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March 28, 2002

Currently playing: The Cure -

Currently playing: The Cure - Just Like Heaven
Spent all afternon and evening flushing the coolant in my car, replacing radiator hoses as a preventive measure, and removing tree sap from my car with 3M automotive gunk remover.

Ski trip details later. More grades up too, looking good. =) Oh yeah, Helma got screwed over again for her apartment. =(

Posted by brian at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

Currently playing: (silence) Mmmhmm. More

Currently playing: (silence)
Mmmhmm. More later. Ski trip was quite good. Lots of fun... no, LOTS OF FUN! First real wipeout too. Not my usual tumbling down the snow like I did at Kirkwood last year, but full-blown-oh-geez-that-hurt wipeout on the Overland run at Sugarbowl.

The next day at Squaw Valley USA was much better once the ski lesson started. Probably should have stuffed myself in the 2nd lesson group and not the beginner group, but the $65 deal and the scaring the crap out of myself the day before made it sound like a good idea to me. *waves* Hi Cindy! Hope you make it back to Berkeley and aren't too sore... =)

Reading/sorting the 100-odd e-mails I got while I was gone... checking grades (B+ and a some sort of A...)... rest of my grades are unknown at the moment. My battered GPA needs all the help it can get!!

Posted by brian at 02:51 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2002

Currently playing: New Order -

Currently playing: New Order - Let's Go (Nothing for Me)
Arrived home a couple of days ago... going to go skiing on Monday with Erik, Jimmie, and Jimmie's sisters (I forget which ones- Laura and Nellie?); that is I'm going to try to ski and hope I do a better job doing something resembling skiing than I did last year.

Not a whole lot else planned at home. Constant's birthday was a couple days ago so I guess we'll try to take him out for that, maybe after we get back from skiing. I need to finish the 60k mile service on my car, do my taxes, properly file some accumulated (and no longer needed) paperwork, maybe wash my car for the first time in 6 months... oh yeah and SLEEP! I'm sure there's some other stuff that I am forgetting, but I've got plenty of time for everything important.

Oh yeah. The Brian and Helma housing situation is finally resolved! We were never able to sign a lease on a place (backstabbing realtors... GRR!) so by the middle of the quarter when something came up for me, I said screw it. I resolved my situation about a month ago but Helma was still in limbo. She got REALLY lucky and has a place right next to school now!!! WOOHOO!!! =) (plus it is down the street from Erik instead of being like 20 miles away from Erik and everyone else, yay!)

Posted by brian at 01:07 AM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2002

Currently playing: The Cure -

Currently playing: The Cure - Gone!
Well Geography 187's final today wasn't too bad, and I got an A- on my last reaction paper! Woohoo! Geography 130 was another story. Essays were half the final... cool, got it. The other half... uhh... well it feels like I was bent over and *ss-raped by a giraffe or something else that would be really painful. =( On the good news side again though, I'm fighting for A's... not C's... =D

Posted by brian at 10:39 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2002

Currently playing: Paul Oakenfold -

Currently playing: Paul Oakenfold - At Home in Space in Ibiza, Part I
Sophia/Grace/Carley's potluck last night was fun... more on that later though, too tired... on to today's news...

SCCA Solo II Novice School...

Feels so much better to be able to drive fast for once... and not for an insane-risky-0-to-50-blast down an empty city street, but to drive in circles really fast all day. :)

California Sports Car Club (CSCC) is SCCA's SoCal division... 50 students in the school in 4 groups. Not everyone showed up... I was in blue group (4 groups total) with 9 students and three instructors. They set up 4 sections, 60~75 minutes of time per section.

Section 1 was a really short auto-x. Gentle sweeper (180, I think) into a right hand hairpin, then a left hand hairpin, then a gentle 90 degree right hand turn, the STOMP the brakes 'cause the course is over. Not sure how long, can't be more than 12~15 seconds. Set up properly you don't have to lift much if at all the entire course... First lap around... I went really, really, really slowly. Didn't realize how much higher the limit was than my Saturn. = Instructor then drove my car... all I heard was "squeal squeal squeal squeal" the entire course. =) Subsequent laps... uhh... about 35~40 minutes worth (maybe 15~20 laps?) got pretty fast, but all day you never left 2nd gear. Stayed to the left, stayed to the left, setup for the hairpins... =) Worked 20 minutes, ran 40 minutes.

Lunchtime was next. Met up with the buyer (sucker?) of Cheston's old stock GXE steel wheels, Kevin (whose last name I've forgotton). Has a stock `97 I30 auto. Uses his stock 15" alloys on 205/65/15 Michelin Energy MXV4's for auto-x and the steel wheels for street use. Car is totally stock. HELLO body roll. =) He had a pretty nice 4-point harness though; not at all suited for serious race use, but it could be easily removed/hidden when not in use. Borrowed his air pump... was running 32/30... didn't have time to get it as high as I'd like but got it up to 35.5/30. Felt a lot better...

Next section after lunch... a small oval skidpad and then a tight kidney-shaped course. Skidpad was best taken in 2nd gear, the kidney-shaped course in 1st and 2nd; it was just long enough for me to blast to 6k in 2nd before having to stomp the brakes and make the turn if going CCW. We ran both courses three laps at a time, then switched directions and repeated... and repeated again. Ran the whole time... all I can say is that modulating the throttle and looking ahead on the skidpad was a neat thing to do, but it was absolute hell on tires... squealing away for lap after lap after lap. =)

Third section was a slalom. Initially 4 cones separated every 50 feet... we'd run it one direction, hang a u-turn, then run it the other direction. 4 cones was impossible to learn anything... so the instructors started screwing with the setup. First to three cones... then they started varying the location and spacing of the three cones. That got evil. I managed not to miss any gates or spin, and point my car in position for the next gate in time most of the time...

Fourth and final section was another auto-x course.

270 degree turn, increasing radius to a left-hand tight turn... which got tricky because the braking section was on a strip of dirt that had been deposited in the parking lot. Eeek. Then angle to the left, gentle sweep to the right and stomp the brakes again. I worked the first 10 minutes of the hour. Watching cars go through the 270 was no big deal, but the course narrowed, then aimed for the left-hand turn... basically every car would shift ALL the weight to the outside wheels. When you're on dirt and a weenie like me, it looked kinda scary. I was wishing really hard for a Quaife. :) My turn... and it's actually not that bad. You need to be REAL disciplined when braking before the left hand turn, but you tap the brakes firmly, aim left, then straight, then curve to the right and it's over before you know it... maybe 15 seconds. I don't even have time to be scared by the fact that I've got an open differential on dirt... or that the inside rear wheel is lifting about 4" off the ground on the 270 turn.

(I look on shocked at the instructors... "wha? my car isn't set THAT stiff." <big grin> Stillen RSB is set 1" behind the rear beam.)

Stay to the outside the entire 270... tap brakes, point car, turn left/apex in the middle of the turn, stay to outside then turn right... phew!

Then for the next 30 minutes, we run the course from the opposite direction. It's a nice charge from the start, angle left... tap the brakes while on dirt to make the right turn (which was left before)... then a decreasing radius 270 turn. Mmmmmmmmmmm smooth... the difference is now, the exit of the 270 is very tight and abrupt, so you have to hit the brakes hard to scrub off enough speed to make it through the narrow exit gate. Again I worked the first 10 minutes to watch everyone. Most did pretty well- the exit gate cones didn't get crunched more than twice- except one guy in a WRX who kept missing the right hand turn. I'd hit 4k~5k in first, shift to second and let off the gas, point the car left, hit the gas, tap the brakes, then hit the gas alllll the way through the 270 turn. Maybe 30~50 feet before the end, hit the brakes, turn a hard left, and shoot through the exit. Fun. =)

Each student was randomly red-flagged once on this course too, just to make sure we'd react properly. I think that's the first time my Porterfields got up to operating temperature. :p "CRAP! Red flag! Umm course is clear I can stop... STOMP!"

It was LOTS of fun... bargain too, at $50. Brake pedal was nice and firm the entire day. I guess the new Porterfield R4S's, SS lines, and Motul 600 barely noticed the abuse... unlike my poor 'ol Saturn the one and only time I auto-x'ed it. heh...

Oh, yeah. The other cars in my group:

Race-prepped CRX... nice little car.

Two (relatively new) Audi A4 1.8T's... one quattro, one not sure. AWD is a nice thing... two hairpins in the first course, if I wasn't setup for the 2nd one I'd slide a bit, point, and go... the AWD cars would slide and GO!

One Subaru 2.5RS, driver had done 1 rallycross but no auto-x. Just had his car tuned by a Vishnu Performance dealer... so he was running a turbo, fat top-mount IC, TEC-II, 17" 215/40 Toyo Proxies T-1S on OZ Superleggras, suspension work. NICE car... but it sounded like a cross between a lawnmower and a tractor. :p

One Subaru WRX wagon with 17" wheels and little else. The slow guy who kept going off course... but wow, when an instructor drove... mmmm... potential...

One brand-new BMW 330Ci. Sounded a lot better than the turbo 2.5RS. :) Nothing too spectacular though... needs experience!

One current Celica GT-S with race tires. Sounded fast, but the lousy gearing had to suck. Big cam vs. small cam on the course was really audible.

One Acura Integra Type R on stock wheels and Kumho 712's. Very nice handling. Didn't plow like my 3000lb dust magnet did. ITR vs. WRX though. WRX please!

Ok... back to reality. Like finals week. =(

But I feel much, much better. =)

Posted by brian at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2002

Currently playing: Depeche Mode -

Currently playing: Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough (Schizo Mix)
Doing better right now. Actually felt decent about the two finals I had today; normally I either feel good, or I feel like I've been raped by a giraffe (aka really, really, bad); I just hope I get the grades I'm shooting for in these freakin' competitive classes. Doing better right now is also attributable to the fact that when I got back to the apartment around 5 or 5:30, I slept until 9... =)

Anyway, off to bed. I gave up trying to go to bed earlier when I started hearing crying and bawling through my (locked) door. Seems that one of the roomies and his GF aren't doing too well at the moment, and they're taking the peace in the apartment with them.

Posted by brian at 04:01 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2002

Currently playing: Crystal Method -

Currently playing: Crystal Method - Busy Child
What a crappy night. I've been feeling "almost" sick for the last week or so, and last night definitely didn't feel good. I was supposed to be up an hour ago to study, too... but my planned bedtime was delayed for an hour as my body decided it needed to cough just often enough to keep me from falling asleep! *grrr* Well including breakfast I still have an hour to work... Hopefully that'll be enough!

Posted by brian at 07:40 AM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2002

Currently playing: Chicane - Saltwater

Currently playing: Chicane - Saltwater (Original Mix)
Ahh crap. Sh*tty weekend for California SE-R owners. Two B13 (`91-`94) SE-Rs got totalled in separate, unreleated accidents. =( Owners will be ok though. And to the tard who did a hit and run on one of the accidents, I'm hoping karma catches up to you REAL fast.

Yes, still studying for finals, too. I think I should keep my car parked where it's safe. *sigh*

Posted by brian at 07:55 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2002

Currently playing: Suzanne Vega -

Currently playing: Suzanne Vega - Tom's Diner
Woah... I'm actually up before 11am. Crazy. Well, I need to finish this paper... *sigh*

Posted by brian at 07:13 AM | Comments (0)

Currently playing: Pet Shop Boys

Currently playing: Pet Shop Boys - Home and Dry
The Star Wars Episode II new trailer is out. It actually looks pretty good- better than Episode I. That doesn't say much though, considering how much Episode I sucked. >:-] However my DSL is getting hammered right now... I'm sending the Quicktime to two friends and trying to grab the MPEG version someone did... hopefully my roomies aren't being morons and trying to download the trailer as well. I've got it right here!! The last time my connection got hammered this bad was when Episode I came out. I don't even know how many GB I hit that day, but at least then I was in the dorms which fed out to the T3...

Listening to the new Pet Shop Boys CD, "Release" right now. Advance copy got leaked. It's pretty good, but I'm not a big PSB fan: I've got Discography and love it, and I'm going to pick up Very and probably Nightlife soon... but I'm not sure about the rest. Just not familiar enough. =)

Posted by brian at 01:18 AM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2002

Currently playing: Erasure - Moon

Currently playing: Erasure - Moon and the Sky (JC's Heaven Scent Radio Re-Work)

Red: 10/100 Blue: 16/100 White: 16/100 Yellow: 3/100

Take the Color Code Test
by Dano

In other news... Papers suck. They don't suck as bad as CS projects, but ugh!! Being a little sick isn't helping either... I'm abut 75% ok, but it's really affecting my ability to concentrate and focus, although I suppose the fact that I am worrying about so many different things at once isn't helping either... Blah. Time to go running... I doubt it'll make my sore throat feel better but who knows. Lately, feeling cruddy has been cured by a quick run...

Posted by brian at 02:08 PM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2002

Currently playing: Utada Hikaru -

Currently playing: Utada Hikaru - Automatic
Well that, some english muffins as a snack, some water to drink, and a couple of ibuprofen's for the headache's I'm sure I'll have all this week and next from the huge pile of work I have to do. The work individually isn't a lot, but combined with research, vague directions from professors (yes, I did talk to them. No, they weren't clear enough to reduce my headache!), and the stress about grades... I know the next two weeks- three weeks if you count finals week- won't be too hot.

Barry moved to his new place this weekend though, and I moved in to his old room. Woohoo! Just need furniture. = And the remote control to my stereo is lost somewhere. Grrrr. (why didn't I set it up before? Not that my computer speakers are bad, but they're not great either and my stereo is a tiny one!)

Posted by brian at 10:16 PM | Comments (1)

March 03, 2002

Currently playing: Groove Rider -

Currently playing: Groove Rider - Essential Rewindz CD2 - Dylan - Spasm
Congratulations, Theresa and Jason!
Jason proposed last night. WOW! bigsmile We knew they were talking about it, but this is still a total surprise! Congrats!!!! What's really scary is that Theresa is only a year older than me. Crazy! Congratulations again! I'll be looking forward to the wedding invitations... =)

Pearl's Birthday pictures are now up. So are two video clips. ACA Culture Night Hip-Hop video clips should be up within the week, too... I'm waiting on another webhost to activate my account. *twiddles thumbs*

Posted by brian at 03:27 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2002

Currently playing: Erasure - Take

Currently playing: Erasure - Take Me Back
Mmm hmm... that's gonna be a fun hangover tomorrow for her. (20 shots of soju, heh...) Hope someone's taking good care of her tonight... as for me, I'm not quite sure what to do about these pictures. They're probably excellent blackmail, excellent reasons for people to give me death threats, excellent reasons for people to try and steal them from me, or they could just be hilarious pictures... hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

I guesss I'll find out when I get ahold of Pearl later. Probably not tomorrow. huge grin Oh yeah, if you find the remote control to my stereo, let me know... stupid thing has wandered off in the 6 months since I've last seen it...

Posted by brian at 02:20 AM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2002

Currently playing: New Order -

Currently playing: New Order - Perfect Kiss
Happy Birthday, Pearl!

... and on a side note to everyone out there, 3 hours of sleep one night followed by 4.5 hours of sleep the next night just doesn't work for me. Thank goodness for no class today and for naps. =)

Posted by brian at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)