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Flip the bird

August 24, 2007


The light on Michigan Street was red. As I pulled up behind a white Subaru Outback, something white inside it caught my eye. It was a bird.

A cockatoo, judging from its size. Seattle is not just a dog town, it’s a pet town. You’re just as likely to see cats riding around in cars as dogs, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen an exotic bird in a passenger seat. Or more correctly, on top of it… it was perched on a white towel set between the rear seat headrests.

The cockatoo seemed to be studying me as I waved. It was facing to my right, but suddenly turned its head to face me. I continued to wave, and I could see the Outback’s driver grinning in the rearview mirror. The light changed, the Outback heading off for points unknown.

Earlier, I’d been travelling southbound on the Viaduct. Traffic was light, so I let the PX rip. Once again, it hit an indicated 60 (i.e., 52) pretty easily, but that seems to be all there is, even though there’s more twist in the throttle.

It could be having to carry all 5′ 11″ and 240 lbs. of me is acting as an anchor, or it might possibly be my frontal area and coefficient of drag. Or it could be that the PX is really nervous and twitchy at this speed, at least on the Viaduct’s worn-out pavement, and the self-preservation instinct is kicking in.

At least I can keep up with traffic, and the PX seems not to strain in the process as it once did. Certainly, midrange torque and acceleration have improved a bunch since the Sito Plus, and the spark plug is a nice toasty brown, so the 103 main jet seems to be a good choice. When choosing carburetor main jets, it’s best to err on the side of richness. Too lean means too hot, increasing the likelihood of a seized engine, at the worst possible time.

Before long, I’m past the Museum of Flight, running next to the Boeing Field flight line and the exotically-colored 737s waiting to be delivered.

Oh, yeah. Some people call them birds. Favicon

  1. August 25, 2007 2:38 am

    Nice job on tuning the PX , Orin!
    Bird on a scooter… that sounds cool.
    What would you call goggles for birds?

  2. August 25, 2007 8:10 am

    No, the bird was in the Outback. A bird would probably get blown off a scooter. I’ve seen goggles for birds, but I don’t think they have a name like “Doggles.”

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