After the events of the past two weeks I was hoping for a drama free weekend that involved no thinking and no emotions. I thought that watching the two races that were on television would help out, but watching the 24 Hours of Daytona just made things worse. There wasn't anything wrong with the race itself, in fact it was a great race, but what happened actually was a small tradition that I have had since 2005.
I love traditions and I love when things happen on a yearly basis. Why is this? There are many reasons, but one of them is that it helps emotions make more sense. I wish I could describe it better, and perhaps if you read my blog post, "associative memory system", it will make more sense.
So what was missing? This may sound somewhat odd, perhaps unique, but what was missing was the lack of playing the PC racing game "Grand Prix Legends" with the same Ryan that led to my black flag post.
A week or so before the 2005 24 Hours of Daytona I convinced Ryan to install Grand Prix Legends on his computer. He only had a controller at the time, not a steering wheel, but once he discovered the Dutch track of Zandvoort he was hooked. Our number of tracks increased as the community made more and by 2009 we had over 400 tracks.
While the game's official servers went down many years ago, we still were able to race each other and there was no other day of the year that we drove more than on the day of the 24 Hours of Daytona. In 2006 and 2008 we drove over six hours on each of those days.
Times change though and this year Ryan didn't have GPL installed on his computer and the game of iRacing has taken over what GPL used to be. I knew this day would come and I myself haven't played GPL since May. I did a couple laps by myself on Saturday, but something was missing. It just wasn't the same by myself. In fact, the laps I did just made me more sad.
So what was that made me sad? That question has so many answers that it's tough to pinpoint just one answer. Perhaps it was a symbolic event that proves time marches on and that any given thing can't last forever. Perhaps it was the simple fact that a yearly tradition didn't happen. Or maybe, by the event not taking place I was, in a way, losing the memories of what used to be much like when my mom threw out my soda can.
In any event the weekend is over and I know that I will slowly forget about the lack of GPL on the same day as the 24 Hours of Daytona. Also, I am going to have a fun time tracking the massive winter storm that is headed towards Saint Louis.
Lastly, I thought I would add that I am still doing strange things as a result of my mind being elsewhere. I talked about running into things and knocking over drinks, but this morning as I got to the office I went to the gas station next door to get an energy drink. I wanted a Red Bull, and when I got into my office and took the drink out of the bag I noticed that I got the sugar free variety. Yuck!