Monday, October 6, 2008

Found a Book

I am ashamed to say I have not read a novel cover to cover since highschool. I had heard about George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series from some of my favorite webcomic artists so I finally decided to borrow the first book, "A Game of Thrones" from the library, and I have to say I am completely addicted. I can't wait to finish this and move on to the other books.
Book 1: "A Song of Ice and Fire"
Book 2: "A Clash of Kings"
Book 3: "A Storm of Swords"
Book 4: "A Feast for Crows"
Book 5: "A Dance with Dragons"

Friday, October 3, 2008

Possible Parts Car *Update 4*

At Starbucks tonight I was talking to this guy named Cory who has an MR2 shell that he might sell me for $150. No engine, no transmission, no wheels, no interior, seats are moldy, but body panels are pretty good. May be the salvation for my car!

*Update* I called the guy and I'm gonna go check out the car tomorrow around 7.

*Update 2* Saw the MR2 tonight and I think its worth every penny. I have reserved a trailer for Saturday and I'll give the dude a call tomorrow to let him know I'm in.

*Update 3* Called the dude and confirmed.

*Update 4* Car is home and on jackstands with no problems.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Kenwood Speakers are Installed

I ordered them last night and they got here this afternoon! 15 minute install time later and I have new 4" speakers up front :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Between 6 and 9pm today my car was egged. I don't know who did it but I'm pretty sure it was the little middle-school aged kids down the street. Super epic pissed off-ness.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


This past weekend I took my pool training part of my SCUBA class through my school. We were just in the pool, but breathing underwater is quite possibly the coolest thing ever. 2 weekends from now is the open water dive at Lake Rawlings. I went to the Dive Shop today and got fitted for my wetsuit and BCD (Buoyancy Control Device). Should be fun.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

I had reserved this game a really long time ago and I loved the demo so I went ahead and bought it Monday. The game plays just like the demo. The graphics are excellent and the use of 3 (yes THREE) physics engines really allows for some cool effects. The story is top-notch, endorsed as Star Wars cannon by George Lucas himself. The force powers make you feel like a total badass. It doesn't get much more awesome than having a 9-foot wookie about to rip your head off, then force blasting him off of a bridge into a void as the supports shatter into hundreds of splinters and the bridge bobbs up and down from the impact. Or fighting a Rancor only to stab him repeatedly in the face and shock him to death. Or bisecting an AT-ST bottom to top. Or crushing one like a can with the force. Also one of the boss fights has a sweet suprise for Star Wars fanboys (like me).
Now for the bad. The levels are extremely linear, the boss fights are punishingly difficult at times, and fighting large enemies like Rancors or AT-ST's basically consists of force lightning, run away to recharge, repeat until enough damage has been dealt, then a series of scripted quick-time events. The enemies' attacks that knock you down or stun you seem to come at the exact interval of time such that you are stunned, and right as you stand back up, you are attacked and knocked back down. This can be extremely frustrating. Also, the part where you actually get to bring down a Star Destroyer with the force is one of the most annoying and frustrating parts of the game and may as well not have been there.

Overall I enjoyed the game and I would recommend it. I give it a 7.5/10

Monday, September 15, 2008

NASA Mid Atlantic Autocross

Sunday, November 2nd at Langley Raceway in Hampton, VA

First time Autocrossers get in free! Spectators get in free!


Sunday, September 7, 2008


UPDATE: just kidding I can't go :(
Me and some friends are going to GT Live at Virginia International Raceway on Oct 3rd-5th. Should be pretty awesome.
GT Live Website

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

UPDATE: Mid Atlantic MR2 Meet *cancelled, rescheduling pending*

Official Thread
UPDATE: meet was canceled and is in the process of being rescheduled

From the MR2 Owner's Club Thread:
"Save the date - Saturday, September 13, 2008.

Townhall, Haymarket, Virginia

9am to 11am - Meet and greet.
11am- depart for Luray Virginia.
12:30 Arrive Luray Wrangler Factory parking lot
1:30 depart for lunch at restaurant TBD

This is an MR2 event. Other makes are welcome. But you will be put at the end of the line.

Please make certain your car is road ready, and can take the heat of going over a mountain at speed."

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cleaned Valve Cover

My valve cover is all squeaky clean now. And funny thing is the engine degreaser I used has a picture of (well close enough to) my engine. The one on the can is the 4A-GE engine from the n/a AW11 MR2 and the AE86 Corolla. My engine is the supercharged 4A-GZE but close enough :).

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fog Light Pics

Just some pictures of the fogs at night.


A few weeks ago my friends and I finished building the hangar that the monster Miata is currently calling home. Now we have shade in which to work!

Cheap Fix: Buzzing Metal Lining

A while ago I was having a problem with this black metal strip buzzing at around 45mph. Nothing major, just something annoying. To fix it, I just bought some 3/8" rubber faucet washers and stuck a couple down in the seam and it stopped buzzing.

Fog Lights

Yesterday, I was helping my friend work on his '85 Celica GT and he decided to get fog lights for it. Well I decided I also could go for some fog lights and we installed them on both cars. They look great on the Celica, but without a complete front end, they look a bit awkward on my car. They look sweet at night though.

Future Project: Cleaning Valve Cover

As you can see, my valve cover is pretty nasty. I really want to clean it, and if it doesn't entail TOO much trouble, repaint it and make it look all pretty-like.

T-Top Repair Quick-Fix

To stop t-tops from leaking, I use a tube of black silicon gasket goo stuff I picked up from my local auto parts store (Auto Zone, Advance, and Pep Boys all carry it). Just make a small bead around the leaky area and it usually works for a few months. Then just pull it off and re-apply. Cheap and easy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Leaky T-Tops....Again

Yep. Time to break out the silicone goo and re-seal where the window meets the gasket. Leaks are no bueno.

Colored Interior Lighting

I decided that my boring yellowish bland light for the inside of my car needed to be changed. Solution? Another Wal-Mart run! I bought some transparent colored plastic dividers for a binder, you know, for dividing subjects in a notebook. I took the blue one and cut a piece that fits in the light cover, layered it twice, and now I have blue interior lighting! It looks pretty awesome and tomorrow night I will try red and see which one I like better.

NOTE: Pictures are coming

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Interesting Speaker Issue

I noticed that the front left dash speaker wasn't putting out any sound worth talking about so I figured it was blown. When I took off the plastic cover, I saw why. Instead of a matching OEM paper cone speaker, there was a tiny tweeter connected to a splitter held in place with a homemade bracket. My solution? A trip to my local Wal-Mart provided a $7 speaker and some wire spade ends was the (temporary) answer. I had to cut off 2 of the mounting tabs on the speaker for it to fit but it works great. Hooray cheap solutions! This is of course until I can afford nicer speakers listed in the "wishes" post.

This is the tweeter and splitter that was in there:

And this is the cheap walmart speaker I replaced it with....notice the one side being held in with a zip-tie because it's not a perfect fit for the screw

MR2 Wishes Updated

For realzies this time

Momo Jet Steering Wheel

Kenwood KFC-1061S

Blaupunkt GTx352

RAM Cupholder

OMZ Racing Seats

Kumho Ecsta AST Tires

EBC Brakes GD582

Cusco Rear Strut Bar

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Stereo Swap Successful

I swapped the stereo from the Lumina (Pioneer DEH-P3800MP plus iPod cable) with the stereo from the MR2 (Kenwood KDC-2011S) so now the Pioneer is in the MR2 and the Kenwood is in the Lumina, which means iPod connection in my car. Next step, speakers. I'm looking at Kenwood KFC-1061S for the front and Blaupunkt GTx352 for the back. Even though they are small, they should be a heck of a lot better than the 20-year-old factory paper cone speakers.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


A friend of mine showed me this cool program called "Mojo". Basically you add friends into a buddy-list-ish kind of interface that then allows you to browse, listen to, and download songs from their iTunes library through another iTunes-ish interface. My username is SkylineJeeTeeAre. Watch the videos on the bottom of this blog to see what's up.

NOTE: these videos show Mojo running on Macintosh OSX 10.5 Leopard. Mojo is also available for OSX 10.4 Tiger and Microsoft Windows XP or Vista.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

MR2 is GO

I took it by Sears this morning for an alignment and now it's workin fine. It still pulls slightly to the left. Next projects: radio transplant and fixing the right front shake.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Parts Delay Part 2

Well it is now Friday and the bracket is still not in. Considering the other 2 parts were each in within 2 days this is pretty annoying. I ordered the part on Monday and I can't get the MR2 ready without it. The Starbucks meet is tonight and I really wanted to have it ready. Well they still have 2 hours till they close, otherwise I won't have it till Monday at the earliest because the stupid place is closed on weekends. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Parts Delay

The bracket I need to get the MR2 back on the road still Isn't here today. For both other parts I ordered it took 2 days...if it's not here tomorrow I'll call them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Top Gear Episode

Season 11 episode 4 was released on yesterday and I promptly downloaded it. Jeremy drives the new Nissan GTR in a race across Japan against Richard and the Capt. in the flawless public transportation of the land of the rising sun: the bullet train. Fantastic.

Banjo Kazooie Coming to Xbox Live Arcade!

Announced today at Microsoft's press conference was the original Nintendo64 classic, Banjo Kazooie for the Xbox Live Arcade. This is probably my all time favorite game and I can't wait!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

MR-2 Stereo

I want to transplant the Pioneer stereo that's in the Lumina with the Kenwood unit that's in the MR-2. I bought a wiring adaptor for the MR2 that will work, I just need to wait for another harness for the Lumina. Then we shall be golden.

MR-2 Part 2

Now on to the bad. The first night I had it it rained overnight. The next morning, I got into the car and the seats were soaking wet because the t-tops leaked. I fixed that with some silicone gooey stuff. First thing we did was have all the belts and hoses replaced. Then the engine kept having lots of unhappy issues so total we put around 2 grand into fixing the dang thing. Now the engine works great, maybe SLIGHT valve tap but not too bad. The front right suspension shakes and knocks at 50-60 mph and also when going over bumps. About two months ago I got into an accident. I rear-ended a Saturn at about 20mph. I went under the car, so the bumper didn't really crumple, but it got scraped good, and maybe the underpinings are bent, but it doesn't effect drivability. The hood is dented and smushed flat at the front with a great gash about 1/4 the way up on one side. The headlight covers have dents, and the front right corner of the front right fender is dented in. I need to replace all of those parts. More recently, I was driving in heavy rain at night, turning right at a stop light. I hit a large puddle, which kicked the back end out. I countersteered and brought the back end back in line, but it kept going the other way and I hit a curb, pushing my front left wheel towards teh back of the car by about 2-3 inches. It bent the "lower arm" and cracked the "strut bar". I have a new lower arm and I ordered a new strut bar. Should be interesting.

MR-2 Part 1

I bought a 1988 Supercharged Toyota MR-2. I bought it off of eBay in early April, putting down a $500 deposit. The following weekend, myself, my friend, and my dad drove 5 hours to Mount Airy, NC to pick it up and pay the rest of the $4,800 I owed. It's a kind of orangish-red color, perfect seats, decent interior, 132thousand miles, power locks, power windows, t-tops, 5-speed manual transmission, and cruise control. No power steering, no traction control, no stability control, no antilock brakes, no airbags. It has a 4A-GZE engine with an air to air intercooled roots-type supercharger that pushes around 9lbs of boost, for a total of 145 horsepower. It has an HKS Super Mega Flow intake, and an HKS exhaust back to the cat, so not counting power loss from age, it might have around 150hp. The mid-engine rear-wheel-drive makes the thing handle amazingly well and the supercharger makes it a quick car even against some modern sporty cars. I once raced a Mustang GT (fourth gen) at a stoplight from 0 to 55mph and I was ever-so-slightly faster. I also raced my buddy's '85 Celica GT that's been bored to 2.4L in a roughly quarter-mile race. I won by 2-3 car lengths. Now this post is ENTIRELY too long so I'll break up this into a couple posts.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Laser Quest Lockins

...are quite possibly the most epic and fun things ever. If you've never been, you have not lived.

Mass Effect

Wow where to start? Other than the original Pokemon, Mass Effect is the best RPG I have ever played. It has probably the best graphics of any game I have ever played. It really pushes the 360 to its limits, and perhaps past them as there are some very very noticable texture pops (think pre-patch Halo 2 back in the day but worse). The gameplay is where this game really excells in my view. Because I am not a big RPG fan, the combat is a Godsend. When just walking around talking to people, the game feels very much like a next-gen Knights of the Old Republic. The combat, however is actually very similar to Gears of War. Third-person view and cover-based, it still uses RPG like elements of armor and weapon upgrades, powers, and special attacks that all flow very well. The story is also one of the best of any game ever. Truely a spactacular game with a few tech issues that can be overlooked.