Sunday, July 31, 2005

Ginger's Grandmother, Edna Gunnels, passed away today. She was 77. We will be spending the next couple of days in Sardis for the funeral, etc.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Joke
I got a few of the words wrong. Let's try again.

"A naked blond walks into a bar, with a poodle under one arm, and a two foot salami under the other. She lays the poodle on the table. Bartender says, "I suppose you won't be needing a drink." The naked lady says... " - From The Breakfast Club.

I have been wanting to know the punchline to this joke for years. It is amazing how many references there are to it on the internet. I suppose there is no actual ending.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

I got an email from John Deaton earlier this week. Their family is now one bigger. They now have 3 boys.

Last night I went over to David M.'s house to help him fix the clutch on his Miata. The problem was that the clutch slave cylinder was leaking. It had actually leaked to the point that the clutch pedal no longer worked. It was probably just the o-ring on the piston but he had already bought a replacement cylinder so we just installed it. I believe he said it ran about $28.

The instructions he found on were awesome. Not only did they explain exactly what to do, but they also mentioned what size wrench was needed for each step. It sure is nice to know which wrench to take with you when your climbing under a car that sits that low. We put it up on four jack stands. That made getting underneath it so much easier than just using two. With the exception of one bolt, all the work actually be done from the side, assuming the passenger side front tire is off. I had my Haynes manual with me but it turned out we didn't need it.

We spent about 2 hours getting the job done, though I believe we actually spent 30-45 minutes actually working on it. He was told he could expect to pay about $150 to have a mechanic do this job for him.

After the job was complete and the tools put away we went for a nice little cruise around Madison with the top down. The temperature was perfect. I really enjoy driving my Miata with the top down after the sun sets. It makes a for a very pleasant ride. Unfortunately I don't get out much after dark.

Truck update: I managed to get the steering wheel and steering column out of the truck cab. Items remaining: brake, emergency brake, and gas pedal. Also the gas tank. I suppose there is probably a couple of things hanging on the firewall that need to come off as well. I will probably pull the engine and transmission again before removing the cab. I suspect that will make the job much easier.

Dwayne got his brake lines finished up on the 70 Charger. I keep looking for it in the parking lot at work, but he keeps leaving it in the garage at home.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Todays technical advise: Format the harddrive and reinstall the operating system.

Today I pulled all the stuff out from under the dash of the truck. Wiper motor, wiring harness, AC/heater parts, instrument cluster, etc. Now if I could just out how to remove the steering column.

The shop is now a mess again. Hopefully I will get motiviated tomorrow and clean it up again. Hopefully.

I had the opportunity to talk with Mike S. in Austin this evening. It was good to hear from you.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Where has the week gone?

Last night I got to see "Dumb and Dumber". Afterwards I definitely felt dumber. Not sure how many IQ points I lost. I noticed several movie references within the movie. How many did you catch?

Anyone know what happened to Tuesday's post?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

I spent two hours in the garage today. I began stripping the interior of the truck. Out came the head liner, rear view mirror, seat belts, seat, visors, rear window, and front windshield.

The front windshield had a chip out of it. It now has a few cracks. I was hoping it would survive but it is probably not safe.

I also removed the door seals.

Jordan thinks the truck should be painted blue.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Roses have thorns, Shining waters mud.
Rick's Tow Service
About 10 days ago, on a Wednesday, my friend David went to get a hair cut during lunch. As he arrived at the beauty salon, jab jab, his clutch quit working. He called and I went and picked him up. He looked very stylish with his new hair cut. Ok, that is probably enough.

Read the July 7th entry of more info on the clutch failure.

Last Friday morning I picked him up at 6:30 AM and we towed his car back to his house. I used my Dodge pickup to pull his Miata. David must be a pretty crazy driver. The tow rope he used only put about 10 feet between my truck and his car. He could not see around my truck. He said he was pretty much white knuckled the entire trip driving along at near the speed limit looking closely at my tail gate. A few times I thought he was trying to pass me. I believe he may have even ran a red light. It was yellow when I went through.

Did you know the brake lights on my truck don't work when the hazzard lights are on? He found that out pretty quickly. Did I mention the rope was kind of short. Fortunatley we both had cell phones so he called me and I turned off my blinkers.

And for the record, he was towed home with the top down. I convinced him it was way to nice to be towed around with the top up.

The car has now been at his house for a week and he has not yet looked into repairing it. He says he has been busy. I think if he is now going to fix his car, he should look into getting yet another backup vehicle. Perhaps a VW bug.

Maybe I will go over to his house one night this week and take a look at it. It is always easier to repair someone elses car because you don't have to pay for the parts and you don't have to worry about messing something up. It's not your car after all.

His new leather seats are scheduled to arrive early next week. I wonder how they would look in my car.
Punch Bug
At lunch today I spotted a Volkswagen Beetle for sale. When I decided to restore a vehicle, I had a difficult time choosing between a Beetle and the late 60's GM truck. In the end the truck won out because around here they are easier to come by and less expensive.

The VW we spotted today was a '72. It was light blue and in decent shape. A little bit of surface rust but no real dents to speak of. Cost $1150 OBO. I immediately began to try and convince my friend that he needed to buy this car. I think he actually wanted to buy this car, but then he would have one car to many. His secondary vehicle is a black Miata. (That reminds me, I forgot to tell the story about towing his car home last Friday morning.)

He had a Beetle in high school and felt some nostalgia for it. I even offered to store it for him. And do any required body work. And help rebuild the engine. No takers on this one.

Perhaps someday I will have the time/money/space for a little bug in my garage. And just by coincidence, I have been reading this guys web site. He has a 1950 sunroof split window VW and a 1957 oval window VW. Check it out, but plan on spending a few hours there reading. You have been warned.

Let me know if you need the phone number to call about the '72 (Mike). Yeah, Yeah, I know, that would be one car too many.

The car is parked in front of an old building with dusty windows. I have stopped there before to look in the windows because lined up inside are a bunch of old cars and trucks. There is a 5o-ish GMC pickup, a Bel Air, and many others I did not recognize. I seem to recall a '30s vintage Ford also.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My 6th grade teacher, Mrs. Browning, passed away on Monday.

SANDRA ANN BROWNING -- BURLESON -- Sandra Ann Browning, 64, a retired Christian teacher for Calvary Academy in Fort Worth and Steppingstone Christian Academy in Burleson, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Monday, July 11, 2005, in Fort Worth. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, July 15 at Lighthouse Church in Burleson. Burial will be at Jay Bird Cemetery in Springtown. Visitation is 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Mountain Valley Funeral Home, Burleson. Sandra was born Feb. 4, 1941, in Springtown to Orland and Audrey Dodd Williams. She was a charter member of Lighthouse Church in Burleson and also served on the board of directors. She was awarded Teacher of The Year at Calvary Academy in Fort Worth and had numerous nominations for Who's Who Among American Educators throughout her teaching career. She loved her family dearly, especially her grandchildren, and she enjoyed collecting antiques. She was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by son, Marc Browning of Burleson; daughter, Sara Gillaspie and husband, Otis, of Burleson; sister, Mary Graham of Springtown; grandchildren, Lauren, Landon, Audrey, Alex and Asher Gillaspie; several nieces and nephews; and other family members.Mountain Valley Funeral Home Burleson handled arrangements. 817-426-3200
I cancelled the suspended insurance on the '72. It is not going to be going anywhere for a while. Like I said before, large portions are being stored upstairs.
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

This evening I opened up a bag of potato chips, reached in an pulled out a pacifier. Imagine my surprise. Ginger's cousin was here yesterday with her three kids. Logan, the youngest lost something while he was here. I guess I found it. The question is how did it get there.

Yesterday afternoon I went out in the back yard with a rock rake. Where there were rocks, I raked. This is apparently some sort of rain dance because soon it began to thunder and eventually the bottow dropped out.

This morning I strolled out back to admire my work. Strangely enough everywhere that I had raked, there were now more rocks. My rock piles were still were I left them. I suppose the rocks are multiplying. Now if I could just teach them to do calculus, I could charge admission to my backyard.

Did you know a gallon of water weights roughly 8.345 lbs? Now go outside and look up at a cloud. Back already? That was quick. Now think about how much water falls out of the sky when it rains. Now think about how much a cloud must weight - it is made up entirely of water vapor after all.

Hello again to DeAnna.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Where has the time gone? My four day weekend is almost over.

Friday we made the trip to Visionland. The amusement park was nice. The lines were short but it was pretty hot. Jordan will probably be big enough to ride the roller coasters next time we go. I didn't care much for the water park, however everyone else probably liked it better than the amusement park. Why? It was just too crowded.

Saturday morning I went to the car show. I only stayed til about noon. I probably only saw about 1/3 of the cars there. Again it was hot, and I forgot to put on any sun block before heading out. I saw a few of Ginger's relatives there. They had three cars in the show. It was an incredible show. Next year I will go prepared complete with sun block, water, and a large brimmed hat.

The last two days I have been worthless. I could get use to this.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"But hark, what light through yonder window breaks?"

Another long weekend has begun. Tomorrow we are heading to VisionLand.

My friend Creg came by after work. I have loaned him my sand blaster. I hope he doesn't blast away the entire truck ('53 Ford).

Saturday I plan on attending the 19th Greater Tennessee Valley Antique Car and HD Show. Note to self - Charge the camera battery.

The clutch on David's Miata quit yesterday. Rather suddenly two. I sent him over to and he did a little reading. The clutch line is hydraulic rather than a cable. It turns out the brake fluid (Dot 3) had leaked out. Yes it uses brake fluid. We tried putting more in but it leaks too fast to be useful.

Tomorrow morning I am going to tow his Miata back to his house. I convinced him to repair it himself. Obvisously I volunteered to help and even offered the use of my garage. This is his secondary vehicle so it won't hurt to much if it takes a few days to repair.

David has been considering buying new leather seat covers ever since he bought the car. He finally convinced himself to spend the money just a few mere hours before the clutch went ptheew! Fortunately the order has already been placed. Talk about a good attitude, all the money he saves repairing the clutch is going to pay for the seat covers.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Someone needs to invent a new word for blogger's block. It's too easy.

Google has a lot to say about blogger's block. Well not say, per say, but say.

What do we know about blogger's block? I believe blogger's block is simply a scheme orchastrated by ones brain to keep you from writing the tripe you wrote a year ago today. Think of it as a 6 sigma continuous improvement process for you blog which you haven't agreed to participate in.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Truck dissassembly has begun.

Today I carried a few truck parts up the stairs to the newly designated holding area. A front fender is not real heavy, but after fourI was a bit tired. A couple of grills and a bumper or two made the ascent as well. The doors are heavy and after the second one was upstairs, I began to have visions of a freight elevator.

I also swept out the garage. This had to be done due to last weeks motivation to do the same.

Yesterday evening I took the Miata out for the weekly Sunday afternoon spin. Always a pleasant experience.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

How's the truck? Funny you should ask. I haven't mentioned it in 7 or 8 minutes.

Tuesday night I disassembed the GMC front clip. The hood has been moved upstairs into storage. The remainder will migrate up as soon as it has been cleaned good.

I am sticking with the 'down to the frame' plan. My shop has been screaming to be cleaned so storing a few parts upstairs is a good plan. As soon as I get organized, I will be removing the cab.

Live 8
I meant to watch Live 8 yesterday. I didn't get around to tuning in til the middle of the afternoon (while folding laundry). What I wanted to see I had already missed: U2 apparrently opened the show in London with some other guy singing something about a Lonely Broken Dr. Depper.

I did manage to find video on the net so I got to see it, just not on the TV.

I did get to see Pink Floyd.

I can still remember watching U2 doing Live Aid twenty years ago. I have a recording of the audio on a cassette. Twenty years. Wow.
Where is the Monkey?
Friday evening as I was driving the kids home from day care, I heard a small voice from the back seat say "There's the other monkey." I looked over to the side of the road and saw a big blow-up monkey sitting in front of a Now-You-See-Now-You-Don't fireworks stand.

I wanted to know, but I didn't ask, "Where is the first monkey?"
Why Disconnect the Negative Battery Terminal First
When disconnecting the battery in my truck, the Haynes manual says disconnect the negative battery terminal (first). I recall the install instructions for the radio I bought for the Miata last year said the same thing.

Why? I have asked myself that question several times but I never think to Google it while I am at the computer. Well today I remembered.

If you disconnect the positive terminal first and you wrench happens to contact any part of the car that is grounded, you will have a short between the positive and negative terminals. (Shorting the battery could burn up some electronics or cause the battery to explode!) That makes perfect sense. I can't believe I didn't figure it out myself.

I am pleased to announce that I did not have to learn this lesson the hard way.