Saturday, February 19, 2005

Limitations...

So, due to limitations with Blogger, any new posts to this blog can be found at my new site, Insecure Rock Star. Feel free to visit there while the site is still under construction.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

What Have I Got Myself Into, or Engine Repair 101

I don't know what possessed me to do it. Maybe it was the liquor speaking....

...but right now I've got a 1994 Plymouth Acclaim parked in my garage, the engine in pieces.

Removing the valve covers and intake manifold...


I'm not a mechanic...I don't ever pretend to be one. When I turned 18, I received a 36 piece tool set for my birthday, which hadn't been opened until this week...I've never changed my own oil, or ever had to change a tire...I leave that to the professionals. So, how did I get myself into this situation?....well, it started like this...

Last summer, a friend of mine was selling his car...he was moving, and didn't need it, as he had recently bought a new one. I offered to buy it, as it was dirt cheap...plus, I was having some repairs done to my vehicle, and as it turned out, buying his car was cheaper than renting one for the week.

When the repairs were done, I continued to drive this vehicle, because it was, in my opinion, a pretty decent car for having nearly 200k miles on it....the engine seemed sound, and there wasn't any serious body damage, outside of the occasional ding, or dent, but nothing that would indicate that said car was over 10 years old....

When a friend of mine returned from the reserves this fall, she was looking for a car to buy....so, reluctantly, I decided to sell. She was a single parent who didn't have transportation, and I felt that she needed transportation more than I needed to have a spare car...I made a deal, and she drove off, happy.

Unfortunately, within about 6 weeks of owning the car, it blew a head gasket....the car sat outside in subzero temperatures for about a month before it found it's way back to my garage.

Guiltily, I offered to help fix the vehicle....so, we went out and bought a rebuild kit from Carquest, a couple of jackstands and a Chilton's book on engine repair....

Now the car is jacked up in my rental garage...the engine is resting on a couple of phone books...we finally made it down to the cylinder heads after two days of pulling, pushing and grunting...I now look at the mess in my garage and wonder if:

#1. Will we be able to identify and return all the parts, nuts, screws and bolts back to their proper location?

and...

#2. Will the vehicle actually start up and run when were finished?

Reaching the cylinder heads...

So far only 1 1/2 cases of beer have been consumed in the process....

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Big Fat Comeback "Show"....

Upon the recommendation of a friend of mine, I participated in the open mic show at the Chatterbox Pub yesterday....

It's been almost 9 years since I performed an entire show consisting of original material in front of an audience, so not much has changed from the set list in that period of time....yeah, I've written a lot of new songs, but none that I'm terribly comfortable performing yet....so, I stuck with the old tried and true favorites...."John Tesh"...."Just Get Him"...."Juliana Hatfield"..."Holiday Inn Massacre"....and a handful of reliable covers, including Young MC's "Bust a Move."

I expected to play only about 15 minutes, for which I was adequately prepared....however, due to the fact that I was one of only two people playing last night, I ended up performing for a little over an hour. It was a little rough at first, I had already consumed 88 oz of beer, plus I'm not used to not hearing myself in a monitor, so that added to the confusion....I couldn't really hear my guitar, so I didn't know if I was singing in key, or not...according to those in the know, I sounded fine.

I did forget a few chords, and some lyrics, but like I said, I wasn't prepared to play as long as I did. Overall, it was exhilirating...and as open mic occurs every Tuesday, I expect to be down there for the next few weeks fine tuning my sound, and adding new songs to the mix....Feel free to visit the Chatterbox to see me develop my big drunk show....

Reposted from my MySpace site.


Saturday, February 05, 2005

Tooth Part Tooth.

There's a knock knock joke I tell my kids every once in a while...it goes like this:

Knock Knock
Who's there?
Duluth...
Duluth who?
Duluth tooth in my mouth is making it hard to talk..

So, anyways, I mentioned some time ago that I was to get some dental work....well...in true j eastman fashion, even that got effed up.

Now I have to see a specialist. Yep. Apparently, it seems that the root of my tooth is broken off, and the now the whole thing may have to be extracted. Or not. Nobody knows. Not until I see the specialist. That's more than a month away.

So, in the mean time, whatever remained of my previously damaged tooth has been sawed completely off....gone. However, the dentist did give me a "temporary" crown. She advised me not to eat solid food, because this temporary tooth isn't really attached to anything....there really isn't anything to glue it to, so basically it's being held in place by sheer will power. But not really. She expressed concerns about decay and advised me not to use superglue...or duct tape to keep it from falling out.

She recommended a liquid diet. I tried to get a doctors note so I could drink at work, but she laughed, thinking that I was joking.

I wasn't.

So, now the loose tooth in my mouth is making it hard to talk. And eat. And sleep.

It hasn't, however, affected my drinking. So, in the words of Paul Westerberg, "All I really want is beer for breakfast". And lunch. And dinner.






Monday, January 31, 2005

Wrong

Maybe it's just me, but I think there's something wrong with the fact that the pizza delivery guy drives a nicer, more expensive car than I...Coincidentally blaring the absolute worst music, which was emanating from what was most likely a very expensive audio system*.

Yesterday, the Dominos pizza guys showed up delivering pizzas in an Audi A6.



*When the temperature gets below freezing, my CD player won't accept CD's until it's warmed up. I guess I deserve that for buying my car stereo at a garage sale.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Dell

Oh so many years ago, when I was in the military, one of my best friends and drinking buddies was Dell....We'd hang all the time, despite the fact that we didn't have a whole lot in common...I mean, well...we didn't like the same music by a long shot, though he was kind enough to let me drag him to several shows in those days and put up with my drunk ass...

...When I started really getting into playing music, I'll have to say, Dell was one of the people who really pushed me into it...in the early days, when I was doing open mic's around San Diego and eventually getting booked into the Innerchange, he'd come up and sing harmonies on a handful of songs, like "Sabrina", "Alright" and our cover of Husker Du's "Never Talking to You"....he was also my designated heckler, which added to the fun. Testify!!

Anyways, I got out of the military......however, Dell is still in, serving in Afghanistan, bless him....today he sent me these pix of him:



...and....


Hurry back, Dell....I've got cold beer waitin' in the fridge....

Reposted from my Myspace site.

Friday, January 21, 2005

...and then?

Ever since I can remember, I've been a fan of the Minnesota Vikings....That goes all the way back to when the team played in the old Met Stadium, now commonly referred to as the Mall of America.

Over the years, I've been chided over my choice in teams....over and over I've been told, "Oh, they'll start off strong, but they'll never make it to the finish line."

It's a little depressing to now admit that they might be right.

In the 80's, I felt the Vikings were probably the best team in the NFL, but, because of bad luck, or bad calls, they never won the Superbowl. "Two-minute" Tommy Kramer is, at least in my mind, one of the most underrated quarterbacks to have ever played the game. I thought it was great that he routinely showed up to games half-crocked (I bet he was a PBR guy)...it wasn't 'til he was forced to dry out that his game actually began to suffer. Then he got his kicks by taking out mailboxes with a baseball bat.....at least that's my theory behind the mystery "numbness" in his thumb that plagued him in those final games.

When Wilson took over for quarterback in the mid to late 80's, like everyone else, I could see his potential, however, I always thought that third stringer Rich Gannon would be the guy to take the team to a win. Of course, the argument was that he was young, and inexperienced...but I thought he was one of the few that played the game as though he cared....I lamented as year after year Gannon sat on the sidelines, not really doing anything with his time except for holding the clipboard for Coach Burns....Rich was eventually traded to Kansas City late in his career to become one of the top rated starters...1999 he was signed as a free agent by the Raiders. He went to the Pro Bowl in his first year as a Raider, and again in 2000 and 2001, both times becoming the Pro Bowl MVP. Gannon was named the NFL MVP after a record-setting 2002 season, which helped the Raiders get to Super Bowl 37 (which they ended up losing, but I digress)......alas, the Vikings never seemed to realize his abilities.

One of the worst management decisions for the Vikings was the trade for Herschel Walker in exchange for 5 first round draft picks....Walker, obtained from the Cowboys didn't do anything for Minnesota's running game...meanwhile, the Cowboys became the team to beat in the '90's. Ironically, Walker ended up being traded back to the Cowboys....The Vikings paid for that blunder for several years.

We've had some outstanding players in the past few years...Anthony Carter, Chris Carter, Robert Smith, Chris Culpepper, and ...... uh...reluctantly, and embarassingly ...Randy Moss....but the Vikings could never really seem to get their act together...they always seem to fall apart in the last half of nearly every game...I don't know if this is some sort of curse, but it's very discouraging....

...In fact, it's become apparent to me that for the past several years, they start out with a bang, and fizzle to the finish....it's troubles me that this is the routine now...pretty much expected and accepted. I can't blame the coach...Mike Tice seems to be fairly grounded...I just doubt it's in the cards for the Vikings to ever pull out of this rut.

So, I'm currently considering finding a new favorite team to get behind....I'm tired of constantly being frustrated, then drinking myself into a stupor over things I can't control....I have enough trouble keeping up with drinking myself into a stupor over the things I CAN control...

...feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments box....