O Me! O Life!

My favorite movie of all time is Good Will Hunting. Forgive my ignorance, movie aficionados, but like most sentimental favorites it was the right screenplay, starring the right people, hitting a particular stride at a particular moment in the marathon of my life. Most notable among them was Robin Williams, who previously primarily occupied only the funny bone in my mind’s eye of his collective body of work. Hook, Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire, Comic Relief specials on HBO and what little memory I have of Mork and Mindy reruns informed my early impression of a performer who would later gain much more of my adoration and respect. I know his early work from Dead Poet Society now, but I did not know it then. I am all the more appreciative today that Apple so elegantly reminded me of it earlier this year.

How apropos that we have such a memory, never more than a quick search away, of such a man reciting the eloquent words of Whitman. Robin Williams, a man who breathed invigorating life into moments subdued and moments electric. He was a man who could take over a scene with “phenomenal cosmic power” or deliver it with the delicacy, and constraint of an “itty bitty living space”. Just give the man the moment, and he contributed his verse. Dear Robin, thank you for being here.

Just When I Thought I Was Out

Yesterday I was drawn back in, if only for an hour or so. I got to see my favorite driver win at the most storied track in American Motorsport if not World Motorsport. He did it as he has done it most of his career – he took a great car and won, for the 90th time to be exact. He is now in sole possession of third place on the All-Time Wins list and only 15 back of David Pearson. He may or may not reach that number and his current pace would argue against him hitting that mark. However, for this one afternoon, he had the best car and was the best driver, overcoming a late caution and potentially troublesome restart to take the lead. What does this all mean for rest of the season? Who knows, but as Gordon said after the race, the best team with the best car and the best driver usually wins at Indy, and most years that is enough for a title as well. He will no doubt have to pass his protege to win this season and maybe this is nothing more than an indian summer, but I hope its a bit more than that. I think Gordon has one more title in him and the drive for five is still alive!

Photo Credit: Dave Parker (AP)

Round and Round

Ever since Matt Kenseth’s unfathomable1 one-win Sprint Cup championship run, NASCAR hasn’t been able to sit still on tweaking their Championship format. The very next season, NASCAR introduced the Chase for the Championship. I think it’s safe to say it’s been a success … for Jimmie Johnson.

But no four years have been alike with the Chase, as they’ve been tweaking the formula ever since. This year, they expanded the Chase even more while simultaneously placing a “greater emphasis on winning”. To go along with the new emphasis on winning, they’re also highlighting the drivers who are chasing each other with special paint scheme elements for Chase eligible drivers. I actually kind of like this change, though admittedly I’m not sure this isn’t that different from the glowing puck that invaded our television screens twenty years ago courtesy of Fox. It also begs the question – should the cars ineligible for the Chase even be out there to begin with2?

  1. Albeit well-deserved and not necessarily unprecedented, as Terry Labonte garnered two Championships with just two wins.
  2. The quick answer is yes because having the full field running around the track is part of racing. But think about the possibilities for a second. Yeah, there it is.

What We Started

When we launched earlier this year, we knew that what we set out to do was ambitious. While we never fully disclosed our plans, I can assure you that what you’ve seen from us the last few months is not the full realization of those plans. We knew it had to be like this. Continue reading

What This Is Is This

I have stupid conversations with my friends – don’t we all? At some point a couple of years ago I decided I wanted to try to find the intersection between those stupid conversations and the Internet. Podcasting is a logical choice, but I don’t think we’re quite ready for that. The next step down is blogging.

If I tried to pin this down to a particular format, it would only ensure two things: we’d become paralyzed by the constraints, not having enough natural talent to write our way out of idea block; and we’d most assuredly fail. Most likely, both will happen anyway, but we may be able to delay the inevitable artificially by not defining any parameters or goals.

We just want to write. And yes, it will be bad at times. Perhaps even all the time. But you never know until you try and so here we are.

This is is an experiment, really. It’s a prelude to the reification of taking daily one-to-one conversations between two long time friends (and possibly more later. If I’m persuasive enough) and reformulating them as a two-to-many conversation with a theoretically limitless, but realistically minuscule audience. That he is a useless knowledge sponge and lock-box of information who is moderately well-travelled and equally well-read; and that I am a web-addicted, tech-enthused recovering compete-aholic that masquerades as an outwardly disinterested blogger provide the conflict around which we pivot our conversations. Blogging – this site – is our beaker. Our ideas are our reagents – the product from which we wish to formulate a result, a reaction from you, the audience. In this experiment, we have no control.

Defining a singular purpose, or even a multi-purpose for that matter, proves difficult in our frequent conversations on the subject. We want to write about home, this place that surrounds us, that serves as the context for our lives past and present and will serve as the context for our children’s futures. We want to write about the things that have or do or may influence us – our favorite sports teams, a quote, a story, a drink, a burger. We want to watch stupid movies and then write about them. We want to make stupid jokes and hope that you get them. We just want an outlet.

The great power of the Internet is empowerment. Empowerment as a platform (EaaP if you’re looking for a buzz word). Anyone can be a writer, even if you aren’t very good. We don’t have to accept mediocrity from ourselves, but we darn-sure better brace ourselves for it. And even if mediocrity is all we get out of this, well, at least we gave it the old college try. At least we got some practice.