Monday, December 1, 2008

More surprises. With the Buick broken down and waiting for a tow to the repair shop, I drove the Suburban to work. Later I was doing some errands when the Suburban died at a stop sign. This happened on a hill and I was able to let it roll so I could get it off the road. It wouldn't restart, so I walked home (a little over a mile) and got the Dodge. After work I drove back to the Suburban to see if I could get it going. I shot some starter fluid in the carburetor and the car started right up. For a while it acted as if it wasn't getting enough fuel, but after few minutes it ran smoothly. A neighbor drove it home for me while I followed in the Dodge then I took him home. When I got back I started up the Suburban and it ran normally. Why it died out on the road remains a mystery. And that's how I spent my afternoon.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Checking and answering email used up most of my time after I got home, and bringing in wood for the evening used up the rest of it.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

This afternoon I did some unexpected shopping. It turned out that the Buick is toast. The cradle which supports the engine has cracks in it, and replacing it would cost thousands, which is considerably more than the car is worth. So I visited a couple of used car lots to see what's available. I saw a lot of gas hogs, but there were also a few cars of interest. I'll do some more looking tomorrow.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

The shoppng continued this afternoon. The choice narrowed down to a 1996 Civic, a 1994 BMW, or a 1994 Camry LE. After a test drive, I decided on the Camry.


Friday, December 5, 2008

I spent most of the day buying that Camry, getting insurance, going to the courthouse for registration, getting all my stuff out of the defunct Buick, finding the title for the Buick, and arranging for salvage. After all that I finished the day airing up the tires on my trailer.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Yesterday Zeke and I took a ride to Nebraska. We spent the night in Beatrice, then this morning we went on up to the south side of Lincoln where I bought another car. The Camry is for daily driving, but this one is for fun: a 1923 Ford Model T touring. It's a nice straight restoration, not over restored, and I think I got a pretty good deal on it. It has a few details and one major item to finish, the major item being a top. It's good to restore a car that's in poor shape, but it's also good to have a fnished one to enjoy while you're restoring the other one.


Monday, December 8, 2008

It was a beautiful day, with afternoon temperatures pushing 70º. But the forecast is for rain tomorrow, turning to snow, so after work I spent the afternoon splitting wood and putting it in the garage where I gan get it without going outdoors. With a supply to last a couple of days stacked on the garage, I fastened tarps over the outside piles to keep the rain and snow off.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The rain didn't last long. It quickly changed to snow, with a strong north wind that piled up drifts in the usual places. Fortunately the total came to only a couple of inches, enough to make a nice picture and then melt in a few days. The forecast is for a warm Saturday, and then a plunge into the freezer beginning Sunday. I suppose I need to spend at least part of Saturday harvesting firewood. I have other things to do, but they'll have to wait.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I stayed after work today for an appraiser to come and inspect the new Ford for insurance coverage. The car is still strapped on the trailer and waiting at the sign factory until I can clear a place for it at home. By the time the inspection was done and I did the grocery shopping, I had just enough time left to bring in firewood for the evening.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

When I got home from work this afternoon Zeke showed up with a seriously chewed up face. When I first saw him I thought he might have become a one-eyed dog, but it appears there's still a good eye behind the lacerations and the swollen face. I'll keep him inside overnight and take him to the vet tomorrow.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Zeke went to work with me this morning, and after I finished about nine I took him to the vet. This afternoon when I went back to get him, the cuts were sewed up and he didn't seem to be in any pain. It's going to be a challenge keeping him inside for awhile, but I don't want him getting into any more fights, especially while he's still healing.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

After doing laundry, I replaced the five year old worn out battery in the new touring car and did a little tinkering. With warm weather, about 60º, I took the truck and the chainsaw down to the woodlot and brought up a load of firewood. It was a windy day, and as I was merrily sawing away a piece of plastic twine came flying through the air and jammed itself into my chainsaw. I spent about a half hour taking the thing apart and removing tangled plastic filaments. This is a wonderful modern "improvement" over the old biodegradable jute twine. By the time I brought the wood up to the house it was time to hit the shower and get ready for the company Christmas dinner in Wichita. As usual, the dinner was a swell feed. Also as usual, the band, six guys doing old rock songs, was good but dozens of decibels too loud.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

With snow in the forecast during the coming week, I did some wood splitting and piled a supply in the garage where I won't have to go out in the weather to get it. Then I went to town and did some tinkering on the new Ford. I tried getting it started, but found a big leak in the carburetor. When I took the carburetor off and opened it up, I found it will need a thorough cleaning and some new parts.


Monday, December 15, 2008

I stayed after work for nearly two hours, working on TT parts and that touring carburetor.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This afternoon I got insurance on the touring. Tomorrow I'll go to the courthouse to get the car registered.


Wednesday, December17, 2008

Mission accomplished, but I'm not dressed up in a pilot costume strutting around a carrier deck. I just got the touring registered. This is the second vehicle without a title that I've registered, and after reading what a bureaucratic nightmare that is in some states I'm glad it's as simple as it is in Kansas.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

After soaking carburetor parts in rust remover overnight I found out why it was leaking so badly. Sometime during the past eighty-five years the thing has sat with water in it for a long time, and there are rust holes in the bottom of the bowl. So a new bowl will be among the items on my next parts order.


Friday, December 19, 2008

I spent about four hours writing Christmas cards today, then worked on Model T parts. Working on both a T and a TT, there's plenty to do. Fortunately, most of the work on the T was already done when I got it.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

After another couple of hours writing on cards, I installed new shackle bushings in the TT front spring and perches, and got a couple of coats of paint on the axle and the main spring leaf, as well as the new shackles. After everything cooks in the walk-in oven overnight, I'll turn the axle and main leaf over and paint the other side.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

I did the last couple of Christmas cards, then worked on vehicle parts. I finished painting the TT front axle and main spring leaf and put them in the oven to cook, then worked on cleaning up the T carburetor and making a list of parts to order for it.


Monday, December 22, 2008

I worked on parts again, then did some wood splitting. I needed to pile some wood in the garage so it will stay dry, as there's a chance of wet weather tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

This afternoon I got the paint I ordered last week. I wanted some flat black epoxy enamel, and it was a scarce item. The big, modern Ace Hardware store couldn't get it, and Sherwin Williams couldn't get it, so I went to Bryant Hardware, the old-fashioned downtown store with the pressed tin ceiling. Zack Bryant got a half dozen cans for me. So much for modern specialists.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Today I used some of that new paint on a couple of carburetor parts, and orderd some parts I need. With one week left before the end of the year I hope to get that carburetor back together next week and have the car running again before the new year begins.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Today I started on the front wheels for the TT. The old tires were hard, and cracked, and stuck to the rims, so getting them off was a chore. I finished that about noon, then went out to Shane's for Christmas dinner. It was a swell feed, with turkey, dressing, and all the usual goodies. The kids enjoyed their presents, and I got one too. I wasn't expecting anything, but I came home with tea, and a pot, and a pair of cups. I also wound up with some leftovers, a pie, and three loaves of homemade bread. I will dine well for several days.


Friday, December 26, 2008

This was a day for unfinished business. Two summers ago I cut down some low hanging branches that were in the way of mowing, trimmed off the twigs and leaves, and made a pile to cut up for firewood later. Last year I was yanking out small trees with the tractor and added them to the pile. Today I took advantage of the nice weather (high nearly 70º) and did the firewood conversion. I wanted to sandblast some TT parts, but the humidity was so high that wet sand would have clogged the works. That job will have to wait for a dryer day.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

After doing laundry, I went to work on the TT front wheels. I painted nuts and bolts, then cleaned up the wheels and wrapped all the wood spokes in duct tape to protect them when I sand blast the rims and hubs. Except for taking an hour to get a leaky tire on the car fixed, I worked on those wheels from about 9:30 to a few minutes past 4:00.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

During winter nights when the temperature upstairs is in the thirties or twenties, Zeke likes to come up and sleep with the electric blanket under him. He doesn't seem to care about cold air over him as long as he has something warm underneath. If Miss Kitty happens to be in the house, she does the same.

This was a good day to get something done. With warm temperatures in the high forties and humidity low, I spent a couple of hours this afternoon sandblasting the TT front wheels. I spent more time preparing the wheels yesterday than I did sandblasting them today. The wooden spokes had to be wrapped in duct tape to protect them.

After a break of several weeks from jogging because of bad weather or being too busy or being too lazy, this afternoon I got out and did my three miles in 31:20. Not bad after being inactive for so long.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Another warm afternoon about 50º was a good opportunity to get some more sandblasting done. I got the rims almost finished. One more session will finish them, then I can paint them and get the new tires mounted. I expect to have the wheels finished in a week or two.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I went to the bank this afternoon, then to the doc for a checkup, so I didn't get a blessed thing done.


Wedesday, December 31, 2008

After work today I got some more painting done on TT parts, then went grocery shopping. It's slow going on the old truck, but if I get a little done most days, it will eveutally be finished.