August 3 1998, Monday
uite possibly the only way to silence Matt Roger's ongoing musings commentary is to publish it all. See for yourself why he might be a fun person to humiliate in public.
The first email was cc'd to Kim, by the way. That's an additional irritating thing I'd forgotten about Matt: his habit of whining about me to my girlfriends. It happened all the time ten years ago when the girlfriend was Joy Powley.
I kind of thought I was being mean when I posted the above emails, but I was ticked off and I know from experience that the only way to win with Matt Rogers is to outshout him. Fortunately for me, these musings are one hell of a megaphone. One of my correspondents in Australia was reading a printout of these musings on the bus the other day and some stranger saw him and said, "Oh, you read that too!"
Still, I feel like I've painted myself into a corner with this online journal thing. Everyone I know in person is either mad at me or afraid of me or some combination of the two. The only people cheering me on have nothing to lose; they're far off across the internet. I really can't say I knew two years ago what I was expecting to get from keeping an online journal, but I'm sure it wasn't existential loneliness.
One of the people mad at me right now is my own mother. I feel pretty bad actually, I mean, she's my mother and I've been treating her like just another museum specimen.
n other news, the Dodge Dart manifold gasket replacement drama continued to unfold. I went to the hardware store to see if I could buy a flexible-shaft extension for a powerdrill, figuring I'd seen such a thing once before. It turns out that there is no such device, in much the same way that there is no Loch Ness Monster. I'd been living in a delusional world, thinking something had been invented that actually hasn't been. I'm sure there are sound reasons for the fact that the flexible-shaft drill hasn't yet been invented, but that doesn't help me. I ended up buying several straight drill shaft extensions instead, figuring I could use them to get a straight shot through a narrow hole to the broken stud I need to drill. I also bought a set of stud removers. They're hard shafts of metal with backwards threads, so they tighten as they are screwed counter-clockwise into a drilled-out stud. The idea is that once the stud remover is in super-tight, any further rotation will turn the stud in such a way that it will loosen and come out. Or that's the theory, anyway. It didn't work quite so well for me, however. When I got back to my car, I managed to drill a hole in the stud using my super-long drill shaft attachment, but as I tightened in the stud remover, the damn thing eventually broke off, leaving a little spike of extremely-hard metal sticking out of the broken stud. It's hard to argue with that kind of failure, so I decided that the Dart was going to have to work without that stud. Over several hours, I managed to put the whole thing back together again. There were a few little pieces left over after I was done. Most vexing of these was a spring from the carborator. My manuals were of absolutely no use in determining where this extra spring was supposed to go. My experience with shop manuals is that they tend to go on and on about the obvious and leave me to guess my way through truly tricky procedures.
I started up the car and vavoom! It came fully to life. Better still, there was no evidence of exhaust fumes near the engine, meaning my gaskets were doing their job.
Since the Dart's recent tune-up, it's been possible to drive it immediately without waiting for it to warm up. I drove it a short ways away so I could gather a few little parts that had fallen into the grass underneath it as I'd been working on it.
Suddenly I saw all this smoke pouring out from under the hood. Terrified, I turned off the ignition. The smoke smelled a little like paraffin, and I soon decided it was just the WD-40 burning off the exhaust manifold.
|Soundtrack these last few days: Cranes - Population Four. Just now: Jawbox - Novelty. Also, some DC-101, courteousy of the new teevee antenna. DC-101 is a mainstream rock station, but a little better than 106.3 (WBOP), the Shenandoah Valley radio station. I hadn't heard the new Fu Fighters cover of that old nameless 70s tune until I heard DC-101. It made me nostalgic:|
one year ago
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