuck around and watched for a while then headed further south to play on the beach.

A few miles down highway 101 we stopped at Beverly Beach state park so my buddies son could play in the sand. Yes, it was windy there, just look at my hair!

After having enough playing in the sand we headed on down the road to Newport, where we did some window shopping and browsing in the stores along the historic bayfront. Then we headed to the other side of town and had a great dinner in a restaurant overlooking the ocean. In my 34 years of living here I've never seen a whale spout until saturday. We're just catching the tail end of the whales spring migration from the warm waters in baja mexico up to the feeding grounds in alaska. I finally saw a whale spout as we were sitting eating dinner looking out over the water. No one believed me though until they saw it too. There were at least three of them and one was pretty close in, no more than 50 feet off shore I'd say.

Once we'd stuffed ourselves with dinner we high-tailed it out to the Yaquina Head lighthouse to watch the sunset. Spectacular views from there.

This little cove had a few harbor seals with new pups, but they weren't very active at this time of day.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse


Me and my girl (can you tell it's windy?)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Two weeks and counting

Well, in two weeks and 4 hours I'll be boarding the plane, headed for Seattle, London and eventually Barcelona. It's starting to finally sink in that it's actually going to happen. Looks like I'm going to need to get some new luggage, because my old stuff doesn't fit within the new size rules and doesn't have TSA accessible locks. Oh well. Time for an upgrade anyway. And what's the deal with charging fees for checked baggage these days? I know it's only $25, but still that adds up. They'll find any way to get your money I guess.

In a way though I'd rather have them do that then just add the extra cost onto the ticket. That way if I don't need to check baggage I'm not paying for it.

So, since there will be a couple formal nights on the cruise I need either a tux or a suit to wear. I inquired about renting a tux on the ship, but apparently the clothier in Barcelona doesn't have much selection and I'm out of luck on that front. And I'm certainly not going to buy, or even rent a tux from home for that long. So I bought my first suit last night. I can't believe I've made it 34 years so far without needing a suit. Lol. It's funny, everyone says I look good in it, but I still feel like a monkey.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I feel naked

I left my cell phone at home today. It's funny how you feel so disconnected without it. How did we ever survive without cell phones? lol. Oh well.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Licenses and fees

Well I finally got around to getting my hunting/fishing license for the year (yeah, I know the year's almost half over, what can I say, I'm a slacker). I was surprised at the cost. Almost $75 for a combo fishing/hunting license, shellfish license (gotta have crabs!), and salmon/steelhead/sturgeon tag. And that doesn't include any deer tags I might get later this year. Blah. Guess I better get my butt in gear and actually use the licenses this time. I think last year I only went fishing once.

Monday, May 11, 2009

This weekend's race...

Well after being rained out last weekend, we wanted to get some racing in, but our series is not scheduled to race again until may 30th. So we decided to load up and head 3 hours south to a track that was running a class we could "compete" in. Now, I put compete in quotes because the class we run in is a crate motor class... we go buy a sealed motor from GM and that's it, you can't do any mods to it. Maybe 350 HP on a good day. The class we were running in this weekend is the same chassis, but an open motor class. Some of those guys are running full aluminum block 800+ HP motors that cost 30 grand.

Anyway, it was a pretty good weekend. Had a couple of mishaps. The fuel line got tangled in the axle during hot laps and yanked it clean out of the fuel cell. Got that repaired just in time for qualifying. Turned in a time that was almost a full second faster than our best at that track last year, and landed us in 13th place, out of 17. Not bad for bringing a knife to a gun fight.

The main was going alright, pretty much outclassed the whole way, but we were holding our own. Managed to make it up to 7th place by the time a yellow flew with 5 to go. Mostly due to cars wrecking out (two cars completely flipped) but we were still holding off and passing some of the slower guys. Coming into turn 3 with the white flag flying we hit a big bump in the upper groove and knocked the battery out of it's tray and disconnected the positive cable, which shut the car down instantly. So we coasted across the white and finished 3 laps down in 10th place.

Not bad for a crate motor against the big boys, and we think we knocked all the gremlins out, which was the point of the whole night. Plus my driver says the car is hooked up better than it ever has before, so we're right on track with the setup this year.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone

Not quite sure why we as Americans celebrate a "mexican" holiday so religiously, I guess it's true we'll use any excuse to party and drink. Enjoy everyone.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Rained out

During the summer months I'm crew chief for our racing team, Keevan Motorsports. We run a Dirt Late Model in the Warriors of Dirt series. After spending the winter repairing damage from last year and building a new body we were supposed to take the car out this weekend for it's first shake down of the year. Unfortunately the Oregon weather didn't want to cooperate with us.

After raining most of the week, and off and on all saturday morning the track management cancelled the race at about 11 am. It's kind of a mixed blessing, we weren't totally ready, still had a few minor things to button up on the car, but those could have been done at the track after checking in. Talk about cutting it close though. Luckily this wasn't a points race for us, so it didn't hurt us any by missing it.

The down side is, I'm leaving for Europe at the end of the month and won't be back until the 4th of July, and our next scheduled race is not until after I leave. So we're going to have to try to find another track that our car fits the rules to run at before then so we can break in the car and make sure everything is setup right.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hello everyone

Hello everyone. My names Mike, I live in a semi-rural community in northwestern Oregon. I enjoy doing lots of miscellaneous activities like dirt track racing, gold prospecting, camping, hunting, fishing, and many more.

I thought I'd start a blog to keep track of my comings and goings. I hope you enjoy it.