Saturday, May 09, 2009

Too windy to fly

The Weather-out-the-Window&trade had winds at 20 gusting something. The 'something' doesn't much matter - I was grounded by the '20'. So, chores today. I got an early start, finding myself in the parking lot of the local Sears at 0845, hoping to buy a new weed whacker. They open at 10. I don't know how they survive; I was in the hallowed halls of Home Depot by 0850, with a cart full of weed whacker, ancillary supplies, and a lilac bush that I would later plant for the Co-owner as a Mother's Day gift. By the time I would have been admitted to Sears, I had the new whacker assembled, started, and the job of trimming the grass under the fence surrounding my stately manor already completed.

The next task on the list was to remove the old Ohio registration numbers from the nwe kayak. The numbers came off easily enough, but the annual registration tag left a foil residue embossed with rows and rows of the word 'void.' Nice. A, oh, way to go Ohio, in the immortal words of Chrissie Hynde. I don't want to scrape it off with a razor blade - I'm afraid I'd cut into the plastic. Oh well, it's one of those things that I will just stop noticing eventually.

I also wanted to wash the Miata and get some pictures of it with its new wheels and tires. Having already purchased two complete sets of tires within the last six months for the Subarus, I decided I might as well get some for the Miata too. The alignment of the right rear was significantly off kilter, resulting in a camber angle that was eating the inside of the right rear tire. I thought to just replace the tires, but it has 14" wheels on it, and it seems that quality 14" tires are hard to find anymore. All I could find was brands that were named as if a Saturday Night Live team if writers had been assigned the job of making up almost-Brand names. Goodyang? Firestove? I mean really, Uniloyal??? Please.

The only answer was to also buy a set of 15" wheels.

Which I did:

It drives much better than it did, partially because the wheels have been aligned, and partially because of the shorter sidewall on the 15" tires. When you consider that it drove pretty well already, well, you gotta figure it's just amazing now. It has the responsiveness of, oh, something like a Van's RV, and there's nothing superior to that!


  1. Doesn't switching from 14" to 15" tires modify the accuracy of the odometer, since one revolution of the wheels takes you further? Or does the shorter sidewall partially compensate for that? Just curious.

  2. Actually, I was hoping that it would affect the speedo. It reads 5 mph high at speeds over 60 mph with the 14" wheels.

    I'm not sure the 15" will change much (I'm going to verify with GPS tomorrow) - I think they outside circumference stays the same, but the sidewalls are "shorter" I think that's what contributes to increased responsiveness - the sidewalls don't roll as much when entering turns.

  3. hey dave have you tried washing off the sticker with mineral oil. i find that often gets adhesives off. as for the car, i glanced at the pic before reading what you wrote and thought man that looks really sharp. i bet he is going to complain about how his back hurts after all that polishing or something. where you bought them should be able to tell the theoretical speed change. that does naturally not take into account the preexisting inaccuracy.
    as always good to hear what is up in your world, maybe flying tomorrow.