|The Monthly Newsletter of the Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association
Copyright 2007 - Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association - Sacramento, CA 95662
For questions about this website please contact the webmaster
|Now you see it…now you don’t. Protect your GPS.
By Mike DeLaurentis
I came across an interesting, albeit disconcerting, article in the paper the other day and thought I would pass the
message along. It appears that an increasing number of after market GPSs are being stolen from cars. Thieves know
they can quickly snap the GPSs off of the plastic windshield mounts and there are plenty of pawn shops and other
willing buyers. So, you say, you never leave your GPS on the plastic windshield mount but lock them in the trunk or
glove box? Well if you leave the plastic windshield mount on the window or dash (California law says they cannot be
mounted to the window but many of us do it anyway) and thieves see it they’ll know there must be a GPS
somewhere in that vehicle so they are likely to break in and find it. Alright, so you say you also remove the plastic
windshield mount when you remove your GPS? How about that telltale suction cub ring that’s left on the
windshield? That’s right. Thieves look for that as well and when they see it they assume the GPS must be in the car.
Ridiculous? Probably, but it’s what happening.
By Mike DeLaurentis
ICE campaign - "In Case of Emergency" - We all carry our mobile phones with names & numbers stored in its
memory but nobody, other than ourselves, knows which of these numbers belong to our closest family or friends. If
we were to be involved in an accident or were taken ill, the people attending us would have our mobile phone but
wouldn't know who to call. Yes, there are hundreds of numbers stored but which one is the contact person in case of
an emergency? Hence this "ICE" (In Case of Emergency) Campaign.
The concept of "ICE" is catching on quickly. It is a method of contact during emergency situations. As cell phones are
carried by the majority of the population, all you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons who
should be contacted during emergency under the name "ICE".
The idea was thought up by a paramedic who found that when he went to the scenes of accidents, there were
always mobile phones with patients, but they didn't know which number to call. He therefore thought that it would be
a good idea if there was a nationally recognized name for this purpose. In an emergency situation, Emergency
Service personnel and hospital Staff would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialing the number
you have stored as "ICE". Please forward this. It won't take too many "forwards" before everybody will know about
this. It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest. For more than one contact name simply enter
ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc. Be sure it's in your kid's cell phones also... A great idea that will make a difference! Let's
spread the concept of ICE by storing an ICE number in our Mobile phones today!
Best Small 2007 Cars
By Mike DeLaurentis
The October, 2007 Consumer’s Reports has an article on Best Small Cars. Honors go to:
Honda Civic EX selected as the best small car;
Mazda 3 s - best wagon or hatchback;
Mazdaspeed3 - best sports/sporty car; and
Mazda MX-5 Miata - best roadster.
The Miata was followed in the rankings by the Honda S2000 (although it was noted that the S2000 has better
reliability than the Miata), the Saturn Sky and the Pontiac Solstice. Both the Sky and Solstice had quite low overall
road-test scores and their reliability was unknown in the case of the Sky and poor in the case of the Solstice.
I guess this is no surprise to us but it’s nice to have our decision to own Miatas validated by an independent testing
By Ron Petrich
Congratulations for becoming a year older to… Merril Emelio… Ron Moe… Mary Pat Pauly… Steve Stevenson… Kevin
Wise… …and to all the other October birthday boys and girls who are too shy to tell us when they were born…
SCCA Autocross…Results, Reactions and Rumors
By Jack Parker
The SCCA autocross recently ended the 2007 season with club members making themselves known with impressive
finishes in three classes, some of which NOT driving Miatas. Most prominent of these is Rod Gonzales in the Kia Rio of
Rod seems to thrive on competition pulling out a dramatic and much needed two wins out of the last three races to
take a share of the H Stock championship. Entering the last race of the year Rod trailed the 99 Subie by 40 points
after a very close competition on the previous days race. That day saw a very big upset as the third place finisher
took that day’s race. The field was separated by .093 seconds, which in autocross is very close to two feet over a
half-mile distance. The bimmer went 40.304, the Subie came in at 40.317 and the Kia came in at 40.397 setting up
the exciting final day of the season.
The first runs of the Sunday session saw the previous day’s winner in third, a distant 1.4 seconds back and out of the
running for the day. Rod trailed the Subie by .4 seconds for second. Second runs moved Rod into first by .3
seconds, 40.845 to the Subie’s first run of 41.126. The next two runs saw Rod apply the pressure by improving
each run and finishing with a 39.996 and the Subie improving to a still second place time of 40.618, giving Rod a
share of the season’s top position. At the time of this writing it still has not been determined if it will remain a tie or if a
tiebreaker will be used. Stay tuned for details. Rod had a great season and his Kia really proved that his is truly a
In Street Tire, our own Darryl Huckabay, driving his 07 MX-5 to a very consistent group of finishes to place fourth
overall out of seventy-four competitors. Darryl even got one win and a couple of thirds. There was even one race
where a very out of character black Vette was involved. Don’t know who that was.
Then there was STS2. Having clinched the season’s title the previous weekend the pressure was off for Jack Parker.
Taking two first places just added icing to the cake. On
Sunday our own Tak Auyeung driving his 96 Miata took second place. On Saturday someone named Michael Parker
driving a very familiar looking 97 Miata took fourth. Michael was driving the car for the first time ever. Made is dad
proud, whoever that was. Saturday, Andrew Milicharek took second in his otm, the 88 RX-7 and finished second in
points for the season.
Rumor mill has it that there could be some changes next year for almost all competitors as boredom or a desire for
more speed in class seems to be driving almost everyone. What is this about a certain class leader looking at Mini
Coopers. A move in that direction will make that class a real yawner as the Mini is the car to beat in that class. Which
one of our club members is looking to move to EP and making some major changes in his car. Another class leader
has been looking at everything from superchargers, turbos to FM Westfields, Ariel Atoms and a very ominous black
(what else) Vette in an effort to make races a little more fun. Also what past member is making the trip back to
Sactown and maybe driving a sponsored OTM of his own?
Treasure Trove News
By Jeanne George
WELCOME to new members joining in September:
Thomas, Sharon and Rick
Gentilli, Noelle and David Lask
Dillon, Mike and Sandy
Memberships Expiring on October 1:
Bauer, Mark and Darci
Parker, Jack and Sally
Somplack, Jon and Alice
Memberships Renewed in September:
Black, Cat/Ken Johnson
Counter, Margaret and Toby
Emelio, John and Merril
Weatherwax, Bonni and John Parker
Spengler, Dan and Mila
I would like to thank Wes Zicker and Rod Gonzalez who agreed to do the Finance Committee audit of the SAMOA
books. We met after the September General Meeting. All records, checks, and deposits were available for review.
The Income and Expense Report, Account Balances Report, and the 2007 Proposed Budget and Actual Expenses
were reviewed. To date, the Club is ahead of planned income and under spent on planned expenses. We have two
large expenses pending; the Scrabble Scramble and the Birthday picnic. Thank you again, Wes and Rod for
participating in the audit.
SPEED TRAPS - NO JOKE...CHECK IT OUT!
By Mike DeLaurentis
Do you drive fast? Would you like to know where the speed traps are? Go to this website; http://www.speedtrap.
org/speedtraps/stetlist.asp, select the state then the city you are interested in knowing about and there you will find
the active speed traps. I checked out Roseville and sure enough found the ones that I am aware of. I also sent this
to a County Police Officer whom I know and she not only agreed to it’s accuracy but also updated the site! Safe
A Silly Blond Joke
By Fran Rowell
A man was in his front yard mowing grass when his attractive blond female neighbor came out of the house and went
straight to the mailbox. She opened it then slammed it shut & stormed back in the house. A little later she came out
of her house, again went to the mail box, and again opened it, and again slammed it shut again. Angrily, back into
the house she went. As the man was getting ready to edge the lawn, here she came out again, marched to the mail
box, opened it and then slammed it closed harder than ever. Puzzled by her actions the man asked her, "Is
something wrong?" To which she replied, "There certainly is!" My stupid computer keeps saying, "you’ve got mail.”
Labor-Day Weekend Trip to Crater Lake, Oregon
By Adi & Parvin Damania
1999 10th Anniversary “Blu Belle”
It was decided - a three-day labor-day weekend could not be allowed to pass us by un-traveled as in the past years.
So this year we decided to brave the traffic (and AAA predictions) and hit the road, because staying at home in
Woodland in triple-digit heat was not a welcome proposition (our garage hits 120F inside for hours after sundown as it
faces directly west!). To beat the traffic we decided to start straight after work on Friday 31st August. The car’s tire
pressure (30 psi) was checked and the gas filled to the brim the previous day. Around 3 pm both Parvin’s and my
bosses at UC Davis told us not to wait any longer and so at exactly 8 minutes past 3 pm we were on our way; first
on Hwy 113 up to Woodland and then I-5 north to Redding. We made very good progress and after a rest stop (it
was way past 100F there) arrived in Redding at around 5:30 PM.
After staying overnight at La Quinta hotel ($98), we had a leisurely start on Saturday at around 8 am following a
hearty complimentary breakfast (where we were entertained by a bevy of cheer-leaders bound for some game). We
had information from the Cal-Trans website that major repairs to Pit River bridge 7.7 miles north of Redding would
result in delays as only one lane will operate on this stretch of I-5 till April 2008. However, due to the early hour we
had no trouble at all and after spectacular fast curves on the road arrived in Weed about an hour later. Weed was
originally the home of the Shasta Indians who were pushed out by European settlers in the mid-1800s. Weed is
named for Abner E. Weed, who came to California with his wife, Rachael in 1869. In 1901 Abner Weed built a lumber
mill called "Mill No. 1," which was the beginning of the town. At Weed we had still half a tank of gas but decided to top
up. The Chevron (our preferred brand) gas station had a delivery going on, so as not to get dirt in our gas tank, we
went next door to a private smaller local station and were pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the cashier and
the cleanliness of the toilets. We left the I-5 at Weed and took Hwy 97 towards Klamath Falls, OR. Just a few miles
outside Weed we were rewarded with our first great photo opportunity as we passed Mt. Shasta which, despite the
heat, still had ample snow at and near its peak.
After another hour we took the right fork on Hwy 161 which goes to Tule Lake but also acts as a border between CA
and OR. We passed the Klamath Basin Wildlife Reserve on the right and stopped to observe some great bird-life of
Mallard ducks, American white pelicans, and plenty of other water fowl. About 20 miles down the road we took a right
on Old Hill road which passed through some great flat scenery including some grazing deer in the marshes. A notice
informed us that we were coming to the end of the county road and were entering the national park and that a fee
was required. At the kiosk the young blue-eyed park ranger demanded $10 to enter the Lava Beds National
Monument. At once we were passing dark remains of lava that had been a molten liquid half a million years ago. The
Lava Beds National Monument was a land of great turmoil, both geological and historical. Over the last 500,000 years,
volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano created a rugged landscape dotted with cinder cones, lava
flows, spatter cones, lava tube caves and pit craters. More than 600 caves (some full of bats) beckoned us! During
the Modoc War of 1872-1873, the Modoc Indians used the park's ancient lava flows to their tactical advantage.
Under the leadership of Captain Jack, their Chief, the Modocs took refuge in "Captain Jack's Stronghold," a natural
lava fortress. From here a group of only 53 fighting Indian men and their families held off US Army forces numbering
over 1500 for five months. We actually entered a couple of caves, which were nice and cool (55F all year round), and
also trekked through Capt. Jack’s stronghold to get a flavor of what it has been for him and his men while
surrounded for 5 months by overwhelming high number of the enemy armed with the best rifles, mortar and canon.
The information center was excellent and had exhibits that told the whole story of how the Modoc’s land was usurped
and distributed to the European settlers. It seems human remains of the Modoc are still discovered by park rangers,
the last ones being in the mid 90s, and are returned to the Modoc nation for ceremonial burial in their own burial
We left the Lava Beds National Monument from its southern entrance and, after a brief stop at the cave of
petroglyphic paintings made by the ancient Indians on the walls, we joined Hwy 139 north heading towards the small
town of Merril, where we made a stop around 2:30 pm. We had a late lunch at the locally famous Pappy Gander’s
diner with French fries made from local potatoes that are out of this world if you are a French fries lover like Adi is.
Pappy Gander’s is very popular with hunters who come in during season from all over the mid-West. Evidence of
some of their various kills of deer, elk, and ducks could be seen on the walls together with old photographs and some
historical information. We had parked the car in the shade of a huge oak tree, but by the time we got back the sun
and moved west and the car was hot as hell! We continued on Hwy 39 in to Klamath Falls and checked-in to Motel 6
($69) at 3:15 pm. After a good rest of a few hours with the A/C on “low cool”, we went for a walk at sundown and
found the fork for Hwy 97 north to Bend which would take us to Crater Lake the next day. While returning to the
hotel we walked past the Klamath River. Never do that after sundown on a hot day! We were buzzed by several
trillion insects (now we knew why there was nobody else walking around)! They got into our hair and clothes and only
a warm shower and complete change of clothing mitigated our discomfort. In order to get up early the next day we
had only the left overs (doggy bag) from Pappy Gander’s humongous fish ‘n’ chips and a couple of peaches from UC
Davis experimental plots. We went to bed watching the U.S. Open Tennis beamed live in HD from New York.
We arose at 5:30 am on Sunday and had a cup of our own brew of Darjeeling tea in the room with some chocolate
chip cookies (Motel 6 does not have any breakfast, complimentary or otherwise, except for some stale coffee and
treats for pets). In the mean time with heard some commotion outside; another resident had unfortunately left his
lights on and as he wanted to make an early start, his Tahoma truck made only clicking sounds when he turned the
ignition key. Our suggestion to try push starting the vehicle was met with a disapproving glare of disbelieve from
which we concluded his was an automatic! However, we managed to start at 7:00 am sharp (knowing it would a long
day) and yawned our way to a Chevron gas station just outside Klamath Falls on Hwy 97 where we topped up. In
Oregon gas can only be pumped by an attendant (union rules). Our attendant was a young man who also cleaned
our windshield and topped us right up to the brim, and would have continued to spill over had we not stopped him.
Gas in OR is cheaper as it does not have certain additives and taxes are lower or non-existent. But one can smell the
gas from the exhausts in traffic in downtown areas unlike CA.
We made excellent time on Hwy 97 north in the morning with the lovely Upper Klamath Lake and the Amtrak rail-line
on the left. We passed several non-franchise mom&pop motels-cum-general store on the way which reminded us of
the Bates Motel in the movie “Psycho”. Soon we were at the fork where we had to turn left on Route 62 for Crater
Lake. This is one of the America’s scenic highways, with the faint smell of pinewood wafting by, as we drove at high
speed between tall pine trees with hardly any sunlight falling on the road. There was practically no traffic at all to speak
off at that early hour as we passed by some more quaint private motels and defunct gas stations and general stores.
We passed huge ranches with thousands of beef cattle grazing contently in the meadows oblivious to their ultimate
fate (one of the ranches was called “The Double K”). The tip of snow covered peak of Mt. Shasta was still visible to the
south as a ghostly image far far away.
We arrived at the Crater Lake Visitor’s Center where a full American breakfast put us back by $8 each. Some local
souvenirs and the obligatory postcards were purchased for the relatives and close friends. And after once again
paying the $10 fee, we entered the Crater Lake National Park. It was only 8:00 AM and we quickly realized that we
needed our jackets. It was 50F outside. The lake is magical, enchanting - a remnant of fiery times of volcanic
eruptions on a massive scale, a reflector of its adjacent forested slopes, a product of Nature's grand design (there was
no mention of any Indians having lived there in the past). Few places on earth command overwhelming awe from
observers. Even in this region of volcanic wonders, Crater Lake can only be described in superlatives. Stories of the
deep-blue lake can never prepare visitors for their first breathtaking look from the brink of this 6 mile wide caldera
which was created by the eruption and subsequent collapse of Mt. Mazama almost 7,700 years ago. Today, the
nation's sixth oldest national park serves to stand as a memorial to time. In 1902, Congress decided that Crater Lake
and its surrounding 180,000 acres were to be "dedicated and set apart forever as a public park or pleasure ground
for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of the United States", which includes you and me.
A leisurely drive round the lake took us about 2 hours with a couple of stops where photo opportunities were availed.
The entire lake is formed on the bed of an extinct volcano and is supposed to be, at almost 2000 feet, one of the
deepest lakes in the world. The water down below from about 700 feet up on the rim was icy blue. This is bluer than
even Lake Tahoe! We passed up the boat ride on the lake as there were too many people in the line for it. Around 10
am we were back at the Visitor’s Center for a trip to the rest rooms and then fortifying ourselves with a couple of
muffins saved up clandestinely from the breakfast, we pointed our car back east towards home on Route 62. We
were once again able to make very good time as most of the traffic was going in the opposite direction in to the park
just as we were leaving it.
We joined Hwy 97 heading south at a fast pace when some inconsiderate group of motor-homes, who were driving
close to each other, prevented us from overtaking. This slowed our progress till after Klamath Falls when there were
ample long passing lanes. We arrived at Weed slightly hungry at around 12:30 pm and had lunch of salmon at the
very busy Hi-Lo diner whose history goes back over 100 years. There we learnt that Weed got its name from a
gentleman who had actually opened the Hi-Lo café and hotel back in the 1880s. We topped up our gas for the third
and last time at Weed’s Chevron and cleaned a mass of about a dozen different bugs that had stuck to the nose of
our car. We re-joined Hwy 5 going south with a change of drivers.
Apart from escapes from a couple of CHP squad cars hiding in the bushed around bends we made is safely back to
Woodland reaching there at 5:45 PM sharp. It was back to the heat, but we were back at home with an entire next
day to spare for R&R. The trip odometer showed a total of 810 miles. The little car did not miss a beat. It was a hectic
trip but we saw a great deal and learnt even more about nature and American history and about the legend of Capt.
Jack and the Modocs. As I write this, I am thinking about a few discomforts and fatigue that we faced during this long
journey of too short a duration, but we were amply compensated by an enlarged knowledge and road experience, as
well as a rich store of pleasant memories which would have been cheaply purchased even at a higher price. For
without adventure, toil and fatigue can nothing be accomplished, even as a Persian poet once wrote over 150 years
“And he who hopes to scale the heights of pleasure without enduring pain, and toil and strife, but wastes his life in idle
quest and vain.”
Web Site Doings
By Ron Petrich
One benefit of club membership in the Sacramento Area Miata Owners Association is the opportunity to introduce
yourself to the rest of the membership and the Miata community at large, through words and pictures. Each
member of SAMOA is allotted space on our site to write a short biography and display their Miatas, other cars (even
Corvettes, Hondas and Kias are grudgingly allowed) or themselves via photographs. There is no hard and fast rule as
to what you can write or how much you can write, or how many photos you can display. Of course good taste will
always be enforced.
Our host, Yahoo Web Hosting, provides us 5 gigabytes (5000 Mb) of space for our site. Currently we are using 445
Mb, or 8.9% of the space allotted. That gives us plenty of room for future expansion, and also plenty of room for
our members to post their life stories (automotively speaking).
As of this writing the club has 97 memberships and 157 members. Just 28 memberships have posted information
about themselves and their cars. Why not take the time to share your Miata passions with the rest of our
community. Send a Word file and some jpg photos to me at email@example.com. I will compose a page for
you that you can be proud of.
Teddy Bear Run
By Jack Parker
On November 17, our annual Teddy Bear Run will take place to benefit the Children’s Receiving Home of
Sacramento. The run is open to all members willing to give up a little time to benefit the Children’s Home. Each
participant is asked to donate a teddy bear and an item suitable as a Christmas present for a child ages 3-17.
The run will start at Mar Sha Tes on Murieta Drive in Rancho Murieta. You can find this location on Mapquest by using
7200 Murieta Drive, Rancho Murieta, California. Our meeting time will 9:00 and we will be collecting toys and bears
and filling up the pickup truck and driving off to High Hill Ranch for apple pie, fritters and everything apple at about 9:
So let’s have a great SAMOA turnout for this worthwhile event and help out some very deserving kids for the holidays.