Track Day on July 10, 2011

The hot pit where we waited to start our session.Some of you may remember last November I scheduled a track day with XtremeSpeed Track Events, but couldn't attend because of an unfortunate accident on Glendora Ridge Road. I was following my friend Doug around a blind right-hand corner and he had a head-on collision with a motorcycle who was on the wrong side of the road. I was following Doug a couple of feet too close and slid into Doug's car when I slammed on my brakes.

Last week I had the opportunity to reschedule my track day with XtremeSpeed Track Events. I had a blast. I was so excited I couldn't get to sleep and stayed up till 2:15 AM when I had to wake up at 4:15 AM. When 4:15 AM rolled around I hit the snooze button for another 20 minutes and ended up leaving my home around 5:20 AM to make the 120 mile trip to Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Buttonwillow, CA. On the way I stopped at the McDonald's in Valencia to pick up a quick breakfast and still made it to Buttonwillow Raceway Park by 7:35 AM, even though there was a very long line to enter the track. It cost $10 for admission to Buttonwillow Raceway Park.

After I parked, I went to the registration building, registered, rented a helmet for $10, bought a helmet sock for two dollars and signed up for instruction at an extra cost of $45. I attended the drivers meeting and was assigned to the beginner group. Since that this was the first time I had driven at Buttonwillow I also attended a mandatory first attendee meeting. Around 100 cars registered for the event. For the beginning and intermediate groups passing was only allowed on the straights and only if the car ahead of you did a point to pass. A point to pass means that the slower driver keeps his line and sticks his arm out the window pointing to the driver or drivers behind indicating which way to pass. Since I had one of the slowest cars there, I did this a lot.

Once the meetings were over we were ready to go. There were five groups: beginner, intermediate, advanced and super advanced. Each group got to run five sessions of five laps each on the three mile long track. The first session was a follow/lead session. After each lap in the follow/lead session, the car behind the lead car would peel off and go to the end of the line so that each entrant could follow the lead car around the track. We had more than five laps the first session to allow each driver to follow the lead car around the track. The beginner's group had three lead cars and approximately 25 entrants.

I met my instructor Douglas, who is a driving instructor for the LAPD, before the second session. He told me what to expect and that every so often he would make a course correction to my steering wheel and instructed me to not let go of the steering wheel. He immediately saw my long-time problem of turning into the corner too soon even though I knew I had the problem and was attempting to turn in as late as possible. He also saw that I was carrying too much speed into the corners and that I kept looking into the mirror at the cars behind me. I learned to ignore the mirror until I got to the straights and then look into the mirror and point to pass to let any cars behind me pass. Douglas helped me to turn in later, go wider exiting one of the turns and to learn the track. I could tell right away that I was going faster. The instructor session was well worth the $45.

Here's my car waiting for the more advanced groups to finish their sessions.

I spent the next three sessions improving my speed, learning the track and having too much fun. On the fourth session I actually got so low on gas (petrol) that the engine shut off entering and exiting turns. I drove the car slowly off the track and was wondering what was wrong with my car when one of the other drivers asked me if I had checked the gas gauge. The car was almost out of gas! I was having so much fun I forgot to look at the gas gauge. Fortunately, the track has gas pumps that take a credit card and at $4.95 a gallon for 91 octane, you'll need a credit card. I bought around five gallons of gas which would allow me to finish the last session and drive to the city of Buttonwillow to fill up, which only cost $3.85 a gallon.

It was a hot, humid, long day and my shoulder hurt like the dickens, but I didn't care because I had so much fun. If you have the opportunity, I'd highly recommend XtremeSpeed for track day, the next track days are on July 30 and 31, 2011.

Track Day on November 20, 2010

I'm very excited about being able to run my MGB GT on a race track next month at Willow Springs.

My son and I driving the MGB GT on Mulholland Hwy.

Willow Springs has seven tracks.

  • Willow Springs Raceway (2.5-mile road course)
  • Streets of Willow Springs (1.8-mile road course and skid pad)
  • Horse Thief Mile (11 turn road course featuring major elevation changes, tight turns and canyon-like surroundings)
  • Willow Springs Kart Track (.675-mile sprint kart track)
  • Balcony Autocross
  • Speedway Willow Springs (1/4 mile with walls oval)
  • Walt James Stadium (3/8-mile high-banked dirt oval)

We will be using Horse Thief Mile, an 11 turn road course with decreasing radius turns, switchbacks and elevation changes. It should be like driving up Decker Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains.


The price of $85 a day (with discount) seems reasonable to me. Your car should be in good condition with good tires, no fluid leaks, loose wires or loose body panels. If you have a convertible or roadster you will need a rollbar. A helmet is required and they have helmets available for use if you don't own a helmet. Since the track day starts at 7:30 AM my wife and adult children will not be coming with me (they like to sleep in on Saturdays). If you're interested in attending, check out the Extreme Speed Track Events registration page. I hope to see you there.

2010 Old Country Tour

CIMG0000tb.jpg A 100 mile scenic tour along some of the old roads of northern Los Angeles county. Steve, Gene, Mark, Luke (Mark's son), Doug and myself showed up. Gene brought his Spitfire with a GT6 roof. It's a very interesting car though it still has some teething problems. It dropped its muffler on the way over and Gene said that there was a vibration he though might be a u-joint. Because Gene couldn't trust his car, Gene left us and went back home.

It was a different run than the Santa Monica Mountain runs in that the turns were less twisty. It was the fastest as far as speed that I've been on. There were some wildflowers and the hills were green. We went past a place called Close Encounters Recreation Center. I don't know if it had to do with UFOs or something else, but this is a family site. There were a lot of interesting small stores on the way and a street called Wayuptop. It is a very nice run and I recommend it the next time it's planned.

  1. Meet at Newhall Avenue and Highway 14 in the parking area to the west of the highway.
  2. Head WEST on Newhall Ave toward Sierra Hwy.
  3. Turn RIGHT at Placertia Canyon Road for 5.1 miles (to end of road).
  4. Turn LEFT at Sand Canyon Road for 3.3 miles.
  5. Turn Right at Soledad Canyon Road for 15.6 miles.
  6. Turn LEFT at Crown Valley Road (at stop sign) for 0.4 miles.
  7. Turn LEFT at Syracuse Ave (no stop sign, easy to miss) for 0.1 miles.
  8. BECOMES Escondido Canyon road, continue for 2.7 miles.
  9. Turn RIGHT at Ward Road for 0.1 miles. Note: Ward Road is very easy to miss. Look for the freeway overpass on the right. That's Ward Road! If you cross over the freeway while still on Escondido Road, you've gone a couple miles too far.
  10. Cross freeway then turn LEFT at the stop sign to stay on Ward Rd. Continue for 0.2 miles.
  11. MERGES with Sierra Hwy. Continue for 14.1 miles.
  12. Turn RIGHT at Vasquez Canyon Road (at traffic signal) for 3.6 miles (to end of road).
  13. Turn RIGHT at Bouquet Canyon Road for 18.0 miles (to end of road).
  14. Turn LEFT at Elizabeth Lake Road for 1.1 miles.
  15. Rest stop at Rancher's market (on right at 90th Street).
  16. Continue on Lake Elizabeth Road for 6.3 miles.
  17. Turn LEFT to stay on Elizabeth Lake Road for 4.6 miles.
  18. Turn LEFT at Lake Hughes Road (no stop sign, watch for it) for 23.2 miles.
  19. End of run at Castaic Road.

Other Links

2009 Day After Thanksgiving Run

PRE_2009-11-27-112007tbm.jpg At 9:00 am we met at the Malibu Colony Plaza, 23841 Malibu Rd, Malibu, CA 90265. After about an hour and fifteen minutes of looking at cars and talking to each other we started the run. It was a gorgeous day. The weather was perfect and we had a nice turnout. Thank you everyone who came. After the run a bunch of us went to Rib Ranch in Woodland Hills. You really have to taste their ribs and Steve says the Tri-tip is pretty good too.

Follow along if you want to take the run.

  1. Exit parking lot from rear, turn left on Malibu Road for 0.1 miles.
  2. LEFT on Webb Way for 0.1 miles.
  3. LEFT onto CA-1 N/Pacific Coast Hwy for 12.5 miles.
  4. RIGHT on Decker Canyon Rd (CA-23) for 3.9 miles.
  5. RIGHT on Lechusa Rd for 0.1 miles.
  6. CONTINUE STRAIGHT onto Encinal Canyon Rd for 5.0 miles.
  7. RIGHT on CA-1 N/Pacific Coast Hwy for 2.9 miles.
  8. RIGHT on Mulholland Hwy for 7.5 miles.
  9. LEFT at 'T' onto CA-23 (Mulholland Hwy / Decker Canyon Rd) for 1.9 miles.
  10. RIGHT on Mulholland Hwy for 2.4 miles.
  11. LEFT on Encinal Canyon Rd / Mulholland Hwy for 1.4 miles.
  12. REGROUP at the Rock Store overlook, 0.5 miles past Kanan Road.
  13. CONTINUE on Mulholland Hwy for 8.2 miles.
  14. Arrive at: Mulholland Hwy & Las Virgenes Rd – end of run!


Morgan in his Caterham pressured me all the way up Decker then took off for a faster crowd. He can really move and there is no way I could keep up with him if he were in front. Here I'm waiting for the others to catch up.


Nate can make his Metropolitan move, considering it has an automatic transmission. Nate kept all four wheels on the ground, sort-of. You'll have to ask Nate.


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Drawing Cars in my Youth

I graduated high school a year early in 1973. Because of a mix up with my classes they didn't send me my diploma until August 1973. After graduating high school I went to the Academy of Automobile Design in Los Angeles. I went there a year and after Detroit laid off about 70 percent of the Automobile Stylists, I thought that maybe I should pursue a different career. I sometimes wish that I had stayed with it and graduated as an Automobile designer. When going through junk today that has been in the garage since I moved to our home in October 2005, I found a design I drew, I believe in 1974 when I was 18. I thought it had been lost many years ago.

Auto design from 1974 by Tanny O'Haley

I based it off the front wheel drive of the Saab Sonnet III. Looking at it now, I think I should have moved the windshield just behind the front wheel and given the mid section a little bit more length. After all these years, I still like it.

2009 Vintage Motoring Independence Run

Gene's MG TC At 8:00 am we met at the Malibu Colony Plaza, 23841 Malibu Rd, Malibu, CA 90265. After about an hour and a half of looking at cars and talking to each other we left. The run was a lot of fun. Deer Creek is a gem of a road. The driving was brisk and the scenery was gorgeous.

Follow along if you want to take the tour.

  1. Exit the Plaza through the rear exit turning left onto Malibu Road for 0.1 miles.
  2. Turn left on Webb Way for 0.1 miles.
  3. Turn left on PCH (North) for 16.6 miles.
  4. Turn right on Deer Creek Road for 6.1 miles (becomes Pacific View Road, then Cotharin Road).
  5. Turn left on Yerba Buena Road (at ‘T’) for 7.6 miles (becomes Little Sycamore Canyon Road).
  6. Turn left on Mulholland Highway (at ‘T’) for 0.4 miles.
  7. Turn left on Decker Road (at ‘T’) for 1.9 miles.
  8. Turn right on Mulholland Highway for 2.4 miles.
  9. Turn left on Mulholland Highway / Encinal Canyon Road for 17.3 miles.
  10. Gather at overlook 0.75 miles past Kanan Road.
  11. Turn right on Old Topanga Canyon Road for 5.6 miles.
  12. Turn right on Topanga Canyon Road (at ‘T’) for 0.5 miles.
  13. Turn right on Fernwood Pacific Drive for 2.7 miles.
  14. Turn right on Saddle Peak Road for 3.2 miles.
  15. Gather at top of Saddle Peak.
  16. Continue onto Schueren Road (left at ‘Y’ toward ocean) for 1.8 miles *** CAUTION: HUGE BUMP NEAR TOP ***.
  17. Turn right on Piuma Road for 6.4 miles.
  18. Turn left on Malibu Canyon Road for 4.6 miles.
  19. Turn left on Pacific Coast Highway for 0.7 miles.
  20. Arrive at Malibu Colony Plaza – end of run!.


Here we are at the top of Saddle Peak.

Top of Saddle Peak in the front.

There were a few more cars.

A few more cars at the top of Saddle Peak.

Jane didn't come with me on this run, something about a “semi-grueling 78-mile run through a variety of canyon roads, ranging from moderately twisty to vomit-inducing” didn't appeal to her.

Other Links

May 2009 Saddlerock Ranch Drive and Tour

On May 16, 2009, the Southern California MG Club met at the McDonalds on Las Virgenes Rd in Calabasas, CA. Jimmy Nylund planned a nice tour for us to take in the Santa Monica Mountains. We spent a lot of time on Mulholland Highway as well as a short run on the Pacific Coast Highway. Jimmy took time to stop so that everyone could catch up.

We ended up at Malibu Wines for wine tasting and a picnic. Jimmy and Annette were gracious hosts. They not only put on a nice tour, but we also got to see Mr. Semler's antique car, horse drawn carriage and vintage Airstream trailer collections. When one of the MGBs sprang a leak in its oil gauge line, Jimmy made a temporary fix and later at his an Annette's home, replaced the oil gauge line with one of his own.

Follow along if you want to take the tour.

  1. Head south on Las Virgenes Rd toward Agoura Rd, go 3.0 mi.
  2. Turn right at Mulholland Hwy, go 9.7 mi.
  3. Continue on Encinal Canyon Rd, go 3.4 mi.
  4. Turn left to stay on Encinal Canyon Rd, go 5.0 mi.
  5. Turn right at CA-1/Pacific Coast Hwy, go 2.9 mi.
  6. Just past Leo Carrillo State Beach turn right on Mulholland Hwy toward Yellow Hill Rd, go 11.7 mi.
  7. Turn right to stay on Mulholland Hwy, go 49 ft.
  8. Turn left to stay on Mulholland Hwy.
  9. The wine tasting is on the right at
    Malibu Wines
    31800 Mulholland Hwy
    Malibu, CA 90265


All in all, my wife Jane and I had a very nice Saturday morning with the Southern California MG Club.

Our Front Porch

Eating breakfast this morning, Jane and I thought we'd take a picture of the front porch as viewed from the kitchen through the dining room. Listening to Christmas music and enjoying each other's company. May you have peace this month and enjoy your Christmas time.


I bought a 1971 MGB GT

Last Thursday, I bought a 1971 MGB GT, British racing green with overdrive and Rostyle steel wheels.


I drove the MGB GT from the seller's house to my house, then my wife Jane drove it back. She told me that I'd like driving her Taurus to work. It was strange driving back home in my Toyota Solara as the only thing we could hear were the tires. There seems to be a lot of mechanical noise produced by the MGB GT. On Saturday, we took a nice drive to Oxnard, then down Highway 1. We ate at a nice little place called the Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market and Patio Cafe. The prices are good and the fish is fresh and the ocean was a deeper blue than usual.

The car does need some work but it has been fun for my wife and I these last few days. Chuck said that I'd get to be very close with All Car Parts Ltd in Canoga Park, CA and I'm already getting to know them. The MG mechanic Darrin that I'd like to bring the car to was on vacation but will be back Monday. Since the car sat for a long time, I think it should get a major maintenance. We did discover that the floorboard can get very warm after driving a while. I may buy a MGB heat shield which is supposed to lower the temperature of the floorboard by about 30°F, making the car more comfortable to drive.

When a co-worker asked why I'd buy a car that leaks oil, with lights that only work in daylight and windshield wipers that don't work when it rains, I told her, “It's my mid-life crisis”, which seemed to satisfy her curiosity. I'm not sure why that explained it just as when people ask me about my name and I tell them that my mom is an artist. They go okay, and don't ask for more information, it just seems to explain it.

Land line gone, VOIP is today’s phone service

My land line cost around $60.00USD a month and I was tired of paying that much money for a service we rarely used. We wanted a "family" phone but didn't want to pay what we had been paying. I have been using Skype on my computer for about three years and have been happy with the improved quality of the service, so we decided to go with Skype. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a Netgear Skype phone.


The Skype web site is pretty easy to use if you're going to download their software or purchase Skype Out. However, if you want to find out what you need to setup a Skype phone, you're in trouble. The information is very difficult to find. I finally bought Skype Pro for $36.00USD that gave me a $30.00USD credit for Skype In. I bought Skype In with the credit for $30.00USD and finally bought Skype Out for $29.95USD for a total of $95.95USD for a year of phone service.

The service is very good with excellent voice quality. I can't make 911 calls, but I can use my Cell Phone if I need to make a 911 call. So far the only problem I've had is accidentally hitting the off button when on a call.

Memorial Day 2007

I'd like to take this time to thank the many brave men and women who have given their time and lives so that I may have a tomorrow.

Thank you and God speed.

I’ve Gone Pink for October 2006

I know it's a couple of days early to go Pink for October, but I don't have time to convert this weekend. Please take the time to donate to a breast cancer organization of your choice.

Thank you


How to help a PDA phone owner when they have a case of butter fingers.

I received a Treo 650 as soon as it was made available. The only problem I've had besides the low volume for headsets is that I have dropped the phone at least four or five times a week. My good friend, Eric Mack, sent me a FlexiSkin by Boxwave. Since I have received the skin I have yet to drop my phone. The only problem I've had with the skin is that is sometimes difficult to press the "P" key. I highly recommend having a case but didn't want a bulky case so I went for a skin.

Rains in Los Angeles, Road Out

I can see this out the back window of my house and decided to take a picture on the way to work.


South America Physical Map

If you attend First Lutheran Elementary School and need a map of South America for your Social Studies Physical map assignment.You can find it at: