Archive for the Musings and Meanderings Category

more driving needed

Posted in Musings and Meanderings on 6 November 11 by Mark

2 days in Cleveland (Willoughby, actually), and now two days of drill in Kitsap County.  Blah.  I need to get back to driving the S10!


BACK from Christmas!

Posted in LT-1, Musings and Meanderings on 1 January 11 by Mark

Happy New Years everybody!  Just got back today from a great Christmas vacation with my fiance to Texas and Arizona.  We didn’t find warm weather, but we found plenty of good people and lots of time with friends and family.  We also did some more work on the wedding planning.


I’ve updated the cost conversion sheet with more part numbers and prices.  Tomorrow, I’ll be installing a bunch of smaller stuff (I hope).  I also found a friend back east, PFR, that is hooking me up with a clutch pedal and bracket.  Pics and price when it gets in.

Viper outruns GTR

Posted in Musings and Meanderings, Other Vehicles on 1 December 10 by Mark

Viper ACR outruns a race-prepped Nissan GTR, piloted by a TRUE master of the craft:
Thank you, Car & Driver.  AWESOME article, despite the tragic end.

So TRUE, so true…

Posted in LT-1, Musings and Meanderings on 16 November 10 by Mark

“If there were only two, three politicians who acted like Mr Mateschitz, we would be in a better place,” he said.


Niki Lauda, commenting on Sebastian Vettel’s surprise win this weekend at the Formula One finale in Abu Dhabi.  Congratulations, Red Bull, and Congratulations Sebastian!  A true champion!


In other news, the engine is off the engine stand and onto the cradle.  The rear main seal has been fixed (thanks, LT1/LT4 rebuild book, for telling me 35ft-lbs instead of 11, or even the 89in-lbs in the Haynes manual).

I also found out that the Hamburger’s Oil Pan P/N 1099 that I bought with my V8-in-an-S10 kit is for Gen I 350s.  That actually means that it’s for pre 1985 2 piece rear main seal engines (which was in the information on Summit’s website; I just didn’t look hard enough, or know what to look for).  SO…my oil pan doesn’t fit.  Hamburger doesn’t make one for 1 piece RMS engines.  I’m ordering a different pan now, and I HOPE that the pickup tube from Hamburger will work on my new pan.  Because if it doesn’t, and I have to pull the oil pump off….well, CRAP.  The whole top end has to come off again.

Fingers crossed.

Pictures later.

F1 Driver’s Championship may have doubt cast on its integrity

Posted in Musings and Meanderings on 4 November 10 by Mark

According to, the current Formula One Driver’s Championship may be clouded by an asterisk in the record books.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso currently leads the driver’s championship over Red Bull’s Mark Webber by 11 points with two races left in the season.  Back in the middle of the season, Ferrari ran first and second, with Alonso’s teammate, Felipe Massa, running in the lead.  Once they were assured of a one-two victory, the team allegedly used coded radio transmission to have Felipe pull aside and let Fernando go ahead for the win, and an additional 7 points.  This was met with a sporting violation challenge and MUCH media criticism, since “team orders” are banned (it was also met with a $100,000 fine to Ferrari).  Realize, now, that team orders are only nominally banned–many of those strongest critics freely admitted that if it was closer to the end of the season and one driver in a team had an obvious lead, then team orders should be allowed.

Hypocritical much?  OH WAIT, it gets worse:

“If Alonso wins the championship with a margin less than the seven points, it would devalue the championship – that’s a personal view,” said former FIA president Max Mosley.

Does anyone remember why Max Mosley is the FORMER president of the FIA?  OH YEAH:

At the start of 2008, Mosley said that he wanted to see through reforms such as budget capping and new technologies like KERS successfully introduced into Formula One before retiring.[97] In March of that year the News of the World, a British tabloid newspaper, released video footage of Mosley engaged in sado-masochistic sexual acts with five sex workers in a scenario that the paper said involved Nazi role-playing, a situation made more controversial by his father’s association with the Nazis.[98] Mosley admitted “the embarrassment the revelations caused”, but said that there was no Nazi theme involved.[99] He was strongly criticised by former drivers, motor manufacturers and several of the national motoring bodies who form the FIA.[100][101][102] His involvement in several high level motor sport events was cancelled.[103] Public expressions of support were limited. Mosley says that he received much supportive correspondence,[104] and said that he would continue to the end of his current term, which he said would be his last.[105] Mosley’s long time ally Ecclestone eventually appeared to support Mosley’s removal.[106]

Devalue the championship?  PLEASE, FOOL.  Shut the hell up, and go enjoy your retirement.  We don’t want to hear your offensive mouth anymore.  Go away.

As for the team orders business itself, if Ferrari wins by 1 point because they used team orders earlier than crusty old racers thought they should, well good for them.  They broke the rules, they were fined for it (and supposedly paid that fine), and it’s in the past.  If the fine wasn’t sufficient, the FIA would have taken further steps when they met specifically to discuss additional punishments months ago; you don’t get a second bite of the apple.

Red Bull is staunchly supporting the “no preferred driver” party line, despite some of those most critical of Ferrari’s earlier move saying that Red Bull should pick a champion and stick behind him now.

Besides that, the FIA is looking at abolishing the team orders ban for next year anyway (under Mosley’s self picked replacement, Jean Todt, the former Ferrari team principle).  NATCH.

Full disclosure:  GO RED CARS GO!!!

Happy Birthday to ME!

Posted in Musings and Meanderings, Other Vehicles on 17 October 10 by Mark

Happy birthday to me!  I have drill.  Blargh.  Suck.  Working the weekend, had a physical and dental check up, got a flu shot, and had a guy stick me three times trying to draw the annual HIV test.  All on Saturday.  TODAY, I have to run my physical fitness test.  On my damn birthday.  BLARGH!!!

Got one wheel back on the stratus, so it’s on all fours again.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to find the wheel lock key, so I had to destroy a socket to get that one wheel off.  Gotta get the other three off now, and get some new lug nuts for it.  Then an oil change, and back to the intake.  Also unfortunately, this week will be a bit busy:  bowling Monday night, drinks with friends on Wednesday night, dinner with another friend on Thursday, and helping a DIFFERENT friend bring his boat down from Anacortes to Seattle this weekend.  Lady Antebellum on Monday.  And the fiance will be gone starting Saturday to  HAWAII to drink her maitais.

I’ll get some work done, I SWEAR.  On the upside, Current Performance called asking about PCM programming requirements…head desgin, cam, emissions, etc.  So that’s moving along!  No word on how long it’ll take to finish the wiring harness, though.

Nine years…

Posted in Musings and Meanderings on 11 September 10 by Mark

Nine years ago today, I was sitting in a classroom in Charleston, SC, learning about net positive suction head and chloride stress corrosion cracking.  Around 10am EDT, we heard about the first plan via a public address system.  A couple hours later, during  a break, some of us were down in the staff lounge and saw the replay of the second plane.

My immediate thought, naturally shared by the other newly-minted Ensigns, was, “We’re going to war.”  At the time we were guessing the toll was 10,000 or more; thankfully we had guessed to high, but even as the true sums came out, it was still too much to even comprehend.  The sixty or so of us headed out into the submarine world over the next year or so, and saw our prediction come true, and it has continued to drain our national resolve.

There are those in our country that would mimic the high school kids that we later heard out on the town (“Let’s fine us some A-rabs!!!) by using their religious position to offend and belittle our fellow citizens.  You can almost excuse teenagers from not understanding a wider worldOne would hope that those people who have advanced theological degrees and earn their livelihood espousing supposedly Christian beliefs and guiding the moral, ethical, and spiritual consciousnesses would have a better grasp of the world’s minimum accepted moral standard.  Apparently morality and ethics aren’t part of ALL seminaries.

Nine years later, I’m sitting in a 20 by 20 barracks room with a microwave, a Keurig coffee maker, cable TV, and wireless internet.  I will spend this weekend, along with one every month, studying how to employ far reaching, intelligent, and powerful weaponry; how to bring wide ranging equipment, people, and capabilities to bear; and how to destroy the various enemies our government has declared.  I have just come back from almost three weeks in one of our allies’ homelands (one who was our mortal enemy less than a century ago).  I have deployed, fired in anger, returned, rebuilt, loved, hated, earned and lost.  I bought a house, got engaged, bought and sold vehicles, and learned new food, new hobbies, new sports.  I got a passport, and have put it to fantastic use.  My opponents are still hiding in caves and behind children, or alternatively letting their people starve to death to power their nuclear ambitions.

Americans appear to be more afraid and less trusting of foreigners and our own government (both sides).  Hopefully, that appearance is only an appearance, and we have made progress in improving the world in the last nine years.  Hopefully, at ten years, we’ll have made even more.

Today, I attended the retirement of a Navy Chief of twenty one years.  There was nothing unusual about the retirement; they’re mostly canned scripts.  Today, however, the “passing of the flag” meant a little bit more.  The acknowledgment of the sacrifices of the Chief’s family had a little more impact.  Today, seeing a vital shipmate in this war turn a corner of his life, hearing him piped ashore, I realized how important it is to say to him, “Shipmate, we relieve you of the watch.”  He now gets to enjoy those freedoms he has defended and sacrificed for over twenty one years.  Those of us who remain will continue to stand the line, and we will never forget that which you have given us, as we will never forget that day nine years ago.