||[Saturday 26th November 2016 at 11:39 pm]
Today was the day of Thanksgiving celebrations at Beth & Jonners, and so was full of Things Happening.
First off, pleaseremove and I avoided Thanksgiving entirely and instead dropped in on brokencube to visit his new flat (and because Craig wanted a graphics card). It appears that Nik's anti-technology field is currently destroying all his hard disks in sequence... instead for the one that stubbornly refuses to die despite making horrid clunking noises. So that's business as normal for Nik :)
Next up was the pre-Thanksgiving "exercise" in the form of karting! We were on the downstairs Crawley track, which is one with a couple of corners that I've never quite got the hang of. There was enough of use for a race and so the first session was a qualifier where I gradually improved during the session but ended up 8th overall. I spent a good half-dozen laps stuck behind someone which didn't help - I couldn't quite make it past them as they aggressively claimed the apex on every corner... until after a bit when someone else passed me and then punted them at the corner before the ramp. So I sneaked through the gap left behind :)
For the race we did a reverse grid so I started third, and managed a good start up the middle to rise into 2nd round the first corner. I made it over the bridge, braked hard at the bottom to avoid the leader who took the hairpin slower than I was expecting, got shunted by someone but managed to recover, and then two corners later the race was paused. I think I may have left a multi-kart pileup behind me :) The rest of the race went reasonably well (with me gradually dropping down the rankings as the faster drivers snuck past), apart from one bit where I lost it on the 2nd straight after the bridge. It was slightly surreal - the two straights are separated by a right-angle corner which I take flat out, and as I continued to accelerate past the corner I could feel the back slowly drifting more and more out until I lost it and ended up facing the wrong way down the track. That said after stopping there was enough space that I could power the kart round and continue on, so I recovered without causing a yellow or red flag - go me!
I ended the race 8th again, though I improved my lap time a bit, to I think 25.0s (Jonners has the timesheets). One day I'll manage a sub-25s time!
Being a race there were prizes from TeamSport for the top three, and a bonus prize for first place - see, a while back I mentioned at housegroup about the karting and one of the guys went "Ah, I've got something you might like"... which turned out to be a real-life scale model r/c Mario Kart, minus battery and controller (TeamSport chap: "Nice idea, whoever brought Mario!"). So of course this had to become a bonus prize for first place! Perhaps we should get it mounted and make it the annual Thanksgiving trophy?
Finally, 'twas time for Thanksgiving itself! It's not something people generally celebrate in Britain (though Black Friday is now a thing here), but Beth being American hosts a Thanksgiving meal each year and so it's become a tradition in her friends circle. Plus it's a good time to catch up with friends I rarely see, and for those of us who are really prepared (not me! - though I have handed over one present already this year) a chance to hand out Christmas cards :)