Cougar on Blocks

I sure wish there were more hours in the day or more days in the month. It’s been exactly one month since I did any work on my ’68 Cougar. I take that back, I did one thing, I put the Cougar up on jack in order to get the transmission out. Unfortunately, due to time constants, the transmission is still connected to the drive shaft and in the car. I guess it could be worse, I could have a brand new rebuilt engine sitting in my garage, which I would have to look at every time I went out there. Thankfully, it is not done yet, but I did e-mail the builder to see if he has an approximate date of completion. After reading some of the horror stories about asking when an item, such as bodywork will be done I realized I am in no hurry. No joke.

I have been putting together a small shopping list of items I need in order to accomplish the front end/engine compartment work. That list include stainless steel brake lines, brake hoses for the each front brake, assorted hardware, new master cylinder, rebuilt [Booster Dewey] power booster, rag joint and a rebuilt steering column [rebuilt by fastmerc off]. I figured since I am this far into rebuilding the engine, I might as well take the plunge and replace/rebuild the remaining front end parts in order to avoid problems once the engine is dropped back in. Whenever that may be.

I am debating what the hell I am going to do with the upper control arm, ball joint dust seal. As I mentioned previous, this part mysteriously split, possibly when I was filling it with grease [likely or not?]. Unfortunately, I cannot replace the dust seal without taking apart the entire assembly, which means removing the coil spring and that is not something I really look forward to. Although, with no engine in the bay, it might be a bit easier than when the engine was in the Cougar.

So, while my July 16 target date was realistic, at least I thought it was when I dropped the motor off in May I am guessing October or November before she sees the road again. This is a restoration project, I am in not going to rush just to get the Cougar back on all fours. I want to do it right, the first time.

Lastly, any thoughts about blacking out the front grill, like on the 1970 Cougar? Personally, I think it looks sharp, nothing against chrome or the look of any ’68 Cougar. I have the headlight assemblies off the chassis as well and am planning on rebuilding and paint them as well, I just need to decide if I repaint of the chrome or polish it.

For those going to the Classic Cougar Picnic sponsored by Nocal Cougar Club and The Stray Cats, see you there with your Cougars on July 16!?

Pass the Duct Tape!

I swear I am going to walk into work with my head wrapped in duct tape! I don’t even know where to start. Seeing as shit rolls downhill, let’s start at the top in our department. I can’t speak very highly of the empty skirt in charge. I don’t believe she has ever had any operational experience to speak of. But I guess that does not matter as much as complying with EEOC and making sure those “inside the circle of trust” are taken care, right? I still think she was given the job, rather than actually interviewing for it, this based on the previous department she came from. I am fortunate I don’t have to deal with her, well rarely.

Let’s actually move to those people “supposedly” in charge of the operation, making the decisions that help drive this our company. Is it me, or is there a lack of oxygen to the brain when a man puts a tie on and fills the position of ‘Manager’? Well, we have a very special case in our midst. Now, this guy was nails in his previous position for another department. He was actually a good guy, but now in our department, the tie is causing asphyxiation because his decision making skills are poor. Laughable is more like it. I sit here and try to justify just what the hell he is trying to accomplish, but cannot make ends meet. Guess it’s not for me to figure out. I was not good enough, ah make that “well known” enough [or wore a skirt] to be a manager. Looking back on it, that was surely a blessing in disguise.

My shift allows me to see most all of the supervisors in our department on both shifts. Needless to say, there is a lot of talking between the shifts. It’s always been this way since I started some 11 years ago. Why? The only thing I can figure is that the people on day shift feel they do more work than their counterparts on swing shift. The workload is somewhat imbalanced and weighted towards day shift, but I don’t put much into that fact. Each shift does the same type of work, but operate completely different in order to accomplish their tasks at hand.

Within each shift, there is quite a bit of infighting to a degree. For example a few nights ago a co-worker we will call George complained to me about the lack of support and how he had to work harder, answering radio calls and telephones when working across from another co-worker we will call Frank. Well, wouldn’t you know it, the next night Frank has to stay late due to “operational needs” and when things slow down he stands up and says, “I like George, he’s a good guy. But he is still rather new and not up to speed on the operation. I have to answer his phones and radio calls.” I had to hold back my smile and laugh internally. Now these two co-workers will have an NFG to train shortly, an empty skirt from a now defunct department that was centralized.

I hear the ripping of duct tape over and over as I wrap my head tighter and tighter. I just don’t see how this company stays in business, I really don’t. I know I have said it before, but when [not if, see my positive thinking] I leave I will NEVER support or use this company. They do not deserve my business or yours, for those of you who know the line of work I am in.

The Ugly Side of Germany 2006

With all great events, such as the 2006 World Cup, there is always a downside. I am still trying to decide what has taken away from the matches more, the commentary on ESPN or the officiating. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited I can lay claim to watch every match so far. For those not into footie, I guess it could be about as exciting as watching paint dry or grass grow. Nonetheless, it has been a very entertaining World Cup so far.

Let’s start with the commentary on ESPN. Let me preface this by saying, soccer [here in the US] is something we are not good at. When I say we, I mean Americans. There is very little coverage of the so-called “professional” league, which continues to loose money and does not draw fans like other, international leagues, like Serie A in Italy, Bundesliga in Germany or the Premiership in England. So with that said, the commentary has been horrible outside of Adrian Healey and Tommy Smyth. Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear their commentary much.

Let’s single out the studio “expert” Eric Wynalda. This guy comes off as a real arrogant, all knowing asshole! Sure he played for the US team and is still the leading goal scorer [which isn’t saying much], but in studio he has some weak takes and never seems to stray far from mentioning something about US Soccer. Julie Foudy is another one, while not arrogant does not add a damn thing to any of the coverage. She isn’t attractive, doesn’t have any valid points, expect for being the Captain of the Woman’s US Soccer Team. I told you how weak the professional league is in the US? Well women’s soccer is even lower than men’s. Sorry Julie but get off my television!

Game coverage has been good, if you want to watch it, but again, tossing an ex-professional player in the booth with some unknown commentator does not provide for average coverage at best. And they are always bringing US soccer into the mix! Unlike Healey and Smyth, who bring a great knowledge and experience to the commentary, the other commentators seem to try too hard to “Americanize” this international game. You can hear this in the terminology used.

Not to be outdone, the officiating has been downright terrible. Although today’s France v Spain match was probably one of the better matches. The 2006 World Cup has set records for the number of yellow and red cards handed out. Remember no official is supposed to decide the outcome of the game. Hell, as I wrote a few weeks ago, we should not know the name of ANY official on the pitch!

I understand the officials needing to keep the match moving and maintaining control of the players on the pitch. But that does not mean dropping yellow cards for every infraction. You can tell the good officials from the bad. Those officials who whistle a player for committing a foul, quickly administering a verbal warning and then play continues. You can keep control of the game without handing out a record number of cards.

Even with those two areas receiving criticism in my book, I have been very pleased with the 2006 World Cup. The games have been entertaining and great to watch. I look forward to 2010 when FIFA goes to South Africa. This gives me time to draw up plans to attend. I have connections in South Africa, believe it or not.

Oh and before I forget FORZA ITALY!

Could you be an American?

As we approach the 4th of July, it’s time to reflect and think about what makes the USA such a great and desirable country to live in. It’s a time for patriotism to shine, a time to celebrate our independence [from Great Britain] as a country, thanks to great men like Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson wrote a “fair” draft, presented it to Congress who made some revisions and on July 2, 1776. It was July 4, 1776 that the document known as the Declaration of Independence was adopted.

If you are not from this country, then chances are you don’t know any of this country’s history, such as the drafting and signing of the Declaration of Independence. Tonight, while driving into work, listening to 98 Rock out of Sacto, Craig “the dogface boy” was talking about a quiz on MSNBC. The test is titled, “Could you pass the U.S. Citizenship test?” Thankfully it is presented in ENGLISH, which ALL immigrants should learn [but don’t have too, unfortunately] in order to be a citizen. The test is similar to any high school civics class, and if you know anything about U.S. history, then you would have no problems passing.

I took the 20 question quiz and passed with a 95%, yeah I missed one question. The questions are selected from a pool of 100 [see the question pool here], which would require any would be citizen to study prior to applying and taking the test. So take the test and let me know, do you belong in the U.S.?

How Gay Am I?

Weekends are the worst to drive home from work at 5:30am in the morning, Sunday especially. So surfing though the dial yesterday I find the local co-op station, Live 105.3 playing some 80’s song, you know one of those catchy synth type tunes. The station does a quick stinger with it’s call sign, which I mistook for “K.” Uh, okay. Well listening a bit longer the station is ‘K GAY’ that I guess bought the airtime for this weekend due to a Gay Pride gathering in the San Francisco area.

Regardless of an event where people need to celebrate their sexuality, the station was actually playing some great, classic 80s music. Stuff I don’t even hear on some of the all 80’s stations. The word refreshing came to mind. Gay, but refreshing. The commercials were also gay oriented and pretty damn hilarious. So with that in mind, just how gay am I?

It doesn’t matter how gay I am, I will still tune into K GAY on the way home this morning for some 80’s music. My last thought, “only in San Francisco would this happen.” I guess this station goes hand in hand with the ‘Are you Gay?’ billboard located off I-80E just before you get on the Bay Bridge. Again, only in San Francisco.