10th Oct2019

The Slow Burn

by Michael Chandler

Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life

Marc Anthony, or someone else

That’s a saying a lot of people try to live by, but nobody ever looks at the other side of the coin, or reads too much into this very similar, but darker quote:

You’ve got to find what you love, and let it kill you

Kinky Friedman, not Charles Bukowski

That’s pretty fucked up if you think about it: there’s this thing that you love, and I mean LOVE, and you’re going to let it kill you because that’s how much you love it. That’s some cult level shit right there. Sometimes you just want to do something because you love it, not make it a job nor let it dose you with rat poison every day for the rest of your life.

Lately I’ve been unable to sleep a whole night through. I’ve got heartburn all the damn time, and I spend a healthy chunk of my work day mornings dry-heaving because I’m afraid I’m going to get to work and immediately get fired. I shouldn’t, because everyone at work likes me, and I’m doing a good job, but I still have that feeling of doom wrapped around me every morning. And I mean EVERY MORNING. For the last few months I’ve been having little panic attacks before I get in the car to drive to work, and occasionally when I’m walking into the building.

The day job isn’t the only thing that has got me feeling not super great. Heading to the track to shoot photos has started to feel like a chore. Not because I don’t like shooting, and seeing some of your bright, smiling faces, but because it’s starting to feel like a job. Not the “this doesn’t feel like work!” job, or the “he died doing what he loved” job, but “Shawshank Redemption is on TNT for the 1000th time, I guess I’ll throw it on…” type job. I like Shawshank, but it’s not my favorite movie, nor does it really stir up any passion in me. Heading to the track, be it for NASA or a drift event, is starting to feel like Shawshank: not the worst way to burn a weekend.

Don’t get me wrong: I still love going to a NASA weekend or a drift event. I get to see my friends, and watch them shred. Normally, for me at least, the chore feeling pops up towards the end of the season, and it’s a “it’s been fun, but I’m ready to take a break” kinda feeling. This year was different. Shooting has been feeling like a chore since before the Enduro, and it’s been feeling like “this again? Well, let’s try and do better this time around.” Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing this for a decade, which it may very well be. Burnout is a real thing, and I know we’ve all felt it. But maybe it’s got more to do with those day job morning feelings than it does me burning out.

My dad is one of the big reasons I’m into cars and motorsports. When I was a kid, he would wax poetic about his favorite car, the 427 Shelby Cobra, and would talk about how nice it was that he got to watch the Indianapolis 500 every year for his birthday. The long weekend from school was just the cherry on top of the cake. We would watch IndyCar and CHAMP Car races on the weekend, and those moments got me to where I am right now.

But it hasn’t always been sunshine and lollipops. My dad has struggled with depression and anxiety. Most of the time he’s been on top of it, but there have been some times where he wasn’t. Those were very dark and scary times that I’m not going to get into here. He’s struggled with it, and I have too.

I feel sad some of the time, but I don’t know why. I’ll focus on really dark thoughts, or really awful memories. I’ll just want to lay around and not do anything, and let my brain go to those dark places. Sometimes I’ll get myself on a task of some sort, but then get distracted. Then get distracted from the first distraction… and then again. It’s real easy to run around in the metaphorical weeds and be distracted when your brain really, REALLY wants you to stay in full time panic mode, or dive into a pit of despair and misery.

What’s worse is I know that this isn’t good. It’s not good for me, or my friends and family, or you out there wanting to see whatever content CAM creates. But here I am, putting on a brave face and doing the things that are expected of me, whether they bring me joy or not. Not all the things I want to do, but just the things people have come to expect of me.

I took a mental health day. I told my managers that I was “sick”, and that I wasn’t going to be making it in to work today. They told me to feel better, which I know they mean sincerely. Then I grabbed my phone, and saw this from Tommy at WTF1. Turns out today is World Mental Health Day, and he shared a story about Damon Hill and mental health. I recommend reading it, it’s a good story that pushed me over the hump and got me to write this.

What I’m dealing with isn’t something you just “get over”. You have to put in work. I’m going to find a therapist and start seeing them regularly, and I’m going to be more open about my feelings with those who care about me. I keep myself fairly closed off, which isn’t helping the situation. And I’m going to find ways to keep the fires burning, which will probably mean our NASA and drift coverage will change. It probably won’t be the massive galleries, with little to no context, but it could be the massive galleries WITH context. Or smaller galleries, because I do get excited about doing the live streams that Matt, Dave, and Jason set up for some of the NASA weekends this year, and those take away from my shooting time. Who knows what the future will hold? I don’t know, but there will be a future.

You never know what someone is going through until you ask them. If you see me out there, ask me how I’m doing. And if I just say “fine” or “not so bad, you?”, push me on it. I’ll do the same for you if you want me to. Check up on your friends, support foundations that are trying to reduce the stigma around talking about mental health, and most importantly: don’t keep it in. Talk about how you’re feeling, let your friends and family know how you’re doing. Thanks for reading this. We now return to our regularly scheduled shenaniganry.

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14th Aug2019

Scoundrel Hangs

by Michael Chandler


I hardly ever get to see Blaize and Chase, two of my friends and also two of the Scoundrels. So, when I was in St. George last, I took a few hours to go hang out and see what the Scoundrel life was about. Or at least a little slice of it on a Saturday afternoon.

Blaize’s soon to be Formula Drift Pro2 car was cut up, and tucked in the corner. But Chase had his Fox Body parked right behind the door, and ready to make its way into the light.

And so out it went.

I call his RX7 a Fox Body for a variety of reason. And by “variety” I mean exactly two. First: it has the venerable 5 liter V8 that real Fox Body Mustangs had. And like those, it makes power. Not a lot, but enough to get rowdy.

It’s also a damn coupe. At some point an S13 240SX coupe, one of the few cars that I’d pay the drift tax on #coupelife, gave up a large part of itself to be grafted onto Chase’s FC convertible. After a while, his FC finally came together as a coupe, and was painted this bass boat gold.

And he’s been loving it ever since.

He’s also aware of how important the little details are. Just look at that little spat on the front bumper. It’s a little thing, but it looks cool and it stands out on the car while not being the major focal point.

And then there’s this absolute unit! I can’t remember who’s it is, but god DAMN!

SHIT!!!

It was a good time hanging out with the guys, and then Luis finally showed up.

But more on him later…

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02nd Aug2019

Salt City Drift Round 3: Electric Booga…lee?

by Michael Chandler

Well, as it turns out you CAN drift a Tesla Model S. It just can’t be any of the D models, because they spin all four wheels. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

Jake, the excitable idiot man-child with a heart of gold, got out there and drove to the limit of his abilities… and then tried to keep going past those limits.

He smacked the ass end of his Corvette into a barrier, ripped up the quarter panel, and managed to fold it in on itself. This was a hilarious sight, one we immortalized on our Instagram page, but a sight that necessitated someone to remedy it.

Enter Stu, and his drill! He came through, drilled some holes in Jake’s quarter panel, and zip-tie stitched it back together.

Bobby and some of the Cedar City boys made their way up, and showed off some of the steez they’ve got down there.

And there was whoever the hell this was. Some dude in a 370Z with Wisefab, just came out and slayed. Shoutout to you, unknown Z driver.

I told you we’d get back to Stucky in the blender. Anyway, here’s a gallery. We’ll be back at the next one!

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07th Jul2019

ISS x Salt City Drift 2 Day

by Michael Chandler

WE HAD A WALL! And probably a fair amount of hangovers. I know I was. ANYWAY BUY YOUR PHOTOS HERE SO I CAN KEEP COMING OUT TO SHOOT THESE THINGS

There was a driver’s meeting, explaining that people didn’t have to run the wall if they didn’t want to or didn’t feel confident enough to. Also a reiteration of the potential pain and embarrassment that could come from smashing into the beginning of the wall. But before that Jordan asked me if I wanted to shoot from the wall.

It would’ve been rude to say no…

I was only shooting in the morning, so a lot of the wall running didn’t happen. BUT Scotty and Casey got right up on me, which was rad. And we had some good, deep tandems going.

I have prepared a small gallery for your enjoyment, please check it out and buy some stuff!

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

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16th May2019

Salt City Drift: Buck Season Opens

by Michael Chandler

Do you want to read, or do you just want to look at some pictures? Well, I can’t stop you from jumping to the gallery, BUT I’M STILL GONNA WRITE SOME STUFF!!!

I’m also gonna let you cheap humps know that you can buy some photos here

Bobby was there, showin off his new Wisefab.

Tristan brought out his trash pile

This fuckin guy…

And I finally got to witness the Send Samurai in all his glory.

Ok, here’s your gallery. And buy something so I can keep coming out!

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10th Jan2019

CAMcast 156: Wicknicking

by Michael Chandler

Episode 156 is the one you’ve been waiting a whole day for!  We’ve got Brandon Wicknick and Seth Waldron sharing stories about their Texas trip (where they didn’t win a car), driving back in the Bobson Dugnutt, hanging out with Dan Brockett, and then Dave and Brandon reminisce before Brandon answers your questions! Except Stucky’s, because I forgot about it.  Sorry dude!

We also talk about muscle cars, and gloss over a bunch of comments.

Click on Brandon’s and Seth’s names to find their Instagram pages, and go here to buy some RUN 2JZ gear!

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

Find us on social media, and be sure to subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, our YouTube channel, and on Patreon!

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20th Dec2018

CAMcast 154: The Year That Was 2018

by Michael Chandler

The last CAMcast of the year is here!  Gavin sticks around to reminisce with Zack, Brandon, Trent, Dave, and Mike about the highlights of the year that was 2018.

We also get into Alex Crane’s Track/Daily/Crush, which features no vehicles at all!

Thanks for joining us this year.  We sit around and chat because we enjoy it, we record it and release it because we think you’d like it too.  See you in 2019!

We’ve got a Patreon, and you should really become a Patron and help us keep making awesome content for you!

Find us on social media, and be sure to subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, our YouTube channel, and on Patreon!

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01st Nov2018

CAMcast Ep 140: Drifting Etiquette and Drift Trucks

by Michael Chandler

Welcome back for the episode you’ve all been waiting for: the one where we tell you all why you’re wrong about drift trucks!  Nick Stucky (Take Luck) joins us to talk with Mike and Dave (mostly) about etiquette at drift events and how to maybe make them run smoother, and then they ruin drift trucks by pointing out their many, many flaws.

BUT FIRST we tackle Dyllan Brown’s Track/Daily/Crush submission, which went boom.

Mike will be participating in Extra Life on November 3rd and 4th!  Extra Life is a 24-hour fundraising and gaming marathon to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, with all of the money I raise going to Primary Children’s.  Help me out and donate! And watch on Twitch as I play a ton of games that weekend!

Find us on social media, and be sure to subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, our YouTube channel, and on Patreon!

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25th Oct2018

Salt City Drift Round 3: The Forgotten Round

by Michael Chandler

Almost forgot to post these shots from Round 3!  But thankfully I didn’t.  Buy some photos here, it really helps us to keep this thing going.

Find us on social media, and be sure to subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, our YouTube channel, and on Patreon!

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23rd Aug2018

CAMcast: Crazy Shirtless Jerry, 80’s Cop Cars, and Regretful Car Sales

by Michael Chandler

Welcome back to another episode of The CAMcast!  We’ve got a really awesome episode for you, because it’s 80% Jerry Johnson!  We talk about his first car, how his current car is doing, almost killing camera people, and a whole bunch of other Jerry stories.  He also answers your questions!  Follow him on Instagram for more Jerry shenanigans.

We answer Ben Allred’s 80’s Cop Car Track/Daily/Crush, and we talk about cars we regret selling

Support our sponsor Steady Broke!  Head to their site, and use the code CAMAUTO15 to get 15% off your entire order!

Thank you for joining us on this episode!  You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, and wherever else you find your podcasts.  Please subscribe, rate, and review us!  Support the providers of this podcast’s theme song, Mathusaworm.   

Find us on social media, subscribe to the CAMcast podcast, and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

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