July 19, 2005

Pimp my Volvo!

Left the seminar with a happy heart, having knocked out all my mandatory requirements for the year, and decided to make the fun happy jaunt back to Pull-A-Part for some spiffy things for the Volvo. As I mentioned is some post in the past, the last time I was there, I noticed there were several cars with the economy hubcaps and trim rings. The year mine was built, the big deal was the “aero-look,” so you tended to see lots of cars with big flat hubcaps to cheat the wind. Mine was no exception, and had the oh-so-cool big flat plastic covers over the wheels. At the time, the shiny trim ring and small hubcaps with the V centers were too old-fashioned to even be considered on something so sleek and aerodynamic as a Volvo 240, so they were mostly found on wagons. Or on older sedans.

BUT, time is a cruel taskmistress for all plastics. The covers on my car were faded and ugly and the centers were cracked, and they just looked terribly tired and worn and dated. Baby needs some flash! And since I don’t want to spend any money right now on anything nicer, I though it might be worth going back to the yard and seeing if I could find some of those older, cheaper wheel jewelry that would be worth snagging.

One of the best things about these old sparkly things is that they aren’t made out of plastic. They’re high quality Swedish stainless steel, like a set of fine Scandinavian cutlery, and no matter how dirty they are, they CAN be polished and cleaned up and be all sparkly. SO, back to the junkyard, where I walked in with my little boy blue checkered shirt and jeans and went straight to work finding some appropriate rings and hubcaps. Wound up with seven sets of rings and caps, so I culled the best ones and gently placed the rest in the trunk of a sedan, which I might go back later and get, just in case. The ones I got were mostly in good shape, aside from the dirt and spider eggs. With my prizes clutched in my chubby, brake dust-begrimed hands, I headed back up to the main building to pay.

Now, you have to remember, on Ebay and such places, things like what I was carrying might bring a price of around 20 to 40 bucks a set. My total price? $18.18. Hard to beat. Although, I still had some work to do on them.

From there, I drove all the way to Leeds. It seems that my tablemate throughout my continuing education seminar was one of the engineers at the firm our church is supposed to interview for the fellowship hall, and was one of the guys who came to the building last Friday to look around. They were supposed to send us some stuff by yesterday, but they hadn’t, so he was going to have it delivered to the building. He told me his wife was going to drop it off, so I drove out there to pick it up so I could study on it. Got there, and it was nowhere to be found. Not in the mailbox, not in the secretary’s office, not in either of the preachers’ offices, not in my mail slot. Nowhere. Grr. Peeve number nine. Making it worse was all the time I wasted that could otherwise have been spent scrubbing wheels.

Turned around and headed back toward home, with a stop at Wal-Mart to pick up some wheel cleaner that promised to be so easy to use that brake dust would simply pack up and leave once it saw the bottle. Also got some metal polish. And a brush.

Went and picked up the kids from Granny’s house, went and got them some food and some gas in the van (250 bleedin’ miles on the thing since Saturday!) then to home, where they were instructed to fend for themselves whilst Daddy played with his toys.

Popped off all the nasty old plastic hubcaps, and started cleaning the wheels. 20 years of brake dust build up. Four wheels. Four sets of trim rings and flat hub caps that needed to be cleaned and polished. Four tires to be Armor-All’ed. I started about 6:00 p.m. I finished at 8:30. Worn slap out, and drenched with sweat. BUT, I did take some pictures! BUT, they are still in the camera. I promise you, too, will get to see the new old crap on the car, as soon as I can download them and post them. I will say it looks a THOUSAND times better, though. The shiny stuff sort of makes up for the lack of paint on the upper surfaces of the body.

After that was over, I went inside and started typing on Reba’s final paper, just so she wouldn’t think I was shirking my actual duties.

And that’s about it for the weekend.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at July 19, 2005 04:57 PM