Monday, December 20, 2010

New Kicks!

Christy and I have started working out together, which I've really loved.  I've soooooo missed running!  We've been at it since the beginning of December and, despite a couple setbacks and getting my butt kicked by the trainer on several occasions, I'm happy to report that we're both still trucking!

Partially as motivation and partially because we honestly needed to replace them, we both went to get new running shoes.

Now, for those who may not know, I was (and sort of still am) a shoe geek.  Besides all my trips to Runners Supply, I was lucky enough to work at Bob Roncker's Running Spot, one of the best running shoe stores in the country as well as coming back to Runners Supply to work during one of my summers in Canton.  During any free moment, I would run back to the stock room to try on all the shoes to get myself familiar with them (I mean, you can't sell what you don't know, right?).  I kept a catalog in my mind of model names, features, weights, fits, etc. and loved it!  

Aaaaaaaanyway...back to the present.

My old shoes (when I bought them) were the latest and greatest of Nike's Structure Triax line.  I picked them up while Christy and I were on honeymoon at the now defunct Honolulu Niketown.  They were light, responsive, cushy, and decently supportive.  Good shoes, overall.  I've been running in various models from the Structure Triax line since I was a freshman in high school, and it's nice to see that Nike kept making them as a quality mid-range shoe.

New Shoes 009New Shoes 008

Out with the old...and in with the new: the Asics GT-2160.  Like the Structure Triax, I'd run in one of the shoes from this line in high school as well.  In fact, the GT-2040 had been the first regular running shoe that I'd run sockless in (by Senior year, I was racing regularly in spikes and flats without socks).  These are pretty quality shoes as well.  I like them because they're a little more stiff than the cushy and light Nikes.  While this sounds counter-intuitive, keep in mind that I'm just over 200lbs.  Light and cushy shoes get pounded to death at that weight, but I find that more solid shoes are actually more comfortable and supportive without feeling like bricks.

New Shoes 013New Shoes 012

And now, the two shoes side by side:

New Shoes 002

Soooooo...a lot of rambling about new shoes--especially because I've only run in them about three times for a total of 5-6 miles.  Truth is, much like running, being a shoe geek is a hobby I forgot that I enjoyed!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

If I Had My Druthers...

My father is in the middle of the restoration of his 1930 Model A Cabriolet.  Despite urgings from his fellow car buddies (who all wanted him to go the custom/restomod route), Dad is restoring the car to factory brilliance, which is something I can definitely get behind.  To encourage him and possibly give some ammo to the "factory restoration" argument, I recently snapped pictures of a 1930 Tudor whose owner had it restored a couple decades ago:

Ford Model A Tudor Sedan
(After seeing it up close, I can't help but laugh, thinking that "Tudor" was a joking amalgamation of "Two Door", but that's beside the point!)

While I applaud Dad for sticking to his guns and doing the factory restoration, if I had my own car, I'm thinking it'd look something like this:

(via Just a Car Guy)
This is some pretty impressive work, no?



Monday, December 6, 2010

A long overdue update, Pt. 2 - Audio

Following the CR@TG trip, I finally tackled the task of getting the old MBQ Component system removed and serviced and the new speaker setup. It consists of Kenwood KFC1662S 3-ways and Rockford Fosgate Prime R1T-S tweeters. These were wired into the stock speaker wiring. The 3-ways were installed on top of a set of custom 6-1/2" to 8" speaker adapters for the Miata and 8" XTC baffles.

The setup is meant to work on the stock head unit and, while not the most awesome setup, works well. I was also finally able to reinstall factory kick panels and my dead pedal!


New Speakers 001 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

New Speakers 002 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

New Speakers 004 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

New Speakers 006 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

New Speakers 007 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

Compare the "panel-off" pic to the old setup:


Sound Fix 009 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A long overdue update, Pt. 1

Not too much has happened with the car, aside from some audio upgrades I'll be covering in the next post.

Here are some shots of the car along with some folks you might recognize at CR@TG '10.

First off, it snowed on the way in!


CR@TG 2010 001 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

CR@TG 2010 004 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

I didn't take many pictures, but here's one Taylor got of Christy and I. It's one of our favorites!


DSC_7271 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

Shots taken on the way out from the Motorcycle Resort:


CR@TG 2010 005 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

CR@TG 2010 006 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

CR@TG 2010 010 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

Oy! Who are these, then?  

(For those who don't know, the car on the right famous Blue Potato owned by Peter Brusa and the Sweet Potato owned by his wife Ginger, both friends of Christy and I).


CR@TG 2010 012 by bryanewyatt, on Flickr

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ponderous Parking Protuberance

This happens more often than I'd like to admit at work (or, well, anywhere when I drive The Tick): I will walk out to the car only to find that it is now completely invisible, even though I remember exactly where I parked!  To combat this, when I park the car, I will often purposely leave it even or a little past the end of the car next to it.  

Why, you ask?  Well, I'm a little paranoid about the car getting bopped by someone who enthusiastically pulls into a spot without carefully seeing if there's a car occupying it.  I've nearly done this before (the owners of the NC, Mini Cooper, and several other cars at work could stand to not park so far into their spots!).  If nothing else, it makes the car a little easier to find when I walk out at the end of the day.

This strategy can backfire, however.  Every day, half the parking lot does a shuffle right around lunch-time.  What this means, of course, is that the car you evened yourself up with in the morning might be replaced by something MUCH bigger in the afternoon. 

This was one of those days.


This is what I saw when I walked out to my spot this evening:


It's worth noting that at the original angle I approached the car, I couldn't see it at all!

There's The Tick!


This really does happen quite often.  In fact, I keep a running album of The Tick next to stuff.  Feel free to browse :-)

ps - It took me almost as long just to get to the highway as it did for me to get to work (door-to-door)! 

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Answer to Every Question?

A member on one of my forums recently posted an article on the automotive blog Jalopnik.com detailing his feelings regarding the Miata.  Not surprisingly, I happen to agree!


Your thoughts?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

One Hit Wonders Weekend

Now I don't know about most of you, but when I hear the phrase "one hit wonder," I normally think of the 80's.  Maybe it's because my age was still in the single digits when the Berlin Wall fell, but I find that a lot of the songs I liked back then were by a group from whom I never heard another song.  I think of groups like Information Society and songs like "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)" or the ever so famous "Come on Eileen" (and yes, I know the lyrics):




That said, I'm forgetting that the 90's had plenty of OHW's (I like my acronyms...I like 'em a lot!).  Consider "Lucas with the Lid Off" or Us3's "Cantaloop":



Why am I having this random thought?  First, this is my blog and I can think whatever random thoughts I want to, of course.  The second reason is the title of this post; one of the local stations here in town had a One Hit Wonders Weekend.  Always nice to hear some songs I haven't heard in awhile!

What were some of your favorite One Hit Wonder tunes?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Should Be Doing This Right Now

How do I find these random videos all the time?

Good question!

In any case, I present you Vampire Weekend's "Holiday":





Now seriously...who would think of rolling in an Impala through the hills of LA all while wearing 17th Century garb?

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Search for Better Driving Music (or, Google the Lyrics FTW)

For those who don't know, the Internet is a wonderful thing.  With little more than a few words or lyrics, you can find just about anything!

In any case, I was watching America's Got Talent from 7/13 with Mrs. Wyatt tonight, when I heard a really cool song playing in the background for one of the acts (in case you're curious, it was the brother/sister tap group).  With only 5 words from the chorus, I was able to find the song within one search.  I give you Norwegian (?! yep...I'm as shocked as you) duo Madcon's "Beggin'":




Because the Internetz are so boss, I could also go to, say iTunes or Amazon and have my choice of either downloading the song for my iPod or buying the CD--all without ever getting off my chair.  Yay for new driving music!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The best laid schemes o' mice an' men...

It's been said a billion times that a picture is worth a thousand words.  This one sure is haunting enough.  From flickr user Dan Maudsley's collection comes this 2005 photo of the liner SS American Star (formerly SS America, among others), run aground off the Canary Islands:

(click for the larger version, of course)

For more info, check out the ship's Wikipedia article.  

The first thing I thought when I saw the photo (without knowing the ship's history), is how fragile our creations really are.  Yeah, yeah, yeah...a bit overboard (pardon the pun) on the philosophy, but really: stop and think about it for a minute.  This ship took the work of hundreds of people and actually survived in service from 1940 to 1994, when she was wrecked.  Like any ocean liner, she was built to last and survive quite a pounding.  That said, it only took two days of pounding from the sea to break the stranded ship (by then nothing more than a floating hotel, with no power or navigational abilities of its own) in half.  Two days?  A ship that'd survived 54 years' service--several of them during WWII as a troop transport--split in half by the waves of the mid Atlantic.  The bow section soldiered on for 13 more years, finally succumbing to the ocean in 2007.

All of that work, time, and history gone--just like that.  Kind of puts things in perspective, doesn't it?

For more pics, check out the page of one of the ship's former patrons: http://www.ss-australis.com

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A Sign of the Times

Those of you who haven't been near or talked to me for more than 5 seconds since last Thursday may not know it, but Christy left for Tanzania a week ago.  She's due to come back on the 26th.  Please keep her and her group in your thoughts and prayers.  If you're curious, check out our blog for her thoughts on going back.  The Cliff's Notes version is that she loves being there--to hear her talk about it, Tanzania is one of the greatest places on Earth.  I love to sit and listen to her tell stories because it's so obvious that to her, it really is!  I will say for sure that after listening to her, I'm sold!  

It means a lot to me to see her being the woman I love--passionate, caring, loving, and diligent!

While this is her sixth trip, it's actually the third she's taken since we met.  She left for the first one back when we were dating.  In fact, she'd just met my parents for the first time that Memorial Day.  Back then, she was participating in We Care Ministries when she was in the 'States, so I knew that the next time I saw her would be more than a month (almost two) later.  I knew when she came back that my wait for a wife was over.  I also knew that if I could be apart from her for as long as that trip was (or seemed to be in my mind), I could do anything!

Soooo...thinking all this one week after my wife of (now) three years left for Africa, I find myself confident, but still...I miss her!

I love you, baby!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Something Different

This morning, I was getting ready to head out to work and remembered that I'd left my glasses on the dining room table when Christy and I were playing board games last night.  As I reached over to the table, I saw something...hop...in my peripheral vision.  Here's what I saw:


Seeing an opportunity that I couldn't pass up, I quickly and quietly got back to the living room to grab the camera.  I managed to snap off a few shots from a little closer:




This guy wasn't afraid of me!  I decided to oblige the little one's outgoing attitude by walking all the way up to the glass.  He actually didn't move until I backed away!




Neat way to start the day!

Monday, May 10, 2010

1989...Coolest Year. EVAR. Part 2

If you haven't read Part 1 of the Coolest Year EVAR list, have a look.  In the meantime, let's roll on!

6. Nintendo Game Boy - Honestly, I can't remember when I came to be in possession of Nintendo's "wonder brick", but the fact is, Gunpei Yokoi's pride and joy was released to the US in--you guessed it--1989.  None too soon for this video game nut!  For the first time, I could take my games with me--and how!  I don't know how I'd have made that first trip to Hawaii without it.

Did You Know?  The late Yokoi-san was the inventor not only of the Game and Watch series and a producer of the Metroid series (among others), he has been credited with patenting a staple of modern gaming, even in the analog stick era: the humble D-Pad.

5. Family Matters - I'd have included The Cosby Show, but it started in '84.  The adventures of the Winslow family and Black and Nerdy prototype Steven Q. Urkel were the linchpin of ABC's TGIF lineup.  It became so popular that Urkel got his own cereal, despite the fact that he was apparently so nerdy that he drove a BMW Isetta (which in my opinion only made him quirky, not nerdy).

The show would make a jump from ABC to CBS along with Step By Step (whose premier Urkel had literally crashed) for '94, though I'd argue by then the magic had long since been lost.  Jaleel White would eventually bounce through several roles, one of them being, strangely enough, the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog!

4. Tienanmen Square - You know the picture.  I'm pretty sure it's one of the most famous of the 20th Century.  Honestly, I was too young to really care what was going on when this photo was taken, but the image (and, oddly enough, not the video) have been burned into my mind forever.  TV news can be a wonderful thing.

3. Berlin Wall Falls - Probably an even more significant event than the student protests in Tienanmen.  Largely regarded as the official swan song of Communism--and not just in Germany.  This was another event that I really didn't understand until much, much later.  Watching several specials over the years, I really just can't imagine what people on either side of the Wall really had to experience on a daily basis.  Even comedies based off the event are tragic...

2. Ducktales - Why does this game make the list?  Is it because the Moon stage theme is quite frankly one of the coolest video game themes ever?  Maybe.  Is it because I can't get the cartoon's theme song out of my head any time I hear it?  Quite possibly.  There are plenty of reasons why it could make the list: great gameplay, simple (enough) controls, plenty of secrets, and the aforementioned music--all hallmarks of Capcom's great 8-bit games.  That said, this one makes the list for one reason and one reason only: it's the first game that I ever beat.  How many of you can say that you remember the first video game you ever beat?  

Now that I think of it, I seem to recall my first issue of Nintendo Power was the Ducktales issue!

Yeah, it's not much, but hey...I was eight.  What do you expect?!

Last but not least on the greatest things of '89 was a game that I never actually have beat:

1. Mega Man 2 - Though some of us get a laugh at just how many Mega Man games there are now (officially, there've been 10 8- and 16-bit games in the main series, 8 in the Mega Man X series, and let's not get into all the spinoffs from that), at one point, there were only two.  Like many other folks, the sequel was the first one I got to play and WOW...I was blown away.  HUGE bosses, one of the greatest game soundtracks ever, and a difficulty level that, while pretty high, was never cheap (I'm looking at you, Ninja Gaiden)--this game had a lot going for it.  To this day, I've never finished Dr. Wily's infamous castle (MM2 was the first to feature the castle), though I guess I probably could...and I wouldn't be the only one who's given it a thought.

There you have it: ten reasons why 1989 was one of the best years of my life.  I've left off a few things (you might want to Google "River City Ransom" sometime), but this covers most of the main things I could think of offhand.   Yeah, I talked mostly about video games, movies, and TV, but like I said...I was 8.  Having a brother (whom I idolized) that was into computers and comic books, no one should be surprised that this is what I could remember of 21 years ago!  Lots of things were changing in my life and, in many ways, I happened to be in the right place at the right time to enjoy a childhood at the end of one decade and the beginning of another.  Jesus Jones summed it up pretty well two years later:



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An Interesting Perspective


Every once in awhile, I find it funny to capture just how short this car really is (or, perhaps, how tall everything else is). Consider this picture I took from my eye-level of the truck I parked next to. In case you're curious, that's one of my building's emergency generators reflecting in the truck's door.

Honestly, it never scares me that my car's this low to the ground; I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Little Behind...

To the 3 people who actually read my blog, I apologize for not having much content going on lately.  For the record, I've been up to a few things.  Car-wise, I installed a front sway from a Mazdaspeed Miata, took The Tick out for a drive, and took in some of the local automotive flora and fauna (aka Cars 'n' Coffee).  I even dabbled in fancy photography:


(Yes, I need a tripod badly!)

I really need to post a little more often!  I've still got the last part of the Top 10 of 1989.  Promise that'll get finished!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Signs of Spring

Those of you who know me know that I'm not shy at all about going top-down if I feel like it.  Honestly, I enjoy being top-down more when I need a long-sleeved shirt or jacket (but best when that's paired with shorts).  

What follows are a bunch of pics I took with my cellphone.  Sorry if they're not exactly awesome!

Last Friday, I saw that the high was going to be over 40deg F.  Seeing the sun was out that morning, I couldn't not go top-down!  What my mind had blanked out was the fact that the morning temp was 25deg F!  In the process, I was able to set a personal temperature record while fully convincing the neighborhood kids at the bus stop in front of my house that I'm probably crazy.


Surprisingly, I was able to treat one of my co-workers to a ride back to work after lunch.  Guess I'm not the only crazy one, huh?

The same day, I snapped a pic of The Tick along with a Civic I'd parked next to.  I'm always amazed at just how small my car is!


This morning, I noticed something interesting as I walked in.  Aside from a few sadists, my building's motorcycle parking has remained conspicuously empty--until today.  Sitting next to a well-appointed Vespa was a new visitor: a BMW R1100S.  Pretty bike, huh? 

Why, hello there!



One last picture: I had the opportunity to park The Tick next to the '89 Mariner of a coworker.  This car is probably one of the oldest Miatas I've ever seen up close and personal and, while it has definitely seen better days, it is still on its first owner and shows no signs of croaking any time soon (knock on wood!) as it completes a daily commute of about 40-50mi!


Can't wait for more top-down days!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Finally!

As of February 1st, The Tick is paid off!



While a small victory in and of itself, what this means is that all of the cars are now paid off.  Gotta admit, it's a pretty good feeling...Christy and I have been very blessed!

Now that The Tick's paid off, it's time to think about what modifications I'd like to get done to "finish" the project:

Wheels, Tires, & Suspension:
*Upgrade front swaybar to Mazdaspeed Miata unit.
*Re-do alignment.
*Flip tires.

Interior/Chassis:
*Add the OEM Shock Tower Bar to tighten up the front end.
*Upgrade driver's seat to Elise seat.  It'll let me sit lower in the car (important if I want to look into a rollbar), support my back better, and give me a real headrest for once.  My friend Adam has some ideas.
*Once the head height problem is solved, get a rollbar for safety.  I'm thinking a Hard Dog M2 Sport (no diagonals).
*Buy an iPod adapter kind of like this one.

Aesthetic Clean-ups:
*Fix the slight rust issues in The Tick's trunk.
*Clean up The Tick's cloudy headlamp lenses.
*Get the wheels refinished.
*Paint The Tick's valve cover in red crinkle-coat.  Looks something like this (Mazda did quite a job from the factory!).  Come to think of it, Harvey's valve cover could use a similar treatment this summer.
*Replace the antenna base with something a little less swept.

What do you think?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Calendar Hotness!!!!!

As you may or may not know, I'm a moderator over at Club RoadsterThe forum is dedicated to owning and modifying your Mazda Miata in ways that, in some cases, can be quite off the beaten path.  Some highs, some lows, but I'm one of the original members of the forum (member #6, if I recall).  In addition to our own gathering at Deal's Gap (otherwise known as CR@TG), we've made group appearances at Miatas at the Gap.  We have users all over the world--literally!  

We recently completed a run of calendars for 2010.  I'm a horrible photographer, but here're some shots of my copy:



 

I approve!

If you're interested, the calendars are for sale.  My friend and fellow moderator Adam (aka Revlimiter, whose car Sharka graces the cover) also has a contest going! 

Big, BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG shout-outs to Randy (aka Phatmiata, whose car is the pin-up for January) for getting this done!