Thursday, April 27, 2017

For NASCAR Newbies

I have been a NASCAR fan since I was a kid. I remember in the late '60's getting hooked on the crumbs of races they would show on Wide World of Sports. Usually little 10 or 15 minute segments recorded a week earlier. Here in Texas with no tracks nearby this was all we could get.

By the '80's races were shown live. At the time I didn't have any particular favorite driver. I liked Bill Elliot, remember seeing him win the 1985 Daytona 500 live driving a car just like mine. Later on in the '90's I had a handful of guys I pulled for: Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Sr., Dale Jarret, Bobby & Terry Labonte, Joe Rutman and some kid named Jeff Gordon. I would be happy if any or all of them did well or won a race.

That all changed on February 18th 2001. That was the day I became a 'Hard Core, Card Carrying, Loyal, Passionate Member of Jr. Nation, the ONLY Nation'. On that day I saw a young man loose his father very suddenly and unexpectedly at an age when a young man needs to have his Dad there the most. I went through a similar ordeal when I was his age and my heart immediately went out to Dale Earnhardt Jr. and from that point forward I lived and died on everything he did. Once I chose 'my guy' I dove into the deep end and devoured everything I could about the sport and about my driver. I discovered that being a rabid fan of one driver is the only way to enjoy NASCAR. And I don't have enough time or room here to begin to describe the friendships and relationships I have made with fellow members of Junior Nation.

This week Dale Jr. announced this would be his last season driving full time. While I am sad for me that I only have the rest of this season to see him on the track I am overjoyed for him and his family that he was able to do it at a time of his choosing and in his own way. He will always and forever be MY DRIVER but beginning next year I will either have to go back to casually following a group of drivers again or see if one stands out and captures my loyalty like he did so long ago.

I can't tell anyone who to follow but I can show you why I became so passionate about Dale Jr. Here are three videos and a movie to help you understand the back story and give you an idea of how I got there:

FIRST: This documentary from SPEED channel came out in 2011 on the 10th anniversary of Dale Sr's death and the effect it had on the sport and on Dale Jr. Lots of the people are still very active in NASCAR today. LOTS of history here.

SECOND: This movie '3 - The Dale Earnhardt Story' starts with Grandpa Ralph. Some people don't care for this movie but from everything I've learned I have found it to be very historically accurate. Also gives a lot of history of the sport and shows how some of the legends became who they were.

THIRD: Sports Century on Dale Sr. Great point of view from his contemporaries and what made so many people either love him or hate him.

FOURTH: 'NASCAR Seasons: 2001' is a documentary from NBC Sports about all that went on in NASCAR and the world that year. Very powerful. Great summary to how I became a Dale Jr fan.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Matt Redman - Help From Heaven ft. Natasha Bedingfield

Matt Redman - Help From Heaven ft. Natasha Bedingfield

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Star Wars VII-IX discussion: There be spoiler here! Go no further if you have not seen The Force Awakens or do not want to know what is coming!

When Star Wars: Episode IV was released in '77 I was a freshman in college. It was a game changer as far as fantasy and Sci-Fi entertainment. I was hooked. We had never seen that kind of story with those special effects ever. I waited in line hours each time I saw it. Even took Mom and Dad when the lines died down later in the summer. Dad loved it (Mom didn't understand). When I went back to school in the fall of '78 my new roommate, David (a very brilliant guy, valedictorian of his HS Sr. class) who was just as taken with the story, told me he knew a guy who knew a guy at ILM. He told me that fall over beers (we were in that narrow window where 18 was the legal drinking age) that in episodes I-III Anakin (told me his name) was a young Jedi who was very powerful with the force and was supposed to be the one to bring balance between the light & dark side, was Obi-Wan's apprentice. He turned to the dark side and fought Obi-Wan on a volcano planet and lost his legs and arms & had to wear an iron lung to breathe and became Darth Vader. He also told me that in Episode V it would be revealed that Anakin was Luke's and Lea's father & that he caused their mother's death.

All this in '77...22 years before Episode I came out. Needless to say Ep. I through III proved this to be right. Talk about advance spoilers. Also, I remember in about '78 or so hearing George Lucas in an interview. When asked about the characters he said that the only ones in all IX episodes were C3PO and R2D2. So far that's true.

After Return Of The Jedi, Lucas authorized some novels to fill the gaps between Ep. VI and VII. He even wrote a forward in the first one saying he approved the story as cannon and that he had no intention of doing VII-IX. He said nothing about I-III. The stories said that Han and Lea had twins (boy and girl) and that Luke had a son that were all about the same age.

Later in about '97 or so there was a website that popped up that laid out the outline for I-III and VII--IX. The outlines for I-III matched what I had been told 19 or so years earlier. The outlines for VII-IX said that the remnants of the old Empire were fighting against the New Republic. The old Empire was gong to search for DNA from Vader and Luke to make a new clone army to re-take the galaxy and would be defeated by the children of Luke and Lea & Han.

When JJ and Disney took over they said at the beginning they were going to go in a new direction from Lucas's outlines for the next episodes VII-IX but I believe they may include some elements of his original stories.

Let's talk in the comments about what you think may happen and what you thought of The Force Awakens.


As for The Force Awakens I thought it was very good. I thought the effects were very realistic and much better than the computer-game-like I-III. I was surprised they revealed in the opening crawl that Luke had gone missing and how early they revealed who Ren's parents were. As for me I don't buy the explanation they gave for Luke's disappearance. They are hinting heavily at Rey's heritage but not sure if we can trust that this early in the trilogy, and we still don't know Fin's and Poe's background, regardless of what has been refereed to in either comics or what was said in the movie (especially Fin. All they said was he was taken from his family as a baby. Who were HIS parents and what is his heritage?)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UPDATE: People We Want to Share the Beast's Cave With and A Memoriam

MEMORIAM: Since the last post we have learned the Geoffrey Lewis is no longer with us. So sorry we missed the chance to see you on this side of Paradise. Catch you on the flip side, my friend.

This will always be an ever growing and changing list of friends and heroes we would love to have spend time here in The Cave with us. Here's the next installment in no particular order:

  • Robert Osborne: I have loved for years your stories and insights to classic Hollywood. Would love for you to come and give us some of your favorites and hear your stories.
  • Scott Cann: Love you in Five-O. You are our kind of guy. Really want to meet you.
  • Entire cast of Farscape: Love your work on the show and the chemistry you shared. We blew through the entire series and wrap up in record time here in The Cave. Really would love to have any or all of you come by for a visit.
  • Coach David Clapp: You were my Football Coach in 8th through 12th grade. You taught me what it meant to go beyond my own capabilities, to sacrifice for the good of others, and to be a man. These lessons have been among the most important and have served me the best for the last 45 years. I would love to get back in touch with you, my dearest friend.
  • Bill Burr: you are one crazy guy and speak Beast Cave Language! We have to meet you and thank you!
  • Rudy: Daniel Ruettiger. I was a freshman at Baylor when you played in that game. You were the inspiration for me (long before your story ever hit the big screen) to take my shot as a walk on. I would just love to meet you and thank you.
  • Don Williams: you have captured us to perfection in your songs and made us ask of others 'What do you do with good old boys like us?' Would just love the chance to meet and sit with you a while.
  • Dwight Yoakam: you march to your own drummer, as do we. Would love to spend some time with you in The Cave.
  • Sven-Ole Thorsen: We have enjoyed many a performance of yours in The Cave. You are a Mighty Oak of a man in EVERY sense of the word and we would love the chance to have you come and share your stories and wisdom with us.
  • Last for this round, Gerardo Larrea French better known to The Beast as JERRY: My Brother if ever I have one left on earth. I owe you a visit, and that, too, shall happen, but if you EVER get back here we will spend hours in The Cave catching up and swapping lies!

Monday, March 23, 2015

People We Want to Share the Beast's Cave With

We have worked several years to get the Beasts Cave set to fit our purposes. We have Slot Cars, Trains, Home Theater System with Surround, wireless access & satellite, 'Fridge,
Recliners and Tons of Toys.

Over the last 2 or 3 years we have discussed who we would love to have stop by for an evening of movies, racing, conversation, a few hands or all 4. Here's a partial list we have come up with so far, in no particular order. We will be updating as time goes by:
  • the Editors of Jeremy Gilby Dot Com: would love for Jeremy to stop by next time he's passing through town and show us some of his bar tending talents.
  • Allison and Brian: you have a standing invite.
  • Russ: you owe me a visit, Brother!!
  • Laura and family: invite standing for you too. Would love to show the guys the trains and slot cars. They would have a ball!
  • Larry Greene: been too many years, brother, since we had a get together.
  • Baylor Brothers - Leo Whelan, Carvan Adkins and John Allen: too many years, guys.
  • Mark and Michelle Bacon: still in the same place. Come on by.
  • Buzz Aldrin: many questions for you and many stories we want to hear, honored sir.
  • Both Presidents Bush: want to thank you and hear your stories. Yeah, we have room for the Secret Service, too.
  • Jonathan Frakes: Riker. We binged through all the ST series an movies in chronological order last year order and decided you were our guy and at the top of our list. Would love for him to stop by and share some Gagh, Bloodwine, a few hands and hear your stories, my friend.
  • Russell Crowe: you speak your mind, like us, and don't apologize for it. You are welcome here anytime, my friend.
  • Clint Eastwood, William Smith and Geoffrey Lewis:  watched all your work many a time in the Cave. Would love to have ya'll stop by and share your life's stories.
  • Michael C. Hall, David Zayas (Dexter), Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice): loved your shows when we plowed through them and the chemistry onscreen. Would like the opportunity to thank you for the hours of entertainment.
  • The men of Legends Of The Fall (Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Brad Pitt, Henry Thomas): your telling of this story really touched our lives and made us realize we were born in the wrong time. Please come by.
  • Lance Armstrong: I respect your accomplishments during a difficult time in the history of cycling. There is always a place for you here.
  • Any of the guys from Landry's Cowboys, especially Randy White, Ed Jones, Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters. Also Joe Montana, Frank Pollard, Joe Greene and Dick Butkiss. I spent my teens and twenty's watching you guys. That's when football was special. Really want to meet you again.
  • From NASCAR: Dale Jr., Kevin Harvick , Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and, yes, Jimmie Johnson (BTW-it's NOT all your fault): you guys have to come by and race with us.
  • William Shatner: Have to buy the Captain a drink (and may be able to rustle up a little Romulin Ale).
  • Chris Pine: When you hit it big with ST and went to the Oscars you took your dad...we salute you, Sir. You are someone we have to meet.
  • Simon Pegg: Really want to meet you, my friend!
  • The entire cast of Porky's: busted a gut many a time watching these movies. You are all invited.
  • Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady and Drew Carey: some of the sharpest and funniest guys around. Just want to meet you and share some time with you.
  • Seth Macfarlane: you are one smart and funny guy. But the politics?...leave it in church, man, not the cave!
  • Sean Connery and Daniel Craig: The best. Not going to even try to pick a favorite, can't be done. We can do shaken and not stirred here.
  • Ron Perlman: a legend in our time. One of the hardest working and most talented guys in film today. Can't tell you all the stuff this guy has done that has motivated us. Just want a chance to thank you.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham and Sylvester Stallone: Conan and Rocky/Rambo ant the Transporter have a special place here in the Cave.
  • Linda Hamilton: one of the strongest and most beautiful women in the world. She also has a special place in the Beast's Cave.
  • Emmy Rossum: My dear, you are welcome to sing to us anytime.
  • Any and all members of Celtic Women: your's is the music we will hear when we get to Heaven.
  • Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson: Yes, the Punishers are welcome here.
  • Ben Foster: a chameleon in our midst. This guy is capable of being anything or anybody. What a talent. Stop by and set a while, my friend.
  • Clifton Collins Jr.: another chameleon. Come by and see us.
  • Gerard Butler: Timeline, Phantom Of The Opera, 300, Law Abiding Citizen, Olympus Has Fallen...need we say more? Would love to meet you, sir.
  • Mel Gibson: want to sit and chat with you for a while, my friend.
  • Graham Greene: you are one talented individual. Love everything you have done. Would love to chat with you.
  • Nicolas Cage: Another one of the hardest working guys around. Take a break and come sit with us a bit.
  • Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill: you guys have told some wonderful stories. Would love to meet you.
  • Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, David Della Rocco, Billy Connolly, William Dafoe: with our Irish heritage we have to meet these guys.
  • Ron White, Larry the Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall: you guys were made for our Cave,
  • Giorgio Tsoukalos: You HAVE to come by next time you are in Dallas!
  • Alexandra Bruce: Spend some time with us here...we have some conspiracy theories you haven't talked about yet.

Monday, July 28, 2014

No one blogs anymore.

Why does no one blog anymore? I admit I am 'chief among sinners'. Guess it's all about FaceBook and Twitter these days. I have a twitter account but for some reason I have resisted getting on FaceBook. Not saying I never will but for now I just don't want to. I have been on the cutting edge of technology since day one but for some reason FaceBook is a road block. I remember back when I got out of the 'Family Business' back in '97 or so (before pocket cell phones and such) and all I had was a beeper (remember those?) and that little S.O.B could find me ANYWHERE! The day I closed the deal to close out the last holding of the Family Business I walked out of the office, took the beeper off my hip and smashed the damn thing on the ground.

Guess that old rebel instinct has followed me to today. As for FaceBook: as one of my students told me back a few years ago "Oh...That's just for college can't get on there."

OK. So I won't. For now.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

I lost my dearest friend, Bill Gilmore, last week.

He slipped on the ice after the ice storm we had and never recovered. Met Bill about 4 years ago when I went to the local slot car track after deciding to get back into the hobby. He immediately took me, my grandson Tyler and my son in law under his wing. He invited me to his house for the first of many work sessions to show me how to build competitive cars. He has shared knowledge, parts and tools as well as some rather profound wisdom. Most important of all he shared his love. We have been best of brothers. He adopted us and made us his own.

Here's Bill and my GS Tyler at one of the group races we had at his house earlier this year

We have spent many hours either at his place or mine, building cars or just talking. We solved all the world's problems many times over while sharing tools and a good drink.

Losing a loved one this close to the holidays is no fun and the last week or so has been tough on all of us in Bill's family but I decided today that I was not giving in to sadness and grief. I know where Bill is and that we will see each other again someday. We talked about eternal life and salvation too much for me to think any different. I won't ever forget Bill and his open heart.

Here's a picture of us at a race in the Beast's Cave a couple of years ago.

God speed, Bill. Keep the track warmed up and the cars tuned. I'll see you in a little while.

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

And then the Angels sang...

I this a small taste of what we get to listen to when we get to heaven?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Who said it?

One of my favorite celebrity quotes of all time:

"The whole world is three drinks behind. If everybody in the world would take three drinks, we would have no trouble."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wimpifying America

From WildBillforAmerica:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Who Am I...?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

White Christmas in Texas

This is the third white Christmas we have had here in Dallas in five years. Very unusual...darn that global warming!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Who said it?

 "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government”

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

UPDATE: The Final Voyage

I just read that at the inactivation ceremony for the USS Enterprise the Navy announced that they will indeed name the next carrier, CVN-80, the Enterprise.

May God continue to protect "...little children and ships named Enterprise."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Merry Christmas...

...and remember: Si vis pacem, para bellum.

The Final Voyage...

In case you haven't heard, the USS Enterprise has just finished her final voyage and is scheduled to be inactivated on December 1st. This is the 8th ship in the US Navy to bear the name Enterprise. There is a wonderful history of all 8 at the official Enterprise site. Enterprise VII still stands as the most decorated ship in Naval history. It's sad to me think there will be no Enterprise roaming the seas watching over us. There was a movement to name CVN -79 Enterprise, but that one was named after John Kennedy and is scheduled to be completed within the next 8 years or so.

But, there is always hope:

This is an online petition to name CVN-80 USS Enterprise. If you are interested I encourage you to go sign one of these so that hopefully this name can live on.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Only one try...

My Beautiful Wife is correct. The quote in the previous post is from non other than the icon liberals hold high and dear:
John F. Kennedy

Monday, November 19, 2012

"A rising tide lifts all boats...

...It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low -- and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now. The experience of a number of European countries has borne this out. This country's own experience with tax reductions...has borne this out, and the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget -- and tax reduction can pave the way to full employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budgetary deficit but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy which will bring a budgetary surplus."

Who said it?

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

It is hard to tell of happiness...

...time goes by and we feel safe too soon...

To all the people who made tonight possible: I salute you

Si vis pacem, para bellum