Friday, November 29, 2013

I Need a Teleporter: Both Vehicles are Broken Now.

So we were driving to work the other day happily unaware that shit was sneaking up on us like a tiny assassin made out of bad luck and car repair. Unfortunately we became aware of it when the check engine light came on. So Scott got out of the car at a gas station and did things under the hood that I did not understand and then he checked the oil level and it was like super dry and then he was all like fuck we have an oil leak. And I was all like that would explain the burning ass smell when we start the car. Because who drives around with there car smelling like burning mechanical ass without doing anything about it?

We do.

So in addition to the truck being up on blocks we now have a problem with the car. Which if you are counting along at home means that the only thing we now have running is the backhoe. Which is not street legal and I'm pretty sure that we can't drive that to work. Fairly sure.

Of course this whole thing got more complicated because this is my life and nothing can ever be simple. Because of our work schedules we had three days off to fix the car. Sounds like plenty of time right?

Ha ha no.

Because Day One of crazy vehicle repair time we had just got home from an overnight job and it was like, 5am. So the only thing we managed to get done was driving our tired zombie asses to the auto parts store where of course they only had parts for the truck and had to order the parts for the car. Also we made the decision to get all of the parts at once for both vehicles because I have come to accept that money isn't a thing I get to have anymore.

Goodbye paycheck, may the wind be ever at your back.

Anyway we got the parts back home and then went and tried to stay awake until bedtime because that is something that adults do for some reason. At this point we decided to work on the truck breaks on Day Two because we had all those parts and it was already sitting there and then when we got the car parts we could work on it later on in the afternoon.

What this really translated to was that we spent most of the day fighting the truck breaks.

So first we got out the parts for the front breaks on the truck. Now these are disc breaks and we have done a bunch of disc break work before and were all like this should go pretty fast. Which if you are familiar with this blog means that everything went to hell in a poop basket.

To explain, the part that we had to replace is this metal shell called the break caliper that holds the break pads. So when you step on the break the caliper squeezes the pads into this round dish called the break rotor. Basically when you break the caliper gives the rotor the biggest hug ever. This also means that when you go to replace the caliper you have to shove the pads into it and then put it over the rotor like a taco. A metal filled taco.

Except one of the calipers didn't want to go on. At all. Ever. So we fought with it. We pried and swore and used the hammer. We took turns swearing at it while we beat on it with various things in the vicinity. About then Scott got fed up and we put the other side which went on perfectly just to make us think we were crazy.

It was about then that we discovered what the problem was. The thingajig the caliper bolts onto was bent. I don't just mean a little bent, like oh we could straighten this up with a hammer, no I mean like bent to shit to the point that when we gave up and went to get the car parts the guys at the AutoZone told us our best bet outside of going to a junk yard was to heat it up with a torch and bend it back. Of course this would mean that we would be weakening the metal so when the fucker breaks it is going to break right at that point and then I pointed out that I was a terribly unlucky person and the auto guys who had watched us buy parts for two cars at the same time kinda had to agree.

Of course it was like too damn late in the day when we went to the auto parts store because breaks are assholes like that. So then we got all the parts we needed for the car and drove home, and then we noticed it was getting dark. We also noticed that we had one day left to do this. So we strapped on headlamps, got out a work light and began to take the engine apart.

Did I mention we have to replace the gaskets in the engine? And that we have to take the engine apart to do it?

We had to take the engine apart.

So this involved us standing in the driveway with a work light and headlamps, labeling every wire, tube and hose on the damn thing in order to get it back together the next day. Of course it was windy as fuck too. So we get all our shit together and I ask what I can do to help and then Scott tells me to get a rag and to pull off some such hose and then I get some pliers and take the little metal thing that holds the tube on and pull it down the tube and then I grab the rubber firmly and pull and instantly a whole shit motherfucking ton of fluid comes out of there like a goddamned fire hose and I freak out and shove the whole thing back in and then I am like what do I do?

And then Scott is like, just take it off and then I pull it out again and this fucking liquid goes fucking EVERYWHERE and Scott is all like holy shit that was overfilled and then we freak out and stuff paper towels in the hole in a dim attempt to stop the deluge and then I look down into the car and everything is dripping and then Scott is all like, we'll have to clean that tomorrow and I'm like fuck this is gonna make the car smell great when we start it up again.

So then we go back to unhooking things and labeling them and I don't have any more hoses spew gunk all over me and then it gets windy as fuck because ha ha the weather hates my guts. Finally we are getting pretty tired and my knees are trying to murder me and I am limping around because leaning way over the front of the car is something they don't like to do, apparently and then finally, finally we can pull off one of things we need to replace and clean.

At this point we are joined by Tom Tom Tiger our kitty. He proceeded to demand attention. We try to explain that we are covered in black gunk from the motor we are scrubbing down and that he will have to wait. He stalks off.

So there I am busy scrubbing down the inside of this integral car thing, wondering if it is possible for my fingers to get any colder, when I hear a squeak. I look down, and in the weak beam of my shitty Wal-mart headlamp I see Tommy has caught a mouse. Which is alive. Which he lovingly gave to me.

By putting it on my foot.

We quit pretty much right after that.

So tomorrow we have to install the new gaskets and then put the freakin engine back together and then get ready for work the next day. Should be a piece of cake right?



Monday, November 25, 2013

Drum Brakes are Terrible. Terrible I Tell You.

A few days ago Scott decided that he wanted to get ready to bleed the breaks on the truck since we had already given our blood sweat and tears to replace the break lines. So he got ready to go out into winter while I made a few excuses to stay inside until the last possible second. Luckily for my staying inside as long as possible plan, Scott came back inside about twenty minutes later and announced that he had snapped off one of the bleeder valves and the rest of them were stuck.

Now for those of you who don't understand what all that gibberish underneath your car is, bleeder valves are these little thingamajigs that when unscrewed a little bit shoot break fluid out of them like a leaky sink. Which allows you to get the air out of the break system. Because if you don't get all the air out of the break lines you'll die.

So no pressure or anything.

So of course when you snap the fucking thing off two things happen. One break fluid oozes out and two, you get fucked. I mean like really fucked.

Not just regular fucked.

Because that thing that the bleeder valve connects too, now you have to replace that too. Because nothing is ever easy. Anyway, instead of bleeding the break, we now had to put the truck up on blocks like this is the country and pull the break assembly apart.

Oh joy of joys.

So we trooped outside and I gathered up cinder blocks and bits of boards and other shit that one needs to properly place a vehicle up on blocks in the lawn while Scott broke the tire loose and jacked the truck up. Mainly because I can't be trusted with Jacks. Things happened man. Things happened. Things.

Anyway we pull the tire off and find that the bleeder valves on an 85 Chevy are on the caliper. Which if you recall is the part I think I could replace in my sleep if I had too. Pleased we pulled the calipers off the two front tires like the caliper wizards we are. I decided not to compose a spur of the moment song about Caliper Wizards because Scott does not understand my innate musical talent* and we moved on to the back tires.

Which is when Scott told me that the rear tires have drum breaks and everything went to hell from there. This was my first time seeing drum breaks. They sucked. Like really. Like someone who loves Steampunk had decided to make some fucking breaks. So the break part, the break pad if you will sits inside this fucking circle and when you hit the breaks the pad shoves into the inside of the circle and stops the truck. Or something like that. I am not really sure. What I am sure about is that getting all those bits apart is super shitty.

Like really shitty.

So we pull the large circle thing off, and then we discover the pad bits are held on with springs. Springs that wanted to stay where they are thank you very much. So we fought the damn springs off and then tried to get the thing the bleeder valve was on removed and then we came to the conclusion that that thing was part of the axle somehow.

Which if you are following along at home, means we are like, what are we up to now? Double fucked? Triple fucked? I'm not really sure how fucks compile. I mean this was never really covered in math class. Although it damn well should have been.

Back to the point, it was getting kinda dark because winter plus mountains plus living under a ridge equals a four thirty sunset so we gave up, pushed the tires under the truck cleaned up our tools and went to go eat meat from the crazy meat van.

Hooker Meat. **

*This is a lie. I have no musical ability whatsoever. At all. None. Zippo. Nada. Nothing. Just to clear that up.

** Probably.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I Fixed the Toilet. I am a Toilet Champion.

I was deep in the midst of cleaning the other day when I got a nasty surprise. I was doing my usual method of cleaning a shitty mobile home from the eighties which involves taking everything that had accumulated in the living room throwing away the trash and then putting whatever is left into the no mans land that is the tacked on toilet bathroom area in the bedroom that is missing the dividing wall because rednecks.

It's a system I have.

I didn't say it was a good system.

So I was back there doing shit when I happened to glance over at the toilet and realize that the entire area and plywood under it is soaking wet. Of course after just replacing the ENTIRE FUCKING FLOOR because of a leaky water heater I went into defcon panic mode three and proceeded to loose my shit all the way back into the kitchen where I grabbed Scott and made him look at it because that is just the cross husbands have to bear.

So he gets flashlights and pokes around and announces that the bolts that hold the tank onto the bowl part are leaking. So then he tells me he is going to go up to the shed and see if he has any rubber washers that would fit those and then he walks up to the black holes of insanity that our are poorly organized sheds. Then I get the bright idea that because of the older mobile home we abandoned to the wolves are using as storage we have a spare toilet.

A spare toilet with bolts on it that is.

So I tell Scott of my plan and he points out that toilet is even older then this toilet but I can take a wrench over there and see because it is not like he is making any progress here. So then I grab a head lamp and some tools and some cat eye medication because I have taken to dosing Emoticon's eyes whenever I see her and then I go over there.

Of course the cats are there and feed them and put drops in Emoticon's eyeball and then she tells me she hates me and then I go inside and see about getting that motherfucking toilet apart. I figured that this bit was going to be, like super shitty because the bolts were like 40% rust and were probably bent on becoming one with the porcelain like metallic budists. Luckily for my plan but not for my sanity the bolts weren't even motherfucking tight.

Ha ha lol. Whatever.

So I pull those fuckers off and see that the rubber seal on them is still intact and then I am all like, score. So I take them back up to the shed and clean them up and tell Scott I think this is going to work and then I pry him away from checking endless drawers and boxes and totes for rubber washers and we go back inside and try to get the old bolts off.

The operative word being “try.”

Because it turns out that the top of the bolts, the part that sits in the tank, was completely gone. Like the water had rusted it away to nothing. So then we had to pry the rubber washer bits off, or more like what was left of them. Of course it was rusted away just enough to stop me from being able to unscrew the nut but not enough to allow us to pull the washer up easily.

Which is how we ended up breaking another part of the toilet.

So in the end we managed to pull away the rubber washers and scrap the remainder of the tops off and shove the bolts down through the holes with a screw driver. So then I install the new pieces, muttering vague swear words and pleas to the god of toilets that this fucking works and then I tighten them down trying not to think about all the weird toilet tank poop water that's probably on my hands by now and then it fucking works.

Of course being paranoid I kept checking on it and wouldn't let Scott put any of the tools away till like twenty minutes later because I kept expecting to fail magnificently somehow but so far it appears to be good. Then I had to clean my hands like fifty million times while singing “I fixed the toilet” to the tune of “I shot the sheriff” while Scott offered me pie to stop me from singing.

Which was very effective, I might add.

So in conclusion, I am the Toilet Champion.

Champion of Toilets if you prefer.

I should put that on my business card.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Crazy Meat Van Stopped at my House.

So the other day I was wandering around the house in my ripped up jeans when I heard a knock at the door. So I went to answer it and found an attractive blond guy standing on the porch. He was all like, hey I drive a meat van and I have a few deliveries in this area and thought I might be able to interest you in some meat products. And then I agreed because it's apparently not in my willpower to refuse an attractive guy when he wants to show me meat.

It's a weakness I have.

So then he is like I'll be right back and of course me and Scott follow him up the driveway because there is a crazy meat van in it and then he comes back with these huge boxes and I got in inkling that maybe this wasn't such a hot idea anymore and then he asks if we have a kitchen table and we say yes and then I started to wonder what kind of world he lived in where people wouldn't have kitchen tables and then we got inside and the house and he puts the boxes down.

Then he proceeds to open them up and lay boxes of prepackaged vacuum sealed meat on the table and talk how awesome consuming dead animals is. Of course each of the large boxes he has is filled with smaller boxes that are filled with steaks like some sort of fucked up Russian nesting doll made out of animal parts.

Of course it was about then when he is pressuring Scott into buying some stuff that I start to wonder if maybe he murdered a hooker or something because I have never really heard about a crazy meat van before and maybe it's filled with murder victims or Soylent Green or someshit. So I start asking questions about the animals before they were made into steaks as though I could catch him if these 'steaks' were really more like 'ex wife' or 'nameless drifter' but he was too clever for me.

Also he was attractive.

Then Scott starts haggling on the price of some pork and steaks and whatnot and then we decide if we really want meat from the crazy meat van and I'm all like what the hell, when life gives you a random meat van you might as well take advantage of it.

Of course he points out that they have chicken too and I point out that I own real live chickens which pretty much ends that discussion. So then he packs up what we didn't want and then I feel kinda weird because this probably means that the crazy meat van will be back at some point because we have fallen for it's tricksy wiles this time and I am probably going to get badgered by the crazy meat van every time they come up here.

Which is a sentence I never really thought I would type, really.

Of course the whole thing will probably work out in the end because they sell bacon. I don't know much about high class living, but I think having a van show up to your house with the explicit purpose of selling you bacon can't be a bad thing.

Just as long as it's not a crazy meat murder van.

Eh, I'll take my chances.

For bacon.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Emoticon is Once Again a Free Kitty.

So in what is hopefully the last chapter in the saga of my cats eyeballs, we went in to get more meds and then the vet was all like we should do another check up on her and then I was like okay whatever it's not like I need money to live or anything. Which of course involved pouring her into a carrier and listening to her yowl super loudly in the car for half an hour.

Because love.

And then we got to the vets and the place is like super empty and then I am all like score and then we get admitted into the little room with the exam table and it takes two people to get Emoticon out of the carrier because she can turn herself from a solid into a liquid state at will. It's a talent she has.

Then Mr. Vet Guy comes in and has a look at her and puts more dye into her bad eyeball and then we have that discussion about where to go from here. Her good eye is completely wonderfully cleared up. But her bad eye is still a big fat ulcery mess. I explained that while I had not seen much improvement in the bad no good eye or the ulcer I had wanted to give her a bit more peripheral vision because it was a big hard world out there.

He points out that the ulcer thing is still picking up on the dye so he kinda doesn't want to stop treatment but he has to admit that I have been treating this thing for fucking ever and we really haven't seen that much improvement. Because whatever damage was done to it was kinda deep.

The real problem as I saw it however was that Emoticon was becoming depressed. She was not coming out of her crate anymore in the mornings and was trying to hide from me when I went to dose her. She had stopped playing with her toys, stopped running around like a crazy cat and was spending more time sleeping on the floor like a little furry rug.

So then he said that we could probably put Emoticon back outside as long as her eye didn't get any worse because she didn't appear to be in pain and we had been treating this damn thing for like the entire fucking summer and into fall and at this point and it was unlikely that we were going to have some sort of eyeball epiphany at some point where she would get super better and have rainbows shoot out of her eyes.

Well he didn't say all that, I'm paraphrasing.

So then I took Emoticon home and let her go out onto the porch where she acted completely baffled that she was outside and then she didn't show up for dinner or breakfast and I was beginning to freak out that I just blew 300 dollars she was dead or ran away or something and then she showed up for lunch and hissed at her sister and then I thought everything just might be okay. Especially because she is not misjudging jumps and flailing about in the weeds anymore. Also she gained a lot of weight being inside. Which she seemed to put directly over a layer of rock hard kitty muscle.

Her sister doesn't stand a chance, is what I am saying here.

Hell at this point I don't think I stand a chance.

Which is why I am trying to stay on her good side.

Tom Tom Tiger had better watch out.

It might be getting real on this farm.

Kitty real.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Truck Break Lines Day Two, a More Sober Account.

Luckily on day two of trying to fix the damn break lines my body seemed to be adjusting to the medication a bit better and I know longer felt high as a goddamned kite. Which was almost disappointing because in the cold harsh light of almost sobriety rerunning break lines sucked all the ass.

So to recap my former really, really drugged up on prescription drugs I have to take because my stomach is an asshole account of the first day, we ran all the break lines leading to the front tires to this hub thing that sits bolted to the bottom of the frame of the truck and we ran the two main lines from the hub thing to the reservoir that holds the break fluid. So the break fluid gets to go on a super awesome fun water ride down to the hub where it get sent out to each tire on a slightly less magical adventure. You know, in case my loose rambling drugged up previous account didn't cover any of this.

It totally didn't cover any of this.

I could go back and edit it to make more sense, but that would ruin the memories. The drug memories that is.

Anyway today's super special mission was to run the lines to the back tires. So two lines needed to follow the frame of the truck from the front hub to the back hub, and then two more lines from the back hub to the tires. Don't worry if that doesn't make any sense, because after what I went through I think the best option is that if your break lines fail you should just buy another car.

So first off we get out the lines going to the back and then we get them all set to go and then I crawl under the truck to the back hub and Scott tries to feed the line in from the front. Except there's this bit where the lines have to go around the frame and some other bullshit I don't understand. And of course since we bought pre-bent lines they have all sorts of zig zags in them all ready.

So basically it was like trying to shove a coat hanger that has been through a grain thresher through a keyhole. Except the keyhole has a ninety degree turn in it.

It was awful is what I am trying to get at here.

Of course at one point we got the whole thing hopelessly stuck to a point where we couldn't go forward or back so we put a coupler there and Scott had to deal with all the excess on his end because we are not super mechanics here and hopefully everything will work and we won't go careening over a cliff because my state doesn't believe in guard rails.

So the next step was trying to get the rear lines on from the hub to the tire parts. The problem here was that the bolts were so rusted that I had to scrape rust off to get the wrench on and then when I did get the wrench on the damn thing it didn't move at all whatsoever. Of course Scott was still struggling to attach shit to the front hub so I was on my own.

What followed was a montage of both of us laying under the truck on plywood grunting and whimpering as we fought those motherfucking ass break lines into place with our blood sweat and tears.

In the end I still has to get Scott to undo the bolts for me. Which pretty much set a president for the rest of the day while Scott did all the hard shit and I handed him tools because for whatever reason I could NOT get any of the rustastic bolts off and I couldn't get any of the new ones in.

Which pretty much destroyed any lingering glory from that wheel strut job we did last winter. Not that I am bitter or anything. Although I suppose I could just blame this attempt on the drugs.

So about this point we work our way back up to the front hub. You know the one we sweated and bleed all over the first day to attach the front lines too? Well it turns out we can't get the last line off of it. We tried everything we could think of and even debated taking a torch to it but Scott vetoed that plan because it was right next to the fuel line and Scott hates being set on fire by a seemingly unending spray of gasoline.

So after some cursing and a cup of tea, we decided we are going to have to remove that hub piece I don't really know the name of and possibly replace it.

Which would totally negate all our efforts from yesterday.

So Scott pulls it off and then takes it up to the sheds and manages to remove the stuck line and then we wrestle the damn thing in place and reconnect the lines which sucked all the ass and took like an hour of our lives.

And by 'we' I mean 'Scott.'

I mostly got him tools and then crouched right in front of him to keep the sun out of his face because by this time it was trying to set on us and finally, finally the damn thing was all together and then we decided to bleed the breaks later.

So then we threw the tools in the truck cab and went back up to the house and had dinner which I can't taste at all because this is seriously the most fucked up stomach medication in the world and I had to keep asking Scott if dinner was good and he kept telling me it was and now I have to go take a shower and maybe eat some chocolate.

You know, to see if I can taste it.

Purely in the interest of science, you understand.


Monday, November 4, 2013

The Breaks on the Truck Died a Sad and Terrible Death.

So awhile ago we were getting firewood and we had unloaded the last load and then I went into the house to take the dog out and then Scott got back into the truck to put it into the upper driveway and then the breaks died and then he had to use a fence post and the woodpile to keep the truck from rolling into the ditch and then he had to ease it onto the lower driveway without sending it over the bank and into the creek.

Which was fun.

And then we had to go to work and then there was more work and then Scott ordered more break lines on the internet and then we flash forward to today to where we happened to be home for like a whole 48 hours and it wasn't snowing outside.

So after doing my morning chores and taking all the pills I need to take now because my stomach is a dick we went out to install the new break lines. So we drug everything we needed all the way down from our sheds to the end of the other driveway and then we got ready and we took the break lines out of the box and then we slid plywood under the truck so we didn't have to lay on the freezing cold gravel and then we girded our respective loins and then I realized that I was starting to feel a little weird. Because new medication and all. “It's okay” I said to myself, “this is like the third day on these fuckers, I'll feel a little weird and then I'll be fine.”

In retrospect, that was the stupidest thing I have ever thought.

But I'm blaming it on the drugs.

So Scott took the old lines off and I handed him tools and listened to him invent new swear words because the bottom of a 85 Chevy from the mountains is like 80% rust and then he sent me up to the shed to get some wrenches. Which of course meant I had to cross one field and our yard and then walk all the way up to the shed. To counter the fuzzy feeling of the meds I just chanted what he wanted me to get so I would not forget and then I got to the shed and opened the drawer of box wrenches and then I just stared at it for awhile trying to figure out what the words I was saying meant and that's when I realized I was high as balls.

As balls here people.


So then I get back with the tools and Scott is all like where is the 17mm wrench and I was all like, um, ah I couldn't find one. And then he was kinda irritated because he had to walk all the way back to the shed but I didn't care because I was chemically unable to give a fuck.

Anyway at this point I usually give a run down of what we are doing but this time I can't do that because I had no idea what was going on. My whole day was a series of disconnected things that happened. And all of them sucked ass.

First off we had brought the pre-bent break lines because we assumed it would be easier to install them. Unfortunately all that did was make it incredibly hard to get the fucking metal tubes through all the other shit in the truck. They kept catching on things like the frame and the whatsadoozit and then we couldn't get the threaded ends to line up with the hub thing that they went to and then they wouldn't thread on because nothing can ever be easy.

So we would take turns laying under the truck trying to get them to thread on and they were all like, ha ha ha no. And then we would switch places and try all sorts of arcane things to bend and shove the break lines into alighting with the break thingamajig until finally I gave up and got out from under the truck and Scott asked me to get something and then I found I could only walk to the left for about five steps and then I almost ended up in the garden.

Because muscle relaxers.

So then Scott pulled some magic trick and got the damn things to thread and then we gave up for the day and then I was thinking about spending my evening sitting in a prescription drug haze and then Scott reveals that all we got done were the front breaks and we hadn't even touched on the back breaks yet and then I thought about doing this all again tomorrow and then I supposed I should have felt depressed but then I didn't really feel anything other then the fact I was loopy as fuck.

And of course this would have been the night we were supposed to go to dinner at grandmas and then I had to pretend that I was totally super not stoned out of my fucking mind even though my pupils were the size of dinner plates.

Which was like, dinner challenge level 5000.

Luckily I think I pulled it off.


Mostly. Sortof. Pretty sure.

Oh god sweet Jesus take me now.

Ahem. I'm fine.

Or well I will be when I take the next dose, that's for damn sure.