Saturday, August 22, 2009

It's 2am, and I just can't sleep.

I've always dealt with depression. I know I've mentioned it here before. I know I've always dealt with it, in some good ways, and in some bad. Tonight's not a good night. I haven't had a truly bad night in a long while but tonight, tonight is bad. I'm worrying myself sick over things I can't change. Either the money will be there, or it won't. Either the wedding bills will get paid, or they won't. I know worrying myself sick over it won't change a thing, but it's still 2am and I still can't sleep.

I took a risk, I've taken more risks in recent memory then I have in all my 22.5 preceding years. All that risk is starting to take a toll on my spirit. I'm tired, sick of fighting to keep the bills paid and tired of worrying that I might not make it this month.

I know I'll keep plodding, but it really hurts to know that this is all I have to look forward to. Debt, and the ever present worry that maybe I took one risk too many and I'm not going to make it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rear Wiper's Done!

I feel like bragging. It's stupid, juvenile but dammit it's mine and it makes me feel good, a feeling that has been absent all too frequently of late.

I fixed it. Me. With my own two hands, some luck, and my God given 290lb frame aided by leverage and penetrating oil.

Let me elaborate. Years ago a friend managed to burn out the rear wiper motor on my fiancee's 99 Subaru Legacy Outback. When we looked at parts it rapidly became apparent that the cost of a new motor was out of reach. Several hundred for the part, plus installation. Fast forward a year to the Auburn Pick n' Pull. I found several Subaru's with intact (hopefully working) rear wiper motors. I pulled one and took it home. Figured out how to get the assembly apart and then back together. I flicked the switch and all I got was "click", "click", "click" of the motor struggling to turn. I knew the motor was good, but something else was wrong.

I struggled with alignment, and bolts, and the like for a few days and finally gave up in frustration convinced I was missing some vital piece of information. I then purchased the manual for the car only to be told, by said manual, that the "replacement" for the motor was to replace the entire assembly. Great.

So I walked away for a few days, let things percolate. Then, I decided to remove the assembly from the tailgate and take it to a shop to be diagnosed. Maybe the techs at the dealer would be able to tell me what I was missing. So, I began to take the rear wiper assembly apart. First the cover, then the retaining nut, and arm. One universal constant began to emerge. Rust. It was everywhere, the entire assembly had set into a solid block of rust. I began to have a theory. What if it was not the assembly that was misaligned, what if it was simply rusted together! So, I removed the new motor and the gear and level inside of the assembly leaving only the small toothed gear that connected to the arm. I removed the locking nut and with pliers, luck, and a fair amount of penetrating oil I got the arm off the shaft. Then I stopped, I was staring at a 22mm nut and my biggest wrench was 19mm. So, after asking to local parts store for loaner tools, they had nothing that big, I got creative.

A big pair of pliers, even more penetrating oil, and some elbow grease later and the nut moved, just a bit, then a bit more, then freely. I checked inside the assembly and the little toothed gear moved as well. Victory!

I re-assembled the interior, put the arm back on, tightened the whole mess down, and hit the switch. it moved! In the wrong direction. I was wiping my license plate.

So, I turned the switch off, noting that the motor returned to the "start" position on it's own. I repositioned the arm thinking things were just mis-aligned. Tightened everything back down, and hit the switch again. Still wiping the license plate. Things were 180 degrees backwards. I was stumped. I knew I had put everything back right.

So, I walked away, wandered inside and lamented to The Missus that I was so close, but backwards. She looked up from her laptop and with the most flippant of tone said "Do you have the motor in backwards?" I stopped in my tracks, as if hit between the eyes.

It was really that simple.

Gotta love the woman.

Ok, let's try this again

Life has gotten hectic lately. I seem to be saying that a lot, and it's all true. But I'm taking steps to get things back in balance, and with some luck get moving in the right direction.

I've been off my diet for months, and the weight has come back. Not entirely, but close. I'm not happy with that at all. I've also gotten so wrapped up in side work that I'm forgetting, or forfeiting, my exercise to get other things done. That stops today.

I'm also back on Fit Day and I've set myself a much more reasonable weight goal, over a much longer span of time.

I've ordered The Naked Warrior, a book on body weight exercises for strength training. My reasoning is simple, I do not have the consistent motivation to drive to R.I.T. three+ times a week to work out. I need a program that requires little to no equipment, and that I can do anywhere, anytime, on a moments notice. Body weight exercises are the only thing that fits that bill.

I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about Judo, and if I want to get back to competing. I've decided I do. Going to the Pennsylvania Open, and two club tournaments and getting pinned or thrown every match hurt my pride, a lot. It also made me question the worth of competing in light of the cost incurred. There was a long while when I simply did not think it was worth my time to compete, given that I felt a loss was a sure thing. I still don't think I'm ready, but the only way to find out is to try. I'm debating going back to Saunders BJJ to get more ground work training as that is a HUGE weakness in my game. Time, and money, will tell.

Lastly, cars. I've been fixing up the 96 Honda Civic, and the 99 Subaru Outback. I've learned a ton, spent a fair amount of money on parts and tools, but most importantly I've rediscovered a love of working with my hands that has lain dormant for far too long. There is a sense of accomplishment when you fix something tangible, physical, that there simply is no digital analog for. It's a good feeling.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Maybe I'm Wrong

But I doubt it.

I have often wondered why the unpopular opinion is viewed as wrong, simply because it's unpopular. I grew up privileged. I had a stable home life, food, clothes, and a solid education, things I know not everyone has. But I refuse, simply and adamantly refuse, to cut people slack because they did not grow up with those same "privileges". It's not my background, or my family, or my race, class, or checkbook that got me where I am today. It's me, I got me to where I am today.

I did not have to graduate, I could have dropped out, but I knew I needed to graduate. I could have gotten someone pregnant, but I didn't. I could have gotten into crime, drugs, and violence but I did not. I did not have to go to college, but I chose to. I did not have to spend week after week, night after sleepless night, busting my ass till I graduated. But I did. Why? Because I knew it was the right thing to do.

I hate it when people who did the right thing make excuses for those who didn't. I did not get anyone pregnant, so why should I pay for your kid? You want a better job? Then work for it. Earn it. Maybe if you work, and scrimp, and save then your kids will have a better life then you, and then maybe if they do the same their kids will have a better life then they had. That's how it works. It sucks, it's hard.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Still Here

Still engaged.

"The Talk" turned out to be much less dramatic then it could have been. Which is good.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's been awhile....


I know this has lain dormant for awhile. Truth be told writing is therapeutic to me, and so I tend to write when things are bad. Things have been good. Too good I guess.

I've tended to keep my personal life, and the lives of those around me, off the net. It's not paranoia as much as it is good common sense. Yet I'm going to stretch that rule a little bit because I need to write.

As I said life has been good, The Missus got a new car when her old car ran into some mechanical problems, problems I was able to fix. So now we have a spare car, which is a good feeling, and if I can get her fixed up we hope to sell it for a fair chunk of change. We won a free vacation, and ended up buying new cookware, that oddly enough came with a free cruise. I'm basically caught up on bills, and have even begun to put a little away. Not much, but a bit. The Missus got a job, and with the added income I should be able to start clawing our way out of debt. It was a good feeling. Wedding planning is almost done, and the honeymoon is planned and the down payment has been paid.

Things fell apart today though. Well, it started last night. What should have been a minor tiff blew up in my face. The resulting fight continued until today and resulted in The Missus and I needing to have a talk. A talk about if we want to keep trying to make things work, or not. I can't say I'm surprised. I started a post a few months ago on a similar subject, and the resulting fight, but never published it. I guess we will see if I'm still engaged tomorrow. I hope I will be, but I've grown awfully tired of living on hope and credit.