WOXY has been playing a local band, Smoosh, for awhile now and I’d been meaning to look them up. To my total shock, the band is comprised of 12 and 14 year old sisters! They have been a band and making music since 2000… a six year old musician? That’s just f’ing cool.

Oh, what a great history!

  1. AT&T is forced by the US DOJ to split into seven baby bells:
    1. Ameritech
    2. Bell Atlantic
    3. BellSouth
    4. NYNEX
    5. Pacific Telesis
    6. Southwestern Bell
    7. US West
  2. Original parent company AT&T spins off AT&T Wireless
  3. Southwestern Bell and Pacific Telesis merge to form SBC
  4. SBC and BellSouth partner to start Cingular
  5. SBC purchases Ameritech
  6. Cingular purchases AT&T Wireless
  7. SBC purchases AT&T
  8. SBC renames itself at&t (lowercase)
  9. at&t rebrands Cingular to AT&T Wireless
  10. at&t will soon merge with BellSouth

Customers of the old AT&T Wireless sevice were often referrenced as Cingular Blue while other customers were Cingular Orange. Someone suggested the new color should be based on the beating the customers have taken, Black and Blue.

I wouldn’t be too surprised if this was uploaded a bit too soon, but Sony Europe has a picture of the “new” PS3 controller. If someone took a PS2 dual-shock and then photoshopped in a USB port and some really crummy lights, it would look exactly like the real thing:

I’m not terribly proud of it, but I just watched the entire Sony E3 press conference. I’m not going to give you a play by play, but here are the highlights (lowlights?):

  1. Blu-ray should hold 50GB while the 360 discs only hold 9GB. This could be important down the line.
  2. GranTurismo HD is GT4 with slightly better graphics, but without a lot of the polish. The Grand Canyon demo didn’t have any dust!
  3. The eye-toy/card game demo was actually pretty cool. This example wouldn’t be terribly fun, but I can definitely see the potential for innovation here.
  4. Their online service? Everything they announced is supported by Xbox Live. Note they didn’t mention anything about playing games with their free service.
  5. The PS1 Ridge Racer on PSP was one of the worst demos I’ve ever seen where the product actually worked as expected.
  6. The online store for their kareoke product looks great… for a 2 foot UI. Just try using it on a 27″ TV.
  7. Of the games shown, only Eight Days looked impressive, but it also looked more like you were watching a movie than playing a game.
  8. The EA demos were almost painful to watch. I’m sure some of the technology will improve games, but they do not look that impressive standalone.
  9. The new controller looks exactly like the PS2 controller which looked exactly like the PS1 controller. The difference? Built in wireless and 3D pitch/roll/yaw sensors. No more boomerang. 🙁
  10. Last and my god, most important: The price! I thought Microsoft was a bit crazy for launching two SKUs at $299 and $399. PS3 will be available in the US at $499 for the 20GB model and $599 for the 60GB model. Is the techology really that expensive? Was it smart to sacrifice price for that level of technology? This could be the one main reason that the 360 holds onto a piece of the marketshare. Little Billy will have difficulty convincing Mommy to drop more on his xmas present than she does for both of the monthly family car payments!

Note to self, Attention to Details sells the same MF towels I like from Pakshak but at a wholesale rate…

[EDIT] Someone on Autopia just exposed the fact that these are not the same towels. Good thing I didn’t buy them yet!

[DOUBLE EDIT] Someone just took pictures of the two towels side by side and says they are seemingly identical. Maybe I’ll order anyway.

2007 Impreza WRX STI Limited, long story short is an STI with leather, moonroof, different wheels, limited lip and a cute lil’ spoiler:

Hmm, grab a SGM ’06 when the ’07s go on sale for a discount, swap out the ’06-’07 tails for ’04-’05 tails, add the limited lip and the rear spoiler…

Here is a blurb on autocross that I wrote for an internal wiki:

Autocrossing in the Puget Sound

What is autocross?

Autocrossing is a form of motorsport competition where participants individually run on a temporary course outlined by cones, usually in a parking lot or closed airfield. Each event has a different course layout, so participants must learn a new course every time. Autocrossing is a safe form of motorsport as speeds generally stay below normal highway speeds and cars do not interact on course.

Preparing for an event

  1. Make sure your car will pass the tech inspection:
    1. No leaks of any kind
    2. Battery is firmly in place with a tray
    3. Throttle return spring functional (Throttle by wire/drive by wire cars do not have that)
    4. Shocks/struts/wheels/wheel bearings in good shape
    5. Hubcaps or other loose items removed from wheels
    6. Tires with legal tread depth
    7. Unless your car is radically modified, these items will cover most issues.
  2. If you need anything for the drive, make sure that you have a container it can go in while at the autocross site. Large plastic totes are useful and water resistant.
  3. Drivers License
  4. Rulebook
  5. Fees (in cash, and probably some extra for if you wanna grab a bite or something)
  6. Helmet
  7. Car numbers
  8. Sun block/umbrella/raincoat
  9. Snacks/drinks
  10. Optional:
    1. Air tank/compressor
    2. Air gauge
    3. Chalk
    4. Work gloves
    5. Cordless impact wrench
    6. Torque wrench

Overview of a typical autocross day

The typical autocross day actually starts the night before. J Review the “Preparing for an event” list to make sure that you have everything you need and everything your car needs. Double-check this in the morning; many of us live in the Seattle/Eastside area and it is frustrating to drive all the way out to Bremerton just to realize your helmet is now 70 miles away!

Morning registration normally starts at 7:30 AM and ends at 8:30 AM while afternoon registration starts at 11:30 AM and ends at 12:30 PM. Try to arrive at the site closer to the beginning of registration rather than end since there is a lot to do before the race can start:

1) Arrive at the site and find a suitable place to park. People usually want a bit of space around their car to work, so try to give room both on the sides and rear of neighboring cars. Make sure there is nothing (wheels, totes, etc) in a prospective parking space; this means someone has already claimed this parking space.

a. At Bremerton, people will line up on the left and right of the main strip leading up to the registration area.

b. At Everett, park in the parking lot where the registration area is.

2) With cash and license in hand, go to the registration area. It’s usually marked as such or just look for the line of people. If you pre-registered, they will ask your name, hand you your timing card and then you pay. Some events require having the rule book for whatever club is sponsoring. If you have one, bring it with you to registration, otherwise pay (usually $5-$20) for one at registration.

3) Either at the registration desk or near by, there will be another area for getting your work assignment. Depending on the number of people signed up for the event, it will be broken up into two or three run groups. You will be told which group you will run in and which group you will work in. If there is a third group, you won’t have any assignment for that time. Most novices will get to reset downed cones so you will be given a station. The course map will usually point out the location of each station.

4) Go back to your car and unload everything. Make sure your spare tire is either securely fastened or remove it as well.

5) Drive the car over to the marked tech area and either stop at the sign or pull in behind other cars. If you have a helmet, bring it with you. Turn off the car, pop the hood and open the trunk. The tech assistant will run through all of the tech inspection items, most of which are listed in “Preparing for an event”. If you pass, return to your parking space. If you fail, try to fix whatever the issue is and asked to be tech’d again. If you cannot pass, you cannot race.

6) After registration and tech, park your car and then approach the start of the course. Walk the course to familiarize yourself as well as to look out for trouble areas, such as off-camber turns and rough areas of pavement. Feel free to walk the course as many times as you like until the mandatory drivers meeting is called.

7) Attend the drivers meeting, where basic rules and persons involved in the event will be discussed. Once complete, you will either get in grid (if running first) or check in for your work assignment (if running second).

a. If you are running, get your car and any basic tools needed (air compressor and tire gauge are useful) and then pull into the grid area. There are normally multiple lanes of cars and if you are unsure which you should be in, ask anyone. You do not have to stay in your car once you are in grid, but make sure you are not in the way and that you are ready to race when it is your turn.

b. If you are working, check in is usually performed near where the drivers meeting is held. You should already know your assignment and location, but feel free to ask if you have forgotten. Each station will have an experienced worker so feel free to ask them any questions once you are at your station.

8) After each run, return to your grid location at a slow pace (10 MPH, normally). The total number of runs is normally announced soon after the first run group starts. Once you have run your full set, return to your parking space. If you ran first, don’t forget you still have a work assignment. Forgetting to work is automatic blacklisting from future events.

9) Once both the morning and afternoon sessions are complete, some groups will allow “fun runs”. These additional runs are timed but do not count toward standings and are usually $1 per run.

10) Some groups will have an after-event social.

Local groups

Northwest Region Sports Car Club of America

Western Washington Sports Car Council

Bremerton Sports Car Club

Schedule (2006)

WWSCC Maintained

Independent Maintained

Autocross locations

Redmond, WA to Everett Boeing

Redmond, WA to Bremerton Motorsports Park

Redmond, WA to Packwood

I highly doubt any of you have seen this commercial, mostly because I doubt any of you would watch programs targetting this specific demographic. Nonetheless, I’m home sick today, working on email with the TV on in the background. Afternoon television is probably the worst, especially when there isn’t even anything worthwhile on ESPN, ESPN2 or Speed. I finally just gave up, and left it on Speed. They started playing IHRA 2005 highlights, and of course one of the segments is sponsored by Hooters.

The commercial starts with a “morning meeting” with the manager telling her staff that they are now selling snow crab legs at $7.99/pound. Later that afternoon, some huge biker-looking guy orders the crab legs and the waitress says “Okay…” and drags out a scale. The manager claims that the snow crabs aren’t selling:

Waitress: “They’re just too expensive!”

Manager: “At $7.99 a pound?!”

Waitress: “Well that guy over there weighs over 200 pounds!”

Ba-dum-ching, end scene. The humorous part of all this? The manager is young, moderately attractive but maybe a B-cup. What, if you don’t have the goods to be a waitress, they make you manager? It’s just so glaring in the comparison to the well-endowed waitstaff all around her.