All Postings For 'Miscellaneous'
Back From Evo School

Tuesday and Wednesday I was at the Evolution Performance Driving School in Packwood, WA. I’ve been waiting a long time to take that school (almost 2 years) and it was totally worth it. I strongly recommend it for anyone interested in getting better at autocross.

The school was nothing like what I thought it would be in terms of what you learned. At autocross, you hear people talking all the time about “looking ahead”. During your runs, you’d try and “look ahead” and might not get any faster. This school totally taught me what looking ahead really means and showed me a lot of tools to make sure you’re looking ahead.

I was also nice to be able to ride with some national champions so they could show you what your car is capable of doing. My scoring results sheet showed a huge improvement after one ride with Karl Coleman driving my car through the slalom.

AXED v1.1 Released

Here are the release notes (at least the ones I remembered to write down).

  • Added WWSCC data
  • Changed menus to support WWSCC data
  • Cleaned up / packaged data processing scripts to make future organization imports easier
  • Removed acronym-tag based raw time mouse overs.
  • Added mouse-over raw time popups
  • Added mouse-over split times to the events and series class pages
  • Added a filter to the user pages to filter out organization race data
  • Added event names and year to the driver comparison page
  • Changed events page to tabs to separate content
  • Added course maps where available (only 1 so far)
  • Weather locations closer to site (Olympia data for Shelton events)

http://axed.danpodhola.com

AXED Updates

I’ve moved the stable beta version of AutoX Event Data (AXED) to http://axed.danpodhola.com. I’ve done this so my development alpha site’s intermitten downtime doesn’t stop people from using it while I add new software features and updates. If you want to see the latest and greatest, the old URL still works but reliability will be low. I’m in the process of adding another organizations autocross data (WWSCC) to the site, so if you tried to use it all this weekend, it could have been all-kinds of screwed up.

License Plate Frames

Sample License PlateIn my continuing effort to improve traffic flow without spending any tax payer money I have devised the following informational license plate frame. It is available through my old Xtreme Tek store via Cafe Press.

Apparently, people don’t know this is a law, which baffles me. I mean, it should have been in your driver’s education course and there are signs on the freeway that say it.

On Course Shot

I’ve been pretty busy the last couple weekends with Autocross. Because we lost the Everett site, they’ve all been in Bremerton and it takes up a considerable portion of my day to compete there. Anyway, for those of you actually paying attention to this blog, I thought you might enjoy this picture of me rounding a higher-speed sharp corner.

I Would Wash My Car…

I would wash my car today, but I can’t afford the Fukken Wax.

Actually though, I might still wash my car. :D

The Windshield Debacle

So, now that everything is finally back in order, I think it’s time to recap this story.

This story actually starts way back in 2006. I had my STI for about 4 months and one day took a small rock to the top of windshield from one of Washington’s notoriously uncovered dump trucks (remember kids, don’t speed, but it’s OK let cargo hit cars at 60 MPH). The chip wasn’t even really a chip. It didn’t spider web or anything, I couldn’t even see where it hit until I left my car in the garage for a weekend to find a giant crack down my windshield. So, being that it wasn’t in my way visually and I knew Washington State Troopers would rather pull over well equipped sports cars to generate revenue than enforce dangerous things like uncovered dump truck loads, I opted to not fix it until something else happened.

Fast forward to March 2008 and I’m working from home most days because I’m “on the bench” at work. I decided this would be a good time to get my windshield fixed that I’d been putting off for 2 years. After a lot of research and unanswered queries to people who claimed to have a “great windshield guy”, I gave up and just went with Safelite. Their windshield paint pattern was exactly like OEM glass and everyone was out of the PPG glass that I wanted.

So, a few weeks back a guy from Safelite comes and replaces my windshield. When he’s done I come out and do an inspection. John the install guy asks if I have questions. Naturally, I do because everything looks weird. The glass looked like it was mounted too low. The bottom seal didn’t look like it was on right and the grooves for the glass weren’t sitting right. He said that the “glass was just a little smaller than normal” but that it was OK. He also told me that the sun and natural wear and tear would make the bottom seal sit back into place. I said ‘OK’, paid him, and then he was off.

After he left, I walked around the car to pull it back into the garage. Then I noticed a shit ton (that’s an official metric unit) of scratches. The roof line, A-pillar (really bad here), and hood were all scratched pretty badly. That pissed me off. I left my car in the garage for almost a week. Next time I drove the car, I adjusted the mirror; it was completely loose and wobbly. Awesome, I couldn’t even see out of it because it was vibrating so badly. I filled out an online complaint form and heard nothing back. I tried to repair the scratches as much as possible with Meguiar’s ScratchX and some elbow grease, but I was only able to minimize the look of most scratches. My friend Nick also managed to reattach the bottom seal. Also, I took apart the rear view mirror and assembled it properly.

Fast forward another week and Safelite sends me an online satisfaction survey. Still pissed, I filled another online form. This time I get a call from a Safelite corporate representative. She put me in touch with the local Safelite, who sent out a damage control guy. The damage control guy completely agreed with me (windshield was mounted an inch too low, sloppy work, and the paint was scratched).

Today they sent out a different glass technician and a paint repair guy from Same Day Auto Scrach and Dent Repair. My car feels whole again. Scratches are 95% gone, windshield sits right, and the seals all line up. Hooray! Without repainting the car, I’ll never get the deep scratches out of the paint, but the paint guy did a good job of cleaning up what he could.

Fall City Frolic

Well, I decided to strap on my snowshoes (studded Nokian Hakkapeliitta 2) and head up to Fall City to take advantage of some large parking lots and, well, the snow! We ended up figuring out how drift quite well, though we didn’t quite capture it on the video. Oh well!

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