November, 2003

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Unexpected

Friday, November 28th, 2003

I heard one of the bala sharks in my aquarium chomping away on something and when I went to have a look, was startled to find that something had laid clusters of eggs overnight.

[photo of corydoras eggs]

Further research pointed to the cory cats as the likely source of the eggs, and sure enough, I saw one of the fish laying more eggs. I cut off one leaf that had eggs stuck to it and put it into my isolation tank; as for the others I can only hope that a few will survive the incessant foraging of my bala sharks. If enough hatch and survive I may use the new fish to re-stock my office aquarium, where my attempt to kill off snails using copper unfortunately killed off two of the four panda corys.

Mettle to the pedal

Thursday, November 27th, 2003

Installed new racing pedals from AutoVation in the Evo today:

[photo of racing pedals]

The actual reason I installed the new pedals—and the reason they’re called “racing pedals”—is not the stylin’ look, but rather the fact that the smooth, flared-out gas pedal is designed to faciliate heel-and-toe shifting, a technique most commonly used by race car drivers to ensure maximum speed and traction through fast turns.

Heel-and-toe is a technique known to only a small fraction of drivers, and mastered by an even smaller number. Having only learned to drive a manual transmission two months ago, learning to do the heel-and-toe seemed like a daunting task but I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it. These new pedals should make it easier, as I don’t have to twist my right foot around quite as much to reach the throttle and therefore can more easily control the throttle while braking.

Captured on film

Monday, November 10th, 2003

Met photographer Doug Richardson at Sunday’s autocross event in Marina, and later upon visiting his website, SportsCarImage.com, was delighted to find that he’d captured three photographs of my Evo on-course at the Oakland autocross.

Here’s one of me putting the car on three wheels (or almost) through a hard left turn:

[photo of my Evo on three wheels]

I’ve put copies of the images up on my gallery at NorcalEvo.net.

Sidebar history

Saturday, November 8th, 2003

Finally got around to making a page to maintain a history of all the items that have appeared in the sidebar (books, music, TV, movies, games).

The Evo returns…

Saturday, November 8th, 2003

… November 18—assuming the repair shop stays on schedule.

In the meantime, my friend Jason has kindly offered to let me co-drive his Street Modified-class M3 (basically a stock 2001 BMW M3 with an almost entirely aftermarket suspension). Seeing as how I’ve never driven his M3, much less any M3, much less a rear-wheel drive car, much less at autocross, much less in the rain, this should prove to be an interesting experience…

Flabbergasted

Sunday, November 2nd, 2003

Had a great time out at autocross today. Posted somewhat-mediocre times but showed some progress and—most importantly—had fun.

Less fun was what happened afterwards.

After pulling out of a gas station, I was making a left turn to get back to the freeway when out of nowhere, a big white sedan slammed into the left side of my car, right into my door. Luckily he hit me at an angle so although my door and some of the body panels around it were bent up, I wasn’t injured.

What really shocked—flabbergasted—me was that as soon as he hit me, he just took off—fled. As a typically-conformant, law-abiding and otherwise responsible individual I was simply shocked. What could possess someone to go from being involved in a relatively minor accident to committing a felony? (If I had to guess, it was that he was driving without insurance—Oakland isn’t exactly the most affluent neighbourhood…)

I can only take comfort in the fact that neither I nor my friend from work, who was riding with me, were injured in the slightest. Cars can be fixed more easily than people…