I’ve seen a couple attempts at making modern entertainment out of Dungeons & Dragons, which have all failed for various reasons. The main question is: how do you build a relatable, entertaining story out of something that is built out of the individual imagination of each of its players? The whole point of the game is to build worlds in your mind, so most adaptations wind up looking like third-rate cosplay at the Ren Faire. So I was curious about seeing whether the new D&D movie get things right. Having been written and directed by a group of comedy veterans, I would say it mostly does. There are several setpieces that clearly cost millions of dollars, but there are several emotional beats that landed with the craft and feeling of an ABC Afterschool Special. Still, we all enjoyed it, and it was great to see a movie in a theater with my family.
This weekend was my turn for driving down to Lexington Park to visit with Jen’s Dad. We’re all spreading the load out among people so that everyone gets a break, which has been super helpful for everyone’s metal health. I’m pretty much done with the bathroom job so I packed the car with tools to get the Chrysler up and running again. When last I left it, we’d gotten it to turn over and run for a few moments but I hadn’t hooked up the boat tank yet, and then we had to turn out attention to cleaning up the house. I picked up some lunch for the two of us and visited with him for an hour and a half, and then headed out to the garage.
After moving some stuff around I tightened some bolts down on the engine, set up the boat tank, and cranked over the engine a couple of times. The starter sounded sick—much worse than I remember it from last year—so I adjusted some things and squirted more gas down the carb. With no success I looked over the whole thing again and happened to put my palm down on the positive battery cable, which was warm to the touch. It’s really not supposed to feel like that. Knowing there would be no starting that day, I jacked the front of the car up and took the wheels off to look at the drums and shoes, but found that no matter how many times I whacked them with a hammer, I could not remove either brake drum. Having been thwarted there, I got under the car and drained the oil into a catchpan, taking a sample from the middle of the pour to send off to Blackstone for analysis. I put in 2.5 qt. of new oil and made a note to buy more—the Chrysler 440 takes seven quarts—and buttoned up the whole thing for the evening.
New starters aren’t expensive, and I’ve replaced Scout starters multiple times, but this one is a bit more challenging: it’s on the driver’s side under the steering column, next to the manifold dump, and hard metal lines for the transmission cooler and rear brakes are directly underneath it. So I’m going to have to do some careful wiggling under there to replace it. Super.
On Sunday we took it easy. I walked Hazel and put some Scout parts up on Marketplace to try and get them sold this year (Craigslist is a ghost town), then did some grocery shopping. When I got back I had offers on three different items; if I sell one of the windshields this Thursday like I’m planning, I’ll have made back the money I spent on the red truck. The afternoon was spent with the girls doing some errands and then tinkering on the truck in the driveway, trying to soak up as much fresh air as I could before the sun went down.