Phoenix in Flames

After every experience, you're something new.

Location: Richlandtown, Pennsylvania, United States

Hey! It's Kamin. I'm a 27-year-old guy with a beautiful wife named Pam and a wonderful 2-year-old daughter named Yasmin. I work in the pharmaceutical industry in clinical research and spend way too much of my money on my hobbies... particularly cars! For the moment, I live in Richlandtown, Pennsylvania but hopefully that will change soon!

24 July 2006

You're In Violation... But Carry On!

Every summer, I spend as much time as possible at our lake house in New York. Over the July 4th holiday, I went out fishing one evening. I used to fish all the time but rarely ever do it anymore and really did not care about going out on this particular evening. But I decided at the last minute to go. Bad choice.

In the 20-some years I have fished on this lake, I have never gotten a NY fishing license or even realized I needed to. The lake we go to is small and surrounded by a bunch of bigger lakes, so we never thought twice about fishing there. So on this particular evening, I am taking a small bass off my hook when this boat carrying armed NY game wardens pulls up to us. They ask us to show our licenses to which we just smile stupidly at them. More on that later.

So anyway, they start writing up a citation. We are guilty of breaking the law and we have to either plead guilty and get fined (up to $250) or come back up to NY to face the judge and probably get fined anyway. The best part was as the wardens were leaving… they said to us, "Go ahead and keep fishing for the rest of the evening. We don't want to interrupt your vacation." HUH?! So I'm in violation of the law which is severe enough to levy significant penalty, but you're telling me to keep doing it? Just keep on breakin' the law for the rest of the day? I hope they don't employ that same dedication to justice with murderers! It was odd. I wish they would just be honest and call it a "revenue and nothing more" campaign for NY state instead of pretending like it actually matters!

Oh and the other thing that gets me… Where is the probable cause that law enforcement needs to search me? Cops can't just pull a random person over and search their car or ask for their license! They can't just march into your house and search for illegal stuff! So why can they come over and demand to see my fishing license? Welcome to the socialism's police state, I guess…. The *only* thing I can guess is that maybe there is a law about your license being visible… I dunno.

So anyway, I went out and bought a fishing license for $15 and sent that in with my citation. Hopefully the judge will show me sweet sweet mercy and give me a lesser fine. I blame it all on Hillary. Ha ha!

Full Auto Madness

If you know me, you'll probably know that cars are definitely my vice. In the 11 years that I have been driving, I have personally owned 11 different cars (that I can remember). It's absolute insanity but I love it. A car, to me, is not just a method of transportation. It is an almost an extension of myself and it is my #1 hobby. As such, I just am not satisfied with a "point A to point B" vehicle and so I spend ("waste" in a lot of people's minds) a lot of money to have the cars that I like and when I get bored with one or another one catches my fancy, I switch it up. The US government loves me because they're taking their cut in taxes each time!

Pam is finally catching on. While she doesn't particularly like the money that is spent on our cars, I know that she shares some of the same mentality that I do. Case in point was what she got me for our 4-year anniversary last week. The 25th is gold, right? The 50th silver? Well, the 4th is apparently CAR PARTS! Yay for me! So Pam busts out this little booklet of all the stuff she got me for one of our current cars (a 2000 Mercedes C280 Sport). She got me clear corner lenses, a Mercedes star front grill, flat AMG hood ornament, AMG headrest badges, an AMG shifter, AMG trunk emblem, and the big guns… 18" AMG rims and tires.

Friggin. Sweet.

Everything is on it's way and hopefully should be here and installed in a week or two. I will put up before and after pictures when it's all done.

Best anniversary present ever.

So anyway, a little history… I think when I last was writing in blogs, I had the BMW 325i, BMW 540i, Jeep Wrangler, and my Exploder. I sold the 325 and the Jeep, drove the 540 into a wall and killed it, and daggumit all, I still have the stupid Explorer. Dumb thing just won't die but I hate it with all my soul. If it wasn't so handy in the snow and with the lugging space, I would set it on fire.

After I killed my poor 540 (sigh), we bought the Mercedes (maybe I *did* blog about this…). So now we just have the Mercedes and the Explorer. Two cars for two peoples seems almost reasonable. Yeah well….

Last week, we *almost* bought THIS but we got scared away because of some big-time mechanical problems those cars tend to have (with $8,000 repair bills). We even had put a deposit on it… which the place has yet to refund for us (as promised). After we canned that idea, we decided to put that money into buying a bigger house (future post topic). Pam decided to splurge for our anniversary since we are going to be keeping the Mercedes now.

But the best is yet to come! My favorite car that I've ever owned is on it's way! I bought it in early April and it has been at the repair shop for more than three months. It's my Ferrari!!!! Wooohooo!! Ok ok… it's really my "Fake-rrari" or better yet, my "Faux-rrari". It is a Ferrari *replica*… professionally build on the body of a Pontiac Fiero. It is built to look like a mid-80's Ferrari 328 GTB and it's a really good replica. A lot of attention and modification was done to the body to make the measurements and details more exact to a real Ferrari (I will post some pictures in another post). It had sat for a number of years and so I replaced almost everything mechanical in the car (completely new engine, transmission, exhaust, fuel system, cooling system, brake system, tires, etc..) so that mechanically it is practically brand new. It now has a 5.7 liter GM V8 motor (Corvette engine) which churns out about 275 - 280 HP in a small car which should make it pretty quick. There are some minor interior changes but it's mostly stock Fiero stuff still. So anyway, the mechanical work is about 95% done but there will be another 1 - 3 month delay as the state processes the registration of this vehicle (since it's a kit car). Anyway, I found this car in March and I hope to actually drive it by late fall!!! Sucks. I can't wait!!! I think about it every day and I have pictures of it on my wall at work and on my computer desktop! The Excel spreadsheet where I log the costs incurred in this whole process is terrifying! It's ending up costing a LOT more than I expected, but there's no going back now! And the first time I roll down the street in that car, it will be worth every penny! For the total price I'm spending on this replica, I could have bought a *real* Ferrari like this, but they are just too expensive to own and fix. One regular visit to the shop might cost you $2-4 G's in a real Ferrari. My car is just a dumb ole GM car which is relatively cheap to fix.

So now that you're all bored out of your minds… I'm finished talking about cars! I will post pictures of both of them soon.

Edison's Medicine

"Results! Why, man I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work." --Thomas Edison

Well, I guess this is blogging attempt #3... or is it #4? Dunno, but either way, I'm back to try this all over again!

I realized that I wanted to revive the writer in me when I starting seeing events in my life in terms of how I would blog about them! "Wow, that pretty much sucked. I could totally write that up on my blog.... if I had one..." So anyway, here goes one more time! Edison's lightbulb did not shine the very first time!

Oh, and bonus points to you if you recognized the title of this post as a Tesla song.