A Whirlwind Year

september 5th, 2019

Despite working on things here daily for most of the year, I haven’t really posted any updates since I told you Happy New Year.

Let’s fix that!

In February we took the little one to the Aquarium for the first time, we had a blast! It was a nice way to break up the winter and see some new things!










In May I saw Endgame and cried tears of joy and sadness. Great way to cap an awesome series of movies and 10 years of world building. I am excited for the next phase, but I don’t think it will hold as special a place for me following the loss of my favorite Avenger (and this Sony-Disney mess. I hope this comment doesn’t age well…).

It also brought us the end of Game of Thrones, and to that I say – GOOD RIDDANCE! What an awful way to end a series that was so promising all along. The writing was lazy in last two seasons, and the entire arc of the Nightking and Jon Snow was utterly wasted. If it did anything for me, it prodded me to revive some old fiction I had been working on since High School and give that a new look.

It also provided some great memes.

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In late May I was asked to spend a couple of days out of town to remodel a store. Queue my first ever exposure to framing a room, working with a jackhammer, and doing plumbing. I had a great teacher, and the finished product looked great after finishing and paint!


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In hindsight, May was a big month for projects. Last fall I picked up a pair of battery powered Power Wheels vehicles for our son, hoping I could redo them and get them in working order. Finally in my May I was able to get one in working order and get it painted to my liking. I am thrilled with the outcome of this project and cannot wait until I get a chance to do the second one later on. It also helps that the boy was thrilled and eager to learn how to drive!

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In June I took some of the knowledge from my bathroom build in May and used it to do demo and finish work in our own bathroom. The tile work was contracted, but in a day following completion I was able to get it all back in working order. The completion of this project also spurred the discussion of our next house and when that might take place.


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July was no exception for projects. With a new chop saw and circular saw in my toolbag I was able to get some kitchen fixes done and convince the Mrs that it was time to build version 1 of my flight and VR chair. For a couple of weeks in June and most of July I worked on it and I am impressed and pleased with the results. Inspired by the Buttkicker LFE VR chairs I saw online, this rig is a beast. I plan to do a detailed writeup with costs and materials at somepoint, but for now this will do.

It’s a seat from a 16 Ford Fusion on a 24″x 24″ base on five 3″ casters. It has folding arms for throttle and stick mounts, and the tabletop has mounting holes for a Saitek flight yoke. Under the seat are 2 Buttkicker Gamer 2 units. The USB wiring is run to a single hub and fed out to the machine on a 3′ usb cable. That wire, along with the two cables for the buttkickers and extensions for the Rift are run from the bottom in a single harness to the machines.

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I took a short break in the latter half of July to enjoy some of the Summer with my wife and son. We made our first trip to the zoo on the second hottest day of the summer, or so it felt! It was a great day despite the heat and humidity, and the train ride at the end was the perfect cap to my sons amazing day at the zoo!

For 2 years now I’ve been talking about 3D printing, specifically for odds and ends like the irreplaceable parts on our kitchen drawers. A year ago I drew up an image in Fusion360 after a couple of weeks of Youtube training, but I never did anything with the drawing. In July, one of my wifes coworkers hooked me up with a print of my first drawing and I was only off by a single millimeter!

The second print was dead-on, and after 7 years of having 3 inoperable drawers they finally work as they should!

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Back in January my wife gifted me the experience of a lifetime – a chance to take a ride in a P-51 Mustang.

The timing came together in August and I found out that it wasn’t just one flight, but 2! The first flight was in a Beechcraft Bonanza, a single engine 6 seater a touch smaller than the Beechcraft Baron 58 I’ve spent a couple of years flying in the simulator. To my surprise, the pilot had me on the controls for a majority of the flight – including taking off and performing some basic turns and maneuvers. It was the greatest hour of my summer so far, cruising at 165 knots 4000 feet about the ground. After some instruction and heavily assisted touch-and-go landings, I said farewell for now to the pilot and hope to take a ride in the Mustang before the end of the year!


Rounding out August was a fishing trip in Manistee where I hauled in the biggest fish in my life – a whopping 30 inch king salmon! It was a tough 8 minute fight, but it is a victory I will savor for a while!

And finally I returned from a long weekend in South Carolina with my family just before Hurricane Dorian arrived.

It has been a whirlwind year of new experiences and exciting projects. Content here has suffered, but hopefully my experiences can create some new projects and stories that I can share later on. Besides, if I wanted to keep anyone current, I’d have Facebook!

Hopefully your summer has been enjoyable and you too have tried some new things or gone to new places. I’d love to hear about them!

I’ll try and update again soon, but you know how it goes around here.


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