An Old Classic on an Old Route (Post #451) 2/17/2014

nashI was up in Oklahoma City on Sunday. My friend Grant was trying out for the Oklahoma City Energy. I told him I’d come up and watch him play. He is a good soccer player and I believe he had a legitimate chance to make the final two squads from which 3 or 4 players would be invited to the team. Over 200 hundred young and some not so young men were suited up that weekend.

It was a ridiculously windy weekend with steady winds of 25 and gusts of 35 mph and higher. Simply put a very windy day. How they played soccer in that wind was beyond me.

After the matches were over I decided to take the “back way” home. South Oklahoma City is laid out in section lines, one mile sections. When I was a kid and worked in South Oklahoma City at the Braum’s at 89th and Pennsylvania I would drive the section lines to and from the store. After you drive the highway a few hundred times you get kinda tired of the same old route.

Meridian Avenue used to be the main north and south route before Highway 62 was built. It had businesses and even a road house near the river bridge.  Today the Southlake Soccer Complex is there and a few trucking businesses still call the area home. Farms and the airport complex are west of Meridian.

I got in the Range ┬áRover and as I pulled up to Meridian a Nash Metropolitan rolled by. I looked it up and it appeared to be a Series IV. I don’t see Nash Metropolitan’s very often. In my parent’s neighborhood growing up a neighbor on the next block had TWO of these sitting in the backyard of their home. I got in behind him and followed him. I over took him on 134th street and snapped the picture. He wasn’t in a hurry. He was having a true “Sunday drive”. He looked like he was enjoying it.

Winter has broken on the southern plains. I hope to see more and more classics as the weather warms up and people take to the roads.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

It was a tie (Post #253) 3/21/2011

Major League Soccer called me to Frisco, Texas this weekend. I only get to attend one game a year and this is the match that is easiest. I decided as I almost always do, to take the Range Rover. This game is always fun and being the closest game to Norman since the demise of the Saturn Cup it is easy to attend. I have also setup the tailgate party for the Fire fans coming from Chicago and other parts for three of the last four years. That alone required the carrying capacity of the Big White Bus.

Stopping for a tinkle just inside Texas.

Looking North back into Oklahoma.

The overhaul this winter was very noticeable. First because things I didn’t finish as in, we didn’t have a radio, but secondly that the BWB ran like a top. There were a few problems as there always are driving a Land Rover. The first is the exhaust noises. The baffles are loose in the muffler and at certain idles they make a hell of a racket. In addition there is an exhaust bracket broken and that causes a metallic noise.

There are also some other annoying things starting with gas mileage. This will need to be addressed. We got about 11mpg on the highway. That is terrible, even for a flying brick shaped Range Rover. When we landed at Larry’s home we both noticed a distinct gas smell coming from the exhaust. It is easy to surmise that I am running too rich. This is something I will need to research to get fixed as I am not throwing any codes and the motor spins like a top.

I also heard the heater fan blower motor making a terrible squeak. My co-pilot Larry diagnosed it just after we crossed back in to Oklahoma. He said, “it sounds like something spinning.” I immediately confirmed that it was blower motor by shutting down the fresh air intake. This stopped the air from blowing passed the fan cages which was spinning the motor causing the squeak. Well done Larry.

I also heard a few suspension sounds that need to be investigated. Three of the four doors have a quirk about unlatching. The passenger front requires a double pull of the latch. The two driver’s side doors require you to slightly lean on the door before pulling. I also found a door window that didn’t open. I think this is from the disassembled nature of the door while I was addressing the door latch replacement project. Another reference to the incompleteness of the overhaul.

We set up the tailgate and enjoyed meeting new friends.

My friend Mike provided a cookie for dessert.

We served sandwiches and they were generally well received. We have attempted to serve brats and dogs one year and the weather has yet to comply. The wind was gusting 25mph that day and it was again on Saturday, so sandwiches made that an easy decision.

The match was hectic. The FC Dallas team “sold out” the stadium for their Opening Day. They definitely sold all the seats in our section confining us to just two rows. There were several open areas in the seats but they called it a sell out. The fans next to us were pretty rowdy. We normally draw a mean look or two but these people were out right annoying. We sang nearly the entire game they did their best to drown us out.

The best cheer was as the little kids and their moms were filing off the field during the pre-game festivities.

“Bourbon Soaked Soccer Moms”

This elicited a fun response from one of the more provocatively dressed soccer moms. Nothing is sacred in soccer and taking a shot at the parents of children is an easy target. Taking shots at the opposing teams goalie is almost expected during warm ups. As we yelled about their loss in the MLS championship due to an own goal we got the gestures we expected. Also taunting the goalie for his hair is an easy target.

Chants like Clairol Golden Platinum #6 and such are easy to come up with.

The urinals were entertaining. Its the little details like this that make going to a soccer match fun.

Banners make for an entertaining fan experience. Some serious creativity goes into making each one. The Simpson’s and Family Guy characters often play a part. The “I shot JR” banner was also well received and made it on to the live broadcast of the game.

Our security detail, yes, we had a dedicated security staff, were a lot of fun and were very cool. They took good care of us and kept the more rowdy fans away as we cheered for the Chicago Fire in their draw with FC Dallas.

We stayed the night and made the drive home Sunday morning. This way we had the wind pushing us and our fuel consumption was much better. At times we were running 92 mph. This Range Rover runs amazingly well at that speed. I know I am consuming fuel at an imagined rate of a pound per hour at that speed. I wish I had a tighter suspension and better roads to test her on. I’m sure I could reach the top speed rating (110mph) of the Firestone Destination A/T I have on her.

In just two weeks I head south again this time for the yearly Ft. Washita Rendezvous. I will again take pics and enjoy the drive.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Tina, tools and tailgating (Post #252) 3/18/2011

If you are anything like me and my Twitter buddy Tina ( @tinastullracing ) you know how important your tools are to your success as a Land Rover shade tree mechanic. I would echo exactly everything she says about having the right tool and you don’t “know it” until you “do it”. I’ve used Craftsman tools and know that the warranty is pretty unbeatable.

Everyone has their own opinion about tools and quality. I have a pretty good collection of crappy hand me downs and stuff I inherited from my dad. I’ve taken 45 year old Craftsman sockets down to Sears have them replaced. I’ve used screwdrivers as levers and chisels and when they fail I take them back and get another one. That’s pretty unbeatable. Get good stuff and you won’t be disappointed later.

Check out Tina’s video below.

Hopefully we won’t need any tools this weekend as I take the Range Rover down to Frisco, Texas to watch the mighty Chicago Fire beat FC Dallas in an MLS matchup on Saturday at Pizza Hut Park. I’ll be packing the tailgate gear down for a tailgate pre-match party. So if you are inclined come by and look for us in the parking lot around 2:00pm we’ll be having a good time. Stop by for a beer.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

Fire, lots and lots of fire (Post #251) 3/1/2011

Fire is this week’s theme. Friday, March 11th, Oklahoma experienced one of the scariest weather events we have. Tornadoes are pretty scary but even worse is prairie fire.

We experienced 32 grass fires across the state on Friday. The governor issued a state of emergency and Firefighters were out all over the state putting out fires that damaged and destroyed homes and barns and businesses. The fires in McClain county were started most likely by an arsonist. The origins were road side two miles apart. Some of the others were caused by careless smokers tossing cigarettes out of their cars.

The conditions were ripe for wild fires. 40-50mph wind gusts. Drought conditions. Low humidity. Idiot pyromaniacs and cigarette smokers. We see this every year here in Oklahoma. Why can’t people remember from one year to the next not to throw their cigarettes out of their cars? Its ignorance.

I took the Range Rover over to Newcastle to see if everything was fine at the family homestead and pick up mom’s mail. They had closed highway 9 on Friday due to smoke. It was open Saturday.

I expected to see more burned areas but the fire fighters were amazing and saved many people’s homes. I drove out to check on my friends that live just a mile and a half from the fires. All was well there at their homes. I had a nice chat and on my way out there was still a few fires burning. You can see a structure fire here in this picture and ahead of me on the other side of the highway a few hot spots were still smoldering in the woods there.

This week will also culminate in the first match of the Brimstone Cup, the annual competition between the Chicago Fire and FC Dallas. It is the closest MLS match to my home every year and it is sweeter that my Chicago Fire play in it. The match between the two teams has a long history which you can read about here.

I will be packing the tailgating gear into the Range Rover for the trip to Frisco, Texas. Tailgating with my friends who come down from Chicago is a treat.

I got a whopping 11 mpg out of the last tank of fuel. And with petrol now 3.29$(US) a gallon that hurts the pocket book. I’m not sure where to start to fix that problem. I’ve replaced the O2 sensors and have good spark. I’m guessing it is in the slipping of the transmission. I will have to get that sorted out this summer if I can get the money together.

So thankfully the fires are under control with a bit of weather change today (Sunday). The wind died down today and it is cloudy.