…in lieu of actual original thought post content.
I screwed the pooch when I made up the voting page for the Water Photo Contest. When I got the three last minute entries I copied and pasted the info from the then last photo. I changed the title, but neglected to change the number assigned each photo, oops. If anyone voted for any of the last 4 photos all the votes went to one. So when I got home from work I reset everything. If you voted yesterday or early today your chad got swept into the bit bucket, go vote again.
Cable guy comes Wednesday after work to hook up my cable internet.
No comment spam as of yet (not unusual though.)
Printed out the labels for the SAD CD, thank you Microsoft Clip Gallery Online. Goes in the mail tomorrow.
To buy said labels I had to go to Staples, just 5 days after swearing I’d never go back after last Wednesday’s incident. Not that I didn’t try to avoid it, I went to Wal-Mart looking first and I absolutely hate Wal-Mart.
Went down to Michael’s to get the caricature framed. They keep better records than I do, because the clerk was able to pop up my order from a year ago when I framed the first CarArtz custom creation. Frame, check. Mat, check. Glass, check. Cha-ching.
I got an 11x17 print framed in a simple black rounded frame, about 3–1/2 inches of gray mat all around and a piece of non-glare glass, total cost $91. That was with the 1/2 off coupon. Do they double their prices for the weeks they run the coupons?
I got an email yesterday letting me know my cocomats shipped. They hopefully will arrive tomorrow. I say hopefully as that is what the email said. The email also said that I could click on a link and track my shipment with DHL, but when I click on the link DHL says that number doesn’t exist. I even got a second email today, same as yesterday, tried the link again, still doesn’t exist.
Update: clicked on the tracking link just now and ta-da, there is info. Although if I’m reading it right it is coming by ground from Danbury, CT to me here in Aiken, SC via truck and expected delivery is tomorrow, but it didn’t get picked up until this afternoon at 4:30. According to Yahoo Maps that is an 833.5 mile trip and it should take 12 hours, 49 minutes. He must be coming door to door.
Cable guy got here at 3:00 and left at 6:30. 99% of that time was setting up the wiring. He had to go under the house in our (quite literally a) crawl space 3 separate times. Dirty work. So here is the results, minutes ago 1077 dn, 155 up compared to DSL’s 604/218 on Saturday. It does seem quicker, about like going from 33 to 56K was (only in hyperdrive.) But for nearly twice the speed I think I can manage to spent twenty bucks less a month.
Continue reading 1077 / 155
As a mat-ter of fact the last known scan was — 3/5/04, 8:01 am, Processed at Sort Facility, Wilmington, OH — so much for the estimated delivery of 3/4/04. I’ll be lucky If I see them on Monday.
I’ll be getting my muffler installed tomorrow by hook or crook. It is Master’s Miata Club Tech Day and if we don’t get it on there, I’m stopping at a muffler shop and paying somebody. I hope it doesn’t rain (Weather Channel says 50%) and scare off some people, especially not Dave Harp, as he is supposed to swap my OEM brushed aluminum interior bits for his black.
Thanks to Dave Harp I now have exorcised the brushed aluminum interior tidbits and replaced them with black. Dave’s 2001 red base model has an all black interior and it really benefited from the silver vent rings, radio surround, shifter surround and interior door handles. Really nice when that happens, two people made happy at no cost (but a little sweat equity.)
While the dash was apart swapping aluminum for black, I pulled out the passenger airbag switch and popped in a nifty little pocket that goes there in the Japanese Miata. Not sure if anything will ever go in there, but it looks better than the switch. The switch is tucked up under and behind the glove box for now. I’ll have to secure it somehow, maybe tomorrow.
The new muffler is on with only one slight injury to me and none to the car.The title of this post has to do with the sound of the new muffler. After all the subjects of Miata.netland had been effervescing over it, it just didn’t live up to my expectations of what it should have sounded like. Right now it doesn’t sound much louder than stock. At idle and cruise it is just as quiet with only a slightly louder tone under acceleration, I guess I expected it to be about two notches up instead of just barely different. So I hate to be the one to point this out, but the Emperor’s new clothes are nothing. (Get it, clothes, muffler?)
The first two Miatas never acquired names like so many of the Miatas out there. It was always “Our Car” or just plain “The Miata.” Occasionally it was “His Car” when it needed something done. The wisdom was you never forced a name on the car, it would always name itself. Well, that never happened. I think somehow that today this new car just got it’s name. Since the beginning with it we have treated it differently because of the color combo and it’s quieter, smoother ride, treated it a little like royalty. Henceforth the new Miata will be known as The Emperor, long may he reign.
Amazing what music evokes certain emotions in people. How a certain song reminds you of something from the past because it was playing in the background at the event. Why do some folks like a song and others dislike it?
Got my SAD CD Mix from Andrea yesterday. I popped it in the CD player in the car. At first I didn’t think it sounded sad at all, it was a nice mix of songs, but I didn’t get the emotion. I think this is the fault in the manner in which I listen to music. Most of the time the voice is treated like an instrument in my head, I don’t hear the words, I hear the tone. The songs on my mix to her sounded sad to me, I know a few of them are about being sad, but possibly not all have anything to do with sad. Because I have done a bit of driving today, I am about halfway through the 3rd listen. I’m starting to catch some of the lyrics and there are some sad tunes there. Nicely done Andrea.
They are here. Arrived on the doorstep around 2:00 PM according to my mother-in-law. I slipped them in the car as soon as I got home. Niiice. As a bonus, Donna likes them too. I am now officially done personalizing The Emperor.
The only thing that gets done now will be to add some of theses cool looking black body trim pieces found on the Miata Coupe that go around the bottom of the body — here, here and here — probably never happen though, the coupe is for the Japanese market only, so I doubt my local Mazda dealer will be carrying these items.
Yesterday afternoon Donna’s mom had a doctors appointment. She still can’t drive because of the recent surgery on her left arm, so she had Oliver from across the street take her. Mom being kind, offered to let Oliver drive her car so he could save his gas (which is slowly creeping up on $2 a gallon around here.) Mom was scheduled to get a shot because she was anemic at discharge from the hospital after the arm thing. They tested her blood and told her she didn’t need the shot after all, woohoo, good news.
When they got back in the car, it wouldn’t start, uh-oh. Mom didn’t have her purse with her Triple A card in it, so she called me. I couldn’t break away, so Donna headed over in the Miata to rescue them! I guess if worse came to worse she could make two trips.
By the time Donna made it to the doctor’s office Oliver had trouble shot it to a dead battery (I initially thought starter as it had been acting up lately.) Donna’s mom had some jumper cables, so Oliver directed Donna to pull up close to mom’s Civic. A little closer than Donna was comfortable with, but nobody hit anybody. Oliver then told Donna to open the hood, but Donna had never done this, so she was at a loss as to how to do it. With a little direction she finds the release and pops it open. Oliver lifts the hood and starts looking around, but he can’t find the battery. He asks Donna where the battery is, but she is so flustered, all she can think of is, “Maybe because our car is so small it doesn’t need a battery.” As soon as she is finished saying this, she remembers, “Its in the trunk.”
“Its in the trunk?” Oliver replies incredulously. So they close the hood and Donna turns the car around and backs up, under Oliver’s direction, once again closer than she felt comfortable with. When you open the trunk of the Miata the first thing you see is the CD changer on the left hand side. Oliver points to it and asks, “Is that the battery?” Now seriously doubting Oliver’s ability to accomplish this battery jumping task, Donna waves over a passerby. Before the man even makes it up to where everyone is, Oliver has found the battery under the carpet on the right side and has the cables hooked up. The man asks Donna what is up and when she replies, “We are jump starting the car,” looking at the way the cars are aligned, he must really wonder about the mechanical aptitude of this older couple and one woman. About the time he peeks in the Miata’s trunk, Oliver gets the now rejuvenated Civic to start, so our kindly stranger turns and walks away shaking his head. As he retreats, he is heard to mumble, “Its in the trunk?”
Folks, it is in the trunk to help the Miata attain a near perfect 50/50 weight distribution between front and rear.
One other “Mod” I did on Saturday was to stop the buzz when you leave the key in the ignition and open the door, etc. It was a simple enough procedure and everything you need to know can be found right here — 1999 Miata Key “Buzzer” Disconnect.
While I was swapping interior bits with Dave I asked if he would like me to disconnect his too. He said sure and I went ahead and did it, but I was thrown for a small loop when I located the wiring harness to disconnect it. The instructions on the page said locate the connector with two wires coming out, he didn’t have one with just two. I went back and looked at what I disconnected on my car and then matched up connectors to one on his car. If you look carefully at the bottom photo at the above link you can see the connector will hold 4 wires, but it only has two in it, that is the way mine is. Dave’s had 4 wires coming out of it. The only differences in our cars is that his is an automatic transmission, so we figured the other two wires must have something to do with that. When disconnected, his buzzer stopped and all other functions seemed to work as before. I wonder what those extra wires might be for?
A friend at work has acquired a DVD of a movie that is still in theaters. He has gotten another fellow to make copies of it using a piece of pirated DVD copying software. Knowing that I had said I wouldn’t see this one in the theaters, but instead would probably rent it when it came out, they asked if I would like a copy of my own for viewing now. I said, “I’ll let you know.”
The movie, “The Passion of the Christ.”
Time to go pack the trunk with our custom fitted luggage for the weekend get away to Hilton Head Island. It is a semi-working trip as Saturday morning I will taking condo interior photos so the web site can get updated some. Hope to snap a couple new Post Office pictures for that gallery on the trip too.
Picked up the framed new caricature tonight. I’m going to hang it on the same wall as the old one. They are going in a vertical arrangement and I can’t figure out which one I should put on top. Should it be the new one as the top would be considered a position of dominance, or should the new one go in the lower position as that is more eye-level? Stay tuned.…
I really should be out with the California Duster and/or Quik Detailer erasing the pine pollen dust off the car in prep for the trip, but instead I sit here typing away.
They are fresh, not really new experiences. They mirror my previous experiences with these same places, so you would think I would have learned my lesson, but I am dense.
The first is Wal-Mart. We were in Hilton Head and needed one item and wanted another, figuring we could get them both at Wal-Mart we went there. Hoping that it would be different, but it was not. It must be corporate wide, because it was Saturday night, prime Wal-Mart shopping time, they only had 4 checkout lines running and there were at least 8 people in each line. We placed our purchases on an empty conveyor belt and walked out.
Second was at my old friend Popeye’s here in Aiken. We have had the worst luck at lunch time during the week, but we figured it was Sunday, might be different. What do you think? Right, same old song and dance. Both Donna and I love the food, but it is such a pain to get anything. They had a total of 3 employees handling the Sunday lunch rush, 1 counter person, 1 drive-up person and 1 cook! Not only that, but the cook was deep frying each person’s order separately or something because it was taking a long time to get each person’s order to them. So long that they asked you to sit down and they would bring it to you. This is smart, now the time that would be better spent making or taking orders was spent delivering food to customers. I vowed never to return. Who am I kidding, I’ll probably go back, I think it makes the food taste all that much better if I have to suffer for it.
Donna’s mom has been our designated cook every since she moved in with us back in May of 2000. I like her cooking and Donna, well as we all do, loves her mom’s cooking. Not only because she grew up eating it, but it means she doesn’t have to do it. Mom is famous for picking a recipe and starting to cook it, before checking if all the ingredients are in the house. Most of the time she will find something that will substitute, but other times she just fakes it and adds anything. For tonight’s meal, when she came upon a missing ingredient, she just didn’t put anything in its place. As a result the meal came out a little bland; it is tough to make Curry Shrimp, without any curry power…
In the little over a week since Tech Day and my bemoaning the lack of sound improvement the new muffler made, it is starting to come around. Getting just a little throatier. Still dead quiet at idle and cruise (which is good,) but it sounds a bit better under acceleration now. If it improves just a bit more I can forget all about that intake business.
On that very same day I named the car, The Emperor, but have not been able to refer to it as such since. My guess is that it may now be what the car calls itself, but to me it has no name. I’m just not the type of person to name inanimate objects. I feel that this is my biggest failure in Miata geekdom, on par with my inadequacy to obtain sci-fi geekhood because I haven’t been able to read (nor watch the movie of) Frank Herbert’s Dune.
My little sister is 47 today. Hope you got our silly little card. Hope you didn’t eat too much cake and ice cream. Hope you celebrated more than I do for my birthday. Usually the day itself it is no big deal for me because it is near the end of a month long holiday that Donna and I call birthanniversarydaymonth. It runs from Donna’s birthday at the end of August, through my birthday towards the end of September to our anniversary at the end of September. It is 30 days of hijinks, dining out and rampant spending on ourselves and each other. I can hardly wait until it happens again.…
Way back since whenever I’ve had a bigfoot.com email address. It was a thing of beauty whilst ISP hopping in the beginnings of the internet revolution. It was free and I could forward and distribute and all kinds of other helpful stuff. Over the last decade bigfoot?s free services have dwindled, a victim of their own success. For about a year or so now I have been limited to 25 pieces of email a day. Trouble with that is, with the increase in spam a person had to be lucky to be in the top 25 to get a message to me. I stopped using the address, but kept checking for old times sake. Today I terminated my account. The end of an era.
While following the steps to end my association with bigfoot, not once, but twice I had to click OK on a screen that warned: “By terminating your Bigfoot For Life account, you will no longer receive offers from Bigfoot’s Promotional partners. However, you will also have to forego the benefits of using any of Bigfoot’s services which are available only to those with active Bigfoot for Life accounts.” Did they ever think that maybe it was those promotional partners junk mail that made the service unusable?
On the night I had cable internet installed I had to call the tech support phone number to set up an email address. Some one helped me nearly right away. The next two times I called, I gave up after waiting 5 or so minutes. The paranoid side of me figured that they know when somebody is being installed so the first call get answered. After that they’ve got you, so you can be safely ignored. The other 2 times were evenings, which I figured were peak times, so I thought I might try in the day. This call would be the proof or dis-proof of my theory. I guess I’m just paranoid, I got a quick answer today.
As if I must always have set amount of email addresses, to replace the recently departed Brian_the_Red@bigfoot.com address, I almost signed up for one of these, world’s longest alphabetical email address. Instead I opted for Brian_the_Red [at] gforcecable [dot] com.
Saw a display in the supermarket tonight that proclaimed, “NEW! Portable Sunscreen!” Thank god, I was tired of having to schlep back to the car to dispense more sunscreen from the 50 gallon drum the stuff usually comes in.
Just back from a Master’s Miata Club function. I took a bunch of pictures, but when I stuck the card in the reader, Windows Explorer showed no files. The root directory pie chart thingie showed that the drive was nearly full, yet there were no files to be found. Crap! Google searched for smart media file recovery. The seventh one down on the page led me to PC Inspector Smart Recovery 4.44. Not only did it work like a charm, it was FREE.
The day was saved, too bad not many of the pictures were worth saving. A couple did go into the Picture Pile (a folder kept on my desktop) and might show up if they fit a theme from an upcoming photo meme.
I managed to get my hands on a copy of the wiring diagram for the fog lights and as a bonus the headlight circuits.* I’ve had it for a while, but today I decided to attempt the mod again (my first ended in failure.)
With careful study of the circuit wiring diagrams it looked like for the fog light relay to trip, turning on the fogs, it needed +12v coming from the headlight relay and a ground available when the headlight switch is in low. My ideal situation would be to have an ignition on twelve volts applied to one end of the relay and a ground applied to the other whenever the lights are off. This would disable the fog lights as fog lights, but make them daytime running lights — always on when the car is running and off at night.
First thing I decided to do was cut the red/yellow wire. I really didn’t want to, but I could never get the relay loose from the connector, so snip I did. Hooked up the barrel splice to the +12v wire I found in my original attempt and the red/yellow wire running into the relay connector. Figuring that this would not change any operation as the ground from the headlight switch was still missing, I tested the setup. Much to my surprise when the key was turned to IGN the fogs came on. Not only were they on, but the light in the switch was on, even though the switch was not depressed. I tried turning the lights on, another surprise awaited, as when they came on, the fogs went off (along with the light in the switch.) So I pushed in the fog light switch and the fogs came on, they also went out when I turned on the high beams, just like they are supposed to.
Following the diagram out, I must be getting a ground from somewhere I’m not supposed to be, through either the left front low beam or somewhere in the instrument cluster. Seeing as my +12v is only applied when the ignition is on I won’t be running down the battery or anything. The current draw to trip that relay is probably small enough that I won’t do any damage to anything, but I would still like to know where it is coming from. When we go for a drive tonight I’ll see if I can figure out which one by looking at the headlight and the instrument cluster in the dark.
Continue reading Fog Light DRLs
Last night on the test drive of my new mod, fog lights as DRLs, I got as far as the back wheels out of the garage before I smelled burning. (I used to be an Aviation Electronics Technician in Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club, so I’m intimately familiar with the smell of burnt electrical bits.) Instantly turned off the car and snipped my new +12v wire to the fog light relay. I don’t think I ruined anything, all the background lights on the cluster still work, all the normal lights came on when starting…
Funny, I didn’t smell anything on my initial test, the only difference this time was the car was running.
So it’s back to the drawing board. I guess my next step will be to make my own ground to the relay, so current won’t be going willy-nilly through out the car.
I bought a new car in November. They sent me a survey to fill out rating my experience with the purchase. I thought about throwing it out, I now swear that thought is true, but Mazda thinks I filled it out. As a way of thanking me they sent me a bottle of touch-up paint. That was the end of January. About a week later I got a second bottle, it was packaged differently and included a couple of other items, but the main contents was a bottle of touch-up paint. This last Saturday, a familiar envelope arrived in the mail, that’s right, another bottle of touch-up paint. So Sunday I emailed them:
From: “Brian Bogardus” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2004 10:35 AM
Subject: Stop it. You are creeping me out.
Dear Mr. Customer Assistance,
November 24, 2003 — Purchase a new 2003 Garnet Red Miata
January 28, 2004 — Receive a bottle touch-up paint as a thank you for filling out a survey I swear I threw in the trash, but must have completed.
February 7, 2004 — Receive a second bottle of touch-up paint inside a miniature steering wheel replica along with some other things, including a letter that welcomes me to the “Emotion of Motion.”
March 27, 2004 — Receive a third bottle of touch-up paint with what looks like the exact same letter as accompanied the first bottle.
Thanks for the first bottle as I already have had a use for it, but stop already, one more bottle and I’ll be able to paint my wife’s Civic Garnet Red to match the Miata. If you feel a further need to thank me for buying your product a $10 gas card or similar would be nice to offset the cost of the required premium fuel.
Today I got a reply:
From: “CustomerAssistance” <CustomerAssistance@mazdausa.com>
To: “Brian Bogardus” <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2004 04:33 PM
Subject: Re: Stop it. You are creeping me out. (KMM203077V95587L0KM)
Thank you for contacting Mazda North American Operations. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you.
Thanks for alerting us to the additional, unintentional mailings that you received. I have forwarded your comments to our Marketing contacts to ensure that no further welcome packages are sent.
Again, thank you for contacting Mazda. It has been my pleasure to assist you. Please feel free to reply to this message with any further questions or comments.
Please take a moment to give us your opinion about our e-mail service. Click the link below to complete a brief, online survey.
Specialist, Customer Assistance E-Business
Oh no you don’t, filling out a survey is what got me nto this mess to begin with…