Feb 8, 2018

Commitment anyone?

   I've been writing this blog for a few years now and every once in awhile someone reads it and leaves a comment. In this world full of opinions and different points of view this is just another one to add to the mix. Does it matter ? Does it effect anyone ? Who cares ? I don't know. Does my writing just sound like a bunch of personal ranting ? Does it seem generally negative ? Aren't Christians supposed to be joyful ? I want to be truthful and say that I find it difficult most days to be joyful. I try to be thankful for what God has blessed me with but joy is tough for me. I miss the good old days. If there is such a thing.
   As a Christian I try and share my faith and be obedient to God's calling in my life. I also believe that faith and action should go together. I'm also a car guy. A hot rodder and drag racer. God has given me a circle of influence and gifts to share. I also like to pray. God has answered so many of my prayers and I could go on for hours but there is a bunch of prayers he hasn't answered as far as I can tell. Those are my prayers for people. Praying for people is different. I see people all over that seem locked in a self destruct pattern. I so badly want to help them in some way but I have no idea how. They don't listen, they waste whatever help is given. They are just stuck. I think commitment is a big problem. They commit to the wrong things and don't commit to the right things. An easy example is marriage. I ask a guy who is carrying a child, "are you married"? He says "well basically I am". The truth is you are either married or you aren't. Did you go to a preacher and make promises and sign your name?
   Commit to a church. I see people all over who drift from church to church to see what benefits they receive. Do they have good food? Good singing? Will the pastor look after me? They use up the pastors time with counseling self inflicted problems then they reject the solutions he gives. If he doesn't tell them what they want to hear, they will just go to the church down the road.
   Commit to a project. Since this is a blog for car guys I couldn't leave this out. Switching from one project to another without finishing anything happens all the time in this hobby. Its the biggest waste of time and money imaginable. I try and coach young guys but few listen. They are locked in cycle of bad decisions. Many times guys tell me about their project and I just keep my mouth shut because I know they have no clue what they are talking about or they are just flat out lying to me. I really liked a line that Luke Skywalker said in the newest Star Wars episode. " Everything you just said, is wrong". I could be saying this all the time.
   After all this whining I must say that its not all bad. There are people who make it all worthwhile. There are friends who care and who stick by you. Who commit to something good and see it happen. Who listen , learn and put into practice. I also have to believe that my prayers for people are being heard by God. How does a sovereign God change people whom he has given a free will? God is way more patient than me. He also know what it takes to change people and he is willing to do it, or let the devil do it. That's a scary thought actually. I better wrap this up before I raise unanswerable questions! I'll close with a verse that's been on my heart for over a year. Jer 33:3 Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things that you do not know.
God Bless

Jul 3, 2017

My first forty

    A couple days ago i reached the ripe old age of 40.  In my 40 years I have learned alot and i'm sure I still have lots to learn. I've become cynical of some things and i've become more thankful for others. In this post I want share some of the lessons i've learned and encourage you to not make the same mistakes I have. In the last couple years of selling used auto parts i've learned alot about people.
     Lesson number one: A person who takes the time to tell you how honest they are, how their word is unbreakable and how they would never back out on a deal no matter what - that person will lie to you and rob you. A truly honest person will not go into trying to convince you of their righteousness.
     Lesson number two: Pictures. Asking for more pictures. When someone sees your ad on a website for an item he is interested in and asks for more pictures do not give them. Just make sure you have a couple decent pictures in the ad and a truthful description in the first place. He is looking for a reason NOT to come and purchase your item. These guys wear me out and i've taken to mostly ignoring them. Especially if their first statement is some thing like : Do you ever come to Saskatoon? This person doesn't want your item very badly and you would do better to find a different buyer. It just takes time.
    Lesson number three: Focus on doing one thing the best you can. I see alot of young guys in the car hobby who buy tons of cars and dump some money into them all then end up with a whole lot of nothing. A bunch of junk and none of it done right. Not fast, not good looking, not good handling, not good on fuel and not reliable. In short it doesn't do anything very well. If it was 2 of the above list it would be worth it. Also kids buy what happens to be easily available and not what they really might want. Then a short while down the road they want rid of it after they've spent a few thousand dollars on it and have had nothing but trouble. They don't stick it through because they never really liked the car in the first place. I've heard it said so many times that this car is "My dream car" yet that can change in about 5 minutes when another option shows itself.
   Lesson number four: God is good and he is in control. People experience pain and heartbreak all around me all the time. They question if God is good and who is in control. God's perspective is not like ours. God is not like us. I'm thankful for that. If God was like men, he couldn't be trusted. He would seek revenge. He would not show mercy. He would lie, cheat and steal.  People reject God, brag about their own righteousness and claim they are in control. They do not trust God or humble themselves before him. The Bible says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. This is a major key in our relationship with God. Do you feel that God is your enemy or your friend? Check your pride. God is my heavenly father and i've learned that a father does certain things. He protects his family. He disciplines his children. He gives and he takes away. He gives them what they want - if its good for them. He may not feel the need to keep them informed of his every move but tells them what they need to know when they need to know it. He loves them. As a child of God I also have responsibilities to my heavenly father. To obey. To listen, To respect. To honor. To be thankful.
  This broken down world is falling apart all around us. Don't delay any longer to repent of yours sins and humble yourself to God. Believe in him. The death of Jesus on the cross satisfied the justice of God for the breaking of his law which we do all the time. Now is the time of salvation. There will be day when everyone will be judged and held responsible for their actions. We want justice for others. Yet we have a way of thinking we will be exempt. Only those that have forsaken their own goodness and trusted in Jesus Christ will receive eternal life on that day.

Feb 21, 2017

Who's your friend ?

  The hobby of hotrodding is best done with a few good friends. Doing stuff by yourself kinda gets boring after awhile. We were made for each other. Over the years (i'm turning 40 this year) I've had friends come and go that were great to be with and we helped each other build our cars. Road trips to pick up parts and days at the races were great times we spent together. Friends get married, move away, chase after careers and even pass away. Some friends stay with you for life. I want to attempt to define friendship. Or more specifically list the attributes of a true friend as I see it. As a mechanic with a shop you tend to have lots of people try to be your friend. Always wanting something done or to use your shop. I don't mind this if these same guys will phone you up just to hang out or see what they can do for you. True friends give and take. Not just take. Do they really want to be around you or just when they benefit? Thats point number one.
  Number two, do they listen to you or do you sometimes wonder if they see your number on their call display and not answer the phone? Most guys have a cell phone in one of two places these days. Their hand or their pocket. When i'm with some of my friends they are constantly checking their text messages or messenger notifications. Yet when i call or email they seem hard to get a hold of. Sometimes I never get a call back or a return email. Whats up with that? Or do they just treat everybody like that?
  Point number three, Do they have the same interests as you? I have noticed that the car hobby is pretty all encompassing. Its takes alot of time and alot of money. Its a life style. Not many car guys are into sports. Because sports are the same way. And by sports i'm talking football, hockey, soccer, baseball, etc... If you are going racing and your "buddy" wants to stay home to watch the super bowl thats a good clue your friendship isn't to deep. When your friend would rather help you change a transmission in a snowbank than watch "street outlaws" , he is a keeper!! One of the biggest things to remember about friendships is to be one. Not just sit back and judge others performance. Even a true friend will tend to disappoint you occasionally but don't hold it against them. Be quick to talk it out and move forward. Don't hold a grudge.
  The Bible says " There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" and Jesus himself says of his friends " I will never leave you nor forsake you" and "greater love has no man than this, that someone lay down his life for his friend". The Bible has lots to say about friendship. Read the book of proverbs. Read the Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. Read about the most famous friends : David and Johnathan. How do your friends measure up? How do you measure up? HOW DO I MEASURE UP?

Sep 15, 2016

What are you learning?

   The world of hotrodding is changing quickly in many ways. Some ways are good and some not so much. In some ways it desperately needs to change but isn't. I recently embarked on a new challenge that i might regret. My first LS engine buildup.  Magazines have been pushing these things on us for more than ten years. I've heard of and seen a few JY swaps running in the eights with boost. This sounds cool and entices kids to scour the internet and wrecking yards to grab their LS cores. These motors have very strong blocks with cross bolted mains and excellent flowing cylinder heads. To bad GM didn't design the heads with the same head bolt configuration as an old school small block. Also something to note is that boost works on any engine. Not just LS motors. For my buildup i've contacted a few cam companies to see what they recommend. After giving them all the very same data, its amazing to see the huge variation between the cams they suggest. Most of the cams have specs that are so far out in left field from what i would choose that i'm wondering if the company was looking in a crystal ball or throwing darts at their catalog. A few of the companies (probably old guys) gave me specs that were right in line with what i would choose for a typical serious first generation small block chevy.
  Who's in the LS game? Go to a few LS specific forums and read the posts in the "lounge" area. You will see posts like "whats your favorite video game machine" and "do your parents charge you rent". This should give you a clue. Go to some muscle car forums or engine building forums and you will find "have you had your prostate checked" or "project car buildup with son" in that same lounge area. I feel a little sorry for the kids jumping on the LS band wagon (like me at the moment). They aren't near as cheap or as easy as you are lead to believe. An oil pan is in the 4-500 price range. They have junk powdered metal connecting rods, You have to take the heads off to get the lifters out, they don't bolt to an older tranny without an adapter, The valve train is non adjustable. Have you seen the wiring? I'm dreading it. My HEI takes one wire to make it run!
   I would like to see more young guys building nice 350's and 454's to get their feet wet in the drag racing hobby. Learn how to properly build an engine, learn how to choose a cam and put together a combination that works. Ask questions from guys that have been there. Ask your dad to do it with you! Find a group of friends and have a friendly competition to see who can go the quickest with a given car such as a g-body or fox body.  One thing that needs to change is the whole rat rod trend. When did not doing something right become cool? Wasting money on junk and calling it "patina". Or buying up every piece of junk car available because its cheap then spreading your money over them all. This will end up in a whole bunch of unfinished projects of which none are you proud of. I see guys all the time who would never spend $3500 on a good set of CNC ported high quality cylinder heads but will spend $10,000 on 20 different vehicles and only one ever becomes roadworthy and its still a half done heap. My advice here is to set goals, focus on the goals, do it right. I hate buyers remorse which comes from buying the "cheaper" part.
   This all leads me to my current spiritual lesson. Who are you listening too? Read 2 Peter chapter two in your Bible. The wrong advice will in fact cost you something. God is a God of Wisdom, Order and he invented common sense. He is not the god of foolishness, Confusion, and cheap experiences. Young people listen very closely. God has commanded all men everywhere to Repent because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness. God is Holy. God is Just. The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. Jesus said "everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house upon the rock". Suffering and trials will come, but do you have a foundation like the rock? Or will you be swept away? Don't believe everything you hear or read. Find mentors who have withstood the test of time and who's lives bear fruit for God's kingdom. Do they just want your money? Or are they also setting a trap for your soul? False teaching sounds enticing because they leave out repentance, sin and humility. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Do you think you can manipulate God with magic words and he will give you what you want? Does God need your money in exchange for a miracle? Do you think that the "faith healer" has God under his thumb to do his bidding? Jesus down played his miracles but the Charlatans I see brag about them and are proud of what they should be ashamed of. Educate yourself my reader. Pray for discernment. Its in short supply at the moment.

Nov 26, 2015

Auto possession (AP)

Do you believe in demon possession? An evil spirit moves in to a person's body and controls them? As a Christian who reads the Bible I believe it is real and does happen but I'm not sure that I've ever seen it. What I want to talk about today is something that I have seen and is quite disturbing. I'll call it auto possession (AP).
    There is something about old cars that I can't quite understand. Somehow they command a weird power over some people. To start this discussion I must first confess that I am in the auto parts business. I travel around within a hundred miles or so of my home and buy old junk vehicles, drag them home, and part them out. Every last nut and bolt is for sale. This is part of how I earn my living and put food on the table. I encounter alot of folks infected with AP. It's quite easy to spot, maybe you have it? I put up ads on local bulletin boards asking to buy old junkers and I see yards full of them all over the place yet I get very few calls. Why wouldn't they want rid of them? I pay cash on the spot and more than scrap value.
   The symptoms of AP are easy to spot: A man with one foot in the grave says he won't sell because he is thinking of restoring the car one day, never mind that the car is so rusty there is nothing left to restore. Another tell tale symptom is the disproportionate value AP victims have on the things they own. You could offer to buy his wife's wedding ring off her finger and he would consider selling it but if you made an offer on the bullet holed 62 Pontiac 4 door in the bush with a tree growing through it he would chase you off the farm. Also viscous dogs are a sure sign. This guy is guarding his hoard of junk from other AP victims who may try to steal from him. I stay a long way from those places. Likely spot to get shot through the front door while knocking if the German Shepard doesn't get you first. Is that a human femur in its mouth?
   I often wonder what happens to these hoards of junk when the owner dies? These guys usually seem to have no heirs. Likely the local Rural Municipality brings in a track hoe and drags them all into a pile, crushes them with the bucket, and tosses them on a semi-trailer headed for the smelter. If only the owner would have sold them first he could have afforded a nice vacation or to fix up his falling down house. I wonder if some type of recovery group could be formed to help these guys? Could more than one of them be in the same room without a fight? Or would they have some deep respect and sympathy for fellow victims? How would the auto's be exorcised? Tough questions to be sure.
   This all leads me to my current thoughts on being mastered by possessions or sins from the book of 1 Corinthians 6. When we are mastered by something we become a slave to it. Slaves are things that are owned. Do you want to be owned? Or do you think you are free?  Jesus talked about freedom. He said that if the Son sets you free then you will be free indeed. He also said that the truth will set you free, and he said "I am the way, the truth and the life. Pretty big claims. Check it out for yourself, perhaps you aren't a victim of auto possession but other addictions have beset you?

Nov 6, 2015

The hotrodders wife

This is a woman of unmatched quality who has found her? She has skills and abilities like no other. She is worth far more than CNC ported cylinder heads or an aluminum big block. Her husband trusts her with his stash of parts buying cash. She spots cool project cars from a distance and thinks twice before mentioning them to her husband all the days of her life.
    She helps with wrenchs and air tools and has helped lift heavy parts into the back of the pickup many times. She knows about the mail order speed parts coming from far away and doesn't say anything. She lays awake at night while he is out street racing wondering if he will be coming home with a smile on his face or in deep thought over a new cam he may need to buy. She has learned how to make do with value village clothing and home grown vegetables so the car can be faster.
   She is an expert at bleeding brakes and has a very strong left leg. She knows that racing is not profitable but doesn't complain. In her hands tools feel natural and a tow rope is not foreign to her. She gives generously even though she doesn't have much. When racing season is over she is thankful if the engine doesn't need a rebuild and the transmission still works fine. She even occasionally wears car guy t-shirts and impresses her friends with her knowledge of Holley carbs.
    Her husband is respected at the track and his name is on the top ten list in his hometown. She asks him if his SFI racing jacket is still good for another season or has it expired?  She knows there will be hours of bench racing with buddies this winter as they all hope to be the quickest on the street next summer. She laughs at the gear head jokes and even knows why they are funny. She may even make a suggestion that the whole family should go to the track togther more often.
   Her husband is very thankful for her and even likes to show her off at car shows because she is so beautiful. Many women have many good qualities but in her husband's eyes she far surpasses them all. Don't be fooled by models on TV or in magazines. The wife of a hotrodder is much more to be thankful for and appreciated. I am so lucky she hangs out near my toolbox.

Jul 14, 2015


Can you accept advice? Can you give it tactfully? This hobby of drag racing and modifying hot rods is full of information. Some true, some false. The internet has allowed the average back yard hotrodder to hide behind his screen and toss advice unto the web as if he were a seasoned veteran. I like posting on forums. Forums are a great way to learn but BE CAREFULL!! The dude telling you to get a bigger cam or grind down your pistons might be a seventeen year old kid who's high performance knowledge was gained by bagging his mom's car around the block. I've noticed that when I give some advice to a newbie on say, facebook, that there are usually ten others giving the wrong advice and giving it more adamantly than I. Which advice do you think the original poster is going to take? Why the one that is cheapest and easiest of course!! There is so much mis-information on the internet that its impossible to tell truth from lies if you are young and inexperienced. Hands on, years of experience is rare. The people who have it aren't always eager to teach it. When someone asks for advice from a more experienced hotrodder, then ignores it all, the advice giver feels mocked. Then the advice giver is more reluctant to help out next time. Even worse is to ask for help or recomendations on parts then go buy other parts just because they are cheaper or worse yet , Chinese knock-offs! This past week I was the advice taker and the advice giver. Both positions taught me some strong lessons. Asking for advice is a good idea if you are asking the right person. When you finally find the right person, Shut your MOUTH and open your EARS. Giving advice is more difficult. I like to help people out especially if I see them making poor choices. In hotrodding poor choices are exspensive. Some people seem locked into a cycle of poor choices and can't or are not willing to get out. The lesson i learned here is this: Good parts are exspensive, Bad parts are even more exspensive! I recently built a new 540 cubic inch big block chevy. I was able to part out my old 489 and cover half the cost of the new motor. I used that 489 for 5 years and was able to get good money out of it because it was all good quality parts. This made building the new motor much easier on the wallet. Giving advice is tough because it takes tact and kindness. I may not want to accept advice from someone just because they are so arrogant in giving it that i am made to feel dumb. Nobody wants to be humiliated. One way to tell if someone is locked into a cycle of poor choices it to look at their car.Does it have a bunch of useless junk on it? Like chinese speed parts that came from Ebay? Does it never seem to get any faster? The car is locked in the 13's and so is the owner's brain. He can't mentally go any faster. If he had a blown alcohol dragster it would still only run 13's. Its as fast as his brain will let him go. When he buys parts he tells the engine builder he wants to make 600 horsepower but at every decision along the way he reasons that the cheaper choice will still work for him. He ends up with 350 horsepower and running 13's and telling everybody that he really didn't want a car that was hard on gas and he just intended to build a "CRUISER". This guy won't race you because he knows he will lose, he prefers to talk big and maybe even mock your car as not being a "STREET CAR". Is what i'm saying sinking in? Racing for 20 years and selling speed parts teaches you this stuff. Also making bad choices and wasting money should be a good teacher. I learnt both ways.
   My next topic is about life choices. As i see guys making bad choices with cars, I also have lately seen some really messed up people. From one bad choice to another. Locked in a cycle that is in their brain. God allows this to happen but he sends warning signs all along the way. Are you listening to God's warnings? You will reap what you sow. God will not be mocked. Sin leads to death. These are tough things to hear but are eternal truths from God's word. Will you finally listen to God when you are sitting on the edge of your grave? I've heard a catch phrase lately that is a total lie. Its this : It will happen sooner or later.... Referring to people learning bad habits or addictions. The truth is it doesn't need to be this way, the half truth is : go with LATER. In conclusion my simple advice is to refer you to God who is the giver of Truth. He knows infinitely more than I and will not steer you wrong!