Thursday, February 28, 2013

Car Racing, Ice Cream and Fat Bastards

Last week's NASCAR racing was pretty interesting. Not a big fan of NASCAR (I prefer open wheel) but, like the Super Bowl, it is somehow un American not to tune in to the Daytona 500 for a least a while. I actually attended the race back in 81 or 82, and watched from the infield no less. I don't remember much about the race, couldn't tell you who won, but I do remember that there were such things to be seen that rivaled some of the things I have seen the numerous time I went to Mardi Gras. Not that there is anything wrong with that mind.
The wreck that occurred in the  preliminary race the day before the big event was something. It is by the grace of God that no one, driver or spectator, was killed in that one. Pretty impressive wreck to be sure. Predictably there are now some who are wanting to make things "safer" in NASCAR. Even more predictably there are those do gooders who would really want to do away with the entire sport for various reasons. Perusing various message boards, I came across those who actually want close down racing because of the "fuel it wastes." People like that can be discounted as ignorant asses of course but I don't know how one would make car racing a risk free sport. Jayhawk points out that blocking is forbidden in Indy racing and perhaps should be banned in NASCAR also. Makes sense. Other than that I don't see what else can be done to make the sport any safer.
In just about any sport there is a least a little bit of risk to fans. Someone can get bonked in the head by a baseball or broken bat and I believe a few years back a young woman was unfortunately killed by a hockey puck that went over the partition. It is rare that these things happen but there is a slight risk of injury just rolling out of bed in the morning. Oh, almost forgot, I did once see video where a bull got loose in the stands during a bullfight somewhere and I hate to admit that I found it rather amusing. Nothing is completely safe.

I have never met a person that did not like at least some sort of ice cream or other. Never. I'm sure someone exists somewhere that dislikes the frozen dessert but I have never met them. Every part of the country it seems has some sort of regional premium brand that they tout to be the best there is. Down this way one claims to be "the best ice cream in the country." It is very good no doubt but that is a pretty big claim. Up Arkansas way there is Yarnells and I would certainly put it against Blue Bell anytime. How could I think otherwise? I am, after all, a Southeastern Conference man (yes I know the Aggies are now in the SEC). In the last few years there have been some premium "store brands" that are, to me, every bit as good as the top shelf brands. At least one grocery chain has their own plant and do not contract out the manufacture of their product. Needless to say it is somewhat cheaper (not much) than their premium competitors and there no difference in the quality as far as I can tell.
It would probably be an impossible task to determine just which ice cream really holds the title of "best in the country." I wouldn't mind taking on the assignment of trying to find out though. This leads me into the next item of interest.......

They say that the United States is a nation of fat bastards. I have to agree frankly. The "American diet" is chock full of fatty and unhealthy foods, many of which have been manipulated to our detriment by "food" manufacturers. There may be more than one reason behind the explosion of heaviness that is epidemic in this country and it might have not so much to do with the type food we eat, but rather the frequency in which we eat unhealty fare. Most folk can eat pizza and burgers from time to time without any detrimental affect on their girth, but when that is the staple of the diet......Won't be long before you are a member of the fat bastard club sure.
Why then do people tend to consistently eat unhealthy foods? It could be that it is a matter of convenience which goes hand in glove with the trends that American society has taken in the past few decades. It is darn hard for most households to have anything worth a damn unless both adults are working. For the most part in the "nuclear family" (whatever that is) both the mother and father have to have some sort of income to live above the subsistence level. When mom and dad are coming home from work it is easier to stop by for a pizza, etc. than to go home and prepare a decent meal. In some homes it might be ten pm or later when everyone has finally eaten and gotten ready to wind down for the day. I would submit that the demands of society are a major cause of the the United States becoming a nation of fat bastards.

What is the solution to the girth problem? Fuck if I know. Really don't much care either. I do know that it is not "banning" fast foods and sanctioning those who are in the industry. That is truly un American and should not even an option in a free society but then those who are advocates (Michelle and Michael B) of such action can't really call themselves American.
Can they?

  Enjoy some racing and ice cream related Rule 5.


Jayhawk said...

Something that never gets talked about, and I have no idea why not, is to remove the aerodymamic aspect of stock car racing. It would be easy enough to do, with one simple rule. "No non-load bearing part of the car may be closer to the ground than five inches when the car is at racing speed." If the car is not held to the ground by aerodynamic forces, then it does not become airborne when it wrecks.

Doing that would also require the drivers to lift off the gas, and probably use some brake, in the turns at Talledega and Daytona, and then accelerate coming onto the striightaway. Overall speeds would be much lower, the racing would be enormously more exciting, and safety would be grealy enhanced. I know this to be fact, because I went to those speedways in the 70's when the underbodies of the cars were 5" from the ground and that's what the racing was like.

Bartender Cabbie said...

You know more about racing than I do. I rarely watch it to be frank but the few major races I have been to - Daytona 500, and Houston GP twice have been pretty exiting. I really never thought much about the safety aspect.

Bartender Cabbie said...

Glad you are back from your illness and writing again.

Anonymous said...
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Jayhawk said...

And now the NRA is serving as "Title Sponsor" of the upcoming race at Texas Motor Speedway. It will be called the "NRA 500." Piers Morgan was in high dudgeon list night, utterly outraged by the idea that cigarette makers cannot cponsor a stock car race, but a "gun seller organization" can.

Bartender Cabbie said...

Morgan is an idiot. Nothing much more can be said about him.

Jayhawk said...

Well, actually quite a bit more can be said about him, and some of it would be quite colorful, but your comment sums it up pretty well.