Not Your Grandpa’s Riding Mower

Otisvile Tractor Pull 20160836
I’m working on a series of Garden Tractor Pull images. Yes, it’s a  real sport. Some five years or so ago, I happened upon a county fair somwhere three or four hours northwest of NYC. Following the sound of loud engines to a dirt track raceway there was a queue of garden tractors lined up to pull an incrementally weighted sled. I knew the term Tractor Pull from TV & radio ads in my childhood but never had a visual to go with it. The entries were anywhere from stock up to sponsored racing machines with glossy custom paint jobs. The pulls generally aren’t what you might consider jackrabbit fast. They’re loud and it’s common amongst participants I’ve spoken with that they’re spending way too much money on rides that in many cases won’t mow a lawn. A few riders still had a mower deck and blades hanging below. I’m finishing work on a few images to post soon and will get them up on my site.

FIRST Robotics with Washington Irving HS


FIRST Robotics students working on FTC entries
Anyone who knows me well eventually discovers my inner nerd– the nerd that spent a year in an engineering program before the passion for pictures pulled me away from my calculator.  I never had a pocket protector; I drove a Camaro.  The urge to play with electronics happens once in a while, like when I built solar panels and power adapters for Me and Abby to power phones, iPod, camera and lighting while cycling for a month off the grid in eastern Canada.  [Hmm… that’s a post I should recover from a while ago.]

I spent this evening working with students at Washington Irving High School in Manhattan, helping them build and tweak a robot for the FIRST Robotics FTC competition.  The team is well-equipped with kits and underwhelmed with the number of participants (2).  … and the beautiful workshop classroom that has been looted of tools.  (Yay! Drill press.  Boo. No chuck key.  Pliers, anyone?)  We will succeed!  We are the underdogs!! (Ah, Saints!)  Anyone want to sponsor the team?  We could use some tee shirts with nice logos, tools, and hot meals delivered for late-night tinkering.  No reasonable offers refused.  More to come!  I’ll link to the school’s program site soon, with Dave’s special images.