Monday, 23 April 2012

What day is it now?

40 years old, and what does one receive for
his birthday?
Thank you very much Miles and family, it's a special edition Porsche 911, complete with gold spokes and all.

... so my birthday was last month, and seeing as it was a (semi) big one, we decided to get a bunch of my friends together for the afternoon to celebrate.

As it turned out, there were more children present than there were adults, so the inclusion of a large Scalextric racing track certainly went down well.

This was the birthday track. Eleven adults and fifteen children
took it in turns to race eachother. This was taken prior to the
madness beginning.
We wanted the most amount of track in the available space, but due to the number of kiddies running around we could not have any raised sections; also due to the number of children involved in the event, we had to keep the inclusion of hairpin bends to a minimum, and we managed it with just one.

Our racers that day ranged in age from three years all the way through to forty six years -you should notice that I was not the eldest racer- and to be fair, the most only tears were shed by adults! One attendee left a very delightful message for me on my Facebook wall, reproduced here in (almost) pink because the post was made by a mummy.

Wooo-hooo I won! Ok, it was against children, but a win is a win. Thanks for having us, we all had a lovely day. x

As you can see from the photo above (and those of previous blog posts), I am quite partial to a track which contains multiple lanes (for overtaking), single lanes (to even out the field a little), and a spiral.
It's a spiral, can you see it?
That's what is so great about Scalextric Digital in my mind; it is possible to create a race track that forces you to take an active role -I mean beyond holding down the trigger on the controller.

In the, albeit simplistic, example on the left here it is simply not possible to stay in a single lane, and if one wants to remain on the inside (in order to gain those ever so important microseconds) it can only be achieved by actively changing lane.

If none of the racers however were to make such a choice and instead simply relied upon holding down the accelerator then all racers would end up on the same (outside) track, and the finishing positions would be entirely dictated within the first few seconds of the race. But as it stands, this track enables finishing positions to be determined by skill rather than brute force (okay speed alone).

If you have never raced on a digital circuit (Scalextric or otherwise), I cannot recommend it highly enough, and I cannot emphasise how desperately you need to give it a go. Add to the example above a lane change on the straight, or a sneaky pit lane (with or without the pitstop game itself) and all of a sudden you have on your hands the fun and excitement of a very realistic race ... all one requires next is the skill, which I'm rather hoping will come with practice.
Happy birthday to me with love from
my mum and dad

I am notoriously difficult to buy presents for, and so when I let my parents know that I was now interested in collecting some high quality slot-cars, 
Happy birthday to me with love from
my Nancy
suddenly the selection of a birthday present became less of an issue -although I did have to point them in the right general direction, you can see that they made a most excellent choice. 

Also, the fact that Nancy got it meant that she too could find something to delight without asking too many questions and without me suspecting for a moment what she would be bestowing upon me to celebrate my turning middle-aged. Fantastic!
Just because your car seat is a recaro, does not mean that
daddy's car will zoom around like a Scalextric model.

"And what did Shey do for your birthday?" I hear you asking ... well see for yourself; he just sat around looking cool.

How is it that I've had forty years to practice, and I still don't look cool (ever) and yet here is my boy, just three and a half years young and he is able to pull it off without so much as a hint of effort?

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