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2014 Bug Splat

2014 Bug Splat

When Donna and I ate at the Apizza di Napoli a week or so before the Bug Splat I told the owner that we would be there at 6:30 the following Saturday night and would probably bring about 15-20 people.

It dawned on me the day before the event that I had 6:00PM listed as the start time on the Club’s Calendar, so I called the restaurant just before I left work and spoke to one of the women who work there and said that the arrival time was really 6:00 not the previously stated 6:30 and that there would be 15 people, plus or minus 5.

Little did I know, that when relayed to the owner, the message became plus or minus 5 people would be attending. They tried to call me back at work for clarification, but I had already left. The owner is friends with the Prez so he called Larry and Larry told him it would be a lot more like 20 people showing up.

They set up three tables, two with 6 and one with 8, but that couldn’t contain us. We ended up filling nearly every table in the joint (except for the big one behind us that was reserved for a birthday party) and a couple booths as well with the 34(1) Club members who showed up.

On the drive our conga line of Miatas stretched as far as the eye could see. But most of the time I could only see about half of them in the rearview mirror because of all the turns and curves in the roads making it hard to ensure we were not losing anyone. Amazingly enough we stayed pretty much together for the whole 34 miles, through 18 turns (4 of them lefts) and 8 traffic lights with only an occasional non-Miata getting in line with us. The evening sky turned pretty colored and the temperature eased into the lower 80’s making for a very pleasant drive overall. The only thing that was not up to snuff about the rally was the lack of bugs.

I’ve lamented the lack of real bugs and/or their splats for the last few years and maybe this is just the old timer in me that thinks, “Back in my day the bugs were bigger and more plentiful,” but when the Biggest Bug Trophy goes to someone that has the 3/16″ long carcass of a mayfly stuck to their headlight, that would look small if it was stuck to the trophy itself (2), then the Miata Insect Killing World is going to heck in a hand basket.

The judging for Most, Fewest and Closest to the Dot prizes were based on the amount and location of nothing more than the small white puffs left behind by passing through a cloud of unseen and unknown species. Bob & Pat Tarrant won the Fewest Bug prize because their car was white making the little puffs seem nonexistent. Larry & Rita Garner nabbed the Most Bugs prize by virtue of their dark Montego Blue color car. Sue & Dave Woomer had a white puff smack in the middle of the green Avery dot on the nose of their car thereby taking home the Closest to the Dot Prize. The Woomers were also the owners of that small mayfly and as such have the honor of displaying the Biggest Bug Trophy on their fireplace mantle until next year.

Next year I am going to look into hiring some kids with a pickup truck to drive the route a few minutes ahead of us and have them toss handfuls of crickets and grasshoppers in the grass at certain intervals and maybe one or two Elephant Beetles for good measure.

1. That number is a guess from President Garner and does not reflect an actual count. I was told 13 cars did the drive, but this hearsay and not an actual count either. Let’s do some cipherin’ and see if we can make the math work. Assuming there were 13 cars on the drive that meant 25 people (one car had just a driver) dining. There were 2 couples in their OTMs as their Miatas were down for maintenance, this makes 29. There was another couple who dined only and then went home, making 31 people. But one car was a late arrival, so subtract 2, giving us only 29 Miatanites who ate at the restaurant. Not 34, but that’s closer than my guess of, “a lot.”

2. This in no way should be taken that I’m diminishing the skill and effort of the driver and navigator of said winning car in plucking this obviously very scarce insect from the air.


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August Meeting Minutes

When:  August 7th 2014

Where:  Buca di Beppo – We met at the restaurant and had a quick meeting before digging in to the terrific food.  We had two new couples who joined us for dinner and are new members; Sandy and Orlando Carlo who have a 2013 sparkle black hardtop convertible [like Dennis and Karol’s], and Jennie and Thomas Hodges who have a 2004 Red Speed soft top [like Rudy and Patti].

Who:  Ernie Bloom, Donald Boltz, Gail and Miller Butler, Sandy and Orlando Carlo, Larry and Rita Garner, John and Carol Haff, Mark and Linda Hoelper, Dennis and Karol Mason,  John and Jackie Nicholls, Tom Varallo, Richard and Evelyn Whitehurst, Rudy and Patti Wilmoth, and Dave and Sue Woomer.

 Treasurer’s Report:  1-31 July 2014 – Beginning balance: $937.92 received dues from 24 members (couples/cars) of $240.00, debit of $11.45 for checks for new account, ending balance: $1,166.47.

Old Business:

  • Dennis has made name tags for everyone if you have not received yours yet please see him at the next meeting you attend.
  • No one went to the Gap this year but there are plenty of pictures online if you are interested.

New Business:

  • Thanks to Jackie and John Nicholls for planning tonight’s dinner!
  • New members Sandy and Orlando Carlo and Jennie and Thomas Hodges were introduced.
  • We also have two other new members; Ronnie Scott and Kirill Skliar who we look forward to meeting.
  • Please remember to pay your dues if you have not yet done so.
  • Jackie Nicholls has ordered 7” Miata Magnets for the cars. The cost is 17.06 plus shipping so the charge for the magnets will be $20 per set of 2, the club will collect the difference.

Upcoming Events:

  • 9 August – Will begin with a catered dinner at Gail and Miller Butler’s house ($5.00 per person for dinner) and end with a River Cruise on the Savannah River scheduled for departure at 7:00pm for a sunset cruise. Meet at Greg’s Gas Plus (SC exit 1 North side) at 4:00 for the drive to Gail and Miller’s or meet at the River Walk Marina (if you’re not joining us for dinner) for the approximately 1½ hour cruise. $20.00 (cash only!) per person and bring your own beverages, yes, alcohol is allowed too. The club has decided we would like to have finger desserts as well, so bring a dessert that can be eaten with your hands, to share.
  • 16 August – Bug splat. We will begin with dinner at Apizza di Napoli in Aiken at 6:00. That will be followed by a drive through the country to compete for biggest bug, most bugs etc. We will end at the Sonic in North Augusta to compare grills, and award the trophy.
  • 20 September – Panic Motor Sports day in Columbia SC. More info soon.
  • 18 October – Breakfast and Scavenger Hunt.
  • 1 November – Leaf Peeping, 10-12 hour drive to see the fall colors. More info on that soon too.
  • Christmas Party – Date: First Friday (December 5th) at Casa Rose in Aiken. Thank you Shirley Dyer for coordinating!

Dates that are open and need coordinators:  4 September meeting, 2 October meeting, 6 November meeting and 15 November breakfast.

BlipShift 24 Sale


For the next 72 hours BlipShift is selling 24 of its past designs, sometimes on different colors, with some other special merchandise too. Get ’em before they are gone for good.