Sunday, December 28, 2008

finally figured out what windchill is

6 degrees.....wind chill of -16 degrees.....
when I grow up I'm moving to Florida...I don't care what my wife says......
had forgotten that thermometers only have one digit......
got to thinking they didn't go below 60......
it's been a cold busy week.....
if you follow the bus's, and the horsefarmer's, and the bythenumbers blogs, then you know what I have been up to........
except for one thing......
DAMN IT IS COLD IN THE OZARKS THIS TIME OF YEAR..!!!!!!!!!
arrived in Spfld on Saturday night after piloting the big white truck for 17 hours through night fog, daylight rain, urban traffic, suburban traffic, delta farm land, and mountains in the dark......
shut the garage door early Saturday am to 70 degree weather with a promise of a beautiful beach day.....got out of the big white truck to 43 degree weather with a promise of a cold day just 8 short hours away......and let me tell you right now, that weatherman earned his pay....for the first time in recent memory the weatherman was correct in his prediction....he called for cold dry weather and boy was it.....after a short breakfast I headed west to Haven Lee Farm in beautiful southwestern Missouri, looking forward to spending the day with my sister in law and brother playing with their new toy......for the first time in a long time I was thankful that I possess a cellular telephone.....after calling them when I left the Bus's house to let them know I was heading their way, they informed me that they were taking a short drive east of Spfld to look at a parts vehicle for the new toy......rather than driving all the way out to their place I hooked up with them at the local Wally World....the fifteen feet from my truck to theirs was bitterly cold.... thank goodness for Henry Ford's heater system.....saw a really beat up bronco and discovered where the oleragtop came from.....then headed back west to Haven Lee Farm.....the horsefarmer and I stopped off at wally world to get my truck and his bride continued on about her day while we drove to his local auto parts store to try to determine what was wrong with the big white truck.....it didn't like the cold weather and in typical FoMoCo fashion we wasted a lot of time before I just wacked the air cleaner real hard with a flashlight.....that seemed to straighten up the white truck but not until we wasted a half a day trying to determine the electronic failure....
as TC and I are finally enroute to the Farm his bride calls and says the big mule died on the highway.....beautiful thing about us is that we are able to change plans on the fly......Bob would have been right in his element....plans change and you adjust...of course all I could think of was hitting the closet purveyer of my favorite beverage, but the horsefarmer assured me he had taken in a supply so I was content.....remember I'm on vacation....but back to the
Found On Road Dead .....I can say that because I own one too....and mine was almost....but if you check out the horsefarmers blog you can see a photo of me standing on his truck's bumper checking under the hood of this little beast....DAMN IT WAS COLD.....nothing like sticking your ass out in the cold wind.....literally.....but as has been told....the vehicle suffered a major mechanical failure.
of course of all the options available to us, since it was the coldest day I personally have experienced in over a decade, we chose to tow the mule to the big barn......got a phone call from TC on the drive telling me to get off the damn highway shoulder....I guess I was throwing gravel all over the front of his truck....sorry about that TC.....but in a fashion that the oleragtop would appreciate, we towed that beast with a chain down the highway about 8 miles, going no faster than 30 mph......oh and yes we did have a bit of a following.....thought of Jon-Jon a lot as we held up traffic for over 5 miles.......but I finally got to see the little mule.....sweet little ride that needs a little TLC to make it a daily driver......never really got to spend any time playing with it as the big mule needed immediate attention....the Bus came out after a short trip to Sam's to secure a couple of heaters to supplement the kerosene heater in the barn.....they worked out sweet as we spent the remaining daylight hours repairing the big mule....and contrary to the horsefarmers statement....his local dealer did not repair any of my repairs....finally sampled a few of those fantasticly cold beverages that are contained in 12 ounce cans....gotta love Auggie Busch for that invention....spent the following day trying to determine the failure of my white truck but gave up after beating on the air cleaner seemed to straighten it out.....did spend a couple of hours at the Farm playing with the little mule....but damn it was cold....did take the kid and his cousin out in the field to do some tarket practice but finally gave that up too....funny but the last thing the barngoddess said as we were heading out to the field was, and I quote, "There are 19 cows in that field now, there better be 19 when you get back." Of course the damn cows follow you around the field like lost puppy dogs....no wonder they don't name them....just give them numbers....except for t-bone and hamburger.....but the damn cows almost licked me to death before we got out of the barn yard....laughed so hard the entire time because all I could think of was counting to 19 after each shot....of course one white cow looks like another to me but I knew better....and then the farmkid kept telling me not worry as she pushed another cow away....reminded me so much of Joan and I when we were that age with our visiting cousins.....damn pest...."don't worry Uncle Ed, I got them.".....she is a doll and a true pleasure to hang out with.....good job there guys....
got back to the bride's parents in the late afternoon and after eating dinner the kid and I decided we would head over to visit with the bus....got to the bus's house and his bride was hanging out with the grandaughter and told us he was next door at Pettijohns's house....the kid and I headed on over as that is the custom in the compound....I call it the compound because between the three houses on the end of the block that is what it is....I'm not sure that they even lock the doors, but I do know the code to visit...if the bedroom window curtains are open then it is okay to come and visit....if not....well you understand....but back to Monday pm....Jack and his family live in a really cool old house and as we walked up to the back door the kid was amazed that I didn't even knock...just walked right in and joined the party..
the kid was surprised to say the least, and totally at ease with the different personalities in attendance....later he told me that he had a blast as he and the bus got to talk about alot of stuff without me around....like the old jeep I owned years ago and a lightpost that didn't get out of my way....another thing that amazed the kid was the fact that you had to put a coat on to go get a beer....he was the runner since his legs were the youngest ones there....and at winter parties in the Ozarks you store your beer outside...why not, it's a whopping 18 degrees outside...of course as you walk up to the back door the first thing you see sitting outside are about 10 different 12 packs of your favorite beverage....or in my case, a handy 11 pack....
spent the next day's afternoon with the bus....the intent to work on his old jeep, but reality had different plans....at one point when we were on errands and it began to sleet I wanted to come home...unfortunately Dorothy was not to be found so we hung it out and finally got back to the bus's house safe and sound....got his old bus running and moved it off the main street....seemed that during the week, street traffic was stopping behind and in front of his bus waiting for kids to get on or off...ole Jack got a hell of a laugh out of watching the traffic jam around the bus....but after getting the bus moved we spent the afternoon piddlying around his house garage cleaning up....made a comment to Jim about a book in a box that I would like to have and in typical fashion he said I could have it....of course if I took one I had to take them all....still laughing about that as I try to figure out where I am going to put those other books.....
rest of the week spent with the bride's family....mostly inside as it was COLDCOLDCOLDCOLD outside.....keep thinking of the line from Sam McGee....'please close that door, for you see, since I left Plumtree down in Tennessee, this is the first time I've been warm'....headed home out of SpfldMo on Sat am heading east into a rainy morning....got home Sat pm to 67 degree weather....spent today washing cars and mowing the yard....
I know I missed a lot but the beauty of this form of communication is that it can be edited at will.....

CELEBRATE LIFE.............

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What I saw Today

typical day today in beautiful, sunny, and warm downtown Daytona Beach FLorida.....
off to work at 6:30 to a busy day ahead of me.....got about 60K worth of tires sitting on the floor of the shop waiting for the wave of the magic wand to put them away.....two cars that are getting new motors waiting on that same magic wand to finish them.....couple of other various projects that require immediate attention just like everybody else in the service industry.....but then the phone rings about midafternoon and it's the olelongroof......seems he stopped the old falcon way up on the beach when the tide was in.....of course this is okay as long as you move it when the tide goes out...but if you wait too long the sand dries out and it becomes soft and as we all know...heavy things sink in soft sand....but back to the call...he's stuck and the kid is getting ready for a b-ball game and can't offer any assist....as I have nothing to do and it cost $100 bucks for a tow truck to come to the rescue, I'm heading north east to assist.....now when I am driving north on the beach looking for the old bus I see this character sitting in a beach chair facing the western sky absorbing the last of the sun's ray before it drops behind the local highrises that line our shore....in the shade sits the longroof.....
so this is what I see.....


gotta a much needed laugh as I drove up and saw Jon-Jon sitting there in his beach chair......

didn't even need the fourwheel drive of the truck I borrowed.....just a little push would have done it......thanks for not burying it....I'm sure we will bury a couple this Sunday at Sara's place......


that's what I saw today.......

CELEBRATE LIFE.....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's John's Fault

it all started about 20 years ago.....being a large family spread out over half the world, there comes a time when somebody has to be blamed for something......back in the seventy's whenever my father couldn't find something, a tool, a book, a pencil, what ever, it didn't matter what he couldn't find, he would always blame brother Tom......something along the line of, "Damn it Tommy, where in the hell did you put my _________." ......fill in the blank as you see fit......you see Tom and his bride lived half way across the world in someplace like Guam or Hawaii during that period......there was no way possible for Tom to have misplaced Dad's whatever, however Dad blamed Tom every time....it became a standing joke whenever something could not be found......'it's Tommy's fault'.....when Tom finally retired and he and his family relocated to the Ozarks, Dad had to change his tune......mainly because it finally became true......Tom usually had whatever Dad was looking for.......so Dad began to blame however lived farthest from home......at the time it was John, so he got blamed......then I relocated so South Florida and I would get these phone calls from Dad wanting to know what I did with his (whatever he was looking for)......we got a lot of laughs out of that cheap gag and it continued until he finally found what he was looking for......so this brings us to why it is John's fault......we tried to blame Bob, but he actually lives closer to the Ozarks than John......we measure in direct line of travel and since Bob lives on the west coast of Florida and John lives almost as far east as you can without getting wet, then it becomes John's fault.....not to mention that John aquired that old longroof and started this new craze of old cars.......Jim's toys don't count as he has been into old cars for years.......but this new aquistion of toys can easily be blamed on John......what's he going to do.....try to defend himself
so now there is a new addition to the horsefarmer and the barngoddess's fleet.......good find and at a good price.......just remember.....it's all John's fault.........


CELEBRATE LIFE

Friday, December 12, 2008

This one is for Jon-Jon

the kid is off on a school trip to play basketball in some tournement west of us and east of the gulf.....he and his team are visiting the UF campus on Saturday to take a tour and then off to watch his high school football team compete in the state finals.......since Jon-Jon is (not) SUCH a football fan, I thought the following would help explain the game...... to him....


and if that is not enough...then pay attention...this is classic.......

Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's ALIVE.....again....for now......

enjoyed a great day in sunny florida today.......cold though.....okay so maybe not as cold as where you are right now....but cold enough for me.....didn't get much above 60 in the shade and with the wind off the ocean it was cold.....cold enough for long sleeved pants and long sleeved shirts....
these are clothing items that are buried way in the back of the bottom drawer of your chest of drawers.....they don't see daylight very often.....sorry horsefarmer, but today I did sleep in late... didn't get out of bed until 9:00 am.....great feeling as I think I needed it.....but the kids slept until at least 10...11 for the kid, so I figure he stayed up late watching old movies.....but the sungoddess got up early and was out riding her bike so the kid's sister and I started on a school project after breakfast.....3-D map of the Nez Perce Indian displacement of the late 1880's..... spent a couple of enjoyable hours supporting her on that project..... as the sun was now letting her presence be felt, we loaded up to go to the ball field for a little pitching practice.....the longroof called before we left and he joined up at the field.....he makes a pretty good umpire and we had a short talk about the geographics of the old ballfields......seems a large box store wants the acreage the ball fields are on and wants the ball fields moved to a former landfill area.....
this kind of got his ire up and with a little luck he can spend some time at the council meetings....
returned back to my garage after practice and proceeded to spend an enjoyable afternoon with my big brother......of course the first thing I did was turn on a football game and pull a jeep into the garage....sometimes I think the longroof gets tired of this, but he just turned the tv channel to a car race and hung out.....got the old Cj2A running on the first crank and Jon took it for a spin around the neighborhood.....feels really good to have that running on the first crank as it wouldn't start last weekend......just like an old vehicle....it ran but wouldn't stop......got the brakes fixed by rebuilding the wheel cylinders...... actually the longroof and I just disassembled the cylinders and cleaned them up, honed out the cylinders and reassembled them......but they work and the little mule stops.......but then it wouldn't start......no spark, but plenty of crank......the balast resistor failed.....went to my local parts store and when the kid at the counter asked if he could help me, I told him I needed to talk to the oldest guy behind the counter......I think he was a little upset, so I asked him for a two pole resistor......he wanted to know what year, make, and model of vehicle and what area I was working on......a moments pause from me and then good old Phil walked up from the back room carrying a 2 pole balast resistor.....seems he overheard my request and just went in the back room and grabbed one off the shelf......sometimes old guys rule.......got home and after calling 'uncle Tom' to confirm my diagnosis, I installed the new resistor and the little mule fired right up.....so now it runs and stops.......It's alive.........but then I have two jeeps in the driveway and there is always something to be done to them....finally got around to installing the heater in the kid's jeep......once again the longroof was helpful for something other than 'can you grab me a beer please'.......got the heater box installed with minimal cutting and only had to take it out three times to find out why the fan wouldn't turn.... but we finally got it installed and then wired up to an underdash switch......plan on hooking up the hoses tomorrow night just in time for the 80 degree weather on Wednesday.......but it's alive.....again.....for now.....hey, they're old....

CELEBRATE LIFE.......

Fourth from the Fourth


pretty novel post here.....the fourth photo from
the fourth file.....
gonna go look and see what we got.....
gee we found a jeep related photo.......
no glamour shot.....just a fuel tank for a CJ2A......
bought this off ebay, that lovely store in space.... another example of why you should always ask more questions when buying off the web..... was looking for a fuel tank for a M38A1......under seat, side fill tank with a three inch cap.....exactly what I asked for......except for the angle of the neck off the tank.....on the M38A1 the tank neck is at about a 40 degree angle...the CJ2A neck has no angle of approach.....so I thought I had just wasted another $80.00 on ebay......filed this tank away for future use.......you never really know what a fuel tank can be traded for when somebody else is in need......when the bus got his jeep, I thought hot dog, I got a tank so he won't need to buy one......his jeep was stored in a barn with a top on the jeep.....his tank was in good shape......back into the barn this tank went awaiting a future need.....low and behold, it was drug back out when a 2A showed up in my driveway......and it needed a fuel tank.....jee, I know somebody who has one sitting around gathering cobwebs and dust.....out of the box it came, cleaned, primed, and painted, and then into the jeep it went......so that's my fourth photo from my fourth file......

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

not sure what the title to this entry into my life's reflection should be, so it is blank for now...... sometimes we have entries like this.....just not sure what to call them......spent a long holiday weekend/week hanging out with the kid and uncle Jon-Jon.....saw some really nice restored automobiles and one really sweet 46 CJ2A that will never see a dirt road, or a sandy beach...... seemed like a waste of time , energy, and money on the jeep...the cars are all the same..... I call them Vanna Whites.....man they look great from 60 feet away....but when you get up close you realize they are really not worth the money it takes to keep them looking as they do..... somewhere, somebody, is tired of their crap and that is why they are for sale to the highest bidder....but then I enoyed the time spent with my son and his uncle Jon......didn't get to spend any time working on the new-old jeep.....instead spent that energy getting the Christmas lights up and finishing the honey-do list that had materialized......got those knocked out and found a lot of free time to just sit and relax in my garage....enjoyed watching the kid and the kid's sister playing with the neighborhood kids.....the kid got his driver's license on Monday and like all of us, found every excuse in the world to go someplace.....?what, you wanted three items from the store?.....I must have forgot one of them....gotta go back....same thing we all did.....and every new driver since then.....tonite he had b-ball practice.....he came home from school on the bus and then drove to practice himself....drove himself home too....no problems despite his Mother's worries.....the most excelerating -frightening time of my life......all for knot it appears....


Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

This one is for you Jim....





Part Du











CELEBRATE LIFE.........

Monday, November 24, 2008

weekends at work

sometimes I wonder where the time goes...seems we work all week long from sun-up to sun-down...then go get one or the other of the children from whatever activity that keeps them away from home after school....then we run home to get ready to start all over again....in between we try to find time for ourselves....the last couple of weekends, that savored time that one can spend doing what we work all week to do, have gone by at the speed of light....seems just about the time I have begun to relax, it's time to wind up for the week again....never seem to have enough time to truly enjoy those things that bring me joy....I have been fortunate enough to spend some fantastic time working on the oleragtop's recent number...and he spent some time helping me on my new-old jeep....but just about the time the fun begins...the weekend is over...the kid's little sister spent her weekend reading and playing with her neighborhood girlfriends....the kid spent his weekend....not sure what he did this weekend other than prepare for taking his driver's exam.....sure was funny watching him and his Mother trying to parallel park....tried to tell them it is not required anymore....but it was funny watching them anyway....the kid and I got all the Christmas decorations down from the attic in anticipation of Thursday afternoon's installation....I'll be asking myself where that day went on Friday....but then this weekend is the annual Turkey Rod Run here in Daytona Beach...
I'm sure this is not the first time you have heard of this event...check bythenumbers for more info and photos....so I know the time will fly by this weekend also...gonna take the kid's jeep and the new old jeep out and see if somebody wants them more than we do....but first the exhaust manifold needs repairing on the kid's jeep, and the brakes still need attention on the new-old jeep....damn what I'd give for another two hours of daylight.....or a barn like the horsefarmer has....but alas it would be hard to fit that barn into my neighborhood....I sit in my garage watching MNF getting ready for another day in the mine....well here's to the guy that invented those 12 ounce metal cans....he deserves a medal.....

CELEBRATE LIFE....

Monday, November 17, 2008

never to old to learn a new trick....

as evidenced by the new additions to this rambling....the jeepjunkie learned something new this weekend.....the longrooffan has donated a lot of time in helping me learn this new function.....for now I have learned how to post videos on this accounting of my life.....thanks Jon-Jon.....the first was for me, but posted by you.
the second I learned how to on my own.....the third was when I called you.....thanks John

CELEBRATE LIFE..........

don't know if this is Heaven....but it ain't Iowa

this one is for the oleragtop...hope you enjoy

after a great weekend with the longrooffan...aka the oleragtop....this seems appropiate......
remember to always keep a warm blanket in the trunk....


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wonderful Days......

as another weekend comes to a close I, as usual, can be found in my garage watching Sunday Night Football enjoying a cold beverage recounting the weekend's adventures...
spent Saturday am working while my wife took the kid's little sister and the kid to a softball tournement in Ocala Fla.....as Ocala is a short drive thru the woods to our west, my intent was to drive over to catch the afternoon games.....but the thought of fueling up two vehicles twice shut that idea down quickly......besides, I knew something would come up to occupy my time Saturday afternoon......a quick call to the longrooffan lined out the day......as you recall, the ragtop that he aquired needed a little work.....he got a great deal on this car and he did the really hard work himself....he switched the complete interior and the convertible top and did a fantastic job......but all that work was done a couple of weeks ago.....all that was left was repairing a faulty gasket on the intake manifold that had failed causing the vehicle to die at idle.....last week we spoke about completing the repair and looked up the labor time to see what we were getting into.....called for about three hours by factory authorized technicians......this kind of scared me because when you open the hood of this little rag top, there are vacuum hoses and sensor wires running everywhere......but then again, I think what the hell, we got a parts car and digital tecnology that enables us to photogragh an actual example......back to a Saturday in my garage....the longrooffan pulls his ragtop into the garage and opens the hood......five cigarettes, three diet cokes, one Bud Light, and two and a half hours later the car starts right up on the first crank......it idles a little rough as I can't remember where the last vacuum hose belonged.....know what's great about a complete, unmolested parts car.......ran across the bridge to get a molded hose off the parts car and while there found out where the loose vacuum hose belonged.....back in my garage the errant hose was installed and the little ragtop fired right up and ran great.......the horsefarmer would have been surprised......ole JD actually helped on this project......no sitting in his beach chair and watching......actually got his hands dirty....it helped that all of my chairs were in Ocala watching softball and his chair was in the Falcon Van at his place....no where for him to sit.....beat the time too.....of course it was nothing like the radiator change on the old Volvo.....I think that one took about 40 minutes.......of course that was right after the 24 Hours of Daytona so we were still operating on 24 hour race time......
okay so now it's early afternoon and one project is scratched off the list........
line two....I finally got the longrooffan to do some work......when we (me, unless you ask my wife) installed hardwood flooring in our house a couple of years ago there was no compensation made for the dryer vent......so after replacing the heater element twice in the past two years I finally sat down and thought about why...well the vent size was reduced by half because the dryer was farther off the ground......due to clearance issues the dryer fits almost flush againest the wall so repair options without cutting the exterior of the house were limited......it's good to have an oleconstruction worker around every so often......ideas were exchanged, a trip to our local harware store was made, and repairs were initiated......twenty minutes later the damn thing works like a champ.....and best of all.....no painting needed......can't see the repairs because the dryer hides it.......thanks JD.......
okay, scratch another line off the list........
back to the fun stuff.......the 'new, old' jeep needs some brake work......I had previously installed the new master cylinder and gravity bled the brakes......now I needed a warm body to help pump the brake pedal so I could bleed the brakes manually to get a brake pedal.....got the old jeep moved and the new jeep fired up and backed into the garage.....all the tools are laid out so no fumbling around a box looking for a the correct wrench.....and the bleeding commensed.......twenty minutes later we are cleaned up and ready for a test drive.....asked the loogrooffan if he was up for a run around the block......only question he had was "is this it's virgin run"......YEP.....this is it for the new old jeep......three trips around the block was what it took......wanted to hook it up behind the old jeep and take it for a test trail run but we'll save that one for when the kid is with us.......got back and put everything away........
so far so good.....great day doing fun stuff......and everything works.......
okay, scratch another line off the list......
pulled the old jeep into the garage next and tried to hook up the speaker lights......too hard, too late in the day to be bending over and under a non moveable interior so we will leave that job for the kid......spent several minutes going thru numerous storage containers looking for the right stuff to modify a light bulb to fit into the speedometer......gotta have at least one so you can see how fast you are going at night.....once again the longrooffan comes thru......seems electrical wire loom fits perfectly......then pulled the exhaust system off, just two bolts and a strap.......fixed the exhaust leak.....you know one of the wonderful things about a garage full of stuff, you can find all kinds of problem solvers......a small self tapping screw fixed that pin hole in the exhaust system......
so far so good.....the list is finished......everything works and a great time spent with good company........now it's time to sit back and watch some racing and pay tribute to the guy that invented 12 ounce aluminuim cans so we could enjoy a few cold adult beverages.....
somebody needs to give that guy a medal........
thanks John for helping me enjoy a great day........

and that was my Saturday......

woke up this Sunday am for a run thru the woods back to Ocala....seems the kid's sister's team had one more game to play this weekend....if the win on Saturday, they play again on Sunday in these games.....on Sunday it is one and done so it looked like it might be a short day at the ballfield....arrive at the ballfields in Ocala and at a glance can tell we are in 'God's Country'.....the horsefarmer would have felt better at home here than I.....the other side of the center field fence is a cattle pasture complete with grazing cattle.....woods outside the left field fence and the parking lot was cut from a pine forest....well the kid's sister's team won their first game on a home run hit by the kid's sister in the top of the last inning....tie game and she starts off the inning with an inside the park homerun...
her hit woke up some bats and by the time the inning was over 6 more batters crossed homeplate.....when she came up again in the inning I think she was tired and just wanted the game over because she hit a blooper to first to end the inning...she started it so I guess she could end it....well one win on Sunday and you have a double header to play......didn't fair real well in the second game....played againest a team from Jacksonville that was very well coached and had a fantastic pitcher....this kid had a changeup that some of our players are still trying to hit as I am writing this....so we finished third.....at least a podium finish.....got back to the house late this afternoon.....cleaned the big white truck and the kid and I took another spin around the neighborhood in the new jeep.....gotta do some more work on the brakes as the pedal fell off completely....oh well, that's why we buy old cars.....gives us something to do on weekends......

CELEBRATE LIFE.........

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me....

Wow.....another year year goes by an before you realize it you've had a birthday.....well, not really a birthday, but a celebration of your birth.....not counting weekends or holidays, I'm only 21 ......at least that's my story....so stick with me here now okay.....
spent the day working as the majority of people do.....it's not a national holiday, not even a local one....spent the evening with the kid.....went to watch the last night launch of the space shuttle....
the kid and I picked up the longrooffan and drove a block easgt to the beach.....of course the first thing the kid said when we got to the beach...."should have brought my board Dad, some good waves tonight"......no way possible to follow the mind of a sixteen year old.....we go to watch a historical significant event, and he wishes he had brought his surfboard......always looking for a good time.....but it was a great show.....the sonic boom lasted a good 20 seconds and was a fantastic conclusion to a pleasant evening spent with good company........

not with standing the shuttle launch, this time of the year always makes me think of where I came from and how I became what I am......what are the memories that formed the person I am now.......don't start this trip trepidly.......a lot of time and energy is spent rationalizing what we are.....
I saw this movie with my Faher and Mother the first time......my Father truly enjoyed it and I in my later years understood why......


Thursday, November 6, 2008

the kid made the pre-season varsity squad

it's that time of the year where the winter sports overlap each other......the traditonal sports that is....football and basketball....we go from playing with balls outside in the weather to playing with balls inside in the comfort of four walls and a roof......while the kid isn't interested in playing the outside ball game, he is very interested in playing the inside ball game......ealier this week tryouts were held for the varisty basketball team at his school.....43 kids tried out for a position on the team.....the call backs were posted and the kid found his name on the list.....as he told me it is the pre-season varsity squad.....he has a position until the football season is over and the two sport players return.....pretty nonchalant about it in fact.....no big deal....I can't remember the last time I saw him so focused, if you don't count last weekend's fishing excursion.....fun to watch him....he seems to be in his own and very happy......12 more days until he is driving on his own.....does that explain the grey hair....????.....

CELEBRATE LIFE......

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Jeeps...Ragtops...Rainy Days...

Hope everyone remembered to turn their clocks back today.....great thing about this time of the year.....wake up in the morning to an extra hour in the day.....gee, what can we get done with an extra hour in a day.....I'd like to have this every day.....spent the extra hour today enjoying the company of the longrooffan.....started the day knocking down the honey-do list my bride has spent the past week developing.....un-like the horsefarmer, I did not have to put any hay up.... just had to organize the wood pile, straighten out the ladder pile...(seems like I have a boat load of ladders....not sure where they all came from....but damn, I can trim the tallest palm tree in the neighborhood with the ladders I store under the canoe).....organize the storage area where the trash cans belong....(like the ladders, I'm not sure where all that stuff came from either).....I know about the cast net, but where did the extra garden hose come from...????.....and were those sawhorses always there...???....the hemp rope I know about, but the other stuff seemed to be from somebody else's stuff.....but it's there now and organized too.....by now the list is finished and it's just barely past lunch.....this included spending time with the kid's sister working on her pitching at the ball park.....then the rains came.....looks like it's gonna be a lazy rainy day hanging around the garage.....my bride decided she was going shopping and the kid's sister was down the street playing with girlfriends, the kid was reading a book, and I've got free time and football on the television, cold beer in the fridge.....smokes in the cabinet.....an empty house.....just gotta turn off the phone and damn I'm set.....fired up the new old jeep and pulled it in out of the rain.....got the new master cylinder installed, the new old fuel tank set in place, bolted down and hooked up, the seats bolted into place, which is a serious challenge when you are alone.....and the battery dead because I forgot to turn off the key.....forgot one thing...turning off the phone.....but that worked out best because the longroof was scheduled to attend a high dollar car show south of here today and it was rained out.....he called and was immediately invited to join me.....day just got better by his company......one thing....the longroof is not really a football fan.....but the circle races started soon after his arrival so he was content......of course staying true to my nature as soon as John got here I had to put the new old jeep back into the rain so we could check out his new ragtop.....he did a great job trading up to this vehicle....and he did a fantastic job of parts transfer.....anyway since his new ragtop was in the garage I couldn't sit still so just for something to due we polished and waxed the old baby.....WOW.....amazing what a good coat of wax does to a paint job......of course the kid and John got bored and just had to head over to the beach to get a battery charger for the new old jeep......just like us....I made a comment about not having a battery charger and the ragtop says he has one and takes off to get it.....got one now I guess....
but the longroof hung out for a while longer and after declining a dinner invitation he headed back over the big bridge to his condo on the water......meanwhile I now know that winter has arrived because we have had our first chili dinner.....guess it is now time to dig out the long sleeve pants to wear to work.....nah, gonna hang onto the shorts for a little while longer......it's gotta get below 65 for a least three days in a row before the longsleeve pants become daily attire.
oh, forgot the kid and I went fishing last night.....can't think of anything more fun that hanging out with that kid fishing......usually he catches the fish and I feed them.....but last night we both spent the entire time releasing our catches.....he hooked a couple of big catfish and one wicked sting ray.....no real safe way to unhook a sting ray, but it sure makes for an exciting 5 minutes....
took pictures but the longroof forgot to bring the equiptment to download them.....try to have them for the next posting......football game is starting so it's time to close.......







thought I's post this picture of the kid deep sea fishing over the past summer.......just so you will know how hard we work when fishing......



















had to add at least one photo of our catch from Saturday night......this is a sting ray the kid caught in the intracoastal waterway.......scary thing about this fish is that it can really hurt you if you let it hit you with it's tail......this one was about 14 inches long .....big enough to make you VERY careful getting your hook back......


CELEBRATE LIFE.........

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yep, I've been away for a while

Did you ever notice how dependant we have become on these little machines that were designed to make our life simpler.....when all they do is make life more complicated....I have been away for a while doing what most fathers of teen age and pre-teen age children do.....since I've visited here last I have traveled over 200 miles to watch an eleven year old play softball....not once, but twice.....I've argued with my wife over how much chemistry a sixteen year old boy must study on the night of his birthday....I was wrong on that for the record.....I've washed the love bugs off that big white truck my wife drives twice....and waxed it once.....I've had the pleasure of sneaking off to go fishing with the kid.....not catching a damn thing....but that is the idea in my world....and then driving across the big bridge to hang out with Jon-Jon.....lounging in a beach chair watching old cars cruise by.....and watching no less than 20 police cars respond to a robbery at the Walgreens across the street....while watching old cars cruise by....I think I need another cold pop now.....tailgating softball games can be a blast if you do it right.....and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are still very good....but only on Sunday afternoons for some reason.....but since I've been away I have noticed that when the time is available we use these electronic marvels and rely on them almost too much.....when we turn on these machines we expect instant gratification..yep, we are products of a microwave generation....
the point of all this rambling is that when over the course of the past several days I have had the time to sit down and turn on this modern day communication device I find that I have missed so much....no longer do I subscribe to the daily print media so I rely so much on the web for information.....got a brother running for a political office in his county....got a brother looking for a job in his....got a brother trying to decide whether to buy a new bull dozer, a new disc, or an old jeep......damn that seems like an easy decision to make....but you see, I have missed so much....
didn't get to the beach this weekend.....missed some wickedly sweet waves.....didn't get to work on the old willies either.....
did get to see the kid's sister play some softball and I think that it was worth it all to spend time doing that....so that is why I have been away and where.....
guess this about as much time as I have now.....

Celebrate Life.....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Taylor's new jeep

brought the new (old) jeep home Saturday night.....my bride agreed with one condition.....if she doesn't like it, it is back to the place it came from.....pronto.....
used a tow bar and pulled it with the kid's jeep......nice and slow ten miles up US Hwy 1 in bikeweek packed Daytona Beach....got so many looks from other drivers......the kid stated at one point that he now knows how Jon-Jon feels when driving the old Falcon.....people giving you thumbs up.....but the best was when another Jeep would honk and wave......
well....it is now parked in it's new home right next to the

kid's CJ-5.......spent the better part of this cool Sunday working towards making it road worthy.....pulled the old fuel tank....cleaned the new one only to find multible holes.....gotta put the old one back in......pulled the master cylinder hoping that I had a spare....not to be, gotta find a new master cylinder now......pulled the carburator apart and tried to reseal it.....still got a vacuum leak, but it runs.....

but back to Taylor's Jeep.......after getting it home my bride asked what color we were going to paint this jeep.....the kid and I both agreed that Michigan Yellow was the best......then the kid's sister pipes up and says that since this was going to be her jeep, she wanted it painted pink.....

not quite sure that was an original color but told her we would paint it pink as long as it looked like Michigan Yellow when the paint dried.....of course the kid's sister has laid claim to this one and my bride seems to agree that this is a cool little jeep.....I am not sure she believed me when I told her that the CJ2A was smaller than the CJ-5.....but now she knows.....she even commented that she thought it was cute......not sure if I want a cute jeep or a pink jeep....but it is home now....

of course my bride said that this was the last one........

NO MORE dragging old vehicles home anymore.................

for now..........



















CELEBRATE LIFE...........

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Year of the Jeep .... revisted

If I thought I could blame Yogi Berra for this I would......
.....deja vue all over again.....
.....here I am just enjoying life.....great family.....beautiful wife.....wonderful, talented, children.....
...a lake wobegon life......had to look that one up the first time I saw it....a term that immediately comes to mind.....but then.....a thunderbolt hits.....well maybe not a thunderbolt.....an email will do in this era......seems two of my brothers are constantly surfing the net looking for the deal of the century.....and then forwarding it to me.....don't get me wrong....they send some really cool stuff that is worthy of the time spent previewing it.....but then occasionally they send items that have been recycled more than photos of Brittney Paris.....or whoever she is today....
a lot of the time I spend more energy deleting these offerings than I spend viewing them......but you never know with these brothers of mine....so you gotta look at each and every one......every so often they sneak a nugget in amongst the bulk so you better pay attention......
today was one of those days......I opened my mail box this morning expecting to see the usual cache of jokes and funny videos I seem to collect over the weekends......mixed in among these laughs and chuckles is a craiglisting of a 46 jeep in my back yard....well actually 1.3 miles south of me at 7:00 am est.....
got this from both the bus and the longroof and thought 'what the hell' I give the gut a call and see what it is.....called the seller and arranged to view the offering in the late morning..... never thought I would have to pay two people for the same product but ended up paying a potential buyer to leave so I could put in the winning bid.....called the local tow company and had them drag it to the shop......feel like the bus when he got home from Colorado...

I know I got a good deal...now I just have to convince myself of it...the seller supplies antique and exotic vehicles to the movie industry and this was a reject from a recent flick....somebody welded in an entire new floor pan with 1" tubular hat channels.....the tub is solid but it needs a little mechanical TLC.....I hope I can get a buy three get the fourth free deal at my local starter rebuild shop....gotta fix the brakes....sound familar Jim.....still haven't heard the beast run yet...but I got faith that the little flat head four won't let me down.....if all else fails I do have a parts vehicle....just keep that quiet around the kid.....seems he has no desire to see his 67 CJ5 go away.......on a by note....the tail gate on the new 46 is incorrect...seems it is a gate off a 60's era CJ5.....what a shame.....the kid gets a new tail gate with the correct Jeep logo stamped into it.....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A Week Away From the Beach

As we all know, and the bus has recently experienced, sometimes the best things come to those who wait....we both spent many an hour following jeeps around the country only to find the right jeep at the right price, after we quit looking.....kind of like finding what you are looking for in the last place you look.....a while back the kid decided it was time to look for a new surfboard....
during this search for the best deal on the best board we scoured every pawn shop in town......I put the word out to everyone I knew......no results......gave up looking for a board.....then the longroof hooked us up with a sweet board down in New Smyrna Beach.......the kid got a great deal...
check earlier blog for details....but...par for course, earlier this week word comes to me about a decent board to be had cheap.....how cheap is the first thing I think of....the kid already has a board so I'm not pressing this too far.....the response is it's 6'6" Orien real cheap......how cheap....REAL CHEAP.....seems a guy I once did a favor for knew a guy...you get the drift here....anyway, the board shows up today and it is all it is led up to be......guess that favor was worth more to him than I thought....but man it is sweet board....6'6" three fin fish Orien board, with a lease.......just about perfect......but the kid already has a board......but perfect for the kid's
sister......okay, maybe a little to long, but hey, a long board is soo much easier to ride.....but as the price is right along with my favorite word......you know.....CHEAP....I snatch this baby right up..... got to the house while the kid's sister and the sun goddess were at softball practice...... so the kid and I were alone at the house.....how much trouble does that sound like.....but the kid was studying for a History Exam so I am alone to unload the board.....when the kid finally comes out to the garage and sees the new board I am amazed at what I got.....the kid was ecstatic to say the least.... I guess it a pretty good board because he wanted to hit the beach immediately to try it out....not so fast kid....this is for your sister......WHAT.....you got her a sweeet board Dad.....guess it was a good deal after all if the kid approves.....the kid says it would be cool to put the board in the kid's sister's room so she would be surprised when she gets home from practice.....so we tried to hide it over by her closet against the wall......
when she got home and headed to her room to get cleaned up after practice...of course I tagged along trying to hide behind the wall when she went into her room....you ever notice that when a guy enters his room he goes to get what he wants and then leaves...girls don't do that....they look around...kind of like taking an inventory....then they got get what they came for .....you can only guess where I am going here.....the expression on her face was priceless......when she saw the board leaning against the wall her face first contracted in a confused look...what is that...??? then the look of recognition...that is a surfboard..... then the look of realization that because it is in her room, then it must be her's......total surprise and joy......when she turned around and saw me standing there she literally jumped into me.....remember the last time your child jumped into your arms......WOW....she clung to me like we were in ten feet of water.......take your arms away and the kid is still hanging around your neck type of hug.....last time I experienced that was a few years back when the kid didn't understand why he got nothing for Christmas until he walked out into the garage and saw the go-cart.......jar dropping, total shock, total surprise, then sheer joy at the realization that this was their's....and no one else's......it was that type of hug.... I guess it was then that she realized that there would be no more arguing between her and the kid at the beach about who got what surfboard...... she had her own board now.....and a sweet one at that.....anyway....the kid's sister is now sleeping with the board and is totally 'cool'.......no longer does she have to compete with her brother over who has a surfboard in their room.....not sure if this will help her play better in this weekend's softball tournament.....but it sure made her get her homework done sooner.......

see you from the beach soon......


Celebrate Life........

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Weekend Away from the Beach

Like the longroof, and the bus, and the horsefarmer, and most likely everyone else, my weekend was spent way too fast.....the kid's little sister plays softball, not leisurely let's go to the park and have a game, softball, but very serious softball....so we traveled down by Mickey's Home and took in some ball games....now when I say serious, I mean serious......I always thought that the kid and I had a pretty good tailgate set-up.....couple of sunshades..... plenty of camp chairs....cooler packed with lots of goodies....toys to take up the slack times......but this weekend we learned how serious softball families tailgate.....

now these people are SERIOUS about their softball.....these guys showed up around 9:30 in the morning to set up camp......around lunch time another three campers arrived and the party began.....they set up a horseshoe camp that would be the envy of any race team.....after visiting with them I learned that they don't go to campgrounds, they don't go to the races, they don't have motor cycles, race cars, and I soon realized, a life.......they live, breathe, and die by their daughters softball games.....way too serious for us.....but then they are last year's state champions and this year' number one ranked team in the state.....VERY SERIOUS about their game......even the Florida State football game was relegated to a small radio set up by the last camper to arrive......so as not to distract them from the live ball games.....the kid figured that if we bought a camper to pull behind our truck, calculating the cost savings of a hotel room, factored with the loss in fuel economy, we could break even in about 8 years......of course air conditioning would be a wonderful thing......


back to our games.....the kid's sister played her heart out.....Saturday's games....three of them starting at 11:00 and ending about 7:00......were a wash.....the kid's sister caught the first game, pitched the second, and caught the third......while we were unable to score a victory, the girls played very well....the first two games were lost by 2 and 3 runs respectively, and the last game against the above mentioned state champs was the best game they had.....what was expected to be a major blow out was finally called on time, not runs....they might have lost by 9 runs, but even the coaches on the other team commented about how good a game we gave them.....seems their average margin of victory is 20 runs......what we couldn't understand was why they even played in this league.....retired to the hotel Saturday night and the kid and I took in the local surroundings while Mom and the kid's sister studied science and history......have never seen so many tourist in my life......with kids too......guess school is not in session in the European Countries at this time......Sunday brought a new game and a new opportunity.....played the 'B' team from the same team we lost to last on Saturday night.....as usual we started out strong and then withered in the later innings.....the kid's sister caught the first three innings and then was called upon to go to the mound and stop the slaughter......she came on with runners on first and second and then struck out the side to get out of the inning.... gotta love the heart in that little kid......


at bat and then scoring a run......

the windup.......

in a sidebar, the longroof's day was spent at a VW convention that included some sweet old rides....on the way down to the ball field on Saturday we saw a bunch of the old rides heading east on I-4 out of Orlando.....at the rest area in Orlando there were about 20 of them taking a road break....all lined up in a row that was a blast to see.....nice cars that have way too much time and money invested in them for a jeep fan.....but sweet none the less.....gotta admire the guy that restores rather than destroys......got another ball game weekend coming up and then it's back to the beach......see ya then.....

Celebrate Life..............

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Just a Gecko.....

If you live in Florida you learn to life with a different out look on life......
we get about ten months a year of warm sunny weather......
no more storing winter clothes away in a closet......
then the cold weather arrives.....
we don't worry about what the fall fashion will bring......
that is what Levis are for.....
we dig into the back of our chest-of-drawers and pull out what my daughter calls
'the long sleeved pants'......
when you own fifteen tee-shirts there is plenty of room in those drawers.....
of course we are excluding the longroof because he only owns two tee-shirts....
we don't worry about the economy too much....
we have tourist....and of course the annual snow-birds.....
we don't even worry about the weather too much......
it's beautiful, sunny, and warm for a good eight months a year, sometimes ten......
of course we do have that one little thing, they call it hurricane season.......
but then we don't worry too much about it either.....
geez, we get at least five days warning.....
plenty of time to put the shutters up and buy four million dollars worth of gasoline and food....
it's not like we have tornadoes that appear on the horizon with little or no warning......
life is good here.......
or so it would seem........
what we do have here in the Sunshine State are little things......
no worries really......
we have Love Bugs....
a scientific scientific experient gone bad.......
they were designed to eat mosquitoes, but instead they decided it was more fun to
spend their time procreating their species.......
their most desirable location to perform this action is directly in the path of any
moving vehicle.....try removing dried lovebugs from the front of your car.......not gonna happen..
we also have Palmetto Bugs......
most of the people north of us call these cockroaches.....
but not ours.....our cockroaches fly......all three/four inches of them.....seems they love living and breeding in palm trees.........
and that is the state tree of Florida.......
pretty soon you learn to live with these little pest and accept them as a fact of life........
of course Florida is also home to the lovely Key Deer.....these are wild deer on a smaller scale than found in the rest of the upper 47......see Haven Lee Farms miniature horse for scale.....
we also have the Florida Black Bear.......
these are found in our local forest and are often mistaken for large black dogs......
we have the Florida Cougar.....a beautiful creature about the size of a large house cat.....
lots of resources have been dedicated to preserving and increasing the population of this animal..
we, like everyone, have learned to co-exist with all of these wonderful creatures that God has created........
BUT, the one of God's creature that scares the daylights out of every Floridian is the......

Yep you got it......

the Gecko.......

this small innocent creature that has found fame and fortune in the insurance industry
can cause severe stress when found inside your home.......

Just tonight as I was giving the kid's little sister a kiss goodnight,
a screech comes from the living room.....
you would think after living in Florida for the past 17-18 years one would become adjusted with living with the local wildlife right....????...
raccoons are so cute....oh look a deer.....is that a wild pig....are those wild turkeys...???
well not so much when it comes to geckos......
it seems one of the smallest, and extremely fast, ones had decided that the wall over the television in my bride's living room would be a great place to hang out.......
after spending an enormous amount of time and energy chasing this little critter around the
living room wall, my exclamation that I finally caught it were met by glees of joy by my bride...
didn't know this animal was so dangerous.......
What a wicked little beast it is...........
All two inches of it......

So, just be glad that you don't live in Florida.......

The geckos are wicked......................

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Family Day at the Beach

Well....it is Sunday night and our Family Day at the beach was much abbreviated this weekend...the kid's sister is playing fast pitch softball, just like her Mother did, on a competitive team based out of our home town.....the team was formed to develop future players and only plays in tournaments around our area....this weekend we played in a tournament about 75 miles south of us in a little beach side community called Cocoa Beach....first game Saturday at Noon, second game at 3:30 and the third game at 5:00 pm.....didn't do real well on Saturday....the highlight of the day was when Aunt Mary arrived to watch the games with us....."Aunt Mary, you know, the one that has lived on the islands for the last 15 or 20 years", that was the kid's description to his sister when she questioned who was coming.....the kid remembers her well....a few years back we lived south of here a ways and Aunt Mary would visit every three months or so......remember she lived on an island and the biggest store there is smaller than your local 7-11......she and the kid would hit EVERY big box store in Broward County, and as I remember they would buy everything in sight.....of course the kid would always come home with a great story of shopping and a new toy.....of course there was also the time he dumped a chocolate shake all over the rear seat of a brand new Volvo convertible.....Aunt Mary was so cool about that....she just took the car back to the rental agency and said "give me another one".....sure made an impression on the kid...he still remembers and talks about it with fondness......Aunt Mary arrived with Don (ask her) and we had a wonderful time on Saturday with them......they hung out with us under our sunshades in the center field bleachers (we made our own bleachers) and we had a great visit....the kid thinks she is funny as all get out.....he truly enjoyed her company...... but today, our Family Beach Day.....about 10:00 pm Saturday night the phone rings and it is the kid's sister's coach....our first game is at 8:00 am on Sunday.....75 miles away.....after going 0-3 on Saturday I was surprised we were invited back on Sunday.....wasn't sure I wanted to go back but I am not living this life for me right now am I.....so Sunday morning the alarm goes off at 4:30 and the day begins.....75 miles, a sleepy wife and two kids and 2 hours later we arrive at the ball field again.....the kid and I set up camp and begin to move muscles that are still asleep.....just before the game is set to begin the kid's sister runs up and tells us she will be pitching the first game today.....now understand that the kid's sister is a pretty good pitcher, but the FIRST game, with limited warm up.....but two hours later, in a game that is scheduled to be played in an hour and fifteen minutes, we are finally done....the game went extra innings and she pitched a no hitter into the last inning....gave up a couple of hits and then a few errors by her teammates tied the game....in extra innings with two outs and a runner on second she nails a pitch into deep right center......started a rally that gave her a lead.....so proud of that little girl....she took the game into her own hands several times and got her team out of a jam with her pitching and then gets a clutch hit in extra innings to put her team ahead.....thought we had a victory today for sure.....but our defense needs lots of work....went one and out.....but we got to spend some extra time in Cocoa Beach anyway...
visited a world famous beach club in Cocoa Beach and got the longroof and the bus a sticker for their toys.....best yet we got to spend a couple of wonderful hours with Aunt Mary and Don.... cool people in their environment enjoying life as it should be enjoyed.....ate a good meal at Don's club in Port Canaveral and truly enjoyed the interaction between Aunt Mary and the kids.....she spoils the heck out of the kid's sister.....it was a pleasure to watch them together.....reminded me of watching the horsefarmer and the kid together moving tractors, or BBBob and the kid talking racing....but better because it is a relationship the kid's sister has to herself......ok enough now.....back to the abbreviated Family Day at the Beach....after getting home, the kid and I knocked a couple of items off the honey-do list, watched the Dolphins get a win over the Patriots and then we fired up the old jeep and headed east....bEACH bOUND for surf.....stopped at a buddy's to watch the biff win the circle track race.....headed over the big bridge.....got to the beach and high tide prevented a cruise so we decided to check in on Jon-Jon.....had a good visit with Jon-Jon ironing out some details and then caught the westward winds home....
sometimes a Family Day at the Beach has to be a drive by.........

Celebrate Life......

details to follow.......thanks Tom

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

road trips from hell...or just from Arkansas

....just finished reading the longroof's blog about the road trip from Ark to Spfld Mo in the snow.....it is funny how each participant of an adventure will have distinct memories of the same trip without ever crossing the same path....I refer to this trip as adventure because both the longroof and I survived the trip....if it were a vacation or a road trip, there would be lots of reference to parties and wild women.....neither one of which were present during this event.....as mentioned in the lr's blog we started north on US hwy 71 out of Ark on a clear afternoon.....yes, there was a forecast for snow, but before departing we did as any traveler would, we called home to Mom and asked her what the weather forecast for the overnight time frame included.....I guess we had spent too much time away from home because Mother assured us that the forecast was for just cold weather with a small possiblity of snow.....so as any young man would/should do, we proceeded to load up the old beetle and hit the highway.....we should make it just fine...we have plenty of cash....warm weather gear ( down jackets, sleeping bags, long underwear, multiple pair of Levis) and we are on our way HOME.....the drive north out of Ark was an uneventful trip....lots of beautiful views from the mountain top road, but nothing that would excite a young man in his prime......of course that was until the snow began to fall south of Joplin Mo. ..... you know those signs they put up in the middle of the highway telling you that the single lane is becoming dual lane..???....it is very easy to hit one of those when you can't see them.....oh yea, the wind that comes though a fist sized hole in the windshield because your hand slipped off the steering wheel and hit the windshield on impact with the sign......at 30mph in sub-zero weather is very cold....cold enough for you to swear off breathing...or at least tell everybody to stop talking because they are exhausting the warm air supply......oh and the guys that came to our rescue with a couple of gallons of fuel....they were out there because they were poaching deer .....and what we traded for the fuel is still not legal in the lower 48 states.....but it got us gasoline and that's what counted that night....and again, because we were young (and foolish) before the snow plow caught up to us, we had driven off the road following an 18 wheeler.....stuck, we walked up to the cab of this truck and asked if he could help us......guess he was smoking the same as us because he got out of his warm truck and stood in waist deep snow pushing that old bug......the longroof forgot to mention that this should have been a Minnow trip and by dawn the next morning we were still 30 miles west of good old Spfld Mo......the television helicopter hovering overhead should have been a sign (this was WAY before Bill Engvold) that we weren't quite right.....don't ever wave at a television news helicopter.....you will make the morning newscast...... finally arrived in Spfld Mo to no fan fair, bugles, parades, dancing bears.....just a very cold snowbound town.....couldn't make it north on Jefferson Ave off Glenstone because the snow pile at Jefferson was over four feet high......tried to breach that pile and finally gave up......drove across town to Oak Grove and after several attempts broke through the snow piled up and made it to Linden Ave......left the car 5 houses from our sister's home because we finally got tired of backing up and running forward then backing up and running forward......we had done that for the past 8 hours......two steps forward.....one step backward....and hiked to her front door.....frozen Levis up to our knees and all....never saw a prettier site....never experienced a better feeling than when that front door opened and we were greeted by a blast of hot air......good old Danny went down and towed the old bug to their house with his big Ford 4x4.....I remember sleeping the day away and finally getting to Mom and Dad's house the next evening.....I do remember getting teased because we didn't know about flipping the heater vent from summer to winter incoming air.....and for wont of a better knot, the ship was lost......

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Not Another Day on the Beach

Today was supposed to be our family day on the beach....didn't happen....got a call to do a little side work....I started a small remodel company a couple years ago and despite my best efforts I have been unable to shut down it's operation....while it does generate a small profit it is time consuming and takes a lot away from the family so I try to limit the amount of jobs I take.....of course now that I have another trust worthy individual living in this area I have started to accept more jobs....so this weekend I took another job that I thought would consume my Saturday afternoon......called the olerag top to see if he was up to assisting and he agreed.... too easily.....of course as soon as he got on the job sight he told me that my plans were not going to work.....what I thought was going to be an easy floor float of about 2 inches turned into a complete refloor float 4 inches thick.....guess I should have rethought/rebid this job.....as with most jobs where I include the old construction worker, I have underbid the job....gotta remember that I have a crew now and need to bid up to cover cost.....I guess the old construction worker is not up to the task the day after.....worked the old man like a dog on Saturday afternoon and then called him Sunday night to tell him the kid and I were going fishing.....he was laid up with a bad back.....anyway, back to the reason for not making the beach today.....after floating only about 20% of the floor on Saturday I had to go back on Sunday and finish the job.....took the obligatory trip to my local Lowes store(good luck today Jimmie in the race)to secure another 18 bags of concrete to complete today's job....yep, 18 bags of hand mixed concrete.....of course when the kid heard what I had planned for the day he talked his Mother into taking him to the beach....his sister didn't want to go to the beach so after much discussion it was agreed that she would stay home and help me.....after a couple of hours working with me Taylor somehow talked her softball coach into holding an impromptu practice and she disappeared......can't blame her a bit.....I got her to help for a couple of hours and that is about the limit one should expect from an eleven year old......well after she split it was amazing how fast the project went.....finished it up and as yet still don't feel much pain....ask me in the morning.....but back to the beach.....the kid and his Mother had a blast at the beach today....the kid finally got to use his new surfboard and from what I was told it was a great surf day......of course it helps that Mom got to relax and soak up some sun too.....funny thing was that when they got ready to head to the beach the kid asked if it was ok that he take the Jeep......I laughed alittle bit at that....had to ask him if he was serious or just trying to make me laugh....we don't have another vehicle in our fleet more designed for the beach.....checked to make sure he knew how to put it in four wheel drive and gave him the go ahead.....that was all he needed for a fun filled day....hope the oleragtop gets to feeling better soon......got another job lined up.......

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cars, Jeeps. Bikes, Buses, Longroofs, Tractors

I know this is going to be the start of a couple of blogs by the bus and the longroof....but I have been thinking of how I came to be known lately as the jeep junkie....didn't start out that way....guess I have always had a desire to own a topless vehicle that would go anywhere and look good getting there....I recently saw one of my first vehicles here in town and that made begin to count...now I know that the bus and the longroof have me beat by a longshot but I thought I would take a trip down my transportation memory lane......as close as I can I have listed the methods of transportation I have used since the first...
my first mode of transportation.....the third one back in the pack.....















the first motorized vehicle that I lusted for.....the aforementioned late model M38 Jeep....go anywhere, anytime.....belonged to Bob..




Tom and Bob and I snapped the front drive shaft towbarring it to Panama City Beach FLA in the early 70's...great trip until I fell out of the VW bus.....cost Tom a future girlfriend....or saved him from one










My first sorely owned vehicle...road it for three years until I crashed looking over my shoulder checking out some babes on the sidewalk....that hurt as I totaled the bike and wrecked my shoulder.......gotta date out of it so it worked out in the long run.....











then came the late 60's model Chevrolet...got this car from Granny after Man passed away....it was really John's car, but we shared
responsibility
....damn near killed John and I on the drive back from St. Louis passing a big rig.....steering was power assist and new to me....





I think we shouldn't have stopped at 6 Flags and road the skyway so many times.......
then the infamous Puegot 504...this vehicle made the rounds of Lee kids.....John and I drove the
diesel hall of shamer for a couple of years....
couldn't kill the damn thing......














and then the beetles...got my first one for $50.....
ran like a 50 dollar beetle but got me
through a couple of winters.....
great story about driving up from Ark in the
dead of winter during snow storm in this car.....
it is better told by John so ask him....













needed a reliable car with a long history of
accomplishment....ran like a sports car.....
looked like a box on wheels....
killed it in a west Texas winter snow storm.....













then came the car I miss the most.....
a girlfriend pulled out in front of
Patty Borneman's daughter and I ended
up buying both cars......
lost the girlfriend and the Manta......
still miss the car......












then came the long line of Volvos.....got the first one from a friend of John for $50 and a small bag....no title....ran the hell out of it then cut the roof off and that is another story......had 5 of these cars over the course of the years....GREAT cars that wouldn't die.....bought and sold them for way too little money but always got enough to start the next car......could convert to right hand drive in a short afternoon......always wanted the 145 wagon but could never find one that was affordable at the time......


























well I'm back to fill in where I left off...seems the longroof reads this and informed me that I didn't mention the original cj........ so here comes the balance......after the Volvo that my wife wouldn't be caught riding in with me came the original 1979 Jeep CJ-5......my second most favorite vehicle......













then a Camaro came into the garage and hung around for a couple of years........











it stayed in the garage for a trey of years and then morphed into a Honda Accord......still own this vehicle as it just won't die......besides it will become the kid's date car soon....











the Jeep turned into a S-10 Blazer one winter after I got tired of no top and wished for a solid roof......














both the Blazer and the Honda moved us to the sunshine state and then the Blazer transformed into what was one of my favorite alltimers.....
a 86 Range Rover Classic......great truck that finally died on the alligator alley returning from a fun time in Tampa....took 2 years before my bride liked it and then the next 2 years to get her out of it.....thank goodness for the Ford dealer in Ft Lauderdale and his inability to see through metal....an Explorer owner we became......


























never had a bit of a problem with that Explorer.....ran like a top for over 100k miles.....never rolled over either.......of course like most Fords it grew up into the next level.....Expedition that is parked right behind me here in the garage.....great truck that has carried us on many trips to the homeland and back.....fuel economy sucks, but then I didn't buy it for gas mileage.....I bought it to be secure when roadtripping......comfortable too.......













during the mean time several other 4 wheelers came and went....not one of which was intended for a primary driver....usually just some sort of 4x4 with a very short live span.....but the ultimate goal allways to be another Jeep.......all the horsetrading finally paid off with the kid's CJ..






a Ford Bronco II, mentioned above...really nice truck when new.....neat little 4x4 that the barngoddess would love...small and easy to manuver and powerfull enough to haul a trailer...4 wheel drive to boot.....
then came another S-10 Blazer to use as a beach buggy...something to haul the Hobie Cat to the beach with.....oh yea....had a couple of Hobie Cats.....I know they are not mechanically powered....but got them cheapcheapcheap......the Blazer was known as gumby to the locals.....
ultimately the final tally includes the best to date.......the kid's cj-5














of course this is still hanging around for another
project to be named later........