How'd you guess there were autocrossers in that parking lot?

No, seriously, how did you know?


AT&T, why do you want my SSN to let me use DSL?

Also, why do you make me spend 4 hours at home waiting for the technician to troubleshoot why my line is dead, and then force me to pay $120 for the said technician to physically flip the switch that's not even INSIDE my home, in order to enable the connection that was supposed to be working from the get-go?

Between you and I, AT&T, I don't really like you much anymore.

Not that I ever did.


Saner bar, insane performance ;)

Course layout Day 1
Results Day 1

Last weekend I was at a two-day event organized jointly by two local clubs and my little S2k performed beautifully. This was the first autocross after the front anti-sway bar upgrade, and I was very pleased with how the car handled.

My little yeller Honda is now so eerily stable in transitions and responds to steering inputs so much sharper, I could not get enough of transitional elements.

There was one slalom on the second day, with 33 paces between cones, where I was flat, accelerating all the way to the rev limiter through it.

On the first run, I started with 32 psi square tire pressure, and noticed some tendency to push in fast corners. I was able to balance the car with running 2psi less in the front tires. I ran 30/32 f/r for the rest of the event.

Course layout Day 2
Results Day 2

I was also using a chest strap restraint for the first time, one that goes around the back of the seat and around the driver's ribcage. For starters, I went with a cheap version and bought an oversized utility belt that was long enough to fasten around the seat back and me.

The difference was amazing. Because my body was now being kept in the seat by both a lap belt and the chest strap, I found that I did not have to hang onto the steering wheel for stability and so could control my steering with more precision. I also did not have to brace myself against the dead pedal with the left foot, making for smoother shifting.

On both days, I was very satisfied with the times I ran. On the first day, I coned away my fastest run, a 53.677. On day two, my fastest time was a 48.009. My fastest run was in the morning, and in the afternoon the pavement was too hot and tires were giving up. I was losing 0.1 second each run, even after spraying them down with water.

All in all, this was a great weekend and I was able to ride during a few great runs and to learn a lot. The car gives me a new feeling of confidence with the new setup, and I can't wait to run it again at the next event.


Chicks in stick cars

At autocross today I had a fun encounter of the clueless kind. It has been a while since one of those. I was already getting worried. Nah, I wasn't.

Anyways, I was watching the others run with my buddy Tristan, and there was a guy there also watching, and he chatted us up. So Tris was telling him how he ran and what line he picked through the course etc. when I said something about how I took the slalom, and this guy goes "Oh, you run too?" With such a surprise in his voice and on his face.

And I say "Why yes, I do. Even though I don't have a penis."

This is when he got all defensive.

I only thought "gotcha."


True conversation with Mom

So I am talking with my mother one day, and happen to mention that I have recently fallen in love.

Mothers like to know things like that, so I told her about my newest crush: The Audi R8. I told her about the longitudinally-mounted V8 or V10 motor that sits behind the driver, the throaty exhaust note that gives me goosebumps, the beautiful design with those stylish side blades, and all the other things that get my heart rate up.

"Is it another two-seater?" my mother asked.

"Why yes, it is!"

"Can't you get a respectable car for once!" she exclaimed with some exasperation.



Hmmm, I love me some P-cars for breakfast!

Something I forgot to mention in my previous post: How stable the car has become with the new anti-sway bar.

At the drift event I could not get the car to slide, even though I was doing tighter and tighter circles at higher and higher speeds and trailbraking and/or applying handbrake to unsettle the rear. It just won't get peeled off the pavement.

Which makes me look forward to the two-day shootout of the Porsche clubs in Santa Rosa this weekend, anticipating some serious improvement in my results.

Also, having attempted to unsettle the car so hard and failed, makes me feel much more confident driving it, pushing it to the limits.

Alright y'all, smack talk can begin!


Too slow, not quite furious

Well, after weeks of anticipating learning some mad dorifto skillz, I ended up bailing from the afternoon half of the drift school today. Kinda anticlimactic.

My problem was that I have never learned how to properly drift, and actually learned the exact opposite while doing autocross. If you're sliding, you're losing time, no matter how spectacularly the tire smoke billows from your wheel wells. Ain't no style points in autocross.

So I hoped to learn a bit, but they did not have formal instructors, so I had to rely on whatever random people who looked like they knew a bit about drifting were telling me.

With my current setup, the car was not easily provoked into a slide, and even when it slid, I could not keep it drifting long enough. All the "instructors" kept saying that the most effective thing to do would be to clutch-kick. If you don't know what it is, suffice it to say, it will hurt your clutch and potentially the drive train.

Yeah, they may want to do that sort of thing in their Nissan beaters. Not in my s2k.

Anyways, when I got all my morning runs in, I packed up and went for a mountain drive. That was actually quite a bit more entertaining than drifting.

On the way out I stopped to chat with the organizers of the event, who are autocrossers themselves and did not do any drifting today, just put the event together and ran it. Yes, they also shagged the cones, and the drifters did not do any work. I was curious why it was this way, so I asked.

Turns out, this was done to specifically cater to the drifters (and wannabes, who were also present in abundance, acting all "fast and furious" like), so they have a venue to practice and don't have to do this at an autocross, where they'd destroy half the course and provide for a bunch of reruns and wait time while the course gets put back together again. If the club holds a couple of these drift events throughout the season, everybody is happy.

That of course explains why the "school" was mostly self-taught, since none of the organizers are actual drifters, and could not instruct.

So even though the event did not do it for me, I gotta say, neat idea.


Maven: The most overused word on the interwebs

My job includes posting a weekly blog and tweet roundup about Maven, Nexus, m2eclipse, and other projects that our company contributes to. Not too bad on most fronts, but the TweetBeep on keyword "maven" is pushing my brain's elasticity to the limit. Consider this pearl:

twinswholaugh: Next time you go to throw away a toilet paper roll- think again!http://www.curbly.com/DIY-Maven/posts/7171-toilet-paper-roll-sculpture

Saturday, September 5th at 18:40:25

That on top of countless "fashion mavens," "food mavens," "closet mavens," "marketing mavens," "insurance mavens," "you-name-it mavens" that I also have to wade through to get to the useful mentions of Apache Maven.


Scaggs Springs Road

Yesterday's scenic drive through the mountain roads to the coast and back. 120 miles in about two hours and a few minutes. Car, driver, and passenger all came home in one piece.

Got some great sandwiches at a little deli where it says "B" on the map, then ate the sandwiches at the lake Sonoma vista point ("C" on map), and drove on.

Really enjoyed the challenging road and the beautiful views that opened once I was on Highway 1. Folks around here are pretty good about pulling over and letting faster cars pass, so for most of the drive, I had the open road ahead of me.


Confused by American Apparel

My loyal and brilliant readers will certainly help me out here. Why on fucking Earth do we need a female body to model male underwear?

Or is it the new trend I missed in female undies?

In general, I see a lot of confusion going on in this ad. If it is aimed at females (who statistically buy the majority of male underwear--for the men in their lives), then a nice male model for the male knickers would have been appreciated.

If it's aimed at males however, I am not sure what the hell it is trying to say to them.