It’s my birthday!


That is all.


A Day at the Races – Charlie the Charger on a Performance Run

My favorite thing to do on a beautiful sunny day is drive with the windows down and the music up. But in Northern Virginia, Charlie has all these horses and no room to gallop.  Finally, while we were bored after lunch this weekend, Girl and I decided to take Charlie out for a proper ride. 

Empty parking lots are surprisingly hard to find, even on a Sunday south of the Mason-Dixon.  Even the high school driver training course was in use (which would have been PERFECT!)


Luckily, we found a huge, completely empty parking lot for some electronics company (which totally didn’t have any ‘No Trespassing’ signs…)

And the rest, as they say, is history.




I love the smell of burning rubber in the morning.

The Space Shuttle Lives On

In LEGO form…


The anticipation builds…


Not one but TWO thick instruction books.


All the bags of pieces…


Two boxes worth.


The crew.


Ground transport.


Wings taking shape.


Main landing gear (retractible)


Cargo bay taking shape.


Main engines


Completed cargo bay, robotic arm, and satellite cargo.


Liquid fuel tank.


Completed model!

Pull a SolidPrank!

Bored at work?  Did your boss leave his computer unlocked again?  Have some fun!

1) In SolidWorks, go into Tools >> Options >> System Options >> Colors

2) Under ‘Color Scheme Settings’ scroll down until you find the Sketch entries

3) Change the colors:

   Change Over Defined to blue (0,0,255)

   Change Fully Defined to red (255,0,0)

   Change Under Defined to yellow (215,215,0)

   Change Invalid Geomery to black (0,0,0)

4) Try not to laugh when your boss comes back.





Welcome to the South, here’s your gun

So, I was bored this weekend, and I resolved to do something fun no matter what.  I’ll admit, for the last six months of living on my own, far away from anything familiar, I’ve had a very hard time.  Weekends are awful because I find it very difficult to go out and do things alone, so I usually stay in.  But this time, I was fed up, and I needed to do SOMETHING.  Preferably nothing I’d ever done before. I needed an adventure.  

To the Internet!   

I started to think about what I could do here that I couldn’t do back up north, in an attempt to make my time here seem a little more worthwhile.  Then I realized… I’m in the South. What would YOU have thought of?



Now, I’ve never fired a gun before in my life, excluding those that shoot paint and foam.  But it’s no secret that they’re a huge part of the culture down here. Especially for defense employees.  Just as an example, this is what I pass every day on the way to work:


That’s right. Gold AND guns!  Can it get any better?  Additionally, there are no fewer than ten – count ’em – TEN gun-related organizations within 20 minutes of my apartment. Not to mention that the headquarters of the NRA and the national firearms museum are a quick hour’s drive north in DC.


So, after a full 6 months living in “the South” I felt obligated to finally spray something full of lead.  This something would, of course, be made of paper, but I still think I did my duty.  I looked up the closest indoor range and (after a quick bite at Friendly’s) headed over.

My first conversation with the guy behind the desk went something like this:

Hi, what do you need?



Yup, need that.


That too.

Ear protection?



What do you think?

He then gave me that “Ya ain’t from ’round here are yoouuuu?” look and got all the stuff out. I confidently asked for a SIG 9mm, because I wanted to sound like I knew what I was talking about, but in reality, I only knew it from NCIS.


He then sent me back to the firing line with zero guidance whatsoever.  While it wasn’t difficult to figure out, I was nervous as I tried to determine how to load and ready the thing without shooting myself in the foot. (Don’t worry, this was never a possibility).  I did however lose my first round because I though I had to pull the action back to cock it.  Apparently doing that just causes the first round to fly out and roll under the bench.

I did eventually get the hang of the mechanics of the thing, but – as I expected – accuracy doesn’t come easily.  For us video-game snipers, the first feeling of real recoil is an eye-opener. We would die in two seconds if we ever had to defend our delicious brains from the zombie horde. About halfway through I realized I have a tendency to pull to the right. I tried to compensate, but ended up somehow aiming high.  See the pictures of my targets below to see how I did as a first-timer.