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Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
Trip End May 16, 2008

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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Friday, November 30, 2007

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term describing the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs.
In simple terms, it can be the filtering of information that conflicts with what one already believes, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce one's beliefs. In detailed terms, it is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where "cognition" is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance states that contradicting cognitions serve as a driving force that compels the mind to acquire or invent new thoughts or beliefs, or to modify existing beliefs, so as to reduce the amount of dissonance (conflict) between cognitions. Experiments have attempted to quantify this hypothetical drive. Some of these have examined how beliefs often change to match behavior when beliefs and behavior are in conflict.
Social psychologist Leon Festinger first proposed the theory in 1957 after the publication of his book When Prophecy Fails, observing the counterintuitive belief persistence of members of a UFO doomsday cult and their increased proselytization after the leader's prophecy failed. The failed message of earth's destruction, purportedly sent by aliens to a woman in 1956, became a disconfirmed expectancy that increased dissonance between cognitions, thereby causing most members of the impromptu cult to lessen the dissonance by accepting a new prophecy: that the aliens had instead spared the planet for their sake.[1]
In popular usage, it can be associated with the tendency for people to resist information that they don't want to think about, because if they did it would create cognitive dissonance, and perhaps require them to act in ways that depart from their comfortable habits. They usually have at least partial awareness of the information, without having moved to full acceptance of it, and are thus in a state of denial about it.
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Accidents: Last Monday I had to go for a drive with the auto mechanic so that he could diagnose the noise I was hearing with the truck. This was during morning rush hour and it was raining. Traffic in front of the Ford Dealership is nuts. We get back and someone in the opposite direction stops to let me through. The mechanic is in the process of telling me how there was a bad accident there earlier that morning. Also that this happens often. We have barely entered the dealership parking lot when we hear this crash. The car following me got nailed. The timing was uncanny. At the end of the day I was walking to the dealership and there was another accident. Imagine what things would be like if it snowed?
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Poster: I'm at the car dealership and I see this poster advertising some engine lubricant. The face of the model looks familiar. She looks like one of the new characters on Grey's Anatomy. I do some research and she's from Charlotte. One of those things that make you go Hmmmmmm!
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Contest: The whole (first) week I was in Charlotte, the local country radio station was drawing for tickets to a Hannah Montana concert. She's...supposedly..the hottest pre-teen act around. She's Billy Rae Cyrus' daughter and has a TV show on the Disney Channel. Parents will do anything to get these tickets for their kids...girls mostly I've heard. Driving by the car dealership on Saturday I notice a radio station van doing some kind of promotion there. On Monday I hear from the mechanic that it was for tickets to this concert. The last person touching this car won the tickets. The last 2 were there for over 60 hours. This reminded me of a Grey's Anatomy episode where 2 woman hold on to a wedding dress to get the $100,000 dream wedding package and end up beating themselves up instead of letting go. One woman almost dies. The contest promoter had even offered to split the prize. The concert ticket promotion didn't get out of hand. There were 4 tickets and the "Moms" decided to take 2 apiece.
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Coincidences: The above are just a few examples of the many coincidences that I've experienced lately. I don't know whether I'm just more aware of what's happening around me, or these coincidences are happening more often. It's starting to freak me out. Not really. But I am finding the theory behind it interesting (read the book the Celestine Prophecy).
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Truck:   My truck wasn't completely fixed as previously reported. I had picked up my truck on Wednesday night. On my drive to downtown Charlotte and the Speedway on the Friday I still heard this noise which I thought came from the rear differential. On my way back from that excursion I stopped at the dealership. Bobby, the mechanic who had worked on my truck was off until Monday. That's why we did that drive as mentioned above. There was also a problem in the 4 wheel drive system. Remember my foray in the sand in Cape Cod? I mentioned this to Nick last week and he seems to remember that I was having problems with the 4 wheel drive system last winter. He may be right. Anyways...it's fixed now.

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Beer truck: Sign on the back of a beer truck. "Honk if you're thirsty and I'll stop."
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Car Wash: I washed my truck on Tuesday. I get there and there's a guy washing a truck just like mine. Well...not just like mine, but mine the day I bought it. This was the day I wrote my Racing Mecca blog with the picture of my before and after truck pictures. Another coincidence.
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Hooters: After washing the truck I drove around looking for a Wal-Mart. I needed a few things. Never did find it. I was in a town south of Fort Mill. On the way to the car wash I had seen a Hooters Restaurant. It was now supper time. I figured I'd do a guy thing and go eat at Hooters. I've been in one once before when my supervisor dragged me there (yes...drag me there) for lunch one day about 10 years ago. I have nothing against pretty girls in tight tops and shorts. More against the sports aspect of the establishment. I don't care to see 20 different sports in my face on wall to wall TVs. But Hey! I'm am here to have different experiences. Yes...there were wall to wall TVs. One had an infomercial with Chuck Norris pushing some new exercise equipment. Another TV had 24 hours sports news. Another had automotive programs. Another had College basketball.   Brittany was my waitress. She was the sweetest thing I have ever met. She looked like she was 16. Definitely not old enough to be serving alcohol (over 21). She also didn't have the "look" of a Hooters Girl. Not that there is a specific look, but you expect young woman who work in places like this, or Cowboys in Calgary during the Stampede, to have a certain look and attitude. The attitude is part of the package I believe. These young woman know how to use the package that God gave them to their advantage. Brittany sat down and chatted with me for a few minutes. If I had met Brittany on the street I would have expected to see her in the church choir and not as a Hooters waitress. Expectations!
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Radio announcers and commercial all sound alike: One thing I've noticed during my travels is that Radio Announcers and the voices you hear doing various commercials all sound the same. It doesn't matter which city or state I'm in. The locals sound different, but listen to the radio and you wouldn't know where in the Country you are.
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Friendship emails:
1.There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.
2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.
4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
6. You mean the world to someone.
7. You are special and unique.
8. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.
9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.
10. When you think the world has turned its back on you take another look.
11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.
Resend and forward. 

Most of the stuff written in these emails is true. But if your friends, family, whomever really mean that much to you, write them something personal that comes from your heart. I know I'm being a hypocrite here. I copy songs, poems, use TV and Movie ideas all the time in my blog. But I don't expect people to:
  "So..........If you are a loving friend, send this to everyone, including the one that sent it to you. If you get it back, then they really do love you." or "Send This To All Ur Friends, And Me If I Am 1. If U Get 7 Back U R Loved; 1-3 u r a bad friend; 4-6 u r a ok friend; 7-9 u r a good friend; 10-& up. u r a great friend" .
Are we trying to take the easy way out...ease our conscious...say stuff that we aren't comfortable saying...I don't know....whatever?  I don't usually resend these because after a while they start losing their true meaning. It's like if I forward to everyone in my address book I will be a good person, but just because nobody responds it means that I don't have friends? I don't think your worth should be measured by the number of email responses you get to friendship emails. There are numerous reasons people don't respond, and most of them have nothing to do with how they think of you as a friend.
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The Tail End
At this time I would like to thank all of you who are taking the time to read my blog. It either means you care...or you're getting a good laugh out of my writings...or you're a masochist (reading my stuff can be painful some days). Either way, I really appreciate all of you taking the time out of your busy schedules.

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