Happy Christmas. Don’t eat too much chocolate – save some for a rainy day :)
Posting from the new HTC smartphone. Trying to keep up with the interconnected times by writing about being disconnected once in a while. Good to know I can make nonsense wherever I go.
Now here’s a picture of Nickel with his butt in the air.
Tried to take my nieces’ annual Christmas Card portraits. I just noticed that shooting RAW really brings out amazing detail and unparalleled post processing control. I’m just not too fond of the file size it eats up. But, wow.
I think I came too late and did not get a shot I liked (one that my sister would agree to using for a Christmas card, that is). Going back for round two later today.
A few weeks ago, I took Vanessa out to LAX to pickup my friend Joesy and his wife Abigail. I was waiting on the intersection of Howard Hughes and Sepulveda a few minutes away, when the light turned green. I advanced on first, and was about to shift to second when all of a sudden the clutch pedal fell to the floor with a loud thud, the bus shuddered violently to a stop and the engine stalled. Clutch cable, dead. Hooray!
Since I wasn’t sure if the local shops would have a spare clutch cable lying around, and the fact that Joey and Abi were already waiting (ironically just a few blocks away), we figured it might be best for them to take a door-to-door shuttle and meet them back at my house while I used up my AAA to tow the big V back home.
Replacing the clutch cable was a relatively easy task, and had the bus running within a few days.
Yesterday I ordered new H4 headlights and a thicker gauge sway bar, both to make the upcoming trip to SF this holiday season a little bit safer. Another item on my to-do list is to replace the old style seatbelts with modern retracting ones, but it may have to wait with the ever growing laundry list: windshield rust leak, replacing the battery tray, rotating the tires. I think it’s safe to say that the love and attention you put into a Volkswagen will be repaid several times over, with the adventures it takes you on (and off) the road.
A big thank you to those who came out and supported their local artisans in this year’s Unique LA shindig :)
Click for Hi-Def (3mb).
Haven’t had the chance to sit down and write lately – been spending a lot of time in the temporary man-cave I setup in the garage. I took all the cars out and parked the Samurai on jack stands while I spent the last week (trying) to swap out suspension parts, and other doo-dads in preparation for this year’s Death Valley excursion. I am by no means a mechanic, which pretty much explains a 5 hour turnaround last weekend to remove 3 tires. Wheel threads were all seized up and one stubborn stud broke free from the rear drum so it was rotating along with the nut. I had to drill it out. Fun times.
Last night I installed new window channel guides, new window regulators, and cleaned up the muck on the windows using Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. That stuff is truly magic, I took out a LOT of paint overspray on the glass from the previous paint job. Hopefully I get around to doing the same to the windshield, there’s a lot of paint I want to get rid of, and this Magic Eraser deal really just rubs it out without damaging the glass at all.
I’m expecting more parts to come in through the mail (thank you Low Range Offroad), and should hopefully have the Samurai back on wheels tonight or tomorrow afternoon. Other stuff I need to do is replace the defective thermostat (taking it to a mechanic for that one, I don’t want to drain anything from the cooling system), wire back up the cigarette lighter assembly, scrub the muck and grease off the flooring, pack my stuff, and of course, plan our route around the desert!
There’s nothing like heading out and away from the familiar city. Samurai, you shall be my mountain goat. Hehe.
Nothing like enjoying beautiful fall colors come out with your best friend. :)
Fuck, they’re really good. Had a blast at the Fonda, and I’ve really gotten over the part of going to gigs by myself. I’ve been waiting for this gig for SO LONG, and I’ve been stopping myself from buying their album in anticipation of buying out their merch tonight. Unfortunately, I was mildly disappointed when they didn’t have vinyl on their merch, and of course as usual they ran out of shirt sizes on my first two picks. I’ll probably just eat it up online.
I’ll bet a lot of money that TDCC will be playing Coachella this year. These guys whip out a big serving of happy music.
Tomorrow I’m taking a flight back out to Las Vegas to attend the rest of the AAPEX and SEMA shows – I was there this morning and it’s honestly better when you go out there with people you work with, instead of roaming around aimlessly by yourself…
My love is a quiet river that runs swiftly underneath my feet. A fountain of strength where I seek solace and shelter in times of weakness, against times when my selfishness is brought up to the surface, only to get pacified by its taciturn tides.
By and large, I’ve lived by myself the past decade, and learned to appreciate the silence of my thoughts and the arresting peace of having no one else rain their drama on my party. However, it continues to amaze me that the powerful tides of solace we seek can also be found outside our own walls of silence.
I realize that the world is a far greater place than we could place ourselves in. That the struggles we choose to keep are ones that are precisely our own, and the world will continue to turn, oblivious of our transgressions and failures. And that one cannot underestimate the simple things in life which allow you to step off from its hypnotic cadence, those moments of space and humanity that require nothing outside of themselves to be beautiful.
A kiss on the cheek. A hug a few seconds longer than expected. A cloudless sky. Beautiful music. The sun. One doesn’t need to climb the highest of mountains nor understand the impossibility of life – sometimes all there is to do is sit still, and let the world turn. The meaning will make itself known, when you allow yourself to listen to the delicate rhythms of the world.
All at once – yesterday, today and tomorrow. Live, and love forever.
I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and being to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.
– Alex McCandless
Love really is the binding force that enables the world to make sense, even if love itself occasionally never does.
All that is beautiful, as delicate as a butterfly wing.
In one of the many fine passages in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, the young brahmin – contemporary of Buddha, the Enlightened One – is sitting on the riverbank. It strikes him that once the measurement of time is waived, the past and the future are ever-present – like the river, which at one and the same moment exists not only where he sees it to be, but also at its source and at its mouth. The water which has yet to pass is tomorrow, but it already exists upstream; and that which has passed is yesterday, but it still exists, elsewhere, downstream.
– Tiziano Terzani