Monthly Archive for December, 2012


I forgot to blog about this, after months of waiting and back and forth and sending multiple old shafts, waiting for me when I got back from Thanksgiving trip was the box from The Drive Shaft Shop. They ended up manufacturing everything except the wheel hub cup. All from Chromo/300m steel. 300m is a slightly different alloy of 4340 chromo and features higher strength all around. Looks good, although missing the dust shields on the transaxle side.

Installation of the short drivers side went without a hitch. The long one gave me problems, the little spring clip retainer was not seated correctly and I ended up mangling it trying to insert into the transaxle. It took me a bunch of trips to Napa to find another. Had to find different nut also, the one they provided was made for the style where the shaft has a notch and you punch the flang of the nut into it to lock. I needed the nut with locking castle type washer and cotter pin. It’s finally in, driving around the neighborhood, they work. No race for a while though, so I don’t know how they’ll perform. Odds are these shafts won’t break. I hope so because with the single piece transaxle side cup design, it’s not as easy to change.

Ow my ears!

The English mangling of the Ginza Bairin ad grates on my ears bad enough, and then I hear the radio spot for Hatsumode at Hawaii Kotohira Jinja on KORL. Ouch, make it stop, it hurts!


Ah! Anna Miller’s…


Old ‘Ou

Okay, I’m back in the land of cinnamon-scented urinal screens.  The old HAL 767-3G5 ER, tail number N586HA had to return to the gate to get the brakes worked on.  This is another one of the three Lufttransportunternehmen transfer aircraft.  Apparently, the ABS light came on while taxiing to the runway, and that’s a mandatory checklist fail, so we had to come back in and get it looked at.  It was probably a bad sensor, mabye affected by the cold temperatures, as they cleared it up in short order and we left only one hour late.  I guess that’s what happens when you actually depart the gate early!

Dark Holiday

Wouldn’t you know it after spending entire night last friday detailing the car before the race, it rains the following week. There was a window of good weather this weekend so ended up washing the car again, which lasted until last night. Today was overcast but not raining so went for a little drive in the afternoon to look for photo ops. I guess dark weather makes for a different kind of image.

Continue reading ‘Dark Holiday’

Layering Test 4

With temperatures of -6 to -8C and wind at around 3 to 8 m/s, I tried Propper softshell pants (no laminate membrane nor fleece inner layer) over Patagonia Capilene 1 long underwear.  The cold could be felt more than less-breathable pants, especially when the wind blew.  These pants would probably be OK in these temperatures for highly aerobic activities like snowshoeing or skinning up on a splitboard, but the urban comfort level gives out around 0 to -3C or so without a heavier baselayer.

If You Want to Ride…

Other than two bottomless powder days in Niseko I only got in one craptastic day at Sapporo Kokusai.  Things timed out rather well this time at Niseko with a big storm preceeding me and continued snowfall while I was there.  Things timed out poorly at Kokusai, with my visit bracketed by good days.  The steeper powder stashes were all tracked out, and the unridden areas were still a little too soft to be able to carry speed on the shallow slopes.  Monday would have been epic, and today (Wednesday) would have been not so suckariffic.  Eh, sometimes you just have to chance it.  You can’t nail the timing all the time.  I guess I could have tried to hit there today then head straight to the airport and jump in the onsen before boarding, but there was the chance that heavy snows could have snarled ground transportation and I would have been stuck.  As is with the holidays, traffic on the major highways has been pretty bad.

Sticky fail

Look out with the new safety check decals if you attempt to move them. The print & adhesive layer is pretty homogenous and does that perforate with void word. I tried with heat gun (couldn’t find hair dryer) and got half of it off. So now I’m here at the 76 station getting a new check done. Didn’t want to go all the way back to dealer. Darn they only got one year tags.

Powder Bound

Okay, I’m off to Niseko tomorrow morning for some snow ripping and onsen dipping.  I hope this time the stars are in alignment and I get snow, no wind, and cold temperatures.  There better be some payoff for surviving the end of the world.  Dammit!


Mmm… Mexican

Well, “like” Mexican.  As I experienced many years ago at Sombrero in the basement dining arcade in the Paseo building adjacent to the JR Sapporo station, it looks right, but doesn’t taste right.  The fried chicken and fries weren’t really “Mexican”, but the chili con carne and enchilada were… somewhat.  They did a lot better than last time.  To this day I don’t know what that white stuff that came with my burrito was, but it wasn’t sour cream (I think it was cream cheese).  Continue reading ‘Mmm… Mexican’