Friday, August 28, 2009

Playlist: Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Gloriana, Miley Cyrus and more.

Before I share with you the Top 10 tracks I’m listening to right now, according to article, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will once again host the 2009 CMA Awards on Wednesday, November 11 live on ABC.

I have to admit, last year was the first time I watched the CMA awards on televisions, however while I liked Carrie Underwood hosting the awards the show especially considering she is one of my favorite artists, I didn’t enjoy the awards show nor Brad Paisley co-hosting. I believe while I have never meet Brad Paisley, I think he is a talented artist and a nice guy, not an awards show host, I prefer Reba McEntire hosting hands down.

At one point during the telecast, I applauded Carrie Underwood for pushing him (Brad) a side and saying something like we are not doing that tonight. But I will say that I will keep an open mind when I watch this year’s CMA Awards in November, who knows, the first time for both Underwood and Paisley hosting was an experience for both them, maybe the second time around will be even more interesting.

So in honor of both Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood hosting the CMA’s I have included two of their songs below in what I am listening to right now.

1. Gloriana “Wild at Heart” - One of my favorite songs, music videos, watched them on the Today Show and is a ringtone on my cell phone.
2. Whitney Duncan “Skinny Dipping” – For some reason, this song has gotten into my head and I like the music video, although again, why the controversy?
3. Shea Fisher “Don’t Chase Me” – A new song that has a lot of meaning if you think about it – Dating life.
4. Miley Cyrus "The Climb" - Watched her on the Today Show, saw the Hannah Montana The Movie on DVD a few days ago and I like the music video, go figure.
5. Ashley Monroe “I Don’t Want To”
6. Brooks & Dunn “Proud of the house we built” – Sad to hear that Brooks & Dunn are calling it quits in 2010, but sometimes you have to move on in life, I wish them both well…good music guys.
7. Brad Paisley “Welcome To The Future”
8. Carrie Underwood “Get out of this town” – I tend to listen to Get out of this town when I am leaving town.
9. Kate Voegele “Manhattan from the sky ” – First heard Kate on One Tree Hill when she was singing “Manhattan from the sky”, what a cool song.
10. Martina McBride “Independence Day” – Did you know that Carrie Underwood sang this very song while she was on American Idol, I have both Martina McBride’s and Carrie Underwood’s versions on my MP3 Player.

So what 10 tracks are you listening too right now?

Speedlinking: Brad Keselowski, NFL vs. NASCAR, Cash for Clunkers & WWE RAW Guest Hosts?

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, for this edition of speedlinking, I have lined up four of this week’s hot topics in my eyes from the free agent of Brad Keselowski, Speedweeks in Daytona, WWE RAW Guest Hosts and of course the widely talked about Cash for Clunkers for you to read and me to talk about, blogging is giving your opinion, otherwise just reporting news, so let’s get started.

1. NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Brad Keselowski, one of the hottest talents currently running in the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports has made it known that he wants to move up to the Cup Series in 2010, however the question is, where? Rumor has it Brad is going to Penske Racing, but what about Hendrick or other options?

Personally the idea of Brad going to Penske Racing doesn’t sound too good to me, yes Penske is big, but that’s in IndyCars, not NASCAR. Brad needs a veteran driver to coach him a little bit like Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Tony Stewart or Ryan Newman, but at Penske while they have the resources, they lack that professor driver. The only options I see is one, run part-time in Cup while running full-time in Nationwide, two, Stewart-Haas Racing, three, Harvick leaves RCR and Brad into the #29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevy.

In my eyes, the same that I said for Penske is the same for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing (EGR), yes the #1 car is open, but no real help. I hope if Brad goes to Penske which is still unconfirmed, he gets the time he needs to succeed.

(Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images for NASCAR via NASCAR PR)

2. Speedweeks in Daytona is already too long as is for this tough economy, let along any economy, however due to a conflict with the Superbowl in Miami, NASCAR has moved its NASCAR qualifying back one day to create a triple header on Saturday, NASCAR Cup Series qualifying, ARCA Series and Budweiser Shootout. That should be some day on television.

3. Cash for Clunkers is over, the government program ended this past Monday night and according to Autoblog, “The final numbers are in and the program resulted in 700,000 sales totaling $2.877 billion in $3,500 and $4,500 vouchers handed out at dealerships across the nation.” Was Cash for Clunkers good or bad? I want to hear from my readers on that subject, I will be writing on this program next week.

4.. I’ve been a WWE fans since my days in college, about nine years ago and while I am not too much on some of it, I do enjoy Monday Night RAW and it’s rare for me to miss an episode. The fan base for the WWE is huge, so you can imagine that when the WWE introduced weekly guest hosts, celebrities are lining up to be one of them, so far Shaq, Entourage's Jeremy Piven and ZZ Top among others have guest hosted and it’s been a hit, at least in my eyes.

According to the TV Squad article, WWE unveils unlikely list of guest hosts for RAW which includes Bob Barker, Rev. Al Sharpton, Nancy O'Dell and LeBron James. LeBron James doesn’t both me nor does even Bob Barker, but Rev. Al Sharpton, that should be an interesting night as I don’t have a clue as to what hit he could make (with all due respect and no fun intended.)

What do you think?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Should the NASCAR Points System and the Chase for the Sprint Cup be updated?

One of the biggest hot topics in NASCAR since especially in 2004 when the chase was added, has been the NASCAR Points System and the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

When it comes to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points system, let alone NASCAR in general, the system that is in place is over 35 years old and for those people who believe in “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, well all I have to say is the current points system is broke and needs to be fixed.

Now this should be no surprise to some whether you are a fan, media or person in the garage area, the points system needs a few simple changes so everyone can follow it, it makes for better racing and its fair throughout the entire field.

Under the current (old) points system, drivers are rewarded more for consistence and not for going for the victory. The system needs to be able to reward for both, by giving drivers the chance of winning the championship even if they have a few of bad races.

Another issue within the current points system is; at any given NASCAR race, if there happens to be a wreck or “The Big One”, those drivers that were involved in the wreck, would go to the garage area and fix their cars. Once the car is fixed, those cars would then return to the racetrack several laps down, trying to maintain minimum speed and would drive around the racetrack trying to pick up positions, each position is worth at least 3 points. Sometimes, these drivers driving with damage would lose a piece from the car or get in the way that could result in another wreck, case in point, Talladega.

So after taking into account both factors and several more including how to reward before and during the chase, this is what I have come up with.

First and for most, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the concept of having two separate points systems, one for the 26-regular season and another for the chase isn’t right for NASCAR. I believe in making things simple and having two separate systems isn’t keeping it simple, plus having one system will keep everybody on an equal playing field, 36-races, one points system.
Second, the winner of each NASCAR race receives 150 points.

The runner-up in each event scores 130. From there, the point total declines in three-point increments for third place to 32nd place. The 33rd to 43rd or last-place driver, gets 33rd place points each. (Hopefully this keeps wrecked cars off the track and if a driver has a bad race, they don't loss as much and can still rebound.)

Bonus points, the simpler points system would still award bonus points after every race:

- 5 bonus points for leading a lap
- 5 bonus points for leading the most laps.
- 20 bonus points for winning a race.

Currently in 2009, the points system doesn’t really award for winning a race, but it should. I know that some NASCAR fans or media member especially wanted 50 bonus points, but I believe 20 bonus points would be a fair playing level. One thing, the 20 bonus points is for winning a race, and not to be confused with the 10 bonus points you get for a race win going into the chase.

What about the driver that leads the points after 26-races?
Every year since the chase for the Sprint Cup was put in place hasn’t awarded the point’s leader after 26 races, so how about giving 20 bonus points for winning the 26-race points standings. Those 20 points would count like two race wins in the first 26-races. So in addition to receiving 10 bonus points for each win in the 26-races before the chase, the points leader going into the chase would received 20 more points.

For example, using three drivers, but not 2009 stats, 1st in points is Tony Stewart who has two victories going into the chase, Jimmie Johnson who has three wins going into the season and Mark Martin who has five wins going into the chase, Mark Martin would be first with 50 bonus points, Tony Stewart would be second with 40 bonus points and -10 behind the leader and Jimmie Johnson would have 30 bonus points and would be -20 behind the leader.

The chase for the Cup?
First things first, I like the way the chase for the cup is setup right now.

- 10 bonus points for each win in the regular season works
- The reset for final 10-races with 12 drivers’ works
- No wild card entry
- 10-race chase works, not 12-race chase

I have heard the suggestion of a wild card entry that would be a driver with the most wins that is not already in the chase be admitted into the chase doesn’t work for me. The chase is about the best 12 drivers in the 26-race regular season that received the most points, hopefully by winning races and being consistence, NASCAR doesn’t need to reward a driver that has a few victories, but just had bad luck in the rest of the 26-races.

What races should be in the chase and who should host the final race of the season?
One of the biggest issues with the chase right now is, should NASCAR have all four types of racetracks represented in the chase that would be course races, superspeedway races, short track races and intermediate tracks. So I believe the following race should be in the chase:

In no particular order: 1. Infineon Raceway or another road course (Watkins Glen wouldn’t work), 2. Talladega (since Daytona isn’t moving a date), 3. California Speedway (that’s there one race of the season, got to make it good and under the lights), 4. Charlotte Motor Speedway, 5. Martinsville, 6. New Hampshire (with the COT, it’s a good race), 7. Texas Motor Speedway, 8. Phoenix International Raceway, 9. Dover and 10. Homestead.

As for the final race of the season, that one needs to be somewhere special. Remember NASCAR is business, NASCAR wants to be able to make money off of every race especially there crown jewel final race, so…

First and for most, no, to having Atlanta Motor Speedway as the final race, it use to be that way years ago, but weather was an issue and so was attendance.

So I’m about three racetracks, first is the current one, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Homestead is exciting, but they only hold around 65,000 seats. Second would be Las Vegas. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is more for business. Las Vegas isn’t a bad race to watch on television, but its location is prime. This would be LMVS’s only Cup Series race of the season.

Third would be my choice, Phoenix International Raceway. Phoenix is cool short type track, it’s not really a short track, but it shows racing like one and full of excitement. Phoenix already hosts triple headers and is the second to the last race of the season, so moving it shouldn’t be a problem and they have the weather.

What do you think?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Big Brother 11 heating up - Coup D’etat, Jessie, Chima & Lydia being evicted, what’s next?

Damn, this game can change in a heartbeat, the last time I write on Big Brother 11 was just over 33 days into the Big Brother 11 game where I talked about the first four evicted houseguests, what I thought of the high school cliques, the 13th houseguest and Ronnie had just been evicted, so where are we now.

After Ronnie’s eviction, some in the house took it one way, while others took it another way. At the same time, it was already time for another HOH competition where Chima won HOH and began her week’s reign. Naturally since Chima had already said a week or two before that that if she won HOH, she would put up Russell, Chima officially nominated Russell and Lydia.

Lydia and Jordon at that point where merely pones, someone to go on the block next to the real target for that week and maybe to ensure that the real target goes home, for this week it was Russell.

At the same time, Big Brother has already announced that America was voting to give one of the houseguests a new power, the Coup D’etat which I will get into a minute. The idea of a mystery power really didn’t sit too well with the houseguests, no one know exactly what the power details. Some HG’s speculated that it could remove only one nomination, others thought it was something completely different, but no one really know just how much damage this new power could cause.

At one point, most HG’s agreed that the power shouldn’t be used and made a pack, of course anybody who got that power would have used it in a heartbeat. Chima, the current HOH went so far as to say at the cameras a few threats to not only the Coup D’etat holder, but on the live show in general.

The fans voted overwhelmingly to give Jeff the Coup D’etat power.

What is the Coup D’etat and what does this Big Brother fan think about it?
The Coup D’etat is a game changing power that is nothing like whatever Big Brother has thrown at the houseguests before, whether it’s America’s Choice, America’s Player, playing as couples, playing in cliques, some kind of twist

The Coup D’etat power holder when used can overthrow the current HOH, replacing one or both of the HOH nominations with their own nominations on the spot at the time of eviction (before the vote). So for example what I was thinking before the Thursday night eviction, the holder Jeff could remove the two nominees and replace them with Natalie and Jessie which would be a game changing move.

Personally I am not a fan of this Coup D’etat power. Basically unlike the other twists, the Coup D’etat overthrows the current HOH. You have to understand something, each HOH competition is a battle between the remaining houseguest except the previous HOH and whoever wins the HOH should have the power to nominate who they want and almost get one of those two HG’s evicted. So no one else should have that power to overthrow the HOH and nominate who they want.

What would Jeff do with the Coup D’etat?
On Thursday night eviction show, now the Thursday night eviction show is normally live, however since Chima make a few threats about what she might/is going to do on the live show if the power is used including something with the CBS getting in trouble with the FCC, Big Brother decided to tape delay the show by from what I heard 4 hours. That move by Big Brother would pay off big as we later found out.

In watching the eviction show, I have to admit that I was sitting their hoping Jeff would use the Coup D’etat power to make a game changing power…and he surely didn’t disappoint. When Julie said would the Houseguest with the Coup D’etat power stand if they want to use it (I don’t remember the exact phase), Jeff stood and you could tell Jessie knew he was in trouble and Chima was living.

Jeff was first asked if he wanted to take Lydia from the block, Jeff said “yes”, he replaced her with Natalie, second would you like to take Russell off the block? Jeff said “yes”, he replaced him with Jessie. I had a feeling judging by the conversations in the backyard that Jeff had with Jordon that that was exactly what he was planning on doing.

Jeff put up the two most powerful players, perfect. Of course the end result was by a vote of 3-2, Jessie would be evicted from the Big Brother House. After Jessie’s evicted, Jeff said I kept my promise and Chima said "Looks like me and the producers need to have a little bit of a talk,"

Now I want to say something here and I know I will have a few people that hate this, but while I didn’t like the Coup D’etat power, first this game needed a blockbuster event to happen, something that would not only keep the fans interested, but shack the game up and it did. Second, as much as I don’t like Natalie, if she would have been evicted, it wouldn’t have sit well with me because it would have been a direct result of the Coup D’etat power.

I felt like the Coup D’etat power was overkill, however knowing I feel about the 13th houseguest, since Jessie (the 13th houseguest) was evicted, I was thrilled. In my opinion, I hated the 13th houseguest concept, I believe that Jessie had no business neither receiving a second chance at the Big Brother game nor being HOH the first time out. It made for an unfair advantage for the Athletes and in the end, America had a hand in getting him evicted because we gave the right person the power.

Following Jeff using the Coup D’etat power, the show later showed Chima going off on Jeff for using the power. I thought that was wrong, Jeff was given a chance to make a power move to benefit him, it’s not Jeff’s fault that the power was something new and so game changing, in my book, he had no choice but to use it, otherwise he was going home soon. If Chima had it, if Jessie had it, if Natalie or anyone else, they would have used it and don’t say you would have, perfect move by Jeff, hats off to you.

Words of the game, the guy [Jessie] is still alive, he got just evicted, amazing, they [Chima, Lydia and Natalie] didn’t cry over the other four houseguests who had been evicted.

What a power shift…
When a contractor builds a building with the columns below it that supports the entire building and someone cuts on column, you will begin to see cracks and in this case BB fans could start to see cracks in the power alliance (Jessie, Natalie, Chima and possibly Lydia) once Jessie was evicted.

Once Jessie was gone and Michelle had not only won the HOH, but nominated Chima and Natalie, the power began to shift from what was once a powerful alliance to the other side (the have not’s in some case) of the house which partly lead to what Big Brother called the self-destruction and eviction of a houseguest, yes Chima.

For the 3rd time in 11 seasons, Big Brother had to ask someone to leave the game, if Big Brother asks you to leave/expels/evictions you, you have done several things that is wrong and in this case, throw your microphone pack into the hot tub, will not go to diary room when called, put a sheet over a camera and so on, your done period.

I have to say once I read the CBS statement that said "Chima has been evicted by the producers from the Big Brother house for violating the rules. She will not be part of the show's jury. Her eviction will be addressed on an upcoming broadcast of the show", my first thoughts were goodbye, you were getting evicted anyway this week, next.

Well after Chima was evicted/asked to leave/expelled, Michelle’s HOH reign was over; she did what she wanted to do. I wasn’t entirely surprised that Big Brother decided to have another HOH competition later that week, because there was going to be a double-eviction on Thursday night anyway, so why not just move the HOH comp up a few days.

In the HOH competition, I have to say that Jeff threw the competition so Jordon could win and get a letter from home. That wasn’t the first Jeff threw up an HOH competition, in my opinion, it was a game move – Jeff doesn’t want to draw so much attention to himself.

With that move, Jordon would put up Lydia and Natalie on the block for eviction and after Jordon won the POV, kept the nominations the same, Lydia was evicted by a vote of 3-1.

What’s next in the Big Brother house?
Well, now its Jeff, Jordon and Michelle in an alliance with Russell as a wildcard and Kevin and Natalie on their own with really no alliances or deals, of course I wouldn’t be surprised to see Natalie and Kevin form an alliance. Whoever the HOH is this week, that person is going to have put somebody up and I think if Russell doesn’t get HOH (same for Natalie), Russell and Natalie will go up on the block.

I will leave you with this, I think the final two will be Jordon and Jeff with most likely Jordon winning Big Brother 11, do you agree?

Disclaimer: I know who the HOH is for this week, I watching last night’s BBAD feed and it showed the houseguests discussing who won HOH at length, but that persons HOH room.

Last three Big Brother 11 Articles:
1. What I think of the high school cliques and the 13th HG concept
2. What I think of the first four weeks, mainly being on who is evicted
3. What about the remaining houseguests?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What does President Barack Obama think of the Big Three in NASCAR and NASCAR in general?

Ever wonder what the President of the United States of America Barack Obama thinks about the Auto Industry (the Big Three) advertising in NASCAR as well as NASCAR in general, well yesterday those questions were answered.

Yesterday at the White House in Washington, D.C., was a historical day for NASCAR as the White House with the president Barack Obama honored some of past NASCAR’s champions in a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House.

A few of the past NASCAR Champions included Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte, Richard Petty, Kurt Busch, Dale Jarrett, Juan Pablo Montoya, Denny Hamlin and more were in attendance. Following the ceremony, the President joined NASCAR Now host Nicole Manske and ESPN NASCAR analyst Brad Daugherty for the live interview. Here is what the president had to say.

(Left to right) President Barack Obama and three-time defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson pose with the NASCAR Sprint Cup trophy during a ceremony honoring the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

We just saw you honoring Jimmie Johnson and the 2008 Chase for the Championship contenders. Why was this something that NASCAR and the White House decided to do?
President Obama - NASCAR is a quintessential American sport. I think that its fan base is now worldwide, but when you think about its roots, when you think about all the people who have such an attachment to the drivers, and when you think about the fact that right now the U.S. auto industry is going through a tough time, we wanted to make sure we highlight the fact that this is a great sport, is a great brand for not just NASCAR itself but also for America, and we thought it was a great opportunity to celebrate some champions.

Why is it important for the Big Three auto manufacturers to remain committed to NASCAR?
President Obama - I think that it’s about as good advertising as you can get. If somebody’s excited about NASCAR, that means they’re excited about cars. And we want to make sure that people know what great American cars are, and obviously it’s understandable at a time when GM has gone through some tough times, that they may need to cut back sponsorships briefly, but over the long term, if we look 5-10 years out, I think they’re going to come back stronger than ever, and I think their association with NASCAR makes a great difference.

We know you’re excellent at filling out your sports brackets. What about winning the Chase championship? Have you filled out that bracket?
President Obama - Well first of all I think it’s a little early. I think I’ve got to see a little more information before we make a final decision here. But obviously when you’ve got champions like Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, just a lot of folks who are capable of winning at any given time, so I’m not going to pretend like I can pick them, but maybe when we get right there down to the end, I’ll go ahead and take the punch.

You’re passionate about sports. Jimmie Johnson has won three consecutive championships - who in sports world can you compare this to?
President Obama - In terms of individual sports, you’ve got some folks like Tiger Woods, and Roger Federer in tennis, who have established dominance in their sport. Jimmie is somebody who obviously, and his whole team, knows what they’re doing and knows how to win. They’re going to have a lot more wins probably under their belt in the future. He looks like a pretty young guy. I saw him getting in and out of the 48 and I was thinking I would have strained something, broke something. He didn’t even tear his suit. That’s the least that would have happened to me – I would’ve had a big rip somewhere.

You were talking earlier about the family atmosphere in NASCAR. Why do you think NASCAR has become such a strong fabric in the American sports culture?
President Obama - I think part of it is what you described – that families can go to the track and they can see these great races and enjoy a good family event that lasts for awhile and it’s affordable. But part of it is also the fact that I think racing teams themselves are a family and it’s a reminder that the guy behind the wheel is not the only person involved in this thing. That it takes a pit crew, it takes the engineers back at the shop, and all of that contributes to the sense of community that is part of what makes this country strong.

It’s a long-standing tradition to have champions at the White House. The 2009 Cup champion - if you had to place a bet, who that would be?
President Obama - The key to making good predictions in sports is waiting until the last minute to make them. I’m two-for-two so far. I called the Steelers; I called the Tar Heels. I haven’t yet called the baseball season because I’m holding out hope that my White Sox might still have a chance. So you guys call me up right before the end of the race and I’ll let you know who I think is going to come out on top.

When are we going to get you to a race?
President Obama - I would love to do it. I was supposed to do it during the campaign but we just ended up having to travel too much and we weren’t able to devote the amount of time that I wanted to. Hopefully sometime during my presidency I’m going to get out there.

Source for quotes: ESPN

As not only a Car Enthusiast, but a NASCAR fan, I had always wondered just what President Obama thought about the Big Three advertising in NASCAR, let along what President Obama though of NASCAR in general.

I have to say I learned a few things yesterday when watching NASCAR Now from the White House on President Obama, first that President Obama supports the Big Three advertising or being in NASCAR. He even notices the importance of the Big Three being in NASCAR.

Personally I am a firmly believe in the slogan “Win (or Race) on Sunday, Sell on Monday”. The automaker’s being in NASCAR does sell cars, but NASCAR does need to do more like fixing the COT racecar and upgrading the engine to at least fuel injection, if not E85, Ethanol or Diesel fuel. I think Diesel fuel is more for cars, then Motorsports because the United States can’t produce enough for consumers.

Those comments explained why President Obama didn’t demand GM or Chrysler get out of NASCAR as it was rumored to be months ago during the both of the two automakers bankruptcy proceedings.

As for the chase for the Sprint Cup, well even though he didn’t pick a driver to win the championship, personally I still believe that Jimmie Johnson is going to win his fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, but he will have to hold off the pressure from the current points leader Tony Stewart, the kid Mark Martin (if he can get into the chase) and the drive for five Jeff Gordon. It’s interesting that the top contenders for the Sprint Cup are all running basically the same equipment (Hendrick Motorsports).

Well what do you think about the President’s comments?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Richard Petty's 1984 Pontiac at Daytona and "Richard Petty: The Crowning Achievement" video series.

Welcome back ladies and gentleman, one thing that I like to do is see footage and interviews of a historical win in NASCAR history. So with the help of Edelman PR I am going to introduce you to a three part video series of Richard Petty’s Crowning Achievement.

The Richard Petty Crowning Achievement video series focuses on the King’s career and his historic 200th win in the 1984 Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway which includes exclusive footage and interviews with the King himself.

In part 1 (below), Richard Petty reflects on scoring his record-setting win in front of President Ronald Reagan.

Part 2 details Richard Petty talking about the perfect storm that led to his making sports history.” And finally in part 3, experience Richard Petty’s 25th anniversary celebration at Daytona and get behind the wheel with him as he takes a lap around the famous track.

Richard Petty is one of the greatest NASCAR drivers in history with 7 NASCAR championships, 200 wins, the 200 wins is a record that in my opinion no one is going to break in years to come and 1,184 starts over 35 years.

The pictures (below) are of the #43 STP Pontiac (replica) Richard Petty:

First photo (above) taking a lap his #43 STP Pontiac racecar around the famous Daytona International Speedway before the running of the 2009 Coke Zero 400 (formerly the Firecracker 400) at Daytona. Second photo (below) on pit road at Daytona International Speedway before the race.

(Both #43 Petty Photos and Video Credit: MATTER, Edelman Sports & Entertainment Marketing)

Playlist: – Gloriana, Taylor Swift, Reba and more.

Music is a big part of my life. In a world filled with everyday drama, excitement, life’s weird turns and in search of happiness, there are very few things in life that in one way or another relaxes me or gets me going, let alone acts as good therapy for everyday life. Writing is one and two is listening to great music. And if that isn’t reason enough for you, I also believe that some of my reader would find it interesting to see what songs I am listening too right now.

So here is what I am listening too and yes this time is all country music:

1. Whitney Duncan “Skinny Dipping” – Hot music video, but not as controversial as some people believe it is.
2. Kate & Kacey “Dreaming Love”
3. Taylor Swift “Love Story” for her Fearless CD – One of my favorite sings from one beautiful and sexy woman.
4. Gloriana “The Way it Goes”
5. Reba “Strange” from her new CD called Keep on Loving You
6. Katie Armiger “Gone” – Katie just finished up with her Simon Mall tour, judging by the pictures on her MySpace page, the tour was a big success and it was featured on the GAC Top 20 Countdown.
7. Sara Darling “Jack of Hearts”
8. Shania Twain “That Don’t Impress Me Much” – I am actually watching the music video of it on my on demand service, now that’s hot and it’s from 1998.
9. Rascal Flatts “Summer Nights”
10. Martina McBride “I Just Call You Mine”

So what 10 tracks are you listening too right now?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Out of nowhere: Brad Keselowski wins CarFax 250 at Michigan & ESPN2 has all champions in booth.

Earlier today at Michigan International Speedway, there was a shack up going on in the ESPN TV Broadcast booth. Gone is the play by play announcer (sort of speck) and in is four NASCAR champions doing what I call a round table discussion while watching/covering the NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

Speaking on the round table discussion in the TV booth for a moment, normally when I watch either the Nationwide Series or the Cup Series ESPN TV Broadcasts, it looks like its scripted coverage.

ESPN, one thing you must remember is, “NASCAR races are NOT scripted, no one knows the outcome, yes not even NASCAR. “ So with that said, earlier today’s race was a welcome change, change in some ways is good and this was better.

The whole concept of covering events: whether it’s a sports event, a concert or in this case a NASCAR race is to show the entire thing and not favor one person or in the case of racing the lead battle only. NASCAR fans want to watch the entire race, know what is going on through the entire field.

Full field rundowns are a great thing. In NASCAR especially, fans route for different drivers, I am a fan of Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart. I also like to see how the rest of Hendrick Motorsports as well as Roush-Fenway Racing are doing throughout the race.

Fans want to see battles throughout the field and at least a through the field on how each driver is doing every 100 miles, the driver -- are lose, tight, did they take tires on the last pit stop and not just who is leading or who is in the top 5 or what Kyle Busch is doing. Sometimes I will look at the results following the race and see a driver on the list and say, where was that driver all day long…he wasn’t covered, he wasn’t on television.

While the round table discussion (that was a welcome change, of course three champions might have been better) was going on in the booth, the action was heating up on the racetrack in the CarFax 250 from the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Normally a 2 mile d-shaped oval – Michigan International Speedway is known for boring, long, drawn out, single file racing that sometimes has a few moments of excitement, well this was one of those days. But with every long and drawn out race, especially in the middle of the race comes an interesting finish and today had just that surprise ending.

A race is broken down into three parts, first the start, second the middle and third the finish. In the case of most races, the fans know that the start and the finish are going to be the most exciting and it was. As one NASCAR fan said to me, “it’s about two hours of long and drawn out racing followed by 5 minutes of excitement.”

So that brings us to earlier today’s final laps. After the final double-file restart (double-file restarts are cool to watch, fans want side-by-side racing and to be able to follow who is racing who), two drivers got out front, Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch.

Busch and Vickers battled back and forth for the lead. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski was closing on the lead two-car pack. Vickers had the lead and was trying just about everything to stay in front, block Busch on track. And then it happened, coming to the white flag, Vickers came off the corner lose and pushed Busch (who had a run off turn 4) all the way to the grass. What a block, I thought Vickers was going to run Busch into the grass and wreck him.

Keselowski had a head of stream and on the outside, made it three wide for the lead going into turn 1. Vickers was still all over Busch (and not knowing Keselowski was there), Keselowski made his move, grabbing the lead off turn 2.

Brad Keselowski would go on, holding off both Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch to win the CarFax 250, his first victory at Michigan International Speedway and in of his hometown fans.

What a finish and he most fans who were watching the race (including me) thought this race was going to be a 1-2 Toyota finish and Toyota would have their first Michigan win, however it wasn’t going to be. I don’t know what Brian Vickers was thinking, but he cosseted Toyota there victory by trying to take out Busch in the final laps.

After the race, while Keselowski was “speechless” in victory lane after the win saying “Oh my God, I won at home", "I'm terrible here [Michigan], and to win here is a major accomplishment. It's so cool to win in front of your hometown fans.", on pit road, Kyle Busch was pissed, he slid his car right in front of Vickers Toyota (almost hitting a NASCAR official) to get out and tell Vickers what he thought. Busch said what he said in Vickers window and walked away. Vickers got out and went after Busch…personally I waiting for a fight.

I personally loved the comments after the race, Kyle Busch said "I'm sure I'm complaining and I'm whining and I'm a crybaby, but that's uncalled for," Busch said. "That's just stupid. I would have ran my own line instead of giving it to the third-place car and battle it out between the top two who deserved to win and deserved to battle the race out at the end. He [Keselowski] didn't deserve to win."

Busch had every right to be upset, Vickers was just stupid with forcing Busch down to the grass, but Busch was wrong, Keselowski was smart, stayed out of the mess and deserved to win the race.

Then Brian Vickers responded by saying "I am so sorry. I forgot it was the Kyle Busch show. I thought we were out there racing for the win. I thought it was my job to hold him off - maybe not.”

"He came over to the car after he knocked our fender in and started crying like a little baby. I asked him if he would just give me a minute to get out, we could talk about it like men. If he wanted to fight, that's fine with me. As soon as I got out, he ran off." – Comments from ESPN2 TV broadcast and the SceneDaily article. I used the Scene Daily to check the comments, good job.

What a race and as I said on Twitter after the race “Congrats to Brad for winning the NASCAR Nationwide race -- while Vickers tries to wreck Busch, to finish 2-3. Chevy wins, Toyota 2nd again.”

At his hometown track, Michigan-native Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 88 GoDaddy Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag as he crosses the start finish/line ahead of Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 32 Dollar General Stores Toyota, to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series CARFAX 250 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images via

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The NASCAR Pocono and Watkins Glen Debate: 1000 miles at Pocono to rain tires on Cup cars?

In the past two weeks, NASCAR has had to postpone both the Pocono and Watkins Glen NASCAR Cup Series races due to rain and run the race on the next day (Monday), this has touched off a debate with the media and fans asking about 1000 miles at Pocono and rain tires in the Cup Series.

First, two weeks ago, the Cup Series was racing at Pocono Raceway. The weather on Sunday turned into spotty showers and as the result of so much rain in the days before, water started coming up through the cracks in the racetrack, so NASCAR was forced to postpone the race until Monday.

On a sunny Monday, NASCAR fans that not only came out to the race, but those who were watching on television, saw a good race. This NASCAR fan at one point during the race even asked, we are racing at Pocono Raceway right? Normally racing Pocono isn’t all that exciting. The 500 miles at Pocono is more like an endurance race than anything else, its long and drawn out, however in 2009, the racing has changed for the better.

Now I am not saying that the racing at Pocono is like racing at Richmond, but its getting better, fans saw passing, side-by-side racing and drivers making their way from the back of the field to the front, which is in no way easy to do.

I was surprised with Jimmie Johnson and the #48 team, I still don’t know what happened to that engine, either spark plug or something, but even after going two laps down, the #48 team stayed focused, fixed the problem and rallied back to finish 13. That is what championships are made of.

At in the end, an emotional Denny Hamlin, who just lost his grandmother battled his way to the front to win the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500, his first win in 2009. Now I am not a Denny Hamlin fan, but even I was a little emotional too, I know what it feels like to lose a grandmother, I lost mine just before mother’s day weekend. Congratulations to Denny Hamlin on winning the race.

Should NASCAR be running 1,000 miles at Pocono Raceway? There are really two ways to attack this issue considering I don’t want to see NASCAR completely remove Pocono Raceway from the NASCAR schedule. First, at the very least, NASCAR should shorten both races. Like I said, 500 miles is an endurance race, 400 miles would make sense and it might be more entertaining to watch.

Second would be not only shortening the race to 400 miles, but go to just one race period. The idea of one race per racetrack (with a few exceptions) is still a good idea and in this tough economy, is an idea that is worth exploring.

After racing at Pocono Raceway, the teams had a short time to turn around and go due north to Watkins Glen International. Well, wouldn’t you know it, that short week would turn into another Sunday off once again, this time for a big storm that moved through just as the Cup Series cars were about to roll off. NASCAR decided not to have the cup cars on-track if this storm hit and I don’t blame them one bit that was the right call.

So once again the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series would find themselves running on Monday, this time for the Heluva Good! at The Glen. Road course is exciting to me, Watkins Glen is different from Sonoma, Sonoma isn’t a fast track, its more left handers then right and has more tight corners, Watkins Glen is a faster, mainly right hand turns road course that is setup in a cool way. I think the race is too short though. I like road course racing because it’s a different challenge from ovals, it’s turning left and right while shifting gears several times a lap.

On Monday, fans once again saw a good race, the race really wasn’t dominated by anyone driver. While I was watching the race at home on television, I was also following the race on Twitter and I have to say, there were a lot of people on there. The comments were on not only the race itself, but some getting upset with the ESPN coverage and no online streaming video, were is Race Buddy when you need him.

Here are some of the tweets that I wrote or replied to during the race:

“Watching the Cup Series race on TV from Watkins Glen...loving it that the announcers don't understand #47 pit strategy, it’s a 2 stop race.”

“Damn, Dale Jr. said no brakes going into turn 10, takes #43 with him into the gravel trap, what a hard hit, #43 drives away.”

“POLL: How is ESPN doing in broadcasting NASCAR not only from Watkins Glen, but in general? Personally I prefer FOX or even TNT”

@4wide “That’s a good thing that Ambrose was all over Busch, finally a driver to rattle Busch's cage.”

@mw55 “Ambrose looks like he is trying to do both, but looking more like he is trying to catch Stewart with 2 laps to go.”

“Good job Tony Stewart, he wins at Watkins Glen over a great second place effect by Marcos Ambrose. That's 1-2 in my WindTunnel 7.”

I don’t always tweet during a NASCAR race, but I wanted to not only see what others were saying about the race, but join into the conversation, it’s a cool tool that in this case gives me point of view, information from NASCAR and interactions with others. (Follow @RaceDriven on Twitter)

Anyway like I said, what race from multi-lead changes, Marcos Ambrose battling with Kyle Busch to Tony Stewart holding off a hard charging Marcos Ambrose to win at the Glen. I don’t know what it is about smoke, but him co-owning his own team has done him good and what a racer he is so far in 2009, I just have to wonder, what will he do in the chase?

Why isn’t NASCAR running rain tires in the Cup Series? You know, I don’t believe the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Cup cars should be running rain tires at all. I understand that they once have not only in Japan, but at Watkins Glen years ago, but there is something with the Cup Series COT car that would make it unsafe. Right now, the drivers are having a tough enough time trying to handle these cars in the dry, I can’t even imagine what the racing would be like in the wet, I believe it would be just to dangerous.

This is an area that NASCAR needs to just walk away from, at least until NASCAR and teams find ways to deal with this COT car period. Safety is number 1 in this sport and so are the fans.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Video: Taylor Swift pranks Keith Urban during a performance dressed as KISS Band.

According to the article, Last Saturday night in Kansas City, MO, Taylor Swift joined Keith Urban for what was her final stop on his 2009 Escape Together World Tour. To make sure she left a lasting impression, Taylor and her bandmates schemed a plan to prank Keith during his performance of "Kiss A Girl." – (Read article)

In watching the video below that was uploaded to Keith Urban's Official YouTube Channel, Taylor Swift and her band invaded the stage during the song “Kiss a Girl” dressed as the band KISS. I wish I had been there to see this one, from the video, it was priceless. At one point Keith Urban even looked shocked and even just started to laugh, but continued with the song. Even Taylor Swift was singing the song and saying “I want to kiss a girl”, all in good fun of course, but like the article says, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this video is worth a million more.”

From this Taylor Swift fan (Congratulations Taylor on winning Two Teen Choice Awards) and I like Keith Urban’s music, I loved it that was cool to see, what do you think?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Was Ambrose’s move on Busch in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Watkins Glen race aggressive or a bad move?

Marcos Ambrose saves the NASCAR Nationwide Series Watkins Glen race from being another (Kyle) Busch Series show.

It’s a Saturday afternoon country drive at the southern tip of Seneca Lake, Watkins Glen International for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at The Glen race.

I have to say that for the most part I enjoy watching racing not only on most ovals, but on the road courses as well and when it comes to Watkins Glen, over the last few years, the racing has gotten even better and aggressive.

Specking of aggressive driving, that seems to be the topic of conversation following one interesting and exciting Watkins Glen Nationwide Series race where the NASCAR Cup Series regulars Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Marcos Ambrose lead most of the laps on Saturday.

However the real action happened in the final 30 laps, the battle up front heated up when Kyle Busch and Marcos Ambrose started to pull away from third place Denny Hamlin and the rest of the field.

But with 19 laps to, Marcos Ambrose saw the perfect opportunity to make his move on the leader Kyle Busch, coming down the back straightaway towards the interloop (the bus stop). Ambrose moved to inside of Busch and dive bombed into the interloop, the move caused Busch to make a sharp left turn and skip the interloop, in turn, he had stop at the end of the interloop in order not to get penalized and then rejoin the racetrack.

Following that move, Marcos Ambrose would hold-off Kyle Busch in the late stages of the race to pickup his second straight victory at Watkins Glen in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Ambrose said in victory lane: "I just didn't quite have the top-end speed to make a classic pass on him," said Ambrose, who won in his only start in the series this year. "I knew I was going to have to bomb him somewhere to get the win. He wasn't going to make a mistake on his own. I was going to have to force one on him.”

"It's Kyle Busch we're talking about, and he's going to race you hard, and so I just tried to throw the element of surprise in. I came from a fair way back -- about a length-and-a-half back on him -- and just bombed up in there. I knew that it was a high-risk move, but it was one that was needed to be made to try to win the race. We're not here to come second. We're here to win, and I had that mindset all weekend."

"You're racing against one of the best in the business," Ambrose said. "The element of surprise was my attack. He clearly reacted late to me coming on the inside there. I don't know what he's got to complain about."

Kyle Busch: "I wouldn't have made it, because I would have wrecked," said Busch, who expanded his series points lead over second-place Edwards to 212 points. I think we would have wrecked if one of the cars didn't give, (and) I was the car that gave. I don't think it was a fair move. It won him the race. He had to do something. “

"Yay for him. Good job -- whatever. I wouldn't have been able to it. I would have wadded my stuff up."

Carl Edwards: "Marcos knows more about road racing than all of us," Edwards said. "I wasn't happy that he moved me out of the way into (Turn) 1 earlier (after a restart on Lap 48), but he apologized for it and I believe him.

"I saw replays of it (the pass into the bus stop) on the big screen when we were driving around, and it looked like just a pass. If I could have put my car in that position, I sure would have. I think anybody out there would have." – Ambrose, Busch, and Edwards quotes above from NNS Recap.

Personally the way I see it is, Marcos Ambrose is not the first driver to make this move at Watkins Glen going into the interloop nor for that matter turn 1 and it will not be the last time neither. A few years ago, Robby Gordon made an even more aggressive move in a Busch Series race on Kurt Busch, but in that case, Kurt Busch won the race.

Bud while the move was an aggressive move, a dive bomb move, it wasn't a bad move to make for position and so long as Ambrose didn't make contact (which he didn't make contact with Busch), then the move isn't bad. These dive bomb moves especially at Watkins Glen will be happening for years to come.

I will also say that if this was reversed, we would still be having the same conversation today and I would still be saying the same thing. If they both would have wrecked, then it would have been saying it was Ambrose’s fault, but in the same right, Busch did go in a little bit hot (of course I believe Busch when he said he didn't see him coming) and there might have been enough room to go in two wide without wrecking, drivers have gone through the bus stop two wide before and not wrecked.

As for Kyle Busch saying he wouldn't have made the same move, I don't think so at all. After watching Kyle Busch's driving in all three NASCAR Series over the last couple of years, not to mention after listening to his comments on winning vs. second place, let alone losing, he would have made the same move. And so would have most of the drivers in that race, and I wouldn't be surprised to see similar moves in the Cup Series or Grand-Am race too. He (Busch) can say what he will about that he wouldn't have made that move if he was that position, but I believe he would have hands down.

So what do you think, was Marcos Ambrose’s move on Kyle Busch in the race with 19 laps to go going into the interloop (the bus stop) aggressive or a bad move?

Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #47 STP Toyota, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the # 18 NOS Toyota and Carl Edwards, driver of the #60 Save a Lot Ford, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International on Saturday in Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR via

What do you think about Joe Gibbs Racing cutting up Kyle Busch's Nashville trophy Gibson Guitar?

Video of Joe Gibbs Racing cutting up the Gibson Guitar
has been removed -- Video now marked private.

Here are my comments that I wrote a few days after the race here on RaceDriven:
Last Saturday night was shaping up to be just like so many NASCAR Nationwide Series races, Kyle Busch leading the race and in most cases dominating the race, the ESPN announcers cheering him on as they are part of his fan club, the fans waiting for just about anything to happen, the TV Broadcast following the too early to cover points fight between Busch and Edwards, but no one covering the a driver’s car on fire heading into the garage and of course Kyle Busch winning the race.

So what the headline, well leave to Kyle Busch to make a statement in his car that everyone was going to get a piece of that guitar, that’s not a bad thing to say neither that crew deserves a lot of credit, and yes they do, NASCAR is a team sport, not driver only, however no one was expecting Kyle Busch to take the trophy, a beautiful Gibson Guitar painted up that any driver would love to win and smashes it on the ground in victory lane and give pieces of it to his crew. It should be said that unbelievably Kyle Busch asked Sam Bass and Gibson if he could smash it and from what I understand according to Kyle they approved it.

Personally, a trophy that you receive by inning a race such as the Daytona 500, the Southern 500, Indianapolis 500, a Martinsville Cup Series race to a Nashville Nationwide Series race deserves respect, it says you won the race, first to cross the finish line, and with the competition so competitive, races are hard to win these days and that trophy a perfect way to cap off a good race day for the driver, the team not only at the racetrack, but back at the show, the owner, the sponsors and all the people that make it possible, so if a driver smashing a trophy whether it’s a Gibson Guitar or a grandfather clock from Martinsville Speedway, that to me is disrespectful.

I understand that the trophy in this case is Kyle Busch’s, but that’s still disrespectful.
Here is what Kyle Busch and Sam Bass said in the Nationwide Victory Lane interview from

Kyle Busch said: “We had a good day that went smooth today and we didn’t have any issues, you know we have had smooth days that were going great the past few weeks, just at the end it comes to something taking us away. So it was relief today, I mean I was actually nervous coming down to the end of the race because I wasn’t sure, something might happen. You never know, it would just be a never-ending saga really. But finally we were able to knock the monkey off the back and get a win here, for me especially to get my first Nationwide Series win at Nashville and my second guitar I won an archer race here, it’s been a long time since that day and it was very cool. “

Now the winner at Nashville always gets a custom painted Gibson guitar that every driver takes great care to get home safely. That is until Busch, who took out his acts in victory lane and did his best impression, of a rock star.

Busch: Yeah, I always said if I win here man I’d smash that thing. So I had to stick to my word man it’s karma or something I guess. So I won here so I tried to smash it up. Ozzy (Osbourne)’s done it right? I think Ozzy’s done it too; I think KISS has even done it. I mean everybody’s done it except racecar drivers. All them sorry saps they take it home in one piece and put it on the shelf. I’ll break that thing up and spread it among the team so everybody’s got a piece. He’ll have to do that by cutting it up with a saw because the man who customized the guitar, artist Sam Bass pointed out.

Sam Bass: “That shows what a quality product Gibson makes. Because that guitar did not break, the neck did not break in a half and it’s probably still playable if you plugged it in.” - Thanks
The smashing of the guitar has gotten a lot of fans attention, most fans are calling this disrespect, while others are defending him, so what is your opinion on Kyle Busch smashing the Gibson Guitar?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Big Brother 11: My Take on the first 33 days – Part Three

Before I continue, I want to say that keep in mind, I’m not bashing anybodies personal life or life outside the house, this article strictly talks about each HG’s game play, think of it as characters in a movie or TV Series.

After part one, my thoughts on the high school cliques and the 13th houseguests, part two, the first four weeks and who is evicted. Welcome to part three, what about the remaining houseguests?

Let’s start with the alliance of Jessie, Natalie, Chima and Russell. These four use to be a strong six in the house, however Ronnie was one, of course he was playing both sides, but voted with them and Lydia had a fight with Natalie over Jessie and has since found a new alliance.

When it comes to Jessie and taking into to account that he was handed HOH in week 1 and won HOH in week 3, one blogger said it the best, somebody has been teaching Jessie how to play Big Brother over the winter and that person is right too, first other then Jessie holding court up in the HOH room in the first and third week, he has been laying low and that is a good strategy. You every notice that when a fight brakes out, Jessie is absent, that’s exactly what he needs to do, but he is a big threat to win the game.

Natalie is playing more of a follow the leader with a big mouth type game. At one point, I thought she was joined at the hip with Jessie for the first three weeks at least. Since she is in an alliance, mainly due to the high school cliques, she is in good shape for now, but seriously doubt her making it to the final four, and with that, I wonder if it wasn’t for the cliques and the twist of Jessie, where would her game be? Seriously think about that one, these cliques in my opinion benefited her the most hands down.

Chima, who is currently the HOH (week 5) is another one that is allied with the right people right now for the way this game Is going. Her big blowout with Russell didn’t help much and since she is HOH, I wouldn’t be surprised if she puts him up on the block considering that is what she said she would do if she became HOH. However I think Jessie and Natalie will have a say in that and recommend Michelle, Lydia or Kevin for eviction instead. After her comments in week 1 and the fight last week, somebody will nominate her and try to get her evicted.

Russell is nothing more than a loss cannon that while he can play the game, doesn’t know when to lay low and shut his mouth. Survival tip #1 in the Big Brother house, your mouth will get you in trouble, she don’t speak out yelling at people if you can. He was HOH last week and nominated Ronnie last week.

On the other side of the house, you have Jeff and Jordon in an alliance, Michelle alone and Lydia and Kevin in an alliance.

Now of course we enter the new power, the Coup D’etat. The Coup D’etat always America’s Choice that being Jeff to over throw the HOH and on the spot at the live eviction change the nominations to what he wants and that brings me to America’s choice to win the Coup D’etat, Jeff.

I could think of a better person, when Julie was about the announce the Coup D’etat, I thought for sure America had given it to Ronnie or Jessie, but I have to say that while I voted 10 times for Jeff, it was a long shot, a long shot that worked out.

So what about Jeff? Jeff is playing a good game right now, he plays the game about as straight up as you possibly can in the big brother house with the Coup D’etat, he and Jordon is safe this week, at least I sure hope so. So since Jeff is in an alliance with Jordon that brings me to Jordon.

I haven’t been really able to figure out Jordon’s game yet, except that while she was trying to lay low for the first half of the game, she has been on the block for two straight weeks as pone. Pones normally go home in big Brother, but so far this season, it has been anything but. I have been watching Jeff and Jordon, what a combo these two make and no I don’t see this as a showmance.

Now we come to the floaters in the house for sure, first being Michelle. Michelle is a huge target and chances are she will go up in the next week or two depending upon who wins HOH. Michelle has been involved in a few fights and while she does speck a lot, I still don’t see some of what the other HG’s call her lies.

Second is Lydia, she once was in an alliance with Jessie, Natalie, Chima and Russell, but since last week has left to form an alliance with Kevin. She is on Chima’s radar and could be a target this week too.

There is a lot more to Lydia then even I thought, but you really have to get past the appearance (the shell) to see what she is truly all about.

Finally you have they quite Kevin, need I say more.

Now I wonder, who will the new HOH Chima nominate for eviction and will Jeff use the Coup D’etat? Simply put, I wouldn’t say Russell since he is in the alliance with her, Natalie and Jessie, so Michelle might be a target alone with Lydia for sure and maybe Kevin. I’m thinking that Jeff and Jordon maybe safe this week because the four alliance (HOH Chima) doesn’t think they are strong right now in the house.

As for the Coup D’etat, I think if he and/or Jordon get on the block, he will use it and replace the nominations with Natalie and Jessie. However if never one of them or even Russell is on the block, he will not draw attention to himself and let the power expire, that would be a good strategy move.

Big Brother 11: My Take on the first 33 days – Part Two

Before I continue, I want to say that keep in mind, I’m not bashing anybodies personal life or life outside the house, this article strictly talks about each HG’s game play, think of it as characters in a movie or TV Series.

After part one, my thoughts on the high school cliques and the 13th houseguests, welcome to part two, the first four weeks and who is evicted.

Big Brother season 11 is now 33 days into game and I have to say, from day 1, unlike past seasons of Big Brother except for Season 10 winter edition when each houseguest played as couples, these houseguests where already playing the game in full force and it didn’t take long for the backstabbing to start.

Let’s start with week 1, #13: Braden – Evicted Week 1: In beginning the first houseguest to be evicted, BB fans including me didn’t get to know Braden all that much. It was really too early for him to go home, he wasn’t playing a huge game, just sort of floating through the first week.

However simply what got him evicted was a over cautions HOH Jessie and Braden’s mouth once he got up on the block, considered he was backdoored. Braden went off on Lydia after she went off on him, but he said a few words (that if he didn’t, he might have had a fighting chance to stay) to Lydia and that was it.

Of course I am going to say that in my mind, Chima put herself on the map as she was the pone on the block, but more for her speech before they voted, that was uncalled for, granted Braden shouldn’t have said what he said, but she shouldn’t of said it, she should be evicted after that one. BTW: the vote was tied at 5-5, so Jessie the HOH evicted him, a lot of people believed that Braden didn’t deserve to go home and that Chima would be a better choice.

#12: Laura – Evicted Week 2: With Ronnie as the HOH, I really don’t understand why he targeted Laura of all people in the house, yes she spoke her mind and tried to expose Ronnie for the lie he has told and not voting out Chima when he said he would, but Russell would have been the better choice.

Unfortunately for Laura, she got on Ronnie radar and his alliance’s radar and that was it. Personally Laura didn’t have a big game going, she wasn’t really in an alliance with anyone, it was a waste for Ronnie to put her out. The thought was to backdoor Russell and he should have done it, now Ronnie is paying the price, I will talk about that more under Ronnie.

I would like to see Laura come back into the house in another season, there is more to her then just beauty, she might be a big contender to win in a future big brother game.

#11: Casey – Evicted Week 3: Casey man, oh boy, nice guy in the house, tried a good strategy to keep his mouth shut, but just couldn’t and when you combine that with a telling Natalie to Jessie moves, the HOH Jessie decided to go against the house and instead of backdooring Ronnie, he backdoored Casey. Casey didn’t go down without a fight and Jessie did lie to him and broke deal with him, but welcome to Big Brother and what goes around, most likely will come around.

For Casey, I was sort to see him go, but two good things, first he got his business DJ Mingle Mixx (yes I gave him a plug, he was good in the game) on television (mainly Showtime) and he gets to go back to his family and his one year old.

#10: Ronnie – Evicted Week 4: Ronnie basically said this is a game, he is playing a game, well when you lie to people in this house, your screwed and chances are, you will be evicted soon. This past week was a tough week to watch in some ways from the endurance competition in the backyard being decided by a hand shack and Russell winning HOH after 3 and a ½ hours hanging out, the deal was to put up Ronnie and not Jeff or Jordon to Ronnie talking and going after Michelle, but what an outcome, Ronnie evicted by a vote of 4-3. Jessie, Natalie and Chima voted to keep Ronnie, not a good move in my opinion.

A few notes from week 4, I wasn’t surprised that Russell put up Ronnie vs. Lydia, Lydia has been talking in this house too and a few HG’s want her out.

If that isn’t enough for you (or the houseguests), rewind to this past Tuesday night where he was involved in a huge fight or words with Kevin. Yeah Kevin can fight and he did, he got into it with Ronnie hard, I don’t know what started it, but Ronnie said he might not be going home and that he has the power (HG’s don’t know what the power is, only that it is a game changer, but fans know it as the “Coup D’etat”, however voting ended Wednesday night I believe and he said he had it Tuesday night, what a bluff, but after the fight, he was pretty much gone, although I thought I heard Natalie defending him and saying he has never lied to her.

What about the remaining houseguests? Look for part three later tonight…

Monday, August 3, 2009

X Games Rally: Kenny Brack in a Ford Fiesta wins over Travis Pastrana in a Subaru impreza.

(Photo Source: Flickr)

Yesterday afternoon I watched the X Games featuring the Rally cars competing both in the eliminations and the finals and boy was that exciting.

I had watched the X-Games Bikes (I Believe) on Saturday and I was wondering just what the Rally course the next day was going to look like and what a layout it was just in looking at the course inside the Home Depot Center in California the next day.

I mean there is nothing like this course, starting right from the start/finish line, each driver goes there separate way with one going over the big jump and up the ramp to the outside of the area while the other driver goes around the course, up another ramp or so and outside to the back of the arena to only meant up with other driver and race side-by-side around the course down a straightaway and into a tight hairpin turn, race back through the same track and back into the arena to only switch course with the other driver this time hitting the big jump and going on that course while the other driver jump heads outside and then it’s a race around the back half of the course, come back inside the arena and whoever makes it’s the finish line first without short cutting the course wins.

Two thing surprised me, first I was amazed in some cases with these rally cars making that big jump inside the arena, some make it and yet some hit front first, busting a small or the entire frontend of the car, I featured a picture above that tells the story, the photo was taken by I guess a fan inside the arena and was posted on Flickr, what a sight to see, I would have loved to see that from inside the arena.

Second had to the commenter ride along sort of speck, ESPN had two reporters riding along in a few races inside the cars to give the in-car view of what is going on, there is nothing like experiencing that for yourself and I can only imagine what you’re thinking and feeling when you’re riding shoot gun and that rally driver hits that huge jump, I heard it was 40-70 feet gap and that made room for the road underneath and at the same time racing in the outside of the course from the tight hair ping to the sweeping corner, what a sight must be.

Anyway in watching the eliminations, I was surprised to see Tanner Foust make that mistake in the back of the course while racing I believe Kenny Brack, but at least he finished the course.

However it wasn’t the eliminations that bothered me, those were exciting to watch, what a show those rally cars put on, but it was the finals between Kenny Brack in a Ford Fiesta and Travis Pastrana in a Subaru impreza that left me asking what happened?

During the finals with Brack vs. Pastrana, Brack was making his first laps around, but then Pastrana make an error while heading back into the arena, hit the outside wall and then the inside and I have seen the phots, but why he stop? I would think there was that much damage to the car, I mean he could have continued and finished the course or is that just me?

Congratulations to Kenny Brack in his Ford Fiesta for winning the X-Games Rally, what a drive, but I just have one question where can I get a five-door Ford Fiesta that looks similar to those, I mean one driver even had electronic windows in his car, those look cool.

CARSON, CA - AUGUST 02: Travis Pastrana and Kenny Brack compete in the Rally Car Racing Super Special Final during X Games 15 at the Home Depot Center on August 2, 2009 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images via

Big Brother 11: My Take on the first 30 days – Part One.

What this BB fan thinks of the high school cliques and the 13th HG concept.
It’s a nice Monday evening at my house and its day 30 in the Big Brother house and I watched the Big Brother After Dark feed from last night this morning, what a classic he said, she said, they said type deal.

In watching the first 30 days of Big Brother 11 play out not only on the edited CBS three episodes a week version, but the BB After Dark, it looks like and in a lot of ways is like watching 13 houseguests play characters on television like in a TV Series or movie and so keep that in mind and that I have never meant any of these people (and only going off what I see on the feed and shows) when you read all of my Big Brother article.

With that said, in part one of the first 30 days, I am going to discuss my thoughts on the high school cliques and the 13th Houseguest concept.

With every passing season of Big Brother, CBS and the producers of Big Brother try to switch things up in the house, add an extra element to the game to make the season just a little bit different from the past season and more interesting and fun to watch for the fans.

So for Big Brother season 11, the producers came up with two new twists from the start to add to the game, first, each houseguest would play the game as part of a high school clique.

These 12 houseguests who are complete strangers would be playing the game in a high school clique, but they are playing the game as singles, no this isn’t like Big Brother 9 when the houseguests played the game as couples, well that’s good at least.

As part of this twist though, now when a houseguest wins HOH and you’re in the same clique as the new HOH, you can’t be nominated that week. So if Ronnie wins HOH, Michelle and Chima are safe that week. Safety is huge, but I hate to hear it when players in a realty show game say their safe.

Since Big brother is going back to high school, what are the cliques and who is where?

The cliques are: The popular clique is Jordon, Laura and Braden. The Athletes are Natalie, Jeff and Russell, the Brains are Ronnie Michelle and Chima and finally the off-beats are Lydia, Casey and Kevin.

Wow let’s all go back to high school, ok let’s not and say we did, personally high school wasn’t all that entertaining to me, I guess I would either be in the Brains or the off-beat, although I would say off-beat more, what clique in high school would you be in? Really think about that one before you answer.

However don’t blink just yet because there is a second twist and this one I hated because it created an unfair advantage in the Big Brother house, basically in this “green” house, one former houseguest from a past season would have the chance to return the game and that (#13) houseguest would be the first HOH.

So while the four cliques where battling it out in the first HOH competition, an endurance competition in the backyard, four former players where outside the house with Julie watching the competition on TV and routing for a particular clique to win.

The four former players were Cowboy from season 5 for the off-beats, Jessica from season 8 for the popular clique (I really wanted Jessica back in the house, she feel for America’s Player back in season 8), Brian from season 10 for the Brains (BB fans remember Brian don’t you, well if you answered no, that’s for good reason, Brian was evicted week 1 in season 10, he was the puppet master) and Jessie from season 10 as well, yes the body builder.

Well it should be no surprise that the Athletes won, it was the same way it was in high school and it’s the same way now and in turn here is where the disadvantage for the other 3 cliques comes from, Jessie now would be the fourth member and since he already has played this game and is a fourth member, the athletes now have a big advantage and all the power for that first week.

Of course on last Thursday night, Big Brother announced two twists, one I get into in part two called the “Coup D’etat” and the second was the cliques were dissolved. Oh yes, finally no more safety, let’s see what some of these houseguests can really do to save themselves now.

I have to say as I looked at those two twists play out in the first 30 days, I like thing simple, have 14 houseguests come in to the house to play for $500,000, all 14 HG’s play as singles, they play for themselves, yes you give them a few twist, I don’t mind the “have and have not’s” idea, if that plays in every week so be it, but I don’t like former players coming back into the house except if it’s an All-Star edition.

As for the high school cliques, while I applaud the concept, it might have worked without the extra player coming back into the game, basically I hope there is a season 12 and 13, one being an All-star edition and the other being back to the original game with a modern twist and 14 houseguests (with two double-evictions), but no group, just singles playing the game the way it should be. Also a winter edition next February would be really cool and more live shows.

BTW Big Brother, when does Big Brother fans see an All-Star edition and here’s one thing, make it non-winners, meaning no player that won the Big Brother can play?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Virtual Car Show for the Armor All Photo Contest entries and winners

On June 12th (2009), I launched a new contest, the theme was something I had tried before, being a photo contest, but this time I was giving away two sweet prize gift packs that just about anybody (with a car that is) would love to have and I called it “Win 1 of 2 Armor All Complete Car Care Kit Gift Packs”.

Over the past month I received some amazing pictures of cars from a modern Hummer H2 to a Porsche and since the contest ended yesterday (Friday, July 31), first I just wanted to say thank you to everybody who entered, I will be contacting the winners within the next week by email and will be sending out the two gift packs within the next few weeks when I can get to the post office.

I also want to say thank you to Matter-Edelman PR and Armor All for this amazing Armor All Complete Car Care Kit Gift Packs for two of readers to win.

Second, since there were several entries into this photo contest, I decided to create a virtual car show for all of those who entered and announce the winners, I hope everyone enjoys the virtual car show.

Congratulations to the two winners:

1. David, A 1967 Porsche 910... the photo was taken at Road America during the Brian Redman Internationl Challenge, the car was coming down the pit lane at about 60mph... not full throttle on front straight!

One day later: Just emailed David and asked him what his daily driver is, he said its a 1998 Volvo V70R wagon and his weekend and vacation car is a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC, he is looking to get an old Mercedes SL or maybe an early 80s Porsche 911. I like hearing stuff like that, I've even seen the photos of the two cars which I will feature later in the week, congratulations to him, enjoy the Armor All Complete Car Care Kit Gift Pack, I know he will put it to good use.

2. Tom who owns a black 1972 Chevrolet Nova that you can see at a few car shows in New England (Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island).

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