Thursday, September 29, 2005

Just when I am starting to get use to the retirement gig, the week is almost over. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. And fortunately I have a vacation coming up soon.

today's truck adventure involved making a mess in the driveway. I attempted to degrease and clean the frame. So good so far. I suspect a few hours with a stiff brush and some cleaner will complete this task. I imagine it would go twice as fast if you would come help me.

I don't suppose I have mentioned how heavy the frame is. After turning it over a few times it gets heavier.

I was considering having it sandblasted, the frame. I have now decided against it. Basically it is in pretty good shape. Just a little dirt and grease. No real rust to speak of. Definitely not worth hauling all over creation to have it blasted.

I am hungry. Probably because I have been thinking I should go on a diet. That always happens. Where are the bon-bons?

I met some guys for breakfast this morning (6 AM) at Cracker Barrel. These guys meet every week. It is some sort of egg sandwich ritual. Normally I would just be getting out of bed, but I figured, hey since I am retired I should be doing the whole early to bed, early to rise thing. Tune in next week when I will be asleep.

Early this AM, the sky was dark when I left the house but it seemed warm enough. Miata - top down. It was just getting light when I arrived at CB. Oooohhh. Look at those dark clouds. Too bad my top has a hole in it. Fortunately it didn't rain. An hour and a half later I headed on back to the house.

I got an email later from a friend who mentioned he saw a crazy guy driving around this morning in a Miata with the top down. Sixty degrees. Auburn Tag. Sixty degrees is nothing. Last year I did it sub-30. Until my ears fell off. Usta! Yeah that was me.

Several of the blogs I routinely visit have not been updated in a while. Perhaps everyone is busy living real lives. So real and exciting they have no time to allow me to live vicariously though them. You know who you are.

This morning I discovered that my neighbor now has a pirate flag having on his yuppie flag pole.

We are the pirates who don't do anything.
We just stay at home and lie around.
And if you ask us to do anything.
We will just tell you, we don't do anything.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Disconnected and removed the rear axle along with the leaf springs. Would have attempted to remove the front stuff but I have yet to figure out how to correctly disassemble it. Hopefully will get that figured out tomorrow. I took about a million pictures of the frame assembly so that someday perhaps I can get it put back together.

I got a 97% on the first test.

Excellent weather == top down.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I am hanging out with the retired guys again this week. They are glad to have me back.

GMC: This afternoon I made very little progress on the truck. I did cut off the the back bumper, disconnect the brake booster from the proportional valve, and cut all the brackets holding the rust exhaust lines in place. Still a lot of work to do before the frame is seperated from the suspension.

The wind and remaining clouds from huricanne Rita cleared up this afternoon.

I called POR-15 about the damaged can. They are sending a replacement.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Week In Review

Yesterday was my last day at my old job. I am taking this coming week off then I will be starting my new job. Is the grass really greener? I will let you know.

Last week I mentioned the gas gauge on the Dodge might be getting flaky. I have since decided it is ok. Instead I now believe I had 8-10 gallons of gas siphoned out of my tank. Not sure if it happened at home or at work but I did happen to leave the truck in the driveway two nights in a row which is pretty uncommon. Assuming I did not have gas siphoned out of the tank, then my last tank full only got me 7.1 MPG. Not likely. On that tank I got 180 miles and it took 25.3 gallons to refill at a total cost of over $70. Thats $.39 per mile. I usually get almost twice that - around 13 or 14 MPG.

In a way I am relieved that someone stole the gas. If it had been the sending unit going bad I would have to drop the tank and replace the sending unit. That would be a couple hours work and a wad of cash. This way I am limited to $30 of missing gas. No extra work on my part.

The kids and I went to Tuscumbia today to visit my father. Lunch at BK and then to Spring Park to ride the roller coaster, train, and carousel. After we got back to Dad's house I walked across the street to visit my Grandfather. He talked non-stop for an hour and a half. I am scheduled to do all the talking next time. He told me several interesting stories about when he was in WWII. He also told me about a '41 Buick convertible he once had. Metallic Blue, Blue leather interior. I am going to try to find a picture of one for him. He also mentioned he thought he would like to get one of those new Mazda MX-5's.

The POR-15 paint arrived Thursday. The box was apparrently shipped upside down and treated pretty roughly. Three out of four cans were dented. One was so badly banged up that it leaked. Did I mention the box must have been upside down? The inside of the box was a nice glossy black color. I guess I will be testing out their customer support line on Monday.

Ginger went to Auburn today to play with the Alumni band for the homecoming game. She had a lot of fun last year. Hopefully today went as well.

I missed a call from Creg today. Apparrently he painted his frame today.

Friday, September 23, 2005

[rmrtndl@zephyr rmrtndl]$ ping ram92.ods.orgPING ( from : 56(84) bytes of data.From icmp_seq=10 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=11 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=12 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=13 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=14 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=15 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=16 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=17 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=18 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=19 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=20 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=21 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=22 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=23 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=24 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=36 Destination Host UnreachableFrom icmp_seq=37 Destination Host Unreachable
--- ping statistics ---37 packets transmitted, 0 received, +17 errors, 100% loss, time 40069ms
[rmrtndl@zephyr rmrtndl]$

Monday, September 19, 2005

Not much happening so I have been running silent.

GMC Update - Last night I ordered the paint for the frame. I finally decided to go with POR-15. Now I just need to finish removing the drive train and suspension.

Dodge Update - The rear brakes are still sticking causing the truck to bounce. And here is a new one. The fuel gauge is sporadically non-function.

Miata Update - The tear on rear window has grown larger. It should not be driven in the rain until it is repaired.

This afternoon it was all I could do to stay awake. I guess I need to quit drinking those caffine-free drinks and switch to the caffine enriched ones. A nap would have been great. Now why didn't I feel like that yesterday when a nap was a possibility?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This has been a {insert your own adjective here} week.

I read something earlier today that was funny but instead of repeating it here, I will tell you another story instead.

The short version: A guy has a truck full of gas. The next day the tank is empty. Someone stole it. He puts in $10 worth of gas. The next day his tank is empty again. This time he puts in $3 of gas and fills the remainder of the tank with water. Later he hears the sound of a car refusing to crank. The car is a mustang and it doesn't seem to want to run because it has water in the fuel. Dude got busted.

Friday I am going to pre-school. I can hardly wait. Brianna's class is having 'Donut's with Dad'. All the kids get to bring dad/granddad/etc. We will enjoy a nice sugary breakfast of pastries and juice complete with singing. The kids are going to perform for us special guys. Sounds like a good time to me! I am looking forward to hearing the 'C' song again.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Polling the Peanut Gallery

I am considering a new look for the blog. The most difficult decision is what color to use for the background. Any suggestions?
It ocurred to me earlier today while piddling around in the garage that I could not remember the last time I blogged. Wednesday was a few days ago. Where did all the time go. Perhaps nothing noteable has happened since then. Probably.

And now to check in on the current obsession: Yesterday morning I went to get a hair cut. (The kids went with me.) On the way home I stopped by the farmers market and picked up a pound of okra. Long story short. Fried Okra. Mmmm

The Dodge is still running ok despite my working on it last weekend. It doesn't appear to be burning any oil, but then I haven't really put enough miles on it to know for sure.

Tonight while taking a walk around the neighborhood after dinner, I was passed by a kid riding a skooter talking on a cell phone, twice. Kids today! For some reason it was an odder sight than it appears being described here.

The piddling in the garage today was mostly cleaning. I believe I made enough progress that I can feel good about working on the truck some more. This work tends to mess the garage back up.

And yes, it was very pleasant this evening as I took my Sunday afternoon ride in the Miata, er, MX-5. I am once again considering painting part of the trunk lid on the car. A small section along the trailing edge is showing primer. I figure I can do a reasonable enough job with a rattle-can that it will look better than it does now. Note to self: order some paint and primer.

That's all there is, there isn't anymore.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More Okra Please
As previously mentioned, we had fried okra tonight with dinner. Mmmm. Unfortunately there was not enough left over for breakfast tomorrow :)

More perfect Miata driving weather today.

Tomorrow the Dodge will take its first major expedition from the driveway since the repair work last weekend. I don't expect any problems, knock on wood. It does still bounces during braking though. The best guess at this point is that perhaps one of the rear brake shoes is catching on a warped drum. I have not yet been able to confirm or deny that and I don't think I will get around to it this weekend. Look for other mundane non-vehicle related stories in the meantime.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Top down, all day, in the parking garage at work.

Ate lunch outside to enjoy the weather. Unfortunately my friends attract flies.

This evening I cleaned and put away a few tools. Every now and again I get motivated to do a little clean up. I never get completely caught up but, then the mess never gets completely out of hand either. Well mostly completely but not quite totally completely.

While driving home from dinner Sunday evening, I pointed out the window at a group (herd?) of horses in a field and said to Ginger, "What do all thoses horses have in common?" No answer is heard, so I say while doing my very best Mr. Ed, "They are all neigh-bors."

I never figured out why I had to walk the rest of the way home. It was funny and gets funnier every time I tell it. At least all the voices in my head are laughing.

Tomorrow evening: fried okra.

It would be an interesting challenge at this point to read back and enumerate each obsession. How about a quick review: Miata, dirt, '72 GMC, dirt, okra, dirt, '68 GMC grill for '72 GMC, dirt, computer crash, hard-drive crash, Formula One hot wheels, rocks, dirt, diet, dirt. What did I omit? Wet-sanding, dirt, '48 Chevy, and more. Go read for yourself.

Did I mention that I recently realized that more than half my life has occurred after I graduated from high school than before. I am just glad I wasn't a band geek. Sorry iMike, I couldn't help myself.

Monday, September 05, 2005

My five day weekend is now coming to a close. I will miss it so much.

We had a little gathering at the next door neighbors house this afternoon. The kids all played in the pool. And lots of food.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Cab removal photos over at the 67-72 Chevy/GMC Truck Forums.

Today I removed the cab from the GMC. This is suppose to be a four man job. I managed to do it pretty much by myself. Ok so I used a little physics also.

The next step is stripping the frame.

I missed the weekly Miata ride today but I plan to catch up tomorrow.


Finished putting the Dodge back together this morning. No leaks and it is running smooth. I will keep an eye on it for the next few weeks. Hopefully I can start running 87 octane again it will stop burning oil. {update: Total time was about 9 hours. Total cost about $30. Mechanic's estimate to do this job: $450.}

Went to Sardis for the afternoon. We had a cookout at G's grandfather's house. I had a good time playing with all the kids.


Started working on replacing the belly pan gasket on the Dodge. It took 3.5 hours to get it taken apart. The Haynes manual wasn't as accurate as it has been in the past.

I removed the air filter housing, throttle body, alternator, a/c compressor, upper radiator hose, a heater house, and finally the intake manifold.

Spent about 30 minutes cleaning up the intake manifold.

At this point I took a break for a few hours including a nap. Wooo hooo!

The weather was perfect at about 75 degrees and my truck was in the shade of the garage.

Later in the day I put another 2.5 hours into putting it back together. Still not done but I am getting close.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Today we filled up Ginger's vehicle with some $2.99/gallon 87 octane. There are a few stations around here that are out of gas. I even noticed at one station cars backed up 3 deep waiting to buy gas. It was only $2.87 there. What a deal.

I bought the gaskets to repair the Dodge. The plan is to get started in the morning.

Took the kids to see Charley and The Chocolate Factory after school today. No rave reviews here. Dinner at the Outback. Their food quality is suffering.

I took today and tomorrow off to stretch the weekend out to five days. Yippee.