Not much scares me, I mean "really" scares me... (like the dark, viscous dogs, and growing up does), the status of which is actually a problem.
Not that I pre- "plan" things out.... but more that I adeptly and instantaneously "adapt" to happenings and events "on demand"; " adapt" meaning respond, as in meaning "squeek out of", as in meaning "whew" !
Lady luck ? fate ? coincidence ? guidance ? .... whatever ! I'll take it. Have taken it, and can only hope there is more of it still left in the jar.
What "is" luck though, is the fact I never took flying lessons and got a pilots license !!!!
Or, that I never had the money to actually "buy" that Navy surplus J-58 afterburner jet engine that I drooled over for the racecar.
Which brings up the need for yet another WHAZAMMO' tale about introversionic thought, and why beer doesn't come from wells, or, what your Doctor "won't" tell you about ear wax.
Once upon a time, living up in the mountains of
Its new owner gave it a special place alongside the owners house, and, actually visits many times a day... the dogs and cats that accompany are a plus, and all in all, the activity is welcomed..... considering these empty past seven years since the
You see, every mechanical adventure has a lot more involved than just bolts/nuts/cast pieces/sheet metal/some fuel and other designing-assembly expertises ... each of these creations we build has (or takes on) a personality-or, traits, even a spirit if you so believe.
The "Getting the Buffalo" story is another of the ongoing machinery Gods watching over WHAZAMMO' series: Well, I did not "plan" on bringing the bus home when I did (two weeks ago), but,
an untimely car failure, and a very freakish weather break, and, a few "other" things all combined to force the issue... I just "closed" the chapter, if you have read the previous blogs, heres the full story.
We had a glut of snow, storm after storm... it piled up, choking our road and driveway... then the freak-warm 60 degree weather ! with the ground still frozen, the melt had nowhere to go, so, I have 6" of water mixed with 12" of snow everywhere ! My plans of bringing the
The warm weather did let me eyeball the entry route to my property, and "walk" the actual driveway turn.... I removed a gate-post, shoveled a lot of gravel onto the access apron to the gate....(all mud down there), and did a look like a nut case "imagining" over and over the turn visualization....the plan, and the parking ....of a bus I have never driven, with set back front wheels (which I have never experienced), and a five foot longer wheelbase than anything I've ever driven.
I had made three prior (350 mile round) trips to the bus for a three hour check-out period each trip...(lights, tires, chassis inspection, air-brakes-wipers-panel/body securing, service engine,----never drove it, but, "did" sorta' check it out "for" driving.
So, Sunday... with a break in the weather (and with absolutely "no" intention of bringing it home) I load up the 88 year old Mom, and the wife (who have not even "seen" the bus yet), for a long ride,
plans are to install the windshield wiper air motors that I just rebuilt, pay her off, and, visit awhile...and, then, to return again, in three weeks when I have decent roads (no ice pack) to make my maiden-drive home.
But, 50 miles from the bus lot, the car starts convulsing, stalling at 65 mph, smoking, chuga-chuga stuff.... I barely limp into the bus yard.... suspecting fouled injectors... but, this vehicle "will not" make it back home !
CHANGE-OF-PLANS !!! fortunately I had begun the bus insurance, the license plates were good, the fuel tanks were full, and the weather was (temporarily) almost scary good... the worry about pushing the car 180 miles back over the remote mountain passes with an 88 year old wheelchair lady, and "having" to be back before dark (to feed animals), the fact that I "had" done the home-yard prep work,,, and, the little voices in my head that have mis-guided me so many times in the past.... (these are "other" stories), .... all aligned into an impromptu..."go for it !" (even tho' you have never driven it) decision.
Pucker factor 12 ! especially the first few in-city turns.... somehow it just seems wrong to sit "in front" of your front tires ! out on the freeway, you question brakes, think about steering cotter pins, watch guages, listen, and pray a little the first 25 miles (at least "I" do). after that... this 40 foot 26,000 pound "
The next 180 miles over the mountain passes, in slush, were simply mind numbingly easy, enjoyable, and made you want to drive right on by your turn off and head for some far away destination....
At the house, the turn in, was so well rehearsed in my mind weeks ago...that even with these steering tires in the wrong place... I swooped in and around for a perfect entry...put her up on the plywood bases, idled her down awhile and was home (in record time) without a fault !!!! WOW !! the beer was real cold, and, the sun was still up when the
The week that followed saw more storms and snow, I managed to get the car trailer prepped, but never got around to change-out the two noisey U-joints on the Suburban... when the weather took another warm twist-and, it was obviously time to "go" (get the broken car);
[[[for you shop-owner/professional mechanic types out there.......
My big 4WD Suburban is simply the best tow vehicle I have ever owned !!! it's gearing allows me to car trailer "anything" over the mountains at 60 MPH, third gear goes to 65, so on steep grades it is a simple matter to lug down to 55 then shift to third and I am back up to 60. BUT, this is a "shop truck", driven by "only" me, that I have owned for 10+ years, she is not pretty.... and may have towed 300 or so trailer loads of ugly on her big 12.5 X 35" tires, and, she has been put away wet many times, this is a "true" .... mechanics truck !.... 'nuff said}}}
So, impromptu as things have been going...why not this too ? I pumped some air into the trailer tires, checked levels and headed out for a 400 mile trip.
Heading over empty, everything went pretty good the first 150 miles, then the vibration started.... I knew it was the U-joints (no, I didn't load the spares I had on the shelf) and, I knew that if I crawled under and "looked" at them, I would really scare myself, so, I did the right thing.... I ignored them !
I got there...loaded up the car and got 300 miles into the trip, when things changed. The vibration quit ! it got real smooth.... (we all know what this means) but, I pushed on another 35 miles, to the last town just before the mountains ...as I slowed down I popped a front joint ! the
She opened the door ! I got my parts, changed out the joint, and made it over the mountains (praying for the other joint to hold) to home just as the sun set, and the deer started diving into the highway !
The next morning I unloaded the car, dropped the trailer, and determined "what" was needed to fix the car, drove the Suburban the 8 miles to the parts store, bought my parts, and while leaving the store blew my clutch all over the parking lot !
So, 8 miles on either side of the mountain I blow up ... but, I miss the disaster of being up on top when things go wrong...I wonder if my luck as a pilot would be the same ? Hmmmmm