Jun. 12th, 2007 03:38 pm
holyhippie: (Backtable license plate)
Yes, I own two vehicles pretty much for my own exclusive use. A Mazda MX-5 Miata, and a Honda Pacific Coast. Both of them were new when bought. Both are red.

I've had the Miata for just over four months, and have put over 10K miles on it already.

I've had the Pacific Coast for just under ten years, and yesterday the odometer hit 16K.


If I can remember right, it was about four or five years ago when the odometer on the Pacific Coast hit 15K. Oh yeah, having kids cut severely into the time I have to go riding. I'm finally starting to ride it more, since I have a 40-mile commute to the nearer office, and have a goal of riding it once a week.

Somehow, the mental barriers I have to overcome when riding the Pacific Coast are much, much higher than the barriers to riding the Miata.

Let's see - to ride the Pacific Coast to work, I need to put on:
  1. Motorcycle boots
  2. Jeans (in cold or wet weather, I'll supplement this with motorcycle pants)
  3. Motorcycle Jacket
  4. Backpack (my laptop goes everywhere with me in this)
  5. Helmet
  6. Gloves

And then, I don't have any music or radio to listen to while I drive. I've tried to set up a bike-mounted audio system with speakers and a microphone in my helmet, but it's required an insane amount of fiddling and isn't working that well right now. I tried to have a system where I could make and receive phone calls, but that rarely worked at all.

Whereas, to drive the Miata, I need to put on:
  1. Something on my feet. Sandals and no socks are fine.
  2. Jeans or shorts, just as long as they aren't torn.
  3. A shirt
  4. Something to hold my hair back if I want the top down

Backpack gets tossed in the trunk, and I've got a nice stereo system, 6-CD changer, and my iPod all integrated.

Plus, the Miata has about a 300 mile range on one tank, and is reasonably comfortable to drive for hours. The Pacific Coast has about a 150 mile range on one tank, and after driving it for an hour, my hand feels like it is falling asleep, and my knees are complaining.

I'm very lucky to have the choice of two fun vehicles to drive whenever I want. And despite the disadvantages, I don't want to give up the Pacific Coast - I do enjoy riding it. After I spend the 15 minutes needed to get ready.
holyhippie: (Coyote Crossing)
This weekend, the four of us went up to San Francisco for Norway Day. After we finished with that, we did a surprise visit with [ profile] digitalsidhe and [ profile] feyandstrange.

Since I had the convertable, I took digitalsidhe for a ride. We spotted this "Coyote Crossing" sign somewhere on the presidio. Expect to see this as a user icon for digitalsidhe sometime soon.
holyhippie: (Default)

  • Stash some sunscreen somewhere in the nice convertible. Days when you want to go tooling around with the top down, you are going to get a lot more sun on your face than days with the top up.

  • Also, find some dang do rags to keep your hair back, and keep them stashed in the convertible.

And a related item - three year old girls can and will fall asleep in their car seat, with the top down, and going 65MPH down the freeway.
holyhippie: (Default)
I got all excited when I got my new Miata - there was an option where I could hook up my iPod directly to the factory audio unit. I ordered this through the dealer's part department, and after a delay long almost long enough for it to come from Japan on a boat, I got it installed.

Once the iPod interface is installed in the car, and I'm picking the car up, I just have to test it out. All excited, I plug the iPod in, and tell it to play. It does play - one song. The song that's listed in the 'Music' line of this post. I can't figure a way then to coax it to play another song.

Baffled and puzzled, I go home. The dealer didn't give me a manual, so I dig up the one I found on a random site on the internet. This gives me a clue as to why I can play only one song.

What the Mazda iPod interface does by default, is look in the 'Artist' menu for the first artist. In my case, the first artist was 'A*Teen' - some random group that recorded the song "Can't Help Falling In Love" for the Lilo and Stitch album.
That's the only song I have from them. I only have the Lilo and Stitch album because Valkyrie got it for the kids, and I'm in the habit of ripping into iTunes every CD that comes into the house.

It doesn't help matters that the Mazda iPod interface also locks out the iPod controls, replaces the graphic on the iPod screen with the Mazda logo, and insists on forcing you to only control the thing through the stereo. And displaying information on what you are playing on the numbers-only LCD display for the stereo.

So, what you have to do, is figure out the buttons to press to switch between menus, (like "Playlists", "Songs", "Genres", and "Composers"), and then figure out the buttons to press to switch between the items in these menus. Only, the little screen on the radio won't tell you which menu or item you have selected - it only tells you a number. The numbers for the top level menus aren't that hard to figure out. But for items within the menus? Good luck!

The numbers for items within a menu can only count 1 through 6. So within the 'Artist' menu, the first six artists will get the numbers 1 through 6. Then it wraps around, and artist #7 gets displayed as #1. So you have no way of knowing when you are on menu item #1, if that is really #1, or #7, or #13, or #19, except by listening to the audio that gets played when you select it.

And even then, do you know the exact names and order of all your playlists? Or even how many you have? I have some idea how many playlists I have now, I've counted. I have no clue how many artists are on my iPod, and I don't want to know.

Also, you push the same button to switch between menus and to switch between items within a menu. To switch between menus, you press it twice, fast. To switch between items, press once.

Switching between tracks, and fast-forward/rewind seems pretty straight forward. Only problem, again - the track is only represented by a number. So you have to know where in the list a particular track is if you want to play it.

At this rate - I honestly probably would have been better off buying a cheapo FM transmitter for the iPod.

I figure what I'm going to do is set up a playlist called "AAAPodcasts" (what I want to listen to most in the car are podcasts), and just play things from that.

And for anyone else out there figuring to get the Mazda iPod interface? Don't waste your money.
holyhippie: (Default)

Originally uploaded by capitanholyhippie.
Way back in 2004, posted a Trivial fluff post, saying that life was good.

The one and only comment on that entry was my brother, [ profile] evannichols, and he said that the next milestone was a Mid-Life Crisis.

Well, I think I've had a first - of possibly many - Mid Life Crises, what with getting RIFed.

And so, I took his advice - and got the red convertable. This is the only picture I've bothered taking so far. I've been very busy.
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