Monday, April 14, 2014

A 9 Year Relationship

I look at the calendar.  And then I look at my fastback...still on the rotisserie...still not finished.

It was 9 years ago today that this little lady moved in to my garage.  It's hard to imagine it's been that long.  But then again, it's hard to imagine I've been married for as long as I have.  I guess it's true when it's said, "Time flies when you're having fun."

I suppose like many relationships, they all have their ups and downs.  They develop over time and in many ways become stronger and more attached...not that I can realistically compare the fastback to my marriage, but the similarities are...well...similar.

I drive by the Ford dealer in town at least a couple of times a week.  Depending upon how they've rearranged the lot, I occasionally see a Mustang, like the race red 2013 Boss 302, and think, "Hmmmm.  I could probably get a pretty good price for the fastback and apply those funds to the Boss.  I could be on the road cruising around tomorrow.  But then I think, "As much fun as a new Boss would be, it wouldn't be the same."  We have no bond.  It would be just another pretty face in the garage.  I probably wouldn't have any sore muscles or scars from working on it.  I would have no investment of time other than an occasional wash, wax, and fluid change.   It wouldn't be a head turner since there are a number of Bosses in the area (but not race red!).    My relationship with the Boss would not mean as much to me since not only would I not have to work at it...or on the same level I have with the fastback, it would not  be as meaningful.   We would probably get "divorced" in a few years because there would be another Mustang that would come along and catch my fancy.

Why wax poetic and philosophy on a day like today?   Because even after 9 years...even after lulls in working on her...even after all the blood (literally), sweat (literally), and tears (literally) she has become part of me.  And I just can't let go of that part for something much less satisfying.

So happy anniversary Eleanor.  You not only have a spot in my garage, but one in my heart.  One day, together, we will be one on the road.  And that will be another day to celebrate a new anniversary.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

1096 Days

1096 days...or 3 years ago (one of them "leap" year), yours truly started this blog.   As many of you followers know, the work on the fastback at times has made great progress...and at other times been painstakingly long in between work sessions.   So far, 2014 hasn't been one of the years where a ton of progress was made.  That's obvious since it's been 46 days since my last substantial post, and even then, it wasn't must progress on the car itself moving forward.  I suppose getting a good trunk lid to fit could count, but there wasn't any moving, shaping, filling, sanding, dinging, hammering, or grinding going on.   With today being "April Fools" day, I hope in the next few months progress can be chronicled in future posts.

However, in my defense, it hasn't been like nothing has been going on in my life.  Between spending hours in snow removal in January and February, I started a major project on our house.   Throw into the mix a family health crisis with one of my children and all the stuff going on at work, the "time keeps slipping, slipping, slipping into the future," as Steve Miller sang.  Oh...did I mention in there was flight training to get my complex aircraft endorsement and begin my commercial pilot certificate?  (The flying club had 10% off the hourly rate from January thru March).   Yeah.  Not much going on in my life.

Y'all will laugh when I say a project that I thought would take a week or two turned into a major deal.   Remember my post from the fall about the "weekend" project to repair my deck?  Yeah.  It turned into one of those projects.  It was supposed to be a simple remove the living room carpet and replace it with flooring.  But then the scope changed as we realized that the hand-scraped hickory flooring was not going to compliment the oak hardwood floor in the dining room.   See where this is going?

So the first step was to remove all the quarter-round molding and transitions.   Then came the task of demolition of the oak floor.

This was much more difficult than expected both physically and emotionally.  I installed this floor when we built the house.  All tongue and groove solid oak nailed to the sub-floor.  Not a piece could be salvaged.  Oh well.

After 3 hours of demo and hauling it out to the garage, the task of cutting out 470 square feet of carpet and padding began that came out in three sections due to limited working room around furniture.   I started on the outside wall of the house.  There were a few obstacles to go around like the fireplace hearth.  Trying to calculate where to start and then keeping the floor straight was a challenge since even a 10 year old house isn't totally square.

Two days later, this was the progress.  Not what I was expecting....

As the floor went in, furniture was moved onto the new floor so the carpet and pad could be removed.  But then you get to the "fun" part when you have to go around doorways and into closets, an area that was far from fun...

By this time I could barely move around in the garage.  Since all the old flooring had been removed, I loaded up the truck and headed off to the landfill.   The garage looks like the sawdust fairy went ballistic, even using a shop vac connected to the table saw.  Another huge mess to deal with later.

Fast forward 2-1/2 weeks and more hours....

The majority of the floor was in.  there were still all the transitions from wood to tile, wood to vinyl, and wood to carpet, not to mention all the trim quarter-round.   But at least it was functional.

Of course, my wife said we needed area rugs in the living room and dining room, especially since all that hard surface created a huge noise and echo problem.  After a handful of visits to look at carpet, we ended up at all places, Lowes.   We got this Frank Lloyd Wright style rug for the dining room....

...And then this cool Native American "Pueblo" rug that matches our museum of Native American art work by Sattler, Julie Kramer Cole, and Bev Dolittle...

Work continued much, much longer on the transitions since I used porcelean tile that is thicker and the transition "kit" wasn't made for the 14mm thick flooring.  So I had to make custom shims for everything.  That took as much, if not more time than putting down the flooring!   Then came the cutting of all the quarter-round that also had to bridge two transitions in the kitchen and one in the entrance.   With two air hoses connected to my big compressor and a brad gun in hand, I got the trim installed.  I didn't paint the final coat on it because the rest of the baseboards would look out of place without a fresh coat of paint.  So I masked off the floor and began the tedious process.

That brings me up to last night.  It's all done.  Done, done, done.  "Ding dong!  The floor is done...the wicked floor...the floor is Done."  Opps.  Sorry for the foray into The Wizard of Oz variant for flooring.  But it's done...not to mention making the house look like new.

So this is the post for the 3 year anniversary of this blog.  By the way....what was this blog supposed to be about?  Oh!  The fastback!   I have good news, sort of.  Tonight is the start of garage recovery.   All remnant of flooring and support materials and tools will be pitched and put away respectively.  The sawdust will be blown out and the space ready for work to start anew on the fastback.  I'm hoping in the coming weeks to be able to post progress on Eleanor.   I'm not making any predictions, but the rest of the year looks hopeful...not a complete car by any means, but hopefully turning the corner from replace and repair to finishing and possibly assembly.   Hopefully my prediction will not backfire and be my April Fools.

I do have to remember where I was with the fastback when I entered into the world of blogging.  I started with this...

... and now I'm here...

Until the next time....