Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Blackfly Song

This reminds me of my time in the forest service... actually anytime in the UP.

Mosquitoes too...

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Is that rust in your gear box: or just happy to see me?

Here is the freshly rebuilt 1942 Ford GPW World War 2 jeep engine. Rebuilding it didn't go quite according to plan... but now that it is finished, the only thing left to go is the transmission and transfer case.

No worries, here it is... I am sure it is pristine on the inside right?

Ah shit... well, that will buff out. Rust is no problem in a transmission right? It is like salt on a steak!

After a few hours, that is my tranny in a box... Just a little bit of rust. I am pretty sure I can remember how it all goes back together. After a bit of wire brush work, the gears cleaned up pretty well. I was just starting to think I was going to be able to put it back together with a few new seals when I pulled out the old vernier caliper. :-( <--- an="" anyone="" art="" because="" beyond="" br="" every="" f="" face="" for="" gears="" in="" is="" know.="" let="" limits.="" me="" much="" nbsp="" needs="" old="" part="" pretty="" project="" sad="" there="" worn="">

Break break.....

So, a funny thing happened to me at the junkyard.

I had to go visit the local junkyard to get some parts for the caddy. I told an associate of mine that I planned to spend Saturday in the junkyard. She mentioned that she had never been to one. I offered, "well, I think they are fun... you are welcome to join me."

So she did.

I was a little apprehensive because except for in a porno, I have never actually seen a female in a junkyard...

So we went, who knows, it might turn out like that porno right?

After signing in we started looking for the right model Cadillac that would have compatible cruise control components to mine.

As we were walking past a Toyota Rav4 that had obviously been in a massive roll over accident, my associate exclaims, "Hey, that car is still full of luggage... HEY! IS THAT A COACH PURSE!?!?!... it better be a knock off!"

after examining it...

"HOLY SHIT IT'S REAL! Why would someone leave this in here?"

As things turned out, this car was right next to a 76 DeVille that had just the parts I was looking for. So as I scratched around in the rust and dust disassembling this caddy, she was rummaging through this car and all the stuff inside. It looked like it was equipped by someone on a long road trip or was moving. Shoes, clothing, paperwork, etc...

Well as it turned out, the car was full of letters from it's former owner to God. There was several dozen letters to God expressing all of her thoughts and emotions.

There is a reason that I have never seen girls in junkyards... it seems girls find it boring to stand around surrounded by acres of slowly decaying immobile machines, but what is effectively the personal diary of another woman is very interesting to them.

My associate proceeded to read me aloud these several dozen letters to God.  Effectively it was her diary.

What they showed was her entire emotional, psychological, and physical state. (Actually the medical records and clothing showed the physical state.) Anyways, it sounded like her life totally sucked.

By the numbers her life was horrible. Money problems, guy problems, self-image problems, her mother just died, and her brother was a jerk, in and out of rehab, etc... Christ it was heart wrenching. Well, after reading all of these letters, we probably knew her better than anyone on earth. From what it sounded like, there was no one in her life that she was close to... though she did say that her grandmother was very nice to her.

On the way out of the junkyard I stuck my head inside the wrecked car... mostly to look for blood or something on the ceiling or somewhere. There wasn't any, though I had the thought that it still smelled like death but I didn't mention it at the time.

Eventually I had all my parts and we went home. I was in the driveway futzing with the cruise control of the caddy, (still doesn't work if you are curious) and my associate went inside to find out more through the magic of the internet.

As it turns out, the woman that we had gotten to know so intimately over the past few hours had died in that car a few months ago. From some of the letters, it seemed like she had just gotten out of rehab and was going to visit a friend who lived in Nevada. (We had read the invitation to her to go out there for the same date she died.)

Again through the magic of the internet, we read her obituary.

Turns out she was buried about 15 miles from here.

OK, I might get some weirdo points here... but whatever, this is how it went down.

Might as well give her grave a visit, I mean, we did really feel like we knew her at this point.

This was probably the most interesting cemetery I have ever been to in my life. It was a completely do it yourself cemetery. Whatever grave marker you want to put up for your dead is what there was. Everything from completely unmarked, to small wooden crosses, little tiled mausoleums, Dallas Cowboys themed plywood houses built on the graves... all sorts of crazy stuff. There was even a grave that was only marked with some plastic pink flamingos. It was a far cry from all the antiseptic cemeteries I have ever seen. This was no uniformed mid-western cemetery with identical grave markers that were designed specifically for ease of lawn mowing and maintainability...

This was not in the swanky part of town. The bank on the corner is were you buy plots to this place. It has some nice views... in case the residents care to look around.

Well, using some logic and detective work, we found our girl. Nothing on the grave more permanent than a few plastic flowers, the bank plot marker, and a few small rocks laid in a cross and a heart.