Sturgeon’s Law

Ninety Per­cent Of Every­thing Is Crap

Derived from a quote by sci­ence fic­tion author Theodore Stur­geon, who once said, “Sure, 90% of sci­ence fic­tion is crud. That’s because 90% of every­thing is crud.” Oddly, when Sturgeon’s Law is cited, the final word is almost invari­ably changed to ‘crap’.

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Wrest of the Week Wrap

Shappire Valley

Wednes­day: Top down morn­ing drive, work, top up drive home, watch Red Sox lose on

Thurs­day: Top down morn­ing drive, work, top up drive home, watch Red Sox lose on

Fri­day: Hawai­ian Shirt Day, ride tan­dem to work, ride tan­dem home, watch Red Sox lose on

Sat­ur­day: Top down morn­ing drive, lunch in High­lands, NC, top up drive home, watch Red Sox lose on

Sun­day: Top down morn­ing drive, rollerblade around the block, gro­cery shop, watch Red Sox lose on

Started up, down, up, down, up, down, up, down, still down.
Miata Top Tran­si­tions since 10/24/08: 1410



As promised 2,144,444 sec­onds ago (24 days, 19 hours, 40 min­utes, 44 sec­onds) here is a pic­ture of the Emperor’s dash last night after we pulled over into a church park­ing lot.

When we got home from work yes­ter­day and parked in the garage, I noticed the ODO read­ing was 144420, so I told Donna we needed to go for a 24 mile drive after din­ner. “Twist my arm,” she said. It was much past din­ner time and almost ready for bed time when I twisted it. We headed south on Banks Mill, took White Pond over to Whiskey Road and started back towards home. We we still about 5 miles from return­ing home when the dig­its changed to 144444 and I had just shy of a mile to find a spot to stop.

253,670,400 sec­onds ago the Emperor’s odome­ter read just 44,444 miles. That is 8 years and 2 weeks in the past and if you take the 100k miles and divide it by the num­ber days elapsed you get an aver­age of a touch over 34 miles a day.

It took the Pur­ple Whale 1192 days to get to 44,444 which equates to about 37–1/4 miles a day aver­age. At that rate it will be 7 years, 4 months, 4 days, 13 hours, 45 min­utes and 46 sec­onds, which is Jan­u­ary 5, 2022, to get to 144,444.

Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Tran­si­tions since 10/24/08: 1403

2014 Bug Splat

Bug Splat

When Donna and I ate at the Apizza di Napoli a week or so before the Bug Splat I told the owner that we would be there at 6:30 the fol­low­ing Sat­ur­day night and would prob­a­bly bring about 15–20 people.

It dawned on me the day before the event that I had 6:00PM listed as the start time on the Club’s Cal­en­dar, so I called the restau­rant just before I left work and spoke to one of the women who work there and said that the arrival time was really 6:00 not the pre­vi­ously stated 6:30 and that there would be 15 peo­ple, plus or minus 5.

Lit­tle did I know, that when relayed to the owner, the mes­sage became plus or minus 5 peo­ple would be attend­ing. They tried to call me back at work for clar­i­fi­ca­tion, but I had already left. The owner is friends with the Prez so he called Larry and Larry told him it would be a lot more like 20 peo­ple show­ing up.

They set up three tables, two with 6 and one with 8, but that couldn’t con­tain us. We ended up fill­ing nearly every table in the joint (except for the big one behind us that was reserved for a birth­day party) and a cou­ple booths as well with the 34(1) Club mem­bers who showed up.

On the drive our conga line of Miatas stretched as far as the eye could see. But most of the time I could only see about half of them in the rearview mir­ror because of all the turns and curves in the roads mak­ing it hard to ensure we were not los­ing any­one. Amaz­ingly enough we stayed pretty much together for the whole 34 miles, through 18 turns (4 of them lefts) and 8 traf­fic lights with only an occa­sional non-Miata get­ting in line with us. The evening sky turned pretty col­ored and the tem­per­a­ture eased into the lower 80’s mak­ing for a very pleas­ant drive over­all. The only thing that was not up to snuff about the rally was the lack of bugs.

I’ve lamented the lack of real bugs and/or their splats for the last few years and maybe this is just the old timer in me that thinks, “Back in my day the bugs were big­ger and more plen­ti­ful,” but when the Biggest Bug Tro­phy goes to some­one that has the 3/16″ long car­cass of a mayfly stuck to their head­light, that would look small if it was stuck to the tro­phy itself (2), then the Miata Insect Killing World is going to heck in a hand basket.

The judg­ing for Most, Fewest and Clos­est to the Dot prizes were based on the amount and loca­tion of noth­ing more than the small white puffs left behind by pass­ing through a cloud of unseen and unknown species. Bob & Pat Tar­rant won the Fewest Bug prize because their car was white mak­ing the lit­tle puffs seem nonex­is­tent. Larry & Rita Gar­ner nabbed the Most Bugs prize by virtue of their dark Mon­tego Blue color car. Sue & Dave Woomer had a white puff smack in the mid­dle of the green Avery dot on the nose of their car thereby tak­ing home the Clos­est to the Dot Prize. The Woomers were also the own­ers of that small mayfly and as such have the honor of dis­play­ing the Biggest Bug Tro­phy on their fire­place man­tle until next year.

Next year I am going to look into hir­ing some kids with a pickup truck to drive the route a few min­utes ahead of us and have them toss hand­fuls of crick­ets and grasshop­pers in the grass at cer­tain inter­vals and maybe one or two Ele­phant Bee­tles for good measure.

1. That num­ber is a guess from Pres­i­dent Gar­ner and does not reflect an actual count. I was told 13 cars did the drive, but this hearsay and not an actual count either. Let’s do some cipherin’ and see if we can make the math work. Assum­ing there were 13 cars on the drive that meant 25 peo­ple (one car had just a dri­ver) din­ing. There were 2 cou­ples in their OTMs as their Miatas were down for main­te­nance, this makes 29. There was another cou­ple who dined only and then went home, mak­ing 31 peo­ple. But one car was a late arrival, so sub­tract 2, giv­ing us only 29 Miatan­ites who ate at the restau­rant. Not 34, but that’s closer than my guess of, “a lot.”

2. This in no way should be taken that I’m dimin­ish­ing the skill and effort of the dri­ver and nav­i­ga­tor of said win­ning car in pluck­ing this obvi­ously very scarce insect from the air.

New To Math Too

Fri­day night Donna and I ran the route for the MMC’s Bug Splat Rally that we were spear­head­ing on Sat­ur­day night. The drive would start after din­ner at Apizza di Napoli in Aiken and end up at a Sonic in North Augusta after 34 miles of zig­ging around. Most of the roads we were tak­ing peo­ple on were famil­iar to us, but 2 of the dozen or so on the route, we had never been on before. We wanted to be sure there wasn’t any con­struc­tion or sur­prises for us to stum­ble upon while lead­ing a group of Miatas. Plus, we needed to make sure we’d rec­og­nize the turns onto the ones we had never dri­ven on before.

When we fin­ished our dry run up at the Sonic we thought maybe we would sam­ple a bit of ice cream. You know, just to be sure the qual­ity hadn’t suf­fered any since last year. Rather than sit in the car when at Sonic, we usu­ally sit at the table and chairs out front where it is bet­ter for peo­ple watch­ing. Both order­ing stands had a group in front of them and after lis­ten­ing to both sets try and fig­ure who wanted what for a while, our lack of patience for this sort of inep­ti­tude from small fam­ily units pre­sented with so many choices at din­ing estab­lish­ments that they are over­whelmed, took hold and we left.

There was a Bruster’s Ice Cream stand just up the road, so we thought we’d give them a shot at our frozen dessert busi­ness. We got lucky there as the fam­ily group­ing was already sit­ting about with their ice cream in their hands. Donna ordered a small choco­late in a cup and I ordered a small Almond Choco­late Coconut in a cup. Our young server ducked to the left, rang us up on the cash reg­is­ter and reported back with the total, “That’ll be six dol­lars and twenty-four cents.” I didn’t have enough ones to make it to six, so I handed her a ten dol­lar bill and said, “Wait, I’ve got some change.” I added a quar­ter to her hand.

I could see this young woman through the win­dow as she strug­gled to make the change. She picked up some bills. She put some back. She picked up some coins. She put some back. Donna looked at me and asked, “What’s tak­ing so long.” “She’s mak­ing change,” I replied with a lop­sided grin on my face. She gave a look that I knew was going to lead to more anx­i­ety for our hap­less ice cream server, so I held up my hand to hold her back for a while. Server came back to the win­dow with 3 one dol­lar bills, two quar­ters and a penny. Both of as said, “That’s not right,” at about the same time. She called some­one over to help her out. After a minute or so see came to the win­dow and handed me four ones and a penny. “Sorry,” she said, “I’m new here.”

New to math too, I thought, but didn’t say.

New Flippers

mi_pilot_spt_as3_ci2_lThe other day when the Pur­ple Whale had his 45k check-up, the Ser­vice Adviser along with telling me the bat­tery was get­ting weak, also told me I needed some new tires. I didn’t let me sell those either. The OEM tires are Han­kook Optimo H431 and they are pretty awful accord­ing to the reviews online and while I didn’t think they were exceed­ingly crappy, I knew I wasn’t going to buy another set just based on their noisy per­for­mance on any­thing but a very smooth road surface.

I headed over to to do some research and picked out the Miche­lin Pilot Sport A/S 3 for the Pur­ple Whales new flip­pers. There were a few bet­ter all around tires in the High Per­for­mance All-Season cat­e­gory, but because of Aiken’s mild win­ters I could sac­ri­fice snow and ice trac­tion num­bers for higher quiet and com­fort ones. As a nice bonus the Miche­lins were $50 cheaper than the Han­kooks they are replacing

Kindle & Me II

Kindle Paperwhite & CoverHappy Birth­day to Me. Ordered on Sun­day and arrived on Tues­day, one Kin­dle Paper­white (w/ Spe­cial Offers) and a trick Fake Leather/Plastic Cover.

When I opened the box from Ama­zon there were two boxes inside and some bub­ble wrap. The Kin­dle box was so much larger than the one for the cover, that I first thought the cover was folded some­how. But when I opened it up it wasn’t folded, it couldn’t have been, it was made of thin hard plas­tic. The Kin­dle could have fit in the cover box, but the box it was in was made for a nice pre­sen­ta­tion of the device, so there was a lot of dead space.

I was orig­i­nally think­ing of get­ting the base $69 dol­lar Kin­dle, then grad­u­ated to the $89 no ads ver­sion because although the ads are described as unob­tru­sive, I rather liked the ran­dom authors that showed with BIL Paul’s Kin­dle 2. After more con­sid­er­a­tion I then set­tled on the Paper­white for the touch screen inter­face and the back­lit screen allow­ing for night­time read­ing. I went with the Spe­cial Offers ver­sion to save the $20 (that’ll buy a quar­tet of aver­age priced eBooks) and if the ads do get both­er­some, I found instruc­tions on the web on how jail­break the device and load your own screen­saver images instead.

Right now I haven’t got­ten any spe­cial offers dis­played, no authors either, just ran­dom images. I won­der if they are going to be like com­mer­cials on the evening news or basic cable movies in that there are none for a big chunk of time to get you hooked and then they come hot and heavy to the point of frustration?

Candy Field

Candy Field

Our intent this morn­ing after break­fast, at the same ol’ place, was to walk around the Cross Coun­try Course at USC Aiken, but my cir­cuitous dri­ving route there took us right near the entrance to Hitch­cock Woods, so I turned in and parked. Wow, two weeks in a row.

We walked around Pigeon Trap Loop and passed right through Candy Field before trav­el­ing near Craw­ford Fences and down Foxes Den on our way back to Rab­bit Val­ley. As I took the above photo of the trail lead­ing to Candy Field, what I expected to see when we got there flashed through my mind, and it was some­thing much dif­fer­ent than the area of small pines with lit­tle under­growth that we found. Click on the above photo to see what my mind perceived.

Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Tran­si­tions since 10/24/08: 1402