I drove back from the Eastern Shore last week, heading west into the sunset, and was reminded once again how beautiful that side of Maryland is, and at the same time exactly how shitty the glass in my current windshield is. It’s covered in small chips and nicks, so when the low sun hits it, I can’t see anything in front of me. I’ve literally driven with my head out the side of the truck in situations like this, which works fine for short trips to the store but gets very dangerous when merging onto a highway at 60mph.

I’m thus eyeballing one of the windshield frames in my garage and moving ever closer to swapping it out with the frame on the truck. At this point I’m trying to decide whether it’s a better idea to pull the glass out of the existing frame and replace it with the new gasket and spare glass, or just mount the whole thing in the spare frame and swap windshields. The former is filled with uncertainty; who knows what shape the metal is under the gasket on that unit? My guess is that it’s pretty crunchy under there, but I don’t know for sure. The latter solution is also problematic; mounting a whole windshield can be tricky with things like panel gaps and hidden bolts. But at least the engineers at IH made it removable in the first place; I’m lucky it’s even a possibility.

I’m leaning towards the second option, because I know what shape the inside of the spare frame is in, and I’d like to replace old parts with newer better ones as much as I can. I can also mount and prep the windshield wiper motor and linkage much easier on the spare frame than I can on the truck. With that in mind, here’s what has to happen, in order:

  1. Spray rust encapsulator inside the entirety of the frame
  2. Clean up the metal lip in a few places to make mounting the gasket easier
  3. Sand and paint the frame properly to cover the primer and encapsulator
  4. Hit the whole thing with clear coat to protect it
  5. Mount the metal lip and snaps for the soft top (this will be much easier on the bench than on the truck)
  6. Check, lubricate, and prep the wiper motor and linkage
  7. Install the gasket and glass in the finished frame
  8. Pull the old windshield off the truck
  9. Replace it with the new one
  10. Mount the rearview mirror much higher.

I’ve got the encapsulator. I think I’m just going to spray the outside with aerosol Duplicolor, as buying a $100 quart of paint to shoot out of a $100 gun I don’t even own seems a bit expensive. And the shape of the frame lends itself to aerosol as well; I don’t have to worry about smooth coverage on a wide flat area.

The big thing is pulling the old frame off and putting the new one on—I think I’ll probably pause at step 6 and cut the old glass out of the frame just to see how that one looks before trying to pull it off. If it’s relatively intact and just needs some light cleanup, I might just keep it on and pop the new glass in.

I’m still doing a lot of traveling on the weekends to my father-in-law’s house, but I think I can squeeze some time in during the next few weekends to knock out the first five items on that list. Now, the big question: which color do I use to paint the spare windshield? Should I stick with red, or go with something completely different?

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: August 11, 2022 | Filed under Future Plans, Scout | Comments Off on Cloudy

Beachside Jen

Happy Birthday blondie!

Date posted: August 10, 2022 | Filed under family, photo | Leave a Comment »

I saw this lovely ’72 Scout on Marketplace yesterday and grabbed a couple of the pictures. This is a beautiful shade of green, and the grille/wheel combination works perfectly. I think the only way it could get better is if the top was white, leaning further into the ’70’s vibe.

BTW, The guy wants $42,000 for it.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: August 9, 2022 | Filed under Inspiration, Scout | Comments Off on #goals

When I had the Baby taken out in 2017, the doctors had to do some extra cutting and trimming while they were under the hood, and one of the things they removed was my gall bladder. As a result, fatty foods and I have had a love/hate relationship: I love to eat them, and I hate what they do to me. When your gall bladder is AWOL, there’s nothing to break those foods down as well as they should be broken down, so things get unpleasant. I started taking ox bile supplements about four years ago, and while they seemed to make a little difference, it wasn’t the difference I was hoping for. My bottle went dry about two weeks ago, so I ordered a larger dose: I went from 500mg to 1000mg, and the capsules grew to the size of pool floats. I started taking them last week, and my body immediately decided that something was wrong. They gave me the world’s worst case of heartburn; it felt like I’d swallowed a hot toaster and it was stuck at the top of my throat. I had to go lie down, it was so bad. A couple of Tums and some time solved that problem, but I was still burping constantly for hours afterward. I’m not giving up on the ox bile, but I’m going to order 500mg capsules and take two a day in the hope that it’ll make a difference.

I drove to Easton on Friday afternoon to help Karean with a long-delayed project. One of the joists holding her deck up was rotted out, making a section of the floor right outside her back door sag. We’d tried to schedule something in the spring but the weather washed us out. This time there was rain in the forecast for Friday night, so I couldn’t take the Scout, and Jen needed the CR-V. I ran to the Bass Pro Shop and bought a cheap pair of strap-mounted roof racks for the Accord, installed them, threw my 28′ ladder on top. With a trunkful of tools and a change of clothes, Finn and I drove out and got to Easton early enough for me to cut the old joist out, pull the screws from the deck, and run to Lowe’s for a replacement before a giant thunderstorm blew through and drenched everything. We hung out and caught up that evening while the kids played video games, watched a movie, and hit the hay for an early wake-up. In the morning Karean and I walked downtown to pick up breakfast, then started replacing the beam. By about 11AM we had the new joist cut down and in place, and by 1PM everything was screwed in place and sturdy.

I had to pack up and haul ass back home because Jen was pulling triple duty at her Dad’s house taking care of him post-surgery, as well as trying to work and monitoring the dog, who was either out back hunting lizards or wandering the house whining. Finn and I transferred tools to the Scout and took that down, thinking there was work to be done, but we wound up taking it easy. He seems to be in good spirits, and apart from some minor repairs there wasn’t a lot we could do other than spend time with him, which I think he appreciated.

On the ride home the CR-V started having some issues when the AC compressor cycled on, so I told Jen to keep it off for the ride home until we can get it fixed. This means we’ve got three cars without operable A/C; the Accord is just blowing air and I pulled the condenser and ductwork from the Scout years ago (it never had a compressor.) So first up we get the CR-V sorted out, and then we’ll figure out what’s wrong with the Accord. Why does this kind of thing always happen at the beginning of a vacation or during the hottest week of the year?

Date posted: August 8, 2022 | Filed under family, friends, honda | Leave a Comment »

Date posted: August 4, 2022 | Filed under hazel | Leave a Comment »

I’m on Week 8 of my Invisalign trays, and I’m noticing the first real change since I started this thing: my top front teeth are much less overlapped then they were when I started. After eight weeks I can confidently say something is happening. I put these trays in and I can also feel them pulling my rear molars outward, which means everything is proceeding to plan. Basically we’re trying to get the molars and bicuspids to spread out so that everything up front has more room; when that’s done everything up front will get pulled forward and realigned. Next December (no, not this December) can’t come soon enough.

* * *

I spent the whole trip in Austin fighting my farsightedness, which got very frustrating by the time we left. I’ve avoided wearing my readers due to the disorientation the secondary lenses add to my vision, but I think I’m at the point now where I can’t put it off anymore. I spent the plane ride home trying to find the proper distance to read a secondhand copy of Ready Player One, and by the time I was done I was annoyed with the book and had a medium-sized headache. (The book is built around an interesting concept, but is way too try-hard at “geek culture”. ) I’ve been wearing readers since I got back, and while it makes some things easier, I can’t say my quality of life is better.

Having worn them pretty much every day since we got back, I noticed this afternoon that I was getting an ocular migraine, which feels a bit like a panic attack, a caffeine overdose, and an LSD trip all in one. It’s the second one I’ve had—right before we left for Austin I had another—and I read that one of the triggers is strained eyesight and staring at screens for too long. I took the readers off and put my normal glasses back on, and I feel much better now.

* * *

I’ve had the iPad Pro for several weeks now, and while I love the utility of it, I’m still not using it to its full potential. I’ve spent some good hours playing around in Procreate, and while I can quickly accomplish a lot of things in there that would take me days in Illustrator or Photoshop, I haven’t found the right workflow for the first project I’m trying to accomplish. The test I did took me about 4 hours, while the versions I did the old-school way took me probably three times that amount. A helpful addition would be to use Sidecar, Apple’s built in monitor functionality, where one can use the iPad as an additional monitor, but that requires a more modern machine that I currently own.

Date posted: August 2, 2022 | Filed under general | Leave a Comment »

This is a song called Maria También, by a band named Khruangbin, from Houston. I heard about them a couple of years ago and use them for background grooves when I’m working on projects; I heard this tune in Austin while waiting for coffee and it’s stuck in my head ever since. This is just a monster jam.

Date posted: July 29, 2022 | Filed under music | Leave a Comment »

I think we all had a great time in Texas, even if it was an unorthodox vacation for us. Normally we go someplace and there’s a mission or an activity to be accomplished; this can be anything as stupid as get to the beach before noon or as complex as be in the lobby by 8 for the bus to St. Peter’s Square. There’s a plan, and we try to follow the plan. For this vacation, we had a destination, we had friends to see, and we had a vague notion of things to do, but most of the enjoyment for me was just coasting from day to day. As such, this review is going to wander all over the place, because I don’t remember exactly what happened when, and that’s kind of a good thing.

The house Jen found for us was absolutely perfect. Set on the east side of the city, we rented a mod little cottage set back from the road in a stand of trees. It was cool, quiet, decorated tastefully, and within walking distance of several restaurants that served great coffee. I made it my job to rise early and bring back breakfast for the three of us to slowly get our days started. We had the luxury of having the house to relax in, and actually spent a fair bit of time there just enjoying the cool quiet by ourselves. It was clear they’d spent time designing it with sunlight in mind; each wall was sprinkled with small windows set high off the ground for maximum privacy. All the surfaces were reclaimed wood, and the floor was poured concrete.

Jen had ideas sketched out for each day. Our first day on the ground, we pulled beach towels and swimsuits out of our suitcases and drove to Deep Eddy, a cold spring-fed community pool that was very quiet for such a hot day. We lucked out and found a parking spot right out front, paid our tickets, and were able to immediately wade into refreshing water with a very slippery bottom. Being spring-fed, it took me a while to get up to my waist, but it was worth it to see Finn wade right in and make some new friends.

We spent Friday hitting some of Austin’s best thrift/vintage stores; they take their thrifting seriously down there. We started at a place called the Leopard Exchange, where I found a vintage Budweiser delivery shirt that fit like a glove. Around that shop were about five others, each with their own vibe. The level of curation at these places is beyond anything I’ve seen in Baltimore—there are a few vintage clothing stores I’ve been to here but nothing like the selection and pricing we found there. I looked long and hard for a good western pearlsnap shirt but came away empty handed—the closest I got was made of heavy polyester and wouldn’t be comfortable for a day’s wear. Finn took us to an alternative store and picked out a corset with Jen’s help; she found a way to relace it and wore it for the next couple of days.

On Friday I posted a picture of a Scout I saw on Congress Street to Instagram and the local IH community said hello; I’ll write more about that elsewhere. We walked the length of the street and found some great artwork, as well as spending time in a store called Lucy In Disguise with Diamonds, which was full to the rafters with interesting costumes for Halloween and from feature films. After stopping at Guero’s Taco Bar for some dinner, we hiked down the hill to the Congress Street Bridge, where a crowd had gathered to watch the bats fly out to hunt at dusk. It was incredible; thousands of bats following in trail down the river and out over the city, enough to show up as a dark blot on the horizon.

When the main swarm had left, we rented scooters and rode them back up the hill to our car, which was one of the better ideas we had all week.

We spent Saturday and Sunday hanging out with Linda and Cam at their house, and they took us to a couple of their favorite restaurants in the area. It was great to catch up with them and relax.

Monday we drove to Barton Springs, another naturally-fed community pool, and spent a good bit of the day swimming in the cool water under the skyline of the city. It was a perfect way to spend the day—just wading in and out of the water, with noplace to get to and nothing else to do. When we started getting hungry, we reluctantly dried off and drove to a restaurant called Chi’lantro, where Jen and I ordered Kimchi Fries, a dish Linda has been talking about for years. We were not disappointed. Then we checked out some more stores featuring local art, hoping we’d find something good. It was hit and miss.

On Tuesday we did some shopping for our neighbors, who helped us with housesitting, and who always bring back interesting things from their travels. We hit a store called Uncommon Objects, which featured an incredible collection of curated antiques and oddities, including some artwork we loved but couldn’t afford.

We don’t have an Alamo Drafthouse by us, so we thought we’d take in Thor: Love and Thunder on our last night in town. We had a lot of fun, and Finn loved the movie. I think the thing I remember most about that experience was a music video they played before the show which was equally disturbing and hilarious.

Wednesday morning we hustled back to the airport, turned in our little Buick (review: nice little car, but abysmal visibility past the B-pillar) and sailed through security in record time. The flight was uneventful, and we got back to our house by 4PM. All of the pets were happy to greet us except for Bella, who remained asleep on my pillow, and we collapsed into chairs, tired from the trip.

I would happily return to Austin anytime as long as they can stave off Gilead; it was a great city filled with great people and a vibe I remember from the early 90’s in Baltimore when it was weird and full of artists. I’d love to transplant a bunch of that energy here.

Date posted: July 29, 2022 | Filed under general, photo, travel | Leave a Comment »

On our way down Congress Street in Austin last week, I was looking up at the beautiful neon signage when Finley said, “Look, there’s a Scout.” She was right: a red Scout II sat out on the street with the words Hotel San Jose on the side; apprently it’s pretty famous there but hasn’t moved much lately by the looks of the dried leaves on the front seats. I posted a picture on Instagram and one of the local Scout owners I follow liked it and asked if I was in town on Monday; she was going to be at a car meetup and would put the word out to the other Scout friends in town.

Sheepishly, I parked our rental Buick around back; lined up in front of the bar were a ’65 Chevy pickup, a ’70 Ford pickup, Lydia’s beautiful Scout II, an absolutely evil-looking early 70’s Nova, a ’56 or ’57 Belair sedan, and a mid 60’s Ranchero. After I grabbed a beer, I got to talking with Lydia and she told me about how she found her Scout; presently a couple of Scout 800’s rolled in, followed by a third she’d never seen before, and then a huge lifted Traveler. I met a bunch of new folks—atxscout800, seatruckn, and a couple of other folks not on the ‘Gram.

DSCF0045

We talked trucks and Austin and music and other stuff and generally had a great time. At one point I looked around and a blown El Camino had arrived, several customized vans, a first-gen Mustang, an absolutely spotless ’68 Pontiac Tempest, a beautiful ’60 Chevy Sport Coupe, and other beautiful cars. I hung around until about 10, when the crowd started thinning, and left with a sweet ATXScouts T-shirt, a couple of stickers, and a big wide grin on my face. Thanks, Austin!

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: July 28, 2022 | Filed under friends, Scout, Trip Logs | Comments Off on Texas Meetup

I’m sipping coffee and sitting in a mod chair in our beautiful AirBnB on the second morning of our stay, thinking that I should have brought warmer clothes. It’s already 81 degrees (feels like 87) outside and the high yesterday was 102, but the most uncomfortable I’ve been is inside where the Texans chill everything off around the Meat Locker setting. Jen warned me, and I took her seriously, but I didn’t pack warm enough PJ’s to cope.

We landed on Wednesday afternoon, got our little Buick Enclave (review: perfectly fine for our needs but terrible visibility out the back, which is crucial for merging on and off Austin’s many feeder roads. At least we could pipe Jen’s phone into the dashboard display) and then checked into our rental. What a beautiful little house. It’s designed perfectly for a family of three, laid out in an L shape with Finley on one side and us on the other. It’s mid century modern all the way through, filled with thoughtful touches, and situated in East Central Austin, walking distance to a bunch of awesome restaurants.

Austin is beautiful, definitely weird, eclectic, and interesting. The architecture is amazing everywhere we look. They spend so much time on signage and textures and buildings made of unusual shapes it makes Catonsville look like an old gray dish towel. There’s functional neon everywhere we look. There’s garish graffiti all over the place. There are hand painted signs and metal signs and old weathered signs on every corner. Welded steel is everywhere. It’s a festival of the senses for design.



For a place on earth where being outside is so oppressive, the residents here pay a lot of attention to the outside environment. I think Home Depot must sell sheets of cattle fencing by the pallet, because it’s a central architectural element. I’d love to ship enough of it up to Maryland to enclose our yard. I’ve seen twenty different approaches to gates and fencing that have me itching to rent an auger and immediately start digging holes on our return.
We went to the Deep Eddy pool yesterday, a public pool formed over a natural spring next to the Colorado river. It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. The sun was hot but the water cooled us right down, and it wasn’t crowded at all. From there we did some light shopping and then stopped for tacos and a margarita for dinner. The food has been incredible so far and we haven’t scratched the surface yet.
Date posted: July 22, 2022 | Filed under family, travel | Leave a Comment »