Dropped the Miata off at the dealer last night. They are going to look at it Wednesday when the “paint guy” comes in. Here is why.
Got as many pictures as I could gathered up for the Master’s Miata Club 2004 Calendar and uploaded them to Shutterfly. We got 16 submissions with a couple of folks having more than one choice. I also uploaded a copy of the Club Logo for the cover. If you want one you don’t have to join the Club, but you will have to join Shutterfly! Here are all the pictures, check them out.
Did everybody get enough to eat? I was a good boy in keeping my servings small so that with even having seconds, I had enough room for a slice of pie and didn’t explode.
Visiting Donna’s sister and her husband was nice, but the 550 mile trip, one-way, was a killer. No need to mention that there are too many people traveling on I-95 and they are all going too fast and driving too close together. On our 10 hour trip down we passed on accident and in the 11 hours homeward we passed two. One of those was a 6 car chain reaction cause by just such behavior. All three caused us to travel at least 2 miles at walking or slower pace.
The car is back at the dealer awaiting Wednesday’s arrival of the “paint guy.” Who I guess is like Thursday’s “dent guy”, traveling shamans who visit dealers to fix what ails new cars. Kind of puts me in mind of Mr. Haney from Green Acres or Professor Marvel from the Wizard of OZ. I remain skeptical that it can be fixed with anything less than a repainted door, but we shall see.
Last Monday, the night we picked up the new car, I ordered it’s first non-hand-me-down modification, a black mesh grill. I ordered it from a place in California and they are shipping it via Conestoga Wagon and it should arrive on this Friday according to the UPS site. I suspect it might make it here tomorrow as it was in Greensboro, NC at 12:35 PM today, check the progress for yourself. A mesh grill serves two purposes, 1) it protects your expensive A/C condenser from damage when the low slung mouth of a Miata eats road debris. And 2) it looks good in there, hiding that A/C plumbing.
Mod #1 is not even here and today I ordered #2, mudflaps. On my pervious Miatas I never did get any and towards the end of their lives with me I regretted it. After 100K miles the paint and finish behind the wheel wells starts to really became ugly looking with chips of paint missing and tar spots that don’t come off. On the last one I even got some white paint specks from some where that never came off. A front and rear set, pre-painted in Garnet Red were a little over $100. Money I hope will be well spent.
This week is one of those work an extra hour Mon-Thurs to get Friday afternoon off — 9 hours. Painting kitchen cabinets, a light color over dark requiring 3 coats. Can only do half of the cabinets at a time to maintain working kitchen — 1.5 hours. Eat (breakfast & dinner) — 1 hour. String lights on Christmas tree (wife hangs ornaments.) — 1 hour. Blog — 1 hour. Read Miata.net forum — 1/2 hour. Shower — 1/2 hour. Sleep — 6 hours. 3.5 hours left over? Doesn’t seem like that. I must be forgetting something. Oh yeah, deleting spam — 3 hours.
When we got home tonight there was a message on the answering machine that my car was ready. I called the salesman back to let him know that tonight and tomorrow was bad for me and I would come get it on Friday afternoon. Besides the convince factor I want to get a good look at the repair in the daylight. When I asked what was done the reply was, “A little touch up and a lot of buffing.”
My UPS delivery of the grill, according to their web site, is exactly where it was yesterday at this time. There are a couple of possibilities; 1) they estimated a delivery of December 5th, and there is no sense delivering until then. Or 2) it is lost in the warehouse. Or maybe 3) it is on a truck to be delivered tomorrow and the web site hasn’t been updated yet. I’ll call their 800 number tomorrow and see what is what.
Our washing machine doesn’t spin so well anymore. Been deteriorating for a couple of months now. It works OK some times, but others it leaves a sopping wet mass of clothes in the bottom. For some reason it just isn’t getting the contents spread out well enough to get itself balanced to do a good spin. I’m sure it can probably be repaired, but Donna and I will probably go out and buy a new washer/dryer set. We want to help keep the economy rolling and these things are about 15 years old, so it is time.
After spending a little more than 2 days hanging out at UPS’s Greensboro, NC hub, the grill left there this afternoon and as I write this it is in West Columbia, SC. This means it will get to Aiken at around 4 AM and be on the truck for delivery, exactly as predicted, on December 5th. I called the 800 number and spoke with someone who could see a location scan at 12:15 PM today that was not on the web site. Maybe the grill has relatives nearby and slipped out for a quick visit?
I guess I’m going to have to get busy and yank the baby teeth tomorrow or Saturday so I can install the grill. They weren’t too much of a hassle in my ’95 IIRC, but from reading on Miata.net, this generation car can be a bear to get one of the out. We’ll see.
For the past week every time I step in to the shower, I say to myself, “I need to trim those toenails.” Yet every time when I get out I don’t. I forget. Is it conscious or subconscious? My toenails have gotten so long that they sorta look like I’ve got one of those “French” manicures, you know light colored tips and darker bottoms. I’m going to start poking holes in my socks pretty soon. Didn’t Howard Hughes get so wacky that he stopped cutting his toenails too?
Not far, just busy as a little beaver.
Friday night we kid-sat for some friends. We took the kids in the MSV (Mom’s Civic) and previewed the Miata Light tour for Saturday night. The kids had a good time. The best house was the last, the grand finale if you will, this guy took a page from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and has his whole house covered in lights. It is all run by a PC and there are several variations /gyrations the lights go through in a 5 minute “show.” We got home at 11PM I went out in the garage to see about yanking the tow hooks so I could install the grill that was waiting on my doorstep when I got home from work. They were torqued down so much and in such inaccessible locations I ended up pulling out a half dozen plastic panels/pieces of car to get at them.
Saturday I pulled the car out of the garage and put the front up on jack stands so I could get in and actually take out the hooks. I had to use my 1/2″ drive torque wrench, which is 18″ long, to get enough leverage on the bolts to break them free. Next on the agenda was to install the air horns. It went real easy (after I figured out how to mount them) because I had all that room with those plastic pieces out.
All this was accomplished in between coats of paint on the cabinet interior and installing the new hardware on the doors and hanging the doors and installing magnetic latches and…oh yeah, I had to disconnect to washer and dryer to make way for the new set that was coming in the afternoon. This left just enough time to wash the windows and shake out the mats of the Miata before heading over to North Augusta for the Master’s Miata Club meeting/light tour/party.
Today we went out for breakfast, grocery shopping, last minute cabinet finishing, out for lunch, pick up Mom at airport and now blogging. Going to be good to go back to work tomorrow and get some rest.
We got a new washer and dryer on Saturday. $500 at Home Depot. Free delivery and take away they said. When the driver showed up with our new items he asked, “Did they tell you about the $10 charge for take away?” Nope, I guess we’ll just put them in the street. (We live in the City of Aiken and Thursday is trash day and they will haul away anything you put in the street.) When the driver asked what we wanted for them ‚we said nothing, we just want them gone. He said he knew someone who might take them and he would come back and get them after he did his other deliveries. About 5 o’clock he called and said He’d get them on Sunday morning. It is nearly 7:00 PM and they are still out there. Guess I’ll just drag them into the street tomorrow.…
Borrowed the Finding Nemo DVD from a co-worker before Thanksgiving. When I mentioned it at Donna’s sister’s house on Turkey Day, her Mom said wait until I get back before watching that, as I would like to see it too. Mom came back yesterday, so as we sometimes do, we watched a movie with supper. Of the three of us, I was the only one who found irony in the menu — we were having baked flounder.
At the Miata Club Holiday Hoe-down on Saturday I managed to sell a couple of Lynn’s Brake Lite Blinkers. One fellow couldn’t get his to work no way, no how (even blew a couple of fuses trying.) He came over this evening and we tried a couple of other units and had the same results. I told him to let me try some on my car (haven’t done this mod yet) and if I got some to work I would write down how I did it and we would do it on his car.
My first attempt was like he tried, green as ground (so the black blinker wire hooked to them) the yellow to the light and the red to the wiring harness, it didn’t work. I tried swapping the red and the black wires as per instructions and it still didn’t work.
Black is ground on my car and probably will be on his car too. When I hooked the black wire from the blinker to my black wires in the car with the yellow wire to the light and the red to the wiring harness they all work as advertised.
Don’t ask me to explain why this worked because I can’t (and I was an electronics technician in the Navy for 10 years) because the second set up is the same as the first setup with swapped wires. So if that didn’t work, this second option shouldn’t have either — but it did.
Mine is up and running, hopefully tomorrow so will his.
We bought a new toaster oven on Sunday. We were on the way to the airport to pick up Donna’s mom and needed to kill some time, so we went into a new Wal-Mart in North Augusta. It has only been open a few months and it still has that newness about it that makes shopping there a lot less of a hassle than at an established store. We picked out a nice round shaped unit that we thought would look cool in our newly painted 50’s kitchen. When we got it home and unpacked it there was a piece of the black plastic on the bottom broken off. The box wasn’t even damaged, did it get broke at final packing and they just stuffed in the box? It is really non functional and in such a place that it doesn’t show, so we will live with it. That is much easier than boxing it back up and driving over there to swap it out. We just can’t have nice things.…
Electronics Technician — Ha! My statement in last night’s post was way off (sorta.) Swapping the red and black wires is not the same as actually tapping into the ground wire and cutting the hot wire. Once I sat down and drew out the circuit on paper I could see just how different they were. So the instructions that Lynn has on the sheet for correcting the non-blinking situation doesn’t work if you don’t have the black wire tapped into the ground.
Ray came over this evening and we had him up and flashing in a matter of moments. I’m not sure how to solve Lynn’s instruction problem though, there just doesn’t seem to be a way to make hooking this up foolproof if the fool doesn’t have a multimeter to actually correctly identify the ground wire.
Today I did the 10th modification to the new Miata, front & rear mud flaps, but it was only the second mod I spent money on. The other eight were leftovers I removed from the Laguna Blue car before I traded it in. If you ever want to see what I’ve done, just click on the BtR Equipment Package link over to the left.
I’m sure the mud flaps would have been quicker to install on a lift in a well lit garage, but in my cramped quarters with just a drop light, I figure an hour and a half wasn’t bad. The second flap always went on a lot faster that the first, so with that familiarity I’m sure I could put on a set tomorrow in under an hour. I wonder how long the dealer’s book says it should take?
I have looked high (internet) & low (local Wal-Mart) and I cannot find a simple litter bag for our new car. We want one just like we had in the old car just in tan. It was a small thing, maybe 6″ x 9″. All I can find when I search the net is the Lewis and Clark bag and it is like 12 x 18, yikes, it must be for SUVs. It would overpower the Miata interior. All I can find in the local stores is stuff in black and sized somewhere in-between the above two (which is still too big even if it was the right color.
I’m going to track one down, don’t worry, I’m on it like a dog on a bone.
Installed the last of mods to the Miata for the near future, the Moss Motors Short Shifter Kit. Taking the console off the new cars is not much harder that it was in the old one, just, surprise, different. They hid the middle screw under the power window switches instead of the ashtray which had me stumped for awhile, then I went to the garage section of the mother lode of all knowledge that is Miata, Miata.net.
When I pulled the stock shifter out I looked down in the turret to see what color the oil is in there (it was icky black and thin when I installed the SSK on the old Miata) only to discover that it was very dry in there. Not totally, but the level was much lower than I expected. May have to put some in there next time I visit Clunk & Thunk.
After installation the shifter seems shorter than I remember, I’ll let you know what I think tomorrow after I have driven it.
With the purchase of a new Miata (actually, it is with the selling of the old) I no longer have barndoors. I am mulling over what to do about the Barndoor Fan Club that I have dabbled with for the past 4 years. I want to give it up, but I hate to see it fade into Internet
obscurity (it’s already there) oblivion. I would like for some one to take over, but who. Plus, my Blogdom resides there, so I will have to relocate, ay!
Someone sent me some pictures for posting last Thursday, a couple of nice shots of his Miata in various situations, usually I post them the same day or at the latest the next day. It is a week later, and I still haven’t posted them. I feel bad, but not bad enough to actually do anything about it. Maybe tomorrow…
We decided to run over to the DMV after work and see about transferring the license plate over to the new car. According to the SC DMV web site I knew I needed to complete Form #400 and have several pieces of paper pertaining to the purchase of the vehicle.
When we got there the first hint of possible trouble was the front parking lot was full and the back nearly so. When we got inside the place was teaming with humanity. I wanted to back out then and there, but Donna said, “We’re here, let’s try.”
First stop and 4 people deep in line is the triage desk. This women makes sure you have what you need or gives it to you to fill out first. No one gets into line unless their paperwork is in order. I had the paperwork already filled out, but I didn’t have a Title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin. I explained that the tag/title clerk at the dealer told me I didn’t need it as she had taken care of that for me earlier in the week. We are waved into the Vehicle Services line.
4 back in line again here. There are 3 clerks for our line, so it shouldn’t be too bad, hopefully (one clerk was tied up with the same people the whole time we are in the building.) We get lucky and the other folks in line in front of us have easy things because we get to a clerk in like 10 minutes.
She takes my completed Form 400 and enters the VIN into her computer. Asks who my insurance carrier is and says, “That’ll be three bucks.” She prints a receipt and my new registration card. She hands me back all the papers and says bye. She didn’t look at any of the stuff the web site said to have. I could have filled out just that one block of the form and it would have been enough. It was all in the computer. Probably would have needed more stuff if the dealer hadn’t registered for the title a couple days before.
I got home and removed the temp tag. I briefly contemplated leaving the dealer’s frame around the plate, but didn’t. I may still put it back or add a different one, the stark mostly white plate needs a black border I think. Maybe one of those thin metal ones. Christmas is coming…
Monday — Always wondered what all those seagulls were saying… Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!
Tuesday — The busted piece is still sitting by the PC here. You can’t see that it is missing and Donna ain’t bitching, so I ain’t fixing. (I’m not a complete idiot, I’ll put the piece in a draw in the garage just in case we do decide to fix it.)
Wednesday — There has been a lull in the searching for a litter bag for the new car. Probably crank it up again on Saturday when we are out shopping for other things.
Thursday — Finally posted that fellow’s picture. Top left sunset photo.
Friday — I have nothing to rant about, in spite of a trip to the DMV (it went smoothly), so I am reduced to this lame idea of updating the rest of the weeks posts. What happens tomorrow if nothing happens tomorrow?
Phone conversation with my sister the other day: We (she and her husband) are giving out Gift Certificates this year, where would you like yours from? You can give me a GC to Amazon.com she continues, you can even email it to me.
I know I really shouldn’t be bothered by this, it is only a few steps further down that slippery slope from the trading of “Wish Lists” that we have practiced these last years, but still somehow it feels like we have crossed a line to me. Why bother. The past few years I have suggested donating to charities in each other’s names, after all none of us needs anything, but I have not been met with enthusiasm. Next year I’m not asking permission, I’m just asking what charity. It’ll be that or nothing. You want something from Amazon or Sports Authority, go buy it.
The short shifter mod has introduced a few minor little noises to the cockpit, besides the snick-snick I expected. Little faint whines and spinning sounds. There was a thin black foam with sticky on one side that fell off the big outer boot when I took it off. I placed it back in a groove that was on the bottom of the boot, but now I’m not so sure that is where it went. There was some on the outside of the ring and maybe that is where it all goes. I’ll try that when I open her up to add some turret oil next week (or tomorrow.)
The verdict is still out regarding the short shifter, and I think I need to take this car on some twisty roads soon so that I can get this perception of new refined car out of my head. It is a Miata and it is meant to be DRIVEN, not just driven. Part of the problem is it doesn’t sound like a sports car, it is too muffled. Even Donna notices this and has even commented on it. I know this is a perfect opportunity to get an aftermarket exhaust, but fear of getting something too loud is paralyzing me (that and the $300 price tag.) Although we don’t have a payment until January, if we buy a muffler of roughly the equivalent cost we can just think of it as payment number 61.
While in no means a fat person, my waistline has grown with my advancing years. A lot also has to do with the fact that I’m not nearly putting as much time in on the bicycle as I was 10 years ago. The last time I bought some low rise briefs I went ahead and admitted that the medium (32–34) ones that I was replacing were just a little too snug. I swallowed my pride and bought some in large (36–38).
After 2 tears and the elastic in the waistband no longer very elastic, the time had come to replace my underwear. We went to Target and I found a nice box with 5 briefs for 10 bucks. They were opened and tossed into the hamper as the first thing I do is wash and then dry any new item of clothing purchased. Not because I’m afraid of who might have touched them last, but because the fit has to be tested after drying to allow for shrinkage of the cotton. After last night’s shower I put on a pair of my new skivvies for beddy-bye time. Yikes! They fit me like Baby Huey’s diapers.
Today we went back to Target to get me some in Medium (32–34). They are in the dryer right now, I hope they don’t come out too small. I’ll let you know tomorrow. In the meantime if you would like 4 pair of 36–38 low rise briefs in various dark colors let me know, they are yours for the cost of postage. I can’t in all good consciousness sell the pair I wore to bed, but you can go bid on them on ebay if you want.
After having been stuck driving around all weekend with the top up because of the winter type weather, Donna and I scheduled a lunch time drive. It was supposed to reach the lower 60s and be sunny, so a nice short brisk ride with the top down would have been nice. But alas the weather folks missed the high temp mark again. It was barely out of the 40s at lunch, so we called it off, hoping that after work we might sneak in the 6 mile drive home with it down. Didn’t do it then either, we are working 9 hours days this week, so by the time we got off work the sun, and with it what little warmth available, was fading fast.
I had an appointment with fellow Miata Club member, Leroy Delionbach, to snap some photos of his car for the Club calendar right after work. Because of the impending sunset we ended up in a field just across the street from his house (the same one I used for Andrew Miller’s car picture.) Leroy’s car is the same color as my old car, the beloved Laguna Blue. It is still the best looking color for a 1st generation Miata, but I am no longer sad that I don’t own one in that color.
Finally warm enough to ride home with the top down today. The weather has been positively January-like recently (maybe that means January will be February-like and so on.) The sun never really did make an appearance, so it kept the weatherman 3 for 3 in last three days on overestimating the high temperature. Today’s expected 65 was never reached, but 59 is nice top down weather.…
The short shifter will stay. The small noise is not at all apparent with the top down and I just love the snick-snick short throws. I’m still going to add some more oil to the turret, maybe this weekend (got to go buy some.)
The only relation of the title terms to each other is that they are both on my head, neither one caused the other. In chronological order:
Band Aid — We need paper in my area for the LaserJet printer. When I load the last ream of either size I schlep on down to the stockroom and stack 4 boxes of the paper on a dolly and wheel it back to the cube next to mine where the printer is. This morning when unloading the dolly I slightly misjudged my bending over causing my forehead to smack the counter top on the neighboring cube. Not hard enough to make me see stars or anything, but enough to cause me to have to hold a paper towel to my head for about 2 minutes using some pressure to get the bleeding to stop. Now I look like a Hindu in training or something as the little circular bad aid is perfectly centered on my forehead. I wonder if it will be black and blue tomorrow?
Haircut — Tonight was our every 4 week haircut appointment. I am always amazed at the color and amount of hair trimmed from my head. It all comes from the sides too, as the top doesn’t need cutting anymore. It has stopped growing up there. It hasn’t all fallen out (yet) but it is thinning very slowly. The hair color is a lot darker on the little shawl thing they put on you than it appears on my head. When I look in the mirror I see predominantly gray, but the stuff that gets trimmed still looks light brown/red.
Back to reality weather-wise today. It was raining and 40 something on the way to work and windy and 40 something for the trip home, top up the whole day.
After getting no takers in the Master’s Miata Club at $25 and then again at the Club Holiday party for free, I sold the extra Toyo T-1S on ebay for 24.99 + shipping. Wouldn’t have done me any good to keep it as it was a 195/50 x 15 and the new Miata takes 205/45 x 16.…
For like the 3rd week in a row, Wednesday rolls around and no West Wing — not even a re-run. Guess I’ll just go to bed early.
Underwear Update: The mediums fit fine. This time of the year with all my dry skin, I need to stick to light colored skivvies though.…
Finally broke down and bought some 75-90w oil to add to the shift turret. $3 a quart and if my figuring is right, that’s more than 900cc. The specs I found on Miata.net call for a complete fill to be just 90cc, so I’ll be able to fill it from empty 9 more times. I’m not sure how much I put in there and I’m not really sure where the fill to line is, but I’m thinking that the guy who fills the turret on the assembly line was picking a booger out of his nose when my car went by, because it sure seemed to take a lot of juice. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow morning if it squelches that little noise any.
The quiet metallic noises are still coming from the short shifter. Totally unnoticeable when the top is down, but like most things like this, now that it has been pointed out you just cannot make it go away. I may take the OEM shifter into work and get them to take about an inch off of it. See if that quiets everything down.
Of course I should actually put the OEM one back in and try it first. Maybe it is not the shifter itself. Maybe there is something internal that has been “adjusted.” But I probably won’t…
I’m kind of a car guy, but for what ever reason, I just don’t really appreciate car movies. I rented the Nicholas Cage Gone in 60 Seconds remake and was not thrilled at all. When a co-worker mentioned he had the 1974 original, I borrowed it from him and watched it last night. There is an hour and 38 minutes of my life I won’t be getting back. It was like an X-rated feature from the same era, some interesting, but badly lit and staged action scenes tied together with stilted dialog delivered by lousy actors. I expected John Holmes to show up at any minute.
Tried not to venture out at all today and managed to make it until 6 PM when my plans collapsed with a drive to the local Chinese place for supper. Tomorrow is supposed to be as cold, but I promised Donna a hike in the woods so that’s where I’ll be.
May try and change the oil on the car, it has 1010 miles on it as of today. I already have filters (bought a bunch for the old car and they are the same as on the new) and the oil. I will have to reuse the old crush washer from the drain bolt though, as they, unlike the filters, are a different size between generations.
Did hardly anything at all today. I walked to the mailbox and got the mail (in it came a jury duty summons for me for January.) This afternoon we watched Basic and after yesterday’s “Gone In 60 Seconds”, the 1974 version, I now know that even with good actors and good production values you can still end up with a movie that sucks. This thing was so convoluted that even though I think I know what happened, I’m quite sure I don’t know what happened. The highlight of the day was an evening trip to the China Palace to get the din-din.
Went out and drove around a bit to get the car warm. Came home and put it in the garage to change the oil. Seemed like I had to unscrew the filter about 10 more turns to get it off the engine compared to the old car. While the oil drained instead of rotating the tire as I usually do, I went ahead and checked the pressure — 20psi all around, it should be 26. As I aired up, I took the time to wipe off the wheels because they were dirty (whatever tire shine stuff the dealer uses really picks up the brake dust.) Thanks go to Mazda designers for these wheels, there are no nooks and crannies that you can’t get into to clean easily with a rage. Canceling out the thanks, is an ah shit, the dip stick is black, not chrome and this makes it hard to read the level even in bright sunlight.
Today’s movie was The Quiet American and while this is a totally unremarkable film, it is much better than the last two movies I’ve seen in the last 2 days. Modern production values, decent acting and a plot even an imbecile like me could follow. In the opening titles it told me this book was based on a Graham Greene book. When I went to IMDB to get the above link I found out it was also a movie in 1958 with Audie Murphy in the title role. Probably won’t go back and rent the original, but I may see if I can find the book and read it.
Right now I’m reading the Michael Crichton’s Timeline. Interesting premise so far. As with all Mr. Crichton’s work, it reads pretty much like a movie for your mind. Surprise, Timeline was recently released as a movie. A friend at work thought the movie paled in comparison to the book, so maybe I won’t even bother with the DVD when it comes out.
After last night’s trip to see the lights at Hopeland Gardens (parking on a dirt road) and this morning’s shortcut to avoid a clueless driver (1.5 miles on a dirt road through horse country) I felt it was time to wash the car for the first time. After changing clothes, I headed to the garage to get my wash bucket. When I looked inside I realized that I had used the last of the car wash soap on the Laguna Blue when I washed it in prep for trading in. Sigh.
I took the hose and washed out the wheel wells real good and then used a wet sponge to clean off any dirt on the lower exterior. Dried with a towel and it likes shiny and new again (of course it helps that it is still shiny and new.)
Maybe over the Christmas weekend (Sunday is supposed to be near 70.)
That name will mean absolutely nothing to 100% of you, but to me it means I have been summoned for jury duty.
“When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.” –Norm Crosby
While searching for the source of that quote I stumbled on several blogs/newspaper columns/stuff that gave good and bad arguments supporting or debunking the idea. Secretly I want to dodge it, but I know it will definitely be more interesting than my normal workday. That and it will give me something interesting to blog about.
After much deliberation, tonight I removed the short shifter. I really liked the shortened shifts and even the slightly higher effort with added snick-snick, but the little whirring, spinning noises (only noticeable with the top up) were making me crazy. I’m sure they were there in the old car, just didn’t hear them, what with the older cars higher ambient noise level. Shifting is back to longer, but smoother and quieter.
Afterwards Donna and I went out and tested it of course. It is about 60 degrees tonight and a beautiful night for a topless cruise. At one point Donna said it is a little brisk maybe we should raise the windows. When she mashed the switch, nothing happened. Rut-Roh! I must have messed something up, because you have to remove the switches to get the console out to change the shifter. I thought it took a lot more pressure to hook back up. I hope I didn’t break a pin. Turns out I did bend one, straightened out, hooked it up and now the windows fly up and down on command again.
I’ve got a question for the Miata.netters. Remember how I complained about there not being any oil in the turret? While reading in a post about notchy shifting 6-speeds, someone made an off-hand statement that you need to remember 6-speeds trannys don’t have oil in the turret. Huh?!? Did they stop putting it in 5-speeds too? If so, did putting some in muck up the works?
After Donna and I got back from our evening top-down drive (it’s like 60 degrees outside) there was a sticky note attached to my monitor, “Tim called” it read. My mother-in-law had taken the message. I guess Tim just said, “Tell him I called.” I only know one Tim, and he is a rare caller, so I tried his number. No answer. Hmmm. Did she mean some one else? Jim? I know a ton of Jims. Whoever it was, it must not have been important as he never called back.
Better send myself an email at work so I’ll remember to ask Tim if he did call me.
Up until model year 2003, if you wanted to start a nice little flame war over on the Miata.net Forum all you had to do was ask why the Miata doesn’t have a Low Fuel Light. On one side you had the pro camp who wondered aloud about how come the cheapest Hyundai has one. The con camp consisted of the sports car purists or the ones who actually use the normally included gas gage.
I guess Mazda figured if it sold a half dozen more cars they would add it, so in all 2003 Miatas you now get a low fuel light.
I was on my way to the local gas station this evening to fill up as the needle was about on ‘E’ when mine came on. Filled up the tank and I managed to get 10.4 gallons in there. The total capacity according to my brochure is 12.7 gallons, so I had 2.3 left to burn. Even at the lowest EPA city mileage of 23 MPG I still could go over 50 miles before actually running out.
or Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas
by Major Henry Livingston Jr. (1748–1828)
(previously believed to be by Clement Clarke Moore)
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!”
Please accept — with no obligation, implied or implicit — my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable tradition of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your preference. In addition, please enjoy a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2004.
*Stolen directly from Brian Damage
We went out today and burned up the gift cards received for Xmas (and some of our own ready cash as well.) Started at 6:30 AM with breakfast at Best Bagels and then we hit the After Christmas sales. First up was Lowes to see about a prelighted Christmas tree, no go. All they had left were 12′ trees and we don’t have a ceiling that high. We shopped Aiken and then we headed over to the big town of Augusta. We were not successful on the tree front, struck out on Christmas salt & pepper shakers, but did manage to get next year’s cards and some various sundry items at half price.
Didn’t seem like there was that many people out or stores open or merchandise left over this year as there has been the last few years.
I did snag some hardcover books at Borders. They had a “Buy 2 Bargain Books and Get a 3rd Free” thing happening and I’m a wait until they are as cheap as paperbacks kinda a guy.
Already halfway through “Widow’s Walk” by Robert B. Parker. Probably finish it tonight, the Spenser books are such easy reads. Like eating a whole bag of potato chips, slick, salty, not really good for you, but definitely a pleasure.
Finally bought some car wash soap and gave baby a bath. After only a month it has outgrown the kitchen sink so I had to do it in the driveway. Several neighbors stopped by to say, “Oooh, nice car. Is it new?”
Noticed a bitsy paint chip missing off the hood, so small you’d hardly notice it, but it is the first scar it’s gotten while in my possession. I also noticed that the outside rearview mirrors look like they have water spots all over them. At first I thought it was because I didn’t dry them off after the wash, but Windex nor 409 removed them. Hmmm. Acid rain spots? I wonder if the mirror is actually plastic? The car finish doesn’t have anything like that on it.
When I posted my query about the permanent water spots on my mirrors over on the Miata.net forum I got one response: “I used Meguire’s Number 7 polish followed by Meguire’s Gold Class car wax.” Having neither of these products, but it got me thinking, what else I could use? I remembered that toothpaste is a very low abrasive that can be used as a light polish. So I took a tube out to the garage and swirled away for a while then washed with Windex.
I don’t think it worked very well, but at least my mirrors smell minty fresh.
This morning while sitting in a stall at work (I always go at work. Why do it at home when you can get paid for it?) I noticed a fingernail clipping laying near my shoe. At first, I was somewhat repulsed, but then marveled at the nicely symmetrical nature of the clipping. It was kind of large, so it must have been a thumb.…crap! Did it just move? Naw, I must be hallucinating. No wait, there it goes again. WTF? It is then I notice that there is a tiny little ant under one end. He is valiantly trying to get that sucker back to all his buddies back in Antville. First he swings it one way, then back another. He is struggling mightily. I watch transfixed for a couple of minutes while he makes very little organized progress, he keeps at it, so there must be some good food stuck to the nail. My business is finished, so I leave the ant to his. That was much more entertaining than the occasional folded up sports page.…
Today while over running the Master’s Miata Club’s newsletter through the postage meter at the dealer, I mentioned the ugly spots on the outside rearview mirrors to the salesman and he said, “I know just what you need.” We walked around back to the detailing area and he grabbed a white bottle with no label on it. Poured some clear viscous fluid on a white rag. We went back over to where the car was parked and he swirled some on the mirror, let it sit while he swirled some on the other mirror. Got a clean rag and wiped/rubbed off the stuff from both mirrors. Spots all gone.
When I asked him what it was, he said, “I don’t know, we call it ‘water spot remover’.”
I call it Fucking Magic