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Sunday, February 25 2018 @ 06:13 AM EST
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Vanity Plates

Grab Bag - Misc.Are you thinking about a vanity plate for your Miata?  Something that will make your car stand out, something that makes a statement, or conveys a personal message?


Then you may want to visit our gallery to check out Miata plates from around the country and around the world. We have collected 1,065 + examples as of June 2015 sorted A-Z by state, and then by name - and all are just a mouse click away.

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If you come across a unique plate and do not see it listed, feel free to snap a picture and send it to us at and we will add it to the interwebs biggest collection of Miata plates.

Maybe you see a bad picture of your plate and have a better one?  Send it in and we will swap it out for the better photo. 

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Car Talk Terms

Grab Bag - Misc.
  • What does Bump Steer mean? 
  • Is cornering force important? 
  • Is my Lateral Runout causing me issues?


Accelerator A chemical which speeds the vulcanization of rubber; used in tire compounds to reduce curing time.
Activator A rubber compound chemical used to help initiate the vulcanization process.
Adjustment A prescribed allowance given to a customer toward the replacement of product pursuant to the warranty.
Aging A reduction of physical and chemical properties of rubber by oxidation over a period of time.
Air Pressure Force exerted by air within a tire, expressed in pounds per square inch or kilopascals.

Angles of the tire and suspension axes relative to each other and the ground: caster, camber, toe.

Also, the adjustment of components to bring them into a predetermined position for the most efficient

operation of wheel and vehicle for proper even tire wear.


A load-based tire sizing system containing the load capacity, type of tire construction, aspect ratio,

and the rim diameter in inches.

Anti-Roll bar

A steel torsion bar, linking the left and right side of a suspension. It comes into play during cornering.

As the car leans in a turn, the anti-roll bar resists this leaning by transferring more weight to the outside tire.

It provides a means to achieve good handling from stiff roll resistance while maintaining a comfortable

ride through soft springs.


Click "read more" below to learn about these terms and more

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The perfect Chip

Grab Bag - Misc.

From the web


How To Make The Perfect Potato Chip

Click me for a special treat

Click the picture for a surprise link.


Potato chips might come in every flavor under the sun these days, but all the jalapeño-cheddar dust in the world won’t make up for a soggy bag of tater goodness. And here’s the secret to the DIY crunch you crave.

Turns out when you’re making your own chips, it’s all about thickness;  3mm is the way to go—any thinner and they’ll either burn or come out a bit too limp, and vinegar.  Yes you read that right VINEGAR!

Everyone who’s ever baked an apple pie knows that different apples cook differently - some retain their shape, while others turn to mush. The difference largely has to do with their acidity… Just like a potato, apple cells are held together by pectin. Moral of the story: acid slows the breakdown of pectin.


Washing out the starches and enzymes that’ll dirty up your spuds is critical to a good tasting and good looking chip. Specifically the enzyme tyrosinase, which when exposed to oxygen—like an apple core that’s been left out too long—causes unpleasant browning.


Plain rinsing will get you far, but not far enough. Certainly not as far as boiling will. And definitely not as far as boiling in vinegar-spiked water.


Here is the simple recipe:

Sliced and rinse a batch of chips, parboil them in a pot of vinegar-spiked water from two to three minutes before draining, then pop them into the deep fry.  Vinegar-boiled-then-fried potato chips are the best!
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Dad and his day.

Grab Bag - Misc.How did dad get his very own day you ask? According to the internet, father’s day is credited to Sonora Dodd of Washington. Sonora decided in 1910 to honor her father, a widowed Civil War veteran who raised Sonora as a single parent in rural eastern Washington State. Inspired by a Mother's Day sermon she heard at church in 1909, Sonora, one of six children also wanted to honor her father. Sonora Dodd died in 1978 at age 96 and is buried in Spokane Washington.

.... read more
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The Adventures of Car Hobby

Carol and I have been involved in car hobby since I happened to knock on her door some years ago to ask about an old Ford truck parked out by the garage. At the time I owned an old Jeep and a Porsche that I had purchased new a few years before. While I was unable to make a deal on the old Model A Truck, I made a better deal by marrying Carol. With her support many other collector car deals following bringing us up to the early fall of last year when I made arrangements to sell another old Ford on eBay.

After a chap in California made the winning bid on the Ford, his wife decided to kill the deal by draining the family savings account of 'all' moneys. As it happened, another chap was interested in this old Ford and after the dust settled we made a deal with a bit better pay out and this Model A headed off to Minnesota.

With cash in hand, I was soon off to Fall Hershey to check out the Car Corral only to find that a restored MG would cost more than the money now in hand and there would be no warranty.

Hmmm, with CD's paying so little, what about replacing one old fun car with a new fun car, a new fun car with a warranty. What about a Miata, a car I'd test driven a few years before so off I went to the local MX-5 store after reaching out to see what cars were out there. Young's had a nice Blue Grand Touring, but a bit far from my Berks County home and I'd delt with them some years before after buying a new VW Sirocco - nice people, but a bit too far.

Another hobby is aviation photography and flying out of Queen City, Scott's is just down the street and this where I met Touni Murra, a true car guy and after capturing all the details, he reached out to New England for my first choice of a Copper Red Grand Touring with tan top and satilite radio system and I still had some money left over in pocket after the earlier Ford deal.

To truly appreciate THE FIVE, one has to have driven other sports cars and this one has it all over my 914 plus others - what a neat fun car. Having flagged at SCCA Races some years back plus held membership in various sports car clubs, I mailed off my dues to LVMOC. Winter pretty much held our FIVE in the car barn over winter and in late March Carol flew off to England for some gal shopping for collectables with Anne from South Yorkshire, a good friend we first met with her husband Steve when we joined them and others for a three day car tour in and about the Yorkshire Dales. We've since exchanged any number of visits with them and other folks living in the UK, all a result of links made around the world via the internet with other car hobby folk.

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The Dawn of Daylight Saving Time

Grab Bag - Misc.
Unless you live in Arizona, Hawaii, or parts of Indiana, or perhaps Puerto Rico, American Samoa, or the Virgin Islands, you will need to change your clocks on the first Sunday in November. How did we arrive at this seemingly outdated custom?
Here are some thoughts from the interweb.
The Dawn of Daylight Saving Time

First, The U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. has nothing to do with regulating daylight saving time. Oversight of daylight saving time first resided with the Interstate Commerce Commission. In 1966 the U.S. Congress transferred that responsibility to the newly created Department of Transportation.

But why is a transportation authority in charge of time laws? That answer, like the size of the Space Shuttle, dates back to the heyday of railroads.

In the early 19th century each locality set their own time, creating a crazy quilt of time zones, and time usage. When the railroads came in, that necessitated more standardization of time so that railroad schedules could be published."

In 1883 the U.S. railroad industry established official time zones with a set standard time within each zone. Congress eventually came on board, signing the railroad time zone system into law in 1918.

Since the only federal regulatory agency in existence at that time happened to be the Interstate Commerce Commission, Congress granted the agency authority over time zones and any future modifications that might be necessary.  (Think about that, only one federal regulatory agency in existence in 1918)

In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the start and end dates for daylight saving time but allowed individual states to remain on standard time if their legislatures allowed it. Thus, the smart people in Arizona, Hawaii, and parts of Indiana voted to not make the switch.

FACT OR FICTION Daylight Saving Time equals more evening daylight

The drive behind the switch was to adjust daylight hours to when most people are awake and about by decreasing the amount of daylight in the morning hours so that more daylight is available during the evening.

How does this save energy? Some argue it won't because people may use more electricity during the darker mornings, canceling out any savings from not using that power at night.  With only 10 hours of daylight during December, and most people awake far longer than that, one has to think that electricity will be used to light those dark hours, be it on a soccer field or in the home.  



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Care and feeding of Door Magnets

Grab Bag - Misc.What to do with those door magnets.

If you follow these guidelines you will protect your paint and keep the magnet in good shape.

  1. When not using the door magnet, store it in a clean, dry place.
  2. If you can, stick the sign on a flat metal surface.
  3. Do not bend fold or mutilate
  4. Avoid placing objects on the top that could damage the face.
  5. Do not stack multiple magnets with magnetic sides facing each other.
  6. When placing the magnet on your car make sure the entire magnet is flat against the metal surface (.i.e., no air pockets)
  7. If you place the magnet in the wrong position, completely remove it from the surface and place it again.Do not pull the magnet across the surface or slide it. If there are any dirt particles (even fine dust) between the magnet and the metal surface, pulling the magnet across the surface could leave scratches. Remember that happens with those magnetic mount CB antennas?
  8. Avoid use on horizontal metal surfaces exposed to direct sunlight (such as automobile hoods) or temperatures exceeding 150° F (66° C).
  9. Avoid use on areas with non-metallic body fillers or simulated wood grain siding. Also avoid repainted surfaces with thick layers of paint. That can reduce optimal contact with metal surface, especially with the thinner magnetic stock.
  10. To protect fresh clear coat, base coat and/or vinyl surfaces on new vehicles, remove signs daily. Clean both surfaces before reapplying.

Door magnets may be made my gluing a waterproof vinyl decal onto a magnetic backing, by printing directly on to a white magnetic sheet, or, for those that I make, gluing a transparent sheet to white magnetic sheet stock.

The first two methods are generally waterproof, while my homemade magnets tend to suffer in the rain. That said, as long as you keep them off the car when it rains (What are you doing driving in the rain anyway?) you should be OK.

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Tattle tail

Grab Bag - Misc.I deal with the facts.
And just write what you say.
Ask all your best friends
what they tell me each day.

Your best kept secrets,
you always tell one.
And they tell another.
See... that's how it's done.

If you seek anonymity
the price will be dear.
For you can't say a word
that others might hear.

But if that's what you seek
I'll respect to the end,
You're right to be different.
Will you still be my friend?
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A road less worn and Dreams

Grab Bag - Misc.Life

What if life were just a highway,
and people just a car.
We would start out at the on ramp,
and if lucky, we'd go far.

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Miata Time

Grab Bag - Misc.

What time is it? Why it's Miata Time!

Read what one member thinks and see if you don't agree.

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