Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bad Lighting, Good Bones

I continue to spend time cleaning out my father's home. In the process, I ran across some AREX pictures that reminded me of show time.

When we built AREX, we had little money. Nothing changes I guess. We went to two cars shows, Detroit International Auto Show (below) and Las Vegas (above), both because we were invited and didn't have to pay for show space.

Naturally, we didn't have any money for fancy displays or lighting. We just used the carpet and house lighting that were provided. Unfortunately, in the case of Detroit, that meant lighting in Cobo that was a rectangular grid of flourescent tubes. Looking at the first 2 photos, It's hard to believe that is the same car.

At Detroit, we were in good company as part of a 'Design Studio' section. Our neighbors were Pininfarina, IAD, and Bertone. We were right across the isle from Lamborghini. Overall, the car looked good, but the lighting was awful. Light in a line like that will highlight any surface imperfections. Sure is a good thing that the guys are so good at creating surface because any flaws would standout like a sore thumb. I guess the upside of the lights is that you can tell how curvy AREX is.

In contrast Las Vegas, with it's individual spot lights, was a dream for lighting.

This last photo was just thrown in for fun. This is the rear of the AREX frame during assembly of my car. I just like the play of all the angles. It's almost like sculpture.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chelsea Court Memories

My family has recently been cleaning out my father's house as it has too many stairs for him to live there again. Naturally, we are finding memories everywhere, both expected and lost. What's that line from the Field of Dreams; "The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces." It feels like that sometimes.

Many of the memories are related to objects known over our lives. Sometimes, the memories come from the place itself. Sunday afternoon, I was loading my car and found these kids riding their bicycles around the court circle on the first nice Sunday of spring and I remembered all the laps of that same circle I did when I was a kid.

Back then, the tree in the middle was only about 15 feet tall and surrounded by bushes. We would play racecar riding our bikes around and around. We would play war while hiding behind the bushes. We would practice basketball or hockey on this great, low traffic piece of pavement. If we got a little snow, we would slide our bikes with the rear brake locked and imagine ourselves as dirt track racers. Finally, when we talked my Dad into building a low power go cart from copper plumbing, we would drive that go cart as fast as we could around the circle.

It's hard to believe that was 50 years ago. No wonder that tree in the middle is so tall.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pet Peeve

I try to keep this blog positive, but occasionally, I just have to vent on a particular pet peeve. In this particular case, its the self-righteous Prius drivers.

I've been doing a lot of driving over the last year. Both work and life have had me putting up more miles than usual. As a result, I had more opportunity to notice certain trends, like the Prius drivers that feel like they need to control the speed of all the traffic around them. They sit in the left lane with a long line of traffic behind them and drive exactly the speed limit or even slower while ignoring others around them that want to go faster. Of course, not all Prius driver's are guilty, but it unfortunately seems to be the majority.

Don't get me wrong, I get the challenge of trying to get high gas mileage. After all, I drive a Fiat 500 and have been known to drive a little slower to get a better mileage figure on my fuel economy display. The difference is that I respect the other drivers on the road and feel it would be rude to block their progress. If I'm in fuel economy mode, I stay in the right lane and only move to pass slower traffic when it won't slow down someone running faster than me.

Somehow these Prius drivers seem to believe that the fact they bought a Prius gives them the right to tell other people how to live their lives. I just wish they would learn a little humility and manners.