Storypost | 2007.12.31

The 30th featured a trip to Northstar. I took the atc to see how it would stack up to the Canon. Pretty much the same results - nasty camera shake - but easier to wield. Videos may come later, but here are some stills from the 640x480 video.

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Storypost | 2007.12.19

So there's the front turbo. And I put the HID assembly on the Duc (thanks to Connie). The bulb replacement was exact, the ballast was easily tucked in front of the gauge cluster. It's whiter, brighter, and uses something like 35W versus 55W. So a HID headlight + LEDs everywhere else = ten times the spark and more boooooooost. But anyway, I'm a fan of the HIDs, the vr4 will be next. Maybe even rearrange the electrical so I run four low-beams from the headlights and a high-beam from the fog lamps.

In other news I find it hard to be not stoked about the studio caving and signing Peter Jackson to produce the Hobbit movies. The Hobbit always appealed to me more than the trilogy in much the same way cookie dough ice cream appeals to me more than chocolate chip ice cream. The trilogy is without a doubt the more grandiose, epic prose that is a homage to and improvement upon centuries of Western literature. The Hobbit is a very modest, approachable tale of treasure hunting, rather than heroism, and suspense rather than predestination.
Oh and a dragon. Dragons kick ass.

I never thought civilization's demise would come at the hands of my peers, but Erik could be on to something here.

When our generation retires the worst computer viruses of all time will run rampant. The old are the only people with more time on their hands than the pre-driving age social outcasts that manufacture most of the spyware and worms that plague us today.

Beats the hell out of bingo. I can't wait to be listless and devious.

On the subject of quotations, it looks like it's time to transpose my all-time favorite text messages. Going to be getting a new phone soon and I would hate to lose the gems I've been sent in years past. Of course to protect the innocent I won't divulge any names so if you're reading this and you're also not me or the quotee you really won't have any context. If you've been immortalized here, congratulations. If you haven't, I am very disappointed in your ability to produce one-liners.

Who let the dogs out?...woof...woof woof woof woof

Cute. Definitely cute.

Alas i don't have barf messanging service.

This one came from an exchange while I was at a concert with the author's boyfriend. That's pretty much how it's been the seven years I've known her, I say something foul, she bemusedly tolerates it.

Don't ever antagonize the horn!

An erudite reference from my most well-read acquaintance. Sure he'll quote Simpsons, Futurama, Arrested Development, and a host of movies, but he can even drop Pynchon on you from a party in the wee hours of the morning.

I had to drop a deuce and I think I fell asleep on it

This was one of a series of messages that, taken alone, suggests my friend slept on his own feces. In actuality 'it' refers to a toilet, which tells you something about how his night went.

Storypost | 2007.12.10

1997 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 TT underpass

Scene It Ty and I cleaned up on Saturday. Three comeback victories in a row against the roomies and their girlfriends.

Mud football Jon organized a match of mud football. There was much more of the former than the latter; the completion:interception ratio was somewhere around 2:1. Sure the ball was slippery, but the predominant reason had to be that we were running nothing but fly routes on account of not being able to cut. Well, that's not entirely true, Erik and I sported cleats whose advantage declined as the grass turned to mud. Everyone else... well they brought the proverbial knife to the gun fight.

Fantasy football Next week will be straight out of Genesis. Kevin takes on Brian, and I'm playing Jon. Let's hope the older brothers fare better than they did in the elder vs. younger Wiilympics all those months ago. But what's there to worry about with Wayne against Oakland and Moss against the Jets? That's seven tds right there.

Mass Effect Bioware did a really good job here. KOTOR was awesome, but comparing it to Mass Effect is like comparing Mario 3 to Mario 64. Both great games in their own right, but the sequel adds so much depth that all you can really say is they're the cream of their respective generation. Elaborating on this would be difficult to put into a reasonable number of words, so let me just say that it's a great game to lost in.

VR4 photo session I finally got out with the car and camera for a quickie shoot to play with the ever-so-difficult auto photography and hdr. The car is lots of fun and you wouldn't imagine how much free boba I've gotten.

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Storypost | 2007.12.05

Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 boost gauge

The flight out was excellent all around. No rush, no traffic, no waiting. Jon was happy to take me to the airport at 5:45 and I got into Portland on time. Getting through Portland was smooth, the trolly is adjacent to the baggage claim and will take you all the way to Beaverton for a mere $2.00. I got through a fair amount of I Am America (And So Can You!) on the way.
No beavers, lots of rain though.

Arthur dropped me at his place where I played Flatout for a couple hours. It's a pretty mediocre Burnout/NFS hybrid, normal EA stuff. When he finished work we headed over to Northwest Investment Cars to check out a VR4 I had seen on the internet. It looked pretty clean all around, a far cry from the ones I inspected in San Diego and Sacramento. The salesman answered a few of my questions but was fairly dismissive of me. Maybe he didn't think I could/would buy the car, maybe it was a half-ass attempt at the snobbery I'm familiar with being a desmo, maybe it's a sales tactic. He said the car listed at $17,000 but would 'go for $16,000'. I asked to take it to a mechanic, he assured me they inspect each car thoroughly and I'd only be permitted to bring a mechanic in to see the car in their shop. But he was pretty convinced the VR4 was pristine, offering as evidence their mean inventory value and distribution network. I saw what he did there.

Sure enough, their crack garage team missed a leaking valve cover gasket (which explained the oil on the exhaust manifold I asked about) and broken window regulator and rear defroster. None of these things concerned me, but it definitely discredited their purported reputation. I could certainly see the Porsche-buying demographic much more upset buying a car with a noisy window than one with a clutch on its last legs.

I toured Nike HQ and got to see PRE's shoe and buildings named after two excellent Raiders (Bo and Jerry). Meanwhile I talked to the Mitsubishi dealership across the street from NWI and set up an inspection appointment. With a little urging and the comment, 'Mitsu has never heard of sending a mechanic to the salesman's garage for the inspection' I got the NWI guy to take the car over. The guy at Mitsubishi looked at the car (rendering the aforementioned analysis) at the last minute and stayed a bit after hours, I was very grateful. By this time Arthur and I were eating glorious hamburgers and knocking back local drafts. He offered some very creative and insightful thoughts on various topics, ranging from cars to ladies to ai projects.
Wheelings, dealings, and the end of the world.

We headed back to Arthur's and I got to sample some more Oregon brews as we got inescapably sucked into a B movie on some strange movie channel. The film, On The Beach, was a puzzling melange of drama, romance, and suspense. The basic plot: Australia awaits its doom in the form of an ever-expanding fallout cloud created by a nuclear holocaust that has destroyed the northern hemisphere. I'm not sure how I didn't immediately think 'paranoid cold war era movie remake'. This tv version replaces Gregory Peck, Ava Garder, and Fred Astaire with Armand Assante and a few people you've never heard of. Needless to say, its captivating mediocrity entertained us enough to persevere countless Bowflex and miracle drug commercials. Oh yeah, and of course the nation falls into anarchy; it's an island full of convicts.

Saturday morning I called NWI to offer $15,500 and rationalized it as the price the salesman said it'd 'go for' (also the KBB value) minus a few hundred for my repair needs. He called me back to say that the shop owner would only do $500 off the original $17,000. Strange logic, I told him I was firm on my offer and they should call me back if they reconsider.

I spoke to my pops, he said putting an offer in over the phone was pointless and I should go talk to them in person again. I think I was still annoyed by the salesman's attitude and their unwillingness to deal after being far from straightforward. I do grant that I was happy they took the car to Mitsubishi and were a lot nicer communicating with me by phone that night.
A few g's from the pocket no hesitation.

I decided the car was worth paying $500 more than I thought I should, so I had a $16,000 bank check made out, giving them a little more time to consider my offer. Then we headed over and I passed them the check. After a quick trip to the back room, my deal was accepted. They were pretty well organized with the paperwork, had some trouble with their computer systems, and said a few things that would lead me to believe I had gotten a good deal. Hard to tell if they were slick as the pomade and pinstripes let on, but I guess if I'm asking myself that the answer is no.
Care for some delicious beef?

After a short introduction to the wonderful world of twin turbo awd, I headed over to Molly's to watch Patrick Swayze's Road House/Mike Nelson's Rifftrax. I was a little worried that the magic of MST3K had gone with the sassy robots and sketch routines. But I was delightedly reassured of Mike's ability to entertain and especially look forward to the ones featuring the other SOL crew.
Pints and fishbowls.

I met back up with Arthur and we drove downtown to his old roomies' place. We played some Call of Duty 4, which was very impressive, then headed to one of their regular pubs. I was exposed to all sorts of interesting bits about life in California's Canada.
To the Emerald City.

More like the underwater city in Waterworld. Wait a minute, Denver? That was our planet. You maniacs. You melted it. Damn you all to hell.

So anyway, I took Amtrak up to Seattle. It was rainy. Santos, Zac, and I headed over to the Fox Sports Bar to watch the afternoon games. Victory (Oakland and fantasy) was glorious, especially for Santos who pulled into the bottom seed playoff spot with his PF mark as the decider. Then Zac and I drove out to the Redmond area to watch the evening game and order food from Dan. After that came Wing Dome, a definite highlight of the trip, and another bar for live music. Dan and Santos both finished work and met up with us to watch the highly entertaining band.

The next day I was set to return to Portland and begin the long drive back to San Diego. Unfortunately the rain had caused a mudslide that stopped rail service for at least two days. Zac also informed me that I-5 was closed due to mud or flooding or something. So I made a mad scramble for the airport. It seemed appropriate that I fly to Portland since I had a credit from the return flight (to San Diego) that I had canceled. Unfortunately, it's Alaska Airlines' policy to charge $75 if you want to apply the credit to a different route. Needless to say, they're going on my 'avoid' list next to used car salesmen.
I returned to Portland without incident, but with growing tension of knowing that I had a long, late drive ahead with some big unknowns; primarily the weather and the car.
Took a drive back to the Golden State'n.

It wasn't a short trip. But by the grace of Monday Night Football on the radio, all wheel drive, energy drinks, Arthur's cds, my aunt, and the powers that be, I made it. Left at 18:30 on Monday, arrived at 18:30 on Tuesday having caught some shut-eye in Sacramento.

Here's the VR4 with 1,000+ miles of rain, dirt, bugs, and house pets plastered to the front. Less lazy pictures of a cleaned car to come...