Winter Prep Ford Explorer Day 1

Paint Decontamination

I decided to do a full-blown winter prep on my 2005 Ford Explorer with roughly 81,000 miles on the odometer. It’s in decent shape, not a beauty by any means; it has a few flaws, dings, scratches and nicks, even a gouge or two in the plastic trim, but it’s mechanically very sound and has no rust (any more). I spent a couple thousand fixing a slight rust problem in both rear door jambs (common on this model) and repainted the roof due to peeling clear coat (also common on this model – apparently 2005 wasn’t really a good year for the Ford Explorer). I also did  a full undercarriage rust treatment this spring (I actually did it myself).

From 10 feet or more away the car looks very nice. I’m not one of those guys that compensates for a small penis (not that mine is small, mind you) with a macho car; I’m quite happy driving around in a geezer-mobile so long as it looks halfway decent and is reliable. I am also quite comfortable not having car payments to worry about. The Ford Explorer is in my opinion one of the best buys for the money in its class.

Of course it needs to maintained. I’ve had my share of clunkers in my life time that just disintegrated beneath me from lack of basic upkeep. I don’t want that to happen to my current ride (in fact I have committed to keeping it until 2020 at which time I’ll reevaluate), so I do stuff like spring- and winter preps. Basically getting under the car evaluating the state of the union and do what needs to be done (thanks to Powdermilk Biscuits, Heaven, they’re tasty!); decontaminating the paint, taking care of scratches to the best of my ability and doing a general polish if needed, and also applying a fresh coat of some kind of durable sealant.

This is Day One of this years’ Winter Prep. I know the undercarriage is in good shape since I went full Macintosh in May with a full scrubdown/degrease/pressure wash followed by rust converter treatment for some light surface rust spots and sprayed everything (including cavities and internal frame) with Noxudol 300 Under Body Coating and Noxudol 700 Cavity Wax using an air compressor and a spray gun. I may, just for the heck of it, soak everything underneath with Fluid Film for some extra peace of mind once we get closer to snow-and-salt season—it’s a one-hour job.

So I started out with paint decontamination, which basically means cleaning the paint really, really well so that when time comes to apply a sealant, it sticks to bare-naked paint for best adhesion, protection and longevity. This is what the car looked like after the decon. (Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures during the process, will try to do better in the future). It looks pretty much the same as before because it was already clean and you can’t really tell the difference from pictures. But whereas the paint was slick before, there is now some drag to it, because all the waxes, sealants etc. that I in my OCDness have put on it since the last decon are now removed. The paint is completely unprotected at this stage.

I started off by doing the wheels and wheel wells. It’s just a best practices thing for me when I wash my car. Hot water (yeah, I have hot water in an outdoor spigot due to a lucky plumbing accident), Dawn dish soap, brushes and elbow grease.

I then rinsed off the entire car and foamed it up with a foam cannon attached to a pressure washer, again using Dawn dish soap (yeah, I know you normally shouldn’t use dish soap on your car because it can strip the wax, but that’s kind of what I want to achieve here). Rinsed it off and went at it with a traditional two-bucket method, a microfiber noodle mitt and, again, lots of Dawn in the bucket. After rinsing off there was amazingly still decent water beading on the paint.

Now I moved on to tar- and iron decontamination using TRIX from CarPro. This product is supposed to dissolve tar and embedded iron particles in the paint that normal wash doesn’t get. Either my paint didn’t have any tar and iron contaminants, or the product didn’t work very well. I couldn’t see any chemical reaction on the paint from dissolving particles (should be pretty easy to spot on light silver paint). I’m guessing my paint was so well maintained that this step was unnecessary. I just wasted $15 and added an hour to the job removing dirt that wasn’t there (I did see some iron dissolve on the rims, but there are other products that do it better). Well, better safe than sorry.

Next was a good “claying” using Nanoskin Autoscrub sponge fine grade, the next generation of above-surface decontamination technology. Used Chemical Guys Clay Lube (no free link to Chemical Guys since I don’t like them as a company, but they do have some decent products) as lubrication for this process. The Nanoskin sponge replaces the clay bar that would normally be used. It may have picked up some minor particles (I could feel the paint smoothen out slightly as I worked the surface), but not so much that I couldn’t have done without. Again, abundance of caution and whatnot. I’m not at all sure I like the new-school sponge better than the old-school clay. Sure, it’s faster and easier, but you can’t see if you actually lift any dirt off the paint like you can with clay. Whatevs.

Rinse off, towel dry, blow out any standing water from cracks and crevices, mirrors, emblems, wheels and door jambs with Marianne’s Metro Vac Master Blaster and call it a day. Tomorrow starts with taping off trim, inspecting paint to identify any areas that need extra attention, and formulate a plan of attack with regards to compound/polish, pad, and machine combinations.

I can’t believe I started this. Why can’t I be one of those guys who runs his car through an automated car wash twice a month and be happy with it? I also promised I’d do the whole thing for Marianne’s car as well. At no cost to her, I might add. My back hurts. And my head.

All in all I put six hours into it today and I’m pretty confident that nobody could have done it better. Faster? Sure.  Better? Nope. The main ingredients of my efforts of Day 1 are pictured below.

A houswife's and a auto detailer's best friend.

The housewife’s and the auto detailer’s best friend.

muscle-anatomy

While heavily muscled, this guy doesn’t have a dick at all. He probably drives a Hummer.

A Priori Good Housekeeping: A Rule

It is a self-evident truth (meaning I can’t believe I fucking have to point this out) that:

If an object has no monetary value, and if that object has no sentimental value, and if that object has no utility value — if all three of these conditions are met; if you already own this object, you should throw it out. If you do not own such an object, but see one for sale, or for free at the side of the road, you should not purchase it, take it, accept it, or otherwise assume possession of it.

Also, it follows (not by strict logical rules, but by spousal fiat which is just as valid) that if a person encounters such an object, or any accumulation of such objects, in his1 residence, belonging to his spouse, and his spouse does not respond to requests to get rid of it, he has the right to dispose of it in any manner he sees fit. The offended spouse (the victim) may apply domestic discipline at his discretion to restore marital tranquility and balance to the Universe.

Summary of thoughts: Don’t keep shit just because.

Don't let this be your house. (Picture source: The Internet.)

Don’t let this be your house. (Picture source: The Internet.)


  1. Pronouns in this paragraph are not chosen at random.

WP 4.0 Upgrade “Benny”

OGNDY is now running on WordPress 4.0 “Benny”.

This is a test.

Æ

09/06/2014

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Edited to say: Well that was pretty useless.

Edited again to say : Actually it worked, just not in the excerpt when in static front page mode.

 

Hi-Res YouTube Video Blues

Watching YouTube videos in the new, higher resolutions (>1080, all the way up to 4K) crashes my computer. That’s right; bona fide, old school blue screen of death. Which means I’ll have to disable my browser plugin that automatically plays all videos at their highest available resolution. Sucks to be me, I know, with all the extra clicks I’ll have to go through.

Here’s the video that alerted me to the problem. See if it happens to you, too.

Hurra For 17de Mai – Happy Constitution Day Norway!

On May 17th 1814 Norway’s equivalent of America’s Founding Fathers took advantage of the turbulence created in Europe by the Napoleonic wars to declare a free and independent nation and pass a new constitution, much based on the American and French constitutions of recent and general Enlightenment philosophy. Oddly enough they elected as their new King the next in line of their previous usurper for 400 years, Crown Prince Christian Frederik (already viceroy of Norway) of Denmark.

The bliss lasted only a few months until the French king-in-waiting of Sweden (it’s complicated, read the full version of events on Wikipedia, or buy a book) came to claim his prize for being on the right side of said Napoleonic wars according to the terms of the treaty of Kiel. The Norwegian peasant army was no match for the battle hardened troops of Jean Bernadotte, formerly Marshal of France under Napoleon-turned-traitor*, soon to become King Karl Johan of Sweden and Norway. (Fun fact: Jean Bernadotte/King Karl Johan (the conqueror of the budding Norwegian nation fighting for freedom, and, I’m sure, the last Norwegian king to kill a man in formal duel) is immortalized in an equestrian statue smack in front of the Royal Palace in Oslo. How fucked up is that? The main drag in Oslo, leading up to the palace, is Karl Johans Gate (Karl Johan’s Street.)

Anyhoo, to make a long story short, the Norwegians got spanked and were forced into a union with Sweden for the next 91 years until they finally managed to wrangle out of it using a dubious legal constitutional argument in 1905 (the Norwegian Storting (parliament) unilaterally declared the union dissolved on June 7th and the Swedish monarch King Oscar II begrudgingly renounced his claim to the Norwegian throne and recognized Norway’s status as an independent and sovereign nation on October 26th) when they became free and independent for real (and promptly proceeded to elect yet another Danish princeling to be their next king—in fact the newly imported Prince Christian Frederik Carl Georg Valdemar Axel/King Haakon VII’s great-granduncle was the very same Christian Frederik from 1814) without so much as a shot fired from either side of the conflict, though there were troop buildups on both sides of the border and a vocal faction of Swedes called for war.

I hope I got this right. If not you can blame my history teacher and a poor educational system in Norway. In any case, happy birthday Norway (technically, not really—Norway was an established nation-state, both ethnically and politically since the mid middle ages); may your nation prosper and not succumb to the multi-cultural, mostly Muslim threat you are facing. (Not necessarily agreeing with this assessment of the current state of affairs in Norway, but I have it on good authority that this is a fear held by a not insignificant portion of ethnic Norwegians.) This year being the 200th anniversary of your founding document, I suppose you will make something extra out of it. More drunken people passed out on park benches from Lindesnes to Nordkapp than usual, I’m sure.

*So yes, the progenitor of the modern Swedish royal family was an opportunistic, in no way of royal blood, treasonous French military officer of the late 18th/early 19th centuries who never even bothered to learn Swedish. [By the same token, Prince Valdemar/King Haakon never bothered to learn proper Norwegian, but Norwegian and Danish being so similar, I guess most Norwegians could understand him if he slowed down and enunciated properly (problem is Danes don’t enunciate at all; it’s like listening to a Norwegian talking with a small potato lodged in the back of his throat, but I digress)]. Guess how I feel about the institution of monarchy? I think the Russkies and the Frogs got it right, that’s what I think!

For those interested in the truly bizarre entanglement of what’s left of the inbred bevy of European monarchy, I suggest going to Wikipedia and just start with one article and follow the links for a mind-boggling and never-ending read. The institution is so outdated, and now, watered out with commoners, reality- and talk-show hosts, and plain attention seekers (gold diggers/media whores (and other kinds of whores)), that it clearly has outlived any justification to society it once may have had. Norway/Sweden/Denmark/England/Holland/Belgium/Spain/Monaco (I think that’s it, and Monaco isn’t even a real country); GET WITH THE PROGRAM ALREADY AND DUMP THOSE PARASITIC CHUMPS AND JOIN THE MODERN WORLD AND ITS PROPER FORM OF GOVERNANCE. PROMOTING A SINGLE FAMILY AS HEAD OF STATE/GOVERNMENT/CHURCH(!) SIMPLY FOR BEING BORN INTO THAT FAMILY IS SO FUCKING… MEDIEVAL!

Edit 8-10-15: Part of this article is historically incorrect. I’m just too lazy to fix it. Cite the information given here at your own peril. 

Happy Good Friday!

Happy nail-God-incarnate-in-the-form-of-a-Jew-to-a-cross day. Good fun for the entire family!

As it turns out, getting nailed to a cross killed God dead, but don’t worry, he’ll be up and running again in three days’ time.

Holy fucking ghost,  Jesus was a chick magnet!

Jesus was a cjick magnet!

State Of The What?

Anybody watching the constitutionally mandated infotainment show on TV tonight? I’ve just gotten into binge watching The Killing on Netflix (no affiliate link), so I don’t know. The Killing has an interesting plot that keeps you guessing, but is very low key and understated, kinda slow moving and dark themed. The show on The Hill, conversely, is noisy, fast paced and glamorous, but the acting isn’t very convincing; like a scripted reality show (I say this based on previous experience). It’s a tossup. I could go either way. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m on the fence about the whole thing. Choices, just too many goddamn choices on TV these days. Not really. They guy (gal?) who invented DVR is probably doing quite well financially.

state-of-the-union-2014

Paid actors rehearsing the pre-game show of the State of the Union Speech.

Karl Marx vs. Bryan Cranston Comparative Studies

As much as I like Breaking Bad (the final half-season was a bit contrived, I thought) and with no disrespect to Bryan Cranston, Karl Marx’ footprint in history will be much greater than Cranston’s.

Those in the know will know what I’m talking about.

marx-vs-cranston

Boston Red Sox Win World Series

And exactly how many teams from other countries around the world participated in these “World Series”? Just curious.

boston-redsox

The Boston Red Sox win The World Series of America October 30th 20213 thereby breaking the curse they broke a few years ago.