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Life... ya gotta be doin' something...

1997 Adventures

Last Updated: December 30, 1997


January 1997

January was mostly occupied with tending to, or just generally worrying about, the details of our business sale. Finally, on January 23, Uptown Automation was sold to an audio products manufacturer, Audio Toys Inc, in Columbia MD. They bought all of our assets, and promptly brought in a moving van, packed up everything and carted it all back to Maryland.

My business partner Andrew Smith and I have started another company, but we haven't really started looking for customers yet. The new company is called ACME Creative Manufacturing and Engineering.... the initials are ACME, the name is ACME and we're in an ACME frame of mind. Ok, if you really wanna know, we needed a new company name and I was watching a road runner cartoon... boom... meep-meep.... the rest they say is history.


February 1997

salado ruinsThe first week of February seemed like a nice time to go for a ride. To get warm, I headed to the hot springs and vapor caves in Glenwood Springs CO. The vapor caves and the hot springs were used for centuries by the native americans and were considered to be places of healing.

Then down to Orvis hot springs near Telluride CO for a couple of days. The hot springs of Orvis were some of the last grounds that the US government stole from the Utes despite all of the treaties protecting their sacred ground.

The weather got nasty, so I headed down into Arizona. Near Globe AZ I stopped to take a look at the Besh Ba Gowah Salado indian ruins.

The Salado lived in the Tonto Basin and Globe-Miami areas of Arizona from about 1100 to 1400 AD. They traded with the neighboring Anasazi, Sinagua, Hohokam, and Mogollon cultures. And just like all those ancient cultures, they disappeared by around 1450 AD without any real trace of what happened or why.

Here are some links that you can use to explore the ancient Native American cultures of the Southwest:

sabino canyonThen I drove down to Tucson and into Sabino canyon. Sabino canyon is a beautiful preserve of rolling hills covered with brush, trees and saguaro. A nice creek runs down through the middle of the canyon giving it an oasis-like feeling.

Sabino is beautiful, but there are many beautiful areas in the desert... this one is different just because it is being protected

After wandering up and down Sabino canyon, I headed down to Nogales, Patagonia State Park, Bisbee and Douglass. Then over to Faywood Hot Springs near Silver City NM for a day in the hot water and warm sunshine.

After a nice day at the hot springs, I was off to Sante Fe to visit a friend. Magnificent concert at the beautiful Lensic theater in Sante Fe featuring Eliza Gilkyson and Toni Childs. Then back home.

My latest little project is to get a ham radio license. I bought some books Feb 14th and the exam is Feb 22nd. I don't know exactly why on earth I am getting a ham license, but it seems like an interesting thing to do this week. I'd like to do some experimenting with UHF and microwave communications, just to get up to date on the technology.

The FCC issued my ham radio license on Feb 26 I am adding a new page for amateur radio.



March 1997


Suddenly it is March. A little chilly here in Colorado, so I think I'll head down into Mexico.... And off I went. Down through Arizona and into Mexico. I ended up at Puerto Penasco, a sleepy little fishing village about 4 hours from Tuscon. Nice little town, not too touristy, lots of cervesa and fresh fish. Life is good.




Hundreds of pelicans stayed around the shops where the locals were cleaning the fish... just waiting for easy handouts. Goofy looking birds when they are sitting on the rocks, but so graceful when they they take flight.

In the picture at the right, you can see a few of the buildings in the old-town area, several fishing boats in the harbor and the peaks of Rocky Point in the background.



The desert of Sonora Mexico is different from the desert in most of Arizona. The Sonoran desert has cacti that are similar to, but different from those in Arizona. The organ-pipe cactus is sort like a whole group of skinny Saguaros all huddled together. There are a lot of various cholla cacti and more ocotillo than are typically seen in Arizona or New Mexico desert areas.







April 1997

Gees, it's April already. I took another amateur radio exam April 5th, passed the written portion of the Advanced license requirements. Weather has been cold, snowy and rainy so I've just been playing with computers, electronic stuff and getting a start on shrub trimming and weeding around the yard.

I decided to get involved with sports car racing again. In the 1970's I had a Shelby GT-350 that I had planned to race in B Production, but the SCCA just kept changing the rules faster than I could change the car, so all I ever did was autocross events. This time, I decided to rent a racecar and see if it was still fun.

I rented a Spec Racer Ford from LaRue Motor Sports and went down to the Pueblo sports car racetrack for a day of testing. It was great fun. I met some great people, had some good fun and spent a very large amount of money. I was hooked.



May 1997

My, my... where did May go? I went to Russell Racing at Sears Point Racetrack for a three day course driving their Formula Mazda cars. Great fun. Here is a picture of the car that I drove for three days and hundreds of laps at Sears Point:

On that trip to California, I took my pet cockatiel, named Little Bird, to live with a female cockatiel named Penny in Concord. I decided that he really, really needed a mate and since I didn't want more birds, I used the internet as sort of a cockatiel dating service to find him a promising mate. I miss the little guy, but I think he will be happier with a bird as a mate instead of trying to mate with my shirt collar.



June 1997

 I bought my race car on June 5th. For more info on my racing, see the main homepage Table of Contents for my racing pages.





 After buying the race car, I spent much of the month of June learning about my racecar, reading everything I could get my hands on about racing and generally not doing too much actual work.


July 1997




Went to Idaho for a week at the end of July and wandered into a great little town called Lava Hot Springs.










August 1997

In August I struggled with my brain to get it to remember the silly Morse code. I passed my 13 word per minute amateur radio code test on August 23. My new Advanced Class amateur radio callsign is KI0JU.

I entered races at both Second Creek and Stapleton in August. A lot of fun. See my Sports Car Racing Diary  pages for some notes about the races.


September 1997

Off into the beauty-full mountains. The Aspen trees are just starting to turn golden. The wet, cool summer has fooled a lot of the wildflowers into blooming and the lush green grasses have stayed green all summer. There is a ghost town called Crystal in the mountains south of Glenwood Springs. The old Crystal Mill is the most spectacular of the old buildings... here's a  picture of the Crystal Mill:









One morning I was watching a Heron hunting for snacks in the irrigation ditch behind my house:

        heron1.jpg (18788 bytes)


October 1997

The end of September and start of October have been yucky... some sort of mystery disease, fever of 102 degrees, nasty headache and nasty mental confusion for over two weeks. Whatever it was, it finally seems to be going away, leaving me thankful for my normal good health.muerto.jpg (6878 bytes)

Happy Rosh Hashanah.  How can we live every day to observe, remember and honor Grace? How can we not? I celebrated Yom Kippur with my friend Irene and it was a very enlightening experience.ltl_nell.jpg (17768 bytes)

We spent a great weekend in Aspen at the Little Nell in mid October. Magnificent hotel, very attentive staff, great food, everything was fantastic. Tortilla soup to die for. Then off to Arizona and down to Puerto Penasco for a few days at the beach.

While we celebrate Halloween as an empty, shallow holiday to distribute sugar, in Mexico they celebrate Dia de Muertos (day of the dead) with a virtual festival at the cemetaries, all in costumes, to honor and remember the dead. The Mexican culture is very family centered and is always very enjoyable to learn about. Dia de Muertos is celebrated on Nov 2.


November 1997mvalley.jpg (9916 bytes)

Out wandering around almost all month. In early November I headed to Las Vegas for a weekend of racing. That was great fun of course. Then I wandered down into Arizona. Monument valley, pictured at right,  in Arizona is always so spectacular. Eventually I wandered back down to Puerto Penasco for a few days.


penafish.jpg (14084 bytes)Then, after eating a lot of fresh fish in Mexico, I headed up to Phoenix for another race weekend.

This was the most expensive race weekend that I have had. I was knocked into a concrete wall at about 100 mph and the car suffered considerable damage. But   fortunately I did not suffer any damage,  the high quality safety equipment in the car kept me safe and the crash resulted in only a couple of minor bruises.longspk.jpg (8753 bytes)

I stayed in Phoenix for a few days and then back down into Mexico to have more fresh fish, more beer and practice my spanish. It was in the mid 70's to low 80's everywhere I went. Beauty-full. At the left is a picture of the fish market in the old port section of Puerto Penasco. Very low-key, easy going sort of town. Here's a web link to Rocky Point Online that has a lot of information about Puerto Penasco.

I finally came back to Colorado at the end of the month. It certainly is quite cold here, but the mountains are very pretty with all the fresh snow.  The mountain picture at the right is a view of Long's Peak and the South St Vrain creek near on a crisp November day.


December 1997

Gees, December is certainly off to a chilly start here in Colorado. But that's the way it gets in the winter. Oh well.firebird.jpg (11976 bytes)

I went to Phoenix for another racing weekend on December 13-14 at Firebird Raceway. High temperatures were around 70 degrees in Phoenix, so it was very pleasant racing weather. Dry and sunny. Very nice. As usual, the racing was great fun and fortunately my car did not suffer any damage.

After the weekend of racing, I headed down to Puerto Penasco for more fresh seafood and a lot of Dos Equis beer. As a weather front threatened to bring rain into Mexico, I headed for home. I decided to drive the whole trip in one day for a change. I left Puerto Penasco after breakfast, around 8:30 AM, and drove for seventeen hours getting home, mostly via Interstate highways. A one day drive of 1180 miles in 17 hours, for an average speed of 70 mph in my big old Pathfinder.

At the end of December our company ACME Creative and its website will be closed. We just never had any interest from any customers for anything that we were trying to sell, so it is time to go off in some other direction. I don't know what that new direction will be, but that's part of the fun of it all.