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Gas price record

I set my own personal gas price record today. I had to stop for gas on the way to work this morning and actually paid $3.05 per gallon which is the absolute most I’ve ever paid for gas. I wish we could have the prices we had back in past years, when it was under a dollar a gallon. Its funny how we are as consumers, prices go up and we are shocked, and then we find gas for a couple of cents cheaper and we think its a deal! I’m still of the mindset that this is almost 2008 now, we should getting around with electromagnetism or hover boards and flying cars or something. I mean really, we need to get going here, afterall we have to build the “Enterprise” in just over 200 years, which is not much more than two average lifespans away. 🙂

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Miata's are awesome

I love my Miata. I have had very little negativity as a result of driving it, but I did recently get a “its a girly car” or its “a gay car”. In response to this, I put together a short list of links and quotes from people who would know best….Miata owners. People shouldn’t talk down about what they have no clue about. The quotes below are taken from the Miata.net forums…

“I think the Miata is just about the best kept automotive secret for those who are not car nuts, but a car guy (or gal of course) knows what a Miata is and what it can do, it’s no secret to them.”

“I’d rather have a car that attracts women more than men (not that there’s anything wrong with that ).”

To quote Louis Armstrong, ” If you have to ask what Jazz is, you’ll never know””

http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/direct/view/.f0e614c
http://www.miata.net/motm/2003/PFN.html
http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread.php?t=250985&highlight=girly
http://www.miata.net/misc/girlscar.html




I’ve had girls shout their phone numbers to me …my girlfriend didn’t seem to enjoy it as much as I did though.

I have had this car for 7 years and absolutely love it! The car is nimble and incredibly responsive-the car takes curves wonderfully. The top is easy to lower – I have taken the top down while sitting at a long red light. Unlatch and drop it behind you. The gas mileage is good. I get up to 33 mph on highway driving. It is a roadster and sounds/feels like one. I would recommend it for anyone looking for a fun, no frills car that is intended for driving enjoyment. When I bought it, the differences between the Miata and the (then) Z3 didn’t justify the $18K difference in price. I am glad I went with the Miata. Fully loaded with all options it was only $24K,

Miata is the most popular sports car in the world with well over 750,000 built to date. What if Mazda had successfully marketed it as a “guy’s car?” Probably would have stopped being built in the mid ’90s and Mazda would no longer exist….

“I have had a lot of friends make fun of the Miata. You know, the whole “it’s a girl’s car” and “gay guys drive them”. A lot of them said that until they rode in it and nearly pissed on them selves. I have thought about it and I have come to a conclusion. My car is black. So, I don’t think that it really falls into either category. The color has a lot to do with the girl or gay appeal. That is just my opinions. But, as you all know. Those are like butt holes everyone has one.”

“Heck, I’ll try to talk anyone into buying one given half a chance. “Oh, man, I LOVE this car! The tight handling, the chunky shifter, the size, the proximity to the ground making you feel like you’re going fast even when you’re not, so you don’t feel tempted to get a ticket – what’s not to love?” Then I get to tell them what a practically new-looking ’97 like mine is going for. (But wait, that doesn’t add to my cachet, does it?) ”

“I never turned a basher to a fan, but I did make some shut up. It was early morning and some of my family car lovers and I were headed out to a classic car show. Well my uncles and cousins have either classic muscle or new, as do I but its in the middle of restoration and not drivable, are all ready to go on our little tour to the show. We always take the back way to miss all the traffic, and have a little fun on the way there. I showed up in my Miata and was ready to go. I get there and get knocked a little for ruining the V8 line. But especially knocked by one of my cousins in a late 90s Z28. On the way there I figured I’d give him a run for his money. I told him to just keep up as the roads are pretty curvy. For most of the trip I sat on my uncles bumper, then at one point I slowed down. well my cousin was ready to go, revving his engine and popping the clutch. So after there was some distance between the front of the group I punched it. I tore through the curves like nuts and watched my cousin disappeared behind me until I caught up to everyone else. He never knocked it again. ”

“I was amazed when I bought my 99 NB by how sleek and attractive the car was and how nice the interior design had become. Not to mention the way it drove – and now with power mods done such as exhaust, CAI, and some other goodies (and working on piecing together a DIY turbo kit) I couldn’t be happier! Now I know to never bash cars without checking out what they can become, not what they are.”

“1 convert to date. Made fun of the car, said they were under powered and lame, I asked him if he’d ever driven one, and the reply was “No.” He then joined me in a car pool of friends driving back to Ohio from North Carolina. I drove the first two hours, then handed him the keys and told him whenever he wanted to switch, let me know. I ended up riding in another friend’s car for the rest of the trip while he drove it, and another girl who wanted to ride in it asked me if she could, so we switched spots.

The next day he asked me to drive it around again, and then started talking about his plans to buy one.”

“Two people come to mind. First, I took a kid with an EG civic with a B20 non vtec in it and took him on a nice easy drive down a twisty road. It was the last time I heard him ask ‘why would you want a Miata?’ ever again.

Secondly, several friends of mine and I autocross and both of them have Trans Am WS6’s. This past weekend, I went to an autocross school and the autocross that followed it. I made good use of the braking and turning exercises, and beat both of them by a fair margin(1 and 3 seconds on an average 55 second course.) They both promptly clammed up, and I haven’t heard either of them mention buying a ‘real’ car all week.”

“I have had numerous friends laugh at my “girly” convertible. Once I take the onramp at 70 mph and have to slow down to merge, though, the ribbing stops. Then after their first time behind the wheel, they keep coming back for more. It’s an addiction”

“Let your car explain it for you – have them drive it.

I have friends that still talk about having driven mine in 1991. I have a friend who restores muscle cars, vintage-races a 200 mph former NASCAR Busch Cup car, and considers 300 hp “almost adequate for a street car,” who drove mine a few times and consequently just bought a ’92 Miata. (He drives the Miata more often than the ’04 Mach 1 lately and calls me to tell me “I found this great road on the way home today.”)

I’ve probably let 75 people drive mine, including friends, family, coworkers, and complete strangers who simply ask me about the car. “Here, why don’t you drive it and see for yourself.” I’ve taught probably 20 people to drive a clutch in my car (including my 11-year-old son.) Nobody has ever gotten out of the driver’s seat without a big ol’ smile.”

“I have been driving for 30 years and have never been interested in cars.
They were “transportation” from point A to B, and expensive to boot. In the fall of 1999 one of my co-workers wanted to show me his new-to-him 1996 Montego blue Miata. So one day at lunch I took a look, and then he took me for a drive around town…..3 days later I bought a 93 that I continually upgrade; new top, engine stuff, custom paint, etc. I still can’t explain it, but I will have this car the rest of my life ”

“As soon as I got past the “Miata’s are for chicks” thing, and learned about Mazda’s passion for good sports cars (and the rotary engine – which I know the Miata doesn’t have) all that bias lifted away and now I can’t wait for someone to buy my car so I can move on.”

That’s all I have to say about that…

Productive weekend

We had a busy but productive weekend! On Friday I had some work to do which took me until about 9:30pm; on and off a little after that or so. We watched a little TV before going to bed. Then on Saturday Liz went to a yard sale while I got the kids breakfast. We got done and loaded into the van and tried to go meet her there, to visit some friends and also for me to give Liz her cell phone which she left at home. We passed her in the Miata on her way home, but I waved her to follow me. We drove to a gas station and got some gas which both of our vehicles needed. Then once we got home we started doing some work, Liz got started on the playroom roof, scraping up the existing cauking and putting down a new layer of roof sealer. We talked to our neighbors a little while working on that project and then headed inside. We got some lunch and then headed off to Wal-Mart to buy Liz’s long overdue birthday present. We went to the New Tampa Wal-Mart and got her a nice new bike. It was pouring down rain while we were in the store, but fortunately, by the time we left it had stopped. We got home and I dropped her off at the curb by our house and she got to ride her new bike back to the house. Later that evening, I decided to start cleaning out the garage, partly beacuse it needed it and partly because we need a place to park her bike! Liz helped me and we got one side almost completely cleaned out. I’m putting out a bunch of trash tonight and we can continue working on the other half of the garage another day. Sunday we got to rest some in the afternoon and just spend time together. Liz is painting the girls room today so last night she broke down the kids bunk beds and hopefully when I get home, I’ll see a nice finished room.

Family Update

We have been so busy lately, there is so much going on its going to be hard to give an update…

We had a great weekend this past weekend, we went to visit some friends of ours on Sunday afternoon and stayed until almost 11. We had a great time, great conversation and I got to try out their wii! The kids had a blast and got extremely dirty, so they had a great time!

We are getting ready to be busy with last minute plans for our trip to visit family. We have packing to do and final arrangements to make. It should be an interesting time.

Last night Liz had her papmer night for MOPS, so I stayed home with the kids and we had a nice time. They watched a movie and had popcorn and brownies! I went to bed around 11, and Liz didn’t get home till around midnight.

I have again discovered how lonely summer mornings are when Sarah doesn’t have school and we don’t all get up together in the mornings. Normally I get everyone up around 6:20am and we get breakfast and get ready to go about our day together. But in the summer, Liz doesn’t have to take Sarah to school, they get to sleep in and I end up alone in the mornings getting ready by myself. So I like the summer in that we save on gas money, and the rest of the family gets a break, but for me its the same old schedule, just all by myself.

My Birthday

My birthday didn’t turn out quite as any of us had hoped yesterday. I was still sore from playing racquetball and worn out from work, but Liz still wanted to go rollerblading at skateland in Brandon. So we get there and I’m pooped and change my mind, I really didn’t want to do it, if I had done it I probably wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes and it would have been a bust. So we sat in the parking lot for 45 minutes trying to figure out what to do. We ended up going to Dunkin Doughnuts and getting a quick snack, I got a nice bagel with creme cheese and a boston creme doughnut, Liz of course had her usual chocolate frosted. We went home and got on a trek to get some gas in my car. Then we watched a Star Trek episiode with her parents before I headed off to bed.

Fabreeze

In a desperate step to suppress the nasty gas fumes I’ve been breathing in my care the last two days, ever since I overflowed my gas tank; I spraed some Fabreeze in the interrior and also around the parts of the car that gas had leaked onto. I also sprayed some on the garage floor where the gas had leaked. So far, I don’t smell anymore gas in the car, now I smell strong Fabreeze scents in the car. It was so strong I felt like it was getting in my eyes and in my mouth, yuck! So the Fabreeze may prevent me from getting cancer from the gas fumes, but now I’ll have to seek help from a posion control center for ingesting the chemical contents of Fabreeze. 🙂

Somewhat productive weekend

Over the weekend our plans didn’t quite turn out like we had hoped. We were going to try to clean out the garage and Liz’s sister was coming over, and then Sunday we were going to have some guests over to play some games. Well on Saturday Liz’s sister did make it over, so they planned some Pampered Chef party. Then we started to clean out the garage, which was a disaster, we tore everything out of its place, went through about 1 box of stuff then ran out of time and had to put everything back so we could fit my car back in the garage. That didn’t work out quite as I had hoped. Then my Sheet Fed scanner came in the mail that afternoon, so all I wanted to do was scan in documents and clean up my office area. I think Liz and I watched an episode of Deep Space Nine just before bed. Then on Sunday, our guests couldn’t make it over, so we changed our plans slightly, and I took Sarah (in the Miata), to a store to see if we could find a decent ceiling fan for their room. Their fan had worn out and was making bad sounds. So we picked out a fan and thought it was one price, but upon getting home I realize that it was actually $15 more than I wanted to spend. (OOPS). We also picked up a new doorknob for the girls bathroom which had also worn out. I got some light bulbs for their new ceiling fan and some more powerful bulbs for our light over our dining room table. So Sunday afternnon I ended up installing a new ceiling fan, changing a bunch of light bulbs and de-fuming the house (this is so dumb of me). On the way to the store, Sarah and I stopped off at a gas station to get some gas. I was looking at Sarah through the back window glass making faces at her, and wasn’t paying attention. I overfilled my tank and put about a full 1 or 2 cups of gas into the reservoir surrounding my gas tank fill pipe. There is normally a dran that allows any excess to leak out of the car. I didn’t realize it but it was clogged which is why it wasn’t draining. I got home to find once I got in the garage, it decides to trickle all over my garage floor causing my entire garage to stink of gasoline! I ran some water through the reservoir and flushed it out clearing the drain so it worked properly. I mopped up all the gas from the floor and wiped down my car. I sprayed some oust air freshener in there, but it didn’t help that much. The whole house started to have a hint of gas in the air, which was extremely unpleasant let me tell you! And when I got in my car to drive to work, it wreaked of gas, all the way to my office. Its going to take days to clear all that gas smell out of my house/garage and my car! What a dummy!

Balloons forever!

Abby loves balloons, so much so that I thought it would make a great Christmas present to give her a hellium balloon kit for Christmas. She is so cute, to watch her carry around a balloon all day tied to her wrist. I broke down and gave Sarah another bolloon last night since she popped her first one seconds after I gave it to her. Abby got a new one as well, since they only seem to last 2 days or so at best. I think we are going to try to get some mylar balloons which might last longer and are safer in general for little kids. I found out last night that the tank holding the helium is not refillable, its a single use tank. So I’ll have to get another one if we run out of gas! I going to search online and try to find a better way to get hellium for balloons for Abby. They just arent’t as much fun if they don’t float.

O2 Sensor change successful

After several days of thinking and internal debate, I finally bit the bullet and tried to replace my O2 sensor. I went to Advance auto the other day and had my computer code read, confirming it was the O2 sensor that was causing my check engine light to come on in the Miata. The OEM replacement was almost $150 but was plug and go easy. The universal sensors were much cheaper at anywhere from $30 to $80+ dollars. I ended up getting a kit from Advanced Auto that had the O2 sensor, the splice kit and connectors I needed. I also had to buy a 7/8ths wrench but that was it. I was easily able to extract the bad sensor, but wiring up the new sensor is a whole different story. The color patterns on the universal sensor were not the same as the OEM wires. This caused a great deal of confusion on my part and it took Liz and myself and a check on the miata.net forums to confirm the correct pattern to use. We finally deciphered the wiring pattern code and got everything in the right sequence. It took a while to get it all wired up, but once the splicing was done, it was a snap to install the new sensor. I then disconnected the negative battery terminal on the car, to reset the computer, then re-connected. A quick test drive confirmed that I had done the work correctly and the check engine light was gone! Now if I could just get up the nerve to attempt the valve cover gasket change!

List of things for my Miata

Already done:

1. Changed oil and added good synthetic 0W-30 oil. Also used a good performance oil filter.
2. Changed air filter, nothing fancy yet, just a regular STP filter.
3. Purchased replacement top latches (mine were wearing and the passenger side would not latch properly).
4. Replaced factory spark plugs with high end Denso Irridium spark plugs. This eliminated a low idle condition the car previously had. Also get better response from the engine.

Wants for the future:

1. New tires – must do this soon, rear passenger tire is balding. Want to get Goodyear Eagle F1 tires.
2. Performance intake, probably K&N cold air intake.
3. Replace head gasket, there is a small leak and the gasket just needs to be replaced.
4. Spoiler – I just like the look better with a spoiler than without. This will take a while, as I have to find one I like, have it painted, then mounted.
5. Seat replacement – the drivers seat has some cracking of the leather and the passenger seat has a little as well. Would like to replace the seats at some point.
6. New Top – My top is ok, but within a year or two, I’m going to need to replace it with a new top.
7. Detailing – at some point in the near future, I’d like to have the car detailed, to really clean up the inside.
8. Touch-up paint job. Eventually it might be nice to get a touch-up paint job. Its a 7 year old car, so its not going to be perfect.]]>