Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just for Driveling Deb

Driveling Deb has a dang funny blog followed by this olelongrooffan. It is featured on my blogroll and, sometimes, she'll check in at By The Numbers.

She is based along the Atlantic Coast just as I am. The only difference is that she is roughly 1,500 miles north of The Birthplace of Speed in the great state of Maine.

The other day, this olelongrooffan was out and about and spotted the car shown in the following image and immediately thought of that humorous blogger.
Of course, this olelongrooffan whipped out that elcheapo 28 dollar ebay acquired camera and got a shot of it.

And Counters, it is finding this type of off the wall cr*p, having a camera handy, and getting that image for you really lets me

Celebrate Life.

Yeah, This olelongrooffan Loves Waking Up Before Dawn

and I'm not talking about her.

No Counters, one of the advantages of my awesome new job is that this olelongrooffan has to drag his sorry *ss out of that California King in the master suite of the Taj Mahal around 4:45 every working morning.

Well, on my days off, one of which is tomorrow, I usually wake up around the same time. Last Sunday I did the same and got this image of the sun rising, over the Atlantic Ocean, from the veranda of the Taj Mahal.
And sharing this with you Counters on the 51st anniversary of the birth of this olelongrooffan, along with a Skye Martini, really lets me

Celebrate Life.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Well, Counters, I Can't Believe It!

So this olelongrooffan has been on the job as a dishwasher for Bethune-Cookman's cafeteria for nine working days.

During this time I have been referred to as a "grain of salt in a huge pepper shaker", "the 'token' whitey", "the best ice getter yet", the "You are the only guy I am working the wheel with", and finally got a "F*ck Mr. John" from the man I refer to as "thecrazyguy", much to the amusement of my co-workers. But that latter comment would only be a problem if the guy was respected by anyone. But "thecrazyguy" works his b*tt off, even though he always talks to noone in particular.

But it is all fun. This olelongrooffan takes no offense because "I Have A Job." And I can always get a laugh from them by some comment they have not heard before.

"My Momma didn't raise no fool" is one. Especially when that comment is followed up with "Well, she did, but it is my brother!"

Well, yesterday as this olelongrooffan was working the Detroit induced, never ending "wheel" full of dirty dishes with Cat, who likes all things with that name, (I actually call her girlie even though she is represents nothing girlie, which, of course, is why she has that name and even likes it)....anyway, the Big Boss, Miss Roberts comes around the corner, hollers my name and I turn to her. She says, "Come see me in my office when you have a moment."

Of course, "Yes, Miss Roberts," immediately comes out of the mouth of this olelongrooffan.

Cat says, "Somebody saw you steal that biscuit from the bakery room."

"Girlie, if someone saw me steal that biscuit, I would be in Miss Roberts office right now."

TheCrazyMan says " Are you parked in the right place?" See what I mean?

Anyway, having spent many years in personnel management, I knew something was up and this olelongrooffan didn't believe I was in any trouble.

Hold on, it is 9:45 on a Saturday evening and the fireworks are going off down on the beach and this olelongrooffan needs to step outside to take a moment to Celebrate Life.

Counters, this olelongrooffan is back. Man!! That is a cool show and it lasts about fifteen minutes, every Saturday night. Always a joy to see although I don't particularly like fireworks on a first hand basis.

So anyway, the girlie and this olelongrooffan are working the "wheel" and finally a lull in the action occurs and she tells me to go see what Miss Roberts wants.

And I do.

Miss Roberts brings me into her office, closes her door, and, at this time, I mention "Why do I feel that I am getting called to the Prinicpal's office?"

And she just cracks up laughing. And I mean a hearty, big black woman eminating, deep throated laugh.

"Now I know why everyone likes you."

What a compliment from my Boss of nine days.

The jist of the conversation is that she wants to know if this olelongrooffan likes working?

"Well, Miss Roberts, I hate standing around looking for something to do."

"Mr. John," yeah, she calls me that too, "Mr. Williams and I want to move you into a superviser position in the dish room and work through both shifts. Is that something you are interested in?"

My reply was, "Miss Roberts, whatever you tell me to do, I'll do it. If you would like me to wash pots (the lowest of the low), I'll do it. Clean ovens for Chef Pam, I am there. I am just happy to have a job."

"That's what I thought," she replied.

So we get to chatting it up about our backgrounds and just, generally getting to know each other.

"Miss Roberts, while this olelongrooffan is just a total rookie in this industry and, while I have a great deal of knowledge about the Hispanic culture, I have not worked with, basically any, African Americans, I have made a few observations. In the construction industry, I was always looking to contain costs.

May I relay to you a couple thoughts?"

"Please do," was her response.

So I mentioned a few things that could contain costs and they were well received by her and, I believe, may actually be enacted a short time in the future.

One of the things I mentioned was the exorbanent use of paper napkins by those college students.

Miss Roberts commented that those kids waste a bunch of napkins.

I commented that if the napkin dispensers were removed from each and every table and relocated to a more central location, off of each table, the use of those paper napkins would, most likely, diminish.

After all, do you Counters remember when there was a chrome napkin dispenser on every table at a fast food establishment but now they are centrally located?

What works for McDonald's would work for Gourmet Services.

This olelongrooffan suggested it happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas break so there would be definitive period of time to record any savings. Plus, if you did it tomorrow, the kids would recognize the change and complain, but after their return from Thanksgiving break they probably wouldn't even notice.

I take my leave of Miss Roberts, as she has tons of stuff to do that has nothing to do with this olelongrooffan and return to the dish room.

So I got back there and offer my hand to the girlie saying "It has been fun but I am outahere."

She looks at me in wonderment and I can't help but to break up laughing.

She asXed, sorry justed getting into the lingo, she asked me what Miss Roberts wanted.

As the girlie has been at that cafeteria for pret-near four years, I was reluctant to tell her.

But I did.

She said, "You takin' it, right?"

"Well, girlie, I feel bad, you been here four years and I've been here a week. I kinda feel bad about it."

Her response? "Are you stupid, Boy? They didn't offer it to me cuz they thought you could do a good job! Get all over it!"

So that was it. The one who rules over the dish room just gave me her approval.

But this olelongrooffan was worried about the two young men I worked with, Speedy and Happy, so named by me, and the names of whom were approved by the girlie. Yeah, either of these dudes could kick my *ss to the curb without breaking a sweat.

As it turns out both of them are excited as h*ll for me as they don't have to accept any more responsibility.

"Just let me know what you want me to do, Mr. John," was each of their responses.

Now, the interesting part of this, (at least to this olelongrooffan) Miss Roberts has not made an official announcement of my new duties. The only person to have told anyone is my girlie.

And today at work, all the staff in the dish room came to me to look for what to do next.

And know Counters, this olelongrooffan had the knowledge to suggest their next duties.

So here this olelongrooffan is, the dish room supervisor for the cafeteria at Bethune-Cookman University and with just another reason to

Celebrate Life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

795 Days

Early on the morning of Tuesday, April 22, 2008, this olelongrooffan was sitting on the back porch of that two story condo I lived in over in Slocala, Florida. I was enjoying a hot cup of Joe and reading the news on the starbanner.com website when my cell phone rings. It was Alex, an employee and coworker of mine at a home interior design firm, calling to tell me that Brian, the owner of the company, was here from his office around 100 miles away.

As Mr. Peter DeLorenzo says, all kinds of notsogood.com. I knew from previous experience that Brian liked to let people go mid week so that the, now former, employee didn't fret about it all weekend long. Being the highest paid employee at this satellite showroom, I knew my days were numbered as the economy was continuing to tank and the construction industry was being especially affected.

Sure enough, a little later on that Tuesday morning, this olelongrooffan was cleaning out his desk while Brian was trying to make me feel better. "At least you can collect unemployment," was one of his ways of doing so. I told him that I held no ill will towards him after all, it is just business. I am just sorry that I did not succeed for you. He replied the deck was stacked against me as the prior management didn't penetrate the market in Slocala while business was booming.

As an aside, I agree. You can't put an unemployed used car salesman, also a brother in law, in charge of cold selling construction related products, I don't care what the market is. Nuff said.

So this olelongrooffan is unemployed and a call was placed to thejeepjunkie to apprise him of the situation.

"Whatcha gonna do longroof?"

"Well, jeepjunkie, I have absolutely no idea. I can't afford to move back to FantasyLand and this place sucks." Yeah when you are a BMW convertible driving, oxford shirt, slacks, and black loafer, no socks wearing dude, a farming community, no matter how upscale, is not the best place to reside.

"longroof, move over here to The Birthplace of Speed. As you say, Something Will Come Up, It Always Does."

And I did.

That weekend, this olelongrooffan road tripped the 69 miles, yes, really, 69 miles, to Ormond Beach and just drove around looking for the Taj Mahal. I finally found it and convinced Bert into letting me move in and the owner agreed with Bert's selection of me as a member of the Ocean Villas Village community.

So this longrooffan moved to the Taj Mahal, just two short blocks from the Atlantic Ocean here in Ormond Beach, Florida. I divested myself of most of the furnishings of the 2,600 square foot 3 bedroom, 2 bath, formal living/dining room with a sun porch home I had sold prior to getting that two story condo to move into the 600 square foot 1 bedroom, 1 bath with an efficiency style kitchen/living room condo affectionately known as the Taj Mahal. Now you Counters know.

But there is always an ocean breeze.

See, that is just how I choose to Celebrate Life. Always an ocean breeze. There is one now with a bit of a chill in the air.

So here this olelongrooffan was, living Beachside, still unemployed, but able to have a couple great roadtrips in 2008, parlay a paid for Volvo 850 for yet another desirable E30 ragtop with a few bucks to boot, snatch my olestationbus for a bit of automotive excitement, attend a bunch of events out at the Daytona International Speedway as well as down at the Daytona Beach Bandshell and beach. Plus, I got to pick up the Indian.

However, the bottom line is still unemployed.

Sure I have been able to snag a few jobs with Manuel Labor here and there. But h*ll Counters, this olelongrooffan is going to be 51 years young shortly and working with Manuel is fun and all but dang he works me hard. Plus my gross income in 2009 was less than $14,000.00. And remember, my daughter Jessica's support payment was over $6,000 of that measly $14K. Well justified, but still.

One of the activities this olelongrooffan has enjoyed is visiting thejeepjunkie at his Goodyear store down in Daytona Beach. Manuel Labor and I have spent some time there and I have always been treated well by thejeepjunkie's coworkers. Of course, the occassional accompanyment of a couple pizzas when I visited there provided further assistance to my generous treatment.

One of the things thejeepjunkie likes to do is let this olelongrooffan engage his clients in conversation while he goes off to work his magic to get things done so those clients are satisfied with the service his location supplies.

This olelongrooffan has done so on several occasions with, along with many others, those guys who drive those black and tan cars, as well as, the drivers of Daytona Beach's finest, private customers of his firm and the Bethune-Cookman University.

One of the members of the latter category is known round these parts as Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams has his firm's vehicles, as well as his personal vehicles, serviced by thejeepjunkie.

I first met him about eighteen months ago and we chatted about my employment situation then. We met again several months later and further discussed the opportunities for employment in a county that has a 14% unemployment rate.

Mr. Williams runs a firm, Gourmet Services, Inc., that contracts with Bethune-Cookman University, as well as several other colleges in the northeast part of the state of Florida, to run their food services division.

Bethune-Cookman University is one of several colleges in the greater Daytona Beach area. It is a private college with a predominately African-American student body. Very affluent students, excellent football team and well thought of in this area.

A couple Saturdays ago, this olelongrooffan was working with Mr. Happy on Bert's car down at thejeepjunkie's shop. Mr. Williams was having the wheel bearings replaced on his boat trailer by members of thejeepjunkie's staff.

While Mary, the new owner of Bert's car, was out for a test drive, thejeepjunkie, Mr. Williams and this olelongrooffan were shooting the breeze.

"Your brother got a job yet?" Mr. Williams asks thejeepjunkie.

"Just doing some odd jobs here and there," was his response.

Mr. Williams looks me right in the eye, "Well, I'll fix that." And he grabs his cell off his belt and makes a phone call.

This olelongrooffan can hear him talking to the other end.

"I'm standing here looking at JJ's replacement," he says.

He hands the phone to me and I am talking to the catering manager for Gourmet Services, Inc., a Miss Courtney.

She tells me to come in around 10 on Monday morning to fill out some "for hire" paperwork.

Well Counters, you know that at 10 o'clock sharp on the morning of September 13, 2010, this olelongrooffan was entering the office of Gourmet Services down there on that Bethune-Cookman campus.

Miss Courtney was out at an event and I explained my directive to Miss Brenda, the lady behind the other desk in that office. As soon as I mentioned Mr. Williams name, Miss Roberts came out from her sub-office and this olelongrooffan related to her that Mr. Williams told me to come on down and fill out some paperwork. She certainly looked surprised but gave me an application to complete.

I stepped out to a table in the cafeteria, completed it and returned it to her. She looked it over and made the comment, "You used to making some big dollars."

"Yes Maam, but that was a whole economy ago."

She then left the office and returned a short time later and gave me the "for hire" paperwork.

I completed it and Miss Brenda told me to call Miss Courtney in a couple days.

And on Wednesday, I did. She commented she was still waiting for Corporate to respond.

And later that day, one week ago, as thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan were sitting on the veranda of the Taj Mahal, the massive communications system lights up and it turns out it is Miss Courtney. She is calling to confirm this olelongrooffan is approved for employment with Gourmet Services, Inc. and I should report at 11:00 on Thursday morning to begin my first steady employment in 795 days.

Yeah, now you got the title, By The Numbers.

So, at no time during this series of interviews and meetings, did I ask what my job was or my rate of pay.

Because you know what? It doesn't matter, I have a job!

But don't think it is glamorous.

I'm turning 51 one week from today and I am a dishwasher for Bethune-Cookman University.

But you know what?

I don't care, at least I have a job!

And my rate of pay?

$7.50 per hour.

I don't care, at least I have a job!

But a lot of good those four years of college and a degree in Geography are doing me now.

But at least I have a job!

There are several really cool aspects of being the "token" white person in the all African-American staff this olelongrooffan works with.

They all call me Mr. John. I'm not sure why as they don't refer to the other co-workers, other than management, as "Mr." or "Miss".

Everyone, without exception, is a blast to work with and they all like to joke around but get the job done.

Although my hours are 6:00 am to 2:30 pm, it is nice as it resets a routine with the hours this olelongrooffan is used to from my construction related days.

So, this olelongrooffan has been there for a full week, I am off on Thursdays and Sundays so I get two Fridays a week!

I have also fixed a broken display on the highly popular Fanta Orange pop dispenser, read the directions on how to clean the ovens in the kitchen thus making that job a lot easier (it's all about heat), reinstalled a shield on the dishwasher so my coworker, Cat, who likes all things with that name, doesn't have wet feet while working that dishwasher and this olelongrooffan can get ice for that pop machine so quickly that I am nominated every time that experience is required.

And I don't mind, at least I have a job.

Today, my coworker, Cat, was showing the Big Boss, Miss Roberts, the repairs I had made to the dishwasher and the leaking drain under the "dish sink" and told her, in front of me, that this olelongrooffan should be over in the facilities maintenance department.

I looked at Cat and Miss Roberts and said, "Well, today, I am washing dishes," as this olelongrooffan headed back to that dirty dish inducing "wheel" that, I would suspect, feels like a Detroit assembly line, in that it never stops!

As usual, thejeepjunkie has the inside scoop.

When Miss Roberts left that office on that fateful Monday, she marched into Mr. Williams office and stated, "We can't hire this boy, he is used to making to much money!"

Mr. Williams stated, "Just hire him, he will work out fine."

I later found out from thejeepjunkie that Mr. Williams had stopped by thejeepjunkie's shop, that Monday, to pick up his boat key.

While there he mentioned that this olelongrooffan had done as expected and "I'll let him collect a couple paychecks washing dishes then I'll get him moved over to facilities maintenance where he'll do a great job."

Well Counters, this olelongrooffan is paying his dues and my calves and *ss muscles ache like nobody's business and I sure hope those couple of paychecks come really soon.

But know this, the fact I have a job, regardless of what it is, really lets this olelongrooffan

Celebrate Life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Classic Pepsi Commercial

You Counters should head over to Tamerlane's Thoughts and check out a classic Pepsi commercial.

It's a great opportunity to

Celebrate Life.

What I Saw Today

So this olelongrooffan, after spending two and a half hours at the Social Security office (UGH) getting a replacement card, was driving the Indian back to the Taj Mahal and I spotted this in traffic in front of me.
I was fortunate enough to get stopped at a traffic light beside it. I started talking with the driver about his 1952 Willys M38 Molasses. He mentioned it was all original and this olelongrooffan didn't think, at the time, if original meant unrestored or stock.
I did mention thejeepjunkie's yellow CJ2A and the driver said he had seen it around and wondered about it.

After asking permission, I got the following image and commented that I bet you get this alot when you take it out. They both started laughing and said it happens every time out.

And capturing this ole flat fender for you Counters out there really helps this olelongrooffan

Celebrate Life.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Maximum Corvair Day - Daytona Beach Edition

Over at Hooniverse, the UDMan has done a series of excellent posts on the Corvair show he attended this weekend up in the Bay State. With all respect to him, this olelongrooffan thought I would submit a trio of rear engine powered Corvairs I saw at the Spring Fling down here in Daytona Beach last spring. But my fellow Hoons will need to make the jump to see them.

At Bellair Plaza, I spotted this highly customized Gen 2 Corvair (oops, this one isn't air cooled or rear engine) sporting a water cooled front engine GM product. If memory serves me correctly, it was a 350 small block but as I am not as mechanically inclined as many of my fellow Hoons, this olelongrooffan has no problem with being corrected. It sure showed out nicely and had a great stance and sound. While I was out at the Daytona International Speedway for the swap meet held out there twice a year, I spotted this Corvair based dune buggy. I did not know, prior to this, that the Corvair was utilized in this way. I lamented the fact that over 21 million VW's were produced, vs. just over a million Corvairs, and why would you bastardize a rare Corvair in this manner?
Over in the area where the race car drivers park their motorcoaches during a race, this "Scooby Van" was spotted. Above is a full frontal shot of it.
The Greenbriar did have some pretty cool wire wheel covers that seemed to fit the feel of this van.
The cockpit had the same feel as my Falcon Van with the front crumple zone being your legs.
And while this is not an ULTRA VAN, there were some built in cabinets and it appeared to have been slept in out there in the infield of that speedway.
Of course, with a full frontal, we definitely need to see the full rear view also.
This olelongrooffan thinks this is one of the coolest name plates from any American manufacturer to this point. I even have one hanging on my wall as garage art.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

One Hundred Fifty Bucks A Mile

In my last blog post this olelongrooffan explained how a couple days spent with Manuel Labor netted me a pre rusted 92 Toyota Corolla from my neighbor, Bert.

Well, I was internally debating whether to replace that broken CV axle prior to putting this olerustbucket up on Craigslist. Last evening at Happy Hour this olelongrooffan proposed that very same question to thejeepjunkie, TheGoodAttorney and theracedude. It was unanimous to replace it. I asked thejeepjunkie if he thought this olelongrooffan could perform that repair at his shop. Yeah, he commented, I got some building maintenance you can do in exchange for bay rental time.

Hot D*mn. Anyone who has done under car work knows it is a h*ll of a lot easier on a lift.

So last evening, around 6:30, this olelongrooffan logged onto Craigslist via Firefox (just so you know, when you are one the real Craigslist, there is a Peace Symbol in the URL, if you, well at least it happens to me, when I log on through IE it is not a secure site, just saying) anyway, logged on and put up a listing for Bert's Car with a sales price of $750.

This is the content of that ad:

Up for sale is Bert's 1992 Toyota Corolla. I received this car as payment for a bath remodel job for my 88 year old neighbor. He bought it new and has been the only driver of it. It has 188,000 miles, near new brakes, near new tires, a timing belt and water pump was installed less than 30,000 miles ago. It is rusty, has manual windows and an automatic transmission. A new driver's side CV axle will be installed prior to sale. Not pretty to look at but good dependable transportation. The oil stains on the concrete in the images are from my black convertible. This car has no leaks. I have priced it at about what the remodel job was worth and I think it is a fair price. This car runs strong, was babied its entire life and whatever needed repairing was repaired. Give me a call to set up a look/see time. Cash on the barrel. John 386-868-xxxx.

Within two hours, the massive communications system in the Taj Mahal lights up and it is a sweet young lady inquiring about Bert's car. The absolute first thing out of my mouth was that Bert's car was thoroughly rusted out. She said that she understood but was interested in seeing the car anyway.

I asked where she lived and she was located just across International Speedway Boulevard from the Daytona International Speedway. I told her to meet me at thejeepjunkie's shop around 11 am on Saturday and she could check it out.

She agreed and all was well.

So this beautiful Saturday morning down here in The Birthplace of Speed, this olelongrooffan loads a mess of tools and supplies into Bert's car and head down to thejeepjunkie's shop to get done whatever he needed done in exchange for that free bay rental.
After I had finished loading some stuff in the backseat, I shut the door and parts of rusted metal dropped to the parking lot below!

When we picked that car up on Wednesday evening, thejeepjunkie had driven it back to Taj Mahal. So this morning was the first time this olelongrooffan drove Bert's car. And that knock-knock-knock happened during the entire 4 mile trip to that shop.

I arrived and commenced to getting my share of that free bay rental portion of the transaction completed.

Meanwhile, today, thejeepjunkie was handling the sales portion of the shop while his boss, Mr. Happy, was handling the service end of operations.

Mr. Happy and this olelongrooffan get along pretty well and he always gives me a ration for wearing oxford shirts. But I don't mind. If he didn't like me he wouldn't give me that ration.

So anyway, thejeepjunkie has this olelongrooffan pull Bert's car into the esteemed place of honor which is Bay One, directly in front of the service desk, today occupied by Mr. Happy. We get it lifted in the air and I remove the driver's side front tire to inspect what there is to be seen.

I then head over to TomP's (RIP) tool box that is now thejeepjunkie's and gather up what is needed for wrenching on Bert's car. When I returned to that broken CV axle bearing machine, Mr. Happy steps around that service desk and observes this olelongrooffan in action.

After watching me for a few minutes, he grabbed the tools from my hands and had that CV axle out in two shakes of a bunny's tail. And it was put together in almost as quickly a fashion. I commented thanks a bunch Steve. His response was that this olelongrooffan had hung those paper towel holders in his bathrooms in about the same time so all was even!

So, I put that front tire back on and dropped Bert's car to the ground.

I then headed up front to that water cooler to get a cold cup of water. On the way across that showroom, a young lady walked in and asked for thejeepjunkie, as I had told her to do. I asked if she was Mary and she replied in the affirmative. Come on back.

So we went out to Bay One, this olelongrooffan showed her the car and handed her the key to take it out for a spin.

When she returned, I noticed that knock-knock-knock was still present. I asked her if it had done that the whole time. Again, her response was in the affirmative.

Hey JeepJunkie!

He comes over, assesses the situation and drags that olerustbucket back into Bay One and lifts it up. He and thePatdude rotate a couple tires, same problem. thePatdude then gets under Bert's car with a flashlight and it is determined the wheel is rubbing on the brake caliper.

thejeepjunkie pulls that wheel off, instructs thePatdude to get him the biggest hammer from Tom's tool box and, after receiving said hammer, commenced to beating on that wheel with all his might.

It seems one of the welds on that wheel had rusted and that is what was causing that knock-knock-knock the whole time.

Meanwhile this olelongrooffan headed out to tell Sweet Mary what was up. I asked her why she was interested in Bert's car. Well, the timing belt went out of my 91 Escort wagon and screwed up the valves and it is out of commission. The history of this car is excellent and it feels as if it has good karma!

thejeepjunkie has now reattached that wheel and backs Bert's car out of Bay One. Mary gets in and takes it for another test drive.

Meanwhile, thejeepjunkie is all apologies for the misdiagnosis. I tell him that the CV axle was broken and all is good.

She returns a short time later and it was relayed that all is well.

Mary, you want this car?


What are you willing to pay for it.

Would you take $600.


And she heads to that bank next door, returns and gives this olelongrooffan a handful of Jacksons, give me a firm handshake and a thumbs up and
heads to points west.

Yeah, that's the explanation of the title for this post for you Counters. I had driven Bert's car 4 miles and sold it for 600 bucks. One Hundred Fifty Bucks A Mile.

And that let's this olelongrooffan really

Celebrate Life.

Wait, you Counters think that's it?

H*ll it's not even time for a Japanese dental appointment, yeah, you know 2:30.

thejeepjunkie gives this olelongrooffan a ride, in his new ride, back to the Taj Mahal and unloaded all my tools from the bed of his new ride into the bed of my new ride. He grabs a cold pop and heads home to paint a couple sides of the outside of thesungoddess's abode.

Meanwhile, this olelongrooffan secures a whole bunch of those Jackson's while retaining a few and head out to compensate some wireless companies for yet another month.

Since my wireless internet provider is out there beyond the Daytona International Speedway, this olelongrooffan decided to stop in and check out the progress of the repaving of the track.
Today, it was pretty cool as they were working on the installation of pavement on Turn 4, almost directly in front of the Oldfield Tower which provides free observation of the work being performed.
Not alot of commentary here except to note this machinery is huge. The tires on that crane down there on the entrance to pit road are nearly six feet tall!
And that tracked machine is driving on the road this olelongrooffan saw being constructed here. That arm off the side of it is supporting the actual paving machine on those 33 degree banks.
In the image above, they are disconnecting that dozer from the paver and the paver, at a glacial pace, followed the crane below around to turn 3.
It was about this time this olelongrooffan decided to head back to the Taj Mahal, grill up a brat and Celebrate Life.

Unfortunately, before I was able to do that, I spotted today's version of a Biker Babe out on A1A.
But all was well, that vision was washed from my eyes as I spotted my neighbor flying this around the neighborhood. (Language in that link is NSFW.)
Now that really allowed this olelongrooffan to

Celebrate Life.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bert's Car

This olelongrooffan's neighbor here at the Taj Mahal is Bert Crow and he is 88 years young. The best part is that he is a retired fertilizer and animal feed salesman from The Ozark Mountains area. The day I met him is the day I came over from Slocala to inspect the Taj. The aforementioned career was disclosed and I mentioned my upbringing on Haven Lee Farm, Halltown Edition. This olelongrooffan was sure I was approved to move in as when I left his company, he said, "It'll be good to have another Missouri boy around."

He has been here for the 8 years since his wife went on to join Mom and TheGentlemanFarmer. Bert has been the defacto manager for the owner who lives down in South Florida. The first time the owner, after I moved in, drove the four hours one way to trim the bushes around the Taj Mahal, I told him I could, and would, take care of that duty. And slowly Bert's responsibility has been redelegated to this olelongrooffan.

A couple weeks ago, Bert had minor surgery and his daughter was lamenting his after surgery care. She commented that Bert was having difficulty stepping over the side of his tub and she asked me if there was kit to convert that tub to a shower. There is and they are around $400 but told her I could remove the tub and tile the area where the tub was so it would be, effectively, a walk in shower. She was elated! I mentioned to her I would talk to the owner and get his approval to do this. I had, after all, replaced Bert's water heater last year.

And yes, I ruined the twelve dollar heating element on that brand new water heater by turning on the power to it prior to bleeding the air out of it. Yeah, I know, Dumb*ss.

So anyway Bert went off to surgery and this olelongrooffan hooked up with Manuel Labor and commenced to tearing out that tub. I had mistakenly thought it was a case iron tub, the removal of which merely involves busting it up with a sledge hammer. Unfortunately, it was a metal tub and the extensive use of these were involved.

But it got done, turned out real nice and Bert is especially grateful and mentions to this olelongrooffan all the time how much he appreciates the things I do for him, you know stuff like get his mail from our remote mailbox station, pick him up some Preparation H, set out his recycle bin. Small stuff for this olelongrooffan but big stuff to 88 year old Bert Crow.

But as this olelongrooffan relates every time he mentions that, "Bert if we were neighbors on farms up in the Ozarks and you needed some help, I'd be doing the same thing."

Last winter, Bert decided to hang up his driving gloves and his rusty 1992 Toyota Corolla went off to his daughter's home for use by one of her sons. It recently developed a knock in the front end and she was going to have it hauled off, much like my olewreckedragtop.

Bert and I were chatting it up on the expansive veranda of the Taj Mahal last week and he mentioned his daughter was coming by to pick up he title for that transfer. This olelongrooffan mentioned that, "H*ll Bert, I'll give her a hundred bucks for it."

He responded with "You want that car?"

"Yes sir."

"Well John, it is yours and you are not giving us any money for it."

So now Counters, this olelongrooffan is the proud owner of a NUMMI built Toyota Corolla and that knock in the front end? A 40 dollar CV joint, as diagnosed by thejeepjunkie.

So, for 40 bucks and a couple hours labor I got this:

In the above shot, it looks pretty good.

thejeepjunkie and this olelongrooffan picked it up tonite after Happy Hour from the daughter's home about ten minutes north of the Taj Mahal, Beachside. We got it started and thejeepjunkie was driving down the street toward the Atlantic Coast trying to field diagnose that knock. He stopped at the end of the street at A1A and got out. "I'm pretty sure it is the CV joint. But hey longroof, if it dies and I pull off to the side of the road, we are not parking it, we are abandoning it."

But believe this Counters, it is definitely "pre-rusted."
Yeah, it is pretty bad all over.
The paint on the roof, much like the hair on the head of this olelongrooffan, is getting pretty thin.

The interior doesn't look to bad until
you look a little closer.
It is a one owner, one driver, adult driven 188,000 mile bearing olerustbucket.
Plus, it has the standard cracked dashboard for pretty much any car here in The Sunshine State over 15 years old.

And yes Counters, it will always, at least to this olelongrooffan, be known as "Bert's Car".

But it is knowing Bert is happy for finding a way to repay me and this olelongrooffan has a $500 Craigslisting just waiting to happen, allows me to

Celebrate Life.

Monday, September 6, 2010

thejeepjunkie's New Toy

This olelongrooffan spent a thoroughly enjoyable Saturday afternoon this Labor Day weekend working with thesungoddess and thejeepjunkie painting and replacing some rotten exterior siding on thesungoddess's abode.

At the crack of dawn-thirty Sunday morning the massive communication system lights up at the Taj Mahal. Surprisingly this olelongrooffan was awake and waiting for that summons from thejeepjunkie to meet him at a previously determined location so we could hook up and take one vehicle to pick up his new toy.

We started out heading up Old Dixie Highway which around these parts looks like this. It is very tranquill with marshes and wetlands surrounding a good portion of it. We are cruising along in the Kid's Big Black Beauty, about 20 minutes into a 25 minute drive, when suddenly a series of loud cuss words eminates from thejeepjunkie. "Sh*t, I forgot the god*mn tire."
Part of this transaction involved the exchange of this spare tire for one of the seller's trailers. It has been resting quietly in the bed of thejeepjunkie's little white truck for two weeks and he had forgotten to transfer it to the Kid's Big Black Beauty.

Oh well, as this olelongrooffan commented, "Just more blog fodder."

thejeepjunkie just started laughing and mentioned that everything was blog fodder for me.

It's true. Whether interested or not, you Counters are going to hear about it.

So now we are running a bit late and thejeepjunkie decides to hit the Eisenhower Interstate System and head up to our destination.
By the way, "Life Is A Highway" by Rascal Flatts in playing on the enormous stereo system at the Taj Mahal at this moment! (See I told ya!)

Anyway, that is TheGentleman Farmer's old hat which now belongs to thejeepjunkie. This olelongrooffan used to own it but thejeepjunkie expressed such an interest in it that ownership was transferred. At least it is being used for more than garage wall art. It is not the hat seen here.

Now, I would suspect you Counters are wondering what thejeepjunkie's new toy is. Well wonder no longer as thejeepjunkie was able to acquire this
flatbed trailer. He was able to acquire it for the princely sum of one Benjamin, the aforementioned spare tire and a case of Natty Light!
Now it's not in the best of shape but who can beat the price. thejeepjunkie got from one of the guys who drives a black and tan car and that trooper is in the process of liquidating some things from his father's estate.
After we retrieved it from that field, with the help of a nice little four wheel drive tractor, we headed over to the seller's ranchette, aired up the still in great shape tires and thejeepjunkie did a little impromptu body work on that new toy.
We then took off for theracedude's house to work on his newest acquisition. This trailer was used by the trooper's dad to transport boats down south to sell at auction, hence the trailer hitch ball mounted on the front of the bed. Once, while headed back from Fort Lauderdale, he was rear ended by a pickup truck and the trailer was totalled.
As you can see, the front of it is slightly off kilter.
And the rear is way screwed up. In fact, the entire trailer is 3 inches out of square. This olelongrooffan, with the assistance of thejeepjunkie, determined this by measuring corner to corner each way on the bed of that trailer. Sometimes an oleunemployedconstructionworker's knowledge can help to determine something!
So, thejeepjunkie breaks out the trusty ole sawzall TheGoodAttorney scored for forty sawbucks on ebay and commenced to getting that bent to h*ll rear frame rail removed.
Once that mission was accomplished, he and theracedude took a break to admire thejeepjunkie's new flatbed while discussing the merits of having thepaintdude straighten that trailer up on the frame straightening machine he has at his shop. This olelongrooffan mentioned it would be a much easier job to do if the wood was removed from that trailer. They agree and thejeepjunkie gets to work removing that trailer hitch ball attired front frame rail.
Once that was done, the wood was relegated to a temporary resting place in theracedude's side yard.
You Counters can see in the above image just how tweaked this trailer is. But, as the saying goes around here, "It's not what you know, it's who I know," I am confident this trailer will be in top notch form in no time at all.

And it is knowing thejeepjunkie now doesn't have to borrow a trailer next time this or this happens that really allows this olelongrooffan to

Celebrate Life.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Not For The Faint Of Heart

I found this over here. It is a pretty cool site and full of off road videos.

And finding this site sure helps this olelongrooffan

Celebrate Life.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

More Ramblings From The olelongrooffan

The other day, this olelongrooffan was commissioned to replace an irrigation divertor head at a buddy of thejeepjunkies home. As I knew this would happen during a full overhead sun filled Florida sky, this olelongrooffan promptly remembered this occasion and set this work area up.
But prior to establishing that workspace, after acquiring nearly all of the necessary fittings and parts from the big box retailer sponsoring these guys, this olelongrooffan stopped by the purveyor of roast beef sandwiches and picked up one of their elcheap one dollar sandwiches and a pair of potato(e) cakes. As they cooked up those cakes just for me, I knew they would be full of hot grease and decided not to eat in their air conditioned environment, instead heading up John Anderson Parkway to the
So, I parked the Indian and head out to that picnic table under that covered pavillion and enjoyed those now cooled down cakes and that buck a piece sandwich washing it down with an ice cold sodie pop from my ubiquitous free cooler I got while judging the Parade of Homes down in MickeyMouseLand last spring.
Yeah, it was a d*mn sight better than the interior of a corporate designed, sterile environment.
This park is located on the Halifax River which is also the Intracoastal Waterway in these here parts.
A gentle breeze, mullet jumping in the river, and plain ole tranquility.

Remember Counters, sometimes you have to keep an eye open for the opportunities to Celebrate Life!

So, anyway, this olelongrooffan headed over to put in place that farm beach umbrella and get that head replaced.

As always seems to happen, it didn't line up just correctly and another 1 1/4" fitting was required. As that big box retailer is 25 minutes away, and driving there for a $1.29 component wasn't all that desirable, this olelongrooffan decided to head to that outrageously moderately priced hardware store down in Ormond By The Sea to acquire that part and not drive all over the freaking place to get it.

And I am glad this olelongrooffan did just that.

As I was approaching Richie's Oceanshore Garage, this olelongrooffan spotted this
I had seen this out on the road several times previously but had been unable to get an image of it to share with you Counters. Of course, this olelongrooffan immediately decelerated my Indian to stop in and visit with Richie and find out more about this monstrosity.
It turns out the owner was there picking up an obsolete brake drum turning machine from Richie to convert into a tire shaving machine. You can see it on the world's smallest trailer in the background of the first image.

As you suspect, we got to chatting it up. Meanwhile Richie says, "I gotta go pick up a customer, you guys hold down the fort."

And we do. That's how it is round here.

The owner says it is built of plywood and titled as a 1970 Ford F-100 Ranger. It certainly is unique. This olelongrooffan is super p*ssed at myself for not asking him his motivation for its construction. Well I am sure I will see him again.
And he was especially proud of the four wide seating of this Beast. And the wildest part of it?

It is Two Wheel Drive!!

So, that visit with Manuel Labor is complete and I head over to the Kid's garage to return some tools belonging to thejeepjunkie and pick up some others to try and buff out the paint on the Indian. As I am loading those tools in the bed of it, this olelongrooffan spots this 1963 FOMOCO product driving up the street. A thumbs up is offered by this olelongrooffan as it passes by.

So I am exiting The Village thejeepjunkie calls home, I rounded the corner and spot it parked on the street in front of the racing family's home, just around that corner from thesungoddess's house. So, of course, I stop and the boys, yes boys, they are about the Kid's age, come out of the garage and we start chatting it up. I recognize one of them and I mentioned I was the Kid's uncle. "Yeah, I remember your old van," one of them says. So the information about the passing of that olestationbus is exchanged and the owner mentions his 1963 F-100, 1/2 ton stepside is also on the market for $3,000. "Of course, that is negotiable."
We determined it has the same powerplant and drivertrain as my olestationbus and I noticed it even has the same interior rear view mirror! Parts bin sharing at its best, FTW!

I then was checking out the wheels on this sweety and the kid asked me if I recognized them? "They are the ones that were on James' Jeep." I thought they looked familiar. I think I have some hubcaps for them and will get them to ya." And yes, it is prerusted.

I then decided to head over to that Hess station selling petrol for $2.52 a gallon vs the $2.79 per gallon at my local Beachside Mobil.

And I spotted this Gulf livery Porsche 924 piloted by the blonde kid pumping gas into it with his, presumably, Dad looking on.
It is a clean ride, had the proper colors, proper stance and just looks hugely desirable.
Plus, it sports a sticker from my favorite sports car series! Rock on Kid!
Well Counters, that's it. I know this stuff is pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things but as this olelongrooffan basically has no life these days, this is it. But even though I have no life, I do know how to

Celebrate Life.