Saturday, August 7, 2010

Morning glory

I have been waking up earlier lately, mostly due to stress. To use my new favorite cliche', I am making a silk purse out of a sows ear. That phrase at face value would add up to a rather horrific arts and crafts project. First having to gather enough sow's ears for your friends to join in would be awfully traumatizing. Imagining the joy your family would get Christmas morning when they got their silk purse would probably make all the cutting, scraping and silking? all worth while. "My purse smells like bacon'"...."Merry Christmas, Grandma!"

Anyway, I have been going out and getting things done in the yard to make use of the time I would normally be sleeping.

I went to go pick up some milk, and saw a car parked on our boulevard with a stranger asleep in it. He is still out there, and has his stocking feet up on the dash. He must really be tired, because my 71 Dodge isn't terribly quiet when I start it. Hopefully he isn't dead. Sadly, he isn't the only person I saw this morning who may have been dead.

Just down the street there is a suspected crack house/meth lab, depending on which rumor you hear. I saw what I thought was a bag of clothes with shoes at the top outside an old travel trailer. When I got closer, I saw that the bag of clothes was a person passed out face down with his legs tucked underneath him. I drove by a couple of times, letting the loud exhaust on my truck try and rouse him. The last thing I wanted to do was get out and go over to him. I do have a hot dog stick in the back of my truck that I could have poked him with, but its 3 foot length is nowhere near the 20 foot personal space buffer I like to maintain between me and the maybe dead.

On my third trip past, he did wake up with his hair all scraggly, and turned to look at me like nothing was wrong. Perhaps all the condensation from the grass and drool isn't the best hair styling product. Being bald has distanced me from the latest trends in hair care, so maybe he is a trend setter. He may be the same person one of our other neighbors saw going poop either on the same spot he was passed out on or very near it. Who says drugs are bad, especially if you make them yourself?

It looks like the store is open and I have a long day of yard work ahead. It is nice to know that if I get tired, I can just drop where I stand and have a nap, face down, preferably on an ant hill.

Happy Trails!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Automotive archaeology- chapter 2

I blogged about acquiring this 67 Dodge truck over a year ago. I had all sorts of intentions about getting it home long before now. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, as it were. Since this truck was in Helena, Montana. I can safely say that the road to Helena is paved with good intentions as well.

This truck belonged to the father of a friend of mine, Steve Celar. Steve is the guy who bought my convertible from me, and this truck was part of that deal. It got in an accident about 30 years ago and Steve's dad had intentions of his own to fix it, but never did.

It is a 1967 Dodge D-100 short box with a 225 Slant Six with a granny 4-speed behind it. The guy who owned it prior to its fender bender operated a septic company of some sort, and its working life was not easy, as evidenced by the many dings and dents on the body. The good thing is that it is relatively rust free in the doors and cab floors.

It was actually pretty cool to go through all the clutter of parts that were in the bed and cab. Most weren't for this truck, but I was able to find the owners manual and service records in the glove box. Steve's dad had found nearly every part needed to put this truck back together. In the midst of all the junk I was able to find all of the Dodge specific parts for it.

Last year, my friend Terry Krueger decided he needed more power in his customized 1963 Dodge truck. He also had some trouble keeping his hot rodded slant six together, so I bought it from him after it got rebuilt at the engine shop. It will go into my 67, along with the 904 automatic that he had with it. That has a stage 2 shift kit and is in great shape.

This is a shot of the engine after I picked it up from Terry's place in July of last year. Now you can cue the unfulfilled intentions of getting down to Helena to get the truck. It took until a month ago to get down there. I got teased by Steve and all my hot rodding friends about how long it took to go get it. I had plans to go a lot earlier, but family and winter issues prevented me.

Finally, I borrowed Greg Edwards' trailer and conned my Dad into bringing his shiny new Dodge truck on a road trip to get the 67. Gracie and Josh came with Dad and me to go get it. We left at 6:00 on that Saturday morning and headed for Helena. It was really nice spending time with Dad and the kids. They traveled really well all day, except for a little dust up in Great Falls on the way home. I can't blame them, considering they had been trapped in the truck all day, since we got the truck loaded and immediately headed for home.

I really enjoyed spending the day with my Dad and the kids. It was fun to hear him reminisce about his youth and to hear some hilarious stories about his less successful courting adventures.

The above picture was taken a few miles from Wolf Creek, Montana where we stopped to go potty and to check the tie down straps on the 67 to make sure that nothing fell off or out of it.

Once we got to the border, the questions from the US export officer were a little less teasing in nature about why it took me so long to come down and get it after it had been exported. Needless to say, it fit with the roasting I got from Steve when I finally showed up at his shop to get it.

So, I got it home and got all the goodies unloaded from the bed. I put my American Racing smoothie wheels that were on my 71 Dodge on it and set the rad support in place. It looks more like a truck now than a pile of parts. It is coming along.

Next on the list is to get the engine and trans pulled so I can put the slant six I got from Terry in there. It will breathe fire soon! Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Insert clever title here....

It has been a good Sunday. I watched most of two sessions of conference. I can't account for the last 15-20 minutes of the afternoon session, but I enjoyed what I was awake for. We went to Mom's house and spent the day with her. She cooked us a very lovely lunch. She has always had a gift of making special occasions really nice. This Easter was no different. I got to search with the kids for some treats hidden in her house, just like I did when we would go visit my grandparents in Tooele, Utah when I was young. My lust for candy hasn't changed since I was a kid, I just don't have the 70's hair helmet anymore. My mom made me feel special today, which is a gift she inherited from my Grandma Bevan, who is her mother. All my grandparents are now gone, so it is nice to experience traditions that help me feel close to them again.

Feeling grounded in family traditions is a great gift. When my parents got divorced, one thing I feared was that those traditions would somehow be lost. I am happy to say that since then, I have learned to focus on what still is there, instead of what is missing. My family unit is still there, just operating under somewhat unique circumstances.

Feeling grounded in my own self has been something that has been fleeting to say the least, but I am happy to say that I have made huge strides in this area. I have been in counseling for over a year to get my issues figured out. I am happy to say that I am experiencing, more often, the personal peace that I have been seeking. I have been working hard to get my mind healthy, and have been working hard to get my body in better shape.

I have been pretty dependent on others to the point of annoyance to give me the sense of self worth that I have wanted. I have been able to manufacture my own self esteem, which started with me having to force myself to think positively about myself, despite what I saw in the mirror and in spite of the list of my faults I would beat myself with.

I am also taking too long on the computer and being glared at by my 15 year old daughter. That is o.k. I can destroy her with my new found mind powers. I had better go.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The man whose arms exploded

I went to the gym last night after work and turned on the TV before I began my workout. I was greeted by the delightful program on TLC called "The man whose arms exploded". WOW! Talk about finding motivation! I have been looking for a way to have freakishly large arms that I could squeeze puss out of for a while now.....while filming it. The man whose arms exploded mentioned that he was using dirty needles and that is what caused the infection that caused his arms to "explode". Who says steroids are bad and impair judgement? If only he had been smart and properly sterilized his needles first. Let that be a lesson to all.

I don't see that appeal of having arms so large that you can't properly use them. I have seen ladies leading the singing at church through out my life that had large relief society arm tricep sacs that could really get them swinging during "Onward Christian Soldiers" or an equally rousing hymn. I was mesmerized watching them as a young boy, wondering if they felt like the bread dough that they resembled. Maybe that is the goal of all serious steroid users to brandish their large caliber guns as a ward chorister. Like I said, talk about motivation!

I did have a good work out last night. I can now distinguish my arm and shoulder muscles from the flab on my arms, so things are going well. I tried to buy one of those weightlifting magazines but didn't. I think the only way most of those guys could get more defined and cut is if they skinned themselves. I can't wait to see a show about that on TLC. I could probably get my own show on TLC if I featured little people weightlifters with 19 kids who made cakes and chocolate and were doctors. TV sucks, except for Discovery and History Channel.

I should actually pay attention to what time it is so I can get ready for work and get Josh to daycare.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blog envy

After perusing a blog or two of some close relatives, I realized that my blog leaves a lot to be desired. Perhaps the black background and lack of any real eye candy detract from a blog title that I think is still quite clever. I feel embraced by some blogs I see and am quite in awe of the visual and audio spectacle that opens before me.

If I have some time, I may throw in a recipe or two and maybe some music to ensnare the senses of the reader. If you want pictures of flowers and baskets of smelly things, this still will not be the place to visit. Maybe I could teach people valuable lessons and tips about whatever it is that I know.

If I ever get around to putting any of my project vehicles together, I will include photos of that kind of thing. Maybe no one will like to see it, but at least I will like it.

Putting funny pictures from the internet on Facebook for my profile pictures is getting a little old, so I will use this as my creative outlet. The caveat with this, as always, is that I hope to have enough time to do this. Maybe all I will have time for is what fixing garbage trucks looks like, since that takes the majority of my time.

I need to get to bed, so I will continue ramblin' on later....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

End of January

I don't seem to have a lot of time to post much here anymore. There are funny things still happening that are worth mentioning, but I can never remember them when I sit down here.
Oh well.

It has been awfully busy this past month. Christmas went well. Scott and Kelsey's visit was really nice. I was really happy to spend some time with them.

I have had some clouds of worry regarding my employment situation creep in. I was really close to having my position cut for budget reasons at the end of 2009. They have decided not to, which is great, but my natural paranoia is having a hard time trusting that it won't happen if things don't get busier down here. Things are business as usual until I hear different, I guess. I am more fortunate than others have been and I am grateful for that. I still have been able to feel a sense of peace about this, even if I did get laid off. I am working on a contingency plan to cover myself though, and it is NOT as a male gigolo.

I still have been going to the gym regularly and am still eating better. I had been struggling to see a difference in my appearance until I looked at some pictures that were taken at my family reunion in July. There is a big difference in my stomach. I look like I had just polished off eating a big meal and perhaps one of my smaller cousins by accident.

My goal for 2010 is still to be consistent. I have been and have made it to January 24th so far without breaking that resolution. What I am working toward when it comes to work, church and being me is just to string a bunch of good days together and to work my ass off in all areas. I really enjoy and depend on going to the gym every day. I can leave stress and frustration there instead of letting it permeate my mood and ruin my day.

I need to get to bed, as Monday just arrived. (insert expletive here)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

I woke up to a balmy -32 degrees Celsius this morning. For my American relatives, and those with an aversion to the metric system, that converts to -26 degrees Fahrenheit. Our van wouldn't start and Kathy walked to work. That is two blocks from our house with a -50 windchill, but she is a tough as nails, ironclad pioneer woman. Having the extension cord plug packed with snow wouldn't allow the block heater to work properly. I also had to bring my battery charger inside to thaw it with Kathy's hair dryer so it would run. I got it thawed and the van started. My car is plugged in and hopefully should start before I head to work this afternoon. My truck battery is dead, sulfated and needs to be replaced. The frozen extension cord is upstairs thawing over a heat register. This is truly a Canadian winter morning.

My work cell hasn't started ringing yet, which is good. It is usually colder in Medicine Hat than in Lethbridge, so I have had issues to contend with recently due to the extreme cold. I maintain the truck fleets for Waste Management in both cities and have worked to ready the trucks for use in the extreme cold. So far, so good.

Life has been busy lately. As usual, my sausage fingers and subconscious mind typed busty. Life has not been busty, just busy. If anything, it is less busty, with my steadily shrinking man boobs.
That is too much information, but is true. I have stuck with my work out program. I am getting results at a slower pace than I had hoped, but they are results.

Scott will be home on Friday for Christmas break, which is great. I am really excited to see him.
Katie's birthday was on the 10th and Kathy's was yesterday. They both got I-phones and are both very happy with them. I inherited Katie's phone and old number. It works for what I need it for, but I feel uncomfortable getting text messages from Katie's 14 year old friends. Katie is working on alerting them to her new number, but it is still kind of funny. I tried texting once and was soundly mocked for it by my eldest daughter. I am glad texting prowess is not a sobriety test as yet. My text looked like I was completely plastered. I still like talking to people when I need to communicate. I am getting old, I guess.

I still have yearnings for Hawaii. They just won't go away, especially on days like this one. I would like to go in July, which corresponds with my life change goal of July 1st. It may be hotter there, but I don't care. I want to go scuba diving as a reward for my effort.

I need to go be a father again. Bye!