My take on the Danica Patrick, Max Papis, Jacques Villeneuve incident at Road America


Quite a good NASCAR Nationwide race earlier today at Road America in Wisconsin.

As usual, when NASCAR races on road courses, we see a lot of ‘tradin paint’, especially in the last few laps. Today’s race, ultimately won by Nelson Piquet Jr., was no exception.

On the last lap, with Picquet running away with the victory, this happened:

Here’s my take… it’s too bad for Danica, because she drove a really solid race. But, that was a pure racing incident. All three drivers, Patrick, Papis and Villeneuve are racing for position. Villeneuve clearly had the most speed going down the straight and was bumped by Papis into the grass. Both Patrick and Villeneuve were carrying too much speed into the corner and were experiencing ‘wheel hop’. I wonder if either of them could have made the corner had the contact not happened. In the end, there was contact, and it wrecked Danica’s race, but I chalk it up to being a racing incident… can’t blame Jacques on this one. (Granted, Villeneuve could have been more gracious in his post race interview)

The post-race reaction has been quite negative towards Villeneuve, which I find interesting. How is this incident any different than when Michael McDowell spun Villeneuve earlier in the race? It isn’t… but there was no negative reaction to McDowell, nor should there be. It’s racing people!

Sadly, this incident doesn’t help Villeneuve’s chances of landing a full time NASCAR ride. Too bad, like him or not, Jacques always makes races interesting.

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2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring four-month review


I bought my 2011 Hyundai Elantra Touring in June 2011. As of the time of this review, I’ve had the car for about 4 months, and I have put about 5,000 kms on the odometer. I thought this would be a good time to post my thoughts on the car. Continue reading

Part 3 – Review of Tony Robbins’ Ultimate Edge


Sessions 3-8 – Personal Power Classic Days 1-5

Sometimes there’s good news and sometimes there’s bad news. Let’s start with the bad news first.

It’s been almost two weeks since I last posted my progress with Tony Robbins’ Ultimate Edge program. I just haven’t had ANY time to sit down and write my thoughts. So, I’d like to say sorry to any of you out there who’ve been waiting for this blog post.

Continue reading

Part 2 – Review of Tony Robbins’ Ultimate Edge


Session 2 – Inner Strength: Your Hour of Power

In this session, Tony explains how every decision in our lives is controlled by two forces; our state (how we feel in the moment) and our blueprint (our structure of beliefs and values). We’ll apparently learn more about our blueprint in the last session of Ultimate Edge, but for this session, Tony concentrates on how we can control our state.

Have you ever stopped to think about all of the different emotions – positive and painful – you feel during an average week? That was the first exercise in this session of Ultimate Edge. My list was surprisingly small, and from what I understand, that’s pretty common.

We can’t control all of the events in our lives, but we can control what the event means to us. Today’s session, the Hour of Power, helps us establish rituals that will condition us to consistently be in an empowering emotional state.

What Tony calls the Hour of Power is all about taking time for yourself, each and every day, the first thing every morning. So, here’s how it works…

  • Step 1: Get up and start moving. If you can, go outside for a walk, or jump on the treadmill and start out slow. This will jumpstart your metabolism. Remember to breath. Take a few deep breaths in this ratio: inhale for one count, hold for four counts and exhale for two counts. Then for the next five minutes, practice inhaling four times through your nose and then exhaling four times through your mouth.
  • Step 2: All about gratitude and visualization. For about 10 minutes, think about everything you are grateful for, starting with things about yourself, family, friends, colleagues, special moments in your life and so on. Then visualize everything you want in your life as if you had it today.
  • Step 3: Incantations and exercise for 15-30 minutes. Tony suggest speaking incantations repeatedly while exercising. For example, you could say something like “every day, in every way, I’m feeling stronger and stronger” or “all I need is within me now.”

The assignment for this session was pretty simple. Look for “magic moments” during the day, and then do the Hour of Power the next day.

My thoughts
I got up early and tried the Hour of Power… well, in truth it ended up being the 45 minutes of Power, but I’m still giving myself credit for getting up to do this!

At first, I thought the breathing patterns would be difficult, and to be honest, I didn’t expect much from it. But to my surprise, somewhere around the three or four-minute mark, I got a sudden surge of energy. Now I’m curious to see if I’ll have the same experience every day.

The gratitude and visualization went well. One thing I find though, I that I visualize better with my eyes closed, which is fine if I’m on a treadmill or an elliptical machine, but not so good if I’m going for a jog.

Honestly, the incantation felt odd, but I did them. I did find myself speaking the incantations rather softly, instead of at a regular volume. Also, I spoke even softer when my son joined me in the room where I was exercising! So, the incantations take some getting used to… and I’m going to have to get over the embarrassment if I want to give this a real shot. 🙂

I felt great after my Hour of Power! My mood and energy was fantastic all day long, so I’d have to say my first experience was enough to get me to try this for a while.

Next up: the first Personal Power sessions

Review of Tony Robbins’ Ultimate Edge


Session 1 – Inner Strength: Decisions and Destiny

I have to admit to a certain amount of excitement when I heard that my Ultimate Edge package had arrived in the mail. A couple of weeks earlier, I had downloaded the first session from Tony Robbins’ website and I was anxious to get started on the program.

What you get when you order Ultimate Edge is a nicely designed package containing 26 CDs, two DVDs, a success journal and some coupons for a free live coaching session and for discounts on Tony’s live events. The program is divided into three parts:

  • Part 1: Inner Strength (2 sessions to do at the beginning of the program and a third session to do at the end)
  • Part 2: Personal Power Classic (7 days/sessions)
  • Part 3: Get the Edge (7 days/sessions)

As I mentioned, I had already listened to the first session, called “Inner Strength: Decisions and Destiny” prior to receiving the package in the mail. Still, I felt it would be better to refresh my memory and re-listen to the first session.

Session 1 of Inner Strength is recorded on two CDs and is fairly long at about 103 minutes. I downloaded the CDs to my iPod and set off the next day on my journey to achieve the ultimate edge, which is not about getting the edge over someone else, but rather getting the most out of yourself.

The first thing that really strikes you when you listen to a Tony Robbins CD is his enthusiasm. The man delivers his message with such oomph that it almost seems impossible that the same energy could be maintained throughout the session. But the energy is maintained, and Tony talks us through a lot of material aimed at helping us understand the driving forces in our lives. Tony covers a lot of material in those 103 minutes, so much so that I was compelled to listen to this session twice!

In this session, Tony talks about

  • Understanding and directing the forces that shape our lives:
    • the three pillars of progress; Getting focussed, getting the best tools and getting integrated and aligned.
  • Resources vs. resourcefulness: how we often make excuses about not having enough resources, while the truth is that we can find those resources with some resourcefulness.
  • Master lessons in life: the science of achievement and the art of fulfillment.
  • Decisions: how we all make decisions at every moment in the day – what do we focus on, what does that mean to us and what are we going to do with that information?
  • Three choices we make when we feel pain: Blame, change our life conditions, change our blueprint.

At the end of every session, and sometimes in the middle of a session, Tony gives us some homework to do. ‘Cause, let’s face it, listening to a program like this is not much use if you’re not going to follow through and make the changes you want in your life.

In this session, Tony encouraged me to think about, and write down, the area of my life where I am most happy… and why. Similarly, I thought about an area in my life where I was not happy… and why. Finally, today’s last assignment was to write a paragraph or two describing what my vision of my ideal life would be.

My thoughts
Interesting stuff; especially that last exercise. I, like many people, have gone through this thought process before… usually right after I buy a lottery ticket! LOL The difference here is that Tony encouraged me to really envision my ideal life as a whole… what kind of shape would I be in? What kind of house would I live in? Would I travel? Would I work? What kinds of activities would I do with my family?

I found that writing it down made it seem a more real to me. So, I’d encourage any of you who are reading this blog to write a paragraph or two about your own extraordinary life. Remember, the first step in getting anywhere is knowing where you want to go!

If you’re interested in getting a short glimpse of what Tony discusses in Session 1, watch this YouTube video:

Next up… Session 2: Your Hour of Power