Two 8″ stripes in Matte Riviera Blue with a 4″ center gap. No ghost stripes here, that blue pops!
Two 8″ stripes in Matte Riviera Blue with a 4″ center gap. No ghost stripes here, that blue pops!
In March of 2004 at the MMC Tech Day I brightened the otherwise vast expanse of blackness in a fellow Club member’s 2001 Miata interior with the random aluminum bits from the Emperor. Today I did it again to our “new” Miata with the help of Steve from Panic Motorsports.
When we sold the Emperor to Steve he said he’d give us a check for the sale amount, plus $50 in cash for lunch for driving it to him in Columbia. When we got there we got to chatting and forgot all about the cash. When I remembered, I sent him an email and said instead of the cash I’d take it in trade, the random aluminum look bits from a 2003. The very same ones I traded away 12–1/2 years ago. He said, “OK, next ’03 to ’05 that comes in as a donor car, you can have their stuff.”
Last week, such a car arrived. Friday on our way to Charleston we picked up the 4 air vents, the radio and shifter surrounds and the 2 interior door handles. Saturday they made their way into the CTBNL.
Please do not laid on top of the mat on top of the mat that is laid already.
Matt, please firmly seated in the hook (Velcro), and the like.
After trying three different cheap carpet pieces cut into the shape of the Miata’s floor mats we broke down and bought the real thing from REV9 Autosport. The Zeromotive Small Pattern Checkered Floor Mats in Black/Gray I ordered about a month ago had finally arrived from Japan. The box was sitting in my desk chair at work on Monday morning. Yesterday’s image was the big piece paper on top of the mats when I opened the box. It was translated by my cubicle neighbor David by snapping a photo and running it through a translation app on his smartypants phone.
Also included in the box as a thank you gift was a pack of Hi-Chew in White Soda Flavor. The candy, like the sentiment behind it, was very Japanese. Almost makes me want to order something else from there to see what I might get next as a bonus.
The mats are the final pieces of interior modifications to be done to the CTBNL. As a matter of fact, they are almost the final modification overall. There are only two left I’d like to do, get the fog lights to operate independently of the headlights and make a small wind blocker between the seats. I did the fog light mod on the Emperor to use them as my daytime running lights. The stock wind blocker had to be removed for installation of the roll bar, a replacement needs to be concocted so we can extend downward the outside air temperature for convertible driving.
Had my semi-annual visit with the PCP today. He took a look at my numbers and said, I’d like to see that LDL come down some, stop taking the pravastatin and let’s try Crestor. It’s just gone generic.” “See you back in 3 months.”
As always I get a copy of the blood work, so I’ll know and have something to put in here. For the first time in quite a few tests I’ve got no red numbers. Every test came back within range. Admittedly the cholesterol numbers are at the very edges of the range, but geez, couldn’t we have left well enough alone?
|Date||Chol 80–199||HDL 40–110||LDL 30–130||Trig 30–150|
When people at work ask me why I picked that color for the stripes I have been telling them because it matches the paint splatter on the lower left side of the car just behind the front wheel from when a previous owner cut through a freshly painted handicapped parking spot. I am of course kidding, we wanted some color added to the silver car and what better color than something that closely resembled the color of our first Miata, but as you can see there is a germ of truth to my off-the-cuff answer.
Nothing new to see here, move along…
One of the things we are missing out on, because of the roll bar is the OEM wind blocker. There wasn’t anything like it in the first two Miatas we owned and we scoffed at it at first in the Emperor, but came to realize it had a great benefit in the cooler weather. With the windows up, wind blocker up and the heat on, we could handle top down cruising in the upper 30’s to lower 40’s for short trips.
No one makes a wind blocker specifically for the bar we have, so I thought maybe I could make one on my own. Using my low tech measuring device (a folding carpenter’s ruler) and my high tech drawing program (AutoCAD) I drew up an idea of a shape. Before cutting out my design from some fairly expensive Lexan, I make one out of extremely cheap cardboard.
To mount my wind blocker I thought a nice way would be to use loop clamps around the roll bar. At first I thought two per side, but realized that was overkill for its small size. But how do I secure the bottom? Velcro is how. I have maligned what Mazda calls carpet in these cars several ways, several times here, but one thing this stuff is excellent at is acting as the fuzzy side of Velcro. It has helped me secure everything from small liter bags to USB drives with MP3s to floor mats. This time a small strip along the bottom of my mock up wind blocker creates a needed third mount point.
Last night, after I had some clamps in hand I decided it was time to see just how well this thing would work. I didn’t want to drive around with a piece of a cardboard box affixed to the roll bar, so I grabbed the spray can of black plast-dip and coated both sides of the cardboard with it. Donna asked incredulously, “You actually think painting the cardboard will make it less…ahh.” “Rednecky?”, I finish for her. “Yeah,” she sez. “Well not on close inspection, but it make me feel better,” I tell her.
This morning’s cool drive to work proved out the shape, it did seriously cut back the cold blow back air on my neck and her slightly lower head. It also showed a flaw in the upper loop clamps. The clamps are vinyl coated and where they were located they hit the seat backs and generated a squeak any time we hit a bump. I’m not sure I can move the loops far enough up to not squeak and have them still in a position to reach the wind blocker. Plan B is some sort of Velcro strap as long as I make sure the fuzzy side is the part that hits the seat.
Can you tell we’ve been to the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia recently? Yesterday was the Valve Store’s Family Fun Day and instead of the usual picnic on the front lawn and handing out tickets to the Eastern Carolina Fair, the company gave everyone and their extended family tickets to the zoo and served us lunch there. Donna and I got there just as the gates opened and caught some of the animals before they had a chance to put on their game faces.
Almost hard to tell that it is there in the photos, but my clear lexan wind blocker project is complete. Well, sort of. After it was installed my navigator said, “Do you think maybe we could find some black screws?”
Materials required to make one wind blocker are 5′ of black plastic door edge guard ($2.71), two 1–7/8″ plastic coated loop clamps ($1.55), one 18″ x 24″ x 1/8″ thick lexan sheet ($10.56) and a couple of 5/16–18 bolts and nuts (0¢) for a total cost of $14.82.
But it cost more to make this one. I had to buy 18′ of the black plastic door edge guard ($9.74). I had to buy ten of the 1–7/8″ plastic coated loop clamps ($7.74), smaller or even larger ones were available separately, but not the 1–7/8″ size. I needed to buy two of 18″ x 24″ x 1/8″ thick lexan sheets ($21.12) because I cracked the first one when drilling the holes. The pair of the 5/16–18 bolts and nuts were still free (0¢). So the project really cost me $38.60, but it was well worth it because nobody makes a wind blocker for this particular roll bar.
Alternate Post Title: Reunited
The previous owner of the CTBNL passes right by the Valve Store on most days when he goes into Aiken proper and if he times his look over just so, he can see his old Miata siting there in the back corner of the parking lot. Well, sometime in the recent days he just couldn’t help himself anymore, he pulled in and parked next to me to snap the above photo of his 1973 Orange 914 and its former stablemate.
On the way home from the Valve Store today the CTBNL passed the 49,000 mile mark. In the last two months I have put almost as many miles on the car as David did in the year and a half or so of ownership. Then again I don’t have a fleet of Porsche 914s and a Porsche Boxster (not to mention a Jeep Wrangler and maybe more) to choose from when I leave the house.
I have caricatures of the last two Miatas framed and hung on the wall in the computer room. They were done by a fellow over in Scotland, Dave Scott, who had a business called Carartz that would do personalized drawings of your car. When we were contemplated buying a 4th generation Miata I thought maybe I’d get him to do one of that car too. I couldn’t find him. The website carartz.com is for sale and searching for “Dave Scott artist Scotland” turns up a bunch of David Scott’s, but none in the caricature business.
Didn’t matter, we didn’t get a 4th gen Miata, we got another 2nd gen, so that caricature still stands for it. Today in my Miata Google Alert email along with the usual Redit posts and Craigslist ads were a few things from a site called RedBubble that wanted to sell me T-shirts or stickers or drawings. Curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on the drawings link and found a fellow called car2oons that does personalized caricatures of cars. Right there in his header image is not only a nice line art drawing of a 1st gen Miata, but a caricature of one as well. I looked through his portfolio and saw a line drawing of a 2nd gen car, but no caricature, so I contacted him. He replied within an hour saying he’d be happy to whip up a customized one for the CTBNL and asked for a photo.
A 12″ x 16″ is only a little more than $18 and if I watch the Hobby Lobby ads for 1/2price picture frames I can get it on the wall for around fifty bucks total. Maybe I can go ahead and complete the whole set of Miatas owned. Our first one never got modified in any appreciable way and I bet he’d be willing to lose the Euro style front plate of the one he already sells too.
When I made the profile picture for the CTBNL I was so proud of it I used it nearly everywhere. I used it on Fuelly to replace a Miata photo. So over on the left there was one “icon” representing a Miata and one picture representing the Sonata. The Purple Whale was crying for its own icon. I hated to see him so sad, so…
Donna and I went to the Western Carolina State Fair this evening to watch the Demolition Derby. Judging by the crowd, so did a lot of people. The show was scheduled to start at 7:00, but it was well after and there wasn’t any action. Donna said, “If it hasn’t started by 7:20, we’re leaving.” I think they started playing the National Anthem at 7:19. We watched the first heat of six cars, but after that 20 minute session we had had enough.
We then roamed the fairgrounds looking for the 3 for $10 Mini-Funnel Cakes that one of Donna’s co-workers had told us about. This option seemed ideal as we could get one I wanted, one she wanted and another to share. The directions that we were give:, “Once through the main entrance hall it is the first one on the right.”
I asked the girl at the window for the Mini-Funnel Cakes and she said, “We don’t have them, they’re on the other side.” We walked across the fairgrounds to another funnel cake booth, the guy inside said, “We don’t have them and I don’t know of anyone who does.” I recommended circling around one more time. The third funnel cake booth we found didn’t display anything like small cakes and there was no mention of them on the menu so I didn’t even ask.
We didn’t check at the non funnel cake booths, so maybe they were at one of the cotton candy places or corn dog emporiums. Possibly they were available and it was like a speakeasy thing where you have to have a password. Or maybe the Mini Funnel Cakes are like one of those things that pranksters send rubes for that don’t really exist, like blinker fluid or a left-handed monkey wrench.
Saturday the CTBNL got an oil change and tire rotation at 49,149 miles.
Saturday the Purple Whale got a bath and a massage at Lulu’s.
Sunday the Miata stayed home and the Sonata went geocaching.
Sunday the fantasy football team named after the Sonata went down for the fifth time this season.
Several years ago our company nurse commissioned the son of an employee who is an artist to create a series of twelve safety posters, one for each month depicting different monthly safety subjects, featuring a fictional person called ASCO Al.
Every year the company has a Halloween “Spirit” Week which include guessing how many candy corn are in a jar, a pumpkin carving contest and a costume contest. Over the years I’ve thought that maybe I would join the fun and come in costume. I’m almost perfect to come as Obi-Wan Kenobi (from a New Hope), I even have the plastic lightsaber handle. But every year I did nothing.
Until 2014 when I discovered Steve Wintercroft’s beautiful paper low-poly masks. The first time I scared people with a giant skull. The next year I tried a two for one, I made a jack-o-lantern mask and entered it in the carving contest and then wore it as a costume (winning neither.)
Sometime early this year I decided to put up or shut up and come in a “real” costume. And I knew just what it would be, the real life representation of ASCO’s Safety Guy, Al. I already had the ear plugs and safety shields that fit over glasses. The white gloves are stocked in our tool crib and blue jeans were no problem either, I just needed a red beret and a white polo shirt. The beret we found in a costume shop in Charleston when we got stripes put on the CTBNL and polo shirt came from the local Goodwill store. I was going to use a green Sharpie to put the ASCO logo on the shirt, but in the end I had one of Donna’s fellow MRP Planners create them in iron-on vinyl because she does that sort of thing as a side line. I’ve got a real white mustache already, but because of the beard it needed enhancing, so we bought a 99¢ stick-on ‘satche at Party City that I shaped to fit.
Friday was dress up day and voting began today. I’m fairly sure I’ll get at least three votes, me, Donna and the company nurse, but after that who knows. ASCO AL appears on at least a dozen posters scattered all around the plant in different scenarios every month and is also featured in the company’s monthly newsletter which is posted on every table in the cafeteria and in every bathroom stall, yet still at least half the people I talked to on Friday had no idea who I was.
Tell me who you would have voted for in the comments below: