Jun 27, 2005

The tires that came with my SVT are starting to show serious wear. I did a quick tread depth test (tirerack.com test) about 4-6 months ago (5000 miles ago) and I'm almost positive that every area of every tire had greater than 6/32" tread depth. Here are the current tread depths:


Inside tread: 4/32"

Middle tread: 5/32"

Outside tread: 4/32"


Inside tread: 3/32"

Middle tread: 6/32"

Outside tread: 3/32"


Inside tread: 4/32"

Middle tread: 6/32"

Outside tread: 3/32"


Inside tread: 4/32"

Middle tread: 4/32"

Outside tread: 4/32"

No part of any of the tires has hit the critical 2/32" mark, but anything below 4/32" sucks in the rain. I'm sure I'll be okay for the next few months, but when the rainy season of Seattle hits (October-ish), I will definitely need new tires. I'm considering picking up a set of Kumho Ecsta MX: great performance, decent tread life, great price. I'm also thinking of picking up a set of Team Dynamics Pro Race 1 wheels (either in black or hi power silver) so that I can have two sets of wheels, one for the street and another for autocrossing. If I have the Ecsta MX for the street, what would I have for autocross? Maybe I'll just end up saving the stock wheels for when I sell the car and run the Ecsta MX / Pro Race 1 combo full time.

The stock wheel weighs 20.5 pounds, the stock tire only 19 pounds (the lightest tire by far at the stock size). If I move over to the Ecsta MX which weighs 21 pounds, I'm adding unsprung mass, which is always a bad thing, even in such a small quantity. The Pro Race 1s only weigh 16 pounds, so the old combo would be 39.5 pounds per corner and the new combo would be 37 pounds per corner. That isn't a great savings, but it is something. Now if the Pro Race 1 15" fit, I could save 7 pounds per corner...

Jun 21, 2005

I'm back from the two week vacation in Ireland! The only problem with a two week vacation is that it's hard to remember everything seen. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

This was by far the highest photo count for any trip: 911 taken and 894 kept. The 17 that were tossed were either too soft or too overexposed. I decided to breakdown the galleries by destination instead of by date so that people know where each shot was taken. Here are a few favorites:

More later.

Jun 3, 2005

I may have mentioned this before, but I picked up two new lenses for my pending trip to Ireland:

  • Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Autofocus
  • Tokina Zoom Super Wide Angle AF 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124AF Pro DX Autofocus

I decided today, the day before I leave, to do some focus testing. Great timing, since I can't do anything if the lenses turn out to be miscalibrated! Here are the results:

Tokina @ 12mm

Result: Moderate back focus. My untrained eye shows that the rear 6mm mark is truly in focus.

Tokina @ 24mm

Result: Very slight front focus. While the entire area in focus is actually a bit soft, the near 20mm is in better focus than the far 20mm.

Canon @ 70mm

Result: Focus seems to be dead on.

Canon @ 200mm

Result: Moderate back focus. My untrained eye shows that the rear 6mm mark is truly in focus.<

Sorry, I've been a little lax in my posting lately.

As you know, I'm in a beginner inline hockey league. This season, an existing team dropped out of the league and a brand new team (no carry-over players) joined up. This new team is comprised of a bunch of young guys (19-22 years old) that all used to play soccer together. In addition, a number of them are ex-military. To summarize, these guys are all in great shape but none are all that bright!

They constantly claim they have NEVER played hockey together. If that is the case, why can half of them handle the puck like they have been playing since they were wee lads? Why do half of them have matching ice hockey socks when you don't need them for inline hockey? The first game we played against them, their energy simply overwhelmed us. It's hard for a team that has a handful of 40 year olds to keep up with a team ten-deep of youngins! I received additional confirmation that some of these guys have played in an ice league before when I was CHECKED INTO THE BOARDS. Hello, this is and always has been a no-contact league. WTF.

The second game really took the cake though! Their entire team was using shoulders, elbows, harsh poke checks and some tripping, but usually when the ref had his back turned. I started using my usual line "Play the puck, not the body!" and they started to mock me. When they checked one of my female players onto her ass, I started to get into it with their captain. I think he was chosen to be captain just because he had the largest ego. I shouldn't hear things like "Come on, I can take you", "You've got nothing", "Let's take this outside", not in this league.

Though it should have been an immediate game suspension, they dropped their gloves TWICE during the game to fight. Twice. Unbelievable. I'll be honest, my level of play was reduced because I was so angry with these guys. I never did retaliate though.

During the game, I started to make a comment on how this was very indicative of a poor military boy attidude, but I think some of my teammates may be ex-military or have relatives that are. It just wasn't worth making the comment.