Wednesday, November 22, 2017
So, Scruffy is getting a bit long in the tooth. Over 190,000 miles now she has. She still runs good... kind of. In the last couple weeks she had a low idle issue on and off, happened once while I was driving her, and then started again about a week back, more on than off. What's more, the transmission has been acting up a bit. Not a whole lot, but for the last few months losing a bit of fluid, and when that happens, she starts not upshifting. All it takes is a bit more transmission fluid, and she's good to go again. I was able to give the filter almost a quarter turn a bit ago, and it really hasn't had that problem since. Of all the Saturns we've had, this is the only one I've had this issue with, and several times!!! More troubling is sometimes shifting into reverse, it'll not go, then finally do a slam into gear. I've seen this symptom before, and I suspect a bad solenoid, which is fairly easy to do, but at the same time rather involved. Oh yeah, the tires are at the end of their lives, too. So for quite a while I've been keeping an eye out. Mostly the criteria was automatic, power windows and door locks, and low miles at a decent price. A couple months back I'd seen an ad for a fairly low mile wagon that looked good in the pictures. Ended up not looking nearly as good in person, and I messaged that back to the seller and left without even taking it for a spin. Not long after I saw another wagon with similar low miles. Ad didn't specify if it had power windows and locks, so I'd messaged them and asked, to which they replied yes, come and have a look. I moved money around until I had it in hand, then went out to take a look, planning on jumping on it if it ran and looked as good as the pictures. Got there, and what do you know, no power windows and door locks!!! What, do you think I'm not going to notice that??? Don't waste my time. 512 Labs exhaust made up for it, but my wife kind of is enjoying the quietness of it right now. I'm thinking maybe just hack off the last muffler and straight pipe it out the back and see how that goes, or maybe put another resonator out back. In the meantime, now I've got a wagon to play with!!! I've of course had the idea to sedan delivery her since we got her, and now I've also got the outlandish idea of doing gull wing doors!!! Before I get going on that, new tires are in order, and I've been kind of looking around for some 16" steelies I could wrap in low profile rubber, and I'd probably do a refresh on all the struts and tie rod ends as well as getting those lowering springs. Now all I need is a lot of time to do so. Once again, The younger boy is pretty excited about it, showing off all the special features to his friends. My wife is thrilled with her new ride, and once again I was able to tell her "Merry Christmas!!!"
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Here's something of a throwback post, a few of the shirts I picked up on the last couple of vacations!!! Tennessee. Pigeon Forge, in addition to all the arcades and mini golf and go carts, has several gift shops competing for your business. One we stopped into had 3 for $10 tee shirts advertised. Not all of them were, the better ones went for more. Texas. First up is also the highest price tag on this whole post from the Johnson Space Center. Sheldon's state of origin. It's a little small on me, but I couldn't resist!!!
Saturday, November 04, 2017
I've got another post to instant blog at some point, but in interest of keeping things timely, I'll do this first, the Halloween post!!! Karkat costume again for this year... if I could find my candy corns headband!!! It's been several years since I had them out, and figured once again I'd have many new people at work to admire it. Don't think I ever posted a picture of it here, but after the first two years I ran that one, I found a white headband and a white glove and went as High Five Ghost from The Regular Show. That costume, while well received by my co-workers, was very top heavy and wanted to fall forward or backward all day. Anyway, the Friday before we were at the 99 Cent store and they had these eyeball antennas, and I was sold!!! As you can see, I also had one of my favorite shirts, the eyeball surfing through a ring of fire to go with it. One of my co-workers said, "Great costume, I almost didn't recognize you!!!" lady friend stepped up and did an AMAZING job!!! I figured the older and her would go out to WeHo or somewhere like that for Halloween, (which sounds like a nightmare to me, but like something they'd do) but they didn't do anything. A few weeks before they'd gone to the Universal Studios event and taken the R.I.P. tour, so they got in on some anyway. Of course, it was late by the time I got home, so the younger already had gone around the block behind us, and had a decent bag going.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Back towards the beginning of this month, we heard from the firstborn. He's coming out from where he's been in upstate New York, driving out. Wow, we haven't seen him in a while!!! A little more than a year. lady friend from school following along. She's moved out to Ontario, and she followed from there. Surprise, he's done with his Navy career!!! Apparently, he took the test for the position he signed up for twice, and didn't quite pass, so they offered him to either go forward with a lower paying position, or he can bail. He opted for the latter. General discharge, and he thinks he can get it changed to honorable after six months. My parents wanted to visit with him, so they came up and took us all out to lunch at Slaters 50/50. That's where the top picture is from. basement. Actually, that's not true, around a week back his girl and him both headed off to Frisco, and he hasn't been back since. Back on Friday the 13th, a local tattoo shop was doing a special where you could get a tattoo for $13. Low cost of ink, indeed!!! Well, a tattoo the size of a quarter for $13, so a scaled larger for a scaled up amount. They went down and were waiting all night for their ink. I forget how much it was, but it seemed like a very reasonable amount. Ironic that the boy got a naval looking one after he's out.
Friday, October 20, 2017
Crazy Bikes Inc. that I had mailed out to companies with. They put the message "April Fools!!! Look for your sidehack!!!", with the intention of playing the funny trick on me off taking the wheels and leaving it up on blocks. Joke was on them, though, it didn't have any wheels on it at that time!!! Well, with that plan foiled, they improvised and set it up on the diving board on a chair with a life preserver around the handlebars and a foam ring around the seat, and that's one of the pictures. Another shot is a 16" kids bike I'd modified into a chopper... by cutting the front forks and welding in six foot long fence posts!!! It was terribly unstable, and required training wheels to ride at all. That's another picture on the wall, me attempting to ride it while Sean looks on from beside. targa top in mine. He never did find someone to cut down the windshield glass, so it never really got roadworthy again. Of course, sound system upgrades were made. That's where Sean really got his start, doing stereo and alarm installations for people. It helped both of us that my mom was working for Pioneer Electronics. Of course, this was around the time when mini trucks were getting big, and he started a groundbreaking and ground scraping suspension shop. I had stopped by one of these and he was showing me a truck he was putting an air suspension on, one of the first to do that. Come to find out, he was inducted into the Mini Truck Hall of Fame. I would link to it, but it appears they've let their domain lapse. Anyway, he was quite the fabricator, and it was pretty amazing how his stuff would come out. I would also fabricate things, but our approaches were different. I would meticulously plan things out in detail ahead of time, then start in, and usually the results would be not be to my satisfaction, and I'd end up coming back weeks or months later and dialing it in better. He took more of a banzai approach, diving right in, and more often than not coming up with a nice finished product in short order. company. Come to find out, he'd done the one 2 Chainz used when he broke his leg. I was able to see and talk to his parents, and meet his widow. I overheard her telling someone she wants to keep the company going, I hope she's able to find a fabricator that's up to the task. Funny how there's a few parallels in our lives. We both have versions of our first cars, we both sport mustache and goatees (although his went quite a bit more wild than mine has) and we both have red haired wives. His death keeps hitting me in different ways. To exacerbate the situation, I've had a couple more deaths since then, and that Vegas business went down on the night of the celebration. So, a couple weeks before, I was looking at the hardtop versions of the Saturn SCs, and was thinking that without the sunroof, it would be an interesting candidate to make into a true gullwing door car, none of this lame attaching the hinge to the top of the door frame, but cutting to the center of the roof and hinging it in the middle. Hmmm.... might work out good, with some reinforcement along the spine and those lightweight plastic door skins. Meanwhile... I've been keeping an eye out for a replacement for Scruffy. She keeps on ticking, but is now pushing 190K miles, and if you let it go, that ticking will be the engine running low on oil!!! I've got the replacement body panels for her, but kind of want to sand down the roof where the clear coat is in terrible condition, and shoot it with white spray paint. I've got the idea to 3-tone her, with a white roof, gloss black on the window rails and A pillar, and similar to the factory green from the greenhouse down. I think it'd look nice. Ran the idea past my dad, who has more car painting experience than most, and he comes up with, "Nahhh... primer black!!!" Now, I know my wife wouldn't care much for it, BUT!!! My younger boy is closing in on 16 and showing more interest in getting his license than the older had at his age. Find a suitable replacement for my wife (all the power doodads, and maybe find her something with a sunroof this time, too!!! Oh, and looks pretty) and yank the engine out of Scruffy and do the build I've been dreaming of in it (.040" overbore to 2.0, early crank with later rods, some work on the exhaust ports, and a stud kit is probably all, but that should be enough for improvements and longevity). That primer black sounds like the scheme it could use, but I'm picturing a few other tweaks... Steelies painted red (or orange) with moon hub caps, probably get some lowering springs, maybe some matching red or orange pin stripes, and of course, the realization of making her into a sedan delivery as I envisioned when we first got her!!! Probably seal in the back doors, so some coupe seats that flip forward would be in order. Now, while I'm going crazy with the mods, why not gullwing doors on a phantom sedan delivery??? Don't think I haven't been thinking about it, even to the point of having preliminary ideas on how to reinforce the body and roof and engineer the roof hinges. Of course, by the time I do any or all of these tweaks, I think it'll be mine and the boy would have to settle for 3.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
After my last post, I remembered something... No, not that I had a day before the month started off, or that I got a day off during that first week back (considered doing another post entitled "Bookends") Disney Concert Hall before, but guess I'd never gotten past thinking of doing it. So finally here it is, only this time I was mostly getting pictures of the interior. See that first inside shot??? If you can't tell, it's at the end also, from another angle. 2013, and that was at the wrong courthouse. Also another time I didn't get called up.
Tuesday, September 05, 2017
Happy September!!! Thought I'd do a recap of my last month... family camp, but that has been in flux the last couple of years. Last year we'd ended up going to the San Diego area with the extended family, and this year, it was moved up a week earlier. The youngest got to go, but since I'd scheduled the wrong week at the beginning of the year, I didn't. few years back by the most incompetent and crooked
contractors shysters I've ever done business with, YYB Construction.