Gators not so bad

I mentioned a couple posts back that my neighbor had an encounter with a running side grinder and came out on the losing end. It was stitched and seemed all taken care of but as with most things George, it didn’t heal well. His hand swelled dramatically and apparently was infected. He went back to the doc who redressed it and told him to come back in a few days. It got even worse and the same doc told him to go to the emergency room. The information we have is sketchy right now, but it seems that there was still a piece of metal imbedded in the wound that they missed the first time around and that was the source of the problem. They admitted him right away and he’s to see a surgeon today. Poor George – nothing ever seems to just happen normally.

The fire damage to the car was not as innocuous as previously thought with little anomalies popping up – indicator lights etc on the dash board. I took it to the local shade tree guy and he was shocked that it still ran with all the burned wires and sensors. I explained that I was not interested in a large scale, expensive rewiring job and he said if he could take his time with it and use it as filler work, it could be done much cheaper. He’d only work on issues that impacted safety and not worry about the cosmetics under the hood. He said he could get many of the burnt caps from junk yards. All that sounds good to me but I’m guessing I’ll still be in this for a couple hundred bucks before it’s all said and done. The thing about this particular vehicle that keeps me from just dumping it is that the back seat folds down for a clean shot thru the trunk. That’s important because I have a couple of one piece surf rods and I can’t get them in the Grand Marquis but no problem with the Toyota. I mean lets face it, all cars move people but not all cars move fishing tackle, camping gear, or kayaks. The Merc is a nice car but it only moves people. So my thoughts went to the truck.

I haven’t been using it much at all, mainly because it has old tires and I really hate to put new tires onto a vehicle that I drive about 5 miles a month.
That all changed yesterday. I had Tom help me load the marginal lawn mower into the truck and decided to drop it off at the repair shop. I had moved the truck a couple of days ago but this time it wouldn’t start. The first issue surfaced immediately when I couldn’t unlock the hood. It had been so long since I had opened it, the latch was locked up with rust. I wrestled with that for 20 minutes or so and finally got it. In all fairness, I knew this day was coming and should have oiled/greased it a couple of years ago but never quite got around to it. The battery seemed fine to me and the starter solenoid was getting a good bang but I tried all the conventional things – jumps start from another car, put a charger on the battery, cleaning the terminals – then I remembered that I have had this exact problem about half a dozen times in the past 20 years – a loose or crummy electrical connection to the starter. I have fixed it myself several times by claiming under the truck and banging on the starter connection with a hammer or equivalent. This time when I got upside down under the car, I started to get seriously dizzy. So that wasn’t going to happen. I called AAA and the tow truck guy was here in about 10 minutes and went through all the things I had done even though I told him what I thought was the problem. Finally he climbed under the truck, hit it with a hammer, and it started right up. I took it to the mechanic who is rewiring the Toyota and told him about the connection and asked him to clean it right. Done. I asked him about the tires and he said they were dry rotted, ok to drive around town but nothing more serious than that. He added that he could put on brand new tires, mounted and balanced, for under $400. That’s about half of what I expected so I told him to jump on it. Not only that – when we drove it to the lawn mower guy I gassed up, both tanks, so I’m now committed to working the truck into the rotation and back off the Toyota. Now that I’m driving Miss Nancy, I’ll load the kayak on the truck and explore new lakes and rivers while she’s doing her things. I’m ok with the Toyota being offline for as long as it takes – or forever. I found I had a couple of very nice 2 piece surf rods so problem solved.

The Gator loss to LSU was not so bad. They had a chance to win right up to the end which bodes well for the rest of the season. I can see a 9 or 10 win season now instead of the 9 or 10 loss season I was expecting.

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