Worrywarts

Dirt track racing has been a part of my life ever since I was a kid. I remember watching cartoons that features motorcycle riding men as heroes and I developed a liking for them and how fast they go through the villains of the show. My dad, seeing my interest in motorcycles, bought me a bicycle instead and said to me that it was just for practice, since I was still very young for motorcycles and could not still handle one yet.

I loved that bicycle of mine and I always used to imagine that it was already a motorcycle and I go very fast with it, also doing jumps on every bump on the road I managed to encounter on my daily ride, thinking of it as mini slalom jumps on my imaginary racetrack. I enjoyed having a bike and was extremely happy riding something that goes fast.

What it did to my mom was entirely another story worth mentioning as she worried about my bike and particularly of me when I’m out. She said she felt anxiety chest pains every time I go out with my bike as thoughts of me in an accident keeps running through her mind. My dad said that she is blowing it out of proportion and that she mustn’t worry too much about it because I would be just okay. But mom wasn’t convinced at all.

I guess mothers naturally are like that about their children. If only they could be with their children all the time and help in whatever way, they really would do so in a moment’s notice. But dad apparently has other ideas of his own. For him, as I was a boy, I need to learn things on my own to make me stronger. I needed to be able to do things that challenge me or take some risks of my own, to develop in me skills that I will need later in life. I seem to understand now where they were both coming from but back then, I was just happy with my bike and stuff.

Mom used to take supplements for anxiety such as Passion Flower and Kava both of which are kinds of plants. Sometimes she takes Echinea and also almost the full alphabet of vitamins such Vitamins B, C and E amongst other things. She doesn’t take prescription medicines for her anxiety as she believes that they may even add to it, and she also believes that she may even get addicted to them. Good thing she learned about meditation eventually, but still she gets nervous and anxious when I try new things, which unfortunately were not quite a few back then.

Today it’s my wife’s turn being a mom to our kids. I could see the similarities between her and my mom with regards to the way she sees our kids. She doesn’t want our kids to ever experience harm in any way as long as she is there. But our kids, being both boys, tend to do otherwise and seem to always find ways to make their mom hyper, so good luck with that. Boys will always be boys it seems.

How Could I Forget?

My wife is in a phase right now and it’s driving her nuts. Everything seems to be not right for her as she finds fault even in the little things and sometimes even when there is nothing to be mad about too. I almost always become her target as it is me who is always around her. But the thing I am wondering about is of why it is only me that gets blamed most of the time and not the kids or even the pets while we’re at it. So what really did I do this time?

It’s not that I’m complaining about it or something. In fact I cherish her attention to me as I love her very much, and any attention coming from her, even of this kind, I welcome with open arms. And it is not without precedent, this thing that she is currently doing. She has been like this on many occasion, especially the times when I did something wrong or have not done what I was supposed to have been doing. We don’t fight often if you’re curious about it, and this is her way of telling me she is mad about something and it is up to me to find out what it is. Well, to each his own I guess.

She blamed me for the toilet seat being always down and although I usually am guilty of it, I think the boys do have a fault in it too, probably much more than me as I didn’t get to use it recently. She also particularly reminded me of the leaking faucet in the yard which she says isn’t going to repair itself any time soon. And upon seeing these things not really affecting me, she then turned to herself. She really knew me.

She told me on how hard it was taking care of three children, me being the third and all. That she once had a nice body but all of it is just a bunch of wrinkles and stretch marks now. She asked me if I knew how to remove stretch marks, to which I really had no answer for. I just told her that some of my friend’s wives used a variety of things for it like Retin-A, glycolic acid, moisturizers, Vitamin E oil, Dermazan. I told her I even read about egg oil and its supposed role in removing stretch marks but she was really not listening to me, which I should’ve known.

She said that she was lucky that she still hadn’t had stretch marks on breasts as it meant that she was getting a lot thinner already. She then enumerated several other things wrong with her and the hard time she has with them in addition to her other normal problems running the household. Well it really got to me you know, which also got me to thinking what really is it that I forgot.

After a moment of clarity, it dawned on me. How could I ever forget it? Tomorrow is our anniversary and I’m not the least bit prepared for it. How am I going to wiggle myself out of this now?

I know, I’m just going to ride this one out and just prepare for tomorrow and then I’m going to surprise her. She’ll never expect it coming. Glad I still have time, else I’ll be dead for sure.

Helping Others Help Themselves

My volunteering to teach the local kids about cars and racing truly is a rewarding and worthwhile vocation. I get to impart knowledge that I gained from all my years in drag racing to them, while also instilling in them bits and pieces of life lessons that may serve them well in the years to come.

I experienced several ups and downs with my life, good as well as bad things, and I thought of always reminding these kids to do good the first time, so as to not experience any of life’s disappointments from ever happening to them. I always tell them that there is no need to reinvent the wheel and stuff, which really means that they need not experience something bad in order for them to learn from it, and they just need to listen to those older and wiser than they are, because they are the same people who had experienced the bad, learned from it, and lived their life without it again.

I also have been intimate to a couple of problems of these kids and they do have a lot of it, which also amazes me no end that as young as they are, they seem to suffer from a lot of unneeded distractions, which could also very well be avoided if they only listened to their parents the first time and not give in to the pressure of their peers.

It somehow validates my work the times the kids think they somehow can ask me for advice or something. That they trust me and think I could help them somehow is thanks enough, and all I need to continue with what I am doing. Besides, it affords me the avenue to still live the racing life through all hours of the day, not only when I’m in the racetrack or in the garage.

One such problem that was confided to me recently was about a girl and how she has a particularly harsh and controlling boyfriend, which she managed to thankfully ditch altogether the other day. Good for you, I told her, eliciting a kind of half-smile as she said that what happened has only now sunk into her and that she now has to worry about how to get over someone and other stuff. Typical of these teenagers getting bogged down in details, not realizing the beauty of the position they already brought themselves in.

I said to her that she had already passed the hardest part of her problem and what is left are only the minor inconveniences, which, when she gives time to them and really think about it, she would realize that it’s no problem at all. I told her to be thankful that she is no longer controlled by anyone and that she is free to do whatever she wants.

Finally, I just told her to give it a little time and it will be gone on its own, without her doing anything about it. Her smile widened now and I knew that somehow, somewhere, realization did sink into her. Now if she’ll only remember what happened to her this time and never do it again, then she’ll be fine.

New Day, New Things to Learn

It is always a joy imparting my knowledge about racing, and machines in general, to these kids. Seeing their eyes light up when we start to talk about the different parts of an engine, how they really work and other cool stuff, really makes me happy and validated for all the time I spend teaching them. It is also nice to be among people who have the same interests in machines as I do and it really is worth my while teaching them about these things.

Today was no different. In fact it was both fun and educational for me at the shop as I again learned something new from these kids. I was supposed to be instructing them in building a soapbox car that we will use in a practice race next week, but it seems that I am the one who was learning this time. And of all the things to learn from them, I didn’t expect it to be about human relationships.

Have you ever heard about infj relationships? How about infp relationships, does it ring a bell? I first thought they were speaking in codes or something because it is really the first time I have ever encountered these things. I guess relationships do have more to them than was previously experienced. Naturally I got very curious about it and asked them what they really meant. Well you could say I felt very old after our conversation.

They told me that infj stands for introverted intuitive feeling judging, while infp is introverted intuitive feeling perceiving, and they are abbreviations used in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test to refer to sixteen different types of personality. They clearly knew what they were talking about as they continued to expound on the topic at hand. One boy added that infj persons usually are like counselors, wherein they find meaning in relationships with the aim of better understanding of it and also for the benefit of all those involved, while Infp persons are considered as healers, mainly by being openly accepting and flexible to those around them if it is in line with their inherent values.

Oh, so that was what they meant with those things, I said to them, trying my utmost best not to look lost and stuff. But I guess they saw through me and they just laughed. They said it was okay that I don’t know what they were talking about. In fact they said it was their assignment in school and they too only knew about those things this afternoon in the library. We just laughed again and continued building our soapbox after that, you can safely say that infj and infp were no longer mentioned that day.

After our session and after everyone got to go home, I was left alone by myself thinking about what had transpired that day. I came to the realization that even though I fancy myself on knowing so much, there still were a lot more things that I do not know of. Lucky I surround myself with different sorts of people all the time, as it makes learning new things more quick and more meaningful.

Why do I taste Metal in my Mouth?

I was confused with the feeling I got after eating cake this afternoon. It was the birthday of one of my students and he thankfully, as promised, did bring cake to the shop, much to the delight of all of us there. I know cakes are supposed to be sweet and stuff but what I tasted after eating it made me wonder.
About a minute after eating a piece of the cake, I somewhat tasted something peculiar, something odd, what was supposed to be a sweet taste in mouth turned out to be like some kind of a metal taste in mouth or something to that effect. I checked if there was some debris that I somehow managed to eat, and I even inspected if all my tooth fillings were intact as I really did have the taste of something metallic. I didn’t find any and everything looked to be normal inside my mouth, so that got me a little worried.
When I did get back home, I researched a little on the internet about what I experienced earlier, and to my shock, although there were several tame causes attributed to it, there were also some grave diagnosis to those who experience such things. Dysgeusia was the term they use for it, a state of altered taste wherein after you had eaten, leaves an after taste like you had eaten nuts and bolts instead of the taste of the food that you had just consumed. It is said that what often causes it is the hormonal changes that a woman experiences when she is pregnant, so if you are not particularly pregnant, or a woman for that matter, then you might be in trouble.
Other relative causes of it are several kinds of deficiencies in the human body, foremost of which are vitamins and minerals like vitamin b12 and zinc, and can also be caused by unhealthy habits such as smoking and nail biting. Persons who suffer from gingivitis and periodontitis regularly are known to complain about it and people who have been bleeding somewhere in the general vicinity of the head, also experiences it mainly because when blood breaks down, iron is always released, and that is what usually causes the metal taste.
Some other weirder stuff like Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, more commonly known as Trench Mouth Syndrome, has Dysgeusia as a symptom , same with Crohn’s Disease, Spontaneous Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak, Aseptic Meningitis, Multiple Sclerosis, Cervical Spondylitis, Lyme Disease,  and Lupus to name a few, also includes it in their list of indicators.
I probably should not have done my research on it and treated it like the random thing that it usually is. Now I’m having anxiety attacks over it and I probably would also lose some sleep later because of it. Anyways, to ease my worries about it, I think I would just have to set an appointment later with our family doctor to have it checked out. Jeez, I’m too young for this. I hope it’s nothing serious.

Tree House or Not

I have been meaning to build a little tree house for my kids these past couple of months, but circumstances has prevented me from doing so. My wife is also not agreeable to my plans saying that the tree house might pose a greater risk to the children than good, and that there were better things to do around the house instead of building a supposedly dangerous tree house.

Well I have wanted to build that tree house in our yard for the longest time. I am very sure that the kids will enjoy it as I also have my very own tree house that was built by my father, when I was young, and boy was it a blast. I used to spend countless hours in it playing by myself or with my buddies. It was on a high enough tree with a rope ladder installed for easy access.

It looked really scary when you are inside of it looking down, probably more so when you are at the bottom of it and looking up. Thankfully, there were no accidents that happened during my time there until it was tragically destroyed by a strong storm that passed our area. But make no mistake about it that tree house was sturdy and durable enough to wither the storm, and it was the tree that got knocked out and fell, unfortunately along with the tree house that was on it.

My father built it with my grandfather, and also me as a helper of some sort. I was in charge of handing them the tools and other things that I can handle, and refreshment too, I suppose. We got wood from the other trees in the yard and the wood used for flooring and supports, we bought from the hardware.

It took them two weeks, a finger sprain from my dad, and fifty plus dollars to build. It would have been much faster they said, if only my grandpa’s arthritis in fingers weren’t acting up regularly. But boy was I the happiest kid in the world back then.

I would have liked my kids to experience that same happiness I got back then and that is the only reason that I am building it today. I hope that my wife eventually comes around to liking my idea of it and allow me to build it. If not, then I will continue badgering her with it until she comes to.

I am relatively good with my hands in building things and I know she knows that. Maybe I will have to write down a plan on how to go about building that tree house and show it to her. Maybe she’ll agree if she finds out how strong I am going to build it and all the safety stuffs that I will put in.

It’s also not a very high tree that we’re talking about here at only five feet tops. It’s more like a playground slide height than a tree house so I know she will agree to me eventually. I hope.

Bad Back, Dogs and Bananas on a Sunday

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon and here I am at home, alone with my two dogs, as I was left in charge of them because my wife had to go to a gathering with her friends. The children also went with their mom and I was supposed to go with them, but I had to beg off as I was too tired last night.

Last night was a blast to put it mildly. The soap car that we built from scratch, entered the local monthly race for beginners and we managed to snare second place in the event, even if our contraption virtually disintegrated near the end of the race, and it was only with sheer luck that pushed it past the finish line.

Along with us celebrating the second place finish, we also had to clean the race track off, as it was we who caused all the debris that was scattered around the field in the first place. You could say it was a very exhausting night for all of us in the team but it was really worth it.

So here I am with my back still hurting from all the activity from the previous night, trying to find something to eat as my wife just told me to not worry about them as they probably will just eat out, and just try to fix something up for myself. So I did what I always do when faced with this kind of a situation, I made myself a peanut butter and banana sandwich. It is my comfort food sort of, I don’t know but since I was little, it was my favorite, heck I can even go a full day eating just that.

While I was making my sandwich, I noticed our two dogs looking from behind. Maybe they were hungry or something, or maybe they got a whiff of my masterpiece sandwich and decided they want to have a shot at it. I was about to give them a taste of my exquisite cuisine when something stopped me. Can dogs eat bananas?

I can’t remember the last time they ate anything else but hypoallergenic dog food. You see we had to switch to the less allergenic ones because one of my dogs is particularly allergic to meaty protein. I didn’t believe it too the first time we went to the vet, and being told that the cause of the rashes and the excessive shedding of one of our dogs was the food he was eating. Typical of these mix breed dogs being less hardy than their pure breed relatives, they always seem to attract different kinds of otherwise uncommon diseases. So do I let them eat the banana?

A quick search on the internet provided me the sort of answer I needed. Yes they can eat bananas. In fact, bananas being rich in potassium, vitamin b6, fiber, manganese and other healthy things, is also good for them. So I gave them a half sandwich each and they proceeded to eat, just the bread with the peanut butter and left the bananas intact. So much fuss about them eating bananas and then this happens. Yep bananas are good for them, but the question must be, do they really want to eat it?

Lost in Thought

Waves of nostalgia are hitting me right now and I can’t think of anything but them. I am very close to my fortieth birthday and I guess these things can’t really be avoided, even if we wanted to. Is this what they call mid-life crisis? I hope so, else I am depressed, and we don’t want that happening, do we?

Well I don’t know how it happened really, it’s like it just came to be suddenly. No warning signs or anything to that effect, no fever or shaking, and certainly no marching bands to announce its coming. I just woke up the other day and felt lousy, that’s it.

I had a hard time getting up from bed but I did not sleep at all. I was just in my bed, eyes closed, and thinking about things which were non-existent, like I wasn’t even there at all. Have you ever experienced thinking about something but not really succeeding in doing so? And you are there sort of paralyzed and trying hard to get cognizant of what it is that you were trying to do. Well I did and it was a really weird feeling, and nothing that I had experienced before.

I kept thinking about the children and how fast they have already grown up. I remember my wife and me planning to have babies back then and thinking about the future. Now we have two very healthy boys that were soon to be teenagers, how very fast time flies apparently, and it somehow gets to you.

Once we were having trouble with constipation in newborns, and another time we were very perplexed with the goings on about newborn growth spurts, and then all of a sudden, just like that, puberty comes along. Now where the hell did all that time between those ages go? Are we living in fast forward world or something? Everything it seems is going full matrix on me, and I can’t do anything about it.

I also kept coming back to some of the decisions I have made through the course of my still young life, thinking about each one of them and trying mightily hard to evaluate if I have done the right things or not. Or if what would happen if I did not make those same decisions, would life be the same it is today? Probably not I suppose.

Everything always boils down to the question of did I made anything of myself for all those years living on this Earth. All the choices, all the trials I have been through, all the mistakes I have made, everything that I did, I thought about. There were many what if’s that kept bothering me, what if this and what if that, and it’s a little bit disconcerting having to go through all that.

I really don’t know what to focus on these days and it is leaving me feeling a little bit helpless. I hope this will not affect our family in any way, as they are the most important things in my life. I only hope this thing will end soon.

Learn About Dirt Track Racing

If you are a racing fan, you may be familiar with dirt track racing. It is one of the oldest and most popular racing sports in the US, which started before the beginning of WWI and has become popular from the 1920s up to the present. As proof of its popularity, there are about 1,500 racetracks widely spread across the country. And this sport is also as popular in Canada and Australia.

Ironically, most dirt tracks in the US actually have clay surfaces and not dirt surfaces. Majority of the tracks are also oval in shape with less than one mile in length, the most common of which is a 3/8-mile track. There are pros and cons of having longer and shorter tracks. With longer tracks, racecars can achieve higher speeds and the distance between cars increases. As a result, chances of crashes are decreased but the damage and injury inflicted to the riders are more severe than in shorter tracks. That is why dirt tracks maintain a standard of one mile length or less.

Track surface also differs from one racetrack to another. But most surfaces are clay-based. Water is also normally sprinkled when the surface becomes too dry.

Every racetrack or sponsoring organization normally maintains a set of rules as to the class of race vehicles to be used, including their dimension, size of engine and the required and prohibited equipment. This set of rules is normally coordinated among racetracks and racing organizations so that there will be a wide range of avenues where each type of car may compete.

If you are interested in dirt track racing, there are different options for the type of vehicle that you could use. These include cars, bikes and vintage cars. For cars, they are open-wheeled cars, modified cars and full-bodied cars. Nowadays, full-bodied cars or more often called stock cars are gaining in popularity. These cars have all their wheels covered with fenders. They can vary in components, some of which have full-tube frame chasses, aluminum bodies and some newer models can have certain modifications as allowed for its class.

Dirt track bikes, on the other hand, are high-speed bikes with speeds up to 130 kilometers per hour and are not fitted with brakes. These bikes have engine displacements ranging from 250 to 500 cc although the American Grand national dirt race championship have motorcycles with a capacity of 750 cc and can reach a speed of 210 kilometers per hour. Aside from solo bike races, there are also sidecar races which are one of the most exciting track sports. In this type of race, both driver and passenger work together to attain the best grip and fastest speed.

There is also the vintage car dirt track racing. In this kind of race, obsolete racecars are restored and reconditioned to their former glory. Cars that can compete in this type of race include those from models in the late 19th century as well as historic cars from decades ago.

Dirt track racing is an interesting sport involving different kinds of vehicles. Having a basic knowledge about this sport can help you understand what is at stake if you want to be race driver.

Getting Started in Dirt Bike Racing

Dirt bike riding is an adventure sport that has gained in popularity for many years now. This kind of riding style falls into two major categories, namely, trail riding and motocross track riding. But whichever category you want to try, it is important to note that although riding a dirt bike does not require a license, it does not give you a license to just hop on your bike and try it. You have to train to do it to minimize accidents and increase your safety.

To get started with dirt bike racing, there are different bike riding courses you could take depending on your location. The most widely known course is the Dirt Bike School (DBS) by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). This course is offered in most states. They have training facilities where you could simply show up and learn to ride. They provide the dirt bike for training as well as safety gears such as helmet and other equipment. During training, an instructor will teach you the basic mechanics of dirt bike riding and racing. Basic lessons include starting a bike, clutching and braking, and basic turning and operation. As you advance in your training, you will be taught how to ride over different kinds of obstacles as well as how to ride down or up dirt hills.

If MSF course is not available in your place, similar courses may be offered by other organizations nearby. Don’t skimp on taking any of these courses before getting involved in dirt bike racing because it is the smartest and safest way to practice your skill in this sport.

Once you have undergone a training course, you are now ready for dirk bike racing. But there are several things you need to have to get started. Among the basic gears and equipment you need to have are:

  • Dirt bike
  • Gas can
  • Helmet
  • Riding pants
  • Motocross boots
  • Protective gears such as goggles, gloves, knee guards, chest protectors and others
  • gloves

When you already have the complete equipment for dirt riding, the next step is to find a place to practice riding. There may be motocross tracks in your area where you could practice. Motocross tracks are a good place to practice for beginners. However, be prepared to pay an average of $15 a day. They say that practice makes perfect. The same applies to dirt bike riding. Before you participate in a competitive race, it is best to first practice your riding skills. It is important that during practice, you are able to master how to use acceleration and braking. Most beginners are prone to accidents because of the improper use of these two critical elements. For instance, if you are on a bumpy trail, you may not simply apply your brakes because you are at risk of skidding. There are many other techniques that you should learn first before really participating in a race.

Finally, when you feel you are ready, you may sign up to be a participant in a racing event. Be sure to wear your complete gear and remember to apply what you learned in your practice sessions.