Vancouver trip

What’s New


Here's a brief run down on what's happened since 1/1/2019 when I retired from UC Santa Cruz. 


Dog shows in Palm Springs, Ventura, Del Mar, Las Vegas, Turlock, Vallejo, Venice Beach. Lots and lots of rain. New Apex tires and wheels for the track. Homework club. New this summer is Junior Lifeguards, swim lessons, and more dog training.

We've got one of the grand-nephews in swim lessons and Junior Lifeguards. The other kids are participating in basketball and art classes.



In Other Autocross News

Turns out I wasn't the only car to lose a headlight during an event. Back in June on my first run, the drivers side headlight shot out of the car while I was in a full brake at the finish. 

The lights on this car were already starting to show a lot of crazing, but they were not chipped or deeply scratched. This kinda thing makes your gut sink when it happens. A replacement is $2,500 and then of course you need 2 so they match... 

AutoX 2023 Season

Well, its the end of the season for me. I got a chance to participate in the 10/28-29/23 dates at the Salinas Airport. Car felt good and both days I felt like I was improving my line and dropping my times throughout both days.

Byrne Family

Came across some shots of Grandma Inez's side of the family. This first photo is of William Harry Byrne who worked in the San Francisco Fire Dept.

Inscription on back reads, William Henry Bryne born July 14,1859 Mobile Alabama

Here's a shot of Grandma Inez

McMillan Family Wheat Harvesting Shandon

I recently came across some very old photos of wheat harvesting in the 1895-1904 time period. I'm pretty sure these were in Aunt Tootsie's storage. One has Phillip's stamp on the back.

On the back is an inscription in my mom's handwriting. Shandon Hills McMillan Canyon. This team took wheat and produce over Questa in a 2 day trip to market in SLO and came back with supplies the family needed according to Ross McMillan.


So, I may not have picked a peck, but I've had a pretty successful harvest this season. These were Costco pepper plants (Jalapeno and Fresno). They got fertilized and watered when dry. Plenty of 100+ days in the greenhouse this summer. My strategy was to do fewer plants spaced further apart. It seems to have worked.

Junior Guards 2023

So, we've got a new Junior Guard. I was one back in the early 70's. Brad was one in the 1980's. Now we've got a new one. It's a huge program with at least 60 9 year olds. They don't do pillow fights anymore but I see lots of good discipline and it gets used on me when we play games... e.g., "ok, I'm the captain and Lynda is the LT and you drop and give me 10".

You Can Only Have One

For a short period of time in 2021, I had two Porsche 911's. But, you can only drive one at a time and the 2013 is a lot faster...

So, the black 2001 996 went up for sale. I included some track wheels and tires in the sale. Due to the pandemic, it actually sold for slightly more than I bought it for. I held it for six years and put over 60k miles on it. Here's some shots.

Terrace Project


In late 2021, we began a terrace project to our lower hillside. We had come to find through a property survey that we had approximately 100' of slope to manage. In an effort to comply with Firewise principles (brush cutting, defensible space), we figured that grading, retaining and adding astroturf would give us more space for kids and dog training. Along the way, we built in some additional steps and planter boxes.

The project finished just prior to the Winter of 2023 and the heavy rainfall we had. We some minor damage to gravell paths but that's fixable.

Apex Wheels

During a group buy from Apex, I bought a set of 19" forged wheels for the track. In early 2023, I finally got a set of Falken Azenis RT660's installed. I've put a few days of AutoX on them, but haven't got to the track yet. 


Winter 2023

The Santa Cruz mountains took a lot of rain this season. I know I dumped my 5 gallon bucket at least twice. We saw some erosion on our new pathways that will have to be fixed.

In this shot, we see the beginning of a 5 day outage where one huge douglas fir took out more douglas firs as well as the power and utilities coming up hill. We did ok on solar and batteries for a few days but given the weather conditions and position of the sun, we fell back on to our dual fuel generator.

Gazelle Medeo T10+ Ebike

Lynda bought me a new bike for my birthday. I did a lot of research and test riding. I landed on this Dutch made bike and have put about 1200 miles on it so far. I've been working on sections of the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club's Mountain Challenge to see if we can tie a 50 mile section together. 

I've had a chance to put the bike on the Jeep and take it to some of the dog shows we've been to this past year including Napa and Palm Springs. 

Here's some shots.


Homework Club 2023

We helped out with homework this year on Wednesdays. We picked the kids up from their half day, brought them back and worked on reading, math, bike riding, scooters, skateboards, tree climbing, baseball, etc. Here's a few shots.

When not in individualized study, we go outside.

Here a physics lesson is certainly being discussed. Alterntatively, it may be a discussion of how to rappel with bungie cords.

Sonoma HoD 04-12-2022

I went with Hooked on Driving to Sonoma Raceway April 12th. Very windy and cold. Lots of downtime and black flagged sessions due to fluid leaks and a Corevette that hit the wall going out for a session.

Session 1
I got out in front of the group and had lots of space in front of me. Session was black flagged due to fluid leak around the whole circuit.

Catalyst shows ___

Session 2
I got out in front of the group and the track got black flagged. Seems a Corvette spun into the wall and got some rear damage before the entire B group was out of the pit lane.