April… March?

Uh, yeah… about that. I seem to have gotten distracted in my willingness to blog more. What can I say? Facebook ate my homework? Seems if I have a few extra minutes on the computer I’m lounging about on there, catching up on most of you (those of you who are on there). Then there are the games. Oh, my. I gave up my WoW (World of Warcraft) addiction – sort of – and in its place I now have these things called a “cafe”, “frontier”, “farm”, “pet”, etc… that take up endless hours that I feel could be better used. I even got away from them for awhile, but they lured me back in with guilt. Guilt because my friends were playing and if I don’t play I don’t help them… and if I help them, then they help me. You get the idea.

The WoW thing? Yeah… I gave it up. I say “sort of” because I’m really missing it. Most of the people I met there I see pretty routinely on FB, at least the ones I knew the best. I do miss the whole graphics of it and the plotting and the planning and the “if I’m having a bad day I can shoot a bunch of alien bad guys and feel better” aspect. I miss having that in common with my kids, most of whom played at one time or another so it was a mutual interest. Now the boys are into some other game and when I hear them talking about the game it brings back the feeling I had having that with them.

Just for a quick update. The back is 100% better. I am now pain free! It is wonderful. I can drive, walk, sit, even clean the house… pain free! The last time I had this surgery, I ended up with months of physical therapy because of something called ‘frozen shoulder’. It was caused partially by my diabetes, and because before the surgery when I was in pain I babied my arms and shoulders and didn’t keep the range of motion in them (because it hurt). This time I just toughed out the pain and hoped it would pay off by not having that issue after surgery, and I was right. Given a few days for the actual surgery recovery, the arms went back to feeling great. I still had all my range of motion and didn’t have the stiffness and pain I’d had previously. The doctor even let me start walking, slowly, a couple of weeks after surgery. Mid-March I had my final checkup and x-ray and all looked well. I now have a neck that is fused from the C4 vertebrae to the T1, in three sections of surgery. My surgeon pointed out that the top one, C4-C5 that he did was nice and straight and has a titanium plate in place. The last surgery, which he also did, was fusing C6-T1. Also with a titanium plate and nice and straight. The one in-between, C5-C6 was my first surgery done by another surgeon, and was fused with cadaver bone. It isn’t quite as straight. He laughed and said he’d love to go in and fix it, but it is hard to tell someone you want to go in and break their neck, just to make something more asthetically pleasing on the inside!

So, March flew by and I didn’t even realize I’d not blogged. The end of March and April so far have been busy. With some gumption, I may actually blog about that… uh… soon?

Racing Recap

What a year it has been for my son racing. Oh, my! I only rarely used to go but this year I got tough and ended up going to most of them. He was racing Friday nights at a track about 40 miles away and by the end of the season (a couple of weeks ago) he’d won several races and ended up second in points for his class. On Saturday nights he was racing at the track that is only a few miles away, but didn’t have as good a time there. Too many issues with other racers being… uh… dickheads. Yeah, I said it. At any rate, a couple of weeks ago was the big Supernational race there that I’ve spoken of in years past. It is a race that draws people from all over, even Australia, to compete in different classes. It is a week long qualifying challange, which ends up on Saturday night being the big final race.

Son didn’t have a very good week. His car was running well and although it was supposed to look like this:

By shortly into the first race, it looked like this:

Slammed into a wall by another car. Yes, it happened right in front of my face. That was a good thing and a bad thing, as his wife and I decided later. It was good because he was close enough I could’ve counted his freckles and we could see he was okay. It was bad because HELLO IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR FACE. Yeah.

So it got hauled out off the track, loaded onto a trailer and taken to the nearby shop where it was all torn apart and a new front end was put on. Son has some awesome friends who helped … and, who were just coming to watch the race… not intending to be put to work until 4 a.m., then having a couple of hours sleep, going back at it to get him up and running and back in ship-shape condition in time to run the next chance race at 2:00 that afternoon.

He didn’t do very well in that race. Three hours sleep out of the last 36 doesn’t make judgement or reflexes very good and he went over the bank. No harm to himself or the car, but no advancement either.

The next night he was able to gain a spot in the bigger ‘B’ main but drew starting position 25. He had to end up within the top 8. I missed that race, as it rained and we weren’t sure if it was going to be rained out or not and my back was killing me, so daughter came and picked me up to take me home. Hubs told me he did awesome, though, battling through all those cars and getting just a car length from being one of the eight. He wasn’t happy but was glad the car was running well and he felt he got his groove back after some much-needed sleep.

Finally the last night and the last chance. He had to do well enough to get a last chance in to the big main race. It wasn’t to be. After all the rain the night before, now the track was bone dry and slick. He started near the back and there was just no getting anywhere. No one was passing… it was just too slippery and they couldn’t get a grip. Sadly his week long quest to get into the big race was not to be.

Watching the races after that was bittersweet. He was pretty down at first, feeling like he’d let all the guys down who had helped him with the car all week. Then his buddies got to talking with him and let him know they were just happy to be there and thrilled with how well he’d done and it boosted his spirits up. I was able to watch the other races knowing he was going to be okay and I didn’t have to worry about him being out in a car.

It didn’t hurt that a friend of his won the whole thing, too. His friend that was the number one in points at the other track… where my son came in number two. So, it was okay.

Plus… son had another big race just last Friday night and came led the field most of the race until some lap-traffic messed him up. Still he made it into second place. Not too shabby.

Me? I’m always about a.) is son okay? b.) is the car okay? … last but not least is c.) how did he do? In my mind, all is good.

Crazy Eights

(Disclaimer: I've had this in my drafts folder since November of 2007. I've updated it to change some of my answers since then. I think everyone should do this every two years. You'd be surprised at how much changes…or doesn't change.)

Thanks to Lisa here's my Crazy 8's. (btw, what's up with the crazy blog name, Lisa? You certainly are not refusing to blog…)

8 Things I’m Passionate About

1. My Family. They are each individual in personality and desires and I admire and love each of them.

2. My Critters. Yeah. I know. They are "only" animals, right? Wrong. They are very much a part of my life.

3. Reading. I've mentioned before that I can usually go through a book every day or so. Hubs' teases me the library is going to run out one of these days. I've been a reader since I can remember – sneaking around at night reading by any glimmer of light I could get, be it from the streetlight outside my window or the dial of my radio or the little bulb lighting up my electric blanket.

4. Computers. They frustrate me on some levels but on others they challenge me and I like that. I enjoy a good 'fist pump' when I solve some stupid problem that I know I should be able to get but struggle with. When it all works? YES! I've never had any formal training in the things, but for the most part I have a logical enough (Spock-brain?) mind to "think" like the machine. I always thought it would be fun to take some computer courses sometime and see what it is I really don't know…

5. Writing. Along with reading, I've been writing since I can remember. I never kept any sort of a formal "journal" until the blog stuff started, and you probably think since I've been so fits-and-starts this last year that I'm petering out, but I just have this urge to get things out on paper. As an only child and one who spent loads of time alone and had lots of frustrations in my world, I used it as a great escape to vent, dream, and venture into my own head. Probably if I hadn't been writing it all out I may have ended up with way more mental problems along the way. Just a guess.

6. Crafts. Although I feel very passionate about the crafty type things I like to do, my dilemma is I have tooo many of them that I enjoy. I rubber stamp, sew, crochet, knit, cross-stitch, paint, dabble in photography… and have the supplies and attending 'crap' to prove it. As a matter of fact, Hubs calls my "craft" room my "crap" room. He's more right than I care to admit.

7. Gardening. I don't know if this is a passion or just one of those things I can't seem to stop doing to myself. Every spring I get all excited and plant stuff, then spend the summer getting sunburnt and aching muscles, and finally by the time fall gets here I am so sick of it all I can't even put the gardens "to bed" properly. (Fellow gardeners know what that means.) It is rather like my enjoyment of cross-stitch. I really don't enjoy the process, I just enjoy the end result.

8. Cooking. Passion? Not sure if that's the right term for it, but I do enjoy it. My favorite is when the wind is howling and there is snow on the ground and I have the fireplace going and am whipping up some soup or stew and bread and some yummy dessert… and the house smells so good. Excuse me, I have to go wipe the drool off now.

8 Things I Want To Do Before I Die:

1. Write a book or two.
2. Get my photographs organized
3. Go to Ireland
4. Get all the crap out of my house and have the things left well-organized so my family doesn't have a horrible job ahead of them dealing with it all once I'm gone
5. Retire and spend time using all those craft supplies
6. See all my children happy, healthy and at peace – whether it be in a relationship or not.
7. Be sure that everyone I love knows I love them.
8. I'd like to meet some bloggers…you know, in REAL LIFE.

8 Things I Say Often:

1. Shit.
2. What's up?
3. WTF!?!
4. Fuck.
5. Me too! (Hub's and my ever-so-secret code for I love you)
6. You're kidding.
7. Dumbass
8. Bullshit.

(I cuss a lot, don't I?)

8 Books I’ve read recently: (I'm not answering this because they all blur together. Go to any Amazon or Borders Bookstore website, click on the first eight books you see in either mystery, horror, or fiction categories and I will have read them.I will however, list some of my favorite authors.)

1. Stephen King
2. Dean Koontz
3. Lee Childs
4. Patricia Cornwell
5. Michael Connelly
6. David Baldacci
7. James Patterson
8. Jonathan Kellerman

8 Songs I Could Listen To Over And Over: (Again, I have music running most of the time and can't pick on song as they change. I'll just list some favorite musicians.
1. October Project
2. Sheryl Crow
3. Nickleback
4. Linkin Park
5. Five for Fighting
6. Diana Krall
7. Sarah McLachlan
8. Dave Matthews Band

8 Things That Attract Me To My Best Friends: (Friends? What are those?)

1. No bullshit.
2. No bullshit.
3. No bullshit.
4. No bullshit.
5. No bullshit.
6. No bullshit.
7. No bullshit.
8. No bullshit.



I don't know if you can see what this is…. but it is my son's new racing t-shirt for the big Supernational races next week. He has a friend who goes by the nickname "Jake the Snake" and has a logo of a snake on his shirts, so of course we had to go with "Snyder the Spider". My son's friend hates snakes, and, yes, my son hates spiders. Go figure.

Tonight is the last regular season race at the track he's been at all summer. It is a different track than he's been at the past few years, but the race track promotor for that regular track has let things slide to where attendance is paltry and there are only about five or six cars in his class racing. That's not hardly enough to make it interesting. Of course, for me it would be fine as I'd like to see him just get out in front and stay there and not have anyone touch him all night – but that's a mom speaking. From a race fan perspective, the guys like to get into a few cars and have some competition. My son hasn't had any problems with that issue this year. The track he's been at normally has at least twenty-five cars a night and for whatever reason my son ends up in the middle to end of the pack every time. He then has to fight and scratch his way to the front. He's won very few races this year, but in the track points for his class he is in second place – only a few points from the leader. Not enough that even if he won the race tonight he'd win in points, but enough that if his number one competition were to, say, blow up a motor in the main feature race – then my son would win on points. I'm fairly confident he's going to still be in second place when the night is over no matter what happens, but that's nothing to be ashamed of. He is just consistant in his finishes and is always moving forward and passing other cars, gaining him those points.

Next week is the big all-week country-wide phenomena known as Supernationals. We're just lucky it is in a nearby town. People come from all over the country and as far away as Australia! They end up having over 30 heats of races and many nights the racing is over until 3 a.m. One night last year they had a rain delay and didn't even start until midnight!  Son and his wife are taking the RV over and they and their dog will camp out for the week as Hubs and myself come and go. It is night after night of racing to qualify for the big final race on Saturday night. If you qualify on the first night out then you are done racing until the big one. However, if you don't qualify then you try again the next night and the next, etc., until you get there. Some guys never do get in, so so far (knock on wood) my son has. Keeping fingers crossed for next week. Last year it took him all week to qualify!

I've been doing better this year about going to the races and not getting as stressed out. Part of my strategy is to not watch each and every race before my son races. That way I don't see every other crash, blow up, etc., and I don't get quite so worked up beforehand. I know he thinks I'm nuts, but when he's racing my mantra is "please let him be safe"… winning to me comes in second. He's a good racer and has excellent almost uncanny reflexes and can seem to sense when a problem is coming up right in front of him, but it still makes me crazy to watch.

As far as the new t-shirt design? Can't say as I'm crazy about it as I hate spiders, too, but I guess there are worse things to be called!

Jon and Kate Plus…?

You'd have to be living under a rock right now not to have heard about the reality show “Jon and Kate Plus 8”. Even if you've never watched it, you have certainly caught news articles or magazine covers in the supermarket check-out line touting the end of their marriage and all the wailing going on about “oh-what-will-we-do-about-the-children”? I guess there is even a special episode on tonight that is supposed to answer the burning question… will they or won't they?

I would like to say I've not stooped so low as to follow this fiasco, but I would be lying. I started watching the show a few months ago and although I don't always agree with their decisions or their parenting skills, I have always maintained that children don't come with manuals and we all do the best we can… well, most of us do. I'm not talking about the crack-moms or the ones who leave their children in the car while they go into the bar. I think for the most part, main-stream moms who love their children do the best they can and they really do try to think about what is best for their children.

Do we all get it right? Hell no. I can speak from experience. I don't think most of us get it right very much of the time. I think a lot of it is luck… and angels watching out.

We've all gone crazy about Kate's bossiness and Jon's wussiness. We've all decided she's a bitch and he's a wiener. It is rumored he's playing around with young women and she's playing around with old bodyguards. Personally? Who cares. I mean, seriously. Who. Cares.

Yes, they put their children out there for the world to see. Yes, it has brought them a lot of money and fame and follows comes photographers and sleazy news articles. Are they true? Probably. Should we care? Not unless we are prepared to have to answer to our own perfection. Remember, glass houses, rocks, etc…?

I think there is probably going to be a big change in that tv show. I think there is going to be a huge change in that family dynamic. I think it should be done in private, not out where we have to live with seeing all the dirty laundry aired. Yes, it is probably there, but do we have to look at those children ten years down the road with a knowing smile and say, “yeah… I saw your parents implode on national tv”. Me? I'm going to just turn it off now and let them live their lives… hopefully, not in the public eye.

Just For Fun – The Name Meme

Stole this from Dave. It has been awhile since I just did something 'fun' on here… 


2. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME (mother and father’s middle names)
Ruth Ray (hrm…)

3. NASCAR NAME (first name of your mother’s dad; father’s dad)
Walter John (ha… I could win races with that name!)

4. STAR WARS NAME (the first three letters of your last name, first two letters of your first name)
Snysu (sounds like a disease)

5. DETECTIVE NAME (favorite color, favorite animal)
Red Cat (sounds more like an energy drink…)

6. SOAP OPERA NAME (middle name, town where you were born)
Elaine Keokuk  (oh, now, that's just awful)

7. SUPERHERO NAME (second fav color, fav drink, add ‘the’ to the beginning)
The Green Pepsi (bah)

8. FLY NAME (first two letters of your first name, last two letters of your last name)
Suer (….?)

9. ROCK STAR NAME (current pet’s name, current street name)
Benny X  (that would work!… oh, wait… I need some "Jets"…)

10. PORN NAME (first pet, street you grew up on)
Toby Marion (I see no sex appeal in that name at ALL)

11. GANGSTA NAME (first three letters of your real name, plus izzle)
Susizzle (…sounds like a popcycle flavor)

12. IRAQI NAME (second letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, first two letters of your middle name, last two letters of your first name, then last three letters of your last name)
Uyelander (…a planet in outer space, more likely)

13. GOTH NAME (black, and the name of one of your pets)
Black Benny (…makes me think I'm a 300lb black man)

14. STRIPPER NAME (favorite perfume, favorite candy)
Sensual Chocolate (somehow "Hershey" just didn't sound as good…)

Your turn!

Keeping Current

Wow. I was just flipping through my blogroll to try and do some long-overdue catching up and was amazed – and dismayed – to see how many blogs have either totally disappeared or gone private. I am tempted to throw away all the links and start from scratch. Would that be cruel? Would that be upsetting? Hrm. I may need to think about this. Do me a favor. If you've gone private and would like to let me see your blog, please send me an email and give me the link and whatever I need to know to get in, mkay? My email is sesnyde at gmail dot com. Thanks! Oh, and if I do decide to clean 'em all off and your disappears, feel free to contact me to put it back. I'd love to keep in touch.