If you believe in that sort of thing, according to the prognosticating woodchuck Punxsutawney Phil, we are in for 6 more weeks of winter. Well I say, “Big whup.” If the weather in the next six weeks is anything like it has been for the last six, bring it on. For the second week in a row the Miata has been our car of choice for the commute to work. For the last four days we have had the top down on the ride home for all of them and today we even drove to work with it down.
How come one of those second tier cable channels (cough, cough, USA, cough, cough) don’t run a 24 hour marathon of the Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day movie on this day every year?
Started down, went went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1108
I had this joke emailed to me and though it would be a cute little space filler:
Several days ago as I left work, I desperately gave myself a personal TSA pat down. I was looking for my keys. They were not in my pockets. A quick search of my cubical revealed nothing.
Suddenly I realized, I must have left them in the car. Frantically, I headed for the parking lot. My wife has scolded me many times for leaving the keys in the ignition, but my theory is the ignition is the best place not to lose them. Her theory is that the car will be stolen. As I burst through the doors of the church, I came to a terrifying conclusion. Her theory was right. The parking lot was empty.
I immediately call the police. I gave them my location, confessed that I had left my keys in the car, and that it had been stolen. Then I made the most difficult call of all, “Honey,” I stammered, I always call her “honey” in times like these, “I left my keys in the car, and it has been stolen.”
There was a period of silence. I thought the call had been dropped, but then I heard my wife’s voice. “Honey,” she replied, she always calls me “honey” in times like these. “I dropped you off!” Now it was my time to be silent. Embarrassed, I said, “Well, come and get me.”
Her reply, “I will, as soon as I convince this policeman I have not stolen your car!”
At Stage 2 you’ll find a device that is meant for public use, but sounds like something the CIA might have ordered from our neighbors to the north.
BTR & D2! found [Multi-cache] Mitchellville Beach Park on Saturday, 28 January 2012
We DNF’d this one way back on October 24, 2009. I get a grin reading our log from then as we took several opportunities to make this a very hard “simple three-stage cache.”
This time we knew how to get to stage two the right way and apparently we got our math right too, as we found the final with ease.
Thanks for the cache and this time we enjoyed a nice walk on the beach for all the right reasons.
SE 107.3 mi from your home location
The lower lake in Barnwell State Park.
Started down, went went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1110
Although if you got just the partial details off the radio or where ever, you might have thought it could have been:
From the Aiken Standard
Man dies, wife injured in wreck on Banks Mill
An Aiken man died Sunday after he and his wife were struck while riding a tandem bicycle along Banks Mill Road.
Gerald Hooker, 68, was transported to Aiken Regional Medical Centers around 3:52 p.m., where he was pronounced dead, according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton.
Hooker’s wife, who was not named, was also transported to Aiken Regional and released with minor injuries.
Hooker and his wife were riding a tandem bicycle north on Banks Mill Road when the two were struck by a vehicle while attempting to make a left turn onto Lone Oak Drive, Carlton said.
The vehicle, a 2009 Ford driven by Whitney Duncan, 23, of Aiken, was attempting to pass them, Carlton reported.
A stretch of Banks Mill Road was closed to through traffic Sunday while emergency crews responded to and handled the scene of the traffic fatality.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. The Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team is to do the follow-up investigation.
Gerald Hooker is scheduled for autopsy today in Newberry.
This is the first traffic fatality in Aiken County in 2012.
Donna and I were actually out bike riding yesterday afternoon, on our single bikes, a couple hours earlier and on the opposite side of town.
You hate to think that every time you go for a bicycle ride you are taking your life in your hands, but in a way you are. Then again, everytime you go for a drive in your car, you are risking death as well.
It would be interesting to see what the statistical rate of death by auto for adult cyclists per miles ridden versus the same for driving.…
Our 2011 Sonata is EPA rated at 22MPG City, 35MPG Highway and 26MPG combined. For the first nine months I haven’t really paid too close attention if it was meeting those expectations.
The Sonata has this little button on the dash that says ECO. When we first got it I kept in ECO Mode because I figured it would increase the gas mileage of the car. Then I ran a couple of totally unscientific tests by emptying a tank full of gas with the button on and then a tank with it off, it really didn’t seem to make much of a difference.
My non-calibrated butt-dyno did seem to feel that the shift points were changed while in ECO to keep it in a lower gear longer. With ECO off the shifting felt a bit sportier. When the Purple Whale had his 7500 mile check up, there was some sort of bulletin about the transmission and they reflashed the ECU. It totally changed the feeling in the ECO mode to something such that I can no longer tell the difference between the shifting characteristics of the two modes.
Neither of these two issues aren’t the real reason I have abandoned using the ECO mode entirely though. My biggest issue was that when the ECO mode was on, it displayed 1/8″ high letters reading ECO in bright green in between the speedo and tach. And if that wasn’t annoying enough the button on the dash to the lower left of the steering wheel had a super bright blue LED that glowed steady, it was noticeably in the day, but at night it was almost searing.
Anyway, where am I going with all this? Well, I keep track of the top transitions for the Miata, so I thought I’d keep track of something for the Sonata, its gas mileage. I signed up for an account on fuelly.com that would take care of all that higher math stuff for me. They have a couple of badges for web sites or internet forums and I’ll probably add the little one over on the right somewhere.
Started down, went went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1112
After barely having any winter during the first 1/2 of its allotted time slot, it looks like we are going to have some this weekend. Our normal overnight lows for this time of the year are 35°:
Started down, went went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1113
We went geocaching today and managed a measly four finds, of course that is all we really looked for…it started with a rare non-Florence visit with Cousin Laurie and ended with a disappointing meal at a place we used to love.
We picked up Laurie in her hometown and drove the 15 miles to Cheraw State Park to search for our first cache. It was a quick and easy find at the end of the boardwalk at one corner of a huge lake. Once over it we opted to continue walking on that side of the lake. There were some horse trails that we unsuccessfully attempted to find using the typically cryptic state park map, so we ended up walking along a long dirt road to a place called Camp Forest. If I was scouting movie locations for the next teen slasher/horror film, I had found it.
After lunch in Cheraw we drop Laurie off and headed home the long way which included a couple more stops in state parks that are part of our latest obsession, the Sandhills Challenge. First up was the H. Cooper Black Jr. Memorial Field Trial and Recreation Area which is a very large equestrian area with zero human trails. The cache was a small container hidden on a set of metal viewing stands in front of a show ring. The second state park was Goodale near Camden where there was no big trail, but we took a short walk along a small steam trying to wait out a ranger parked in a truck near GZ. He never did move, but we went over and made the find anyway, because we figured he knew what we were after, so we wouldn’t technically be muggled. A picturesque feature of the park, one that is becoming quite familiar to us, is the mill pond with cypress trees:
We sandwiched in the other cache while driving between the last two state parks. It was at a Scotch Cemetery that had caught our eye on the drive up in the morning, not even realizing then that there was a cache at it. We didn’t spend long exploring the grounds once we did get there, because by this time the temperature was dropping fast and the wind was picking up.
Dinner was at a Maurice’s BBQ place in Lexington. Maybe it was just a bad day at this restaurant or maybe our tastes budshave changed, but neither one of us enjoyed the mustard based pulled pork sandwich as much as we thought we we usedto.
Two years ago when I first started working on a short list of new cars for us to buy, one of those under consideration was a Genesis Coupe. Overall I liked the car, but I had a couple of concerns, see #4 on the second list.
This picture, which shows the front of the car, shows what my concern was in the first part of that statement (the second part is for another post.) This year Hyundai released pictures of the mid-cycle refresh that will be the 2013 Genesis Coupe.
I don’t know about you, but the original face is looking pretty good about now.
When we got home from work the PC wasn’t on. Hmmmm, the power must have gone off again? Yep, all seventy hundred LED clocks in the house were flashing the wrong time. For whatever reason this seems to be becoming a regular happening. I bet it has occurred on average every 6 weeks for more than the last half year.
I hit the power button on the new Dell Insipron 620 and was greeted after several seconds by a singular, stationary underscore style cursor. This is bad, I’m not even getting the Dell boot screen. The power supply wasn’t hosed or I wouldn’t have even gotten that. I tried turning it off and on a couple more times with the same results. Visions of a fried motherboard danced in my head. Oh, Crap!
Donna was so mad she got on the phone to SCE&G to read them the riot act and asked whether they were going to buy us a new PC or not. The CSR took down her information and promised a call back with on 24 hours. She then headed out the door for a power walk around the block a couple times to blow off steam.
Me, I followed the guy code to the word, i.e. even if you have no clue and so, probably no chance of fixing something, you still open it up and wiggle things around. Then you can shrug yours shoulders and in all honesty tell the woman in your life you tried.
I took off the side cover. The good news was it didn’t smell inside of burned electronic bits, so I wiggled some wires, spun the cute little fans on the CPU & back panel before turning it on one more time. And wouldn’t you know it, but it booted smoothly back up into Windows 7.
As an extension of the above section of the guy code, sometimes you get lucky and the thing fixes itself and the woman in your life thinks you are a genius.
Happy Valentines Day dear.
This is the first Executive Mansion of the state of Georgia and it filled that capacity from 1838 to 1868 until the state capital was moved from Milledgeville to Atlanta. It is still open for public tours.
If you ever find your self in Milledgeville, a great place to eat is Buffington’s. I can personally vouch for the Cry Baby Burger (ground Angus beef, roasted jalapenos, caramelized onions with white American cheese) and the fried pickle slices as a side were almost Razzoo matching in their succulency. The few spoonfuls of Donna’s Bob Marley soup (creamy base, Caribbean chicken & rice with a “kick”) that I had was delicious and reminded me of a sort of thick gumbo. I didn’t get any of her quesadilla, but it must have been good because she made the whole thing go away and she usually gets a assist from me on that front when we are at Moe’s.
We grabbed a couple caches in Milledgeville before we hit the hotel. And I didn’t realize it until just now when I checked our statistics, but today was the three year anniversary of Geocaching. On 2/15/2009 we found Up Sand Creek in Hitchcock Woods. Our total finds stand at 993 or 0.9052 caches/day.
Well, we are 1/13th of the way there after today. Our 1,000th find came in the town of Eastman, GA at a historical home that is now a museum, open only by appointment. The find happened in typical fashion, the GPSr led us to the base of a tree with a nice bit of shrubbery all around its base, the perfect spot to hide a cache, but it wasn’t there. Believe me, we tried to make it be there, we each walked all around the tree twice, separately, but it just wasn’t there. We then checked a couple of surrounding trees and bushes with the same lack of discovery. Finally I started looking under the porch of the house and there it was, thirty eight feet from GZ.
The Purple Whale passed the 13,000 mile mark some where between the 1,000 find and the town of Abbeville, GA where the above court house is.
You met my cousin Louise, the woman on the left, back in January when she passed through South Carolina on her way to Florida. The woman on the right is Martha, AKA Muffy, the other half of my known universe of first cousins.
Muffy is down in Florida visiting her sister, so we all met at Donna’s sister’s house. Friday evening we got together for dinner and drinks and then again on Saturday for more food and story telling. Both of my cousins are a few year older than I, so it was interesting to get their perspective of my parents from their visiting them before I was old enough to actually form memories.
To add interest to my miniature family gathering, there were Canadian cousins from Donna’s side passing through for lunch and a visit today between their cruise return and Mouse World. Two of them, John & Margret, we had met before, last September at the Gatlingburg Gathering. With them were their two kids, their respective significant others, plus two point five grand kids.
The return trip from the Land of Orange Trees was an adventure. First I forgot to create a pocket query for the three remaining counties we wanted to get in south Georgia. Then we couldn’t find free Wi-Fi anywhere for me to get online to make one. When we did find free wi-fi at Mickey D’s the charge on the laptop battery was so low it was insufficient to get the query information downloaded to the GPSr and PDA.
We walked over to a Cracker Barrel from McDonalds for lunch and as we were led to a table Donna asked if there was one near an outlet (so we could charge up the laptop.) The hostess made a sharp left and seated us across the room from where she was original intending to place us. This turned out to be a little good, wall plug, and very bad, because when our waitress arrived with Donna’s water and my sweet tea she promptly spilled both big glasses on the table and on me. Donna didn’t get wet, but I got a kind of wet/damp on one sleeve and both upper pant legs.
After the pre lunch “bath”, things were nothing but better, as we were now out of Florida, off the awful Interstate and onto the beautiful back roads of Georgia. But first, one of the caches we needed (Lowndes County) was within walking distance of the Cracker Barrel. As a bonus it turned out that not only did it satisfy the county, but was also worth a needed Delorme page.
Cache number two, which was for Lanier County, took us to the lovely small town of Lakeland, GA. The “Welcome To” proclaimed it was the the Georgia’s Historic Mural City. On our circuitous route through town on GA135 we didn’t see any murals…until we crossed Main Street where we noticed a lot of folks dressed up and several Model A Fords parked. We quickly parked, jumped out and walked towards the excitement. They were filming something with the towns folks posing near a building with one of the murals. We asked a couple of the locals who were watching like we were, but didn’t get a real solid answer. Once the thing broke up we wandered around a bit found a few of the apparently many interesting murals.
The last cache we found counted for Atkinson County and was called “Willacoochee Choo Choo” and I’ll let my geocaching.com log do the talking here:
Just from the title I was worried about this one. Little Red Cabooses are our kryptonite and we had already lucked out and found one on this trip, so I just knew we would never find this one! Thanks for this not being a magnetic key holder stuck somewhere on the thousands of square feet of metal on the undercarriage of a train car.
It was just a plain ol’ 35mm film canister well integrated into the environment.
Today is the last day of Mardi Gras. The day before Ash Wednesday and the start of the 40 days of Lent for those of a western Christian beliefs. Donna grew up in New Orleans and remembers while in high school actually participating in some of the parades.
When Donna and I lived in New Orleans in the middle 80’s my idea of a Mardi Gras parade was more of the ones put on by small artsy organizations that marched through the French Quarter. I really wasn’t too excited about the whole St. Charles Avenue or Metairie big parade thing. If I was still living in the Big Easy today I probably would have wanted to attend the Krewe Delusion parade on the 4th, but I definitely would have attended the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus parade last Saturday.
One year my mom and her sister took the train down from New England to New Orleans to enjoy the festivities. We had a good time showing them the sites, dining on spicy seafood and taking them to a couple of parades. But I think both women felt that the party atmosphere on the train trip down generated the best stories and oddball memories from the trip.
From left to right in the photo above: a small glimpse of our 1983 Honda Prelude, me in my quasi-Miami Vice attire, my Mom, and Virginia, Mom’s sister, my Aunt and mother to Martha and Louise.
Why yes they do, but they are getting harder to find every day.
Yesterday one on the setup guys from the shop floor came in looking for something for his counterpart on third shift. Not too long ago everyone had some laying around in spite of the Valve Store’s™ network. In the last several years when a new PC was purchased here at the plant they didn’t even have a slot on the front for them any more. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m talking about a 1.44M 3–1/2″ floppy disk.
Of the nearly 30 CNC machines we have on the manufacturing floor, only the four HAAS Mini Mills are not conected to the wireless DNC system for transfering programs back and forth, they still rely on the sneakernet.
No one in the office had one laying around and while they used to always have a box in the office supply cabinet, there hasn’t been any in there in quite a while. We looked on line at a couple of office supply places and a search for “floppy disk” pulled up plenty of labels and mailers for such a thing, but it didn’t return any actual disks. We did find some for sale at Walmart and Best Buy, but they are not authorized suppliers for our company. Finally someone in purchasing found a supplier and they deliver. $6 for 50.
That reminds me, I have a bunch of those disks here at home and now that I have the new Inspron 620 sans floppy drive, no way to read them…
Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1114
I only have so many words that I can type per day, so geocaching logs is where are all of them went today. Pretty pedestrian stuff, but if you only read one of these, let it be #6.
- Among the Palmettos — Parking coordinates, smarking coordinates. We pulled into a handy spot near the playground and took a nice little walk to the cache. We spotted the container in short order and in our usual fashion, then discovered the easy way out. Took a SC Parks clip and left a few small items. TFTC
- Lakes Region Challenge Hamilton Branch State Park — After finding Among the Palmettos we walked out to the point to find this one. Took an SC State Parks jar opener and left Chick-Fil-A fun book. TFTC
- Mt. Vernon Halfway House — Neat container! Swapped a couple of travelers. TFTH
- Rabbit’s Revenge — We were here in the park hunting the SC Parks Lake Challenge cache and we passed less than 1,000 feet from this one, so we thought what the heck. We took a Matchbox car and left some Mardi Gras beads. TFTH
- Lakes Region Challenge – Baker Creek State Park — We too used Succotash’s coords and I made parking more difficult than the walk to or finding the cache, it was a good thing we weren’t in the Miata… Took nothing and left some Mardi Gras beads. TFTH
- Beans for Delightful — We were here in the park hunting the SC Parks Lake Challenge cache and this one was a little more than a half mile further along, so we thought what the heck. We were a few hundred feet from GZ when I noticed a large bird walking parallel to us through the trees. At first I thought it was a wild turkey, but it looked way too big and it was moving about 4 times as fast as any turkey I had every seen. I pointed it out to my wife who too got a brief glimpse of it before it was to far away to see any more. I kind of wish the park was officially open, so I could have asked a ranger if there were an wild emu (although the coloring looked more like ostrich) living here. Oh, yeah, we found the cache too. Took a kiddie book and left some Mardi Gras beads and a small Florida pin. TFTH
- Haunted Stump — We left nothing and the only thing we took was a worthless lottery ticket, all the while not disturbing the snail living on the the container’s cover. TFTH
- Lakes Region Challenge – Hickory Knob — After finding the Haunted Stump cache we walked across the street to grab this one. We took a Matchbox car and left a kiddie book. TFTC
This a picture of the first 4-door automobile the Bogarduses ever owned. It is a 1981 Honda Civic all fitted out with our bikes on the roof rack. If you look carefully you can see Donna in the driver’s seat waiting patiently for me to get back in the car so we can go somewhere, possibly New Orleans. The building in the left background was the apartment building where we lived in Meridian, MS while I was assigned to the Naval Air Station there.
I was working second shift and Donna was going to school during the day so we needed two cars. The four door joined a similarly colored 1980 Civic 3-door hatchback in our stable*. The 4-door only stayed with us for a year and a half before being traded in on a 1983 Honda Prelude in, you guessed it, maroon. I could never really get comfortable in the 4-door because the seat didn’t go back far enough for me, while in the hatchback it did.
*I would have said garage, but that would have been incorrect because we just had spots in the apartment complex LOT and not even assigned ones.
It is also the last 4-door car we owned for 30 years. Until the Purple Whale came along, who by the way, got a nice little bath this afternoon.
We had breakfast at DD this morning and after walking out on Saturday morning because no one wanted to wait on us in a timely manner we were glad to see the little older woman behind the counter. She, unlike most of the younger kids that man the register, can enter our highly complex order* without hunting for several seconds looking for the right button to push. Not only that, she seemed to be the only person in the store and we got our food and drinks in a more timely fashion than usual.
On her badge, there was a label, right under her name with her title, SHEFT LEADER.
*Small Coffee, cream & sugar
Small hot Chocolate, no whipped cream
Coffee Cake Muffin
Plain Bagel, toasted with butter
We have an assembly engineer who has decided to take a job elsewhere, some place a lot closer to home. His last day is this Friday. It is also the last day of our payroll clerk and for her there is any number of little tributes and sharing of food stuffs, unfortunately for him, nothing. So Donna asked me to make up a little farewell card for him.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1115
The past two days the weather channel has told us that the temperature would be in the low seventies with little chance of rain, so we drove the Miata to work with visions of top down drives home. Yesterday it was sprinkling, so we kept the top up. Today we managed a few miles with it down, but had to put it up when we got our haircut because of threatening skies.
For the next two days they are calling for scattered and then isolated showers, 30% chance for each. So we we’ll drive the Sonata and you watch, the weather will be sunny and mild…
Started up, went down, back up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 1117