Sandpanther (sandpanther) wrote,

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Simple Ways To Amuse The Sandpanther

There's a rally in France at the moment. Someone on a board I read posted a link to a live webcam that has a view over the Service Park. It's one of those nifty webcams where for a short while you can take control of where the camera is pointing.

Because of the time zone differences, the end of day service is around the start of my work day. Boss-man (and most of the office) are out of town at the moment, so I figured I could sneak in and have a little fun seeing what could be seen.

Before I begin, a little explanation of what Service is. At certain times during the rally the cars come to a central location -- the Service Park -- and mechanics work on the car to clean it up, and hopefully fix any damage the cars may have sustained during the last set of racing. The car can only be worked on for a short while -- usually 15 minutes, though the end of day Service is 40 minutes long. One car will come into Service every two minutes.

While the cars are being worked on, the fans can stand around and watch the mechanics doing their thing. This is also a good chance to get an autograph, since it's a slow time for the drivers. (They can't very well be driving the car while it's being worked on, right?)

About 5 minutes before the first car was due in for Service I started up the page and checked out was was going on. Most of the time I just hung out and watched what other people were doing with the camera, since there was a long queue to get in to control the camera.

Hmm, what can we see? Ooh, it's right on top of the Service Park! You can see all the tents and everything! Yup, that's the Service Park circus. *waxes nostaligic for a moment*

Wow, that camera really focuses in tight. I can distinguish individual people's faces. Heh, heh, heh. We're waaatching you!!

Ooh, that's the Peugeot service bay! You can see right into it. I bet you could see the cars once they come in. And you can see... Um, boats. That's right, Service is located right on the harbor. Well, I guess it wouldn't be a rally without boats.

*mentally congratulates myself for the silly joke* *reminds myself that pretty much no one but llamabitchyo will get the joke.*

Okay, that's a boring picture. But I think it's right next to the Subaru area. If you just went a little bit further to the right... C'mon, right. Riiiiiiight. *makes little pulling motions to the right* *the picture remains still*

*pout* Move!

Oh, there, it's moving. Now, a little more to the right. No, the other right. Oh well, left is good too. Citreon is over there, and Sebastien should be in momentarily. That's right, a little more left. *makes swooshing moves to the left* Up... up... *gestures up* No! Too far. Now we're staring at a boat. Go down. Dooooowwwwn. *makes down waving motions.

Down! Left! Left, no, stop. Zoom out. Up! Up! Right, right, right! *makes appropriate gestures*

*realizes how silly I look*

*looks around guiltily to make sure no coworkers saw that*

Wow, look at the crowds in front of Citreon. That's a lot of people. They must all be French, and waiting for Sebastien. Yup, sure is a lot of crowds. Uh-huh. Lots of crowds. Getting bored with the crowds now. Yes, I see the crowds. Can we go somewhere else now, please? No, really. Person who is controlling the camera, can we pull back some? The first car should be in soon. I want to see it, I don't want to see crowds. Crowds are boring. Particularly since this has been the same crowd for the last several minutes. Feh. I think only people who understand the way Service works and knows what time people are coming in should be allowed to control the camera. Come on, point it at something interesting.

No, really. Person with camera? Hellooooo? Sebastien is supposed to be in now. It would be nice to see his car coming in, not that person in the stupid hat. Really. Just move the focus a little. Just a teensy bit to the left, yeah? *makes left swooshing moves* *looks around guiltily* Come on!! *whiiiine*

Ooh, this must be looking into the PWRC area. There's Gigi Galli's car. Oh, yeah, didn't he retire earlier today? Wow, you can totally see right into the bay. Neat. And yet... nothing going on. I wonder what else you could see. ... I wonder what else you could see if the person would move the camera. Maybe, oh -- Sebastien coming into Service, perhaps? I mean, a retired car is intersting and all, but I wanna see people coming into Service!

Oh, wait. Didn't I get into queue to control the camera? I guess I did, but it said it would be about an hour wait, and it hasn't been that long. Let me check...

*pulls up the window she had waiting in queue*

Oh, shoot! I'm the dork! Ooops. Well, click something. And -- Disconnected? Feh, stupid computer. Well, at least we're not looking at nothing any more.

*goes back to the main window*

Okay, there's the Service Park again.

No, stop that. Why do you think I want to look at that ferry? Why do you think I wanted a closer look at that ferry? Quit peeping in the ferry window. I'm not a peeping tom, and there's nothing to see there. Go somewhere else.

Whoa, slow down! Go back -- I think I saw David Lapworth! And -- oh. Peugeot has this thingie that looks like a stage, and was that Hyena Dung? Woosh, don't move the camera so fast. No, back, bac-- no, not the water! Please not the water. Ack, BOATS!!

Okay, we're back to the Service area. Admitted, we're looking at Peugeot, but that's still an improvement. (Ugh, did I just say it was an improvement to be looking at Peugeot? I better watch it or I'll lose my Screaming Scooby Fan licence!) Oh, there's a car in. *thinks* I bet it's Marcus'. *feels sadistic* *waves at the transmission*

*wanders away for a bit*

*comes back*

Ooh, that's a nice shot. We can see the Citreons going in and out from here. Huh. There's someone in Citreon coveralls hanging out next to the fence, by all the spectators. *pause* He's still there. He's STILL there, and the car isn't coming out. I wonder if that's a mechanic... *squints at the picture* Hey! I think that's Sebastien! Zoom in! SeBAStiENNN!! Hellooow? Zoom in! In! In! Come on. Ininin! ZoooooooOOOOOOm!! Zoo-- Hey, wait. He's gone! He didn't just walk away, he disappeared.


*whispers* I wonder if the crowd grabbed him?

*rally fan coworker comes over to chat about stuff. I leave the window open and keep sneaking peaks at the picture.*

Hey, I think there's a car coming in. I think... It looks like a Ford. Is it... Markko should have been in a while ago, so it has to be Francois. Only... Is that car going backwards? I think it's backing up. It's backing up, and... Yup, just went into the Ford bay. Must be Francois.

Coworker: Booger Boi missed his spot and had to back up!

*waits and chats*

Ooh! Scooby coming by!

*I sit upright and stare intently at the screen. Coworker peers over my shoulder. We quietly fangirl.*
*Car moves slowly across the screen. It gets close enough that on the next refresh we should be able to read the name in the window and --*


Noooooo!!!! Wait -- I have another window open, lemme pull it up. Scooby, Scooby...? *sniff*. It left the picture before I could get the window up. Bye-bye Scooby.

Oh, look. Crowds. How... nice.

Ah, they found the PWRC area again. Ooh, it's Xavier Pons' car. And the mechanics are even working on it. Neato.

Oh, it's moved again. And... What am I looking at? It looks like grunge on the lens. It's not even interesting grunge. Why are we still looking at it? Helloooo? Person running camera, wake up!!


Let me make sure it's not me... Oh, good. It's not. But I'm up in 5 minutes. Waiting... Waiting... Oh, me! Now, where the heck am I? Oh, I was staring at the top of the tent, that's what the grunge was. Now, to find something interesting. Left! Left, no, right! Zoom out... out. Hm, a little too out. Now, a little more right. Yessss. And a touch more in. And -- Disconnected? What do you mean disconnected? I had two minutes left! Argh!

Okay, connected again. I now have more respect for people who focus the camera smoothly. It's not as easy as it looks. Oooh, look! A Scooby's coming in! Mikko! It has to be Mikko! MikkoMikkoMikko! Mi-- Fluffy! Ack, shoot, switch tabs.

Yap, yap, yap. Go away. Can't you see I have something more interesting to do? No, I guess you can't, since I hid the window. Which would be why I can't see something more interesting, either...

Good, he went away. Now... Okay, what are we staring at?

Gigi Galli's car. Still nothing happening. It might be a little more interesting to look at if they put wheels on and took it off the jack stands. This person needs to stop obsessing over Gigi Galli so much!

Oh well, might as well go to the bathroom since I'm looking at nothing.

Okay, I'm back. Did it move while I was gone? *looks* Disconnected. Rats.

Reconnecting... Reconneting... Feh. Boats again. Why do you think I care about boats? Give me the cars back!

Right, okay. At least now we can see the Service Park. Though maybe zooming in a little might be nice? Not that I want to complain too much. It's better than boats. At least this way I can see cars going by. Oh, there's one! No, wait. It's a staff vehicle, not a rally car. Never mind.

*coworker goes by and announces it's Starbuck's time*

Darn. I wanted to see Mikko leave Service. One last check... Hm, there's a car leaving. And... Yup, it's coming out of the Subaru area. Yay! Mikko! *waves at the screen* Bye-bye, Mikko! Good luck! *fangirls*

*wanders off, feeling like a total dork*

Hey, but at least I am a highly amused dork.

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