Wednesday: Top down morning drive, work, top up drive home, watch Red Sox lose on MLB.tv
Thursday: Top down morning drive, work, top up drive home, watch Red Sox lose on MLB.tv
Friday: Hawaiian Shirt Day, ride tandem to work, ride tandem home, watch Red Sox lose on MLB.tv
Saturday: Top down morning drive, lunch in Highlands, NC, top up drive home, watch Red Sox lose on MLB.tv
Sunday: Top down morning drive, rollerblade around the block, grocery shop, watch Red Sox lose on MLB.tv
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
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.
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.
The 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 TireRack.com 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
Happy 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?
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