Friday, August 20, 2010

Just Living And Having Fun As I Celebrate Life

This olelongrooffan can only suggest if you Counters Out There decide to stick around, you should refresh that cold beverage and find a comfortable seat as I ramble on about another day in the life of this olelongrooffan.

Several months ago this olelongrooffan needed to change the broken carrier bearing mount for the drive shaft in my oleragtop. thejeepjunkie was kind enough to allow this olelongrooffan to utilize one of those hydraulic lifts down at the shop where he wheels and deals sells tires and service. While it was in the air, after the heat shields were removed between the muffler system and the drive shaft, his boss, Mr. Happy, comes over to take a gander at what was up and mentions the "rag gasket", shown on the rear of the bottom two images here, attached to the rear of the transmission is shot and it needed to be replaced as well. I mentioned to him that the chances of anyone in town having this part for the 22 year old oleragtop in stock was minimal. He told me to get on the horn with Beachside Auto Parts and get one ordered and they could have it here first thing in the am. I asked if I would be able to utilize that lift another day. "Of course longroof, you are part of the family." I love it when he takes his meds.

So I got that "rag gasket" from my parts friends and installed it and the oleragtop runs like a champ. However, (you knew there was one coming) when I removed those heat shields and bolts I placed them in the cluttered trunk of that oleragtop. The next day while I was doing the reinstallation, two bolts came up missing. Mr. Happy checked in and, upon realizing my situation, directed me to several plastic coffee cans full of errant bolts and nuts on that heavy duty, winch bearing work bench nearby. I was able to find two similar, but not exact, replacement bolts and fastened that heat shield to the unibody of my oleragtop, dropped it to the ground and washed up with that killer grease removing gel thejeepjunkie keeps around just for that reason.

And all was well.

For about a month.

All of the sudden every time I would drive my oleragtop at low, sustained speeds an enormous racket emanating from beneath the *ss of this olelongrooffan while driving my oleragtop would fill the otherwise tranquil air that was the experience of piloting my oleragtop. I figured those two bastardized bolts were the culprit but I hesitated doing anything about it as it would mean imposing on thejeepjunkie to, once again, use that lift or to perform a repair in the parking lot at the Taj Mahal (not a choice alternative given the condo commandos' overbearing presence round these parts).

In the meantime, this olelongrooffan emptied out the trunk of that black beauty and found those no longer missing bolts and preserved them for future application.

So there is that.

In the interum, this olelongrooffan has been ebaying some diecast in my collection, nothing from the traveling collection Bus, and using that paypal debit card to meet some monthly financial obligations. I have a pretty good realization of the running balance on that plastic means of survival so I was surprised when I stopped at a mainland based petrol station and swipped my card to get some fuel for my oleragtop. The LED screen at that station which, for 2010 at least, sponsors the car driven by the husband of the lady I spent some time with on The World's Most Famous Beach a few weeks ago, told me this olelongrooffan needed to see the cashier inside.

And I did.

She told me it was an issue with my service provider and that station did not recognize it. Okaaay.

I then returned to the drop top and head out....without replacing the untethered gas cap on my oleragtop. I realized this upon returning to the Taj Mahal to double check my paypal balance and did a serious falm palm when I realized a trip to my local U-Pull-It would be required to replace that wayward gas cap.

It seems at that particular station, when using a debit card, they request $75 committment from my financial services company and, as my balance over there was around $45, and that precipitated the declined use of that card that day.

Another mystery solved.

So earlier this week at Happy Hour this olelongrooffan mentioned to thejeepjunkie that the installation of the period correct factory installed bolts was required so the next owner of my oleragtop would not have to do so. I mentioned this olelongrooffan was heading up to TomP's home to perform the weekly, and paid, ritual of mowing and weed eating his, prior to joining TheGentlemanFarmer and Mom, home. I mentioned I would take my floor jack and put the oleragtop in the air with it and perform that installation.

Well Counters, Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Be Flexible. Late last week, this olelongrooffan received compensation from out Californey way and it was deposited into this special account for hiding cash thejeepjunkie has. As it turns out, that check cleared on Tuesday and as my cell phone provider and my internet connection provider were looking for compensation of their own, this olelongrooffan decided to head down to thejeepjunkie's shop to get his plastic card and get the hard earned Benjamin's I had earned and make good with those wireless firms.

Upon arrival at thejeepjunkie's shop, I immediately headed to his roaming tool box and got the keys to his ride to get that card and headed next door to get those Benjamins.

When I returned he inquired if all was well and my response was in the affirmative.

thejeepjunkie asked this olelongrooffan what my next step was?

"I would love to pull my oleragtop into one of those rare empty bays you have, put it in the air and replace those not stock bolts standing up rather than on my back under a floor jack, unattended, up at TomP's place."

"Have at it," was his response.

And I did.

A mere twenty minutes later that oleragtop was on the ground and that loud racket was silenced thanks to thejeepjunkie, a couple ratcheting box end wrenches and a little sweat perfusing from this olelongrooffan.

"Done already?" was thejeepjunkie's response when I was spotted after another application of the aforementioned gel.

"Yeah, jeepjunkie, I told you it would only be twenty minutes and, by the way, thanks a ton, it was a breeze."

"Now whatcha doing?"

"I'm gonna head out and satisfy those liens proffered by the wireless companies I utilize to stay in touch with my family, friends" and You Counters.

"See ya at Happy Hour," was his response.

So this olelongrooffan jumped in my oleragtop leaving, for possibly the last time in it, thejeepjunkie's shop and headed out to my voice and, yes now, text provider's local establishment to cover my obilgations and then to compensate the corporate giant that provides my ability to contact You Counters and also allows them to sponsor the racing series that allows NASCAR to meet payroll each month.

Once this olelongrooffan had fulfilled those obligations, it was realized that my local U-Pull-It was less than a mile away, just beyond that Eisenhower Highway System interchange and this would be a good time to snag one of those untethered gas caps for the next owner of my oleragtop.

And I did.

So, this olelongrooffan, after checking the skies for potential rain clouds and pulling up the top on that black beauty, strolled past the squadron of wheelbarrows waiting for their time in action and stepped up to the entry counter. I plopped down two Washingtons, signed my life away and entered that bastion of male testosterone, also known as a junkyard.

Well as it seems with many aspects of the life this olelongrooffan has, at the first BMW I came to, I flipped open the gas filler door and, EUREKA, there was a genetically identical twin to the gas cap missing from my oleragtop. I calmly put it in the pocket located on my thigh in those bush jean type shorts this olelongrooffan acquired from a local clearance outlet for the measly sum of $5.00 per pair.

Now What?

This olelongrooffan had just spent two of my, very few these days, dollars to get inside the electrically charged perimeter and having been there for less than fifteen minutes, most of which was spent walking back to the "import" section, I was bound and determined to get my two bucks worth.

So Counters, guess what this olelongrooffan did?

If you guessed that I whipped out my trusty, elcheapo twenty-eight dollar ebay provided digital camera and commenced to getting some images of some old imports in that junkyard, please accept a hardy cyber provided congratulations from this olelongrooffan.

There was an old XJ6 I spotted but this olelongrooffan had forgotten where it was so settling for this Vanden Plus, much like the one this olelongrooffan swiped the medallion off around Christmas, was the best that could be done.

From the front, it looked in relatively good shape and most of its body parts had yet to be cannibalized.

I took a gander at the interior and it looked, as most Florida junkyard cars do, in tatters. Once an owner quits armouralling the cr*p out of a leather interior down here in The Sunshine State, it quickly begins to look as this one does.
Then I headed around the rear to see what terminal damage, other than Lucas Electrics, caused the demise of this species of a once great and luxurious means of Royal Transportation.
Sure enough, that damage to the driver's side rear quarter panel would have provided the justification necessary to offer a quick death to this once proud Jaguar. But how the h*ll did it happen with no apparent damage to the trunk lid? That, Counters, is a mystery this olelongrooffan will never solve.

And while we are in Britian, let's check out this rubber bumpered MGB offered by British Leyland. Much like our own General Motors is now, British Leyland was, at that time, owned by its government. At the time, BL was struggling with the superior quality of the upstart offerings of The Land of The Rising Sun and, ultimately, did not survive that onslaught.
This one was pretty picked over and will soon head to China to be transformed into, literally, a boatload of Harbor Freight Tools.
But this olelongrooffan has this to say about that: I am glad I was not looking for a gas cap for an MGB as that gapping hole just to the right side of the driver's side taillight will attest. FAIL.

Just a few rows down, I spotted another rare British Leyland. This pint sized offering of the MG family is a MG Midget.
This version of the Morris Garages output appeared to have lived a significant portion of its short life in either the snowy, salt loving northeast or in parts of the coastal southeast given the abundance of body rot showing along both sides of this short lived wonder of the British Leyland empire.
This Easter egg blue ragtop appeared to not have been completely pilfered of its goodies as had its older brethren and will probably not be seeing that slow boat to China anytime soon. Any Counters Out There needing a pair of taillight lenses for a rubber bumper era MG Midget, just drop this olelongrooffan an email.

As this olelongrooffan checked out the skies just out the passenger side window of this late
60's Mustang, I realized that it probably be a good, dry idea to head on back to the oleragtop and continue on with the adventures to be enjoyed this day.

But, of course, I had to stop and get a couple images of this German icon of the sixties in its final resting place.
Similar to its short in stature British brethren, there were a few goodies to be resurrected for another life remaining on this Type II and, also like that blue shorty, cancer appeared to have shortened this ole hippy mobile's active lifetime also.
And Cheech and Chong need to be called upon to ascertain the exact purposes and locations of the wiring that was formerly beneath the dashboard of this generation of the original forward control civilian people transporting machine.

This olelongrooffan will bet a princely sum there are still traces of cannabis in that ole bus.

While I was heading down that long stretch of open air pavement toward the exit of my local U-Pull-It, this olelongrooffan spotted the center section formerly covering the lug nuts on a wheel of an AutoUnion desendent lying there neglected and trod upon by the masses looking for replacement parts for an early 90's Neon seen in the background of the blue, vertically challenged offering by the Queen's own car producing company.

Of course, the only thing this olelongrooffan saw was GarageArt and it was promptly rescued from a definite demise in an open air 20 yard dumpster and relegated to a prominate location in the Taj Mahal.

Upon arrival at the only electrically safe entry and exit points of this facility, this olelongrooffan walked up to the check out desk and the future Hoon behind that window looked at my AutoUnion possession and said, "We're good."

Thanks man. And I beat it out of there.

Now, as I am heading east toward the coastal area of the region this olelongrooffan lives in, I decided to drop the top and lower the windows in my oleragtop for what just could be the final ride driven in it from that local junkyard.

So, the oleragtop takes me back under that Eisenhour Highway System's bridge at US 92and I-95 and I realize the Daytona International Speedway is rapidly approaching my traveling environment.

Well Counters, this olelongrooffan determined that an update on the repaving process at the Daytona International Speedway was in order.

I started by heading south on Williamson, past the private entrance where this olelongrooffan had gained an illgotten entrance and circled around to see the temporary asphalt batch plant that has been erected behind the backstretch grandstands.
The significant amount of gravel necessary for the repaving of that two and half mile speedway can be seen in the following image, just to the east of that batch plant.
I then returned to International Speedway Boulevard and proceeded to the parking lot of the home of the Rolex 24 at Daytona and parked under the rare shade tree. This olelongrooffen hoofed it across that parking lot to the entrance of the Daytona 500 Experience.

Yes Counters, I walked across an entire parking lot to get to that entrance because in Florida, especially in a black ragtop, a parking space is determined by the amount of shade provided, not by the proximity to the entrance of an establishment.

Unlike my last experience, the Oldfield Grandstands were open and this olelongrooffan headed up into that rarely attended grandstand to check out the action down on the track.

It turns out the paving crew was working on the backstretch, out of the prying eyes of this olelongrooffan and all that could be seen that day was the result of the efforts of the demolition crews.

They did leave some equipment lying dormant for we few spectators to observe and get images of.
The paving crew had totally removed all of the asphalt from turn 4 exposing the limestone subgrade put in place some fifty years ago. You can see it exposed in the following image.
Also in that image you can see the temporary road constructed outside the barrier wall that will be utilized by the equipment needed to stabilize the paving equipment while repaving the 33 degree banked turn. Also note the lack of catch fencing around that turn.

Looking through the still remaining catch fence, beyond the palm tree adorned infield, it can be seen that the pavement on turn 3 has, thus far, escaped the wrath of those pavement destroying machines.
Although it is a bit difficult to make out in the following image due to the reinforcing cables running horizontally within the catch fence, that horizontal line just below those bright orange pylons is the remaining surface of that 6" thick pavement installed in 1978.
And smack dab in the middle of the exit of turn 4 is this huge pile of future subgrade material for that soon to be installed surface. Notice the portolet in the background? This olelongrooffan has by personal knowledge there are three fully functioning bathrooms within 100 yards of this location!
So, by now this olelongrooffan has been out in the wonderfully refreshing mid August Florida sunshine for just about long enough so I reversed my entry process through the Daytona 500 Experience, hesitating long enough to get an image of the temporarily delayed Richard Petty Driving Experience promotional race car, and get back to my oleragtop.
Incidentally, the Richard Petty Driving Experience, which normally operates at the Daytona International Speedway year round, has temporarily relocated its operations to the speedway down in MickeyMouseLand at Disney World.

As I was headed up Nova Road to clandestingly swing by thejeepjunkie's garage and gather up his handy dandy weedeater, I spotted this cool old pick up truck and had to get a shot of it for the Bus.
I then returned Beachside and entered the Taj Mahal through its massive entry door
and remembered that, by now, it is
so I fixed one up for this olelongrooffan and commenced to sharing my day with all of you Counting Along With Me.

And in doing so, this olelongrooffan is able to

Celebrate Life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ed said you sold the old station bus!