January 21, 2013

August 20, 2013 is the date set for the fourth annual RACE FOR THE FUTURE, in Whiting Indiana. We invite all inventors and creative thinkers, young and old, to join us as we search together for the energy sources of the future. All are encouraged to stretch their imaginations and take up our challenge.

You can either; stand back and watch as history happens around you, have it happen to you or grab  it by the throat and make it happen.

Lend your creativity to ours, come and race with us; we will either make history or crash and burn in the effort (not literally, I hope), either way it will be a grand adventure.

Videos from the Race

We’re getting some of the videos from this year’s race posted.  Two are up now, more to come…


Inventors cannot always expect success from their experiments, they can only know, for sure, that they will know more at the end of each day than they did the day before. They may find as Thomas Edison said that they have discovered 900 ways of not accomplishing the task; but the
true innovator never gives up.

Noted inventor Charles Kettering said, “Virtually nothing comes out right the first time. Failures, repeated failures, are the finger posts on the road to achievement. The only time you don’t fail is the last time you try something, and it works. One fails forward toward success.”

The Alternate Power Initiative strives to recognize the persistence of the successful inventor and to encourage those who would give up before the goal is accomplished. Join us as we invent the future of transportation, have the courage to fail forward with your ideas until, together, we succeed.

Fall Ponderings

Cool fall weather has arrived, at least for a while, and we begin to plan the Race for the Future 2013!!! Many of you, who know me, realize that I enjoy collecting aphorisms, or quotes that contain kernels of truth. I began the day by stumbling across this gem;

“The purpose of life is not to be happy but to matter, to be productive, to have it make some difference that you have lived at all.” Leo Rosten

I wonder how many creative folks will take up our challenge this year and begin to take the first step towards making a difference by joining us in our quest for alternate power vehicles? How many will choose to “matter” rather than just dream?

Markovich Air Biscuit Test Runs

Check out their test runs on TheLegoEngineer’s YouTube page!

Alternate Power Initiative air car entry test run

Last year’s race:


Fourth of July Parade/Pierogi Fest

I do not know how others feel but to me the days just seem to fly past. We are busy planning summer events; the Fourth of July Parade and Pierogi Fest, both huge days in Whiting’s calendar. Literally thousands of people will line the streets of our little town to watch the parades and celebrate both events. I built my rubber band powered car for just such occasions……. an opportunity to spread the word about our competition.

I have been spending way too many hours working on my machine, testing, breaking, tweaking. Today I ordered 300 more giant rubber bands.

We will be all decked out for the 4th, come and join us for the celebration of our nation’s birth. Consider using your creativity to help us invent the future, here in Whiting, as we “Race for the Future” and build vehicles to run our five mile course.

See you on the Fourth………. Don’t forget to stop me and say hello!!!!


Society of Innovators Speech

Here is the speech I gave on April 19, 2012 Pride and Pedestal event, Society of Innovators of Northwest Indiana.

Would you like to be an innovator?

Vision, passion and action are the three essential elements of successful innovation.

Everyone dreams of a better future, many have ideas and some even great plans, but the real innovator goes beyond the dream; to the dream he adds passion. To the passion the innovator adds a plan of attack and to the plan which ultimately translates to action.

Innovation begins with a vision. A view of the world as it could be, of a problem to overcome, of the wrong that can be righted; a vision of a future better and more fulfilling than it is right now. Innovators see in their minds eye not just the problems that are always present in human society but they dream of finding the solutions. Innovators revel in the solutions; they dream of a better world and the part that they can play in creating it.

Vision with purpose inspires passion; a drive to explore the solutions. Passion carries the innovator past the inevitable and necessary obstacles to the solution that is dreamed of.  People of passion rarely give up.

But it takes more than vision to make a difference and greater motivation than passion to carry the day; and all innovators have one trait in common. People who make a difference in this world, and wish to leave behind them a better place, move beyond mere dream, they employ the fire of passion and take the most difficult step; they take the first step, the most difficult step; they begin.

Action is the key.

Innovation begins with a vision, is sustained by passion but it is propelled by action. Without action a vision fades and passion cools. Action begets action and attracts supporters; it invigorates genius and fuels passion.

How can you make a difference? What is your great idea? What is your passion? How can you cure an ill, solve a problem, great or small,  ease a pain or comfort a struggling soul and leave the world a better place?

I say to all of you this evening, whatever your idea, your vision your passion; get started; all human kind is awaiting your genius. Let’s not sit here and talk about innovation; let’s do something about it, let’s get started. Begin; make a plan!!! Dot it today!!! Do it now!!!!

Get started, take action!!!

Indiana Welcome Center

We are preparing for an exhibit at the Indiana Welcome Center. For the month of April the city of Whiting will be featured and we were asked to participate. My basement car will be on display as well as the air powered vehicle that Robert Evans entered in last year’s race. I want to especially thank Robert and his family for supporting our effort and loaning us his vehicle for the month. Many different aspects of the history of Whiting as well as life in the “Little City on the Lake” will be celebrated. Many groups have gone all out to make this month long event a success. The School City of Whiting has a full size, walk in display featuring their long history and contributions to the city. The Symphony in the Park event and Pierogi Fest are represented and the town’s art galleries are displaying their works. If you have an opportunity in the next few weeks;  come out and visit us. The address of the Welcome Center is 7770 Corinne Dr. Hammond, Indiana. It is located on just off of Kennedy Ave. one block south of 80/94.

Indiana Welcome Center

View of the Welcome Center

Basement Car Arrives

The basement car arrives, my brother Mark and his wife Jenny in the background

March 11, 2012

While listening to NPR the other day I heard a young woman express a sentiment taught to her by her mother, an idea that she strives to live by when it comes to helping others, volunteering time and solving problems.  She asks herself “If I don’t do it who will?”

So, what is stopping you from taking up our challenge?

Sure you’re busy, yes it’s hard and it will probably cost more money than you would like to spend but if we don’t work together to solve our energy problems who will? It is up to us.

The weather is turning nice and I am ready to get my car back out of the basement and test the modifications that I made over the last few months………..

Motor Control Components

Motor Control Components


Motor control pulley system

Motor control pulley system


Motor control under car

Motor control under car


Another view of motor control under car

Another view of motor control under car

Come on good weather…….. Va va ……… voom, I am ready to try this out!!!!

Prepare your pocketbook for another hit!

According to an article by Gary Strauss at usatoday.com, we could be seeing the price of gas escalate once again.

After rising 19 cents a gallon in the past four weeks, regular unleaded gasoline now averages $3.48 a gallon, vs. $3.12 a year ago and $2.67 in February 2010.

Prices could spike another 60 cents or more by May. “I think it’s going to be a chaotic spring, with huge price increases in some places,” says Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service. Kloza expects average prices to peak at $4.05, although he and other industry trackers say prices could be sharply higher in some markets.

The article also quotes Patrick DeHaan of Gasbuddy.com, saying:

“You could see prices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Washington and other major metropolitan areas at $4.60 or higher,”

Doesn’t this make you angry? How angry must we be to act, to work and sacrifice…. to invent? How long will we let inept politicians and greedy oil companies determine our future? Gas prices in Chicago are set to hit $4.60 or higher by this summer. How long will the inventors of America sit back and take this? Is there no one willing to rise to the challenge, roll up their sleeves, buck the system and come up with a vehicle that laughs at the price of gasoline because it does not burn any? Creative thinkers, where are you? Join us in Whiting Indiana on August 25 2012. Build a vehicle that runs on an alternate fuel. Race with us, learn with us. Save your families, and your nation…. We have thrown down the gauntlet……..  greedy oil companies have drawn a line in the sand. Are we up the challenge?