Turn to Channel 40


Seriously.  Drop whatever you’re doing, get to a SiriusXM radio, turn to station number 40, and crank that shit up to eleven (0r a reasonable facsimile, three past “uncomfortably loud”).  If you’re a diehard Metallica fan like myself, you’ve been there for a while already, for sure over a week.  Their new album is coming out, and they’ve taken over the station.  If you’re a diehard metal fan, you’re probably used to being there anyways, as 40 is usually Liquid Metal.  As you may have already guessed, I’ve been in the shop for the last ten days or so, making progress, rocking out, and depriving myself of both writing time and sleep.


I started listening to heavy metal in about the fifth grade. Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Slayer, etc.  Up until that point, I was actually a big Alice Cooper fan.  My first cassette was Alice Cooper’s Greatest Hits, while my first CD was Metallica’s self-titled Black Album.  That jewel case is so used and abused, that the cover almost looks frosted, but it still plays perfectly after all these years.  I can only imagine how many miles it has on it, not even counting the copy I have permanently embedded on the flash drive that lives in the car.


Longest I’ve ever driven for a concert?  You bet, Metallica.  They played in Edmonton when they were filming the movie a few years ago.  I left home at noon on Saturday, checked into the hotel, took a cab to the concert, took a cab back to the hotel from the concert, and was home by noon again Sunday.  The show was pretty incredible, but I don’t recall there being any footage from the Edmonton show used in the movie.  Over the course of the night, I caught three guitar picks, and a giant black beach ball.


When the show was over, it was pandemonium.  There were people and cars everywhere.  I knew it’d be a while before a cab would become available, so I went to the bar across the street, The Whiskey Rock.  What did I do with the beach ball, you may ask?  Let the air out of it and stuck it down the front of my pants, of course.  Once inside, they played nothing but 90’s grunge, punk rock, and metal, and drinks were stupid cheap.  I managed to put away a Corona every ten minutes for two hours, and half a tray of Porn Star shots.  The only downside of this whole trip?  I never drove an old vehicle…  Next time.  Gotta make Hetfield proud. (The picture of his bucket is a screen cap from YouTube, by the way.  Gotta give credit, right?)


Early Bird gets the Caffeine


Yesterday, my alarm clock went off at 4:00am.  Normally, I’d be going to bed at 4:00am on a Saturday morning, or doing a “walk of shame” across a city or something.  Yesterday was different, however, so different that I thought my alarm clock was broken.  I bought it off eBay, in case you’re wondering.  It has a hard driven built in, and two speakers, allowing me to wake up to “Regular People” by Pantera any day of the week.  If you’re reading this, you need one.


I managed to get out the door by 5:15am, not leaving the house until I heard the train go by.  No one wants to start their day waiting for a train, right?  At the crossing, there were what appeared to be four random puddles, most people may not even take notice.  Knowing how I grew up, this was definitely the result of a truck full of young guys headed home, and when they had to stop for the train anyways, they multi-tasked with a much-needed piss-break.  The human body can only hold so much beer…  I never did see another vehicle in the first eighty miles of my journey.  It was a balmy one-degree above freezing, and the Northern Lights were dancing really nice, even spotted a shooting star (or a crashing UFO).


Our journey started in Weyburn at 8:00am, and I managed to get there right on time, partially thanks to the five cups of coffee I’d already had.  We jumped in the ’38 Ford Sedan, and we were off to meet the other car a few miles South.  What a great car that sedan is.  350 Chevy automatic, Mustang II front end, and the cushiest seats a guy could ask for.  I never took my wallet out of my back pocket, as I never noticed it was back there the whole trip.  We met up with the little green ’28 Model A Sedan, headed out across the border into North Dakota, and looked for a change of scenery.  First stop was a photo opportunity descending into a valley.  The view was cool, but I was more impressed with all the empty beer cans and full piss jugs, myself.  People stop here a lot apparently.


Next stop: Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  It’s all really weird, hollow sandstone.  There’s stuff slid all over the place, bison roaming around, and neat spherical boulders.  The views are pretty crazy, as well.  There’s hiking trails, but I’m not confident anyone gets out once they get down in there.


Our lunch stop was in Watford City at Siggy’s Sandwich.  It’s a neat old service station turned into a restaurant.  I had a Santa Fe Salad, and everyone else had a sandwich.  The pulled pork looked pretty amazing, and if you’re into it, I suggest you check this place out.  With the exchange rate, it’s likely a $20.00 lunch, but it’s pretty worth it.  Don’t forget to look for the “NSSR” tag I left of the blackboard gumball machine in chalk, that I apparently forgot to take a picture of…


After that, we headed to the Fairview Lift Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel.  There’s tons of history on it if you give it a Google sometime.  I took a ton of pictures, up to and including the creative graffiti, and a spot in the middle of the tunnel where kids obviously party.  There were some wooden pallets and some decent sized logs stacked there untouched, so I assume events were to transpire in the not-so-distant future.


Our last stop before crossing the border was in Williston to drop off a calendar at the new home of a car that left our club.  It looks as good as ever, and the new owner is pretty happy with it, as well (not to mention he’s a cool guy).  What was the point of this trip?  It was a sunny day in November with no snow.  They’re hot rods, we’re hotrodders, and you just have to drive them when you can.  I got to bed at 2:00am, after a tall-can Monster and two Rockstars between Williston and home.  Not a bad twenty-two-hour day at all.




An Addition, Not an Invention


I made a thing.  What looks like a bandana wrapped around a dog clip with a snap installed, is in fact just that.  That’s it.  Took five minutes, tops.  What it’s composed of is not the cool part, however, as its purpose is what I made it for.  You know how golfers carry those little towels with their initials embroidered into them?  Like that, but so much cooler.

I’ve spent a good portion of my life in the middle of mosh pits.  I prefer my music loud, hard, fast, and angry.  People need to dance, and a large circle pit is sometimes the only way for the masses to keep with the beat.  I’ve got quite the stack of ticket stubs, guitar picks, drum sticks, backstage passes, a Metallica beach ball, an Alice Cooper Billion Dollar Bill, and even a My Darkest Days “Casual Sex” condom.  Although not a career path I’d choose, roadies are some of the best dressed people I’ve ever met.  It takes an artist to perfect a hairstyle and wardrobe that looks just as good slept in for a week as it does fresh.  I don’t want to say I’ve nailed it quite yet, but I’m close…


I’ve noticed at a lot of metal shows, the roadies wear bandanas through their belt loops.  Some were just threaded through, while others had a grommet and a clip attached to the end.  They would wipe fingerprints off with them, clean their hands on them, wipe sweat off their faces, and even soak up spilled beer.  Talk about versatile!  The best part is, when it’s filthy, just leave it clipped on, and throw your jeans in the wash.  A mixture of blood, snot, and cocaine from an accidental backstage nosebleed?   Bring out the bandana!  Vomit containing mostly pills and whiskey?  Get a bandana in there, stat!  A semen-covered groupie?  A bandana, a shower, and the recommendation of a blood test!  It’s like a K-Tel miracle product, folks!

What does this have to do with hotrodding?  How about everything!  Old cars are always dirty, and in constant need of attention.  Engine oil, ATF, gear oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, grease, mud, bug guts, etc.  All of that can now be wiped on the roadie rag instead of your pant leg or sock!  How about after dark, when you’re drowning your sorrows, or celebrating a day well spent?  Again, literally any human fluid can quickly be mopped up with the roadie rag.  Next time you see me, I’ll be wearing it, and my hands will be clean.  I wouldn’t say the same for the modified bandana, though…


Buyer’s Remorse Turned Décor


I often wonder why I buy some of the crap that I buy.  If you’re a regular reader of this whole mess, you’re either into old cars or substance abuse, so you can relate, I’m sure.  I’ve recently sold the odd thing that I don’t need, such as parts for projects I no longer have, but then there’s the really bad stuff.  That includes anything that is totally useless, yet totally awesome.  The carburetor and intake combo in the picture is exactly that, one of “the bad ones”.

I found it on eBay about ten years back.  The description was vague, the photos were Polaroids that had been scanned, and the guy had about twenty feedback.  As you may have guessed, I bought it on price.  When it arrived, the carbs and intake had been chromed, and were heavily pitted.  The carburetors matched, but were incomplete, and the linkage was a joke.  I bummed a float needle out of one carb once for a different Carter, but other than that, it’s nothing more than wall art.  The scoops?  They’re obviously the product of the universe paying me back for a lousy carb and intake purchase.  They weren’t listed correctly, and I wasn’t even looking for them at the time, so one stink bid and they were mine.  The chrome is in similar shape, and they look just deadly on there.

One day, I’ll mount this setup on a small block for display purposes only.  All I need is a pair of tall, 60’s SBC valve covers with the right patina, and some grubby old chromed zoomie headers.  Have you bought something ridiculous that turned out to be pretty cool in the end?  Don’t hesitate to tell me about it, after all,  I confessed.  Didn’t even have to bust out the intervention banner and chairs, this time anyways…