Brought to You by Rage Against The Machine and A Lot of RedBull

Hello internet, I know its been a while, but I promise its been for a good reason. Plus its 4 am and I have 5 minutes of down-time until the welder's free. We are mere hours before 14 smelly, greasy, aluminum-shard-covered kids pack into 2 vans and a truck/trailer and start the 30 hour drive to Dallas, TX, where most of us will spend spring break testing and training driving for the race cars we've spent the last 6 months building. Currently, 10 of the 14 of us are still in the shop working - the three first-leg drivers got permission to go home and get sleep - and it is seeming very much like we will just be doing more building and not very much driving down in Sunny Dallas. God Forbid we have to cancel the trip to Hooters, though. I think that's the only reason about 7 of us are going (clearly I'm one of that seven).

My Hybrid baby, Starla, is so near completion it hurts me that isn't just a car already!!! What we're doing now is mostly fixing little things like some of the test rigs we set up into permanent, tech-ready connections, or making an undertray. Or some not-so-small things like re-welding last year's front left control arm. Or some REALLY not-so-small things like fabricating the entire second hybrid group's high voltage isolation circuit and re-running all the unsafe high voltage wiring because they gave this really nice, well-organized presentation, and didn't do ANY of the work that they said they did. The E-85 car (who will remain nameless until the Hooters trip) still looks like a pile of metal sticks. I find myself really unconcerned, though, because I'm a horrible teammate and I just want my car to work. Also, there are eight people working on that car right now, where only three of us are working on the hybrid.

Here are a few pictures that I think sum up the experience pretty well (these are taken about 3 weeks ago). 'The TIG' and the underside of my beautiful driver control panel. Yep. That's a beer. And a welder. Together.

(Oliver is safely in Connecticut with my family so that he doesn't starve to death while I'm gone. Also note that I am leaving early to go to Chicago and see a couple people I miss very, very much. And I don't have much to do otherwise - just find a job, study for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, and find a roommate because I finally got rid of the heinous one. Kisses! Back to work!)

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