Eggs and Jesus. Easter 2012.

Easter rocks. No, Easter eggs. Some holidays I really love and Easter is somewhere near the top for me. Maybe it’s the rascally rabbit that lays multicolored eggs. Maybe it’s the Hershey milk chocolate eggs that you can only buy this time of year (which is good, because I eat so many I get sick). Or maybe it’s the mad dash to find hidden eggs and the delighted screams of my children. It probably also has something to do with the resurrection of Christ (yeah for resurrection!).

This year we used food coloring instead of a egg dying kit (those pellets suck). Water, 5-10 drops of food coloring, a tablespoon of vinegar and we were in business. I think the eggs turned out really nice this year- super bright and very consistent. Egg dying is one of those things that your kids “help” with and it makes it about one hundred times harder. But nothing makes those little munchkins smile like checking to see if the egg is actually changing color. And then when the eggs are done it’s critical to mix all the colors together to “see what happens” (Maybe it will make gold! Oh… no, no gold).

One the dying festivities were complete we headed off to church for some Easter goodness. We should think about our savior each day, but that’s really hard (especially for me). Easter is a great reminder of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection. It’s a chance for us to focus on the real meaning of Easter and  feast on something that we won’t regret (like those dang eggs).  I believe in Christ, his sacrifice and in God’s plan for us and I publicly accept Christ as my savior. Oh, hey- sorry! Did I make you uncomfortable or offend you? You non-religious reading types who despise this kind of stuff can go to hell (that is funny on so many levels!).

After the spiritual nourishment we headed home for the hunt. I wish I could say that there was some profound meaning behind hiding eggs that related to the real meaning of Easter but I’m at a total loss. Still it’s a blast. We hid the colored eggs and about a million chocolate eggs too. Intoxicated by the hunt, the kids scrambled all over often missing what was right in front of them. Laughter, tears and a few fights later I was certain we had done Easter just about right.

Cam Hughes

2011: A Brief History of My Time

Well, here we are in April… So much has already happened this year that it almost feels silly to look back at 2011. Well, heck. It is silly. So the best thing I can think to do is just bury this post under another post. And come on- who really cares what I did in 2011? Still if your’e reading this (I expect my family to, but anyone else who has ventured in here gets my “You So Crazy Brave” salute) you need to know that I did write most of this last year. I just never got around to finishing it. So with much regret and embarrassment here are some 2011 highlights and… uh… stuff:


I’d say that 2011 was  a banner year for the Hughes family. All the kids are doing well, Fran is doing great, I’m feeling good. Work and home life have stabilized and, for the most part, life is running smoothly.

Fran is my rock (a soft sexy rock). She runs our household with enthusiasm, unparallelled organization and a somewhat manic passion. She’s still working at BHQ part time as well (she likes it- don’t let her tell you otherwise). I don’t like to gush but I feel very blessed to have Fran as my wife. Last year we added a fourth child to the brood (yeah “added” – like buying another plant). Chole is like an angel. She wakes up smiling, she bubbles all day and her smile melts any heart. Gabe has become a moody, picky, life of the party four year old socialite. Claire is a mess-prone, sweet-natured, selfless six year old and she’s a ravenous reader. Michael is a manipulative, scheming, logic-loving  eight year old with an irrepressible passion to win. I know every Dad thinks it, but I have the best kids in the world (they do seem to be slightly skewed toward the evil side though… in a twisted way it almost makes me proud).


Growth at BHQ has just been incredible. I’m floored by how well things have gone, how much progress we’ve made and how far we’ve come. I really feel like we’re hitting our stride now and our momentum is going to take us further than we ever dreamed.

I believe we owe a large portion of our success to the BHQ team. We have incredible people who are dedicated,  responsible, innovative and who have exceptional attitudes and directed focus. I wish I knew them all better- it’s gotten to the point where I simply don’t have the deeper one-on-one relationships I used to have with all of my employees. But I am grateful to all of them. Go Team!

In late 2011 we acquired the unit next to us giving us some much needed space for products and supplies.

We changed the upstairs layout to accommodate more people (Mr. Ping Pong table was replaced with additional desks). We added a sound stage as where we film videos for our YouTube channel (KnifeHQ).

The storefront is a thing of beauty. In store customer traffic increased a good deal in 2011. We have really high hopes for 2012 (read: we want our store to break even!).

The packing & customer service centers continue to grow as does the warehouse. They said we’d never fill it. They said we were crazy. Now they say “Can we work for you?”


On a personal level things are good. Sometimes I feel like there’s too much going on, but on the whole I think things are pretty balanced. I have fallen off the health bandwagon a bit, but I’m sure I’ll muster up the strength to climb back on. Having a new baby has made exercise very challenging. I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but I assume it’s because child rearing occupies an additional portion of my wife’s time and, in turn, my time.

At this point I really only have two hobbies  left. Blogging and my car ( I could actually see myself as a full-time blogger one day. Cam’s blogging service. And speaking of cars… it’s almost time to go car shopping!

Fun Holiday Stuff

Halloween: The kids always love to go out on Halloween. I feel like our neighborhood is pretty safe and so we let the two oldest go out and about with their friends. Fran took out the littlest  two this year. I stay home, watch some TV and hand out candy (and eat some of it… a lot of it…).

Christmas is always a little stressful since I work in retail. But we always find time to get the tree ready, drink hot chocolate and make gingerbread houses. Well, this year we opted for graham cracker houses. They were easy to build, just the right size and each kid got their own house to decorate.

And I think there was a New Year’s Party in there somewhere. With a new baby I don’t remember a whole lot. I think we played ImagineIf and ate ice cream. It’s all a blur. If you were at the party (was there a party?) thank you for coming!


One nice thing about staying in the same house for a long time is you can really settle in. Rooms get organized in just the right way (after much trial and error), you have time to paint accent walls, decorate and really figure out how to live in your house.

Our workout room got a much needed makeover. We rearranged the treadmill & rowing machine in a much more efficient layout. We also got a larger TV (built in wireless is an amazing feature which I’d recommend to anyone) – possibly justified since we spend so much time in this room.

Speaking of efficient layouts… We had a room in our basement that was kind of a disaster. In the center was a pool table and then there were two couches on either side of the room. Some bookcases in the corner rounded out the debacle. Stacy to the rescue again (she did our bedroom).

Sometimes it just takes a different perspective to figure out the best way to allocate space. With the pool table shifted over we were able to create a nice sitting area. We also added an electric piano for the kids to practice on.

The book shelves fit perfectly along the side wall and aren’t visible as you enter the room anymore.  Stacy painted the room with a very light grey color and hung a large world map & mirror (both from Ikea) for decoration.  We have dubbed our newly reorganized room “The Study” (where, oddly enough, Uncle Plum was murdered with a candlestick).

And there’s tons of other stuff that I simply don’t have time to blog about (robot revolution, my trip to Venus, the time the sun went nova and killed us, etc). Looking back 2011 was a pretty darn good year. No regrets. Hopefully 2012 will be even better.

Posted by Cam Hughes

Camaro 2012 SS Impressions

I’ve had my car for more than a week now and I thought I’d take a moment to write up some of my thoughts. In a way my perspective is slightly skewed, since I’m coming from a Z06 Corvette that many people might consider “better.” However, at this point my Z06 is so modified that it’s almost uncomfortable and the Camaro is a welcome change.

First off I think the 2012 Camaro represents a great value. After looking at some 2010 and 2011 models I got a new SS with the RS package. For what you pay you get a well engineered and executed muscle car that, in my opinion, lives up to the hype. The car is stylish, drives well, has plenty powerful and comes with a lot of features I wouldn’t have expected in this price range.

Styling Exterior: I love the way the new Camaro looks. I think it does a great job of channeling it’s predecessors while evolving into a modern street machine. The angular lines of the car give it a very aggressive look and it seems to turn a lot of heads. I like the wheel design, but I’m not a big fan of the stock silver color or the way Chevy gouges you for OEM alternatives. I got the model with no sunroof (more on that later) and I think the reverse mohawk (not present with a sun roof) is a great look for this car.

Styling Interior: The 2012 interior has been updated a bit. Online it seems like people complained that Camaro interiors seemed cheap, but the 2012 SS interior seems excellent. The leather first rate and everything flows smoothly together in a comfortable way. The sun visors are a little silly, but that’s really the only thing. I like the design elements like the lighted doors and retro gauge cluster. The HUD looks great too- super bright and clear.


The seats are very comfortable. They are power adjustable in pretty much anyway you can think of (the exception being lumbar support) and they hug the contours of the body very well. There is ample room in the front, although the back seats would be cramped for adults (since I plan on carting my kids around back there I’m not too worried about it).

Speaking of space-  As I mentioned I opted for a model without a sunroof. While I prefer the look with no sun roof I was interested in getting one. However with a sunroof I didn’t fit !  Even with the seat all the way down my head hit the roof liner (I’m 6′ 4″ and I have a long torso). Without the sun roof I fit comfortably in the car and my head plenty of clearance.

I feel like the controls (temperature & radio) are all well designed and intuitive (the iPod interface, while not perfect, works well and I love seeing the song name in the HUD). The steering wheel controls work well too (I rarely use them in the Vette, but have used them quite a bit in the Camaro).

The updated 2012 steering wheel feels good, but possibly a little on the high side (you can move it down, but then it covers the speedometer & tachometer). I don’t know what the 2010 & 2011 steering wheels were like (seems like people didn’t like how they felt), but I preferred the look of them.

Driveability: The car is very quiet both at a stop and while driving (keep in mind that I’m coming from an 800hp ear splitter). The short shifter is very crisp and the transmission engages nicely. The clutch release is light and tightly sprung (it pops up too quickly for my taste), but the pedals all have a good feel.

The Camaro handles very well. Steering is responsive and it corners with a good amount of control and stability. The 2012 model has the FE4 suspension package (different from previous models) and the ride is smooth and even. You can still get good sense of the road but becoming “one” with this car seems like it may take a bit of work.

Performance: The SS has a 436 HP LS3 V8. Power-wise this is pretty substantial but coming from an 800HP Vette the Camaro almost feels underpowered. Acceleration is quick and consistent (and the engine sounds great) but you can feel the weight of the car (at almost two tons it is a heavy car). Don’t get me wrong- there’s plenty of power but it’s it’s less than I’m used to. Not to worry though- I have plans to make the car much faster :).  The LS3 engines lend themselves very well to upgrades (think “forced induction”).

The brakes are very good, but stopping distance is longer than I’m used to and I can feel the weight of the car when braking. The car may benefit from some and upgrade, but the Brembo disc brakes perform admirably and I’m perfectly happy with them for now.

I’m quite impressed with the Boston Acoustics sound system in the SS. It won’t blow your head off and it’s slightly muddy, but it does a good job with sound range and there is very little sibilance at high volumes. Everything seems mixed well and the balance is excellent (sound seems to come from in front of me). Chevy offers the option of an MTX subwoofer system, but I’m working on my own JL audio based sub (more on that soon). The ability to hook up my iPod to the stereo is also very nice (although there seems to be as issue and sometimes the music intermittently crackles).

Features: I have mentioned a few already, but I’ll just recap here. Love the leather power seats- very nice (also seat heaters- not a big fan personally). I think the HUD is a good addition and is well executed. I like the integrated auxiliary inputs for the stereo. The steering wheel controls are great. The backup camera and proximity warning system is really cool (useful? don’t know yet). Really cool gauge cluster beneath the stereo. The short shifter feel really good (the throw is longer than I expected though). And then there’s tons of standard options too – auto dimming mirrors, ABS brakes, high intensity headlights, integrated garage door opener, etc.

Conclusion: Super happy with the car! As I have said I think it’s a superb value and it’s very well executed in almost every regard. I’m really excited to drive it more (just putting some personal touches on it before I “debut” it to family & friends).


The King and Queen

Yes, right now I have two cars. It’s not a crime. Sure, maybe it’s a little decadent. But both cars are actually very different. The other night it occurred to me that the Camaro and Corvette were like a King and Queen from a chess set. Both part of the same game, important, similar but with stark differences.

The Corvette is simply known now as Nemeis (goddess of divine retribution). With her sleek curves and light build the Corvette is clearly a woman. Like her chess counterpart she is smaller than the King, much more powerful and very aggressive.

The Camaro will be known as Chronos (the god of time). Chiseled, heavy and imposing the Camaro is obviously a man. Like his chess alter-ego he is larger than the Queen, slower than she is, yet in his own way a more powerful presence.

I feel like these two cars compliment each other very well. I wish they could have babies. A boy and a girl: Corvaro and Camette. Yeah.