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Archive for the ‘Nascar’ Category

Nascar race at the Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by P. Rickrode

Nascar race at the Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by P. Rickrode

Have you ever wanted to be a race car driver? Come on, show of hands, who’s wanted to be a race car driver? I think I’m a race car driver every day. Even in my little cross-over Nissan Rogue, I’m secretly a race car driver. Maybe it’s because I’m a little speed demon, or maybe I like how a powerful car engine feels and sounds when you rev it up. In any event, I think you should all know that I have this compelling urge to drive a race car. It’s on my bucket list.

I’ve included a video at the end of this link that I shot while “racing” on the Radiator Springs Racers at Disney’s California Adventure Park a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I was assigned the back seat, so I didn’t have best filming advantage, but I think it turned out pretty good. You can enjoy that after this month’s edition of Take It Or Leave It – Race Car Style.

Here’s a reminder of the rules: Post your guesses (would I take it, or leave it) in the comments section below. I will post my responses Thursday. The person with the most correct guesses is my winner, but you must re-post in the comments section in order to claim your prize. It’s that simple. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.

Nascar race at Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by C. Rickrode

Nascar race at Las Vegas Speedway. Photo by C. Rickrode

Would I, or wouldn’t I:

1) Park in a handicapped spot;

2) Run a stop sign;

3) Tailgate (like a good race car driver would);

4) Text while driving;

5) Talk on the phone while driving (w/o blue tooth);

6) Deliberately drive slow in the fast lane to slow traffic for a known speed trap area;

7) Tap my brakes for a tailgater;

8) Drive without my seatbelt fastened;

9) Double park;

10) Use the carpool lane to pass a slower driver.

Good luck. Now here’s the video I told you about:

Word of the Day:  Intumesce

Fun fact about me: I have a clean driving record (knocks on wood)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, April 2014. Original video by P. Rickrode via YouTube.  Original photos by Patricia Rickrode

 

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I know it’s not politically correct in this day and age to refer to anything as being gender-specific. I mean, if a guy wants to run around wearing a push-up bra all day because he likes women’s clothing, more power to him. And if little girls want to play with hot wheels and little boys want to play with dolls, who’s stopping them. No one’s going to laugh or poke fun. It’s all okay nowadays.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

But me, I’ll about the “girl sports.” I like figure skating, ice dancing and gymnastics. I can really get into a good game of beach volleyball. My husband – not so much. He’s into the manly man sports, you know, football, Nascar, golf, although I’d argue that last one is a little foo foo. Watching golf is like watching grass grow if you ask me. I do like me some good old-fashioned rodeo, though and thankfully, the hubs and I both enjoy a good round of team roping, steer wrestling, and bull riding. Yee haw!!!

Kristina Mathews.  Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Kristina Mathews.
Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Now my friend Kristi Mathews, she’s all about baseball. Baseball is one of those “guy” sports in my mind, but Kristi is no guy and she’s one of the biggest fans around. What’s super cool about Kristi is that she’s found a very clever way to combine her two passions and get one fantastic result – a romance book about baseball.

Let me tell you a little bit about Kristi. She doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing. While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, parent club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.

Yes folks, she’s a Giants fan, but don’t hold that against her. She’s about as nice as they come.

Her debut novel, Better Than Perfect, is available everywhere today (there’s a link at the end of this post). Well, maybe not everywhere, but I’m sure if there’s a place that sells e-books, you’ll be able to find her. And today, I’m giving away a few copies to some very lucky followers. Just leave a comment below and you’ll automatically be in “the drawing.”

Kristi's debut novel Better Than Perfect. Photo courtesy Amazon.com

Kristi’s debut novel Better Than Perfect.
Photo courtesy Amazon.com

I’ve asked Kristi some questions. Her answers are in blue. My interview with Kristi starts now:

Me: Tell us about your experience with “the call.”
Kristi: I’d participated in a Savvy Authors pitch party, where they had several agents and editors post their submission requests and I pitched to a couple who were looking for my kind of book. I had also sent a cold submission to a big eBook publisher and I was literally on my way to a funeral when I got their form rejection after 12 weeks on submission. Then I got a pretty thorough and harsh (think dental hygienist harsh) critique on my manuscript. But I got a request from the editor at Lyrical Press. I was feeling pretty discouraged, but I knew if I didn’t send it out one more time, I’d always wonder. So I hit send. A few days later (not three months) I got an e-mail from the editor. She liked my story, liked the conflict, connected with the characters…I kept reading, waiting for the “but…” There was no but. She wanted to add me to their roster. I ran out to the driveway to catch my husband before he left for work. I made him read it, just to be sure I wasn’t reading it wrong.
Me: After you received “the call,” you received another “call.” Tell us about that call.
Kristi: On January 2, I got the news that my small eBook publisher was being acquired by Kensington Books. A big New York Publisher. Exciting, yes, but also a little scary. I’ve never worked for a big company. Not unless you count the three months I worked at McDonalds in college. I worried about getting lost in the shuffle. And despite having to mail my contract a second time I think it’s going to be great.
Me: So far, besides that second “call,” what has been the most surprising thing that you’ve experienced working with a big publishing house?
Kristi: After a slow start, things seem to be moving very fast. Or maybe it’s just that the timing of my book’s release and the completion of the merger are making it seem that way. They updated my cover. Twice. And they put the book up for preorder. I’m on Amazon. And Kobo. And Nook. And iTunes, although I couldn’t figure out how to provide a link. I have reviews from them putting my book up on NetGalley. I even have an author page on their website. So I’m hoping to find an audience that goes beyond my friends and family, many of whom have already bought my book.
Me: I’m assuming that’s how you came to have 2 covers for this book. Which cover do you prefer and why?
Kristi: It’s hard to pick a favorite. One of the things I liked about the original cover was that it was very different. But then the newest version is pretty hot. And I honestly have no clue as to what makes a good cover, and since I couldn’t use real life baseball players (or Kevin Costner) I was glad to pass that job off to my publisher. They changed the cover when they were working on the second book in the series, and the two covers work well together. 
Me: What are you hoping readers will remember most about your debut novel?
Kristi: I hope they will enjoy the book and see that an athlete doesn’t have to be a player off the field to be sexy and strong.
Me: Anything else you want to share about your book that’s not already covered in your book blurb below?
Kristi: I came up with the name for my hero from a nickname my husband’s cousin gave him when they were kids. They were on a long road trip, I think to Yellowstone, and my husband’s older cousin tormented him by telling him he wasn’t really a Mathews. His real name was “Johnny Scottsdale.” He was traumatized to think he didn’t belong. And believe me, having been a part of the Mathews family for over twenty years, I could understand how sad that would be. So I thought it would be a good name for a baseball player and a great way to honor the man who has helped me realize my dreams. And now whenever his cousin calls him “Johnny Scottsdale,” he’ll have to pay me royaltiesSmile
Me: When does the sequel come out and how can folks get their hands on a copy?
Kristi: The second book in the series, Worth The Trade, was originally scheduled for a September release, but it will come out in July instead. I’m very excited about that. Both books will be available on all eBook retailers, and I’m expecting a print option through Amazon, but I’m not sure of the details, yet.

Here’s the blurb:  More Than A Game, #1

Better Than Perfect new cover

Better Than Perfect, the second cover

The woman he left behind and the son he never knew are tougher opponents than any he’s met on the field.

Pitcher Johnny “The Monk” Scottsdale has won awards, been named an All-star and has a perfect game to his credit. Known for his legendary control both on and off the field, his pristine public image makes him the ideal person to work with youth players in a preseason minicamp. Except the camp is run by the one woman he can’t forget…the woman who made him a “monk.”

Alice Harrison’s three strikes include an unexpected pregnancy, a marriage of convenience and young widowhood. She once traded her dreams so Johnny could have a chance at making it to the Majors. Johnny comes back into her life just as she’s ready to resign as foundation director and pursue her own dreams of finally earning her teaching credential. Her plans may go on hold, though, depending on the reaction when she confesses she may have kept a major league secret from Johnny and her son.

With the minutes ticking by until Johnny will leave for spring training, they’ll need to let go of the past and work together in order to win the game of love.

If you have a question for Kristi, her book, or baseball, leave it in the comments section below. She’ll be stopping by periodically to answer.

If you have a question for me, the answer is no. Just kidding. You can ask questions any time in the comments portions of any blogs I’ve posted. Thanks for visiting, sharing your thoughts and being a good and faithful follower. For more information about Kristi and her books click here: http://kristinamathews.com/2013/11/03/whats-new/

Are you a baseball fan? Any sport in particular you like / hate? Which cover do you like better?

Word of the Day: Gigot

Fun fact about me: I played second base on my little league team a very long time ago. We took second place. I still have the trophy.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, March 2014. Photos courtesy Google Images and Amazon.com. Kristi’s book, Better Than Perfect is available by clicking here: www.amazon.com/Better-Than-Perfect-More-Game-ebook/dp/B00IT6IC0W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1394751847&sr=1-1&keywords=better+than+perfect

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Pop quiz – what are those lyrics from?

musical scroll

I used to think I knew the song. I heard it all the time and always hummed along. But, it wasn’t until about 3 weeks ago, that I actually listened to the words. Really listened. I almost cried when I finally comprehended their meaning. Somehow, all these years, I’ve never really listened to the lyrics enough to fully appreciate the message in the song. It was always just a catchy tune from a great movie.

If you’re still stumped, here’s a bit more:

From the moment we arrive on the planet, and blinking, step into the sun,
There’s more to seen than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done.

There’s far too much to take in here, more to find than can ever be found,
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky, keeps great and small on the endless round.

The Lion King

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Got it yet?

How about now:

It’s the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle
The Circle of Life

Ah, yes. The Circle of Life. An amazing song by Sir Elton John. I heard that song a lot over the past couple of weeks. As you might have guessed (or already knew), I recently spent about 14 days at Disney World and I’ve got to say, there is more to be done than can ever be done at such a wonderous place. Besides the theme parks, there are two water parks, miniature golf, regular golf, a Nascar driving experience, bowling, movie theaters, dozens of restaurants, water sports, live theater performances and the list just goes on and on.

The House of Blues Gospel Choir

House of Blues Gospel Choir. Disney World 2013.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

This trip, my husband and I experienced two new forms of cuisine – Cuban and Norwegian. Both were fantastic!  I had my first ever experience with chicken and waffles at the House of Blues Gospel Brunch. Chicken and waffles? OMG. Delicious!

The Grey Stuff

“Try the grey stuff. It’s delicious!” Be Our Guest restaurant – Disney World (Fantasyland) 2013.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

We ate in the new Beast’s castle in the new Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom park and partook of “the grey stuff.” Yes, it really is a menu item and yes, it really is delicious. But, don’t ask the wait staff to reveal the recipe as they are under strict orders not to reveal the secret or risk angering his majesty – The Beast.

Try it. It’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.

I also enjoyed my first ever water slide. I know, I know. You’re all thinking, “how could crazy Jansen, who’s crashed a snow mobile and eaten alligator, never glided down a water slide?” Well, I’ll tell you. I didn’t learn to swim until I was a teen-ager and after that, I never really became very proficient at it. And, I’m not crazy about having my head under water. It’s kind of one of my phobias. I always avoided water sports and activities. But, not any more. I am the water slide queen!

Typhoon Lagoon

Me at Typhoon Lagoon. Disney World 2013.
Original photo by C. Rickrode

I even took the plunge down the Humunga Kowabunga, a near vertical 5-story drop in the dark. Now that’s living my friends! Check out this link for all the 4-1-1. And to heighten your reading experience, scroll to the bottom first and click on the audio link. It’ll get you in the mood.

http://disney-pal.com/WaterParks/humunga_kowabunga.htm

Here’s how it would look if you were take the plunge:

We also experienced an up close and personal pirate adverture, complete with cake and other delicious snacks. Who knew pirates liked cake?

WDW 2013 159

My new pirate friend. Disney World (Contemporary Resort) 2013.
Original photo by C. Rickrode

WDW 2013 162

Yummy cake. Pirates & Pals Fireworks Voyage. Disney World 2013.
Original photo by P. Rickrode

So if’n you’re planning a trip to “The World” and are wondering if you can see it all in a week – the answer is NO! In order to fully enjoy yourself, you must stay at least 10 days. You really need to take the time to enjoy the details of your surroundings and the engineering wonders of the Disney imagineers. Trust me, you won’t regret staying the extra few days.

So, how was the end of your summer? Do anything fun? Try anything new? See anything that you’ve never seen before? I’d love to hear about it.

Word of the Day:  Jussive

Fun fact about me:  My three biggest toes are all the same length. (That might not be fun. That might be creepy.)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt 2013. Original photos by Rickrode family. Stock photos courtesy Google Images. Video links courtesy YouTube.com.

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Question markHere it is the middle of June already. Can you believe the year is half gone? In honor of the summer solstice, I’m offering ya’ll a chance to win a fabulous prize by simply offering your best guesses to this very special redneck edition of What Haven’t I?

broadwayIf you’re a follower of my blog, you already know that earlier this year I decided to show my readers a little bit more about who Jansen Schmidt really is. We kicked the year off with a glimpse of my show business experiences and followed that up with a sprinkling of past wickedness.

This month, I’m going to let you take a peek at my redneck side. I look forward to your guesses. I will be awarding prizes and you don’t even have to know a single thing about me to play. All you have to do is record your guesses in the comments section below.

By way of reminder, three of the answers, I’m somewhat ashamed to say, are things that I have actually done. Only one is something I have not done. You can’t win if you don’t play. Have fun and good luck!

mechanical bullMy responses will be posted on June 18th. The person with the most correct guesses will win a prize (if they check back and acknowledge that they have won by leaving another comment) AND the first person who responds back, regardless of how many responses they got right, will also receive a prize if they leave a second comment.

So let’s get going with the guessing:

#1 – What haven’t I ridden:  a) a Harley Davidson; b) in the pace car at the harness races; c) a corvette; or d) a mechanical bull.

#2 – What haven’t I attempted to sell: a) a car; b) a horse; c) Princess House crystal; or d) make-up.

#3 – What ticket haven’t I received: a) parking; b) speeding; c) jay walking; or d) running a stop sign.

monster truck#4 – What haven’t I eaten: a) elk; b) moose; c) bear; or d) bison.

#5 – What haven’t I witnessed in person: a) a Nascar race b) a bull riding event; c) an ultimate cage fight; or d) a monster truck pull.

Word of the Day:  Zinnwaldite

Fun fact about me: In detest coffee; smell, taste, everything.

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Welcome to April! April 1st is commonly known as April Fools Day. But for me, April 1st means that love is in the air. Especially this year. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the day I married the most wonderful man I know. Yes folks, me and the hubster will celebrate our tenth anniversary this Friday, April 5, 2013.

In honor of this very special man, I’m devoting this entire blog to him. I’m going to share some different sides of his awesome personality.

First there is the reluctant and I’m-a-little-bit-scared-but-still-willing-to-go-along-with-the-game side:

C. Rickrode - 2009 - WDW

C. Rickrode – 2009 – WDW
Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode birthday 2011Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode birthday 2011
Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode & Minnie Mouse - 2011 - WDWPhoto by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode & Minnie Mouse – 2011 – WDW
Photo by P. Rickrode

Then there is, one of my favorites, the happy boy:

C. Rickrode - 2010Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode – 2010
Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode - 2011Las Vegas Motor SpeedwayPhoto by P. Rickrode

He has an adverterous side:

C. Rickrode - 2012Isle of Roatan, HondurasPhoto by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode – 2012
Isle of Roatan, Honduras
Photo by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode - 2012 - Animal Kingdom Park - WDWAfter (finally) riding Expedition EverestPhoto by P. Rickrode

C. Rickrode – 2012 – Animal Kingdom Park – WDW
After (finally) riding Expedition Everest
Photo by P. Rickrode

 He has a few rare silly moments:

WDW 2011 032

And even more rare romantic moments:

Carriage ride at Fort Wilderness - 2009

Carriage ride at Fort Wilderness – 2009

But mostly, what is so special about this fantastic man, is “The Look.” I tried to post several photos of this famous Look, but WordPress was being a butthead all weekend and refused to upload my photos. So, let me just say that I get The Look quite a lot. He’s often not on board with my ideas, suggestions, or requests. It takes him a while to warm up to my awesome ideas and until he does, I get, The Look. My day wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t get The Look at least once. That’s why I love him. He’s many faceted and delivers a good Look.

Happy anniversary my sweetie pie! I love you and hope to have many, many more happy years together.

Corey wedding day

P.S. This is NOT the look. This is handsome, pure and simple.

So how about you? Is love in the air for you this month? Does your significant other have A Look?

Word of the day: Udometer

Fun fact about me: I love, love, love sour candy!

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Well, it’s that time of the month again – time to play What Haven’t I!

Question mark

This month, in honor of my birthday on the 24th, I’m asking for your guesses regarding my previous birthday activities.

Before we jump into any situations to ponder, let me say congratulations to Tameri Etherton, our February winner! Congratulations, Tameri!

If this is your first visit, the rules for participating are simple – write your guesses in the comments section below, check back on the 2oth to see if you’re a winner. Every month I will award two prizes; one to the person who gets the most guesses correct, and the other for the first person who left a comment and checked back regardless of how many guesses they got correct. You can’t win if you don’t play.

corvette stingrayAnd now, without further ado, here are the questions:

1 – What haven’t I received as a birthday gift?

a) – Really Expensive Jewelry; b) – A car; c) – Flowers; or d) An ugly sweater

2 – What haven’t I attended for my birthday?

a) – The ballet; b) – A bull riding event; c) – The circus; or d) – A Nascar race

3 – What haven’t I eaten for my birthday?

a) – Steak and lobster; b) – Chinese food; c) – Reuben sandwich; or d) Turkey

Lake Tahoe sunset

Twilight on Lake Tahoe

4 – What haven’t I enjoyed on my birthday but I really want to?

a) – Bunging Jumping; b) – Scuba diving; c) – Swimming with dolphins; or d) – Zip-lining through a jungle

5 – Where haven’t I been in honor of my birthday?

a) – San Diego; b) San Francisco; c) Los Angeles; or d) Lake Tahoe

So? How well do you think you know me? I’d love to read your guesses in the comments below. What have you experienced, or not experienced for you birthday, but you hope to enjoy some day soon?

Word of the Day: Squarrose

Fun Fact about me: I love to color. (I even have color books and crayons, but don’t tell anyone.)

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So it seems as though the end of the world year is upon us. There being only a very short amount of time left upon this earth calendar year, I feel as though I should openly express my gratitude for the wonderful things I have enjoyed since January 1st of this year.

But, before I get started, I must congratulate Pat O’Dea. She is the lucky winner of my sweet surprise from last month’s blog! Congratulations, Pat!

Now, let the gratitude begin:

First, I am grateful for my family and friends who have circled the wagons when I needed protection, smiled when I needed encouragement, scolded when I’d strayed off course, and just plain been available when necessary.

Second, I’d like to thank my cyber friends, new and not-so-new. I’ve managed to get through an entire year of blogging, albeit only once a month, but, since that was my goal, I can proudly say that I accomplished it. Next year, should there be one, my goal is to increase my blogging presence with twice-montly posts! I know you’re all dancing with glee!

2012 was a year of great expeditions, great acquisitions and great accomplishments! In March I was able to visit with treasured friends at our annual Nascar weekend in Vegas.

Nascar & Yosemite 038

In June my wonderful husband and I were able to enjoy seven amazing days in the Western Caribbean!

Western Caribbean cruise 2012 091

We climbed ancient Mayan ruins, went cave-tubing in Belize, boarded a pirate ship and swam in the warm clear waters of Grand Cayman and zipped through the jungle in Roartan on 4-wheel quads!

Western Caribbean cruise 2012 163

In July we moved into our new home, in September I traded in my old Subaru with 214,000+ miles on it for a brand new 2012 Nissan AWD Rogue and in October we visited one of our favorite places, Disney World!

WDW 2012 036

While there, I thoroughly enjoyed my very first trick-or-treating experience! Having been denied such “normal” childhood activities, I was overjoyed when I learned that Disney encouraged kids of ALL ages to trick-or-treat. Here’s my husband and I getting ready to embark on our redneck tourist trick-or-treating journey:

WDW 2012 071

WDW 2012 072

Aren’t we OMG hideous! We looked ridiculous, but we had a lot of fun.

All in all it’s been a pretty awesome year. When it’s all said and done, I have no regrets, lasting memories, more friends than I started the year with, and positive goals for the new life year ahead.

Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for your support throughout this year. I hope to see you all again in the upcoming months should we all survive the prophesied apocolypse! Have happy and safe holidays and feel free to share your accomplishments and gratitude in the comments below! I’d love to celebrate with you!

Word of the day:  Moppet

Fun fact about me: I totaled my very first brand new car before I even got my license plates! (That’s not really such a FUN fact is it?)

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