Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Little Visit

Mrs A. is in seventh heaven. R and "i" are staying with us for a couple of days. R. has some business in town, so she is staying with us. Mrs A is nuts over babies, so having a rugrat around is her idea of a good time.
"i" is a week short of three months old. He is a cute little thing. He is just getting good at being aware of things around him, and beginning to babble and coo. We held extensive conversations last night. Didn't understand a thing, but we both enjoyed it.
Of course Molly, the Shi-Tzu was beside herself with jealousy. Mrs A's lap is HER place, and here this strange looking, strange smelling, strange looking creature was usurping her place. We had to make it up to her by paying special attention to her when not messin' with the kid.

Here at work, yesterday was one of those days I hate. In order to do my job, I have to access a lot of different computing systems. This requires an annual requalification test. This is not and easy test. You have three hours for each part, and there are two parts. Six straight hours of test, with your job on the line. If you fail, the take away your clearance. You get a second chance if you fail. If you fail a second time you get sent to a bonehead requalification class. Consequences get more severe each time you fail, with termination the final consequence. So there is a lot at stake. Six hours of very technical test. By the time I got through, I was exhausted.
I test well. Some people don't. They tense up and coouldn't spell their own name correctly. I sure feel sorry for them. One of the guys in our group, who is excellent at his job and very knowledgeable fails the test at least once every year. I think the whole thing is a bunch of crap.

At any rate, I finished on time and passed both tests, so that particular pile of crap is behind me for another year.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Frankenhealey Arise!

I got in the jetting kit for my Dellorto Carbs, and I got up this morning and installed them in the car. It started up fairly easily, but still will not idle or run smoothly. YET
That didn't keep me from filling up the radiator, puting air in a flat tire, and getting it to move under it's own power for the first time.
It snarls, it belches, it roars. I backed it out of the driveway, roared and belched down to the end of the block, turned a u-turn, roared downthe street, and came to the realization that I had no brakes.
It eventually stopped, and I backed it up the street and put back in the laboratory.
Neighbors cameout and shook their fists. Women covered their childrens eyes and hid them in their skirts. I think I saw old men preparing torches.
The monster lives!
It also leaks water badly. So I am tearing the water pump off of my spare engine and getting it ready to transplant. When I went to tear the old water pump off, the first thing I did was strip off the corners of one of the bolts. Another little setback.
For a whole two blocks. So far that comes to about $750 a block.
On the other front, the honeydo list, I spent the entire day on Saturday working out in the yard. First I trimmed a bunch of limbs on the apple tree and cherry tree, cut them up and put the in the recycly bin, The attacked the Himalaya blackberry bushes.
Or did they attack me?
If you are unfamiliar with them, they are one of the more viscous of Mother Nature's inventions. They have nasty hooked thorns that snagin clothng, and especially flesh. Although it has never been proved, I think they move in when your back is turned. Attempt to back out, and they grab you by the ankles, and invariably draw blood. I have at least a dozen battle wounds from my encounter. If you are a particularly effective briar warrior, you can avoid facial injuries. I have none above my elbows, so it is a feat to be remembered. I figure about three years of weekends ought to be enough to get the back yard under control.
If I don't bleed out first.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The parts for my Dellorto Carbs for Frankenhealey were mailed yesterday. Hopefully they will arrive before the weekend, so I can get the carbs rebuilt this weekend, and maybe moving under it's own power.. Maybe I can get Mrs A. to record that moment for posterity.
Of course the list of honey-do's comes first. I think this weekend I need to tackle the siding on the south side of the house. A couple of boards are badly cupped, and although I understand that it in no way effects their functioning (keeping water out) they bug the crap out of Mrs A, and she therefore bugs the crap out of me.
V. is off at his dads for three weeks, and although he is no trouble most of the time, you always have to be aware of where he is and what he is doing, so this is a chance to turn off the radar and shut down a couple of warning systems.
Set the throttle on cruise control.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Changing back to days is a little harder than I thought it would be. I had gotten used to staying up until one or two in the morning. Going to bed at 9:00 is dificult, so last night I had a nice big glass of brandy right before I went to bed. I figured that would push me over the edge and into lala land.
What it did was give me killer heartburn.
As a result I am wandering around in a daze. 20oz of diet Coke with Lime keeps me moving, but this afternoon may require an energy drink.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Back on Track

It was sure nice to have a couple of days off. We went to the waterfront and Pike Place Market. We went to see the latest Indiana Jones movie. I worked in the yard some. I worked on Frankenhealey. I barbequed a roast. The weather was pretty much perfect. I got the Z out and took it for a spin.

A nice laid back mini-vacation.

I put the fenders on Frankenhealey. It is far enough along now that I can see getting it on the road this summer. Acutally, as soon as my jetting kit comes in, I can see replacing the jets, pumping up the spare tire and taking it for a spin. But I may just start it up and get it to run and moving it around under it's own power so I can check out a few things like brakes.

But now, here I am back at my old desk and it's like the last four months never existed.

But it's sure nice to be back.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Half Way

Through my mini-vacation, that is.

Thursday was great. I love going down to the waterfront and the Market. First thing that hits you at the waterfront is the smell. Not a bad smell as in stink, but the smell of salt water and creosote. I guess some people wouldn't like it, but to me it has always had pleasant connotations.

Throw in the cry of seagulls, a few ships horns, the ferry boats, and it is a rich sensory soup. We always stop at Ivar's to get fish and chips. It is as much a part of the outing as having a hot dog at the ball park.

Ye Olde Curiosity Shop is way cool. The upper walls and ceiling are covered with everything you can imagine, and some you couldn't Antique guns, stuffed animal heads, your miscellaneous two headed calf, fake stuffed "Mermaids", a four foot long whale whanger. No matter how many times you have been there, you will always spot something you never saw before. Shrunken heads and two, count-em two real mummies. Oh, and they sell stuff too. Mainly schlock, but some nice native American artwork, and odds and ends. Souvenirs and stuff.

And what can I say about The Pike Place Market. I suppose you should start with the world famous fish flingers. They throw fullsize salmon from the display to the cutters, while doing a comedy routine. It is worth the trip to see them. Nothing like seeing three feet of salmon flying through the air. Once in a while they grab someone from the crowd and put them in between the two counters to supposedly fling a fish over their heads. Only they don't. They have a likesize, lifelike fake they throw right at the hapless victim, who is usually young, attractive and female. Said victim screams and ducks, only to realize they've been had.

Fresh cut flowers, Farm fresh produce. Hand crafted jams and jellies. Crowds of people. A cheese maker. A Bavarian butcher. An Ice Creamery, and of course the original Starbucks. Lot's of little shops selling everything from antique toys to used CDs, leather goods to jade.

We dragged ourselves home, weary, sore of foot, packages firmly in tow, vowing to go back soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Taking a Mini-Break

The bird was dragged, kicking and screaming into the light of day yesterday morning at 6:55.

I got the essential stuff moved (including myself), like the coffee machine and water cooler. Then I left. Until next Monday. As in Vacation.

So many thing to do. Today we are going to wander the waterfront, have lunch at Ivar's, go up to the Pike Place Market, and maybe go hit The Seattle Art Museum (the have an expressionist painting exhibit). Maybe hit a blues club.

Tomorrow is my birthday, so we are going to a movie, then dinner. They are opening a new movieplex at the mall, so it will be grand opening and my birthday. Maybe I can score some free popcorn or something. I think we will go see Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls.

The house and yard need a lot of work, since working seven days a week is not condusive to yard maintenance. IS NOT . Which of you in the back said Procrastinate? I'd come kick your ass, but I have more important things to do.

So all that stuff I have been puting off has come due.

But first the Waterfront and the Market.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back in the Real World.

Well, I am back on dayshift, and tomorrow I am moving back to my old desk.

The first bird is expected to roll out tonight or tomorrow morning, so once it rolls, I wouldn't have anything to do until October. So I am going back to my old desk and my old group until then.

It won't be real difficult to go back to first shift. After all, I have spent the last 28 years on first shift, but still..... that obnoxious buzz of tha alarm clock is a sound I have not missed in the last couple of months.

I did kinda hit the wall about lunch time, but I curled up and took a half an hour nap, and was ready to go. I was supposed to have this week off, but since they are moving the group, I suddenly find that I am in charge of the move.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I have decided that at least for now, the 1973 Jensen Healey shall be known as Frankenhealey.

After all parts of at least six dead cars are incorporated in the car so far.

The basic structure is a white 1973 Jensen Healey, but the engine is out of a 74 that was burned up in a fire.

The intake manifold is out of an English sports car with a Lotus 907 engine. Might be any one of several.

The carb are Dellorto's off of an Alpha.

Miscellaneous parts are from my donor car, another 73. The throttle linkage is from Texas. A lot of misc. parts are from California.

One headlight surround is from a different car than any of the other parts.

The two fenders I am installing came off of a gray 73.

So, Frankenhealey.

Out of the carcases of dead cars, a new one arises. And I hope it is a monster.

Friday, July 11, 2008


My feet are in the chocks, and my knuckles are on the line. The gun is in the air.

I hope to get off to a good start to a great weekend.

The fenders for the Jensen Healey are due in today. This means I will have turned the corner from tearing things apart, and will be puting things back together. If I can get the Dellortos tuned right, I may actually be able to move it under it's own power.

I sold my old big screen to L & L a couple of months back for $150.00. Of course I have never seen a penny of the money. So they are coming over this weekend to work off the debt. It will be like having my own two personal slaves for the weekend. The siding on the south side of the house needs some work. I have the siding, so it's just a matter of getting someone up a ladder, someone preferably not me.

The back yard is being take over by blackberry bushes, and someone needs to gird their loins and get into battle gear. They bite back. that someone is preferable not me.

And last but certainly not least, since the bird rolls out of the factory on Monday, I don't know where I am going to be next week. It was promised that my assignment to second shift was temporary, but I have had temorary assignments that lasted over five years. I sent a whiney bitchy e-mail to my boss the other day complaining that I had no idea what was going on. I now have an appointment with him when I get to work today.

Hang on to your hats, the ride may get a little bumpy.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Where has everybody gone?

Over the last year or so, a lot of people have dropped from sight on the Blogosphere.

Denny Shane had a massive stroke and disappeared. Fish tapered off and more or less quit. Already a Legend slowed and came to a complete stop. Daphnewood went and got a job, so she didn't have time for us anymore. And here lately, Mr. Fabulous got burned out and went away with a promise to return, but you know how it goes. They promise they'll write, but they never do.

I know I should update my sidebar, but removing them seems so FINAL.

From time to time I check and see if by chance they have returned. It's like walking down a hallway in your head, with doors on either side. You go to a room, open the door, and the room is just as they left it, but there's nobody home.

I know I have been guilty of sporadic posting as well. I plead guilty uner mitigating circumstances. Working sixty hours a week for weeks on end will do that to you.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Well, I Survived

The Fourth, and the three day weekend.

But I am sore all over. On the Fourth itself, I put together the new convertible top for Jenny. Never having done this before, it was a bit of a challenge. Gluing it in place and the getting it to close was not an easy task. Because it is brand spanking new, it needs to be stretched into place. Getting it to close for the first time required using a lot of muscles I don't normally use. Said muscles are objecting to the abuse.

V. spent the Fourth with his dad, so when he came back, he had his birthday celebration. Just him and a couple of his buds getting together for pizza, soft drinks and a day of playing video games. We turned over the big screen and living room to them. Mrs A. retired to her bedroon, and I retired to the music room. We were bored out of our skulls, but he had a good time.

Sunday I had to help R. move the last of her stuff down to T-Town. Not a whole lot to do, just one trip. Everything went OK.

While I was down there, "i" was laying on the couch, gurgling and swinging his arms and legs. He managed to turn himselg over. When he did, he got this startled expression on his face, like "What the hell just happened here?"

He started fussing. It makes for and excellent metaphore on life. We try like hell to achieve something, and when we do, the results are very seldom what we expect.

Welcome to the real world "i".

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Life's Uncertain

We were to move yesterday to our new digs down at work. It has been delayed by a couple of weeks. No big deal to me, although it would be nice to actually have a desk. I have been working off of a table with a docking station for about three months.

We were also going to go back over to the Commercial side of the house on the 14th, and I was supposed to go back on days. It now looks like that won't happen. They have requested that we stay out on the P8-A line until the bird takes off to go over the hill to Seattle.

Bummer. I was looking forward to returning to a normal life (as much as mine is ever a normal life). I haven't heard yet of a new date, but it might be as late as the middle of August.

They have delayed the roll-out for a week, due to some problems with functional test, and some parts shortages. The shortage is for about ten parts. Out of the million plus parts that make up an airplane, 10 isn't a whole lot, but as the saying goes, there are no unimportant parts on an airplane.

At least things have slowed down to the point where I can take off weekends.

Yesterday was V's sixteenth birthday. Two more years and he will be able to move out. I'm not rushing him or anything, but it would be nice to have it just Mrs A and I. I'm tired of being responsible for other people.

I'm not even sure if I should be responsible for myself.