(Note: this all needs to be edited and reorganized and so on.)

In January of 1991, I moved to California and bought a shiny new 1991 Acura Integra GS.

The effect of Zaino Bros. Show Car Polish.  The first picture is after washing the car; the second is after applying Z1, Z5, Z6, and Z2 (in that order).

Pre-Zaino (picture taken Jan 2000)
1991 Acura Integra GS

Integra with Zaino Z2

As 1999 drew to a close, I started researching replacements.  The Integra still ran well, but had been through an alarming number of ... `incidents'.  The driver's side door was nearly sheared off entirely in 1994.  I had the car parked and my door open when a little old lady in a 1963 Chevrolet Impala drove into it.  The hood and windshield were replaced entirely in 1995 after I cleverly avoided running into a large boxy object on the freeway by swerving off the pavement and rolling the car over entirely.  The roof had been crushed in, but as it turned out, was not too badly damaged.  The body shop managed to straighten the roof assembly rather than replacing it entirely.  Unfortunately, it then developed a slight leak: if parked in the rain, water eventually works its way in.  The air conditioner -- which is Freon-based in the 1991 model -- also had a pinhole leak somewhere and would not hold a charge.

I wanted something with more room for camping gear and the ability to take those dirt roads that the Integra hated.  (The Integra has a stiff suspension, good for on-road travel and great for cornering, but it gets alarmingly rough even on graded gravel.)  I started looking at station wagons and SUVs, and then someone suggested I consider the Subaru Forester.  Suddenly I found myself moving my timetable up, and on 27 Jan 2000, I took delivery of a new 2000 Subaru Forester S.  Alas, cruel fate: the 2001 Forester -- really the `2000.5', a mid-year model change that merely happens to be externally visible and hence gets a new model-year designation -- had just been announced, and it comes in blue.  I got a green 2000 instead of a blue 2001.  (I also missed out on the standard in-dash 6-CD changer, the variable intermittent wipers, and so on.)

Forester at rest (& neighbors' houses)
2000 Subaru Forester

Forester at play -- still so new, the license plates had not arrived
Forester in snow at Yosemite

Interestingly, the Forester's exterior dimensions are remarkably similar to the Integra's, except for height: the Forester is much taller and generally SUV-shaped (with strong hints of its station-wagon underpinnings).  Side-by-side in the garage, it is easy to see that they are about the same length and width.  The Forester holds far more cargo, of course, and I can use the roof rack for even more carrying capacity.

Subaru Forester: Which Transmission?

On OBD-II and that obnoxious Check Engine light

More stuff here, eventually.