Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!


If you sometimes doubt that our work is relevant or important, remember that, whether you sell art or not, you are the center of a universe that relies on you to create art.  As we begin 2013, I offer my best wishes for a productive year—go forth, make great work, and create a veritable army of jobs!

Happy New Year,

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Repairs I missed

So, I opened the hood of the Land Cruiser and something didn't look right.  The engine was skewed, not perpendicular to the firewall.  It wasn't much but it was enough that it looked wrong.  I checked the engine mounts and from above they looked fine.  From underneath it was a different story, the bottom half of the driver's side mount was missing.

old mount - new mount

I'm assuming the bolt sheared off and the mount came apart somewhere in Baja.  I'm just glad the passenger's side stayed put.  I jacked up the engine and replaced the mount.  It wasn't all that hard.

While I was at it I replaced the front shocks.  The rough country shocks were feeling a bit stiff and I'm hoping the Bilstein shocks will smooth things out a little.

Friday, December 21, 2012

A few of my favorite things

I love the cars in Santa Clarita.  Everyone seems to have a mid life crisis tucked away in their garage and there's and amazing variety.  It's refreshing to walk into a parking lot a see cars like this.

I didn't get a picture of the hot rod station wagon a couple spaces away.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

inspiration - old photo

I've been redoing the floors in our house and I found this photo had slipped behind my desk.

I didn't think much of it until I looked a little closer.

There's Parnelli Jones' Big Oly Bronco after what looks like a pretty nasty roll over.  The back of the photo says 1972.  It looks like Ensenada so I'm thinking it's the Baja 500.

Friday, November 16, 2012

What I'm up to

We made the cover of Toyota Trails!  It's the magazine of the Toyota Land Cruiser Association, so it's not easy to find.  It's a huge article that documents my parents first trip down the Baja Peninsula and my experience in the 2012 Mexican 1000. You can read the first chunk of the article here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Inspiration - Rod&Custom, August 1969

I picked up this 1969 copy of Rod&Custom magazine on ebay.  With the cool green model T on the cover - I'd remembered seeing it when I was a kid.  Like a lot of other stuff, my folk's copy was lost in the Harris fire.

For a hot rod magazine they dedicated a ton of space to the 69 Baja 500.  The first paragraph is almost illegible.  A long run on sentence with some hip lingo thrown in.  It reminded me that Hunter S. Thompson didn't operate in a vacuum.  There were plenty of people whacked out of their minds writing. Thompson just did it well.

The article's long, luckily there are plenty of pictures to go along with it.  There's also a short article on the "Norra Car Show" which I might get to later on.

This was one of the few races the Toyota Fj40 wasn't zebra striped.  Duffy/Younghusband finished fifth in their class doing the 500+ mile race in 18 hours 38 minutes. 

While looking over the magazine I really admired the amount of hand lettering going on.  You really don't see enough of it anymore.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Album of the Week - Halloween Costume Edition - Rocket from the Crypt - Scream Dracula Scream

Halloween is coming up and once again I'm giving the kids ideas for costumes.  The natural choice is Kirk and Spock.  It really matches their personalities...but no.

My second idea is Rocket from the Crypt Vampire Alien Skeleton costume.

As seen in their live shows and the Born in 69 video. But the boys aren't going for it.

Such a simple costume and if you did the bones in reflective tape it would be awesome and safe.

Anyway, I will continue trying to convince the boys and while doing so  Rocket from the Crypt's 1995  album Scream, Dracula, Scream is on heavy rotation at our home.

It's an album that has really grown on me.  Although I've owned it since the late 90s I really didn't give it a chance until about five years ago.  Their one of the few bands to realize that to create the wall of sound you needed a horn section.

Anyway, I'm not going to give it a thorough review.  I've got costumes to work on.  This is just a recommendation that you give it a listen or a second listen.   Enjoy the Born in 69 video

Monday, October 22, 2012

The simple things - Car Classic 2012 and loose wires

I decided to take the Landcruiser down to Art Center for Car Classic 2012.  I was a little worried because there was a chance of rain and the car hadn't been running quite right.  It was cutting out occasionally and backfiring.  I changed the fuel filter and that seemed to fix it....until the drive down.

It started cutting out again.  Not that often but just enough to be unnerving.  This time I noticed the tach would drop every time it cut out.  The problem was electrical!  So at Art Center I checked it over but couldn't find anything.  No loose or warn wires, nothing.  The ride home was okay but it still cut out once or twice.

Finally before I put the beast away I pulled the rubber cover from the negative terminal on the battery.  The wires were loose and carbonized enough that they weren't making a good connection.  When I'd checked it earlier I'd just felt the connection through the rubber cover and everything felt tight - because the rubber cover was tight.

Once again I learn the lesson, when things go wrong check the most obvious answer two or three times before moving on to more obscure solutions.

So, how was Car Classic?


Not many kids get to sit in a Mclaren.

This is the third Car Classic I've been to and I've grown to love them.  They tend to be a collection of oddballs without the repetition of usual car shows.  A Ford GT sits near a Chord which isn't too far from an 80s Mazda and an Icon Bronco.  It's about design, the best a funkiest of what there is out there.   Along with that there are students sitting around drawing and you can go into art center and see the facilities and what people are working on.  So here are my highlights.

The Juicer - quite possibly the coolest eletric bicycle.

new drawings of old cars and 

old drawings of cars of the future

Porsche - a symphony of bent and tinted plexiglas.


This Bugatti engine purred like a kitten.

and won my award for "Favorite Brake Linkage" for their use of bike chain.

"Best Leather Tooling - exterior" goes to the Tom Mix Chord.

"Coolest Weirdest Small Sports Car" goes to the Mazda AZ-1 Gullwing

Best "Eyelashes on a Car" goes to Lamborghini.

"Most 80s Car" 1984 Auston Martin Logonda and it's ostrich skin interior.

"Best Trunk" the lone rat rod with its hinged aluminum crutch trunk brace.

mmmm Abarth

Best "Fuel Oil & Water" storage goes to the Model T(?) Ford

and finally the "Best Numbers" 41 and 52

Friday, October 12, 2012

What I'm working on - bathrooms and floors

Recently I've started to redo our house.  Half out of necessity and half as art practice.  I haven't figure out how to contextualize it yet but there's something there.

The boys bathroom was gross but all it really needed was a can of red paint, a new light fixture and some stickers.

What started out as the race car bathroom took a turn when I started framing some drawings of artists I'd been doing.  It's been kind of therapeutic to sit down and imagine what sort of Ed Roth creation Donald Judd or Richard Serra would drive.

Now all I need to do is figure out the floor.  I'm leaning toward that gray bumpy industrial stuff but cork would probably look better.

Until then I'll be tackling this -