What to do about insane inspiration

I’ve been doing this for 10 months, now.

This is post #234 on the site. Putting that in perspective, I “only” published 700-ish pieces on Gearbox Magazine in six years. And another 800-ish on the old DR1665 site this one replaced.

I’m always working on consistency—publishing on a daily basis—but it’s not always easy. The last two weeks have been INTENSE. Family, work, and reality always come first. I don’t need to defend that, I know, but I want to go on the record with it.

So what finally inspired me to throw caution to the wind and publish half a dozen updates in an hour?

Insane inspiration. I wanted to get THIS one out there.

10 years ago, I drafted the working credo that eventually became my life and this site.

  1. A difference is the only thing worth making.
  2. Work-life parallel > work-life balance
  3. True success comes from helping others achieve success.

GBXM is coming back. Even bigger and better than I imagined. Wanna know why?

We’re taking a zero-bullshit, damn the torpedoes approach to that third piece.

I’ve been sketching and drafting resources and curriculum to help friends for years. Today, I realized I was having a deep-dive conversation with an old, gearhead buddy from wayback—that I’ve had with two other old, gearhead buddies from wayback—in the last SIX MONTHS.

I’ve probably written 20,000 words on the subject THIS YEAR. In emails.

You know how much of this stuff was in my LMS development kit?

Zero. Fucking. Percent.

Three people. Who came to me for help. With something important. Because they trust me.

Light bulb.


Bury the LEDE, Dear Megan

What a friggin’ day.

 Happy birthday, Dad!

I love you and appreciate how fuckin’ hard it had to be sometimes. Think I’m gonna be okay now, so you did a good job and can relax. (Look how long it’s been since I asked to borrow some money! Haha.)

I’ll try to make sure Penny takes that advice about saving money and not going to expensive college you gave me but that I was a know-it-all teenager and paid for it. (Personally, I hope she decides to use the money grow her own business, but that’s up to her.)

Sorry I didn’t call today.

Penny almost called, but opted to submit to a legion of lower level demons and drag us along on a 20 minute tour of the brightly colored flames of 5-year old Rage Hell. Because she didn’t want to put on her pajamas.

Oh, and we’re taking her to Disneyland next week for her birthday. It’s a big surprise and she doesn’t know yet.

Bloody hell. We’ve already spent a grand on this birthday and we’re still going to need to get to LA and back. I only paid $2500 for the truck I drive to work everyday.

Why do you always compare things to the price of your truck?

Vanessa asked me this yesterday when I compared something I saw to the price of my truck.

I dunno. I guess, partly because it makes me feel good to know I’m smart enough and have good enough friends supporting me that I don’t have to spend that much money to drive exactly the vehicle I want. “The whole shittery.”

Toybreaker John used to say that.

“The whole shittery.” We used to talk on the phone from time to time. Man. That dude had some crazy high standards, but if I’m honest I always felt like I wanted want to live up to them.

Because I know I didn’t. I mean, seriously. I’m lazy like every other commoditized sapien with the internet in his hand all day.

But I know where I’ve set my bar.

I know what it takes to be a real father. To be a real gearhead. To be a true friend. And a successful entrepreneur.

Get up.
Suit up.
Kick Lazy’s ASS.
And make a fucking difference.

I like to think Toybreaker would say, “Wouldn’t have it any other way.”

See, Dad? I’m gonna be okay. 🙂

And to Bree and Mason…

Bree, I’ve known you since you were, what, six? And tomorrow you’re getting married. Thank you for showing me that little girls–like the one I’ve got of my own, now–get cooler as they grow up, turn out to be solid, awesome people, and get to live happily ever after.

Mason, not gonna lie. My first impression of you was a fairly tired looking Audi parked in front of John and Jill’s that I figured could either reflect an honest, sincere effort limited by the same shit that gets us all or a flat brim rent-a-baller. (You’re a gearhead. You know we all do that when we see the car first.)

You immediately proved yourself the former. And you’ve only gotten better since. You’re a solid dude.

The two of you

Everyone you know, every friend, every family member–we’ve all fucked up. We’ve all made the wrong call, or forgot the important thing, or chickened out and blew it at some point.

You will too.

And it will suck.

But you will get beyond it. Whatever it is.

Because you’ve found the real thing. You know you have. You’re going to take care of it. And you’re going to take care of each other.

I’m happy for you both. We all are.

And now, if you’ll excuse me. I ran two miles before writing this–which is longer than I’ve ever ran in my life–and I was faster, too.

I guess Runner’s High IS a thing.

I just felt thankful at the end of a long, difficult day, and had a few important people on my mind.

And THAT, Dear Megan, is how you bury the LEDE. (And I remember phone booths, too, damnit.)

Existential Roundabout

I keep coming back to this—and it’s really bugging me.

I see something like the Colt up above (image: Ed Frank, clutchpics.com, HT: Zimm) and I want it. I want it bad.

It’s not particularly fast, I bet, but I know it’s a blast. Rowing those gears, hearing the big four-pot bark and snarl into the apex; a real life Matchbox car leaning into sticky rubber before being tossed into the next corner.

Yeah. That’s pure motoring pleasure right there and I want.

But I’m tired of dicking with old, neglected vehicles. I’m tired of constantly worrying about squeaks, rattles, smells, and sketchy gauges. I’m tired of holding back on planned repairs because—every time—something else fails and blows my budget to shit while simultaneously inconveniencing my family. It used to be something I was proud of. Now it’s more a constant embarrassment and reminder of shortcomings.

Existential Roundabout:

Don’t want the monthly payments associated with buying something new(er) I like. Don’t like anything with monthly payments that I could begrudgingly live with. Don’t want to keep spending time and money on old, neglected shit.

Am I still a gearhead?