**Finally got my new personalized plates last week. In the words of the Pirate Queen, I have now become 'so yuppieish'. Not quite sure what that means. Anyway, I strolled out into the driveway intent on spending all of maybe ten minutes or so swapping out the old plates for the new ones. That was the first of many grandly incorrect assumptions I made that evening. The front plate did come off without a problem. It was just two screws that were drilled right into the plastic bumper. That swap was accomplished in about three minutes. Then I moved on to the back plate. Which is apparently where all the gremlins lived. It looked like it would be a repeat of the front....until.
Take out two screws, swap the plate, and done! But, hmmmm, those screws look a little rusty. What the hell? They're also not a standard size. Damn. Now I have to go get the other socket set. Now, that's still not right, but at least it's biting. Boy, that just does not want to turn at all. Do I have any Liquid Wrench? Of course not. That would make sense and be helpful. I do have a big ass can of WD-40, though. What the hell. Can't hurt. OK, maybe that was a bit too much. Now the socket is slipping. Maybe the next size down would be better. Now it's grabbing, but man, that screw is not making a happy noise at all. Better take it easy. Man, you don't mess with a screw for a few years and it goes and gets all rusty. What the fuck is up with that? At least this one came out finally. Damn is that rusty. No wonder it didn't want to let go. Man, I hope there's none of the threading broken off in the hole. I'll just flush it with some more good ol' WD-40. Should be able to get the screw back in there now. OK, halfway there. Now to get the other one. Man, this one doesn't want to turn either. Fuck. The socket keep slipping like that, and I'll round off the head before you know it. Just. Won't. Budge. Dammit. Wait. There it went. Bout freakin time. Turn turn turn turn turn. Turn some more. Keep on turnin. Hmmmm. This must be a hellishly long bolt. Just doesn't seem right. And the plate's in the way. Can't see what's going on behind there. Crap. Looks like the screw is turning. But I just can't see what's going on. Maybe if I bend the plate a bit. Well, at least I can kinda see behind there now. OK, the bolt is turning. Wait a sec. Aw, crap. So is the damn mounting! The whole thing is turning! Well, shit. What am I gonna do now? The old plate's half off on the back and the new one is on the front. I can't drive around like that. Dammit. Yay. I get to figure out how to get this sonofabitch off. Maybe if I bend the plate some more I can get the mount to stay still while I turn the screw. Nope. Maybe the other way? Well, shit. At least the plate is off now. May be all bent to hell, but at least it's off. Now, my rusty little bastard, let's see if you like a WD-40 bath. OK, that was stuuuuupid. Just made it easier for the mount to spin. Dumbass! What's the plan now, genius? There is just no way to get a hold of that mount from the outside. The outside. Hmmmm. Wonder how I get into the inside of this door. Got four screws there. Don't see anything else holding it on. Could it be that easy? Is it ever just that easy?? Oh, what the hell. I'm sure not gonna pay someone to get that goddamn screw out. Those sure came out easy. Geez. There must be something else holding this panel on. Can't pry it open far enough to see. I don't see anything that looks important. Maybe just a good yank. OK, it's just held on with posts and clips. No prob, eh? Now that that's out of the way let's see what we got here. If I turn the bolt on the outside, where is the mount on the inside? There it is. How the hell am I gonna get to it? I got that one small deep socket I can try. That bracket is in the way though. Man, is that the rear wiper motor? Don't wanna fuck that up. So, if I loosen that bolt, I can move the bracket and get the socket on the mount to hold it still while I turn the bolt on the outside. Cake and pie. Now why isn't that moving? I can't loosen that anymore without it falling out. Oh. I gotta loosen that bolt too. And it looks like that screw there needs to come out too. Geez. Finally. Now I can get that socket in there. Oh, don't even tell me. No no no no. I just took all that apart and the socket doesn't fit?? Mutha fucka. Must. Not. Hurl. Socket. Wrench. Crap. Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap. What now?? I got nothing else that'll fit in that hole. Is there any other way to get that mount to hold still? Hmmm. Could I get a set of Vise-Grips in behind there to hang on to it? Maybe. Maybe. I thk that may just work. I can reach my hand in there through this other hole, so I should be able to clamp onto it from the side. Drag one more tool out into the freakin driveway. OK, now it looks like it won't fit in there. Try turning it around, and there we go! Hot damn! Now, I just need to hang onto this side while I use the socket on the other side. Damn. Still doesn't want to turn. Try tightening it a bit, then try loosening it. Back and forth. Good, just felt it give a little. Put a bit more torque on it. Oh, fuck. That did not just snap off, did it? Shit! Sheared off right at the surface! Goddammit! Now what am I gonna do?? I. Am. Not. Happy. Now. Think, genius. What now? Bolt extractor? Bingo! Hmmm. Do I have one that small? Geez. Not sure. But I need the drill, a bit for the dril, the extractor, and a tap wrench. Got to find all that stuff first. And an extension cord. Ten minute project, my ass. Been out here for who the hell knows how long. Where are the damn extractors? Not with the taps and dies. Are they with the drill bits? Nope. Well, why are they in the drawer with all the scribes and such? Who cares, really? Man, that's the smallest one I have. That is gonna be a close fit. Cross my fingers. Of course it didn't shear off flat. The drill bit isn't gonna wanna bite into that. C'mon, dig in already. There you go. Keep going. Crap. That is not centered at all. Fuck it. At least it's started. That should be deep enough for the extractor to bite. Lookie, lookie! Grabbed on the first try. Little bit of torque. Little more. Keep it straight, or I'll bend the damn thing again like I did when I was working on those chairs. Did it just give a little? No no no no no. What the fuck?!?! Great! Now the tip of the extractor is broken off in there?!?!? Do I have a "crap on me" sign on my back?!? No freakin screw is gonna beat me. I'll just drill the whole damn thing out and retap the freakin hole. Sumbitch ain't gonna outdo me. Go get the taps and figure out the threading that I need to use. Probably be some damn metric size that I don't have a tap for. 10/24? What the fuck kinda size is that? Couldn't just be 12/24, could it. I am so pissed off right now. All these damn taps and I don't have a 10/24. I can hear John laughing at me from the great beyond right now. Wait, is this, can't read the size. About damn time. The only one I have, of course. Which means that it's gonna break too, no doubt. Make sure that's started straight, or it'll break off in there for sure. Advance, back off. Advance, back off. Advance, back off. Seems to be biting right. Remove and clear the swarf. WD-40. Reseat and advance. Repeat ad infinitum. This just may work though. Shit. Is that locked up now? Oh man. Won't advance. Won't back off either. Crap. Just step back for a second. Think. OK, more WD-40 and try and back it out. Easy. That's really turning hard. Just fucking come out already. Just a bit more. Damn. That's a lot of swarf. No wonder it bound up in there. Flush the hole, reseat the tap. Continue. There. That should be deep enough to seat a new bolt. Jesus H Christ, what a fucking production. Now all I have to do is put the inside of the door back together and put all these tools away. Whoop-te-fucking-do.
So, an hour and change later, my new personalized plates were installed. Let this be a lesson to any of you out there foolish enough to consider getting new plates.
**How many Med Techs does it take to replace a garbage disposal? >2, by my most recent experience.
**OK, I understand that you can't have a tiki bar without a bar. Duh. But by the same token, I don't collect tiki bars, I collect tikis. Still, it's hard to separate one from the other. In the process of revisiting the idea of redoing the downstairs, this is something I have to consider, though. I like the idea of having a bar. Ever since I was a little kid, I always thought the coolest basements in the world had a bar and a pool table. Now I couldn't care less about the pool table, but the bar is something I'm having a hard time giving up on. Even though I do have a decent sized space to work with, a bar really does eat up a huge amount of floor space. Plus I don't really want a prefab bar, but my carpentry skills suck. Did I mention that this whole project is supposed to be done by Halloween?
**Holy crap. The year is half over already.