Monday, August 26, 2013

Liar's Room Read #1

My dad is building a room that will display various objects with outrageous stories. Some true and some not. The job of the visitor is to decide if the story is fact or fiction. So in Honor of that idea I will post stories from time to time that will be "Liar's Room Reads." This will be the first of many (hopefully) to come.

Your job is to decide if it is "Fact" or "Fiction." Which is it?

The Final Run

It was a fairly warm evening at the Top Gun Raceway but was cooling nicely. The Sun had set about an hour earlier and we waited for our final call. Ken and I sat in the pits as the High school runs were being completed.

"Well, guess we should suit up." Ken said. "We'll be called for staging soon." I put down my soda thinking I get to open a beer soon. No alcohol was allowed in the pits until after the last run of the day was completed. I heard a small car launch as the light tree went green for him. Almost two seconds later I heard a big block growl out, then there was the familiar sound of street tires chirping as a Ford truck in the high school class spun his tires fiercely.

Found on web

"When he learns to drive he's gonna do well." I heard from behind. I turned around to see Marcus smiling at me. "You ready?" Marcus asked. "Just keep doing the same thing and you will be fine." "Motorcycles to the stage lines for finals. Motorcycles to the stage lines." The loudspeaker squawked as the bigblock Ford throttled down after crossing the traps at the end of the 1/4 mile run. "That's you." Marcus said.

We walked over to my bike and made sure that my jacket gloves and helmet were all there and started pushing my Suzuki to the Staging lines. It had been a fun day. I had one of the best days I ever had racing. It was also my first time in the finals.

Two years earlier I had been helping Marcus to build a car into a drag racer. I had only been to drag races once, many years before, and didn't watch much as I was there for the car show so I didn't really see the racing.

Found on web

I had not planned on going to the races as I knew I didn't have the money so I was surprised when the night before the race Marcus said. "Pick you up at 6. Be ready." "What?" I asked. "You are going? Aren't you?" Marcus asked. " I guess so."  I said and thought "Cool."

It was a fun day. We were out in the sun. Working on hot engines. Trying not to get burned while tuning and adjusting the engine in time to make the next run. It was a very interesting experience. Then the loudspeaker squawked, "Motorcycles to the staging lines." My ears perked up. "Motorcycles?" I asked. I told Marcus "Be right back!"

My attention was grabbed by the first bike to fire up. He rode around the water box and then backed in until the back tire just barely got into the water. Then the whine of a 1100cc Suzuki pierced my ears. Chills ran up my back and I felt my face flush. "They drag race motorcycles." I said in disbelief. I had been riding motorcycles for close to eighteen years and never knew they did this. "This is Awesome!"

Found on web

The rider inched forward out of the water box. Smoke started to grow from the rear tire as if it were on fire. He cut the gas and coasted forward. The racer came to a stop at the staging lights and adjusted himself on the bike. The bike in the other lane staged and the lights indicated they were ready.

The lights flashed and both bikes roared to life. The one I had been watching jumped forward and took off. The two bikes were doing time trials so it was a head to head run and not actually a race but I still found myself hopping up and down like a toddler when his birthday cake arrived. The two bikes shot down the track. The went faster than any cars I had ever seen. I went back to Marcus and asked, "Did you know they raced motorcycles?" "Of course." Marcus said. "Now hand me that 9/16 box end."

After that night I went to a few more races and would hang out at the motorcycle pits whenever I could. I asked question after question after question. I'm sure that they started to get annoyed with me. It didn't take long before I had found a bike to race. I built it up slowly. Started by stripping it of anything it didn't need, then lowering it, then finally modifying the frame and getting slicks.

"You're up" Marcus said and I blinked out of the past. I was now in my first finals. I had raced all day and was going to get, at worst, second place. It was a good day as I reflected on the bike I had built from an abandon rusty road bike to the missile I was preparing to ride.

[Above images found on web]

Firing it up, I became aware of the intensity of the power between my legs. My fingers tingled as I rapped the throttle a couple times. I sat down and rode around the water box and then straightened out lining up with the track. I backed toward the box as Marcus guided me. "Right there" he yelled over the engine as it idled. I grabbed the front brake and sat down.

I put the bike into second gear and wound the up engine. Quickly releasing the clutch I felt the bike try to lurch forward but with the front brake on, me pulling back and the water, the tire broke free easily. Smoke started to flow out from the tire and Marcus gave me the signal that it was ready. I had other plans though, I always wanted to "Do a Force" like John Force so I just let it run.

The smoke started to billow around from behind. The sweet smell of the race fuel mixed with the acrid smell of the smoke drifted into my helmet. Marcus made a big sweeping motion to me that I could go, but I just smiled. He couldn't see me through my mask, but he understood immediately and smiled back.

Found on web

Finally when I was fully engulfed in smoke and thought I might asphyxiate myself I inched out of the water box. Soon I was not able to hold the bike back as the hot slick grabbed and pushed forward. I dropped the throttle and grabbed the clutch just as the tire started to chew its way toward the starting line.

Those chills ran up my back and my face flushed yet again. I could feel my heartbeat throughout my body. I inched forward to the staging lights. The first one lit, then both lit up as I settled in. My friend Ken was in the lane to my left. I had pestered that guy for a long time before I finally showed up to the races with a bike and he mentored me the whole time. I was finally there. I was racing against the first motorcycle drag racer I had ever seen. Ken staged and I throttled my bike up ready for the green light.

I could feel my adrenaline course through my veins as my heart pumped. I breathed as calmly as my body would allow as all my muscles tensed in anticipation. The three yellow lights lit and I dropped the clutch. Before the bike even had a chance to react the green light flashed. The rear tire grabbed the sticky ground and the bike lurched forward.

My feet, barely touching the ground at this time, felt like they were jerked back as the bike jumped. I felt the wheelie bars slap the ground to prevent me from doing a back flip. Hanging on for dear life I squashed myself down against the tank. Everything turned into a blur as I took off like I had a rocket tied to my ass.

Found on web

I shifted into second gear and felt the wheelie bars roll behind me. My front tire only touched the ground briefly  as I changed gears and I felt the wheelie bars slap again. My vision focused down the track as I listened for the tone of the engine for the next gear change. I started to feel the wind push against me as I accelerated. I shifted into third gear and felt the bike settle back on both wheels.

As much as I wanted to look over for Ken, I knew that could be fatal. He was running a much faster bike and wouldn't leave for almost two seconds. Fourth gear came and I pressed myself tighter to the bike trying to merge myself to it. I focused on the finish line as it got closer; quickly! The RPM's increased at a slower rate with each gear change giving me time to think between them.

All the races of my past came to me. From the very first run on my Shadow where I pulled a huge wheelie. (This was after I said "Don't worry, I'm gonna take it easy." Then the light changed and a monster was born.) To the run on my Magna that I did for Bike Week. I rode a wheelie through first and second gear going the entire length of the stands. That was big crowd pleaser.

I passed 80 mph and I shifted into high gear. The cool air was pushing in through any opening I had as I shot past 90, then 100, quickly approaching my goal. The traps were right there. 110 came and went! I held my breath for the last 50 ft, waiting for Ken to pass me. I shot though the traps as Ken passed me. Who won? I couldn't tell. He passed me at the same moment that we crossed the finish line. It was a perfect match up for us.

Found on web

He had slowed down for me on the return road and we rode back side by side. I asked him if he beat me. "I don't know. That was a close one."

Time for that beer.

Like I did on this day, what ever you do...

Enjoy the journey...


Oh yeah, I won!

Question: What is the wildest thing you've done?

Friday, August 16, 2013

What are you doing this weekend? ~ What Adventures will it hold??

Yesterday morning I found this inspiring quote in my email - 

"To change one's life: 1. Start immediately.  2. Do it flamboyantly.  3.  No exceptions."  ~ William James 

(Thank you to Debra Lynn Dadd for sharing that!)

I like that! Thus I'll begin with a couple of thoughts on it -- First, I would have added exclamation points at the end of each of those 1, 2, 3...  Don't you think?  I mean really; those are important points if you are to do something really life changing!  So, noting that brought me to my next thought -- a question:  Who is William James?  Thank goodness for Googling! (Ummm... is that a verb now?  I'm thinking so.)

According to website "William James was an original thinker in and between the disciplines of physiology, psychology and philosopy."  Dr. James is often referred to as the "Father of Psychology" and it appears to me that he had an optimistic nature -- which I too embrace -- I have found MANY quotes by him online that are very inspiring!

He graduated from, and later taught at, Harvard University.  I found it fascinating to read the list of those whom he called family (Godfather:  Ralph Waldo Emerson)  friends (Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud...), as well as those he taught (Theodore Roosevelt, W.E.B. DuBois...)  I'll leave you to the adventure of 'Googling' his name yourself to find out more about the full life he lead.  I will share that he did much in his 68 years; in addition to his studies, teachings and writings he was an artist and an adventurer!!  According to Stanford "some of his greatest philosophical contributions" were made in the last ten years of his life!  How exciting is that?!!

Oh, back to the topic... whether you're nomadic, as we are, or residing in 'sticks n bricks' there's always something inviting about the weekend!  This weekend there seems to be much going on for us so I thought perhaps we would take a few minutes to share and make a few suggestions, at minimum 'plant a few seeds' to help you find some fun this weekend! After all you never know what it could lead to... perhaps an adventure?  Perhaps something life changing??

Go do something with someone you Love.

I know, I know... you're not traveling!  So what could be exciting around home?  I'm sure you've heard the term "staycation"? ... Oh, but you're saying "it sounds so boring"... We can relate and wrote about finding local adventure earlier this year in our post  "Been There! Done That!"  Perhaps it will inspire you!  In a recent post "Am I a Bad Parent? my hubby told you a bit about one of our hobbies, Geocaching!  We shared that this month is "31 Days of Geocaching" ... How many caches do you have thus far?  What's your goal?  We're aiming for 100 for the month!!  (Read about that on our previous post.)

Geodetic Center of North America (NAD27)

So perhaps log on to and find an event near you, this weekend, there's bound to be one!  Friday we'll be attending a Bluegrass event and enjoying ice cream sundaes, dropping off a Travel Bug and of course picking up a cache or two or THREE!!  On Saturday we'll be joining some 'new Caching friends' for "Tetanus Tacos" -- We'll have to get back to you on what they are exactly -- and yes, grabbing a few more 'finds!'

Have you ever been to Timbuctoo?

Something else that we have enjoyed from time to time along the way is locating Historical markers; an opportunistic addition to our "Roadschool" list, of things we do!  In mentioning that it's a perfect opportunity to say "Congrats!" to our friend Linda as this week marks the 10th birthday of her website ""!! Wow!! Time flies when you're snarfing!  What? What's "Snarfing?" take a look at her latest blog  and go from there -- More fun to be had... Along the way!!

Hopefully we've inspired you to at least a few thoughts toward an adventurous weekend -- So please do let us know ... What are you doing this weekend?  We'd love to hear all about your adventures and how you're...

Enjoying the journey!

Make it a great one!!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Am I a Bad Parent?

I pushed through the bushes and emerged from the side of the building.  "Hold it right there." I looked up and was blinded by two extremely bright flashlights. I stood there with my phone/GPSR in one hand and a small container in the other. Ian said from behind me, "What's going on Dad?"

"Turn around and walk backward to me." One of the two men said in a very direct voice.  Having worked in Law Enforcement in my past I knew immediately that I was in a bad, and not so safe, position at that very moment. "Ian, hold your hands out to your sides where they can be seen and do as your told." I said as I turned around with my hands spread apart. I saw a look of fear sweep over him. Ian was told to hold still.

While backing up all I could think was "I knew that caching here at night was a bad idea."  I was told to stop and put the things in my hands on the ground. I was then ordered to interlace my fingers and place them on my head. "Crap" I thought, "this is bad." I was handcuffed, rather roughly, and the same process happened to Ian. Then we were separated and questioned as to why we were there.

"We are Geocaching, Sir." The officer obviously didn't believe me as he looked at me with a slight frown on his face. I told him that my phone on the ground had an app that showed the cache that I was just retrieving. He looked over at the canister on the ground, that I had put down, and quickly spoke into his radio "Dispatch, Tach-2" and switched to another frequency. I thought "Oh CRAP!" "Dispatch, possible 10-89. Send bomb squad."

I then realized that the canister was a tube about 6 inches long and had a slight resemblance to a pipe bomb, as it sat in the grass in the dark. "N-n-no, no, no, wait!" I said "Th-that's not a bomb!  My son and I are Geocaching. It's a game. Someone hides a container and posts its GPS coordinates online and then we try to find it."

He wouldn't listen as he grabbed me and quickly drug me away from the cache. I saw my son being drug away also, getting us back to "Safety." This was turning into a fuster-cluck fast. "Geo-what?!" he asked after we were at a "safe" distance.  "Geocaching," and repeated my explanation. "If you look on my phone there is an app up that has a description of that Geocache."

He looked at me as if he were trying to read if I was telling the truth. "We are not touching anything until the bomb squad gets here" he said. Thinking back, I remembered a similar incident in Geoocaching history, I then asked, "Can you get online on your phone?"

The whole time all this was going on, my son was looking at me for some sort of solace. All I could do was to nod at him gently with my hands cuffed behind my back. Hoping he understood that everything would be okay; I returned my attention to the officer. "Go onto and you can see. There are thousands of caches all over the world."  In the background I heard sirens.  Dropping my head all I could think is "Can it get any worse?"

The next thing I know, I wake up. Whoa!  It was a dream!

We Geocache. We have been doing it for over eight years, though we have not done a lot in the last five years because I was going to school, working, cost of gas....etc.  But this month there is a special challenge going on for the entire month of August --  "31 Days of Geocaching" -- That is thirty one consecutive days of Geocaching.  You get a special 'e-souvenir' for each day that you participate.  (You will find it attached to your Profile.  Don't have one yet? Registration is Free for Basic Membership.)

So we decided it was time to start Caching again. We started off the first six days with one cache a day. After a couple of days of 'enjoying the hunt' ... we decided to break the month into five 'six day' increments and set some goals!  Thus, we will add one cache per day, per increment (five the first, six the second, and so on...) Since there are 31 days in the month that leaves an extra day (as 31 is not evenly divisible by six...)  the LAST day of the month we are planning to do TEN!! --- Bringing us to a whopping 100 cache finds for the month of August! We apparently, have lost our minds.

As for "Am I a Bad Parent?" (I hope you enjoyed the story... and yes, it really was fiction... It didn't happen.  Sorry.)  It is true, however, that we do a lot of Caching at night -- Just for fun! So is it bad that we take our son out for a bit of 'moonlit adventure' from time to time??  Nah! He'd just be on the Xbox anyway.  After all he IS a teenager.

Perhaps this month will be the beginning of an adventure or two... or three... or???  for you!!  Get out there! Go Caching!!!  But most of all, as always...

Enjoy the journey...