2007 News

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ACS Relay for Life Thank You Dinner

A little over a week after our Relay for Life event, Jen and I hosted a 'Thank You' dinner for our Relay for Life committee chairs and their guests. These folks helped us plan the event since the previous November, and again it was stunning success. We raised nearly $100,000 for the American Cancer Society. We went around the room sharing our favorite moments from Relay.

Relay for Life chair committee gifts

This year's event staff and committee chairs were comprised of Alison, Elizabeth, Pam and Susan (ACS staff), Jen (event chair), myself (event co-chair), Matt (3-on-3 basketball), Bryan (entertainment/ceremonies), Jim (logistics), Shirley (luminarias), Jodie (Relay gear store and media), Danielle (Mission Delivery), Judy (online), Laura (registration and media), Tom (security and logistics), Linda, Gina and Meg (survivors). I want to especially thank all of them for also acting as team recruitment and sponsorship committee members.

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NASCAR racing online - WSRL Spring/Summer 2007 season results

American Cancer Society Relay for Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo

I've completed my third league season racing online with NASCAR 2003 as a league member of the Western States Racing League (WSRL) in the Tuesday series. This season, I also began racing in the Friday series. In both, I drove the American Cancer Society Relay for Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

My goals remain the same - don't wreck out, don't wreck anyone else out and finish the race. In the stats below, 'Running' indicates I finished the race, 'Retired' indicates I wrecked out (with or without help) and 'PROV' indicates that I did not attend the race and took a provisional (granting me a last place finish and points).

2007 Spring/Summer WSRL stats - Tuesday series

Tuesday's series races 'fixed setups', meaning everyone has the same car configuration and was divided between two divisions - Cup and Busch. I run in the Busch division and was one of 14 drivers. I finished the season in 5th place, just 6 points our of 4th. We run Cup cars and Craftsman Truck Series (CTS) trucks.

2007 Spring/Summer WSRL stats - Friday series

On Friday's, we race strictly Cup cars with 'open' setups, which means the drivers also act as their own crew chiefs and create a car configuration changing springs, wedge, tire pressure, etc. to 'build' a car more suited to their driving style. There are not split divisions on Friday and I was one of 20 drivers in the series. I finished in 10th place, just 8 points our of 9th. My MountainWest Motorsports (MWM) teammate, Mark and I had an agreement. If I finished 10th or better in the season standings, I would run a Wonder Woman-sponsored car the following season. I figured I had to earn it! After all, Wonder Woman makes a kind of statement and a mediocre standing just wouldn't do!

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Apricot harvest

In mid-July, another of our fruit trees came due for harvesting. This time it was the apricot tree whose branches were so weighed down with fruit, they were dragging on the deck. Bob and I spent an afternoon harvesting and I spent the next day in the kitchen canning apricot preserves.

Apricot preserves

As a child, family and friends would gather at my grandmother's to help prep crates of fruit for canning. With 10 or so people, it's not so much of a chore, but it sure is a lot of work when doing it by yourself! But, no matter the labor involved, it is so very worth every moment. I can hardly wait for the winter ham to be glazed with them. Yum-yum!

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Ukiah Skate Park design forum

July 19th was a historic day for the Ukiah Skate Park committee. After 10 years of locating and securing a site, fundraising and meetings, the first design forum was held with Zack Wormhoudt of Wormhoudt, Inc (www.skateparks.com) to gather input from the community and skaters regarding what features were desired in the park. Skaters were given modeling clay to provide visual aids to the designer depicting their visions of what the park should look like and include. This is the first step towards the actual construction.

Ukiah Skate Park design forum

The new skate park is going in next to the railroad depot and the committee's goal is to visually tie in the park with a railroad theme, using a boxcar for seating, track for rails, etc. To say we're excited that this project is materializing into reality would be the ultimate understatement! We hope to break ground next spring and have skaters using the park by the end of the summer.

Photo courtesy of MacLeod Pappidas/The Ukiah Daily Journal.

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Healdsburg High School Class of 1987's 20-year reunion

2007 marked twenty (!) years since the Class of 1987 graduated from Healdsburg High School. Our reunion weekend (August 10-12) consisted three gatherings - Friday night was an informal meeting at Giorgio's Restaurant, Saturday night was dinner and dancing at the Villa Chantileer and Sunday was a family picnic held at Warm Spring Recreation area near Lake Sonoma. It was great to see old friends, get re-acquainted and reminisce.

Healdsburg High School

Check out the reunion weekend photo album and see all the photos in thumbnail and preview formats (which are available for downloading in full size (1600x1200 resolution) as well for you to keep). If you have photos you'd like to share, please contact me!

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New WSRL season start

Normally I don't make it a point to announce a new NASCAR online racing season starting up. However, this time I'm making an exception. In previous seasons, the Tuesday series has run a mix of Cup cars and CTS (trucks) with everyone running the same car setup and the drivers were split in two divisions - Cup and Busch. The Cup drivers were the more experienced set, the Busch less so.

Wonder Woman Chevrolet Monte Carlo

This season, Tuesday has moved to open setups (meaning drivers can configure their cars to their driving style) as we run in the Friday series. Tuesdays run exclusively trucks, Fridays run in cars and everyone is now in one division on each night, thereby putting everyone on the same playing field.

With that said, I have discovered that I'm getting the hang of tweaking a setup to better fit my driving style with the help of my MountainWest Motorsports teammates. This, in turn, allows for faster speeds and better stability. In racing in the Western States Racing League, I'm up against some drivers who have been racing over 10 years. I, by comparison, only have been running for two.

The week of August 20th was the first in the Summer/Fall 2007 season. I placed 10th out of 16 drivers in Tuesday's inaugural race and (drumroll please) 2nd out of 13 drivers on Friday's! That is a major accomplishment and one of which I am very proud. To keep up with all my racing activities, visit the racing page.

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Backyard project

Our backyard is lush with mature landscaping, however over the last couple of years, we've lost 2 elms to high winds and two fruit trees due to old age with another one its way out. These losses have resulted in an unobstructed view of the back of our neighbor's two-story house! Something had to be done.

New backyard garden area

Last spring we planted two dogwood trees and a flowering pear. Now we've created a new garden area (see before and after pictures) that gets more sun and will allow us to plant a few more trees to help gain our respective privacy back. We'll be able to water less lawn and modify the existing sprinklers to use a drip system to water the garden. The new area will also help deter (we hope) our resident mole as we plan to build lined, raised planting boxes in the newly cordoned-off section.

New backyard garden area

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Backyard project - part 2

Bob and I took the 'labor' in Labor Day weekend literally and completed phase 2 of the backyard garden project by building the planter boxes and restructuring the irrigation to them. The last phase will include filling in the ground-level area with cobblestones or flagstones and adding large pots for more planting room. It's a lot of hard work but we're having fun with it too by adding our personal touches. Those include various ceramic frog statues scattered throughout the yard and the latest addition of the copper frog band who will be serenading our garden.

New backyard garden area Frog band

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Fabulous Flashback car show

Ukiah Host Lions pancake crew Ford racing Cobras

It's a tradition in Ukiah for the Early Iron of Ukiah car club to host the Fabulous Flashback Car Show on a mid-September weekend and the Ukiah Host Lions to serve a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning. All cars entered in the show are pre-1973, so all are truly classic automobiles - from the Ford racing cobras, to the 1930's-era coupes, and back to one of the first 'horseless' carriages. For car buffs, it's akin to being a kid let loose in a candy store. And the rules still hold true, you can look, but please don't touch!

1930's coupes Horseless carriage

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