I’ve Gotta Get This Done


I’ve always admired people who can compartmentalize.  Whether it is an act of laziness on my part or genetics I cannot say. For a good part of my 63 years, it was an on-going battle between my father and myself. We are so different in that regard I had to wonder if the milk man was involved somehow. Is this genetics or a learned trait?

I remember reading one of Lex’s old posts, one in which he gives a brief bio of himself, and he mentions that he is a graduate of a trade school.

Besides having a great self-deprecating sense of humor (and after all, is he wrong?) I would suspect that particular trade school, and its 2 sisters, will instill in its graduates an ability to compartmentalize and maximize each sliver of time to its full advantage.

But did Lex have this trait before or did this school teach him?

The car you see above, a first generation Toyota MR2, is a car that is 29 years old, and I have enjoyed it for 26 of those years. I have described it as being a large go-cart. It is fun to drive and gets 30 mpg in the process. I’ve driven it 325,000 miles.

Anyway the dog, a.k.a. Mr. Tobus and I are going to the supermarket a few weeks ago and suddenly and without  warning, the car will not allow me to shift gears.

IMG_4495  Mr. Tobus


Good thing I had the AAA Premier, giving me up to 200 miles of free towing although I was about a mile from my house. And that car was not going anywhere on its own.

So the car goes on the flat bed, Mr Tobus and I are in the front seat of the truck, and they push the car into the garage.

Where it has been the last 3 weeks, on jackstands.

This is a job I have been dreading, as I did it once before – just a short 70,000 miles ago. I had the engine replaced and while it (and the transaxle (a combination transmission and differential) was out, had a transmission shop replace the synchronizers. Only when the car was reassembled, I could see no evidence of new synchronizers (which with their then-current state I would hear 2nd gear grind whenever I shifted).

Anyway to avoid going on another long (and boring) tangent I had to pull out the thing myself and take it to the shop so they could repair it properly. Which, I can admire the professional mechanics who have the tools (including a lift) and the skill to do this quickly. They might take an hour to do this – the first time I did it was 3 weeks of on and off wrestling.

Anyway I was going to do it a few days ago, fell on my bike avoiding a car and managed to sprain my wrist. This trying to keep a healthy lifestyle is going to kill me.

Not good for turning tight bolts…

So I decided to use that day, with the sore wrist, to map out a route for my car club. This route is up in the California Gold Country – it was a beautiful day – 80 degrees.

Before you in the Midwest and East get jealous with our drought we’d gladly give you some of our heat for some of your precipitation.  (On my trip to San Diego a few weeks ago – down I5 – I saw a lot of dead orchards – look for your grocery bill to go up).

Anyway, I took my other old car, an 18 year old Mercedes-Benz SL on the mapping drive.  I was thinking of taking the hardtop off in anticipation of the warm weather, but there was too much MR2 all over the garage.

Everyone who could take their top off that day had their top off.

Including a young woman in a Mazda Miata with the license plate frame stating “When it’s hot I take my top off”.

Along the road up in the foothills I spotted someone driving one of these



and had to smile about a story involving the late Dr Ferdinand “Ferry” Porsche – the son of the founder, also Ferdinand. Story was at a Porsche Club national Concours, Porsche was visiting and an exhibitor was proud of his early 911, with virtually no miles on it. The car looked as new (actually better than new if you expect to win at a concours these days).

He proudly showed Porsche his car and Porsche reportedly was not impressed.

“My cars were meant to be driven” he supposedly said.

I am sure that wherever Porsche is these days he would smile at this fellow with his 60 year old car. I flashed my lights and waved, and he returned the wave.

Anyway, 170 miles later I got home with the route mapped.

Today my wrist is feeling better, I decide “this is the day” but remember I have to attend to something critical to getting my taxes finished.

Decided it is better to keep the IRS off my back than work on the car, so I go downtown, take care of business, and on the way back a critical receipt flies out the open window on the freeway onramp.

I am debating whether it is worth going back, parking the car along the side of the onramp and look for this and decide to do it.

I managed to park it off to the side, it is starting to rain, but the mystery receipt is right at my feet. A bit soaked but after drying still readable.

Tomorrow will be the day.


I guess that is the difference between those who are organized and the rest of us.

For them, there is no “hopefully”.

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