I swear I’ve mentioned this before, but can’t find the post…the Miata is as good as a pickup on a sunny day. Finally finished painting the bedroom this morning, so to finish off the room we decided we needed a new area rug. Off to Home Depot, then to Lowes, where we found something that fit what we were looking for: 8’x10’, mostly tan with a hint of maroon & cheap. Put the rolled up carpet into the passenger’s footwell, poked it out between the seats while resting on the windblocker. Good thing it is a short trip, that flapping plastic is kind of annoying.
Never caught the “Reality TV” bug. But I do get my own version of it via the internet — blogs. You get a glimpse into the personal lives of people all over the world. Back in the Blogger days I would always check a few of the recently updated ones from the front page, then they had this thing called Next Blog that would send you a random site. The latest thing I stumbled on uses Google technology and the fact that everybody has a digital camera and posts their pictures on the net. Random Personal Picture Finder
On the newspaper?!? One day last week when I opened my newspaper there was a 3″ x 3″ low tack glossy sticky note announcing the newspaper’s new program about paying your bill online. I thought nothing of it until today when there was another on the front of the paper. This one was for a Tobacco Use Prevention Program touting giving up smoking for Mother’s day as a gift. OK that is a public service announcement, but I bet commercials are definitely next.
On a quasi-related note, I saw something tonight that Major League Baseball has agreed to place a diamond shaped ad for the movie “Spiderman II” on all the bases, plus in the on deck circles, on a certain weekend in June. Not that ads and sporting events have never gotten together before, but this just seems a bit much to me.
or I’m a Jinx Part II
Back in October 2003 in Episode I I single handedly knocked the Red Sox out of a sure World Series berth. This year I started earlier in the season. I had the bright idea that I could relive the joys of my youth by listening to the radio broadcasts of the Red Sox games (but on the internet this time.) When I signed up the Bosox were 4 games ahead of the Yankees in the standings, now after just 2–1/2 weeks they are about to be just a 1/2 game ahead. Real disappointing as they usually wait until late June to fall from first to behind their arch-rivals, but now it looks a lot like it will happen in early May…
Turned over 8000 miles this morning on the way to work. I have the scheduled 7500 mile check up for this Friday. I’m not too worried about being over mileage, I changed the oil in the car a couple of hundred miles after I got it and then again close to the half-way point.
Today was the 7500 mile check up on the Miata (done at 8010.) An oil change and a tire rotation basically. I had a couple of things I want them to address while we were in there too. The trunk was creaking when you opened and closed it, there were a couple of missing plastic fasteners on the splash guard on the right front wheel well and the driver’s side top latch was looser than the passenger’s side. We have always been treated right personally by the folks there. We even got a loaner car to do some shopping when the service was taking longer than expected.I’m not so sure about the car. When we got back in the car to drive away there was this almost overpowering smell of solvent or cleaner. We opened the windows the first chance we got and that helped a lot. By the time we got home I kind of figured that it was lube for the trunk hinges. The car is in the garage with the trunk open now hoping the lube will be all dry and the smell gone by morning. Past experience with tire changing at any place other than my driveway requires checking the lug nut torque. Sure enough, the lugs were replaced using an impact wrench with out any sort of torque limiter. I had to use a 2′ long breaker bar to loosen them up (and on a couple of them I feared for the longevity of the breaker bar.) Good thing I didn’t get a flat on the way home, I’d have never gotten the wheel off with the puny lug wrench in the trunk.…..and because tomorrow is a Master’s Miata Club’s
TSD Rally, I washed off the car to make it pretty.<>
Go over to the Miata.net in the NB Forums and search for the term “clutch shudder” and you will get a million hits. Here is a good example. When I first started going in there after buying the new Miata I read quite a few of the posts and at first it got me worried and I was always in the back of my mind looking for this thing to show up. Occasionally when first driven about 1/2 from home when I got into 3rd gear the car would do a bit of shaking, but it would disappear in less than a hundred yards. Was this the shudder or something else? Although this clutch has never been as smooth engaging as in the previous 2 Miatas I’ve owned it is not really a problem, but more of a quirk.Yesterday morning the clutch seemed especially hard to engage smoothly for the first half of the trip to work. This morning though, any doubts I had that this was my clutch developing the dreaded shudder, were put to rest by confirmation. When backing the car out of the garage there was noticeable bucking and accompanying noise to go with it. Even Donna said, “What’s that?” “Clutch shudder,” I replied. I paused at the end of the driveway to let a car pass and when I backed out the shudder was there again just as bad. The trip to work was fairly normal after that.I guess I will wait it out a bit more before saying anything, see if it get any worse.
This afternoon we went over to Rader Mazda to have the car’s 7500 mile service done. When I called and made the appointment the other day I asked how much it was going to be. It is a glorified oil change, but they inspect a bunch of stuff and rotate the tires. I was told it would be $74 and change. About what I figured. I saved a coupon the dealer had sent me earlier, so I’d get 10% off that to boot. When the car was finished and it was time to settle the bill they told me it was $72.13. About right I thought, 74 + tax — 10% = $72 and change.
When we got home I looked at the invoice. Huh? Mazda “B” service, Labor $108 (1–1/2 hours), parts $21.09 (oil, filter, gasket and something called SOLVENT,WIND) and tax $1.48 for a grand total of $130.57. How come I paid only $72.13 and how did they arrive at that figure?
Today we had more fun in the Miata since, well, Donna would just as soon I didn’t bog about that. A couple in the Master’s Miata Club put on a time/speed/distance rally for us today and it was a blast. Maybe I’m just saying that because we finished 2nd and didn’t have the humiliation as others did of having to open the emergency envelope.
Had a minor outpatient procedure done at the hospital today. After driving myself there, Donna had to drive me home and as a special treat she put the top down for me. I love driving the Miata, but it sure was fun over in the right seat too. You get to see so much more and until they start making those George Jetson bubble roof cars you poor suckers in your SUVs will have to lead much shallower lives.
With apologies to Brian Damage:
[x] I’ve been banded
[ ] I’ve not been banded
I hope it doesn’t take three weeks to recover again, but I know that is wishful thinking because I am just a slow healer.
Yesterday I had a colonoscopy boys and girls. You don't need to look that up in any medical dictionary, colon + scope, means they were looking at my innards from the inside. The worse part is the prep. If you have had it done, you know what I'm talking about and if you haven't, I don't want to spoil the fun.
During the actual procedure they sedate you and depending on who you talk to who has had it done, that means anything from knocked out to partly aware. When the nurse put the needle full of fuzzy juice into the IV she said to me, “Now think of someplace pleasant you would like to be.” I started to decide which place I thought I would like when the next thing I knew I was coming to in the recovery area. And when I say coming to, I really mean just peeking my head above the fog.
The next few hours I was in and out. I remember my wife feeding me cookies and a Diet Dr. Pepper. My next memory is of being helped out of the wheelchair into the Miata. There is a brief window into lucidity at the CVS where I picked out a book to read. I remember reading some of it during my doctor prescribed bath. I read a little more on the couch before putting it down to go take a 2 hour nap. I was “sedated” at around 1:30 and it wasn’t until around 7:30 that continuous memory was regained. When I went in tonight to get the book I kind of figured that I would have to start all over reading it again, I did, but I didn’t have far to go, the dog eared page marking where I stopped last night was page number two.
All this week the Weather Channel has told us there is a 30% chance of afternoon thundershowers. Yesterday we put the top up and it worked merely to ward off the rain. Today I used the cockpit cover and it acted as a rain magnet. Not too long after our lunchtime walk the skies opened up big time. It didn’t look too bad during the walk, so I was surprised by the intensity that I heard on the roof over my head at my desk. It rained hard for at least 30 minutes. The cover has saved the Miata interior on several occasions in the past, but it has always been on the old car. It fits the new one alright, but because the seats stick up a little higher (Surfboard Fan Club maybe?) there is a slight gap left near the windows. I was worried that this might lead to less protection for the interior. While it was raining lightly I borrowed an umbrella and made my way out to the north forty to see what I could see. When I peeked under the edge at the inside it looked perfectly dry. Instead of just walking away I decided to put the top up. During the brief seconds the inside was unprotected, between tossing off the cover and raising the roof, a little water managed to get in, but it was dry by the time we walked out to go home at 4:00.
When we got home I stuck the cockpit cover in the dryer on low and dried it out. It shrunk a little, but I have it stretched over the car now to help it get back to normal. I just hope that spinning experience hasn’t diminished the water repellency…
There was a 50% off coupon in today’s paper from Goody’s. I thought goody, I need a new pair of jeans and we were going shopping tonight. Uh, oh, it is only good on Saturday morning from 9AM until 1PM. No problem I can wait. What’s this in the fine print? Good on almost anything in the store! Cool. Excludes clearance, cosmetics, electronics, denim, Dockers, athletic shoes, Goody’s Giftcard purchases, Y.E.S. value items, fine jewelry, fragrances, tuxedos rentals. Shouldn’t that have read “Good on almost nothing in the store!”? Into the trash that coupon goes.
I think it is just me, but the new Miata with 16″ wheels and OEM height looks like it is wearing high topped sneakers. I’d really like to lower the car an inch or so, but the easy and perfectly acceptable way it was accomplished on the earlier version car, Koni adjustable shocks, is not available for this car. Lowering springs or adjustable coilovers are the only way to lower this generation Miata and shocks will change the ride characteristics and the coilovers are expensive…
I’ve been eyeballing different 15″ wheels thinking that might change the appearance to something better. This method has its shortcomings as well because only certain wheels will fit over the larger brakes. The only way this fly is when I’ve worn out the stock tires and can sell the new wheels by pointing out that the new 15“tire wheels will only be a little more expensive than just the 16″ tires.
If it didn’t, would they have made Tic-Tacs 30% larger?
Donna and I are driving up north to Connecticut for my Mom’s birthday starting the 27th. Our itinerary (so far) is as follows:Thursday, Aiken, SC to Brevard, NCFriday, Brevard, NC to Lexington, VASaturday, Lexington, VA to Cumberland, MDSunday, Cumberland, MD to Williamsport, PAMonday, Williamsport, PA to New Britain, CTTuesday, Wednesday, New Britain, CTThursday, New Britain, CT to ???Friday, ??? to ???Saturday, ??? to Aiken, SC. So if you live anywhere near these places and you see a Garnet Red Miata zip by, it is probably us.
Burglar Note: Donna’s Mom is not traveling with us and she keeps a shotgun near her bed (with the safety off.)
Our county coroner recently passed away suddenly. She will be replaced in the next general election and the signs of the wannabes are popping up all over the place. First: This is an elected office? I know I don’t pay much attention to politics, but what kind of power does a Coroner have? Second: Why are there so many people trying to win this position? The only thing I can figure is there must be some new reality TV show about coroners that is committed to be filmed here with whoever ends up in the job.
I’ve always been a lover of sci-fi. Growing up I had a few favorite authors and one of them was Isaac Asimov. I was eagerly awaiting this summer’s release of a movie based on his robot stories, I Robot. After seeing the first trailer with it’s The Who soundtrack and it’s Apple-likeness (I wonder how much they had to pay Steve Jobs for that?) I was stoked. But the newer ones aimed at drawing in the action crowd seem so against type from my memories of Asimov’s books/stories that maybe I won’t enjoy the flick at all. That may just be me though, as from at all the clips at TheMovieBox.Net the movie looks awesome.
All this got me thinking about those 3 Laws of Robotics the Asimov wrote way back when. Maybe, just maybe, this world would be a lot better place if we just changed the word robot in them to man:
1) A man may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2) A man must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3) A man must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.