Thursday, May 31, 2007


You ate where?

If you saw the comments in the previous post, Scott was questioning how I can eat in Easley and Seneca, SC. Both are towns built around main roads that people use to get out of said towns. Both are fairly historic towns and since we're in the Upstate of SC, both are fairly full of rednecks. I'm from Alabama so I can say things like these because my home state is full of them. Go to your local Wal-Mart. I bet you you'll find a redneck or two.

So you have to be careful with trying new restaurants.

Eh, don't feel like finishing this now. Back later.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


It's time.

Edit: not really an edit, but I continued the post at the bottom.

J's mom, my mother-in-law, MIL, arrived a bit late around 3:30. We set off on the road listening to my Primus/Smashing Pumpkins CD fresh outta the burner. J falls asleep about 30 minutes into the drive. MIL wants to know if she wants to hop in the backseat and lay down. Sure and if J's mom was in our demographic, I wouldn't have stopped and laughed at them both while they used Focus like a jungle gym, threading themselves between the seats while swapping spots. I pull over on the side of the interstate, mash the emergency flashers button and patiently wait. As I put the pedal to the metal, as it were (it's a 4 cylinder with luggage and 3 passengers and I'm merging into traffic with no merge lane), and we get back on the road.

Around 3.5 hours later we're driving around the block looking for our hotel, the Harbour View Inn. Lovely place, complimentary breakfast served on the rooftop terrace, main lobby or your room, fresh cookies and milk from 9 pm until 10 pm (get there on time if you want nice cold milk and fresh ooey gooey cookies) and cheese and wine from 5 pm to 6. We had a nice harbor view and 2 queen beds. We paid too much in my opinion but J justified it by saying it was our Mother's Day present. Fine.

We unpacked, had some Merlot, relaxed a bit while we decided where to eat. Jestine's (recommended by Rachel Ray), Magnolia (pricey but right down the block), but neither one of those sounded right. Fortunately I contacted Subaru who graduated from a certain military academy, to get all the good places to see and eat. He highly recommended the Mustard Seed. We went to the "C" location of the restaurant. My only other experience with "Seed" restaurants would be the Laughing Seed in Asheville, NC which is THE place to get delicious vegan and vegetarian fare. They do serve meat for those so inclined.

Dinner was amazing! We started with an asparagus and parmesan dip with toasted sesame bread. I had the soba stir fry noodles. Wow. So delicious. Everything tasted so fresh and there was so much food! It was at least 2 meals and maybe a late night snack. The desserts looked amazing but we were all too full to indulge. Besides, there were cookies waiting at the hotel. I would not be afraid to try anything on their menu and even lifted my "NO ASPARAGUS" ban for the meal.

Back to the hotel, cookies, milk, TV, sleep. Hmmhuh? What time is it? 5:30 am! What am I doing up? What's that sound? Oh great. Another snorer. MIL was sawing logs and spraying sawdust everywhere. I finally manage to go back to sleep and wake up again at 8:30 am. Crap, last night when we were ordering breakfast for the room, J of course, picked the latest possible time, 10 am, so I have to wait until we eat. Ah well, it's vacation, I'll go ahead and get up. I wander up to the rooftop terrace and take in the wonderful view and sunshine. Rain greeted us into C-ton but is now a distant memory. What's the lobby like? They had Skittles and M&Ms out last night. They also have coffee and tea in the lobby and no Lipton. This was herbal tea and very good in my completely amateur opinion. Wish I could remember the brand. There was also a computer down there for use of the guests. So I posted this, which some of you may remember.

I walk back up to the room about 9:30 and figure that that is enough sleep for the both of them, so I open up the blinds a bit, but not all the way to save their corneas from an instant death. J wakes up and I snuggle with her since it's the only chance we'll get all day. The phone rings and lets us know that breakfast is on the way. Sweet! Finally I can get my bagel! The food arrives, tip is handed out, they forgot my espresso. No biggie, so she runs and gets it. It's all very good and made even better by the fact that I didn't have to go anywhere to eat it.

J's mom finally wakes up and her carafe of coffee is still warm and that's all she cares about. I'm pretty sure she didn't eat anything.

I don't bother with a shower since I'm going to the beach! Hooray! J and MIL get me to drop them off near the horse drawn carriage tours and I'm off! Traffic is surprisingly heavy for a random Friday at noon, but I guess it's lunch time. I drive through the suburbs of Mt. Pleasant, spot the Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods, just in case I need to kill some time later, and only make one wrong turn getting to the beach.

Towels down, ipod on, sunscreen applied and back to sleep. It isn't a real sleep but more of a rest since I'm scared to death of skin cancer and don't want to be that guy who falls asleep in the sun and gets the half life threatening sunburn. Unfortunately I discovered one disadvantage of a solo beach trip. No one to get your back. Shit. I do have a cool spray can of sunscreen so I could just ask someone to give me a spritz. Eh, I don't feel like talking to anyone, just watching, so I gave it a shot and blindly sprayed my back.

As I'm reading Nemesis by Isaac Asimov, I realized that I miss the beach. It's so relaxing. Sure you can play football or soccer and be active or you can lay there and let the sun's UV rays do its work.

I'll finish this up tomorrow. Gotta go to a CGSO meeting right now.

I stayed on the beach for 3-4 hours, just relaxing, reading, watching the birds glide through the air, watching people. My towels both received good shakes to get rid of excess sand, through everything back into my bag and headed back to the car. We were going to a slightly nicer place for dinner, the aforementioned Magnolia, so I decided to change shirts at the car. Windows down, tunes up and headed back towards Charleston proper. I told J I would call once I was close to where they were. Hey there they are! I parked near the Battery and then we toured the John C. Calhoun house which is the largest privately owned residence in C-ton at a cool 24,000 square feet. The house had lots of history, changed hands many times and even homed homeless people and hippies in the 60's and 70's. But the current owner is a preservationist and once he heard some developers talking about tearing it up and making mini-condos, he sprung into action, checkbook in hand! He's an "international litigation lawyer" according to the tour guide and up until that point she had been dropping names left and right but was strangely silent about the current owner. Whoever he is, I like his style. He had such a varied collection of pieces. From early 19th century American landscape paintings to a Kandinsky and a piece of a 12th or 13th century chunk of an Indian temple. His collection of mounted animal heads was also impressive. The tour guide went out of her way to say that he isn't a hunter but liked collecting them. I especially liked his bear half that seemed to be attacking out of the wall.

We then left and went to eat. For future reference, there is a parking lot right next to Magnolia that is for its guests, so don't cruise block after block looking for a parking space like me. Dinner was exquisite. My baby beets with goat cheese was amazing. And the goat cheese is actually made by a lady about 15 minutes from Clemson in Anderson. I still need to go check out her farm and get some fresh goat cheese. Split Creek Farm is the name of the place and they offer online ordering, so please support local SC merchants!

J and MIL ordered the same entree, seafood with grits and I thought MIL was going to order another one! She devoured it while normally she just picks at her food. I had some port for dessert and some of J's raspberry creme brulee. It was all delicious and would highly recommend it. Although I did think my mahi mahi was a bit salty but the jalapeno grits and fried green tomatoes below it were outstanding.

We drove home after that. I took one of J's prescribed "trucker pills" just in case I started getting sleepy. NOPE! Prescribed amphetamines to the rescue!

Saturday was a lazy day. I came into work a little bit and brought J and MIL the second time I came in and showed them around the lab and department. Then we went to eat dinner at Copper River Grill in Seneca. Apparently it's a chain but it's pretty much the only nice place to eat in Seneca. No I'm not kidding. Your other choices are fast food, Schlotzsky's deli, Ryan's, and a couple BBQ joints. And their menu goes from NY strip steak down to burgers and pizza. If they would get better bread, their po-boy would be unstoppable but as is, the bread is too crunchy and crumbles everywhere. Their honey butter croissants on the other hand are pure heaven. I'm sure they would offend a true Frenchman, but they're just right for upstate South Kakalakie.

Went home, watched a movie, woke up and took MIL to the airport. Thanks for visiting! It was lots of fun!

Back tomorrow with another restaurant review (Cafe Fritz, a German eatery in Easley aka Sleazley, SC)

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Charleston recap

will actually come later today. After lunch probably. I need to mount some crystals and fire X-rays at them first.

Also Scott E, if you swing by again, please leave your blog address. It's lost in my favorites folder.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Coil my tongue around a bumblebee mouth

Any Smashing Pumpkins fans around? Ever since I figured out that Cherub Rock, Disarm and Today were all on the same album and by the same band, I was hooked. Ever since then Billy Corgan, James Iha and D'arcy Wretzky (had to google her last name) and Jimmy Chamberlin have been inseperable. Apparently D'arcy, her ex-Hole bassist replacement Melissa Auf Der Mar and James Iha are not partaking in the reunion tour, which is very sad. I'm not the biggest fan but definitely am a fan. Actually my first exposure to the Pumpkins was from my awesome high school art teacher Laurie Hickey who had their first album, Gish. I really hope you track me down one day. I heard you had gotten married and hey, so did I! So congrats to you and your wonderful husband, maybe I can meet him one day. If you think he's good enough to marry you, then that's good enough reason to like him for me.

But the Pumpkins' reunion tour was going to be just 1.5 hours away in Asheville with 9 shows at the Orange Peel. I'm not hardcore so I didn't know the dates or when tickets went on sale, but they initially were $20/each and now they're going for 20 times that on ebay. Ah well, just another band to add to the "I missed their concert during their prime and will never get that opportunity again." Currently that is a short list of Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine and now Smashing Pumpkins.

I still have my CDs though. And I'm sure Smashing Pumpkins 2007 will put on a kickass show.

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Monday, May 21, 2007


Seedless watermelon

The zucchini, tomatoes and bell peppers I planted are doing well. I doubt they're going to flower before we move, but that's okay. I think some of the plants need more soil. We didn't have enough dirt to fill all the pots to the top, so some are just halfway and I think their growth is already stunted. At our new place there is some nice dirt out front, so I might transplant them all into that. We'll see.

I'm taking a couple boxes home tonight so that we can begin The Packing. The Packing will be followed by The Move. I need to call the furniture guys and tell them when we want our new furniture delivered. Thankfully the only utilities we have to turn on are water and electricity and tell DirecTV where we're moving. Although I recieved an offer in the mail from them trying to convince me to start new service and we'll probably do that. It's a new Tivo, some portable DVD player and some free movie channels for 3 months. Not bad, but maybe I can get them to sweeten the deal if I tell them I don't want the DVD player. Maybe I could sell it.

Lunch for now, but I'll be back with many many stories concerning our trip to Charleston and co-worker's cruise.

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Friday, May 18, 2007


Good Morning Charleston!

Hey! Guess what?! My MIL snores! Hooray! If you're keeping track at home that that is 3 parental units who will need their own room for family trips. Duly noted. It wasn't that bad honestly but it was bad. It's funny though because whenever someone snores on a trip it always reminds me of the trip my family and I took with Grandma to Dollywood. All 5 of us were jammed into a hotel room with either me and my brother on the floor, or maybe both. At one point it was very dark and very late and the only person in the hotel room who was asleep was Dad. He was sawing up a storm and we decided, without his input, to put him in his own room from now on, or make him sleep in the car.

No big plans for me in C-ton aka Chuck Town. We ordered breakfast in the room at 10 which is still a good hour away but since I woke up at 5:45 and successfully went back to sleep coupled with the fact that it is a gorgeous day outside, I woke up at 8:30 and went up to the rooftop terrace and took in the harbor. It rained on us almost all day yesterday but today is more than making up for it.

I was thinking about doing the Drift Atlanta post but don't want to hog the lobby computer for too long. Maybe just a few teaser pics?
Sony Ford Focus ZX3
Very tricked out Focus courtesy of a place that I do not shop at anymore ever since they fired all their senior employees who were making too much money. It isn't Sony, but it's a large store where you would buy Sony items.

Hankook JIC Magic Drift Porsche
Drift Porsche, please note the sick fender flares and the gigantic rear tires. 335s if you were wondering. Makes Focus' 205s seem like a rubber band in comparison.

Seth and Stephan Verdier
Seth with Stephan Verdier, Frenchmen and rally driver extraordinaire. He gets paid to rally and drifts in his free time. That is an '06 Subaru STI that he put a rally cage in, FIA and WRC legal I might add, and then converted to rear wheel drive for drifting duties. Awesome.

That's it for now, but if you have a Facebook account you can check out the rest. Actually, you might even be able to look at it even if you don't have an account, but don't quote me on it.

EDIT: Okay, I uploaded all the pics onto my Flickr account, so just click on one of the pics or my Flickr badge to check them out.

Okay, one more. This is a brand new Saturn Sky, which if people can get over the fact that it's a Saturn will really give the Miata a run for its money, that they crammed a Corvette LS2 engine into. If Satan were to drift, it would sound like this car. Before it exploded of course. It was such a mean low V8 rumble. And that roof scoop is just sick.
Saturn Sky

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Thursday, May 17, 2007


Faster than a...

Mother in law gets in town today. We're going straight from the airport to Charleston. We'll be back late tomorrow. We have the single crystal xray diffractometer on Saturday so I'll be in a bit and can update you with restaurant reviews and beach reports.

Right now I'm jamming as much work as I can into the day before lunch. Thanks for the book suggestion Princess of Power. It's next on the list.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Bring it on Monday

It was such a wonderful weekend. J & Co. had a great time at the concert and CL, Protege's fiance, took the bullet for the team and drove there and back with a return time of 5 am. Yeah, that's impressive, big rig impressive even. The Tabernacle is an extremely cool place to catch a show and hopefully, I'll be able to attend the next one. It sounds like my kind of place.

Drift Atlanta 2007 was sick. Chris Forsberg in his truck V8 engined Maxxis Tire Nissan 350Z ultimately took the win over Darren McNamara and his Falken Tire turboed Toyota Corrolla. Third went to last year's winner Tanner Foust, who I never did get a chance to talk to, in his AEM Memphis Audio Nissan 350Z. Sorry for all the sponsor talk but it's good practice for when I have to give all my sponsors some post-race love.

Friday, arrive, watch some drifting practice, stroll through the pits, see some friends, watch some more drifting, dinner at Zaxby's, camping out front of Road Atlanta, sleep, arise, go autocross at Turner Field, lunch at Uncle Vito's NY Pizza off Exit 120 on 85 close to the Road Atlanta exit of 129, drifting, pits but missed the autograph session, catch Stephan Verdier as we're leaving the pits and talk about rallying and drifting and his '06 Subaru STI that he converted to rear wheel drive and how he trailered it across the country himself, more drifing, try to leave, we repark the car and then traffic finally starts moving after a half hour and then finally get home at 12:30 am or so on Sunday morning.

Yes it's a blur but I will hopefully have pics before the week is out. I didn't bring my camera so Subaru let me use his.

The autocross was especially fun cuz it's hard to watch all that racing/drifting and not be able to enjoy the action, so it was great to hop in a car and rip some shit up.

My first run was a 54.3. Not bad, smooth, no cones. Then I ride along with Subaru. I'm co-driving Subaru's Subaru this weekend and let me tell you. All wheel drive plus turbo plus big meaty 245/45/16 Hoosier race tires equals one hell of a good time. So I hop in the passenger's seat and hang on for dear life as Subaru rips off a 52.7. Wow, I need to go faster. Oops, go too fast on my 2nd run and get sideways in a slalom and get a 55 something. Suby tears off a 51. Wow, he's fast. But we're talking and there is a small fairly tight section near the beginning of the course and Suby doesn't think we really need to hit the brakes through there and maybe would only need to lift off throttle a little bit. Sounds good, so I give it a shot. I danced that WRX through those cones like the Suby doesn't weigh 3000 pounds. Slow in the slow parts, fast in the fast parts and that turbo just hauling ass up the slight elevation change. Smooth but damn fast. 49.7! WOO-HOO! Needless to say I'm stoked. Shaved almost 4 full seconds off my time. Damn that's a good feeling. Suby hops back in but can only muster a 50.1. Nice. I tell myself I want to go a little faster for my last run but my foot doesn't get the message and go waaay too fast through one section and go to the left of some cones that I'm supposed to go right of because there was no way I was going to be able to slow down enough to make those cones.

I'm fairly certain I won my class and now I want a turbo and all wheel drive just a little bit more. Thanks go to Subaru for letting me co-drive and to Subaru in Japan for making such a kick ass ride.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007


Ever notice how.....

Nope, wasn't going anywhere at all with that title. Sorry.

There's only 2 of us in lab today. One guy's parents are in town for gradamation and the other's boyfriend is in town from her native US territory (it's the most well known one), so I doubt they'll be coming in today. So a nice quiet day in lab. Actually since the majority of students are now gone, it's going to be a nice quiet summer. Occasionally we'll get an undergrad working in our lab for the summer, but we're not even getting one of those, so lots of quality lab time that I will try and use to its fullest cuz it's only going to get more hectic.

Excellent additions by Tom to my last post. Definitely make sure all the wheels are round and not egg-shaped (wheel shop can take care of that if you can't tell visually), and if they are super fancy and you're concerned about their finish, make your concerns known to the shop owner and the guy mounting the tires on your wheels. Some places, I'm looking at you Wal-Mart, don't really give a shit if they scratch up your nice shiny wheels, so yet another reason to never set foot in Wal-Mart.

This weekend is going to be great! J is going with Protege and his fiance, we'll call her CL for Acura reasons, to a concert (is it still a concert if its a DJ and not a band?) at the Tabernacle in ATL on Fri. night and since CL is super hardcore like that, they'll be driving home that night. At least they'll have J's doctor prescribed uppers, just in case someone gets sleepy. Ah-ha! I knew the Tabernacle was a multi-level venue! I have personally never been there but I hear it's a great place to catch a show in ATL; much more cozy than a large arena show.

The DJ spinning is Paul Van Dyk of international fame, so it should be a very sick show.

I, on the other hand, will be traveling back to Fish Lake in Nowheresville, GA with Subaru after getting to Road Atlanta around 3 pm on Friday to catch practice and qualifying for Drift Atlanta! I'm sure it will prove to be a tire shredding, rip roaring good time. I missed it the first year it was down there but never again! The control those guys have over those cars is almost unbelievable. Personally I'm looking forward to seeing Tanner Foust, who is probably still in his AEM Memphis Audio 350Z, Rhys Millen in the Red Bull Pontiac Solstice and Samuel Hubinette in the new Mopar Drift Charger. Everyone puts on a good show but those are some of the more high profile guys. The word on the street is that there is also going to be a drift Porsche out there too, so that should be exciting and piss off lots of old rich guys too. I'm not sure how Jerry Seinfeld would feel about, but I think as long as its on a track and exposing the Porsche name to a different demographic, he'd be all for it. Oh yeah, Stephan Verdier will be there too. He's another amazing rally driver who is trying his hand at some hot slideways action action action.

Here's a link to the driver's page. Lots of skilled athletes in that bunch. Hopefully I'll get some pictures with some of them and if I can find something cool for them to autograph that isn't too heavy to carry around, maybe I'll get a few John Hancocks as well.

And that's just Friday! So leave Road ATL, go to Fish Lake, eat, hang out, sleep, wake up and then head down to Turner Field and autocross! Last year they had some really cool racing in the morning before Drift Atlanta (the drifting starts at 3 pm on Fri. and Sat.) but this year it's only a bunch of Spec Panoz race cars, which are cool the first couple times you see them, but if you go to Road Atlanta for any race series, odds are you're gonna see some Panoz cars flying around the track. So we'll be skipping that and autocrossing with the Atlanta region SCCA. I haven't driven Subaru's Suby since we installed the clutch and he got the tuning chip for it, so I'm EXTREMELY EXCITED! I like driving fast cars, what can I say.

I still remember the first time I autocrossed the Suby, I was still using Focus braking points in my head and didn't factor in the all wheel drive, AWD, or the turbo, so I was going way too fast for my late braking point and took a few cones down with me. So now in the back of my head the little guy is whispering "this car is alot faster than Focus, you'll have to brake sooner and maybe more often" which is true but with all the differentials and all 4 tires being driven by the engine, you can get on the power alot sooner than in Focus. Just remember that the car has to be pointed the right way before you punch it. Slow in, fast out is definitely the Subaru mantra, and it's also true for basically any car you're trying to drive fast.

I'll be in tomorrow morning and then on Monday we'll have a weekend recap! And maybe even a few pictures!

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Shattered Dreams

Sorry, I was checking out for the latest news in celebrities. Paris is trying everything to stay out of jail, except not driving of course. Tom Sizemore was busted for smoking crank, again. Stay off the ice Tom, haven't you seen Faces of Meth? Yeah, that shit is BAD.

So the wheels for Focus that I bought and had sandblasted, remeber those? The original plan was sandblast them, clearcoat them, mount tires on them, put them on car and sell my stock wheels on ebay. Not gonna happen.

Clearcoated them, looked great, took them to get the tires mounted and the guy encountered problems. The finish from the sandblasting was really rough so they were grabbing the tires and wouldn't pop onto the wheel/rim. Lots of soap took care of that. So we get it mounted up and put it on the for a test fit since I'd never had them on my car before.

Hey, did you know these were 8 inches wide? Uh, no. Did you know that these wheels have been machined by someone to try and make them fit another bolt pattern? Um, nope.

He said they would stay on the car and it would be safe but there was no guarantee that the wheels would ride smooth and might make the car shake and vibrate. AND the fact that they are 1.5 inches wider than the stock wheels, so I literally had a finger's width between the tire and my fender, which would be fine if all roads everywhere were smooth. So I didn't feel like cutting my fenders this week to make the tire fit, and I didn't like the prospect of the new wheels not riding right, so I told him to mount the tires on my stock wheels.

I contacted the guy who sold them to me and he's being cool about it and offered some of my money back, but I HATE learning lessons the hard way. Although it does seem like I learn them that way more often than not. Yeah, I like starting sentences with conjuctions, what of it?

So here I present Seth's Guide to Buying Used Wheels (we'll also toss in some other search tags like rims, tutorial, help)

1) Check the outer and inner lip of the wheel and make sure they are straight and even. The outer lip is also where most wheels will be scraped against curbs, so if you're looking for show quality, keep that in mind. If you see any small dips, it most likely means they hit something hard and even if the tire will hold air, you are going to get some vibration through the steering column. Better pass on those unless you REALLY like them and they are cheap.

2) Triple check the bolt pattern of the wheel, its size, center bore and offset. 15s? 16s? 24s? and how wide are they? 5"? 8"? 12"? If the person you're buying them from doesn't know, take that as a warning sign and take a tape measure just in case. Odds are if they know a few of those numbers and it came off the same type of car that you're putting it on, it should work. Contact your local wheel merchant if you're unsure.

3) Check the holes through which the lugs pass. Are they circular? Are they oblong or elliptical? If they don't all look the same, and all aren't round, you're probably looking at a wheel that someone tried to make fit on another bolt pattern. In my case, they tried, screwed up and put in a plastic dish to try and fix their mistake. Bleh.

4) Ask them what size tire they usually mount onto the wheel also and go price a set of those. You can play around with the width a little bit (the width is the first number of the mystical tire marking) and adjust the price with wider tires being more expensive. Protege saved himself about $75 going from a 215 to a 205 width tire for everyday driving and he said he can barely tell a difference.

For a frame of reference, if you're considering going blingtastic on your new Escalade, the guy was quoting 2800-3500 for a set of 22s and around 1800-2200 for tires, so you always have to budget money for tires for your brand new wheels too.

The bad part is I still like the wheels I have. I LOVE that they're 8 inches wide. I could squeeze at least a 235 on there if not a 245. That's alot of tire going from a 205. However to do that I would have to cut my fenders and would also have to find some tires in that size. I hear 16 inch race tires are very tricky to find. Huh, I just found a set of Hankook's new Ventus Rs2 V212s for $93/each from Edge Racing. In a 245/45/16. Niiiiice. I need some storage space to prevent myself from getting hosed on this deal!

That also reminds me. If you're paying more than $400 to $450 for tires, mounting and balancing, you're getting ripped off. Or maybe you're not. But please, please, please shop around on the internet a little bit before going down to your dealership/Goodyear/Firestone or wherever the hell you buy tires from. You might be surprised. For example, I just looked up a set of 205/50/16 (my street tire size) on Edge Racing. $245 shipped plus another $60 for mounting and balancing and I just replaced my tires for a hair over $300. Don't you love the internet?

Also, if you don't know your tire size (something everyone who drives a vehicle should know, just in case) next time you go out to your car, bend down and get to know your tires. There will be a bunch of writing, some DOT stuff, max PSI, etc... and then you should see some numbers that will look similar to 215/50/17 89Wor something like that. The important numbers are the first 3. The last number and letter is a speed rating. It basically states how what load the tire can hold and its top tested speed. Don't worry, you're probably not going that fast anyway, or at least not on public roads.

Tire browsing websites:
Tire Rack (Currently sponsoring the One Lap of America, like Cannonball but fewer deaths and more legal)
Edge Racing
Vulcan Tire
Discount Tire

Most of those also offer race tires if you're in the market for those.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Why oh why can't she drive 55?

Guess who got busted doing 80 in a 65 this morning? If you're first impulse is me, let me tell you that the highest speed limit I see on my way to work is 35. For me to do 80 in a 35, that's basically a death wish and instant wreckless endangerment and a free "Straight to Jail" card.

Yeah, my lovely wife J. She's a friggin' speed demon. And she can't see well, so she never spots the cops until the radar detector goes off or they're right behind her with lights ablaze.

Bah. Any helpful suggestions or comments would be appreciated.

As punishment she has to drive Tercel to work for at least a month, when I finally get her shocks fixed.

Everything comes down to money, or at least that's the way it seems on first glance. Why does J speed? She thinks speed limits are arbitrary and stupid (partially right), she thinks speeding tickets are just fundraisers for police departments and a way for said departments to gauge productivity of their officers (more than partially right) and ultimately she can't wait to be rich cuz then she can speed and speed and just keep paying the tickets and then hire a lawyer or a driver once her license gets suspended (again).

I don't know.

We no longer have the internet at our house. The person whose wireless signal we were borrowing moved out and left us incommunicado. It's very frustrating and seemingly our only two options to get it are cable or DSL. To get DSL you have to pay Bellsouth for both the phone line and the DSL service, which is outrageous. Cable isn't as bad, but it's still pricey for a decent connection.

Hopefully we can just limp along through May and our new place will have a local wireless signal.

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Friday, May 04, 2007


The Devil wears a T-shirt and penny loafers

We had some friends over last night. Just hanging out, playing some Blokus. The premise of the game is you have various pieces all of which resemble Tetris pieces. You can attach a new piece to another piece of your color by the corner. It's lots of fun. I need to see if there is some secret strategy that I don't know about. I got waxed in the second game we played.

I need to take some pics of some items I'll be putting on ebay. It's some books, some of my parents China, Disney VHS tapes, and some stock Focus wheels.

Wow, this guy put alot of thought into Blokus. Maybe it will be my new secret weapon? I'll let you know if it pays off, P. Todd.

No super plans for this weekend. Some laundry, general house cleaning, and some general getting rid of stuff. We'll be moving around June 15th, so if we start cleaning and packing now, it won't be so psychotic. Hopefully.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007


I don't like the drugs but the drugs like me.

No one has blamed Marilyn Manson for anything recently. There has to be someone that he pseduo-influenced into performing an atrocity.

I was thinking about what is really stopping the reform of drug laws in this country. So far I have come up with: uninformed and uneducated voters, the prison system and the corporations that keep it chugging along destroying a significant portion of our country, pharmaceutical companies and the money they might lose, and propaganda.

J and I watched The Last King of Scotland last night. Hats off to Forest Whitaker. Excellent job portraying the light and dark sides of one of the world's most recent tyrants and congrats on the Oscar. But that movie and Hotel Rwanda really cemented how powerful propaganda is. Governments have been using it for aeons. It inspires people to work harder, eat less, sacrifice for the cause! It also convinces people that people different from you aren't really human, are evil and should be killed. So if you're planning on invading or taking control of a country, propaganda should be on your checklist, right behind food and medical supplies for the people and an army of mercenaries, just in case.

Remember I bought a set of wheels for Focus? Well they have now been sandblasted and are a lovely pale silver color. I rather like it. So now I have to do some googling and see what the best way to protect it is and if it's even possible to polish some parts of it and make it shiny. Not quite chrome shiny Smoove, but shiny nonetheless.

I'll take some before and after pics for comparison and maybe it'll inspire you to change the look of your car with a small investment instead of going to your local Bling-o-rama and picking up a set of 22s.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Central Station Cafe

We ate lunch there today. If J reads this she's gonna be jealous. We love that place. We still love it even though the buffet + drink price just went up a whole $0.50 to $6.50. If you're ever in Central and it's lunchtime, don't even think about going somewhere else.

We still need to take in our wedding pictures. Yeah, I've been going there for a while and then once I took J, she was hooked.

Oh, I need to find that hotdog blog. I have some reviews to add to their site. J and I ate at Five Guys Burgers, apparently the full name is Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries. We both got a burger, which were delicious and their toppings list is most excellent. Only complaint is the "fried onions" were merely sauteed, not really fried. Fried, to me, implies deep fried with a breading. They were still delicious. However, I also wanted to try a hot dog. Notice how there is no mention of famous hot dogs on the sign. Yeah, they should just go ahead and take them off the menu. I couldn't even take a second bite. The bread was okay but they split the dog in half. Uh wtf? You need to warn people that you'll be disfiguring their dog. And the dog itself was devoid of any spice or flavoring and was not good. Get a new frank supplier and cut the bread a different way so you won't have to slice the dog in half and I might try another. Ugh, and those fries. Some were good, but others were soggy and limp. Maybe we should've tried the cajun fries.

Next Five Guys trip, I will get a Little Burger and do you have any onion rings?


Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Under My Thumb

One of the songs that, for me, really solidified the Rolling Stones as one of the greats. It didn't hurt that my suitemate (one of the two guys in the adjacent dorm room with whom we shared a bathroom) would start his day with that Stones CD and made sure that it was loud and we could hear it. Wonderful way to start the day.

Heroes was pretty good last night. We leapt into the future 5 years after the nuclear bomb (aka Peter Petrelli who absorbed the radiation guy's power) has destroyed half of NYC and "mutants" are considered terrorists and being captured. If you don't think you need a shape shifter on your side, think again. Magneto's righthand wo-man is Mystique, a shape shifter, and in Heroes, many people have been tricked by the shape shifter, but it turns out that Peter's brother Nathan is president of the USA except we found out he's really Sylar! Oh no! And he was the mastermind behind people with superpowers becoming outlaws. It's alot easier to take over the world if a) you're the president of the USA and b) you're using said power to exterminate all other mutants, so they're won't be anyone left to stop you. Kind of the reverse of Magneto's plan in the first X-men, which was to turn everyone into a mutant. It's still a good show even if they're "borrowing" some ideas from great comic books.

So Peter is helping Past Hiro (who can teleport and time travel) get back to the past and kill Sylar before he orchestrates his plan. I'm not sure if they're going to wrap it up in 3 seasons, or wrap up a few of the storylines, but I'm fairly certain we'll at least figure out if they stop the catastrophe from happening.

Another thing I noticed they've never addressed is what Sylar does after he takes off the top of the skull. He pops the top and then presumably does something sinister with the brain. I have taken the liberty of adding my own slurping sounds whenever they cut away from what is about to happen. Maybe he makes a smoothie. Maybe he just touches the brain and gets the power. Who knows? It isn't super important but just something I was wondering about. And if you're trying to recreate my slurping noises at home, it's very similar to the sound Sir Anthony Hopkins made after delivering his famous Silence of the Lambs line: "I ate his liver with some favre beans and a nice chianti."

I planted some tomatoes, green bell peppers and some zuchinni yesterday so I'll keep you posted on that. Maybe even a pic or two.

We also found a new place to live. The previous tenants skipped out and left holes in the wall, a hole in a door, some gross couches and a bedframe, so they're gonna clean all that up and make it "reasonable" to use their word. I also had to sign a paper stating that the security deposit I'm giving them is mine but they get to keep any interest that it accumulates. Nice. I wish I was a slumlord. But it's a 2 story townhouse which will be a first for both J and myself. We've been one story dwellers our entire lives. I'm sure Leon will like running up and down the stairs.

We had a call about Julio but it was a fake Julio. This cat had orange spots on it and not stripes. Julio has about a month and a half to show back up before we move. When we move out, I will officially give up hope that he will ever come back.

This weekend was lots of fun. I autocrossed Focus at the BMW factory in Greer. We set up a small Focus showdown and had Foci from ATL, Asheville and even Knoxville. I came in dead last out of the Foci. But that's okay. I'm still learning but am to the point where I need some semi-professional instruction, so I'm gonna try and make it to a driving school this summer. It was still lots of fun. Check out the results here. My class, Street Touring, is about halfway down the page. I'm #21 and got 8 out of 11 cars in my class and Foci swept the top 3 spots! Hooray! Focus Powah!

Then we went to eat at TGIFridays and talked, hung out and enjoyed each others' company.

I'm getting the new set of wheels I picked up for Focus sandblasted tomorrow. The previous owner spraypainted them black and their original paint color was a bronzish/gold. The gold might look good on my black car, but I don't think there's a good way to get just the black off, so we're going to bare metal and then I'll decide if I want to spraypaint it another color, or just clearcoat it and keep it bare aluminum. Right now I'm leaning towards bare metal but we'll see.

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