Planting the Seeds of Speed
I guess it all started with my obsession to become a fighter pilot growing up. My father worked at Northrop Grumman(just Grumman at the time) so I had a healthy exposure to military aircraft. Being a naturally curious person, I would study photos, cross sections, and specs of various aircraft to figure out how each component worked together to make an effective and efficient machine. Mind you, I started this obsession in elementary school where most kids my age were playing video games. I learned the basics of flight controls in fixed wing and rotary aircraft and even aerodymic heories such as bernoullis principle which makes flight possible. The dream of flying, breaking the sound barrier and pulling high g turns was burned into my brain.
Then came the crushing news in 2nd grade that I needed to wear glasses. Laser eye surgery did not exist at the time and I knew my eye sight would never be good enough for the military, where most pilots have better than 20/20 vision. The dream was crushed but remnants always remained. This only further fueled my obsession of figuring out the way things work. I went on to study more aircraft, spacecraft, cars, boats, motorcycles, guns, and even construction vehicles.
Beauty in the Details
There is a beauty in every machine. This beauty may not be visible from the outside but in the way parts/components are designed and created to interact with each other in a complex but perfectly timed series of events. A good example of this a car's internal combustion engine where the basic operations of suck, squeeze, bang, & blow turn air and fuel into motion. Of course that is a simplified and not very glorious description. The beauty is in the details of how precisely machined valves open and close, spark plugs fire, and injectors/carburetors distribute the right amount of fuel all at precise moments to turn chemistry into motion.
Many of you know me for my obsession with tinkering. I've have been a tinkerer as far back as I can remember. I think started when I was about 2 years old when my parents caught me on camera taking apart a remote controlled car and attempting to put it back together. Additionally, at a young age my father would have me help him with house maintenance/upgrades(construction, plumbing, electrical) and car maintenance. I would reluctantly sit there watching and handing him tools while jealous that my older brother was playing. Little did I know, I was learning valuable and rare life skills/knowledge for the future.