Category archive: Spirituality

Life Hits: Where Have I Been?

Well, if you’re a regular viewer, we’d like to apologize.

It’s been a while since you’ve heard anything from us, but we’re ready again. A lot has happened since our last post on 8/3/16, where I delved into what I hoped to be Infiniti’s return to gloriousness. I have to say, the passion for automobiles is still there, but again. . . life has its challenges.

For me, it was yet another HUGE transition. Let me break this down for you:


The New Job (8/15/16)


It started with a job offer, one that paid me nearly $15,000/year more than my last job doing pretty much the exact same thing (Mechanical Engineering in Automotive Manufacturing). Sure, the new place was roughly an hour away from my house, but the money and opportunity alone made the the commute worthwhile on paper. I gave my previous employer three weeks worth of notice out of respect for the people I worked with, but the terribly odd part about that was the moment I submitted my resignation letter, I got a hard lesson of how cut throat the business world is.

They counter offered me $9,500 more than what I was already making, which was unusual considering that they could’ve paid me this salary to begin with and I likely would’ve never left, but I suppose that divine intervention had a different outlook. I was given one weekend to “think it over,” during which I proved through various hypothetical situations that the new job offer was still better. My old job was a dead end. The lower management was locked in, and though most of them were not qualified for their positions, it was clear that there wouldn’t be any room to move up within the next two decades. There were “engineers” with no engineering knowledge, education, or basic engineering skills. There were people in charge on the production floor that walked in the door as bottom scale operators just months prior. The Japanese upper management was hell bent on expansion with little to no increase in salary, and speaking of salary, the entire pay scale ladder was screwed up. There were people on the production floor that had been with the company less time, with far less responsibility, no higher education, and obviously lower capabilities making either an equivalent or superior salary.

The place was a shit show.

It was time to move on, and they rushed the ordeal. One week into my final three, I came to work on a Friday morning and was promptly notified that it was my last day. I drove my Mustang home and vented my anger silently, taking in the nice summer weather and sulking in sadness as I rubbed my wife’s pregnant belly. Our daughter was due to be induced in just weeks. My wife was on strict bedrest, and I was now without a job—at least until I called my job recruiter and explained the situation to her. By the end of the evening, she had my new job ready to start the following Wednesday.

The hour drive was rough, and in the Mustang averaging a measly 22.5MPG, the 112 mile daily round trip consumed 1/3 of the 16 gallon gas tank. I needed a daily driver, and though I wanted to wait, I took yet another risk and bought one of the best cheap cars that I could think of:

A 2003 Toyota Corolla LE.


As much as this car represents the antithesis of what I normally believe a car should be, I grew to love it instantly because of what it offers: the ability to simply hop into the car and drive peacefully to your destination. I’ll write more about it in a Driver Mod section later, but I’ll tell you that the gas mileage and operating costs are substantially lower on a daily commute.

Kudos to gas mileage—even though the Service Engine Soon light illuminated days after purchase for a stupid evap control fault and has been on ever since. It’s also a swell family road trip car. Oh, and it’s much easier to buy a daily driver when you finally earn a reasonable salary. Thanks, new job.

Ryan’s A Father! (8/29/16)

Though I’m sure Ryan will have much more detail to add, I will never forget being at work the morning he informed me that his wife had gone into labor. A few hours later, he sent me a photo of their little boy, Isaac. Everyone’s life had changed from that point, and all for the better.


I’m A Father! (8/31/16)

This was the greatest day of my life. We woke up early and drove to the hospital, knowing that Ashley would be induced within the next few hours. We thought it would be a quick ordeal, but it wasn’t. Nearly twelve hours later, our daughter, Lila Faith Williams, was born at 6:36PM. My vision was blurry for the first five minutes of her life because I was crying so hard. She was tiny, but strong, willful, direct, and exactly as I had imagined.


The very first night in the hospital, she kept us awake until 4AM because she wouldn’t stop crying. Parenting 101 began on 8/31/16 at 6:36:01PM, the very first second that she was in our hands. I had never taken a class on fatherhood, and my exposure to babies up until that point had been extremely limited, but hell, we figured it out together.

My friend and fellow Machscriber, Ryan, has largely done the same with his wife and son.


The Adjustment Period (9/1/16 to Present)


I soon realized that it cost $2,200 to change jobs in the USA when you have a small family. That, ladies and gentlemen, was the cost of COBRA health coverage after I discovered that the HR department of my previous job tried to charge me twice for health insurance. Ashley developed a uterus infection just days after we took Lila home, which required an ambulance ride back to the hospital where she was admitted for another two days. She is clearly the strongest person that I have ever seen. It was rough, but we made it.

The new job has its pros and cons, but it’s a better place than the old one. My biggest concern is that the hours aren’t necessarily steady, and dealing with the constant frustration of bureaucracies has been a major stressor. It pays the bills, I suppose.

Oh, and I finally ran a 12-second quarter mile, all before teaming up with some fellow enthusiasts to install a slew of modifications to the Mustang the following week. Going to the track to see and feel the difference is what drives me to continue on with this.


I see people everyday on YouTube, Facebook, and other media sources working towards and working in their lifelong dreams. Chris Harris, my hero, has the world’s greatest job. There is a dude in SoCal named Spencer that has literally achieved everything that I’ve ever wanted to do with automobiles. He makes a load of money marketing, selling, a photographing automobiles of exotic origin.

This is why Machscribe is here. I hastily put it together in 2014 because I dreamed of making a reality out of my passion with cars, gadgetry, fiction, and news. My friend, Ryan, has similar ambitions, but we’ve long ago realized that it’s much harder than it looks.

One day, we’ll have podcasts, we’ll have live coverage of automotive events, shows, and news. We’ll test new and old automobiles objectively and evaluate them to the best of our abilities, connect with our fans, viewers, and readers, listen and grow with the guidance of their feedback, and push forward from there.

Sorry that we can be a bit spastic at times, but hey, when life hits, you have to regroup and hit it back.



The Eve of Completion

I know, I haven’t posted anything in months.

Yes, I’m still here.

Please, let me explain a little:



At the conclusion of this year’s first semester, I began by noting that “personal reflection, at the core, is one of the most important mental tools for professionals in any industry. It allows us to take a step back and observe our actions, our successes, and our failures—all in the grand effort for self-improvement.” Though this may seem rather cliché and perhaps rudimentary, completing our Miami University Senior Design project has reaffirmed that the basis of this statement holds true to the core.


Group work can be incredibly difficult at times, but its effectiveness can be tailored with proper scheduling and tasking. To me, this was one of the difficult aspects of the project, as we had juggle through our busy schedules (two of the group members work full-time, while we all attend school full-time) as well as find time to utilize the laboratories at Bilstein in order to design and manufacture our prototypes. Admittedly, this project would’ve worked much better if we didn’t have jobs outside of school, but I believe that this aspect of our group dynamic allowed us to walk away from the completed goal as stronger individuals and teammates.


Educationally, as I covered in the first essay, I believe that the majority of our understanding of general engineering concepts has arisen directly from our studies. Though we all share similar stories of how we felt “drawn” to engineering as children, it is very obvious that none of this passion can be effectively used without the proper training and knowledge. This is where the engineering curriculum sheds its light on both our project, and our futures as engineers.


Being able to work beside my teammates Roger Mills and Andrew Hackney, as well as the extremely helpful Bilstein engineers (Nick Holt, specifically) is what carried me through. Eventually, we all used our individual strengths to allow our talents to collectively conquer the goals, though the pains of procrastination and underestimation haunted us along the way. As discussed in the previously, the bulk of the project fell into five major zones of progress: Planning, Mapping, Constructing, Testing, Refining. Considering that each zone played a pivotal piece in the project’s transition into the next, I found it quite predictable that we would find ourselves stuck within the Constructing Zone longer than we thought.


This is where a few of my own personal demons arose, where procrastination and simply underestimating the work required came into play. Though this affected all of us to an extent, I found myself rather relaxed coming out of Winter Break, only to find the stress piling on once we discovered that making these dampers and getting them to fit would be far more difficult than we originally forecast. The last four to five weeks of the project is when everything truly came together, where our already limited free time was used more productively and we entered each team meeting with clear goals and plans to reach them. Seeing my friend Andrew Hackney develop his own ride data testing device was quite amazing (instead of us paying $20,000 to get a Racelogic Vbox), as well as Roger’s management skills and overall knowledge of the processes required to get our dampers into reality.


Without the help of these two, I believe that there is little chance that I could have successfully completed this project alone. My specialties in design and CAD also proved to be highly valuable, as the CAD and FEA models helped us design parts that we realized were critical in a short amount of time with low overhead. Having learned these programs throughout my career in both the job arena and academia, this project—and the haste it required—once again proved that these tools are more than relevant in the real world, especially when time is critical. The other personal faults that I have recognized myself (such as crumbling under stress, procrastination, etc.) owe their deeds to the core of what it is to be human.

More importantly, I find that accepting this aspect of humanness is what enables us to learn, grow, and push forward with our goals. With this said, I would once again like to shower my teammates with every accolade I can offer as well as an insurmountable token of respect. I know, without a doubt, that if I had to do this all over again, there are no two people that I would rather choose as partners.

In my first essay, I closed with the following statement:

“In all, I think we’ve come a long way since the very beginning of our journey in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program at Miami University. With the goals that we’ve set, and the performance that we have displayed thus far, I am very confident that we will be able to achieve our final goal in May.”

Now, standing here ready to complete my collegiate journey and begin a new phase of my life, I’m am nearly without words to explain how proud I am of myself, and everyone taking part in what used to seem like a never-ending struggle to reach the end of the tunnel.

After all that I’ve endured, I realize that I’ve grown so much.

Seeing my colleagues standing beside me with an identical realization suddenly makes the past six years of my life far more worth the scars.

I have but two more weeks to struggle through, and I promise that I’ll make it, but after that. I’m done.

May 14, 2016. 1:30PM.



Major Lazer, MO, & DJ Snake? They Bring Happiness With “Lean On”

I love EDM. Seriously.

So, yeah, this video honestly makes me want to mystically travel the world and immerse myself into the beauty of other cultures. The song, no matter how simplistic and lyrically uncomplicated it is, makes me happy. It makes me want to dance, and I’m a guy that doesn’t dance—at all. Fortunately, neither can MO, but she doesn’t care. None of them do. Maybe I shouldn’t.




Hell, I can’t even write and blog on a regular basis, but uplifting music like this makes life a little easier to bear. For some reason, it reminds me about the things I have instead of the admittedly trivial things that I don’t. I have my partner in life to lean on, and that is what counts. Now, I sit here and watch the video, silently admiring how MO, the Major Lazer crew, and their friends in India have a good time.


I love the colors. I love the culture. I love the entire experience.


It makes me dream, and it takes my imagination back to where it was when I was a child. I could think of anything, and now that I feel empowered, maybe I’ll tackle a few lasting obstacles in my novels.

To me, in a society filled with negativity, the little things like this reassure the real depth of humanity. We have a universal language no matter our locale on the globe. A good time is a good time, and fun is fun, no matter where you are.


Be happy, my friends. We all need someone to lean on. Why not look to each other?