Having driven Peer Pressure over 180 miles last weekend, one of the things I’m noticing more and more are all of the squeaks and whistles and drafts in the cabin with the hardtop on. Figuring I needed something to work on over the winter, I ordered wing window rubber from Super Scout Specialists on Monday to replace the old cracked 1970’s vintage stuff on the truck. What this is going to mean is taking each door apart (again), pulling the wing window up and out, and figuring out how to pull the old rubber out. I think the driver’s side window spring is broken underneath, so I’ve got to figure out how to weld that back together or replace it with one of my spares. Then it’s a matter of figuring out how to install the new stuff without ripping it in half.

That gets a little complicated because I’ve got several spares with working spring but no latch, and several with a latch but a broken spring. So I have to see if I can Frankenstein something together from what I’ve got. I think I’ll probably use the worst of my spares to disassemble and figure out how the whole thing comes apart, and then use that to practice putting the new rubber in place.

The other thing I’m going to do while I’ve got the doors apart is re-felt the window tracks so that they slide easier. There’s a good video online about how to do the felts, so all I need are the materials. Luckily, I’ve got multiple spare tracks sitting on the shelf I can clean up and refurbish without having the doors torn apart for multiple weeks.

I also threw a new battery tray in the cart, because the one in the truck is in pieces and I’d really like to de-ghettofy the current setup—it’s currently held in with a clip and a bungee cord, and really needs a freshening. I’ll have to read up on how to clean up the inner fender, or even consider replacing it with my good inner fender spare. It will take some welding and fabrication to put something in place; this is more of a summertime when-I-get-a-welder project, but it’s good to have the parts handy.

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

Date posted: February 17, 2023 | Filed under Purchasing, Repairs, Scout | Comments Off on Parts In Hand

Curbside Classic just reprinted a really good article on the 1967 Chrysler Newport, which was the base model full-size sedan in their lineup, and also the best-selling model they offered for seven years. The Newport is the platform they built the 300 cars on, their halo high-performance models—my father-in-law’s convertible being one of that group.

Date posted: February 16, 2023 | Filed under cars, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I took advantage of another oddly warm and sunny day in February to spray out the shelves with two coats of high-gloss white paint. My efforts were mostly successful; the gun I’m using is the second one I bought when I was painting the house, and I’ve found that this particular model has about one full house in it before it starts getting gummed up irreparably. I had to do some adjusting to get a good spray pattern going, and in the time between the first and second coats the needle got clogged up, which then covered my new sneakers with a fine mist of white paint. Great.

Once I cleared the gun, it went on well, and I got everything back inside after it cured in the sunshine and up against the walls. I cleaned up the joints with caulk, used a brush to touch up the problem areas and put a second coat on the high-traffic parts after knocking down the high spots with sandpaper.

So at this point I’m at the installation phase. I’ve got to go get some angle brackets and wood putty to secure it to the wall in the most hidden way possible, and start with the finish carpentry. When that’s all complete I’ll hit everything with a brush one last time to clean things up.

Date posted: February 16, 2023 | Filed under house | Leave a Comment »

I took advantage of some rare warm sunny February weather and shot the shelving units with some white primer yesterday afternoon in an effort to keep things moving. With all of the practice I got spraying the house out, it only took about 15 minutes to set up the compressor and gun. The most difficult part of the whole thing was getting the sections outside without letting the cats out. The whole process took about an hour and a half from the time I fired up the compressor to putting the last of the shelves back up in place.

Next up I need a whole day of solid sunshine and ~60˚ weather to shoot two coats of high gloss white on everything before it goes back in permanently. The forecast doesn’t show anything like that coming for a while, which is a drag—I’d really like to get to the finish carpentry part of this project and put it to bed.

Date posted: February 15, 2023 | Filed under house | Leave a Comment »

This week’s earworm: Sometimes, by My Bloody Valentine. I wasn’t ever a big fan of MBV back in the day; I heard several of their songs and just couldn’t get into it. When the movie Lost in Translation came out in 2003, they used several MBV songs in the movie, and the sequence with this song stuck out with me. It’s the best song on the album in my opinion, and it has all the things I like with nothing I don’t.

Date posted: February 14, 2023 | Filed under earworm, music | Leave a Comment »

I haven’t taken many pictures in the last year—something I’ve been thinking about is looking over the number of files in my Lightroom library to see what the falloff has been—but we had to take a picture of Finn for a church thing yesterday and I thought I’d post it here too.

Date posted: February 14, 2023 | Filed under finn | Leave a Comment »

I had to buy and deliver a trio of toilets to the father-in-law’s house on Saturday in preparation for a plumber to come in and swap them all out, and I knew we wouldn’t be able to fit three toilets, two adults and a dog in a Honda, so I loaded them in the Scout and drove it down. I haven’t had her out on the road much in the last month, but she did great going down and back.

On the way back home I was thinking about how happy I was to have a clear windshield, and for some reason I decided to try the wipers even though I haven’t put the arms and blades back on. To my shock, the knobs began spinning; some how, some way, the wiper system started working again. I haven’t done anything new. I haven’t futzed with any of the wiring or mechanical systems. Clearly there’s a short somewhere, but it appears to have fixed itself temporarily.

I woke up early Sunday morning to a text from Brian, containing a Marketplace link to this green pickup sitting at a used car lot in New Jersey. It was advertised as a non-running truck with 4WD and no title, but the price was reasonable, so I figured I’d check it out. Within an hour I’d heard back from the seller and had an address to visit, about three hours away from home. I gassed up the Honda, loaded up on coffee, and was on the road by 9:15. I wound up retracing some of my route to go see the blue pickup, as this one wasn’t far away from there.

As usual, the pictures online didn’t reveal how rough this truck was; I knew within a couple of minutes that I wouldn’t be making an offer on it. The rust around the edges of the front fenders, hood, and doors was pretty bad.

There were sections that were rusted all the way through—on the eyebrows over the headlights, along the bottom lip of the hood, and crucially along the windshield cowl—that I knew would take a lot more than just some replacement sheet metal.

The bed was completely filled with leaves that had decomposed to dirt. The tailgate was rusted through in a couple of places. I talked to the seller for a little bit and took a look under the hood; he said the motor was locked. I thanked him for his time and turned the car around for home.

On the way back I saw a service station with a line of XJ Cherokees parked outside, but it was a familiar grille at the very end that caught my eye. An extremely saggy Scout II sat filled with spare Jeep parts and other scrap metal.

The driver’s door was ajar; clearly the body was crumbling and out of alignment. I looked it over for a few minutes and continued on my way.

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

Date posted: February 12, 2023 | Filed under Scout, Trip Logs | Comments Off on Barn Find 4

I’ve noticed Conway’s Law mentioned twice in different places this last week, and it has a lot of bearing on some current strategy I’m involved with at work: it basically states that organizations design systems that mirror their own communication structure—essentially organizations build things that mimic their own worldview. I saw this repeatedly when I was doing IA for higher education websites, and I see it now at the NGO. 

Date posted: February 9, 2023 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I’m snowed in with work but found a little time during a staff call to cut some highlights of our snowboarding trip together:

In short: we had a great time; Monday morning was super quiet at Whitetail and we sailed through all the lines to find the slopes almost deserted. Pennsylvania hasn’t had much snow this season so everything that was down was manmade, but because the place was so quiet we had the beginner slope pretty much to ourselves. I focused on getting the kids used to the chairlift so that the next time we go we can graduate up to an intermediate slope without worrying about falling. This year we got many more runs in—probably 10 on the chairlift alone—and left at about 4PM. They’re both doing great and they tell me they can’t wait to go back.

Date posted: February 8, 2023 | Filed under family | Leave a Comment »

Great! Catonsville is in the news for excellent reasons; apparently some dumb-ass white supremacist here was talking to Florida Man about blowing up power substations in Baltimore, and somehow that would equal freedom, or something?

Date posted: February 7, 2023 | Filed under Baltimore, politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »