Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Starting Block

Back in college, I was given a large block of balsa wood as a birthday present. I couldn't decide what to carve out out it, so I made a little sign that said "Potential" and set it on my desk where I could see it. I think the reminder did more for getting me through my classes than anything I could have made out of it.

In a Pine Car Derby, everyone gets either a wedge or a block of pine. You have to use it in your car; you can't substitute another piece of wood. You can add to it, you can subtract from it, but you have to use the block that came in your kit.

I put a fair amount of effort and creativity into Fiona's car, so it was a real treat to get to race day. A big part of the fun is getting to see what everyone else came up with. Given that everyone starts with virtually the same block of wood, the creativity is amazing.

Moooooooo. Come to think of it, this isn't all that unusual. I've seen a local limo with this theme, complete with fiberglass cow on top...


If it looks like that front wheel is floating in the air — it is. Having only three wheels on the track is apparently a common speed trick, and this fire engine definitely was speedy. Hmmm. Three wheels. I'm envisioning a motorcycle with sidecar for next year....

This is the car that won the races. The wheels are the standard wheels that come with the kit, but they've been turned on a lathe to get the lenticular shape, and polished with a molybdenum-graphite blend, which gives it a characteristic silver color.

Did I mention this was at church? In addition to the Golden Rule here, there was an entry named, "Faith, Hope, and Praise" which somehow reminds me of the buses in Latin America with Bible verses painted all over them.

One other observation on this golden rule(r): with weight placement being so crucial, it helps to have a design that has an obvious front and rear. Several such designs got run both ways down the track by unaware officials.

Coooool. I think the "engines" here are actually bullet tips. Weight and style!

Cheese Whiz!

Fast food. This meals-on-wheels entry got one of the top honors in the "Originality" category. It was fast, too!

Next up: Let's Go Racing!

1 comment:

Marti said...

Wow! I am in awe at all the creative ideas displayed there.

Your race car was awesome. I hope Fiona knows how lucky she is to have a daddy who is an artist!