2008 News

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NASCAR racing online - WSRL Spring/Summer 2008 season results

Appreciation plaque for Paul Eigsti

Another Western States Racing League (WSRL) racing season of NASCAR online came to an end in July. The Tuesday series of online racing returned to cars (from trucks the previous season) and fixed setups. I finished 8th out of 22 entries.

On Fridays, the league continued to the NASCAR Cup Series with open setups. In both series, I piloted the Wonder Woman Chevy Monte Carlo. I came in 7th place out of 18 drivers in the Friday series for the Spring / Summer 2008 season.

My MountainWest Motorsports teammates had a very successful season. Bob (also my hubby) took the championship in Tuesdays and second place in Fridays. Also on Fridays, Mark took third overall.

A lot of the WSRL drivers have been with the league for years. To show our appreciation, we chipped in a presented our league's founder, Paul Eigsti (also a MWM teammate), with a plaque to honor his decade of support to online SIM racing.

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HHS mini-reunion

Bryan McBurney and Caree Connolly

The Healdsburg High School's Class of 1987 mini-reunion (held every four months for local classmates to get together) held on July 19th could be better described as a micro-mini reunion. Most likely due to short notice on my part, we only had three members attend - Sarah Bowers, Caree Connolly and myself.

Afterwards, Caree and I stopped by Bryan McBurney's place to berate him for missing the gathering. Instead, we found him packing and moving out of his apartment. So naturally, we pitched in to help. It made for fun times to listen to Caree and Bryan talk about the old days, especially since Caree will be moving soon to the midwest from Oregon and visits will be rare.

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Montgomery Woods after the wildfires

Montgomery Woods after the wildfires

After weeks of hazy, smoke-filled skies, the Mendocino Lightening Complex fires were extinguished in mid-July. One of the 131 fires burned in and around Montgomery Woods, a California state reserve consisting of a redwood grove and fern forest.

Bob and I drove out Orr Springs Road to the grove in early August. The fire damage was evident. The entrance hiking path within the park acted as a firebreak with one side looking lush and green, the other burned and charred. It was interesting to note that the fires did not burn into the canopy, but remained low, burning the forest floor. Without the efforts of the hundreds of fire personnel, we may have lost a treasured wildlife area. Instead, the forest will revitalize itself with new growth already apparent.

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Back to school

It's fascinating to me to look back at my career path and see how far I've come. I work full-time as a software support technician, supporting both a customizable accounting program (SouthWare) and the networks they run on (primarily Windows and/or Linux).

Programming and Problem Solving with C++ - Dale/Weems

I've gone on to have some one-on-one tutoring in Perl and shell (computer scripting languages) due to some of our clients being required to have data compiled, formatted to specs and transmitted electronically to their vendors. To bolster that one-on-one, I enrolled in CIS10 - An Introduction to Computer Programming, an online course through Santa Rosa Junior College. It teaches the proper syntax and structure in programming, specifically in the C++ programming language. C++ is simply another good language to have in the arsenal (and it looks good on a resume!).

Fifteen years ago (I'm starting to date myself), friends would start talking about computers and their components (memory, hard drives, video cards, etc.) and I would literally put my fingers in my ears and say, "la-la-la-la-la". How times have changed! Now I can speak "geek" as well as anyone and I (obviously) even have my own website!

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A visit from Italy

Back in 2005, Bob and I journeyed to Italy with his dad, Al, to take in the sites and visit with relatives still living in the Alps in northern Italy. In late August and early September, some of those we visited became visitors to the United States.

Bob, Al, Pat, Renzo, Francesco and me

First to visit was Renzo and his fifteen-year-old son, Francesco. Renzo is the son of Stasi, whose godmother is Bob's grandmother, Annie. They took in the redwoods and the Pacific coast in their brief two-day stay. Francesco became a big fan of ice, which is not typically served with drinks in Italy.

Our next visitors were Mauro (one of Renzo's brothers) and his girlfriend, Michaela. In the over twenty relatives we met in Italy, Michaela was one that I remembered well. During our last dinner with family at a restaurant near Marcheno, we had made our way through the antipasto and pasta courses, and were working on passing the dishes of the meat course. I held in my hand a cubed meat dish in a dark brown sauce and was about to spoon some onto my plate when I heard, "Psst, Trish, don't eat that!".

Mauro and Michaela

With spoon mid-air, I asked, "Why?". To which Michaela answered, "It's donkey!". I then asked if she ate it and was met with a resounding "No!". That was enough evidence for me to pass! I'm willing to try most foods once, but I couldn't this time.

Mauro and Michaela were taking their time in the States. They had flown into Las Vegas and stayed a couple of days, drove through Death Valley and visited Yosemite National Park before their stop in lil' ol' Ukiah. From here they were driving down to Los Angeles, with stops in San Francisco and Monterey. From L.A., they were flying to New York, planning on staying a few more days there before returning to Italy. They had made no hotel reservations, figuring they would find somewhere as they went. Now that's how to see the U.S.!

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Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo Wabo Waborita

Taking a long weekend over September 6th through 9th, Bob and I flew down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to hang out with our friends Rob and Mary. We felt spoiled in that Rob and Mary hail from Colorado and this was our second vacation this year in which we were able to get together with them. Though our time in Cabo was short, we had a great time and took lots of photographs (and stopped into Cabo Wabo for a Waborita!). Check out the photo album, here.

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Dennis Miller

Dennis Miller - photo courtesy Wells Fargo Center of the Arts

In late September, Bob and I, and his parents, made a night of dinner at John Ash, followed by seeing Dennis Miller Live. Bob and I had seen Dennis Miller before at the Wells Fargo Center of the Arts (though it was called Luther Burbank Center of the Arts then) a few short weeks after 9/11. In both shows, Dennis was amazing. He has such quick mind and it's easy to see that he is a thinker and observer who has no qualms about pointing out the indiosyncrasies of American life and our relationship in the world. It's refreshing to be in a room with a person who has no problem saying what's on his mind, politially correct be damned. To be able to do that and be funny is a true gift.

Dennis Miller Live - photo courtesy Wells Fargo Center of the Arts

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Annie 'Anastasia' Beltrami Favagrossa

Trish, Annie and Bob on our wedding day

Annie 'Anastasia' Beltrami Favagrossa passed away in her sleep in the early morning hours of September 28, 2008, at age 99-1/2. My grandparents had all passed by the time we met in 2004 and 'Noni' (my husband Bob's paternal grandmother) and I hit it off right away. I called her my bonus grandmother.

Annie (her American-ized name of Anastasia) was a true American success story. She loved to share her experiences of immigrating from Italy in the 1930's, coming to America and learning the language, and running a small cafe in Modesto, California, with her husband. And though she was 94-years-young when I first met her, she was still full of life, laughter and music. Noni would often break into song - from war songs such as 'Lili Marlene' to 'How Much is That Doggie in the Window'.

God bless you, Anastasia. I was truly blessed to have you in my life and will miss you.

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