Friday, April 24, 2009


Just recently the Stewardship Committee of the church had it's first meeting. It went extremely well and the ideas flowed fast and furious. Lots of creativity and energy! I'm looking forward to sharing more of what we came up with once it's formed. We looked at the programme recommended by the Diocese, but then took it a few steps further that take it into new ground. More specifically, we've cup with a way of making it more missional. I'll write more about what we have in mind later...

This week has been busy, I'm definitely looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning and then having a relatively light day at work. Perhaps I'll finally finish editing the video from Sunday's sermon!

Lately I've been intrigued by the possibility of building my own sports car--specifically a variation of the Shelby Cobra. I'm not talking about building a replica of the 60's era car, but rather marrying the classic styling with the best of modern technologies. For instance, you can build a cobra-like roadster with anti-lock breaks and an advanced dual-overhead cam, fuel injected engine. Many people do this by buying a used Mustang to use as a "donor." The engine, transmission, breaks, power steering etc. are then used in conjunction with a kit that provides the frame, suspension, body, etc., etc. The other option is to build car completely from new parts, also with a kit. Either way, one the most popular such kits, made by Factory Five, is designed to keep project costs to about $24,000 (including the donor car) and 200 hours of labour. That's an extremely reasonable price (both in terms of time and money) when you consider that the typical Cobra kit-built car can outperform almost any production exotic sports car. Even with a 350HP V-8 it can accelerate faster than a Porsche 911 and is only beaten in 0-60 by the $650,000 Enzo Ferrari! If that's not good enough, you can get even more powerful engines until you reach the car's design limit of 1,000HP. Yes, people have put a 1,000HP engine in a 2,000 lbs convertible!

A Factory Five Mark 3 Roadster

These kits are available from a number of different companies, and there is a very large community of helpful enthusiasts to lend advice during the project. Reading about it on-line, I'm extremely impressed by what "average joes" have been able to build in their home garages without a lot of special equipment or even experience at car-building.

So my fantasy is to spend two months some summer building my own car by hand. Alas, this will probably have to wait a few years until whatever kids we might have are off to University and I've got both the time and the money to do such a project. I'm reminded of the New York Times reporter that built a Cobra as a father-son project. Maybe when Betsy and I have kids I'll take on a project like that with my son or daughter. We'll see, I'm getting ahead of myself!

Why do I find this so compelling? I think I just enjoy the craft of building something as complex and sexy as a really hot car. I get great satisfaction from using a computer that I built myself, and this is really just an extension of that. What can I say, I like building stuff!

Speaking of ORAC (my computer)... That project went extremely well. I've had no troubles at all with that set-up. At least, not from a hardware point of view--Windows Vista can be temperamental sometimes. But I find the processing horsepower of that beast very helpful with all the video and audio editing I've been doing lately.

Anyway, time for bed. I'm tired.


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