Saturday, March 29, 2008

Racing News: IRL season opener tonight

The first race of the new unified IRL goes tonight, 8pm on TSN. With the combination of IRL and former Champ teams the grid is set at an amazing 25 cars. No surprise to anyone the former Champ Car teams qualified well back in the field. But, with the addition of the boys from Champ car, this is shaping up to be an exciting race and I predict that the former Champ Car drivers will shine sooner rather then later. Too bad PT is still without a ride and sits watching from the sidelines.
Here's a look at tonight's starting grid for the GAINSCO 300.
1 - Scott Dixon, 213.341
2 - Ed Carpenter, 213.311
3 - AJ Foyt Jr. 212.211
4 - Danica Patrick, 212.129
5 - Ryan Briscoe, 212.108
6 - Marco Andretti, 211.838
7 - Helios Castroneves, 211.581
8 - Tony Kanaan, 211.580
9 - Hideki Mutoh, 211.508
10 - Marty Roth, 211.458
11 - Ryan Hunter-Reay, 210.744
12 - Vitor Meira, 210.315
13 - Buddy Rice, 209.486
14 - Darren Manning, 209.319
15 - Franck Perera, 209.230
16 - Oriol Servia, 209.021
17 - Justin Wilson, 208.757
18 - Milka Duno, 208.308
19 - Enrique Bernoldi, 208.130
20 - Ernesto Viso, 208.101
21 - Will Power, 208.029
22 - Bruno Junqueira, 207.434
23 - Mario Moreas, 207.067
24 - Jay Howard, lap 2 crash
25 - Dan Wheldon, lap 1 crash
Graham Rahal crashed in testing earlier in the week and will not race, as the car couldn't be repaired in time.
picture and race stats courtesy of The New Unirted IRL (facebook)

Earth Hour

Today at 8pm tonight citizens of the world are asked to turn out their lights and sit in the dark as a gesture uniting the globe in a call for action on climate change.
Don't you remember that winter that we just had? Snow up the ying yang? Cold and snow from November to March, worst winter in a 100 years, remember? Where is this Global warming? I say bring it on!
And now you want me to sit in the dark and freeze my ass off for an hour. No thanks. I am going to be "that guy" tonight. Yeah that's right, the guy with all his lights on, TV blaring and no one home. If you get lost in the dark, you can use my house as a beacon to guide you home...

Going ... Going ... Golfing

Stick a fork in the Leaf's season, it's done. After 2 back to back loses to the "Mighty" Boston Bruins, the Leaf's dream of a post season is officially over for the third straight year in a row.
Golf Leafs golf....

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fight the Power

So I got a traffic ticket the other night when I was working the midnight to noon shift, (another reason to hate working the grave yard shift). In a sleep deprived state, I decided coffee at 5:30 am would be a good way to stay awake. I hoped in my car and made a dash to the nearest Tim Hortons. Problem is, from the direction I was going you needed to make a U-turn to get into the place. And as soon as I did, there was Mr. Officer waiting to take my licence, insurance and registration. Son of a Bitch! $110 and 3 points. Most expensive cup of coffee I've had in awhile. Get back to the office, tell the guy I'm working with about it and he says, "Oh Yeah, I got one of those last year in the same spot." Thanks for the tip, Jackass!
I've decided I'm going to fight this ticket. Lets see what I can do. I'm hoping for a reduction in the fine and penalty at the very least. I got the time, why not?
I head over to the traffic court division yesterday to schedule a court date, because you can't do this over the phone. You thought the Ministry of Transportation (DMV to my American friends) was where all the angry government workers were sent to work? Wrong, the traffic court office is even worse. Line up to the receptionist to decide what line you need to be in was out the door. Then you get a ticket have a seat fill out a form and you wait for the sign to flash your number and cubicle. And then the person behind the bullet proof glass takes your ticket, stamps it, puts a sticker on the back hands it back and says, "If you don't receive a notice in the mail of your court date in 6 months give us a call."
Lets see 6 months to receive the notice, then add another 6 months to the actual court date.
This should be fun. I will keep you posted...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Back from the land of the dead

After a week of working the overnight shift, I'm back from the dead. The company that I work for is moving, so last week was training week at our new facility. I was the lucky one who drew the midnight to noon shift. I'm not going to lie, it was a tough grind. But its over and I made it through to the other side. Here is a shot of my new home away from home.Snow forecast for today promises to snatch third place for the current winter in Toronto's snowfall record book.
With a light dusting early yesterday, total accumulation for this winter hit 189 centimetres, said senior Environment Canada climatologist David Phillips.
That locked in fourth place – ahead of the 188.9 centimetres in 1971-72.
A further 5 centimetres in today's forecast would move the current winter into third place, ahead of 1964-65, which saw 190.6 centimetres.
"(Tuesday) we will get the bronze medal," Phillips said, "and we'll be aiming for the silver."
Currently holding second place is 1949-50 with 196.4 centimetres.
The snowiest winter on record, since measurements began at Pearson airport in 1937, is that of 1938-39 with 207.4 centimetres – "the gold measure," Phillips said.
That means another 18-plus centimetres of snow must fall on Toronto if this winter is to seize top spot.
I say to hell with the record! I'm perfectly happy with fourth. Enough with the snow already. Who was the wise guy who decided to start Spring in the middle of winter?!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sam in Japan Update

Grab a coffee, pull up a chair. We have a new post from Sam in Japan. Check it out at: Enjoy.

Racing News: Andretti-Green Racing signs letter of intent to buy TO GP

Michael Andretti, the most successful driver in the history of the Grand Prix of Toronto, has made a bid to buy the iconic Exhibition Place event from the owners of the defunct Champ Car World Series.
Andretti, with his partners at Andretti-Green Racing --Kim Green and Dennis Savoree -- yesterday announced the group had signed a letter of intent to purchase the assets of the Grand Prix Association of Toronto.
While that doesn't mean the July event will be rescued this season, it does insure the race will be part of the 2009 Indy Racing League calendar.
Andretti is one of the most powerful and influential team owners in the IRL, and the Andretti-Green Racing promotion arm also owns and operates the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, an event that was patterned after the Toronto GP.
In a surprise move, Toronto's Paul Tracy -- Andretti's fiercest rival from his racing days -- praised this former bitter foe as a "saviour" for his hometown race.
Details of the Andretti bid were kept under wraps yesterday, except that his group has first right of refusal to take over GPT assets until April 30.
GPT owners -- Kevin Kalkhoven and Jerry Forsythe -- bought the race from Molson Sports and Entertainment Ltd. in 2005 after the giant brewer had run the event for 20 consecutive years.
When Kalkhoven and Forsythe -- the co-owners of Champ Car -- announced the end of that series, there was speculation they also would abandon the Toronto race.
"I don't believe that Kevin and Jerry were intent on keeping the Toronto Grand Prix alive," Tracy said from his home in Las Vegas yesterday. "I think Michael and his group are committed to open-wheel racing and are in the best position to save the Toronto event."
It was a shocking admission coming from a race car driver who once wore a T-shirt to the then Toronto Molson Indy that read: Michael Andretti Driving School for the Blind after Andretti called him "an a--hole" after one of their many on-track battles.
"The Andretti name means a lot in open-wheel racing and that alone should guarantee the future of the Toronto race," Tracy said.
Andretti, son of former world champion Mario Andretti, won the Toronto race a record seven times and he said that the race holds a special place in his heart.
"Toronto has always been one of the signature events in open-wheel racing in North America and is just a great circuit and venue," Andretti said. "The fans there are unbelievable. I think it would be a huge addition to the IndyCar series schedule ... When I was racing, it was always the highlight of my year."
Andretti said he looks forward to moving the process to its next level.
"It's exciting to think that we're exploring the possibility of owning the event," he said. "I was fortunate enough to win there seven times as a driver and all of those wins were special.
"If we were able to put a deal together to own and operate an event in Toronto, I would certainly count that as another win there, for sure."
The annual event is a windfall for Toronto's tourism industry, bringing in more than $60 million in revenue each year.
GPT boss Charlie Johnstone, who has been working behind the scenes in an effort to get the race on the IRL schedule, is elated.
"The expressed interest by Andretti Green Promotions to own the Grand Prix of Toronto speaks volumes to the stature this event maintains in open-wheel racing in North America," Johnstone said in a release.

story courtesy of, picture courtesy of me!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is my brother Barry's actual birthday. You looked out for me when I was growing up and was always there to help when I needed a hand. Thanks. And now, even though you're old and grey, you still manage to be the coolest cat on the block. Happy birthday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Barry's Birthday dinner

We all went out to dinner last night to celebrate my oldest brother, Barry's birthday. Barry's birthday isn't until tomorrow, but the timing was right for a family get together. And always one to be different, Barry choose dinner at the Real Jerk instead of the usual Sunday morning brunch. Here are some pictures from last night festivities. Enjoy. When you're this old you only get one candle on your cake. The cake by the way was made by Thandi, and it was delicious!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Racing News: Australian GP Review

Just finished watching the Australian GP. What an exciting race. Action from start to finish. New rules which give the driver more control of the car (no traction control or launch control) seem to add to the viewers enjoyment. Amazing drive by former Champ Car driver Sebastien Bourdais in the Toro Rosso. He was able to hold off Alonso in the Renault and Kovalainen in the McLaren until his engine expired with three laps to go. Mark my works, he will be the man to watch as the mid-pack spoiler throughout the year. And I know its early yet, but he is my vote for rookie of the year as well. Ferrari the team to beat, beats itself in the first race. And no great surprise, Hamilton proves he still has the car to beat. Great race, lets hope this is a sign of things to come.

Australian Grand Prix results:
1) Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes , 1h34:50.616
2) Heidfeld, BMW Sauber , + 5.478
3) Rosberg, Williams-Toyota , + 8.163
4) Alonso, Renault , + 17.181
5) Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes , + 18.014
6) Barrichello, Honda , + 52.453 (DQ)
7) Nakajima, Williams-Toyota , + 1 lap
8) Bourdais, Toro Rosso-Ferrari , + 2 laps
9) Raikkonen, Ferrari , + 3 laps
race results and picture courtesy of

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Racing News: F1 Season kicks off tonight

Top 10 starting grid for tonight's Australian Grand Prix, the first round of the 2008 F1 season.
1) Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, 1:26.714
2) Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:26.869
3) Kovalainen, McLaren-Mercedes, 1:27.079
4) Massa, Ferrari, 1:27.178
5) Heidfeld, BMW Sauber , 1:27.236
6) Trulli, Toyota, 1:28.527
7) Rosberg, Williams-Toyota, 1:28.687
8) Coulthard, Red Bull-Renault, 1:29.041
9) Glock, Toyota, 1:29.593
10) Vettel, Toro Rosso-Ferrari, 1:25.842

Here are my predictions for final top 3 at the end of the season.

1. Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes
2. Raikkonen, Ferrari
3. Massa, Ferrari
Let the racing begin!

Racing News: Paul Tracy speaks his mind

From colonoscopies to crapwagons, from Captain Quebec to battles with The Captain, Paul Tracy has stamped his singular blend of trash-talk and self-deprecating humor, jaw-dropping brilliance, raw will-to-win and, yes, mind-boggling bungles on racetracks and record books, in newspapers, magazines and cyberspace but, most of all, in the hearts and minds of race fans throughout North America.
No, that sells PT short. Make that the hearts and minds of race fans around the world. Walk into any racetrack from Assen to Road America, Jacarepaugua to Jarama, Indianapolis to Imola, Montreal to Motegi, Toronto to Talladega, Zandvoort to Zolder, mention the name Paul Tracy and you’ll get a reaction. It won’t always be positive, let alone complimentary, but that’s beside the point. For the past two decades, the force of nature known as PT has made the the words “Paul Tracy” synonymous with motor racing in much the same way as do the words “Mario Andretti,” “Dale Earnhardt,” “Ayrton Senna,” “Parnelli Jones” and “Steve Kinser” in some or most parts of the world. Particularly Canada.
Who knows what greater place in the broad popular consciousness Tracy might have achieved (for himself and his sport) had Indy car racing not squandered two-thirds of his career in a self-indulgent, destructive internecine feud?What is certain is that, as of today, Tracy is on the outside looking-in as his sport tries to heal its wounds. The eleventh hour “merger” of Champ Car and the Indy Racing League, coupled with Gerald Forsythe’s decision to shut down Forsythe/Pettit Racing’s IndyCar program, has left Tracy searching for viable options. The two-car Champ Car teams transitioning to the IndyCar Series have no room for him and the singleton efforts lack the time, budget, manpower and/or equipment for a second car. Others are even worse off. Ask Derrick Walker. Likewise, there’s no place for PT at the existing IndyCar Series teams with real budgets like Andretti Green (add a fifth car?) or Target/Ganassi. Penske? I think not.
The rest face budgetary and equipment “challenges” similar to those of their Champ Car brethren.
Thus the 39-year-old Tracy says, “I woke up the other morning and realized this could be how my career ends. I feel like the guy who bought a tuxedo, rented a limo and got his shoes polished for the prom . . . and then realized he doesn’t have a date.
“I mean, I’m the winningest active driver (31 wins), the one with the most starts (261). I’ve been racing Indy cars for 18 seasons. I’m excited about reunification, doing my part to get the sport going in the right direction again and winning back the fans. But it’s like I’m at the train station, standing on the platform watching the train pull away and everybody’s waving good-bye.”
It is a telling commentary on the damage done to Indy car racing that its winningest active driver, one (arguably) second only to Danica Patrick when it comes to name recognition, may face an enforced retirement at the time the sport needs him most. There are no existing sponsors or front-rank teams with the resources to hire him. Recall that, ten years ago, when Roger Penske fired Tracy well into the off-season, Barry Green and KOOL added PT to Team KOOL Green faster than you could can say “The Thrill from West Hill.”
Now the teams that do have or could make room for Tracy are asking him to bring along money, most likely from Monster, the energy drink company that signed him to a personal services deal last year.
“The teams that are looking for money, I wouldn’t approach Monster about because it would be a waste of their money,” says Tracy. “I’m not looking for a 10-year hand-out from Tony George, the IRL or anybody. I just want to race a couple more years and help get Indy car racing re-established, especially in Toronto, then retire on my own terms, do a farewell season or something. I had an exit plan with Jerry (Forsythe), but he needs to supply me with a car and, obviously, that’s not happening.
“What rides are available are going to field-fillers and paying drivers. I feel like I’ve put in the time, had success and built a fan base. With what I can bring to the series, I don’t think I should be expected to pay for a ride.
“We all know one of the problems the sport has faced over the years; the sport keeps shuffling out its stars whether they want to retire or not. You look at NASCAR . . . guys like Dale Jarrett, Terry Labonte and Mark Martin get to finish their careers the way they want.”
The irony of the situation is that, late last year, when he and Forsythe were at loggerheads over his contract (a five-year deal signed in early ’06), Tracy was rumored to be close to an IndyCar Series deal for ’08. Then he and Forsythe resolved their differences shortly after Christmas, and all seemed set to go in ’08 . . . until the reunification process went to warp speed in February.
There is another dimension to the story, of course. Tracy didn’t exactly cover himself in glory the past couple of Champ Car seasons. AJ Allmendinger convincingly outpaced him – no, he flat-out kicked PT’s behind—during his brilliant but brief sojourn with Forsythe’s team in ’06. Then last year Tracy scored but one opportunistic win in a season that was otherwise short on results and long on crash damage. In PT’s defense, the team got off on the wrong foot by only running one of the new Panoz DP01s in winter testing. Then Tracy got hurt at Long Beach, missed a couple of races and only started to get going again after ex-PKV technical director Tom Brown joined the team, witness PT’s second row start at Surfers Paradise and fifth-place finish at Mexico City. That said, the last thing any team needs in what figures to be a year when chassis and spare parts are at premium is a big crash damage bill.
But, the first thing the sport of Indy car racing needs to do in 2008 is start repairing the damage wrought by the past 12 years . . . rebuilding its fan base, re-establishing a meaningful presence on television, regenerating attention from not just the racing media but the general sports media and offering value to sponsors. It won’t happen overnight, if it happens at all. If it is to happen, however, the task will be immeasurably easier with Paul Tracy around to liven things up. From that perspective, you can’t begin to put a price on how much he’d bring to Indy car racing. Again.

info courtesy of, pictures courtesy of me!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Just in time for Spring....

The snow plough's finally found our street today. Here is a before picture.The plough's are coming.......the plough's are coming!And just like that the snow was gone.My tax dollars hard a work. Better late then never....

Beach Shots

Here are some shots I took over the last couple of days while walking the dogs down on the beach. People without dogs always think its a chore having to walk them all the time, but if you look at these pictures, you realize that those people will never see how truly beautiful the world we live in can really be.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Death Metal Puppy

I snorted coffee up my nose when I saw this I was laughing so much. You need speakers, but not too loud. You've been warned.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Racing News: Walker Racing Shuts Down

Indianapolis, IN (March 9, 2008)
Reluctantly, Walker Racing has been forced to withdraw its attempt to join the IndyCar Series for 2008. The racing partnership of "Team Australia" and the association with Australian businessman Craig Gore, drivers Will Power and Simon Pagenaud, has also come to an end.
Notwithstanding a commitment for 2008, it came down to the lack of funding. A lengthy search for new sponsorship partners drew a blank, so Walker Racing had to close the program officially on Friday.
"It's a great pity that the team has had to abandon our IndyCar program. So much work by so many has gone into the Team Australia program over the last three and a half years, but now it will remain unfinished business for us. I wish my co-partner well with his new venture and so to Will and Simon and all the employees, associates and fans who have given me the opportunity. Many thanks", said Walker Racing Owner, Derrick Walker.

And in an interesting twist...

Was Kevin Kalkhoven's involvement in the merger a coup de grace of has he pulled off a coup d'etat? He gets Tony George to pay him to join the IRL, he no longer has to deal with Champ Car partner Gerald Forsythe who won't make the switch, (who knows what Paul Gentilozzi is going to do), and with the announcement that Derrick Walker has withdrawn his IRL program it looks like the rumors of KK stealing Will Power and Aussie Vineyards are true. Now we know why Surfers Paradise was part of the unification deal!
info courtesy of The New United IRL (facebook), pictures courtesy of me!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snow dogs

Here are a couple of knuckleheads who don't seem to mind the snow. What do you mean its time to go home???

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Winter Wonderland my Ass!

It was a two-day lashing that included everything winter has to offer – gusting winds, below-freezing temperatures, sleet and snow. And of course I had to go to work. Here are some shots from the drive into work.At least there wasn't alot of people on the road. A shot looking out into the parking lot at work at about 8pm yesterday. The storm was just raging on.I had a scary moment when I tried to leave work. The snow was so high I almost got stuck. Thankfully I managed to get out of the parking lot because there was no way I was getting snowed in at work. Way to go Shorty! (My VW's name), I didn't have to resort to walking.And finding parking when I got home last night was fun, NOT! (Don't get me started on street parking in the winter...)The morning after.Snowbanks higher then the cars. I hope there is not another storm for a while, not sure where we would put any more snow. And look at my nice parking spot, all shovelled and clean. Gone as soon as I leave for work today by some ass to lazy to shovel their driveway. &#@*!!I love winter!! Less then two weeks to Spring, which can't come fast enough.