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      So.... the first day was fun to watch! They ripped out the boulder wall, all of the remaining shrubs, tree stumps, and other debris. 

      They started around 11 AM, taking the boulders that made up the old wall, and placing them on the other side of the driveway. That side was pretty steep and I wanted to shore it up as much as possible, so that my driveway stays where it's suppose to stay. That process took about three hours, and after than they ripped everything else out. 

      In these two pictures, you can see the boulders that are being moved.




      Here's a good before and after, minus the boulders.





      The small tree on this end of the drive will have to come down.




      I was hoping to keep this tree on this end of the drive, but I'm afraid it will need to go too. It's a beautiful maple, and I hate to lose it. 




      All of those boulders that made up that wall, ended up here. It was a perfect fit, as all of the boulders got used.  These will really help to reinforce the bank. 




      The rocks have since been covered with dirt and daffodils will be planted all over the bank.



      What we're putting down on the bank.




      I managed to get a time lapse video of the first day of demolition, and this is what it looked like.


    1. We just got back from the looper gathering at Wheeler State Park over in Alabama, and what an amazing event. So much information, so many beautiful boats (all types), and some of the nicest people that you could ever meet. Many people that were there are in the planning stages, but others are in progress, and others are Gold and Platinum loopers (gold is twice, platinum is more than twice). There were numerous seminars about all aspects of doing the loop, from wind and weather, anchoring, buying a boat, navigation, and many others. There were also sections where experienced loopers shared detailed information about different sections of the loop. I attended two of those, the first was from just north of Clearwater Florida to Miami, and the other was about going to the Bahamas. Really, really good information. People also shared the tools they use for navigation and how to share the location so others can track the path of the boat. There were vendors as well as boat brokers, boating insurance, and other boat related services. There are were also captains that will train you and help bring you boat back to your home port, which is a service we will absolutely use. 

      But probably the best part of the vent, was the Loop Crawls. Every afternoon around 4, we got to go down to the docks and explore all the different boats, inside and out. There aren't many places where you can actually get on 40 boats, and not just any boat, but boats that are actually doing the loop right now. One boat just started the loop 2 days ago. 🙂 Here are a few of the other boats. I should have taken a picture of each boat.










      We think we found a boat that would be suitable for extended traveling for us. Because there are so many types of boats doing the loop, there is no "perfect" boat. Whatever your personal requirements are determine what boat you choose. Obviously, the wife's likes and wants will play a big part in what boat we get, and it needs to be spacious on the inside, not only for us, but for any guest that would like to travel with us, and it should have the basic creature comforts that you might have at home. 

      What we found was this boat, and it's a 2007 Cruiser 455 Express Motor Yacht. This boat is not for sale (we we tried to steal it from them), but it is currently 2500 miles into the loop. The owners, Peter and Kim Squier were very gracious in allowing us to climb all over their boat and explain all of the features to us. 




      The specs for this boat are:

      • Length: 45'6"
      • Draft: 3'3"
      • Beam: 15'4"
      • Fuel Capacity: 500 gals.
      • Water Capacity: 140 gals.
      • Waste Capacity: 100 gals.

      From Powerboat


      The Cruisers 455 Express Motor Yacht is an updated version of the company’s 4450 Express MY that were built from 1998 to 2003. Both boats share the same fully cored hull, the same tankage, and the same unusual express/motor yacht design configuration. What is different is the exterior styling; the 455’s tiered cabin windows and restyled hardtop add much to her rakish personality. Below deck, the three-stateroom cherrywood interior is a departure from most aft-cabin floorplans in that the salon, galley, and dinette are all on the same level (although the dinette is slightly elevated to provide headroom for the small stateroom below). The forward cabin, with a walk-in closet, is nearly as large as the owner’s aft stateroom. Note that the aft head compartment includes a whirlpool tub in addition to a separate shower stall. Topside, the tiered helm and cockpit area keeps the captain and passengers in close proximity. Helm visibility is excellent, and the side decks are wide enough for secure access to the foredeck. A well-built yacht, twin 480hp Volvo diesels cruise the Cruisers 445 Express in the low 20 knots and reach a top speed just under 30 knots.


      Here's a look at a Cruiser 455


      I took some pictures, but I discovered after the fact that some of them were blurry, but here are some the show what the video didn't.

      It does have a combo washer/dryer. 



      This is the forward stateroom, and it's very roomy.


      Forward head. It has a standup shower. 



      Two smaller berths next to the washer/dryer.



      Eating area.



      Headed down to the Master bedroom.






      Master shower





      Yes... it has a tub. 🙂 



      Queen bed



      Cockpit area behind  the upper cockpit.



      Looking down inside the cabin.



      The boat has bow and stern thrusters, and they can be controlled with a handheld remote control. The throttle and steering can also be controlled with a handheld remote. 



      This is looking from the slightly lower rear cockpit, toward the front. This top area has heat and air conditioning. At the bottom of the picture is a refrigerator/freezer. On top of the hardtop are three solar panels that provide 1400 watts of solar power for charging batteries. It also has AIS, radar, sonar, GPS, and a full set of Navionics equipment.



      I now have Custis Stokes and Associates to help me find one that will suit our needs, so we'll see what they can come up with! If this boats were for sell, I would certainly buy it. 

      This was on a different boat, but a really nice dinghy.


    2. Ok, final forecast... and it really only consist of temperatures, there will be no rain. Also, the air is drying out, dewpoints will be dropping in the 50's, so it's actually going to feel fairly nice.













      Hope everyone has a great time!!!


    3. If changes are made, the latest changes will appears here. 
      Last Update: 01/23/23

      2016 Obsession Red Sedan



      2017 Phantom Gray Coupe


    4. EDIT: The room has been put on hold indefinitely due to a new adventure that we've decided to undertake.
      I finally have the as-built drawing from Shawn Byrne and the first revision of the equipment list from Adam Pelz. The as-built is 21 pages of drawings that I won't show here, but this is one of the pages.



      Here is the equipment list for the moment. This shouldn't change very much as this point. There are miscellaneous bits and pieces like cables and other connections that will be needed, and all of that was included in the equipment list. I already have a nice rack with lots of space, so all of the rack equipment in the list below (with the "r") will fit. 

      • (1) - Seaton Sound SS2-4000-DS18 (2x4000 watts) for sub (r)
      • (2) - Seaton Sound DS212-8 Dual 12" subs
      • (2) - Wisdom Audio SA-3 Amp (500 wpc x3 channels) (r) (for Left, Center, and Right) Each speaker requires two channels of amplification)
      • (1) - Wisdom Audio SA-8 Amp (375 wpc x8 channels) (r) (for surrounds and Atmos speakers)
      • (1) - Lumagen Radiance Pro (r)
      • (1) - Trinnov Altitude 16 (r)
      • (1) - JVC NZ9 Projector
      • (1) - Stewart Filmscreen WS25138HHMG2APX acoustically transparent screen
      • (3) - Wisdom Sage Cinema Line 2 (L/C/R)
      • (8) - Wisdom Sage Cinema Point 2 V2 (surrounds and Atmos)
      • (1) - Roku Ultra Streaming device (r)
      • (1) - Reavon UBR-X200 4K Blu-Ray/SACD/DVD-Audio player (r)
      • (1) - Roon Nucleus (r) 
      • (1) - Kaleidescape Strato C player (r)
      • (1) - Kaleidescape Terra Movie Server 12 TB (r)

      Everything will be controlled by Crestron control devices and all of this will work independently from our existing Control 4 system. I will have a connection from the Trinnov to our existing Sonos system. 

      Right now the installation is scheduled for September but I think I'll be lucky if it's all working before Christmas. 

    5. NorthGeorgiaWX
      Latest Entry

      I'll try to be quiet while you sleep.... it's 3:28 am here in Atlanta, do you know where your cars are? 🙂

      There are some light showers moving into the Lincoln area right now and they may linger through the early morning hours, bu most of the day should be dry. 



      Here's the hour by hour



      Here are the expected temperature anomalies (GFS) through the end of next week. Sun-Tue will be warm, but great after that. 



      Annnnd the forecast. I'll tell you what... after today, you won't need me to help you with the weather. 🙂 It will be great to have a dry and relatively cool Nationals. 



      Hope everyone has a great day!



Design Update - 11/27/21

As you can see, this has been a slow project, but we're finally getting somewhere. I have more plans and now have a speaker list and screen size. This is going to be a 7.2.4 home theater system, and that's really about all you can fit into the room. Again, my primary focus is on music and sound quality so the video part takes a second seat. 🙂 But with a 9 foot wide screen and the correct projector, that's not going to be too bad either.  Here's the room. To get your bearings, the top o


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Making Living Room for the Cars

Originally start the post on September 21 Yea, this isn't inside the house, but it is part of the house. 🙂 I am in the process of doing a garage makeover at our house. First, you have to understand that I'm a car guy and have been all my life, so I baby our cars, so it's only fitting that I have a nice "bedroom" for the "babies". 🙂 I'm working with Amanda Dame (she's right here in Big Canoe, click to email her) to coordinate all of the work and design.  I don't have any real good


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

My Return From a Four Year Layoff

I drove down to Atlanta Motor Speedway yesterday to participate in a SCCA autocross. I've had a 4 year sabbatical from driving and wasn't sure how well everything would come back to me. Instead of driving one of our cars, I decided I'd jump back in the last car I autocrossed and give it a try again. I drove this car for about 6 years before my break and got pretty good in it, managing 4 3rd place finishes at the National Championships. But it's a very difficult car to drive and and I was a littl


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

07/18/21 - Room Design Update

Things are progressing, although never as fast as I'd want it to.  The room is a struggle to work with since one side has large glass windows and the other side is open with a bar, stairs, and a hallway. There are large bedrooms on each end of the media room so the room can't be expanded those directions.    They did a modal review of the room and initially placed the subwoofers in these locations. THe subwoofer where the arrow from from was not going to work in that positio


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Update - 07/16/21

Got my car back from Balanced Performance Motors today after having a few changes made to it this week.  I had to replace the low pressure fuel pump (LPFP) that I had purchased from Tapout Tuning since it couldn't hold enough pressure on E85. It was supposed to be a "Stage 2" pump, meaning it wouldn't have any issues running straight E85, but testing during the tuning process showed that the pressure was dropping to 45 lbs or so which is not anywhere close to what it needs to be. It will be


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

A Few Pictures of Both Cars...

Done with appearance items for a while! Thanks to James Renick for many of the items on both the cars. We couldn't be more pleased with how they turned out.  There is always more to do though... the fun never stops. 🙂  The wife's car now gets: Cue update so she can get Android Auto New RE-alignment. Yes, to fix the current one AEM wideband/XDI translator/plugs install Justin Schmidt tune to replace the Trifecta tune I'll have them service the diff/trans/a


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Red Car Appearance Items Done

Finally. It's taken a long time but all of the appearance items are done and the wife LOVES it. 🙂  So... we had the hood, fenders, and front bumper cover re-painted, the front splitter was refinished, both front grills replaced with the ones you see here, all the emblems were replaced, roof and mirrors wrapped black, and ceramic treatment. The springs and wheels and tire don't hurt. 🙂 Now all we have to do is install the wideband sensor and XDI translator (for the high pressure fuel pump),


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Update - 05/01/21

The Big Canoe Car Club had a little gathering that we went to yesterday, and I managed to capture a few pictures.  Big Canoe Car Club - 05/01/21 - Google Photos PHOTOS.APP.GOO.GL 61 new photos added to shared album  


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Update - 04/30/21

Washed both cars today so that we can take them to the Big Canoe Car Club meet tomorrow. It's getting there... just a few more items. The guy that did the painting did a great job matching everything up. He painted the bumper cover, hood, and both fenders, and also fixed the pits etc in the front splitter. The new grills are installed and the "V" emblems have been ordered are getting replaced along with the ATS in the rear (black). The car will get a ceramic treatment and the roof and mirro


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Update - 04/29 21

Got the wife's car back from the painter today (Russ Cowart) and he did an awesome job! He painted the two front fenders, hood, front bumper, installed the two front grills, and refinished the front splitter. Now we have to get it ceramic coated, clear wrap the front of the car and rear bumper cover, wrap the roof and mirrors black, and finish changing out the emblems. All the chrome is gone except for the ATS letters and the three V emblems and those will be changed soon. Then it's off to


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

04/17/21 - Under the Knife

We took the wife's car to Russ Cowart for the front end painting. I stopped by on Friday to get some pictures of the car and take a look at what he's done so far. By looking at these pictures, you'd think the car had been in a wreck. 🙂  For reference, here's before.   And this is now.       It's a three stage paint process, so it's more difficult to get right than a single color paint, and the big reason I took it to Russ. After the pain


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Video of the Red Car

The wife was taking the car out yesterday and I wanted to get the exhaust sound. But it's still a phone so it is what it is. It actually sounds pretty good through the music system that's attached to my TV. You may hear a little "clink" sound as she starts up the hill. We think there is something in between the wheel and tire that is moving around. The guy that is doing the paint work is going to look at it.  As she backs out, you can see that the hood is a little scared up and the front end pit


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Update - 04/08/21

We got the wife's car back two days ago with the new wheels/tires/springs on it. I drove the car today for the first time and it rode great. The alignment is not what I would have specified, so I'll get it back to the alignment shop in a few weeks. We drop off the car again on Friday to Russ Cowart at  HOME | cowartcustoms WWW.COWARTCUSTOMS.COM to have the front painted and to installed the front grills. They will buff out the rest of the car, and at some point w


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Update - 04/01/21

We were suppose to pick up the wife's car today but it won't be ready until tomorrow, so I got out and washed the car instead. 🙂 Yes, it was a little cold but the sun was shining and I had 120 degree water to work with, so not a problem.  I finally got to put my foot in the gas briefly since it was dry outside today, but I wasn't logging the car at the time, but MAN... this thing is making some serious power now. 🙂 I'll get out tomorrow and log it and see how it's doing. I have about 3/4 of


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Update - 03/31/21

Picked my car up at noon in the pouring down rain today.  The new Michelin's are now on the car. Since I couldn't get the Falken tires that I wanted, I got the tried and true tire. But this time I went from a 265/30-19 to a 275/30-19 in the front and so far I haven't noticed any rubbing except in a tight parking maneuver which I can live with. There is no more room in the front or rear, so this will have to do except for a stickier tire.   While the car was there, the new st


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Update 03/30/21

Dropped of the car at Balanced Performance Motors today. Tomorrow I'll pick it up with new Michelin PS4S tires, new brake pads, new brake lines, and a brake flush. I'll do my best to run it out of gas before I bring it back home as I need to fill it up with E85 so I can finish the tune with Justin.  When I pick my car up, we drop off the wife's car so they can install my tires on her new wheels and install the new Swift springs and hopefully we can have hers back on Thursday. I'm on my


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Update - 03/23/21

Well... another setback. I can't get the Falken RT660 tires until June since there is a nationwide backorder. So in the meantime, I've ordered another set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires and they will arrive Friday. Of course that means I don't get any work done to the cars this week, so we're now looking at next week before we can get all of the wheel/tire/suspension/brake work done to both cars. I did go ahead and order a 275/30-19 for the front, and that new size will be going on my car to r


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Update - 03/18/21

I took my car to Atlanta Motorsports Park last Sunday for my first day at the track with the car, and my first time at that track. It was a blast!  The car did very well, I really could not have been more pleased. You can tell that the engineers spent a lot of time sorting out the cars track capabilities, as there was nothing that it did wrong and nothing unpredictable about the way it drove. I was impressed. The 300 treadwear Michelin PS4S's actually did really well, they had a lot of grip


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

Update - 03/09/21

I took my car to Teddy Knisely last Friday for have the low pressure fuel pump, high pressure fuel pump, flex fuel sensor, and AER wideband sensor installed. The LPFP is installed and working as well as the wideband sensor, and he is installing the flex fuel sensor and HPFP tonight, so hopefully I'll have it back tomorrow. I'm still waiting my tune file from Trifecta that I requested last week, so can't put any E85 in the tank until I get that.  This is the new low pressure pump and old pum


NorthGeorgiaWX in Car

More Power....

I relate to Tim Allen in more ways than one. 🙂 But I certainly agree that everything could use more power. 🙂 I'm doing things to our cars right now that give them more power, and it takes lots of power to drive a media room, so this will be my new "engine" that I'll be using for my power.  I've always owned high power amplifiers from early on. The speakers that I've owned have been inherently inefficient do to their design and required a lot of power to drive them, and their low impedance m


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Hardware - The Heart of The Matter - The Sound Processor

Every home theater system has a sound processor of some type to manage the inputs and outputs as well as the sound processing. On low end systems you would have a receiver that would handle those chores, and as you move up you might have a dedicated preamp that handles the same task. as you know, there are many different types of sound formats in use and they all require decoding in order to send the sound to the correct speaker. Some receivers/preamps even have their own automated calibration s


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Hardware - Speakers

Ahhhh.... the nitty gritty. Yes, we have to make the room look nice AND sound nice, but to get the "sound nice" part, you need to start off with some hardware. It's like a car. It's one thing to make it look nice, but to make it fast, you have to throw hardware at it. 🙂 Just like the weather, there are a lot of pieces that go together to make a good system, and along with the hardware, one of the most important pieces is the room itself. That is a whole other post as it gets complicated, so I'll


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