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· bitter old man
1,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lots of pictures on sr20forum. A great time seemed to be had by all (except me).

· bitter old man
1,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i had fun too. :D why didnt you have fun bahearn ?
Well, I was the head wrangler and it was a LOT of work. I was scared to death we would have to change our picnic plans and I didn't have a fall-back location ready. Okay, I did actually have fun, but not as much as the rest of you guys.

· DNE's VZR Conversion
9,780 Posts
bahearn said:
Well, I was the head wrangler and it was a LOT of work. I was scared to death we would have to change our picnic plans and I didn't have a fall-back location ready. Okay, I did actually have fun, but not as much as the rest of you guys.
well im glad you came through for us.. i had a great time big props for setting it up and organizing everything. :thumbup:

· bitter old man
1,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
myoung said:
Sarah will have a write in next months NPM issue :thumbup:
I'm trying to get my write-up on the SERCA site. Barring that, I'll throw on here.

· bitter old man
1,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Head Wrangler's write up

Another SERCA Convention has come and gone. What a load of work to pull it off, too. The theme for this year: HOW NOT TO RUN A CONVENTION. Tips for future planners are imbedded in the commentary.

For our customary track day, we rented Texas World Speedway. Long-term (7 days) forecast said sunny and low 70s. What a treat to be towing the car towards College Station through rain! Fortune smiled on us though, as it was indeed sunny and low 70s on Friday. Was a bit blustery, too, but that didn't hamper the festivities at the track.
[Convention planning tip #1 -- have a rain-out option]
[Convention planning tip #2 -- assign grid control ahead of time. Use more than one person if either drives]
No accidents, a few off-road excursions and only one blown engine, so it was a success. Oh, I guess there was an accident, but it wasn't on the track. The morning portion was bit disorganized but James Vick stepped up as grid control and things ran much more smoothly in the afternoon.
[Convention planning tip #3 -- talk about grid in the driver's meeting]
Most everyone seemed a bit overwhelmed at trying to remember the 2.9-mile lay-out. Yeah, I Was a bit selfish insisting upon that but I loved it the first time I ran it and wanted to see if I could improve with practice. The answer was a resounding "Yes"! The track manager seemed to like us at the end of the day, so we obviously did well by him. Kerry Roffe kept her cookie tradition alive, too. Mmmm, white chocolate macadamia nut.

[Convention planning tip #4 -- read your check list! You have one, right?]
Since I didn't follow tip #4, I forgot to pick up the trophies before heading out, forcing me to return to Houston while everyone else drove to Austin. John Abbott and Travis Burelle hosted a crawfish boil that was apparently a big hit. I have no knowlege of the rest of Friday's activities. After unloading my car and getting the trophies, I hit the rack, one bone-tired old man.

Saturday was apparently a fun day for most. I had no idea Spam-o-rama would be a worthwhile event to attend. Maybe those folks are just weird. I got into Austin in time to enjoy most of the happy hour at the Embassy Suites. Even the Pressed Ham incident couldn't spoil the fun of free booze. Upon happy hour's end, the majority of attendees gathered to hit the town for food. If I could have fit into the Shaguar's trunk, I would have eaten at a Tex-Mex joint with the SoCal boys. Instead, the more patient folks took the Embassy shuttle downtown to the Radisson Hotel (!) to eat at Friday's. After a nice meal, most of the group forayed out to Austin's (in)famous 6th Street party spot. James Vick and I were the only ones to go back to the hotel -- me because of more stuff to complete that I didn't do beforehand, and James because he was meeting a "friend" by the name of Jim. Or was it Jack?

It was quite humorous to be sitting in the hotel lobby at 3 AM printing car show ballots as the revelers trickled back. Matt McCray lost his gang and ended up waving a twenty-dollar bill around until he found someone to get him back to the hotel. Then there was Ray and Greg's cousin -- I'll say no more. Kudos to Josh McClendon ... he knows why.

8 AM Sunday morning. Ugh. Not only was I up way too late, we lost an hour to the switch to Daylight Savings Time. I was almost the first one to hit the breakfast buffet, though. Big plans to head out early for a canopy came to nought. The whole day's schedule of events almost came to nought, too. Plan was to capture a corner of Zilker Park and do our thing. Turns out Austin has a big annual Garden Show at that park on that weekend. Cops, limited access to the park, the whole schmear. The City Parks Dept. guy I talked to in January mentioned the garden show but left out all the hard details. He said we'd have no problem getting our groove on at the park that day. If it weren't for the caterer, the day would have been lost. He found a spot to wait for us and it was perfect for our needs. Thanks to Shell Black and Bill Courtney for doing some emergency scouting for alternative locations.
[Convention planning tip #5 -- find a park site that can be reserved]
The only fly in the ointment was shortage of parking right at our picnic site. Otherwise, we had plenty of seating, plenty of shade, beautiful weather and casual officials who didn't seem to mind "Open-pipe Symphony" blasting out of a car.
[Convention planning tip #6 -- have a picnic rain-out alternative]
I got extremely lucky in almost all respects in wrangling this year's Convention in that I worked without a net. For you future organizers, don't play that game.

For me, the truly disappointing part of the Convention was the relatively small number of raffle prizes compared to previous events.
[Convention planning tip #7 -- you cannot afford to put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Time nor tide waits for no man and passes by almost without notice.]

Thanks to our sponsors for giving their time, money and merchandise to help float our Convention.

Our event sponsors in alphabetical order included:
Mossy Performance

Our raffle donators were:
ACT (ten ACT banners and $450 certificate towards a clutch system)
Bitter Old Man (Custom Steel Water temp adapters won at the 2003 Convention -- Pat understands!-- and an Elf t-shirt from the 2004 Convention)
CarboTech (six $25 certificates towards brake pads)
Custom Steel (set of adjustable cam gears)
JWT (popcharger cone filter)
Mossy Performance (two sets of SS/Kevlar brake line kits)
NISsport (oil pressure adapter, water temp adapter, low-port EGR elimination kit, high-port EGR elimination kit)
SERCA (4 one-year memberships)
Hyperco swag might still be coming, they told Eric Waterman they'd be sending something.

Raffle winners were
JWT pop filter: Ray Kawski
Custom Steel adjustable cam gears: Greg Vogel
Custom Steel inlet water temp adapter: Greg Vogel
Custom Steel outlet water temp adapter: Josh Palmer
ACT $450 certificate: Peter Jackson
ACT banners: Matt Hunt, Wendell Jones, Erich Tucker, Robert Sousa (2), Dan McCanse, Bruce Hearn, Josh Palmer, Mark Hlava, Greg Vogel
Carbotech $25 certificates: Martin Gonzales, Russel Knezic, Greg Perry, Charles Trichel, Thomas Reynolds & Torry Skurski
ELF t-shirt: Jody Meisenheimer
Mossy SS/Kevlar brake line kits: Mark Hlava and Jody Meisenheimer
NISsport low-port EGR elimination kit: Robert Sousa
NISsport high-port EGR elimination kit: Dan McCanse
NISsport oil pressure adapter: Russell Knezic
NISsport water temp adapter: John Paul Johnson
Active Tuning B13 rear strut brace: Russell Knezic
SERCA one-year memberships: John Paul Johnson, Greg Perry, Will Boardman, Sam Layegh
I was impressed at the number of life-time members that attended this year's convention; it took quite a few ticket draws to find our four winners.

As usual, awards were given.
The Best B13 award went to Shell Black.
The Best NX award went to Julian Hancock.
The Best B14 award went to Thomas Reynolds.
The Best B15 went to Rick LeBleu.
The Best G20 went to Dan McCanse.
The Best Swap went to Jeremy Persinger.
The Best of Show went to Shell Black.
The Longest Drive went to Bill Conner. He drove his Classic 1500 miles each way.
The Matt Kempe Spirit award went to Matt Hunt.
[Convention planning tip #8 -- it should be "The Matt Kempe Award for Spirit and Enthusiasm". My apologies to the family]
There was one final award but it was not given by SERCA. Rather, Joe DiMinno (and others?) gave me the Bitter Old Man award consisting of a half-gallon of prune juice and a package of Depends. Now I can be regular (and hopefully less bitter) and still drive non-stop from Houston to Eastern Pennsylvania for next year's convention.

[Convention planning tip #9 -- see tip #7, have t-shirt graphic ready at least a month beforehand]
[Convention planning tip #10 -- see tip #7, have convention sponsors lined up at least a month beforehand]
[Convention planning tip #11 -- see tips #7, #9 & #10, have t-shirts in hand at least a week before the event]

For those who didn't get their t-shirt, the wayward box arrived at the hotel Monday morning. I'll retrieve it and get your shirts out in the mail.

Quite a few folks headed for home directly from the park. Those that could afford the time met at Chuy's for dinner. Much fun was made of Mike Kojima ... only because he wasn't there. Many holes were wallowed out that evening. We love you, Mike! Hurry up and heal. Three birthdays were celebrated, too, though only one of us actually had a birthday. The birthday cupcake made quite a trek around the restaurant. A long good-bye session was held oustide Chuy's as plans were promulgated for the 2006 Convention. MY final vision was the rental "V6 Mad Powah Yo!" Malibutay heading out with ACT banners flapping in the breeze. The final sound was the Shaguar power-braking on the slick asphalt street.

And another Convention is history. I can hardly wait for next year!

I would like to acknowlege James Vick and Peter Jackson for helping with Erich Tucker's car. Also, thumbs up to Eric Waterman and whoever else helped replace Matt Ostland's clutch. Kudos to those who helped with the replacement of Pat Pruitt's broken shifter (his girly type friend doesn't know her own strength and snapped it right off at the ball). Y'all are a stand-up bunch.

Special thanks go to the following for their invaluable help in making this convention to happen.
John Abbott
Kyle Davis
George "King Turd" Roffe.
Torry Skurski
Kurt Sussman
Greg Vogel
Mike (mpg9999)
And, of course, me.
If I left someone out, please clock me upside the head.

Photos and attendee stories can be found in the 2005 Convention forum at

· bitter old man
1,547 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Raffle donor list should include Active Tuning.

I do include their item in the raffle winner list, though.
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