friday i left work and went over to rms auto and got my pickup. it turns out one of the front drums had broken in two, and the plate had completely separated from the ring. i guess that would explain why it didn’t stop so well. you could see rust partially in the broken sections, so there had been cracks there for some time. (glad it didn’t decide to fall apart on me while i was in the hairpin twisties on the trip back from new york.) the work they did included putting on two new front drums, new shoes, new wheel studs and nuts, repacking the front wheel bearings, flushing the brake lines, a new master cylinder, and cleaning and adjusting the rear drums. they had to fashion a connector between the new master cylinder and the brake line…hopefully that will work out. i drove the pickup to the house, then chris and mary came by and gave me a ride back to rms so i could pick up the element. unfortunately for them, i was in the middle of cleaning the litter box, so the aromatic ambiance was less than pleasant.
i’ve been driving it the last few days. man, it’s good to have it back! i’d like it if the engine ran a little smoother, but all in good time. as far as the brakes go…they’re working, but there is some amount of rhythmic slipping if i press on them very hard. i may go by and ask about that if it doesn’t go away during the first week or so of breaking the new shoes and drums in.
back to friday…a little later, jack and sue came by and dropped off jackson and dietrich to hang out with me for a few hours. i gave them the choice of what to do and where to eat. we ended up going to james coney island and bringing it back to the house and watching return of the jedi. after that was over, we watched uhf. jack and sue showed up before it was over, then jack stayed so they could finish watching the movie. overall, the time with the kids went well. i had originally planned on going to the continental club, but it was getting late and i needed to get up early in the morning…earlier than i do even for work. (i hear i missed an excellent show.)
what was i doing? taking the concealed handgun class. i had set my alarm for 7am, but around 6:30am i woke to thunder and lightning. and the power going out over and over. i ended up setting my cell phone alarm just in case the house power went out again. i managed to get up and get ready in time, but when i drove over to top gun the power was out all around the area. we were supposed to start at 8:30am, but they weren’t letting anyone in the building since the power was out. around 8:45am they went around saying if they didn’t get power by 9:15am they would cancel. i wasn’t too excited about the possibility of having gotten up early and driven over there for nothing. fortunately, the power came on at 9am and they let us in.
i passed everything, but the class itself was…not as stringent as i’d thought it might be. the law states you have to attend a 10-hour course, but i didn’t realize a good chunk of the 10 hours would involve sitting around not doing much. the two major portions of the class are a shooting proficiency test and a written test — those are the two things you have to pass to pass the class. to be honest, it’s kind of frightening knowing some of the people in my class are going to have the right to pack. but i guess it’s not much different than giving insane 16 year olds the right to drive.
top gun range is a one-stop shop, so they provide the application packages, take the photos and fingerprints, notarize everything, etc. all that’s left for you to do is get the state application fee together and drop it all in the mail to austin. after i mail it in, i’ll have to wait two to three months for it to get approved and for me to be legally able to pack heat. and as far as the photo goes…i didn’t manage to outdo my passport photo, but this one looks pretty bad too. should be a fun photo to have on my conceal carry id.
after the conceal carry class, i headed over to main street. first i stopped by tacos a go-go. i had been in there before, but i don’t think i’d ever eaten there. i like the way they’ve set up and decorated the place. i hear the tacos are excellent, but i went with the pork tamales. they were very good. the rice had a bit much lime juice or something for my taste, but overall the meal was really good. after eating, i headed next door to sig’s lagoon, where johnny bush was doing a signing for his new book and cd. then it was two doors down to the continental club, where i talked with the bartender about his 1964 chevy shortbed while waiting for johnny to come do his set. i also talked with the doorman between sets. and i managed to talk to a guy that smokes a pipe that i see at a lot of the local country shows. i think he’s cletus from the hollisters, but i’ve yet to get definite confirmation on that.
the johnny bush swag i bought was:
- whiskey river (take my mind): the true story of Texas honky-tonk – johnny bush with rick mitchell (university of Texas press)
- kashmere gardens mud – johnny bush (icehouse music)
johnny’s set was good. the crowd was enthusiastic about it, and calvin owens showed up to play his trumpet on a few songs. the jesse dayton band (or at least part of it) was backing johnny, and after his set jesse dayton did a set. i don’t think i’d seen dayton before, but i’d heard the name. maybe i didn’t give him enough of a chance, but i didn’t find it too interesting. he’s a great guitar player though, and energetic. and he had a stand-up bass player. but it just wasn’t doing it for me. i spent most of his set outside talking with the door guy, which was cool. all told, it was a good saturday.
sunday found me going to kaleo, then heading to chuy’s for lunch. other than cleaning a couple of my pistols, i don’t recall doing much the rest of sunday.