Monday, March 23, 2015

People we want to have a drink with in the Beast's cave

We have worked several years to get the Beasts Cave set to fit our purposes. We have Slot cars, Trains, Home Theater system with surround, wireless access and satellite, Kegerator, 'Fridge, recliners and tons of toys.

Over the last 2 or 3 years we have talked about people we would love to have stop by for an evening of movies, racing, a few drinks, a few hands or all 4. Here's a partial we have come up with so far, in no particular order:

  • the Editors of Jeremy Gilby Dot Com: would love for Jeremy to stop by next time he's passing through town and show us some of his bar tending talents.
  • Allison and Brian: you have a standing invite.
  • Russ: you owe me a visit, Brother!!
  • Laura and family: invite standing for you too. Would love to show the little guys the trains and slot cars. They would have a ball!
  • Larry Greene: been too many years, brother, since we had a get together.
  • Leo Whelan, Carvan Adkins and John Allen: too many years, guys.
  • Mark Bacon: still in the same place. Come on by.
  • Jonathan Frakes: we binged through all the ST series last year in order and decided Riker was our guy and at the top of our list. Would love for him to stop by and have a few (drinks and hands).
  • Russel Crow: he speaks his mind, like us, and doesn't apologize for it. You are welcome here.
  • Clint Eastwood, William Smith and Geoffrey Lewis:  watched Every Which Way But Loose/Any Which Way You Can many a time in the Cave. Would love to have ya'll stop by and share your life's stories.
  • Michael C. Hall, David Zayas (Dexter), Jeffrey Donovan, Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice): loved your shows and the chemistry onscreen. Would like the opportunity to thank you for the hours of entertainment.
  • Dad and the Brothers from Legends Of The Fall (Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quin, Brad Pitt, Henry Thomas): your telling of this story has really touched our lives and made us realize we were born in the wrong time.
  • Any of the guys from Landry's Cowboys, especially Randy White, Ed Jones, Drew Pearson, Cliff Harris and Charlie Waters. Also Joe Montana, Frank Pollard and Joe Greene. I spent my teens and twenty's watching you guys. That's when football was special.
  • From NASCAR: Dale Jr., Kevin Harvick , Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski and, yes, Jimmie Johnson (BTW-it's NOT all your fault): you guys have to come by and race with us.
  • William Shatner: I have to buy the Captain a beer (and may be able to rustle up a little Romulin Ale).
  • Chris Pine: When he hit it big in ST and went to the Oscars he took his dad...I salute you, Sir. This is a guy I have to meet and have a drink with.
  • The entire cast of Porky's: busted a gut many a time watching these movies. You are all invited.
  • Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady and Drew Carey: some of the sharpest and funniest guys around.
  • Sean Connery and Daniel Craig: The original and the latest. Not going to even try to pick a best one, can't be done. We can do shaken and not stirred here.
  • Ron Perlman: a legend in our time. One of the hardest working and most talented guys in film today. Can't tell you all the stuff this guy has done that has motivated us. Just want a chance to thank you.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone: Conan and Rocky/Rambo have a special place here in the Cave.
  • Linda Hamilton: one of the strongest and most beautiful women in the world. She also has a special place in the Beast's Cave.
  • Emmy Rossum: My dear, you can sing to me anytime.
  • Any and all memebers of Celtic Women: your's is the music I  will hear when I get to Heaven.
  • Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson: Yes, the Punisher is welcome here.
  • Ben Foster: a chameleon in our midst. This guy is capable of being anything or anybody. What a talent. Let us buy you a drink, my friend.
  • Clifton Collins Jr.: another chameleon. Come by and see us.
  • Gerard Butler: Timeline, Phantom Of The Opera, 300, Law Abiding Citizen, Olympus Has Fallen...need we say more? Would love to meet you, sir.
  • Mel Gibson: want to sit and chat with you for a while, my friend.
  • Graham Greene: you are one talented individual. Love everything you have done. Would love to chat with you.
  • Nicholas Cage: Another one of the hardest working guys around. Take a break and come sit with us a bit.
  • Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill: you guys have told some wonderful stories. Would love to meet you.
  • Sean Patrick Flannery, Norman Reedus, David Della Rocco, Billy Connolly, William Dafoe: with our Irish heritage we have to have a drink or two or ten with these guys.
  • Ron White, Larry the Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy and Bill Engvall: you guys were made for our Cave,
  • Giorgio Tsoukalos: You HAVE to come by next time you are in Dallas!
  • Alexandra Bruce: Spend some time with us here...we have some conspiracy theories of our own that you haven't talked about yet.

Monday, July 28, 2014

No one blogs anymore.

Why does no one blog anymore? I admit I am 'chief among sinners'. Guess it's all about FaceBook and Twitter these days. I have a twitter account but for some reason I have resisted getting on FaceBook. Not saying I never will but for now I just don't want to. I have been on the cutting edge of technology since day one but for some reason FaceBook is a road block. I remember back when I got out of the 'Family Business' back in '97 or so (before pocket cell phones and such) and all I had was a beeper (remember those?) and that little S.O.B could find me ANYWHERE! The day I closed the deal to close out the last holding of the Family Business I walked out of the office, took the beeper off my hip and smashed the damn thing on the ground.

Guess that old rebel instinct has followed me to today. As for FaceBook: as one of my students told me back a few years ago "Oh...That's just for college can't get on there."

OK. So I won't. For now.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

I lost my dearest friend, Bill Gilmore, last week.

He slipped on the ice after the ice storm we had and never recovered. Met Bill about 4 years ago when I went to the local slot car track after deciding to get back into the hobby. He immediately took me, my grandson Tyler and my son in law under his wing. He invited me to his house for the first of many work sessions to show me how to build competitive cars. He has shared knowledge, parts and tools as well as some rather profound wisdom. Most important of all he shared his love. We have been best of brothers. He adopted us and made us his own.

Here's Bill and my GS Tyler at one of the group races we had at his house earlier this year

We have spent many hours either at his place or mine, building cars or just talking. We solved all the world's problems many times over while sharing tools and a good drink.

Losing a loved one this close to the holidays is no fun and the last week or so has been tough on all of us in Bill's family but I decided today that I was not giving in to sadness and grief. I know where Bill is and that we will see each other again someday. We talked about eternal life and salvation too much for me to think any different. I won't ever forget Bill and his open heart.

Here's a picture of us at a race in the Beast's Cave a couple of years ago.

God speed, Bill. Keep the track warmed up and the cars tuned. I'll see you in a little while.

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

And then the Angels sang...

I this a small taste of what we get to listen to when we get to heaven?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Who said it?

One of my favorite celebrity quotes of all time:

"The whole world is three drinks behind. If everybody in the world would take three drinks, we would have no trouble."

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wimpifying America

From WildBillforAmerica:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Who Am I...?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

White Christmas in Texas

This is the third white Christmas we have had here in Dallas in five years. Very unusual...darn that global warming!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Who said it?

 "A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government”

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

UPDATE: The Final Voyage

I just read that at the inactivation ceremony for the USS Enterprise the Navy announced that they will indeed name the next carrier, CVN-80, the Enterprise.

May God continue to protect "...little children and ships named Enterprise."

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Merry Christmas...

...and remember: Si vis pacem, para bellum.


The Final Voyage...

In case you haven't heard, the USS Enterprise has just finished her final voyage and is scheduled to be inactivated on December 1st. This is the 8th ship in the US Navy to bear the name Enterprise. There is a wonderful history of all 8 at the official Enterprise site. Enterprise VII still stands as the most decorated ship in Naval history. It's sad to me think there will be no Enterprise roaming the seas watching over us. There was a movement to name CVN -79 Enterprise, but that one was named after John Kennedy and is scheduled to be completed within the next 8 years or so.

But, there is always hope:

This is an online petition to name CVN-80 USS Enterprise. If you are interested I encourage you to go sign one of these so that hopefully this name can live on.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Only one try...

My Beautiful Wife is correct. The quote in the previous post is from non other than the icon liberals hold high and dear:
John F. Kennedy

Monday, November 19, 2012

"A rising tide lifts all boats...

...It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low -- and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now. The experience of a number of European countries has borne this out. This country's own experience with tax reductions...has borne this out, and the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget -- and tax reduction can pave the way to full employment. The purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budgetary deficit but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy which will bring a budgetary surplus."

Who said it?

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

It is hard to tell of happiness...

...time goes by and we feel safe too soon...

To all the people who made tonight possible: I salute you

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Holidays have begun...

...hope you have your track shoes tied, it's the start of that mad dash to New Years

That is, if we make it past December 21st.

Merry Thanksgivoween, ya'll!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Checkers or Wreckers?

How about both

My buddy Bill assembled the bodies, painted & decorated them. He then built the chassis and tested/tuned them. We used these for our 'IROC' race last December (each vehicle stays in the same lane and each driver  drives each one) and everyone had a ball with them. We will probably use these for our September race.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Great Experiment...the next big step

I told you there was a reason for the sparse posts the last year or so, been wanting to put this up but really had to wait to get to this point to do it. Waaay back on 11-6-09 I posted about the toy train layout we built for the kids and I hinted at the next thing: giant slot car track. You may have guessed by the video in the post a few days ago that we finally finished it. Well, finished is a relative word. I don't think this sort of stuff ever really reaches a 'final' finish, you just reach stages of 'that's it for now' finished. The last thing you want something like this to turn into is 'work'. That takes all the fun out of it.

First thing we had to do was get the Cave cleaned out...over the last few years since building it everyone and their dog had been 'say..mind if I store some stuff down there for a week or two?' which turned into a month or two then finally a year or seven. Issued the ultimatum in the summer of '09: you want your crap, come and get it or get it off the curb. Once we got a nice open space to work with
is was time to finish the floor
The trains were added next
(still love the site of these in the dark)
Then it was time cover the trains and build a grid for the slot car track. We decided on HO scale (about the size of Hot Wheels cars but with motors) since that's what I have collected most of my life

Thanks the Lord for table saws, electric miter saws and air nailers. Had to leave a gap behind the grid so we could get in when a car came off. After experimenting with various elevation changes we decided on a final layout, cut a roadbed out of some donated pegboard (thanks Chris!) for the track to rest on, bought a good power supply and wired everything up temporarily then ran it that way for sevearl months to make sure this was the design we wanted before nailing things down a little more permanently. Decided not to cover the grid with plywood because of expense (that stuff is really expensive) and also wanted to keep the weight down and make it easier to run permanent wiring later on.

After about 6 or seven months I hooked up with group of local guys that go to a commercial track every Friday and race. Each year they do a series where once a month they go to different guy's houses and race. Got my GS and SIL hooked on it and next thing we knew last August we were agreeing to host the final series race for 2011 in December. That meant we had 12 weeks to take sheets of Styrofoam glued to the grid in some areas; layered to make terrain changes in others & rasped down to even the slopes; wads of paper covered with masking tape to make rolling hills in still others; all covered wtih plaster cloth and painted to look like the Rocky Mountains from the video in the previous post; install a timing system on the old PC and run it to the flat screen we bought for the back wall (and run cable and blue-ray for 'guys nights' while we were at it); add some checkered flag skirding around the whole thing to turn THIS
into THIS
We did add a 1.5' extention to the middle section so we could build our drivers stations, moved the side straight out to the wall by 15" and built a 12'x5' platform over the trains to protect them and give work space on top for when we have everyone over. Each lane is 105.6 feet in length and has the same number of left/right turns. On the old T-Jet HO cars from the '60's it takes about 16 seconds to make a lap but with the new A/FX Mega G magnet cars that get's cut to about 7 seconds. Every raceway needs a name so we decided to name this one (what else?) THE BEAST. So on 12-10-11 we had our series final race. There were about 20 people there. We managed to get some slot car parts makers from around the country to donate door prizes and had enough for everyone to walk away with several extras. Everyone seemed to have a good time

Our next big race is scheduled for September 8th. Place is a complete mess right now, have to get busy cleaning it up! Well, not sure if this is of much interest to the general population but at least now you know why I have been MIA much of the last year or two. That's the next step...boost the wireless to reach from the house down to the cave so I can stay in touch a little better (since my Beautiful Wife has gotten on FaceBook I don't get as much time online at home as I used to). My 'train' invitation still stands: If any of you are ever in the Dallas area get in touch! Come by! We can run trains, race cars and who knows...might even find something cold and tasty in the fridge!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

#9: Update

I've been terrible for not posting the last year or so. No excuse for it...well, maybe a reason, more on that tomorrow. Forgot to post that GC #9 arrived safe and sound on 9-15-11. She is growing like a weed, sweetest thing in the world and, needless to say, has Grandpa wrapped around her little finger:

Breck Amber:

So far she and Sissy are getting along great:

It boggles my mind how much each of them look like their mother and aunt at the same ages, then I see pictures of their dad at the same age and I see them just as much in him. Really neat how 'fearfully and wonderfully made' we all are.


NO ONE... gonna' mess with my girl