Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tis the season hippies... for parties and shit.

The second holiday party that I attended this year: An associate of mine invited me to her work party. It was an entirely different scene to the max. But before I get into that, I want to clarify my definition of hippies. It has probably gotten a lot wider since I left the U of Mich. I have an easy if/then test to check if you are a hippie according to me. Do you overhear discussions of the 7.62mm Minigun vs the 50 cal Machine gun more than once a month? If "Yes," then you are not a hippie. If "No" probably a hippie.

Ok, so the second party I was going to was at an architecture firm that specializes in "Green" or low impact, sustainable tech type buildings. Obviously hippies. Anyways, it felt much more like a pizza party in a dorm common room than the prom run amok that the squadron party had been. It was cool enough, but mostly because I had never had pepperoni and green chili pizza. I recommend!

Shortly after it was acceptable, we ditched that place. I had gotten a call from UPS earlier that he was going to be up for whatever that night, so we went and picked him up to go to a different party. UPS was waiting for us in the bar at Apple-bee's. (Yea, you all know the one. Turns out they remodeled it on the inside. Not as homey for sure.) Anyways, we were on our way to a house party though I was warned that this place was going to have a lot of "REAL" hippies, not the kind that make the cut from my definition.

As soon as we walked into the back yard, UPS says, "Holy shit... a yurt!"

And he meant it.

There was a full size Mongolian yurt right there in a backyard in Albuquerque, New Mexico! So what was in the yurt you might ask? Why it was massage apparatus and a DJ of course.

I guess that checks out, either way, I needed to go to the bathroom. When I got back UPS says to me, "Dude, we need to go on a beer run..." I was slightly confused. This is a party and it is early. It wasn't a BYOB. That doesn't make sense at all! Well, it turns out there was no booze there at all! This is not to say everyone there wasn't chemically affected, but there was no alcohol. Luckily it was right next to a grocery store. So that problem was easily solved.

When we got back, we obviously were the heroes of the party because we had beer. I don't know why it didn't occur to everyone else there to do that. We passed a few of them out and took our place back next to the bonfire. That is when I realized that I was sitting next to a baby! Like a real baby that will eventually grow up and get a drivers license type baby.

After a moment of looking around at all the people toking up and tripping out, I told the baby that the only way she will be able to rebel when she is gets older is by starting a "Young Republicans Club" at her high school. I don't think she took notes. To be fair, the dad stayed completely sober and called for them to go home early for baby bed time. And, not being a drinking party, it seemed really unlikely that it was going to get rowdy, so it was probably a pretty reasonable party to take a baby to... if that can be said.

And, because I know you all will go into withdrawal if you don't get a few vehicle pictures:

I have been slowly removing the paint off the jeep so that I can find all the original markings... here is the elusive "S" from the ford factory! FOUND IT!

1942 Ford GPW S Position

Do you see the hood star hidden in there?

Some people get a little nuts/anal making sure that the markings are exact for restoration etc... then I find someing like this... the star is in the wrong possition and crooked. I would guess the stencil must have slipped when they were putting it on.

Yes, those are fresh welds on my cast iron engine block. I took the gamble with a guy that says he does it all the time on boat motors. (I guess they freeze with water in them a lot.) Anyways, it was either junk the block and pay $1300 for a new one... or let this guy try. It looks like it worked, making this the sexiest weld I have ever seen!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


My jeep engine is now completely apart... it is in the proverbial, "No two pieces are touching" state. That is where all my time has been going.

Nick's approved Machine shop finding techniques: Feel free to take notes.

It is tough to guess by looking in a phone book to figure out where the good machine shops are, and with a 1942 engine, I don't want to take it somewhere with amateurs. I really don't want to try and find another engine block if they screw it up. So to solve the problem of finding a decent machine shop, I went out and drove around in the crappy part of town. I looked for an mechanic shop that looked only marginally like they wanted actual customers to come in and had at least eight half disassembled cars in it's chained in area that were obviously not customer's cars. I figured the kind of guys that run a shop like that would be the kind of guys that would KNOW a good machine shop.

So, I after finding just such a place... I asked them about machine shops. They gave me two that they thought did good work. The first had moved locations or had gone out of business. (At this point, I started to doubt my theory) The second one though, was better than I could have imagined! I walked in, sort of assessing them. I wouldn't want to drop the heart of my baby off with clowns! I started off asking if they could do welding on engine blocks if mine had cracks... if the do resleeving, etc. They asked what I was working on. When I told them it was a 1942 ford jeep, the guy I was talking to started quoting me engine tolerances and and details of the engine that could be known if he was very familiar with them. Though to be honest, the guy I was talking to missed one detail of the depth of the valve guides... luckily the guy who was standing right next to him corrected him as he was talking. Shit, any random place you can walk in with a 60 year old engine and they know the specs on it with out even looking them up gets my vote!

It seems my technique worked. I think from now on, I will do that with everything. If I need a good bakery, I will go ask a sketchy looking butcher, if I need a good pet store, I will visit... well, you get the idea.