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'.


A Decade Ago



#MotoringChallenge Still looking for your Epic Sunrise photo? Now, a way to predict when it is worth getting up for
- Tuesday Apr 26 - 9:27pm

Tonight, Jamie and Claire are a long way from Scotland when they arrive at Versailles. #Outlander
- Sunday Apr 17 - 12:40am

Proud to be the 879th backer on @BackerKit for Bernie Sanders Action Figure | Thx @fctry!
- Friday Apr 15 - 10:03pm

#motoringchallenge @MossMiata Pine pollen season here in SC! My sheet on the OTM trunk lid. Bring on the hat.
- Thursday Mar 17 - 2:31pm

#MotoringChallenge Honda powered Minis and now V-6 Miatas at Mini Tec in Royston GA. This'll be Sneak Peek No.1b
- Saturday Feb 27 - 10:57pm

Reconstituted Dinosaurs



Sonata or Miata

Hunting Aliens

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Ask Brian

World’s Largest Ten Commandments

 Field of the Wood

Field of the Wood

Wayah Road, Nanthahala, NC

Wayah Road

GROM Update

Didn’t exactly get a total brush of just yet, but I did get sort of a shoulder shrug:

Them – Thu, Sep 22 2016 9:13am
Track Firmware version 49 does not sound correct for GROM-AND2 unit.

What I recommend is seeing if you can flash firmware version 40 which is the latest for your vehicle type and see if it helps. This is all I can suggest. Other than that, I am stumped.

Me – Thu, Sep 22 2016 11:37pm
OK, I’ve downgraded my firmware to 40 even though when I went to the photo at the top of the page says, “Top Part Has No Lip” and my unit clearly has a top lip (see attached photos.)

Is my unit some sort of USB3, USB2P variation so that firmware 49 would be right for something purchased last summer?
Is this my serial number? 03-18-031314? Those numbers match nothing like shown on either page…confused.

I doubt I’ll hear back.

If my theory of this all being heat related is correct, it probably doesn’t matter what my firmware version is. GROM has no real competitors in this arena, so the only options if this thing keeps messing up is to buy another box from them or swap out the head unit. I loathe the new head unit option on several counts, but I don’t relish the thought of spending $150 on something that might only last a little more than a year either.

But now that the weather is cooling off we may be in for some trouble-free listening ahead. Might be able to put off what to do until mid-spring.

Another Tale of Woe

Before the Emperor went into exile I removed several bits that I wanted to transfer over to the CTBNL. One of them was a aftermarket little box that allowed music playback from a USB stick (among other things.) Ever since it has been in the silver car it would randomly stop working. After paying attention to when it wasn’t working it seemed to only be after the spent several hours out in the hot sun.

The unit is past its 1 year warranty period, but the manufacturer’s site has a support area where you can fill out a form and start an email conversation with one of their techs. Let’s give it a go:

Me – Sun, Sep 11 2016 8:14pm
Car make: Mazda Miata 2002
Invoice: 77311
Seller: Grom Audio

MAZN2 unit worked flawlessly for over a year in my 2003. Moved to a new to me 2002 and it fails to turn on sometimes after car sits during work.

Will turn on after home in garage after a few hours. Almost seems to me to be heat related. But just the other day on an evening drive it just quit working. Radio display shows CD CH at bottom like normal, but no disc-track numbers and no sound.

Them – Mon, Sep 12 2016 6:42am
I would double check the installation wiring and make sure everything is plugged in secure and solid.

Are you able to move the GROM module back to the 2003 model vehicle?

Me – Mon, Sep 12 2016 10:02am
As expected, it did not work when I got in the car at the end of the work day. This time when I hit the CD button instead of getting no music with a display of CD CH, nothing happened at all.

The 2003 is long gone.

Just to cover all the bases I pulled the Mazda radio out when I got home and unplugged and then re-plugged it back in. I then unhooked the Grom and re-hooked it back up. Then of course it worked fine. But was that because it had cooled off in the hour or so in my garage or did the re-seating of connectors fix it?

I will let you know tomorrow.

Them – Mon, Sep 12 2016 10:27am
What is the batch number to the GROM module? This will be on sticker bottom of the unit.

Please also check what firmware version is on the GROM module currently.
To check firmware version switch to USB mode of the GROM. While playing music from USB connected device i.e. USB flash drive, Android or Ipod/iphone (USB3/MST4 only).
Unplug from USB port. The track number will change and show current version number of Firmware.

Me – Tue, Sep 13 2016 11:02am
Amazingly enough when we got in the car this afternoon the unit worked. It only got into the mid 80’s today. But halfway home my passenger objected to the song playing so she pushed the track up button, the display changed, but the track stayed the same. Tried track down with the same results. She turned the radio off and then back on. Now the unit didn’t work at all. No sound accompanied by no disc/track display and the CD CH display on the bottom of the display.

Tonight after dinner I went out into our air conditioned garage and turned on the radio. It started playing MP3s right where it left off. The track up and track down responded normally. Something is going wonky due to heat…

The number on the sticker on the bottom is: 03-18-031314

The firmware is: 49

Them – Wed, Sep 14 2016 7:02am
Could you share with us a clear photo of the front face of the stereo for us to view?

Does the stereo have a CD changer built in to it?

If yes, does it have its own Mode or does it show up as “CD CH” as well for function?

Me – Wed, Sep 14 2016 10:14am
Radio has single CD, no built-in CD changer.

Attached are three photos:

We had a nice little daily email chain going there for awhile, then they stopped responding. Tonight after not hearing anything for 6 days, I poked them back.

Me – Tue, Sep 20 2016 10:16am
Hello? Did I stump the band? I attached pictures as requested and have not heard back since last Tuesday.

Do I have another option besides buying some sort of replacement?

What do you want to bet I’ll get another corporate speak “Sorry Charlie” email? Then I’m not sure where I go next especially as the unit I have was $99 and is discontinued while the replacement gizmo is $130. Guess if that happens I’ll try and find a cheaper option somewhere.

Our Customers Are Important Us1

Received a response from the fine folks at today:

Subject: RE: Color Code Help
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 08:34:10
From: skip magas
To: me

Unfortunately I cannot replace the paint because we mixed to the color code placed on your order. On top of that page states If do not see your color listed Call us (888-710-5192) & we probably have it.

The only thing I can do is place a new order for.

Skip Magas
Customer Service Ext 109
Mon-Fri 8:00 – 5:00 CST

Like us on “facebook logo”
Check us out on “youtube logo”

Our customers are important us, let us know what you think.

I didn’t actually expect then to send me a new can of paint, maybe a 10% discount on my next purchase, I did at least expect to get a bit of concern about the confusing options on their order pages. Nope, all I got is a thinly disguised, “Should have paid better attention there bucko.” It didn’t take long to draft my reply to Skip:

Subject: RE: Color Code Help
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:14:51
From: me
To: skip magas


I’ll be keeping this can of custom mixed paint on the shelf in my garage, so that if I ever need to order touch up paint again, I’ll remember who not to order from.


I know there are a couple other companies out there that sell custom color touch up paint (I’ve even used one), so I went out to see if I would have had better luck there.

At the only choice was Miata and it returned 11 colors. There were 7 standard colors available in the US and two special edition colors, a blue and a yellow. They had all seven of the regular colors, but called two of them by some other market’s name and both of the special colors. The other two colors were Garnet Red which was a 2003 only color2 and a color called New Green with a very green color block next to it. It’s color code? 24V. You can bet I wouldn’t have picked that one, especially seeing as the had 22V Sunlight Silver Metallic listed.

At there were two choices. When selecting Miata you get 10 choices of colors, the exact same as from paintscratch except it was missing the blue special edition color. When you pick MX-5 Miata you get just the seven standard US colors. Couldn’t have made a mistake here either.

1. The omission of the word ‘to’ is intentional. It is a direct copy of part of the tagline in Skip’s signature block.
2. I found Garnet Red listed as a 2002 color on all three web sites, while Mazda swears it was only available in 2003. The only way I can possibly explain it is that my 2003 Garnet Red car was built August in 2002, so if I looked at the door tag and didn’t know any better, I would think my car was a model year 2002.

Well, That Explains That

24V on 22V

24V on 22V

Washed both cars this morning. Started with the Sonata because I knew if I did the Miata first, I’d look over at that big car and just put away the hose. After drying the Miata I was struck by how the license plate frame, painted with the same silver paint as the patch on the bumper, looked sort of greenish too. I was fully prepared to believe that the silver paint I ordered from was the correct shade and I screwed it up with the off-brand clear coat I used, but I never clear coated the plate frame. So I looked at the information sticker inside the driver’s door and found the color code of the car, 22v. Then I went over to the shelf where I had the touch up paint stored and looked at the can, it read 24V!

There was only one silver on the Miatas in 2002 and it was 22V, AKA Sunlight Silver Metallic. How could I have gotten the wrong paint? I went back in the email and looked at the order confirmation I received and sure enough there at the bottom was “Description: 12 oz Aerosol Spray Paint, 2002 Mazda MX5 Miata: Cerrion Silver Metallic 24V.” I went to the paint web site and found out what the problem is, you can choose MX5 Miata or just plain Miata and each page has a different list of paint codes.

I went to the contact page and filled out my name, email, phone and this is what I put in the text area:

I believe I was led astray by your web page color selection process. On August 15th I ordered a 12oz spray can of silver touch-up paint for my 2002 Mazda Miata on Order #9167888. The paint code for that year Miata is 22V, but I received 24V.

Admittedly I probably had several chances to realize I had the wrong color paint, but I didn’t notice it until I had painted a portion of my rear bumper (and license plate frame.) My fault was my trust in my knowledge of Miatas in that I knew there was only one silver offered on the Miata in that year.

When I selected my color I must have chosen from the drop down boxes “2002 – Mazda – MX5 Miata” because the generated list of colors shows one silver, so I selected it. Unfortunately that was 24V, a color not available on the Miata in 2002. To get the right color you have to chose “2002 – Mazda – Miata” to get to a list that shows the right color code, 22V. Why 2 different selections anyway?

Attached are screenshots of the two different pages. And now that I look at them closely I see several errors on the two pages, both in omissions and additions.

Could you please ship, at your expense a replacement 12oz spray can in the color I really need – 22V?

Thanks for your consideration,

After I sent that off I did a little research over on the Miata Forum and found out that 24V actually was a Miata color in 2002, it was used on some Special Edition cars in Japan and Australia. Ahh, maybe that is the reason for the two Miata options on the touch up paint maker’s web site. If they are using MX5 Miata for non-US cars their chart is still wrong as there was 22V silver available in both those countries as well…we’ll see how they respond.

The Modifications List

Over on the left-hand side in the area marked “Pages” were a couple of links called Brian’s Basic Miata and Brian’s Miata Mods. Because they related specifically to the 2003 LS Emperor I pulled them down the other day. Today the Basic Miata page went back up because I edited it to match the base 2002 CTBNL.

I’ll probably resurrect the Mods page as well, but most of the current mods are David’s so maybe I’ll need to call it something other than “Brian’s Miata Mods.” Possibly The Miata’s Mods and keep it two sections, his and mine.

And in the mine section I’ll have to work out some sort of metric to keep track of how much of a pain in the butt they were to accomplish. 😀