Overhaulin

One of my favorite new shows on TLC is Overhaulin. So if I ever got overhauled, this is what I’d like done to the Bird.

1. Replace stock T/A hood with a Ram Air hood.
2. Rebuild the LT-1 V8 engine preferably increase the horsepower from 275 to >300.
3. Replace the wheels with 17″ 5 spoke rims (like to keep it stock as possible)
4. Replace the Kumho 245/50ZR16 with some Yokohama AVS Sport (they’re the closests to the Firstone SZ50s I used to have)
5. Replace stock exhaust with a Borla exhaust.
6. Lower the cars ride height by an inch or two using Eibach springs and new performance shocks
7. Add a strut tower brace
8. To stiffen the body a bit, sub frame connectors
9. Re-upholster the interior with new leather, preferably removing the plastic backings of the front seats
10. Add a 10-disc CD changer, and integrate my current stereo with the steering wheel controls (again)
11. Replace the panhard rod, and the rear arms

That should about do it.

The 'Bird is sick

A little background. For those that don’t know, I own a 1995 Pontiac Trans Am. In high school, I always dreamed of a Camaro and ultimately a Porsche 911. I chose the Trans Am because I didn’t like the fourth generation Camaro’s, they looked like Geo Storms on steroids. Plus, the Trans Am reminded me of K.I.T.T.

Well, with all the rain we’ve had here in Wake Forest, the car was stumbling on the way home Friday night, and today it didn’t want to turn over (start). I have a strong feeling the Optispark distributor is either wet or bit the bucket. So I’ll have to take the Bird in to the shop sometime this week. :(

Replacing Tiles with Sitemesh

Finally, a Java related post. Our project chose Struts as our web application framework. We needed ability to specify layouts, so we used Tiles, but it is extremely intrusive in our development process. Having to map the struts actions to tiles definitions, then making the tiles definitions, then writing the JSP pages were a pain for all of our developers. We just wanted to write our pages, then design and put in our layouts.

That’s when I found Sitemesh. Sitemesh is great. It is far less invasive, actually, it’s NONinvasive. I can write my JSP pages using Struts, my struts-config now maps my actions to jsp pages instead of tiles defs, and define a single layout “decorator” for our site. I’m in the process of ripping out tiles from our project and replacing it with Sitemesh. I will report on how the transition goes.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Well, our first vacation in two years went well. We went to Myrtle Beach, SC for the week. We stayed at an extended stay hotel called Staybridge Suites. The room had to bedrooms which made putting the kids to sleep a lot easier.

We got there on Monday, August 2nd. Adán was begging to go to the beach the whole way down. So we managed to compromise and take him to the pool at the hotel. I got Adán ready while Liz got Marco ready. I went down first with Adán. And within a minute after I foolishly removed his “swim shoes” he slipped and busted his lip. Blood was gushing and my t-shirt was covered in it as I tried to use it to stop the bleeding. The great thing about kids is they recover from injury very quickly, within hours Adán was jumping around again. I was afraid his injury was going to be the way the rest of the week went, thankfully it wasn’t.

We only went to the beach one day, its too much work to pack up our stuff for a few hours at the beach. But we did do a lot of sightseeing. On Tuesday, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for lunch. Adán loved all the guitars on the wall. Marco loved the french fries :) After lunch, we checked out Ripley’s Aquarium at Broadyway on the Beach. The aquarium was ok, but not really worth the $15 per adult, especially if you’ve ever been to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Wednesday was beach day which put me in the mood for seafood. The had a Phillips Restuarant. I was dying to have REAL Maryland Crab Cakes, since the ones in North Carolina wouldn’t pass for crab cakes in Maryland. So I ordered the crab cake dinner with two baseball sized crab cakes loaded with lump crab meat. It was AWESOME.

We spent the afternoon and evening at Broadway at the beach on Thursday. We checked out the shops, including Liz’ favorite, the Fudge Factory. We had dinner at Yamamoto Steakhouse. It wasn’t anything spectacular, pretty run of the mill Japanese steak house.

After dinner, we took Adán and Marco to the carnival rides. They loved the spinning “drums”, more like tea cups. The merry-go-round was a hit as well, but only after Adán go to ride the lion. He was big enough to get on the airplanes by himself. His first unsupervised ride. <tear> Kids grow up way too fast.

Friday was check out day, so we came home. The week turned out very well.