Friday, April 30, 2004

Yesterday was another top down day.

Last night was the weekly woodworking session. I worked on the side rails for the bed. The goal was to get four mortises cut; two in each rail, one at each end. I completed two of the four. I still need to do a little cleanup work on the corners of the other two. The mortises are needed so that the bed rail hardware, when inset in the end of the rail, will be flush with the end of the rail.

We made a trip to home depot to pick up a few things. When we came back out it was raining. We stood there and looked at it raining for few seconds. Then suddenly it occurred to me that it was raining. Did I mention I left the top down and I parked way down at the other end of the row away from all the cars.

Note to self: Self, install water heater in car and use as a hot tub.

On a similar note, check out the Saunaab. This baby includes an integrated grill.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

I Tivo'ed the F1 race this last weekend. Tonight I Watched the qualifying laps. I had already heard Schumacher didn't get the pole. I haven't watched race yet. Don't spoil it for me. I wanted to see the Talladega race this weekend but I missed it. That was probably a good thing. The race ended under the caution flag causing a real upset in the stands.

Tuesday was a good day for top down {all day}. Had lunch with DM and TW at G's.

After work Jordan drove the Losi truck again. Two packs. He did very well for his age. Actually pretty well for any age with his level of experience.

The rechargeable batteries for RS4 micro are apparrently toast. They can no longer provide enough power to turn the tires.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

For sale: iHummer.

Low milesage. Wood grain interior in excellent condition. Exterior includes 'woody' panels. Includes salvage title. Vehicle has been involved in a collision with a corvette. $49,200.00 OBO.

Monday, April 26, 2004

I almost forgot something. I posted some photos of the miata and some of my past woodworking projects. Enjoy!


First things first! I just got signed up for Google's Gmail. A show of hands from all who are jealous so far. Of course I can be reached at "rick.martindale" at Google's "". I suppose my spam infested rocketmail/yahoo account's days are numbered.

Second: I was actually drinking a diet Dr. Pepper when I received the following email {not from my gmail account}. I sense a wee bit of jealousy here. Obviously it was because I have a diet DP and a gmail account. Or was it the blog? Becareful what you step in - the sarcasm is deep.

So Jenna thought Ginger`s comment about the Miata being your ``Current Obsession`` was great. Since quitting my job I think I have run through two or three hobbies, six exercise plans, one weight loss program and countless Dr Pepper addiction programs.

I`ve been thinking about setting up my own blog for a while, but you beat me to it. Besides, my entries could read the same for each day. It would get a little boring.

Dr Pepper for breakfast, What a great Life!

Checked email and Rick’s Obsession page several times, Rick`s life sure sounds more exciting than mine.

Changed lots of diapers today, Rick`s life sure sounds more exciting than mine.

Only one kid puked today! Rick`s life sure sounds more exciting than mine.

Dr Pepper for lunch - Both kids asleep! NAP TIME RULES! What a great Life!

4:45 shuffle! Cleaning or at least hiding the junk by the front door. - Rick`s life sure sounds more exciting than mine.

Cooking dinner, something burned or raw again…, Rick`s life sure sounds more exciting than mine.

Bath time and bedtime, Total Chaos - Rick`s life sure sounds more exciting than mine.

Dr Pepper and the Simpson`s for a nightcap, What a great Life!

Both monsters are asleep now. I can finally get out in the garage and make some noise. Or at least I can sit in my garage chair and drink a Dr Pepper while watching the Simpson`s!

I was working on our often postponed kitchen remodel this weekend and discovered that the new halogen lights and all of my power tools share a circuit so I am waiting for Jenna`s dad to help me run a couple of new circuits to the tools. I don`t want to cause a rolling blackout in the ‘hood` or a fire in the attic. You gotta love 1980`s tract homes!

Better run, my Dr Pepper is warm.


Like I tell G, repetition is funny. Just ask David Letterman. Imaginary Mike Definitely has the repetition thing going with the Dr. Pepper.

Back in the day when I got my first car, a 1976 Mercury Comet (Yellow), we (I & me, where I is he: Imaginary Mike) would drive down to the Stop-N-Go, put $2 dollars worth of gas in the carburator and buy a 4 pack of 16 ounce Dr. Pepper, which was always on sell at the Stop-N-Go. We would then proceed to drive around Burleson, Texas burping. This would usually only last about an hour. After all the car only got about 16 MPG and how long could 32 oz of ice cold Dr. Pepper last during the middle of a Texas heat wave.

He obviously failed the diet plan he mentioned because he is still drinking the regular DP, where I have had to switch to unleaded.

The Comet wasn't so bad, really. Mike's first car was a Mercury Zephyr station wagon. That thing would fishtail like it was nobodys business, I kid you not.

Someday someone will actually ask me how he got a cool name like 'Imaginary Mike'. Usually I just tell people before they ask. I like to hear myself talk.

Oh yeah. The mx-5 was in the garage all day with the top down. It was obviously still raining today because I washed it yesterday.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

This morning I worked on the Bed a little more. Todays effort was working on the rails. S4S'ed the boards to become the rails. I plan on using the old B&D router to mortise the ends for the bed rail hardware. This is the first router I got. I bought it at a yard sale while I was in college. Probably in 1990. I don't remember for certain what I paid for it (either $6 or $8), but I do recall I got that I got it, a Skill jig saw, and a Craftsman power drill (old school with metal casing), and some drill bits, and jig saw blades for an even $20. At the time I wasn't really sure what a router was for.

The router reminds me of yet another thing I should post a few photo's of: the $15 table top Router table. This is a very sturdy little router table made of MDF and plexi-glass. I bought the materials at Home Depot. The 15 dollar price tag does not included the Black & Decker router. Even with the cost of the router, it is still fairly inexpensive. This table has seen little use over the last 3 years. I had to build a larger version of it after I purchased the Incra Ultra. The orignal table wasn't big enough to mount the ultra's base. There are plans floating around in my head to make yet another one. The new one will be a stand alone cabinet with storage underneath. I also plan to incorporate a hookup for the dust collector. Enough on that for now:

Today: Started top down. Raised top to wash car. Moved car into the garage to dry it off. I don't want any more of those nasty waster spots! I Lowered top after after drying it. And of course shortly after I finished the wash job, it started to rain. Currently top down, in the garage. I drove the truck this afternoon to run my errands.

Got some batteries for the RS4 Micro's transmitter. I got the car put back together last night. Unfortunately, I was unable to use the 911 shell. The big block motor takes up a little extra space. I had to do some significant work to get it installed with the 140 mm belt and the 9T pinion gear. I was pretty happy with how that turned out. The 911 shell looked great, but unfortunately, the battery pack no longer fit due to the motor sitting a little more forward in the chasis. I ended up putting the 150 mm belt back in so I could swap back to the BMW M3 shell. I let the kids both drive it for a while this afternoon. Jordan is developing a reasonable amount of skill with it. I told him he should practice driving slow so that it wouldn't get broken. (I also charged a few packs for tomorrow - hopefully the Team Losi Truck will see some runtime tomorrow at lunch!)

Yesterday: Top down, all day. It was a very nice day. I drove over to Lauderdale county. While there, I visited the cemetary where my GrandMother is buried.

On the way back, I borrowed the driveway of the polo club to take a few photos of the Miata using our digital camera. They turned out very well. {Note to self: Self, post the photos.}

Perhaps I got a little too much sun. I guess I need to get a bottle of sun screen to carry with me in the car.

Friday, April 23, 2004

The Miata sat in the garage all day - top up, windows down.

I spent a little time working on the RS4 micro this morning. I managed to get the big block back in with a 9T gear after doing a little bit of filing. The shorter belt is on. Still need to put the speed controller in and drill the mounting holes in the 911 body. This car is going to rock (Hey Dave! Consider the smack thrown down).

Took the Losi Truck with me to work today. We had agreed it was about time for a race. It has been raining so it was really too wet.

I let Jordan (and Brianna) drive it around a little bit after we got home. As always, Friday is a special day, so we picked up dinner from Chic-Fil-A (for Jordan) and BK (for Bri).

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Today started top down, until I backed out of the garage. It was just starting to rain. Up goes the top. Back down for the drive to lunch (@ El Mariachi). Back up upon return and for the drive home. Currently there is hail falling from the sky roughly the size of small grapes.

Today I realized just how nice it can be to drive with the top up and the windows down. The temperature was perfect. The zipper on the rear window was rough. This evening I applied some soap to the zipper and ran it back and forth a few times. This made a huge improvement. I looked around on the web for a solution prior to doing this. The best advice I found was to not apply anything that might collect dirt (silicon, WD-40, etc).

I also read several places that vaseline is useful for reviving leather. More research showed that while initially it will make it seem better, the vaseline will clog the pores of the leather thus keeping it from breathing. In the long run this could actually cause the leather to dry out faster (from the inside out).

Tuesday was a top down day. Met Dave and Troy at Pizza Hut for lunch.

This weeks woodworking session occurred on Tuesday rather than Thursday. G had other plans for today, so I needed to be available to keep the kids. Tuesday I worked on attaching the cove and cap molding to the head and foot board. Just a little glue and I will begin work on the side rail.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Tomorrow I will have had the Miata one Month.

In two seperate incidents this weekend, I had complete strangers ask me for a ride in the car. (Total passenger count for the weekend: zero) It truely is convertible weather.

Worked on the RS4 Micro today. Installed the shorter belt required for the 911 body. Was planning on putting a 9T gear on but had to revert to an 11T. The big block is a tight sqeeze, especially so with the shorter belt. I am looking into a few ideas to make a little more space for the big block.
Top down all weekend.

Yesterday I had to make up an excuse to go to Home Depot (in the Miata). Ended up swinging by Lowes as well. Bought some red paint and clear coat for a little experiment I am working on.

Spent a little time working on the Cherry bed again today. Finished putting the profile on the coving and top cap for the head and foot boards. Remaining work: fasten top cap, S4S the rails and attach the hardware, sand, sand, sand, and finally apply the Golden Pecan finish to match the Chest of Drawers.

The Sunday afternoon fix consisted of taking to the two lane that will become the Rideout Extension to North Memorial (behind a red Z3), then I made my way to Meridan Street, and finally to Pratt Ave and up Bankhead Parkway to Monte Sano. For the return trip I Governor's Drive, California, and Drake to the Mazda dealership. Had to get another glimpse of the Rx-8 and the turbo Miata (zoom zoom zoom).

Got a little bit of a sun burn today. I don't know anyone who burns faster than me. It has been proclaimed, "Thou salt wear sun screen when riding in the little car."

Til Tuesday!

Friday, April 16, 2004

Again, there was a chill in the air this morning. Top down anyway. DM canceled for lunch. Went to El Mariachi as planned. Ended up driving the Miata back to work.

On the way back David E spied a few sail boats on the side of the road for sale. We stopped so he could take a closer look. The dude selling the sail boats was also a David. He really liked the Miata.

Had to leave work a little early this afternoon to make the truck swap. Friday is always a special day for the kids (Chic-Fil-A).

Took a real beating the the daily foo's ball games.

The weather is really making me want to get the Micro RS4 back in driving shape. The new 911 body looks great. Jordan required that I put _all_ the decals on it.

If I get a chance this weekend, I want to go see Rich M's corvette. Word is he is about to get another upgrade: supposedly it will be 600 hp afterwards. Gotta see the BRB! (Big Red Button)

Thursday -

It was 38 F for the morning ride to work. Top down.

Had lunch with all the guys from work. We went to Sonic so we could dine outside. It was beautiful weather. We had all the cars lined up in a row: Porsche 911, BMW Z3, and my Miata MX-5.

Thursday evening is the weekly meeting of the Madison County Woodworkers Guild. Tonight I worked on the top cap and cove molding for Brianna's Bed. David M. refilled the fridge with soft drinks and beer. (The beer only comes out after all the tools are turned off for the evening.)

The plan is to meed DM for lunch tomorrow @ El Mariachi. Since I will be so close to the house anyway, I will drive the Miata in the morning and swing by at lunch to trade off for the truck.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Top up, in garage all day. Today was nice. Hope the weather continues through tomorrow.

Tivo rocks! Setup to record Formula One race via the web. I went to the F1 race last September in Indianapolis. I have some photos from the trip. I will try to post some of those in the near future. I saw some pretty cool cars that trip.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day.

Cold and rainy all day. Top up all day.

I needed to put fertilizer on the yard today but not in the rain. Sure wish I had gotten that done before the rain started.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

This weekends netflix:

Terminator 3 - I was hesitant to even want to watch this one. I am glad we did though. In the beginning, I had a little trouble turning off my belief in physics, but once I did, it turned out to be a pretty good movie. The ending was a little disappointing. Claire Danes! Thumbs up.

X-Men - I haven't read any of the comics so I can't comment on how accurately it follows them. Ginger said the whole thing was a bit silly. I enjoyed T3 more than this one but that won't stop me from seeing the sequel.

We saw Pirates of the Caribean a few weeks back. I give that one a thumbs up as well.
Saturday started out a potentially cold and rainy day. The top was down, but the car was in the garage. My Father came to visit for the day. We all went to a neighborhood block party where the kids got to hunt eggs. Both Jordan and Brianna found a 'golden' egg.

After lunch, it cleared up and warmed up a bit. I took Dad for a quick ride up Indian Creek, across Kelly Springs, and back up Jeff Rd. I offered to let him drive but he said his knee was no longer compatable with the clutch. I think he enjoyed the ride. His observation on the tire wear was that the tires had been simply been over inflated for a period of time. Regardless, there is enough wear now that I don't feel good about driving in the rain. I will get some new tires this summer.

It was raining this morning. Top down, in garage. The rain has stopped now but it is cold. Perhaps a quick trip is in order. Be right back!

Friday, April 09, 2004

Yesterday morning: raining - top up. Lunch: Top down. Beautiful afternoon. Need to wash the car. Still haven't cleaned up the interior. Perhaps this weekend after the egg hunting is complete.

Last night was the weekly meeting of the Madison County Woodworkers Guild. There was a heavier than normal turnout. I worked on cleaning up some boards for the top cap and cove molding for the cherry bed. Chad Easterling showed up to build a Butterfly house out of some old fence boards. Mr. Mack is still working on the built-in's for his daugthers room.

This mornings weather report was 45-75 F. Current temp was 43 F and I was wearing short pants and short sleeves. Certainly it must be a top down day. While sitting at the light at Old Monrovia and Jeff Rd, I spotted another Miata. Green, 2000-ish, top down, and this guy is a real man - he had the windows down as well. I am freezing with the top down, heater on, and windows up. I beeped he waved. I ended up behind him at the light at Jeff Rd and 72. He waved again, I responded. When the light changed he rev'ed and moved forward. I followed. The sound of the two miatas rev'ing and shifting down Jeff Rd was pretty cool. For a few minutes I even forgot it was coooold. It will be warmer at lunch.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

It was a beautiful day. A bit chilly this morning (40F), but by mid afternoon it was in the low 70s.

Drove to Tanner during lunch. We gave a passing salute to the tree.

Top down all day long. A wasp was considering building a nest in the car this afternoon while I was at work.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Monday is not a Miata day. And it was a nice day also. The car spent the day in the garage with the top down. This afternoon Briana added a new scratch to the side with the aid of her tricycle. Ouch. Good thing it is not a new car or I would still be crying.

I hear Carter's Gin road calling...

I had some trouble with my router but all is fine now. Knology's tech support was righteous as usual.

I greased up the drivers side window yesterday morning. It is faster than is was but I want more. The problem with wanting to be a perfectionist is having to accept disappointment.

Imaginary Mike's wife (Jenna) had a baby today:
Jesse Sanders is a proud big brother!
Olivia Mae Sanders was born April 5, 2004 at 5:01 am.
She weighs 8 pounds, 14 ounces and is 20 1/2 inches long.
Momma is doing fine. Daddy was last seen trying to catch a nap underneath the hospital bed...

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Last night I installed new brake pads on the front end. The rotors were in good shape - no turning was required. One pad on the passengers side had worn unevenly. The thickness of the remainder of the pad was wedge shaped. Odd!

Total cost $22.86 including pads, brake cleaner, anti-spueal compound, and high-temperature brake grease. Total time involved was 90 minutes. Personal satisfaction level - very high.

I have the Haynes manual which I did not use. Instead I found the writeups at Miata Net to be very helpful:

This was definitly the easiest brake job I have ever done.

Tip - If the bolts are too tight, turn the steering wheel so that the bolt is easily accessable and then use a 3/4" pipe to extend the handle of the wrench. The bolt will now break free with almost no effort. With a long enough lever, I think I could move the earth! Isn't physics amazing.

This morning I attempted to improve the performance of the power windows. They move very slowly, and the motor whines. First I tried lubing the tracks with lithium grease. I ended up only working on the passenger side window this morning. It now moves at roughly twice the speed of the driver side window but it still whines. After I got it all put back together, it occurred to me that I should have put some WD-40 in the cable lines. I am guessing that is where the real resistance is at. Perhaps I will try that on the driver side window tomorrow.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Oh yeah, I also got passive mode set and working for vsftpd in combination with my firewall. Switched to using '' from using 'vi'
April Fools!

Bought some brake pads today. Planning on doing a brake job this weekend.