Three Hour Shower

Whidbey Island FerryNo it was not a rain shower, but a baby shower. This is what you get when you have a ton of friends, a large family and throw a cook-out slash potluck lunch along with it. They even had a door prize drawing, your fee for your ticket was to bring one pack of disposable diapers.

After saying goodbye at the finish of the party we, along with Donna’s big brother and his wife drove back to Mukilteo and we gave them a tour of the Hogland House. The picture is our view from the room and what you see is the ferry that goes back and forth between Mukilteo and Whidbey Island. Donna’s brother Jim waxed nostalgic for ferry rides (they used to live in Redmond about 15 years ago), so we all hoped in the Sebring and went over to Whidbey. Made a little side trip to the small artsy village of Langely before getting back on the ferry to return to Mukilteo. We had dinner at Ivar’s right at the ferry landing, before sending Jim and Linda on their way to catch a plane back to Houston.

From the B&B’s room notes:

  • The bathroom light switch is behind the towel shelving.
  • Sea-Tac airport is 45 minutes away on a good day.
  • If you hear voices, piano playing or guests late at night and see no one, it’s just the nuns. The house was a convent for 15 years and occasionally they return.
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Sebring Top Transitions since 09/29/06: 8

Its Not The Cold, Its The No Humidity

Misty CoastWe are right on the beach and the surf is a constant at 6–8 feet. When you look around you you can’t see it, but look north or south along the beach and you see a mist. We went for a hike along the coast in Ecola State Park and everything was a lush green with sections of the spruce trees covered in moss. Yet my lips are parched and my skin is dry. How can we be surrounded by all this water and there still be no humidity?

If you ever find yourself in Cannon Beach, Oregon you cannot go wrong (with one exception, the ribs) with a meal at Warren House Pub. The available micro brewed beers are great and the atmosphere is just right. For lunch, Pizza ? fetta is worth your time and money, but bring a sense of humor. When Donna asked for the restroom she was pointed to a door labeled “Office” and told it was up the stairs and the second door on the left. We she opened the door she was of course entering right into the rest room.

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Sebring Top Transitions since 09/29/06: 16

West Vs. East

Its a whole ‘nother culture out there.

  1. There was one of those little drive-thru coffee/expresso huts every 1/4 mile or so out there (there are 2 in all of Aiken.)
  2. They are right proud of their gasoline because they think it is worth about 70¢ more than here.
  3. Nobody was in a hurry. I drive the limit +5MPH and around here I’m a road hazard, out there I passed more people than passed me.
  4. Not a lot of trash can sized chrome “mufflers” disturbing the peace. Come to think of it, there was not a lot of trunk rattling hip-hop being played either.
  5. I could understand people without having to turn on the southern to english translator machine.

I think it has to do with the lower temperatures and humidity, it calms people. I admit I probably need a bigger sample and might want to go back in February after it has rained every day for 2 straight months.

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 410

My What Ugly Teeth You Have…

Mean MouthBack somewhere around 2000 I added some funky “Alley Gator” plastic teeth to the 95 Miata. When I traded the car in in November of 2003 I pulled the teeth out and gave them to a fellow Miata Clubber to use or trash as he saw fit. I also gave him the silly “Wabbit” teeth I bought in 2002 and had on the car for all of a month or so.

A couple three weeks ago some one on the Miata Forum was looking for a set of the rabbit teeth and I asked John if he still had them. Sure enough, they were still tucked away in a dusty corner of his garage. He gave them back to me and I mailed them off to the fellow for just the cost of postage. I guess while he had teeth on his mind John broke down and installed the alligator teeth on POS, his highly specialized race car (shown above in a recent hill climb event.)

That reminds me, it is October and Halloween is coming soon, time to put the vampire teeth on the Emperor.

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 418

Monkey Business

GorillapodAfter enough struggling to hold my digicam steady in low light conditions I decided it was time to get me a mini tripod. A search of the web led me down the usual paths and uncovered the usual suspects. I then zeroed in on low cost ones and got a couple of under ten dollar ones with little flexible legs that seemed like they might fit the bill. I don’t know how I got there, I can’t for the life of me replicate the search, but I ended up at Joby.com. Behold! Gorillapod. If you order one right from the maker right now, they offer free Fedex Ground shipping. If you use the coupon code “GorillapodLOVE” during checkout you can 10% off too, so the unpacked version comes to under $20 delivered.

Played a little practical joke on a co-worker (Hi Mark) and he liked it so well he, with my help, is going to spring it on his wife (sure hope she doesn’t read this.) I got it from “The Banterist” — Your New Monkey. When he opened his he was disappointed that it didn’t have the promised refrigerator magnet, so I made one up for inclusion of version 2 of the joke. Click on the “LOOK! There?s more!” link to see my magnet art.

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 420

Paraskavedekatriaphobia…

…is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number thirteen) and it means the fear of Friday the 13th.

So, how was your day?

I ain’t afraid of no thirteens. For the first time since the one glute bounce back about three weeks ago I went rollerblading tonight. No fanfare, no incidents, just a nice little skate.

For those of you who are keeping track, it was about 10 days before the bruise from that unceremonious landing showed up. For about a week it was a not very pretty looking section of purplish-yellow skin, but now 22 days later there is just a hint of bruise there.

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 420

It’s All Greek To Me

SteeplesNearly perfect fall weekend. Low 40’s in the mornings and mid 70’s in the afternoon with nary a cloud in the sky.

Saturday morning the lawn got mowed for possibly the last time this year and the driveway was blown off of leaves for the first of many times this year. Lunch was at the Greek Festival in Augusta. Gyros with baklava covered ice cream for desert and sipping an Athenian beer while listening to a group called “One Night in Athens” playing music.

For Sunday, we tossed the hike in the woods and a bike ride to breakfast into the blender and ended up walking a mile and a half to Atlanta Bread Company for bagels. Donna made some of her famous chocolate chip cookies to give to a co-worker (not before I ate a half dozen of them, of which 4 were still hot and gooey from the oven.) After lunch instead of the planned afternoon nap, Donna suggested a car drive, ever the dutiful husband, I agreed. She needed some of those candy sticks she loves, that we can only seem to find at Cracker Barrel, so we had a destination. A hundred and ten miles later we had her candy.

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 421

I Heart The Miata Forum

I keep wondering why I still read the Miata.net Forum. I’ve been hanging out there for years and I’ve pretty much seen it all. In the begining it was all old farts like me and we shared similar experiences and asked simialr questions. Now that Miatas have been out for 17 years the early ones are cheap enough that they are being bought by youngsters and some of them are just clueless. Here is a smattering of current running threads:
are these $32 stainless roll bars any good? — Do you really have to ask?
tastefully illuminated shift knobs? — Same question…
FWD Miata? — Don’t tell me, he used to work at the local Mazda dealer.
0–60mph times!!! — Oh, please!

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 423

I’m Sorry…

…for last night’s post. It was not very well thought out and not researched properly.

I had a rant all worked up, but my wife quashed the idea by reminding me that certain people read my blog and they might have been offended by my making fun of a particular subject.

So I went with Plan B and I just grabbed a couple of thread titles from the Miata Forum that sounded kind of stupid and didn’t check inside. If I had, I would have found out that the reason I still read the forum every day is because a lot of people that contribute have sharp wits and are not afraid to use them. Some of the comments in the 0–60 times thread were LOL funny.

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 423

Mother Would Be So Proud

Daily, I am emailed a PowerPoint presentation with a chart on it that shows how as a plant we are doing towards our goal of shipping out product. Weekly, I get another PowerPoint presentation with 3 lines on it, manufacturing, assembly and total, tracking our service levels (on time delivery.) The reason I get these presentations is not because I need to be keeping abreast of this sort of stuff, but in my capacity as the Arts & Crafts Engineer at ASCO.

I print these charts out on in full technicolor on an 18 x 24 piece of paper and post them outside the cafeteria. These are placed there in the hopes that my fellow associates will be inspired to work harder towards our common goals, but mostly they are ignored by the troops as they file in and out during breaks and lunch.

For the first year or so I sprayed some artists adhesive to the backs of the charts and stuck them to a larger piece of cardboard supported by an easel. About six months ago management decide that the cardboard thing just wasn’t professional enough, so they commissioned a very nice set of wooden frames. The frames even have a, hinged at the top, second frame with a piece of Plexiglas in the middle to protect the charts from outside damage and keep them looking nice. These were hung on the same wall that the easel used to sit in front of with the tops of the frames about 6′ off the ground. Inside the frames I have some miracle of modern science mounting system, it is made of a sort of rubbery sheet that has the same low tack long lasting stickum that is on post-it notes.

My daily routine is to print out my chart and go out to the frame and lift the hinged cover and prop it open on top of my head while I peel the old chart off the sticky mount and carefully smooth out the new chart while balancing the lid up with my head. Because I do this usually at mid morning break for a lot of people, I get some weird looks and comments from folks on their way to the cafeteria for break. Every chance I get I tell them that my mother would be so proud because she was always saying to me, “I wish you would use your head for something besides a hat rack.” 

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 424

The Goonies

I guess because with me being 30 and it seemed like it was aimed at kids, when it first came out in 1985 I never saw it. Apparently it is some sort of cult hit if you happened to be an adolescent or pre-teen at the time. I think over the years I have seen bits of it on cable as I surf, but it has never held my interest. Maybe it won’t again, but I’m going to try. I added it to my Netflix rental queue today.

The reason I now feel compelled to try and see it is because a thirty something co-worker saw my northwest vacation photos and said of a Haystack Rock photo, “Hey, that was in The Goonies!”

The movie was partly filmed in Astoria, OR and the main house is still being visited to this day by fans of the movie. Haystack Rock and Ecola State park in Cannon Beach were also used as locations. Take the Location Tour from thegoonies.org.

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 424

A 1940 Oregon Coast Tour

Cannon BeachEvery Monday I print out two images on the departmental color printer and pushpin them to the outside of my cubicle. The first is the eleven year old Calvin and Hobbes Sunday cartoon and the other is a photograph I have taken over the weekend. For the last couple weeks I have been posting Cannon Beach photos, but last Friday my wife said, “No more.” Seeing those images has become to painful because we had such a good time in our two days there that it seems as if our normally “exciting” life here has lost some of it’s luster. So, today, to go along with Calvin and Hobbes I posted a picture from our walk in Hitchcock Woods on Saturday morning.

We are already planning a return trip to the Oregon Coast in May. To tide us over until then, we will have to settle for a trip back in time to there: A 1940 Oregon Coast Tour

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 429

Post Avoidance

OK, I’ve got nothing to say tonight. I’ve spent the last half hour reading other blogs and generally wandering around the internet looking for inspiration. At least that is what I told myself I was doing. Guess what? Didn’t find any. Come back tomorrow.

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 430

32 Minutes 34 Seconds In

Red Sky In MorningThis morning, as I passed by the front door of ASCO with my ice and water filled mug, I noticed the sunrise was very vivid. While I stood and watched, the Plant Manager walked up to me on the way to his office and asked what was up. I pointed to the sky and said, “Nice sunrise. You’re the Grand Poobah, announce on the PA system for everyone to stop work and report to the front lawn to watch this.” He paused a second, as if thinking about the possible ramifications, and replied, “I wish I could.”

Our crowd of two attracted the attention of the Resident Engineer who came over to see what we were seeing. He knew I take pictures as an affliction, so he asked where my camera was. It was in the front of my lunch bag, I told him so, followed by, “See ya.” I went back to my desk, grabbed the camera and went out to the side door to snap a couple images. Across the street was the, now quiet, Western Carolina State Fair with an orange sky as a backdrop.

Let me apologize to the legion of Goonie fans out there, the title to this post is where I hit the eject button on the DVD of “The Goonies” tonight.

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 432

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tomorrow at work the Activities Committee is having a bake sale and they asked that Donna make some of her famous Chocolate Chip Cookies. So tonight I had the horrible job of stirring raw ingredients into a bowl of dough. And of course I had to dispose of the not so round and pretty ones that are unfit for sale.

It is a variation of the recipe that came out of a Betty Crocker Cookbook. Change one is the recipe calls for 2/3 cup margarine and 2/3 cup shortening, we just use 1–1/3 cups margarine. Through experimentation we have found that the cheaper the better. Our current favorite is the Kroger brand for 39¢ a pound. The second change is the addition of a little bit of coconut. This makes them just a little moister. Do not use a mixer, a wooden spoon and your arm to stir is all you need.

1?1 /3 cups margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon soda
3 cups all?purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
3?1/2 ounces sweetened coconut
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375.
Mix thoroughly margarine, granulated sugar, brown sugar, soda, eggs & vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients, one at a time in the order listed. I usually add in the flour a cup at a time. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly before removing from baking sheet. 

Happy eating…

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 434

Monday Moratorium

 
 

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 438

All-hallow-even

As is my holiday tradition, I am listening to the The Mercury Theatre on the Air’s 1938 Halloween radio presentation of the War of the Worlds. Its available, along with most of the rest of the Mercury Theatre’s works, here: mercurytheatre.info

I didn’t listen to my next favorite version of The War of the Worlds, Jeff Wayne’s 2 CD rock musical version with narration by Richard Burton. Maybe I’ll take the CDs to work tomorrow. There is an upcoming CGI movie version coming out… Just watched the trailer for it and it gave me goose bumps.

I’m typing very quietly with all the lights off (except for the cyclops of the TV) because for the first time in history we are not handing out candy to kiddies. Nearly all the kids in our neighborhood are now too old for trick-or-treating. The only ones of proper age we have seen in recent years are driven into the area by their parents from far flung sections of the city. With the proliferation of church sponsored “fall festivals” and the mall, downtown businesses, city rec center candy giveaways, we didn’t think anyone would miss our one little household. Even the local college campus is holding a family friendly trick-or-treat event. And now we won’t have to deal with the too old trick-or-treater.

While talking of Halloween plans at work today, I mentioned most of what I said in the previous paragraph, my boss related a story of how several years back he had two, probably 16ish, teenagers dressed in their typical baggy pants plus ratty t-shirts holding plastic Wal-Mart bags ring his doorbell. One half heartedly mumbled, “Trick or treat.” The other didn’t speak because he was to busy exhaling cigarette smoke.

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Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/06: 438