Wednesday, July 27, 2005


My 77 Datsun 280Z was in a car show last week, so I hurried and put my new exterior rear view mirrors on for the show. When I got the mirrors, the Z Store included a new catalogue. In perusing it there were several "I gotta have that" moments. Consequently when the opportunity to work this weekend came up, I saw Z parts in the budget.

When I was taking a break, I called up the Boeing Classified ads on-line. There I ran accross an ad that said "Free: 1978 Datsun 280Z, must be moved by Friday 07/22/05."It was Saturday, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I called the phone number, and the car was still there, so I went after work to take a look at it. I fugured at the very least, I could use it for parts.

The car was complete, less the battery, and had been running when it was parked for restoration. It had good rubber all the way around, and the body was fairly straight. They had sanded and primered the hood and front fenders. I told them that I would be back with a tow truck after work on Sunday.

So I dragged it home, and immediately after this post, there is a picture of it. It has several parts I can swap to my 77, like the center console and the factory mags, but I think I can, with a minimal investment of time and money, turn it into a daily driver.

Last night I hooked up a battery, but it wouldnt turn over, so I got a remote starter, hooked it up, and turned the key on. It turned over freely, but wouldn't start. When I sprayed a little started fluid in the intake it fired up for a second, but quit. I pulled the fuel line and there wasn't any (fuel that is). I can hear liquid sloshing around in the tank, so either the fuel pump is bad, or the wiring is bad. Neither of those things is any big deal, although I would rather it was the fuel pump, although that will be more expensive, but I have spent the last year and a half chasing electrical problems in the 77 and am tired of wiring.

I still haven't figured out when I will be able to replace the deck off of the living room.

Monday, July 18, 2005

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

OK, so maybe that's an exaggeration. Maybe it was more like "It was a real good day, it was a real bad day", but that just didn't sound right. Besides, everyone remembers the opening lines of "A tale of two cities". What a great opening line, one of the best ever. Maybe not as good as "In the beginning God Created the Heavens and the Earth", but equal to any other first line. How about "Call me Ishmael"?

At any rate, Saturday was one heck of a day. Morning Light just completed their second CD, so Saturday was the CD release party, and a free concert at Golden Gardens Park in Seattle. Carol and I were up at 4:30 so we could be in Kenmore at 6:00 to start packing up the equipment. It was cloudy, cool, and drizzling. In otherwords a typical Seattle summer day. As we always do, we said a little prayer asking the Lord for his help and inspiration (and a little good weather). By the time we got the stage up it was clearing, and by the time the band went on stage at 1:00, it was clear with a few clouds. After lunch when they started the second set, it was clear and getting hot. About that time my skin started to feeling tight, and when I checked it it was turning red. OOPS! By the time we put on the sunblock it was to late. At work Laurel was calling me "Lobster Boy" today.

The concert was fantastic. The band, despite a few technical problems, was right on. Their normal gigs are in Penal Institutions, so usually everything is very structured, and we only see the band members and our fellow roadies, so it was great having a big family get together complete with spouses, kids and dogs. Frisbees, barbeque, watermelon and good fellowship.

Carol is a lot lighter skinned than I am, so she burned worse. She is currently a study in various shades of pink.

On the way home from a very good day, we were in a car wreck. I was trying to do too many things at once, like accellerate, change lanes and watch traffic in front of me. I noticed an opening in the HOV lane, so I was trying to move over, check my blind spot, and keep half an eye on traffic in front of me. Between when I looked to check in front of me, looked in my rear view mirror, checked my blind spot, and looked back, traffic had stopped. I was already 75% in the HOV lane, and I made it 90%, so when I hit the car in front of me it was a glancing blow. No one was hurt, but the car I hit , hit the car in front of him. So rather than going home to relax, I had my daughter come and pick up Carol and Vincent and Molly our Shi Tzu, while I stayed with the car until it got towed.

Between the accident and the sunburn I didn't get a whole lot of sleep Saturday night. I was unsettled and nauseous on Sunday, from nerves and sunburn. Sunday we were celebrating my birthday, which is actually today. So I barbequed steak and shrimp-ka-bobs, although I didn't eat a whole lot. I had consideable help, so there wasn't a whole lot left over.

When I got up to go to work, the battery on the "Z" was deader than dirt, so I thought "Hmmmmm, it's my birthday and my backup car won't start. Maybe it's a sign that I should take the day off." But that was just too easy a copout, so I threw it on the charger on 35 amp quick charge, but it still took almost an hour to get it to where it would start. So I was an hour late for work.

One of the gifts I got for my birthday was a set of external rear view mirrors, so when I got home tonight I put them on the "Z". The "Z" is going to be in a car show on Thursday so I wanted to make sure the new mirrors made it on. It was hot and sunny, so I didn't want to be out in the sun too long, but the installation wasnt too difficult. The mirrors look great. I will post a picture when I get the time.

That's all for now

In the words of the immortal bard Tigger "TTFN".

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Jazz Alley III

So, for the third weekend in a row, we went to Jazz Alley again last night. This time it was to see Acoustic Alchemy. I wanted to see them last time they were in town, but we had something else going that weekend, so we missed out. I was determined not to miss them this time, even though it was a strain on the budget to go out three weeks in a row.

It was well worth the expense. They are such a dynamic group. I have admired their work for a long time. I hear them on the local Jazz station on the radio, and they have such a complex mellow sound that has layers on top of layers, but revolving around two exceptionally tallented acoustic guitar players. One plays steel strings, the other nylon, and the stuff they can do is amazing. I have played both, but know just enough to leave me standing there shaking my head and wondering "How the hell did he do that?" They just came out with a new CD "American/English". Go buy it. The band is MUCH better in person than on the CD. You miss the whole Jammin' thing, and all the solos that you get in a live performance. They really had the place jumping last night, and received standing ovations. Great performance!

Next weekend we will be playing roadies for the Christian rock band Morning Light. They are giving a free public concert at Golden Gardens Park on Saturday. Two performances. It is also their CD Release party. It will be a lot of work, but a lot of fun, too. As always their message is that it is possible to have a good time without drugs and alcohol. Check the side bar for their website. You can even catch a glimpse of yours truly and my lovely wife Carol in the Backstage Pass section.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I think I mentioned that I screwed up my sholder in High School throwing bad curve balls, and I have suffered the consequences. Last January, I hurt my right sholder again, and it doesn't seen to be able to recover on it's own, so I went to see the doctor. A shot of Cortisone didn't help, so it was off to the specialist for x-rays, and then to the Super-Duper-Specialist for an MRI (Magnectic Resonance Imaging). This is supposedly a pain free experience. Well I am here to tell you otherwise. Yes the actual MRI is painless, but they spent 45 minuted injecting special dye into the joint of my sholder before we got to the painless part. As I told them "I am not sweating like this because I was exercising".

Fortunately, the internal application of minor amounts of alcohol might get me to the point where I can sleep tonight. With being basically sleepless on the Fourth, not getting more that five hours last night, and probably not a whole bunch tonight, I guess I will need a 20oz Diet Coke with Lime tomorrow morning to get "Yump Started" as my Scandahovian friend would say.

I suppose I am facing surgery if I want to get it fixed, but CRAP I don't want to do it, but I can't even skip stones with my grandkids or play catch. Sure I don't throw things for a living, but I shouldn't have to give up that whole part of my life.

"Go not gently into that dark night, sweet Horatio."

"Go down gently, Go down silently.
I'll go down screaming 'Give it back it belongs to me'."

Monday, July 04, 2005

Jazz Alley II

I heard that Robben Ford was going to be at Jazz Alley this weekend, so it was dinner, drinks and a show again on Saturday. Carol wanted to know if we could afford ir, and all I had to say was "If I can't afford to go see a show and have dinner when I want, what the hell am I working for?" We spend most of our disposable income on kids and grandkids, so they can just cut back their expectations for a while. Besides, next weekend Acoustic Alchemy is going to be there, and I am not going to miss that show. When they were in town last year, I had other committments.

I have one month left to get things done for when Rick and Rachel and the kids are here for two weeks. I just hope Carol doesn't obsess too much about the house. Martha Stewart living will never feature our home, but it is comfortable and functional and I like it the way it is. Sure, there are things I would change if I had several thousand dollars to spare.

Today is the Fourth, and I can't help but stop for a minute and think about a small group of determined men who dared commit high treason against a tyrannical and opressive rule by a physically superior group of people in a foreign country, to inspire a belief in freedom that has changed and inspired the world. I also worry that the country that was born of opression and the desire for freedom has come to the conclusion that it is our responsibility to enforce our will throughout the world, whether we have justification or not. There was no smoking gun, no WMD. So, shame on all you newly discovered Conservatives who have abandoned your principles to cower behind your big daddy and declare "My daddy can beat up your daddy". That doesn't make him or you right. Whay kind of loyalty do you profess when you turn tail at the first sign of adversity and join the very forces that create the atmosphere of distrust and suspicion that makes things ripe for ferment? Go bow to your newly found gods of power and oil.

OBTW, just in case anyone thinks to claim higher ground, I am a disabled Vet who served our country proudly, and I support our troops, no matter what insanity our leaders have gotten them into.