Pillars and Petals

Amongst the mess, there is beauty to behold! A fantastic day in the Rose District, with only a few rain sprinkles conjured up by my thoughts of car-washing. The few rain drops were gone before any of the sidewalk diners could think about changing tables.

Fences are still a topic of discussion on this block; a couple wandered across the street from Main Street Tavern while I was loading the back of the car to run an errand Saturday evening. They stared up for such a time that I finally had to ask what had caught their attention.

“We saw the fence around the roof,” he answered. “We wondered if there were restaurant tables up there.”

I pointed out that the iron railing kept my sheep from running away.

aMay3b

Kidding.

The roof-dining-question has been posed before, but the decorative wrought iron is more of a protective element to guard against wannabe Spidermen. (And women, I suppose.) Even with the railing, I’ve had to dash out the back door after hearing the tromping of feet above the ceiling.

The roof simply isn’t designed to host track meets or long jumping events, and the last thing I want is a leak that would drip down on the bookshelves.

Across Main Street is a chain link fence that I thought might be designed to keep the construction workers from running away, but that hasn’t worked perfectly either. I’m sure they have their reasons, but there have been a number of beautiful afternoons this past week in which the First National Bank job site was idle.

There have been inquiries about that enclosure as well. A fellow was looking out the front glass as he was chatting with me, and asked, “What’s going in across the street?”

A sheep pasture, I pointed out, since mine were too cooped up grazing on the roof.

Kidding, again. (I’m required to give the ‘kidding’ notice… Just kidding.)

aMay3a

He had not noticed the banner hanging on the fence with the artist’s depiction of the new façade and glass tower that will liven up the east side of Main when completed, and he simply presumed it was being turned into a shopping mall or something.

It has turned into a bigger project than I realized, and you can see in the image that I snapped a few minutes ago that the entire north wall is being replaced with steel girders and beams. I think they’re putting a restaurant up on the roof.

Nah.

Although bank staff members who are temporarily moved into offices upstairs may have enjoyed that. I’ve been told that the renovation revealed some spots that needed attention, and they have received plenty of that during the past week.

In the meantime, I’ve taken advantage of the sunny day to take a picture of its progress and to spray the construction dust from the car. The old Firebird fares well under the Thirty Foot Rule.

If you stand that far away, it’s hard to notice the horrible paint job.

We’re serving tomorrow, so make a plan to…

Come visit!

McHuston

Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!

Watch out below!

Have you seen the commercial where the swimmer leaps off the high dive straddling an inflatable dolphin?

Years ago I had a blog that focused on the mundane (as though this one is somehow more highbrow), and wrote about such things regularly. Perhaps you’ll forgive this regression.

I saw that commercial and immediately thought – here is a guy who hasn’t thought his actions through to the end. Sure, it looks great for the camera, riding a dolphin through the air.

But there is this thing called gravity.

And unless you have perfected some sort of shock-absorbing, impact-diminishing, crotch-protecting bathing trunks, that huge smile at the apogee of your flight is going is going to be long gone before your head goes under water.

Hello, impact.

The commercial (for whatever company – I’m sorry, I can’t get past the diving dolphin) reminds me a little of the Disney ad with the helmeted Dad launching into the air from a bent-back pine tree suddenly cut free.

Except – it’s obvious the Disney ad is a joke.

I’m thinking the joke was on that dolphin rider, who probably wasn’t laughing much at touch-down atop that inflatable.

Does everyone else remember the sponsor or am I the only one so worried about this poor fellow that I completely missed the ad?

Oh. Now I remember why I don’t write for that blog anymore… pretty silly stuff.

Not related in any way to books or Dustin’s outstanding lunch special for Wednesday. The Pony. It’s got his special recipe guacamole on it. Tasty. 11am – 2pm.

‘Nuff said!

Come visit…

McHuston

Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!

Feels so good when repairs work!

I have a new hero. I know he’ll never see this, but his name is Greg Crowe.

Some of the people we call heroes are those who keep their cool under fire, or use their adrenaline in an emergency to overcome the odds. There are those whose jobs put them in situations that might call for the hero in them to emerge at any moment.

Then, there are those who use their intelligence and expertise to provide assistance to others in need. That is Mr. Crowe’s contribution. He figured out a solution for hundreds of us. And even though it isn’t a New York Times, front-page-report sort of deal, in my book, he’s still a hero.

aRadio2

Here’s what came about. You know you can’t drive down the road without spotting a Camaro or Firebird, and you certainly can’t see the expressions of the drivers. But hundreds of frustrated GM car owners have been scowling from having experienced what I’ve been going through. Without warning or provocation, the radio shuts off. It may come right back on, or it might stay off for ten minutes. Sometimes I’ll get to my destination and the thing still would be dead in the dash.

Here’s the other thing. When the radio quits, the electric windows won’t work either.

I bought the Firebird used, and it had a Pioneer radio/CD player installed by the previous owner. I figured he must have wired it up crazy, so I dug around in the fuses. Nope. They are wired separately. That would have been too simple. Next, I crawled low enough to get my head under the dashboard and found a bare, loose wire. Wrapped it in electrical tape. Nope. Wasn’t the problem and wasn’t the solution.

It had to be some electrical cross-connection and I was ready to rip the radio out, when I decided to Google it.

BAM!

Mr. Crowe is apparently an electrical engineer and I found his post on a General Motors related forum. He had found a schematic drawing of the car’s electrical system and – using clues between the radio and the windows – found a relay on a circuit board under the dash where the two functions connect.

Man.

Not only that, he points out the exact relay on the board AND the single solder-joint that is faulty. From the dozens upon dozens of postings by frustrated Firebird and Camaro owners (they are basically the same car with different bodies), it must have been a factory problem that was never addressed, and car owners across the US have been bewildered about the ghost in the machine.

Over the years, I’ve tackled quite a few projects. Some of them completed with greater success than others. (I’ve called in the professionals to correct my screw-ups more than once.) I’m usually not too nervous to try my luck, but the idea of taking an electrical circuit board out of my car and holding a hot soldering iron to it – well, that gave me pause for thought.

What could go wrong?

Just about anything! Already we’ve got the dead radio killing the power windows. I might connect the dots wrong and wind up with a continually honking horn or something. But – sunny afternoon adventures call!

Got the module out with minimal difficulty, most of it related to my troubles getting far enough under the dashboard. The circuit board popped out of the plastic case. The soldering iron was preheated and ready. The actual repair took about thirty seconds on the workbench and about a half-hour all together.

Before I returned all the pieces back to their proper places, I connected the module to the wiring harnesses and took the car for a spin. Radio – working. Windows – working. Drive, drive, driving. Still working. Washed the car. Started it up. Radio and windows working.

BAM!

A hero is born! A tip of the driver’s cap to Mr. Crowe, whose investigative efforts and posting of the solution helped out hundreds of folks, and – no doubt – will help many more in the future as those circuit board joints continue to fail like mine did.

A simple repair job that I would have never, ever, been able to even diagnose the problem on my own.

Here’s cranking up the radio to you, sir!

Now, it’s off to prep for tomorrow’s business. Dustin will be cookin’ it up for Monday’s lunch, so…

Come visit!

McHuston

Booksellers & Irish Bistro
Rose District
122 South Main St. Broken Arrow OK!