Liam is an Eagle Scout!

April 9, 2015. We are so excited to announce that Liam has done all the work, and been supported along the way by family and friends and great Scout troop, to receive his Eagle Scout. Liam is in Troop 55 which is graciously housed out of St. John the Divine.

This is a big year for Liam. He graduated from Carnegie Vanguard High School and heads off to University of North Texas.

1969 Camaro

This was a fun car. Hugger Orange, strong 350 motor, two speed PowerGlide. This is after a wreck on the Gulf freeway caused by a guy in a Porsche cutting a woman off who then lost control. Trashed the front-end. The rusted one is a car I bought to cannibalize. Don’t recall what I did with it when done… These pictures were taken in the late 80s.

And, man, yeah, check out those OP shorts… wow.

1971 Camaro – during repaint

This was a 1971 Camaro with a tight LT-1 350ci, Turbo 350 engine. Had been damaged when the guy drove it into a ditch. My mother bought and this is the result of many new body parts and nice Midnight Black catalyzed enamel paint job. It was wet sanded and painted 3 times. No orange peel – slick as glass.

1981 Corvette (prior to rebuild)

I loved this car. Especially after the rebuild. These pictures were taken around 1985.

It was a 1980 anemic 305 Corvette (still plenty of fun) that I put a rebuilt 350ci motor in. Built the motor to the old LT-1 specs using a 4 bolt main truck block in my garage on some cold winter nights in Abilene, TX while stationed there. Used a Holley carb and Edelbrock manifold and cam. I kept the original ‘Vette exhaust as it sounded nice and rich. Was great fun to drive and race.

The brown body color images are before the new paint job, which was Porsche Guards Red. The body was very straight after all the work filling the low spots. Had to sell it due to divorce… someone must of had some fun with it. Wonder where it is today? Probably in a junk yard.

Asleep at the Wheel (GRAPHIC)

This is a cautionary tale post. My hope is someone, somewhere will learn from this. Pilots also suffer from this disease… it is called Get-Homeitus… Get-Homeitus is a killer. We make poor decisions when we are afflicted with it. We do it when we are tired, worried will be missed or miss some event, etc. This has happened to most of us, we just got lucky. Actually, he got lucky too.

I have a colleague whose son was out late with friends. He was just a tired young man driving home in the early morning hours. He was on the highway, very close to home, when he just dozed off. He woke just before reaching a barrier, swerved and rolled the truck. The cab was crushed onto his hand, pinning it to the steering wheel. Luckily, no tendons were damaged and the would will just have to “heal” for the most part as it could not be easily stitched. The pictures tell the rest of the story.

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Marble Track School Project

Potential vs. Kinetic energy. We all learn this in school, but I had not actually used the terms together in 35 years. My son came home from school one day (eighth grade) with a project – build a marble track that demonstrated potential and kinetic energy.

Potential is when a ball is just sitting at the top of the hill – waiting to roll down as it were.  Kinetic is when it starts moving and stays kinetic until it comes to rest.  We want to show this.  We also want to show how it looses energy over time (the three decreasing hills).

Requirements – it shall be minimum 2 meters long, it shall have one loop and it shall have 3 humps of decreasing size. If you are going to pursue a career as a business analyst or another roll where you gather requirements, be sure you learn the distinctions between ‘shall’, ‘will’ and ‘must’. Essentially, shall means ‘no exceptions’.  Don’t do a ‘shall’, then you missed a requirement.

The BIG test.

The BIG test. Liam and me testing the track.

So we discussed how we should do it, the size (we needed to transport it to his class) and materials we might use.  We looked around the garage at what was handy.  Ton of wood!  Hot glue gun with Super Strong glue (the most underrated tool for the creative type personality).  Plenty to nails, screws, power tools, etc.

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Dickens on the Strand – Galveston, Texas 2010

Did you ever want to dress up in period clothing, go to a fun old town (where you were coincidentally born) and walk in a parade?  I know! Me too.  It was so fun.  So my son and friend Kate went to Dickens on the Strand in Galveston.  This is an annual festival in December (get it, Dickens, as in Charles Dickens, you know, Scrooge and all that…).  It was canceled right after hurricane Ike in 2008, but resumed there after.

Kate, being very industrious and craft oriented, made her own dress.  I know.  It is great! She also taught me the art of thrift store shopping and we put together my son’s cool chimney sweep outfit the night before we left.  My uniform was borrowed from the guy in the picture, my oldest friend, Tim Godfrey.  Tim has been a Civil War reenactor for many years now and has a pretty good collection of clothing.  Tim loaned me the Union Cavalry Officers uniform.  Fit great.  I want one.

This was  fun time.  The crowds were large, people were spending money and the economy of Galveston is rebounding nicely after hurricane Ike.

Me and Tim, Dickens on the Strand, Galveston, Texas 2010

Me (left) and Tim, Dickens on the Strand, Galveston, Texas 2010