Monthly Archives: December 2012

Car Rant/Story

My girlfriend has been driving my old 95 Explorer of late, as she has a new job, no car, and two kids. Figured my Explorer is just sitting while I drive around a new car, so I might as well let her use it. Not many things are worse on a car than just letting it sit, seals and gaskets dry out, rubber hoses dry rot, things get in the wiring, etc. Well on Monday she calls me from her work and says that the tank is empty, and she just filled it on Friday, and that she thinks she smelled gas. My first thought, fuel leak. Well with it being night time and me not having a garage, I couldn’t check it that night, the next day was Christmas, and then Wednesday and Thursday of course I had to work. Go to work in the dark, come home in the dark. I know most anyone who reads this knows that feeling.
Anyway, I got off work Friday, and promptly put the Explorer up on jack stands ,turned it on, and crawled under it. I checked the fuel lines from gas tank to engine…not one gas leak. Which is odd, considering if it was losing that much gas there should be puddles under it. Plenty of other things leaking though, as I said, not many things harder on a vehicle than letting it sit. So while I was under there I decided to change out the fuel filter. No better time like while you already have it jacked up right? Well, one of Fords “better ideas” was the quick disconnect fitting…when they are old, their is not one damn quick thing about those disconnects. I have diagrams of them below (if this works right). So my only recourse is to take it to a shop 😦 and I did so this morning. This angers me, I have replaced fuel filters before with out issues. Hell, I have replaced transmissions, transfer cases, water pumps, rocker arm covers, myriad sensors, filters, etc. Of course I had a headed and lighted garage to do it in, not just an open parking lot like I do now. Maybe that has something to do with sucking my will to fight this thing. 
Walked in to the shop, told them everything that was going on…and even the shop owner was scratching his head. He agreed with me that it is probably not a leak, and of course he was more than happy to take my money to replace the fuel filter. Except, he couldn’t replace the filter. The head mechanic is on vacation and won’t be back until Wednesday, and the tool needed is locked up in his tool box. GRRRR!!! In the meantime we put our heads together on the problem..and come up with a simple possible answer….someone siphoned gas out of the tank. One locking gas cap later and a full tank are now purchased and hopefully the fuel filter and quick disconnect issue will be resolved on Wednesday.

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A ramble on Christmas, Tradition, and Religion

Merry Christmas! That’s right, I said Merry Christmas! Why do I say it? Because I am a traditionalist. 

I’m not Christian, in fact I am not anything. On my best day I am agnostic, on my worst day I am atheist. I come from an odd family when it comes to religion; Mom is atheist Grandma doesn’t care about religion one way or another, Grandpa is Agnostic, and my moms sister is Jehovah Witness. Funny, because most of my moms side of the family is from the South and the South tends to be religious. I think my Grandmas mom was Catholic. My dad was raised Jehovah Witness but was thrown out, his sister is still one, but her husband quite the faith, of course my dads parents were JW’s, but I think that further in that part of the family tree they were either Christian or Catholic (on the Scottish Side) and Jewish (on the Polish side). 

What is my point to all this you are asking yourself? Why am I rambling? Well it is to show how odd my familial background is on religion and how it affects my views on Christmas. Now, do I think that Christmas day is the official birth of Christ? Not a snow balls chance in Hell. Do I believe Christ existed? Yeah, I do. However, I do not believe that he was the son of a god. With that being said, I still celebrate Christmas and all that it stands for. Hypocritical? Maybe it is. I just love the thought of everyone trying to get along for a day, and trying to be good to one another, and giving gifts. Not to receive gifts, but because they want to make another person happy. I loathe how commercial Christmas has become.

I love the traditions of Christmas, and I love celebrating any good tradition that I come  across. It ties us to our past in many ways I think.

I think I have rambled enough on that thought. I hope anyone who reads this has a wonderful Christmas.

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“Ain’t it funny how a melody can bring back a memory….”

On the way home at lunch today I heard this Clint Black song (State of Mind) playing, the chorus goes like this: “Ain’t it funny how a melody can bring back a memory, Take you to another place in time, Completely change your state of mind.” I thought about how true those words are. How many times have you my dear reader, heard a song and smiled? Thought of a lost love? A lost loved one? Or just had a song encompass a period of your life? I have a few of these songs, and I thought I would share them.

I grew up listening to country, and a lot of my songs are country, but not all. First up is the Judds song “Grandpa.” It of course makes me think of my Grandfather, who is 84 now and showing his age. I can first remember hearing that song while driving East out of Mojave with my mom one night when I was a little kid. Probably going home from one of our 30 mile one way grocery runs. Even as a young child I thought of my Grandpa, and I remember my mother getting very sad while listening to the song.

Another song that makes me think of my Grandfather is “Red River Valley.” Conjures up memories of him and I sitting around the campfire in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, or out on the Mojave Desert floor, and listening to him play his harmonica.

Anything by Waylon Jennings makes me think of my mom. My mom went to a Waylon concert when she was younger and I remember her doing house work in a black Waylong Jennings Tshirt for many years, until it fell apart on her I think.

“Route 66” by Nat King Cole. This song makes me think of many long drives in the middle of no where with my dad. I have been up and down old 66 though California and Arizona with my dad a few times, and I swear I have been to every small town diner in all of Southern California with the man. At some point he would find a radio station and that song would be on, or something from the big band era. First time I really listened to the lyrics of this song, we were headed down to the Imperial Valley, I was in Jr. High, it was at night on some lonely highway, and I can just remember how the song made me smile.

“Hotel California” bye the Eagles. My best friend from the down I first grew up in learned to play guitar in Jr High, and this was one of the songs he could play really well. Well back in Jr. High your favorite DesertGuy could actually sing half way decently. One night, maybe 8th or 9th grade, we were walking down the street to the store for spaghetti fixens. He was playing his guitar and I was singing and we were getting honked at and clapped at by people going by. Later one came Nirvana and a lot of the mid 90’s music that we hate to love.

“Maggie Mae” by Rod Stewart, one of my moms songs, and probably the first song where it hit me what he was actually singing. I bust up laughing at the first part of the song.

“People are Strange” by the doors. I have gone through a lot of depression in my life. This song encompasses a lot of those times.

“Rodeo” and “Friends in Low Places.” Huge drinking phase in my early 20’s, these songs always seemed to be on at some party or at the bar.

“Teddy Bear” by Elvis. I once dated a girl who’s dad was (and might still be) an Elvis Impersonator that did Karaoke shows in small town bars in Iowa. I got on stage in this little dive bar (best home made potato chips ever!) and we sang this song to her.

“In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” by Frank Sinatra and ” More than a Memory” by Garth Brooks. Those two songs remind me of the worst two heartbreaks I ever had. Both by the same woman.

“Time of Your Life” by Green Day. The class song of the class of 1999, couldn’t get away from it. Still makes me think of graduation.

“American Pie” as sung by Don Mclean makes me think of the great djmatticus. Not sure why, can’t attribute it to an event, it just does.

I am sure there are more I could think of if I had time, these are just the big ones. Give them a listen sometime, you might like them.

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Forever Young, drinking from the fabled fountain.

So today’s prompt asks the question, “If there were a real Fountain of Youth, would you drink the water?” and to this I answer….I have to f***ing clue. This would be a huge deal, think of the fortunes you could amass, the experiences you could have, the people you could know, the history you could witness! 200 years from now I could be standing where I am sitting now, and it could be a giant parking lot for some megalopolis city! I could remember when it was this shitty little apartment.

However, if you or I were to drink from this fountain, then you would outlive all of your loved ones, all of your friends, etc. Would their come a time when you didn’t want to make any more relationships because you knew those people would just die off anyway? Would you eventually get bored? What about the condition of the country or the world? I for one do not like the direction the future is heading, would I want to stay alive long enough to see what is coming?

All things to ponder as you sit at the fabled fountain cooling your toes in its cool waters. 

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Tank 2

Tank 2

Another one of me on an old tank.

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tank6.jpg

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Me on old Tank 1

Me on old Tank 1

Sometimes at work I get to see some really really neat stuff. Old boneyard of military equipment like this is just one of the cool things.

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Daily Prompt: Pleading the 5th

What question do I hate to be asked? I hate, absolutely hate, are questions about the future. Where do you see yourself in x-amount of years? What are your hopes? What are your dreams? etc.

For some reason I hate these questions and have a hard time answering them. Why? Not sure really….just do. 

Categories: Work | Tags: | 1 Comment

What am I doing here?

So I have been thinking about doing this for a while, but never jumped in. Then I was talking to  djmatticus on the phone, and he says just do it, and write about whatever you know and want. So…..here I am. 

You can also follow me on twitter @Trvwilkins

 

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