Stealth Mode…2013 version

I have been taking a summer break so to speak right now. Sometimes you just have to step back and take care of yourself. I am hoping to get things back on track and get back to The Park. In the mean time, I am still watching things and I do have a lot to write about.

Thanks~ Trixie

Texas Government in Action

I usually don’t post about my political affiliation or where I fall on hot button topics.  I do not want this blog to become a political forum.  I love a good debate don’t get me wrong, but this is not the place for it.  With that being said, I loved what was happening in the Texas Senate last night.  Senator Wendy Davis began her filibuster yesterday morning shortly after 11:00 am (11:18 am to be exact) to prevent a vote on a the controversial bill SB5.  Without going into too much detail, this bill was dealing with abortion.  Throughout the afternoon and late into the evening Senator Davis continued speaking on point about this bill.. During this time she would not be able to eat or drink anything or use the restroom during her speech.  She wouldn’t be able to sit or lean on a desk or chair under any circumstances.  A filibuster can end if the person speaking yields the floor or after three violations of the rules for decorum and debater.   Late into the evening, the Republicans were trying to stop the filibuster and this is where all the fun and somewhat confusion began.

In Texas, our legislature meets every two years.They convene at noon on the 2nd Tuesday in January in odd-numbered year.  The maximum duration for a regular session is 140 days.  However, our governor can call a special session if necessary to deal with critical legislation.  These special sessions are limited to 30 days.  During this time the legislature is permitted to pass laws only on subjects submitted by the governor in calling for the session.  And this is where we were last night.  The special session as called by Governor Rick Perry was scheduled to end at midnight.  If the Senate did not pass the SB 5 (it had already passed in the House), the bill would die and it would not be sent to Governor Perry.

Social media was awesome last night.  I was able to watch the proceedings from the Senate floor via The Texas Tribune website.  I also followed along on Twitter at #sb5 and #txlege.  There were several tweets that were very informative, funny and some were, to be honest, down right stupid.  But, here I was late at night, watching my state legislature at work n the confines of my home in Lubbock, Texas.  Granted by the time it ended, I still didn’t know what germane and germaneness meant.  I don’t know who was right on the points of order. Senators were moving to table, moving to debate, etc.  As midnight approached Senator Van de Putte (D-San Antonio)  made the best statement of the night (in my opinion)…(when she says President, she is referring to Senator Robert Duncan who was presiding over things last night)

“Did the President hear me or did the President hear me and refuse to recognize me?  At What point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?”

This statement brought thunderous cheers from the gallery.  For the next fifteen minutes, all you could pretty much hear was cheering and applause from the gallery.  These constituents were making their voices heard last night.  A roll call was attempted to vote for the bill, but as I watched the clock, it became midnight.  This meant, according to the law, the special session was over and the bill died on the Senate floor.  The bill could not be signed, enrolled or sent to Governor Perry.  Even after I turned things off shortly after midnight, there was some debate whether the vote occurred prior to midnight or right after midnight.  At 3:00 am this morning, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, officially declared the bill could not be enrolled.

I have always been fascinated by how the government works.  I am not always a fan of our legislators both here in Texas and in Washington.  Politics is a game.  I believe majority of our elected officials do try to do right by all of us. I know this battle for SB5 isn’t over.  By law Governor Perry can call another special session and this starts all over again.  I for one will be watching!

And the winner is…

If you didn’t get a chance to vote for the design of the pace car that will lead the drivers to the green at the Party in the Poconos 400, then you missed out!

Here is the design you, the fans, chose with 2,965 votes…

pace car 3







Party in the Poconos 400

Party in the Poconos 400 presented by Walmart is a little over a month away (June 9).  If have already made plans to head to the race, FANTASTIC!  If you have not made plans, but not sure if you can afford it, you are in luck!  Walmart in partnership with Pocono Speedway to offer 16,000 concourse level tickets for just $25!  That’s what I said $25!!!  Tickers at this low price are still available and can be purchased online at Walmart.

You can still cast you vote for the pierogie you want to see served at the race.  You can choose from the following three pierogie flavors:

  1. Hot Honey Buffalo Wing
  2. Loaded Potato Skin
  3. Sweet Cinnamon


Right now, Loaded Potato Skin has a commanding lead.  So if you are fans of the other two pierogies, you better get to voting!  Remember just like with the name of the race, you can vote once a day, every day until May 7.  You can vote online via the Walmart Facebook Page at 400.  Make your voice heard!

There is a third stage of voting you will get to participate in as fans.  Beginning May 8th through May 27th, you will get to choose between three designs for the pace car.  So be on the lookout for your chance to decide the design!

Beginning June 5, Walmarts in the Long Pond area will be hosting NASCAR fan events.  These events will feature real stock racing car and simulator displays, FREEsamples from suppliers, driver appearances and more!  Man, that sounds exciting!  Plus while you are participating in these exciting events, you can pick up some of those tailgating items you may have left behind!

So make your summer plans to join other race faces at Party in the Poconos 400 presented by Walmart on June 9, 2013!  You don’t want to miss out on all the action!

Have a great day!

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Short tracks are my favorite tracks on the circuit.  You get 43 cars in a small arena fighting for the same real estate.  When you hear “going three wide” on a short track, it usually isn’t a good thing.  Short tracks make for some exciting racing, but it also can create some angry and/or hurt feelings during and after the race.  Saturday night was no different at Richmond.  It seemed the fireworks had already started on Friday night after the Nationwide race.  Nelson Piquet Jr kicked Brian Scott, as we say in our household, in the peanuts.  Then members of the RCR Nationwide crew were involved in an altercation outside the track.  Before I get into all “love fest”, I want to talk about the race

Matt Kenseth team’s came into Richmond after receiving severe penalties from NASCAR.  With these penalties, he lost the credit for his pole win.  So with that, Matt Kenseth rolled into Richmond and won the pole!  Up through roughly lap 253, the only two drivers who lead laps was Matt Kenseth and Clint Bowyer.  In fact at one point early on in the race five of the first 6 spots were held by Toyotas.  Kyle took the lead roughly around 253.  It looked like the Toyotas had everything dialed in to the Toyota Owners 400.  The first non-Toyota to lead during the race was Kurt Busch after the 6th caution on lap 203.  It was fun to watch the Busch brothers race at times.  They are very competitive races and want to win and Saturday was no different.  The Busch brothers are aggressive drivers.  I have seen Kyle do things with his car that leave you thinking, “Did I just see that?”  Kyle is having a good year and Kurt is having a decent year, well compared to where he was last year.  I have called both brothers out on this site for their behavior both on and off the track, but I always have given them props for their driving talents.  BUT…I was none too pleased with Kurt after Saturday night (and to be honest there were others at Richmond who were none too pleased either).

Tony was entering the race mired way down in the points and no top ten finish since the 2nd race of the season at Phoenix.  I was hoping this would a chance for Tony to get back on track as the summer stretch approaches.  He tends to get “HOT” this time of year.  So even though, he is in his worst 8 race start of his career, this Tony fan was hoping for a good result on Saturday.  To my surprise, he was mired in the 20s for a third of the race.  Every time there was a caution, I would track where he was when the yellow flag flew and what position he restarted.  Around lap 171, he reached position 17th!  I was excited.  Perhaps if he managed to get to 17th, he could get in the top 15.  After the 5th caution of the night, Tony restarted 13th!  Wow!  I can’t believe how pumped I was for Tony to be up in 13th position.  I thought maybe as the night when the #14 team had gotten something figured out with his car.  He continued to race in these positions until the proverbial black cat hit.  Tony caused a crash.  He got loose and got into Jimmie.  This put him back down to 24th.  He did come over the radio and took 100% responsibility for the crash.  At this point I thought, this evening is over.  Yes, it was at lap 328 and there was still some racing left, but with the troubles this team has had over the last several weeks I wasn’t optimistic.  I have learned you never can count out Tony Stewart.  Tony was up to 5th for the restart after the final caution of the night.  I couldn’t believe it Tony had a shot at the victory! Restarts can be tricky and this one was going to be no different. It was crazy!  All I saw were cars moving every which way to get their best shot at the win.  And like he is known to do, here comes Kevin Harvick.  With the front-runners bearing down, I really did have hope that Tony would have the chance to win.  Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be thanks to Kurt Busch.  From my viewpoint, it looked like Kurt took Tony out of the groove causing Tony to get loose.  Tony was on his way to the best finish he has had since Phoenix.  Tony finished 18th.   Tony was not happy with Kurt and made no bones about it after the race was over.  Of course, Kurt said he didn’t know what the 14 was upset about.  Really Kurt?  Of course, Tony wasn’t the only who was not happy with Mr. Busch.  I believe Matt K. was upset with him as well.  Oh by the way, Tony left without comment.

Congratulations Kevin Harvick!

Other tidbits…

  • I believe the penalties handed down to Matt Kenseth by NASCAR were harsh.  I know NASCAR are hard asses when it comes to fuel, engines and tires.  But in this case, this was a clear oversight on the people at TRD.  In fact Clint Bowyer’s engines from Richmond and Daytona had rods too close for comfort so TRD pulled them out of use.  Because of TRD’s oversight, JGR suffered the brunt of the penalties.  JGR is appealing the penalties.  Joe Gibbs said he was appealing on the severity of the penalties.  It will be interesting to see how all this shakes out.
  • Can Denny Hamlin make a run for The Chase this year?  He has been sidelined since his wreck at California.with a back injury.  It will be a long road for him.  He will have to rattle off some wins along the way, but there are those who think he can do it.  He begins his journey this week at Talladega.  He has been given the clear the start the race which will allow him to receive the driver points.  Then Brian Vickers will take over the car for the rest of the race.  He is targeting the race at Darlington (May 11) to be his first full race since California.
  • Speaking of Brian Vickers, I am glad he has been given the chance to show what he can do in a Cup car.  Like Denny, Brian knows what it is like to see someone else to drive you car.  During the 2010 season Brian had to step away from his ride due to illness.  He did not return to competition until 2011 season.  He has had a rough time the last couple of years, but I think he is back on track with his career.  He is now running full-time for JGR’s Nationwide program as well as driving for MWR.  Keep on plugging away Brian.
  • Favorite term I hear uttered during the broadcast…”roll bar motel”!  Thanks for making me almost spit Coke-Cola all over the floor Mike Joy!

Some final thoughts…I am returning to work as of tomorrow, May 1.  I was planning to start grad school and being a stay-at-home mom.  Unfortunately, grad school cost money and I don’t get a salary as a stay-at-home mom (even though it is one of the hardest jobs around), so I am headed back to the work force.  It may seem weird, but I really like working.  I like being a mom and being around for my kiddos, but being there is something I get from working in an office.  I am nervous, but excited all at the same time.  Luckily, I am returning to the same employer, Texas Tech University, however it will be in a different capacity.  What does this mean for The Park?  Absolutely nothing.  I just will have to do some of my posts late at night or very early in the morning.  Thanks for riding along with them over the years!

At A Loss.

Last post I wrote about NASCAR, I wondered what has gone wrong with the #14 team so far this year.  I am hoping it is just something they haven’t figured out with this new Gen-6 car.  I didn’t watch much of the Kansas race due to the onslaught of out of control weeds in my back yard.  But every time I would pop in during the race Tony was racing between 19-22 place.  I mean it didn’t matter when I came in there he was stuck in that zone.  This is the zone his team has been the last several weeks with his car.  Could it be more than just missing the set up on the car?  Could SHR be stretched too thin with three teams to take care of each week?  Sometimes more doesn’t mean better.  I think if SHR can get Tony’s team on track the other two will fall into place.  I just don’t know any more.

Congratulations to Matt Kenseth for winning Kansas.  He is the third driver in a row to win from the pole position.  I have to say the move from Roush Racing to Joe Gibbs has been a positive move for him.  Sometimes changing jobs can make such a huge difference.  Matt, along with Jimmie and Kyle have two wins this season.  Matt is one of those drivers that tends to quiet but deadly.  At times you say to yourself, where did he come from?  I think he is going to be a force during the rest of the season.

Sorry for not writing too much about NASCAR with this post.  Last weeks’ events in Boston and West have had the country engrossed in news outlets for hours at a time.  This includes me.  I found myself watching things unfold on Monday with the bombings in Boston, through Friday when they were able to apprehend the second suspect in the bombings.  I am proud of the law enforcement entities involved in the bringing this manhunt to a conclusion.  Even though I was saddened by the events in Boston, my heart is with the residents of West, Texas.  I am so proud of my state for banding together to support this town of roughly 2700 people.  If you haven’t been through Texas, you can’t understand the vastness of the state.  We are the 2nd largest state in the union.  You can travel all day and never get out of the state.  It takes about 12 hours to bet from my home in Lubbock, Texas (located in the northern part of the state or square part as some have told me) to the Weslaco which is located near the border of Mexico.  It is closer to Los Angeles from El Paso than El Paso to Beaumont.  In this vastness there are many tiny towns and communities many have never heard of.  West, Texas is just one of those outside of Texas you did know existed until Wednesday night.  I have told people about West and they think I am talking about the West Texas region.  This is a mistake.  I would have to clarify by saying West comma Texas.  I do not have to do this any more.  When traveling in the state Texans think about how long it will take not in miles.  But despite all of this Texas has never been so close.  I am so proud of my fellow Texans for banding together to help the city of West and its citizens to try to recover from this horrific event.  If you are in the Waco area, there will be a memorial for the fallen firefighters and EMTs at the Ferrell Center located on the Baylor University campus.  If you can take time out your day to pay tribute, please do so.  These men were heading into the fire while others were running away from the fire.  The memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm.  I wish I could be there, but even though I can’t I will be thinking about these first responders and their families. God Bless.