And the Beast is Back in its Cage

DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG IT! Take 2. This time, it wasn’t my battery falling out of my laptop, but instead some weird glitch on WordPress that causes it to freeze up with I try to get the details from a pictures. Good times.

Apparently, I’m either not good at paying attention, or Brad is telling me that we have conversations about our going ons, because this morning, as I was getting ready to go do my morning jaunt, he asked if I was ready to go. What? Are you going walking with me? no. Was I ready to go on our preconceived trip to Vegas. I’m pretty sure we never set that up, but I won’t argue if it gets me out of the camper.

First stop: AR Powder Coating. We arrived just as they were getting the chassis ready for the oven. 2 hours and it would be set. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT??? Not only does that save us an additional trip to Vegas, but it means life can move forward. I’m ready to make some money with this things. Well 2 hours to kill, let’s get to it.

Errands, errands, errands, blah, blah, blah, boring, boring, boring,

On our adventure list was short, but we did make it to go buy a boltload (HA HA HA I crack myself up) of nuts, bolts, and washers. Normally, it’s not on my top ten “really fun things to do list” but as I was standing there, I had a great dumb idea for a mini segment. Bolt Shopping for Women. It was probably funnier when I was standing there staring at aisles and aisles of fasteners, but I don’t care. It wasn’t as hilarious as my idea to just creepily stare through the aisles with my face really close, so when people pulled out the bins they would see my stalkerish eyes and drop the bin, sending nuts sprawling across the floor. Hmm. We must have been in there way too long. Don’t sign me up for my own late night show yet, but here is Bolt Shopping for the Ladies.

What Men See

What Men See

What women see

What women see

AWWWWW it's soooooooooooo cute!!!!!

AWWWWW it’s soooooooooooo cute!!!!!

Make your own joke here

Make your own joke here

Ok not that funny, but whatever. I amused myself in the store, and that is reaalllllly all that mattered. So bolts, check, groceries, check, back to AR.

We grabbed the chassis, relatively painlessly. Metal met us there, and followed us back, which was relatively uneventful. We did get passed by a semi that caused a pretty good side swing, which was sketchy for quite a stretch and put me on high alert. nothing like watching a rickety trailer swaying uncontrollably side to side on the freeway. Don’t worry. Rolling the truck wouldn’t be too bad….

The good news? It is DONE. DONE, DONE, DONE, DONE, DONE. The bad news? Aside from having to walk all the way around the chassis to get water, as much as I was anxious to get rolling, I think I might be the only one of my party that is. Brad was getting to comfortable on the couch.

Tomorrow? We will have to get rolling on ordering more stuff, and getting the remaining parts needed to finish this thing up. Body work is first on the list and it looks like that will take precedence over whatever other projects. ALSO….the new converter system will be arriving tomorrow so I will get real power again! AHHHHHH Tuesday, you can’t come soon enough!!!

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Winding Down 2013…Maybe I should update the inaugural ride date.?

It is really difficult to believe that 2013 is rapidly waning into the background and 2014 is just days away. It’s also really difficult to see how long this project has taken, that we are almost in it an entire year. Oy vey! I’ll get one more blog in before the new year, but for now, I’ll stick with the last week of adventures and later, we can reminisce about 13.

While the past couple days have slowed to a near halt,

Hurry up and wait

Hurry up and wait

it was a whirlwind prior and zero time for resting. Last week, we trekked over the Phoenix to grab a torque converter from Hughes, and shot down to Tucson to grab the tranny from Herman Automatic. Talk about a fun day of errands. However Herman was an incredibly nice and knowledgeable guy, and it is always great to stop in and see Sam and Peggy Sturges. Sam even let us in on a suuuuuper delicious place with some awesome subs and grinders. NOM NOM NOM, which was fantastic, except, the next day when we were in Vegas….there was no delicious grinder to be found when we were craving them. On the way back from Tucson, we made a quick stop to finish up some procrastinated Christmas shopping, and while I was running around World Market like a crazy person, Brad had the Hulkster out and noticed a large hard growth on his rib. It wasn’t there earlier, and so of course we both panicked, and googled the living crap out of the option we were looking at. Unfortunately WebMD doesn’t have a symptom checker for dogs, which is probably good so we didn’t get too crazy. Either way, a lump that fast, hard, and large wasn’t good. To top it off, we had to be back in Vegas the following morning at 8 am to go over the monster truck. After not sleeping the night before (malfunctioning air mattress on the road) and getting back at midnight, sleep wasn’t looking like it was in our future.

When we got back, Brad crashed, and I stayed up wrapping Christmas crap because it had to get shipped the next day to make it by Christmas (which of course it didn’t….stupid) Somewhere around 4 I went to bed, just to get up by 6:30 and get rolling to Vegas.

When we got to the powder coater, the truck was blasted and looking good. The body came out straighter than we anticipated (it had about 4 inches of bondo on it for whatever reason) and lost about 250lbs  in the process. (If only I could work that program) The straight body will allow for less body work overall to be done before we get the wrap on it. Here are a few pictures.

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While Brad finished up going over all the details of the powdercoating, I went back to the van to call the vet to see if they had a Saturday appointment available. Big score. 11:15 apt and it is right around the corner from Trader Joes (specialty grocery shopping is my crack) We got a few errands in and headed over (Brad conveniently left me with a max of 11 minutes shop time at TJ’s) The vet was quick, and Hulk loves going for whatever reason. I think it’s the treat at the end. Showers? Not so much….vaccines? yes please… Go figure. Either way, surgery was suggested, and we booked the pricey procedure for Christmas Eve.

Over the rest of the weekend and on Monday, Brad worked diligently on his motor and tranny aesthetics.

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By diligently, I mean, he kinda did stuff and then stood around for awhile, or came and bugged me while I rushed to finish last minute holiday goodies. Note to self (and anyone dumb enough to try making Christmas platters in a camper…) Don’t try 50 new recipes at once. It doesn’t work out so awesomely. However, they all tasted good, and smelled amazing!

Bulldog Photobombing.. or just waiting for a snickerdoodle ball to roll off

Bulldog Photobombing.. or just waiting for a snickerdoodle ball to roll off

Back to Brad… so if you read this blog, or know Brad personally, you know he is anal retentive about some things. One of those is the way his stuff looks. If it isn’t AWESOME, it’s not acceptable. 99% of the time that is great, and the 1% is more or less just bad timing and me wanting to kill him because I don’t care EVERY time. But in this case, it really is the frosting on the cake, and not just waxy out of a can rainbow chip type, (which is deluscious on graham crackers) but whipped Belgian chocolate ganache. Pure gourmet here.  The motor is gorgeous and the tranny is fabulous. He even paid a minor tribute to the old Bombshell truck by using a tiny bit of the anodized purple on the tranny. (I’ll take what I can get)

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Soooo pretty

Soooo pretty

 

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So while, Brad geared up for the assembly of the truck, and getting Hulk ready for surgery, Brad’s grandpa passed away Sunday at the age of 83, after about a year of battling cancer and a various other health issues. Up till then he lived a great, healthy life, and will be missed.

Tueday morning, we shot over to the powder coating place after dropping Hulk off at the vet. We were surprised to see the truck outside primered and ready for the final coat. Of course we stopped by to grab a picture and get an ETA on the behemoth. The word on the street was this Monday…as in tomorrow. YAAAAAAAAAAY!!! Can I say that again? YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!! It will be sooooo awesome to have this thing back and get putting it together. Can’t wait!

Primered and Ready

Primered and Ready

After the powder coater, we visited a few other parts places, the metal fab shop, and camping world (trying to locate a new converter power center for the camper…..add that to the pile of awesometasticness. Our converter went out on Monday so we pretty much got the TV and heater plugged into an extension cord, and rotate all the items that get charged) Anyway, We dropped off some goodies at our errand stops, and killed a bit more time before picking up the dog. Dogs on drugs are pretty dang funny. Hulk was having a rough time being coherent, and slept in the same position until the following morning. He also managed to have a piece of cheese on his tongue for about 3 hours and didn’t even attempt to eat it. Miracle all by itself.

If only he could talk

If only he could talk

Didn't move an inch

Didn’t move an inch- tongue or anything

Christmas was uneventful. Hulk opened his gifts in slow motion. We ate crap. Then I took down the “tree” and lights. Time to get back to work. Enough of this nonsense. Brad continued to work on the motor, polishing and fitting where needed. I worked on tracking missing packages, locating parts, and responding to the 600 emails I neglected in the melee.

Now, here we are. Hopefully (fingers crossed) we can pick up the chassis on Tuesday and DIG IN. Of course I will let you know, and on that day we will do something special for the end of the year round-up. Oh, and for those who care (which we all know you ALL do) Hulk’s histology came back and he is cancer free. Phew.  And he is back to driving us nuts. Alright, goodnight, I have other crap to get done before bed.

Already back to laying on anything he shouldn't be

Already back to laying on anything he shouldn’t be

 

Ahhh Insomnia….the best friend I wish I didn’t have

To be absolutely fair, I probably shouldn’t complain that I never sleep. I mean, just think about all the bonus time I have to do things with the extra 4 hours of being away I get every day. Sometimes even 6. Brad likes to argue, but that on the low end is almost 1500 hours a year! You would think I might be able to accomplish more huh?

Well it’s been forever since I’ve done a post, and truthfully, as much as I enjoy writing, I was secretly glad when Dave took over the blog so that I could focus on other things. Unfortunately, a shift has occurred and I guess I’m back on what I started. What was I thinking even beginning this? Oh, that’s right, that it would be for a max of 4 months…not a year. Oh well. Life goes on, and I can squeeze a blog in here and there. Fortunately, the shop has been relatively uneventful for the past few weeks, as we are waiting on some things (as usual) so not a zillion items to report.

So here is the latest update. There might be some gaps and things missing, because well, I am sequestered in a cave doing my own thing, and for the truck aspects, I pretty much order things, keep everything in line, and get on people when it’s not….and it was bloody cold the last couple weeks so I didn’t dare leave my heater without at least 6 layers of clothing, 2 scarves, a beanie with ear flaps, (that also resembles a zebra) and gloves. That is not an exaggeration. Ok where was I…. yes. That truck. OK so it spent a few weeks getting a thorough going over to make sure EVERY tab was as in place, all the welds were cleaned up, and that all mounts were as they should be. That chassis was getting prepped for POWDERCOATING! During one Vegas adventure, we picked out the color, which HAD to be perfect, being as the behemoth chassis would more or less really stand out in a bad way if it wasn’t. I personally kept pushing for lime green (I heart all things lime) but was quickly vetoed again for the thousand and forty-eighth time. We agreed on a textured silvery, charcoaltastic color that would hide any blemishes in the welds, clean like a breeze, be extra durable, as well as aesthetically pleasing. Of course after we selected it, and AR Powdercoating ordered it, Brad stewed about it for the next few days until we went back into Vegas, where he promptly drove back to AR and viewed it again. It assuaged his worries for the most part, and we carried on. Thank God, because you have no idea what it is like when you are laying in bed almost asleep and your spouse wants your input on the color.

Besides nearly dying from the cold, dealing with frozen pipes across the desert, and being thankful we have water tanks on the motorhome, Brad still mostly has been out in the shop working on those tedious odds and ends that demand an inordinate amount of time with his perfectionism, but that are ho-hum on the day to day. Things like separating the hubs on the wheels to make a contrasting two tone (no pictures yet, as it is not completed) painting the motor block, cleaning the motor, etc. He has also been finishing up a few odds and ends projects that he had stalled on for the last while. More or less though, there has been A LOT of football watching, pacing around, and waiting anxiously for movement.

Rewind, the chassis was loaded up on a trailer and taken into Vegas. So that is why we are at a bit of a stalemate. That trip actually did go very smoothly, which was shocking knowing our general luck with trailer tires, winds, and police not being sure if they can ticket us or not. It’s not every day you see a monster truck limo going down the highway on a little trailer. Either way, we didn’t set any land speed records, (although after watching that Guinness Records show…I might write in and see what the fastest speed attempted pulling a monster truck limo on a trailer is, because I’m sure there is a record holder somewhere, and if not, it will be soon enough..) but we made it safe, accident AND ticket free. WHA-HOO. I believe they are getting started on it tomorrow! YAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Today, we did go to Vegas for some errands, which included hitting AR Powdercoating because we wanted to drop off some other parts, as well as check out the ladder. Whoa baby does that color look FABULOUS! I know Brad still held some trepidation regarding the massive color block we would be displaying with that color, but after seeing the ladder rails done, I know there is no hesitation. It looks incredible. Silvery, but dark, metallic, but not ostentatious, textured, but not like Rhino-lining. I tried to get some pictures, but it was a bit bright so when they load I will see if I can select one that shows the depth of the color. As usual, they did a great job and Tony I’m sure will be super glad to have that chassis done and out of his way soon!

What else? I feel like I’m rambling as I try to search for what adventures have transpired. I think we will be heading to Tucson on Thursday. Personally, I would rather not, but we gotta pick up the tranny and that is where it is at. It’s a good 6 hour drive….Disneyland is closer, and I doubt the tranny place is any happier than there. Oh well. Maybe it will be warm, or comfortable….at least I could nap.

The good news is that we are on the last leg of the race. I don’t know how many track runners (or previously were track runners) read this blog, but it really feels like that last burst where you increase your speed, throwing whatever you have at it. Your lungs burn, your back hurts, and you can see the finish line. It’s not easy to get there, but it’s so close. That’s where we are. There is still so much to do, but we are paces away. Thank goodness, because we need to get making some money!

OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH and while I am at it, and remembering. I would like to say HAPPY Birthday Naomi! I missed it the other day, and haven’t crossed paths with you since! I am truly sorry, but you and Dave have been very helpful with things, and we appreciate it! ALSO. Metal’s birthday was on the 13th sooooooooo HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mike! Ok Now some pictures and them I’m back to reading technical data and medical reports. Have a lovely week everyone. Happy Holidays (I am writing to the glow of hot rod shaped Christmas lights…it’s a compromise of holiday décor) Until next time!! JEN- OUT.

Didn't even flatten the tires!

Didn’t even flatten the tires!

Objects in this mirror are closer than they appear... I was just hoping he could see the back end of this thing

Objects in this mirror are closer than they appear… I was just hoping he could see the back end of this thing

The truck has arrived for powder coating!

The truck has arrived for powder coating!

I turned around and found this guy crawling across the shop floor. First tarantula I have see so far!

I turned around and found this guy crawling across the shop floor. First tarantula I have see so far!

Hulk offering his moral support

Hulk offering his moral support

What bulldogs look like with eyebrows

What bulldogs look like with eyebrows

Mounts for the Lexan window. Brad cut, drilled, and cleaned all of these by hand.. that was a few days of mundane work.

Mounts for the Lexan window. Brad cut, drilled, and cleaned all of these by hand.. that was a few days of mundane work.

Got to shoot the Barrett. Good times. I'm like an assassin with this thing. Thanks Mark

Got to shoot the Barrett. Good times. I’m like an assassin with this thing. Thanks Mark

Axle Housings all pretty!

Axle Housings all pretty!