MOASF presents The 22nd Annual HAYWARD FIELD MEET – June 2, 2012

All British Car Show & Swap Meet

The last remaining All British Car Show in the Bay Area

Saturday, June 2, 2012
Cal State East Bay – Hayward, CA

• Event starts at 9:00 AM

• Awards at 2:00 PM

• Open to: ALL British Cars & Other Cars of Particular Interest

The HAYWARD FIELD MEET – All British Car Show & Swap Meet – will be
held on Saturday June 2 ,2012 at CalState East Bay in Hayward from 9AM
to 3PM.

As usual it will be on the field with the panoramic view of
the entire Bay Area.

Cars with all levels of preparation are welcome
and awards are by popular vote.

This is now the last remaining All British Car Show in the Bay Area. For more info and applications go to:

Random: Why not to multi-task while driving..

From fellow Mini Owner Bob Wilson, I know his car well 😉

Hi Everyone,

I just learned how to Text Message, talk on my phone, drink coffee and drive while setting my GPS!    Neat, eh?

Consider sending this to the drivers you know who would also benefit from this multitasking lesson.

Not your usual smart car – drifting/donuts

Ah the GSX-R powered smart cars can do things most of them only have wet dreams about … except perhaps Larry Wu’s screaming blown turbo-charged smart car, but then that’s another story hehe … here’s a vid I just picked off YouTube..

Drifting is quite a thing and we see a bunch of the import tuners from Japan doing it, as it is quite a large phenomenon there backed by the tire companies I would assume.. LOL … here’s another drifting (well, ridiculous amounts of donuts) video with a new MINI cooper …

Motoring fun.. hehe..

Why I didn’t post my ad on eBay motors? (I’m cheap..LOL)

Well that title kind of says it all, but I am going to go into more technical details anyway 😉

We are selling our cars, namely a Nissan Altima tuner, and a smart ForTwo passion coupe (also a tuner/showcar).

The best way we thought, besides sticking a sign in the window of each vehicle and parking them somewhere eye-catching, would be to post ads online.

We used a few trusted sources for this..

#1 CraigsList.ORG (a free local classifieds site)

#2 Kijiji (another free classifieds site)

I was going to post on AutoTrader (Canada) but it seemed their primary goal is to sell vehicle history reports to perspective sellers and buyers, so I declined that, knowing full well the VIN and history are quite good for both cars. I have reports available if someone asks me anyway, so didn’t find it needed to plaster my personal data about the car’s VIN in a public way 😉

Anyway, on to the idea of eBay! Woo! I love PayPal and eBay, and always looked online to eBay for some classic cars or interesting cars, and, well, wondered what it would cost me to list my car there. Free? small fee? Nah.. guess again! Though my wife’s car is a mere $6000 built in 1997, my smart car is a 2008 model with lots of goodies and worth well over $27,000 — I am not listing it for that, of course, you make a show car and you NEVER EVER get that back.. so.. after posting it for $21k, then $18k, I am finally posting it again at the crazy discounted price of $16,000 … that doesn’t sound good when you can see lots of stock smart cars going for well under that, but for a $27,000 show car, well that’s a nice discount indeed.

Anyway, back to eBay Motors. and why I am too cheap to post my car there? One word, FEES. Granted, if they came here in person and took pictures of my car and listed the ad for me and handled it all from day one, I would probably pay a bit of a premium for that type of “turnkey” service. But I’m not talking about that, I am just going to list what it costs the average seller to sell their $16,000 car on eBay Motors, with an example of the buyer using (their) PayPal for the purchase. Yep, I would do all the photos, posting, comment replies, watching the auction, process the transaction into my account, get the car ready for shipping, all of that stuff. So, ready? Here we go..

Let’s say you live in either the US or Canada, and sell a car on eBay’s US or Canada site, for $16,000. All goes well and your car is sold, the buyer gives you the cash via PayPal, and your car is SOLD..
Here is how the fee schedule at eBay breaks down.
They take 12% off of the first $50 of your item, that comes to = $  6
Since your car sold for more than $50 but less than $1000, you fall into the next fee bracket. Oh joy, no more 12%! It is now reduced to 6%. 6% of first $1000 is = $ 60
$66 dollars so far, not bad.. now we get into the big numbers 😉 hehe..
They then take 2% of your total selling price, from $1000 up to about $100,000 or so, well, since my car falls into that bracket at $16,000, we take 2% of that and get = $320.
Total eBay fees? = $386
You just paid a website more than 2 years of hosting fees (well more than I pay for 2 years at anyway!) and you got to list your one item, a car, for $386. Was it worth it? I am sure it would be for many people, but like I said, I am cheap 😉
Ok, now let’s say the person pays you through PayPal, which like CraigsList (debateable, I know), is technically owned by eBay, but PayPal has their own fees, right? Right.. So, the person paying YOU doesn’t have a fee to use PayPal, thank goodness. They do charge you their standard fee is 2.9%, since you are the person receiving money, that’s the service they provide 🙂
If it goes to a buyer outside the US/Canada, they take a bit more for “cross-border fees” but let’s keep this simple for now..
PayPal takes 2.9% of $16,000 = $464
(I hear LOL cats going NOM NOM NOM at this point)
Great, now let’s add those together. Just an example of what it costs to sell your car on eBay:
eBay fees ($386) + PayPal fees ($464) = $850
Congratulations, you just sold your $16,000 vehicle for $15,150.
Is it good business ethics to ask the buyer to give you $850 on top of that $16,000 to cover your eBay and PayPal fees? Hmm, I don’t know, I guess you need to ask eBay and PayPal what your business is worth to them. Oh no, wait, don’t ask, I already figured that part out 😉 Ah HAHAH bad rant, no more popcorn for me..
Just to be fair, let’s do a comparison how much it costs to list a car in other places.. = $0 (100% free)
Kijiji = $0 (free, but has options $) = $0 (also free, but has options $)

If my cars don’t sell locally (and I like to do business locally anyway, for what it’s worth), then MAYBE we will take another look at the famous eBay Motors again..

For now though, I am going to stick with the free classifieds and cross my fingers the right buyer will scoop up these vehicles and they will find the good new homes that they so indeed deserve. 🙂

Update April 2010

Well 4 months have gone by and .. let’s see what is new since December 2009 ..

  • Rhonda and I acquired a “Winter beater” of a car, a 2000 Chevy Blazer (can you say deathtrap? view the crash test video if you think Minis and smart cars are bad..) but hey it has studded 4×4 tires so it plays nicely on ice and snow.. an important thing when you live in Canada — here in Alberta it can get -20 to -30 C during winter (Winter, that’s 8 months out of the year?)

  • Pretty much left the world of SecondLife, although I run my own stand-alone version of it, that’s right, a region and full size sim on my own PC, using the OpenSimulator software, which you geeks would say is the SERVER component to SecondLife, the CLIENT component being the chosen viewer which people sign into their SL accounts with .. Did you know there were other grids other than SecondLife? Oh yes, plenty of them.. and other viewers other than the Linden-issued viewer? Why yes, there are lots of those too! Beyond the scope of this article of course, but for those that are interested just do a google search — OSgrid seems to be the most popular (and fully opensource) grid other than SL.. It’s really a toss-up for what the non-standard viewers are, but it depends if you are a builder or not. Long gone is Onrez’s viewer (since LindenLabs gobbled them up, both their viewer and webstore are long gone.. sniff..) .. popular viewers are the Hippo viewer, EmeraldLife (which some people fear may be used as a makeshift copybot, even though most claim there are safety mechanisms in it to prevent content theft .. really though, anyone who thinks they can make significant real-world income by selling textured prims in SL as more than a casual hobby, eh perhaps should get a reality check IMHO, but what do I know? I believe in OpenSource and sharing your creative gifts with others in a mutually beneficial environment (e.g., OSgrid) where there is no Lindens to Dollars being exchanged either way and yadda yadda yadda I do it all for the love of art and keep my builds full-perm copy them all everyone.. Those not familiar with XstreetSL or SL itself will be far lost by now, so let’s move on…

Pirates online! They charged me another year of gaming automatically and instead of ranting about it I decided to give it another go, and nice to see it has been improved in many ways.. Unfortunately they expanded all the island maps so I am hopelessly lost about anywhere I go LOL but it’s a nice experience overall. For some reason, a throng of people have decided POTCO is a great 3D chat universe, so hang out blabbing at each other and lagging the main servers (shrug) however I simply like to play, level my character, level my weapons, complete whatever quests they have going (which they keep adding to, nice one disney thank you again).. I only hope they work on one area which is sorely lacking in the game, and that is avatar and ship customization (okay that is two things, but oh well) and for bloody well dang it please please add more ships besides your basic sloop, galleon, and frigate of the 3 kinds we have a TOTAL of 3 in our inventories of 9 choices.. come on, really, there were more than 9 ships floating about the Carribean. Perhaps open the non-player ship types open to people for purchase, I for one would like to float my own BlackPearl (which is a large sloop, I gather) or Goliath (which is a large, erm, frigate? shrug) or perhaps my own Skeleton ship with a ghastly crew to help me out.. LOL … wouldn’t that be great? If you don’t have a crew maybe you can use some gold to have AI driven players on your ship, heh, that would be neat.. what else..

Cars.. I am in the process of selling my 68 Mini and 08 smart car, I really want a newer model Cooper S again, missing Mindi which was technically my first MINI .. the supercharged ones are nice, the turbocharged ones are nice, I really don’t see myself being happy with a Cooper (non-S) since, well, they are slower… hehe.. they handle well of course, but I like that WOOSH of a supercharger or adrenaline fun of a turbo.. as long as I don’t get tickets hehe.. would trade both cars for an adequately matched Cooper S if someone wanted a trade 😉

Rhonda still has her Nissan Altima tuner car, trying to sell that on Kijiji as well… Our garage just isn’t big enough for the two cars I brought up from the states, and heck that old Chevy Blazer is fine sitting outside anyway, that’s what beaters are for 😉 What else can I blab about?

Beer.. Canada, at first I thought all your beers were boring, clear, lager or pilsner. I am glad now that I was totally wrong, and that good beers, good ales DO exist in the cold North, and I strive to test them all out 🙂 We’re not talking about BigRock (though their beers are nice, they all kinda are near each other in formula).. Rickards, yes those are nice, the Red they have is good. Keith’s, yes, good ale there too… by far though the best brews I have had yet are from Wild Rose (in Calgary) and Grizzly (in Canmore).. in the harder section, everyone here seems to drink or mix Rye Whisky as the poison of choice… That I don’t mind, since I like my Scotch, but you need to be discerning here as well.. there is a lot of cheap shite here along with the better stuff. Rhum is second, apparently to Ceasars (which is a Canadian version of a Bloody Mary) … I found a great Rhum called Captain Jerry’s, actually from New Jersey but it’s better IMHO than Captain Morgans and stronger albeit nice and smooth stuff..

What else? Hmmm.. Weather here is strange. There is a saying, in Alberta, if you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes.. That has to be experienced to be understood. In the scope of today, for example, we started out sunny and warm, I’d say it was 15 degrees C outside … then it moved to rain. Then large flaky snow (the kind that melts right away) then changed to wet mushy snow.. It was windy through part of that and calm at other parts.. Now I am not sure what it is doing out there, but I am toasty warm inside the house..

Hockey… the sport of Canada it seems, everywhere, it’s Hockey. I am a bit sorry the Calgary Flames lost their chance at the finals but really folks, we saw it coming. Yay to the San Jose Sharks hehe, they are #1 right now and I see them going all the way to take the trophy this year… San Jose CALIFORNIA yeah duh that’s where I am from hehe.. I always rooted for the Sharks and going to their home games is a blast, even though I’m not really a big hockey fan.

My other sport of late which holds interest is Curling. Take a sort of ice rock thing and push it like shuffleboard on ice and then have people with brooms try to wave wind in front and around it to direct the thing, speed it up or slow it down, that is quite a sight. Sundre has a rink/arena and curling team I gather for those interested, though who has time for that? not me.. not yet anyway, but it looks like fun. Spring is here (except for the winter part) so people will be fishing, hunting, rafting, swimming, camping, and doing other things that end with ING … Our small town of 2500 grows to about 10000 or 15000 people say maybe more.. That makes us a tourist destination for seasonal, uh, visitors .. hehe wee!

On the musical front, I finished a song called “Tusk” which you can download from the music directory.. it is a sort of virtual audio journey to the land of Amberly Kinsella (creator of the land of Tusk) take a listen and let me know what you think, or if you can’t find your way there (mystery that this is..) let me know … LOL at least I know someone is out there who has a pulse, listening to me music… who knows, may inspire me to make more or less of the same 😉

Well that’s about all I can babble on and on about for now, hope you my esteemed followers or people browsing around stumbling upon my site found the mouthful of some interest..


–Christopher “StarLord” Calhoun

Site archive: StarLord’s Mini Podcast

Before Miniology, there was StarLord Mini Podcast.

Here is an archived page with all the earlier episode names, which should be still available on YouTube under my channel…

Episode 0   - Test (Sadie/Guinness)
Episode 1   - Welcome
Episode 2   - Easter Run
Episode 2.5 - Mindi
Episode 3   - Mini Spares and Nite Runs
Episode 4   - More Shiny Bits
Episode 5   - Run to Seven Enterprises
Episode 6   - Brit. Car Show Highlight
Episdoe 7   - MTTS Preview and ??
Episode 8   - MTTS Pt. 1 - To Monterey
Episode 8   - MTTS Pt. 2 - More Racing
Episode 8   - MTTS Pt. 3 - Mini Takes..
Episode 9   - Some Mini Repairs
Episode10   - San Francisco SunriseTour
Episode11   - 2007 model MINIs
Episode12   - Across the Pond
Episode13   - Rear Camber (Classic)
Episode14   - Minis and Miatas
Episode15   - Huffaker
Episode16   - Sweet Sixteen

Note 'MTTS' = 'Mini Takes The States' - There is another version of this,
with all 3 parts edited together on YouTube.. Also there was a short 17th episode,
directing people to the Miniology site.. But I won't bore you with it LOL..
Of course, you *can* watch these online via YouTube, along with newer Miniology episodes there, at iTunes, and Vimeo. Just search for 'starlord mini' to find them on either site!

American automakers miss the target .. again

Take Ford’s new and mostly unimpressive 24mpg crossover (The ‘Flex’, yes Adobe you can sue them for taking your product name just like Microsoft would want to sue Saturn for using their word ‘Outlook’) uh, where was I —

Oh yeah, so when the ads hit the airwaves, someone has to wonder what sort of crack pipe the big 4 are smoking given the thousands of SUVs and trucks collecting dust on fledgling American dealerships across the country.

The ad copy should read, ‘Here, buy a big gas guzzling flex, it comes with a built-in refrigerator! Oh, and by the way, please let us steal your tax dollars because everyone is buying those import fuel-efficient vehicles the past 10 years while we’ve been losing money canceling the EV-1 and other projects the oil companies don’t want us to do.’

Sorry this is an angry rant, for sensitive ppl you can move on to the next article (and with my apologies)

Bail-out? How about a government loan with strict standards for MPG, durability, safety, and non-fuel technology, including no golden parachute and no big executive salary perks until the workforce and production has returned to normal levels?

The American automakers can take a page of history and learn from the small car makers in the area of safety as well.

Everytime some lug in a pickup truck fills his tank next to my smart car and makes some remark about getting into an accident, I have to point out that given the same barrier, my smart would bounce off and the passenger compartment is protected by a massive tridion safety cell that surrounds it, while his truck would crumple into said obstacle before intruding into the footwells, crushing his legs and breaking his ribs. While his smushed car would be opened by the jaws of life and his remains carried away by stretcher, I’d simply walk away unscathed.. Ouch.. Is it really smart to buy big fat American cars? How about the idea of swerving to avoid an accident altogether? There’s a reason they put MINIs on the race track, because they can turn on a dime and give you 9 cents change. Ever try and turn a behemothmobile at speed? No?

Next, let’s look at the Chevy Nomad crossover concept. Whoever said copying stuff was a form of flattery probably works for GM. In a move similar to BMW’s penchant for reviving old monikers for its MINI brand of automobiles (cooper, checkmate, sidewalk, clubman, moke, need I go on?)

I give you the concept “Chevy Nomad” (well, a classic Nomad this is not..) Chevy wants to call this a Nomad, but it looks more like a new MINI clubman than the iconic big Chevy of old.. see my post on Miniology for a tamer version of this crazy soapbox.

In an effort to tug a bit at the heartstrings of auto enthusiasts, they slap a old corvette style grille and your stock issue big 5-bar patterned wheels on this chopped thing, whose size and interior resembles more so a rabid minivan than muscle car.

When I see stuff like this on the drawing board — take the Saturn Sky for example, which originally looked more like a Mazda Miata than the production roaster does today — well I can’t really give the project much more than a glimmer of hope (even though it’s a lame attempt to copy someone else). In a nutshell, the canned the cute car in favor of rebadging a few Vauxhalls and calling them new Saturns. What, never heard of Vauxhall? It’s a Euro arm of GM now, they bought them up too..

Well back to Chevy, you know, if you want a MINI clubman, just get a MINI clubman — sure they have BMW electronics goofiness and an engine that you can’t do much to, but they’re only $26k and worth every penny. They are made so well you can’t really get more umph horsepower out of them. Don’t get some knock-off car made by Chevy. If GM was a spoiled child, they deserve a good spanking.

Today, I see cars trying to copy each other all the time, so much so that everything looks like a Ford Taurus, Honda Civic, or Toyota Camry today. Alright, except for the luxury imports coming from Japan and Korea (or China for that matter).. they all try to resemble some slightly forgotten BMW or ‘Benz. Oh, is that a 3-series? No, it’s a Lexus (aka Toyota or Scion) It’s funny that brands will do splits in American to try and re-invent themselves. Same with Nissan/Infinity (earlier, they were called Datsun, since Nissan thought the real name sounded too Japanese and would scare off buyers, ahem..) that’s just an example, if you go look at automaker sites you may be surprised (if you didn’t already know who owns who today.. there’s a reason Euro brands are looking more and more like other American styles.. Case in point, Jaguar and Volvo.)

Anyway, hey again, I got a great idea to bail-out American auto-makers: Force them to make cars that people actually want to drive, and beat the pants off of everyone else’s EPA rating, wouldn’t that rock? Wow, an American car that would hold itself together, well-built with quality parts to closer tolerances, and got 50, 60, or more MPG? I’d stand in line to buy one!

I doubt that will happen if we keep spoon feeding them our tax dollars so they can continue making disposable vehicles. Factory 2-year warranty? That doesn’t say much for reliability does it. 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. Great, how often do you hear people say “wow, I had to go to the dealership to service, yeah, just standard oil-change and powertrain swap out” — that’s like giving you a warranty on the body style of the car. As long as you don’t wreck it or modify it, we guarantee it will stay the same shape for 10 years. Maybe if they actually spent some time designing cars people will buy from the start (do I hear plug-in EV? anyone?) and not flying around in personal jet aircraft, they would fare better.

On that note, while Toyota’s sales of the Prius hybrid and Honda’s Civic hybrid are making record numbers, and smaller cars like the smart and MINI are selling like hotcakes, the American automakers come up with Flexfuel (i.e., you can run a car on gas, or ethanol gas, wow, inventive..) and what is this E85 anyway?

This is what I think.. not good to force farmers to grow corn so factories can process it into fuel at an environmental cost greater than the benefit of using it.. bad idea! No wonder we have a shortage of hops (used for flavoring beer much like different grapes flavor wine) and other stuff that people were farming before this silly Ethanol idea took root.

I spoke to my friend who came back from Hawaii recently, as he drove down the roads where miles of sugarcane once were, there is now corn. When he asks the farmers why, they reply that the government is subsidizing corn (but not sugar cane, in other words) — so to survive they are basically playing into the hands of fuel makers and grow corn, result? Sugar cane shortage in America. Same with wheat farmers, rice, barley, the list goes on. American food makers, guess where you get your store of crops? China. Other countries. There’s something to be said about eating a fresh meal with a salad grown from your backyard and meat from a local farm, just tastes better than stuff that’s been packaged and container shipped on a 21 day voyage across the ocean. And of course, there’s no American eye of concern for quality or safety in the mass farms of Asia and South America, it’s about the bottom line and expense. It’s cheaper for people to get overseas production and ship it here than it would be to do it here, because our government doesn’t support local business or farming that way anymore.

Back to cars though, how about those American made pseudo-Hybrids that get a few MPG better than their all-petrol equivalent and sold for $10k more? That’s rather silly. What a bleep! joke, no wonder nobody is buying them! I like to think that we are more intelligent than that, hello!? Automakers? Guess who are the top automakers with good jobs is in America? Toyota and BMW. Surprised? Maybe save that for later.

So sorry.. I said I would stop this rant, but like George Bush’s last ditch efforts to harm the environment (and kill measures to protect nature, owch that hurts!), “they” (and they know who they are) keep giving me more examples of stupidity and greed.

Ok, really now… I promise to stop complaining if they stop giving me reasons to. Really. But I won’t hold my breath.

We went to the SF International Auto show, as we do every year.. I’ve heard this year it’s really boring because none of our Detroit automakers can come up with anything inventive or exciting lately. ORLY!? That’s a real shame. Nissan brings us a new Z, there’s the Brabus smart fortwo, the JCW MINI clubman, the BlueTec Mercedes, new VW diesels, Audi, Porsche, gosh even Maserati has new models.

Sure, some of it is so last year and we have been reading about it for longer, but it’s nice to see some of these inventive cars actually reach production where we can buy them and drive them home. A number of companies aren’t attending the Detroit show in 2009, not because they haven’t come up with new stuff, but because Detroit is no longer the center of automotive Nirvana.

Who’s going to Tokyo? Frankfurt (those are other auto shows, for uh, non car fanatics)? Ah, thought so..

I know this was a random post and veers off topic, but there ya go. American automakers please take notice and pull yourself back up into the limelight, our country is counting on you. The world needs the innovation you once had.

A little overview of my car

Henley, my 1968 MkII Morris Mini-Minor 1000, is well deserving of an overview, here’s a short video of me going over the car, set to music from The Italian Job (the original, yes, not the remake)

Hyper-mile-ing the smart car

Hypermilers, you know who you are. It is the people in the high-efficiency cars, hybrids, EVs, even some SUVs are doing it.




What is it?

It is a set of things you can do to squeeze more miles per gallon out of that tank.

For example?

Well, some things are less obvious than driving the speed limit. I tried that on the way to work today. Driving the speed limit. Funny that you’re going along at 65-70+ usually but really the speed limit is 45-50, 55 in some places. Weird huh? Yeah, but try actually driving the posted speed limit. Surreal! Definately want to do that in the slow lane in California. People still come up on your butt and go around you as if you were an obstacle in the road. I’m sure on a backroad in central Maine or somewhere in the middle of Nebraska it’s probably not an issue 😉

Well anyway, what brought this on for me is having the smart car, some of my friends are hypermiling and getting over 400 miles on the tank, that’s 50+ MPG, and this is a petrol car, right, not a stinkin environmentally-unfriendly toxic battery dangerous in a crash hybrid.

But, why am I getting 35-39 MPG with my lead foot? Oy! So trying to make things better 🙂 one way is to slow down. What a novel concept. I won’t do it for Nader’s safety program, but I’ll do it to save a few bucks at the pump — the more of my hard-earned taxable income that can save and not give to the Bush family’s oil and war profiteering, the better!

Another thing hypermilers do, is, and you’re going to say “duh” when you hear it, they coast. Yup. On a downward grade? Stick it in Neutral. Use the brakes. Ok if you are goin super fast and need to keep the car slowed then gear it, but otherwise, N is the gear of choice. Your car is using a lot less gas sitting idle than spinning the revs to keep up with your downhill speed.

Stuck at a long traffic light, train crossing, or stop-n-go traffic parking lot? Turn off the engine. That will save the air as well as some fuel.

And do you really need to use the A/C in the bay area? Come on, I live on the coast. Roll the window down or at least crack it for some natural ventalation. Not using accessories needlessly saves some gas too.

I’m going to keep a log of my milage and see how things go. The more miles I get out of the tank, the better. I may not shoot for 50+ miles per gallon or 400 mile tank, but I’ll shoot for the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything, number 42.