Secretary’s Column – December 2017

Clearing off my desk I find that there are a few items of importance that will require some action by the Club before the end of the year. There are elections coming in January at the Annual General Meeting and Holiday Party to be held on January 6th. The nominating committee has announced a slate of officers and chairs to be voted on at the upcoming January meeting. Members of the nominating committee are:

John Harris, Chair
David Moyer
Trudy Williamson

They have placed in nomination the following members for the positions indicated.

Ron Carmichael – President

Rick Judson – Vice President

Tom Pane – Secretary

Mary Sue Wahl – Treasurer

Paul Reinmann – Activities Chair

Trudy Williamson – Membership Chair

Ken Badoian – Ragtop Tales Chair (editor). This is a new position formerly under the Secretary.

Other nominations for the above positions may be submitted to the nominating committee on or before the Annual General Meeting.

Members attending the Annual General Meeting will also vote on changes to the Club By-laws. Those proposed changes are as shown in the November issue of the RTT under the minutes of the Quarterly General Meeting held in October.

“The President has proposed that term limits be examined for members of The Board. This would require a change in the By-Laws. Tom Pane recommend that term limits also apply to all Committee Chairs, i.e. Activities Committee Chair and Membership Chair. Ken’s proposal is to have two year terms with the option of an additional one or two year extension. The position of President and Secretary would not be voted on in the same year. This would also apply to the Vice President and Treasurer. “

An Executive Committee meeting to formalize the changes in the By-laws was first proposed for November, but now will be held at a time and date in December yet to be confirmed.

The other change in the By-laws concerns the new chair position for the RTT newsletter editor. Currently the RTT editor position falls under the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary.

Purple Feet Festival

CFMC President’s Message – December 2017

Hi All,

November was a great month for the club. We saw the addition of a number of new members and two events, the monthly social at Bitty & Beau’s and the Purple Feet Festival at the Silver Coast Winery (hosted by Bill Bertrand and Jo-Ann Craig) where our own Judy Carmichael won a first prize in the Lucille Ball “Lucy” look-alike contest. Deb Perham came in a close second so CFMC basically swept the contest. Congratulations to our creative members. Thanks to both, their costumes made the day even more fun for all of us. More coverage with pictures later in the Rag Top Tales is assured.

Thanksgiving was a time for all of us to spend with family and friends, remembering those who have served this country to allow us to celebrate this occasion enjoying the abundance of our great land and time to honor those who are not able to be home while they assure us of safety.  We thank them for their sacrifice.

I am looking forward to December. It starts off with the Carolina Beach Christmas Parade. We are hosted by Ken and Patty Badoian. Following that will be the Carolina Opry Christmas Show hosted by Don & Mary Sue Wahl.  I look forward to seeing many of you for one or both of those events.

Christmas will soon be upon us and I want to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The annual General Membership Meeting/Holiday Party will be January 6th details later in Rag Top Tales. This is the most important meeting of the year as it involves the election of officers to lead the club for the next year(s). I hope that all the members will make the effort to attend and plan to be fully involved in the coming year. The Club is great but only because of you, the members. It is your involvement, your support and your willingness to participate. I look forward to next year being even greater than this year was.

I wish you a very happy and safe holiday,

Ken Schiess,
President

CFMC Activities Report by Ron Carmichael

We are nearing the end of another great year of CFMC events. I would like to thank all of the members who have hosted events as well as those members who have participated in them. Now it is time to begin to plan for our 2018 activities. Please consider hosting an event in the coming year. If you are willing to host, please let me know so we can get a placeholder on our CFMC calendar. As details are developed, please send a write up with preliminary information on date, location and planned activities to Ron at Rcarmike@aol.com. Please send your final write up early enough so we can include it in the Activities Calendar in the Ragtop Tales at least two months before the planned event.

Current events are located elsewhere on the website.

As always, I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the CFMC members who have stepped forward and hosted events in 2017. It is your commitment to our Club in supporting these events that make our CFMC successful and appealing to our members. Keep up the great work!

CFMC President’s Message – November 2017

Hi All,
This is the November edition of the Rag Top Tales and my 11th letter this year. I am really pleased to have had the privilege to be your president for the past nearly three years (January 2015). The club has had a good run and a lot of it comes from the efforts of the leadership team that I had the joy to work with.

Ok, so moving along we have had a lot of new members this year to whom I wish a warm welcome. The Club, as I understand the numbers is now at 37 cars, having grown slightly (net 6 members) since December 2014 when we numbered 31 cars. There have been a lot of new faces, but many have sold/traded their Miata’s and some just didn’t find us a good fit. God Bless them all.

Editor’s note: There are now 38 Miata’s in the Club. This is a net gain of 7 members since 2014.

We are today stronger and more vibrant than ever and that is because of the willingness of new members to step up and host events and participate in the events hosted by others. That leads me to comment that the biggest event of the year was this month’s trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Attendance was great with 15 Miata’s represented (Ok, so one SUV stood in for a Miata). I think that is the best attendance we
have had in my memory (someone please correct me if I misspeak). I wish to thank our hosts, Ron & Judy Carmichael, and to the members who took the time to participate in this event. It was a commitment of time (and cash) to attend but, speaking for Gina and myself, well worth it. I’m certain that Ron & Judy appreciated the support. I won’t get into the weeds here because I’m sure that the following pages will be filled with a chronology of the trip and many, many pictures.

I am looking forward to upcoming events which are listed in the Upcoming Events section of this Rag Top Tales and on our website. I am looking forward to seeing you there and, as always, enjoying your company.
Just as a reminder, we need volunteers to fill upcoming vacancies in the leadership team. If you have any interest please contact one of the nominating committee, a list of whom will appear further back in the Rag Top Tales. Elections take place at the next (January 2018) quarterly general membership meeting (and Holiday celebration!!).

As the leaves fall remember to be careful, wet leaves are as slick as ice.

Be well, stay safe, drive carefully,
Ken Schiess

Secretary’s Column

2018 will be the 25th Anniversary of the Cape Fear Miata Club. We need to start thinking of what we can do to recognize our Club’s grand accomplishment. Your ideas/comments are welcomed. Paul Reinmann has already offered some suggestions via an e-mail he sent me which I will put forward at the next Quarterly General Membership Meeting.

In 2017 to-date we have gained 16 new memberships (29 members). See the list of new members under the New Members Column. I believe the credit for the gain in new memberships can be attributed to the success of the Coffee Socials held on the first Saturday of the month at Bitty & Beau’s. In 2016 prior to the Coffee Socials I believe we gained only two new memberships.

Thank you Rick and Judy Judson for bringing this suggestion to the Executive Board to have a Coffee Social each month to help raise awareness of what the CFMC has to offer for the southeastern Carolina Miata community. Bravo!

Submitted by Tom Pane

CFMC President’s Message – October 2017

Hi All,

This has been a fun month.  The hurricane scare aside, it has been a little cooler and better weather for top down driving.  I was sorry that the Purple Feet Festival had to be postponed but I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the Balsam Mountain Inn. This should be a great trip. I understand that there will be 15 Miata’s on this trip.  Gina and I will be meeting up with you at the Balsam Mountain Inn since we can’t leave as early on Tuesday. I also understand that the Purple Feet Festival has been rescheduled for November, so check out the website and watch for emails to provide info.

Kudos to my wife and co-pilot, Gina, who has taken over the tasks of updating the activities and info on our website. Everything is now up-to-date and she will continue to add things as they are scheduled/happen. For the sake of everyone’s sanity, please flow all info through the club Secretary (Tom Pane) and the Events Committee (Ron Carmichael). They will be the clearing house for what gets into the web site and under what heading. Thanks for your co-operation on this.

We will have our General Membership Meeting later this month (I’m thinking at the Black Finn Restaurant or Pilot House in Wilmington) with the exact date, time and place to be determined and sent out in a separate email. This will be an important meeting because we will discuss some additional changes to the By-laws.  The executive committee met and talked about the length of service and the order in which elective offices would expire. For the sake of continuity, we were thinking that the President and Secretary should be elected in different years so that they would not be new at the same time. The same approach with Treasurer and Vice President. That would necessitate each office to be elected for two years so that they could be staggered. We were thinking that would help with continuity on the one hand and minimize the risk of one person being stuck in a job forever. The Committee chairs would be for a fixed period as well with term limits all around. I also want to remind everyone that these office positions are not gender specific.

I will appoint a nominating committee to seek people to fill offices that may be vacant in 2018 based on whatever you all decide at the meeting. Elections will be held, as tradition has been, in January at our Annual Holiday Celebration/General Membership Meeting (celebrating the Club’s 24th year).

I look forward to seeing you all at the upcoming events and at the January Holiday Party and Annual Membership Meeting.

We continue our first Saturday of the month morning gathering at Bitty and Beau’s and I look forward to seeing you there.

Safe driving,

Ken Schiess

Impromptu Lu Mil Vineyard trip – Saturday, September 9

Due to uncertainty over the path of hurricane Irma, Silver Coast Winery postponed their planned September 9th Purple Feet festival.  Bill Bertrand and Jo-Ann Craig had worked extremely hard in planning a CFMC outing to the winery to participate in the festival.  The new date for the festival will be Sunday, November 5th and we hope there is a good turnout for this event.

Several days after Silver Coast Winery canceled the Purple Feet event, hurricane Irma changed its track further west and it became clear that Irma was going to give the southeast North Carolina area a big break.  In fact, the weather forecast for Saturday, September 9th was expected to be beautiful.  With the forecast of a beautiful day and less concerns about the impact of Irma, Judy and Rick Judson proposed an impromptu event to the Lu Mil winery in Elizabethtown, NC.

Our group included nine Miatas and one extra vehicle.  In attendance were Bill Bertrand, Jo-Ann Craig, Paul and Rebecca Reinmann, Don Lee, Frank Pain, Leon and Beth Rooks, Sean and Jenny Hsu, John and Trudy Williamson, new members John and Grace Martens (and some of their family members), and hosts Rick and Judy Judson.

The group gathered at Hardees on Village Road in Leland at 10:00am to form into a caravan.  Jo-Ann passed out popcorn refreshments to all attendees which was a nice treat (thanks Bill and Jo-Ann).  The planned route was a more scenic drive, taking the group by White Lake and Singletary Lake.  To our surprise, we ended up passing by a triathlon going on along Route 53 as we drove towards Elizabethtown.  Also, we didn’t know we would meet up with a motorcycle club at Lu Mil (also out for an outing on a beautiful day).  The drive to Lu  Mil was perfect for “top down” and we enjoyed the wine tastings at the tasting bar inside the winery.  Everyone brought a picnic lunch which we enjoyed on the covered porch looking out to the view of the vineyards.   Several club members took a stroll around the vineyards while Grace Martens and Rebecca Reinmann opted to pick grapes in the vineyard to take home.  Others took advantage of their unusual gift shop, taking home jams, jellies, and of course bottles of wine.  Before departing the vineyard, some of the group took a scenic drive through the vineyard and checked out their cute rental cabins.

We thank all of the club members who joined us on this impromptu outing.  We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day and a great time was had with wonderful friends.

A Tech Day Follow-up by Ken Schiess

Those CFMC members who participated in Tech Day at Stevenson Mazda may remember that Ken had complained that he was experiencing a vibration while driving his Miata. He learned that day that it was rooted in two of his aluminum wheels (see the March issue of Ragtop Tales). Below is his follow-up to that event.

Two of my wheels appeared to be oval when we ran them on the balance machine at Stevenson. That would have explained the vibration I was feeling between 45 and 55 mph.  So I had Stevenson get them straightened. It was cheaper with the club discount than if I took them to the wheel guy myself, probably due to the professional discount that Stevenson gets but cheaper is cheaper (Thank you Stevenson Mazda).  Anyway that pretty much solved the vibration issue but since I needed tires anyway I went ahead and replaced them with fresh balancing and four wheel alignment. Now there is no vibration at all.

On the subject of tires; I had Falken Z912’s on the car for the past 19,000 miles. They are a great high performance tire. They stick well but I don’t tend to drive that aggressively so the short comings of a harsh ride, noise and complete wear down to the wear bars in 19,000 miles seemed an excessive trade off. I have replaced them with General Altimax RT 43 Grand Touring tires. They are MUCH quieter, ride better, especially over tar strips and other uneven surfaces but are slightly slower to respond to steering inputs. But only slightly and they tend to stick tight enough for anything I do with the car.

I’ll give you an update on the tires in a year or two when I have 5,000 or 10,000 miles on them

A CFMC “Out of this World” Event

CFMC Eclipse Event took place on August 21, 2017 at Hopsewee Plantation, South Carolina.

This was a first time occasion for most of us. We’ve seen lunar eclipses but few had experienced a solar eclipse. We had a great turnout with 15 members participating in eight cars (six were Miata’s).

We arrived at Hopsewee Plantation ahead of the first obscuration of the sun with time to get settled under the shade of a great live oak tree.

The skies were mostly clear with many views of the eclipse forming, up to two minutes before totality. We saw the gradual effects of the sun being shaded with less heat (solar) felt on us even though there was still sun shining. It got darker more rapidly at the last few minutes; crickets began chirping, it got noticeably cooler, then, oops, a cloud came in.

We all had our sun viewing glasses which were quite fashionable and allowed us to view the eclipse progressing.

Also several people had telescopes with special view screens. One guy was a real pro and provided us with the best technical info.

Everyone enjoyed the food provided by Hopsewee Plantation chefs. Rebecca and I sampled the low country platter and the chicken wings done many ways. It went down well with one of their local beers. They also provided a band and some of us were seen on the dance floor before the eclipse started.

We also brought eclipse cookies Rebecca made to provide our group with a special treat.

We had a great time and then departed for Conway for dinner. The traffic was a bit worse then what we saw traveling down and it took us three hours to reach the Crafty Rooster when it normally would have taken just one hour!

Our dinners included meals of buffalo chicken balls, quesadillas, and kick-in chili. Dave Moyer and I tried the chicken bog which I had never heard of. Dave, a self-proclaimed bog aficionado, says this was of the best he’d ever had. And I thoroughly enjoyed mine.

We all left for home, some individually and some in small groups. We had clear roadways all the way from this point and enjoyed top down driving all the way home.

Everyone enjoyed the day although the traffic at times was more than I hoped for. Next eclipse event we’ll plan a sleepover.

Attending were: the Panes, Wahl’s, Felice’s, Judson’s, Lee’s, Henion’s, Reinmann’s and Dave Moyer.