Got a couple of lame jokes via email at work and I should have forwarded at least one them home, so I’d have something to post here.…
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 62
Got a couple of lame jokes via email at work and I should have forwarded at least one them home, so I’d have something to post here.…
I recently picked a new primary care physician. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, he said I was doing “fairly well” for my age.
A little concerned about that comment, I couldn’t resist asking him, “Do you think I’ll live to be 80?”
He asked, “Do you smoke tobacco or drink alcoholic beverages?”
“Oh no,” I replied. “I’m not doing drugs, either.”
Then he asked, “Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?”
I said, “No, my other doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!”
“Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?”
No, I don’t,” I said.
He asked, “Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?”
“No,” I said. “I don’t do any of those things.”
He looked at me and said, “Then why do you give a shit?”
Today was our semi-annual (bi-annual?) dental teeth cleaning appointment. My two upper front teeth are capped (kid thing, threw something against the wall which bounced back and busted teeth and split my lip) and for the past decade or so my gums surrounding the caps have always been slightly inflamed. At first we thought it was a reaction to whatever metal the caps were made of. But that turned out to be a fairly costly failure as the new gold caps didn’t fix the issue.
Last appointment my dentist talked me into seeing a gum guy. The results of that were I should increase my brushing from once a day to twice and bump the flossing from once a week to daily. Well I didn’t get the twice daily brushing thing going, but I did make it a habit to floss every night.
Today, both the hygienist and the dentist remarked how much better the gums looked around those caps. When they asked what I was doing differently, I told them I was flossing daily now. The dentist mmm’d his approval, but the hygienist positively squealed in delight. She said, “We just love born again flossers around here.”
Today was Donna and my annual eye exams. We get the works, puff of air, reading the charts, looking through the dial-o-matic, follow my finger. Then you get a series of drops to dilate your pupils. While you are waiting for them to take effect you pick out some new frames. It is easy for me because I can actually see what they look like, but poor Donna who’s eyesight is so bad she has to rely on the opinions of the helpful staff and me. So far we haven’t led her astray.
Once your pupils are the size of pie plates you get the extra special treat of having and aircraft landing light aimed into each eye several times, so the doc can check for internal abnormalities. None found for either of us. After paying the bill we were sent outside into the very bright sunshine. Even though we both had sun glasses on we still put the top up on the car for the trip home. The rest of the evening was spent in reduced light.
It has been about five hours since getting the drops and my pupils are still twice normal size…
We planned this impromptu getaway a couple weeks ago, but nearly backed out a couple days ago because it wasn’t going to be as warm as we wanted. This morning we got up Packed an overnight bag and hit the road. The trip had two real objectives, the North Carolina Zoological Park and Razzoo’s. Either one was expendable, but we had to make at least one.
We ended up doing both and we are pretty beat. The zoo is awesome and will require at least one more (we are thinking fall as the park is covered in hardwoods) and possibly several visits. We spent from around 1 o’clock until 3:30 meandering most of the exhibits along it’s 5 mile length.
From there we headed southwest to Razzoo’s in Concord for dinner. We almost didn’t get there, I think everyone in the central part of NC was visiting the area, so traffic was bumper to bumper for the last 3/4 mile to get into the Concord Mills Mall. Mark, remember how empty the mall parking lot was when we visited? It was virtually full this afternoon! Donna and I have notoriously short fuses when it comes to creeping in a line of traffic for a luxury item, but we persisted because the Cajun call of spicy hot food was siren-like in it’s pull. As expected, Razzoo’s did not disappoint.
We briefly considered driving home, it is a 3–1/2 hour trip and it was only 6:30, but decided to treat ourselves to a hotel room for the night. There is some sort of basketball tournament in town and rooms are scarce, but we managed to get the 3rd to last one available at the Wingate Inn just the other side of I-85 from the mall. We’ll get up tomorrow at our leisure and take the back roads home.
Shows how much we don’t know about American Revolutionary history, when an extremely critical battle that turned the tide the colonist’s way was fought right here in SC at Kings Mountain. Donna and I stumbled on it while searching for a place to turn off the Interstate in our quest for a newer North Carolina state map. This monument was erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution, a larger one is just a couple hundred feet away and was constructed by the US Government in 1930 when the site became a National Park.
Over these last two days we have driven around 500 miles and at least half of that was with the top down. Good thing it isn’t later in the year or Donna and I would be a lot more sunburned than we are right now. We are also a little wind burned too, plus my lips are way chapped. But we had a great time.
Last Friday Donna and I went to the American Association of University Women?s Annual Books N? Things Fair. We picked up several books each for a song. I snagged a couple hardcovers by authors know, one from someone I hadn’t heard of before and a movie review compilation, Never Coming To A Theater Near You. It is a reprinting of the columns of the movie critic from the LA Times, Kenneth Turan. It is broken down into 4 sections, English, Foreign, Documentary & Classic. This book is subtitled, “A Celebration Of A Certain Kind Of Movie” and it is about the non-blockbuster movie, the one that opens and then closes before you can block out the time to see it. Or in my case, here in tiny town USA, maybe never plays at the local 6-screen shoebox down by the mall.
Of the 71 English language movies included in the book I have seen 15 or so and of that total there are only two that I didn’t watch all the way through. Looks like my rental queue for Netflix is about to grow…
A co-worker came up to me the other day and said, “Check this site out, Realtors are mad because they have to pay for this, and it’s out there free now.” Riiight. Check it out for funzies.
Zillow.com Your edge in real estate.
I typed in my address and it said my house was worth $126k. It says that a year ago it was worth $99k. It also says I have 3 bathrooms and 1887 sq. ft., when we only have 2 baths and about 400 square feet less. Plus they show my house about a 1/4 mile away from its actual location.
But at least that explains the $239k starting price on a house about 6 further down the road. They must have checked Zillow.com, which says $193k or a similar service and then jacked up the price to allow for negotiating. I hear that after the open house and a month on the market it is down to listing for $199k.
I am really on a roll with this blogger’s block thing. I open up WordPress to start a post and I start clicking on all the little links on the “dashboard.” Which leads to checking out a new theme. I then poke around the theme author’s site, clicking on the links of his/her blogging buddies. I open another Firefox tab and check the posts on the Miata.net Forum. Nope, nothing new in the last 3 minutes. I open my blog and read a few of the usual links. Check Miata.net again. Wonder what tomorrow’s weather is going to be. Check Zillow.com to see if my house has gained any value since yesterday. Finally open up the write post page of WordPress. Check to see if anyone has added a negative post about the Pontiac Solstice over on the Miata.net Forums.
Speaking of the Miata, this Saturday is Tech Day and I really don’t have much to do to the car. That pesky rear wheel stud is going to get replaced. I usually have a mod or two to do, but not this time. I’m pretty much done all the modifications I want to the car. About the only thing I’d like to do is get some cooler after market wheels. But the OEM wheels are just about perfect and the only time I’m really jealous is when we go somewhere and there are tons of tarted up Miatas, so there is no real reason to spend $600 on any. Doesn’t stop me from reading all I can in the Tires & Wheels section of the Miata.net Forums. I wonder if anyone has posted something new in that Lug Nuts! thread.…
I’m thinking about changing the look around here. Might have something to do with my lack of quality content lately, maybe hoping to distract you dear reader with some dazzling new surroundings.
I kind of like this new theme: PaintedDesert
Of course I’ll have to change the top image to something I’ve taken of the Emperor…
Today was the MMC Tech Day and we had a whopping 2 cars get worked on. I did the swap of the slightly stripped lug stud and President Dave had his throttle body cleaned and a remote oil filter mount installed. We had one person come to do some wrenching on others cars, Clunk. His partner Thunk showed up a couple times through out the day to help or hinder as needed.
My stuffing Club newsletters under unsuspecting Miatas in parking lots paid off as someone I had hit twice popped in for a while and visited. Might turn out to be a member, might not.
On the way home I stopped in a Quick-Stop to fill up and realized I had passed through the 37,000 mile mark on the way over. My first clue was the slight smell of gas as I parked by the pumps, I didn’t pick up on it. Clue number 2 was the speedi-dri crunching under my feet as I started to fill the tank, didn’t register. Clue number three was the sound of splashing fluid on the pavement, I got it. The automatic shut off on the nozzle I was using was broken. I stopped at $25.37 and I bet at least the 37 cents worth spilled onto the ground.
Went for a walk in the woods this morning. Our usual parking area was jammed full of of about 8 cars, but besides the one person leaving as we entered, we saw no one. We did see a big ol’ fox squirrel who was almost as curious about us as we were of him.
And on our way out we walked right by a place where they had just done a controlled burn. I snapped a couple photos and I’m thinking of resurrecting my little see-how-it-grows-back series that I tried a while back. We never really go to the section of the woods of the previous try, but this one is right there at our normal entrance.
Just went ahead and did it. I’ve got a few hundred little things to do to make it mine, but what the heck.
Sorry I haven’t been responding in a timely manner to your comments. Somewhere along the way WordPress decided to stop sending me email notification whenever a comment is made. I may try a WP upgrade to go along with the new theme and see what happens.
There weren’t a few hundred things, more like about 10 and they are done. I’ve got to change the CSS for the peektures, so there is some cohesiveness to the site and I’ll be all moved in. Watch for another episode of “Flip This Blog” sometime about 6 months from now.
Also 37,000 cubic centimeters = 9.774 365 896 gallons, so I could have hardly spilled that much gas. 37¢ worth, at the cost of $2.43 a gallon, would have been about 576 cc’s.
We went out this evening and watched our friend’s kid play Little League Baseball. It was at the perfect time, 7:30, so we time to eat before heading over. The game was played like most 11 to 12 year-old baseball is played, sometimes it looks like the sport should and others it looks like the Keystone Cops. Mostly what made it a little painful to watch was that after a weekend in the mid-80’s, the weather returned to normal and mid-50’s with 15–20 MPH winds seemed down right cold. Turns out it was just a scrimmage game, the season doesn’t start for a couple weeks yet, so we should have been in warmer Florida or Arizona for this game.
I was going to break down and wash the car tonight because we are in for a no-rain stretch, but decided against it. It would have been a waste. The pine pollen has really started to kick in the last couple of days. When it is this bad, you can wash the car, dry it off, and by the time you have coiled the hose up out of the way to drive the car into the garage, there is already a small dusting of yellow powder back on the car.
I just cleaned off the pollen using my “Ernest Brush.” That is a California Duster, but was nicknamed that by my wife after a former MMC member who used to bring one out whenever we took a break during Club driving events.
Email notifications of comments is working again. I think turning them off and then back on did the trick.
This is so much worse than hearing the theme to Shaft smoothed into background sounds for my Local Forcast on the Weather Channel.
“We Got The Meat” to the tune of the Go-Go’s “We Got The Beat” selling delivery pizza. Or worse still, the Gilligan’s Island theme bastardized to sell shrimp at trendy chain restaurant.
I got my new glasses in this week. I’ve got 20–20 distance vision, but with experience comes presbyopia. They are from the Silhouette Titan Translucent Rimless Collection. Titanium eyeglasses with spring hinge skull and adjustable nose pads in Golden Taupe. Ooh-la-la.
I went to the Silhouette web site to get a photo to post and for the heck of it I tried out their Style Room Type Test. I answered a bunch of multiple choice questions and at the very end I was given 4 styles of frames that matched my “personality.” Lo and behold, the frames I bought were one of the four.
We have a string of three horsey events here in my fair city which they like to call the Triple Crown. The past couple of years they have had a little “street fair” downtown on the Friday before the first event. This year it coincided with St. Patrick’s Day so they tossed some green dye in the fountain in the middle of the street. I sure hope that the cement of the fountain will clean up.
There was a Preacher whose wife was expecting a baby, so he went before the congregations and asked for a raise. After much discussion, they passed a rule that whenever the Preacher’s family expanded, so would his paycheck. After 6 children, this started to get expensive and the Congregation decided to hold another meeting to discuss the Preacher’s salary. There was much yelling and bickering about how much the clergyman’s additional children were costing the church. Finally, the Preacher got up and spoke to the crowd, “Children are a gift from God” he said. Silence fell on the congregation.
In the back pew, a little old lady stood up and in her frail voice said, “Rain is also a gift from God, but when we get too much of it, we wear rubbers.”
And the congregation said, “Amen”.
Today was the first day of spring and it felt more like winter than most of winter did. Average high is 72 and we were at least 20 degrees cooler with overcast skies. The highs for the rest of the week is going to be in the lower 60’s, at least it is supposed to be sunny.
A woman went to the undertakers to have one last look at her dearly departed husband. The instant she saw him she starts crying. One of the undertakers strides up to provide comfort in this somber moment.
Through her tears she explains that she is upset because her dearest Albert was wearing a black suit, and it was his dying wish to be buried in a blue suit. The undertaker apologizes and explains that, traditionally, they always put the bodies in a black suit, but he’d see what he could arrange.
The next day she returned to the undertakers to have one last moment with Albert before his funeral the following day. When the undertaker pulls back the curtain, she manages to smile through her tears as Albert is resplendent in a smart blue suit.
She says to the undertaker, “Wonderful, but where did you get that beautiful blue suit?”
“Well, yesterday afternoon after you left, a man about your husband’s size was brought in & he was wearing a blue suit. His wife explained that she was very upset as he had always wanted to be buried in a black suit,” the undertaker replied.
The wife smiled at the man.
He continued, “After that, it was simply a matter of swapping the heads.”
Sorry about the low impact posting around here recently. I have something to write about, but I can’t seem to get started. At first I was waiting for a certain point for, maybe not closure, but a natural break. That target keeps shifting though. Eventually I’ll get it here, promise, so until then expect more lame jokes that I get in my email or gripes about the less than expected weather.
We stopped by the Aiken County Museum this afternoon to check out the entries in the 2nd Annual Sculpture Competition. Last year there were about 20 displayed outside with the rest indoors. This year there were only about 5 outdoors with the majority inside. This picture is of the 1st place sculpture, Gretchen Lothrop’s ?A Subtle Miracle.?
I didn’t bring a tripod, so shooting indoors was really out of the question, but I saw one that was interesting and seemed to have enough light. But when I snapped the picture, the flash went off, causing one of the elderly volunteer ladies to come over and chastise me. I apologized and made sure it wouldn’t happen again. As it was it didn’t matter as there was nothing else I found photogenic anyway.
No, not TDTVS, but First Daughter.
I put this movie in the rental queue at the behest of my lovely wife. I'm not exactly sure what prompted her to want this movie (maybe because it starred the future Mrs. Tom Cruise,) which is fine because sometimes I'm not sure where I get the idea to add a movie either. The disc showed up in Saturday's mail and we decided to watch it that evening. We endured about 25 minutes of it before hitting the eject button.
It went back in the mail to Netflix on Monday. It still hasn't arrived back at movie central, so tonight I reported it missing. They say they forgive an occasional missing disc, but if you pass a certain level they might cancel your membership. I just hope they don't think I liked the movie so much that I decided to keep it, I don't need that kind of reputation.
No bedtimes. No alarm tomorrow morning. Road trip. Granite Capital of Georgia.
Aiken, SC to Washington, GA where we lunch on the square at a place called the Jockey Club. Donna had, appropriately, a Club Sandwich, with soup and a salad while I had a Chicken Salad Sandwich with french fries. The food was good, but the highlight was definitely the fries. Real potatoes, hand-cut and deep fried to perfection. After lunch we walked off our meal by doing a lap around the square where we discovered a cool old hotel, The Fitzpatrick Hotel, built in 1898 and operated for 50 years. Then sat neglected for another 50, before being bought and totally renovated and has been open for only the past two. Donna walked into the lobby dragging me with her. We poked around on the ground floor for a while when an employee invited up to look at some of the guest rooms. Very classy. We are going to go back in May when the town holds one of its two big cruise-ins and spend the night, if we can get a room...
After Washington we headed northeast to Watson Mill State Park. we had visited there way back in 1998 on one of our covered bridge tours. We have a little book we bought that has a bunch of Georgia attractions that we bought back then and right there in the margin was the date we visited (4/10/98) and the notation, "Very nice, need to come back." Well we did and it was worth it again. Guess we'll schedule another visit in 2014.
We are spending the night in the Holiday Inn Express in Elberton, GA. Us and a bunch of bass fishermen, because there is a team tournament being held on Thurmond Lake this weekend. The only problem with that, besides worrying that somebody will drag their boat trailer across the hood of the Miata trying to park 60' of vehicle, is ice is very scarce. Neither machine in the complex spit out any frozen water, pushing the button resulted in nothing but whirring noises. I had to go to the front desk to get my little plastic bucket filled. We have 4 channels of HBO on the TV and for our viewing pleasure this evening, on two of them, is Catwoman with Halle Bery. I've got a whole 'nother rant post about our stay which may come your way later.
While I read on one end of the couch, Donna was on the other watching TV. Mostly the reruns of yesterday's World Ice Skating Championships, but during commercials and lapses in excitement she would surf the channels. At one point she nudged me to remove my headphones. CNN was doing an interview with someone involved with a new IMAX movie called Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France. Looks interesting, but it is not playing at any IMAX theater within 600 miles of us. Sigh.
After the movie segment we hopped to the other CNN where they were into something about the increasing number of major hurricanes. Seems it might be because since the 70's the surface temperature of the oceans has risen 1 degree Celsius. Last winter was the warmest on record. Glaciers melting! Global Warming! The reporter pinned down one scientist to say that it is because of human actions that this happening. We are ruining the very environment we need to survive.
From there she jumped to Bravo where Real Housewives of Orange County was on. After watching a couple of minutes of this very weird show I came to the conclusion that if this is what life is all about, causing our own extinction via global warming can't come soon enough.
It doesn’t really qualify as a real wash, but yesterday morning before embarking on our little trip, I gave the Emperor a quick de-dirtifying with Meguiar’s Quik Detailer.
Changed the oil and filter this afternoon. And as I usually do I rotated the tires. It was nice not to have to tippie-toe around the partially stripped thread of the right rear wheel stud and lugnut this time. They were fixed a couple of weeks ago at the MMC Tech Day.
I changed the light bulb in the soffit near the front door yesterday. Why is this noteworthy you ask? It had been in there burning for 395 days or 9,480 straight hours.
The reason I know this is because I made fun of the light bulb’s claim that it would last 2,000 hours when my mother-in-law bought them and said so right here: 1,988 Hours To Go
The one at the end of the driveway was put in a month sooner and it is still going strong after over 10,000 hours.
I like my crow like I like my chicken, shaped into strips and deep fried: Crow Fingers.
When we pulled into the local BMW dealer?s lot, the deputy sheriff pointed us to the right, with all the enthusiasm of a cigar store Indian, indicating where we should park. We exited the Miata and made our way over to the big tent to fill out the registration/waiver form and get our hand stamped. Someone offered up free fried chicken, but we declined having just had a big ol? salad at Chik-Fil-A on the way over. We had preregistered online to drive a 3 Series convertible, a Z4 and a 6 Series convertible in that order. After they checked off our names from the online registration sheet, they asked if we didn?t mind driving the 6 Series convertible first as they had one sitting.
I had reserved a 630i, but that is really last year?s model, this was a 650i with the 360hp V-8. List base price is $78,800. Outfitted, as all these cars are, with several options that probably bump up the price by around another 5 large. It was misting lightly, so we probably wouldn?t drop the top, but asked how to do it just in case the sun came out. The fellow placing us in the car asked what kind of music we wanted and we told him none, so he told me how to turn off the radio. Mmmm, big comfy car and nicely appointed inside, this is how the other half lives. We left Taylor BMW?s lot and turned right on Washington Rd. Maybe a ? of mile later the loop turns right on Pleasant Home Rd. When we turned there was a freight train inching along perpendicular to us. Dang, hurry up and wait. It wasn?t really misting any more, so I held down the power top lower button and waited while it did its dance. First the front windows went down a couple inches, and then the header unlatched. The hard metal boot whirred up 90 degrees and the canvas folded, flipped and flopped back into the well. The hard boot lowered itself down shut. Took about a minute to complete the cycle. Seeing as the train hadn?t really moved in that time I did a u-turn, turned right on Washington Road and went up to the next right to get onto Riverwatch Parkway heading into downtown Augusta. Step on the gas and the big car squirts to a nice cruising speed of 70MPH. At that speed, with today?s chilly temps, the wind slapping you around is a bit much even with the seat heaters on, so I raised all the windows. I don?t remember if it went up because I raised all the windows or what, but the vertical back glass of the convertible top was now up too to act as a wind block. Unfortunately there is too much open space between it and the rear windows to keep the cold air from hitting you in the front. When we got to 15th Street the loop makes a left and then left again back onto Riverwatch to return to the dealer. About halfway back it was cold enough that I thought of maybe stopping after one loop and putting the top up. Not too much further up the road it started to rain. Did I mention the automatic rain sensing wipers? Our prep guy turned them on at the start and sure enough when the window got wet the wipers reached right up and flicked the drops off just like a horse?s tail rids the animal of flies. By the time we get to Fury?s Ferry Road and our exit from Riverwatch Parkway the rain is coming down pretty hard. We catch a red light, so I put it park and hold down the raise roof button. It took about the same amount of time to go up as it did down, but while raindrops are plopping on your head, it sure seems longer. For what ever reason the automatic cycle lowers the front windows to put the top up, but it neglects to raise them back up once the top is locked in the up position.
Safely inside and now a bit warmer we decide to drive right by the dealer and do another loop. Hey let?s turn on the radio. I get it back on, but it is Sirius satellite radio and whatever channel the last folks had it on is very displeasing to our ears. We now find out why we were asked in the beginning what kind of music we wanted; this car has a version of the infamous I-Drive. Neither Donna nor I can figure out how to access the radio menu to change a station. Finally I notice a couple of buttons near the on/off knob with arrows on them, thank goodness, seek buttons. After hitting them several hundred times we find something we can tolerate. Must be some kind of surround sound radio too as it seems like a lot of ambience is being generated by the rear speakers. Duh, about 3 miles later I realize that not only didn?t the side windows go back up automatically with the top, but neither did the back glass. That ?ambiance? was road noise coming in through the open window. Now that we have finally gotten everything back in it?s place and are comfortable, we take the car for another loop.
After three 15 mile loops in the big convertible, we get back and ask for a Z4. List base price $41,100. This time it is not raining so we put the top down before we even start. This is a little more like it, no I-Drive, just regular controls for radio, heater, etc. The loop starts just like the first, we catch a train at Pleasant Home, but the same u-turn trick works this time too. There is no clutch pedal, this car has the Steptronic Automatic Transmission, it has little paddle things on the steering wheel, but I can?t seem to make it shift using them, so I give up and just point and shoot. The interior is about 1.25 Miata interiors in size and a little more bathtubby feeling. We just can?t seem to find a comfortable way to hold hands while we cruise. Plus even with the windows up it is chilly inside the cockpit, but just to me. Donna is sitting low enough that she doesn?t feel the cold air pouring in from the back, I am getting a stream of air right in the neck, this car really needs some sort of wind blocker back there. After just one lap we turn it in for something else.
Donna wants a ride in the big SUV, so next up is an X5 4.4i. List base price, $53,600. Stepping up into the vehicle gets you a nice view of the road in front of you. Another very comfy interior. No I-Drive, but lots of little buttons on the dash with odd pictograms that look alike. I don?t even remember if we turned on the radio in this one. It has a giant sunroof and we immediately try to figure out which button operates it. Nothing on the dash looks promising, but there in the overhead is another panel with several knob/switch looking things. We can?t see the pictures, so we are hitting random things. I manage to figure that pushing back on a switch slides the sunshade back into the roof exposing the glass. Donna hits a button marked SOS and the radio shuts off and the sound of a dial tone fills the cockpit. Hmm? A computer generated voice then asks if we would like to complete our call to the BMW Assist Center, enter a test mode or end the call by saying goodbye. Uh-oh. Donna shouts bye! Which it doesn?t understand, so I pipe in with goodbye, but too late, we enter another level of who knows what. Now we are pushing more buttons in the ceiling, when finally again we get asked if we want to end our call, we both shout GOODBYE simultaneously and the computer voice says, ?Thank you. Goodbye.? Wheew. The radio comes back on and our pulse rates return to normal. I guess SOS had a different meaning besides Simply Open Sunroof? Donna then discovers how to really open the sunroof at the next light. When the light turns green, Brian hits the gas and accelerates to the normal Ultimate Drive cruising speed of 70 PH. Just as we are passing 60 MPH it sounds like a helicopter is about to land on the roof of the X5. Donna quickly closes the sunroof and the helicopter goes away. We must have done something wrong there; no way would the sunroof of a $50k vehicle make that kind of noise. The one on our late 80?s Honda Prelude was library quiet to well over 60MPH. Even though it does ride and go like a big-engined BMW should, it is still a tall vehicle and the sweeping curves of the Riverwatch Parkway makes it show some wallowy handling. It does ride so smoothly that we take two 15-mile laps in it. When we get back to the dealer I park it way on the end away from everything because I?m not too sure if I can fit it in between 2 other cars in a normal parking spot.
For this time out I want something a little smaller and sure enough there is a new 330i unoccupied with our name on it. List base price $36,600. I have always liked the looks of the 3-Series BMWs and in spite of the slight Banglization and this ones gray & pink color scheme, I liking the looks of this too. It has so far the nicest seat of anything we have been in so far. The steering wheel is just fat enough with bumps and spokes in just the right places. I could see me in one of these as an OTM. The acceleration is pretty good too. Not as good as the big V-8s of the X5 & 650i, but better than the Z4. By now afternoon traffic is picking up and we have been driving in circles for more than two hours, so we decide that one 15 mile lap in this car is enough and we think we?ll call it quits.
When we get back to the dealer Dominoes has delivered a bunch of pizzas in our absence. Donna and I split a piece. Even though it is chain pizza, in the chilly afternoon it tastes warm and delicious. We split a second piece. We spit an bottle of water. Fortified we decide to go for another loop. A 750i sits neglected and alone. A helpful volunteer puts in it. He says you?re going to like this ride. He has to show us where the seat controls are because instead of on the side of the seat like every other BMW the one in the 7-Series are on the console. Next he shows me the gearshift. Good thing too, because unlike the rest of the BMWs this looks like a little mailbox flag sticking off the steering column. Pull forward and push down for drive, pull forward and push up for reverse and slide button for park. The dreaded I-Drive is right there in the center console, but we?re lucky as the satellite radio is already on the reggae channel, so we probably won?t need to use it. He says have fun and closes the door. I get the gear shifted into drive first try and ease on the gas. Nothing. The parking brake must be on. There is no handle in the center console, no foot pedal, no handle down and to the left. Hmmm. Wait, there is a button on the left side of the dash with a big P in the middle. Push it and away we go. BMW USA HQ must be in New Jersey because all the cars have Jersey plates on them and I feel a little like Tony Soprano as I pull out onto Washington Road and head for the first turn, all that is missing is the cigar. As we start down Riverwatch Parkway I start to feel like Tony when he gets an anxiety attack. The driver?s seat is moving underneath me. First one cheek raises, then the other. Then the front of one side goes up and the other down. Whoa, what the heck is going on, must be some sort of massage setting in the seat. Donna then spends the next 6 miles trying to work the I-Drive knob to get it to shut off and keep me from squealing every time the massage action hits. No luck. At the halfway point of the loop when I get pointed back at the dealer?s lot I floor the car and before Donna can say, ?How fast are you going?? we are at triple digit speeds. I lift off the throttle and ease back down to a more sedate 80MPH. Awesome. It happened very fast and the car really didn?t feel like it was working to get there. Plus once there, it felt a lot like 40 MPH, except for the visual Doppler shift of the scenery as it blurred rearwards.
We parked the 750i after just one lap. We had driven 120 miles in 5 different cars in less than 3 hours and had had enough. The only thing left to do was go inside the showroom, take a sharpie marker and autograph this year?s signature car, a 330i.
This was the third time Donna and I have participated in this fun event for a good cause. I try and talk everyone I see into doing this and I can?t for the life of figure out why no one else ever does it. You get to drive some high zoot automobiles, there are always refreshments and BMW donates $1 to help fight breast cancer for every mile you drive. It is a win-win situation. Sign up. You won?t regret it. Go to the website or call the toll free phone number (1–877-4-A-DRIVE ) and register.
You would think that with yesterday’s lengthy post I wouldn’t have much to say tonight, you would be right.
Not much to write here this evening. Not because I’m still trying to replenish my word supply after Tuesday’s several thousand word outburst, I’ve got the words back, but I used them up writing captions & descriptions to 16 photos I added to a gallery of the pictures taken by me or my wife at the Ultimate Drive.
Check ‘em out here: BMW Ultimate Drive 2006 Gallery
And Thelma was her name (actually it was Thelma’s daughter Myrtis driving the car.) Donna and I were on our way to work, minding our own business, stopped at a light when Myrtis, while driving her kids to school, wasn’t paying attention and tried to subvert the laws of physics, to wit, no two objects can occupy the same space at the same time.
She says she was stopping and started to fix her son’s shoes or something and must have felt she would stop in time and just misjudged. She hit us at less than 5 MPH I bet. No one was hurt because of the low speed and we were all buckled in. I’ve got a bent trunk and there is nothing wrong with her vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a brush guard on the front (see picture in the more section below.)
I got on the cell phone and called Johnny Law. After a minute or two, a passing off duty fireman pulled up behind us and put on his flashers so no one would plow into the back of Myrtis. While we waited we exchanged information and chatted about the world. Because Aiken is such a small town we both had to assure several friends of ours that we were fine as they passed by on the way to work or whatever.
A city police officer showed up about 10 minutes later, took our paperwork and filled out an accident report. He didn’t ticket her, but did put a check mark in the box labeled “Contributed to Accident” on her side of the form. The only possible negative in the whole thing is that her mom’s insurance card was out of date. Let’s hope it is a simple oversight.