Tuesday, September 08, 2009

New Things

It's like a biblical Genesis over here at Chateau McDougal. So many new things for all of us that I have trouble keeping up with them.
  • Liam is rocking the stand-up bass. Totally digs it and is able to pick out notes by ear. I think he has some undeveloped musical talent that we need to try to hone. He's also getting adventurous with foods (tried ribs, pulled BBQ beef, and says he puts lettuce & a tomato on his burgers!) And we're trying out Boyscouts to see how he likes like nature vs technology.
  • Cindy is giving thought to getting her Master's in nursing. She's got my support all the way. And she's experimenting with some crazy diet tricks which today included a "spinach smoothie." Not sure how far that will go, but I'm proud of her for making the attempt.
  • Meg is Meg. A bright, searing ray of sunshine that brings me unequaled happiness each and every day. If God put a happier, dancier, singier, more vibrant and beautiful girl on this Earth, I have never met her nor do I think such an equal exists. She's got jazz and ballet this year. And she owns my heart. 
  • Me? Too many projects. The Beetle is devouring me. Got the wrap lined up today. Found a NEW guy to do the AC. Seats are done. Body work is coming. Lights and mirrors are due soon. Computer arrives on Friday. And I might have a day off in late October. Thankfully, I'm feeling better, sleeping somewhat better, and eating much better. But I'm running my machinery in the red all day, every day. And I hope I don't throw a rod before I reach the finish line. I see it on the horizon. Finally.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Beetle Build - Brake Lights

Aaron recessed the rear brake lights on the beetle. My idea. His implementation. A match made in automotive heaven. Roger is going to wire them up so the two center lights are solid, for brakes, and the two outer lights flash, for turn signals.

First picture (click to enlarge) gives a good idea of the placement. Second picture (click to enlarge) is a closer view.

Aaron also used fiberglass compound to join all the different body parts and they'll be one smooth piece by the time he's done sanding and painting.

Love that wide, fat-bottom look!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Kids: Liam just registered an 11th grade reading level. He's in 4th grade. He was the first kid in the whole school to hit his "reading goal." Which he accomplished in two weeks. And he's currently leading everyone in the number of earned points. Meg just registered a 6th grade reading level. She's in 2nd grade.

Health: My odd Meniere's semi-attacks from a couple of weeks ago subsided. I'm fairly sure it was fallout from the wreck. My neck and shoulders were all gimped up, possibly pulling me off to one side. And my inner ear didn't like that. Been back in the gym the last couple of weeks. Shoulder is good. Cardio is improving. Down three pounds since I started. Trying to hit my fighting weight of 185. At this pace it could be November. Just in time to put it all back on for the holidays.

Work: Looks like another year of dodging bullets from the weather and The Man. Today marks my "official" four-year anniversary. No cards or pats on the back. Just another day in paradise. Those of us left are glad to have a paycheck.  Hopefully we (the collective "we") are on the road to recovery. Or at least we've hit a bottom and can cruise along at current levels without any more layoffs. We always have hopes.

Projects: I only have five weeks to finish the Beetle. So many loose threads coming together. Upholstery. Body work. Graphics. Dashboard. Trying to get a slot at Cruising The Coast. May have to formulate Plan B. Haven't had a day off in almost a month. Won't have another until late-October. I pray the juice is worth the squeeze. Else I risk a further stream of "I Told You So" from my bride. But no risk, no glory. And I'd rather burn out than fade away....

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Catch Up

My, my, my. How time flies when you're up to your eyeballs in so many projects you struggle to count them all. Not to mention the kids starting school. A return to the gym. The black plague falling upon us. Hurricane season. A crapped out lawnmower. Spider bites. Addictive science fiction novels. And HD tv. You blink and two weeks streak past your tired old eyes.

Time to catch up.