iridium: (matilda_sunset)
in DC (rather, Chevy Chase, Maryland, with [livejournal.com profile] desultor) now, heading out for an oil change, coffee with Todd & Jenn, and New York City very soon. should be in NYC tonight and part of tomorrow, most likely heading to Boston tomorrow afternoon. (there's some chance we'll stay in NYC through Tuesday morning, but the plan is to head out on Monday.)

new engine is doing ok so far. i've lost another hubcap, which means i'm down to one, which i'm going to pull off and stick in the wayback so it doesn't fall off too. any suggestions for hubcap sources near Boston? i'd prefer similar ones, from an old Ford or Caddilac, but anything with style that suits Matilda is fine.
iridium: (matilda_sunset)
at approximately 63,485 miles, Waltzing Matilda got a new engine. i've driven 50 miles listening close to the engine and keeping an eye on everything, and so far she runs sweet and smooth and quiet. the persistent over-rev problem has at the least not shown up again since i picked her up from the mechanic.

tonight i drove all around Charleston:
first out the winding long way to the night beach at Folly, where i watch the sun rise on New Year's Day. i walked down to the ocean and watched the low breakers roll in, and the sky was full of stars. there was no moon, just the orange criscross lights of the pier, and there was no one else on the beach. i picked up one shell in the dark to take with me, touched my fingers to the edges of the waves, and said goodnight to all of it. then back through the smooth winding highway, across the peninsula, and over the wide new bridge with its heavy suspension cables and bright lights stretched out over the river. drove down the northbound highway almost out to Isle of Palms, then took an unfamiliar turn onto a familiar road, passed neighborhoods where old friends used to live, and then back again to the bridge and home.

i'm still getting used to the new sound of the engine, but as far as i can tell, everything's good to go. the camping gear is in the car, and the rest of my bags are (mostly) packed and sitting by the door. now is time for sleeping; tomorrow i wake early, load everything in the car, and head north.

wish me luck.

banzai...
iridium: (me & fence)
it's been a hard week, for some reasons i understand and for some i haven't figured out yet, some big serious ones and some little nasty bitey ones. i need to sit and write and talk through it all sometime soon, but not tonight. tonight i need to get to sleep (before 3am, even) so that i can get up early and hit the road tomorrow.

Matilda's still in the shop, waiting. the engine arrived from the factory yesterday, and they said they'll get started with the installation on Monday...i'll talk with them again Monday morning and hopefully know more about when she'll be ready and what kind of break-in she'll need then. *little smile* i think some part of my fretting comes from that a large bit of my immediate sense of home is currently tied to Waltzing Matilda; for these three months, she is what is constant, she is the (only) space that belongs to me.

so, on the road again, but in a big silver VW van this time, and heading up to the Georgia woods for just a few days to see Fence and ride 'til i'm too sore to walk, again. ([livejournal.com profile] violin, if you're free and want to come & hang out in the woods for an evening, you're welcome to...but i'm assuming that Sunday & Monday nights probably don't work so well for you, and i know it's a long drive.) no internet, but my phone does seem to work out there. (ooh! just remembered...we have a fire-circle by the house now, so i can burn things! fire fire fire fire fire!)

...and the Extended Roadtrip Mix from [livejournal.com profile] nacht_musik arrived, complete with many lovely stamps (the Buckminster Fuller one rocks), so i'll have more new music to listen to for the drive. *smile*
iridium: (skull)
today i woke early, showered, put on presentable normal-people clothes, and went to the hospital with my dad. and then, of course, switched out of the presentable normal-people clothes into scrubs, so that i could come watch his cases.
shadowing at the hospital. warning: brief descriptions of procedures, mild gore. )

---------------------

...and then i came home and called the mechanic.

the short form is that the oil leaks i've been seeing over the past several months may be partly due to old gaskets, but that the root problem is internal blow-by. the good solution to this problem is to either overhauling the engine or putting in a 'new' rebuilt one. his take was it makes more sense to put in a new engine, because after labor costs at his shop and the machine shop, overhauling the current engine costs more, and a factory-rebuilt engine comes with a 100,000mi/3yr warranty.
options and choices... )
...there are no choices that are not painful. but in the end...well, right now, i can (kinda) afford to fix Matilda properly. i was hoping to save that money, but i hadn't yet decided what i'd be saving for, or where i'd put it, or anything. and this roadtrip has been time spent travelling, living, learning, joyous, difficult...but always intensely interesting, always full. and travelling in this particular car has made it so that even the time spent behind the wheel is wide-eyed laughing beautiful life; it lends another dimension, a little more soul. and, dammit, i'm only halfway around! there's miles and miles to go!

more practically, putting in a rebuilt, under-warranty engine would mean she should run well for at least a few more years with minimal maintenance...and if i want to sell her, i'm a hell of a lot more likely to be able to do it when she's got a new engine, as opposed to wonky rings, blow-by, and a multitude of oil leaks.

so, a little unexpectedly, it's still worth it. there was a little question, but not much. my mother put it together before i did, said, "Look, it seems pretty clear that what you really want is to fix this car." and my dad said, "I think you're making the right decision, given the situation. But in the future...don't ever give your car a name." *laugh*

(since i started making the plans for this roadtrip, i've been saying "10,000 miles or as far as the car will take me," and saying that if she died on the road i'd just ditch, ship everything back in boxes, and fly home. but...i failed to consider exactly how attached i am to this vehicle, and more importantly, that driving all over lovely twisty highways and having a ridiculously powerfully good time would make it that much harder to just let Waltzing Matilda go, especially to such a rough and ungraceful end.)

more detailed car geekery... )

and now the day is done. time for sleeping, soon. tomorrow is another full day.
iridium: (Default)
made it to Atlanta on Saturday, then Charleston last night. both drives took much longer than normal, partly because i stopped to visit relatives in Mobile but mostly because i stopped every 50-100 miles to check on the oil/etc. Matilda's got some bizarre symptoms -- occasional rather-worrying vibration of the whole front end, an oil leak that looks severe by the quantity of oil all over the bottom half of the engine/etc, but she only needed 3/4 of a quart for the whole trip from OS to here, and on the last half of the drive from Atlanta to Charleston, she was getting almost 20mpg. (huh?!?)

also lost my other front hubcap. gonna try to find a pick & pull yard or other reasonable source for hubcaps that wouldn't look stupid.

i took Matilda to the mechanic (again) today. wish me luck; she needs to be in much, much better shape by the end of the week.
iridium: (blue hair)
a very quick note -- the weekend was very full, and i will hopefully have time to write down more of the goings-on and stories, but one bit of it was sitting down in the living room with [livejournal.com profile] tyratae and other-people-whose-ljnames-i-don't-know-yet and re-making Matilda's dashboard hula girl into...a goth dashboard hula girl.

words do not do justice, so here instead is a photograph:


a couple more... )

for comparison, this is roughly what the hula-girl looked like before redecoration:
iridium: (blue hair)
1. Waltzing Matilda is back from the mechanic, and she's got shiny shiny new tires, and she purrs. she most decidedly does not purr like a kitten. she purrs like a well-kept 5-liter V8 engine with a functioning exhaust system.
awww hell yeah.

2. the new laptop (now named unsinkable-affection) is full to the brim of RAM. having not actually installed RAM in a laptop since 1999 or so, i am quite proud of having done this myself, and very glad that it seems to be working. i have a sweet-ass, blisteringly fast computer that is portable and contains vast quantities of music and lovely, lovely software. banzai!

now...well, now i feel like i should really take over the world or something, but i think perhaps instead i'll take my waltzing matilda and go wander awhile.
*mad laughing grin*
it's time to shake things up, see a bit more of the world.
iridium: (skull)
you know what makes me happy?
when i drop off the car for (expected) maintenance and repair at a new shop, and the guy at the desk tells me he's envious of the roadtrip and that "you don't see many cars like this one around anymore." and then the second mechanic calls me back and says "You know, this car is in really great condition! Is that the original mileage on there? Wow."

so Matilda's getting a new muffler-pipe, an oil/etc change, and four shiny new tires. it's another big pile of money, but the exhaust pipe's been broken for months now, and i knew the tires were looking pretty sad. (i haven't really taken care of them, and Matilda's never had a garage. so, better to get them replaced now than to have one blow in the middle of Texas.)

wheee!
(also, i should make an icon for Matilda. hm.)
iridium: (blue hair)
i drove to Palo Alto today, with the total miles-between-fueling coming in at just over 100. mostly sweet highway cruising, though sadly traffic didn't allow for topping out the spedometer. (it only goes up to 85mph. cheap thrills.) and when i refueled, i did the math, and...
my car got 17.2 mpg! [edit: she generally gets ~12-13, if i remember right. yeah, yeah, i know. don't say it.]
17.2! *crazymanicmonkeycheerdance*!!

between having a good excuse to get out and drive matilda somewhere other than city-street stop-and-go, and this...well, damn. she just makes me happy. so yeah, she's still worth it.

...now i just need to go get the muffler pipe replaced, and the back window control-thing, and an oil change, and a thorough inspection for anything else that'd need doing before a cross-country drive. (and an lj-icon for Waltzing Matilda...) *laugh* ah well.

also, from [livejournal.com profile] etotheipi:
Moto Guzzi V11
You scored 3 moxie, 6 zeal, and -4 pomp!

You've ridden 'em all. You love riding, and you're at the peak of your
game. You develop irrational love for unusual motorcycles, and the
latest acquisition is a sweet Moto Guzzi.


You are the most likely among the personality types to own a garage full of esoteric old bikes awaiting restoration.




My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 33% on moxie
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 80% on zeal
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 2% on pomp
Link: The Motorcycle Personality Test written by iocaine on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
iridium: (Default)
Matilda's back!
and with a shiny new water pump, timing chain & sprockets, timing cover, and several associated gaskets. i'm a good bit poorer, but having my car back in running order makes me unreasonably happy. i found myself paying careful attention to the engine-sound as i drove home -- she sounds different, noticeably. possibly this is because of the new timing chain & sprockets? car geeking! )

and then i came home and had dinner and exercised a little of my perpetual bad luck with toasters. ) and now the excitement and euphoria has settled down again, i'm fed, and i need to get my ass back to the microlab for one last bit of piranha-cleaning. might hit AK Press afterward for their winter sale, if there's time.
iridium: (Default)
over the holiday, Matilda developed a major coolant leak, and i took her to a shop in south oakland to get it checked out. more car trouble/geeking. )
so far the guy at Wise has been the least confusing to talk to, it's in a location where i can easily catch a bus to work, and it's one of the lower estimates. i'm going to bring the car there tomorrow morning and have them look at it, see if they can point out more clearly where the problem is.
*sigh* any thoughts or advice, again?

in other news, i might make it to the Plough tonight, but i might also just go home and sleep. it's going to be a late workday today.

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