Stem Cell Research, The National Press Club, and the FENX 4.0

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Last night, the FENX 4.0 and I went to a screening of a documentary film on the differences of opnion regarding Adult Stem Cell Research and Embryonic Stem Cell Research.  Since this is not hte subject of this post or the blog in general, I will include a weblink and leave it at that – www.linesthatdevide.com – it was a great film.  Anyway, I spent a good portion of time after the film discussing the FENX with some folks – most who seemed facinated with the idea of me needing a two seater F-14 Tomcat style machine for a passenger – related to the whole “use the FENX to pick up girls” line of thinking.  All of this happened at the National Press Club here in Washington, DC.  The security folks there are less than respectable, as they made me take the FENX through the building into a small freight elevator to get where I needed to go.  This of course all because I can’t leave it in the lobby – no one told me why.  All this resulted in a very tough time trying to get out of the building at the end of the evening…all because of some nebulous rule saying I can’t park the FENX 4.0 in the lobby.  I found out tonight that the security there is ALWAYS like that.  So ok, lesson learned – the FENX 4.0 and the National Press Club won’t be friends.

Tomorrow, another test ride…

Riding towards eternity,

Aaron

National Air and Space Museum and the FENX 4.0 – Undiscovered Country…

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Tonight, my good friend Brian and I attempted to enter the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution with the FENX 4 – we succeeded, at least partially.  We got in to the Museum because I stressed the fact that the FENX 4.o is my primary transportation device – which it has become.  While we were certainly a security concern for the guards – and to a point rightly so, having never seen something like this – the whole cross between a stasis pod from Aliens and a Light Cycle from Tron kinda freaks people out – they let us in.  Once in the Museum, we waited – all the while imagining taking photos with SpaceShip One.  We were told we had to wait to hear from the office of public affairs.  Why?  Well we couldn’t take pictures or video to be used in a promotional capacity – mainly this blog – unless they said so.  Well we never got the OK, and I have to call them this week and see if I can get the OK to go back and take pictures.  While we were inside though, we did drive/walk around on the first floor some – and yes, security followed us around the whole time.  I think they were very happy to see us leave.  Funny thing is that some of the security guards were really interested…

We’ll be back there though, and pictures will follow…not to mention the video Brian took before and after the museum and is editing…

Riding Towards Eternity,

Aaron

Strom Chasing: An early morning FENX 4.0 test run

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On Sunday I got out early with the FENX 4.0 to run it through a hard test run – the toughest yet.  The goal – to run the entire circuit I had run on Saturday within 2 hours and 30 minuites.  Thanks to the dark horizon at 8:30 am very few runners and tourists were out along my route – on this day, a blessing indeed.  With food and fluids on board – breakfast while testing – I flew as hard and fast as I could, only stopping when lights required me to.  Starting at 12.7 volts, I ended the test run with 11.7 and in 2 hours and 7 minutes.  As long as I keep it above 10.5 volts life is good.  Importantly, by the time I finished I was near Union Station and was able to stop – as the engine was overheating and communicating said strain.  After letting it sit for over an hour things were cool again and I was good to go – the storm that came through, which I hit while on the National Mall, helped with that.  All the while runners and tourists were wet and cold and I was safe and sound in my litte world.  The FENX handles surprisingly better than anticipated in the rain, granted one doesn’t want to do something stupid.  All in all a fantastic run, with an important lessons learned – batteries need rest too.

Hopefully, tomorrow, the FENX 4.0 and Spaceship One will meet for the first time.

My friend Azaria and I doing our best Wonder Twins impression (from SuperFriends).

My friend Azaria and I doing our best Wonder Twins impression (from SuperFriends).

Riding Towards Eternity,

Aaron

The FENX 4.0, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and the White House

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Greetings after the cockpit!  While on my routine test route this morning (Chinatown, the National Mall, Union Station) I got the bright idea to see how the handicapped ramp up to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum would handle the FENX 4.0.  Surprisingly, the attempt turned out quite well – not to mention how giddy I was at the thought of actually going inside the Museum with the FENX 4.0.  Unfortunately I haven’t attempted that, yet.  (It might happen tomorrow morning actually).  My dad has the genius idea of me making a donation to the museum – driving in, making the donation, and then leaving – if they don’t let me in.  We’ll see.  I’d love to get a picture of me with the FENX 4.0 and Spaceship One actually.  I still marvel at people’s reactions, at least the ones I pay attention to when I can afford a split second of not concentrating of driving the machine.  It was a good test run, I am still looking at a solid three hours running time on a charge, probably more actually.  More tomorrow after I try and get into the building.

Riding towards eternity,

Aaron

The FENX 4.0 as a Space Ride for Children?

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A few nights ago I was out to dinner with a friend of mine and we were in Union Station here in Washington.  Just for fun I parked the FENX 4.0 about twenty feet away so I could keep an eye on it, just watch people’s reactions.  While my friend and I were talking about the crazy world that is the Christian Music Industry, a family with kids comes up to the FENX 4.0 and starts opening the canopy and side door, thinking they could just get in and drive it off.  So, I jump up out of my seat and run over to them, telling them it’s not theirs to play with and that someone actually owns it (me) and uses it.  Having startled them with my running skills that would give The Flash a run for his money, one of them responds “well I thought it was a Space Ride for Children…”  I was dumbfounded.  I clearly explained it was not – they missed the HUGE handicapped sticker on the back and admitted as much.  They walked away rather embarrassed at their mistake.  Me?  I walked away cracking a smile and shaking my head, content to continue dinner and jump back in to the discussion of the recording industry and a band called Mute Math.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VTCigbZ5qU – my favorite video of the FENX 4.0

Riding towards eternity,

Aaron

Video Credit:  Brian C. Romano

Stories from the road…or sidewalk as the case may be…

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Where I’m going, I don’t need roads, only sidewalks…

I spend a lot of time in the FENX 4.0; my mornings/early afternoons on the weekends are generally reserved for field testing the range of the FENX 4.0, seeing how far I can take it, trying to negotiate it’s limits and trying to push the envelope a little bit each time I take it out for a spin.  As often happens while I am out driving/testing, I meet people interested in the FENX 4 who often ask questions about it.  Sometimes I will meet people who actually have a real need for the FENX 4 or something like it.

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The FENX 4.0: The Origins Tale – Part II

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So, the FENX 4.0 – but why?  Why did my dad build it?  The core  answer is that I have Cerebral Palsy (CP) and long distances are tough for me.  Combine this with traveling in inclimate weather and the tricycle accident – which I adressed previously – and you have the why.  Now I don’t know much about CP, I’ll admit that, but I’ve never had to.  Thanks to my family and God’s blessing – of which my family is chief among – I’ve been equipped to overcome many challenges.  The FENX 4.0 is a big part of it.

FENX IV - Canopy up

Riding Towards Eternity,

Aaron

Photo Credit:  Ed Callender

The FENX 4.0: The Origins Tale

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What is the FENX 4.0;  How and why did the FENX 4.0 come into being – this is its origin story.

The FENX 4.0 is a experimental and battery powered scooter built for me by my father to help me get around town as as I live and work in our Nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.

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