My current obsession...
***** I would highly recommend that you scroll to the bottom of this page and start there. The story makes better sense that way. *****

In March 2019 I purchased my first (?) K40 laser engraver. As of the last edit of my webpage I have just started this hobby. I am not sure where it is going to take me:

In March 2018 I purchased my first 3D Printer. I spent around a full year modifying it and dialing in the prints. It took me a while but I have lately become just a little bit better at CAD design and I am starting to make custom pieces that I use for various projects:

Towards the end of 2015 I purchased two dedicated arcade cabinets in WV. For the next 2.5 years the collection grew to over 50 machines. I was doing a lot of monitor repairs, board rebuilds, and IC chip burning during this time. There are only 16 arcade machines in this picture but I had my garage full as well:

In 2015 I was not content to simply buy ammo, I wanted to make my own. I bought a Lee 50th anniversary press and started reloading pistol and rifle ammo. Towards the end of the two year hobby I was mainly reloading .223 to shoot in my Colt HBar Elite AR-15 (0.5 MOA). Reloading is a great way to relax, it pretty much puts you in a state of zen. At least it did for me:

When Obama was elected in 2008, the availability and price of ammunition rapidly changed. I don't like it when people tell me I can't have something so I started buying as much ammo as I could find. I don't know how much I ended up with at one time but as an example, the cans in this picture contain 60,000 rounds of .22LR ammo:

I had never really been around guns much in my life, but around 2010 I started taking an interest in them. I bought my first Mosin Nagant around 2012 and I became hooked. At one point I had over 60 of these rifles. Don't ask me why, I just had to have them. One of my favorite gun stories is telling people I purchased so many guns and ammo at one time that I had to sell some of it back because my Toyota Tacoma pickup wouldn't drive straight on the road. I don't know how much that was, but it was a LOT:

In 2009 I purchased a ragged out 1993 convertible Geo Metro with a blown engine. I rebuilt the engine (the first time I had ever done any engine work like that) and tried to see how high I could get my gas mileage. I soon switched to a 1994 Geo and got my mileage up to an incredible 78 MPG's after quite a few modifications. I ended up buying several other Geo's over the years and I am still using one as my daily driver at this time:

There have been three times in my life where I have tried to learn how to play the guitar. I never did get any good at it but I sure had fun buying equipment and doing modifications to the guitars. From 2008 to 2010 I built quite an every changing collection. At one point, I turned my FROG into a mini recording studio. This was short lasted:

I was putting in quite a bit of overtime while the company I was working for built a new plant. I wanted to buy myself a little present with all the extra money I was making and I found a 1990 Miata that was in pretty sad shape. I purchased "Beast" and started stripping all the weight off her that I could (this is where the name of my website, LightWeightMiata comes from). I spent a good four straight years working on that car and turned it into a RAGING MONSTER. I personally have never since been in anything faster. This picture of Beast from 2004 should remind you of the picture of Spit from 1986:

In 2003, I purchased a cheap Harbor Freight MIG welder. Soon after I bought a cheap Chinese plasma cutter. I used both of these for a couple of years for projects around the house as well as to create some custom artwork:

The white Miata, "Daisy", was our first Miata but we purchased many more over the next ten years. I can't remember having more than three at a time but there may have been a point when we did. My final two Miatas both had V8's in them. My wife's Lava MSM was perhaps the finest in the country and it was the last to go:

When I sold the business in 1999, I told my wife that I was going to buy a sports car. I wasn't sure what kind I would get but I remembered the feeling of driving the Triumph Spitfire and how much I loved that car. I did end up buying another Spitfire but never did drive it. It was sold before I ever sat in it. BUT, I did also purchase a 1991 Miata with an extremely rare body kit. The first year we had the car we drove to Deals Gap to tame the dragon. We ended up going back twice per year for the next ten years:

When we were running our business I didn't do anything except eat, sleep and work. No breaks, no time off, nothing! I did this for almost ten years and when we sold I decided to take a year off and relax. I was still working a 44 hour week for "the man" but my days of working 112 hours a week were over. I made a promise that I would spend a year being lazy and then I would have to start working on "Senior Tech" (a several year long training program at work). Before starting ST, I built my first MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) cabinet. I used it as a work/reward thing while doing ST. Study for 30 minutes, play Ms. Pac-Man for 30 minutes, repeat. It worked out great for me and I finished my ST program in about 17 months:

Carolina Chat first opened around 1993 or 1994. We still had Dazed and Confused BBS at that time but were phasing it out. The internet and online multiplayer gaming was just starting (we were in the very early days at this point) and we were using Major BBS to connect to the internet. Some people remember 56K modems from around 1997 or so. When we first started selling internet in the very early '90's we were dividing 56K among ALL of our customers. I think the bill for the 56K was around $3500 per month. The business/obsession continued to grow to a massive 256 phone lines and we sold it in February 1999 right before the Dot Com Bubble burst:

In 1989 I read a newspaper article that said a computer without a modem was like an airplane without wings. I had a modem back in 1983 when the movie WarGames came out. I was doing the whole war dialing / hacking thing back then on a Commodore 64 and when I got my first IBM compatible PC in '89 I purchased a modem with it as well. The BBS scene was just starting and my wife and I would dial in every day to play Legend of The Red Dragon. You only got to take one turn per day and we would wait up until one minute after midnight so we could get our turn in before anyone else got theirs. At some point we decided to just start a BBS so we could run our own game. Dazed and Confused BBS was born in 1990 and grew to eight nodes (phone lines) by 1994. It is hard to believe how early this was but we were using a BUD (big ugly dish - 10 foot satellite dish) to receive email for our customers. The square thing on the computer by the lamp is an external CD player for a computer. It is hard to believe that thing cost me $5,000 back then (bleeding edge technology) and they are obsolete now:

This 1975 Triumph Spitfire, "Spit", was my first automobile obsession. I pretty much dismantled the car and did a full restore around 1986. I only had the car for three years but I still remember how happy it made me:

Running - the original obsession? Well, not really. I had always been kind of obsessive/compulsive and I can remember being very young and taking apart and then putting back together an old wind up clock my grandmother had. I did this over and over all summer but I think running was the first time I was completely consumed by something. At one point I was running as much as three times per day. The picture is of a very early race for me, I would think it is a mile race from 1979. I continued competitive running for the next 6 years when I had a bad race and gave it up for good: