…OK, those were a tad shameless but it’s still early and I just stuck the key in my brain and it is barely turning over (where is that CHOKE?). Old Ben Franklin would be proud of me though as I have gotten back into my earlier mode of “Early to bed, early to rise”. I used to do that because I was “dating” a woman on the other side of the continent and it synced up our clocks a bit…sort of. Now I do it because the air is cool and fresh, it is quiet (especially the birds) and I can think before I head off to work and another day talking racing.
Yesterday after work at the magazine I fought traffic and the heat back up to the shop to get a little bit of a WESTY fix. After a day of cold calls and note taking I find that scrubbing 22 years of road grime off of a WESTFALIA gas tank can be strangely relaxing (These are the kind of impulses that kept me out of the really good schools I think). Still an hour with some paper towels and a spray bottle of 409, hands swathed in Nitril gloves and a cool soda to sip on does much to wash away the cares of the day.
Still, I am not sure that “cares of the day” is really appropriate for me these days. I juggle a lot of projects everyday, but a lot of people do. The difference is that I am the one adding “balls to the cascade” (to use juggling vernacular) not someone else. I don’t have a Dilbert-esque boss calling the shots, yesterday my boss (who is a good and learned man) took me out for chinese food and imparted arcane information to me that he had gained over years of experience directly related to what I do at the magazine, he even paid. Then I went back to the office I share with a funny and intelligent woman who is also willing to share her knowledges easily. The fact that she makes me laugh at least several times an hour is just an added bonus. Though the compensation I receive is far less than what I got in the games industry I work for people I like and respect in an industry that i care about. If I have any “cares of the day” I guess you can say they are all self-inflicted because I care about my work, I care about who I do it for and I want to do as good a job (or better) as I possibly can. I know from direct experience that it is environments like that the best work gets done. You can ask Nolan Bushnell and Steve Jobs about it. I
After inspection I found the WESTY’s fuel tank to be in good order and I was able to quickly clean away the grime and install the new grommets. Dr. Norm (the rock climbing physicist) stopped by to drop off some of his climbing gear and let me know that he won’t be available to help replace the tank until Saturday, which will give me Friday to spend all day on THE WHEEL (which I have to get out next week). I am really enjoying working on the WESTY but it is getting kind of tiring. I want to get her smogged and on the road soon, I have had enough of HANGER QUEENS in my life. The weather out here in California is warming up and it has been far too long since I saw the ocean. A WESTFALIA is suppose to be like a mobile summer house whose view changes on the whims of its occupants. So far though Testy the WESTY has had aview of a street, outside a shop and INSIDE the same shop.
I am kinda bored with that and I can not help but think that she is as well!
A quick plug for (and a couple of comments about) the April Issue of THE WHEEL, which all you racers should have in your hot little hands by now. Unless you at THill, still it will be waiting for your perusal when you get home.
My third issue as Co-Editor/Production Designer on the magazine. The first two months I think were more about getting the flow of the publication working, learning the contributors and printers and Blake and I getting a handle on the editorial policy. I think we have done a good job doing that, but this issue I am proud of on a personal level as I was able to start working on the aesthetic elements, extablishing a look for the magazine that we can develop in the coming issues.
I’m also really have a great time working with Blake who is a great editor, a better writer and just a great guy. I am starting on the wireframes for next month and am looking foreword to refining the product even more.
So I have been gone for awhile, so long that in fact I shut down the site. After my Mother Passed I was pretty broken up and after a lot of verbal thrashing about that did no help I decided I should go offline and simply grieve. I didn’t do this when my Dad passed and that lead to me taking years to get over it, well as best as anyone can get over the passing of a parent.
In addition I had to concentrate my efforts of talking less about getting DOGBRAIN STUDIOS operating again and actually DO something about it. I had already been working with my pal Blake Tatum on a redesign of the San Francisco Region of the SCCA’s Magazine, THE WHEEL, and January was the month I had to actually produce the magazine. The good news is the first issue went out Yesterday in the mail and whereas there is a lot of room for improvement I am pleased with our first effort. Blake has been working hard on making sure we have more fun and informative articles. FUN is the key phrase, like old Racer’s Mantra goes “…racing is fun, Racing is Fun, RACING IS FUN!” Btw the way, for non racers, that is usually chanted while crawling around under a race car in the rain with 15 minutes until you next session.
Through an odd co-incident, in the form of an ad in an old WHEEL, I got in contact with another racing magazine. The ad was for production staff and the magazine is VICTORY LANE (and it’s sister Publication, VINTAGE OVAL). I called and applied for the job and was put in touch with Dan Davis, the Publisher. Dan and I had coffee several time and hit it off pretty good. After discussions Dan brought me onboard as a correspondent working on covering the Vintage Racing scene and helping with other promotional projects. Pam, the editor, who makes me laugh like a fool the two days a week I am in the office, is tutoring me in the ways of the community and I am keeping my mouth shut and listening. My first feature will be out in the next issue.
The new found stability has given me the luxury of pursuing the burning desires I have had to get my hands greasy again and build something. To this end I have joined Techshop and will be taking classes there as often as I can. My first class is tonight on FUNDAMENTALS OF CNC. This is the first in a series of classes that will eventually lead to me being able to produce race car parts using the tools at TECHSHOP. I am really excited about this.
Today I have a second meeting with a start up I am going to be doing some identity and interface design for in the next few weeks, beyond that I can’t talk about it yet (you guys will be the first to know).
So that’s the news for today, I have to get another post out of my system before I am off to my morning meeting.