It’s pretty late at night, but the power has come on, at the proper voltage, for the first time since December 31. One of our neighbors has their stereo on loud, and it’s echoing off the hills behind us. I have thoughts going through my head and I’m not ready to sleep yet, so I’m just going to share some thoughts.
Our daughter started walking last week. She has so much personality now, and I just love her so much. Most mornings, she greets me with the most beautiful smile, and she almost always turns to me with a smile when I’m with her throughout the day. She started saying the word “Hi” a few days ago and it’s really sweet. She’s very social and very trusting, and she’ll go to almost any stranger to be picked up. She especially wants to make friends with any children she sees, which is great, I guess, but I find myself wanting to protect her from anything that might dampen that smile. I can imagine way too many troubling things that could happen to Olivia growing up so for now I’m going to put those things out of mind and write about something fun and stupid that I did with my friend Joel back when I had fewer responsibilities. I was in my, um…. late 20s but still a college student at heart.
On a vacation trip back from Haiti once, maybe in 2002 or 2003 I went to visit Joel. As usual, joel had just completed a mechanical project on one of his cars. (Skip to the end of the paragraph those who don’t care about motors or old cars.) He had an old VW Type 3 squareback with a souped up 1776cc motor with an Engle 110 cam and 044 heads, big loud exhaust and Weber IDF carbeuretors. He had just finished modifying the carbs with big 32mm venturis and jetting to match. It made the engine a little bit faster and quite a bit louder, as these things are apt to do.
Joel told me I had to take the car out for a spin to see just how much faster it really was. He was living on Queen Anne hill at the time, and I basically just made random, tire screeching turns while Joel was yelling “It’ll go faster! Faster!” over the sound of the engine. (Joel, if you remember it differently, you’re welcome to correct it in the comments.) We went around one corner, and towards the middle of the block an angry looking man ran out onto the sidewalk wearing gardening gloves. He yelled at the top of his lungs: “SLOW DOWN!!!!”
It was Bill Nye. That’s right, Bill Nye the Science Guy. We remembered that he did, in fact, live in Queen Anne. Joel said that we should go back and make another pass. I said no, that would be a bad idea because he could use science against us.
I don’t have any pictures from the day we saw Bill Nye, but I have this one of me putting the right-side carb back on my own souped up (and oil covered) VW from around the same era. I hope you like it.