I started as a temp at Hasbro back in 2006. When they moved my department to a Dedham office in 2010 I left, only to return to Hasbro in 2011 once they moved my department back. At that time I thought I’d never leave Hasbro again. But things change. Today was my last day at Hasbro for the second time. I’m off to start a new adventure. Leaving Hasbro again was twice as hard as it was the first time I said goodbye. To all my Hasbro friends, I look forward to meeting up for a drink once Covid is over.
Oh man. I’m old now but back in the day growing up we all wanted one of these. Old man Smith had one with an extra pair of chrome bumpers and tail fins that scraped the sky. Sure they got 4 gallons to the mile, but gas was a nickle a tank and these wagons were the coolest.
Now that I’m older, I scouted around the collector sites looking for a low mileage wagon. I kicked the tires on a few, but it wasn’t until I saw this one that I knew I had found the perfect restoration project.
It was a barn find. Another tale of a young kid putting his wagon in the back of a barn and forgetting about it.
It was is perfect condition considering its age, 12 long years. The deck had rotted out, the paint was flaking, all the chrome had been stolen, and the gold lug nuts had been been lost at some point in the past, but the soul of the wagon was still there.
I got to work. I started by first sanding down the frame with 5 grit sandpaper and easing slowly into 1000k grit for a smooth finish. Unfortunately there was not much left but sawdust after this. But it was factory original sawdust.
Once I had smoothed out the frame I brought in to the professionals for an acid bath and finally a blessing at a Shinto temple to ward off evil spirits.
After that the difficult work of assembling a numbers-matching frame-off restoration began.
The dealer sheet says the wagon should’ve come from the factory with the XLG21 Sports package, but after further investigation this was most likely installed afterwards by the dealer and was in fact the GXL20 Sportsman’s package which was a mid year replacement for the popular PLX67 package. The “G” stands for gold. You can tell the difference easily if you still have the gold lug nuts as the former package uses a star pattern while the latter package uses a standard 1 lug pattern. As i did not have the gold lug nuts I could not determine the package. Instead I decided to use the VIN as the guide for this restoration. And that meant no gold lug nuts, no chrome. Just the stock wheels. It would be a sleeper.
First thing was to replace the deck. The original was 1/4in plywood, but I only had 1/2inch. The wagon will be sturdier than the day it came from the factory.
Now to put the wheels on…
She’s looking good.
To really finish this project I just need to apply a five coats of paint and 678 coats of polyurethane. But for now I have my summer driver!
A snapshot of our school day during quarantine.
Simultaneously Sam is working on a virtual lesson, Lilly is in a video conference with her class, and Christine teaches in the background.
This is what school is like now. We are all doing the best we can. Hang in there. We’ll get through this.
Since setting up the jar aquarium two weeks ago the water level in the jar has been rising. I removed water multiple times to lower it back but it kept overflowing which had me very befuddled last week. I even marked the neck of the bottle with the height of the water at different times of the day. The water does go up when the sun warms the bottle, but it does not return to the starting point the next morning. It slowly continues to rise.
But I think I finally figured out the cause. Can you see it in the image below?
Bubbles. There is a large amount of gas trapped beneath the mud. These bubbles are created during the process that is breaking down the decaying plant life within the muck. The process probably goes faster when the sun hits warms the muck.
In the image above you can also see the tunnels that the worms have been making in the mud. I haven’t been able to capture a good photo of them.
I gave the bottle a good jolt and tons of bubbles streamed to the surface. Releasing the built up gas lowered the water level nearly back to its starting point.
After one week the water in the jar aquarium has cleared up and now you can see everything that happens with the jar. Which isn’t much. The tiny insects that were swimming around the top of the jar seemed to have died off. There is still one worm that I suspect is really a leech.
It remains to be seen if the plants will continue to grow. Some of them are starting to look a little brown.
But despite lack of life, the jar aquarium does still have something I’ve been watching daily. There’s a mystery to the jar that I’m trying to solve. The water level keeps rising.
At first I thought it was just heat expansion. The jar does get some direct sun. But the water doesn’t seem to move much during the day. After reducing the water back down to its original levels three times and then finding that the water had again risen to the top of the jar I’m not sure what is going on.
We all know about the Conservation of Mass right? Matter cannot be created or destroyed it just changes form. I expected some movement due to heat expansion, but I thought it would go up and down with the temperature. I also expected all the plants and dead stuff in the mud to create methane and other gases that would bubble up. So far, no gas bubbles, but the water keeps rising. Something within the jar is increasing in volume. Could it really be just the water heating up?
What do you think? Put your ideas in the comments!
I filled a one gallon jug one-third full of muck from the swamp then filled the rest with the swamp water and added some aquatic plants for good measure. When I was done it looked like this:
After twenty-four hours the water had cleared up a lot and now looked like this:
There’s even a few critters swimming around the top:
I’m hoping it will clear up even more this week and the plants will start to grow to create a self-sufficient ecosystem.
You’ve got snots by the lots
And snoogies and boogies
You’re nose is all rosie
You’re feeling all woozie
You’ve come down with a cold
You’re of age now my child
You’ve been to the breeding grounds
Where great germs roam wild
Day care and the doctor’s
The mall food court’s bathroom
you tasted everything
and licked a baboon
So now you are soggy
crusted cranky and crabby
there’ll be no sleep for you
(‘nor for mommy and daddy)
But fear not my child
for some future day
you’ll return to good humor
and go out to play
Sam is sick so I wrote this poem for him with a suggestion from a friend.