Saturday, July 10, 2010

Ramblin' Man

I got nothin'...I'm just tired from stayin' up late, gettin' up early...and oh, yeah...doing some work.

I've been waking up at 0530 all week...a pitiful slave to the Tour de France Live Broadcasts. This morning I watched Friday afternoon F1 practice from Silverstone, Great Britain. Formula One's oldest racetrack, Silverstone was a WW2 RAF Bomber Base, and after the war was "Repurposed" as a racetrack.

As is typical of Formula One this season, some teams are faster in relation to the rest, and some are going backwards. Formula One is all about "developing the racecar" Teams are constantly making changes to the cars and their subsystems to eke out another 1/10 of a second per lap in order to work their way to the front.

None of the development happens in a vacuum, all the teams are working on this widget, or that aerodynamic geegaw, so the playing field is in constant flux. Sometime the thousands of hours of design time, computer modeling, windtunnel testing, prototyping and construction make the racecar faster, and other times this investment of time, labor and cold cash moves the car farther back on the grid.

This season the teams are all mining the aerodynamics vein for their 1/10's by playing with the balance between downforce and drag.

Downforce allows much faster speeds through the corners, and enables scary-fast braking. There is a price to pay for downforce...drag. Drag slows the car down on the straightaways, where cars reach their top speeds. The engineers known as aerodynamacists, design the car's bodywork and wings (within the Sporting Regulations) to more efficiently control the airflow over the car and wings to limit drag and maximize downforce.

Just to keep everything interesting, F1's Governors change the Sporting Regs from time to time if some clever engineer exploits a rule so as to give his team what's considered to be an unfair advantage...all in the service of "Cost Containment" and "Competition"

Judging by Friday afternoon's F1 Practice, Ferrari's latest changes haven't improved the "Prancing Horse". Both Ferraris were down in 17th-18th place...You win some, you lose some...of course they could be sandbagging...I'll know after Qualifying in the morning.

I just read the latest news from Silverstone, and McClaren is removing their new Update Package after struggling in both practice sessions Friday...they went backwards I guess! All the teams are trying to catch-up with Red Bull Racing.

The tired I'm feeling this evening, is a "Good Tired" I earned it the fun way. I practiced my woodworking skills. I'm finally wrapping-up the "Beehive Incident" for SturgeUrge. I had to fabricate some 1x12 siding that's not milled anymore. Call it the Carpenters version of "Match the Hatch" This involved joining two 1x's with a finger joint, making some jigs for my tablesaw and router table, and duplicating the original siding I removed to access the beehive with BeeGuy Joshua. All this allowed me to stretch my creative muscles a little. Tomorrow I'll install the siding.

After I was done, I fired up the 'Net. I saw a Tweet from Reno's Reno Gazette-Journal about Boreal's opening tomorrow. The photo at the top of the blog is one of their poor groomers building the maze area so they can turn the lift for their "Shred Fest" this weekend. The forecast said it would be 80F in Truckee today, so it had to be at least 75 degrees up on the Summit. I feel for Boreal's Groomers today...there's no A/C in Snowcats. Throw in the Thunderstorms, and those guys are earning it!

It's one thing to build ramps and mazes in November when the cool Fall temps hearken to the New Season's's another thing to do all that pushing of wet, heavy, rotting snowpack to open a run and a little terrain park for a summer weekend. It's all about the Marketing. Watch the News Saturday night...there's better than an even chance you'll see video of Boreal!

No rest for the wicked I always say...0530's gonna come early in the morning! The Tour enters the Mountains Saturday...I expect fireworks! One more time, Lance!

Oh, Tyler Farrar finished second in Stage 6 to Mark Cavendish Friday...healing nicely he is.

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