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Location: Kentucky, United States
Interests: hangin w/ friends, video and computer games, street racin, martial arts, weightlifting, boxing, jet skiing, autocrossing, psychology
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Holy crap!, i just got back from Dillsboro, IN about an hr ago. Me and my dad ran w/ a group of mr2 owners on the backroads of Dillsboro. I have been on the road all day long, from about 900 this morning till, like i said, about an hr ago.
We were runnin a pretty sprited pace through the indiana countryside, i gave the ATTS on my car a nice workout. That thing handles pretty good, i didnt seem to get a hint of understeer at all today, and i didnt have too hard a time keeping up. I wished i had had a digital camera w/ me cause it was pretty cool seein everybody lined up this mornin and leaving single file from the gas station. We had to take a couple of detours b/c of construction but the entire loop was probably 80 to 100 miles, although, i cant help but wonder what kind of gas mileage i got after today.
After we finished w/ the main loop, the event organizer got on the radio and said he knew another short road we could go on if we wanted to, but i think me and my dad were pretty wore out,and we were supposed to meet at the local go kart track to go go kart racin, so rather than go on another road we decided to just meet them at the track.
Go kart racin was fun but a workout, i felt like i was fightin the wheel the whole time, and the track was really slick, so you were driftin around almost every corner, all in all it was a pretty fun day, i still wish i had pics.
some pics from the latest autocross in lexington
and here are the results for my group:
|'D Stock' - Total Entries: 3 Trophies: 1||Times||Total||Diff.|
|1T ||35||Black, James||02 Subaru WRX||44.017||42.155||41.459||40.070||39.532+1||39.671||39.671||-|
|2 ||135||Black, Audrey||02 Subaru WRX||47.799||44.512||44.309||42.871||42.566||41.984||41.984||2.313|
|3 m||8||Flanery, Ben||00 Honda Prelude||48.318||49.094+1||46.337+1||43.732||42.362+4||42.946||42.946||0.962|
Well yesterdays autocross went much better than last wkends, I got there at the crack of 800, went ahead and checked in at registration and just parked cause the paddock was alrdy filled up w/ the people who were runnin in the first heat. They had set up a pretty fast course, i walked it about 3 times and there were a total of about 2 slaloms and the turns were long and sweeping, a nice departure from the overly tight, painstakingly technical courses of RCR, nothin too crazy but enough room to have some fun on.
I found out in the drivers meeting that i would be working the first heat and running second, i was a flagman for turn 1, which in other words meant i would be standing around doing nothing for almost an hr seeing as you couldnt mess up too bad less than 30 ft from the start. but there were a few cones we had to go after.
Once the 1st heat was over we took about a 20min break for the 1st heat guys to change tires and for the 2nd heat guys to get on grid, my dad had come down to watch before he went to georgia and brought me a burger for lunch, so after i got into grid and set up, i ate that and by the time i was done, it was time to go again. so i hopped in and got rdy. There was a guy in an '06 S2000 2 cars ahead of me and a guy in a lotus elise in the grid before me, once the S2K left, i could line up.
After the guy in the elise went, i took my place on the start, once the elise was on the last corner, the flagman signaled me to go, i took off and kept it in 1st through the first sector then shifted once i got to the first part of the cross-over but was immediately on the brakes for the hairpin right, to my surprise i didnt get much, if any push through the hairpin. i continued through to the next part of the cross-over and there was a slalom that was made up of 4 sets of 4 cones, it was small and didnt leave much if any room for error but i managed to make it through, i thought i heard what sounded like a cone hit the right rear tire but looked at the times later and didnt see a penalty.
My second run, i found out that the prelude will actually step the rear end out in hard cornering, i found that out in the hairpin. on my 4th or run the guy w/ the S2K wanted to ride w/ me one run so i said ok but asked if i could ride w/ him, he said it was fine so i jumped in, id never got to ride in an S2000 before, so that was pretty cool. After the run, i jumped out of his car and we ran over to mine, and going into the slalom i was doing ok, but coming off the 3rd set of cones onto the 4th set, the car pushed real bad and i bullseyed all 4 cones in the last set, giving me about an 8 second penalty, i have yet to see the second set of times but im gonna be dissappointed if that would have been my FTD.
The good news is, i didnt DNF any, and i was able to hang w/ 2 Subaru WRX wagons, which is a big improvement over the autocross in huntington, i was really frustrated after that one. The official times should be up soon, when they are ill be sure to post them, as well as any pics that come up of me.
well, i finally got the internet working over at the clubhouse......AGAIN!!! The internet still isnt workin over at my apartment so ive been comin over here to surf the net, send email etc... well the other day i came in and it didnt work and so i tried every computer....nothin so i tried switchin the ethernet cable......still nothin so i was gettin frustrated b/c i couldnt find out what was wrong. It has been like that for over a wk and i didnt know what to do, every day i was comin in here tryin to troubleshoot the problem, i was kinda worried that they would get mad at me for tamperin w/ the computers, but it wasnt like i was stealin anything, i was just tryin to get the internet to work right. After a few days of trying that and still not having any results, i decided to go over to blue line diner w/ my computer b/c i heard they had wireless capability, and true, they did but for whatever reason, i couldnt connect there either, it kept tellin me there was limited or no connectivity.
Long story short, i came in here today and switched a few cables around and it worked, so i dont have to drive all the way to the library just to get on the net. Anyway, im thinkin about movin, but thats another story altogether.
Last wkends autocross was not my best, far from it actually, i think it was a combination of not autocrossin for a while and runnin a new car that kinda messed me up. The way the course was layed out, you took a left throught the timing lights and went through a series of 3 sweepers before turning left onto the slalom, after the slalom was the braking zone where u entered a double apex hairpin ( a wide U-turn that you go deep into before turning) after that you went straight, into a 180 degree turn that u had to enter on the right hand side, this was my problem, in order to make this turn successfully, you had to swing wide and cut in tight to the inside cone, almost stopped. I was afraid that if i went as wide as i should have that it would be too wide and i would DNF, as a result, i wasnt swinging wide hardly at all but instead of hitting the outside cone which i should have done and just went on now that i think about it, i would come as close as i felt comfortable to the cone,stop, back up, then continue which cost me a good 9 seconds or more, where as if i had just hit the cone, i would have just gotten a 1 sec. penalty. Hopefully this wkends runs will go much better.
Tom posted some new videos on the website, the same ones that were played at Bens funeral. Theres one called " Through my eyes" that is probably my favorite, b/c the combination of the pictures and the music just seem to fit so well. Most of the video shows Ben when he was healthy on the outside, but about half way through is a couple if pictures that shows him just a few days before he passed away. It was amazing the difference in his appearance, here it is over a year and a half since he died and i still cant believe it. If you didnt know it was the same person you'd swear it was two different kids, thats how profound the change was.
That just gives me more of a perspective on just how ugly his situation was, a disease that can change someone that drastically and in such a short amount of time is just overwhelming and quite frankly, frightening. It just leaves me at a loss for words.
On a lighter note, ive gotten some more info about the "Up til Dawn" event. There was an email in my inbox the other day from a woman that helped organize the UTD events for various campuses, she said that it is primarily student led, they organize it, they run it, but im not sure i can do somethin like that on my own, so i was hoping to enlist her help in telling me what needed to be done, she said i needed to organize a group to serve as the Board of Execs. for the event and they would gather groups to petition for donations to St. Jude and at the end of the fundraiser there is a big event where all the participants stay up all night and have fun.
I sent her an email back, telling her i would work on organizing a Board and probably register it with the Student Activities Board here on campus, so i think things are starting to come together...slowly, but nonetheless there gettin there.
I ran in the 2nd annual Big Ben 5k in downtown huntington today, it went great, i beat my time from last yr... by quite a bit. Last yr i finished in about 40.3 something and this yr. i finished in something like 36 mins and something, so about a 4 min. improvement over last yr. and i didnt train that long either. I just started training monday and i ran the whole race length monday, tuesday and thursday and managed to pull off a pretty decent time. After the event, i met up w/ Tom and Jennifer and the rest of the family and we all went to lunch at max and ermas in pullman square.
I love spending time with them, especially like that, it gave me the chance for me and my dad to talk, at length, w/ them about each other and Ben and future projects. It gave me the chance to meet the rest of their family, and there was alot of them, there was about 14 of us in all. When me and my dad went up to get a table and we told them we had a party of 15, they kinda got real wide eyed and were like "uhhh......ok give us a min to get set up" eventually they seated us...ALL of us and we had a great lunch together. Im so glad we got to do that, i honestly feel like im part of their family and i feel like they are part of my family.
They are really great people, me and Tom were talkin and i said that before my surgery for my neck, people would look at my physical appearance and automatically think that i had some sort of mental illness, Tom put it as people would look you as if to say ARE.....YOU.........O....K? and its the truth, some people would look at me and feel sorry for me, or think i had some sort of mental impairment just b/c of my physical appearance, and it just wasnt true, i had no mental impairment, i was and am just as capable as anyone else, the inside is normal, reguardless of what the outside looks like.
I didnt want people to feel sorry for me, i wanted to be treated as if nothing was wrong. I added that i think the mass majority of society operates on the all or none law: either you are or you arent, either you have a full disability or your perfectly healthy but theres that small fraction of the worlds population that actually understands that there is a gray area, that there are some things that are present and others that arent and that we are still the same person on the inside, I believe that Tom, Jennifer, I and my parents understand that thats why we became such good friends.
Nate (their new baby) is so cute (as all babies are), hes almost a year old, and i can tell he is a real ball to be around, id look over at him from across the table today and smile and hed just smile back...priceless
Eli is hangin in there, he was understandably bummed today and was kinda havin a rough time, but Tom and Jennifer have said before that Eli has learned copious amounts of information, compassion and understanding well beyond his years, i have faith that he will deal with this appropriatley and grow up to be a very smart, compassionate, understanding young man.
Tom and Jennifer are just themselves, as i said they have an understanding that very few of us in the world have, they have accepted that Ben is in heaven and they are strongly moving foward. I say that they are moving FOWARD not moving ON, theres a very subtle difference, moving on would be forgetting and repressing any memories past or present and basically putting him out of mind. Moving foward is exactly what they are doing: accepting that Ben is at peace, and safe in the arms of Jesus, and continuing to carry his memory and legacy foward for others to learn from, and i love that thats whats happening. I let him in on the little bit of information that i got at Jessi Ross' funeral " When a loved one passes away, you dont forget about them, you just have to change your relationship with them from physical to spiritual, and thats exactly what they are doing.
I want to leave you with this bit of advice: Dont judge people by what you see on the outside, look on the inside to see who they really are, if someone looks different b/c of a disibility or car wreck, surgery, whatever that doesnt mean that they are any different on the inside, just b/c the ouside changes, they are still the same person on the inside, the body is just a shell that we are "renting" here on earth, it wont last, it constantly changes, we get cuts scrapes, burns, bruises, wrinkles... its a part of life But once we give up that shell, that when we become who we really are and really will be forever, look to that before you make an inference about someone.