The top was down once more for the trip to work. This may be the last morning for a while though, they are predicting a return to normal winter temps again, 30’s in the AM and 50’s in the afternoon. Once at work the top was put up because there was a chance of rain during the afternoon. Still hadn’t rained at quitting time, but the threatening skies made us keep the top up for the trip home.
Started down, now up.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 1
Man, my wife is cool. I don’t know how I got so lucky. Tonight was the night of the Master’s Miata Club’s 9th anniversary dinner over in Augusta. She got all dressed up, fixed her hair and face, but didn’t bat an eye my request to keep the top down for the ride over. Dinner was at 5:45–6:00 and the sun was still up, but it was probably only 50 degrees, no problem she just put on a coat. After dinner of the 8 Miatas in the lot (a few folks came in the MSV) there were only 2 tops down for the ride home in the near 40 degree temps at 9:00 PM. One was Rudy, Club President, who never puts his up and ours. Donna just said roll up the windows and turn on the heat.
Started up, now down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 2
Why is it at fancy restaurants they always serve you small portions on a big plate? Is that to make the food seem more special, by making you think it is so rare that you are lucky to be getting any at all? Then because cretins like me don’t get it, they sprinkle froo-froo stuff all over the open spaces so the plate won’t seem as big.…
We are eating more chicken than ever before. Mostly the breast meat. First it was split breasts, then boneless breasts and then we got breast strips that they called breast “tenderloins.” Where was the rest of the bird going? Cat food, I hope.
I usually bring a microwavable “TV” dinner to work and every chicken dish is made with a breast. But recently they have started to throw in a dinner or two made with the thigh meat, but they are being are being sneaky about it. They are now calling the boneless thigh meat, chicken tenderloins. Fooled me once..
On the seventh day the Miata rested. As is typical for a Sunday around the Bogardus household, the Miata never left the garage. We usually do things as a family and when we do we all pile into the MSV. Sunday is weekly shopping, go out for lunch, etc. and the three of us use Donna’s Mom 4-door Civic. I spent the afternoon ripping CDs for the next MP3 disc for the Miata.
10,000 Maniacs — Love Among the Ruins
Bangles — Greatest Hits
Beth Orton — Trailer Park
Dido — No Angel
Fine Young cannibals — Fine Young Cannibals
Jerry Goodman — On the Future of Aviation
Marc Cohn — Marc Cohn
Mark Knopfler — Cal
Republica — Republica
Seven Mary Three — American Standard
Sixpence None The Richer — Sixpence None The Richer
Spin Doctors — Pocketfull of Kryptonite
Suzy Bogguss — Something Up My Sleeve
Van Morrison — The Best of
Started down, still down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 2
From 9:30PM on Sunday, 2/3 until 4:45 PM today, Monday, 2/4 the Club web site was AWOL. Email still worked and you could still get to the That Hosting Company website. This was different than the last few episodes, usually everything disappears. That is still no consolation to the thousands, well maybe hundreds, how about tens, would you believe the 1 person trying to get to the Master’s Miata Club site in that time frame.
I’m so vain, I’m so vain, I probably think this Internet is about me.*
I’m in the The Mirror Project again. See me reflected in the hood of the Miata this time here.
* Apologies to Carly Simon
Oooh, here’s an original rant, but this has a twist. Decided to go through and delete my old mail. This is an irregular event to be sure. First I dumped everything that was older that 2 months. This still left me with 1032 messages. For the heck of it I decided to see how much of that was spam. Carefully poked my way through and highlighted all the ones that came in unsolicited and hit the really delete button. Guess how many emails are in the deleted folder now.….743. That’s just for 2 months! The biggest chunk is the Lockergnome newsletters, I get 4 a day every weekday (135). Next is my daily re-issue of Calvin & Hobbes (53). Next with 43, is myself from my work address, I send things home so I will remember to do them later. Then I get an email from Netflix every time they ship or receive a DVD (25). Then there are the 3 or 4 weekly newsletters covering HTML, freeware, etc. The rest are from friends, family, Miata Club business and Bicycle Cub business. That’s a lot of email…
A couple of days ago I ranted on chicken tenderloins and in it I mentioned we eat more chicken. I meant in as the royal we, meaning all of us, but I also meant me and my household. We buy some frozen foods from a company called Schwan’s. Donna’s brother drives a truck for them in the Seattle area. When Donna’s mom moved in with us she decided to start ordering stuff from them. We order some of the frozen vegetables and in the summer we get some of those little ice cream cups. We have tried of few of the other things as well. The chicken breasts are a big time saver, the are always so moist and tender. Never really paid attention to the box before, but for some reason today it caught my eye. Right there on the side of the box was (italics are theirs) — Unbreaded, Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Filets with Rib Meat Containing up to 12% of a solution.
What does that mean? Nowhere on any of the 6 sides of the box does it say what the solution is that they have stuffed in there. It is item number 502 in case you want to see if they tell you want the solution is on their web site.
Bought the first volume and loved it, nice mix of pop, standards and rap. The theme song alone was worth the price of admission. So when the second volume came out, I bought it. This one is a 2 CD set. After listening to it a couple times I have come to the conclusion with a little better weeding out of selections, it would have made a fine one CD release. It was really stupid of them to add a couple minutes of dialog from the show too. There are about a half dozen different Mafia mouth ones run together. What they should have done was give us one selected Tony — Dr. Malfi session. Plus I will never forgive them for mucking up Henry Mancini’s “Theme from Peter Gunn” with Sting doing Every Breathe You Take…
Raining in the morning. I don’t know if the Weather Channel got the stop time right, but it had stopped by my 4:00 quitting time. Still too cold for dropping the top, either for the ride home or the trip to Augusta. Tonight was the Master’s Miata Club monthly business meeting at the Shangi-Hi Suprise chinese buffet. I was much better in that I only ate 4 plate fulls unlike last month’s 5. Next month we will meet at a BBQ buffet, I feel a five plater coming on…
While we were there, I put 4 dollars down on my 2002 Special Edition Miata in Titanium Grey with Saddle Brown interior…bought some Lotto tickets.
Started up, still up.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 5
The sun reappeared this morning. Lunch out was at Mi Rancho, guess what kind of food it was. Top down to and fro. I broke my rule for the new top too. I said that I would never leave it down in the parking lot unless I had the boot on. Didn’t have it with me so I rationalized that it is still winter and the angle of the sunlight would cause less damage than raising the top and then putting it right back down for the ride home. After 3 days of top up and A/C on, it was nice to ride in the fresh air. We turned our 6 mile commute home into a 30 mile jaunt through the wilds of Aiken County and the exciting towns of Couchton and Montmorenci.
It was also nice to hear wind noise as opposed to the ticking sound that is emanating from the heater blower motor. Because of the rain we have been riding around with the A/C to keep the windows from fogging. Going to have a look at it tomorrow, hope it is easy to get to and it is just that missing screw from the center console bumping the fan and not a bad bearing or something.
Started up, now down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 6
Professional players are now allowed in the Olympics, corporate sponsorship is rampant, and about every third or fourth Olympics are on US soil because we are the biggest TV market for them and that is where the money is. The only thing I like about them anymore is the skin-tight lycra the women wear for some sports and the skimpy costumes the ice skaters wear. And I may not have that pleasure much longer, in this week’s issue of People magazine there is an article about them asking the ice dancers to tone down the sexuality of their routines.
I have installed a set of those all-the-rage-among-the-kids indiglo gage faces on the Miata. Got them to sort of go with the blue face of the new in-dash MP3 Player. The dash used to have green backlighting and all that is left of it is the light shining on the ODOs. Decided to make it blue to match. Pulled the dash apart and popped out the bulbs. Removed the green plastic condoms and exposed the bare bulbs. Started to apply the blue glass paint I had bought this afternoon. Didn’t stick too well, but I kept at it. Two coats later it was time to put them back in and try it out. They lit up sort of blue. SH$T. Pulled the dash apart again. Fortunately because the paint didn’t stick too well it was relatively easy to remove. Put the bare bulbs in and now I have white light illuminating the ODO which is better than the green stock or aqua painted.
Busy Miata day today.
First on the agenda was to remove the remove the “old” Sony CD changer from the trunk. Ever since installing the Blaupunkt MP41 San Jose MP3 player in the dash at Christmas the Sony has not even been on. Trunk space being at a premium to begin with in a Miata, a CD changer eats up a big chunk of it, it is nice to reclaim that room. All I have to do is fill in the carpet where I cut out a couple holes to mount the changer.
Second up was prettying the Blaupunkt install. When I first got it, I was so excited about installing it that I just used the kit that you get from Crutchfield. Functional, but it just didn’t look right, made the unit stick out of the dash about 1–1/2″ and was dropped down about 03/4″ from the top of the opening. Also I had a tendency to hit the face with my knuckles when shifting into 3rd gear. Took out the center console (removed 5 screws, remove the shift knob & unhook two wiring harnesses.) Took out the center radio surround (pop out the eyeball vents and remove 3 screws.) Then I could pull out the radio and the Crutchfield mounting plate. I then pulled off the trim piece from the head unit. measured carefully to see if this would work. Yup. Pulled the bracket off the stock radio and screwed the Blaupunkt into it and put it back in the dash. One down side was I now had a 03/16″ gap on either side of the unit (the trim piece hid that.) No hill for a stepper. Got an old stock blank off plate I had laying around cut 2 slivers of it and epoxied them to the console, not bad. The other down side to this was now I had a DIN and a half opening in the dash. I think Mazda makes some stock blank off plates in that dimension, just won’t be able to get one until at least next week. I would have ridden around with the hole there, I’m a guy, but my wife felt I should hide it some how. Used some of that old redneck multi-purpose construction material — cardboard. Sprayed it flat black and it doesn’t look too bad.
Third was finishing the dash lighting. It used to have green back lighting and all that is left of that is the light shining on the ODOs spots in the indiglo blue gages. Decided to make that light blue to match. Pulled the dash apart and popped out the bulbs, I then removed the green plastic condoms and exposed the bare bulbs. When I started to apply the blue glass paint I had bought this afternoon, it didn’t stick too well, but I kept at it. Two coats consisting of two applications of paint later, it was time to put them back in and try it out. They lit up sort of blue, but still looked greenish. SHIT. Pulled the dash apart again. Fortunately, because the paint didn’t stick too well in the first place it was relatively easy to remove. Put the bare bulbs in and now I have white light illuminating the ODO which is better than the green stock or aqua painted.
Started down, still down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 6
So busy writing about all that other stuff I did to the car yesterday that I forgot the real first thing I did. In Friday’s installment, I mentioned a ticking noise emanating from the heater/AC fan. I knew it was from behind the glovebox somewhere, so the first thing I did was take out the box. As it turned out I didn’t need to, no big deal, it is only two screws… Unhooking 3 wiring harnesses and removing 3 screws is all it took to drop the fan from its housing. Lo and behold inside near the squirrel cage was a dried out oak pollen cluster. It had taken about 11 months to work its way from up near the windshield and the fresh air intake down to the fan motor. While I had the fan out I looked inside where it came out of and sure enough there was one more pollen thing waiting to take the others place as soon as I buttoned everything back up. No more noise.
Drove over to Evans, Ga to check the Miata Club mailbox. The Weather said the temp was 57 so we left the house with the top down to enjoy the ride. Problem was the sun was covered by the clouds and there was some lingering fog around. After about 10 minutes we put up the windows, in 10 more we turned on the heater and after 10 more we put up the top, just too cold feeling. After stopping and checking the mail and then driving a bit further to make a donation into our retirement fund (Lotto South and Big Game tickets) we stopped at the North Augusta Greenway and took a mile or so walk. After walking we were warm enough to put the top back down for the last 1/2 hour of the trip.
Started down, up, now down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 8
Was it about the good Elvis battling the bad Elvis? Or were they just giving Kurt Russell slightly good things to do so it would be OK for him to end up with the girl in the end. Courtney Arquette Cox can’t cry convincingly. Kind of interesting movie, but what’s up with the over the top gunplay? After the final shoot out scene, where like 16,000 bullets have been fired, 2 dozen bodies have been blown up or shot off scaffoldings, Kevin Kostner has been hit with like 30 bullets, one federal marshall looks at the other and says, “Make sure everyone’s OK?” Huh? Was that comedy? Oh well, at least they had some cool cars and some cool Elvis jokes.…
Cold morning, so the top got put up before leaving the garage. Warm afternoon, so the top went back down for the ride home. This is the time of year where that pattern will get repeated for a quite a while. Average lows at night mid 30’s and average highs in the afternoon mid 60’s.
Mazda doesn’t make a blanking plate in the correct size to fill the spot in the console, so today I ordered a Mazda little cubby hole thing. It will fill up the majority of the gap and I’ll have to fabricate something out of aluminum and paint it with some black crinkle-coat paint to fill the rest. Thinking maybe of getting some retro looking toggle switches to put in the plate. I won’t hook them to anything, just label them things like, 50 Cal. Gun, Oil Slick, NOS, Bat Hook, etc. Inspired by this, but they want way too much for them. They also make some for the power window switches but I could never use them as I sometimes hit them with my elbows and those switches would probably hurt.
Started down, went up, now down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 10
Nabisco missed the mark on this flavor. Yuck! 3 out of 4 ain’t bad, though. The first flavor was Orange & Cream. Just like those Creamsicles you got from the Good Humor Man. Next was Strawberries & Cream and while there wasn’t any childhood association to anything, they were just as good as the Orange. 3rd was Raspberries & Cream, mmmmm, delicious. So when I noticed a new flavor, Chocolate & Carmel I bought a bag. One taste and I knew we had to back to the store to buy a different flavor. If you are in the neighborhood, stop in I’ll give you a nearly full bag of C & C.
Predictably, I put the top up the ride to and put it back down for the ride from work.
Man those guys in the Trussville Mazda parts department are good. Ordered the cubby hole yesterday and got it today via UPS ground. Bad thing was it was too big for the hole. When I checked Miata. net Garage section there was mention of some trimming required to use bigger cubby that I ordered, but to the extent I thought. This thing needed, in my opinion, major rework. About a 1/4″ off the bottom had to be removed and there was no way I was going to get a straight line across the 7 inches or so of width. I sent it back. They were real nice about taking the part back, I’m just out about the $10 it took to cover shipping in both directions.
My next option was $80 for one of those Really Nice CD Caddys from Serious Auto. But before I did that, I went and visited the company’s Mad Scientist in residence and borrowed 4 toggle switches. Wanted to see how they would look in my temporary cardboard blanking plate before I spent that much on something I could only “see” on the web. Made up a couple of labels and stuck them on there too.
Not too bad for a first attempt. I don’t like the labels yet, maybe I can find someone who still has one of those old dynamo pressure labelers. I think maybe I need lights too. Just wire the lights through the switches so they come on when the switch is up… Maybe get one as a momentary on to use as the garage door opener. I can see this mod getting out of hand.
Started down, went up, now down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 12
Law and Order, the original, is one of a few TV shows I still watch regularly. I usually tape it, because it is so much better to fast forward through the commercials. We normally watch the tape on Fridays with dinner as we wind down from the work week. For whatever reason, we didn’t watch it then, we watched it tonight. They usually keep me guessing until the end by using plot twists, so it is hardly ever who you think it is.
Tonight they needed to link a guy to some money used for paying someone to kill his mistress. No matter how hard the DAs looked they couldn’t find a connection. They finally got the guy’s wife to come forward with a bank withdrawal form that made it look like he had gotten the money from one of his kids college funds. The jury convicted him because of it. Afterwards the assistant DA noticed the similarity between the wife’s handwriting and the signature on the withdrawal slip. The DAs confront the wife to see if she will admit to fabricating the slip. No way will she do it. They are left to believe that the wife set up the husband. Neat trick. Too neat I say. First thing they would have done is get the police to verify who actually withdrew the payoff money (if there ever was money withdrawn.) And even if they didn’t because it was the final nail in this guy’s coffin, certainly his defense lawyer would have checked out the slip.
Dull February day here in Miataland. Got some more ideas for the toggle switch labels from FillG over on RoadsterChat: Smoke Screen. Nails on Road. Passenger Eject. Only other news is I’ve got a buyer for the CD Changer I yanked out of the trunk. A fellow Master’s Miata Club member wants to put it his daughter’s 90 Miata.
Once again, started down, went up, now down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 14
Made a lunchtime run to the auto parts store to shop. Two bucks a piece for the lights, your choice green or yellow and $3 a piece for toggle switches for a total of around $20. Going to check Radio Shack tomorrow. Now I need to figure out what to make the panel out of.…aluminum sheet or can I get some plastic with a similar grain at a stereo install shop? For now the cardboard stays in.
Five days in a row, same pattern, started down, went up, now down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 16
This is our 26th Valentine’s together (25 as a married couple.) We have gotten to the point where a simple exchange of cards is enough of a celebration. While relating this to a co-worker, he said, “Please don’t tell me every day’s like Valentine’s Day so we don’t do anything special. If I hear that one more time I’ll puke.” I didn’t want to see him ruin his shoes so I kept silent.…
There was a 20% of rain in the afternoon and it sure looked higher than that on the way back to work from our lunch at McDonalds. So the top went up and down an extra time today compared to the last 5 days. I forgot about the lunch “date” with my wife, so Radio Shack will have to wait another day. Driving to Wagner tomorrow to drop off the CD player and give some pointers on the install, hope the prediction of mid 60’s holds.…
Started down, up, down, up, now down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 20
Family night at El Rio. Donna wanted Mexican food for supper and who am I to argue. She, I and her mom decided to split the Fajitas for two. Just in case eating a bowl of chips and salsa before hand wasn’t enough, we ordered 3 tacos (1 ea) to go with the fajitas. The fajitas were good, but the tacos sucked. Is it my fault, were these real mexican tacos and I have become so used to the americanized versions that these didn’t taste good to me? Estoy apesadumbrado, give me a Taco Bell taco any day over theirs.
Also, I wanted a Dos Equis Amber Lager with dinner. Nope, they were out. 6:00 PM on a Friday and they are out! I only hope that Miguel was on his way back from el almac?n de licor.
Really nice day here, upper 60’s not at all like winter. Drove over to Wagner to meet Ron and sell him the CD changer. We met at the Dollar General and he led us out to his house, a lot easier than him trying to give me directions. He and wife Chris and daughter Stephanie live in a new modular home north of town. Really nice place, cathedral ceilings through out and the thing probably has more square footage than our house. The only downside is it is 1/2 mile in on a dirt road. Ron is mechanically minded, but not so electrically minded, so I was going to show him how I had set up the changer in my car. He already had the console out of Steph’s car. Seeing as the car was already disassembled it was easy to just install it as I showed him how. We wired it up and tried it out — worked like a charm. He had picked up a replacement front center console from a salvage yard to replace her damaged one. It was nearly brand new. We figure the previous owner must have put a new after market radio in the car just before he wrecked it. When he pulled the console out to put in the new radio he must have broke the original and then replaced it with this new one. The after market radio was gone and the OEM one was on the front floor. All he had left to do was put everything back in place and drill 4 holes to mount the unit in the trunk.
I showed him my new install with the toggle switches in cardboard and he said, “I got just what you need laying on the living room floor, I was going to throw it away.” Sure enough, he had pulled out the spacer from under the after market stereo that was left in the car and it is just what I needed for under my new head unit. Cool! I offered to give him $10–15 off the price of the changer and he said, “No, helping me install was worth that much.” Thanks Ron.
Started down, still down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 20
Usually the Miata sits on Sunday, but today was different. Donna’s mom didn’t want to lunch out, so we got to drive the Miata with the top down. After eating we went grocery shopping for the week. I had to revert to actually planning where the grocery bags go and in what order, etc. instead of just tossing them in as I get to do with the Honda Civic. No problem, now 2 weeks worth of groceries might require some real planning and maybe even a bag at the passenger’s feet.
Finally bought switches and lights for the console. Ended up back at the place I went to on lunch Thursday. Radio Shack had more kinds off toggle switches than you could shake a stick at, but they were all pretty black or colored plastic…I wanted plain old silver. The other parts stores only had one switch like I wanted and no lights. Tomorrow night I’ll take the console out and see about mounting the stuff and wiring it up. While I was at the store I found some 194 bulbs in blue. I bought two and will stick them in the dash and see if they will make the ODO numbers blue.
Started down, still down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 20
What is up with that. How do they stay attached to one another while flying down the hill? I hope it is velcro and not some sort of physical connection.
Back to the pattern. Put the top up for the morning commute, put it down for the return trip. A busy day in Miataland. Took the makings of my switch/light panel to work and wired it up. After work I installed it.
Looks good, still need to fill about an 1/8 below the HU. I may try and butcher up most of the silver trim piece that came with the radio…
The blue 194 bulbs were a waste of $3. They are real blue when out, but on they look white with a hint of blue, so the ODO is still white. Gotta find them blue bulb “condoms.”
The 2″ Barndoor Fan Club stickers came in today. That’s the good news, bad news is that they aren’t exactly right. Emailed the place I got them from (websticker.com) and they said they’d check into it. They are almost good enough, but after going through 4 different proofs and thinking you got it right, they come in with the image smaller and slightly off center.
Started down, went up and now down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 22
To work with the top up and home with it down. Didn’t feel as warm as it really was because the clouds moved in early this afternoon. The bad news is there are supposed to be afternoon showers tomorrow, the good news is with the clouds the temps are only supposed to fall into mid 40’s tonight and depending on the mood the top may stay down for the ride to work tomorrow. The latest edition of Miata Magazine came in the mail today. I think I have become just a bit jaded with the mag. It has been 12–1/2 years of, first quarterly and then bi-monthly, issues and while I’ll still going to read it cover-to-cover it won’t happen in one sitting like it used to.
Tomorrow is new tire day. After living with the RE-930’s for a month I realized they aren’t enough tire for me. For me the Miata has always handled above my fear factor, but with these tires the car loses traction before I lose nerve. Going with some Bridgestone S-03 Pole Positions. They are highly spoken of on Miata.net and rack way up there on the Tirerack survey.
Started down, went up and now down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 24
Stopped in to pay our bill this evening on the way home. We didn’t mail it in because it was incorrect. Several months ago we paid off the loan against our policies, but it still showed that we owed on them on the bill. When we asked about it they said, “Gee, it shouldn’t be on there. Let’s look in the computer.” When they looked they found that when we thought we paid off the loan, we just paid off the principle, which is all their computers show. Apparently the fellow who helped us didn’t know that they were supposed to call and get the actual up-to-the-minute payoff figure. Turns out we owed the interest for the amount of days of the month till the date we paid. $37 for Donna and $800 for me. HUH! The loans were for nearly identical sums, the payments were the same, the pay offs were the same. What happened? One of the friendly State Farm Insurance agents in the office called the regional rep and spent the next 1/2 on the phone with him/her and straightened it out. I only owed $37 bucks too.
I had to replace my my 1-year old tires on Christmas eve. All they had in a performance tire in stock in my size were some Bridgestone RE-910’s. After driving with them for about 4 weeks I realized they were not the tire for me. For me the Miata has always handled above my fear factor, but with these tires the car loses traction before I lose nerve. Had the manager, Carl, at the local Firestone Store order me a set of 4 Bridgestone S-03 Pole Positions their top of the line street tire. He said that he could get them for me and on the car for $262. Well after nearly a 2 week wait I had them installed tonite. When I went to pick up my car the fellow behind the counter didn’t know what to do, he couldn’t intemperate Carl’s pricing instructions and he couldn’t get a hold of Carl. His computer showed a “normal” price to me of $655! They finally let me have the car as long as I promised to call Carl in the AM and work out the price. Maybe I should just wait for him to call me. The stinking tires ought to be free after what I had to go through on Christmas eve. Read these:
Miata Net Forum Post #1 — Where Did the Air Go, Part 3 and
Miata Net Forum Post #2 — Don’t ever let them use the impact wrench
The sticker folks emailed back to let me know that they goofed by showing me and approving a design that they could not print. They need 1/8″ of non-printed border and we had agreed to a design that left only 1/16″, that is why the image was smaller. It was off center by a 1/32″ and they told me they would reprint them, but couldn’t guarantee any better centering as 1/32 was within “industry standards.” Because the image size was their fault, they offered to knock 25% off the price charged, to which I agreed. The stickers are now on sale in the Barndoor Fan Club Store along with all the other club merchandise.
Started down, went up, still up.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 25
After my last experience with these guys in December, I went out into the garage latter that evening and checked the lug nut torque, the air pressure and condition of each wheel.
The torque wrench only registers in the tighten direction so I couldn’t tell what they were torqued at, but they did come with about enough pressure as you would expect. I had hoped that they got it right, because when I dropped of the car, I gave them my broken adapter and told them to use this to take the aftermarket wheels off the car. When both pieces of the adapter hit the fellows hand, he remembered me. I then gave him the don’t use the impact wrench speech. He then told me that wouldn’t be a problem this time, as they now use a “torque stick” (I assume that this is some sort of torque limiter.)
The air pressure was even all the way around at 32psi. Using my gage I dropped them all down to an even 30 psi. Curious thing though, when I went in to get the tires, all 4 wheels had those little chrome domed shaped caps, now 2 wheels had them, one had a chrome flat topped cap and one had nothing. Sigh.…
Two of the wheels had no scratches on them, that is in addition to the 2 or 3 gouges along the perimeter of each wheel acquired from these folks in December. One wheel had a new inch long scrape in the middle of the polished lip area and the other, yikes, it looked like it was a loser on the BattleBots show. Must be a dozen or so new scratches and dings. While none of these marks are visible from more than 5 feet away, up close they look horrible and I will be reminded of those idiots at the Firestone Store every month when I wash my car.
The last, because I’m not going back there even if they are the last tire store on the planet. When manager Carl told me $280 on the phone the other day, he meant that is what they were giving me for my old tires, not the total bill. Cost for the tires, $360. Live and learn. They found me 4 matching valve caps and when they asked if I wanted them to put them on, I declined, who knows what would have gone wrong with that simple procedure. As far as the scratched rims, I got the same response I got in December, take then to Master Fabricators in Augusta, they can get the scratches out and then bring them the bill and they will pay for it. There are so many reasons this sucks I don’t have time to write about it now, hence the almost in the title. I’ll save it for another rant.…
Started out even warmer than yesterday and it is supposed to be a couple of nice days, so I put the top down and the boot on. Really starting to feel like spring (I know it is early, but the pine pollen was back today.) The new Bridgestone S-03 Pole Positions are more like it. They may be even better than the RE-71s I replaced. I just don’t know as I am not a tire expert, but I do know the Miata once again handles above my fear limit. I can hardly wait to wear these things down halfway, woohoo!
The first person to try and send me money via PayPal for the 2″ stickers was using a credit card. PayPal wants money for me to accept credit cards. (2.9% + 30 cents) That amounts to 36 cents on $2 and 45 cents on $5, I declined the payment because I’m cheap. But now that I think about, I was never in this for the money, just the fun. Maybe I was too quick to decline? Yeah, I think I’ll change it so I can get the Credit Card money…
Started up, went down, still down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 26
Note to self: Never make a snap decision on the tire you buy.
If you need a set of tires because one is irreparable, put on the tiny spare and go home, check Miata net. Back in December when I needed tires in a hurry and the guy told me what tires he had, they sounded like a tire I had read favorable reviews about on MN, but they were not. Turns out 910 is a lot farther away performance-wise from 930 than the numbers let on. The tires I bought were 3 performance levels down from the ones I thought they were and 4 levels down from where I was. The Pole Positions I now have are at the top of the street tire line and one step *up* from where I was when this whole mess started. I think that next time I will know, I ended up wasting the $270 I spent on the 910’s. I got my money back on them and they took it off the price of the S-03’s but I still ended up paying as much additional for them as they would have cost outright from the Tire Rack. If I don’t get out and look at the scratches those chuckleheads put on my rims installing the tires and just drive, I’ll be fine.
Started down, went up, went down, still down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 28
They scratched my rims all to hell, but it is now my problem to fix. I have to take it to someplace to have them repaired. I have to bring in the bill to get reimbursed. They are happy because as far as they are concerned they have apologized and offered to fix problem. They know that it is more than likely that I will not go to the trouble to get it fixed. So they solved their problem, not mine and feel OK about it.
The last thing the manager Carl said to me is, “Next time you come in we’ll take a little something off that bill too.” I didn’t say it, because I’m not that way, but I thought to myself, there won’t be a next time.
We had our first little MMM…Time with the Miata Club. 10 Miatas and one RX-7. We met at the Sno-Cap Drive In in North Augusta. We popped the hoods and chatted outside. We chatted inside nearly filling all the booths. We pretty much over ran the joint. Before we over stayed our welcome, Stacey Timmerman lead us on a 20–25 mile drive around north of the Interstate. Fun time.
Started down, went up, went down, now up.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 31
Washed the car this morning. There staring me in the face when I washed the wheels were the dozens of scratches Andrew the Chucklehead at Firestone presented me with earlier this week. I had been telling people that they were not noticeable from 5 feet away. Well, after washing, I was wrong, they are noticeable from that distance.
Probably only by me though. I hear you out there, “They are just the things that you put tires on already! Deal with it.” So I am going to get over this, right now. No more on the wheels. Promise.
Down again. Didn’t come back up until nearly 11:00 PM this morning. I surmised from comments at yesterday’s Miata Club gathering that the website was unreachable yesterday…I forget all about checking it until this morning. Then the only reason I notice is I want to link a picture in a Miata.net post. I’ve got a tool called Karen’s Net Monitor that will check if your site is up at predetermined intervals, but I keep forgetting to run it. Go get it, it’s free. If you use That Hosting Company it is an essential.
Bike ride in the morning, grocery shopping and lunch out with Donna and her Mom, afternoon in front of the computer doing newsletters and the evening in front of the computer goofing off. The Miata sat all day.
Started up, still up.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 31
Drove to work as usual with the top up. There was frost on the fields, but we are going to get to 70 this afternoon. Spring is slowly approaching though, almost don’t need the barndoors up for the morning commute, getting lighter every day. I really should be working on the next edition of The Driver, but instead I am posting on RoadsterChat, Miata.net forum and blogging about my dull day. I don’t mail it ’til Thursday, so I probably won’t start working on it in earnest unit Wednesday.
Started up, went down for the ride home, still down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 32
What is it with that combo? 99% of car commercials use that look. Is it silver=quicksilver=fast? I don’t think so.…
Professional blogger on a closed Web Log. Do not attempt.
Braved the chill this morning on the way to work. When we get in the car in the morning it is relatively warm from sitting in the garage all night which makes the first part of the commute OK. Today we wanted some Hardee’s Biscuits ‘n’ Gravy for breakfast. So while we were inside the car was outside cooling off. Turned on the heater for the 6 miles, no big deal, but I’m sure we looked nutso to the environmentally challenged. I had the boot on because there was no mention of rain for the next couple of days (just cold and we ain’t scared of no cold.) Fortunately I had to run an errand at around 9, because as I was coming back to the plant it started to sprinkle. When I got in the lot I quick like put the top up. As I walked back into the building from the far corner of the lot I actually got a little wet. As fast as the errant shower appeared, it disappeared just as fast. By lunch and for the rest of the day it was mostly sunny. Dropped the top for the ride home. Probably be up for the next couple of days, weather folks are predicting 40 degree days and teens at night.
Started down, went up, back down for the ride home, still down.
Top Transitions since 02/01/02: 34
Must be the same marketing folks that did the Chey Impala commercial I ranted about awhile back. Boomer aged guy driving a cherry 60’s vintage Cadillac Seville Convertible. They show him breaking out of a traffic jam and then while cruising down a two-lane back road he is passed by a new CTS. If you thought the Impala was angular, this sucker has got F-117 Stealth Fighter angles. No one, and I mean no one who appreciates that vintage Caddy would want this new car!
Oh yeah, new car is silver with heavily tinted windows.…
Wednesday is one of only 2 nights I actually watch some TV. So tonight’s rant came from a commercial, again. But the is time the rant is for just the product. I love the Red Lobster commercials. The older ones for the crab leg promotion where it showed people’s legs frolicking in the surf, cool. And the recent one with this guy looking at a lobster in an aquarium and makes his hands mimic the lobster’s claws is just great. But I still don’t want to eat there. The value just isn’t there for me. My idea of a seafood meal is flaky whitefish batter dipped and deep fried with malt vinegar on the fries.…mmmmm. That’s right, Captain D’s — Long John Silvers — Arthur Treachers, $5 and I’m smiling.
We are going away for a weekend — 2 nights and a day really — yet the trunk of the Miata will be fuller than when we take a 2 week vacation. Do we really need all this stuff? Books and magazines that we will never read. 4 shirts each? Camera, we have been there a dozen times before what more could there be to take pictures of!?! It is going to rain anyway we probably won’t even veture outside.
I know I gotta have the laptop, how else will I do the daily blog thing. Gotta have our own showerhead, no possible way should any place be allowed to call themselves a resort if it has a water saver showerhead.