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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April 2005 Big Top Haystack And Needles 3 Lil' Pirate Inflation

A Decade Ago

  • Sad Day - And such a waste. Donna and I attended the wake/viewing …
  • Didn't You Check That? - Last night on the way home in the loaner Tribute, about …


Reconstituted Dinosaurs



Sonata or Miata

Hunting Aliens

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Ask Brian

I Miss It Like Bad Tooth



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

Serial Offender

Destination - Pier

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.

Happy Birthday From Officer Krupke

WarningIt 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.

English-ish Spoken Here

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

Outlander Addict

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
Vul­ture Recaps

Dyno Movies From Panic Park

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 Emperor Gets A Stress Test

Emperor's Stress Test

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.

Emperor On The Dyno