Author Archive

Burning Man 2013 MANBURN Gif

Yep, that’s it.

2013 Man burn, in GIF format.

It’s 24mb, so rather than load it in the page, you can just click on this here link:

2013 MAN BURN.



1994 Mazda Miata Engine Rebuild – Part 2

Well, in my previous post I wrote about some interesting cylinder marks on the #2 and #3 cylinders. Today I measured the head and found .033″ runout on the plane. I was so surprised, I literally measured it 9 times. The tolerance is .004″

After accepting that it was badly warped, I decided to do a more thorough inspection, and quickly found these little treats on the #2 and #3 cylinders:


#2 head crack

#2 head crack

#3 head crack

#3 head crack

So that explains it. #3 had the worse looking cylinder, and also the bigger crack.

For what it’s worth, I was never expecting to find this in my engine. The car burned oil, but it’s well documented that these engines seize their oil control rings. It never used any coolant as long as I’ve had it, and thought I was just going in for some routine (every ~150,000mi) maintenance.

Boy was I wrong.

Well, I guess I’m in the market for a new head, and seriously considering getting some more extensive work on the bottom end. I was content with just deglazing the cylinders, but now I know that the engine has had some bigger issues in the past (probably overheating) and it makes me much more suspect about the bottom end.


1994 Mazda Miata Engine Rebuild


For starters, these are just pictures of some weird issues in Cylinders #2 and #3 that I’ve never seen before. Photos of Cylinder #1 provided for reference.


1994 Mazda Miata engine with 180,000mi. Rebuild due to burning lots of oil. Found the oil rings on all four pistons to be seized.

I may update this post in the future with more info/pictures to make it a real post, rather than just a placeholder to share images.


Good looking cylinder #1

Good looking cylinder #1

Another angle of Cylinder #1

Another angle of Cylinder #1


Cylinders 2, 3, and 4.

Cylinders 2, 3, and 4.



Close up of cylinder #3

Close up of cylinder #3

Different angle of Cylinder #3, showing marks in sidewall

Different angle of Cylinder #3, showing marks in sidewall


Closeup of mirror-like finish in cylinder #1

Closeup of mirror-like finish in cylinder #1

Then and now musical comparisons.

I’ve seen a bunch of these sorts of things:

This type of image is always wrought with selectively biased points, yet always attracts a coo of agreement from anyone who isn’t a tweenage girl. In other words, while the statements are true, the point is quite misleading. I could go on a tirade about how the internet has made music much more expansive than it’s ever been in all of history, but I’ll just leave it at this:

Tonight I Found a Note

Tonight I found a note. A note I had not recalled. Forgotten notes excite me to find bits of wisdom I once had so that I may think of it freshly.

This note was more curious than most. It was folded up as a peace crane; an oragami pattern I know well. My gravitation towards the peace crane lead me to unfolded the carefully creased crane assuming that it contained a particularly strong message, meant for a me which had finally matured.

As I uncreased the crane, I thought about how it was carefully placed in a book a friend of mine had given me long ago, none other than The Meaning of Life by the Dalai Lama. This note must be special indeed. What bit of wisdom lay await under so much toil of life, love, and peace?

As I carefully unwound the words, I noticed it wasn’t very long. I gazed upon the paper to find a date;  09/06/2002. I had just started my junior year in high school, a time when I’m sure I had many thoughts about the world which might differ from my present self, a self which is nearly a fully functional, working, adult. I began to think that this must be a poem. It must be a great poem which would give me insight to my thoughts of yesteryear. Possibly full of hope, possibly full of angst. I was looking forward to seeing what I thought was important and if I still found it important today – and if that were the case – to do justice to the youthful version of me and pursue those importancies with the entire financial freedom and independence I have only recently attained.

I unfolded the last fold, and noticed it was a numbered list. “Oh!” I excitedly pondered “this must be a list of things I must do, or goals that I have for my life. It must be a list of what I thought was truly important”

As I looked down the list, the very first line was curious;

1: walk

I began to realize the purpose of the note as I read down the list…

2: sit down

3: stand up

4: jump

5: door

6: table

7: window

8: jump point

9: desk

10: television

“No” I realized “this is just an in-class quiz.”

I carefully recreased the crane and placed it back home, to realize that this note says more about me, my state of mind, my attitude towards school, and my entire attitude towards life in general than any cognitively written note could ever say about me:

I was and am to this day the kid that folded his classwork up into a Peace Crane and stuffed it into The Meaning of Life; a book that he never actually read.

2011 USDR Round 3 Photo Highlights

Highlights from the 2011 US Desert Racing Series Round 3 in Spangler Hills, CA

Buy photos from this event here.

Buy photos from this event here.

As a note to rider #9: My camera thought the bush was more interesting than your trick. The camera and I don’t always agree.

VCMC Rawhide Rodeo (Sunday Qualifier Enduro)

Photo Highlights:

Buy Photos at my photostore here.

Buy Photos at my photostore here.

VCMC Rawhide Rodeo (Saturday Family Enduro)

Photos from the Saturday Family Enduro here.Tree Jump

Photos from the Saturday Family Enduro here.

The Wedding Trip: Part 4, Colorado and Utah

Monday, June 6th, 2011

1213hrs, Cedaredge, CO

Having only half a day gives me the luxury of a late departure from the hotel. I’m not a morning person, so this is a welcome luxury. I prepare for a comfortable and relaxing ride to Moab.

This reminded me of a friend, so I needed to photo it.

Do ya think they irrigate?

1303hrs, Whitewater, CO

I head south on CO-141, and thus the scenic part of this adventure truly begins. Starting with a few horses.


Unaweep Canyon

Unaweep Canyon

Unaweep Canyon

Unaweep Canyon

Unaweep Canyon

Unaweep Canyon

Unaweep Canyon

I pressed on, following CO-141 to the Dolores River and south towards Naturita

Someone has probably driven this at night, in the snow, with now plows to assist. ~200ft drop off with no guardrail.

Not entirely true color...

Near the hanging flume

Dolores River

-no caption-

When It Pours waterproof sleeve by the Dolores River in Colorado

Another by the Dolores River

The Hanging Flume... Or at least what's left of it.

1557hrs, Naturita, CO

I fuel up for the relatively short ride to Moab, Utah. Neither of the two gas stations in Naturita will accept credit cards at the pump. Town law? I dunno, but this is particularly frustrating for motorcyclists. Or at least, I find it much more frustrating when I’m on my bike than when I’m driving my car. I think it has to do with the fact that I fill my bike up while I’m still on it, and the bike is level. By making me go inside to pay, I have to put the kick stand down, pay, get the reciept (and if it’s pay-first I have to do this twice!) and all that crap. Annoying.

1849hrs, Moab, UT
1900mi (dead even)

I have safely made it to my destination and linked up with my contacts – a bunch of relaxed college-aged (slightly older?) friendly people living in a trailer just off the main drag of Moab. There’s a garden, and girls living in tents in the back yard. Pretty much run-of-the-mill for these marginally anonymous contacts. I fill up, and head out to dead horse point for the sunset.

View From Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

My photoset from Dead Horse Point will be the feature of the following post. Honestly there are too many pictures to tag it onto the end of this post. So I’ll leave it with just this one for now.

The Wedding Trip: Part 3, Colorado

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

1200hrs, Colorado Springs, CO
Checkout from hotel. Open bars don’t lead to early starts. I say my farewell to the friends I can find wandering around the lobby, tighten and lube the chain (which is starting to make it clear that it’s pretty much time to be replaced. I cross my fingers it gets me back to California safely). The Bellhop warns me of heavy police activity on my planned route.

1313hrs, Woodland Park, CO
I’m running late, and I’m supposed to be in Moab, Utah by tonight. I’ve made it 24 miles from the hotel. Progress for today is looking slow, and that’s an understatement. I’m quite hungry, so I stop in at McDonald’s for some much needed fast food. As it turns out, this is the most poorly managed McDonald’s I may ever have been to. There is a line to order, and then a very evident queue to pick up food. After waiting about 10 minutes in the queue, and noticing a few people who ordered AFTER my get their food, I mention that I still have not been served. I am given my meal immediately (and wonder why, if they can make it so quick on the spot, why there is a ~10 minute queue waiting for food). It takes this establishment approximately 10x as long as a normal McDonald’s to serve me. Things are not looking good in terms of making it to Moab.

1400hrs, Just outside of Florissant, CO
I decide to pass some slow moving traffic on an open, clear section of road, despite the fact that it is not a legal passing zone. As I’m passing the final car, I notice there are two motorcycle cops sitting talking to each other in a rest area. I hope they don’t see me.

1402hrs, Florissant, CO
They saw me. Things are REALLY not looking good for making it to Moab on time. Given a ticket for an illegal pass. This is my first ticket ever while touring. Only my second ticket ever on a Motorcycle.

1456hrs, Hartsel, CO

1553hrs, Independence Pass, CO
After making an accidental detour to Leadville, CO thus making me run even MORE late, I finally make it up Independence Pass. There isn’t too much tourism right now, but I find the road to be mediocre, the traffic still relatively heavy (especially on the West slope) and the views to be marginal. This truly is a destination just to say “I’ve been on the highest paved mountain pass in the US.” I am now back in the Pacific watershed, more specifically, the Colorado River watershed.

Independence Pass - Highest paved mountain pass in the United States

Shameless product plug - When It Pours at Independence Pass for more info on my line of waterproof sleeves for portable electronics.

1738hrs, Basalt, CO
Fuel Stop

I get some much needed food at the local Subway and call my contact in Moab to tell him that I’m not going to make it tonight. Too bad. At this point I’ve accepted that I’m not on schedule, and that I’ll only get one night in Moab rather than two. It’s OK, because I would rather enjoy the ride and be late than constantly feel rushed. Now I just need to find a nice place to sleep…

I make some wrong turns, and end up on I-70 before I go on the Great Mesa Scenic Byway. Damn. Luckily I know exactly where the turn-off is for this road on I-70. I only spend ~30 miles on the highway, and luckily some of it is actually nice driving.  Seriously, I-70 through Colorado isn’t that bad as far as interstates go, but I’ve done this section of road twice before, no need to do it again.

1949hrs, Powderhorn, CO
After some much needed empty, twisty road, I stop in at Powderhorn Ski Resort to see if there’s any off-season lodging. The place is dead and reminds me slightly of The Shining. This will not be my safe haven for the night, however, it does provide a nice sunset.

Sunset as viewed from Powderhorn Ski Resort

2032hrs, Grand Mesa, CO
It’s cold on top of Grand Mesa. I also didn’t realize I would be at nearly 11,000 ft elevation here. It’s dark, and I want a warm hotel. I wouldn’t say I’m miserable, but being low on fuel (my reserve light came on just after leaving Powderhorn), seeing ample numbers of wildlife, and riding at night through snow-covered fields isn’t what I’d like to be doing right now.

2058hrs, Cedaredge, CO
As I’m dropping off of Grand Mesa, I see what looks like a nice safe haven. It’s a motel style establishment, which I’m always just a little wary of, but the ambiance is warm and inviting. The wonders of technology allow me to check a Yelp Rating before actually walking in and booking a room. 4.8 stars (or more?) out of 5, and the cheapest room for $69/night. Ok, a bit more expensive than I would like, but comes complete with glowing reviews.

Cedaredge Lodge, in Cedaredge, CO should be a destination for anyone in this part of the world – Especially couples. No, it’s not the cheapest room, but when a Motel 6 is going for $50/night in Grand Junction, and this place is only $20/more per night, I guarantee that the $20/night will be worth it.  Complete with hot tub, babbling brook, game room, massage room, home-cooked meals, and – if you’re really lucky and get there the day after a wedding – free beer!

With a beer, in a hot tub, loving life!

Onward to Moab, Utah tomorrow…


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