Nascar Kobalt Tools 400 – Las Vegas – March 2011

Cara and I spent an excellent day at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway – my first taste of racing on the huge Nascar scale and part of our epic March roadtrip. Besides being enthralled with the Nascar marketing and promotion machine, I thoroughly enjoyed the fans, the race, the massive sound that immediately follows “Gentlemen, start your engines”, the drama of the occasional wreck, and a day out in the desert sun with my favorite race fan.

Gallery is here – slideshow button is at the top-right corner.

Wackiness from around the world

You think my phone beeps a lot during the day? Check out Deepak Sharma in India. So far his record is 182,689 SMS messages sent in a month. That’s 6089 a day, or 380 an hour (assuming 16 wake hours). Even if he worked long (18 hour) days that’s still 338 an hour, or 5.6 SMS messages sent per minute. His bill this month was 1400 pages long, although thankfully he has an unlimited messaging plan, or the charges would have exceeded $9000 US. His goal is 300,000 in one month, which would earn him Guinness Record Book status and a 2300-page wireless bill. You’d think at some point, his provider would just stop keeping track of them individually… and he has to be driving his friends and family crazy. Kudos to Deepak for making all us thumb-warriors proud!

A little closer to home, the Laser Monks of wisconsin are busy doing good works for their community, taking prayer requests via their webpage and… manufacturing printer ink. Yes, that’s right, you can order ink or toner for your paper-consuming appliance of choice, contribute to their charitable foundation, and check out the zany cartoon adventures of Luxor and Ludwig, the Abbey hounds, all from what is a very modern-looking website considering these Cistercians still hold mass in Latin. Oh, and they provide links to other monastery-made goods available online, such as honey, jam, pottery, and yes, even fruitcake. I’m sure it’s heavenly… 😉

From the pictures-of-places-i’ve-never-been department, here’s a lovely collection of photos from Zhuzhou, Hunan, China from a guy (whose name is not on the page anywhere) that spent some time there teaching english. I really liked his city shots, especially the b/w one with all the traffic. Cool stuff. In the fifth one down, look how high they’re stacking crates on that truck! Guess there are no low underpasses… This isn’t so much a ‘wacky’ item as a ‘from around the world’ item. I’ve been saving it for a while and just wanted to throw it out there today. It really defies my thinly veiled attempt at a theme, but as i’ve said before, if you have some lofty expectation of continuity and/or keeping my promises regarding content or timelines, you are surely on the wrong boat, my friend. If that’s unacceptable, i suggest you find your own dinghy and start rowing the other way. 🙂

And yes, because the weirdest stuff in the world is still right here at home (i’m talking about us, America. we’re the freaks) how about a little internet research to help you prepare for your next redneck wedding? Yes, race fans, you and the new Mrs can enjoy the ride from the 24 Hr Church of Elvis to your private table at Billy’s Steak House & Laundromat in a Nascar limosine. I find it no small coincidence that they’re most heavily concentrated in florida. Half the website is under contruction (which is a bummer, cause i really wanted to design my own racing limo in Tide orange, emblazoned with Miller Lite logos) but at least you can download computer desktop decor featuring the number 04 chevy monte carlo stretch sponsored by, you guessed it, Racing Limos. I think my favorite photo in the gallery is the Orlando bride draped across an orange-flamed pontiac hood. Apparently there are even die-cast cars inside to play with, and a spoiler for extra downforce!