Mini / Portland

The Club Runs

In moving West this August, I have immersed myself in the local Mini club. It’s what we do as Mini owners – we get together, we talk cars, we turn wrenches, we share meals, we go for drives. The Portland club has been around, in one form or another, for as long as the new generations of Minis has been. And with that, so have their organized run – planned events and drives, wherein someone marks out a route and leads others on a drive, usually because of the value of the route itself. Mini owners like curves, they

Blogging / Mini / Oahu

One last Mini adventure: Ka’ena Point Satellite Tracking Station

The kids and I made one last Mini adventure today: Ka’ena Point Satellite Tracking Station. Me, at the far point. If you remember, about a month ago the kids and I went to ride bikes at Ka’ena Point State Park and had an awesome time. When we were doing that, I noticed some odd structures up on the ridge above the point itself — one of which looked like a giant golf ball. Look for the golf ball. Today, we went to that golf ball, and to pretty much all of the other stuff up there. A guy I

Blogging / Cars / Mini

Considering a Mini?

The wife and kids and I went to MINI to the Max at Aloha Tower on Sunday morning, here in Honolulu. It was a mix of a Mini car show, toy drive, and sales event for the local Mini dealership. It was sponsored by the dealership, the local Mini club (Hawaii Mini Motoring Club), and a few others. One thing I did get a chance to do there was talk about my Mini, and Minis in general. Not hard to do — I love my car, and I love the Mini. And I love my Mini adventures — I


HMMC and Tantalus

K and the kids and I headed off this AM for coffee with the Hawaii Mini Motoring Club. I’d been in touch with some of the gang online, so it was a chance to say hello and put faces to names, and to ask a ton of questions. Today was, apparently, the smallest gathering in known history. We counted maybe 15 or 18 Minis. Last month, they did a drive across the island — 51 Minis. While there, a few of the folks said, “Oh, you should go drive up to Tantalus. It’s really pretty.” So we did. K

Blogging / Cars / Mini / etc.

Tess Turbo is home

We went and got her from the port today. She’s got two new and tine scratches on the passenger door — the shipping folks acknowledged that the scratches are new, so we’ll work out something to get her fixed. It’s why we have insurance. I was thinking earlier that the arrival of Tess Turbo marks the closure of a pretty good summer of motoring. Since late August, Tess Turbo and I made it through the Nordschleife at the N?rburgring, across the Alps, onto a boat to Baltimore, across America to Kansas City via Hermann, MO, and then on to

Yeeeeeeeeees! ISP issues, and dinner with M2C2

On the first of the month, the Army changed ISP’s for where I am staying. It went from Charter (a commercial firm), which provided crappy tech support and not very good bandwidth, to something through the Army’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) folks. The first thing I noted, when I got back from my weekend on the Dragon, was that sites were being filtered. Most critical? I could not get to North American Motoring, my Mini hang out. Other sites were blocked, too. The second thing I noticed was that the filtering / blocking was really, really slowing down

Cars / Garmin Forerunner 305 / Google Earth / etc.

The Dragon

I drive a 2006 Mini Cooper S. I am, in every sense, just your typical Mini owner, in that I am as fanatically obsessed with my Mini as the next guy or gal. I love my Mini. I love driving my Mini. And I love my Mini adventures. I’ve got a running list of adventures that I’ve had in my Mini. It looks something like this: * Going full throttle on the autobahn * Driving the Odenwald * Sunday drives the Black Forest / Schwarzwald * Driving the Black Forest from end to end * Driving Poppa Bear Point

Mini / Movies

Movie: The Italian Job

It only took 34 years to get around to making another Italian Job movie. What brought that about? The return of the Mini, of course. This isn’t a sequel, and it’s not a remake, per se. Mark Wahlberg plays Charlie, Donald Sutherland plays his mentor, and the ever beautiful Charlize Theron plays Steller, his daughter and Charlie’s love interest. They go to Italy with a crew to pull off one more job, the one that will let them all get out of the business. And they pull it off — only to have Ed Norton, as Steve, double cross

Mini / Travel

The Nordschleife at the Nürburgring

26 April: New photos. 25 April: Update. Google Earth file, here. 13 April: Big day today. Me and the kids and the boys went to the Nürburgring today to drive some laps on the Nordschleife. Holy. Crap. The Nürburgring, known as simply “the Ring” by enthusiasts, is the name of a famous motorsport race track in Nürburg, Germany, built in the 1920s around the village and medieval castle of Nürburg in the Eifel, which is about 70 kilometres south of Cologne, 100 kilometres northwest of Mainz, and 120 kilometres northwest of Frankfurt. Originally, the track featured four track configurations:


Oooh, oooh, Autobahn!

Had to go to Frankfurt today, to drop someone off at the airport. Light rain, some traffic going there, but little rain and open roads as I got back on Autobahn 5 to head home. Before I got the new Mini, I’d heard that Mini’s guidance was “Not above 4000 rpm” which, really, just meant shifting early and following the speed limits in the USA. Well, here in Deutschland, I was told, “Try to keep it under 170 KM/h, and when you go over that, try not to do it for too long.” Wow, I love Germany. So, on


Tess Turbo

She’s here! After coming back from the States, I had to wait a couple of days before taking delivery of this, my new Astro Black 2006 Mini Cooper S. She’s all black — black body, black roof, black interior, black dash. Supercharged 1.8 liter 4 banger with something like 160 or 180 horsepower. It’s got GPS, decent speakers, comfy seats, a CD full of classic rock MP3’s, and it is a zippy little drive. I’ve already swapped out the mats for nice rubber ones (with the Mini logo, no less) and added the required fuzzy dice. I’m lining up