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The First in the Deck Series

Our most recent DIY experience through the process.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Gotta love a new beginning, right?

Peppermint Shortage

Just a funny afternoon.

Coffeyville, KS

I loved this experience so much that I had to write about it. Then, through e-mails it spread to Coffeyville itself.

Photo Restoration

I had a lot of fun with this "old school" photo. It turned out too cool to not blog about it.

Kitchen Remodel (part one)

This is the first of a nine-part series documenting the remodel of our 50-year-old kitchen in our 100-year-old home!

Mysterious Knock

Last Tuesday a problem arose with my truck. I had a meeting across town at one of our sister companies about eleven and got there with no problems. However, on the way back to work a loud clanging knock suddenly reared its ugly head out of my engine compartment. My heart sunk as thoughts of a failing engine filled my brain. I immediately pulled over and attempted to ascertain the exact location and cause of the knock. Without seeing anything obvious and knowing that it was internal anyway and thus I wouldn't be able to "see" anything, I braved the short trip home since I was only a few blocks away. It got home just fine, but made that horrible noise the whole way. I grabbed my wife's car and headed back to work. I told a couple guys what happened, and one guy said that he thought it was probably a bent push rod. That night I took off the valve cover and checked all my push rods, rocker arms and what I could see of the lifters and they all appeared to be fine. Bad luck for me. Not knowing what is wrong with your engine is almost worse than finding a major problem. At least the major problem can be worked on.

I'll admit that I'm not a real mechanic. I just play one on tv. Not to say that I don't know what I'm doing, I know more than most people about engines, but there are still many that run circles around me with their experience. Anyway, I hadn't had another chance to mess around with it yet and was in West Plains last weekend. I started brain-storming the possibilities of what it could be by pouring over everything that I knew about it (which is pretty extensive after 3 1/2 years of fixing or replacing its 50 year old worn out parts), engine theory, and what I've heard others say about it. That's when it hit me. I remembered what a co-worker suggested, "Check to make sure that you're not missing any parts from your carburetor. Parts can come off and make their way down your intake manifold and wind up sitting on top of a piston." I then remembered noticing that the wingnut that holds my air filter on my carb was gone. I took the filter off and set it aside and saw that the stud that the wingnut screws onto was hanging by a thread (literally) and was about to drop down into the carb. I didn't put any thought into this as I removed it and set it aside as well. Why should I? There's no way that the wingnut could of made it into the carb and I caught the stud before it fell into it. But, looking back coupled with the advice from a friend, I realized that there must have been a nut holding the stud tight on the underside of the filter assembly. This nut worked itself loose and dropped down and managed to find a nice home on a piston head. For those of you who haven't put it together, the clanging is when the piston is slamming the nut into the firedeck of my head.

Now, engine performance wasn't lost during this brief trip with the knocking so I shouldn't have anything worse than a scarred up head. I'll take the head off, check my piston for cracks, use the opportunity to fix my dead cylinder, put on a new head gasket, put everything back together, and fire up a 223 that has all six cylinders firing for the first time since I've owned it. (it's had a dead cylinder since I bought it, blow-by, which is a bad valve seal or broken valve that I didn't want to fix because it meant that I would have to remove the head). So, I'm very excited that I figured it out and soon I will have it running smoother that it has ever run before under my ownership.

Buy Low, Sell High

My goodness! How long has it been since I wrote a blog? I feel sort of out of touch with my writing capabilities, so forgive me if I have some run-on sentences or stuff like that.

Anyway, I wanted to share a little fact today. A couple of years ago, Jodi and I went down to Commercial street and looked at a building that was for sale. We wouldn't have been able to acquire the financing to actually buy it, although we didn't know that at the time. We were definitely interested in it and thought pretty hard about what we could do as far as having a business in it. After some brainstorming we settled on the idea that we could have a hair salon as the main business but also have some crafts and custom built furniture on display in the front that would also be available for purchase.

I can't remember now why we decided that it wasn't for us. I think that it had something to do with the fact that we wouldn't have the funds needed to fix it up even if we could buy it. Our hopes and dreams were once again crushed by that old relentless reality.

So, last week I noticed that there was a real estate sign in the window and that it was for sale. I wasn't sure if it had always been for sale or if it was just for sale again. Whatever the answer, someone put a little work into it. I mean "a little" for a reason, though. It appeared to have changed on the outside and it looked pretty good. But, I, along with Jodi, believed that they had just removed something from the exterior to make it look like the original building. As far as I can tell, the inside looks the same as it did when we were looking at it.

Well, with a little searching on the internet I found an older picture of the building from when Jodi and I went to check it out. I compared that to a recent picture of it and indeed found that they had removed an ugly facade reminiscent of an era when Indian Architecture (from India, not native American) was in style. The photos can be seen below and you can make your own judgements, but I personally think it needed to be stripped. Anyway, the point of this blog is that when we looked at the building the first time it was being listed for $ 69,900. The building, which has had stuff taken away from it and none added is now being listed for $ 149,000. If this actually goes at this price, I'm going to vomit at the lost opportunity. It wouldn't have been feasible for us to buy it and do this, but still a good vomitting will be in order.



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