Defender pic…

11:54 pm on Monday, May 17, 2004

d90-beforejackedupOk, I took a pic of the newly lifted Defender. On the left is a picture of it the day I picked it up in Houston. On the right is its current form.

I got home and found I clear the garage door by about 3/4″. Close. Too close. When I pulled in I had a full tank of gas and the old tires in back. Once I lose those and am running near empty I may not fit. Hmmm…

I’ll be replacing that dented fender in the next week or so and will also be replacing the fender flares with new ones. Tomorrow I’ll find some ‘urban terrain’ to get it flexing its new suspension. I did find while replacing the coils that my next upgrade is new brake lines as they are now what limits my suspension travel up front. I’ll have to be careful when articulating the front. Sorry about the bad pic, I think my digital camera is dying. The bottom 1/2 of every frame is out of focus. Might be time for a new one.

More Defender upgrades….

3:46 pm on Monday, May 17, 2004

This weekend was quite busy around the garage. The Defender 90 got new Old Man Emu shocks and coils all around. Heavy duty up front and medium duty rears. This gave the Beast a 2″ lift. I also replaced the rear u-joints as one was going bad and making an awful racket. I figured while I had the driveshaft out I might as well replace both. When I pulled the front u-joint it spat bearings all over the driveway so I was pretty sure I had the right one. I was driving home from the ranch yesterday when I started to get an awful rattle from the right rear when going over bumps. At first I thought it was one of the new u-joints going on me again. I pulled over and took a look under the truck and found that some idiot had only finger tightened the lower shock nut causing a rattle over bumps. Oops. I pulled over, got out the tools, and went to work. In the 20 minutes I took making sure all was tight 4 pickups passed. 3 of those stopped and asked if I needed help. I love being out in the country where people actually show a concern for their fellow human beings.

The 2″ lift from the new coils and shocks now made the tires look undersized. The poor thing was all out of proportion. Today it got new tires to make up for it. I went with 285/75-R16s BFG Mud Terrains. This gives about a 33″ tire which boosted the car another inch to inch 1/2. I should be able to still fit in the garage at home but it’ll be very close. I also went with their road hazard warranty. They give a new replacement if I should blow a tire. That’ll be handy out at the ranch as those cedar stumps are a bitch on sidewalls. The grand total for the tires and all was $1200. Ouch!

One interesting thing I found out about the tires is that there’s a state tax of about $2.50 per tire because I’ll be running ‘offroad’ tires on the road. This is a stupid ass law. My tires are actually more gentle on the roads than most. They are a softer compound and are bigger, thus spreading out the load over a wider area. Whatever.

Ribs. Yum!

11:06 am on Monday, May 10, 2004

Ribs. Yum!Ok, not those kind of ribs. I’m talking about the kind in your chest. Went to the physical therapist for my first session today after the car wreck of a few weeks ago that screwed up my back. The pain meds the docs had been giving me weren’t working. The pain was still there so he sent me for physical therapy. I went through the whole questionaire and interview part where they ask about your pain and how it was caused. The therapist did a work up on me and poked and prodded my back and figured out where the pain was its greatest. He then moved to my chest and found a point on my left chest that hurt that I hadn’t noticed. He called over another therapist and told her he thought I had a ‘displaced rib’. She poked and prodded and agreed. He then had me lay on my back and give myself a big bear hug. He leaned on me twisted me to the side and had me take a deep breath and exhale. As I exhaled he leaned on me more and there were some loud cracks from my back. I instantly felt a bit better.

He then had me roll on my stomach and he hooked electrodes to my back and started stimulating the muscles. He put a big warm blanket on me and I promptly fell asleep. He then rolled me on my back again and pushed the rib around from the front. That hurt a bit but felt better once he finished. He gave me a few excersizes for home and I’ll see him 3 times a week for a couple weeks until my back gets back to normal.

I now believe totally in delayed injuries resulting from a car crash. The rib that was giving problems is right where the seatbelt rests on my left side as it crosses my body.

Don’t listen to her…

11:55 pm on Sunday, May 9, 2004

jungle wallWhen my wife says she isn’t artistic, she lies. She did this wall for our son in his new room. She did it all freehand. No templates. No projector. I think it’s a damn good job. Drop her an email if you’d like your own ‘Shannon Original’.

Ho-lee Shit!

9:48 am on Saturday, May 8, 2004

We went over to my ‘rents for dinner and to watch The Last Samurai. The movie was okay if not a bit predictable.

The ride home is what was the major event. We were coming across RR620 headed home around 11PM. As we approached our turn at Lake Creek I was doing about 50MPH in the right lane. I needed to get over into the left lane to make a left turn and signaled my intent. I looked in the side-view mirror and saw a car about 250 yards back, more than enough clearance. I started to change lanes and as my wheels hit the line I looked in the side-view again and noticed those lights were now 20 yards back. In a few seconds he had closed the gap. *Shit* I aborted my lane change to let the fast mover, the really-fucking-fast mover, by. I moved the two feet back into my lane. At that same instant the car I didn’t see directly behind me that he was drag racing decided to pass me on the right.

On the shoulder.

In a construction zone.

Where there was no shoulder.

He missed my tail by about a foot then hit a sign sideways at 90MPH when the real fun started. He hit a pile of dirt and his car was launched. He rolled three times while doing an end-over. He came to a very abrupt halt when he hit a drilling rig parked 40 feet off the road. When he hit it his car was 10 feet in the air. The rig didn’t give so his car did. He landed upside-down 60+ feet off the road. I came to a stop off the road while the truck he was drag racing took off. I was the only car to stop. No one else saw the accident. I got on the phone with 911 and ran around the rig to see if I could help. I got around there and saw an arm sticking out of a window. Not what I wanted to see but what I expected to see.

Then the arm moved.

I bent down to look into the crushed car and the guy asked it I could help him out of the car. This dude was conscious. I was completely stunned. I was sure he had been killed after seeing that accident. His car was trashed and squished. It was so trashed I had no idea what kind of car it had previously been. The roof was so crushed in he couldn’t get out nor could I have helped him if I wanted to. I got off the phone and told him EMS was on the way.

Next he asked to borrow my phone.

I politely told him ‘No’. Hell, I couldn’t see too well and I didn’t want blood and shit on my phone. I told him EMS was almost here and they’d help him but making a phone call should be the least of his worries. By then a couple folks had stopped to lend aid. I got a better look in the car. The guy had unbuckled himself and was sitting on the roof of his car. Amazing.

EMS arrived and used some prybars to get him out. They loaded him on a stretcher and drove off.

I swear, my son and wife are no longer going to want to ride with me. My Defender seems to be attracting trouble lately. I was really pissed at the guy in the wreck because he put my family in danger to show his ‘man-hood’. I know it’s wrong to think this but I’m glad he got what he deserved. I hope he learned his lesson as expensive as it was.

My iPod is Playing: Upside Down from the album “Play Everywhere For Everyone Austin, TX 03-10-04″ by Barenaked Ladies

From the Unclear on the Concept Dept:

9:48 am on Wednesday, May 5, 2004

cincoSeen on our company’s internal website. Click to see it full size. I cut it off but part of the text said “(our company) celebrates the beginning of Spring with it’s(sic) annual “Cinco de Mayo e-social”. Damn, I didn’t know Cinco de Mayo was the start of spring. I thought it celebrated something else. Don’t even get me started on that stray apostrophe in ‘it’s’.

My iPod is Playing: I Feel Love from the album “The Complex” by Blue Man Group with Venus Hum

Shannon’s B-day

10:40 pm on Tuesday, May 4, 2004

Today was my wife’s birthday. We didn’t do much because I had to work and I’m also sick with a cold. We did go to Cool River Cafe for dinner. I had an absolutely wonderful chicken fried venison and she had chicken. For dessert we had bread pudding. I love bread pudding and am always in search of it. It was good but I think I prefer the pudding from Razzoo’s more.
Her gifts included a new Rio Cali from my parents to replace the one she lost a couple of weeks ago. She left her old one on the spare tire of my Defender and I drove to work before we realized what happened. She was rather upset about losing it. She also got an electronic pedometer from me and a Nightmare Before Christmas poster from our son.

My iPod is Playing: Voodoo Chile (Slight_Return) from the album “The Real Deal” by Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble

Parts ordering frenzy…

11:26 am on Monday, May 3, 2004

This weekend I spent money like I had it. I was ordering parts for the Defender to get it put back together after the crash two weeks ago. I know some folks that can help with the bodywork and paint so we’ll be working on that once the new body panels come in that I ordered. I also ordered a new suspension(spring, shocks, bushings, etc.), new Heavy Duty brakes(crossdrilled and vented rotors and kevlar pads), some chequer plate armor for some vulnerable panels, new side lights that got smashed, and more I’m sure I’m forgetting. Once the new suspension is in place I’ll be able to get new tires I desperately need because the ones I have were damaged in the accident also. I can’t get the new tires until the new suspension is in because I’ll have to fit larger tires to keep the truck’s proportions correct. If I fit the same size tires with the 2″ of lift I’ll get then they’d look small and out of place.

I still have a good chunk of change left and may order a new brush bar/winch combo plus some more underbody protection. I may even have enough to add some lockers front and rear. It will be one pimpin’ ride when all is said and done.

My iPod is Playing: Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps from the album “Fashion Nugget” by Cake

Accident aftermath

4:16 pm on Friday, April 23, 2004

Well, got a couple of quotes on fixing the Defender after last week’s accident. Looks to be around $7,250 to repair it back to its original condition. I’ll probably take it to a guy in Dallas that specializes in Land Rovers. The guy that cut me off’s insurance company will also pay for a rental while it’s being repaired. That could take as long as 6-8 weeks. Glad it’s not my money. It has taken them 10 days to actually get things done. It was 6 days before I even talked to the adjuster. That’s too long but the guy seemed decent enough.

Back PainIn other accident news: I’m in pain. Lots of pain. I’ve heard of delayed onset of symptoms after an accident but never really experienced them. My back is absolutely killing me. It has been for a few days but today was unbearable. I finally went to the doc. He said that it’s completely normal for things to not show up until a week to 10 days later. He also said that he’s sure the symptoms were caused by the accident. Oh boy. He piled me up with some pain killers and muscle relaxants. The pain is now a dull pain instead of the sharp who-the-fuck-is-stabbing-me-in-the back pain. Getting actual sleep is a challenge. He said things are likely to get worse before they get better. Shit. I’m already spending nearly every waking moment trying to find a comfortable sitting position. If things don’t improve in a week or so he said the next step is physical therapy. The crash didn’t even feel that bad but he said because of the way my car was forced into a quite abupt left turn that the rotation likely ripped and tore muscles/ligaments. Nifty.

Buy a Gun Day

3:15 pm on Thursday, April 15, 2004

Yes, it’s that time of year, tax day and the newest of celebrations: Buy A Gun Day. Unfortunately with yesterday’s incident I will not be participating. I have other things I’ll need the money for. I encourage you to use your hard earned tax returns to buy yourself a new toy. I’ll join you as soon as I can.

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