Bonneville Speed Week 2014

Klem and I haven’t been on a vacation for two years. With family matters to work through and health issues that seemed to never end, it wasn’t meant to be. But we finally seen clear skies come through this summer when I got the word at work that my vacation was approved. So we booked our hotels, coerced the kids to watch the house/pets, and made all the necessary plans to get away to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah for Southern California Timing Association’s Speed Week 2014.

Salt Flats rod

Speed Week is a special community for high speed action and car meca freaks. It’s an international event that includes participants and enthusiasts from across the U.S., Canada, Europe and down under in Australia and New Zealand.  This is a unique sport that consists of very determined people who drive hot rods, roadsters, belly tankers, lakesters, motorcycles, streamliners and even diesel trucks to ‘shoot the salt’ in a simple quest to have their name added to the list of many record holders. We’ve made the trip twice over the last few years and we promised ourselves to go when we could, and this is the year we get back. It was also an extra sweet year to make the trek as it marks the 100th anniversary of world records at Bonneville.

Speed Week 2014 image 1

It’s by no means a short distance to drive from where we live …. approximately 6,900 kms there and back, averaging us 10 solid hours a day over a 3 day span. And because the hotels are booked from one year to the next, we can’t get one close to the event (in Wendover) and so we drive 1 1/2 hours each way from our spot near the airport in Salt Lake City to get to the flats. Yes, we’d love not having to drive that 3 hours a day, but when you get that ‘salt fever’, you just do it!

We were ready! We had our canopy, our chairs, sun lotion, water, hats, camera and video camera. It was going to be a good time, like it has been the last two times we’ve been. We were so excited, so pumped and it was a our overdue vacation.

It was not to be.

Heavy rain last week resulted in the entire course being inundated with as much as a couple of feet of water, and the event organizers with the Southern California Timing Association determined that the salt would not dry in time for any racing during the scheduled week of August 9-15.

Bonneville Salt Flats

The Salt Flats flooded view – August 9, 2014

The official statement on their website reads:

“The SCTA Board is currently on the salt, and has determined that the standing water will not dry in time for us to hold our annual Speed Week event. The Board is also discussing the possibility of extending our next event – World Finals (Sep 30 – Oct 3) into a full week of racing as a sort of delayed Speed Week. We Thank You all for your patience and understanding. We look forward to seeing you at our next event.”

2014 SpeedWeek Cancellation

The announcing/timing-slip trailer sits in the water at the Bonneville Salt Flats PHOTO BY SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TIMING ASSOCIATION

The same geography that makes the Bonneville Salt Flats so ideal for setting land-speed records also makes it ideal for collecting the rainwater that falls in the region, so Speed Week racers and fans are always at the mercy of unseasonable summer rainfall. Mother nature (sure it’s not a guy?) wasn’t kind to us and the week was a wash out (sorry for the pun!).

We plan to go again – not sure when but we’ll make the trek another year for sure. We got a few pictures and swapped some stories with those who came a long distance, or from just down the road – how some had their cars built special for this event and others hoped to break a record or two and sadly, how some didn’t even get the chance to unload their cars off the flatbeds.

So now, it will all have to wait until next year folks. But just think, it gives you that extra time to get started on your special project for the run on the flats.

Be sure to catch the “fever”… see you soon!

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Are you the pigeon or the statue?

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A co-worker sent this to me and it started my Monday off with a smile. Learning to cope and manage stress is a serious issue and demands a lot of work by trial and error (at least in my case). With so much information and “how tos” available, you can sometimes lose sight of the humour when trying to find your way. So when this fun list came along I knew I wanted to share it with you, to help you conquer the maze – and go right ahead, this is your day to declare yourself the pigeon!

A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience with a raised glass of water. Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’  She fooled them all …. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile.  Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.” “If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” She continued, “and that’s the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden – holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the evening and into the night.”


* Accept the fact that some days you’re the pigeon and some days you’re the statue!

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* Always keep your words soft and sweet just in case you have to eat them.

* Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

* Drive carefully… It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.

* If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

* If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

* It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

pushing_cart* Never buy a car you can’t push.

* Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.

* Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

* Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late. Earlybird1

* The second mouse gets the cheese.

* When everything’s coming your way, you’re in the wrong lane.

* Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

* Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

* We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

* A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

* Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.

AND MOST IMPORTANTLY…..

* Save the earth….. It’s the only planet with chocolate!earth

Chocolate Espresso Custard

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image chocolate espresso custard

No, I haven’t made this delicious looking dessert yet, but chocolate and espresso go together perfectly that when I do make it, it will be the grande finale in a wonderful meal. Time isn’t always on my side so I experiment with new recipes on the weekend so that I have a Plan B backup if it ends not being eaten (or worse yet, tossed to the garbage).  I know it’s really bad when even the dogs don’t eat the creation!

image chocolate custard

This dessert finds itself on a long list of recipes in my binder that are waiting to be enjoyed if I can only get to making it. I know all of you likely have the same kind of list, go ahead and admit it and you’re drooling right now!

So maybe you have more time than I do, you have all the ingredients on hand and have the creative mindset to make this right now. So here’s the recipe for you to try when you can get to it, and hope it’s a wonderful choice that you end up calling it a “keeper.” Enjoy!

Chocolate Espresso Custard is a sweet, cool treat to enjoy any time of the year. While this version is dairy-free, utilizing coconut milk and coconut whipped cream, there are substitutions to make it a bit more traditional. The smooth flavors of chocolate and espresso are both pronounced. When garnished with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and chocolate covered espresso beans, this custard will disappear in no time.

Chocolate Espresso Custard

Recipe from Pastry Affairwww.pastryaffair.com

Yields 4-6 servings

14 ounces (400 grams) full-fat coconut milk (can also substitute half and half or whole milk)
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg yolks
4 ounces (113 grams) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped finely
1 teaspoon vanilla
Coconut Whipped Cream (or regular whipped cream), optional
Shaved chocolate, optional
Chocolate covered espresso beans, optional

In a large saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk, espresso powder, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Turn the heat down to low.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Pour a small amount of the milk mixture into the eggs and stir quickly to prevent the eggs from cooking. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and whisk everything together.

Turn the heat back up to medium and continue cooking, while stirring. Once the pudding thickens enough to thickly coat the back of a spoon, about 5-10 minutes or more, remove from heat.

Stir in the chopped chocolate until the pudding is smooth and completely melted. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour pudding evenly between serving dishes, cover, and place in the refrigerator to cool.

Just before serving, garnish with coconut whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and chocolate covered espresso beans.

Summer is Coming!

Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood. – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Let’s hope summer is soon here to stay as we’ve had no spring this year. The winter fell directly into the lap of a pretend summer and robbed us blindly of those precious spring days. I need each season to stay on my doorstep for awhile to enjoy it and then let it go slowly and happily to the next season. I love them all, so when I lose a season like this year, I’m not a happy camper.

So why so glum chum? I’m wishing for a summer to stay and relax with, garden with and complain about the hot weather with… bring it on! Then when I’m done with it, I’ll send it on its way and welcome the wonderful autumn, and dare I say it, magical winter.  When I was younger summer meant watching cartoons all morning, hanging out with friends in the neighbourhood all day and going back home when the streetlights turned on. My summer wish list has changed somewhat as I’ve gotten older, but it still remains the magical and fun, almost lazy season and there’s nothing like it.  Drinks on the deck, vacation plans, patio lanterns, music on the beach and the sound of flip-flops on bare feet. Pure bliss.

Summer will be here soon, of that I’m sure and I’ll welcome it with happy gleeful grins. Meanwhile take a deep breath, slowly exhale and let your memories wander!

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Berries in a Basket

Hummingbird

Summer_Friends

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Have you heard about Emeli?

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Emeli SandeQuick!  Get your downloads from iTunes going, buy the CD, download from your torrent sites – however you get your tunes, get them readyl  I found a new artist, or maybe she found me, but nevertheless your gonna want to hear this lady.

Adele Emeli Sandé Gouraguine, better known as Emeli Sandé, is an English-born Scottish recording artist and songwriter, and she’s one of the biggest solo artists to emerge from the U.K. in 2012. If I tried to explain her sound, perhaps when you think a beautiful mixture of Alicia Keys and Adele, then that’s her kind of style and passion in all her music.

Stated on her website: … a 23-year-old from rural northern Scotland. Piano has been your instrument, your songwriting tool, since you were ten; your voice has been remarkable for even longer. A tattoo of artist Frida Kahlo – a typically single-minded, forthright heroine runs the length of your right forearm.

“Our Version Of Events”, Emeli’s first album, has overtaken the Beatles to officially become a record breaking debut, having spent more consecutive weeks in the UK top 10 than any other debut album!

On hearing the news Emeli said:

“I’m completely lost for words and this is something I could only have dreamed of. The Beatles are the greatest band of all time and their legacy lives on and continues to inspire all of us that make music.  I’m so happy that so many people have connected with the stories and the songs on the record, this really is our version of events now. I’d like to say thank you to everyone that has bought, played or shared my music in the last year, without your support this would never have been possible.”

In her first album, “Our Version of Events”, here’s the first verse of
“Next to Me”

You won’t find him drinking under tables
Rolling dice or staying out ’til three
You won’t ever find him be unfaithful
You will find him, you’ll find him next to me
You won’t find him tryna change the devil
For money, fame, for power out of greed
You won’t ever find him where the rest go
You will find him, you’ll find him next to me

… and I think it’s catchy and fun.  All her music is delivered with huge amounts of passionate, the lyrics are thoughtful, emotional and provoking.  Watch her here!

In recent news, “The Great Gatsby”, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, looks set to be one of the hottest film releases of 2013 and Emeli is a part of it, with a place on the official soundtrack. Emeli’s joined forces with The Bryan Ferry Orchestra for a jazz rendition of Beyonce’s classic ‘Crazy In Love’.  Keep your eyes out for that!

If you’d like to learn more about Emeli and her music, look here on her website or you can follow her on social media platforms.

I love discovering new things and Emeli is now one of my favourite new artists.  Maybe she’ll be yours too!

 

in honour of the fact that life is short

sunsetwear your white shirts. get them pressed.
use your good dishes — everyday.

do not wait for special occasions.
do not tuck your best away in the drawers, in the back of the closet, in your heart.
don’t wait for holidays or invitations.

declare that your today is the special occasion.

call instead of emailing. (it feels so good to connect.)
go for coffee.

quit.

renounce your glory days. you’ve told all of those stories more than twice.
focus forward.

wear perfume for yourself. toss your only-wear-around-the-house clothes and let your good clothes graduate to around-the-house status.
intend to feel good all of the time.

write your book.

launch.

make great sex a priority. (this alone will make you more creative and free. on your death bed, you will think about all the great sex you had this lifetime.)

burn your to-do list.

write poetry. One a day.

make a point to be as encouraging as possible, as much as possible, to everyone possible.

don’t look back.

if you feel like you’re always failing, consider that this is part of being an artist. let it be a divine inclination. keep going.

enter.

leave.

eat real food.

often refuse to be in the presence of people who make you feel repressed, anxious, or pull your frequency down.

do not entertain haters.

send light to the haters.

give it away. you probably don’t need it and someone else does.

turn off the tv.

let it be easy.

burn candles. during the day.

fall in love. with yourself. with the person you’re with. with the persons in your orbit.
because no one is perfect, but you can let the love be perfect for the both of you.
because everyone — everyone — is a doorway to God.
because you can get there from here.

because life is short.