Sunday, July 31, 2011

NASCAR Tweetup Proposal

I sent this to Fan Feedback, Fan Council and also to the general comment section of the International Speedway Corporation, as well as posting this here. Maybe someone that has the power to implement my idea will take it and run with it. 

Dear Sirs,
I am writing to you to submit a proposal for your consideration on NASCAR Tweetups. If my proposal is considered viable by NASCAR, I would like to be given special consideration for attending said Tweetups, and mention that the program was my idea. I would love to be a member of the team that plans, and implements the tweetup events.
If you have any questions please contact me by the listed methods. 

NASCAR Outreach Proposal
Patricia L. Cleveland

Jeffersonville, GA 31044

In the last several years there has been quite a few disgruntled NASCAR fans who are not shy in voicing their opinions on what is wrong with the sport, and how they think it should be fixed. NASCAR has an image problem currently and my proposal if enacted upon at various tracks would go a long way in helping to improve NASCAR’s image.

The concept: Take Jeff Gluck’s NASCAR Tweetups and expands upon them, to give fans a real feel of the NASCAR world and what it really takes to run NASCAR.

The model: Proposal is modeled after the success of NASATweetups.

The proposal:
NASCAR and the track publish a registration window on Twitter, and approximately 3 weeks prior to race weekend. The registration should specifically target track local (within 100-150 mile distance), twitter users and bloggers, with being a twitter user being a must, a blogger being another consideration.

NASCAR/track randomly selects 25-75 local Twitter users to join the NASCAR team at the track for the race weekend (preferably smaller to start with, and as the event proves to be successful it can grow). NASCAR will verify that the registered person selected:
a.       Is a twitter user
b.      Is a blogger (this is an optional item, however it is believed that a blogger could promote NASCAR in a positive light longer than just on Twitter)
c.       Lives within 150 miles of the track (this also could be an optional item, however it is believed that if the user is local, this will help both the track and NASCAR reach more people in the local area)
The twitter users would be required to provide their own:
a.       Transportation
b.      Lodging
c.       Meals
NASCAR/track would provide to the Twitter users:
a.       Tickets for all events held at the track for the weekend
b.      Hot passes (cold passes?)
c.       Tours
d.      Meet and greets/question and answer sessions
e.      “Backstage” escorted access to various events held on the race weekend.
f.        Restricted “Media” accreditation for Twitter users
g.       “Resting/Gathering” place (tent, conference room) for Twitter users, that has access to WiFi, chairs, tables, television monitors, audio equipment.
h.      Recruiting volunteer owners/drivers/crew members to come and speak with the tweetup attendees
i.         Recruiting “swag” from teams/sponsors/drivers, as well as NASCAR swag
The Twitter users/bloggers would agree to:
a.       Tweet about the events throughout the entire weekend, in order to give other twitter users a look into NASCAR
b.      Agree to allow NASCAR/Tracks permission to use their names, twitter handles, pictures (both of them and taken by them) for promotion of events.
c.       Blog about the events
d.      Be understanding if events/scheduled appearances are changed due to the nature of commitments of drivers, owners, sponsors, etc.
e.      Attend all tweetup events
f.        Abide by all tweetup rules/regulations/guidelines

A typical NASCAR Tweetup would include:
1.       Tweetup invitees check into the event and receive Swag, passes, tickets, etc.
2.       Greeting by NASCAR official that is officiating the event
3.       Tweetup attendees introduce themselves to one another
4.       3-4 Question and answer sessions with a volunteer owners/drivers/crew members preferably one from each level of racing that is happening that weekend at the track (more if able)
5.       PR people for NASCAR/Teams/Drivers question and answer sessions
6.       Practice/qualifying sessions
7.       Tech inspection tour, with explanations about each step of the process by NASCAR official
8.       Track behind the scenes tour
9.       Pit Road Tour
10.   Prerace activities for all races at the track that weekend
11.   Garage tour, with NASCAR officials explaining how everything is laid out in the garage and why it is important for that track to be laid out that way
12.   The “education and science” involved in NASCAR session, in this session someone would come in and talk to the group about the different education levels of the people that make up NASCAR, and explain the banking, engines etc in NASCAR in laymen’s terms. Then answer the groups questions.
13.   Attending all races at the track for the weekend

Sponsors, Owners, Drivers and crew members would be notified of all events regarding the tweetup, and encouraged to participate, interact with the tweetup attendees as much as possible. The ones that can commit to spending even 15 minutes interacting, participating in a question and answer session would be asked to let the Tweetup director know so that they could be put on the agenda, all others would be invited to stop by the tweetup area, or to talk to members as they are able.

Where to begin, suggested Tweetup sites in no particular order:
                Las Vegas
As the event grows and succeeds the tweetups can be held at every race weekend, with the support of the sponsors and owners. 
Patty Cleveland
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Friday, July 29, 2011

The Twiggs County Chamber of Commerce meeting is at 6pm on Monday, August 1 at the Senior Center - open to the public and free admission.

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UGH And This Is Why I Dislike the Atlanta Airport

Dear Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport,
Your customer service personnel working the parking garage needs some serious training, and the person running the arrivals board needs to learn what on-time arrival, really means.

Tonight I drove from our home south east of Macon to pick up our daughter as she flew in from LA, via Phoenix. Prior to leaving home I checked her flight status (already knowing the flight out of Phoenix was late, I just needed to check the new arrival time. Scheduled arrival 7:07 pm, new arrival time, 7:45 pm.

I arrived at the airport at about 7:30pm, parked my car and went to the arrivals hall and looked at the arrivals board. According to the arrivals board, Kelsey's flight was an on-time arrival. HOW COULD IT BE ON TIME, when it was already 30 minutes late? I mean really if I didn't know that it was late and I saw that on the board I would have been in a panic.

When we went to leave the parking garage, there were multiple problems. One of the pay machines was out of service. Then we went to go out gates, and there are multiple problems there.
1. a car was stuck at the gate, with its hazard lights on, so everyone has to go into one lane.
2. the lane we all went into started having problems and would not read the tickets, except every 5th or 6th time you tried to put it in the machine.
3. the woman (a VERY RUDE woman) who works for the parking garage, instead of helping me when it was my turn ordered me to BACK UP MY CAR into the on coming traffic and go into the other lane, because this lane is broken. BUT she would not assist me in backing into on coming traffic, nor would she indicate to the on coming traffic that indeed there was a reason why I had my reverse lights on, nor did she put a cone in the lane to indicate to others that the lane was broken or even turn off the light to close the lane. So once I got into the cashier's lane, there were other poor souls who went through the exact same hassle (minus the rude woman, in person, instead I guess they had the intercom person telling them they had to change lanes).

I was not impressed with my experiences tonight, that is for sure.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Racing at 441 Speedway in Dublin July 23, 2011

On Saturday DJ and I went down to Perry to David Ragan Ford where we met David Ragan, and then DJ won tickets to go watch the dirt track races at 441 Speedway in Dublin where David would be racing to raise money for the Shriner's Children's Hospital. (Let me tell you that kid had some kind of good luck on Saturday!)

Originally I bought tickets to go to the races, because DJ wanted to go, but since he then won a pair we ended up selling the ones I bought for the same price. The Shriner that I bought the tickets from suggested that we get there as close to the gates opening as possible (didn't need to be there that early, but it was OK). It meant that DJ got to talk to David Ragan some more (twice, even, because there was hardly anyone around), plus we had our choice of seats.

We took some time to explore the grandstand area, look at all of the silent auction items up for bid, and at the raffle items (all the proceeds went to the Shriner's Children's Hospital, just like from admissions to the track.)IMG_7054IMG_7055
Eating Italian Ice
David Ragan walking in from the Driver's meeting to talk with the crowd

Shortly before they started bringing cars on track they did a kids trivia question time. The first question was what tracks had David Ragan won the Nationwide Series at. Well since we had just been to the dealership, and there they had posters up dedicated to his wins, DJ and I remembered that Bristol was one of the tracks. So he went running up to the announcer and told him the correct answer, and won a box set of 1991 Winston Cup Racing Cards, (told you he was a lucky kid that day!)


David Ragan's car for the day
Green Flag, let's go racing

To end the great day that we had, DJ won one of the raffle drawings. He won a t-shirt basket, filled with 7 shirts from the various drivers present that day, 2 koozies, 2 tickets back to the raceway, $25 gift certificate to a BBQ place in Rochelle, and $10 to a BBQ place on HWY441.  (told you he was a lucky kid that day!)
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Day at David Ragan Ford

On Saturday NASCAR star and local celebrity David Ragan came home to Middle Georgia on the NASCAR Sprint Cup off weekend.  He and his Dad, Ken, opened up the dealership and invited Middle Georgia to come in and meet David, his brother Adam, Rex White, Eddie Spurling, a couple of wrestlers (we missed out on meeting them because the wrestling part started before we got in to meet them), and Laura Starling from WDEN.
The dealership had drinks and hot dogs for everyone, the Chik-Fil-A Cow, and plenty of cars for everyone to look at while waiting in line to meet David.
Patiently waiting in line...
Rex White, Eddie Spurling and Laura Starling
DJ and David Ragan

DJ with the AAA car

DJ with the UPS car
Watching the wrestling
With David Ragan's trophy from the Coke 400
With the Chik-Fil-A cow
Rousch Ford Mustang $50,000
Helping Ms. Laura draw the name of the winner of the David Ragan jacket
David signing DJ's new hat
As you can see we had a great time. Plus DJ won tickets to watch David race at 441 Speedway in Dublin that night. :-) Those pictures are to come!
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Monday, July 25, 2011

I Heart Faces~Water

From my visit to Daytona Beach after the NASATweetup:
I heart faces water

Make sure you go over to I Heart Faces and check out all of the entries for this week.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Why is America falling behind in science and technology education? Your thoughts

Bobby_Braun Bobby Braun
by NASA To revitalize our economy, we must focus on programs that foster innovation and advancements in science and technology.

Amy Lee I don't believe our level of technology would be were it is today without someone pushing and dreaming the impossible. I understand our world is in termoil and funds could be used in other areas of science and economical growth but where there is a will, there is a way!!

Amy Lee Ok, I really didn't answer the question. Why are Americans falling behind in SC & TECH? We have never backed down from a challenge, we have the most educated people on the job but funding is a big issue.

Amy Glockner I think there has been a huge shift in our focus in education. Shifting towards standardized testing. That was something I detested as a student when they first started (I still firmly believe that if a class is taught to a test and you get a 96% on the pretest, you should not be required to take the class! I still resent that class to this day.) Teaching to a test teaches students how to pass the test, not to do critical thinking. You can't test critical thinking in the same way, and that is really the key thing that allows us to grow in science - trial and error is really the key.

Besides that, I am not sure that the comparisons that we make are really fair. We are constantly being compared to countries like China. That is a completely unfair comparison. In China, they give tests to students and only those that pass the tests can proceed to the next level. So the fact that Chinese HS students are doing better may be only because those are the best Chinese HS students. We aren't comparing the test scores of our gifted students only. The fact that we are in the ballpark with China is pretty amazing. This country has a philosophy that all children should be educated. In the end, that means the most average American has a much better shot at being successful than the most average student from another country that does not have free public education for all.

DL Mullan we teach to test not to learn. nclb is a joke and should be revoked. we need to teach music and art with the three r's. why music is math. art is math. both are creative and stretch the mind to think beyond words in books. we need to get theater and poetry back into our children's education as well as get pe back. children's bodies are as important as their minds. our whole education system is geared toward making megacorporations happy... not us. they just want our children to press buttons and file and not be able to critically think, which helps the politicians too. when i lived in san diego, i was learning how to draw, to make candy in elementary school. in 6th grade i was in an orchestra that was going to go to contests. i played violin. came to az... no orchestra... art was behind by years until 7th grade. and no japanese plays or poetry. i was so confused and bored. i wish the states had a better way to get everyone to learn about the same things... but instead az tested me for the gifted program. hmmm, i wonder why? search online for: dumbing down america, it's real interesting to see how this disintegration of our education system is on purpose.

Crystal Rova While I dislike NCLB and wish it did not exist, I do not believe that particular program can be blamed for America's decline in Sc & Tech. That paradigm shift started a long time ago... It has more to do with societal changes. Mass marketing is partly to blame as they long ago dubbed smart people as 'uncool.' Political pandering is partly to blame; many polititians will vote against evolution or science in general as they accept funding from religious entities. Parents are partly to blame - where did the involvement go?? Oh wait, people forgot to make time for thier children when inlfation & keeping up with the Jones turned the bulk of society into two income households. There is more but I run the risk of boring everyone if I continue...

New York Times human rights columnist Nicholas Kristof drops in on "his beloved old high school in Yamhill, Ore.," and finds it beleaguered by budget cuts. The experience prompts him to contemplate the decline of America's belief in the importance of broad, public education and to question government spending priorities:
How is it that we can afford to double our military budget since 9/11, can afford the carried-interest tax loophole for billionaires, can afford billions of dollars in givebacks to oil and gas companies, yet can't afford to invest in our kids' futures?

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Twiggs County Public Schools Presents Movie Magic! July 28th, 6:30 p.m.

Twiggs County Public Schools Presents Movie Magic! July 28th, 6:30 p.m.

"Making Back To School Dreams Come True!"

Free Admission

Any of the following back to school contributions will get you in:
Ream of copy paper
Box of crayons
Loose Leaf paper (wide and college ruled)
Spiral tablet (notebook)
Box of tissue
Box of pens (black, red, blue)
Pack of No. 2 pencils
Mesh book bag
Hand sanitizer
3 prong, pocket folders

Now Playing: Up  & The Blind Side

Where: Twiggs County Comprehensive Middle/High School Cafeterias
Date: July 28th, 2011
Time: 6:30 p.m.

All elementary children must be accompanied by an adult.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

NASATweetup Crawler-Transporter

The two tracked Crawler-Transporters previously used to move the assembled Apollo/Saturn from the VAB to the launch pad are now used for transporting Shuttle vehicles.
NASA 021

Transporter Statistics

NASA 022
  • Weight: 2,721 metric tons (6 million pounds)
  • Length: 40 meters (131 ft) wide, 35 meters (114ft) long
  • Miles: 2,526 miles (1,243 miles since 1977)
KSC has 2 crawler-transporters. Each vehicle consists of four double-tracked crawlers, each 3 meters (10 ft) high and 12 meters (41 ft) long. Each of the 8 tracks on a vehicle contains 57 shoes per track and each tread shoe weighs about .9 metric tons (one ton).
When they were built, the KSC crawlers were the largest tracked vehicles ever made. (Surpassed by the Bagger 288 German excavator). They move the Mobile Launcher Platform into the Vehicle Assembly Building and then to the Launch Pad with an assembled space vehicle. Maximum speed is 1.6km (one mile) per hour loaded, about 3.2 km (2 miles) per hour unloaded. Launch Pad to VAB trip time with the Mobile Launch Platform is about 5 hours. The crawler burns 568 liters (150 gallons) of diesel oil per mile.

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Another Chance for you to attend your very own NASATweetup for the GRAIL Moon Mission

So have you read my NASATweetup posts and thought, "That Lucky DUCK!?!" Well here is your chance to attend a NASATweetup of your own. The registration window is open between 9 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 26, and noon EDT on Thursday, July 28th.

NASA Announces Launch Tweetup for GRAIL Moon Mission
A Participant at a NASA Tweetup
Credit: Brian Knight, STS-129 Launch Tweetup participant
NASA will host a two-day launch Tweetup for 150 of its Twitter followers on Sept. 7-8 at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Tweetup is expected to culminate in the launch of the twin lunar-bound GRAIL spacecraft aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The launch window opens at 8:37 a.m. EDT on Sept. 8. The two GRAIL spacecraft will fly in tandem orbits around the moon for several months to measure its gravity field, from its crust to core, in unprecedented detail. The mission also will answer longstanding questions about Earth’s moon and provide scientists with a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.
The Tweetup will provide @NASA Twitter followers with the opportunity to tour the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex; speak with scientists and engineers from GRAIL and other upcoming missions; and, if all goes as scheduled, view the spacecraft launch. The event also will provide participants the opportunity to meet fellow tweeps and members of NASA's social media team.
2011 is one of the busiest ever in planetary exploration; GRAIL's lift off is the third of four space missions launching this year under the management of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Aquarius launched June 10 to study ocean salinity; Juno will launch Aug. 5 to study the origins and interior of Jupiter; and the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover heads to the Red Planet no earlier than Nov. 25.
What is a Tweetup?
A Tweetup is an informal meeting of people who use the social messaging medium Twitter. This Tweetup is an opportunity to learn more about NASA and the GRAIL mission to the moon, explore NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and experience a launch.
How do I register?
Tweetup registration opens at 9 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 26, and closes at noon EDT on Thursday, July 28. NASA will accommodate 150 participants randomly selected from those who sign up. Additional registrants will be placed on a waiting list.
Registration is for one person only (you) and is non-transferable.
Do I need to have a Twitter account to register?
Yes. This event is designed for active Twitter users who follow @NASA@NASATweetup and other NASA Twitter accounts. The goal of NASA Tweetups is to allow people who regularly interact with each other via Twitter to meet in person and discuss one of their favorite subjects: NASA. If you are not familiar with Twitter nor a regular user of Twitter and just want to see a spacecraft launch, NASA offers other ways to experience a launch. Learn more at
The Twitter account for the Tweetup is @NASATweetup, and the hashtag is #NASATweetup. We'll use both to post updates and reminders about the event. Follow the GRAIL mission via @NASA and @NASAJPL.
What are the registration requirements?
Registration indicates your intent to travel to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida and attend the two-day event in person. You are responsible for your own expenses for travel, accommodation, food and other amenities.
Kennedy is a government facility. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter the secure areas at Kennedy. To be admitted, you will need to show two government-issued identifications (one with a photo) that match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. All registrants must be at least 18 years old.
Can I register if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, non-U.S. citizens may register to attend the Tweetup in Florida. Please indicate your country of citizenship in the drop-down menu during registration. Kennedy is a government facility. If you have a green card, you will be processed as a U.S. citizen. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter the secure areas at Kennedy. To be admitted, you will need to show two government-issued identifications (one with a photo) that match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. All registrants must be at least 18 years old.
Does my registration include a guest?
Because of space limitations, you may not bring a guest. Each registration provides a place for one person only (you) and is non-transferable. Each individual wishing to attend must register separately.
What if I cannot come to Florida?
If you cannot come to Florida to attend in person, you should not register for the Tweetup. You can follow the Tweetup conversation using the #NASATweetup hashtag. NASA may broadcast a portion of the program on Sept. 7. You can watch the launch of GRAIL on Sept. 8 on NASA TV at NASA will provide regular launch and mission updates on @NASA@NASAKennedy and @NASAJPL.
If you cannot make this Tweetup, don't despair; NASA is planning others in the near future at various locations. Check back on for updates.
When will I know if I am selected?
After NASA has received and processed the registrations, an email with confirmation information and additional instructions will be sent to those selected and those on the waitlist. We expect to send notifications by Aug. 3.
If you do not make the registration list for this Tweetup, you can still attend a launch. Learn about other ways to experience a launch at
What if the spacecraft's launch date changes?
If the launch date changes prior to Sept. 8, NASA may change the date of the Tweetup to match the new target launch date. NASA will notify registrants by email. If the launch is postponed for 24 hours on Sept. 8, Tweetup attendees will be invited to attend the launch Sept. 9. NASA cannot accommodate attendees for delays beyond 24 hours. Tweetup attendees are responsible for any additional costs they incur related to any launch delay.
Does registration for and/or attendance at the Tweetup qualify me for media accreditation?
Your GRAIL Tweetup registration and/or attendance does not qualify you for news media credentials at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, now or in the future.
Have a question not answered here? Need more information? Help is available by sending an email to
For more information about the GRAIL mission, visit:

Come back to register between 9 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 26, and noon EDT on Thursday, July 28.

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