After a weekend off, we are back in the mountains again, this time the Georgia & North Carolina ones. We drove up to Hendersonville to see my sister and her husband at the SMH. For the first time in a long time we didn’t eat lunch at West One, but instead ate at Hannah Flanagan’s, where everybody’s Irish. While we are on this trip we are also doing wee bit of geocaching. Nabbed a couple of state parks, a couple of counties and a DeLorme page.
Started down, went up, went down, up again, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1069
While geocaching in Athens, GA, in search of crossing off Clarke county, we came up to an old abandoned railroad bridge, there sat a UGA student doing her French homework. She noticed my camera and offered to move, but I said, “Stay where you are, it’ll add to the photograph.”
My Fantasy Football Team is no longer undefeated. The Purple Whales scored a very tidy 110 points this weekend, but my opponent has scored a 148. My only hope for victory is he has the Baltimore Ravens defense, and if the New York Jets can score about 15 touchdowns in the second half of tonight’s game, it might bring that defense’s score to –12 and create a loss. Hey, they don’t call it Fantasy Football for nothing.
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1070
On Sunday I noticed the passenger side fog light was out (only one reflection in the shiny back doors of an SUV.) Tonight I popped on down to Advanced Auto and bought a new H1 bulb. I briefly considered a fancy new LED replacement, but they are roughly 3 times the cost and the LED portion is sometimes longer than the standard bulb, making fitment problematic.
As I sat on my butt on the garage floor removing the front right tire, so I could access the fog light housing, I had a distinct sense of deja vu. And it didn’t seem like too long ago that I was doing this same thing and to this same fog light. So to see if this a regular recurring thing I’ve added a “Fog Light Bulb” tag for tracking purposes.
The Emperor got the spa treatment today after work. Not just to wash the north Georgia bugs off, but the interior needed vacuuming to find a couple “dropped in the cockpit” items. At the Tallulah Gorge Overlook earthcache I lost the stylus for the Ipaq and it was presumed to be inside the car. Also, on the drive back from Hendersonville I dropped a maple covered peanut. Didn’t find the stylus, but did find the peanut.
And finally, because it is October, I remounted the Vampire Teeth in the mouth of the Miata.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1071
A woman in a grocery store happens upon a grandfather and his poorly behaved 3-year-old grandson. It’s obvious to her that Gramps has his hands full with the child screaming for candy in the candy aisle, cookies in the cookie aisle; same for fruit, cereal and soda in their respective aisles.
Meanwhile, Gramps is working his way around, saying in a controlled voice, “Easy, Albert, we won’t be long — easy, boy.” Another outburst, and she hears Gramps calmly say, “It’s okay, Albert, just a couple more minutes and we’ll be out of here. Hang in there, boy.”
At the checkout, the little terror is throwing items out of the cart, and Gramps again in a controlled voice is says, “Albert, Albert, relax buddy, don’t get upset. We’ll be home in five minutes; stay cool, Albert.”
Very impressed, the woman goes outside where Gramps is loading his groceries and the boy into the car. “You know, sir, it’s none of my business, but you were amazing in there. I don’t know how you did it. That whole time, you kept your composure, and no matter how loud and disruptive he got, you just calmly kept saying things would be okay. Albert is very lucky to have you as his grandpa.”
“Thanks, lady,” said Gramps, “But, I’m Albert — the little bastard’s name is Steve.”
When I backed the Purple Whale out of the driveway on Sunday evening to make a grocery run I was surprised to find the Low Tire Pressure Light illuminated. The car felt fine, so I knew I didn’t have a flat. I elected to make the trip and if the light didn’t go out by the time we got back I’d check the tire pressures.
As part of the dealer installed options for the Sonata was a $99* charge for the Purigen Tire Service. Which they said improves steering response, handling, fuel economy, and decreases false TPMS alarms. I guess I was supposed to assume that they had filled the tires with pure nitrogen and as proof they did, I got 4 bright green valve caps.
The TPMS light was still on when I got home. Not only was the light on, but the entire info display screen was filled with a dire warning that could not be eliminated, so I grabbed the gauge and checked all four tires. Every one read right at 31 psi. Which didn’t seem too bad, but the door sticker said the manufacturer recommends 35 psi.
One of the purported advantages of pure nitrogen is that its molecules are larger than oxygen so they cannot escape trough the rubber of the tire. One of the first things I did when I brought the car home was check the tire pressure all around because they are often way over inflated for shipping and sitting on lots so the tires don’t get flat spots. When I checked them back in April they all read 35 psi. Did, in a mere 5 months, the tires lose 4 psi of pure nitrogen pressure? Or did the dealer fill the tires with air and try and charge $99 for 4 green valve caps? Or did the whipping the Purple Whales received from Team Turner in Fantasy Football this week knock the air out of the tires?
I filled all four tires back up to 35 psi using my special 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 1% other gases (i.e. the air we breathe) using a cheapo Sears compressor and the light went away.
* The supplemental dealer sticker not only included the $99 dollar tire filling, but a Xzylon Interior & Exterior Protection Package for $699! These figures never were included in the bargaining process as I started at below the internet invoice pricing and gave a little (88¢ a month.) As a matter of fact I didn’t even notice the supplemental sticker until I pulled all the paperwork out of the folder the salesman gave me once I got home.
Last night when I went to the the auto parts store I bought a pack of silver valve caps to put on the silver valve stems on the silver wheels.
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1072
Last time we bought living room furniture we got a 3 piece matching set, couch, love seat and arm chair. Because it is just the two of us, the only piece that has seen appreciable use is the couch, so now we need a new one. The other two items are basically brand new, so we would like to keep them and just buy a couch. Because it has been quite a while, a matching piece is entirely out of the question. The object we seek will be something that will compliment what is staying. Not easy, the current furniture is a burgundy cloth with rolled arms accented with nail heads sitting on ball feet. Not too much out there in that style and to make it nearly impossible we have decided to get a couch with built in recliners. The second store we tried tonight had a possibility, but we still want to look at at least a couple more places.
We had dinner out with the Masters Miata Club tonight at the Boll Weevil in downtown Augusta. The food is always good and tonight was no exception. They are know for their desserts and usually Donna and I decline, but for some reason tonight we didn’t. Boy are we sorry. Here is a photo of some of there desserts, our Perfect Chocolate cake (which we “spoiled” with two scoops of vanilla ice cream) was larger than those shown, it was actually hanging off both sides of the plate!
On the way back from Augusta we filled up the Emperor’s gas tank. Regular was under 3 bucks, and because HRH takes Premium it was going to cost us $3.17 a gallon, but with our shopper’s discount it too was under three at $2.97. I had reset the trip odometer in Clayton when we filled up last Saturday morning, I didn’t reset it when we topped off on Sunday, so the mileage since that first fill up read 454.3. I took the last two gas receipts, totaled up the two tankfuls and got 15.065 gallons. That means the MPG for the past five days, which consisted of 60% windy mountain roads, 25% 2-lane back roads and 15% 4-lane divided highways was a respectful 30.16.
Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1072
After a dry run of the route, and dining at the destination, of next week’s MMC Breakfast Rally that we are leading, we did the weekly grocery shopping. With that out of the way, we got down to the serious business of living room furniture shopping.
Our destination was Rooms To Go in Augusta. Not only do they have a big ol’ selection, but I was angling to up the $800 sofa to a $2k, six or seven piece suite with a “Free” 51 inch Samsung 3-D TV. And my plan might have worked had we been able to find something that met our comfort needs and more importantly had the looks/style we liked. Didn’t happen, where we got one, the other was not there or vice versa.
After lunch went back to the store where we saw the couch candidate the other day and to see how well it might match our current stuff we had brought along one of the accent pillows. Turns out it didn’t look half bad, but after a more in depth try out, we determined that the contoured seat areas were really not comfortable for the afternoon nap laying across pose.
On second thought, our current couch didn’t seem that bad, sure it was slightly worn, not nearly as bad as Marty Crane’s recliner, so let’s just say that it had acquired a nice patina. And because what had started this whole furniture shopping expedition in the first place was the desire to remove my feet off the coffee table, which not only holds our obligatory fan of magazines, but doubles as our dinner table on weekdays when watching Law & Order re-runs, we just took the easy way out and bought a $50 ottoman.
Enough already with the pink. I can relate to the sentiment, but when NFL quarterbacks star wearing hot pink shoes, it has gone too far.
The Purple Whales bounced back from their loss last week by knocking off one of the two remaining undefeated teams in the End Zone Entourage FFL, thereby pulling back into a first place tie in the Western Division.
Maybe because I’m a homer, but I thought ex-FRS manager, Terry Francona didn’t sound half bad as a color commentator during the first two games of the American League Championship Series.
When I turned on the first game of the ALCS I thought for sure I had stumbled onto some sort of wildcard game. Detroit? Texas? Where were the Red Sox, Rays or Heaven forbid, even the Yankees?
Went to SOUTH-TEC 2011 Expo, AKA the Charlotte Tool Show, today with some co-workers. We were there to place eyeballs on a new fancy-schmancy CNC machine we bought and won’t take delivery of for another 16 weeks. And of course, wander every aisle and marvel at all the widgets on display, while managing to score free pens, cheap bags and multi-colored lanyards to give away to the unlucky souls back home who didn’t get to go. We might have even picked up some useful information.
When I first heard we going it was in the company’s Ford 9-passenger van. Ick, who wants to spend 3 hours each way in that thing. When it was confirmed that it was just 4 total going, I offered to drive the group in the Purple Whale. Even with it raining for almost all of the trip, I definitely enjoyed driving in my own car than riding in that van for 340 miles.
Somewhere just south of the South Carolina state line on the way home the Sonata hit the 7,000 mile mark.
There were 4 of us who went to the Tool Show the other day and after we had seen all there was to be seen it was time for lunch. At first we thought we were going to be treated to lunch by the salesman who sold our company that fancy-schmancy (and very expensive ) CNC machine, but he bailed on both the show and us. This was actually not a big disappointment to two of us because that meant we could go across town to Mark & my favorite restaurant in all of North Carolina — Razoo’s Cajun Cafe! There was going to be a few toe-less rats around after we got there.
When the 4 of us arrived at the restaurant after the 30 minute drive, 3 of us settled in to a booth and the other made a bee-line to the restroom. When our waitress arrived to take drink orders I ordered regular Coke and the two others got Diet Coke. We didn’t know what the other fellow wanted, so we ordered for him. I asked the waitress if they had anything pink and frilly. She said that they had pink lemonade and we said, “Perfect.” Instantly catching on, she asked, “Do you want me to put a little umbrella in it?” “Umm, why, yes we would.”
When she returned with the tray of drinks, poor unsuspecting Kieth looked at the four glasses and wondered who ordered that pink drink, but it slowly dawned on him what had happened, as she passed out the other three drinks to us and he had nothing in front of him with the pink drink was still on the tray. Our waitress offered to go get him something else to drink, but he waved her off and said, “I’ll just drink this.”
The new guy, Tom, is a quick learner, as he too needed to use the rest room, but decided to wait until after he had ordered his meal before going…
We went out to lead the MMC on the October Breakfast Run, but nobody showed up, so Donna and I ran across the street and ate at a Waffle House. Afterwards we pulled off a Geocaching Tirfecta, we DNF’d a cache, found a cache and then hid a cache.
We were going to stop there, but someone else published a series of caches based on the the game of Risk and all of a sudden there were 46 new caches to look for in the CSRA. Some were within a few miles of the house so we ended up being FTF on the three closest. Tomorrow morning we are going to head out fairly early and try to find a few more of the series.
The early morning sun and the mist coming of the water in a small park in Midland Valley.
Today Donna and I (plus Joan) visited the following places and found geocaches: Afghanistan, Alaska, Egypt, Great Britain & Ireland, Kamchatka, Middle East, Peru, Scandinavia, Siam, South Africa and Southern Europe. We drove to all of them and only put 90 miles on the car.
[—— Stop reading here Sandy. ——]
The Arnone Dynasty crumbled today. The Purple Whales are leading their game this week 82 to 79 and still have one player to play on Monday, while their opponents have none left to play. Win!
Had a visit with Dr. PCP the other day for my bi-annual check up. My cholestrol numbers were basically very good except for the triglyceride anomaly, but we are shaking up the medications because the FDA says so. Apparently the simvastatin I’m taking in combination with another drug might cause myopathy (med speak for frakked up muscles), so he his changing me to pravastatin and rechecking in 6 months. At that time we can either up the dosage of the new drug or maybe try the generic version of Lipitor which is supposed to become available next month.
The few TV shows we both like to watch are all shown on Sunday and Monday nights. The only one of which we watch “live” is The Good Wife because it is on at 9PM Sundays.
So far we have found Showtime’s Homeland (Sundays at 10 PM) very intriguing. The dynamics surrounding the return of long thought dead US Marine who was actually a captive in Iraq and how he and his family have been changed along with the question of whether he might have been turned into an Al-Qaeda operative is a goldmine for drama. After three episodes Claire Danes whininess has been offset by Morena Baccarin’s nudity, but I’m not sure how much longer that will continue.
Technically Doc Martin is on at 9:00 PM, but that is on ITV1 in England, so it really on live Monday afternoon here on the east coast of the USA. This gets torrented for watching on Tuesday afternoon.
Castle also gets watched on time delay because Monday at 10 PM we usually in bed or at least getting ready for it.
I’m the only one enjoys House M.D., so I watched a recorded copy while Donna naps or reads. After a great first 4 seasons, I struggled through the next two years and finally quit watching in season 7 because of the House/Cuddy relationship stuff. But this year Cuddy is gone, so I thought I’d check out season eight. After 3 episodes I think I’m liking it again. They even had a throwback House does Clinic duty bit.
Earlier I was watching the World Series on FOX with the sound muted (can’t stand Tim McCarver) and listening to it on KMOX off the net. But now that Donna has the remote with the TV tuned to HGTV. I’m listening to the audio of ESPN America’s broadcast and when the situation warrants, I stop typing and click on another tab of Firefox and watch the game thanks to a link I found on Lifehacker.
We drove to Florence today to have breakfast with Cousin Laurie. We met at the usual spot, Cracker Barrel, and did some catching up. Laurie has a new job and we have a new car. Everything else is pretty much the same, Donna had a hot chocolate and Laurie and I had the equivalent of two cups of coffee each and between the two of us we used up about 20 sugar packets and a dozen creamers.
After breakfast Donna and I did a little caching on a local trail system, finding 8 and DNFing 1. Here is the log from the most interesting one:
Ahhh, my least favorite cache of the day.
Not the cache itself, that was a cool find. When the GPSr pointed way over there we followed blindly. Took life and limb (pun intended) in hand and crossed over the water. Sure enough, once on the other side, the GPSr pointed right back the way we had come. After walking back across the downed log, we wandered up and down along the bank, quite possibly walking right by the cache several times until my wife turned around and realized she was staring right at the container.
The part I didn’t like was while ducking under a tree and pushing a couple small branches out of the way, one of them snapped back and smacked me in the lower lip, drawing blood and turning it an ugly shade of purple.
[—— Stop reading here Sandy. ——]
So much for ESPN’s predictions and my 8 point favorite status. The Purple Whales have been beached. Right now the score stands at 77 to 54 in favor of the Swap Rats and he has two players yet to play tonight, including Drew Brees, and I have none. Looks like there is going to be a three way tie at the top of the West Division standings with myself, Team Gregory and the North Augusta Meatheads all being 5–2. On the plus side, if the New Orleans Saints kicker can come up with 8 points, the Argyle Pilgrims will win their first game.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1073
At ASCO’s Fun Day (AKA company picnic) on Saturday Tommy came up to me and asked if I would take a picture of his truck. I said sure, knowing he has some sort of late model pickup, only to be surprised by what he guided me to. I guess I shouldn’t have been too surprised as he is the same fellow who showed up out of the blue one day several years back with a 1967 Camaro convertible.
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The Emperor returned to his throne room this afternoon after a 2 day trip to the spa. His timing belt and water pump were changed, along with all his vital fluids at 122,970 miles.
Notes to self:
Call the embroiderer tomorrow.
Pick up the dry cleaning.
Schedule the Purple Whale’s 7500 mile service.
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1074
Well, its happened again. Changing the accessory belts on the Emperor has resulted in belts squealing at a high pitched 123,00Hz. This time it is both belts. Yesterday evening when we were coming back from the mall one of them just started squealing for no apparent reason. It lasted for about a minute before I pushed in the clutch and it shut up.
Today on the way home from work, for a test, I hit the A/C and was greeted with a nice squeal, later tonight I got a squeal when making a tight turn, so the second belt that runs the power steering pump is a bit loose too.
As I pulled into the driveway this afternoon the odometer hit the 123,000 mile mark.
Guess we are going back to see Steve on Monday.
Started down, went up, went down, back up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1077
Spent the day looking for more of those caches in the RISK Series. We found Argentina, Central America, Greenland, Iceland, North Africa, Northern Europe, Northwest Territory, Ural, Western Australia & Secret Mission #1. Twenty five down and twenty one to go.
If we had traveled to all those places we might have had to drive the Sonata more than the 8,000 miles it now has on its odometer.
Volkswagen revamped its Beetle model making it lower, wider, less rounded and dropped the dash vase in an effort to appeal more to men. Way to go VW! And offering it in baby blue will really help bring in the male buyers as well. There was one other of the new New Beetles on the lot we parked in while geocaching today, it was painted in another favorite guy color, light yellow.
We traveled to Brazil, China, Indonesia, Japan, Madagascar, Ontario & Yakutsk before getting lost in Mongolia and calling it quits for the day.
At 9:45 our doorbell rings. I know what it is, so don’t even flinch. Donna just couldn’t stand not knowing, so she opens the front door. There stands a 12–14 year old, not in costume. She asks, “What?” He just stands there, I guess waiting for us to offer him some candy. It doesn’t happen. Donna just shuts the door and walks away shaking her head in disbelief.
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1078