Saturday, August 07, 2010

Blood, Sweat, but No Tears

I changed the water pump in me wife's van tonight in an hour and 15 minutes.* I love Chevys. Gotta get me one. Enough with the Chryslers I've been driving around for the past 13 years.

*Coulda done it in less than an hour if it was daylight.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Going to the junk yard when its 100 is a lot less fun than it could be.

I went looking for fog lights, but I found a steering wheel. No puller though. I could go back, but its only getting hotter out.

No Brokotas unfortunately.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Things I Always Forget

To take my library books back on time. That place makes more money off of me than Blockbuster ever did. Twenty bucks in the past 6 months...

Life Lessons II

Step 4 (not shown): Clean decades of clay off of the grill and attempt to polish it but give up and say, "It's better than it was before and that's all I ever try to accomplish."

Step 5: Bolt on the new (old) grill. You're almost there. Not really. That's the easy part.

Step 6: Mount the headlights. Make sure they are lined up correctly. This is key. You'll have to finagle it. Somehow.

Step 7: Repeat on the other side. If you want to be like me, and I know that you probably don't, grab a 40 year old aluminum shovel that you were probably going to throw away because 36 years of New Hampshire winters and a couple of Virginia winters have done it in, and cut a piece out that you can use as a makeshift tab.

THAT, my so-called friend is recycling.

You may also call it ingenuity. I approve of either.

Step 8: Slap on the bezels and be proud, but remember that you still need to drill two 5/8 inch holes into the hood to mount the bar that hides that hideous gap. Have nightmares.

Life Lessons

You own a Jeep Grand Wagoneer and you want to give it a little retro flair. How do you go about it?

Step 1: Go to a junk yard looking for ignition parts and stumble upon something entirely different.

Step 2: Move your transmission cooler inside of its mount.

Step 3: (The point of no return) See this tab. Cut it off. Also, there are two more. Go ahead. You can do it.

Weigh your options. Be cool. Or not.

Good job, big guy. Your cojones, they be large.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beans, Beans

My particular favorite firework that I set off on the 4th of July.


I had whole steamed red snapper on my birthday (yes, I've been slacking) from Carena's Jamaican Grille. It was delicious, but what was really cool was how the skeleton looked just like it was pulled out of a garbage can in an episode of  Tom and Jerry.

Thanks. I wasn't sure.

I like how they let me know that 101 is "hot". Thanks. And no wonder I feel like I just lost 10 pounds after mowing the lawn.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Things Which I Did Recently

I have a "vintage" popcorn holder/megaphone circa 1978 that I got at a Red Sox game when I was just a wee lad which I haven't had a good place to display in recent times, so I took the broken handle from something, cut it, screwed it to the wall of m'shed, and stuck the popcorn holder/megaphone on.

Also, I could never find my box of nitrile gloves, so I took some pipe hanger stuff and some scrap wood and made a space in the wall by the door for it.

Pieces of Flair

I think these fender flares are cool. What about you?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Man, I wish Chris Farley was still alive.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010


I headed off to Pop's Pick & Pay today on my lunch break for what I thought was going to be a quick grill removal, but it turned out to be a little more difficult than I thought. I knew that I had to drill out four rusted screws, but it ended up being 9. These things happen.

The grill came off of a Jeep J4000. I might go back on another lunch break to grab the really cool "AMC V8"  emblems.

$30. Can't beat that.

Oh, in case you are wondering what it will look like when I get it on, it's like this:

Friday, June 18, 2010


The Dakota broke this morning on the way to work. It sprung a leak in one of its salt-cured brake lines. I've replaced a few short ones on this thing recently which were a pain but not really too bad, but this one is a long one. It goes from the master cylinder down to the frame then it takes a sharp turn right, continues to the front of the truck, takes another sharp turn right, and goes underneath the radiator to the other side of the truck. Another sharp turn and its at the passenger side caliper. Should be fun. And by fun I mean not fun. I may just cut out the bad section and splice in a piece. Then put the Brokota on craigslist.

Luckily, I wasn't traveling down the highway when my brakes let go. I was in a parking lot about to look at a 1992 Buick Roadmaster station wagon. Yes, there is some irony there.

It looked exactly like this:


Monday, June 07, 2010

Cardinal Rule

I broke the cardinal rule of plumbing last night. Never start a plumbing project after all the stores are closed.

Any plumbing project takes a minimum of two trips to the store. I thought I needed three 45s and a 90, but as it turned out I needed 4 45s. I'm off to Home Depot now to get this finished before work (these are the drains for our upstairs bathroom sinks and bathtub...).

In case you are wondering why I am doing this, its because I ripped out half of the soffit because I discovered that our ducts did not fill up the entire space. The plumbing needed to be slightly rerouted though.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


From a rat's nest

To less of a rat's nest

Three wires were frayed with the copper exposed and one other wire had three splices in it. Also, a bunch of the vacuum lines were disintegrated.

It's not perfect, but it's better than it was, and that's all I ever really try to accomplish.

Swimmin' on Memorial Day

I think I made 5 trips to this rock and back. Z wife and the younger ones couldn't do it alone because the current was pretty strong.

The Converse All-Stars that I usually wear in the river were nowhere to be found and I received a nice gash in my foot for my troubles.

The thought of taking a picture and sharing it did cross my mind.

Did I mention we drove the Jeep? It's the longest trip yet (about 30 miles I think) and without any trouble which is good because my back up plan was with me.


That is a bottle of the mandarin flavored soda made by Mexican soda pop maker, Jarritos, sitting atop our soon to be replaced (June 10) 35 year old (like me) and broken (unlike me) AC unit.

Now boys and girls, what is so special about Mexican soda? Yes, just like Mexicoke it is made with real sugar and anybody with half a tongue in their mouth knows that sugar rules as far as soda is concerned.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I like a nice healthy dollop of corn syrup on my rice krispies every morning, but when it comes to soda there is no substitute.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Future Plans

I am perfectly happy going with the 5.3 Vortec though.

Sweet Dreams

Thing 1 (we actually call her Bugsy now) sleeping again. That was on Tuesday. She called in sick on Wednesday. 14th sick day since December.

We had a going away lunch today for a guy who is going into the army. She was there, so there shouldn't be any doubt (not there ever was in my, or my other coworkers, minds) how long her lunch break was today. She'll probably still leave at 5:10.

On Monday she got here at 9:30 and when my boss went to a meeting she slipped out at 5:05. She didn't skip on her mandatory trip to Subway for her daily Jared special either.

Tuesday she told our boss she got here early! which was in reality 8:55. She left at 5:10.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

So you want to own a 20 year old truck?

Got the Jeep registered yesterday morning and I was itching to take it out for a spin all day. After dinner, I grabbed my two youngest kids and headed off to the mall to buy z wife a birthday present.

It was raining pretty hard out, I bought new wipers later by the way, and of course being a man it didn't dawn on me that the kids should have been wearing jackets. We left the store and hustled to the truck, aaand it wouldn't start. Did I flood it? Is the choke not working? Something get wet? Let it sit for a few minutes aaand it didn't start. Rinse and repeat.

Time to call z wife to pick us up (remember the commercial with the dusty guy on a motorcycle and his wife picks him up on the side of the road with the minivan) buuut I left my phone at home.

Run back into the mall, its raining hard remember, to find a phone. Pay phones are extinct. Luckily the Guest Services desk lets me use theirs. I had to call twice. Stupid call waiting.

Anyway, it dawned on me during the embarassing ride home, that it was probably out of gas. Sure enough a half hour later after a gallon of lawnmower gas was added to the tank and the carb primed, it fired right up.

It's been a looong time since I've run out of gas. These things happen with a new vehicle. Just remember, 1/4 tank means E M P T Y.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My New Ride

A 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

AMC 360 V8
143K Miles
The last American carbureted engine
A collector's item
$800. A steal, but the guy was happy that it was going to a good home.
At the very least, I won't lose money.
It made the drive home. Cruised along the highway at 65 without skipping a beat. My only fear was that it would stall while while in the full serve line at the toll booth. It didn't.

For sale: 1999 Dodge Dakota 3.9 V6 4x4 147,000 miles. Runs awesome. AC has a leak. Rust hole in one fender. Interior perfect. Back tires almost brand new. New brake pads, rotors on the front. New brake shoes on the back. A bunch of other new parts. $1750 OBO.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Oh yes. You will be mine.

If there is any justice in this world, this baby will be mine by tomorrow evening.

I took a better picture this afternoon with my phone, but unfortunately I left my card reader at work.

It rides nice, like an old truck should. Part solid, part rickety with a big giant hood out in front of you. Loved it. In fact, I may need to pony up the extra 10 bucks and get a personalized plate.
My only fear is that the price is a misprint (I didn't want to ask him, since I didn't have the cash on me, and didn't want him to have all night to rethink his asking price).

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bronco II Update

I went to look at the Bronco II in yesterday's post. The body and frame are solid. No rust whatsoever other than the surface rust on the hood and roof. It ran rough, but it didn't smoke or knock which leads me to believe it is just in dire need of a tune up.

Unfortunately, there was a deal breaker. It is NOT 4wd as stated in the craigslist ad. Oh well. Maybe I could talk them down to $250, find a donor vehicle (with 4wd), and convert it. It doesn't look hard.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Butterflies and Wheelies: Random Recollections of Hatfield-McCoy 2010 by A. Richard Gagne

Best gallon of milk ever. Ever. Needle nose pliers, vise-grips and mammoth crawdads. I think you have a bad bearing. It's been making that noise all day. Oops. Your tools smell like cat food. Too much fun. What's the code for the door? Rain + Buffalo Mountain. We should leave him behind, but what if he rolled it again? Evil Yamahas. Candy cigarettes? Wow. Candy cigarettes. Ouch, a butterfly to the face at 40 miles an hour. Coal hill completely impossible this year. Not getting shafted at the ATV parts store. You're in my personal space. Extremely dusty. I wish it would rain. Oops. At least its not dusty anymore. It was awesome. If I was 25 and had no kids, I would get one. Maybe I should check my bearings too. You would think a Yamaha would be on its best behavior when surrounded by so many Hondas. Too much fun. I almost had a date tonight. Whatcha got there? A bowl of dirt. A wheelie from Kentucky to West Virginia. Hans broke Todd's machine. He stole two of Howard's beers. Trail 31, a little rough this year, but still my favorite. I always forget, but heading towards Gilbert is the best way. West Virginia tattoos. smiley face. Barbeque chicken pizza. Three times. Puddles. No Entry. Purple Monte Carlo. Sleep talking. Old Milwaukee. Starters closed. Too much fun. Chinese knock-off knock-offs. Big A's hole. Nate's hill. Rob's corner. Zach's curb. I need my own spot.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Old Car Manuals (and Brochures)

This is the coolest web site that I have stumbled upon in a long time.

The Old Car Manual Project

Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Inheritance

My grandfather's old cologne bottles. Most of these I had never seen before, but the one I remember the most, and the one I really wanted to have, is the pheasant. I'm glad he still had it.