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Same Old New Year


Man so many things I have been wanting to post about, but just been so busy as usual.  It seems like every couple months I get really stoked on blogging and keep with it for a few days, and then shit comes up again and I can’t find the time to do it.  I even thought about making it my New Years resolution that I would post to my blog every day, even if it was just a quick update about shit that I did that day.  Well, 10 days into the new year, that obviously isn’t happening.  I’ll just make a list of the shit I’ve been wanting to update about, and elaborate about the ones that are interesting…

  1. I dislocated my shoulder for the first time since the surgery last feb.  I have no idea what happened, but I think after riding in the desert all last weekend with KJo I just beat it to death (even though it didn’t hurt after riding all day), and on Tuesday I was getting into the shower and just reached out with my left arm to slide back the shower curtain and it dislocated.  It hurt so god damn bad.  It was dislocated for about 2 hours, I could not get it back in and finally went out and got in the spa to try and get it back in the socket.  Usually its easier to get it back in when submerged in water so it takes all the weight off, but it still took an hour in the spa to get it back in.  Finally got it back, but it has been killing me ever since, feels like a nerve is pinched and just intense pain shooting down my arm to fingers, and the fingers on my left hand have been pretty numb.  Of course all of this happens right now when I don’t have insurance due to my recent job switch…
  2. Things at ESET are falling apart. I finally left ESET after nearly 3 years of employment.  It was a great job and probably the best way to start my career in the Information Systems field, and I definitely gained some irreplaceable experience, but things were just not working out right there.  Although in 3 years I had gained a “management” position, having 2 full time employees and multiple interns reporting to me, my official title never progressed past “Supervisor”.  Call it superficial, but I became accustomed to seeing employees with less than half of the tenure I had with the company be promoted on a regular basis, yet I never received a promotion or managerial position based on merit.  Even my supervisor title was only given to me after it being denied once, and then I had to ask for it the second time.  Other departments had managers who were younger and less experienced than I was, yet I was always told I needed to “put in my time” in order to reach the position I wanted.  This started to wear on me, as I was one of the original employees of the company, nearly 90% of employees there had less experience than myself and a few others, yet I felt like I was being passed over for no good reason.  I had reached a point where I was not learning on a daily basis, and seemed to be more in maintenance mode.  I knew at this point that it was time to see what else was out there so I could expand my horizons and see how my career could progress.  It was getting hard for me to be happy staying in an atmosphere where I saw new people being hired for positions that existing employees were denied for, for reasons that amounted to nothing but blatant lies.  After 3 years in the industry it became obvious we were grossly underpaid compared to standards (not even reaching the 5th percentile in most cases), and it really became frustrating the way that certain new employees were regarded differently from those that had shown loyalty for years.  These concerns, in addition to feeling stagnant in my career, led me to look elsewhere.
  3. I started my new job! About 3 weeks ago I started my new job at Defenseweb.  I left ESET to pursue an opportunity at a government defense contractor, and I couldn’t be happier.  I always wondered what it would be like to work somewhere that I was stoked to be at work, and now I know – its awesome!  Unlike my previous position where I was regarded by my boss as the kid he hired out of college, I am regarded as a professional with a legitimate, valued opinion in all matters.  (Tangent: At ESET I never felt like I was taken seriously, even though I was given (After asking and being denied multiple times) a supervisory position, I was never paid accordingly for it, or told that I was doing a good job at it. The fact that I went back to school to pursue my MBA and further myself in education was not appreciated, hell my boss would not even take the time to write me a letter of recommendation for my application! Not to mention a fellow employee was hired as a business analyst to help keep my projects on track, and she lied about being in school for her MBA telling blatant lies supported by our supervisor to keep everyone ignorant of their lies.) My supervisor at Dweb has faith and trust in me, proven by just the tasks and projects I have been assigned in merely 3 weeks.  I am working in project management on a Army contract using Virtual Worlds (Second Life) for interaction and communication between deployed soldiers and families.  Not only do I really love and enjoy the work that I’m doing, I can really put my organizational skills to work in the field of project management.  There are tons of additional perks to this job as well, I work a 9/80 compressed work schedule, so I get alternating Fridays off, as well as great benefits, an on-site gym and pool, and a huge kitchen stocked with red bull, sodas, water, coffee….its awesome!  Such a bright, young, and new office that reminds me of the dot-com offices of 2000.  There are many employees around this company that have been there 4-5+ years, which shows me that this company really takes care of their employees, and I can see people go the extra mile to help the company out.  A great second job and move in my career, I can’t wait to see where it takes me!
  4. I had to tell my neighbor, Model T Jim, that his friend (the original owner of my house) was dead. The other day I was working out front on my dirt bike, when I noticed an old man slowly walking up the driveway.  I said Hello and asked him if I could help him out.  He asked if Jim McFarlan was still around because he hadn’t seen him lately.  I let him know that Jim had passed away in  2006 and that I doubted he  had seen him recently.  Apparently Jim is our neighbor who used to take walks and talk with Jim McFarlane (The original owner of my house, and he built it with his own hands).  After explaining this to Jim, he started checking out the cars we are restoring, and we got on the topic of the Model T.  As awkward as it was telling old Jim that his buddy had passed away 4 years ago, we got off on a great conversation about the beauty of the Model T.  He told me all about the first T he bought when he was 15 for a grand total of $5 – pretty much the same story my grandpa told me, where him and his 2 brothers bought their first model T for $15, they each contributed $5 and were always working on it to make sure that it was running on their day to drive it.  I always look for Model T Jim when I drive down the street now, and say hi when he’s out for a walk.  A great old guy with tons of knowledge about the cars I love.
  5. Finally got Jollicloud installed on my NetBook, and WOW is it the best OS out there for netbooks! jolicloud1229183481701ft7[1] I have been waiting for a stable version of this distro to come out for quite a while, and it finally has.  This is by far the best netbook linux distro, and its based on Ubuntu.  It seems very stable, and primarily uses apps that rely on the cloud so you aren’t doing much locally.  There is some really cool twitter, gmail, and other google apps integrated that make it very quick and easy to get at the stuff I do most often.  I would definitely recommend it if you have a recent netbook – works great on my ASUS eepc:
  6. My ‘56 and Evans ‘55 are going to be featured in the March edition of World of Rods! Jason was down this weekend and did an unbelievable photo shoot. My good buddy from home, Jason Mulligan, was down a couple weeks ago, and he is the editor for Street Trucks magazine.  One of their sister publications is a hot rod magazine called World of Rods.  I’ve been joking with him for months about getting my car in a magazine, and he finally pulled some strings and got our Star Chiefs in the March edition of the World of Rods magazine.  They wanted an article about twin brothers having twin cars – ironic indeed, but it should turn out to be pretty cool – we went down to fiesta islands and took some great shots of the cars on the beach.  I can’t wait to see how it turns out, I’ll definitely have it posted up when its done.
  7. Jason also got my F-150 to be used in a tech article for Street Trucks mag, They are installed AFE intake and full cat-back exhaust system for FREE! As if the magazine deal wasn’t cool enough, Jason had a company that advertises in Street Trucks who has recently come out with a full cat back exhaust system and intake for the 2009 F150.  They wanted to do a full tech write up on the install and then dyno it and show the gains.  He was able to get my F150 to be the candidate, and its going up to AFE on Friday to have it installed and tested – for free!  I can’t wait to hear what this bad boy will sound like with the new exhaust system, and I think the intake should provide some decent performance gains.
    49-43015_400[1] 54-11622_400[1]
  8. Check out these videos of the intake and exhaust:

Evan and Ian Sell a Truck, Hilarity Ensues


TrucknBoatWe put our ’04 F150 extended cab long bed up for sale since its just way too long with the boat and our driveway.  We are selling it to get another truck with just a regular size bed that will have a better turning radius.  The response off CL has been insane, so many people want this truck…apparently long beds are hard to come by.  We weren’t exactly ready to get rid of the truck immediately since we still needed it to move some equipment and take the boat out to the lake on sunday.  Some guy had cash and wanted it NOW, Evan told him that it wouldn’t be available until monday, so he emailed Evan this morning with a poorly spelled but nonetheless hilarious message:

Evan:

Looks lije you don’t want to sell your truck……

I don’t recall ever, when i was selling a car, having the customer with the cash at hand, and playing hardball like a god dam’n moron with my hand out… waiting to get paid !!!!!

Sounds like an idiot’s scam…..

to which Evan replied:

Hi Martin,

Thanks for the great email.
I apologize, I left my phone at work yesterday, and did not have it with me last night at all.
I saw the missed calls from you, and just got your message.
I was about to call you back, explain what happened, and see if you wanted to pick the truck up this weekend, but I decided to check my email first.

Thanks to your email, I’ll pass on that.
Surprisingly, at the low price I had the truck posted, you’re not the only one that called on it. You were next in line to look at it, but I don’t appreciate getting this kind of message at 8:30 in the morning.
Thanks, but I’ll just call the next person, the truck will be sold this weekend.

I’m no scammer, and this is no scam, I’m selling a nice truck for a killer price, just not to you.

Evan

EDIT – THE GUY WROTE BACK:

I am very sorry for that mail Evan, I was drunk and angry, because some guy on craigslist send me a check on the mail wich was a fraud, and yesterday I had the money in my pocket all day to buy your truck. So again my apologies for hat email.

HAHAHAHAHahahahhaHAHaHaHaHahahaaha~!!!  Classic!

Crowning Achievement in Craigslist Deals


nyone who knows my brother and I knows about our little side business. We have been buying and selling cars, trucks, and motorcycles off of craigslist for the past couple years, fixing them up, and reselling for normally double our money. It has actually been pretty lucrative…I picked up my ’97 Honda XR400 dual sport (Green stickered and plated) for $1750 cash, and it was in flawless shape. Used it for a year, and then just sold it for $3000. Thats over $1200 profit! We’ve engineered quite a few deals of this nature, but just finally pulled off the best one yet. Not that there is anything underhanded or shady about what we’re doing, its just that a lot of people have a motorcycle that "has an unfixable electrical problem" that we pick up for $100 and it turns out to be a dead battery, replace it, and sell for $700. A lot of people are ignorant and don’t want to do work themselves, and therefore can’t fix simple problems. This is where we come in and make some serious bank off of them.

Our dad always taught us to fix things ourselves, buying us our first car at 16, a 1966 Ford Mustang. Before we were even allowed to drive it, he made us build working models of V8 engines so we understood everything about them. Then we pulled the car apart and went through it completely. It was an awesome father/sons project, and made me appreciate the knowledge of knowing how to do all this myself.

Back from that tangent, we had recently acquired a couple of older trucks after selling our 1959 Ford Fairlane Galaxie 500 . We had a 1977 Dodge Ramcharger with a 318 V8 to tow our boat, which we picked up for $3000 from a local guy.

We used that beast all of last summer to tow the boat the 2 miles from our house to the bay and back. Next, we picked up a 1967 For F250 Camper Special, only because a lady was forced to sell it and we got it for $900. It had a fully built 352 long block, and hauled ass. Anyway, this was just an investment, intended to be used for a bigger deal down the line. All in all we had about $4500 invested in these two trucks after repairs, but we wanted something reliable to tow the boat long distances (Havasu) this summer.


WIth these two beasts sitting out front of our house, it looked like a trailer park, and we started looking for something better for towing. A guy up in Ventura contacts us a couple days ago about his 2004 F150 with the 5.4l V8, fully loaded. He inherited the truck and wants to trade it for both. 90,000 miles, rebuilt trans. It was a work truck, but is still in great shape. He came down yesterday, and we swapped straight up. She needs a few minor things, putting on new rotors this weekend, and prob shocks too, and I’m on the lookout for a set of tires…but trading $4500 worth of Old iron for $10,000 worth of F150 is a hell of a deal no matter how you put it!

AmericanTrucks has the Ford F150 truck parts and Ford truck accessories to have you hauling ass in style!

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