Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father's Day, Lets Go Try and Break Sumpthin.

First Father's Day without one, feels odd.

To celebrate I decided to go on the TRJC Father's Day run. Given my track record on breaking Jeeps on level ground in a bit of snow, getting out on the trails should prove painful to my wallet.

Since the red Jeep belongs to my Daughter and I'm waiting for her and the SIL to return so they can help fix it I took Pops other toy.
Its an 06 Wrangler Unlimited, 4.0, 6 speed, lifted, lockers, long armed, I could go on for while with this list so lets just say its built for the job. Its even trail rated.....

The Jeep is up to the task for sure but I had never done this before. This was Pop's hobby and mine seemed to be repairing what he bent or broke. Sad part is I should have asked to go with him but we always knew somewhere down the road it would happen. Screwed the pooch on that one.
Since it was my first shot at this I figured training wheels would be funny.....

Now I should mention that we have enough spare parts for the red Jeep to build another one just like it and still have enough spare parts to keep both of em on the trails for years to come. The yeller one? Not so much, in fact I have no spares for it at all, what could possibly go wrong......
So bright and early we show up at the meetin spot and we were thinking maybe 15-20 Jeeps would be there. Uh yeah, at least 50 were there, some fairly nice ones and a bunch that looked like you needed a tetnus shot, hazmat suit and a weeks worth of antibiotics just to get near it.
After the drivers meet we signed up for which trail we wanted and I went for the "baby" trail called Poor Boy. Its rated as a 1+ meant for stockers and mild Jeeps. I should also mention that its rained here every day for the last 2 weeks or so.
Now I'm not up on Jeep math but 1+ multiplied by rain to the tenth power equals "I'm glad I wore my brown pants." Of course I didn't do the math until we were on the trail but at least I was wearing camouflage shorts.
So we hit the road to the trailhead and really began to wonder just what had we gotten ourselves into. I swear if heard banjos playing I was turning around and heading home.........

We get to the trail head and air down the tires borrowing a set of deflators from the guys behind us, knowing that Pops had a set somewhere but I couldn't find em. Also disconnected the front sway bar and put the stinger in the hitch with the attached tow strap, hooked up the winch control and set it on the dash. (Hey at least I looked like I knew what I was doing.)
Off to the side of us there was someone offering a sacrifice to something he called the Bead Goddess, muttering please have mercy on me today. I think he has had some issues in the past with tires coming off and filling with mud. I wasn't going to ask as it may have been a sore subject.
So off we go to hit the trail. Again I have NO frame of reference for what is about to unfurl and if I would have guess I would have missed it big time. We started out driving thru a grassy field up gentle hills with a puddle here and there and I began to relax a bit and all was good till we plunged into the treeline.
 "Uh this don't look promising."
 It was then I remembered hearing the trail guide being happy about being the first one up the hill.
Then we watched him go up the hill and I looked at the co-pilot and said "baby trail???" and it was game on from there.
We got halfway up the hill and it kicked out of four wheel drive so we had to back down the hill, give the stick a HARD yank and apply a liberal amount of the idiot pedal, 2nd gear low range, mash the gas and hope that tree don't jump out to far when we get there.
On the second trip up the hill we got hung up on a pair of roots with the rear tire and all forward momentum stopped, let it roll back a bit and hit it again, this time I decided we were going over it or we were going to use the rear tire to saw it off.
After that it was a maze of tight turns and even tighter squeezes.

Most of the pix were taken when someone got stuck or it was break time, no way to get any on the roll.
That Sahara in the pic below almost did a front flip and for sure was on 2 wheels for a few seconds.

I am also fairly sure we bent the laws of physics and gravity several times during the day. Some warning signs would have been nice.
"Caution 85% grade down next 10 feet"
"Caution 80% grade up on grease over tree roots and rocks next 8 feet"
"When you land, turn hard right, that tree has no safer barrier"  
"Don't check your brakes, its too steep and slick for them to work anyway" 
"Runoff area includes 15' dropoff into creek"
"Max width 75" ahead"
"Road never gets any wider ahead"
"If you thought that was bad, well its too late now"
"Stay in the ruts, bad stuff happens if you get out of the ruts"
The last one came to mind as we watched the trail guide get out of the ruts and shoot off into the trees.
I have never steered some much to go so short in my life, my arms still wont go over my head.
After spending the day on the trail we headed for the car wash.

Followed by a well deserved catered meal and a long ride home.  As we were leaving I heard "Keep the shiny side up" and I didn't quite know how to take it. After playing in the creek for a half hour or so I knew the bottom side was a lot cleaner and shinier than the topside and I'm sure I wanted the shiny side down.
All in all a really fun day and I will be doing it again and I am so glad Pops had this particular bunch of miscreants and malcontents as friends. Hopefully I have them too.
I was never on the winch or the strap all day, not braggin just stating fact. Came home with one slightly bent fender, one more plug in a tire and sadly I blew out a training wheel.
Go out this morning to grab my sunglasses and what did I find?

 Deflators. Oh well I got them for next time. And Dad, I understand why you loved it so much.



Monday, March 9, 2015

Happy Birthday Pops.

Some day I'll get over wanting to call you about what ever stupidity is going on around me.

PS, I broke your Jeep. Yeah, go ahead laugh it up. All the beating and flogging you put that thing through with few failures and I broke it half hour after I got it trying to do a donut in the snow.......

I did the half hour drive home in roadster mode and I'm thinkin the heater needs work. It was blowing plenty hot but didn't seem to knock the chill off.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Well, That Happened.

Charles Ater III, 72, of Winchester, died Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, at Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville.

Charlie was born March 9, 1942, in Jacksonville, the son of Charles and Grace M. Francis Ater. He grew up in Arenzville, later moving to Winchester.

Charlie joined the U.S. Army in 1961 and was a member of the 3rd Armor Division stationed in Germany. He went on to be a 40-plus year employee of Kordite/Nesco/Mobil Chemical/Pactiv and helped open the second plant.

Charlie was an avid outdoorsman and a life member of the National Rifle Association, fine upstanding member of the Two Rivers Jeep Club, the Studebakers Drivers Club, and a honorary member of the Vagabonds Car Club Illinois chapter.

He was preceded in death by his second wife, Suzy (Linda White) Ater, in 2003. He is survived by his son Charles "Jay" (wife, Stephenie) Ater of Alexander. One of his final acts was witnessing the marriage of his cherished granddaughter, Alex, to Cory Suhre. Charlie was engaged to Lora Van Winkle at the time of his passing.

Charlie is also survived by his brothers, Francis (wife, Kay) Ater of Concord, Burton (companion, Esther) Ater of Jacksonville; sisters, Jennie Castleberry of Carthage and Barbara (husband, Ron) Surratt of Arenzville; many nieces and nephews, and quite a few unrelated folks that simply called him "Uncle Charlie."

So, do me a favor and hug your Mom, call your Pop and tell him he's a stubborn son of a bitch but you love him anyway, kick one or more of children so they know you love them too. We all have an expiration date and nobody knows when it will happen.

One of the songs we picked to play during his services was this,,

I'm not a spiritual person but I like that song.

Has it really been 2 weeks? Seems like a lifetime ago in some ways and minutes in other ways. So far so good, I haven't fallen apart yet but I'm not done trying.

By this time last year I was ready to call 2014 a failure and was ready to move on to 2015. Well 2015 can kiss my ass too, bring on 2016.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Civic Duty

Wow, shouldn't we be voting for people we feel represent our wants and needs instead of voting for this person simply because we don't want the other guy to win?

Here the front runners for the Governorship are both unacceptable to me, one is a liar and gun grabber while the other is friends with Satan. Well maybe that's a bit harsh, Tiny Dancer may not be Satan but I'm sure he's shook hands with him a couple times.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday,, Dammit.

Sorta forgot about this thing for a couple weeks, never fear I'm still here.

2 horrendously awful projects that don't want to end. One of em fresh from the body shop where they did a pretty good job on the paint and bodywork but when they found the rusty floor/rocker/subframe they just covered it with seam sealer on both sides.

Knew it had a problem and shot a price, then started cutting things out and realized "this aint good" and "that's not any better" and lastly "you have got to be shitting me" which came about when the floor brace/subframe broke and fell off after cutting the floor pan loose.

Seam sealer and Ziebart rust proofing has made welding any and all patches in this thing a nightmare as there is only so much you can do to get the surfaces clean. Some places you can't clean at all.

 When you hit a spot that isn't clean the first thing that happens is the weld goes to hell and that is quickly followed by any all kinds of wonderfulness, including balls of fire, clouds of breath taking smoke, boiling hot stuff dripping onto the gloves/helmet/legs/ears or whatever exposed skin it can find. Its really great when you get the trifecta, making you want to scream obscenities and throw shit.

I did mention that the place I am doing this in is right across from a funeral parlor that's had a busy week?

Fairly sure the last thing you want to hear while mourning for Aunt Bertha is me launching into a high pitched tirade questioning the heritage and manhood of German engineers while kicking a smoking glove out the door and trying to pee on my shoe before the fire gets my toes.

2 day project going on 5. Whoopeee.

How's about some Cake to start the week?

"I'm not catching on fire today" a motto we should all try and live by.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Off to the Dentist. joy.....

Had a root canal 2 weeks ago, got fitted for a crown last week, a cleaning this morning and next week I get the crown. Spendy when I have nothing to spend.

Could use some Morphine.

(takes a minute to get rolling but its well worth the listen.)

Who knows, maybe this afternoon I'll set myself on fire.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day Late but here it is.

Long weekend of car show and cruising goodness, one of the last for the year. This is the big deal car show in Jacksonville and its always a good time.

While cruising my wife sees this little white car and remarks "I really like that little car, its cute!"

I told her that was the MGA that I did all the metal work on, and that I was NOT doing another one so she better find another mechanic.
It did turn out spectacular though (if your into sado-masochism and or British cars.)

Got to hang out with some of my older friends and their junkers,,,
Dickie's 51 Ford above and Ferrel's 51 Merc below. I think they are convertibles but they never put the tops down. Shameful.

Obligatory Buick pic,
and a better pic from the parade,

It rained between the car show and the cruise so a lot of the trailer queens went home and it wasn't as crowded as usual but I still had fun, wife came along and she invited a few of the other volunteers from PAWS. You put 5 adults in the Buick and it gets real low, we made sparks a couple times.
Seems the only song that fits is kinda obvious
All in all a good weekend!
Oh and some fresh pix of Jayne, Hero of Canton,,,

Just over 3 months old,  37 pounds, 20" tall at the shoulder and 30" nose to the base of the tail.