130,000 Miles

Just the other day, while driving back from a weekend of packing parachutes at Skydive Alabama, my H3 Hummer crossed over the 130,000 mileage mark on the odometer. I think that my H3 has entered it’s proving ground now. This mileage period from now on shows how well built the vehicle really is. With a goal of 250,000 on the odometer, I want to reflect back on the vehicles performance so far. While I wish I had more power from the engine, the 3.5 L (211 CID) L52 I5 has never let me down in all those miles. The body feels completely solid, despite the rust belt’s handy work. And except for the driver side seat, the interior is great. Mike Ditka‘s sons ass is to blame for that one. Anyway, I’ve been worried for years that the damage to the seat in the first 30,000 miles was going to spread. Even though I have been worries, after 100,000 mileage of loving care the seat hasn’t gotten any worse. Despite all the good news, I’ve had needed to replace a few minor parts. Around 60,000 miles, my H3 Hummer’s Radiator Thermostat needed replacing because it would open up too soon. The H3 would run around 25° cooler than what is recommend for the 3.5L L52 I5 engine. After 3 visits to Burning Man and a few rather deep water crossings, the Evaporative Emissions Canister Vent Valve Solenoid gave out. When replacing the Evaporative Emissions Canister Vent Valve Solenoid didn’t come […]

Beef Jerky 001

Couple times every week, I like to browse on over to the website Art of Manliness, and read about the things they talk about and discuss on their website. Recently I came cross “How to Make the Best Beef Jerky in the World,” which I found interesting. For the longest time I thought you needed some specialized dehydrator to make beef jerky or dehydrate some food right. I was surprised when I read that the instructions say to just use an oven to dehydrate the beef Jerky, and that is why I found it interesting and had to make the best beef jerky in the world myself. However don’t get the wrong impression, I don’t think knowing how to dehydrating meat into beef jerky is some critical life skill. I not a fan of saying anything is the best, because you assume you know what perfection is. The thing about perfection is that it’s unknowable. It’s impossible, but it’s also right in front of us all the time. It’s something so delicate or precise that it becomes difficult to analyze or describe what just makes something, or someone, truly great.  I hope we can slow down with our exaggerations, reserve tall-tales for only the people that were unanimously great, and build a understanding between all of us so that we can create truly wonderful things together. Despite what it may seem, I do think that the recipe makes some good beef jerky, and it is definitely something to talk about […]


The rush from Skydiving isn’t what I was expecting. At least in my case, I wasn’t panicking at that the moment in the photo above. I felt like I was at the starting gate to an race where everyone is just itching for the signal. I thought I might be hesitant to jump, but in fact my mind felt supremely focused, as if someone had clean house up there. I went to Chicagoland Skydiving Center (CSC) in Rochelle, IL just off I-88 for my first jump out of a perfectly good airplane, a phrase painted on the side of the airplane. At CSC they fly you up to 14,000 ft. elevation at which point you jump out. At this height you have 60 seconds of exhilarating, uninterrupted free fall, until you reach 6,000 ft. At which point, if your tandem jumping, it is time to pull the shoot and fall another 1,000 ft. before you’re under full canopy. Once that canopy opens, everything slows down and the world becomes very tranquil. I felt like everything just slowed down at this moment, until at about 6 minutes later I touch ground, time picked-up it’s normal pace again. Right now I’m addicted. There is this huge community behind it that I never realized existed. Something to the tune of an adult summer camp, but without it being corny. People from all over the world, literally, come to Chicago, buy a mobile-home and park it right next to CSC and jump as many […]

B17 Flying Fortress

This New Years is off to a great start for me so far. Starting with a phone call that I received New Years Eve that was in regards to my Grandfather, Eldon F. Schwarz, he lived from May 13th 1923 – Nov. 7 1997. The reason I was contacted is because my Grandfather served in World War II in the US Army Air Core. He was in the Bomber Division, flying in the back of a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress as the tail gunner, also referred to as the “Piss Gunner.” While many Americans flew in those airplanes during World War II, this guy had called me because his Uncle was flying on that very plane with my Grandfather. Now this is where the significant part of the story comes in, my Grandfather, is the sole survivor of that crew aboard that B17 Flying Fortress #44-6349, of the 483rd Bombardment Group, in the 840th Bomb Squadron. More particular to the reason of the phone call is because this guy is putting together a website on his Uncle, Staff Sargent Richard G “Dick” McNerney, which you can read at McNerney’s Journey. He also is considering putting together a book about his Uncle, and considering that my Grandfather is the sole survivor of that B17, he says that he would like to add a chapter, section, or something of some sort on my Grandfather. But I have saved the best for in just a moment. I was about eight or nine when […]

Talked to VWerks

Wow! I had a great conversation over the phone with Pat Muldoon, the VP of Product Development at VWerks, about this new JK8 that is for “Red Jacket Firearms,” the guys on the hit TV series “Son of Guns” that eras on the Discovery Channel. Pat explained to me that you will be able to purchase all same parts they used to create their monster in the near future. I won’t be shy, I think that the Jeep is awesome. Nice deep colors, great approach/departure angle, monster 40 inch tires, the JK-8 Pickup Conversion Kit, basically something I would do if I had an unlimited budget. Now to give some back story as to why I got a phone call from Pat Muldoon, began with me getting upset over a post on the Facebook page of VWerks. I commented saying all I see are other manufacturer parts being bolted on and would like to see the modifications they did. When I woke up the next day and went to see if they commented back, I realized that my post was deleted. Which lead to me blogging about it on my website. Which in turn through a strange turn of events my website showed up in a search result where Laura who handles marketing, PR, and Media for VWerks, reached out to me and talked to me about this post. In that post, it is this one just updated, I made the claim that VWerks is taking credit for Gen-Right‘s bumpers, […]

H3 Preformance

Update – February 10th, 2013 This post has become dated, and no longer reflects my views now. Defelice Off-Road skid plates are basically non-existent at this point in time. In response to that I have designed my own heavy duty skid plates for the H3 Hummer and sell them at a lower price point. While Defelice’s winch bumper is great, I now know there is room for improvement and have developed a new winch mount that leaves your H3 Hummer front-end looking completely factory, yet hides a winch. The winch will be hidden behind the front grill right on top of the frame rails. This allows for better access to the spool along with an inexpensive price point. I strongly recommend not buying torsion keys lift kits for you H3 Hummer. Torsion key lifts for the H3 Hummer are completely pointless and are not needed at all. I raised the front of my hummer 1.5″ inches by just tightening the bolt on the torsion bars, keep in mind you need a front-end alignment after doing this. Now back to the orignal posts So this post ends my back to back to back posts of the H3 Hummer on how I have become addicted to this SUV. Recapping a bit, the first post “H3 Hummer” was a kind of a emancipation of me from my Jeep where I was cutting all the strings between us. Yesterday, “H3 Specs” was a declaration of all the mistakes I made with the past gover-I-mean-aaa-Jeep and how […]

H3 Specs

Picking up from yesterday when I discussed how I’m really interested in buying a Hummer H3 to replace my Jeep and that I’m excited to run down the specs of the H3 today is because of all the things I will not have to modify on the H3. So beginning with a bit of a history lesson, the H3 Hummer is a crossover SUV from GM in 2005 based on the GMT355 platform that it shares with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickup trucks. Originally equipped with 3.5L inline 5 cylinder motor (220hp and 225 ft·lb) the motor was considered under powered and quickly replaced with the 3.7L inline 5 cylinder motor (239 hp and 241 ft·lb) in the 2007 models and newer. As the quest for power wasn’t enough, the model “Alpha” was produced with a 5.3 liter V8 producing 300 hp and 320 ft·lb of torque in 2008 and up. The 5 cylinder motors come with 4.56 gears from the factory where as V8’s get 4.10 gears factory. Equipped with a 2 speed full time four wheel drive transfer case, 2.64:1 gear reduction for standard H3’s and 4.03:1 gear reduction for Off-Road editions,  your options are “Four Wheel High,” “Four Wheel High Lock,” and “Four Wheel Low Lock.” The factory tires are 31 inches unless you get the “Off-Road Suspension” or “Adventure Package” which in that case you have 33 inch tires factory and a rear locker (and a front locker if newer than 2008). Finally the gas milage is 16 […]

H3 Hummer

Not long ago I wouldn’t have even considered typing this, but here I am typing. “I have decided that I want to sell my Jeep and get a H3 Hummer.” I’m eating so many words from when I was younger but it doesn’t bother me at all, in fact it feels good typing that. I think it has to do with me being interested in making the right choices with my life and moving on with my life. I keep telling everyone that rock climbing has changed my life around for the better, but it really began with a visit to SF where I started to quit fighting something I hate dislike and made up my mind to change. It was a decision to change my life in a new direction and not look back. I used to look at Hummers as an inferior vehicle for off-roading but now I think that they are not that bad… let me change that to pretty good. No, actually I think there great. Time has now turned the tables in Hummer’s favor but in the past they had three major things wrong with them. First they were being purchased for nothing more than a status symbol with absolutely no intention of using it for what it was designed for. Second they were so pricey almost no one ever consider taking them off-road to see what they got, if anything at all. Lastly they ride on independent suspension in the front which makes them […]