Before I left for New York, I took a little time to pull the cowl cover off and stick my shop-vac hose down into the cavity between the inner and outer fender. This is a notorious rust spot on the Scout II, as all kinds of crap falls down through the cowl to land here, where it can’t get back out. When it gets wet, it takes a long time to dry out, and you get the idea.
The driver’s side is harder to clean out because the knee vent is in the way (back in Ye Olden Days, lots of cars had manually operated vents at knee or ankle height) so I’ll either have to get creative about getting in there or pull apart the emergency brake assembly to get the vent out to access it from the inside.
I’m now on the hunt for stainless window screen that I can zip-tie to the underside of the cowl vent, to keep new crud from getting in there.
And, judging from the pictures, it looks like someone was in there at some point with a can of undercoating or POR-15, which is a nice surprise.
Having a little fun with a GoPro and the U-Haul I rented last weekend. There’s no sound, because it’s just wind noise.
Looking at CNN this evening, you’d think every block of Baltimore was overrun with mobs of looters. Jen and I watched some of the initial coverage from a Pho restaurant while Finn picked up noodles with her fingers. Later, after we got her into bed, the tempo of the reporting picked up, and we sipped cardamom tea while the senior center burned on the east side of town–miles away from earlier footage. Anderson Cooper actually did a decent job of keeping some sense of balance up until 10PM, frequently reminding the audience of the expanded scope and scale of the reported incidents, showing a map of their locations. Then, at 10, Don Lemon came on and immediately declared the city was falling apart into chaos.
I lived in Baltimore for fourteen years. For eight years I lived less than a half mile away from the Rite Aid you saw burning this afternoon. I bought a house downtown and lived there for six good years. I love Baltimore. It’s a confounding, mysterious, friendly, enchanting little city clinging desperately to relevance and prosperity. It doesn’t deserve to tear itself apart again, especially the areas that need investment the most. Because Rite Aid isn’t going to rebuild that store anytime soon, and the people in that neighborhood need it more than it needs them.
I hope to God things settle back down quickly.
This goofy guy is my grandfather, William Dugan Jr. I share a couple of things with him besides my name, my physique, and my DNA. His name is Bill, but I have always known him as Grampy.
He was born in April of 1915, the same month as Muddy Waters and Billie Holiday. Woodrow Wilson was the the President of the United States. The Allies were landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula in one of the largest and most useless campaigns of the First World War. Charlie Chaplin had just released The Tramp. A month later, the Lusitania would be sunk off the Irish coast, helping focus America’s attention on the war in Europe.
He married my grandmother, Ruth, in 1938, and shortly afterwards my father was born. The worried looking baby he’s holding in this picture is most likely my Dad.
After moving the family north, he supported them by driving across the state each Sunday night to be in New York City by Monday morning, painting houses and hanging wallpaper through the week, and leaving for home Friday evening. Then he would spend all weekend working on the house, adding insulation and central plumbing.
This series of photos is from a larger group that I scanned in 2006. I borrowed a video camera from a friend and filmed my grandfather talking about and identifying all of the people in these pictures before he forgot who they were and the information was lost forever. I have the footage (the original MiniDV tapes are in our fireproof safe) and keep meaning to organize and catalog it all, but work, child, and life have made it difficult to finish the project.
He’s going to be 100 years old tomorrow. Until just a few years ago, he was living in his own house, in complete control of his own faculties. At last count, he has eight children, eighteen grandchildren, and seventeen great grandchildren. I’m not even half his age, and I can’t imagine experiencing all the things he has in the span of his life.
This is the Grampy I remember. A pair of loud shorts, those thick glasses, and a white undershirt. And dogs. Always dogs. I think the shepherd in the front might be Pumpkin, but I could be off by a decade.
I’m not positive, but I think this one dates back to 1974 at my aunt Mary’s wedding. That’s some tuxedo he’s rocking.
This is from a family reunion sometime in the mid-80’s. There are other better shots from this series, but I like the informal candidness of this picture.
This is from about 2000, with his brother Tom.
We’re going to have a celebration for him tomorrow and on Saturday, and a bunch of the family is coming into town. I can’t think of anything better to say other than that I love this guy and I’m proud to share his name. Happy birthday, Grampy.
As you might have guessed from my pictures, the weekend was short on work and long on fun. We were invited to a backyard barbecue on Friday night, where food was eaten, drinks were drank, and Christmas trees were burned in spectacular fashion. Saturday we made a quick morning run to the store for more mulch and then jetted off to an afternoon backyard party. That evening we took in a showing of Epic in the neighbors’ yard, where
we all filled up on movie candy and tried to stay warm; after the first half-hour I had Finn nestled on my lap sharing her Jujyfruit and Twizzlers.
Sunday was more relaxed, with a stop at church, a haircut for me, and then a steel band recital for the ladies in the afternoon. I puttered around in the garage to stay out of the wind. The tree service I called last week finally came out to estimate the cedar and greenhouse treeline, which came in about $250 less than I had budgeted for. Next I’ve got to price out a hauling service who can remove all the concrete next to the drive.
Please, for the love of all that is holy, let this be good. Kick-ASS good.