In 1996, a truck pulled into the back yard and the driver unloaded
what appeared to be a totaled Chevy Camaro, that had likely had been in a fatal crash.
I was later told it was a stock race car. Three months later this car drove unto the Devils Bowl
Race track as the first of four #38 race cards Mike would drive for the next 9
years. Toward the end of that season I bought a jumker with a #9 taped on
the side for the express purpose of driving it on my 60th Birthday. I did
and I was well ahead of my younger son until turning toward the checkered flag
where I sideswiped the wall and blew up two tires stopping 100' from the
finish. In 1997 we rebuilt that car as the #39 and turned it over to my
son Pat Jr. There would be 3 more #39's before we retired from the track
in early 2006. Pat Jr. works part time as the compliance inspector at the
Devils Bowl and does the same 8-10 times per year with the National Hot Rod Assn
in the SW Area. Mike presently races incredibly high performance electric
powered RC trucks in an indoor dirt track. There are still some scattered
remnants of that era at our abandoned web site
NASCAR satisfies our racing desires these days
Computers-Software and Web Development
in the 1970's, an inventive co-worker introduced me to microprocessors. In
1978 I built my first computer and subsequently learned how to write and compile
programs in Basic language. Hobbies are supposed be fun and relaxing, but
computer hardware and software do not provide that luxury. Instead they
drive you to the brink in keeping up with the technology and in the process drain
you mentally and financially. Yet you keep coming back for more abuse.
In 1989 I began developing websites and getting deeper into server technology.
In late 2007 I built the web server you see in the panel on the left.
Surprisingly, this is the only project that has not taunted me or asked for
service beyond the norm. It has been running for nearly 4 years without a
single hardware or software failure. It takes its automatic updates from
Microsoft and prods me to open the case and blow out the dust on an annual
basis. I can affirm that Microsoft server software is a heck of a lot more
stable than their run of the mill operating systems.
Video Editing and Production
In 1990 I
began converting 8MM movies to VHS using an early version of Adobe Premiere and
a Matrox AVI input card. By today's standards it was crude, but state of
art at the time. In 1995, fully digital non-linear editing hardware was
becoming more predominant
pricing was coming down for faster PC's and high capacity hared drives. At
this point I realized I was too deep into this to back out. By 2000 I
transitioned from simple editing of pre-recorded video clips to doing on-site
taping and video production. This was a slow learning process, but in
2008, I co-produced a two hour documentary on Linda's 50th class reunion with
one of her classmates from Germany. We had developed a story board for the
flow and had all of the video clips, photographs and documents assembled in May
of 2009. We released the production between Christmas and New Year.
I now have different slant on the complexity of making a movie. More
recently I filmed and produced a four hour Folk Music Concert at the grand
opening of the Keller, Texas Library. It was good, but it would have been
great if the sound guy had an understanding of what the knobs on the
sound board were for! And of course I have and will continue to film
and edit my daughter's annual Dinner dance at North Central Texas College.
She is in a special needs program that is part of this school But
looking forward I am not sure if I really want to take on another major project.