May

26

The Darth Chronicles – “Darth as a Sports Coach”

Darth was recently given an Empire-cal Premier League second-division men's Soccer team, 'Force', to coach, who made wooden-spooners last year in 2013. Darth was at first reluctant to take the role as coach of these wooden-spooners, mainly used to dealing with the top cream-of-the crop. But when reminded of his Empire-cal power and how he can turn things around, he saw it all before him – 'Of course, that's it'.

When Darth first laid eyes on these wooden-spooners, who came from far and wide in the galaxy, it was mixed emotions. It was like an image of the galaxy in one team. There were short or tall, fat and skinny, different nationalities and humans and creatures. Darth did not know where to start – 'Well, it looks like we might have something here'.

The team resembled a bunch of misfits, you know the story, but like they said, Darth could see something more in them. When Darth gave his first speech to the team, it was on the field at the local sports ground and they were distracted and dispersed – 'If I can have your attention please everyone. I was about to call you a bunch of misfits, but now I know you are only misinformed and misguided. Today and tomorrow, you will be on top-of-the-table, yesterday as wooden-spooners, stirring the pot, is no more. With the variety and unique skills and abilities I can see before me, we can put together an Empire-cal Premier League second division Soccer team none the Empire has ever seen. Don't believe, we shall see. I don't see misfits in front of me ('stop calling us misfits', one of the players said), and I'll change that word very soon, don't worry, I see my Empire-cal country men standing before me. Are you with me? I said, are you with me? There were ad hoc shouts and yells that came from the bunch, which showed a case of in-between being happy and dismal. Darth said, 'we have some work to do here'.

Now Darth got down to the business end of his new coaching role, Darth's favourite, 'strategising'. Darth chose an initial 2-4-4 formation which can change at any time, given the circumstances. There were two Strikers, Four Mid-fielders and Four Backs, and a Goalie.

Two tall and mobile Strikers were chosen in twin brothers, Skimpy and Dimpy. There were two attacking mid-fielders and two defensive mid-fielders who did swap from time-to-time during the game. Roley and Foley, smaller, lean and fast creatures, were the two attacking mid-fielders, and Blocky and Stocky, who were bigger and bulkier speedsters, were the two defensive mid-fielders and humans. The Backs had two big and strapping blokes in the centre as Stopper and Sweeper with Big-T, a creature, as Stopper, and Billy, a human, as Sweeper. The defensive wings resembled a more slower version of the defensive mid-fielders with Mathow, a creature, and Timmy, a human. The Goalie was Jumpy, a half human-half creature, who jumps and moves all over the place, hardly sitting still. On the bench were four replacements for each of the areas, Strikers, Mid-fielders, Backs and Goalie. Respectively, there was Bit-T, Grovel, Lancaster and Jumpy. On the bench were four replacements for each of the areas, Strikers, Mid-fielders, Backs and Goalie. Respectively, there was Bit-T, Grovel, Lancaster and Smoaty.

And then the team was born and the time had come for the season ahead.

Darth devised a marketing plan with management to market the team and Force brand to the Empire. And hey, it worked; at first former and new supporters were a bit reluctant, but they wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Some supporters came to watch the side at training.

The 2-4-4 formation and Darth's players found it hard to begin with, making mistakes and arguing with each other all the time. But a tough off season with plenty of drills, skills and fitness had the boys primed for Empire-cal greatness – 'Is that it? Are we finished yet Darth?' Darth had made-up a little book of tricks to get his team into ultimate winning mode, and no one knew about it until the season started.

The team had a dismal start to the season of the 38 games played for the year. They lost their first five games, even with the cheerleaders, and by the fifth match, players and supporters were beginning to lose hope. Near the end of the fifth game, Darth disappeared from the side-lines and into the Force dressing room where he studied his book of strategies and tricks a bit more in depth. He began to make changes at training, and with another inspirational speech, along with a threatened two-finger throat crush, obviously scaring the players, things started to change.

The 'Force', won all their games to make it to the finals. Darth was the man and his players and management were more popular than ever. Other coaches were wondering how Darth had come up with his tricks and strategies to create a very fluid style of play for his team. But Darth somehow kept it guarded for the whole season, blaming it on chance and luck.

The Force make it to the semi-final, one match from the Grand Final, and deep in the second half, Roley let's fly with a screamer from outside the box on the left, to Bend-It-Like-Beckham. This is when the match is level 1-1. Roley has won the game, and the Force supporters go ecstatic. The Force are into the Grand Final against Empire 1, the darling of the second division and Premier League, and who have lost just one game all season. The Force lost one of their five opening games to Empire 1, being thrashed 6-1.

The players and management, confront Darth before the game, and want him to sign on as Head Coach for some more years with the Force, win or no win in the Grand Final. Darth, a bit hesitant, states, 'oh, oh, why not. Hoohahaha.'

Almost like a slow-motion play, the players enter the field and the supporters erupt. Both supporters are kept separate for the game in case of any disruptions, with Empire 1 fans making chants about the Force. Photos are taken of each team, as well as some heated photos of each coach, including Head Coach Cluesie of Empire1, looking eye-to-eye with the Empire-cal Premier League second division trophy. The Empire Anthem is played, and what is it, who knows, use your imagination. Now somehow, Darth's book of strategising and tricks has gone missing. Darth, a bit worried, thinks nothing of it, and that his players know everything by now.

The whistle blows and the Empire 1 team are red-hot. Most teams in the Force's winning run would not even reach the Backs of the Force team, but Empire 1 were doing at ease. What was going wrong, Darth was wondering. Then the Empire 1 strikers unleash on Goalie Jumpy, over and over, until, 1…2…3….4 goals go past in the first half. Empire 1 top striker, Ulsee, has done most of the damage. Feeling the game was over, the Force players head for the dressing room, heads down, at half time. Darth begins to join them, then all of a sudden he sees Head Coach Cluesie with his book. Darth figures Cluesie has found out the team's game plan and is furious. But he remembers his days with the Jedi, and he calms down and begins to re-strategise.

Darth gives one hell of an inspirational speech to his players and goes over some new tactics, including bringing the Backs up to attack the Empire 1 goal, along with the Strikers and Mid-Fielders. Darth's Force team take a long time to enter the field, with the Empire 1 team waiting with the referee for kick off. Whatever Darth did, he did it. The Force immediately penetrate the Empire 1 line and defence to put 1…2…3….4 goals away by the Force Strikers and Mid-Fielders and two by the secret weapon of the Backs. Both teams get ready for a Penalty shoot out. But Darth, catches Big-T's attention, the Force Stopper who has a tremendously big foot and was seen practicing by himself at training sometimes. Darth signals to the team the new strategy he went over at half-time.

The match goes back and forth with only a few minutes remaining on the clock. The Penalty shoot-out looks eminent. The Empire 1 supporters begin to sing their winning chants, and smiles appear on the Empire 1 players, who have acknowledged a good match. But Big-T has other ideas, pretending to give a half effort running to the Empire 1 line, then a sudden dash and pass back to Jumpy, the Force Goalie, who has secretly entered the Empire 1 half and kicks another screamer from just inside the box, right in front. The Force supporters and camp hold their breath. The ball curves to the right and manages to just slip past the Empire 1 Goalie, Slimuth, to reach the far right of goal. The Force has won the Grand Final in the remaining seconds.

Darth and the Force camp cannot believe it. From wooden-spooners to top-of-the-table, just like Darth had promised. Darth had won the day and the hearts of the Force supporters.…

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May

16

Minnesota's Panfishing Treasure House

Panfishing in Minnesota is always a popular past time. Got Kids? It's a great way to get kids into fishing. Perhaps the best thing about panfishing is that everybody in Minnesota is only a few miles away from a lake or pond full of panfish that will tug your line. Panfishing is exciting fishing so grab your rod. Let's look at a couple of the more popular types of Minnesota Panfish – crappies and bluegills.

Crappie fishing is a good choice for the family. They are easy to fish and don't require a lot of exotic equipment. Light spinning tackle and cane poles are both effective gear for crappie. Crappie fishing is great in shallow water near vegetation. Small minnows, called crappie minnows, and a small jig fished below slip bobbers are the preferred setup and often the best way to catch this finny friend. During the spring, crappie are most often found at depths of three feet or less, and they are rarely by themselves. Crappies prefer warmer water than most fish in this area, which is why they will be the first fish into the shallows after ice out. Crappie tend to stackup in such spots. Crappies are tougher to find in hot weather, but can still be caught.

Don't laugh the next time you hear your buddy saying that she is going Bluegill fishing. A nine-inch Minnesota bluegill on a light rod will fight as hard as a smallmouth on regular tackle. Bluegills can be recognized by the powder-blue coloration near the bottom of their gill cover. Bluegills eat both insects,small minnows and worms or grubs. They prefer slow current in streams or rivers and weeds or woody cover in ponds and lakes. A small tackle box is all that you need. Keep small jigs and a some light weight lures and you are ready to go. Keep your eye on the water temperature and when it hits 70 degrees get out there and have some great fun with the bluegills. When the water temperature hits 70 the bluegills build nests in a couple feet of water and will attack most anything that comes near the nest. Bluegills are fun fishing regardless of when you are fishing.

Panfishing is great for the family so remember to take a kid fishing! Panfishing is a wonderful how-to for all those assorted, taken-for-granted, fish that we all learned to fish while catching. Panfishing is still what I do with my uncles and grandpa when they can't handle blasting across the lake at 50 mph or trolling through an opening weekend walleye chop anymore. Fish panfish just to have a good time and shoot the breeze with your fishing partners. And occassionally, you have the adventure of accidentally hooking up with a northern or walleye while panfishing. Just remember, panfishing is always pretty reliable for the fish fry. So don't embrass yourself just hit the weed edge with a minnow and a slip boober about 6" to a foot off the bottom and you have more than enough to clean.…

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May

13

Recreational Ultrasounds – Are They Safe?

There has been a lot of talk in the news about the possibility that receiving a recreational ultrasound may be unsafe. No one knows for sure what the long term effects of multiple ultrasound's are and probably won't for a few more years.

I can defiantly relate to wanting to see your baby. There is nothing more exciting than seeing your babies face for the first time and being offered the opportunity to catch a glimpse at the beautiful little face is nearly impossible to resist. But is it responsible to take part in a medical procedure in a non medical setting?
While pregnant with my second child I considered going to an ultrasound boutique for a sneak peak but because of complications in my pregnancy I decided against it because my doctor informed me that I would be having an ultrasound 1-2 times per week during the last few months of pregnancy. I felt happy because of the opportunity to see my baby and It defiantly offered me peace of mind.

My concern for mothers seeking recreational ultrasound's is based on my experience receiving multiple ultrasound's for medical reasons. During my third ultrasound of the pregnancy at around 22 weeks I experienced some noticeable contractions during the ultrasound. The technician actually noticed them first. I thought that I was having some gas pain when I asked to take a short break and she had commented that my stomach was hard and that she thought I was having contractions. They lasted through the rest of my appointment and well into the night. The doctor didn't believe that it was directly related to the ultrasound and neither did I until the weeks following. It seems that every time that I went for an ultrasound it caused me to have contractions that lasted into the night and sometimes for a few days following. My doctor usually advised that I lay down on my left side and drink a full glass of water when this happened but sometimes this didn't help. More than once I was forced to go to the ER for monitoring and sometimes a shot to relax the contractions.

I know that this won't happen to everyone but wouldn't you hate to know that premature labor was brought on and your baby was at risk all for the sake of a keep sake. My doctor never acknowledged that the contractions were a result of the ultrasound but I know in my heart that it was. It seems a rather large coincidence that it only happened during and after an ultrasound. I am NOT saying to go against the advise of your doctor. If your doctor advises that your receive an ultrasound then listen to them. I'm just saying that perhaps receiving a recreational ultrasound is a bad idea, mostly because they are not performed in a medical setting. If complications were to arise during the administration of a doctor prescribed ultrasound you would be in a medical setting were help could be given.

If you must get a non medical ultrasound, ask questions. Check with your doctor first, require information about the boutique and the administrator, and avoid if you are a high risk pregnancy. In a few short months you will have the best keepsake of all, your baby. Why take the risk unless it's medically necessary?…

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May

09

Bowfishing Tips

Bowfishing is a different method to fish by using an archery bow to shoot and retrieve fish. The barbed arrow that you use to shoot the fish is attached to a line and reel that are mounted on the bow. People that go bowfishing often hunt for carp in freshwater and sharks and rays in saltwater. Bowfishing is a fun and exciting way to fish and I spent the last few years practicing and getting better at it. In this article you will find some basic tips that have helped me bowfish over the years.

Here's some important things to need to remember if you plan on bowfishing:

  • Be sure to check your areas local laws about fishing. You will most likely need a license to fish in your state.
  • Check the laws regarding equipment. Some states have laws that will tell you what kind of equipment is allowed to use while bowfishing.
  • Find out what kinds of fish you can catch. Some areas have laws that will only let you fish certain types of fish.
  • If you are not experienced with a bow, you may want to consider taking a safety course for archery fishing.

Here's some tips that will help you become successful at bowfishing:

  • Learn how to tune your bow. Tuning is the process of ensuring that your bow is setup properly for optimal performance. You should also learn how to calibrate the nock on your bow.
  • Learn to tie great knots. Making sure you have a good knot on your line will ensure that it doesn't slip or come lose when you are fishing with it.
  • Practice your shot. It will take some time to get good at shooting your bow and hitting the target every time. It took me several weeks of practice to learn how to hit my target 90% of the time.
  • Remember that you are shooting into the water. The water will create some resistance when the arrow hits the water. So you will have to compensate for the added resistance from the water when you are shooting your arrow at fish.

You are not limited to sitting in a boat all day when you are bow fishing. While some people enjoy still hunting, I prefer the stalking method. To stalk the fish you can be on foot or in a boat and you will remain in constant motion while looking for fish. Another method that some fellow fisherman of mine enjoy is the ambush method. It's best to ambush the types of fish that crowd in schools because you have a better chance of hitting one with your shot.

Bowfishing can be a lot of fun, although slightly frustrating at first. But, once you get the hang of shooting the bow at fish, you will find that it's fun and exciting. Just remember to follow the tips listed in this article and you will be on your way to being a great bowfisher in no time.…

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May

02

Some Sports Records Are Safe

You hear the phrase quite frequently — "records are made to be broken." Or "this record will never be broken." The next thing you know some breaks the record.

Some 20 years ago we probably thought Hank Aaron's all-time career home run record would never be broken. Then, in early August 2007, San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds breaks the record. That mark, however, might just get broken sometime within the next 6-14 years.

After all, balls continue to fly out of the yard for a few reasons. For starters, expansion has watered down the quality of pitching worse than a flat Budweiser. Secondly, ballparks are smaller and hitters look more like middle linebackers. Keep in mind, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa broke Roger Maris' single season home run record (61) in 1998. It only took Bonds three years to break that record with 73 home runs in 2001.

Cy Young's 511 career victories are certainly not going to be broken, at least by any modern-day pitcher. New York Mets left-handed pitcher Tom Glavine, who played many years with the Atlanta Braves, is likely the last 300 game winner we'll see for a long time. Glavine achieved that feat earlier in the 2007 campaign. You see, pitchers getting wins is largely dependant on how good the team is but with more five-man rotations, it's going to be harder to pile up wins on a consistent basis.

I also don't see an NFL team going undefeated any time soon, which is a feat the 1972 Miami Dolphins achieved. For one thing, the season is longer. It was 14 regular season and three playoff games in 1972 and 16 regular season games and three postseason games today. That's two more chances that a team has a change to lose a game. Two Super Bowl championship teams from the 1980s came close by going 18-1 (1984 San Francisco 49ers and 1985 Chicago Bears).

The 49ers lost their lone game in Week 7 against Pittsburgh (17-14) as Ray Wersching missed a 51-yard field goal that would have sent the game into overtime. The '85 Bears lost their long game in Week 12 on Monday Night Football, 38-24 to Miami. Nowadays, if a team wins its first 12 games the pressure (i.e. media and fan scrutiny is enormous). Another reason why it's highly doubtful to see an unbeaten team is because of the salary cap it's much harder to keep teams together, which makes injuries that much more difficult to overcome.

Most people might not rank the New England Patriots and the NBA's San Antonio Spurs among their respective sports' all-time best despite winning three titles in four years for the former and four titles in eight years for the latter. However, what cynics fail to realize is that those teams have sustained their success in an era when dynasties were thought to be a thing of the past.

You can also forget about Rickey Henderson's single-season (130) and career (1,406) stolen base record being challenged. Keep in mind, when Henderson set the season mark in 1982, he also attempted 172 stolen bases. How many players even get on base that many times today?

Keep in mind, with the emphasis being so heavy on home runs; managers do not want to take the bat out of their sluggers' hands by risking the base-runner getting thrown out trying to steal. Even the quality of base-running has diminished in today's version of baseball because fewer coaches who were base-stealers in their heyday are coaching in the minor leagues.

You certainly are not going to see back-to-back no-hitters, set by Johnny Vander Meer in 1938 because which pitcher in heavens name is going to do it three straight outings let alone two? These days if a pitcher throws a no-hitter there is a flood of media attention. Plus, pitching a no-hitter takes a little bit of luck too. Maybe, the hitter mis-times his swing on a pitch he normally hits hard. Maybe, the pitcher gets bailed out by a great defensive play. Or maybe, on a judgment call a fielder gets charged with an error instead of the batter getting awarded a hit. Who's going to get those kind of breaks three straight outings?

UCLA basketball's 88-game winning streak is likely safe. Basketball teams simply do not stay together long and sometimes not at all. While the 2006-2007 Florida Gators are not likely to enter any all-time great discussions, it is impressive that they won consecutive NCAA titles by keeping largely the same team together because it's so rare today.

Look at the underclassmen leaving school early for the NBA or for that matter going to the pros straight out of high school. Tim Duncan and Shane Battier are two modern-day college players that are the exception but not the rule in that those individuals stayed in school all four seasons. The early departures have also created more parity in college basketball. That means even the best teams in college basketball are going to lose a conference road game here or there.

Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak is not likely to be topped. Pete Rose came the closest in 1984 and still came 12 games short. To break this record, players have to be so enormously consistent. They also have to catch a break. Baseball is such a strange game that way. You can hit the ball super hard but it's right into the glove of a fielder. You can hit a blooper that either takes a spectacular catch to record an out or it finds a hole. Then, there's judgment calls by the official scorekeeper that can be scored a hit or an error.

You can also forget someone scoring 100 points in a basketball game like Wilt Chamberlain did. Kobe Bryant scored 81 two years ago against the Toronto Raptors, whose defensive play won't make us forget an of the great Detroit Piston teams. Given the fact that NBA teams have put a greater emphasis on defense for the past decade, there are teams not even averaging 100 points per game. All the more reason that no one individual will score 100 in a game. Unless a game goes into six-tuple overtime.…

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Apr

24

Top Sports Songs

Part of what makes a sporting event – wither live or on TV – so much fun is the accompanying soundtrack. Here's a list of my top ten sports songs – some sports-themed, others just great "arena music."

Centerfield – John Fogerty. "Put me in coach!" Fogerty's ode to the national pasttime is as popular today in ballparks as it was 20+ years ago when it was released.

Kiss Him Goodbye (Na Na Hey Hey) – Steam. While the song is actually about breaking up with someone, the chorus – "na na na na hey hey hey goodbye" – has become an arena, stadium, and ballpark end-of-game anthem for dismissing the opposition. Not bad for a song that was a B-side.

Bleed It Out – Linkin Park. I liked this song to begin with, but when I heard it played during a pre-game skate at a Buffalo Sabres game, I appreciated it in an entirely new way.

I Can't Drive 55 (or 65) – Sammy Hagar. A great song originally about the National speed limit, it was re-recorded a few years back as "I Can't Drive 65" for NBC Sports to reflect that the National speed limit was now 65; it was used by NBC and TNT during NASCAR telecasts in the early 2000s.

Fifty-Mission Cap – The Tragically Hip. The story of Toronto Maple Leafs player Bill Barilko, who scored the winning goal for Toronto to help them take the Stanley Cup in 1951; he disappeared in a plane four months later. The wreckage was found in 1962 – the year the Leafs won their next Stanley Cup.

Let's Get It Started – Black Eyed Peas. Used in many arenas as a game-starter.

Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones. Another opening face-off/kick-off tune.

The Final Countdown – Europe. The ultimate down-to-the-last-play arena anthem (I've heard this played at a number of Sabres games).

We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions – Queen. This double-A-side single is perfect for a team on their way to a championship – I heard it at Buffalo Bandits lacrosse games a couple of times (for their two championships I witnessed).

Take Me Out To The Ballgame. What can be said about this song besides…as American as baseball itself.…

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Mar

16

Book Review: To the Rescue, Tow Trucks, by Joanne Randolph

Tow trucks! What could be cooler than a truck that can pull other trucks? To my 3 ½-year-old, there certainly aren't many things that are more fascinating than tow trucks. I mean, even an economy car is huge to him, so when there's this huge truck that can move other huge trucks, he's all ears and dinner-plate-sized eyes. Though he has only gotten to see tow trucks working in real life a couple of times, he remembered what they were well enough to name the truck on the cover of Tow Trucks by Joanne Randolph and insist that we take the book home from the library. Once home, he had to look through the book a few times on his own before he settled down enough to ask me to read it to him.

This book is divided into several chapters from 6-8 pages each. The chapters are Behind the Scenes, Kinds of Tow Trucks, and Tow Trucks at Work followed by words to know, an index, and a website that kids can go to in order to learn more about this and other trucks.

One thing that impressed me about this book is that it is simple enough for an early reader, yet has enough content to be interesting and informative to children who are not yet old enough to read. Some pages don't say much, but what they do say fits in perfectly with the picture displayed and SHOWS what it means with those pictures. So many books will just have random photos that feature the right subject, but not necessarily the right action. Often, when the right action is shown, it's not focused enough for a young child to catch on. Not so with this book, as my son was able to clearly see what was going on and the pictures were such that I could easily point out the relevant features for him.

The pictures themselves are much better than I'm used to seeing in this kind of book as far as actual quality of photographs. I've seen many early readers that feature blurry pictures, too busy pictures, and so on. Whoever selected the photos for this book showed excellent attention to clarity, focus, and nicely contrasting colors to make it interesting to small children.

Often the "Words to Know" or Glossary sections of these books are completely useless to my son because he doesn't fully grasp the context of some of the words, especially since they're listed after the entire story is over. However, in this book we have three words (flatbed, flood, and racetrack) that, instead of giving a definition, show a thumbnail picture of each of these. This is much easier for a 3 ½-year-old to grasp when I can point to the picture and say "this is a flatbed" rather then reading descriptions to him that he likely won't even listen to, much less comprehend.

Overall, I was quite impressed with this book. We have gone through nearly every picture book and early reader featuring trucks that the local county library has to offer, and this is one of the best I've seen so far. Definitely a great find for children up to about age six or seven, and the nicely contrasted photos make it a good transition for children who are used to illustrations as opposed to photographs.…

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Mar

10

Top 10 Nissan Sports Cars

Nissan and Datsun have produced many sports cars over the years; however not all of them made it to U.S. soil, with stringent emissions, crash test safety regulations, and performance restrictions some were just not allowed in the U.S.. Below is a list of the top ten Japanese and American market top Nissan and Datsun sports cars.

1) 1970- Datsun/ Nissan 240z-the Datsun 240z was the predecessor of all Z cars; the founding father of Datsun/ Nissan performance coupes. The 240z was lightweight, weighing only 2400 pounds with a 2.4 liter inline six powering it. 150 horsepower and 150ftlbs of torque was delivered through a four speed manual transmission to a limited slip rear end. The S30 chassis became famous as being a poor mans Jaguar. The 240z performed the best out of the three generations of z cars in its era (being the 240, 260, and 280z cars) with a zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds; this was thanks in part to a lightweight chassis, twin Hitachi side drafts carbs, and a 9.0:1 compression ratio.

2) 1989-91 Nissan Skyline GT-R-nicknamed Godzilla the R32 chassis Skyline GT-R was the first of its kind; a completely reveloutionary sports coupe for the time. The Nissan Skyline began production in 1958; however it was not until 1989 when the most powerful and sophisticated Nissan Skyline hit the streets. Powered by a 2.6 liter in-line six cylinder fitted with twin turbos it produced 276 horsepower; although this factory released power figure was slightly skewed as the R32 Nissan Skyline produced closer to 300 horsepower. Mated to a five speed manual transmission and an all wheel drive system it would go from zero to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds and blast the quarter mile in 13 seconds flat. The Nissan Skyline dominated JTCC from 89-94.

3) 2008-present Nissan GTR-the new Nissan GTR is truly a super car; taking advantage of all of Nissan's performance tricks over the years. This R35 chassis is equipped with a 3.8 liter twin turbo V6 mill that produces 474 horsepower and 434ftlbs of torque. Putting the power to the ground is done by an all new dual clutch semi-automatic six speed transmission mounted in the rear. The new Nissan GTR can go from zero to 60 mph in only 3.2 seconds with launch control activated and it rips through the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds at 120 mph.

4) 1999-02 Nissan Silvia Spec R-the Spec R Nissan Silvia is a drifters dream; with 250 horsepower on tap and a robust dual ball bearing turbocharged 2.0 liter four cylinder it puts serious power to the ground. The Nissan Spec R is a more than capable competitor only weighing in at 2700 pounds with a six speed gear box it has many upgrades over a factory Nissan Silvia such as more aggressive camshafts, sport tuned suspension, and a free breathing intake and exhaust.

5) 1990-96 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo-named in the top ten sports cars of the year, seven years in a row by car and driver the Nissan 300ZX twin turbo was a highly sophisticated piece of machinery for its time. Powered by a twin turbocharged 3.0 V6 it would produce 280 horsepower and 274ftlbs of torque. With a 3475 curb weight this Nissan would go from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. The Nissan 300zx twin turbo was one of Nissan's best handling rear wheel drive cars utilizing HICAS (all wheel steering) to maneuver around sharp turns at blazing speeds. Unofficially the Nissan 300zx twin turbo produced a recorded 300 horsepower, 20 more than its factory output rating.

6) 1991-94 Nissan Silvia-perhaps the most popular Nissan sports coupe ever; the Nissan Silvia is one of the most sought after cars for the drift scene. In 91' Nissan introduced the 2.0 liter turbocharged sr20det, which even to today's standards is one of the best four cylinder motors ever produced. The aftermarket following for this chassis in America and Japan is limitless for the 225 horsepower engine. With sharp looks and rear wheel drive there's a reason it made the list.

7) 1990-94 Nissan Pulsar GtI-R-perhaps one of the most complicated cars built for its time was the Nissan Pulsar GTI-R. This puppy came with big 440cc injectors, t28 turbo, individual throttle bodies, awd, and a big intercooler. Known for its rally racing heritage this awd five speed came with 230 horsepower and would blast the quarter mile in 13.9 seconds at 101 mph from the factory. There is a huge aftermarket following for the Nissan GTI-R and is also one of the best kept secrets of the performance car world.

8) 1984-89 Nissan 300ZX Turbo-ah, the beginning of the modern Nissan Z chassis. This 300zx was powered by a SOHC 3.0 liter V6 engine that was turbocharged, but non-intercooled. The engine had 7.8:1 compression pistons and a Garret T3 turbo that created 205 horsepower. This was the first Japanese car to be the fastest out of the lot with a top speed of 153 mph. The Nissan 300zx turbo would go zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds which wasn't bad for the time. There were 300,000 of these Nissan units sold.

9) 1998 Nissan Pulsar VZ-R N1-a very limited production Nissan Pulsar was the N1. The Nissan N1 boasted a normally aspirated 1.6 liter that generated 197 horsepower from a free flowing intake manifold, 70 mm throttle body, tuned header, and very aggressive camshafts. The Nissan Pulsar was the most powerful four cylinder for its time creating 125 horsepower per liter. These limited edition Nissan N1's only came in black and white and were designed to compete against the Japanese Civic Type-R with it 6.4 second zero to 60 mph jaunts.

10) 1991-94 Nissan Sentra SE-R-an American market Nissan Sentra was outfitted with a robust 2.0 liter sr20de that made 140 horsepower and 135ftlbs of torque. Tuners found engine transplants to be limitless from the sr20 family of motors and this old shoe box of a car has a fantastic aftermarket following. This was the first performance oriented naturally aspirated four cylinder car that Nissan produced.…

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Mar

08

Lake Tawakoni Catfishing – The Catfish Capital of Texas

As a resident of Quinlan, TX, I know first hand why Lake Tawakoni has been called the catfish capitol of our state. Fishing here for big catfish is as simple as grabbing your rod and some bait and heading to the lake. It is also a good way to introduce your kids to the joy of fishing.

Lake Tawakoni is located approximately 50 miles east of Dallas, TX and well worth the drive. There are several public boat ramps and a state park on the south side of the lake. And there are plenty of access points to bank fish if you don't have a boat.

Frozen shad has been the most productive bait lately attracting one 40 pound blue cat caught by Marty Bradford of Quinlan and a blue cat weighing 23.8lbs. caught by myself. There have been several other fish caught weighing over 10 lbs.

The rigs that have been used to catch these fish has been a 1 ounce slip weight above a swivel or pinch weight that is then tied to a 5/0 hook. The hook is then inserted just below the spine behind the head. The hook is then inserted back Thur the tail area. This is done because catfish tend to attack their prey tail first. Your then ready to drop your bait into the water. Let the bait go all the way to the bottom. Once there, reel the bait about 6 inches off the bottom and hang on.

There is nothing like not knowing if you have hooked just an small one or the equivalent of an underwater bulldozer until the line starts to make rod shake and the drag scream. Either way, catfishing here is one of the best ways to have fun for yourself and your family.

Be sure that you check to be sure that you have your proper fishing licenses and all necessary equipment to be in compliance with local and state authorities. This make sure that you have an enjoyable day on the water.

So, good luck and good fishing.…

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Feb

19

Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

The title is intriguing. Who wouldn't want a 4-hour workweek? I could certainly handle reducing my workweek to only 4 hours! So, with a title like that, I couldn't leave the bookstore without it.

What I uncovered in the pages of this book was fresh and motivating. Timothy takes everyday problems, like email overload, and presents a whole new look on solving the problem so one can take back control of their time and begin focusing on achieving their own goals and their own success. I implemented Timothy's suggestions with my email, and six months later my email volume is down 85% and the quality of message I have receive has greatly improved. This alone is worth the price of the book; but, that's just one chapter!

Do you want to learn how to negotiate Remote Work Arrangements that benefit you? The 4-Hour Workweek explains how. Do you want to learn how to cheaply experience luxury travel? The 4-Hour Workweek covers that too. Do you dream of being in control of your financial success with freedom from your employer? Mr. Ferriss lays out a plan for that in The 4-Hour Workweek. He even includes lists of resources and examples of how to use them to benefit you.

The only part of this book I did not like was the section pushing the automated Internet business model because I think there is an element of natural skill around this. Some persons can easily find a product and write a marketing message that will sell well on the Internet; whereas, others will naturally struggle with this type of business because they lack the inherent marketing skill-set. Thus, this section of the book is not for everyone.

Aside from the automated Internet business model section, this book offers a lot. In addition to the chapter dealing with email, I love the part explaining "Beg for forgiveness, don't ask for permission."

I highly recommend you read The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. You will learn how to take back control of your time, refocus on what is important to you and achieve your own personal success.…

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Pleasant Valley Fly Fishing