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Showing posts from 2013

From the Holen-Buckle family – a holiday season update and greetings!

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It’s the holiday season, once again, with a new year’s looming. For us both 2013 had many highlights, perhaps none that shone brighter than becoming grandparents for the first time. We welcomed Ella into the world in the spring and nothing has been quite the same since. We are doing our bit with babysitting, of course – more Grandma than Grandpa we have to admit – and are watching (as all proud grandparents do) all the signs of Ella growing and becoming more in tune with her new world. Travel was once again high on our list of activities but perhaps our trip back to Australia was the highlight. After an absence of four years (unbelievable), we managed to spend time with the family including Lisa, as well as with Richard’s Mum (Mom). However, another highlight was just being able to drive to Wellsboro, Pennsylvania where Richard’s Dad spent several months in 1965 learning electronics, a pursuit that in all likelihood influenced Richard in ways he didn’t immediately recognize all

2013 in review – looking back on what really mattered …

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I t’s so easy to finish a year and simply acknowledge that yes, it flew past and already it’s the next year that will be important. However, for Margo and me the adventures that were pursued in 2013 really did count for something. Several significant milestones were passed, as were numerous personal relationships that blossomed. Buckle-Up may have started out as a place where we chronicled our adventures in a race car, just a place to capture memories from trips abroad, but it has developed into more than that – it’s where we ensure all those with whom we interact know just how much their presence in our lives means to both of us. The picture above dramatizes the impact friendships have had on us in perhaps the most tangible, indeed recognizable manner. Before meeting Brian and Jan Kenny, we wouldn’t have considered driving a race car at Laguna Seca, for instance, nor put plans together to drive Der Nürburgring Nordschleife and share a simple lunch together at the German track’s

Two golds and a red!

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It is not every day that you get an invite via email to lay down laps, as a passenger, in a very serious Ferrari. “I've wangled two rides in a race (Ferrari) F430 on Wednesday with a quick driver!” was the first email from an old high school mate, David Roberts. “Nathan Antunes will be the driver. He is an ex Red Bull ‘Young Gun’ who raced in F3, Formula Renault and Formula BMW, in Europe. Fantastic young man and a great steerer!” The circumstances that led to this were not ideal, but the sight of this email more than compensated for what was happening around us. It was early October and we were in Sydney on a business trip to spend time with the company we are deeply involved with, Infrasoft. As it so happened, on this trip we were joined by Brian and Jan Kenny, business associates from Southern California, who have become good friends and who have now been featured in many of these posts, simply because they share the same passion we have for cars and for time on tracks. I

Time spent on the track and on America’s byroads …

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Earlier this month, I spent the day out at High Plain Raceway (HPR) driving solo as Margo had commitments she simply couldn’t ignore. Being a new grandparent, opportunities to spend time with the granddaughter are not invitations easily turned down, so I would be spending the day, trackside, and alone. The picture above best describes the conditions but also my mood. As much as I really looked forward to spending time on the track, it’s a lot more fun when Margo is around, participating, and sharing in the adventure. And an adventure it remains – every time either of us gets behind the wheel, pulls the straps of our safety harness tight, fires up the engine and heads to the grid, the adrenalin kicks in and it all gets serious in a hurry, but in an anticipatory, “wonder what’s going to happen?” manner, as we look to see who will be joining us on track. Will there be aggressive drivers prepared to steal our apexes? Or, will we be left alone to circle at our own pace? No matter; for

Traditions and peaches! … But not this time!

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Labor Day weekend is usually sunny and warm here in Colorado, and for the past several years we tried to spend it in Grand Junction – the views are great, the Palisade peaches are fabulous, and there are several wineries making pretty decent wine there. And yes, there’s always the chance to see the Colorado Aspens begin to turn golden. This year we took the Viper for the trip – roof down; not so much fun when we passed feedlots, but otherwise pleasant – and something that has also become part of our Labor Day tradition. Pictured above, on the streets of Aspen, it looked right at home in this mountain town. As we try to do every year, we stopped for lunch in Vail. This time we stumbled upon a restaurant we had never visited before; lunch was great, and the place had a really nice atmosphere. It was called La Tour. If you are looking for somewhere nice to eat the next time you visit Vail, I strongly recommend the place. In the photo below, I am clearly enjoying the salmon salad! T

Tails of Dragons, Plates of Gumbo and Streets of Bourbon

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Like-thinking people tend to flock together, forming clubs and associations. In the past we have been involved with computer user groups and served on their boards as volunteers. We have chaired Program committees, and Richard led Regional User Groups’ (RUGs) development programs while I chaired the Finance Committee. Yes, there is a pattern here … RUGs development involved travelling around the world and a lot of socializing, while the Finance Committee job involved a lot of lengthy spreadsheets and analysis of revenues and expenses. I see it as fluff and stuff, and I am sticking with this view. We have also been members of car clubs – again what took us there was a passion for a particular vehicle and an opportunity to spend time with like-minded people. For many of us, and for various reasons, we join associations and therefore there is the huge business of association management, and the professionals managing associations have their own association, ASAE – the American Soci

Mid-Summer Madness!

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July began with frequent trips to Corvette Spa as Curt gradually brought the broken Corvette back to life. After stripping the rear end back to the frame, the damage I had caused from backing into the wall at Infineon race track proved superficial. From my perspective, hovering over Curt’s shoulder, it was ample proof, once again, that in choosing the C5 Z06 Corvette as our track car, we had opted for a “package” that was less costly to maintain. Pictured above is the Vette, mufflers dangling beneath the bodywork, as the last of the fillers are sandpapered smooth prior to a new coating of “Torch Red” paint being applied. The C6 Z51 Coupe, supercharged and all, had provided many memorable moments but it had also seriously damaged the family savings. Would our good fortune hold up for the entire month? Would July deliver on the promise of summer and delight us all, or would it see return visits to Corvette Spa? Perhaps more worrisome still was that as I looked at the calendar,