I had a three-day weekend planned in order to complete a long-standing project on the Scout, and I learned a couple of valuable lessons during the process. Originally my plan was to gather a couple of other guys together to do a group thrash on three or four cars at the same time, figuring several people can accomplish a lot more in a short period of time than a single person in several days. The first thing I (re)learned was that I need to ground my expectations in reality and refactor exactly what I think I can accomplish; my rule of thumb with house projects has been 3 times the estimate in cost and duration. Cars don’t seem to be much different. I’d originally planned on having someone come in and soda blast the exterior, prep it for paint, and shoot color on it in a 3-day weekend, but I scaled my plans back to prepping and shooting the bedliner I’ve had stored in my basement for 2 years. The sheer scale of that project almost killed me.

Friday I got to work early and ground out a good portion of the existing paint but got slowed down by uneven surfaces and thickness. My good IH buddy Brian H showed up in the afternoon with another angle grinder and a willingness to help, and between the two of us we finished cleaning out the tub, washed it, etched it, and laid down the first coat of POR-15. We stood around and shot the breeze for a while, enjoyed some cold beer, and packed up the garage. That evening we hosted Kirsten for some drinks and conversation about her website design, and everyone fell into bed exhausted.

Scout and Sprite

Saturday Will stopped over with his daughter Alina, a playmate of Finn’s, and while the girls tore the house asunder we fetched Will’s Austin Healey from its parking spot in Arbutus and got to work with grinders on the fender lips. Glenn and Christi came by not long after that, and the three of us traded beers, grinders, and conversation through the afternoon until the clouds started forming. My neighbor passed by with his shiny Corvette, and I waved him into the driveway with a cold beer. The second thing I (re)learned is that car guys are everywhere, and cars are a fantastic way to meet new people (and bring different people together). Between a rusty truck, a rusty British sportscar, a not-so-rusty Japanese import (there in spirit) and a shiny American sportscar, we all found common ground and easy conversation. As the rain started falling, we put my tent up over the Healey and Will applied rust encapsulator over the metal, finally deciding to leave it overnight instead of driving it back in the rain.

A Corvette, a Sprite, and a Scout walk into a bar...

Sunday Brian T. drove over from Chestertown with his compressor, and he helped me tape the Scout up in preparation for bedliner, until we realized we couldn’t shoot it. Brian stopped over a little later to check in, and Will came by to ferry the Healey back home. It was reassuring to have so many friends offer their time and support with the project, even though we couldn’t finish it, and that’s the other thing I (re)learned all over again: I’ve got great friends, I’m blessed to share their love of old, rusty objects, and it’s hard to express how much I owe them all.

Monday morning, I’m sore, a little disappointed (I won’t be able to get the chemicals I need overnighted—they’re being shipped via UPS Ground) and my hands are chewed up, but I only spent about an hour behind a computer in three days and I accomplished more than I thought I would. There’s a feeling of satisfaction from that kind of job that’s hard to come by with my daily employment, and while I don’t think I could run an angle grinder 40 hours a week, it sure felt good to finish that part of the job.

Finally, I have to send huge public thanks go to my loving wife, who took on Finn, her job, and company for all three days while I got some ya-yas out. Thanks baby.

Date posted: July 29, 2013 | Filed under cars, friends, photo | Leave a Comment »

I spend a lot of time in Photoshop trying to automate repetitive tasks. Here’s a great Introduction To Photoshop Scripting, using Javascript to handle complex tasks not possible with standard Actions.

Date posted: July 29, 2013 | Filed under design, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

English cockpit

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.

Date posted: July 29, 2013 | Filed under cars, photo | Leave a Comment »

Sunday morning I got up early, helped get Finn fed, and then hustled outside to get to work. Brian T. drove all the way out from Chestertown with his compressor and we sanded, scuffed, cleaned and taped off the whole truck. As I was finishing up some final scuffing, Brian looked up from the liner kit and said, “I think we have a problem.” Al’s Liner is a 3-part system, the first of which is an adhesion primer that came in a plastic bottle. My cursory check of the kit last week failed to reveal it had frozen solid after two years in storage. Being a specialty kit, nobody open on Sunday has it in stock, and all the other commercial liners are 2-part systems. Grudgingly, we wrapped everything up under plastic. I’ll call first thing tomorrow and see if they can overnight me a new bottle, in which case I’m going to try and shoot it on one night this week. I hooked up a trio of lights under the tent that should provide enough coverage to see the whole thing.


After everyone took off, I took Finn swimming in the neighbors’ pool and drank a beer to cool off.


Many thanks to everyone for their help this weekend- both Brians went above and beyond and I never would have made it this far without their help.



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

Date posted: July 28, 2013 | Filed under Bedliner, Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Bedliner, Day 3

A few months ago, I took off a Friday from work so that I could put in a three-day weekend installing bedliner on the Scout. With the help of some excellent friends and a lot of hard work, I got it very close to completion.

Noontime 2

Friday morning I pulled the truck out and attacked it with sanding discs. Much of the paint on the bed came off quickly and easily. Both front seats came out as easy as the day they were installed, which was shocking. I’d replaced all the rollbar hardware with Grade 8 bolts, so I knew that would come out without a problem. I’m going to have to use a ratchet strap to pull the feet together just a hair before it goes back in; the mounting plates scuffed the paint on the walls when I pulled it out.

Noontime 1

As I got closer to the front, the PO’s paint job got thicker so the going got slower.

This is what I found when I ground the bolts off the metal strip holding the weatherstripping down. There was carpeting underneath, which leads me to believe these had never been taken off before. I ground the bolts down to the floor and cleaned out each hole with the vacuum.

Sill plate

After Brian H. came by, he dug in and helped me make short work of the front floor and the remainder of the tub:

Front section ground out

Once the paint was off, we used Marine Clean and Metal Ready to prep the bed, and then rolled it into the sun to dry out. Then it was time to paint:

Por-15 down (first coat)

Here’s where we ended up at 7PM this evening. If Brian hadn’t come over, I definitely wouldn’t have gotten this far.

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

Date posted: July 28, 2013 | Filed under Bedliner, Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Bedliner, Day 1

This video is interesting for many different reasons, the primary being that my mother owned a baby blue 1966 Buick Special convertible almost identical to the featured car. (Hers may not have been a V8, however).

Date posted: July 24, 2013 | Filed under cars | Leave a Comment »

Wow, this is a nice little gizmo: the Triggertrap is a $30 intelligent remote shutter release for high-end DSLRs. I could have used this for the UB shoot last Friday night.

Date posted: July 22, 2013 | Filed under photography, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Mike at Scoutco posted on Facebook that he’s parting out a 1980 Scout, and he has a Rallye steering wheel for sale. I’m going to need a smaller diameter wheel for when I put new seats in Peer Pressure, so I asked him for a picture.


As it turns out, I’m selling my old rear bumper for the exact same price. Score!

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

Date posted: July 18, 2013 | Filed under friends, Purchasing, Scout | Comments Off on New Wheel?


Finn and I have been beating the heatwave by sneaking next door to the neighbors’ pool. The house is empty while they sort out the estate, but the daughters told me we can hop in whenever we like. I’m trying to keep it very low-key and keep it to when I know they’re not visiting. I think all those mornings of shoveling snow from the walk paid for themselves. Finn takes to the water like a duck, and I have to drag her out after the sun has dropped behind the trees. Thankfully the water is balmy and warm and comfortable at dusk.

You deserve a steak today


I used some copper wire to separate the coiling on my new wort chiller, and bought some new hardware to connect it up; now all I need is an inexpensive pump to recirculate water and I’ll have the entire rig ready for use. I’ve ordered a Shiner Bock recipe from Austin Homebrew to get something in the kettle before I kick the parade kegs.

Date posted: July 17, 2013 | Filed under brewing, finn, life, photo | Leave a Comment »

Fuck yes, this is why I live in a blue state:

Because same-sex marriage is illegal in Ohio, and because the Supreme Court ruling left marriage bans at the state level intact, Arthur and Obergefell couldn’t marry here. The prospect of travel was difficult because Arthur is bedridden with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a progressive neurological disease that robs patients of their ability to walk, talk and eventually breathe.

…Maryland required only one partner to come for the license. Then a 48-hour waiting period.

It was an hour and 10-minute flight.

This might work, they decided: A destination wedding in Baltimore.


Date posted: July 15, 2013 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »