Monday, July 26, 2010

Down On The Street - Driveway Edition

My friend Graham is borrowing a Honda S2000 for a few weeks while he decides if he wants to purchase it. Knowing that I'm a car geek, he came by so that we could take it out for a spin.
This particular "S2k" is a 2001 model, powered by Honda's high-strung F20C 2.0 liter four banger, putting out a healthy 240HP. At the time, this car had the highest specific output of any street vehicle, only recently surpassed by the powerplant in Ferrari's new 458 Italia supercar.
The engine's peak HP occurs at a dizzying 8300 RPM, 700 RPM shy of the frantic 9k RPM redline.
The fun really begins once the digital tach swings past 6k. Yep, you can tell that Honda also makes motorcycles - this car's character is much closer to that of a CBR than a Civic.

With only 2800 lbs to propel, the car has more than enough pep to get you in trouble. But it's not all about acceleration. The chassis has a perfect 50:50 weight distribution, incredibly sticky ultra-high performance summer tires and potent brakes.
Inside the snug cabin has all that you would need. Supportive leather seats, a sport steering wheel coupled to superbly-weighted electrically-assisted steering and incredible brakes. The short-throw stick shift is mated to a six-speed manual transmission - with Honda's legendary "snick-snick-snick" feel as it moves through the gears. Aluminum pedals are well-positioned for heel and toe shifting. Oh, and there's a radio in there too, hiding out behind a door. But it'd be a crime to drown out the sound of the F20C revving away like an angry swarm of bees.

Graham's still unsure if he'll buy it or not. The car has been well cared-for by an adult. Sharp-eyed readers will note that it only has 13,xxx miles on the clock too. I told him that if he did buy it, that I'd take it off his hands in a few years when he tires of it.

Come along for a drive, here's a (compressed) video from us taking it out on a local rural road:

Maybe if I'm lucky, this car will someday occupy my driveway - permanently.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

R.I.P. Michelle

May we never forget your spirit, perseverance or smile. You are greatly missed.

"In the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
-Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, July 17, 2010


As found on the fringes of teh innerwebs, I present a cool bicycle camper trailer.
Pretty slick! I wish I could find more information on this. All I can really tell is that Chet Jr. is using a late-1940s Schwinn World lightweight bike to tow it with.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Down On The Street - Post Office Edition

Everybody dreads going to the post office. It may not be quite as bad as, say, the DMV, unemployment office or your county courthouse, but it's rarely a pleasant experience and is often fraught with long lines and salty government employees.

A rare treat awaited me when I stepped out of my local post office this afternoon.
A '73-'74 Porsche 911 Carrera RS, beaming in the late-afternoon sun. Now I'm pretty sure that this one is a replica or "tribute" car. Since 911s used essentially the same body shell for nearly 20 years, it's not that difficult for an enthusiast to pick up the needed body parts and have them painted to match. Me?

But hey, that matters little to me. An original 911RS is the most-collectible of all 911s and would not be used for post office runs.
Someone can flog this car and not worry about the occasional ding.
One more shot of that sumptuous booty:
I stood around, admiring and snapping pix of the car for a few minutes, but the owner didn't show his face. Maybe he didn't like the idea of a stalker checking out his ride.

Yay BP!

About f-ing time. Assholes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Moving Sucks

Carlsbad box repository (aka the garage)

We received unfortunate news from our property manager a little over a week ago - we would not be allowed to sign on for another year in the small house we've called home for the past 22 months.

Moving into another rental home was not part of our grand plan. Nope, not at all. That plan called for us to save up enough $ to have a marginal down payment on a mortgage and to then settle in for the long haul (relatively speaking of course, Allie and I have lived in eleven homes over the course of our 15 year marriage). But that was not to be as the owner of this rental home needs to sell the property in order to pay medical bills. The homeowners did offer to sell the house to us, but checking the Zestimate™ from, this house will list for more than we are willing to pay, not to mention the small detail that it's also more than we can afford.

So it's back to checking Craigslist and a few other websites, trying to find a decent house in a decent, kid-friendly neighborhood that has 2+ bedrooms, a yard, a garage, decent storage space and within a few hundred bucks of what we're currently spending monthly.

Oh, and just to rub the proverbial salt in the festering wound, we found out a few days too late that a neighbor, residing just around the corner (close enough that I can see the house as I type) is moving and that that homeowner has already signed a lease with new tenants. Need I mention the fact that it's a nicer, larger home with a yard and that the rent is the same as what we currently pay? Ugh...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Down On The Street

Taking Juno to the dog beach at Carlsbad's Aqua Hedionda over the long weekend, I came across this gem sitting on a residential street.
Why it's a handsome and humble Volvo 122S, aka "Amazon".
Simple, stout and with legendary durability, this 46 year old car will likely still be on the road 46 years from now, provided gasoline is still being sold and that it doesn't get t-boned by some other car in the coming years.
This badge proclaims what's sitting under the hood to the world. One Volvo B18 engine powers a Volvo P1800 with over 2,500,000 miles on it. Or nearly 100 trips around the globe at the equator.

Speaking of badges, here's what's decorating the front fenders:
I bet this was designed by a guy named Sven with a high quality pencil and some vellum.
As much as I'm a sucker for period-correct Panasport Minilite wheels, if this Amazon was mine, I don't think I'd swap out the simple wheel covers. Well, maybe I would pick up a set to dress this three box car up. But the V-caps would stick around.
Let's check out the interior:
Purposeful and with a truck-like gear lever sprouting from the transmission hump.
Red vinyl and a Mexican blanket? Sweet combo!
Look closely and you'll notice a for sale sign.
Interested? The obscured area code is 858.
I'll take it!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Batiquitos Lagoon - New Rope Swing

My friend Graham and I took his kids, one of their friends and Celeste to the Batiquitos Lagoon on Sunday afternoon to hunt for fiddler crabs and to check out the new rope swings.

Crabs were found scurrying across the mud, granite boulders were climbed upon and lastly, rope swings were heavily used for about forty five minutes...

Kid group shot:
And, finally, Celeste. She was far braver this time than last. A combo of watching the other kids plus having a more confidence-inspiring seated position helped immensely.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dragonfly For Darren

When giving the Electra truck and trailer a pre-drive check yesterday morning, I came across this little critter, hanging out by the one of the trailer's rear wheels.
A very cool, very large dragonfly. According to one of our warehouse guys ("Fast Dan" - we used to have a "Slow Dan", but he was fired), it had been flying around "as if it was on crack" when he arrived for work about 20 minutes prior. I'm wondering if it smacked off the trailer.
For a dragonfly, it was pretty large. But since it may have been injured, it remained motionless long enough for me to snap a few pix.
I knew my buddy Darren "Canoelover" and odonata lover would be quick to ID it. Sure enough, his response followed the posting of this last pic to the Electra Facebook page.
Thanks for the ID, Darren!