Friday, December 1, 2017

Old cars are so exciting... Plus a note about pantyhose.

Having been very much "under the weather" the past week or so (requiring a doctor visit and lots of pills), I haven't been able to get the old car ready for its trip to the shop to have the heater core repaired.   And that is where the title of this post originates.

On both of this past summer's trips, the car ran perfectly (well, except for the leaky heater core issue, which was temporarily solved by bypassing it.)   Not bad for a 50 year old vehicle with 140K miles on the clock. After arriving home in September, I parked the car and it hasn't turned a wheel since.  In fact, I never even washed the dead bugs off the windows!

The day before taking it to the shop, I decided to start it up and make sure it was ready for the run... since the shop is in another town.   No problem with starting it up, that worked as per normal.  But as I backed down the driveway for a test drive (and toward the neighbor's truck parked on the street behind it), the brake pedal went all the way to the floorboard.  A bit un-nerving  - good for a couple of skipped heartbeats!

Fortunately the front  brakes grabbed just as I fully applied the parking brake - and together that stopped all movement.    I drove it back up into the garage, which is level, and tried pumping the brake pedal to see if things would get back to normal.  No such luck.  So I checked the brake fluid level in the master cylinder..   One of the two halves was full (i.e. the front) and the rear half was very low.  Hence no back brakes, and not safe to drive.

I topped up the brake fluid, pumped the pedal again...and it soon returned to normal.  So after letting things sit a few minutes, I checked again and found the brakes were still normal.  I backed out of the garage and took a short test drive, which was completely uneventful.  When I got back to the house, there were no puddles anywhere under the car, in the driveway, or streaks of leaking fluid on the road.  Very curious.

I'm confused as to why the brakes worked perfectly fine in September, but now in November the fluid is very low, with no tell-tale puddles under the car, and no driving.   The fluid could not have leaked elsewhere, but it was low.  I hope the mechanic has an idea or two... 

Who needs excitement like that????

An interesting "happening" during our recent trip out of town for a family wedding:  my wife commented that we needed to find a store so she could buy a pair of pantyhose - all she had in her suitcase was a pair of black tights.  The day before the wedding, when the weather was dry, we didn't go shopping at all.

Now, before lunch on the day of the wedding, it was raining...and I didn't care for the idea of going out.  Neither did she.  I pointed out the fact that we're about the same size, and offered to lend her a pair of my pantyhose.   Most surprisingly, she accepted.  I was shocked...though it may have had something to do with the fact neither of us really wanted to go out.  But the bottom line is...she wore them and they worked fine.

Let me leave you with a picture or two of the wild blue yonder...

Nice.  A beautiful contrail...with no wind to break it up.

 Wonder what the airplane was, and where it was going?  We'll never know...but it sure made a beautiful sight!



  1. Old cars always have issues. You need to both love the old baby and have the ability to diagnose its quirks and remedy the problem. That is not my thing so 4 years ago I simply gave my older son the 1992 Porsche 968 for his 30th birthday. He is a car nut with a garage full of ramps and tools and he follows all the old car magazines. He detailed the car and won a prize in the first car show he entered, second place in the import division.

    I know exactly the feeling of affirmation that you had when your wife borrowed your pantyhose. I am larger than my wife but some of my pantyhose with lots of spandex would be able to fit her. One time we were on a trip for a wedding and as she was starting to get dressed in the hotel she quipped that she only brought one pair of pantyhose and she hoped that it did not have a run or she would have to borrow a pair of mine if I had brought extra. I already had my hose on but I quipped back that 'you know me...I always have spare pantyhose'. As it turned out hers were fine.

    Speaking of weddings, our older son, the car enthusiast and skier just told us he is getting married. About two years ago he told us he was gay and introduced us to his partner, a very nice man about a year older than my son and an Iraq war vet. The wedding will be at the end of the summer and it will be our first gay wedding. It gets very confusing.

    1. Yes, they certainly do have issues.

      After looking at the old heater core that the shop removed, I doubt the previous shop actually replaced it when they told me it was leaking while the car was being repainted back in 2003-4. The take-out core was far too grubby and dirty to be a new one put in a car that has been driven an average of 1 or 2thousand miles (+/-) a year since then.

      Disappointingly, it looked like the area of the leak may have been soldered to repair it, instead of the unit being replaced. Could I have been fleeced back in the day? Sho' nuff...

      And you should have seen the AC evaporator core that I had the shop replace now while the car was apart, rather than paying to dismantle everything again in a year or two when it probably would start to leak, disabling the AC... Grubby and "beat up" was the order of the day...clearly there was 50 years of wear on that puppy. But it was never replaced.

      Live and least I know they have now absolutely and positively been replaced!

      As for the pantyhose, I don't know if such a scenario will ever repeat itself, or if someday we may trade clothes. But I kinda sorta doubt it. She's tolerant of my wardrobe but not overly I view it as a "convenience accommodation" which may or may not repeat itself.

      Glad your son is able to deal with the my case, dealing with a GM car is bad enough. Adding imnported to that would make it tougher.

      Have never been to a gay wedding, though we are friends with some gay folks. That's something to look forward to. Any insight you choose to share will be very helpful!


  2. Catching up with your blog, Mandy. Loved the autumn colours in your November posts. It's great when trans people can share their items with their partners... although some then complain that their partner is borrowing their stuff too often! Sue x

    1. Hi Sue,

      Thanks for the kind words on my pix...that's definitely my favorite place for solitude!

      As for trading clothes...I'd be fine with my wife borrowing my things. As long as I could borrow hers! The only downside to that, is she seldom wears dresses or skirts. And as you know, I wear women's pants all the time...don't own very many men's things...what's left is left over from my working days.

      So sharing probably will never happen!

      Keep up your lovely travel's nice to see places I probably will never visit.