So I'm sitting here in a strange bed, writing my article and I can't help but wonder how much longer I can keep this up. I did say that my New Year's resolution was to travel more, but I never would have guessed that it would end up like this.
By my count, I have only been home 19 days since September 4th, the day I left for the All-Star event in Tennessee, and it is October 23 today. This is the most time I have ever spent away from my home and my business and it's not even over yet, we still have SEMA to contend with!
This all started when I jumped on a plane early Friday morning (my first time flying I might add) and headed to Tennessee where my buddy Jeff picked me up from the airport and took me to the show. I tagged along with all the guys from Relaxed Atmosphere for the most part, but sporadically was drawn to wherever noise was being made. Without going into details, the show was awesome and the people were even better. I love listening to the girls with the southern accents, they just make me smile. I'd have to say the worst part of the weekend was that I had to leave 30 minutes before Eric Saliba had his hair cut off for losing a bet. I really wanted to be there for that one-oh well, maybe next time.
The next week was a hectic mess trying to get the shop on track for me to leave for a week to do a suspension design consultation job at Pacific Coast Customs. Being that I was going to be in Northern California, you know I had to hook up with Bob Grant and let him show me how Oroville does it for the weekend, but that is another story for another time. Once at PCC, Robbie showed me the project he was working on and gave me a basic idea of what we were shooting for, then walked away and left me to do what I do. We really had our work cut out for us. My job was to 'bag the front suspension of an AWD Denali to lay frame on 26s with a 34-inch-tall tire and if that wasn't complicated enough, we needed to keep all of the electronically controlled shocks and sensors because the computer would not work without them. I spent all week just getting a game plan as to how we were going to accomplish this mighty feat, and it soon became obvious that I would have to come back up again very soon. I did what I could until Saturday evening and made plans to come back out in one week to finish the job. On the way home on Sunday, I got a text from my daughter telling me that she and my wife were at Disneyland and that I should stop by on the way home and play with them for a few hours. Mind you, it's already an 8-hour drive home with no stops and Disneyland is going to stretch that out a few more hours, but I haven't spent any quality time with my girls lately so there was no decision to be made-Disneyland it was.
Once again, I had a crazy week putting out any fires that the shop might have and getting everything squared away for me to head out to the West Coast Nationals show in Arizona for a weekend of fun and relaxation. Knowing that I was leaving again on Monday for an 8-hour drive by myself really made the 4-hour drive with two passengers to La Paz seem easy. The show was a blast despite the gratuitous tickets handed out by the local PD, but they were handed out with a smile and there was little drama to speak of. I got back home early enough to have dinner with my two favorite girls before I left again early the next morning. Back at PCC, workin' long hours and waking up way too early for this night owl, we were finally making some serious progress. I left the following Wednesday with my own concerns about a SEMA obligation, and on top of all of that the county has been breathing down my neck to clean things up around the property.
After working at home and getting everything back to a somewhat normal pace for a week, I get the email saying that our project is no longer needed at SEMA. Um, ok, I guess that's a good thing because that afternoon I got a call from Robbie saying that he could really use my help finishing up the Denali. So once again I took the girls out to dinner, spent the weekend resting at Bob's, and am now here lying in bed wondering when my body is going to throw in the towel on all this madness...
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