Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Tornado Sirens Go Off...this time around. The Buick Fires Up!

Sunny, Cold, and Windy....that's the conditions that face us this morning, after another rough night in middle America...meanwhile 170 some dead in the south, after a massive storm and tornado outbreak.  Say a prayer for those folks.

Yesterday after the morning downpours had canceled yet another round of baseball in our neck of the woods...I spent most of the day cleaning around the house, or on to the garage, to continue my slow progress in getting the 1977 Buick back in road ready shape...more on that later.  Last night  I was sitting in my leather chair, watching the completion of the first round of NHL Stanley Cup.  Boston defeated Montreal in OT, and Tampa Bay shut out the Pittsburgh "Penqueens" 1-0...both teams move on in the East, with Boston taking on my Philly Flyers in second round action.  As that ended, my house phone rings, and my baseball assigner from our Southwest, Top of Ohio Association, is on the other end.  He wants to know if I still have Friday open, after my cancellation at Spencerville.  "Sure do" was my response...so if the fields dry off, I will be at Indian Lake High School for a league game with rival Ben Logan tomorrow.  He also assigned me a game in Bellefountaine on May 11th, right in the middle of the tournament season, and the day before our scheduled Mushroom Hunt to Boyne Mountain, Michigan.  So that fills up my schedule..everyday, except Sundays, and more rain outs, right up through May 17th.  My calender is now "X"ed out through that date.

When done with Eric, I was set to head for bed, but decided to check the Weather Channel before turning in for the night...and was glad I did.  A severe thunderstorm had moved into the southwest part of Mercer County, and a warning had been issued...several seconds later, that warning was upgraded to a Tornado Warning, so upstairs I went to wake my wife.  After the events of last week, when the city sirens failed to sound, this time they got it right.  Two times the sound went wailing into the dark.  Lucky for Celina, the storm(which I tracked on WHIO Channel 7 Radar), passed just to the west and north of the city.  So, along with Patricia who had gotten up to head to the basement, I headed to the sack for some shut eye.  Fierce winds and rain pounding on the windows would wake me up at around 2:30am...another storm, minus the lightning show and tornadoes, had come a calling...but with no sirens, I went back to sleep.  This morning, the storms are gone, replaced by strong north winds, some sun, and cold temperatures in the 30s, with wind chills in the teens.

Brother Mike, bringing mom back from Florida...they left Naples yesterday, and probably should have waited another 24 hours.  I called this morning, and they had made it past Atlanta last night...with the savage storms all around, they made it towards Tennessee before stopping.  They will continue the drive home today, and should be back in Celina by nightfall.

The Buick Roars to Life_____

Writing the past few days about the renewed attempts to get my 77 Buick Landau back on the road....yesterday saw a big step forward, as well as a small step back.

When a vehicle has been sitting for nearly 6 years, no matter the condition you parked it in, it is going to have issues..especially sitting for various lengths of time, either outdoors in the west Ohio weather extremes, or inside an non temperature controlled garage(no A/C~no Heat).  The Buick has some "issues".  However, determined to get it road worthy while making plans to sell the 1998 Jeep Wrangler, I pressed forward yesterday.  Purchasing several bottles of "engine magic" at Wally World, I headed home determined to get the engine up and running...it had turned over, and fired the day before, but refused to run and idle....yesterday was to be different.

I poured a couple of bottles of engine clean out, gas drying agents, and fuel injector cleaner, into the mammoth gas tank.  Then I went to work on the carburetor...a healthy dose of cleaner into that...I would let those sit for a few hours, so I headed back into the house, did some light cleaning, and ran the Kirby over the indoor throw rugs, floors, and the indoor/outdoor carpet on the front porch...meanwhile the Red/Brewers game was on the tube in the background.  By the time the Reds won on a 10th inning home run by Drew Stubbs...I figured it was time to "fire up" the Buick...so I headed back to the garage.

The "Engine Magic" had done it's job....the smelly concoction of fumes rose up and out the open doors of my large 2 1/2 car garage...the engine, with just 61,350 miles on it finally started up, although not without a fight...a few hits on the gas peddle, and the garage and my lungs were filled with the heavy smoke coming off an engine, rebuilt a few hundred miles before....the idle held, and I was pleased at the results of my work thus far...I'm guessing about $1000 will get the Buick back in good running shape...the dent repair and the small bondo work on the hood, will take longer. 

The small setback came when I noticed a dishcloth size spot of "fluid" on the garage floor, under the driver's side door...I suspected brake fluid...and with Patricia now home, I had her check the shop towel laying on the floor, where the leak was spotted.   When I pumped the brake pedal...after a few pumps, she confirmed I indeed did have a brake line leak...not a big set back, there are bound to be some hoses and lines needing replaced before the Land Yacht is back on the highway.  With Patricia's newly purchased Dodge Nitro,  and me now driving the Montana, I still want at least one reliable back up car....and one that I can use, no just for display or summer only short trips...The Buick has been to Canada with Sam...a little work, it can be a semi classic, and driven daily if necessary.  A orphan form Obammy's Cash for Clunkers Program will get back on the highway..and the Kenyan and his environmental loons can shove their complaints where the sun never shines.

Time and my patience will tell...

back later>>>>

Photos-The Palm Sunday Tornado outbreak in the Midwest in 1965 hits Goshen, Indiana...no baseball for the last week, rains have put a damper on the season.  And the Buick is one step closer to being back on the road...the gas guzzling engine fired up yesterday and ran on command.

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