Monday, October 3, 2016

Red Bull Air Races

Yesterday was the first time for the Red Bull Air Races in Indianapolis, I was more excited about this than the 500. It would be a lot less people and basically all seats would be fairly equal. I first saw the Red Bull Air Races on TV about seven years ago, not something I would go out of my way to watch but it was entertaining and the venues provide very interesting backdrops.

To promote the race Red Bull put out a video shot with this years Indy 500 winner Alex Rossi and two time Red Bull Air Race World Series Champion Kirby Chambliss.


We found some residential parking (free) about five blocks west of turn four, our tickets were for seats on turn three. Attendance was obviously much less than the 350k+ for the 500, they estimated it just over 40k. The majority of those 40k were in turn three and four, all the other stands were closed for safety reasons including the short chutes between turns three and four.

Below is a layout of the course, the aircraft took off from the road course and immediately entered through the starting gates. After two timed laps they would circle off track while the next competitor did their run. When the next competitor finished their run the previous one would land. The timing of all of this was very well orchestrated.


At first it didn't appear the weather was going to cooperate. It rained off and on during qualifying the day before, and yesterday the ceiling was less than their minimum 1k feet. This delayed the start of the races by an hour during which they had motorcycles performing stunts on the track and an aerobatic paraglider performing stunts over the track.

This was a view of the finish gate from our seats in turn three. None of my pictures a very good for the day, the weather combined with the distance and speed of the aircraft were greater than my abilities as a photographer.


Here are some various shots I took during the day.








The last two shots were taken at over .5 mile distance. The first shows a track worker zipping in a new section of pylon, they are wearing black and yellow shorts and their legs are sticking out of the top of the pylon. This was the first set of air gates after the start gate, the wind was blowing the southern pylon towards the northern causing it to be clipped six or seven times during the day. Generally the workers had the pylons on the course repaired and back up within 3-4 minutes.


This is the B-17 Yankee Lady that did a flyby.


We had a great time and I hope they come back again next year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New Gun

With it looking more and more like Hillary is going to win the election, or at least that's the excuse I'm using, I decided to buy an AR. I figured they would either be impossible to get or stupid expensive.

Ive been looking for a while and out of the numerous entry level AR's I decided on an M&P 15 Sport II. Rural King had them for a good price so we drove down to Martinsville to get it. After doing the background check and getting ready to pay for it I found out that I had to purchase a case for it that was lockable to buy it. Apparently the Rural King is within 1000 yards of a school so state law requires it to go out of the store in a locked case. I found a Ruger soft case that had a hole in the zipper pull, which the clerk locked with the guns breech lock. After I paid for the gun they called the store manager who carried the gun to the front door and after we walked through it she handed it to me. I'm not really sure what that did other than insure they sell a lot of gun cases, I guess the people that buy there regularly know to bring one along with them.


I was able to get over to my buddies house a few days ago and sight it in. Shooting iron or in this case plastic sights at 50 yards was fun for my old eyes, but using a gun vice on his bench we had it dialed in with six shots.

I dont plan on modding it too much but would like to put some optics on it. I'm looking more along the lines of a 1-4 or 1-6 scope versus a red dot. I think the scope is a bit more versatile.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Vacation - Smoky Mountains

Last weekend we took another driving vacation, this time to the Smoky Mountains. We hung out around the house on Saturday, I got the car loaded and ready to go and Sunday morning we headed to our first stop the National Museum of the USAF.

I was there in June with a group from work and though we were there most of the day I only had time to look at two of the four hangars. One that I did get to spend time in was the Presidential Gallery, I enjoyed it very much and thought Tania might enjoy it as well.

I took a couple of shots of unique things, the first being on Harry Truman's Douglas VC-118. It was a vintage Boston pencil sharpener mounted near the navigators station.


The second was a Chance-Vought/LTV XC-142A one of five built in the early 60's to explore VSTOL aircraft, these aircraft were the predecessors to the Osprey. What really struck me as odd on this aircraft was the rotor on the tail, it just looked so out of place.


The third was the North American F-82G Twin Mustang used during the Korean war, it was originally developed as a long rage bomber escort and looks like two P-51 Mustangs connected at the wings. It was actually an all new design and credited for downing the first three Korean aircraft during the war.


There are literally hundreds of unique items and incredible aircraft to look at, a day is not enough. The museum is open seven days a week and costs nothing to enter, it is well worth the trip if you are anywhere near it. There is much more than aircraft to see.

We spent about seven hours at the museum and then headed to Knoxville for the night. The next morning we got up early, drove around for 40 minutes looking for a self serve car wash only to find one half a block from the hotel we stayed at. We had driven through some heavy rain right before we got to Knoxville and I wanted the car clean for our next stop, Deals Gap.

Deals Gap is a mountain pass on the North Carolina - Tennessee state line, it wasn't actually my destination the road was. To get to Deals Gap the road has 318 curves in the last 11 miles and is called "Tail of the Dragon". Its a mecca for gear heads and motorcycle riders, it was also a bucket list item for me.


The start of the dragon was just over twenty miles from where we were, we filled up with gas, took the top off the car and set out to enjoy the day. About 10 miles outside of Knoxville we came across a dirt track, it really caught my eye because I had never seen one with red mud.



The road had numerous scenic overviews along the way, this was Calderwood Dam viewed from Dragon Overlook.


Along the "Tail of the Dragon" there were numerous photographers that take pictures of the cars as they pass by then post them online for purchase. When I checked there were about 25 of us, the three below are the ones I purchased.



The road was fun to drive and a bit challenging as the sun would blind you then you would drop into dark shadows multiple times through a corner. The temptation to go fast is hindered by the traffic and the three different patrolmen on the side of the road over the 11 miles.

At Deals Gap there is a "motorcycle resort" its basically a small hotel and gas station that sells shirts and Dragons Tail memorabilia. In the parking lot was a tree called the "Tree of Shame" it was covered with motorcycle parts from bike wrecks along the road.


We bought a couple of shirts and talked to a few people before we headed back the way we came. There are many interesting roads in the area but our next stop was Gatlinburg and the only way we could see on the maps to "get there from here" was the way we came.

I was looking forward to the drive out but it was hindered by a long line of cars following a elderly gentleman on a bagger driving 15-20 miles an hour, completely ignoring the train of cars behind him. We even pulled over for a while to put some distance between us and caught up to the train again within five miles.

On the way out we stopped in Maryville and ate at an open air roadside place called the Dragon Pitt, they had good food.

 





The drive to Gatlinburg was all two lane backroads and we arrived mid afternoon. We drove through town and stopped in a self serve parking lot at the end of town. We had been in the car for about five minutes looking at pamphlets for what we wanted to do when the parking lot attendant informed us that we could not park there without paying. I told him what we were doing and that I would pay when I got out of the car. He then walked around the car took a picture of my plate, he informed me we were stealing and that he was calling the cops. I started the car to find another lot as he chased us shaking his phone at us while yelling the cops were going to get the Corvette. it was rather bizarre.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in Gatlinburg, which is a complete and utter tourist trap. We did go to the aquarium which was actually pretty good. It has a rather long tunnel that runs through one of the tanks, the tunnel has a moving walkway that also rotates you as it moves.


We ate supper in Gatlinburg and then drove back to Pigeon Forge to spend the night. The following morning we got up and the Corvette wouldn't start, the battery was dead. I called AAA and while we were waiting I ordered a new battery. Less than two hours later and after a trip to the auto parts store we were driving through the Smokys on our way to Clingmans Dome, the highest mountain in the Smokys.

It was a beautiful drive which started just outside of Gatlinburg, the first of many stops we made gave this view of Gatlinburg.


The next turnout we stopped at had this river, one of probably hundreds in the park.


The next was another vantage point about seven miles from our destination. There was a large structure here which I didn't realize at the time was a marker for the Tennessee / North Carolina state line.


The seven mile drive from our last stop was as enjoyable to me as the drive to Deals Gap the day before.

Clingmans Dome has a long narrow parking lot that was mostly full by the time we got there. The lot is .5 miles from the outlook tower on top of the peak. The path leading to the tower is a 10-12% grade for almost the entire length. I took this picture from the parking lot and the outlook is located next to the tower in the center of the picture.


I took some pictures from the outlook but the view was very hazy and the pictures came out poor. We spent a couple of hours here then headed back to Pigeon Forge for lunch.

After lunch we decided to go to the Titanic Museum, I'm not really a big fan of the whole Titanic thing but once you see the outside of the place it kind of sells it. I totally spaced taking a picture of the outside, this is one I found on the net.


The tickets were a bit pricey and they didn't allow photos inside, they gave both of us boarding passes with actual passenger names on them and we were to determine if we lived or died. The tour itself was self guided with audio devices we carried. Around the museum there were signs with numbers on them that we keyed into the device and a recording would follow.

It was actually a very good attraction with an unbelievable amount of items both historically related to the Titanic as well as from it. Throughout the museum they had replicated various parts of the ship such as the wheelhouse and the grand staircase. The display they were most proud of was the violin belonging to the band leader. Apparently it had sold for well over a million dollars and was being relocated in the next few weeks.

After we left the museum we sat in the parking lot deciding if we wanted to do anything else or head home. We decided to head home and maybe make some stops on the way. We spent the night in Knoxville at the same hotel we had stayed at the first night. We ended up driving straight home the next day which was fairly uneventful but gave us a few days before we had to head back to work.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Hoopty Bike

Matty bought a 2006 Honda 600RR last year, it has over 30k miles on it and he got it cheap. He had it just a couple days when he layed it down in a slow speed turn and busted up the already busted up fairings. For the last year he had been working on them on and off, there really is no good way to fix them. I helped him with some fiberglass repairs and he painted the majority of them. A few months past and he lost interest in it then he stepped on one he had just finished and broke it. Two months ago he decided to order some Chinese fairings on ebay which came in last week. He put them on yesterday and they actually look pretty good.



He recently tore down the top end and adjusted the valves, replaced the automatic chain adjuster with a manual one and replaced the throttle cable with a gear drive unit. He also replaced both tires and has new rotors and pads he needs to install.

When he bought the new fairings he also bought a new headlight housing, the old one was sun damaged and yellowed. He also bought a HID light kit which makes the bike much more visible. Hopefully his fairings will last a while, the cost of the entire set was the same as just one factory fairing. They are a much harder plastic than the factory ones and I'm afraid with the quality of them they will end up cracking.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tornado

Yesterday a tornado passed a quarter mile north of our house. It took down a lot of trees, some mini sheds and did some roof damage in a small neighborhood.


Matt had just made it home on his motorcycle and the two of us stood on the back porch and watched it pass through. While we were watching it the news stated their radar had it located three miles east and a quarter mile north of where it actually was.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Not Gimped!

I play around with modifying photos in Gimp and get a lot of enjoyment from it, the best photos are the ones you don't modify though.

Yesterday when I was walking into work this truck was parked at our loading dock.


Monday, August 1, 2016

Tire shopping

Last Saturday I went to Discount Tire to buy some new tires for the Corvette. I wore probably 2/3rds of the tread at Putnam last fall and the front tires were very thin at the inner edges. Over the last few months I had researched what tires I wanted. I was not very happy with the Nitto Invos on the car and I wanted a higher performance tire. The tires I was looking at fall under the "Extreme Performance Summer Tire" category, unfortunately no one makes a tire that fits my car in that category. The TSW rims I have on the car are one size larger in diameter and one inch wider, the width isn't the problem its the diameter. They are actually the same diameters as the C7 Z51 Corvettes, but most of the tires available in those sizes are run flats.

I initially inquired about some 2015 model BFGoodrich Rivals which are very limited availability, and of course they were unavailable. Then I asked him to check on Continental Sport Contacts again they were unavailable. He said he could check with some alternative warehouses on Monday, so before I left I asked if they would put my tires on the spin-balancer and make sure none were bent. I have already replaced two of the wheels for being bent and I found out a few months ago that TSW no longer makes them. If I have any bent wheels that would change everything.

Twenty minutes later they called me out to the shop to show me that both back wheels were out of round. Basically the inner barrel farthest away from the spokes was oval, no damage to the lips of the wheels and the same issue I had with the two wheels I had replaced. These are spun forged wheels and tend to be more malleable than a cast wheel which would just crack. Other than the total suck roads in this area I'm not sure what is causing this. Pot holes usually don't get a back wheel without damaging the front one.

I asked them to put the wheels back on the car and drove home to decide what to do next. Its strange that I could not hear or feel the .5" of run out on the back wheels.

The frustrating part is I really liked the wheels I had and outside of spending 4-5k on a forged set that are custom made there aren't really a ton of choices. I started looking on CL for a factory set, they come up quite often and are generally in the $600.00-$900.00 range for just the C6 rims. Of course there were none listed in the Indy area when I looked. There were a few sets in the Chicago area including a too good to be true price on a forged set. The guy had a bad picture posted of the wheels and a receipt that didn't match the wheels he had pictured.

Now I'm frustrated and ready to step away for a while but decided to check Louisville area first. I got a hit on some C7 wheels in black off a Z51 car, this is important because the Z51 wheels are spun forged. The seller had them listed for $200.00 which is just stupid cheap. I called him and he said he still had them but he had one person on the way to look at them and another he was to call if the first didn't take them. We talked about the rims for a few minutes and I told him he had listed them way too cheap, he agreed and said he didn't think he would have so many calls on them. I told him "It's too bad I can't just offer you $400.00 for them and you tell everyone else they are sold". he said he would have no problem doing that. We agreed to meet at his house and 5pm, so Tania and I jumped in the truck and headed to Louisville.

His house was easy to find and the entire transaction took less than 15 minutes. He had bought a new Z51, didn't like the black wheels so he bought some Chinese multi-spoke chrome replica wheels. He also threw in two sets of factory lug nuts, one chrome and one black. We were about a half mile from his house and deciding wither to eat or head home when my phone rang. It was him calling and asking me if I needed tires too. He said a buddy of his had a set that were almost new and he thought they were those "yoko" tires. We waited on the side of the road for him to drive by and followed him over to his buddy's house.

When we arrived his buddy was in his tiny garage, he had a new C7 as well and the tires were sitting next to it. I looked each of them over they weren't those "yoko" tires but better than that for me they were Hankook Ventis V-12 Evos. They had not patches and the buddy said he had maybe 1k miles on them, he went on to explain they were off his old Corvette. I have had a set of these before and was very happy with them, after dealing for a few minutes I agreed to $400.00 for the set. We had to drive about 8 miles to an ATM because I had only brought enough to buy the wheels.

While we were loading them in the truck, the seller asked me about my Corvette and it turned out he had the same car, same color and the same TSW wheels. He went on to tell me he still had some parts off the car, so we went in his garage to see what he had. He had a stock hood, some chrome and trim pieces I wasn't interested in, a set of TSW chrome wheels and tires and some RPI fuel rail covers that were color matched. I unwrapped one and took it outside to look at in the sun, he told me he would sell them for $100.00 (they are over $300.00 new) I was slightly interested but didn't feel like making the trek back to the ATM and it was getting late. I got his number and told him I would contact him if I decided I wanted them.

I got in the truck and Tania asked me what I was looking at, I told her what they were, how much they cost and what he wanted for them. She informed me that she had taken out $500.00 at the ATM so I thought about it a few minutes and then went and got the fuel rail covers from him.

Here is a shot of the wheels and tires he had put the rims in his replica boxes.


 Here is a closeup of the rim, I painted the Corvette lettering to match the car, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be because the lettering is a very shallow recess. I don't know how well I will like the gloss black versus the flat black the current wheels are. The paint on them is not a real good quality which surprised me, I thought for a minute that these might be replicas but none of the replicas have CORVETTE cast in the lip of the rim.


Here is a shot with the RPI fuel rail covers installed. They purchase new GM fuel rail covers, paint them to match and insert black metal lettering in the recesses. I would have never spent the money on these had the price not been so cheap. I probably should have dickered more on the price since they only made C6's this color for like 3 years and they were low production, he didn't have much of a market. He did throw in the matching oil cap which I guess is a bonus.


It will probably cost me around $125.00 to have the TPS sensors removed from my old wheels, rebuild kits installed and the tires mounted and balanced. Still all in all I think I got a very good deal. Next I want to find some C6 center caps, I don't like the chrome trim ring on the C7 caps and I don't want the C7 logo's on my car. The logo is recessed into the cap or I would just cover them in vinyl.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

4th of July Festivities

My buddy contacted me last week about coming over for the 4th, to do some shooting, eat some food and blow some stuff up.

We arrived about 11am and started hauling everything from the truck down to his range. He had a 10x20 tent set up over his shooting bench at 50 yards and I set up my tent at 12 yards for us to shoot pistols from.


This arrangement works very good, we just leave the tent at 12 yards in place and shoot through it when we are shooting rifles.

Around 2pm we fired up his charcoal Webber and through on some teriyaki chicken, garlic chicken and steaks. His neighbors had brought some deserts and the lady clear down the street that was just bored brought by some good salad and spent the entire day there just chatting.

Normally when he contacts me about shooting, its the day of, in this case he contacted me days before so I had some time to plan. I decided my contribution would be 30 1/4lb jars of Tannerite, after all its the 4th!


 These sounded like cannons going off, I think we ended up shooting about 10 of them total, letting everyone there take turns shooting them. They would definitely make you jump at 50 yards.

As the afternoon progressed some more people showed up and at dusk we fired up the grille again and finished off the meat we had not cooked earlier. My buddy had bought a bunch of mortars and we finished off the night with a fireworks display next to his range.

It was one of the best fourth of Julys I have had in years, I hope we can repeat it next year I still have about 20 1/4lb targets to shoot.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Concerts

June 2nd I was in my Boss's office, he was at his computer and asked me "Do you like Keith Urban"? I said hes ok, I'm not a big country music fan, he then asked me "Does your wife like Keith Urban"? I responded "I think so" to which his response was a mouse click and "Good were going to his concert Saturday night".

I didn't care much for the opening acts, I had never heard any of the songs before. Keith Urban though put on a good concert, while I'm not necessarily a fan of his its hard to ignore his talent. It was a bit strange though that two weeks before he had backed out of riding around the Indy 500 with Mario Andretti and was replaced by Lady Gaga /boggle. Now here he was jumping and gyrating like he was in perfect health.

The Klipsch music center is a great venue, other than the drinking rules. You are allowed to bring in one bottled water with a sealed cap. If you buy one inside its $5.00 and you cant keep the cap, they don't want people throwing sealed bottles of water. I bought a can of beer to drink, it was $15.00. I did have an enjoyable evening though and on the drive home Tania and I discussed how long it had been since we had gone to a concert. Before this the last time we went was in 2010, it was a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert in Phoenix that was pretty awesome.

By the time I got home I made up my mind that I didn't want to go another five years with the last concert I went to being a Keith Urban concert. I got online and bought four tickets to Def Leppard with REO Speedwagon and Tesla opening.

Last night we went with Matty and his girlfriend and other than some annoyingly drunk people in front of us had a great time. We arrived a little later than I wanted too and the line to get in was horrible so we completely missed Tesla. About 10 minutes after getting to our seats REO came on. I like REO's hit songs but they really don't do much for me beyond that, they are garage / bar band that are good for background noise. It was more entertaining to watch the drunk people in the VIP box directly in front of us try and sing along to songs they obviously didn't know the words to.


My like for REO must have been shared because once they finished it seemed like the crowd doubled in size just before Def Leppard came on stage, at that point you could really start to smell the weed too.


Def Leppard was very enjoyable, they sounded great and had an impressive stage/light show. The technology today allows for such impressive displays on stage.

We ended up staying right to the last song, and were able to get out quickly while the crowd was calling them back for an encore.

Overall it was a great evening, although not something I would regularly do at $500.00 for tickets. I made up for it though by avoiding the $15.00 beers!

Lump in the lawn

Over the last few weeks the lawn on the west side of the house has been very damp, even soggy. I turned down the timer on that circuit but it didn't help any. Two days ago I noticed a large lump in the lawn and realized I had a leak in the sprinkler system.

I went in the garage and manually turned on that circuit, which made the sod in that area rise up about six inches but the sprinkler never popped up. I dug it out and it had come disconnected from the riser pipe. I reconnected it but it still didn't work, it was physically stuck in its housing. After messing around with it for 10 minutes I was able to break it loose and cycle it in a bucket of water. It was full of dirt and sand that had caused it to stick. I reconnected it again and it started working but the lawn still bulged up around it.

I dug down and found the saddle clamp had twisted on the pipe because the riser pipe between the saddle clamp and the sprinkler head was way too short. This made the sprinkler head sit too high and when the mower ran over it or someone stepped on it, it would twist the saddle clamp on the main line elongating the hole.

I got rid of the saddle clamp and spliced in a t-fitting with a longer riser pipe. Half a day wasted because the guy that put the system in cut the riser line six inches too short.




Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Dad's Visit

My dad and step mom flew in this week to spend three days with us and three days with my sisters family. We we took them around to some of the sites in Indy, and Sunday Dad and I went to the NMCA All American Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway Park. Sunday was the finals and we got a late start not arriving until 9 am. When we pulled into the lot something was off, there were literally 40 cars and the west side of the track was completely empty. When we got out of the truck I could hear and see the cars making passes so we walked up and bought tickets at $25.00 each and headed to the stands. When we entered the stands thee were literally 20-30 people there, it was just weird. After being there about 15 minutes I realized the class finals hadn't started yet they were still racing out some of the semi-finals. We ended up staying about six hours, I had to make my dad leave he was so burned from the sun, he needed to leave but never gets a chance to see racing like this. We had a really good time and the small crowd was actually nice.

Monday we took them to Parabellum, a shooting range in Avon. My buddy was out of town so we ended up going to an indoor range. My stepmom was very excited about going and had a good time, my dad not so much. We took my 10/22 and 9mm Nano, Matty brought his 9mm Beretta and the SKS. Its just a 25 yard range and no way to bench rest a rifle, but for the most part everyone had a good time. It seemed like we had just got set up and started shooting on the two lanes I rented when we were out of time.

Tuesday we went to the museum at Indianapolis Raceway Park.The first car on display was the ultra rare, ultra expensive Aston Martin Vulcan. It had been featured on the "New" Top Gear just the week before. I learned from the episode it was named after the British Vulcan bomber and only 24 were to be made. It has a naturally aspirated 7.0 liter V12 that produces 820 hp and weighs just under 3,000 lbs. If you want to buy one you only need to currently own an Aston, be one of 24 to get chosen and come up with 2.4 mil. Thats not even the bad news, the car isn't street legal, cannot be registered. Another fun fact from the episode was that the car exceeds all the noise limits of every track in England, so it cannot be legally driven anywhere in the country that designed and built it.

This one was number 11 of 24, it is a dark shade of purple with a lot of exposed carbon fiber.


I found a picture of it online that shows it on the Indy track, here you can see the color better.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

P0601 Fixed and a Car Show

The beginning of May I sent my ECU to a repair facility on the east coast. They contacted me a few days later and said the ECU was beyond repair and shipped it back to me. I bought a new one online and reinstalled the old one so I could drive the car to a dealership about three miles from the house. Once I was there I parked just outside the service center pulled the passenger fender loose and installed the new ECU. The following morning they put the factory programming on the ECU which cost just over $100.00. While it was there they also accomplished the low beam headlight recall. The engine fuse box on the right side of the engine bay gets hot enough to stretch a hard wired connection causing it to break over time. This hard wire connection is for the low beam headlights, the repair is to run a jumper.

After the dealership contacted me that the car was done I ran it over to Mike Norris Motorsports and dropped it off. Mike put the dyno tune back on the ECU and charged me nothing, Mike is cool like that. I had $40.00 cash on me, gave him that and I finally had my car back after missing the better part of a month of summer driving. It was neat to feel the factory tune vs dyno tune in that short time span.

While the car was out of action I decided to give it a good paint clean and polish. I spent close to 20 hours cleaning, polishing and buffing the car, partially because it needed it and partially because work was organizing our summer picnic and for the first time in years an associated car show.

Initially I was not going to enter the car show but after talking with the employee organizing it, he said he wasn't getting much response on entries.

The night before the show I decided to make a display poster for the car. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on it so I used Walgreen's photo service to make a poster that is a reusable decal. It was almost 8:30pm when I uploaded the poster and sent it to the store. Generally any prints I have done in the past are finished when I get there, this time was no different it was already wrapped in a tube, so I paid for it and headed home. When I got home I pulled it out of the tube and was unable to remove the backing to see how it worked. After asking Tania to try we realized they had printed it on normal poster paper, so back to the store I went. It took almost an hour to get it reprinted on decal paper an with that I was set for the next day.


Even though I believe around 15 cars registered only 7 showed up. I chose to open the hood of the car and stick the decal to it using just the top three inches or so. If I were to do it again I would just stick the whole thing on as it came off very easily.


 Even though the car show was a bit of a bust, the picnic had a fairly good turnout with bounce houses, corn hole, face painting, fishing and a lot of good food to eat at an excellent venue. I hope more people will take advantage of it next year.

Monday, May 30, 2016

More Target Practice

It was another day with near perfect weather and my buddy contacted me about shooting at his range. Matty and I headed over and shot mostly rifles, he has a friend that lets him borrow his SKS and I shot about 200 rounds through the 10/22.

Later in the afternoon my buddy got out his Windham AR-10 and let me shoot 25 rounds through it. Its a very fun gun to shoot with enough kick that I would loose site of the target at fifty yards after almost every shot. I still managed a nice grouping with a gun I was unfamiliar with.


To top the day off my buddy got out his MRAD .338 Lapua Magnum. Shooting it at 50 yards is and not getting a bulls-eye would almost be hard to do. At around $5.00 a shot we all took just one, below is a short video of Matty taking his turn.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Indy 500 100th Running

I've lived in the Indianapolis area on and off for over 20 years, I've been to numerous local events such as the US Nationals, IROC, Rolex, Brickyard 400, Bush Grand National, SCCA, Silver Crown, Craftsman Super Truck, Super Chevy etc. but never the Indy 500. I never wanted to deal with the crowd to see a race that is better viewed on television.

This year was different, the 100th running, it wasn't the first time I had been offered tickets but this time we went.

The tickets were commemorative made from some clear plastic with the ticket printed on it. The day before the race I was able to get a fourth so Matty's girlfriend could go along with us.


Its just under 13 miles from my house to the track yet we left at 5:45am for a 12:30pm start time, with over 350k people attending traffic and parking would be fun. Having the home field advantage we parked about 2 miles north of the track and hung out in the car for a few hours before walking to the track. Once at the track it was blistering hot, with just a slight breeze from the west. As luck would have it we were sitting just outside of turn 4 which made the stands back up to the west blocking the breeze.

Prior to the race to pass the time the normal group wave and beach balls went around.


Just prior to the race they did a parade lap with former winning Indy Cars. The 100+ year old Marmon Wasp winner of the first Indy 500 was out there running around the track with them.


Promptly at 12:30pm a ZL1 Camaro pace car raced by and the field passed for the start of the race.


The race itself was fairly exciting with multiple passes and the whole fuel thing going on. The icing on the cake was Juan crashing out early on. I'm not sure I would have had the same opinion if we weren't directly across from a large live TV screen.

Afterwards we headed back to the car with our coolers and backpacks, we still had half a cooler of drinks left. The drive home was quite simple, that was the home field advantage I mentioned before. Once we reached the car it only took us 40 minutes to get home, it was very painless. We ended up waiting at one traffic light for two cycles, the rest was like a normal drive in Indy.

Overall I enjoyed the day and was glad I went, I don't know that I will go again, it would probably take turn one suite or pagoda seating to entice me back. Its a great place to enjoy the moment and the crowd its a horrible place to see an oval race.