Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Great Keel Ordeal…

The latest issue of  DIY Boat Owner is out, and page 45, 46 and 47 look awfully familiar, with stress on the ‘awful’.  Yes, that is Annabel Lee’s keel in those photos, but every time I see pictures of the repairs we’d done they still make me shudder… and itch! Recalling how we’d gone into that project with what could best be described as outright dread, I’m very pleased with the final results.  It’s satisfying as well to see the whole ordeal in print, where hopefully it will provide guidance to some other poor soul faced with the same unnerving task (not to mention it’s helping pay for some boat parts).  And reading this makes me particularly happy: “Like all issues of DIY, the Tools & Gear section is full of product reviews and the Projects section lays out several major renovations (read The Great Keel Ordeal — it’s great stuff).”

Keel1

The article itself can be found in the Summer 2010 issue of DIY Boat Owner Magazine, but more pics of the messy process from start to end can be found scattered around this blog.

Keel2  Keel3

Keel4

And looking back, it did turn out quite impressive in the end. We do nice work!

Top Secret Project Revealed – But NOT Complete!

Years ago Frank needed a commuter car, something that would get decent mileage, and he didn’t want to rack up the wear and tear on the family truckster. Searches of lots for a candidate eventually narrowed down to a low mile Mustang V6 convertible that for 6 months had served as a Florida ‘rent-a-car’.  The price was right and it seemed like a fun and reasonably logical choice, as logic went at the time. He gave the car a little extra by adding cat-back H-pipe oversized stainless true dual exhausts with glass-packs, which made the car rumble quite nicely, as well as lower profile GT rims, fog-lights and a chin spoiler, and the car looked sharp as hell. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before Frank found that at this point in life, comfort won out over looks or fun, and he’d regularly opt for driving the wagon over the Mustang. I preferred the old manual Dodge truck over the Mustang’s automatic transmission and rarely drove the car. It sat in the driveway collecting spiders, and it seemed we had a mistake on our hands, one we were seriously considering selling at a loss. However…

It was around the same time that Felicia got her driver’s license, and the first day of senior year was also her birthday so I tossed her the keys and let her take the Mustang with the agreement that she could drive it so long as her grades stayed high, which they did. And when she received a scholarship that equaled what we’d likely sell the car for, we upped the offer. So long as the good grades continued and she kept the scholarship, upon graduation we’d sign the car over to her.

Yesterday Felicia graduated with a triple major and honors in all three. She’s stayed Dean’s list through her entire stay, in some semesters making Provost List, which requires a 4.0 average, even as she’s managed to have a life beyond the text-books.  We’re all extremely proud of her, and as graduation approached we wanted to give her something extra-special… but what?  We already had a nearly mint barely used and very lovely looking Mustang convertible waiting for her. But we felt she’d earned more, and we figured the best way to show it would be to give her ‘Precious’, as she calls the car, a bit of updating. So, over the last weeks we’ve been working away on something I couldn’t post lest she check my blog, as she often does.

Out went the stock Mach 460 stereo, replaced with a Bluetooth enabled Kenwood that will talk wirelessly to her Ipod and her phone. Many sources claim radio swaps on the Mach 460 system are supposed to be all but impossible, but Frank did a beautiful job of adapting a harness and it’s working perfectly. Using the American Muscle kit, he rewired the 3-lens tail-lights to blink sequentially,  which is such an appropriate modification it makes you wonder why they didn’t leave the factory that way. For the interior, we planned to brighten things up by switching the gauges from stock to the white face reverse glow gauges surrounded by chrome bezels. Unfortunately the mounts on the instrument bezel frame were brittle and cracked on removal, which stopped us in our tracks. I’ve already ordered a replacement bezel frames, (again, American Muscle)
There’s also new ‘Bullitt’ style stainless steel pedals and new floor-mats embroidered with the Mustang logo. But the change we most hoped to have completed before she came home, the cold cathode halo projector lens headlights, which were supposed to easily swap out from the originals, required much modification to make fit. And unfortunately by late Saturday night we were so tired that we knew it wasn’t worth trying to get done and screwing something up. I wrapped the nose of the car in kitty-cat print wrapping paper to disguise the missing lights, encircle the entire car in an enormous pink ribbon and bow, awaiting Felicia’s return. At one point during dinner she remarked about her car and the looks she got from everyone alerted her that something was amiss, and the whole ride home she grew more and more nervous as we assured her she’d be getting her car… just in pieces. But when she arrived home to see what we’d done and what awaited completion, she was delighted and looking forward to helping finish the project over the coming days. Pictures will follow.

Funny cats…

Here’s today’s funny cat picture…

funny cat photo

It's funny how all cats seem to type the same.

From time to time I’ll be posting funny cat pictures such as this, simply because they amuse me. From what I’ve heard I’m not alone, people seem to like photos of cats doing funny things. I suppose that’s a statement of the human condition; we all need some stress relief from time to time, and pictures of cats being cute or doing strange and funny things fits the bill perfectly.

Stay tuned for more funny cat pics!