Tonight at 7:05 PM I turned on the TV and watched.…Wheel of Fortune. Its the first night of the baseball off season and they may have had the 26th worst record in the Major Leagues by losing over 90 games, but I’m sure going to miss watching the FRS bumble through 9 innings each night.
Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1426
Yesterday was not the first time I’ve sat stopped in a Miata in front of a police car with its light bar strobing for this same issue. The previous time was quite a while ago, might have even been in an earlier Miata, back before they kept track of warnings by filling out a form.
I was making a left from the two lane Price Avenue onto the five lane Whiskey Road. This intersection is atypical in that cross traffic have segregated turns at crossing and or entering Whiskey Road. This means that when it is your turn to turn left, you get a green arrow. I was a ways down the road when the light went green and the two cars who triggered the signal were long gone by the time got to the intersection, so I barreled through without slowing and entered the rightmost lane because in about a 1/4 mile I was turning into Kroger’s parking lot.
Sure enough, there was a city cop sitting at the head of the line pointed in the direction I was going. When his light went green he hit his flashing lights and caught me half way to my destination. I got a warning about how I should enter the left most lane when turning left onto a multiple lane road.
What both these incidents have in common is the car I was driving and the manner I was driving it, more so than the actual lane entered. In my humble opinion, had I been piloting a Toyota Camry with in a Camry-esque way, neither LEO would have bothered me.
This is from the South Carolina Drivers Handbook: A left turn often takes more preparation than a right turn. …Then turn into the lane nearest and to the right of the center line. This, anyone can understand, so perhaps that particular section 56–5–2120 should be written more like this.
I still probably won’t obey it in situations like this one or yesterday because of the impending right turn though.
It is actually fall around here, so for my birthday we were going to drive down to Folly Beach in an attempt to get a Moss Motoring Challenge photo of their fishing pier and to get some seafood for lunch on the beach.
We started our road trip today in the usual way, by going to the local DD and getting my coffee and Donna’s hot chocolate, when we left the parking lot it got slightly unusual. It was early, so there was very little traffic on the 5 lane Whiskey Road and it was still dark, so picking the spot to exit was easy. I waited out the two cars coming from the left that were close together and there were two more coming from the right that had a enough separation to get between, so I swung left, out between them and got in the far right lane because I was turning right at the next intersection about 200 yards away.
As I stopped at the light and prepared to make a right on red, that second car that I had got in front of, pulled to a stop behind me. It was a white car and I instantly recognized the headlight signature as that of a Dodge Charger, which probably meant one thing, city cop.
My blinker was on and the car behind me put his on. I turned right and moved to the left turn lane in preparation for my next turn. Sure enough the white Charger followed in step and when he got in the left lane, he lit ‘em up. I hung another left into the back parking lot of the quick oil change place there.
We were in the Miata with the top down and as the officer approached the car, Donna “helpfully” told him it was my birthday and it was her fault we were going this way as she forgot something at home. I think our LEO was more nervous than I was because as he tried to explain why he was pulling me over he was stumbling over his sentences and was a little confused as to where I came from when I got on Whiskey Rd. He did get out that the reason we were gathered here together was that when making a left turn onto a multi-lane road you should enter the leftmost lane first before moving into the right one.*
I handed him my license, insurance card and registration and as he walked back to his car he said, “If everything checks out OK, I’ll probably send you on your way.” Well, of course everything checked out, so our friendly young officer reiterated why he pulled my over, then explained he was just giving me a warning, which generated the piece of paper he was giving me. He then wished me a Happy Birthday, told me to drive safe and sent me on my way.
I blurred out my driver’s license number in the image above (I didn’t do any of the rest of the info as it is already readily available elsewhere on this site.) I did change the name of our police officer** and blurred out his badge number as well.
Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1424
*South Carolina Code of Laws, SECTION 56–5-2120. Required position and method of turning. Paragraph (b), Left turns … Whenever practicable the left turn shall be made to the left of the center of the intersection so as to leave the intersection or other location in the extreme left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction as the vehicle on the roadway being entered. I’m guessing that if I was to get a ticket it would be for a violation of that bit of very confusing legalese. It is the only thing in the vehicle code that I can find that is remotely on point.
**to the first name that popped into my head, it’s from West Side Story in case you were wondering.
There are 6 microwaves on an L-Shaped counter in our break room. One of them no longer works, a fellow associate made a sign using a marker and a paper towel. Placing half the paper towel inside the microwave, closing the door leaving the words in big black letters on the outside, “DO NOT WORK.”
Donna and I were heating up our lunches, along with another co-worker, and we all got to wondering who might have made up the impromptu sign (hoping against hope it was not someone from HR or some other college graduate from the front office.) Up came the stockroom supervisor and we asked if she had a pen so we could fix the sign. She did, and quickly added an ES on the end of DO to make it right.
As she was doing it she said, “I seen that this morning.”
Started down, went up, back down, up again, down again, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1422
When I first posted about the Outlander media juggernaut in July I said I’d probably watch the show, but didn’t think I’d read any more of the books. WRONGO! I have now read the first 5 (of the 8) books in the series and after I got a little stuck at the beginning of book 6, to cleanse my pallet, I started reading a novella by the same author. That book explores the lives of a couple of very minor characters from the same universe!
The Starz adaptation of Book 1 has become must see TV. It is not a one to one word to picture retelling, but it is a very well done TV series that is very faithful to the spirit and deed of the books. The author has been quoted as saying “if you watch the show with the book on your lap, you will most likely cheat yourself out of the pleasure of both.” Fortunately for me, seeing as I have a very short term memory and I’ve read so much further along in the books, I can not be thrown off track by any differences between the show and book. The show has added some new stuff and left out some other stuff, but so far, in my eyes, the changes have made for better television.
Now, like Mad Men and LOST before it, I’m going to start a section on my links page for Outlander. Part of my enjoyment of a good TV show, along with watching it, is reading stuff on the interwebs about it, spoilers before, recaps afterwards, comments and all sorts of other random stuff, so the links will help me not forget to check for new stuff.
Here’s a start:
A.V. Club Recaps
Claire’s Ring From the Book
Claire’s Ring From the TV Show
Jezebel — Female Centric Recaps
Outlander Kitchen — Recipes inspired by
Outlandish Observations — Recaps, Book Stuff, Etc.
That’s Normal — Home of Things My Husband Says During Outlander
They’re kind of fuzzy because I cropped and resized them from the camera’s native 640x480 to a blog sized 800x450. The first video is of the first run:
This video is of the second run:
The best HP number came on the third run — 104.3@6400RPM
The MMC visited Panic Motorsports in West Columbia. Owner/Evil Genius Steve and his faithful minion Josh welcomed us with open arms. They had even laid out some donuts and soft drinks for our consumption. When I was helping make arrangements for the visit I had made a request for a couple of items for door prizes and instead there was a free buffet of stickers, car wax, hats, hand cleaner and micro fiber towels for use to pick from on a table.
The main attraction after looking at all the colorful Spec Miatas parked inside and out was the offer of 3 Dyno Pulls in exchange for a portrait of Ulysses S Grant. One of our members towed his Formula Ford race car up to take advantage of the offer, but three of us regular folks thought it might be cool to go ahead and see what we got.
I went first and you can see the results up top here. Mazda rated the 2003 Miata at 138HP from the factory, but that number is at the flywheel, which is always 20–25% higher than what you get at the rear wheels and is measured by a dyno. I’m thinking 104.3HP isn’t half bad for a 11-year old car with over 145,000 miles on it. Steve said to me after that he could get another 8–10 horsepower out of it without adding any hardware, just some tuning and a couple more of those pictures of Grant. I told him to email me the details, but I’m really fine with the power the way it is. I’d rather spend the money and handling upgrades…
On the first pull I took a video of the car running and then on the second pull I shot the computer monitor as the readings bounced around. Both of them are around 30 seconds and 20 Meg in size, so if I can figure out how to edit them down a bit I may post them here too.