Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Football, Favre, Funds

So what's the deal with this Favre guy? I mean really, is he playing, is he retiring, is he playing for someone else? These are serious questions with serious implications.

Green Bay is coming to Seattle this year.

I have Seahawks season tickets.

How will I know how much I can sell them for if I don't know if Favre is playing?

I know, I know. If I were a "real football fan" I wouldn't sell the tickets I'd go to every game, paint my face blue and green, and sleep at the stadium. Right, I totally agree. But season tickets aren't cheap. Sure, there are only 10 games (8 regular season and 2 preseason games that the NFL money machine forces every season ticket holder to buy. ... C'mon! Can't you stick it to Fox or ESPN for the extra money?!) but it's still pricey. And this year the cost crossed a psychological boundary that forces some reassessment.

In addition to the usual NFC West suspects this season we host
- Chicago Bears (pre-season)
- Oakland Raiders (pre-season)
- Green Bay Packers
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Washington Redskins
- New England Patriots
- New York Jets

What does this have to do with the garage? ... It's FOOTBALL!!! (If you have to ask, nevermind.)

No Sessions? No Problem!

A big thumbs up for the NESBA "Skills Enhancement Day" Monday. (Instead of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced groups each using the track for 20-minute sessions, an SED is made up of a single group and an open track. You enter and exit the track whenever you want.) I was nervous about this approach. I wasn't sure riders would recognize their own fatigue. I don't want to ride with someone trying to squeeze out one continuous 4-hour session.

I was wrong. Riders were more courteous than usual and I believe there were fewer incidents.

Despite a late start, and one long disruption for an oil spill, I was able to find more time than usual. And, more importantly, it was higher quality track time.

I'd ride for 15 minutes, then rest for 20. ... That sounds more structured than it was. My system was more like "Rest when I'm tired. Ride when I'm not tired." Sort of the strategy Peanut takes. "Where and when does Peanut sleep? Wherever and whenever he's tired." ... Dogs are smarter than they look.

Did I get any faster Monday? Eh, who knows. I had a good time so I don't really care. I'd pay extra for a track day like that again.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Big doings in Garagetown this weekend.

The day started with a trip to Lynnwood to pick up my 955i. I decided that the hiccups and the preceding 3 years were sufficient reason to take it to a dealer to have it checked out.

Then I went to the All British Field Meet. (Since I'm not too bright I forgot to bring a camera.) I noticed a few things:
a) "Free event" does not mean "free parking"
2) Old British cars are mostly owned by middle-aged men. The most common phrase heard all day: "I wanted one when I was in high school. When I saw this one for sale I couldn't resist."
iii) The size of the crowd was inversely proportional to the cost of the car. This wasn't universal but new expensive cars (like an Aston Martin DB9) were definitely less popular than the old cheap ones (like a road weary MGB).
4) Swap meet sellers either expect alot of haggling or don't understand the difference between "I'd like to have this part" and "my car is a giant useless planter box without this part and you have the only one in the free world".

ABFM was much bigger than I expected. Probably 150-200 show cars from just about every British make you can think of. (At least 50 Triumphs.) And most were not from Washington. Alot of Oregonians and Canadians. It was a casual comfortable event. 20% of the owners were sitting with their cars and were more than happy to chat about them. [Insert reference to middle-aged men and their toys here.]

The number of cars for sale was smaller. Maybe 50 total. Five TR6s. From a complete but trailered project car ($5200) to a restored but not perfect drivers car ($18200). Comparing them makes me think the money to fix the cosmetics of my green one would pay off. ... Assuming anyone actually sells the cars near the asking price.

On the way out of the show I found my next car. Well, maybe not, but I'd certainly like to find a way to get one in my garage. A Bentley Speed 6. Cars from that era are just ginormous in every sense. But this one somehow incorporated "elegant" and "sporty" with "massive". The owner claimed it drove well and covers 2400 miles/year. He also said it isn't difficult to maintain. Good to hear since the buy-in to the Speed 6 club is probably deep into the 6-figures.

So that was Saturday.

Sunday will also be filled with garage-centric activities because I have a track day on Monday.
- Take the 955i out for a little test ride. Why? Because I just don't trust dealers and I'd rather find a problem at 15mph than at 115mph.
- Pack up the trailer.
- Get the Ducati ready. (Where did I leave that data collection widget? Oh yes, it's behind the couch where I threw it after it called me a chicken last time.)
- Get all the supporting stuff together. Like gas, food, shade, tools, etc.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Great White North

We're headed to Canada. Why? Dunno. Maybe Anandi thinks the weather is too nice here so we're going to find snow. After some negotiation we've picked a week in September that doesn't interfere with anything important ("important" = "Seahawks home games" + "track days"). We'll load the dogs into the Nitro and head to Cold Lake Alberta.

I'm looking forward to it. We used to go on road trips pretty regularly. (Because Vegas was only 6 hours from Tucson.) Adding the dogs we'll change things a bit but it should be good. We'll spend 4-5 days driving out, 2-3 days in Cold Lake, then 2 days driving back. That will give us plenty of time to stop and smell the ... well ... Canadians I guess.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vroom Vroom Oops

I meant to post this earlier but forgot. It's from my last track day at Pacific Raceways. It's not all that different from previous videos but I like to bring down the SNR of the internet just like everyone else so I figured 32MB of useless drivel was a good idea. (Later I'll post 700MB of our dogs wandering around the living room.)

Near the end some one passes me then low-sides. The accident wasn't that bad, the rider was fine and the bike was repairable, but it shows how quickly things can get out of hand. As a point of reference, his speed was probably 50-60mph when he went down.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

This Looks Like a Job For Trailer Man!

Two days, two bike retrievals.

Tuesday someone at work had his scooter crap out during his lunch hour. He found a spot to leave it and caught the bus back to work. I volunteered to go pick it up for him in the evening.

Wednesday I helped another guy pick up a bike he'd just bought. (A 1973 Honda 350/4 that has been converted to a cafe-style.) It can be a pain in the butt to squeeze that trailer through the streets of Capitol Hill.

Hopefully soon I can add a third retrieval: my Daytona from the dealership.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Go forth and tell all that you see...

Summer is here, summer is here!

The 15-day forecast (what a laugh, as if the 2-day forecast was more than 50% correct) calls for sunny days with highs between 71 and 76. Add nearly 16 hours of daylight and it's hard to beat.

(Yes, yes. I know I complain about the weather here all the time. and 9 months out of the year it really and truly is depressing. But I don't think there's a place in the country that has better weather than Seattle in the Summer. ... Now if I can just figure out how to be in Seattle in the summer and Tucson the rest of the year...)

Beautiful sunny Saturday and what's my plan? ... Motorcycles you say? Of course! ... But maybe not riding them. The Daytona is in for service (to cure the hiccups). The Ducati is dressed for the track. That leaves the Suzuki which won't start. So my plan for the day is chasing down electrical gremlins. [sarcasm] My favorite! [/sarcasm]

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Pig in a Poke?

I may have bought a pig in a poke. The green TR6 has revealed a few more ... indiscretions.

The "broken antenna mount" wasn't really broken. It wasn't really a mount. It was someones home-brew modification. Someone just drilled a hole in the body and stuck the antenna through it.

A slightly asymmetric bumper turned out to be a crushed mount. No damage to the bumper but now I'm curious what other stuff is warped behind it.

The All British Field Meet is coming July 26th. Maybe I'll find some help for some of this.

Or better yet, an indiscriminate buyer looking for a small pig.