Sunday, November 20, 2011

St. Augustine

So this weekend we had a little fun. Britney, Josh, Lindsey, and I drove up to St. Augustine for the day, which was a Saturday by the way, mainly to watch the lighting of the town and to go to the Ripley's Museum. But we did some other things here and there too. Fun fact: St. Augustine is the oldest town in the US….and it shows. I ended up driving, which I had no problem with, I actually really wanted to see how the Kia would fare on the interstate at 75mph. Shockingly…..ok. Not great, it shakes and sounds like the engine is running around 5K rpm, but it made it there and back, and got pretty great gas mileage too! I'm proud of my little Kia.

Anywho, back to the important stuff. We ended up driving straight to the Ripleys museum, which was alright, not as great and grand as I had expected. I think the TV show was better than the actual museum. But they also had some pretty cool stuff, like a thirty foot erector set ferris wheel, and this spinny tunnel thing that makes you feel like you are falling when you walk through it, when you are actually stationary. Its sort of like walking down a spinning barrel with a platform bridge down the center, but it really messes with your head and made me feel kind of sick.This poor old man, probably in his 80s, was in front of us in this thing, holding onto the railings with his life, taking a step every three seconds. It had to be horrible for him.

Then we  headed to the Castillo de San Marcos, which is right next door. I really wanted to go in but it was like six bucks a person so we said forget about it. I think we probably missed out though. It was pretty neat to see something that old though. You don't really get to see three hundred year old things around the States too much. After the castle we walked around town a bit, checked out the old stores and restaurants and such. Pretty touristy place.

Later we headed to a winery that was nearby, but only after getting lost in the ghetto of course….I think. The neighborhood looked like a ghetto but they all had pretty nice cars, so I'm not sure. Hmmm. Anywho, the winery was kind of a letdown too. Everyone that worked there seemed pretty disinterested in their jobs and in us. It was kind of a large winery and you could tell that they give tours constantly because they just send you with a group of people and you stop at four or five different stations to taste a couple of wines. Some were good, some weren't. Getting free wine is always good though.

Dinner was ok, just some bar/restaurant with some pretty odd live music from an older man who would literally just pick random strings on his guitar then tell a weird story about Walmart or some girl he met. Maybe he was being innovative, or maybe he had done too many drugs in his life, I don't know.  We ended up missing the actual lighting of the town by the way haha. It was during dinner, which was a few blocks down the street. The lighting of the town was a pretty big deal in St. Augustine, I mean they had bands playing and vendors and the whole nine yards. Once we got downtown, it was awesome though, really impressive! So me and Josh got out our celebratory cigars that we had bought earlier in the day, and destroyed our lungs and the lungs of various nearby children with them. Ahhh, good times.

Oh, we also stopped by Flagler College on our way to the car. That is one beautiful place! I was in awe of how elegant it was! We went into what looked like their union to use the facilities (pisser), and it was like we were in some type of kings court. Not the bathroom (although they were also very nice), but the whole place. So if you get a chance, google it or something.

So that was our Saturday. We drove home after that.

Heres that tunnel

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

1992 Jeep Wrangler

A few years ago I was surfing craigslist, like I do very very often, just checking out some things here and there, you know, seeing whats on the market. I still had the BMW at that point and I don't think I wanted to get rid of it yet, I just wanted to see what kind of Jeeps were for sale. And I came across this little gem. It was a 1992 Wrangler with a 4.0L, 5 speed, 4 inch suspension lift, nearly brand new 33inch ProComp mud-terrain tires, nearly new aluminum rims, hard top, full steel doors, all for only $2800! I told Britney that I had to have it and I could turn a profit on it in no time. It was a steal! Its hard to find a lifted Jeep with a 6 cylinder, hard top, and steel doors for that kind of money. So Britney loaned me the money (she had some inheritance money from a great aunt) and I promised I could pay her back in full. It was an investment!

It did end up having a little bit of rust on the frame, actually I think it was a hole, right where the rear shackle was. So my dad fixed that in no time. Really, I think the only other problem with the Jeep were cosmetic issues: tore up drivers seat, "custom" spray can paint job, dings and dents everywhere, missing parts, no rear brakes(no biggie), that sort of stuff. I did end up doing some things to it while I had it though. I found a guy that was parting out his Jeep and I ended up buying a spare tire and mount, roll bar padding, and a couple others things that I can't remember.

Man was that a great little Jeep though. Brit loved it too, probably even more that I did. We were planning on selling it right away for a profit but ended up keeping it for like 6 or 8 months, it was just too fun to get rid of! We took it offroading a couple of times, loved going cruising out in the country with the top off, and I loved just puttin' around town in it. I drove it so much that I just parked the bimmer for weeks at a time.

Heres a funny story: I had just posted the Jeep up for sale, and maybe two days after I am driving through Lafayette, going to the mall or something, and its raining pretty good out. Im daydreaming, like I usually do, and everyone in front of me stops pretty hard, but not hard enough that would normally cause and accident. Well, unless you are in a lifted Jeep with mud tires and no rear brakes. Needless to say, I locked up the front brakes, slid a good distance, and smashed into the car in front of me. No one was hurt, but the car was smashed up pretty good. Heres what happened to the Jeep: one fog light fell off. That's it. No other damage. Maybe some scratches in the bumper, but its hard telling because they blended in with the other scratches. The car I hit ended up getting over $5000 in damage, which ultimately totaled the car. So I JB welded the foglight back together, and sold it a few weeks later. I ended up selling it for $4300, a good little $1600 profit. I ended up buying my DSLR with the money I made from it. We still reminisce about the white Jeep from time to time. I should have never sold it. Towards the end though, it was developing some transmission problem. The clutch would make a weird sound when disengaged. And the track bar broke off in the rear. That's not essential though.

This is from a few days after I bought it.
Here is when Brit and I got stuck at the Badlands. I drove up a hill and didn't see this massive drop on the other side….
 Here are the photos I used for trying to sell it.

 Oh I forgot that I also put new taillights on it, I always like these type of taillight so why not put them on the beater Jeep?

This is out at Brits moms property, we went down to the creek a lot in the Jeep

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Recent drawings

Here are some recent drawings that I have been doing. Since we've moved to Florida, I had plans to do a bunch of paintings and get into galleries and all that jazz….but thats not really what happened. Actually, I started doing some car drawings just for fun and haven't gotten around to painting too much, just some things here and there. But everyone really loved the drawings so I just kept doing more and now thats pretty much all I do.

The new Chevy Camaro ZL1
 BMW M3, just sold it the other day!
 Heres a Porsche Spyder 550, I dont remember what year it is though.
 (Crappy cell phone pic) This was a commissioned drawing, the same car as above, just modified to look exactly like the owners
 This is a Confederate X132 Hellcat. I've always been a fan of Confederate motorcycles, so I drew their most recent bike! Which isn't even finished yet haha.
(Another crappy cell phone pic) This is a commissioned drawing for a tractor dealership, this is an Apache Sprayer. Just finished it today actually! I have one more tractor I have to draw, which I will probably start tomorrow.
So there you have it! Thats what I've been up to lately.

Monday, November 14, 2011

1997 BMW 328iS

Vehicle number two, the bimmer. I sold the Jeep during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college. Since I wasn't allowed a car as a freshman, it didn't bother me that I couldn't drive long distances in the Jeep, but since I would now have to drive to school and back often, around 100 miles one way, I needed something a little more reliable. So I bought a BMW.

I found it in the Auto-RV, it was a salvage car and only cost $3700…..for a BMW! That wasn't that bad a price for a 9 year old car! So I bought it, had to replace the hood, front fender, grill, radiator support, headlights, front corner lights, fog lights, and a bunch of other small things, and it was good to go! I ended up selling my Jeep for around $7300, so I made out pretty good on it!

Man I loved that car. It was sooo fast! And surprisingly economic, it usually got between 25-30mpg, depending on how I drove it. But it did have its fair share of problems over the years, everything from replacing the same rear wheel bearing twice, to the water pump exploding and shredding the fan and belt, leaving me stranded in the middle of nowhere during the middle of a very cold night. Actually, it has left me stranded more times than all of the other vehicles combined that I have owned……but I still loved it! I remember shortly after I got it fixed, I drove down King road out in the country and thought "lets see what shes made of"…..before I knew it, I was doing 130mph. I know that these cars have a limiter of 155mph, I bet it would have done every bit of that, but I got too scared and had to slow down. It was night afterall…..

Oh and the sound that it made! Sounded like a Ferrari or something. I loved the sound of that engine, it sounded so clean and in tune. Most other engines sound clumsy and unbalanced. It was so torquey too. It had a lot of low rpm power, you could go from 60 to 80 in no time without even downshifting. What a great little car!

Specs: It had a 2.8L straight 6, around 190hp(new), automatic trans, leather, 6 disc cd player (that didn't work), AC (that wasn't very cold), I didn't do too many modifications, most of the money I spent on it went to repairs like drilled/slotted brakes, shocks, engine parts, suspension parts, ect. I did make an intake for it out of PVC pipe and an Autozone cone filter with a custom heat shield and air scoop coming from one of the brake ducts…..but other than that I didn't really do any modifications to the car. I bought a few different types of wheels for it over the years though…..I like wheels haha. And this was another car that I loved to keep clean! I was in the car wash what seemed like once a week, and waxed it regularly.

Anyway, I had it for a few years, from 2006 to 2010, I ended up trading it on another Jeep Wrangler, which turned out to be a huge mistake because the bimmer was right where I liked it, (almost) everything was fixed on it, and I really liked how it looked and drove. Oh well, you live and you learn.

Here it is shortly after I got it fixed and road ready!
 After the first set of wheels.

 This was a regular occurance…..underneath it fixing something. Actually I think I was putting the air scoop on that ran up to the air filter.
 Shortly before I sold it :(

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cars-1995 Jeep Wrangler

Ok, I gotta do this. I love cars. Every since I was a kid I have loved cars. I remember as a child, I don't know exactly how old I was, I wanna say 5, but I vividly remember one Sunday morning before church, my dad and I were watching some drag racing on TV and I was sitting there with a pencil and paper drawing the dragsters. That's one of my first memories of drawing btw. But anyways, that's how long I have loved cars. In this post I want to write about my cars, the ones that I have owned and loved over the years. I know that I'm young and I've only had a few, and no one really cares about my cars, but they were important to me, and this is my blog dangit, so I'm going to write about them!

My first vehicle, and probably my favorite to date, my 1995 Jeep Wrangler. What a beauty she was! I got her when I turned 16, and probably poured every penny I made into it! My dad was the rightful owner before me and he decided to let me have it because he wanted another, newer Jeep. What a blast we had with those things! We often frequented the sand dunes in Michigan, and I went to the Badlands offroad park a few times with mine. I remember one evening driving home from wrestling practice (I think), both me and my dad in our separate Jeeps, and the Yellow River was flooded over 3rd road. So of course we had to plow through it! Or rather, float across it, because thats actually what we did. I know that the water was up to the body on mine, and up to the doors on his! Thats a good 30 inches of water I'd say. And oh the memories: going muddin several times with my buddies who also had Jeeps, almost hitting a pole while I drifted around a corner on a dirt road, running over my dog with it, getting in trouble with the police for driving over huge stone piles on the side of the road….stuff like that.

Anyways, some specs on the Jeep: 4.0L high output inline 6 engine, 3 speed automatic transmission, K&N filter, Flowmaster 40 series muffler, no catalytic converter, (eventually) three inch body lift, four inch suspension lift, 33inch Super Swamper Thornbirds, Pioneer sound system with 6X9s in custom built boxes and an 8" sub behind the back seat, I think it had 187,000 miles when I sold it, but it ran like a champ! And it was very very clean…..unless it was muddy, which was often. I kept good care of it though, polishing the wheels at least twice a year and washing it probably once a week. What a great vehicle, I should have never gotten rid of it. I only did because I had started college and it wasn't very practical to drive on the highway, it only got about 10mpg. Plus it needed new tires and I couldn't afford them at the time. I'll post on the other ones later in time, its getting late. Enjoy the photos! I don't have many, I've lost most of them all over the years.

This is when Andrew and I drove up on top of each others Jeep after school one day, it was very impressive. I took these photos with the old camera we had to borrow for photography class.

 This is shortly before I sold it :(

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

List of Impossible Things

For starters, I had a job interview today, FINALLY! It took me 4 months just to get an interview! Granted I didn't really try looking for a job until two months in, I just really wanted to succeed at making art. BUT, things don't always turn out as you plan. Anyway, the interview was at a golf course. Brit had found a job posting online somewhere for maintenance on the golf carts for the City of New Smyrna Beach Golf Club, like cleaning them and whatever, and I also applied for just any available position. I'm not confident on how the interview went. The actual position was just part-time for doing little things around the course, like edging the sidewalks and cart paths and sand traps, trimming trees, string-trimming, just stuff like that, which I am pretty qualified for considering I was crew leader at a lawn care company for a year and its also pretty much the exact same stuff I did at the cemetery. But I also felt way overqualified. My interviewer inquired a little about art and photography, so I told him that Brit and I own a photography business and I mainly do artwork but business is suffering since we moved down. I don't know, I just felt like I gave him no reason for me to get a job trimming at a golf course. Oh, plus I have to take three weeks off at Christmas time in Indiana, we already bought the tickets and I'm not going to work alone in Florida while everyone else is enjoying Christmas without me back home. I feel like that was the final blow of the interview. Oh well, we'll see what happens.

Ok, back to my list of impossible things! I've had the idea for a while of writing down my bucket list, or things I would like to do before I die. What prompted me lately was one of my friends had started a thing called the Blog of Impossible Things, which is basically a list of things that you feel are impossible for yourself to do…..and you do them. Brit and I both did this, and they are pretty similar but not really haha. I can't wait to get started too! Some of the things I wrote down I feel really are impossible for me, especially the physical ones. I feel like it will be an ongoing thing, but here's what I have so far:

-Travel to every continent in the world
-go skydiving
-go bungee jumping
-write a book
-drive from coast to coast across America
-bike from coast to coast across America
-climb a mountain
-run a marathon
-learn to fly an airplane
-be vegan for a month
-be in a race (cars)
-go one year without driving a car
-participate in a triathlon
-bench press 300 lbs.
-don't shave for one year
-change someones life
-own a gun
-perform guitar and sing in front of an audience
-save a life
-walk where Jesus walked
-learn to surf

So there you have it, my impossible list thus far.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


So this weekend was chirogames at Cocoa Beach, which is when chiropractic students from all over the county come to compete in various different sports, Britney was signed up for tennis. We got there Friday evening, went to dinner at a place called The Pig and Whistle, or something like that. It was a bar….and bar food is always good food. We didn't really do much Friday night though, just hung out in our room with our roomies Josh and Lindsey and drank a few beers. All the other students there were crazy though! It was like one giant party all weekend long. I know that a lot of Palmer students stayed in the same hotel as us, actually I think all of them did, and they were absolutely nuts! It was a madhouse outside. Makes you wonder about doctors….

In the morning we had breakfast then drove over to the tennis courts where Brit was playing. Oh by the way, it was freezing Saturday! It was in the 60s and cloudy and windy. I didn't like it. Anyways, we watched a few matches here and there, and waited for the time when Brit would get to play…..but it never happened. The whole thing was pretty unorganized so no one really knew what was going on, and it turned out that some guy didn't show up for the team that Brit had to play, so they had to forfeit. So I guess she technically won, but was pretty peeved that she didn't get to play at all. So we left and had lunch and drinks with some friends, watched some beach volleyball competitions, and watched the air show. Oh by the way…..there was an air show going on! It was pretty awesome! There were fighter jets breaking the sound barrier and doing tricks and stuff, it was pretty sweet. We were at the point on the beach where they would turn around and head back to the good spots, but it was awesome nonetheless. After that, and going back to the hotel to nap for a few hours, a group of us headed to dinner to a place called Fish Lips, or as I would call it, Fish Tits haha. Probably the coolest part of the whole trip was right before we went into the restaurant, there were like four or five Navy guys (and girl) parachuting down from a military plane to the restaurant! They landed somewhere across the street from us and I later saw them at the bar. It was freakin awesome! What show offs. I took a picture of it with my phone.

So this morning we got up and headed home, stopping at Dunkin Donuts first, of course. While we were walking up, a man (I can only assume he was homeless) with his bike was sitting on the sidewalk trying to get my attention, so I went over to talked to him. He said something about the weather then asked if I could get him a couple of donuts because "he looooved donuts". So I said I would see what I could do. The guy in line in front of me said that he had already given him a dozen or so haha, so I brought him back one, a sprinkle one (good thing he looooooved sprinkle donuts) and he was chit chatting about  how when he was young, before him and his friends would go surfing, he would stop by Dunkin Donuts and recalls the coffee being soooo hot that….I'm not really sure what he said about it being hot actually haha, but he did mention that he would put his donut on the dashboard of his car and the heat would melt the icing off, so he would put the melted icing into his coffee. Seems logical. Anyways, we shook hands and parted. Brit and I ended up taking the long way home, through Cape Canaveral. I really really really wanted to see the launch pad…..but we never did. I'm not really sure where it is. We did see the Kennedy Space Center though, and some type of astronaut hall of fame. I really wanted to go to the Kennedy Space Center, but I'm sure we will visit it in a few weeks when Abby and Trent come to visit for Thanksgiving. We are supposed to see a rocket launch then! Can't wait!

So anywho, that's how the weekend went. Brit and I started writing our Bucket Lists tonight, but this post is getting long so I think I'll postpone that. Bye!

This cup was in our hotel room, thought it was funny.
 Heres Josh "planking" the beds
 You can just barely see one of the Navy guys (or girl) parachuting

Friday, November 4, 2011

New Post

Well I finished my book last night, Beautiful Outlaw. It was pretty good. The ending was great I thought, very thought provoking. I won't go into detail, you'll just have to read the book yourself…..or at the least the ending haha. But no, the whole thing is worth reading. I just started A Catcher in the Rye tonight, I've always wanted to read an old book like that and I've had it forever, just never got around to reading it.

Not much to talk about, I really haven't been up to much this week. Brit's mom commissioned me to do a couple of drawings for the salesmen that she works with, she wants to give them to the guys as Christmas presents. She works at a tractor dealership, so one of the images will be of an Apache sprayer and the other of an old tractor that her boss owns. Pretty cool stuff, I'm excited about it. I love commissions because I get to be knit-picky about the drawings and I actually have a deadline, so it makes me work harder. If I'm not commissioned for a drawing, I get lazy and it takes me forever to finish a drawing with sacrificed quality. I'm also doing a painting for our friends Josh and Lindsey, they found a painting online that they wanted to buy, but they also wanted something unique and something from me in my type of style, so here I am making them a painting! But it is based on the one they were going to buy, and I'm ok with that. (I don't really like reproducing other peoples work). It looks pretty cool and is different from what I usually do, but I'll make it my own.

I did get to create some (what I think is) unique forms of art this week. I don't know, I was just sitting at the computer and saw Brit's camera next to me so I started messing around with it, taking blurry images of what was on the screen. And I thought they looked pretty cool! So I took about 200 more haha. I messed around with different colors and different subjects like the blinds on the window or the lamp or the ceiling fan, and created some pretty cool looking images. I did some editing in Photoshop too, but not much. I'll post some pictures at the bottom. I think they look pretty "modern artish". I'm gonna try to sell them on etsy, but I'm pretty doubtful of that site. I've tried selling things on there before but it's next to impossible (for me), it's just so large that its hard for people to find my stuff! We'll see how it goes.

Brit and I are going to Cocoa Beach this weekend for "chiro-games". She is playing tennis for her school against other chiropractic schools. It should be a good time, I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lets make it a book

I think that someday, when I get around to it, I would like to print out all the pages of this blog and make a book for myself. I think that it will quite enjoyable to read later on in life when I have most likely forgotten what its like to be young and cool haha. I'll be old and mean and Ill probably yell at children for being too loud, so it will be nice to reflect on how nice and wonderful I used to be. Actually, I would really like my children to read it and see how daddy used to be, especially if something happens to me before they are old enough to know (aka die).

Yeah, I think I'll do that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Beautiful Outlaw

Like I said in last nights post, I'm reading a book right now titled Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge. So far its a pretty good book, kind of slow at first but picks up speed. I'm just over half way through it right now, so I'm getting into the meat and potatoes of it!

Basically the book is about the true personality of Jesus. I say "true" because, as mentioned in the book, religion over time has made Jesus into a sort of cartoon figure that is good and holy and perfect, but not really.......real. He is kind of monotone, with a serious expression on his face, and yells at you for doing bad things. He is put on a pedestal. He is made out to be too holy for us. His robe was always brilliant bright white and his hair always perfectly shampooed and brushed. And that is kind of depressing because it means that he is not equal to us. But I agree with what John is saying in his book.....that Jesus was a real person with real feelings and real pains, just like us. And he had a personality like the rest of us, he was joyful and playful and fierce and angry and sarcastic like us. At one point in the book (this really set me aback) he explains that Jesus "left Judea and headed back once more to Galilee." Usually when we read that in the bible we pass over without any further thought.......but that's over 70 miles away! And he walked! In sandals! Several times! Imagine the blisters! Did you know that in the original version of the bible, there was no Thou or Thee? They didn't write Jesus' words in red? They didn't even capitalize the H when referring to "him"? Over the years we have glorified him so much that it is setting him apart from us, he is too good for us anymore. And thats a shame, because I don't think that was Gods intention.

The purpose of the book is just great because it brings into perspective what God did for us, sending his son to die for us....for the sole purpose of wanting to be closer to us, wanting to be at ground level with us, not be some unattainable, fierce warrior God that we should constantly fear. But he wants to be friends with us. He wants to let us know that he knows what we are going through, because he did the same things we are doing. I know that this is not ground breaking but when you read the book it makes it much clearer, you realize that its more than just words that you've heard over and over, it's.......well, real.

I thought of this the other day, Jesus was just an ordinary person right? He looked like a regular human being, dressed like one, walked like one, talked like one, because....well, he was one. What if God were out there today somewhere in the world? What if he were just an ordinary person in the mall, that guy with the potbelly that sits and watches everyone walk by? What if he were that person that you honked at or cursed at in traffic because they were going too slow? Or what if he were that waitress you sneered at for forgetting to take the onions off your burger? Or what if he were that person you passed and ignored instead of saying hello? Or that guy you laughed at because he looked funny?

I think that he is all of those people.

How terrible would that be if I laughed at God because he looked funny?