Saturday, November 22, 2008

OMG - I'm a RICER

ricer_001.png

Hahaha!  Not really.  Hopefully just for the weekend and maybe Monday.  I had to take the Mini back to the Flow body shop for some more work.  They agreed to provide a rental car to me since the problems that are being fixed are things that were not done correctly the first time.  More on that in a later post - I'm waiting to see how their service recovery efforts pan out.

Anyway, I got stuck with a Toyota Corolla.  You guessed it - it's an "S" version.  I think my wife start ROFL'ing when I told her that's what they had given me.  So now I have a Japanese version of a small "sports car" I reckon.  Last night we went out to dinner in it (with the whole family) and were getting a kick out of all the other cars gunning it around me.

ricer_002.png

The one good thing?  We tried to trick the kids by telling them I had traded in the Mini for the "white car in the driveway".  None of them were excited by that.  So I'm thinking they are closer to being Mini-acs. (That is tempered somewhat by their excitement the other night in riding in my mother's Cadillac DeVille - a land barge if there ever was one.)

OMG - I'm a RICER

ricer_001.png

Hahaha!  Not really.  Hopefully just for the weekend and maybe Monday.  I had to take the Mini back to the Flow body shop for some more work.  They agreed to provide a rental car to me since the problems that are being fixed are things that were not done correctly the first time.  More on that in a later post - I'm waiting to see how their service recovery efforts pan out.

Anyway, I got stuck with a Toyota Corolla.  You guessed it - it's an "S" version.  I think my wife start ROFL'ing when I told her that's what they had given me.  So now I have a Japanese version of a small "sports car" I reckon.  Last night we went out to dinner in it (with the whole family) and were getting a kick out of all the other cars gunning it around me.

ricer_002.png

The one good thing?  We tried to trick the kids by telling them I had traded in the Mini for the "white car in the driveway".  None of them were excited by that.  So I'm thinking they are closer to being Mini-acs. (That is tempered somewhat by their excitement the other night in riding in my mother's Cadillac DeVille - a land barge if there ever was one.)

OMG - I'm a RICER

Hahaha!  Not really.  Hopefully just for the weekend and maybe Monday.  I had to take the Mini back to the Flow body shop for some more work.  They agreed to provide a rental car to me since the problems that are being fixed are things that were not done correctly the first time.  More on that in a later post - I'm waiting to see how their service recovery efforts pan out.

Anyway, I got stuck with a Toyota Corolla.  You guessed it - it's an "S" version.  I think my wife start ROFL'ing when I told her that's what they had given me.  So now I have a Japanese version of a small "sports car" I reckon.  Last night we went out to dinner in it (with the whole family) and were getting a kick out of all the other cars gunning it around me.

The one good thing?  We tried to trick the kids by telling them I had traded in the Mini for the "white car in the driveway".  None of them were excited by that.  So I'm thinking they are closer to being Mini-acs. (That is tempered somewhat by their excitement the other night in riding in my mother's Cadillac DeVille - a land barge if there ever was one.)

OMG - I'm a RICER

Hahaha!  Not really.  Hopefully just for the weekend and maybe Monday.  I had to take the Mini back to the Flow body shop for some more work.  They agreed to provide a rental car to me since the problems that are being fixed are things that were not done correctly the first time.  More on that in a later post - I'm waiting to see how their service recovery efforts pan out.

Anyway, I got stuck with a Toyota Corolla.  You guessed it - it's an "S" version.  I think my wife start ROFL'ing when I told her that's what they had given me.  So now I have a Japanese version of a small "sports car" I reckon.  Last night we went out to dinner in it (with the whole family) and were getting a kick out of all the other cars gunning it around me.

The one good thing?  We tried to trick the kids by telling them I had traded in the Mini for the "white car in the driveway".  None of them were excited by that.  So I'm thinking they are closer to being Mini-acs. (That is tempered somewhat by their excitement the other night in riding in my mother's Cadillac DeVille - a land barge if there ever was one.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Use of Discipline

Way back at the start of this bloggy part of my site, I was in the process of seeking out a new church as I continued along my spiritual journey through life.  And if you've followed along, you know that I landed at Graham Friends Church.  It is really non-denominational now, but has a strong Quaker background and only in the last decade or so left the North Carolina Meeting.  About a year ago I wrote about my decision to start tithing to the church.  Unfortunately, since then I have not written much about the church or religion.  I think at least a couple times my pastor has hoped I would do some more blogging as a way to give my testimony.  So, now I'm going to do a little bit of that for what it's worth.

And what, you may ask, has prompted me to put together a post about religion?  It was a question Pastor Mark asked us in our Sunday School class this past week.  But I should back up a little bit.  Starting back in September, the class I am in started a new curriculum called Renovation of the Heart.  It was created by Dallas Willard who wrote The Spirit of the Disciplines (which I sorely need to go out and buy to start reading).  It has been a good class so far, though I think we have gotten a bit sidetracked.

The Use of Discipline

Way back at the start of this bloggy part of my site, I was in the process of seeking out a new church as I continued along my spiritual journey through life.  And if you've followed along, you know that I landed at Graham Friends Church.  It is really non-denominational now, but has a strong Quaker background and only in the last decade or so left the North Carolina Meeting.  About a year ago I wrote about my decision to start tithing to the church.  Unfortunately, since then I have not written much about the church or religion.  I think at least a couple times my pastor has hoped I would do some more blogging as a way to give my testimony.  So, now I'm going to do a little bit of that for what it's worth.

And what, you may ask, has prompted me to put together a post about religion?  It was a question Pastor Mark asked us in our Sunday School class this past week.  But I should back up a little bit.  Starting back in September, the class I am in started a new curriculum called Renovation of the Heart.  It was created by Dallas Willard who wrote The Spirit of the Disciplines (which I sorely need to go out and buy to start reading).  It has been a good class so far, though I think we have gotten a bit sidetracked.

It is a good sidetrack as Mark has been providing us some instruction on how to do some seemingly simple tasks like pray or work through daily devotions.  On the prayer issue, he was teaching us about how some people are able to spend a whole day in prayer.  As he noted, and I have to agree, praying for more than a couple minutes can become a struggle, especially with staying focused.  So one of the tools he taught us was the Benedictine method of prayer, Lectio Divina.  To do it, you read some scripture, meditate, write about what you read and meditated on, and then speak out loud (even if it is to yourself) - either in prayer or reading The Bible.  By taking a passage in The Bible and working through it using the Lectio Divina method, you can quickly spend an hour in "prayer".  As you might note, prayer in this formula is more than just the typical bowed head speech with/to God.  It is communicating with Him through several different methods - reading His Word, time in meditation with Him, and yes, speaking out loud.  Looking back through my notes, I also see where we discussed spending this much time and effort on prayer as part of voluntary exile, another of the disciplines.

Mark also taught us a pattern for doing daily devotions that he uses.  The first step was figuring out when to engage in this activity.  While anytime will work, he recommended the early morning hours, pre-dawn, based on Genesis 3:8 which mentions Adam and Eve walking in the Garden of Eden with God "in the cool of the day".  In his case, he gets up and gets coffee ready, then hits his devotional.  He has his materials (The Bible, devotional books, paper, pen, computer) ready and in the same place every day.  He is able to work through his devotional and then he and his wife spend some time together in devotional before proceeding with the rest of his day.  One key point to success is that the devotional time is quiet and distractions are minimized.  Always a challenge in a house like mine with three kids and all the associated activities.

It sounds like a method that will work for me, so I have been working on trying to get set up to emulate his method.  The first step was figuring out a devotional to use.  I again turned to Mark's recommendation and picked up a copy of Oswald Chambers' My Utmost for His Highest.  A nice plus for me has been the fact that a new ESV Study Bible was just released and this past week my wife got me a copy for my birthday present.  I already have paper and pen.  The final step has been to get in my office and clean things up a bit so I can have a nice, clean, organized, non-distracting environment to work in.  So my plan at this point is to start off getting up early on Wednesdays and try to do this once a week (and yes, getting up early is a struggle for me - my body's natural rhythm would be to sleep from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m.).  If I can do that, then hopefully I can start expanding to more days each week.  An interesting side effect of all this preparation has been that I find myself picking up the devotional or The Bible at other times and spending some time in study.

We have also been discussing on several occasions some of the disciplines that Willard has written about.  These include disciplines like prayer, worship, reading The Bible, devotionals, fasting, meditation, and fellowship.  The question that Mark asked this past week was whether we had been able to incorporate any of the disciplines into our daily lives.  My initial reaction was "probably not", but on further reflection I think I probably am slowly starting to use many of them.

As mentioned a moment ago, I am finding myself reading The Bible on a much more regular basis.  Not sure I have achieved a "discipline" with regards to my reading, but I am in The Scripture more often.  And even though I have not yet started my daily devotional, I have been opening up My Utmost for His Highest and picking days at random to read through (and I even spent one night this week actually studying the passages mentioned in the devotional).

I have also employed some "fasting" in some areas of my life where I have challenges.  That could be worked on some more to make sure I use the time created by my fasting getting closer to God.  Fellowship has been coming along.  I've been making it to church about every Sunday, but I definitely need to step up my efforts to fellowship with other church members outside of Sunday morning.  That might be helped some with a study group for men that Pastor Mark is trying to get started.  And overall, I feel like I've been spending more time in prayer.  And writing this blog entry has resulted in some additional study and review, so it is probably helping me as well.

So, I'll see how it goes over the next couple months.  I'll try to spend some more time writing to let folks know how things are going.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mini Gives @ VIR Holidy Laps

Great place for motoring around a track

Today I got to take my Mini, Mr. Mini Wuf, on a new adventure - a trip to Virginia International Raceway.  After missing out on several Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club events in September and October due to other priorities, it was good to get out with other club members for some motoring.  It was also nice to get out for some fun in the Mini after its trip in for some surgery after my deer strike a few weeks ago.  Alas, it will be a while before I can get stripes installed while the paint on the new hood cures.

The turnout from THMMC (until Minified showed up later)

The event was the Holiday Laps event at VIR.  They hold this event as a fund raiser to help the Salvation Army.  For a $25 donation (or equivalent in toys or perishable food) you could take your car out on the track for about a 20 minute session.  I didn't really bother to keep count, but I think that translated to about 6 or 7 laps.  I ended up paying for two sessions.  As it turned out, I also had to take my son along with me as he developed a fever overnight and could not go to school.  Needless to say, I think he had a better time with me at the track.  The downside was it cut my day at the track short as I had to leave to get him to the doctor.

Paleo takes the family for a spin around the track

The other challenge for the day was the weather as rain moved into the area on Thursday and the forecast was for it to last all the way through Saturday.  It was a drizzly mist for most of the ride up Hwy. 62 to the track with some moderate showers along the way.   I figured it would catch up to us at the track eventually, but it never really got bad out there.  In fact, for the first session, at points the track was showing signs of drying.  Light to moderate drizzle took care of that by the second session.

Mustang was definitely out in full force, even getting their own mention over the PA system

I have no point of comparison, but I think the weather may have kept the crowd quite a bit smaller than anticipated.  While I was at the track, there were a total of 7 Minis present and Minified from the THMMC was on her way in as I was leaving.  The RX-7s and RX-8s had a pretty good turnout as did the Miatas.  Probably the biggest group was the Mustang club.  So many, they got a mention over the loudspeakers and pretty much formed a "group" all by themselves.

We had a good view of MidnightDave and RudyT

In addition to the donations to get a turn on the track, some raffles were also going on.  One of these was for a chance to take a ride in a McLaren Can-Am racecar (more on that later), there was supposed to be a chance to go for a ride on a motorbike, and you could buy turns in an Ariel Atom with a professional driver.  I know MidnightDave from the THMMC did that and maybe RudyT as well.  Helping handle all these was a crew from WAKG 103.3, a country music station.  My son's favorite station has been 93.1 The Wolf, but he might have changed now after this event.  A little side note - while waiting in line for our second session, we were right next to the WAKG van while they were broadcasting from the site.  So we had it on in the Mini and we could hear it over their speakers.  It was like a super stereo effect for me (maybe not so much for my son who was on the far side).

Up the esses we go!

So what about the on-track experiences?  For the first session we had a pretty big group - maybe 20 to 25 cars.  At that point, it was only MidnightDave, RudyT, and myself present (and in fact MidnightDave had already done a run earlier), so we got lined up together.  As it turned out, we were in the first half of the field.  Which was good as about three cars behind me there was a slower vehicle that held up the back half of the field.  Felt kind of sorry for a yellow Corvette and a Cobra that were stuck back there.

Uh oh Dave - I don't think that's the right direction!

About the third lap maybe, we had an interesting little incident as MidnightDave spun his car on the track.  I'm not sure exactly what turn it would have been, but it was just before we started up the main straight.  Fortunately for him he kept it on the track and me and RudyT were able to get stopped in time (as were those who ended up coming up behind me).  One plus to the incident was that it gave us a chance to wind things out a bit as we set off to catch the rest of the field.  For the run, I think the highest we got was about 90 mph for just a second or so on one of the straights.

Max preparing to leave the paddock

My son and I then spent some time looking at some of the vehicles that were out there and cruising through the pro shop.  He especially liked the Cobra and the Rent-A-Racecars.  One that was interesting to me was a BMW 1 series that I spotted (pic in the gallery).  We also went and watched the Ariel Atom turn some laps.  I also took the opportunity to get some pics of some of our THMMC members out on the track during one of their sessions.

Max comes roaring down the straight in the Can-Am.  I either need to learn how to focus or buy a VR/AF lens

Just before the lunch break, I decided to head out for my second session.  As we lined up we ended up with only 8 cars in the group this time.  Max Headroom was in the group this time, a couple cars ahead of me.  The track was a lot wetter this time, but we were still going about as fast as earlier.  In fact, I think the pace car decided to wind it out just a tiny bit during a couple of our middle laps.  This meant I was able to get it up to 100 mph at one point during this run.  We also saw another spin, this time by one of the RX-7s just before we started up the esses.  Unlike MidnightDave, he ended up going off track, but not into anything.  And just like earlier, he was two cars in front of me, so we got a pretty good view of things.

Upon returning to the paddock area after the second session, the PA announcer was calling for none other than THMMC's own Max Headroom who had won one of the rides in the McLaren Can-Am.  So, my son and I went and watched him get in that and head out on the track for (what I'm sure were) some extreme thrills.

Thus concluded the day at VIR.  It was a blast for me to get the Mini out and be able to wind it out a bit.  Obviously, with it being a paced event further slowed by weather I was nowhere close to being on the edge.  Of course, the downside is that I am even more interested in being able to attend something like a Phil Wicks Driving Academy so I can really see what I can do in the Mini (or is that what the Mini can do to me?).

As usual, there are more photos in the gallery.

Mini Gives @ VIR Holidy Laps

Great place for motoring around a track

Today I got to take my Mini, Mr. Mini Wuf, on a new adventure - a trip to Virginia International Raceway.  After missing out on several Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club events in September and October due to other priorities, it was good to get out with other club members for some motoring.  It was also nice to get out for some fun in the Mini after its trip in for some surgery after my deer strike a few weeks ago.  Alas, it will be a while before I can get stripes installed while the paint on the new hood cures.

The turnout from THMMC (until Minified showed up later)

The event was the Holiday Laps event at VIR.  They hold this event as a fund raiser to help the Salvation Army.  For a $25 donation (or equivalent in toys or perishable food) you could take your car out on the track for about a 20 minute session.  I didn't really bother to keep count, but I think that translated to about 6 or 7 laps.  I ended up paying for two sessions.  As it turned out, I also had to take my son along with me as he developed a fever overnight and could not go to school.  Needless to say, I think he had a better time with me at the track.  The downside was it cut my day at the track short as I had to leave to get him to the doctor.

Paleo takes the family for a spin around the track

The other challenge for the day was the weather as rain moved into the area on Thursday and the forecast was for it to last all the way through Saturday.  It was a drizzly mist for most of the ride up Hwy. 62 to the track with some moderate showers along the way.   I figured it would catch up to us at the track eventually, but it never really got bad out there.  In fact, for the first session, at points the track was showing signs of drying.  Light to moderate drizzle took care of that by the second session.

Mustang was definitely out in full force, even getting their own mention over the PA system

I have no point of comparison, but I think the weather may have kept the crowd quite a bit smaller than anticipated.  While I was at the track, there were a total of 7 Minis present and Minified from the THMMC was on her way in as I was leaving.  The RX-7s and RX-8s had a pretty good turnout as did the Miatas.  Probably the biggest group was the Mustang club.  So many, they got a mention over the loudspeakers and pretty much formed a "group" all by themselves.

We had a good view of MidnightDave and RudyT

In addition to the donations to get a turn on the track, some raffles were also going on.  One of these was for a chance to take a ride in a McLaren Can-Am racecar (more on that later), there was supposed to be a chance to go for a ride on a motorbike, and you could buy turns in an Ariel Atom with a professional driver.  I know MidnightDave from the THMMC did that and maybe RudyT as well.  Helping handle all these was a crew from WAKG 103.3, a country music station.  My son's favorite station has been 93.1 The Wolf, but he might have changed now after this event.  A little side note - while waiting in line for our second session, we were right next to the WAKG van while they were broadcasting from the site.  So we had it on in the Mini and we could hear it over their speakers.  It was like a super stereo effect for me (maybe not so much for my son who was on the far side).

Up the esses we go!

So what about the on-track experiences?  For the first session we had a pretty big group - maybe 20 to 25 cars.  At that point, it was only MidnightDave, RudyT, and myself present (and in fact MidnightDave had already done a run earlier), so we got lined up together.  As it turned out, we were in the first half of the field.  Which was good as about three cars behind me there was a slower vehicle that held up the back half of the field.  Felt kind of sorry for a yellow Corvette and a Cobra that were stuck back there.

Uh oh Dave - I don't think that's the right direction!

About the third lap maybe, we had an interesting little incident as MidnightDave spun his car on the track.  I'm not sure exactly what turn it would have been, but it was just before we started up the main straight.  Fortunately for him he kept it on the track and me and RudyT were able to get stopped in time (as were those who ended up coming up behind me).  One plus to the incident was that it gave us a chance to wind things out a bit as we set off to catch the rest of the field.  For the run, I think the highest we got was about 90 mph for just a second or so on one of the straights.

Max preparing to leave the paddock

My son and I then spent some time looking at some of the vehicles that were out there and cruising through the pro shop.  He especially liked the Cobra and the Rent-A-Racecars.  One that was interesting to me was a BMW 1 series that I spotted (pic in the gallery).  We also went and watched the Ariel Atom turn some laps.  I also took the opportunity to get some pics of some of our THMMC members out on the track during one of their sessions.

Max comes roaring down the straight in the Can-Am.  I either need to learn how to focus or buy a VR/AF lens

Just before the lunch break, I decided to head out for my second session.  As we lined up we ended up with only 8 cars in the group this time.  Max Headroom was in the group this time, a couple cars ahead of me.  The track was a lot wetter this time, but we were still going about as fast as earlier.  In fact, I think the pace car decided to wind it out just a tiny bit during a couple of our middle laps.  This meant I was able to get it up to 100 mph at one point during this run.  We also saw another spin, this time by one of the RX-7s just before we started up the esses.  Unlike MidnightDave, he ended up going off track, but not into anything.  And just like earlier, he was two cars in front of me, so we got a pretty good view of things.

Upon returning to the paddock area after the second session, the PA announcer was calling for none other than THMMC's own Max Headroom who had won one of the rides in the McLaren Can-Am.  So, my son and I went and watched him get in that and head out on the track for (what I'm sure were) some extreme thrills.

Thus concluded the day at VIR.  It was a blast for me to get the Mini out and be able to wind it out a bit.  Obviously, with it being a paced event further slowed by weather I was nowhere close to being on the edge.  Of course, the downside is that I am even more interested in being able to attend something like a Phil Wicks Driving Academy so I can really see what I can do in the Mini (or is that what the Mini can do to me?).

As usual, there are more photos in the gallery.

Mini Gives @ VIR Holidy Laps

Great place for motoring around a track

Today I got to take my Mini, Mr. Mini Wuf, on a new adventure - a trip to Virginia International Raceway.  After missing out on several Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club events in September and October due to other priorities, it was good to get out with other club members for some motoring.  It was also nice to get out for some fun in the Mini after its trip in for some surgery after my deer strike a few weeks ago.  Alas, it will be a while before I can get stripes installed while the paint on the new hood cures.

The turnout from THMMC (until Minified showed up later)

The event was the Holiday Laps event at VIR.  They hold this event as a fund raiser to help the Salvation Army.  For a $25 donation (or equivalent in toys or perishable food) you could take your car out on the track for about a 20 minute session.  I didn't really bother to keep count, but I think that translated to about 6 or 7 laps.  I ended up paying for two sessions.  As it turned out, I also had to take my son along with me as he developed a fever overnight and could not go to school.  Needless to say, I think he had a better time with me at the track.  The downside was it cut my day at the track short as I had to leave to get him to the doctor.

Paleo takes the family for a spin around the track

The other challenge for the day was the weather as rain moved into the area on Thursday and the forecast was for it to last all the way through Saturday.  It was a drizzly mist for most of the ride up Hwy. 62 to the track with some moderate showers along the way.   I figured it would catch up to us at the track eventually, but it never really got bad out there.  In fact, for the first session, at points the track was showing signs of drying.  Light to moderate drizzle took care of that by the second session.

Mustang was definitely out in full force, even getting their own mention over the PA system

I have no point of comparison, but I think the weather may have kept the crowd quite a bit smaller than anticipated.  While I was at the track, there were a total of 7 Minis present and Minified from the THMMC was on her way in as I was leaving.  The RX-7s and RX-8s had a pretty good turnout as did the Miatas.  Probably the biggest group was the Mustang club.  So many, they got a mention over the loudspeakers and pretty much formed a "group" all by themselves.

We had a good view of MidnightDave and RudyT

In addition to the donations to get a turn on the track, some raffles were also going on.  One of these was for a chance to take a ride in a McLaren Can-Am racecar (more on that later), there was supposed to be a chance to go for a ride on a motorbike, and you could buy turns in an Ariel Atom with a professional driver.  I know MidnightDave from the THMMC did that and maybe RudyT as well.  Helping handle all these was a crew from WAKG 103.3, a country music station.  My son's favorite station has been 93.1 The Wolf, but he might have changed now after this event.  A little side note - while waiting in line for our second session, we were right next to the WAKG van while they were broadcasting from the site.  So we had it on in the Mini and we could hear it over their speakers.  It was like a super stereo effect for me (maybe not so much for my son who was on the far side).

Up the esses we go!

So what about the on-track experiences?  For the first session we had a pretty big group - maybe 20 to 25 cars.  At that point, it was only MidnightDave, RudyT, and myself present (and in fact MidnightDave had already done a run earlier), so we got lined up together.  As it turned out, we were in the first half of the field.  Which was good as about three cars behind me there was a slower vehicle that held up the back half of the field.  Felt kind of sorry for a yellow Corvette and a Cobra that were stuck back there.

Uh oh Dave - I don't think that's the right direction!

About the third lap maybe, we had an interesting little incident as MidnightDave spun his car on the track.  I'm not sure exactly what turn it would have been, but it was just before we started up the main straight.  Fortunately for him he kept it on the track and me and RudyT were able to get stopped in time (as were those who ended up coming up behind me).  One plus to the incident was that it gave us a chance to wind things out a bit as we set off to catch the rest of the field.  For the run, I think the highest we got was about 90 mph for just a second or so on one of the straights.

Max preparing to leave the paddock

My son and I then spent some time looking at some of the vehicles that were out there and cruising through the pro shop.  He especially liked the Cobra and the Rent-A-Racecars.  One that was interesting to me was a BMW 1 series that I spotted (pic in the gallery).  We also went and watched the Ariel Atom turn some laps.  I also took the opportunity to get some pics of some of our THMMC members out on the track during one of their sessions.

Max comes roaring down the straight in the Can-Am.  I either need to learn how to focus or buy a VR/AF lens

Just before the lunch break, I decided to head out for my second session.  As we lined up, it turned out we only had 8 cars in the group this time.  Max Headroom was in the group this time, a couple cars ahead of me.  The track was a lot wetter this time, but we were still going about as fast as earlier.  In fact, I think the pace car decided to wind it out just a tiny bit during a couple of our middle laps.  This meant I was able to get it up to 100 mph at one point during this run.  We also saw another spin, this time by one of the RX-7s just before we started up the esses.  Unlike MidnightDave, he ended up going off track, but not into anything.  And just like earlier, he was two cars in front of me, so we got a pretty good view of things.

Upon returning to the paddock area after the second session, the PA announcer was calling for none other than THMMC's own Max Headroom who had won one of the rides in the McLaren Can-Am.  So, my son and I went and watched him get in that and head out on the track for (what I'm sure were) some extreme thrills.

Thus concluded the day at VIR.  It was a blast for me to get the Mini out and be able to wind it out a bit.  Obviously, with it being a paced event further slowed by weather I was nowhere close to be on the edge.  Of course, the downside is that I am even more interested in being able to attend something like a Phil Wicks Driving Academy so I can really see what I can do in the Mini (or is that what the Mini can do to me?).

As usual, there are more photos in the gallery.

Mini Gives @ VIR Holidy Laps

Great place for motoring around a track

Today I got to take my Mini, Mr. Mini Wuf, on a new adventure - a trip to Virginia International Raceway.  After missing out on several Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club events in September and October due to other priorities, it was good to get out with other club members for some motoring.  It was also nice to get out for some fun in the Mini after its trip in for some surgery after my deer strike a few weeks ago.  Alas, it will be a while before I can get stripes installed while the paint on the new hood cures.

The turnout from THMMC (until Minified showed up later)

The event was the Holiday Laps event at VIR.  They hold this event as a fund raiser to help the Salvation Army.  For a $25 donation (or equivalent in toys or perishable food) you could take your car out on the track for about a 20 minute session.  I didn't really bother to keep count, but I think that translated to about 6 or 7 laps.  I ended up paying for two sessions.  As it turned out, I also had to take my son along with me as he developed a fever overnight and could not go to school.  Needless to say, I think he had a better time with me at the track.  The downside was it cut my day at the track short as I had to leave to get him to the doctor.

Paleo takes the family for a spin around the track

The other challenge for the day was the weather as rain moved into the area on Thursday and the forecast was for it to last all the way through Saturday.  It was a drizzly mist for most of the ride up Hwy. 62 to the track with some moderate showers along the way.   I figured it would catch up to us at the track eventually, but it never really got bad out there.  In fact, for the first session, at points the track was showing signs of drying.  Light to moderate drizzle took care of that by the second session.

Mustang was definitely out in full force, even getting their own mention over the PA system

I have no point of comparison, but I think the weather may have kept the crowd quite a bit smaller than anticipated.  While I was at the track, there were a total of 7 Minis present and Minified from the THMMC was on her way in as I was leaving.  The RX-7s and RX-8s had a pretty good turnout as did the Miatas.  Probably the biggest group was the Mustang club.  So many, they got a mention over the loudspeakers and pretty much formed a "group" all by themselves.

We had a good view of MidnightDave and RudyT

In addition to the donations to get a turn on the track, some raffles were also going on.  One of these was for a chance to take a ride in a McLaren Can-Am racecar (more on that later), there was supposed to be a chance to go for a ride on a motorbike, and you could buy turns in an Ariel Atom with a professional driver.  I know MidnightDave from the THMMC did that and maybe RudyT as well.  Helping handle all these was a crew from WAKG 103.3, a country music station.  My son's favorite station has been 93.1 The Wolf, but he might have changed now after this event.  A little side note - while waiting in line for our second session, we were right next to the WAKG van while they were broadcasting from the site.  So we had it on in the Mini and we could hear it over their speakers.  It was like a super stereo effect for me (maybe not so much for my son who was on the far side).

Up the esses we go!

So what about the on-track experiences?  For the first session we had a pretty big group - maybe 20 to 25 cars.  At that point, it was only MidnightDave, RudyT, and myself present (and in fact MidnightDave had already done a run earlier), so we got lined up together.  As it turned out, we were in the first half of the field.  Which was good as about three cars behind me there was a slower vehicle that held up the back half of the field.  Felt kind of sorry for a yellow Corvette and a Cobra that were stuck back there.

Uh oh Dave - I don't think that's the right direction!

About the third lap maybe, we had an interesting little incident as MidnightDave spun his car on the track.  I'm not sure exactly what turn it would have been, but it was just before we started up the main straight.  Fortunately for him he kept it on the track and me and RudyT were able to get stopped in time (as were those who ended up coming up behind me).  One plus to the incident was that it gave us a chance to wind things out a bit as we set off to catch the rest of the field.  For the run, I think the highest we got was about 90 mph for just a second or so on one of the straights.

Max preparing to leave the paddock

My son and I then spent some time looking at some of the vehicles that were out there and cruising through the pro shop.  He especially liked the Cobra and the Rent-A-Racecars.  One that was interesting to me was a BMW 1 series that I spotted (pic in the gallery).  We also went and watched the Ariel Atom turn some laps.  I also took the opportunity to get some pics of some of our THMMC members out on the track during one of their sessions.

Max comes roaring down the straight in the Can-Am.  I either need to learn how to focus or buy a VR/AF lens

Just before the lunch break, I decided to head out for my second session.  As we lined up, it turned out we only had 8 cars in the group this time.  Max Headroom was in the group this time, a couple cars ahead of me.  The track was a lot wetter this time, but we were still going about as fast as earlier.  In fact, I think the pace car decided to wind it out just a tiny bit during a couple of our middle laps.  This meant I was able to get it up to 100 mph at one point during this run.  We also saw another spin, this time by one of the RX-7s just before we started up the esses.  Unlike MidnightDave, he ended up going off track, but not into anything.  And just like earlier, he was two cars in front of me, so we got a pretty good view of things.

Upon returning to the paddock area after the second session, the PA announcer was calling for none other than THMMC's own Max Headroom who had won one of the rides in the McLaren Can-Am.  So, my son and I went and watched him get in that and head out on the track for (what I'm sure were) some extreme thrills.

Thus concluded the day at VIR.  It was a blast for me to get the Mini out and be able to wind it out a bit.  Obviously, with it being a paced event further slowed by weather I was nowhere close to be on the edge.  Of course, the downside is that I am even more interested in being able to attend something like a Phil Wicks Driving Academy so I can really see what I can do in the Mini (or is that what the Mini can do to me?).

Mini Gives @ VIR Holidy Laps

Great place for motoring around a track
Today I got to take my Mini, Mr. Mini Wuf, on a new adventure - a trip to Virginia International Raceway.  After missing out on several Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club events in September and October due to other priorities, it was good to get out with other club members for some motoring.  It was also nice to get out for some fun in the Mini after its trip in for some surgery after my deer strike a few weeks ago.  Alas, it will be a while before I can get stripes installed while the paint on the new hood cures.

The turnout from THMMC (until Minified showed up later)
The event was the Holiday Laps event at VIR.  They hold this event as a fund raiser to help the Salvation Army.  For a $25 donation (or equivalent in toys or perishable food) you could take your car out on the track for about a 20 minute session.  I didn't really bother to keep count, but I think that translated to about 6 or 7 laps.  I ended up paying for two sessions.  As it turned out, I also had to take my son along with me as he developed a fever overnight and could not go to school.  Needless to say, I think he had a better time with me at the track.  The downside was it cut my day at the track short as I had to leave to get him to the doctor.

Paleo takes the family for a spin around the track
The other challenge for the day was the weather as rain moved into the area on Thursday and the forecast was for it to last all the way through Saturday.  It was a drizzly mist for most of the ride up Hwy. 62 to the track with some moderate showers along the way.   I figured it would catch up to us at the track eventually, but it never really got bad out there.  In fact, for the first session, at points the track was showing signs of drying.  Light to moderate drizzle took care of that by the second session.

Mustang was definitely out in full force, even getting their own mention over the PA system
I have no point of comparison, but I think the weather may have kept the crowd quite a bit smaller than anticipated.  While I was at the track, there were a total of 7 Minis present and Minified from the THMMC was on her way in as I was leaving.  The RX-7s and RX-8s had a pretty good turnout as did the Miatas.  Probably the biggest group was the Mustang club.  So many, they got a mention over the loudspeakers and pretty much formed a "group" all by themselves.

We had a good view of MidnightDave and RudyT
In addition to the donations to get a turn on the track, some raffles were also going on.  One of these was for a chance to take a ride in a McLaren Can-Am racecar (more on that later), there was supposed to be a chance to go for a ride on a motorbike, and you could buy turns in an Ariel Atom with a professional driver.  I know MidnightDave from the THMMC did that and maybe RudyT as well.  Helping handle all these was a crew from WAKG 103.3, a country music station.  My son's favorite station has been 93.1 The Wolf, but he might have changed now after this event.  A little side note - while waiting in line for our second session, we were right next to the WAKG van while they were broadcasting from the site.  So we had it on in the Mini and we could hear it over their speakers.  It was like a super stereo effect for me (maybe not so much for my son who was on the far side).

Up the esses we go!So what about the on-track experiences?  For the first session we had a pretty big group - maybe 20 to 25 cars.  At that point, it was only MidnightDave, RudyT, and myself present (and in fact MidnightDave had already done a run earlier), so we got lined up together.  As it turned out, we were in the first half of the field.  Which was good as about three cars behind me there was a slower vehicle that held up the back half of the field.  Felt kind of sorry for a yellow Corvette and a Cobra that were stuck back there.

Uh oh Dave - I don't think that's the right direction!About the third lap maybe, we had an interesting little incident as MidnightDave spun his car on the track.  I'm not sure exactly what turn it would have been, but it was just before we started up the main straight.  Fortunately for him he kept it on the track and me and RudyT were able to get stopped in time (as were those who ended up coming up behind me).  One plus to the incident was that it gave us a chance to wind things out a bit as we set off to catch the rest of the field.  For the run, I think the highest we got was about 90 mph for just a second or so on one of the straights.

Max preparing to leave the paddockMy son and I then spent some time looking at some of the vehicles that were out there and cruising through the pro shop.  He especially liked the Cobra and the Rent-A-Racecars.  One that was interesting to me was a BMW 1 series that I spotted (pic in the gallery).  We also went and watched the Ariel Atom turn some laps.  I also took the opportunity to get some pics of some of our THMMC members out on the track during one of their sessions.

Max comes roaring down the straight in the Can-Am.  I either need to learn how to focus or buy a VR/AF lensJust before the lunch break, I decided to head out for my second session.  As we lined up, it turned out we only had 8 cars in the group this time.  Max Headroom was in the group this time, a couple cars ahead of me.  The track was a lot wetter this time, but we were still going about as fast as earlier.  In fact, I think the pace car decided to wind it out just a tiny bit during a couple of our middle laps.  This meant I was able to get it up to 100 mph at one point during this run.  We also saw another spin, this time by one of the RX-7s just before we started up the esses.  Unlike MidnightDave, he ended up going off track, but not into anything.  And just like earlier, he was two cars in front of me, so we got a pretty good view of things.

Upon returning to the paddock area after the second session, the PA announcer was calling for none other than THMMC's own Max Headroom who had won one of the rides in the McLaren Can-Am.  So, my son and I went and watched him get in that and head out on the track for (what I'm sure were) some extreme thrills.

Thus concluded the day at VIR.  It was a blast for me to get the Mini out and be able to wind it out a bit.  Obviously, with it being a paced event further slowed by weather I was nowhere close to be on the edge.  Of course, the downside is that I am even more interested in being able to attend something like a Phil Wicks Driving Academy so I can really see what I can do in the Mini (or is that what the Mini can do to me?).

Mini Gives @ VIR Holidy Laps

Great place for motoring around a trackToday I got to take my Mini, Mr. Mini Wuf, on a new adventure - a trip to Virginia International Raceway.  After missing out on several Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club events in September and October due to other priorities, it was good to get out with other club members for some motoring.  It was also nice to get out for some fun in the Mini after its trip in for some surgery after my deer strike a few weeks ago.  Alas, it will be a while before I can get stripes installed while the paint on the new hood cures.

The turnout from THMMC (until Minified showed up later)The event was the Holiday Laps event at VIR.  They hold this event as a fund raiser to help the Salvation Army.  For a $25 donation (or equivalent in toys or perishable food) you could take your car out on the track for about a 20 minute session.  I didn't really bother to keep count, but I think that translated to about 6 or 7 laps.  I ended up paying for two sessions.  As it turned out, I also had to take my son along with me as he developed a fever overnight and could not go to school.  Needless to say, I think he had a better time with me at the track.  The downside was it cut my day at the track short as I had to leave to get him to the doctor.

Paleo takes the family for a spin around the trackThe other challenge for the day was the weather as rain moved into the area on Thursday and the forecast was for it to last all the way through Saturday.  It was a drizzly mist for most of the ride up Hwy. 62 to the track with some moderate showers along the way.   I figured it would catch up to us at the track eventually, but it never really got bad out there.  In fact, for the first session, at points the track was showing signs of drying.  Light to moderate drizzle took care of that by the second session.

Mustang was definitely out in full force, even getting their own mention over the PA systemI have no point of comparison, but I think the weather may have kept the crowd quite a bit smaller than anticipated.  While I was at the track, there were a total of 7 Minis present and Minified from the THMMC was on her way in as I was leaving.  The RX-7s and RX-8s had a pretty good turnout as did the Miatas.  Probably the biggest group was the Mustang club.  So many, they got a mention over the loudspeakers and pretty much formed a "group" all by themselves.

We had a good view of MidnightDave and RudyTIn addition to the donations to get a turn on the track, some raffles were also going on.  One of these was for a chance to take a ride in a McLaren Can-Am racecar (more on that later), there was supposed to be a chance to go for a ride on a motorbike, and you could buy turns in an Ariel Atom with a professional driver.  I know MidnightDave from the THMMC did that and maybe RudyT as well.  Helping handle all these was a crew from WAKG 103.3, a country music station.  My son's favorite station has been 93.1 The Wolf, but he might have changed now after this event.  A little side note - while waiting in line for our second session, we were right next to the WAKG van while they were broadcasting from the site.  So we had it on in the Mini and we could hear it over their speakers.  It was like a super stereo effect for me (maybe not so much for my son who was on the far side).

Up the esses we go!So what about the on-track experiences?  For the first session we had a pretty big group - maybe 20 to 25 cars.  At that point, it was only MidnightDave, RudyT, and myself present (and in fact MidnightDave had already done a run earlier), so we got lined up together.  As it turned out, we were in the first half of the field.  Which was good as about three cars behind me there was a slower vehicle that held up the back half of the field.  Felt kind of sorry for a yellow Corvette and a Cobra that were stuck back there.

Uh oh Dave - I don't think that's the right direction!About the third lap maybe, we had an interesting little incident as MidnightDave spun his car on the track.  I'm not sure exactly what turn it would have been, but it was just before we started up the main straight.  Fortunately for him he kept it on the track and me and RudyT were able to get stopped in time (as were those who ended up coming up behind me).  One plus to the incident was that it gave us a chance to wind things out a bit as we set off to catch the rest of the field.  For the run, I think the highest we got was about 90 mph for just a second or so on one of the straights.

My son and I then spent some time looking at some of the vehicles that were out there and cruising through the pro shop.  He especially liked the Cobra and the Rent-A-Racecars.We also went and watched the Ariel Atom turn some laps.  I also took the opportunity to get some pics of some of our THMMC members out on the track during one of their sessions.

Just before the lunch break, I decided to head out for my second session.  As we lined up, it turned out we only had 8 cars in the group this time.  Max Headroom was in the group this time, a couple cars ahead of me.  The track was a lot wetter this time, but we were still going about as fast as earlier.  In fact, I think the pace car decided to wind it out just a tiny bit during a couple of our middle laps.  This meant I was able to get it up to 100 mph at one point during this run.  We also saw another spin, this time by one of the RX-7s just before we started up the esses.  Unlike MidnightDave, he ended up going off track, but not into anything.  And just like earlier, he was two cars in front of me, so we got a pretty good view of things.

Upon returning to the paddock area after the second session, the PA announcer was calling for none other than THMMC's own Max Headroom who had won one of the rides in the McLaren Can-Am.  So, my son and I went and watched him get in that and head out on the track for (what I'm sure were) some extreme thrills.

Thus concluded the day at VIR.  It was a blast for me to get the Mini out and be able to wind it out a bit.  Obviously, with it being a paced event further slowed by weather I was nowhere close to be on the edge.  Of course, the downside is that I am even more interested in being able to attend something like a Phil Wicks Driving Academy so I can really see what I can do in the Mini (or is that what the Mini can do to me?).