Excaliper- The Way Things Were

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A step back in time to catch up with where I'm at now. The last 3 years all got squished together as 4 of my dearest friends died in separate events, my Mom went into the hospital, then life support, then died, my beloved cat died, the World Trade Center fell, our country went to war in Afghanistan and then Iraq,the dot com bubble burst, I had a to go to a hospital 3 times, my home was lost to fire, our Z3 community split like an atom and BMW stopped making Z3. And here we are in 2004. So this is a bit of "catch up", remembrance, appreciation and information. Clearly, I am hanging on to this car, and the friends I made through this car at the same time as we are all moving on.

So please, come with me on a little trip that begins in March of 2001, with a little story about one "frikin awesome day". I think I will add in some update notes.

March 3, 2001

What a frikin awesome day. Just goes to show ya, some of those days that I just want to stay in bed turn out to be the best ones to get out of bed to enjoy.
I went first down the turnpike to visit my Mom.(I lost Mom on January 26, 2003) Plenty of MTC* on the road, but what do I care, I am going the speed limit. Besides I have my V1 hardwired*. From Mom’s to my cousin’s to meet Dave T*.
It’s warm. Drop the top and it’s glorious. Wearing the BMW Heated Vest*(BMW Heated Vest for Z3 no longer sold.) but not even turned on, flannel shirt and my “I’m Dragon Trash”* Long SleeveT Shirt, I’m in heaven.
Sudden detour and and I wind my way towards my goal and surprise, not only is the road I chose a nice twisty road- albeit through a residential area, it’s pretty, but also it’s a shortcut! Must remember that one. Took the long way to Lisa’s house, the way with the nice twisty road. Hit it good, remembered the snow tires…. Slowed down. Weather report says the biggest snow storm of the year is coming- tomorrow. Not today.
Waiting at Cousin Lisa’s is her Z3, LiZZZ, and Dave T with CiZi. Lisa had pulled up after Dave, also top down. Turns out Lisa accidentally had her foglight fixed when she went in for some minor repair ( big plastic guard under her 2.3 got torn up on some ice)- so we wont be fixing that at Fixit Day. We can still do her Xpel* so she wont have that repair to pay for again.
Gave Emmy a quick wash, somehow black dust had gotten all over her again. Got to make sure the garage attendants are using the cover.
Tore off my LeatherZ* door armrests, to send back for a new leather covering, placed my black LeatherZ mirror blank* in place of the plastic beige blank…. Ahhhhh… that’s better. Once I had realized that the one door had black on the spot, where the mirror adjust is, but the other had beige- I had been feeling Emmy as lopsided. Putting a black leather blank in there balanced her nicely.
Added my LeatherZ black leather A pillars*. This was something wonderful. Turns out that beige interior Z3s have black A pillars. Emmy with Black leather A pillars is like wearing thigh high leather high heel boots. Feeling them is niiiice. Seeing the world through them is niiiice. I’m happy to have discovered that A pillars can not only be made for roadsters, they’re EASIER for JonM to make for roadsters. Don’t believe his web site, A pillars are not just for coupes anymore! ;p
Hooked up my CD player, the type that uses the tape deck. First CD- Jimi Hendrix*, thanks to a post by y2kguru. I had somehow left Jimi off the Essential tunes list in my car- silly me. Was thinking of him listening to Purple Haze… then thinking that it was strange no one had yet called their Z3, “The Purple HaZe”… how Jon Heustis should perhaps take that name, but no… his car is as Imola Red as Emmy is Boston Green. Fine then his car should be known as “The Imola HaZe”.
The sound from CDs is far superior to the tapes- very cool. It rocks. Still, the CD player does begin to jump uncomfortably and I turned back to tapes. It’s nice to have the ability to do both now. (5 months later I got my Traffic Pro pro GPS CD player)
Natch, now that the V1 is hardwired, I have a slot left in my 3 way AC splitter. The CD player will have to fight with the CB radio or the heated vest, ‘cause the telephone has to stay in. The new 3 way splitter has a nifty indicator to show when the battery is getting low.
Moved the Brookstone analog clock up off the wood finish in front of the shifter right onto two blanks left on the switch panel. (When I got my sport seats I put the switches for the heaters in and gave up on the analog clock). Now that panel looks like it was meant to be. AC, UNGO, Analog, ABS. Perfect. Only a small mar where the analog clock bottom must have vibrated against the finish. Ah well. Have to look up Dane Kane’s instructions to fix the wood finish*.
Set to the stickers on the visors with Goof Off*. What a pita. Have to go back one day for the stickers on the window. Don’t mess with the electrical system. Too late. Car equipped with coded radio. Not anymore. Can NOT for the life of me figure out how to set the time on my new Eclipse 4440. Does anyone know? Argh. (update 2007: The 'disp' button has two pressed states. If you push hard and hold it in with the time displayed, the channel buttons drive setting the clock.)
Hit the interior with mini California duster* (awesome) Lexol Cleaner* and Lexol Conditioner*.( These days I use the LeatherZ Spineybeck cleaners) Noted that the 2000 2.3 doesn’t have the little coin box like I have in the door pocket. Doesn’t matter, Dave’s is already taken up with cupholders and window cleaning solutions. Dave cleaned my windows.
Let my cousins take Emmy out for a spin. Unlike the rest of the world, I think these people COULD eat just one Lays potato chip. They each took Emmy ONCE around the circle. The circle? Sheesh.
Portable Steam Vac was fairly useless. A kiss to the family and thanks for the driveway, Z yaZ later… off to the coin op vacuum. Sucked all the crumbs and bits out of Emmy’s nooks and crannies.
Clean as a whistle, soft and conditioned, we took the last set of twisties in my cousin’s nabe. Saw a Z3 coming at us, top up, guy was on the cell phone. Feh. A couple Boxsters out, all top up. I yelled at one of them, “Put that top down!”. He looked straight ahead.
I decided to take the long way home, going west and north before going east. No turnpike for me this time, the weather is mild and there is daylight left... Dave was headed South, so naturally he decided to take the long way… the really long way following me first the absolute wrong direction. The grin on his face felt like last summer. We were back in the saddle again, and this time, even better equipped.
Off we went on the roads I take usually on my own. Esmerelda’s back roads. These roads I have been driving since I had a license, we even passed my old high school. Once on the back roads we were totally alone. No one out riding this early in the season. We were truly blessed. My favorite moment was driving along River Road, alongside the canal and the river, with snow everywhere, top down and warm. It was like spring skiing. At one point the sun popped up in my rear view mirror like an oncoming car. I figured out a lot of things, not least of which was what to have JonM do to my storage compartment lid. (Wait til you see!)
Took another short cut twisty road I had found by accident using Maps on Yahoo* of all things. Worked wonderfully. That’s a keeper. Asked Dave on the Talkabout* since we were coming near to where JonT* lives, we should call him to meet for dinner. Called Jon, told him we’d be on 78 near Oldwick and said, OK figure out a place for us to meet for dinner, and we’ll call ya back.
JonT found the Inn at Mount Bethel- a slam frikin dunk. (Exit 36 off I-78 btw- fabulous place(The Inn at Mount bethel is now closed except for catering :( .) I got to use my UNGO* for the very first time in a real life situation. Like JonT said, once you have an alarm like this in your car, you never want to be without one again. No more fiddling with the key in the lock. We all had fun turning off and on our alarms, it was like the girls were talking to us, or singing in harmony.
It was nearly empty, I guess we were early, no reservation, no problem. They sat us right beside a perfect fire. The menu was tantalizing, even the local wine (Something Mill) was delicious. JonT used his cell phone and his knowlege of the area to find us a movie, and we were all happy to see “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. We used Talkabouts* of course to keep it together in the maze of NJ roads.
The movie theatre is next door to the BMW dealership we love, JMK*.
(Harvster*, Q, remind me to tell you about what happened with one of the special features at the movie theatre)
After the movie (quite good btw) we sat in the parking lot unscrewing my storage top lid. JonT had the flashlight, DaveT had the philips head screwdriver. JonT headed for a gas station, as he was on red light and DaveT and I headed for the NJ turnpike. From that area, the turns required to get where you want to go come up fast and the drivers are mean, and on a Saturday night, probably also drunk/crazy. I nearly missed the entrance to the GSP, and I lost DaveT at the toll booths. I couldn’t help him, I was already committed by concrete and drivers leaning on their horns. I called him on the phone and told him to keep heading east, and look for signs for the NJ Turnpike. Should be no problem they are always trying to shove people onto the Turnpike to make some $$$$. Not sure how he did it, something about backing up on a service road, but I was just about at the Pulaski Skyway when David radioed that he made it to the Turnpike.
The EZ pass lane was clear like glass while the others lined up I sailed into the Holland Tunnel. Unfortunately they have rearranged the traffic pattern into something ridiculous and I couldn’t get home without a detour into torn up streets and idiot tourist drivers.
I can’t believe how great this day was, and how I owe just about all of it to my Z3. I have marked with asterisks the things that I learned about JUST because of this car. Damn I love this car, damn I am a lucky girl. All tucked in for the storm…. I got to start my driving season early and I am grateful.
It’s gonna be a great year to be Z3ing.


And indeed it was a great year for Z3ing- at least until 9/11, just a few days after we came home from Homecoming.

Wheel Scuff Repair on the spot. First some cleaning and sanding
PDRM0018 Taping off the tire to protect it from overspray
More sanding
More sanding
Scuff 1
Scuff 2
Air brushing?
Blowing dry and clean
Spray paint
Wheel Scuffs GONE!
3 years later I got the calipers painted Silver and Chrome Caliper Clips from Ron Stygar
Chrome Door Handle Covers- Before
Chrome Door Handle Covers- After
Brushed Aluminum Fog Light Surround-Before
Brushed Aluminum Fog Light Surround-After (no longer available)
This was a spectacular place on 1st Avenue around 90th St. I had a flat in NYC and Jon found this place by using Tire Rack's web site.
The tech explained to me my tread was worn enough to merit replacing both rear tires
Yeah, that is flat :(
PDRM0003 Without an appointment, they were ready for me to roll in, and they had my tires IN STOCK.
A great selection of wheels and tires
This tire is dead for going 75 blocks.
New tire and old tire
Old Tire tread
New Tire tread
Hunter machines- great techs
An Espresso bar while you wait
Well stocked shop to browse
PDRM0018 Maps galore
PDRM0020 This place was GREAT- but now it's gone. The space was sold to a big hotel chain. The company did pick up two new locations, splitting it's tire center from it's other amenities. I haven't been there yet.
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visitors since May 21, 2004 :)

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