Toddler on balance bike, playing on miniature road with street signs and painted lines

Monday update - 16 January 2023

I haven’t had much car time this week, but on Saturday I got some good dad time in, taking my toddler and his balance bike to a park about 40 minutes away. We took the RX-8, on its first drive of the year. As usual (and especially after a couple of weeks of not driving), I did a quick oil and coolant check, and warmed the car up to temp before going anywhere.

Mazda rx-8 interior - car stereo
I bought the RX-8 because I’ve always been a fan of Mazda rotaries. I had 3 first gen RX-7s back in my 20s, when they were much more affordable. I paid around $5000 each for all of them, and if I wanted to buy one now, I’d expect to pay anything from $30-$50k, depending on condition. The RX-8 isn’t the prettiest car Mazda made, but it’s got some fun styling and features, and is relatively practical, and much safer compared to the earlier cars (this is important when a toddler is my usual wing man). The biggest issue is that although it’s the most recent Mazda rotary, it’s also the most temperamental. The Renesis engines are known for losing compression and requiring rebuilds far earlier than is reasonable. I bought mine sight unseen from Facebook marketplace. The seller helped with a ton of videos and photos, and the fact that he has worked for Mazda for most of his life was reassuring. I took him at his word that the engine has had a recent rebuild, and so far, it’s proven to be a solid motor (thanks Brendon!) It’s quite high mileage at 170,000km, but is generally pretty tidy. The biggest issue for me is that it has an aggressive puck-style clutch, which is overkill for my driving style. It makes driving in traffic pretty unpleasant, especially in a city as hilly as Wellington. I do want to change this for a standard clutch at some stage.

Anyway, we had a great drive on Saturday, making sure to hit the redline (maybe a little over the redline!) a couple of times on the way. There’s no Bluetooth in the car, and my old iPhone was on its last legs, so the aftermarket aux line doesn’t work on the phone. To make up for this, I bought some op shop (a.k.a. thrift store) CDs a few months ago for the 6 disc factory head unit. A lot of people like to fit aftermarket stereos of course, but I like the factory look. I will fit a Bluetooth module at some stage though.

On Sunday, I finally upgraded my phone. It’s great for writing a blog post in small pieces while watching a toddler!

I’d like to be able to look back on my week and celebrate all the things I managed to get done, but it wasn’t one of those weeks. I’m in a classic tired dad rut, and that’s one of the things I’m working on. One win I can walk away with is that I got back into intermittent fasting and lost 2kg in the week. I don’t expect the same loss again this week but any win will do!

I’ve also made some progress on this site, mostly behind the scenes, but I’ve got a couple of products up for sale now too! Nothing too fancy, but perfect for experimenting with the platform and process.

Have a great week!

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