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To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before — Part I: Lindsey K.

Well, to be honest, I did not love all these girls, but the fact that I have such fond memories of them should count for something.  And “To All the Girls I Remember Fondly” just does not have the same familiar, attention-grabbing ring to it.

Anyway, the reason I am writing this right now is because of a strange rush of nostalgia I had earlier today.  I wish I could remember what I was doing when I came about it happening, but all I remember now is somehow coming across the full name of a girl from my past.  Well, that got me thinking about her and I decided to look her up on Facebook to see if she had an account.  Turns out she did.  And, as soon as I saw her picture, the memories of her, us, good and bad came flooding back.  And the good memories had me ‘lost in a moment’ of pure butterflies in the stomach, head full of clouds joyful sensations.

You know, the butterflies you get in your stomach when you know you’re falling for someone.  The head full of clouds sensation when you’re daydreaming of the time you’ll see them next.  Seeing her picture brought all those memories back in a flash.  She looked beautiful.  I had forgotten how amazing are her eyes.  She has the type of eyes where she can give ‘that look’ and just melt your heart and rev your hormonal engines over the red line at the same time.  And does she ever still have ‘the look’.

Well, this got me thinking about when it was that she was last in my life.  Winter 2007-Spring/Summer 2008.  I thought, ‘wow! it’s actually been almost 7 years!  I couldn’t believe it had been that long.  To tell a little bit about how she became a part of my life at the time, we had ‘met’ on MySpace of all places back when I was doing a lot of political blogging on the old MySpace boards.  At the time, MySpace was setup to post blogs on boards and on your own page and then anyone could comment on them.  I, of course, posted plenty of conservative political commentary and she — Lindsey K. is her name — being a conservative herself, happened to come across my work and start commenting.  Actually, I can’t be certain, but we may have come across each other when commenting on others blogs and then she started commenting on mine after we became MySpace ‘friends’.  But no matter, the point is that our paths crossed a bond was formed through conservative and snarky political commentary and debating.

And boy could she bring the snark and biting criticism and take-down of liberals.  It was actually that which first attracted me to her.  Not attracted in the physical or romantic sense, but just to her personality and intelligence and quick wit.  I always looked forward to her responses to obvious drivel posted by some ignorant liberal.  I knew she was just going to lay into them.  But even when she was tearing liberals apart with her sharp replies, she always seemed to do so with southern charm and femininity.  It was absolutely brilliant and intoxicating to behold.

And, not only was she charming, witty, sarcastic, ruthless and intelligent, but I eventually checked out her picture and she was, of course, beautiful too!  I’m a sucker for gorgeous eyes and, like I said, she had amaaazing eyes.  My gosh, she could say so many things with just a ‘look’.  And, as I mentioned, she could give you ‘that look’ and it was just over for any man she gave it to.  No chance.  You get that look from her and she’d get your heart racing so fast you’d want to take her right then, but she’d have you so weak in the knees you couldn’t move.  Combining that with her personality and wowsah!  Yeah, needless to say, I fell pretty hard for her.

Not right away, mind you.  Even though I was attracted to her in many ways, I was still shy and reserved and cautious for a couple reasons, one having to do with me and the other with her.  First, I had allowed myself to get hurt recently by someone I thought I cared about whom I only knew on social media.  I hadn’t gotten over that quite yet by the time I started talking with Lindsey.  And the other reason I was cautious — probably the main reason — was our age difference.  This was 2007, so I was 32 at the time.  I can’t remember her exact age, but I’m thinking now she was somewhere between 22 and 24.  Now, that may not seem like a big deal, but, at the time, I thought it was.  I felt like (1) I was too old to be attracted to a girl as young as she was and (2) that a girl as beautiful and wonderful as her would not be interested in a guy so much older than her.  Well, turns out that my worries were unfounded…

As we continued to keep in touch through political commenting and blogging, we eventually developed a friendship and talked online and in email outside of that.  We did some flirting and become closer and I think were always on the brink of wanting to be more than friends, but neither of us would make the first move.  Turns out that one of our mutual social media friends — another political conservative who enjoyed our commentary as well as our budding puppy love — finally gave us the push we needed to admit to each other what we knew but were afraid to say:  that we both had crushes on each other.

Of course, since this was social media there was not much we could do after admitting that, especially since there was one final itsy bitsy thing keeping us apart:  about 1400 miles!  Yes, she lived in Texas.  Southeast, Texas just south of Houston.  So that was another reason that had me pulling myself back and covering up my heart, not wanting to leap forward and open myself up to someone when there was probably no chance we could take this any further than an ‘online romance’.  But, there was no use resisting.  I had fallen big time.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but I do remember it happened with extreme prejudice.  Like Wile E. Coyote falling off a Grand Canyon-sized cliff and landing *SPLAT!* on the ground and then his head comes up and he has that goofy gone look as stars circle around his head.  Yeah, that was me.  I was seeing stars, I fell so hard.  Stars, cloudy head and butterflies in the stomach.  She had me.

And really, I don’t think she even realized it.  That as another thing about her… she was extremely grounded and humble and shy when it came to romance, sometimes to the point of insecurity.  But while she had a grand effect on me, I also had the same effect on her.  While she at first didn’t believe I could be interested in her or find her so beautiful, as time went on, I could hear her self confidence grow as we eventually started talking on the phone.  And, of course, she used this newfound confidence to torture me with everything she knew got me all weak and bothered.  hahah  Yeah, it was such a wonderful time that was about to get even better.

After weeks of talking on the phone after having ‘known’ each other on social media for months, I finally worked up the nerve to ask her about using my vacation time and flying out to meet her.  Thinking about it now, I can’t believe I got the courage to ask, but I was feeling so connected to this girl, I just had to take the chance.  I remember being so nervous, yet so excited.  Her parents were very kind and we worked it out to where I would stay with them over the weekend as they had an extra room available, I think, because her sister was away for the summer.  Anyway, I still remember the flight there and sitting next to an older gentleman who needed a wheel chair to get off the plane.  I remember when she drove with her parents to Houston from her hometown to pick me up and seeing her for the first time.  I know we had talked many times on the phone of kissing each other and I desperately wanted to as soon as I saw her.  But, with her parents right there, it didn’t exactly make for the right occasion for such a long awaited moment.  I remember we had about an hour or so drive from Houston to her parents house, so we had some time in the car on the way to talk.  Of course, we both sat in the back, fidgeting like teenagers, wanting to hold hands, stupid silly grins on our faces being together, next to one another for the first time.  All our conversations of attraction and kissing and hugging and waiting for this moment for weeks, but… just a slight problem of her parents sitting a few feet away aware of our every move, glance and utterance.

But, as it turns out, the ride was enjoyable.  Her parents, as I remember them, were both wonderful, kind people.  Made me feel right at home with them right away and not at all as some outcast Yankee down in the South completely out of my element.

Now, after all this,  you may be sitting there wondering — if you haven’t stopped reading paragraphs ago — what went wrong with this girl and why this isn’t part of some “How I Met Your Mother” type story.  Wellllllllll… I pretty much screwed everything up.  Yeah, typical, I know.  But, unfortunately, that’s the truth.  In fact, I remember exactly the moment the entire weekend went South and it had to do with my usual knack for sticking my foot in my mouth.  Now, I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I certainly remember the effect it had on Lindsey, her attitude and demeanor towards me the rest of the trip and the feeling of not being able to recover from that statement the entire rest of the trip.  And it happened on the first of 4 days we were to spend together too.  We were driving together alone somewhere, I think for her to show me around town and pick up some groceries and run some errands.  Basically it was an excuse for us to spend time together alone away from her parents.  Well, we passed by a part of town where a memorial of flowers and possibly a wreath were set out in an area on the side of the road in town.  She told the story that it was a place the entire town knew, since it was where a few teenagers had crashed and died a few years prior.  She mentioned that the reason that the teens had died is because they were riding in the bed of the pickup truck and were thrown.  Heartbreaking story, and seemingly not something where you would think I could screw up a weekend full of such promise.  But, of course, open mouth, insert foot.  Like I said, I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it was something along the lines of ‘hmmm, seems silly to put out a memorial for teens who were killed by not being cautious’.  Yeah.  Brilliant, I know.  And you can imagine how that affected Lindsey.  I don’t know exactly what she was thinking at that moment, but I imagine it was something along the lines of “what a cold, heartless bastard”.  And that was the end of that.

The rest of the weekend went okay, considering how I ruined it from the first few moments we spent alone together.  I remember her parents being very kind and doing everything to make my stay comfortable.  I remember they had a house that I think they completely remodeled themselves.  And not the usual house either.  Entirely made out of wood, if I remember correctly, with the upstairs and bedrooms added themselves, almost like a loft upstairs.  There was also a secret closet under the stairs where her father showed me all his guns.  Heck, he took me around the entire house and showed me he had guns and knives stashed everywhere.  I remember him seeming very proud to show off his guns and hiding places, like he was showing off a long project he had worked on.  But I also remember not knowing whether to feel special, because he was sharing all this with me or to feel afraid, because he sharing all this with me.  In other words, is this a father sharing a bonding moment with his daughter’s close male friend, or is this a father sending a warning message to his daughter’s close male friend.   I remember taking it as the former, but keeping in mind the latter.

I only remember a few other scattered things from the weekend.  We drove down to Galveston and I got to see the Gulf of Mexico, which was cool.  Saw a lot of houses and businesses in the area which were up on stilts to account for the hurricanes and high waters that frequently happen in that area.  We went to Church or service or something on Sunday, as her father was a preacher of some sort.  I do not remember the religion or denomination, but I remember not feeling too out of place, considering I didn’t exactly bring down any service-worthy attire.  I think I was there in a polo shirt and shorts and sneakers.  I remember someone asked me if I was a football player, as I had the physique of an offensive lineman.  I politely said no, but that I played softball.  I remember feeling a bit insecure after that.  But, everyone was kind and welcomed me as a friend of Lindsey and her family and to come back anytime.   The last thing I remember of the weekend is Lindsey’s parents making barbequed shrimp, wrapped in bacon I think.  Actually I think it was wrapped in bacon and something else, but whatever it was, it.was.scrumptuous!  Texas cuisine, they said, and boy was it ever.  I think the last night I was there, they also made enchiladas.  They were yummy as well, from what I remember.

But, as I said, overall, I had ruined the weekend early on.  Only due to the class of Lindsey and her family did the weekend turn out to be nice, after I had started it off so poorly.  The last things I remember from the trip were (1) stupidly texting Lindsey when we went to sleep that last night that I wanted to kiss her (which she obviously rebuffed) and (2) at the airport, after giving her a hug and saying goodbye, asking if I could give her a kiss goodbye and she agreed, but I could tell immediately it was only grudgingly.  The only thing that would have been worse than that goodbye kiss would probably have been had she rebuffed me again in front of everyone.  Such a disappointing and demoralizing end to a weekend that had so much promise and to which we had both looked forward to so long.

Alas, it was not meant to be.

So, with that promising romance in my life coming to a resounding THUD of an ending, you may be wondering why I spent all this time writing about it at all.  Especially when I entitled this “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”.  Well, I take you back to the beginning of this, where I said that I came across Lindsey’s name today and was immediately taken back to that time in my life with her, with a rush of great memories and feelings and sensations of happiness and joy and puppy love.  Feeling this way, part of me wondered if Lindsey remembered me in this way, or had any fond memories of me at all.  We ended on such bad terms and it was 7 years ago, but I just got to wondering… does she remember me?  How does she remember me?  Does she hold any fond memories of me … of us… at all?  Does she remember and cherish the few months and weeks we had together as a short time in her life that she was happy and maybe smitten?  Or, does she not remember anything at all?

After finding her on Facebook and seeing from her pictures that she still looks as beautiful as ever and… those eyes… wowsah… well, I thought about contacting her.  Just a note to say hello, came across your name and it got me thinking of you, saw you were on Facebook and wanted to say you look beautiful and still have amazing eyes, etc blah blah etc.  Then I thought “what are you… an idiot!?!  It’s been SEVEN years!  You ended on bad terms!  She doesn’t want to hear from you.  She doesn’t care what you think.  She doesn’t care you think she’s beautiful and has amazing eyes.  If you contact her, it’s for YOU, no one else.  And… that’s selfish.

But, then I had another idea.  Since I had all this going through my mind, I thought “hmmm, what about a tribute to the past women in my life?  Hey, what about something like I do for the designers I work with at work, where I write a paragraph about all the things I appreciate about them having worked with them through the year?  I like that idea!”  And I thought about this the entire drive home from work.  And while doing so, I started remembering other past women in my life and all the things I remember about those times in my life.  And I thought, “I’m going to do it”.  And so, here it is…

This is Part I in a many part tribute to all the girls whom I have been lucky enough to have add happiness, sadness, romance, pain, joy, heartache and love to my life.  While it would be selfish of me to say these things after so many years to these women after our lives have gone different directions and our paths down different roads, maybe someday they will come across these words and know they meant something very special to this one man.

Lindsey K… thank you for being a part of my life.

January 12, 2015 , 8:04PM Posted by | Inspiration, Life, Love, Relationships, Romance | , , | Comments Off on To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before — Part I: Lindsey K.

Love is… Special, Unique and, Very Often, Awe-Inspiring, Wonderful and Infinitely Surprising

Came across this great comment while reading the comments of this post: “Those who believe in soulmates are found to be 150 percent more likely to end up divorced.”

This expresses my feelings on life, love and marriage even better than I could:

Warren Bonesteel
A few quick thoughts…

Soulmates? That’s a bit like a fairy tale. Nice story, but it isn’t real.

Best result: A couple of good friends who can put up with one another’s numerous…peccadilloes. A few shared interests, with both parties involved in separate hobbies and interests. Decent to good sex…while keeping in mind that it’s really business partnership that you’re involved in, not a porn flick.

Marriage is not a fantasy. Your partner is a real human being. Just like you, they have feelings, emotions, successes, failures, good days and bad. Treat them that way. Always.

Ya gotta be practical, pragmatic and grounded in the real world. Have some fun together and apart, but keep it real.

Start with realistic expectations and you’ll do ok. Anything you go into with phantasmagorical expectations is almost certainly doomed to failure.

Perfection? Nobody’s perfect. Don’t even go there.

That’s with one failed marriage and one successful marriage to my…credit. Seven years invested in the first marriage, twenty-six years this go around. I think I may have a handle on things this time.

Romance? Well, yeah. There’s a bit of that, but it isn’t what the relationship revolves around. It revolves around consideration for one another. iow, simple, common courtesy and treating one another, and other people, as if we were all real, live, girls and boys.

Don’t lie to one another. About anything…except that gift you’ve hidden away for a special occasion.

Humor. Don’t forget humor. A more or less shared sense of humor.

Remember the little things. They count.

If you make a mess, clean it up.

In general, act like an adult, not like a little princess or a spoiled prince.

One last thing. What works for your parent’s marriage, your neighbor’s marriage, or for anyone else you know may not work for you and your partner. Like individuals, every marriage is different.

That’s life, and that’s love. Special, unique, and very often, awe-inspiring, wonderful and infintely surprising.

UPDATE: Heh, of course, half the time I feel the way this guy does:

Gawain’s Ghost

Soulmates? Seriously?

I find it amazing how many people believe in these medieval notions of love. And the really funny thing about it is that in medieval romances, the relationships are almost always adulterous, as with Lancelot and Guinevere. Strange considering the penalty for adultery at the time–castration for the man, banishment for the woman. But, in arranged marriages, I guess a woman has to have something to dream about.

I don’t believe in soulmates. I don’t believe in love. I don’t even believe in romance, which may sound strange coming from someone with a master’s degree in Romantic poetry, and a minor in medieval literature.

It’s because I understand romance and medieval literature. The problem here, today, is with the law.

Of course, soulmates get divorced. The law allows it. Some medieval idea of love turns sour, and she can take him for everything he’s got. She can even slap him with child support for children that aren’t his.

This is why I have never gotten married. I do not agree to the terms and conditions of the contract. And don’t quote the Bible to me. I’ve read the Bible, several times, in several different translations. This is not about the Sacrament; it’s about the contract. And I’d rather have the money.

All this talk about love and marriage, soulmates, it’s stupid. I am not about to expose myself to betrayal, abandonment and bankruptcy, because of some idiotic idea of medieval romance. And now she doesn’t like it. I really don’t care.

Love is a fleeting emotion. Romance is a game. Just write some silly love poem, make up some rhymes, throw in the word love, and you’re in. Get real.

The problem here is with the law. She has the absolute right to abort your baby, get knocked up by some boy at a bar, slap you with the child support, leave you, take the house and half of your money, have her boyfriend move in so they can raise their love child together. All on your dime. Why any man would agree to that arrangement is beyond my ability to comprehend.

Change the law. Nothing else matters but that. Change the law. Or stop complaining about it.

Yeah, soulmates, give me a break, they have a high divorce rate. It’s no small wonder. The law allows it.

And the man, what about him? He was stupid enough to marry her. End of story.

October 4, 2014 , 12:58AM Posted by | Life, Love, Marriage, Relationships, Romance, Sex | , , , , | Comments Off on Love is… Special, Unique and, Very Often, Awe-Inspiring, Wonderful and Infinitely Surprising

Sprint Car Driver Wins Darwin Award

I have seen a lot of dumbass commentary going on today about the accident and death in the sprint car race last night involving Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward. The following though seems to be the best intelligent and informed commentary that I have seen anywhere so far. So, sharing (via Ace of Spades HQ)…

Update 08-11-2014 18:17 EDT:  John Ekdahl has a great roundup of his Twitter commentary along with important pictures of context of the sprint cars, helmets and line of sight from the driver’s seat of the cars.  Must read:  My Take on the Stewart/Ward Incident

Update 19:33 EDT:  Another good comment here:

I was going to give this a pass, since there is a lot of misinformation and supposition here, most of it from people who don’t know shit about racing but have decided they do.

I do know a little bit about it. I have been a fan for almost 60 years — including attending more than a few night races on dirt tracks — and, through my day job, have driven at high speed on race tracks (though I never drove in actual races), driven race cars, and spent time with race drivers from all forms of the sport. I even met Tony Stewart once.

What all y’all need to know are a couple of basic things:

1) Race cars are not like street cars. Especially sprint cars. They don’t have transmissions like your Honda Civic does, and instead of differentials for the driving wheels they have what are called “locked” rear ends. Makes a big difference on dirt, and affects even the basics of steering (or going straight, for that matter) at any speed;

2) Racing isn’t like driving on the street. Things happen very fast, and all too often the driver in a bad situation is a passenger. No matter how skilled, he is sitting there watching things unfold;

3) The field of vision in a race car is very narrow (you’re not there to watch the scenery). In a sprinter, it is even narrower. At night, on a poorly lit track (this is not like Daytona, where big-ass lights keep things fairly bright), vision is worse still. A driver in a black firesuit will not be easy to see;

4) Stewart is a hothead, and may even be a nasty prick. I don’t know, didn’t see it. But he is not a killer. The media, who hate anything dangerous like racing, eat that “blood feud” crap up like flies on shit. They have no idea what goes through a race driver’s head, what happens during a race, or even the physics involved with controlling a race car.

I suppose Stewart will become the Man You Love to Hate in racing, and the genius Prius-driving fuckwads at the NY Slimes will howl for Justice to be Done. I have much more reason to pass an informed judgment than they do, and a hell of a lot more knowledge to back it up. That won’t stop them howling to their faithful readers, who will parrot the nonsense. In my case, I can’t say for certain what happened. So I won’t.

Would be nice if those of us who always talk about “sense,” “getting all the facts” and not jumping to knee-jerk conclusions would react in that way here. I don’t expect it; howling mobs are everywhere.

Posted by: MrScribbler at August 10, 2014 04:02 PM

Also see John Ekdahl’s Twitter feed for some good information:  John Ekdahl

“At this point Stewart’s car runs down and kills Ward.”

Really don’t think that’s an accurate description.

Stewart’s rear right tire made contact with Ward. The big question is why that is.

Stewart’s car only turned to the right after making contact with Ward, that’s because Ward’s body got caught up with the wheel.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 02:56 PM

Drivers on foot confronting other drivers who’ve wreck them on the racing surface … is actually somewhat common. Dumb, but something that happens with some regularity.

Nascar actually advertises with a famous highlight of Stewart doing it at Bristol when he gets out of his car and throws his helmet at the guy who wrecked him, bouncing the helmet off the windshield. The crowd loved it.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 02:59 PM

The headline “runs down” is misleading, Ace. That’s not what happens.

It’s not clear that Stewart even saw Ward before the last second. It’s dark. The track is poorly lit. Guy is wearing a black firesuit. The car in front of Stewart swerved to avoid Ward. They are coming off turn 2.

The phrase “runs down” implies Stewart saw and aimed at Ward. There is not evidence to support that.

Ward made contact with Stewart’s right rear tire and was dragged/thrown/entangled. Kinda unclear.

As I said in an earlier thread, Ward took purposeful action to get dangerously close to Stewart. That’s clear. Did Stewart then take purposeful action that resulted in his tire striking and killing Ward? Impossible to tell at this point.

I do think the phrase “runs down” is irresponsible and not supported by the facts or the video.

The bad action that Stewart may or may not have taken was likely revving the throttle as he passed Ward, possibly to intimidate him or spray him with dirt. In that scenario the backend might have kicked out and struck Ward.

It’s not clear at all that that happened. Ward might have slipped. Also, you have to accelerate to steer these cars. the cars slip and slide, that’s the attraction. If Stewart saw him at the last moment then he would have accelerated to get traction to swerve — which would look nearly identical to a purposeful revving to intimidate/spray Ward.

It’s really quite difficult to tell what happened from that video. But I think that video does rule out the claim that Stewart “ran down” Ward.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:10 PM

The best evidence we have that Stewart took purposeful action and gunned it, which threw the back-end out and struck Ward, is the eyewitness account in the initial news report. But that driver is a personal friend of Ward and it’s not clear how he could have seen it since it was on the backstretch. Maybe he had the perfect eyeline, but there’s no indication of that at this point.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:13 PM

he did run him down

No, he didn’t. That’s not the common use of the term “runs down”.

Runs down implies hitting someone with the front of your car. Also implies intent.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:14 PM

Yeah, clearly his back tire struck and, I think, ran him over.

I actually can’t really tell what happened with that video. I think his arm or leg got by the wheel and he got dragged. Not really sure. He was horribly twisted by a powerful force, though.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:17 PM

I think it’s possible that Stewart intended to scare/spray the kid as he drove past. I’m just not seeing any clear evidence that that’s what happened.

Saw this elsewhere on the interwebz. The “because sprint car” line refers to the fact these cars race in a state of a constant controlled slide and you have to accelerate to get traction to turn. It also assumes the “gunned the engine” reports in the media are accurate. I think you hear it in the video, but I’m not positive.
—-
I don’t think Stewart intended to hit him but I see two possibilities:

1 – Stewart gunned the engine as he went past to try to intimidate Ward, the back end kicked out (“because sprint car”) and accidentally hit Ward.

2 – Stewart gunned the engine as he went past because sprint cars are like jet skis or boats and don’t turn real good unless they have throttle (“because sprint car”), trying to miss Ward and accidentally hit Ward.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:24 PM

There are reports that Stewart destroyed his helmet cam and changed the tire that hit Ward after he got back to the pit.

Only “report” I’ve seen claiming that was some random poster on Deadspin who screamed it in ALL CAPS a few moments after the Deadspin report went up and could not have possibly known that.

I haven’t seen a single legit media source claim that. An anonymous Deadspin commenter doesn’t count as a “report”.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:26 PM

Big question for me is whether Stewart really did gun the engine and, if so, why?

There are perfectly innocent explanations, from Stewart’s perspective, for what happened. There’s also a damning explanation that would seem to raise the possibility of manslaughter. Both explanations fit the available evidence.

Hopefully they have another camera angle from the back or side. But even that might not be able to clarify things.

A lot of this comes down to what Stewart saw and when he saw it and what his intent was.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:33 PM

If they were under a caution nobody should have been speeding

Not sure what the caution speed is on that track. On a Nascar track caution means they are still going 50+ mph. So that’s still running out in front of cars going highway speed.

Caution speed is still pretty fast compared to humans on foot.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:35 PM

The point of the sport is that its slipprier than shit. If control were such a science there would be no crashes at all.

Right, especially dirt track sprint car racing. The whole point and the reason the drivers and fans like it, is it’s so hard to control and cars are sliding all over. This isn’t asphalt. It’s a dirt track which gets watered down on purpose so it’s extra slick and slippery so the cars slide around and put on a good show.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:38 PM

How can you tell he gunned the engine?

We can’t really, but eyewitness reports said he did and the audio on the video sounds like he did, kinda mostly.

Honestly I wonder if that sound could be caused by having a human being sucked into your wheel well like that. I don’t know. I’m guessing no.

As mentioned before, if Stewart saw him at the last second and tried to swerve, he also likely would rev the engine to get traction to swerve.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:42 PM

On the video, filmed from the other side of the oval, you can hear that particular car rev the engine. Interesting.

Good point.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:45 PM

A key element that, to me, points to a non-deliberate action is the fact that car ahead of Stewart had to swerve to avoid Ward. This increases the likelihood that Stewart didn’t see Wart at all until the last moment with is vision blocked by other cars.

In racing cars often hit stalled/stopped cars in broad daylight seeming with plenty of time to see them. How? They just … don’t see them. And you often see that where the lead car swerves in time and then the car behind just plows into it.

If drivers can simply not see a stopped car in broad daylight, as happens with some regularity, then not seeing a man on foot, dressed in black, at night is totally plausible.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:57 PM

They both should have known better

It’s not clear at this point that Stewart did anything wrong. Ward clearly took an irresponsible action. Stewart may or may not have. He may have just been reacting to all of a sudden seeing Ward on the track in front of him with only a split second to react.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 04:00 PM

In a press conference shortly after 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Phillip C. Povero said, “At this moment there are no facts or evidence that would support a criminal charge or criminal intent.”

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 04:08 PM

I think the non-winged sprint cars are the deadliest form of racing in America currently. Seems a couple guys die in those races every single year.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 04:17 PM

Some stuff I saw on the reddit thread:

Chirp08 10 points 6 hours ago
800hp+, Direct drive (no clutch, no transmission), the throttle is used to steer. It was literally the worst car in the world you could have put yourself in any proximity of unsafely.

LasciviousSycophant 59 points 6 hours ago
Is there any way to prove it was Tony that gunned it?
Not by observations from us armchair sleuths who have viewed that video. We hear an engine being revved. If one pays attention to the video, one will notice that it’s zoomed in to show cars across the infield. There are cars much closer to the camera that we can’t see. It is far more likely that it is one of those cars that we hear.
It’s also telling that when the actual crash happens, we can’t hear it on the video. The audio one can hear at the time of the crash is engine sounds from the cars closest to the videographer, and not the crash sounds from the track all the way across the infield.

TheCatfromOuterSpace 73 points 12 hours ago
I have 15+ years of crew experience mostly with stock cars on short tracks.
From what I know about Tony personally and after seeing the footage, all I can think of is he was either (1) trying to avoid Ward at the last second and gunned it to try and clear him, (2) thought he was clear of Ward already and was just accelerating off the turn, or (3) he was trying to throw some clay in Ward’s face.
Regardless, Ward should have stayed in his car until at least the wreckers and corner workers were there. The field was still cooling down, and to be honest, Sprint car yellow laps are highly dangerous because of everyone trying to keep their tire and oil temps up.
Also add it being a night race on a tiny bullring and nearly 1000hp short wheelbase cars with limited vis due to aero… yeah, stay in your car unless it is on fire, man.
I feel terrible for everyone involved. Best wishes to them.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 04:39 PM

BTW, all-time Nascar legend Richard Petty actually killed a kid in the crowd when he wrecked once. It was a drag race. Lost control. Drove into the crowd. Terrible.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 04:48 PM

August 10, 2014 , 5:36PM Posted by | NASCAR, Sports | , , , , , | Comments Off on Sprint Car Driver Wins Darwin Award

What Makes a Franchise Quarterback?

The more I think about the “fans” ripping on the Jay Cutler deal and ripping on Cutler in general, the more it annoys me. What has every good QB in the history of the game had in common? Consistency of (1) good coaching (2) good offensive system and (3) good offensive line (O-line).

Tom Brady? Has had one coach (Bill Belichick) his entire career and great offensive coordinators. He also had great O-lines who allowed him time to pass.

Peyton Manning? Had one coach (Tony Dungy) the majority of his career in Indy and good offensive coordinators. Also was one of the least sacked QBs in history. Oh and for as good a QB is Manning, he’s only gotten to the Super Bowl twice. And was known as a “choker” and predicted to be the next Dan Marino (great stats, no Super Bowl) until he finally pulled off a win vs the Patriots in 2006 to get to the Super Bowl. But he has more 1st Round “chokes” than he does long playoff runs.

Joe Montana? Had Bill Walsh and George Seifert as well as an amazing offensive system with the West Coast Offense and a great O-line.

Steve Young? Same situation as Joe Montana.

Dan Marino? Had Don Shula the majority of his career.

Bret Favre? Had Mike Holmgrem and the same offensive system the majority of his career.

Aaron Rodgers? He got to sit behind Bret Favre for 3 years to master the offense, then has had Mike McCarthy — a good head coach and great offensive mind — his entire career as head coach.

John Elway? Had Dan Reeves for years and then Mike Shanahan for years, including the 2 Super Bowl seasons.

That consistency of system and leadership makes a HUGE difference in a player’s and a team’s success.

Now let’s take a look at Jay Cutler.

2006-2008, he worked with Mike Shanahan. He had his best year in his 3rd year, which makes sense, since that is the typical amount of time it takes to master an offensive system, especially coming out of college.

In 2009, he’s traded to the Bears. New coaches (Lovie Smith, Ron Turner), new offensive system to learn (conservative, run-first offense), new players with whom to develop chemistry (went from #1 WR of Brandon Marshall in Denver to now having to throw to Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox).

In 2010, Bears fired their entire offensive coaching staff. Cutler now has to learn a new system and work with new coaches (Mike Martz as OC). Martz’s system of deep routes and 7-step drops got Cutler killed with hits and sacks for 2 years in 2010 and 2011.

In 2012, Mike Martz left as OC and Mike Tice became OC. Yet another coach and another offensive system to learn. Bears went from Martz’s wide open offense to Mike Tice’s ridiculously conservative offense.

And then this past year in 2013, he has yet ANOTHER change in head coach and offensive coaching staff and system to learn. This time, he finally has someone who knows how to create on offense, has weapons around him and has a good OL and he has the best season of his career.

Yet, despite that, Bears “fans” want to dump him.

I’d like to know how other people would do, through an 8 year career, having to go through 2 teams, 3 head coaches, 5 different offensive coordinators and systems — not to mention an offensive line that has gotten him KILLED each of his years in Chicago, including getting sacked EIGHT times in part of a game against the Giants that led to him having a concussion. That is a complete lack of stability and security there. New systems almost every 2 years. And yet people are complaining that he is not an elite QB like the ones I mentioned above.

Well gee freaking whiz, I wonder why other QBs are able to develop and improve when they are in stable, consistent systems with the same head coach and same offensive systems, but Cutler isn’t when he has to deal with new coaches and new systems every other damn year, and being planted on his ass 2-3 times per game and running for his life almost every drop back, because his offensive line sucks. Let’s see all you jackasses adapt to that and perform well each year and improve.

The Bears have FINALLY put it all together on offense, have the 2nd ranked scoring offense in the league, have a head coach who has developed a great relationship with Cutler and helped him to his best season of his career and… “fans” want to dump him.

What an absolute joke.

And for those complaining Cutler was “overpaid”, read this: Jay Cutler: Analyzing the Terms of His New Contract

Why the Bears Did It

The contract, essentially a three-year deal with a team option to make it a four-, five-, six- or seven-year deal, gives Phil Emery and the Bears coaching staff some flexibility. If they want to stick it out with Cutler, they can. If they want to go down a younger route after three years, they don’t have to put all their stock into one draft—they can assess each year’s crop of quarterbacks, and, with Cutler in their back pocket, proceed accordingly.

With so many issues to address on defense, the Bears’ General Manager may have figured, when it comes to the quarterback position, “if it aint broke, don’t fix it.” Cutler ranked eighth in the NFL in ESPN’s Total QBR and put up his best statistical season since arriving in Chicago.

Why Cutler Did It

Cutler gets a big payday, signing bonus or not. And with the huge payouts in the first three years of the deal, it’s likely that he’ll remain the starter over those years. Chicago’s supporting cast on offense is as strong as any in the NFL; after putting up the best quarterback rating of his career in Marc Trestman’s system, staying in Chicago is a prudent career decision.

Because the fourth and fifth years of the contract are the least expensive, $12.5 and $13.5 million plus bonuses, Cutler remains an attractive option over those years. So the deal, while it looks like it guarantees three more years of Cutler, could very well be five years of Cutler as long as he plays at a passing level.

Also see: Jay Cutler’s Contract Extension Is Best Move for Present and Future of the Bears

Regardless of money, the agreement makes sense on several levels for Cutler and the Bears.

Not only will one of the league’s most productive offenses stay intact, but the rock-solid relationship between head coach and quarterback will get an opportunity to live on past the 11 games Cutler started this season.

Instead of starting over at the position, the Bears will keep Cutler, a fringe top-15 quarterback, and bank on more of the kind of improvement seen in his one season under Trestman.

And there’s no discounting the fact that locking up Cutler now gives the Bears maximum draft capital to fix a defense that was mostly to blame for Chicago’s 8-8 season.

Critics of the deal will point to Cutler’s injury history, or his propensity to throw interceptions, or the fact that the Bears have been to the playoffs once in his five years in Chicago. But this was a good decision for the future of the Bears.

In just one season, Trestman took a middling, inconsistent offense and turned it into one of the NFL’s best. And Cutler was right at the center of the improvement.

The Bears finished the 2013 season ranked second in points (27.8), behind only the record-setting Denver Broncos. The offense was also third in yards per play (6.0), eighth in total yards (381.8 per game) and total first downs (344), fifth in passing yards (267.6 per game), passing touchdowns (32) and net yards per attempt (7.0) and seventh in yards per rush (4.5).

The offense set new team records for total yards, passing yards, passing touchdowns, first downs and passer rating (96.9). The 445 points were second most in franchise history.

January 4, 2014 , 3:16PM Posted by | NFL, Sports | , , , , | Comments Off on What Makes a Franchise Quarterback?

Barack Obama Doesn’t Care About Black Kids

Yes, I am channeling Kanye West and his statement during a Hurricane Katrina fund-raising event that President George W. Bushdoesn’t care about Black people“. Well, using that liberal logic, it follows that Barack Obama doesn’t care about Black children, based on his actions regarding gun-control legislation.

Granted, those who are not ignorant about Obama’s background already knew that Barack Obama does not care about any children whatsoever, considering his strong support for infanticide and abortion in general. In between all his votes of “present” in the IL legislature, the only thing that actually energized Obama enough to not only vote “no” on legislation, but to lead the charge against it, was infanticide. Funny that the only thing Obama cared passionately about in his career — other than hating America, capitalism and White people — was making certain that babies were left to die, as he made perfectly clear to anyone paying attention when he passionately stood against the Illinois Born Alive Infant Protection Act. He then later made his thoughts about babies clear on the Presidential campaign trail when he stated that babies were not a blessing of life, but rather a punishment.

So it well known to anyone not ignorantly worshiping at the altar of Obama that he cares not a whit about children or babies. In fact, he cares so much that they die, that he actively stood against legislation that would save babies. Obama wholeheartedly supports the evil practices of Kermitt Gosnell.

In addition to his pro-dead children legislative record, Obama supposedly worked as a community organizer in the Chicago area. Of course, no one really know what he did in this capacity nor what, if anything, he accomplished. Considering Chicago is annually in competition as the murder capital of the nation and the vast majority of murders are committed by Blacks on fellow Blacks — including children — yet Obama has never done anything to fix this, it follows that Obama doesn’t care much for dead Black people or children.

This is made especially evident when contrasted with Obama’s reaction to the death of 20 White children in Connecticut last year. For years, Blacks — including children — have been murdered in cities across this nation. Hundreds per year in places like Chicago and Detroit. Black children killed by the hundreds by other Blacks all across the nation each year and Obama does not bat an eyelash. Yet, when White children are murdered, all of a sudden, Obama decides to take notice. Funny how that works, huh?

Yet, liberals could not care less about this.

It truly sickens me that liberals do not see how downright despicable and evil is Obama. This comment by “Veritas Omnia Vincit ” at This Ain’t Hell pretty much summarizes my thoughts on the matter perfectly:

Well I know I sound like a f#cking broken record on this, but once again dead white kids are far more sexy for something like this than dead black kids… of course we kill more blacks and hispanics every single day of the year all year long than died in Newtown but nobody gives a sh1t about those dead minority kids, because their parents don’t have any money and most of their parents don’t give a sh1t about them either or the kids wouldn’t be in gangs murdering each other…

That’s a conversation we should have, but the liberals don’t like that conversation, because their welfare state created the current status quo for blacks who now have bastard children in about 72% of their families and who abort their babies at a rate 4 times higher than whites. Blacks are less than 14% of the population, but they account for somewhere between 30-35% of all the abortions in the US… black fathers are the most irresponsible fathers in the nation, with hispanic dads not too far behind… that’s why their black and hispanic children make up 90% of the victims and 90% of the perpetrators of the homicides in NYC and have a similar percentage in other large cities across the nation.

Nah f#ck those conversations, let’s just keep showing some sad, rich, white folks whose children suffered a terrible tragedy and make some rules up that won’t make any other rich, white folks kids any safer than they are today. And let’s just keep pretending that the Adam Lanzas are the real danger in America when it comes to the average persons chance of being murdered… that way we can all keep our heads in the f#cking sand and pretend it’s all good, even when it’s not.

Liberals never want to talk about what they have done to destroy the black family, they just want to call conservatives and centrists racists whenever you question a black politician’s view point. Well guess what liberals, it’s not racist to use an FBI statistic and ask why blacks and hispanics commit just about every murder in NYC… it’s just uncomfortable, because it will inevitably lead to a discussion that liberals don’t want to have, that their vision of the dependency state has destroyed the black family and, if left alone, will also destroy the hispanic family over the next couple of generations. Liberals are better at destroying minority families than any white supremacist group could ever dream of. Thanks to liberals and abortion, instead of 48 million blacks, there are only 32 million blacks in America, because black women have destroyed 16 million black babies before they ever set foot outside the womb…

Nah we don’t want to hear any of that Veritas, we just want to keep whining about scary black guns that kill less than .02 of the total murders in the nation because it’s politically expedient to do so. We don’t want to have anything to do with a real discussion because that’s too hard… well f#ck all of you liberals I am sick and tired of the same horsesh1t every day from your unimaginative, repetitive, little brains.

As am I.

More good comments:

2/17 Air Cav Says:
April 10th, 2013 at 1:31 pm

If I told you that twice as many blacks are murdered by blacks EVERY SIX MONTHS than were killed by the KKK and other white-supremacy groups between 1882 and 1968, you would probably not believe it. And I couldn’t blame anyone for disbelieving that astounding statement. It cuts against the indoctrination grain. The source, by the way, is Tuskegee University.

Common Sense Says:
April 10th, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Read this the other day:

It is not, however, just handguns that must be discussed when discussing gun violence. This gets to why we cannot have a meaningful conversation in this country and never will. To do so will get you branded a racist.

“Blacks were disproportionately represented as both homicide victims and offenders. The victimization rate for blacks (27.8 per 100,000) was 6 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000). The offending rate for blacks (34.4 per 100,000) was almost 8 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000).”

“Males represented 77% of homicide victims and nearly 90% of offenders. The victimization rate for males (11.6 per 100,000) was 3 times higher than the rate for females (3.4 per 100,000). The offending rate for males (15.1 per 100,000) was almost 9 times higher than the rate for females (1.7 per 100,000).”
“Approximately a third (34%) of murder victims and almost half (49%) of the offenders were under age 25. For both victims and offenders, the rate per 100,000 peaked in the 18 to 24 year-old age group at 17.1 victims per 100,000 and 29.3 offenders per 100,000.”

This information is from a 2011 United States Department of Justice report released by Obama.

So if you summarize the data, the problem is with black males between 18 – 24, both as perpetrators AND victims. But I guess having a bunch of them standing behind you while talking about gun control wouldn’t be sympathetic to the bleeding hearts out there the way 20 little white kids will, even though they would “look like Obama’s son if he had one”.

Veritas Omnia Vincit Says:
April 10th, 2013 at 1:41 pm

@15 There is indeed a reason why a missing white woman in Aruba was national news for months, or a white woman who killed her daughter was national news for a year… white folks go missing lots of lead stories…blacks or hispanics, not so much.

But hey, we’re not racists or anything. After all everybody is equal under the law, sort of, depending on your race and economic status that is… well and also who you are related to…

@16 Not at all surprised, here’s another “fun fact”… thanks to abortion, almost twice as many black children die in the womb each year than blacks of all ages die from all other causes…

I’m not done with all my research but in ’09 a total of 286,000 blacks died from all causes and all ages… that same year about 423,500 black babies were aborted…

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.” How can the “Dream” survive if we murder the children?

ohio Says:
April 10th, 2013 at 5:34 pm

From the Secular Right and DOJ report:

The most common gun violence, by contrast, is drearily predictable and is the source on average of nearly ten thousand homicides a year. Such violence occurs overwhelmingly in certain locations of cities — over the past 30 years in Boston, for example, 75 percent of the city’s shootings occurred in 4.5% of its area, whereas 88.5 percent of the city’s street segments experienced not a single shooting. Urban shootings are retaliatory or the product of the most trivial of slights. They are committed by handguns, not assault rifles. Victims and perpetrators usually know each other, absent bullets going astray. Reforming the involuntary commitment laws and beefing up mental health services are largely irrelevant to these shootings, since though the shooters have serious problems with impulse control and are clearly a danger to themselves and others, few would be deemed mentally ill. And both victims and perpetrators are disproportionately minority, by huge margins. New York City is emblematic of the country’s gun violence. According to victims and witnesses, blacks commit 80% of all shootings in New York, though they are 23% of the city’s residents. Add Hispanics and you account for 98% of all shootings. Whites commit a little over 1% of shootings, though they are 35% of the city’s population. These disproportions pertain across the country.

And i’m sure they had background checks completed.

These got me to thinking… Considering ~90% of gun violence is committed by Blacks and liberals/Democrats think Blacks are too stupid to be capable of showing ID to vote, and thus claim that requiring ID to vote is “racist!!!”, wouldn’t it also be “racist!!!” to create more gun-control laws? If Democrats/liberals say voter ID laws are “racist!!!”, then aren’t gun-control laws “racist!!!” as well?

April 10, 2013 , 5:49PM Posted by | 2nd Amendment, Abortion, Gun Control | 1 Comment

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