Tags: cars/integra


Car Nostalgia, LJ Tagging, and New Plants

I'll start with the positive thing, something I forgot to mention before: I finally got some new plants. I'd been wanting more than just my unidentified-leafy-thing (which sprouted a vine and has literally taken over its window and curtains), so I finally picked up some new residents of the house.

What I really wanted was an aloe plant, I've always liked them, so I now have one that's happily re-potted and living on my desk. And as a bonus, they had a good deal on bamboo, so I picked one up to sit next to my monitor. It even came in a cute purple pot! It's nice to have more greenery, and I'd like even more, but I don't want to get a bunch all at once.

Oh, and here's a photo, it kinda sucks but you get the idea.


Also, I finally finished my journal tagging project (on my LJ, I don't think I'm going to bother doing it on Dreamwidth for now)! Unfortunately, sheer volume of entries makes the tags less useful than tags normally are, but if you're looking for entries on a particular topic, they can now be navigated by some method other than by date.

I'm really glad I did it, too, because there've been many occasions where I wanted to find a specific post to send to someone, and it's taken upwards of an hour to track down. Plus, I'm an archivist anyway, so it's not like my posts are going to go away; might as well categorize them :-)


Unfortunately, since the tagging project involved re-reading every post I've ever made, in mostly-chronological order, I've had a severe overload of nostalgia. It was one thing to look over comments from people I've long since lost touch with, and reports of furmeets that don't exist anymore, or afternoons spent with friends I don't see anymore. Those alone put me in an odd mood, but the posts about getting my Rover and modifications I made to my Integra really got me down.

I miss the Integra almost constantly, even though it'd be in poor shape by now if it were still around, so reading about the fun I had with it in my own words was downright torturous. And while the Rover ended up being a lemon, I was on top of the world when I first acquired it. I hadn't really reminisced about it in awhile, so to read posts from the first year I owned it (which were the happiest) was painful. Doing both at the same time (since ownership of the two overlapped) left me missing both vehicles so much that I was nearly in physical pain.

Of course, I've had good times with the Crown Vic, and I still enjoy it to an extent, but I never connected with it as strongly as with the other two. The Integra was beautiful, in immaculate condition, and genuinely fun to drive. The Rover was exotic, full of character, fun to drive in its own way, and it was more than just a truck, it was my sidekick, my faithful partner in exploration. The Crown Vic, by contrast, isn't overly attractive, sporty, or inherently fun to drive in any way. It's primary emotional appeal comes from the fact that it looks like a cop car, and since any joy I initially got from that was completely extinguished by the local police jerks, I can't even enjoy that part; everyone else has more fun in my car than I'm allowed to. And it's not even reliable anymore, which is the yardstick most other people use to measure the personal worth of their vehicles.

It's true that I get tired of my cars after a certain amount of time, but this goes much deeper than that. I had looked into selling my Integra before it was wrecked, because I wanted something else, but I still cried like I'd lost a brother when I had to leave it for the last time. And love kept me from selling the Rover when I should have for several years, I couldn't bring myself to let it go until it was literally rusting to death in my driveway. The Crown Vic had only one gimmick to endear itself to me, and when I couldn't enjoy that anymore, it became just another car, like the Accord that was my first 4-wheeled car (another car that I liked for awhile, but I don't miss it or long for another one).

Unfortunately, I don't really have anything I can do to ease these feelings, because my car's trade-in value is only slightly higher than the value of the video card in my laptop, which wouldn't even get me an equally-reliable generic replacement. What I want is a car that I really bond with, like my previous two, something that I'll stick to and be happy with for at least as long as the car lasts. And I may have exotic tastes, but I'm really not that picky; there's a revolving mental list of cars that I would buy today if I had the means to do so, a list which offers plenty of affordable selections, on top of vehicles I might not have considered/researched yet.

*sighs* Words can't describe how tired I am of feeling this way. I wish I could be happy with a boring car, I really do, it would make my life and my finances a lot simpler if I could trade my Crown Vic on a Civic, Aveo, or Jetta and be satisfied enough to stop getting depressed over what I don't have every time I get behind the wheel. But no matter what I do, I can't stop longing for the strong emotional bond I had with the Integra and Rover. I'd even be happy if I could form that sort of bond with the Crown Vic, but I've been trying for years and I just can't do it, especially not when it's practically falling apart every time I turn around.

End Of A Dream

So, I know I haven't kept up with updating this. Since my last real post, the Integra has been looked over twice by the insurance adjuster. The first estimate he gave was a few thousand, not too bad. However, our body shop said that he forgot to include the crumpled rear floor in the estimate. We finally got him to come do the second estimate, and his second estimate said that the car is totalled. They'll be picking it up Monday morning.

So, mom and I went over tonight to pull out the last of my stuff. I had already pulled the stereo and such, it was just a few things left to get.

And on the way home, it hit me. Out of all the cars I've had, this one has been the most reliable by far, and has always been there for me when our other vehicles crapped out. I know cars don't have emotions, but I'm in tears as I type this thinking about all the times I drove the hell out of it, all the times I swore I'd sell it and get something else, and it just kept right along like a faithful companion, always by my side.

I never really appreciated it until today, and it pains me to think of it sitting in a junkyard somewhere. Feels like I've lost a family member.

Farewell, my beauty.


Car Go Boom

So, today I was driving my sister home from school, and we were coming down the main road (Rt. 33 for the locals), having a fun time. There were several other friends of hers in cars around us, one of them was tailgating me, but it was all good. All of a sudden, two cars in front of me, some old lady decides to make a U-turn in the middle of the road without signalling or anything, she just floors her brakes. The car in front of me did the same, as did I. I flashed my brake lights a couple of times, to let the guy behind me know I was stopping, and I gently tapped the car in front of me, but I didn't hit her hard.

While I was breathing a sigh of relief, I suddenly feel my entire car jolt forward. The car behind me apparently didn't realize what brake lights mean, and he hit me at nearly full speed, pushing me into the car in front of me. I hit my hazards and strobes and got out of the car, the driver in front of me got out too, and I saw the three cars behind me pull into the parking lot we were in front of. At this point, Subaru bitch drove off, and no one could remember her whole plate number.

So, the cops showed up, and the rest of us pulled into the lot. I did a quick count, and pointed out the four cars that I saw that were involved. The cars were a maroon Nissan Sentra that had already been hit once, my silver Integra, a gold Ford Focus, and a white BMW 5-series. The officer took everyone's licenses and insurance info, and we hung around for awhile. The Sentra's bumper had come off, but I could see no real damage aside from that. My car had a crushed rear bumper and a slightly warped hood, and anything loose in the interior was thrown about. The Focus's front end was in perfect condition, he managed to stop without hitting anything, and the BMW had a crushed front left quarter. Of course, this left me wondering who the heck hit me, so I looked around. There was a gold Ford Taurus travelling with us, and he had pulled into the parking lot and the driver and passengers left after making sure everything was ok. Curiousity got the better of me, so I went over and looked at his front end. Sure enough, it was horrendously damaged, and covered in silver paint chips.

I notified the officer, and he ran the plates and put a hit & run APB on the owner (if you leave the scene of an accident in Virginia, even if your car is still there, it's a hit & run). After about 15 minutes, they came back, and the officer ran his license and insurance. Thankfully he actually had insurance, but his license came back suspended.

About this time, I was trying to straighten out my trunk contents, and I noticed that the spare tire was pushed upwards under the carpet, making it impossible to re-seat my subwoofer. I pulled up the carpet, and the entire spare tire well was crumpled inwards. I don't have pictures right now, I'll try to post some later. But, it's bad.

The cop issued tickets to the guy in the Taurus (Reckless Driving - Following Too Closely) and the guy in the BMW (Improper Lane Change). The guy the BMW hit got a warning, not sure what for though. Out of the five vehicles, only one had to be towed, the BMW. I drove home, but I don't feel comfortable driving it for work.

We already called the insurance company, they have to wait for the police report though. I hope they don't total it, we just got it paid off :-\


Haven't had a public post in awhile, so I'll write one while I'm half-asleep. Wee.

Work has been going pretty good, this job is almost perfect for me right now, but things have been kinda slow lately. Hopefully next week will be good. I definitely like just driving, no cleaning or cooking required. And if something gets screwed up, it's usually not my fault for a change :-P

Fox and I are going to take some Skywarn classes here in a few hours. He had to close last night and didn't get home until 4, and he thought the classes started at 8, so we were just going to stay up. An hour ago, he looked up the info and found out that the classes don't start until 10. Oh well, such is life. At least I'll sleep good tonight.

We'll be going to Hamvention next weekend, running the booth for K9 Lighting with Pup & crew. Look for us if you're going!

The Rover needs a new heater core, so we started on that a couple nights ago. Removed the entire dash, pulled the old heater core, and drained the hoses. We need to take it to the local radiator shop to weld some new inlets on it, the stock design sucks ass to put it mildly. I'll also be doing some wiring stuff I've been meaning to do under the dash while it's out. Pics coming soon.

The XM tuner in the Integra has been overheating while I'm delivering, so I decided to make a really pretty cooling block for it. I bought two really nice 80mm LED case fans with aluminum housings, and Fox & I mounted 'em on the case of the XM tuner. Not only does it have no chance of overheating now, but it looks really nice too. I wired it into the remote wire for the amp, since the XM box only has constant 12v and ground (the turn-on circuit is controlled by the head unit via the IP-BUS cable). I also did something I should've done ages ago, untangled and tape-wrapped the antenna cable. It's an older-style antenna, so it has two cables, one for satellite and one for terrestrial repeaters. In the process of unpacking it originally, the cables got pretty tangled, and I never bothered to untangle them. So, they're all nice & pretty now, and much more managable. Pics coming soon.

I think that about does it for now. Yay.

Weekend Update

Damn, what a weekend! I went to the Fall Fur-B-Q in Pittsburgh, and had a hell of a time as always.

Fox and I left Friday morning to head up to PA, and met up with lilpup along the way. We went to some mall to find a Disney store, but didn't find anything good, so we went over to the social-thing at Ashe's place. After a couple hours of hanging around in the hot apartment, we gathered a small group to go bowling. The bowling alley didn't have any free lanes until midnight, so we killed a couple hours in the bar playing pool, then we got our lane and bowled 'til our arms fell off :-P. Around 3:00, we made it to cadpigjr's house, where he offered us crash space.

Saturday was the Fur-B-Q, and I think it was the most fun I've ever had at one. Got to hang out with lots of old friends, and made some new ones, as usual. I also got to show off my Integra's strobe lights, which made me lots of happy. Yay strobes! LilPup got a hotel room for the night, since everyone else was staying at the hotel too, and we chilled there until late into the night.

Sunday was kind of disappointing. Our original plan was to go to the zoo after breakfast at Panera Bread, but Swift thought it looked like it'd rain, so we went to some science museum instead. It was interesting, but no substitute for the magic of furs at the zoo. Oh, and it was crowded as fuck! Afterwards, we went to Cici's for dinner, and started getting ready to leave. While saying goodbyes, sashatigress and tokala_husky were talking about not wanting to go home, and Fox and I wanted some company, so we offered for them to come down to VA with us. They said sure, and followed us back home.

Once we got there, I noticed that I had a package at the door: My license plate! Stupid thing arrived AFTER we left, but it did arrive. So, I mounted it that evening, after bringing our guests with me to Wal-Mart, and then went to bed.

The next morning, we got an early start and went up the mountain to show them the beauty of the area, especially now that the trees are starting to change colours. Unfortunately, it was horribly overcast, and we couldn't even see the mountains from the house. However, we headed up anyway, and about halfway up the trail, it seemed to clear up, and it was nice and sunny out. We stopped at a fork in the trail to take some photos of the truck:

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Once we got to the top, we looked out over the valley, and saw that the clouds hadn't actually cleared, we were just above them! Hovering over the valley was a low-lying laying of clouds, with the mountain ridges peaking out above the cloud cover. It looked like a field of snow, and was gorgeous beyond words. No matter how often I drive that trail, I'm always pleasantly suprised by the scenery.

I tried to take them up to Reddish Knob as well, but they had it blocked to lay new guard rail. So, we headed back to town, grabbed some lunch at Jess's, and went home. When we got there, we found another suprise: LilPup had arrived! He originally mentioned coming down the previous night, but he fell asleep too long at a rest area, and his map software sent him the looooong way, but he did make it. He and I went out to dinner with my mom, and she seemed to like him, which is always good. We got some food to go, as usual, and brought it to Fox at work. Then, Pup & I went looking for a programmable electronic sign for a project he's working on, and got to talk and stuff. He's so cool, no wonder he has stalkers :-P

That brings us about to now. We're going off-roading tomorrow, and we get to see how Pup's Honda Pilot does on the trail. Should be interesting :-)

Car Stuff

Does anyone remember the last time I added something new to either of my vehicles? It's been a long time.

So, a couple weeks ago, I noticed that there was money in my checking account, so I decided to splurge and get some flashy shiny stuff for the Integra. I picked up some strobe modules for the front of the car (I already had four in the back), and a double-alternating headlight flasher with override. Got everything installed, and it all looks nice! And yes, I know the headlight flasher is illegal as fuck, but know what? I don't care, it's no more illegal than anything else I've had in my vehicles. Also, I have a triple-pod A-pillar on the way, and I'm working on procuring some gauges for it. I'll hopefully have some pics up soon.

There's nothing new going on with the rover, though I am planning to take it off-roading/camping this week.

I'm finally done with Domino's, Sunday was my last day. I just couldn't put up with it anymore. I'm trying to get a job as a dispatcher at the new emergency communications center in the area, they have about a dozen openings, and the pay is really good.

I got new land in Second Life, feel free to drop by! I'm in the Kekekabic sim, it's the largest plot there.


I suck at LiveJournal :-P

Work sucks, as usual. I have pretty much nothing to do, and if I decide to check out the security forum on DSLReports.com instead of sitting around watching dust settle, my boss whines about it. Hopefully I'll be out of there soon, but it still grates on my nerves to get an email saying "You should spend your time on things other than web surfing". Shove it, [boss's name here].

In other news, I've decided that I definitely want to sell the Rover, and I want to do it as soon as I get a couple things taken care of in it. It's a good truck, and a hell of an off-roader, but I can't afford the payments right now, and it's not what I want in the long-term. So, if anyone's interested in buying a '95 Land Rover Discovery that's in good condition, call [REMOVED] and let me know about it.

The Integra needs new tires, front and rear. The fronts were replaced last March, right before Megaplex. The rears have been on it since before we got the car, and I've put over 30,000 miles on it since then. My mom wants to buy some cheapos for it, and thinks that spending more than $40/tire is a waste, so I think I'm going to save up and get four nice tires for it at some point, possibly before AC.

I downloaded a bunch of new UT maps tonight, ought to be fun for LANS, especially for the people who say that they're tired of playing it all the time. Some of them suck, some don't work, but most of them kick tail and I look forward to playing them at LANs :-D

Speaking of LAN parties, I hosted the first one of the season (aka summer) last night, had a couple people over, it rocked as usual. Didn't get to play quite as many games as I wanted, but there'll be lots of others. Now that school is out, and all my nerd friends are back home in Harrisonburg, we're looking to have at least one LAN party per month, hopefully 2 or more.

Many of you know fox_cub, but did you know that he's moving? Well, you do now! He's moving from Pittsburgh, PA, to Harrisonburg, VA (the town I live in) on June 10-11, and we'll be needing some extra paws to load his stuff in Pittsburgh, and to unload his stuff down here. Pizza and drinks will be provided to all who assist, we need 4-5 people down here to unload, and an unknown number up there to load up. This will be posted to the furry lists in NoVA, MD, and PA once I get a couple more details, but I figured I'd put it here first.

Tomorrow I'm going to a Velvet Revolver concert (which is basically Guns 'N' Roses, for those who don't know) in Virginia Beach, and it's soooo gonna rock! I can't wait! [bounces lots]

Next week is the final concert that my high school band director, Jim Warner, will be conducting. He's been at Harrisonburg High School since 1979, and he taught my uncle (class of 1980), and I played my uncle's trumpet in middle school and high school. Mr. Warner was a bit of a hard-ass sometimes, but he was always cool, and it'll be sad to see him go.

The discussion board that accompanies the web comic I Drew This by David Craig Simpson is now hosted at Lupinia.us. So, check out the comic, and if you have something to say about it, come to www.lupinia.us/ireadthis and post to your heart's content!

I think that about covers it. Yep. [curls up and falls asleep]


I finished the strobe light installation in the Integra tonight, so it now has blinky lights! Yay!

I put an amber LED strobe kit in it, and mounted all four lights to the rear under the spoiler. Then I mounted the controller to the back of the seat next to the amp, and put the switch in the center console with the rest of 'em. I'll try to get some pictures of it soon, it looks nice :-)

EDIT: A video that Dobie took right after we got the lights installed can be found here. I'll {hopefully} have some pics of the switches & stuffs after Megaplex :-)

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This morning was the end of my fabulous 2-week Valentine's vacation. Dobie and I returned from Pittsburgh early this morning, and he unfortunately had to turn right around to get back to Florida ASAP due to a scheduling oversight, but the trip was fun, and I kinda miss him already.

Today was also the first I've driven the Rover since before we left for PA on Wednesday, and I'm rather disappointed. While in PA, I received a phone call from my mom that she picked up the truck from our local mechanic (we let them put in a new alternator for a tiny fraction of what the dealership wanted for it), and the guy working on it had repaired the frozen transfer case linkage. So, I was quite eager to see if it was indeed working properly. Big suprise, it's not. He did clean and lube one of the transfer case linkages, but he did the wrong one. There are two, one that moves front to back to select low & high gear, and one that moves side to side to select all-wheel drive or lock in the differentials for 4-wheel drive. The two move independantly, and he seems to have overlooked the side-to-side linkage (or he did a really crappy job of cleaning it and it rusted up again while sitting still for a week). So, I'll go tomorrow to figure out what happened.

I did some decorating in the house here, put up some amateur radio posters that Dobie gave me, things like band plans, grid maps, callsign prefixes by country, etc. I also got my license framed & mounted finally. I might be able to get my first radio before Megaplex too, a Kenwood HT. I just need to get the guy who's allegedly selling it to respond to my messages. Speaking of which...

My federal tax refund was deposited this weekend, so the veil of uncertainty surrounding my trip down there has been lifted, and I will definitely be going down for the con. Woohoo! I missed pre-reg, but I'll be there, and that's the important thing.

And, last but not least, Dobie and I mounted some amber LED flashers in my Integra, and they are uber-cool. I'm working on getting Amateur Radio callsign plates on the car too, I need to ask the DMV about a couple details on that. I'm getting tired of my current plates on it, and while the "Scenic - Mountain to Seashore" plates are much prettier than the Amateur Radio plates, I want something unique :-)

I think that's about all I have to say for now, time for bed :-)

Skyline Drive

Something actually happened today! Woohoo!

I got a lot of running done in the early afternoon, deposited two paychecks, put gas in my car, etc. I was about to go get a disposable camera for my planned trip to Skyline Drive, but then I got a better idea and called trlovejoy, my uber-talented photographer friend. Much to my suprise, he said he could come up with me, and he could bring his digital camera! So, off we went, and after grabbing a late lunch, I decided to let him drive my car (which is a rare honour, NO ONE drives my car :-P ) up the mountain. He's a much more careful driver than me :-P. I bought a one-year pass to Shenandoah National Park, which is actually more like a 13-month pass since it expires 9-30-2005. We headed south first, towards Loft Mountain, where I spent much of my childhood camping, and stopped at almost every overlook along the way, taking oodles of pictures. I need to take Skippy up there :)

We got to Loft Mountain, and I got some of the more specific shots I wanted for my Lupinia website project. On the way back, I got my keys and took over driving, and I was going rather fast (park speed limit is 35, I kept about 50). Saw a couple rangers go by, but none of them acted like they wanted to stop me. We went about 35 miles north of Loft Mountain trying to find the tunnel near Mary's Rocks, but we ran short on time and couldn't get up to it. We got a couple shots of Big Meadows on a whim, and headed for home. A few miles down the road, a ranger heading the opposite direction finally blue-lighted me and pulled me over. He gave me a written warning, but thankfully no ticket. I have the worst luck with cops on these private mountain roads, which is another reason why I prefer the western mountains. Those cops (if there are any) don't give a damn how fast you're going, as long as you're in control of your vehicle. TRL had to be back by 8 to get to work, and I dropped him off there at 7:58.

Speaking of Lupinia, my domain is finally starting to get to DNS servers! Yay! I'll give it 'til the middle of this week before emailing all the Fusiontech customers I'll be hosting. The main site for the domain will hopefully be finished this week, I can't wait to unveil it :)