Saturday, October 30, 2010

A eulogy.

And so it goes. I tapped the rocker panel with my foot as I left work last Thursday. Really, it was a light tap. And the tip of my shoe busted it in, because it was nothing but paint. I suppose it's just as well. When it happened Thursday, I snapped this photo with the expectation of making a humorous post about it here. Instead, it has become bittersweet.

I'll spare you the details; Eric will be posting soon on the Team Resignation blog about how it all went down. Suffice it to say that the race car's engine blew up, and swapping in the one from my ZX2 was the only viable option to keep us on the track.

So that's what we did.

Which makes it pretty official. After roughly a hundred thousand miles across six and a half years of service in my hands, my daily driver is dead. Its 210-thousand-mile engine lives on in the race car, and soon too will its wiring harness and perhaps front control arms. Which gives it a status not unlike an organ donor (except, you know, less important).

Little car, you have served me well. I'm sad you're gone, but your final days weren't exactly your best.

  • You had an evap system leak I refused to fix. I had pulled those vacuum hoses and plugged the intake manifold with electrical tape. This also meant the HVAC fan would only blow at the windshield.
  • You had a loud clunk from the front suspension which I'm pretty sure was broken sway bar links, but never put in the effort to check.
  • You had been backed into a faucet and your rear bumper was screwed back into place. A week later, the mirror got busted off on the corner of the same house and was reattached with the same screws as the bumper.
  • Your exhaust was beginning to leak, making you noisier by the week.
  • Your third gear hadn't been working for several years.
  • Your shifter bushings were completely shot, and the shifter buzzed loudly at nearly all times.
  • Your rear defroster never worked.
  • You had bald tires on ugly Escort GT fan-blade wheels.
  • Your rear speakers would crackle at the mere suggestion of bass.
  • I planned to never wash you again.
But despite all this, you unfailingly, albeit noisily, carried me to work. Took Amanda and I on a camping trip to Michigan. Were flung over a set of railroad tracks daily at 70 mph so I could get sweet air. And so on, and so on.

Goodbye, dependable commuter car. I have no choice now but to keep what I need and part out what I don't. It's not an elegant death, true. But I hope your heart lasts long enough to propel us into the top ten next year. You can do it. You've survived worse.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Righting past wrongs.

This car is finally gone. I had it for almost exactly 3 months, and oh holy crap am I glad it's gone. That's the Mazda 323 GTX that I picked up in July, without a transmission or turbo, and with a blown engine and hacked-to-fuck wiring harness. The car itself was free, but it did cost me a vacation day and about $100 worth of gas -- and a LOT of sweat because I wisely picked it up on the hottest day of the year.

I did manage to scavenge a few things from it. Most notably, several aftermarket gauges, a battery terminal and some battery cables, and an old 5-point safety harness.

I sold it to a local man for $300. He owns another 323 (non-GTX) and will use this as a parts car. I hope he can put it to good use. Pictured is my dad hooking up the winch on the guy's trailer.

As for that spot in my parents' driveway? I hope to fill it with my brother-in-law's been-sitting-in-his-parents'-garage-for-several-years 1988 or '89 Toyota Supra Turbo (with hot start issues!) while he's away for a year or more. And I still need to rebuild the Miata's engine.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Slutting it up

If you read me here but don't follow the Team Resignation blog, you should head over there right now. There's something very special waiting for you; Eric and I are whoring ourselves across all the media we have access to.
So, go there. Get your fill of details of how to join in on the inevitable fiery death fun!

This made me laugh a lot

Facebook comments on a friend's link to a Busta Rhymes music video from the '90s.

Kevin: The 90s were awesome. The vidya gaemz were better, the work was less, and the cars were lighter and less concerned about health and safety.

And hip pop hadn't been spawned yet. Coolio was somebody. A gallon of 87 was worth pennies-on-a-dollar. The Bulls won the Finals and the Dream Team cleaned house at the Olympics.

How are the 90s NOT better than today?

Duncan: I can watch porn on my phone.


I love America.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Out Campaign: Support your local atheist

I am an atheist. I don't apologize for it, but I usually don't make a big deal about it. I've added the Out Campaign's scarlet letter to my sidebar. Atheism is not a religion in that atheists do not have a common set of beliefs or practices; we don't gather once a week and compare clothing.* Atheism is, rather, a simple statement of disbelief in supernatural beings, be they part of an organized religion or not. Personal beliefs on morality, science, and so on can vary.

I identify as a secular humanist. But regardless of your moral standing, it's important for atheists of all stripes to make themselves known to society. Maybe, eventually, we can garner some respect in the socio-political world to the point where religion is not part of the equation when someone runs for Senate (or, God willing,** president).


*RIP, George Carlin.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Lady of Infinite Patience

My girlfriend, Amanda, recently went out and got some mats cut for various posters and frames of hers in the apartment. This particular poster is mine, and it was already framed. It was not matted, nor did I expect it to be. This was a nice surprise, especially considering how much stress and time apart this particular racing series has caused us.

This doesn't mean she's not excited to have me back after October 24th. But it's good to know my obsession hasn't driven her to murder... yet.
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