torquill: Art-deco cougar face (techie)
I go back to school tomorrow.

It's been a long holiday for me. Despite the fact that I haven't even touched the yard -- that'll have to be fit in around the edges on Wednesday and Saturday. I do feel pretty well rested, though, and ready for what looks like a slow week of classes.

I'm starting to get a little bit of a sparkle around the edges of things, like it might be approaching the holiday season. Maybe. I'll give it a few more days and see.

We put the brakes back on the Alfa, put the tires on, fired it up (after drying off a couple of spark plugs), and discovered that 1) the brakes are still acting weird, like we can't bleed them properly, and 2) the bearing on the tachometer is dying. Sigh. So we'll detach the tach for now, and try to bleed the brakes again. If they won't firm up and stop putting bubbles into the reservoir, we may be looking at replacing the master cylinder.

At least it's parked in its spot again, the jacks are freed up, and we know it'll start up if we want it to. Now I get to focus on Gwen (an oil change and a checkup, and maybe putting the liner on the wheel well). Still more progress to be made.

I need to look into ratproofing the cellar; the mouseproofing isn't adequate to keep out roof rats.

For now... I relax. Not planning on going anywhere tonight. Tomorrow can come as it will.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (alfa)
It was a frozen clutch plate. We hauled on it with the pickup and it broke free after about five feet. Application of excessive horsepower for the win.

More work )
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (techie)
We didn't get out of the driveway. The clutch won't disengage -- either the clutch plate is stuck to the flywheel, or the sharp sensation my dad had when pressing down the pedal was the bearing snapping.

We have the car jacked up so that I can pull the transmission, but the current plan is to let it back down, put it in gear with the engine off and clutch in, and drag it down the driveway with the truck. That should put enough force on a frozen clutch plate to break it loose... if it's a broken bearing, it won't hurt anything.

If that doesn't work, we'll jack it back up again (the lip of the hood is at my chin level) and I'll drop the transmission. My dad says it's about two hours to remove, and another two hours to put back in, so it's not too bad.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (alfa)
What I spent the afternoon on was reassembling the Alfa. )

The test drive tomorrow should be fun.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (techie)
I just took the valve cover off -- I've never gotten inside an engine block before.

The latest )
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (alfa)
My dad cleaned the points on the distributor this morning and started up the engine. Well, sort of. )
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (Default)
The fuel pump lives. A few cranks, and now it whirrs happily when current is applied.

Life, however, does not imply functionality. It may whirr, but no fuel makes it out the other end.

It is being dissected as I eat lunch.
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (challenge)
Alfa chatter )
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (grin)
I managed to get almost halfway around the Alfa before I had to change out the first bucketful of murkwater.

It is currently in a state of clean such that one of the kitten-cats jumped up and literally couldn't stand on it. She kept sliding off like it was greased. I guess that's one way to keep the cats off...
torquill: Art-deco cougar face (brooding)
The Alfa was playing hard to get. )

I'm not reacting as badly to the chemicals involved as I thought I would -- I got a fine spray of bad gas on my face today (thank you, fuel return line) and I've been using WD-40 to ease hoses on (have I mentioned how much I hate replacing hoses?) and coax reluctant screws to turn, but I haven't felt any significant ill effects from any of it. Hydrocarbons aren't my primary weakness, but WD-40 in particular used to make me quite woozy; it seems I can handle it now. I won't go so far as to test whether I can deal with Bond-O... the smell takes me back to my childhood, but those solvents are a great deal nastier than WD-40.

All of that accomplished, I went out to pick beans and check on the garden. )

I haven't gotten a chance to clean the house (I get sleepy whenever I start considering it), but I am starting to pull everything back into line. I'm still writing a decent amount, but hopefully it won't be consuming whole days.

I'm starting to really get nervous about school, what with the dreams and seeing everyone else back at it. The worst part is that I still have four weeks to bite my nails. It's an open question whether it would be worse to be a freshman, not knowing what to expect, rather than the college veterean I am, who knows exactly how many things have to be juggled, and how bad (or good) the teachers and class load might be. I think it's the class load and the commute which are scaring me the worst right now.

The dreams are about being up there during move-in week, dealing with last-minute details, and the question in my mind is always, "Am I ready for this?" When I went to Santa Cruz, I was not. It's been ten years since then... am I ready now?

If it seems like I'm burying my head in work, now you know why. At least I'll have something to show for the last few days -- the Alfa, twenty jars of peaches, and a somewhat more orderly garden.

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Torquill

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