I'm off on a Harley Weekend tomorrow, read more here!
So it has been a while since I’ve had the time to get a blog post up here, so let’s get started.
After the last post, the car was almost ready for the Dixie National tour, held in Cecil Georgia, but there was some final prep to do. I took the car down to Solo Performance to corner weight and align the thing, with good results.
There are many obvious health benefits to riding your bicycle, and by riding you bicycle year round you can work to keep your body in shape for the prime riding in Spring Summer and Fall. One of the best benefits I’ve found to cold/chilly weather riding is the clearing out of the sinuses!
It was a good weekend on the 350z, I made progress on pretty much everything I needed/wanted to do to start the 2016 season, with only the corner balance and wheel alignment remaining. Those are scheduled for Monday at Solo Performance.
This weekend I spent some quality time finally working on the 350z before the upcoming autocross season (Dixie Champ Tour is coming up quickly).
In prep for STU I want to see what kind of weight I can get out of the car, I really don’t know if this car (2003 Touring) can come anywhere close to what my first one (2003 Enthusiast, 3075lbs) weighed, or even the second one (2004 enthusiast, 3062). I have yet to get it up on the scales, but I assume going into this that the car is heaver than both of them. The power, heated, leather seats that came with the car, along with the potential extra stereo equipment, and electronics for the VDC mean the car likely weighs a good bit heaver than the previous cars.
We’ll try to keep this list updated with current modifications, and a list of past modifications as well as we build and compete our 350z in the SCCA STU autocross class.
I’ve been maintaining my DotNetNuke Visual Studio project templates for a number of years now, one of the things they have sorely been lacking is the ability to “customize” the templates without having to crack open the full source code of the VSIX project, making changes, and then recompiling everything. There are 5 specific strings/values that were ripe for customization, but simply were not easily accessible.
Of all of those items, the one that has likely caused the most headache over the years is the Local DEV URL property, that was set at DNNDEV.ME, which if you followed along with my various tutorials, was the URL I always use for local development, that domain name points to 127.0.0.1. This actually works out great, but some people choose not to follow my tutorials or already have existing development environments configured, yet still want to use my templates. You could still use them, but you had to make some modifications to the PROJ files after creation in order to get things working.
With the latest release of the templates, when you create a project using one of the 6 included templates, you will then be prompted with a Wizard interface (single step) that will allow you to customize these fields.
As always, you can download the latest “release” of the templates from the DNN Store, or from the Visual Studio Online Gallery if you want to get creative, you can check out the Repo on GitHub
Earlier today I took the leaking wheel/tire to Solo Performance Specialties to take the tire off the rim and take a look at the wheel and see what the damage really was.
After popping the tire off the wheel we quickly found that the wheel had a repair attempted both inside and outside of the wheel, it actually looked like someone had taken JB Weld to it.
With the release of DNN Platform 8 last week it is now possible to develop modules using SPA and MVC patterns within the DNN platform. As Part of the buildup of the DNN 8 release, Will Strohl provided a Pull request to my DNN Extension Project Templates project to help clean up some of the basic module templates to work better on Windows Azure environments, and to prep them for inclusion of new DNN 8 specific templates for SPA and MVC modules.
Early in the fall Joe Brinkman provided a partial SPA project, with the intention of it becoming a project template. I had a little time when it was initially submitted to work on it, but wasn’t able to get everything squared away on the template until early December. It wasn’t until last week that I got additional time to do further testing on the template and fix a few issues that occurred during the conversion to a project template.
When I picked up the 350z in Chattanooga back in November, I figured out that the radio wasn’t great, the sound was weak, and it didn’t appear to pick up any FM signals whatsoever. Over the Xmas weekend I decided it was time to rip into the car to remove the stock Bose amp and subwoofer (behind the driver’s seat) as well as try to tack down why the FM reception was non-existent.
The first step was to get into the subwoofer location behind the driver’s seat, a quick screw driver inserted into the panelling to pop the cover off. pry and then pull it off. Once I removed the cover, I quickly found that the stock Bose setup had already been removed, I figured that might be the case, but wasn’t 100% sure until we pulled the cover off. While in there I took the time to clean up some of the stray wiring that was in there, some exposed wires, and some live power wires that simply had electrical tape wrapped around them.
After working on the (lack there of) Sub, it was time to rip into the dashboard. I’ve done it so many times on my prior 350zs that it is straightforward and fairly painless to do. The one thing that gave me trouble was disconnecting the wiring harness from the center console where the harness powers the hazard, and seat warmer switches. I ended up pulling the panel up and off of the emergency brake in order to get to the plug for the wiring.
Once I pulled the plastic for the console out of place I dug in behind the stereo itself. First thing I checked was to see if the antenna wiring was plugged into the head unit, unfortunatly it was, so that wasn’t going to be an easy fix! I tracked down some wires from the stereo by pulling down the manual from the Pioneer website.One thing I did find was there is the “mic” for the handsfree bluetooth setup was plugged into the “wired remote” port on the back of the head unit. I unplugged that, but unfortunately couldn’t plug it into the proper MIC input as the jack was the wrong size. I plugged the mic back into the W/R port and started playing around with the headunit to see if I could get any stations tuned.
While digging in the center console compartment I found a wireless remote for the stereo, thinking that might work with “options” better than the touch screen I try to start using that, with no success. I checked the battery in the remote, and found it was a CR2016, but the remote said it took a CR2025, so I grabbed a spare and popped that in place. Ends up, that didn’t work either, no matter what I tried I couldn’t get the remote to work. Until I once again unplugged the mic from the “wired remote” port, one I did that the remote started working properly. So apparently whomever installed this radio, the wiring was done incorrectly on the MIC, and that was causing problems.
I went ahead and left the MIC unplugged and put everything back together in the car. I immediately tried to tune FM, and found that I could actually tune to a specific station, where previously I was only able to scan, and with the lack of signal previously, the scan would continue until manually stopped by switching input sources. I still wasn’t able to get a clear tune on a station, but when I pulled the car out of the garage to reposition where it was parked, I did find that it started to get a signal to a local radio station here.
So it looks like the ultimately problem with the radio may just have been the miswired Mic, we’ll see, next time I drive the car, how things play out. It might be a while though before I get back out in the Z, it has turned cold here in Missouri and I don’t plan to drive the car too much in below freezing temps, due to the abuse on the tires.
So here we sit, 2 years since our last Christmas card, or has it been longer? Probably just two. This is the start of year #2 in our home in Wildwood. We moved into the house in November 2014 and have been loving it out here on the far side of West County ever since.
Over the holiday here in St. Louis we had an abnormally large amount of rain, with that has come complete chaos in the rivers, primarily the Meramec river, but also high levels on the Missouri and flooding from the Mississippi river. I had a little time this afternoon after an all day meeting at the office to head home quickly and grab some of my gear, I headed up to Bluff View Trail, a new trail here in Wildwood, MO that has a great view over the Meramec River. Two weeks ago I went out on the trail with a buddy and rode my MTB for the first time, on Christmas Eve I took Natalie and Daniel and we went and hiked it a bit. Little did I know taking a photo there that day would provide me a cool opportunity to shot a before and during shot of the extensiveness of the flooding going on.
The photo on the left below is from 12/24/2015 and the photo on the right is from tonight, 12/30/2015
Follow up to the failed emissions and safety test earlier this week. Last night I got under the car again and checked for leaks, found that one of the gaskets I hadn't touched was leaking, so I tried to cover that up with some exhaust tape.
The car failed Missouri safety and emissions testing today. When I pulled out of the driveway this morning something happened up front, on the brakes, one of the wheels locked up, "SLIP" and "VDC" lights came on and wouldn't shut off. Restarted the car, got out, checked for anything noticeable and drove down the road to the gas station. At the station I decided to plug the OBDII scanner in and sure enough, it was throwing an ABS code.
This weekend, being what is likely the last warm weekend of 2015, I decided it was time to wash/claybar/wax the 350z. The weather was beautiful, I spent most of Saturday afternoon performing the first two steps, washing and clay bar’ng the car. The car was pretty clean, but there were some decent cone marks/residue on the side skirts from the previous owner, most of the time spent with the clay bar was there, though there were various other locations on the car that needed attention as well.
Earlier this week, Dave from SoloPerformance.com and I headed down to Chattanooga to pick up Project350z V3. A 2003 Nissan 350z Touring model, with 145k miles on the clock. The car was purchased from a fellow autocrosser, and is primarily prepped for SCCA’s STU class.
Ever since I upgraded to Windows 10 (and then a couple of weeks later, paved the machine straight to Windows 10) I’ve been unable to install Quicktime, from Apple.
So the time has come, I am currently car shopping again. I’ve been threatening it for a while now, but with the 2015 Solo National Championships going on this week, and a few other life things figured out, it is time to make the 2016 autocross season happen!
So a few details. I’m once again looking at early 350z’s, this time around I’m not looking for a daily driver, this next car will be built specifically for autocross and a fun weekend toy, with some daily driving here and there (thankful I have a short commute). I am looking for the perfect car, how do you define that? Well, in an ideal world the perfect 350z for me would be
A few months ago I released V4 of my DNN Development templates, which included a new project template for Themes (skins). This weekend I was working on a new theme (skin) for a customer project and came across a few changes I needed/wanted to make to the Theme project template, so you get to benefit from those changes as I have put a new release out of the project templates.
For years I have maintained a set of Visual Studio project templates that are used by thousands of people to quickly and easily create Modules for the DotNetNuke Content Management System, and for years, I have had people request that I create a project template for creating a DNN Skin (now known as Themes).
This weekend I finally took the time to do just that. With the latest release of my Visual Studio project templates, you can now create a Theme for DNN. When doing so, you will be presented with a basic skin, using Bootstrap v3.1.1, based on my HammerFlex theme for DotNetNuke.
Over the past few years I’ve been threatening to get into remote control multi-rotor aircraft. Thanks to Andrew McMaster (www.clearuphere.com) I finally pulled the trigger and have built my first aircraft. I say first, because I am pretty sure it will be the first of many.
My first build was a DJI F450, using a kit ordered from UAVProducts.com, as well as many other parts from various sources. If you are looking to get into quadcopters/multi-rotors (don’t call them drones) you need to ask yourself a few questions.
For a few years now I’ve been wanting to tie our Christmas lights into my Insteon Home Automation, but I haven’t had any of the Insteon hardware/software hooked up due to various houses we were in. This year is different, this year my Christmas lights are hooked up to my home automation system!
It has been 3+ years since I’ve worked with the Insteon hardware that I acquired years ago (some of which was documented here), since the last time I gave Insteon a go, we have moved to from San Carlos, CA, to Half Moon Bay, Ca, to Ballwin, MO, and now we’ve purchased a home in Wildwood, Missouri.
In late June 2014, we took a family vacation. We left from St. Louis and drove west to the promise land. Colorado, that’s my promise land. The beautiful country, the place I would go if I were rich and could move all of our family (immediate and extended) to one place without thinking about the cost involved in such an undertaking.
Our family of four (myself and my wife, plus a 3 year old daughter, and recently turned 1yr old son) visited Denver, friends, family, and then we went further west, to a place 50 miles from the nearest town, at 9500’, deep into Wilderness country.
We went to Trapper’s Lake.
Just over 5 years after we purchased our first house, and almost 4 years to the day we sold that house, we are once again house hunting. This time, we are in St. Louis, as opposed to the last time around with http://going2colorado.com/ and ultimately http://ourcoloradolife.com/. I don’t envision building a full blown website like we did last time around, but who knows, maybe I’ll get creative one evening and do it.
So, why St. Louis? With all the bad stories lately (#Ferguson and the fact that Missouri is rated poorly) you might think, “Who in their right mind would want to live in Missouri?”.