Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Auto shop 101

While having dinner with some friends last Friday evening the woman-sided conversation somehow turned to "why did these guys marry us?"

First some back story. All of all of these baby boomer folks are streetrod-related friends and we've known them for ages. The guys work on their own cars; my beloved being one of the greasiest. I knew he was greasy when I married him and sometimes it's caused frustration but maybe it's the grease that has lubricated our troubles because we've hung together for some 37 odd years. We've also made some very close friends; that's the balance. Lots of memories attached to those cars, some good, some evil but there's nothing like getting stuck on the side of the freeway and having a "car-guy" help you out.

Looking for a common thread I ask the group, the four couples sitting at our table were about the same age, if they'd ever helped in "bleeding the brakes"? Four hands shot up. The term is for a process of removing the air from brake lines after you've done something to the brakes. It seems to coincides with my beloved asking about my life insurance, I can't be sure.

I figure there is a big old greasy book in high school auto shop classes that is required reading for fifteen to eighteen-year-olds and here are a few passages:

  • If you plan to change your brakes the use of a spouse/girlfriend is of up most importance. It is better to find one who can take orders without too much complaining.

  • When you are in the middle of a particularly greasy under the car project there is nothing like a spouse/girlfriend to find that tool, that invariably rolls out of your reach, and retrieve it for you. Side note: Women have smaller hands and fingers for getting into small spaces or retrieve bolts that have fallen through. Related reading: chapters three and seven-What you can't say in mixed company or with small children when things fall out of your reach.

  • Auto repair can be expensive, remember two incomes are much better than one.

  • Paint job not what it should be? There is nothing like a pretty woman to distract from some minor imperfections.
Let me try to explain this procedure. It's a two person maneuver and only one needs any knowledge of auto mechanics. The mechanic lies somewhere out of view but not out of earshot. It must be uncomfortable because the patience level becomes strained if this job doesn't go smoothly. The other person sits in the driver's seat at the ready to depress the brake pedal when the mechanic says "ok." Sounds easy, right?

Him: Start pumping the pedal until it gets harder to push.
Me: How long do I pump it?
Him: UNTIL IT GETS HARDER TO PUSH. Then keep your foot on the pedal until I say to pump again.
Me: Ok, now?
Him: Yes.
Me: Pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, ok.

Now the mechanic does something to make the pedal go to the floor. I have to admit the first time this happened I thought I'd done something wrong but he just said "ok, do it again." And again, and again and so on and this is just for the first wheel. You've four, you see, do pay attention. You can get into a rhythm of pumping and holding and then pumping again. Where you get into trouble, is in that rhythm, you forget to wait until the mechanic says, "ok."

Him, doing something with the brake line: ok, do it again.
Me: Pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, pump, ok.
Him: You let your foot off the pedal, didn't you?
Me, in an almost imperceivalbe voice: yes?
Him, with a sigh that speaks volumes: Ok, let's start again.

If you'd like to save your marriage/relationship don't what ever you do, don't lift your foot before the ok. In all fairness, this isn't fun laying on the ground in an awkward position trying to get the air out of the brake lines with a lunatic behind the wheel of your special car.

There was talk of a tool the mechanic could use instead of the spouse/girl friend and that would explain why I've not done this in a while. That and the fact I had a difficult time with waiting for the "ok."

Friday, February 23, 2007

They won't come back 'til it's over over there

Darling husband and I were discussing something a news reporter from Baghdad had to say about the troops. He says there are three types of soldiers there, and this isn't a direct quote.
  • Truly committed to the goal of giving these bastards a stable government
  • Doing a job
  • Being there for the guy in the boots next to them
This brought to mind something his WWII served-in-England-flew-over-Germany-father told my darling husband.

"You go over for your country; you stay for your buddies."

Never really heard that one before but it does make sense. No glory, just do what is right at the moment. We will say nothing right now about why this current administration was nuts enough to get involved in the first place.

This makes it lots clearer. We've just sent them over for the wrong reasons. Our fault, not theirs.

Write your damn Senator! Just bring them home. And if anyone can tell me what the uck fay it means to win over there, you would be a genius, because the currrent administration sure can't.

Dianne Feinstein
Barbara Boxer

Editorial disclaimer: Darling husband, bless his soul, and I have similar core beliefs. This makes living together for our just past 37 years much easier. Anyone who knows him realizes he's not as vocal as I am.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Just eat it!

First my sister and brudder-out-law moving westerly and now this. Stem cells from fat transplanted into hearts to save lives. I can hear my next conversation with my Dr. "Sorry Doc, I'm not fat just growing some future stem cells."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Could life get any better right now?

Yeah, maybe if I won the Lotto but let's not hold out for that. Sister Weed has sold her house. Send up the balloons, strike up the band, and pinch me because she and her darling husband and cat will be heading for Arizona. This is the closest she's lived to us in more than thirty years.

I'm already planning little jaunts that way. I hope they get there before I do.

Welcome to one of the seven western states, sistah!

Keebler is short an elf

We've lost one of the truly original voices, Walker Edmiston passed away February 15. You may not have known his face but you'd surely remember H.R. Pufnstuff, Flintstones, and early Beany and Cecil among a myriad of other characters. His latest was Ernie the Keebler Elf.

His credits also included a variety of TV and movies with a number recurring roles.

Walker was also a car enthusiast and racer and the Roam'n Relics car club was lucky enough to have him as a member.

Your friends will miss you, Walker.
2/6/1926 • 2/15/2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Unfortunate recipient of my rage

In my hurry to get home today I found myself behind a moron with a "Bush '04" bumper sticker and at each stop he was fumbling in the back seat for something. I couldn't put up with this any longer so I didn't just honk the horn, I laid on the horn. "Pay attention ya stupid idget." Oh yeah, I guess you can't pay attention, look who you voted for.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Desperate measures

It took me two weeks to finally kick this viraemea I had only to have darling husband come down with something equally as evil.

I'm sure what he had was contagious, hell, I gave it to him, but I'm not sure it was on the same level as Ebola. Desperate times call for desperate measures and poor guy was desperate to have some uninterrupted sleep.

This was just to keep people from ringing the damn door bell. It seemed when he was trying to nap there was a light that signaled everyone to approach our door, especially real estate agents.

This helped and even though he's on the mend I just might keep it for days when I just don't want to talk to people.