Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cold Pizza & Engine Grease

I like it when things are going my way. Who doesn't? And it's a good week here on the hill. On Tuesday evening and it's nice and cold out (great sleeping weather). It's the first of the month and the bills are paid without any major financial legerdemain, I have a couple of shiny new books to read (including two new Robert Jordan novels I've been saving) and next week Bethany and I are going to Tennessee for a little three day get away. Everything is going nice and smoothly.

So where's the catch, you ask? I found it last night.

Bryan's been working for two weeks in the evenings to replace the motor in his '05 Explorer. It gave up the ghost after a little more than 70,000 miles. The project isn't simple, but it is possible. But it gets more complicated as it goes. We found sand all over the interior, especially in some places where the presence of sand is most definitely Not A Good Thing. In a moment of frustration last week, Bryan busted the radiator as he pried on something with a crow bar. (I've seen Bryan stick a crow bar in a motor twice now and neither time has been good. The last time he attempted to use a crow bar to take the tension off the belt on the Volvo we spent twenty minutes with a hammer trying to get it out.) That was a $200 moment of frustration that was fixable.

The catch in my week that's going just a little too smoothly is that we spent three hours trying to get the new motor mounted in place last night. We started at 5:30, called a pizza in with intentions of going up and grabbing it before we were heavy in the middle of it. But Bryan's friend Dave (who has done this before and was there to be extra muscle to get the motor in place) convinced him to start while there was daylight since it wouldn't take long.

Wouldn't take long. Famous last words.

At 8:30 we still haven't wrangled the beast in place, though we have two bolts in and have managed to lock the harmonic stabilizer in a bind so that we can't turn it, which means there's a good chance that we have to back up and start over. We took a break, shed the coveralls and went for the pizza, flashlights and some batteries.

It was Pizza Hut's new Big Italy pizza, which is too big to fit in their warmer, so they just set it aside 'till we made it there. The pizza was only slightly warmer than the night air we were working in, which was solidly in the 40s.

But by the time made it back to Dave's he had fixed the problem and all we had to do was add the bolts.

Fortunately I like cold pizza. It even tastes better with a touch of engine grease.

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