Thursday, January 26, 2012

Is There a Place that Doesn't Hurt

The first thing I want to address is yesterday's post. I reread it tonight and was mortified at all the typos. I really can spell and if mystified on a word, I know how to look up the spelling. Before opening this post I went back to yesterday's and cleaned it up a bit. I'm embarrassed about all the errors. Now onward...

Yesterday after driving the GMC belonging to my grandson (see yesterday's post) I had tentative arrangements with the daughter to bring the truck over this morning so we could change the brakes and then take it to have the front end aligned. The daughter is not a morning person and though we had discussed her coming over I wasn't sure she would show up and if she did it wouldn't be early. I'm an early morning person. Usually by the time she gets here I have been up and about and  busy and getting tired. Too tired to start working on the truck. I was pleasantly surprised when at 1000 hrs the phone rang and she announced she was on her way.

She wasn't in a big hurry to get started. "What's for breakfast?" was her inquiry. I showed her the bacon/eggs/and hash browns and left her to cook her own breakfast.

Dragging the floor jack and the stationary one along with anything else I might need, I dumped everything on the carport beside the truck and started breaking loose the lug nuts. Eventually the daughter showed up.

And wouldn't you know it. The bolts used to hold the calipers in place took a special tool to remove them. Off to the auto parts store we went. I had to pick up the brakes anyway and I usually like to pull a pad to match it when I buy the new ones. 

We purchased the new pads and the tool/socket needed and headed back to the house. 

Never take for granted a simple job like replacing brake pads will be easy and problem free. Breaking loose the bolts holding the caliper became a major issue. WD40 and a lot of strain, the daughter got the upper bolt loose and the job continued. She had already put in a phone call to Shane to stop by on his lunch break to borrow his muscle but before he arrived the bolt was conquered. Using a "C" clamp, I forced the piston back into the chamber and placed the new pads. Unable to get the bolts back lined up into the calipers, I removed the pads and used the clamp to force the piston back further. Success. The bolt holes lined up and we finished that side of the truck. The reason for our hurry was keeping Shane a little longer to break the bolts for us on the other side. Sometimes ya just gotta have a man and this was one of those times.

He jacked the other side of the truck up, secure it on a jack stand, while we removed the tire. He loosened the bolts and then he was on his way. This side went much easier and took less time except I had to make another trip to the auto parts store to get a new "C" clamp. The one I had been using was a cheap flimsy one and it finally gave up the ghost and died. 

 I was grateful we had got an early start. You never know what problems you will encounter and I like to get started early in anticipation of problems.

As I ran in and out of the parts store, I ignored the black brake dust that ingrained beneath my fingernails, obliterated the fingerprints on my hands and after swiping my face a few times left trails of black over my cheeks and forehead.

The men at the parts store were most pleasaant to deal with and didn't pull the "chick talk" on us.

I dread waking up tomorrow to all the aches and pains that are surely going to covet this body. I informed the daughter today that this was my last meet up  with sockets, ratchets and anything to do mechanically with a vehicle.

Stumbling into a hot shower with a nail brush in hand, I scrubbed. Soaping up the nail brush I scrubbed from elbow to finger tips and the exposed parts of my legs until all signs of brake dust washed down the drain. A soapy face cloth cleared up the cheeks and forehead. I finished dressing as the daughter showed up with Carrie and Lesie and we were off to have dinner. I wasn't hungry until we walked into the restaurant and the food aromas quickened my taste buds.

Eventually everyone left and I was alone less then five minutes when the storm that had been approaching arrived. I've listened to thunder and lightning and watched the rain pour down for the past 3 hours. The tornado warnings have been cancelled. That early date I planned on having with the bed is now but a old goal. It's almost midnight. The skies have quieted down and I'm ready to do the same. Maybe I should eat a handful of ibuprofen before I go to bed. Maybe I'll just put the bottle on the new night stand beside the bottle of water and if I can't move without yelping in pain tomorrow morning, I'll be ready to swallow some pain relief.

I'm really too old to be behaving this way. My earlier announcement of my retirement apparently wasn't heard. The phone rang about an hour ago and the daughter mentioned her brakes making a little noise and maybe we could check them tomorrow?

I'm going to bed. I might need to get rested up quickly. (I did spell check. I hope it worked.)

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