Wednesday, September 1, 2010

60 and counting

Today is DH's 60th birthday.  He's in mourning.  Now, I am 6 years his senior, so to me  the 60's are no big deal anymore, and they carry with them RETIREMENT!  Well, I retired, technically, 10 years ago when my knee got busted up too much to continue working.  But that magic "65" or even "62" looms brightly just at the horizon.  He believes he is going to have to work until he falls over dead, given today's economy and the fools who are running the country at the moment, so turning 60 is a bummer for him.  Considering his lifestyle in his youth, it's a wonder he's made it this far, so I think it's tremendous cause for celebration.  In my humble opinion.

So, after putting in a full day of work, after dinner most evenings, he putters about in his man cave, rebuilding motors and replacing gaskets.  These high performance motors blow when conditions aren't perfect, and he has had his share of problems with his engines.  I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about timing wheels and top dead center (TDC)  and before top dead center (BTDC) and how many degrees it has to be for the spark plug to fire on time.  I feel like Marisa Tomei in "My Cousin Vinny", only I'm not as cute.  And my biological clock stopped ticking a long time ago.

He says he relaxes with his go cart racing.  Now for me, this is NOT the way to spend the hours -- going around in circles and getting nowhere, but it seems to hold tremendous appeal to those of the male persuasion.  And as I tell my friend, Mary, if he has to obsess about something, I'm just glad it's not a red sports car and a hot blonde.

So, you know how you wish an actor luck on opening night?  You say "Break a leg".  Of course, you don't really mean that you hope the poor guy actually breaks a leg, but supposedly it's bad luck to wish an actor good luck.  So you say break a leg.  I guess that's supposed to deflect the gods' malevolent attention to your looming success onstage.

Well, in racing, it's similar.  At least, in our household it is.  Because of all the rebuilding and parts replacements and redrilling of these motors, when DH goes bounding out of the house on Saturday mornings, heading for the racetrack, I say, "Blow a gasket!"  Now, wouldn't you know, this is the only time in his life that he actually pays attention to me and blows the gasket -- regularly -- every race!  If he can keep the darn thing running, he should win, place or show.  He's been bringing home trophies up until about 4 weeks ago when his newest engine just decided to stop in the middle of the track on several occasions.  I hope he's got it figured out now.  Meanwhile, I think I should keep my mouth shut....

And that's how he's spending his birthday night -- working on another engine in preparation for a big race this weekend.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

I have finally finished Joyce T's quilt.  Poor dear.  Hers was the quilt I was working on when my Y axis motor to the IQ broke down.  Not only did it take several deliveries of parts, but it took me several days to know that other parts were needed as I fumbled my way through replacing my own motors!  Hmmmmm.  There's a theme in this family... 

I tried out the new motors with some practice quilts and then  determined that it was safe to finish Joyce's quilt.  Here's a closeup of the pantograph I did for her.  If you click on any of these pictures, they will come up in a much larger size so you can see details better.  I used one of my favorite variegated threads by King Tut:  Joseph's Coat. 

Tomorrow is another day, and another quilt on the frame, all ready for me.  Hurray!

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