Hi Ho Hi Ho I’m off to Idaho

I had a late night of packing before getting ready for my next adventure,  the trip home by way of Idaho the next morning. Aside from Drew and I emptying out our own room and getting things organized, I assisted a few of my friends in doing so. Needless to say I went to bed in an empty lonely room around midnight. Six o’clock rolled around and soon enough I was on the road heading for Idaho. For those of you who might  be new readers, my grandfather lives in Idaho and was the one who gave me the 1940 Plymouth Truck that I have…been working on. Anyways…I had his tow dolly and was using that as an excuse to come visit. This time I am hoping to stay for longer than two days though.
WP_20150515_12_24_32_ProWhile I was driving onwards I was going to be passing by the town of Hastings, Nebraska. I figured I would stop on by because Drew is going to have an internship at Shade’s Classic Corner. Shade’s specializes in Corvairs, you know the rear engine air cooled vehicles of the 1960s that had a bad reputation. Chris Shade, the owner, has been interested in Corvairs his whole life and it is arguably his favorite car, having had one since high school. He started seriously working on Corvairs for a business since 2013 and just last year moved into a much bigger facility.

I walked in the door and was met with a friendly greeting, and when I mentioned Drew,DSC_0417 they became even friendlier. Chris gave me the fifty cent tour of the place.  The first main section is setup like a dealer show room, with Corvairs across both generations, 1960-1964 and 1965-1969. There are nearly all of the body styles represented in the showroom from station wagons, convertibles, and even a ramp side pickup. Off in the corner is a Yenko Stinger, the real McCoy, not a clone. For those of you who don’t know much about Stingers, I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version. Don Yenko, a high performance speed specialist,  was tasked with converting 100 second generation Corvairs to be race cars. You could get any of these from Stage I through Stage IV, I being milder and IV being the highest performance. These are the most desirable of the Corvairs, and definitely the most expensive today. He had this one tucked on the side that was recently purchased, but also had one on a body rotisserie that he was restoring for himself.

The fifty cent tour showed me the works in brief, from the body area to where the mechanical work is done. Out back they have 4 acres which is going to be their own Corvair boneyard in the future, as cars continually come in. There were a few there already, including the main mechanics ramp side pickup that he was working on. The mechanic, Mike, was making the ramp side pickup an extended cab, which would have looked like a GM option. He was doing so out of a Corvan and adding a back window out of a wrecked ramp side. Though it was in the rough now, I could see how things were going to be lining up…unfortunately I did not snap a picture.

After the tour I was invited to stay for pizza, it happened to be Mike’s birthday so they asked if I would join them. Them being Chris, the body guy, Mike and his wife, and another woman who worked there. I cannot remember her name, but her nickname was Izzy. They said grace before diving in and made me feel very welcome, for being a random tall guy who just walked into their shop about half an hour earlier.  After talking for a while I was able to get a clearer understanding of what was happening. Chris goes out and finds vehicles and brings them back. From there the crew tries to get them in pretty good driving condition, without doing anything major and then sells them.  One couple flew in from Florida bought a Corvair and proceeded to drive it back. Chris told me that made him a little nervous, because though his crew goes through to make sure they are driving fairly well, they are fifty year old cars that have probably been sitting for many years. Things can still go wrong, luckily the couple made it to Florida with no issues.  After having talked with the crew for a while and getting pictures of the Stinger I decided that it was time to get back on the road, for I still had a long journey ahead of me. I do hope that Chris continues to do well. For those of you who are interested there will be a Corvair track day in Hasting’s at the racetrack on August 28th.  Lynn Yenko, daughter of Don Yenko will be there premiering her new book about Yenko. If you are interested and are in the area be sure to check it out. This will be its first time, so make sure to come out and support it!


Owner Chris Shade standing in front of his recently aquired Stinger

Owner Chris Shade standing in front of his recently acquired Stinger

Anyways…back on the road. I continued my journey to Idaho, passing through Nebraska and
into Wyoming on I-80. Towards the end of Nebraska I was encountering some rain and DSC_0464the radio was broadcasting Tornado Watch’s, quarter to golf ball sized hail, and severe thunderstorms. I kept driving, trying to beat the storm. It followed me mostly into Wyoming. Luckily I passed it, eventually pulling into a Sinclair station in Rawlins. I stayed in Hotel Tundra, but was forced to try and sleep in the cab instead of stretching out in the bed (I have a years worth of gear and laundry in the bed along with the fenders for the dolly which left no room for me).

I woke up in the morning and made my way out. Beside me though were some older buildings and a GMC Truck. I did notice that this GMC truck had Hydramatic Badges on the side, but looking inside I noticed that someone had converted it to a DSC_0499manual at some point in its life. Somewhat of a shame, because it is unusual to find Hydramatics in the trucks. On the way out I noticed a Push-Pull Cadillac in front of the Perkins Conoco station. These always make me chuckle, especially the line on the side saying that “PERKINS ALWAYS MOVING AHEAD”.

As I passed into Utah I encountered my fair share of rain. For pretty much the whole time that I was there I had the wipers going as fast as they could. I was a bit worried at times, because I was towing this dolly behind me with no load going through Ogden on a multilane highway with lots of people. I was very happy to make it into Idaho. I met up with Louise who escorted me to a friend’s house to drop off the dolly before heading up to my Grandfather’s Lodge up in the hills behind Oakley. Boy was I ever so happy when I dropped off that dolly. I made sure to drive a little faster and to play in the mud just to celebrate.

Soon enough I made it up to the lodge. After talking for a bit I decided to make my way to the mineral hot springs for a little road de stress. I will tell you that I really needed that. After being cooped up in the truck for a while it was nice to stretch out in the hot tub and just relax. Soon after that I walked in the house to meet my great grandfather, whom I did not know that I had. I’m starting to meet more of my family that I did not know even existed. He is 92 years old and just came from Hawaii three weeks ago. According to my grandfather he was going to be put into an old folk’s home and basically asked him if he would rather live the rest of his days in Idaho with a little more zest. So they essentially kidnapped him.

DSC_0544I talked with him for about an hour and decided that now that I had the dolly off; I should go play on the roads for a little, so I took the Tundra out and had some fun. She was doing pretty well. She climbed a fairly good sized hill and made it to the sandstone. Then…I got stuck. I was heading over to a nice grass area to get some pictures and when I backed up I went onto the trail to a very steep section instead of the gradual area I came up. OOPS. So I had the bed of the truck flush with the ground and was not going anywhere, the wheel just kept spinning. I tried taking rocks and using them as scrapers to make flat areas to give the truck a little momentum. That helped a little, but eventually I had to climb under the truck, and jack up the truck to put some rocks under the tires to get some traction. Eventually with a combination of those I was able to get myself free. After some supper I found my quarters in the upstairs of one of the cabins and proceeded to sleep, which I very much needed.


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It’s the Final Countdown…for this semester

Last week was my last week of classes and even that was not a full week. Everything is coming to a close though.

WP_20150507_10_22_16_ProIn Chassis class the shortened Belvedere was starting to resemble a real car. Our group found a radiator and support to go along as well as starting to put the darn thing together. Between the work of the two teams, morning and afternoon, she is much closer to a running  vehicle. With the many Belvedere parts between the shop and , “The Red Barn”,(a nearby storage area for the auto program) we could not find a few bits and pieces, such as a fuel pump. The good news is that the afternoon class did all the measurements for a drive shaft to be made, so the next group that comes along can hopefully pick up the pieces and make some headway. It will be interesting for the next group of people though. Our current Chassis teacher, Jon Nadeau”Ned”, is moving back to Maine so next fall we will be having someone new pickup the pieces.

Paint has also been finishing up nicely. We did make a large amount of progress on theDSC_0327 Super Beetle and was just shot in color last night. Yours truly was at work. It was really nice to have a car that the class was working on from bare metal to full paint to see the process on that. Not all of the paint classes have that opportunity to do so, because there is not always a car to paint, but I am glad that I was here to do so. I am definitely looking forward to taking Advanced Paint next semester.

DSC_0307Photography II has been pretty good, though I have to say that this last assignment has been kind of neat and strange at the same time. The task at hand is to do some Journalistic Photography following or documenting something for a period of time, preferably a week. The unlucky subject of my photography…my roommate Drew. Who easier to stalk than your roommate? I got somewhat of a weird feeling doing this, because I usually don’t mind taking pictures of Drew, because I normally do so when we are on trips or working on Ilene (his 1952 Buick Special) however it just seemed odd when I was trying to take pictures of him out in public. I can’t exactly describe it, but having other people in the shot, who are not exactly willing subjects seemed kind of awkward. We’ll see how that ends up though, it is due on Thursday, the day of my final, so I might be able to snap a few more shots.

After all of my finals finish up I will be making the trek to Idaho to visit my grandfather for a little while, then heading back to California. This summer will be pretty busy though. I will be working at Tired Iron Works, in Monrovia, doing whatever it is they need me to do.  I am looking forward to it though.

Oh. A quick blurb on the car show. The car show was very successful and seemed to go well. I was worried in the beginning because we had some rain, but it turned out to be pretty sunny. We definitely had a bigger variety this year, as opposed to last year. More earlier cars than muscle cars. If you would like to check out my pictures from the day, you can look them up here.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/100138415@N07/sets/72157652683295371

Any-who Smeltzer signing off…

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Chicago Chicago

So this year’s Business Club trip was to go to The Windy City…Chicago. The purpose of these trips are to see different aspects of business for, well business majors. Examples of such being financial, marketing, management, and such. Even though I am an Automotive Restoration major, I am part of the management track, so this does apply to me as well. Along with being able to see “business in action” it also makes a nice excuse to travel and see what I have not. For this trek 18 of us piled into a charter bus and enjoyed ourselves over a  12 hour drive to Chicago. Nothing too exciting, since we were on the bus for almost all of it, but as we passed through Iowa I realized that it was essentially Kansas, with trees. Our biggest hitch was when we were an hour out. The bus encountered some heavy traffic. We crawled about 3 miles in an hour. I think it was actually worse than L.A. traffic back home.

DSC_0705After arriving at our Holiday Inn we proceeded to see what the Windy City had to offer. We walked a few blocks from our hotel and went to a food court that had a few different dining options. There was Italian food and hot dogs, among a few other edibles. The atmosphere was going for a 1920s/1930s vibe. They even had a 1930 Chevy on a platform. I turned in early, because I am not particularly a night owl, more of a early to bed early to rise type. Oh, and a little bit of a history tidbit is that the Holiday Inn used to be Hotel Cass, built in 1925. It was named such because the street that it is on, Wabash, used to be named Cass Street. While it looked fairly old on the outside, the interior was pretty new. I might also add that there were 4 guys to a room and the rooms were about the size of some of the smaller dorms on campus. I took the floor. Luckily we would not be spending much time in there. The bathrooms were pretty small as well. As one person said “You can sh#t, shower, and shave without moving”.

In the morning we hopped into our bus and headed to Elkay Manufacturing. Elkay has been around since 1920 and primarily deals with the making of sinks, counter tops, cabinets, and such out of stainless. The nifty thing about this building was that it was made out of bricks and had a very nice architectural front entrance. I am a sucker for great architecture. We at first thought we were in the wrong place, since the front looked like something you would expect out of a corporate headquarters. Turns out it was the old headquarters, but the manufacturing was in the back. We walked through the whole manufacturing process, from the sheets of metal, through the stamping of them, to the welds, and finish. After seeing the whole caboodle we sat down in the conference room to get a little bit of a lowdown on the business as well as the different brands that Elkay makes. After our brief presentation we loaded up on the bus to head to the next business.


Group photograph at Dyson

Our next stop for the the day was Dyson, yes as in the vacuum company. Their US headquarters was indeed in Chicago. At Dyson we were able to get a panel of people from different departments to answer whatever question we might have as well as just to tell us about Dyson. The panel included people from Marketing, Financial ,and Management. All of which who were very open to questioning. They discussed a little about international business, what issues they have, what the companies strengths were and such. After much interesting, discussion we headed back to our hotel and to get dressed up a little more for dinner.

We walked over to Maggiano’s Little Italy, which was a few blocks from our hotel, and proceeded to have one of the fanciest dinners I have ever had. The place we walked into had loads of decorative wood paneling as well as our own dinner hall. Again, some pretty nifty architecture. There was a bar there and a many course meal. The next day we had our last day of planned tours. Our first stop was GKS. This was somewhat a cross between  a law firm and a financial firm. What I mean by this is that  this company funded lawsuits and at the end of it all took some of the proceeds or stretched it out to monthly bills. An interesting idea, but also sounded a little high risk and a headache to me.

Next up was a marketing firm called Zocolo. This firm was different in that it focused on social media for companies. They either helped institute social media for companies or DSC_0398improved what was already in use for advertising. Right off the bat I noticed that this was no Sterling Cooper. The people were mainly in their 20’s and very “hip”. I guess you have to be if your job is in social media marketing. The company itself is fairly young, since social media is as well, and actually did some pretty interesting work. They just signed on with Bengay, and showed off a couple of propositions that they were going with. Bengay was trying to identify itself with a younger audience, particularly the 30-50 range, the weekend warrior types. Those that are young at heart, but live a “normal life”. While I was at first skeptical about the social media scene, it is evident that these folks know how to play the field. Not only that, but the folks who worked there had a great view the city and the bay.

Inside The ACME

Inside The ACME

Our last scheduled tour stop was that of an independent hotel called, “The Acme Hotel”.The building that The Acme resides in has always been some sort of hotel. In it’s last iteration, it was part of a larger chain, but broke off to become a themed and fun hotel. I really found the atmosphere to be much more appealing than the usual hum drum of a chain hotel. This was geared towards the person who wanted more than just a place to lay their DSC_0490head down. We were guided by the manager who showed us around, as well as discussed how the Acme has been doing, how it was managed, as well, as the difficulty of establishing an independent name. The gentleman was very nice. After that it was time to do our own things and get ready for the next day. The only thing planned for tomorrow was a White Sox game, so we had until 12 to do whatever we wanted.

Tyler and I got up at 7:00 a.m. And had breakfast before meandering around the city. We zig zagged up and down the city, going through some parks stopping by a natural history museum, and walked back to the hotel to meet up the with rest of the club, some of which had woken up not that long ago.

Part of the plan was to go to a White Sox game since we were in town, why not right? The game was pretty enjoyable. It is America’s favorite pastime, and was a nice simple way to go out and enjoy a beautiful day. They ended up winning and we all piled out with all the happy White Sox fans. During the game though, one of the students posted a picture to Facebook and a graduate from last year happened to see the picture. Lance Butler, the same person who helped me work with Seven during Pebble Beach week, recently got a job in Chicago managing a collection. We happened to be about a mile away so after the game we made our way there on foot. We were not allowed to take any pictures, but I can tell you a little about it. We saw just one part of this collection which was spread out across
the city. The guy that Lance works for buys these cars for a few reasons, because he sees them as an investment, because he thinks they are neat, and most importantly because he wants to drive them.

DSC_0666 DSC_0677

Lance primarily makes sure that the vehicles are in driving condition and are maintained. The owner, whom we did not meet, mainly collected race cars and fast cars, not my cup of tea, but here were my two favorites. First off there was a fairly original 427 Cobra, yeah cliché, but the nifty thing about this one was that Lance lifted up the decklid to show us the English Wheel and hammer and dolly markings. It was just nifty to see and remember that these were all handmade. The other one I really liked was a ’69 Boss Mustang. I know I am not much of a muscle car guy, but let me tell you about this one. This was VERY original. The car had less than 20 miles on the odometer, had the plastic covers on the seats, starting instructions on the sun visors, original chalk markings on the engine, and even the original oil filter. I didn’t give a thorough examination but in the time that I saw it, it looked just as good as any restored mustang.  After that we did a lot of walking around trying to find a restaurant. The one we wanted to go to was booked so we ended up walking back to the hotel and finding a restaurant nearby and dining at that one. Boy was it nice to sit down and eat. After that it was time to get some shuteye for our journey back to McPherson.

Photo’s from the trip here. https://www.flickr.com/photos/100138415@N07/sets

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Spring Break Adventures

So for this Spring Break I decided to drive to Bozeman, Montana to enjoy a week of exploring, adventure,seeing majestic mountains and rugged forests. Things that Kansas lacks. Well, maybe I went there for another reason than just to drive from McPherson Kansas to Bozeman, Montana (maybe).

I set out on my journey on Friday the 13th after dinner stopping in Colby Kansas for the night at a truck stop , staying in the luxurious and accommodating Hotel Tundra. The next morning I made my way through Colorado and Wyoming, eventually making it to Bozeman around 7:00 p.m. at night. I was greeted by the most important reason for my adventure by my girlfriend Emma. Basically the set up was going to be that while Emma would go to class (she had spring break the week before), I would explore the area of Bozeman. When she was out of class she would be my tour guide.

 On Monday I saddled up my trusty two wheeled steed and went south toward the mountains, with no real plan. I cruised up and down streets taking pictures of cars, mountains, and whatever I wanted to. I kept riding towards the mountains and looked for a dirt road to ride, because I really missed mountains. I grew up in the foothills of Southern California. I had mountains right out my back door. I really missed mountains. The road was fairly steep in some sections and some ice on the road made it a little difficult, boy did I wish that I had my mountain bike. Luckily I had thought to bring cycle cross tires for my road bike so I had a little more traction, but my trusty 29er would have been heaven!

Tuesday I decided to spend my day taking a walk around the downtown section of Bozeman, the old town section.  There were buildings from the late eighteen hundreds through the nineteen fifties there and lots of pictures to be taken. I also went to the Gallatin Pioneer Museum, which was located in the old jail that was built in 1911 and used all the way to 1982. It reminded me of the historical society back home. http://gallatinhistorymuseum.org/
 Later in the week I drove up to Hyalite Canyon to do some hiking and to take the Tundra out. Of course it started snowing as soon as I entered the canyon, which only added to it’s beauty. I turned onto the first trail that I found, Moser Creek, and proceeded to take a walk down the trail. I took many many pictures of the scenery, and was very much awestruck.  While I was hiking around I saw some nice trails that I wish that I could have taken the Tundra on, but with the snow and  lack of Four Wheel Drive, I figured that it might not be for the best. This area obviously has some fine snowshoeing in the winter and hiking the rest of the year. Hopefully I can return with my hiking boots when there is less snow on the ground.
DSC_0064While I was in Bozeman I figured I had to hike to The “M”. The “M” was painted on the side of a hill back in 1915 and seems to be a popular destination for hikers. For those of you who are from my neck of the woods, it has, or had, the popularity of Garcia trail. I met some friendly folks and took a lot longer hiking the trail than I expected, mainly due to talking and pictures. I should mention that at the bottom of the trail there was a sign that pointed out two trails. Guess which one I took.


Perhaps one of my favorite points in the trip was later that same day, when Emma had gotten back from school, and we decided to drive up Hyalite Canyon and go to the reservoir. I hadn’t driven terribly far up the canyon earlier because I had to pick her up from school that day. This time we took her jeep. The reservoir was frozen over when we got there and I asked Emma if anyone ice fishes up here? Sure enough as we rounded the bend I glanced over and saw someone ice fishing.


After looking at the reservoir we decided to go on a very bumpy dirt road. We were both very surprised to see a Prius coming off of this road. There are some paved roads that I would not take my mother’s Prius on, let alone a very bumpy dirt one, with some snow patches still on it. Obviously in Montana people treat their Pri-I very differently. Alas, Saturday came, and I had to go. All great things must come to an end.  After heartfelt  goodbyes I took my seat and onto the road I went. Within a few hours of driving, it felt as though it was a dream and that I had been on the road the whole time.

Instead of heading through Colorado, as I did on the way there, I decided to go through South Dakota and Nebraska, mainly because I had never been to South Dakota before. My father is very fond of that state and going through there would only add another half hour to my route. On my trip I drove through some neat small towns and happened on some old junk, as I usually do. I made it all the way to Murdo, South Dakota where I made my stay for the night. As I was driving through Murdo, I noticed that there were quite a few antique automobiles in the area, in particular one museum that was close to the truck stop that I was staying at, ( yup the trusty Hotel Tundra). I wish that I had the chance to go inside, because it intrigued me quite a bit. Putting a stretched Nash in front does draw one’s attention, as would the General Lee. Unfortunately it was Sunday and it was closed.

The next morning I saddled up for the last stretch to McPherson. I can’t say that much happened on that last stretch, as I was anxious to get back. I did have a nice run in with an older gentleman at a McDonalds just as I crossed into Nebraska. We discussed school, cars, and such. You know, the usual. I managed to pull into McPherson not too long after 5:00 p.m., which gave me some time to get ready to get right back into the mix.

Yet another adventure racked up in my time here. That puts me at 38 States that I have gone through, but Montana was definitely one of my favorites.


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Prime Time!

Last Monday I had my interview to become a Residential Assistant. That essentially means that I will be hanging around the dorm, helping out students, make sure rules aren’t being broken, as well as help out during fire drills and what not. In my opinion that allows me to have more time on my hands, since I am expected to be around the dorm more. My interview went fairly well. What was really nifty is that they asked me all sorts of questions regarding communication and team building. The nifty part was that I was able to always tie it into my experiences in scouting that I have had over the years. I can thank Troop 486 for that. Everyone always says that being an Eagle Scout will serve you well in life. I am always surprised at how often this has rung true for me. There were a few funny points to my interview . First off, one of the question that I was asked was, “At the group interview’s, people thought that you might be too rigid for the job” That was when I asked, “Was that related to when I mentioned if I found someone passed out that I would see if it was sleep deprivation, narcotics, or alcohol abuse?” Turns out that wasn’t the case but I said, “That was my parents coming out of me, because they are both law enforcement”. All of the interviewers said “OH that explains it” and chuckled a bit. When the interview was “finished” they asked me if I had any questions for them or any questions that they did not ask me. I told them , “You never asked me why you should hire me?” Again They chuckled at that a bit too. Lastly I asked if I could still have Drew as a roommate and if he would have to pay full price for a room, since I was technically working off the room. Again I made the interviewers laugh. They were laughing that I was “negotiating”. Apparently I was also the first person to ask that question. Evidently most R.A.’s don’t have roommates to begin with, so asking if the roommate could get the room cheaper was out of the norm. Drew and I have a standing offer that if the other didn’t make the RA position that we would be roommates and try and get a free room. Yesterday I received the email saying that I did get the position, so I am very excited for next year.

DSC_0289The next biggest event of the week was our Friday night prime time on the Beetle. The beetle needs to be finished as soon as possible so some of us from the two paint classes volunteered to come in on Friday night and spray. I had work until 8:30, so I came straight from the cafeteria. I missed most of the last bits of sanding and came in at the fun part. It was suggested that I paint the roof due to my height and reach. So I donned a paint suit and started. I was the first to go, so I was a little nervous. After going through and doing a few coats of primer and DSC_0468primer surfacer we finished …around 11pm. It was extremely fun and exciting though, because only earlier that week I had a used a paint gun for the first time and here I was priming a car.

In case you are wondering the car was primed in the red and the surfacer after is gray. Until next week……


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Lights, Sanding, Action … (or not).

This last week was nothing fancy.

WP_20150210_10_26_28_ProStarting off with working on the ’54 Belvedere again. The transmission wasn’t shifting from the first shift fork, Reverse & First to the second shift fork, Second and Third. To investigate the issue, we unbolted the transmission from the bell housing, placed it on a work bench and took the cover off. When shifting the gears manually on a bench they seemed to work fine. After pondering and conferring, we determined that there was just so much slop in the linkage, that there was not enough leverage to pull the second shift fork over. Great. Easy street right? Wrong. When we tried to put the transmission back in, it would not go in. We removed the bell housing  to see if it would just slide in, without going blind. No bueno. It turns out that the pilot bushing was bad, so right now we are on the lookout for a correct one. I’ve called a few parts suppliers and whenever I mention HyDrive, they shudder and say that they do not have that. Oh yeah, that is part of class. Finding parts. Its an adventure, but if I intend to do this for the rest of my life, I gotta learn the ropes now and finding parts is HUGE. Needless to say just the word HyDrive make most suppliers deaf.

WP_20150210_13_04_35_ProDSC_0022In Paint class, known as Sanding 101 among some of the students, is mainly that. I’m not complaining about that, because I know that it is a vital part of the painting process. The good news is that I finished working on the motorcycle fender and am now working on the beetle. My current task is to sand the rear quarter area on the driver side. I only was able to work on it for about 15 minutes on Thursday, but hope to have that area completely to bare metal by the end of the week. If I recall correctly Mr. Green, the professor who most people know as Garrick, wants to have the beetle ready for primer in two weeks. While working on the motorcycle fender I was taking some sandpaper and wet sanding it slowly by hand, it was nice to get some power tools on the bug.

V__5275[1] V__2C60[1]In Photography II I had to do some experimenting with with light and positioning them in different places. The assignment was to do so with a tea cup and saucer, then branch out with some personal items, being less than 12″, less than 24″, and greater than 24″.  I ended up doing a little 32 Ford Coupe my sister had given me, one of my fedoras, & my bicycle. It was actually hard to find something that was over 24″ tall that wasn’t terribly big and easy to carry around, because I have a bunch of truck parts that fit the description but they are a little bit bulky. The bicycle one’s didn’t come out so neat, but the coupe and the hat had a few nifty ones. I’ll be doing the same thing this week, but with two lights in the set, as opposed to just one. We will see how that works out.

Also , in my free time, I have been working on some picture frames , for a certain someone, and they actually came out pretty nice.  I was able to use my woodworking skills from last semester to personalize a special gift. I am pretty happy with how they turned out.

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I’m back…again…hopefully

Don’t lecture me on how long I’ve been gone, I know. I get it, and I am sorry. I truly am. Unfortunate as it is, you the reader were pushed to the side in favor of me doing homework and attempting to have some small attempt at a social life. It was a good semester, and this one I will be just as busy. Evidently staying idle is not in my blood. I am enrolled in 19 credit hours and I am working approximately 20 hours a week, plus whatever homework I am doing.

I am going to try a different strategy. Instead of doing a long blog post that has loads of pictures and details I am going to try and give smaller updates. I figure it would be better to tell you what is happening a little at a time as opposed to nothing. So this one will be a little longer than ones in the future, to set the stage. Hopefully I will be able to update you, but only time will tell. Also I now have an Instagram page where I share photos a little more often if you want to find me there. Ca_in_Ks.

As I stated earlier I am enrolled in 19 credit hours and working a fluctuating schedule generally at 20 or more hours. The reoccurring theme is time management. Moving onward though. My class load 2nd semester is consisting  of American Literature II, Automotive Paint Restoration, Chassis Restoration, Managerial Accounting, Photography II and Sophomore Seminar. This myriad of classes will definitely keep me busy. I’m going to highlight a few of my classes that I will probably be talking about in the future, particularly Paint, Chassis and Photography.

In Chassis Restoration we will be going over the components on the chassis of the automobile, steering, brakes, suspension and so on. Currently we have done drum brakes and a little bit of introduction into braking systems in general. The biggest part of this class seems to be that we have broken up into three groups to work on three different automobiles. There is a Model A , a late twenties Model T, and a 1954 Plymouth Belvedere, which is what I am working on. The goal is to turn them into complete and functioning chassis. From what I have deduced the Belvedere is a car that was donated about 7 years ago. The person who originally wanted the car restored, poured a lot of money, (around 80,000 I believe) into her. The shop that was working on the car apparently bought a couple of parts cars to help with the restoration and “claimed” to have done some work, though it appears that they didn’t do too much. Another story of shop fraud…a terrible thing and far to often occurring. So that’s how we ended up with the car. It is actually a decently rare Plymouth, in the fact that it has Hy-Drive. What is Hy-Drive? I’m glad you asked. It is essentially a Fluid Drive, but further refined with a torque converter. It’s really interesting, but I won’t go into detail, because I don’t want to bore anyone that is just smiling and nodding at this point. If you want to read more into it you can read a good article on Allpar .


One of my more interesting classes this semester is Paint Restoration. I joined the class a week late, because I didn’t realize that I had a more open schedule than I originally thought. Each person has their own project right in the class that they are responsible for. Everyone is in the sanding process right now. Most people are working on a 74 Super Beetle, such as , doors, deck-lid and such. From what I have hear, the story behind the bug is that the German Car Club of Kansas was restoring it to raffle off. It apparently wasn’t being worked on by the club, so somehow we made a connection  and agreed to work on it. I also believe that the auto program will get some if not all of the proceeds from the raffle. Some of the other projects that students are working on is the Mustang fastback, which needs a little bit of everything as well as some fenders for the Stutz Blackhawk. I am working on sanding a motorcycle fender. It was partially painted already, but they ran out of paint, as well as a few other details, so we need to start over. Note to everyone make sure you have enough paint before you start a project. I don’t know a hoot about painting, so this should be a good course.


Finally I am going to talk about my Photography II class. I am really looking forward to this class, because I enjoyed Photography I so much. You have probably seen several examples of my work if you are here. I am also the owner of a fancy Nikon D40 now, that I was given for Christmas, instead of the point and shoot that I have been using since forever. I learned so much in Photography I that honed my skills, primarily using film, that I am looking forward to making my digital pictures better as well. I have already learned how to manually control most of the features on my camera, which I never did before, so I can only get better.


As the semester progresses I’ll try and post a little on how the classes are going as well as anything exciting that happens around here. Thanks for your patience, and I am glad your still here!

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