Monday, December 1, 2008

Hot Rod Power Tour 09?

I got word that it's on!

The tour starts in Madison, WI this year and makes its way thru Detroit and then on to Tennesee!

Saturday, June 6
Madison, WI
Alliant Energy Center

Sunday, June 7
Racine, WI
Downtown Lakefront

Monday, June 8
South Bend, IN

Tuesday, June 9
Warren, MI (Detroit)
General Motors Technical Center

Wednesday, June 10
Dayton, OH
University of Dayton Arena

Thursday, June 11
Somerset, KY

Friday, June 12
Bristol, TN
Bristol Motor Speedway

So - Please keep posted for the plans for this year's tour!

We will have some fresh things to show - there will be changes to the GTO, another car is in the works and more fun stuff.

I also want to show you the photo of last year's LONG HAUL gang - see if you can squint enough to find Sean and myself in the photo. I know wh
ere I was sitting, so that was easy...


Monday, September 1, 2008

What's new? a tale of two Brian's...

It has been a great summer! So many stories to tell and the ones already posted are just the beginning...

So in the last few weeks we have met several people who have seen the GTO and been inquisitive about it. Two nights in a row I drove into Fleet Farm to buy fuel for the GTO and both nights I met a guy (two different people) named Brian.

The first night I was in the passenger seat as my wife was driving the car - heading home from church and we stopped in to top off the tank with a little 92 octane fuel. When I pull into fill 'er up I raise up the rear air suspension fully and lower the front some in order that I don't get splashed or the fuel nozzle ejects out of the filler neck when the tank is full.

This guy in a suburban pulls into the station and with his window rolled down hangs his head out the window and asks what year the car is and if it's for sale. He wasn't sure if it was a 66 or 67, and I told him it's a 66. As for the whole for sale bit, I didn't have a good answer for him other than not really. If he were to offer some 6-figure price for it I would certianly consider selling...

At this point he was out of his 'burban and we had the hood open talking about what has been done to the car. As he is leaning into the hood I ask him a question...

"if you were to die tonight, do you know if you'd go to heaven?"

he slowly looks up at me with a crooked smile and answers "yea!" and proceeded to tell me that it was the FIRST time anyone has ever asked him that question.

As we continue to talk he shares that he goes to Emmanuel Christian Center in Spring Lake Park, MN - which is where my wife went as a teenager... hmm, small world!

The next evening I was alone at Fleet Farm topping off again with some of that sweet go juice and there's a guy in a early 2000's saturn sedan filling up and we strike up a conversation - this time about gas. (not the kind you get from eating beans either...)

I ask him the same question - "if you were to die tonight..."

The answer - YES

Ends up his name is Brian also and his church group has done "gas buy down's" which means their church makes an agreement with a local gas station and for a few hours a day they offer 25 cents off a gallon of fuel and they do the full service thing. Fill ups, check the oil, clean the windows, etc. and in the process tell the captive audience about the love of God. Pretty cool idea!

Anyhow - to meet two guys two nights in a row both named Brian and both of them knowing their eternal destiny - talk about wow!

God is good - all the time - no matter my situation, He never changes and His word is always true!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Car Craft Summer Nationals!! Day 1

Well, another fine sunny day today. I got the GTO washed up this morning and headed out to the State Fair grounds... with a couple stops on the way.

First is to fill up the fuel tank. One thing about this GTO is the fuel filler is down behind the rear liscence plate, so you need to crouch down to fill it up, and we have had several instances with this setup to say the least. Early on in the car's life fuel would spill out the back anytime it accelerated hard, that was fixed with a short rubber hose and a golf tee... (photos coming later to elighten you on this subject...)

Now when I fill up the car I use the air suspension to raise the rear up as high as possible to keep a minimal amount of fuel from spilling on the ground when the pump shuts off. There was one time I was not physically holding the fuel nozzle and when it shut off it ejected from the car and flopped on the ground like a dead snake. Talk about a humorus moment.

So the tank is full, now it's on the freeway to get to the fairgrounds!

Well my tank was getting low, so a quick stop at Arby's got me a #12 with no bacon or onion. I sat there just pondering the day and as I'm almost done with the meal in walks and sits down near me a Mennonite family that was eating at Arbys. I felt a strong pull to introduce myself and talk to the father. As I stopped to ask him where he was from he opened up and started talking. I ended up pulling up a chair and he asked me about the car and I asked him about his life. They are a horse and buggy family similar to the Amish folks, but they have electricity and phones.

Their farm was about 200 acres and they primarily milk cows. He had two older boys, a younger boy and 3 girls all younger. The family was all well dressed and they came into town to spend a day at the zoo, which for them I'd imagine was a huge deal.

I think the most interesting thing about it was that I was having a bad mood and when they walked in it really blessed me seeing a family like that sit down next to me. After we had been talking a while I told him that my sons would love to see a farm, and I was invited out to come see them sometime. I'm excited for that roadtrip to go see a different way of life. Looking at the father's hands I could tell he was a hard worker, and was a good provider for his family.

Onto the car show now! I got to the fairgrounds and after I registered and got in to find a parking spot I noticed that the air suspension pumps were running a bit slow... ( I had been airing the car up while driving, so the pumps kick on based upon demand) and as I looked at the voltage gauge on the dash it was below 12V! Revving up the motor didn't help any, so I just took it easy and found a spot to park the car to conserve the battery power. I knew I'd need all the power just to get the car to the autoparts emporium for a new alternator.

After much of the day at the show was over, a few guys stopped by that worked for Checker Auto and they called their store and found me a new alternator with a 10% discount, which was great, but I did try calling Kevin Oeste from V8TV to ask where he got the alternator that was on the car in the first place.... Autozone! I found one 3 miles from the fairgrounds, and armed with his phone # Maria at Autozone was able to find the original purchase date was only 2 months ago so it was still under warranty! The removal and replacment in the car took all of 10 min, and that included the time spent talking with a few other patrons of Autozone in the meantime.

I'm back up to 14V with the engine running so all is good now!

Tomorro is 'nother big day at the show - so more good news to come1

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm back!

Well I'm all caught up on sleep now. It took several weeks, but it got done.

Coming home from the Power Tour was quite a wild ride, as if you have actually taken the time to read the rest of the blog you'd see all the exciting moments - from driving thru water, to seeing Wisconsin Dells being closed off (due to Lake Delton emptying).

One of the great moments on the Tour was being able to spend time with all the pioneers of the industry interviewing them. There will be a new video up on the website shortly as well as a full site refresh to keep pushing forward with the eternal purpose of the drive.

It seems that everywhere I go with the GTO it's a conversation piece. It's opening up opportunities to talk with people that I would never otherwise talk to.

For example I was driving around just the other day in the Rogers/Dayton area in MN and had just looked at a commercial property for my business to call home. In driving by a home, there were 3 guys standing around on the driveway of a nice home and as I drove by they waved me over. I pulled into the driveway and they wanted to see the car and ask questions. One of the 3 guys was the owner of a plumbing shop and was driving his Dodge Viper that has a little secret sauce in the trunk. (2 bottles of NOS to say the least)

Just today at lunch I went to McD's and had a Bigg Mack meal deal and on the way to lunch a friend of mine saw the GTO and followed me to lunch and we ate together. When I was leaving there was a father and son walking around the car checking it out and I talked to them for a little bit.

So just about anywhere I go there is new opportunity to meet new friends and let people know about the saving grace of Jesus. Check out

At the end of July there is the Car Craft Summer Nationals - and I'm already registered for the show. We will have the D1 (that's for those of you that haven't figured it out yet) stuff there and showing it.

Stay tuned more to come!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Hot Rod Power DE-Tour day 6... or is it day 7? I forgot...

Madison Wisconsin...

Talk about a blessing. Today was another SUNNY and nice day during the show hours. This morning we awoke to clammy and cloudy weather. We got to the Alliance Center where the show was held today and the clouds broke open and the sun shined down on us all day.

The weather was perfect and the turnout at the show was great. I do have to say the entire team was a bit tired due to not getting into De Forest (the town we got a hotel room in) until 2:30am last night. If you read yesterday's blog closely you will see at the end my sentances don't make sense and I fell asleep at the keyboard typing the letter "K".

So you ask - what happened today? Let me tell you!

It really all started at about 3am when I got a nice hot shower in the hotel room and I got an idea. It was to go out and interview the industry veterans and pioneers. So after the AVE/DRIVEN1 booth was all set up we went out to find people to talk with. We started with the Ring Brothers. These guys built two of the most awesome street machines - and have been awarded for them.

The interview with them was really enjoyable and enlightening. If you continue to follow the DRIVEN1 progress you will have the opportunity to see what we have found out.

What else happened? The GTO got up on the DynoMAX car dyno and did two consistent pulls to read the power to the wheels. We were the first car on the rollers today and the car pulled 350HP and 365 TQ. It's no slouch! So you must be asking with all that power is this thing a gas pig? NO - it's far from it - on the trip into Madison I filled up and found that not only does the car eject the fuel nozzle when the tank is full, it gets 25.3MPG when I keep my speed between 60-65mph! This is the most fuel efficent vehicle I own! (not including my wife's VW diesel)

So we packed up for the day and after we finished all the interviews we decided to go out to dinner as a team and recap the show. Now let me tell you about dinner... I think we were all too over tired that it was just funny... ok, so where am I going with this? Bunny was our server and being very friendly she took our order. Sean was so tired that he didn't even look at the menu, he just said to bring out the same thing that Michael ordered... Well the steaks came out and they were all undercooked a bit - so they went back many times to get cooked just right. Then later Stephanie and Dawn came up and asked what we did - if we were a real racing team. (I told them of course we were, but we weren't racing this time, just on the Hot Rod tour.)

Ok, so I'm really tired again so rather than fall asleep at the wheel again I'm going to cut this blog a bit short and come back at it tomorrow. So no matter how you look at is - the tour was a great time and a success.

Photos you ask? Be patient... let me get a little sleep and caught up. Cheers!


Power Tour day 6...... wow....

ok, so I'm wayy too tired up upload any photos tonight, but let me tell you - you are in for a TREAT when I get them posted. Let me summarize the day for you in as few words as possible...

Left Ames and stopped in the Boondocks for dinner - found a guy in a 66 Chevelle out showing off like crazy - doing huge burnouts and donuts on the street out front of the hotel - He asked me to race, and I declined - didn't want trouble from the local police force. Drove to campground in driving rain - feet got wet from rust holes around windshield - got from GTO to camper with shoes/socks off and pants rolled up - the water was above the blades of grass...

Got up and drove into Rochester for Power Tour... had to take a detour due to standing water on I90. Got to rochester and had the AVE team there for part of the day just checking things out.

Met with many many people today including several people from the Mayo clinic, as well as churches looking to build new buildings.

Eli spent the day playing hard with his excavation equipment in the dirt, hauling sand and dirt across the sidewalk.

Ran into Nick - AKA Duramax Tuner - the guy responsible for getting me hooked on EFILive to tune my truck (and the rented motorhome) - which lead me into the forum that helped me find V8TV who built the GTO. Whoa, that was a mouthful.

The entire day was sunny and beautiful at the Power Tour! Thank you for answering prayer God!

As we left just after 8pm- as we were driving I found out the tail lights in the GTO were not working (again). We pulled off in St. Charles and drove into town to get Subway for dinner. We really enjoyed the terrefic food served to us from the two ladies working there who hadn't got any sleep for 2 days. They would not share WHY, but just that they didn't get any sleep.

After dinner out in the parking lot we pulled into the interior and fix the non operational lights. Thanks Tony!!

We then proceeded into a town just outside Madison to get a good head start on tomorrows day. Once we were on 94, we got pushed off just based on the flooding aspect. The seemingly short side trip turned into a work of art selling and letting people check things out.

Rain and mudslides washed out much of the roadways, so we stopped in at a truckstop and asked the truckers what road is open and we found one that got us all the wayw wkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk (wow - i just fell asleep at the keyboard there.... sorry)

ok, so anyhow it took until 2:30am to get here to the hotel, rather than just about 12:00 using the freeway would have been.

alrighty - i'm super tired and going to bed... more tomorrow!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hot Rod Power Tour Day 5!

Imagine sleeping soundly and awaking to the sound of running water and your 3 year old son saying "waterfall mommie, waterfall!" That is what woke us up yesterday.

I sprung into action very quickly to see that my son had turned on the sink water and the plug was in the drain. One thing to know about an RV's bathroom sink is there is no overflow drain... so the water just runs over... There was a little bit of water on the floor that I quickly mopped up with my towel.

So now that the adrenaline is pumping, we got ready for the day and headed into Ames, IA. When we left our campground just outside of Des Moins and were driving in, it was storming and very rainy, and the overall forecast looked like it was going to be a generally miserable day - but not this day! My prayer for today was that the clouds part and the storm rolls back for the show, and then it can come back when we are done. And that is EXACTLY what it did, God is faithful, and when we pray and ask and have faith (believe that He will do it) - it will happen!

The day was a bit windy, but we kept everything from flying away by keeping the tents secured down with ratchet straps - we had pounded stakes into the asphalt. As the road crew was setting up - there were already people there and one guy was invited into the trailer during the rain. He was so thankful to have been invited in out of the rain that he came back later and thanked us not only for the hospitailty, but also for what we were here for - the message of salvation both on our DRIVEN1 business cards and the flyers we are handing out.

Several of the people that showed up today were curious not only about the car, but about what we do as the AV company. There were at least 6 people that I talked to personally who stopped by to ask a question about the car which then transitioned into talking about AVE and what we do. It is definately unconventional marketing, but it is reaching people we would have never otherwise reached. Some of these people are in the market now for some products, some are looking to build a new building... so we have been keepin track to follow up with them.

My boys are doing well - Eli has been out checking out all the hot rods and talking all about daddy's work... and Malachi, well he's just plain old happy...

I have to say the entire family is doing very well and I'd say for living in a motorhome for 2 weeks we are having a great time. I'm sure once we get home we will think that it's sooo big compared to a motorhome. I do have to say it is really my preferred way to travel with a family.

So what's next you ask? Well first off there is a pretty major detour in getting from Albert Lea to Rochester - as it was raining again like cats and dogs on our way into the KOA kampground. Having no windshield wipers on the GTO makes it for an interesting time - I had applied another fresh coat of Rain-X just before we left Ames last night and I have to say that stuff works wonders. So today is Rochester, MN and I'm expecting a beautiful day and a great turnout at our booth. We have Nick back at the AVE office calling around inviting people out to our booth and following up on all the leads we are getting on the power tour.

The GTO has been running well - a few bugs here and there we have been working out with the TCI transmission guys, the Air Ride suspension guys, and a few others. Overall the car is actually getting really good fuel economy seeing how big/heavy/powerful it is. I'm by no means driving it to achieve great MPG's but last night driving to MN I got over 20 MPG... Once we have the overdrive in it and get it all tuned to the max I'm sure high 20's to lower 30MPG will be realistic with the car. The funny thing about it is that this car other than my wifes diesel car (VW Passat TDI) it's the most fuel efficent car I own. My Volvo station wagon barely gets 20 MPG, and my truck also is not that good... but it sure can tow!

Ok, so what's the bottom line? We are out here on this mission to cure the world of bad audio and to let them know about the saving grace of Jesus Christ. All the printed materials for DRIVEN1 have the salvation message straight from the word of God. There have been numerous people that have walked up thanking us for doing it, as well as people that want to know the story... and what I mean by the story is what does a car and an AV company have in common and why are we here? Well at risk of repeating myself - it's really two things...

- to meet new people and open up opportunities for business

- to let people know about the saving grace of Jesus

A simple mission... now let's get out there and do it!

-till tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hot Rod Power Tour day 4!

Wow, I'm tired and need to get some sleep... I'll tell you the stories tn hte AM..


Monday, June 9, 2008

Hot Rod Power Tour day 3!

An amazing day! Last night we got into our KOA campground well after dark and the office was closed. We were fortunate enough to have pre-checked in... We saw the storm in the distance and it did make it's way into our part of the world.

Getting up this morning I had a puddle on the floor in the GTO - as the V8TV folks did not get to any real body work other than a spraying some paint over the existing body. There are still a few "holes" in the car from rust. Being totally honest about it - the trunk floor is pretty holy, and there are also holes around the rear window and the dashboard. Each of these holes lead to the car being a bit wet inside.

Well combine that with the fact that there are no wiper arms on the car, it was a challenge to see where I was going. A quick stop into an AutoZone got me some Rain-X and Fog-X... Worked like magic! No more foggy windows and a clear view out of the windows. The trip into Topeka was a fun one. We ended up leaving so late that we got in the middle of the rest of the hot rodders on the tour.

The majority of the cars do not take the freeway - we take the more backroads thru small towns. The driving thru the small towns, while fun adds a lot of time if there are stoplights. Think for just a moment about 1000+ cars trying to make it thru a stoplight? You have a recipe for a long rush hour in a small town with a stoplight.

Each town we went through had people lined up on the streets looking for the hot rodders to do burnouts or rev the engines up. In one I drove really slow handing out the DRIVEN1 flyers. Everyone wanted one! Once I got the first one out the window everyone else was not far behind coming up to get one.

Ok, so just about 40 miles out of Topeka my GPS battery decided to take a nap... leaving me without the navigation to find the venue. (Well, I guess I'm ok seeing as I'm one car in a line of over 1000 cars trying to get in to Heartland Park. (the local venue for car racing) As I pulled in, the sun was shining and there was a huge buzz all over the place - this being the 3rd day in the Power Tour I can say this was the best day yet.

You ask WHY was this the best day? Well we have had the chance to set up the AVE/DRIVEN1 booth now a few times, and then also the GTO was DRIVEN into the show... and don't forget this venue had the 1/4 mile track!

Are you ready to live life more than 1/4 mile at a time?
That's the D1 tagline - and what did I do that day? I took D1 down the 1/4 mile track! (twice none the less!) It was a very exciting experience being that I'd never been down a track before like this. I got some advice from veteran racers and it went quite well other than a few technical difficulties with the car. The first run was not so good for ET. (that's Elapsed Time - or the total time it takes the car to drive the 1/4 mile.) The speed at the end of the track was respectable, but my problem was fuel starvation. (I burned up most of the tank of fuel driving from Springfield, and the other thing is accelerating that hard all the fuel in the tank sloshed towards the back and the engine bogged down like I was out of gas... speaking of GAS - I passed through a town called GAS today... and no I didn't pass gas in Gas...)

So what's it like going down the 1/4 mile track for the first time? Well here's my take... First you have Tech Inspection - this is where they check the car over for any safety issues. They check things like the battery being securely attached to the car so it can't go flying out. After the inspection - (I passed) they put a number on the car with white shoe polish and then have you sign a release. Next you drive into the staging lanes - where people wait their turn...

When it was my turn - they signaled me into the burnout box - to do a quick burnout, which warms up the tires and makes them more sticky. I did 2 short ones to just clear the tires, then pulled up to the "tree" - there were two small lights telling me when I'm at the right position to start the race. Once both me and my opponent were "ready" the tree - a set of lights that count down to a green light - I put my left foot on the brake and the right on the gas just slightly. The tree counts down and on the last yellow light I let it rip!

As you can see at the end of the video the car ran a 13.4 second time and a speed of 106.8MPH. If you listen close to the video you will hear the tires spinning all the way into 2nd gear (lack of traction from the street tires) and while I was going down the track, on the 2-3 shift I had to let up on the throttle because I shifted too late and I didn't want to over rev the motor and blow it up, as it only has about 300 miles on it as of right now. (the motor had 8 miles on it when I bought it!)

So what else happened today? I got the chance to meet two friendly ladies hanging out in the shade between two cars - Marsha and (sorry I forgot the other ladies name, but I do remember it starts with an M) - we talked for a while and they were asking why we were taking so many photos of the GTO - well here's your answer - it's for this website! It's also a great conversation starter!

There were also several other people I had the chance to meet with today and talk to about AVE, DRIVEN1 and why we are here in the first place - to tell people about the love of Jesus. No matter what - there have been a lot of people that come up asking questions about the car and I can turn it into a breif conversation about what I do for a living and most importantly WHY I do it. When it all boils down - simply put I'm DRIVEN by ETERNITY.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hot Rod Power Tour day TOO!

Whew! Another exciting day! The GTO showed up today - Kelle and Kevin Oeste delivered it this afternoon after spending much time getting it all "right"... as my thing was it's a car meant to be DRIVEN...

I think I've already removed a few layers of rubber from the rear tires, just giving the throttle 50% will break the rear end loose. It a great runner and corners totally flat. Words can't describe how the car handles and drives - ya just gotta ride in it!

We had an awesome day at the show - we got a great spot right next to Magnaflow and Air Ride, both being suppliers for parts on the GTO. There were a number of hot rodders that came by the AVE booth asking questions and we met a number of people that had new church buildings going up or a business that needed A/V systems. Our goal for being there as the A/V company is to reach out to new clients that need quality A/V systems. For only being two days out and getting a read on the number of people that are looking for what we have to offer is fantastic. We have 5 more days of fun in the sun reaching new people!

The DRIVEN1 crew decided to go out to a mexican joint for dinner tonight, and the trusty (not) GPS sent us to a side street where there was supposed to be a place to eat... well it did not exist, so we chose the next closest mexican place according to the GPS, and that was a place somewhat like a Taco Bell... no thank you...

Michael took over as lead car and found us a Buffalo Wild Wings - and we all ended up eating there. Heather (our friendly server) was out in the parking lot and came back in asking who's cool car was out there. We ended up talking a little bit and she said she is dreaming of getting a 1972 Nova. Heather, if you read this - I hope you find the perfect one! And thanks for getting us a great dinner!

Another trip to Wal-Mart tonight ended up getting us a few more things than the other night when the Wally World looked like Y2K just hit.

What else should I talk about? How about driving the motorhome from Little Rock to Sprinfield thru the mountians! We made our way back north thru Branson today. There was a nice little pastry and coffee shop and they had their open sign out, but the door was locked. (I was hungry) seeing how we left at 6am to head north so we would be early enough to park the motorhome as part of the AVE/DRIVEN1 booth.

Tomorrow? We are heading up to Heartland Park in Topeka, KS and I am planning to get the GTO down the 1/4 mile to see what it will do. I have never before done a 1/4 down a track, so I have no idea what to expect, but I'm going to give it a go!

More new people and 200+ miles on the GTO tomorrow. I have a tool bag packed in the trunk and bought a few critical items to have in the car... oil, coolant, etc.

Tonight - it's rain! Tomorrow - sunny and nice!

See ya tomorrow!


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Hot Rod Power Tour day 1!

We made it! (Even thru the HOT sunny day - it was something like 94 degrees in the shade today. There was rain, but only from our forheads...

We had an awesome day today, and just for fun I'll start with the end of the day and work backwards.

I'm now all ready for bed and just getting the BLOGGG typed up so I can get some ZZ's and head north to Springfield early in the morning. It's about a 215 mile drive and we are supposed to be there by 10am. whoo hoo! Gotta burn rubber and get outta here!

There was a nice time had spent in the KOA kampground pool this evening cooling off... and my not quite 3 year old son got daring and jumped into the pool without someone there to catch him, but all 4 of us were in the pool and saw him and was able to get him to safety. He was a little confused at first as to why he did'nt float, but he now understands first hand how it works.

Before the pool was a trip with the RV to Wal-Mart to get a few supplies and as we walked into the store it looked just like I'd imagine it would if Y2K were just about to happen. The shelves were mostly empty - and not just missing a few things, but EMPTY - there were rows and rows of empty shelves and then a few products scattered here and there. I'm thinking to myself, self, why is Wal-Mart empty? The answer was on the door as we entered into the store, but I ignored it. So I took it upon myself to ask a friendly employee and they informed me that the store was closing! Well that answered that! We got 42% of what we needed and headed on our way back to go to the pool...

Before the Wal-Mart adventure we stopped out at a Steakhouse - the entire crew was very well fed tonight. The best salad bar in Little Rock along with phenominal service by the wait staff. Manuel (one of our servers) even took time to stop what he was doing and said hi to my kids. He told us he has some young ones at home and was able to relate. (after a long hot day in the sun, those of you with kids can imagine what a almost 3 year old might be like when he's hungry and not had his usual 2 hour nap that day...) So Manuel - if you are reading this - THANK YOU! My son also very much enjoyed seeing all the fish in the fishtank. He even named them all.

Before the steakhouse, we spend the day at the Fairgrounds on the Power Tour show. The AVE booth was all set up along with the DRIVEN1 booth. We were missing the GTO today, but I learned today that Kevin with V8TV has it all ready to go and he and Kelle will be delivering it tomorrow in Springfield. There were a few bugs to work out in the electrical system and things like that. I pretty have decided I'd rather have the car later and drivable than early/ontime and a trailer sissy.

At the PT we met many awesome people - one in particular - Althea - was a very nice woman we met who was a grandmother (whom I guessed her age to be 58, and got a nice big hug and kiss from just after that...) who had been on the Power Tour for years! She lives in Florida and has a wonderful compassion for taking care of her grandkid who has ceberal palsy. Being that she is a long hauler - I'll enjoy seeing more of her and many others I met today.

There were a few pastors from churches that stopped out and just by hearing the music we were playing got drawn in to our booth to see what we are all about... Well AVE is all about designing, selling and installing professional audio, video and lighting systems. Driven1 is all about...well wait a minit...just read the blog and the webpage to find out! (if you haven't already)

This morning we woke up at about a quarter to 9 and realized that the pancake breakfast was only supposed to go until 9am, but they kept the "griddle" hot for us past 9... so we got our fill and got the call that the show was about to start! We need to get our butt's in gear and get out to the show!

Oh, boy, at this point of the day I'm still sleeping... or was I bloggin from the night before?

Friday, June 6, 2008

No Sweat!

We are now happily in North Little Rock! Last night Jenna joined us (Sean's wife) and we headed out of Branson after meeting up with the Driven-1 crew and enjoying a chinese buffet.

Somehow all of the fortunes in the cookies ended with the saying that is censored on this webpage... Ask Ralph if you run into him - he will tell you all about it. It was very yummy.

We drove into Arkansas and saw a few interesting sights, including what looked like a concrete plant that had exploded. There was a tanker truck turned over on it's side and burned up, and the main "body" of the building was leaning over more than the tower in Italy. Debris was scattered all over and I really wasn't sure what happened.

The other thing we saw was a peppering of classic muscle cars on the interstate heading into town. As soon as we arrived in North Little Rock we pulled off into the KOA campground where we are staying the night and got checked in. The friendly staff at the KOA invited us to a pancake breakfast and also offered advice on a good place to have dinner out. We met up with Spencer and Cyndy Nordyke of Nordyke Ministries for dinner.

They have joined us for this stop of the Power Tour to help us kick it off. Spencer has been a huge influence on my life growing up - as he was the minister at the youth summer camp that I went to growing up. He is one of the reasons I am where I am today. Thank you Spencer & Cyndy!

Well speaking of dinner - we went out to COCK of the WALK Restaurant located at 7103 Cock of the Walk Lane... and it was voted "Best Catfish in Central Arkansas for the past 16 years!" I have to say that the chicked was very good. What can I say - I wasn't too big on getting catfish. Heather was very friendly in serving us, and I hope she checks out the blog...

Tomorrow AM will be the thrash to set up the AVE/DRIVEN1 booth and get ready for the onslaught of people checking out what we have to offer. There will be many people that will get more than they came for - and in a good way! To all of you out there that don't know me and whoI run into - it's great to meet you, and for those of you who I don't get a chance to meet here on earth, my hope and prayer is that I meet you on the other side of eternity.

Are you ready to live life more than a 1/4 mile at a time?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tired... ready for some sleep.

I have heard that the weather in MN is not nearly as nice as it has been for us down south...

We have had GREAT weather and enjoying it.

In talking with Kevin Oeste today - the car is all put together and ready to roll other than an alignment. That will take place tomorrow (it should have today, but the town of Waterloo, IL has been having power outages all day today)

Then Kevin & Kelle will be driving down to meet up with us and hand over the keys once he has had a chance to shake out all the bugs.

The Driven-1 Crew has made it down from Minneapolis to Clinton, MO with the truck and trailer - which I might add looks totally awesome. There was a problem with the trucks running light wiring, but having a truck full of techincal people means they will get it taken care of in no time.

There is a lot of new and cool A/V equipment we will be showing careking - and we are raising awareness to clients across the nation.

Tomorrow will be a much more eventful day as the Driven-1 crew sets up and gets ready for an action filled day at the Little Rock show. Thanks - please feel free to comment on any of the blogs - as I'll read them all!


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More good news!

Today's news update!

The 1966 GTO is running and has been driven! It's fast and good running. There was a
*slight* problem with the Steeroids rack&pinion steering system put in the car. Talking with Kevin Oeste with V8TV today he found that there was a lot of play in the toe-in of the front wheels. What this really means is several things:

- excessive tire wear
- steering that is loose feeling
- a car that will tend to "dart" and change lanes while braking (not a safe situation)
- it's hard on the steering parts
- requires a lot of driver input to keep the car going straight

So what's the solution? Find the adjustment for the steering rack and tighten it down. (ok, so I'm simplifying it, but that's the main point)

To say it simply the car is mean and loud! (there was no interior today other than the drivers/passenger seats, so it will get better with the carpeting and back seats.)

Changing gears a little bit, we were out today having dinner with a good friend Randy Lofland and his family. Randy was kind enough to loan us his 2nd car - an older Kia Sephia. Compared to driving the 37' motorhome thru the mountians, the Kia is like driving a formula 1 racecar! I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed carving the canyons in a faded burgundy Kia... The car has been a huge blessing to us while the GTO is getting dialed in, and I'm eternally grateful to Randy for allowing us to use it.

While out to dinner with Randy, we came across several people we were able to talk with, one of them being a street vendor named Gaius (hope I spelled your name right...) who was selling Christian t-shirts. I bought one for my 3 year old son, and while we were talking the Driven-1 project came up and we were talking about the Hot Rod Power Tour. He is originally from Springfield, MO - which is the second stop of the tour. He then offered to give me one of the t-shirts to wear on the tour, but I told him we had special shirts made for AVE and Driven-1. I've included his photo, so if you are ever in branson and see him - please stop by, buy something and tell him that Stefan says HI!

Tomorrow we will be off to a few other places, and the Driven-1 crew will be leaving the Minneapolis headquarters heading down to Little Rock. 3 days until the Power Tour starts! The excitement is building!!

For those of you wondering this trip is not at all about a cool car - the car is just a tool to make connections and being able to talk to people. Not even having the car yet I have had the opportunity to talk to many many people about both AVE and the sound, video and lighting systems AVE designs, sells and installs as well as the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

While we were at the swimming pool today I got to talk with Gary and Sherry - an retired navy man and his wife who are now a full time RV'ers. (that means they no longer have a house - he and his wife live out of their camper and move around the country wherever they want to live) He was telling me that the process of selling their house they had to get rid of a lot of "stuff" - and having lost one of their kids in a tragic car accident, he now understands that none of it really has any value compared to the life of their kids and grandkids. They are camping at the Tall Pines campground (where we are staying) for a month and took 2 of the grandkids and are keeping them with for the month. The boy was 9 - he's the one that lost his mom to the accident and the girl was 3 years old. It was really refreshing to see that perspective in life from them. Life is really about more than just the toys that people tend to accumulate... or living just a 1/4 mile at a time...

It's time to be DRIVEN by the ONE who will take your life and use it~

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


We spent pretty much the entire day yesterday at the V8TV farm and got to see the incredible variety of life that the farm holds.

From the leaky water hose from the well spigot, to the lack of fresh water in the RV's tank. I was able to solve the problem and got the tank to hold the fresh water without leaking all out. (a sticky valve)

We also had an interesting time getting the A/C in the RV to work - as we had probably 150' of extension cords feeding the power to the RV and with that length of wire there was too much voltage drop to keep the A/C running consistently. It would cycle on and off with power surges. So later the onboard generator was turned on to run the A/C, but it would cut out at times and a careful check found that the oil level was low on the generator. Once we added some oil to it I found it to stay running.

We broke bread for lunch with the V8TV crew - Kelle cooked up some mean hamburgers and there was fresh (and I mean FRESH - as in picked that morning from the garden) strawberries and melon to go along with lunch.

After spending much of the day yesterday with the crew and going over things with the car we decided to head out and make our way into Branson, MO. I'll tell you if you have never driven a 37' RV in the mountians before, make sure you ask someone who has to get an idea of how it's done. The Holiday Rambler would get upto 80mph going downhill with the foot off the accelerator, and going up hill with the go pedal mashed down to the floor it would barely muster 40mph. It was a very exciting time to say the least!

Today in Branson was spent with several good friends at a new development that is being built up for Jim Bakker's TV ministry. I got to tour the TV production trailer, as well as the new studio's being built for it. The show was being taped as we arrived and it was fun to see the studio in action. There were many sights we enjoyed seeing along the way to our lunch discussions. Anywhere we go the DRIVEN1 GTO is a conversation starter and leads into more discussions.

In some more good news I talked with Kelle (V8TV) today and the tires will be in tomorrow which means the car should be up and driving around on it's own power! That means the GTO is hitting the streets and getting it's test runs in to shake out any bugs before the Power Tour.


Here we are - We made it to Branson, MO late last night after quite an adventure. I guess I should start off with what's going on and why we are in branson to begin with...

If you are reading this blog as a link from the website then you already know pretty much what's going on. If you haven't seen that website I strongly suggest you visit that site first and read on what we are going to be doing.

Our trip started out leaving Minneapolis many hours late... due to airline issues with Sean getting in town 5 1/2 hours late. We had the good intention to drive all the way thru to Waterloo, IL to stay the night at the V8TV shop/farm. Well we made it just a few miles into Iowa and were falling asleep, so we stayed the night at a parking lot only rest stop. No restrooms or water...

Well that was the first story, as I had filled the water tank on the RV full before we left only to find out that it was totally empty by the time we got to the rest stop, and that means no washing hands, no flushing toilets, etc. Luckily we had a few gallons of water in the fridge for human consumption.

We awoke the next morning and made our way on to Waterloo. Once we got close I called and got directions to the farm, and Kelle Oeste (with V8TV) said to look for the orange farm wagon on the left (and I wrote down turn right) but she said left... Well we turned right onto the gravel road heading towards the farm, only to find that this trail lead down some treacherous terrain that was only meant for 4 wheel drive tractors. The 37' motorhome we are in did not like it at all. There was no place to turn around, so I was forced to back the motorhome out of it. There was a HUGE hill that I had to back up, and for the first 3 trys we didn't make it. It was a bit muddy and we would get just part way back up the hill only to have the rich soil kicking up all around us. The 4th time we all prayed and I gave it another go - and we made it up with no problems! thank you Jesus!! :)

Well after that we turned LEFT and made it to the V8TV farm and had some yummy KFC that we had bought for the V8TV crew for dinner.

They had the car sitting there all ready for us to see - and it is awesome to say the least! I'll let the photos do the talking for now. More info on the car can be found at

We stayed the night and next day with Kevin, Kelle and the rest of the V8TV crew. They got the car started and now we are just waiting for tires and the final tuning of the car - then it will be ready for the Power Tour!

The farm was a wonderful experience for everyone - Elijah loved the 5 week old kitties and kept chansing them around. Sean and I were checking out the GTO... Jacque and baby Malachi were just having fun.