Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The perfect weather has ended.

Driving home last night [top down] it was sprinkling a bit. No worries, just speed up a little bit. This morning I awoke to the sound of the gods bowling for soup. It rained hard all morning and it was nice an cool this afternoon. What happed to the 85 degree afternoons?

The Miata still has the top down, though it is parked snug in the garage. Today the Charger rolled out in the rain. It was good to get some of the pollen washed off it.

When it rains it pours. By this I mean I have made several posts today after missing several days in the last week.
G = 9.8 Meters Per Second Squared

An interesting anomaly I forgot to mention last week. The shipping label on the box I received in the mail said it weighed 3 lbs. The same box with the same contents weighed 6.65 lbs when I shipped it back.

Conclusion: Less gravity in California.
Miata Mod III - Anticipating The Next Surprise

This afternoon when I arrived home, I checked the tracking number for the Not A Miata Roll Bar / Truck Grill. It was delivered today.

Next step: Call California. After four busy signals I got through to the computer which eventually directed my call to customer service.

I asked for the status of my order. After being quizzed on the damage claim again I was told a replacement was shipped to me on April 12th and I should have received it on April 19th.

Yada yada yada. I gave them the Not a Miata Roll Bar return shipment tracking number at which point they acknowledged receiving the Not a Miata Roll Bar.

The kind customer service representative promised to ship a replacement [Truck Grill] out today (It is currently 4:55 PM Pacific Time) and told me I could call back tomorrow to get a tracking number.

You can bet I will.

Did I say truck grill? I meant Miata Roll Bar.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

Squealer

On Saturday my Father was visiting with us as well as the rest of the crew I mentioned earlier. Being a good son, I offered him the keys to the new car and stood out of the way. He and my sister drove off.

After they returned, my sister said he squealed the tires pulling out of the neighborhood. I guess she didn't sqeal till they got back.

Is there any doubt that the first 400 miles on the car were probably the hardest. Even my dad couldn't resist seeing what the Hemi had in it.

He claims it was an accident. How can fifty foot tire marks on the pavement be an accident?
Goin' Back To Cali

Thursday morning I went to Kinko's/FedEx at about 6:00 am to send a package to Cali. In the contents field I wrote "Not a Miata Rollbar". The guy behind the counter got a kick out it. He then asked me the value of Not a Miata Rollbar. Since I didn't really know, we decided to insure it for the price of a Miata Rollbar.

Ginger is ready to call the credit card folks and get our money back. I decided to give them one more chance. As it happens I am always low on patience so this is good practice. Assuming my head doesn't explode the next time I recieve a package from California.

I checked the tracking number today. Accord to FedEx Ground the package will be delivered in California on Wednesday. You can pretty well expect I will be calling them on Wednesday to request a new tracking number. And then my head will explode.

There's suppose to be an earth shattering kaboom. Where's the kaboom.

Nah! What's up doc?
Yesterday afternoon we made the obligatory weekend trip to Home Depot. I bought some black pipe along with the necessary fittings to hook up Big Red, the air compressor, to the regulator.

The regulator had a leak when I first pressurized it, but after a few more spins of the spanner, it was all air tight. No more excuses. Time to get back to sanding the frame.

And I did just that this evening. But! I forgot I needed to buy some new bolts to re-fastener the casters to the truck dolly. I had used some larger wood screws because they were handy, but they haven't held up to the stress of rolling around the garage. On more that one occasion I have had a caster fall off and then dolly tip. Not catastrophic, but not really a pleasant experience either.

The Charger will have been with us three weeks tomorrow. Total mileage is now over 800. Recall it had about 450 when it finally found me, so I am bumping up close to 400 miles now myself. A few more days I will have the lions share.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Yada Yada Miata

Sun. Top down. Sunday afternoon drive to Ardmore. You get the idea.

Yesterday I took Terry by the local Miata dealer. I requested that she sit in both a 2005 and 2006 Miata. She is thinking about getting a new car and I had to make certain she at least considered a Miata.

We also went to see the convertible Pontiac, but unfortunately their were none on the lot. (And Chad wasn't at home either.)
For your viewing pleasure: A picture of Aaron, Terry, Jordan, and Austin from several years back.



This weekend we had a house full of vistors. My nephews Aaron and Austin and my sister Terry came to visit. We had a whole mess of fun. We ate, played risk, ate, raced slot cars, ate, swam. You get the idea.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Guess what came in the mail today.

Thats right. A big ole box of sunny skies. What a wonderful day to be cruising the streets in a clean red Miata.

I didn't take any pictures but that is ok because I would probably forget to post them later.

I would hate for you to pass out from holding your breath.
Guess what came in the mail today.

that's right. A package from the company I ordered the Miata Roll Bar from.

Guess what was not in the package. That's right. No roll bar. The package contained what appeared to be a shiney chrome grill for a pickup truck.

For a brief moment I considered mounting it behind the seats in the Miata but then I noticed it was damaged so I guess I will be sending it back tomorrow. No kidding, it was damaged!

As I said before, perhaps this is the Miata mod that was not meant to be. When I opened the box and discovered the contents were incorrect, I wondered for just a brief second if this company was messing with me. Inconceivable? Insert wittisism regarding paranoia here.

Did I spell that right? Wittisism. It doesn't look right to me.

I took some pictures. Maybe I post them later.

Warning: Holding your breath will cause your face to turn blue.
Guess what came in the mail today.

that's right. The replacement hinges for my laptop.

I took the laptop apart again into nearly a million pieces. When I got it re-assembled, I only had 14 extra pieces left over. Actually I didn't even have an extra screw. Good job!

The laptop is working fine. I am writing this post with it right now. For the record, the keyboard has quit giving me problems since the last time I took the computer apart. I think maybe the keyboard connecter was loose before I took it apart. I made certain it got pressed in really good today.

I took some pictures. Maybe I post them later.

Warning: Holding your breath will cause your face to turn blue.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Weekend Update

Yesterday afternoon, I jumped in the Miata and headed out on what use to be a weekly exercise. The Sunday afternoon Miata ride, often to Ardmore, Alabama which often includes a stop at Sonic for a strawberry milkshake.

During the ride I noticed how much pollen was on the dash. Yuck! Time for a quick wash.

Today Jordan and I washed the car. It is now spiffy clean. Unfortunately the paint is showing its age. Perhaps it canl get a fresh paint job someday.

Charger update: Tomorrow I will have had the new car two weeks. Total mileage so far. Less than 200 miles and the majority of those were put on it Satuday. I probably put that many miles on the Miata the day I got it.

Yeah, I may exagerate just a little bit.

Saturday the charger got christen'ed with its first door ding. OUCH! I plan to get over it in the next week or so. :)

Sunday after the egg hunt was complete, I got to do a little sanding on the truck frame. It seems like it has been forever since time and weather cooperated together.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I have been getting a lot of questions lately from folks wondering why I am not driving my new car. The simple answer is that I have been waiting all winter for this kind of weather so that I could drive around with the top down.

As my wife pointed out though, that didn't stop me from driving around all winter with the top down, because I did. But the weather wasn't just right.

There are only about 2 days a year with just perfect weather and I am going to take advantage of all 3 of them.
My computer has been acting up so things have been quiet from this end. I ordered a replacement part over the weekend. It arrived yesterday but unfortunately I ordered the wrong part. This was not obvious to me until I had my laptop in pieces.

Today I ordered the correct part. It should be here the middle of next week.

What is this mysterious part? The hinges on the display of my laptop have lost all resistance. That that means is the display won't stand up. At all. My display is 14.1". I ordered the hinges for the 15" LCD by mistake. They are being shipped from Austin from tomorrow so I expect I will get them Tuesday or Wednesday.

Until then, I will be standing out on the front porch waiting for the package.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

If Your Scared, Say Scared

Friday afternoon Ginger found a snake sunning on the edge of the back porch. I was summoned to handle the situation.

Two things you gotta know:

1. I am afraid of heights. Being 5'6" it doesn't take much height to bother me. Standing on a chair for instance. Heights bother me a lot but only because I don't run into many snakes.

Obviously the second thing you need to know is that I am terrified of snakes. I am not allergic to them though, but that is another story. I think the snake thing goes back to a few encounters I had as a kid.

I bought a pellet gun when I was in college. I decided this might be a good way to eradicate the snake. After retrieving it, I pumped it up and took a shot at the ground. Ginger mentioned the snake is not over there, it's over here. I told her I was calibrating my aim.

The next shot was at the snake. It went right through it and knocked it off the porch. Another half dozen shots and it was immobile. Next came the snake head remover, aka the shovel. Eventually I tossed the remains in the woods and came back inside. Full of adrenaline, but not feeling good about the situation. I hate snakes!

Next I hit the internet to find out something about the snake. It turns out there are 40 varieties of snakes in Alabama. Only six are poisonous. Five of those are vipers. The six is red and yellow. The snake I killed was not a viper and not red and yellow. Whew! After a bit of searching I decided it was a gray rat snake. Farmers may like to have them around, but I don't.

Oh yeah, it was about 30" long and about as round as a half-dollar.

Indiana Jones hates spiders, I hate snakes. Yeah, I am skerd!
The Miata Mod That Wasn't Meant To Be?

One month and one week ago today I purchased a roll bar for my Miata from an Ebay retailer. This process has been a nightmare.

I received the product damaged. A claim was filed with FedEx. They came and picked it up. The denied the claim because they could not locate any damage to the item. The bar was sent back to the retailed.

At this point I am frustrated with FedEx. Not that it will affect them in any way, but I have been boycotting FedEx since this incident.

The only contact information I have for the retailer is an email address. And they apparently don't like to answer their email. It has been several days since I last emailed them and I have received no response. I just fired off another one today. Hopefully I will hear back from them soon.

I am still interested in getting the bar. Actually at this point I would like the bar or my money back. No more limbo please.

The ad said Customer Satisfaction guaranteed. Hopefully they meant it.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Spell Check This

I don't recall where this came from but check it out anyway.

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is tahtthe frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthi porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

At this point you should be reminding yourself you can't believe everything you read.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The car already had 450 miles on it when I received it. Fortunately it still has some tread on the tire. :)
I got my new car today. Inferno Red 2006 Dodge Charger. It is not a Mazda but it still goes Zoom Zoom Zoom.

I have already had several complements and noticed several people checking it out.

Now I just need to figure out what all the buttons do.


XI. Though Shalt Not Blaspheme Thy Tivo.

This weekend the Tivo recorded the Formual 1 practice session, and qualification session, but not the actual race. Why? Because I made a mistake.

At this point it is all about having someone to blame, and that person is me. What happened? When I added Formula One to the Season Pass Manager, I put it at the bottom of the list. That means anything else was a higher priority.

Anything else turned out to be a rerun of "Neds Declassified School Survial Guide" on Nick.

From what I read I missed a good race. I also increased the priority of Formula 1. Next time it will not be pre-empted by reruns of the kids shows.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Today I was asked "Are you opened to change in the future?" To which I responded, "Yes, and I have a whole ashtray full right now."

Saturday evening we watched "The Dukes of Hazzard" movie. Nice car, eh. Can't say I would recommend the movie though.

Sunday afternoon, Jordan and I went out for a bike ride. While we were out, we saw a red Acura NSX driving around. It turns out it was a different NSX, not the one belonging to Danny, the Ferrari 308 guy, but rather, the one belonging to Rich, the Viper guy. It is a really nice car. I requested a ride on an upcoming sunny afternoon.

Did I mention how cool the General Lee was in the movie? Oh yeah, something about an orange '69 Charger.

Today I signed the papers for my new '06 Dodge Charger. Tomorrow it will be delivered to me. Yeeeeehaaaaaw! Unfortunately mine won't have an 01 on the side.

And for the record, watching the movie and buying the new car in the same week was a pure coincidence.

And tomorrow the big white 1998 4x4 Dodge Pickup Quadcab with 71k miles on it is leaving the farm for the last time. Jordan is sad to see the truck leave.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Yeah, Just Like the Dukes of Hazzard

Today I drove another Charger. For a few weeks I been thinking this would be the car that I replaced the truck with. Todays drive was different in that I was at a different dealership.

On two occasions I had been to visit the nearest dealership. On both occasions I announced that I would not be taking a car home that day. Both times I did ask what they would let me have the car for. The sales guy has called me a couple of time. I continued to ask how much for the car. I am curious why they would not quote me a price unless I was willing to take the car home that day. I did finally get a "we can probably come off the sticker a couple hundred dollars." Not good enough.

Why did I tell them I wasn't taking a car home that day? I have found that it helps the high-pressure sales guys take 'No' for an answer later when they ask me "Is there anything we can do to get you to take it home today?" I usually then tell them I want to sleep on it for a few days. It is amazing the stupid things they say to try to coerce you. "Best deals are at the end of the month." Well I can probably wait til the end of next month. "This color is hard to get." Well we can order one from the factory and then I won't have to pay for the options I don't want. "I need to sell one more to make my quota." Why is that my problem?

Nine years ago I ordered my Dodge truck from a dealer about an hour away. Why? Because when I asked him how much, the response I got was "$300 over invoice." Today I called that remote dealership and asked the same question. I got a similar response, but this time it was "$600 over invoice." This was a couple thousand better than the maybe a couple hundred off the sticker. Plus the tax rate is 1.5% less. That is $15 per thousand. That adds up pretty quick.

This afternoon I took my truck down to the dealer to let him look it over. They offered me $500 less than I wanted for it. I asked for $500 more. They agreed.

They didn't have the exact car I wanted, but I went armed with the information they needed. I told them where another dealership is that has the exact car on the lot, color, options, dead-on. The dealer with the car was closed so contact will be made Monday morning. Assuming one dealer can get the car from the other dealer, the car will be mine at a price I am happy with. If not, I will probably have them order one for me from the factory. The drawback there is 6-8 weeks of waiting, and we all know I don't have much patience.

This dealer did have a nearly perfect car, right color and most options. He sent me out for a drive while he finished up a sale with another customer. It is a smooth ride.

I suspect I will have a new car soon, though I suspect it will not be until next Saturday. I won't have time to drive down there again til next Saturday, though if they want to bring it to me, I am ok with that.

If they had the car on the lot today, I would have gladly brought it home. Unfortunately I can't get it in orange with a big 01 on the side. Ginger did offer to weld the doors shut for me though.


And tonight we will be sleeping on a new mattress. I tried it out for a few minutes this afternoon. It sleeps well.