In a game of blog tag, a few different bloggers caught me this week. Grigor, Dwayne and Rosa all linked over to this site for the popular “Tell us five things about yourself,” meme going around the blog-o-sphere. After reading their 5 things, I was inspired. Rosa’s was motivating, Dwayne’s was a traffic stopper, and Grigor’s was a goal accomplished.
So… Here are five things you don’t know about me.
- Burnt Bean Burrito
In High School, three of my friends and I started an underground newspaper. This was in the 70’s and our high school did not allow the publication of any material unless it was approved by the administration. Luckily for us we had a great teacher who allowed us to use the ditto machine after school and our signature publication became a reality.
We called it, “The Burnt Bean Burrito,” after the awful food in the cafeteria. Two of my friends were great artists so we had some amazing drawings and the spirit of the publication was patterned after Mad Magazine. Most of the articles were pure satire but we did get a few political commentaries in along the way.
Our mascot was “Hank Bean,” and his smiling mug adorned all of the publications. We were able to get a few issues out a year. Hours were spent drawing and writing by hand on the ditto masters. There was no such thing as a word processor in those days. In my junior year, my friend Tim Pacheco and I were called into the principal’s office. We had to bring a parent since the principal wanted to suspend us for publishing without a permit.
The principal held up one of our issues and looked my dad in the eye and said, “your son has broken the rules and published this newspaper… look at this title… what do you have to say!” My dad looked at me and then turned to the principal and said, “I think it’s funny!” The principal was taken aback and just muttered under his breath and dismissed us. My dad was so cool!
Our final edition was published at our 20 year reunion, with all four authors participating. It was great fun and brought back the memories of writing, drawing, and laughing that we did for hours on end.
All Hail Hank Bean!
- President of the Rocket Club
As the ultimate geek in high school, some of my friends and I formed a model rocket club. Our chemistry teacher, Mr. Socolis helped us form a school charter, and the Workman Rocketeers was born. At the time we were not allowed to shoot rockets into the air. We bought a long spool of bailing wire and strung it across campus above the baseball fields. We then glued metal tubes to the side of our rockets so they would travel over the wire.
I’ll never forget our first launch. Our rocket blasted off from the upper level stairway and got about halfway across the wire when the tube became disconnected from the rocket. The rocket dropped quickly at full speed, headed directly for the second baseman. He looked up to see this smoking rocket coming directly at him. He dove out of the way just in time. His teammates chided him for not catching it in his mitt.
This club was a lot of fun and we had a few field trips to the desert to launch our rockets in the air. We really enjoyed launching our 6 foot long Estes mega rocket. Boy have things changed since then. I went back out to the launching area in Lucerne Valley a few years ago and now the rockets are huge. Some of them are over 20 feet high and they are getting altitudes over 10,000 feet. WOW!
- Comedian on a Cruise Ship
My wife and I took our first Caribbean cruise back in the mid 80’s. It was on the ship called the Canada Star, and it sailed from New Orleans to Key West and then on to Mexico. I got the great idea to be part of the talent contest. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I decided to be a comedian… I mean really… how hard could that be??. I soon found out. I prepared all afternoon with the only humorous material I could find… the Readers Digest that we had brought along.
My moment of truth came early that night. I was introduced and immediately started telling jokes. Unbelievably… no one laughed! I told some more and only one older gentleman in the back row laughed… I was dying and dying quick. My 5 minutes of fame came crashing down and I determined to never… ever… do this again. Only by joining Toastmasters years later was I able to overcome my fear of public speaking.
- 200 MPH in a Mini Van
Years ago, when I worked in an Automotive repair shop as a service advisor, things would get slow sometimes. We decided to build a rocket car and see if we could blast it up the driveway on a wire. Our first car was a Barbie Ferrari. We modified the rear of the car and installed four “D” rocket motors. We got some bailing wire and strung it down our long driveway and attached a metal tube on the bottom side of the car to guide the car over the wire.
We did a countdown, and the car took off. It went so fast it got airborne and crashed into a wooden crate at the other end of the driveway. Barbie flew out of the car, and the smoking car came crashing down on her. It was terrible… er uh… terribly funny. The car was in three pieces and we couldn’t stop laughing. Our office secretary had a tear in her eye for Barbie, but she did survive for another run. This was so much fun it became a monthly event.
I have a short flash video clip of a Barbie Mini Van going upwards of 200 mph with one “F” model rocket engine. I think you’ll see just how fast these things go. No wonder Ken doesn’t want Barbie to drive…
Yes I admit it… I am a Miatian. This is the common name for anyone who owns a Mazda Miata. Arguably this is the most fun you can have on four wheels. These little cars are amazing and hug the road like a glove. My wife and I owned one of these cars for over 6 years and were a part of two clubs. As part of our club adventures over the years I created some short flash videos of our escapades.
If you truly want a fun bargain on four wheels, buy a used Miata and join a local Miata club. You’ll be glad you did.
To truly finish this meme up, I need to pass it along to five more bloggers…
So the gauntlet goes to…
I can’t wait to see their five items…