Monday, January 31, 2011

New Toy, Cont'd

Had a great time working on the odd little car over the weekend, with freaky warm weather. Almost February, and I was with Conan at the dog park in jeans and a t-shirt, wishing for shorts! Spent some real zen time taking the new little car apart and moving toward getting it running. Gunther and Jimmy watched from the dining room window, and Conan was tied to the porch during the great weather. The weather took a wicked turn, and it's crazy cold and snowy now. My usual 25-minute commute was over an hour coming home on icy roads today.  We've had a very summer-like winter so far, so I'm not complaining.
The little car is an interesting story. The seller is involved in software testing, like me. He drives a Jetta, like me. I used AAA to tow the car over to my house (five blocks, free). The tow truck driver noted that the little green car has a 'Ceasar's Auto' decal. He said that was the first dealer where he ever worked as a mechanic. Now defunct, it was about seven blocks from my house. It also came out that he drives the same kind of daily driver as mine-- a VW turbo diesel Jetta. That's a pretty exclusive, tight-knit group of car geeks, for the most part. He gave me a couple of tips about my car, and I told him about the work I had been doing to mine.

The paint job on the little car is a bit odd. It's dark metallic green, with a white faded front end, with pretty intricate, multi-toned gold maple leaves all over it. I wouldn't have paid good money to have that put on, but it's a pro job. The interior is in almost factory-new shape. Not sure how that happened, sitting in the hot sun for seven years and all.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Toy

I've been getting back into an old mode of appreciating and modifying cars lately. With all my travel to the Antarctic, and other places around the world, my life-long interest in cars has been offline for a while. With a really fast motorcycle, the cars went even farther into the background. With Conan constantly with me, the bike has gotten pretty much zero time.

Now that I've gotten a cubicle job, and haven't had much use for the bike, I've gotten the car bug again. I've put as much money into my VW TDI as I plan to for a while, so I've got some extra energy for projects.

There is a great dog park about four blocks from my house, that Conan and I frequent practically every day. There was this little old Honda CRX parked in a yard just outside the dog park. I spied it from our dog park outings, and wondered if it might be a fun car to fix up. This is a high school kid's dream car, so I figured that they were hanging onto it. I couldn't imagine that they were open to selling it, and it still was there. I stopped by just after dark one day, and let them know that I was possibly interested.

Long story short, I picked up the car for $300! It hasn't run since '04, but it looks good. I've been spending the last couple of days working on the (seized) brakes, and scraping the nasty amateur tinting from the windows. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this car, but I love it to death. I've always wanted one of these. So far, I have less than $320 invested in it, and I'm guessing I could sell it for parts for $500, or running for as much as $1500. More to come!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Buddy, Betty, Jimmy, and Gunther

Well, since my new cats are now about 14 weeks old, it is definitely time to get them fixed. Just to have a bit of fun with the folks as the Dumb Friend's League, I let them keep the original names of records for the kittens, Buddy (black tabby), and Betty (brown tabby). It was immediately evident on taking Buddy and Betty home, that Betty is, in fact, a boy. Not sure how that got past the highly competent vet techs at the buddy center... While they were getting altered, I took my new-to-me Jetta Turbo Diesel for a highway fuel efficiency test. I drove from the Buddy Center down in Castle Rock down to Trinidad, CO, and back without stopping. 45 MPG+ for the round trip! Not bad. I love the car. I'm just trying to resist spending a bunch of money making it faster-- rather reserving it for a high-fuel-efficiency commuter car. On my test lap, I went around 360 miles at 70-80 MPH without stopping. Took a little over half a tank. These little TDIs are really amazing. Here are some pics of the kittens getting bigger-- taken a week or so before I took the little buggers in to get 'altered'. By the way, they didn't seem to be too bothered by having their manly parts removed. I had hoped that it would mellow them out for a day or two. Yeah, right. I got the four AM face pouncing just like I always do. If they aren't trying to rid the world of imaginary eyelash spiders, they fancy a bit of a drag race across my countenance each morn. Bitches.

By the way, I've decided that Buddy's real name is Jimmy, and Betty's name is Gunther. I've tried all other names, and they just don't stick. Betty was to be Brutus for a while, then Bruno. I couldn't remember the names, which told me that they were not right. Gunther, though, is right. Not sure why. If any of you have good name suggestions for the cats, bring it on. I'm flexible, and the cats don't care what I call them.