December 25, 2002
The Toolman's Christmas...
Today Matt took the day off, so it's Julia here to share the Christmas we had. I'm calling it the Toolman Christmas, since (by his own request) Matt got tools. By the way, he didn't get any sweaters, socks or underwear this year, so he's pretty happy.
I ventured onto www.eastwoodco.com, knowing full well that I'd be able to stock the shop pretty well from there. Matt had asked for a few specific items that I wanted to pick up, most notably, a powdercoater. The Eastwood HotCoat setup came with a lot of accessories, plus a few cans of powder, so I ordered that. I hope I got the right colors--how wrong can black and clear be?
I also did a lot of shopping at Home Depot and Sears, picking up an air ratchet (I think that's what it's called) and a pressure washer thingy that he can connect to his compressor for cleaning parts. I thought that would be something he would need. He's also been nagging about retractable cords and lights for the roof of his shop, so I picked up one of those, too. I'm sure he's already got it hooked up by now. Just for good measure, I got a laser level that he'd been talking about, some oil for the new tools that the guy at the store said he'd need, and a new pair of work gloves. I'm so smart :)
Matt's folks came through with cutting tools: a jigsaw, a Sawzall, and some steak knives (Matt has been wanting decent knives for a long time, and he couldn't stop saying "Now that's a knife!" like Crocodile Dundee all day). He's also got a new wireless mouse that I'm using right this moment. Pretty neat.
And as always, my mom and his mom came through with the Home Depot gift cards--he'll have those used up by the end of the week, I'm sure. He keeps talking about something called an impact wrench...
I'll probably never see him again now that he has so many new toys to play with and a shop to work in. He's been off all this week, and has been out there almost every day, despite the freezing temperatures. He says it isn't bad if you dress for it. Hopefully we'll be able to add a heater to the garage soon... or maybe not, or I'll really never see him.
I find myself getting more excited about this Buick project. It came along at a difficult time for us financially, but now that we have it, I'm pleased to see how happy it has made Matt. He was never like this working on the race cars and FrankenRanger. He doesn't seem to mind if things don't go exactly right with this project--he says that there's always time to fix things now. That was never the case with FrankenRanger, where everything had to be perfect all the time. If it didn't run right or the A/C didn't work or whatever, he just couldn't relax until it was fixed. That's all changed.
I also like being in charge of the color department. I think we've pretty much settled on returning it to the original black with a silver top, but we're debating whether we want to do leather. I'm almost thinking that I might want to take a stab at sewing the interior myself using some original fabrics. That might make me feel more involved with the project. It could also save a ton of money, since Matt says the interior will probably be the most expensive part of the restoration.
Everyone around us is also excited about the car. Our neighbors stop by often to check on his progress, including an elderly man who lives across the street who saw the car show up here and knew exactly what it was. His boss had an identical car back when it was new, and he remebers riding in it. Our family asks about the car all the time, and they even visit the web page if they can't see the car in person. It's become almost like a celebrity in the neighborhood. Our friends who aren't very interested in cars are interested in helping somehow, asking if they could get him something for Christmas that he could use in the shop. His buddy Tom got him a clock from Craftsman made out of a saw blade--very cool! Tom has also expressed an interest in helping out with the project. Matt will probably enlist him to assist with the removal of the engine sometime soon.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas and got tools under the tree. As for me, Matt bribed me with jewelry this Christmas, and I guess that'll buy him some time out in the shop for a few months, anyway.
And if any car widows out there want to get in touch with me, my E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Drop me a line!
Merry Christmas from the HPE family!
E-mail me at email@example.com
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