Porsche Progress (Rather, A Lack Thereof)


This is a post I’ve spent six months contemplating. I still don’t really want to write it, but I feel the need to chronicle parts of my car’s resurrection. Let’ start at the beginning (I’ll make this quick)…

Back in September of 2019 I crashed my Porsche Turbo S. My car was impounded. I was charged with several crash-related crimes. Not my best month.

Eventually I got my car back. It was taken to Alpine Auto Renovations, in SLC, to assess and repair the body damage.

I hired a lawyer, Stephen Fraizer, and worked to get get my charges sorted out.

On 12/12/2019 I got word that that my car would be fixed. The total damages came in around $70,000. Ouch. That’s quite a bill for hitting a sign (although rolling off the hill didn’t help).

In January of 2019 Stephen let me know that the court had agreed to drop the reckless driving charge if I agreed to plead guilty to leaving the scene, pay the fine and take an online traffic course. I made the plea in abeyance; So long as I’m not found guilty of  additional crimes in 2019, the charge will be dismissed. I took what ended up being a six hour online course (admittedly, one that I needed). With the legal troubles out of the way my focus returned to the car.

Time passed. Parts were ordered, installed and painted. And in between each step it felt like an eternity. Even now, looking forward, all I can see is an endless tunnel.

The car is now up at Lehi Porsche for airbag replacement, suspension component replacement and some power-related goodies. However, I don’t even know when we’ll be able to start on the rest of the work. Currently there is a raging COVID-19 pandemic. One of the companies I’m working with, ByDesign, is in California and they are dealing with a lion’s share of the corona virus difficulties. The state is under a “shelter in place” order, businesses are closed, things feel bleak.

Here at home I just got word that my mechanic, Dagan, will be out of commission for six weeks following back surgery. No one else can touch my car though so that will have to wait. People over projects. People over parts.

I’m hoping to start work on my YouTube “Resurrection” series next month (really in just a few days at this point). I don’t know if there will be a happy ending in time for the Limitless event, but hopefully it will make for some good entertainment.

Maybe I’ll email my insurance company and see if there’s any kind of relief from this situation. Knowing what I know right now,  I might have opted to total the car instead of pushing for a repair. Hindsight. On the other hand, waiting won’t kill me, and good things come to those who wait, right?

Coronavirus Thoughts

Things have changed so much in the last month. The coronavirus has been making its way through the world and shows no signs of slowing. People are divided about how to handle this situation. Quarantine recommendations are everywhere and some cities have issues “shelter in place” guidelines. The economic impact of something like this is going to be tremendous. The entire is situation is unnerving, to say the least.

There’s no question that the virus is spreading… I put this collage together on the 14th but hadn’t gotten around to posting anything until today. As of March 21st, 2020, the USA has over 22,000 diagnosed cases.

I have personally witnessed the empty shelves at Smith’s. Panic is absolutely understandable and yet so unhelpful in a situation like this (Utah seems particularly prone to panicky behavior). If we trust the powers that be, they say that if we just buy what is needed that supply chains are unbroken and there will be enough.

As things were unfolding, I decided that I’d maintain my routine as much as possible (while following rule and trying to be safe). I have a strong philosophy that in times of economic crisis people should keep buying, spending, producing…  Perhaps I’m part of the problem (people just aren’t hunkering down as much as they should). I attended a movie the day before theaters closed. I picked up a shelf at IKEA the day before they shuttered. I intend to follow the Utah Heath Departments public directive (even though the Governor said it wouldn’t be enforced). I recognize that flattening the curve is an important objective. Still… a complete economic meltdown doesn’t seem like a good path forward.

And then a few days ago we had an earthquake in Salt Lake county. It actually woke me up here in Utah County. If people weren’t committed to their hoarding before, they certainly are now.

Atop the Salt Lake LDS Temple sits Moroni, horn raised. The earthquake knocked the horn from his hand. The superstitious part of my squirms a bit when I look at this picture. Perhaps the end of days looms nearer than we think.

There is a silver lining in all of this. Current technology allows us to remain in contact with our family and friends even while we are sequestered in our homes. We have the ability to continue with school and many of us are able to work from home. Think of how much different (worse) this would be even twenty years ago. If we help each other and keep calm we will overcome this.

Horsepower vs Torque vs Misc

Of of the most constant struggles of my life has certainly been to actually understand the relationship and functions of torque and horsepower (along with its cousins: watts, amps and voltage… but that’s for another time). When you modify car components to increase power, the evaluation almost always revolves around how acceleration within a specific measurement (i.e. distance) has been affected.

Here’s are the fundamentals:

Horsepower is the total power output of an engine, while torque measures the “turning/torquing ability” of the engine. Practically, torque is a better measurement of how quickly your car will accelerate, while horsepower (relative to weight) is a better measure of your car’s top speed

This is one of the best explanations of torque and horsepower that I’ve come across:

If you watched the video now it all makes sense 😭😂

I even decided to leave a comment:

This is a great explanation. Although horsepower is Torque x RPM ÷ 5252 (which is the magical point where torque and horsepower lines cross on graph). Also in the car racing example there were certain parameters left out (i.e. the race’s distance). It is possible that the car with less horsepower and more torque could actually win a very short race. The discussion about gearing in this example is confusing because gearing can alter torque. All things being equal the one with more power will eventually be quicker.

Torque is force x distance
Horsepower is force x distance x RPM / constant 
so, more specifically,
Horsepower = torque X RMP / 5252 (this is the point where torque and horsepower lines cross on a graph).

I made my comment above because I felt the video slightly misrepresented things @ 3:15. It’s really not a big deal but it could be slightly confusing for those of us truly looking for the light.

Below I’ve also posted an interesting comment made on this video by Martyn M. I have edited parts of the story for brevity and clarity, but the content is intact. 

Torque is a turning force. It is measured in either Newton Metres, or Lbs Feet. In this example we will just keep things simple. Think of torque as brute strength.

Horse Power is a method of measuring how much work is done in a given time.

You need torque, multiplied by how many revolutions per minute, that torque is applied, to work out how much horsepower is achieved in a set time.

This is the way I think of it…

There are two piles of bricks, one hundred in each pile, and they need moving up a fairly steep hill on a building site.

A muscle man and a marathon runner challenge each other to a race, to see who can move a pile of the bricks the fastest.

The chap with a lot of muscle and strength is big and immensely strong but heavy and quite slow ( (we will think of it as having lots of torque). He is quite capable of scooping up a whole load of bricks and carrying them up the hill. He might carry 20 bricks at once and slowly walk (at low revs) up the hill. He could move all the bricks in 5 trips and take 10 minutes.

The seriously fit runner, who is light and fast on his feet might only carry 5 bricks and sprints up and down the hill. He has a low amount of muscle (or torque) but his legs can run (or perform revolutions) at a much faster rate. It takes the runner 20 trips to move the bricks. Also in 10 minutes

Now if they both complete the task in the same time, then they have both done equal amounts of WORK (which can be measured in Horsepower or Kilowatts) then it’s a draw.

However, if the muscle man could carry 25 bricks per trip, at the same pace, he completes the task in 4 trips, and in just 8 mins. He will have put out more horsepower. He carries bricks at a slow pace compared to the runner, but by applying more torque, each rpm is doing more work. Then it’s just a case of multiplying the two together. Torque x RPMs.

However, the runner, still only carrying 5 bricks, refuses to be beaten. He hasn’t got the strength (or torque) to carry more than 5 bricks, but he can pick up the pace so he runs faster. He finishes the task in 7 mins. His body, although weaker at lifting, has now worked harder, because his low amount of torque, could be multiplied by very high revs.

Keep this example in mind and think of your car engine. Horsepower is simply a way of measuring work done in a given time. It is not a unit of force, or a measure of how fast it can travel. The ability of an engine to provide power is achieved either by applying large amounts of torque at low revs, or applying lower amounts of torque at high revs.

The amount of gratitude and praise for this post is surprising because ultimately I think it misrepresents the relationship of torque and horsepower (unintentionally). Based on this story, both machines (brick movers) accomplish the same amount of work in the same time period. But I think he confuses the issue at some point during his explanation and arrives at the conclusion that both the muscle man and the runner have accomplished the same amount of work in the same amount of time and so their horsepower is equal. It is not. In this example the work being done has been erroneously broken into impossible parts.

The power an engine produces is called horsepower. In mathematical terms, one horsepower is the power needed to move 550 pounds one foot in one second, or the power needed to move 33,000 pounds one foot in one minute.

A car cannot be moved in 100 pieces arriving at it’s ultimate destination over any period of trips. Am I thinking about this incorrectly? I’d value any insights into this matter- there’s just something here that I can’t completely wrap my head around…

Another question I’ve been thinking about is this: When you alter the gearing in vehicle you can change the torque but you cannot change the horsepower. Why is this?

Let’s say your vehicle makes 600 ft lbs of torque @ 7500 rpms. Your horsepower output would be 600 x 7500 / 5252 (the point where torque and horsepower lines cross on a graph). This gives you around 856 HP. You can change the gearing on your car to give you more lower end torque. Let’s say you make an adjustment that gives you 650 ft lbs @ 6900 RPMS. How much horsepower do you have? Yes- the same. The theory here is that you’ll be faster inside of a certain window (in this case up to a certain speed you’ll be quicker).

All things being equal, one could probably make a simplistic assessment that horsepower is the definitive measurement of power. If you’re obsessed with top speed then that is the number that matters. If all you care about is how quick your car feels off the line then you’ll need more low end torque (and this, of course, is why measurement of peak output don’t paint the whole picture).

An engine only produces peak horsepower and torque at certain ranges. You can take a snapshot of the car’s maximum output but this doesn’t always give you the true picture of a car’s power over the entire output range (I’m probably misusing the term “power” here…).

I think this is why, in theory, a car purported to have “600 hp & 500 lbs of torque” could be “beaten” (in a shorter race and absent any considerations of weight or aerodynamics) by a car with “550 hp and 480 lbs of torque.” This is why people take their cars to the the track and put them on dynometers; You need a physical application of the engine’s power to really appreciate their real world performance.

And speaking of real world performance (I alluded to it above) but there are no many more factors than just horsepower and torque to take into account when you’re trying to make assessments. A car’s weight, drag and even friction could play a part in a car losing to a less powerful competitor.

Anyway… quite a rabbit hole. The amount of information about horsepower and torque online is truly overwhelming and the debate about what’s more important and the misunderstandings about their relationships will probably continue forever (they are both important). As for me- I’m just going to live my life by the stopwatch. No one can argue about time*.

*They can argue about who robbed them, why they were robbed, what went wrong, etc, but they cannot argue about how long a particular race event took (except in the absence of any accurate timing device). Ah… who am I kidding. Time is relative, right?

Solving a Problem with… a Problem?

This is part of the 2019 DRAFT series. These are posts that I started but didn’t finish. I usually have no idea why I was writing them at all, but they needed to be released into the wild so as not to clutter up my “draft” box. 

Owning a business occasionally gives me some interesting insights (at least I find them interesting). One thing that chronically reoccurs here at work is something I refer to as “blind-solving.” When a problem pops up – both in business and in every day life – our tendency is to address the problem and attempt to fix it. When creating a system we, as moral and rational beings, don’t like problems and wouldn’t knowingly create or introduce a problem (I’m sure I’m not speaking for everyone here). Sometimes solving a problem is time consuming, complicated and expensive. And in the process of correcting the issue we are actually creating a new problem that we completely ignore: the cost of the solution is more than the cost of the problem. 

One of my favorite examples of this situation involved a particular product we carry. It’s somewhat fragile and we ship them in bubble envelopes. Customer service noticed that this product was often arriving at it’s destination damaged (based on customer feedback). To combat this reoccurring problem they proposed that the product be shipped in a sturdier box. This seems like an absolutely reasonable proposal and no one logical would even second guess it. However, upon closer inspection we discovered that the additional cost of better shipping would be more expensive than simply replacing (or refunding) the item when there was an issue.

Don’t pay more to fix costs than the problem costs you!

Business owners have a recurring dear: that something will stop working and cripple the business. And when we find a “problem” we act on it. How we act on it says a lot about what kind of leaders we are. I’m advocating something unorthodox- when problems are identified within a system they should, on occasion, be allowed and ignored.

Movies Watched in 2019

I have dedicated this post to movies that I have watched in 2019 (these have to be fairly current movies from this year or late last year to make the list). Newest movies are at the top. My goal this year is 60 movies, 1/2 in theaters! Bring it!

Final Count: 37 Movies –  It was a busy year… I think I’m actually missing quite a few movies. I was going to try and figure out what I was missing but I’m just going to try and keep better track in 2020.

Jumanji: The Next Level – Not as good as the first, but not as bad as I feared.

Star Wars: The Rise of Sywalker – This movie met my expectations. I think it could have been much worse, but at the same time it could have been much better. It does a fine job of wrapping everything up and it’s probably what we needed.

Knives Out – Another great movie. It’s got a lot of Clue-like mystery and it’s smart and well done. Bravo for original storytelling.

Ford vs. Ferarri – Man, I can’t say enough good things about this movie. Everything is polished and solid. Loved the story,

The Lion King – Man, did they rip the soul of out of this one. The animation is impressive and the movie is very much like the original but some things are best left alone (I feel like I’m ripping every movie I’ve seen lately… guess they should make better movies).

X-Men: Dark Phoenix – At this point I’m having a hard time sorting all the movies in my head. I’m not sure when things happened. Frankly I’m not even sure what’s happening at this point.

Terminator: Dark Fate – What a mess. There were certainly parts I enjoyed, but the storytelling was sloppy. I wish they could nail a sequel.

Toy Story 4 [Home] – This was fantastic. The level of animation was incredible to the point that some shots looked like real life. This thing made me tear up at least twice.

Zombie Land: Double Tap – A worthy sequel in many ways. Very funny. I’d do a third.

Joker – Huh. Not as disturbing as I thought it would be. I think the goal here was to try and elicit some sympathy for the Joker. But there’s a deeper lesson- find compassion for the mentally ill.

Hobbs & Shaw – I spent a good chunk of the movie asking myself what I was watching. It was so over the top. A two-plus hour assault on my senses and movie making in general. Not bad.

The Missing Link – Certainly cute. The animation was amazing. It’s too bad these kinds of movies don’t typically do well.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Wicked good.

Men In Black: International – This had terrible reviews, but I thought it was a lot of fun.

Crawl – If I ever get into a situation where I have to evade crocodiles I hope I have a strong swimming background and a shower stall as tough as the one in this movie.

Spiderman: Far From Home – Epic Marvel movie. Lots of good twists and turns in this one.

Child’s Play – Thanks Mark Hamill! For nothing. When your creepy “My Buddy” doll murder your cat you just call it a day right then and there.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters – Great news. He’s on our side now.

Aladdin – A fun remake. Go strong women!

Ma – For me it all goes wrong when they reveal why she wants to murder everyone.

Brightburn – Evil Superman? Interesting.

John Wick 3: Parabellum – As they expand the Wick Universe things seem to be getting a little stranger.

Pet Semetary – A solid remake.

Shazam! – Great. Funny, entertaining and a great DC entry.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindwald [Plane]- Unmemorable.

Mortal Engines – Liked it. I would totally drive one of these little cities.

Captain Marvel: Not necessarily high on my list but I figured I’m in like 20 Marvel movies anyway so I’d better get to the bottom of Carol Danvers (and I mean that in the least sexy way possible). The movie was fine- that’s the best I can do. I like when people whip out that latent side of their humanity and it makes them strong. 7/10

Creed 2: Rocky III & Rocky IV mashed together. I’m impressed with how far they can take these movies. Not great, but fun. 7/10

Alita [Theater]: I saw this when we went to Oahu. I enjoyed it so much I decided to go see it again in IMAX 3D. This movie pushes all the right buttons for me. I love the visual effects and the story (it’s a little light on some plot elements, but it’s not something I’d complain about). 9/10

Glass [Theater]: Plot twist: M. Night is making fun movies again. In terms of what’s going on (visual effects, locations, etc) this is pretty basic. But it works really well and the ending doesn’t really let you down.  7.5/10

Predator [Home]: Absurd. I don’t every understand why I pushed myself through this. Luckily there was the insane clown posse (not the musical group) and they made it a little more fun. 5.5/10

Happy Time Murders [Home]: Wow. Brian Henson helped make this, eh? What a sad end to his Dad’s legacy. A few funny moments… but pretty bad overall. 5/10

Adrift [Home]:Props to Shailene- she did a great job. This reminded me of “All is Lost” but they used a plot twist element that makes it a little more interesting and a lot more depressing. 7/10

Replicants [Theater]: This is the one I was waiting for. So bad it’s good. “Yeah, I can grow a human in 17 days even though I’ve never done it before.” This has more holes than Swiss cheese. The acting is awful. Nothing makes any sense. I’d watch it again in a heartbeat. 5/10

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [Theater]: This was fantastic. One of the best movies I’ve been in a long time. I loved the animation and the entire movies was a non-stop delight. Somehow I lost the email with the ticket confirmation. It just disappeared (maybe it was transported to an alternate dimension). But the Megaplex can look up your tickets via your gift card number. Nice. 9/10

Aquaman [Theater]: What a fantastic pile of epic action garbage. I loved it even though it had bad CG, plot holes galore and some of the weirdest action I can remember seeing in a movie. 7/10

BumbleBee [Theater]: Cute. That’s not a word I like to use to describe my robotic alien homeboy. But he really is. Not just cute- scrappy. The dude fights past his weight class. I really liked the Cybertron flashbacks w/ the G1 styling. Classic “bad guy is really a good guy” sub-plot. Fun, bu probablyt for younger audiences. 7/10

The “Helpful” Trap

This is a great read. At first the idea might seem terrible, but if you apply it to a mostly business-related perspective I think it works well.

Why I Stopped Helping People and You Should Too

Also, as much as I hate to say it, I think there are enough people out who are happy to take advantage of others’ time such that this article is warranted. I usually try and go out of my way to help friends, but I have cut back on what I’m willing to do for others. I think it has been beneficial for my own mental health.

Chevrolet C8 Corvette- Not Bad… Not Bad at All.

Wow. I wasn’t prepared for how awesome the new C8 turned out to be. A mid-engine Corvette that looks like a Ferarri and that starts under $60K? Bravo Chevrolet.

Thus far they have released the Stingray model (the basic coupe) and have rolled out a Z51 performance package. Despite “only” having 490 HP the performance statistics appear impressive (0-60 in less than three seconds). At some point Chevrolet will release a higher horsepower model (maybe a Z06?) and that’s when I’ll start taking a serious look again at the Corvette.

I really like the customization options Chevy is offering. A blue interior would be fun. Here are a few pictures from the configuration tool: