Busy pre-holiday weeks!

Brewed up an Oatmeal Stout yesterday, and racked a Double IPA to secondary fermentation ūüôā

10 gallons of beer chilling in the fridge is a very nice thing, especially with the holidays coming right up.

I also wrapped a couple of fishing rods in paracord, something I’ve been messing with lately. I need to get a smaller diameter line for my better poles. but this test run went very nicely.

aquirkz

Rasta colors on the¬†left, and UPC (Universal Camouflage Pattern on the right. Feels awesome in the hand, can’t wait to get them¬†on a boat.

Also¬†had an issue with the Coronet.¬†A thumping noise in the rear end at about 35 mph. Felt¬†it in the brake pedal too. I have a feeling it is an axle bearing, so I took it in to the shop. I don’t have a bearing press, nor do I want to spend forever messing with it when my mechanic can turn it around in a few days, and cheap. So anyway, Here is a shot of my 68 in burnt out dark blue, with her slightly older sister in white.

fv154dy

One more angle. . .

kvliavi

It’s been fun! Lots to do, and an AZ trip in the works for Christmas as well. Great way to cap off an awesome year, especially once that beer finishes up and I can tap it for a pint.

Cheers everybody.

 

 

 

 

Beach fishing weekend, Triathlon, and a beetle.

This was a productive weekend! I tore my Volkswagen apart, found that some jerk had replaced some hex head nuts with cheese head screws (these are car terms I was previously unaware of).

This meant I had to tear into the old VW a little more than I wanted to, but so be it. All this mess, just to change a generator. For once, the simple VW engine was a major headache. usually these things are pretty easy to work on. Not today.

Here is the engine bay with the generator ripped out. What a mess.

Still haven’t had the guts to attempt the re-install, hoping to do so this weekend. With that out of the way, I had time for some fun this weekend too.

Friday night I went down to OC to see my gf, our schedules conflict so I head down there when I can to spend time. She comes up for the same reason.¬†I needed something to do while she was at work¬†Saturday, so I decided to try my hand at some Surf Fishing. I looked at my notes, and it had been 7 years since I’d¬†fished in the surf!¬†Damn, WAY overdue.

Had a blast fishing at Capistrano Beach. The parking there is RIGHT on the beach, and there are fire pits available. I will DEFINITELY be going back there.

I needed to break in a new rod as well, so I¬†tied myself a nice Fish Finder rig,¬†put a “Gulp!” Camouflage pattern artificial Sand Worm ¬†and tossed it all into the surf. My new rod’s action was perfect, launching the rig well past the surf. On the second cast,¬†Bam! a big bite, and a¬†fish fighting me all the way back to the beach, I landed my first ever Yellowfin¬†Croaker.¬†It was¬†so awesome knowing there were fish there, and very encouraging.

Cast after cast, I hooked into good fish. People on the beach were surprised to see me pulling these things out of the water they were swimming in. It was pretty incredible. This one was the biggest, and fought REALLY hard. Another fish crossed off my SoCal checklist. After catching 6 fish, the sun burned through the fog, and I decided to get out before it got too hot. I realized I had forgotten to put sunblock on my feet, and in my sandals wading on the beach, they were burned pretty badly. LOL Lesson learned.

So Saturday Morning was a success.¬†I went home and went to bed early, because Sunday morning, My¬†brother and I were part of a relay team in the Hermosa Beach “Day At The Beach” ¬†triathlon.¬†We were at the beach by 4:30 am, actually very early judging by the # of people on the beach. The volunteers running the event hadn’t even set up yet,¬†too early.

When the event finally came, we had a blast. I rode 10 miles at about a 14 mph average,¬†and put in a pretty decent time, for someone who hadn’t trained at ALL for this event. We were in the middle of the pack for the relay teams, so it was pretty good considering we were up against actual athletes who trained for this sort of thing all the time. I was # 48, and it was awesome¬†passing people on fancy road bikes, on my not so fancy, heavy mountain bike.

It was a really fun crowd, and it was a short race really, so people were having fun with it. Like these two mousketeers who ran the entire thing in a tutu, and made a nice little curtsy at the end. Also this guy, who was one of a few people who carried their kids through the finish line. Super sweet.

After that, I was pretty much burnt out the rest of Sunday, so I took it way easy, nursed my sunburned feet, and caught up on some Boardwalk Empire.

All in all, it was a pretty spectacular Southern Cal weekend, and it really highlighted that you can do a lo of fun stuff here, if you just get out there and do it. Looking forward to trying my luck in the surf again next weekend, I feel like I’ve re-caught a bit of a surf fishing bug. I guess catching 6 croakers from the surf, in the warm sun will do that.

Cheers everybody, get out there and enjoy the last remnants of the warm sun before REAL fall sets in!

– Fred.

RIP Article # 2 in a row. This time, it is the mighty “El Burrito”

My last post was a total bummer. It was about how my beloved Chihuahua had passed away. Nobody wants to write or read about that. Stiff upper lip, steady as she goes, onward, etc. . .

Then Tuesday on the way to work, I had to hit my brakes.  A big old Ford slammed into me. He rammed me into a full sized Chevy truck, a Cal Trans, tank behemoth of a truck. I hit him hard enough to slam him into a little Volvo.

The airbag popped in my face in that slow motion stereotypical shock and awareness of a big auto accident, and I knew I had been rear ended. Hard. 

I turned around, because I thought, in shock, “I’ve been¬†rear ended, I wonder how bad my truck is?” I saw the Ford, grill split and radiator steaming on the freeway, smashed up behind me. It hadn’t occurred to look toward the front of my truck, but when I did, I saw the hood crumpled up way too close to the windshield, like a piece of painted foil all twisted and mangled like a crunchy dry leaf.

This whole time I was in real shock. I was trying to figure out what the airbag was, as it had apparently appeared out of nowhere and did not make any sense to me. My phone had fallen down to the passenger foot area, and I picked it up. There were weird gasses in the cab because of the airbag, and possibly some steam from the radiator. Not sure. It was all so sudden and so instant. My  whole world just came crashing to a screeching halt for a second.

I was in shock. I tied to gather my thoughts, and so I looked at my phone and snapped a pic to record the time and GPS coordinates, a trick I learned in CERT training. All this was coming back to me. I dialed 9-1-1 carefully and pressed send, head in a fog, and spoke with a man on the other end. While I was talking, I wiggled my toes and fingers to make sure everything worked. I felt every big bone, and twisted my ankles around. Everything was working. The guy on the other end of the phone asked what happened.

“I was just in a big accident on the 134 westbound at Cahuenga, my name is Alfred Montez.”The guy at the other end said that help was on its way, and by that time, the Metro Patrol was behind me, lights blaring. I hung up the phone, as I figured this guy would get CHP There. All this was going through my mind, and¬†so my mind went to some interesting places. One thought was “What if I’m really in shock, like I’ve heard about, and there’s a big piece of metal in my head?”

So I looked in the mirror, almost expecting a rod going through my eye, or some other gnarly gore. My whole body was still buzzing from the accident. . . . The lumbar area of my seat felt like a mule kicking me in the lower back, I felt like my back was vibrating, but not anything worse than taking a good tackle and falling wrong, or just taking a bad suplex. You know, guy shit. I kid. I started filming with my cell phone for documentation purposes, but here is some of it edited a bit, with some awesome sappy sad music because this was a HUGE bummer for me. You can also see the Ford that killed my Burrito in there. I will never, ever, in my whole life, own a Ford truck.

It was a nasty wreck¬†worthy of a sigalert, a tow off the freeway, and a total loss of my beloved “Burrito”, my 2006 Tacoma, and the first vehicle I ever bought new. ¬†My friend¬†who lived nearby was listening to the morning traffic report and heard about a “4 car pile up”. That was me! So I was in the news, got that going for me.

My truck was mashed. I was hit by a big old truck, who for some reason was fine. A full sized Ford.¬†Colorado plates nailed me going REALLY fast. I can’t tell you how fast, but the forces involved made a mess of my truck.

Enough.¬†Enough madness and bad luck, I’ve had it. I’m fine, but I don’t have a¬†daily driver for the first time in about 12 years. I work really far from home. I need a car. I’m also¬†have a Vegas trip planned for the Kentucky Derby in four days. What the hell am I supposed to do?

A few weeks ago I uncharacteristically dropped and broke a growler of Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin IPA trying to pour myself a beer. A full gallon growler, bigger than usual. I didn’t even get a taste of it. Well, actually I did at the brewery, just enough to know what I was missing, and hate the situation even more.

All my life, I’ve thought the following about country music:

All you need to lose to write a great country song, is a truck, a dog and a six pack.

Well, I’ve got material. I’ve got so much material right now. I’ve got¬†challenges, failures and successes that I can’t even write about, at least not here. Shit has been tough and good in other ways at the same time lately. I feel due for some good luck, people tell me the same. I try to be good. . . People tell me I am due for a good run, I should have some built up Karma. . . others tell me don’t push it, or take it easy. . . people who don’t know me that well. ¬†My buddy Ian told me to let it blow over, take it easy in Vegas and get some R&R in.

“Fuck it all” I tell myself. Fuck all the bad shit. . . I should just go to Vegas as scheduled. I borrow my buddies car, use it to go to work and Ian rides home with me¬†that Thursday night. Then straight off to¬†Vegas a full night early.

The Vegas trip will get its own entry, it deserves it.

The silver lining in the car situation, I suppose is my new friend Peggy. So much to tell. In a nutshell, after a bureaucratic mess of running around printing this, scanning that, mailing this and paying for that, moving imaginary money that I worked for across electronic banks and smiling for the nice lady and signing on the dotted line. . . . after all that . . .and without further ado I give you my new ship;

Peggy Subaru.

 

Irwindale Drag Strip 2/13/2014

My car has been in the shop for what feels like forever. Really, it’s only been about three weeks, but it would have been about one week, if it weren’t for a UPS SNAFU. In case you didn’t know, SNAFU stands for “Situation Normal, All Fucked Up”

Well, anyway, I’ve been dying to drive something other than my little Toyota truck. I love my truck, but there’s something missing. Probably the other 4 cylinders.

In a moment of high-octane withdrawals, I called my cousin Cesar, and asked him to bring out his rotary. “I want to go to the races.” Here’s his little race car.¬†It’s an old RX2 rotary powered monster.

“Oh yeah? You paying for gas?”

“Yeah”

Done. Most car guys are easy. Gas, or beer if they aren’t driving. I’m the same way. So we headed out to Irwindale Event Center, home to my local drag strip, the Irwindale Speedway.

I took some pics too. Here they are. 

I have to admit, I’m really biased when I take pics of cars. i only take pics of cars I like. If you check out the album, you’ll see this gaudy red steering wheel, covered in some pebbly red material. I knew right away it was skin, because dude driving it had on a ten gallon hat and a belt buckle as big as a pizza pan. This is the garb of choice for a So-Cal “Paisa”, and dude obviously had some cash.

I asked him, “De que es el Cuero? (What’s the skin made of?)”

And he said, “Mata-rayas!”

Sting Ray. This guys wrapped his steering wheel in sting ray skin. PETA would shit. He killed a damned sand shark so his steering wheel could look cool. It was pretty awesome. I don’t condone it, I wouldn’t do it myself, but there it was in front of me, and it was awesome. Only sad thing is, that as a Mexican fisherman, I know that we don’t east Sting Ray. At least most of us don’t. (They’re all bone!) I’ve had some prepared Guaymas style, and after I ate it, I knew why most of us refuse it. It was pretty damned gross. Even the parts that weren’t spiny.

So anyway, kudos to you, red Sting-Ray-leather-steering-wheel-guy. You obviously do whatever the hell you want, and I can respect that. I just feel bad for the Ray.

We stuck around, here’s one of my favorite clips from the night. This Mustang popped a wheelie so hard, I swear the earth stood still for a second. And a small block too! As a small block owner, I feel a special pride when they make this much power. It’s more know-how than big parts, and you HAVE to do it right.

After the races we hit the traditional King Taco in East los for a quick bite on the way home. Lots of racers showed up, some still looking at their time slips in disbelief, wondering where they could make up a second, or shave a few lbs off their car. I did hear an interesting rumour that Terminal Island would be opening back up, I really hope that happens. I grew up hearing stories about that place, and I know it’s where people like Dick Landy, Isky, Cepek, Thomspon, Edelbrock, etc. used to beat up the pavement. Here’s an interesting video I found.¬†

New Windshield day for the Coronet.

The crack in my windshield just had to go, not only was it dangerous, but also a great way to get pulled over.

I live by Mission road, near downtown Los Angeles. This road is known for it’s shops, glass shops, muffler shops, junkyards, etc.

First I went to the place that changed out my old Mitsubishi’s windshield, but they told me, “Go see Frank, over at GTO Auto Glass!”

When a businessman sends you to his competitor down the road, you know you;re hearing truth, so I took my 68 down the street to This place.

Frank and I made arrangements for the windshield to be delivered on Wednesday the 17th, and so yesterday, I took her in. They had the windshield up on a stand for me already, they were expecting me. The whole crew dug my car, and they were happy to let me take pics while they worked. I stayed out of the way and tried to glean any information I could learn from watching.

Frank also pulled me to the side, and explained every step. This is a welcome change from the usual mechanic treatment. usually you get no chit chat, gruff burly dudes who don’t want to talk to you. Frank was very cool, took his time, and taught me a lot. He also fixed up a couple of loose odds and ends without me even asking, and gave me pointers on how to fix things he saw around my car. Really cool dude.

Anyway, now my car has an AWESOME new windshield, and it really makes it feel like a new car. I never thought it would make THAT much of a difference.

Here is a little album with some pics of the process. Click on the pics for captions!

Now to put some miles on that thing!

– Fred.

Got my coronet home, and cleaned her out a little bit. Taking a look around.

Finally got to clean up the interior a little

Tore out most of the rotting carpet, put in the extra seat I had. Can’t really upholster them till the paint gets done, so for now this is it.

before

http://i.imgur.com/3Uv41c1.jpg

after

http://i.imgur.com/GtcTnhk.jpg

Engine bay, I didn’t really get to get all that much into it, but here’s a little sample before and after to give you an idea what I’m gonna end up with.

Cleaned up the fender a tiny bit just to see what I’m working with. Lots of potential. Really clean. Proud of my engine bay paint job too!

before

http://i.imgur.com/kvn1CFG.jpg

after

http://i.imgur.com/xiswsbV.jpg

finally, just wiped down the engine a bit.

From this:

http://i.imgur.com/Pjrj2xJ.jpg?1

to this:

http://i.imgur.com/B185rjB.jpg

 

Shifter knob button was busted for about ten years, FINALLY fixed that, thanks to some members of the forum FBBO (For B Bodies only) the absolute best source for info on my car.

Before:

http://i.imgur.com/6pKAZdi.jpg

after:

http://i.imgur.com/do1Wm02.jpg

Cool assortment of random junk I found in the car while cleaning her out:

http://i.imgur.com/tPcwPzU.jpg

That’s a Tiffany Belt Buckle for Coca Cola! Where, or when the hell that got in the car, I’ll likely never know! The shoe bears my ex gf’s name, and the led zeppelin Houses Of The Holy was a regular in the tape deck. Old School for sure. The thumb wrap thing is from my days in a mailroom, from about 1998 in Arizona. Total nostalgia blast.

Here’s the incredible amount of junk I found in the car, this is what 10 years in storage, and collecting parts will do.

http://i.imgur.com/oUqBalF.jpg

Emptied out the car except for a spare fan belt, some tools, assorted fluids and a terrible looking spare tire. Realize I need a fire extinguisher, a jack for my car, and to tighten up my rear view mirror if I’m going to be driving her around. Car feels SO Much faster with all the junk out of it, much more responsive. Still haven’t broken it all the way, so I haven’t been able to hit the gas, but it feels great.

I do hear an exhaust leak developing, and that’s a bummer, as the shop should have caught that, but I’ll deal with it. Just happy to have her home and start wrenching in earnest

Bonus find, one of the absolute heaviest nostalgia blasts, and coolest items found in my car, was this completely blown out t shirt that a 19 year old Fred put in the car as a seat cover for the passenger. I found it all in the springs of the seat, completely torn up. Only the front survived. hahah

Awesome. http://i.imgur.com/lxxCDH7.jpg

Progress on my 1968 Dodge Coronet

I’ve had this car since I was about 18 years old. Bought it with $900 of my college grant money. This is the third motor I’ve put in her, and I built the motor’s guts with my own two hands. Here she is firing up for the first time in around 10 years.

The exhaust is just headers at the moment, Flowtech ceramic coated full length headers. T.T.I. exhaust is en route to the car now. Once that’s in, I need tires and maybe rims if I can afford them, and she’s ready to road test and break in.

This video is the culmination of years of stubbornness, knuckles being busted on the car, blood sweat and maybe even some tears. It’s an amazing feeling to hear the engine turn over.

I was also relieved that the thing didn’t just explode in a million pieces, but I guess I built her up pretty good! Formula one pit crew here I come.

Brand new transmission from Bob Mazzolini racing, the entire engine is new, every part of the drivetrain is new or rebuilt. Radiator with transmission cooler, front disc brake conversion, new drums in the back, and complete new wiring harness complete and ready to go. No mystery parts, spaghetti wiring or mickey mouse fixes any more. Only recognized genuine parts, with extras like a complete MSD ignition system complete with BIllet distributor, big ignition module and coil.

All the new parts that used to collect dust in the car are now working and breathing fire. Soon I’ll pop a radio in there and take a cruise out on the road with her, and really get to enjoy the fruits of my years of labor. So happy right now. Can’t wait to tackle paint and interior and be completely done with her.¬†

More to come soon! 

– Fred.