Friday, July 31, 2009

Life is a Beach 2009

We hit the beach this week (Sunday-Thursday). Per our normal routine, we went to the Destin/Fort Walton area of Florida. We stayed at the Island Princess on Santa Rosa Blvd again.

We had nice weather for the week - one rain shower and temperatures in the 80's. It couldn't get much better.

Our diet consisted almost entirely of seafood the entire week. Sunday upon arriving in Destin we went straight to the Back Porch for a late lunch/early dinner. Monday we dined at Pompano Joe's, Tuesday we visited Louisiana Lagniappe, and the Wednesday was Graffiti's. Ginger's favorite was definitely Graffiti's.

Jordan was pleased to visit the water park and The Track (go carts) while in town. Brianna got to drive a go cart on the family track all by herself. She did very well and even passed a few carts. Go Bri!

It would have been nice to have stayed a few more days, but I had to return to HSV. The Summer of Rick is officially over. I started back to work today.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


My neighbor, Mike, recently mentioned his buddy had some trees knocked down during a recent storm. Several of the trees were red oak. Would I be interested in having them cut into lumber. Certainly.

He we see Brian's truck ready to tow the first load of logs to the mill. It was no small feat to load the trailer using only a come-along and a couple of chains.

Here are our logs nicely stacked at the mill (H&K) waiting to be cut.

Here is the center of the operation - basically a pole barn and the mill.

And here is the mill.

We should get a call in a few weeks to retrieve our boards. Now I need to decide what to build.

Friday, July 24, 2009

'72 GMC Update

My goal for three consecutive summers has been to get a rolling chassis. This year I finally reached the goal. Sure, there is still a lot of work to be done but no hurry here. After all, I am on a five ten year schedule.

I finally got the transmission all cleaned up and painted. The paint is from Eastwood and is called aluminum blast or something like that.

After painted the transmission, I cleaned up the torque converted and painted it. I used some of the leftover paint from the engine block on the transmission. Again the paint was from Eastwood.

Here is the engine reconnected to the transmission.

And here is the entire drive train mounted in the frame.

I still need to clean up and paint the water pump, alternator, fan, etc. Expect me to still be talking about these items three months from now.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Buggin' In July 2009

This weekend was the annual air cooled volkswagen show. This is usually my favorite car show of the year. The entire show consists of fewer than 100 cars but usually draws from a larger radius than most car shows. And the cars are all air cooled VWs. Surprisingly every single car is unique.

No surprise that the same weekend of the show, I found a very nice '65 Beetle nearby. The car was still mostly original and unmodified. My intention was to bring the car home and take it to a few shows while I continued to work on the '72 GMC. Unfortunately someone else bought it while I was still trying to make a decision. I will think faster next time I find an original car in that good of shape.

Happy Birthday Danny!

Friday, July 17, 2009

The kids and I drove over to Tuscumbia today to have lunch with my Dad. It was originally Terry's idea but we decided we should invade her plans.

On the way out of HSV I stopped to fill up the Charger. (Jordan pumped the gas.) Using mild hyper-mile-ing techniques I managed to achieve 25.5 MPG on the way to Tuscumbia. The original sticker listed the car as 18/25 so 25.5 was pretty good. Unfortunately the trip to lunch and then a short side journey dropped the average below 20. I did manage to get the trip average back up to 23.2 by the time I returned home though.

The side journey I mentioned was a quick trip out to Cane Creek Canyon Preserve for a short hike. Unfortunately everyone did not have good sensible shoes for hiking so we had to cut it short. We did get to see the water fall though so all was not lost.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


A friend of mine has been encouraging me to try grilling some okra so on Monday night I did just that. It turned out well. I brushed the okra with olive oil and sprinkled it with seasoning including red pepper. Try it yourself.

Today I decided to try another okra recipe. This time I fried the okra but instead of using flour or cornmeal I used Parmesan cheese. This was surprisingly good as well. My motivation for this attempt was a recipe I saw while trying to memorize the entire internet. I didn't follow the recipe per se, but I did find motivation there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I finished cleaning up the GMC's transmission this morning and finally got around to priming it. The first coat was Eastwood's self-etching primer. Tomorrow I will apply the paint

Sunday, July 12, 2009

2009 Greater Tennessee Valley Antique Car Show

This weekend was the big car show of year. The location this year was at Point Mallard in Decatur. The show seemed smaller this year but it was still very large. (I heard there were over 700 cars but I didn't bother to try to count them.)

I didn't have a vehicle that was road worthy this year so I hitched a ride with my neighbor Brian in his '66 Mustang. We took some chairs, a large canopy, and a cooler and made a day of it.

This was my favorite car this year. Reminds me of my first car, only it was a '76 Mercury and it was yellow.

Monday, July 06, 2009

How Do You Clean a Transmission Case?

I don't know either. I have tried the pressure washer, engine de-greaser, carb cleaner, WD-40, brake cleaner, wire brushes, steel wool, emery paper, and a 50 gallon barrel of elbow grease.

So far the internet has been no help. I guess I will check it again in case any new information has been added since yesterday.

UPDATE: Easy Off oven cleaner is the best solution I have found. The one drawback is that it dis-colors the aluminum. This may not be a problem if your planning to paint the case.
So the post rate has been rather low of late while I have been somewhat busy. Why is this?

I will pause the internet while you consider this.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

My neighbor Brian completely out did himself for the 4th of July. Big party, lots of neighbors and the most incredible non-professional fire work show I have ever seen. Happy 4th.