The problem with progress is that for some of us, namely me, it never comes fast enough. The saying “the last 10% takes longer than the first 90%” is dead-on. Big impact items like new seats or wide white walls provide a satisfaction of major progress. But the little details, the small stuff that must be done before any of the big stuff bogs me down. I have this strange habit of literally holding my breath when I concentrate. Since my cardio health is on par with a mound of sand I seem to only be able to make headway in 11 second intervals, I am constantly feeling lightheaded and woozy. It could have been the 4 cans of spraypaint mixed with the cleaning agent. I’d assume my breathing pattern is like those manic breathing exercises the Better Half learned about during the birthing class I was supposed to be paying attention to. But I was a goner once they started to show a natural birth movie involving a small metal tub circa 1930’s Amish country. There was talk about counting, pushing, holding breath and relaxing, or some instruction manual to alleviate the stress of pushing a football through tube of toothpaste which I don’t fully recall. I had a literal pillow over my eyes and my ears were listening to my brain humming Iron Butterfly until the pain was mercifully over. The Better Half was jabbing my arm, telling me to focus but I just couldn’t. It was worse than a horror movie. It was real. When it was over my eyes relaxed and my left arm had the start of a bruise. And it is said that men feel no pain during birth? Anyway back to the car.
Yesterday I managed to clean off the inside of the roof. Got some cleaner, some latex gloves and went to town. After a half roll of paper towels I got bored and said screw it let’s toss some paint on it. PlastiKote self etching primer went on pretty well considering the can was upside down. Ran out of paint with about 1/3 roof left so grabbed another can of primer that had been hanging around for a while. As I said I’m impatient. But it worked. Two cans of PlastiKote Red Flake later and the roof looks like a meteorite shower hit it. I tried to be even with the paint but the combination of spraying upside down and having weak spindly arms meant that every 7 seconds I had to rest, swap hands and shake the can and start the spray again. Every initial spray of the can left a darkened circle the size of a golf-ball, pock-marking the roof in a weird hallucinogenic anti-pattern. The roof will be covered with headliner at some point but I hate wasted effort. It doesn’t look too terrible and I figure another coat should help and maybe some clear. I offered my daughter Olivia the chance to toss hand-fulls of silver sparkles onto it which she at first seemed excited about until she derided my choice of color. Gold is the standard in her world. She will be 8 tomorrow and she is light years past me in her deductive reasoning and planning capabilities. She’s also the spitting image of her Mother so I have to be mindful that only my 4 year son and I know the deep secrets of the garage else the Better Half will get wind of whatever plans are being hatched and more roses will need to be bought. Olivia likes the purple color – I thought the can said RED? – so it’s not all bad. I’d paint it again if I wasn’t so lazy. Instead I’ll stare it and curse the result under my breath, even though it’s temporary. I could sand and re-sand and spray and re-spray but in my feeble mind it will never be perfect so just move on. The goals of clean and a color were met. If I could somehow find a balance between my ironic sense of impatience and my disdain for wasting time I might be able get things done with less stress or strain. Instead I walk right through walls only noticing the doorway immediately after I’ve powered through, covered in haste and asbestos.
The plan was to “fix” the one rotted area of the driver’s side of the floor. By fix I mean MY kind of fix which amounts to layering flat sheet metal over the top and praying that the tack welds hold. I finally decided this was not the right approach and to cut out the rusted spots to replace with fresh steel. Luckily the floor is in damn good shape for 70 years old. I have yet to find a good 3 inch cutting disk for use with air tools. I even bought a decent Craftsman die grinder and new discs from Lowe’s. Even with a large-sized compressor I cannot get these damn things to cut. I am petrified of burning everything down so hesitate to use the 4.5 inch cut off wheel. But I went for it and laid some welding blanket down, held my breath as I usually do, and made the cuts. Now to trace the hole pattern onto some cardboard and eventually the steel and get it done.
I’ve spent more time than I expected to on simply cleaning the interior but it had to be done. I could spend the next 10 evenings continuing the same but at this point I think once the floor is welded in and covered with POR15, I can feel confident that work can be done without an unscheduled trip to the hospital for a Tetanus shot. The real test will be in 1 -4 weeks to see if I avoided the Hantavirus disease. I’ll be holding my breath.