February 2017

Jim Clark Lotus 33

Although February is the shortest month of the year, it seems to punch way above its weight by feeling like the longest, but not necessarily in a bad way. It’s a busy month for birthdays in my family; brother, nephews, brother-in-laws and friends but I am glad that the days are getting longer and brighter.

It’s been a hectic month for me as I try to get the blog up and running. My LinkedIn profile says that I am a GDoT at Owners World. That is General Doer of Things.
I research, write and edit posts; maintain the website; develop enhancements to the WordPress theme; Social media manager / assistant / apprentice. The truth is though, I love it!

Blog Stuff

I managed to publish just 2 articles in February (must do better this month) but have started to make some progress on the social media front.

The main demographic for social media by gender is female and by age group 20 to 35. So, for a fella in his 50’s, social media is a challenge.
In particular, Twitter is like the wild west; on the surface, it is lawless and chaotic. But get involved and you begin to understand the language, hierarchies and protocols.

I have raised my Twitter following from 9 to 302 in 3 weeks (target is 1000 by May) and took part in my first Twitter Chat yesterday (with Mike Brewer from “Wheeler Dealer” and Ant Anstead from “For the love of cars”). It was hectic and highlighted a disconnect between my brain and typing ability but it was surprisingly great fun.

On the subject of social media, if you like any of my blog articles, it would really help me if you would share them using the buttons on the lefthand side of the page (or bottom of page if you are on a mobile device)

If you’re not currently following Owners World on Facebook, just click on this button

and you will be automatically notified whenever I publish a new article.

I am also on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest where I post / tweet and retweet photos of classic, retro and race cars regularly: Just use the buttons below to find me and then follow!

Car Stuff

Extracting MGF Liners

Too cold for me to do anything on the Frogeye or Caterham this month, but my brother Phil is never deterred by such discomforts. He has virtually rebuilt his MGF engine this month, including removing the cylinder liners with a custom made puller (see photo). I really should get the lowdown on what he did as it feels like a useful article for the future.

I went to my first Midget And Sprite Club meeting of the year and it was great to see everyone after a break of a couple of months.

Last week, I went to Race Retro up at Stoneleigh and had a ball again. The rally stage is fantastic and it was genuinely exciting to see Jim Clark’s Lotus 33 F1 car; Lotus founder, Colin Chapman, was an engineering artist and genius.

Geek Stuff

OK, I love cars but, the thing that I love doing more than anything (other than being with wife, family etc … phew, think I got away with that) is writing programs and messing about with computers. I used to be a programmer back in the day, but in order to climb the greasy pole, I had to leave it behind and move into management. Well, in my new life, I get to write programs again 🙂
Raspberry Pi
This month, I bought another Raspberry Pi (you can never have too many … it’s a bit like classic cars before you start judging me) to host my development server on. For about £50, I have a dedicated server with a LAMP installation (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) running WordPress, where I can program away to my heart’s content. If you want further info about how to set one up yourself, let me know in the comments section below … there might be an article in it!

Next Month

As a former Project Manager, I’ve never been keen on committing to scope, time and cost, so I will just share my “aspirations” for March.

I need to get my house back on the market, so there’s a bunch of maintenance, gardening and general tidying to do around the property before I can get on with anything else. I would like to get the electric fuel pump installed on the Frogeye as well as upgrading the fuse box (see Frogeyes and fuses part 1 for background)

I have an idea for an online Spridget VIN decoder (it’s a Midget and Sprite thing) but that might take a while.

Oh yeah, I need to write a couple of posts (I’m counting this as number 1 for March) My main post will be “What’s in your travel toolkit” based on the fantastic feedback that I got from the Draft Toolkit Research (from comments on the blog and various Facebook and LinkedIn groups). If I get the fusebox upgraded on the Frogeye, then I should be able to get an article out about that too.

With the weather beginning to brighten up, I hope you manage to get out and enjoy your car, whether driving or fettling. Thank you for reading and please share, comment and like any of the Owners World articles – it’s a real boost to know that someone is reading and really helps to get the blog moving.

Enjoy March!

Spread the word

Thank you for reading this post and I hope that you found it enjoyable and useful. If you have, please spread the word and share it!