< To March 21, 2004 | The Journal | To August 6, 2004 >

My Birthday.

Today I turn 19. I can remember back three or four years ago when I so wanted to be of legal age, to drive my car on my own terms, to go where I pleased, to work a full time job. Let me give you a little insight into the Life of scuzzy as reflected upon currently.

For thoese of you who kept up with my Why I want to move to alaska, dated March 2, 2004. You'll know that today is the day that I leave for Anchorage, Alaska to start life anew. Well, This day has come, and due to unforseen circumstances, I will not be going. Not now anyway.

It's been six months, I've given my permanent trip to Alaska alot of thought, rest assured, I still intend to go. Not this year, next year hopefully. Before I reach 20. There's been alot happen that's interfered with my activities this year. Here's the list:

Started School:
I started TTCJ or Tennessee Technology Center at Jackson, Tennessee. I'm specalising in Network Specialist, which will earn me my A+ and my Net+ Certifications. They're expensive pieces of paper, at least that's how I view it. The class is, so far, ignorantly simple. As soon as I complete it, I'm going to get my CCNA, then I'll move to Alaska. Mind you, over this period of time, I should have collected enough money from my leftover school funds to make the permanent trip and stay. No Gaurentees. The course is 15 months, after talking some more with the instructor, I suspect I'll be done in 8 to 10.

Engine Failure:
My faithful 95 Ford Escort LX Hatchback is not so faithful. Unbeknownst to me, the engine has a common failure which involves the valveseats. I'm considering giving a detailed writeup as to the failure, how to catch it in time, and solutions once it has failed. If you want me to do this writeup, I'll be glad to do so, just send me a message and I'll get to it during class tommrow (I have spare time, trust me).
The abridged version is this: I had a valve seat drop out of chamber 4 while stopped for a left turn. The piston smashed it to pieces, In the process, it bent a valve, ruined the piston head, wrecked the crankshaft and rod bearings on chamber 4, screwed the cylinder head, and scored the cylinder wall. Chances are i've got some metal fragments that will be picked up by the oil pump and it'll become ruined as well. The car has been sitting up on ramps for the past two weeks. During this time, I forgot to seal the moonroof, and water has managed to get inside. With the windows rolled up, you can just imagine the funk. Hopefully if I keep it locked up tight, and in direct sunlight, the heat will bake the mold right out of the car. Not to mention I have peices of my engine in the hatchback, which is probably where some of the rest of the funk is coming from.
I'm going to try and get the time and my hands on a 2.0L SOHC SPI engine from a 97 Escort LX. I know the engine mounts right in to the bay, and mounts directly to the transmission. The problem? My uncle, since (currently) it's still his car, is a lazy fucker who doesn't like to work period, he's telling me what "we're" going to do, and how "I'm" going to pay for it. I've told him he's got another thing coming. Two nights ago we got in a nasty argument, and I told him the car will fucking sit there before I do what he wants to do. So my plan is to pay him the last $360 that I owe him, have him sign a formal notarised contract that states I own the car. and his hands are clean, he doesn't have to worry about crap. Then I'm going to head up to Bowling-Green Kentucky, pick up a 2.0L SPI motor for $275 (yep, got one scouted out) drop it in, wire it up (little more to it than that) and have my car back on the road before the months out. Total expected cost: $650. Inclues a new clutch kit, turning the flywheel, new front rotors and pads, and a slew of gaskets and hoses that I need to replace. The engine in it now? a 1.9L. It failed at 120,206.3 miles with better than 3/4th's a tank of fuel. I am PISSED. The 2.0L's have a similar valveseat problem, but theirs occurs more around 170 thousand miles, not 100 thousand miles like the 1.9L (and the engine I've scouted has only 80 thousand on the ticker). If I wanted to go to north carolina (about 500 miles away) I could pick one up for $300 with 24 thousand on the ticker, but It's more expensive to make that trip, and too expensive to have it shipped.

Lack of work:
Well, Since Feburary 4th, 2004, I've worked enough at my job to earn exactly $1022.37. Pathetic, huh? Now I can't even work at all (no way to get there, and the hours that she wants me to work, I can't. No way to get there) I applied for Delta Faucet recently, working a 23 hour weekend shift making $14.75/hr. Well, me and a million others in Jackson applied. I DOUBT I'll get the job, but I overheard they prefer to hire students. who knows. Perhaps I'll get lucky. That's $300 a week I could definitely use.

So I'm going to get my car fixed, Save up every dime I've got. Complete school (which i'm getting a free ride on, btw) and move to alaska.

I'll update you some more later.