atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2801: Painting the helmet--NOT!

Today I got up and went and did things.

1) Go to insurance agent and enquire about collector car insurance on the Fiero. Price: $59.03 for 6 months. Bought.

2) Go to DMV to get new plates. DMV guy: "We don't do that here." Me: "Oh, you stopped?" "We never did!" Wrong! I got plates for this very car at that very DMV just a few years ago. I went there expecting there to be problems if I went to a currency exchange; oh well.

3) Go to currency exchange in Park Forest. It's gone! That strip mall on Western Avenue is now entirely barren. *Sigh* guess I have to go to the currency exchange that is staffed with idiots.

4) Go to aforementioned currency exchange. None of the idiots was working today because I was able to present the title, pay them the princely sum of $36, and get the Fiero registered as an antique vehicle.

5) Go then across the street to O'Reilly's Auto Parts with the battery. The guy looked up the warranty for me, and it turns out I bought a batter with a two-year free replacement warranty, so it cost me nothing! (O_O) to get a new battery! out of there for about $35 in oil change supplies.

6) Go home long enough to grab a pile of quarters, install the battery, put on the temp plate, and actually drive the Fiero to the Crete car wash--

Cones across every lane. The attendant came over to me and said disgustedly, "I haven't got any power! Haven't had it for 36 hours," and went on to blame ComEd for the rise of communism and pay toilets. (Well, not quite, but I don't blame him anyway.)

The gas station's got power, the motorcycle dealership's got power--just him is in the dark. WTF.

7) Go to gas station. Dump a $10 can of SeaFoam into the tank, add $25 worth of gasoline.

8) Go to the car wash in University Park and feed a total of $4.25 in quarters into various machines to get the car into some semblance of a clean state.

9) Take the long way home.

10) Change shirt, grab Gatorade and a lawn chair, and go to the Crete Cruise night. And they actually let me register even though the Fiero was made after 1980.

I'm going to abandon ordinal format now.

The cruise night had some interesting vehicles there, including some kind of GM X-body car (eg Chevy Citation) that had been bobbed about 4 feet and turned into a convertible.

One guy had a Cushman Eagle scooter, vintage 1958-ish. I looked that thing over thoroughly because it looked like it had a Briggs and Stratton engine on it (it probably wasn't) and the controls were weird. I identified brakes and shifter, but there was one foot pedal which was in a "down" position that I could not figure out what the hell it was for.

Then it hit me: That's a kick starter!

That thing was in perfect condition.

So I hung around and looked at cars and bought some lemonade and chips, and at 8:00 they had a drawing for door prizes. The first couple were free meals at Subway; then there was an Aurelio's T-shirt.

Guess who won that?

"I went to Crete's cruise night, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt." But it's better than a kick in the teeth, so WTF.

(Actually I am not complaining. It's kind of neat to win something like that.)

Took a bit of a drive before coming home and putting the car away. It's so damn nice to be able to drive it again.

* * *

The AV plates are good for four years (!) but your use of the car is restricted: you can drive it to shows, to a mechanic, and to the gas station (and of course you can drive it back from those places as well). Any other use is illegal.

I'm guessing that it's not exactly a primary enforcement issue like seat belt usage or speeding. But I'm not going to drive the car much anyway, so it's not a problem.

On the plus side, there's a cruise night in Monee starting Tuesday of next week--

Argh. Tuesday nights are my Bible study group nights. *sigh* So much for that.

* * *

On to the usual bloggeratin'!

Scariest jobs chart ever. Average duration of unemployment before Obama took office: about 17 weeks. Average duration in 2011, after Obama's been in office for more than two years: 40 weeks.

See how well Obamanomics works for the people?

* * *

"Job growth falters"! It's faltering now? Don't you mean it's been staggering all along?

* * *

There's inflation going on in China! Flee in terror!

* * *

"Somehow, the Unemployed Became Invisible" begins this NYT article.

Of course they have. You guys are ignoring unemployment because it makes your boy look bad.

* * *

...and I haven't changed the car's oil yet.

There's about a million small things that need doing (including the oil change) and over time I'll do them. I'm gonna have to drag out the old Compaq laptop and hook it up to the engine computer to find out why my "Check Engine" light is going on, but five gets you donuts that it's the same thing that was happening the last time the car was on the road--IAC valve. It's not a particularly difficult fix. In fact, I'd bet there's a massive vacuum leak from the SHREDDED cruise servo that's causing that particular error.

(Can't use the current laptop; it doesn't have a serial port, and the scantool interface needs one.)

So I'll be working on the brakes soon, and trying to fix the problem with the interior lights staying on (I had to pull the fuse to correct that, in 2006), and cleaning everything. Having been used as a daily driver from December of 2005 through August of 2006, the car is filthy with all kinds of leaves and other crud. I got rid of the worst of that at the car wash, but there's still a lot left.

The paint on the intake manifold is looking unhealthy. I may have to have the thing stripped and re-coated. The whole engine is filthy and needs cleaning. The wheels and tires cleaned up rather nicely, but they still need work, and there's all kinds of other things that need fixing elsewhere on the car.

So it's going to be a while before it's really show clean. Oh well.

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