Kevin Pennell, in a very thoughtful post, advised:
"I'm here now to tell you that I've learned something of the wisdom (and
sick humor) behind some of life's catchy little phrases in really big ways...
For example, try this one: It can't possibly get any worse!!! I'm sorry to
break the news, but "IT CAN!!!" Don't send good money after bad. Stop,
re-group, and fix the thing right from the git go. --or-- Break out the
Model 1911-A1 .45 and place one well aimed shot... It'll be cheaper and
less painful for both of you in the long run... Bury the old 235 with
appropriate honors for service above and beyond... Then go find that motor
of your dreams and spend your money on IT!!"
Well, that brings me to the story of the three Muses. About three weeks
ago, I was pretty sick about what I had found inside the motor. Everything I
looked at needed work, and that meant commitment, both financial and timewise
to this 235 or some other option. I ruminated about this for awhile and
decided to seek out the 3 Muses and put the situation before them.
The first Muse was named Jose Cuervo and over the course of an evening,
Jose formed an opinion of the best plan for me to follow. Reduced to it's
essentials, the reasoning went something like this: "What do you want this
truck for anyway? You have another truck that runs as it is, and you
certainly don't need another expense. Come on, admit it! You only bought the
damn thing because you like the way it looks and all this nonsense about
hauling old motorcycles is just silly rubbish. The wisest course for you to
follow is to stop spending any money on it. Cancel the insurance, stop the
fruitless battle with the FOE (Forces Of Evil) at the DMV, and just polish it
on weekends if you must. You should regard it as a giant decoration, a sort
of Paul Bunyon scaled garden gnome. Just enjoy it for the reason that you
really bought it for and quit lying to yourself."
Now this was pretty strong stuff, and I don't like being told off anymore
than the next man so it was a bitter pill to swallow, especially coming from
my own trusted adviser. I could see his point of course, and for a week this
seemed the answer. My lovely AD would be a garden gnome, maybe with pot
plants lining the bed.
In time I sought the advice of the next Muse, Colonel Gordon (of gin and
tonic fame), one of my most often consulted wisemen. He began something like
this: Why do you do anything in life my lad? What makes a thing worth doing?
Why shilly-shally around with some half baked project? If you're going to do
a thing -- then go straight at it, take no prisoners, give no quarter!" The
Colonel then lapsed into a series of reminisces about Wellington at Waterloo
and the Boer War and such. As I was seeking his advice, I diplomatically
didn't mention the battle of the Somme and a few other sticking points to his
run of thinking. In time, he carried on: "Accomplishing anything in life is a
test of will, of character. If a thing is worth doing at all, it is worth
doing that thing to the very best of your abilities. Either fix that truck
properly, or sell it to someone who will. We are judged ultimately by what we
accomplish, not by meaningless statements about unfulfilled intentions."
Once again, I felt sheepish about having been dressed down in so stern
(and entirely correct) a manner as the Colonel had done. I had been foolish
to think I could schlock my way through this project in the first place. What
had I been thinking? Now, I was gonna turn over a new leaf, really dedicate
my energies to seeing this old AD through to the inevitable shining triumph!
I was going to make a real show stopper! My Mom would really be proud of me,
I was gonna do something big and be somebody important!
This renewed sense of Elan Vital carried me through another week and I
decided to seek out the last of the three muses to confirm the purity of my
intentions. First, Jack Daniels wanted to hear my story. I poured the
miserable tale out, and related the advise of the first two Muses. Jack
began: "I can see that you are confused by this situation and that is because
you don't have any clear goals to aim for or standards by which to measure
your efforts by. No one can help you with these, you will find them only
through experience. What you need boy, is some road miles. When you have
driven this truck for awhile, you will begin to form a picture as to where
you want to go with the project. So, go back out there, put the truck on the
road as cheaply as possible and come see me again in another year."
Jack Daniels has always had a sort of mellow balance, one that lends
itself to sorting out complicated issues into individual pieces that can be
worked out more easily. I liked the advice that the third Muse had come up
with, and it seems to be the best course until I get a few AD miles under my
belt. Kevin offers some very sage advice, advice I am much inclined to follow
-- IF -- I can decide which direction to go. Until then, I am inclined to put
the motor back together and just run it for a bit. Next year at this time,
maybe I'll just have to get the old 1911 .45 out of the shootin bag and put
it to work. Of course by next year I may like it so well that it will just
have to be made the best 235 I can make it. Stay tuned!
Paul O'Neil, Hudson29@aol.com
1951 Chevrolet 3600 Pickup Project, See it at:
The Poor Man's Advanced Design Tech Tips Page
Fullerton, California USA
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