MotoGP Circuit of the Americas Texas 2014 Repsol Honda Marquez

Since there's no Laguna GP this year, COTA seemed like a reasonable alternative. Since the box seats were a solid choice last time, I opted for the paddock seating for this one. This was provided via Circuit of the Americas Experiences, a brand of QuintEvents that does packages for the Super Bowl and Kentucky Derby and such. The outsourcing made things a bit less straightforward than Laguna (e.g. must buy over the phone), but it wasn't too bad. Amenities were similar - complimentary food and beverage all day. Since the packages are not provided by the track, there were a few places where COTA and QuintEvents weren't quite on the same page - some of the gate personnel weren't wise to the situation, also we had to share paddock passes. On the flip side, it meant their business was customer satisfaction, so there were a few unexpected extras such as a photo booth, Ben Spies interview, and Playstation with F1 2013.

MotoGP Circuit of the Americas Texas 2014 Ducati Dovi pit out

The package provided non-reserved (but amply available) seating above the paddock, near the lounge (with ac!). The facility is nice and new, the front straight is a great spot to watch overtaking. It's a big track, even getting to the vendor area from the paddock is a hike, and that's nowhere near the end of the back straight. The viewing from the front straight feels abbreviated compared to Turn 2 at Laguna where you get the end of the straight and turns 2-4 before having to rely on the monitors. On the COTA front straight, the bikes zip by at a pretty hefty clip, climb the hill, and disappear just past the apex of Turn 1. Thankfully, there are ample jumbotrons, but it'd be nice to have a view of the full Turn 1 section (got that, Tilke?).

MotoGP Circuit of the Americas Texas 2014 Ben Spies interview

As mentioned, on Saturday, we were treated to an interview with Ben Spies (bonus: hosted by SBK commentator Jonathan Green).

MotoGP Circuit of the Americas Texas 2014 pit VIP box

Austin was a very cool town. East sixth is happening, even on a Thursday, but the college crowd is a bit much for an old timer like myself. It was interesting to see that 97% of dudes there sport a button down when they go out. Nothing wrong with looking classy, but something about the shirts just didn't seem to fit. West sixth is a bit sparser but more grown up. The real awesome scene is Rainey Street. One of the COTA bartenders told me some crazy millionaire lady rescued it from developers and turned all of the houses into barbecue places, bars, and indoor/backyard music venues. It definitely carries the vibe you expect when you hear about the wonders of Austin.

Rhetorical question: Austin, what is up with the double parking? It's like a thing with you. Here will be a busy street and suddenly there's just one lane because someone has left their car or truck just sitting there. Please fix this.
Game of Thrones/LARP rules flag football

The most recent flag football game coincided with the GoT premiere, so we implemented some novelty rules. Okay, I implemented them - being the League's Gandalf and all. First, there were the GoT rules:
Of course, simply adding a few rules changes won't get you strange looks by random passers-by, so I also came up with some LARP-style spells that we'd be shouting throughout the match.
I gave everyone their one-use spell at the start of the match, not wanting to throw too much of a wrench into the gameplay. At halftime the consensus was to re-issue spells for the second half, MANA RESTORE!!!

Fire log lightsaber battle

Ummm, burning log fight. That is all.

Pool covered epoxy painting

The time had come to drain and re-epoxy the pool (see: chalking). I was extremely happy to have both the how-to and paint quantities to look back on. This time around it was one gallon of primer and three gallons of topcoat. You're welcome, me several years from now.

Dog weimaraner trial red bandana