ack. one bad pig flashback.

i’ve spent this past week getting to and being sick. i took thursday and friday off of work. i don’t know what i have, but i’m assuming it’s some kind of flu. i’ve got the symptoms, although they aren’t debilitating. just enough to make me uncomfortable and feel run down and gunky and feverish and such. but not so bad i just lay in bed all the time.
over the last week i also spent some amount of time buying parts for the belair. here’s a list:

  • new deluxe heater core
  • heater control valve
  • trunk and glovebox lock set
  • radiator and mounting kit
  • a/c condenser
  • radiator cap
  • 7-blade engine fan
  • radiator fan shroud
  • gm valve cover wire looms
  • msd red 8.5mm spark plug wires
  • hooker headers slash exhaust tips
  • edelbrock signature series 14″ air cleaner

the radiator kit i bought is a nice aluminum crossflow custom setup made for tri-five chevys. it’ll require some notching, cutting, and general manipulation of my core support, but it should work. it’s a lot bigger than the stock radiator. the shroud will also have to be cut to fit with everything, but it’ll help the cooling from the engine fan. i went with a straight engine fan instead of a clutch fan.
hopefully i won’t have to buy too much more in parts, although i know the mechanic has bought some stuff himself (motor mounts, water pump) which will be part of his bill. i also am thinking about buying a gauge cluster to put in the car so i have a better idea of the water temp, oil pressure, and voltage. what’s money anyway?
in pickup news, for awhile now sometimes i’d smell gas pretty strongly when i got near it. i didn’t get too worried about it, since sometimes old vehicles just sort of have smells. but at the show wednesday night it was pretty strong, and it didn’t go away by the time the show was over. so i got my flashlight and popped the hood. i could see where some gas had been leaking where metal fuel line meets rubber hose fuel line. it looked like maybe the rubber hose was deteriorating. the next day i went outside to continue looking at it, when i noticed a wet spot under the driver’s side door. the gas tank on these pickups is behind the driver’s seat. (yes, inside the cabin, filling the space behind the upper back of the seat. they changed that in later models.) i looked under the pickup and gas was dripping from another deteriorating rubber fuel line.
i used a pair of needle nose vice grips and pinched off the rubber tube near the tank side, then i disconnected all of the rest of the rubber tubing between there and the line to the carburetor. i went and bought some new fuel line and screw clamps, plus a new fuel filter. i took the current fuel filter and moved it before the fuel pump, then i put the new one after the fuel pump (before the carb) and tightened them all down. once everything was in place, i laid down and pulled the old pinched-closed rubber fuel line off the tank side. gas poured out while i grabbed the new line and pushed it on. then i tightened the clamp on it. i only managed to douse myself in gas a few times in the process.
but everything appears to be successful. i’ve seen no leaks, and my pickup runs. so i think i pulled it off. now if i could convince myself i could replace the exhaust manifolds myself. mostly with that it looks like some difficult angles getting to bolts and such, plus i don’t think i have a torque wrench that goes as high as i need to torque the bolts. i don’t want to strip bolt holes on the engine block by over-torquing. it sure would be nice to have the pickup not sounding like crap and getting hot from the exhaust going straight into the engine compartment though.
while i was on my journey for fuel line parts, i made a stop at the briar shoppe. i went looking for a certain type of lighter. they had one, but only one, and of course they had the only color i definitely wasn’t interested in. so i didn’t get it. they also didn’t have any of the style of savinelli pipes i have been thinking about getting. i did go ahead and buy some pipe tobacco: pina colada, and black russian.
friday night sue came over. she asked if i’d be okay watching a chick flick. i like some of them, so i said okay. we ended up watching both the movies she brought. one was the proposal, which has sandra bullock in it. it was okay. betty white was pretty funny. the other was sunshine cleaning. at first i didn’t know much about it and was more interested in the proposal, but after watching the trailer and some clips online, i thought it looked good. it was. it was kind of a quirky character film. think maybe a mixture of little miss sunshine (quirky, light-hearted, funny, deep, messy, and dark all in one) and juno (without the self-aware dialogue). i also saw touches that reminded me of wes anderson at times. but the story is good and the characters are interesting. i recommend checking it out.
in blog news, i believe i fixed the problem with utf character sets. i installed another instance of movabletype and it worked fine, so i knew it was probably something in the database tables and not any of the software pieces. i compared table properties between my blog and the new install, and it appears the problem was most of the text values had collation values set to “latin1_swedish_ci” instead of “utf8_general_ci”. both on the tables and the rows. “latin1_swedish_ci” is the default setting for mysql. i changed them and international fonts started working again. i think the problem was a database upgrade of mysql that happened as part of the plesk update from 8.x to 9.x, and when the upgrade happened it reset the table collation values for some reason. not sure about that, just a guess. but changing the collations to “utf8_general_ci” (which is what the movabletype install sets them to) made it work correctly. unfortunately, i’m assuming most of the stuff that was already in my blog in utf format went through a one-way “hash” (i.e., got scrambled) and is now garbage in the database. fortunately, i didn’t have much of it. and as long as i never have to re-publish those pages or my entire website, the static pages will still look okay.
i’m still struggling with the way the girl i was seeing handled me. was it really necessary for her to start avoiding me, and then completely stop replying to me? beyond all the other stuff, i thought we were still friends. so even though she misled me about her intentions related to me, i had believed we were still friends. i wish she could have just told me at some point that the way she viewed me…my value to her…changed. perhaps that she wanted to keep things like they were indefinitely. because she never did — she maintained up until the time she completely stopped talking to me that she felt the same way about me as she always had. and she’d told me way too much for just ceasing to talk to me to be a fair way of dealing with things. i guess if she never planned to get serious about our future, it doesn’t matter that it’s over. it just sucks she said all the things she did about how serious she was about me, and how strong her feelings were for me, and what she wanted for our future — and that i believed her. it also sucks she chose to deal with this in a way that keeps a friendship from being a possibility. i miss talking to her. but i can’t control her actions.

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