working on cars

I worked on our vehicles yesterday, or, at least, two of the four that are still at home.

The Dodge needed brakes (it was shimmying hard at speed going downhill….so I guessed that a rotor must be warped or something) and the Mail Jeep needed….to be fixed.

The Mail Jeep leaks out of every orifice, but that wasn’t what I was fixing on it.

There was something moving around up front, clunking and shifting, when I drove it that concerned me.

I don’t want to lose my steering coming down on of the big grades on the route.

I don’t want the front end to blow apart.

(A couple of weeks ago, I fixed the brakes on the Mail Jeep. That was exciting….no brakes on Miller Mountain is not a calming experience. Turned out that one of the wheel cylinders was fragged and fluid was just pouring out of it.)

Diagnosing the latest problem finally came down to just wiggling a bunch of stuff connected to the steering box….and, sure enough, the steering box was pretty loose at the frame.

All three bolts, loose about a turn and a half.

That’s pretty loose.

So, I tightened them all and the Mail Jeep was back in business.

I also changed the oil….switched from synthetic 10w30 to conventional 10w40.

The Mail Jeep has over 260,000 hard mail route miles, so we’ll see what that does to the engine after a lifetime of only using synthetic.

It’s leaking some oil from what I guess is a front seal, and I’ve heard that synthetic is bad to leak, so maybe a change will be a good thing.

I’ll go with that hope….maybe a change will be a good thing.

I need to switch out the radiator, too, but that will wait for another sunny day.

There is something beautiful about the way a machine is put together.

Mechanicing is a good thing….but I sure do have to hit the Lava soap hard when I’m done.

It’s a good feeling to get close to understanding how anything works.

Understanding….I’ll take what I can get.

new hero

“Hero” is maybe too strong?

But, then again, maybe not? What’s a hero anyway? Someone who inspires you to see the world as a place of positive possibilities? Someone who makes things better because he or she is alive?

Maybe this man is a hero, after all.

I don’t know Johnnie Jameson.

I like what I see in this video.

Happy mailman…..backwards runner….positive survivor.

What’s not to like?

Listen to what he says about being paid to be a servant at the beginning of this video.

That was a good thing for me to see at the start of my day.

This is one of the good videos.

Fender Custom Shop

What would that be like?

To work someplace like this?

Who does that kind of thing?

These guys, I guess.

This is  a short film about what it means to get the chance to reclaim something that was lost.

The thing that was lost was the respect of the musical community.

The reclamation was achieved by taking what you do seriously….artistically….creatively….commercially….

These artists have some silly times….it looks like a fun place to work….but they’re dead serious about the art of building guitars.

I’d like to do something like this.

I’d like to play more guitar.

Maybe I should forget about a career change and just play more guitar?

unicorns without horns

Jenny and Sparrow were coming home from dropping Nate off at school.

When they passed by the camp stables, Jenny noticed that Sparrow was getting more animated

When Jenny looked in the rear view mirror to see what was going on, Sparrow exclaimed with great excitement, “I SAW A BUNCH OF UNICORNS WITHOUT HORNS!!”

“A bunch of unicorns without horns.”

Of course, they were just horses.

“Just horses.”

But, to a child… or an adult with an uncorrupted sense of wonder, they could be a field of unicorns….without horns.

Isn’t it funny how our sense of what is possible is damaged by what we accept as our reality?

Why do we suppose that the possibility of magic in our world is unrealistic?

I know that a horse is…a horse.

Of course a horse is a horse.

But what if they really were a field of unicorns without horns?

How cool would that be?

See the World #13…He can ride, I better write…

Some of these people seem like people I’d enjoy knowing.

Iohan is like that.

Here he is, riding his bike around the world, and I can’t even consistently post his videos on the blog.

What’s up with that?

This episode takes him back to Canada to earn some money planting trees…..and ride the Canol Trail.

Watch these….they’re the next best thing to having an actual adventure.

Mennonites in Mexico

From the YouTube description:

The documentary tells the stories of four traditional Mennonites (Aganetha, Cornelio, Pedro and Jacobo) living in two different communities. The colonies of El Sabinal and El Capulin are settled in the Mexican state of Chihuahua and look like typical communities of conservative so-called “Russian” Mennonites, who formed as an ethnic group in southern Russia, but who are of Dutch and German ancestry and language. These German-speaking Mennonites have a long history of migrations, beginning in the Netherlands, where the group originated, to the then mostly German-speaking area around Danzig (see also: Vistula delta Mennonites) and from there to Russia (see also: Chortitza Colony and Molotschna Colony, then to Canada and from there to Mexico in search of a place where they can freely practice their religion and speak Plautdietsch, an East Low German dialect of the German language. The four protagonists are longing for their perfect world in balance between tradition and modernity: The colony of El Sabinal lives in isolation and rejects any modern technology, whereas the colony of El Capulin begins to accept innovations such as electricity and cars. The more orthodox members of the community will migrate to the Bolivian rainforest.

There is peace in simplicity.

I guess that you can find peace in the midst of our modern and complex society.

What a Zen master I’ll be when I figure out how to do that.

earth bag artist community

You can move to the desert and live pretty cheaply.

That’s nuts.


We drove through Suwanee Ga on our way back from the High Museum in Atlanta….and found that there was a huge Asian population.


I guess that what’s going on is that a lot of Asian people are moving from the west coast, where they’re selling their million dollar properties and moving to a cheaper location.

You can sell your house in San Francisco for MILLIONS and move to the Atlanta area where a bigger home with a yard is a fraction of the cost of the houses out west.

This lady is building small homes with earth bags for a fraction of that….like, 300 dollars.

That’s pretty cheap.

It’s funny how location determines how much our homes are going to cost….and what kinds of homes we can build on the property we “own”.

This is a pretty interesting way to build a community.

Earth bags look like a cheap way to build a structure.