NASCAR is Back! 
Woot! I'm totally stoked about the start of the new season, and this past weekends ARCA race and Bud Shootout were just what was needed to get the ball rolling. The ARCA race was good fun, and the Shootout was a blast.

Now about the shootout... sure, the racing was good, but how could it not be? Any time you take a bunch of Sprint Cup guys and put them on track at Daytona, it's going to be good. The commentators were talking about how it was still good in spite of the changes they made to the format, but that doesn't change the fact that the new format is stupid.

I understand that Bud doesn't want to promote the pole winners now that the pole award is sponsored by Coors. You can't really argue with that. I'm sure everyone involved spent a good deal of time scratching their heads to come up with some new format that made at least a little bit of sense before coming up with this "manufacturers race" idea. Sadly, they just didn't take it far enough.

Sure, you're giving equal representation to each of the manufacturers, but so what? Who cares? Everyone out there still just wants to win the race, and will work with whoever they think will help them. Nobody cared about which manufacturer would win, so ultimately I see this "focus" on the makers as meaningless.

Now here's my suggestion to make it work.

If I'm not mistaken, the winner of the race got $200k. I don't know whether there was money for the rest of the field or not, but if there was, nobody seemed to care.

What they need to add is an additional prize of $200k to every team of the winning manufacturer IF they can sweep the podium.

Restrictor plate racing is unique in that you just can't win the race without teamwork, but as it is, there's really no incentive to pick your partners beyond just going with who you think will bring you up front. If there was a meaningful award for the cars of any particular manufacturer to work together, then you might get some really interesting things happening that couldn't happen anywhere else. Picture 3-wide racing with Ford, Chevy, and Toyota each in a lane trying to push ahead. Now THAT would be exciting and completely unique.

This would give this race an identity again and make it something more interesting than just a practice session for the drivers lucky enough to be involved. They'd have to do things differently than they would in a regular race.

I suppose there's a chance it could end up being a boring parade if people aren't jockying their way between the rows for position, but there's 4 manufacturers and, at best, 3 lanes of racing so there's going to be fireworks and there's still going to be people trying to get to the front and others trying to stop them from doing it.

If it ended up boring, then so be it, but it's at least worth a shot. As things stand, the whole thing, while still fun to watch, is really utterly pointless.

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Nadal to Face Federer in Austrailian Open Final!!!!! 
I like both these guys, so I'm not posting this to knock either but come on! Can't anyone else play tennis anymore???

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Jack Layton has Sand in his Vagina 
Everything I'm reading about Jack Layton these days says that he will vote against the Conservative budget no matter what's in it.

Does he have the slightest interest in what's good for the country, or is he just out to try and grab a little bit of the power pie no matter what the cost?

It seems to me that if the Conservative government listens to the opinions of the opposition and comes up with a budget they can all agree on, then that would probably be the best they're capable of doing for the country and everyone should vote for it.

Isn't that how this ridiculous system is supposed to work?

If you have parties who have no hope of gaining power, but are going to vote against the government on anything and everything no matter what it is, how is anything ever supposed to get done?

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Merry Christmas! 
Merry Christmas, World!!

Mine was everything I could have hoped for. I hope yours was the same!

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Say it like it is! 
I haven't posted for a little while here but it hasn't been for any lack of opinions on what's going on. I just haven't really been able to formulate words for all the ridiculousness going on in the world around us.

First there was the fiasco in parliament, with the Liberal party forming a coalition to boot out the Conservatives who had only been in office for a few weeks. Their leader was someone that nobody liked and who had already announced his pending departure due to record unpopularity.

Now they've replaced him with someone they've appointed and who has stood up to no real scrutiny whatsoever. But that's beside the point. They're like a bunch of squabbling children up there in Ottawa and there's really nothing I need to add to the commentary in the news.

Then there's the city of Toronto. Our money-grubbing mayor just introduce a new plastic bag tax that we have to pay at the grocery store if we want to carry our stuff out in plastic bags. All the discount places already charge 5 cents a bag. This new tax just forces everyone else to charge the same. The premise behind this was to divert all those bags from going to landfills and have us use reusable bags instead.

This sounds all well and good except for the fact that just days after implementing this, they announced that we can now recycle those exact plastic bags! We can bundle them up and put them in the stupid giant recyle bins the mayor spent a fortune on, and they'll be kept out of the landfills. So then... more tax... no benefit. Seems about par for the course for this mayor.

Now today, while reading about the failure of the auto industry bailout, I found this quote too good not to repeat.

From this article:

"If a union can only deliver the same pay as a non-union shop, why pay the union dues?"

This pretty much sums up the value of the unions to me. All those workers for companies like Honda and Toyota who are being treated fairly and will probably still be employed once all the dust settles are probably asking the exact same question.

I believe the implication is that the union's purpose is to bend the company over backward and get the employees more than their fair share at every opportunity. Otherwise, how do they justify their dues? If all is well and everyone is treated fairly, can't they just say it's because of them and leave well enough alone? Why do they always need more?

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