Sunday, January 08, 2006

Open Letter To The Weather: Some Cooperation Would Be Appreciated

Who among us has ever been faced with a dilemma? Everyone? I thought so. Well here's mine. I have a yard full of junk cars. Some run, some don't, some I have plans for, some I don't, but the fact of the matter is that a bunch, or at least a few, need to go. The main obstacle to their immediate disposal is the large pit of mud that they're parked in, but a big part of the reason that I need to get rid of them is to allow the deposition of gravel into said mudpit in order to make it less of a mudpit and more of a viable parking area for family and guests and therefore a valuable and worthwhile contributor to the happy society which is my yard, instead of the freeloading vacuous hole of a swamp in which it exists in its current incarnation. Due to the mudpit, which was just about dry as of last night but not now thanks to today's precipitation, most of these vehicular monstrosities are mired to a point of immobility, or at least to a point of making miniature replicas of the Panama Canal in an attempt to pull them free with the Beasty and a stout chain. I need to move the cars to fix the mudpit, but I can't move the cars because of the mudpit. Are you starting to see why I hate this mudpit? This mudpit has no conscience, it has no sense of self worth, it doesn't vote or pay taxes, yet it is hell bent on making my life difficult in spite of it's cultural insignificance. I'm not sure what exactly that means in the grand scheme of things but I'm sure you will draw your own conclusions regarding the implications of this situation and its effect on the greater cosmos and all of that which it encompasses.

This brings me to the other obstacle prohibiting the disposal of these fine pieces of sh . . . . Automotive history. I often bring home stuff that most people would consider "junk". Usually the reason for my pack ratism is my never ending quest to get something for nothing, or at least cheaper than everyone else, I'm not rich after all, or at least not financially. For my various transportation needs I run almost exclusively GM products. My reasons are my own but one of the major ones is the little bonus called parts interchangeability. If you are not well versed in the particulars of automotive design and manufacture, you might be surprised how many parts are a direct swap between most GM cars and trucks, and how many more parts can be modified to work on other vehicles, even some that are decades apart in date of manufacture. Most of these "treasures" were brought home in the intention of harvesting certain needed or likely to be needed in the future trinkets that would fit currently used vehicles in my fleet, and then disposing of them properly so they could be melted down and made into Toyotas for this is the way of things old and worthless. Except beer cans, they get melted down and turned into Kias.

Some were acquired with the intention of making them once again viable as a means to convey one's body from the fabled "Point A", to the ever elusive "Point B", and some were never really acquired at all, meaning that they were dropped off by someone else who was either convinced that I needed them, (usually falsely convinced since I don't even know what I need so therefore how could someone else), or who had similar visions of grandeur to my own only was not blessed with ample parking on their own property. (I used to be one of these misguided individuals myself with tidbits of automobilia scattered about the country, if you happen to have any of them parked on your property that I've forgotten about, don't tell me, just get rid of them, I don't have any more room.)

To compound my overwhelmingly rapid accumulation of vehicular worthlessness I was blessed at birth with a complete and utter lack of anything that could be remotely construed as "organizational skills". (Mental note to self: Do not pursue employment in any field that requires "organizational skills") The proper medical terminology for this horrid affliction is "dropitis". The patient commonly starts projects and may even get them well on the way to completion, then loses interest entirely or starts another project with the intention of returning to the first, but seldom does. The victim suffers with this disease for life, as with herpes, there is no cure, there is no vaccine. In severe cases involving marriage and kitchen remodeling jobs the condition can be fatal. (Mental note to self: Must finish that kitchen remodeling job that you started 3 years ago, and hide all of the ammunition for your wife's pistol, as soon as you get around to it.)

So anyway, besides the "need gravel where the junkheaps are sitting" dilemma, I have the "need to get a few of the junkheaps into the shop to snag some pieces off of them before sending them to the happy hunting ground" dilemma. The shop, however, is also full of junk that has accumulated under mysterious circumstances over the course of the 4 or so years since my last multi truck load to the dump type cleaning project creating the "need to haul a bunch of the junk out of the shop to the dump" dilemma. At this point I feel compelled to mention that the mudpit extends in front of my shop door making it extremely difficult to get anything in or out that is conveyed by any means with less tractive effort than a bulldozer, including my truck which is needed to propel the junk therein with the proper trajectory and velocity needed to reach the city dump on the other side of town, giving birth to the "can't get the truck in and out of the shop without sliding into something or getting it stuck" dilemma. I think I'll just have to resign myself to living with the mess until spring, or at least until the ground freezes again.

Are you starting to wonder why I haven't yet flung my body, with my painfully frustrated brain attached, off of a high precipice? I've started to several times but before I reach said precipice I'm always distracted by a flea market or yard sale, or well meaning friend or family member with a car in tow or an armload of cast off goodies, then I forget what it was that I set out to do in the first place, often to end up with another haul of valuable bootie only to be reminded that I have no place to put it and also of my intentions involving the precipice. At that point, the day is shot so I have no time remaining for the whole little precipice thing and therefore resign myself to clean out the shop . . . . . . . Someday. . . . . . . Remember, the day is shot at this point.

From time to time, I actually stumble across something interesting, notice I say interesting not valuable, I NEVER stumble across anything valuable. These little tidbits of memorabilia came into my possession a few days ago thanks to some friends of mine.

It seems that a particular older gentleman of their acquaintance passed from this world and left behind the usual collection of worldly goodies. This is normally the way of things involving the dead since you may have noticed that Hearses are rarely equipped with luggage racks making the act of "taking it with you" extremely difficult. His remaining relatives, having no use for these goodies, decided to set it all out in the yard and let anyone that wished to dig through and take what they liked. These friends of mine made off with an entire case, still sealed until the morons busted it open, of early 1960's era military C-Rations. The cans say that they were repacked in 1964, according to a Vietnam Vet friend of mine the damn things were barely edible when they were fresh so I doubt that they have any remaining food value, but had I gotten the opportunity to lay my greedy little fingers upon that case before they reduced it's collectible value tenfold, I might have been able to turn a tidy profit on it, I don't know what it would have been worth but there's a sucker. . . . . I mean collector, born every minute right? Wanna buy some loose cans of C-Rats?

Due to the deepening mudpit in front of my shop I decided to spend the day in its cluttered interior pursuing my most recently acquired hobby, one that as a truck driver I've taken up out of self defense: CB radio repair. After much digging and cursing I remembered that in my last shovel out the shop fest of 4 years past I tossed out my large heap of nonfunctional CB radios and therefore was not in possession of the parts necessary to construct some of the basic test equipment that I would need. I kept about a half dozen that I knew could be easily repaired. . . . . Someday, and I now have the knowledge. . . . . I think. . . . . . To repair all of them but I won't know until I make a trip to Radio Shack and haul home, you guessed it, MORE GOODIES!

This is the root of the problem, no matter what it is, if I haul it to the dump I'll end up needing it. I can kick it out of the way repeatedly for ten years but as soon as I get rid of it or sometime thereafter, I'll need it. No wonder why it's so hard for me to part with this stuff, I've been trained by years of head scratching and uttering of expletives in search of something that I know I already have, until I remember that I tossed it.

Please excuse me, I have a topographical map here someplace, if I can find it I have to make sure that there are no high precipices between here and Radio Shack, for my own safety. If I can't find it I'll need to stop at the BLM on my way to Radio Shack. Hope there isn't any yard sales or free cars along the way . . . . . . Maybe I should take the trailer just in case.


5 said...

"This is normally the way of things involving the dead since you may have noticed that Hearses are rarely equipped with luggage racks making the act of "taking it with you" extremely difficult."
Now that is rich...
Excuse me, Im hacking and coughing, I will come back when my breathing does!

The Dixie Drifter said...

Justin take some pic's of this mud pit you are talking about.

Chuck said...

Justin, I'm LMAO! I can relate to a lot of the stuff you've written. My wife has surrendered to the fact that I'm an incurable pack rat.

The paragraph that got me the best:

"This is the root of the problem, no matter what it is, if I haul it to the dump I'll end up needing it. I can kick it out of the way repeatedly for ten years but as soon as I get rid of it or sometime thereafter, I'll need it. No wonder why it's so hard for me to part with this stuff, I've been trained by years of head scratching and uttering of expletives in search of something that I know I already have, until I remember that I tossed it.

HAPPENS TO ME EVERY TIME! Or worse yet, I'll need it, know I have it, can't find it, go out & buy another one, then find the one I couldn't find.

I couldn't tell you how many vehicles I've cannibalized in just the past five years. The only thing I don't care to get within 100 feet of is a Chrysler product (I remember you mentioning a few of those a while back). ;)

You could almost name it and I've got it. Somewhere. C-Rations.

GREAT post!

Anonymous said...

Justin, please, get some long boards, use them as landing pads and haul that crap off! I think it is starting to effect you, mentally! My uncle used to say, if you use it every six months, it's wore out, toss it and get a new one. If you haven't used it in six months, you don't need it! Toss it!
God luck and stop over for a beer when you go to the dump! Jim will probably want to make sure you aren't tossing anything HE needs! lol (If you stop before the dump..I will hurt you)

Justin said...

Tony, glad you liked it, now come and get some of this crap, the Horizon isn't in the mud hole, well, at least not in the BIG mud hole, the whole damn place is a mud hole to some extent.

Drifter, pics? Of the mudpit? I'll see what I can do but last time I checked it was covered in fresh snow. If I happen to be out and about during daylight hours, I'll see what I can do.

Howdy Chuck, I have that problem too, I can't believe that I didn't include it. I have several staple guns, loads of pipe fittings, electrical outlets and light boxes galore, two Bernz-O-Matic torches, and multiple duplicities of a plethora of other tools and supplies due to not being able to find them, buying more, then finding the originals. As far as the Chrysler products, you may have noticed that they're the ones that I'm trying the hardest to get rid of, they were also in the "not officially acquired" category, as in, they were dropped off here, I certainly didn't go looking for them. The Plymouth Voyager has a perfect axle for my ATV/snowmobile trailer however, so I guess it wasn't a total loss, I just can't believe I haven't found anybody that wants the transmission out of it. It's a shame that whoever had it didn't know what a dipstick was for, if they had, it would still be a nice van, even if it is a friggin Mopar. I could've gotten Tony to help me paint some peace signs and flowers on the side of it and made one heck of a shaggin' wagon . . . ;)

Sherry, "annonymous" doesn't fool me, I know your IP. ;) You know I always stop for a cold one on my way HOME FROM the dump. You and Jim are probably the happiest couple I know, I don't want to be responsible for changing that, your storage space is safe with me. Besides, the only time I stopped on my way to the dump Jim and I ended up getting wasted, then we all went out to dinner and went bowling and I never did make it to the damn dump, it was a good time for sure but making a two day project out of a trip to the dump isn't very productive. I don't think you have anything to worry about though, if my shop was half as easy to walk through as Jim's maybe I could get something done. Thanks for the comment, keep 'em coming.

Joe G said...

I have hauled 100's of junk cars and all that you have to do with the mud is work when it's frozen.

Anonymous said...

Work when it's frozen?! Are you kidding? It's cold out there when it's frozen. ;) ;) ;)

Justin said...

Now why in the heck would it let me make an annonymous comment on my own blog? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . . .

Table Mountains said...

justin you mention a topographical map in your you have google earth downloaded?

The Dixie Drifter said...

Hey Justin thought I would drop by and let you know I will be moving my blog over to my server with my domain name new address is.

Gives me a lot more features and contol over the blog, at the bottom right handside you can register and signup thanks for stopping by the old one.

Joe G said...

I thought snowmobiling was COLD! You have to think about this motto. "Work is fun and fun is work".