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Red Devil Worshipers

Friday, March 16, 2012

Out of Service

Well, it has been about two months now since I have seen the Lil' Red Devil. She has been in the shop for some minor repairs and fixes. I had a clacking sound when I shifted gears, so that was a $350 repair bill. Also, am having some electrical work done, which seems to be a short or bad wiring. My interior lights are off and on, as well as my backing lights. Needed a switch for the backing lights, $85 for the part. I also had some weather stripping work, to replace the existing weather stripping between the front and rear windows, which by all appearances, seemed to be a mickey mouse job in the first place. I am just waiting to see the final bill and I am now seeing where this little hobby vehicle of mine might start becoming a money pit.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Carmageddon!

In Southern California, it will never to cease to amaze me how locals can make drama out of an absolutely non-dramatic situation. Native Angelenos can make a sensationalize something as benign as a bowl of soup. The first example of major dramatic overkill in L.A., L.A. Land is the weather and how a few showers can turn into a, "Storm Watch, (insert year here)?" We have NO WEATHER here, that is why everyone wants to live here. 99.9% of the time it is sunny and clear. So, why the need to dramatize the undramatic? Get a tan and live with the fact that while you are getting nothing more than a mere sprinkle on the just-washed finish of your Beemer, the rest of the World is dealing with REAL weather and really suffering.

Now, the ultimate; the freeway closure which will by all accounts by the local media machine, will cause a complete stoppage of all commerce and human existance in and a round the area of the 405 fwy, and between the 10 and 101 fwy's. Store owners are beside themselves with the coming, "Carmageddon," and what to do to avoid the 36 hours without customers. Los Angeles Citizenry are in a funk about the possibility of "their" freeway driving rights are interrupted. God firbid they should have to locate an alternate route and maybe venture into the unknown, "side streets." I can well understand the consternation, as most So. Cal drivers cannot drive and tend to be selfish caretakers of the highways and byways of the Southlands. However, feeding into this is the media, who appear to have nothing more newsworthy to cover here in the largest city and county in the World, but want to open each night's newscast with the lead story, "Carmageddon!" I have some ideas of how we can avoid Carmageddon meltdown and the related anxiety that will unavoidably come with it. First, business owners, offer local area shuttle service. Publish alternate routes on your websites for customers to navigate to your business. Commuters; is this trip really necessary? You can wait for that Falafal until Monday or next weekend. Take a vacation or go somewhere else, which does not include going to the area effected by carmageddon. Get out your Thomas Guide! Now there's a novel approach, as everyone in Los Angeles should know what one of those are. After all, do we all need to be reminded that we have a lot lacking with many, many freeways and their limited capacity and age. Another idea, take public transportation. Yes, West L.A. trendy shopper and commuter, you might have to lower yourself and shlep it on the bus or train. I also read a story, today, that a helicopter service was offering flights for about $150 per person from Van Nuys to various locations. Let's please stop bitching and moaning and making non-existant news headlines and be grateful for the improvements being accomplished. Compared to "Carmageddon," I am looking forward to the next, "Storm Watch."

To Style. . .

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's Time for Baseball

Although I relish each new baseball season, it seems that baseball now has a new flare to it with the Corvair. I love driving to Chavez Ravine and taking in a Dodger game. I live only about 20 minutes away and go, top down, making sure I go plenty early, to show off the Lil' Red Devil around the stadium. It adds a certain nostalgia to the entire event of going to a MLB game and drives home the meaning and history of the game for me. However, there has been an incident, which has soured my attitude toward baseball in the City of Angels.
The assault of Giants fan, Bryan Stow, shone a light on what has been a looming shadow on Dodger baseball for quite some time, ever since the McCourt regime came to be. The brutality was enough, but the following comments, or lack there of, from the Dodgers Organization and McCourt, was just salt in the already festering wound of the Dodgers Organization, the city of Los Angeles, and to the Major League Baseball. Immediately following the incident, McCourt tried to distance his club from liability. First he said, "Having 2,000 security guards out there would not have prevented the incident." I bet it would have, even 100 security out there would have done more. Next, he said that his liability stopped at the ballpark's exits and he had nothing to do with the parking areas. Well, let's see, McCourt sure as hell had a lot to do with doubling the parking fees at Dodger Stadium over the last several years. No doubt McCourt and the Organization are having something to do with the profit from that, ya think? Next, what were those suspect "fans" doing there at the game in the first place? If their sole purpose, which by all indications it seemed to be, was to get fall-down drunk and crack heads, then they are not real fans. Solve the problem and hire undercover, off-duty LAPD, which they have done, and you have eyes on the crowd. The parking area is the most important area in the entire ballpark. That is where the altercations usually start; keep it under watchful eyes of police, security, and staff and you keep down the problems. Even if something erupts, you can have an immediate response and quell it, while also getting names, making arrests, and hopefully banning those individuals from the stadium. Especially for opening day, when the Giants are in town, COME ON! That is the obvious day that there might be trouble, so at the least beef up on security at those games, when a fierce rival is in the city. I have been to Dodger Stadium many times since about 1983 and it should be a place where people go to see the grand game of baseball, not for shot gunning beer and looking for fights. Reserve that for home or the bar/club. Grow up!

Moreover, this has revealed a lot about the character of Frank McCourt. What a spectacle that they had a couple of days ago at the Dodger Stadium parking lot. A fund raiser to collect money for medical expenses for Bryan Stow. What a farce and another shameful reaction by McCourt. McCourt’s Organization should have footed the entire medical bill from the very start. What ever the fund raiser collected, McCourt should pull out the Dodgers' check book and match it, times two.

After this incident, I hope McCourt has to give up ownership of the Dodgers, either to his estranged wife or to another buyer. Either option would be more beneficial and honorable than what his tenure has turned out to be.

To Style. . .

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Water, Water, Everywhere. . .

It came down in buckets! I haven't seen rain like this in Los Angeles in about two years and it had to happend when I decided not to cover up the Lil' Red Devil. When the rain started, I thought it was going to be moderately light rain, but before I knew it, and before I started thinking about how it was effecting my car, it was pouring. I went out during the first day of rain and checked on the driver side, where the weather stripping has come loose from the window. I felt around on the carpet and, phew, it was still dry. A day later and about a few million gallons of water later, I decided for some reason, to check the passenger side. I guess the rain had come at more of a 90 degree angle to the window and was abke to leak into the air vent in front of the passenger-side window. The floor was damp. I immediately took advantage of the delay in the deluge and applied the cover, which I shoukld have done in the first place. Although my initial hesitation was due to the fact that the current cover I have is not water-proof, it turned out to be pretty effective in keeping the water out of the interior. Now, I wait for the sun and see exactly how much damage was done. Time to invest in a water-proof cover.

To Style. . .

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

. . .doomed to repeat it?

Well, the challenge was thrown down and, as usual, Californians blew it! What did we wake up to this morning? Barbara Boxer gone and a strong,
Pro-business, entrepreneur in the Governor's Office? No, of course not, but instead, Californians chose to re-elect a retread of the wasteful ways and liberal policies from Senator Boxer and decided they should put back into office a Governor who created and then blew a $5 billion budget surplus, appointed two of the most liberal State Supreme Court judges in the history of the State, both of whom were recalled from their positions, due totally to their liberal/wacko bench decisions. As the old adage says, "if we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it." If anyone reads this blog, mark my words now. Let's keep track, over the next four years, and see where the State is at the end of Jerry Brown's first term. Will we be better off, lower state taxes, income taxes, new business growth, increase of long time, well established business bases, i.e. Entertainment Industry, agriculture? Will this new/old Governor hem in the legislature in their perks and their overall budgetary spending and make them be as frugal as he claimed to be in his first term as Governor back in the day? We can only hope that Mr. Brown has moderated his political beliefs as he has aged. However, this might just be wishful thinking, on my part.

It is a new day, new Governor and new possibilities for our State to grow. Unfortunately, the majority of Californians, in spite of seeing where liberal policies have lead us, continue to vote for the Left. What is about you people? Do you keep electing leftward leaning candidates, hoping that eventually, after long enough, they will eventually get it right? Let's take a reality check and put people in who are practical, fiscally sound thinkers, with a business approach to governance and budgeting and spending. How many businesses need to leave the State before you guys get the message?

To Style. . .

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Get My Head Straight

My life and career have been both relatively short. 21 years with the same agency and 43 years on the Planet Earth, but I feel as if I have hit the wall, not as much in my life as I feel like I have hit the wall in my career. After 21 years, I feel unfulfilled and lacking the feeling of acomplishment. I am in law enforcement, but in my positions over the last couple of years, have left me felling anythong but like a law enforcement officer. Add to this equation, the fact that I am a supervisor, and you can pretty much remove any enforcement activities from my plate. I am a highly paid, Federal paper pusher. A high-priced daycare manager, overseeing a bunch of over-paid primadonna law enforcement officers. I long for being back in the street, field operations, making arrests, following up on leads, doing surveillance, pounding the pavement. I am going to take a couple of days off naext week, to spend some time with myself and do some things I've been meaning to do. Photography, writing, relaxing, not being on the job, will be the priorities. I want to get things straight in my head, step back away from work and responsibilities and see if I can get a new perspective. I don't feel like anything right now, just numb, dumb, and unproductive.
I will be hanging around some old haunts and watering holes, some new ones too. During the day, I want to get some of those artistic activities done. L.A. has a lot of architecture to be shot. I want to see if I can put together a book, with nothing but historic Downtown L.A. buidling facades. See if I can get together with the one thing I have been chasing for a while, but put my heart into this time. After all, it is the, "One Thing," that is the key to life.

To style. . .

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Need My Tunes!

Since I have first taken possession of my Corvair, I have had to stare at the dead radio receiver in my car. Granted, it is the original readio, which came with the car, when it rolled off of the assembly line, but it is non-fuctioning. Dead, kaput, muerto, silent! I have put up with it as much as I can take it, trying to research car audio stores/equipment, surfing the web for prices and audio packages. This Saturday I am going to take the Diablita to, Sightwaves, in Eagle Rock and am going to finally get some sounds for my Lil Devil. Now, I just need to figure out what features I want. I have seen so many different receivers that it has become a blur. All I know is that I want a receiver that is satellite ready, i-pod compatible, and i-tunes tagging capable. I have even seen receivers into which i-tunes music can ve downloaded. That would be great and forego me having to buy a new i-pod.

Now, I go to you; the however-many followers I might have. Please give me your suggestions, ideas, and guidence. What system would you reccommend? Help me and if I choose the system you suggest, I will even name it after you.

To style. . .

Monday, August 30, 2010

All Better Now

About 4 days and $265 later, I got the Diablita out of the shop. She was good to go and did she ever. Over the weekend, we tripped to Whittier, Covina, Bell, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, and to the O.C. to John Wayne Airport. Boy can she cruise! I really have to get a new sound system in her and the weather stripping on the driver side window has to be put back in place. I also found out that the horn works. This was Saturday when a second screw came loose from the steering wheel hub and when I hit bumps it caused the horn to acctivate. I had to replace the screw by hand, while driving on the I-5 fwy. I got it replaced, but now I have to make sure I tighten it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The drawbacks of Classic Car Ownership

Well, day two without my Corvair has come and gone. My mechanic was able to get in touch with one of the two or three Corvair mechanics I have listed in my battery of mechanics, and was able to get the bushings. Now the estimate is yet to come. I am hoping that it will be reasonable, which I mean less than $400 total. I figure the parts will not be more than $30 to $40 and with the labor at about $80/hour, I'm probably looking at $110 or $120, $200 max. I am also hoping that this will be the last major fix for her for a while. I still have to get the heat shrouds for the engine, as well as a tune up. I also want to install a fan in the engine compartment. In the area of cosmetics, I still want to get a new stereo, satellite receiver and speakers installed. Speaking of fans, I also want to place a small dash-mounted fan, preferably attached at the top of the windshield, near the rearview mirror. Minor fixes include latches for the vent windows on both the driver side and passenger side windows, heavy duty floor mats, which feature an, "8-Ball," design, replacement cigarette light/ac adaptor, and possible tinting. I am hoping to get the Lil' Red Devil entered in next month's car show in South Pasadena. It would be the first for her, so I want to at least get the tune up and shrouds installed prior.

To style. . .

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Who Would Have Thunk it?

Well, I have been so sick to my stomach for the last week, that I could not bring myself to enter a follow up to my last entry. However, now that the shock has worn off, I guess I can divulge it. I went back to the Lil Red Devil the day after my last entry and to my shock and horror found that the transmission had taken a CRAP! Shifted into reverse and heard a clicking noise, so I stopped and shifted into first. Again, louder clicking/pseudo-grinding. I could not believe it! I was so pissed, that I just parked her back in the drive way, locked the door and I have not driven her since. I made the call to my mobile Corvair mechanic and he should be over to look at her this week sometime. I had a sneaking suspicion that this was developing, but was hoping against hope that I was wrong. Oh, well, I need to try to put a positive spin on all of this; I will have a new, reliable transmission now, at least. I will see if I can still afford the other minor fixes, i.e. tune-up and cooling shrouds.

UPDATE, 08/04/2010, 1530:
What a DUMB-ASS I am! I went out to take a look at the Lil' Red Devil and while figuring out what was wrong, my friend took a look under her belly and found that the rear sway bar had come loose. It wasn't the transmission at all, but the sound of the sway bar scrapping the ground. Well, yes I am a moron, but at least it is not the transmission.

To Style. . .

Friday, July 16, 2010

Back Home

I just returned from a 45-day work detail to Harlingen, TX. It was a good experience and I made a lot of good contacts for the future and met a lot of good people there. However, I had to leave the Lil' Red Devil in my driveway, covered up. I thought about adding some gas additive, to prevent gumming up of the gas in the tank or moisture build up. I thought about giving my landlord my keys so he could go out there every couple of weeks to run the engine. But, no, I decided to chance it. With every passing day, I would wonder if my car was O.K. Today, the moment of truth, which I was very hesitant to go do. I did, finally, venture out, remove her cover, unlocked the door, and slowly sink into the driver's seat. First thing I noticed was Leilani, the dashboard hula girl, has taken a fall from the dash. I knew I was going to have a problem with that and I need to find a way to adhere her down solid on the dash. At any rate, I digress. I deliberately plunged the key into the ignition, gave the pedal a few pumps and turned. She reved and reved and reved, so I gave the gas a few pumps and like a charm, she turned over. I was happily surprised that she didn't need much time to get warmed up. I was amazed and let her run a few minutes to get her juices flowing. I was home and it really felt like it now. I will be going later today to run some errands, get my daughter, and come back home to pack for our trip, yes again, I'm off. We will be going to Michigan for a few days to visit family. I'm sure Lil' Red will do just fine.

To Style. . .

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pretty Clean Bill of Health

Well, the Corvair man came over to my pad this past Monday and took a look at the Red Devil. Other than to comment on the pristine quality of her, he did discover that al the shrouding around the engine was missing and should be replaced. He took her for a test drive, with no incidents and no belt slippage. He did hear a little pinging and thinks it is probably one of the rods. He also recommended a tune up, both fixes I will do in June. I think I'm gonna take her out tonight, when I get home and cruise over to South Pasadena. Wish me luck.

To style. . .

Friday, March 12, 2010

First Meeting with the Devil

Well, I went yesterday to test drive my new Corvair. It was an awesome sight! I love her and the paint job was even better in person, mind you there were a few scratches on her, but nothing that can't be touched up. I also discovered that the front seats are permanently afixed in place and there is kind of cramped leg room, but I can relocate the seat rails and move the seat back a little. Also, there are so factory installed seat belts, which is also an easy fix. I'm going to pick up a pair of one point, old school seatbelts for her. You know, to stay true to the original standard features of the time. One more thing; radio does not function, but again, no problem. I found a web site, retrosoundusa.com, that sells replica rasios for all models of classic cars. However, with a mondernized twist. They have AM/FM, digital display, 30 presets, and auxillary jack. I'm also going to pick up a Satelite radio receiver and mount it on the dash. Also, on the dash, I already bought my obligatory Hula Doll complete with swaying hips. Overall a great little car runs great and shifts smoothly in all gears. All the chrome is emaculate and a little more work and she will be show ready.

To style. . .

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

From the Ashes

I have parted ways with the Green Goblin, #0206. I got rid of her and moved on to a classic lady, a Chevrolet Corvair Monza. I will up date you all with photos of my new love.

To style. . .

Friday, January 29, 2010

7 Days in Exile

Day 1 - Went to the bank, got the Bullitt serviced, went grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. Damn, I always hate going to Trader Joe's! I can never get out of there without spending less that 100 bucks. So, $187 later, I had at least, completed my shopping for the next couple of weeks. Then I headed home and unloaded all my 200 cubic feet of groceries into my 100 cubic foot of fridge. Met up with Frances, hooked up with Jennifer, and said good night to Frances. Walked her to her car and went back to the house, with Sammy and watched a couple of movies on DVD, drank a few beers, 9, Rolling Rock.
Day 2 - Woke up as Noon, had some cereal, coffee. Cleaned up the back yard, completed some admin shit from work. You see I'm in exile, but still receive work e-mails from my Blackberry. Found out that the big mouth time and attendance clerk knew about my exile and I am trying to get that remedied. I still don't know why she is my time and attendance clerk, but if I find out anyone else knows about my exile status, I am going to file on her faster than she runs out of the door at the end of her shift. Anyway, later, I am going to take my truck's battery to get it serviced or change it out. In the Bullitt, of course. Three days of exile to go.

Days 3, 4 - Had my daughter. We hung out and went to go see the film, "The Lovely Bones." A very emotionally stirring flick. The Chester, played by Stanley Tucci, plays the role a little too creepily well. Hum, I wonder? Never mind, nah. Very uneventful, anyway, the weekend turned out to be. I still had dinero, so I wasn't thinking about my days in exile too much.

Days 5, 6, and 7 - These days were almost a complete blur. Monday, I ran some errands and mailed some letters. Monday night I went by the Eagle's and had a few beers, went home and drank some more, and crashed out. Tuesday, I did some laundry, cleaned a little around the house. Later that evening went to get a bite, donated $20 to a local high school cheerleader fund raiser. I ran by the Eagle's and bought two squares for the Super Bowl pool. At about 7:30 went to this bar in Silverlake called, Cha Cha's. Met a couple of friends and we had a few drinks there, until we decided it was far too boring, and then two of us went across the street to the Red Lion. This bar was pretty cool. It was set up like a German beer garden and consisted of two levels, the upper level being the outdoor beer garden. I and a friend from work, proceeded to down a few hefeweizens at this place and found the karaoke guy. He was making his way around the bar, complete with 70's sunglasses and big blond hairdo wig. Later, I discovered that this guy was impersonating Heino, who even later I discovered was this 60's and 70's super-pop star in Germany. He wore the sunglasses all the time due to a medical eye problem he suffered from. Pretty cool affair at the Red Lion; I will definitely be back there. Got pretty tuned up over there at the Red Lion, so after I crawled across the street to the nearest taco truck and scarfed down a couple tacos, as hot as I could tolerate, which is pretty damn hot, and drank a Jarritos de naranjo. Went home, which is when I discovered who the hell Heino was, on YouTube, and went to sleep. Wednesday, caught up on my sleep and then some; woke up at 2:00 PM. Well, it was actually 5:00 PM by EST, so what to do? Drink! Got something to eat and got my stuff ready for the next day, back to the grind and then proceeded to put away some adult refreshments.

02/04/2010 - Back to work and glad to be here. Don't want to do that again, ever. Got my first, post-exile paycheck on 02/06; $1,332 net! Fuck, enough to pay the rent and about $30 left. Good thing I shopped already and had enough groceries until the next paycheck. Now, when the other shoe drops, it will be three days off of my paycheck. Can't wait to see that one. Like I said, never again.

To Speed. . .