29 August 2010

Tiring experience...

...literally. I bought four new tires for the Brazen Chariot today. Actually, I bought three, since the store had a 'Buy Three, Get One Free' sale going on certain types. Not a bad deal.

I hate sitting at the tire store. I don't mind waiting for much else, but I hate waiting for tires to be installed. Do I envy those guys in NASCAR or F1 who go into the pit and 30 seconds later have new rubber all around their vehicle! Granted, those are mounted, balanced, and ready to go, but still...

You can only read the daily newspaper and that May 2008 People magazine they have in the waiting area, or inspect tread patterns on the display tires, so many times before you start to get really bored. I was reduced to finishing Ralph Peters' The War After Armageddon (Peters is a brilliant analyst, and knows all things military-rather a shame he's just not that compelling a writer of speculative fiction).

That 'rubber-and-mold-release-oil' smell, though, takes me back to my first real engineering job. It was the summer of 1984, and I had a job as an engineering assistant at a factory that made all kinds of rubber parts for the automotive and other various industries. Everything in that plant had that 'inside of a tire' scent. Molding rubber and related compounds is a hot, filthy, smelly, messy job, and if you can avoid working around the molding machines at a rubber manufacturing facility (minds out of the gutter, everyone-it wasn't the Durex plant), I recommend you do so.

Tonight, TBH's mom's church (Lutheran) had their annual corn roast, kind of a big ol' picnic, with burgers, hot dogs, and the featured roasted corn on the cob. I have to say that my patience with the elderly isn't what it should be. Her mom, bless her, is kind...but not always a big help with things. We go through a lot of the same phrases and rituals every time we go for events-I suppose most of you hear some of the same. If you don't, hang in there, you will.

Me: "Would you like-(me to get you something to drink, me to stop at this rest area, to stop here)?
Her: "We-ell...what were you planning to do?"

To which I usually say "Don't worry about we're going to do! Do...you...need...to...(whatever)!!!" I don't mind doing whatever, but we're not taking a vote where majority rules. Just tell me what to do.

Or we'll go to a buffet, she'll take a plateful, then realize she can't eat it all. "I don't think I can eat all of this. Could you eat some of this? I don't want to see it go to waste. I grew up during the Depression." Almost every time.

I didn't put it on your plate. So, no.

Her: "Could you read the menu for me?"
Me: "Where's your glasses?"
Her: "They don't help that much." or "I forgot them." Then I read the menu.
Her: "What are you going to have?"

Again, don't worry about everything else. I'm trying to get you taken care of.

Then we eat, and I hear "Is that all you're going to have?". Which is when I retort with "I thought you were a Swede. When'd you become a Jewish mother?"

When we go on a long trip, I get this: "I'm glad to be so well taken care of, and I don't have to think." Me: "Of course you have to think. No one should just shut their mind off!".

Actually, if I get to 91, I'll be saying the same things, if I'm not drooling down the front of my shirt. And when the memory fades, I reckon it is a struggle to have to get through the day. I don't find it all that infuriating because it's pretty much a ritual whenever we take her anywhere. I think she goes to seniors' events and trades notes with others there on how to get a dig in on the driver on a long trip!

She means well, and does as well as can be expected for her age. Most of her circle are either dead or in really sad shape. That I think would be depressing, especially since they were kind of the gregarious sort. She's always fairly upbeat and never complains about things, which puts her one up on yours truly!

But I digress rather extensively. The corn roast was good, and if anyone that dines regularly in the upscale establishments around the world can point to a better culinary delight than a grilled hamburger, I'd like to hear about it. It's getting to be church dinner season here (fall, into winter). You may not be a Christian. You may be an atheist-maybe a militant one. But I tell you this-you can some darn good eats at a country church, all the way from the roast pig to the dish to pass to the monster spread of home-baked desserts. OK-if you just can't bring yourself to set foot in God's house, maybe the VFW or the American Legion post public dinners are for you. Or look for the Izaak Walton League, Ducks Unlimited, or local gun club's 'wild game dinner', held at a building which has absolutely no visible roadkill in a ten mile radius around it. Just sayin'...

After the day and the week, I took a bit of time to do something relaxing for me.

(GEEK ALERT) This little beast is the familiar Constitution-class cruiser from Star Trek. They're minatures used in the wargame Star Fleet Battles, an old pencil-and-paper game with rules of similar size and complexity to the U.S. Tax Code. I don't care to play the game, but I've an idea for a vignette using these wee ships. They're fairly well done for their size (1/3788 (!) scale) and aftermarket decals are available for them. Putting waterslide decals the size of flyspecks on these ships is a challenge, but this one really is looking good for the addition of them.

These shots are blurry-the camera doesn't like focusing on something this small (I heard this very same thing when I auditioned for a porn movie-I get no respect), but you can probably make out windows and the registration stripes on the hull and the warp nacelles.

This ship is the USS Gallipoli (NCC-1752), the possibly less famous sister ship of the Enterprise. I named it Gallipoli in honor of most of my blog visitors. And the 'USS Australia' decal curled up and couldn't be salvaged (the letters are probably half a millimeter tall at this scale).

These little ships look good, and with decent decals can be made into fine little models.

That's my relaxation, working on stuff like this. I need more of that. Probably also need a life while I'm at it!

yankeedog out.


  1. Only prob with those F1/Nascar guys - sure they get all the tyres they can use but they only last 100 miles tops. And if it rains, they're all kinds of screwed...

    Don't mind shopping for tyres, weird as it seems. One of the few opportunities I get for calling around, getting prices and stuff. And it's always a win getting a bargain. Though I don't get to do that on the work car, fleet company sort all that stuff. Definitely rating the grip on the Michelins which Ford of Europe fit onto their export Mondeos.

  2. "But I digress rather extensively..

    digress away.

    Tip of the hat to you for naming it Gallipoli. I made the mistake of telling the_weapon about star fleet battles while watching a Star Trek movie (explaining the different capabilities between Klingon, Federation and Romulan ships, yes I am a geek I know) now he is keen to play it.
    I can't even remember the last time I saw the box. If he sees your miniatures he will tear through the the storage shed like a tornado in hopes of finding the game.

  3. Always nice to have fresh rubber on heading into the big wet YDog.

    The ship looks good, I must get back into painting miniatures. Though where I'll find the time I don't know.

  4. Doc-Shopping for the tires isn't as bad as waiting to get the damn things installed. But I got a decent deal on some Firestone midrange rubber-can't complain on that account.

    Barnesy-If the boy has a computer, you might try finding a copy of Starfleet Command-it's SFB without all the tedious record-keeping. He'll get the fun of the game and no tearing his hair out trying to suss out the rules.

    Bangar-Snow will be on the way before too awful long, and now is the time to get the car ready.

    I take it that 'Mechs are the minis of choice at Casa de Bangar?

  5. Most definitely YDog as well as fantasy figures.

  6. Have you tried the AMT cadet series of Star Trek Models?

  7. I also play Starfire using those models.