Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tales of the Weird But True #2: The Runaway Cavalier

Last night as I was writing up my previous "Tales of the Weird But True" post, an equally odd event occurred. Namely...

I'm sitting @ the computer typing away about the strange event that had occurred just hours prior, when, from outside I hear a crashing sound. It sounded a lot like someone plowing into the wooden cabinetry that makes up the back wall of the car port. "How on earth could someone manage to do that?" I thought. I soon forgot about it so I could get my epic tome posted at a normal hour, since I had to get up at 5am the next day.

A few minutes later I hear the rumble and chain-drag of what sounded like a tow-truck. "Tow-truck?" I thought. Alas my curiousity had been piqued! I got up and peeked out my curtain like nosey Mrs. Kravitz. "WHAT THE?!" I thought! It wasn't a two truck at all!

It turns out- someone did manage to plow into the car port! What I saw from my awkward vantage point: A broken windshield, deployed front airbags, a flat tire, and a variety of leaking fluids. There was an older gentleman looking confused and holding his eye. And many many on-lookers. And no tow truck. I'm guessing that the dragging sound was from them trying to back the car out a bit to assess the damage.

So, how bizarre is that?! I have no idea how you manage to floor it into a stationary object while driving in straight line! I'm no expert but from the amount of damage, the driver had to be going at least 15-20 miles per hour directly into a solid, stationary object! Fortunately the whole thing occurred 2 carports away from mine and all the glass and liquids and onlookers- went the opposite way.

And no photos. :(

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tales of the Weird But True #1: The Case of the Missing Plates

Today I went to the gym. As I walked through the parking lot I noticed a guy sitting in the passenger seat of a Red Honda Civic, messing around with his T-Mobile Sidekick. I thought that was kind of interesting. I continued walking up toward the gym and in the next row, I saw another guy, crouched in front of a blue, Ford Mustang GT. I was on the opposite end of the car so I couldn't see what he was doing. Still, I thought to myself, "Hmmph. Someone's getting their plate jacked".

As I continued walking up to the gym facility I pondered if I should mention that to someone. My internal reply, "What? You see two black guys in a parking lot and automatically think 'they must be stealing something'? That's called "profiling"." I felt guilty that I automatically type-cast two black guys with white tank tops and black doo-rags as "suspicious", and proceeded with my workout.

Ninety minutes later I was leaving the gym. I walked past the same Blue Mustang GT. Guess what? NO PLATES!!! "Sunuva..." I screamed. "Damn!!... black!!...". Talk about a quandry! On the one-hand, you've got damn, thievin' ass bastards! And I knew it! On the other hand, man was I tired. I Alas, my previous shrug meant I was now morally obligated to report it.

I flag down the ever-present Parking Gestapo and tell him the short version. He calls it in to the real police. A few minutes later, not one, but two cruisers roll up. Meanwhile, everyone inside the gym (built with an entire wall of plate glass facing the parking lot, btw) is watching the drama unfold. I tell my story to Officer A. Officer B shouts from his cruiser, "where's the blue car?" I point, he goes. Officer A takes a statement, funky little spiral-bound notepad in hand (I didn't know anyone still uses those). Officer B finds the car and lights up the ol' red-and-blues. The crowd goes wild!

I continued to give Officer A as many details as I can:
What'd the car look like?
Red, older Honda Civic. Fading paint job.

Anything special about it? Wheels? Anything?
Not really.

What'd the first guy look like?
He was crouched down on the other side of the car so I don't know his exact height. But, kinda like me. Black, same height, same build.

What was he wearing?
White tank top on and a black doo-rag.

What's the second guy look like?
He was sitting inside the car so I don't know his exact height either, but... well... kinda like me. Same height, same build. Black guy.

What was he wearing?
A white tank top on and a black doo-rag.

Twins, huh?
Yeah basically.

(And then, the clincher...)

Why didn't you tell someone earlier?
Well, you know- you can't just assume that two black guys loitering in the parking lot are stealing stuff.

Officer A laughs and says, "yes, I certainly know what you mean".

So, like many police stories, it ended with an unknown victim, a clean getaway, and me- with a business card. In case I think of anything else.

Of course, it could have been one of those guys' car and they just went to, um.... wash the plates? Couldn't it?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lookie What I Got! M7 Strut Tower Brace

Way back at AMVIV, (wow- that seems soo long ago!) I acquired the ever popular M7 Strut Tower Brace. I didn't get it installed at the time because our good friends from Detroit Tuned were astute enough to point out a cracked strut mount thingy! A quick replacement (and a few sledge-wacks later) and... voila!

(Q: How do you get a good, clear shot of a Strut Bar?)

Yes- I know my engine bay needs a detailing day

I like that when you get the M7 Strut Brace you automatically get the Strut Tower Reinforcement Plates too!

M7 Strut Brace (MSRP): $199.00
(Strut Tower "Caps" compliments of "Monty")

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Spy Car

A more recent photo of the Spy Car :)

An even more "artsy" version.

An even more "artsy" version, suitable for framing and desktop wallpapers.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lookie What I Got! MINI Motion Watch

Acquired through a game of chance...

Seriously though, not being one to typically wear a watch, I still cannot explain exactly how a few months back I awoke one day- with a watch fetish? So of course I need a "Saturday/Motoring Watch" to round out the collection. What better candidate than the (now) classic MINI Motion Watch.

From the MotoringFile review: "One of the main principles that the watch's design is centered on is the ability for clear and easy reading in every circumstance, even while motoring. The digital readout of the watch actually turns 90 degrees to give you a more straightforward view while your hands are on the wheels..."

Now, I'm no expert, but coming in as the most expensive watch I have ever owned, frankly, the watch doesn't leave as much of an impression as the dent in my wallet. Honestly, I thought the width on the numbers would be a lot bigger. I thought the numbers would rotate automatically. It's not that "clear and easy" to read. I'd prefer black over "charcoal"- (it's a lot more green in these photos and sometimes when the light hits it at a funky angle).

It's got three display modes for the time, stopwatch, and alarm. Frequent flyers and schizophrenics can set times for two different timezones. I'm sure I forgot something cool. Fortunately I located an old yet highly detailed Motoring File review of this very product so I'll spare you the rest of the details since I couldn't do any better. (damn you- Gabe!)

Nevertheless, a nice addition to my MINI schwag collection and watch managerie. And now, the pics!

Gotta love cool packaging...

a closer look...

the back (MINI logo, "water resistant up to 30 meters; All stainless steel; Made in China.")...

one must admit- it's a really unique design...

here it is with the time in "horizontal mode"...

here it is with the time in "vertical mode"...

here it is with the time in "small horizontal mode"...

here it is with the stopwatch in "vertical mode"...
MINI Motion Watch - $165 @

Oh yeah- and a big shout out to Aaron at for being the only e-tailer with this item in stock! (discontinued products other than the watch)
(Part No. 99 00 0 005 329)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Feliz Cinco de MINI!!

Brecht MINI in Escondido had a neat little event for the area MINIacs, "Cinco de MINI @ Brecht". It was a full-on Cinco De Mayo Fest! (I got some great video footage, but too bad I left my still-camera in the car, so you'll have to use your imagination!)

The on-site taqueria dude broke it down with good ol fashioned downtown street-cart style chicken, carne asada, and bean tacos! Yuummm!! (my friend said, "I never heard of bean tacos" to which I had to reply, "you need to get out more!")...

I discovered that mock-margaritas are no fun- even w/o the Tequila I still don't like them!...

What's a Cinco de Mayo with out Ballet Folklorico and Mariachis?!...

The parts desk had all their MINI schwag on the counters for everyone to drool on (yes, I did get another hat)...

Time to play.... Beat The Pinata!!...

The Brecht SCCA car was prominently displayed...

They had several 2006s on the lot and even a few 2007s too! Well, they've got one less because the neighbor of one of the WCMers bought one that day (which, of course, makes Mr. Brecht very pleased!)...

After the food and festivities, WCM lead a short run through some twisties... It was so much fun, most of the group of 43 MINIs headed back to Brecht via the switchbacks. Me? I had to head off to the freeway and get back home...

Overall it was very much fun and I am glad Brecht sponsored such a great event! I should write them a letter and thank them! (Yeah- I think I'll do just that!).

Whenever get the video edited I'll try and post it back on this entry!