I’m sad to read this morning that Ric Ocasek, frontman of the Cars, died in New York at age 75. As the author of one of the best rock songs of all time, this is a loss for humanity.
I’m also strangely excited about the news that Gary Larson may be resurrecting The Far Side after a long, dark hiatus. I don’t know if this means he’s going to be reprinting old strips or just producing new ones, but I hope it’s the latter. The world needs more weird humor. (On my desk here at work sits the Midvale School for the Gifted mug my parents bought me for my college dorm in 1989; I’ve had it with me ever since).
When I was a young boy, I was given this LEGO set for Christmas. I remember being fascinated with the little blocks, and for the rest of that day I put the set together and took it apart and put it back together. I loved looking at the instructions, printed in simple 3D side-view format, and I loved the ability to reform the set into some other creation that I imagined. It was the beginning of an obsession I harbored for years.
LEGO just released a new Moon Landing set, and the difference is staggering. The original was 364 parts; the new set has 1,087. I like how it’s now mostly to scale (I wondered how the giant blocky robots from the first set were supposed to fit in that weird blue capsule even as a young boy) and that they made special accessories for the minifigs. I also like that it’s more historically correct; the original landers were only made to fit two astronauts; the third orbited the moon alone in the Command Module. (previously).
Here’s our children as of yesterday afternoon. You’ll notice some leaf discoloration on the plant closest to the camera; I think this is a bacterial infection that can be treated with a copper soap spray (ordered). The marigolds have this too, which leads me to believe it’s something bacterial. That is to say, I’m hoping it’s not Verticulum, which is untreatable and basically means you’ve got to throw the plants out.
I’ve been a lot more mercenary with these plants this year, being sure to cut back any new shoots from the main stem before they produce flowers to prevent the giant explosion of leaves and branches I had last year. Because they’re in the center of the greenhouse they can grow taller instead of wider and it’s easier to access both sides to prune them.
Meanwhile, they’re all beginning to set fruit! The romas (up front) have four, the Beefsteak have three, there are several dozen cherries starting, and I think all but two of the rest have at least one fruit. Still no love for the tomatillos yet.
I did my year-and-a-half cancer checkup yesterday, and after a sonogram, a CT scan and bloodwork, it appears the clot in my arm is gone, I’m clear of any new passengers, and my white blood cell count is low. This last bit is alarming, because we don’t know what’s causing it. I’m not run down, I’m not sick, and there’s no reason we can think of for it to be so low (it’s roughly half the count it was when I was laid up with a busted small intestine). So there will be some more tests performed in a month and we’ll wait to see what they look like before any drastic action is taken. Meanwhile, I’m cleared to have the port removed sometime in the next couple of weeks, and when that’s over with, I’ll be off blood thinners. Hooray!
I got the Line Set Ticket from the frame serial back from Super Scouts this morning, and, well, the mystery continues. Here’s what I know so far:
- The VIN number on this Scout is for a 1976 Scout, painted Solar Yellow, and sold in Colorado.
- The body on this truck, based on the one-year-only Gold Poly paint under the purple, dates to 1975. I have no real good way of getting a serial from the frame.
- The LST for the frame specified a very fancy Scout (Rallye package, custom interior, A/C, tilt wheel, clock, deluxe trim package) painted Persimmon with a Sierra Tan interior. It was a 345/auto combination with 3.07 gears. It was built on January 17, 1979, and delivered to a dealer in St. Paul Minnesota.
Knowing that, I have to go out and see if I can read the engine serial to see if it matches what’s on the LST (311593) for confirmation.
As is common with most Scouts of its age, it’s a jigsaw puzzle from many different trucks. Maybe someone out west put it together and then shipped it east to sell?
Digging through the family archives this weekend, I found a couple of shots of Chewbacca and I in her prime. This was from about 2001 or so, out in front of my parents’ place in New York State. I guess I’m used to looking at a taller suspension these days, but she’s riding awful low on the springs.
My Dad replaced the mufflers on his Ford F350 stakebody sometime in the late ’70s with a set of Thrush mufflers–generally, a brand associated with hot rods and drag racing. He got a sticker with the package and put it in the back window of the truck: an angry-looking bird. I thought it was cool as shit. I still dig the logo, even if it’s almost obliterated by rust.
First thing Saturday morning, I was on transport duty to get Finn to the dentist for the removal of some baby teeth that have been hanging on for too long. Her adult teeth were coming in underneath, and the root structure was all but gone, but they refused to let go. One side was hurting after eating some hard candy, so we were there to address that one, but Jen wisely suggested they pull both while she was under. The dentist numbed her gums, lit her up with laughing gas, shot her with some novocaine, and pulled them both out in no time.
I then hit the Home Depot for a new lawnmower and other supplies, selecting a Toro push model with a mulching bag and oversized rear wheels. It’s shiny and red and starts on the first pull and feels solid, unlike the ghetto mower I just retired. I guess I’m going to have to hose off the deck every time I’m done mowing, so that the moisture trapped by the grass doesn’t eat away at the steel of the deck like it did the old one.
I brought supplies home and got to work on chicken wire doors for the greenhouse, ripping some pressure-treated wood to build frames to fit in the doorways. They both went pretty quickly. I put a semi-permanent panel on the back and a removable panel on the front. Now, for plants.
By the time I was done with that and assembling the mower, it was time to stop and get ready for dinner: I made reservations at a fancy-looking place downtown based on a readers’ poll in Baltimore magazine for Jen and I to celebrate our anniversary. Upon entry we realized we were a little overdressed for the venue, but our extremely helpful waiter steered us toward some delicious cocktails and good food. Arepas are tasty but not exactly fine dining-friendly food, so we busted out our silverware and made the best of things (the entrees were not lighting our fire). After dinner we had some dessert and digestif cocktails, and our waiter had us sample Amari, an Italian digestif liqueur that was better than the cocktails. Overall, it was OK but not stellar; the service was the high point, but we made the best of it. Happy Anniversary, baby.
Sunday morning I got up early and headed over to Bennett’s house to return a favor. He’d been the catalyst for organizing my Scout brake workday, so I offered to help him clear out his Mom’s farm now that it’s been sold. I’ll leave the detailed version of that story for the Scout blog, but overall it was a great, productive day with one hiccup.