So while info on Miata Loca is currently under wraps until my next wave of parts arrive, I thought I would talk about something I don’t talk about often on here: my job. It has been a real love/hate relationship since the day I first walked into the building. Because of my job, I was able to drive Miata Loca off of the lot and it my job that brought me to Georgia to begin with. Of course, it was also my job that had driven me to escape to the north Georgia mountains. There was a point when my job made me so angry, I just didn’t show up one Friday. That lead to the adventure that actually changed my entire outlook on life.

For five years, I have worked on the same program. After next week, that will all change. You see, the program I’m currently on is coming to a temporary end. I currently work on the very first part of the program which means my area will be the first to shut down. We are already down to just two people left in the area. I’ve known this day was coming for a long time, but when I walk into my area and see empty fixtures, trash cans emptied and turned upside down and most of the lights turned off, reality sets in. Until the program comes to an end, I will be loaned out to another program. Once the program ends, I will be permanently transferred to another program. There are three other programs at our facility and I have no clue which one I’m going to. All I can do is hope the area I move to is better than the one I’m in now.

Livin’ Mini Loca?!

Ok, I admit it. I like Kristen’s new Mini. I really, REALLY like Kristen’s Mini. So last weekend I only drove the Miata once and that was only because she took it to work with her. I got up at around 5am on Friday which is crazy in itself considering I was off from work that day. Why did I get up so early you ask? Well I decided to head to Red Top Mountain State Park to get a few sunrise shots. It was about an hour before the park opened, but I was still able to get in. One of the perks of being their photographer.IMG_3352

It was worth getting up at 5am. After watching the sun come up, I headed to a nearby Bojangle’s for a quick breakfast then headed back to Red Top to shoot a youth event for them. I got home around noon, watched a little TV and took an hour nap before Kristen got home from work. That was the last time the Miata had seen daylight the entire weekend.

We grabbed the Mini and headed back to Red Top for a third time because I was shooting another event. We got home around 9pm and I crashed for the night.

Saturday, we slept in until 6am. We ate a small breakfast and headed out to meet up with a local Mini group. After meeting up, we all took a drive up to Dahlonega for lunch. Now I’m not going to say anything that could incriminate myself here, but I will say these guys could probably give me a run for my money in the faster and lighter Miata. After lunch we walked around the square, bought a ton of chocolate from the candy shop there and headed back home.

Sunday, once again, we got up at 5am. I wanted to get to Caffeine and Octane before it got too busy. We got there around 6am. It was still dark which was fine because it gave me plenty of time to get the camera gear set up. Somehow I still managed to get a sweet sunrise shot.



We hung around Caffeine and Octane for a few hours. I wanted to get multiple shots of the same cars so I could practice compositing in Photoshop. I’m getting pretty good at removing people from my photos.

After Caffeine and Octane, we headed to a small diner for breakfast and ran a few errands. Needless to say, I showed up to work on Monday feeling exhausted. It was worth it. There are a few things I would like to change on Kristen’s Mini. I think I could tweak the suspension and get it closer to the handling capabilities of the Miata. There isn’t much that can be done to increase horsepower outside of forced induction and I don’t want to lose that 38mpg that we are currently enjoying. Of course, anything I do to the Mini has to be approved by Kristen since it is her car.

Free Day

So we weren’t offered overtime at work this weekend. This is also our short week so I have Friday off. I looked at the weather. It’s going to be sunny and cold tomorrow. I think I’m going to pull out the tripod and work on getting some sunrise shots at Red Top Mountain State Park. I will have to get there about an hour before the park opens. Sneaking into the park before it opens is definitely one of the better perks of being their photographer. Of course, it is tempting to get up even earlier and hit Fort Mountain. The road is usually deserted early in the morning. I think I will save that one for a later time. There are changes for Miata Loca in the near future and I will want to do something special when everything is completed.

In a somewhat unrelated matter, I have a track day coming up in a few months. I’ve waited almost three years for this. I changed the shocks and springs to something a bit more aggressive a few years back and have never been able to test the limits of my new suspension. The other difference between last track day and this track day is I now have three GoPro camera as well as my trusted Canon 6D. Yes, there will be plenty of photos and I’m sure I can put some video together as well.

Everything is Awesome!

Wow, did I take a trip down memory lane this evening. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always liked building things. So it’s no surprise that, at the age of four, I started playing with Legos. Imagine my surprise and joy when I heard about The Lego Movie. What a great movie. I recommend anyone that is an 80’s kid like me go see it. You will spend the entire time saying to yourself “I remember that.” and “I had one of those when I was a kid.” I’m trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible. A part of me wants to drag my two giant Rubbermaid tubs full of Legos out and see if I still have that creative spark like when I was 8 and building spaceships with colored bricks that never matched. Ah memories.

Happy Birthday!

So it has been 25 years already?! Wow, where has the time gone. I don’t think anybody knew 1989 would be such an important time in history. What exactly happened in 1989 you ask? Well, 1989 was the year we got our first glimpse at the peppy little two seater that would shake the entire motorsports world at it’s core. It was the year of the Miata.

Imagine it. It’s February 9th, 1989. You are a spectator at the Chicago Auto Show. You walk up and gaze upon this tiny little roadster. It makes me think of that fateful day at the Mazda lot 24 years ago. I still remember it like yesterday. I stared at that bright red car and told myself “One day….” Little did I know how much this little two seater roadster would change my life. We moved out of our apartment and bought a house because of the Miata. We have met so many wonderful people on our journeys. We have been to so many places. So what’s next for Miata Loca? Well I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are changes on the horizon. I won’t say any more than that, at least for now.

Livin’ Miata Annoyed!

Warning! You are entering a rant zone. Sensitive ears should turn back now… Ok, I get it. Most people in Georgia have never driven on ice or snow. I understand. Not everyone can be top notch drivers in these situations, but if you can’t drive in these conditions, there’s one sure fire way to stay safe: DON’T GET OUT THERE!!$%$#. Seriously, you are a danger to yourself and others. So I should start at the beginning. I decided to head out of work early on Tuesday due to the incoming snow. We had advanced warning. In hindsight, if I knew traffic was going to be that bad, I would have stayed overnight at the plant. In two hours, I moved less than a mile. At that point, I called my supervisor to advise him to keep anyone still left at work there. Two more hours pass and I have still moved less than one mile. At that point, survival instincts kick in and I’m thinking about shelter for the night. I stop at a parking lot and walk across the street to a Quiktrip gas station. I grab some taquitos and a bottle of water and scout a corner to use for a makeshift bed for the evening. About 30 minutes pass and I run into an old coworker. He tells me he has a truck and asks if I want to ride along with him. For the first time ever, I leave Miata Loca behind. Long story short, we get to his house at around 1am; almost 12 hours after I left work. I crash on his guest bed and, the next morning, he gives me a lift to my house.

Once I got home I relaxed until around 2pm. At this point, much of the ice had melted. I decided to chance it and bring Miata Loca home. We got into the Mini and I am absolutely amazed at the stability of that little car. Seriously, we were moving around trucks and SUVs with that thing. There was little traffic on the roads so we made good time getting back to the Miata. The Miata was a little squirrely on the larger ice patches, but I got her home safe.

Today, I decided to wait until closer in the afternoon to attempt to get to work. I grabbed that wonderfully stable Mini to get me there. Unfortunately,  people were feeling brave today and those who should not have been out there were once again screwing up the roadways. After I encountered an absolute moron in an SUV come to a complete stop at the bottom of an icy hill, stare at it for about 30 seconds, then slowly creep up the hill with their tires spinning the entire way, I promptly made a U-turn and came back home. So here I am with a drink in my hand, drinking to the bad decisions of so many others around me. Maybe tomorrow I will try again. Hopefully those that should stay home will, in fact, stay at home.

Oh My, It Has Been A Long Time Hasn’t It?

Well I certainly let things go on this blog. I don’t even know where to begin. For starters, my photography has seriously improved. In fact, I started a photography business last fall. That reminds me. I’m currently looking for a blog or other publication in the Atlanta area that is willing to take on a part time concert photographer. Just throwing that out there.

Miata Loca also got a new little (or big actually) sister. Kristen’s minivan kept giving us problems and we decided it must go. It had a bit of zip, but it was still a minivan. I convinced Kristen to go in a slightly different direction. To be fair, she wasn’t crazy about the thought at first, but after driving one, she had to have one. What is this mystery vehicle you ask? Well it is a bright red/black Mini Clubman. I wanted the convertible, but she said one convertible in the garage was enough. Plus she wants a little gear head in the near future and thought the Countryman was too large so we went with the Clubman since it has a 3rd door.

After about a year of shooting various events at Red Top Mountain State Park, they have officially declared me their park photographer. This year, I plan to expand and start working with Fort Mountain State Park.

At 11:15 pm and after working a 12 hour day, that is all I can think of. There is so much that I’ve seen and experienced in 2013 including leaving the Miata behind, getting on a plane and spending the weekend in Philadelphia so I could meet a big name photographer in hopes that he could look at some of my work and confirm that I’m not wasting my time and money pursuing a passion I have no talent for (and he did. He was actually impressed with how how I’ve gone in such a short time.) For now, keep the engine running. 2014 is already looking to be one heck of a ride.

Back on the Trail and Southward Bound

So I went to the Iron Hill trail with one of my friends from work today. It was the first time hitting the trail since last October so now I’m a little sore. I did manage to find four of the ten geocaches on the trail. I probably could have found the remaining six, but I promised Kristen that I wouldn’t. You see, I have now found 99 geocaches. Kristen insists that she be with me when I find number 100. Fortunately, I know exactly when and where I will find number 100. We will find it Wednesday at the Florida welcome center. That’s right, we have had enough of this wacky Georgia weather and we are going to Ft. Myers for a few days. I probably won’t post anything between now and when I get back, but I do plan on posting all about our trip when I do get back. For now, I have to pack and I certainly don’t want to forget the sunblock.

Can You Hear Me Now? Good! Now Stop Running Me Off Of the Road Dammit!

Ok, so driving down the highway in a small Miata has it’s fair share of hazards. My biggest problem is people who don’t pay attention when changing lanes. Here in Georgia, we have a bunch of them. Unfortunately, Mazda decided that the horn’s size should match the rest of the car. The result: Me laying on the horn only to realize they can’t hear me and me enjoying a leisurely drive on the shoulder. Then I feel bad because I know when I get back on the highway and speed by them, I’m obligated to give them a one-fingered Georgia salute. I recall one trip to Tennessee where I got to explore the shoulder on three separate occasions. Well I may have found a solution to this problem. Say hello to the Wolo Bad Boy Airhorn. While I was getting the Miata checked out for our upcoming trip to Florida, I asked my mechanic how much it would cost to get it installed. Since I had already purchased one, he told me he would install it for $75. So now I am confident that the next time someone isn’t paying attention and starts to invade my lane, I will be able to scare them back to where they belong (insert evil laugh here).