May 11, 2006

Yuji gone for GOOD.

Wow. SuperAguri's Yuji Ide wasn't just demoted to 3rd driver, he had his SuperLicense yanked by the FIA!

Which means that he's completely barred from driving in a race, and he can't be a test driver during race weekend (I think; I'm unsure about that). He had qualified for his SuperLicense by dint of his top-three finish in Formula Nippon, but because he had zero F1 experience previous to this year (having never been invited to drive a F1 car, unlike, say, current driver Nico Rosberg, who did some laps at Spa last year), his license was probationary.

The SuperLicense requires 300 miles of F1 experience before the season, but since SuperAguri was slapped together at such short notice, Fast Yuji couldn't get something like 200 laps at Silverstone (SA's closest track, more or less) run... I think SA had a total of 30 laps pre-season TOTAL.

So what does this mean for SuperAguri? Well, for probably the next two races Franck Montagny had a drive with them; there's just no time for them to stick someone else in the car. Longterm, SuperAguri wants to be an all-Japanese team, but other than Takuma Sato, there's no other Japanese drivers with F1 experience. That'd put SA in the unenviable position of having a second rookie driver with even LESS experience than Fast Yuji... and if that doesn't put the fear of God into someone, nothing will.

If Honda and SuperAguri really ARE as close as the claims go, Ant Davidson could be a possibility. Problem is, Honda desperately needs Ant to rip off those test laps for the main team.

So... I'm guessing we'll have to come up with a nickname for Franck.

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May 10, 2006

F1 on Speed: Spain

My heart's not in it.

Friday, May 12th.
7a-8a: Practice

Saturday, May 13th.
2a-3a: Practice replay
7a-830a: Quals live.

Sunday, May 14th.
2a-330a: Quals replay
330a-4a: Inside GP.

Then the race is plausibly live on CBS Sunday.

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May 08, 2006

Living The Gimmick

Rick Steiner can't seem to break the habit of calling himself 'Rick Steiner.' Seems he was running for School Board membership under the name 'Rick Steiner,' even though his real name is Robert Rechsteiner.

Problem is, in the county he's running in, you can't run under assumed names. Oops. I guess it doesn't count that he's been using Rick Steiner as his name for 20 years, he never had it legally changed.

*Kla-Ding-ding* "Ladies and Gentlemen... now entering the meeting room... Riiiiiiiiiiick (pause) STEIIIIIIIII-Nerrrrrrrrrr!"

"...and there's a STEEL chair to the back of a commiteeman's head..."

I'm just not going to think about what he'd do to PE class.

(original story HERE)

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The Waiting Is The Hardest Part...

I didn't get the manager's job of the Duck U. Bookstore.

More to follow, when I'm sufficently inebriated to comment on it.

LATER...

Well, I'm not inebriated. But I didn't get the job. I'm still the Ass.Mgr., though, so that's something. I was thanked for my service over the past six months, was told I had done an 'amazing job, given the circumstances,' given a blindfold and a last cigarette, tied to the post, and...

I'm being flamboyant. The n00b has a year or so's worth of manager experience more than myself, and is more of an energetic 'go-getter' sort, according to the district manager. My managerial style is a tad more laid back, which goes over well with store-level people, but isn't ranked as highly with the higher-ups. Sure I can kick and take with the best of them when I have to, but I try not to have to.

So... we'll see what happens. The n00b comes on board May 15th, and we'll go from there. In many ways, I'm glad it's over... now I can get on with doing my job, instead of wondering what my job is going to be.

Now, where's that 'personal serving sized' bottle of sake...?

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May 07, 2006

F1 UPDATE!: EUROPEAN GRAND PRIX.

We liked it better when it was the Grand Prix of Luxembourg, but the F1 UPDATE! crew welcomes you to the Nurburgring, a/k/a 'The Nurb', for the latest round of the World Championship!

*SILK PURSE: It was 30 years ago that Niki Lauda had his horrendous crash at the Old Nurburgring, resulting in him being pinned inside his burning car. If not for the heroic actions of four fellow drivers who stopped racing and rescued him, he surely would have died. As it was, he suffered severe burns. Ironically, Lauda had been trying to get the drivers to boycott the race, due to the danger the track posed, but was outvoted. As a memorial of sorts to the accident, Lauda, Darth Bernie, and some others went out to the place where the wreck happened. After a ceremonial drink, someone pulled a pig's ear out of the grass and said "Hey, Niki, we found your ear!" We here at F1 UPDATE! wince at that sort of cruel humor (mostly because we weren't asked to attend the ceremony), but the fact that Lauda enjoyed it makes it okay. A grand old chap... can we have him run the FIA, please?

*VILLENUEVE 'PENALIZED': Pre-race, Fisichella's whining managed to get Jack Newhouse wrist slapped. The FIA, in an attempt to get Fisi to just shut up, already, "penalized" Jack by taking away his three fastest qualifying times, dropping him down to 10th (from 9th) on the grid. This put him behind Mark Webber, who then took a 10-spot penalty for his engine change, putting Jacques back in 9th. Flavio Briatore was then summoned, handed a pacifier and a box of diapers, and told to change his driver's romper suit, as Giancarlo was being a big baby again.

*TEAM OF THE RACE: Ferrari. Now it's 1st-3rd and you gotta figure that they're really back, which makes this season REALLY interesting.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE: Because we don't want to give it to Slappy Schumacher twice in a row, we're instead going to give this race's award to his teammate Felipe Massa for his first ever podium. F1 UPDATE! was surprised to realize that little fact, and makes us repeat that Felipe Massa is the LUCKIEST BOY ALIVE!!! Honorable Mention goes to Nico (Wonderboy) Rosberg for his 7th place finish from dead last on the grid.

*MOVE OF THE RACE: A Midlands MF1 sighting! On lap 13, Christijan Albers came roaring up behind Takuma Sato's Super Aguri (please note: some slugs also can come roaring up behind a Super Aguri) heading into turn 1. Albers outbraked the Modern Day Kamikaze, elbowed him wide, and took the place. Sure, it was for 17th, but it was still a pretty sweet pass.

*MOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOVE OF THE RACE: For once, it was hard to come up with one this week. So hard, in fact, that we had to go all the way back to the first turn of the race, where we found Ralf Schumacher tagging Vitantonio Liuzzi, who then crunched David Coulthard's Chin. Liuzzi didn't make it past the end of the lap, The Chin made it to the pits only to drop out almost immediately afterwards. Nice job, Ralf: TWO Red Bulls at once!

*DRIVER QUOTES: more...

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May 06, 2006

Euro GP Quals

Well, that was interesting! We discovered that Charlie Whiting has a sense of humor, that Giancarlo Fisichella is on the edge of going nuclear, and that the Super Aguri might be REALLY difficult to drive today.

In the first round of quals, we had a mystery red flag thrown with five minutes left to go, leading to team confusion and scrambling to get cars out on the track. Then, as if to emphasise the confusion even more, the FIA's timing and scoring system went to hell, making it look like Jacques Villenueve (to name the driver that the Legendary Announce Team were talking about) hadn't made it to Q2. When we came back to the track after commercial, they had everything fixed, but that couldn't have made things fun for the teams.

Then in Q2, we had Giancarlo Fisichella failing to advance AGAIN. This time, though, he believed he had someone to blame it on: Jack Newhouse. He threw a temper tantrum on track, waving and gesturing at Jack's BMW-Sauber. Alas, Jack was quite a bit ahead of the Italian, so he probably missed the gesticulating. In fact, he was far enough ahead that... well, there really wasn't a reason for Fisi's emotive handwaving. Ah, the legendary Italian Temperment (tm).

But it wasn't over yet! Oh no, it just got better! After Q2 was over and he had been relegated to 13th, Fisichella decided to take a stroll... well, a stomp... down to the Beemer-Sauber pits, and after walking into the wrong stall to begin with, finally found the target of his ire (who was sitting in his car, helmet on and about ready to get going) and let loose with a torrent of what I assume was rather heated Italian, all of which was caught on camera.

I rewound the VCR and turned the volume up to hear the exchange. The following is a transcript:

Fisichella: (translated) "I'm very slow in the car, but I'm going to blame my lack of talent on you, because you were faster than me."
Newhouse: "Someone get this guy a WAAAAHmbulance."
Fisi: "You SO did not just go there."
Jack: "Out of my way, slow lad, let the REAL drivers go to work."
Fisi: "Oh, snap."

Q3 gave us the usual parade of fuel-burning-laps, followed by Slappy Schumacher and Ferrari screwing up the final tire runs, making their last pit stop too late. That gave the Ferraris only one lap before the clock turned zeros, while Fernando Alonso had two. Alonso made the most of it and took pole, his first of the year.

Other news of the day was that Yuji Ide may have gotten a bit of vindication as Franck Montagny, replacing Fast Yuji, ended up a full ELEVEN seconds behind Takuma Sato, owing to a spin on his... well, we can't call it a hot lap... on his tepid lap. Maybe it isn't so easy to drive the Super Aguri.

We also discovered that the Williams boys had to change BOTH engines, owing to an apparant bearing problem, meaning that both Mark Webber and Nico (Wonderboy) Rosberg will be unlikely to do much of anything in the race tomorrow.

The weather was bright and sunny at The Nurb today, which means it'll probably be snowing at race time. Should be interesting... F1 on Skis!

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May 05, 2006

The World Of Narue: final judgement!

I've finished watching Narue, and while I still stand by my earlier statement ("It's fluff, but entertaining fluff"), it had some suprisingly deep moments in there.

Amongst other serious topics, the show covers:

* Time dilation as one approaches the speed of light
* Political terrorism
* Divorce, remarrying, and the effect it has on the children
* The death of a parent
* "Latchkey Kid Syndrome"
* Mixed marriage
* Cosplay

...but understand! At no time does it whack you upside the head with serious moralizing or preaching. Instead, Narue works these topics (and more) into the plotlines almost without notice, and you enjoy it the whole time. There is almost no angst to speak of, and other than episode 6 ("The Mind-Controlling Robot Episode"), no instances of "mistaken situation leading to lover's spat".

The artwork is crisp, clean, bright, and remarkably consistant from episode to episode. I noticed only one moment where character appearance wandered from the baseline (in the final episode, natch).

My complaints are few. A promising character, Kazuo (our hero)'s sister, disappears after the one episode she was in. Too much time is spent with the trio of harpies, a/k/a Narue's classmates, before they disappear as well. The dub is particularly grating, even moreso than normal.

My main feeling about the show is that it is innocent. Even the fanservice (and yep, there is some) is innocent. The characters are HAPPY! Sure, there are some glum times (particularly the subplot about the 'latchkey kid'), but even they aren't all that bad. The series ends on a slightly dark note, but that's dispelled by the final few minutes.

If you're into angst, things exploding, violence, mecha or things of that ilk, avoid this show like the plague. However, if you're into a really good show that actually will make you smile (something that's perishingly rare in anime these days), this one is for you.

Innocent. Happy. FUN. I give this one four stars out of five, and a hearty recommendation, particularly because it's inexpensive!

(Update 5/19/06: Welcome Chizumatic readers!)

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May 04, 2006

FLASH NEWS F1!

Fast Yuji is OUT as second driver for SuperAguri! Franck Montagnie (I'll fix the spelling later), recently named as the 3rd driver for SA, will be assuming the race position for this weekend's Grand Prix of Europe.

Yuji will stay with the team as the 3rd driver. The move was made "on the advice of the FIA," meaning that the Powers That Be said "Get this guy off the track before he kills himself or someone else."

Again, I'm a fan of SA, but even someone who knew nothing about F1 could have seen that he couldn't keep up the pace. Even a four-year old car was too much for him.

More news as details warrant.

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May 03, 2006

F1 ON SPEED!

Ahhhhhhh... the race is back on SPEED. It's a wonderful thing to have the Legendary Announce Team doing the race live...

Friday, 5/5/06.
From 7a-8a, we've got live coverage of practice for the European GP at the Nurburgring. If only it was the OLD Nurburgring... but we'll take this.

Saturday, 5/6/06.
From 1230am-1a, we get Inside Grand Prix, starring Mr. Snootypants and brought to you by Allianz... "Allianz: We've Got A Logo."

At 1am to 2am, you get a repeat of the practice. At 7am to "830am", they bring us coverage of the Wacky Madcap Qual Session. I generally set my VCR for 945am, though, just to be safe.

Sunday, 5/7/06.
From 2am to 330am, they repeat the Wacky Madcap Qual Session.

From 5a-630a, we get the season debut of the GP2 series at its regular time. Watch the young'uns romp!

...and that leads us right up to 630a-9a, LIVE coverage of the GP of Europe, which is replayed from 1130a to 2pm.

Should be a fun one... of course, I say that every week, so what do I know?

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May 02, 2006

Yuji Races Euro.

Fast Yuji must have pictures of Aguri Suzuki doing something absolutely vile. That's the only explanation there is for the fact that he's going to be racing in this weekend's European GP.

Look, I love Fast Yuji. How could I not? I like the underdog. But c'mon, this is too much... or, more correctly, not enough. Not enough speed, not enough skill (please note: Yuji Ide is an excellent driver. He did remarkably well in Formula Nippon... but that's not the Big Leagues).

So blackmail it must be. Here's to ya, Yuji... ganbatte!

And to everybody else on the track, hope your insurance is paid up.

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May 01, 2006

BATracers Unite!

Okay, here's the gig. I want to start a private league amongst us Pond denizens.

It'd be a F1 2006 league... the problem is, I don't know if I have enough readers to set it up.

Respond in comments, folks. If you don't know what BATracer is, go HERE and take a look... then come back and tell me you're in!

...and if you know people who'd be interested, let me know that, too. While I'd like it to be Pond-based, a few 'outsiders' wouldn't be too bad, particularly if they're into it.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:04 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Ugly Monday.

Ever had one of those days?

(159am Editor's Note: Five paragraphs deleted due to excessive whining.)

So I left... and walking out to my car, I stepped in a gopher hole and sprained BOTH my ankles. My right foot went in the hole and twisted, making the most amazing sounds, and my left foot came down in an odd position as I tried to recover. *snapcrunch* Voila! One gopherhole, two bum ankles!

A perfect topper to a lousy day.

Maybe Tuesday will be better.

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