import shows

DNBC Vancouver – September 2009 – Best of Show Winner!

I spent the weekend in British Columbia, and an amazing sunny day in Waterfront Park in Vancouver BC with a lot of really pristine Nissans and sweet vintage Datsuns, and somehow out of all of them, I was awarded Best of Show (!!). That means I bested some truly rare Japanese imported models, some immaculately-restored classic Z cars, and even Skylines and a new 370Z.

I’m especially flattered by this award as the Best of Show judge is a guy named Art that’s been involved in car shows for 30+ years and has been to over 175 of them. He’s a Concours-certified car show judge and evaluated my Z on Concours rules, meaning he placed a lot of value in preservation and restoration work in addition to aftermarket mods. Receiving this award means my car displayed the best balance of restoration to its original glory against tasteful modern upgrades that don’t degrade the look or purpose of the car, and also that my presentation of the car – things like cleanliness, my efforts to showcase points of interest by propping things open, the full-color modlist packet I printed up for display – was thorough, appropriate and impressive. Being recognized for my effort (and expense) has only motivated me to push even harder next season, to maintain and improve the state and presentation of my car. While not every show will be judged by Concours rules and I certainly won’t be Best of Show every time, making that jump from “clean, well-modded Z” to “award-winning Z” this year has given me a new respect and appreciation for my car and a new enthusiasm for this aspect of my hobby. 🙂

Gallery slideshow here.

ZCCW Show – August 2009

A friendly and informal show hosted by the Z Car Club of Washington (ZCCW) at Performance Nissan in Everett, it’s basically a gang of Z officianados telling each other how beautiful Z cars are and pointing out the minute differences between each model year. I didn’t come home with a prize but I had admittedly driven back from Leavenworth that morning and my Z was dirty and not at its best. The real looker of this photo set is the 370Z, which I think is a gorgeous body shape, evocative and appropriately reminiscent of Z car history.

Gallery slideshow here.

NWN Triple-X Rootbeer Show – June 2009

An afternoon basking in the Issaquah sun, feasting on mammoth Triple-X burgers and root beer floats, and comparing cars and mods with the local Nissan community would have made for a nice day on its own. Throw in the inevitable smattering of beautiful classics and pristine hot rods that frequent the eastside burger haven on all but the most adverse-weather weekend days, and this is a photo gallery with some great looking cars and a ton of variety. Plus, I came away with a sweet best-in-class trophy. 🙂

Gallery slideshow here.

Finally, an honest spammer (and a few other unrelated topics I needed to catch you up on)

Direct from my inbox to you:

honestspam.gif

Now that’s a subject line I can at least respect.

In development news, I accomplished the bulk of the site’s database migration last night (staying up later than I really ought to on a school night) so I should be able to post with more frequency now. I haven’t finished user commenting, or the moblogging bit, but rest assured they’re on the list. At least the primary gag order has been lifted.

It’s 3:45 and I’m trapped at work, done with everything I need to do for the day/week/month/quarter but imprisoned by a meeting my boss scheduled at 4pm. On a Friday. On the sunniest week we’ve had since October. How do I feel about that? I’ll let you come to your own conclusions. Would it be unprofessional to show up with my jacket on, keys in hand, bag over my shoulder?

Last Sunday was the first big Nissan meet of the year, and now that the season’s open the calendar events are popping up like mushrooms after a week of rain. I crammed the few days before and managed to swap out springs and shocks with new, better-performing ones and install sweet new wheels – the SpeedStar’s I’ve been wanting for ages – in time for a rainy day in a waterfront park with 200 other Nissans. Specs are on the modlist if you’re into that sort of thing. I’m so happy with my car right now I can’t even express it. Just enjoy the pictures with me in quiet awe:

new wheels
more wheels

Everything that’s good for you should taste like candy.

Sitting down at home for a scrumptious dinner of leftover “steak lovers” pizza from dominoes, which is neither loveable nor steak (even with the 2-dollar double-steak option, now with real beef flavor!), and was the last time i’ll order something that sounds weird just because i have a coupon for it. Thankfully the chianti that i’m washing it down with has a pretty good flavor in the scope of under-seven-dollar wines. I actually opened the bottle last night, in anticipation of Danielle coming up to check out the new Sims expansion pack that showed up in the mail, plus my knee hurt from something i apparently did to it saturday – probably climbing in or out of Sean’s boat while out on the lake with him, Julia and her Russian posse, which was a great time as always. As i sat down last night to backup the old game files to a dvd (our Sims data directory is 3.4GB!) and install the game to be all ready for Danielle’s call that she was coming over, i waffled between taking eight ibupofen tablets or opening the wine, and with that new corkscrew from Mom and Dad opening the wine was waaaay faster than rummaging through my work bag for some of the good, name-brand advil with the candy coating. So i went for the wine… more fun to consume than the pills, anyway. On a side note, has anyone else noticed how Advil-brand ibuprofen has a candy coating? Where generic ones are all chalky, the real things taste, well, pretty good. Pills that taste like candy… that’s just good business sense right there.

When Danielle decided to shop for a cocktail dress instead of come over, the wine was already open and the game was all ready to play, so i poured another glass and took Sims Nightlife for a test drive. Half a bottle of chianti later, i felt less guilty about playing the game (which she purchased and had shipped to my house, where our gaming computer is, btw) without her and more upset with myself for ordering that stupid steak pizza just because it was 9.99 when some leftover pizza that could not pass for dogfood was sounding really good.

So tonight i’m reliving the same dining experience, except that the pizza (if one can call it that) is perhaps slightly less pungent a day later, only because it has excreted all of its smell directly into the plastic lining of my refridgerator where the millions of tiny stink particles will make nests, bear offspring and populate my olefactory glands for months to come with every trip into their electrically-chilled domain. I used a fork this time, though… no sense contaminating my fingers with the stuff. I have to go to work tomorrow, after all, and i’m never going to be able to ask that barista out if my hands smell like feet.

It was a fantastic sunny day, the kind that must be cherished before the great rains come and perpetually wash over the city until june sometime. I followed Clint most of the way across the city just because it was so nice to be out driving topless one last time, and took a scenic tour around West Seattle for old time’s sake (and for gas) and wandered home along the viaduct, taking extra care to make lots of noise in the Battery St tunnel before they tear it down and screw up downtown driving in unimaginably horrendous ways. We had a small meet-and-greet in mill creek today, hosting a random assortment of Nissans, Hondas, Acuras (that’s for you, Eric), a couple Subarus, some electro-hoppin’ low-slung Lincolns and a Chevy truck on hydraulics that drove out of the lot on three wheels (on purpose). I brought my camera, but didn’t even crack the velcro on the bag – i guess i’m burned out taking pictures at car events for this season, just like i’m burned out on weekly detailing for every show and have attended the last two without even washing my car. I’m down to some quick-detailer across the rear bumper where the exhaust dust collects, and a swipe through the dish on the wheels, and i’m ready to be done. Yes, i’m a slacker… but i still received several compliments on how great my paint looked today, and i just smiled and said “thank you” – both for the compliment and to those crazy germans at Klasse for such an incredible wax. Should i mention that i didn’t even buff it? Should i let on that i haven’t washed the car since practically August? Nah… let them think i have it together… i’ve got an image to maintain.

You can measure the quality of a weekend by how far you can open your eyes on monday.

I had such a blast on this weekend’s roadtrip, and i really wanted to sit down and log it last night while it was still fresh, but anyone who saw me last night (namely Danielle, and that jerk from craigslist who shorted her $20 in the U Village parking lot – what is it with craigslist people? oh well, last laugh’s on him: he thinks he drives a baller’s “Tahoe” but it’s a late-eighties Blazer. Someone got suckered by the used car lot!) knows i shouldn’t have been looking at a computer screen. My eyes are still a bit bloodshot today, but 9 hours of sleep and half a bottle of eyedrops have made great strides. That’s also why i haven’t processed the 4 memory cards (512 MB) of photos, either. But i might try and do that tonight, if my eyes can take it. I’ve got some contract work in the queue, too, and that does take priority…

I left work early friday for a doc appt with the very capable (and wow! incredibly hot) Dr. Jeannie. Before you go thinking i’m a traitor, Eric was in hawaii getting married. I don’t think he was even thinking the slightest bit about who was covering his appointments. At least, i hope he wasn’t. 😉 I will see him this afternoon and ask him how it went, but i assume he’ll tell me before i have to ask… 😉

Clint left work a little early, too, and we did some last-minute car cleaning and then met Travis, Christie and Peter in marysville, forming our Vancouver BC caravan crew. Clint’s Z, my Z and Peter’s 200sx were entered in the Driven to Perform show at BC Place, and Travis filled his Sentra with snack food and beverages heavy on the C8H10N4O2 and acted as our support vehicle. We met up with Luis about halfway to the border, and he rolled with us for a bit until some unluckily-timed showmanship landed him a $327 speeding ticket (sorry again about that, Lou!). Despite some navigational snafus (it’s not easy to read a map, hold a flashlight, steer and shift when you only have two hands, ok?) we found our way to the east airlock on time, and met up with Vince, Ben, James, Colin, Ron, Aaron, Luis, Tyler and the sweet booth that NWN had built for the show. (I know these names mean nothing to half of you – i mostly enumerate them for my own benefit, so when we’re 70 and i’m arguing with Clint about what that guy’s name was with the nice blue Silvia i can look it up here and prove him wrong 😉

Some cleaning and polishing, followed by late-night Denny’s, where Travis tried to take a picture of some chick he nearly convinced us was JoJo and her two-man Fubu entourage. It’s probably better there is no photographic evidence because now it will become our own private urban legend, as well as the running joke of the weekend.

DTP was a good time on saturday, with the guys at Garage Five taking home most of the trophys in our class, which we’re fine with because their cars are totally sweet. I took a kazillion pics, talked to a lot of canadians “aboot” my “zed” and pretty much laughed myself exhausted with Travis, Christie, Peter and Clint. We had a great time; it’s too bad we can’t afford to do this stuff more. The show staff kept us all locked in the exhaust-fumes-death-stadium until almost 1AM, and upon release we booked it past the hookers, junkies and drug dealers on Hastings Ave and straight to the border, because even with our quick departure we still only had 2 hours for a nap and a shower at Travis’s in marysville before it was time to report to Stanwood for the Twin City Idlers hot rod show. The entire rest of the team made it out for this one *with their actual cars*, which was a first since i’ve been involved. Someone’s always got a mechanical problem, or is in the middle of a build project, or has to work. But for the first time everyone cracked their “real” cars out of hiding (Jason even braved the burbs in his new R32 Skyline) and we filled a (small) parking lot with our Nissan contingent (and Nate’s turbo’d civic, just for variety). In the middle of a classic hot rod show we felt a bit out of place, but the quirkiness of a small-town close-main-street-for-the-day kind of event kept us all entertained, and (creating further amusement) our swag bags included packages of both beef jerky *and* pepperoni. Probably also a coupon for half-price bull castrating and a vintage Chevrolet parts catalog, too, but i haven’t gone thru it all yet. 😉

By the time 3PM crawled towards us, everyone was bleary-eyed and ready for a gargantuan nap, especially the five of us on a two-show international weekend tour. We puttered out of there past the gawking crowds and went home to crash (in bed, not on the road, thanks to energy drinks purchased, donated and surreptitiously acquired from vendor booths in a quantity large enough to fill a small pool), vowing on the way home that there should be many more weekends of spirited driving, walkie-talkie insult wars, celebrity pancake sightings, bikini-clad car show models, and breakdance fighting before we all get too old and start taking ourselves seriously. 😉

Content of a different sort

I haven’t been as verbose the last week or so, in some part because work is stressing me out and making me not want to look at a computer ever again, much less sit down at one when i get home at night and scrape together something interesting to editorialize. Also, the general state of broke-ness that has settled in (after i figured out i take home less pay than i did at my previous position, thanks to the loss of overtime) has meant that my leisurely breakfast of cereal, fruit, yogurt, juice, and RSS has been replaced with two more presses of the snooze button and a balance bar that is nestled in my stomach like a brick in a safeway bag before i’m even on the freeway.

The time i have spent in front of my own computer, at home, has been mostly with photoshop and bbedit either working on a web project or processing photos i’ve taken lately. Since everyone was complaining about the lack of new photos, i’m trying to get somewhere with that. I’ve posted a gallery of Clint’s and my drive to Leavenworth two sundays ago, which is half photos of us embarassing ourselves, half photos of our cars freshly washed before we even left town, and 10% stray photos actually of Leavenworth. People who are inclined to point out that this totals more than 100% can take their math and stuff it in their cake hole.

I’ve also got a gallery from the Northwest Nissans annual BBQ in North Van last sunday. Clint and i drove up there for the day, and again most of the photos are of our two cars and a sweet red Z with polished rims belonging to North Van local Mike. We had a good time checking stuff out, visiting all the canadian peeps, and especially the drive home, which was sunny and great.

Last but oh-so-certainly not least, my Memorial Day weekend in Montana. No great pictures of Danielle‘s and my sunburns, but some nice Montana scenery and lots of family time. I organized them (for once) in some sort of order, with our saturday at Mom & Dad’s house first, then the sunday mountain ride, and finally the sunday nite family bbq. It was a great trip for both of us, and i wish every weekend could be so relaxing.

Van City Weekend: Part 3

Cleaned up and dressed down, we drove to the top of Mt Seymour for the NWN bbq and showoff. About 70-80 cars by my guess parked in rows in this vantage-point lot atop a windy mountain highway. An excellent drive up and a great way to finish the weekend. Some folks that hadn’t been at the show – like Breezy and Aaron – that it’s always great to see.

After a couple burgers and lots of car talk, it was time to pack things up. There were 7 of us headed to WA or OR that left together, and managed to keep our caravan all the way to everett, despite half of us being geographically challenged and the other half not understanding the “driving in a group” concept. I, incidentally, was in neither half. 😉

We had a wild time moving thru traffic together as a posse, and when Patrick and I parted at the 405/I5 interchange and i was finally driving alone, it was the biggest downer. After such a rockin weekend with so many great people, it sucks that it had to be so short, and that such a trip is so rare! All at once my brain started working again, off vacation mode and back into regular trains of thought, and all the bills, worries, stresses, deadlines and confusion washed over me. The problem with good times, i realized, is that they remind you how bad the bad times are.

So now i’m back home, facing everything again. Still not sure if my rent check is going to clear. Still don’t have my laptop working, leaving me professionally crippled. Contract job due on the 30th that has much more to be done, with no way to work on it. Should i start working nights? Can i wait until after Tim’s wedding (july 17th) to start? Can i even afford to be traveling for his wedding? Will i make it thru tmrw’s staff meeting without needing therapy? And what am i going to do with this hideous sunburn i acquired driving home today with the tops off? I guess all i can do tonite is just go to bed, and face tomorrow with a bit more sleep and some new perspective. Life shouldn’t have to suck so much during the week just to make the occasional good weekend possible. Something in my life has to change. Also, i need to travel more! 😉