Sunday, July 30, 2006


I'm guilty and this is my confessional. Today, I was a non-waver.

But I certainly felt bad about it. I now realize some conditions are not wave-friendly. Try ~80mph on I-15 south on the transition to the 805:

I saw the pepper white cabrio from 1/2 a mile away. I worked to catch up to her, meandering through traffic without driving too recklessly. Just at the moment I was in perfect waving position, traffic got really crazy and I almost missed my exit. Meanwhile, she was messing with her hair, oblivious to my intentions.

Hmmm.. Wave? Miss my exit? Wave? Miss my exit? Alas, I made the exit, waveless.

Forgive me MINI masses.

While I support the belief that waving is a required activity, waving should not superseed careful and attentive driving. Or missing your exit.


What's DIfferent?

Here is a little game I like to call, "what's different?"



oh- so you need a hint?

thanks bob and mike!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

DIY MCS Intake Screen/Air Scoop Grill

Duly inspired by getata and Ian G's "MCS Intake Screen" mod pics and how-to's, I took advantage of an off-day and tried it myself. I've posted this write up along with "lessons learned" for future modders...

DIY MCS Intake Screen/Air Scoop Grill

Difficulty Rating: Easy
Est. Cost: $3.00
Est. Time: 1 hour

Supplies & Tools Needed:
Gutter Guard Screen or Vent Screen (15"x 3" or more*)
Tape Measure
Pliers (or 10mm socket)
Phillips screwdriver
Wire cutters or "snips"

[fig 01]

1. I went to the local Home Depot just to find they stopped carrying the gutter guard screens! Ack! I improvised and picked up a 16"x6" vent screen from the Heating & Air section, (which actually nets 14.5" x 4.5" of useable screen material). Note: the hood scoop hole is 14.75" x 1.75", so you know what that means!*...

[fig 02]

2. I removed the (black, plastic) interior of the hood scoop from under the hood. My 06 MCS only had two (10mm) nuts to remove, and two screws...

[fig 03]

In this pic you can see what the hood/hood scoop looks like w/o the interior piece...

[fig. 04, 05]

3. I carefully began snipping the wire mesh from the vent frame. This took about 10-15 minutes. If you can find the gutter guard material you won't have to do this step. If you have to do this step, just be patient and snip carefully...

[fig. 06,07]

4. I didn't make a template like I've read, but chose to "eyeball it" by laying the wire mesh on top of the scoop. I aligned the bottom of the wire mesh onto the bottom ridge, and marked along the upper ridge with a red whiteboard marker...

In this pic you can see the "ridge" the screen must fit into...

[fig. 08, 09]

[fig. 10,11]

5. I proceeded to cut out the screen accordingly. It's better to cut on the outside of the marking than on the inside, because you can always trim down later...

[fig. 12,13]

6. In this pic you can see that the screen is slightly larger than the scoop hole, which worked out to my advantage- Since the screen is so flexible I was able to pop it in without it falling out. Now to see how it fits!...

[fig. 14]

7. I put the plastic hood scoop interior back into place but didn't tighten all the screws. Here you can (sort of) see where the top center doesn't fit securely because this is where a piece of the exterior scoop wants to snap into the interior. I removed the plastic hood scoop interior and screen, eyeballed the change, and trimmed this little piece out...

[fig 15]

8. I put everything back together w/ the screen sandwiched between the exterior and interior scoop pieces. Result, yet another DIY Intake screen!

[fig. 16,17]

*From the photos you'll see that the screen is actually a smidge too small! For $2.49+tax, this works for now. I may decide to paint it black or just make another one out of the left over material, or try again with some better material.

What would I do differently?
1. I would measure the intake hole before going shopping!
2. I would probably shop around for better material
3. I would make a template and upload it for anyone to use

This project inspired by:
getata (
Ian G (
Blair of West Coast MINIs, who emailed me a written step-by-step (no pics) and encouraged me to try it myself!


Friday, July 21, 2006

Welcome to Sunny Southern California!

Taken about 4:30pm...

Freeway Fun...

 around 11mph.

Gotta Love It!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

When You Dream your MINI is Stolen, Does it Count as a Nightmare?

[post dream observation in brackets]:

[Scene One:]
It's night time and I drove to my mom's house to show off my new MINI!

I park in the driveway behind her car- a gold sedan that looks like a Taurus or Intrepid [she would never drive one in real-life]. I go into the house...

[Scene Two, inside the house]

We walk down the hallway into the entry-way. As I open the front door, my mom is behind me as we're about to go check out my new ride. Looking out toward the driveway, I see someone walking from the street, across our driveway heading into the neighbor's yard. I don't think much of it, but turn around to say "hey mom- who's that walking through your driveway?" I turn back just in time to see my car heading down the street at "drive it like you stole it" speed!

I freak out accordingly. [*smirk*]

Just as my car is zipping out of view [and we figure out exactly what just happened], we see a shadow coming from the driveway, as if someone is getting into my Mom's car...

My mom walks toward the driveway and points a flashlight it into her car saying "hello, may I help you?"

A guy gets out of the car and POINTS A GUN at us!?!

My mom freaks out, saying "heeey.... take it easy now" and aims the flashlight into the perps eyes [you know- like the cops do!]...

"The Perp" says something indistinguishable, and about five other people appear from the bushes- each with a handgun or rifle pointed at us!

What do I do? I turn on the sprinklers! [of course! wtf?!] Everybody runs!


man- I woke up, so pissed off! Then I got up and checked to make sure my car was still in its parking spot. Whew! Still there. I went back to bed, and got up to check again. about 10 minutes later. Great. Now I can't sleep! WEAAAAAAKKK!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

MINI Blog & Site List

Do you have MINI related website, store, or blog? Leave a comment on this entry (w/ a link of course), and if I like it, I'll add you to my "MINI site list". Thank you!


MANY MINI Blogs?! Who Knew!

I went a huntin' for MINI-related blogs, and I couldn't believe what I found!

and i thought *I* was the only person obsessed enough to have a blog about one man's MINI..

As I pick the ones that meet my elusive values and get in contact with these
writers, I will add them to the roster.. first up, dcmini! (thanks dan!)

Friends Let Friends Drive MINIs

One week in the new MINI and whats NOT to love?!

So far, so good- No dings or tickets! I'm starting to get a better "feel" for it, and gave Mr. B his first "bauth". I still say it's waaay different than driving an '03 Cooper!

So of course I couldn't wait to let my friend drive it. My favorite comments (man, i wish I'd had a tape recorder!) :

"Ooh- you probably don't want to let me to drive this too much"

"I can definately feel the difference in power [from the Cooper]"

(child in the back says) "Mommy, how fast are you driving?!"

But my favorite comment of all (that my co-workers are already sick of hearing):

"Cars like this- shouldn't be allowed on the road!"


Whay am I Thinking of Neil Sedaka?

After one week of MINI Cooper S ownership, I've still nothing bad to say! Well, except that trying to adhere to the "break-in period", is all but impossible...

"breaking in, is hard to dooo,
now i know, i know that it's true

**LMAO*** (I'm such a dork sometimes!)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bigs' gets LoJacked...

As I write this, the guy is outside installing my LoJack- which ironically, is the opposite of carjacked.

Not like I fear the worst should happen to Mr Bigs'- I'm failry lucky considering I'm two clicks from the ghetto... But the deal clincher- 15% off my (already low) insurance? Time for some Rain Man math... "hmmm... car payment goes up $17/mo, insurance payment goes down $16mo... net payment, $1 month?"


Thursday, July 13, 2006

First Pics! (updated)

Spent half a day taking delivery of "Mr. Bigglesworth"... by the time I home, took an obligatory nap, next thing you know, it's night time!

But you gonna get "first day pics" right? More to follow, of course!

First look from the driver's seat...

That's a lotta crap under my bonnet!

cockpit (hehehe...) w/ patina dash (i swear i ordered Silver! but that's a story in itself)

More photos @ Flickr...


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"One Large Mini"

"A MINI still has the public image of being a small car. MINI wanted to correct this misconception... the size of a MINI car was used in a witty and slightly exaggerated way: at several locations in a number of Swiss cities"
-- Coolz0r - Marketing Thoughts

Moments Away!

3 hours and counting...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Tick Tock...

My MA calls me yesterday (on a Sunday even!) and says, "your MINI just came off the truck about 20 minutes ago..." and some probably important information about "two more days" for dealer pre-delivery-inspection blah blah blah., which I account for it being the weekend.

Frankly, I stopped listening after "it just came off the truck...". I should probably call him back, and figure out how I'm gonna get down there.

Here is a great post- a photo tour of the west coast VDC

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sig File...

Best Laid Plans

So I call my "Motoring Advisor" today for the final update (or so i thought) ... on the delivery of my new MINI... "one or two days" he says! In other words, BEHIND SCHEDULE!! And by "behind schedule" I mean, I should be have planned to be a but more flexible!

The golden coach I've acquired on short-term loan is about to turn into a pumpkin. The strappingly handsome Lippizaner Stallions are about to relapse into their original, verminequse form (I love making up words!).

Stranded? We'll see.

Grateful anyway? CERTAINLY!!

Anxious? OF COURSE!!

Still looking for all the necessary paperwork to facilitate a smotth transition into a brand new a, fully insured automobile withe a decent APR? Um....

Sunday, July 02, 2006


My good friend of mine has loaned me her 1991, twice stripped, recently side-swiped, bird-stained, baby-stained, WHITE Honda Accord until my new MINI arrives.
The driver's side door is so damaged
(side-swiped by a Ford Excursion!) it won't even open.
You have to get in/out by crawling through the passenger side!

Ak! No Radio! (not like I listen to radio, but still)...

Of course, I had to wash it... (well, actually, I didn't, but I did!)

and vaccum it out...

In short, the opposite of a new MINI or anything I'd actually drive,
but I love her for loaning it to me! I am extremely grateful!!!