Project Havok: Act I

welding in movies




A friend of mine with a machine shop built the mounting mechanism below. Surrounding yourself with people who have abilities beyond yours is one of the best parts of pursuing goals.

For me, that mechanism is artwork itself.

Not that thick!

Right after I wrote that — I was curious about what the max might be (and how it varies depending on other factors). And that — is at the heart of what this is all about: The willingness to wonder, reconsider, and reflect. What if it wasn’t the thickness but the type of wood and/or that it was block of boards instead of one piece? What if the inexperience of the tech played a role?

What if?


Cutting Experts say it’s 5 inches — but my test block had deflecting and cracking by about 3. My experience pales in comparison to that company, but clearly there’s gap in understanding here.

Perhaps what was true 27 years ago — is no longer true?

Part 2 of 7

Vice President Cheney: We do know with absolute certainty that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon.

If you’re absolutely certain about something, shouldn’t your arguments reflect that? if you oversimplify an issue that clearly calls for careful examination, I know you’re hiding something. 

Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat has nothing to do with how I weigh information

Everything around this story sales pitch

Rather than assert that all opinions are equal, students in seminar learn to judge opinions on the basis of the reasons given for those opinions.


I learned early on in life that what you want gets in the way of what you see.

When I accomplished the seemingly impossible, the judges couldn’t wrap their minds around it — how one kid could pull this off. And my turnings were so accurate they assumed I used a copy crafter (which was against the rules).

They screwed me — and it was a gift that’s never stopped giving.

I was robbed of what was rightly mine, and when I didn’t get it — I found I didn’t need it. One moment of truth that set the foundation for all those that followed: My teacher didn’t need a letter or a lecture, just a look and a few choice words. He revealed something I couldn’t see, as I was blinded by my disgust in being so royally wronged.

The bigger picture is a beautiful thing — as your interests can be served in ways you wouldn’t have imagined had you gotten what you wanted.

We don’t have a category for you . . .

Was the attitude back then — and the same mindset I’ve been fighting ever since. Lo and behold — that’s another ongoing gift to this day.

Would I have graduated from Purdue without the gifts I’ve been given? Probably not. My degree is in Industrial Management with a minor in Manufacturing Management. I fell into IT by seeing a problem I just had to solve. It wasn’t my job — I just don’t like things that don’t work right and I gotta find a way to fix ‘em.

As I enjoy obstacles, I can’t go wrong . . .

Central to that discovery process are finding tools available to you and collaborating with those who help in ways large and small. Everything of excellence I have ever achieved came from the welcoming of input from others.

The best idea wins — I don’t care where it comes from. Same goes for the truth.

My minor is major, as it led to ideas that further refined my out-of-the-box thinking — and how I combine conventional and unconventional tools to solve problems. It was conventional thinking that clouded the minds of those who couldn’t see that I did what couldn’t be done.

When I wrote to The Havok Journal about their article on the anniversary of Colin Powell’s speech, I had no idea they’d offer me a chance to submit a follow-up piece. As I wrote and produced the most exhaustive documentary ever done on Iraq WMD, I have a lot to say.

And then some . . .

Others have welcomed my work on WMD — until they realized I was taking on their side too. I don’t fit the formula — just like old times.

But The Havok Journal doesn’t roll that way.

And whad’ya know, we collaborated on some ideas to find the best way of showcasing the story. When it comes to America, it’s the same ol’ story told in a whole new way. Barbara Tuchman perfectly captures the chaos in The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam:

Like many alternatives, however, it was psychologically impossible. Character is fate, as the Greeks believed. Germans were schooled in winning objectives by force, unschooled in adjustment. They could not bring themselves to forgo aggrandizement even at the risk of defeat.

America is “unschooled in adjustment.”

I’m not:

Everything below was built by fundamental problem solving and adapting to the situation: All of which dovetails into the doc and my ideas for using folly from the past for the benefit of the future. Each principle below has a place for what I have mind.

And just like old times — input from others would shape my vision into something far better than I could have ever done on my own.

I screwed up . . .

And in the wrong hands, it’s over. This block was not too bright, but not only did I come up with a way around the problem I created — it was a blessing in disguise.

Sometimes we do things with the best of reasons behind ’em — with rock-solid experience shaping our approach. But problems can come into play when we get too comfortable relying on our experience — then make assumptions that don’t account for complexities outside our wheelhouse.

That can happen to anybody, but if you wanna accomplish your goal — ya gotta leave the door open for when things don’t go as planned. You must be willing to wonder:

Is this working?

Openly embrace your mistakes

Once you fully understand why you made them — it not only clears the way for how to fix them, but also avoids repeating them in other ways. And as a bonus, it builds integrity

It took 5 states and 2 years from the time I came up with the idea — and many unforgettable experiences along the way. One of my favorites is when I was working on it at the ol’ woodshop (goverment work — where would I be without it).

An art teacher took an interest in what I was doing. She just happened to be talking about symmetry at the time, and for obvious reasons — my work was ideal for an impromptu presentation.

In my Q&A, this kid raises his hand and expressed a concern about the possibility of it being top-heavy. Considering a great deal of thought went into the design that hinged on that very question: That — is amazing!

He even framed his question in the context of kids playing around it and “what if it tips over?”

For an 8th grader to be so astute is one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen. I enthusiastically told him what a great question it was, and explained how I factored for that concern. I had it covered — but what if I hadn’t? Would my woodworking background and CAD/CAM experience just trump that kid’s question?

The wall-mounted version was AN afterthought to sell as a high-end item in prehistoric times when CDs were ruled the world.

By now, you shold know that these pictures aren’t simply about paiting

NAPA do work for NASCAR


What if?

who cares where tehe question comse?

Not a single person on the plant would answer, “Yes” — and yet that such dismissal happens countless times a day across America.

I’ve always been lucky that way.

My doc was designed as a tool for honest debate. Now? It’s intended for a larger framework to clear the clutter that’s crippled this country. Conventional methods have repeatedly failed. Why would you believe next time will be any different? But integrate those same tools into an unconventional framework for honest debate — and it will be different.


turn it this way

When something

It was back to basics — but CN



And not only did I come up with a way around it — it was a blessing in disguise.

kid raised

that’s precisely what I”m doing t

what you’re donig is not gonna word

chart tell (Aga deal with America)

somebody already sai

The solution to this problem is more truth, not less

No, it’s not

The different forms





it’s just

strucutural integrity



My doc was designed as a tool for honest debate. Now? It’s intended for a larger framework to clear the clutter that’s crippled this country.

Workin’ all day in my daddy’s garage
Drivin’ all night chasing some mirage . . .

You have no idea

I learned early on in life that what you want gets in the way of what you see.