Tag Archives: drag racing

Racing Season

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Racing season has begun for us!

Last Saturday was Buick Day at Lebanon Valley Dragway.

Paul came in second!  Hooray!

And so begin my pit crew chief duties.  In case you forgot… unlocking all the trailer doors, writing his dial-in number on the window, washing the bugs off the windsheild, following him in the ATV in case he needs to be towed, cheering him on.

It was also Paul’s birthday last weekend and we celebrated with one of his favorites:

Jumpin’ Jack’s for dinner! And cake for breakfast and cake after dinner….

And in case you wanted some knitting news…  My Puerto Montt is done!

Look how crazy it looks being blocked:

This was so fun to knit, seeing how the pattern with the striping yarn took shape.  A class at The Spinning Room this summer! (Soon to be scheduled)

And much progress has been made on my A Gentle Diversion scarf/shawl, but I’ll wait to show you the finished project.  I need some sort of hook to make you come back!

 

 

It Was Hot.

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A couple of weekends ago was Memorial Day and Musclepalooza at the track.  And I’ll tell you what: IT. WAS. HOT.

I pretty much melt when the hot weather comes, and I turn into a whiny, sweaty, kind of pain in the neck.  But this time, I really tried to rally because this event only comes twice a year, and this year we are not going to as many events as we usually do, so we have to make the ones we go to count.

So, we went and Paul got his time trials in:

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While he did that, I did my best to find a spot to sit with the ATV in the shade.  Because, it was really hot.

And I tried to knit on my What Alice Found with my fan:

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Didn’t really work, because it was too hot.

And, have I said it was hot?  It was.  So in between rounds we had to just sit still and drink beverages:

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And then, before Paul could even get his first elimination round in, at about 2:30pm, after a whole day and part of the afternoon of HOTness:

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And we all ended up in the trailer:

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“We” = Paul, me and the car.  After waiting for a while to see if it would stop, it didn’t, so the event was rained out.  And then it was nice and cool.  We’ll be back for the one in September.

In other news, the Doodlebugs’ mom had a birthday and we made her some Confetti Cookies from the Smitten Kitchen blog:

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They had so much fun and were so excited about giving them to her and wondering whether she would share the cookies with them.  So cute.  They were then extremely excited when I informed them we would have to taste-test them to make sure they were ok to give to her.  So we did that after having lunch al fresco:

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They are SO. YUMMY.  Mr. Doodlebug asked if maybe I might make them for their birthday.   Even if you don’t like sprinkles, you might like these because they get baked into the cookie and you don’t really taste them so much.  But what you do taste is a really great, tender and cakey butter cookie.  And they LOOK so festive.  And really, they are just really good. Go make some.

The Racing and The Celebrating

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It was Paul’s birthday last weekend so it was all about him.  On Saturday (his actual birthday) we went to the Buick/Olds/Pontiac Day at the race track.

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I had my usual pit crew duties, which involved writing the number on the window and lots of waiting…

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And Paul was second place in his class!  Hooray!

The next day, since the actual birthday was all racing all the time (which isn’t a bad birthday for Paul), we went and did some other celebrating by driving up to Lake George. We went for a walk near the lake:

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And then, of course, made a trip to Martha’s Dandee Crème:

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They have this great new covered area with tables and we thought that would be a great place to have our ice cream and watch all the crazypants people on the Six Flags rides.  However, even though it was a really nice day, some weirdo thought the overhead heaters were needed so we had hot air blowing on us and our ice cream started melting FAST.  We ate in the car.

In other, non-birthday news, I started this long cowl What Alice Found  with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Tonals (which I LOVE) and got a good start on it:

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Except I keep calling it “What Alice Forgot” which is actually a great book by Liane Moriarty!  You should read it.

And the garden is getting a makeover:

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Rearranging the layout and putting down mulch to walk around the beds.  Hopefully planting will happen this weekend!

Mixed Reviews

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This past weekend was our yearly car-racing trip to Ohio.  It was a mixed-review weekend.

The trip out on Thursday was great.  Sunny skies, not much traffic….

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Friday was also a beautiful day.  Lots of racing:

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The event was held at Summit Motorsports Park, which hosts national drag racing events, so that means it was a pretty nice track.  To Paul and Rob, that means a nicely maintained drag strip, well-run racing and good places to pit their cars.  To me, that means good options for treats like ice cream, and clean bathrooms.

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Only a little waiting for oil-downs to be cleaned up:

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Ray made his trips to tow Rob’s car:

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Ice cream at a local dairy:

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And Rob’s wife, Martha, got to come with us on the trip this time!:

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Saturday was, well, a little bit not as good.  There was some racing, but also a little fixing:

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And there was more ice cream:

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This place sells the yummiest ice cream for a dollar a pound.  A DOLLAR.  For A POUND. (Forgot to take a picture, but it was a very large cup of ice cream.)

There was the sitting and visiting (with Martha and Rob’s friends Diana and Sean):

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But……. notice the wet ground?  And also notice how everyone is crammed to the one end of the canopies so Rob’s car can get under the rest of it?  We had a lot of visiting while waiting for the rain to stop and the ground to dry up.  And then there was this:

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Not even the canopies could keep Rob’s car dry then.  Paul, Rob and Ray were left to literally hold down the fort (canopies) while the rain, wind, thunder and lightning happened (Thanks to Martha for thinking to take this picture! I was busy hoping the tires on the truck would absorb the lightning when it hit the truck.  And trying not to suffocate in the heat of the truck.)  Soon after this, we called it a day.  Which, the next morning, turned into calling it a weekend.  The event for Sunday was canceled because of the weather.
Here was our ride home:

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Blech.

But, the knitting, you ask?  What about the knitting reviews???  Also mixed.

There was some knitting.  But not a lot.  The stars were just not aligned for me and knitting this weekend, what with all the rain and all the ice cream.

On the trip out, I did start a new project, Melodia, with my new Periwinkle Sheep gradient yarn which I am liking a lot and it is going along nicely:

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But on the trip home, there was this:

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Remember my One Way TeeThe one I had to rip out last weekend because of the mistake waaaaaaay back? Well, I had finally gotten it knitted back to the 15 1/2″ I needed before doing the armhole bind off.  Then I did the bind off at each armhole.  Then I checked my stitch count.  I was short by six stitches.  Which is exactly the number of stitches I was supposed to increase (again) waaaaaaaaay back when I started knitting again, after I ripped it out.  I was so focused on having to re-knit about 2/3 of the back, that I completely forgot I had done some decreases and then increases for the waist shaping.

So:

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It is currently in a time out.  Paul thinks I should just focus on one project at a time, so maybe this wouldn’t happen.  I think maybe he is right (this time).

Thanks Lucille

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Wow.  A whirlwind REALLY TIRING weekend.  But fun.

First off, let me just say, without complaining about the type of weather (because I’m tired of complaining about the weather), that I was able to have one last wear of my wool vest when I worked at the yarn shop on Friday:

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Then lets move on to the next two days, which we spent outside, racing.  Saturday saw the need for sweatshirts and long pants for a good portion of the day.  And then Sunday saw the need for short pants and t-shirts and sunscreen and hats and lots of water and towels to sop up the sweat.  (See?  No complaining.  Just telling you.)

But the racing was fun:

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Except for sometimes.  There were a few oil-downs.  That is when a car leaves the starting line, something horrendous happens in the car and then oil and/or other stuff spills out of the car all. the. way. down. the. quarter. mile. track.  And someone (several someones) has/have to clean it up.  And it takes for. EVER.  This happened right before our friend Rob was to go…..

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So we waited.  Then I left to take some pictures from the tower:

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There was other waiting too.  Me waiting on the ATV:

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Paul waiting in line to race:

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But that’s the usual waiting.  So we took a selfie….

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Paul wasn’t really thrilled about taking the selfie… can you tell?

And there was my usual other job (aside from waiting on the ATV, which I do in case something happens to the car and I have to go get him and tow him back):

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Writing the dial-in number on the window. That number – 10.81 – means Paul thinks he will get down the quarter mile track in 10.81 seconds or slower in order to beat his opponent across the finish line. (He can’t go any faster than 10.81 seconds or he will lose!)

Because Sunday’s event was so well-attended, parking the trailers was a little sqooshy, so we didn’t have room to put up our canopy.  We spent our time between racing rounds sitting in a line, in the shade!

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One of the best parts of the weekend (and it could be debatable as to who would call it the best) was thanks to Lucille, Rob’s mom.  She is a knitter-but-mostly-crocheter and asked me what I was working on.  So, I showed her my wonderful progress on the first side of my One Way Tee.  She looked at it for exactly one half of a second and said, “Is that supposed to be there?”:

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It is a little hard to see in the picture, but there is a jog in that nice neat middle column of knit stitches.  It was incredibly obvious once she pointed  it out.  At first I said, “It’s on the back.  No one will notice.  I’m not the type of knitter who will undo everything for one mistake.  And it’s on the back.  No one will notice.”  (yes, I said “It’s on the back. No one will notice.”  more than once.)  I am so terribly impatient, and just did not want to have to knit it again.  Because really, who would notice? (again)  Then some time went by.  And I just couldn’t ignore it.  So, it went from this (15″):

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(and yup, now that I’m looking at this picture, which I posted on the blog last week, I can totally see the mistake!)

To this:

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…about 7″, in 3 minutes.  (And this second picture is the more accurate color, by the way.  I love it.)

As I was ripping it out and rolling the yarn back up, Lucille was apologizing profusely for pointing it out and feeling so badly that I ripped it all out.  But I told her not to worry – I was grateful that she saw it now, instead of me finding it when I was all done or already on to the second side.  So, THANK YOU to Lucille for her eagle eyes!

So, that was my holiday weekend.  How was yours?

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: Part 2

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Day two of racing started out rainy.  (Check out Day 1 and the beginning of the trip HERE.) Not a good sign as that might mean racing would be cancelled and done the next day, when we were supposed to be driving home.  But first, as usual, was a stop at the grocery store for ice:

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“Healthier Than Homemade…” ??????

Here is what we came back to the track to find:

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Lots of rain and a broken canopy.  That’s Rob and Denny trying to get the water out of the top, while making things much worse and ripping the top.  They had to resort to poking more holes in it to get the water out.  At least Rob’s car stayed fairly dry.  Then it rained on and off all morning.

But guess what?  I didn’t really notice because I went to a fiber fair!

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It was at a skating rink.

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….and I found the BareNaked Wools booth and bought two more patterns.

I also got some other stuff:

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A great new bag; a pretty lace weight yarn from Knitting Rose Yarns; and a superwash merino/nylon Smooth Sailing Batt to spin, in the colorway Neapolitan (Doesn’t it look just like the ice cream colors?) from Adventures in Yarncraft.

I got back in time for lunch.  And then racing was on, since the weather cleared up!  In between races and pit crew duties, I finished my Urban Lace Infinity scarf:

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And started my Shattered Sun Shawl:

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… and Ray and I solved some more world problems.

It was a great day of racing, especially since Rob won his class and then won King of the Hill (a race against the winners of the other classes):

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Two trophies, a t-shirt and a wad of cash.  Congratulations to Rob!  He and his car have had a rough couple of years and he’s worked hard to get his car back up to snuff.  But I’m sure it was the effort and support of his awesome pit crew that helped him win.  He did buy us dinner at our usual spot:

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The next morning, we started our long trip home (without a stop for yarn) very, very, very early.

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When it got light enough out, I worked on my Shattered Sun Shawl but then realized that the lace pattern might be hard to do in the car.  I started panicking a little, thinking I didn’t bring enough projects.  Or the wrong projects – the kind that are hard to knit in the car and would make me car sick.  So, I broke out my new Kent DK and decided I’d start my Wheaten wrap:

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The only obstacle to overcome, was that I needed a size 6 needle and the only size 6 I had was being used with my shawl.  Luckily it was a 40″ circular needle and there was plenty of room for both!  I “parked” my shawl and started the wrap:

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After I got my 2 inches on the wrap border, I needed a bigger needle, which I didn’t have, so I just “parked” that one on the needle and tried the lace pattern on my shawl.  Not too hard to knit in the car after all!
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Now I just need to transfer the wrap to the bigger needle so I can keep working on it.

Overall, a great weekend.  Paul said he missed bringing his car a little, but was happy to have kept busy helping Rob.  He’s out in the garage now, working on his car to get it ready for the next race.

Oh, and at our last rest stop, Rob discovered something:

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At some point, Ray had thrown his gum out the window….

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Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: Part 1

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This weekend was our yearly trip to the Buick Performace Group (BPG) drag racing event in Hebron, Ohio. I will start off by saying that Paul’s car lost before we even left the house.  After several very, very, very long days, the car just couldn’t be fixed in time.  And Paul resisted the slight urge to bring the car to Ohio to work on it there.  Once he decided the car wasn’t coming, it was all about supporting our friend Rob while he raced. But first we had to get there.

We got up early and met Rob and his dad, Ray……

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….at the usual rest stop, where Rob tried to convince Paul to go back home and get the car.  We didn’t.

We got on the road and I knitted my What if…? scarf:

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….until I got to the point where I had to stop since I was supposed to knit until I had 15% of my yarn left and forgot to bring my yarn scale.  Yes, it was actually on my list of things to bring but I forgot to pack it.

We drove for a very long time, with a couple of short stops, until we got to Canton, Ohio.  I have been following designer Anne Hanson’s blog Knitspot for a long time.  She lives in Canton.  I love her patterns.  Her mom actually lives near us and I always get a kick out of reading about when she is in the area.  She recently started selling her own line of yarn, Barenaked Wools, and more recently, as in a week and a half ago, opened up a  little boutique, to sell those yarns and her patterns.  Knowing we were passing right by, and being the only woman in a gaggle of men going to a drag racing weekend,  I told them this was the one thing that HAD to do all weekend and I was dragging [ha!] them with me.  The boutique closed at 4pm that day and we were cutting it very close as we drove into Canton.  I was frantically refreshing the GPS to check for traffic that would slow us down as we got closer, hoping we would not get there when it was closed.   We got there at 3:55pm.  Since it is new, and they are waiting for more signage, I had a hard time finding it at first.

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We parked in front of a familiar-looking house, which I soon realized was Anne’s house.  I recognized it, and the house across the street, from her blog!  Since it was so close to closing time, I called the boutique and asked for help.  Erica or Emily (they are twins and I’m not sure which one!) came from behind the house to find me.  It turns out the boutique is in a building just behind the house.

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I apologized for being there right at closing time and they assured me it was fine, I could take my time as they would be working there anyway.  They were getting ready for a show where they would have a booth to sell the yarns.   The yarns were just beautiful!  All in natural colors, as their name would imply, and different blends.

I knew exactly what I wanted, since when I thought we were going to be late, I looked up the pattern I wanted to knit and the yarn it recommended.  I purchased my Sugarfrost infinity scarf pattern and a skein of the Chebris Lace, a wool/mohair blend:

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Running out the door, not being able to help apologizing again, I was so happy to have visited.  I went to the trucks, where the guys were deep in car discussion:

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….and showed them my stuff.  They said, “That’s it?” “Just one.” “We came all this way and that’s all you got?” “We don’t mind waiting!” “Go back in there!”  No kidding. They are so awesome.

So, off I went, back around the house.  The door wasn’t locked and I yoo-hoo-ed my way back inside and promptly bought some Kent DK, a merino/Romney wool blend, for another pattern, Wheaten:

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Then I was really done, and happily hopped back in the truck, ready for the rest of the trip and wondering if I had the right needles to start one of these projects.  Oh, and that show they said they were getting ready for? It was the Mid Ohio Fiber Fair, and wouldn’t you know it, it was in the town right next to where we were going!  BONUS!

Then, we were really on our way, passing by the Football Hall of Fame:

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And 13 and a half hours after we left the house, we got to our hotel.  Whew.  Long day.

Our first day at the race track was HOT.  Paul, Ray and I were Rob’s pit crew:

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We all had jobs.  Paul towed Rob’s car back to the pits after he raced, and was the general advisor-of-car-stuff.  Ray sometimes towed, took pictures, and gave dad-type advice.  I was the gopher-of-various-things and lunch cook and cookie-provider.

In between jobs, I knit of course, working on my Urban Lace Infinity Scarf:

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With a fan:

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Until it got too hot, and that’s when I read:

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Excellent book!

And in between all that, Ray and I would sit and talk and solve the problems of the world.

Meanwhile, Rob went through qualifying runs:

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And another friend, Denny, had car problems:

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(that’s him under the car)

…which he later fixed and was ecstatic about it. Like, jumping-up-and-down-so-excited ecstatic.

Then we ate dinner at our usual spot:

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(It was Ray’s birthday so he ate ice cream for dinner and felt really sick.)

…and took a selfie of our team at Walgreen’s:

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By then it was 10pm and we were ready to hit the hay since the next day was the big race day.  More in the next post!

How was that for a cliff-hanger?

Broke 101

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Reading the title of this post, you may be thinking this will be some sort of tutorial for what happens when you go broke.  Spend all your money.  None left.  Well, you would be wrong.

When a drag racer is going down the track and something happens to his/her car so that it needs to stop and be pulled over to the side of the track, you may hear people say “He/She broke.”  [This is different from when you hear them say, “He/She broke out” which means the racer crossed the finish line faster than he/she said they would and therefore lost the race.]  There is usually a collective gasp because the “break” is often times preceded by a puff of smoke out the back of the car.  Then there is a  collective “Ugh” when all realize this is probably a big deal, especially if the car needs to be towed off the track.

Well, people.  That is what happened to Paul this weekend.  Booooooooooooooooo.  I was not there to witness the carnage as it happened.  Only later, as you will see.  On his very first pass down the track, he felt some shaking then a noise, with that puff of smoke out the back and then everything stopped.

He came home upset, understandably.  While at the track, they were able to do a little investigating as to what happened.  They found this:

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Bear with me in my not-very-articulate car parts knowledge.  But that up there on top is apparently a bent rocker arm with a crack in the circular part of the one sticking up.  Then there is half a circle that should be whole.

I felt terrible for Paul.  When the car does that, you just know it’s not something good and it could mean that the engine block got damaged and that is REALLY bad.  As in, need-a-whole-new-engine bad.  As in, a bazillion and a half dollars bad.  So, even though I don’t usually help with car stuff – except for helping to take off the hood or sit in the car and press the brake pedal to bleed the brakes – I offered to help.  What did he need help with you ask?  Why, pulling the whole engine out of the car, of course.  Easy peasy.

First was getting the car out of the trailer and into the garage:

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….which was so much easier with our new garage.  Just one little push from me to get it rolling out of the trailer and it was done.  With our old garage, there would have been a ton of pushing up a humongous hill.  You know, the hill which is actually the lip of the concrete into the garage but seems like a humongous hill when you are pushing a 4000 pound station wagon from a dead stop.  [And also, as you can see, “my” car is no longer a priority.  Just pushed off to the side.  Literally.  Since it has no engine.]

I undid lots of bolts, as directed, and took lots of things out from under the hood:

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Aside from the spark created when I put a wrench somewhere I thought I was supposed to put it, all went well.

Then I worked the crane thing:

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And it was surprisingly easy to lift that 500 pound thing out of the car.

Empty car:

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Then I went inside for a knitting break while Paul did some other stuff.   This is a good time to tell you I finished one of my knit-a-long socks:

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I’m well into the second one and will hopefully be done soon.  I’m getting a little bored of them to tell the truth.

I went back outside just in time for the big reveal of the carnage.  Paul took off some cover thing and we saw this:

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Top and bottom left, and bottom right are pictures of a piston with a big hole in it.  We could see right into the oil pan. (I think.)  Top right is the head, and the hole in the left side of the head is where a valve should be.  It was in the oil pan.(I think.)

If you non-car people aren’t yawning by now (the car people are on the edge of their seats, though), I’ll just let you know the good news and be done:  the engine block was not damaged, which means these things can be fixed and replaced.  If it doesn’t cost a bazillion dollars.  Now that I think about it, the title of this post could be about going broke….

P.S. This is how organized my husband the engineer is:

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He used up all my label-making tape. [And also?  what does one do with all those “extra” nuts, bolts and washers?  I guess you never know when you’ll need one.  Or eighty.]

Throwback Weekend

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The holiday weekend was filled with lots of throwback moments.  First of all, it was Musclepalooza XIX at Lebanon Valley Dragway, where there were lots of older race cars, including Paul’s 1970 Buick Sportwagon: IMG_2545 IMG_2544 It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time with Paul’s friend Rob and his parents.  Here is Rob’s 1985 Buick Somerset: IMG_2553 (consulting with Paul about the next run…) Rob and his dad Ray: IMG_2543 And Ray with Rob’s mom, Lucille: IMG_2569 And their very sweet dog Abby: IMG_2574 I had my usual Pit Crew Chief duties.  Waiting in the staging lanes with water: IMG_2567 IMG_2558 Writing dial-in numbers on the window: IMG_2565 (That would be Paul’s determination that he would cross the finish line in 10.9 seconds or slower.) Watching from the starting line: IMG_2549 And waiting at the end of the return road to make sure I did not need to go tow him with the ATV: IMG_2572 Then helping to pack up at the end of the day: IMG_2582 (Yes, the door to Rob’s car comes off.  He takes it off so he can see when he is driving it up onto the trailer – the window doesn’t roll down so he can’t stick his head out of it to see!) ….after we did not get to the: IMG_2578 And here we are doing a selfie, trying to make the “loser” sign turn out right in the picture: IMG_2576 (We failed.  It looked right in the camera as we were taking the picture….) More throwback moments included Paul’s brother digging out some of Paul things from his mom’s house: IMG_2539 And I showed them pictures from my grandfather’s professional baseball playing days: IMG_2628 (My mom is playing catcher in that picture in the middle!) So much fun.  Knitting has been done, but I’m saving that for the next post…. I know, you are probably on pins and needles just waiting for it.