President’s Message – May 2020

I’m not absolutely sure, but I think it is May.  Time, along with almost everything else in our lives and the lives of everyone around the world, seems to be standing still.  The current state of events has brought the hallmark of the CFMC to a halt; our trips, activities and members’ socialization.  Our near-term events have been cancelled including our 2020 Spring Miata Mountain Adventure.  But the good news is that the trip and venues are rescheduled for May 2021.  See the article in this month’s RTT for more information.

Future events for 2020 will depend on the guidance we get from our governing agencies.  It can be depressing to think of how the world has changed in the past 8 weeks.  The uncertainty of when and what “normal” will be like when we get through the virus is scary.  But we will get through this.  And one fact is clear; things will change, some in very significant ways from what we’ve been used to in our lives.  For now, the focus must be on taking care of ourselves and each other and adhering to the guidelines that we’ve been asked to follow. Check in or touch base with someone who is stressed, alone, frightened or in need.  Just letting someone know you’re thinking of them can make their day.  Support our health care providers, first responders, and local businesses as they struggle during these trying times.  And if any of our members are in need of anything, let me know at rcarmike@aol.com.    In order to get through this pandemic, we all have to work together toward the common goal of defeating the virus.  This means service, sacrifice, and looking out for each other.

I think the silver lining in this event has been the opportunity for reconnection.  America has reconnected in a way that many of us have heard about (the Depression and World War II) but few of us have actually lived through.  Parents and children are sharing the challenging and stressful efforts of working and learning together at home.  Many are fearful of maintaining their lives and businesses until they can return to work.  Vulnerable parts of the population are just trying to stay healthy.  The creativity, caring and innovation of Americans that we see are amazing and are often taken for granted or ignored.  In spite of our challenges, we have opportunities to use these traits and our most precious commodity, time, in ways we never have before.  The quarantines and separation from each other and our daily activities are stressful and frustrating.  But the resultant opportunity for reconnection allows us to focus on those treasures in our lives that really matter.  I know that we’ve all been doing some of those important “projects” that have been too easy to put off in the past.  But look at the isolated situation we’re in as a gift that we’ve been given; a unique opportunity to focus on and reconnect with family, friends and what brings joy and happiness into our lives.  Use the commodity of time for reconnection.  And for fresh air, jump in that Miata, put the top down, and enjoy a safe “social distanced” drive with your favorite person on one of our beautiful spring days.  Soon, we’ll be able to reconnect with all of our CFMC friends and enjoy fun events and activities again.  Until then, look out for each other, stay safe and healthy!  I’ll see you soon.

Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael

Tech Column – by Ken Schiess

I spent a few minutes chatting with Mike at National Speed today. I was wondering if they do Miatas and what one might do to improve performance without forsaking drivability (quiet, fuel mileage etc).

He was amazingly patient explaining to me that tuning, while not cheap, was one answer to my question. For models NC and ND, there is a replacement ECM that can be installed and programmed to achieve desired results. It is a bit more challenging for the NA and NB models since you have to install a separate ECM module and related gear and that adds a wiring harness and myriad other bits depending on just how far you want to go.

The shop is located off Gordon Road not far from the Market St./ Gordon Rd intersection. If you have any work done there, the parts they supply, the labor, and the tuning are all guaranteed for one year. If the car needs to be left overnight, it will be stored inside the shop, or if it is to be stored for any length of time, in an offsite climate controlled secure building.

If getting a little more oomph out of your Miata is on your list, Mike seems to be the guy to talk with. His number is 910-500-6808 if you want to chat.

Oh, and by the way, while the Pandemic is raging, they are open for business on a curbside service basis. You drop the car, they sanitize it, bring it into the shop, do their thing, then sanitize it again for you to pick up.

So, if you have been harboring any thoughts along those lines, now may be the best time to contact them. They have a couple weeks lead time right now which would get you done and ready for Zoom-Zoom as soon as the Pandemic is cleared.

I’m thinking that a little upgrade just might be cheaper than buying another car.

President’s Message – April 2020

Wow!  As recently as a month ago, we never expected spring 2020 to start this way.  The Covid-19 virus has impacted everyone’s lives and daily routines in very significant ways.  The intensity and magnitude of this virus, its worldwide impacts, its speed and potential for spread and severity have created understandable concerns about our health, safety and security.  Obviously, the immediate goal is to minimize the virus’ spread and impacts by following local, state, and national guidance on dealing with the crisis.  In addition to the obvious direct impacts of the virus, mitigation measures and the accompanying restrictions have greatly limited person-to-person interaction and consequently, every aspect of our lives.  Because the health, safety and security of our CFMC members are our top priorities, many of our events for April and May have been canceled including our planned business meeting originally scheduled for April 18.  Please review the latest Activities Column in this issue of the Ragtop Tales for the most up to date information on cancellation of many of our planned events.  Also, see the separate article in this month’s RTT for current information regarding May’s Miata Mountain Adventure. We will issue mid-month updates on all planned CFMC events and activities if needed.

Undoubtedly, this is a scary and challenging time for us and our families from multiple perspectives; health, economic and our day-to-day routines.  For those members whose parents and relatives lived through the great Depression of the 1930’s and World War II, we remember them talking about the challenges, adversity, and uncertainty that they faced.  They overcame these crises through the sacrifice, service, and support of all Americans.  Sacrifice, service, and support are part of America’s DNA.  Our military and first responders and their families provide sacrifice, service, and support to us every day.  Now it is our time.  Today’s generations can and must work together and sacrifice, serve, and support each other in order to defeat the virus.  Fear and uncertainty are temporary.  We will get through this.  Stay safe and healthy and look out for each other, particularly those who are afraid, are most vulnerable and the brave health care workers and first responders who are on the front lines protecting us.  Soon, we will have our lives back, and with it, the return to some sense of routine and normalcy.   And, we will once again enjoy the fun, fellowship and friendship that our CFMC provides.  Please stay safe and healthy.  I will see you all soon.

Zoom-Zoom!

Ron Carmichael