Gambling on alternative fuels or A mighty wind

I spent last weekend (not this one that just passed but the other one) in Las Vegas with my buddies from Bosch. We were in the city of sin to set up Bosch’s Learning Center for the Alternative Fuels & Vehicles National Conference that was being held there. It’s kind of hard to think of diesel as an “alternative” fuel since it’s been around for such a long time, but it’s lumped into the same category as all of the future fuels that are making headlines these days. I’m going to list these different fuels in an upcoming blog and go over what makes them real – or just plain wishful thinking…

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Sidewinder S-10 Drag Truck Update

It’s mid-May 2008, and we are now at a power level with the Banks Sidewinder S-10 that is reminding me of all the nitromethane-burning engines I raced back in the day. We are using up pistons like a good thing. We’re not changing them every run like I did with my nitro-burning rails and drag boats, but we’re changing them too damn often for a diesel. We’ve been doing it for a while, and it’s only gotten more problematic as we’ve made more power and gotten down into the 7.70s. Now we are too close to “running on kill” for my liking.

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Fuel-injected childhood dreams

It’s Friday, but not an ordinary Friday by any means. It’s actually a day that I have waited for most of my life. I’ve never kept it a secret that I’m somewhat of a nerd and a child at heart. Today, both of those traits are in for a treat as I use up a half day of vacation and split work early to catch a showing of Speed Racer! Yep, the show that gave me the automotive bug when I was just four years old is finally a movie!

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Hoist the colors! or With great power comes great responsibility!

I’m on my way back from Tampa and the Truck U shoot. I’m on the plane and just finished watching the third installment of Pirates of the Caribbean for the umpteenth time (a truly bitchin’ movie no matter what anyone says! Naysayers can walk the plank) and I feel compelled to finish my story from my first entry. Arrr… Ye sees me hardies me thinks the show is going to be pretty neat, says I. It focuses on safe towing power (that’s where Banks comes in). Apparently the truck they borrowed for the taping was an ’08 Chevy Duramax that was used to tow a five-car hauler…

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What’s my motivation? or Trucking in Tampa

For the plane ride back, I’ve got to remember to at least try for a window seat. It was bad enough being the middle child in my family, but it was torture being in the middle on a plane ride across the country. Heck, I even ran out of mints! At least sitting by the window on the plane trip back I can spend the hours looking for the gremlin that crawls on the wing and jacks around with the engine. I’m going to get that little jerk some day! Some day!

Anyways…

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A Tribute to Wally Parks

Wally Parks was a friend to thousands, and I am pleased to have been numbered among them. His gentlemanly demeanor was an example that I have tried hard to emulate in my career. His sense of humor was always a pleasant surprise. His leadership was the stuff of legend. In my life I have had few heroes…but Wally Parks was one of them.

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The Re-Education of a “Gearhead”

Last Friday (really my “first day on the job”, even though I had only come in to fill out some employment papers), I was invited to sit in on meeting with Gale Banks and a number of members of the engineering staff.

My (just-bestowed an hour earlier) title is the lofty “Corporate Publicist” and so, I was pleased to be asked to be a part of the action so soon after signing on with the company.

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I’m ready for my close-up or Alpha Male sighting

Hollywood is at it again: they’re filming a movie in my neighborhood, but down the street from me. So close, yet so far away. The movie and television companies always seem to do this to me… they tease me knowing full well that I was meant to be immortalized on screen. I personally think that they’re afraid of my vast talent. I mean, why else would I always get picked from the audience at one of those shows at Universal Studios? I do a mean falling off a building, and I was even a “Red Shirt” fighting a Klingon in a Star Trek stage show once. I have the VHS tape to prove it.

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Atom is da Bomb! or How to Distort Your Face in Under Three Seconds

I have to tell you all that Ginger Ale is just about my favorite drink… period. It brings back fond memories of days long past. I’ll usually partake in a plastic Dixie cup of Canada Dry’s version of the beverage on business flights, but on recent trip to Oregon I was treated to a Verner’s. Ain’t that a something? I mean I thought that brand went away when I was a kid, at least that’s the way it is in California anyways. Then another blast from the past… I got on a plane with propellers. Yes folks, the futuristic world of the 21st Century is here… and without the flying cars, robot butlers, an Astro-Base on the Moon or the rocket-pack I was promised as a boy. Airplanes still have propellers.

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